Barbara76137's Profile

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Help with Royal Icing

Well, here's the finished product! It was really fun, and I have icing left over, so I may have to make some sugar cookies too.

Dec 23, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

I'll be decorating gingerbread cookies (see my request for Royal Icing help) so I'll be having leftover roasted turkey & dressing, broccoli salad and roasted fennel. Fennel is the only thing I have to cook, everything else is already in the fridge.

I still have absolutely NO idea what I'm going to make for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but the freezer, fridge & pantry are stuffed. Oh, and the wine rack & liquor cabinet too :)

Help with Royal Icing

Thanks to both of you! I didn't realize I could use parchment, but that will be much easier than messing with tips. I may thin the icing so I can fill the stars with a Texas flag, but I mainly want to do the tops of the cowboy boots with different designs.

How long does it take for the icing to "set up"?

Dec 22, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Help with Royal Icing

I've never made royal icing or decorated gingerbread cookies before. I made the cookies last night & they are cowboy boots and Texas stars, so I'm going to decorate them tonight.

Obviously I'm going to do quite a few colors, so what will be the best way to color the icing and then decorate the cookies?

Can I use plastic squeeze bottles, since I only have three decorating tips? I don't want to constantly be washing and changing tips.

What other tips can you give me?

Thanks!

Dec 22, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Need help making bark

Thanks, I just thought it would be fun to use booze instead of an extract or oil. I used to have a recipe for a pie that used crème de menthe & crème de cocao (sp) & I never had that problem.

Dec 10, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Need help making bark

I'd like to make "Grasshopper Bark" using semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate and crème de menthe. I thought it would be pretty easy, melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate morsels with 1 TB. vegetable oil, do the same for the white chocolate in separate bowl, and then add crème de menthe to the white chocolate. However, when I added the crème de menthe the white chocolate got almost granular and lost the smooth melted consistency. Also, it didn't have a strong crème de menthe flavor even though I added quite a bit.

So, was it the alcohol that dried out the white chocolate? Or would I have better results adding the crème de menthe to the semi-sweet chocolate? Or could I pour a layer of crème de menthe between the two layers of chocolate?

Sure would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks!

Dec 10, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Polar Vortex is coming

The majority of the tomatoes have been ripening. Not as good as vine ripened, but still perfectly acceptable. Some did rot, but I just check the paper bag and discard what has gone bad.

Dec 02, 2014
Barbara76137 in Gardening

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

Have guests arriving on Thursday for the weekend, so I managed to decorate both the inside & outside of the house already. Have Christmas lights strung along the front of the house and a live wreath on the front door. So far the cats have left alone the live, potted tree in the living room, but the Christmas stockings didn't last more than a few hours. Must have been the residual catnip from last year.

Since I had an uninvited guest on turkey day, I still need more poultry. I found an already stuffed Cornish hen for only .99/lb. so I'm roasting that with some asparagus and pancetta. My green tomatoes I picked before the freeze a few weeks ago have finally ripened, so a simple salad is also in order. And, of course, wine.

What's for Dinner #337 - the It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah 2014 Edition! [through December 8, 2014]

Pretty good looking for something "just thrown together".

Best recipes for homemade Christmas gifts

I found this silicone bark pan at World Market: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/si...

I did a trial run with it and it was a hit, so I'm doing tins of peppermint bark and "grasshopper" (green crème de menthe) bark.

Dec 02, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Next year will be different: Thanksgiving

I WILL NOT allow someone to invites themself to dinner on Wednesday night when I only have enough food for me! I couldn't even buy more food Thanksgiving morning, so had to make due with what I already had. Then, self-invited guest calls me Thursday morning to tell me to push up the meal by an hour and a half!

Dec 01, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014

Yay - Perugina Baci's for $7.99!!! I'm sure they won't last long at this price. I bought 3 boxes.

Nay - They've discontinued the chocolate/peppermint quick bread from last year. :(

Dec 01, 2014
Barbara76137 in Chains

T-day leftovers game plan

IF it were me, I'd take the meat off the bones. You can use the bones & rest of the carcass to make turkey soup. I'd portion out some of the turkey & sides to freeze as quick "tv dinners". I'd also freeze some of the turkey to add to salads.

Would you say your Thanksgiving this year is going to be a big deal . Or your just going to make it simple ?

I'll be alone, but I'll still break out the silver and set the table to make my meal festive. I'm making the roasted butternut squash soup I found here on chowhound, roasting turkey thighs on top of dressing, and doing a bunch of veggie sides. So far the list includes green beans with shallots & pancetta, cauliflower gratin with goat cheese & mushrooms, roasted veggies, and a baby arugula salad. The weather is supposed to be warm and sunny all weekend, so I need to do a lot of work outside.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization ideas?

I use baskets and organize much like CindyJ does. I got all of mine at the dollar store and they work great. I have plenty of cabinet space, but just pulling down a basket for Asian, Hispanic, baking, etc. is really a big help.

Nov 25, 2014
Barbara76137 in Cookware

What did I do to my All-Clad? [Moved from Home Cooking]

When I've burned something in my All-Clad, I've found filling the pan with hot water, some powdered dishwasher detergent and some dish soap and soaking overnight helped.

Nov 25, 2014
Barbara76137 in Cookware

Polar Vortex is coming

Had my mom pick all of my tomatoes left in the garden. I was shocked when she had an entire shopping bag of them. I'm heartbroken that my biggest and best harvest was now, right before the freeze. I'll have to find some good recipes for green tomatoes. I dug up my jalapeno plant and two basil plants and repotted them for in the house. Everything else is done for the season.

Today was COLD, COLD, COLD!!! Wind chill of 21 and actual temperature of 30. Hate to think about the temps the next few nights.

Nov 12, 2014
Barbara76137 in Gardening

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

Candy Cane Joe Joe's are there....bought two boxes last week.

Nov 11, 2014
Barbara76137 in Chains

Winter Emergency Stock-Up

I got stranded in Washington DC during the blizzard of 1996. I bought a snow shovel at the local Safeway and knew it was bad when I was shoveling out stuck tow trucks! Thank goodness for that Safeway...all the restaurants were closed, they even closed the bar in our hotel. BIG mistake with about 2 dozen musicians :) Our hotel rooms had kitchenettes so we scavenged what we could and had a fabulous feast!

Oct 14, 2014
Barbara76137 in General Topics

Prices for Butter?

I just paid $3.99/lb. for Trader Joe's last Friday. I thought that was higher than before, but I don't use a lot of butter, most always use olive oil or canola oil.

Oct 14, 2014
Barbara76137 in General Topics

What's in your Freezer 2014 version

So sorry for you! Well, at least it sounds like you are being optimistic about it.

Oct 14, 2014
Barbara76137 in General Topics

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I had never tasted or cooked butternut squash before. It was delicious! And, very easy.

After reading the other reviews, I roasted mine for an hour and 15 minutes so it was nice and tender. I left out the cream and used the immersion blender. I didn't miss the cream or all that extra fat one bit. It tasted wonderful as is, but then I added a tablespoon of chile en adobe to give it a little smokiness and kick. I will definitely be making this again.

Oct 14, 2014
Barbara76137 in Recipes

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

Yay to the Cowboy Quinoa meatless patties. Had a sample yesterday and they were pretty tasty.

Oct 10, 2014
Barbara76137 in Chains

Ebola: Do you think it will change how we dine out?

I live just north of Dallas, so really close to all the hype. I'm not concerned. All this hype with the news media is ridiculous!

What would YOU do??

I'd think it was charming and extremely creative. Last year my Christmas present was wrapped in a 50lb. bag from horse feed and tied with baling twine. Inside was an espresso machine! Right then I decided he was "a keeper". :)

Eating healthy. . .what's on your plate?

Sounds a lot like my menus! Except around here I can't stand "Tex Mex", so I'll enjoy my quesadillas & tacos at home.

Just had to refill the propane tank on my grill, so I guess I grill a lot, practically every night. Grilled seafood, chicken, veggies of any sort. Salads are often a full meal, not just a side.

I also love cheese, but stick to really bold, flavorful ones so a little goes a long way. Always have 4-5 varieties handy.

Pretty much no processed foods whatsoever in the house. Canned beans or tomatoes, but that's about it.

Last night had a homemade pizza with chicken sausage, red & yellow peppers, grape tomatoes, and fresh arugula & basil from the garden.

I love eating healthy!!!

What's for dinner #329 - The Colorful Leaves Edition! [Through October 9, 2014]

Didn't do much cooking over the weekend. Ran out of propane for the grill & couldn't get it refilled until today. Plus, the weather finally cooled down and I had a ridiculously long list of chores I wanted to get finished. Almost finished with a 3-sided shelter for my horses, got plenty of weeding done in the gardens, planted an 8' silver maple tree, deep-cleaned the house and decorated inside & out for Halloween.

Tonight I'll toss some baby yellow potatoes with evoo, garlic, rosemary and s&p and throw a few chicken thighs on top. Put those in the oven & by the time I finish running, dinner will be ready...or else the house will be burning down :) That & a salad will be dinner.

Rudest grocery checker remark

I was checking out at Costco and the checker looked at my membership card, which shows I've been a member since 1988. He said 'wow, you've been a member longer than I've been alive!'

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

Not food, but "food related"....this summer I bought a Food Saver Vacuum sealer when there was a $20 instant rebate. Friday I got the package of rolls and bags for $31.99 thanks to the $8 instant rebate this month!

Oct 06, 2014
Barbara76137 in Chains
1

How much do you spend on groceries each month?

Small town in North Texas here, and I know exactly what you mean. I refuse to shop here & drive the 35 miles for all my shopping. Makes you prepare a detailed shopping list since you definitely don't want to forget anything!

Oct 03, 2014
Barbara76137 in General Topics