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Anyone use software to calculate nutritional values in recipies?

CHeck out AccuChef- http://www.accuchef.com/index.php I tried out a bunch of different recipe software programs a couple years ago and it came up as my favorite as it uses the USDA nutritional database, lets you customize which nutritients you want to see in the nutritional info (and it gave the widest option of nutrients), it lets you import recipes from just about any format pretty quickly. Plus it had one of the best trial periods so I could really test it out- use it 60 times, and if you leave it up & running that can last a long time, unlike other recipe software programs that give you 7 days to 'test drive'. You can check out this link to AccuChef's comparison to other recipe software programs: http://www.accuchef.com/compare.php The price isn't bad either, at $20, which includes upgrades, which most other programs don't include. AccuChef didn't take long to learn the ins & outs of- it was really natural to use, plus I like that I knew where they where getting the nutritional info from (USDA) and that I could even add my own items into the nutritional database if I needed to. If you are already using the USDA database, it will be really easy to learn how to use (that is biggest learning curve- how foods are listed in the database).

Another option to look into would be diet software, like FitDay.com Its been a long time since I used their free on-line version, but I do know it lets you track some nutritional aspects. I do have their desktop version, which was around $20 also. It is good for tracking day to day if you tend to eat fairly similar things and you can custom enter items & recipes. It still doesn't let you analyze as many nutritional details as AccuChef does. Even though it was the first software like this I ever used, it seems clunky after using AccuChef and can have some weirdness if you try to change a custom recipe.

I don't work for AccuChef or anything, just someone who uses their software regularly and is very happy with. Download it & give it a try-

Oct 20, 2009
anniemax in Food Media & News

Deep fried butter - really??!!!

Sounds like the perfect product for Paula Deen to be spokeswoman for!

Oct 15, 2009
anniemax in Food Media & News

Earth Balance Too Salty for Baking?

Earth Balance makes a non-flavored natural shortening that doesn't have any salt or natural flavorings added that might be an option. I wonder if some of the taste you notice is from the 'natural flavorings', as the sodium level is pretty much in line with salted butter & regular margarine? The sticks of EB shortening would probably be firmer then their spreads, I would think (I never used EB as I'm allergic to corn). Spectrum also makes an organic shortening you could try- its made from palm oil & has no taste that I can tell.

I took a cake decorating class years ago and the recipe we were taught was for a buttercream using Crisco I believe. I haven't made it years now, but I still have the recipe somewhere... I do know it used artificial butter flavoring. This looks pretty much like it: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1830,...

For flavor now, I would probably use part extra virgin coconut oil. I use coconut oil in a lot of my baking now for its flavor- I particularly love it when I make my Mom's No Bake Cookies vegan (chocolate+ oatmeal + peanut butter originally). They are really decadent with coconut oil for the butter, coconut milk for the milk...and in some toasted coconut with oatmeal & sub almond butter for the peanut butter and you have a great quick, but delicious treat.

Oct 13, 2009
anniemax in General Topics

Canned stock vs. bouillon cubes

Kitchen Basics Vegetable Stock has 'natural flavor (from corn)' listed in its ingredients, not sweetener. Its actually nice that they state what the natural flavor is from instead letting us guess. Of course being allergic to corn, I really appreciate anytime a label states something is from that they don't have to.

Oct 13, 2009
anniemax in General Topics

Where should I store oatmeal? Location, not type of container.

Putting well sealed grain in the freezer isn't going to use any additional electricity besides what little it takes to chill them from room temp to freezer temp when they are first put in. After that, they would actually help the freezer work better, as a full freezer is more efficient.

To Queeks- I personally don't freeze my whole grains, as I would need another deep freezer since I buy mine in 25, 50 & 100 pound quantities. I am more cautious with my oat groats, as they are softer & seem to absorb more from the air (its very humid here in the summer). Personally, if your rice has been in the freezer for more then a couple weeks, the cold has killed off any bugs that may have come with it. If freezer space is at a premium, transfer the rice to sealed storage container and keep your oat groats in the freezer to keep the natural oils in them from going rancid. Oat groats seem to be a little more susceptible to rancidity because of their higher fat levels & the loss of their outer hull layer to make them edible for humans. BTW- if your oat groats are really pale in color, you may want to try toasting some in a dry pan to develop more flavor when you go to use them- some oat groats come pre-toasted & some don't. I like the toasted better, whether I'm making it into oat flour for baking or making my own rolled oats.

Oct 13, 2009
anniemax in General Topics

New Jeff Corwin show Ext Cuisine

I have to agree with the other posters that Corwin looks & acts very uncomfortable. At least when he is talking about something he knows, like with animals, you can see he is comfortable in front of the camera. Even when guested on CSI:Miami years ago, he did okay because he was playing himself and didn't have to do anything really different. FN is asking him to go out on a limb, and to me it looks like he's ready to fall most of the time. His loud, in your face personality works on Animal Planet, not FN.

What is going to happen when he travels to a local that eats species that he feels should not be?

Oct 12, 2009
anniemax in Food Media & News

Next Iron Chef Episode 1 10/4 [And subsequent episodes] (spoilers)

From what I saw when I re-watched it Saturday, Appleman didn't 'break' the mixer at all. His problem was he didn't appear to to use the head lock down switch, so when the dough tightened up, the head of the mixer jumped up & out. In his defense, commercial kitchens typically use bowl lift mixers, not tilt head ones, so he may not have even realized his mistake. Its one I've seen a lot on Food Network- even Barefoot Contessa has done it, and she is using her own tilt head KitchenAid mixer. I think he also had the flat paddle on the mixer and for the stiffness of his dough, he needed to switch to a kneading hook. If he would have taken half a second to look at what was happening, he could have realized what was happening & corrected his problems.

What Applemen did was really no different then what another chef did, when he was blending too thick of ingredients in the VitaMix blender, triggering its safety shutoff if it overheats (and keeping it shutoff for 15-20 minutes). 'Equipment failure' is not very likely in their setting; 'User failure' however, is much more likely. Why give them extra points when they screwed up? Should they get extra points or time if they cut their finger or burn themselves too?

And yes, their are both equipment failures & user failures on the Iron Chef. I remember one episode where the challenger had to use Mario's oven because his wouldn't light. That was a definite equipment failure, but he found a way to work around it, which is what any top level chef should be able to do without losing their cool.

BTW- you can see the Viking mixer, like they use, at this link: http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/zaccardis_207... with its head tilted back. That little lever with round knob on the end should have been in the locked position for mixing, particularly for heavy doughs.

Oct 12, 2009
anniemax in Food Media & News

Need to get a manual for Magic Chef dehydrator

Click on the links in my message- they will take you to the PDF's at the companies sites directly. You can then save the PDF to your computer (always a good idea, in case the company revamps their site or takes certain manuals off) and print it out if you want to. Another nice thing about saving the PDF file is you can print out select pages as needed.

Most people already have a PDF reader installed on their computer, but just in case you don't, you can download Adobe Reader by clicking on this link: http://get.adobe.com/reader/ and following the instructions.

If you want to email the manuals, you can copy & paste the links I gave into an email. If you want to double check a link is still good before you send it, you can always click on it and then once it opens, copy the web address directly from the web site address bar at the top of your web browser.

Oct 12, 2009
anniemax in Cookware

Canned stock vs. bouillon cubes

How can you say dry buoillion and liquid stock/broth are the same except for the water? Have you looked at labels to compare?

Here are a couple dry boullions bases:
***Orrington Farms Standard Beef Soup Base, Paste: Salt, Dextrose, Beef Fat (Beef Tallow, Bha, Bht and Citric Acid to Protect Flavor), Monosodium Glutamate, Food Starch-modified (Corn), Seasoning (Salt, Hydrolyzed Soy and Corn Protein, Yeast Extract, Caramel Color, Flavoring With Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil [Cottonseed, Soybean] Added), Onion Powder, Soybean Oil, Caramel Color, Garlic, Pepper, Lactic Acid, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate (Paprika, Celery, Capsicum).

***Tone's Chicken Base: Mechanically Separated Chicken, Salt, Maltodextrin, Food Starch - Modified, Sugar, Dried Acid Whey, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Hydroloyzed Corn Gluten, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Turmeric, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Natural Flavoring, Oleoresin Paprika

***Miller's Beef Flavored Base: Salt, Dextrose, Beef Fat (Beef Tallow, Bha, Bht, and Citric Acid Added to Protect Flavor), Monosodium Glutamate, Food Starch-modified (Corn), Seasoning (Salt, Hydrolyzed Soy and Corn Protein, Yeast Extract, Caramel Color, Flavoring, With Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil [Cottonseed, Soybean] Added), Onion Powder, Soybean Oil, Caramel Color, Garlic, Pepper, Lactic Acid, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Oleoresin (Paprika, Celery, Capsicum).

***Maggi Instant Beef Bouillon: Salt, Corn Starch, Monosodium Glutamate, Sugar, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Palm Olein), Onion Powder, Beef Meat, Caramel Color, Dried Parsley, Disodium Inosinate, Spices, Natural Flavor.

Very few have any real meat or broth in them, but they do have a lot of other ingredients, including a lot of sodium, chemicals and colorants. Better then Bouillion does a little better with their varrious lines:
***Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base: Organic chicken meat and natural juices, salt, organic cane sugar, organic maltodextrin, natural flavor, organic dried onion, organic potato starch, organic dried garlic, organic turmeric, organic spice extractives

***Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base: Chicken Meat including Natural Chicken Juices, Salt, Sugar, Corn Syrup Solids, Chicken Fat, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Dried Whey (Milk), Flavoring, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Turmeric.

But the only one that comes close the same ingredients as broth/stock is their Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base Kosher Passover: Cooked Chicken with Natural Juices, Salt, Sugar, Water, Olive Oil, Potato Starch - Modified, Flavoring, Turmeric. (which is available year round, not just at Passover).

In contrast, even the cheapest mass marketed broth/stock have a lot less ingredients and they have actual meat:
***Campbell's Chicken Broth,Can: Chicken Stock, Chicken Fat, Salt, Autolyzed Yeast. Monosodium Glutamate, Dextrose, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, Corn Oil, Flavoring and Hydrolyzed Soy and Corn Protein.

***Swanson Chicken Stock, 26-Ounce Box: Chicken Stock; Contains less than 2% of the Following: Sea Salt, dextrose**, carrots, cabbage, onions, celery, celery Leaves, salt, parsley.

If you look for better brands of stock/broth, you can find even cleaner ingredients listings that are more like homemade. Of course homemade is always the best, but canned/boxed stock/broth is good, but to me, buoillion is an artifical flavoring or spice, not a substitute for stock/broth. The only one I might make an except for is the Better then Buoillion Kosher line- but I'd have to try it first.

Oct 12, 2009
anniemax in General Topics

Recall of Paula Deen Cast Iron Cookware

I can maybe understand someone cracking a cast iron pan by sticking plunging it in cold water, but these pans were apparently cracking or shattering while heating up. That's just plain crazy. How off did this mix have to be for that to happen? And what exactly was in their cast iron mix? I grew up in the little town that is home a major cast iron manufacture for fire hydrants, manhole covers, grates, etc...if you ever see EJIW stamped on any of them, you know its one of theirs (though now they've bought out foundries across the country).

Oct 05, 2009
anniemax in Cookware

Recall of Paula Deen Cast Iron Cookware

How cheaply made does cast iron have to be for it crack?- "Incidents/Injuries: ...79 reports of the cookware cracking or shattering while heated."

I think I'll stick to vintage cast iron or Lodge brand, personally.

Recall Alert
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
October 2, 2009
Alert #10-701
Paula DeenĀ® Cast Iron Cookware Sold by QVC Recalled Due to Burn and Laceration Hazards; Distributed by Meyer Trading Co. LTD

The following product safety recall was voluntarily conducted by the firm in cooperation with the CPSC. Consumers should stop using the product immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Paula DeenĀ® Hammered Cast Iron Cookware

Units: About 51,000

Hazard: The recalled cookware can crack or shatter, posing burn and laceration hazards to consumers.

You can see the full Recall Alert, with pictures of the cast iron pans here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/pr...

Oct 05, 2009
anniemax in Cookware

103 Years After "The Jungle" Was Published We Have Not Come Very Far

Living a severe allergy to corn & all its derivatives, I had to learn a lot about food processing because, as this article shows, not everything ends up on the label. Its amazing what can slip by as a 'processing aid' under Codex rules. That ground beef falls under USDA and not FDA labeling, makes things even worse.

Being allergic to corn & derivatives puts Archer Daniels Midland at the bottom of companies I trust.

Oct 04, 2009
anniemax in Food Media & News

103 Years After "The Jungle" Was Published We Have Not Come Very Far

I have never understood the preground beef sold commonly now in chubs, let alone the preformed burgers. Give me fresh ground, from a small butcher..or better yet, I'll grind my own at home.

Just how many cows end up in one burger of pre-ground beef anyways? Any guesses? Or is it like Caesar's last breath?

Oct 04, 2009
anniemax in Food Media & News

What to Cook When Your Allergic to Just About Everything

FYI- Xanthan gum is also grown on corn sugar. Another good reason to avoid it in your situation.

Oct 01, 2009
anniemax in Home Cooking

Need to get a manual for Magic Chef dehydrator

From what I can tell, the Magic Chef is exactly the same as Mr Coffee- both bottom heat, forced air, 250watt, with trays that adjust in height (depending on how stacked). Here is a link to Mr Coffee's PDF manual http://www.foodsaver.com/manuals/MrCo...

Nesco use to make one very similar, bottom heat, no temp adjust, though I can't recall the wattage off the top of my head (300watts?). Its manual is a little more detailed: http://www.nesco.com/files/pdf/fd39_m... Nesco also has a 65 page dehydrator cookbook PDF. All of the info won't apply, since your Magic Chef, like my old Mr Coffee, doesn't have adjustable temp, but a lot will. Beside its just a good reference overall for dehydrating (better then a lot of the dehydrating cookbooks I've bought-lol)- http://www.nesco.com/files/pdf/dehydr...

Oct 01, 2009
anniemax in Cookware

Food allergies: When and how did you develop them?

It sounds like your chef needs to be better educated and the best person to turn to would be Chef Ming Tsai, who had to become a food allergy expert because of his son's food allergies.

Here are a couple good overview articles from Resturant & Institutions Magazine on Chef Tsai:
http://www.rimag.com/article/CA652068...
http://www.rimag.com/article/CA662769...
For further information, you can find how to keep his recommended food allergy binder at his website: http://www.ming.com/foodallergies.htm

FAAN (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) has a free training booklet, "Welcoming Guests With Food Allergies" that would be useful anyone in food service to read on their own:
http://www.foodallergy.org/downloads/...

Sep 30, 2009
anniemax in Not About Food

dried cherries

From looking at their site, Benjamin Twiggs, purchases their dried cherries from a company like Shoreline/Atwater or other dried cherry producer. "Partnering with local suppliers, we work with the best the northern Michigan area has to offer to provide you, your family and friends with the most flavorful and memorable foods possible. Enjoy!"

They didn't list ingredients, which sometimes gives it away- different producers may use slightly different ingredients (due to my food allergies, I'm especially attuned to things like that). If you live in the TC area, try the Shoreline ones from Meijer, in the produce department to compare. I can't comment on their dried cherries, as I really dislike cherries (so ironic, since my great-great grandfather was one of the first cherry farmers out on Old Mission), but I do love the other dried fruits from Shoreline.

Sep 29, 2009
anniemax in General Topics

What to Cook When Your Allergic to Just About Everything

Corn is tough because is omni-present in modern US food- you just cannot avoid it without really knowing the ins & outs of all its possible names...and a lot more about food processing then any of should have to know. It took a lot time for me to totally figure my corn allergy out, even after I was officially diagnosed...and even longer to convince my doctors how severe it was. I have to avoid all forms of corn, which takes a lot creativity- and can lead to a pretty boring diet because its easier to fix the same things all the time. Have you seen the list of corn names to watch for on labels?- http://www.cornallergens.com/list/cor... Also, I noticed in the soda thread that you were talking about Xylitol as a sweeter- did you know its made from corn mostly now (occasionally still find it made from birch, but not often). Have you found the Avoiding Corn at http://forums.delphiforums.com/Avoidi... yet? Its really helpful sometimes to see what other people are doing.

And if you have any questions, I can try to help- my diet is limited by some other medical issues & I a lot of the corn free foods I do make wouldn't work for your BF because of the other foods he is avoiding now. I can help with identifying if things are corny or not, for the most the part.

Sep 26, 2009
anniemax in Home Cooking

Local diners banning laptops

Remember when we use to go out to lunch to get away from the office & the phones? Heck now a days you can't even get away from the phones in the bathrooms!

I think its great places like this are saying no to the roaming office.

Sep 26, 2009
anniemax in Food Media & News

Food allergies: When and how did you develop them?

Your reaction to Kiwi sounds like OAS (Oral Allergy Syndrome). Its not a true allergy to the fruit itself, but a cross reaction from a similar protein found in some common pollens. It usually only causes itchiness in the mouth & throat, but not swelling or any of the other common symptoms you associate with a true allergy, and only in the rarest of rarest case can OAS go on to cause anaphylactic reactions.

Sep 26, 2009
anniemax in Not About Food

Food allergies: When and how did you develop them?

Isn't skate one of the fish that can produce histamine or histamine precursor when it goes bad? That might explain part of your problem & your reaction.

Sep 26, 2009
anniemax in Not About Food

Can it get worse? Oxygen Network's new "Naughty Kitchen"

Yes- did you catch the title of the episode- "You Better Wear Stretch Pants"!?!

Sep 26, 2009
anniemax in Food Media & News

What to Cook When Your Allergic to Just About Everything

The dried, packaged things like nuts are often dusted with corn starch- if its used as a production aid, it doesn't have to be listed on the ingredients. Its no fun with a corn allergy. Has he figured out how careful he has to be with all the corn derivatives?

Sep 24, 2009
anniemax in Home Cooking

Mouse in the restaurant's dining room.... [moved from Manhattan board]

When I was 3, I didn't know the word for 'rat' yet, but I did know 'mouse' & 'cat', so when I saw something the size of a cat that looked like a mouse, I reported to my much older brothers & sisters that I'd seen a 'mouse-cat'. They of course didn't believe until a short while later my brother was taking a bath & we hear a strange noise. Seems he saw the 'mouse-cat' too, but he hit it with belt buckle to knock it out & it was quickly disposed of outside on the farm. That is how I learned the word 'rat'...

Sep 23, 2009
anniemax in Not About Food

Mouse in the restaurant's dining room.... [moved from Manhattan board]

I would not be happy. I grew up in the country and understand mice coming into our houses, particularly in fall, but we rarely, if ever saw them. The fact the mouse ran in and out several times, into an area occupied by people...and I assume some of them (waitstaff at least) were moving around. That's a mouse that is too comfortable in its surroundings to just be dropping in, in my opinion.

Sep 23, 2009
anniemax in Not About Food

Liquid Smoke - Processed BBQ or Not?

Did you actually read it? Yes it could be considered an advertisement for liquid smoke, but not to us as consumers- its from a magazine aimed at "companies that develop, manufacture, process, package and market processed food and beverage products."

Its interesting how its sold to food manufactures and how they don't even have to TELL US they are using it as an ingredient if its only applied to the outside of a product & heat, points to it being processed, not natural, IMHO. And why apply liquid smoke if its not going to impart any flavor?

Sep 04, 2009
anniemax in General Topics

pH test kits for home canning tomatoes?

You might want to check health food stores, they usually carry something like this: http://www.evitaminstore.com/Coral-Ad...
which looks like its in the pH range you want.

Sep 02, 2009
anniemax in Cookware

Liquid Smoke - Processed BBQ or Not?

This article might give some a new insight on just what liquid smoke is/isn't and how its used in our foods:
"More recently, liquid smokes have gone beyond solely contributing smoke flavor to foods. They now function as antimicrobials, impart color, reduce warmed-over flavor and add texture. Many smoke ingredients impart very little or no smoke flavor at all."

and my favorite part (not)...we don't even have to tell you we used:
"Depending on the process you are using, you may not have to declare "natural smoke flavor" or "natural flavor" on the label," says Moeller. "If you apply the ingredient to the surface only, and then apply heat during the cooking process, it becomes part of the process, not an ingredient."
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi...

Sep 02, 2009
anniemax in General Topics

Hand Grain Mills?

Right now the prices on the Kitchenetics/K-tec mixers are running high on Ebay, as there haven't been any for sale in a couple weeks. I predict in another couple weeks, the price will drop a lot, as several tend to get listed when the selling price is higher, bottoming out the market. I have both the old style Kitchenetics and the newer, digital K-tec Champ mixer. The K-tec Champ mixer is nice, because it has an automatic kneed setting- after you mix the bread the dough, you hit the kneed button & it kneeds until it 'feels right' to the machine. I have to say I also like being able to set the mixer to run x-number of minutes, or let it count up the time its been mixing.

Here is the site where I found out about the FGM working with Kitchenetics/Ktec mixers: http://www.mykitchencenter.com/Detail...

Aug 27, 2009
anniemax in Cookware

Hand Grain Mills?

I did a lot of research on grain mills and have managed to accumulate a lot of them in the process. The only hand mill I would recommend is the Family Grain Mill, which you can upgrade later to electric. I picked up 2 at different times from Ebay, without the hand crank or motor, for about $25 each. In the beginning, I used one by hand with an allen wrench for the crank, which worked pretty good. Thankfully I learned, via some obscure website, that I could use a FGM with a Kitchenetic or K-tec mixer, which if you watch long enough, you can pick up for under $50 on Ebay. I even managed to pick up a FGM Flaker Head, which makes great rolled oats & other grains.

Now I'm moving onto stone ground, as I have to grind all my own grains due to an allergy, but I'm still keeping my FGM for grinding small amounts, oil seeds, or other things stone mills just are not good at. BTW- the Kitchenetic/K-tec mixers make a nice loaf of bread, among other things...and this coming from someone who has owned a 5qt KitchenAid ProLine StandMixer for 20 years.

Aug 27, 2009
anniemax in Cookware