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iheartcooking's Profile

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Why don't they make cast iron cookware the way they used to?

That's me. Not that I deny there's a difference, only that I've never had "old" cast iron cookware and I've used a cast iron skillet for about 5 years now and I like it very much. I don't use it for everything but what it is meant for its great for. Someone on these boards recommended it for fried rice and that was a great success.

I guess I'm not missing out on what I have never experienced.

about 4 hours ago
iheartcooking in Cookware

Who was rude here?

Where I help customers (not food service) if I have indecisive customers I'll often say "I'm just going to ring this lady up while you decide which pillows" or something along those lines. I think the employee could have done something like that in this situation.

At what point would you not pay?

Did this once at a Friday's where we were seated on an otherwise empty patio, received one round of drinks and were completely ignored for the rest of the evening.
I feel bad about it now knowing that some server who forgot us may have been docked as a result. But seriously we would have ordered and paid for more drinks had anyone come by, and there were five or six of us. After being ignored for maybe an hour we took off.

Aug 17, 2015
iheartcooking in Not About Food

Stretching food with beans

This is a really interesting perspective. They are already growing into teenagers and eating me broke! I grocery shop every day practically and I try to feed them things they like but it's always gone! The only reason we can afford to feed them is that as their stepmom I get every other week off. When I'm not home I try to make sure there's healthy snacks like cheese an fruit.

Aug 13, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

Stretching food with beans

Ok I will reconsider potatoes :) they're all men! Except me and the dogs. Even the one currently growing inside me is male! I can't get away from men! Haha. But they're also all husky so I try to stay away from the starchy stuff... Also because if I serve it they'll eat nothing but potatoes/bread and pick at the vegetables. If there's a huge salad and some meat, they will fill up on salad at least.

Soup 911

I agree with everyone and I too have a magic kitchen. It's the pasta that scares me.

Aug 11, 2015
iheartcooking in General Topics

Stretching food with beans

Your reply made me chuckle! My husband also insists that beans don't belong in chili and I know this is generally accepted! But I don't like it without, so I call it "spicy-meat-and-bean-stew".

Aug 10, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

31 crockpot freezer meals for back-to-school

Thanks for the link! I've been making meals like this too, mainly because I'm expecting a very unexpected newborn. Been experimenting with the meals because it's nice to come home from work to dinner nearly ready.
A tip: no vegetable tastes good after cooking all day, so I usually keep frozen veggies to add at the end. By the time the table is set, the veggies are heated through.

General rules re: freezing cooked dishes

I know this isn't exactly what you're asking for but in my experience the key to freezing leftovers is to freeze them FAST, as in bring them from cold to frozen in as little time as possible.
How I achieve this is to portion the leftovers (I re-use ricotta and yogurt containers because I'm a frugal weirdo but also because they do well in the freezer where store-bought containers get brittle and break) then chill in the fridge. While chilling I will make room in the back of the freezer near the bottom. YMMV depending on where the coldest part of the freezer is. Label your leftovers before they're frozen. I have sticker labels from work (weirdo again) but a sharpie will do. Place the chilled containers in the freezer with already frozen items in between to help speed up the freezing.
Crank up your freezer to the coldest setting for a couple hours then bring it back to normal.
Almost all my leftovers have fared well using this method. Sounds like a lot of work but I was just being as specific as possible.
IME there's nothing you can do about potatoes, they just don't like to be frozen.

Aug 10, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

Stretching food with beans

That's interesting. Is high-gluten flour labeled as such? Or is is like "bread flour"?

Stretching food with beans

These are all exactly along the lines of what I'm looking for, thank you!

Aug 10, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

How do you store your bacon fat?

I've had a glass jar break on me when I added hot bacon fat to it... Just once but one was enough. Oddly I've never had a plastic container melt, but I think I'll switch to a coffee can just in case. I never strain since the bits seem to sink to the bottom anyway, even though I add new right on top.

Aug 09, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

Stretching food with beans

Posting about my soup with beans mishap made me realize that I need to ask about how I can stretch my food budget with beans.

Since my boys have grown bigger my husband complains that there's no longer leftovers of anything. I really can't just make more meat or we will go broke. So I would like to use beans to get more protein cheaply. Is this practical?

I rarely serve bread, rice, or potatoes. I realize beans also have carbohydrates but they are nutritious.

As usual my post is all over the place but I'm basically looking for ideas how to use beans (or some other protein?) to stretch our meals out a bit.

Aug 09, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

Can I save this soup?

Wow I never knew this! Ok thanks.

Aug 09, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

Can I save this soup?

I made a really yummy soup today of Italian sausage, homemade stock, tomatoes, garbanzo and red beans. I boiled the red beans or ten minutes before adding them (wasn't sure if they had the same toxin as kidney beans so I figured I'd play it safe). A bit before serving I added tortellini and mixed vegetables.

Wow it tasted good and was easy, so I definitely wanna make it again.

In the past I've cooked beans without soaking all day in the crock pot and they have become tender. But I guess with the other ingredients involved they just didn't get there. They were quite toothsome. Not inedible just not what I wanted.

I'm not sure if cooking the remaining soup longer would do the trick because I mean I cooked them ALL DAY and I don't want the vegetables to get gross. Does anyone know: Will soaking in the fridge overnight make the leftovers softer? Or should I turn the pot up to high and let it go a couple more hours?

Aug 09, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

Fresh tomato ideas

My favorite way to enjoy tomatoes is in a tomato and mayonnaise sandwich on a really grainy whole grain bread.

I can't get enough of these lately. Don't knock it till you try it. Yeah just tomatoes and mayo. Slice of cheese or avocado on occasion.

It's MASCARPONE!

It's a TV show and likely the producers encourage her to do this. From what I've read about her she used to be very shy and it seems unlikely she would adopt the cheesy accent unless pushed.

Aug 02, 2015
iheartcooking in Not About Food

It's MASCARPONE!

My husband pronounces nuclear as "noo-queue-ler", says "ex-pecially, etc. He's very bright and college educated. I learned it's both futile and a bit hurtful to correct him.
From then on I've learned to take the same approach with everyone else including TV chefs. Pronunciation is important but not as important as word use (using the exact right word in the right place) and grammar.
Of course it's ok for you to rant and let it irritate you but I am happy to ignore it since I have so many other things to irritate me.

Aug 02, 2015
iheartcooking in Not About Food

No kids allowed?

I like this response. My husband and I don't really like to eat at "family" restaurants but we went to them with our boys because we saw them as a training ground for teaching kids to behave in a restaurant.
fortunately they've never been particularly energetic so this lesson took hold early and we were able to take them out to better restaurants fairly soon. Which is good because they don't care much for kid-friendly food either and would rather try the good stuff!

Aug 02, 2015
iheartcooking in Not About Food

Yelp is in a 'death spiral'

I can't believe so many Hounds dislike Yelp! I've found it such a useful tool for years and it's pretty easy to tell which reviews are trustworthy and which aren't. I've never had a poor review I wrote removed, although I've had an owner contact me asking for another chance. (They're now a favorite restaurant of mine so I'm glad he did).
Maybe it's a regional thing? Like in areas people don't use yelp as much I could see it being less useful.
I like to consult my fellow hounds on restaurants too but it's definitely not as easy a format to use.
What gives?

There's No Such Thing As Bad…

Yes!!! They are so perfectly consistent that I can honestly say I've never had bad McDonald's

Jul 18, 2015
iheartcooking in General Topics
1

Crockpot lasagna

I learned this technique through AB too although I use different ingredients it comes out great! I like the fact that you slice it into wedges like pie!

Jul 11, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking

What are some ingredients you don't like to use?

Canola oil
Green bell peppers

Jul 08, 2015
iheartcooking in General Topics

ISO bento-style lunch containers for kids

This one's my absolute favorite

http://www.amazon.com/Sistema-Klip-Lu...

Used it for my boys for a couple school years. I bought one per kid and they lasted two school years, only now starting to show some cracking but still useable. NO LIDS to hunt for, all one piece. Can't fit yogurt cups etc but dry goods fit great.

Does this product exist?

I have never NOT seen fruit flies at the store! Especially the 99c store... I just assumed it was normal

Jul 02, 2015
iheartcooking in Not About Food

What food or snacks do you have hidden ?

Pretty much all of them because I have two greedy step sons who are out of school for the summer.

I hide the granola bars and leave two or three out per day for them.

Ice cream is tucked away behind the frozen vegetables.

Chocolate covered almonds in the hall linen closet.

I'm not a mean mommy but they will wipe that stuff out in one day and I'm the one who works, cooks and cleans. That stuff is for ME!

They will tear apart the pantry and eat all the Nilla Wafers and any baking supplies that can be consumed as is, like morsels, graham cracker crusts, sprinkles lol. They can find that stuff and demolish it
But when it's time to find their shoes or gym clothes this skill vanishes.

What did I do wrong? (Chicken Stock)

Did you notice if the bones were brittle at the end of cooking time? It sort of sounds like not enough gelatin was extracted from those bones.
I recommend cooking just the bones and meat for hours and when they become brittle, add the vegetables for a few hours longer. If you leave them in for the time it takes to get the gelatin out, they get pretty bitter.

Jul 01, 2015
iheartcooking in Home Cooking
1

Best Pre-Cooked Chicken

In my opinion, I agree with the other posters that there is no good prepackaged chicken. As far as nutrition goes, the fat and rotisserie chicken is nowhere near as unhealthy as the additives you will find in that packaged chicken.
If you must have all white meat, it is worth the effort to poach or grill your own breasts and then portion them and freeze them. I have done this , although I vastly prefer dark meat. You can cut into small pieces and freeze it for use in salads or whatever.
I may be wrong but I bet you won't find anyone on chow hound who could recommend a "good" version of this product. I I am not one to turn my nose up at some convenience products, for example I do by bagged salad and shredded cheese pretty regularly but you have to draw the line somewhere and I draw it at meat that is mostly filler and sodium.

Spiral Slicer advice

Been using the "vegetti" for about a year and I like it a lot. Was very inexpensive but doesn't work great with carrots. I usually make zucchini noodles for hot dishes or cucumber noodles for cold.
The reason I went so cheap was in case I didn't like the results or in case they all deteriorate with time regardless of price, but i also like the simplicity, lack of moving parts, and ease of cleaning.

Jun 27, 2015
iheartcooking in Cookware

Evaporated Milk, Evaporated Filled Milk and Evaporated Creamer

They can as long as the "creamer" doesn't contain sugar.
I think "evaporated filled milk" has added thickeners. Icky in my opinion but an acceptable substitute.

Jun 26, 2015
iheartcooking in General Topics