KarenDW's Profile

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Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

For half-pint jars, because the boiling time is >10 minutes, sterilizing before filling is not necessary. As per USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/general/reco...

Also, because fruit + lemon juice = a high acid environment, these preserves are shelf stable at room temp. Refrigerate after opening. Sugar is not a preservative.

Jul 25, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking
1

Attention Chefs: Can we all agree that bacon is over?

I like bacon. Sometimes I order a side of bacon. Also, sometimes I order something on the menu, "without" the bacon. Not "possible"? OK, I'll order something else.

Jul 25, 2014
KarenDW in General Topics

Rabbit - where to find at a reasonable price?

$12.99/lb, frozen, at Windsor Meat Packing on Main @ 25th.

Jul 25, 2014
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

where to buy white spelt flour

I wonder whether passing whole spelt flour through a mesh sieve might yield something passable for white spelt flour. Maybe it depends on the actual recipe? At any rate, organic spelt flour at Sunrise Market, Powell & Gore.

Jul 25, 2014
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

TUBE-o-hamburger?

I have used "tube packed" ground meat products without incident, but some years ago. IIRC, the shop ground and packaged it's own meat. In our region, such service is rare in general supermarkets.
If the meat is coming from a large processing plant which then bulk-packages for distribution, then you are purchasing meat from multiple animals. But it's likely the same meat which is being shipping en-bulk to supermarkets for re-packaging.
One of the reasons for the lower price is the lack of packaging. Packaging materials and labor probably constitute 50% of the cost of packaged foods of any sort.

Jul 25, 2014
KarenDW in General Topics

Simple Way to Flavor Brown Rice

I generally cook in broth; a very simple solution would be to use boullion cubes/powder at half strength to reduce sodium.
Mushroom powder (basically, ground up dried mushrooms) can add flavor to plain water.
Add pandan leaf to the cooker?
and +1 to sesame oil and low sodium soy sauce

Jul 24, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Recipe for canned clams?

Fried clams can be tasty, and a completely different texture from canned clams.
If you *like* the taste of clams, you could try using frozen or fresh, rather than canned. If you merely "don't mind" the taste, maybe look elsewhere for dietary iron? One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains one and a half times the iron of 2 1/2 ounces of clams.

Jul 24, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Olympic village suggestions

I actually like Tap and Barrel. Reasonable selection of local wines on tap.

Jul 23, 2014
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Is this tacky?

Is this a Dinner Party, or friends getting together over dinner?
Sometimes for a DP, I feel I need to make nearly everything. But even then, I often purchase the dessert.

<<I will eat whatever you serve. My brother, a long-time chef, says he is just glad to be invited to dinner and someone else is cooking. He doesn't care what the menu is--he doesn't judge. There is room for everything. >>
This, too. I also cook for a living. I'm always happy that one of my friends has invited me over. Home cooked, or ordered in, is totally fine with me.

Jul 21, 2014
KarenDW in General Topics

Good and cheap with no fridge.

Props to you Heather, for wanting to share within your means.
I work in hunger relief. Many of our clients have very poor dental health. Several others have no access to kitchen facilities. Therefore, my recommendations/suggestions are informed by my own experience. But here they are:
Fresh fruit, cut up; or oranges and bananas (i.e., soft fruit).
Pull-top tins of soup, tuna, chicken, stews. With a disposable spoon.
Soft granola bars.
Dried fruit mix, i.e., apples, raisins, apricots
Bottled water
Juice boxes
Packets of wet wipes
Inexpensive cloth napkin (i.e., from a 2nd hand shop?) which can be re-purposed later

Jul 21, 2014
KarenDW in General Topics
3

Seafood Main Course for 8 That Doesn't Break the Bank?

I like fish tacos. Grill whatever fish you can get your hands on; cod, salmon, baramundi, hake; maybe not trout. Tortillas. Pico di gallo or salsa verde and some salad can be made ahead. Good with beer, or whatever wine you've got going :)
Total grill time = 10 minutes.
Otherwise, a riff on paella. Rice and seafood; add pork products and poultry as you like. Everything can be prepped ahead of time, up to, and including, sauteeing everything. Finish cooking on the grill.

Jul 21, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking
2

Eating flowers

I usually use edible flowers to add color to an otherwise mundane leafy green salad. Keep the dressing a simple, lightly sweetened, vinegrette.

Jul 21, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking
2

Help with reunion menu

<<As for drinks, I agree with adding non-sweetened iced tea and I think you need more beer and wine.
2 cases of wine = 24 bottles = 1/2 bottle per person, in addition to the cases of beer and keg.

Jul 20, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Help with reunion menu

This seems like a lot of food. You have...
3-4 meatballs/person
a POUND of chicken wings per person
nearly 1/4 lb of fruit and veggies per person

If you know your crowd are mostly meat-eaters, then the selection is totally fine. If you don't know the group's dietary prefs, then you might want to add some hummus or other non-dairy dip, and some corn tortilla chips. A non-meat, non-cheese protein item would be a nice touch.
Does your store sell "variety pack" sodas? If so, then maybe pick up a few of those, rather than the single variety "flats".
I think you'll want to have at least 25 lbs of ice. Plus whatever gel-packs you'll put around the keg to keep it cold. (easier to keep in place, rather than bags of ice).

The suggestion, upthread, to stagger the food service, is wise; for quality, food safety, and quantity reasons. Hopefully you have good refrigeration and heating facilities on site.

Jul 20, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

What to do with leftover fruit salsa?

Heat, jar, waterbath process. Eat later.
Texture will be softer, but still a welcome accent, on roast chicken, in the middle of winter :)

Jul 20, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Ideas for dessert in a mug??

If you are willing to pre-bake a topping, then any of the following: Crumble, cobbler, meringue.
Fruit soup
Fruit salad
IDK... anything you'd serve in a bowl?
and, why not able to put the mugs into the oven?

Jul 20, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Peeling plums for jam

Hopefully you are following a recipe. Most of the ones I use have the quantity of fruit measured in cups and pounds. Example: "4-2/3 cups crushed plums (about 3 lbs or 42 med) " from the recipe here: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe...
If the plums are particularly small, then maybe pick up an extra pound, as the pit will be a larger proportion, by weight, of the whole fruit.
Usually I don't remove the peel; just mash along with the flesh.
The two guides I use the most for canning: The Complete Guide to Home Canning (in Canada, it's by Bernardin, but maybe in the US it's Ball?), and, Small Batch Preserving. For very small amounts, the new book Preserved by the Pint, has some interesting recipes.

Jul 20, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking
1

40th Birthday Dinner for a Group

You could provide paper fans for all guests, as party favors... (personalized, even?)

Jul 17, 2014
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)
1

Who (bakery) makes great fresh cherry pies ?

Currants also important for their natural pectin content. Yes, less sugar will make for a softer set in the jam, and also lower yield.

Jul 17, 2014
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Rabbit - where to find at a reasonable price?

If you can use frozen, then check Famous Foods.

Jul 15, 2014
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Need Vancouver Ethnic Restaurant for 10 on short notice

what is "ethnic"? By which I mean... what does that mean for your group? How about Ethiopian, or Indian, or...?

Jul 14, 2014
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Freezing chicken portions in Non-Freezer Zip-Lock Plastic?

You could freeze the chicken and broth together in bags. Flatten for freezing/storage, then stack the frozen bricks into an outer bag to stave off freezer burn.
Freeze rice in separate flattened bags. Keeping separate from the chicken will allow for some flexibility of future uses.

Jul 13, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Freezing chicken portions in Non-Freezer Zip-Lock Plastic?

In many MW models, defrost is 20% power.
Regular temp/cool tap water will do just fine for defrosting your stuff enough to transfer to the ceramic dish.
Trouble with freezing in the ceramic, is that the container will be cold when you heat your food in the MW at work. So, even if the food itself is hot, the temperature will drop quite a bit, due to the container still being cooler.

Jul 13, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Which 4 cheeses do you recommend for a rich, creamy Mac & Cheese?

I often add a soft cheese, such as brie, boursin or chevre. Sometimes sub out emmenthal for gruyere.

Jul 13, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

boneless chicken wings?

My sister debones the flats, frequently; then stuffs with cheese & ham; breaded coating, and bakes.

Jul 13, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

drinking vinegars?

Tepache is a fermented pineapple drink; I make it with the rinds and cores of fresh pineapple. Dilute with water or sparkling water. Very refreshing.

Jul 13, 2014
KarenDW in General Topics

Domestically Disabled

Hi! Congratulations on your first post :)
The list of items to keep in your pantry will depend on what you like to eat. NO sense in keeping diced tomatoes if you are allergic, for instance.
Anyhow, I would recommend a visit to either a used bookstore or public library, for a copy of "cooking for one or two" sorts of books. Browse the recipes before purchase, just to see whether or not you like the sounds of them.
Depending upon your location, the local public school or community center might offer cooking classes. You'd learn something AND meet some people in your new city. Or, post a request for basic cooking classes on the Chicago board. The cooking supply/kitchen shops in my region offer classes; they are moderately priced, and included samples. (I teach in one of the local shops)
The major grocery stores in our city offer "nutritional" store tours and cooking demonstrations.

Some items I like to keep on hand:
Freezer...
Butter (salted 'cos it's cheaper in my region), cut into 1/4 pound (it's a half-cup!) pieces, wrapped and in a ziplock bag.
Bread, sliced, for guests - I don't eat bread
Ground beef, 1/2 lb or so
Shrimp or fish fillet (1 or 2 portions)
Ice
Peas or green beans (or your favorite)
Fridge
small container of plain yogurt
cheese, 2 or 3 kinds that I like, including a block of parmigiano; some people like boursin
pickles, because pickles add crunch and acidity to meals like tuna sandwiches or mac & cheese
mayo
eggs
lemon and lime
sparkling water or soda water
gin and vermouth
sparkling white wine
onion, celery, carrot and a couple of potatoes
Dry goods/non-refrigerated
ketchup
mustard
flour
cornstarch
sugar
salt and pepper
olive oil
cider vinegar
balsamic vinegar
chicken or vegetable boulion powder or concentrate
packet of gravy mix :)
tuna in oil, or salmon (if you like fish)
tomato paste in a tube
milk powder OR uht milk in small tetra boxes
cooking spray
Other stuff
foil, ziplock bags, parchment paper
tongs, with solid tips, not the ring-shaped ends
non-stick frying pan, heavier rather than lighter
2, 3 and 4 quart pans, with heavy bottoms
rimmed baking sheet/cookie sheet
scissors
peeler, a paring knife, chef's knife
cutting board, not glass
I stuck a chalkboard on my fridge so that I can keep track of things; such as shopping list, or ideas for menu, or a recipe I'm making up

Good luck, and happy eating.

Jul 11, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Mixing apples and oranges

equal amounts by weight, or volume?
is shape important?

Jul 11, 2014
KarenDW in Home Cooking

CA + GA friends visit Vancouver for Asian food - need help!

Aberdeen Centre to Steveston, is possible via transit. CanadaLine south to Brighouse station. Then 401 or 402 bus. 40 minutes.
Or, taxi... $30-$35

Jul 09, 2014
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Water Bath Canning on a Single Induction Burner--Anybody do this?

Just a thought, re: pot: I use a stainless steel stock pot, 14-ish quarts, from Costco. No room in our apartment for single-purpose items like canning pot.

Jul 09, 2014
KarenDW in Cookware