Heidi cooks and bakes's Profile

Title Last Reply

Red Bank Redux

OK, so I had a chance to try Bagel Oven. Took me once around the block to find it, but I did. Now, I love anything loaded with carbohydrates and fresh. But boy, is their bagel over the top great! I loved the crunchy crust, and the warm interior. Did you see the lady parked in the municipal lot, eating her way into a carb coma last week? OK, 1 bagel wasn't enough, I needed two. One right after the other. They were that good. And yes, I DID travel with my own cream cheese to dress it up exactly the way I like! Yup, that was me! Bagel Oven wow!

about 15 hours ago
Heidi cooks and bakes in New Jersey

Mashed potato recipes

No matter what recipe you choose, you should always add the butter to the mashed potatoes before the milk. If you add the milk first, the potatoes will absorb the milk, and the butter can't get absorbed into the starchy potato. But when you add the butter first, those fat molecules combine better somehow, and then you don't end up with butter not combining. I read this first at America's Test Kitchen. My potatoes always come out delicious. (I'm in the 8 ounces of butter to 2 pounds of potatoes camp.)

Andrew Zimmern coming to the Count Basie Theater on August 1, 2014

Here's the cupcake with the fried worms on it.

i hate plastic squeeze bottles for heinz ketchup and Guldens mustard

I too hate the Gulden's bottle. But mainly because they don't put the little "valve" on it, like they have on the Heinz ketchup bottle. The Gulden's comes pouring out after I have shaken it up, and I end up wasting so much mustard! It's really annoying.

Mac and Cheese

Yes, for me, the roux always meant less cheese flavor. Now with no roux, I get the total cheese flavor that I want! Sodium citrate all the way!

POLL: Do you prefer your scooped ice cream in a cup or cone?


Blue cheese dressing recipe?

I am a blue cheese lover! Now that summer tomatoes are here, there is nothing better than blue cheese dressing on freshly sliced tomatoes. Or on bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, imho!

I have never heard of beer in the dressing. I make mine with blue cheese, mayo, Worcestershire sauce and lemon.

Giada and Andrew Zimmern tickets at the Count Basie Theater 25% off today

I just got an email saying that tickets to Andrew Zimmern on Friday, August 1st and Giada on Saturday, August 2nd are on sale at 25% off the regular ticket price until midnight tonight at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank.

In addition, it looks like they are running a Saturday Wine & Dine event, and a Sunday Blues & Brews event.

Here's the link: http://www.countbasietheatre.org/appe...

Mr Shrimp. Belmar

I was there two weeks ago and had the ipswich clams, and they were really good. It's a byob also. and it's always nice and clean!

GE Monogram kitchen stuff--any good?

What is the maximum temperature of the oven? And when did you buy it?

Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe

I had a similar bad experience. Here's a link to the helpful suggestions I received to fix it. I haven't tried it again, but I will!


Had a potato au gratin failure...need some pointers to fix it!

Hi All,

Thanks for all of your responses, including the previous thread on the issue! I have some reworking to do, and maybe after the next shopping trip I will re-acquire all the ingredients and give it a try again.

My husband is dying for me to use the mandolin so he can have his lovely potatoes, and I want to get it right. I'll report back after the next go 'round!

Had a potato au gratin failure...need some pointers to fix it!

Last night I made my first potato gratin. Here's what I did, and I need some critique to figure out where I went wrong.

Started out with old russet potatoes that were stored in the fridge. In the morning I used my mandoline and cut them into 1/8" slices. Stored them in cold water until 6 p.m.

Drained them, and patted dry with paper towels. Layered half in the dish, added 1 cup half and half. Layered Gruyere cheese and parmigiana reggiono, added potatoes, cheeses and final cup of half and half.

Baked covered for 1 hour at 350. Removed the top, and baked for 15 minutes at 415 degrees. Checked for doneness, and it was not tender. So I lowered the temperature back to 350 and baked for 30 minutes more with the top off. And though I started with the dish half full of liquid, now it was literally almost overflowing with liquid. When I took it out, it was still not as tender as I would have liked.

I served them anyway (it was now 8 p.m.). The top was almost cooked, but the rest wasn't. The liquid was VERY watery, and the cheese was curdled. We skimmed the top layer off, but I tossed the rest of it.

Oven temperature is not an issue, I know that. I'm wondering if the long soak in the water did something to change the chemistry of the potato slices.

Any thoughts?

Good Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Now that is a GREAT suggestion! I made them this weekend, and have one on my desk right now. I like that suggestion a lot. I still have some buttermilk left over, so I think another batch might be in the works for this weekend.

Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Yup, for me the sodium citrate is now the way to go too! I love a creamy mac and cheese, and the sodium citrate gives me more of that cheese flavor I'm craving. I'm still trying to decide how much pasta I really like.

It's creamy enough the first time I eat it, but the second time, the pasta has absorbed some of the cheese. So now I actually make more cheese sauce, and hold it on the side. When I reheat my mac and cheese, I add the held cheese sauce, and voila! Just as creamy as the first time. Yum!

Sand Plum Jelly

Are you talking about beach plums, by any chance? I live in NJ, and they grow wild out on one of our National Park beaches. A friend and I make beach plum jelly every year that we can pick enough to make a few jars.

Looking to buy a pepper mill . [moved from Home Cooking]

I also love my Magnum. I easily dial whatever grind I want!

Top Chef, Season 12 will be filmed in......

Just got another tweet. Evidently he's eating at B&G Oysters right now!

Top Chef, Season 12 will be filmed in......

I just got a tweet about an hour ago from Hugh Acheson. He says (and sorry Linda, I am quoting directly!!)...

"Just landed in Beantown."

"Real" French Fries in Monmouth County?

Is that the former Salerno's?

Andrew Zimmern coming to the Count Basie Theater on August 1, 2014

I'm going because I find his perspective on food interesting. He's got an open mind, and he's able to articulate what the food tastes like to him.

He seems like a fun person, and I always enjoy his perspective on the food and the cultures he visits. So I'm not expecting him to eat anything, but talk about his experiences.

Andrew Zimmern coming to the Count Basie Theater on August 1, 2014

I always am looking for something different in food, and I have to admit to lovingly WATCHING (but not always convinced I'd actually try) Andrew Zimmern eating all those things he does!

He's coming to the Count Basie Theater, and tickets are on sale now. I've got mine!

My Aplogies, but I Need to Vent About America's Test Kitchen

Another great resource for learning techniques rather than blindly following recipes is Michael Ruhlman's "Twenty." In it, he goes through mastering 20 techniques on becoming a better home cook. Using those basics, you'll be able to cook anything!

Surviving a kitchen renovation (without gaining a hundred lbs and/or losing your mind)

Go into this whole process knowing that it WILL take longer than you think. Schedules get upset all the time. That is just the nature of renovation!

You can start preparing meals and freezing them now, for reheating later in the microwave. Even sauces that can be morphed into different dishes would be a good idea.

Best Technique cookbook

"Twenty" by Michael Ruhlman. In it, he details step by step how to cook. And the photos which document the whole process are stunning! And I love it, because once you learn that technique, you can use it on anything!

Favorites from ATK's Slow Cooker Revolution

The recipe that I continue to make, especially when I want to impress guests is Pork Loin with Cranberries and Orange. I buy a huge pork loin, then cut it up into manageable loin pieces. I cook one right away, then freeze the others for later.

The pork loin usually cooks about an hour faster than the recipe says. So I monitor it with my thermometer to insure that I don't exceed the serving temperature.

The recipe calls for skimming the fat out of the liquid, and then reducing the sauce. I really never have a lot of fat, so I just reduce without skimming. The sauce is a terrific accompanyment to the dish!

Pierre Chocolat - Wall, NJ

I was going to stop there today to pick up some fine chocolate covered salted caramels, and they are closed! Here is the note I found on Facebook:

"Due to a property ordinance in Wall Township, Pierre Chocolat is required to temporarily stop selling at our cottage location on the Scarborough Fair property.

We are doing everything we can to reopen as soon as possible. In the meantime, we can still be reach by phone and of course here on Facebook. We will still be taking your orders no matter how big or small. We still have several big orders in the pipeline that we are excited about for parties and more.

Stick with us here on Facebook to stay in the loop. We will be opening our store again before you know it. Thanks for standing by us during this trying time."

I hope they will resolve their issues with Wall Township soon!

Corning Beef Without Brisket?

A brisket doesn't really have the amount of fat that I like in a roast, so I'm a fan of using a chuck roast instead. Here's the recipe I have used from Michael Ruhlman, and been very happy with. I didn't have the pink salt, but it didn't need it. I loved the fattiness of this corned beef. It's been on my rotating menu ever since.


What do you serve with steak?

I have some brussell sprouts that I'm making this week. How do you braise them, and use balsamic? I am a balsamic vinegar lover!

8X8 Pan for Brownies- conversions?

jannie gave you a great link for pan conversion sizes. There is also some good info on that page about what happens when you use a different size pan in terms of decreasing baking times. Just be aware that you might have to adjust the baking time when using a different pan size.

I have used other coarse salt in place of a specific type of sea salt with no issues. However, in the future if I were you, I wouldn't buy iodized salt. It changes the taste of the salt, and these days most people don't have an iodine deficiency that they have to worry about. Some people can taste the iodine, and others can't.