Heidi cooks and bakes's Profile

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Why am I such a bad baker?

As you have found out, baking is tricky. Here is a complete guide to making chocolate cookies just the way you want them. Kenji explains how all the ingredients react to each other, and you can tailor the recipe to get that ooey gooey goodness you desire.


current restaurant pet peeve

When I place my order for my food, and ask for extra butter with the order, please don't tell me to ask you again when you deliver the food!

Your favorite non-food-related items that get tons of use in the kitchen

You can also crumple the parchment paper up (gently of course), and then uncrumple it. That will keep it in place too!

pork roll... TAYLOR, of course!

I would dice it, fry it in butter and add it to a quiche!

Jacques Pepin at the Count Basie Theater on October 31, 2015

I just got an email saying that Jacques will be at the Count Basie on October 31st. A great alternative way to spend Halloween!

Baking pie crust tonight for Saturday?

I am always stressed for time, and like to do things in advance like baking the pie crust a day early. I have done the same thing. I bake it, and let it cool completely. Then I wrap it so that it is airtight, and leave it on the counter until I want to use it the next day. But I really mean completely cool, before it gets wrapped!

Updates from the Shore - Summer 2015

So I dropped in today. It smelled great in there, and I noticed huge beautiful coffee cups ready to be filled. I was almost swayed by the bourbon pecan pie, but that would have meant that I would have to eat it all myself, since DH doesn't care for it.

So I picked up a mini strawberry rhubarb pie. I must admit, I'm usually a crumb pie person. Top crust doesn't usually thrill me. But this crust was tasty, and I really loved the fresh filling. It was the right amount of juicy, but not runny. And it wasn't a candy sweetness, but you could still taste the tartness of the rhubarb. Definitely a winner for me!

I asked if they had any quiches, but they said not yet. After they get settled though, they are going to have them on the menu. So that's another thing to look forward to.

I also finally got to check our Mr. Prime over on South Street. All of the meats in the case looked lovely. I picked out two bone-in pork chops to cook on the grill. He promised amazing, and they were!

If it's not raining when I go home tonight, I predict that I'll be making another stop to pick up tonight's dinner. Maybe the NY strip or the ribeye...hmm...

Thanks MGZ!

Updates from the Shore - Summer 2015

Woo hoo! I will drop by today! Thanks for checking.

Eggs the way you like them

I like the idea of cutting the toast up, and mixing in the poached egg. Next time I'm going to try it that way. Maybe I will get a little of that delicious yolk on everything!

Website for recipe organization and storage?

I used to keep all of my recipes on 3X5 cards in a nice oak file holder. But I outgrew that. Then I printed out all my recipes and kept them in a three ring binder. I have them separated into different categores. That has worked out well.

But the problem is, I am not a planner. I devise my meals by going to the supermarket and picking my ingredients on the spur of the moment, depending on what looks good and what's on sale. I would invariably miss a couple of key ingredients and have to go back.

So I now use Evernote. I have been slowly adding all my recipes that I cook most often. I have it on my smart phone, and as long as I have internet I can see all my recipes. I can search according to ingredients, and instantly come up with my favorite recipes. I can also access it on my computer and iPad. I'll typically put my Ipad on a stand in the kitchen with the recipe on it and cook from that.

As an added bonus, when I bring a dish to a party, I can immediately email the recipe for someone who wants to give it a try. It's working well for me.

Updates from the Shore - Summer 2015

I called there yesterday, but got no answer. So I swung by today, and saw that they are closed on Tuesdays (today), but were supposed to be open yesterday. I guess I'll try again tomorrow!

Need a better sous vide container to cook in

Is that a styrofoam cooler?

Ground Cherries, Yee Haw! Now what?

Oops, I totally missed that. In fact, I didn't even realize that they existed in that state.

Need a better sous vide container to cook in

I think I'm going to go with the Cambro idea. I can cut a hole in the top for the circulator to cut down on evaporation. And if I'm doing a long cycle, maybe I will just wrap a towel around the outside for a little more insulation. I like the bubble wrap and peanuts ideas too.

Need a better sous vide container to cook in

I have the Anova sous vide stick. And I would like to use it, but I want to have a good system to use it smartly. Using a pot, the water can evaporate out the top, so I have resorted to using plastic wrap. But then, I'm thinking that I lose a lot of heat out of the uninsulated pot. This bothers me, especially if I'm going to do a 48 hour short rib recipe. I haven't yet, but I will shortly.

What do you use to cook your sous vide recipes in?

Ground Cherries, Yee Haw! Now what?

Cherry Garcia ice cream!

Botulism outbreak linked to Ohio Church potluck


Wow, I can't remember the last time I heard of botulism. And to have it affect so many people!

Williams Sonoma gift card - what would you do?

I am a bakeware fan too! I love their gold line of pans. Square, rectangle, loaf...they are amazing. Nothing sticks and the food is always perfectly done!

Uses for dry mashed potatoes

They are a nice filler for salisbury steaks!

Lemon Glaze

Like anything, the trick to getting better is to do it more often! A good way to start baking right might be to melt, measure and line up all you ingredients (mise en place) before you start mixing them together. That way, you'll be sure to include everything.

Don't give up. As you have seen by all of the great suggestions, most everything can be salvaged by a little imagination. Next time will be better!

Wedding reception food/questions. Professional input welcome....

Congrats on your son's wedding! As a guest, I LOVE having so many different options available. I know you said you will keep the meat items on a separate table. Are you going to label the foods? I will try anything, but it adds to my enjoyment if I know what it is.

It sounds like a lot of fun. I wish I could come. Take plenty of pictures for us!

What is the worst wedding reception dinner you've ever had?

I really find that hard to believe!

What I Want When I Go Out

Oh yeah!

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

Oh, yes! The wad of change I get handed back! It is very awkward to deal with. And I do, politely. But I wish that cashiers were taught to hand the change into your hand first, then the bills and receipt on top of that. It would make things much easier to put in their respective places. But that has gone the way of counting back change, before electronic cash registers. So I just deal with it. <sigh>

Pizza makers

I'm not into single use items, and then having the need to store it somewhere. I like my pizza stone, which can live in the oven, and gives me a supercrisp crust. That is what works for me.

Vitamix 6300 from Costco is junk!!

I love Costco because they stand behind their products. Just take it back, and you'll get a full refund. You don't have to deal with Vitamix at all.

Anyone else have an odd craving for bananas today? Just curious.

I am having a tough time halving bananas as well. Is there a special slicer or knife that I should buy?


Me neither. They look cute in the basket, and that's where they are staying!


Every Easter I give my husband Peeps in his basket. And every year he sadly tells me of the time his Grandmother BIT THE HEAD OFF OF THE ONLY PEEP IN HIS BASKET! He is STILL upset about the "Peep Incident" as I now refer to it. It has damaged his psyche, and he is still trying to recover from the trauma she inflicted on him 63 years ago!

Tried sous vide for the first time - not blown away

I always use your short ribs recipe, and I have just bought the Anova Sous Vide machine. How have you adapted your recipe to finish them sous vide? I wasn't sure if I could cook the short ribs along with the mushrooms, and braising liquid all at the same time. But I'm anxious to give it a try this new way!