Heidi cooks and bakes's Profile

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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.

Mar 06, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Cookware

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!

Mar 03, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

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!

Feb 26, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

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!

Feb 26, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in New Jersey

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.

http://ruhlman.com/2012/03/corned-bee...

Feb 24, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

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!

Feb 24, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

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.

Feb 17, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Cookware

Whole Foods coming to Wall in late 2015 or early 2016!

I'll definitely hit it up. I've never been, so I'm interested in what they carry.

And full disclosure, I get the Coast Star news alerts, and believe it or not, this story was one of them! When I DO read, it's only the Manasquan section! (usually)

Feb 14, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in New Jersey

Whole Foods coming to Wall in late 2015 or early 2016!

This article posted in the Coast Star says that the proposed location in at Allaire Plaze, at the corner of Allaire Road and Rt. 35.

http://starnewsgroup.com/weekly/2014/...

Feb 14, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in New Jersey

I'm looking for a list of pan size conversions

I am totally math challenged! So, that is why someone else who is a whiz figuring it out is so appealing to me.

I like the Joy of Baking page recommended above because it gives pan capacity in cups. That means more to me than square inches.

Feb 12, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

I'm looking for a list of pan size conversions

I have saved it for using tomorrow night! Thanks!

Feb 12, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

I'm looking for a list of pan size conversions

Thanks!

Feb 12, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

I'm looking for a list of pan size conversions

This always happens to me. I want to use a specific recipe, but tweak it by baking it in a different pan size. For example, the recipe is for an 8 by 8 pan, but I want to make a two tier cake. Should I use 8 inch round pans, 9 inch rounds? Or the recipe fits in a 9 by 13 pan, and I can bake that in two 8 by 8 inch pans.

I know that I could take out all my pans, pour water in them and work something out. But I was hoping there is a list somewhere that would have done that work for me. Any ideas on where I should look?

Feb 11, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

Can I have your secret family recipe?!?!?

Once you try the vinegar trick, you will never go back! It is really fabulous. I think it'll work with any vinegar. I use a red wine vinegar myself. You can't really taste the "vinegary-ness" of it. It just adds a whole 'nother depth of flavor that I love.

Jan 27, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

Chocolate chip cookies always turn out puffy

If you are interested in a VERY long explanation about what each ingredient does what in chocolate chip cookies, check out Kenji's dissection of his version of the best chocolate chip cookies. From there, you can alter your recipe to your own taste.

http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2013/12...

Jan 22, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

Mac and Cheese Help

I am also a convert to using sodium citrate. It's pure cheese flavor, and I use the proportions from Modernist Cuisine. I'm an extra sharp cheddar kind of gal! I got my sodium citrate from Amazon as well. You'll have to wait to get it, but once you try it, you'll never go back.

Someone else here suggested making a cheese dip for tortillas, using a pepper jack cheese. I'm going to try that next for the Superbowl party!

Jan 22, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

easy cheesecake tips

I'm intrigued by the bag method of protecting the pan from water leaking into it, instead of aluminum foil. Do you close the bag up on the top with a twist tie, but do it loosely so that steam can escape?

Jan 14, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

Has anyone tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe posted on Serious Eats?

Yes, I noted that. I always use a scooper, and I'll give it a little bit of massage before popping them into the oven!

Jan 07, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

Has anyone tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe posted on Serious Eats?

I am going to give yours a try next time. I see the cooking time is longer than I normally do too. I hope this ends my search for the crisp cookie! I'll keep you posted!

Jan 07, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

Has anyone tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe posted on Serious Eats?

I made the cookies, because I was so impressed with the article. I find that I'm loving the technique information more and more these days. Once you understand each ingredient, you can tweek it the way you like it.

For me, the cookies weren't the bomb. My DH, who loves any chocolate chip cookie, naturally loved them. I thought it was a lot of extra work for not that much improved taste.

My takeaways from this experiment: let the dough sit overnight to fully hydrate the flour, use salt on the top when they come out.

I'm looking for a crisp cookie. I found these just weren't it for me. So as Kenji suggests, now that I understand each component, I'll continue to tweek the recipe for my taste!

Jan 06, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in Home Cooking

New butcher shop in Manasquan?

That's good to know. I'll have to check them out next week. I like the focus on quality, and the willingness to order what they don't carry.

Jan 06, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in New Jersey

New butcher shop in Manasquan?

I thought I saw a sign that said Mr. Prime (or something to that effect) at the new italian shop next to the ice cream store last week. And today when I drove through town, I noticed a grand opening banner in the doorway. Has anyone been in there yet? I wonder if it's a full service butcher shop now.

Jan 02, 2014
Heidi cooks and bakes in New Jersey

Lost Arts ('Hounds Talkin' About Love in the Prep)

That was a bag of tins that you were supposed to find! It's interesting how recipes vary. We never chill the dough. But we do work fast. My neice, who is 11, has the hottest hands, so we have to get her to work faster. She actually melts the dough in the tins!

And it's good to invoke the elders to watch over us!

Dec 27, 2013
Heidi cooks and bakes in General Topics

☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

Every holiday, my Mom makes cheddar cheese and pineapple chunks, and uses toothpicks for them. The rest of the year they get poked into cakes, and my DH steals them occasionally after dinner to remove a corn kernal.

Dec 26, 2013
Heidi cooks and bakes in General Topics

☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

I've never tried the little bodega, but I'm going to keep that in mind for future use!

I've heard that they aren't doing anything to upgrade the Acme like refurshish it because it's too small, and the lease will be up soon. What they decided to do was a "fresh and clean" which didn't do anything for the product that just lingers and lingers! Emergencies, and the occasional Red Box item, which doesn't even require me to go into the store for!

Dec 26, 2013
Heidi cooks and bakes in General Topics

☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

I have two friends who work at Costco. They say that they deliberately move items around because it increases the likihood that people will buy more, because they see items they don't normally pick up when they come in. They say it's part of their whole in-store marketing strategy.

Dec 23, 2013
Heidi cooks and bakes in General Topics
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☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

I just picked up toothpicks at Shop-Rite. They were in the aisle with paper goods, foil, etc. That's where I expected them to be!

Dec 23, 2013
Heidi cooks and bakes in General Topics

☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

Yes, we are neighbors! Don't you love our town?

I wish they would get their act together, because then I would shop there more often. But they never do, so I only go when i NEED to. My DH won't step foot in the place!

Dec 23, 2013
Heidi cooks and bakes in General Topics

☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

Is that at the Acme?

Dec 20, 2013
Heidi cooks and bakes in General Topics

Lost Arts ('Hounds Talkin' About Love in the Prep)

Every year since I can remember, we always make traditional Norwegian cookies called sandbakkelse at Christmas time. My Mom learned as a child, and when she moved from Minnesota to New Jersey after getting married, she brought that tradition with her. Along with her cookie molds.

So my sister and I have always helped bake (and eat!) those cookies every Christmas. It's a labor intensive cookie, and we spend the whole day making them. About five years ago, we added a fourth to the festivities, my sister's daughter. She's become a budding expert at the age of 11!

We keep trying to entice the boys to help, but they are just more interested in eating them. But I'm hopeful that one day they will join us around the table, and help keep the cookie baking tradition alive.

I also make another Norwegian favorite, called krumkake. It's a light, almost lacy cookie, that is cooked on a hot iron, and then rolled around a cone while it's still hot. It cools in that shape, and then you can fill it with whipped cream, fruit, custards. The cone I use is the wooden one my Dad made on his lathe. He's not here any longer, but it gives me a lot of pleasure to use that cone every year and think about him!

Dec 20, 2013
Heidi cooks and bakes in General Topics
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