TorontoJo's Profile

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Wondering why all your previously read posts and threads are no longer marked as read?

Believe it or not, your threads are NOT paginated. They just decided to include the pagination control at the bottom, even when you're "seeing all". This make zero sense to me, but here's how it works:

1. When you have the "Collapse Previously Read Comments (also defaults to "See All" page)" checked, you get all threads in the See All mode.

2. You will see a grayed out pagination control and a black See All button at the bottom of each thread.

3. The black button is supposed to indicate that See All is the setting you're on.

4. The grayed out pagination control is ACTIVE. So if for some reason, you want to switch to a paginated view, you can jump to a paginated page in the middle of the thread...even though you actually ALREADY have every single post already loaded on the page you're looking at.

As a long time user of this site who also happens to make a living designing usable web sites, I'm still dumbfounded. I don't spent a lot of time the Ontario board anymore, but I could only imagine all the people going "huh? what's wrong with the site?" Hence my post.

about 11 hours ago
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Wondering why all your previously read posts and threads are no longer marked as read?

That assumes that they do UAT. They certainly didn't seem to do any usability testing with real users.

Wondering why all your previously read posts and threads are no longer marked as read?

And don't get me started on the pagination. Unless you follow the directions I linked to above, every thread will paginate after every FIVE replies to the OP (not counting inline replies). So if one more person replies to my post above, this thread will be split into two pages.

And be aware that once you've changed your settings to eliminate pagination and mark stuff as read, you'll still see the pagination control at the bottom of threads with "See All" looking like a rather prominent button that can't be clicked.

Best recipe for cochinita pibil?

Rick Bayless: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/coc...

Make sure you make the pickled red onions, too! If you like heat, I like to throw some thinly sliced habaneros in with the onions.

Dec 19, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Uncooked frosting recipe needed for Dorie Greenspan's gingerbread buche de noel

Mascarpone cheese is a nice sub for the cream cheese.

Wondering why all your previously read posts and threads are no longer marked as read?

I thought there was a glitch in the site or that my browser cookies were whacked. Alas, no. It's a feature.

If you want things to go back to the way they were, here are the instructions:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9994...

And if you want to see the "rationale" behind it all, here's an entertaining read:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9993...

I have no idea how long my post will remain here, but hopefully a few people will benefit from it before it goes poof.

Could you give me some tips on freezing stuff please...

I was actually about to come back here and post that I need to qualify my comment about your meringue. It's not clear to me whether you have a macaron shell or a pure meringue. If it's the former, you're ok to freeze. If it's a crispy meringue, then NO, don't freeze. hotoynoodle is right -- meringues get chewy after freezing.

But meringue shells do fine stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry location for quite a while.

Dec 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Could you give me some tips on freezing stuff please...

Ah, the original wrapping for breads are totally unsuited for keeping your bread fresh in the freezer. Standard bread bags are thin and flimsy and not air tight. The enemy of frozen foods is exposure to air. So that's why your sliced breads fare worse: a lot more surface area exposed to the cold air, which is literally leeching the moisture from the bread. Whole loaves do a bit better because they are intact and the primary surface that is exposed is the crust.

Invest in some decent quality freezer bags. If you are going to eat the breads quickly (say, within a couple of weeks), just putting them in the freezer bags will make a big difference. If you are going to keep them in the freezer longer, then wrap the bread in plastic first, then into the freezer bag. You might even wrap in foil after the first layer of plastic.

I have a vacuum sealer that I use for things that I'm storing for longer than a month in the freezer. It makes a huge huge difference.

And when you are pulling your frozen breads out of the freezer to use, a great way to get them almost like freshly baked again is to sprinkle just a bit of water over the crust, wrap the bread in foil and warm in a 325 oven for 5 - 10 minutes (depending on whether the bread is still frozen and how big it is).

I wouldn't worry about the macarons in the freezer. Many bakeries freeze their macarons and pull them out into the display case as needed.

Dec 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Could you give me some tips on freezing stuff please...

You can freeze the tart shells unbaked or baked -- either will be fine. The macaron base can be frozen as well: http://loveandmacarons.blogspot.ca/20...

In terms of breads -- can you please tell us how you are treating them? And how long are you storing them in the freezer?

Dec 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Storing matzoh crack for 2 weeks: freeze or not?

That's hilarious, prima! They are easy enough that making the day before or day of is definitely feasible. Glad you have a new strategy for future endeavors. :0)

Thanks to you and everyone for letting me know about your freezing experience.

Dec 18, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Soufflé help

Honestly, you should pick a recipe and follow it. The recipe will contain the details about temperature and time.

A souffle is a pretty scientifically-based dish. "Winging it" is not a good idea. :0)

Dec 17, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Watery Lemon Chicken Soup Sadness...need help

Here's the ingredient list for Penzey's chicken soup base:

https://www.penzeys.com/media/3069/so...

No MSG, though the yeast extract contains natural glutamates. I believe that the Better Than Bouillon is similar.

Dec 16, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Watery Lemon Chicken Soup Sadness...need help

I would get some Better Than Bouillon or Penzey's chicken soup base and just add some of that. Much easier than reducing broth and adding.

Oops, just saw your MSG comment. Hmm...I'll look at my Penzey's ingredient list.

Dec 16, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

Real deal carnitas is a thing of beauty!

Christmas Baking 2014

Sure, here you go. It's very simple. I make my go to chocolate cake for this and follow the recipe from there. You can use any chocolate cake you like, though oil-based cakes are better since they don't get as firm in the fridge. I've attached a picture of a previous cake. Not one of my best attempts (rather crooked!), but still delicious. :)

2 9-inch layers of chocolate cake
1 cup toffee bits (or more/less to your personal taste)
1/3 cup Kahlua liqueur
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 to 3 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Slice cakes in half so you have 4 rounds.

Pour Kahlua into a glass measuring cup. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let soak 5 minutes. Then heat in microwave for 20 seconds, or until warm to the touch so gelatin will dissolve when stirred.

Beat whipping cream, gradually adding sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in the dissolved gelatin mixture.

Lay cake rounds on counter. Evenly divide whipped cream on each cake layer. Leave sides bare. Sprinkle each layer with chopped Skor candy bars. Stack cake rounds.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours uncovered, to allow gelatin to set. Best to let it set overnight and allow the cake layers to absorb some of the moisture from the whipped cream.

Dec 15, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Christmas Baking 2014

This is the recipe I used:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

I'm going to try it again with a much longer rest time in the fridge. The first time I made it, I was short on time and probably didn't let the dough chill as much as it should have -- I went with the bare minimum hour as laid out in the recipe. And I'm going to use a lot more flour to dust the dough as I'm rolling it.

That's an interesting idea about the rugelach dough. I can see why that would be a lot easier to work with!

Dec 15, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Make-ahead bundt cake?

It will be 100% fine. In fact, it will probably taste even better, as many cakes benefit from a day or two of resting. So yes, I would keep it well covered and stored in the fridge. Then take it out on Sunday morning/early afternoon to let it fully come to room temp.

Thought honestly, it would probably be fine at room temp the entire time. Think of the cakes under domes, sold by the slice in bakeries or cafes. Those are kept at room temp and hang out for several days.

Dec 14, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Chocolate ice cream recipe-not too chocolatey

The "milkiest chocolate ice cream" from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams is lovely, creamy and not intensely chocolate. To make it even less intense, I would use milk or semi-sweet chocolate in place of the bittersweet.

http://leitesculinaria.com/80235/reci...

Dec 14, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

ISO Tips re: Creating a Ginger Frosting

Oh heck, why not go the triple-ginger whammy and do all three? Fresh ginger infused milk, ground ginger in the frosting, crystallized ginger on top! :0)

Christmas Baking 2014

I'm almost I'm done with my Christmas baking. This year:

- Mini pistachio financiers
- Brown butter chocolate chip cookies w/pecans and dried cherries
- Dulce de leche bars
- Matzo crunch (one with almonds, one with half peanut butter chips)

And the day before our Christmas party, I'll be making an English toffee cake and lemon curd tartlets.

I'm still considering making a batch of date pinwheel cookies, if I can get up the nerve to deal with the sticky, annoying dough.

Storing matzoh crack for 2 weeks: freeze or not?

This recipe is a step easier than the linked to above: you just scatter the chocolate over the toffee when it comes out of the oven. 5 minutes later, the heat of the toffee is enough to melt the chocolate and you just spread it with a spatula.

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/01/...

Dec 13, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Storing matzoh crack for 2 weeks: freeze or not?

Yes, exactly. Thank you! Into the garage it goes.

Dec 13, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Storing matzoh crack for 2 weeks: freeze or not?

Thanks, magiesmom! Do you mean fine in the freezer or fine in the garage?

Dec 13, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

ISO Tips re: Creating a Ginger Frosting

I would probably make an ermine frosting (aka, cooked flour frosting), but I would infuse the milk with fresh ginger first, then add ground ginger into the butter when I whip it.

Dec 13, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Storing matzoh crack for 2 weeks: freeze or not?

Has anyone ever tried freezing matzoh crack? Am I better off just keeping it in a tight container in my very chilly garage for 2 weeks? I'm not serving it until the 28th.

Dec 13, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

Halal cart chicken from Serious Eats. I think I made it 3 times in the first month.

The beautiful burger buns recipe from King Arthur flour. This was my first foray into yeast breads and it is a fantastic recipe.

Date pinwheel cookies, also from the King Arthur site. I found the dough incredibly fussy to work with, but the end result was so tasty that I will suck it up and make them again.

Kung pao chicken. Followed Fushia Dunlop's recipe exactly and it totally hits the nail on the head. Just like my mom used to make when I was young.

Roasting a pig in a Caja China. A revelation in its simplicity, and absolutely the best damn crackling ever.

Help with a chcolate cake recipe

9 inch pans are just fine. :)

And yes, it actually works for vegans, as semi-sweet chocolate does not have any milk or milk solids added to it.

Dec 09, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Help with a chcolate cake recipe

The following recipe is my favorite chocolate cake (and yes, I've made the double chocolate layer cake from Epicurious). It's not quite as dense as the Epi cake, but still has a wonderful moist, dense texture. It is also not quite as deep, dark chocolatey as the Epi cake, so would probably be easier to adapt to your needs. I would try subbing milk for some or all of the water and see where that gets you (and skip the coffee). The added fat from the milk might mess things up, so I would try subbing maybe half the liquid first.

Also--and I can't emphasize this enough--this cake must be made at least 24 hours before digging into it. 36-48 hours is even better. It gets more moist and chocolatey with time. It's actually a pretty big let down if you eat it the day of.

EASY CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE

8 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 c. flour
1 ½ c. sugar
2 t baking soda
1 t. salt
2 c. water (I use a cup of coffee in place of half the water)
2/3 c. vegetable oil
2 T. white vinegar
2 t. vanilla extract

Melt chocolate in microwave, stirring once or twice during heating. Cool slightly. Grease and flour two 9 ½” round baking pans (be sure to grease the pans very well – the cake is so moist that it can be difficult to turn out – I use parchment rounds at the bottom). Stir together dry ingredients. Add melted chocolate and remaining ingredients. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly blended. Pour into pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. Frost with whipped chocolate frosting or as desired.

Dec 09, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Where to find Turkey Wings - Midtown if possible?

I used to get bags of turkey parts (backbones, necks, wing tips) for making stock/gravy from The Friendly Butcher at Yonge and Roslin. You need to give them a call ahead of time to collect the parts for you.

Basic Burger bun

Is "no butter" a hard, fast request? If you don't mind a little butter (or maybe sub olive oil instead), this is really fantastic burger bun recipe:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...