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Bland but good chicken recipe, that's not fried, not roasted, doesn't involve pastry and doesn't call for tonnes of cream? Thinking about attempting at Chicken & Dumplings....

Simple and economical. Thank you for sharing.

Oct 09, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

Help me with my pot roast please!

your cooking pot could make all the difference in the world. one of those thin inexpensive roasting pans could ruin any cut of meat. I highly recommend cast iron, enameled cast iron, or heavy aluminum with a cover.

Aug 21, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

First trimester food blahs

I LIVED on my homemade not too spicy gazpacho soup for weeks. I found the tomato base very soothing to my tummy and the small diced veggies light and nutritious. Made it by the quart and had it on hand at all times. It does get better in about 6 weeks so good luck and hang in there.

Jul 24, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

Cabin Cooking

didn't mention if you have a campfire, but I love experimenting with my big lodge cast iron dutch oven with the little feet made especially for open fire cooking. one of my best dishes is an Italian hunter's stew with sausage, peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, potatoes...game meat should be added but don't always have venison or boar. Season to your delight; I always add red wine.

Jun 29, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

The leftover dilemma

1. good as a midnight snack, but otherwise, toss
2. yum, breakfast with eggs
3. thin sliced over greens with a fresh vinaigrette
4. leftover cookie dough? nonsense, doesn't exist like leftover wine... pop it into your mouth!
5. leftover frosting? yuck. better tossed into the waste bin before you afflict your bake goods

Jun 29, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

Do you reuse your parchment paper? If so, when do you retire it?

20 pizzas and counting ... same parchment circle! The edges are getting brittle so might be time. I slide the pizza off the paper onto the stone during the last 3 minutes of baking so very little of the paper is exposed to direct heat.

Jun 26, 2011
Surfwench in Cookware

Calphalon or plain steel wok?

you didn't specify your cook surface... if it is gas, by all means get a carbon steel wok with a ring and plunge into the joys of seasoning, maintaining, and wokking at high heat. however, if you are stuck with electric, like myself, I highly recommend the WS Calphalon wok. It is a different cooking technique, not quite as high heat but I've been using mine for months with no complaints. As close to authentic as I can get without gas.

Jun 24, 2011
Surfwench in Cookware

Funniest Thing a Server Said to You

Asked the young waiter if the shrimp was fresh. He replied, "Absolutely; fresh defrosted every morning!" He was quite earnest.

Jun 10, 2011
Surfwench in Not About Food

Strawberry Shortcake

I've used rich buttery pound cake in lieu of shortcake and it has worked very well. Plus, I add a dash or two of Grand Marnier to my strawberries while they macerate.

Jun 10, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

traditional Maryland food for potluck

don't forget Maryland Chicken... marinated in buttermilk, breaded, browned in a cast iron skillet then covered to complete cooking. add cream as an enrichment to the pan juices and pour over top of chicken. old timey recipe!

Jun 04, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

Worst kitchen screwup.

Years ago lacking a loaf pan to bake my meatloaf in, I improvised with a round pyrex bowl. I worried the center wouldn't cook until the edges were too well done, so I inserted a spoon into the middle to act as a heat sink. Worked very well, took my meatloaf out to rest for a few minutes before serving. Completely forgot the spoon in the middle was hot and grabbed firmly to take out. To this day I have a faint scar that say, 'Oneida.'

Jun 04, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

What was the first thing you learned to make?

Does Jiffy-Pop count? Remember shaking that foil pan over the stove for 3-5 minutes? After that eggs, deviled, scrambled, fried. My parents had a special hinged pan to make omelets.

Jun 04, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

disgusting, I know, but.....I need a jello "salad" recipe....

soccermom... Relax and embrace the horror that is the congealed salad. It helps if you remember that this is 1930s Molecular Gastronomy. Sounds kind of sophisticated, doesn't it? Every holiday dinner that features either roast turkey, roast duck, or ham includes this jiggly 'salad.' There are variations already published on this thread, but like all good recipes, variations are endless. Cherry Jello, Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, Mandarin Oranges, Green Apple Dice, Walnut Pieces... never failed me yet for a family dinner.

May 27, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

I have a jar of capers. Now what?

I combine soft cream cheese and capers for a yummy spread for a roast beef sandwich.

May 27, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

Store Bought BBQ Sauce Survey

"Ladies and Gentlemen; I'm a cook" Not too sweet.

May 27, 2011
Surfwench in General Topics

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

I can top that, my Mouli Parsley Mincer ... I have one in the original box, it is so old now it has vintage charm. I have a perfectly useless shrimp deveiner in the drawer as well.

May 13, 2011
Surfwench in Cookware

Too many guests coming to Homemade pizza party; need an idea for other dishes

30 people for homemade pizza? That's a minimum of 60 slices. Might consider ordering out from a top-notch pizzeria and supplementing with homemade salads, antipasti, that sort of thing. Or change the menu... or make appetizer pizzas and expand the menu extensively. I love frittata .. it's kind of like a pizza, can be inexpensive, and served at room temp. If you have a small place like I do, 30 people is a lot... I serve small bites and buffet style for those occasions.

May 08, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

Out of town wedding day brunch

what a great idea... make your own brunch sundae bar!

Apr 18, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

How would you make a better home pizza oven?

as much as possible minimize 'moisture' in your toppings, raise your stone a bit, and try the initial bake, (4-5 minutes) on parchment paper with a 2 minute 'finish' directly on the stone. this formula works very well for my white pizzas in my cheap oven.

Apr 18, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

Out of town wedding day brunch

strata, frittata, or just egg casserole... can serve hot or room temp. inexpensive caviar on hard boiled eggs. muffins, homemade of course. mimosa's. ratatouille, fresh fruit, fruit tarts, parfaits with greek yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, whip cream. nostalgic champagne punch. bloody mary's. personally I'd focus on dishes that can be successful both hot and room temp, and brunchie cocktails... always a crowd pleaser. please consider your locale and your resources. have fun. something relaxed, plentiful, fun, and inexpensive is always better than over-wrought and stiff.

Apr 17, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

I bought a fresh basil plant in my supermarket - now I need ideas on how to use it!

you might want to consider that basil is a member of the mint family... and imagine trading them experimentally... I've seen savory herbs used in desserts lately and I think it's a happy marriage. if you decide to make pesto I've always added a bit of curley parsley to the food processor to give the pesto a fresh green color.

Apr 17, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

What do you do with smoked pork chops?

you can serve them with a wurst of your choice...braised red cabbage, saurkraut, hot potato salad... very German. or large dice them, brown in a very little bit of oil with onions, garlic, add greens of your choice, I like kale, cook down with a bit of liquid... then add a can of rinsed red beans, season to taste, let flavors meld. yum.

Apr 17, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking

What are the steps to becoming a good dessert home cook?

The Cake Bible changed my life. Desserts are about precision. Copper bowl for whipping egg whites and a marble slab for rolling dough are indispensable. And a scale, a good digital scale. And a thorough understanding of fat content. Good luck!

Apr 17, 2011
Surfwench in Home Cooking