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Need a cookbook recommendation

Thank you for your replies and ideas.

I saw the Man-Can-Microwave and Starving Student books, and browsed a few of the recipes on the Amazon site. Every recipe I looked at on the "Surprise Me" feature was beyond her capability, I'm afraid. They all required knife skills, some involved working with a sauce pan on a stove or an oven, none of which she can do safely.

The "Easy Cookbook" site looked like a winner, but it's in Australia. Shipping makes it kinda a deal killer.

I hadn't thought of the freezing of onions and carrots (as well as other veggies), that's an interesting idea. I have a lot of knife skills, perhaps I could prep these in small portions and freeze them in Zip-Lok bags. Then they could go into a Crock-Pot, which she has, with other ingredients. Stews and soups, etc.


Dec 20, 2013
KitchenGeek in Home Cooking

Need a cookbook recommendation

I am hoping someone here has some recommendations for a cookbook or two for my daughter. I have been searching Amazon and other websites, but can't seem to find anything that works.

My daughter is mildly MR and on 100% disability, but she does live on her own in a small apartment, in a medium-sized city. She has a case manager that checks on her at least once a week, and we try to get by occasionally, but she does live over an hour away. She does OK, but she is limited what she can do for cooking utensils. She also has some palsy that has left her left arm with very limited ability, he hand can't grasp anything. Sharp knives and using the stove burners are out, but she does have a microwave and a toaster oven.

I'm trying to find a book of recipes that she can make on her own, as I'm sure she is getting sick of microwaved potatoes, rice, mac-n-cheese, and instant oatmeal. Her food stamps don't allow her to buy prepared foods, and we both agree that they are too expensive and often not very nutritious. She has a very nice grocery store within walking distance.

While greatly appreciated, please don't post recipes, she really needs the structure of a printed book, and doesn't have access to the Internet.

Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

Dec 20, 2013
KitchenGeek in Home Cooking

Pie Weights - Ceramic or Metal

We use rice on parchment in the big commercial kitchen. At home, I have some of those ceramic weights, but occasionally if I am doing more than one pie at a time, I will just run out to the garage and grab a tub of screws or nuts (clean ones). Can't tell the difference.

Jan 22, 2012
KitchenGeek in Cookware

Your recommendations for an excellent, reliable Toaster Oven

We've had a Breville for about 16 months now, we use it a lot, definitely as much, if not more, than the "real" oven. The only thing I've found I can't cook in it well is fresh bread, it is just too tall and the top gets burned.

But lately we've been noticing that the convection fan is getting louder and louder, an annoying warble that sounds to me like the bearings (or more likely bushings) on the fan impeller are wearing out, maybe due to the heat. I expect at some point the fan is gonna stop spinning.

The next problem that popped up a few weeks ago is the blue backlighting on the display is now flickering. Sometimes it totally goes dark for several seconds. I hope it doesn't quit, the display is pretty much unreadable without the backlight.

Maybe I'll call Breville and see what they say.

Jun 18, 2011
KitchenGeek in Cookware

Kitchenaid Pro or Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer?

I also just finished taking a baking class as part of my Culinary Arts program. One of the first things I learned what that I need a decent stand mixer, so I started doing a lot of research. I really didn't like some of the reviews I was reading here and on Amazon about KA mixers, especially the Artisan series. Too many failures, IMO.

Besides the really big Hobart floor-standing mixers, we had several old KitchenAid K5-A mixers in the kitchen for doing smaller batches of recipes, icings and things like that. These are also made by Hobart. Seeing how much they got used every day, I figured I'd get one of them. Well, they stopped making them many years ago. Bummer.

Last week I found one on craigslist about 20 minutes from my house. I went to check it out and it looked to be in excellent condition, very few scratches on the white finish, the only thing it was missing was the paddle blade. When I gave it a test run, it was noisier than I expected, not a bad noise, it just sounded to me like it needed lubrication. $150 and it was in my car on the way home with me.

When I got it home I took it out to the garage and took it completely apart. Lemme tell you, this thing is built like a tank. Nothing plastic at all under the hood. The gears were all in excellent condition, it just needed new grease. So I scrapped out the old dirty grease, reserved all the good clean original grease, then carefully cleaned everything off with lacquer thinner and brake cleaner. Then I re-distributed the fresh grease onto the gears and put it all back together. I finalized the project by giving it a polish and wax job with my Porter-Cable car polisher and some good Meguir's products. It looks amazing now, and it runs much quieter. I can't find any serial number on it anywhere but I'm guessing from the type of plug and cord that it's a 70's era machine. I ordered a couple of paddle blades for it on Amazon.

Whipped out a batch of bread the next day, man this thing just hums along. Moral: if you are willing to take the risk for a used machine, the K5-A is a commercial-grade unit that will last a long time.

May 16, 2011
KitchenGeek in Cookware

Embarrassing gadget you love?

I have 2 things I use a LOT:

The Ove-Glove. It looks like a gimmick, but it is darned handy. But, don't get it wet then pick up a hot pan, the water will quickly transfer the heat to your fingers.

A cordless BBQ thermometer. We use it for cooking just about everything in the oven or on the grille. This is the one I bought:

I tried several other brands, they were all junk. This one never fails to work. Turn it on, wait a minute, it syncs. Select your meat type, stick the probe in, go back to cooking the side dishes. It starts squawking when "it's almost done!", which I discovered by accident that you can silence. I feel like I'm cheating when I use it, but the thing has never let me down with overcooked food on the grille.

Feb 28, 2011
KitchenGeek in Cookware

Dishwasher Hell - Bosch Ecosense - Model SHE43P02UC/60

I'm not a Bosch salesman, but I did a ton of research a year ago before plunking down my dough. I also talked to several friends that had nothing but glowing reports. Bosch constantly uses the least amount of energy, according to the big yellow tags on them.

Check the tag on the right edge of your door, mine says Made in USA.

Our previous dw had a white vinyl tub, we had to scrub it every 3-4 months to remove the rust stains from the iron in our well water. The ss tub still looks new after a year.

Good cookware and cutlery should not be put in a dw.

Feb 25, 2011
KitchenGeek in Cookware

Dishwasher Hell - Bosch Ecosense - Model SHE43P02UC/60

Mine typically takes about 2 hours. So what?

Bosch dishwashers are made in North Carolina.

Feb 24, 2011
KitchenGeek in Cookware

Dishwasher Hell - Bosch Ecosense - Model SHE43P02UC/60

Odd. We have a SHX-series Bosch, got it about a year ago to replace the Kenmore that came with our house. We absolutely love it, the thing works head and shoulders better than the older one did. Not one single problem with it. A few things to consider:

* We NEVER put our good All Clad cookware in the dishwasher. Just like good cutlery, it's not good for them. I've never been sorry, as these pans are amazingly easy to clean even with the worst burnt on gunk. A little bit of Barkeeper's Friend and they look good as new.

* We first tried some of that "eco-friendly" soap, it was terrible. We use Cascade liquid now, and keep Finish in the rinse agent reservoir, works great. And we are on a septic system, so I am very fussy about what I use for soaps and cleaners.

* Bosch doesn't pre-heat the water as much as others in order to save energy. So, all you have to do is make sure to run the hot water at the kitchen sink, get it good and hot, then turn the dishwasher on. Makes a noticeable difference.

* Bosch also uses a condensing method for drying the dishes after the cycle is done, again to save energy. Instead of running a heater and a fan, they cool the outer cabinet so it becomes a condensing plane, and the water vapor on the hot dishes is "wicked away" to the cabinet, where it runs down to the sump. So, to get the best drying you have to leave it closed for several hours after the cycle is done. On days when we do run it, we usually turn it on as soon as we're done cleaning up from dinner, then let it sit overnight. Everything except a few minor puddles is dry by morning.

We used to have to use the delay start feature with the old one, run it in the middle of the night, so we didn't have to listen to it. Well, this one is soo quiet, we can run it any time, it's never a distraction.

Feb 07, 2011
KitchenGeek in Cookware

Paderno of PEI any good?

We went to a Culinary Bootcamp at Holland College in PEI (Charlottown) last summer for our honeymoon, and the chefs raved about the Paderno cookware and cutlery in their kitchen. So, we stopped by the factory outlet store to check it out, and honestly I wasn't impressed. Reminded me of Farberware. I'm not giving up my All Clads.

Feb 07, 2011
KitchenGeek in Cookware