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Elysabethe's Profile

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Your favorite additions to egg salad, please

Sriracha sauce. I like my egg salad a little spicy.

Aug 03, 2012
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

Help me - what is the vegetable pictured here?

I got this in my weekly CSA delivery and usually the farmer is great about listing everything in the delivery but she didn't send the list this time out. Who can tell me what this is, and there are bonus Internet Points if you have suggestions for what to do with it!

May 08, 2011
Elysabethe in General Topics

Kitchen towels

I get mine from my aunt who crochets. She has a gigantor spool of "kitchen cotton" yarn and works them when she gets fidgety. You might be able to find these little hand-made wonders at craft fairs, holiday bazaars, and that sort of thing, or if you're at all handy with that sort of thing there are patterns to knit or crochet them yourself.

Apr 11, 2011
Elysabethe in Cookware

Steam, don't boil those hard cooked eggs.

Did you start with cold eggs out of the refrigerator, or did you bring them closer to room temp first?

Apr 08, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

What is your favorite CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP kitchen gadget

One nobody has mentioned (I do love many of the things others do) is my box of Costco disposable latex gloves. 100 for about six dollars. I use them when handling raw meat, especially ground meat, as I have long nails and don't like the idea of bacteria lingering. I put on a pair when seeding and chopping chilies so I don't end up with capsaicin on my fingers to be rubbed into my eyes later. Really, they're handy for anything I don't want to touch but need to handle.

Apr 03, 2011
Elysabethe in Cookware

How come my pizza crust doesnt get puffy like it does at a good resto?

It might help if you were to post your crust recipe, what you're putting your pizza on, what type of oven you have, and temp/time of bake. The more details the better!

Apr 03, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

ISO Best darn Meatloaf EVER...PERIOD!

I made this for dinner (actually, took a tiny risk and made two - one for tonight and one to freeze) and it was a huge hit with my husband. He ate a huge slab and asked hopefully if there was more, and then had a second helping. I used the long oven time to roast a head of garlic for mashed potatoes, which made for a great side. Thanks for posting!

Apr 02, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

weird film on silicone utensils

I just found this thread doing a search as to why my silicon tools and bakeware have the tacky feel to them. It just doesn't seem safe to me. I'm glad to know that it's not just me, so I have just thrown out my silicone muffin pan and cake pan, as well as a spatula and a spoonula. I will just resign myself to buying my spatulas (spatulae?) more often as I do like the heat-resistance of the silicone. Everything else, I'm going with other materials.

Apr 02, 2011
Elysabethe in Cookware

ISO Best darn Meatloaf EVER...PERIOD!

The current favorite meatloaf in my household is Ming Tsai's Asian Meatloaf:

Meatloaf: http://www.ming.com/foodandwine/recip...
Spiced Panko: http://ming.com/foodandwine/recipes/s...

I don't bother with a loaf pan and just free-form it on a foil-lined sheet pan (next time I may try a rack in a sheet pan) and even with only two of us eating this large loaf, it barely gives us any leftovers. I love the flavor of the sambal in this recipe.

I am going to have to try the PP recipe - too many raves to ignore it!

Mar 28, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

Please recommend your cooking utensils

+1 on the tongs. They are by far my favorite. I have thrown out more pairs of inferior tongs than I care to count. Tongs whose tips don't meet up evenly are worthless. I have three pairs of Good Grips tongs now, and I love having multiple pairs.

Mar 27, 2011
Elysabethe in Cookware

What's for Dinner? Part 80 - Old

I got my first CSA delivery yesterday so I had a bagful of baby greens at my disposal - arugula, Dai-Tokyo Bekana, mustard, Komatsuna, Russian kale, peppergrass, and Yukina Savoy - so I made a mixed salad with the whole lot and dressed it simply with olive oil and lemon juice. I served pork chops alongside, with a bound breading with Parmesan. I liked it. My husband pronounced the greens too "gardeny" - I'm trying to make him into a vegetable-liker, but so far things aren't going so well.

Mar 27, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

I want to learn how to cook, how should I start?

I am one of those that learned cooking basics from Mom. I was 9 when I started learning the rudimentary stuff. She found it easiest to start me off learning to cook from simple recipes, perfecting techniques as we went along. I learned how to properly measure wet and dry ingredients, kitchen safety, how to use all the different kitchen utensils correctly - all that sort of thing. She was always there to offer help but most of the time she let me learn simply by doing. I started out with easy things, like cream-of-something-soup casserole or an uncomplicated spaghetti sauce. She taught me the importance of reading a recipe thoroughly before starting by letting me screw up a couple of times. (Bless her.) The skills she taught me in my younger years have helped me for decades.

Some advice on how to ask - don't ask just as she's starting to make dinner. Rather, I'd suggest doing so as you're sitting down to eat. Let her know that you admire her skills and that you'd like to learn from her, when she's able to take her time and go at your pace. If your mom is struggling to get food on the table in twenty minutes so that she can get to an evening meeting, that's probably not the best time to show you how to dice an onion or trim the silverskin off a pork tenderloin. (Although that would be an ideal time to assist with cleanup, which would show your mom that' you're serious about keeping the workspace neat while you work.)

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get started cooking - good luck in your endeavors!

Mar 27, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

Oven mitts?

I have those! I got them as a gift because a friend felt sorry for the perpetual burn I seemed to have on my wrist from touching a hot oven rack. Since installing those, no more burns!

Mar 26, 2011
Elysabethe in Cookware

Worst kitchen screwup.

A friend of mine makes delicious chocolate chip cookies every couple of weeks - so good that she won a local cookie contest. When she was interviewed as the winner, the columnist covering the story asked how she managed to keep chocolate chips in the house, having three teenage sons and a husband. Her newspaper answer: "I can't tell you that." I know the real answer. She keeps them in the bottom of a maxi-pad box in her bathroom.

Mar 25, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

Why Can't I Melt Chocolate?

This is all I ever do. I see no need for a double boiler. I simply use a small metal mixing bowl over a saucepan of boiling water - also works great for making Hollandaise.

Mar 21, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

Just how important is the quality of wine when a recipe calls for wine?

While I'm sure there are folks who believe that one should use the highest quality of wines in one's cooking, my philosophy with wine for cooking vs drinking is the same as that of liquor for use in mixed drinks vs. sipping neat. When it comes to making fun cocktails I use decent but not the toppiest of top-shelf liquor because if I'm going to add flavors to the really good stuff, I lose something out of the liquor. I save the best of the best for drinking on its own. Same with wine - I ensure that I cook with something I would drink, but I'm not going to use my cellared bottles for the stew.

Mar 08, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

Starting from Scratch-- Must haves!!

I'm going to second everyone that said to buy the best chef's knife that you can afford. I don't believe in knife sets (well, I believe they exist, I just also believe they aren't necessarily the best choice) and think that knife selection is best made by using it. I got a great deal through a local kitchen store in which they offered a knife-skills class - students got the opportunity to try out the entire gamut of the store's offerings and then buy their favorite using a GC that came with the purchase of the class. The whole thing was really just a way to sell knives, but it was great to get the chance to use a selection of knives on real food before purchasing. The knife I thought I'd wanted turned out to feel all wrong in my hand. I was glad to be able to try things out.

Also, do not underestimate the usefulness of your local restaurant supply. I've been able to pick up decent-quality baking sheets and steel mixing bowls at mine at prices that don't make me cry if one gets wrecked.

Mar 07, 2011
Elysabethe in Cookware

Other "choys" besides bok choy?

I have recently bought a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm that specializes in Asian vegetables. I'm really looking forward to trying some new veggies. One thing that confused me is that the owner's blurb says they grow "all the choys" - to be honest I am only familiar with bok choy. I did a bit of Googling and found another variety (yu choy) that I didn't know of before. The phrase "all the choys" seems to refer to more than two though. What other choys do you all know of besides these two, and what do you like to do with choy once you have it in your kitchen?

Mar 07, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking

Menus and Recipes for Burgeoning Supper Club

I found your thread because I was looking for the same help! Our newly-started supper club is four dinners in and it's my turn to plan. (We have 7 couples, the planner chooses a theme and menu and assigns recipes to each couple, who brings all the ingredients to the "kitchen house" where all prep and eating is done.) Our group is made up of full-on or wannabe foodies and there are no dietary restrictions or picky eaters, so it makes it really fun to go all out.

So far we've done French Laundry cookbook, Pacific Northwest favorites, Thailand, The Beautiful Cookbook, and Mardi Gras.

I'm toying with the idea of a Tuscan feast for my plan. I have to come up with a cocktail, appetizer, soup or salad, primi (pasta or risotto?), secondi (meat or fish), and a dessert to assign to the group members. Unlike most supper clubs we don't rotate houses; one of our members has a gorgeous, newly-remodeled kitchen ideal for many cooks, so we always meet at her house and she provides her cookware and some wine - everyone else provides the rest.

We like the idea of focusing on restaurant-quality dishes with an ooh-ahh factor. I'm going to continue to look for more ideas - I hope both of us find what we're looking for!

Mar 06, 2011
Elysabethe in Home Cooking