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Baked turkey thighs - tough as a boot. What happened??

Gosh, I thought a hen would be the most tender instead of a tom. Thanks for the info. I wonder why a hen is more expensive?

Dec 16, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Cook's Illustrated All-Time Best Bread Recipes (special collector's edition)

Gosh, I don't know about using a bread machine. I never had one.

I wish I would have kept my receipt, but of course I fell in love with the beautiful pictures. I may try a different recipe in the book just to see if the results are more satisfying.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do. Let me know if you try anything in your bread machine.

Dec 04, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Holiday Dinner - what went wrong? What went well?

Yes, I guess I was just having a bad day, I forgot what Thanksgiving was all about. Thanks for reminding me.

Dec 01, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Holiday Dinner - what went wrong? What went well?

Glad you mentioned the make ahead mashed potatoes. I was always hesitant to do a make ahead thing since it did not sound appealing to me.

So happy you had the best ever holiday. Hope you have many more just like it.

Dec 01, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Holiday Dinner - what went wrong? What went well?

The gravy boat sounds really neat. I was wondering if I could justify a once or twice a year use, but it could be used for things like biscuits & gravy or any other type of sauce.

Thanks for sharing.

Dec 01, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Holiday Dinner - what went wrong? What went well?

Frog eye salad, that gives me the willies!!!!

Actually that recipe was sounding pretty good until I came across the pepperoncini.

Who thinks up these things anyway?

Dec 01, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Holiday Dinner - what went wrong? What went well?

Yep, nothing can salvage a bad cook. Let them bring what they may. After all, it's only once a year.

Dec 01, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Holiday Dinner - what went wrong? What went well?

Where did you get your gravy boat? Does it hold a lot of gravy?

Nov 30, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Holiday Dinner - what went wrong? What went well?

I guess delegating the side dishes is a bad idea since there are those who think their one claim to fame is the pea salad or whatever it is.

Only trouble is their food is taking up valuable real estate on the crowded table & no one really touches the dish unless some newcomer appears & spoons a glob of the stuff on their plate & he/she is doomed from the get go because Auntie is watching that bowl with hawk eyes & swoops down on the unsuspecting guest with more of the stuff before they can utter a protest.

Then comes the "take home" ritual. There she is again holding her precious bowl & slinging big spoonfuls of the stuff on every plate that even remotely looks like it is a dish to be sent home with someone. Finally, the bowl is empty & she scurries off well pleased that her dish was another success this year. Now how in the world do you break that ritual?

Oh yes, one teen (heathen) plops down & grabs both turkey legs & immediately starts to scarf down before anyone is seated. Another teen grabs the 2 wings & repeats the process. And to think they were such well behaved kids last year. By this time, everyone starts to get plates & help themselves. Whatever happened to saying grace before everyone sits down?

Uncle Bill is stuck in the back of the dining table wedged in with his walker & as soon as he gets settled, he needs to go to the bathroom. How in the world did he get back there between 2 of the fattest guys in the house? After much jostling & an overturned tea glass, dear Uncle has emerged from his cocoon. But guess what? Too late. Uncle comes tottering back & by this time most folks have vacated the table with their food for a sweeter smelling environment. Such is life. So much for the family gathering around the table to share a meal.

That sums up the holiday people. The food has its story to tell also, but I will pass on that one & let you all talk about your food happenings.

By the way, does anyone LIKE pea salad with peanuts in it???

Holiday Dinner - what went wrong? What went well?

As usual, too many desserts showed up, most being purchased. Hodge podge of sides that did not seem to compliment each other.

I think the person hosting the meal should make up a menu & delegate who should bring what. This will probably ruffle some feathers, but I see no other way of preventing duplicate pies, bland textures & blander tastes.

Hope your meal struck a better note than mine. Share your experience.

Nov 29, 2014
cstout in General Topics

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

I had no idea the rum/bourbon balls & other alcoholic cakes had to sit & degas. I kept away from those things because they had such a terrible taste No wonder, since I was eating them as soon as they cooled. Just always wondered how anyone could enjoy these.

Now I understand...thanks for sharing this.

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

So sorry that was no help, perhaps I was thinking about her 2 books she has out.

Nov 19, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

Look on www.homesicktexan.com. She has several salad recipes.

Nov 19, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

Be careful with the spiced nuts recipes. One year I did a whole pound of pecan halves (quite pricey) with one of those spicy pecan recipes. It called for cayenne & a little chili powder plus some other things. Well, after roasting those pecans, the flavor was very acrid & just was off. I ended up throwing out the whole batch. Won't do that again!!!!

Left a bad aftertaste in my mouth & hole in my pocketbook.

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

Add a can of chili without beans & you are good to go.

Nov 19, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

Marinated people, of course there are a few folks who overly partake of the alcohol & all sense of taste is lost on them. They will eat anything & everything & then go to snore on the couch.

Nov 19, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

You are right about the carrot sticks & celery sticks & such, but in my neck of the woods, we go for all the pickled stuff. No one used to touch the nice healthy veggies so we just started to omit them from the groaning table. My family is not health minded during the holidays.

Nov 19, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

American South, bowls of chow chow, pickles of all kinds, especially pickled okra & beets. No fresh veggie platters, just pickled stuff, mind you.

Oh yes, FRUITCAKE. Actually, there are a lot of decent recipes floating around without all that citron junk.

Nov 18, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Shrinkrap, thanks so much for the wonderful links. This will keep me busy on this cold day, expecting hard freeze tonight in the Texas hill country.

Soup de rez is chuckling on the back burner & much reading beckons me to look & dream of luscious gardens.

Ha ha, always looks better in those beautiful pages
filled with perfection.

Nov 16, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Chinese cooking, meat and cornstarch

I am not an expert at using wok, but I have learned to only put a few pieces of any thing in at a time, let sit in the oil for a few seconds to let the protein brown before starting to stir things around in the wok.

Cooking in small batches allows you to maintain the high heat. Keep your cooked batches in a warm oven until all is cooked.

If you cook in small batches you can place things in the hot oil so they won't be touching each other & this will prevent the globs you are experiencing.

Also, sounds like you are using an awfully lot of oil. Again, small batches only require a tablespoon or so of oil. After taking a batch out & you see you need a tablespoon more for the next batch, be sure & let that oil heat up to a smoking hot heat before adding your protein.

Hope this helps.

Nov 16, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

American South or Southwest Christmas appetizers or sides

I have tried this spread & everyone loves it.

http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-anni...

At Apple Annie's tearoom, they would serve it spread on cinnamon raisen bread (crust removed & sliced on the diagonal).

Good on any kind of cracker too.

Nov 14, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking
1

Christmas dinner - Not Turkey...

Good 'ol pork roast, the kind with a thick rind on the bottom, meat stuffed with slivers of garlic & baked low & slow until the rind is golden & the meat is falling off the bone. No slow cooker here, just roasting away in a roaster.

Homemade bread to make sandwiches later.

Of course mashed potatoes, condiments & good chutney. Pickled peaches work well.

Fresh green beans & tiny new potatoes.

Glass of wine & deep dish apple pie for dessert.

Nov 14, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Canned Chili Craving

You have some great ideas for canned chili. I need to stock up on several cans so I can try your concoctions.

Yes, homemade chili is better, but not in my case. I just never found a recipe that smacked of deliciousness. Oh well, maybe someday I will come across the "perfect recipe".

Here are a few ways I use canned chili.

Fry some tamales in a little oil. Heat a can of chili & pour over tamales. Fry an egg & put on top of chili & top off with a bit of shredded cheese.

Add a can of yellow hominy to a couple of cans of chili.

Add a couple of spoons of masa harina to the chili, thickens it up & really gives it a good homemade flavor. Trouble is, you have to buy such a big bag of harina, but keep it in the freezer & it will last for a long time or just put it in a large canning jar.

Thanks everyone for the great ideas.

Nov 08, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Canned Chili Craving

Yes, you are so right about different areas having different brands. You folks have mentioned several brands that I have never heard of. I wonder if some companies make several brands & if what I can find in Texas is really the same as you are eating where you are at, just called something else.

Guess we have to work with what we have, although I would love to pursue that Cincinnati canned chili. Just sounds good to me.

Nov 08, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Canned Chili Craving

OK, sometime we fall off the health wagon & just pig out on the really bad stuff. I call it "slumming in the kitchen".

Well, I came across a can of Austex Chili (no beans) & by golly, the stuff was pretty darn good! I did not try to doctor it up, just heated it & poured it over some Fritos & sprinkled some grated cheddar cheese over the bowl & warmed in oven to melt the cheese.

This episode got me to wondering what brand you use & what do you do to "enhance" the flavors?

Also, how do you like to eat your concoction? Over hot dogs, saltine crackers, macaroni or what else?

That bowl of canned chili brought back many memories & ways of trying to vary the flavor with what was in the pantry, which was not much at times.

Why don't you share with us your experience of that canned staple of so long ago?

Nov 07, 2014
cstout in General Topics

Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt & other homemade seasonings

I use Krazy Salt on just about everything, even on salads sometimes. Very good on fresh sliced tomatoes too.

Another great seasoning is Spike. I use the "original". Great in everything too, especially soups & stews.

Bought some Montreal seasoning for steak & absolutely did not like it, gave it away. Bought a jar of fancy "Mediterranean" spice blends, another waste of money to me.

Does anyone have a great bread dipping sauce recipe? Usually the Italian restaurants have a good plate of it with warm bread & it would make a nice hostess gift with a fresh loaf of no knead bread or Christmas present for a foodie friend.

Geez, Atomic76, you woke me up about this spice blend stuff, how about several little jars of homemade spice mixes for gifts??????

Nov 04, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Tamales - Is lard necessary plus...

Well, I now see why so many family members & friends get together to do this. The manufacturing of a tamale is quite a production.

With many hands, each having their own task, the whole operation goes faster & fewer adjustments & tweaks to the masa to keep it the proper consistency is needed. Even little hands can dry the shucks & play an important role that will create memories & traditions.

Key here is to have one or more people that know what they are doing. I could get several people together but I assure not one of us has made a tamale. I can just see us all gathered around youtube trying to follow the steps being shown.

Could you or someone else break this procedure down into steps sorta like the following? I don't think it would be too many steps involved, although I found an article on making tamales & I actually fell asleep while reading it.

Also, it would be great to have a "small batch" recipe so non tamale makers could do a trial run before the big production day.

Day one - Soak corn husks. Boil meat. Gather utensils, pots & whatever.

Day two - Make masa. Chill the beer, make cocoa for the kids.

Day three - let's roll.

Sorry if I got off post, I will just go back to my corner & try to figure this all out.

Oct 28, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Tamales - Is lard necessary plus...

Sounds like you have made many dozens of tamales, wish I could taste them. I have never made any myself. The whole process seems pretty easy, but when it comes to spreading the masa on the corn shuck, it becomes a total failure.

I have watched videos & it looks easy...ha ha.

Am enjoying this thread tremendously.

Oct 27, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Cook's Illustrated All-Time Best Bread Recipes (special collector's edition)

What is your take on this publication?
I picked up this magazine on the magazine rack at the grocery.

In this publication, these folks are tweaking several of the standard bread recipes.

The first one I tried was the "almost no knead bread", which they added vinegar & pale ale beer. Right now I am looking at a blob of dough that is dry, heavy & not looking like my usual Peter Reinart's lean bread recipe. At this point, I am somewhat optimistic, but nothing like what I had anticipated.

Bottom line, have you purchased this magazine?

Have you tried any of these recipes?

Are you satisfied with the results?

Oct 26, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler

That is a shame since chickens & all other manner of animals & fowl are raised domestically & sold to consumers who want an alternative to store bought.

I personally could not eat one of my chickens or kill them to be sold to others, but I would purchase from those who do this.

I did not read the article you are referring to, so I probably should not comment.

By the way, rabbit is very good eating.

Oct 26, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking