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YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE COOKIE RECIPE?

i've spent the last few hours looking for a few different kinds.... i'll post them tomorrow as i am actually heading to bed. (we live overseas... it's late here)

Jan 13, 2014
prego_cook in Home Cooking

What cookies are you baking for Christmas this year?

i was happy to read that your fruitcake wasn't the "dog food variety". LOL! What fun that you get to enjoy the kitchen TOGETHER! It's a wonderful place to be after 52 years! Congrats on that!

Jan 13, 2014
prego_cook in Home Cooking

YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE COOKIE RECIPE?

I have a hard time believing that this question hasn't been asked here multiple times, but I searched..... perhaps I just need more sleep or a technological hand. I'm needing some inspiration though. Anybody interested in sharing their absolute FAVORITE cookie recipe/s? I need to make some for a meeting this weekend and I'd like to try something new.

Jan 13, 2014
prego_cook in Home Cooking

NO FAIL FUDGE RECIPE THAT DOESN'T USE MARSHMALLOW AS BASE?

i intend to try each and every one of these recipes suggested and then i will report back my findings! THANKS TO ALL OF YOU! i love this site for all the collaboration and tips from seasoned cooks.

Jan 05, 2014
prego_cook in Home Cooking

RECIPE??? for: "CINNAMON BICUITS ENROBED IN CHOCOLATE" - made by Jules Destrooper

Still waiting..... hoping the Jules Destrooper Fairy has pity on a poor soul like me.

Nov 08, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

WOW! I have never allowed them to dry that long! So good to know! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer! I think you might be the GB Queen! : ) thanks again. Oh one more thing..... do you allow them to dry STACKED on top of each other or do you have them laid out separately? Wondering how I am gonna do this...... What about freezing? I would think the freezing would not allow them to dry out. Great for cookies... not so great for GB houses.

Nov 08, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

Okay so now i'm confused.... if i need to make them ahead... NOT to eat..... i SHOULD or i should NOT put the royal icing on? Or... do you mean i should allow the GB to dry out a little and then ice them. I've never done a lot at the same time. We live in a community where we don't get a lot of Christmas stuff (Saudi Arabia) so i was even thinking i might make GB house kits...... and in that case I can just bake up the pieces but if I do get around and decorate some.... what do you think?

Nov 08, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

I'd love to see the pattern you are using for the GB computer! that sounds so fun! My husband is a computer tech guy... that would be fun!

Nov 07, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

The craft fair I'm making them for is the 1st week of December..... I was thinking I could make the pieces and freeze them...... and then decorate a week before..... but would I really have enough time??? Iike to make about 50 medium size ones.... the other option is to make blank houses for people to decorate on their own. Hmmmmmmm.... decisions. Thoughts?

Nov 07, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

I have totally done the graham cracker GB houses and they turned out SUPER CUTE and the kids loved them. I had intended to make regular ones for the kids but after i made the ones to sell... i was so burned out my kids got the graham cracker GB and they were AWESOME! they were cute - they loved it and it went together so easy! Nothing slacker about doing what works in my book! : ) 75! THAT IS HARDLY SLACKER!! wowzers!

Nov 07, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

Actually - the picture I just posted is NOT for this particular pattern. SORRY! the SECOND house is the pattern. I am also going to tell you a HUGE secret.... USE MELTED SUGAR TO PUT IT TOGETHER! It is like CONCRETE and SO QUICK! No waiting around for the royal icing to dry!

Nov 07, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

I'm also considering trying to use my square+rectangle cutters and then just use a template for the front/back. hmmmmm?

Nov 07, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

OMGOSH I AM DYING TO SEE YOUR TRAILER PARK! Post a pic if you get a chance! XOXO

Nov 07, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking
1

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

OKAY GIRLS.... This pattern is AWESOME! i found it *years* ago and it is just awesome! YOU BAKE ALL IN ONE PIECE AND THEN CUT OUT! It's for a larger GB house but I thought it was so clever to cut out the GB pieces AFTER! All the pieces fit together BEAUTIFULLY! The pictures are not TO SIZE - you will need to measure them out and then keep a COPY so you can see how you will cut it out after baking the sheet. I am considering making these in a smaller version...... we'll see how complicated i get this year. I'll post the pattern and then a few pics.... I am not a professional by any means but my heart is in it. *** NOTE *** I never use the base. seems like a waste of dough to me!

Nov 07, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

BAKING MULTIPLE GINGERBREAD HOUSES...

I always make GB houses at Christmas and this year I am toying with the idea of making miniature ones to sell at our craft fair...... In the past I have used a technique where you bake the GB in a sheet and THEN cut the pieces which worked great for a large house... all the pieces fit PERFECT! but I am just wondering if anyone has done MULTIPLE houses and what tips you might share about what worked best as far as cutting and baking multiple houses. I am just not sure what the best way might be.....

Nov 06, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

Sweetened condensed milk used in simple syrup?

I am using a recipe for Pumpkin Spiced creamer that has a simple syrup as its base and then later adds sweetened condensed milk along with the milk/cream to make the creamer.

Would there be any harm in just adding the sweetened condensed milk to the syrup to avoid that extra step later. I end up wasting so much sweetened condensed milk since I make it in batches. I can only get larger cans of SCMilk where we live.

Anyone?

Oct 25, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

YES! i love making regular bread and prefer to do it without a bread machine. But sourdough just has thrown me for a loop! HAH! it has humbled me... brought me to my knees! : )

once i get it..... it will be fine but for now.... it's like a QUEST!

i have to say.... i have been so in awe of Chowhounders..... really so HELPFUL!

i will get this.

Jun 10, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

Help with Sourdough Bread Interior Texture

if i had the space i would love to test each of them side-by-side!

Jun 10, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

Help with Sourdough Bread Interior Texture

OMGOSH...... it's like i can see the heavens parting and hear the angels singing...... THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR TIPS and insights! i am copy/pasting this to read over it before bedtime tonight!

Jun 10, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

GOOD TIP! going to try that too! I mean.... what do i have to lose right........ I'll let you know if that works.

Tomorrow I am trying this: https://www.stellaculinary.com/podcas...

But to be honest it seems a little intimidating.... so much resting /rising.... and that pull and tuck method of "kneading" is interesting too..... we'll see.

I have 4 loaves in right now and I am a little anxious to take them out. I'm going to try sticking in the thermometer and waiting till 210 like someone above suggested....... hoping they have RISEN in there too........

Jun 10, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

THANK YOU SO MUCH! AMAZON here I come! I don't know that I can find the flours here but I can bring them back with me..... (we live overseas)

This has been a little frustrating and challenging all at the same time because I bake ALL the time and I *love* to experiment to find which recipe I prefer whenever I do this kind of thing.... I'll take cookie recipes and make 3 different ones to compare etc.... and I have a seasonal business in our community around the holidays etc.....

This sourdough just has me at a loss because I KNOW what it should taste like... look like and I've been experimenting for 3 weeks now and not ONE time has it been "perfect"..... Grrrr! It has become my nemesis!

I am going to be in Denver this summer so I was thinking about trying to get with someone who has it mastered and see if I could bake with them one day...... anyway while i was starting that search I happened upon this blog and it looks like what you are talking about..... is this what the stiff starter looks like?

------> http://thingsimadethenate.blogspot.co...

AND THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR METICULOUS NOTES... I am copy/pasting them and will try that if i can figure out how to get the firm starter going..........

I have Peter Reinhart's book CRUST & CRUMB.... i will have to spend some time in it too.

Jun 10, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

i'll let you know when i try it! THANKS SO MUCH!

Jun 10, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

I have also wondered about the bowl of water being in there the entire time with regular bread and i think i will now change my tactic and just throw in a little cool water at the beginning for the steam effect and forgo the bowl after your comment. THANK YOU! these are the kind of tips i need! I LOVE chowhound cooks!

Jun 10, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

WOW! this sounds intriguing! i have never heard of this at all. i love CHOWHOUND cooks. they are just the best! thanks.... i have a little group of sourdough friends and if it's okay i'll pass this on to them to try as well.

does it really taste like standard SOURDOUGH? or is it an Asian version? curious to try this! thanks again!

Jun 10, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

but.... i have only done that with regular bread........ with my sourdough - i've been using the no-knead method. heat the crock to 500 for 1/2 hour then put the dough in at 500 with lid on for 1/2 hour... lid off for 15 and then continue baking 15 minutes......

so at first i tried the regular no knead where the dough is really pretty wet.... yeah... that didn't work so great. then i did a little research and had seen people allowing it to rise in the parchment paper which then makes it easy to place it in the EXTREMELY hot crock and place the lid over.... but then my middle STILL wasn't getting done so i tried to bake it a little longer with the lid on.... and in doing so - the outside went from nice and *crusty* to so HARD to cut through and the middle still not done.

i'm thinking instead of trying to wing the measurements.... i really need to just find SOMEONE who has had success. i want those nice holes and textures......... i'm a "seasoned" baker.... not professional by any means but i'm no Fraidy Cat and i'm willing to do the research.... but right now i am overwhelmed by too many websites saying different things......

i could just use a little teeny hand holding and then i promise to step away from the yeast.

XOXO

Jun 09, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

thanks!

Jun 09, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

When you say you use a "firm starter"... do you mean that it's just stiffer or is that a specific kind of starter?

If you wouldn't mind... I would be VERY interested in understanding your way of doing it if you can share. I really would love to try to get this. If you wouldn't mind.... I would LOVE it if you shared your weights & times for the recipe you use.

I do have some bubbles when I feed my starter. I've been trying to get it really active so I've had it on the counter the last week and feeding it 1/2 cup flour --- 1/2 cup water to keep it happy. Do you only feed your starter right before you are going to bake or for a few days prior?

THANKS!

Jun 09, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

Tomorrow I plan to leave it to rise once in the bowl after adding the final flour and then to shape and allow it to rise again.

Do you ever allow it to rise on top of your just warmed oven after you've turned it off? Would that cause it to rise TOO fast?

Jun 09, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

What do you do your internal temp to?

Also..... I'm assuming you just keep the thermometer in the bread while cooking but how does it not take the temperature of the crock? I was concerned that if part of the metal was touching the thermometer it would throw off the reading?

Jun 09, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking

ISSUES BAKING SOURDOUGH

I haven't been weighing my flour..... I was just measuring it out. Do you weigh it all? And I DID use a thermometer last week but it didn't seem to make a difference.... I think I brought it to 190 degrees... does that sound right?

Jun 09, 2013
prego_cook in Home Cooking