Bacardi1's Profile

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Chicken soup help!

I never add parsnips to soup & always cut back on the carrots because I personally dislike sweet stock, & both the above are common culprits.

Mar 28, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Best way to reheat collard greens?

Ditto. Reheat them any way you wish.

Mar 28, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Is Julia Child's "The Way to Cook" accessible for a beginner?

I agree with you. "Mastering. . ." can be a bit intimidating for anyone, not just a newbie - lol! It's not that the recipes are all that difficult, but many of them have a LOT of steps & can require a good deal of patience.

I have nearly all of Julia's cookbooks except for the recent ones where she was cooking with other chefs, & "The Way To Cook" is still my favorite.

Mar 28, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Liederkranz Cheese is back!

Actually, there is no other type of Liederkranz than "American" - despite the European-sounding name.

Liederkranz was originally developed & produced in America by a NY-based Swiss gentleman & is a solely American cheese.

Mar 28, 2013
Bacardi1 in Cheese

Liederkranz Cheese is back!

Actually, Liederkranz has been back for several years now.

I've been buying it from "igourmet" for quite some time now (although they appear to be out of stock at the moment), & the flavor & quality has been wonderful (as with all their cheeses). The only thing missing is the little wooden-bottomed cardboard box that the original used to come in.

http://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/Lieder...

If you do a websearch for "Liederkranz", I'm sure you'll find other online vendors as well.

Mar 27, 2013
Bacardi1 in Cheese

What's for Dinner #203 - The Week Before Easter Edition, Part 2 [OLD]

These were big ones, so I simply - but carefully - slit them sort of "butterfly" style, stuffed in my cheese, & closed the opening with toothpicks.

That's really what I consider "stuffing them" - not just smooshing stuff under the skin, which does have its merits as well. :)

Mar 27, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking
1

Spinach Lasagna - Saute the spinach first?

Definitely cook & then press or squeeze the excess moisture out.

If you're using frozen spinach, you can thaw it without cooking, press/squeeze out the excess moisture, & use it.

Mar 27, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #203 - The Week Before Easter Edition, Part 2 [OLD]

Last night I stuffed two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts with herbed goat cheese, browned them in a little extra-virgin olive oil, then finished them by braising in a little chicken broth. Roasted asparagus on the side.

iGourmet and online cheese shopping

I've been ordering cheeses from igourmet for quite a few years now. Have NEVER been disappointed. Quality, prices, packaging, shipping, etc., have always been above bar.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Cheese

Why did my hydroponic basil wither and die?

In about a month or so, garden centers & big box stores will be overrun with herb plants - basil included.

I suggest you buy a pot or two & plant them in larger containers (in soil), place them in a sunny location (Basil NEEDS full sun) outdoors & enjoy/use them that way.

You can also try them potted in a sunny windowsill (southern exposure), but that can be hit or miss.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Gardening

How to switch from one years compost heap to the next?

I've never used a "spinning bin", but I would imagine you have to empty & use each batch as it's finished & then start fresh.

I've always used 3 stationary bins or piles - one for fresh stuff that after several months gets turned over into Bin/Pile #2 to continue breaking down, which then eventually gets turned over into Bin/Pile #3 when it's just about ready for use. Sort of a continuous process where something is always cooking at some stage or other.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Gardening

New gardener in New England

Any basic gardening book(s) will give you plenty of good info & ideas. Hit up your local library & bring home a bunch.

I've been gardening (vegetables, herbs, flowers, etc., etc.) since I was a little sprout - grew up in a gardening/farming family. What real basics have I learned?

START SMALL!!! Forget about the fact that you have 500 square feet at your disposal. You'll be absolutely amazed at how much time & effort goes into caring for even a small plot. There's soil improvement, planting, weeding, mulching, watering, harvesting, etc., etc. Nothing is sadder than a potentially fabulous hobby getting nipped in the bud by taking on too much too soon & deciding that it's just too much work. It doesn't have to be, so don't set yourself up for failure or discouragement.

GROW WHAT YOU LIKE TO EAT (or flowers you like to look at)!!! Seed racks & catalogs are like candy stores. So many choices, so little time, so little room. Or so it seems. Sit down & think about what you enjoy most & buy most from the supermarket &/or farmers markets. Then investigate what those plants will need in your garden. Nothing wrong with picking a new item or two that look interesting, but there's also nothing more boring than ending with 32,000 summer squash that no one is interested in eating.

MAKE A COMMITMENT!! Doesn't have to be engraved in steel or anything like that, but try to make a commitment to visit your garden once a day - even if nothing really needs doing - just to check on things. Pull a stray weed, pick off an insect pest (after you can tell bad bugs from good ones - lol!).

ENJOY IT!! Nothing is nicer than a side table & chair or two out by the garden to sit at & enjoy a cup of coffee/tea or glass of wine at some point during the day/evening and just enjoy the sight of the fruit of your labors.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Gardening
1

Corned beef in a crock pot - anyone have a golden method/ go to recipe?

Bacardi1 Crockpot Guinness-Braised Corned Beef

Corned beef (any cut – point or flat)
One large yellow onion, peeled & chopped
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 cup water
1 bottle Guinness Stout
Spice packet that usually comes in the corned beef package (optional)
2-3 bay leaves

Place chopped onion & carrot chunks in bottom of crockpot. Place corned beef on top, fat side up. Add water, Guinness, packet spices, & bay leaves. Cover pot, & if you’re going to be home, cook on high for an hour (just to get things going), then turn to low & continue cooking for 5 more hours. Otherwise, just cook on low for 6-7 hours, or until a fork pierces meat easily. Remove meat from crockpot & allow to sit for 10 minutes or so before slicing. (Discard leftover broth/veggies.)

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Turkey and brown rice stuffed bell peppers

Cook the meat first. I've never bothered blanching the peppers. They soften up quite well on their own during baking.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Is Julia Child's "The Way to Cook" accessible for a beginner?

From someone who's been cooking since she was a little sprout, this is my hands-down FAVORITE cookbook.

Perfect & easily understood explanations for beginners, yet interesting & savvy enough for experienced cooks. One very nice feature is the "Master Recipe", followed by several variations. Another is Julia taking a somewhat lighter & healthier approach to a number of her original classic recipes.

Whether beginner or old hand, one can have a lot of fun with this book.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Frittata vs. Omelet - What's your opinion?

I like them both equally. Sometimes I'm in the mood for one; sometimes the other.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in General Topics

What's for Dinner #203 - The Week Before Easter Edition, Part 2 [OLD]

Oh - & I don't know if Ronzoni makes both oven-ready "flat" & oven-ready "rippled" noodles, but if they do, it was the oven-ready "rippled" ones I bought.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #203 - The Week Before Easter Edition, Part 2 [OLD]

You know, I've been a hard-core Barilla fan for many years, & that's what I'd planned on buying. Was in a hurry when at the store, & the market had Ronzoni & Barilla (both in blue boxes) side by side. Saw a "buy one, get one free" sign, & just grabbed 2 blue boxes of lasagna noodles. Am SO glad I did.

It's not that Barilla "oven ready" lasagna noodles are bad, just that the Ronzoni "oven ready" was so much better! The noodles expanded a bit more than Barilla, & remained perfectly "al dente" - not too firm, not too soft. They also held their shape beautifully during slicing/serving - no breaking or sliding around.

All in all I do consider it the best turkey lasagna I've ever made, & everything else being constant, I consider the noodles one of the main reasons.

Mar 26, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #203 - The Week Before Easter Edition, Part 2 [OLD]

I don't think I've made the exact same lasagna twice, but yesterday's turned out truly outstanding, if I do say so myself - lol. Just enough ooey-gooey cheese, just enough sauce without being gloppy, noodles tender without being mushy, etc., etc. (While I'm usually a Barilla pasta fan, this time I used Ronzoni "oven ready" lasagna noodles, & I liked them better than my usual Barilla.)

Bacardi1 Turkey & Mushroom Lasagna

For Mushroom-Cheese mixture:

8 oz. Cremini mushrooms, sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
15-oz container Ricotta cheese (part-skim or regular)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Approx. 1 Tbs. dried oregano
Sprinkling of granulated garlic

For Turkey mixture:

1 pkg. (1# to 1-1/3# or so) ground turkey
2 jars (24 to 26 oz. each) pasta sauce (I used Bertolli “Marinara”)
Dry red wine (optional)
Approx. 2 Tbs. dried oregano
Sprinkling of granulated garlic
Sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes

For Lasagna assembly:

1 pkg. “Oven Ready” Lasagna noodles (I used Ronzoni)
2 bags (8 oz. each) shredded Mozzarella cheese (low-fat/part-skim or regular)
1 bag (8 oz.) shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, sauté sliced mushrooms in a couple of dollops of extra-virgin olive oil until tender & they begin to lose their moisture. Do not allow to brown. Transfer to a medium bowl & set aside to cool a bit. Combine mushrooms, Ricotta, beaten egg, 1 Tbs. dried Oregano, & a sprinkling of granulated garlic thoroughly. Set aside.

In same skillet, cook ground turkey until no longer pink, then stir in the 2 jars of pasta sauce (rinsing out each jar into the skillet with a little red wine if desired). Stir in 2 Tbs. dried oregano, granulated garlic, & crushed red pepper flakes & turn heat down to low.

In a lasagna pan or a 9” x 13” glass baking dish, spread a few large spoonfuls of meat sauce. Place 3 pieces of uncooked lasagna noodles in crosswise without touching either each other or the sides of the pan. Spread a small amount of mushroom-ricotta mixture on each noodle, followed by more meat sauce. Sprinkle with a couple of handfuls of shredded mozzarella. Follow with another layer of noodles, mushroom-ricotta mixture, meat sauce, & shredded mozzarella. Repeat layers again, & end with a final layer of pasta noodles & enough remaining meat sauce to cover final layer of pasta. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top, & finish with bag of shredded Parmesan.

Cover lasagna pan with aluminum foil – slightly tented to keep cheese from sticking, but crimped firmly around pan edges. Bake in center of oven for 35 minutes, remove foil & continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven & allow to sit for 10-15 minutes to set up a bit before slicing & serving.

Mar 25, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #203 - The Week Before Easter Edition, Part 2 [OLD]

I prefer Creminis (& Enoki, Oyster, Maitake, & Shitake, etc.) in cooked dishes, but enjoy only good old White Buttons raw in salads. :)

Mar 25, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Immediate Help Please - How to Store Roasted Veggies 24 hours?

Ditto - into the fridge & reheat tomorrow. Just keep in mind that the texture(s) will end up a bit softer.

Mar 25, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #203 - The Week Before Easter Edition, Part 2 [OLD]

Since it was such a raw, cold, snowy day yesterday (& continuing through today), I made a nice big pan of Turkey & Mushroom Lasagna last night. Served with a nice green salad & a warm baguette on the side, plus have 4 nice-size individually-wrapped portions in the freezer for 2 additional future meals.

Sauce to serve with roasted chicken other than pan sauce or gravy?

You make a "veloute" basically the same way you make a bechamel or "white sauce", only using stock (like chicken stock) in place of the usual milk. In this case you could sub in a bit of Marsala in place of some of the stock, & fold in previously sauteed mushrooms.

If you have a basic general cookbook on hand, it should be able to give you basic amounts & instructions.

Mar 24, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

What Do You Do With Canned Soup?

That sounds like a wonderful recipe to have on hand. Many thanks for sharing!! :)

Mar 24, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? No. 202 - The Week Before Easter Edition [OLD]

Would work fine for me. Seems like very other day there's already a new thread started. And sometimes the old one isn's marked "old" yet, so there's some confusion. Pushing it to 400 posts is a good idea.

Mar 24, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Maple syrup not on pancakes

I also drizzle it over plain baked & buttered Sweet Potatoes, & Acorn & other winter squash.

Mar 24, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Maple syrup not on pancakes

This one may sound odd, but it's really quite delicious. I adapted it from a recipe from Eating Well magazine.

Bacardi1 Sesame Maple Roasted Tofu
(Adapted from Eating Well magazine)

Serves 2

Ingredients
1 block extra-firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into approx. 1” cubes
1 medium or half a large red onion, sliced & separated into half rings
Approx. 2-3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil – regular, toasted, or hot according to preference
Approx. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
½ a tablespoon cider vinegar
Approx. 2 cups (a handful or two) sugar snap peas, fresh or frozen
Approx. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Cooked brown rice or Asian-style noodles of your choice for serving


1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Toss tofu, onion, canola oil, sesame oil, and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until the tofu is lightly golden on top and the onions are browning in spots, 15 to 20 minutes, turning gently halfway through.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk tahini, soy sauce, maple syrup, and vinegar until well combined. When tofu mixture is finished roasting, remove from the oven & add to the bowl of tahini-maple sauce, along with the sugar snap peas; stir to combine. Re-spread everything on the baking sheet & sprinkle with sesame seeds. Return to the oven and continue roasting until the peas are crisp-tender, approx. 8 to 12 minutes more.

Serve on a bed of cooked brown rice or Asian-style noodles of your choice. (I used 2 packages of fresh ramen-type noodles that I found in the tofu section of the supermarket. I cooked the packages along with the soup-seasoning mixes included with the noodles, & then drained them before serving them as a base for the tofu.)

Mar 24, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking
1

Asian-style prep for red snapper?

It happens to work very well with catfish. In fact, it works well with ALL fish filets & reasonably-sized whole fish. So nothing is really an exception to the cooking method.

I think it's pretty fair to say that one can pretty much rule out any fish that one detests from any possible preparation method - lol!!!

Mar 24, 2013
Bacardi1 in Home Cooking

Let's talk about Penzey's:

While I'm not lucky enough to have a Penzey's even remotely nearby, I do enjoy ordering from them online.

One of my favorite standbys is their "Hot Curry Powder". It's a very flavorful yellow turmeric-based powder; light on the sweet "baking spices", as I call them (cloves, cinnamon, etc.), & with a nice punch/bite of heat. I use it in any & all recipes calling for unspecified regular "curry powder".

(Makes a wicked addition to deviled eggs!!)

Mar 24, 2013
Bacardi1 in Chains

What food find still haunts you - that you had once and haven't found since?

Actually, the restaurant I had it at was definitely not a Japanese "steakhouse"; was pretty much strictly sushi, with just a smattering of cooked dishes - nothing grilled.

Tiny little place, all blonde wood & bamboo. Came into being back when sushi was just beginning to become "the thing". It lasted for several years, but then when everyone & his brother was opening up a sushi place or steakhouse, & even Chinese restaurants starting adding it to menus, it couldn't keep up & closed down.

Mar 24, 2013
Bacardi1 in General Topics