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janniecooks's Profile

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Muffin recipe sometimes collapses?

It would be best to compare notes with your sister to find out what your sister is doing differently than you and mum. We could only offer many guesses, but the key to answering your question lies with your sister.

Sep 11, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Minimum Wage Impact on Restaurant (especially FF) Prices

Why not raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour? Then there would be so much more business for everyone that we would all get rich.

Anybody got a good suggestion for Red Velvet Sheet Cake?

There's nothing particularly special about red velvet cake that necessitates a certain shape pan. Go to the Joy of Baking website, find its page on pan sizes and you'll find dimensions and volume measures for all possible pan sizes, making it easy to calculate pan substitutions.

Aug 30, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Dear Mods - Please explain the new spam policies for us.

Still struggling to understand why any commercial site would permit this type of advertising or self-promotion without charging for it. Perhaps unbeknownst to the users who continue to complain about and flag these posts, all for naught, Chow/Chowhound is indeed extracting payment from the spammers, shillers, and other commercial posters (oops, I meant to say "professional voices"). Why alienate the long term, committed posters in favor of the one-and-done garbage posts? Surely the click results can't be that impressive.

Aug 29, 2014
janniecooks in Site Talk
2

Hollandaise sauce made with olive oil...... why?

wouldn't that be mayonnaise, then?

Aug 22, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking
1

Return "sweet" fruit that isn't sweet?

I have returned navel oranges that were dry and without any juice. They took them back. I believe that Publix (or any other store) should be informed when the products they are selling are not up to snuff so they can change suppliers. Really, it is the store's responsibility to sell the quality that they loudly claim to offer.

As an aside, I despise my local Publix practice of wrapping everything in plastic. You can't tell the real quality of the contents, and in some cases I believe the enclosure hastens decay.

Yellow fin Tuna question about freezing

Freezing, defrosting and refreezing will the ruin the fish for any purpose. Defrost, cook, and eat.

Aug 20, 2014
janniecooks in General Topics

Return "sweet" fruit that isn't sweet?

Publix has a satisfaction guarantee, they will take the product back with no questions asked.

I just realized I need a pressure cooker for canning tomatoes

You will need to empty the jars, reheat the contents, sterilize the jars again and repack them, regardless of how the jars were stored.

Aug 11, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Brining pork or chicken

Use less salt in the brine.

Aug 10, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

My cinnamon buns won't pull apart. Any advice for next time?

Using a bigger diameter pan should help.

Jul 28, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

How long is too long to brine pork chops that are 2 in. thick? Can I go overnight or is that too long?

You can brine chops that thick for two days (48 hours) with no problem, so your overnight brine will be fine. If time permits, I brine overnight all the time.

Boneless, Skinless chicken breasts with off texture

If they were injected with a brine solution the label must state that. If the label doesn't state so, then they were probably from old hens. I've stopped buying packages of chicken breasts of any type, because the breasts are too big, and the meat is rubbery, dense and tasteless.

Jul 17, 2014
janniecooks in General Topics

Salad combinations for everyday...

If you're willing to invest a bit of time on your day off you can vastly increase your "choices" of salad bases. Make your own salad blend base that will keep longer and stay fresher than "spring mix" or any of the bagged or clamshell salad greens or mixes. I discovered this quite by accident when I made a salad for a dinner party, that yielded way more than we needed, and was pleasantly surprised when the leftovers kept for many days with no loss of quality.

Buy individual heads of sturdy greens like romaine, oak leaf lettuce, leaf lettuce, frisee, radicchio,endive, escarole. I like a mix of bitter and non-bitter greens. Parsley is also a good addition and keeps well.

Wash the greens, dry them well and tear into pieces into a big metal or glass bowl. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for as long as ten days.

Pull out what you need for a meal, supplementing the base greens mix with tender greens or herbs, like baby spinach, boston or butterhead lettuce, arugula, basil, cilantro, tarragon, dill. These more tender greens don't keep as long as the above-mentioned sturdy greens and will become slimy in the mix.

This allows you endless variations re: dressings, fruit, nut, cheese or herb additions. I call it my amazing ten day salad. (The key to success is to dry the greens really well; any droplets of water clinging to the leaves will lead to rot.)

Jul 16, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

A rant: At the meat counter: fools or liars?

Who's the fool in your scenario? From the USDA:

"The term fresh on a poultry label refers to any raw poultry product that has never been held below 26 °F (-3.3 C). Raw poultry held at 0 °F (-17.8 °C) or below must be labeled frozen or previously frozen. No specific labeling is required on raw poultry stored at temperatures between 0 and 25 °F (-17.8 °C and -3.9 °C)."

And regarding the "extra water", here is the USDA's explanation:

"Many people think the pink liquid in packaged fresh chicken is blood; however, it is mostly water which was absorbed by the chicken during the chilling process."

Is Carbonation Affected by Temperature, Pressure, Time?

A simple way to extend the carbonation level in partially consumed bottles is to squeeze the bottle to force the air out and the liquid back up to the neck, then replace the cap.

Jun 02, 2014
janniecooks in General Topics

The questionable link between saturated fat and heart disease

You completely missed and misstated the point of the article. The article is not about fats versus carbs, good calories or bad calories. It is not about the debate. What the article discusses has not been discussed endlessly here. And so what if it might have been?

This very timely WSJ article appeared on Saturday's edition, where it was the top-read article.

The article, as I very clearly wrote in the first sentence of my post, is about "the source and evolution of the the dubious theory that butter, cheese and red meat are bad for you". The article at the link DOES NOT DEBATE THE ISSUE, it explains, to those who bother to read it, how and why we were sold this dubious claim.

The article is about how bad politics, lousy sciene, personal bias, and big bucks combined to shove a dangerous, unproven and experimental diet literally down our throats. Kind of the like the dubious climate change claims now being shoved at us without debate.

May 05, 2014
janniecooks in Food Media & News

The questionable link between saturated fat and heart disease

Well, yes but the debate isn't closed just because there are other posts. The linked article was published TODAY.

May 03, 2014
janniecooks in Food Media & News

The questionable link between saturated fat and heart disease

Great article discussing the source and evolution of the dubious theory that butter, cheese and red meat are bad for you. Don't know why the url is so long, but for now the article is available to all and not behind the paywall:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/S...

The money quote:
"The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias."

We'e been duped. Read the whole thing.

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

I never experienced failure when making more complicated meatloaves. They succeeded, they were just too much work: took too long to prepare, used too many ingredients, utensils, prep bowls, all of which had to then be cleaned up. And all those extra flavor ingredients and spices! That's why I wished for a simpler loaf - wanted to rediscover what ever was wrong with basic meatloaf in the first place that people had to spice it up. And while maybe I'll make PP's Cajun Meatloaf sometime in the future, there's a lot to be said for my new favorite: one bowl, one cutting board, one knife.

May 02, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

A further thought on my simple meatloaf re: the pan used for baking. The complicated meatloaf recipes have you shape the mixture into a loaf on a sheet pan for baking. While this method exposes three surfaces to the oven heat, and probably bakes in a bit less time, it also results in the escape of a large quantity of juices and fat from the meatloaf. And the pan is a mess, usually requiring overnight soaking to clean off the hardened, baked on residue.

I was hesitant to cook the meatloaf in a loaf pan, having used a sheet pan for a long time--worried that the juices and fat that escape during cooking would overflow the loaf pan. So I put the loaf pan on a quarter sheet pan just in case.

Surprise! There was no overflow. The meatloaf exuded very little in the form of meat juices, and just a bit of fat remained on the pan. I suppose some might recoil in horror at the fats, etc. reabsorbed into the resultant meatloaf, but I was delighted at the easy clean up and suspect that using a loaf pan might also have been a contributing factor to the moistness of my meatloaf. Any thoughts on this theory?

May 02, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

Maybe the two eggs I used contributed to the fluffy and moist texture. And no glaze or topping on my loaf either. The tomato soup incorporated into the meatloaf did contribute moisture and a very slight, delectable sweetness that I quite liked.

May 01, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

Yes, the crackers I used contain partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. I usually avoid any products with hydrogenated fats, and can't recall why exactly I bought saltines a few months ago. But occasional consumption of these crackers in this recipe aren't going to cause me much harm, since packaged or processed foods are rarely included in my diet at all.

May 01, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking
1

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

Ritz crackers might add an interesting flavor, maybe I'll try those next time. I have used oatmeal as binder in the past, and found I don't care for the texture it yields in meatloaf.

May 01, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

I've tried italian sausage in the complicated meatloaves before, but not plain pork sausage - I assume you mean like a tube of breakfast pork sausage. That might work well, but I don't like the high fructose corn syrup in most sausages. But I might try ground pork instead of veal - it is a lot cheaper - or a mix of the three ground meats - maybe 50% beef and 25% of each of the other two.

May 01, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

Yeah, and the ground beef and veal are high in fat. GAACK!

I don't buy into the argument that fat is bad for you and I don't buy into the argument that sodium is bad for you. And spread out amongst the many servings, the amount of sodium these ingredients contribute per serving is surely low enough for there to be no worries for those who do accept the argument. But let's do the math and see how much sodium these ingredients contribute per serving.

The soup was sized at 10.5 ounces, the nutrition label says there are 480 mg of sodium in one serving. One serving is specified as 1/2 cup condensed, which is four ounces. So I estimate the amount of sodium in one can to be around 1080 mg, far less than the 2300 mg/day RDA. And the 1080 mg must be split by number of servings of the meatloaf, which I estimate at 8 generous servings. That results in sodium per serving attributable to the soup at 135 mg, or about 5.86% of the RDA. Assuming the RDA is indeed a correct amount of sodium needed by the human body (a healthy dose of skepticism is required), it is difficult to see how the soup used in the way I did contributes sodium in any worrisome quantity.

Same goes for the crackers. According the nutrition label of the crackers I used, each serving size of 5 crackers has about 135 mg sodium. I used about 27 crackers total, yielding about 729 mg of sodium total. Spread among the 8 generous meatloaf servings, the crackers contribute about 91 mg sodium per serving.

So the saltines and the soup combine to contribute, per serving, less than 10% of the RDA for sodium. Is that high? Doesn't seem so to me, even for a reduced sodium diet. But of course I didn't take into account the sodium levels, if any, of the meats, eggs or the one teaspoon of salt I added to the mixture.

May 01, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

Your complicated meatloaf is exactly what I wished to avoid, and exactly what mine is not. Go ahead and enjoy yours and I'll continue to enjoy my simple version!

May 01, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

question about using ham hock/ ham bone

Skimming will eliminate all of the foam/scum.

Apr 30, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking
1

Saltines as binder for delicious, back to basics meatloaf

I have tried all the complicated meatloaf versions - Paul Prudhomme's Cajun Meatloaf, Killer Meatloaf, Take No Prisoners Meatloaf, Pretty Good Meatloaf, Cooks Illustrated Meatloaf, and so forth. What all these meatloaves have in common is a long ingredient list which includes lots of different flavors and spicing, and most use breadcrumbs for the binder.

I wanted just the basics this time. No muss, no fuss, just a good, simple loaf like Mom used to make (or would have if there was room in the budget for veal). Last night I made the most delicious meatloaf I've had in years.

Using a pound each of ground beef and ground veal, I added about 3/4 of a sleeve of crushed saltine crackers, two beaten eggs, a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup, one chopped onion, and salt and pepper. That's it. Combined well with my hands, then packed into a loaf pan to bake for an hour and a half (until internal temp reached just past 160 on my analog thermometer).

As an aside, it took me only a half hour from start to meatloaf in the oven to make this, including cleanup. Yaay! Sometimes simpler is better. I was really surprised how good and tasty my basic loaf was, despite the humble list of ingredients.

I've never used Saltine crackers or tomato soup before in meatloaf, and one (or maybe both) made this the fluffiest and most moist meatloaf ever. I'd guess the Saltines are responsible, but won't know unless I try it without the soup. Maybe try saltines as the binder in meatballs? Don't much like the texture that results from breadcrumbs, so why not?

Apr 30, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking

question about using ham hock/ ham bone

Interesting; I didn't read the recipe rather used my own experience and preference in responding to OP as I did. I made black eyed peas every new years, using whatever leftover ham I have along with several ham hocks. Which I always simmer to make a broth. The broth is not salty, and it should not be discarded. It will make the soup more delicious! What a waste to discard the water.

Apr 30, 2014
janniecooks in Home Cooking