a

APK_101's Profile

Title Last Reply

Costco Food Finds - 2nd Quarter 2014

I found uncooked roti (Rotiland brand) next to the uncooked tortillas (which I have seen before). Made with whole wheat durum flour. Takes ~ 1 min to cook one in a preheated skillet. Excellent.

May 21, 2014
APK_101 in Chains

Looking for Nicaraguan torta de leche (bread pudding) recipe

Hi. I'm looking for a tried and true recipe for a Nicaraguan torta de leche, or bread pudding (Spanish ok). My husband remembers it fondly from the years he lived in Nicaragua and I"d like to surprise him with it for his birthday next week. I've done some Googling but can't put my finger on a tried & true recipe. Or, if you've eaten it if you could just describe what makes it different from a regular old bread pudding. He couldn't really describe it to me. Thanks for any help you can provide!

May 14, 2014
APK_101 in Home Cooking

How to make my chocolate chip cookie recipe more healthy

I second this recommendation. Very good recipe, though it is not as good on subsequent days in my experience. Make and eat fresh.

My other thought would be that margarine is actually *less* healthy than butter due to unnatural fats, but I guess that depends on what's in your margarine.

Mar 17, 2014
APK_101 in Home Cooking

How un-healthy is Falafel?

I know this is a way old thread, but I was searching for nutritional data on falafel and this came up. I made falafel from scratch for the first time last night, and pan (not deep) fried them in olive oil. Then I added them to a Greek salad with lots of other veggies rather than putting them in a pita. Chickpeas are a legume so along with their decent amount of protein there are a decent amount of carbs. Seemed like chickpeas + pita would be carb overload. It was delicious and totally within my standards of healthy (vegetarian protein, veggies, healthy fats, easy on the carbs).

Feb 05, 2014
APK_101 in General Topics
1

Kimchee for Novices

Holy cow, yes. I'm such a sucker for the kimchi and cheese food truck cuisine. I gotta it at home and save myself the 45 minute wait in line.

Mar 01, 2013
APK_101 in Home Cooking

Did I ruin my cast iron skillet?

Yeah, I'm starting to realize that problem may be more in my head. I cook a lot of strong savory flavors in that skillet so I think I was automatically hesitating to use it for sweet stuff, but I'm going to actually test it out. Well, once my skillet is back in working order that is. :)

Mar 01, 2013
APK_101 in Cookware

Did I ruin my cast iron skillet?

That's actually good to know. I may have that issue more in theory than in actuality since I can't actually remember a time when it's been a problem. (Wooden spoons, yes. I now have dedicated sweet and savory wooden spoons.) Thanks!

Mar 01, 2013
APK_101 in Cookware

Did I ruin my cast iron skillet?

Thank you, Jarona. That's really helpful.

Mar 01, 2013
APK_101 in Cookware

Did I ruin my cast iron skillet?

Interesting. I didn't realize that overseasoning was a thing. I guess I thought that "accumulated crud" was what made cast iron so great but maybe I'm going overboard. I'll have to look into this. Thanks!

Mar 01, 2013
APK_101 in Cookware

Did I ruin my cast iron skillet?

Yeah, I am leaning towards getting a second pan after today's mishap. I wouldn't use it a ton but when I want a dutch baby I want a dutch baby, ya know?

Thanks for your input.

Mar 01, 2013
APK_101 in Cookware

Kimchee for Novices

Kimchi is a staple at my house. I like doing a quick fried rice (just rice and aromatics) with kimchi, greens, and scrambled eggs on top. Avocado goes well with that too.

The thing that most increased my enjoyment of kimchi was when I figured out to chop it into smaller pieces. Sometimes the chunks in jarred kimchi are really big and it's just more than you need in any one mouthful.

I've got the stuff for homemade kimchi sitting in my fridge, going to try that for the first time.

Mar 01, 2013
APK_101 in Home Cooking

Did I ruin my cast iron skillet?

I may have just wrecked my cast iron skillet. Is that even possible?

In Good to the Grain Kim Boyce recommends letting a cast iron skillet smoke over high heat for five minutes to neutralize savory flavors so that you can use it for sweet dishes. I'd been debating whether to get a second cast iron skillet but I thought I'd try this first.

This morning I turned the burner to high and let the pan smoke for five minutes. Nothing much seemed to happen except that a yucky smell started coming off the pan. I thought, surely whatever is making that smell should be allowed to completely burn off so I let it go five more minutes, for a total of ten minutes over high heat.

When I turned off the heat I noticed that the surface of the skillet was covered in crackly patches where it looks like the top layer has peeled off (see photo). It also smells AWFUL. What happened?! I couldn't have damaged the cast iron itself, could I? I'm also confused about where the smell is coming from. I don't do anything weird with my skillet. I wipe it out with a sponge or a paper towel after use, give it the rare and quick scrub with soap if something is stuck on for some reason, always dry it with a towel or over low heat so that it won't rust, and season it once a month or so with veg shortening or coconut oil.

I'm thinking I should scrub off the flakes and re-season the pan a few billion times but I thought I'd see if there are any cast iron experts out there with a better idea.

Thanks in advance!

Mar 01, 2013
APK_101 in Cookware

Ideas for an adult birthday party?

That's a great idea.

Although if the other people attending are also in their 70s you might not have a problem with them arriving later. :)

Jan 30, 2013
APK_101 in General Topics

Looking for a definitive source on shelf life of pantry staples

Yeah, I agree actually. Most manufacturers aren't going to tell you the true expiration date because they wouldn't want you to experience the product at sub-par quality. Plus they want you to replace it sooner. But I actually do think that 1 year figure is relevant. That's the time by which I plan to use something up, unless it's in long-term "in case of zombie apocalypse" storage.

Jan 30, 2013
APK_101 in General Topics

how about a COTM for us vegheads

Good idea. I'd also be interested in knowing which "regular" cookbooks are worth buying for a vegetarian (or vegan). I second pikawicca's suggestion of Jerusalem...fantastic and very veg-friendly. Of course Plenty is even more so.

Jan 30, 2013
APK_101 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Embarrassingly simple question for any meat-savvy cooks

Thanks, y'all. This is incredibly helpful. Sounds like I'll go with either the tenders I have on hand but shorten cooking time, or frozen bone-in wings. So now the real question is can I fit a bag of Costco wings in the freezer. :)

Thanks again!

Jan 30, 2013
APK_101 in Home Cooking

Pie weights--beans or rice?

Ha ha...aren't "you" lucky.

I use black beans as pie weights. I've never had a problem with discoloration but then again I cover the unbaked crust with foil and spread out the beans on top of the foil. I use this method because it preserves the texture and light color of the crust and is easy to lift the beans out at the end. Once they're cool I put them in a ziploc bag for reuse.

Jan 30, 2013
APK_101 in Home Cooking

Looking for a definitive source on shelf life of pantry staples

Julie, this website is great! This is exactly what I was looking for. For some reason I didn't get a notification in my email that there was a reply to my question, so forgive the late response. Anyway, thanks!

Jan 30, 2013
APK_101 in General Topics

A Vegan at the Super Bowl!

LOL...I literally just now posted a question about how to make Super Bowl chicken wings for my meat-eating husband given that I'm a vegetarian and don't know what I'm doing in that area. Maybe I can help you though!

Your options sound great. If you felt like making soup (potato or tomato?) that's always one that can please vegans and omnivores since you can customize with cheese and bacon on top, or not.

Regarding vegan desserts, I made individual cherry trifles recently when I had a vegan for dinner. The recipe was inspired by one in Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm, but you could definitely just improvise. I'm with you on the substitutions but I actually dig almond milk so I made a cornstarch-thickened almond milk pudding, a cherry jam type filling, and a basic vanilla and almond flavored sponge cake with baking soda and baking powder for leaveners. I layered those components in small drinking glasses, and everyone from the vegan to meat-eaters claimed to love it. If I was doing it again I might go for a chocolate pudding because the almond flavor was a bit too delicate to mask the cornstarch, which isn't my favorite flavor in the world.

Good luck! You should report back and let us know how it goes.

Jan 30, 2013
APK_101 in Home Cooking

Embarrassingly simple question for any meat-savvy cooks

I'm going to surprise my husband by preparing Maangchi's recipe for Korean fried chicken this weekend:

http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/yangny...

I'm a vegetarian and not super handy in the kitchen with meat, so it really will be a surprise. :) My question is about what kind of chicken to buy. The recipe calls for 3 lb of "chicken chunks", but mentions that you could also use wings. I like the idea of using wings (seems Super Bowl appropriate), but we already have a big Costco bag of chicken tenders in the freezer and I also like the idea of using what we have.

Would chicken tenders work, say defrosted and halved? Or would it be worth it to track down wings? In the case of the latter, what would be the easiest (and least gross!) way to buy wings?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!

Jan 30, 2013
APK_101 in Home Cooking

Which hand held immersion blender should i buy?

I have a Cuisinart but it's a basic model, no whisk or chopping attachment. I think it was in the $20s on Amazon but that may have been some sort of holiday special last year because it's more now:

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CSB-7...

Works GREAT. I'll never live without one again. This summer I was in a temporary sublet apartment w/o most of my kitchen stuff and I brought it in place of my regular blender and my FP. No issues whatsoever.

Nov 25, 2012
APK_101 in Cookware

Looking for a definitive source on shelf life of pantry staples

I sometimes find myself Googling the shelf life of some pantry staple when trying to decide how much to buy, when to throw out, etc. (Recent example: rolled and steel-cut oats...anyone got any info on these?) But what would really help is a definitive source (ideally a website) that lists the shelf life (and maybe also "emergency shelf life") of various staples that I could turn to when I have these random questions. I haven't been able to find such a source. Does anyone have any leads? Thanks in advance!

Nov 05, 2012
APK_101 in General Topics

how to keep roasted garlic

Smilingal, I have some more info for you.

The extension agent got back to me, and said it would be fine to freeze roasted garlic, though she recommended using mason jars rather than plastic bags for the odor factor. (I actually find that roasted garlic doesn't have much of an odor, but maybe that's just me.)

She also pointed me to the following document from North Dakota State University: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/.... It has tons of info on garlic, including preservation. Here's a tidbit I found particularly relevant to this discussion: Never store garlic in oil at room temp. Keep in fridge for up to ONE week, or freeze. (No date for frozen garlic-in-oil given.

)

Anyway, that's that. Thanks for the input everyone! I froze my first round of roasted garlic last week and it worked great.

Nov 05, 2012
APK_101 in Home Cooking

how to keep roasted garlic

Yes! This is what I want to do. Thanks for the info. I will try this straightaway. (Or as soon as I can bring myself to go to Costco. :))

Oct 29, 2012
APK_101 in Home Cooking

how to keep roasted garlic

I freaking hate peeling garlic. My thought is that I will buy the big 3 lb tub of peeled garlic cloves at Costco at roast most of it all at once, then freeze the roasted cloves for later. BTW, I had never heard of mojo de ajo so I googled it, and it looks incredible!

Oct 29, 2012
APK_101 in Home Cooking

how to keep roasted garlic

I haven't found the answer to my specific question about roasted garlic yet. Supposedly a food preservation expert will be getting back to me. But I did find some useful tidbits:

This USDA fact sheet on botulism suggests that botulism spores are killed at 240-250F, so roasting garlic would seem to solve that problem altogether: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/C....

Also, the National Center for Home Food Preservation says that raw garlic in oil can be frozen for several months: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/garli....

I'll update this thread if I hear from the extension agent.

Oct 29, 2012
APK_101 in Home Cooking

how to keep roasted garlic

Wondering if anyone wants to jump back on this thread...

I love roasted garlic but don't use it much because it takes a full hour and doesn't fit into my food prep routines very well. However, I recently caught wind of someone saying that they roast a bunch of garlic at once and then mash and freeze the roasted cloves...no oil.

Is frozen, cooked garlic w/o oil safe? For that matter, is frozen, raw garlic w/o oil safe? I'll call my ag school extension agent on Monday, but thought I'd see what people here know in the mean time.

Thanks in advance!

Oct 21, 2012
APK_101 in Home Cooking

Can you be a Vegan or Vegetarian without using Soy products?

I second the Becoming Vegan rec. It's a good one.

Oct 02, 2012
APK_101 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Can you be a Vegan or Vegetarian without using Soy products?

Yes. I have been ovo-lacto vegetarian for 10 years (and was vegan for 2) and, while I like tofu and eat it about once a week, I could leave it out and still feel nourished and satisfied. Note that I do eat eggs and dairy, along with a wide variety of beans, grains, veggies, and fruits.

The only way I think this would pose difficulty is if you were vegetarian (or especially vegan) who wanted to rely a lot of substitutes - meat substitutes, milk substitutes, yogurt substitutes, ice cream substitutes, etc. Many of those contain soy. But there are good reasons for going very easy on that stuff anyway - it's pretty processed.

Good luck!

Oct 02, 2012
APK_101 in Vegetarian & Vegan

Fried Tofu

I recently perfected (IMHO) fried tofu and here's how I do it. These instructions are largely but not entirely taken from Herbivoracious: http://herbivoracious.com/2012/05/how....

1. Don't bother pressing. Just buy firm or extra firm tofu.
2. Don't bother marinating. Just put a sauce on later.
3. Press dry with a couple of clean kitchen towels AFTER you cut.
4. Do the soaking in salted water trick described by Herbivoracious OR just dredge in a little cornstarch. Both are ways to get a good crust but the cornstarch is faster b/c you don't have to wait for water to boil or tofu to soak.
5. Use a very hot pan (consequently an oil with a high smoking point...veg oil is great).
6. Put it in the pan and don't touch for a few minutes. These will allow the crust to toughen a bit, which is what you want.
7. Watch carefully and turn each piece as needed.
8. If you have dried your tofu well you shouldn't have too bad a problem with splatter. However, there are always a few painful splashes. To minimize these, wrap a dish towel around your arm, or use a hot pad if you have a nimble one.

I make this at least once a week to serve with cold noodle salad or brown rice stir fry. It's great with sauces, homemade or bottled. And I've found that even hardcore meat eaters like tofu when served this way.

Sorry for the excessively long post. Good luck!

Oct 02, 2012
APK_101 in Vegetarian & Vegan