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Isolda's Profile

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Darned Electric Stove

Buying a flame tamer changed my life. It's good for simmering, making candy, and heat control on crappy stoves. Any brand will do.

Jan 15, 2015
Isolda in Cookware
1

Froze my T-day turkey carcass; okay to use now?

Thanks, all! I will try the NYT recipe, mainly because it calls for roasting the onion, rather than just tossing it raw into the turkey water.

Jan 15, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

Froze my T-day turkey carcass; okay to use now?

It was frozen as soon as we got all the meat off the turkey and has been in the freezer ever since. I meant to use it earlier, but today, 7 weeks after T-day, I found it in my downstairs freezer. If it's still suitable to use after thawing overnight in fridge, what uses do you recommend? I don't love turkey soup, but if the recipe is weird enough, I might give it a try.

Jan 15, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

People who bring their own food

My honest opinion is that many tweens in developed countries are spoiled. They are just selfish, rude, insecure jerks and their jerkiness has nothing to do with food. Instead, it comes from privilege, from knowing that there will always be enough food to eat and that they will have a place to sleep that night that is safe, clean, and free of bugs, and from not learning gratitude for these basic truths. The good news is that they will grow up. In the meantime, you have to deal with this girl and for this, I am sorry.

ETA: yes, I do have children, 18 and 19. One is on the autism spectrum, so I understand weird food behavior. I also get spoiled brat behavior. It's very common and has even, I am sorry to report, been found in my house on rare occasions.

Jan 12, 2015
Isolda in Not About Food
1

Mochi Deaths Increasing in Japan

Anything sticky and dense can cause choking. And it makes sense that more people are at risk of choking on mochi, simply because more people consume it than they do fugu. I've eaten a lot of mochi, but there's no way I'd risk fugu. I suspect its "deliciousness" lies in its risk, anyway. With mochi, you have some control. All you have to do is take small bites and chew really carefully.

Jan 06, 2015
Isolda in Food Media & News

January 2015 Openings and Closings

The Sherborn Inn, a lovely place to enjoy mediocre food, closes today. Rumor has it the place has been bought by the owners of La Morra in Brookline.

Jan 02, 2015
Isolda in Greater Boston Area

Freezing individual lasagne or ziti portions

With as little air as possible. If you can find a small plastic container that just fits the portion, that's ideal, but if you can't wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap in foil or put the plastic wrapped parcel in a plastic bag. The thing to remember is that air is your enemy when storing food.

Jan 02, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

Cocktail party eats -- a report

Feeling terribly left out here, but I'm sure your guests were thrilled at that beautiful spread!

Dec 31, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking
1

Catering a wedding for 200--How much to make?

^^^What Chefj said. I am stunned by the waste I see at large functions, usually because inexperienced caterers like me vastly overestimate what people will eat. (I still feel guilty about the food I tossed after a tea for 150 people a while back.)I've learned my lesson over the past year as part of a crew that cooks for theatre and music students at a private high school during tech week and on performance nights.

The head of our crew caters dinners for her church (usually serves about 300 people) every month. Her estimates of 4 ounces of meat per person, plus salad and 2 starches are always spot on and we are feeding teens.

Dec 31, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Ideas for using too-sweet Pfeffernusse in a recipe?

Or just dip them in rum, suck out the now-flavored rum, and throw out what's left of the cookie. ;) But seriously, I like those TJ's pfeffernusse and I usually don't care for things that sweet. They would be good in a fruit crisp, I bet.

Dec 31, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking
1

Accommodating a Party Guest-What is Reasonable?

There is no way you are going to be able to redirect guy to eating the cheap food simply by having more of it available. He's sick and isn't going to get "hints" like this. Even being around food is going to trigger his problem, so he will overeat no matter what you do.

I think if I were in your shoes (or your kitchen), I'd make whatever I planned to make, but I would give the guy a call today and just let him know that you realize he has an issue that he's working on, but that you hope he will respect your budget and your other guests by limiting himself to 6 canapés, 4 things on skewers and 8 mini sandwiches (or whatever). My point is that giving him a specific and reasonable number of items, while odd-sounding to a normal person, may actually give him a reasonable boundary.

Dec 31, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food
1

Accommodating a Party Guest-What is Reasonable?

People with Prader-Willi usually have cognitive issues and the OP says they met in grad school. The guy has a disorder, but not that one.

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

When choice is involved, my husband takes a picture of the item he is thinking of buying and texts it to me for my approval. Lots of crappy meals can be averted this way!

Dec 29, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food
1

Eating moldy foods?

I only eat food that I think is going to taste good. Foods with unintentional mold (bread, soup, etc.) are not fresh and therefore will not taste good. Out they go.

Beef Tenderloin from Costco

We buy the choice peeled tenderloin for Christmas dinner every year. It is fantastic. I saw the prime ones this year and debated whether to try them, but they were all massive, and I only needed 4-5 lbs.

Dec 29, 2014
Isolda in Chains

NYE dessert suggestions needed

I think a pavlova would be fine and not too similar to the Iles flottantes,(the meringues are such different textures) but zinfandel-poached pears would also be nice, especially if you use those tiny seckel pears.

Dec 28, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking
1

Can I use yellow cornmeal for creamy polenta?

I used to use yellow cornmeal for polenta before I knew any differently. Years later, I buy bags of cornmeal labeled "polenta" and I still can't tell the difference in the finished product.

Dec 28, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

How should I use these balsamic vinegars?

I agree with TorontoJo. Whenever there's one special ingredient (and taste the vinegar to see if it is special!), it's best to let the other ingredients play supporting roles.

Dec 27, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking
1

cooked fish smells bad - is it ok?

Toss it. When it comes to seafood, it's better to finish it all the first day anyway.

Dec 27, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Pear Puree- Now What? (not baby food)

But do Bosc pears tenderize as well as the Asian pears usually called for in bulgogi?

Dec 27, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Is there a limit to percentage of fat in ground lamb?

Why not just ask the people at the meat counter if they can give you a leaner grind of lamb (or a fattier one, if you need it.)? In my experience, ground lamb varies widely, even in the same supermarket, but on one occasion, when they were out of ground lamb, the butcher ground some up for me, and asked what I was using it for before deciding what cut to grind. It wasn't cheap, as I recall, but I got some delicious lamb burgers out of it.

Dec 27, 2014
Isolda in General Topics

What to do with failed fudge?

What weezie said. Put that stuff in jars, call it hot fudge, then attach a little label telling the lucky recipients to scoop out the portion they need, heat it until it melts, and then drizzle it over premium vanilla ice cream.

You are lucky. My last fudge fail resulted in a brick so hard it could have been used as the cornerstone for a skyscraper.

Christmas Dinner - What did You Cook?

We did a fairly simple meal: roast beef tenderloin (perfectly medium rare) with blue cheese sauce, roasted baby Yukon gold potatoes, steamed broccoli and a sort of black forest buche de noel. I say sort of because I just made a sponge cake roll, filled it with cherry preserves and whipped cream, then frosted it with chocolate whipped cream that I'd stabilized with gelatin. It wasn't beautiful, but it tasted fantastic.

Dec 26, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking
1

How should I use these balsamic vinegars?

I've had a black mission fig balsamic in a salad dressing. It was delicious! They'd probably all be useful in marinades or to add a little acid to stews and sauces.

Dec 26, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking
2

How to cook multiple pieces of beef tenderloin

Sal-acid, I would be interested in trying your sous-vide suggestions, but if the OP is a sous-vide novice like me, there's no way I'd recommend trying it on someone's holiday meat! Way too much could go wrong. It's better to go with the tried and true roasting method, then save the experiments for another day and another cut of meat.

Dec 26, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

Some allergies are hereditary and shellfish is one of those with a strong genetic link. But it doesn't matter whether this is true or not. What matters is that she took a precaution to safeguard the health of her child, and whether she was right or wrong, you don't get to judge her for this.

Dec 26, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food
1

Tea without Sugar?

I think masha bousha's suggestion is a good one. I also used to drink tea with a few teaspoons of sugar, and then slowly reduced the amount. I think tea with plain milk is delicious.

You don't want to use a fake sugar, because that won't decrease your taste for sugar. There's no reason to use xylitol, stevia or any of the other substitutes even if you just want to cut back on calories. There's some research showing that non-nutritive sweeteners actually make the problem worse, by increasing the craving of sweet foods.

gelatin vs creme fraiche for stabilizing whipped cream

I'm using a whipped cream frosting for my buche de noel this year (no flames, please, I like whipped cream better than buttercream.) I usually use gelatin to stabilize the cream but am wondering if crème fraiche would work as well. I need it to hold up for about 24 hours in the fridge.

Anyone done any experiments with this?

Dec 23, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

What is your opinion on Pampered Chef products?

Some of their stuff is excellent. Some is useless. I went to a PC party that was a fundraiser for my son's school, so I felt obligated to buy a few things. I splurged on the RockCrok cooking pot (basically, a dutch oven that you can put in the freezer, stovetop, broiler and microwave. Even the large one isn't very large, but I'm finding it very useful. It's nonstick, and you can actually cook pasta in the microwave with this thing and have it come out al dente. Gimmicky, but handy.

I also love their garlic press, which is a replacement for one I bought 15 years previously. It does a much better job than my Kuhn Rikon, which makes a mess and leaves a lot of good garlic behind.

I also bought one of those fat mops (looks like a pastry brush made with shiny fiber optic cables). I use it to blot pizzas and suck some of the extra fat from the tops of soups and stews.

I can only vouch for the durability of the garlic press, as I haven't owned the other items long enough to say how long they will last. PC is more about socializing and fundraising, IMO, because I'm sure you could find similar products for less online.

Dec 20, 2014
Isolda in Cookware

Need help Please- Mincemeat cake

That cake sounds delicious, like an easier homemade fruitcake. And I love None Such mincemeat. It is the best one I've tried, probably because it contains actual beef.

And I 've rarely had any problems substituting real butter for shortening in old recipes. The only exception for me seems to be pie dough, which benefits from a little shortening for texture and butter for flavor.

Dec 20, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking