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Erika L's Profile

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Non-dairy quiche, can I use almond milk?

That would explain it!

about 11 hours ago
Erika L in Special Diets

Chinese Sausage

Yes, you can steam them. I put them in whole with my rice or quinoa and cook everything together, then slice at the end.

+1 on keeping them in the pantry til the package is opened, then they get repackaged into a double zippie and stored in the fridge.

1 day ago
Erika L in Home Cooking

Non-dairy quiche, can I use almond milk?

I've never made quiche with almond milk but have made flan with both almond milk and also rice milk (two diff flans, I didn't put both milks into the same flan). I found that custards made with almond milk aren't as "solid" as those made with dairy milk. For ex, no matter how many eggs or yolks I used, the flan would collapse after a serving or spoonful was taken. Also, the flan I made in a large ring mold was very jiggly and didn't hold its shape. Those things said, it tasted fine, albeit with a thin mouthfeel. My guess is that a quiche with almond milk would be fine because the crust would hold the shape and all the other things in there (meat, cheese, veggies) would contribute heft.

1 day ago
Erika L in Special Diets

Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Problem: Once Flat, Now Puffy

The current (April-May 2014) issue of Cook's Country re-engineers thick, chewy CC cookies--if you're willing to take a flyer on those.

Mar 24, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Dim Sum or Yum Cha?

It's sort of like "sic fahn," which is literally "eat rice" but in my (Cantonese) fam has always generally meant eat or have a meal.

Mar 17, 2014
Erika L in General Topics

Dim Sum or Yum Cha?

My fam is also Cantonese and we've always used the phrase yum cha. (preceded by the Cantonese word for "go," which I'm not even going to try to render phonetically). We don't distinguish yum cha and dim sum--it's all yum cha.

Mar 17, 2014
Erika L in General Topics

Help! I'm allergic to meat and love bacon!

The salt is vegan and kosher and honestly does take like bacon. They also make bacon mayo.

Mar 07, 2014
Erika L in General Topics

Hmmm….Chocolate chip cookie question...

Shortening (and also coconut oil) make very chewy cookies and moist baked goods in general because they're 100% fat, whereas butter is only about 85% fat. That's also why baked goods made with butter go stale more quickly than those made with 100% fats. That said, butter has a depth of flavor that can't be duplicated, or at least, not that I've been able to figure out.

Mar 03, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

I love to cook from scratch but every now and then I can't resist...(insert name of convenience food here)

Graham crackers sandwiched with canned frosting.

Feb 14, 2014
Erika L in General Topics
1

How much cocoa powder per 1 cup flour (cookies) to achieve chocolate taste?

The cocoa powder is going to dry out the cookie. There isn't much fat in this recipe, either in the way of butter/oil or egg, so the finished product with ww pastry + rice flour + cocoa may not be as crisp as the original.

My best guess is that the original cookie recipe produces flat, wafer-like cookies that are crisp-tender, with no "rise." LIke AlexRast, I'm also guessing that the addition of ww pastry adds some chew but not much rise and are also dryer, as wheat flour tends to soak up more moisture than rice flour. Cocoa added on top of that would likely result in even dryer cookies because that soaks up moisture, too.

I also echo AlexRast that these will be cocoa and not rich, chocolatey cookies, esp since there's so little fat.

All of that said, I try to swap out not more than 2 or 3 Tbsp of cocoa per cup of flour--I stick with volume measures, even though I know that weights are far more accurate. More than that and I find the cookies are dry and get stale quickly.

Feb 12, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Chocolate Chip Cookies - What Am I Doing Wrong?

In baked goods, sugar = chew (as well as other properties). Sugar's in there for more than flavor. Here's another vote for eating fewer cookies that are made with all the butter and all the sugar. It's a cookie--it isn't supposed to be health food.

Feb 05, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

coconut oil

Virgin = tastes of coconut; refined = neutral taste. I love love love coconut oil in baked goods--super moist, even crumb, and very slow to stale. It's 100% fat, like shortening; butter is about 85% fat and 15% water, which is why baked goods made with butter dry out.

Jan 27, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Chocolate chip cookies always turn out puffy

Another vote for too many eggs. Go with two. Also possibly too much flour.

Melted *and cooled* butter definitely results in chewier cookies. It has something to do with the % of water and the development (or inhibition) of gluten. It's OK if the butter actually resolidifies. You don't have to monitor it til it's any particular temp but it shouldn't be more than barely warm.

Jan 27, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking
1

Alternative Nacho Recipies

Totchos: nachos using tater tots instead of tortilla chips as the substrate. Be sure the tots are very, very crispy.

Jan 15, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

I love to cook from scratch but every now and then I can't resist...(insert name of convenience food here)

Another vote for Kraft mac and cheese in the blue box. My spin is to cook only 1/2 to 2/3 of the noodles so that it's even more salty.

And also another vote for Campbell's tomato--yes, mixed with milk, and served with a grilled cheese sandwich.

And once every few years, Jell-O (any flavor) with Cool Whip. Not that this one even has a scratch equivalent...

Jan 15, 2014
Erika L in General Topics

Red Lentils

Do you have, or can your husband get, the recipe for a Turkish red lentil soup that includes bulgur, lemon juice, and mint? I love it but freehand it, otherwise I'd provide a recipe.

Jan 10, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Red Lentils

A local resto called Cafe Flora makes a spectacular red lentil - pecan pate: http://www.recipe.com/lentil-pecan-pate/

Jan 10, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Demerara sugar hard as a rock. Gone online for ideas how to soften, so far nothing works.

Microplane?

Jan 03, 2014
Erika L in General Topics
1

Travel breakfast ideas - gluten and dairy free

Glutenfreeda makes gf instant oatmeal in individual packets. I carry those, along with an immersion heater (because hotel room coffee makers often produce hot water that tastes of coffee) and a collapsible camping bowl plus spoon or spork.

Jan 03, 2014
Erika L in Special Diets

Kicked out of a restaurant after (posted online) closing time

Where I live, Thai and other "ethnic" restos are almost always family owned. The same small handful of people handles everything--lunch prep, lunch, dinner prep, dinner, seating, serving, bussing. It all makes for very long days.

I don't think the resto was "obligated" to tell you their closing time when you made the reserv, and I also think that two hours for a Thai meal (which around here is generally an efficient meal out, not a lingering dining experience) is more than reasonable. I think your expectations are unreasonable in this situation.

Dec 23, 2013
Erika L in Not About Food
3

Lap cheong and preserved duck.

Is the sausage in a vacu-sealed package? If so, no need to refrigerate til it's opened. If it's fresh (e.g., it was hanging in a window when you bought it), I'm not sure. The sausage does need to be cooked before eating but I don't cook it until right before eating. As for the other preserved meats--sorry, can't help you with those.

Dec 23, 2013
Erika L in General Topics

Saltine Toffee

In my house it's known as just crack. It's definitely made at times of the year other than December!

Dec 20, 2013
Erika L in Home Cooking

ISO almond baked goods recipes

Be aware that grinding almonds will result in almond meal or almond flour. It won't give you almond paste--that's a combo of ground almonds plus some kind of sweetener such as sugar or honey and also sometimes a binder.

Dec 17, 2013
Erika L in Home Cooking
1

Baked Goods as Gifts For Teachers, Etc.

Teachers get TONS of food items, both home made and purchased, that last til Easter, or later. Prepackaged food (e.g., chocolates) can at least be regifted as, say, a hostess gift, which in a way is a gift of time.

Dec 16, 2013
Erika L in General Topics
2

Transforming flavorless pumpkin cakey cookies into something new

Another vote for a glaze or a filling--a strongly-flavored one, maybe maple or cinnamon.

Dec 13, 2013
Erika L in Home Cooking

Favorite See's Candies - Holiday Edition

That's the only one I know of.

Dec 13, 2013
Erika L in General Topics

How do you cook farro?

You can cook it like rice (in only the amount of water that can be absorbed) or like pasta (swimming in lots of water). You can also cook it risotto style, adding a ladle of stock at a time. It's very forgiving. You can cook it al dente or let it go longer. If your farro is unhulled, it won't go mushy, no mattter how long you cook it. I use it in soup (among other ways) and it's always chewy.

Dec 11, 2013
Erika L in Home Cooking

Favorite Red Bean Paste Recipes

A local resto used to have a Belgian waffle topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and red bean jam, which is a little runnier than the paste--I'm not sure if it's a diff product or something added to make the paste runnier. I *loved* that dessert and really miss it.

Dec 09, 2013
Erika L in Home Cooking

Favorite See's Candies - Holiday Edition

Does anyone else remember (and miss) malt truffles?

Dec 09, 2013
Erika L in General Topics

Favorite See's Candies - Holiday Edition

Another vote to revive Marshmints!

Dec 09, 2013
Erika L in General Topics