Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
e

Erika L's Profile

Title Last Reply

Gyro, Reuben and Southern Biscuits & Sausage Gravy -- Lay's Potato Chips....?

A colleague brought all three of these plus west coast truffle chips to a staff meeting last week. We passed the bags around the U-shaped table--they weren't just left open on a potluck table. The biscuits and gravy disappeared first, then the truffle ones. Almost everyone involuntarily said some version of "ick!" when trying the gyro chips, and the Reubens weren't too popular, either. The leftovers went to the staff lunch room. The remnants of the gyro ones were still left on Friday, two days later.

Aug 10, 2015
Erika L in General Topics
1

Gluten free eggs benedict

PS. If you use GF English muffins, don't toast them in a toaster that's also used for wheat bread items. That would likely be enough cross-contamination to cause a reaction in a celiac.

Jul 15, 2015
Erika L in Home Cooking

Your favorite pub or restaurant . Would you mention to the manager that the restrooms are getting a little dirty ?

Oh heck yes. How else are they supposed to know? Yes, they should have someone check periodically but what if all the stalls JUST ran out of paper? All businesses should have the chance to fix problems. They don't have ESP. Remember that old saw: if you had a good time, tell your friends. If you had a bad time, tell me.

Jul 10, 2015
Erika L in Not About Food

Gluten free eggs benedict

PS. You'll need to make your own crab cakes using something other than bread as a binder, or else you need to read the label VERY careful on commercially made ones.

Jul 10, 2015
Erika L in Home Cooking

Gluten free eggs benedict

I've had almost all of these and all are GREAT. (An aside: I'm also a big fan of crab cakes and eggs as opposed to ham, bacon or sausage and eggs. Mmmmmmm...)

Jul 10, 2015
Erika L in Home Cooking

Ricotta and cottage cheese free lasagna?

+1 on besciamella (Italian for bechamel). Lasagnas made with it rather than ricotta and/or mozza have a silky texture and all the other flavors sing because they aren't smothered in all that cheese.

Do you bake your own cakes or cookies ?

I both bake and buy and draw a distinction between the two. I love some "boughten" cookies *because* they're boughten: Nilla, Nutter Butter, Mother's sugar wafers, Girl Scout peanut butter sandwiches. I have NO desire to even attempt to produce "home made" versions. OTOH, home made are home made and I steer clear of commercial or even bakery versions: choco chip, ginger molasses. Home baked are home baked and store bought are store bought, and never the twain shall meet.

It's the same for cakes. Every now and then, I crave bakery frosting, that grainy, greasy stuff that's so sweet that it makes your teeth hurt. But most of the time, I make my own.

And some stuff is *supposed* to be made by professionals: macarons, most stuff with puff pastry. Even the French don't make those at home--they go to a patisserie.

I consider myself a confident and pretty accomplished home cook but I am NOT a professional, nor do I wish to be. And that means that I have no plans to go anywhere near something like a wedding cake. If it were my own wedding, I'd already be so stressed from all the other details that a huge baking and assembling--and transport!--project is that last thing I'd want to add to my list. And if it were for a friend or family member, I wouldn't want to risk a relationship if my loved one were disappointed for any reason.

What Is Your Opinion Of Copper River Salmon?

+1 kaleokahu. Any salmon that has a long trip home will have more fat. Copper River salmon has become big due to marketing hype by a local fishmonger here in Seattle. He took a page from the Beaujolais Nouveau handbook and started a big media build-up every year: Copper River salmon are here! And of course, there were photos of him wearing overalls on a fishing vessel, walking off a plane, articles about the quality of this year's run, etc.

That said, it *is* delicious and I'm sure that Faroe Island and lots of other types of salmon are, too.

Jul 10, 2015
Erika L in General Topics

Are fish eyes considered edible?

Absolutely. My grandmother loved them and none of us grandkids fought her for them..out of respect for our elder, you understand.

Jun 12, 2015
Erika L in General Topics

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

Hallmark. And Martha.

I know people who have "birthday day" on a random day when everyone in the fam can make it. It's very difficult to organize multiple times a year--schedules, spouse/partner schedules, kids' schedules, etc. I also know people who have TDay or Xmas on "another" day so that their adult kids don't have to choose between the in-laws and the outlaws.

When you think about what all these various days are supposed to celebrate, really, you could celebrate any day--or every day.

Mystery chinese food question -- What the heck did I eat ?

When I said that Chinese generally don't eat cuts of meat, I mean a whole chop, a roast, half a chicken, etc The meat is cut up so that the pieces can be picked up with chopsticks.

There are Chinese dishes that are meat-heavy--certainly, any banquet dish, when you're honoring your guests. That's also why whole fish are served: you're honoring your guests by serving the entire fish. But whole fish can be broken up and eaten with chopsticks, unlike, say, a steak.

Jan 14, 2015
Erika L in General Topics

Best website/seller to purchase high-quality strawberries?

Wait for the local season--for strawberries and for all other produce.

Frozen berries are mushy--freezing expands the water and breaks the cell walls. They work *great*, often better than fresh, in any custardy, pudding-y English dessert recipe: Eton mess, trifle, etc. Frozen were picked and frozen when perfectly ripe so the flavor is terrific.

Jan 14, 2015
Erika L in General Topics

Mystery chinese food question -- What the heck did I eat ?

FWIW, Chinese don't eat cuts of meat. Meat is either a flavoring or a delicacy or treat and is always served in small pieces and with bones. (Same for fish and seafood--you have to work for your meal.) I can't speak to whether the dish was or wasn't "Mongolian pork chops" but the style of serving sounds very typical of Chinese food in general.

Jan 12, 2015
Erika L in General Topics

What to do with Frozen Carrots?

Roast 50-50 with parsnips (450 for 20 - 30 min, til you can poke with the tip of a knife with no resistance and they're brown in spots). Smush with a potato masher or puree with an immersion blender, add whatever herbs or spices you want. Leave it thick for a side dish, thin with stock for a soup.

Jan 07, 2015
Erika L in Home Cooking

Mandatory municipal composting: how do you handle your food scraps?

Another Seattleite here. I have enough room in my freezer to keep a brown paper bag (lunchbag size) for green bin stuff--it'll stand up on its own--but I know this isn't feasible for everyone. I know a number of people who made compost transfer bins out of gallon jugs--be sure to keep the handle intact. They live under the kitchen sink. My Costco (the one on 4th south) has BioBags in the 1,000,000,000 count size.

Jan 05, 2015
Erika L in Not About Food

Great Recipe for Orange Cheesecake?

I've been making this orange cheesecake since 1977, my senior year in high school, when cheesecake was considered the height of gourmet cooking and eating. It has an intense orange flavor:

CRUST
1 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
1/2 c butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the flour, sugar, and rind. Cut in the butter, then stir in the yolk and vanilla. Press about 1/3 of the dough into the bottom of a 9" springform. Bake at 400 for five minutes. Remove and pat the remaining dough onto the sides, up to about 1/2" from the top.

FILLING
5 eight-oz packages of cream cheese, room temp
1 3/4 c sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
pinch of salt
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 c thawed frozen concentrated OJ--undiluted
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the cream cheese, sugar, flour, rind, and salt. Turn to low and add the eggs and yolks one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in the OJ concentrate and vanilla. Pour into the crust and put the pan on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 10 min, then reduce heat to 225 and bake an additional 1 hour 20 min.

I've never used a water bath and honestly, this recipe was already so exotic to an 18 year old that I would have flipped out if the instructions included one. This recipe still works and still gets raves, unlike others I made in the 70's and that have since been quietly sent to a recipe rest home.

Dec 31, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking
1

Gluten-free sub for flour as soup/stew thickener?

Another vote to skip a thickener.

Dec 31, 2014
Erika L in Special Diets
1

New Profile Setting: Collapse Previously Read Comments (also defaults to "See All" page)

My turn! Bump!

Dec 22, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

What will happen if I double the amount of chocolate chips in my chocolate chip cookies?

Another vote for starting with an extra 50%--you can always add more if the dough is hanging together. And swapping in pastry flour might not produce the results you want. If you're after chewy cookies, it's gluten that produces chew, along with sugar. Melting and then cooling the butter helps, too.

Dec 22, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking
1

How many days ahead can I make a soup with dairy?

Another vote for making the soup ahead and adding the dairy at the last minute.

Dec 17, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Storing matzoh crack for 2 weeks: freeze or not?

I don't know about the garage but I regularly freeze mine, just to keep it safe--it doesn't taste like much cold, so I'm not tempted to go into the stash. Or if I do, I have to think couple of hours ahead of time to let it sit on the counter.

Dec 15, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Your best CRISPY, CRUNCHY cookie recipe. Go!

Chicago choco chip cookies. Not sure what makes em Chicago but that's what my friend Betty (source of the recipe) calls them. They're super crunchy--I don't generally keep corn flakes around the house except for these and Momofuku cookies.

1 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 c flour
3 tsp baking soda
1 c plain oil
1 c smashed corn flakes
1 c oats
12 oz package of choco chips

Cream the butter and sugars, then add the egg and vanilla. Sift or dry-whisk the flour and baking soda, then add alternatively with the oil. Stir in the corn flakes, oats and choco chips.

Drop by heaping tsp about 2" apart and bake for 10 - 12 min at 350 Yield about 8 doz (really).

Dec 08, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Gluten-free crackers for cheese course?

Be aware the cross-contamination can occur if a knife touches wheat bread and then is used to cut cheese for the gluten-free person. Gluten sensitivity varies from person to person but one contact with wheat bread is enough to contaminate the entire piece of cheese for some GF people.

That said--my votes are for Blue Diamond (my all-time fave cheese cracker, GF or with gluten) and Crunchmaster.

Dec 05, 2014
Erika L in Special Diets

DEVILED EGGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014)

Rooster bombs: make your fave stuffed or deviled egg recipe, then put the tip of a Sriracha bottle into each yolk, give a little squeeze (maybe 1/4 tsp), then repair the hole in the yolk.

Should I be offended over a frozen pie?

It's just food. Get over it. And get over yourself. My fam loves canned cranberries and Marie Callendar apple pie. I brought homemade cranberries and pies for years, trying to show them how much more sophisticated I was. But what I was also doing was demonstrating how dismissive I was of their food preferences. If a frozen pie will really, truly make you gag, take a small piece, cut it into little bites, and then push them around on your plate until it's time to clear the dishes. Really, the point of TDay is to gather with family and friends, not to show off kitchen projects.

Are homemade marshmallows worth the effort?

Yes! Home made marshmallows are a revelation--pillowy-soft and very vanilla, not bouncy-chewy. I've made them only for parties (stand-alone and also in "mallomars") so I can't tell you how long they last, sorry.

Dec 01, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Cream that is not made with Cow's milk

Is it a sweet or savory tart? What are the other flavors? Coconut milk is the only non-dairy "milk" with any appreciable fat--it's about 33%, about the same as heavy cream. Other non-dairy milks such as soy, almond, rice, etc. are very thin and watery. That's consideration #1.

Also be aware that non-dairy milks won't thicken with egg yolks the way that a custard does--they lack the proteins to coagulate. So any tart made with a non-dairy milk will not hold its structure very well. I've made flans with an entire dozen eggs, and they collapse after a serving is spooned out.

Lastly, coconut milk does taste of coconut, albeit faintly. This works in some cases, not so well in others. I've used it in pumpkin pies--no prob, the spices muted the coconut plus everyone at dinner likes coconut. BTW the texture of a pumpkin pie made with coconut milk is terrific. However, the taste might interfere with, say, a leek and Gruyere tart.

BTW, you guest might be OK with olive oil to dip bread.

Nov 26, 2014
Erika L in General Topics

can you replace butter with Crisco shorting in gluten free ginger bread dough.

It'll work just fine. As pointed out, Crisco is 100% fat and butter is something like 85% fat, so the texture will be diff--actually moister, and it'll stay fresh longer without either the water or the gluten to dry things out. The spices and molasses will cover up the lack of depth of flavor that butter adds.

Nov 24, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

I was about 15 at the time and didn't ask for details but am assuming they didn't use the john.

When I said "parking strip," I mean the strip of dirt between the sidewalk and the curb, about 2' - 3' wide.

I now live in WA and there are lots of places where you can smell manure. Green acres is the place to be...

Nov 19, 2014
Erika L in General Topics

apple pie no cinnamon

Maybe serve the pie with cinnamon ice cream or a cinnamon-laced sauce if you think that others would miss the cinnamon? FWIW I'll be making an apple tart for TDay that has no spices in it at all.

Nov 19, 2014
Erika L in Home Cooking
1