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BeckyAndTheBeanstock's Profile

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Knife Sharpening: How Much is Too Much?

My hone is one of those "steels for dummies". It's a two-slotted diamond knife honer and it's supposed to make getting the angle foolproof. It's made by Wusthof too (I think) and I bought it at the cutlery store where my knives came from.

I do take good care of my blades -- never in the dish washer, don't bang them around too much, use suitable cutting surface, don't use them when I can't find the saw, etc. I dry them immediately and hone them fairly often, though not after every use. Maybe I should get better about that.

May 02, 2012
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

Knife Sharpening: How Much is Too Much?

Here's hoping I'm around long enough to need to replace a few more!! :)

May 02, 2012
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

Knife Sharpening: How Much is Too Much?

I admit, I'm addicted. I get giddy when my just-sharpened Wusthofs whisper through a tomato without denting it first, when the herbs give way to ribbons without protest. I love me a super sharp blade -- but of course they never stay that way for long. I do hone them at home regularly, and that surely helps but even so the knives only keep that perfect edge for a few uses after they're back from the cutlery store. I tend to get them sharpened twice a year, but I'd love to do it more often. I know the consequences -- the more often they're sharpened, the faster they thin out. I'm curious to know how often you all get knives sharpened, and also how much shorter their lifespan will be if I give in to sharpening mine more. I do use them nearly every day, most days several times. Also, how much do you find that honing helps? It makes a bit of difference for me but not a ton -- maybe I'm doing it wrong?

May 02, 2012
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

Recipes for Greens

Does your family like spinach, or are you counting that as a green? Because chard and spinach can be used interchangeably, especially in omelets or quiche. Chard grows phenomenally well, and it's great sliced into ribbons and added to pasta dishes. With both kale and chard I like to slice them the same way, fresh, and stir them into tuna salad -- it's one way I sneak it into my husband's diet. I just tell him it's spinach, which he loves. :) Another favorite way to use greens is to wrap salmon bites in the leaves and season with evoo, salt, pepper and lemon and roast in the oven. Lately I've been on this oven-baked kale kick -- I lightly oil it, then toast in the oven on 375 for about 16 minutes, turning the leaves once, until it's crispy and chip like. They're great this way, but I also crumble the toasted leaves over popcorn -- adds an interesting dimension and flavor. Of course, I don't know how much nutrition is left at that point -- does anyone know the answer to that?

Apr 09, 2012
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

Sanding off gunk from Cast Iron Pots -- under built up oil, skillet is orange

I've inherited some cast iron pieces, and I've read quite a few threads on CH about how to deal with them. Armed with that info, I've set to work scrubbing off the gummed up stuff that was layers thick on these skillets, and under all that I'm finding an orange layer. I'm assuming this is rust? I didn't realize it could grow under the oil. Do I need to scrub until all the orange is gone? Or am I just scrubbing till the surface feels flat, and then oiling and heating them to re-season? Thanks!

Aug 28, 2011
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

Good takeout/delivery in Creve Coeur, MO?

Thanks, FOTD. Oishi is now our local, which is sweet since we used to drive 12 miles just to get there. Have not tried the Thai place yet but surely will!

Aug 15, 2011
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Great Plains

Good takeout/delivery in Creve Coeur, MO?

We just moved to Creve Coeur from the South Grand area, and I sure am missing King and I carryout. Anyway, wondering what's good in the new 'hood for delivery or carry-out. And no, I don't count Imo's.... We're in 63146 and would love to know what you're eating and liking. Thanks!

Aug 15, 2011
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Great Plains

Dual Fuel versus Gas Oven: What are the Advantages?

I realize there's a lot of discussion on this board about dual fuel, but mostly the comments seem to revolve around which ones people are using and liking. I appreciate this info (and if anyone wants to add to that here, please do!) but I'm also wondering: what is the big advantage of dual fuel? I know the temperature is supposed to be more precise, but is it? And can't you regulate the temp in a gas oven by using baking stones and refraining from opening the door until you have to? I guess I'm just wondering if it's worth the extra expense, and what, exactly, I'll be getting for the extra money.

Jul 22, 2011
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

Need main course to go with fennel/kohlrabi/blueberry salad

I guess my post title about sums it up. I tried the salad from the current Food and Wine, and it was amazing. I'd made it for lunches, but now I'd like to make it as a dinner salad and am having trouble figuring out what to pair with it. It makes it more challenging that we're pescetarian in our household -- no red meat, pork or poultry.

Jul 02, 2011
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

Need mustard greens recipes

So, I was overly ambitious and planted seven red mustard plants in the garden -- and they're all vigorous and heading for bush-like status. Clearly, I must start eating them. I know they're great in Asian dishes, but what else can I do with these? i'll be eating them all summer... Please share your favorite way to eat these!

May 13, 2011
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

How do you clean your stemware?

Can anybody help? We drink wine regularly, which means I have to regularly clean those pesky, stubborn wine glasses. I'd love to put them through the dishwasher, but if I don't get them out right away, there's a rim of dried residue on one side of the glasses, and they tend to come out of the dishwasher splattered with soap spots and streaks. Maybe I just need a better dishwasher. Anyway, by hand is a real bear, and I break them, and they still dry with streaks. Please tell me what you do to get your wine glasses clean!

Mar 12, 2011
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

A two-fer: shelf life of roasted veggies and edible pumpkins

For Thanksgiving, I'm planning to make a roasted veggie stew (for the vegetarians in the family -- though no doubt the meat eaters will like it too) and serve it in a roasted pumpkin. Two questions: if I roast the veggies today, four days before Thanksgiving, will they be okay to put in a stew on Thursday? Or is it best to roast them closer to eating time?

Also, the pie pumpkins that are meant for eating are too small to act as a serving bowl for the stew (large family). I was thinking I'd roast a larger pumpkin and then when folks scoop out some stew they can also scoop out some of the pumpkin meat, but it I use a larger pumpkin will the meat be too fibrous for eating?

Nov 20, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

When oven-roasting/drying cherry tomatoes, what am I going for?

Yes, they are exactly like that - and the flavor is amazing! i guess if I want to keep them for longer storage I could dig out the food dehydrator. But those of you who have dehydrated cherry tomatoes -- do you rehydrate them to use them or do you just eat them as a snack in the dried form?

Nov 07, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

When oven-roasting/drying cherry tomatoes, what am I going for?

And how long do they keep? I read some threads on CH yesterday because I have a ton of the end of season Sungold tomatoes and I want to preserve them, so I thought I'd try roasting them. I read this on another chain: "Roast them. Alot of them. I wash, dry, cut in half and then spread in a layer on a heavy duty foil lined cookie sheet that I spray with (gasp!) Pam, and roast them low, about 220 degrees or so for awhile...there is never any real time, just until they are caramelized, a little dehydrated and damn tasty."

My question is, how dry should they be when they're done? Mine are still juicy -- fantastic flavor, but still very moist and plump (though definitely shriveled). I'm guessing they don't actually keep very long this way though, right?

Nov 07, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

ISO green tomato ideas

I did catch The Splendid Table episode, and though there were several specific ideas Lynne mentioned, the gist of it was that you can use green tomatoes in any recipe that calls either for tomatillos or apples. She also said that they are wonderful raw, but that if you cook them, you should really cook them thoroughly to soften all the way through, otherwise they're just sort of half-way cooked and not very good.

Oct 24, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

Instructions on my new baking stone say NOT to season it?

Well, I think by "high fat" foods they're referring to cookies and pastries -- which I would NOT cook on a stone anyway, since generally speaking, browned, crusty cookies is not what I'm after....

Oct 19, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

Instructions on my new baking stone say NOT to season it?

Oh, but I've already done the slow heating dance and I just butchered the goat. You mean to tell me that was all a wasted expenditure of energy? Crap....

Oct 19, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

Instructions on my new baking stone say NOT to season it?

I just bought a rectangular baking stone, made by Old Stone Oven, to replace the one that finally cracked after 6 years of regular use. I've always seasoned my baking stones (have a round pizza one that is nearly black now) and many instructions online for care of stones recommend it, but the insert that came in the Old Stone Oven box says not to season it, not to ever spray oil on it, and not to bake high-fat foods on it. This seems contrary to everything I've ever done with a stone -- can anyone tell me if this stone is different somehow? Or are there just differing camps out there? Or has it been wrong all along to season them?

Oct 19, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware

Am I crazy, or does some garlic have a waxy flavor?

I've had this happen a handful of times: I've peeled and minced my garlic, heated up my oil,and then tossed it into the skillet/pot with my other aromatics, only to find a weird, unpleasantly waxy scent coming from the skillet. Tasting confirms what the nose fears: a bizarre, plastic/waxy flavor to the food. I'm pretty sure it's the garlic -- I thin it has happened before when I was cooking only that. And in case you're wondering, no, I didn't accidentally melt a spatula or have other mishaps. So, has anyone else experienced this? The flavor is strong enough that, to my palate anyway, it ruins the food. Any guesses as to the cause, and is there a way to identify it before the garlic is cooked and mingled with other ingredients?

Sep 27, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

Preserving cukes -- but not as pickles?

I have about 10 large cucumbers that I have to do something with -- does anyone have any favorite recipes for putting them up? I don't want to make pickles -- that never works for me (soggy and waaaaayyyyy to salty, even when I follow directions) and these are too big anyway. Any favorite relishes, chutneys, etc? Spicy is good.

Aug 04, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

St. Louis Specialties

I actually think it was Ron and.... Shirley's? Is that what the place was called? Anyway, i think that's who's responsible for the "St. Louis salad" -- thick ropes of provel, the sweet house dressing. There was one in St. Louis Centre and also in Union Station and of course an original on or near the Hill -- but I can't remember exactly where.

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Union Station
1699 Racine Ave, Mount Union, IA 52644

Aug 04, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Great Plains

Pizzeria Tivoli in South St. Louis

I've been watching the progress of Pizzeria Tivoli at Holly Hills and Kingshighway, and they finally opened this past weekend. We went, and the review is mostly good. They have a brick and mortar wood-fired oven that looks beautiful and turns out a lovely, crispy thin crust and there are a lot of great pizza options, including a shrimp pesto and a Mediterranean. Lots of veggie-friendly options, which makes me happy. I was disappointed in their salads -- the Caesar has a dressing that tastes like it came out of a bottle, and the caprese relied on the tasteless sort of tomato that you'd get in winter from Shop N Save (and there are ripe tomatoes being left by the boxful on porches right now -- no reason for a cardboard tomato). I do hope they begin looking to local sources soon for their ingredients, or if not local, then at least better. We also had the anchovy and caper pizza -- we should have known that those two ingredients would make for an intensely salty pizza. The anchovies were fishy and briny and not very good. But their mozzarella is nice, and the people who run the place are all so friendly and attentive and the experience of dining there was really pleasant. Wine list is incredibly limited, but not terrible. But one other pet peeve of mine: two big TVs. The sound is muted but the TVs seem always on (we've walked past the place several times this week) and it's just not that sort of place, so I don't know why they have them. All in all though, a really nice addition to the neighborhood, with great people, great pizza options, great crust, and a nice ambiance. I have high hopes and can't wait to see how they evolve.

Jul 29, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Great Plains

"Mad Men" menu -- what would Betty serve?

Well, here we are again -- on the cusp of another Mad Men premier - and yet another opportunity for a party. Very excited about the new season. And also very keen (if I may borrow the word) on finding good recipes. I've been reading The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne, published in 1961, so that would be about right. I've noticed that this volume actually seems quite astute, noting the differences between Swiss cheese and Gruyere, and calling for fresh herbs, and using cheeses like Roquefort and Gorgonzola, and having a few ceviche reicpes. Still, there are the classics: deviled eggs IN aspic (yikes!), many variations of dips made with a) canned crabmeat b) canned whatever else you can think of and c) cream cheese. Oh, the cream cheese. Here are some of the interesting suggestions that I may use this weekend for a Season 4 premier party: cream cheese and Roquefort stuffed shrimp (you devein the shrimp and slice through the back and stuff the cream cheese in there -- very 60s); Brazil nut clam spread (canned clams and curry powder and the ubiquitous cream cheese); chicken stuffed with macaroni (really? I'd try it if I ate meat/poultry); crabmeat quiche; or clams aux blinis.

Jul 22, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in General Topics

how long does roasted garlic last?

Yes, I suspect you are both right -- so I'll toss it. It's not so much that I don't want to waste the garlic, but that it's way too hot to fire up the oven to roast more. I guess next time I'll be inspired to use it right away.

Jul 18, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

how long does roasted garlic last?

I roasted some garlic a week ago and then didn't get around to using it. I also forgot about the garlic and so it's been sitting in my cold oven, wrapped in foil, for a week. It smells like garlic and doesn't seem to be growing anything -- do you suppose I can still cook with it? Or might it kill me???

Jul 17, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

cinnamon ice cream

Just bought some for the first time tonight. Wow. Definitely amazing.

Jul 14, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

Vegetarian Grilling: Ideas?

Great, great post -- lots of lovely new ideas here. A few of my favorites include foil-wrapping chard or other greens with just a bit of oil and tossing them on the hot grill. They wilt nicely and get a good smoky flavor, but not too heavy. I also love outdoor-grilled cheese on a crusty bread spread with butter or oil. It's everything a grilled cheese ought to be and then some. But my current favorite is to grill (or smoke) apple slices, then chop them into bite-sized pieces and toss them into a blue-cheese and greens salad with almonds or pecans. An outdoor fire elevates everything!

Jul 07, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

Homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker?

I've seen instructions online for making homemade ice cream without the proper machine, but I'm wondering if anyone has actually done it this way and how it turned out. Is it chunky or different in any significant way? Are there tips or techniques for doing it successfully without an ice cream maker?

Jun 26, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

Are t he ferny tips of cilantro edible?

I know the stems are, per a CI taste test, but what about the ferny tips that form when the plant starts to bolt? It's been 95 degrees here all week and everything is bolting but I have a hankering for some cilantro dip....

Jun 17, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Home Cooking

Turning beets and carrots into matchsticks?

I've been doing it by hand, chopping all my veggies into the dainty, not-so-hard-on-the-jaw pieces and there has got to be a better way. Does anyone know the secret? I've tried using food processor attachments to get the small, tender pieces but they tend to make a mess, forming long strips or alternately, forming mush. How do you get your beets, carrots, celery root, kohlrabi, etc into pretty little matchstick pieces? Is there some piece -- or brand -- of equipment that I don't have that I should?

May 24, 2010
BeckyAndTheBeanstock in Cookware