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rainey's Profile

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Power Outage - FRidge/Freezer - what to keep ...if anything

Not gonna be helpful now but in case it's helpful to someone else later I'll post it:

If you think there's jeopardy of losing your power or your freezer quitting on you, place a block of ice in the freezer with a penny sitting on top of it. If it does stop running for a significant time the ice will begin to melt and the penny will begin to sink.

When you check on it you will be able to see that the loss of cooling has made your food unsafe. Toss it.

OTOH, if you open the door and find the penny on top of the ice even tho the freezer stopped working you have evidence that the freezer cavity remained cold enough to keep your food safe. Use it or transfer it to another freezer.

Now, here's the part that applies to the lose of power rather than a broken freezer. If the ice is still frozen but the penny has sunk INTO the ice your freezer let your food warm up to unsafe temperatures. Even if power was restored and your food is now refrozen -- like the water on top of the penny -- it is still very likely unsafe.

Hope someone who can use this tip gets to read it. And I am so sorry that it couldn't help yummyinmytummy.

about 22 hours ago
rainey in General Topics

Spiced Pumpkin-Oatmeal Cookies

I just made a quadruple batch of these for a whole film crew. They LOVED them.

I toasted the oats and tamped the mounds of dough down with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar before putting them in the oven. I added some maple sugar to the icing to intensify the flavor and applied it with a heavy ziplock bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner.

A little walnut and/or plumped golden raisins would have been nice but believe me when I say my mixer and every other piece of kitchen equipment were already maxed out. Still, the recipe's a keeper and perfect to welcome the Fall.

Sep 13, 2014
rainey in Recipes

Installing a magnetic knife bar without drilling?

I use Command strips frequently too. Command is a great product but they do fail over time. The adhesive just gives out without warning. I've had things fall right off the wall. Some were breakable and are now memories (terra cotta cookie molds). Sometimes the Command adhesive held out for years. Sometimes not nearly so long. I suppose the weight it was bearing made some of the difference.

I wouldn't want to see a rack of knives come down. Not good for the knives. Not good for anyone standing nearby.

Sep 11, 2014
rainey in Cookware

Is It Finally Cool to Like the Frugal Gourmet?

But, to be fair, if anyone did compare the two they'd have to take note that Kerr wasn't really all that much of a cook. Some found his buffoonery entertaining and I'm happy for him if he put his life on a healthier note, but I never took him seriously as a cook. I don't know anyone who did.

Sep 10, 2014
rainey in Features

Olive Oil Tasting

Lucky you!

There is one store that sells equipment and high end ingredients to the restaurant trade that offers sampling bottles and tiny cups but it's very busy, very expensive, not close to me and an adventure just to get into the parking lot.

So, what have you found that you like best? I just get something from Santa Barbara on the premise that something from an hour away has to be as fresh as I'm going to get.

Sep 09, 2014
rainey in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Chocolate marble birthday cake for MIL recommendations?

I think you'll like the Tiger Cake. But if it's the visual that this thing is turning on, vanilla fudge on solid chocolate cake is sorta the negative of solid chocolate ice cream on a marble cake.

I hope you and your MIL enjoy whatever you do. Sure you all will! But do try the Beatty's Chocolate Cake some time too. It's about as chocolate as things get. ; >

Sep 09, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Chocolate marble birthday cake for MIL recommendations?

No. It was just for my household so we had it just as it came from the pan. A dusting of confectioners' sugar or cocoa would have been adequate to spiff it up. You could do a chocolate glaze but my pan has lots of sharp angles so it wouldn't have sheeted well on mine.

As for Kahlua and solid chocolate: yes, yes, YES! I add Kahlua in addition to vanilla frequently. I also add Grand Marnier frequently too and the Tiger Cake could have benefited from either I think.

Sep 09, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Chocolate marble birthday cake for MIL recommendations?

Still thinking about your problem (if it isn't already too late).

You know, marble cake has a nice balance between vanilla and chocolate but it will never have knock-your-socks-off chocolate flavor. OTOH, Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake has about as much chocolate as you can work into one dessert. It would be nice with a vanilla fudge ice cream

http://barefootcontessa.com/recipes.a...

I just made one for my husband's office. It's really good. Anyone I've ever made the cake for has wanted the recipe.

I add 1/4 cup of cocoa to the icing in addition to the melted chocolate. I think it makes it darker and more attractive.

Sep 09, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Chocolate marble birthday cake for MIL recommendations?

Thanks for pointing the way to the Tiger Cake.

I baked it as a bundt cake and it was lovely. I couldn't taste the pepper but then I didn't measure and may have wimped out about how much I used. In any case, I enjoyed the cake and will keep the recipe. Thanks again.

Hope you found the solution to your problem too.

PS I added some small chocolate chips and a slurp of Kahlua to the dark batter of the Tiger Cake and found it had nice chocolate flavor. That could be intensified even more by reducing the amount of blonde batter you add to he cocoa mixture.

Sep 09, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Olive Oil Tasting

Thanks. I always do use a good serrated knife but I will try doing it before the loaf cools and see if that makes a difference.

It always wants to break away where the top splits.

Sep 09, 2014
rainey in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

How should I cook 2-inch thick pork chops

Absolutely brine them but I'd cut a pocket and stuff them then oven braise them low and slow after searing. If you put lots of apple or rehydrated prune or something in the stuffing it will create a reservoir of moisture. Besides, it's yummy and these nice thick chops will provide nice generous pockets.

Sep 08, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking
1

Olive Oil Tasting

That sounds even better! It always inspires more confidence if someone isn't selling a product. It's more expensive. ...tho if a portion goes to support Slow Food that's certainly a plus.

I could stand to fine tune my biscotti too. I get so much crumbling when I try to slice the loaf for the second baking and I'd like to get thinner ones than I do. It would be great to get some expert feedback on that. Maybe I'll sign up for that one too since the GW tasting ends up being a freebie anyhow.

Thanks for that tip! ; >

Sep 08, 2014
rainey in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Olive Oil Tasting

I can't believe, as a California girl, I finally got my opportunity to do an olive oil tasting in Vancouver. Still, after all the years I've wanted to do it, this is where my opportunity came along!

Gourmet Warehouse is hosting this thing on the evening of Oct. 14. http://www.gourmetwarehouse.ca/events...

It's an extremely good deal. Registration costs $10 but for that fee you get a $10 credit on a purchase, the tasting itself and a sample of one of the oils to take home with you. And, if that's not good enough, they've finally finished the adjacent parking lot so no more hoofing it down Hastings to get into the store. ; >

Salty snack for office gathering

LOVE those break-apart cookies!

How about grissini wrapped with prociutto. They're always so attractive in a vase. Maybe a little soup in a slow cooker for people to sip along with the crunchy breadsticks?

I think it's Dorie who also has a recipe for a very cheesy shortbread that is simplicity itself but packed with sharp flavor. Yes, she calls them Cheez-it-ish Crackers and the recipe's in the same cookbook. They're decadent excellence.

Sep 06, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

That leftover egg and breadcrumbs?

;>

Sep 06, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Ideas for side dishes for Thanksgiving?

God! I never thought of tourtiere as a T-day side dish but what genius! I love tourtiere but it's so heavy that I don't think of it. ...but just a taste along with a meal centered on something else? Genius!

Last year we had vegans at T-day so I made them a tart of caramelized onions. You could add some crumbled sausage or prociutto to that and maybe some fontina. Not potato-ey but there is the starchy pastry.

I like to start T-day with soup. It's in a slow cooker for people to help themselves and sip while they wait for dinner and nibble veggies and appies. Our traditional soup is a curried pumpkin.

Other than that, we only have turkey as a meat course. And our sides are veggie things: caramelized brussels sprouts, roasted carrots, creamed onions.

Sep 06, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Mac 'n cheese help

What flavor are you looking for? Do you want a sharp bite or just a more dense cheesy flavor?

I use a LOT of cheese and I use good cheese. I also use the combo like you do always choosing a sharp cheddar as the backbone but including some smoked gouda and some Parm. Then I add anything else I want to use up including a small amount of blue. I'm going for a sharp flavor so I also use buttermilk in my béchamel. It may separate if I'm not really careful but my mac & cheese is not a loose creamy one so by the time the casserole is baked it doesn't make a difference.

How's you salt? I know sometimes the tendency is to cut back on salt when you use cheese but I think it turns the flavor up so I salt until the béchamel tastes right to me and then add it to the grated cheese. And don't be afraid of the mustard. What's cheese without mustard?

Sep 06, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

That leftover egg and breadcrumbs?

I compost. It's great for the garden -- essential for my adobe clay -- and it also, as you point out, stops the guilt in its tracks when there's a little something left over or something that went past its prime.

I absolutely applaud thrift and invention but food -- if we can afford it -- should be a pleasure not a sentence.

Sep 06, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

That leftover egg and breadcrumbs?

I'm with you. I mix it all together, fry it up and give it to the dog. She seems to enjoy it.

Sep 06, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Ok, I give up, fried oysters

Oh so right!

We have just moved back to Vancouver after 10 years away. I went to my favorite little local spot to get a panfried oyster and found they had started breading them in panko. So has everyone else. I want to taste oyster not bread and all the fat it can absorb. Simple IS better!

Sep 05, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Best way to cook large sausages if it is raining on the grill !?

I'm with Throckwood except that I'd steam them in a covered skillet in just enough water to cover the bottom until cooked through. Naturally, you'll need to replace the water a couple times. Then take them out to the grill for 5 minutes to char the surface.

I'd probably do them this way on a sunny day too. ; >

Sep 05, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking
1

Mashed potato recipes

I've lost the recipe for this but, basically, toss peeled starchy potatoes, winter squash, chunks of a big sweet onion and some garlic cloves in a bit of olive oil. Roast them in the oven until very brown. Personally, I want to see some char on the edges but watch that garlic and take the cloves out before they burn.

Put all the veggies in a big bowl with some cream cheese thinned with milk. Mash away. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Sep 05, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Chocolate marble birthday cake for MIL recommendations?

Thanks bringing up the Tiger Cake. I've copied that recipe out and I look forward to trying it.

As for the old-fashioned marble cake that your mother is probably thinking of, instead of adding cocoa powder to the blond batter, use melted and cooled chocolate instead. I'd use a 72% myself. A bit of espresso powder and/or a shot of Kahlua will also intensify and compliment the flavor.

Sep 05, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

What kind of vinegars do you keep on hand?

I really like vinegar and I get seduced by things that sound interesting and things that come in sexy bottles. But the basics that I keep unhand all the time are:

• seasoned rice vinegar
• balsamic -- I usually have too many hanging around
• a balsamic reduction -- I don't know if Villa Mondori is properly a reduction but it's delicious and I love it (pricey tho - have to use it judiciously)
• Katz' sauvignon blanc -- this stuff is smooth and killer and I buy it in half gallons; it's my go-to and I sub it all the time whatever is called for; if I could only have one vinegar for the rest of my life this would be it
• Bragg's apple cider -- diluted it's a good gargle for sore throats
• distilled white vinegar -- for pickles and household cleaning

Sep 02, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Do you substitue sour cream for plain yogurt?

You can also cook with whatever you prefer and have a little yogurt with fruit for brekkies or dessert. ; >

Sep 01, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

Do you substitue sour cream for plain yogurt?

Yes, you can definitely sub sour cream for yogurt. I frequently do in hot dishes because it won't curdle in heat. I also like the flavor and it provides a richer backbone for whatever else is in the sauce.

It's definitely fattier and more calorie-laden so I well understand the motivation -- a virtue -- of the folks that go the other way but feel confident when you need or want to use sour cream.

Sep 01, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

What do you mean by - 2 cups half-and-half?

If it's not a product where you are, it's made of equal parts of milk and cream. I think the fat content is between 11-18% butterfat.

I don't think it's critical what the fat content is in most recipes. Whatever you make will be a little richer or a little lighter.

Aug 28, 2014
rainey in Home Cooking

One week in Vancouver... The catch? Two little kids

By all means take the kids to John Lawson Park on the beach at Ambleside (between 16th & 17th, more or less). I can't think of any great eating around there but what we do is stop at the Fresh Market on Marine (just about a block and a half up from the park) and get sandwiches at the deli, fruit, etc. and picnic on the lawn.

It's a GREAT park and they will have a ball. Take bathing suits or a change of clothes. They're likely to get wet! Take a camera too. You'll want to ask your municipality why they don't build parks like this!

If you feel like it you can also drive out to Horseshoe Bay about 15 minutes west to see the ferries coming in and going out. Another park out there that's fun is Whytecliff where they can explore a rocky beach, stroll through the woods and walk out to Whytecliff Island if you've timed it right for low tide. Take note that if you haven't timed it right you'll wade you way back to shore. There's a little snack bar that has damned good hot dogs and other offerings I haven't tried yet.

If you go to the aquarium you may see the tank that's modeled after the marine environment of Whytecliff. And if any of your party are divers, take your gear because it's (I believe) Canada's only underwater preserve.

Olive and Anchor is the best eating in Horseshoe Bay. That's not saying a lot but, nevertheless, we love the village a lot so we make allowances. They have pretty good oysters in addition to a variety of standards.

Aug 27, 2014
rainey in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best pots/pans?

In my kitchen I have at least 5 "the best". I use them all. Wouldn't want to be without any of them. Which I use at any particular moment is as often a matter of whim as application, tho, of course, application is the overriding factor for any legitimate qualification.

Use as many things as you get an opportunity to -- cook with friends, take classes. Buy a few things at a time. In time you'll nail the right batterie for yourself. Bet you'll end up with at least 5 "the bests" too.

Aug 25, 2014
rainey in Cookware

What not to miss on Bowen Island

Thanks. I'm looking forward to going again. I think this time I'll take my car so I can see more of the island. And I'll look for those spots.

Aug 23, 2014
rainey in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)