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mjane79's Profile

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Absinthe: A Status Check

Great post! I have the Lucid absinthe so it's nice to see the history of it. Now to find some Peychaud's bitters.

Feb 18, 2011
mjane79 in Features

Literally Hot Trend: Chefs Putting Ash on Food

Interesting. I've long enjoyed morbier cheese and it has a layer of ash in it. I'd try this.

Jan 20, 2011
mjane79 in Features

Simple and delicious mac and cheese recipe?

The Martha Stewart one is close to how my mom always made hers but I agree on the dried mustard instead of nutmeg. A bechamel sauce isn't that hard to make and is really the most complicated part of mac and cheese. I usually make a bechamel, add mustard, salt, pepper, and extra sharp cheddar. Mix the cooked noodles with that and bake it in the oven with a breadcrumb topping. Sometimes I add onions to the bechamel but that's not a requirement.

Jul 09, 2010
mjane79 in Home Cooking

ISO Banana leaves around Chicago

I haven't seen them in the stores I've been in so I'm looking for specific stores that people have seen them in.

Jun 11, 2010
mjane79 in Chicago Area

Any tips for peeling green plantains for tostones?

That's how I've always done it too. Glad to know it's Puerto Rican approved!

Jun 11, 2010
mjane79 in Home Cooking

Jicama - how do you use it?

My mom had a Mexican cookbook that had a fruit plate in it where you cut up jicama, apples, oranges, pretty much any fruit you want, and top it with lime juice, chili powder, and salt. This is one of my favorite no-cook sides for a Mexican or Tex-Mex meal.

Jun 11, 2010
mjane79 in Home Cooking

Strawberry shortcake- sponge cake or biscuit?

Biscuits! The Better Homes & Gardens cookbook is the recipe my mom used when I was growing up so that's always been the one I use. It's a sweet biscuit. I usually make individual ones then sprinkle sugar on top. Whipped cream is tasty but not required on the shortcakes. I just want lots of delicious strawberries and flaky cake.

Jun 11, 2010
mjane79 in Home Cooking

ISO Banana leaves around Chicago

I am looking for banana leaves in the Chicago area. I've looked at some stores in Chinatown but I haven't found them so I would appreciate any recommendations on where to find them in Chicago or in NW Indiana.

Thanks!

Jun 11, 2010
mjane79 in Chicago Area

The Top Grocery-Store Etiquette Gaffes

There are certain days I hate grocery shopping because I know someone is going to do something rude at the store. One time I was buying some organic sun dried tomatoes and a woman was commenting to her husband how expensive they were and what idiots people were to buy them. These were the only sun dried tomatoes the store sold. I ended up just kind of looking at her and she got quiet and walked away.

As far as pushing carts, I will move someone's cart in a store if it's in front of an item I need or is blocking the aisle and the owner of the cart is no where around it.

I get annoyed with people eating food before they paid for it, too. Opening a bag of chips isn't so bad but when I worked at a grocery store I would have people bring me grape stems to try and pay for the grapes they ate. Those are sold by weight! You can't pay for them after you eat them. I actually went and got some grapes from the produce section and weighed those to charge them.

Jun 11, 2010
mjane79 in Features

Don't Let Cheesecake Push You Around

I've found that the recipes in Mary Crownover's book "Cheesecake Extraordinaire" are great and don't crack. Her recipes generally have you bake the cheesecake at a higher temperature for a short time, turn the over lower and bake for about and hour, then leave the cheesecake in a turned off oven for about and hour. I have never had any cheesecake from her books crack.

Jun 11, 2010
mjane79 in Features

What are the uses for specialty salts? And what are the differences between common salts?

Try this page, it has pictures and descriptions of salts.

http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/si_...

Certain finishing salts can affect flavor, but the key is that they are finishing salts. You don't cook with them, you sprinkle them on the finished dish so that you taste them when you take a bite of the food. I've got a few different salts. Well, many, actually. Sea salt, Fleur de Sel, Kosher, pink, Hawaiian black and red, and Indian black salt or Kala Namak. I think the last is one of the most interesting. It tastes like eggs. I was pondering trying to use it in a vegan "egg" salad as I have some vegan friends and ones who are allergic to eggs.

Mar 26, 2010
mjane79 in Home Cooking

ISO--old timey bar cookie recipe!

I know this is an old thread but I was looking for the same cookie and called my mom to find out where she got the recipe. I believe the one you are looking for is from the older Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and was called toffee bars.

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 F

Beat butter for 30 seconds, add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla, beat well. Gradually add flour, beating constantly. Press into an ungreased 15" x 10" x 1" pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 350 F. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chip and let stand until chips soften. Spread chocolate on bars, sprinkle with nuts.

Jan 07, 2010
mjane79 in Home Cooking

10 Ways to Eat More Bacon

Mmmm, the Fool's Gold Loaf sounds good. I love bacon and peanut butter sandwiches even though I get odd looks for them.

Oct 07, 2008
mjane79 in Features

Whole-Wheat Pasta Taste Test

Yeah, why no Barilla? It's a widely available brand. I like their Plus pasta as well as the whole wheat. I also like the Racconto Bella Terra line of whole wheat pastas.

Oct 06, 2008
mjane79 in Features

Guacamole

Wait, people buy guacamole? It's so easy to make.

I like the Rick Bayless recipes in Mexican Everyday but I make my guac a little different depending on the season.

In winter it can be as simple as just an avocado, lime juice, a little white onion, a clove of garlic, some salt and sometimes some cumin. Occasionally I add a little chopped up sun-dried tomato. When I have cilantro, I swap the cumin for some fresh cilantro and when tomatoes are ripe, a little fresh tomato. Mmmm, avocado...I have tortilla soup and a salad with avocado dressing (from Mexican Everyday, seriously my most used cookbook) and now I need to go eat with all this talk.

May 21, 2008
mjane79 in Recipes

Surprise Guest: Mom

I think it was rude of the person to ask only 15 minutes before the party if he could bring his mother. Perhaps a day or two in advance and they could have accomadated her. Maybe the husband said she may be uncomfortable because she didn't know anyone there.

And how could this guy have his mother visit and not know more than 15 minutes before the party? Weird...if he knew his mother was visiting when he accepted the invitation he should have said so. If she asked to visit after he accepted, he could have told her and given her the option of still visiting or what to do then. I don't think it's rude to say no to someone asking to bring a guest at the last minute.

May 21, 2008
mjane79 in Features