mels's Profile

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Any ideas on making cereal similar to discontinued Tr. Joe's Oat & Wheat Brn Swirls?

I am resurrecting this very old thread because I have found a cereal that nails the Trader Joe's Oat & Wheat Brain Swirls cereal taste. I happened to pick up a bag of granola at Whole Foods on a whim. At first bite I knew what that taste was...it was just as I remembered my beloved Swirls cereal! I promptly threw some in a bowl with some milk and was in heaven.

It isn't exactly the same, being that it is granola, but the taste is there. I promise! The other downfall is that it is pricey, though if memory serves me correct the Swirls cereal wasn't cheap either. I bought a bag for $5.99 at my local Whole Foods. The brand is Purely Elizabeth and it is their Original Ancient Grains Granola cereal.

http://www.purelyelizabeth.com/Origin...

Apr 17, 2014
mels in Home Cooking

Apps for tracking food

I second My Fitness Pal. Free, easy to use. I used it when I was counting calorie to lose weight.

Apr 07, 2014
mels in Special Diets

Thoughts on King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook?

I am reviving an old thread since I just took this book out from my library. I made the banana crunch cake last night. Wow, was it good. I reduced the sugar in the batter by one ounce and it was perfect sweetness for me. I used the optional chocolate chips but think I'd prefer it without the chocolate.

I like this book because it is making me use ingredients I haven't really worked with, like oat flour and spelt. Plus, I always have tons of rolled oats on hand. A quick whiz in the food processor and I have an almost unending supply of oat flour!

Mar 24, 2014
mels in Home Cooking

Thoughts on King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook?

I do this every fall. My CSA gives us fresh unpasteurized cider every week when in season. I usually boil a gallon down to a syrup consistency and keep it in the fridge in a mason jar. It is great as a sweetener for plain oatmeal (and not too sweet like sugar) or a dollop added to apple pie filling when making a pie. KAF sells boiled cider for a ridiculous price considering it is literally just boiled cider.

Mar 24, 2014
mels in Home Cooking

WW sandwich bread recipe with no added sweeteners and little to no added fat?

100% whole wheat can be bitter and usually has sweetener in it to offset that bitterness but it is by no means necessary. You can omit the added sweetener called for in any recipe, the yeast doesn't need the sugar or anything like that. King Arthur flour has tons of detailed recipes, it is a good place to start.

Mar 12, 2014
mels in Home Cooking

When a recipe calls for 'chili sauce,' what do you use?

I just looked up the ingredients of Heinz Chili sauce and you are spot on: oniony ketchup!

Ingredients: Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste, Water), Distilled White Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Corn Syrup, Dehydrated Onion, Spice, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavoring.

Feb 26, 2014
mels in General Topics
1

When a recipe calls for 'chili sauce,' what do you use?

Considering I have 3 kinds of "chili sauce" at my house, none of which are found in the ketchup section of the typical US mega-grocery store, it isn't as simple as JayL would like to think it is.

I am assuming this mysterious Heinz product is essentially spicy ketchup?

Feb 25, 2014
mels in General Topics
2

Can we talk about canned salmon?

I love canned salmon but don't like the skin and bones...so I buy boneless skinless salmon. I generally don't like fish skin, even when crisped up and attached to a beautifully cooked fish filet. I also can't eat poultry skin unless it is ridiculously crispy, so I think I just have textural issues eating skin.

I keep b/s canned salmon on hand as a pantry staple. If the husband or I need a quick lunch, we have that as a backup to make salmon salad (much like others make tuna salad). I use it the same way people would use canned tuna- sometimes with mayo, other times mashed with good EVOO, a little lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley, sometimes with a little garlic...good stuff.

Feb 20, 2014
mels in General Topics

Your Favorite Newman's Own Products?

I love the Parmesan & Roasted Garlic dressing used as a marinade for grilled chicken. Every time I serve it people ask me what that flavor is and I give them my "recipe": Put chicken in a container, add dressing to coat, wait for at least 30 minutes, then grill. Delicious.

For the record, I will never say no to a Fig Newman or their Chocolate Caramel Cups.

Feb 11, 2014
mels in General Topics

Do you like buffalo? I mean to eat???

I love bison burgers. I make a giant thick burger and don't cook it past medium-rare. I make sure it rests for a few while I gather condiments and toppings and they are incredibly juicy and delicious.

I don't find bison to be gamey at all. i think too many people look to it as a beef substitute. It isn't beef so don't try and pretend it is or you'll probably be disappointed.

Feb 04, 2014
mels in Home Cooking

How would you plot the caloric value of your meals throughout the day?

I start off small and end big. A typical work day will feature a light breakfast, a medium lunch and a larger dinner, with a snack between breakfast and lunch.

The main reason for doing this is because that is what my hunger pattern dictates.

Feb 04, 2014
mels in General Topics

How do you brew your morning cup of coffee?

Bodum burr grinder, Bodum french press = fantastic coffee, every morning. Keurig, no matter the "flavor", is absolutely tasteless in comparison.

I should mention that I am not insinuating that the Bodum brand makes the difference, the burr grinder/french press combo is the key for my taste. I am sure there are many perfectly good brands available, that's just the set-up I have.

Feb 04, 2014
mels in General Topics
1

How many pots and pans? How many slow cookers? etc....Essentials?!

Used daily or almost-daily:
Stovetop kettle (mainly water for French press coffee)
Toaster oven (Breville Compact SmartOven, love it)
10” heavy stainless saute pan

Used multiple times weekly:
Sanyo fuzzy logic rice cooker
KitchenAid stand mixer, mainly just to knead bread dough. Mixer itself is a POS.
Pizza stone that lives in my oven
Immersion blender (soups, dressings, sauces, etc.)
12” stainless pan
7 qt enameled cast iron dutch oven

Used once in a while but mostly takes up cabinet space:
Slow cooker
Wok
Cast iron pan and griddle
Cuisinart Griddler (with waffle plates)
Food processor
Blender
Mandoline

Jan 30, 2014
mels in Cookware

Making pot roast in advance: some questions

Thanks for the input, everyone. The "beef juice" haters are my niece and nephew who usually gladly eat most things I cook so I don't mind flexing a little to appease their taste. I'm going to just put the whole dutch oven in the fridge and reheat the whole lot the next day after doing some minor de-fatting. I like the idea of slicing cold and reheating with the warmed juice. I think I will try that next time when I'm cooking pot roast for my husband and me (sans the littles).

Jan 23, 2014
mels in Home Cooking

"Mix" cakes vs. scratch cakes

I would have agreed with Cherylptw's entire post if it wasn't for the "not everyone can afford high quality butter or free range eggs or good chocolate to make cake & frosting" statement. No one said that you have to buy European style cultured butter, the finest chocolate, or eggs from your own backyard chickens that have only dined on organic vegetable scraps. I can throw together the Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate Cake" pretty darned fast using cheap store eggs, Hershey's chocolate powder, and vegetable oil and it will blow any chocolate cake mix out of the water. I totally agree if you don't have the baking basics on hand (vanilla, baking powder/soda, etc.) it will cost you more but no one should think that not being able to buy the finest ingredients available means you are shut out of cake baking. That's just a load of hooey.

Jan 22, 2014
mels in General Topics
7

Need a wholegrain waffle mix or recipe

I know you'd prefer a mix but if you do feel like making some from scratch, this recipe is our house favorite for waffles:
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/mul...

They are simple to put together and delicious.

Jan 22, 2014
mels in General Topics

Making pot roast in advance: some questions

I found some related threads but nothing that addressed my question directly. I know braising meat the day (or several days) before improves flavor, as I do this with braised short ribs. I never thought about doing this with pot roast until now. I did some searching of old posts and it looks like quite a few 'hounds braise their pot roast ahead of time, so my two questions are as follows:

1. How do you store the meat overnight in the fridge: Sliced? Whole unsliced roast (this is what I would prefer to do)? In the cooking liquid or separate the two for storage?

2. How do you reheat? Slices seem pretty straightforward to reheat since the hot liquid would do most of the work but I would rather keep the roast whole. If I refrigerate the whole roast overnight, would I transfer the whole roast and cooking liquid back to the dutch oven and simmer it on low for a while to heat it throughout?

The reason why I am leaning towards keeping the roast whole is a few in the crowd I will be serving don't like "beef juice" on their meat- they are small children, so I give them a pass ;) Ideally, I would slice the meat and pass the cooking liquid separately to each guest's taste rather than heating a bunch of slices up in the aforementioned "beef juice".

Jan 22, 2014
mels in Home Cooking

Do you think tartar sauce is gross?

My bad, I thought it was made with sweet pickles. I don't touch the stuff, hence my ignorance. Again, the jarred mayo glop is really the deal breaker for me in tartar sauce. I'll take the chopped pickles, hold the mayo.

Jan 16, 2014
mels in General Topics

Celery half-portions for small households.

Interesting! I get single carrots (only at Whole Foods) but have never seen a single celery stalk.

Jan 09, 2014
mels in General Topics

Celery half-portions for small households.

Ditto this- keep it dry and it lasts a while. I wrap the stalks in a paper towel (to absorb any moisture), then keep it in a sealed zip top bag. The celery in my fridge is about one month old and is still very crisp.

Jan 08, 2014
mels in General Topics

honey

Buckwheat honey. It almost has a farm-like smell. We call it eau de barnyard in my house. It is very dark and very pungent...not for the faint of heart!

Jan 06, 2014
mels in General Topics
1

Do you think tartar sauce is gross?

I vote for "gross." Jarred mayo is particularly disgusting, so adding chopped sweet pickles to it really isn't helping anything IMO. However, you can put chopped up dog kibble in homemade mayo and I would probably eat it! Real mayo is such a different animal than the cream colored glop in a jar made by Hellman's, Best Foods, Dukes, etc.

Jan 03, 2014
mels in General Topics

Max Fish (Glastonbury)

I'm glad to hear you had good experience. I haven't been in quite some time but have always found the food and service both to be great.

Dec 27, 2013
mels in Southern New England

Capital Grille Hartford

They serve choice, not prime. I only know this because it is a chain restaurant (Darden) and I was traveling on business and went to a Capital Grille in another state and this exact question came up in conversation.

Dec 27, 2013
mels in Southern New England

☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

At my grocery store I can find a limited selection of fresh sauerkraut in the meat case and a wider selection in the "vaguely ethnic" refrigerated produce case, along with the tofu, seitan, miso, fermented pickles, wonton wrappers, etc.

Dec 27, 2013
mels in General Topics

Whisk and wait method with butter/sugar? America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated

I agree ricepad, I am now a believer! I made two batches of brown butter blondies tonight and WOW. The flavor was much more pronounced, that butterscotch flavor was IN MY FACE instead of a background note and I mean that in the best way possible! I will definitely be using this method from here on out!

Dec 24, 2013
mels in Home Cooking

Whisk and wait method with butter/sugar? America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated

I Googled some more and finally found the explanation I was looking for, which I am posting here in case someone in the future comes across this post while searching. The “whisk and wait” came out of ATK’s “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie” recipe. To paraphrase to avoid copyright infringement, their experiment was to make a batch of cookies as normal (mix everything, put on cookie sheet, then into the oven). The second batch rested for 10 minutes with occasional whisking after they combined the sugar with the liquids (brown butter, vanilla, salt, eggs). The result was a richer, deeper flavor. Sugar that is dissolved in the liquids prior to baking breaks down quicker from crystalline sucrose into fructose and glucose, which for new flavor compounds and caramelize at a lower temperature. They have you whisk the liquids for 30 seconds, let stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for another 30 seconds and repeat 2 more times of whisking/resting.

Dec 24, 2013
mels in Home Cooking

Whole Food Shoppers

I agree with this. Also, as mentioned, WF carries local bakery items, so the chocolate babka I get here in Connecticut will not be available in WF Orlando.

Dec 24, 2013
mels in Chains
1

Whisk and wait method with butter/sugar? America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated

Someone recently told me about a “whisk and wait” method they saw on ATK for a chocolate chip cookie recipe. I searched online and see that they have you (I’m paraphrasing here but you get the gist) melt butter, whisk in your eggs and sugar, then wait a few minutes, then whisk again like mad for 30 seconds, then wait a few minutes…repeat this a couple times. Various food bloggers allude to the fact that ATK/CI says this improves the flavor because the sugar dissolves better than just dumping it in. I am looking for more info here…how does it improve the flavor? What is the science behind this? I usually like ATK for little tricks like this but I can’t find much info on this idea to decide if I want to bother adopting this method. Would this be true for all recipes using melted butter/sugar? For example, let’s say blondies, cookies, or any other recipe that uses melted, not creamed, butter?

Dec 24, 2013
mels in Home Cooking

Probe thermometer for grill

I am not familiar with smokers (other than the tasty meats they produce!) but I am assuming you wouldn't be reaching temps that are very high or anywhere near the ballpark of 500 F. However, I could be completely off-base due to my smoker ignorance!

EDITED: because I am now realizing you want a probe thermometer for the grill, not the smoker. Sorry, my reading comprehension is apparently ZERO today. So no, the ThermoWorks original will not work in the grill due to the cord not having adequate temperature rating for that kind of use. If you like the ThermoWorks brand, check out their website. They have all sorts of different thermometers and probably have one that suits your needs.

Dec 24, 2013
mels in Cookware