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ChesterhillGirl's Profile

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food related gifts for diabetics?

Your friend should try Dreamfields low-carb pasta. I can get it in my grocery store; it's also available from the Internet at various sites.

I've asked for a selection of Smuckers sugar-free products for Xmas. Locals stores only carry 2 or 3 flavors, but I'd love to try the others. So I pointed out all the preserves, jellies, toppings, and syrup available from the Smucker's Web site, and I'l keeping my fingers crossed. They have about 25 different flavors, and they don't use the sorbitol/maltitol/xylitol family of sweeteners, which give me bad, bad GI problems.

Hope this helps.

Best thing you've ever made?

This is a Julia Child recipe, a beef and tomato stew with rice. I've made it at least once a year for 30 years.

Nov 14, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Cuisinart processor grating disk question

For grating cheese, I use the metal blade, not a disk. If I need to shred the cheese, I use the largest shredder disk. That doesn't seem to collect the pieces underneath the lid too badly--I always have a few pieces stuck there anyway, so I eat those.

Nov 10, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Cookware

Diabetic Dessert for Party

Add me in about your list of acceptable items on a diabetic's fruit tray. Those fruits have so much sugar in them that the diabetic might as well have a small piece of pie or cake.

And about the "Even people with Type 2 can and should have some fruit in their diet" assertion. For some people, fruit is just a fructose-delivery system. Juice and whole fruit are not essential for health, no matter how much we might like them.

Oct 17, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Ideas for Get-Well Meals?

Nigella Lawson cooked a chicken dish that caused me to buy her new cookbook. It is called "Praised Chicken," and we loved it. Your friends will, too.

Oct 15, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Ingredients linking recipe website? also has this feature.

Oct 02, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Fabulous dinner roll recipe?

This recipe was published in our local paper a few years ago and I thought they were extremely good. The recipe name is Pillowy Soft Dinner Rolls. I hope you enjoy them:

Oct 01, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking


You can buy them from and not have to lug them home in your suitcase.

Please help me add veggies to my meals

Do you want a good vegetable cookbook? Get "The Victory Garden Cookbook" by Marian Morash. This was first published several years ago and is still in print. You probably can get a cheap, used copy. She devotes a chapter to each vegetable and gives many different ways to fix it; she includes simple sautes, roasting, casseroles, and lots of other ways of fixing vegetables. She is married to Russell Morash, who was the producer at WGBH who started the PBS program "The Victory Garden." Then he asked Marian to provide little segments about what to do with all the vegetables, and she got popular.

Aug 25, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Side Dish for a cookout that is not potato salad

I saw a recipe recently that looked very good and I bookmarked it, but haven't tried ti yet. It does have a small amount of bacon in it, but the recipe looks like smoked turkey sausage or beef summer sausage could be substituted without creating a problem. It's for a corn & bean succotash with tomatoes and croutons:

Jul 31, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Dr. says, "No SALT ALLOWED" now what?

Penzeys just introduced another salt-free flavor called Arizona Dreaming. It is a Mexican blend, and I liked it a lot. You should search that site for all the salt-free blends, because there are a lot, including salt-free versions of regular, salted flavorings (like lemon pepper).

Jul 23, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Let's talk egg salad alternatives

I have made this recipe many times, and I can't figure out why it tastes exactly like egg salad, but it does. I've even fed it so some family members who turn up their noses at tofu. It is from Tyler Florence when he was doing Food 911 several years ago--he was helping a woman who needed to provide some meals for vegetarian roommates.

Jul 08, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Sure-Gel or Clear-Jel

I've never seen Clear Jel in a store. I order it from King Arthur Flour. Clear Jel does not have to be cooked to thicken juices; I use it to make refrigerator jelly from mashed up fruit and sweetener. I remember Sure-Jell as needing boiling water to work, making me think that it's more like gelatin.

Jun 10, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

What new food have you discovered recently?

Ponzu sauce. I still don't know what it's used for, though.

Scalloped potatoes and ham casserole? Help me tweek recipe!

My SIL recently cooked a real crowd pleaser by adding some diced ham to a recipe I gave her for au gratin potatoes. This is the recipe for the potatoes; it was in the Penzey's catalog several years ago in their Easter issue and I found it on their Web site:

Then, she chopped up the leftover ham for about 1/2 cup per person (she used 4 cups) and just added it to the casserole. This was really good, and I'm so glad it turned out for her. She's unsure of herself with cooking, and this recipe isn't difficult and tasted great.

May 11, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Seeking: Recipe for Sugarfree Cheesecake with Dates (Agave sweetened? No-bake?)

Need to jump in to support The Professor about the agave syrup. I got interested in agave when I read that it is a low GI (glycemic index) sweetener and that only a tiny amount (drops) provides the sweetness of teaspoons or tablespoons of sugar. I even read the Web sites of some places that cultivate the agave and bottle the nectar.

But I test my blood glucose 2x/day, and agave nectar spiked my blood sugar by at least 50 points, and I didn't eat that much of it. I don't remember now what the food was, but I was really surprised that this "GI" sweetener was that bad for my blood sugar. If you are making the cheesecake for someone else, do you know if that person has ever tried agave syrup?

Mar 30, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

The perfect gift for a budding Foodie

Look at the Penzey's gift crates. They range in size/price from small to huge--I'd love to get one of those if I were a budding foodie. Here's a link to their gifts page:

Favorite vegetable side dishes?

I'm not sure that vegetarian cookbooks are the answer for someone who doesn't care for vegetables. They are full of recipes for people who already are committed to eating lots of veggies.

I'd recommend an older cookbook, The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash. She was married to the guy to created/produced the "Victory Garden" TV show on PBS several years ago, and when the viewers asked about recipes, he tapped Marian for some cooking tips for the fresh produce.

At any rate, Victory Garden CB is the best vegetable cookbook I's not vegetarian and it's not filled with exotic stuff that you wouldn't consider eating. It also has the best carrot cake recipe to ever appear in print.

Hope this helps.

Mar 25, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Best bundt pan? Is nordic ware too dark?

I have this Bundt pan from Williams-Sonoma:

W-S has several baking pans in their own line called Goldtouch--I have a few and like them a lot (round cake layer pan and muffin pan).

Feb 16, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Cookware

Learning to Eat Meat

There are two cookbooks that might interest you: "Almost Meatless" and "Almost Vegetarian."

Feb 05, 2010
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Mail order food gifts

You can't beat Zingermans. The gifts are pricey, but they are impressive.

Recipes using candied ginger

This is a link to the best gingerbread I've ever eaten. When I made it, I glazed it with a lemon juice and powdered sugar icing that was a good foil for the spicy sweetness of the cake.

Jul 30, 2009
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Killer Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

This recipe has become the most requested cookie recipe at our house. I saw it demonstrated on TV and then made them for us. Do try the brown butter glaze -- the cookies are good without the icing, but outstanding with it.

Jun 07, 2009
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Eating our way up Michigan's western coast

I used to eat at the Common Grill in Chelsea, MI, when I lived in Ann Arbor. This place is like a miracle in a small, rural town. The owner used to be an executive chef.

ideas to use up frozen, shredded zucchini?

This is an outstanding recipe for brownies with the zucchini being completely undetectable. I discovered this about 3 yrs ago, and I've probably made these brownies 20 times since then.

May 29, 2009
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Help with tofu

This recipe was in the local paper several years ago, and the link isn't available any longer. It was a restaurant recipe requested in the food section. I have doubled and tripled the recipe with no problems, so I'd think it is infinitely expandable.

(Tofu stir-fried with mixed vegetables in a tomato sauce)

Nonstick cooking spray
Vegetable oil
1 (1- to 1.25-pound) cube firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 whole tomato, diced
2 to 3 cups mixed vegetables (such as thinly sliced white onion and green onion, broccoli, bamboo shoots, snow peas, sliced carrots)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup ketchup (Mai Lee uses Heinz)
1 tablespoon rice wine
Hot cooked rice

Coat skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add enough vegetable oil to coat bottom. Fry tofu in skillet until golden brown. This will take about 15 minutes.
Drain cubes of tofu on paper towels. Set aside.
In clean skillet, heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil until hot. Add garlic and tomato. Saute about 1 minute.
Add vegetables. Stir-fry until vegetables are cooked almost to desired doneness.
Stir in salt, sugar, ketchup and rice wine. Stir-fry for another 2 to 4 minutes.
Add fried tofu; cook and stir until tofu is heated through and has absorbed some of the sauce. Serve with rice.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings.

May 13, 2009
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

Help, I'm feeding 60 people

I made this recipe for Three-Cheese Spaghetti Pie for a Christmas lunch, and it fed about 20 people who were taking smallish portions. The baked pie refrigerated great, and it was very good served at room temperature. I thought the pie was easy to make; it was popular enough that people wanted the recipe; I think a few of these could help you out at the engagement party.

May 11, 2009
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

My dog says "Damn you Chowhound!"

Buy two chickens. Problem solved.

Chicken and dressing casserole

I'd like to suggest a recipe that's a bit different. This is Lex's Roast Chicken from the Zingerman's Deli cookbook ("Guide to Good Eating"). I make this in a cast iron skillet. The bottom layer is good bread, then onions+celery+herbs mixture typical of stuffing, and then a butterflied chicken spread out on top, similarly lemoned- and herbed-up. Then you roast the whole thing and it is wonderful. Here's the recipe, on a site where the cookbook is excerpted. The recipe starts on page 121.

May 05, 2009
ChesterhillGirl in Home Cooking

STL area lunch rec with river views?

Look at the Great River Road that runs up the Illinois side of the Mississippi up toward Grafton. I stayed at the Tara Point B&B once, and it just took my breath away. We poked around Grafton for a morning, and I saw some restaurants that might be what you want.