a

AlexisT's Profile

Title Last Reply

Crock-Pot slow cookers too hot on "Low"

I have a Crock-Pot (I forget the model number but it's a 6 quart oval "cook and carry") and yes, it's an issue. It's at the point where it's rendered the crockpot useless because I can no longer put things up in the morning. Unless I'm cooking a huge piece of meat, it will be fall apart tender even if I set a timer to switch it to warm during the afternoon. I was also told it's due to federal rules on food safety and so "low" is no longer what it used to be,

A friend told me her All-Clad slow cooker does not run quite as hot as Crock Pots, but I can't justify the splurge on one.

Dec 12, 2013
AlexisT in Cookware

Magimix 5200XL or KitchenAid ProLine?

I am considering buying a new food processor. I currently own a Magimix 5150; however, the bowls are cracking after 5.5 years of heavy use and I'm considering upgrading to a model with an XL feed tube (the one thing I dislike about the 5150).

I could just upgrade to a 5200XL. It is a well made machine (the motor is in perfect shape), I know how to use it, I have spare discs that I believe will fit (according to the Internet) and I do use that citrus press a fair bit. However, the XL feed tube is still not huge, and spares are a headache--right now I cannot replace my broken main bowl without getting my sister-in-law in England to mail me one because Gourmet Depot is backordered. The design of the safety latch places stress on the handle when latching and I know I'll be ordering yet another in a few years, too.

I saw the KA Pro Line in Williams Sonoma and I was intrigued by the features such as adjustable slicing, a dicing attachment, and the huge feed tube. However, I don't know anyone who's owned one, and frankly, I have some concerns about KA's recent build quality. It is also more expensive to begin with and would be even more so when I calculate the extras I would need to purchase.

I use my FP all the time (minimum of daily, typically more) and it lives on my counter; the size of the KA is bulky, but I could live with it.

Any opinions? In particular, has anyone used the Pro Line? I know it's a new machine and there isn't much of a reliability record.

Dec 10, 2013
AlexisT in Cookware

Lady locks recipe, no Crisco

The Crisco in the pastry doesn't bother me as much as Crisco in the filling, where I really suspect it's for stability/perishability reasons. For that matter, Crisco in the pastry is probably partly for that reason as well as being easier to work. Lady locks are often baked in large numbers for cookie tables--people don't have time to do them at short notice (several of us are baking cookies for a party, so I have more flexibility) and I suspect that comes into play.

I'd feel a little more confident if someone had a tested recipe to do this, though--I don't have a weekend spare where I can do a test run. (This is for a party in early December.)

Nov 12, 2013
AlexisT in Home Cooking

Lady locks recipe, no Crisco

I want to make these as part of a cookie spread. I've done it before (and I'm aware of what I'm setting myself up for), but the recipe I have (and all the recipes I can unearth online) call for Crisco and/or margarine. Has anyone seen a Crisco-free lady locks recipe? Is there some reason it wouldn't work? I'm guessing that a butter version wouldn't keep as long, but I'm willing to make these last.

Nov 12, 2013
AlexisT in Home Cooking

New to Harrisburg

Midtown, and maybe a couple other patches of Harrisburg proper, are probably the best neighborhoods for finding childless couples who like to go out. :) But they're only part of the city, and the city is only a small part of the metro area. Get past the city limits, and it's heavily family and retiree oriented here.

I'm from the NYC area originally--moved here 4 years ago--and there is less of a dining culture in general compared to where I grew up. But I look around where I live (Hampden) and people do have money and go out, but they don't tend to be very adventurous about it. Hence, the chains.

And yes, like you mentioned below--people here think the river is an unbridgeable chasm. So when we are lucky enough to get somewhere good on this side, people think it practically requires an expeditionary force to try it!

Jan 21, 2013
AlexisT in Pennsylvania

New to Harrisburg

It's also more family oriented, I think. I know relatively few childless urban professionals who have the time and money to go out a lot. I live on the West Shore, and people here have money... but they're either older or have kids. (We're the latter.) The chains all along Carlisle Pike do great. We have a few other good places (randomly, several Thai places--I don't get it, but don't complain, either! By the way, there's a Korean place on Market St in Camp Hill--went there once and it was pretty good.)

I love to eat, but yes--I don't get the chance to go out to the nicer places, and I think we're pretty typical. The market isn't here.

I don't think Central PA is really so much worse than any other demographically similar place in the US.

Jan 21, 2013
AlexisT in Pennsylvania

Hospital Food----My how it's changed>>>For the better

If only that were true for my last stay (3 days, childbirth, this past September). Food was awful. All the regular menus were low fat. They had a second extra menu where you could order some basics (pretty stereotypical kid food, really) but the regular menu was terrible. I know it wasn't just me being a snob; my husband commented on how unappetizing it looked. Luckily, I had been in for observation during my pregnancy, knew what to expect, had prepared food at home, and had it brought in to me when my husband and parents visited. I just had a baby--I don't need rubber chicken and diet margarine!

This was at a large hospital in a smaller city--definitely not New York or LA. I wasn't expecting gourmet cuisine but they could have done better.

May 15, 2012
AlexisT in General Topics

Dinner with baby in Pittsburgh

I'm going to be in Pittsburgh overnight this weekend with my son, who's 7 months old (and obviously, not eating enough to be of consideration). I need somewhere to eat where I can eat decent food without worrying about him being a nuisance or getting odd looks. (I.e. I could just give in and go to Chipotle but would rather not.)

I'll eat pretty much anything except for Thai, and I'll be around Oakland (with a car, so there's some flexibility).

Thanks!

May 04, 2012
AlexisT in Pennsylvania

Multipots

I'm cooking for 4, but I find that a 4 quart pot doesn't hold enough water for the pasta to circulate well without sticking, and spaghetti and other long pasta don't fit well. They'd definitely do better in the tall, narrow pot.

Mar 26, 2012
AlexisT in Cookware

Multipots

I've been considering buying one of these, and noticed that the pots are substantially cheaper than regular 12 quart stockpots from the same ranges (I'm looking at All-Clad and the Sur La Table own brand). Does anyone know what the difference is? I'm assuming weight or quality in some respect, but I couldn't really toss around stock pots to tell. I want to know if I'm likely to be disappointed.

For what it's worth, I'm looking at this for boiling pasta, making chicken stock, and some steaming--primarily vegetables. In terms of size and shape, one of these would be really ideal for us, and while I know many people dislike the pasta insert, I've hurt myself with boiling water more than once.

Mar 26, 2012
AlexisT in Cookware

Tart (Bramley-style) apple sauce

For the record, I wound up using a mix of Macs and Granny Smith. It's not quite as tart, but it's acceptable. I think I needed a little extra water because of the Granny Smiths.

Nov 22, 2011
AlexisT in Home Cooking

Tart (Bramley-style) apple sauce

I've had bad luck with Granny Smith in recent years and have basically shied away from using them 99% of the time. They're not juicy and don't get tender when baked in pies. I have a suspicion that they're being picked slightly underripe to keep them bright green--I've noticed that the farmers market ones have a slight blush and are much better.

Nov 20, 2011
AlexisT in Home Cooking

Tart (Bramley-style) apple sauce

I'm in the Northeast. I've never seen a Gravenstein here; I thought they were only grown in CA. If I were still near NYC, the greenmarket would probably offer more possibilities--I know I've seen a good variety there before Thanksgiving. The most exotic thing I'll get at Wegmans is a Stayman. (Or it may be a Winesap. The bin label says "Stayman Winesap", but the labels on the apples have been known to say either Stayman OR Winesap, so I don't know which I'm getting.)

I wasn't planning on using sugar anyway. Even with Bramleys I only add a little. That's partly why it's going to be so tricky.

I have a feeling I may be trying what I can get and crossing my fingers. As long as it's reasonably tart (ie. not store bought!) it ought to do.

Nov 20, 2011
AlexisT in Home Cooking

Tart (Bramley-style) apple sauce

We are having roast goose for Thanksgiving dinner. If I were my English mother-in-law, I'd be serving Bramley apple sauce with it. Unfortunately, I live in the Eastern USA, and therefore cannot buy Bramleys--and as far as I've ever heard, no American apples cook quite like that. (For the Americans who have never had a Bramley, they are very tart cooking apples that cook into a fluffy puree.)

Normally, I make applesauce using McIntosh but that's much sweeter. Granny Smith is probably about tart enough, but supermarket Granny Smiths are so hard I'm afraid they won't cook into a sauce. Any ideas for which apples will give me a tarter sauce? The complicating factor is that I am limited to supermarket varieties as our farmers markets have all finished. I shop at Wegmans and their selection is fairly decent, but the selection still skews towards sweeter apples for eating.

Nov 19, 2011
AlexisT in Home Cooking

Electric cooktops: need opinions on solid element vs glass

Had plates (in Europe). LOATHED. Caps are not sufficient to express my hatred. The plates are slow to heat and slower to cool. Output was poor, even on the fastlite plates (the red spot ones). Boiled over water was impossible to use.

I've used coils, plates and glass (no induction) and would choose the glass. All electric cooktops are slow to cool down, unfortunately. The glass was the quickest and most responsive overall.

Aug 12, 2010
AlexisT in Cookware

What size rice cooker to buy? Zojirushi NP-HBC10 or 18?

A timely post--I was coming to ask a similar question. We're 2 adults, 2 small children. I like to make more than just rice in the rice cooker (add meat, vegetables, etc). If I do that, am I better off going for the bigger model? My concern is that a 5.5 cup model will be just enough now, but in a couple of years time (with bigger children, bigger appetites, and maybe another baby too) it will be too small. OTOH, I am notorious for overestimating how much of something we're going to eat, so I'm not sure I want to trust my judgment.

Aug 05, 2010
AlexisT in Cookware

Macadamia Nut Brittle Ice Cream

Very interesting that it's still available foodservice--maybe I can hold out hope for a re-release or special edition! I know it's still available in some other countries.

Good to know that's all it is--I think I'll try the original before adding white chocolate. I remember the Haagen-Dazs version having more caramel than the recipe posted above (which only has 1 Tb of sugar) but I've turned up some more promising recipes.

Apr 14, 2010
AlexisT in Home Cooking

Macadamia Nut Brittle Ice Cream

When I moved back to the US last year, I discovered that at some point during my absence, Haagen-Dazs had discontinued their Macadamia Brittle ice cream. I would dearly love to replicate it.

I can't seem to find a recipe, but I wonder--is there anything more to it than making macadamia brittle, chopping it up, and adding it to vanilla ice cream? (If I'm going to go to the trouble, I'll do homemade--truth be told, I like my version of vanilla better than H-D's.) If that's the case, I wouldn't say no to a great recipe for macadamia brittle, either...

Thanks!

Apr 14, 2010
AlexisT in Home Cooking

No good bagels??? [London]

Most of the bagel shops in London (certainly all in Golders Green/Hendon) are kosher under the Beth Din, so they're all closed Shabbat. Friday mornings are an even bigger scene than Sundays; the queues can go down 2 or 3 storefronts!

I used to live near Daniels and their bagels are pretty good. BTW it's quite a hike from the Tube, get the 82 or 460 up Finchley Road. Northbound bus stops right in front.

May 26, 2009
AlexisT in U.K./Ireland

Salted Caramel Frosting

The version of this recipe that I have doubles everything but the butter, and it's perfect. I've had to double it to get the right amounts for frosting a large layer cake, though.

I agree that cooling the caramel is crucial (I speak from semimelted frosting experience!)

Dec 04, 2008
AlexisT in Recipes