i_am_Lois's Profile

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Evaporated Milk - how do you use it?

In addition to the many suggestions already posted, I also use evaporated milk if I think a mayonnaise based salad I've just made... such as potato or tuna salad... seems too thick. I add a small amount, and it loosens the dressing without changing the taste.

Sep 16, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Bored Palette! Need new recipe ideas.

Here is a recipe for a dish that is memorable for tasting unlike any other. It's flavorful & I've had several requests for this recipe. In fact a woman requested the recipe just 2 weeks ago, saying she remembered how much she enjoyed being served it about 8 years ago & has regretted she never asked before, for the recipe. It's easy to make & the ingredients are readily available in any market. It is a vegetarian version of a Brazilian black bean stew. I got the recipe from a magazine called Vegetarian Times. The recipe says it serves 6.

1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes (1 to 1 1/4 lbs.), peeled and diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 small hot green chili pepper, or more to taste, minced
2 (16-oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is golden, about 3 minutes.
Stir in sweet potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes (with liquid), chili and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender but still firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in beans and simmer gently, uncovered, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in mango and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in cilantro and salt. Serve hot.

Jun 09, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Saucyness is close to godliness.

I've found that when the sauce is finished cooking and off the heat, it enhances the flavors to stir in a little ground clove. You don't want anyone to actually taste it, and remember clove is very strong... so a little of this will go a long way.

May 27, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

What parts of a pig should I ask for: not the meat, tho?

You could make scrapple with all your ingredients. I've heard tell scrapple contains everything but the squeal.

May 03, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Can only find curly noodles

I can remember a time when I could purchase a bag of flat noodles. Now every noodle on the shelf is curly. Also, when a bag said large noodles, they were LARGE (and I'm not talking about dumplings... just bigger noodles). Now it says large, but they look to be medium noodles to me.

I swear flat noodles taste different than curly ones. I prefer the flat. They would be slippery after cooking and you could suck them up like spaghetti (on steroids). I can't suck up these curly noodles.

Anybody else missing them?

May 02, 2014
i_am_Lois in General Topics

What would you consider are your 6 essential spices?

Powdered mustard
Eryngium foetidum (culantro - I have to grow it in my garden because it's rarely available in the market)

Apr 12, 2014
i_am_Lois in General Topics

Simple Recipes With A Twist

I like to add a little brown sugar and hot sauce to a few tablespoons of ketchup, mix it, then use it as I would normally use the ketchup. It's wonderful on eggs, meatloaf, fried potatoes, etc.

I also like to add a couple tablespoons (about 2 or 3) of prepared horseradish when I'm mixing together all the ingredients for a meatloaf.

When I make a gallon of homemade sweetened ice tea (also lemonade) along with 2 level cups of the sugar, I also add 3 packets of Equal artificial sweetener. It really helps boost the sweet flavor without adding more sugar.

To meat that I want to cook till it's just done so that it retains it's moisture... but tends to look a tad pale, I start by heating a little oil in a fry pan, then add about a teaspoon of sugar. I let the sugar brown then add the meat and fry as normal. This really gives the meat a rich darker brown color that is extremely appealing, without a long cooking process.

Apr 09, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Vegan, Kosher for Passover Recipes

Find out exactly what your friend's daughter is willing to eat. I've known several vegetarians and each one has a different diet. One eats no meat, but will eat all dairy, seafood, eggs,and even cooks meals using beef & chicken bouillon cubes. Another person eats no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no honey and wouldn't think of using meat flavored bouillon cubes.

Some vegetarians are just disturbed by the slaughter of land animals and eating their flesh. Others don't participate in what they feel is the exploitation of creatures for the purpose of food in any sense.

Apr 06, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Recipe ideas for picky husband?

If you try the recipe, I wish there were a way you could let me know how you and how your husband liked it.

Apr 01, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Recipe ideas for picky husband?

I wasn't offended Sdgirl619. I just misunderstood you, and was thinking you expected this recipe to be exactly like Kraft. I think it's because it is so different, that is why my hubby likes it. Whenever I make mac & cheese using cheddar, he compares it to Kraft... and according to him Kraft is always superior. He likes pizza and this mac & cheese has a similar stringy cheese quality (and no cheddar flavor to compare with Kraft). I see in one of your remarks your husband doesn't like onion. It's fine to omit the onion called for in this recipe. I've done that and the dish doesn't suffer from a lack of a bit of onion.

Apr 01, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Recipe ideas for picky husband?

That mac & cheese recipe I provided is NOTHING like the Kraft boxed stuff. It's different entirely. It turns out a little stringy like pizza. It has a milder flavor because it doesn't contain cheddar. You can try it. But don't think it's a Kraft mac & cheese copy cat recipe.

Apr 01, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Recipe ideas for picky husband?

I too am married to an extremely picky eater. I know how difficult it is. Mine reminds me of your husband because he likes boxed food and doesn't like sauce either, but will eat pizza, spaghetti, hot wings etc. One thing mine likes that surprised me was creamed chip beef. He also will eat lasagna... but not if it's made with ricotta. I found a recipe using cream cheese (to replace the ricotta) that he will eat. Here is a list of things I discovered mine was willing to eat. See if your man will eat them too.
Homemade beef pot pie
Campbell's soup recipe for Salisbury steaks
boneless strips of chicken coated with batter (using Vadalia brand batter mix - this is a boxed powder you add water to & are supposed to use to make blooming onions or coat onion rings with) I coat the chicken with the batter and fry it in about a 1/2 inch of oil. He likes it a lot.
Hot dogs & sausage links, even with mild heat
Oven roasted Cornish game hens
Oven roasted pork butt
Stuffed peppers, but no fillers... just seasoned ground beef
And lastly, my husband hated any mac & cheese except boxed Kraft until he tried this homemade one. He loves it and asks me to make it for him. Here's the recipe:

Old Roman Macaroni & Cheese

1 lb. box 2&1/2 inch long Mosstaccioli noodles (or other similar ribbed noodles).
4 oz. parmesan cheese grated
3/4 lb fontina cheese coarsely shredded

1 cup breadcrumbs, toasted in a few tablespoons butter till golden.

4 Tablespoons butter
1 onion minced
4 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
A pinch of Thyme
1 bay leaf
A dash of Nutmeg
Salt & pepper

Heat oven 350°

Prepare breadcrumbs and set aside.

To make sauce:
Fry onion in the 4 Tablespoons butter till translucent.
Add the 4 Tablespoons flour and stir well to combine.
Add all the milk, thyme, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt & pepper and stir till sauce comes to a boil. Continue to cook and stir for 1 minute longer, then remove bay leaf.

Cook noodles according to directions on box, then drain.

In a bowl combine cheeses.

Butter a 3 quart baking dish.

Layer ingredients in 1/3's
Noodles, cheese, then sauce… noodles, cheese, then sauce into the prepared baking dish (like a lasagna).

Top with breadcrumbs.

Bake 15 - 20 minutes at 350° (till bubbly)

Mar 31, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Kneaded Tofu

This Japanese cooking video (with sub-titles) shows how to make some sort of sesame paste tofu.

During the video the chef says you must knead the tofu... but she is stirring it in a pot while it cooks. It appears to be of similar consistency to thick mashed potatoes. She beats it for a long time. She keeps referring to what she's doing as kneading the tofu.

Maybe the word knead has different meanings in different cultures.

Here's the video:

Mar 11, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Hmmm….Chocolate chip cookie question...

Crisco contains little flavor and no salt. Some added flavor & a pinch of salt were probably lacking as a result. Molasses will definitely add a chewier texture to your cookies, but I find molasses to sometimes leave a sulfur after taste.

Mar 01, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Help! Videos of basic techniques needed

This should be of great help.


Feb 07, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

For whatever reason, I've got a hankering for pineapple upside down cake.....

This is the recipe I love & use. It has the classic flavor:

Heat oven to 350°
1/3 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 lg can pineapple slices (6 T juice reserved for batter)
Maraschino cherries
Pecan halves

Prepare pan:
Melt butter in pan.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Arrange drained pineapple.
Garnish with pecans & cherries.

2 eggs
2/3 c white sugar
6 T pineapple juice
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 c flour
1/3 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Beat eggs for 5 minutes.
Gradually add sugar
Add juice & vanilla.
Sift dry ing.
Beat into mixture all at once.
Pour over fruit & nuts in pan
Bake 45 min.

Immediately turn upside down on serving platter.
Wait a few minutes before lifting pan off of cake.

Feb 06, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

The best butter? The one you make

Wonderful 'tutorial' for making 2 things I love... butter & buttermilk! Since I'm a do things from scratch sort of girl, I'll be giving it a try. Thanks!

Feb 03, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Afghan noodles?

I am not familiar with this type of pasta. I found some information on Wikipedia. After reading it I wondered if you had eaten dumplings or noodles, since that is what the article refers to. Here is what the article said:

Pasta is called "khameerbob" in Afghanistan and is often in the shape of dumplings. These native dishes are popular. Due to the time-consuming process of creating the dough for the dumplings, it is rarely served at large gatherings such as weddings, but for more special occasions at home:

Mantu - A dish of Chinese origin. Dumplings filled with onion & ground beef. Mantu is steamed and usually topped with a tomato-based sauce and a yogurt or qoroot-based sauce. The yogurt-based topping is usually a mixture of yogurt, sour cream, and garlic. The qoroot-based sauce is made of goat cheese and is also mixed with garlic. Sometimes a qoroot and yogurt mixture will be used. The dish is then topped with dried mint.
Ashak - Kabul dish. Dumplings filled with leeks. Boiled and then drained. Ashak is topped with garlic-mint qoroot or a garlic yogurt sauce and a well seasoned ground meat mixture.

Each family or village will have its own version of mantu and ashak, which creates a wide variety of dumplings.

Pasta in the form of noodles is also commonly found in aush, a noodle soup served in several varieties around the country.

Feb 02, 2014
i_am_Lois in General Topics

Jiffy Pie Crust Mix

My Mom always used this when making a pie. It makes an acceptable crust. I like a pie crust from scratch. I think from scratch it's more flavorful, flaky, and tender. Jiffy pie crust is fine if you're mainly interested in the filling and have little interest in the crust. I have no knowledge about it's use for dumplings.

Jan 28, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Your favorite cornish hen recipes?

Here is how my husband & I like Cornish game hen prepared.

Cut out backbone. Cut bird in half down breast bone. Dry with paper towels.

Place a few drops of vinegar and a few drops of hot sauce on each half of the bird.

1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (or crush 1/2 chicken bouillon cube)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 t Goya brand Sazon without annatto
1/3 t paprika
A few dashes of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Massage spices into both halves of the bird.

Place bird halves on an oiled, foil lined baking sheet.

Place baking sheet in fridge uncovered for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375°
Roast Cornish game hen uncovered 1 hour.
Shut oven off and put the broiler on high setting.
Broil till skin starts to become deep golden brown.

Jan 26, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Can i make HM egg noodles in place of chinese egg noodles?

Anytime I've ordered lo mein I felt the noodle/pasta portion of the dish was very much like spaghetti.

On About.com I read this: If Chinese egg noodles aren't available, Italian pastas such as fettucini or linguini make a handy substitute. A "quick and dirty" lo mein can be made by using Ramen noodles with a flavor packet.

On eHow it says: Chinese noodles are made from rice flour or wheat. Recipes that call for rice flour noodles will taste just as good if vermicelli, linguine or fettuccine are used instead, while those using wheat noodles can be made with fettuccine or spaghetti.

I hope this helps.

Jan 26, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Turkey and dressing

Not me, sorry. I always do my stuffing on the stove-top.

Jan 25, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

I Don't Peel Potatoes

I peel unless they are baked. I just don't like the flavor & texture when peel is left on for mashed, home-fries, gratin, & stews. I do like the flavor of unpeeled carrots in many dishes though.

Jan 25, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Can I have your secret family recipe?!?!?

My Mom's meatloaf was good & even though I've tried other recipes I have found none better. My 2 daughters once had a meatloaf taste testing contest & Mom's recipe was a clear winner. Here's Mom's recipe.

Chop 1/2 of an onion.
Chop an equal amount of celery.
And chop an equal amount of green bell pepper
Saute vegetables in a small amount of oil till tender.
Let vegetables cool.
Place 2 pounds ground beef in a large bowl. Then add:
3 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoons horseradish (the grated variety stored in vinegar and purchased in a jar)
1 and 1/2 slices of bread (soaked in milk, squeezed dry, then pulled apart)
1 teaspoon powdered beef bouillon (or 1 beef bouillon cube crushed)
1 Tablespoon parsley
1 egg
salt & pepper (to taste)
the cooled vegetables
Combine ingredients well. Place mixture in a foil lined baking pan & shape into a loaf
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.
Lower heat to 375° and bake for 10 minutes
Lower heat to 350° and bake till done, about 50 minutes

Making pot roast in advance: some questions

We all have our own way of doing things. To answer your question, my way for this is to store the roast whole & the cooking liquid separate. On the day to serve, I slice the cold roast & wrap in foil. Place in a slow oven to warm up. I then heat up the cooking liquid in a pot on the stove-top to make gravy or whatever.

Jan 22, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Cutting a chicken breast in half?

I live in a remote area & my husband doesn't cook. I enjoy this site because I get to read and participate in everyday common discussions about cooking. Many of you seem to regard this forum as a place people can only post what you perceive to be an all important, essential issue. Then you go so far as to insult someone. I'm sorry. I don't agree with you. I value Cflower5's question.

Jan 21, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

what to make with puffy vietnamese tapioca wrapper?

Check out this site: http://tudiemcorner.blogspot.com/2013...

Maybe you can translate the page. If you scroll through the images, it looks like they put the wrappers in a waffle ice cream maker, form into a sort of taco shell shape, then fill with rice, beans, peanuts, (and is that coconut?) Other sites have a very similar looking filling.

Jan 20, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Dressing for Asian/Thai Cabbage Salad?

This is usually a dressing served over shredded papaya or shredded cucumber, but I think it would work well over shredded cabbage.

In a mortar with a pestle finely crush up
1 large or 2 smaller cloves of garlic and 1 or 2 fresh chili peppers (I always use jalapeno but you can use what you like such as bird's eye chili)
Add 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar and continue mashing.
Add 1 cut up tomato & mash some more.
Add 1 Tablespoon fish sauce and the juice of 1 lime.

Taste with your finger. There should be a wonderfully combined flavor of sweet, sour, hot & salty flavors. This is usually spot on, but if need be, you can add more sugar or lime or whatever if it needs adjustment.

This will be enough dressing for 2 servings. As you are crushing the garlic & pepper, you can add whatever your heart desires... such as match stick sliced carrot or shrimp.

Jan 20, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

How do you balance a dish?

Sounds like you learned something here. One ingredient that is powerful in flavor can cause a dish to turn into a one man show. Try this recipe again & next time use a much milder protein (corned beef, ham, bacon, a mild smoked sausage, turkey, chicken, etc.).

Jan 19, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Fascinatingly horrific vintage recipes

OK... you just gave me some flash backs from my youth. I can't say Mom was making any of those recipes, but she she sure put many bizarre meals on the dinner table back then. It's making the hair on my body stand up just mentioning them. When my sister & I get together, we invariably compare memories about several of the horrid, inedible recipes Mom had found. Ewww... like the chopped hot dogs, beans, ketchup, mustard & relish all heated in one pot then lots of large diced, raw onion thrown in just before serving. Yuck... the canned ham she opened with a key & ground up along with an onion & bread, to be made into patties, coated with bread crumbs & fried. Good grief, it was the saltiest thing I've ever eaten in my entire life! But I will take with me to my grave, the memory of when she'd open a can of corned beef hash, slice it into hockey pucks, do the same with a tomato & also an onion. Then she'd layer it onto the bottoms of hamburger buns, topped with a thick slice of Velveeta cheese. She'd slide the stacks (everything raw) under the broiler till the cheese burned. To complete the meal the burger bun tops were nicely burned as well.