i_am_Lois's Profile

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What's your absolute favorite/best apple dessert?

My favorite apple dessert is one my mother made when I was young (back in the 1950's and 60's. She called it Apple Brown Betty. Whenever bread was getting old and time to buy a new loaf, she'd let the few slices dry and store them in a bag. When she had many (20 slices or more?) she'd break them into big bite size chunks. She peeled and slices many apples. Cut a stick of butter into pats, then get out the sugar and cinnamon. She alternated layers of bread and apple, placing butter, sugar and cinnamon over that layer then work on the next layer. When the baking dish was full she'd pour about a 1/2 cup of water over the whole thing. It got tightly covered with foil and baked. At some point the foil was removed to allow the top to crisp up. It was delicious hot or cold.

Pork Loin freezer meals.

Try using it in a stew.

Apr 28, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

How often do you use food blog for home cooking?

I gather recipes to try at home from many various sources... cookbooks, magazines, 'professional' web sources, and food blogs written by average people who have no training in cooking, but who are willing to share recipes and techniques they've learned. Honestly, the most delicious new recipes I've tried have been from those average people. Just very recently I tried one person's pot roast and another person's muffin recipe. Both were so good they knocked my socks off and I've gotten wonderful compliments about them. I am not one bit concerned with whether a recipe has gone through a battery of tests and been approved by a group of people in some sort of study. So to answer your question, yes, you can expect to have an audience of interested readers.

Apr 09, 2015
i_am_Lois in Food Media & News

Cooking black fungus / wood eared mushrooms - go!

Consider drying them yourself. Here is a website with all the information you will need to dry them. It gives many good tips and explains the various methods you can use to dry mushrooms. http://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/...

Apr 07, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Reusing old spice containers

That's a very inventive, resourceful idea you have there. I've had dozens of spice containers I couldn't throw away when empty. But I scrubbed them with soap and water for use later... not giving a thought to the usefulness of the aromas and flavors that I sent down the drain. Thanks for sharing your idea. I learned something today.

Apr 06, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Canned Salmon Ideas Please

Thanks very much for the salmon casserole recipe and also for the link. I look forward to enjoying my salmon in a variety of ways.

Apr 01, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Canned Salmon Ideas Please

I've made salmon croquettes, salmon salad, and salmon dip. What else can canned salmon be used for? Is there another great use I've been missing all these years?

Mar 31, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Help with a fig glaze

I like figs... fresh or dried. With all your other flavor profiles going on I can see why you'll want just a small drizzle of your fig glaze to accent the dish. A few things come to my mind that for me always go well with figs (and your other ingredients). Coffee, chili peppers, saffron, fennel seeds, honey, and naturally balsamic which you've already thought of. Figs are seedy. I'd cook them down well then put it through a sieve to remove the seeds. Return your sauce to a small pan. Heat and reduce if necessary. Or add something to loosen it such as water, wine or a little honey. Taste and add whatever other ingredient(s) you feel may give it a wow factor. Finish it off by beating butter into it to really give it a nice sheen.

Feb 23, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Flavorless chicken breasts

Since the outside of the chicken is good, how about slicing the breasts into 1/2 or 3/4 inch 'steaks'. Prepare these as you normally prepare chicken (with your marinade). Just be aware they may cook faster because they are not as thick. Doing this will give you lots of that outer meat you like and less of the inner tasteless chicken.

Feb 19, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Share your favorite YouTube cooking videos

I enjoy watching Maangchi prepare all her Korean dishes. I tried this recipe for the use of canned Mackerel. It was full of flavor and I really enjoyed it. I didn't care for it reheated though. The flavors changed overnight in the fridge. It's inexpensive so I had no problems making it a second time, knowing any leftovers would be tossed immediately in the trash. There is just me here to eat it. This meal would serve 3 or 4 people. http://youtu.be/ijSaV_9vWlE

Feb 17, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Black rice (not wild rice) tips please

I purchased a bag of black rice. I've never cooked this before. I see many recipes using it as a salad base. I would prefer to have it served hot as part of the main meal. Can anyone offer suggestions or tips on black rice? It would be much appreciated.

Feb 16, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Potsticker or dumplings


Feb 13, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Breadcrumb topping for mac & cheese

I would try grating (on larger holes on a box grater) a leftover hearty bread such as Italian, or french bread, or something like a sub sandwich roll. The goal being to get larger pieces of bread crumb instead of those grains of sand bread crumbs. Next I'd melt a little butter in a saucepan, add the bread crumbs and stir over medium heat till they start to brown a bit and feel kinda crunchy. The last thing I'd do is to bake your mac & cheese (with the crumbs on top) at a lower temp than 400°. I bake mine at 350° for 20 minutes. All the cheese melts, the mac & cheese is bubbling hot and the crumbs on top aren't burned.

Feb 11, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

ISO, Boneless Pork Loin Recipes

Here is a very old German recipe for a stew which contains equal amounts of pork and beef. The original recipe called for the liquid added to be all wine. I find that the dish tastes better if I use a combination of broth and wine. The gravy is usually very loose and I generally need to add more cornstarch & water to thicken it more.

2 T oil
1 pound beef cut in 1 inch cubes
1 pound pork cut in 1 inch cubes
2 onions chopped rather small
2 carrots chopped rather small
2 ribs celery chopped rather small
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 bay leaf
Liquid (either chicken or beef broth, combined with whatever amount of white wine desired) - enough liquid to just cover browned meat and all the vegetables in the pot.

1 t cornstarch
1/4 c water
2 t horseradish

Brown meat in oil
Add ingredients up to & including broth/wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover & simmer for 45 - 50 min. Discard bay leaf. Combine remaining ingredients (cornstarch, water and horseradish) and stir into stew. Continue to stir while cooking till thickened.

If a thicker 'gravy' is desired add an additional amount of cornstarch/water.

Feb 09, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Question about Cinnamon Rolls

I personally would use the active dry yeast, unless a recipe specified the use of the instant.

Fried rice always sticks

Try your recipe using jasmine rice. To make jasmine rice - rinse the rice 2 or 3 times and drain the rice before you cook it. 2 and 1/2 cups of rice will need to cook in 3 cups of water. Another way to figure water/rice amounts is to put the amount of rice you want to cook in the pot and add water till it is 1/2 inch above the rice. Do not add salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil over medium/high heat. Then lower to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook another 10 minutes. Chill your rice overnight as you did with your basmati. I always have great fried rice results using jasmine.

Jan 20, 2015
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

What type of squash is this and how do I cook it?

It looks like a calabasa to me. One site describes a calabasa like this: Calabasa is the name given to a family of gourds native to the Americas. "Calabaza" is the generic Spanish term for squash. It has the characteristics of a pumpkin and a squash. Typically the calabasa will be rounded or oblong shaped with a smooth green to yellow or orange skin and orange flesh interior.
Calabasa can be cut in half, seeded and roasted as is or can be cut into smaller pieces and prepared. Try cubed and add to stir-fries, casseroles, curries, soups and stews. Or roast, mash and add to cakes or use as fillings for pies. Roasted and pureed, calabasa makes a good home-made baby food. Prepared Calabasa squash makes an excellent stuffing for enchiladas, quesadillas and tacos. Delicious when roasted and served as an accompaniment to poultry. It can be used in recipes where pumpkin is called for, but its flesh is firmer and cooks more quickly. Keep whole uncut squashes in a cool dark place. Cut pieces of squash will keep wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to one week.

Nov 28, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Stuffing or dressing - the bread

I've had stuffing in restaurants that was quite different than my homemade version. Now I know why. With their stuffing I've noticed each bread cube stands alone in flavor. They are deliciously soft and have a mild broth flavor inside. The flavor of all the spices remains outside the cubes. Now with my stuffing, the flavors taste the same throughout. The dried bread I use soaks up everything while cooking. My cubes soak up broth and the flavor from the spices. Both versions taste good to me. However, thanks to your post, I now know how to re-create that restaurant version of stuffing.

Nov 26, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Mincemeat Cake- Need help ASAP!

Sorry I just noticed you are looking for a vintage mincemeat recipe without nuts. Give this one a look. Just mincemeat. http://www.canadianliving.com/food/mi...

Mincemeat Cake- Need help ASAP!

I found this. I hope it's the one you're looking for. It's from a 1952 recipe.

Sweet and sour red cabbage... question about ingredients

I'm a lover of sweet and sour dishes. I'd like to make homemade sweet and sour red cabbage. I checked various web sites looking for a recipe (and to read comments and ratings). What I discovered was a vast array of recipes that seemed to only have the red cabbage as a common ingredient. Various recipes included... and many others did not include, these ingredients: cherry preserves, onion, apple, vegetable broth, clove, bay leaf, lemon juice, vinegar, butter, olive oil, flour and wine. Another conflicting issue was the length of time to simmer the cabbage. I saw one recipe state 45 minutes and another instructed 3 hours. I saw mention of every imaginable time in-between too. Can anyone here who's made this dish, help me understand which ingredients are really necessary and which are the ones that have been added by creative cooks?

Nov 23, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

ISO a SPECIFIC Thai cookbook

I've done some further checking Tracy. The cookbook in question is not available at this time (for purchase) through Amazon. However, on Amazon, the same author Jennifer Brennan, has another cookbook which was published in 1987. Coincidentally this book has exactly the same title, though it bears a different cover. Here's Amazon's link to this cookbook. You can check it out and try to determine if this is the same exact cookbook reprinted, or if this has totally different recipes. Reading the reviews may give you a clue. Also you can 'look inside'. Maybe that would tell you if this is the same cookbook. If it is a different book and you're interested in the recipes from the original. From the very first link I gave you, you can access this cookbook from a free library. (I checked myself, and it's being 'borrowed' by another user at the moment... they say to check back later). Here's Amazon's link to that possible 1987 reprint:

Nov 03, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

ISO a SPECIFIC Thai cookbook

Is this it? This Thai cookbook was published in 1984 and fits your description. The link shows a photo of the cookbook.

Nov 02, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Need help with stuffing please

Saute your veggies in butter till tender. Add your spices and bread cubes. Toss to coat well. Start adding your liquid in a drizzle over the top, lightly toss and continue to add your liquid till the bread cubes begin to stick together. Cover and steam for about 20 minutes. Lift the lid. Examine what you have. All the bread should be soft by now. When you take a spoon and push it together, it should hold. If it fall apart, or if some of the bread is still hard, add some more liquid and steam once again. Sometimes it takes me a few times of adding a bit more liquid, till I reach that desired delicious mound stage. Always add the liquid a little at a time. You can always add more liquid, but you can't remove it once it's been added. I also taste the stuffing when I'm lifting the lid and making fluid adjustments. Sometimes more seasoning is required and this is a perfect time to fix that.

Oct 26, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

One pot dinners that don't require turning on the oven?

This is one pot, delicious and very nutritious. It's a vegetarian recipe for Brazilian Black Bean Stew. I found the recipe years ago in one of Vegetarian Times magazine's.

Brazilian Black Bean Stew (vegetarian version)
6 servings

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 plus 1/2 cups of 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.

Oct 24, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Your favorite canned vegetable and how do you eat it?

My favorite is onions. They are sold in a jar, not a can. They're on the shelf in the vegetable aisle. These are the larger onions packed in water, not the tiny pearl onions sold as cocktail onions. I make a basic white sauce to which one egg yolk has slowly been mixed in after the sauce has cooked. Also add salt, pepper & a dash of nutmeg. Boil the onions in the juice they were packed in, drain, then add the drained onions to the white sauce. I LOVE THEM!!!!!

Oct 13, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Beef stew

I've always used beef bouillon cubes with good results. My choice of beef used has always been chuck. To the raw meat I sprinkle Adobo seasoning plus some onion powder. Brown the meat in a little oil, then transfer the meat to a bowl. To the hot pan which is coated with fond from the meat I now add just 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste and brown that a bit. Then the beef broth (made from the bouillon cubes) is added, along with garlic and the return of the meat. This simmers with a lid for a couple hours. I boil the vegetables in water in a separate pot till tender and add them (drained) when the stew is nearly ready and I've thickened the gravy. This turns out tasting hearty and basic. There are no bells and whistles. Other things such as you suggest... like the use of beef stock, a better cut of beef (and possible use of bones for added richness) along with the use of some sort of alcohol would surely transform a satisfying meal into a very memorable dish. Good luck. Let us know what you tried and the impact it had on the final results.

Oct 11, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Salad dressings

I love a homemade dressing. What I use to make it depends on what the dressing will be drizzled over. Also my mood at the moment often plays a part in what ingredients I choose. My favorite dressings contain lime juice, brown sugar and garlic. Occasionally I'll be in the mood for the addition of hot sauce, horseradish or red pepper flakes. Going Oriental I'll make it using soy sauce and fish sauce. Occasionally any of the herbs I have on hand and other seasonings such as paprika will play up the flavors. Another thing I consider is if I want the dressing slick or creamy. For creamy there are countless options. Mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, egg yolk, heavy cream. I think a person could make a wonderful salad dressing every day, and never make the same one twice. The ingredients and options are endless.

Sep 29, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking


I've seen a German pea soup recipe which calls for brats (boiled in beer, grilled, then sliced). Carrots, onion, leek, and celery are sauteed and water is added. When the water boils, yellow dried peas are added, chopped bacon and the sliced cooked brats. This is covered and simmered for one hour. At the end of the cooking process, butter is melted and thyme and marjoram are sauteed a bit, then added to the finished soup.

Sep 29, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking

Gravy burning off?

I watched the video. Looks like the bird fits nicely in the cast iron pan with not a whole lot of space left around it. The gravy does appear to be covered a bit by the chicken, then he puts the plate over the bird while it simmers for 25 minutes. That plate is bigger than the chicken. It almost covers the whole pan. And don't forget the part where he added more liquid to the thickening gravy as he was making it. He stated he didn't want it to be thick at that point. A thinner gravy in a pan, nearly covered and just at a simmer. I don't see a problem.

Sep 24, 2014
i_am_Lois in Home Cooking