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masha's Profile

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Where to buy single letter cookie cutters?

I don't live in Manhattan but the Sur la Table store near me (suburban Chicago) has individual letter cookie cutters for sale (and probably on line too).

1 day ago
masha in Manhattan

Terrible frosting. (greasy, bubbly bad looking)

No corn flour needed if you are using powdered (also called confectioners) sugar.

Jun 29, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

Rhubarb is in Season

Chicgail, thanks again for this recipe. I made it again last night. It's becoming a family favorite.

For anyone else considering trying it:

If you are making your own corn flake crumbs, 2 cups flakes yields about 1 cup crumbs.

1 lb of rhubarb (assuming it requires minimal trimming) yields about 3 cups bite-size rhubarb pieces, although last night I made it with about 4 cups rhubarb (1-1/3 lb)

I cut back the sugar for the filling to 1 cup -- partly out of laziness so as not to measure the additional 1/4 cup and partially because we like fruit desserts on the tart side. Topped with vanilla ice cream, it was still plenty sweet.

Unfortunately, rhubarb season is almost over in Chicago so I probably will not make it again this summer (especially as tri-color, mixed berry short cakes are our traditional July 4th dessert). That's ok -- we will have berries for awhile and then peaches!

Jun 28, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

Grating onions (without bawling your eyes out...)

Wear goggles (swim, ski, etc) or grate in a food processor. Contact lenses also provide protection.

Jun 28, 2015
masha in Home Cooking
2

I have a bread recipe which requires ' spelt flour ' which we do not get in our country . What can be substituted for this ?

This may seem snarky, but maybe substitute a different recipe? You don't say what the recipe is or what in particular appeals to you about that particular recipe but it could be there is an equivalent recipe already out there using a more readily available grain product.

Jun 27, 2015
masha in General Topics

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

I also stockpile butter when it goes on sale; typically the best prices are in the weeks from mid-November to the first of the year (Thanksgiving-Christmas) and the lead-up to Easter, when people do a lot of baking. I am now down to my last 2 lbs of salted butter purchased at Easter so will need to buy some at the regular price but still have about 2 lbs of sweet butter, used exclusively for baking, which will probably take me through Labor Day as I bake far less in the summer.

Jun 27, 2015
masha in Not About Food
1

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

There are 2 stick packages for sale the supermarket where I regularly shop.

Jun 26, 2015
masha in Not About Food

Pastas - Different quality?

Q, I just discovered Granoro a few weeks ago and have bought it a couple of times. I like the texture but .... We like a standard linguini and the product that Granoro labels as "linguini" is closer to a "linguini fine" -- i.e., a thinner noodle. I know that you are in the Chicago area, as I am I. Have you found standard thickness linguini by Granoro (not fettucini which is broader than we typically use)? (I've bought it at Joseph's and Caputo's.)

Jun 25, 2015
masha in General Topics

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

Once upon a time, grocery stores really allowed customers to open a 4-stick carton of butter, and purchase individual sticks for precisely the fractional cost of the whole carton. If there was an open carton on the shelf, and another customer also just wanted a stick, that customer would take one out of the open carton.

I distinctly recall this from both (a) when I was growing up, and (b) in college, when classmates who lived in the dorms and were on meal plan might decide to bake something in the dorm kitchen and purchase only a single stick of butter -- typically banana bread, using bananas snitched from the dining hall.

Jun 25, 2015
masha in Not About Food
1

Trip to Chicago in September. Recommendations please!

In terms of food by the Art Institute, I know you ate at Terzo Piano last time and are looking for new places to try this time. I've not eaten there (or even seen reviews) but Alpana Singh has a new restaurant directly across the street, called Seven Lions, http://sevenlionschicago.com. Also, there is a Pain Quotidien located slightly north of the AI on the west side of the street; yes, it is a chain but the quality of food is high and a good place if you are looking for a casual meal.

Jun 25, 2015
masha in Chicago Area

Cooking tips?

Why am I such a bad baker?

Aside from the weirdness of some of the ingredients, this recipe is very confusing because so many of the ingredients involve odd measurements -- e.g., 1/4 cup plus 4 tbs of brown sugar. For a baker like yourself -- someone who by her own admission has problems baking -- you should be making simple recipes with relatively few ingredients measured in standard amounts. The Dorie Greenspan recipe for French yoghurt cake, that I linked to above, for example, which Is a classic starter recipe for school children in France. (They measure all the ingredients using the yoghurt cup but Dorie's recipe uses standard measuring cups.).

Frankly, I don't understand why your attempt at The Tollhouse recipe could fail if you followed it exactly -- which you evidently did not, as you altered the cooking temperature and time.

I don't mean to be harsh but I really don't understand why you proceeded to make the second 1/2 batch without first troubleshooting how to set the temperature in your oven. The Tollhouse recipe is tried and tested. If it did not work for you (and when I make that recipe, my cookies have far more volume than those in your picture), the problem is in your execution, not the recipe.

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Zackly both my husband and son are diabetic so I get this completely. Putting aside a flight that itself coincides with mealtime, there is all the time consumed in getting to & from airports and through security. And, that does not even address flights that are significantly delayed while onboard, either before take-off or after landing until deplaning. Often there is no time to eat on the ground at the airport before take-off. Even when the airlines served meals on domestic flights, we always packed something because there was always a risk that turbulence or other factors might delay the meal service.

Jun 23, 2015
masha in Food Media & News
1

More Information on Tags and Upcoming Beta

Ditto.

Jun 23, 2015
masha in Site Talk
1

Why am I such a bad baker?

Using dry to measure liquids is fine, just so long as you fill to the brim and are careful not to spill.

The problem is the other way around -- using a wet measuring cup for dry ingredients, especially flour. In order to get the dry contents to align exactly with the measuring line, which is below the rim of the cup, you need to tap or shake the cup, which results in compacting of the dry ingredient. This is especially a problem for flour, which should be somewhat aerated when measured.

Jun 23, 2015
masha in Home Cooking
1

Why am I such a bad baker?

Amen!

Jun 23, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

ISO Sheet Cake Pan

Don't know. Maybe my brownies are not as fudge-y as yours but I usually lift them out with a spatula.

Jun 23, 2015
masha in Cookware

Why am I such a bad baker?

Upthread, I'd mentioned the series "The Baker's Apprentice" that was published in the NYT a few years ago, which involved a series of columns reporting on recipes from that cookbook and Dorie's instructional conversations with the reporter on the how-to of making them.

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

Please help me like chicken breast!

A timely article from the New York Times, given your inquiry, on grilling boneless, skinless chicken breasts -- both techniques & recipes, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/24/din...

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

And, in those years the cashiers could actually perform basic arithmetic, like computing the change owed to a customer and counting the change back rather than just depositing it as a lump in the customer's palm (this was years before supermarkets took credit cards). Not sure that the current cashiers could figure out the price for 1 stick of butter -- i.e., dividing the price of the carton by 4.

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Not About Food
1

Cookbook Challenge

Thanks. Fulfilling the Father's Day requests was pretty easy as he did not want anything fancy -- just grilled fish, corn on the cob, and steamed asparagus, to which I added a surprise dessert of strawberry/
blueberry shortcake (and a bottle of rose) Since I had leftover shortcakes in the freezer, even the dessert involved virtually no effort.

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

What gadgets/cookware would you have in an efficiency apt? (my list) (kid leaving in fall)

I have not drilled down into the methodology of these studies. Could be that there are all sorts of flaws in how the data was collected and analyzed. And, as Ferret says, there is undoubtedly a wide range of variance, both as between different schools & programs, and probably within those schools & programs.

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Cookware

What gadgets/cookware would you have in an efficiency apt? (my list) (kid leaving in fall)

Then there are the studies that show that the average college student spends only 1 hour/day outside the classroom studying. If it were my kid (and he's already through college and in grad school now), I'd rather he eat ramen and spend 5-6 hours/day studying, rather than chef-ing elaborate meals.

What gadgets/cookware would you have in an efficiency apt? (my list) (kid leaving in fall)

Unless he won't be on meal plan, all he will need is a bottle-opener. Beyond that, if he needs something, he can buy it there -- if they don't stock it in the town where he lives (e.g., small rural school), he'll order it online. Let him figure out how to organize his own life. That's one of the many virtues of attending a residential college -- growing up away from the nest.

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Cookware
2

ISO Sheet Cake Pan

Have you looked at USA pans, http://www.usapans.com/bakeware.html? I just bought one of their jelly roll pans at BBB. Only used it once but it seemed good (and I like that they are made in the US).

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Cookware

Cookbook Challenge

Unfortunately, I failed to rise to this challenge over the weekend. My shopping style does not involve much meal planning and for Saturday dinner, I typically shop earlier in the day and just buy what looks good/ interesting -- which were mussels this past Saturday. When I got home, I checked out a couple cook books for what to do with them -- something of a challenge since we'd just had linguini with red sauce on Thursday and most of the mussel mains seemed to involve pasta. Ended up using the Bittman recipe for basic paella on the NYT Cooking App -- a new recipe for me but not one from a cook book that I own. (And, since Sunday was Father's Day, my husband got to pick that menu, which involved his tried and true favorites.) Maybe next weekend ...

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

One night dinner Loop/Downtown

OP says her trip to Chicago is in early fall, when I would certainly expect school to be in session (and I am fairly certain the restaurant is open year-round).

Jun 22, 2015
masha in Chicago Area
1

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

Perhaps the use of UPC codes? Before that the checkers actually keyed in prices. So if you bought a half carton of eggs (I don't recall stores selling individual eggs, just allowing you to split a dozen into a 1/2 carton of 6) or one stick of butter they just computed the fractional costs. With swiping UPC codes that is not so easy.

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

My experience also.

Jun 21, 2015
masha in Not About Food

Why am I such a bad baker?

Subbing butter for oil or milk for water or adding an extra egg may well be why your baking efforts fail. They have different properties and chemistry. Until you master baking by following recipes exactly don't mess around with them beyond, say subbing walnuts for pecans, lemon zest for orange zest, or similar substitutions that are inconsequential.