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Housewarming on a budget

Or, inspired by the spanish omelet idea, how about a strata that is served at room temperature. Uses stale bread, eggs and cheese and whatever else you might want to add (onions, mushrooms, etc.) I had this once at a friend's party. She made it so it wasn't real real thick and cut it into small squares. Went over really well.

Oct 16, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Housewarming on a budget

I've been intrigued by that parsnip twig idea and found a recipe for it. Looks like they can be made up ahead and then just heated. Here's the link: http://paperpalate.net/2005/12/24/tas...

Oct 16, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

cold, autumnal appetizer

Also can you give us the recipe for the parsnip twigs? That sounds like a great combo of crispy, soft, sweet, savory. Would love to try.

Oct 15, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Housewarming on a budget

For your dessert selection, how about the spoon cookies that are on epicurious. I extol the virtues of these whenever I can because they are so good. I skip the filling -- just make them plain. They are pretty easy to make and the best thing is they benefit from being made ahead. Make them a week ahead and store in metal tins or really tight tupperware. They benefit from some aging. People love these.

Oct 15, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

How would you define "rustic bread"?

This sounds like a really fun project and a good way to hone technical writing skills. When you ask about the meaning of "rustic bread," I think a key question is "what do you mean by 'meaning'"? Do you mean what should the term mean? Or what does the word mean in common usage? Because I still maintain that if you are using the latter definition, a key element is the lack of a loaf pan. When people walk into their local supermarket chain (at least the one near me), crap is sold as "rustic bread" but it looks different and good because it looks like a free-form loaf. So people assume it's better whether it is or isn't. So it depends on what meaning you are looking for.

Oct 12, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Food Saver Recipes

I have a freezer full of roasted tomatos in bags with garlic and herbs. May make one more big batch depending on how the tomatos look at the farmers market this weekend. Someone on the board had a great idea recently for the prefreezing of modest amounts of sauce. She froze the sauce flat in regular plastic bags. Then she put all the flat bags in a really big foodsaver bag and sealed. So then she could cut the big bag open and take out a sauce bag, and then reseal. That way she had to use only one (expensive) freezer bag and everything was still protected. I am going to try that at my next opportunity. I am also going to making and storing strata in individual serving sizes for breakfasts.

Oct 12, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Cooking with kids

Emeril has a couple cookbooks for kids. May be for kids that are a little older. He's not my favorite guy but these books look good. Thinking about them for a niece and nephew (with time with aunt K. to make the things of their choice.)

Oct 12, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Bittman's KNB-I must be stupid!

The parchment idea is brilliant. Because I have used either flour or cornmeal and it got pretty dark.

Oct 11, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Bittman's KNB-I must be stupid!

I concur in all of Olivia's comments. The crust can be a little tough. (But crusty.) The thing that puzzles me is the sourdough taste you're getting. Because it seems like 3 hours would not be enough time for that to develop. Did you let it rise for a total of 3 hours? Or am I misinterpreting your post?

Oct 11, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

best way to freeze baked pasta?

I love my foodsaver. It's really good for a small household. You can make a big batch of something and you don't get tired of it finishing it up. One thing the foodsaver directions say is to freeze food before sealing it so it doesn't aspirate into the workings of the machine. [Or you can use things like mason jars that have a special attachment.] I put the food in the bag (using the foldover technique jfood mentioned) then stick it in the freezer to freeze. I usually put a big paperclip on the top just to keep it shut until frozen. Then seal. Someone on the board also had a fantastic tip recently about freezing sauces and things like that flat in cheap bags, then once they're frozen putting them in a big foodsaver bag to seal. Then just take out as needed and keep resealing the big bag. I'm going to try that. Have fun with your machine. It has a million uses.

Oct 10, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

What to do with my 2 new pumpkins?!

The outer husks of the seeds are more edible in some varieties of pumpkins than others, I've heard. The difference is between "naked seeds" and seeds with hulls. To roast, put them on a lightly oiled sheet and bake at about 250 degrees for about 40 minutes. Shake every 10-15 minutes. You can add salt and spices like cumin, curry powder, onion or garlic powder, anything that sounds good.

As for carving, you can make the hole on top, on a side or on the bottom. You can put it on its side and use the stem for a nose. There are a million ideas and patterns on the web.

When you are carving, use a serrated knife and apply gentle pressure as you saw. More on the web about all aspects.

You can buy lights with batteries for inside to avoid the fire hazard and preservatives to spray inside to prevent mold. Or you can use vaseline or saran on cut surfaces to help slow down spoilage. And store in a cool place or outside.

(I am carving some fancy ones for a silent auction in a couple weeks so I have been practicing, and probably know more about this at this point than anyone should!)

Oct 10, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Bittman's No-Knead Bread...Wow!

Some people (maybe in another thread on the Bittman recipe) talked about using LeCrueset (sp?) pans. I used my boyfriend's LeCrueset pan but found I was burning the bottom of the loaf. I dialed the heat down just a bit and switched to a cast aluminum Dutch oven I have. Perfect results. My point is that you don't need the fancy pan for this.

Oct 09, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

How would you define "rustic bread"?

I don't think (off the top of my head) that ingredients really define rustic bread. Here's what I think of: crisp crust, chewy interior usually with holes, and baked freeform, not in a loaf pan. I tend to think of breads that have a long slow rise and are baked on a stone or in a brick oven. Just a few more thoughts.

Oct 09, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

(Another) Bittman Bread Question - size of cast iron pot

Do you really need a warm room for the rising? I thought the theory was that you have a long slow rise (to develop flavor) which can happen in a cooler place. In fact, I don't think you want it to rise too fast?

Oct 06, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

What to cook for boyfriend's parents? Pie??

How do you process the grapes to make the filling for this pie? Thanks.

Oct 05, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

suggestions for flavorful/infused oils

Have you heard about concerns with garlic and botulism if it sits in oil and is stored too long? Might be worth checking out. I think commercial operations pasteurize theirs before selling. But may be a problem for us home cooks.

Oct 05, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Mark Bittman bread

The video really helps along with the original article. There was also a subsequent article (after the original one) synthesizing the feedback and refinements Bittman got from readers. They are all findable on the NYT site. (Try searching for Bittman and bread.)

Oct 05, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Simple syrup

Not a direct response to your question, but I have had my syrups start to carmelize when I haven't been watching them. (Usually then infuse with vanilla bean or herbs like mint or anise hyssop for over fruit.) The somewhat carmelized syrup is good for that. Give your brown sugar a shot and let us know how it works out.

Oct 05, 2007
kary in General Topics

Eggplant on the wafflebaker! Try it.

CHers are nothing if not creative!

Oct 04, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

(Another) Bittman Bread Question - size of cast iron pot

I've used both the enameled cast iron pot and a cheap cast aluminum dutch oven. I tried the latter because I was burning the bottom of the loaf a bit in the cast iron. And it worked fine. Not sure exact size. Think 5 quarts.

Oct 04, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

A large baking dish full of roasted tomatoes

Freeze em if you have too many to use right now.

Oct 04, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Boba/Pearls/Tapioca - how to make?

MplsGirl -- Where in Minneapolis? (St. Paul girl.)

Oct 04, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Good ways to preserve a garden full of mint, basil, thyme, parsley, sage etc.

I love all these ideas. The compound butter idea is great. I imagine the fat in the butter keeps the herbs good just the way the oil does in frozen pesto. I have a foodsaver, so we will give that a shot too. Thanks everyone.

Oct 04, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Melon Baller Techniques?

Another unrelated (and timely) use for melon ballers: carving designs on pumpkins. I am making fancy carved pumpkins for an event, and will have some that have holes punched through (with a pottery tool) and then also little circle designs that don't go all the way through the skin made with the melon baller. Just a crazy idea.

Oct 04, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

(Another) Bittman Bread Question - size of cast iron pot

This is so easy to do once you are in the groove of it. I had a nice rhymn going where I was starting one loaf rising just as we were finishing one. But I had to stop making it too because I loved it as a substrate for really good butter. Cholesterol readings. May be inspired now to make a loaf for fun.

Oct 04, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Other Whole Grains to Experiment With?!

I have used wheatberries in a salad (a recipe from epicurious that is kind of a wheatberry Waldorf salad with celery and apples and I think a yogurt dressing.) We really liked that. But how is it hot as a side dish?

Oct 03, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Grinding cinnamon

Yes, Penzey's has a great selection of different cinnamons, including the cassia and the other. You can smell samples of all of them in the shops if there is one near you, to see what you like. I too am crazy about the Vietnamese cassia. It is strong and sweet smelling and I love it for baking.

Oct 03, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

(Another) Bittman Bread Question - size of cast iron pot

I think you bought exactly the right kind of yeast. I had always used the non-instant active dry yeast before, but the Bittman recipe calls for the instant Rapidrise stuff. That's what I used and had great results.

Oct 03, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Smoked Spanish Paprika

I like it in a mushroom soup with onions and a little cream. The soup has a fair amount of paprika in it. The smoked stuff can be strong, so I use half smoked and half sweet Hungarian paprika (unsmoked). Yum.

Oct 03, 2007
kary in Home Cooking

Eggplant on the wafflebaker! Try it.

I have seen recipes for "waffling" pieces of bread on the waffle maker to make sandwiches. There's a recipe for something else like that on epicurious. What else would work? Any other vegies?

Oct 03, 2007
kary in Home Cooking