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happybaker's Profile

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What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Cool!

I have a gas oven with a pilot light, and I am so spoiled - I use it to proof bread all the time. Let's me cut a two hour rise down to one and on busy day, WOW is that handy.

about 19 hours ago
happybaker in Home Cooking

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I don't do it with really expensive cheese, but for a supermarket cheddar or monterey jack? Works perfectly.

Freezing feta does NOT work, it just turns into crumbles. But the fattier cheese? Go for it!!

about 21 hours ago
happybaker in Home Cooking
1

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I grate blocks of cheese when I have bought too much, freeze them in ziplock bags and when I need cheese? I take them out and whack them on my terra cotta floor. The cheese breaks up, I can pour out as much as I need, put the rest back in the fridge and let my portion thaw while I cook.

This works especially well for cheddar...

Not dignified but man is it handy!!!!

about 22 hours ago
happybaker in Home Cooking
1

Oven substitute needed for pita bread pizzas

I know many folks who love the Breville, but another option is to get an induction burner from Costco for about $70. You can then fry and sauté and, with a cast iron skillet and a lid, have a kind of a dutch oven - which will definitely let you do it pita pizzas!

1 day ago
happybaker in Cookware
1

HELP... fingers are burning from cutting jalapenos. Remedies?

I agree, cannot use playtex gloves BUT...

I can go to my local discounter and get a box of powdered latex gloves, 100 count for $6. SO handy.

I think you can find them at Home Deport and Costco as well...

Jan 29, 2015
happybaker in Not About Food

Pine and Crane - no prices on takeout menu

Oh I'd double heart, double like that comment if I could!

Jan 28, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

So did I! I had to watch it again to make sure : )

Jan 28, 2015
happybaker in Food Media & News

Hey Ipsedixit! ClarissaW Covers Our Back on the Superiority of Los Angeles Chinese Food Over New York

I went to Cookie Con yesterday and one of my favorite booths? A restaurant run by a Taiwanese gal, who left her day job to run a classic american cafe in San Marino. Her flavors were so clean but complex - I will make that extra drive to try more of her food.

Hopefully not too off topic : )

Jan 26, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

Well, when you see her in the apartment, she smiles, she laughs.

Once cooking and being judged? Nope. But I would probably be the same way!

Jan 26, 2015
happybaker in Food Media & News

What I Want When I Go Out

What you want is way possible. And I understand your concerns, when I am planning a dinner with friends, one of my big things is "Will we be able to converse easily?"

(I mean, we're talkers, so we can, it's just, can we hear each other?!)

I met a friend from out of town that I had not seen in two years at Kabuki (a sushi chain.) She LOVED the restaurant.

Now, understand, she and her husband are both very successful professionals. They spend way way more than that for dinner on a regular basis. But - the booth was comfy, the staff was nice, we could talk easily and, the menu was varied - she could get a full meal while another in our party could just get a bowl of soup - and it was all reasonably tasty and there was no judging.

For her, a place where she could go and relax and get whatever she wanted? She was thrilled. As was I.

Jan 24, 2015
happybaker in Not About Food

Safe Use of Vintage Aluminum Cookware

I have those tins! Picked them up at a thrift sip and they are AWESOME.

Jan 24, 2015
happybaker in Cookware

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

Her family doesn't support her. At all. So I understand her attitude. She loves them, she's never said that she does not. She is just frustrated by their attitude.

And even her brother admitted, after the challenge, that he'd had no idea how hard she worked - or how good she was. But now, he did.

Do real bagels (boiled) exist in San Diego County?

I do the freeze and then the spritz of water as well.

Happy to have them!

Jan 21, 2015
happybaker in San Diego

best dine la restaurant for 2015

There are three different price points - $30, $40 and $50. Can it be from any segment or are you focusing on just one?

Jan 21, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Hey Ipsedixit! ClarissaW Covers Our Back on the Superiority of Los Angeles Chinese Food Over New York

Yup.

And now they are defending their Mexican food. Sigh.

http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-great...

Help With Bread Recipe

Oh my. You are dealing with different humidities and different water mineral contents.

If it was me? I'd work with a stand mixer , so I could see the dough and adapt. (more or less flour and water.) Then, if you want to throw it in the bread machine, have at it.

I've dealt with bread doughs from Ohio (humid) to LA (not!) and I've definitely had to make some tweaks.

Good luck and happy baking!

Jan 19, 2015
happybaker in Home Cooking

Farmers Ranch Market Closed

One more vote for Super King - their produce is so fresh (I think because of the turnover) and pretty darn cheap!

Jan 19, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area
1

Cafeterias in LA?

Better than the ucla one? Makes me want to go!

Jan 13, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Cafeterias in LA?

Jan 13, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Lunch on the way to Santa Barbara tomorrow

Haven't been (yet!) but have read good things about this fish taco place. Both on yelp and chow.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/sabor-oxnard

Jan 12, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Cafeterias in LA?

Oh how I miss Beadles, a killer cafeteria in Pasadena.

That said, I agree Ikea has hints of that. And it's surprisingly good for the price! But also....

If you have chance to get your and your kids into a corporate cafeteria, it's way cool as well. I've been lucky enough to eat at Mattel, Nestle and Warner Bros with friends, and it's the same "Ask for it or grab it, put it on a tray, get it totaled and pay" as a classic cafeteria, but the quality is way higher.

Oh - and if you go to the Getty Center, their casual cafe is actually more of a cafeteria, so that might be an option as well!

Quiet, interesting restaurant downtown or hollywood

Dang. I was tempted by the kimchi fried rice, but went for the scallion waffle and fried chicken with spicy maple syrup.

I made many Homer Simpson eating noises.

The hubster and I will be back and I will try and be strong and get the rice bowl.

But the scallion waffle. Like savory crisp candy. Sigh.

Jan 09, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Quiet, interesting restaurant downtown or hollywood

Just went to Black Hogg for b-fast today - and was happily surprised! If they give that much quality for breakfast, I cannot even IMAGINE dinner. Small space but comfy chairs and excellent food.

And if you are leaning towards Bashan and want to save $25 - here's a groupon -

https://www.groupon.com/deals/bashan-...

Jan 09, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Adventures in Hipster Service

Yikes. Sorry. But now you don't have to worry about going back ; )

Jan 06, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area
1

What do you put in your chicken stock to make the most flavorful soup?

Will -

From my grandmother, to my dad to me - we always start with a whole chicken in cold water. I was never told the reason why (maybe they didn't know) - all we knew was that, if you did that, you had a chicken soup that was way better than the average soup. Way.

To this day, that's how I do it. And I am very happy with the results. (And I am a picky soup girl!)

Jan 05, 2015
happybaker in Home Cooking

What do you put in your chicken stock to make the most flavorful soup?

I always use a whole chicken to make my stock - and it makes a huge difference.

No need to cut up the carcass, just cook it low and slow. At least 4 hours, probably 6.

Jan 05, 2015
happybaker in Home Cooking

What do you put in your chicken stock to make the most flavorful soup?

LOVE the gels! Especially the low salt ones, so handy for a bit of oomph or a fast stock.

BTW mostly I make my own stock, in a pretty darn pure way. But sometimes life happens and you've run out of frozen tubs of your own stuff. And then? Bless the gels!

Jan 04, 2015
happybaker in Home Cooking

Adventures in Hipster Service

Wow.

Ow.

But I have to ask - how were the sandwiches?!

Jan 04, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Best General Tso Chicken in LA?

Hmmm...

My dad was from New York and loved General Tso's chicken, but I have no idea where he started eating it. But most Chinese restaurants and buffets in the Eastside suburbs of Cleveland feature it to this day.

So I guess it's a midwestern thing too!

Jan 01, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area

Looking for interesting spots to eat with teenagers in LA

I've never had them, but I think getting the ooey gooey fries at Chego and then walking around Chinatown would be pretty fun.

http://eatchego.com

Then a few blocks away, skyline beauty for nail polish heaven. (Not edible fun but for 16 year olds, pretty delicious.

)

http://www.skylinebeautysupply.com

Then maybe a fast wander to Phoenix Bakery for a slice of their strawberry cake.

Jan 01, 2015
happybaker in Los Angeles Area