DistrictDarling's Profile

Title Last Reply

Found: Good coconut grater

I'm pretty sure I've seen postings here (or maybe over on Home Cooking, not sure) about where to find a coconut grater. The good ones (counter clamp, solid stainless blades) are hard to come by. I realize there are about a million other ways to grate fresh coconut without a special coconut grinder, but frankly, they are all incredibly time consuming and make me not want to bother despite my everlasting love for really good coconut cake.

At any rate, if you're been looking for a kickass coconut grinder, you can get one here: http://shop.niwasa.com/default.aspx

Just sharing the coconut love.

Oct 01, 2008
DistrictDarling in Cookware

Steel cut oatmeal cookies...

Anson Mills sells traditional stone cut oats, and their website has two different cookie recipes for use with their oats. Not sure how the Anson Mills oats compare with McCanns-type steel cut oats, but might be worth trying. I can vouch that the recipe is pretty good when made with Anson Mills oats.


Mar 03, 2008
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

Best Ethiopian? Old standbys are loosing steam.

I've had two outstanding meals at Abiti recently. 9th Street, just south of U.

Sep 13, 2007
DistrictDarling in Washington DC & Baltimore

Freezable breakfast ideas?

Waffles! Cook, cool completely on a wire rack, then stack in a freezer container w/ waxed paper between each waffle. Guests can take 'em out of the freezer, stick 'em in the toaster, and cover in syrup/jam/cream cheese/whatever. Mmmm...

May 17, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

How much can you stir different kinds of batter?

No, although oddly enough you beat the eggs and sugar together before adding the softened butter, instead of beating the butter and sugar before adding the eggs. Dry ingredients were added afterwards.

May 14, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

How much can you stir different kinds of batter?

I understand the basic principle that stirring batter (or kneading dough) develops the gluten in flour, and that how much you mix any given batter has to do with how much you want the gluten to develop. So, for quick breads like waffles or banana bread you want to stir as little as possible to ensure the most tender result.

I always assumed this rule was true for cakes and other baked goods as well, but then I made a recipe that called for the cake batter to be beaten on high speed for 2 full minutes. It came out moist and tender even with all the beating.

So what's the deal? How long should you beat different kinds of batter? When must you be really careful not to overmix, and when can you mix away? Why would you beat one cake batter on high for 2 minutes, when other cake batters should only be minimally mixed? What are the factors you should take into account if a recipe isn't specific about mixing technique or time?

May 11, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

iso ideas for a retro 1950s bridal shower

The Pink Lady cocktail is always excellent as well...

May 07, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

Classic Coconut Layer Cake

I made this cake last week, but since I wanted something more old school, used a 7-minute frosting (out of the Joy of Cooking) instead of the cream cheese frosting. I thought the whole thing was delicious as did everyone else who tried it, although the filling is definitely not the traditional for coconut cake. More like the filling for a german chocolate cake, but sans nuts. The coconut sryup-brushed cake layers were very, very good. Next time I will try using PP's cake and syrup recipe, thhe 7-minute icing, and the filling recipe provided in the "Top of the Hill Fresh Coconut Cake" recipe (see www.gritsandmagnolias.com) which sounds more like the traditional coconut filling. I'm not a fan of icing fillings.

Mar 30, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

Cleaning jelly roll pan used for roasting?

I have a Chicago Metallic commercial aluminum jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) that I use mostly for roasting things - potatoes, chicken wings, etc. Roasting always leaves that sticky yellow film that's impossible to get off, so I was scrubbing the pan with a sponge and some Bartender's Friend like I would my stainless cookware. Apprarently that was a bad idea, because the silver coating on the commercial-grade alumninum pan began to flake off from the scrubbing, leaving spots of the darker underlayer showing through. So, 3 questions:

1) Is the Chicago Metallic pan just poor quality, or will all jelly roll pans flake like this?
2) Is it dangerous to continue cooking on the pan with the surface layer flaking off like that?
3) I did get a replacement pan, but don't want to ruin it like I did the old one. Any suggestions for cleaning it after roasting/caring properly for it?

Feb 15, 2007
DistrictDarling in Cookware

Roast Chicken-why do I have such problems?

Are you using a Purdue or other cheap-ish brand of chicken? If so, that could be part of the problem. I use the same old Joy of Cooking method every time, and I always get a great crispy skin with a good chicken (organic pre-packaged, or fresh from the butchers), and nothing but limp yellow skin with a cheaper chicken. Frankly, it kind of freaks me out about the Purdues.

Jan 24, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

Worst kitchen screwup.

While making a pot of salmon chowder that called for 3 cups of fish broth as a base, my lovely-but-not-detail-oriented husband assumed that fish sauce was the same thing. I entered the kitchen just in time to see him shaking the last drops of a very large, brand new bottle of fish sauce into the pot, and calling out "honey, I don't think we have enough." The (poorly-ventilated) apartment stunk like you would not believe for at least 3 days.

(By the way, this is the same husband who discovered at the age of 29 that one is supposed to peel carrots before cooking them. His comment after said discovery: "They taste much better if you peel them, don't they?")

Jan 12, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

Honey ganache recipe?

Well done, my friend. Excellent research. Looks like honey ganache is rather creamy.

Jan 09, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

Honey ganache recipe?

I actually don't know. A friend ordered the drink, and later e-mailed me to ask if I could dupulicate it. An article in the NYTimes provided the recipe ingredients, and listed "honey ganache" among them. Your guess is as good as mine as to what this means.

Jan 09, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking

Honey ganache recipe?

A bar in NYC serves a drink called the Gold Rush (bourbon + honey + lemon juice = mmm), and tops it off with a honey ganache. I'm trying to copycat it. I can make the cocktail itself, but can't find a recipe for honey ganache. Does anyone have one, or is willing to take a guess at one?

Jan 08, 2007
DistrictDarling in Home Cooking