egbluesuede's Profile

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cooking at home with your kids!

I have two girls. I six year old who will probably never be a CH, and doesn't seem to have much interest in "what's for dinner", and a 4 year old, who told her Pre-school teacher that she wants to grow up and be a "cooker" like her daddy. Unless she is busy doing something else, she expects to be able to help with dinner. She knows that anything with a knife is my job, and putting things in the oven is me also. Anything else....why not? It takes 3 times as long but I don't care! With anyone else, I'd be a huge control freak, but with my daughter...eh, that's fine honey. We have three different stools so that she has access to everything as part of the prep. My favorite part....she get's all the credit when dinner hits the table, and I'm thriled about it every night. She takes a lot of pride when dinner tastes good, and soaks up the compliements. I don't know what the future holds for her, but I'll never forget the fun we have together in the kitchen. I'm sure when she grows up, she won't either.

For anyone else who enjoys cooking with or for their kids, I highly recommend the book Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater by Matthew Amster-Burton. Not only is it a quick and easy read that is hilarious, but there are some good suggestions for recipes as well. The big takeaway for me was that kids taste in foods are constantly evolving. Don't get disappointed if they don't like something, and don't get too excited when they do. Before you know it, they will change on you and leave you guessing. Just enjoy the ride.

Personal Recipe Collection

I used PDF files as well. If you find something on the internet, you can print directly to PDF, or if a magazine article or recipe from a friend, you can scan it. The reason I love this method, is how I name the files so that I can use a search program (Find and Run Robot) to find things quickly. For example, BEEF - Asian - 1530 - AP12 - GRILL - Asian Beef Skewers is the PDF file name of one of my recipes. If I'm in the mood for something with an asian flavor, and I have a flank steak in the fridge, with a few clicks, I can search for Asian BEEF, and fine a recipe that is fast (between 15-30 minutes to cook) requires Advance Prep (marinate overnite) and can be Grilled. I can quickly search through 1000's of recipes and narrow down what I am looking for in seconds. This system works for me at least. I've added lots of other categories based on how I personally search for recipes, so it could be tweaked for anyone.

Aug 09, 2013
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Bean Pot vs Dutch oven

you're right about that. I trend towards "too much" when I cook. I like to cook more than I like to eat.

Jun 15, 2013
egbluesuede in Cookware

Bean Pot vs Dutch oven

That website is awesome.....my gosh they have some beautiful products for sale. The Clay Cooking 101 section was very informative. I think my question needs to be "clay pot vs cast iron pot". A little different way to cook and care for your cookware, but so beautiful. Have you used any of the smaller ones? I'm thinking about a 6QT piece now, so I could make soup in it too. Now that I think about it, I've had a clay/ceramic casserole dish from Pampered Chef for years that I've loved. I always need to add a few extra minutes to cook in it, but everything always cooks perfectly and never seems to burn on the bottom even if you mess up. Probably chalk that up to the clay rather than using Pyrex like my other casserole dishes. I'm excited to try more clay now!

Jun 15, 2013
egbluesuede in Cookware
1

Bean Pot vs Dutch oven

I love cooking with my dutch oven. Especially for soups in the winter. My M.I.L gave me a gift card for father's day, and I was thinking about getting a bean pot. I think I would enjoy a lot of healthy legume recipes cooked in a bean pot, but I was curious if it was worth buying? Has anyone got good experiences to share? Would my dutch oven perform just as well? The pot I'm looking at is 4.5 QT, so it could make a mess o beans. Heck, if you love bean pot cooking, tell me what you make in it.

New England Soup Factory!!!

I'd love to hear which ones end up being your faves. I made the beed and barley for a crowd over christmas and really liked that one as well.

Jan 03, 2013
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

New England Soup Factory!!!

AAAG! That one isn't in there either. Now I'm freaking out, because I haven't had the opportunity to eat there. Only try the recipes in the cookbook. Now I'm bothered by the soups that I don't have access too. This week, I'm going to try the sausage minestrone with orzo soup. Everything in the cookbook is awesome, but unfortunately, I live about 800 miles from the restaurant, so I'm missing out on the tomato/cheddar/habernero soup you speak of. Maybe, if there is enough interest, there will be a volume 2?

Dec 09, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

New England Soup Factory!!!

Sorry, I don't think it does. You can browse the book on Amazon to see what is included though. If you look at the index of the book, it shows you all the recipes that are included.

Dec 06, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

New England Soup Factory!!!

I love making soup, especially in the winter. Recently, I got turned onto the New England Soup Factory cookbook, and absolutely LOVE this cookbook. I have made a number of the soups from tihs book and have not missed on one yet. Tonight I made the Greek Orzo Chicken Lemon soup. For Thanksgiving, I made the Porcini Mushroom soup. This weekend, I'm planning to make their New England Clam chowder. There is something for every season in this cookbook, so I should have lots of things to try year round.

If you have made some, what are your favorites?

Dec 04, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

The Leftovers That Didn't Make It

I know this wasn't your intention with this post, but I'm a fried rice fan as well. I do a pretty good dish with chicken, soy and mushrooms.....but please illunimate me. I know you can riff all day with fried rice, but could you share your basic with me as well? You mentioned fish sauce, which made me say....hold on, what am I missing? You've share so much with me on other posts.....so what am I missing with my fried rice? Basics only please! Thanks so much!

Feb 27, 2012
egbluesuede in General Topics

"Expired" V-8 juice?

I think you're safe with 2 cans.....don't make a habit out of drinking from expired juices though. 24 ozs and you should still live to be 100.

Feb 27, 2012
egbluesuede in General Topics

Cheddar please??? Who makes the best cheddars???

My fave every day cheddar, meaning sliced by the pound at the deli, is Hoffman's super sharp. I eat it plain in slices, or on top of anything where cheddar is called for. I don't put it out for company with a cheese platter, but at $8/lb.....I use it for everything else.

For cheese platters. Black diamond aged cheddar. White and crumbly....and very sharp.

Feb 27, 2012
egbluesuede in Cheese

Tips on making rice milk?

Chowhound has a video on this.
http://www.chow.com/food-news/103826/...

Feb 27, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Chinese Take Out Dishes - Want to Make Them at Home

I think it was a spicy bean paste to begin with, and I probably dumped it on top ot the protein and stirred in the wok. I got it from the asian market, and the english writing on it was pretty limited. I'm not afriad to try......but that occasion was a little further out on the limb than I should have been.

Feb 26, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Chinese Take Out Dishes - Want to Make Them at Home

Thanks Mama. I'll have to add this one to next week's menu. It's a take out fave of mine that I sometimees order from a special restaurant that is way out of the way for me. They don't even have it on the menu but will make it for me. I tried to make at home once and it was so bad, I'll have to twist some arms around here to let me try it again. I think I'll do much better this time.

Feb 26, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Chinese Take Out Dishes - Want to Make Them at Home

I can't see me fermenting beans myself. I'm thinking quick take out, black bean chicken I can make at home. I'd love to hear your "mean sauce"!

Feb 26, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Chinese Take Out Dishes - Want to Make Them at Home

BTW - Another one I have tried to make and failed was a good black bean sauce. Any tips there?

Feb 25, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Chinese Take Out Dishes - Want to Make Them at Home

Thanks for the advice. I'll tweak and make again soon.

Feb 25, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Chinese Take Out Dishes - Want to Make Them at Home

I cut the amount of chiles in half because my wife won't eat things too spicy. I think it made the sauce too sweet, so I'd add more chiles next time. I also didn't really get a crispy coating with the batter, but I'm sure there's some sort of technique I'm not getting right with that. I took the chicken straight out of the mixing bowl with the egg/corn starch batter, and dropped it right into the wok in three batches. Was that wrong? Also, I think I should cut the chicken into smaller pieces so they cook faster before the coating browns too much. Any advice on how to improve my "crispy coating"?

Feb 25, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Chinese Take Out Dishes - Want to Make Them at Home

ok then. It's my wifes favorite Chinese take-out.....so that is on the menu for tonight. Sounds awesome! Thanks mamachef.

Feb 25, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Chinese Take Out Dishes - Want to Make Them at Home

eatmyfood.....quick question about the General Tso recipe. Do you really mean to combine the eggs and cornstarch together, and then toss the chicken in it? Or do you mean to coat the chicken with eggs first and then coat with cornstarch?

Feb 25, 2012
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Jeni's Vanilla Cedar Wood Ice Cream

Jeni's is a local ice cream maker here in Columbus, and I've tried several flavors. They use really good ingredients and make good ice cream, but I don't like all of their flavors. Most are so unique, you only want to eat a scoop and not pig out on it like other good ice creams. When you go into their store, you can try a spoonful of anything before you buy, and I've tried many and decided, eh, not for me. Having said that, I don't think I would have even asked to try something called vanilla cedar wood, but then again, my tastes are more chocolate oriented. I love the cayenne chcolate. They do have other flavors that are amazing, but you have to try.

Jan 02, 2012
egbluesuede in General Topics

Astounding method for shucking corn

so the microwave really doen't have anything to do with the easy shucking? Could you cut raw corn in this manner, and then grill it?

Dec 02, 2011
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Cooking for 2, and plating

Same here. Dinner for two adults every night, and plating is important. colors and presentation, make the dish seem more appealing. I don't get too carried away with garnishes, but I always think presentation. I have two toddlers who LOVE my plating. Interesting sandwich shapes are easy, fun things with fruit. i have fun with it too.

Nov 29, 2011
egbluesuede in General Topics

Old wooden utensils...still use them from relatives no longer here?

Tons of stuff. Over the past 5 years, my wife and I have lost almost all of our grandparents, and I've had the opportunity to select whatever I wanted from the kitchens. Grandpa's spaetzle maker, grandma's pastry cutter, wooden spoons, mixing bowls, juice glasses, etc. All are special to me and reminds me of them whenever I use them. Some are high quality that you just can't find anymore either.

Nov 27, 2011
egbluesuede in Cookware

Lucky Peach magazine

yeah, you poach them in the shell, which allows you to be able to store them in the fridge for a day or two before you use them. You can quickly warm them back up in warm water if you do that. Just quickly crack the egg like you would otherwise, and the poached egg just slides right out without breaking.

Nov 22, 2011
egbluesuede in Food Media & News

Weekly menu planning, how do you go about it?

I do all of the mean planning for my family of 4. We do the shopping only once a week, so I try to be very organized to plan ahead, and make sure we have everything we need. My planning document is a #11 envelope. I buy a box of 50, and then run them through my printer. On the front, I've created lines organized into areas of my favorite grocery store. I use this side for my grocery list, and I write down the things I need by department so I do need to do a lot of backtracking and don't forget anything while I shop. On the back of the envelope, I have the days of the week, and an area for breakfast items, and lunch items. (you can also use the envelope to hold coupons if you shop that way) Using my calendar as a guide, I plan the meals around our schedule for the week, and somtimes even check the weather forecast if I think there is a chance to cook outdoors. Some tips I've learned... plan your means with the fresh ingredients earlier in the week. Plan subsequent meals to use up leftovers or ingredients from previous meals, plan lunches around left overs, and plan for flexibility. I know things tend to change, so I usually leave one day unplanned. Invariable, our schedule changes, and I don't cook everything in the order it was planned. If for some reason, the week goes entirely as planned, I'll grab carryout or go out to dinner at the end of the week.

To decide what meals I want to prepare, I have a list of many of our favorites. These are the ones that we go back to over and over again. For the rest of the week, I usually have ideas in my head from watching TV, reading a mag or chowhound, or seeing some seasonal item that I just want to use. By planning out the whole week, I can also try to incorporate variety. Mix up the proteins, mix up the ethnicity, etc so that dinner time doesn't become boring. It's very systematic, but I don't have a lot of free time, and enjoy cooking, so I try to make sure I have a plan for the week so I don't spend a lot of time at the store, and know what needs to happen as soon as I get home from work.

Nov 21, 2011
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Some Thanksgiving Turkey Suggestions Needed..........

oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. I do remove the port and brown the skin at the end. Otherwise the skink would stay white and gummy looking. Essentially, the pork is just basting the bird in fat to keep it moist while cooking. I use aromatics inside the bird for variable flavors.

Nov 08, 2011
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Some Thanksgiving Turkey Suggestions Needed..........

I've brined in years past, and I've also gone the fresh local turkey route. The fresh turkey was good, but expensive, and tasted no better to me than inexpensive frozen birds prepared in a way to preserve moisture. Lately, I use a technique called barding. I believe the origin was from the era of wood burning stoves, or some other heating method that was less easy to control than today's modern oven. If you take 1/4" slices of salt pork and cover the turkey with it, and wrap it with cheese cloth to hold everything in place, it would protect the bird from uneven heating and drying it out. You also prick the skin under the salt prok so the fat works it's way into the bird to keep it moist and juicy. You could even do this with bacon if you wanted to infuse some of the smoky bacon flavor. I don't, because that's not the flavor I'm going with my more traditional menu. Anyway, my turkey always comes out great, and I don't bother with fresh turkeys or brining anymore.

Nov 04, 2011
egbluesuede in Home Cooking

Holiday Gift Ideas For the Food Obsessed

OMG this looks like so much fun!

Oct 21, 2011
egbluesuede in General Topics