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Author Topic: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.  (Read 20952 times)

Moonbeam

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2012, 12:50:12 pm »

QUESTION: Anyone have tips on producing a good hard boiled egg? I make deviled eggs about twice a month and I'm frustrated with them cracking when I am peeling off the shell

QUESTION: Anyone have a bread recipe for someone who has never made a loaf from scratch?

TIA :)
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MamaLiberty

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2012, 01:12:06 pm »

QUESTION: Anyone have tips on producing a good hard boiled egg? I make deviled eggs about twice a month and I'm frustrated with them cracking when I am peeling off the shell

QUESTION: Anyone have a bread recipe for someone who has never made a loaf from scratch?

TIA :)

I have a little plastic thing that is marked for soft and hard boiled eggs. http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Egg-Rite-Timer/dp/B00004UE75/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1334945384&sr=1-1  (Link takes you to page that gives Claire Wolfe credit.)

You put it in the cold water with the eggs, and when the plastic thing darkens to the line representing the level you wish, you remove the pan from the heat and pour off the hot water, replacing with cold until eggs can be handled. This is an amazing device, because it actually determines the temperature inside the eggs instead of relying on a timer. The actual elapsed time needed for hard cooked eggs varies with starting temperature, elevation, age of eggs, and other things.

It works best if the eggs are room temperature to start with, and you may want to use a timer to estimate the cooking time or stand by because there is no signal or warning hooter attached. LOL  Once you use it a few times, you'll have a very good idea how much to watch it.

As for peeling them, eggs several days to a week old will peel easier than really fresh ones. This is most likely due to the slight dehydration of the older eggs. When the interior cooks, a slight air space is created between the cooked protein and the inner membrane so it doesn't stick to the shell.

I know I have your email address somewhere, but can't remember what it is. Send me a PM with your address and I'll send you detailed instructions for a basic yest bread. And you can always ask questions. :)
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mutti

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2012, 01:53:09 pm »

QUESTION: Anyone have tips on producing a good hard boiled egg? I make deviled eggs about twice a month and I'm frustrated with them cracking when I am peeling off the shell

Are they fresh farm eggs? Notoriously hard to peel unless you know the secret squirrel method!

Actually no matter what the origin of the egg - here is what we do for 1 dozen eggs.

Cover egg(s) with cool water, bring to a boil, cover/simmer for 8 minutes, remove with slotted spoon and place in bowl. Place bowl in freezer for 20 minutes, remove. Either peel then or place in fridge until ready to peel.

Why? My Great Grandfather in Law said his Mother did this to have the interior contract slightly away from the shell (caused by the contraction/expansion of the air pocket).

I don't know - I can say it works for Chicken, Duck, Goose, Quail, and Pheasant eggs. Just the CTMV.
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Moonbeam

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2012, 01:14:18 pm »

ML - Cool little device! I got your recipe, thanks much!

MUTTI - Ooh, maybe that's the step I have been missing: not letting the eggs cool enough. Thanks for the tip!

NEW QUESTION: How do you think powdered sugar freezes? I want to make these oatmeal cookie sandwiches that uses a butter/powdered sugar frosting in the middle. And I want to freeze the cookies. Do you think it will be okay?
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Freedom is not being able to do what you want to do; freedom is being able to NOT do what you don't want to do.

"We must not amuse ourselves with the notion that we have done something when we have only formed a good resolution. Power comes by doing and not by resolving." Charlotte Mason

"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff." Courtesy of FreedomWorks

MamaLiberty

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2012, 01:33:34 pm »

NEW QUESTION: How do you think powdered sugar freezes? I want to make these oatmeal cookie sandwiches that uses a butter/powdered sugar frosting in the middle. And I want to freeze the cookies. Do you think it will be okay?

Wouldn't be the sugar that was a problem... The texture of the frosting might suffer... get runny... I don't know. Would it not be better to freeze just the cookies, then assemble them with frosting after they were thawed? That's what I would do. They would be much fresher looking, I'd think.
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Rarick

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2012, 09:43:33 am »

OREOS.......the water in the frosting is what freezes, but if you make a sticky, dry mix wouldn't that work like oreos.  make sure your cookies are the right dryness/texture on the frostuing side......
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MamaLiberty

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2012, 10:42:28 am »

OREOS.......the water in the frosting is what freezes, but if you make a sticky, dry mix wouldn't that work like oreos.  make sure your cookies are the right dryness/texture on the frostuing side......

The cookie part is still apt to get soggy during the thawing process.
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Rarick

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2012, 09:52:22 am »

Yes if thawing is part of the equation, but if you do not need thawing, just a cookie/ frosting sandwich.............

If you are talking Ice cream sandwich/ sidewalk sundae them you are better off with a "underleavened" cake mix.  mom used to put a whole lot less baking soda in the choclate cake when she was making up "S'more Bread".  which was a lot like the sidewalk sundae bread pieces.
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Moonbeam

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2013, 02:38:23 pm »

I have cooking experience on a electric stove top and a flat top stove. We currently have a gas stove top and for the most part I am now used to it. HOWEVER, I am having the hardest time cooking rice! On the other type of stoves I used two cups of water for one cup of rice, covered the pot and it was pretty much done in 20-30 minutes. Cooking rice via gas top has been frustrating! For one cup of rice I have to use 3 to 4 cups of water, and I do not put a lid on. If I do, it seems to become too bubbly and will spill over. I have it on the lowest setting and I have to stir every few minutes to keep it from burning! It takes about 40-60 minutes to cook, and the texture looks like tapioca pudding! Once the leftovers are refrigeratored then the texture is consistent with lovely cooked rice. I am using the same pot and the same brand of rice; only the stove top has changed. HELP!!
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I'm not where I want to be, but I'm better than where I was!

Freedom is not being able to do what you want to do; freedom is being able to NOT do what you don't want to do.

"We must not amuse ourselves with the notion that we have done something when we have only formed a good resolution. Power comes by doing and not by resolving." Charlotte Mason

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MamaLiberty

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2013, 03:47:09 pm »

I have cooking experience on a electric stove top and a flat top stove. We currently have a gas stove top and for the most part I am now used to it. HOWEVER, I am having the hardest time cooking rice! On the other type of stoves I used two cups of water for one cup of rice, covered the pot and it was pretty much done in 20-30 minutes. Cooking rice via gas top has been frustrating! For one cup of rice I have to use 3 to 4 cups of water, and I do not put a lid on. If I do, it seems to become too bubbly and will spill over. I have it on the lowest setting and I have to stir every few minutes to keep it from burning! It takes about 40-60 minutes to cook, and the texture looks like tapioca pudding! Once the leftovers are refrigeratored then the texture is consistent with lovely cooked rice. I am using the same pot and the same brand of rice; only the stove top has changed. HELP!!

Interesting. Are you having problems with anything else?

Hard to imagine this problem on a gas stove... sure wish I could trade with you. :)

Try this method for long grain rice. Short grain rice takes a lot longer to cook, though the method should be fine. I don't use short grain stuff myself, but have had to cook it.

In at least a two quart size heavy stainless steel pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of dry white rice and stir. Bring to a boil again, stirring a few times. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for five minutes. Cover and turn off the heat. Let stand undisturbed for fifteen minutes.  The rice should be done and fluffy. If you like your rice sticky, increase water by 1/2 cup.

To cook brown rice, use three cups of water. Same method, but you need to simmer it for at least ten minutes.
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LdMorgan

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2013, 05:44:14 pm »

A gas ring tends to concentrate the heat more than an electric element, so a thicker-bottom pan helps avoid sticking & burning. You also might try setting your pot in a small skillet to diffuse the heat. Some gas stoves also get wonky when you try to turn them down very low--and some turn themselves back up when they think you aren't looking.

I've done two things recently in the kitchen that worked out well and might be worth sharing as tips.

1) In my chest freezer, I got rid of all the food baskets and replaced them with heavy-duty cloth shopping bags.

Different colors identify different foods (pink for pork, blue for beef, white for fish, etc,) and when I ran out of basic bag colors, I just added a few wraps of colored crochet yarn around the the handles to act as the ultimate identifier--sort of like banding an arrow.

 The result is that I can now excavate to the bottom of the freezer with one hand, find exactly what I need, and repack everything, super-fast, and super-easy. I can also pack 25% more food in the freezer.

I was amazed at the space those bags save.

2) With my Excalibur dehydrator, I finally just got tired of chasing all the green peas that would leap off the tray as I was smoothing them out. So I made a form-fitting frame out of old yardsticks and some strips of leather. I just stapled everything together, and fit it by eye. (Duct tape would have worked just as well.)

After I fit it around one of the Excalibur trays, I can just toss stuff on by the handful and spread it around without a care. It all stays on the tray, and the trays load about twice as fast.
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MamaLiberty

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2013, 08:22:47 am »

A gas ring tends to concentrate the heat more than an electric element, so a thicker-bottom pan helps avoid sticking & burning. You also might try setting your pot in a small skillet to diffuse the heat. Some gas stoves also get wonky when you try to turn them down very low--and some turn themselves back up when they think you aren't looking.

In that case, the stove may be defective, of course. Never had that problem. But if that was happening, a double boiler would work well. Put the rice and water into one pot, and put that pot into a larger one with some boiling water in the bottom.  Might take longer to cook... don't know, but the rice wouldn't burn.

Quote
1) In my chest freezer, I got rid of all the food baskets and replaced them with heavy-duty cloth shopping bags.

Different colors identify different foods (pink for pork, blue for beef, white for fish, etc,

What a marvelous idea! I never had any "baskets" in my freezer to start with... just one big hole and it is very difficult to keep things rotated. I'm ready to clean out that freezer and do an inventory anyway, and this looks like the very best way to put things back in.

Quote
2) With my Excalibur dehydrator, I finally just got tired of chasing all the green peas that would leap off the tray as I was smoothing them out. So I made a form-fitting frame out of old yardsticks and some strips of leather. I just stapled everything together, and fit it by eye. (Duct tape would have worked just as well.)

Interesting. I've never actually tried to dry peas, so never had this problem, but I do have stuff falling through the racks sometimes, especially herbs and things like chopped celery. I have tried using cheesecloth on the racks, but the herbs or foods sometimes stick to that and it is difficult to get it all off. 

As to making a form around the racks for this, I'd think a heavy sheet of plastic cut in strips and stapled at the joint would do a good job. Not sure I'd want the gas off from duct tape, painted wood (the yardstick) or leather to get in my food.

 
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LdMorgan

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2013, 12:35:47 pm »

OOPS! My mistake!

I wasn't clear enough--I should have posted a pic.

The frame for the Excalibur trays never goes in the dehydrator.

It just sits on the kitchen table. I set a tray inside it, spread stuff out on the tray, then lift the frame off the tray and set it aside.

Then the loaded tray goes into the dehydrator, the frame goes back to its starting position, and a another tray gets set inside it for loading.

If someone wanted a stouter frame, they could make one from 1X2 lumber and it would work just as well, nailed or screwed together.

***

With the shopping bags it is much easier to rotate and keep a running inventory. If my sweetie asks how we're doing on fish, I just yank out the white bag and take a look. Everything that should be together stays together, and if I want to check on soup stock, well, that's the white bag with the brown wrap on the handle.

E--zee!

When it comes time to defrost, just grab the bags and set them in a cooler. Then put them back whenever. No fumbling around with stacks, and no frozen fingers.

***

Yeah. I think it's mostly very old gas stoves that don't keep their setting--worn valves, and all that.

***

Drying peas is a hoot. We found out that you can buy frozen peas & corn cheaper than fresh stuff from the farmer's market, and then just toss it in the dehydrator. It's already blanched and dehydrates perfectly. Usually about 10 hrs at 125-135F for a full load.

It's a lot less work than shelling peas and cutting corn off the cob. And blanching. You don't even have to thaw it out first.

And that leaves our garden space for things that like hotter temps, anyway, like green beans and squash.

About the only frozen veggie I've found that isn't cheaper for dehydrating is carrots. I think there's a little more bang for the buck with fresh.

My sweetie mixes some of the various dried veggies together so when it's soup time she can just grab a handful and toss it into the pot.

Frozen french fries dehydrate too, BTW. And a lot of other stuff.






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MamaLiberty

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2013, 01:06:22 pm »

OOPS! My mistake!

I wasn't clear enough--I should have posted a pic.

The frame for the Excalibur trays never goes in the dehydrator.

Oh... :) Yes, that makes a lot more sense.

Quote
About the only frozen veggie I've found that isn't cheaper for dehydrating is carrots. I think there's a little more bang for the buck with fresh.

I do a great deal more drying than canning, but I can't imagine buying frozen vegetables to dry.  As long as I have a freezer, I much prefer them frozen. My garden has not produced a great deal the last two years because of drought and subsequent lack of bees, but I have plans to build a greenhouse this spring and that should help tremendously.  I always have as much swiss chard and beet greens as I can eat, as well as snow peas and herbs. The squash did absolutely nothing last year, and if there are no bees this year I'll have to do something else to pollinate the flowers.  The squash freezes fairly well, but I have never been successful drying summer squash.
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Moonbeam

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Re: General Kitchen: food, storage, recipes, questions, tips, etc.
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2013, 10:27:15 am »

ML - I will try the method of turning off the stove. I have no issues with other foods (though I had to figure out pasta and scrambled eggs). It's just so odd to me whether the lid is on or off that the water seems to evaporate. I make rice about once a week so I need a solution!
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I'm not where I want to be, but I'm better than where I was!

Freedom is not being able to do what you want to do; freedom is being able to NOT do what you don't want to do.

"We must not amuse ourselves with the notion that we have done something when we have only formed a good resolution. Power comes by doing and not by resolving." Charlotte Mason

"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff." Courtesy of FreedomWorks
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