Previously josdean. Had to switch names - long story.
I love cooking and baking. I am always tweeking recipes. My laptop is resident in my kitchen. I'm here to help, entertain but primarily learn.

  • Location: Pennsylvania
  • Favorite foods: Pastas
    Anything with a decadent sauce
    Honeycrisp apples
  • Last bite on earth: My friend's Bailey's Irish cream torte

Great Corporate Food Gift?

The best corporate gift I ever received was from Honey Baked Ham. They also have smoked turkey, sides and desserts. I'm not sure about veggie and Kosher offerings. It was a great surprise to receive around the holidays and came in handy for quick meals and entertaining.

Do you cook well with others?

I didn't realize how obsessed I was about cooking alone until about 5 years ago preparing Thanksgiving dinner. My sweet Mom was cleaning up after me and driving me crazy by asking where this pot goes, do you put this knife in the dishwasher, etc. until I finally freaked. I scared the hell out of her when I screamed "Get Out!". Much apologizing on my part followed and I felt like a real bi*ch. Now I assign tasks that will keep everyone out of my way like setting the table.

Food Trivia Questions Needed

I was looking for calories per 100 grams.

Food Trivia Questions Needed

Great Questions! Here's one for which I don't have an answer. Apparently there is a raging debate about the fruit with the highest caloric content(not specifically from fat). I've seen avacado, tamarind, dates, coconut and durian. What say you?

Can you polish off a pint of ice cream in a sitting?

I totally can woof a pint in one sitting. Using a fork, I approach my pint with laser-like precision and carve a path around the edge of the container. I then start digging out any visible tasty morsels like cherries or chocolate chunks, working my way down in concentric circles like an archaeologist searching for ancient ruins. Before I know it, I hit rock bottom. Disappointed, I toss my empty receptacle away and begin planning my next expedition. Will it be Chunky Monkey? Cherry Garcia? Alas, I must wait until next month or risk falling away to a ton.

Protein for Bodybuilding

I am a dialysis patient and need to keep my protein levels up. I take LiquaCel (available without prescription at many pharmacies, like Target). Each 1 ounce liquid serving contains 16 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of arginine. It's available in three fruit flavors and is much more palatable than nasty protein shakes. I can't attest to its bodybuilding qualities, but at least it's not laden full of mystery ingredients that may or may not be desireable to you. My son is a bodybuilder and drinks 4 different 'potions' (as I call them) before lifting and yet more afterwards. I will follow up with him just in case this is what you're looking for and will report back.

Responses and reactions to your food...

Having thoroughly enjoyed the lentil soup at my college cafeteria, I decided to take a stab at it and served it for the first Thanksgiving dinner I hosted after my husband and I were married. I still have no clue what kind of lentils I grabbed, but the soup ended up jet black with bits of orange carrot incandescent floaters. My Mom, never one to mince words, said it looked like a newly-tarred highway with orange hazard cones. It tasted delicious, but after my Mom's comment, no one could bring themselves to eat the tar!

Cleaning a gas stove w/ pilot light

To clean the orifices, try an old fashioned tiny spiral brush that used to be used for combing eyebrows or cleaning electric razors. Works every time for my Mom.

Zucchini: To seed or not?

@ecca, let me know if the IQF process works. It would be great to have fried zucchini in December.

Calling All Hot Dog Lovers

Great ideas gang! I think this party will turn out pretty cool. I'm in Pittsburgh, so I have the motherload of fresh sausages at my fingertips. Hot dogs are a different story. I hate to revert to Nathans (not my favorite), but would appreciate any other suggestions.

I Succumbed to Stainless Steel. Now What?

Sorry for the repition

I Succumbed to Stainless Steel. Now What?

I will be doing trial runs on all suggestions posted here. You guys have been great sharing. I'm trying not to have to clean this thing daily. I have a SS backsplash in 4x4 tiles throughout the kitchen, but they don't begin to show the smudges and grease as much as the the fridge does.

So........I will experiment with all of your suggestions. If anyone does a trial run on a product, let us know how it worked.

I Succumbed to Stainless Steel. Now What?

I will be doing trial runs on all suggestions posted here. You guys have been great sharing. I'm trying not to have to clean this thing daily. I have a SS backsplash in 4x4 tiles throughout the kitchen, but they don't begin to show the smudges and grease as much as the the fridge does.

So........I will experiment with all of your suggestions. If anyone does a trial run on a product, let us know how it worked.

What to do with an extra turkey?

I have several single senior citizens as neighbors. I roast my extra turkey and divide it up. Then I make turkey soup with the carcass and send that off as well. People forget sometimes that our seniors are truly struggling. No Social Security increase next year for them. They've worked hard all their lives, and some of them have even lost their pensions. They have survived wars and economic turmoil, yet they would never ask for charity. I find that single elderly people rarely cook nice meals for themselves. The smiles on their faces when I drop off their goodies makes my day! Consider donating to 'charities' right next door.

What do You Eat for Breakfast the Day After Thanksgiving?

Husband and son are in the restaurant business and have to be at work at 3am to feed the throngs of Black Friday shoppers. I, on the other hand, will be drinking hot chocolate with Baileys and leftover crescent rolls with bearnaise sauce. Yum!

Random thoughts on the day....

I don't like making Thanksgiving dinner in general because everyone in my family likes the good old, tried-and-true recipes. Last year I dared to put sausage in my stuffing. No one would eat it. BUT, this year takes the cake. I forgot to buy the gelatinous goop of cranberries in the can. I made a wonderful fresh cranberry compote to no avail. The atmosphere was not celebratory. You'd swear I shot their dog. Memo to self: Buy the goop tomorrow for next year's dinner.

Vanilla Ice Cream Without the Machine

I positively adore frozen custard! There's a place in Conneaut, PA (Hanks) that makes the most amazing soft serve frozen custard that I have ever tasted using 100 year old behemoth machines. Is your recipe more akin to frozen custard than ice cream? What would you tweek to make it more like frozen custard?

Beware Soliciting

I've been on Facebook for quite a while, but never got propositioned..;-)) I don't comment anywhere regarding my affiliation with seriouseats.
I'm sending all future emails to spam.

Cape May, NJ Beach Avenue

It's been awhile, (a LONG while), but we used to hit the Lobster House right over the bridge for happy hour. Not real cheap, but nice environment.

sloppy joe

Definitely tatertots. It's almost mandatory.

Restaurant Nicknames

Pizza Slut - Pizza Hut (oldie but goodie)
Pound-a -Rubber - Ponderosa
McSick - You all know this one

And my all-time favorite:

Lead Robster - Red Lobster (That's what my son called it when he was little.) In retrospect, it's accurate. They load you down with biscuits and bad seafood, then they rob you for it.

Hilariously Wrong Food on Television

@Paula - You might have a point, but the posters on this site also seem to be well-read. Glaring pronunciation errors are annoying across all lines. I personally cringed every time George Bush talked about "nucular" energy as opposed to "nuclear".

@sarar - "delicious BUT healthy"... Kind of sounds like she thinks the two are mutually exclusive. Delicious AND healthy sounds more like it.

Dog Food...Now I've seen everything

I just saw an add for cat food appetizers. What's next?

What is your worst cooking disaster?

I was making a massive amount of deviled eggs for a party. I wasn't wearing my glasses and grabbed the can of Old Bay instead of Coleman's dry mustard (both were in yellow cans). It actually wasn't horrible. In fact, my family now wants me to add a LITTLE Old Bay along with the dried mustard when making deviled eggs. A potential disaster came out ok in the end.

Anniversary Celebration ~ Dinner 3/27

Happy Anniversary Gator Pam! Today is our 28th anniversary, and we're headed to a casual Italian haunt tonight. Next week though, we're hitting a 5 course fixed price dinner with wine pairings at our favorite urban spot. It's a long, all night affair. This one was my pick. DH prefers a quicker paced meal. Unfortunately, no melting pot here. I'll have to check out the closest one to me. Happy eating (and smooching!).

Food Trivia Questions Needed

A friend is the Guest Trivia Master later this week at his local watering hole. He's looking for some clever food trivia questions to stump the players who range in background from college students to medical professionals. They're a pretty savy bunch. Any questions (and answers, of course) would be appreciated. Please post your answers separate from your questions so we can have a little fun too!

Zucchini: To seed or not?

A debate has been raging amongst friends as to how to properly prep a zucchini for use when baking breads and muffins. In general, when a bread recipe calls for grated zucchini, I use the whole thing; skin, seeds and flesh. But at this time of year when we're getting some monster, mutant zucchinis from our garden, the seed-to-flesh ratio is leaning more towards seeds. So, what do you all recommend? Include the seeds as part of the total zucchini volume? If so, do you recommend draining the zucchini for any amount of time? Surprisingly, I haven't found any recipes that address this issue. Additionally, I find it amusing that most recipes call for one "grated" zucchini. I have some the size of pickles and others that could be used to bludgeon someone to death! I usually use medium-sized ones for recipes, and when writing recipes, I call for post-shredded weight (like 2 cups). Anyone have any advice? I'd like to spend Sunday using up my crop and your input would be greatly appreciated!

Calling All Hot Dog Lovers

It's time for my annual July 4th party. I'm serving homemade fried chicken and penne pasta with sausage, tomatoes and whipping cream. Normally, I smoke some pork butts for pulled pork bbq sandwiches. This year, I want to shake up the menu a bit and make it more teenage/college friendly. I'm planning to have a gourmet hot dog/bratwurst bar with around 25 different toppings. I've got a grip on the usual condiments, but I'd love your ideas for additional, semi non- traditional toppings. I'll probably have 50-60 guests. Recommendations for hot dog brands would also be appreciated.

I Succumbed to Stainless Steel. Now What?

My 15 year old refrigerator has finally kicked the bucket. Well....not exactly. I'm one of those people who paid the exorbitant annual extended warranty fees. My ice maker broke 6 times in the last year, so they (Sears) gave me $1500 to spend on a new fridge of my choice. After swearing I'd never get stainless steel, that's exactly what I went out and bought. In the post-Thanksgiving afterglow, I am thinking of buying stock in Windex. Streaks, spots and general greasiness are all I see. Has anyone found a cleaner that resists spotting to start with on stainless steel? I'm sure there are a few hundred of us that could benefit on you trials and errors. Thanks so much!

Fall/Winter Herb Garden

I have a small herb garden in a planter on my patio. With Winter approaching, I'd like to move it indoors, but I don't know if it will continue to flourish (I'm in Pittsburgh). I grow basil, rosemary, thyme, flat leaf parsley, chives and mint. Should I try to dry what is currently alive, or should I move the planter indoors? Any advice on growing/preserving herbs would be appreciated.

Beware Soliciting

I have just gotten my second email from someone puporting to have read my profile on and "wants to get to know me better". They enclose a picture of themselves along with physical descriptions and their dating likes and dislikes. I am female as are the people tracking me down. I guess I'll remove my personal information from my profile if that will solve the problem, but I was suspicious if by opening the email, I would subject myself to a virus. Anyone else in the same boat?

Sentimental Easter Requests

I'm hosting my family Easter dinner tomorrow, and my 80 year old Dad wants a lemon meringue pie. I love baking and cooking, but my attempts at lemon meringue have been marginally successful. I made him one anyway, warts and all. Until 2 months ago, he was a vigorous 80 year old man with a sharp mind and a knack for business. He has colon cancer and has gone through chemo. The chemo was just a precaution, however, it wreaked havoc on his personality and general interest in life. I am afraid this might be his last Easer with us, so pie it is! I won't think about lemon meringue pie in the future without thinking about my Dad. Does anyone have a loving memory to share?

I deleted myself.... Again!

I just spent an hour composing a thoughtful response to a post. I was reading the preview and mistakenly tried to edit in it. Poof! I got kicked out. I re-wrote my response and I did the same thing again (Dah..).

Is there a way to get back to my initial response? I tried backing out to no avail. I went into 'my posted comments' and it wasn't there either. I'm sure this has been addressed before and is probably an easy fix. Can someone point me in the right direction please?

Cakespy: Behemoth Crumb Cake

When it comes to crumb, I have a theory: if some is good, more is better. This theory was proven when I discovered something called the Colossal Crumb Cake at New Jersey's Ocean Grove Bake Shoppe. Their version had a ratio of roughly 9 parts crumb to 1 part cake, and it was just as amazing as it sounds. Could it be possible to recreate this magic at home? More

What do turnips go with?

I have never tried turnips. I feel like I should. My current plan is to roast some with other as-yet unnamed root vegetables. Is this a good idea? What do turnips taste like? What do they go with? (And while... More

Sides suggestions for Spatchcocked Turkey

Spatchcocked a turkey and rubbed it down with Cajun seasoning and garlic. Refrigerated it overnight. This afternoon we put it on the grill with just a touch of smoke. There was an occasional mop of turkey stock with extra thyme,... More

Ropa Vieja recipe

Does anyone have a good recipe for Ropa Vieja they would be willing to share? My son had this recently and has been begging me to make it. I've found a few recipes on the internet but would like to... More

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipes

So, my best friends are getting married and I already have got their wedding present (which as a grad student I probably over spent on.) But Now I've been invited to the shower.... So what I was going to do... More

Dinner Tonight: Velvet Chicken

The "velvet" in the title alludes to the chicken's texture after it emerges from the pot. While some poached chicken recipes come out stringy and tough, this one is cooked in a liquid that's barely simmering for 30 minutes. The result is perfectly cooked chicken that's beautifully tender and aromatic thanks to a particularly flavorful cooking liquid. More