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Holli at Greenhorn Gourmet

Too much onion dip...help!

Pot roast! Put it in your crock pot with a little water and your browned roast. It tastes amazing!

Dumb cooking mistakes

Once I was simmering a new batch of menudo and had to run to the store to get a few ingredients for later. I yelled out to my husband to watch the stove so it didn't boil down too far, and upon my return I came home to an odd smell, some "crackling" sounds coming from the kitchen, and a completely oblivious husband playing video games. Note to self: if video games are involved, make him repeat my request. Twice.

To cover or not to cover

Okay, so I roasted a chicken last night using a cast-iron skillet and it was amazing. I oiled the pan, salt and peppered the chicken, and put it into a high-temp oven for about 60 minutes (based on the weight). It was pefect. No covering, crispy skin, and moist meat. I swear by cast iron after that... I have an inexpensive Lodge skillet.

Uses for Sparkling Grape Juice ?

You could pour a lot into a saucepan and reduce it to a simple syrup. The carbonation will cook off and then you could use it to sweeten iced/hot tea, etc!

Looking for Chocolates Recipe using Raspberries

This one is from a blog that I love:
http://notsohumblepie.blogspot.com/2011/01/golden-raspberry-rose-chocolates.html
She dusted them with confectioners gold dust and they're really pretty & simple.

Kind of gross, and I probably shouldn't eat it, but can't resist

Ruffles and the same brand of French Onion Dip.

I swear my body cringes every time I eat that, but I can't help it. That, and if I see a tub of Red Vines I compulsively need to eat them.

Flaming Hot Cheetos with Lime. Ugh.

I need to go eat a salad.

Help me recreate my favorite mac'n'cheese

Though I like how Teachertalk orders the ingredients, I really like the idea of deglazing with the white wine, especially after you allow the garlic and shallots to caramelize a little. I don't think they would taste as good if you cooked them with everything else.
Mmm...mac & cheese...

Ingredient substitutions that work?

Thanks for the ideas and references guys, and I appreciate all of the input.

I usually sub different types of nuts if a recipe calls for one I don't have (or one that's too expensive). I've also played around with different ways to simulate oil in baking, some of which have been an improvement, and others, a complete disaster. Like many have said, I think the ticket is just experience with how things behave in the kitchen.

Manhattan or New England Style Clam Chowder?

Mixed! If you haven't tried it, mix them together. It's really good!

Yeah, I have a Sriracha problem.

Oh god, I love sriracha on anything...
That, and A1 sauce....I think I have a vinegar problem.

The importance of eating seasonally...

Lol, yeah, I'm still a total n00b to the etiquette of cooking message boards. *blush*, no more link-spamming, I promise.

Why don't American's coook

I know when I talk to people about some of the cooking I do they ask me how I even have the time. I go to school and work, which pretty much is like a full-time job at the end of the week.

You know what the #1 thing I always ask them when they say that they don't have time? "Do you watch TV?"
And BAM, that gets them every time. I think people don't realize how many hours they sit every night, when they could turn it off for 2 and make something truly incredible...
I know this doesn't apply to everyone though, just a thought.

What is the best/cheapest college meals to make?

Yeah, I think the main idea here is that meat is expensive if you eat it often, so begin looking for ways to cut it out when possible and maybe just reserve it for special occasions (you survived final exams, etc).

When I first started college I was obsessed with pizza. It's actually quite easy to make at home, and tastier, and to be honest, it's a lot cheaper than going out for a slice. A lot of the ingredients are things you either already have or are things that are useful in tons of other recipes.

Here's the link to my recipe. Thought the toppings can always be changed, this dough recipe will make enough to press out on a large cookie sheet.
http://greenhorngourmet.com/2010/12/23/r4/

I hope it helps, and good luck! I just started back at UCSD and I already can't wait to be done, lol.

Looking for another food magazine

I second Eating Well magazine. The recipes are amazing and tasty. The magazine is only every 2 months, but the issues are large enough to cook from here and there during the interim.

Drinking party eats?

Okay, I know this may seem a bit weird, but I suggest Lumpia if you haven't already thought about it. There's no dairy, they're cheap, and you can make TONS of them relatively quickly. I have my version here, because I had a package of phyllo dough that I needed to use STAT.

http://greenhorngourmet.com/2010/12/27/r10/

If that doesn't spike your interest, here's a recipe for samosas. Mmmm...Indian food...

http://greenhorngourmet.com/2010/12/28/r11/

Hope is helps, and have fun!
Cheers,
H
http://greenhorngourmet.com

Thank You dinner suggestions

At this time of year, I can't imagine a better dinner than this:

Chicken Tortilla Soup
http://greenhorngourmet.com/2010/12/18/r2/

Don't add the jalapeño, just the poblano and it's amazing. You can slice a corn tortilla into strips and shallow-fry to put on top, but even just old tortilla chips work. Also, fresh cilantro and some avocado slices with a splash of lime make this soup even better.

Not only will you make something healthy and fresh, but she'll have leftovers for lunch the next day!

Cheers,
H
http://greenhorngourmet.com

Caramel fail - help!

Hi guys, I'm new here but I've dealt with this same problem for the past month or two. I calibrated my thermometer but it still wasn't up to par.

Trust me when I say this: The cold water method will never fail you.

I have been making beautiful, flawless caramels and candies because of this. Seriously. Here's a link to a website that will has videos AND pictures of the stages of sugar bases:
http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html

The basic idea is that you dip a wooden spoon into your boiling mixture and drop it into a glass of ice cold water (so cold that there's still ice floating in it). What this does is show you the final consistency of your sugar mixture if you were to take it off and cool it right then.

I know it seems like more of a hassle, but not only is it accurate, it's a great way to see how your kitchen conditions affect your mixture (humidity, etc) that a thermometer just can't measure.

I hope this helps.

http://greenhorngourmet.com

Ingredient substitutions that work?

Whenever I approach a new recipe, I try to see what ingredients I can use and get away with substituting so I can save money and not be forced to go to the store. Whether it's frugality or laziness, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Anyone have some tried substitutions that they know they can get away with?

The importance of eating seasonally...

So I've always been taught that eating seasonally is best for a number of reasons. One is that the produce that generally grows in your area during that season is at the peak of nutritional value, it's at its most robust state, and it's best to eat something that is in that state.
Is there anyone else who agrees/disagrees or has some insight on this thought? Would you buy something "fresh" knowing it was imported from halfway across the world?