Jen Blacker

Geeky mom who loves to cook

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Win a Copy of 'The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook'

Roasted root vegetables

Win a Copy of 'Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen'

Win a Copy of 'Sweet and Vicious: Baking With Attitude'

Chocolate peanut butter stout bundt cake with dark chocolate espresso ganache

Win a Copy of 'Vibrant Food'

Win a Copy of 'Fruitful: Four Seasons of Fresh Fruit Recipes'

Cook the Book: 'The Nourished Kitchen' by Jennifer McGruther

Crusty baked bread.

Bake the Book: Puddin'

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Fresh medium rare burger with pepper jack cheese, grilled red onions and mushrooms. Yum!

Knead the Book: Fast Breads

Butter and marion berry jam.

Appetizers: 2 days ahead/last in a cooler for a 400 mile drive?

Some sort of dip, a cold spinach dip would work. Or even a dip you could reheat when you got their. Potato skins too, you can cook them ahead of time, scoop out the insides, add back in all the toppings, then reheat when you get there.

Kenji's Recipes

I've used his cheese sauce recipe many times. It's the perfect dipping sauce.

Quick homemade alternative of Pillsbury canned crescents?

Does the above recipe convert well then for things normally made with the canned crescents like taco ring/pigs n blankets etc? I'm not looking for biscuit recipes, those I make all the time. I need an alternative to the canned crescents that I use to make other things.

Hey Serious Eats, SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU!!!

Congrats! Nice to see you win.

Knead the Book: Kneadlessly Simple

Freezing Cut, Unbaked Biscuits

I do this all the time as well. I put them on a cookie sheet and let them flash freeze for about 40 minutes or so. Until they are hard. Then I throw them in a Ziplock bag. When I'm ready to make them, I just preheat the oven (for whatever recipe biscuit I'm using) and throw them in once the temperature is reached.

Sam Adams

I love their Oktoberfest beer. It makes THE best cheddar beer bread.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Southside Market Sausage, Chicken, and Steaks

Red Hot and Blue in Maryland.

Who Else Is Obsessive About Their Pantry? (This Obsessive?)

This is timely! I just created a spreadsheet for all the stuff in the freezers. I have a big one in the basement and a fridge/freezer in the kitchen. I created a spreadsheet to keep track of what I have so I can plan out meals better.

Do I need an immersion blender

I just got one a few weeks ago. It was on sale/free shipping from Amazon. I've been putting it off for ages for many of the reasons above, yet another tool in the kitchen, how often would I use it, etc. I've not made several recipes specifically because it called for using an immersion blender. Well I used it on some (not) refried beans made in the slow cooker. The other option was mushing them by hand. It was taking forever by hand, with the and done! I also used it on some tomato soup. I love it now and will use it more, especially in soup recipes.

Why do my pancakes suck?

I use Alton Brown's recipe and it's awesome. It makes a big batch of dry mix and lasts awhile. It also is a stand in for biscuit and "Bisquick" mix. Mine come out fluffy every time.

I make them in a big batch on the weekend and flash freeze them so my son can munch on them during the week for breakfast.

Labor Day Giveaway: Tenderloin Filets and Cedar Grilling Planks

Grilled portabellas and ribeye steaks

Emeril Lagasse to be a 'Top Chef' Judge

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert were also judges, but were only on for a few episodes. It will probably be the same for Emeril. I like his new show on Cooking channel, very laid back and informational. I think he'd do a good job.

FoodSaver experience? (or similar device)

I did some googling simon.

Does that look like something you are talking about? It's actually cheaper than the FoodSaver.

Care to introduce yourself?

I'm 36 and revamped my way of cooking last year. My son had just turned 1 and was able to "eat what we eat" at that point. To cook healthy and to save money I got rid of most processed foods. I make Alton's "Instant pancake mix" to use as a substitute for Bisquick, I make my own chicken stock, spaghetti sauce, garlic bread, pizzas, etc. It has even turned my hubby around, the man who was afraid to eat anything healthy.

Do to feeding my little one what we eat, he eats wonderfully. He prefers fresh fruit (that was a pain in the arse during the winter!), wants my home made mac and cheese with veggies and not the crappy kind you find at chain restaurants. He is not picky at all.

No More Good Eats

Ahh Fark, that is basically where I get all my important news. All other news services are days behind them.

It's a shame, I love his show. At least we get 3 more specials out of him. Maybe he'll do something other than Iron Chef.

I saw him a few years back in Cleveland at the IX Center when the Food Network crew were doing a tour (along with local food stuff). He did the jerky on a box fan recipe live. It was pretty good.

Quick homemade alternative of Pillsbury canned crescents?

I make almost everything from scratch, but canned crescents I still buy. I did some Googling on the subject but I wanted your take on the subject. I see many recipes for crescents but I'm looking for something I can whip together (instead of popping open) and use right away for recipes that call for the canned version. Things like taco ring or mini appetizers that are stuffed with cheese..etc. Thank you for the advice.

FoodSaver experience? (or similar device)

I'm up at the crack of dawn with my toddler and of course nothing is on. FoodSaver commercials are "cooking" related so he'll watch that instead of Mickey Mouse for the millionth time.

Does anyone own/have first hand experience with the FoodSaver thing (or anything like it)? Costco sometimes has a coupon for the device and we buy our meat in bulk from them every six months.

The reviews I've read on Amazon are either glowing or horrible. If it's truly a useful device I may add it to my wishlist.

Thanks for the advice.

Fast Easy Bread? 60 minutes for fresh bread, possible?

On one of the blogs I follow, the site owner was discussing the bread technique/ingredients she uses to make bread from creating to table in 60 minutes. Website of special stuff is here:

Anyone familiar with this? It is a bit intriguing, fast homemade bread...but does it taste the same? Just seems a little weird to me. I am familiar with the process of making the dough the night before then putting it in the fridge (a la artisan bread in 5 minutes a day thing) but I have never heard of this.

Looking for a very simple apple dessert

I'm cooking for my inlaws this weekend as it's my father in law's birthday soon. Doing steaks on the grill and everything that goes with that. They are very very picky and don't like anything even remotely "different". Father in law's wife won't eat chocolate. (Heathen!). I'm making a chocolate French silk pie for everyone that does like chocolate, but I'd like to make a simple apple dessert that she and my father in law would love. Something I can quickly put together without too much work. I want to make this the day before. Remember, nothing fancy, has to be simple since they don't like "weird" things.

Thank you for your suggestions!

Demy Review?

Someone on here purchased a Demy a few months back. Could you give us your thoughts on it..was it worth it? It has dropped in price recently and I'm thinking about asking for this as a birthday present in the fall. My poor recipe binder is overflowing and I have printed out ones all over the top of my microwave.

Stovetop Grills

During the winter months and when it's too humid to set foot outside, I would love to have one of those stove top grills. I've read up on them and checked out some reviews on Amazon but I'd like a more informed opinion from the people here. What are your experiences with stove top grills? Any brand better than another? I have an electric stove with the coil burners.


Freezing loaves, biscuits, pizza dough and breadsticks

I have several great recipes for different types of bread. Many recipes already come as large batches and that's fine with me. But I'd love to be able to freeze the loaves/biscuits/pizza/breadsticks, then reheat them later and have them taste just as good. Searching around google hasn't helped as there are so many different answers. There was a wonderful recipe here yesterday on Photograzing, for example, that had breadsticks. That would be something I'd love to make, freeze, then reheat later.

So the questions are, how do I properly freeze the above things, how do you reheat them properly, and how long do they last in a freezer? I have an upright freezer in the basement for long term storage.

Thank you!

Advice on home made sandwich bread

I want to start making sandwich bread at home. My hubby is a bit picky, he does like honey wheat bread. I eat any kind of bread. Can I have some advice/recipes that you have tried and had success with? I have a bread maker but I enjoy baking bread in the oven as well.

Thank you.