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Jen Blacker

Geeky mom who loves to cook

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

Chocolate peanut butter stout bundt cake with dark chocolate espresso ganache

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

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

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.

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.

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 blender...zip 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.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/instant-pancake-mix-recipe/index.html

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. http://www.dougcare.com/foodstorage/sinbo.htm

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.