"semi-retired" teacher

  • Favorite foods: most seafood, anything grilled.
  • Last bite on earth: Surf & turf - medium rare filet mignon and BIG lobster tail... with plenty of butter for dipping.

Latest Comments

Two Pounds of Ground Beef- What to make?

Two POUNDS would make a LOT of meals for me... cooking for one. In a perfect world, with a giant freezer (with ROOM for storage), I'd have enough stuff ready to heat/cook/eat for MONTHS!?! A few small meatloaves... ready to thaw/bake/eat. Some 1-2 serving containers of chili and meatballs in sauce. Some sloppy joes.

How do you avoid overspending?

Not so much on food, but kitchen stuff. I'm a yard sale, thrift store, and flea market JUNKIE!! Have made several GREAT buys on GOOD cast iron stuff for a song. Square LeCreuset grill pan, blue enamle exterior in great shape, minor schmutz in ridges... $5!

Home gardening?

It KILLS me cuz I haven't been able to have an in-ground garden in several years... CRITTERS! Last time I had veggies in ground was like putting up a big, NEON sign... FREE SALAD BAR for rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and GROUNDHOGS.

Live in NJ and reminded of a line Shirley McClain had in "Steel Magnolias"... something to the effect that she's "old and supposed to grow tomatoes"?!? Have a spot that would be PERFECT for a few tomato and pepper plants,ut would be an exercise in futility.

Tried container tomatoes on my low deck... only to discover pots tipped over or even pulled off onto grass. Had several healthy/happy pots of herbs in pots suspended from railing... nice crop of cilantro in am... GONE when I got home from work.

Gas vs charcoal grilling in a gas grill

I few years ago, TREE RATS (squirrels) destroyed hose from propane tank to grill. Grill was NOT a high-end model, about $100 at end of season. Thought I found replacement part in home store, but holes that posts that hold knobs didn't match up!?! Checked out manufacturer's site and could have ordered part from them, but it was something like $60 + S&H. Not worth spending that much on a cheap grill that had given me plenty of good cooking.

Since a NEW grill wasn't in budget at the time, I made a "red-neck" grill. I took out all the gas guts and put a few bricks pavers in bottom to mostly but not entirely block the air intake slots. Bought a chimney starter and used this make-shift rig for a few summers before returning to gas.

I like cooking over charcoal, but like the convenience of pretty much instant grilling with gas.

Did have a brilliant idea... or so I thought. Why do a whole grill full of charcoal for 1-2 burgers, dogs, or pieces of chicken... why not cook ON the chimney. Like trying to cook on a JET ENGINE!! Food started to INCINERATE within a minute of being on grilll set on top!

What will you make for Easter?

My sister-OUT-law (divorced her brother but not rest of family) will be doing a dance for NICE weather for next Sunday. She serves "honey baked ham" that she buys OFF the bone. Some may poo-poo this product but I LOVE it and it's ALWAYS good. Asked her to pick up some for ME to take home, since closest store to me is a trek. I'll be taking sweet potatoes. Kinda ham-stringer HER MIL back at Christmas by jumping on them to bring... (bragging) I KNEW mine were better & everyone agreed!?! Kinda roasted in ample butter and maple syrup... dash of hot sauce and a little garlic/onion powder added.

Deviled eggs

Nephew wants to know how anything that smells that bad (sorta like farts)can taste SO GOOD!!

I use little mayo... mostly mustard... dijon, grainy, even plain yellow. A SMALL dab of wasabi paste (from tube) and generous sprinkly of smoked paprika.

My sister showed me a great tip for filling eggs, especially if you're taking them somewhere. Take whites and yolk-mix separately in zip bags. Snip corner off yolk stuff and just squeeze into white at final destination. I serving plate starts to run short, just a few squeezes fills it back up.

Culinary land mines

I love chicken salad but ONLY trust my Beautiful Aunt Peggy and sister-OUTlaw (divorced from her brother but not rest of family) with this. I KNOW I'll never find anything I don;t want in my mouth with their recipes.

O LOVE crab dishes but rarely prder them when eating out. ONE bit of shell or cartlidge and I'm GONE!

What To Do With Leftover Pork Roast

My Dad's favorite for left-over pork (and possible roasted veggies... carrots, potatoes, etc and gravy) was a pot pie. Left-overs ito bakiing sheet, topped with even tube biscuits... tho puff pastry is divine.

Asparagus stems revisited.

I take the extra time to use vegetable peeler on stems of FAT asparagus. All the "tough" stuff that you snap off is only tough at the skin level.

Cast Iron question.

If you think you can just season cast iron and it'll be good forever... you're a bit mistaken. A WELL seasoned pan, used for something like eggs, can prove to be cleanable with just a wipe of a paper towel for a LONG time. If you introduce LIQUID... if only things like onions & pepper... it'll need some cleaning.

If I end up with some crud in CI pan, I scrub out with CHEAP salt and lots of hot water. Then back on burner till fairly hot and a new dab of bacon grease... like my grandmother always did.

I think it's REALLY important to USE cast iron cookware as often as possible. When I first got back into it, would store pieces in oven. They'd live there even when I was using oven for other things. Eventually got some rust spots... moisture/steam for whatever was cooking in oven with it?? A good scrub with salt, a warm up on stove top and more bacon grease... fixes things.

In search of: Popcorn Popper

Made "real" popcorn in a pop on stove top for niece when she was about 13 or so. Was able to find a GLASS lids to fit pot so she could WATCH something she had NEVER seen before. She was totally mesmerized! A little oil and enough kernels to make a single layer in bottomo and ended up with full pot with very few un-popped kernels.

I'm a teaching assistant who works with special needs kids... and LOVE it. They are in a self-contained classroom setting most of the day. They sometimes have a "snack". I brought in a bag of kernels and a big pile of brown lunch bags from the $ store. The students had to MEASURE kernels into bag & set time on microwave. Maybe 2-3 T of kernels, bag folded over tight (only at top) 2-3 LITTLE times. No oil needed, so even with a sprinkle of salt, a healthy snack that reinforces some life skills the kids will need as adults. And a CHEAP treat.

What do I need from the Korean grocery store?

Just comment on Asian markets in general. Have a small Asian store in my area and I LOVE it! First time I stopped in, knew I would need soy sauce soon. Must be 6-8 different brands and I was LOT since none had any English on lable. I just aske WHAT should I try first. Store owners are REALLY nice, friendly people who have NOT steered me wrong on ANY purchase. Just ASK!!

What are the measuring rules for recipes in Serious Eats

Not much into baking, other than holiday goodies. When I bake I definitely measure. Decided some recipes were a bit off cuz I was using JUMBO eggs when most recipes call for large.

If it's "cooking"... like soup, meat/poultry/fish... amounts and sometimes even ingredients are only a suggestion to me?!? I like onions/garlic, so will just decided when I have enough. NOT a big fan of thyme or sage, so might use just a touch or leave out all together and sub maybe oregano or marjoram.

Best Bottled Products not made by a Name Brand Co.?

Have a small Asian market nearby that I LOVE to go into. First time there, knew I would be needing soy sauce not to far into future. Besides supermarket variety (K brand), there must have been 8-10 OTHER brands... all with NO English on labels. I just asked which one I should try first and was NOT steered wrong.

Hot Pockets vs. Calzone dough question

A bit OT, but still a bit hot pockety!?! Last year worked with 2 Autistic girls who were mainstreamed into a Foods & Nutrition class. One girl was pretty much game to try ANYTHING and other "hated" stuff without even being willing to take a single bite.

Not much "junk" food to cook with at all. One day made chicken skewers... breast meat, peppers, mushrooms, onions and into oven. Another time, class got a demo from a sushi chef. No raw fish... seaweed sheets, sticky rice, veggies and Krab inside. One girl just YUCKED and EWED the whole time. Other brave soul tried it. None of other 3 people in our group (me included) was crazy about the seaweed, so just ate the insides.

Back to your hot pockets!?! Teacher gave kids tubes of bisquit dough and all kinds of stuff to put with them... diced ham/turkey, cheese, salsa, pizza sauce, condiments, etc. Kids flattened dough to about twice diameter, added a little of whatever filling they wanted, folded over, and cooked in one of those little sandwich maker things.

What is YOUR kryptonite?

Cheese of all kinds and everything salty... my downfall.

Thought "kryptonite" meant stuff you just CANNOT do?? For me, it's liver (unless a nice pate) and oysters. Have tried both every which way... NOPE, not for me.

Old Pizza Memories

When I was a kid, there was an Italian restaurant in Springfield, PA called Marra's (spelling?). Dad would take us there on occasion and we'd HOPE for a table near the area where pizzas were being made. Guys inside a big glass booth TOSSIthe dough was very entertaining... and the pizza was great. One of those places that's not there anymore.

Avocado's Can Be Heaven

They make a tasty "toad in the hole"... egg in hole and baked till just right... runny for me. Can be topped with all sorts of stuff... bacon, salsa, CHEESE,

Roasted cherry tomatoes

Not cherry peppers and not exactly "roasted", but these turn out like CANDY. Saw Martha S do a sorta dried plum tomatoe recipe. She sliced tomatoes length-wise and squeezed out most of seeds. Tossed in nice olive oil, liberal S&P, and nice pinch of SUGAR on inside of each half. Then into low oven (on a rack over a sheet pan)... for a few HOURS... till kinda leathery. I probably go for about 275-300 degrees and still takes at least an hour. I usually start cut-side up and turn at some point to let accumulated "water" run off. Usually end up eatiing them ALL right off the rack!?!

one ripe avocado??

Had a second ripe one today! Making chili so just cut/diced and added to the mix. Knew it woud be a fail and seems kinda interesting.

Suggestions for leftover jams?

Once tried my hand at making pepper jelly. It just didn't set though I followed directions on pectin pack to the tee?? Ended up as a LOOSE jam, bordering on a THICK syrup?!? I had canned it in small jars (maybe half pints or less). Ended up using it to add to a glaze for almost anything that I cooked on grill... chicken, pork, veggies.

New Year's Menus

Can't remember a New years Day meal that didn't include pork and sauerkraut.

Back in 1999 (Y2K), when civilization as we knew it was threatening to come to an end, SIL threw a NYE "slumber party". My BIL HAD to work... he's in the tech business. Niece was only about 2-3... so they weren't planning to PARTAY anyway.

She had a few "rules"... NO ordinary party food! If you were bringing cheese/crackers... better not be Ritz and a block of Cracker Barrel. If bringing dip... not pre-made or just an envelope of onion soup mix in sour cream.

And if you were crashing at her house, you hadda show up in PJs! I had a gift certificate that turned into a platter of crab claws. Teenaged niece was MORTIFIED that I actually walked into the place in PJs and slippers!!

Perfect ham

I'm also a fan of "honey baked" hams. SIL buys packages of SLICES for Easter dinner. Costs more than bone-in, pretty much NO waste, could even be cheaper (lb for lb) once you factor in how much the bone can weigh.

Desperate for cookware advice

I like Calphalon non-stick for a few reasons. It's not terribly expensive, not flimsy, and they have a fabuloueturn/replace policy. Had heard they would repair/replace for free so took them up on that a year or so ago. Didn't need receipts. Did cost a few $ to ship off 2 skillets and my favorite sauce pan. Pieces had to be at LEAST 10 years old. Skillets just weren't as non-stick as had been... on RARE occasions where I used metal tools, was very gentle. Sauce pan was showing wear in bottom, tho only used wooden tools and whisks for non-stick.

Got brand new replacements in a little more than a week.


klseiverd hasn't favorited a post yet.