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mollykate678

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How to Make Yogurt

To the raw milk yogurt makers -

Does anyone struggle significantly getting it to "set up?" I can't get it to a good consistency; this last batch I made had a thick top layer but then was basically sour milk below. I've tried it via the slow-cooker method (heat for 2.5 hours on low, sit for 3 unplugged, and then incubate for however many hours). I've also tried heating it on the stove to 110 and then incubate in an unplugged slow cooker filled with water heated to 110. No dice. Any ideas for future successes? I've been using generally about 2T of starter. Should I use more for unpasteurized milk?

Cook the Book: The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook

I am new to this game. Well, since October, but I still consider that "new." Meal planning is difficult, but as I just finished that for the upcoming week I can't get proscuitto and melon off of my mind, as that's what I'm having tonight! Gloriously gluten free, indeed!

Taste Test: Granola Bars (and Friends)

@Katie Potato - I've never seen honey on any of the ingredient labels on the KIND bars I've eaten. Are there specific flavors to which you're referring?

Cook the Book: 'In The Green Kitchen'

It's really important to have everything ready to go before you start cooking. It's amazing how much damage a few extra, unnecessary seconds on the heat can do to certain ingredients.

The Food Lab's Top 10 Pieces of Kitchen Gear

Oof. Tiredhead. I have it. Now exacerbated! ;)

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Hits America

As an elementary school employee, the first thing I thought while watching this show was, "Hmmm...I've seen that menu somewhere before. Maybe today, for both breakfast and lunch?" So immediately I realized that while it is reality TV, which particularly on ABC means schlock production and upped drama, it still is a real "plot." It's not The Hills, or even Wife Swap, for pete's sake. This is happening every day, across the country. (FWIW, I live very far away from WV.) I, too, could have done without the crying because it just embarrasses me when people on TV do it, but why do I think it might have been semi-genuine? From what I understand, Jamie Oliver is pretty consistent in his message for good, local, healthy food (and Bettie1, it's okay to eat pizza. Seriously. It's even okay to eat things that are, GAH!, fried. As long as the ingredients are natural and we consume when we're hungry and in moderation, don't try to paint him as the anti-Christ for offering up a recipe like that).

I sure do hope to see some change enacted, whether it be a direct result of this program or not. I work at a pretty affluent, high SES school, and like I said the menus are pretty identical. I'm sick of seeing obese children, little girls with horrid 'muffin tops' protruding up and out of their too-small jeans, cellulite on 4th graders. I even tired of seeing the apparently 'healthy' kids suck down enormous bomb ice cream pops after their lunches of mashed potatoes and french fries. This is ridiculous. We are killing ourselves. It bothers me very much.

And Jillian, you don't need me to say it, but keep the HUMOR coming. Some people can't laugh for anything. Even I can, and I'm obviously pretty worked up about this issue. ;)

Cook the Book: 'Rose's Heavenly Cakes'

Hands down, red velvet cake. No matter in which form, from which bakery (or my own kitchen!), whether topped with a roux or cream cheese icing (preferably roux, though), and finished off with walnuts or pecans (preferably walnuts), it's still my absolute favorite slice of cake. That gurgling you hear right now is my stomach growling...

The Food Lab's Top 10 Pieces of Kitchen Gear

@gargupie - Definitely make some hummus at home. Much much better than what's commercially available (shocking statement, right?). I use Ina Garten's recipe as a jumping off point, and vary each time I make it, depending on how I'm feeling. Play around with it, and make it your own. :)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/hummus-recipe/index.html

Depending on how you feel about garlic, you might sub in elephant garlic, instead. It's a little milder to some people, apparently, and might make this recipe a little better, according to some friends.

Cook the Book: 'Salt to Taste'

Can I do a whole category? If so, then root vegetables in general. If not, butternut squash; sweet, savory, any which way. Yum.

Baking Bread

Put me in the serrated knife category. Sometimes, I would go so far as to use my mini-serrated-pseudo-tomato-slicing knife.

I say 'would' because I haven't been able to make my bread for such a long time. Sniff....

The world is ending! Food rationing is in effect, choose wisely!

Hmmmm...

Protein: eggs, cheese, beans (My husband gets to make his own selections, right???) If not, strike the beans and throw in beef to thrill his soul.

F/V:
Bananas
Strawberries
Brussels sprouts
Butternut squash
Onions

S/H/O:
Olive oil
Balsamic
Garlic powder (can't give up any of those fresh F/V at the moment!)
Dill
Basil
Dijon
Powdered chipotle

....assuming that salt and pepper are a given. If not, strike the dill and give me a twofer on them, please!

pumpkin shortage

Oops - I forgot the "where." Dallas (Plano).

pumpkin shortage

I can still find WF's organic plain in a can. No Libbey's to speak of; not even their mega "pie mix" cans.

Cook the Book: 'The Best Soups in the World'

Any roasted vegetable puree. Root veg truly has my heart, but I'm happy with any and all.

Cakespy: Velveeta Fudge

I don't mean to speak for everyone, but I think part of the reason some people (me) will comment on a topic they find appauling (Velveeta) has to do with the environment in which it is posted. I am a little surprised to see that this website is encouraging its use. I would love it if it didn't. It's seems to me like the overall shift in cooking EVERYWHERE. You know, the one away from real food toward chemicals. The one that intimates it's much easier/faster/yummier to slop crap on a cracker than to roast vegetables. The one that's on TV very much near 24 hours a day. It just makes me sad, which encourages me to comment on an article such as this in a forum such as Serious Eats, even though, no, particularly because I abhor the material in question.

It's not a matter of writing off all "comfort, down home food." It's a matter of embracing that food, actually, and holding it up to a higher standard than to say it's okay to molest it with junk like Velveeta. At least in my opinion.

Thanks for reading. Let the ripping to shreds commence.

I can't buy bottled water anymore. Just can't.

@snowpeech - Plastic bottles are completely safe for reuse? Really? I totally missed that. I don't think I've ever heard anything other than reusing plastic bottles (like the thin, commercially available Ozarka, Dasani, etc.) is a horrible idea. Bacterial buildup creates the need for washing (of course), which causes an even greater amount of breakdown and leeching into whatever liquid is inside.

Additionally, I've heard that while waiting to be shipped these cases of bottles can potentially be exposed to temperature variations, sometimes extreme, again setting up the perfect opportunity for the plastic to breakdown and leech straight into your water/soda/etc. This may be an old wives' tale though. Any input from anyone on it?

I have a stainless steel bottle and use it daily. When I had my first "a ha" moment about ceasing the plastic bottle consumption habit, I bought a fully "reusable" hard plastic container. Then I learned about the dangers lurking in that material (#1? #7? which is safe? Which will kill me?) and promptly found my ss bottle. I've never looked back.

Incidentally, that caused me to begin thinking about similar health and envirnomental dangers throughout my life. I used to go through mountains of disposable dishes/utensils due to lunches at my desk. (I used to microwave styrofoam!) My husband and I no longer heat leftovers in plastic containers; I make him be the guy who brings ceramic dishware/silverware for his lunch. He thinks I'm marginally crazy (and he's probably right about that...in some instances!) but I'm happy he's doing it. No more leftover chicken with a hot side helping of PCBs.

I'm certain most of you made these changes long before I. I'm just happy I realized the above when I did, so I could do my part to keep my family healthy and reduce my excessive consumption.

Gadgets: Yogurt Maker by Waring Pro

Two quick questions:

I have routinely made yogurt at home for a while now, with varying results. Does anyone have input on whether or not the end product will be more consistent if I plunk down $40+ on an appliance like this?

Also...I am drinking less and less cow's milk these days. Has anyone used nondairy sources, and how did the process change for you? (I'm currently dabbling in almond milk, if that matters.)

Cakespy: Velveeta Fudge

I am so happy to see a response about queso w/o Velveeta. I didn't even know of this Velveeta (apparently) = queso thing until recently, when I watched somebody chop it up and throw it into a slow cooker with a can of Ro-Tel. Wow.

Mayonnaise in Your Chocolate Cake?

I have a wonderful sour cream chocolate cake which I assume employs many of the same prinicipals. It is just about the best damn cake ever. :)

food allergies :(

@LauraJ - I got diagnosed from two doctors back in October. I had a physical during a time when my regular GP was on maternity leave. So "fresh eyes" looked at my history and, taken with some other weird things that were happening to me, the substitute doctor ordered a blood panel that I had never had before. Once those results came back positive for problems with gluten, she referred me to a gastrointerologist who did more specific blood tests. Those results confirmed the first ones, and added more information to the picture (the presence of gluten-specific antibodies). The GI recommended an endoscopy; I don't think I'm going to have that for a couple of reasons. Mostly, it's a cost/benefit issue. Blood work is more than 90% accurate and there is no medication available; it's all diet modification.

@jennifermarie - Not really. Hence the near-tearing up! There are some commercial gluten-free products, and some are really good. But I can't just walk into a bakery (or even a regular restaurant, sadly) and order any little thing my bread-loving heart desires. I am trying different GF breads at home. I got a bread maker for Christmas and I'm excited to use it. The GF doughs are harder to work with than regular ones, so the machine will be very beneficial for kneading and overall dough handling.

food allergies :(

Recent blood work let me know I get both IgE and IgA/TTGA responses to gluten. (Meaning, I get physical allergic reactions and have antigens/antibodies internally attacking it.) Fun stuff for somebody who was baking at least two loaves of bread a week.

Right before I was diagnosed, I was actually subconsciously routing myself home from work so that I could stop at various bakeries at get rolls or some other bready goodness as a snack. I could almost tear up right now...seriously.

Creamy Creamless Carrot Soup?

May be too simpleton-y to even type, but still, what about subbing in a thicker yogurt?

Gui Fieri's REAL name?!

Wow. Although @therealchiffonade and @jerzeetomato certainly don't need me to back them up, these users are anything but the names that have been used to describe them in this thread. This is very sad to me. I am all but nonexistent here anymore, and instances like these are in large part the reasons why. I truly hope this changes, but I don't know that will.

@dbcurrie - I agree with your sentiments. Should someone express discomfort with names/slang/terminology used when "talking" with them and the speaker had no intent to offend, it seems to me that efforts should be made to consider others' feelings. Maybe we're in the minority.

Masa

Holy Hell. Is the food made out of gold and diamond particles?

Sorry - is my Small Town Girl showing?