• Location: Atlanta

Uses for Vodka in the Freezer

Of course you can store it at room temp. All forms of alcohol including vodka are normally stored at room temp. People only keep vodka in the freezer so they can drink it really, really cold. Take it out and store it in a cupboard some where.

Whole Turkey on the grill?

Before you brine the turkey read the label. If it has already been injected with a commercial solution you are just wasting your time trying to brine it.

Help name this cookbook!

I like the Angel Food idea of @Suzzanne how about
"Angels' Food "
(Nurses' Best Recipes)

How do you organize your recipe collection?

Word files; backed up on discs. When a friend wants a recipe I print out a copy. The ones I use most often are in my head already. I've made binders as gifts for special people.

Spatula v. Turner

You flip pancakes with a metal spatula. "Turner" is not a technical term. It's just what a lot of people call a metal spatula. A rubber spatula is what you use to scrape a bowl with. I ice my cakes with an off-set spatula which is made of metal.

I'm a short order cook tonight! Dinner 1/11/2010???

Pan seared pork chop finished in the oven along with the mac & cheese. Chocolate cream pie for dessert!

Pot Racks........

I have a Calphalon pot rack Hubby bought me for Christmas one year. I love the quick grab convenience. I have 17 pots and pans on it right now - cheap, expensive, old and new. More pots I use less often are in cabinets. It does free up space but more important it's easy to see and grab the pot you want. @PoorOldMama - it drives me crazy when someone hangs a pot on the "wrong" hook :) It's absolutely worth it to get one - I guarantee you'll use it everyday.

Nostalgic recipes: What's for Dinner 1/10

I have a pot roast going. The rolls just came out of the oven and chocolate cream pie is dessert.

Preview not working

I'm on Windows XP using Chrome and it works fine on posts for me.for me.

Whatever, Martha!

I LOVE that show. Alexis has obviously been screwed up and knows it. Her friend Jennifer seems genuinely inept and I know people like her ~ they do exist. I sit and laugh out loud, as much at Martha as at the give and take between Alexis and Jennifer.


I don't like the term foodie. First, I don't like being rounded up into a group and having a label plastered on me. We are not some homogeneous herd that needs a label to define it. Second the term doesn't strike me as pretentious but rather demeaning. It always reminds me of groupie. The fact that some of us like the term, some find it demeaning and others think it pretentious just proves my point.

I need dairy allergy help.

When my sister was born she was allergic to cow's milk and the doctor recommended goat's milk which my mother got from a local farmer. Of course that was 50 years ago and there weren't the options you have available today. Good luck.

Question About Bugles

The fact that there's a nutrition label on a bag of Bugles is mind boggling enough without worrying how accurate it is. I say open up a can of black truffles and dump them on the Bugles ;^ ) I think I'll go make some dough for tonight's pizza.

A waaaay past date can of black winter truffle breakings. Help!

I agree with simon ~ open the can and see. And then report back.

Cleaning shrimp...found white matter around intestines...

I've seen that often on shrimp. You will see different color matter often on shrimp; sometimes greenish, yellowish or pinkish colors. Just clean it off when you are deveining and go ahead and eat the shrimp. It doesn't mean they are infected or bad in any way.

Prime Rib Trauma

I understand how you feel about this travesty but I think you need to grit your teeth and let this one go. In the grand scheme of things it's really not that critical. Eat something before you go and tell her that your New Year resolution is to go without red meat. You already know you're a better cook and so probably does anyone else who matters. It keeps the peace in the family and you will sleep well that night knowing you did the right thing.

Do you have a food project for 2010?

dbcurrie is right. The self promotion rule is a management rule. Most of us find it annoying to say the least to read through a question or comment only to get to a blog promotion at the end. It makes us feel scammed, and of course much less likely to ever read your blog.

Heavy Metal in our Food

I didn't know that knife sharpeners contained heavy metals.

Blueberry Salsa Sparkles With Flavor

Wow, this sounds kinda like a sales pitch from someone who's never posted before.?!?

Taking Nominations: Most Helpful SEer of the Year

I can't pick just one. Betteirene, dhorst, dmcavanagh, jerzeetomato, gingercookiewithlime, CJMcD and sailordave get my votes. I'm just glad I don't have to decide!

Taking Nominations: Funniest SEer of the Year

I vote for salpico.

Taking Nominations: Best Overall Thread of 2009

I loved betteirene's post asking how we all chose our names.

Top Chef cookbooks

I agree with LauraJ. i am a huge Top Chef fan but the recipes from the quick fire are really not worth paying for. I personally would not buy the book. Go to the web site and get them for free at

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Charles Chocolates

Chocolate mousse!

Back from the Front: Holiday meal report

I did Paula Deen's Perfect Prime Rib ~ on a 12 # rib roast ~ and it was wonderful! Hubby was very worried and kept looking at the message I had duct-taped to the oven door ~ Do Not Open The Oven Door ~ "this is a leap of faith" he kept muttering. But at the end of the day he was amazed at how great the roast was. My DIL who doesn't cook wanted to know if the rolls were homemade. Duh! All in all a lovely Christmas.

Lobster Tails ~ Spiny or Maine

So the other night hubby found Rock/Southern/Spiny Lobster tails on sale at Kroger and bought four which we broiled for dinner last night. I confessed that these were my very favorite and I would rather eat rock lobster any day over Maine lobster. This surprised him as Maine is far superior in his opinion. I know that Maine lobster is far superior in the opinion of many, if not most seafood lovers and I wonder what you all think. Which do you prefer?

What's for dinner Christmas Eve?

Many of us have a Christmas dinner tradition Do you have a Christmas Eve tradition? Whether you do or not what are you having for the Eve dinner (unless of course that IS your big dinner)? I have no tradition so this year I decided to do homemade cream of mushroom soup (made with a variety of mushrooms) and some homemade crusty bread. Other years we've done pizza, Philly cheese, or just clean out the fridge leftovers. What say you SE'ers?

Miserable ad.

OK how annoying is that Intel ad that takes over the screen literally every time you click anything. You know what Intel? I'm now avoiding you like the plague!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Help

I was assigned a sweet and sour chicken dish to bring to a pot luck on Tuesday. I am not a fan of sweet and sour anything and I don't have a recipe I feel confident about. Got recipes? Tips? I need your input. Thanks for your help.

Special Halloween Meal?

As I think about Halloween approaching I wonder do any of you have a special meal you always prepare for Halloween? Some folks always get a pizza delivered. We always have chili. Is there something you always serve for Halloween either by design or by default.

What's your favorite cake?

This isn't one of those silly polls. A friend who does catering but doesn't bake has asked me to do some cake baking for her. We're not talking wedding or birthday cakes with fondant and intricate piping. These would be home style cakes; but what flavors to put on her menu? Have you got a favorite? Maybe a particular cake and frosting combo that would catch your eye. Help me come up with a few wonderful ideas. For example what would you think of a banana spice cake with peanut butter frosting?

Predator Ad

What's up with the Blackberry ad that takes over the entire page as soon as I click any subject including clicking on the start talking button. It's not making me very fond of Blackberry.

More on Wines............

Over the weekend there was a discussion of antipasto and wines which got me thinking. I'm a recovering alcoholic (12 years sober) and when I occasionally want a glass of wine I turn to the alcohol removed variety. Not shilling but Sutter Home has a nice selection. Hubby and I even celebrate our anniversaries with their Spumante. Has anyone else had any experience with NA wines and what did you think of the quality? I often bring a bottle of Merlot to parties as my personal drink and encounter a lot of curiosity; and when I share some I always get a favorable response. I'd love to hear how wine connoisseurs feel about these wines. Have you tried them? Would you dismiss them out of hand as being "illegitimate?" What say you SEers?

I'm in the mood to bake a cake..............

I'd like to make a cake this weekend and just feel at a loss as to what kind to make. I made a red velvet cake a couple of weeks ago and before that I made a carrot cake. Can you give me some suggestions? What's your favorite or what do you think would be especially good to celebrate Labor Day?

Butter Tarts?

Had an interesting conversation with my ditsy SIL who was trying to describe to me a treat she had called a butter tart. Apparently it is a uniquely Canadian treat and I had never heard of it. So I turn to you SE'ers from Canada to enlighten me. This is like a custard in a small tart shell? It sounded wonderful and I would love to try a recipe. What can you tell me?

Home Ground Beef

So last week I decided maybe I'd try making my own ground beef for burgers since what I can buy just doesn't taste at all like burgers used to when I was a kid. So I dug out the Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment that I got for Christmas (I know - hanging head in shame).
We don't grind our meat at work and I had no frame of reference so I did a search here and found a thread from 2 years ago that had a suggestion for the mix as 50% chuck, 25% top sirloin, and 25% skirt. I bought the meat cut it in cubes, chilled it in the freezer and ground it. I made a test burger and OMG it was the best burger I've had since I left home more years ago than I want to admit to! How could I have waited so long? It was wonderful; it truly was. If you haven't tried this - you must - and if you have tried it what was your mix?

Bake or Roast?

We bake cakes and potatoes and hams. But we roast turkey and beef and vegetables. Do you bake your chicken or roast it? Who decided that a ham is baked but a turkey is roasted? There is no difference is there? Or is there?

Rye with seeds or w/o?

I'm making rye bread this weekend and I can't decide if I want it with or without seeds. I grew up eating seeded rye as a child in the Catskills because that's what my folks always had. As an adult I learned to like the unseeded rye. I haven't made rye bread in about 30 years but I kind of had a craving and bought some rye flour and now I can't decide. Before I flip a coin I thought I'd see if you guys had any thoughts. Which do you prefer - seeded or not?

Anybody else a hoarder?

I just finished baking a batch of my very favorite cranberry muffins. I love cranberry muffins and I eat one virtually every day. Problem is where do you buy fresh cranberries in June? Answer - you don't. You buy them from November 'til January or whenever the supply dries up. I buy a few bags of fresh cranberries every time I go shopping in November and December. I store the bags of cranberries in zipper bags and freeze. We have an extra upright freezer in our basement. Then I have fresh frozen cranberries for my muffins all year long. I like knowing I have that stash available. I can't be the only one who does something like this. Fess up- who else hoards food or ingredients?

Ever try the recipes on the sides of packages?

You know the recipes you see on the side of the cream cheese package or oatmeal box. I recently saw a recipe on the side of a store brand cream cheese package and on a rainy day I tried it out of boredom. Blech! But many years ago I tried a recipe I found on an insert taped to the top of a Hershey's baking cocoa box. It was wonderful and I still make it often. It makes a small cake perfect for a small family - in my case just hubby and me. The recipe follows if you're interested. Has anyone else had good/bad experiences with these recipes or you don't bother with them?

Small, Quick, Chocolate Cake

Heat oven to 375
Makes one 9x9 square cake

1½ Cups Flour
¾ Cup sugar
¼ Cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 Cup water
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

Spray a 9x9” pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Keeping vinegar separate, combine other wet ingredients and mix with the dry mixture until well mixed (about 2 minutes at medium speed on your electric mixer.)
Add vinegar last and mix well to blend. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 min or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool, and then top with favorite flavor of frosting.

Who uses recipes and who is winging it?

Just wondering how much we all throw things together as opposed to looking up a recipe. I do most of my cooking on the fly except for certain baked goods that I don't make very often. Sometimes I'll go looking for ideas on something new to do with chicken say and then just use the idea but not follow the recipe. I wonder how many of you do the same.

Homemade Pasta Help.

I'm new to homemade pasta and I'm having a terrible time! I'm using my Kitchen Aid attachment and the recipe that came with the pasta maker. But the fettucini is coming out tough and rubbery. Do I need to roll it thinner? Is this one of those things where you have to be able to see through the dough? I'm using AP flour and whole eggs in my food processor. By the way this isn't my dinner, I'm just fooling around in the kitchen on my day off. Can someone with more experience advise me?

I Think I'm Scarred for Life

OMG I should never have done this. I let my curiosity get the better of me and I watched the video on FN of Shamdra Lee and her Kwanzaa Cake. I had to watch it with the sound turned off... More

Cakespy: Red and Green Christmas Cookies

Black and white cookies are one of those curious regional treats, ubiquitous in the New York metro area and pockets of the mid-Atlantic states, but (sadly) few and far between in other areas of the country. Fortunately, this recipe allows you to have them no matter where you are, dressed up in their holiday best with red and green frosting for a sweet presentation on holiday trays. More

In Season: Pomegranate

[Flickr: Swamibu] As beautiful as they are delicious, pomegranates are in season from October through January. The pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits in history, first cultivated in Egypt around 100 B.C. Serving as a sign of fertility and rebirth, this highly celebrated fruit's skin and bark served medicinal purposes throughout history, although only the seeds are truly edible. Today, the power of pomegranate is just as strong—loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, studies show that pomegranates have been proven to reduce heart disease and aid other health issues. There are well over 100 varieties of pomegranates, such as Cloud, Francis, Granada, Home, King, and the most popular and widely distributed, Wonderful variety. Pomegranate recipes and tips after the... More