...cook, chef, culinary sponge, traveler, volunteer, missionary.

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  • Location: International
  • Favorite foods: grilled, smoked, slow cooked, hot & spicy, foreign in taste & in culture...
  • Last bite on earth: without choking.

Chai tea latte powder recommendations?

Yep, Trader Joes. Spicy Chai Latte, hot or cold!

Cooking with 8oz Bud Light Lima-Rita's

Well I am glad to hear that, because last I checked nobody debunked or challenged Harold McGee "On Food & Cooking". Agreed, you won't get all the additive flavors past the surface, but you don't think the carbonation, hops, or barley additives in malt beverages would hinder the salt from doing its job? -- On that, I do not know...what says you?

Cooking with 8oz Bud Light Lima-Rita's

I disagree somewhat @Jebruns - The Lima-Rita's are a flavored malt beverage (which is beer), as is all 'wine coolers/breezers' in the United States. Using the beer can in a chicken does keep the chicken from drying out at least from outside exposure especially if your doing it on the grill with the cover closed or in the oven (because it produces steam)although I would agree it doesn't flavor it. Rubs and Marinates go no further than the surface of any meat (unless of course you have some enzymes that start deteriorating the muscle) and brining (and maybe injecting) is the only way to get a 'taste' into the meat past the surface based off the science of osmosis with exchanging the 'liquid' in the muscle of the meat to equal of a paraphrase. BUT the question that you have now brought me to is: "Will a malt beverage brine actually flow thru the muscle tissue with the flavor since its not strictly water and salt based?" -- "will the carbonation hinder it?" That would be one for the avid food labbers.

Cooking with 8oz Bud Light Lima-Rita's

Thanks, great Ideas. Also, I thought the beer can chicken (besides being a ballast) helped steam and keep the chicken moist? Maybe not enough to flavor the chicken, but whats left in the can could be used for a reduction to put on after...just a thought.

Any baking ideas? You ever used a sweetened drink in a bread or pastry? ~

Thanks for helping!

Do You Agree with New York City's Soda Ban?

I think its completely ludicrous that we can't just put the spotlight on the real problem, personal responsibility. You must moderate yourself. Its always blame, blame, blame. We want a free nation but we more and more rely on others telling us what to do whether its city, state, or government.

You see where this is going don't you?

Do You Agree with New York City's Soda Ban?

Its insane. People will buy two drinks. Will they make a law 'one per person'? The industry will get smarter and sell 2 for the price of one, or maybe slightly higher, and/or specials and coupons. -- And like another reader said 'what if they sell 2 liter bottles at the drive-thru...?' Or one liter for that matter.

Its like limiting contraceptives thinking people will have less sex. REALLY?

What to do with Buttermilk Powder

Add it to a breading mix for frying to enhance a flavor. Use it in a dry ranch mix, season coating, and/or dry dip mixes you add to sour cream. I have also added it to cake mixes to add that extra enhancement that nobody could 'place' but loved.

The Food Lab: Homemade Mayo In 2 Minutes Or Less (Video)

If you lost the bowl or container for your stick blender or 'boat motor' just use a flat bottom round coffee cup. I do, because my immersion blender did not come with it. You can use whole egg and if you have problems with the mayo just use another tsp to tablespoon of water to help the emulsion.

I would agree with others that even though there is a science to it, it's not all 'that'.

But you gotta give props to Kenji. His 'job' per se is to help people and get people 'in tha know' so they will try it and it will be demystified for them.

Cook Your Meat in a Beer Cooler: The World's Best (and Cheapest) Sous-Vide Hack

What about using those coolers that are plug in? Like the ones that also have car adapter plugs? The ones that also work as warmers when you reverse them?

I wonder if you could just fill one of those with water and check the range of temperature it has...(just a thought someone might want to play with)

Great food shows on PBS

Thanks for all the comments and replies.

I have found that I can even watch full length videos at some of the PBS websites both locally and nationally.

Great food shows on PBS

Thanks LauraJ I am currently located in NorCal, so I Have KQED & KTEH...maybe a few others. San Jose thru San Francisco area.

Great food shows on PBS

I was also able to find where they have shows of Julia Child, Maid in Spain, and Every Day Cooking. I think I will check the Video Pod-casts of PBS for food shows as well on my i tunes.

I used to watch Justin Wilson and Yan Can Cook back in the day.

Fresh Food on TV: Weekday Edition

You gave a 'nod' to not knowing when certain shows will play 'especially on PBS' but then WHERE ARE the PBS listings?

The Food Lab: A New Way to Cook Pasta?

About 20+ years ago I worked in Landry's Seafood and Olive Garden (started as saute chef worked up to MIT program - Manager in Training) and both pre-cooked their pasta, weighed and portioned, then 'baggied' it. Kept it in big square plastic cambro's with fresh date stickers on the cooler. You would go to the cooler to pull what you needed for the refrigerated drawers on your line.

The method was to drop portions in pot of simmering water with basket (water was usually salted and had lemon juice) for about 30 seconds to a minute then throw directly in saute pan to add 'mis en place' to finish the heated dish.

But pre-cooking the pasta was the standard preparation, big pot of water, healthy dose of salt, cook to al dente. Drain, rinse (sometimes using ice on top) with cool water to stop cooking, let drain dry a small time, start weighing, bagging, and dating.

The Food Lab: A New Way to Cook Pasta?

Ok, maybe Ronco didn't make it, but here is an example of it: Pasta Pronto!

The Food Lab: A New Way to Cook Pasta?

Sorry people, RONCO knew this a long time ago...that's why they sold those (Plexi/fiber?) glass tubes and told you to cook your pasta in it. It came with a lid and the instructions were to pour water that had come to a boil in it, then wait so many minutes and use their 'special' lid to drain it. WOW insta pasta cooker! (sarcastically making fun of the commercial)

Of course many of you may have missed it, it came on late at night on cheap cable channels.

Help me keep my pizza dough stretched please

In addition to my earlier comment -->

As I read the other comments I would like to say that my trader joe pizza dough weighs about one pound, so my thin crisp pizza's are only using about 8 ounces of dough.

I also make my own dough, bread, and pastries from time to time...but I wouldn't knock trader joes dough. We have plain, wheat, garlic herb, and used to have a sun-dried tomato one I think, but have not seen it in a long time.

It still saves time, I call ahead and have wife pull dough from fridge for me and then turn oven on when I get in the door from work, then make pizza after shower. I have also been able to use dough and oven half hour after buying it at store. Keeping everything flour'd real well helps with it all, and no sticking for sliding in oven.

Help me keep my pizza dough stretched please

First tip about Trader Joes pizza dough, take it out of bag and seperate into two balls. Because the standard size pizza peel and/or pizza stone for using at home can only take one pizza rolled thin from half of this dough. It makes two thin crust pizzas for me. About as big round as the peel I am using.

I didn't read all the comments but I have used the pizza dough from trader joes...first you got to let the dough sit out (cut it out of bag and seperate into two balls as per my instructions above) room temp for at least an hour (I think there are still instructions on the bag for this)...then flour the counter, rolling pin, and dough ball. Start rolling it out like a pie crust...I get mine thin and round. You know because the thin round pizza dough will fill the peel (or approximate 12 inch round - my peel is about 14 inches across).

I crank the oven up to 500 (preheat) about 40 minutes before making pizza, give or take. I slide the dough unto the peel (after flouring the peel) and then give it a little shake forward and back to make sure pizza dough is not sticking. then add sauce and toppings, slide on pizza stone in oven...and wait. It ranges from 8 to 14 minutes for me.

As others have said, if it keeps pulling back or resisting stretching, wait longer as the yeast produces more bubbles and relaxes the dough so you can roll it out to where you want it without it retreating.

I got my stone and pizza peel for standard home ovens at Bed Bath & Beyond pretty cheaply, you can always use a flat sheet pan, the back of it, or parchment paper to slide the pizza in.

Hope this helps. Thin, crisp, crunchy pizza with still a little chew.

The Food Lab: Fresh Ricotta in Five Minutes or Less

I have made ricotta and have always wondered about microwaving it...and now my suspicions are confirmed. BUT what I would like to see in your comparison is how Citric Acid (or Sour Salt in the Kosher section of your grocery store) compares against the vinegar? Because this is what I used for my ricotta on stovetop method. Which is the better curd and flavor?

The Food Lab: Perfect Boiled Eggs

In Jaque Pepin's PBS techniques video he does and explains all this, even preventing the inner green color from appearing...wonderful and quite a few years old. And real simple to do and follow.

No need to re-invent the wheel, or boiled egg...just go to your local library and/or find Jaques DVD.

Will you miss Gourmet magazine?


About 60 to 70 percent of it became ads, and ads that looked like food pages but were not.

Another 5 to 15 percent were big pictures (although I am not saying I didn't like the pictures) and a lot of recipes...

Which left about 20 percent possibility of real article content for the rest of it. Canceled long ago.

What one food mag should I get?

I liked Jamie Olivers magazine that he started putting out, not sure what subscription cost though...and I did like Delicious, Olive, and a few others from the UK but thats because they are not from here where I live (US) so the perspective was nice because it was new and different, and even some of the ads were interesting...but with time I am sure they would get old too.

What one food mag should I get?

If you have a big enough library, I buy them (all of them) in the library bookstore for about 50 cents a piece. I can usually get the newer ones within 2 weeks of them coming out, the library gets donations of almost all the magazines listed here (from individuals or whatever) then they blackout or cutout the customer address and name.

I pick and choose depending on which ones have stuff to read.

I can confirm others suspicions here, and two different intervals I counted the ads, and ads that look like part of the magazines (just because they have food pics or merchandise or a small article and/or recipe) and they run from 60 to 75 percent in both Gourmet and Bon Appetit. I had these subscriptions for free for years because if you spend at least 40 or 50 bucks at (or jessicas biscuits) you can pick from one of the two for a year free subscription. And I bought a lot of books from then in the past.

If you subtract the big pictures after that, then theres not really that much content.

I hated that I had a subscription to Cooks Illustrated but had to pay again for the online I dropped the mag and subscribed to the site, then dropped the site because my personal preferences and experience did not consistently match up with their 'ratings'.

Saveur. I paid for that gladly...and found discounts for it too...

But now If I can't get it at the library I just go look at it on FREE

What does a young foodie/recent grad need in his kitchen?

A few thoughts:

The knife (as one person said) may be a more personal purchase, but maybe not if you spend more money on it than he would!

Cast Iron skillet would usually be a good recommendation, but being in an apartment with a small kitchen, those things tend to smoke to much...and its not about controlling the heat. Its about 'seasoned' cast iron heating up.

But consider this, I bought 2 twelve inch COMMERCIAL non-stick pans from Sam's Club (because at that time they came in two AND Sams has a commercial restaurant supply section now - BUT NOT COSTCO DARN IT!) pretty cheap and they are made from thick aluminum under the non-stick coating...2 years later they still have the coating. I pulled the rubber handles (good for oven temps up to about 350) off and threw them away, cook on top, finish in oven. Works wonderful. Heavy duty, lighter, and less smokey than cast iron.

Get the kitchenaide mini processor (3 cups model) not the cuisenart. The reason being is because the 'catch' for making the motor work is a long piece of plastic protrudcing down from the lid, prone to breaking off! Kitchenaid, not so much small 'catch' on both sides of lid that doesn't protrude past the lip much, even if you manage to drop the lid on the floor and break one, you can still swivel the lid to the other.

As someone mentioned, electric hot water kettle. Starts things that need hot or boiled water much quicker.

Is he a serious tea or coffee drinker? Bodum (french press) goes good with that electric water kettle.

Small microwave as already said.

Coffee been grinder for grinding spices or coffee.

I buy bar towels in bulk from Sam's or Costco's, there just like the ones in commercial kitchens I use...and there cheap.

Immersion blender, as already said. This thing should be a must. Its terrific.

My pasta roller still comes in handy for (duh) pasta, and also: pita bread, rolling thin tortillas, flat bread...etc.

If your going to spend some money on him, buy a nice kitchen cart with storage underneath...then he can roll a 'chopping' island around to use and store these small appliances underneath when not in use.

Ok, I'll stop here...I cook professionally as well as not letting my small kitchen in my apartment keep me from cooking extensive and 'fine dining' meals at home.

SE'er Food Blogs I just recently got my domain name back, but have food posts archived at ...I've traveled alot, ate alot, and cooked alot...and have a lot of international friends for a guy from the South. Read my About page on the blog and get started.

(But you will have to really dig to get any recipes out of the 2 blogs, their hidden within posts and ideas, not easily accessible or always written out in a recipe you can steal, per se.)


Cooking with 8oz Bud Light Lima-Rita's

Used to work for an AB distributor and have a twelve pack of 8oz Lima-Rita's at my house. Anybody used this for cooking or maybe stuffing it up a chicken (kind of like beer can chicken) and then call it Margarita Chicken? Or maybe used it in a bread or sauce? I know its kind of unusual but this IS a Serious Eats crowd!

Great food shows on PBS

I can't stand to pay for cable because I can only watch one show at a time out of 80+ channels, most of them not that great, and its a temptation to waste my time 'zoning out' in front of it when I could be cooking or learning something!

That being said, I have about 3 or 4 PBS channels that I can get on my TV. What are some of the great food shows on PBS worth watching?

I caught Rick Bayless on a show one day ('One plate at a time' maybe?) where his guest was Jacque Pepin and they shopped at the local market and cooked at Jacques vacation place in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

But now I have a hard time finding that show.

What else is out there on PBS?

How much do they get paid for a season of food shows?

I know that Emeril has a contract for so many million to complete so many years (2010) or so I heard...And that Food Network Star Winners get a small mini series, like 6 half hour shows. But how much do they usually get paid? And how many shows constitute a season? 10, 11, 12 shows? $500 and episode? 25 thousand a series...anybody have any clues or guesses?

Kitchen inspired soaps, what 'flavors' would you like and why!

I have been working towards some online sales projects with our catering company (exclusively yours catering [.com]) for 'lift-off' at the end of august and we have used herbs, avocado, cucumber, coffee, lavender, lemons, limes, coconut, buttermilk, goats milk. etc... you get the point. They work as exfoliates, mostierizers, nature coloring, smells...what would be your idea and why?

Haggis in the United States?

Does anyone make a good haggis here in the states? Where? What restaurant or establishment? And how is it made? (I know the basic recipe but sometimes people change it to make it better or improvise for what they have)

Why is organic important to you? Organic vs Local?

Carcinogens are highly represented by the ingredients of vegetables theirselves and trace amounts are only found in pesticide sprays. Dr Ames (who the Ames test is named after) says that media blows things out of proportion. WAY OUT. It is said by reputable sources that media is scientifically and economical idiots and should only be good for reporting the days events as facts...Scientists today (though of course not the ones that don't agree with media buzz or help to sell add space/time/papers) agree that a lot of the hype over going organic was the presses fault for trying to run with stories that were simply not true or used statistics and 'facts' from other media sources and that involves a 'circular' dependancy on unreliable sources. In fact, the governments idea of being organic is not really organic at all...why not support 'local' for the obvious reasons and let your garden grow using 'chemicals' in their proper proportions that have been formulated. lab tested, and time proven to help your garden grow?