Questions and Answers

Page 1 of 4 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:31 pm

Over the years I have received many questions...below are some which I hope are helpful to you.. Very Happy


Last edited by justmecookin on Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:37 pm; edited 2 times in total

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:33 pm

Sunk in the Center

What causes a cake to sink in the center after it has baked and starts cooling? How can I prevent this from happening?

There are several factors that may cause a cake to sink in the center after baking. The most important one is oven temperature. An oven that is not hot enough can cause the cake to rise and then sink. Check the accuracy of your oven temperature with an oven thermometer. Too short of a baking time can cause similar results. Use a toothpick to check the cake's doneness. A toothpick inserted near the center of the cake should come out clean, and the sides of the cake may start pulling away from the pan. An incorrect proportion of ingredients may cause a cake to sink. Too much sugar, liquid or leavening or too little flour could be the culprit as well. Other reasons a cake may sink include undermixing the batter, moving the cake during baking or baking in a pan that's too small for the amount of batter.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:35 pm

Diluting Low-Fat Milk

I buy 2 percent milk and dilute it by half with water to make my own 1 percent milk at half the cost. Is this smart, or am I just fooling myself? V.M., Glenwood, Iowa

The difference between 1 percent, 2 percent and whole milk is the fat and calorie content. The 1 percent milk is 99 percent fat-free; 2 percent milk is 98 percent fat-free; and whole milk contains about 3-1/2 percent fat. All three contain the same amount of vitamins and minerals. By adding water, you're diluting the vitamins and minerals. Your best bet is to choose 1 percent milk to get the full benefit of its nutrients.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:36 pm

Cajun Seasoning

Where can I buy Cajun seasoning? I have looked in a couple of grocery stores and can't seem to find it. K.J., Port Clinton, Ohio

Look for Cajun seasoning in the spice section of your grocery store. You can also make your own Cajun seasoning. Although there are many different blends, a typical mix includes salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, ground mustard, celery seed and pepper.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:37 pm

Vinegar Options

What is the difference between white wine vinegar and distilled white vinegar? Can they be used interchangeably? E.K., Roseville, California

Distilled white vinegar is made from a grain alcohol mix. It has a strong sharp flavor and is most often used for pickling foods and as a cleaning agent. White wine vinegar is made from white wine and, although its flavor is pungent, it is milder than distilled white vinegar. For savory dishes, most people prefer white wine vinegar.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:38 pm

Bundt Cake

Can I bake a bundt cake in an angel food cake pan with a removable bottom? M.J., Spokane, Washington

Yes, indeed, as long as the cake batter fills the pan about two-thirds full. To prevent leaking, wrap the bottom of the outside of the pan with aluminum foil first. And next time you use the pan to bake an angel food cake, check to make sure it's been well scrubbed first. Any buttery residue could prevent your angel food cake from rising.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:40 pm

Dutch Baby

I would like to make a Dutch baby recipe but do not have an ovenproof skillet. Is there some other type of baking dish I could use? Or could I make this in individual dishes? J.R. Hamilton, New York

Good question! After hearing from you and tested the recipe twice, once using a 9-inch pie plate and once using four 8-ounce custard cups. The recipe turned out fine in both cases. The Dutch Baby in the 9-inch pie plate baked about 20-25 minutes, and the custard cups baked about 15 minutes. In each custard cup, use 1-1/2 teaspoons of butter and 1/2 cup of batter. Place the custard cups on a baking sheet to make transporting them to and from the oven easier.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:40 pm

White Kidney Beans

Would you please tell me where I can find white kidney beans (cannellini beans)? I have searched all over Georgia and cannot find them. C.R., Putney, Georgia

Cannellini beans are large white kidney beans and are generally available dry and canned. Some canned products will list both cannellini beans and large white kidney beans on the label. If you can't find them in your area, feel free to substitute navy beans or great northern beans.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:41 pm

Lumpy Sugar in Blueberry Pie

Sometimes when I bake a blueberry pie, the sugar does not dissolve but crystallizes into lumps throughout the pie. The pie has plenty of juice, so I don't understand why this happens. D.D., Brooklyn, Nova Scotia

It may be that you're adding the sugar improperly or using too much sugar. Instead of placing the berries in a pastry shell and sprinkling the sugar over them, gently combine the berries and sugar in a bowl. Let the berry mixture stand for 15 minutes to allow the berries to release their juice, then gently mix again. Adding too much sugar to the berries can cause the mixture to become "saturated" so that the sugar does not fully dissolve. For every 5 to 6 cups of blueberries, add just 3/4 to 1 cup sugar.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:42 pm

Roasting Lamb

Could you explain how a leg of lamb is roasted? I've tried three times, and every time it gets worse. It has a strong odor and is tough. Please help! K.L., Columbus, Ohio

Leg of lamb can be flavorful and tender when prepared correctly. But let's back up and begin at the market. Generally, younger whole leg of lamb, weighing about 6 pounds, has a milder flavor. If you prefer a boneless leg of lamb, you might want to have the tougher shank end removed by your butcher. The leg of lamb you buy may have a thin, papery white membrane (the fell) covering it, which should be removed before roasting. Then trim the fat, which carries a strong taste that can overpower the delicate flavor of the meat. Leave just a few streaks of fat to provide moisture as the lamb cooks. Place the lamb on a rack, fat side up, in a shallow roasting pan. You can sprinkle the meat with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest muscle, being careful not to let the thermometer rest on a bone or in fat. Roast, uncovered, at 325 for 19 to 27 minutes per pound for a 5- to 7-pound leg of lamb. For medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145; for medium, 160. The flavor and texture are best when not roasted past medium.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:42 pm

Freezing Garlic

What can I do with fresh garlic cloves that are left over from a recipe? Can I freeze them? C.C., Spring Lake, North Carolina

You can store whole or partial garlic bulbs in a cool dry dark place in a well-ventilated container, like a mesh bag, for up to 2 months. Leaving the cloves on the bulb with the papery skin attached will help prevent them from drying out. I don't recommend freezing fresh garlic cloves, and I don't suggest storing them in the refrigerator since they have a tendency to sprout. Sprouted garlic can have a bitter flavor.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:43 pm

Refrigerated Butter

Is it necessary to keep butter refrigerated? I know people who just leave it on the counter. Is this safe and how long can it be kept unrefrigerated? J.M., Walled Lake, Maine

According to the Dairy Council, butter can be safely kept out for no more than 2 hours. Butter can be stored wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer storage, freeze in a freezer bag for up to 6 months.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:44 pm

Fresh Eggs

Since I live alone, I sometimes have a hard time using up a carton of eggs. Is there a way to tell if the eggs that remain are still fresh? B.J., Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Properly refrigerated, eggs will keep about 3 weeks after you bring them home without a significant reduction in quality. You can easily check the freshness of an uncooked egg by placing it in a glass of cold water. If the egg is fresh, it will remain on the bottom of the glass. If the egg floats to the surface of the water, it is not fresh and should not be used. If the egg stands upright and bobs on the bottom of the glass, it is less than fresh but still all right to use. These eggs are good when you need to prepare hard-cooked eggs because they'll be easier to peel.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:45 pm

Crystallized Honey

I buy honey in a 5-pound jar and have found that it crystallizes before I can use it all. It's a nuisance to always have to heat it to dissolve the crystals. What can I do to prevent this from happening? G.M., Coudersport, Pennsylvania

Not much, unfortunately. Crystallization is the natural process by which liquid honey becomes solid. Heating honey is the only way to dissolve the crystals. You might want to try buying smaller amounts of honey that you can use up more quickly. If the honey still crystallizes, place the jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve. Or place honey in a microwave-safe container and microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds, until the crystals dissolve. Store honey, tightly sealed, in a cool dry place for up to 1 year. Avoid storing in the refrigerator since that only accelerates the crystallization process.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:47 pm

Neufchatel Cheese

I have a recipe that specifically calls for Neufchatel cheese. What's the difference between this cheese and regular cream cheese? Can one be substituted for the other? A.K., Torrance, California

Neufchatel cheese is a soft unripened cheese that originates in France. The American version, which is similar to cream cheese, is made from pasteurized milk and cream. American Neufchatel is slightly lower in calories than cream cheese and has slightly more moisture. Regular cream cheese can be substituted for Neufchatel cheese, especially in recipes for dips and spreads, with good results. You may notice a slightly different texture in cooked products.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:48 pm

Homemade Stock

Is there an easy way to clarify homemade chicken or beef stock? I like to make my own basic soup stock for homemade soups, but it always comes out looking like dirty dishwater. P.T., Lewiston, Idaho

Gray-looking stock is not very appealing. The good news is that there are a number of steps you can take to achieve a clearer chicken or beef stock. First, avoid choosing starchy vegetables, like potatoes, which will cloud and thicken the stock. Next, cover meat/bones and vegetables with cold water. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for 2 hours. Continuing to boil the stock can draw out impurities from the bones that will cloud the stock. And remember to skim off the foam that rises to the surface of the stock as it cooks. Skim the foam frequently during the first 30 minutes, then as needed thereafter. When your stock has finished cooking, strain it through a colander lined with two layers of cheesecloth, reserving the liquid in a clean pan or bowl. It's best not to press the meat and vegetables as you're straining the mixture since this can also cloud the stock. Hope this clarifies matters!

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:49 pm

Rice Rescue

I would like to substitute brown rice for white rice in some recipes because I know it is healthier for us, but I have trouble getting it as tender and fluffy as white rice. Do you have any suggestions?T.S., Lethbridge, Alberta

Because brown rice retains its high-fiber bran coating, it is a terrific addition to a nutritious diet. It has a nut-like flavor and chewy texture. When you substitute cooked brown rice in recipes that use cooked white rice, keep in mind these simple steps: Use a heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid and plenty of room above the rice for steam. Once all the ingredients are combined and brought to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer for 35-45 minutes. The hard part is not peeking while the rice is cooking! Lifting the lid releases steam that is needed for thorough cooking. After 35 minutes, quickly check to see if the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. If it is not quite tender, continue to cook, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if necessary. When all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender, remove it from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10-15 minutes before serving.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:49 pm

Cake Instructions

The directions for making cakes often instruct you to alternate adding the dry ingredients with the liquid. How many times should you alternate for the best outcome? Thanks! M.S., Puyallup, Washington

Adding dry and wet ingredients alternately to cake batter helps to keep gluten from forming. Gluten can cause the cake's texture to become tough. Begin by adding a third of the flour mixture and mixing until the batter is smooth. Then add half of the liquid, gently mixing until combined. Continue adding ingredients alternately, mixing just until combined. Excessive beating will also toughen cakes.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:50 pm

Seasoned Bread Crumbs

Many recipes call for seasoned bread crumbs. How can I make them? T.B., Fulton, Illinois

It's a snap to make seasoned bread crumbs. Unless a recipe specifically calls for soft bread crumbs, use dry bread crumbs. To make them, simply break slices of dried bread into pieces and process in a blender or food processor until you have fine crumbs. Then season the crumbs to accommodate your family's tastes. A basic recipe may include dried basil and oregano, garlic and onion powder, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and paprika. Start with small amounts of these seasonings and add more as needed. Experiment with different herbs to suit your preferences. Timely Tip: One slice of dried bread will yield about 1/4 cup of fine dry bread crumbs.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:58 pm

Cheese Storage

After opening a block of low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, I place it in a resealable bag and store it in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, it's not long before it begins to develop mold. What can I do to keep it from spoiling? L.S., Bowling Green, Ohio

Opened cheese should be wrapped with waxed paper, then wrapped again with a tight seal of plastic wrap or foil. Mozzarella cheese stored this way in the refrigerator at a temperature of 34 to 38 will keep for several weeks. If mold develops, trim off the mold plus 1/2 inch extra of cheese and discard it. The rest of the cheese can be eaten. High-moisture cheeses such as cream cheese or cottage cheese should be discarded if they develop mold.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:59 pm

Microwave Wattage

If microwave recipes are tested in a 1,100-watt microwave oven, how do I adjust those recipes so that I can still use them in my 600-watt microwave oven? E.S., Buhler, Kansas

Obviously, it takes longer to cook food when the microwave's power (wattage) is lower. I suggest that you start with a cook time that is one-third longer than what is called for in the recipe. For instance, if a recipe says to microwave on high for 9 minutes, microwave for 12 minutes instead. And be sure to follow any doneness test mentioned in the recipe, such as "cook until tender."


Last edited by justmecookin on Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:00 pm

Sweet Potatoes or Yams?

What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? I make a sweet potato pie with yams. I don't think I have actually tasted a sweet potato. Can they be substituted for each other? P.H., Cardiff by the Sea, California

Sweet potatoes and yams are similar in many ways, so they're often confused with one another. To add to the confusion, canned sweet potatoes are often labeled yams. The sweet potato is a member of the morning glory family and native to Central America. Two varieties are readily available. One has a pale skin with a light yellow flesh and a dry mealy texture. The other has dark skin with a dark orange flesh that cooks to a moist texture. This variety is often commonly known as a yam. True yams, though, are not readily available in this country and are seldom grown here. However, they are available throughout Latin America, Asia, India, West Africa, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. Though you're not likely to find true yams at your grocery store, yams and sweet potatoes are interchangeable in most recipes.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:00 pm

How to remove popovers without sticking.

I have found that it is hard to remove popovers from the pan without having them stick. Should I remove them when they are hot or cool? H.B., Boston, Massachusetts

For best results, use a heavy metal popover pan rather than muffin tins or custard cups. Lightly grease the popover cups, then dust with flour, sugar or grated Parmesan cheese. The batter will cling to the sides and produce better results. Loosen popovers from baking cups by running a knife around the edge, then remove immediately.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:01 pm

Flattened Chicken

I have a recipe that calls for flattening chicken breasts to 1/4-inch thickness. After I'm done with them, they look like they have been through the shredder. What am I doing wrong? S.F., Green Bay, Wisconsin

Flattening or pounding meat can serve several purposes. It is typically done for quicker, more even cooking and to produce an attractive appearance. When tender cuts of meat or poultry are flattened, it's best to put them inside a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag or between two sheets of heavy plastic wrap to prevent messy splatters. Use only the smooth side of a meat mallet to gently pound them to the desired thickness. This will prevent the meat from shredding. When tougher cuts of meat need tenderizing, they are pounded with the ridged side of a meat mallet to break up the connective tissue.

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  justmecookin on Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:02 pm

Creamed Soup

Help! I have a problem making creamed soups. Most recipes call for melting butter, adding flour and stirring until smooth. My problem is that this mixture becomes a sticky, lumpy mess! What am I doing wrong? Also, can I substitute potato flakes for all-purpose flour? L.S., Big Bend, Wisconsin

Most white sauces begin by whisking flour into melted butter over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. This is also the point where lumps can begin. To keep the mixture smooth, it is helpful to use a wire whisk when stirring. This can help to evenly distribute the flour and prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the pan and burning. You may find it helpful to remove the pan from the heat while gradually adding the liquid, whisking constantly. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. I do not recommend substituting potato flakes for all-purpose flour.


Last edited by justmecookin on Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

justmecookin

Number of posts : 14443
Registration date : 2008-04-23
Location : Germany/USA

View user profile http://www.justmecookin.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Questions and Answers

Post  Sponsored content Today at 11:34 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 4 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum