Substitute actual vodka for storebought vanilla extract

True vanilla extract is vanilla split vanilla pods steeped in vodka for four months. I have never had a taste nor a whiff of this. Can I assume that...

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The Perfect Smoothie – Liquid Milk versus Powdered Milk

I recently attempted to make myself a Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie (as what is defined here, that is, no ice cream used) and failed miserably. This made me wonder about...

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The Perfect Milkshake – Liquid Milk versus Powdered Milk

I recently attempted to make myself a Strawberry Milkshake (let "Milkshake" be as what defined here) and failed miserably. This made me wonder about two things regarding this drink. This...

Continue Reading →

What can I do with leftover “Sweet and sticky” marinade?

I've been cooking SWEET ‘N STICKY BAKED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS, though instead of marinading the chicken, and baking it separately while reducing the marinade, I've been cooking the chicken with...

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Almond milk: pasteurize almonds and water before sealing?

I make almond milk regularly. One time, my whole-almond soaking period extended to 4 days instead of the usual 2 days. This batch soured and curdled sooner than the...

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“Sludge” at the bottom of matcha/green tea latte

When I get a green tea latte from Starbucks, the drink is uniformly mixed from top to bottom, no matter how long it takes me to drink it. ...

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bleach cleaning on chopping board…. dangerous?

I had used bleach on a sponge to clean a floor of paint. My boyfriend, then used said sponge to clean our wooden chopping boards. I remembered this today...

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How to mix salt into mashed potatoes

I am trying to find a way to mix salt into my mashed potatoes without having unpleasant bits of salt appear in each mouthful. I usually steam them with...

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How edible/palatable are crabapples?

I have an outstanding recipe for Apple Bread. It does use a lot of sugar, seems best when paired with firm, crisp and tart apple varieties. Granny Smith...

Continue Reading →

Very bitter avocados

For a while now, I have been dealing with nasty tasting avocados. Some tasting so bitter, I start to gag and cannot continue eating them. I do not remember...

Continue Reading →

Latest News

Substitute actual vodka for storebought vanilla extract

True vanilla extract is vanilla split vanilla pods steeped in vodka for four months. I have never had a taste nor a whiff of this. Can I assume that the vanilla pods simply add aroma to the vodka, and that the vodka’s sharp alcoholic flavor still dominates the substance?

Therefore, is it possible to just use clear vodka, particularly, in cookie recipes? Since my idea is that there are already so much ingredients in chocolate chip cookies, maybe the recipe would do better with the “freshness” of vodka, which is closer to the real stuff, rather than the bitterness of storebought vanilla extract. …read more

The Perfect Smoothie – Liquid Milk versus Powdered Milk

I recently attempted to make myself a Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie (as what is defined here, that is, no ice cream used) and failed miserably. This made me wonder about two things regarding this drink.

This time I tried to make it using powdered milk instead of the liquid one usually contained in Cartons. What I did was to put all those three ingredients (water, powder and strawberries) into the blender and then blended it until it had the desired consistency and color. The result was not as I expected, as the drink was not too flavored (tasted like water mostly, and seemed like it did not blended properly).

Could the order of preparation have affected the quality of my Beverage? I am no master chef at all, but I have at least prepared Lemonade to know that order sometimes matters here.

Also, that made me wonder if using powdered milk versus liquid milk could affect somehow the preparation of drinks like Milkshakes or Smoothies? I tried this time the powdered option, as I think I saw my favorite Milkshake seller use it instead of Carton milk so I thought it could be worth the try.

Other possibly important details on my failed attempt: The Strawberries were cold (not frozen but considerably cold), powdered milk was whole and fresh and used “standard” measure and added at most 2 cups of water (was a drink for one). …read more

The Perfect Milkshake – Liquid Milk versus Powdered Milk

I recently attempted to make myself a Strawberry Milkshake (let “Milkshake” be as what defined here) and failed miserably. This made me wonder about two things regarding this drink.

This time I tried to make it using powdered milk instead of the liquid one usually contained in Cartons. What I did was to put all those three ingredients (water, powder and strawberries) into the blender and then blended it until it had the desired consistency and color. The result was not as I expected, as the Shake was not too flavored (tasted like water mostly, and seemed like it did not blended properly).

Could the order of preparation have affected the quality of my Milkshake? I am no master chef at all, but I have at least prepared Lemonade to know that order sometimes matters here.

Also, that made me wonder if using powdered milk versus liquid milk could affect somehow the preparation of drinks like Milkshakes? I tried this time the powdered option, as I think I saw my favorite Milkshake seller use it instead of Carton milk so I thought it could be worth the try.

Other possibly important details on my failed attempt: The Strawberries were cold (not frozen but considerably cold), powdered milk was whole and fresh and used “standard” measure and added at most 2 cups of water (was a Milk Shake for one). …read more

What can I do with leftover “Sweet and sticky” marinade?

I’ve been cooking SWEET ‘N STICKY BAKED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS, though instead of marinading the chicken, and baking it separately while reducing the marinade, I’ve been cooking the chicken with the marinade together, effectively half boiling it, half baking it.

The result is quite satisfying but I’m left with a half a Pyrex roaster of marinade.

Can I reuse that in a completely different dish instead of washing it down the drain ? (First thing that came to mind was a salad to use as a dressing) …read more

Almond milk: pasteurize almonds and water before sealing?

I make almond milk regularly. One time, my whole-almond soaking period extended to 4 days instead of the usual 2 days. This batch soured and curdled sooner than the other batches.

I have also seen souring and curdling with storebought almond milk, however well-after opening and being kept inside the refrigerator.

I wonder if it’s an option to pasteurize the almonds and its soaking water together in a pot, before storing in a jar? Regardless of the fact that it will later be recontaminated in my juicer and a subsequent decantation (part of my own process) — maybe it can still lower the microbial load?

What bacteria rots the almond milk anyway? …read more

“Sludge” at the bottom of matcha/green tea latte

When I get a green tea latte from Starbucks, the drink is uniformly mixed from top to bottom, no matter how long it takes me to drink it.

I prefer to make my matcha lattes at home, though, because its faster, cheaper, and better (both health and taste, as I prefer my lattes far less sweet than Starbucks makes them and I prefer to sweeten with honey) than running through the drive through every morning. However, every morning, no matter how fast I drink my morning beverage, I wind up with a layer of green sludge at the bottom of my cup.

From what I can tell, the matcha is falling out of solution with the rest of the drink, despite being thoroughly mixed to start out. I do wonder if it has something with the amount of sugar, or the use of water to dissolve the matcha in. But since the whole thing comes together and tastes wonderful (until the last bit), I’m not sure. The only way around it I’ve found so far is to stir the drink well before every sip, which is unnecessary with coffee house versions (as I’ve had them other places and do not recall winding up with sludge at the end of the drink) and annoying while I’m at work.

Why do my matcha lattes end in green sludge, and how can I fix it? The green sludge at the end is bitter, thick, and unpleasant to drink, so I want to make my latte more like the ones from a coffee shop.

Recipe and method:

3/4 – 1 cup milk (depending on mug size), heated

1 slightly heaping teaspoon matcha powder

1 – 2 teaspoons honey

~1/8 cup hot water (a minute or two off the boil)

Force matcha through a sieve into mug to remove lumps, add hot water.
Blend (using electric whisk/milk frother) until dissolved. Add honey,
blend again to dissolve. Froth milk, then add to mug. Blend to mix
milk and tea/honey mixture. Drink.
…read more

bleach cleaning on chopping board…. dangerous?

I had used bleach on a sponge to clean a floor of paint. My boyfriend, then used said sponge to clean our wooden chopping boards. I remembered this today and decided to clean the board with soap and water.

I understand that cleaning a chopping board with watered down bleach is a thing. but how much bleach in this process is toxic levels. The chopping board had plenty of time to dry. I then washed it with soap and water, But I don’t want to risk poisoning myself or him as i imagine the aubergine I just sliced sucking in the bleach!

If i now cook the vegetables I prepared on the chopping board harm us? I’d appreciate an answer before I have to cook this food or explain my neuroses to him embarrassing! …read more

How to mix salt into mashed potatoes

I am trying to find a way to mix salt into my mashed potatoes without having unpleasant bits of salt appear in each mouthful.

I usually steam them with their skins-on, before mixing in salt, and vegan butter with a touch of truffle oil.

I have tried:

Whisking the salt into the vegan butter before mixing them into the mash. But I can still taste bits of salt in the mash.
Whisking salt directly into mashed potatoes. This is even worse than 1.
…read more

How edible/palatable are crabapples?

I have an outstanding recipe for Apple Bread. It does use a lot of sugar, seems best when paired with firm, crisp and tart apple varieties. Granny Smith is my go-to.

Since it still is not lacking for sweetness, at all, I began pondering whether I could make this using crabapples. I have zero experience with crabapples, except maybe biting into them and spitting them out as a small child, back when parents let their kids roam the neighborhoods like packs of feral dogs.

Are crabapples considered to be edible, but not especially delicious, or are they considered to be, generally, not edible (or even are dangerous to eat)? …read more

Very bitter avocados

For a while now, I have been dealing with nasty tasting avocados. Some tasting so bitter, I start to gag and cannot continue eating them. I do not remember them tasting this way before September. Is this a seasonal problem? Are there any methods of masking the taste?

PS: My mother suggested stevia herbs …read more

Sheet pan/baking tray convention outside the US?

In this video, a Frenchman visits New York and buys a half sheet pan, which he appears unfamiliar with (both the term and the device itself) despite being an experienced cook. So I’m wondering: is there not a sheet pan convention outside the US? I’d just assumed that the full/half/quarter sheet system was universal. Ditto for the sheet pan itself, since it’s cheap and indestructible. Are those only used in the US?

(I did find this history of the standard sheet pan, which discusses patent filings and brand names in the US in the early 20th century, but that thread doesn’t discuss whether it’s unique to the US.) …read more