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What's your Achilles Heel in the kitchen?

fldhkybnva Feb 5, 2013 04:22 PM

Inspired by this article at serious eats http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/02/wh..., what's your Achilles Heel in the kitchen? For me, it's the rice. I can't make a pot of rice to save my life.

  1. ursy_ten Feb 5, 2013 05:00 PM

    Pastry! It's always too short and crumbly.
    Maybe to do with the gluten formation.

    I've only tried it a couple of times though. I probably need to set aside some time to get a feel for it, but it's so much easier to get the frozen stuff.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ursy_ten
      Musie Feb 5, 2013 05:15 PM

      I found with pastry that I yielded better results with each little factoid I learned. Consider making it to be like conducting a science experiment, where a single factor could produce a different outcome.

      Definitely give it a few more shots before letting it defeat you.

      1. re: Musie
        ursy_ten Feb 6, 2013 01:32 AM

        Thanks Musie, It's definitely a skill I'd love to master. You can do so many wonderful things with pastry!

    2. Musie Feb 5, 2013 05:13 PM

      Brownies. I've no idea why, but the two of us just don't work well together.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Musie
        hambone Feb 11, 2013 11:38 PM

        On the Hershey's site there is a recipe for York Peppermint Patty brownies.

        I'm not big on baking but that is pretty user friendly and oh so dang good!

      2. s
        sandylc Feb 5, 2013 06:56 PM

        I am very nervous about getting meat done exactly right.

        6 Replies
        1. re: sandylc
          Isolda Feb 6, 2013 04:47 PM

          I suck at large, expensive cuts of meat. I don't trust my instant read thermometer, so I just bought the old-fashioned, stick it in the meat and leave it there kind.

          1. re: sandylc
            rudysmom Feb 8, 2013 12:18 PM

            i feel your pain. roasts, which theoretically should be easy, terrify me.
            also, i sometimes start pork chops on the stove top, then throw into the oven, still in the skillet, to finish. TWICE now i have forgotten the the skillet handle does in fact heat up in the oven. you would think i would learn.

            1. re: rudysmom
              LindaWhit Feb 8, 2013 12:28 PM

              Fold the hot mitt over the handle to the oven. That should help you remind yourself that you need to use it to take the pan out of the oven. :-)

              1. re: rudysmom
                fldhkybnva Feb 8, 2013 12:33 PM

                You would think I would learn not to check food in the oven without a pot holder. I always think to myself - the foil won't be too hot I can just lift it to check. Well, usually the foil is not that hot, but the oven rack that my knuckle inevitably make contact with is. Nevertheless, I do it nearly every other day. In fact, someone actually asked me yesterday if I had taken up fighting as I have a collection of small burn scars on my knuckles.

                1. re: fldhkybnva
                  suzigirl Feb 8, 2013 01:42 PM

                  Good to know I'm not the only one who does that. I have scars in my forearms cuz I am to lazy to slide out the rack and I touch the hot rack with my arm or hand all the time

                  1. re: suzigirl
                    KrumTx Feb 8, 2013 03:17 PM

                    Me too, suzi. I have two scars on my right forearm. They'll eventually fade, I keep telling myself:) And rudysmom, I did that years ago after buying my first piece of All Clad. I put something in the oven to finish and took it out without a mitt. It was so, so painful! I kept ice in my hand for about 12 hours and it still stung. Luckily it has only happened once.

            2. h
              harryharry Feb 5, 2013 07:03 PM

              Yes, yes, yes! I can't make rice - I buy it from a chinese restaurant or frozen from Trader Joe's. I can make rice mush though!

              22 Replies
              1. re: harryharry
                ursy_ten Feb 6, 2013 01:40 AM

                My formula is: 2 parts rice, 3 parts water (usually long grain rice, and I don't rinse). Microwave on high 12 minutes, check (if using pyrex you can see if there is still water in the bottom), then keep microwaving in 2 minute increments until done/all liquid absorbed.

                I hope this helps!

                1. re: ursy_ten
                  harryharry Feb 6, 2013 07:13 AM

                  No it won't help - I was about to reply to some of the other posts with fail safe recipes - the thing is that it just won't help.... if you can't make it you can make it...

                  Also, there is no way that I could stand listening to my microwave for 12 minutes.

                  1. re: harryharry
                    fldhkybnva Feb 6, 2013 10:53 AM

                    Yes! No suggestions can save me from the horrendous rice, I just have decided it is not something I can do :)

                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      Isolda Feb 6, 2013 04:49 PM

                      Trader Joe's sells pre-cooked rice in the frozen foods aisle. All you have to do is nuke it and it comes out fine. I use those in a pinch, even though I'm not rice-challenged. Nuke two packs for your next dinner party and dump them in the serving dish. No one will know or care.

                2. re: harryharry
                  KaimukiMan Feb 8, 2013 02:49 PM

                  Option 1:
                  a) never make less than about 3 cups cooked rice.
                  b) pour some rice in pot.
                  c) put in water to one knuckle depth above rice.
                  d) bring to a boil on stovetop. turn to low.
                  e) simmer on low for 20 minutes.
                  f) let sit, covered, for 15-30 minutes

                  Option 2:
                  a) buy a rice cooker
                  b) read directions
                  c) follow directions

                  my response somehow looks snarky, not intended to be.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                    sr44 Feb 8, 2013 04:24 PM

                    And adjust water as needed.

                    1. re: sr44
                      KaimukiMan Feb 8, 2013 08:42 PM

                      Not sure i understand your comment sr44. Once the lid goes on it doesn't ever come off until the rice is ready to be served. No opportunity to adjust the water, and I've never had a need to do so. By the time the rice is done, all the water is absorbed, thats what that rest period is for, to let all the water be absorbed or escape as steam.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan
                        sandylc Feb 8, 2013 08:48 PM

                        I'm with you. Lid on. No peeking.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan
                          emglow101 Feb 8, 2013 09:04 PM

                          I'm going to try your method KaimukiMan, Just finished a pot of jasmine. Use 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. Add 1 tsp salt to water and bring to boil. Add rice and return to boil. Turn heat to low simmer with tight fitting lid for 25 min. Remove from heat . Gluey.

                          1. re: emglow101
                            sandylc Feb 8, 2013 09:09 PM

                            Try this:


                            1. re: sandylc
                              emglow101 Feb 8, 2013 09:12 PM

                              Thanks. Will try.

                              1. re: emglow101
                                KaimukiMan Feb 8, 2013 09:45 PM

                                remember, its rice not pasta. you don't want excess water when you are done, you dont need to stir it around while it is cooking. rinsing is recommended, 5-6 times seems excessive to me. In Hawaii the 'universal' rule is 3 rinses, but we mostly cook medium grain calrose rice here which tends to be slightly sticky, but not as sticky as long grain rice. But I learned this method of cooking rice from my mom and grandmother cooking short grain "fluffy" rice. They never rinsed their rice, and never used 'converted' rice either.

                                But even with calrose or long grain, it should still come out with each grain being discrete, not an indistinct mass, although having it stick together is correct, sticky but not gluey. Oh do I wish Sam Fujisaka was here to guide us. We miss you Sam.

                                1. re: KaimukiMan
                                  emglow101 Feb 8, 2013 09:56 PM

                                  I wanted to have a nice rice, with my live dungeness crab I steamed tonight.Local caught from Half Moon Bay, CA. I will make crab cakes with leftovers tomorrow. Not to have thread drift. I had the best crabcakes of my life in Kona,with a light citrus dressing. I like your recipe for rice.

                          2. re: KaimukiMan
                            sr44 Feb 8, 2013 10:02 PM

                            If you get consistently mushy results, use less water when you start. If the rice is not soft when the cycle is done, add a bit more water.

                            1. re: sr44
                              emglow101 Feb 8, 2013 10:17 PM

                              Thanks sr44. Our family was raised on potatoes.We never had rice as a starch. I have tried numerous times to cook rice. It is always hit and miss for me. With my continuous faulty results I will keep trying make rice. I do not want to give in to the rice maker.

                              1. re: emglow101
                                Ruth Lafler Feb 20, 2013 12:22 PM

                                My family was just the opposite: my mom's default starch was rice, and she rarely cooked potatoes (and no, we're not Asian). Since I've never had any problems cooking rice, I never thought I needed a rice cooker. However, when I acquired a Chinese roommate who cooked rice several times a week and usually managed to have it boil over and make a sticky, starchy mess on the stove, I decided to get a cheap rice cooker. I think it was $10 at Walgreens. Works fine and doesn't take up much room.

                                For all you people having trouble cooking rice -- are any of you at altitude? I think even a relatively small amount of altitude might affect rice cooking.

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                  Perilagu Khan Feb 20, 2013 12:44 PM

                                  I could have sworn Ruth Lafler was a Thai name.

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                    sandylc Feb 20, 2013 01:27 PM

                                    You are in fine form today. ;-\

                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                      Ruth Lafler Feb 22, 2013 09:07 PM

                                      Good point: I was gifted with a name that is virtually unpronounceable for most Asian language speakers. But you know, there are lots of people who have names that don't match their ethnicity.

                                  2. re: emglow101
                                    sr44 Feb 23, 2013 12:42 PM

                                    Potatoes for me too. My mother used Minute Rice exclusively, so when I made the leap to Uncle Ben's, it wasn't pretty. And now when I cook rice on the stove, I stir it several times and don't use a lid.

                                    Can you cook other grains?

                                2. re: KaimukiMan
                                  sr44 Feb 23, 2013 11:36 AM

                                  If you keep coming up with mushy rice, use less water at the start.

                                  I started cooking rice many years ago by frying the grains in a bit of oil or butter, then adding water and baking until done. Cooking the surface starch helps keeps the grains separate, but if you add too much water, it's mush again.

                            2. re: harryharry
                              dave_c Feb 21, 2013 12:53 PM

                              Buying rice from restaurants, I usually buy Mexican restaurant rice. I don't know what they do but it's fluffy a lot easier to than making at home. I have a decent recipe, but my rice just turns out different and takes time.

                              Mushy rice implies too much water.
                              For plain rice - I suggest a ratio of 1 rice to 1 water or 1 rice to 1.5 water.

                              0) Use a measuring cup
                              1) rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer.
                              2) Bring water to a boil. (Optional - add a little salt)
                              3) Add drained rice to boiling water and turn down heat to a simmer.
                              4) Cover and come back in 20-25 minutes.

                            3. grayelf Feb 5, 2013 07:07 PM

                              Long pasta. That stuff sees me coming. I actually made up a name for the result: spaghetti stumps. You know, when a bunch of ends clump together and don't cook through, no matter how diligently you stir or how carefully you maintain the boil.

                              Solution: the SO also has a name. He is Starch Boy. Takes care of all the starchy things in our kitchen. He is a dab hand at rice cooking as well.

                              FWIW, the photocopier at work sees me coming too and develops the copying equivalent of spaghetti stumps. Coincidence? I think not.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: grayelf
                                Kontxesi Feb 6, 2013 05:12 AM

                                I have to man the spaghetti pot for the entire time it's cooking, otherwise I end up with logs about 15 noodles thick. It hates me. :/

                                1. re: grayelf
                                  juliejulez Feb 6, 2013 10:11 AM

                                  I have this problem too... long pasta. Glad to see it's not just me :)

                                  1. re: grayelf
                                    fldhkybnva Feb 6, 2013 10:54 AM

                                    If it might help, I've found that a lot of stirring in the beginning makes a big difference, but definitely continued stirring throughout but I focus heavily on the first few minutes.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                      sandylc Feb 6, 2013 11:08 AM

                                      Frequent but not continuous stirring here. And I've learned that Barilla pasta clumps MUCH more than other brands.

                                      1. re: sandylc
                                        Perilagu Khan Feb 6, 2013 11:23 AM

                                        I stir rarely but sample frequently. I think the key to non-clumpage may be not overcooking the pasta in the slightest. Al dente pasta is less likely to clump.

                                        1. re: sandylc
                                          Isolda Feb 6, 2013 04:50 PM

                                          No kidding! I switched to the cheap supermarket brands and I only have to stir for the first few minutes.

                                      2. re: grayelf
                                        Jay F Feb 20, 2013 10:06 AM

                                        Instead of stirring, I use tongs to separate the strands of angel hair throughout the cooking period. I do not go and sit down while it cooks. I usually grate cheese, get out the butter if I'm using it.

                                      3. a
                                        afridgetoofar Feb 5, 2013 07:52 PM

                                        Anything deep fried. I have a fear of frying. :O

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: afridgetoofar
                                          Enigma3 Feb 6, 2013 01:24 PM

                                          Me too. I will never get on an airplane again.

                                        2. emglow101 Feb 5, 2013 08:02 PM

                                          Rice is also my Achilles Heel.I like my rice to be light and fluffy.Grains that do not stick together. I prefer Jasmine rice. I will rince the rice until the water is clear. Then I will bring 1 3/4 cup water to boil. Add the 1 cup rinsed rice to my pot with a tight fitting lid. Turn the burner down to a very low simmer.After 16 min take off the heat and fluff with a fork.Put the lid back on for around 5 minutes and serve. A gluey snowball.What am I doing it wrong?

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: emglow101
                                            pamiam Feb 5, 2013 09:02 PM

                                            I start my rice in the pot with the water (not bringing it to a boil first). However, I think your main problem is not using enough water! The jasmine rices I've used have called for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of water for each cup of rice, and for some rices, the ratio is 1 cup rice to 2 cups water!

                                            1. re: pamiam
                                              emglow101 Feb 5, 2013 09:56 PM

                                              Thanks for catching my mistake in writing. I meant to say 1 3/4 cup.I changed it.

                                              1. re: emglow101
                                                ursy_ten Feb 6, 2013 01:47 AM

                                                My ratio is 2 parts rice to 3 parts water for long grain rice like Jasmine. I think your gluey snowball is due to too much water.

                                                I know some will say you're supposed to rinse it, but I don't rinse my rice either. It starts absorbing water when you rinse it, so I just throw it in dry so as not to mess with the ratios. You can always add a bit at the end if things are still a bit crunchy - a bit harder to take excess water out.

                                            2. re: emglow101
                                              Jeanne Feb 5, 2013 10:39 PM

                                              I make really good rice if I do say so myself. With all the different types of rice available - I use jasmine and basmati normally - I don't rinse it anymore. Bring 2 cups of water to boil with 1 teaspoon salt, add rice, bring bag to boil and top with a tight light and turn the heat down to low. Do not stir or take lid off. After 25 minutes check to make sure water is gone - turn off heat and take off of burner. Let sit a couple of minutes and serve. Perfect every time.

                                              1. re: emglow101
                                                fldhkybnva Feb 6, 2013 10:55 AM

                                                My ideal rice is the stuff you get at any Chinese restaurant takeout place, but have never been able to ever even make edible rice let alone that stuff which seems to have the perfect just clumpy enough texture and flavor despite being steamed white rice.

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                  512window Feb 6, 2013 04:53 PM

                                                  They use rice makers. The Japanese Iron Chef used to use a rice maker. Rice makers make it easy. They are pretty cheap too.

                                              2. v
                                                Violatp Feb 5, 2013 10:00 PM

                                                Fish. Overcooked or bland. Homemade pasta, too, though I have pretty good luck with from-scratch pierogi dough.

                                                Technically, I can't make decent rice, but I'm okay with that since I like overcooked, kinda mushy rice. Heh. I just wouldn't make it for company, though. And the overcooked rice is just fine for my stuffed cabbage so I'm in no hurry to make a "proper" pot of rice.

                                                1. alliegator Feb 6, 2013 06:11 AM

                                                  I was just thinking about it because it came up in another discussion: chicken cordon bleu and chicken kiev. I can not make a proper one without it leaking. And it's one of my favorite things to eat :/

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: alliegator
                                                    chloebell Feb 6, 2013 06:30 AM

                                                    Macaroni & cheese. I can't ever get it right.

                                                    1. re: chloebell
                                                      Kontxesi Feb 6, 2013 06:39 AM

                                                      This. Mine always comes out feeling kind of tacky, I guess you'd call it.

                                                      Maybe I'm bad at roux, and then that spills over into everything else?

                                                    2. re: alliegator
                                                      fldhkybnva Feb 6, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                      Oh yes, love the leaks. Even after I have skewered the chicken with nearly 50 toothpicks there is leakage. Oh well, SO and I love to scoop up the ooze and just pile it on top. I've given up on perfection and just scoop and smear afterwards. It might help if I would stop stuffing them with tons of ham and cheese but I refuse to give up massively stuffed breasts.

                                                      1. re: alliegator
                                                        suzigirl Feb 6, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                        And that would be the reason I make it on my bf's birthday and rarely else

                                                        1. re: alliegator
                                                          CindyJ Feb 11, 2013 08:07 PM

                                                          This might help you with the chicken Cordon Bleu: Start with chicken breast halves that are approximately the same size. Pound them thin, keeping them about the same size. Put the fillings (I layer Gruyere, prosciutto and more Gruyere) on the smaller half but leave about 1/2" around the edges. Top with the second half and do a flour-egg-panko breading. Refrigerate the stuffed cutlets 30 minutes or so before sauteeing.

                                                          1. re: CindyJ
                                                            fldhkybnva Feb 12, 2013 09:36 AM

                                                            I had a serious chicken battle this weekend although it turned out much better than expected after I had pounded out the breasts. I do it very gently for a longer time but it seems that my breasts always start to shred a bit and I get worried about leakage but this time it worked out OK but not sure how to perfect my technique or perhaps it doesn't need to be improved if it's working. Another tip I found that helps is to roll from the small end.

                                                        2. Perilagu Khan Feb 6, 2013 07:30 AM

                                                          Mashed pertatas. Fortunately, the Khantessa is a wiz at this.

                                                          I've given up on making gnocchi. It's beyond my ken.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                            phofiend Feb 6, 2013 12:16 PM

                                                            What's a pertata?

                                                            1. re: phofiend
                                                              LindaWhit Feb 6, 2013 12:20 PM

                                                              It's what my grandfather called "badadas". a.k.a. mashed potatoes. :-)

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                phofiend Feb 6, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                Thanks. I thought it was some kind of exotic tropical delicacy.

                                                          2. Uncle Bob Feb 6, 2013 07:32 AM


                                                            1. s
                                                              small h Feb 6, 2013 08:02 AM

                                                              Rice. And I see I'm not remotely alone. I use a rice cooker now, because I can't handle the suspense. Will it come out mushy? gluey? stuck to the bottom of the pot? Rice hates me.

                                                              1. Chowbird Feb 6, 2013 08:20 AM

                                                                Pie crust and/or biscuits. I use frozen and/or Bisquik.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Chowbird
                                                                  AngelaID Feb 7, 2013 12:20 PM

                                                                  Same here. Can not roll out a pie crust to save my life. Or produce a decent, flaky, biscuit.

                                                                  1. re: Chowbird
                                                                    BeefeaterRocks Feb 8, 2013 02:05 PM

                                                                    Mother, mother-in-law & aunt all excellent pie crust makers spent many hours of hands on instruction to no avail. Pillsbury it is for me. For biscuits too, I can't even do Bisquik.

                                                                  2. biondanonima Feb 6, 2013 08:43 AM

                                                                    I am also really bad at cooking rice, although I have improved recently. I use the pasta technique for brown rice (simmer until almost cooked in copious water, then drain the water and cover to let it steam the rest of the way), and it works pretty well. Basmati is never a problem now that I use the technique from 660 Curries. I haven't cooked regular long grain white rice in a long time, though, so I don't know if it's still my enemy or not.

                                                                    1. LindaWhit Feb 6, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                      Fried chicken.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                        sandylc Feb 6, 2013 09:54 AM

                                                                        +1. Although I've recently learned that by brining the chicken first and cooking it on a much lower heat then generally recommended has helped my fried chicken enormously. The temps usually stated by recipes consistently burn the outside before the inside is finished with being raw.

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                          Perilagu Khan Feb 6, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                          The same. I don't even bother anymore. No way I can make it better than chain joints like Colonel Sanders, Popeye's or the Golden Chick, not to mention a few local places.

                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                            THoey1963 Feb 7, 2013 12:36 PM

                                                                            So much this. Burnt or bloody no matter how I tried. Trip to Popeye's only takes 20 mins and it comes out better than mine does.

                                                                        2. s
                                                                          sandylc Feb 6, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                          I see a lot of rice angst here. I love Barbara Tropp's method; it consistently turns out beautifully cooked, individual grains of rice.


                                                                          1. juliejulez Feb 6, 2013 10:13 AM

                                                                            Fried anything. And fish. Fish scares me because good fish costs a lot, and if I screw it up that's a lot of money wasted. So we just eat fish when we go out :)

                                                                            I'm good with rice.

                                                                            1. p
                                                                              Puffin3 Feb 6, 2013 10:13 AM

                                                                              Then why not buy a little rice cooker like this one? It is 110% 'fool proof'. Half a cup of rinsed rice, any rice, drained then into the rice cooker. Half a cup of liquid added. Put the lid on. Press down the button. In a while the cooker 'clicks' and the light turns from red to orange. Orange means the cooker is keeping the rice warm. The rice is always fluffy.

                                                                              1. tcamp Feb 6, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                                                It is interesting that rice is problematic for so many. I don't consider myself to be half the cook that many of you are but for some reason rice for me is not a problem. I have a rice cooker but I usually just make it in a saucepan stovetop.

                                                                                My Achilles heel (heels, actually) would be anything fish-related and biscuits/rolls.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: tcamp
                                                                                  LindaWhit Feb 6, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                                                  Like you, tcamp, I just cook it on the stovetop. 1 cup of rice (usually basmati, unrinsed) into 1-3/4 to 2 cups of water, brought to a boil (with salt - maybe 3/4 tsp?). Stir once, cover, turn heat to simmer, and let it go for 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat, let it sit for about 5 minutes. Stir it before serving.

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                    tcamp Feb 6, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                    That is exactly my method. Unless you forget to turn it off (like my spouse, repeatedly), it works like a charm.

                                                                                  2. re: tcamp
                                                                                    Perilagu Khan Feb 6, 2013 11:27 AM

                                                                                    Same here. Rice is so unproblematic for me that I don't even think about it.

                                                                                  3. h
                                                                                    helou Feb 6, 2013 10:22 AM

                                                                                    Anything involving yeast and kneading. I'm so careful to have the water not too hot-not too cold to make the "sponge" or I use the instant yeast that's supposed to be fool-proof. But my final result always tastes too yeast-y or it's too dense. Never, ever just right.
                                                                                    And don't get me started on the rising.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: helou
                                                                                      sandylc Feb 6, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                                      helou, if you could learn any one kind of bread to bake, what would it be?

                                                                                      1. re: helou
                                                                                        512window Feb 6, 2013 04:55 PM

                                                                                        Me too. And my automatic breadmaker which I was using for the mixing and the kneading is broken and apparently unfixable.

                                                                                        1. re: helou
                                                                                          cleobeach Feb 20, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                                                          Yep, bread. I drove myself mad last summer trying over and over again to bake a decent loaf. I checked the water temp with a thermometer, fresh yeast, kitchen scale, everything and never got a decent result.

                                                                                          The two excellent bakers I consulted couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.

                                                                                          I gave up.

                                                                                          1. re: cleobeach
                                                                                            sandylc Feb 20, 2013 09:49 AM

                                                                                            If you want to try making bread again, ask another baker to make it with you - you can observe them and they can observe your techniques.

                                                                                            1. re: cleobeach
                                                                                              ursy_ten Feb 20, 2013 04:38 PM

                                                                                              Could it be your oven, maybe?

                                                                                          2. suzigirl Feb 6, 2013 04:20 PM

                                                                                            Baked goods in general. I seem to have issues with the humidity changing the recipes outcome at times. At least that is what I tell myself
                                                                                            Fish for the same reason as juliejulez. You spend all that money and screw it up. Yikes!

                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                              sr44 Feb 6, 2013 04:44 PM

                                                                                              Have you tried baking using weights or are you using cups, i.e., volume measures?

                                                                                              1. re: sr44
                                                                                                suzigirl Feb 6, 2013 06:59 PM

                                                                                                No. Never. I haven't gotten a kitchen scale because I have gotten pretty far without embracing baking. It may become a passion someday but I just accepted that I stink and stopped wasting ingredients. ;-) I should get a scale and try again

                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                  sr44 Feb 6, 2013 07:07 PM

                                                                                                  CI recommends the OXO scale. I haven't worked with it a lot, but I can see that it will be a lot easier when it comes to measuring flours and other ingredients in cold or hot conditions.

                                                                                                  1. re: sr44
                                                                                                    suzigirl Feb 6, 2013 07:16 PM

                                                                                                    Thank you. Hot. Florida near the Gulf of Mexico. Talk about humid

                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                      sr44 Feb 6, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                                                      Then I think a scale will be particularly useful.

                                                                                                      1. re: sr44
                                                                                                        suzigirl Feb 6, 2013 07:26 PM

                                                                                                        Its funny that I have never really thought about a scale.

                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                          sr44 Feb 6, 2013 07:40 PM

                                                                                                          For me, it was an irritating side issue until I got one and tried it. Whoa! No more hunting different measuring cups. No more issues with flour fluffing.

                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                              sandylc Feb 6, 2013 07:38 PM

                                                                                              Love love love my scale - !!!

                                                                                              It's not just for flour and sugar. Ever see recipes that tell you to use 4 oz. of cranberries, or 6 oz. of chopped pecans? It's great there, too!

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                fldhkybnva Feb 6, 2013 07:43 PM

                                                                                                I use my scale for nearly everything as SO and I keep a pretty good track of our cals and macronutrients. It's great for any and everything but perfect for baking and even cooking too.

                                                                                              2. EWSflash Feb 6, 2013 07:39 PM

                                                                                                Following a recipe exactly. Never could do it, sometimes it works, sometimes it bombs.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                  suzigirl Feb 6, 2013 09:40 PM

                                                                                                  I can relate. I generally read a recipe for inspiration. If I go by the recipe its hit or miss

                                                                                                2. JungMann Feb 7, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                  Rising dough. I can make okay yeast bread most of the time, but when it comes time to rising biscuits, cake or really anything with baking soda or baking powder I usually end up with hockey pucks. I've tried fiddling with the brands of baking powder, buying new cans whenever I bake, still can never predict if I will get a beautiful lofty cake, or a sad 3-incher.

                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                    golfer1 Feb 7, 2013 12:24 PM

                                                                                                    Pan sauces and scalloped potatoes. I make a great poultry gravy, but beef, lamb pork etc never have the depth of flavour that i am looking for.

                                                                                                    The scalloped potatoes...always come out raw...follow recipes and time, and they always come out too firm.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: golfer1
                                                                                                      sandylc Feb 7, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                                      Most scalloped potato recipes don't have a long enough baking time. And if your oven is a little bit off temperature-wise, this will really mess with your potato doneness.

                                                                                                      1. re: golfer1
                                                                                                        ursy_ten Feb 7, 2013 02:30 PM

                                                                                                        Scalloped taters are tricksy like that. If I want to make sure it's going to turn out, I cheat and parboil the thin slices first. It works for me and staves off any disappointment.

                                                                                                      2. rockandroller1 Feb 7, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                                                                        All pastry/dough items, including bread. I just quit trying because of too many frustrating failures. It is just not my wheelhouse. Bakers are patient and precise and I am just not that type of cook. I thought again about making bread recently and saw a recipe for some "simple" peasant bread that took THREE DAYS to make. Seriously? No. I don't have anywhere to let stuff sit out and rise and then remember to come punch it down and rise again and put in the fridge and knead or roll out or whatever the sh*t, it is just not the way I operate. And forget baked goods. I succeeded in making a vegan cake from scratch for my son's first birthday (he had a dairy allergy at the time) but since then it's been Dr. Oetker's and I don't feel guilty about it at all. DOUGH HATES ME.

                                                                                                        1. h
                                                                                                          HillJ Feb 7, 2013 03:07 PM

                                                                                                          pork chops. i mean the kind that just take your chop lovin breath away, eludes me.

                                                                                                          1. Perilagu Khan Feb 7, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                                                            Beef broth or beef stock. Just fuhgeddaboutit.

                                                                                                            1. Scrofula Feb 7, 2013 05:21 PM

                                                                                                              Boiled eggs. I've read all the tricks, but I always end up with eggs that look like the surface of the moon.

                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Scrofula
                                                                                                                jlbwendt Feb 7, 2013 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                Try putting them into a big pot of simmering, not boiling, water (covered by at least an inch) for 12-13 minutes depending on size, then directly into an ice water bath. Works for me =)

                                                                                                                1. re: jlbwendt
                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Feb 7, 2013 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                  Works for me too. I cover with water, boil, turn off the heat and remove pan from burner, lid for 10 minutes, cold water.

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                    Scrofula Feb 7, 2013 09:25 PM

                                                                                                                    Yep, this is what I did the last couple of times. The end result was better than earlier attempts, but still a bit craterey.

                                                                                                                2. re: Scrofula
                                                                                                                  hambone Feb 11, 2013 11:46 PM

                                                                                                                  Is this about the method of boiling (Jaques Pepin has a method where you poke a hole in the bottom (flatter) end of the egg. It lets the sulfur out so your hard boiled eggs are really tasty and the yolk very creamy.

                                                                                                                  If it is about peeling, above has a good trick.

                                                                                                                  I also just read a pinch of baking soda to the water and your eggs will peel much easier. (I haven't done this so I can't attest to it.)

                                                                                                                  1. re: hambone
                                                                                                                    Violatp Feb 12, 2013 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                    See, I thought it was the age of the eggs that made for either a good or bad peel. Fresh eggs equals a disaster for peeling. Is that a myth?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                      hambone Feb 12, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                      Not in my experience. I think what you wrote is true. When I'm making hard boiled egg dishes where the aesthetic of the egg matters, I always try and use older eggs.

                                                                                                                      But I just read the thing about baking soda (like a few minutes before I saw your post) and thought I'd share.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                        KaimukiMan Feb 14, 2013 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                        And if they sell coated eggs, try to buy the uncoated. Here in Honolulu the eggs shipped in from the mainland are labeled "mainland shell protected". Its intended to prevent evaporation, but it results in eggs that are hard as the dickens to peel. I try to buy local eggs, but leave them in the fridge for a week if I am gonna do deviled eggs or the like.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Violatp
                                                                                                                          cleobeach Feb 20, 2013 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                          Fresh eggs equals a disaster for peeling. Is that a myth?

                                                                                                                          Not a myth. My grandparents had a commercial egg farm and I learned not to use fresh eggs for hard boiled eggs from my mother.

                                                                                                                    2. mamachef Feb 7, 2013 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                      Jello. Yes I'm serious. The Jello god haaaaaaaates me.
                                                                                                                      Interestingly enough I have no issues w/ plain gelatin, but the flavored, no way Jose.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                        suzigirl Feb 8, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                        That's funny cuz I haaaaaaate jello. Yukky

                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                          juliejulez Feb 8, 2013 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                          ME TOO. I'm awful at it.

                                                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                                                          loula22 Feb 8, 2013 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                          Risotto. Cannot do it properly. Every single time it turns to glue. I have tried every recipe under the sun. I have had a tutorial from an Italian friend. Still no luck. At this point, the rice must sense my fear.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: loula22
                                                                                                                            fldhkybnva Feb 8, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                            Yup, after reading horror stories have not attempted it and probably never will.

                                                                                                                            1. re: loula22
                                                                                                                              sandylc Feb 8, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                              You should just make a microwave or oven version - they don't have quite the right texture to be authentic, but they are good in a pinch.

                                                                                                                              1. re: loula22
                                                                                                                                Perilagu Khan Feb 8, 2013 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                                That's unfortunate. I've never made a bad risotto, if I do say so mysel'.

                                                                                                                              2. p
                                                                                                                                pedalfaster Feb 8, 2013 02:05 PM

                                                                                                                                Keeping my rosemary alive.
                                                                                                                                This may veer into the gardening section, but it really bums me out cooking-wise.

                                                                                                                                I grow herbs inside (basil, thyme, parsley, etc) because I like to cook and I live in the midwest (IN).

                                                                                                                                I've lived in CA and TX where I grew the stuff outside and it grew like a weed. If anyone has any inside-growing advice, my cannellini and I would appreciate it!

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: pedalfaster
                                                                                                                                  sandylc Feb 8, 2013 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                  Hi I'm originally from Marion, IN...

                                                                                                                                  I cannot get my rosemary to stay alive inside, either. I don't know what I'm doing wrong - !

                                                                                                                                  1. re: pedalfaster
                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Feb 8, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                    Me too. Once it comes inside, it gets a white "bloom" on it and eventually dies.

                                                                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                                                                    bamagirl30 Feb 8, 2013 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                    Soup. I cannot make a great soup to save my life. All of them come out bland, wrong mouth feel, etc etc. I think the problem is I don't use enough cream and butter. I have given up.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: bamagirl30
                                                                                                                                      1sweetpea Feb 8, 2013 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                      Soups are my forte. I don't typically load up soups with cream or butter, though a little can go a long way in certain types of soups. The key for me is in starting with the onions, then adding the next vegetable only when the onions start to look translucent. Essentially, each ingredient gets a little time to shine in the pot before the next one joins the party. Pureeing part of the soup adds nice mouth feel. Another tip is to work spices in during the saute stage. Fresh herbs should go in later. Salt and pepper should be introduced only in small amounts early on. That way, you can taste when the soup is cooked and adjust until you're happy. Acids (in non-dairy soups) can brighten dull soups. A little lemon zest or a dash of wine vinegar can pick up lackluster flavors.

                                                                                                                                      Potatoes are a problem for me. Roasted come out fine, but steamed, baked or boiled always seem to be on the al dente side, which is not pleasant. I'm paranoid about cooking them too much. Dry, mealy potatoes are terrible. Somehow, though, I'm constantly pulling them out too soon. It's ridiculous. I'm known to do the same with turkeys and capons. I can't bear the thought of overcooked breast meat, but I can't tell you how many times the meat down by the bone (not to mention the dark meat!) is on the pink side of done.

                                                                                                                                    2. c
                                                                                                                                      chococat Feb 8, 2013 02:57 PM

                                                                                                                                      Deep frying. I've never even tried it. I don't know if it's the idea of a big pot of oil exploding in my kitchen, or what might happen to my physique if I discovered that deep frying is not that difficult.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: chococat
                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Feb 8, 2013 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                        My main gravamen against deep frying is the mess. I really hate oil spattered all over the place.

                                                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                                                        sueatmo Feb 8, 2013 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                        sauces. I forget to do a sauce or I think doing one is too much trouble. I am able to make a perfectly fine Bechamel, and I can do a Veracruz type sauce for fish, but I don't do any others except the very rare gravy for turkey.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: sueatmo
                                                                                                                                          KaimukiMan Feb 8, 2013 08:45 PM

                                                                                                                                          Wow, you do a Bechamel? I'm impressed. Gravy is about as far as I ever go, and that probably no more often than you do.

                                                                                                                                          Neither mom nor either grandmothers ever made sauce for anything, except gravy once or twice a year for the holidays. I just never learned, and figure I'm better of not knowing how to add all those luscious calories to my diet.

                                                                                                                                        2. LindaWhit Feb 10, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                          Just discovered another one - trussing a whole chicken. I mean, it gets done; it just looks pretty damn ugly. I've looked at various online info; I've watched videos.

                                                                                                                                          Just. Cannot. Do. It.

                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                            suzigirl Feb 10, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                                                                                                            I am feeling you. I even went and got the "idiot proof" trussing rubber bands and i still suck

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                              sandylc Feb 10, 2013 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                              I say don't bother to truss. I have read that trussing slows down the cooking of the dark meat by holding the legs tight against the carcass, which causes the chicken to take longer to cook, which overcooks the white meat even more.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                suzigirl Feb 10, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                Well, I can live with that logic. And it gets me out of trussing. I will try it. As much as I love chicken I tend to pass up whole birds so it doesn't become an angry wressling match

                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl
                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Feb 10, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                  My, aren't you a trussing soul? ;)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                    suzigirl Feb 10, 2013 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Thats a good one. Lol.You sure I'm not a trussing fool?

                                                                                                                                                2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Feb 10, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Huh. I thought it was to allow everything to cook properly and finish at the same time?

                                                                                                                                                  Well, I figure with my crappy way of trussing, it all evens out. :-D

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                    suzigirl Feb 10, 2013 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Lol. I hear ya.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                  KaimukiMan Feb 11, 2013 12:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                  this is why i have never cooked a roast chicken.

                                                                                                                                                  I'm an architect, as far as I'm concerned trusses (see below) are for roofs and bridges, not poultry.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Feb 11, 2013 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Hmmm....maybe I could use the cantilevered mansard with parapets type of trussing on my roasting chickens....

                                                                                                                                                4. Ruthie789 Feb 10, 2013 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Time is my achilles heel, it takes me forever to put a meal together. I enjoy weekend cooking, but weeknights not so much. Breadmaking is also a downfall unless its the slow rising bread.

                                                                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                                                                    James Cristinian Feb 10, 2013 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Ahhh, don't mention Achilles, I ruptured my tendon a year ago, lots of pancakes and bacon and stuff I could cook from a chair. Fried chicken is the dish I have trouble with, me being a master fried fish, shrimp, and oyster cooker.

                                                                                                                                                    1. CindyJ Feb 11, 2013 08:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Fish! I cannot cook fish to save my life. I waste more money buying fish that I can't eat. My most recent failure was last Friday when I attempted to make a mediterranean style oven-roasted whole striped bass. It was just yuck!

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Feb 12, 2013 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                        The problem with fishstakes is that they're extremely expensive. I made some kind of Balinese snapper a couple of weeks ago and it was ghastly. Put a little hole in my bank account into the bargain.

                                                                                                                                                      2. hambone Feb 11, 2013 11:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Keeping my workspace clean as I go.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Passadumkeg Feb 12, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Limited counter space, inability to quickly dice veggies w/ a knife and a fucking washing machine right next to my 5 burner gas range!

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                            KaimukiMan Feb 14, 2013 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                            you don't like chopping vegetables on a washing machine going thru the spin cycle?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Feb 14, 2013 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Yes, it improves my chopping technique.
                                                                                                                                                              When I cook I have a glass of wine and listen to relaxing music. When the god damn washing machine goes into spinn cycle, it drives me crazy. We have a utility room w/ no drain. I plan to move the machine out there and contruct a grey water system in the back yard.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                juliejulez Feb 21, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I used to have a place w/ the washer and dryer in the kitchen. I avoided using them while cooking, and when they weren't in use, they were extra counters to set stuff on to get out of my way.

                                                                                                                                                          2. WhatsEatingYou Feb 20, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Pan Frying! It just never comes out right: eggplant, pancakes, meatballs, veggie fritters...its either sticking, burning, not cooking thru/evenly, not holding together...very frustrating!

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: WhatsEatingYou
                                                                                                                                                              sandylc Feb 20, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like your pan is too thin and/or you're turning the temperature too high. Or, you're not preheating the pan AND you're turning it too high.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                WhatsEatingYou Feb 20, 2013 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I think its the second problem, I probably don't preheat enough so then am setting the temperature too high initially, things start to burn, but by the time I have regulated the heat everything is stuck and the pan is a mess!

                                                                                                                                                            2. Perilagu Khan Feb 20, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                              My kitchen Achilles heel is tendon.

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                sandylc Feb 20, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Funny boy. Pun intended?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Feb 20, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Need you ask? ;)

                                                                                                                                                              2. dave_c Feb 20, 2013 09:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Cleaning as I go... as a guy, I have to use every pot, pan, knife and gadget I have.

                                                                                                                                                                Even when I do clean as I go and after all the food is plated, I still end up with a pile of pots and pans.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Feb 20, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  You sound like the dadgum Khantessa. She can use every implement and vessel in the kitchen to bile a cup o' water.

                                                                                                                                                                2. i
                                                                                                                                                                  ItalianNana Feb 20, 2013 09:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Stir fried rice. I have tried 6 different recipes in the last few months. Bland or one dimensional or overpowered by a single flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                  I want that right out of the carton take-out taste.


                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                                                                                    ursy_ten Feb 20, 2013 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    It might help to find a highly-rated recipe with lots of reviews on one of the popular recipe sites, for example:


                                                                                                                                                                    I read through all the reviews and see what other people had trouble with, what changes they made, and what advice is offered. It's a great way for getting the feel for how a recipe works if you're trying to perfect a technique.

                                                                                                                                                                    I also like to use Jasmine rice, it has such a wonderful aroma.

                                                                                                                                                                    Best of luck!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ursy_ten
                                                                                                                                                                      ItalianNana Feb 21, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks ursy. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                                                                                                                        ursy_ten Feb 21, 2013 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        You're welcome, best of luck!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Ruth Lafler Feb 20, 2013 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yeast dough. I've never been able to make it by hand, and have about a 75 percent success rate with a bread machine, which should be foolproof!

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                                                                                                      sandylc Feb 20, 2013 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      If you lived nearby I would teach you!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                                                                                                      jbsiegel Feb 21, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Gotta say that mine's an omelette. I can do awesome scrambled eggs, but that perfect omelette eludes me. I think it's because we all like our eggs well done, and I can't seem to get the center (and any fillings) to be done enough without the edges getting too crispy and thin. I've basically resorted to always making any kind of omelette thing as a frittata and finishing it off in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                        sandylc Feb 21, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Watch the Julia Child video. The most striking thing about it is how small they are - the good ol' U.S. of A. has turned the omelette into a super-sized thing!

                                                                                                                                                                        If you try making smaller ones like Julia's, you might have better luck!

                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed on the done thing. The mother thinks that scrambled eggs should be wet. ?????

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                                          fldhkybnva Feb 21, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Yup, omelets, can't do it but I suffer from the super-sized omelet desire. I have no interest in the petite, proper style so I just avoid them at all costs and make scrambled.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                          hambone Feb 21, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          What about flipping them?

                                                                                                                                                                          (Do the first one or two over the sink.)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hambone
                                                                                                                                                                            jbsiegel Feb 21, 2013 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Another achilles heel...TOTALLY haven't mastered that "shake-pan-and-flip" thing!!!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                              hambone Feb 23, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              You just have to commit. It is all about the reckless abandon and faith.

                                                                                                                                                                              You gotta have faith.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                                sandylc Feb 23, 2013 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                I have read that you should fill your skillet with dry rice and practice outside or over the sink with it. Sounds like fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                                  jbsiegel Feb 23, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Liking those ideas! Commit to spreading rice all over the yard!!! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. a
                                                                                                                                                                              amazinc Feb 21, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Mine is piecrust. I can make it taste right...light, flaky, etc. but I cannot for the life of me roll it out into a circle. I'll keep trying, as we love pies, but I wish I had a square pie pan. Reading the post, and seeing the many comments on using a scale when bread making, let me +++ that. Another useful tool is the King Arthur list of the weights of various foodstuffs used in baking etc. Go to the KA website, and download it for FREE!! It's about 9+ pages long, but I made a copy and keep it in my baking area. The best free list in the universe for bakers. Thanks King Arthur!!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. emglow101 Feb 21, 2013 08:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                It's as simple as cracking a egg and not breaking the yolk. When making my eggs I like them over easy.More than often I break the yolk.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emglow101
                                                                                                                                                                                  BeefeaterRocks Feb 23, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Me too. However, if you're like me, when cracking for beaten eggs the yolk never breaks.

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