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Jul 21, 2013 10:00 PM

I just learned how to make a grilled cheese sandwich

And I'm 24. After years of trying and being able to make just about anything but a grilled cheese, a boiled egg and rice, I conquered one. What 'simple' thing did it take a while for you to master, or maybe you haven't yet?

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  1. Rice was hit or miss until I purchased an electric rice cooker.

    10 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      I seriously have to read the simple white rice recipe on Cooks Illustrated every time I make rice! HaHa

      1. re: pagesinthesun

        Rice for me, too, until I bought Madhur Jaffrey's "Invitation to Indian Cooking." Perfect rice every time since then!

      2. re: fourunder

        Rice, can't do it and probably never will be able to. I've given up.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          I can't do it either. Seriously thinking about investing in a rice cooker.

          1. re: ludmilasdaughter

            If we ate more rice, I'd definitely buy a rice cooker as otherwise it would not be made.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Rice is pretty easy - the trick is to leave it alone.

              You can use any old measuring device- I have a coffee cup that I use for instance. the Ratio is 1 rice to 2 parts water (I use just slightly less than that - but let's not complicate things)

              1 coffee cup full of rice, 2 coffee cups full of water - bring to a boil turn to low - don't look or touch for at least 15 minutes.

              Rice can be very tricky for rice dishes like Arroys con Pollo where you might have tomatoes or other liquid - in that case I use daisy marteniz's trick - the liquid should be about one inch above the dish.. that's roughly to the first knuckle on my index finger (she uses a wooden spoon). It's worked for me everytime.

            2. re: ludmilasdaughter

              I was sick of trying every rice recipe, every brand of rice & getting good results only half the time. Got a rice cooker from Amazon for about 30 dollars & now have perfect rice every time. Also it has a steamer basket on top where you can
              steam some veggies while rice is cooking. The booklet gives you ideas for cooking other things besides rice.

              I had an old rice cooker for many years & finally gave it to the thrift shop. The new ones are no comparison!

              Save yourself some misery & go for this little cooker.


          2. re: fourunder

            Seriously, a rice cooker is the best investment. I, too, could never make a decent pot of rice. Now I actually look forward to making it.

            1. re: fourunder

              I ADORE my Microwave Rice Cooker from Pampered Chef. It is my most used kitchen gadget and I get perfect rice every single time. It even works on boxed rice mixes. It's the best.

              1. Scalloped potatoes. It's still a soupy mess for me.

                5 Replies
                1. re: youareabunny

                  That was something I could never get right until I saw Julia Child doing it. She explains it well on her potato show.

                  1. re: youareabunny

                    I parboil my potatoes a little before putting in the oven. If it is soupy you might not have the right amount of flour, you need some in every layer as well as pats of butter and some good whole milk or 2% at least.

                    1. re: Ruthie789

                      Evaporated milk works great! Creamy without the extra fat.

                    2. re: youareabunny

                      Thanks for the tips everyone. I've got a fresh bag of russets so I will give it a shot. Maybe 4th times the charm! (I know that isn't many attempts, but it seems so easy that 3 failures did quite a number on my confidence lol)

                      1. Have you tried using mayonnaise instead of butter on the bread? That was a recent "WTF? Oh, that actually makes a lot of sense" moment for me. And I'm a lot older than you.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Soul Vole

                          I think my problem was putting butter in the pan as opposed to on the bread. I've got it now though.

                          1. re: deputygeorgie

                            Try Mayo - spread very easy and browns extremely well.... I haven't used butter for years once I tried mayo there was no going back.

                          2. re: Soul Vole

                            SoleVole, I put mayo on one side of the inside of the bread, and mustard on the other inside. then butter for the outsides.

                            And Deputy Georgie, try adding some tomato slices and or bacon. And different Brie, oh my such gooey goodness.

                            1. re: Soul Vole

                              I use mayo instead of butter, and cook them in the oven (because I want everyone to eat at the same time). 350, 8 minutes on the first side, 4 minutes on the second. So easy, and I'm not taking forever to cook all the sandwiches.

                            2. Turkey gravy at Thanksgiving: too lumpy, too oily, too bland. It took a long time to get it right.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gfr1111

                                Gravy was a very rough thing for me, too. I've got it now, but it took many tries.