August 3rd, 2006

Blenders, counter-top and immersion

A recent post got me thinking about buying a blender, and the Oster Beehive Chrome Blender was recommended as an affordable alternative to some of the magnificent but expensive ones that I can't afford on a college budget.

Are there any more blender suggestions for the under-$100 (and preferably closer to $50) category? Or any more reviews for this one?

My main complaint about belnders is that they don't move the stuff (usually fruit, for me) around very well (especially with ice cubes involved), meaning that the bottom part gets pureed while the stuff on top just sits there. In blenders my friends have bought, this problem seems to be worse with square-shaped blenders, but that may not be true for all of them.


I'm also in the market for an immersion (stick) blender and could use some advice on what to look for. Again, I'm looking for something affordable, but not a cheap $10 plastic thing that will break in a year. Any suggestions are appreciated, especially if you can tell me why you like that particular model and how it performs.

Thanks so much!

Tag Time

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egg substitute for baking

I'm using one and a half tablespoons of water with same amount of oil and a teaspoon of baking powder as substitute for one egg in baking muffins, but they are not as fluffy as normal egg-muffin. I think if I add in some soda powder into the recipe will help, but before I try this, do any of you guys or girls have any better egg substitute formula for baking?

tangerines. so many tangerines.

the scene: my house, four days ago.

MOM: hey jaim, check it out! i got five pounds of tangerines!
ME: ...
MOM: you love tangerines!
ME: ...
MOM: you love tangerines?
ME: ...
MOM: well you sure as hell better learn to love tangerines.

so there are about a MILLION tangerines sitting in our fridge & as it stands right now, there not going anywhere soon. does anybody have any recipes which incorporate tangerines? muffins? glazes? fruited breads? juices? ANYTHING? help.

Freezing/Frozen Peaches

Peaches are in season here in South Carolina, and the produce stand across from where I work is selling GREAT ones for 50 cents/pound. Summer is the only time I eat peaches because the gorcery store ones taste like cardboard next to these. I want to go out and buy five pounds of them and freeze them so I'll have summer-quality peaches for a while. I want to freeze some in slices and puree some to freeze in ice cube molds. Obviously the main use would be to toss in smoothies, but does anyone else have creative ideas for frozen peach slices and/or puree?

Vegetable Lasagna

WHAT:
[a stove or toaster oven
oven mitts :3
lasagna pan, two pots, frying pan]
lasanga noodles
tomato sauce [you can make this from scratch if you like or buy veggie spaghetti sauce]
various fresh vegetables [onions, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, broccli, cauliflower, celery, etc]
tomatos [fresh is better but canned will do as long as they're sliced or something and not mush]

HOW:
1. Boil the noodlies just like one might boil spaghetti! [ Meaning, add some olive oil or salt to water, bring it to a boil and add the noodles. When they're flexible but not bloated (euhg..), they're done. Or, if you like them bloaty, then go for it! You don't need to strain them, just set 'em aside.]

2.Make your sauce or heat the canned/jarred kind in a pot. Go crazy with herbs and spices, seriously! Turn the heat down and just leave it when you're done heating.

3. Chop up the veggies into smaller pieces and put them in a frying pan with some vegetable oil. Saute them until they're the hardness you want (they won't soften very much while in the lasagna). You can add a lot of herbs and spices here too. Pepper is always good and a little salt to wilt them a bit.

4. Spread some sauce on the bottom of a glass/foil/whatever pan. Take strips of noodles (shake/ring out some of the water first) and place them inside, covering the entire bottom of the pan. Put more sauce on top and add some of your saute'd veggies. More noodles, more sauce, more veggies, and repeat until you've filled the pan (leave about a cm at the top for bubbling). Finish with sauce and put the fresh/canned tomatoes on top (use a lot... they were the best part. O____O)

5. Pop it in the oven/toaster oven/bluuurh and let it cook for about 45 minutes on high or until it's bubbling (this is easier to determine with a glass pan) and the tomatoes are slightly crispy but not burnt, omg.

6. EEEEEEEEEAT. :DDDDD
  • Current Mood: yummy
  • Current Music: La Vie Boheme ~ Rent (musical)

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from a recipe in a Crisco cookie book. I made this the last time we had a staff picnic at work, and this time my boss signed me up for cookies before she even printed out the sign-up list --- my name was typed in all caps with about fifteen exclamation points. Crowd-pleaser for adults AND kids. The only complaint I got was that there shouldn't have been so much other food before people got to the cookies.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen (or a few more)

1 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
2/3 c Crisco (I use non-trans fat) or margarine
1 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
replacer for 2 eggs
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (one 12-oz bag)
1 c confectioners sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 375F.

Beat brown sugar, Crisco (or margarine), water, and vanilla in large mixer bowl until blended. Add egg replacer and beat well.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and soda. Slowly add to mixer bowl and beat in on low speed. Mix in chocolate chips.

Hand-roll dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in confectioners sugar if desired (I don't and they come out great, but the sugar effect is pretty). Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake (one sheet at a time) for 7-9 minutes (7 is usually plenty for my oven, and it's from the 1970s) or until cookies are set. Cool for a couple minutes on baking sheet, then move to wire racks or aluminm foil to cool competely (after you eat a few warm ones).


This recipe almost always makes 50 cookies for me, but they're small (and cute!) Dimensions on the batch I made tonight are 2 inches in diameter and 1/2-3/4 inch tall. If you make the balls bigger (around 1 3/4 inches), the cookies spread more and get big and gluttonous. That size is great for holidays. (Someone a few days ago asked for ice cream sandwich cookies. These might be a little too soft for that, but the size and flavor would be delicious, if perhaps a little messy.)

moving with fillings...

This community is always full of excellent ideas, and I'm hoping there are a few for me.

I'm moving in a week, which is really exciting. However, I have to get a permanent filling to replace my temporary filling from my root canal the day before I get into a van to drive for two long days. The dentist said that I absolutely *cannot* chew on that side for twenty-four hours after the filling

So the restrictions are: primarily liquid or *very* soft, okay to keep in a cooler, and (ideally) will satisfy any snacky urges I might have while driving.

My ideas so far are shelf-stable soups that come in little boxes, instant mashed potatoes, and little applesauce packs. Any others? Is there anything I could cook in advance and put in a container that would still be tasty after a day on the road?

Thanks. (: