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Old 06-12-2009, 05:17 AM   #11
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Laughing with you msmofet, I to am a poor sleeper, I guess it's an age thing.

No coffee for me at this time of night, scotch and pepsi max to warm the bones. We are in the midst of a cold snap Brrrrrr! down to 4C today, I tell you, that is cold for us
wow!! i still have to adjust to the fact that we are in complete opposite seasons. btw i hate HOT and humid weather (my allergies go crazy and i can't breathe).
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:26 PM   #12
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LOL - so I am really not afraid to fail at the recipes I find. I do hate to waste food and I don't try new recipes out on new people LOL.

I am going to try to make pasta sometime in the next week (I think).

Oddly enough, I don't have specific cuisine cookbooks. Well, I do have one italian and one mexican. But the rest of my cookbooks are a little oddball, like the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame and Depression Era Recipes. I do have Cooking for Dummies which has helped me through some spice and herb questions, along with some terms and techniques.

The Joy of Cooking is one I don't have.

Otherwise I guess I'm looking for recipes that require the use of many skills.

Charlie, I am in the Twin Cities! My only dilemma with your offer is that all of my customers have their own horses. But if you found a horse to ride, and we are close enough together, that might just work!
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:04 PM   #13
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jen i just got a news letter from chef central with lots of great pasta tips in it. if you PM me your email i will forwad it to you.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #14
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If you want to learn to cook without recipes, a useful tool would be Michael Ruhlman's new book, "Ratios". It's all about understanding the proportions that work together. For example, you can't go wrong with 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar as a starting point for salad dressing. Then you can add whatever flavoring you want or adjust the proportion based on the flavor you are trying to achieve, as long as you understand the basic proportion.

He breaks most of what we consider American cooking into just 20 or 30 basic ratios, and you take it from there.

Another book that really explains how & why ingredients work together, instead of just listing ingredients, is Shirley Corriher's "Cookwise" (and the sequel, "Bakewise"). She actually teaches you how to adjust and change recipes to arrive at what you want. Do you like your cookies chewy? soft? crispy? etc. Instead of looking for a different recipe, she teaches you how to adjust your ingredients to get the desired result.

And of course, the consumate reference guide for all things cooking is still "The Joy of Cooking".
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:55 PM   #15
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Thank you very much for the book ideas...the Ratios, Cookwise and Bakewise sound like ones I should definitely get.

And of course, the Joy of Cooking - I have been looking for a clean used copy - Barnes & Noble charge quite a lot for it!

I have had my share of cooking failures. I followed a tilapia recipe to the "T" once and it turns out the recipe was missing some important things and I didn't even realize it.

It was a crockpot recipe. The fish was cooked but it tasted like lemony windex (or what I think lemony windex might taste like). I tried using marinara sauce to fix it and that made it taste like lemony-windex-puke.

Normally I eat what I make even if it's "just decent" or even a little less than decent - but this fish was not edible at all, no way. I wish I had the book I got the recipe out of, it is currently packed in storage. You would laugh at it. This was several years ago, but because of that recipe, I now question ingredients and steps in recipes...rather than just follow blindly like I used to do (not that I always know what to question-but at least I think about it). All in all, it was a very good learning experience. :)

Trying to remember...
I think the ingredients were tilapia, lemon wedges, a bay leaf and capers. All into the crockpot on low for 5 hours with nothing else. LOL
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:08 PM   #16
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And of course, the Joy of Cooking - I have been looking for a clean used copy - Barnes & Noble charge quite a lot for it!
Make sure you either get the edition published in the 1970's or the new one from 2006. Skip the edition between the - most agree it wasn't up to snuff!

I find the best prices on cookbooks at Jessica's Biscuit on the web. I've been using them for 6 or 8 years and they've been great. Their website is Cookbooks | World's Largest Cookbook Selection at Jessica's Biscuit - ecookbooks.com | Cookbooks, Cookbook Recipes for Chefs. The newest edition of Joy is there for $21. List is $35.

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Trying to remember...
I think the ingredients were tilapia, lemon wedges, a bay leaf and capers. All into the crockpot on low for 5 hours with nothing else. LOL
Wow!!! 5 hours for tilapia sure seems like a lot You can do a tilapia filet in a skillet in 2 minutes per side. Since there's no collagen or sinew to break down, I can't see the reason to use a slow cooker. Which did it do - get hard & tough, or fall apart?
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:33 PM   #17
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I read recipes, but don't usually follow them. I have found it quite helpful to learn methods: bake, fry, saute, poach, etc... I remember that Julia Child had some videos out a long time ago that were grouped according to main ingredient (beef, pork, poultry), then went into different methods for the different cuts of meat.
Same with side dishes: rice pilaf, plain rice, risotto; potatoes many different ways, etc.
That way, I can use a method of cooking, using ingredients and flavors that we favor; and that's where experimenting comes in.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:46 PM   #18
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I read recipes, but don't usually follow them. I have found it quite helpful to learn methods: bake, fry, saute, poach, etc... I remember that Julia Child had some videos out a long time ago that were grouped according to main ingredient (beef, pork, poultry), then went into different methods for the different cuts of meat.
Same with side dishes: rice pilaf, plain rice, risotto; potatoes many different ways, etc.
That way, I can use a method of cooking, using ingredients and flavors that we favor; and that's where experimenting comes in.
i use recipes as guidelines also. i mix and match so to speak ingredients and methods. except with the baking i am more mindful of the basic chem of those recipes but fiddle with shapes, size and add ins/ons. i usually use a small scoop/disher because i like small cookies all the same size.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:35 PM   #19
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Wow!!! 5 hours for tilapia sure seems like a lot You can do a tilapia filet in a skillet in 2 minutes per side. Since there's no collagen or sinew to break down, I can't see the reason to use a slow cooker. Which did it do - get hard & tough, or fall apart?
LOL It fell apart and it didn't even smell good.

I haven't cooked tilapia since. Or any fish besides walleye (just did that for the first time a couple weeks ago) and tuna steak. I feel I have perfected tuna steak. LOL

Thanks for the website for cook books and all the suggestions, the more the merrier!
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