It all started with a plan to have Sloppy Joes for supper. For those not familiar, a Sloppy Joe is a mixture of ground beef in a tomato based sauce served in a hamburger bun. You can serve it sandwich style, which can be very messy, with the filling oozing out over everything, or as an open-face sandwich eaten with knife and fork. I... Read more →

Why I Won't Ever Be a Mainstream Food Writer

Not that I have ever actually aspired to be a food writer for a mainstream newspaper or periodical, but occasionally I see an article that really brings home the truth that I could never cut it in that job. The most recent was an article just before Christmas in a national paper. It was a question from a reader who 'loves to bake for... Read more →

Water Needed for Large Quatities of Rice

When you cook larger quantities of rice (say, more than three cups dry rice), you need proportionally less water. Can you provide a rule of thumb or a chart? I cook both white and brown rice.-- Marcia I can find no detailed reference for the amount of water needed to cook larger quantities of rice but I notice that the instructions for... Read more →

Time to Chill

Why do pie crust recipes tell you to refrigerate the dough before rolling it out?--Linda Refrigerating the dough after mixing has two main benefits. First, it cools down the fat, usually butter and/or shortening, making it firm again. If the fat becomes too soft, it will mix too completely with the flour. To get a good crust, you need... Read more →

A Scalding Question

When a recipe calls for scalded milk, can you use skim milk or do you need to use whole milk? The kind of milk depends on the recipe more than on whether or not you are scalding it. In most cases, if not all, you should be able to substitute skim milk for whole, although it may give a slightly different mouthfeel to the finished dish... Read more →

Pizzelle Puzzle

I have used self rising flour instead of all purpose flour for a pizzelle recipe that uses rum, orange extract, grated orange peel, unsalted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, flour and baking powder. Not knowing I was using self rising flour, I added 2 tablespoons of baking powder to 3 1/2 cups of flour as per recipe. The batter... Read more →

What Makes Double Acting Baking Powder Double Acting?

I am reading your article about the baking powder. Mine contains monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate and cornstarch. Since the monocalcium phosphate is listed in your article as available for both the fast and slow acting components, is this particular brand I am using (Rumford, aluminum-free) considered 'Double'? It bubbled up... Read more →