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KitchenEncounters
Melanie's Kitchen, Boalsburg, PA 16827
Experienced cooking consultant, instructor and recipe developer. PS: The subscriber/follower feature on this blog does not work. I've tried to work it out with typepad to no avail. Every time I get several hundred, the system turns it back to zero. I have lots of followers. Life's a beach. Follow me, Melanie Preschutti on Facebook. Have a nice day.
Interests: Teaching and inspiring people of any level of expertise to enjoy cooking great food of any cuisine.
Recent Activity
Lynn -- I hope your soup turns out exactly like you remember it, and, I am pleased to be a part of it. This is indeed a vintage recipe that should not be lost or forgotten. Let me know how it turns out after you make it! ~ Melanie
aleenhimam -- Thank-you for the kind comment. When I set out to write a blog, I decided to write one that "isn't fake". I photograph what I am actually making, and, what the photos depict, is indeed what the finished product looks like. ~ Melanie
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When it comes to worldly or exotic recipes, I always do my research and my best to keep them as close to authentic as I can. When it comes to Indian food, I always reply upon the advice of my four Indian girlfriends, and the woman who owns Krishan, Happy Valley's Indian grocery store, because you're all such good cooks. That said, when it comes to kheer, a delicately-spiced addictively-rich rice pudding dessert, if you're one of my Indian girlfriends, you might find yourself wincing in one or two spots while reading my recipe. Why? While the flavors in my... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Kitchen Encounters
Elaine -- I am so pleased you enjoyed my tale. I did not know that John Shields is a local hero. Thank-you so much for passing that along! ~ Melanie
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Red or green? That's the question you'll be asked in every New Mexican restaurant. In fact, New Mexico is the only state in the USA that has an official state question: "Red or Green?" I learned that on my first trip through New Mexico, and, I was further told, "if you're not asked this question in a New Mexican restaurant, you're not eating New Mexican food." While many of us out-of-staters (who love our Mexican and Texican fare) generically refer to this type of red or green chile pepper- or powder-based sauce as "enchilada sauce", and, mistakenly assume it's reserved... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Kitchen Encounters
Pam -- the timing doesn't change with one, two, or three racks. It remains 350 degrees for 30 minutes. As for buttering by dipping (and dripping) I'm at a loss for an idea. When I have a lot of corn to butter, I: melt butter in the bottom of a stock pot, place 6-8-10 cobs of cooked corn in the pot and grind salt over the corn. I put the lid on the pot and give it a few good shakes -- actually, I make my husband shake the pot. I put the corn on a platter and serve it that way.
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Enchiladas are one of those Tex-Mex specialties that taste a bit different everywhere you eat them. In a Mexican-American restaurant or in the home kitchen, they are lightly-fried corn tortillas that have been dipped in either a deep reddish-brown chili-powder-based sauce, or, a roasted green chile and tomatillo-based sauce. After that, they're filled, rolled up, topped with cheese and baked. The filling can consist of a seemingly endless variety of meats (beef, chicken or pork), fish or seafood, cheese and/or beans and/or various other vegetables (for a vegetarian option). The word "enchilada" comes from the Spanish word "enchilar" which means... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Kitchen Encounters
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Red or green? That's the question you'll be asked in every New Mexican restaurant. In fact, New Mexico is the only state in the USA that has an official state question: "Red or Green?" I learned that on my first trip through New Mexico, and, I was further told, "if you're not asked this question in a New Mexican restaurant, you're not eating New Mexican food." While many of us out-of-staters (who love our Mexican and Texican fare) generically refer to this type of red or green chile pepper- or powder-based sauce as "enchilada sauce", and, mistakenly assume it's reserved... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
Pleased to meat you Paulette -- I'm so glad you found "my" recipe. Yes, the difference in taste between tomato sauce and tomato soup is distinctive -- both are good, but the latter is the version that my mother and everyone at our Coaldale church used. Enjoy your Lithuanian Day celebration (we used to go to Lakewood Park to celebrate too)!!! Keep in touch. ~ Melanie
Pleased to meet you "spirits" & welcome to TypePad. Tomorrow 8/10 is my 7th anniversary of starting my blog. Oddly, subscribe only works via certain servers (or so I've been told), and, over the years, I simply gave up trying to get it worked out -- a great many of my readers find it easier to follow me on Facebook, &, we are a happy bunch of foodies w/varying interests (should you choose to do that). I look forward to checking out your blog, and, keep in touch! ~ Melanie
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If you like guacamole and crema Mexicana with or on your nachos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, etc., whirring the two together in a food processor, along with a bit of Sriracha sauce to give it some cha-cha-cha, creates a creamy-dreamy condiment you'll be craving on a regular basis. It's luxuriously smooth, refreshingly cool, and, there's just enough vinegary spice in the Sriracha to make it addictively interesting. While Mexican crema is becoming easier to find, in the event your grocery store doesn't carry it, feel free substitute crème fraîche or sour cream. I whip avocado crema up in small batches, in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
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I haven't eaten at a Taco Bell in years, but, it's worth mentioning the first time I ate a Mexican pizza was the first time I ate at a Taco Bell -- and I liked it a lot. My personal-sized snack pizza came as a pleasant surprise. It contained refried beans, nicely-seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, a few small-diced tomatoes and red enchilada sauce -- all sandwiched between two slightly-crispy flour tortillas. It wasn't my choice to stop at their drive-thru window on that day, but, I must admit, it indeed inspired me to make many a Mexican snack pizza... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
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How many bananas can a gal put into a bundt cake? Every time I bake this banana cake, I push the envelope a little farther, and, today I used the entire bunch. Six bananas. It yielded a total of 3 cups mashed bananas, and, the recipe, which started out using 1 3/4-2 cups, came out super-moist and full-flavored -- just perfect. Often times, this is how recipes are developed or improved upon (by trial, error and gutsy experimentation). That said, me thinks I'll stop improving this one. The original recipe came from my mother's recipe box and I'm pretty certain... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
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Whenever we've been out of town for a few days, the moment we cross the Centre County line and are within 20-30 minutes of home, we discuss what we are most hungry for (what food we've missed the most on our trip), and, we order it, for pick up or eat in, at one of our favorite eateries. Typically, that revolves around stopping at a pizza shop, a Chinese takeout place, or, a Mexican joint. When it comes to the latter, I'm usually ordering up a plate of seriously cheesy enchiladas. Enchiladas are one of those Tex-Mex specialties that taste... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
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Enchiladas are one of those Tex-Mex specialties that taste a bit different everywhere you eat them. In a Mexican-American restaurant or in the home kitchen, they are lightly-fried corn tortillas that have been dipped in a deep reddish-brown chili-powder-based sauce before being filled, rolled up and baked. The filling can consist of a seemingly endless variety of meats (beef, chicken or pork), fish or seafood, cheese and/or beans and/or various other vegetables (for a vegetarian option). In my Happy Valley kitchen, the two kid- and tailgate-tested favorites for my New Mexico-style Red Chile Enchilada Sauced enchiladas are ground beef, lots... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
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I'm not proclaiming this recipe "easy" because I have an easy or easier version of a hard recipe. I'm telling you it's "easy" because: it is easy. It's so easy, I don't understand why anyone who loves enchiladas with red sauce would purchase any of the brand name enchilada sauces (and there are plenty to choose from) -- unless they don't realize how easy red enchilada sauce is to make. I know, because for a number of years I bounced around from label to label, sampling store-bought brands, trying to find "the one just for me" in which "the spice... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
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While I adore a traditional cherry or blueberry pie (who doesn't), sometimes, especially July thru September, the months when there is so much (too much) going on in our garden, I need to speed things in order to make use of all the fresh fruits and vegetables in a timely, manner. When it comes "short shelf life" fruits like our sour cherries and blueberries, this cobbler is my solution. All I need is four cups of one or the other or a combination of both, along with 15 minutes of hands-on time, and: dessert is in the oven. There's more.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
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Over a period of five-six years, Joe and I had occasion to be in the San Diego area once or twice a year, and, on a few of those trips, we had the pleasure of spending time at the La Costa Resort & Spa. Along with all of the amenities and services one would expect to find at a resort and a spa, they specialized in and excelled at serving lighter and healthier cuisine without being imposing. On one visit there, I encountered a refreshingly-fruity strawberry-mayo concoction that showed up in a tossed strawberry chicken salad with bitty bits of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
Shrine -- You could probably substitute rice flour or potato starch, which are also fine powders similar to corn starch, but, as for corn flour or any type of flour, which is coarser textured, I see that causing problems.
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Mayonnaise. As a gal who loves deli-, tuna- and egg-salad sandwiches, I am never too far from my mayo. During the picnic and tailgate season, when side-dishes like macaroni salad, potato salad, cole slaw and deviled eggs reign supreme, I purchase bigger jars, in two-packs. When our garden tomatoes are ripe, I could (and will) eat a freshly-picked sliced-tomato sandwich, on white bread, with a big slather of mayonnaise, every day. There's more. I can't imagine my life without mayonnaise-based tartar and remoulade sauces in it, or, oh my Thousand Islands salad dressing, and, I'm very proficient at making homemade... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
You are quite welcome Cheryl. Happy Baking!!!
Thanks Dave -- You're right -- it makes great grilled cheese and French toast. I make a loaf once a week for my family (I haven't bought a loaf of sandwich bread in years). I even make my bread cubes and croutons out of it. Enjoy my bread loving friend!!!
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Besides a store-bought jar of the beloved Major Grey's mango chutney, which I have on hand in my refrigerator at all times, in the Fall and Winter you will find a container of my homemade apple chutney, and, in the Spring and Summer, you will find a jar of my rhubarb-ginger chutney. I make each one, once a year, every year, and freeze it in small containers so I'm never without this very-versatile sweet, savory and slightly-spicy flavor-boosting condiment -- it is a staple in my kitchen. When I first encountered chutney, I was a young adult and it was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
Dave -- thanks for the feedback. You made my day! PS: A lot of people don't like caraway seeds.
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I rarely make the time to sit down and eat lunch and almost never find the time to go out to lunch. I prefer to munch and crunch, while working, standing in my kitchen or sitting at my computer. For example: I am munching on some chopped cantaloupe, here at my desk, for breakfast, while writing this, at 6:30AM. Whatever time I get my mid-day hunger attack today, I'm literally going to, "stick a fork in it": tuna macaroni salad. I made it yesterday, am writing about it today, and shall enjoy it, in a small bowl, as a light,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters