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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
Welsh rarebit -- the original cheese toast. It's worth mention that I've only eaten what I believe to be the real-deal once. It was in the latter 1990's, in Wales, in the exquisite Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel (coy-dee-moo-ster). It came to me as a complimentary side to a lovely salad (which I ordered after returning from shopping in the city of Cardiff). The cheese toast, along with everything else in this hotel, was perfect. I kicked off my high-heels and enjoyed it in my lavish room, overlooking the How-Green-was-My-Valley countryside, with a very English G&T too. I gave cheese toast a lot... Continue reading
Posted 15 hours ago at Kitchen Encounters
Good Morning Joy -- Thanks for catching that error. I changed (corrected) the yield from 12 to 16 at the end of the post. The first 12 are put on the pan to bake (Step 8), then, the last 4 go on to bake with the round cookies made from the scraps of dough (Step 10), so, the instructions were fine. Great to hear from a fellow groundhog cookie baker!
I adore our country's famous Senate bean soup -- chocked full of navy beans, shards of meat from ham hocks or shanks, onion and celery. Everything from its rich history to is smokey flavor and creamy texture is perfection -- I've even had the pleasure of eating in the Senate dining room in Washington, D.C. That said, I have vegetarian friends -- not many, but, they enjoy making their presence known in my kitchen. When they do, I'm happy to go meatless for a few hours. Yesterday was one such afternoon. A pot of this relatively-easy-to-make vegetarian version of my... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Kitchen Encounters
Thanks for the nice comment & the link to a source for buying it -- honey is indeed wonderful on bread cheese.
There's a lot going on in the title of this recipe, but, trust me, after I peel back the layers and get to the heart of it, there will be a moist, quick-bread resemblant of everything one could hope to taste in both their favorite apple-fritter (a deep-fried doughnut sans the hole) and cinnamon bun -- in bread loaf form. There are many recipes for apple fritter bread. They vary a bit from cook to cook with one common thread: the way the batter and the primary ingredient (apples) get layered into the loaf pan. It's signature is a pretty... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Kitchen Encounters
This morning I decided to go eggless -- it's a woman's perogative. I skipped the skillet and got out the grill pan. On this frigid January morning, I made what I affectionately refer to as: breakfast 'burgers. Six-ounce sausage patties topped with lightly-grilled apple slices and melty herbed Brie, served on toasted English muffins. I conjured up these ladylike, burger-esque breakfast sandwiches years ago. They're culinary proof that necessity is the mother of invention. Read on: We were enjoying an AM tailgate at Beaver Stadium. When I reached into the Igloo cooler to retrieve the eggs, I realized they hadn't... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2018 at Kitchen Encounters
Good Morning Marty -- When I bake small yeast-risen white bread loaves in similar-sized pans (in the top photo, they are the stack of dark pans on the far right), I bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes. I also use a kitchen scale to divide the dough into twelve, 7-ounce portions, so, if you place a larger or smaller amount of dough in each pan, the time will vary slightly, accordingly. ~ Mel.
Everyone loves a home-baked sweet or savory pie or quiche, but, for those times when you are out of time, or, just don't want to take the time, from appetizers to entrées to desserts, making a puff pastry braid using store-bought puff pastry is a valuable skill to have. As long as you play by the rules, they bake up perfectly 100% of the time. What are the rules? I'm glad you asked. My three basic rules/guidelines for filling a pastry braid: 1) With the exception of the obvious (any liquid or liquid concoction that pours or flows), any solid... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2018 at Kitchen Encounters
Teresa -- This is CRAZY good. I'm counting the minutes until Joe gets his first bite of it. I've seriously had a fun week playing around with fillings for these puff pastry braids. Stay warm my friend.
Teresa -- They sell cloudberry seeds on Amazon. If anyone could figure out how to make them thrive in Ohio -- THAT would be YOU!!!
Imagine eating a freshly-baked, still-warm chocolate croissant at your favorite coffee shop. Just thinking about one of those divinely decadent indulgences makes me happy. Now imagine it super-sized, more than enough to feed four, with sweet cherries and crunchy almonds added to it too. Need I say more? Valentine's Day will be here before we know it, and, if you're looking to surprise the chocolate lover in your life with something truly sweet, stash the ingredients on this list in your pantry and freezer, then, start counting the days to February 14th. Tick, tock. From appetizers to entrées to desserts...... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2018 at Kitchen Encounters
We all have our favorite breakfast and brunch casserole recipes -- I'd be lost without mine. They taste great, they're easy to prepare, and, some can even be made ahead, but, let's face it: casseroles aren't elegant. They're low-key, family-style, comfort food -- the blue jeans of the food world. Newsflash: Occasionally, it's necessary to dress up -- and that extends to the food. If I told you I have a small repertoire of AM meals that make a stunning presentation, taste as good as they look, and, are relatively easy to prepare, would you want the recipes? I thought... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2018 at Kitchen Encounters
Circa 1980-1985 -- better known as the cloudberry jam period of my life. One of Joe's business associates (a man from Norway temporarily working here in Happy Valley) introduced us to a Norwegian specialty: small squares of grilled bread cheese topped with cloudberry jam. It was served as an appetizer at a cocktail hosted by Rolf and his Swedish wife. I fell in love with this cheesy treat immediately -- and said so. When I reciprocated the invitation, I was gifted a jar of the jam, a small brick of bread cheese and a package of stroopwaffes as a hostess... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2018 at Kitchen Encounters
Denise -- Thank-you for the kind comment. Happy New Year!
Steve -- I think you will find this as close to the original as close can get. And you are correct -- steam the buns!!! Let me know what you think after you make it. ~ Melanie
I happily chose cookies-made-with-candy-bars as this year's 2017 theme for Christmas cookies on Kitchen Encounters, and, I gleefully baked all four. Reese's, Snickers, Kit Kat and Whoppers. Everyone is well-familiar with this cast of candy-bar characters. These particular four weren't just chosen at random. They were my favorite candy bars when I was a kid -- they're close to my heart, and, they're an all-star lineup too. I know, Whoppers aren't a bar -- whatever, move along. A bite out of any one of them would bring a smile to my face, and, if asked to make a choice, to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
Back in the 1970's, a shopping trip with mom to Hazleton, Pennsylvania's indoor Laurel Mall, was not complete without picking up a carton of Whoppers -- conveniently located close to the checkouts in the K-Mart. I was almost a teenager. My brother, three years younger, required a stop at K-Mart to appease him -- and it was always our last stop at the mall. Whoppers were our treat for the thirty-minute car ride home, and, as mightily as we all tried, it was next to impossible for mom, David, and I, not to polish off the contents of that entire... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
Keirh -- Because angel food cakes are typically cooled, inverted, in the pan, the "three tabs" serve as legs to allow for air flow.
Penny -- It's showing up in Categories 6, 9 & 21, and, in my archives as published on September 18, 2016. It did not however, show up in the search words (which is infuriating), except, searches on any website, on any given day, are unreliable. Let me know if you still can't locate it and I will e-mail you the direct link. ~ Mel.
Chinese-American fare. It's a favorite in our house. About once a week, we either order take-out or delivery from our two favorite places, or, I take the time to make some. Each of us has our favorite menu item -- the one that we crave and can't wait to plunge our chopsticks into. For me, it's chow mien or lo mein -- two of China's most iconic dishes. "What exactly is the difference between the two?" When I got asked that very question last night, I decided to transcribe the discussion into a blog post today -- while it's still... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
You are most welcome Aliya! ~ Melanie
Pam -- Read the last paragraph: How to measure and use ClearJel Instant.
The first time my mom came home from the grocery store with a bag of white chocolate chips, I was fascinated by them. "What are you going to do with these?" It turns out she was going to bake white-chocolate macadamia-nut cookies that Nestlé had printed on their package. "Daddy loves macadamia nuts." I knew he was going to love mom's new all-white cookie invention -- I could barely wait for the butter to soften. Tick tock. As we two gathered together and measured the list of ingredients, it was mom who schooled me on the fact that white chocolate... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
During December and January, like clockwork, without notice, and, for reasons unknown, I crave Chinese food. It happens every year. Sometimes I order take-out or delivery from my favorite two places, and, other times I take the time to make it. In either case, in my kitchen, I feed my inner-Chinese about once a week. I affectionately and chucklingly refer to my condition as: The China Syndrome. All snickers aside, note that a great percentage of my Chinese recipes get posted during the months of December and January. December of 2017 is no exception. Char = fork (noun & verb).... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2017 at Kitchen Encounters
Joni - When my mother or I make them this is what we do: Once assembled and cooked, they will keep nicely in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. That said, I recommend reheating them in the microwave, as cabbage does break down a bit upon reheat in the oven or the stovetop. While cooked holubki can be frozen, the freezer will break the cabbage down a bit too. When making holupki for the freezer, we fully assemble them (roll them up) and freeze them uncooked -- arranging them in packages that will fit in the stockport or casserole we plan to cook them in. We remove them from the freezer, place them, frozen, in the pot or casserole, pour the sauce over them and allow them to thaw as they cook. Hope this makes sense. If you have any more questions -- just ask. I'm happy to answer them. ~ Melanie