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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
Thank-you John -- I'm certain your mom will be more than pleased!
Thanks Rose Marie -- your version looked delicious too!
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On busy weeknights, or when I'm just plain pressed for time, popping a flank steak, a couple of pork blade steaks, or a few burgers under the broiler frees up my hands and some time to set the table, toss a salad or fix a side-dish and collect a couple of condiments. In exactly 18-, 22- or 16-minutes respectively (17 minutes if we want cheeseburgers), dinner is on its way to the table. To those who contend that broiling is not the ideal method for cooking any of the above, I say "poppycock". Position the oven rack 5 1/2"-6" underneath... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Kitchen Encounters
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On occasion I go to Pittsburgh. Just like every city there's plenty of sights to see, entertainment to be had, and, of course, lots of food. While Pittsburgh offers its share of show-offy fine-dining experiences, The Steel City, in my opinion, is known more for its blue collar, working man's fare. One of the most well-known, and most popular examples is Primanti Brothers -- trendsetters in sandwich making since 1933. When in Pittsburgh, you'll also notice that eating "alla Primanti's", "in-the-style Primanti's" (huge, overstuffed sandwiches topped with slaw and fries) surrounds you. Primani's 'slaw is vinegar-based and basic. Seriously folks.... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Kitchen Encounters
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On occasion I go to Pittsburgh. Just like every city there's plenty of sights to see, entertainment to be had, and, of course, lots of food. While Pittsburgh offers its share of show-offy fine-dining experiences, The Steel City, in my opinion, is known more for its blue collar, working man's fare. One of the most well-known, and most popular examples is Primanti Brothers -- trendsetters in sandwich making since 1933. When in Pittsburgh, you'll also notice that eating "alla Primanti's", "in-the-style Primanti's" (huge, overstuffed sandwiches topped with slaw and fries) surrounds you. Now a chain, the original shop is located... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Kitchen Encounters
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One thing I know about the Brits, they love their biscuits. Go into any shop that sells groceries and/or baked goods -- the one item you know with certainty you can find is a package of biscuits. Hobnobs is the brand name of one of the most popular British biscuits. Essentially a crunchy-crumbly oatmeal-shortbread cookie (as opposed to a fluffy, buttery American biscuit), McVitie's launched Hobnobs in 1985 and a chocolate coated version in 1987, which is not too long ago in terms of British biscuit history. While it's customary to enjoy 'em with tea, I love 'em with milk.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
Denise -- We are all thankful for your family, and, for Meyers for keeping the tradition going. I am so pleased you enjoyed my rendition and commentary. Perhaps we can meet in person some day -- you just made my day with your comment. ~ Melanie
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Research has revealed that nachos made their debut in Northern Mexico in the 1940's when a large group of hungry servicemen wandered into a restaurant where Ignacio Anaya was cooking. The savvy chef quickly threw some cheese over a big pan of leftover tortillas. When it emerged from the broiler, he scattered his creation with jalapeño peppers. When he presented the soldiers with his group-sized appetizer, after devouring it, they took it upon themselves to spread the word. Popularity came fast, and, along the way, nachos acquired an assortment of toppings. Nowadays, the tortilla chip, just like the pizza crust,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
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There's nothing like the aroma of a spice cake baking on the eve of the Fall season. We can all agree that an applesauce and spice cake is even better. A one-bowl cake that can be mixed in minutes with just the aid of a whisk and a rubber spatula is better yet. This recipe appeared in our local newspaper 20+ years ago (it was that long ago because we lived in another house). It was our local Grange Fair's baking contest winner. It touted a gingerbread-like texture containing all the flavors of Fall (cinnamon, ginger and cloves), and, it... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
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On those rare occasions when McDonald's returns the McRib to its menu for a limited time, I'm not ashamed, well maybe a little ashamed, to admit to making the pilgrimage to the golden arches drive thru. For the ten or twelve minutes it takes to sit in the parking lot and eat it with a side of fries and a diet Coke, I lock my nutritional conscience in the glove compartment and indulge in what I believe to be their greatest achievement. Perhaps the "blush would come off the rose" if it were available whenever I wanted one, and, "if... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
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Me on any given day. Grab two slices of super-fresh bread. Layer of some thin-sliced meat and cheese on top of one of them. Add, almost always, a slice of onion and tomato along with a leafy green, plop the top on it, and, I'm in sandwich heaven. When asked what food I couldn't live without, the sandwich is always my answer. 'Tis true, I can slap almost anything between two slices of bread, slather it with some sort of a spread, sauce or dressing and make it taste really, really good. On days when I swap out the bread... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
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The addictive Peppadew pepper is one of my favorite things. I first encountered them at a cocktail party at a friend and neighbor's home a few years ago. Everyone was asked to bring an appetizer. A couple who hailed from South Africa brought a plate of antipasto. I asked if the peppers were hot. The answer, which came to me complete with a lovely South African-British accent, was "it'twill be a pleasant, sweet-heat". That, is how I fell in love with the Peppadew. Peppadew is a brand name for a small, pickled red pepper, resemblant of a grape-tomato, known as... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
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If you grew up eating imitation krab (as it is often spelled for differentiation purposes, you never felt you were consuming a compromising product. Culinarily, it was a one of the staples of mid-century entertaining -- right up there with fondue, Spam and molded Jell-O -- and life was good. Krab Salad and Krabby's (crab on cheesy toast) were two of my favorites. Imitation crab revealed nothing about ones standing in life either -- from the ditch digger's wife to the doctor's wife, everyone used it. Truth told, unless you grew up in or within driving distance of a crabbing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
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When I was growing up, in addition to the deli-meat and cheese, on any given trip to the grocery store, my mom would purchase a container of creamy krab (not a typo) salad. At home, she'd scoop it onto cottony-soft 'burger rolls, open a bag of Wise potato chips, and lunch was served. As far as childhood memories for preprepared at the deli-counter salads or side-dishes go*, this store-bought mixture of imitation krab meat, mayo, lemon and paprika, was the singular mayo-based item that ever made it into our grocery cart. Why? Neither my mother or father cared one bit... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
Michelle -- No problem. Mistakes happen, even at my end. If I had forgotten something, I would be thanking you for letting me know and would have corrected the post based on your comment! Happy cooking!!!
Michelle -- Step 2 clearly states 350 degrees.
Good Morning Susan. 3/4-1 teaspoon lemon extract will work just fine if you can't find lemon oil. Enjoy your lemon bars!
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In case you haven't noticed, I have my own way of going about all things culinary. I'm not apprehensive about experimenting within reason, am not afraid of failure, although I hate it when it happens, and, I'm more than willing to play around with a recipe until I get it exactly where I want it to be. Yes, I'm picky like that. I'm not big into dieting, never have been and never needed to, but, I refuse to swallow one calorie unless it represents scrumptious taste and pleasurable texture. In the case of my version of the all-too-often greasy-soggy-mess of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
Good morning Suzi -- I'm still not over what happened in that election. No one will EVER convince me votes in Florida were not changed. ~ Melanie (I responded to your question about the clear-jel on your other post.)
Good morning Suzi -- You bake fruit pies like I do -- I use 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca for every 2 pounds of fruit and stir it in with the sugar and flavorings, etc. If I had to make an educated guess and was willing to conduct an experiment (about using the cook-type clear-jel in place of tapioca), I'd use 1-2 T per quart (4 cups) of FRUIT. I do hope this helps, and, if you try it, please let me know how it works! ~ Melanie
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Interestingly, I am not one who believes chicken parmesan, or "chicken parm" as it is affectionately referred to, should be slapped between two slices of bread and eaten like a sandwich. I simply prefer it on a plate with pasta and a side of garlic bread -- I feel the same way about meatballs. AND, along the same lines and in the same manner that meatballs got taken away from spaghetti and transitioned to the incredible, edible Italian-American meatball sub, many folks, a few of them in my own family, do not subscribe to my opinion on this point. Pollo... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
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Who doesn't love a meatball sandwich -- I know I do. Besides a high-quality roll, a well-constructed meatball sub only requires three components: tender meatballs, a great melting cheese and a savory sauce. Culinarily, the meatball sandwich is, understandably and correctly, associated with Italian-American fare, with meatballs being a spinoff of meatloaf, which is an all-American invention. In turn, my Southwestern-Style meatballs, are a spinoff of my Mexican-style beef and chorizo meatloaf (but should not be confused with Mexican albóndigas (albóndiga is the word for meatball in Spanish), which contain rice, not a bread product, as a binder. It's worth... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters
Marsha -- Thank-you, thank-you and thank-you. That typo is almost impossible to catch even through two proofreads. I corrected it in the text/commentary. Have a wonderful day!!! ~ Melanie
Xavier -- I can't say with 100% positivity, but, because instant pudding requires no cooking, my instinct would be to use the instant Clear-Jel.
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Whether you're sending kids back to school in a few days, looking for something different to lunch on at your office computer, or yeah baby, a sandwich that will be the hit of your next tailgate party -- this sub has got your back. It's on my short-list of most-popular in-my-house-made deli-style hoagie- submarine-type sandwiches. It's extremely easy-to-make and user-friendly too. Chop and toss the ingredients together in a bowl, stuff 'em into a sub roll just before eating, then go to town. It's akin to feasting on a tuna sub, only full of classic Caesar salad flavors and textures.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at Kitchen Encounters