February 05, 2014

euna mae answers

Y'all are thrilling my soul with all of your kitchen pictures and messages! Between the Super Bowl and 73 feet of snow, I know you're in your kitchens and that you're talkin food with your friends. Euna Mae's on instagram added more than 100 new followers yesterday! Eeee! I just love it when you're sharing on instagram and my personal Facebook all that you're doing! It's such a treat to make food and serve those you love, isn't it?!

Among the pictures and posts are lots of questions about the recipes, techniques, and storage. And I've been answering them directly, but I thought I'd occasionally post them here to cover all of our bases - like a summary. So here are a few questions and answers associated with the last week or so of recipes.

If you have questions about any of the Euna Mae's recipes, comment on instagram or FB pictures, message me, or email EunaMaes@gmail.com.

euna maes' double-chocolate blondies

Q | What if all I have is salted butter? Can I use salted butter or do I need to go to the store?
A | You can certainly use salted butter in double chocolate blondies or most baked goods. But you will want to adjust the salt content otherwise. For instance, this recipe has a teaspoon of sea salt; so if you're using salted butter instead of unsalted butter, then use a scant teaspoon of sea salt to compensate. 

Q | What is a baker's half-sheet?
A | If you're in the South, you know it as a jelly roll pan. The dimensions are right at 13x18x1, and it's the half the size of a commercial baker's sheet pan {which is too large to fit in a non-commercial oven.} So a half-sheet pan is the largest sheet pan that home cooks can use in their ovens. I have a whole stash of half-sheets that I use for baking, roasting vegetables, broiling french bread and all kinds of other kitchen tasks.

Q |What if I'm putting away ingredients and see that I've used chili powder instead of cinnamon?
A | Hahahahahahahaha!! True story, y'all. Sorry, Melanie!

Q | My eggs aren't room temperature. Why do they need to be?
A | Your recipe isn't doomed if your eggs are cold. However, room temperature eggs incorporate better into the dough or batter than cold eggs. Also, room temperature eggs help in the rise of baked goods, as well as help the recipe to bake for the most accurate length of time. Cold eggs can cause a cake or baked good to require longer baking time and may cause the center not to bake as well. 

nana's fresh homemade salsa
Q | How long can does salsa stay fresh in the refrigerator?
A | Fresh salsa will keep in tightly sealed jars or containers for as long as 5 days in the refrigerator. Check the color and the smell for change. If it has changed before 5 days, then throw it out.

Q | Can I freeze fresh salsa?
A | Yes, of course! The recipe makes quite a bit. So if you know you're not going to eat it all in the next few days, then freeze away! Leave an inch of headroom in your freezer jar for expansion when it freezes. Freeze for several months, and thaw in the refrigerator.

 homemade chicken stock

Q | Do I have to take the skin off the chicken?
A | Leave it on! Just plop it in the pot and fill it with water and veggies!

Q | Can I use pepper instead of peppercorns?
A | Peppercorns allow for the flavor of the pepper to infuse the liquid while still being large enough to strain out, not leaving traces of pepper in the stock. You may certainly use ground black pepper if you must; you will just see the pepper in the stock. If you do not have peppercorns, you might try white pepper instead of black pepper if you have it. Ground black pepper would certainly be doable, but it's at the bottom of the list!

Q | How long does homemade chicken stock stay fresh in the refrigerator?
A | Homemade stock, like fresh salsa or anything else fresh/homemade, keeps in the refrigerator for several days - ideally for 2-3 days but no longer than 5 days. Because these foods are fresh, lacking preservatives, they do not keep as long. 

Q | Can I freeze homemade chicken stock?
A | Absolutely! I almost always have frozen chicken stock on hand! Allow the stock to cool completely to room temperature. This can take a while: be warned! Scoop off any solidified fat on the surface. Then pour the stock into freezer jars, leaving an inch of headroom in the jar for expansion when it freezes. Seal the lid tightly, and freeze for several months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Q | Are all jars freezer safe?
A | No, they aren't! Be sure to buy jars that say "freezer safe" on them. If you aren't sure if the jars you have are freezer safe, then look them up online to see specifications. I use Ball 1 1/2 pint wide mouth Mason jars which have a freezer marking on them so I know where to stop filling them.