carissaaa's Profile

Display Name: carissaaa
Member Since: 3/31/12

Latest Comments...

For protein stains, I use homemade "oxyclean" -- hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. To spot-treat, I make a 50/50 (by volume) paste; to soak, I do 1 part each, plus 2-3 parts water. Sometimes I just dump them right into the washer before I start the cycle.

The diluted-with-water version is also amazing for carpet stains--my daughter spilled pomegranate juice under the table and I felt like I was in an infomercial, the solution made such quick work of the stain. It even works on breastmilk/formula stains, which, if you've ever had kids, you know are really stubborn (and very VERY yellow if you try to use bleach).


DIY Laundry Day: 5 Homemade Cleaning Essentials
4/29/14 11:28 AM

We have option #2 on your list. I do like that it folds and we do use it pretty often. Still, it's just of heavy and a pain to move around the kitchen, and I'm always folding and unfolding it. I may sell it and just get a decent stepladder. On the plus side, I'm pretty sure our kitchen helper will have great resale value...


10 Platforms for Little Kitchen Helpers Product Roundup
3/5/14 05:51 PM

Fusion pizzas. I loves them. I don't care how uncool CPK is now, it will always be THEE cool and sophisticated restaurant my dad always took me to when I got to accompany him to work in downtown LA. :)


The Most Under-Appreciated Recipes of the 1990s: Food Writers Share Their Secret Favorites Recipes of the Decades
2/27/14 10:09 PM

Since the 90s was my entire conscious childhood (ages 3-13), I don't think of this stuff as "90s food"--I just think of it as "food"!

But in seriousness, I think you're right about the highly processed snacks kind of defining the decade. Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups, Dunkaroos, Koala Yummies, Handi-Snacks, and any conceivable pastry/pizza that could be cooked in a toaster or microwave.

Of course, my mother rarely bought any of those things. For us, it was also the age of highly processed, high-carb "low fat" foods--low fat Quaker or Kudos "granola bars," "baked" potato chips, frozen Weight Watchers meals…

I don't know if it was everybody, but for me the following decade (00s) was spent learning that "healthy" food didn't mean engineered to have fewer calories, but real nutrition (and natural, yummy flavors)!


10 Recipes That Defined the 1990s Recipes of the Decade
2/27/14 10:54 AM

For a long time I refused to go to Aldi here in Chicago. Although similar in some ways, they were the spiritual opposite of Trader Joe's, who courted my bourgeois patronage by creating a fun, quirky, homey shopping experience. Aldi seemed so, like, Soviet (or I guess German) by comparison. And when I went there once and milk was $1.50 a gallon, I just KNEW there was something wrong about it.

But you know, although I don't shop there regularly, I've come around. I can get 8oz of pure maple syrup there for $4. Chips, crackers, fruit leather for my kid, Bolthouse Farms juices… I don't get produce there because I'm picky, or milk because I buy organic now and they don't carry it, but overall the off-brand stuff is the same stuff with different labels, and they tend to be in lower-income areas where groceries are much needed. I'd much rather see an Aldi than another convenience or dollar store.


What We're Reading: Is Aldi the Best Grocery Store in America? 10 Weekend Reads from The Kitchn
12/6/13 06:17 PM

It sounds like what happens when you use too much baking soda, but it seems unlikely that you would consistently be doing that in different recipes.... Next time you make something with baking soda, try cutting the amount in half and see what happens.


What's Wrong With My Baking Soda? Good Questions
9/3/13 09:30 AM

Definitely agree that it depends on the vegetable and the dish. Frozen peas, almost always yes. Frozen broccoli, almost never. Frozen spinach would be disgusting if it was the highlight of a dish, but if I'm tossing it in a stew or scrambled eggs for some color and nutrients, sure.


5 Ways To Make Frozen Vegetables Suck a Little Less
5/14/13 03:36 PM

Yes! I really love our CSA (the farm is in SW Michigan and we're in Chicago). This will be our 4th season. We go with a half-bushel and it comes out to $12.50/week for 22 weeks. In June there is definitely not a full box and not as much variety, but after that it's pretty good. The last 2 years we also did a separate fruit share, but I decided that wasn't as good a value so we're back to just veggies. I love it though, it has become a way of life.


Are You Joining a Farm CSA This Year?
5/1/13 11:02 PM

i think i get more whiny (whungry?) than hangry when my blood sugar is low. but my mom and sisters are (IN)FAMOUS for their hangry episodes. there was many a meltdown over the years when we took too long to collectively decide on where to go out for dinner, tears would be shed, somebody would refuse to get out of the car ... then as soon as the chips/bread/appetizer came, everyone was friends again. :) that's the one good thing about hanger---so quickly remedied!


A Word to Fear: Hangry! Word of Mouth
9/12/12 01:02 AM

i have exactly one drawer in my entire kitchen in which i can put small kitchen tools (Kitchen Aid mixer and paraphernalia notwithstanding), so i have basically none, and i feel fine about it! BUT, then again ... not a lot of cherry pies happen at my house either. ;]


The Best & Worst Gadgets: America's Test Kitchen's Gadget Guru Tells All
8/23/12 09:25 PM

i've never heard of this! sounds delicious. my favorite grilled cheese variation is sharp cheddar, grilled onions, and tomato jam---kind of similar!


Recipe: South African Cheese, Grilled Onion & Tomato Panini (Braaibroodjie) Recipes From The Kitchn
8/23/12 09:18 PM

i want to like the color combination - i almost do - i like it in theory - but there's just something off and it isn't quite working for me. still, a lovely space!


A Kitchen Not Afraid of Color! Going Bold With Lime and Seafoam Green Kitchen Spotlight
8/22/12 01:00 PM

over a year ago i started something like a news fast (not quite, but similar). after only a few months i decided to make it permanent. i have also sworn off reading comments on news articles forever! i am happier now. :)


Some Good News Weekend Meditation
8/19/12 01:42 PM

wow, you mean to tell me that that first photo *isn't* Betty Draper's kitchen?


How Would You Modernize Betty Draper's 60s Kitchen? Budget Makeover Challenge Reader Intelligence Request
8/18/12 02:32 AM

mm. although i'm from the LA/OC area where decent boba is plentiful, my favorite drink/boba combo is the taro shake at Tank Noodle here in Chicago (Broadway & Argyle!) ... but something tells me it'll be hard to recreate at home. i bet i could come up with a decent Thai iced tea, though (my second fave)!


How to Make Boba & Bubble Tea at Home
8/12/12 12:44 AM

Also, I notice some freezer jam recipes use a ton of sugar, or the sugar doesn't dissolve enough, etc. I just make regular cooked jam and freeze it instead of heat-processing it. It always defrosts perfectly and it still lasts pretty long in my fridge.


Preserving Without Canning: Tips and Tricks for Summer Produce
8/5/12 11:29 PM

I'm a big fan of freezing because it's the least labor-intensive method of preserving, and because (assuming the produce won't be totally destroyed) it stays the most like the fresh version, at least if you're going to cook it. Jams and pickles are good but they're a totally different version of the food at that point.

I have frozen (blanched) corn on the cob with good results. I also freeze hot peppers whole, just cleaned and wrapped in foil, and they're good to go (assuming you're going to chop them; but how often do you need whole jalapenos anyway?). In my experience sweet peppers freeze ok but only if you're going to cook them; when raw and defrosted, they're kind of soggy and sad. Blanched or cooked beans of all kinds also freeze pretty well.


Preserving Without Canning: Tips and Tricks for Summer Produce
8/5/12 11:20 PM

neither of my parents were/are big drinkers, but my dad loves a cold beer on a hot day, and when i was growing up i remember he almost always chose Miller (or occasionally a Corona, with lime and salt). he would give us a tiny sip if we asked for one, and we thought it was disgusting every time! they rarely kept any alcohol in the house at all, though. when i got older i realized that my parents actually did drink wine or cocktails occasionally, but only when they were out somewhere fancy---i.e. out without the kids, so we never saw it. i inherited a similarly laid-back, take-it-or-leave it approach to drinking; it simply doesn't occur to me to keep liquor in the house most of the time. and, i still hate beer!


What Did Your Parents Drink?
My Mother's Manhattan Recipe The 10-Minute Happy Hour

8/3/12 09:05 PM

oh, but one thing Megan T's link does seem to have right is draining the whey from the yogurt, as Lori (the asker) also assumed. or, i suppose, just use Greek yogurt.


How Can I Make Homemade Yogurt Bites? Recipe Questions
7/13/12 04:59 PM

the above link (by megan T) looks yummy, but maybe not so great for a toddler snack what with all the butter and powdered sugar (although some sugar will be necessary of course).

here's the ingredients for Gerber's yogurt melts: CULTURED REDUCED FAT MILK, SUGAR, STRAWBERRY PUREE, NONFAT DRY MILK, TAPIOCA STARCH, GELATIN, NATURAL STRAWBERRY FLAVOR, LACTIC ACID ESTERS OF MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, FRUIT AND VEGETABLE JUICE COLORS, SODIUM ASCORBATE (VITAMIN C), ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), VITAMIN A ACETATE.

so it looks like they use a combination of powdered milk (or protein powder would work perhaps), tapioca starch, and gelatin to thicken the mixture enough. i bet you could play around with those and make your own. or maybe i will, and i'll let you know! :)


How Can I Make Homemade Yogurt Bites? Recipe Questions
7/13/12 04:56 PM