Tag Archives: need advice

Looking for cooking help!

Readers, I need your help! I’ve got some ingredients in the fridge and no idea how to use them! I’m looking for a way to use butternut squash (I’ve got one that’s about 1 3/4 pounds), one medium zucchini (about 7 oz), and carrots (I’ve got just over 1 3/4 pounds). If you can find some way to incorporate 1 1/2 pounds of little red potatoes (they’re about 3/4″ diameter), so much the better.

Assume I’ve got a lot of the basics like onions, garlic, ginger, canned tomatoes, pasta sauce, rice, spices, etc. I can pick up what I don’t have. Meat is fine — I’m not a vegetarian.

Thanks, everyone!

Lemon-cranberry scones

Cranberries are in season. This was made abundantly clear to me at the Jean Talon Market this weekend, when a friend and I picked up quite a few of them. She had a lemon-cranberry scone recipe she said was delicious, so I decided to try them out.

Understand that I very rarely use my food processor, because I absolutely hate cleaning it. It’s not particularly well-designed to be cleaned without a dishwasher, and I don’t have one. But this recipe needed it, so down from the shelf it came.

I prepped everything ahead of time except the butter, and it’s a good thing too. Zesting the lemon (with a microplane grater, not a vegetable peeler) took long enough. Trying to chop the cranberries using only a knife took even longer. (I eventually settled on cutting them all in half and then doing the “collect and chop” method. If anyone knows a better way, PLEASE tell me!) In the end, though, everything was ready.

I took the butter out of the fridge and used a knife-and-fork combo to cut it into little pieces. Well, sort of little. In any case, I was working quickly because I know that for scones, you’re supposed to keep the butter cold. Pulsed it all until it looked mealy. There were still large pieces of butter in it. I was told that this is okay.

Poured in the cranberries, then the egg-and-cream combo. (Today’s cream: 15% country-style cream. No idea if this is what the recipe meant.) Floured my counter. Floured my hands. Dumped the whole thing onto the counter. Realized my version of “well floured” is not quite the same as the recipe’s version of “well floured.” Floured my hands again.

In the end, got everything onto the cookie sheet, with four left over. (Sigh.) I was using the rim of my glass, which is about 2 3/4″ instead of the 2″ called for by the recipe. My cooking time was about 22 minutes, because my scones were a bit big. (Or maybe I was paranoid.)

And the final verdict is… very tasty! It managed to come out okay, despite any mangling on my part. D&D people, there will be scones tonight!

Semi-related question: Cooking friends, I’m looking for something to do with the juice of two lemons and about a cup and a quarter of cranberries. (Either together or separately.) Any ideas?

Cooking-related question

How the heck do you rinse red lentils? I’ve got a ton of teeny-tiny, split and shelled red lentils. But I don’t own a strainer, just a colander, and they fall through the holes. So how they heck do I rinse them before cooking? I tried using just a bowl and my hand, but some of them slid through my fingers. I even stooped so low as to use a coffee filter, and boy was THAT a mistake.

So… help, please? How do you rinse them, or do they even need to be rinsed at all?