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Sherman Oaks, CA, US

Recent Reviews

Re:Rhubarb Brown Sugar Crumble

Scrumptuous! For my first rendition, I opted to add 1/2 cup granulated sugar to the filling....(thank you, other reviewers). It was just the best crumble ever, and it still had a "sweet/tart" lilt, even with the amped sugar. Very difficult to do (cuz it looks so inviting), but I feel important, to let the cobbler cool for that hour. I actually cooled it for 2, and it was slightly warm, and a stunning dessert.Cheers,Jeff

Posted: 09:54 am on April 21st 2011

Re:Slow-Cooked Pot Roast with Mustard & Horseradish Gravy

An absolute winner! I made this for my in laws last night. My idea was to mimic a Pot roast entree as served at a pricey and chic L.A. restaurant. My rendition blew the restaurant version out of the water...so tender and flavorful. I cooked the dish a day in advance, chilling the meat overnight, and separately chilling the juices which I had strained. The next day, it was easy to slice the meat against the grain, and remove any residual parts that I would not want to eat. As for the juices, every bit of fat solidified at the top, and it was easy to discard, before proceeding with the gravy. I laid slices of the meat, carrot and onion into a casserole. To reheat the dish, I poured the gravy over all, covered the dish with foil, and heated the dish in the oven. Not only was this entree delicious, but it was a way to "wow" company economically!Cheers,Jeff

Posted: 12:11 pm on March 5th 2011

Re:Chocolate French Toast

Deeelishuhs! I have been searching for too long, trying to come up with a wonderful Chocolate French Toast....now I know that I don't have to start with a chocolate bread! Instead of Challah, I used what I had on hand, namely 4 slices of a bread labeled as "Texas toast"...I think it's the Van de Kamps brand. Kinda like the "Princess and the pea", I am very sensitive to cocoa when it is too prevalent...the one ounce of cocoa (28.35g.) was fine, but perhaps I felt a teeny tiny aftertaste of bitterness for a while, after this enjoyable Sunday breakfast. Next time I will use 24 grams of cocoa. I'm also planning on strewing toasted coconut, chopped toasted almonds, and my home made coconut syrup on this fabulous treat for the next time I make it. Oh, I forgot to mention that I'd assembled the entire dish and let it chill overnight in the fridge, before the griddling.Cheers,Jeff

Posted: 12:24 pm on February 14th 2011

Re:Banana Split Brownies

After my second Nicole Rees recipe, I am hooked on this gal, and "Baking Unplugged" is on it's way to our home! First her Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, and now these brownies. They were stunning. I had a huge day of cooking yesterday, and when it was time to serve these brownies, I realized I'd forgotten to do the Marshmallow and Almond topping. It mattered not, and as it turns out, this is how I will prepare them from here on in. We got the banana lilt in the brownie, and believe it or not, even in the ganache topping! Moist, fudgy, and simply ummmazing. Thank you Fine Cooking for introducing us to Nicole.P.S.My only tweak from the recipe as written had to do with the banana itself. A banana bread recipe that I make has you take 5 bananas and microwave to a point where clear liquid separates from the bananas. Then you reduce the separated liquid for upping the banana flavor. Well, I tried doing this with a single banana. Not much liquid formed, so I just mashed it all together. My long winded point is that I cooked the banana first before mashing. Obviously this did not hurt the recipe whatsoever, and I'll probably do this every time.Cheers,Jeff

Posted: 11:28 am on February 11th 2011

Re:Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie

This pie was a stunner! Instead of the coffee adding a distinct flavor, it was more like an "umami" characteristic, if such a statement can be made about a dessert. While eating the pie, our dinner table became hushed and the only sounds were of contentment, as if we were all babies, grunting with pleasure. I think it's time to learn if Nicole Rees has dessert books out there, cuz she definitely knows her stuff. As a pretty prolific pie baker myself, I did some slight tweaking regarding the baking technique. I used an "un" baked all butter deep dish pie dough, and on the 2nd. from bottom oven rack, I baked the pie at 325 for approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes. Utterly ummmazing pie!Cheers all,Jeff

Posted: 12:49 pm on February 5th 2011

Re:Green Olive Spread

Add me to the "happy campers" from this unusual emulsion based spread. I loved Pielove's directive of "half a pencil thin" flow of the oil while making this recipe. I used my immersion blender and the results were delicious. The only caveat from such a rich spread is not to pile it too high onto the crostinis. So flavorful and delicious!Cheers,Jeff

Posted: 11:31 am on January 22nd 2011

Re:Baked Brown Rice Pudding

Happy here, to be the first reviewer of a recipe that is going to be made over and over again at Camp Jeff and Owen! I was early for an appointment and did what I like to do on my smart phone, namely hang out at Fine Cooking. This is where I found the recipe for Baked Brown Rice Pudding. For me an Abigail Johnson Dodge recipe is always worth checking out, as this woman really knows her stuff. This recipe proved it. So delicious and creamy, and nutty from the texture of the brown rice. I used an 8" square glass 2 quart dish, and found 90 minutes of baking at 300 to be the perfect timing...the recipe gives you 90-120 minutes for the timing. Two slices were eaten last night after having cooled from the oven. Tonight's final slices will have us seeing the difference of room temp, versus chilled. Definitely do not skip the crunchy, toasty, and slightly sweetened walnut topping. Simply ummmazing!Cheers all,Jeff

Posted: 03:59 pm on January 6th 2011

Re:Yogurt Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

This recipe was one of the very rare times that a Fine Cooking recipe disappointed. Who could argue about the frosting? It was lush and wonderful. The cake came out picture perfect in appearance, and I would be lying if I said that it was not moist. That being said, the texture was a little bizarre for me....not cake like at all. It had a "chew" as opposed to an open crumb, and I'm guessing that it was because of the extra liquid from the 1 1/2 cups yogurt, and the third egg to tighten up the batter in baking. No worries, as I have a slew of Fine Cooking recipes to try.Cheers,Jeff

Posted: 09:57 am on November 17th 2010

Re:Real Chocolate Mousse

I've been WAY more than "around the block" when it comes to preparing mousses. Fine Cooking is an awesome magazine, but this particular mousse had a noticeably "grainy" quality. Subbing the butter for egg yolks sounded interesting enough for me to want to try this rendition, but by me---it didn't work!

Posted: 07:16 pm on February 18th 2009

Re:Pecan Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I've been baking and cooking since my age was "single digit". Years ago, I remember a pineapple upside down cake recipe in an old McCalls cookbook. At the age of 9 I thought this dessert sounded so fancy and unique. Well, at the age of 52 I made my very first version, from Fine Cooking. It was last nights dessert, and this morning's breakfast! We loved it. The nutmeg and ground toasted pecans gave this cake wonderful flavor and texture. My only deviation was to use slices of well drained pineapple rings from the can.

Posted: 11:07 am on May 5th 2008