Recently Submitted Questions
Welcome to the Kitchen Shrink, where you email me with your culinary questions and I do my best to answer them.
Frosting: Why soda in caramel frosting?
I recently got an e-mail from Dean asking why some recipes for cooked Caramel Frosting (the kind without confectioners’ sugar, also called Caramel Fudge Frosting) call for baking soda and some don’t and wondering, “What... read answer »
Biscuits: How can you make your own biscuit mix?
Sharon e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink to find out how to make homemade biscuit mix. You will find a number of recipes on line for a homemade substitute for commercial biscuit mix but you can actually... read answer »
Pantry: What should you have in a well-stocked pantry?
I frequently get e-mails asking which items are essential when stocking your pantry. Here is my list. I am loosely defining the pantry as things you should keep on hand–not only in your cupboard (the... read answer »
Meringue: How to make a hard meringue pie crust.
Jane e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink for help making a hard meringue crust for her chocolate pie. She said, “As much as I whip it up, it shrinks while baking. What can I do to keep... read answer »
Wedding reception: How can you plan a special yet affordable wedding reception menu?
Last week I received an e-mail from the mother of a bride asking for help planning the menu for her daughter’s wedding reception. She wanted the meal to be one that everyone would enjoy but... read answer »
Brussels Sprouts: What is the best way to cook Brussels Sprouts?
Theresa e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that the Brussels sprouts in the market look especially good this year but she doesn’t know how to cook them so that her family will like them.
Too many people have... read answer »
Grains: Which grains contain gluten?
Gluten is the name for the protein in grains. All grains contain protein that is theoretically gluten but people with celiac disease and most other gluten allergies only react to the form of gluten found... read answer »
Food Safety: Is the food coloring in Red Velvet Cake safe?
I recently got an e-mail from Alberta saying, “Years ago there was a warning about using too much of a red food dye (#4 if I remember correctly). I never made red velvet cake for... read answer »
Cheese: Fresh or processed mozzarella?
I recently got a question from Frank who wanted to make fried mozzarella cubes that are light, smooth, and stretchy “like eating a toasted marshmallow” rather than heavy and chewy. I told him that the... read answer »
Pumpkins: How do you cook a pumpkin?
Pumpkins can be peeled, cubed, and boiled or steamed, but because they are very hard to cut when they are raw and very easy to handle once they are cooked, my favorite way to cook... read answer »