The Lady’s Q&A: From Cheesecake to Cream Cheese

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The Lady’s Q&A: From Cheesecake to Cream Cheese

By Paula Deen

My cheesecake fell into the center and was a mess. What did I do wrong?
By Linda Lagnada

Paula’s Answer: Hey Linda! Thank you so much for your question. I think there are lots of folks that have had this problem and it’s usually a very simple remedy. Usually when a cheesecake falls, it is because too much air has been beaten into the batter. During baking these air bubbles expand, but since there is little or no flour in the recipe to support them they burst when cooling and the center will collapse. To avoid incorporating too much air into the batter, just add the eggs one at a time on the slowest speed possible and scrape both beater and bowl after each addition.

I noticed you like to use hoop cheese in your macaroni and cheese. What is it?
By Homefry

Paula’s Answer: I love your name “Homefry”! So hoop cheese is the only cheese I remember my momma using. It’s a traditional farmers cheese, it’s made by draining the whey from a cottage cheese then placing the curd into a round mold (which is the “hoop” and where its name originates) and pressing it out. Some are aged slightly, but the majority of hoop cheese produced is semi-soft.

When I bake cookies, they sometimes turn out flat. What am I doing wrong?
By Luann Worstell

Paula’s Answer: Hey Luann! Sometimes I like a flat crispy cookie, but only when it’s supposed to bake up that way. Michael on the other hand likes ANY cookie, he doesn’t care whether its flat or tall as long as it ends up in his belly! So, here are a few of my tips for making sure your cookies do not deflate after baking are:
1. Make sure not to overbeat your dough
2. Chill your dough between baking batches
3. Never put cool dough on a hot baking tray. Use two baking trays and allow one to cool while the other one is in the oven.
Good Luck with your future cookies Luann.

Paula,so many recipes call for grated parmesan cheese. Should it be the grated parmesan cheese in the Kraft green boxes or should it be fresh grated parmesan cheese?
By Shirley Havlik

Paula’s Answer: Shirley I always use freshly grated Parmesan cheese every chance I can. I will add when I’m making Parmesan crisps, I do use the Kraft product.

I make my gravy with ‘full on’ fat because I don’t know what it means to ‘skim’ the fat! It would be easy to refrigerate and then remove the fat, but how do I skim off the fat from the drippings when it’s still warm. Thanks for your advice!
By Melody

Paula’s Answer: Hey Melody! Bread is the trick I use when I need to skim fat from anything while it is warm. I just lay a slice a bread over the top and let it soak up the fat! It always does the trick for me in a pinch.

Sometime ago I had read somewhere what to do when to much salt or salt products have been added to soup or stew. thanks - awaiting your reply.
By Phyll

Paula’s Answer: Potatoes Phyll! That’s the ticket. Watch this short video where my son Jamie shows how to save an oversalted dish.

Beside your family what is the one thing in your kitchen you could not live without?
By Patty Grebiner

Paula’s Answer: Patty, as I get older, things become more precious to me. I have only a few things that were my momma’s like her cranberry glass and that means the world to me. But it’s probably the stainless steel spatula that was my Granny Paul’s s that is very precious to me. I use it on my show and it makes me happy to see it on the screen. It makes me even happier to feel it in my hand –not to mention it sure flips a pancake well!

I am allergic to cream cheese. Many desert recipes call for cream cheese (red velvet cake, carrot cake, etc). Is there a substitute I can use for cream cheese or can you recommend a different type of frosting?
By Julia Young

Paula’s Answer: Julia, a simple buttercream frosting would also be wonderful on a red velvet cake or carrot cake. If you can, add a bit of sour cream or yogurt for a little zing.

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Reader Comments:


Hi Paula, Love making your gooey butter cakes but with the change in size to all the cake mixes now, I'm not sure how to alter the recipie so it turns out like it always does. Do I add the extra 2 or so ounces that are missing and would I add anything else like baking powder? Thanks for your help!!

By Kelly T on December 24, 2012


Dear Paula love your shows,only cooking show that I watch but I can't miss them!But why do you not ever talk about your other grandchildren just Jack? I have 5 grandsons & 1 granddaughter,1 great grandson and 1 great granddaughter that we are very lucky that she is alive and here with us.Her mother was just 23 weeks along with her.She is doing great now but it was was really scary for a while.Love you and your shows!

By Nola on July 23, 2012


dear Paula you look just beautiful on the cover of your article I absolutly love your hair cut. It is always styled so nicely cudo's to your hair dresser.Does she or he ever come to conn.? I would love love love to have a nice hair cut just like yours. thank you, Michelle

By Michelle on January 17, 2012


Dear Paula, I have a dilema. I love to bake, especially around the holidays, I make alot of cheesecakes, but I have a problem, I always bake my cheesecakes in a water bath, I use thick foil, but every time I give them a water bath, the bottom of the cheesecake still gets soggy! Is it something I am doing or is it just from the condensation? How do I prevent this in the future? Thanks for all of your help!! BTW, I use alot of your recipe's, my family thinks I am a magic chef or something! LOL! Can't wait to hear from you! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!=0)

By Dawn Piche' on December 08, 2011


Does the pumpkin gooey butter cake need to be refrigerated if made the day before it's needed

By Anonymous on November 23, 2011


My mother-in-law recently gave me her cast iron tortilla skillet that has been in the family for many years. It has definately seen better days. It has some rust and needs a good cleaning. My question is how do I clean it, and can it be saved? Thank you so much for your advice. Jonna

By Jonna Rehm on October 13, 2011



By REN PRICKETT on September 12, 2011



By JOSE ALONSO on August 29, 2011


Paula, My husband and I were in Savannah for a dream vacation that we had saved for years for. We ate at your restaurant and Uncle Bubba's and really enjoyed the city ad all of it's beauty. We were disapointed that we did not get to run into any of you, but I'm sure that you would get mobbed if you were out and about. We loved it so much that we will return someday. We have to get my husband a new Michael coffee mug as the writing on his came off in the dishwasher. I guess that's a good enough reason to make the return trip, don't you?

By Debra Dinehart on May 13, 2011


I am looking for a recipe for a cream cheese cake. The cake I have had has a yellow cake made from scratch and then a cream cheese icing, but I can't get the recipe, I sure hope you can help me. Thank you.

By Michelle Sparks on April 25, 2011


can you share with me your cheesecake receipe, also do you have any kids snacks that i can do with my two children. but my daughter doesn't like any chocolate. but my three year old son loves everything. i am a big fan of yours paula i watch you twice a day, when i get a chance. i just record your show for the week. then i watch, it when my children go to sleep. keep up the good work paula. hay paula are you coming out with any new receipes on the show. thank you sincerely yours, rosemarie from the bronx, ny.

By rosemarie on April 23, 2011


I am trying to find the baking mix recipe you had on one of your shows when you had the contest in baking the chesee biscuits thanks

By sheree dangerfield on April 22, 2011


Paula I sent a question on your contact web site of the picture of you and the boys and have never gotten an answer back so will ask her and hope to hear from you. I was born on may 16, 1947 and all my live was told to never eat pork lamb or fish if it is not cooked fully, and now all the cooks on foodnetwork show and eat these meats with pink in the centers, why is it ok today?

By myron m. craig sr. on April 21, 2011


Paula, Have to tell you I watched the show where you did tomato's and okra together. I almost cried. My Mama and Grandmothers used to make them only they never put bacon in them. Any time I mention them to some one they look at me like I am crazy, so it is nice to see someone else in the world knows what I am talking about. Now for the question. You know growing up watching Mama cook I have learned her way. Well her way on any type of meat was done. No pink, or red any where in it. My husband likes his steaks rare to medium rare. How do I do it? How do I tell what the different stages are? Can you help me with this? And by the way I love your show. Thank you Paula

By Anita on April 20, 2011


I've seen various recipes for red velvet cake and a couple of them say that you can't double the recipe because it won't work. What is it about the recipe that won't allow for it to be enlarged? I was looking for a recipe that would allow for multiple cakes or for full slab (16 x 24) cakes. can you help?

By Kathy Brown on April 15, 2011


Hi Paula: I was wondering if you could tell me, when a recipe call for butter is it suppose to be unsalted or salted. Thanks for you help Debbie

By Debbie Smit on April 15, 2011


My Granny used to make a jello salad that had crushed pineapple, nuts (I think chopped walnuts or pecans), a light green fluffy but firm jello-type base and mini marshmallows in it. She died in 1985, but recently I've tried to search for this recipe. I can't find it. Help! Thanks, Paula. By tdiraimo on April 05, 2011 hey Tdiraimo. I think you are talking about the classic watergate salad. i am not sure if this post will be allowed cause it is not a Paula Deen original. It comes from a big food company. Google watergate salad for the classic recipie and yes it is easy and good

By rochelle caldwell on April 13, 2011


I have many little grandkids and because I only had 2 kids, it has been difficult figuring out how to get meals prepared and still spend time with adults and children. I end up spending all the time in the kitchen and I am a messy cook, so less to prepare is better. One night I made a baked potato bar and salad and that was it !! IT WORKED and everyone was happy. I need more of that type of menus. Any suggestions.

By Linda on April 13, 2011


yes i look all over for your blue berry muffin mix. where can i buy it judy

By judy morton on April 13, 2011


Hello, My brother and I attended Isle of Hope awhile ago. Our favorite dish there was the Savannah red rice and sausage. I've searched the internet for a recipe close to theirs,unfortunately Cajun style is all I find. Would you have that recipe? Thank you.

By connie russell on April 12, 2011

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