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?
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!
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.
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.