Reader Questions: Your Kitchen Dilemmas, Solved

Gentle Readers, hopefully you’re busily slathering on SPF and not actually reading this, or at the very least you’re joining me after a day full of red, white, and blue food. Regardless, we shall endeavor to answer 3 reader questions. Here we go, in no particular order.

July 4th Cupcakes (not made by me, definitely from a box)

July 4th Cupcakes (not made by me, definitely from a box)

1. Can you cook a large batch of grits in advance?

Yes, but only as baked grits. Unfortunately, grits change texture as they sit, so large or small batch, if you’re looking for the traditional grits texture we all know and love (sorry, moment of personal reverie there), you have to make them and serve them in fairly short order. The good people of Waffle House can keep the pot going, but they have magical powers.

Baked grits, particularly baked cheese grits, are a great alternative. They can be made in advance, portioned evenly to serve a crowd, and reheated with ease. I don’t have a favorite recipe for this, so I’m heading into the test kitchen to work on one. Great question, thank you for asking!

Breakfast for Dinner: I almost forgot, I bought more grits too.

Breakfast for Dinner: Featuring grits!

2. Are brownies from a box delicious?

This one’s easy: Yes. Admittedly, if I can only choose a handful of desserts to eat forever, brownies would be on the short list. Brownie box mixes are easily doctored (buy the plainest one, and add your own mix-ins). Ideas include: chopped up leftover candy (there’s always some around the house), toasted nuts, a spoonful or so of strong brewed coffee, a teaspoon of cocoa powder, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, coconut and toasted almonds, melted peanut butter swirled in, and I digress. I’m in a bit of a dream state right now.

Can these brownies be saved?

Can these brownies be saved? (Yes, but not for long!)

3. Should I get a new grill?

I’m wrestling with this one myself. I have had a gas grill for years, but I find the maintenance and upkeep to be painful. The ease of use is great, but I’m thinking it may be time to jump to the less expensive and simpler piece of equipment, the charcoal grill. In my former life, I had the benefit of assisting with a grilling community site, and when I purchase, it will be a simple Weber kettle grill.

Signs you need a new grill: yours is sputtering or otherwise shooting off more fireworks than a professional display, there are holes in it, chunks of your grill drop into your food while grilling.

Pork Barbecue (as if there's more than one in NC) Sandwich from Pik-N-Pig, Winner!

Pork Barbecue (as if there’s more than one in NC) Sandwich from Pik-N-Pig, Winner!

What are you cooking up for the 4th? Post a comment below! And as always, please feel free to email, Tweet, or post a comment with any and all questions.

Send your red, white, and blue foods to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up on Friday, Mayo Controversy: Duke’s vs Hellmann’s (Miracle Whip need not apply).

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2 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy

2 responses to “Reader Questions: Your Kitchen Dilemmas, Solved

  1. Holden

    Yes bits of grill in the ribs would indicate a need for a new grill :)

    • The Practical Cook

      LOL! It’s just one of those clear-cut signs. I’m reinspired after having some amazing grilled chicken last night!

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