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This Week's Question

A few months ago you were featured in Parade Magazine. The very last thing you mentioned in the article was your favorite comfort food...oatmeal with butter & maple syrup. I would love to know how you make it!

From Jackie Wise - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I make my oatmeal in my microwave - it's so easy! I put 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats (I like McCann's) in a bowl, add 1 cup of water, then microwave it on high for 4 minutes. I add a pinch of salt, a splash of milk, a little bit of butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup, and stir it all in. My favorite breakfast! 

I notice that you almost always use chicken breasts with the skin on. What is your reasoning? Does it keep the meat juicier? I tend to not eat the skin. Will the chicken taste as delicious without it?

From Dawn - Colorado Springs, CO

For the most part, I always cook chicken with the skin on. I find it makes the meat much more tender and moist. Even if you're going to remove the skin after cooking, I would recommend you roast the chicken skin-on and then remove the skin. 

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I made your Perfect Roast Chicken. The chicken was a bit dry and all of the vegetables were completely charred! What did I do wrong???

From Susan Templeton - Canyon Lake, CA

First, I would use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temperature is accurate. (You can buy them at any hardware store!) Second, you don’t want to roast the chicken in a pan that's too big. The pan should be just big enough to hold the chicken and vegetables snugly, or it’s true, the vegetables will burn. I hope that helps!

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I want to make your Morning Glory Muffins. In your recipe you say to use a box grater to shred the carrots and apple. I don't have a box grater anymore- may I use my electric shredder instead?

From Becky - Grand Rapids, MI

I use a box grater because it makes the carrots a lot less wet than grating them in the food processor does. If you use a food processor or other electric appliance instead, I would lay the carrots out on a towel dry them afterwards so you don't end up adding extra moisture to the batter. 

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What size cast iron skillets do you use for your individual brownie skillet dessert? Thank you.

From Barbara Kemppainen - Michigan

The skillets I use measure 5 inches across on the top, 3½ inches across the bottom, and 1 inch deep. 

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We would love to know what sheet pans you use, and how often you replace them. They are always so sparkling and clean, and food never sticks to them. Ours have gotten really dirty and stained, even though we always use aluminum foil, which we see that you never use.

From Rochelle - New York, NY

I use aluminum sheet pans that you can buy at any cookware store. If any food is baked on after I use them, I put them in the sink with the hottest tap water and soap and let them soak overnight. The next morning they should come out perfectly clean, using a Brillo pad if necessary. 

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