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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! 

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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Ina, I know you consider yourself a person who prefers to measure ingredients. Is there a reason you don't weigh ingredients, especially sensitive ones like flour?

From Nancy - Akron, Ohio

Weighing ingredients is the most precise way to measure, but because I know many people do not have kitchen scales, I always use measuring cups to make sure the recipe works without a kitchen scale.  

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Your Cauliflower Toasts recipe calls for “country-style“ bread ...What exactly is that?

From Carol Haggas - Davidson, North Carolina

Any freshly baked crusty round bread, sometimes called a 'boule', will work. 

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Ina, I made your Crispy Mustard Chicken & Frisee recipe. Flavor hit all the marks however the skin on the chicken looked and tasted rubbery and uncooked. The meat was the perfect doneness, just not the skin. What did I do wrong?

From Barbara Walter - Greenbrae, CA

While I can't be one hundred percent sure why this is happening, I have a feeling it may have to do with the chicken breasts you're using.  They seem to be getting bigger and bigger and more watery. I like Bell & Evans brand, but whatever brand you use, look for breasts that aren't too huge. 

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Ina