ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers About Food, Recipes, & Cooking, #61

Updated on February 2, 2019
Carb Diva profile image

Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes one ingredient at a time.

Let's Have Some Fun

For those of you who are first-time visitors, let me explain how this series works. Each week I receive questions about food ingredients, cooking or baking terms or methods, requests for recipes, and queries about nutrition. Just about anything food-related has been covered here.

I'm sharing this past week's questions and my responses; it happens every Monday. Want to join in the fun? You can leave your question in the comments below, and next week the answer will be right here. It's that easy.

Before we get started I would like to share a bit of inspiration with you.

I'm Feeling Poetic

Several of my fellow Hubbers have been sharing their poetry. I love a challenge, and so here is my food-related offering.

How to Soften Butter for Baking

I wanted to bake some cookies and forgot to take the butter out of the refrigerator. It was hard as a rock, so I zapped it in the microwave. The cookies didn't hold their shape and spread all over the cookie sheet. Was the microwave the culprit?


I've been guilty of this. I want to bake cookies or a cake, but I forgot to take the butter out of the refrigerator (or worse yet, the freezer). It will take forever for it to warm to room temperature.

So, what do you do? Using the microwave is never a good option. The heating is inconsistent, with one side remaining solid while the other side is a molten pool of goo. Here are three methods for quickly softening that stick of oleo:

  • Cut the butter into pats (1/2-inch to 1-inch thick). They should be soft enough for baking in about 10 minutes.
  • Shred the amount of butter needed for your recipe on the largest holes of a cheese grater.
  • Find a drinking glass, coffee mug, or small bowl that will fit over the butter. Fill it with boiling water. After 2 minutes, dump out the water, wipe dry, and invert the glass/mug/bowl over the butter. The residual heat will soften the butter in minutes.

Boiling, Simmering, What's the Difference?

"What’s the difference between a boil, a rolling boil, and a simmer?"

This one's easy. Imagine that your pot of water is a hot tub and the bubbles are (scantily clad, highly attractive) people. A simmer is when the water is warm and the bubbles are just hanging out around the sides of the tub. A boil is when the water is so hot that people are just can't sit still. They keep moving around. A rolling boil is when the people are leaping out of the tub for fear of being scalded. (Sorry if that's too graphic).


Kielbasa and Cabbage Soup


  • 4 cups cabbage, shredded

  • 2 cups russet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion

  • 1 cup diced carrot

  • 1 pound kielbasa or smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices

  • 12 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 14 teaspoon caraway seed

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

  • 4 cups beef broth

  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Place cabbage, potato, onion, carrot, kielbasa, and seasonings in crock pot. Pour broth over all. Add bay leaf. Cover and simmer on low 8-10 hours or on high 5-6 hours.

A Compilation

I have created a Table of Contents for this series. The link is here.

Are You Ready?


Christmas is less than a month away. Remember, Santa knows if you've been naughty or nice. Be nice and drop me a line. You can leave your questions below, or write to me at

See you next Monday!

© 2018 Linda Lum


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)