Question: I'm looking for baking parchment cut the size of a baking sheet. I can get it by the roll, but that's not as handy to use. Any suggestions?
Answer: Williams-Sonoma carries silicone-treated French baking paper in 16-1/2x13-inch sheets. They come 10 sheets to a package for $2 and are reusable at temperatures below 470 degrees.
Q: I am going to be making a princess cake and need to know where I can buy two items: potato flour and almond paste.
A: Both items are generally available in supermarkets. Look for potato flour in the Jewish foods section, almond paste with the specialty or gourmet foods.
Q: My brother loves poppy seed cake. The recipe I use calls for half a cup of poppy seeds. I've looked and looked for a store that carries them in large quantities, but to no avail--I can only find small containers, containing two to three ounces. Please help.
A: Most health food stores we contacted carried poppy seeds in larger quantities. Erewhon Natural Foods, 8001 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, sells the seeds in bulk. Bezjian's Grocery Inc., 4725 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, has half-pound packages.
Q: In response to a question in your column recently you stated that lemon zest is fine strands of the outer layer of the lemon peel. Does this differ from grated lemon peel only in that the grated peel is finer?
A: Lemon zest is actually finer than grated lemon peel. Zest strands are also longer than those produced by most graters.
Q: I was wondering if artificial sweeteners can be used in place of sugar in baking.
A: We receive many such inquiries from people on restricted diets. Unfortunately, these ingredients are not interchangeable--their chemical properties differ, a critical factor in baking. Many of the companies producing artificial sweeteners offer recipe booklets using their products. Check packages for information on obtaining these materials.
Q: I am interested in the nutritional properties of feta cheese--fat and protein content, as well as calorie count.
A: According to the Pillsbury-Honeywell Nutrition Analysis System, one ounce of feta cheese contains 268 calories, 14 grams protein, 4 grams carbohydrate, 21 grams fat, 1,129 milligrams sodium, 64 milligrams potassium, 500 milligrams calcium and 343 milligrams phosphorus.
Q: I have a dwarf lemon tree in my back yard, which did not produce one lemon in the last four years. Now it has run amok. I have supplied my neighbors, relatives and friends and it is still producing. Can you freeze lemons?
A: Divide and conquer, that's the key. Grated lemon peel, hollowed out shells and lemon juice all freeze beautifully, but freezing whole lemons will explode the cells and the thawed fruit will be too soft, says a representative for Sunkist Growers.
Since lemon juice is typically used in small amounts, Sunkist suggests freezing one or two tablespoon amounts of juice in ice cube trays. Once hardened, remove from the trays, place in a plastic bag and keep frozen until needed.