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Everything posted by NVNVGirl

  1. NVNVGirl


    Thanks fifi! I'll try them tonite and report back on how they turned out and details of what I did., but I'm thinking I'll pretty much stick to your ideas and see how it goes! OH no....Now I'm going to have to check out the Larb thread too, LOL....and I've been trying to avoid it
  2. NVNVGirl


    OK...that sounds good to me! How much time do you think? I mean like what oven temp and how many hours....I can tell you I probably have like maybe 2, possibly 3 cups of liquid ....I'm not actually asking for a time, but maybe more of a "look" to the product that I have in the oven once its cooking. So I don't have to be concerned with turning it over??? I hate to belabor this, but my husband is home only on the weekend and we usually go out, so I try to make as small catastrophes as possible when I do cook! I do appreciate your help! Seana " "
  3. Oh geesh....Jason! I have so many recipes that include pumpkin seeds...I think I bought mine at Trader Joes *that i didn't prepare myself*...I've made dips and I recently made some pumpkin bread and some muffins with them...I know I've used them for other things too...I'll look up my recipes and post them....they really do make for a little differnent taste and texture than other nuts in things. I think my exclamative at the begining was because I'm shocked that YOU haven't been using them for years, LOL..you and Rachel are my mentors! Where is the best place to post the recipes....here or in the recipegullet? And believe me when I say...I am not a huge fan of pumpkin or the seeds, so if I post a recipe, its something that I REALLY enjoy! Seana
  4. NVNVGirl


    Well, I FINALLY did the carnitas....or ALMOST did them! Dh decided to stay over in LA till this morning I had put the pork into the crockpot (I'm not exactly sure WHY I did this since I was going to be home all day anyhow, but I guess I thought it would be fun to use the crockpot and pretend like I was going to work or something )..anyhow, dh called me right around the time I was going to take it out and crisp it in the oven, so I turned it off and let it cool and then put the whole thing into the fridge. It's still in the liquid (tequila, lime, orange juices, etc) that it cooked in. I'm hoping I can finish cooking it tomorrow nite....does anyone have any suggestions as how I should proceed? The meat is perfectly cooked and pulls apart now....I was thinking maybe of putting it into a pan on the stove and cooking the liquid away and then putting it into the oven to crisp. But I'm not sure if that will dry the meat out too much. Or if it's even safe to do that. Any thoughts? BTW, Jaymes~ now I see why you don't make the corn pudding for yourself....I used your recipe and I've eaten my "half" of it, LOL....it's DELICIOUS! Also made the pico de gallo con aguacate, however, I suppose I'll have to do it over again tomorrow evening...maybe I'd better go make a taco or something now tho
  5. Marlene~ I've got the same type of ovens...I've only used the convection on it once with not the best results...do you have any "tips" for using it? I have to admit, I really don't understand it and the book that came with it isn't very helpful IMO....I would be interested esp. in cooking roasts in it, if it works better...in particular a prime rib roast for Christmas. I've got a GE Monogram. I've had it for 4 yrs and I really think it's time I figured it out! I'd be thankful for any pearls of wisdom you could share
  6. I feel like I've gained an incredible amount of knowledge about so many things here! From how to cook and what to cook, to where to eat and how to behave I've learned that there are people out there in cyberspace that are not only amazingly cerebral, but FUN and funny. And that my curiosity and interest in not merely throwing food together, but making it most of the time, a celebration of life and community (even if it's just yourself or one other person) isn't obsession....it's passion and pure joy. And I've learned that those people are so generous with their knowledge and talent. I've learned that most people are caring and respectful toward other cultures and adventurous enough to try things "their way" at least once. I love that. I am amazed on a daily basis when I log on here at the depth and breadth of interesting discourse that doesn't involve world politics, religion, or sports, but is still for the most part, pertinent to everyone. I have a deep respect for so many of you here. I learn something wonderful everytime I come to eGullet!
  7. OK...I'm going to go out on a limb here....back in the day (like before I was married 6 yrs ago) I would have had NO problem doing it....however, my dh has made me see the error of my ways. Maybe lots of people DO do it and have no problems....but in my older and hopefully, wiser years.....I think it's always better to be safe than sorry. I would think about what could possibly happen if things didnt' go uneventfully as planned, and how I'd feel. I just don't think anything to eat is as important as my home, my pets and my life, and there's just too many stories out there to prove it. Even with a very low flame, there are too many things around the stove and that area that can overheat and catch fire. And esp. if your gf thinks there's a smell of gas already....I just wouldn't take the chance. What about a crockpot?....maybe that's dumb, but I don't even leave the house with the clothes dryer going anymore....I like coming back to my house just the way I left it! Whatever you do, please be safe...your life and your gf's life is much more valuable than any stock!
  8. These are my choices~ I'm taking into consideration what I would like if I were there, and what I have found that people seem to like that aren't terribly adventurous: Cold Hor's d'oeuvres Lobster salad in Phyllo Salmon, scallop and cucumber ceviche (I know some people don't like fish at all,but these both sound so great, how can you resist?) Hot Hor's Candied almond and brie tartlettes Bacon wrapped oyster....now, I know lots of people are afraid to eat oysters, but I love them! Veggies Glazed carrots Lyonnaise potatoes Beef Prime Rib Pasta Tortellini Alfredo Salads Tomato Provolone Mandarin almond greens Desserts Cheese Tray Crepes Hmmmm...now that I look at it, it looks so unadventurous, but it all sounds so good, I know I'd love to be there! I can't wait to hear your choices!
  9. OH yippee! Love, love love seeing menus! Especially when working with caterers....I learn so much! Looking forward to it!
  10. And is on top at epicurious.com! Check it out! Very nice review and many congratulations Suvir! I am honored to be in such revered company!
  11. Marlene! Everything looks beautiful! The devils food cake....did you make that from scratch or what? It's so delicious and dark looking! I am hoping you will continue this thread, as I also am starting off my entertaining season and entertain like you do...this is the nice time of year and everyone wants to come for the warm weather. It's great to see new and different ideas, as there is more than one way to skin a cat, but even so......I seem to get tired of doing the same things all the time (since dh and I are ALWAYS invited to all of our parties, hehehe). I just finished having my mother here for a week, and if I weren't so exhausted, I"d post our meals....but will have to save that for another computer seating! Thanks for the inspiration!
  12. Wow....now, that's right up my alley! I love pineapple and I live in the date capitol at the moment! Thanks for the idea!
  13. I am with the faction that loves the Waldorf..however, since I didnt' grow up with it and couldn't care less how it originated, in addition to being allergic to walnuts, I have used dried cherries that I've soaked in hot water, but have been thinking about soaking in some sort of spirits...just haven't figured out what yet. I also have used spicy pecans in it. I don't think it's too hard to find the original version of the Waldorf for all the purists out there...I thought you were asking for variations on a theme Yeah, it's good the way God intended it ....but it's always fun to expand horizons I've used dried cranberries, but I prefer the dried cherries....and marshmallows???? hmmmm......I'd rather have some icecream or something after dinner, hehehehe. I'm enjoying seeing everyone else's additions!
  14. You must know my aunt Judi...she worked in the retail shop ...lives in Hawaii now?
  15. Liz~ your furniture is exquisite! And what a great use for it! Our home has a dedicated bar that is part of the living room, or just off the living room...lots of cabinets, drawers, a wine fridge and regular refrig/freezer and icemaker....and that's b/c we're dedicated drinkers And it's got a great view of the mountains and golf course; we spend a LOT of time there
  16. How frightening! Prayers for your friends that they will all be found safe and sound coming from the S. CA desert.
  17. I love making stuffed chicken breasts! I have found a few things that really help: 1. When you are pounding them, either put in between plastic wrap or ziplock bags (my preference) that has been sprinkled with a little water. Supposedly, this helps the plastic not break. 2. I use a wooden mallet to pound chicken breasts....if you pound them too hard or too much, they become mush. 3. I think making a pocket in the breasts works best actually.....I cut a slit halfway through, and then widen the slit on the inside with a sharp knife so that most of the breast is "fillable", but not too much of a slit in the front that will have to be closed. 4. I always refrigerate the breasts after stuffing and before cooking for at least 30 minutes. It helps the breading to adhere and stay adhered to the chicken. 5. Pay attention and don't overcook them....they cook quickly. I prefer to use the pocket method b/c it's simpler to stuff them...rather than spreading the mixture onto a semi-slimy thin breast piece, you only have to stuff the mixture into the pocket which I usually use an ice teaspoon for this task. If you use the pounding method, just use the round wooden toothpicks for closure...it's a good thing to use the same amount in each one so that you can tell your guests how many they should be extracting so that none get ingested inadvertantly. (I have had the misfortune of cooking stuffed chicken breasts and forgetting about them and it was difficult to distinguish the toothpicks from the "woody" edges of the breasts ). 6. Panko is great for breading, but so is parmesan and sourdough bread crumbs! Hope you and Peter have fun making them. What a sweet brother he is to want to do this for his sister
  18. NVNVGirl


    I've been thinking about making carnitas for a month now and haven't gotten around to it, but after reading every single word that's been written here, I am salivating and anxious to try my hand at them! Jaymes, thank you for such a clear and concise description of your method; it's almost like having you on the other end of the phone My mom will be here to visit for a week this next Monday and I'm going to make them for her. Wish me luck! And thank you everyone for posting your thoughts and experiences making them also!
  19. Lexica, if you live in Oakland, then check out Safeway....the Mexican food section....I used to live in Napa and they always have Goya brand products. I can't imagine that they don't have them at Safeway in Oakland. I have a question~ is the Mojo Criollo in a jar or how is is packaged? It sounds interesting. I've used their nectars for years for different drink recipes and found them to be as good as Kern's nectars and less than half the price. Will have to look for the Coco Goya as I've been buying Coco Lopez. The black beans are great for anything you use black beans for. I'm glad to hear so many favorable reviews of their other products that I haven't tried yet!
  20. I drink a lot of tea and I like almost all of them, but some of my favorites are a toasted rice green tea by Leaves and I can't help it, but I LOVE Good Earth's original blend tea....I have such great memories of hanging out at the Good Earth near Stanford when I was a young RN with all my girlfriends and some of the residents there.....it just brings back such wonderful feelings. I also really like their green tea blend.
  21. I usually order a soda or perrier and cranberry juice. It looks like an alcholic drink and you don't have to make any excuses to anyone about why you aren't drinking or have people keep saying "Oh, you're not drinking"....where I live, if you're not drinking, you're not thinking is their motto, so they look at you like something's wrong with you or something.
  22. NVNVGirl

    stuffed peppers

    I don't eat stuffed peppers any other way than this....it's more of a side dish than a main dish, but whatever it is, it's delicious! I've taken these to the jazz concerts at Mondavi during the summer and they hold up just fine! COLD BELL PEPPERS STUFFED WITH RICOTTA CHEESE AND HERBS seana You can stuff and bake the peppers the day before. Serve them whole or cut crosswise into ½ inch thick slices and fan them on plates. Try to purchase peppers with flat, even bottoms so they will stand upright during baking. Serve as an appetizer to a grilled chicken or fish dinner. 6 servings Peppers 3 medium-size yellow bell peppers 3 medium-size red bell peppers 3 cups whole milk ricotta cheese 2 eggs 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or ¼ tsp dried, crumbled Salt and pepper Dressing 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon tomato paste ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper 1/3 cup coarsely chopped basil Kalamata olives For peppers: Lightly oil 9x13 inch baking dish. Char peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened in several spots on all sides. Wrap in plastic bag and let stand 20 minutes to steam. Peel charred skin off peppers. Rinse peppers under running water. Cut 1 inch off peppers at stem end. Remove seeds. Pat peppers dry with paper towels. Arrange peppers cut side up in prepared baking dish. Preheat oven to 325 deg. Mix ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, garlic and rosemary in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon stuffing into peppers. Bake until filling begins to set and tops are just crusty, about 35 minutes. Cool, then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.(Can be prepared 1 day ahead) For dressing: Whisk garlic, vinegar, mustard and tomato paste in bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store at room temp) Arrange peppers on platter. Mix basil into dressing and spoon over peppers. Garnish with olives and serve.
  23. A little late maybe...but check out the Kenwood Inn and Spa in Kenwood. I've stayed there and it was awesome...it was several years ago tho so things may have changed. I know they've gotten much larger. Another place that's very special is at Tomales Bay at the Mankas Lodge....much more rustic, but romantic and first class...the restaurant is one of the best places I've ever eaten.
  24. I think what makes a perfect onion soup is caramelizing the onions, the red wine and the Sherry. And the best I've had was made in my own kitchen. I believe the recipe came from the Duck Club at the Lafayette Park Hotel in Lafayette, CA. Here's the recipe I use and everyone I've served it to has said it's the best onion soup they've ever had. Onion Soup Gratinee (4 svgs) 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 1/2 lbs. yellow onions, thinly sliced 6 Tbsp. dry red wine 3 Tbsp. dry Sherry 5 cups beef stock or canned broth 1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce 1 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled 1/2 tsp white pepper 1 bay leaf 2 shallots or green onions, thinly sliced 2 green onions thinly sliced 1 large garlic clove, minced 8 toasted French bread baguette slices 8 slices Gruyere cheese Melt 2 Tbsp butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add yellow onions and cook until very soft and caramelized, stirring frequently, about 40 minutes (or more if necessary). Add wine and Sherry and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add stock, Worchestershire, thyme, oregano, pepper and bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer soup 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Melt remaning 1 Tbsp butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, green onions and garlic and cook until golden, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add to soup and stir to combine. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 4 broilerproof soup crocks. Top each with 2 toasted bread slices and 2 cheese slices. Broil until cheese melts.
  25. I've heard from several friends who live in the area that the restaurant at the Four Seasons Laguna Niguel is excellent. If you want Italian food, Luciana's is very nice and Mario's By The Sea is good too.
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