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Everything posted by megaira

  1. Deadheads I knew used to wrap cheese sandwiches in tinfoil and iron them to make grilled cheese. If you're ordering a pizza that might have leftovers & you have no microwave, maybe the restaurant will nicely include some tinfoil.
  2. I'd tried a bunch of different hummus brands and couldn't remember which was which, but I found a copycat recipe for Sabra Classic Hummus in "Top Secret Recipes" a while back and gave it a try. So far it has been the best hummus I've (personally) ever had and now a staple in our kitchen. It may not be to others tastes but I'm happy enough. I was surprised to see the liquid from the can in the recipe. I skipped the minced garlic and used Lawry's garlic salt instead (just our own preference). I'm not a huge fan of a garlicky bite (my husband is, so he does get the raw minced garlic). I also use a mix of fresh ground black/white/red pepper. As others noted, not all brands of tahini are alike. I found a brand at the grocery store (that was a shock, it's a small grocery) that I like and stays pretty well blended, so it may be worth trying a few to find one that works. I let it blend about 5 min, but the longish blending time gives it a wonderfully light, creamy texture. If you're interested in making it yourself, you could start with this as a rough draft and see if you find a variation you like. I use it as a dip, instead of mayo, instead of butter on bread...I mix it in with quinoa, or rice on a tortilla/pita/naan/flatbread... it almost has a cheese-like edge to it, so it seems to mix very well with vegetables. We go through it pretty quick. The chipotle sounds good... I picked up some ground chipotle from a spice shop recently, I'll have to try that out.
  3. Thanks. :) I've used flour on and off (and sometimes to loosen up the dough when shaping), you are right, it definitely doesn't have the stench of burnt cornmeal (the only thing that beats it, is burnt vacuum cleaner belt, I think :/), though seems to put out a fair amount of smoke if you don't brush off the excess. I really like the texture and flavor of both flour and cornmeal... they both have sort of an rustic texture to them, so either is good in my books...but I get lazy and opt for olive oil on the screen -which isn't bad, but sometimes it's good to swap things out and not get boring. I'm really wussing out of peel practice. ;) I do notice that when I use the peel, because of the dough springing back a bit when you put it on the floured peel, I seem to get bigger crust bubbles. I totally dig that. I'm all about loving the crust bubble. Pizza get together - I think I'd try to make a trip up to Protos if the weather was decent. I've heard about them before. If we did something like that, we should make up a ratings system and rate it, then check out another pizza place the next time, like Anthonys or something, or the Beau Jo's in idaho springs, etc. Then average out which one is the "best" and which excells over the others in different catagories (thin crust, thick, pan, toppings, etc.). That'd be kinda fun, though, so would a "pizza night" where we all make our own favorites (I'd say "specialties" but knowing me and nerves, I would screw mine up in some way or another and that would not help the nerves.).
  4. dang you're fast. I think it was Alton who said he turns his oven to the cleaning cycle to get it hot enough for pizza. I don't have a self cleaning oven...and all the ones I've had in the past, I recall having to lock...? Otherwise, I would be doing better with mine if I gave up using the screen and put the crust right on the stone, but I'm a sucker for conveniance and a wuss about the smell of burning cornmeal. There should be a Denver pizza get together.
  5. This is what I get for not being around eG as much as I'd like to be these days... I almost missed out on a pizza thread. Beau Jo's has mystified me as well... we'll have to try the Idaho Springs location out one of these days. We went to the one closest to us (c-470 and university) and while the toppings were fine, the crust itself was like an unleavened cracker in flavor. It just didn't have any charecter to my taste and the hype bubble went POOF. There was a place over by Quebec and I-25 called Lil' Riccis, I think that had an expensive (20$) cheese wheel, but at the time I really liked them (we had friends who insisted on them, and heck, I wasn't argueing). I've been making my own pizzas so long now that I don't know if I would like them now. I usually just can't make myself justify buying pizza when I can make them at home so cheap (and they're pretty good and to our tastes), so we never really go out for it. That's not saying a tremendous amount, anyway...we're not exactly teaming with pizzerias around here other than the chains. Garlic Knot may be somewhat local, I think...it's the closest one to us... sometimes theirs are pretty good, others, not so great. I totally dig the coal fired oven idea... There was one Hub got years ago at a place up in Englewood that I never did find out where or what it was... he brought home leftovers, I tried a piece and was hooked. It was like...a vindaloo pizza. It had a hot vinegary tangy sauce, with red onions and chicken on it. It was really good. They of course promptly forgot where they went. >( I guess I'm going to have to get vindaloo figured out first before I can go ahead and recreate the pizza. Indian pizzas sound heavenly... How many of you make your own?
  6. I had to have thai food. So I went, and got thai food. Some fish dish (pla chau chu? sounds like "shu shee") -fried filet in red coconut curry with a few vegetables thrown in for effect and the whole damned box of jasmine rice to soak up the extra curry sauce. I devoured it (normally I'd eat half the whole thing and save the rest). Once that got stuck in my head there was no return. They were selling fresh coconuts, too, so I bought a fresh coconut and had coconut juice. Brownies and ice cream... *drool* *slobber* dammit. dammit! No, I have made plans, I will not start craving brownies. >( I'm making tikka masala tonight & gulab jamen, though, for friends who've never had anything indian, so I'll be just fine with the gulab jamen (indeed, who could complain? good stuff!) The other day I had a craving for a club sandwich, which was easy enough. And chips and a dill pickle, which I had with my sandwich. I bought a cookie, too, becuase I was craving something sweet, but Einstein's Bagels cookies kinda suck. Their club sandwich is pretty decent. I have been craving pickles, actually, like crazy. There's a lady that lives up in wyoming that has come down for message board get togethers (snopes.com) here and she makes the best garlic dill pickles I've ever had and I'm out. The last time she brought some down, they were chunks in a jar. I had chopsticks out to eat them with and ended up standing there zoning out, eating all the pickle chunks. mrmmm pickle chunks. It's about that time of year though, I have to find some way to bribe her down here for more pickles. %)
  7. I suppose I'll have to replace my lust for food and sex with a lust for power, then devote my time to elaborate plots to take over the world. I can give you the gist of it... I saw a recipe for carrot chili ice cream in Sunset magazine... and went from there...added brown sugar, the pumpkin pie-ish spices, vanilla and pineapple (which I like...if you wanted to be more purist, you could substitute fine grated carrot...I'd up the brown sugar a touch, though) It needs tuning, as we just threw everything in, added this and that until it tasted like I wanted it to & tossed it in the machine. The frozen result was a bit icy due to either my sheer laziness or the higher ratio of carrot juice to cream, so maybe someone here will tackle ironing out the wrinkles (if you do, pm me and let me know). If I make it again, I'll probably use more egg yolks and maybe more cream to juice. The notes I'd posted in my blog that day: Swirling in cream cheese frosting just seems like it'd be tasty. :) Thanks.
  8. Part I: yea but... During PMS, my face is broken out, I weigh 10 pounds more with all the bloating and therefore I not only do I look fat, but none of my clothing fits comfortably... I think "attractiveness" is pretty low on the scale of priorities. Just getting through the week in one piece is usually accomplishment enough. Part II: opinion I noticed talking a couple pages back on ssri's and pms, seretonin, etc. I had read somewhere something about PMS and anxiety getting worse, and was going to write it all out -scattered and badly cited, needing plenty of salt that it was - but luckily found a page I can cite that's much easier to read than I am. ;) estrogen, neurotransmitters and PMS I have Adult Attention Deficit Disorder and I've noticed that the symptoms get considerably worse during PMS and considerably better the day my period ends. In fact, I'd say I'm at my best a day or two after my period. That's when I get all the bills done, the house cleaned, meals cooked, the dog's claws clipped and all that little crap that I space out on the rest of the month. One of the treatments for ADD-AD/HD is a stimulant, which triggers dopamine... which according to the cite above, helps regulate seretonin and other neurotransmitters that are, apparantly, flooding the brain during PMS. So this all makes sense to me, in a roundabout way. What I don't understand, and is completely unrelated (aka, feel free to ignore) is that one of the treatments for ADD is strattera, which, from my understanding, works primarily as a reuptake inhibitor for norepinephrine...which causes the brain to basically soak in the stuff. At one point, the doc suggested adderall (stimulant/dopamine) and strattera (RI/norepinephrine) together...which seems like it would cancel itself out. So I'm just confused about that and I'll have to pester them. Anyhoo! Point being: the hormones do effect your brain juice and all the wacky crap and cravings are indeed valid and it is certianly not a character defect that this crap goes on every month. Just saying. This may be, as an aside, why that Dr. Christine Northrup pushes soy so much - soy is apparantly (I have not seen any medical cites for it, because i haven't been looking, to be honest) supposed to glob onto hormones and balance them out so that there isn't too much estrogen, or testosterone, etc. If this is a valid claim, then it seems it would be because the soy would help the body not produce too much estrogen and too little progesterone during pms, and therefore not cause the neurotransmitter traffic snarl in the brain. And now for more readings from the Dr. Bronner's magic soap label... PART III: kvetching I griped back in November about the pill causing PMS cravings all the time. It was otherwise making me crazy & nuked my sex drive (heh, irony) anyway, so I went off in December...and felt the cravings recede to a pleasant murmer during the "off" weeks: "oh, would you like some ice cream? bad time? ok, we'll wait a day or two..." Then I started Strattera for the ADD, and it killed them. It killed my entire appetite, actually. It was like the bug bomb you set off for ants one summer, and you don't even see a house spider for 2 years afterwards. I haven't browsed here much between then and now, because I couldn't interest myself in food. I was in a state of delayed buyer's remorse and semi-misery, looking at stacks of cookbooks, racks of pots & pans, the boos cutting board and nice knife set I'd just bought at Christmas... all useless and unappealing. We have been eating junkfood and crap takeout for the last few months, with the odd meal here and there. I finally stopped the strattera in June and had a period (pardon the pun) where I felt like my appetite was coming back. We bought an ice cream maker for our anniversary, and went on an ice cream making spree. I made carrot cake ice cream...with a chili pepper...and it tasted like carrot cake with redhots in it...it was delicious. I was happy... my appetite was not ruling me, but I was thinking about food in a creative way again. I thought at the time I'd like a steamer... Then they plunked me on adderall...which is...well, pardon the lack of pc'ness... speed...and so by the time I got around to buying the steamer, my interest in food had gone flaccid. The steamer is sitting there in the box, unopened, and probably going back. We're back to take out junk, my appetite has faded and I don't care what I eat, as long as it makes my stomach stop growling. I really liked food -being obsessed with it stunk, but not caring about it anymore stunk too. *watches ray of sunshine darken and go out* I jokingly thought to myself I should mix the pill and adderall to balance things out, but then I'd have an weak appetite and no sex drive.
  9. I have the same problem with hubby - it seems his favorite place to come up and give me a hug from behind is in the kitchen...when I'm stirring a pot of something like, oh, lava. I'm not sure if it's luck or selective commen sense, but he seems to stay clear when I'm around knives (I'm an obvious hazard *points up*).
  10. add 4: Asian Ingredients - longass rest of title omitted True Thai - longass rest of title omitted The Chinese Kitchen - longass rest of title omitted The Professional Chef (I buckled) edit - brain, no work
  11. A near miss, from my blog the other day: "Speaking of practice, I nearly chopped off my thumb last night. And I'm not meaning "I cut myself" or "I would have cut myself real bad" I mean I really would have chopped off my stupid thumb. Completely. Just thinking about that makes me a bit queasy. Parts of your body aren't supposed to come off and lay there on the counter by themselves and I'd likely keel over like a sack of bricks if it happened, henceforth missing out on any decent chance to render myself first aid. Oh, so anyhoo... I was cutting sweet potatos - they're big, they're also kind of hard to cut through. I think this is why people have things like cleavers, or axes...or alton brown has a skil saw. I had to put all my weight on my supporting hand over the knife to push it down through the potato. I was clunking my way through pieces and suddenly it dawned on me that my thumb was right in a spot where it could easily get under the blade. The way I was putting so much weight onto the knife, I would have lopped it right off. So, the rest of the sweet potato chopping was an exercise in tucking in my thumb so I didn't inadvertantly amputate it. The biggest problem is, I don't know if Shaun (hubby) would remember to grab my thumb if I was passed out in a pool of blood in the kitchen. He'd see me, flat out on my back, probably stabbed somewhere by the dropped knife, blood everywhere, and just drag me into the car to go to the hospital. The dog would go "oo! ungarded goody!" and eat my thumb five minutes after we'd left and it would be gone forever. " First and formost lesson for meg: if you're going to own the knives, learn to use them properly.
  12. chezlamere - Loony Spoons and the sequal Crazy Plates can both be had through Amazon.com down here. :) My recommendation is not for a book itself: bargain hunt. You sound like you're just getting revved up. You have no idea the size of the monkey that's just landed on your back. Think Fay Wray. You'll never shake it Unless you're just stinking rich and it doesn't matter, the object of the game is to feed the monkey without breaking the bank... luckily, there's amazon.com (discount+no tax+no shipping=woohoo!), used bookstores, half.com, halfpricebooks.com, family to pilfer, thrift stores to check... sometimes Marshalls and TJ Max have a couple great cookbooks stashed in with the mediocre. I tend to use the library to research my purchases before hand as well, then just make a list and set about aquiring each thing on it as cheap as I can, in as new condition as possible. I went into Sur La Table for the first time (today) and when I saw their cookbook section, I felt like the fat kid in Willy Wonka, confronted with the river of chocolate. I think I stood there oogling cookbooks for half an hour with glazed cake donut eyes. I'm not sure what I like better, the food or the cookbooks, actually. Happy Hunting!
  13. Would you want extra crispness in naan? My biggest problem has been getting that soft, flexible texture all this time! I made the basic naan the other night, improvising with a well seasoned cast iron skillet instead of the oven. It's not because I thought the oven was a bad idea, but because that part of the recipe didn't print out and I was too lazy to go look it up by the time I got around to cooking the naan... I'd previously made only yeast leavened naans and now I think I see where I was going wrong... I think I was using the bread flour...and too much of it. This recipe turned out the texture I wanted - light, soft, flexible, flakey. Very tasty... I only wish I'd had something made up to go with it, but it was one of those impulse cooking sprees. Would it be a bad idea to sub more yogurt for the milk? I like that tang in the bread. Will the extra yogurt require any adjustments to the leavening? I'll probably go ahead and try it anyway & find out, since I need to use up the yogurt in the fridge, but then again, it may take me a month or two at the rate I'm going, so any input is great.
  14. 5-ish, more: A Basil cookbook from Mum for Christmas, Martha Stewart 2003 anathology, What Einstein Told His Cook (does that one count?), Emeril's New New Orleans, The Africa Cookbook.
  15. megaira

    Low Calorie Recipes

    Crazy Plates, Loonyspoons. :) I have both of them, they're fairly good, especially for low fat food (eta- a bit bland) though, I'd take Crazy Plates over Loonyspoons...it's the second book and seems a bit better thought out. The books are colorful, entertaining (a bit cheesy) and full of tips and ideas...that's good. I go through them with the little post it notes and mark the recipes I want to try, then write my comments on the note when done and stick them in there so I know what needs tinkering, what not to make again (the greek shepherds pie..yeccch), and what's a hit (chocolate chocolate chip zucchini bread). :)
  16. Off the top of my head without grabbing a book: apparantly temperatures below 50 degrees or so break down the sulfer compounds in the onion making it more sweet than sharp. I'll cut onions in half and store the other halves in the fridge and I notice they tend to be sweeter and "lighter" tasting raw after time in the fridge. I'm not sure if there's an overall giant leap in oniony flavor in the final cooked dish, though. I usually grab what's on hand and throw it in there -white or yellow, refrigerated or not. Shame on me. But that's laziness for you. What has worked best for me has been the "onion technique" for quick dicing. Breathing in through my mouth and out through the nose helps a little bit, but not enough to pass it on. the candle, water, etc. has never worked for me either, so I just try to get it over with as fast as possible and hope my fingers stay intact.
  17. Really nicely done... totally enjoyed it...great writing, great intervewee, great questions. He's likeable on the show, but a whole extra facet of likeability came through there that I was really happy to see. Totally dug the picture in Part II as well. rawr Also got the answer to my confusion/question about people/food pairings in the process.
  18. Thank you Wesza... very informative. Hmm, I inadvertantly lucked out, I guess... I tend to have to really plan in order to get timing right, so naturally, the steaks were done before the mashed potatos and gravy and got a "rest" on a rack before serving. Hub says he'll be more than happy to be my guinea pig.
  19. well thank god, I thought so, but never having made it, wasn't sure exactly what to expect and no one anywhere else was mentioning actual times... one poster said "flip it, then don't touch it" and by the time I got around to making it, it was too late to post and ask her "don't touch it for how long?"
  20. How very odd and ironic that "Snopes" is mentioned twice in this thread and over at snopes.com, a thread is going on CFS: and look, they're argueing over gravy too I made CFS for hub the other night for the first time, going on what I saw in that particular thread (just noticed this one today) and another cookbook. The one thing I noticed is that times are a bit odd... does anyone have any cooking time suggestions for different thicknesses? I'd bought round steak sliced thin and it was really, really thin...so I ended up doubling it over and securing it (passed the narrow end through a slit in the wide end to make it stay) for a bit extra thickness before pounding it with the mallet. The single layer scraps I fried up just enough that they were browned on each side were terrific, the double layer pieces were slightly tough... I'm not sure if I cooked them too long, thereby shrinking and toughening the meat, or too short, not giving time for connective tissues to break down (wouldn't this only happen in a long braise though?). The one book said "brown on both sides, then simmer 30 minutes" - simmering 30 minutes not only would have used up a crapload of oil, but I worried I might end up with a mudflap. They were in for probably about 5 minutes or so each.
  21. megaira

    Dinner! 2003

    Geez, trying to keep up with you people would be impossible. So I tend to chime in when I'm making something that sounds decent...unless you want to hear ramen stories. Friday night - had mushrooms that were a day or two away from being in the fridge too long, so I improvised from Jill Prescott's "chicken in white wine sauce with mushrooms" (or something like that) recipe as a guideline... turned out very good, though, a touch rich. Main charectors were sauteed chicken breasts, choppped sauteed mushrooms, shallots and garlic in a reduction sauce of brandy, broth, wine and sour cream (had no "creme fraiche" or heavy cream). Tonight is madhur jaffrey night: Paratha - never made them, so turned out a few duds before getting something that resembles what I wanted. I'll have to go back to the north indian breads eCGI for picture reference. onion chutney "meat with peas" and potatos which are an improvisation off of one of her potato recipes: boiled, then stir fried with toasted coriander and cumin, cayenne, dill, salt and mixed in with yogurt. Still waiting on the meat but oo, the house smells good.
  22. Wish I could offer information for you, but I'll be interested in reading what anyone might have to recommend. We're smack on the bottom side of Denver, so places like Pacific Market are a bit of a hike to get to (edit again - yeah, I'm often too lazy to drive the distance to save any money. ) ...so I usually rely on mail order or area grocery stores and the health food stores. Whole foods has been fairly decent, though $$. Cost Plus sometimes has some hard to find ingredients (the one in Littleton by Southwest Plaza started carrying japanese mayo a while ago). I know there are a few Indian grocers in the greenwood village/aurora area. I went over to one place quite a while back for curry leaves and it was a hole in the wall...but, he did have some fresh stuff and odds and ends stashed away in there. There wasn't much I couldn't have just ordered and saved a trip, unfortunately...though his bags of spices & herbs were huge. I have a giant bag of dill I couldn't pass up that will never be used up. Tony's Meats down in Littleton often has good meats and again, odds and ends when it comes to gourmet ingredients. They lean towards the italian as far as selection. If you have some dirt or room for a planter these herbs do particularily well here: coriander dill mint basil lavender sage chives garlic I put in marjoram last year and planted lemongrass somewhere around here, so we'll see how well those do next year if they pop up somewhere and I recognize them. (edit -duh, I just saw you said "ten years ago" - I wrote out my post thinking "recent transplant" - my apologies)
  23. Ditto candy canes and ribbon candy. Thanks to Food Finds, I now know Michelle's Candy in Colorado Springs still makes the stuff the old fashioned way, stretching it by hand, working in the color, etc. Looks like a heck of a lot of hard work for the end result. Usually I can get myself pysched up to try something from learning more about it. I had no desire to go buy myself a box of ribbon candy after watching. ETA - actually, the more I think of shedding skin cells and this guy wrapping the candy around his bare arm over and over again and pulling it... I like eggnog, pudding (yes, the rum sauce plays a significant factor) and sometimes fruitcake, but I'm unclear whether or not this is my tastebuds or nostalgia speaking. I don't get, along with many of the other things mentioned, gingerbread houses. You're not *really* supposed to eat them, are you? Tell me everyone just throws them out at the end of the holidays? I've had the sugar monkey on my back since I was a donut munching 3 year old. The gingerbread house was often the only fix I could get my hands on before Christmas...so I'd break off pieces of it out of desperation. It was disgusting. I do not, also, get marzipan. It does defy the "don't play with your food" rule, but I'm not planning on eating it anyway. Toblerone & Russel Stovers (?) chocolate oranges. They're not technically "holiday," but they do seem to stock those suckers to the roof at Cost Plus before Christmas. The chocolate orange itself, I got. Chocolate and orange is a nice combo, and it's shaped like an orange and how clever, you can whack it and it falls into slices! Because...it's an orange and chocolate. Get it? hahahaha. But. Now we have a rasberry chocolate orange with no orange in it...but it's still shaped like an orange. Oh, and lime flavor. And the lime is also shaped like an orange. They not only taste awful, but they don't make sense.
  24. 2 more tonight, 1 two days ago, 1 more around Thanksgiving, 4 in the mail from a nice aunt, and 2 a while ago whilst on a diet... plus the Food Lover's companion. There may be more, but that might mean admitting transgressions with the credit card to hub.
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