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Posts posted by lcdm

  1. What kind of apples do you use?

    I like a less sweet filling and use granny smith. They are a firm apple that dosen't tend to cook down that much.

    Here is my general filling recipe:

    6-7 apples sliced (not too thin)

    3 tablespoon flour

    3 tablespoon butter

    1/3 cup brown sugar

    1/3 cup white sugar

    sprinkle of cinnamon

    splash of lemon juice

    (I usually taste the filling and adjust the sugar and lemon juice if nessesary).

  2. Octaveman,

    Just search on Jeff Smith Garlic Chicken or 40 clove chicken. You'll find the recipe.


    If you have a small plot of soil you can grow your own. You plant the cloves (bulbs) in the fall and in the summer you'll have all the garlic you want. My dad did this one year, we had tons of garlic. None of that supermarket with the green sprout in the middle of the clove, for us that season.

  3. Any time I have tried something new, people (my dear family) get upset.

    One year pumpkin soup - "No soup on Thanksgiving"

    One year served sweet potatoes like baked potatoes - "what are we supposed to do with these and where are the sweet potatoes with marshmallows"

    One year garlic roasted string beans - "How come they are not topped with crunchy onion rings"

    I've given up - my family wants the traditional foods, maybe it connects them, maybe it brings comfort to having the same thing every year.

    There are some things I can play around with, like the cranberry sauce (one year had it with oranges, wow :) ) and the desserts, pumpkin & apple pie are a must, but the others I can choose.

    I remember speaking to lady in the doctors office, she was reading the Gourmet's Thanksgiving issue and said to me "wow, this looks great I think I've found my Thanksgiving meal" I asked her, "how does she get her family to go along with that?" she replied, "every year we pick a meal (or some side dishes) out of a magazine (like gourmet, bon appetite, MS living...) and make it together, it's become a tradition." I envy her.

    My husband says I can make those dinners just not on Thanksgiving.

    Good Luck with your story.

  4. ive got a favorite garlic recipe form Jeff smiths cooking with wine..its called garlic chicken with garlic garlic..it  uses no less than 40 cloves of garlic..which when i was first making it i thought might be too much..however it was delicious....i highly reccomend it ...yuuuuuuuummmmmmmy..... :biggrin:

    Wow, I haven't made that in such a long time. I know what we are having for Sunday dinner.

    I also like roasted garlic - Slice the top off a head of garlic, pour on some olive oil and enclose in AL foil. Roast for about 45 min. Spread on some crusty bread.

    Garlic shrimp is great - olive oil, chopped garlic, shrimp, salt, pepper & parsley. Serve with bread to soke up the garlic oil.

  5. There is an historic property (gardens and house) in Bloomfiled, the Oakside cultural center. I don't know how many people they hold or if they allow outside caterers. I was at a pretty large wedding there and it was serviced by an offsite service. You could also try a park, maybe something with a nice pavilion or gazebo, and rent everything else. The Montclair womens club rents out their building (again I don't know the amount of people it can hold).

    Good Luck

  6. On a trip to Vermont we stopped at a soapstone place. The guy was very nice, he gave us samples to take home (3 different kinds, three different prices). I tested all for staining, pomagranite juice, lemon juice, red wine, mustard. Left on overnight all were fine (slight pom. juice tint but washed off). Each had a different degree of "scratchability", that could be sanded out. The owner also showed us a piece of counter that they did not oil. The coloring was a uneven, you could see areas where the counter had absorbed the oil from the people that had touched the surface. He said eventually it would take on a more even apperance the longer it was around, & that oiling would hastened the process.

  7. While my sister, who lives about a 5-hour drive away, was here last weekend helping me gear up for baby's arrival, she broached the subject of Thanksgiving.

    "I know you probably won't be up for hosting Thanksgiving with the baby, so I wanted to offer for you to come to our place.  But I want you to know that I'm not going to do turkey AND mashed potatoes AND stuffing AND all this other stuff.  In fact, I was thinking of even ordering a turkey.  Or maybe we could go out."

    Now, I appreciate her offer to play host.  BUT, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, AND a huge part of that is the food.  I could live without the seven-course haute version or a buffet spread with 20 side dishes. However comma....I know my sister and her peevishly picky husband.  "Ordering a turkey" would mean something along the lines of Boston Market.  And after the horrendous hotel brunch we had while visiting her for Easter, I had to work not to visibly wince at her suggestion.

    How hard is it to roast a turkey?  Sheesh...  Stick it in the oven and polish off a couple of bottles of wine while you wait.  Oh that's right.  They don't drink.

    Right now I'm thinking of staying in Annapolis and feast-hopping amongst the homes of my friends who are Damned Good Cooks.  But is this an unfair snub to my family?  Have you ever had to choose between spending time with loved ones and celebrating a holiday or event the way you really want to?


    Have it at your house and invite your sister and some friends. When my kids were small (One born in August, two in September) I found it easier to have people over for the holidays than go out. This way the kids could nap or be fed when needed. I remember our first Christmas with our first (3 months old) 2 hour drive to inlaws (great food, great family). The drive from hell, my daughter would not stop crying, fussed the whole time we were there, and threw up on the way home. To top it off she was already sleepng through the night but the trip put her out of sorts and it took her a week to settle back into her routine.

  8. Don't misunderstand me ... I LOVE granite.  I probably would have used it in my kitchen if the Corian colour I found wasn't so perfect (and the deal I got was pretty good too).  Quartz surfaces like Silestone seem to address the shortcomings of granite quite nicely, while still retaining some of the aesthetic.


    Any countertop can harbor bacteria. I have searched the CDC site and others and have come to the conclusion that the granite bacteria story is false. Many families have had stone counters throughout the ages and if they were that bad I'm sure people would not have them. Like anything else "stone" counters have different grades/properties if you will. For example the soapstone you use for carving is different than the soapstone you use for counters. Many of the "granite" countertops for sale are not true granite, here is a detailed explanation: http://www.findstone.com/daniel1.htm

    So while one persons stone countertop performs great another gets stains and it is a chore to maintain. One person would be uptight everytime a plate was placed on a marble counter while another likes the patina it aquires after time.

    Granite is my number one choice, if I was not getting granite I would probably choose formica (or Richlite).

    No countertop is perfect it really depends on the person/family.

  9. Without reading all the countertop "sagas" (I am redoing my kitchen also and have heard them all). Depending on the salesperson they will push you to what ever makes them the most money (even if it means fabricating the truth); who knew? Take home samples of everything you are considering and test them. Cut on them, put a hot pot on them, spill wine, mustard, vinegar, oil, on them and see how they hold up. No countertop surface is pefect, test and see what you can live with. After all is said we loved soapstone, but it is a little expensive, granite and corian are the same price, and the properties of granite wins hands down (for us).

  10. I'm having a party.  Smoked pork, assortment of salads.  A lot of people, including a single friend and her two daughters.  I should preface this by saying that this particular mother feels that the only control her kids have over their lives is what they eat, so she regularly fixes three separate dinners.  Anyway, youngest daughter announces, without tasting anything, that she doesn't like anything I'm serving.  Next thing I know, the mother is rummaging around in the fridge, and has pulled out a packet of bacon, some eggs and a pan and is preparing to fix her daughter a seperate meal!

    I just said that the daughter really needed to try the pork, because it was akin to bacon, and that I didn't want her having a separate meal because it would send the message that if anyone didn't like something, they could use my kitchen as a short-order joint.

    I have friends with kids like that but they will usually bring food with them for the kids. Never understood until I had kids of my own :).

  11. Thick cut pork chops (maybe baste with some plum sauce or duck sauce at the end).

    Cornish hens, you could use a little chineese 5 spice as a rub.

    Nice big juicey steaks, top with some kind of compound butter or blue cheese at the end.

    Sausage, last time we grilled we had pinwheel sausage made with parm. and parsley from the local butcher, that a crusty loaf of bread, roasted red peppers and a green salad, (and watermelon for dessert) all you need.

    Grilled kielbasa is also very good.

    Shellfish (clams musscles oysters, shrimp, crabs).

    Grilled veggies; eggplant, red peppers, onions, corn on the cob, zucchini/squash, tomatoes.....

  12. I'm not getting it - what's wrong with carmelized sugar?  Burnt, ok, that's not good, but I don't think I've ever had a properly cooked low 'n slow butt that had a burnt sugar taste. 

    I use sugar in my rubs for pork. Looking at the recipe(s) I have used, the rubs consist of as much as 50% sugar. It never tastes like burnt sugar.

    I cook at 225-250, the meat finishes with a lovely deep mahogany color, I don't think that the sugar alone contributes to this because I have seen non-sugar rubbed pieces of meat come off with similar color. Are you sure the color you are seeing is from the sugar?

  13. My grandmother is 95, as long as she can chew it, she will eat it. So most of the food has to be ultra tender (nice word for mushy). She usually eats pork fried rice, all types of soups (she especially like chicken, beef barley, eggdrop and splitpea), oatmeal, farina, grits, meatloaf, stewed beef, pork and chicken with stewed veggies (tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, peas), macaroni, beans, mashed potatoes, white bread. She also has an occasional beer. My mom bought some bottles of Boost, sort of like a chocolate shake (comes in other flavors too), with extra vitamins/protien and calories, I tried it, it tastes pretty good. The most important thing with my grandmother is hydration and calories, because she tends to eat small portions.

  14. What about an apple (or any other fruit) crisp? Fruit mixed with sugar maybe a little cinnamon. Topped with rolled oats/sugar/margarine (instead of butter). You can serve warm to help chase away the chill. You could have ice cream or whipped cream available for the non-vegan members.

    Just thought of this: grilled fruit; pinapples, peaches, plums

  15. This was my first time watching any AB show. I was flipping through the channels and there it was, so I watched. I enjoyed it very much. Yes there was some setup, but that's OK, I don't know how you could film a show like this in a reasonable time period with no setup.

    It was very different from the regular sanatized travel/food shows that are usually on. I enjoyed his sense of humor, and them keeping the part about the boots in the episode shows that he can take it as well as dish it out (even if that was set up too).

    I did catch myself during the show thinking, wow I can't believe he is saying this (or they are allowing it to stay in the show), or how can they drink at this time of the day and it's not right to show him staying out all night on a bender or chain smoking. Boy have I been brainwashed. Maybe I am shades of what's wrong with this country, are we are so uptight, so puritanical (as AB mentioned in the show), that we really don't allow ourselves to enjoy?

    I know, I'll just have to cure myself, I'll have to throw away my watch, go sit at a bar, have smoke (if it's still allowed), drink (deflect all the negative stares) and have a really nice slow dinner (as long as they don't clear away my plate too soon because they have to turn the table).


  16. Here are some things I use and why:

    Box cake mix and pre-made pie crust (pilsbury rollout kind):

    Don't make cakes and pies/tarts very often and to be honest theirs taste better than mine.

    Salad bar salad items: I don't have to buy and store all the items (which usually go bad before I would end up using them), I don't have to wash and chop all the items. I just buy the stuff I know I will use and rinse before use.

    Canned soup: Time and convinience, when there is nothing in the house or the kids are starving it is very easy to heat up a can of soup. If I have the time I will make my own and freeze some.

  17. I am going through the same thing right now, here are some of my thoughts.

    Professional style range (for residential use), looking at DCS/Viking all gas:

    Pros: continuous grates, heavy duty feel, all burners high & simmer, can fit pans/pots on both front and back burners at same time, simple design (no computer chips to get fried and replaced), has slow/warm setting, looks.

    Cons: price (much more than a regular range), no bells or whistles.

    Regular Range (sort of - professional style), looking at Kenmore/Kitchenaid:

    Pros: high burner, simmer, continuous grates, oven has bells and whistles (timer, convection convert, proof, warm, self cleaning), price.

    Cons: only one burner is high and one simmer, 2 large pots/pans can’t fit front back, if electrons get fried expensive to fix, doesn’t have the same look.

    Range vs. rangetop/wall ovens (don’t like cooktops because of the knobs being on the top rather than in the front, had that configuration and the knobs always got in the way and were a pain to clean).

    Pros: can mix and match; get a pro style rangetop, looking at DCS/Viking, that has all burners high/simmer, simple design, can get a Kenmore/Kitchenaid/Bosch… wall oven, don’t have to bend down when I use the oven, has all the bells and whistles. Depending on choice price comes in between a pro range and a regular range.

    Cons: depending on layout, have to have room and special cabinet for a wall oven, wall oven w/bells and whistles is usually electric (can be a pro or con) and expensive to fix if electronics get fried.

  18. Diva, I can honestly say that I've never tried using an indoor smoker and this is the first time I've even heard of an indoor oven/smoker.

    Is this the one?

    If so, I'm dubious of it's smoking quality. For smoking to work well, you generate smoke, pass it over food and then expel the smoke. If it stays in one place, it will generate creosote and the six hours spare ribs need is quite a long time for that smoke sit on the food. For shorter periods like a half hour and shorter it's fine, but longer periods you're more likely to develop a really bitter taste. You can try it (and I would be very interested to read about the outcome) but I'd be reluctant to. I'd much rather risk having someone help you spend 3 minutes out of every 20 checking the Weber outside then risk filling the house with smoke (eventually you have to open up that smoker and when you do, where's the smoke going to go?).

    BTW, smoking on the Weber is just as easy as grilling. You just have a smaller fire and you keep the lid cracked an inch. Webers are great for smoking.

    Good luck!

    Wow, impressive Col Klink that's exactly the appliance I have. I already had vague reservations about doing this. Thank you for pointing out the whole bitterness factor. I would be extremely disappointed and ticked off if after hours and hours of smoking I ended up with a couple of slabs of bitter meat and a house full of smoke. There's absolutely nothing in the device as far as I can tell that would circulate or vent the smoke being generated. Actually I had hypothesized that the amount of smoke generated by an electric indoor device using some soaked wood chips would probably be a fraction of the smoke generated by an outdoor smoker using a lot of charcoal, but if I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

    Thanks for all your help and have a happy Fourth of July.

    I have made "bbq" ribs in the oven. Low and slow on racks, kept at 225. They tasted good but without the smokey flavor. Maybe you could cook for an hour with the wood and the rest without.

  19. boil the beans until they are soft (not smush but not half cooked either)

    cool for a few minutes

    add thinly sliced  red onion and cubes of tomato

    drizzle some oil , salt and vinegar

    - stick it in the fridge and in an hour or so it's a cold bean salad.

    My girlfriend makes a green bean salad like this. She blanches the green beans, cools and tosses with sliced red onion, oil and vinegar. The tomato sounds like a great addition. This salad is nice because it keeps well for a BBQ.

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