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Everything posted by Cusina

  1. My most memorable were a small pastry and coffee in Prauge (maybe I was just in good company), a pork chop sandwich in Moline, IA and a lobster roll in Boston at Legal Seafood.
  2. Cusina

    Le Creuset Sizes

    I have 3... a large deep frying pan shape (red), a 4.5 quart (pretty blue) and a 2.6 quart side (gray). All are round. All very useful for different things. I've got the variety of colors and like that. It's fun and it's easier to remember what pot I've used when I make something again. Edited to add that we serve 2 adults and 2 small kids.
  3. I just bought the Krups version for my office. I agree that it is very, very handy for a place with no stove. In my kitchen I prefer the stovetop variety as there is something nice about staring into my backyard while I wait for it to boil. I bought my Krups at Tuesday Morning for $48. Quite the bargain, I thought.
  4. Cusina

    Children's Dinners

    Oh, portion sizes. They don't eat that much at one sitting, maybe one small plateful total, but there are likely to be about 6 small sittings every day. My kids do breakfast, lunch, dinner plus 2-3 snacks daily. Snacks are usually fruit or bread based (either dried or fresh fruit) with milk or water.
  5. Cusina

    Children's Dinners

    I don't know Dutch children, but I do know my own. I expect my children would enjoy your Eastern cooking about as much as they enjoy my Western cooking, completely unpredictably. I'm sorry to break this to you and perhaps your charges will be wonderful but, they're fickle little beasts, kids are, what they like one day they might not the next. And you are guaranteed if you have 3 of them to care for, you will have three completely different sets of taste buds. My 5 year old son at this moment won't eat pasta, or rice, or tortillas, or chicken, or really potatoes either, although most Western children eat these as staples. He is all about fruit, bread, cheese, ice cream, peas, broccoli and yogurt at the moment. Occasionally I can sneak in a few other things. One good thing is that most children prefer simple to fancy. You can start off with very basic things like yogurt with fruit and honey, or bread and cheese. Then get to know them, the children are old enough they will appreciate tremendously if you ask THEM what they like rather than making assumptions or asking their parents.
  6. Those Sex and the City girls drank gallons of Cosmopolitans wishing that it made them look like Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffanys with her martini glass. And I love the scene in The Pink Panther (a very liquid movie all in all) where the zebra costumed police officer is gulping straight out of the punch bowl.
  7. designchick... I don't think that disqualifies you at all. We all come from different walks, your food interests are just as valid as mine (stay at home mom) and Jason's (food lover entrepreneur) and Bourdain's (super high-profile perfectionist professional chef). Some of us get more attention than others, deservedly so, but the variety is what makes this site cool. I'm in the middle too, I definitely prefer from scratch homemade, partially for ego sake, partially for health reasons and partially because on the whole it tastes better. However, reality kicks in. My kids cravings (and whinings) get noticed. I sometimes want to eat something I no way have time or skill to prepare. But, this site helps me figure those things out, slowly but surely I'm becoming a better cook. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like relying on pre-made is evil. I'm not ever likely to be one of those folks who makes all their own bread from self ground flour or whatever. It's more about skill building, understanding and branching out for me. I made my first gumbo this week and LOVED it and will probably make it over and over. That's cool. I feel like I'm making progress. So, I'm not sure that answers Nullos question though. It's not a black and white question for me... It's more like where you are on the spectrum.
  8. I love this thread... it just keeps getting better, like a good gumbo should. "Goddess Gumbo" is now firmly on my favorite home cooked meals list. My gumbo making music of choice was Clapton's unplugged. Not too fast, not too slow, nice rhythm and somehow fitting. Snowangel, I understand your worries, but if my Wisconsin made gumbo turned out well, yours will too. :grin:
  9. and oh my gosh... how could I forget the multitudes of little debbie oatmeal cream pies I consumed in college. Those things were awesome.
  10. Yes! My mom did this too and I loved it. What a treat. I'll confess that I make a Peanut Butter cookie with Bisquick recipe for my kids expressly because there are no eggs or other raw no-nos in the dough. We eat most of it raw and it's fun. The baked product is pretty good too, they have that "stick to the roof of your mouth" consistency. This recipe is similar... http://www.dianaskitchen.com/page/recipes0...tter_cookie.htm I use butter instead of the shortening. I'm not fanatical about fat and sugar with my kids. I avoid processed stuff as much as possible though (Bisquick cookies are an exception, I guess) and try to keep things balanced. My mother was extremely strict with my brother foodwise thinking he was "sensitive" to all sorts of things when he was little and I think it backfired. He lives on crap now.
  11. I like this thread too. Interesting and thought provoking. My biggest change was having children. Food went from being something we did as a couple for fun or by myself to stave off hunger to something much more important within the context of a family. Part of this process has been, as others have stated, focusing on the quality of ingredients and reducing the amount of processed gack we eat. When I became a stay-at-home mother I started to spend a LOT more time in my kitchen. And I figured it was either feel tortured by this necessity or jump in and enjoy it. I chose the latter. My kids are still kind of little... I'm looking forward to that luxury of time thing. Sounds nice. I'm sure it will take me even further along on the journey.
  12. Gorgeous Dim Sim, I'm glad you perservered with the pictures. We polished off our leftovers last night and they did indeed taste delicious after melding for a few days. No good cajun around here (North Eastern Wisconsin). There used to be one spot with good stuff. Unfortunately, the lead chef was a notorious drunk. It did well for a while but it finally folded. I was sad about it. Good cajun food is a great thing to warm up a cold winter.
  13. For the cheesecloth question... if it is a small thing that needs boiling, like mulling spices, I wrap them in a disposable coffee filter tied up with cotton string instead of using cheesecloth. I never seem to have cheesecloth on hand when I need it.
  14. Can I correctly assume these should be bone-in short ribs? It's a little difficult to tell from the picture. My butcher sells both bone-in and boneless.
  15. I've had gumbo in restaurants which included catfish. It was o.k. but the fish seemed a little dry and less flavorful compared to a chicken and sausage gumbo. I guess, not that I'm an expert by any means, you would need to do some tinkering to get the texture and flavor right. And yes, the aroma is awesome. I had a house full of painters the afternoon I made it and they all commented. Even the next day the house still smelled delicious.
  16. Cusina

    Wine consumption

    What a great game... I have to try that with my husband. We are in the bottle a day crowd, on average. Less if we have evening activies with the kids. More if we are home on the weekends.
  17. Cusina

    Marketing Wine to Women

    Uh, o.k. The fashion analogies are interesting on their own, but the greater context is odd. The wine store in our area has a good angle with female buyers. They have very nice, not in the least bit condescending staff who will gladly answer your questions and tell you pertinent information about a bottle (or twelve). How about that? Slick huh?
  18. Artisan, I cut Fifi's recipe roughly in half. 1/2 cup flour to 1/2 cup oil worked very well in a 5 qt. pan. The larger pan and the steep sides kept things from splashing while I was stirring. Suzi, I've never looked for pickled okra. I'll have to keep my eyes open for it. Not sure about drinking the juice though
  19. I love reading all the varieties. Beautiful Hwilson. (great pot! ) I also appreciate the recipe link. So tomatoes are optional. Would oven roasted canned tomatoes work if you happen to live in a place where fresh ones taste like sneakers this time of the year? Do the tomatoes and okra belong together or can I use one without the other? (I'm not dissing okra by the way, just can't find it any way other than breaded and frozen here in the winter.)
  20. Salt only, please. It's how the salmon is cooked that is important to me. The Pacific-Northwest has two legendary methods, one is the cedar plank grilled method. A thin plank of UNTREATED cedar that has been soaked in water a couple of hours. Then I put the cedar plank on top of the grill grate and the salmon on top of the cedar, close the grill and let the salmon cook and the cedar smolder for about 10 or 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon. Don't worry about flare ups, just squirt flames out with spray bottle. More smoke, more flavor. Now for the most eccentric method of cooking salmon I've encountered. This was to feed a large film crew who really wanted a full on Pacific-Northwest salmon feed. We built a fire directly on the concrete slab behind the restaurant with Alder wood, stacked some bricks at each end and balanced a metal bed springs over the fire, when the wood was half cooked down, the whole salmon (about 20 of them, as I recall) went on the bed springs with slices of lemon inside the salmon cavity. After about 20 minutes we each took a deep breath, waded in and flipped the whole salmon over to cook the other side. Clean up consisted of asking the maintenace guy to haul the bed springs off to the dump, take the bricks back to where ever we swiped them from and hose off the ashes. Credit for this method goes out to Peggy Hovander of Glacier, Washington at the foot of Mt. Baker Ski Area. ← Holy cow, very creative with bed springs. I'm going to try cedar planking this summer. Our place "up north" has both salmon and cedar in good supply. Thanks for the tecnique description.
  21. That DOES sound good. My daughter's absolute favorite meal, far and away. Marinate salmon a few hours in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and chopped candied or fresh ginger. Then pan fry or grill over a moderate heat. It was first on her "things I'm thankful for list" she her 2nd grade class put together at thanksgiving. Most of the other kids listed things like "my dog" and "Power Rangers". Heh, that's my girl.
  22. I bought my rival oval slow cooker at Wal Mart for I think, a whopping $5. The lid does jiggle a bit if you don't get the seal right, but it's fine. For the cost, I'd say it is downright amazing.
  23. Here's my fat Tuesday fun... this really was a great experience. I'm glad for the excuse to try it out. I used the South of I-10 recipe posted by Fifi at the very start of this thread. First, I purchased my veggies and meats at the local butcher. My butcher local specializes in sausage and he had some beautiful Andouille, even though he couldn't quite pronounce it correctly. (French words with cheesehead accent = funny). I apologize for the slight fuzziness in some of my pictures. I had problems getting my lighting right. At any rate, here's the belle of the bowl. I searched through an entire warehouse sized grocery store for commercially bottled roux. No dice. I had to go it on my own. You know, there are a lot of places in a large grocery where it might be. With the gravy, with the BBQ sauce, with the "foreign foods" sauces, with the boullion... Nada. Back at the ranch, I chopped my trinity then selected my pot (a le Creuset 5 qt.), and cleverly had my my accomplice Dora (she's an explorer) distract my 5 year old son. He was blissfully unaware of the "cajun napalm" about to be unleashed in the next room. Here's the trinity, note my wonderful eGci knife skills. (or not) I should also mention that I cut the recipe in half as we aren't big eaters. The roux came together beautifully, though I had to let it be a bit blonde as I only had 30 minutes stir time. Not due to lack of intestinal fortitude, I feel compelled to explain, I had to pick up a kid from school and that's the way the chips fell. It's kind of a zen experience, stirring the roux. I rather liked it. Here's the mix, after the trinity was stirred in and the sausage was added. Not as dark as it might be, but still smelled wonderful. And the bubbling cauldron. And finally, a few hours later, the finished product. I couldn't find any Abita, we settled for Boddingtons, which went down very well even though it's Brittish. We ate this with a skillet cornbread and cottage cheese topped with pears. Mmmm mmm. The smell was wonderful, the taste was great. For a Northern girl I feel like I did myself proud. Thanks again for the inspiration. This is definitely a dish I'll make over and over. I can't wait to try out the seafood version. edited to fix image problems
  24. Danielle, those sound delicious. Thanks for posting.
  25. Made my 1st gumbo today and it was delicious. I used the South of I-10 recipe at the start of the thread. I'll post photos and more detail tomorrow, but I wanted to thank you all straight off for the great meal!
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