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  1. I favor table runners on bare wood. It's the best of both worlds. I have kept my table nicely set for the past 3 months. We use it, then re-set it for the next night. I love it--for the creative outlet, for keeping the table from being a dumping ground, and for impromptu guests. It has been a small, pleasant source of enjoyment!
  2. Majra

    Orlando Gems?

    The restaurant is friendly and lively; I think it could work. I guess it depends on the kids and their ages and the time of day however. My kids have eaten there, but they were 11 and 13 at the time.
  3. Majra

    Orlando Gems?

    Another vote for Ravenous Pig, but here in Winter Park we don't call it "The Rav." It's "The Pig," and we locals are so fortunate to have the Julie and James Petrakis here in town cooking for us! Besides the outstanding food, you can order any wine on their list by the glass. The vibe is always friendly; it's a very comfortable restaurant. You won't be disappointed, unless you can't get a table... In that case, I'd recommend Luma on Park. The food has been more consistently good recently, and the swanky scene can be fun too.
  4. Majra

    Salty? Fluffy?

    I have a nice recipe for a vegetable dip that is rather fluffy...it contains the usual mayo/sour cream, lots of fresh chopped herbs, a taste of garlic, salt, paprika, etc. The last step is to fold in a bunch of (unsweetened) whipped cream. It's a tasty dip that looks lovely served in a hollowed out purple cabbage or red pepper, with crudites to accompany. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.
  5. Great thread here! I am late in joining, but truly appreciate the spirit. I tend to keep a pretty well-managed secondary freezer, which is stocked primarily with proteins. I buy almost all of my meats at Costco (and not much else there besides bagels and cheeses) and have a personal "policy" of not returning to shop there until the freezer is emptied. However, I have recently noticed that my regular freezer is over-stocked with nuts and frozen bananas, and my pantry has too many dals and crackers and GirlScout cookies than any family needs to have on hand. You've all inspired me to use 'em up before buying more. And while I'm here, I'll share a family strategy with an audience that I think will appreciate it. We try to live within a budget, and if I am trying to justify a purchase that I consider extra or extravagant, I'll cook out of the pantry for a week (except for milk and bread) in order to justify it.
  6. Another way to sweeten turnips is with carrots. Mix 50%50%, cut in equal-sized chunks, and boil together until very soft. Mash or puree with a healthy amount of butter, season with s&p, and serve with any roast dinner. This mash reheats beautifully, even in the microwave. I bet your seniors would like it, and your budget would too! Sorry about your US restriction...are your directors looking for ways to make your job more difficult?!
  7. This is a decent and easy recipe for chicken thighs with carrots that the seniors might enjoy. It goes great with mashed potatoes too. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/231790
  8. McCann's quick-cooking oats or Quaker rolled, 1/4 c is enough for me, + 1/2 c water and a spoonful of natural chunky peanut butter, nuked and splashed with milk. Mmmm...
  9. That marinade does sound good; I'll have to give it a try soon. I usually have a flank steak or two on hand, because they are dirt cheap at Costco. I often use it for Chinese style stir-fried dishes. The dense structure of the meat seems to hold up well to the high heat of the wok. My favorite grilled preparation for flank steak is a simple one...grilled med-rare, then topped with a dusting of parmigiana reggiano and a squeeze of lemon.
  10. I like Alton Brown's "The Chewy," and also the Neiman Marcus recipe that contains oatmeal. I do like the recipe from the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag too; it is the flavor of my childhood. I make it with good butter and a little extra salt, and only half of the chocolate chips. Most people find that last alteration strange, but I like the cookie part better than the chocolate part, and this way I no longer find myself searching the batch for the cookies that contain the fewest number of chips!
  11. !!! Torakris !!!, that is so exciting! How did you score this gig?! Does your husband know? Congratulations to Julia, and to you. I can't wait to see and hear the details of this adventure!
  12. Here are two lunches that I've made this week for my daughter to take to school.
  13. Hiroyuki, I am instantly riveted by your blog! It is fantastic. I hope that the time it takes to blog provides you with an interesting diversion to what must be a most stressful time. I will keep your beautiful family in my thoughts, and I send my very best wishes for your wife's rapid recovery to good health. Your children are very lucky that you do such a wonderful job in the kitchen. I know many families who would suffer tremendously at their mealtimes if Mother were ill. Congratulations on your success! Do you eat such an elaborate breakfast daily, or was that a special occasion for the blog? All of the food you have posted looks delicious.
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