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Everything posted by MomOfLittleFoodies

  1. There is a little, hole in the wall burger joint here in the suburb that I live in that makes the best BLT. Ciabatta-ish roll, mayo that tastes homemade, nice thick bacon, lettuce, tomato, and sliced avocado. I'm drooling just thinking about it.
  2. I'm a lunchroom/playground monitor at our local elementary school, it generally takes the youngest kids about a month to get used to the routine of eating lunch at school, including figuring out how to balance socializing with friends and still eating your lunch.
  3. I will never again make a pot of rice (in a rice cooker), forget to empty out the leftover stuff, and then go on vacation for 4 days, while the temperatures inside the house reach 85 degrees. Needless to say, there was some funky, slimy stuff brewing in the rice cooker when we got home.
  4. Here's a trick... if you're making your broth in advance, refrigerating it overnight makes all the fat/grease rise to the top and solidify, making it easy to just slide it off.
  5. My Great-Aunt Mitsy (I think her proper name is actually Mitsue) used to send Mom care packages of goodies that included those Harvest cookies. I love those, but had to stop buying them when my oldest child was diagnosed with sesame allergy.
  6. I've always found that shredded cheese and small pieces of filling works best in quesadillas, and I either nuke them or cook them on med-low heat.
  7. It depends on the schools... at most public schools here in CA, the only refrigeration a lunch from home sees is if there's an ice pack included in someone's lunch bag/box. At the specific elementary school my middle kids attend, their lunch boxes/bags are kept in the classroom, either in their backpack or a cabinet. My middle school aged child totes his lunch around in his backpack all day.
  8. I've never had any problems with finding mold on my TJ's baked goods, but if I don't eat them promptly they get moldy within 2-3 days, with the exception of the Sourdough Bread. The local Whole Foods, OTOH, is notorious for having moldly baked goods and expired dairy products on their shelves. Yikes! I think we may shop at the same Trader Joes. I've not had much luck with fish from TJ's either, with the exception of swordfish when they do carry it. As far as frozen meals from TJ's, my family's current favorites are the taquitos, the Mandarin Chicken, and the new Chilaquiles.
  9. For the pearls and cannonballs, have you considered something like filled musubi? You could use fillings like spicy tuna.
  10. Some of my favorite memories of childhood gardening was to be able to sit on the back patio with a cucumber (washed under the garden hose) and a salt shaker... or picking persimmons or loquats off the trees in my grandparents backyard and eating those. My maternal grandfather's persimmon tree (fuyu variety) is so abundant that we often were taking persimmons to school in our lunch for a good month afterwards. "Labor of Love" foods took on a whole different meaning after my oldest son was diagnosed with food allergies at the age of 3 1/2. I remember spending 3 months trying out different pizza dough recipes (soy, egg, wheat free even), 4 months trying to find the perfect cake recipe, and learning to MacGuyver many, many recipes to make them safe to feed him.
  11. Working long hours does have a lot to do with why people choose convenience over a nice, made from scratch meal. As a working mother of 4 kids, my mother often resorted to convenience foods on weeknights. She worked a job that required a lot of standing, so the last thing she wanted to do when she got home was spend another hour standing in the kitchen. Things like Tuna Helper, Kraft Mac N Cheese (with hot dogs or ham), beans and franks and spaghetti using jarred sauce were frequently on the menu on weeknights. Quick cooking Japanese style foods made up the bulk of the rest of weeknight meals. On weekends though, she'd make more elaborate, from scratch meals like lasagna, sukiyaki, chicken enchiladas... like me she collects cookbooks and would occasionally designate a weekend to try out new recipes. Dad would cook too, but he made things like from scratch tuna noodle salad (shell pasta, canned tuna, mayo, sweet pickle relish, onion and hard boiled egg), meat loaf, or crazy things like chili with poached eggs. Normally he would only cook if Mom was sick or had to work late into the night. I tend to have the same attitude as my mom... too busy to enjoy cooking during the week, but on the weekends, I get to actually enjoy it because I have more leisure time. During the week it's all about getting my kids fed before bedtime, and cooking something I know they'll eat without the "Do I have to eat the vegetables? I don't like that meat!".
  12. One of the amazing things that I have learned over the years is that children nowadays don't care for watermelons! My children are probably among the few exceptions. ← As my 10 year old son would say, "Just leaves more watermelon for me!". He can easily finish off a whole "personal" sized watermelon in one sitting.
  13. I don't think it's so much a lack of interest in cooking... more of a general apathy about good nutrition and lack of inclination to think "outside of the box" as far as trying new foods go. I can't speak for the Southern states, but here in CA, physical ed is still mandatory. For K-6, a certain number of hours per week is required, and for 7-12, a certain number of units is required. For K-6, it may not be a "structured" PE class, but it's still physical activity, such as a kick ball game, running laps, or jumping rope.
  14. I've got one child who is currently allergic to milk, and another that fairly recently outgrew a life-threatening egg allergy, so for a while, 90% of the things I cooked or baked for family consumption were egg and milk free. Let me give you the bad news first... most truly milk free cheeses are truly nasty tasting. They don't taste like cheese, don't melt like cheese, and often have a weird, vaguely fishy aftertaste. The good news is, she won't have to say good bye to cream based sauces, decent "ice cream" analogs or brownies. I use unsweetened (not the same as original flavored) soy milk for cream based sauces. My daughter LOVES coconut milk based ice creams and yogurts, and mashed tofu (1/4 cup per egg) makes a great egg substitute in brownies.
  15. Thank you for mentioning that. I noticed the very same thing about the Vietnamese fish cake that shows up in the Hu Tieu that I order at the local Pho shop. While it looks a lot like the tenpura kamaboko that I grew up with (I also have a Japanese mother), the flavor is definitely milder, not as sweet, and has a less rubbery texture.
  16. I don't care if it's authentic or not, I like pepperoni. *shrug*
  17. I like to go to the Hispanic markets and buy paletas... Mexican popsicles. When I was looking at the paleta cooler on Saturday, I noticed such flavors as rumpopo (rum punch), mango with chile, and horchata.
  18. The only food related iphone/ipod touch app I've used is Kitchen Calculator... it's handy when I'm have to scale up/down recipes.
  19. Grilled ribeyes, corn on the cob, pasta salad or mac salad, musubi and brownies.
  20. I still love Triscuits, and I agree with you on Wheat Thins... when I want a sweet cracker, I'll go for a graham cracker. I really don't understand the appeal of those water crackers... they're so bland.
  21. Scrambled egg sandwiches were a frequent weekend lunch when I was growing up. Nothing fancy, just scrambled eggs on white bread with mayonnaise. These days, when I make a scrambled egg sandwich, I use buttered toast rather than white bread with mayo, and sometimes I'll add bacon. For a fried egg sandwich, I definitely prefer a not runny yolk.
  22. The hubby and I picked up a couple of packages of blood orange Hi Chu today. They're really good. Orangey without that overpowering fakey orange flavor that Starburst have. I really miss the Yuzu flavored ones from last year.
  23. My grandfather always used poison to kill snails and slugs, but his was a flower garden rather than a kitchen garden. My mother used to trap slugs and snails by putting out cans of flat beer. See if you can find copper tape. It's commonly used in electronics, but is also marketed here in the US as "slug tape".
  24. Lately I've been using an American made mirin with a 12% alcohol content. http://www.takarasake.com/products/mirin.htm Apparently it's the same variety that my grandmother uses. It's a little more expensive than the Kikkoman aji-mirin that Mom uses, but I like the results better. I also like a brand called Mitoku, but it's harder to find locally.
  25. Hmmm... looks like the double QPs here in the states.
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