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Everything posted by quiet1

  1. I have two pairs of scissors in the kitchen - a cheap blue pair from Ikea and a slightly nicer set that came with a magnetic sheath that I have stuck to the side of the fridge. Blue pair are for whatever someone invariably wants to grab scissors from the kitchen for that will get them beat up or dirty, the fridge pair are for things like cutting open packets where they might potentially come in contact with food. Given the wide range of odd things I know the blue ones get used for, I feel better having another set even though in theory they can be cleaned. (In practice I'm not sure even the dishwasher gets into all the nooks and crannies. As I've mentioned my mom lives with us and is immune compromised due to cancer so it's just easier to minimize risk.)
  2. Used rat litter also works, if you have friends with pet rats. (Excellent pets, actually.) Rats will attack and kill mice in the wild, so if it smells like a rat has set up shop the mice prefer elsewhere.
  3. 'My SO hates plastic ware so much he carries around a camping fork thing in a little plastic case in case he needs it.
  4. This may inspire me to get one of those wee tiny slow cookers so I can have just enough of this waiting when I get home from a long walk with the dog on a winter evening.
  5. We have a step stool from Ikea for vertically challenged moments. It doesn't fold up but it is sturdy enough to use as a seat so it works out ok - I sit on it when I'm doing something that doesn't need constant attention but that I don't want to leave, either, or when I'm supervising someone else in the kitchen. (It helps if I'm sitting because then I don't have as much urge to take over and do it myself. )
  6. One of our local places does it both ways - guacamole as a garnish or dish component with a ton of other stuff is made back in the kitchen somehow (I suspect blender or similar based on texture) but if you order guacamole as a dish they make it fresh tableside.
  7. For what it's worth, we will absolutely go somewhere specifically for good guacamole. Bad guacamole doesn't necessarily put us off if the rest is good, but good guac makes us take an extra trip. (My housemate just wants to know how the heck you get 72 avocados ripe all at the same time. We have horrible luck locally.)
  8. 'I have similar gloves - different brand and mine are steam-proof which some aren't - and they are fantastic for all manner of things. I find I get a much better grip on things than with normal oven mitts, and with arthritis in the hands and wrists getting the best grip possible is key.
  9. That is a gorgeous egg. (I mean, it all looks good, but the egg is particularly photogenic. ) I have friends in St. Louis, I need to send them your way.
  10. Wait, people can't tell the difference between tap water and bottled waters? Different bottled waters taste different, too. (One of our dogs preferred Fiji brand and would not be fooled by tap water on a Fiji bottle, no. It was hilarious.) (I can't use plastic reusable water bottles either - they make the water taste gross. Glass is preferred, but I can tolerate metal as the faint metallic smell/taste it leaves is not as offensively disgusting as plastic-taste.)
  11. quiet1

    Lasagna Wars

    'As someone who has a serious shellfish allergy, it really isn't a joke. Obviously you know the constraints of this particular setting and if people with allergies would know to be cautious, but as a general rule 'secret' ingredients from any of the major allergy contenders (like shellfish and nuts) aren't a great idea unless you enjoy your meal being interrupted by calling an ambulance, and a 'secret' ingredient of shellfish seemed to be being suggested as a general trick, not just for a specialty food competition, which is why I commented. (And even with a competition, I don't know that I'd assume everyone would know to think there might be stealth allergens - depends a lot on the context of the competition. Though hopefully the competition itself would have some kind of CYA 'may contain...' disclaimer to remind people they can't assume they know what will be in things.) To the original topic - perhaps consider noodle replacement alternatives also? There is a place here that does a lasagna with slices zucchini instead of noodles, and while their iteration isn't that great, and I think I'd keep some noodles, that could be something to play with. (I'm thinking something like alternating noodle and noodle-replacement every other noodle layer, something like that. So you have the pasta texture and flavor still and it doesn't seem like a fad 'zoodle' type thing.) Maybe something like thinly sliced mushroom? Zucchini doesn't add much and is far too wet. (Oh, and further consultation on the tiny meatball thing I mentioned earlier - they were approximately pea-sized. So really quite small. But with a seasoned meat mixture like you'd use for normal meatballs, not just ground meat.)
  12. quiet1

    Lasagna Wars

    My mom doesn't use special no boil noodles, she just adds about 1/2 cup water to her sauce so it is a tad bit wet (not soupy) and then bakes covered and only uncovers to brown the cheese right at the end. Works fine.
  13. quiet1

    Lasagna Wars

    If you do this be very clear to people it has shellfish - I wouldn't expect lasagna to have secret shellfish and allergies can be really bad. My mom talks about a lasagna she had once where the meat was all in tiny meatballs. Apparently it was quite good.
  14. I think we paid about that for our ex-ambulance in the U.K., but it was a massive 4 ton 1982 beast. Other than that I've actually just inherited cars. My current is a 2002 Prius that came to me when my parents upgraded to a Prius V. By the time they updated the Prius was worth little enough it wasn't worth trading in. So I got it. Still works,
  15. You and I might have very different ideas about what counts as a decent used car. That said, I am wondering about the feasibility of moving any of the nicer ranges when we eventually move. If we get something I really like, and it has life in it, leaving it behind would probably not make sense - this just isn't a house people expect to find high-end kitchens in.
  16. For a second I was so excited because Penguins logo for avatar, possible local with a gorgeous range I could ask about! But no. Does yours have the warming cabinet or the second oven? Or just storage? Which burner would you use if you wanted to boil a stock pot of water rapidly?
  17. Folks who have it - how does it read? I'd be interested in it for learning about the science and so on as much as the recipes.
  18. oooh. That's helpful. I HATE cleaning sealed burners.
  19. Fish came up just because I was looking at what might have been on the table historically. Can't do shellfish because I have an allergy, but fish were also there. Also waterfowl and venison. (I was thinking venison might be good but my mom strongly objects to eating Bambi.) Roasting two birds (turkey and duck or goose) seems a bit much to fuss with. So I was thinking fish might be an option that won't take up the whole oven for ages. Though I guess we could also do something just with duck breast instead of the whole duck?
  20. Signed and everything, what a wonderful gift. Brb, leaving big clues around the house for Xmas... (I love cookbooks you can really read.)
  21. I've done a stuffing that was ok and could be made vegetarian, but I just winged it. Sauté the usual suspects (onion, celery, small amount of carrot because my mom hates carrot in her stuffing but I insist it rounds out the flavor so we compromise by me chopping it up tiny and not using a lot - I like the onion and celery to be a little bigger so it gives texture contrast in the finished dish) in a decent amount of butter, add your preferred seasonings - I usually do sage, tiny bit of thyme, bay leaf, salt, generous fresh black pepper - and mix, then off the heat add in your bread - we can get small cubes of stale bread here that work great and are usually a variety of bread types which helps add flavor - and try to get it coated as much as possible in the butter. Put back on the heat just for a short time, stirring often, to get some of the bread cubes a bit cooked. Dump into your baking dish then add a GOOD stock (I used chicken but you could use vegetable, but it has to be tasty to start with since the whole thing is relatively bland and a bad stock will overwhelm it) to near the top of your dish. Leave the bread to soak for about 5 min, smoothing down into the dish as needed, then bake covered for ~30 min (it's pretty forgiving, I just stick it in and leave it while I do other stuff) Remove covering and dot a little fresh butter on top and bake ~15 min? More to get the top crispy and let it dry out a little so it isn't too soggy. I think it depends what you want stuffing/dressing for, though - on our table for this kind of meal it's almost a mashed potato alternative in that it's carb-heavy and not super strongly flavored so it is a good foil for the meat and gravy. We don't actually care for super fancy stuffing with lots of surprising stuff in it. (As you may have guessed from the carrot inclusion issue. ) Think Stove-top stuffing but not quite so dried out and gross. It's not meant to be the star of the show. (Though gross stuffing can totally ruin a plate.) On the subject of other side dishes - I'm wondering about doing something fairly hearty with mushrooms. I have no idea what, but if we had a fairly substantial mushroom dish along with the turkey then the mushroom whatever could act as more of a main dish for those that are not turkey fans? (Luckily, they are all mushroom fans.) Any ideas for a relatively hearty mushroom something that wouldn't seem weird on a thanksgiving table? Something more interesting than just a bowl of sautéed mushrooms. And bonus points if it can be prepared in advance and reheated to serve. The other protein I was pondering was fish - something that is kind of regionally appropriate, like I think trout? But I have basically no fish cooking or eating experience so I don't know if a trout recipe could work with the typical thanksgiving flavor profile so it wouldn't seem too weird to have sharing a table with other traditional stuff.
  22. Asking here has given me a lot of points to consider for things where I have preferences but wouldn't have realized I had a preference so might have overlooked it and ended up with something that drives me nuts. It's a big purchase so I'm kind of stressed out by it because I want to make sure I don't do anything I'll REALLY regret, you know? I need to go google sealed vs open burners because I don't feel like I understand the difference. And yeah, I had one of those double-sided things. I used the grill side once. Meh. Not worth it. The griddle side is good for some things though. And it does actually work as a warming plate if you have some burners to stick it over - in the UK I had a 5 burner Smeg range and for bigger meals I'd sometimes be using 3 burners and have the griddle on 2 and heated to a nice warm temp so I could put stuff there to hold it. Since it's nice and solid and flat often I could get more dishes and pots on it securely than I could on just the grates of the burners, plus it spread out the heat.
  23. This has actually given me an idea for a Christmas 'gift' in honor of our new dog. Sometimes failures are inspiration in disguise?
  24. I'm convinced if I had an integrated griddle I'd never use it because I'd be afraid of having to clean it. It'd just get used as a French-top-esque simmer plate thing occasionally. A few companies make griddles designed to replace the normal burner grate, though, over a pair of burners. I kind of like that idea - I've used the cast iron kind you set on top of the grates and it didn't feel as stable as I think one designed to sit properly on the stove should be. So that is in my list to inspect. I'm trying to right now think what I could do for a second oven if I got a 36" with just the one large oven. Most of the time I only need one, but for holidays and special occasions a second oven for side dishes and the like is quite handy. I'm trying to decide if a countertop one of some type would be large enough to do the trick. (You can get two ovens in a limited number of ranges at 40", but the second oven is tiny most times, or an odd shape.)
  25. I totally want to know the secret. That's such a fun concept.
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