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Special K

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Everything posted by Special K

  1. Yipes! I have tried to make bit pots of chili and spaghetti sauces at the same time, and added the cumin to the wrong pot, pretty much giving me two big pots of chili sauce . . . multitasking in the kitchen is just not good a good idea for some of us!
  2. Oh, yeah, I remember that stuff - tried it once. It was nasty. But I suppose if you had problems chopping chocolate it might seem like a godsend - until you remembered chocolate chips!
  3. Special K

    planning backwards

    I dutifully do what Doodad does (say that three times fast!). Also, why bake only two chicken quarters when you can bake six or eight at the same time and use the extras for all kinds of other dishes later? I do the same thing with baked potatoes. Oh, yeah, I'm always thinkin' about tomorrow!
  4. We love carbonated water, and we buy it in the larger plastic bottles. Here in Seattle we can recycle them, but we also use them as plant-waterers. You cut the bottom off the bottle and fit the neck into a little spike that you fill with sand and stick in the ground by the plant. Then you can fill the bottle with water if you're going to be away for the weekend. I've also seen bird-feeders that use these bottles. Also, there's the classic: popsicle sticks for plant markers.
  5. Pizza! We make the dough ahead of time (but you could certainly do that together, too, if there's time) and put out a variety of toppings - there's almost no limit to what you can put on a pizza. Because I now have a convection oven (I will stop raving about it one of these days) I can do quite a few individual-sized pizzas at once. It's really quite a lot of fun!
  6. It's a tie-in to his new show, "Jamie's American Roadtrip," to be shown in the fall on Channel 4. There was an article about his stop in Huntington, West Virginia in the New York Times Magazine's October 6, 2009 Food Issue. Edited to say that I just watched the YouTube review - boy, that is a positive one! I'm convinced, and as an American, I'm interested to see his take on our food, especially the recipes from Georgia and Los Angeles, where I have lived.
  7. A surprising number of kids at the high school where I volunteer like to bake. Well, maybe it's not so surprising - they're my husband's chemistry students! I bring in cookies, brownies, etc., for study hall, and a bunch of kids always ask for the recipes. I love it! I'm trying to get the Doc to incorporate some real cooking in his class. Maybe I'll get to do a guest lecture one of these days.
  8. Mine's so tame, it's embarrassing. "SpArK" - Spinach Artichoke Kasserole.
  9. I did a quick Google and found someone who started out with Trader Joe's frozen sweet potato frites.
  10. Check here (if this works):
  11. Wait, what? If you make dinner, shouldn't your roomate be doing the cleanup?
  12. This is one of my bad habits too. It's especially irritating as I've been transitioning to a new range w/ a convection oven, something I'd never used before. LindaK, it's like we're leading parallel lives!
  13. I used to feel guilty about this, too, and about using aluminum foil as well. Then Seattle started letting us put paper towels (and pizza boxes, and meat, and bones, and a multitude of other used-to-be-garbage items) in the compost bin (they use high heat), and (rinsed) foil in the recycling bin. Sweet! Also, I use fewer paper towels now since I got myself a stack of microfiber towels at the local Goodwill.
  14. I found dried wild blueberries (the tiny ones) at our TJ's yesterday. I'm looking forward to using those in scones and waffles. Also, we bought the frozen fire-roasted bell peppers and onions, the frozen seafood blend ( shrimp, calamari rings and bay scallops) and the nearest jar of spaghetti sauce, heated all three together, seasoned it with some Old Bay and served it over some leftover rice. It turned out to be a pretty good no-brainer dinner after a busy, exhausting day. We'll definitely keep those items on hand. We like some of the wines, too. We're strictly red-wine drinkers, and not very knowledgeable about wine - we just know what we like, and we like it when what we like is cheap!
  15. Also, I forgot to say, a brand-new looking copy of Sara Moulton's "Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals." Yippee!
  16. Found this at Goodwill today, paid $1.99 for it: From the label (ELKO Novy Knin) I was able to Google it; it's a dumpling slicer! Now I need to find dumpling recipes, because I must use this! If nothing else, I can use it to slice that big log of goat cheese that Costco sells.
  17. Special K

    Microwave Cooking

    YOu say that like it's a bad thing!
  18. A lot of "me, too"s: Oven cleaning - the new oven has a self-cleaning feature, but I'm sure it would blow a breaker in our old house. I do clean it before Thanksgiving (and then really only because there are guests who might SEE!). Aprons - I have many, and they're handy, but . . . Water re-use - I feel guilty, guilty, guilty. Cat policing - with two Abys, it's just not always possible. Also: Failure to use leftovers - end up throwing them out. Often forgetting that the dishes in the dishwasher are clean, and adding dirty ones (which must mean there's room and I should have waited until the machine was full -- a double bad).
  19. We have friends who moved to one of the swingin' retirement communities in Phoenix - and there they have Charles Chips! My friends are in heaven! My folks never subscribed (in Florida), but my friends' folks did, and my friends shared. Charles Chips were wonderful! Not sure they're worth moving to Sun City for, though. Ask me again this winter.
  20. When we lived in LA (mid-80s), the Helms Bakery building in Culver City had already become the Antique Guild. I used to wonder about its former life as a bakery - that building is HUGE! They did have a nice selection of Helms Bakery memorabilia, as well as some nice, affordable antiques, many of which found their way into my apartment. Thanks for closing that loop for me. (Edited to remove a stray apostrophe from "its")
  21. I have tons of clippings. When I have a block of free time (or am procrastinating . . . ) I go through the stacks of cooking machines and NYT dining sections and clip away - I take anything that looks interesting. I take even things I know I'll probably never try - I think it's because I have a fairly large filing cabinet (the library card-catalog case I mentioned yesterday), and, you know, Nature abhors a vacuum. Oh, and I am a pack-rat. This is why we do not live on a houseboat - my stuff would sink it. I think I use clippings and cookbooks about equally. I use the clippings in the same way I use cookbook recipes - I look at three or four (or five, or six . . . ) recipes for one dish until I have a very good idea of what's supposed to happen, and then I work on "my own" recipe until it's just where I like it, and that goes on the "final" index card. Then the idea is that I go back and toss the clippings, but I never seem to do that. You just never know. I also have a nice little collection of bloopers: mistitled things, mostly. It's funny when a recipe for brownies is labeled "Salmon." Those are posted on the refrigerator.
  22. I have the exact same problem! No suggestions, really, except to try and find someone to fabricate something, which might actually be a possibility. There's a wrought-iron place here where they actually make things to order. Wrought-iron is probably not the best material for this kind of thing, but I can't think of anything else. If I get around to asking/having one made, I'll let you know.
  23. Savory, always. Can't even face orange juice, but tomato juice is fine. The only time I ever want sweets is for dessert on those rare occasions when we eat out - and then it's usually because the selection on the cart just looks so beautiful! But a bowl of sweetened cereal, or a stack of pancakes, etc., in the morning just does not seem appealing to me at all. I guess the first thing I learned how to cook as a kid was bacon, so the rest of the kids could have their cereal or their Carnation Instant Breakfast or whatever, and Mom could stay in bed. In pastry/bread baking school, I used to gross everyone out by eating bacon rinds for breakfast (but maybe that's because they were all vegetarians).
  24. Agreed. And I'd add that I'd bring back the idea of the whole family sitting down to dinner at the same time, no cell phones, no TV, no distractions - just good food and conversation. I'm 57, and that was already going out of style when I was a kid - I guess I'm nostalgic for something I never really had. I don't have kids of my own, but if I did, I would absolutely fight for the family dinner hour.
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