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Everything posted by Misa

  1. Misa

    Marks of a bad cook

    Or that, like at my house, you have a three year old who loves ketchup.
  2. We always called this "egg in a hole". I had a fabulous time as a child cutting out the circles of bread with a drinking glass and then eating them while my mother cooked.
  3. This was actually made by my roomie. Saturdays's breakfast was eggs, sausage, and toast. For the first time in two weeks the temperature outside was low enough that we could cook without dying.
  4. Thanks for the suggestions! I've found a couple of places that will do sandwiches for me. But I think I've come to a compromise... I try to eat breakfast at work during my lunchtime (I have a light snack early in the morning) and then lunch when I get home. It isn't the best situation, but then, neither is waking up at 3:30 am!
  5. For the most part, I don't like being touched by other people unless I know them well. In fact, when I was in culinary school, a guy touched me on his way behind me by placing his hand on the small of my back to let me know he was there. Frankly, that almost made me chop off a finger. I know what he was trying to do - and that most people wouldn't be bothered - but I don't like to be randomly touched. We later became good friends and I didn't mind him touching me THEN but when I hadn't even met him before? No way. That's how I feel about waiters doing it. Unless it's an accidental touch, DON'T do it.
  6. My husband will not eat ribs or chicken wings because, he says, it's too much work for too little meat. I used to have an ex who put either ketchup or ranch on anything savory. My mother nearly cried when he put ketchup on the prime rib (which she, for some reason, considers to be the end-all be-all of meats). Speaking of my mother... with the exception of soup, vegetables in the main dish "don't count". Thusly, if I made a casserole with lots of veggies for dinner, she'd still wander over to the cabinet, pull out a can of green beans, and nuke it so we'd have a veggie with dinner. Also, if corn was being served with dinner, another veggie must be made.
  7. I'm looking for a good place to have an early lunch downtown. I currently work in the Bank of America building and have lunch at 9 am. Is there anywhere that's open that time of the day? Even a good breakfast place would do. (Reasonably priced would be nice, as well!) I normally bring my lunch but have those times when I just have to get out of the office or would like something that hasn't been microwaved. I've been so frustrated. Most the time I just end up over at the Columbia tower, picking something up from Specialty's.
  8. I think that the truth of the matter is that we're all very different, that different things work for different people, and that what we often think we know about the body is later "proven" wrong (sometimes in a cyclical fashion). For most people, eating less overall works. However, I do have a friend who can eat tons and tons of food without gaining any weight - and she spends most of her time sleeping or lying around her house. (I love her dearly, she just doesn't move very much). So, who knows? Weight management seems to be as much a voodoo as it is a science.
  9. About ten percent of the time, I'm a "list" shopper. Generally, even that list is for one or two meals only (even if we're shopping for a week's worth of food). After that, I wing it. Half of my decisions are made at the store, the rest at home. Anna, I agree wholeheartedly with you: shopping to a list can be VERY frustrating. Even worse, if I have my groceries delivered, half the time, they're out of the one or two things I REALLY needed to make the other things work - so then I STILL have to go back out to the store.
  10. I accomodate for food allergies and for vegetarians - although half the time, if it's a big group, there's a dish made for the vegetarian and one made for meat eaters (like stuffing - some made with meat, some made without). For my husband, obviously, since it's the two of us, I don't make things he doesn't like when he's home. Not for dinner, at least. He's actually a bit of a picky eater... What gets old is a friend who swears up one side and down the other that she's allergic to mushrooms and onions. I know she's not - I've watched her eat both in food that she herself has made. So I make the pieces small and disguise them nicely, if I want something that needs either of those. For my friend who doesn't like celery, when I make pot roast with veggies: feel free to not have any of the celery, but I really love it with my pot roast, so all the more for me. When my sisters come over, we usually have asked that they at least try something. I'm not going to make them eat anything too "weird", but just because you've never eaten it doesn't mean you won't like it. (My youngest sister found out that she LOVES daifuku that way... this, after pronouncing it "gross" without having tried it.) One of my best friends has five children and I know she sometimes makes 3 or 4 different things at some meals. Screw that. They're all old enough to make sandwiches or other non-stovetop things (some of them could, in fact, use the stove), so if they were my children: The meal, pb and j sandwiches, something you can fix yourself, or nothing. (When I was a kid, you ate what you were given. Period.)
  11. My husband and I complain about this all the time - he works nights and is very rarely in the mood for anything "breakfasty" while I'd like to be able to order breakfast food all the time. Jack-in-the-Box has it available all the time, but otherwise... I'm SOL. Even worse, around here, a lot of places (read: several McDonald's) have switched to 10:30 as being the cut-off time for breakfast. Grr. Anyway, we've discussed it and decided that it's partially to save on training: when you have people who only work mornings, you don't have to teach them how to cook burgers and vice versa. (That and the universe hates us, we've decided. )
  12. I love the Sausage Egg and Cheese McMuffin (does it usually come with cheese? I don't know - but I always order it with cheese). So bad, and yet, so good... I also like Jack-in-the-Box's Sourdough Breakfast Jack. My husband (who doesn't like eggs-that-you-can-taste-the-egg-in) LOVES their steak and egg breakfast burrito.
  13. I like the cheddar ones - they're just cheesy enough, but not overtly so. The apple one is pretty good. I'd like to try the sun-dried tomato ones, but they only have them in large bags around here and my husband doesn't like sun-dried tomato, so I haven't done that yet.
  14. Misa

    I'm a fraud

    I have two Slow-Food aprons and some fancy hand-painted plates with snails on them and a sticker on the back of my car but I let my membership lapse! ← LOL... just being "really slow".
  15. It depends on how adventurous the girls are, in regards to food. Either open faced or not: Nutella sandwich on raisin or date bread, with apples, cream cheese, and walnuts. Red onion sandwiches, made on white bread with butter. Mini-caprese sandwiches. Tomato, cream cheese, and pesto sandwiches. Various different olives, esp. varieties they might not have had before. Celery cut into bite sizes, filled with cream cheese or unsalted butter with salt sprinkled on the top. Offer various different breads, with compound butters. Mini fruit skewers Apple slices topped with peanut butter Apple slices topped with cream cheese and brown sugar Truffles (of the chocolate variety) Mini-tarts Lemon bars What kind of drinks are you planning to offer? Herbal teas, too? What about hot chocolate? (When I was a kid, my family didn't drink regular tea, for religious reasons, but we did herbal tea. Some warmed juices were good, too.) What's the seating going to be like? Because it's often nice to do tiered tea trays, and share amongst 2-4 people (depending on the size of your trays), and that would allow you to offer a bigger variety, but less of each.
  16. I'll have to try making it this way, for some of my food gifts this winter. Personally, I LOVE puppy chow. It's so tasty. I've actually been thinking about making some and taking it to work on the day of our final test (I'm still in training) in little ziploc bags.
  17. When I make lists, I usually bring two copies. One is my handwritten list (for me), the other is a typed list in largish print (for my husband, who has vision problems). It's handy, because there are certain sections of the store where I can be standing there for a good fifteen minutes, so when he starts getting irritated, I just send him off to pick up a few other things on the list! Most of the time, though, we're not list people. Or, rather, I write a list... and promptly forget it at home.
  18. Misa

    I'm a fraud

    I completely agree with using a boxed cake in an instance like this. Personally, I'm not made of money, and I've also got limited time... why would I waste a really good, made-from-scratch cake on somebody who can't appreciate it? I know, I know, that makes me a bad foodie, but really... especially since you doctor them, I feel it's perfectly acceptable. (And my own confession: I have a few family members who prefer cake mix cakes. I found this out on accident when I had very little time and grabbed a box mix and added some pudding mix. They always compliment me on how much better cakes "made from scratch" are and how "it tastes just like the cakes I remember from my childhood". These are people who think Costco cakes taste great, so they get cake from a mix. Give 'em what they like, I suppose.)
  19. No pictures, but today was an two eggs, over easy, each on half of an english muffin. I've had oatmeal pretty much every morning for several weeks... nice to have something different.
  20. Miso soup with no tofu in it, but lots of green onions sliced in. Mmmm.
  21. I generally tip about 20%. If it's one of my "regular" restaurants with waitstaff who knows me, I tip 25 to 30%. There have only been a couple of times where I've not given a tip. In one case, the waitress argued with me when I explained that I'd ordered something I hadn't recieved. "No. No, you didn't." It doesn't matter if I did or I didn't (though I know that I DID because it was really rare for my husband and I to spring for that particular appetizer). She also brought me the wrong soda - Coke instead of Diet Coke and then insisted I said "Coke" (I always order diet because I'm very "sensitive" to high fructose corn syrup and, in fact, almost never say "Coke" because I don't want there to be ANY confusion and, besides, never know whether they have coke/pepsi, so I say "Diet"). In addition, when dinner arrived, mine was overcooked (I asked for medium rare - it was well done) and my husband's was undercooked (he gets medium well, always, but his was on the rarer side of medium) - and it wasn't just a confusion of plates, because we'd ordered completely different dinners. Once again, she insisted that we were "lying" and "being difficult". I could have handled the "mess ups" and still would have tipped because who knows if it could have been her fault, it could have been the kitchen - until she argued about it. Then, not only did I know it was her fault, but she accused us of being difficult/lying. I left no tip, and a note to let her know why. I also called and talked to the manager because, if we hadn't been regulars there, an experience like that would have made us not come back - and I'd want to know if one of my staff was driving customers away. The next time we went in (the food there is good and most of the waitstaff is great), we specifically checked to make sure we weren't being waited on by her (we didn't see her that day). In that case, I feel no tip was completely justified. But, that's very few and far between. Even on "bad" service, I still tip 10 to 15 percent (we all have bad days). I tip one to two dollars on each alcoholic drink at a bar. It's on the lower end if they're too lighthanded with the liquor (at bars where I know they can pour with a bit of a heavier hand). For coffee drinks, when I get them, I tip usually a dollar per beverage, plus my change (as in coins) - more money for them, and then I don't have to have it in my pocket.
  22. I worked as a bar cook for a while and the cooks got tipped 10% of food sales from the shifts I worked. This came out of the waitstaff's tips. (Tips were pooled.) There were some of the waitstaff who would hand me my tips and say something like "You're getting almost as much as we are tonight" on their slower nights. But a lot of their slower nights were BUSY for me. And they were very demanding of us cooks... "Add extra cheese on this. He's a regular. " "I know it's not on the menu, but he comes in every week..." "I know they're not ACTUALLY paying the split price, but would you split it anyway?" (We would let them split - for a small extra fee - but then they'd get larger sides than if they just shared. If they just shared, we'd give them an extra plate.) "I know that you're in the middle of closing down the kitchen, but would you make something for the baseball team that just walked in? They always tip really nicely, so we want to keep them happy." Say that to me and then complain about the tips you have to give me? ("Please, work your little tail off so I can make more money" essentially.) You knew when you were hired that tipping out the cook was part of the deal. If you can't handle that, work someplace else. When I was hired, I was told "You get 10% of food sales." And I wouldn't have worked there for just the hourly alone. And the reason for 10%? Years ago, the waitstaff was supposed to tip out the cooks - who earned less hourly than the bartender/waiters/waitresses, I might add - but would not give the cook much at all. One day, the cook had done over $1500 in food (by herself, remember - and we're talking $5 to $7 dinners), and the waitresses came back and handed her less than five dollars. "We're sorry we can't afford to give you more." So, she split it up amongst the three waitstaff onshift (two waitresses, one bartender), put it in envelopes, and stapled it to their timesheets with notes saying that if they couldn't afford to give her even two dollars a piece, they were in even worse position than she and her four kids were, so they could have the money back. Blowup ensues, and the owner lays down the edict of ten percent.
  23. I love steel-cut oats, but normally just buy "regular" oats from the store. I boil one cup of water on highest setting, stir in half a cup of oats (usually with cinnamon mixed in), when oats are completely wet (aka 30 or so seconds later), add a cut up piece of fruit (or dried fruit cut into small-ish bits). Stir. Put a lid on (or, in my case, a plate since NONE of my stovetop pots appear to have lids anymore - and I don't know that they ever did). Let sit for one minute. Turn off heat. Go distract yourself for half an hour - I usually do this by fixing the oats right as I get up, often even before I hit the restroom, so I can shower and all that while waiting for my oatmeal - and then eat. Add sugar/sugar substitute as needed.
  24. Misa

    Dinner! 2007

    Congee with a bit of miso, chanterelle mushrooms, chicken breast, rice wine vinegar, red chili paste, and green onions. It was my first time making congee. Well, I'd made it overnight (erm... sorta, as I went to bed at four am) in my crockpot, had some with brown sugar and syrup for breakfast. Kept it warm all day in the crockpot (had set it on eight hours/slow) and fixed it up for dinner. My husband had never eaten congee before. He liked it. Score. Edited to add: sorry for the crappy pic. It was taken with my cell phone cam, as my digital camera's batteries were dead.
  25. Misa


    I've eaten two. (I had a particularly mean camp counselor. ) They were raw but the texture/"skin"/mucuous membrane was so gross that I threw up when I had the first one (hence the second slugh ). And the texture was VERY different than that of snails. I can't explain it because I try to block it out of my mind - I was expecting them to have the same snail-y texture, but no. I don't think you could pay me a million dollars to eat one again, cooked or no.
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