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Everything posted by Jujubee

  1. Berry Burst Cheerios. I like the Triple Berry (purple box) better than the Strawberry Banana (yellow box), but I'll happily eat my way through either kind.
  2. I really don't see what the fuss is about this article. So she doesn't cook and eats out all the time. She also sticks to diet foods and orders the same thing over and over again. Looking around at the people in my office I would say more people share food traits with her than with me, someone who loves to cook and try different things. Every time we have an office function it's at a "safe" chain, every time we go to the safe chain many people order the same thing, and a lot of people won't eat egg yolks or only order salads. I also don't see the correlation between this and being soul-less. My husband is a eat to live kind of guy, really couldn't care less if we nuked dinner every night or ate out (as long as we could afford it). And he's very passionate and caring and wonderful in many other aspects. In fact, I think the main reason he loves that I cook is because I love it and it makes me happy, if I didn't he wouldn't want me to cook because my happiness is more important to him than food. To me that doesn't make him soul-less. Quite the opposite, in fact. When we eat really amazing food (because food is my hobby and something I seek out) he likes it. But he likes more than we're out exploring a new city or restaurant together, and enjoying each other's company. Foodwise, he'd be just as happy eating at McDonalds (tastes pretty good to him - not to me though) as long as we were enjoying each other's company. What's wrong with getting your fulfillment from family and friends, as this woman seems to? It doesn't even have to mean her health is bad. Frankly, if not for me my husband would eat total crap (and he did before we met). He's literally one of the skinniest people I've ever met in my life, his grandparents are all in their 90s (one turns 100 this year - and he still mows his own lawn) and all 4 are still alive and very mobile, and his family eats total crap. Processed everything. They eat because they have to, not because they like it. And they are wonderful people who happened to get really lucky in the genes department. So this woman takes it to an extreme. She seems happy, active, and fulfilled. Live and let live, I say.
  3. I think it's a load of hooey. I kept a food diary for over a year, and the time of day I ate didn't have an effect on the amount of weight I lost. The quantity and type of food I ate did have an effect, as expected. One rational I've read in women's diet/fitness magazines is that late night eating tends to be "bad" food: sneaking carb-y, fatty foods standing up in front of the fridge. In other words, eating without regard to portion sizes and health.
  4. Jujubee

    Make and Take

    I like cooking dinner in my own kitchen, including the prep work. It's really small and has crappy rental apartment applicances, but I have nice sharp knives and big cutting boards. Stuff is stored in a logical fashion and within easy reach for actual cooking. Cooking in my mom's kitchen or my MIL's kitchen completely and totally sucks though. The cutting boards are about the size of decorative cheese boards, and they own really, really bad knives (Ginsu anyone?). I HATE helping them cook because it's so awkward and it takes so long. I don't think my mother or my MIL have even replaced the vegetable peelers in 20 years or so. So yeah, I can imagine people are willing to pay for someone else to do the prep work.
  5. I signed myself up for one of those weekly pregnancy email updates. At about 6 weeks, the email said the baby was the size of a lentil. So my sister nicknamed the baby Lentil and it has stuck, even though I'm now at 19 weeks.
  6. Sunday night: NY Strip Steak; Purple Fingerling Potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper; Garlicky Green Beans with Parmesan Bread Crumbs Sunday lunch: Seasoned Fresh Chinese Noodles (tossed with a wee bit of sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and scallion) with Sausage, Egg, Bok Choy in chicken broth simmered with garlic, ginger, scallion, cilantro This is where we admit our guilty pleasures... Saturday dinner (eaten in front of the TV while watching a movie): Pigs in Blankets (kielbasa sliced lengthwise and wrapped in Pillsbury crescent dough) dipped in honey-mustard sauce (just honey and mustard mixed together); Spinach Dip (homemade, no soup mix packets) with red bell pepper and tortilla chips for dipping; Beets and Walnuts in Dill Vinaigrette (it doesn't go with the rest of the meal but I really like beets).
  7. I like to use quick oats instead of regular oats. I prefer the texture that way. The recipe on the Quaker Oats canister is fine, though my personal favorite is in _The Good Cookie_ by Tish Boyle. I don't have the book with me though, so I can't quite remember what the differences are.
  8. My husband does this too! In my house, I cook, he cleans. If there's a lull in my active cooking time (maybe something has been set to simmer for a while before I put on finishing touches) he will go in and start loading the dishwasher or something like that. Unfortunately, it never occurs to him that the food in little bowls (chopped parley, garlic, shallots, or maybe a few chunks of butter for finishing a sauce) is not suppose to be thrown away. Grrr.
  9. I love your blog, little ms foodie! It makes me realize how much I miss beautiful Seattle, and how determined I am to move back there some day. I am so impressed with how well you cook, eat, and drink!
  10. Unfortunately, most of the silverware (including many of the major manufacturers mentioned here, especially the American ones) that is sold these days is pretty small and lightweight, especially when you place them next to a full size dinner plate. Many of these manufacturers will make the exact same patterns in a larger size (I think they call them European sizes? I'm not sure about that) so you can get a pattern you like with a nice heft to it. However, when you're price shopping around, make sure that the price you are being quoted is for the bigger patterns. If you can afford it, I would recommend Christofle. This stuff if very hefty, and comes in Christofle silver (which is technically silverplate, but is so heavily plated that it has more silver per piece by weight than sterling silver pieces from other manufacturers) or sterling silver. It feels absolutely luxurious in your hand. A place like Bloomingdale's will have both "regular" manufacturers of silver and Christofle so you can feel and see the difference for yourself. As for where to buy, try www.michaelcfina.com. I haven't specifically shopped for silver there, but they had better prices on our china. I think www.ross-simons.com also sells at a discount, though I don't have personal experience with them. Also, once you pick out your pattern, just do a google search on the manufacturer and name. There are a lot of online stores out there selling at a discount. Whether or not you want to buy from them is up to you. Also, look at www.jomashop.com. For example, they have the Christofle Marly pattern (sterling) that retails at $650 for a 5-pc place setting for $400, or the 110 pc service for 12 that retails at $12,000 for $7,200. They guarantee that their products are 100% Genuine Christofle silver; however they are not an authorized dealer (I don't think authorized dealers are allowed to sell at that discount). The risk is up to you. Actually, I've even seen signs at Costco that say they are not an authorized dealer (for a high end watch, I think), but they guarantee the authenticity of their products, and I trust that Costco is a reputable seller. Actually, now that I think about it, I saw a sterling silver set (service for 8 or 12 in one of those storage chests) of Towle Old Master (?) at my local Costco for a good price. (It might not have been Towle Old Master, but at the least it was a well-known brand that sells in that price range in a similar pattern. I just remember that they were selling a pattern that was on our short list of patterns, and that pattern name jumps out at me. However, ultimately we decided to hold out for the Christofle because of the gorgeous feel.)
  11. Here's how I dice mangos. Looking at the mango, you can guess where the big flat seed in the middle is. I cut two big slices off the sides by slicing parallel to the flat sides of the seed. You end up with two wide boats of mango still in the peel. Then I score the flesh (criss cross knife marks) into the size cubes I want, all the way down to the peel, but not cutting through the peel. Then flip the "boat" inside out, and all the cubes will stick out and start to pull away from the peel. Use a knife to finish cutting the cubes off the peel. Sometimes I also cut thin slices from the sides of the mango and cut cubes out of that, but other times I just eat the rest. I never bother to try to get extra meat off the seed, I just suck on that. Cook's treat. Messy, but good.
  12. Mmmmmmm.... those Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cupcakes are incredible. They bake up very big and full looking, and with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkling of coconut they look just as irrisistable as in the photo. I made them for a party and folks were moaning in ecstacy. Note though, that the frosting recipes makes at least twice as much as you need for that amount of cake (and I piled it on).
  13. That's an interesting observation. My husband and I are house hunting right now, and I've actually noticed the opposite trend. The newer homes all have huge, expansive, beautiful kitchens, while the older homes have smaller, darker kitchens, even when the square footage of the house is about the same. If anything, the new homes sacrifice the living room for more kitchen space. Some of the older homes we've seen have seperate rooms for a formal living room, and then a casual living/family room (and maybe an additional basement/rec room). In the newer homes, the formal living room is obselete, and instead there is one multi-purpose living area, and maybe still an additional rec room in the basement or common area upstairs by the bedrooms for kids. We are shopping in suburbia, not the city, so maybe that has to be taken into account. But even in suburbia, people are eating out more, getting takeout more, etc. But your point is one I hadn't thought of before. I'm sure someone out there keeps statistics regarding how much space is devoted to specific rooms in new constructions and remodels vs. how much used to be devoted in the past. And I would really be curious how that differs in city vs. suburb vs. rural.
  14. You know, that's an interesting comment. My MIL once said to me that when her kids were little, her pediatrician said to her "don't listen to people who say your kids are too skinny. Most kids are too fat." Today, my husband is still very thin (BMI = 18). I use to think she took the doctor's comments a little too much to heart, as my husband had a couple unusual health problems and a lot of issues with food (e.g. when visiting his parents - we were in college at the time - he would feel guilty for eating "their" food, and we would buy our own at the grocery store; or he would be very stingy when serving guests and not be willing to share his food in general). However, now I don't know. My parents were in the overabundance of food camp (All your teenage friends are hungry after school? Sure, bring them over!), and my sister and I are both a bit chunky (not my brother though). Not obese, but overweight and constantly trying to lose a few pounds. So who was right? On one hand, I get short-term sick (flus, colds) much less often than my husband, and I have more energy on a day-to-day basis. I am much more generous with food and friends and family, and enjoy the experience freely. On the other hand, he has a much lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc., and he never has to worry about his weight.
  15. Re: the $1,000,000 home w/ kitchen vs. $900,000 w/o I don't think you can take that extra $100,000 and apply it to the cost of cooking. I think most people who don't cook still want a kitchen. They want it for the fridge (to hold leftover takeout), the microwave (to nuke said leftovers), for the dishwasher, for the seperate storage space for food (most people don't want to store chips and cookies in their living room, even though they could), and for a seperate sink for food goo. Also, I'm thinking of all those people who don't cook but have gorgeous, top-of-the-line kitchens with gorgeous, matching All-Clad pots and Wusthof knives and absolutely no intention of using them. Kitchens are showpieces. A realtor once told me that kitchens and baths sell homes, and resale value factors into whether or not to purchase a home too. And, currently most (if not all, I certainly haven't seen an exception) house/condos have kitchens. People already pay for them, yet eating out is very much on the rise. So even beyond the sunk cost of their current kitchen that they've invested in, it's still worth it to them to eat out. I agree with the poster that said it is due to lack of time. People just feel their time is worth more than the $$ they save by cooking at home.
  16. Well, I have a confession. I use to be a clean as you go person (meaning I would load dirty stuff in the dishwasher and wash the odd pot or knife as I was done with it) when I cooked and cleaned only for myself. Now I have an agreement with my husband: I cook, he cleans. So I don't clean as I go anymore. I just leave it all for him. In my defense, the reason I started doing this is because he considers himself done for the night when the dishwasher is started and the pots and knives are washed and drying in the rack, NOT when everything is dry and put away. Thus, when I start cooking dinner the dishwasher and drying rack are still full. Actually, we got in a fight over this because I like washing up as I go along to get clutter out of the way. But he wouldn't budge, and I hate getting home late from work and then having to clean (put away stuff) before I even start cooking, so I've just learned to live with it.
  17. Because no one in their right minds would overeat fat-free cheese? Sorry, I just couldn't resist; I think the stuff is vile. Whereas I've actually found low-fat cheese that could be pretty dangerous...
  18. For me anyway, this is a huge reason. Regarding cooking in general, I think when people find out that I cook well and we eat at home most of the time (especially unusual in our group of yuppie DINK couples), they might think that's cool, but in a condescending "oh, how quaint" or "are you trying to be Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker" way. It's not considered worthwhile for a well-educated young woman with a promising career to value cooking when you can just pay someone to do that (never mind food quality - but I think most people really don't care that much). Similarly, and more directly to what Carrot Top was saying, my husband and I want to start trying for our first baby. We're in the talking-to-parents-and-friends-to-get-information stage. When I told my mother that I was considering staying at home for a few years, her response was that it was a waste of time and that my brain would turn to mush. I told her my job in Corporate America was mind-numbingly boring and I welcomed the opportunity to take a break, and hopefully change tracks into something I liked better in a few years. She said boring jobs were the best for raising kids, because then you could concentrate on the kids. Um?!?! Needless to say, this conversation ended badly soon thereafter. But my point is that domestic things, whether cooking or staying at home to raise kids (because it is hard to have both people work 12 hours - my current situation - and still get a meal on the table even without kids) is just not respected. Forget the lipservice ("Mothering is the most important job in the world.") When it comes down to it, most people look down on domestic activities, and while I would like to think I don't care about what people think, I do. And I think I’m not alone.
  19. So more on the low-point snack front (I hope these aren't too mundane for you guys; I'm posting them because I often have "I can't believe I didn't think of that, it's so simple!" moments): I was very happy to discover, with the online food database, that asian pears are 0 points. I never bothered to look them up since regular pears and apples are 1 pt each I just assumed asian pears were the same. This doesn't matter for the core people, I suppose, but for those on flex I actually found myself avoiding fruit and instead just eating vegetables because I didn't want to spend points, no matter how few, on something so healthy. I know, I know, screwy logic. Frozen bananas - honestly, if you haven't given these a try, you should. When I went on weight watchers I stopped making banana bread as often with all those overripe bananas in my freezer. They were starting to take over, so I had to do something. Anyway, they're sweet, they're creamy, and they take a while to eat since they're frozen. Sometimes I actually prefer them to ice cream (the more I do weight watchers, the more I lose my sweet tooth). Not 0 pts, of course, but less than ice cream. The other tactic that I employ is that I eat micro-servings of something. So, for example, with pretzels I calculated that I could eat 2 pretzels dipped in a minute about of ginger-wasabi dip and have it slide in at 0 pts. This is most useful when I get home and need to eat something just to take the edge off while I'm cooking dinner. This has really taught me that sometimes a taste will do it. Who could have thought that such a small portion could do it?
  20. I've seen a double yolk twice, and both times I was at a friend's house. She only buys jumbo eggs and says she gets them regularly. I believe her because I've only cooked with her twice (within maybe a few months), and saw a double yolk both times. I only buy large eggs, as they seem to be the standard in most baking recipes, and I've never, ever come across a double yolk in a large egg.
  21. Jujubee

    Apple Pie

    For reference, I don't use any thickeners in my pie. These were my experiences last season: Macoun - made an unbelieveably fresh tasting apple pie. Biting in to this pie was like biting into a crisp fall day. However, they were super juicy and absolutely soaked the bottom crust so that it was too mushy to eat. The slices held up very well, but were sufficiently tender with no mushiness. But again, the thing I remember the most about this pie was the incredible fresh fall taste. Cortland - good all around. Tender slices that were just on the verge of mushiness. Amazingly, no running juices. In terms of texture, these apples managed to cook down to just tender enough to compact nicely. The flavor was pretty good, but not amazing. I think I like just a bit more tartness or bite in my apple pie. Granny Smiths - okay, but not to my liking, at least not by themselves. They stayed too firm for my tastes and were very, very tart. Of course, I could remedy this by adding more sugar, but I wasn't impressed enough with the first pie to experiment more. To be fair, these came from the grocery store, while the Macouns and Cortlands I picked from an orchard. We're going apple picking this weekend, so I'm looking forward to trying a few more varieties. Also, I can imagine the suggestion to mix apples would work really well. I would love to find a variety to mix Macouns with so I could have both great fall flavor and a bottom crust worth eating.
  22. When core first came out, there were some news articles that addressed this, but unfortunately I can't find them right now. Basically, it's not just about nutritional info. In that case something like whole wheat pasta and whole wheat pita would probably be categorized the same. It's also about convenience (discouraging eating that is "too easy") and tendency to overeat. When they did their trial runs (with select meeting across the country, I believe), they initially included things like fat-free, sugar-free flavored yogurt and whole grain bread, but they found that people overate these in a way they didn't do with fat-free plain yogurt that you have to flavor yourself, or whole wheat pasta. Same with cereal: their initial trials allowed all cereals that met a certain nutritional profile (I'm assuming high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar), but they found that people ate more Cheerios, for example, than other high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar cereals that are still on the list. Hope that clears it up some for you.
  23. If I read your post correctly, it sounds like you still tipped 15% for crappy service. 15% is hardly a stiff. You have nothing to feeling guilty about.
  24. LOL. I had a similar experience with a yogurt/jello product concoction. Back when I was going to meetings, my leader repeated raved about this concoction, saying that everyone who has ever tried it loves it and it is great for breakfat and really low in points, etc. The first time she told us about it I didn't even consider trying it, but after the 5th or so meeting where she raved about it again, I got caught up in the "it must be good if people are so enthusiastic." It was plain ff yogurt, a package of sugar free pistachio flavored jello pudding mix, and a can of crushed pineapple in juice. While it wasn't the most vile thing ever, it was one of the episodes that convinced me that I couldn't exactly relate to a lot of folks at those meetings.
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