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Everything posted by Aileen

  1. Aileen

    Gluten -free meatloaf

    Coming in late, but no one mentioned the substitution my gluten-free mom makes: crushed tortilla chips. She occasionally uses Nacho Cheese Doritos, as she doesn't mind chemicals and they make a tasty loaf. Tortilla chips work surprisingly well, actually.
  2. Aileen

    Home Brewing

    I just started homebrewing, my first batch is in the secondary right now and I'm going to bottle tomorrow or the next day. I like the tip about bottling, I'll try that!
  3. I have a big problem with the way animals are treated on factory farms. I live near a town that has a huge number of feed lots (not close enough to smell them every day, though, thankfully!), and whenever I see the way those cows live it disgusts me. They are at a minimum a foot deep in muck, without shelter of any kind, and so crowded they can barely move. Sickening. There is also a turkey processing plant in my town and I've seen turkeys shoved tight into tiny cages and stacked 15-20 high in the middle of 90+ degree heat with no shade. They were sprayed with water to keep them alive. I don't know how long they were kept there, I was only nearby for an hour. I suspect it was a long time. I don't know how anyone can NOT have a problem with that sort of treatment of animals. I grew up raising sheep, cows, and goats, and we ate the ones we didn't keep for breeding, so that aspect obviously doesn't make everyone immune to "omnivore guilt". I avoid some of the guilt by buying only free-range organic chicken and 100% grass-fed beef from a local ranch where the cows graze on national forest land. My kids and I don't eat meat every day, either. I just think it's better for our health to go veggie-heavy.
  4. I'm landlocked (Colorado), and this is my favorite fish dish: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/pan-seared-tuna-with-avocado-soy-ginger-and-lime-recipe/index.html Super easy and wonderful with rice and roasted asparagus. I use frozen tuna in cryovac bags from Safeway and it always turns out great. Everyone I've served it to loves it.
  5. I made the Crisp Oven-Fried Fish from the latest issue the other night. The flavor was very good, but I doubt I would make it again. The coating had the tendency to break off in chunks, which really bothers me for some reason. I'm still looking for a perfect oven-fried fish recipe.
  6. My absolute favorite was Big Cherry. NOT Cherry Mash, which is much easier to find these days - and not nearly as good, IMO. If I'm at a gas station I always check for Big Cherries, and when I find them I buy a dozen or so...
  7. Can't let a comment like that go by . . . please elaborate! Was base camp in Nepal? Some kind of two mile high pasta club in the galley of an airplane? ← I've never tried to cook pasta at that elevation, but I camp every summer outside of Leadville, Colorado (our campsite is about 11,200 feet), and it takes a LOOOOONNG time to cook rice there. I assume the same is true for pasta.
  8. I tried poi for the first time last week, absolutely revolting! Room temperature slime with no flavor of any kind. I like all sorts of "strange" foods, but that stuff made me ill! Hmm, I also can't stand yogurt by itself, I'm thinking it's a textural thing.
  9. I just returned from Kauai, and have a few opinions to share! I'll start with the bad to mediocre: Hanalei Dolphin. The food was okay but EXTREMELY overpriced for the quality. The kid's meals were $12 for mediocre fish and chips, etc. I ordered the seafood chowder, which was seriously lacking in seafood but tasted ok ($20). The fish of the day was $31, no one at our table ordered it, but my parents had Ahi that was presented well-done (they weren't asked how they liked it cooked). Bubba's. Maybe it's just a personal preference, but their burgers were very dry and I thought their "special sauce" (ketchup and relish) was terrible. Grind's Cafe (Waimea or near there): Mixed. Some of the kids had pizza which was quite good, my older daughter had chicken ceasar salad, small portion, which was HUGE and tasty. I had chili and rice (trying to go with the local stuff), and the chili was extremely bland, very disappointing. Restaurant directly behind CJ's in Princeville: Sorry, can't remember the name. My sister's crab legs were terrible. Everything else was bland and overpriced. Now for the good: JoJo's Shave Ice (Waimea): Yum! The macadamia nut ice cream made the shave ice fabulous, and I'm not really a huge fan of sweets. Bar Acuda (Hanalei): Everything we ate was delicious. It was VERY expensive - $15 for one sea scallop presented on mashed potatoes - but some of the tastiest food I had on the island. Also, the menu was quite limited. NOT a kid place (we left ours with their grandparents.) Tiny bakery/cafe in the Ching Young Village center, Hanelei: I can't remember the exact name, but the food was great local stuff. Huge and wonderful brownies, tasty breakfasts. I had the Loco Moco, it was fantastic. Hamura's Saimin (Lihue): Very good and cheap - even if the place looks like it might fall down at any moment. The Special Saimin was even better with a healthy splash of the pepper vinegar provided on the tables. Cafe Hanelei (Princeville Resort): My favorite meal, even though, once again, the kids' meals were overpriced and mediocre. My mom got the fish of the day ($25), grilled Ono with a parsley beurre blanc, which was absolutely beyond delicious - best single item I tasted on the island. My sister and I ordered the Ahi sandwich (rare, of course), crab cakes, and soup of the day. All were fantastic. The crab cakes were my favorite, though. Huge lumps of crab, nice avocado-based salsa on top. Can't beat the view there, either, and the service was better than most. There were others, but I can't think of them off the top of my head... Wish I had pictures, but I only thought to take a pic of the Saimin, and don't have it handy right now. Editing to add Scotty's: I tend to forget because BBQ is just BBQ to me. It was good, though, and a lovely view! Editing again to add that we looked everywherre for Hanalei Mixed Plate, it appears to have closed. I also forgot to mention Smith's luau. I was very impressed with the quality of the food considering they were trying to feed about 300 people at once. VERY tasty! I loved the entire experience actually, it was one of my favorite activities.
  10. Aileen

    Wild Asparagus

    Thanks! It's a pretty steady stream of cars going both ways on a two-lane road. It sounds like the plants are too close, don't think I'd want to risk it!
  11. Aileen

    Wild Asparagus

    Add CO as well. I've been driving a new way home from work and have seen a lot of mature plants. I was thinking I would try to pick some next Spring, but then I wondered if the fact that they're growing so close to a pretty busy road is a bad thing. Do you think the quality and flavor would be hurt by car exhaust?
  12. I always did the horizontal cuts for many years. I started skipping them a couple of years ago, as I never seem to cut myself unless I was performing that particular cut. I got sick of it. I agree that the dice are fine for home cooking without that step. Note that I have a visible shake to my hands that makes the horizontal cut somewhat more difficult to perform (Essential Tremor, inherited from my father).
  13. I detest most pre-made baked goods, unless they're from a small bakery and made fresh. The artificial flavors/preservatives in them make me gag.
  14. Since when is recalling an anecdote from your past for a very small blurb in a magazine article "selling out"? I, for one, LOVED it. (And I love Oprah, too.)
  15. I made this simple recipe for a party last week, it was a big hit: Endive with Smoked Trout and Herbed Cream Cheese I love the flavor of raw endive, myself.
  16. Besides The French Laundry Cookbook, which I don't use because most of those I cook for wouldn't care for the food, I've had a lot of problems with Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen. I had downloaded quite a few recipes from the Food Network site and made them with great success, but after buying the book I realized that the recipes in the book are different from the ones on the site, by just enough to sometimes ruin the dish (for example, calling for a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes in the online version and a 28 oz can of the same in the book. Didn't realize it until it was too late.)
  17. Aileen

    Cookbook Roulette

    Daniel, I regularly make the Chicken Tostadas With Tangy Romaine (not sure if that's the exact title), they're wonderful. I've also made a few of the taco recipes (one called for chorizo and avocado salsa), they've been very good as well. I need to note that I live in a town with a large Hispanic population, though, and can easily get wonderful Mexican ingredients.
  18. I grew up with Kraft but abandoned it when I found the real thing. Since then I've always bought chunks of Parmiagano Reggiano, and served it to my kids. Over the summer I had a babysitter who bought and cooked meals for my kids. I came home one day to find a green can in my refrigerator, and I was horrified! Sadly, though, I found that my kids much prefer the green can to my freshly-grated Parmiagano Reggiano. That seems to happen far too often where my kids are concerned. Starting them off with the good stuff doesn't seem to make them immune!
  19. Aileen


    I saw a display of these in a local mall a couple of weeks ago, and I'm tempted to buy. I, like Marlene, grow herbs myself in the warm months, but waste a lot of money through the winter on the packets from the grocery store. I also don't have a window near my kitchen that would work for a window garden, and these things are very pretty! I think I just talked myself into buying one.
  20. I grew up eating both "real" mashed potatoes and instant. A favorite after-school snack for me was a bowl of instant mashed potatoes, eaten with my fingers (only when my mom wasn't around, she frowned on my eating-with-my-fingers habit). I still love both kinds, although they are very different. The only thing I can't stand is mashed potatoes with the skins - yuck.
  21. I don't like hard candy, none of it. I can tolerate candy corn, maybe 2 or 3 of them. Not too fond of ice cream, either. Don't care if I never eat it again.
  22. Bill, I just have to ask about good places in Monticello! I grew up in Grand Junction and years ago worked at Lake Powell, and when I drove through Monticello and Blanding last summer I was dying for a decent restaurant!
  23. Because I'm a single parent and work full-time with a 45-55 minute commute, and making my own tomato sauce is low on my cooking priority list, I rely almost completely on Barilla. I have many pasta recipes that are simple enough not to need it (like Puttanesca), but if I just want some American spaghetti, Barilla's my favorite.
  24. Just read this, and I must agree with Maybelline about Star of India in Ft. Collins. I used to eat there often when I lived there and still miss it! Now I live in Longmont, which is a town with some wonderful Mexican food, but I must say that two weeks ago I was having some margaritas at the Rio Grande downtown (Denver), and after waiting forever for a table we decided to give up and go to a tiny Mexican dive across the street. I don't recall the name (if anyone's interested I can look it up), but their carnitas were excellent - better than any I've had before. The rest of my party raved about their food as well. Warning, though - the margaritas are terrible.
  25. For me, neither. But for my SO, definitely pie. Rhubarb pie especially.
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