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Everything posted by MelissaH

  1. MelissaH

    McDonald's 2013–

    I thought the only pies currently available were baked apple pies. Not that I know for sure, because for us, McD's is exclusively road food, what we eat in the car when we haven't been able to pack something to come with us. My husband thinks their burgers are easier to eat with one hand than other fast food.
  2. MelissaH

    McDonald's 2013–

    I hope the filets o'fish get fried in different oil from the Donut Sticks.
  3. MelissaH

    NYC steakhouses 2019–

    My husband and I would like to eat a really good steak on our next visit to NYC. The kicker: we'd like to eat with a friend who will eat seafood of all kinds, but not meat. (We were surprised to hear that steakhouses often have good seafood options, in our friend's opinion.) Who is doing a really really really good steak these days, with good fish or other options for vegetarians? Our original thought was Peter Luger, which I've always heard of as a classic. But I'm a little turned off by the difficulty of getting reservations there (the line seems to be busy every time I phone), and somewhere that takes credit cards would be easier to deal with than somewhere that famously does not. But first and foremost is getting a good meal. I've never eaten a dry-aged steak, and am looking forward to the experience. Sides (potato and vegetables) are also important. FWIW, our friend will be coming from work, which is just west of Union Square. Bonus points if it's easy to get to from there. Thanks! Melissa
  4. I'm curious if they mean they aren't good to use in a baked good where they get melted and incorporated into batter. They look quite striking in the cookies!
  5. Whoa. 12 square meters is about 130 square feet. Our bedroom is bigger than that. And it felt like a stretch (or maybe a crunch) to us when we spent three months of sabbatical in a flat that was all of 40 square meters: living/dining room with Murphy bed, kitchen, bathroom, WC, and balcony about the size of the one in your photo. (One of my most vivid memories of that time was that every morning, one of us would ask the other, "Are you done in bed?" so we could fold it back up and regain our living space.) We had a little more than three times the space you did. Is that a typical size for an apartment in Kyoto? How many people lived there? What sort of space did you have, and what were some of the things that many people expect to have in their houses that you needed to go elsewhere to find?
  6. MelissaH

    Trader Joe's Products (2017–)

    Please don't buy out the entire supply in upstate NY, because I won't get to the closest TJs until Tuesday, which is still three days off!
  7. MelissaH

    Lunch 2019

    @Anna N's lunch looks like our dinner last night. We used locally made Italian sausage for our ground pork (half mild, half spicy), and the only other seasoning was from a jar of chili crisp.
  8. MelissaH

    Trader Joe's Products (2017–)

    OK, I'll be planning my slate of next week's Syracuse errands to include a TJ's stop. I'm way too intrigued by the freeze-dried grape idea. (As long as they don't resemble evil raisins in any way?)
  9. MelissaH

    Microscopic Herbs

    Thank you for this. I think some of the photos might make neat kitchen art!
  10. Have you tried using organic powdered sugar? It typically uses tapioca starch rather than cornstarch (because it's difficult to source non-GMO corn) and thus has a different mouthfeel. It also doesn't taste as processed, thus you might not need to add the coconut extract.
  11. MelissaH

    Dinner 2019

    How much of a PITA is coring the sprouts and separating the leaves?
  12. MelissaH

    Congrats to Rancho Gordo!

    Protip: email customer service and ask nicely, and they'll email you a PDF. (That recipe looks delicious!)
  13. A long time ago, I was really excited to find fresh water chestnuts like these in one of our local supermarkets. I bought a bunch, and then paid again when I spent far too much time cleaning them up. When I ate some, I was chagrined to discover that they tasted remarkably like jicama, which is a lot larger and thus a lot easier to peel and otherwise prepare, not to mention more readily available everywhere I've lived. Since then, I've subbed in jicama for water chestnuts in many recipes, and it works for me. The jicama is maybe a touch sweeter than water chestnuts, but it doesn't taste like a can and has the same crunch. I like crunch almost as much as I like bubbles in my drink. Maybe I'd go back to water chestnuts if I had women peeling them at my farmer's market. Alas, it's still nearly 4 months till the market will open for the 2019 season, so I'll have to wait to find out! 😂
  14. MelissaH

    Dinner 2019

    I'm not sure which is easier: you taking a 6h flight, or me making a 6+h overland trek to NYC. But the recipe here has flavors that seem close to what we remember eating at Xi'an Famous Foods. (We prefer the noodle version rather than the soup version, which is what this recipe is.) We use the chile oil in other things, too.
  15. MelissaH

    NYC steakhouses 2019–

    We'll be doing this in April. If it hasn't warmed up by then, there are bigger problems than finding a good steak somewhere that can accommodate a pescatarian. This visit will be a quick one, and we're somewhat constrained. There's exactly one night that nobody has other plans, and that's the one we're targeting for dinner. This will be pretty much our only chance to actually visit with our friend. Wine isn't so important, as a grand total of maybe 2 glasses will get drunk among the three of us. What's most important is that all of us get a really good dinner, and that we can hear each other talk. Every meal I eat downstate gives me massive sticker shock, so the prices I've seen on line don't look worse than normal to me. A PITA reservation is problematic, given our constraints. Thank you all for the other recommendations. I'll probably give our friend some options, and give her the option of knocking places off the list. I may be wrong, but I suspect good fish isn't as easy as good steak. Melissa
  16. MelissaH

    Camping, Princess Style

    I made a loaf covered in Dutch Crunch a really long time ago—like before I met my husband, so pre-1995. A quick look through my older cookbooks didn't bring up any obvious recipes, alas, so I can't tell you where I found it. It's entirely possible it was something I made either when I still lived with my parents, or when I visited them, which would mean it's in a cookbook my mom has but I don't. I should make this again.
  17. MelissaH

    The Soup Topic (2013–)

    As far as being dense on the bottom, I'd guess one of two things: either the loaf was overproofed, or it didn't get enough initial heat from the bottom to get full oven spring.
  18. MelissaH

    The Soup Topic (2013–)

    Probably so you compress it a touch to be sure it will fill out the corners all the way?
  19. MelissaH

    Food of Appalachia...

    And growing up in Pittsburgh, I'd always heard the Alleghenies described as the westernmost range of the Appalachians.
  20. This article came up in a FB thread from a friend. And mentioned in that, a couple of times, was another book I think is worth bringing up again here: Good & Cheap by Leanne Brown. The book was basically her master's thesis. It's probably pretty well agreed-on that one of the big problems with the USDA's food plan is that you need to have significant inclination, knowledge, and energy, along with appropriate tools, to feed yourself and your family on the budget allotted by the agency. And that's just considering nutrition, not even getting into the issues of monotony and boredom from eating the same things again and again. Those of you who are teaching classes may be able to use the book in designing your curriculum—and best of all, the author has made the text freely available as a PDF: https://cookbooks.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf
  21. MelissaH

    Camping, Princess Style

    What I'll sometimes do with these books: look up each ingredient, and compare the lists. (The lists will note if there are classic combinations or combinations that are really good, and sometimes they'll note if there are ingredients to avoid.) If there are list items in common for the ingredients in question, that's obviously a direction to explore. If the lists don't share any items exactly but have things that could be (tightly or loosely) thought of in the same balloon, there might be a way to put them together. And if the lists are widely divergent or explicitly listed as fighting with each other, I won't go there.
  22. MelissaH

    Breakfast 2019

    Love the bowl. I've never had buffalo milk yogurt, but I like yogurt in general. Bananas are NOT NOT NOT food!
  23. MelissaH

    First bonbon attempt(s)

    Can you share more specifically where you'll be opening?
  24. MelissaH

    Trader Joe's Products (2017–)

    This. The market for stuff to be eaten in schools is enormous. Halloween candy in the U.S. is not uniformly made in peanut-free facilities. I know people who wish it were!
  25. I love this thread, both the knowledge imparted and the conversations spurred.