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Everything posted by MelissaH

  1. Aw, nuts! I was thinking about it (and a friend recently moved to St. Louis, to boot!) but I just got word that enough deposits are in to confirm that this year's edition of the fermentation science class will run. So the following Monday, I'll be on my way to Scotland. Post tons of pictures, please.
  2. I'll think about your mint today. That alone might be enough!
  3. The chocolate stuff is all fine and dandy, but I seriously covet that lemon tree. (You understand that I would never actually touch it myself, for fear of what would happen. I've killed mint. Multiple times.)
  4. MelissaH

    Chipotle's Mexican Grill

    I'd even settle for a Chipotle to replace the Fajita Grill in my town. Or instead of the Taco Bell that's going to be opening up across town from me.
  5. MelissaH

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    <cue soundtrack from the opening to The Music Man>
  6. Given that I've never thought of doing anything other than drinking the beverage resulting from steeping the dried leaves, it's still kind of blown my mind.
  7. MelissaH

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    I love that purple bowl.
  8. Do the dishes using tea as a vegetable give you a caffeine kick, or is it somehow mitigated by a cooking (rather than steeping) process?
  9. But I'd keep a close eye on it as it bakes. With a bigger pan, it might need longer in the oven to get the center done, which could result in the edges getting overbaked, which might imply that you need to reduce the oven temperature. If this is intended for an event, I'd probably try a test run ahead of time, so that if you have issues, you can make adjustments and try again.
  10. MelissaH

    Chipotle's Mexican Grill

    The last few times we've eaten at Chipotle, we've been disappointed. It seems like as they've expanded, they may have lost some of their QC, leading to the uneven results we're experiencing of late. That said, I think they're still better than Qdoba or Moe's or Fajita Grill (the only one like it in our town and god forbid I get hauled there). I tend to stick with the menu items they've always had, rather than the new stuff that appears periodically. Last time we were in Rochester, we looked at the Chipotle, looked at each other, and instead headed across the street to a Chipotle-like Indian-ish restaurant called Naan-Tastic. Right now, I think it's a one-off rather than a chain, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it expand in the future. The general concept is about like Chipotle: you choose the general format for what you want (burrito, bowl, or naan taco), and then you choose each component (base, protein, sauce, extras, and finish). We enjoyed it, and should we find ourselves in the neighborhood again, we'd return rather than hitting up the Chipotle. The big difference between the two, apart from Mexican vs. Indian, is that there are a TON of choices. I always thought the genius of Chipotle was that the options are limited (although there are still a LOT of ways to mix and match them to get something you like), which in theory should make it easy to consistently turn out the product you expect to get. I wonder if not just the geographic expansion but the menu expansion is at the root of the issue we've tasted.
  11. MelissaH

    2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

    Why bother? My family has always used cornstarch to thicken our gravy, the whole batch.
  12. MelissaH

    Making Your Own Condiments

    You got that right, at least according to this former Pittsburgher. I canNOT abide anything but, and get really frustrated by the holier-than-thou restaurants that tout their "house-made" ketchup. I wish they'd put their energy elsewhere, into something worthwhile!
  13. MelissaH

    Meeting-friendly snacks to bake

    Would you be willing to share your version of the recipe, please?
  14. MelissaH

    Instant Pot vs Pressure Cooker

    We have both a Fagor Duo pressure cooker and a 6-quart IP. Since getting the IP a couple of years ago, I think we've used the Fagor once, when we needed to do two things under pressure at the same time. I love that I can set the IP to go, and then walk out of the kitchen. The beep of the IP is loud enough that I can hear it from downstairs.
  15. I've tried a few flavors of Graeters, and was not impressed, especially at $8/pint. I was especially unimpressed by the flavors with chocolate chips, as the chocolate seemed to be gathered into a few very large chunks rather than well dispersed throughout. Around here, I'd just as soon save my pennies and get ice cream from Perry's or Byrne Dairy. Maybe Graeter's tastes better in Cincinnati?
  16. I'm fascinated to learn that when I see something labeled as "nappa" cabbage in my supermarket, they aren't misspelling it!
  17. The local Polish Catholic church does something similar for their pierogi, which they make in great quantities twice a year (just before Lent, and for their festival in early August). I've helped make the pierogi a few times, because I wanted to learn from the best. The afternoon before, the filling gets mixed, and then scooped with a disher into appropriate-sized mounds on a parchment-covered sheet pan. They can get crowded together, but they shouldn't touch. The sheet pans go into the freezer overnight. The next morning, the dough gets mixed, rested, rolled, and cut into circles. A frozen filling mound gets put onto a dough round, which then gets folded over and pinched closed. The finished pierog then gets put onto another parchment-covered sheet pan, this one labeled with the type of filling, not touching any others, and when a sheet pan gets filled, the pierogi go into the freezer till they're frozen solid, at which point they can be packed more compactly until they're needed, if it will be long. A few get cooked (boiled then fried) fresh for that day's lunch for the workers. And then after lunch, it's time to mix up the next day's filling and scoop it into mounds for the following morning. In addition to making it easy to avoid trapping air inside all types, the frozen filling is particularly nice for kraut-filled pierogi. By scooping the filling and freezing it first, you avoid having the tendrils of cabbage splay out and interfere with sealing the edges. The only trick is to work fast enough that the filling mound edges don't start to thaw before the whole pan worth is sealed inside dough. When there are more than a dozen people working together, it isn't usually a problem.
  18. MelissaH

    Congrats to Rancho Gordo!

    Me too, right down to the discount code deadline! (Psst, @rancho_gordo, did you know about that little glitch?)
  19. MelissaH

    Cookbooks 2018

    Is Japanese one of the languages that works with the Google Translate app's photo capabilities?
  20. MelissaH

    Tempering Chocolate

    Can you try it with boiling water? You can correct for atmospheric pressure.
  21. MelissaH

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    @Anna N, what does the cornstarch in the cabbage stuffing do?
  22. This is what I did for my first attempt. The eggs peeled easily, and did not have any green ring. The yolks were maybe a touch drier than would be ideal, but it didn't matter as I was glomming them up with mayo etc. to turn them into egg salad. Next time I might try setting a timer for 5 minutes and popping the valve after that.
  23. MelissaH


    Where do the so-called "Italian prune plums" come in all this, then? They're smaller plums, quite freestone, with dark purple skins and yellow insides. Delicious when fresh, or baked into cakes.
  24. MelissaH

    Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    I'm not sure if I should thank you or kill you.