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Everything posted by Jaymes

  1. Interestingly enough, the first thing my son said to me on the phone was that he had tried "all the usual suspects" - Fiesta, Mi Tienda, and I can't remember what else he said - probably some of the big all-purpose "ethnic" markets like 99 Ranch and H-Mart. Don't know how familiar he is with Canino's, but I definitely love the place. And that Flores Spices is a wonder among wonders - one of the most amazing stores I've ever been in. Honestly, you should get yourself there immediately. Kind of a magical corner, what with El Bolillo right there, too. But I decided to take the last line of your advice and telephoned Sur Peruvian Grill. The guy said, "Check the Peruvian section at Fiesta - the one out here in Katy - that's where we buy ours." Have to say that I'm in that Fiesta a lot and had no idea there was a "Peruvian section" in the produce department. I don't know which Fiesta my son went to, but I got him this new info at once. Pointed out that, not only could he find the peppers at the Fiesta out by me, but he could visit with his mama as well. Going to work out great. So, thanks.
  2. My son loves to cook and his new interest is in Peruvian cuisine, particularly "Chifa," Peruvian-Chinese: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chifa One of the iconic Chifa dishes is Lomo Saltado, which includes, among other things, a chile pepper called Aji Amarillo: http://www.piscotrail.com/2011/08/02/recipes/lomo-saltado-chinese-peruvian-beef-stir-fry/ He hasn't been able to source the fresh peppers in Houston, but has found Aji Amarillo paste, which is what he's been using. But I'm wondering if anyone knows where to find the fresh peppers. ​ ​
  3. Really fun seeing the photos. So does "the business" include name, recipes, etc., in addition to goodwill? In short, everything?
  4. Do you ever buy whole fish to skin & fillet? Good for that. Also great for cutting pizza, chopping nuts and other veggies, fresh and dried herbs. Have you ever used an Italian mezzaluna? Basically the same tool. I used to live in Alaska and had a couple of ulus. Used them a lot.
  5. Those flavored oils and vinegars can be pretty tasty tossed into a green salad. I do try to use them up that way. Don't want to use my uber-expensive oils and vinegars in tossed salads, so those "freebees" work well for me.
  6. Yes, definitely something of a pickle. You do appreciate the effort and thought, so you can focus on that with your thank-yous. And then say, "but it was really too sweet for me." As you're having that conversation, you should be able to get a clue as to whether or not he'd like for you to return the rest. If he doesn't mention it, I wouldn't either. And then never take him any more muscadine grapes. Or any other variety for that matter - just to be on the safe side.
  7. Well, that press release does say "wing lovers across the nation," so I guess it's everywhere. Might have to give those spicy ones a try. Hate to say it, but I don't usually go for the wings when I have a choice because dealing with all those little bones is just so dang messy. Thanks. PS - NW Arkansas, eh? Beautiful country. Wouldn't mind living there myownself.
  8. Do you know - are these available at all the Sonics, or is it just a regional thing? Where are you?
  9. Especially when folks are interested enough in said chef to travel as far out of their way as most folks must in order to get to Silver City. Those are not just casual diners. They're culinary hobbyists, interested in enjoying Rob's food.. They'll know.
  10. I'm happy to see you here, too ElsieDee. Really looking forward to your contributions. eG is pretty easy to cruise around, as I'm sure you'll readily realize.
  11. Wonderful report, Bruce. I'm definitely going to check that out, and sooner rather than later. Thanks.
  12. Yes - talk like a Polish pirate! Be that a kielbasa in ye knee breeches or be ye just glad to see me? .
  13. Notice your sig mentions Kerala. Is that where you're headed? Beautiful place. But they definitely can use some help. If it were up to me, think I'd start with sanitation. Dire. Would be unimaginable in a disaster situation, although perhaps it's improved since I was there. Good luck to you. Wonderful of you to take this on.
  14. I agree. Think it's wonderful. And hope you'll update us as to how it's going when you can.
  15. Quite a few food-minded Houstonians are planning on meeting up at the Polish Harvest Festival this weekend. We'd love to see more folks show up. Want to know exactly when and where we're gathering, pm me. http://www.polishharvestfestival.org/
  16. Great luck - I happen to know the twelve young people there. And if that's where you wind up I'll send them all your way!
  17. I probably should have been more specific in my response. Silhorn did ask about bean "powder." I do think of the instant refried beans as "bean powder," but they're not. They're actual dehydrated beans. You can even pick them up one by one. Which my dad sometimes did as a snack. My response as being a pretty good product is about these dehydrated beans, like the ones to which I linked. Silhorn, if you're talking about actual bean powder, or flour, that doesn't sound workable to me. But if you do want an acceptable dish of refried "mashed beans without all the mashing," I definitely do suggest you give one of the instant dehydrated refried bean products a try. That's exactly what they're for. If you've got some other sort of "bean powder" in mind, I can't help you. And I'm sorry if I misled you.
  18. I hope you resist the urge to answer the siren song of Santa Fe, where you'll be just one more trendy new kid on the culinary block. Don't know why I feel so protective of you. Guess I'm getting old enough that my grandmotherly instincts kick into overdrive all too frequently. Maybe Cruces? On the way to a lot of places. Emerging culinary scene. Close to major city. Your current loyal client base can (and I'm sure do) get there with some frequency. Folks drive from all over to go to Chope's (although I personally don't think it's worth it). Abq? Tucson? Dragoon? Park yourself right next to The Thing. Scribble your name on all their roadsigns. Huge new market. Huge. .
  19. Good news - Houston has more people! Bad news - it's in...um...Houston.
  20. Yikes. Planning to drive from Houston out to SF Bay area for Christmas. Was determined to stop in Silver City for at least a day or two, just to go to Curious Kumquat. Say it ain't so, gfron. Or at least, say if it is so, it will be well after the first of the year. Or at least, say if it is so, and it's before the first of the year, you're coming to Houston. That would work, too.
  21. Like most dishes, refried beans made "from scratch" using good, fresh ingredients are superior to refried beans made with instant rehydrated products. That said, I do know for a fact that a great many Mexican restaurants do use some of the assorted brands of instant beans. And I've eaten them myself fairly often. My father loved to take his motorcoach off on adventures and when he got too old to safely do that by himself, we kids would take turns going with him. He loved Mexican food, and refried beans (especially molletes with beans and avocados for breakfast), and packets of the powder were the easiest thing to take with us, and to cook, by far. The truth is that, given what they are, they're not bad - especially when you dress them up with some salsa, butter, cheese, pico, sour cream, what-have-you. They're certainly good enough for things like bean dip, nachos, molletes, etc. And it's handy to keep a couple packages in your pantry for last-minute dinners when you simply do not have the time to make refried beans from scratch which, let's face it, does take some advance planning. I think they're better than canned refried beans, which are a staple in many kitchens. If you don't want the vegetarian and/or low-fat option, you can reconstitute them using chicken or beef broth, or even stir in a little lard or chopped bacon or chorizo or whatever. , There are quite a few brands. You can go online and read reviews, but, especially since my dad had health issues, he preferred this non-fat vegetarian brand: http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Fe-Bean-Vegetarian-7-25-Ounce/dp/B000FICDO8/ref=pd_sim_325_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=1CCQW7XKADV29SVX8WNN&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR111%2C160_ ​ ​
  22. I love pumpkin bread, muffins, cookies, etc., as much as anyone. But my eyes really light up at the thought of such desserts as pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin flan, and this wonderful treat, that I often prepare for Thanksgiving dinners in lieu of the more typical pumpkin pie: Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie Crust: 1 Pkg cinnamon crisp graham crackers 1/3 C melted butter Grind crackers into crumbs. Mix with butter and press into a deep pie dish. Soften 1 qt best-quality vanilla ice cream. Snip ½ jar (the size of McCormick spices) candied, crystallized ginger into small pieces. Combine ginger and vanilla ice cream and pour into crust and freeze. Combine 1 C canned pumpkin, 1 C sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, ¼ t powdered ginger, 1 t ground cinnamon. Mix well. Whip 1 C cream to soft peaks. Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mix. Pour over frozen ice cream. Dust top with pumpkin pie spice. Freeze until firm. ​
  23. Here's a little something I found pretty interesting... As a great many of you are probably aware, there's been a recent "cucumber recall," with cucumbers from a particular company, "Limited Edition," being contaminated with salmonella. But what really caught my notice is that, when you read down the list of stores that were carrying these exact same cucumbers, you come across both WalMart and Whole Foods: http://kfor.com/2015/09/04/cucumbers-sold-at-walmart-whole-foods-recalled-for-salmonella-risk/ What do you guess the cucumbers were selling for at each store? Doesn't make Whole Foods look so special.
  24. This is really pretty-much my whole world right now. I babysit my daughter's four kids, ages 7, 5 1/2, 4, and 2 1/2. They're all in school - from first grade down to preschool. They all need breakfast, snacks, and lunches. My daugher and her husband work stressful jobs, fulltime, so life is kind of a madhouse - a wonderful whirlwind of a madhouse - but a madhouse just the same. When daugher had her first child, she was all about no commercially-prepared foods. She nursed that baby for about a year, and then it was only organic, homemade baby food, preferably from her garden. Needless to say, she's over all that now. I doubt that, with only one to take care of, you'll need to embrace all of her tips, methods, shortcuts, but a few of them might help you out. First - she always has a nice supply of dry cereal. She definitely avoids the highest-sugar brands, but does buy cereal that the kids will eat dry (Kashi Squares, Frosted Shredded Wheat, Honey Nut Cheerios), and puts them into those small "snack size" plastic bags. They're always available so she can grab a few at a moment's notice. At breakfast time, the littlest kids will sometimes just get a handful of that cereal along with fresh fruit that they eat with their hands, and a glass of milk. The oldest child can manage to eat cereal with the milk and a spoon, without getting it all down her front, so that's what she gets. Sometimes on the weekends, my daughter will make up a big batch of oatmeal, or cream of rice, or cream of wheat, and put it into the fridge. Then on busy weekday mornings, it's ladled into individual bowls and heated in the microwave. For the littlest ones, she stirs in enough milk so that it's the consistency of mashed potatoes, making it easy for them to eat with a spoon. There is always fresh fruit, and either juice or more milk to drink. Sometimes on Sundays she also will scramble up a bunch of eggs. It keeps just fine in the fridge for several days. So during the week, it's easy to get some flour tortillas, put in a little bit of the scrambled eggs, a dash of mild salsa, and some grated cheddar cheese. Maybe a little leftover ham or chorizo if they have it. And into the microwave for breakfast burritos. She also makes her own breakfast bars, following several favorite recipes, but reducing the sugar. If the family is running really late, too late to eat breakfast at the table, then it's "Into the car, kids" and they eat their breakfast bars on the way to school. She also buys breakfast, granola, etc., bars as a backup. In addition to the dry cereal which doubles as snacks, she buys an assortment of healthy snack-type things, like those vegetable things that look like pastel-colored French fries, dried apple crisps, other kinds of dried fruit, edamame, etc. She buys them in bulk, but then fills up those little snack bags and has them ready to grab and go. Definitely often includes cheese - those cheese sticks, or cheese slices, or cubed cheddar, Munster, whatever she has on hand. She also often sends raw vegetable crudités - baby carrots, celery sticks, broccoli, etc., which the kids really like eating with what they call "white sauce," which really is, of course, ranch dressing. And she tosses apple slices with lemon juice to keep them from browning, and sends them with peanut butter (it's not banned at any of their schools). She orders both the ranch dressing and the peanut butter in handy single serving cups. Like this: http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Valley-Ranch-Single-Cups/dp/B00WGUWEJW/ref=sr_1_9?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1441487848&sr=1-9&refinements=p_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A5872339011 And this: http://www.amazon.com/Jif-Creamy-Peanut-Butter-cups/dp/B00C6VNWTC/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1441487944&sr=1-1&keywords=individual+peanut+butter+cups She has an assortment of lunch containers and lunch is often leftovers from last night's dinner. She saves those 'plastic knife, fork, spoon, napkin' packets that come with takeout orders and puts those into the lunchboxes. She also buys plastic forks that she sends along with the lunches when she doesn't have any takeout packets. She doesn't worry about things like heating up last night's spaghetti, or rice and chicken, or mac & cheese, or whatever. The kids seem to eat it just fine at room temperature. Overall, I'd probably echo Heidi's suggestion not to overthink this. You're setting out on one of life's greatest adventures. So have fun with it. And I'm sure you, and he, will do just fine.
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