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KarenSherwood

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    http://www.desertdreameraz.com

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  • Location
    Gilbert AZ
  1. Our first dinner together was sushi, which we both knew we loved. He convinced me to try uni for the first time. (I've been hooked ever since.) The first meal I made for him was baked chicken with a spiced apricot glaze, couscous with pistachios and blackcurrants, and roasted asparagus. I figured if he didn't like seasoned food, the relationship was doomed. He loved every bit of it, and now that's our "special" meal. He's a keeper!
  2. Two of my favorites for tasty recipes, insight into the how's & why's of a recipe or technique, and just fun reading are Kitchen Conversations by Joyce Goldstein, and Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread by Crescent Dragonwagon. Crescent's accounts of running a B&B are entertaining and the recipes are terrific.
  3. Our 2 YO house is on a slab. All I have in the kitchen is ugly linoleum glued to said slab. (We did it on the cheap because we knew it was short-term.) We have a 'room' that's a continuous kitchen/dining/family room area. The dining area has a sliding door to the back porch/yard, so I want something that's easy to clean in that area. After much debate, I seem to have won my DH over to considering cork for the kitchen area and saltillo tile or a porcelain knockoff for the dining/family rooms. I have a bad knee, so something comfortable for standing is imperative. I've used some industrial matting (UGly!) and some foam tiles for my work areas, but I'm not happy with either solution. Our house is Southwestern in design so I want something that will be in keeping with that theme. I'd love to hear reports about clean-up, durability, comfort, etc. Thanks!
  4. Rice cookers have always made me nuts. The stuff comes out either dry, near-burnt, or soupy. Gimme a simple saucepan any day.
  5. I'm crying over the blue cheese thing. Love the stuff! My fave is Spanish Cabrales...I don't detect any mold taste at all, just an almost-citrusy brightness. My no-no is oysters. They're slimy and disgusting in any form, IMO. I like a lot of other seafoods that are definitely stronger in taste, so maybe it's a 'slippery' issue.
  6. I guess it works for long grain white rice, but I think that's the nastiest, blandest stuff on the planet. I prefer a 2:1 ratio of water to Calrose rice (minus 1 tablespoon). I learned from my DH, who learned from his Japanese ex-wife's MIL. Funny, his ex burned rice on a regular basis, but mine has always come out perfect. Hehe Oh, I'm assuming this is for plain cooked rice, like for stir fry. My favorite rice is risotto (which really isn't that different, just more goodies).
  7. The most incredible crabcakes I've ever had were at La Paloma in Philly. Barb Cohan-Saavedra posts here but I'm not sure if she can give away her DH/chef's secrets, but she told me they're ALL crab (crab mousse or some such used as binder). I'm still hyperventilating over this concept, but the proof was in my mouth. The less 'filler', the better, IMO.
  8. My kids are interested in different things. My daughter (almost 18) likes to make homemade sushi, various dim sum fillings, brownie variations, and lovely fruit tarts. My son (14) makes heavenly omeletes, perfect fried eggs, bunches of drop cookies, and great chicken/veal parmigiana. They've both helped me out in the kitchen with various meals for many years. My daughter is currently collecting favorite recipes (and getting exasperated with my 'chronic lack of measuring anything') for her summer away in NYC. Her dorm has a kitchen with 2 microwaves and a 6-burner stovetop, and she's planning accordingly.
  9. Just gotta chuckle at the wine snobs. I'm perfectly happy to drink Two Buck Chuck (Three Buck in AZ) as a regular dinner wine, so I don't see what the problem is at all. I always thought the 'myth' was aimed at 'cooking wines' with added salt, anyway.
  10. My DD was reading over my shoulder...she recommends gingerbread people decorated to look like anime characters. (cosplay cookies!) That'll give your decorating abilities a workout.
  11. I'm wondering about the Mormon factor. I can certainly see how that argument could work, but there seem to be a fair number of restaurants around here (I live less than a mile from Dual) that do serve alcohol and do succeed. (I'm not Mormon and definitely not a teetotaler.) Baci has a lovely little wine list, and I see wine on many dinner tables. The parking lot at the Applebees in the same shopping center as Dual is pretty full during the Happy Hour times, and the few times we've been there the bar area is reasonably busy. And there are better-end restaurants in Mesa that seem to do quite well, too, despite a heavy Mormon contingent. Then again, maybe that explains the dearth of higher-end restaurants around here. <shrug> Lord knows Gilbert isn't lacking in money.
  12. Interesting questions and answers! At the risk of starting a socio-political fight, my OPINION is that I never much cared for some feminist doctrine particularly because of that 'looking out for #1' stuff. I do what I do the way I wish to do it because it gives me pleasure, not because I'm being measured by some 'cause.' And it gives me immense pleasure to cook for my family...husband AND kids! I'm blessed with reasonably adventurous eaters in my home (thanks be to the kitchen goddess!) We try new things on a regular basis...some stick around, some disappear, as do some tried & true dishes. It's all an adventure. Some days I'll try something for me, sometimes for one kid or the other, sometimes for my husband. He's great at getting me out of culinary ruts, and a fantastic co-cook, as well. Ultimately I guess I cook for me, purely because I enjoy it. (But it's a treat when my son makes me breakfast in bed, for the same reason. <G>) Just a side note about a man hanging up his tool belt....My uncle was always Mr Fixit for my aunt, and built her many beautiful and useful things. When she died, his shop gathered dust in a matter of months. When DH and I expressed concern about this, he told me he tried, but he just didn't know what to make without her suggestions/requests. She was his motivation. I suspect many couple-cooks are the same way.
  13. I think they've all come to AZ to visit my hummingbird feeders. Crazy but true, the poor hummers can't get a sip because the ends are COVERED with bees for most of every afternoon. It started a few days ago, when we hit 80 again. Happens every spring and fall. We also have a very confused sparrow (I think it's a sparrow) who keeps trying to feed from one feeder but can't hover long enough for anything more than a hit & run. I've seen the hummers come up and chirp at the sparrow. "Dude, who do you think you are???" LOL
  14. The Mexican crop just hit our stores too! 10 lbs for $10 at one store, $.77/lb at another. I just blanched/froze 12 lbs. yesterday. Mmmmmmmm (I underblanch spears so they cook without going mushy...30 second plunge in boiling water, 1 minute in icewater... pat dry, lay out on cookie sheets covered with parchment, then into the chest freezer for 24 hours. Next day they go into baggies for summer delight.)
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