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Everything posted by Pierogi

  1. Pierogi

    Food Songs

    "A Spoonful of Sugar" from "Mary Poppins"/"Saving Mr. Banks" "A Taste of Honey" by Herb Alpert (which was on the album "Whipped Cream..." cited above) "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" ("...buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks....") "Oh I Wish I Were An Oscar Mayer Weiner" (ok, that one's a stretch, since it's technically an ad, but still....iconic to those of us of a *certain* age in the US) "Saturday Night Fish Fry" Louis Jordon "(I Found My Thrill On) Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino I'm stopping now, but rest assured, I'll be tossing and turning all night coming up with more !
  2. Pierogi

    Food Songs

    Nilsson's "Coconut"....."Put 'de lime in 'de coconut, you drink 'em bot' up", etc. Booker T. and the MG's "Green Onions" "Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pandowdy" Lennon & McCartney's "Strawberry Fields" Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts" And who can forget the immortal "Popcorn" by Hot Butter (shout out if you're a child of the 70's.....) That's all off the top of my head.
  3. You are correct, Shel. They are, and I no longer buy Ortegas as a result.
  4. Oh my. You and me, both, Heidi. I *used* to think I was on top of what was going on with the LA trendoid restaurant scene, but I have to admit (ashamedly), that I've only heard of about half of these places, Nevertheless, I'd take any one, or all, of these dishes in a heartbeat, save maybe the one with the geoduck. I've heard those are......ummmmm.....chewy at best. I was particularly intrigued by the dish with the short ribs and the strawberry accent.
  5. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, thank goodness ! I was so bummed to see that the blogs had been officially suspended. This is welcome news for the New Year. Thanks for the good effort, Heidi.
  6. Wonderful report. Love these sorts of posts, they open my eyes to so many places I'll likely never see (but sure would love to). Those Israeli salads (tomatoes/cukes/onions) are always so pretty and sound so good and fresh and flavorful, but when I make them, they always disappoint. Wonder what I'm doing wrong,,,, Thanks again for sharing !
  7. Shopping day is tomorrow (Friday) for everything but the fish and desserts, so I'd damn well better be sure of the menus at this point ! Wiglia (Christmas Eve in Polish) Fish "Warsaw" salad (in lieu of the cucumbers in sour cream)....this is cukes, radishes and apples sliced on a mandolin, in a lemon juice/sour cream dressing Creamed mushrooms (the Poles LOVE mushrooms), made with both dried & fresh 'shrooms Noodles with poppy seeds, raisins and honey (another traditional Wiglia dish) Pierogies Dessert (tbd) Christmas Small rib roast with horseradish sauce Potatoes dauphenoise Pearl onion and chestnut compote (from a recipe in the November "Saveur" by Mary Sue Milliken.....looks decadent) More pierogies Green veg (likely asparagus, or Brussels sprouts, or haricot verts, depends) Dessert (tbd) Egg Nog and cookies I'm still feeling good, been a baking fool, but the computer, she is dying.....y'all may get updates/photos or maybe not.....depends on the status of the machine and or the replacement. In any event, in case I don't get back before *the day*, "Wesołych Świąt" to everyone !
  8. Tomorrow I'm doing my "not a fruitcake", which is a sweet bread with dates, candied cherries, nuts and chocolate chips. The recipe, which was my Mom's, calls it Bishop's Bread. Why, I have no clue. I always have to warn people that it's "not a fruitcake", since so many are put off by the the day-glo red and green cherries ! But it just isn't the same without them. I'll also make some cranberry-hot pepper jelly, which I found in Bon Appetit several years ago. Hot, tart and sweet. It's great as a condiment, and works really well over cream cheese as an appetizer. Cookies, of course....I think 6 or 8 varieties this year. Pierogies, also of course. 3 varieties (potato/cheese, mushroom/sauerkraut, ground beef/mushroom/onion/kraut), shared with special friends ONLY. And I'd like to try my hand at pickled cocktail onions, canning them in a hot water bath. If for no other reason than I'd like some for my own cocktails.....
  9. FWIW, about 8 years ago, when my RA got so bad, I too, couldn't knead dough, I started using my puny, 5-quart KA to make my pierogi dough, which is essentially an egg pasta, each year. Granted, it's a small batch of dough (2C flour, 2 eggs, appropriate water to bind), but it works great. And this is NOT one of the monster, mega-HP lift-bowl KAs, but as I said, a puny 4&1/2-5 quart tilt-head. It powers through it just fine. I don't run it too fast, and I do finish up the kneading by hand (as best I can), once it's come together nicely in the mixer. But I haven't noticed it laboring particularly. I use the paddle to get it started, then switch to the hook to work it for about 2-3 minutes. Turn out, rest with the bowl covering, then work it by hand for another 2-3 minutes. Rest another 10-20 minutes before rolling, cutting and filling. It saved my rep as a pierogi maker.
  10. Christmas Eve for us Poles is meatless, so whatever fish/seafood looks best in the store(s) when I shop will be the main.....pierogies (ahem), of course. For Christmas Eve, the potato/cheese and the sauerkraut/mushroom fillings. Boiled, and then sauteed in butter with onions until the butter browns....a green veg of some sort, probably asparagus if it still looks nice, or brussels sprouts. Possibly additional sauerkraut as a side.....sometimes I feel that, sometimes not, we'll se what develops. Cucumber salad (thin-sliced cukes in a sour cream/vinegar dressing, with chopped scallions, fresh dill and chopped HB egg) is a must...a MUST. Haven't decided on dessert yet, but there's cookies involved at some point too. And, not only is Christmas Eve a meatless day, in the Old Country (back in the day), it was a fast day, so nothing was eaten until dinner. I may not adhere to that..... Christmas Day will be a small rib roast, possibly either Yorkshire puddings/popovers or a potato dauphinoise (or both, since I fasted on the 24th, right?), and a green veg....maybe haricot verts, or whatever I didn't use for Christmas Eve. Possibly a pierogi or two, or three.....egg nog, Dessert is up in the air for Christmas, also. But that's what's sketching out in my mind at the moment. Mostly, I'm just so, so happy that I feel well enough to actually cook (AND SHOP) for the first time in 3 years ! The planning and the thought of the process is making me a very happy girl.
  11. Andie, THAT is a great idea. I, too, have issues with sensitivity to cold.....
  12. Let me preface this by saying I haven't made a pilgrimage to TJs in several weeks, and, as notorious as they are for having products that are "here today, gone tomorrow", this may not still be available...... However. When last there, I found a delightful, scrumptious, delicious little delight in the goodie aisle called, IIRC, "Spicy Ginger Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting". I was happy to see it, because, at that point, all the sweets were all pumpkin, all the time, and I'm not a huge fan. This was a nice, warm, seasonal treat that was a great change from the pumpkin whatever. It's a loaf cake....about the size of a loaf of banana bread. The cake is dark....likely got a decent amount of molasses and/or dark corn syrup, but not dense like you'd expect a "gingerbread" type thing to be. A definite "cake" texture. Some good, autumnal spices, but not overwhelming of anything. A good ginger hit. The frosting also had ginger in it, and there were slices of crystallized ginger scattered over the top. The frosting didn't cover the whole loaf. It also wasn't overly cloyingly sweet like some cream cheese frostings can be. It was a nice counter punch to the cake. All I can say is, I hope they still have it when I visit the altar of the Trader again this week. Try it if you can find it, absolutely a 2 thumbs up.
  13. Pierogi

    Glaze for Baked Ham

    Let me throw in my $0.02 for the mix of mustard and citrus. I use Dijon, orange marmalade, horseradish, brown sugar and orange juice. The recipe says to stud with cloves, but I feel that the clove overpowers everything else, so I don't. The horseradish is crucial, IMHO. Gives that back hit of a little something to enhance the Dijon. Only glaze I ever use now.
  14. I am obviously following this thread with great interest....as many of you know, I've had rheumatoid arthritis for almost 15 years now. Right at the moment, my hands are not a huge issues in terms of pain (other joints are happily picking up the slack in that regard), but they have been in the past, and the damage has been done and will be permanent. Because of the joint damage, like the others, I have limited grip strength. Since the RA has also affected my wrists, it's multiplied by that. The damage to my shoulders has also damaged the tendons in one shoulder, so the strength in that arm is further compromised. For me, the biggest challenge, aside from the strength issues, is the loss of fine dexterity control in my hands due to the joint damage. Picking up things that are not big and bulky is a real PITA. Thin, skinny things.....fuhgedaboudit. Skewers, toothpicks, that sort of thing. Small caps are also tough. Bottled water/soda tops. Ketchup bottles (if they don't have a flip top....). That sort of thing. Between the lack of dexterity and the loss of strength, I can struggle with opening a bottle of water forever. The things I've found that help most....the jar poppers like Andie linked to. They have enough leverage to break that v[acuum, the handle is bulky enough that it's easy to grip. OXO opener I use an a lot and really like it. Because of the shape, it can handle the small, "bottle" top caps, as well as the large jars. Thus far, between the "vacuum popper" thingie and the OXO, I'm managing. I gave up using a garlic press years ago. Now I bash and mince. If, for any reason, I want really, really finely minced garlic, I either use my Microplane, or do the press-with-salt-and-the-back-of-the-chefs-knife routine. This this one (actually not exactly that one, but it's basically the same thing) is what I use. Not only does it not ever come into contact with the food, so no gunky wheel (which was the initial attraction), but the large turn knob is easy to grab and the handles are comfortable. Tongs ARE a challenge....Andie, I will have to check out the ones you linked to. I agree with those that suggested a mandoline. You can find a decent one for less than $50.00, and they're light and easy to handle, unlike a full-size food processor. Sure speeds through slicing a ton 'o' stuff in a hurry. I throw mine in the dishwasher, not sure if that's recommended, but don't much care. I *just* replaced one I'd had (and dishwashed) for about 25 years, so I don't think it's particularly an issue. Just be sure to use the pusher, they are wicked sharp when they're new. Or a cut resistant glove, That said about food processors, I do have this [amazon='[url=http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KFC3100OB-Series-Chopper-Black/dp/B00005LA9I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1384668544&sr=8-2&keywords=kitchen+aid+mini+food+processor]http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KFC3100OB-Series-Chopper-Black/dp/B00005LA9I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1384668544&sr=8-2&keywords=kitchen+aid+mini+food+processor']KitchenAid mini chop and use it a ton. Small, good for us folks who only usually cook for one or two, easy to move, again dishwasher safe, and does a decent job chopping and blending. Salsa, pestos, mayonnaise, things like that. Smal batches of fresh bread crumbs. Not heavy duty, but does what it's supposed to. Also this [amazon='[url=http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KHB1231ER-Speed-Immersion-Blender/dp/B005GFXK1K/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1384668781&sr=8-4&keywords=kitchenaid+immersion+blender]http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KHB1231ER-Speed-Immersion-Blender/dp/B005GFXK1K/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1384668781&sr=8-4&keywords=kitchenaid+immersion+blender']KitchenAid Stick Blender. Whips cream, purees soups and sauces, does what you'd expect a blender to do, but without having to heft around a blender. Easy to store, guess what, dishwasher safe, and sturdy, Had the Cuisinart version and it died in less than a year. So far, after about 3 years, this one's still running strong. Don't be tempted to get the one that has the mini-chop attachments. THEY die about the 3rd time you use them. Get the 2 separate appliances. In general, I like the OXO Good Grips line. They give me the heft and bulk in my hand that I need. Anything that can give me leverage, a big surface to grip on to, and is relatively easy to store/lift/move is a winner in my book. The best advice I can give you is to hold something as though you were using it in your kitchen. Only then will you know if it's a good tool for you/ Now, if I could only find a motorized lifter to help me heft around my Le Creuset and Calphalon pans and the KitchenAid mixer.......*sigh*..... ....Eagerly awaiting more suggestions to make my life easier (I like the looks of that apple corer, a perennial pain in my hands.....)
  15. Nope. Not me, but I agree it's someone in California. Maybe Frog Princesse? Or Blue Dolphin? As I recall, she's on the Central Coast, around San Luis Obispo, I think. Shel B maybe?
  16. There are many brands and types of packaged bamboo shoots of various sizes etc, OTHER than canned brands. Have you tried those? Fresh bamboo shoots are also available but those are a PITA to prepare. Jicama is not, IMO, a substitute for bamboo shoots. It is an error to think that fresh vegetables are always better. Many dried or preserved or salted vegetables are ingredients in their own right and are valued for the distinct taste and/or texture they acquire. They are not just replacements for the fresh. There are many such examples in Chinese cuisine, for example As I said...due to convenience/limited supply, canned bamboo shoots/water chestnuts are what is available to me most often. For a bastardized stir-fry of leftovers, they do, sort of. I also mispoke, and I apologize for that. I use jicama as a sub for water chestnuts, not bamboo shoots. Those I actually don't find too dreadful in the canned form. It's the water chestnuts that I can't take. Canned bamboo shoots are actually fine. And....I mostly cook American/Southwest/Mexican/European food because that's what I grew up with and am most familiar with. I know that Asian cuisines make great use of dried/preserved vegetables and that they can be amazing. But that is not what is usually on my dinner table. However, when I do make an excursion into those cuisines, and want to do it as *authentically* as a Southern California, Polish/Norwegian girl can, I make every effort to source the appropriate ingredients specified by the recipe.
  17. Routine frozen: corn peas green beans pearl onions Routine canned: Tomatoes (diced and whole) (this includes the awesomeness that is Rot*el) Ortegas (mild chiles) Corn (Green Giant's "MexiCorn" and creamed) Various beans Everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING else, in the veg realm is fresh. When I need them, because of convenience/seasonality, I will buy canned artichoke hearts (although I prefer frozen), bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Although, lately, I've found that the canned bamboo shoots have such a metallic "off" flavor, I'd either leave them out entirely, or sub something like jicama. SOMETIMES, frozen spinach when I don't want to deal with the mass and cleaning that fresh presents when you just want to cook it down to a manicotti filling. Frankly, I can't tell the difference between frozen corn and frozen peas and the fresh in cooked dishes. In raw applications, then, yeah, fresh is best.
  18. Seriously??? Someone thought *seedless* pomegranates would be a good thing? Curious since the only edible part is the seed/aril. Unless someone went through and meticulously took all the little, tiny, itty, bitty seeds out of the arils..... Gotta love it.
  19. I am guessing this http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Onion-Naan-51154880 Is it? Congratulations on making naan you really enjoyed. Must give it a go. Yes, Anna, that's it precisely. Thanks for finding and posting the link....just didn't have the energy/patience to do that along with the pictures.
  20. Well, I don't know what the "experts" would say about my attempt yesterday, but as someone who has eaten a lot of naan over the years, I think these were pretty damn close to a real, tandoor-baked version. I used a recipe from the April 2013 "Bon Appetit". It calls for milk, yeast, sugar, flour, salt and full-fat yogurt. It also has finely chopped onion in it, but I think you could probably leave that out for a plain version. The dough rises for an hour, then you roll into balls and rest for at least 10 minutes. Shape into the desired oval, and cook on a ghee- or oil-brushed cast iron pan. I used ghee. Here's one cooking on the first side. It may be difficult to tell, but it did bubble up quite profusely, not totally separate like a pita bread, but very bubbly indeed. After flipping, the bubbles deflate when you turn over to the second side, but the bread remains nice and airy inside: And the whole shebang, swaddled in its nice towel to keep warm and toasty. The full batch made 10 naan, and there was no way I could eat all of those before they went bad (well, ok, realistically, I probably could have, but I'd have regretted it later.....), so I took half of the batch, already formed into balls, and put them on a sheet pan in the freezer. I'll take them out today and stash 'em in an airtight bag. Hopefully, when the craving for naan strikes, I'll be able to take out one or two dough balls, thaw and cook. I have made naan before using the superhot oven/pizza stone method. Those were a disappointment, and I prefered to just purchase frozen from TJs if I wasn't getting the real deal at a restaurant. Just wasn't worth the effort when the TJs are decent and easy. THESE however, were totally worth the effort, which wasn't much. The dough is easy to work, if a bit sticky, and the shaping went well enough by hand that I didn't try to use a rolling pin. Fresh off the griddle they were absolutely amazing.....steamy, soft, charry with a nice onion flavor. Tangy from the yogurt. Even rewarmed in foil in the oven at dinner they were still a damn site better than the frozen. I'm sure the whole recipe is available on Epicurious, although I haven't looked. The magazine also had a pictorial on how to shape them.
  21. The current issue of "Saveur" (November 2013) has a source for wild rice. The name is Native Harvest. They sell 8 ounce bags for $9.00. They can be contacted at (218) 375-4602. Their web site is nativeharvest.com.
  22. I can't add much to what others have said.....only that I am feeling the same. Sadness, shock, gratitude that I had a chance to share his world through his writings here, and an inexplicable sense of loss for someone I never "met". How strangely wonderful that this group has given us the opportunity to know each other's lives and passions, and how strangely wonderful that I type this with tears in my eyes for someone I never knew in person, but felt I knew very well, indeed. Thank you Linda and Rupert for sharing Dave with us. My thoughts are with you as you navigate through the world without his physical presence, but with him in your hearts and minds forever.
  23. The plot, she thickens....just saw a headline on the Time's web site to the effect that the first complaint came from....wait for it....the son of one of the Irwindale city council members!!!! Hmmm, entitled, spoiled offspring expecting special favors? Quel surprise! As I said earlier, *something* in Irwindale stinks for sure. And, Katie, one doesn't move to Irwindale for a bucolic respite. The city is mostly industrial, and heavy industry at that. Always has been. It ain't a rural glade by any stretch of the imagination.
  24. If you've ever BEEN in Irwindale....you would know that the smell of chiles is an improvement to the ambient air quality ! Seriously....I find it amazing that the City management/governance is being so business-unfriendly about this, and has actually asked a judge to shut them down pending the installation of the air scrubbers. Long Beach would LOVE to have them ! So would most cities in the LA area, Some comments to the article on the LA Time's web site today implied that perhaps the city officials had missed a kickback or two. Dunno about that, but I really have to say the attitude of the city is perplexing at best. As an aside, the local air quality management district (SCAQMD) has found no issues with the plant. As someone who, in a previous life, had a LOT of dealings with this agency, I can speak to how rigorous they are. *Something* don't smell right here, and it ain't the chiles !
  25. Andie, about an hour after I put up my original post, I thought....."boy, I bet Andie will have something to suggest...sure hope so". Et voila....our Goddess of Gizmos came through, as always. One of those will be in my sink, shortly. Thank you!!
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