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blue_dolphin

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Everything posted by blue_dolphin

  1. blue_dolphin

    New house, new kitchen

    Beautiful! Looks like a bright and beautiful space to cook in.
  2. blue_dolphin

    Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    I was lucky enough to have received my dim sum training from Chinese friends. I remember an occasion back in the very early '80s probably, when LA's Chinatown still had more dim sum places than the San Gabriel Valley and the bill was still figured by counting up the plates. A Caucasian couple was seated within earshot and were clearly unfamiliar with the offerings so they asked the server what they were. She lifted the lid from the first stack of steamers on her cart and tilted one so they could see the contents and shouted, "MEAT INSIDE!" She did the same with her next stack, a completely different item, and again loudly intoned, "MEAT INSIDE!" and yes, she said the same thing a third time for her last offering. I can't remember what the items were but I think one was shrimp, one pork and maybe something with chicken. Those diners could certainly have used that field guide!
  3. blue_dolphin

    Trader Joe's Products (2017–)

    I used some of the semi-dried cherry tomatoes in a quick pasta with broccoli and hot Italian sausage Flavor-wise, they're similar to sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. You can probably tell from the photo that they retain more moisture than regular sun-dried so their texture is less dry and more tender. And since they're little cherry tomatoes, there's no need to chop them up, a nice convenience for me at the moment. I need to make some bruschetta with them next.
  4. Resurrecting an old thread to add this comment about something that's not exactly a gadget but may be helpful to those dealing with hand, wrist or arm bandages that prevent wearing gloves. I've found that Glad Press 'N Seal wrap can be used to make a water-resistant covering to keep bandages clean and dry during various kitchen activities. It adheres nicely to itself and to the skin. Multiple, narrow strips can be used to wrap around fingers, etc. Just make sure to press on the edges to seal them. It's relatively easy to remove and replace if it gets dirty. Also easy to wrap around the end of a bag and seals it nicely to your skin if you need to cover your whole hand. I don't think I'd fully immerse my hand in water but it's let me use that hand to hold a dish while I scrub it with my other hand and everything stayed dry and tidy. Like any sort of plastic covering, you wouldn't want to leave it on long term as it would get sort of steamy but it's very handy in the short term.
  5. blue_dolphin

    Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    The other day, I picked up the Kindle version of The Dim Sum Field Guide: A Taxonomy of Dumplings, Buns, Meats, Sweets, and Other Specialties of the Chinese Teahouse by @Carolyn Phillips for $1.99 US, sadly not similarly reduced on Amazon.ca I'd been intrigued by this since it came out as it sounded terribly cute but I didn't want to spend $15 dollars on it. I knew the book contained the author's own drawings of the various sorts of dim sum and was worried that it might be awkwardly laid out in the Kindle version. The "Look Inside" feature didn't display any of the actual listings but I figured it was worth a try for $1.99 and was pleased to find that it actually works quite well with a hyperlinked table of contents, index and handy links to related items within the text. There's a nice intro to dim sum up front, which you can see via "Look Inside," followed by individual listings for a pretty wide assortment of dim sum items. It's a charming little book. Here's one of the listings, captured from my phone so you can see that it is indeed a field guide and not a cook book as some negative Amazon reviews apparently thought. The inclusion of a section on "Nesting Habits" cracks me up!
  6. blue_dolphin

    Trader Joe's Products (2017–)

    I stop in at TJ's often but usually on autopilot so I tend to miss new items. Thanks to @lemniscate's intro and @Maison Rustique's specific suggestion, I went in search of these and came home with 4 new-to-me items: All the veg are in shelf-stable packs at RT, the mango sauce was in the refrigerated section and has a "use by" date that is fast approaching. I'm looking forward to trying it on falafels, then we'll see what else it would work with. Most of the reviews I've found online give me the impression that its flavors are more mild than potentially more authentic versions. I have no experience to compare it to. The packaging on the veg and tomatoes say they are dried in ovens, so prob not sun-dried.
  7. blue_dolphin

    Breakfast 2019

    Dorie Greenspan's Lower East Side Tart (recipe available online here) with all the stuff you'd serve with bagels: smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, sliced red onions, tomatoes, fresh dill, but distributed in a pie crust, topped off with an egg/cream custard. and baked. I still have a big bandage on my right (and very dominant) hand so this is certainly not my best work but no complaints.
  8. I toss with olive oil, S & P, then roast on steam-bake @ 400 F for 8-10 min depending on thickness.
  9. blue_dolphin

    Unusual & unknown kitchen gadgets

    I suppose one could email the photos to the general contact for the company and see if they respond. Though I guess that takes the fun out of the enterprise!
  10. blue_dolphin

    Unusual & unknown kitchen gadgets

    Hmmm. Seems to be an Indian company but I can't find anything in their current range that looks similar, nor do I recall seeing an item of Indian tableware like that. Excellent puzzle!
  11. blue_dolphin

    Breakfast 2019

    Local bakery, Roan Mills posted this photo of a whole grain almond croissant the other day So when my friends texted me this morning to see if I wanted anything, I knew exactly what to ask for: There's chocolate in there, too - yum!
  12. blue_dolphin

    Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    That’s annoying! I see the book is indexed on Eat Your Books, so that’s an option
  13. Wow - great pics, indeed! Just wish I lived closer.
  14. Here's what came to mind after reading your preferences. You could try a sous vide confit. Most people recommend against that for duck breast because they think it should be served more rare but that's not your preference anyway. I saw that Hank Shaw thinks they can become "liver-y" and that may be so, but you could try it with just a couple and see what you think. If you liked them, there would be many options to use the confit meat. Your preference for spiced preps made me think a batch of pork belly and duck breast sausages might be pretty great. I hope to see you get suggestions from the more knowledgable peeps around here!
  15. blue_dolphin

    The Ladies Who Lunch (Part 3)

    I joined 2 ladies for lunch today at the Lakeside Restaurant in Encino where we have dined (lunched?) before. They have a very pleasant, tree-shaded outdoor eating area that’s immediately adjacent to the Los Encinos State Historic Park. Shrimp tacos for me Salmon salad for both the other ladies
  16. blue_dolphin

    Breakfast 2019

    Mini salmon burgers from Dorie Greenspan's Everyday Dorie (recipe available online here) and roasted asparagus with preserved lemon aioli.
  17. Ditto what @kayb & @gfweb said. I thaw stock, melt butter and rewarm coffee in the MW. It actually gets the most use as a cat-free bacon safe when I need to leave the kitchen for a few minutes. When I can afford it, I plan to replace my over the range microwave with a proper exhaust fan and will likely put a cheap MW in a closet around the corner
  18. blue_dolphin

    Aprons: Do you use one?

    I also hold the apron with the back facing me. I hold the straps where they cross in the back and put my head through into the opening in front of that cross, then stick my arms through the sides. I feel like I need to make a video as it's easy to do but hard to describe!
  19. Nigel Slater's cake for midsummer with mango instead of the called-for peaches and lime zest instead of orange. The peach version of this cake was a hit last summer with the folks where I get my hair cut. With peaches out of season, I figured mango would play nicely with the blueberries.
  20. chicken stock quick vegetable stocks rice – white, brown, or risotto-like dishes polenta whole-milk "ricotta" root vegetables or winter squashes, esp for puréed soups pressure cooker ragù Bolognese (from Serious Eats) potatoes for potato salad or mashed taters kalua pork or other pork shoulder recipes dried beans come in last as I prefer to cook them low and slow but the IP certainly comes in handy in a pinch!
  21. blue_dolphin

    Breakfast 2019

    I made it the laziest way - 3T from a packet of salted caramel sipping chocolate from Trader Joes stirred into 1/3 cup hot milk 🙃! They sold it in a gift tin around the holidays with three flavors and I think they sold this flavor on its own as well.
  22. blue_dolphin

    Breakfast 2019

    Continuing that sweet theme, I made myself a small but decadent cup of salted caramel sipping chocolate to take the chill off the early morning but the real reason was to use these cups: I recently spent a week back at my late mother's house sorting through things. These little cups and saucers from a Limoges chocolate set were among the items that I packed in an abundance of bubble wrap and shipped to myself at ridiculous expense. They arrived yesterday, none the worse for the experience. I don't know what happened to the graceful pitcher that went with them but I remember eyeing the set in my grandmother's china cabinet when I was a little girl. The cups were almost child sized and I was absolutely enchanted to learn that they weren't for coffee or tea but for CHOCOLATE - it was something out of a fairy tale! I never saw anyone use them but I'm going to. Can I interest anyone in stopping by for a hot toddy?
  23. @ddominick, investigating the individual strains of bacteria and yeast in a sourdough culture is likely to require more microbiology than is usually accessible to the average 6th grader. That said, there's a lot of great data available online from the Sourdough Project where the team collected starters from around the world and did just that - analyzed the microbial content of each. You can click on their interactive map and see the percentages of different yeasts and bacteria in each one. Here's a video with some updates on the project and some Q&A that might be interesting for your daughter. You've probably already checked this out, but if you search for "Sourdough Science Fair Projects" there are some good materials out there for grade-level appropriate measurements that your daughter could use to track the growth of your starter and maybe compare that with new starters that she makes with one or more types of flour. This link will take you to a series of blog posts where a scientist (who's also in the video) from the lab working on the Sourdough Project uses some of those materials and takes a group of middle schoolers through the process of making their own starters, choosing the best ones and collaborating with a local bakery, conducts taste-tests on the resulting breads. I've judged quite a few state and county science fairs and my best advice would be to encourage your daughter to have fun with her project!
  24. blue_dolphin

    Breakfast 2019

    A twist on PB&J Toast topped with roasted pistachio butter (from the recipe in Six Seasons) with pomegranate arils playing the jam role.
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