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  1. We are into day 3 of our trip and are heading out from Las Cruces this morning. Yesterday we stopped at Cattleman's Steakhouse which was great. The views were wonderful and the steak cooked perfectly. The split plate charge (5.50!) deterred anyone from splitting a meal and it ended up being cheaper on most dishes just to order one per person. The views were outstanding! They have a patio and I wish I had asked to eat outside. It was beautiful. We'll stop in Gallup next, I think at Jerry's and report back.
  2. I'm glad to have pointers on the proper conduct in a different cultural setting. One of my biggest worries when arriving in a new area is inadvertently offending someone. Common sense normally gets me through situations unscathed, but its always nice to have extra help. The paper bread sounds intriguing.
  3. My curiosity is piqued. Can you generalize about the differences among the 4 and explain why NewMexMex is your favorite? ← Yep. But that'll have to wait for another day. It's late and I'm kinda tired and I have two more states to go... Apronless - will you be checking in from time to time as you travel? If so, I'll finish up tomorrow. ← Don't wear yourself out! Yes, I will be able to check in as I travel. We are all from Texas. I spent some time in Mexico and love MexMex food (and TexMex every now and then). I'm not familiar with New MexMex or CaliMex but I too would be interested in a thread about the different types. I am beyond excited at everything you've laid out. Thank you so much for sharing and stepping into the role of food tour-guide. I was worried that we'd end up settling for fast food, but this is just wonderful!
  4. Jaymes, you are my hero. I am printing out your responses to take make plans with and take along.
  5. I'm marking down Hill Top Cafe and Cattleman's Steakhouse. They both look like great places to stop in. It looks like its a good idea to call ahead for Hill Top so I'll see about their lunch schedule. I've been dreading that stretch of I-10 so it will be nice to have Cattleman's to look forward to. We're stopping in Austin to see family before we head out, so I think my mom's feelings would be hurt if we bypassed them. It is a good thought to possibly take 71 though, especially with the promise of kolaches.
  6. Currently the only thing on our list is breakfast at El Tovar at the Grand Canyon. Everything else is wide open.
  7. You say, "immediate future." When? I've driven that route many times, and as a matter of fact, have lived in several spots along the way. I can do a little research, if it's not too late. ← That would be fantastic! We leave this Saturday.
  8. We've just added a pit stop in Austin (old stomping grounds) so I think we're actually going to go through Fredricksburg over San Antonio since it's a more direct route. I will keep Bayseas in mind though for next time I'm in San Antonio. Lotus of Siam looks great. I don't have a lot of experience with Thai food, so I might as well start with the best, ha.
  9. I'm making a road trip from from Houston to Los Angeles in the immediate future with some friends and family (all adults). I've been given the following route and responsibility to find out where to eat for this trip. Help is much appreciated, seeing as we'll end up eating Little Debbie snacks and Funyons if we can't find places worth stopping! I'm familiar with the eats along 290, but any other suggestions would be fantastic. From Houston, we're going 290 to I-10, then to I-25N with a stop in Las Cruces. From I-25N we're heading to I-40W and making a jaunt up to the Grand Canyon via 64. After that it's back on 64 to Vegas via US 93 and 95. We'll make a pit stop there and then head into LA, taking I 15 then I-10. Apparently traffic may play a role in which direction we come in, so I'm not sure how we're coming in that day- we may brown bag it. I'm not the navigator on this trip (for good reason) so I hope our route is clear enough for food suggestions. We'd like to splurge on two or three meals during the trip, but are trying to keep the other meals under $10/person if possible. We're taking 5 days for the drive so the more suggestions the better! Looking forward to any ideas.
  10. I made the brownie cake with peanut and caramel topping for a Snickers lover this week: I topped this the night before serving and should have popped the whole thing in the microwave for a minute or so to loosen the topping before serving. It was a bit difficult to eat with plastic utensils at room temperature. It was still delicious though. I did have caramel left over and added a touch of vanilla to it and had it over some ice cream. yum.
  11. I'm looking forward to this too. My TCB is all falling apart!
  12. Now I will! I was just thinking the other day that I don't like using parchment because of the wrinkly factor and didnt even THINK about this. Pie crusts and I don't get along, and its always at this stage. Maybe now I will be less tempted to throw my pie crust across the room when working with it...
  13. Is it too early to be thinking about menus yet? I've been thinking about mine since the beginning of September. Ever since I've been on my own I've made exactly what my mother has made for the past 25 or so years, and while its tasty and familiar, I'm ready to change it up. Family recipe stuffing stays, some tasty baby peas stay, but the cranberry jelly, regular ol' mashed potatoes, grapefruit cocktail, and sweet potato casserole need to go. My husband nearly threw a temper tantrum when I told him that I didn't want to do the sweet potato/marshmallow casserole, but calmed down when I told him I was thinking about doing a creme brulee take on the sweet potatoes (creamy potatos in ramekins with carmelized tops). Has anyone tried this with succesful results? I found a recipe in either a Bon Appetit or Gourmet mag, but havent heard much else about it. What else is everyone thinking about for their menus? Same old, same old? or shaking it up?
  14. I cook for two and I've found that meal planning is really key. I have two days designated as "Leftovers." This really translates to my husband picking out whatever he wants from the fridge preparing it by himself with no help from me (as long as he's not eating a crucial ingredient for a meal that week). It doesn't have to be something that is left over from the previous days, sometimes he just eats cereal or makes himself a sandwich. Roasting small whole chickens is great, you can do alot with them after a nice roast chicken meal (I never consider what I do with the left over chicken a "Leftovers" meal since I make a new meal). I usually use it shredded: Chicken salad sandwiches on croissants with pickles and chips on the side Chicken pot pies (you can make mini ones and freeze the remaining ones for later) Chicken quesadillas with salsa verde Lots of different Salads with chicken on top etc I also make CI's beef stock which leaves me with a whole lot of left over beef but that is superb. That's always a fun week because I'll usually make a beef noodle soup, pulled beef sandwiches, and throw together a saucy Mexican dish and serve it with rice (I try and throw some chicken/fish in that week to balance out the red meat). Having a freezer with ample room also helps. If you make too much food for you to use up quickly, you can pop a lot of it in the freezer to use later (obviously this has limits. Frozen lettuce = not so good). I make a lot of soups and freeze half of it for later, and I too freeze half of my pizza dough when I make it. It thaws beautifully! Since I follow a lot of recipes vs improvising, its important to note how many servings the dish is going to make. This is kind of an obvious thing to take into consideration, but it helps tremendously when cooking for two and trying to figure out what to do with leftovers. I tend to halve many recipes so our fridge isnt stuffed to the gills with tequila chicken or lentil soup or something. Also (if you're a meat eater), when you buy your meats, repackage them in individual/two person portions. This will knock a lot of time off of prep work and save you from having to use up 4 pounds of thawed meat or risk texture quality by refreezing. As you keep cooking, you'll know which dishes the two of you might gobble up and have no leftovers after, or ones that tend to hang around in the fridge for a while. Whew. Sorry for the long post.
  15. Houston Chowhounds is very active with people who know their stuff. Its a Yahoo group, found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/houstonCH/?v...sec=group&slk=1 If you don't want to join, I can post on your behalf. edited for spelling.
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