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Hard H2O

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Everything posted by Hard H2O

  1. I know this is about Minnesota meat markets but I recently visited a good one in Hudson, WI. Is that close enough? My company moved from Oakdale, MN to River Falls, WI. The commute takes me through a bit of new territory. One of the service guys is from the area and has brought in sausage from R.J.'s Meats in Hudson and cookies from Best Made in River falls. I knew I had to stop and try both. I first stopped at the outlet store at Best Made. Their cookies are awesome and the outlet store has a great selection. The snickerdoodle, sugar, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin are fabulous. I am not a big fan of the English toffee. I am going to have to go back for more cookies, bars, frozen dough... R.J.'s is a champion sausage house in WI. I think the took home a few ribbons this year at the WI state fair. I bought some blueberry wild rice summer sausage, mushroom and swiss brats, and tomato and basil brats. All were delicious. R.J.'s will be a regular stop for me in my commute home.
  2. Sorry to ressurect this old post. Why not give her smaller portions of the starches, so she doesn't fill up on them, along with the normal protein and veg. When she has finished everything she can have more of the starch. By you monitoring her plate she is controlling your enjoyment of the meal. With kids portion control can be your friend. When my daughter was young she loved hot dogs. Not any dog would do. It had to be Ball Park All Beef. She knew the difference. If the store was out of those then she didn't get hotdogs. We let her know that it was her decision to be picky and not mom or dad being mean. Now she doesn't like "melty cheese". Mac and cheese is okay. Parmesan on pasta is okay. She likes cheese. Just not "melty". God forbid her burger should have any condiment or other acoutrement. She has been almost in tears looking at a burger with ketchup, mustard, and pickle on it. I am guilty of trying to expand the kids food horizons. My wife brought home some different brand of bleu cheese. The daughter was aghast that we would bring anything other than Maytag Bleu into the house. When she was still doing baby food she would show a definate preference for or against certain foods. For a while it was all the orang foods. Squash, sweet potatoes, carrots... After a while her nose got a definate orange tint to it. That was our cue to try something different. No real neurosis. Just normal kid pickiness that hopefully they will grow out of.
  3. Funny, I just had a funnel cake last Saturday at the Washington County Fair in Lake Elmo, MN. At the MN State Fair you can get some real nice Scotch eggs. I had some Arancini and deep fired zuccinni at Festa Italiana in Milwaukee in July. Deep fried eggplant is fabulous. I favor Japanese eggplant for frying.
  4. Hard H2O

    Chopped

    I highly doubt it. I look at it this way, anyone can win on any given day. Some days you have it, some you don't. Now if this were say a Black Box to get you a new gig, then maybe. But it's TV, and just being on the FN is going to be a boost to some of these people even if they don't win. ← The time allowed doesn't give much margin for error. One screw up early on and they are done. I am sure that under the glare of the lights and with the time constraint it is different than in a restaurant kitchen. I am sure that an emplyer would be able to see that and realize. How many times has someone come in with undercooked poultry and when called on it they brush it off as the way it should be cooked or the judges are to old school for the work of the chef. The attitude of some of the young punks they have on would be more of a red flag to me. I like the ones who own up to their mistakes. I like the ones who do not get all defensive in front of the judges. It is funny when you have three judges saying a dish is over salted or has too much pepper and the chef insists that it is perfect. It never ceases to amaze me when these chefs are given a hunk of meat that, even a novice like me can see, will take longer than the time limit to cook through and they still insist on cooking it whole or in big pieces. They are surprised when they carve it that it is pink in the middle.
  5. Hard H2O

    Fire Pit Recipies

    One of my favorite things to grill is pineapple. Fresh cut into planks. I do not like any additions like marinades or sauces. Just slap it on and grill it. It is great warm with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Corn on the cob grills nicely. Pork chops are nice. Salmon or trout are nice quick cooking fish. Hot coals short time over coals. Oil, salt, pepper, herbs, lemon. Skin side down on hot grill. Good luck.
  6. We call it a "bullseye". I allways flip them. I also brown the scrap bread in a bit of butter.
  7. Nor do you want to clean out a drain clogged with scales. I helped my b-i-l clean a couple five gallon buckets of tullibees and get them ready for smoking. He did a number on his washtub drain with all the scales. A large spoon works pretty good. I generally skin the fillets so I do not own a dedicated scaling tool.
  8. I think they are like most appliances. You either use them or they collect dust. They take up a fair amount of counter and/or storage space. Don’t some vintages of Kitchen aids suffer from some sort of weak frame and plastic gear issue that can bring on a premature to their lives when kneading dough with them? I think there might be a recall or known problem. I have used mainly the cheaper brands and I agree that you do need to monitor the dough when it is initially being mixed. I almost always feel the need to ad a bit more water however on the timer settings, when I am not around, the bread seems to turn out fine without my intervention. Maybe I should just let the machine do its job.
  9. We are talking about a machine that mixes, kneads, raises and bakes bread while you go about other tasks. What is wrong with one of them? I personally have no desire to take on the task of baking bread. A bread mchine is a nice way to have fresh bread without the work. I have never understood the problem some foodies have with them. I like good food. I like to cook. I do not like to bake. I do not like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. A bread machine is one kitchen gadget that I can thoroughly recommend. It is not a uni-tasker. It bakes bread as well as turns out dough. If my holiday tables are any indication the bread that we produce is very good. The pizza that we make always seems to disappear so it seems like the dough is acceptable.
  10. I have and use a bread machine. I have been through a couple of them. I prefer the horizontal type. I use mine for breads as well as dough. They make great pizza dough. It is nice on the holidays to be able to have bread baking freeing up the oven for roasting other things. The timers are great. Load ingredients in the morning and have bread or dough ready when you get home from work. I have even brought one in to work with a couple of batches of ingredients and made a few loaves. I am sorry but I do not have a brand reccomendation for you.
  11. MeMe Roth Anti-Obesity Activist MeMe Roth Compares Eating To Rape "The defence has been made in the case of sex criminals that there is pleasure on the part of the victim. The same is true with what we're doing with food. We may abuse our bodies with food, but it's incredibly pleasurable. From a food marketer's point of view, when your quote unquote victim is so willing and enjoying of the process, who's fighting back?" Anyone who thinks eating is like being raped probably has some serious food issues. Although Roth swears she's never been anorexic, or even been on a diet, her relationship to food and body image is clearly a pretty diseased one. She talks about being ashamed of her "fat" mother when she was in kindergarten, as though this shame were normal and appropriate. She also insists that Wood meet her "after lunch" at one p.m. When Wood asks what she actually ate for lunch, this exchange ensues: She squirms visibly. "You're taking me where I don't want to go ... What works for me doesn't work for a lot of people." Well, you've said that, I insist, so taking that into account: lunch? Roth hesitates. "I discovered when I was in college that I work best when I get a workout in and eat after that. Sometimes I'll delay when I eat until I get a workout in. But I don't let a whole day go by without running four miles." OK, I go on, but supposing you couldn't work out until four o'clock in the afternoon - would you not eat until after that? "I might." I look at my watch. It's 3.30pm. Alarm bells start to ring in my head. How about today, I ask. Have you eaten at all today? Roth is a little quiet. "No," she says. There is a pause. "But I feel great!"
  12. I agree on th authenticity. I always question when food in the U.S. is advertised as "authentic". Taking any regional cuisine out of its region will compromise it in some way. It is a great eating experience. If the food is good I am happy. The last time I was there the Sciortino's booth had a casatina. It was a little cake that was incredible.
  13. I am going to be able to attend again this year. We will be making side trips to Glorioso's Market and Sciortinos Bakery in Milwaukee. Has anyone ever attended?
  14. I did search here and didn't find much. I kind of enjoy exploring and finding places on my own. We did not have internet access for the week. We had Phoenix and Sedona tourism books along with a dining guide left in he condo. We will definitely be going back. It will be added to our vacation rotation. We are used to vacationing in areas with more tourist brochures available. The daughter is into Taco Johns. She was hoping to find one in Phoenix. Luckily we didn't see one. The kids loved Macayo's. There was a mariachi band there the night we went. What other places would you suggest on a reasonable budget with a couple of normally well behaved kids?
  15. I am just back from a week long vacation in Phoenix with an overnight stay in Sedona and a day trip to Sun City West. I was not disappointed with any of the meals we had. With a 5yo and a 10yo we didn't go to crazy. We ate at the Paradise Cafe, Streets of NY Pizza , Carlos Obrien's, Rainbow Donuts, Jack in the Box, McDonalds, and Macayos in Phoenix. In Sun City we were treated to lunch at the bowling alley. Why did everything come with a bowl of soup? Even the kids meals. In Sedona we ate at Shugrues, The Hitching Post, Black Cow Cafe, and Sally's BBQ. The highlights were Macayo's, Shugrues, Hitching Post, and Streets of NY. The lowlight was the clientel of the Jack in the Box. Their shakes are great. The tweakers are a bit worrisome.
  16. Is it just to get the slivers finer than one could easily achieve with a knife?
  17. Making a semi-gourmet menu from pretty much exclusively Sysco ingredients. At least I'd think that's kind of hard. I don't know of any restaurants in malls that really have a lot of fresh ingredients on-hand, and frozen products can be kind of nasty. I watched that episode and I really didn't think he had a wealth of gourmet ingredients to choose from. I don't really understand the hatin' on Robert Irvine, frankly. As far as his recipes being gross, I don't know for sure that I could come up with anything better, given how much packaged food he has to use, because that's what's available most of the time. Yes, pasta salads are outdated, trite, lame, bland and dull, but if you've got to feed a large group of people, many of whom will admittedly not be foodies, but all of whom will be hungry, and all you've got is frozen seafood and dried pasta, it is one of the first things that comes to mind. I don't remember Michael Symon's food as standing out in any way above what Robert Irvine made, but admittedly, I only tried to watch a couple of his episodes, and I haven't really watched a lot of the episodes with either of them overall. If someone could point to specific examples of how much better Michael Symon's food was, compared to Robert Irvine's, I'd find that especially helpful. I think they should just fire them both and hire me instead. I'm better looking than either of them, anyway. ← I do not think his food was any better under the circumstances. It seems that it is really a limited format that needs to be punched up by someone who can manufacture drama. I will not watch it. Once you have seen 2 or 3 you have pretty much seen them all. No matter who is running the show the format is pretty limited. You have a small or inadequate kitchen, ingredients on hand or that need to be procured somehow, large number of people, short time frame, possibly limited or inexperienced staff. Of course yo are going to hve Sysco stuff and ready made used. No way to make a stock or similar withing the time constraints. The best ones in my mind are the ones using primative gear such as the wood burner at the Faire, the Hispanic oven, and cooking the pig in the ground in Hawaii. For those he had too much help from knowledgeable sources.
  18. I have watched a few of both the Irvine and the Symon versions. The Symon ones are better in that it is instructive, for a home cook who entertains and has to feed an ocassional crowd, to see how a professional handles being thrown into a stange kitchen and then has to figure out a menu based on ingredients on hand. The Irvine ones are hard to watch in that he is so over the top in his acting. What was hard about being at the Mall of America and havingto build his menu around what he can get from the restaurants in the mall? I was there with my son a week ago. They have tons of restaurants with varied menus. The problem would have been what do you leave out. The show is so contrived and setup. It is like Chopped plus Throwdown.
  19. Hard H2O

    Easter Menus

    Our menu: Garlic studded and rosemary crusted leg of lamb Glazed ham Butternut squash casserole (squash, lentils, dried cherries...) with cream and maple syrup glaze Brown sugar glazed baby carrots Au gratin potatoes Relish tray Green salad Dessert: store bought pies I made the lamb, ham, squash.
  20. That show is so contrived that they need someone capable of exagerating to carry it. Someone who can fabricate trouble and drama where there is none. Who better than someone practiced in fabricating a resume. Symon is to calm, collected, and professional.
  21. Now you've crossed the line. Head out for a couple of weeks of Army life in tents living off MREs. Vienna sausage and spam saved my life man.
  22. It is organic. They touted that in their marketing when it first came out.
  23. My daughter used to love those. The boy not so much. It is less of a convenience thing and more of a cool thing. Yea, I get that. My parents never let me have any of the "cool foods" when I was a kid, so I guess I have a different take on that. But, man... if I were going to send a kid to school with 480 calories, 20 grams of fat (10 saturated) and 1080 miligrams of salt... I'd want it to be something better. Not that I judge. I don't have any kids, so it's easy for me to say. ← Once in a while is not so bad. Not for every lunch. "Everything in moderation including moderation."
  24. I think the popularity of that is based entirely on the packaging. Children like the bright colors, the disposable box, the little squeeze packets, the miniature plastic knife/spreader. I'd say that one way to get past this would be to buy bento boxes for your children, and put some effort into packaging them in a cute way, and you could even make the lunches together with your children. However, that still doesn't take away the fact that after lunch, the kid has to take the bento box back to his/her locker, or wherever the rest of his stuff is stored, and then remember to take it home, none of which they have to do if they can just throw the lunchables box into the trash on the way out the door to play on the playground. Much better for the environment and cheaper with the bento boxes, though. ← Luncheables require refridgeration. We haven't bought the in a while (the diva daughter is onto her next thing) but we would send them in a lunch box with a frozen cold pack thing. Usually now she takes hot lunch. She is 9 and makes her own lunch, subject to inspection, veto, modification, when she doesn't like what is on the menu. We require a protein, vegetable, fruit, starch. We allow small snacks and no candy. Luncheables fail on the fruit, veg, and candy front. I do not get the bento box. It is just a compartmented box. What would that do that an insulated lunch bag and some small reuseable Gladware or Ziploc containers won't? How do you put soup in a bento box? The daughter has a small Stanley insulated soup bowl thing. It fits in her insulated lunch bag. Warm up the container and soup, put the soup in and it will stay warm until lunch.
  25. My daughter used to love those. The boy not so much. It is less of a convenience thing and more of a cool thing. The daughter is 9 and now has a taste for Maytag Bleu cheese.
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