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Jane Randahl

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Everything posted by Jane Randahl

  1. There are definitely some great recipes here and tiki drinks are a really interesting vein of spirits. Perhaps I missed it while skimming, but I would love a recipe for a good Zombie. By far my favorite exotic drink.
  2. These are hilarious. Personal favorite being the cheese under the sole of the shoe. That is just downright dirty. All I got is the classic hot stuff when people don't expect it. I also paid someone to drink some pretty gnarly things when I worked at a pizza place, but that's not really a practical joke.
  3. After reading all of this I actually can't believe what lack of pizza chains there are in the US. I'm originally from MI and I remember Jets. Heck I had friends who worked there and it was pretty awesome for chain style. The deep dish was exceptionally good for a chain and the ranch was pretty good too (not even a fan of ranch). There's also Hungry Howies, I think that might be a MI only chain too, but that one isn't horrible either.
  4. There are a ton of online vendors, but you can never really tell what you are going to get. Many of these places buy from larger retailers while others make their own meaning that the quality varies quite a bit. If you do choose to search online just be sure to read customer reviews as well as the fine print on the website. There are awesome deals out there, but also a lot of low quality products.
  5. This is all very interesting, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I like the comment above about multiple variables being introduced which, yes, is sure to cause unpredictable results. If the process is scientifically proven in the future, the results could be outstanding, but I'm not sure there is enough raw evidence to support it for better or worse. It could be something truly great in the making, but the whole paradigm shift to healthier more organic consumption is inevitably producing copycats or people too eager to jump on the wagon. That said I know nothing about the lunar cycle, but from what I'm hearing they may be jumping the gun a bit on the benefits of natural wine.
  6. I'm currently in the process of trying to improve what I eat, and I simply cannot justify shopping at Whole Foods. Trader Joe's is good for buying a-little-better-versions-of-the-crap-you-used-to-eat food. I'm a little more health conscious but Whole Foods makes me feel like they are punishing or taking advantage of me for trying to be healthy. No thanks.
  7. Jane Randahl

    7 Eleven

    I hope they will make a Coke Zero version....that will taste like Coke but not have the calories of the original Slurpee flavor. It's hard for me to imagine a 'healthier' 7 Eleven, but I guess it's something that is happening. Of course people should be aware that it's not actually HEALTHY, simply less bad for your health than it once was. On the topic of the chips I had the harvest cheddar grain 'Sun Chips' knock off they had and they were also pretty good. I'm not sure I prefer them to the brand name, but it's my opinion that they are every bit as good. Not to mention probably the EXACT same product with a different name. I'll be sure to try the new Slurpee. I hope it doesn't taste like diet, as I would immediately unlearn my whole childhood and what I expect a Slurpee to taste like.
  8. Absolutely right. These are the fast foods of the pizza industry and the product is not that high of quality. Finding a good one is pretty much fool's errand. I'm in Portland so I get the luxury of Apizza Scholls. I had Dominoes delivered here too one day and I guess it wasn't all that bad. Leaps and bounds better than it was, but sell nothing compared to good pizza. I guess you get what you pay for and delivery is probably the only reason these places are even competitive.
  9. That is a pretty awesome article, I find the NY Times food articles to be my favorite. Anyway yes I heard about the new more human method of farming the roe used to make caviar and can't imagine that the taste is any different. I have had a few of the lower echelon caviar brands (salmon, and something else), but have never had the chance (or money) to try the holy grail in sturgeon roe. It's amazing how new technology not only allows us to better preserve the environment but also provides people with a more sustainable business practice. Truly a great achievement. Now if I could only afford to try some
  10. I'm not much of a coffee connoisseur, but there is one within walking distance and I pretty much live on it. I would be curious to know if there are any alternatives to coffee houses that I might try in order to gage the difference. Then again when I say 'coffee' I mean sweet syrupy type drinks loaded with sugar and a pinch of coffee. It seems as though they are kind of the McDonald's of coffee as in they have a new flavor of the month . On a side note I think their instant VIA stuff is passable for the lazy tired morning coffee drinker.
  11. That is an amazing article. It will be interesting to see whether or not McDonald's can adjust to the trend of people being more conscious about what they eat. i don't believe for a second that the company really cares about food from the earth or the small time farmer. Not for one sec on. However, if they can pass all of the public scrutiny and offer food that isn't quite as horrible for you as possible, they may be able to keep gaining influence in the fast food market. Let's face it, most people who are worried about eating healthy, organic food do not eat fast food much at all, and it would be a bit naive to think that you were doing your body a justice by consistently eating at McDonald's. I guess in the end it's all about the money If the company can give the image of their food resembling real healthy food in any way, they may win a few votes.
  12. These sound pretty amazing actually. They sound like a much healthier alternative to the more commonly found sweet ones that I am used to. The fiber and protein ratio to calories is pretty amazing and this would also be great for people trying to cut calories of course. I just checked the price and they look pretty expensive. Online retailer is selling them for $24 for 8 bars. Yowza $3 a bar is a little pricey, but I'm assuming they are technically filed under health food, which is always a little more expensive. No doubt I am going to try one of these next time I run across them. I at least have to see if they are worth the price. P.S. I am on the west coast and I'm hoping they are wold here.
  13. I try not to eat McDonald's, or any fast food for that matter, but I do remember moving to the west coast and being pleased by Jack In The Box as far as fast food goes. There is also the classic frustration for those who eat McDonald's as being rigid about when breakfast is no longer being served. Strictly speaking I have never had McDonald's oatmeal, but I can imagine it's pretty difficult to mess up hot water and oats. I'm pretty positive they are going to LOAD it with sugar just like everything else on their breakfast menu, but that shouldn't make it taste bad. It's also my theory that McDonald's stops serving breakfast to increase productivity. That is after all what made them who they are today. It's a lot easier to keep the assembly line rolling when there are a smaller number of ingredients being used. Not sure if other fast food joints will follow suit, Jack is actually pretty unique as far as those types of restaurants go in my opinion. And yep, those limited time offers will getcha.
  14. I am actually thinking of doing the same thing so I have been doing a bit of research myself. There is definitely an art to making coffee, but luckily most of the work has already been done for us. I'm assuming that you are used to high quality coffee so will not be opting for your Foldgers of the world, but there are a variety of online sources available as well as some useful tips above. As far as the coffee maker goes I would opt for something in the 30-70 range as there are a variety of models that don't require a water pot and can ration out exactly a cup. This might help to get your percentages right. I've been told to simply buy beans at the store and grind them yourself as it is much cheaper than buying pre-ground beans. Or of course you could invest in your own grinder also as listed above. If you find this to be taxing there are some machines out there that cost a pretty penny and pretty much do all the work for you. This may seem expensive but considering how much you likely spent on coffee outside the home, it could be paying for itself in no time.
  15. I can think of a few possible issues. pH was mentioned and this is likely the cause since it has to be pretty much spot on. Also every time I hear the word 'microwave' I start to shudder because there is no way that any microwave is ever calibrated the exact same. Even if they give you a temperature and have the EXACT same model you do, there are so many external factors at work. The right type of milk has been mentioned and this is a completely possible snag. I think making these is an exertion of the pasteurizing process and having a step already finished in pasteurized milk probably disrupts the entire process. Does that video have its own forum? Cooking is so fickle (cheese especially) that they may have left out something that they didn't think was a factor.
  16. I totally agree with this; buying cheap vodka and infusing it seems like like 'masking' than it does infusion. You want a vodka that is pretty taste neutral and smooth so that it can take the flavor of whatever its being infused with. Infusing a good vodka with a tincture will make it taste like the tincture, cheap vodka infused would still taste like vodka. That said, there are a few brands that are better than others. Smirnoff comes to mind and so does Absolut (Not sure how cheap you wanted to go). However, in my opinion Gray Goose if you can afford it. That would be a wonderful brand to infuse.
  17. I'm also not saying that it happens frequently, as I'm probably not the first person to point out these little quirks. Just saying that I have seen it, and i'm sure someone somewhere will see it in the near future. in all honesty I'm glad you don't have to see people making fools of themselves because the less facepalm moments in our daily lives, the more stress free we will be. I should hope people are catching on to the proper way to cook, but I'm pretty sure these aren't dead habits. Suppose I am kind of out of date though. As much as I love cooking, TV chefs made me stop watching and almost want to stop cooking altogether. They're just silly.
  18. I can't imagine anyone hating on TJ. It may be getting so lauded by shoppers that it's becoming passé, but they really do have great stuff. I think they do put a huge emphasis on the 'healthy' aspect of shopping, and not all of their products are necessarily any better for you. Although this isn't a reason to hate, as most people read labels anyway. They are also pretty good on price. Yes, you pay a little more for organic and all that jazz, but they are absolutely not inflated prices and you would probably be charged more for organic food at your local grocery chain. You may have a problem with their selection which is completely understandable. I'm also not sure about the "Trader Jose" beer. Sounds pretty weak.
  19. I'm going to have to second the idea of checking local antiques stores. Craigslist might be another venue to check as well. You can pretty much find anything on that site for dirt cheap. The antiques store is perfect because you can really get your hands on some rare pieces. You'd be hard pressed to find an antiques store that didn't have a variety of wine, martini, drink, etc. glasses for sale. Might I also suggest thrift stores? You may have to look around at a few different locations, but it's well known that these types of shops have items with a lot of character and are incredibly cheap. We have a free pile in our apartment building and wine glasses show up there more often than one would think. Not that this will help most people, just digressing...
  20. These are always fun. One can debate the need to be exact with baking and it probably depends on who you ask. I for one am an exactist. Anyway, most TV chefs do a few things wrong. All of them. Things like: Holding a knife - Watch how TV cook hold knives. They generally hold it with their index finger along the spine of the knife instead of holding the blade with the handle tucked under their wrist. Oil & Water - Ever seen people try to keep pasta from sticking by pouring oil into a pot of boiling water? You don't need to be a chemist to know that oil floats on top of water and can't possibly affect the submerged pasta. Cold Dough - If you see a TV recipe making food with cold dough, don't try it at home. Thinly cut pieces of dough need to be warm before they are pliable, and trying to use them cold will be very frustrating. Hot Baked Goods - My personal favorite: TV chefs eating from a pie that just came out of the oven. Definitely don't try this at home as most fruit filling is hot, runny, molten lava out of the oven.
  21. As a grown up kid who was on the road quite often, I have tons of experience with gas station food. If you don't really care about your health, I found that a lot of gas stations had really cheap (and sometimes fresh) pizza for a great price. Beef jerky is a classic and one of the better things for energy and protein. Candy is of course a good choice for caffeine, sugar, and pain relief, while 7 Eleven taquitos are great for packing on the pounds. Don't forget the plethora of drinks loaded with sugar and taurine to give you some faux energy while on the road. Or $1 tea loaded with sugar and artificial flavors. I've since given up gas station food altogether, but I do miss it sometimes. It's so cheap and easy, but some of the worst stuff you can possibly put into your body.
  22. Jane Randahl

    7 Eleven

    Believe it or not, the 7 Eleven brand chips are pretty good, especially the kettle cooked variety. I'm guessing that the convenience store doesn't MAKE them, and if you read the label you'd probably see that they actually came from a multinational company. I've since given up gas station and convenience store food, but I was amazed at how good (and cheap) the 7 Eleven brand food was. When I was driving for a living I pretty much lived on the cold sandwiches and bags of chips. Surprisingly good. I have also had experience with their frozen foods (burritos and chicken nuggets at least) and they aren't bad either. You have to imagine the nutritional value you are getting from 7 Eleven food is not good, but as far as taste and price goes it's not too shabby.
  23. These little citrus fruits pack quite the punch and they are frankly too much for some people. The boldness of the kumquat is best utilized in giving a zing to certain dishes. I tend to use them to the same extent as lemon or lime juice and often drizzle the juice on seafood. They are also add a good zing to asian dishes such as orange or general Tso chicken. When making some of the more conventional Chinese sauces, the recipe sometimes calls for an orate peel and I simply throw in a kumquat or two (ground up of course). This gives the item a slightly more tart flavor. Marmalade is also really good with these. I basically substitute them in any recipe that calls for orange peel because I think they taste pretty similar, but kumquats are a little more flavorful.
  24. My favorite cheapie is Niepoort Vintage Character Port. It's $15 wherever you can find it and has a dark, brambly taste in the style of vintage port. Great for dinner andy after dinner, the wine is a good balance of sweetness and bold berry flavor. This is part of a house of wine that has been coming out with amazing products for the past few years and is well worth the price. Cheers!
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