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Everything posted by jeniac42

  1. Also, what was with that pronunciation of "degustation" - I didn't know what she was saying, either, and I studied French for seven years in addition to being a foodie. Ugh. Mostly I'm watching it to kill time before Wire in the Blood comes on on Sunday nights.
  2. Ah, I was rereading one of Marcella Hazan's books and was reminded of something I learned some time ago but had forgotten in my time of no cooking: How to make absolutely the best green salad, in my opinion. It's very simple; you put the leaves in a bowl, then add your salt first. After that, some extra-virgin olive oil, and then your vinegar, and then pepper if you like. When I first read about this I thought there was no way it could make such a difference, but for me at least it's worlds better than making a vinaigrette. Easier, too, for everyday salads with (or as) dinner. Frequently I toss in some blue cheese and apples, or some other veg, or some nuts, but the point's the same: salt first! then oil, then vinegar. I feel the need to wander out to the garden and cut myself some lettuce now.
  3. Yeah, our supermarkets here don't carry gorgonzola. I think I'll just use lots more of the ordinary blue next time. I'm making steak with blue cheese sauce tomorrow to fix my craving issue... heh.
  4. Oh, what a great thread. I have to admit I've been avoiding cooking (my mom passed away in November and I've been that kind of depressed where you avoid even things you know would cheer you up), but I looked here and so many things sounded so good.... I made the tomato-gorgonzola pasta today and I have to admit I was a little disappointed. Perhaps the blue cheese I used (just some generic type DH found at the store) wasn't potent enough; I was expecting more of a blue-savory taste. It will have to be made again, and soon, though.
  5. When I was growing up, we only had Velveeta occasionally because, for some reason, it's not cheap. Well, not cheap enough. But my mom made open-faced Velveeta sandwiches similar to those mentioned above: Sliced Velveeta on white toast, topped with onion salt, then broiled 'til there was a puddle of melted goo inside a skin. I love to eat that still and will buy a block of Velveeta to have it. I also enjoy the dip, although not with chili - salt overload, and I drink pickle juice from the jar. I prefer it with salsa, as much as it resembles particularly unattractive vomit during the melting process. It is tasty but I think it's one of those things with crack in it; I don't enjoy it that much past a few bites but will keep eating it anyway. I've made it with homemade salsa (don't like canned or jarred salsas much and so more usually have homemade on hand) and it just isn't the same. I also enjoy it in grilled cheese occasionally but don't really care for it any other way. I remember I would eat slices of it when I was little. I tried that a few months ago and just... no. I also dislike using it for mac and cheese, because I prefer my mac and cheese with lumps of cheese and stringy melty bits rather than a cheese sauce.
  6. Maggie, a heartwarming story and well told. Kerry, your point about needing to feed others really hit home. My own mother has been very ill and accumulating fluid in her abdomen, and has not been eating. I am not there with her but I call frequently and it's so reassuring when I hear she's eaten something, like everything is a little better somehow. My strongest desire is to go cook food that she would want to eat. Personally, I love toast and can't get enough of it. My favorite is buttered toast with marmalade and a cup of tea with milk, no sugar. My grandma used to make us "cheese bread", which was untoasted white bread topped with slices of colby cheese and toasted in the oven. My mother's version was Velveeta bread - toast a slice of white bread and top with Velveeta and onion powder, then put in the oven until the inside of the Velveeta melts and forms that skin to hold it all together. I suppose that's the really low-rent version of Welsh rarebit, eh?
  7. Thank you all for the advice. Detroit is at a disadvantage since I don't have friends or family to visit there, but it's certainly not too far away. Perhaps a trip to Ypsi/AA is in order in the next couple of weeks.
  8. David, I have hot hands too (much to my chagrin when I try to make bread; I inevitably add too much flour because the dough gets too sticky, and the loaf is... eeeeh). In the winter it's not as much of a problem since I keep the heat low, but in the summer I sometimes soak my (clean!) fingertips in the ice water for the crust to cool them off before I start. Then just work quickly. I think it's so much fun, when the dough feels like crumbly sand. At least you can get fresh halibut. Here in small-town Michigan my fish selection is nonexistent. I need to learn to fish; at least then I can maybe catch some... bass? trout? Don't really know what's around here. That dinner looked delicious. The only fish I've had lately has been IQF cod which smells fishy even when FROZEN. As for cleaning the grease off the metal: I don't have a Showtime rotisserie, but can you remove the metal parts? If so I find that making a paste of washing soda and water is pretty good for removing grease from things like broiler pans, so maybe that would work.
  9. Wonderful blog. I've never been to the Pacific NW but really want to visit, and this just provides encouragement. I just did a rhubarb custard pie on Sunday, like some others mentioned - just like a clafoutis in a pie dish. I may have missed it, but do you macerate the cherries before placing them in the shell? I always do pie crust by hand (not with a cutter) and with straight butter. I've convinced myself that pressing the butter into small sheet-like pieces coated in flour results in wonderful flakiness, and I have been pleased by the tenderness. I haven't actually ever tried Crisco in a crust but perhaps I will soon. I do almost a 1:1 ratio of butter to flour (by weight), with a little pinch of salt and enough ice cold water to hold it. Here where I live in Michigan I haven't seen any local cherries yet, but they should be in soon. All the cherries in the store are from California.
  10. jeniac42

    Doritos X-13D

    We picked up a bag of these at the store about two weeks ago. The first one I ate was pretty tasty, and then I ate three more and was done with the flavor forever. I think it says something that my fiance took the leftover 3/4 of a bag to work - a shop full of hungry guys - and the bag is still sitting there half full. Bleargh.
  11. As some of you already know, I recently moved to Adrian, MI from Pittsburgh. I've been having a hard time adapting to my grocery shopping situation here; I can't even buy a tub of Thai curry or fish sauce at a reasonable price ($3 for a 4oz bottle of fish sauce? are you kidding me?). I do plan to stock up on a few things when I go back to Pittsburgh, and when we make it to Chicago, but there has to be a better solution. We haven't had the time or money to make it up to Ann Arbor, but when we do, I'd like to know where to go shopping. Are there any Asian grocery stores? What about cheesemongers? (Here I can get President brie and that's about it.) Any treasures I should know about? And in case you find yourself trapped in Adrian, there's a reasonably decent butcher (Rosier's). The meat is good, but I ran into trouble asking them to cut things for me and/or special order things like pork bellies for bacon. Still, better than Meijer or Country Market (which doesn't even have a staffed counter). Help me not miss the Strip District in Pittsburgh so much!
  12. I don't know why I never thought of making packets in bulk and freezing them. I've never done much packet cooking, but it now strikes me as a great idea. If the cooked rice develops a nice crusty texture, it seems like this could be a good idea for utterly bastardized dolsot bibimbap (for lack of a better name); if I could adapt my usual recipe from the Orange Page with gochujang, soy, sesame oil, mirin, chile flakes, meat and some veg to a freezable packet state, I'd be a very happy camper. We get our CSA box tonight. I'll have to see if there's anything in there to go with the meats I've already got to make up into packets. Thanks for the thread full of great ideas (again)!
  13. I've been craving takoyaki at least once a day for the past year or so. I haven't been able to get any where I am. The other day, I was watching TV and lo and behold, I see an ad for The Pancake Puff which looks for all the world like a takoyaki pan. At $20 it seems like a good value compared to the pans I have found on the internet, but I just don't know. Check out some of the suggested uses for the Pancake Puff! Sure is... interesting. Need to find some takoyaki now....
  14. Wonderful blog! I wish I'd seen it before I went to San Diego around, oh, 2001. I had a hard time finding places to eat, although I stayed in the Marriott hotel and enjoyed a damn fine and fairly cheap pastry that seemed to be some kind of almond cake soaked in honey and covered in chocolate. And I think your weight loss is a tremendous achievement. I've been trying to follow WW on and off, and have definitely fallen OFF - I know what you mean about a slip here, a slip there, and then, whoops! suddenly I'm eating everything I can get my hands on. Looking forward to reading the rest....
  15. Sriracha Jamaican Hellfire Crystal Chipotles en adobo Kochujang
  16. I love really good short-grain rice, of the Japanese varieties. It just smells and tastes delicious, and I love to eat it by itself. It tastes like what it should taste like. Also, dried beans cooked simply. I have to try some from Rancho Gordo. But I love the bite into the skin, then the mushy squish inside, but with some stand-up texture left to it. And the bean flavor is excellent. Venison, I've lately discovered - at least SE Michigan venison - is delicious and sweet. Or at least this one buck was.
  17. THANK YOU for that information. I prefer the yeastier flavor and do not really like sour breads as much (unless it's rye or pumpernickel) and I had never considered this. I haven't re-started my starter. Surgery was yesterday and it's hard even typing this, because I'm on some pain meds. But I may re-start him tonight; the thing is, it's cool in here and I'd prefer it to be warmer for the reasons mentioned above. hummingbirdkiss, your bread is looking nice. I wish I were experimenting as much! I think you could do a wetter dough and not have it end up a pizza, so long as you can still shape it and there's oven spring? I am no expert though!
  18. I have, in the past, dated people who couldn't stand mushrooms, green beans, "anything in the cream cheese family" (which includes yogurt and sour cream), wouldn't eat soba because they "don't like buckwheat" (I would like to know when said person had eaten buckwheat - I guarantee you it was never), hated sushi, etc. OK, this was all one person. He liked to cook, but was always very hesitant about it - chopping slowly, measuring things in measuring cups (for real!). I don't necessarily have anything against following recipes to the letter, but I don't, and watching it drives me nuts for some reason. My fiance is not the world's MOST adventurous eater. He only likes cabbage in small amounts (I could eat it raw, by the head, so this is weird to me), and is not huge on spicy-hot foods. There are a few other little finicky things, but he's willing to try anything several times to see if he will like it and openly and vocally appreciates my cooking. Most importantly, he is willing to go to a restaurant with me even if it's a cuisine he doesn't particularly care for, eat a little bit, and get something else later if he is still hungry. I do the same for him with pizza (which I loathe). On our first date, we talked almost exclusively about food. He ordered his burger medium-rare, and I told him that was a good thing because if I'd heard "well done" come out of his mouth, it would've been over.
  19. I am no bread-baking expert, but I am fairly sure that increasing the hydration of your dough will produce larger holes (think about focaccia, pizza dough, ciabatta, the no-knead recipe). I'm not sure why; I think this is because the dough is more slack and it's easier for the steam to create the holes; also, there is more water to create steam in the first place. Just a guess. Give it a shot and let us know?
  20. I don't have that recipe, but honestly, the cassoulet I made, while maybe not authentic, was heaven on a plate and really not at all difficult. So if anyone is intimidated by cassoulet, I think what I made is a reasonable facsimile and very delicious.
  21. I don't know how I missed this thread until now, but what a lovely birthday dinner you've done for your husband, Klary! I'm moving to Michigan with my fiance in two months, and he may actually be my husband by the time his birthday rolls around in September... you're making me think, this would be a good idea. However, I'm not sure how many people would come - I think just us, this year! How do you get your husband to say what types of dishes he likes? I have the HARDEST time getting preferences out of my boy - he says everything I make is "good" or "really great" or some such. Of course it's all better than frozen pizzas, but I want to know what he LIKES! At any rate, I am certainly envious of your guests, and congratulations to you on pulling off such a wonderful feast.
  22. I am thinking of doing a small amount of cured salmon, but the salmon available to me has all been previously frozen. Worth a shot? I think I'm going to try anyway, as I'm going to have an extra piece of salmon after tomorrow's lunch, so I'll post the results here. Ooh, my first project from Charcuterie....
  23. Well, life got in the way and I didn't get to feed Clovis, and he now features a weird spongy-like thing floating in the rather thickened liquid on the top. I'm pretty sure it's not healthy. I will have to pitch him and start over again, with Clovis II. I may wait until after my surgery and recovery, though. I'll be going again for equal weights flour and water at first, and I'll try feeding every 12 hours rather than every 24. Or maybe I should wait until I move to Michigan rather than trying to move a sourdough starter with me....
  24. You can also sterilize and re-use the FoodSaver bags. Gotta think of the pocketbook, too, these days. I do find cleaning and reusing bags problematic when they have had particularly greasy foods in them, as plastic seems to just absorb grease. Alas.
  25. I'm not Catholic, but the area I live in is predominantly so. This means fish fries at every church on Lenten Fridays, which I love. Fried fish, haluski or coleslaw, maybe some pierogi... mmmm.
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