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Everything posted by Cleo

  1. Cleo


    I love this Barefoot Contessa recipe for string beans with shallots. Won't use up a ton of shallots, but you can certainly use more than the recipe calls for.
  2. I have not actually made these stuffed pizza rolls yet, but I just added them to my list. My 6 and 4 year old kids (and my husband!) will love these...though I would make them with meatballs or sausage in them rather than pineapple and ham.
  3. Cleo

    Zero Otto Nove

    This place has always been on my list too. But since you mention that it was fancier than you expected, is it not appropriate for kids if we went early (mine are 6 1/2 and 4 1/2)? Did you bring your son with you? I always thought it was somewhat casual.
  4. Not sure I'd put this in the showstopping category, but this Pea Dip with Parmesan is very good and always a hit when I serve it (I omit or go very easy on the mint). You can serve it with pita chips or on crostini. Also, I have never made these tomato pesto bites but they are on my list of possible appetizers for the July 4th party that we host.
  5. I work full time and have 2 kids, ages 6 and 4. I refuse to have them eat chicken nuggets all the time so I cook...a lot. I do not have a crock pot and do not feel the need to have one. Some of the things that I cook up in large-ish batches and then freeze in smaller batches are sweet & sour meatballs, turkey chili, meatloaf (my husband will not eat this so I freeze with 2 slices in a packet -- one for each kid), brisket (the jewish kind, not smoked kind). Oh, and bolognese. I will make a big batch on a Sunday when I have a few hours at home. My nanny gives my kids dinner before I get home, so I will pull out something the night before and my nanny will just make some pasta, or potatoes, or whatever is to go with the meat. I am also is the camp that prepares the next day's dinner in the evening. Take chicken fajitas, for example. After my kids have gone to sleep, I will cut up the peppers and onions, and even cut the chicken into strips. Then when I get home, I just have to cook it. Less than 30 minutes. Same with various stir fry dishes. Tonight I made this turkey scallopini with hoisin orange sauce. And I made some Near East couscous with it. Was it the best meal I have ever eaten? No, but it was an easy, pretty tasty and somewhat healthy weeknight dinner. I also have the Cook's Illustrated Best 30-Minute Recipe cookbook. But no matter what, I think a well-stocked freezer and the advance prep is the best thing for getting dinner on the table quickly.
  6. Cleo

    Dinner! 2010

    Doodad, your dinner looks good, but as an aside, I love those little chinese take out container bowls in the background! Any idea where you got them? Thanks!
  7. My son, who will be 3 in September, cannot tolerate milk products. I spent the better part of 2008 dragging him from doctor to doctor (allergists, gastroenterologist, various pediatricians) and in the end, he is not truly allergic, but just cannot tolerate milk products. So for a full year, I gave him nothing with milk, casein, whey and various other ingredients. It was difficult at first, but it is manageable. It just requires a lot of reading of ingredients and planning. While I cannot help with the egg-free part, there are options for the milk-free part. When I make baked goods, I use rice milk, or soy milk, depending on what I am making. I always kept frozen Eggo french toast and Aunt Jemima pancakes in the freezer (I also have a daughter who is almost 5), but all of those things have some kind of milk product in them. So now, I spend an hour or 2 every few weeks making my own pancakes, etc, using soy milk, and then freezing them. I also make my own muffins, and various other breakfast foods to keep on hand. I buy soy yogurt at Trader Joe's. I hate yogurt, so I can't tell you if it is good, but my son likes it. I mix it with Cheerios and he eats that sometimes for breakfast. When this whole thing started, he was still drinking milk from a bottle. He drank the Rice Dream rice milk and liked it, but when I took away his bottle, he gave up actual milk altogether...I guess it was the bottle he liked, not really the milk. Soy cheese is pretty disgusting on it's own, but I will make things like baked ziti (or other various bake pastas) and use the shredded soy cheese (Soy Sation 3 cheese blend from Trader Joe's) mixed in and on top. In that capacity, it really isn't so bad. Plus there is something called Better Than Cream Cheese which really is like cream cheese. I usually mix a bit of this in with a baked pasta dish to give it a creamier consistency. And it's good on a bagel too. For ice cream, I keep the Tofutti Cuties in the freezer. Both my kids love them. I buy ravioli with tofu filling, and sometimes make that into a baked ravioli dish with soy cheese and vegetables mixed in (not made by Tofutti). I think that most of the Tofutti products are pretty good. This website, Go Dairy Free has a lot of information and recipes for both milk and egg free diets. And finally, I see that you are in NY, so if your friend is in NY too, I would suggest checking out Westerly Market on 54th & 8th. It is right my by office, so I go in there often. They have an amazing selection of products for any dietary concern and the prices are good. Much better than Whole Foods. Hope that helps...
  8. My daughter just finished temple pre-school and my son still has 2 more years to go. I have been sending lunch for her for the past 2 years and I just started sending lunch for him while he has been at the temple summer camp. The temple is reform, so we can send meat, but clearly not pork or shellfish. And clearly there is no peanut butter allowed, which is nothing new. Some things that I send for my daughter (a fantastic eater)... -- hummus sandwich or lately she just likes hummus and I send a bunch of crackers (she particularly like TJ's roasted red pepper hummus) -- egg salad sandwich -- cream cheese and jelly sandwich -- veggie burger on whole wheat roll -- small bagel with cream cheese and a bit smoked salmon -- mac & cheese, ravioli, various pastas I also send salami or turkey sandwiches, but that doesn't help you. My son, who will be 3 in September, is a little pickier and he is kind of lukewarm to sandwiches. I've noticed that he will eat a sandwich when it is on a hamburger bun, but he won't eat it on regular whole wheat bread (he loves hamburgers and I guess he likes the bun too). He much prefers a "hot lunch". I send him a lot of leftover pasta, macaroni & cheese, or leftover chinese food (chicken and broccoli with rice -- again, I know that doesn't help you). Today he took noodles mixed with brisket that was leftover. I heat up his food at 8:30 and by lunchtime it is warmish in the thermos. I would strongly suggest getting a thermos...not the traditional kind that is upright, but one that is more of a bowl. I find that both of my kids did not do well with the upright kind (now my daughter is ok with it, but she is almost 5). Here is an example of one similar to what we have but ours has the Spaghettios logo on it (it was a hand-me-down from my sister). If you can find this type, it is great. Or there is this kind, which also looks shallow and easy to eat from. Hope this helps.
  9. Not sure if you want to make a pasta salad, but I love this Orzo with Tomatoes, Feta, Green Onions from Epicurious. Also, I have a recipe for a Broccoli Slaw which is really good too. It has ramen noodles in it, and it's always a hit. If you are interested, let me know and I will post it. We are having people over on July 4th and I am making both of these dishes as sides.
  10. Hmmm... $4 for a jar of crushed garlic or < $0.50 [if that] for a head of garlic. And the fresh clove tastes better. Mincing takes about as much effort as opening a jar. I guess I'll never get the point of these so-called "convenience" goods. ← Not sure where you saw $4 for crushed garlic. The ginger is listed on the website for $3 and I pay even less, since I buy it in a local store. Oh, and get back to me on "convenience" goods when you cook for a family and work full time. I guess it's a good thing that I can afford things that I like that make my life easier.
  11. Call me lazy or crazy or whatever, but I like and use this crushed garlic.. I buy it at Trader Joe's and I always have it in my freezer. I used to buy the crushed ginger too, but I can't find it anymore, so now I buy this minced ginger. Why do I use it? Because I just don't like mincing garlic and ginger. And I can never get it crushed or minced as fine as I like it. Having said that, I would never buy frozen pb&j sandwiches for my kids. Or pre-made pancake batter. Or Lunchables. And those bagel/cream cheese things...yikes! But the reality is that I work full time, I have a 2 and 4 year old (and a husband!) and I cook for my family 5 nights a week (we eat out or bring in on weekends). Plus I pack lunch for my 4 year old to take to pre-school almost every weekday. And I bring my lunch to work most days, so that requires some prep each night. Plus, I usually spend some part of the weekend cooking things that I keep on hand in the freezer (meatballs, sauce, meatloaf, etc) so that I can pull them out when I can't cook something during the week. And on top of that, my son cannot have milk products, so I often spend an evening after my kids go to sleep making batches of dairy-free pancakes or waffles or french toast or muffins that I can keep in the freezer so that my kids can have a real breakfast in the morning, and it is one that I made. So as you can see, I spend a LOT of time cooking (good thing I love it)! And if using crushed garlic or ginger makes my life a tiny bit easier, then so be it...I am lazy!
  12. Chicken parmagiana. Seems so easy. Chicken cutlets, tomato sauce, cheese. But it never comes out nearly as good as the take out italian/pizza place.
  13. Some friends of ours had us over at their house and they invited another couple as well. We each have 2 kids, so the age range on kids was from 2-9, mostly in the 2-4 range. The friend of my friend has a store near her in CT that was selling lobster for $6.99/lb. Apparently they do this every NYE. So we started the night with pigs in blankets, hot spinach and artichoke dip, mini latkes with sour cream and smoked salmon. Then we had salad, steamed lobster, grilled steak (even though it was beyond freezing out!), macaroni and cheese (I made Ina Garten's recipe). Dessert was homemade chocolate cakes (2 of them), apple pie, rice krispie treats, cookies. Because most of the kids are young, we started the evening at 4:30 and we got home at 9:00 (they live 10 minutes from us). It was a lovely evening. All kids got along, no meltdowns the whole night, and I was able to relax and enjoy the company. One of the most enjoyable New Year's Eves I have had in a long while. Not that they have been bad by any means in the past few years, this was was just particularly warm and nice.
  14. I am not 100% sure about the 3 days in advance part, but I have made this Fudge-Pecan Pie 2 days in advance and it holds up fine. Trust me when I say that this is easy. You can buy a frozen pie shell at the supermarket and use that. I've made this pie several times and nobody will be wondering why the crust was not made from scratch -- they will be too busy swooning over the chocolately goodness that is this pie! This Apple \-Cranberry Crumb Pie is another one that is super-easy and delicious. The most annoying part is peeling and cutting up the apples, and even that's not really that bad. It is delicious. I can't see why either of these pies can't be made a week or so in advance and frozen, to be defrosted the day before. Any thoughts on that?
  15. I have a 2 year old son who cannot have milk products. It is not an allergy, per se, but a great sensitivity and he needs to be kept off anything with dairy in it, or the results just ain't pretty. As someone said upthread, this is not lactose intolerance. My son drinks rice milk and eats soy yogurt, and lactose has nothing to do with it. The buzzwords on labels that I look for and shy away from are milk (obviously), whey, casein, butter, cheese and cheese products. Particularly when it comes to kids, cheese is a big thing -- think Pepperidge Farm Goldfish -- they have a million flavors and, with the exception of the pretzel ones, they are all cheese flavored! And my son doesn't particularly like pretzels. Anyway, I have a few suggestions: If you want to make something from a mix, these Cherrybrook Kitchen mixes are pretty good. I realize that it is not your goal to use a mix, but since I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old, I can honestly say that the kids in your son's class won't care. They are just happy to be involved in making something...anything. Some sources for recipes that might help you find something: This Go Dairy Free website has many, many recipes that are obviously dairy free and the ones that are vegan are noted as well. When people say "dairy free" that does not always mean "egg free", so it might make it easier to have a vegan notation. My son can eat eggs with no problems. I have made some of the muffins and they are fine. This Dairy Free Cookbook also has a few recipes that look like they would fit all the criteria. Hope that helps and let us know what you decide.
  16. Cleo

    Dinner! 2008

    Susan, your corn always looks great! Just wondering, how did you prepare the shrimp? It looks delicious.
  17. Not on Park Avenue South, but when I was a kid in the 70's, I would occasionally come into Manhattan with my father and go to work with him, and it was a novelty for me to go to Dubrow's Cafeteria in the Garment District. My sister and I loved that you could literally pick out your own food.
  18. Cleo


    Another vote for puttanesca. Or just pasta with olive oil, garlic, capers, parmesan cheese, maybe mushrooms if I have them on hand. But my favorite dish of all is a bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon (nova), red onion and capers. And I respectfully disagree with SobaAddict on the theory that less is more. I like a lot of capers.
  19. We went to Caneel Bay about 2 1/2 years ago and we ate most of our dinners in Cruz Bay. I'm not even sure if these places still exist, but here is where we ate: The Fishtrap -- good food, but not great. The Balcony -- we really enjoyed our dinner here. Caneel Bay Grand Buffet (we stayed at Caneel Bay) -- just okay. Margarita Phil's -- I had shrimp enchiladas, which were very good. The Lime Inn -- we liked it a lot -- I had the "all you can eat peel & eat shrimp". Very tasty and a good deal. I would recommend searching on Fodor's forums for restaurant information. Now that I think about it, I didn't really get any good tips from the food boards; they all came from Fodor's.
  20. I like my burgers well done. I use beef with 15% or 20% fat content, and I don't grind my own beef. The only thing that I add to the beef is salt, pepper and some cold water. Not sure exactly how much water, I just eyeball it. This works. The burgers stay moist. As an aside, as someone who likes their burgers well done, I don't mind when they are bit dry. Call me crazy, but I'd rather have them on the dry side than have any pink in the center.
  21. I'm making a pretty simple dinner for 11 (including 4 kids): Chicken soup Matzo balls Haroset Brisket Chicken with 40 Cloves of garlic Potato kugelettes A spinach something or broccoli something Any suggestions on what to do with the spinach or broccoli? Maybe some type of souffle? My sister is in charge of desserts.
  22. I have a rice cooker and it makes perfect sticky rice. I use Koshihikari rice - short grain, sweet rice. Sometimes I buy this Sushi rice. Perfect every time. http://www.riceselect.com/Products/scrollV...p?id=75&level=2
  23. They do have tuna salad, but it's the whitefish/baked salmon salad that is to die for.
  24. This is often a topic that comes up at my office, since I work for a major magazine publishing company. The quantities of magazines that we produce each month (over 30 million magazines across various titles, but no dedicated cooking titles!) have not decreased indicating thus far that there is still a desire for a printed magazine. Personally, I love looking at cookbooks and magazines. I also like to peruse websites looking for recipes (actually while I'm at work). I have a laptop in my kitchen, which I love, plus my many cookbooks. I don't think that one source/format is better than the other -- they both serve a purpose.
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