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Everything posted by Knicke

  1. Knicke

    Steel-cut Oats

    Oats work just as well savory as sweet, in my opinion. You can treat them sort of like risotto or grits. Cook in chicken broth instead of water; add cheese, onions/garlic, etc. There are actually a lot of "oats risotto" recipes out there; just Google around and see what looks good to you.
  2. I'm from Canton, OH - both sides of the family, even the ones from out Toledo way, call it 'egg-in-a-nest'. A very cozy name for a cozy dish.
  3. Yeah, in retrospect, it is pretty disgusting. But it's what I wanted, dammit! In my defense, it was really high-quality butter.
  4. Oh for god's sake. This is ridiculous. And...gross. Nasty off-brand supermarket frozen pizza. Baked until almost burnt. B & J's New York Super Fudge Chunk flavor. Pepperidge Farm dark chocolate brownie soft-bake cookies. Several bottles of St. Pauli Girl. And earlier today: chunks of unsalted cultured butter. Shave bits off with knife, dip in sea salt. Eat straight, sort of like a quintuple-creme cheese. Eek.
  5. Here's the scoop: My roommate and I are both in grad school. She's having her graduate composition recital in March, and has asked me to make most or all of the food for the reception. We've estimated that there will be about 40-50 attending, and we'd like to feed them somewhat substantially (not a full meal perhaps, but you know how students are - they are ALWAYS HUNGRY). Limiting factors: - not a ton of scratch to spend (she's budgeted about $200, so no prime rib) - no kitchen facilities on-site (although I think refrigeration is accessible). We could probably bring in a microwave and beg/borrow/steal a crockpot or two, but that's it. The majority of it will probably be cold. - time. Most if not all of this needs to be prepped ahead, because there's no way in hell I'm missing the recital. - inexperience. I've never done something quite this large before. Not sure how much food I need to plan for. We're thinking dips, spreads, crackers, cheese, breads, vegetables, some sweets, all the usual nibbles. However, I'd also like to kick this up a notch from the standard "ranch dip with carrots and celery" or "spinach dip in a bread bowl". Nothing wrong with the standards (and I'll definitely include some of them), but it would be cool to have a few special "somethings", given the importance of the occasion. Whew. Any guidance? I do have about a month to plan and prep, which is good.
  6. So far today: FOUR supermarket doughnuts (one plain sour cream, 3 bavarian filled) half a batch of extra-fatty homemade char siu - could easily have eaten the whole thing but reluctantly stopped so that I have something to use in my homemade bao experiment tomorrow leftover Thai red chicken and tofu curry with jasmine rice Due to a lack of foresight there is no chocolate to speak of in the house, so I'll probably whipping up a pan of brownies later....and eating half of THAT... *burp* is right...
  7. Pan sauce: age 26 White sauce: age 26 Gumbo Roux (related): age 26 My grandma makes OK gravy, but sadly not amazing - and my parents are not really good cooks, either. So I've had to learn everything myself via books and you lovely people. I've been busy in the past year! I'm 27 now, and sausage gravy on biscuits is in my immediate future. And I just learned how to make giblet gravy this past Thanksgiving! I cooked the whole thing myself for the first time, for the benefit of a few ravenous graduate school friends. The turkey was terrifying (and heavy!), but I must say that the gravy was AMAZING. Beginner's luck, I suppose.
  8. Count me as another who loves the traditional dinner (but hates green bean casserole). It's not that any one dish really stands out (and mojoman is right that a lot if it is often done very poorly). But the sum of all the parts (turkey gravy mashed taters stuffing and cranberry sauce/relish, all on one plate, with a pumpkin pie finish) is heaven to me. I'm sure some of it has to do with the good company and good past associations...but I don't get that particular mix of flavors at any other time of year, and I look forward to it. You're right - there no one dish that I think is really great by itself. Together they are delicious.
  9. First attempt I remember: definitely a sandwich (do those count)? I think I was about 5 1/2 or 6 (still not trusted with kitchen knives, I know that) and reading the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books...came across a mention of a peanut butter and pickle sandwich and I just couldn't stop thinking about it. So I tried making one, using a dinner knife to slice up the Claussen pickles and spread the Jif. Goo-oood! although my family thought I was nuts. Still one of my favorite sandwiches. First attempt involving heat (aside from some batches of chocolate chip cookies which were thoroughly forgettable): probably chapatis at 9? My mom had this international cookbook that I loved reading through, and for some reason I became enamored with chapatis (which I'd never had). I tried making them (didn't think to make any actual curry or dal to go along with them...weird kid); recipe sounded easy enough (very simple). They were pretty darn tasteless - not enough salt - and dense and hard as all get out. Could have served as roofing tiles. I ate one, tried to eat another, and threw the rest away.
  10. Um...everything? It's a problem. I've done this to several housemates, including the current one. It's weird because I'm not really a perfectionist at all when I'm the one cooking. As soon as someone else gets into the kitchen, though...I just can't stay out of it. I have...ADVICE to give. It's not in my nature to be completely controlling (I do believe in the free will to make mistakes), but I make suggestions. Tons of compulsive suggestions. "If I were cutting that, I'd..."; "You MIGHT want to turn down the heat, because..."; etc. And when they're not looking, I'll fiddle with the flame level or crack the pot lid or just generally MEDDLE. I really do mean well, you know - there are tons of little tricks and tips that I've learned through experience, and most of the victims have told me (grudgingly) later that yep, it was helpful. And in my defense, all of them have been less kitchen savvy than me. Still, maddening. My former roommate (and still excellent friend, thank god) banned me from cooking in the kitchen with her for several months until I got myself under control. Now, well...I know my limits. If someone else is cooking, at most I'll just take a peek under the lid, close it and leave the kitchen. Otherwise I absolutely cannot keep my mouth shut.
  11. I grew up thinking that I HATED oatmeal because all I ever had were quick oats. Started making the real stuff last year - really one of the cheapest breakfasts around (important for a poor grad student) - and found out I LOVED it. The standard way was rolled oats from the natural foods co-op bin, with raisins and tons of cinnamon cooked in, and then mixed with walnuts and chopped apples and brown sugar or Succanat. Delish. Then I read somewhere (can't remember where) about savory versions, and I've never looked back. Also finally got around to using steel cut oats this season. Now my standard way is steel cut oats started the night before, warmed up and mixed with chopped scallions and a small amount of miso, and topped with a lightly fried or poached egg. Really really good.
  12. Knicke


    Here's another site in the same sort of vein: imcooked Some choice videos: Actor Christopher Walken makes roast chicken and pears And an eGullet connection already! Cooking beans in the Rancho Gordo manner
  13. I don't forage often anymore, but my parents are avid mushroom hunters. Morels mostly, but thanks to their hobby I've also sampled maiitake, chicken of the woods, and puffballs. A good thing too - wild mushrooms were the only thing that convinced me that I didn't hate ALL mushrooms as a kid (I'm still not a big fan of button mushrooms). Except for the one time I convinced my mom to help out with a batch of crabapple jelly when I was about six, it was never formal foraging, I guess - just snacking on things I ran across when hiking with the family in the woods, or that I found growing wild around my neighborhood. I still do this now, occassionally. Black/raspberries of course, and the most memorable part of our family vacation to Maine (apart from the lobsters and bears) was wild blueberries. Mulberries from the tree in the church cemetary. Sorrel (we called it "sourweed"). Tiny sour apples. One of our regular hikes was thick with wild onions, which I used to chew on contentedly for hours.
  14. I much preferred sugar cones as a kid (not for taste reasons but for perceived "classiness" reasons, I think). However, I just had my first ice cream cone of the summer on a cake cone, and I think my tastes have changed. As others here have noted, now I think sugar cones are just too sweet to go with already-sweet ice cream. Cake cones, on the other hand, while relatively tasteless, provide important texture, and work better in terms of engineering (don't leak, can handle more ice cream). I guess I like styrofoam.
  15. Gah! La Choy Chop Suey! My childhood dinnertime nemesis. Bleargh. Thanks but no thanks to you all for bringing up that memory. I'm gagging a bit just thinking of it. Thankfully, it hasn't stopped me from loving real (or even Americanized) Chinese, but I think it does have something to do with my extremely low tolerance for BAD Chinese food.
  16. As far as I'm concerned, anything is fair game at breakfast (although I tend to eat traditionally American "breakfast-y" foods out of habit). One of my favorite breakfasts is leftover Thai curry and rice. Breakfast for dinner is great, too.
  17. I used to work in a supermarket deli. I would say that 90% of patrons were, as you note, fairly cavalier about the thickness of the slices. My guess is that they didn't care, or equally likely, they were often in too much of a hurry to figure out what they wanted. The other 10% were inevitably older or elderly folks, and they were extremely specific about the thickness they desired. Just corroborating your observations.
  18. Count me in as another liver hater - all sources, all preparations. Also, anything else liver-ish - blood or liver sausage. It's weird because it's not a matter of instant disgust - I'm not revolted by the idea or the smell, but each time I try it, I can only do a bite or two before deciding AGAIN "oh yeah, I really DO hate liver". I really want to like chopped liver w/ schmaltz - in theory it sounds like it would be good, but I just can't do it. And I also want to like liverwurst. It just SOUNDS good. I've tried it numerous times - I can maybe get through a slice thinking "Oh yeah, this is tasty" and then I have to spit out the second slice and feel myself turn green. It's some combo of the taste and smell that does it. Maybe it's all tied to being forced to eat it as a kid. I was a good eater as a rule. There's only one time I remember having to sit at the table long after the meal was over, slowly and reluctantly finishing my dinner. The main course? You guessed it. Liver. There are plenty of other foods that I don't care for, but no others that I know of that I just. can't. eat.
  19. I just found out about a local CSA that does half-shares! This is fantastic, because I'm only one person. It's still going to be a challenge to use up or process all of those vegetables, but there was no WAY I could do a CSA without the half-share option. I'm just about to write my check, after I hear back from the farmer as to whether there are still shares available... Can't wait to get at that produce!
  20. No leaps. Crawls. Lots of dead stops in between crawls. Then some more crawling. Seems fast in hindsight. I'm always amazed that for the longest time the whites who settled North America thought tomatoes were poisonous, until the Native Americans taught them otherwise. Somebody upthread mentioned that poisonous foods must have been learned very quickly and remembered very clearly. Very understandably. ← Maybe there's some sort of poisonous fruit or vegetable that resembles a tomato closely? ← There is - tomatoes, potatoes, chayote, and eggplant (I think) are in the Solanaceae family. Another family member is deadly nightshade (pretty darn poisonous). I imagine cherry-type tomatoes would look pretty similar to nightshade unless you knew better (if you look at the leaves/fruits, they are remarkably similar). Not an unfounded fear at all.
  21. My sense is that this site is just getting started, as there is not a ton of content there already. But I think this is a really fun idea, and potentially really useful, especially for educational purposes. As far as I can tell, uploading videos is free (although there is a 100MB limit for each video). ifood
  22. Just found a cool thing today: Tastespotting - seems to essentially be a collective "visual bulletin board" of food porn, with links to the poster's blogs. Looks like it's just getting started, but it's a fun place if all you want is pictures...
  23. jsmith, I beg to differ. Hemp seeds actually ARE tasty. Not one bit like moldy spinach...I had a friend that used to eat them while breaking up a quarter... Another "baked" good I'd like to vouch for: carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! The green flavor goes nicely with all the spices, and I find you can make it EXTREMELY potent without it tasting like grass clippings. Just make sure you make an "unspiked" version too, because once the effects kick in, you really really want another piece of cake...you might be able to get away with a 2nd piece but it's probably not wise to have a third...tried that once and was stoned for 2 days straight...
  24. I can't vouch for all of the franchise locations, but the best fastfood fried chicken I've had to date (yes, better than Popeye's) was at a Pollo Campero in Antigua, Guatemala. They are mainly in Mexico and Central America, but there are a number of U.S. franchises, too.
  25. I likes 'em both. Can't enjoy one w/o the other...
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