Chris VR's Profile

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Mozzarella at home...what went wrong..3 times!!!

I'm out of my depth on this, like I said it's been years (and 2 kids) since I've done it, so my memory really is fuzzy. I got a lot out of the class I took... if you have the opportunity to take one, I'd recommend it. I really got into cheesemaking, to the point where I was doing hard cheese as well, but the kids effectively killed my hobbies for years :)

Aug 25, 2014
Chris VR in Home Cooking

Mozzarella at home...what went wrong..3 times!!!

Could be, and different microwaves have different power levels, so maybe try doing it either on a lower power, or not as long.

Aug 25, 2014
Chris VR in Home Cooking

Mozzarella at home...what went wrong..3 times!!!

Happy to try to help! This is the method I've used http://www.cheesemaking.com/howtomake... There are some differences from your recipe (the citric acid and rennet is diluted in water, for example). You also don't mention kneading yours, but if it was the consistency of cottage cheese, that's probably why.

Aug 25, 2014
Chris VR in Home Cooking

Mozzarella at home...what went wrong..3 times!!!

I've made fine mozzarella with this microwave method. It's not gourmet or top of the line in any way, but a fun thing to do. It's neat to serve mozzarella you made yourself, and the ease of this technique is great for getting people interested in more traditional methods.

Aug 25, 2014
Chris VR in Home Cooking

Mozzarella at home...what went wrong..3 times!!!

It sounds like you used the right type of milk. It sounds crazy but try it with the most mundane, off the shelf milk you can get, something like Publix brand, if it's not ultrapasteurized. Sorry I can't offer any specific feedback on your technique, it's been a long while since I've done it. I do remember a pair of heavy duty rubber gloves made kneading the curd when it was a hot out of the microwave much less painful.

Aug 25, 2014
Chris VR in Home Cooking

Mozzarella at home...what went wrong..3 times!!!

Try it with another brand of milk. I took the course with Ricki at her location, years ago, and I do remember her saying different brands of commercial milk act differently. Make sure the milk is not Ultra-Pasteurized, but I think I remember that the best results I had was not with the organic milk but with a supermarket brand (Garelick, here in Boston, IIRC).

Aug 25, 2014
Chris VR in Home Cooking

Oh please Arby's...

You're right, I looked on their site but couldn't find the menu anywhere.

Aug 19, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Oh please Arby's...

On Long Island, where I grew up, there was some sort of partnership or buyout with Arby's and Jack in the Box, and our local Arby's (where one of my best friends worked) had roast beed and tacos. After seeing what my friend did with the roast beef, I never ate one of those sandwiches, but he would make me these tacos that were loaded up with everything, and got me on the taco lover bandwagon.

Aug 18, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Oh please Arby's...

Closer to home, Spalla's in Natick has a Coney Island dog on the menu. Casey's too, I think.

Aug 18, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

This Beet Rosti is the one for non-beet lovers. http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

The beets get all sweet and creamy and caramelized. If your husband doesn't like these, he just won't like beets!

Aug 17, 2014
Chris VR in Home Cooking

Your thoughts on Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa on Big Island? Or other date night recs?

Thanks! We might still make it there. We had a date night while out at Volcano (Kiluea Lodge, which was OK, definitely better than the Lava Rock Cafe we had with the whole family, but not as good as I'd have liked it to be.) Might squeeze in one more date night while in Kona area, and I forgot Beech Tree was a place I'd wanted to try last time we were here.

Aug 17, 2014
Chris VR in Hawaii

Your thoughts on Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa on Big Island? Or other date night recs?

Thanks! Yeah, we're aware of the general meh-ness of Waikoloa resort-area food. I do like Sansei's sushi although the atmosphere of the Waikoloa resort is not great. We loved the one in Waikiki Beach. We went to Roy's last time we were here and thought it wasn't bad, and worked really well for us because they were very tolerant of our young kids.

We got all excited to see Fairmont Orchid nearby because Orchids brunch from our last trip, which included Oahu, was such a standout memory, but it seems there's no connection.

Aug 14, 2014
Chris VR in Hawaii

Your thoughts on Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa on Big Island? Or other date night recs?

From reading their site, they focus on "farm to beach" which sounds nice, but Yelpers are not kind, and based on reviews there, it sounds like one of those places where they count on the great view to distract you from the mediocre food. We are staying in Waikoloa right now and looking to take advantage of the grandparents in tow to go out for a date night, without going to far out of the Waikoloa area. Is there any great food with a view nearby? If not, just great food? Much as I love me some raw fish, we've eaten a lot of it so far, so probably looking for more places of the cooked persuasion.

Aug 11, 2014
Chris VR in Hawaii

Park Place Pantry's Tuscan Style Salsa at local farmer's markets

So now that we're allowed to recommend friend's businesses, I'm going to put in a plug for my friend Ed's Tuscan Style Salsa, sold at local Farmer's Markets under the Park Place Pantry brand, including today in Winchester. They are also at SoWA sometimes. Ed and I have done community theater together and cast parties used to be the only place to count on a supply of this salsa. He launched the business just a few months ago. It's a light, zingy salsa that's pretty different from other salsas. Give him some love if you see in at a local farmer's market, and/or check him out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/parkplacepantry

Aug 09, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Alan Wong for kids...

We're supposed to come in to Big Island on Sunday, while the Julio is (hopefully) offshore. I'm bringing more food than I'd planned to, figuring that shelves may be a bit bare.

Aug 07, 2014
Chris VR in Hawaii

"Back" button, still not working right.

I don't ever encounter this problem, but it's because I don't ever use the back button here on CHOW. If you're open to navigating via opening a new tab for each thread you read (that's what I do) it might alleviate the frustration for now.

Aug 06, 2014
Chris VR in Site Talk

Info on Market Basket new locations?

I suspect we all have to wait and see if MB will even manage to stay in business at this point. The construction was still going on at the Waltham site last week but this hole they've dug themselves into is going to take a while to get out of. If they manage to stay in business, I won't be surprised if any new store plans get shelved.

Aug 05, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Is anyone going to boycott Market Basket?

"In a letter from the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Market Basket's CEOs were reminded that any terminated employee in Massachusetts is entitled to receive any and all compensation owed to them on the last day of employment, and New Hampshire workers are due all compensation within 72 hours of termination." comes from this article http://on.wcvb.com/1qOk48Q

It sounds like if they follow through on their threat to fire anyone who doesn't come back on Monday, they'd better have a ton of financial people on hand ready to process payments to the thousands of workers they'd have to lay off.

Aug 01, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

That's a really good point, about eggplant vs pasta being softer and easier. Unfortunately we've had to call tonight's dinner off because of the nausea but I'm hoping I can still get some ice cream cake in her tonight!

Aug 01, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Clicking on names in a thread

I'm finding it a bit harder to get the name to turn to a name with an underline, indicating it's an active link. I have to hover around the middle to top of the outlined box to get the underline, but clicking on when the underline shows up does move me to the post.

Aug 01, 2014
Chris VR in Site Talk

Is anyone going to boycott Market Basket?

I am not a Crazy Basket (as we call it) regular, but I will shop there at times and was looking forward to getting my parents going there since they are on a fixed income. I liked the Hannaford in Saugus but since we've moved to Lexington, the one in Waltham is closest and is a bit too far for me to frequent.

Aug 01, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant recommendations Aug3rd - Aug7th

Are you looking for lunch or dinner?

Jul 31, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

Good to know! She's having nausea problems tonight so the entire dinner might have to get canned. Sigh.

Jul 31, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Is anyone going to boycott Market Basket?

Interesting, everyone I know isn't going there out of support for the workers... which sets up an interesting social dynamic, because none of us want to be the one who caves and gives up on this moral stand to shop there, even if it were fully stocked.

Jul 31, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Restaurants NOT participating in RW

Here's a pretty great list from last year http://boston.eater.com/archives/2013... I'd guess a lot of the same places are also not participating this year. If they've come out with this year's list, I haven't seen it yet.

Jul 31, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Sandwich Shops and Tasty Treats on Long Island

I recommended Steer Seller in Ridge on another thread and coll took me up on it, thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967287

Steer Seller is more of a butcher but they do have some lunch specials, and they make their own cold cuts. There's not much in the way of seating other than a few picnic tables outside. Pick up a wheel of their cheese and parsley sausage and grill it up for me while you're at it. I'm up here in Boston and particularly miss their meats when summer grilling season is upon us. John (the owner) is an old family friend.

Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

I appreciate all the suggestions and will definitely try to check out some of these with her when she's more up to eating, as Italian is her favorite. I decided to go with Felicia's in Stoneham. We've always had good meals there and I think the red sauce will work for her. From speaking on the phone with them, I think they'll be able to cook it a bit longer so it's easy to swallow, and maybe also dice it up in the kitchen so she doesn't have to futz with it too much at the table. Thanks for all your good thoughts as well.

Jul 31, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

OH! Yes, there is one of these in Lexington! I've only been in once, and saw a case with deli meats. I didn't notice prepared foods but wasn't looking that closely. I will definitely have to check it out, for meals at home. Thanks.

Jul 31, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

Hmmm, that's an idea. Thanks, will give this some thought. I do really like their red sauce and I think mom would too.

Jul 31, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

I haven't been to Stellina in years, but the atmosphere would be perfect. Maybe I'll check and see if they have regular lasagna on the menu. Thanks!

Jul 31, 2014
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area