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What is the VERY BEST thing you've ever eaten?

My mother's "light brown sugar icing" on various yellow, white, or other cakes. Unfortunately, she lost the recipe. I have searched and tried several "light brown sugar icings," butterscotch frostings, Penuche icings, caramel icings, and many come deliciously close. And at this late stage in life, I would have no idea if I stumbled onto Mom's identical recipe somewhere. But several varieties of these types of icings have to qualify to answer your question... the very best thing I've EVER eaten.
(Depending on my mood, years and years ago, living 'up north,' a White Castle hamburger could be the 'second best.' No such WC slider joints in Florida, and the frozen WC's in the grocery store are not in the running. The few times I have been able to find White Castles on vacations to the northland and the digs of my youth, they have continued to earn their place on my "Best" short list. Seriously.)

Jun 28, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

Must be a New Yawk thing. Born a few miles up the road in Westchester. On other Chowhound threads that come around every so often, its fun to think about the White Castle on Fordham Road or egg creams on the corner. Chowhound may not be the place where I can reminisce about the #4 train out of Woodlawn or talk about what the Yankees have been up to, so graham crackers for breakfast will have to do.

Jun 14, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

Breakfast: if we ran out of packaged cereal, it was time for broken up graham crackers and milk in the cereal bowl.

Jun 14, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Am I the only adult in America who doesn't like coffee?

I just am finishing a couple of packages of different varieties of coffee from Thanksgiving Coffee, Fort Bragg, CA. A Chowhound suggested I look into the recommendations and reviews on 'Coffee Review,' and most of the Thanksgiving brand varieties seem to rate among coffee drinkers in the 90s on the 'Coffee Review.' Intriguing names and descriptions, I placed an order. Before I get the supply down to its last coffee bean, I was so glad to see my old faithful Peets Major Dickason on sale at the store. I picked some up and this morning took a welcome break from the Thanksgiving stuff. Over and over again, I am learning (or sometimes fail to learn) that my coffee tastes are very narrow. My quest for a "better" cup (or maybe an additional choice to add to my list of favorites) other than the ones I do enjoy always ends in major disappointment. That part of me that says, "Oh, that sounds interesting! I should try that!" doesn't work for my coffee tastes. (bang my head on wall) I need to stick to a small handful of brands that I really, really love.

Jun 13, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Raised waffles recipe in CI

[2015 follow up question- I hope a few Chowhounds can pick up on this]: We just got a new Belgian Waffle Iron and I found a yeast Belgian waffle recipe on allrecipes.com that calls for a rising waiting period of 1 hour. With other prep, this puts a breakfast meal back about 2 hours before they are on the table. (So this morning, breakfast became brunch.) Can I mix all the ingredients the night before and let it rise in the refrigerator? The posts on this thread seem to discourage an overnight rise on the counter.
I am using Instaferm instant yeast- I had requested a block of solid yeast at the store bakery, and they sold me a blocky package of powdered yeast, and I didn't realize it was not the solid kind until I started my waffles this morning.

Jun 13, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

What Are Your Favorite Summer Time Foods You Crave and Indulge?

I checked it out, loved it, and the nostalgia literally from my home turf was especially fun. It is very likely I even ran across Joe Villardi, the Good Humor man featured in the article, "back in the day."

What Are Your Favorite Summer Time Foods You Crave and Indulge?

Is there still a Good Humor truck? If the thread was about summertime memories, don't get me started on Good Humor... ("Im the friendly man who sells Good Humor, the ice cream kids all favor...") Are they still in some areas?

Jun 03, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

What Are Your Favorite Summer Time Foods You Crave and Indulge?

Roasting marshmallows over the grill or campfire.
"Smores" are the summertime favorite of several people in my family.
Fresh squeezed lemonade.

Onion corn-on-the-cob (Combine 1/2 cup heated, softened butter, 1 envelope dry onion soup mix, 1/2 tsp salt... Spread each ear of corn with 1 Tablespoon of this mixture, wrap each tightly in foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 30+ minutes until tender, or on grill until tender. Serve with additional butter)

Summer is the time for traditional, simple potato salads and other family-favorite potato salads.

Juicy hamburgers from the grill, made by friends who can do burgers a whole lot better than I can.

In Florida, we drink iced tea all year long, but it seems in summer, extra ice and extra refill after refill hits the spot. Fresh brewed, please. Heavy on the lemon slices.

Those red, white,and blue sheet cakes promoted in the magazines leading up to 4th of July: rows of strawberries, blueberries, Cool Whip or whipped cream, you know the kind.

Peach cobbler, blueberry cobbler,
strawberry shortcakes (made with dessert cake cups, not biscuits for me, thanks.)

Homemade churned ice cream is a summertime favorite for some folks. I have never seen what the fuss was about here, but it does say "summer" in a fun way when many friends and family are sitting around enjoying their fresh-churn. For me, to "crave and indulge" the socializing.
Over-priced hot dogs and snacks at the baseball stadium. Again, its not the food at its best, but the atmosphere and the time at the game with friends.
And I'll have to stew up some rhubarb once or twice before Labor Day.

May 31, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

How high is your tolerance for messy food?

(1) I just got in from a picnic graduation celebration, in the sweltering Florida heat. The cupcakes had icing piled high, but the heat was challenging that icing, big-time. No matter- everyone at the party seemed to thoroughly enjoy overly sticky fingers for the occasion, and one 1 year old was enough of a mess that the obligatory pictures needed to be taken before his clean-up.
(2) Eating a sandwich while driving can be considered dangerous distracted driving, and most of us have done it. But a sloppy sub sandwich that would be a drippy mess even if you ate it carefully at a table can quickly become entirely unmanageable as a drive-while-you-eat activity. I've drawn a line (though still a little bit flexible) on how much sloppy food or what kind I can eat when driving.
(3) A favorite childhood memory- the Friday night tradition of Dad taking me out for a Carvel ice cream cone. I would order the largest size and I still do, and inevitably the ice cream would drip landslides down my arm before I got to the cone part. Yeah, that still happens, too.[See #2: not while I'm driving :) ]

All I want is a good cup of coffee at home. [moved from General Topics]

Sometime back, I E-Mailed the National Coffee Association with that very question and never got a reply. Obviously its hot water that sprays over and through the coffee grounds. It is interesting to learn about the apparently endless variations on how it can (or should) be done. And you are still enjoying the roasting results of the Behmor?

May 22, 2015
Florida Hound in Cookware

All I want is a good cup of coffee at home. [moved from General Topics]

I've had the new Mr. Coffee for about a month now. I have gotten into the habit of microwaving the water several minutes before pouring into the Mr. Coffee. As I have posted, I am not sure it makes a lot of difference in the final product, but I'm in the habit of it at this point. I thought I was going to shop for a 'mid-range' priced Mr. Coffee unit, but all I could find to spend more money on was a model with a digital read-out, I think. Of the choices at the store, I didn't need anything but the basic, bottom $ Mr. Coffee. And they have drip-proofed the carafe, which is a nice improvement. I will still enjoy the discussions of other Chowhounds extolling the virtues of those expensive machines out there. But for the moment, basic is beautiful and I enjoyyyyy my coffee!

May 21, 2015
Florida Hound in Cookware

Barbecuing - Does ANYONE Think Of Food Safety When Grilling?

When I fill up a plate of raw meat from the kitchen and head outside to the grill, the meat goes on the grill, and that plate or platter is done for the evening. New plate or platter to bring the finished product back to the table. I wash my hands frequently as I grill or handle raw meat. I would rather have the guests mingle and have good conversations or supervise the length of time I'm grilling the burgers ("Com'on, man, not hockey pucks again!") than keep track of my sanitary practices. But on balance, I think we're steering clear of anything deadly at our house.

May 17, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

How about fruit compote?

The original recipe called for a 1/2 cup of sugar!! Its really delicious, not cloyingly sweet as the ingredients might otherwise suggest. PhilD replied with a creative take on modifying the recipe to his tastes. And his ideas also sounded great. I think that will be the bottom line of this thread- endless variations on a genre, one more creative than the last!

May 14, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

What happened?

Well, "back in the day," (2010- I had to check!) you helped me improve my pumpkin pancake technique and recipes, so please "keep in touch!!!" Appreciate you,
Florida Hound

May 13, 2015
Florida Hound in Florida
1

How about fruit compote?

My wife said "you have to post my favorite compote!" We've been making this periodically for a breakfast side dish, stand-alone or just morning treat since the 1980s. OK, here it is for your consideration.

HOT FRUIT COMPOTE
1 (15+1/4 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (16 oz.) can lite sliced peaches, drained
1 (15 oz.) jar spiced apple rings, drained*
1 (16 oz.) lite pear halves, drained
1 (16 oz. can lite apricot halves, drained*
1/2 cup "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" liquid (pump spray bottle) (zero calories)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Splenda
1 cup apple cider or apple juice*
12 canned cherries, such as "Comstock Tart Red Cherries in Water"

Layer first 5 ingredients in an 8" x 11" x 2" baking dish. Pour "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" liquid into saucepan. Add flour, Splenda, and apple juice or cider.* Mix well with wire whisk. Cook 15 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce over fruit; arrange cherries on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and serve immediately in bowls. Yield: 10 servings.
Per serving: 167 calories. .018 grams fat and 1.27 grams fiber.

*NOTES:
-We adapted a magazine recipe that originally called for 1 cup of sherry. Apple juice or cider works better for our household.
-Apricots: dried apricots aren't bad. If substituting, 12 oz. of dried apricots is enough. Heat (boil) at medium high for 15 minutes to get them good and soft before adding to the recipe, above.
-I noticed that the OP and others have had compote as a drink. With all the canned fruits being drained in this recipe, would saving their juices contribute to a decent drink? I have never considered this before. Hmmmm.
-Spiced apple rings are a seasonal item and may not be readily available as I post this in May. We stock up on a few jars at Christmastime for use periodically throughout the year.
-Sometimes manufacturers mess with sizes of cans, usually shaving off 1/2 an oz. and charging a little more. I hope these can sizes are accurate for your shopping list.

Enjoy,
FLORIDA HOUND

May 13, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

How about fruit compote?

We have various fruit compotes around here from time to time, and think of them as warm and wonderful bowls of fruit. I never thought of fruit compote as a "drink." Your comment about "store bought drinks and juices" further told me you are not talking about what I think of as fruit compote. Did you leave a link out of your post?

May 12, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

The sugar water part of the recipe is sometimes called 'Simple Syrup,' sometimes 'Sugar Syrup.' The good news is it keeps well for a variety of drinks, recipes, and occasions down the road. The proportions can vary... 1 Simple Syrup recipe I ran across called for combining 2 Cups sugar and 1 cup water. Boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil gently for 5 minutes. Makes about 2 cups. "Will keep 6 months in refrigerator."
Another uses 2/3 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water proportions... boil until sugar dissolves, etc. And again, just "refrigerate the rest for another time..." How handy can you get? Making a quantity in advance would simplify and speed up the drink-making. I recently saw that World Market sells small bottles of pre-made 'simple syrup,' and I imagine it is available elsewhere.

May 08, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach--no good food?

I am cutting and pasting several links that might be helpful, 2 past threads from Chowhound, and several from Trip Advisor re: specific restaurants. I don't think the choices are absolutely hopeless.

I go over for Bike Week, too, as well as several other times a year. A friend comes down from New York for Bike Week, Jeep Beach, and other good times.
-My favorite in the area is Down The Hatch, Ponce Inlet. Eat on the deck, overlooking the intracoastal, listen to the band, and have a reasonable plate of seafood or a great burger.
-My buddy says he and his wife always seek out the Stonewood Grill in Ormond Beach. I've never been there; I believe its a chain. They like it, and I linked to Trip Advisor, below.

-A simple Italian and Pizza place inland a few miles, in Ormond Beach, is Delcato's, which is a regular stop when we get together for a Bike Week weekend or Turkey Run car show.
-Probably the best food I've had in Daytona was at BJ's Grill, on International Speedway Blvd, west of the Speedway itself. It is also a chain, I think, but its a great meal, looked like they had a huge selection at their bar, etc. (Food beats Down the Hatch by a slim margin, but Down the Hatch has the outdoor deck atmosphere.)
-Hull's Seafood is a hole-in-wall on Granada in Ormond Beach, but it is the real deal. They catch their own, and their fresh seafood shop is connected, right next door.

-Daytona Beach rec’s, please (12/28/11- 4/27/14) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825403
-Chinese in Daytona (4/2014) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/973822

-Trip Advisor: Delcato’s- Ormond Beach http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...
-Trip Advisor: Down the Hatch, Ponce Inlet http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

-Trip Advisor: BJ’s Brewhouse http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...
-Trip Advisor: Stonewood Grill http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

Hope some of this helps,
See you on Main Street at Biketoberfest, smartie,
Florida Hound

May 08, 2015
Florida Hound in Florida

Reuben Sandwich

Sandwich with cole slaw instead of sauerkraut might be called a "Rachel." Another Chowhound, above, has mentioned that using pastrami instead of corned beef also pushes the recipe in the "Rachel" direction.

May 07, 2015
Florida Hound in Recipes

Reuben Sandwich

A Russian Dressing recipe from my go-to cookbook from the 1950s, "The Supermarket Cookbook, (Silver Jubilee, 1930- 1955)" by Edith Barber and "Respectfully and affectionately dedicated to Mamie Eisenhower, the Housewife of America's No. 1 Household." I hope the Russian Dressing recipe is "authentic" enough for purists, but I just like the whole 1950s feel to the book and much of its contents. (The recipe is obviously not from Hamburger Hamlet, though.)

Under the general heading of "Mayonnaise," several variations are offered, including Russian Dressing. Simply, "To 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, add 1/2 cup of chili sauce and 1 Tablespoon each of chopped green pepper and chopped onions or chives." That's it! Further down the page, a recipe for Thousand Island Dressing gets its own heading, with ingredients such as heavy cream, a hard cooked egg, beets, and tarragon vinegar.

May 07, 2015
Florida Hound in Recipes
1

where can I find good smoked mullet dip?

I tried some Smilin' Bob's Smoked Fish Dip today, Lou, and I gotta tell ya, its very good!!
I found it at an ABC Liquor Store in Hudson, Florida, although the Smilin' Bob's website did not list the Hudson location. Until recently, it listed an ABC in Spring Hill, FL, but that location is now off the list... as I found out after I took the drive to Spring Hill after work. But the staff there directed me to their Hudson store and the short wild goose chase to Hudson wasn't too bad.
Smilin Bobs is amberjack and King Mackerel, not smoked mullet, which is fine. Smooth, creamy, tasty- definitely on my radar to buy again when one of the outlets is on my way. I found a 2010 Chowhound thread where someone compared Smilin' Bob's Smoked Fish Dip to the product at Ted Peters. That Chowhound liked them both, but "gave the nod" to Teds. "Ted Peters has a much higher percentage of fish and is consequently much less creamy...tends to be blander for lack of spices... Smilin' Bob's has a creaminess that is almost overpowering in its richness... has a bit of heat in its spices. (wildupre, 2010, Chowhound).
For me, I enjoyed the creaminess and really did not register much "heat." My own trip to Ted Peters will probably be later in the summer, and I'll let you know how I make out.
I found a 'Youtube' video with a couple of guys who sampled Smilin' Bob's Smoked Fish Dip, with a few drops of Island Doctor's Habanero Sauce, and then, alternative, Island Doctor's Mango Habanero Sauce. They loved them both, and were pretty much in the camp of the hotter the better.
I'll keep you posted.
Thanks, Lou, for the good tip!

Horrible Restaurant Names

The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Apr 27, 2015
Florida Hound in Not About Food

What happened?

sweetpolly, As you know from another thread, I will let you know how I like the smoked mullet dip in the Sarasota area when we make the 2+ hour trip- maybe not quite your trek to Lauderdale for a salad craving, but "getting there." I agree, those 2 - 3 hour trips used to be like driving around the corner.

Apr 26, 2015
Florida Hound in Florida

KC ~ did all the posters move?

I ran across your post and immediately thought "this sounds too familiar..." And I follow the Florida board. About a month ago, Floridians were asking, "What Happened?" (title of post). "This used to be a lively board..." (I intended to cut and paste a little more from that post, but my cut-and-paste function let me down as I traveled from board to board, but you get the idea.) Maybe our groups will build up again in the future. It looks as though a faithful core gave you a couple of leads, though. All the best from the Sunshine State,
Florida Hound.

Apr 23, 2015
Florida Hound in Great Plains
1

Milk in bags ... Are Canadians weird, or are Americans the weirdos?

I seem to remember working at the dining hall at a college in New York, USA, in the 1970s, and changing out the milk machines with large bags of milk. These were the size of kitchen trash bags, more or less, as I recall.

Apr 19, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

All I want is a good cup of coffee at home. [moved from General Topics]

Bunn Coffeemaker report:
Out of the blue, our old faithful Mr. Coffee gave up the ghost a few days ago, so I was in the position of needing to buy! I have been reading all the posts... Technivorm, Behmor, Bonavita... maybe it was time for an upgrade. I have always wanted a Bunn coffeemaker, recommended for years. Bunn coffeemakers get coffee into the desired brewing temp., and even though I have not found much improvement when I heated up the water for my old Mr. Coffee, I bought into the whole 'optimum temp' thing everyone was talking about. I did my homework on the various brands, above, that many Chowhounds have mentioned, but went with the Bunn. (Price and long-time anticipation). But it was not cheap, by my $ standards.

Taking it put of the box, the appliance smelled strongly of kind of odd plastic. Last night, I followed the prep directions ("Please follow these directions to the tee," per instruction booklet. I did.) and the first time I plugged the unit in, it smelled like hot plastic. "Its new. That will pass," I said. I was so excited this morning to brew my first Bunn cup of coffee. It came out like tea. I have now wasted several measures of my Peets Major Dickason coffee on 3 experiments with the Bunn this morning, and so far, it makes a darn poor, weak cup of coffee. I tinkered with amounts of coffee, amounts of water- no help. The house continues to smell of odd hot plastic and not the pleasant smell of fresh coffee.
Design issue: the water reservoir is never entirely empty of water. So I think if you didn't use the appliance for a week, that water would just sit there, and when you decided to make a few cups of coffee a week later, you would add water to the unit, but your brew would be a combination of fresh water and week-old water. Yuck.

Its going back, folks. We have company tonight and I am dialing back my shopping choices, with budget in mind.

Chowhound purists may be as disappointed as I am that I will look for a mid-range Mr. Coffee and call it a day. I was not dissatisfied with the old Mr. Coffee, and really couldn't tell a difference when I got the water into warmer range for brewing, and enjoyed several different brands a whole lot more than I have enjoyed my coffee today.
I don't usually "rant" on these boards. I think its partially my high expectations and excitement vs. the mundane results. One Chowhound's experience.

Apr 18, 2015
Florida Hound in Cookware

My Aldi experience!

Its been a couple of years, now. I finished up the bag with a 2 to 1 ratio of other brands, at the time.

Apr 18, 2015
Florida Hound in Chains

My Aldi experience!

Been there once, to track down some Aldi coffee that I saw recommended by a Chowhound. BTW, the coffee has since been discontinued by Aldi. At the time, I had high hopes, and went in, looked around a little, but mainly looked over the coffees, found the one, and was on my way. But the coffee was tasteless. Not "bad" tasting. Tasteless. I am still amazed that it had absolutely no taste of any kind at all. So, there's no "love lost" that the store has discontinued this coffee as far as I'm concerned. I am just jumping into this thread to say my Aldi experience, though limited, left me with the incentive the size of a gnat to go back.

Apr 16, 2015
Florida Hound in Chains

13 Shame-Free Ways to Eat Eggs for Dinner

I will join the chorus of others. "Shame..." "rationalize..." ????? The absurd premise and "bias" of the article takes away from what might be a very creative showcase of recipes. I ignored the recipes thus far. I just couldn't believe the intro to it all, and that's as far as I got.

Apr 12, 2015
Florida Hound in Features
1

Favorite strawberry rhubarb recipes

I clipped a recipe in 1998 from Prevention Magazine. "Rude Barb's Strawberry Crisp." Its always good. It was actually from Looneyspoons, Low Fat Food Made Fun, by Janet and Greta Podleski, 1997. I could not find the recipe linked on-line, so I am a bit limited to share it with Chowhounds (posting guidelines). I think its OK to report ingredients such as the filling made up of sliced apples, strawberries, rhubarb, brown sugar, OJ and cornstarch, with a crumb topping of rolled oats, flour, more brown sugar, cinnamon and margarine. If not on-line, maybe you can find Looneyspoons at the local library (with your Chowhound name, hmmmm) or who knows, you may end up buying a copy for your own library. (P.S., in keeping with the trend: married 40 years.)

Apr 11, 2015
Florida Hound in Home Cooking