f

Florida Hound's Profile

Title Last Reply

where can I find good smoked mullet dip?

Out of the blue, when we were shopping at Publix, I thought to check the seafood department for smoked mullet dip. So obvious, but there it was! Picked some up and it is pretty good. Certainly a smooth and creamy improvement over the cartilage and bone stuff I mentioned at the top of the thread. Brand: Scallan's Crawfish, Jacksonville, FL. When I do pick some up at Florida Cracker Kitchen in Brooksville (they were closed when we passed there Sunday afternoon) or Walt's or Ted Peters later in the summer (road trip!!), I will post a report. For the moment, we have a tasty after-work appetizer for Captains Wafers, from Publix, of all places. Thanks again, guys.

about 10 hours ago
Florida Hound in Florida
1

Alcohol-free extracts?

If the topic is of interest, there was another Chowhound thread recently. I started a thread on "In search of imitation brandy extract." Some of the comments may have some helpful leads or alternatives. Link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1001604

Mar 26, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

best coffee brand, period!

Not a question of brands I have been dissatisfied with, really. I like several "pretty well," but I am hoping one day to again enjoy what I remember about Dunkin Donuts. I can make a decent cup of Peets Major Dickason, sometimes pick up Eight O'clock Colombian Peaks. Both are pretty good. I picked up a shiny package of Island Joe's Coffee/ Key West Breakfast Blend, the other day, just to try. Probably won't be on my repeat list, but its passable coffee. But it would really be a "find" to get a recommendation of a coffee that out-Dunkins the old classic DD flavor. Thanks for your help!

Mar 24, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

best coffee brand, period!

Variation on the theme- I have posted on this thread several brands that have come and gone as my favorites. But my memory bank-taste buds remind me of how great Dunkin Donuts coffee used to taste in the 1990s- early 2000's. (The dates on these posts show I was still a loyalist in 2009). I didn't start to get "restless" for an alternative until the classic DD smell and flavor weren't quite as distinctive. I thought it was just their retail bags of coffee to brew at home that came up short, but my last couple of cups at the shop have sadly been nothing special.
So my question: can someone suggest some brand that comes darn close to the old, classic Dunkin Donuts flavor that I remember from years ago?

Mar 22, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Thomas's English Muffins

I saw several varieties of Thomas' English Muffins when I was shopping today, most of which I had never noticed before. "Corn" English Muffins sounded like they had potential, so I bought a package on the spot. (I love a good corn muffin.) I had 1 with supper, had to have another, and stopped before I put a 3rd one in the toaster. This variety of Thomas has my vote, big time.
(I think the supermarket game runs something like, the more varieties of a product= more shelf space devoted to the product line= more likely to be noticed by the public and less space for your competition.)

Mar 22, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Does anyone else suffer "fly-away posts" when posting on Chowhound?

Caroline, I've never had this issue, but I am replying to say I appreciate so many of your posts, short and long. This insight into your determination is all the more reason. Please hang in there- you are a joy to the Community.
Florida Hound

Mar 16, 2015
Florida Hound in Site Talk

Brunch beyond the cheesy and eggy

One of the best breakfasts we've ever had (this would also be good for "brunch," I hope) was at a colonial restaurant in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia--- fried chicken. It was on the breakfast menu 20 years ago, but since then, the restaurant does not do breakfasts at all, which has been a disappointment for us. I still remember how surprised we were to see it featured, but it sure hit the spot at the time. I love bran muffins for breakfast or brunch, crepes topped with fresh fruit. Maybe the chicken or muffins would not be your "centerpiece," but eye-popping crepes could qualify.

Mar 14, 2015
Florida Hound in Home Cooking

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

Florida Hound goes Indian: My report:
I stopped by a well known Indian Restaurant in Central Florida for lunch today, in honor of the challenging posts on this thread. I was traveling on business, a short distance from my own city.
I came away from my meal confirming impressions from years ago.
I walked in and saw plaques on the wall, awards from Trip Advisor website, indicating good reviews from that site. Good start.
My server told me the menu was reflective of Northern Indian dishes. The lunch selections: Chicken Tandoori, Chicken Curry, Vegetable Curry, Dal, Aloo Palak, Chole Palak, Aloo Chole, Keema Egg Mater, and Lamb Curry. I chose the Dal, largely because it was one of only 2 that did not feature Curry Sauce. "Special Lentils with tomatoes and spices." All the lunch specials came also with a cup of Dal Soup, 1/2 Nan bread, rice, and onion chutney.
The server helped me work out that my Dal Soup be Yellow Dal, and the entrée be Dark Dal. Then, he asked if I wanted the dark dal entrée to be mild, medium, or spicy. A no-brainer for me- mild, please!
Server had described the yellow Dal Soup as having cilantro, garlic, and onion. When I asked more questions after he served it (and as I took written notes), he had a coworker come over who further described ingredients to include cumin, cinnamon, and ginger. Uh oh, then this person asked, "Do you like it?" Wish he hadn't. I bashfully said, "No, but I wanted to try it." Frankly, it wasn't awful and I was very relieved the garlic was not overpowering. It was a small cup of soup. I ate about half.
The dark dal was served on a plate separate from the plate of white rice, and I put 2 spoonfuls onto the rice. About 1/5 of the total dal. For "mild," it was still very hot. Most bites there was more sensation of hot than flavor. I drank lots of water. I asked my server if this was their "mild," (as I ordered), and he replied it was "a little hot," and he offered to take it back and make it less hot. I opted to trudge on. I added some of the red-colored onion chutney, which was the highlight of the meal. The onion chutney gave this dish some hope. Chutney was pretty good in its own right. But I left 4/5 of the dal off to the side and finished up my white rice/small serving dal/ onion chutney. Drank more water.
The Nan,"leavened bread of fine flour, baked in Tandoor with butter," was pleasantly akin to pizza dough. It was a large piece, and I ate about 1/2 of it.
I asked for my bill, thanked them for helping me learn about Indian food, paid, grabbed a take-out menu and left.
In the parking lot, I realized my tongue and lower lip were slightly numb.
I had some left-over coffee in the center console from a few hours before, and took a few swigs as I drove down the road.
I must leave the enthusiasm for Indian food to others (even in its "different formats," Phil, I'm afraid.) But on the positive, I sincerely enjoy the nudge Chowhounds can give each other to try new things. No guarantees are ever required that the new experience needs to be my new favorite food.

Does anyone eat tartar sauce with anything other than fish?

A thread from 2013, with new life in 2015.
Yup, I was reading down the thread, waiting for someone to have mentioned hamburgers. I have periodically tried it, enjoyed it, but haven't used tarter sauce on burger in a while. Forgot about it.
I saw a few comments about White Castle in the mix, and that got my attention immediately (albeit 2 years after the fact), but they were commenting on packets of tarter sauce on White Castle fish, not their classic sliders.

Mar 12, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Smoothie blenders

I really appreciate it when chowhounds give the rest of us a follow up report. Thanks much. Hope the Vitamix works out terrifically for you. I'll be looking for your new thread of exciting new smoothie recipes and recommendations.

Mar 08, 2015
Florida Hound in Cookware
1

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

1.65 billion. I hate peer pressure! :-)

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

Well, I will at least have to agree about "lack of good experience." BTW, those "post-grad chefs" were pushing middle age, lifelong academic folks, and I am almost sure the main cook of the house very definitely studied cooking.(Couldn't prove it for the sake of a Chowhound post, but) I do recall her passion for many cuisines of the world and her prep of same. I just looked up her resume and was reminded she has held diplomatic positions in Africa and India. I wasn't paying close attention years ago, but the "most cooks blend their own spices" comment would certainly be familiar territory for this group. Thanks for helping me pull up some memories I haven't really visited in a long time.

Smoothie blenders

I make a 48 oz smoothie about once or twice a week, with lots of protein powder, cups and cups of frozen berries, etc., and always have great results with a basic Ninja Master Prep pitcher. 400 watts. It ran about $40.00 a few years ago, and came as a set with the pitcher I do use and smaller "bowl," which we rarely use. I remember when we bought it- we immediately felt it was so much better than the other blenders we had had over the years. I'm just jumping in to second your vote for a Ninja. I think our Ninja may be a less fancy set than your friend's, but its great and I guess the Ninja line is just good stuff, for smoothies, etc., across the board.

Mar 07, 2015
Florida Hound in Cookware

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

Maybe its not all that complicated. At least my experience is pretty simple. Many years ago, I spent the summer with a houseful of graduate students, all several years older than I was at the time, and all worldly, intellectual, and well-traveled. The main cook in the household cooked with curry powder several times a week. My first taste of it was somewhat unpleasant. And by the end of the summer, I was glad to leave the world of curried dishes far behind. With all due respect to others on this thread who remind us that lots of Indian dishes do not contain curry, I have no great urge to challenge my early prejudice. I do, however, have some vague and pleasant memories of a very sweet flan-like dessert at an Indian restaurant a few years back.

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

I appreciate your tips, Dee. Your comment, "may I suggest another go?..." It doesn't take much to encourage me in the find-great-coffee department. So- thanks for taking the time!!!

Mar 07, 2015
Florida Hound in Cookware

where can I find good smoked mullet dip?

Funny, I gave someone directions to Florida Cracker Kitchen just this afternoon, although I've never been there. Consistently good local buzz about the place, so I've got all the more reason to check it out now. (Not as much of a motorcycle adventure to get there, though.) And as you could tell from my original post, I am a novice when it comes to smoked whatever dip, mullet or otherwise. So if I make it down to Walt's or Waltz and and have some great fish spread, it would be fine. sweetpolly is cluing me in to the dip at Waltz being chunky- still sounds like a delicious improvement over bones and cartilage. (Thanks to all!!!)

Mar 05, 2015
Florida Hound in Florida

Detroit. Coney Island?

OK- you hooked me (it only took 8 years-Cathy's post from 2007). Just mention White Castle and this transplanted New Yorker, now in Florida with no White Castle restaurants in this entire state... You said it, "It is amazing the things we miss." But the in-law side of the family is all over Detroit, and Detroit has- - - White Castles! Years ago, I spent one visit to our Detroit family in one of the area hospitals after a dog bite, and family visitors spread the word- bring White Castles when you visit him in the hospital. And they did! What family love. Coney dogs in the Motor City I can't comment on. But sliders? MMMMmmm.

Mar 03, 2015
Florida Hound in Great Lakes

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

One more, if I may.
For a while, my wife and I were into "Italian sodas," as they seemed to really be the thing at some coffee houses we went to after a movie.

ITALIAN SODA
1 shot glass (1 to 1+1/2 oz) flavored syrup or fruit syrup, such as Monin natural flavors (BTW, our favorite Monin flavor: Mandarin Tangerine)
Mini ice cubes
Bottled seltzer water
Also: Soda siphon is needed.
Place dampened 12 oz glass in freezer "to frost."
1. Assemble a soda siphon (ala 3 Stooges kind of thing- a great kitchen tool.) and add bottled seltzer water as follows: Insert soda siphon "measuring tube" in soda siphon and fill with ice cold bottled seltzer water. Insert the "ascending tube" in soda siphon. Complete assembly of the soda siphon by screwing siphon head down tightly. Shake the siphon well.
2. Insert CO2 cartridge into charger holder screw down onto siphon head, discharging CO2. Shake again. (Our version has "doubled" the seltzer bubbles by using seltzer and not regular water in the siphon.)
3. Fill 12 oz glass 2/3 full of mini ice cubes.
4. Pour 1 shot glass fruit flavored syrup over ice.
5. Dispense seltzer water into glass. Stir gently.
Serves 1.

Change to another flavored syrup the next time and you have a very different Italian soda for that occasion.

Mar 01, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Many years ago, I did some research and sampling of "NABs," non-alcoholic beverages. (Circa 1980s). At the time, the Kansas Dept of Social and Rehabilitation Services/ Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services published several flyers and booklets and promoted some recipes in newspaper articles. A couple of them, though, may have more sugar than you really wanted. Maybe adjusting proportions or going with artificial sweeteners could be an option, but we have never tried that for these.
From their recipes:

Mint Tulip
Take 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves, cover with 1+1/2 C sugar, 1/2 C water and 1 .
C lemon juice. Let stand 30 minutes. Pour over ice in a large pitcher. Add 3 pints ginger ale. Serves 10
[Credited to George and Iris Heckman]

Mohave- A dry alternative
1+1/2 C sugar
1/2 C bottled lemon juice
1/2 C bottle lime juice
2 bottles ginger ale
4 C water
lime slices
mint sprigs
Heat and stir sugar and water in saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in lemon and lime juices and pour into large pitcher. Mix in ginger ale, pour into tall glasses filled with ice. Garnish with sprig of mint and lime slice. Serves 8 to 10
[Credit: the Kansas SRS/ADAS Senior staff]

J's Rocky Mountain Sunset
2 oz orange juice
2 oz. 7 Up or diet 7 Up
1 oz. grenadine
Powdered sugar
Orange slice
Combine first 3 ingredients in blender with crushed ice on high speed. Blend til frothy. Serve in a chilled wine or champagne glass which has a powdered sugar rim. Garnish with fresh orange slice. Serves 1

Flint Hills Sunrise
Same first 3 ingredients as Rocky Mountain Sunset. The only difference: serve with lemon slice and a grape, on a stick.

Mar 01, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics
1

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Again, the O'Douls of the world and N.A. beers do have about a 1/2 a percent of alcohol, approx. 1/10 of what's in an average beer. So, "no alcohol" is a marketing label, but in reality a mis-label. While its very low, someone trying to genuinely avoid alcohol should at least be aware of the alcohol content.

Mar 01, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Regional snacks for gifts?

I live in Florida and was introduced to Sweetzels Spiced Wafers during a trip to the Philly area/ Valley Forge in the late 1990s, I think. Only available in the Fall of the year (unless that has changed) so I have ordered them on-line almost every year. The competing brand, as you know, is Ivins Famous Spiced Wafers. Either one in an orange box= kind of Halloweeny. Would have made a great stocking stuffer for last Christmas. However- if the OP can find any of these still on the shelf in March, 2015, I would still tell them, "Bring home a box for me!" (To be devoured ASAP after you get home, not for Christmas, 2015) I would be willing to gamble with freshness, just to get some of these- shame on us for not ordering any last Fall.

Mar 01, 2015
Florida Hound in Philadelphia

where can I find good smoked mullet dip?

And makes a nice motorcycle ride for us later in the season- qualifies very nicely, Indy! Thanks.

Mar 01, 2015
Florida Hound in Florida

where can I find good smoked mullet dip?

I have found some cartilage-laden smoked mullet dip, and I'm hoping I can do better. I tried smoked mullet dip 1x years and years ago in Cedar Key and this latest is not it. Where can I get really good, creamy, tasty smoked mullet dip in West Central Florida? Restaurants/ appetizer suggestions OK. Retail take-home-a-container suggestions even better.
Thanks,
Florida Hound

Feb 26, 2015
Florida Hound in Florida

Smoked Mullet Dip

Many years ago, we had some smoked mullet dip on crackers as an appetizer in Cedar Key, FL. Wonderful! I'm sure that restaurant has come and gone, as so many long-standing Cedar Key restaurants have. Anyway, I kept the experience in my memory, but years and years slipped by without any more smoked mullet dip. Not a real easy item to find. The other day, I found some freshly made smoked mullet dip in the cooler of a local vegetable stand and thought, now's my chance to re-create this great taste experience.
I have been enjoying this little container of dip, sort of. But it is full of the little bones and pieces of cartilage, which for me definitely detracts.
Should a good smoked mullet dip be melt-in-your-mouth creamy and spreadable? (In my memory/ imagination, the stuff in Cedar Key filled this bill) Or is all the inedible crunchy, nasty stuff always part of the authentic experience?
(I'm also going to ask for leads on finding this product in Central FL, via the Chowhound Florida Board.)

Feb 26, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

Communal tables at restaurants - your opinion please?

Too funny!

Feb 26, 2015
Florida Hound in Not About Food

How long will you stand in line for food?

The title of this thread just gets me reflective and thankful that most of us have choices of how long or short we care to wait for food in fine restaurants. I immediately thought of news footage of refugees, Red Cross and charity relief efforts for hurricane and flood victims, and fund-raising commercials for organizations that feed the hungry around the world... There are charities and soup kitchens and missions right within our own communities. That some people in far corners of the world wait in lines and exposed to all kinds of weather, in conditions that are severely unsanitary, for meals that might be only barely nutritious... As my minds-eye runs down many examples I have seen over the years, I'll try to keep my thoughts and this post short- you've seen the pictures, too, or at some point contributed to a Salvation Army kettle or other charity drive.
All of it just helps me pause to count my blessings.

"Plated"

OK, what did I miss this time??? Why do I suddenly have this red circle proclaiming "plated" all over the threads when I search around Chowhound? The "Plated" disc eventually makes its way over to the picture of Chicken Larb Cabbage Cups or whatever, but I feel like my Chowhound experience has been invaded by Martians in a flying saucer. Maybe if I knew the scoop I would calm down about it. More advertising? Huh??

Feb 18, 2015
Florida Hound in Site Talk
1

Thomas's English Muffins

I just opened my first package of Bays this morning and, for the life of me, can't tell any real difference between the Bays product and Thomas' . But I really did miss the Thomas' nooks and crannies, so we'll go back to Thomas', more than likely. The warnings on this thread abound, and I will be on the lookout for any deterioration in the taste of Thomas' English Muffins. Its been a while since I had one.

Feb 12, 2015
Florida Hound in General Topics

How long does wine keep?

How much danger of the glass bottle cracking in the freezer? (Or cracking in the thawing out period?) And I am sure once your bottle of wine is unfrozen, that's it- you wouldn't re-freeze and refreeze.

Feb 12, 2015
Florida Hound in Wine

How long does wine keep?

2015: a Chowhound learns a lot when you do a search and great old threads come up from the (2011) archives. I am going to do a crockpot recipe tomorrow that calls for red wine, but otherwise I don't drink wine at all and barely ever cook with it. We do the Thanksgiving turkey every couple of years and I have enjoyed putting wine in the roasting bag, as I have posted elsewhere on CH from time to time. Never gave it any thought that the corked bottle was losing quality down to almost zero after about a week, regardless of preservation method. (Hence, my learning curve here).
So it looks like for my frequency (or infrequency) of wine use, I should regard the bottle of wine as disposable after each use and "start fresh" when the next rare occasion comes around, yes?

Feb 11, 2015
Florida Hound in Wine