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r_l_kakos's Profile

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Foods Most Eaten

eggs
toast - usually have whole wheat from the bread maker, but I do others too. As long as there's bread, there's toast!
cheese - usually something spreadable and/or strong flavored
soup - I keep a rotating stock of squash, bean/lentil, root veggie w/spinach or chard)
spinach - use in everything from eggs to soups, to salads,sandwiches... everything
apples or bananas - great with peanut butter
yogurt - usually greek with mixed in fruit or plain with honey
chicken - I do a crock-pot or roast a whole one, then use pieces all week with various veggies/starches
chocolate - I keep nutella around (with toast!, with cheese! with fruit!) and also individually wrapped ones
coffee

Feb 19, 2012
r_l_kakos in General Topics

help me...gonna cook for the inlaws and i need a menu

My first question is "what does he like?" and the follow up question to that is "... that his mother doesn't make?" Around here, if I am trying to make a good impression with the in-laws, I have to do something "not-too-fancy" - they aren't particulary adventurous eaters. I like Alton Brown's Broiled, Butterflied Chicken. It takes a little prep, but it's not hard to do, and it always looks pretty and tastes good. If I did that, I would steam or roast a veggie (or several), and do scalloped or mashed potatoes. If I mash potatoes, I do red, and leave the skins on.If they like sweet potatoes, I like those baked, with butter and cinnamon for topping when they come out of the oven.

Oct 27, 2011
r_l_kakos in Home Cooking

Uses for Pickled Peaches?

hey there - sorry,it's been a while since I've been back. That sounds delicious! Thanks for the suggestion.

Oct 19, 2011
r_l_kakos in Home Cooking

How to manage a pantry

This is great! Thanks for sharing!

Oct 19, 2011
r_l_kakos in General Topics

How to manage a pantry

I use sort of a mushed-together system that has 3 parts.

1) trying to make the pantry as organized as I can: I have square & rectangle shaped, airtight, flat topped, clear containers that can be stacked. I put anything that comes in odd-shaped, non-closable and non-rigid packaging in those (flour, bagged beans, tear-open boxes of cream of wheat etc.). I put all of those together on two shelves, stacked as needed, with less used items in back/on the bottom. I also put all like items together - boxes, jars (like mason jar size), cans, odd packaged items (the ones that don't go into the big containers because we don't use a lot of them), and odd shaped jars. All of the shelves in my pantry are wire , so I have old cookie sheets holding all of my stuff (easily slid out, and for stability).

2) I made a list on my computer (just using Word) organized by container type, then listing everything I have under each type. On that same sheet, I have spaces for writing in items that I didn't put on the original list (like a new sauce or something), so that I can add them the next time I update the list. As I use up something in the closet, I cross it off the list (it's in a plastic sheet protector, so I use a dry erase marker to mark up). If I have multiples of something, I try to put the number next to the item. When I have multiple types of something (someone here mentioned tomatoes) I indent, so first level is cans - under that and indented one space is tomatoes. Under that, listed and indented a second space are whole, crushed, diced, etc.

3) I use a pad with a magnet on the fridge for writing a grocery list. I also use the system someone else mentioned where I divide by store.

Overall, I don't write down where to find things in my pantry. It's just 2 of us, so I use memory, and like-with-like reasoning.

In answer to what I keep in my pantry - usually items in big quantities, like flour, or staples, like beans, rice, etc. I also keep enough to be able to go a couple of weeks or so on various items, if I can't make it out to certain stores during the week, or if some emergency hits. I also keep rarer items (for me), because what happens, inevitably, is that I buy two of a can of something, thinking I will need both, and then change my mind. I have a separate cabinet where I keep my oft-used smaller items (honey, spices, oils, vinegars, hot sauces, coffee etc.)

In terms of use, I don't generally keep more than those couple weeks' worth on hand for opened items.

Oct 18, 2011
r_l_kakos in General Topics

How to manage a pantry

meal calendar? I am intrigued... is this a template you drew up yourself, or did you find one online somewhere? I am challenging myself to empty 1 full large (fridge size) freezer, one small freezer(above the normal fridge), two refrigerators, a kitchen pantry and a separate (adopted for the purpose) linen closet pantry. A meal calendar would really help a lot!

Oct 18, 2011
r_l_kakos in General Topics

Licking the Knife..

Oh my goodness! The Goops! I thought my mom and grandmother was the only two out there who could recite that... thanks for the memory.

My mother would kill me if she knew, but yes, I lick the knives (in private, never in front of anyone, including my husband - a guilty pleasure). On sharp ones, I use the finger technique above. Batter off the spatula is a given also.

Mar 17, 2011
r_l_kakos in Not About Food

Camping Karma

I think it's a great idea to pass along goodies in the interest of Camping Karma- However, firewood should never be transported. It allows invasive wood boring beetles to feast on whole new forests. I don't know about the west coast, but this is a serious issue on the east coast.

According to DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis “We are asking travelers not to give the Emerald Ash Borer a free ride in firewood they might be transporting. All wood should be purchased locally and burned entirely.” Here's the website:

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/news/reso...

Jul 29, 2009
r_l_kakos in Features

Uses for Pickled Peaches?

Oooh... that buttermilk fried chicken sounds perfect. Thanks! I was terrified of opening them and being completely (off putting-ly) surprised.

Jul 20, 2009
r_l_kakos in Home Cooking

Uses for Pickled Peaches?

Does anyone know what one does with pickled peaches? We were given a jar of homemade, home-canned, and they look beautiful, but I have no idea what to expect when I open the jar. Are they sweet? Savory? Vinegar-y? What would you serve them with? Or would you eat them all by themselves?

I did a quick search for them here, and basically I found a lot of things about pickles and peaches, but nothing together :-)

Thanks!

Jul 20, 2009
r_l_kakos in Home Cooking

Ants in our Organic Garden

Whether the ants are going for chard or the aphids, a good way to get rid of them is Boric acid (as one poster said) or Diatomaceous (sp?) Earth, aka DE. Both of these are organic, but one should be careful not to breathe either one in. Skin contact is usually ok. You sprinkle it on the earth where their trail is, and basically it dries out the little ant bodies. It doesn't get rid of the nest though, so if you want that, I guess you would have to go with something else. We have ants (in our kitchen, so I was afraid to use some chemical), and so far this has helped us.

Jul 14, 2009
r_l_kakos in Gardening

What's your "cooking budget?"

I love the idea of being creative on a small budget. We spend about 75$ a week for two of us, plus the cat.

Until the garden gets up and running, we buy produce, and really, that's probably our largest expense. This week I spent half of the grocery bill on fruits/veggies. The rest was the weekly perishables, and one or two staples.

Hubby is a hunter, and we get a lot of free beef (point here is to make friends with hunters/farmers who have too much, or volunteer to trade things, or cook their products with your flair, then share). I also buy the cuts no one (ok, not no one, but not mainstream I suppose) else eats- like pork neck bones or hocks, which take more work, but are flavorful and much cheaper!

I cook on weekends and on evenings when I'm by myself, and I cook in bulk (ie: four meals in one go, then freeze). This lets me buy in bulk (to an extent), and have a huge variety in the freezer at any point.

For the most part I hate food shopping, though I love cooking, and so my goal is to eat out of the existing pantry as much as possible. Once in a while I say "ok, just buying milk and juice this week". Even with a small (newer, not as well stocked) pantry, you'd be surprised exactly how much food is actually there.

Good luck with your budget- you've inspired me to try to go for less too!

Jul 13, 2009
r_l_kakos in Not About Food

What are the best cookbooks for aspiring cooks

As someone who has just recently "going to the next level" I just started using "the Joy of Cooking"

http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Cooking-75t...

that my mother gave me a few years ago. It helps a lot with techniques, things to look for, what things should look like, etc. And the newer version is updated with new things, but holds on to some fantastic older things (I love reading old cookbooks though).

Jul 13, 2009
r_l_kakos in Home Cooking