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Weight Watchers Foodies: What Are You Cooking? Part 2

So far I've made the Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets. I marinated the chicken pieces in buttermilk rather than coating them in oil, so I got more tang but less crunch. Still very good and will stay in my recipe box. If I can ever remember to pick up fat free sour cream, the next thing to try is the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.

I got a giggle out of the "save to shopping list" function. It's a very handy tool but I had to smile when I found things like "2 tablespoons water" on my list of thing to buy at the grocery store.

Nov 15, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

McDonald's Channel Part of a Strategy to Eject Laptop Lingerers?

One of the more upscale restaurants in Denver's hip Lower Downtown (LoDo) area had a problem with hordes of teenagers loitering on the sidewalk in front of their entrance and annoying actual customers. They solved the problem by serenading the sidewalk crowd with Bach, Chopin and Scarlatti. The little pests fled into the night and never came back. Harsh but effective.

Nov 06, 2011
mandycat in Features

One-Trick Ponies: Why Single-Dish Restaurants Are Here to Stay

One dish restaurants are just silly to me. What I would like to see, however, are more non-chain restaurants like the wildly popular place I remember in Georgetown D.C. Two entrees each night consisting of chicken cooked over an open grill and a handful of others that cycled through the week. Three vegetables, always the same. Two desserts, always the same. Wine and beer, wide selection. Everything was done to perfection, which would be in sharp contrasts to the Cheesecake Factories of the world, whose menus should be published in volumes, like the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Nov 04, 2011
mandycat in Features

Weight Watchers Foodies: What Are You Cooking? Part 2

I've been posting on Chowhound for several years and (Coincidence? You tell me.) I've climbed up to 15 pounds over my best weight, which on me is the equivalent of two dress sizes. I feel like Shamu's older sister.

I was a WW member about six years ago and had such success that I decided - Ha, I don't need no stinking Weight Watchers. Thankfully the WW Online site has graciously welcomed me back with all my previous information intact. I'm dealing with the Old Points - Points Plus issue which I suppose is no big deal for someone who's been away for five years and is pretty much starting all over again.

Thanks to all of you who mentioned the Skinnytaste site, a new one to me. Very nice.

Nov 01, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

What do you make in your pressure cooker?

Here's the cookbook that is my go-to reference for pressure cooking: "Pressure Perfect" by Lorna Sass. You can read the reviews here.

http://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Perfec...

Lots of good recipes, many of them with alternative seasonings and accompaniments, and useful tips on making the best use from your cooker.

The only recipe I've tried from this book and disliked was one for cheesecake. But then I should have known better than that in the first place.

Oct 27, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

What homemade edible thing do you most commonly gift?

I'm gearing up to make jars of Apricot Chutney, page 240 of Ball's "Complete Book of Home Preserving." Everyone loves this stuff. When I gave it to a friend for the first time, I suggested that she serve it with chicken, pork or any kind of curry. I asked her later what she ate it with and her reply was "A spoon." It's also something you can make year round since the main ingredients are dried apricots and Granny Smith apples.

If I have time, I'll make the Cranberry Mustard from the same book.

Oct 26, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

home made food for babies/toddlers?

Only likes freshly made food, eats garlic and pesto, scorns store bought carbs: it sounds as though you're raising what another poster called a "Chow Pup". Congratulations.

Oct 24, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner # 112 [old]

Even though I've been cooking since shortly after fire was discovered, it's only been since we moved back to Florida five months ago that I've learned the correct way to clean shrimp without reducing them to crustacean mush. So I can buy them the way you're supposed to: in the shell and heads on.

I still can't look them in their beady little black eyes.

Oct 24, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

Ugh, why did I order that? Do you ever know better but do it anyway?

Ditto on onion rings, which are even more difficult to make well than fries. Those previously frozen batter jackets with an onion worm inside are really depressing, especially for those of us who love good rings.

Oct 24, 2011
mandycat in General Topics

Ugh, why did I order that? Do you ever know better but do it anyway?

I almost always regret ordering a burger, especially one of those cheddar cheese-grilled onion-mushroom-bacon-pickle-lettuce-tomato-coleslaw concoctions. If the meat is good, all the other stuff disguises the fact. If the meat is mediocre, then why bother in the first place. And about half way through I remember that the typical restaurant hamburger bun has all the substance and flavor of wet tissue paper.

Oct 22, 2011
mandycat in General Topics

What's for Dinner # 112 [old]

The word went out yesterday afternoon: 'Pssst, The Shrimp Lady will be on her regular corner Saturday. Keep it to yourself." She always has freshly caught shrimp about the size of dolphins, very sweet and meaty. So it's shrimp wrapped in bacon and grilled, served over Spanish rice. Maybe I'll grill some romaine hearts while I'm at it.

Oct 22, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

Oughta Be a Law: 10 Crimes Against Food

Charles Robinson wrote: "Eat what you like. Drink what you like. Be happy. What's so difficult about that?"

Not difficult, but discouraging in the context of this discussion. There are now several generations of Americans who have never tasted or even seen real food and drink. They're so accustomed to substitutes made up of eight syllable ingredients that they don't realize what they're missing.

The fact that Olive Garden is still profitably degrading the nation's taste buds tells us what a parlous state we're in.

Oct 21, 2011
mandycat in Features

Help with Asian inspired barbecue menu

Are oysters available on your small island? A Hawaiian born friend of ours frequently cooks oysters on the half shell on the grill, drizzled with a teriyaki sauce. You cook over high heat just until the sauce begins to bubble and they're ready.

Oct 19, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

Is Registering for a $2,400 Espresso Maker Rude?

Remember Mary Kay Letourneau, the school teacher who spent seven years in the slammer for having a sexual relationship with a 13 year old student? They got married after she got out of jail and THEY registered for gifts.

So right now I'd consider that the lowest of all low points in gift registry history. (But, hey, the century is young yet.) Asking for something costing roughly the equivalent of many people's monthly mortgage payment pales by comparison.

Oct 11, 2011
mandycat in Features

What food find still haunts you - that you had once and haven't found since?

There was a restaurant in Tampa in the early 1970's whose specialty was what looked like a turkey leg. In reality it was three or four very large shrimp, tail on, packed around a crab meat stuffing, dipped in a light batter and quick-fried. You paired it with a Caesar salad made at your table and a pitcher of sangria. Except that I'm a klutz at frying, I'd try it myself. It's probably better just to savor the memory.

Oct 10, 2011
mandycat in General Topics

Praise for hashbrowns. What are your memories?

No need to search my memory -- the best hash browns in my experience were those served at the restaurant in Centennial Airport , a small regional airport on the south side of the Denver metro area used by private and corporate planes . In fact, all the breakfast dishes we ate there were the best. Heuvos rancheros and hash browns -- yum.

If you're in the area, it's the Perfect Landing. http://www.theperfectlanding.com/

Edited to read: "the best breakfast potatoes not necessarily considered by purists to be actual hash browns ......"

Oct 10, 2011
mandycat in General Topics

Best and Worst Cooking Shows

I can envision Sandra's lasagna recipe as something incorporating Campbell's tomato soup and a box of mac-and-cheese. Am I right?

Oct 10, 2011
mandycat in Food Media & News

What the KKK Ice Cream Cone Tells Us About Marketing

What is it with Burger King? It seems to me they have been "re-inventing" themselves since the dawn of time and have been acquired by a zillion different venture capital firms. But somehow they stay in business.

Oct 04, 2011
mandycat in Features

hey home cooks,the holidays will be here soon!

We're in the process of doing a lot of cosmetic updates to the house we bought in May. We should be finished with everything except the kitchen by November. I've informed Mr. Mandycat that we are taking a three month sabbatical before starting that daunting task. You can live without the second bathroom or the TV room or the guest room. But taking your kitchen apart is the equivalent of a heart transplant. Good luck!

Oct 02, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

Cilantro Haters, it's not your fault!

I used to work with a woman who loved Mexican food but hated cilantro. After a while the rest of the team avoided going out to lunch with her if a Mexican restaurant was on tap. She would order something that contained cilantro and then meticulously fish out every little scrap of green. It was tedious watching her and we were always late getting back to the office.

You'd have thought she'd just pick out as her favorite some other cuisine, one that doesn't involve cilantro, Greek food, maybe?

Sep 30, 2011
mandycat in General Topics

What are you baking these days? September 2011, part 2 [old]

Here in Northwest Florida it feels like Indian Summer -- New Delhi, India that is. Today's high will be 88 and very muggy. Cooler and drier weather is promised by Friday.

I have brunch guests coming Friday so, muggy or no, I'm baking the Granola Bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. It's something I can start Thursday afternoon and finish in plenty of time the next morning. (And something a two year old might just possibly enjoy but who knows.) I'll also be baking a batch of honey-nutmeg muffins, which I can start the night before to the extent of getting all the dry ingredients whisked together.

Sep 28, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

When Froot Loops Trump Free Speech

This doesn't quite live up to the arrogant creepiness of Donald Trump, who sued the creator of a board game called "Trump." But it's getting pretty darned close.

Sep 28, 2011
mandycat in Features

I'm scared of...

I'm encouraged to try the stuffed steak again. I have a recipe for matambre, flank steak that you stuff with vegetables and boiled eggs then braise in red wine and beef broth. It sounds delicious, especially served with chimichurri sauce. Maybe I'll be a big brave girl and try again. Nothing about the process was particularly daunting besides the rolling part.

Sep 27, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

Stand Up OpenTable and It Will Dump Your Ass

"Booking a table is like RSVPing for a party" Yes, indeed, very much like it in that so few people have the courtesy or consideration to do so any more. By the time brides have to track down invited guests like bloodhounds to figure out how many people to plan for, we've descended to Manners Hell.

Sep 27, 2011
mandycat in Features

Too Many Eggs - What to bake or cook to freeze?

Maida Heatter's Santa Fe Brownies (the one with cream cheese) uses eight eggs per batch. These freeze well.

Sep 25, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

Salting water - A poll - why or why not?

I see no mention of grits here, you Darn Yankees. Cooking grits in heavily salted water is your last chance to get those little rascals salted. After they're fully cooked you can dump salt on by the bucket to no avail.

Sep 23, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

I'm scared of...

Any recipe that that includes the words "roll up jellyroll fashion." From yule logs to stuffed flank steaks, nothing rolls up successfully for me. Either the stuff in the middle squirts out the ends or the outside stubbornly reverts to its original shape (except, of course, for the holes that have somehow appeared.)

Sep 22, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

What kind of bread for a Cajun menu?

The Cajun French Bread looks really good. I'll try it the next time I make gumbo. Given that my gumbo recipe already has about as much heat as we like, I'll probably omit the jalapeno and go light on the creole seasoning. But otherwise it looks like a treat.

Sep 21, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

What's your favorite no-salt or extremely low-salt flavoring?

"Processed foods must be owned by the salt companies!!!"

I looked in horror one day at the nutritional information on a teensy little envelope of chicken broth mix, enough to make one cup of broth. It had approximately one-half the recommended sodium intake for an adult. It was more like chicken flavored salt than salty chicken broth. So I can understand how careful you have to be.

Sep 21, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking

Favorite apple recipes

On the "generally scorned products that are sometimes delicious" thread, I heroically stood up for Good Ole Bisquick so your comment caught my eye. I looked on the Betty Crocker site; is your basic coffee cake recipe the "Streusel Coffee Cake"? That looked like the best candidate for what you describe here.

Sep 19, 2011
mandycat in Home Cooking