DuchessNukem's Profile

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A really stupid question...

Didn't see this link in amongst the others provided: http://forums.gardenweb.com

Great for browsing info and lots of helpful folks there.

Mar 03, 2015
DuchessNukem in Gardening

chickpea salad

My go-to is chickpeas, halved grape tomatoes, halved pimento olives, crumbled feta, chopped green onions, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, pepper, bit of salt. I add fresh chopped cilantro or parsley if there's any laying about.

Homemade chicken soup question

Joonjoon is right. Plus, if your stock sours, it just means you allowed a menstruating female too close to it.

Strap-on booze baby seeks funding

..."houses a 36oz. drinks container which attaches to a straw that extends through its body, allowing you to drink through its skull."

Just what I've always wanted. I'd have had kids if they had this feature.

Feb 20, 2015
DuchessNukem in Spirits

Anyone else FED UP with Bountiful Baskets?

Actually, they ARE claiming to be a non-profit. From their website, under "New Participant Instructions" tab:

"New to Bountiful Baskets? Here’s how to participate!

Bountiful Baskets is a not-for-profit food co-op for"...

Feb 20, 2015
DuchessNukem in Phoenix

Does anyone love their slow cooker?

Lol, what shkra11 said is right. Here's a link to what a slowcooker corned beef looks like:

Now you have me craving fried Spam though. :)

Feb 11, 2015
DuchessNukem in Cookware

Chef Poodle

Ah, man, I know it's stupid and hackneyed but I can't help but laugh. :)


Does anyone love their slow cooker?

I *love* my crockpots (I say this everytime this topic comes up lol). I have different sizes for different tasks. I use at least one, 3-4 days per week, some days I have multiples going.

What I've cooked in the last two weeks:
-chicken stock
-beans, plain (garbanzos, white beans, black beans, etc.)
-lentil/vegetable soup
-Louisiana-style red beans
-chicken/veg soup
-rice pudding (CHOW recipe, nice)
-"Boilo" (lol, look it up)
-chicken curry
-chicken thighs, boneless

What I've cooked in the last two months:
-whole oats, overnight
-pulled pork
-cheese fondue
-pulled beef
-braised lamb roast
-chicken/apricot tagine-style
-kale/bean/sausage soup
-shrimp/corn chowder
-baked potatoes
-tomato sauce
-beet greens
-more beans
-more chicken parts
-more stock
-more soups

What I DON'T cook, is dump-all dinners that go for 12 hours and produce flavorless mush. I use the cookers for meal components and for simmering final products together.

For the two of us, my most used is the 1.5-qt, then the 2-cup, then the 3.5-qt. If you want a new toy to try out that will fit 2 people, I recommend a simple 1.5-qt, under $20; will give enough servings for leftovers but you won't get sick of the food item. But you may not even need one if you're happy the way you cook now. :)

Feb 07, 2015
DuchessNukem in Cookware

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I didn't know if you were kidding, but I did try this and it's great! Used some of it in the crockpot with some boneless chicken thighs, then reduced the sauce afterwards. Lovely, rich, spicy. :)

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

I keep a quart-size plastic container (held olives orig) on the counter, collects grounds and scraps through the day, I dump it in the tumbler once in the evening. If I'm chopping/prepping a lot of vegetables, maybe two trips that day.

Feb 05, 2015
DuchessNukem in General Topics

The Selfie Toaster - Either a New High or a New Low in Kitchen Gadgets

Hah! That's just hysterical. :)

Feb 04, 2015
DuchessNukem in Cookware

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

Gourmanda, grounds go into the compost tumbler year-round. The rot slows in the winter but we don't freeze here in TX too much :) I just personally like to keep food scraps out of the wastewater system. My disposal goes hungry lol.

Feb 03, 2015
DuchessNukem in General Topics

Would you buy your neighbors' home cooked food

Weird, I wouldn't imagine that shopping same grocers suggests "would neighbors really have/be making something oh so different from one another?" I'd assume things would be quite different.

Feb 02, 2015
DuchessNukem in Not About Food

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

I'm a bit fussy about my (strong) coffee. At home we use a pour-over cone. When we drive, we bring it, the electric kettle, filters, and our own coffee. When we fly, we rely on coffee places. If I were looking at a rental place for just us two, I would probably find luggage room for my cone and my coffee.

That said, if it were a family situation and not just the two of us, a drip pot (Mr. Coffee-style) and a Keurig would be great. I've found a couple of strong Keurig pods that are satisfactory, if I knew ahead of time you had a Keurig I would pack some. Wouldn't get the user-fillable pods, might get tossed or the grounds washed down the sink.

French presses: wouldn't bother, I have broken 3 glass and cracked a plastic one. I have 2 glass ones that I never use and a stainless steel French-press-carafe that I occasionally use with company. As others have noted, it's a real risk to your plumbing; I dig out the grounds by hand for the compost but even being careful some will go down the drain. People who don't care will just wash the whole load down. At least drip pots have the filter that most people will grab and toss entire into the trash.

Creamers: a few minis would be great. Could get both the real cream (Mini-moos) and non-dairy (why non-dairy? my husband is Jewish and this helps avoid the no-milk-with-meat issue, he grew up with non-dairy creamer).

I can heat up water for tea in a small saucepan. An electric kettle would be nice but not urgent.

So for 6 people, what my family would enjoy:
*drip pot (10-12 cup)
*drip filters (enough for the stay, could buy in bulk and find a pretty way to repackage smaller amounts?)
*1# ground coffee, local would be grand, Peets, Starbucks (my pref over packs)
*Keurig coffeemaker
*Keurig pods -- maybe 12-18 (enough for arrival coffee) -- could buy several varieties in bulk and present an assortment from those
*mini creamers (dairy or non-dairy) -- approx 24, for arrival coffee
*assorted teas -- maybe 12-16? (my tea people travel with their faves)
*optional: electric kettle (nothing fancy)
*optional: a few bouillon packets (if you rent during chilly months)

Sorry, went long. Appreciate you sharing your (honestly fascinating!) question, and maintaining your equanimity, we do like to get into the details here. :)

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

Turned out surprisingly well for such a simple recipe. I halved the recipe for a 1.5-qt slow cooker and it cooked beautifully, I did stir gently a couple of times to get the rice moving. Just as comforting as mom's baked rice pudding but with no hot oven or minding. No eggs mean no 'eggy' flavor if that's important to you. I do like a more liquid-y, looser pudding so next time might add more milk, but easy enough to add at table also.

Jan 28, 2015
DuchessNukem in Recipes

Lamb Burger question(s)...

Best lamburger I ever had was my first, prob around 1984-5, upstate NY. Had it from a food vendor at a sheep festival my co-worker was showing her ovines at. Was a total gamey lamb-y funky party in my mouth. :)

Have made lamburgers at home many times since but never caught that lightning again. Best on the outside charcoal grill, no mix-ins, salt and pepper to finish, buttered/toasted bun a bonus. I've not had your 'soft' issue, the meat works to a regular burger firmness.

I still get the lamb flavor even with routine supermarket ground lamb, I can tell the difference from beef, but I know that there's more out there. Might need to see what can be done with home grinding.

"Impurities" in bone broth

One last off-topic if the mods will be so kind... for ailing cats, A/D cans from vet with a little broth or water were generally well-received; a new product that my cats inhale is Fancy Feast Broths, small amounts of fish/meats in savory sauce, packets. Worth trying.

Jan 23, 2015
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

Yeah, man, that's probably worst date I could think of if it needs to happen on that day. I think you're allowed to shoot one slightly-surly glance at mom at next family dinner.

Jan 23, 2015
DuchessNukem in Not About Food

Parks and Recreation reminded of the latest discussion on "Bone Broth"

Lol. Lovely. :)

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I just don't like the jarred garlic flavor, but I'm not necessarily proud of my alternative: I buy a 3# container of peeled garlic cloves at Costco and pulse them in the food processor until minced, then bag into snack-size ziplocs and freeze (1st time I bagged in 1# chunks, bad idea lol). Has lasted a year but I think the flavor did fade the last 3-4 months.

Jan 22, 2015
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Steamer ideas?

I adore my electric steamer, might be worth considering. I'll copy some of my post from a Dec. thread:

I use it still once or twice a week, and generally make 2-4 separate dishes while it's out. Typically use it for steaming hardboiled eggs, plain or saffron rice, pasta, frozen ravioli, poaching or steaming fish/shrimp/chicken, steaming whole lobster/tails, steaming vegetables.

It's a sturdy little workhorse. The washing-up appeared a pain at first but I just got in the rhythm of hand-washing as it cools and it goes quickly. The heating element/base needs a brief vinegar/water boil every 2-3 months which boils off the scale. My model:

I thought I'd use the two-tier setup but I'm generally not trying to get all meal components out at the same time, and dense food in the bottom can affect cooktimes on the top. Also, use a long wooden spoon if you need to stir in it, that steam is HOT.

I do have fully functioning appliances now but it's my go-to for eggs (consistency of product, no cracking of shells from rolling around) and steamed fish (visual cues on irregular size pieces, clean flavors).

( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/998859 )

Jan 22, 2015
DuchessNukem in Cookware

How can I increase the shelf life of my cold brew?

Perhaps this is obvious, but have you tried freezing? I know we have machines at work that use a concentrate that lives in the freezer until needed (I think it's the Douwe Egbert commerical system).

Jan 15, 2015
DuchessNukem in General Topics

Technique toolkit for TV competition

What fun! Some skills that might be helpful:

-break down a bird (Cornish, chicken, duck)
-filet a whole fish/or prep for a whole fish
-shellfish/crustacean prep
-sauces, I totally agree! pesto, roux, chimmichurri, romesco, etc., etc.
-practice his timing, getting all parts ready at the right time
-good knowledge of substitutions (fats, sugars, flours)

Oh, man, I would love to be "helping" by eating the training foods lol. We had a volunteer who was in culinary school, she fed the unit so graciously. :)

I know it may be months, but I'd love to hear about your friend's experience when the contest is done.

Jan 14, 2015
DuchessNukem in General Topics

Home Cooks - How do you minimize food waste?

Not a physical/organization tip, but a communication tip: discuss (briefly) with the adults, what's in the house and what's planned for lunch/snacks/dinner. Make a list, with meal suggestions, and post it on fridge.

I work pretty much every weekend and the husband is on his own. I leave meal components in transparent containers in the fridge so that he can mix-and-match. I let him know what especially needs using up.

It took a bit to get him to understand that food doesn't magically last forever, and to get his buy-in to help use it up. I had to learn what 'hooks' the food needed to have to appeal to him. We discussed what he'd want available; I learned not to expect too much complicated prep from him.

Jan 14, 2015
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

What is this libation implement called?

I'd suggest wait a month to allow for copycat production to gear up, then check a local big wine/liquor store for little boxed sets of mini-bottles and sippers, or sippers alone. Should be online in that timeframe maybe too. :)

I guess I'm still an excited teenager who thinks even the shittiest champagne/sparkling wine/even beer, is festive enough to pour out of the bottle. If I find a set anywhere though, I'll come back and point you to it.

Jan 14, 2015
DuchessNukem in Cookware

Sprouts Opened Today, Serramonte/Gellert [Daly City]

Any place goes nuts on opening day/week. Will probably be like that for a couple of weeks even. We had one open in Sept. and I was unimpressed at first, but have come to like it. Sprouts in general seems to have a rather poor traffic flow in their floorplan.

Much of the staff you see right now is likely new to grocery retail, ours seemed to appeal to a lot of retirees. Many of those people are gone and the now-established staff seem to meet expectations in terms of food handling.

Do take a look at the fish and meat counter, unexpectedly good. The ahi tuna has been exceptional, and the salmon rich and tender. The top sirloin is great too.

Asian pears- what's the attraction?

Sweetness, perfume, juiciness, even the slightly grainy/fibrous chew is fun. They're lovely dehydrated. That said, last 2-3 years I've been disappointed with the flavor of supermarket finds, don't know if new varieties are being grown that maybe ship and store better but don't taste as good (a.k.a. "square tomato syndrome" lol")?

I have Kirkland Chicken Tortilla Soup--What recipe can I use it in?

Add some cooked white or red beans, chili powder(s), cumin, etc. to make it into a chicken chili.

Jan 07, 2015
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Spiral veggies anyone?

Just wanted to update: I have the Saladacco and have loved it, but mcf suggested a handheld julienne-r on this thread

(Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler)

and I bought a similar one
(UberChef Julienne Peeler

for $13.50 and haven't looked back.

As mcf said, the strips are straight, not spiral, but it's an efficient little device that makes consistent veggie spaghetti. I use it with zucchini and cucumbers at least twice a week. The Saladacco has several plastic parts that need cleaning versus one stainless item. I like the carrot spirals that the Saladacco makes for summer salads so I'm not trashing it but very happy for my spaghetti. Thanks mcf!

Jan 07, 2015
DuchessNukem in Special Diets

Heinous KFC commercial

Thanks for the link, MMary, I was kinda lazy to look for it. :)

Overall, KFC is in biz to sell their crap, not to stimulate folks to cook balanced meals at home. It's just an amusing ad, for me. As an aside, I'm a total re-user of takeout containers, so I kinda had to laugh at all the ways the family reused the rotisserie plastics.