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A 'Must Read' for us foodies and bloggers!

Sorry, still reading, but that font is just hateful.

Crock-pot casserole crock, anyone used it?

See, Duffy, exactly my thoughts! Lasagne, enchiladas, King Ranch casserole, chicken and rice, moussaka (?maybe?) soupy pork chop braise; brownies, cake..... :)

One Amazon reviewer pointed out that 9x13 disposable pans fit perfectly, so good for holding oven-warmed stuff. Also, the crock can easily go into oven for top-browning.

I just want to play with this thing! Trying to hold off for after Christmas in hopes price gets to $30 or less.

Dec 17, 2014
DuchessNukem in Cookware

Crock-pot casserole crock, anyone used it?

Not that I need another slow-cooker but tempted by this. I can imagine a few dishes that would do well in the flat format.

http://www.crock-pot.com/specialty/ne...

Dec 17, 2014
DuchessNukem in Cookware

and while we're griping...

The mods have claimed that they try to prune carefully. Who knows?

Dec 17, 2014
DuchessNukem in Site Talk

Carry-on Packable Foods to Take to a Food-Challenged Thanksgiving...

Sounds like a terrific kid. We need peace negotiators in this world. :)

(And I'm challenged by the casserole, I could imagine a corn, berry and maybe mascarpone cheese casserole -- corn pudding style lol. But not challenged enough to actually try it.)

Dec 17, 2014
DuchessNukem in General Topics
1

and while we're griping...

I've seen posters complain as to how a subthread starts making no sense when a post gets pulled... at least leaving the placeholder might help explain for those folks.

Meat ideas for beans

Smoked turkey. I'm still working off bones/skin from a Greenberg carcass deep in the freezer (just remove when beans done).

Dec 17, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Las Vegas NY Eve - near Mandalay Bay

Not ethnic, but right in Mandalay Bay complex, is RM Seafood. We actually had a nice NYE dinner there a couple of years back, it's very festive. Great raw bar, unfussy but nicely-thought-out entrees. A little bit loud. You could dress for dinner then go upstairs to change to walking shoes/clothes if you choose.

Dec 17, 2014
DuchessNukem in Las Vegas

How to present deviled quail eggs?

Curly-leaf parsley is a great bed. Do consider leaving a few eggs whole and arranging them on the platter for accent, the shells are so pretty. They WILL get eaten, people love to pick them up and peel and eat. :)

Dec 17, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

New product: mini-napkin for restaurant flatware/cutlery ("Flatware Futon"). Approx 11" by 4", hemmed edges. Sits under your knife and spoon to begin, then used implements stacked there between courses. Inspired by that strip of coverlet at the bottom of hotel beds that you're supposed to put your luggage on.

Matched to napkins at formal places; festive mixed bright colors at Mexican joints. Retail for bring-your-own types, from .99 (Walmart) to 14.99 (Martha Stewart brand), and debate over futonage charges.

Dec 15, 2014
DuchessNukem in Not About Food

Olive oil drips

Lol. Festive holiday fur wrap. Gives the olive oil a bit of Audrey Hepburn elegance. :)

Dec 15, 2014
DuchessNukem in Cookware

Electric food steamer advice needed

I enjoy mine. I bought it when the appliances in the home we were renting were dying (stovetop and oven lol), and the landlord wasn't in any rush to replace.

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:
http://www.amazon.com/Oster-5712-Elec...

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).

Costco party fare?

I love the frozen spanokopitas. Need to be cooked ahead but they're terrific hot or at room temp.

What are your stovetop oatmeal tricks?

Well, since you mention you might want to eat it cold, let me recommend bircher muesli, originally a Swiss MD's nutrition concept for sickly patients. Basically, rolled oats, shredded apple, dairy, and add-ins as desired. Combined and sits overnight to soften and blend.

Here's a nice article that gives some variants:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...

Dec 10, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking
1

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

Didn't say widespread, just 'in my experience'. My family, my friends experienced this often.

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

Edelman is an asshole and a bully. That said...

I grew up in the Northeast and in my experience, Chinese restaurant bills (eat-in, delivery, and takeout) often were more than calculated expectations. If the amount was challenged, one was told, "You have an old menu at home," or "The takeout menu is out of date, we are getting new ones" (this often included the fresh out-of-date menu stapled to your takeout bag lol). The 'delivery fee' mentioned on menu was never specified and seemed to vary per courier.

Sometimes the in-house menu would be brought out to prove the point, showing crossouts and updates. Other times no explanation at all was provided, and sometimes a language barrier was invoked.

We didn't really bat an eye at a couple/few dollars difference because that was how it worked.

Eggnog - Love It or Leave It

Lol, this will read like one of those recipe reviews where nothing matches the original but, I found this recipe last year, modified it to my tastes and really enjoyed it.

http://recipes.safeway.com/recipe/570...

I only had 8 egg yolks, and I only had heavy cream, which I cut by half with water. I used a hearty bourbon instead of rum, and my homemade vanilla extract (the bourbon version). Probably added some ground coriander because I can't get enough of it.

Most importantly, I cut the sugar by half. The end result is probably thinner consistency than the recipe calls for and certainly less sweet, and it was delightful. Oh, and I heated/stirred it in the microwave because I was lazy. :)

Dec 09, 2014
DuchessNukem in General Topics

can you make an avocado soup with lime juice three days ahead?

I wouldn't, personally. Avocado is best absolutely fresh, it loses flavor very quickly in my experience. Even if it doesn't brown I doubt it would have the full fresh flavor you're looking for. I'd look for a soup that improves with waiting.

Dec 09, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Costco Holiday Treat: A5 grade of Wagyu Beef for $1200

Eleven pounds? I'm gonna need a bigger crockpot.

DEVILED EGGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014)

Lol, I only make these once or twice a year, so I forget every time, I make sure to buy extras so I can test as I go. Any undercooked rejects can be stored to add to noodles/rice/savory oatmeal.

I use my electric steamer. I'm thinking it was 8 minutes in that?

Dec 03, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

The Crockpot Holiday Dinner? First Timer Needs Help!

I tried this 2 days ago, about 15 minutes after I read your post (I was excited!). I had half a bag of cranberries in freezer, I peeled and tore up and added 2 small oranges, and dumped some brown sugar and coriander in with a touch of water. Plus about an ounce of chocolate-nib-infused bourbon. Wonderful. :)

DEVILED EGGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014)

I haven't run into excessive peeling issues on these (yet, lol). I actually halve them and serve in-shell sometimes because those shells are so lovely, have to do a little cleanup around the edges before stuffing. Takes a little squeeze and they pop into mouth.

Otherwise I do peel the deviled ones and place a few whole ones on the platter for garnish. Those get eaten too lol.

Dec 03, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Basically asked/guilted into cancelling our New Years Party - did I react in the right way?

So now you buy a new fabulous dress/outfit, and show up looking sparkling to "Carol&Ned's" party. If anyone suggests they shouldn't be hosting, you say, "Oh, no, this is wonderful!".

Don't engage in the bitching or criticism, be the gracious one.

If you want to host next year, send out a "save the date" on Nov. 1.

DEVILED EGGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014)

I like the Caesar-themed egg, sounds like the garnishing would be so pretty. I've bought some cat food recently that has the tiniest anchovies ever (3/4" or so), wish I could find them that small for people use.

(I keep refrigerated Caesar dressing around for quick salads, and adds extra punch to sandwiches. Can't stand smell or sound of mayo lol.)

Dec 03, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

DEVILED EGGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014)

I use Caesar dressing sometimes, but that's basically mayo anyway lol. Yogurt or Mexican crema work well also.

I'm doing up deviled quail eggs for Christmas Eve at a friend's house, wasabi paste/hot Chinese mustard added to some, olives/cayenne/green onion to others.

Dec 03, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Cooking in a large Crockpot??

Honestly, in my experience, what you're asking can be done but you won't get the best results. Slow cookers work best when 1/2 to 3/4 full, for even distribution of heat. You'll also need to babysit the pot/meal more than you probably want to, to make sure the food doesn't overcook. Plus you'll be wrestling a huge crock to be washed. Seems a lot of easier/tastier ways to make a couple pieces of chicken: roast, pan-grill, braise, stew, chop and stir-fry, etc.

If it were me, I'd put it aside for future needs, or give away/sell it and get a 1.5-qt cooker if you're really committed to using a slow-cooker. Here's my cheap little workhorse:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Elite-Cuisi...
$14.88

or:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Proctor-Sil...
$13.33

Either of these can easily make 3-4 servings of stew/chili/soup/pulled pork/chicken thighs/etc., with better control of temp.

Dec 01, 2014
DuchessNukem in Cookware

culinary ventures in hotel kitchenettes

Interesting short-term challenge! At least you won't have to resort to coffee-pot-hot-dogs and clothes-iron-grilled cheese lol.

I'd probably plan on a couple nights of takeaway personally. But some Asian-style stir fries with lovely fresh bok choy and other greens would be high on the list.

It will be nice not to worry about cooking smells settling in your own carpet, but something to consider short-term if odors will keep you from sleeping (can't open hotel windows most places).

Nov 29, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Do you give out your recipes at thanksgiving?

I'm a total sharer, but I'm not a food professional or competitor in any way. If I had a complainer who wrecked my recipes and then publicly blamed me, would only happen once. I have had peeps say, "I didn't make it as tasty as yours," and then we try to troubleshoot.

I carry copies of my New Year's black-eyed pea dip around in my binder at work for a month before and after. There should be no one who doesn't have it by now. I still have to make pounds and pounds of it. Lazy, flattering beggars, lol. :)

Nov 29, 2014
DuchessNukem in Not About Food
1

The Crockpot Holiday Dinner? First Timer Needs Help!

That's. Hilarious. :)

Nov 26, 2014
DuchessNukem in Home Cooking

Recipes for better beans

As gourmanda does, I use a tiny 2-cup crockpot often for beans. I can make a variety of small amounts over a day or two. I don't soak, and I often don't even salt. I store the beans in their pot liquor in the fridge till needed, then generally rinse before using. Good beans are key, I do love Rancho Gordo but I have used supermarket beans well also.

Maldon salt crystals on top of beans before serving give a nice salty crunch.

So:

-Garbanzos (rinsed) served cold with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, feta (if you use, or vegan soft cheeze), fresh basil or parsley (if avail), black pepper, Italian dressing or vinaigrette, salt if needed
-Black beans served hot with fine chopped raw shallots (or)/onions/green onions, chopped raw garlic if desired, pepper, salt, drizzle of olive oil if desired, and a big squeeze of lime
-White beans (navy, cannellini, etc.) soup, in broth of choice with spinach/kale/bok choy, mushrooms, Field Roast Italian sausage if desired, w/dried oregano and basil
-Roasted red pepper/white beans pureed as a spread, not just for dipping