Caroline1's Profile

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Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

Thank you! I'll bring my own Pommery. '-)

2 days ago
Caroline1 in General Topics
1

Palate Memory.....................

It is a "classic" (every Greek yaya's recipe is a little different) tomato-ey lamb stew that uses orzo pasta as the starchy ingredient instead of potatoes. Never met a youvetsi I didn't love!

Apr 25, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

Can I come share your liverwurst repast? I LOVE the stuff! '-)

Apr 24, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

starving on Food Stamps / SNAP

Yup. It has always struck me as a highly ridiculous solution to a major national health problem of epidemic proportions to distribute food stamps to people who, for whatever reason, cannot cook. Can we say, "Houston, we've got a PROBLEM!"

Apr 24, 2015
Caroline1 in Food Media & News

Please interpret this menu pricing....

My response was to your apparent idea that the recipe and link you offer is critical to kebabs and Iranian cooking when it is simply ONE recipe in the Iranian/Persian food repertoire that is a vast compendium of thousands of years of fabulous cooking.

There is NO single recipe that defines the food of Iran/Persia, much less the menus of ethnically Iranian owned kebab shops and/or restaurants in America.

Apr 24, 2015
Caroline1 in Not About Food

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

For who-knows-what-reason, the stores in my area that used to carry them don't anymore. They used to be hard to miss in the potato chip/popcorn aisle a couple of years ago. So now I get mine from amazon.com. I really like the freshness factor, and NOT having to finish a larger bag before it goes stale.

Apr 23, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Please interpret this menu pricing....

Really???????????????????!

Apr 23, 2015
Caroline1 in Not About Food

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

Or find a place that uses organic grass fed animals in their liverwurst (as in most imported Euro brands) and it will be a heck of a lot healthier to eat than sushi grade tuna or salmon! YAY Omega 3's!!!!!!

Apr 23, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

They don't make noise like popcorn does, so you have to watch the bag closely. But once you get the timing right, they're fabulous. Lowrey's is NOT the only brand available but it's often the easiest to find. Try Google for Microwave Pork Rinds and for Microwave Chicharrones. Good stuff!

http://shop.oberto.com/Original-Micro...

Apr 23, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Please interpret this menu pricing....

uhhh... Would you believe much larger and REALLY tough?

Apr 23, 2015
Caroline1 in Not About Food

Cook Your Vegetables to Death - Bon Appétit

Hah! I should have read ALLLLLLL of the replies before chiming in! Sorry. :-(

Apr 23, 2015
Caroline1 in Home Cooking

Cook Your Vegetables to Death - Bon Appétit

Actually, vegetables that are cooked for a long time have been with us for millennia. And most cultures have "classic" dishes of "overcooked" veggies. One of my all time favorites is this Turkish recipe:

http://ottomancuisine.com/2010/09/01/...

It's nothing short of fabulous. Boeuf Burguignon and coq au vin aren't exactly stir fry dishes either. Then there's traditional English brown stew. Irish stew... Let me count the ways.

IF you have a well rounded diet, there is nothing wrong with a few "overcooked" vegies every once in a while! AND THEY TASTE GOOD! '-)

Apr 23, 2015
Caroline1 in Home Cooking

Flash Freezing mistake!

Probably not. A major determinant is how often that freezer is opened and closed and what humidity/ice factors come into play.

If the freezer is opened and closed frequently and a lot of condensed moisture attached itself to the burger patties, then there is a greater chance of "freezer flavored beef". Flash frozen and slow, dried out frozen aren't the same thing.

For future reference, I do a lot of similar things, BUT! For "flash frozen" hamburger patties, I form them inside a zip lock sandwich bag, then insert a plastic drinking straw (the smaller the diameter the better) and zip the bag as close to closed as I can with the straw still inside. Hold the zipper right next to the straw and pull the straw so that only about an inch is still inside the bag. Then suck out all of the air you possibly can through the straw and (this takes a bit of practice) bite the straw with your teeth while pulling it out of the bag as quickly as you can and sealing shut in the same motion. Voila! Minimal air inside the zip locked bag and your hamburgers CANNOT get freezer burn!

Apr 23, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

Heaven help me, but I'm a carrot cake addict! And this is my latest crack version:

http://tinyurl.com/plzve6r

Instead of thawing it, I just take off the lid and nuke it a bit. The cream cheese frosting melts, the cake warms, and the whole thing becomes a to-die-for warm carrot cake pudding! Beware! You too can become an addict!

I can also eat about 23 pounds of chocolate covered dill weed potato chips in one sitting, but I have to make those myself. So I don't! :-[

Apr 22, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

Celery sticks stuffed with pimiento cheese were a childhood addiction! Every once in awhile I allow myself to pick up a tub of it, but it's gone in a heart beat, so I try not to shop that aisle. It leaps into my cart and smirks, "Let's go home!"

Apr 22, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics
1

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

I especially like microwave pork rinds. The really "fluffy" kind!

Apr 22, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Don't let your Debit/Credit Card out of your sight when dining. .

Not letting your charge card out of your sight is only step #1. I once took a friend to lunch at a raved-about Chinese restaurant in Mexico. The food fell short of the reputation, but at least we had fun watching all of the Mexican society matrons parade in and out in their ridiculously expensive chinchillas and sables on a HOT December day. People watching can be great entertainment. Anyway, the lunch was stupidly expensive, and there's no way we got what I paid for, but I was curious how Amex would handle the exchange rate: the day we ate or the day they billed. It came through on my January statement, and the peso to dollar exchange rate was for the day we ate. I paid. Now flash forward to July, and here's a second pass on my Amex statement for the SAME lunch! Of course, I immediately called Amex, it was dropped from my statement and the restaurant was notified they were on probation and one more offense and they would be dropped.

The point is that if it had been a charge from a restaurant where we ate often, I very probably would have paid twice. This is a scam that any restaurant in the world that accepts charge cards has the ability to pull, so keep your charge card in sight if you can, but also scrutinize EVERY new statement!

Life is probably better with charge cards, but sometimes I miss the old days. You paid your check in cash, you counted your change, you left a tip. DONE! '-) Is my age showing?

Apr 22, 2015
Caroline1 in Not About Food

Please interpret this menu pricing....

But there are lots of other pilavs. including those with bulgur, that would be delicious and appropriate accompaniments to any of the kabobs listed, and that can be made in bulk. Nothing worse than an unimaginative chef!

Apr 21, 2015
Caroline1 in Not About Food

Can we talk about kitchen lighting?

As long as you're happy, that's what counts! :-)

Apr 21, 2015
Caroline1 in Cookware

Do you love the concept of organic peanut butter but just hate the mess?

For me, that is a puzzlement! It's gotta be 4 or 5 days since I mixed mine, and no separation yet! I wonder if it could be the brands? Either the molasses or the peanut butter? Curious!

Apr 21, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Do you love the concept of organic peanut butter but just hate the mess?

I make mine on non-gummy (usually organic) whole wheat with generous peanut butter on one slice, generous premium mayonnaise in the other slice, then thick full flavor tomato slice(s) liberally sprinkled with kosher or sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Been lovin 'em since childhood!

Apr 21, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Please interpret this menu pricing....

For me, the strangest part of the menu is why they list sumach/sumac as a stand-alone menu item. It's like listing salt or pepper or butter. For those who haven't heard of sumach/sumac before, it's a crushed/flaked berry that has a distinct citrusy flavor that is used as a condiment to sprinkle to taste atop just about anything you'd like, from rice or yogurt to kebabs or... whatever. And sometimes it's used to make sumac "lemonade."

I don't much trust restaurants that pad and plump their menus this way. In my experience, it's usually an indicator that the plating will be sparse. I also think that there are a lot of "menu writers" who should be banned from the business.

A bad menu writer's dream:

"Our juiciest hamburger with salt, pepper, hand made mayonnaise by our finger licking chef, plus his secret sauce, chiffonade of gourmet wilted iceberg lettuce, a thick slice of white stinky onion sliced with a carbon steel knife, sliced hot house tomatoes, 3 generous slices of house-made kosher garlic dill pickles on a warm toasted sesame seed bun. Comes with free Styrofoam cup of water on request, and no surcharge for the mechanically scrubbed and recirculated air that you breathe while dining with us. A side of fries is available for a nominal up-charge."

Do you love the concept of organic peanut butter but just hate the mess?

Enjoy!

Apr 20, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

Can we talk about kitchen lighting?

If you want to save a few bucks and you have a Home Depot near you, my son is a master electrician/electrical contractor and he says these are the best on the market:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial...

Lucky me! For Christmas last year he drove 1,200 miles round trip and did the 4 down lights in my kitchen and the 8 down lights in the family room as a Christmas present, and I LOVE them! I was EXTREMELY hesitant when I saw "65 watt incandescent equivalent," and told him not to bother. His reply was, "Mom, let me do this, and THEN if it's not enough light for you, I'll take them out." I'm sooo glad he did that! The kitchen and family room are now perfectly lit. In the family room, all 6 can lights are on a dimmer and it works great with these retro-fit LEDs! Of course, my electric company hates my shriveled and shrunk electric bill, but that's their problem!

Oh ,and just in case anyone doesn't already know this, be VERY careful where you use CFL bulbs in your home. They release UV light which will bleach the color red over time, so if you use them make sure anything red is shielded by an opaque lamp shade. I've gotten rid of all of my CFL bulbs for that reason.

I LOVE carrot cake and used to buy them around 9 at night just before the bakery closed. They kept them in a display case with fluorescent interior lighting, and by that time, what had been bright orange carrots piped in buttercream that morning were a pale sickly yellow. They still tasted great, and who am I to turn down a half price carrot cake? I had the impression they hadn't figured out why it was happening. Replace your CFLs before your paintings or anything else with red in it are faded by the UV rays.

Apr 20, 2015
Caroline1 in Cookware

starving on Food Stamps / SNAP

I may not have made myself clear. To the BEST of my knowledge, there is no single place/website/book that provides the general public with across-the-board information as to the benefits of each states MEDICAID programs provide for those eligible.

A couple of years ago, I lost a damned good doctor because he and his physician wife needed to live closer to her parents in another state because that states MEDICAID benefits program was so very much better than her parents would receive here in Texas.

In today's world, FEW nuclear families stay together, or even in the same state, once the kids finish school (especially college!) because they follow the paycheck. Consequently many kids do well, they are successfully "upwardly mobile," have kids of their own, but their "upwardly mobile" financial rewards DO NOT reach back a generation to their parents!

So the reality is that in America, many of these "helping programs," and especially MEDICAID, do as much to make things harder for families than they do to ease the burden. Few "helping programs" in America, or many other countries for that matter, were/are designed for the reality of today's excessively mobile society. It's a real problem that far too many are totally unaware of.

And yes! Fraud is a major problem across the board. BUT!!! It is now built into the program!

Apr 19, 2015
Caroline1 in Food Media & News

starving on Food Stamps / SNAP

Well, something else not well recognized is that the programs AND qualifications for SNAP/food stamps vary WIDELY from state to state simply because they most often fall under Medicaid guidelines in a state that participates in that program.

It's INCREDIBLY difficult to get accurate information about what the benefits of Medicaid are from state to state (quite LITERALLY "state secrets!) simply because if that information was made public (AARP has been trying to find out for years!) the state with the best benefits would probably be broke in the first 20 minutes of it becoming public knowledge because of the mass migration of elderly and families with children who qualify for Medicare and especially Medicaid.

But I do know this: WHAT you can buy with food stamps varies widely from state to state. But most of my information is around 20 or more years old. But rest assured, these programs do NOT change that fast! So I can say that at least in that time frame, the most liberal state I heard of was California, where the food stamp program could be used for ANY type of food, including restaurants and fast food. Conversely, in Texas, they could only be used in grocery stores for groceries, and NO deli items OR hot foods.

But there are movements in some states, New York, for example, where there is a heavy movement, especially among doctors, to enable physicians to PRESCRIBE food needs for their patients. The well founded logic is that it is damned hard to get a patient well when the patient has serious nutrition issues.

I'm still moderately active in some programs to help people meet their needs, including healthcare for the uninsured and such (hey, I'm 81 now and getting slower and slower physically with each passing year, so don't shame me, please <g>) and to put it honestly, America is in a WORLD OF HURT!

Since the BIG CRASH not too many years ago, that the government insists on calling a "recession" for reasons of public morale, but that in reality is a true depression that we and the rest of the world are STILL trying to climb out of, really makes this problem a very dark picture across the board, and not solely in the United States.

Well, I could get into a serious diatribe here, but to what end? As long as major corporations have HEAVILY funded Political Action Committees to peddle their influence to Congress, things ain't gonna get better! The writers of the constitution worked very hard to make an ongoing "revolution" within voters' rights, but we, the voting public since 1776, have GOOFED! And at this late date, there ain't no way congress will now pass laws banning PACs! Now there's a serious opportunity missed by us voters! So we hurt... And the pain will continue if we don't work harder to find better solutions. <sigh>

Apr 19, 2015
Caroline1 in Food Media & News

Where can I find Scotch Bonnet pepper seeds? Or habanero seeds?

New Mexico State University's THE CHILE PEPPER INSTITUTE just might be the answer:
http://www.chilepepperinstitute.org/c...

Good luck!

Oh, and while you're looking through the catalog, these puppies make a Habanero seem like a scoop of vanills ice cream by comparison:
http://www.chilepepperinstitute.org/c...

Do you love the concept of organic peanut butter but just hate the mess?

So are my squirrels! '-)

Apr 19, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics
1

Do you love the concept of organic peanut butter but just hate the mess?

That makes sense. I also keep ALL of my fresh nuts in the freezer. Well, with one major exception: I have 3 huge pecan trees in my back yard, and there's no way in hell I would take up freezer space for those!

As for what gets refrigerated in my house, peanut butter? Never! True nut butters? Always! But even then, some nut butters will go rancid fairly quickly, such as cashew butter. I just threw a tub of it out yesterday. Part of that problem is undoubtedly that I don't like cashew butter all that much, so didn't use it often. But I didn't know that when I bought it about 6 or 7 months ago!

As for oils, I have kept 1 liter cruets of light olive oil and peanut oil right next to my cooktop "mis en place" for years now with no rancid problems. My evoo lives in the same place, but in a can to completely block out light. Works for me! But then, I'm not "everyone." '-)

Apr 19, 2015
Caroline1 in General Topics

starving on Food Stamps / SNAP

I haven't checked out the link you provide, but it has been a story that is hard to miss. My problem is that there is a LOT of misinformation and just plain wrong understanding of SNAP/Food Stamp program across the board happening with it.

First and foremost, to the best of my knowledge, food stamps (aka SNAP) are not now, nor have they ever been intended as the total food budget for an individual or family! So the "Paltrow/Bitali Project" was misinformed from the get-go, but at least it did trigger discussion about want in America.

Unfortunately, its nothing new. I remember a... hmmm... for want of a better word let me call it a "fad" back in the 1060s among the "super-haves" to elicit empathy for the "super have-nots." At the time, there was a large government program to redistribute tons and tons of surplus cheese to the needy, though I think just about anyone could access the cheese. Many socialites and political divas of the time held well publicized cocktail and dinner parties featuring the very same surplus cheeses in the menus. I seem to recall a lot of coverage of Ethyl Kennedy's (wife of Robert Kennedy, who was then Attorney General in his brother's administration) holding such an affair with heavy national media coverage.

In both cases the intentions were above reproach, but the executions were NOT well thought out, but at least they encouraged "the public" to think about the problems. But my concern is that such programs can do as much harm as good because of the twists they put on the programs they intend to draw focus to. In Gwyneth Paltrow's case, I think a far more realistic picture would have been presented had she used the food stamp purchase allowance in conjunction with food pantries and such instead of just throwing up her hands. What's the underlying message here? "It's hopeless, and anyone on food stamps is hopeless?" But then it might have had the same flaw as the elite parties about surplus cheese: Who the hell can't make great cheese dishes when you have a chef and a full kitchen staff at your disposal?

I think a very major flaw in the country today is one that is well illustrated by such programs, yet they draw little to no attention to it, is that few public school systems across the country still have mandatory "home ec/cooking classes" that are mandatory for all students. That kind of background would go a loooong way toward putting a whole lot of people who find themselves in need of emergency food help over a long or short period of their lives in a MUCH better position to cope.

There is no one answer that will make everything come up smelling of roses, but at least the Paltrow/Batali experiment has spurred discussion, even if it is "out of focus."