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New "keep food fresh" gizmo "freshy"--Any good?

So I read about this:"Freshy, the new food preservation device is a small, egg-shaped tool that you keep in your refrigerator and pantry to prolong the shelf life of food...Freshy is available online at for $19.95."
Have any of you heard of this thing, know if it works? I am deeply suspicious of things that sound too good to be true.

Sep 19, 2013
mommasue in Cookware

Family Gathering Recommendation

Our event was fantastic! Thanks so much for the recommendation. We were there on June 15th, that's why it's taken me so long to write back. We started at 3, so had the whole restaurant to ourselves for a bit (they don't open until 4) but we were set up in the room facing Broad street. If we'd had to stay in that room, it would've been a bit tight (we were about 25), but since we could wander, it was fine. Everyone--including wheelchair, walker, cane & just plain wobbly--was able to get in just fine, and all had a wonderful time. Everyone loved the food. The craft beers, artisan whiskies and interesting wines were enjoyed as well. Our party was literally 19-91 years of age, most of us in the 45-65 range. Thank you so much for your recommendation, it was perfect! My Richmond relatives had never heard of or been to the restaurant; all plan to go back.

Jun 19, 2013
mommasue in Mid-Atlantic

Richmond, VA Dinner Advice

We really enjoyed Juleps when we were in Richmond last year
and we plan to try The Savory Grain on our next visit.

May 09, 2013
mommasue in Mid-Atlantic

Family Gathering Recommendation

Thanks for the recommendation, we've decided to move forward with The Savory Grain.

May 09, 2013
mommasue in Mid-Atlantic

Family Gathering Recommendation

It looks amazing. If they can't accommodate our function, may have to stop by for a meal while I'm in town.

Apr 30, 2013
mommasue in Mid-Atlantic

Family Gathering Recommendation

I'll check it out, thanks. We have some older folks, so accessibility is a concern.

Apr 30, 2013
mommasue in Mid-Atlantic

Family Gathering Recommendation

Sorry, yes, Richmond.

Apr 28, 2013
mommasue in Mid-Atlantic

Family Gathering Recommendation

Looking for a place to have a family (20-30) repast/memorial meal. Last time we did this, we used CanCan Brassierie, and it was fine, but I'd like other suggestions. We need easy access for the older folks, but we want good food and alcohol. We'll be coming from Hollywood Cemetery, so looking for an interesting good place in town.

Apr 26, 2013
mommasue in Mid-Atlantic

Pressure cooking help

Not sure if anyone is still checking this thread--I have two Kuhn Rikons (the "duromatic duo") and I've used them for years. If you like risotto, it's worth getting a pressure cooker just for that--risottos are perfect in the pressure cooker, and so easy! For cookbooks/reference, I recommend Lorna Sass. Tons of reference on vegetables and grains.

Apr 03, 2013
mommasue in Cookware

Brussel Sprouts.. My final frontier?

You MUST roast them! Fabulous! Toss liberally with good olive oil & kosher salt, roast in one layer in 400 degree oven. About 20 minutes, maybe...shake/stir occasionally, when they are a bit charred and slightly tender they are done. Easy & truly delicious.
Oh--and they are much better harvested after a frost, and if you can get them still on the stalk that is great, too--but you can't always find them that way.

Oct 15, 2012
mommasue in Home Cooking

Beef Brisket in the oven?

Why don't you go with a pulled pork approach? Large can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of worchester, some vinegar, cayenne, about 1 T kosher salt, some brown sugar--there are tons of recipes out there, I'm just throwing out stuff here. Then a nice s-l-o-w oven (like 275) for a good long time. Until it falls apart. Maybe overnight, if you have an automatic oven that you trust. I've had delicious results for pork shoulder with this approach, don't know why it wouldn't work for brisket. Or, the pot roast approach using different spice set--red wine, beef broth, carrots, onions--again in the slow oven for a long time.
You could "dry salt" your beef--rub it good with kosher salt--and let it stand for a bit (like an hour or so--check someone like Alton Brown for timing) before going the long & slow route.

Aug 10, 2012
mommasue in Home Cooking

best immersion blender?

I just bought the Kalorik based on the CI review, and it is a piece of S***. I used it ONCE to mix protein powder, water, and half a banana and the plastic housing has already started to separate, plus it didn't do such a great job mixing.My Cuisinart didn't stand up, and all I use this for is pureeing soups in the pot and such--I don't try to use it for jobs it's not designed for. So, I am looking for a durable and useful tool. I guess I'll look at some of the suggested ones in this thread.

Jan 05, 2012
mommasue in Cookware

Poached salmon guidance?

try olive oil poaching, it is fabulous!

Oct 13, 2011
mommasue in Home Cooking

poaching a whole salmon - method suggestions

My only suggestion--if you use the cheesecloth, make sure you unwrap it fairly soon after you remove it to cool. I made the mistake of leaving it wrapped--when I tried to unwrap the fully cooled fish, the cheesecloth was tearing the flesh. :(
Otherwise, whole poached salmon is wonderful, great party do-ahead which really saves time when you are entertaining.

Oct 13, 2011
mommasue in Home Cooking

Olive Oil Poached Fish

@Artemis, sorry I missed your question...just FYI, I poached salmon last night using strained oil previously used & kept in the fridge--I shouldn't even admit this--several months ago! Before I used it, I brought it up to room temperature and gave it a sniff--no odor to speak of, so I used it. I use a coffee filter set into a canning funnel to strain the oil into a glass canning jar; I leave the dregs in the pan & toss. I find I can use this several times--3 anyway--I toss when it really smells of fish. Fine Cooking says 3 weeks, but I'm telling you, I've certainly kept mine the refrigerator of course.

Oct 13, 2011
mommasue in Home Cooking

Olive Oil Poached Fish

Fine Cooking did a great article on this several months ago, and it's become my go-to method: they want you to preheat your oven to 225, heat your EVO on the stove top, slip your ROOM TEMPERATURE fish into the oil (it's not too hot, around 170) and then immediately move the pot into the 2250 oven. I think they want 20-25 minutes, I can't recall. I'm sure you can look it up online. Perfect fish every time, no fish smell in your kitchen, and I strain, refridge & re-use the oil 3-5 times (for fish poaching only).

Mar 31, 2011
mommasue in Home Cooking

The Great Pumpkin Pie Cook-Off! CooksIllus vs. Epicurious vs. Libby's

@colonelcrunch, I took a look at the KAF recipe, you made me curious...they explain that mixing the day before helps to bloom the seasonings--which is why CI cooks the filling. Also the pre-cooking that CI calls for reduces moisture & concentrates/intensifies the flavors. If you like the KAF, I think you'd like the CI also.

Nov 28, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

The Great Pumpkin Pie Cook-Off! CooksIllus vs. Epicurious vs. Libby's

Boy, I'm in the minority here...I made the CI (2008 recipe) and I thought it was perfect! No cracks in the pie, perfectly smooth, dense custard...but I confess, I didn't make their crust, I just used a store-bought. I've been doing Libby's for years, and I like it very much--but Libby's doesn't call for straining the filling, so I can't agree that you made Libby's. The straining is a key difference in approach, right?
Now--I made my TG pie using Libby's pumpkin & Bruce's yams. Yesterday I made another with Libby's pumpkin & America's Choice yams and it was no where near as good.
Love that you did a comparison test!

Nov 28, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

Only Tools Don't Tip on Takeout, and Other Rules of Gratuity You Should Know

I like to think I am a generous tipper, but I did not realize until this past year that you are supposed to tip when you pick up your take out--delivery, of course,but take out....just never occurred to me.

Nov 17, 2010
mommasue in Features

Freezer alarm?

OK, so I had a freezer (in the garage) go 'dark' for...who knows how long? Everything was warm & stinky, total loss, freezer had to go, and we got a new one.
Just realized the NEW one was off, food still cold, crisis averted. I think I need a freezer alarm! Any recommendations?

Sep 20, 2010
mommasue in Cookware

50th birthday dinner / 3 couples

I think Il Vagabondo is fun. Neighborhood Italian place with a bocce ball court inside. Food is very good Northern Italian. Rumored to have the best chicken parm in the city. I had a fabulous osso bucco there. Large tables. Easy to talk.
351 E 62nd St
NYC, NY 10065
(212) 832-9221

Il Vagabondo
351 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10065

Sep 20, 2010
mommasue in Manhattan

Duck under pressure?

Hi Chow Hounds,
Recently made Alton Brown's duck--the one you cut into quarters, steam for 45 minutes & then finish in a hot cast iron pan to crisp the skin. It was great. Worked perfectly. Here's my question: do you think I can do the steaming part in the pressure cooker? Say, duck under pressure for 15 minutes, or maybe 10 with natural release, then finish in the hot pan? I know he's cooking/rendering fat with the long slow steam, just wondering if pressure would have the same result. What do you all think?
Thanks in advance!

Apr 06, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

Alton Brown's steamed/roasted duck parts - total, utter failure

I made it the other night--followed the directions & it was perfect. Breasts were completely done--in fact, I wouldn't have minded them a bit less done, they were closer to overdone than underdone. But I was pleased. Here's my question: instead of 45 minutes over steam, do you think I could use the pressure cooker for the "steaming" portion of this recipe? Say, 15 minutes in the cooker, then the 475 finish in the oven?

Apr 06, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

Imagine Rotisserie Chicken Soup

Apr 03, 2010
mommasue in Recipes

Recycling rotisserie chicken

In my 4H cooking group, we taught this delicious & easy soup:
3 boxes Imagine free range chicken broth
bring to simmer
add 1 c "instant" brown rice (Uncle Ben's 5-minute brown)
add 3 carrots, large chunks (inch or so)
While rice & carrots are cooking, rip all meat from a prepared rotisserie chicken
add meat
add box of baby spinach after rice& carrots are cooked & meat has been added (just wilt--do not cook to death)

You're all done! No other seasonings necessary.
This became a fast & go-to favorite of many of our 4H families, and very kid friendly too.
I can't vouch for your success if you use a different brand of broth. We found the Imagine broth to be the tastiest.

Apr 03, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

NY Times Duck Confit recipe w/ no extra fat - Anyone tried?

I'm curious about this also, but here's my question--does it have to just be legs? Why can't I buy a whole duck from my local market & cut it up and include the breasts?

Feb 02, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

Julia Child's Beef

TomP, I think you hit the nail on the head...I have a friend who swears by this recipe, and will take the days it requires to make it the way Julia says to. I will not--I'll use a pressure cooker to make a delicious stew--but I think some of the other posters here do not take the several days/following all the steps that Julia's recipe in "Mastering...French Cooking"

Jan 15, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

What's your go-to brown rice recipe?

I vote for AB's method & Lundberg rice--I like the brown basmati

Jan 15, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

Brown Rice Cooking Time

Alton Brown's technique of baking brown rice gives a perfect result every time.

* 1 1/2 cups brown rice, medium or short grain
* 2 1/2 cups water
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Bring the water, butter, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately.

Jan 15, 2010
mommasue in Home Cooking

Any Good Cracker Recipes willing to share?

I love this Fine Cooking recipe. I make it regularly. Use a pasta machine to roll really thin crackers--makes all the difference.

For the topping:
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
2 tsp. poppy seeds
2 tsp. fennel or caraway seeds
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the dough:
6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
2 oz. (scant 1/2 cup) whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. table salt
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
Make the topping:

In a small bowl, stir the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and fennel or caraway seeds. Fill another small bowl with water and set it aside along with a pastry brush and the kosher salt.
Make the dough:

In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and table salt. Add the olive oil and 1/2 cup water to the flour; stir with a rubber spatula until it collects into a soft, crumbly ball of dough. Use the spatula or your hands to press the dough against the sides of the bowl to gather all the stray flour.

Set the dough on a lightly floured work surface and portion it into thirds. Pat each portion into a square. Set two squares aside and cover with a clean towel. Roll the remaining dough into a rectangle about 1/16 inch thick and 7 or 8 inches wide by 14 or 15 inches long. Whenever you feel resistance, lift up one edge of the dough and sprinkle more flour underneath before you continue rolling.

With a pastry brush, brush the dough lightly with water and sprinkle about a third of the seed mix evenly over the surface. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. of the kosher salt. With a dough scraper, pizza cutter, ravioli cutter, or sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut across to make rectangles roughly 2 by 4 inches. Don’t bother trimming the edges; rustic edges add character.

Transfer to an unlined baking sheet. Bake until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

While each batch is baking, clean your work surface as needed and repeat the rolling and cutting with the remaining portions of dough. Store the cooled crackers in a zip-top plastic bag. They’ll keep for up to a week.

Rosemary & Sea Salt Crackers: Add 2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary to the dry ingredients in the dough. Skip the seed topping and instead sprinkle each batch of crackers with 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt.

From Fine Cooking 89, pp. 45
October 15, 2007

Nov 23, 2009
mommasue in Home Cooking