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Is it okay to ask guests at a suprise party to pay to attend?

Well it does beg the question of whether she should go to her friend now that you mention it - wouldn't you want to know if this circus was being organized on your behalf? Not saying I would do it but it is an interesting thought...

1 day ago
pamelak52 in Not About Food

Preparing chicken for the grill

In a recent thread you all convinced me that a grill with be a worthwhile investment and also steered me toward a Weber. We've been pretty thrilled, so thank you!

We've only done chicken a couple of times. My question - if we are going to use barbecue sauce, how do we prepare chicken for the grill? Last time I just marinated in olive oil, salt and pepper, then brushed the sauce on at the end. I'd like a little more flavor. We're doing boneless thighs because we may have a bigger crowd and they cook pretty quickly. I have Trader Joe's sriracha garlic sauce (sweet and spicy) and a bottle of barbecue sauce from Cochin Butcher in New Orleans that we've been saving. Thanks for any tips :)

Is it okay to ask guests at a suprise party to pay to attend?

The host is the one who should be covering everyone's costs so the whole thing is bizarre.

It's tacky, but I'd still go for your friend, who presumably does not realize what the host is doing.

Brand of sunflower seed butter that tastes most like Skippy PB?

FYI we just tried "wowbutter" and it easily passed muster. It's made with roasted soybeans.

Jun 13, 2015
pamelak52 in General Topics

Brand of sunflower seed butter that tastes most like Skippy PB?

Sunbutter, plus a little bit of cookie butter. Her love of cookie butter has already been well established :)

Brand of sunflower seed butter that tastes most like Skippy PB?

Only my youngest, who is eleven months, is allergic, but we're keeping the nut butters out of the house for the time being. My 4.5 year old is not a big fan of the TJ Sunflower butter, so I added a tiny bit of cookie butter and that did the trick. She doesn't go to a nut free school, but now this is a (mostly) nut free house. Food allergies are an enormous hassle.

Jun 02, 2015
pamelak52 in General Topics

Recommendation for small group dinner near Adolphus Hotel

Thanks! CDB Provisions looks great.

May 25, 2015
pamelak52 in Dallas - Fort Worth

Brand of sunflower seed butter that tastes most like Skippy PB?

One of my kids is now nut allergic. PB was a staple in this house. I plan to blend the TJ sun butter with a touch of cookie butter and see if that passes muster....;)

Recommendation for small group dinner near Adolphus Hotel

Hi Dallas Chowhounders - I will attend a conference in Dallas the third week of June. A small group of us will be going out for dinner (max 8 people). I was wondering if there are any good eats near the Adolphus Hotel; I have never been to Dallas and have no clue where anything is.

Unfortunately, there are some dietary restrictions - one person is vegetarian, and one person cannot tolerate gluten but eats everything else. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

May 22, 2015
pamelak52 in Dallas - Fort Worth

Completely new to grilling - useful for weekdays, quick dinners?

We bought a weber spirit 310. It will be delivered shortly. Thank you so much for all your input!!

Tips to cut grocery bill

I plan meals and snacks for the whole family. (2 adults, an infant and a preschooler). So I know what I will be packing in my daughter's lunch, and what kind of baby food I'll be making. This cuts down on buying things just to have in the house (sometimes we end up with eight boxes of cereal, unnecessary!) This also makes sure we are going to use up our leftovers.

Every now and then I make an inventory of what we have in our pantry and freezer and I cook from those as much as possible. Our grocery bills are very low those weeks.

I will also do things like make marinades in bulk - I bought thai basil, cilantro, and mint from the Asian grocery store and made enough marinade to coat 12 lbs of chicken. I split the marinade into four portions and froze 3 of those. No wasted herbs, and a very, very, easy dinner for 3 future occasions!

Apr 20, 2015
pamelak52 in General Topics

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Yeah, I usually get it from there and it's fine. Not sure what happened with this batch...

Apr 20, 2015
pamelak52 in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Yea - Lamb Koftas. Really good. The meatballs themselves have good flavor and the sauce is good too.

Yea - Sriracha Garlic barbecue sauce. Holy smokes. Really good. It has a solid amount of heat to it.

Yea - Taco seasoning. I use it to make a quick crockpot turkey chili (using skinnytaste's 3 bean turkey chili recipe. TJ's taco seasoning is great as the only seasoning. The result is a pretty spicy turkey chili.

Nay - some cottage cheese that I pulled up that was slimy and seemed to have little bubbles in it. Oh well, no one's perfect.

Apr 19, 2015
pamelak52 in Chains

Completely new to grilling - useful for weekdays, quick dinners?

One more question for all of you, since you've been so helpful - what size grill should we be looking it? Mostly we'll be cooking for 2-4 people with occasional bigger get togethers. Is a five burner grill going to be overkill, waste propane, etc? Will a smaller grill perform better for smaller amounts of food?

Completely new to grilling - useful for weekdays, quick dinners?

Thank you so much for all the replies! We'll take the plunge. Thoughts on the Weber spirit line? Dyna-Glo also seems to get good reviews.

Completely new to grilling - useful for weekdays, quick dinners?

Thanks! I'll post over there for recommendations on a model.

Completely new to grilling - useful for weekdays, quick dinners?

Thanks - and how about cleaning the grill itself? The only time I've cleaned grill grates is when we received a hand me down grill that was nonfunctional, and I spent a lot of time trying to soak and scrub the grates. certainly that can't be required every time!

Completely new to grilling - useful for weekdays, quick dinners?

We had a grill growing up but despite living in California used it only a couple times per year. And only for chicken. A very specific kind of chicken with kraft barbecue sauce.

I finally have a house where I can have a grill and I am wondering whether it's something that I can use during the week for a quick meal, or whether it will be one of those things I buy and then use, like my parents did, only on an occasional basis. I do find myself roasting and baking meat and fish a lot more than my parents do, and we love roasted veggies. What are the benefits of moving this stuff to the grill? I live in California and I think we could use a gril year round. I am thinking gas for lower maintenance. If anyone has any suggestions on the benefits of a grill over the oven, and point me in the right direction on the basics of grilling, I'd be all ears! Suggestions for a durable, reasonably priced, easy to use grill would also be appreciated.

Please help! Cookware set decision

The Kirkland Signature stainless cookware from Costco is fantastic - the full set runs at about 160, but there are stainless lids and not glass. I've been using them daily for five years and there are pretty much zero signs of wear.

Mar 27, 2015
pamelak52 in Cookware
1

What is a "medium" chinese eggplant?

I ended up using about 2.5 of the eggplants and probably could have added more. The recipe turned out great - here's what I made:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...

I think a ratio of 3 18" Chinese eggplants, two peppers and an onion worked out fine. I also used four thai chiles (could have taken another couple chiles, I think)

Thank you for your input - chowhounders never let me down!

Mar 23, 2015
pamelak52 in General Topics

What is a "medium" chinese eggplant?

Me too! I prefer weight measurements. One source suggested 18" as a typical Chinese eggplant so I thought I would chec in here.

Mar 22, 2015
pamelak52 in General Topics

What is a "medium" chinese eggplant?

I'm trying to make a thai basil eggplant dish. The recipe calls for 3 medium chinese eggplants. I picked up a package of 3 chinese eggplants from my local Ranch 99, but it looks like a ton of eggplant (a few inches in diameter, about 18 inches long). Is this just how big chinese eggplant is?

Mar 22, 2015
pamelak52 in General Topics

Unsalted butter + salt

A tablespoon of salt - even kosher - is a LOT of salt for one pie. Wouldn't it be more like 1/2 teaspoon, if that?

Mar 18, 2015
pamelak52 in Home Cooking

Should vindaloo be sweet?

The etymology of vindaloo is vin (wine) d'alho (garlic).

Not aloo as in potato. The origins of the name are not from any Indian languages. Vindaloo really should have no potatoes.

Aloo gobi, aloo mattar - those are literal descriptions of the food (potato cauliflower, potato peas).

Should vindaloo be sweet?

Vinegar and cinnamon weigh in pretty heavily. I suppose the cinnamon could lend a bit of sweetness, and also if you used seasoned vinegar that could also make it a bit sweet. Vindaloo should have more than "some heat" - please give it another try :)

Mar 13, 2015
pamelak52 in General Topics
1

I am a terrible cook!

Oh, and Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian are both great - lots of simple, clear recipes.

I am a terrible cook!

I use a meal planning subscription service called six o clock scramble. It comes out to a couple bucks a month. The recipes are easy and there are lots of vegetarian options.

Mar 10, 2015
pamelak52 in Home Cooking

Do I need to blanch baby kale for this lasagna recipe?

Thank you so much for all the replies! I will definitely blanch it.

For next time - would frozen spinach be acceptable in this kind of recipe? I happen to have a box in my freezer.

Feb 24, 2015
pamelak52 in Home Cooking

Dinner ideas for a family with food restrictions!

Could you do a combination of some kind of roasted meat or fish, a creamy pasta or rice dish, and a veggie? MIL could eat pasta (and veggie, SIL and FIL could eat the meat and veggies. 9When I was having a holiday dinner with a dairy allergic Jew, a Muslim family (no pork) and two vegetarian Hindus I went for the two-entrée solution and it worked nicely, since the vegetarian entrée could also be a hearty side.

What do your SIL's meals usually look like? See if she can come up with something. Vegan and low-carb are easy, but those restrictions would be a challenge to anyone who is not used to them.

Feb 24, 2015
pamelak52 in Home Cooking
1

Do I need to blanch baby kale for this lasagna recipe?

I am making this lasagna tonight:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

Instead of using spinach, I am using some baby kale from the garden. Do I need to blanch the baby kale, or is that just a fussy and unnecessary step? What is the point of blanching the spinach for the lasagna anyway?

Feb 24, 2015
pamelak52 in Home Cooking