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Ben Edelman, Harvard Business School Professor, Goes to War Over $4 Worth of Chinese Food

Nope! Statements said within certain contexts is "privileged" - that is, you can't use the statements made in those contexts against a person in court. Attorney client privilege, spousal privilege, etc. No such thing as small restaurant owner - jerk attorney privilege.

Dec 10, 2014
pamelak52 in Food Media & News

Costco Food Finds - 2nd Quarter 2014

I have bought them in California (Danville). We have only tried the "Vindaloo" - which is not vindaloo at all! Vindaloo should have a solid hit of fire from vinegar and cinnamon. The vindaloo didn't seem to have either. It just tasted more like a generic curry to me, reminiscent of "chicken curry" served in the dining hall in college. I am pessimistic about the other two jars.

May 11, 2014
pamelak52 in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 2nd Quarter 2014

Agree, these are great.

May 11, 2014
pamelak52 in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - May 2014 [old]

It melts fine, but, for example, the cabot pepper jack melts even better. I use both for quesadillas but when I want a nice melted top layer I go for the cabot. The taste of the habaneero pepper jack is pretty excellent, though, I almost always have some in the fridge.

May 11, 2014
pamelak52 in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - May 2014 [old]

Frozen pad see ewe - NAY. Nay beyond belief. Noodles are gelatinous blobs, tofu tastes and feels like a wet sponge. Taste is bland, the whole thing has a bitter aftertaste.

Karat Cake - outstanding. Can't believe it came from the freezer!

May 11, 2014
pamelak52 in Chains

Which restaurants use banana leaves for food presentation?

I have bought them at Asian supermarkets in the frozen section. My husband is from Kerala, and food is served on banana leaves for special occasions.

At the end of my rope -- please help

Yes, yes, yes! The last paragraph, especially. Don't give up your other hobbies to be a better cook. Eventually, you'll resent all the time spent cooking when you could be doing something you enjoy. You won't enjoy it if you have to sacrifice so much.

Something that helped me - when I was trying to figure out how to make Indian food (Indian, but didn't learn to cook growing up), I made one dish over and over again until I thought it was really good. I did this so that I could get an idea of how different components of the dish (how much of the various spices to use, canned versus fresh tomatoes, how much to reduce onions) affected the final product. I ate a lot of channa masala that year, but it really helped me get a better understanding of how cooking works.

Also, there is a great website called The Six O'Clock Scramble. The recipes are pretty simple, varied and for the most part tasty. THey can be made generally in under 30 minutes. Cooking for a family can't be a production every night. Too much stress! I try to go for healthy, functional meals 75% of the time, and one or two nights for an experiment or something fancier. If you want to make a side dish, get a rotisserie chicken and have the interesting side dish be the only thing you make from scratch.

If your kids see cooking as a stressful chore, they won't want to do it. You owe it to yourself and your family to take some of the pressure off of yourself. (My mother is an excellent cook, but never seemed to enjoy it - it was just a chore. Cooking was never appeaing to me.)

What's the Worst Dish You Ever Made?

Not really a cooking fail, but this seems a good a place as any for this microwave use PSA -

I needed a second timer and used the microwave timer, which I had never used before. Unfortunately, i had actually just turned on the microwave and didn't notice. From the next room (sort of an open kitchen) I heard a bit of a crackling sound. As it turns out, if you start a microwave on empty, the interior will melt and the unit will more or less implode.

May 08, 2014
pamelak52 in Home Cooking

Non-tomato based pasta dishes that can be made ahead of time

Depending on how far ahead of time you need to make it, Giada de Laurntis's butternut squash lasagna is excellent. A 9x13 pan feeds eight to ten easily, especially if there are other foods available as well.

I make it during the day and just bake when company is over. The leftovers are also great, so it would probably be a good candidate for baking and reheating (but I haven't tried that)

Apr 13, 2014
pamelak52 in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

California - Pleasanton store. I will double check to make sure I didn't get the price wrong. For $5 i'd be pretty pleased.

Feb 22, 2014
pamelak52 in Chains

Kitchen appliances

I just bought a Bosch 800 a few weeks ago. Life-changing! Dishwashing is no longer a chore. Pots and pans go directly from cooktop to the dishwasher. Lasagna pans with baked on cheese, no problem. Just make sure if you have hard water to get a model with a built in softener.

Feb 21, 2014
pamelak52 in Cookware

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

Meh - battered halibut. I was expecting something really special for $9 and such a small package. Used them for fish tacos, I feel like we could have just used fish sticks!

Yay - the mini crispy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Great flavor.

Yay - High fiber multigrain brad. Better texture than any other high fiber bread I have tried. (Though I am curious about the distribution - I don't remember it being this good when i bought it from DC area stores; I shop in the SF bay area now.)

Yay - Hold the Cone! mini ice cream cones. Fun small snack.

Feb 21, 2014
pamelak52 in Chains
1

too many spices/not enough flavor - mung bean soup

I would cook down some onions separately and then add them to the soup and let the flavors meld for awhile - I think that often, the problem with Indian food that doesn't taste "quite right" is that the onions weren't sufficiently concentrated/caramelized. Maybe add that and some water for a thinner (but not overly salty) soup?

Feb 14, 2014
pamelak52 in Home Cooking
1

Appliances for Indian cooking

I agree - the magic bullet is not suited for dosa batter. A regular blender would be a better bet.

Feb 12, 2014
pamelak52 in Cookware

So what's the average Chowhound's Race / Ethnicity?

American-born Indian (Asian)

Oct 27, 2013
pamelak52 in Not About Food

Storage for serving pieces

Thanks everyone! I could probably make a roll out of a kitchen towel, and stitch slots for each of the two pieces. A brightly colored print would make them easy to find, too. Now, to brush up on my sewing skills...

Oct 10, 2013
pamelak52 in Cookware

Storage for serving pieces

Hi Kaleo - the longest one I've seen is for utensils that are 12" long; the knife is 13.5". Tube sock and rubber band might do the trick. Though pulling out the serving set from an old sock might detract from the presentation of any lovely desserts I make :) I'll have to make sure to think ahead and have them out before guests arrive!

Oct 10, 2013
pamelak52 in Cookware

Storage for serving pieces

Hi Oliver - one is a long, thin knife that's about 13.5 inches from end to end. The other one is a standard shaped pie server, about 11.5 inches from top to tip, and 2.5 inches at its widest point.

Oct 10, 2013
pamelak52 in Cookware

Storage for serving pieces

I had a party this weekend and pulled out my nice dessert servers. Someone threw away the storage box the servers came in (with molded slots for the servers). I use them only occasionally, but the storage box has kept them from getting all banged up and scratched. Does anyone have suggestions on how to store these? I like that the box had a clear top so they were easy to find anytime I needed them, but I'm open to suggestions. They were a wedding gift and I really would like to keep them in good shape. Thanks!

Oct 09, 2013
pamelak52 in Cookware

Need a simple but elegant cake recipe

Deborah Madison's lemon polenta pound cake is delicious. It can be made in advance and is stellar with some berries and cream (or a compote made with some frozen berries)

Oct 07, 2013
pamelak52 in Home Cooking
1

What is your absolute favorite dish from your cultural heritage?

Rajma - Punjabi kidney bean curry. It might be my favorite thing to eat, ever.

Sweet - Gajarilla (sp...not sure how to romanize that one). Basically, shredded carrots cooked down, add butter and a bit of sugar. Delicious.

Jul 24, 2013
pamelak52 in General Topics

Packing up a Kitchen Aid mixer for a cross-country move

Hi trolley - I ended up having the movers pack it. They wrapped each peace in several layers of paper in a medium sized box, with other light things also wrapped in paper around it. There was a lot of paper involved, but the mixer took the cross country move and six months in storage beautifully. The box was marked "Heavy" and "this side up" and it was totally fine. Good luck with your move!

Jul 13, 2013
pamelak52 in Cookware

Best Knife for Cutting A Tomato?

I use a serrated bread knife (victorinox), or the OXO utility knife. Cook's illustrated says it's useless, but I couldn't live without it!

Jul 13, 2013
pamelak52 in Cookware

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

Satter is definitely the way to go. We never make an issue of eating veggies. Last night my daughter was, to my surprise, eating baingan bharta, a dish I HATED as a child (slimy Indian eggplant dish). Give them enough opportunities to try something and eventually they'll come around. This approach is especially good since you don't want to waste time fighting about food!

Jun 26, 2013
pamelak52 in Home Cooking

Kirkland Signature/Costco 18/10 Stainless Cookware, thoughts?

Bear in mind that Costco recently changed the set - the one I purchased a couple years back looks and feels nothing like the ones I have now. The old ones were really heavy; the current ones are much lighter. I don't know what the new ones are like, but keep in mind that some people might be reviewing the older product.

Jun 12, 2013
pamelak52 in Cookware

Workarounds for a small (?) oven

An update - turns out the oven is 27", still small, but not as dire as I thought. We decided to go with a combination wall oven/convection microwave (thanks for getting the idea into my head, greygarious), and a countertop oven. The alternatives seemed to be double oven + countertop microwave + toaster (or toaster oven). Thanks everyone for the input!

Mar 05, 2013
pamelak52 in Cookware

Pretending to cook: "Dinner Kits"

So was I, my daughter is two. It's not very efficient, but fun nevertheless.

Feb 25, 2013
pamelak52 in Food Media & News

"Who-Knows-Why?" dislikes

Fresh raspberries are tolerable, but anything raspberry flavored - even naturally - I find revolting. Raspberry jam, smoothies, sauce etc. Nothing ruins a chocolate cake like a raspberry filling!

Feb 18, 2013
pamelak52 in General Topics

Pretending to cook: "Dinner Kits"

Your son might surprise you...my daughter's favorite part of baking is mixing!

Feb 17, 2013
pamelak52 in Food Media & News

Pretending to cook: "Dinner Kits"

Cresyd - totally off topic - but what I did to get the hang of Indian food was to make the same dish over and over again until I really understood what each spice did to the final product. I grew up eating Indian food but never cooked at home. I made channa masala every week for a month or so, and then after that could make other dishes pretty well, too. Also, do you have any friends that make Indian food? I always buy in bulk from the Indian store, far cheaper than buying individual jars, and I am happy to share with people who are interested but don't want to spend all that money.

Feb 13, 2013
pamelak52 in Food Media & News