jw615's Profile

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What to do with dried tropical fruit?

This may not be very spring appropriate, but maybe you are not that type of person. While we eat seasonal produce at my house, we're not particular about things beyond that - we still like to eat pot roast and hearty soups in the summer.

When I was a kid, my mom would make a warm fruit soup with dried fruit. She would chop it pretty small, and simmer it on the stove with a cinnamon stick and probably some other spices. It was a good change for breakfast or a before bed snack, and would probably make an interesting dessert as well.

about 24 hours ago
jw615 in Home Cooking

Corn Casserole?

This is the recipe I use as well, though I do not include the egg. Always go over well.

1 day ago
jw615 in Home Cooking

I'm sorry you don't like what I ordered, but keep your thoughts to yourself

I order 'the steak' in lots of restaurants. I have a number of allergies, and often it is the safest option compared to other things. I wish that I could get something more fun, but a steak and baked potato is almost always safe for me, and going out is not all about the food.

However, I'm also the person that goes through the entire menu and looks for fun things to suggest for my husband to order. Plus, if I look through the menu, I find ideas for things that I can make at home in a way that will not kill me.

Apr 16, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food

how do you store your glasses/stemware?

Typical everyday drinking glasses get stored bottom down. Stemware goes bottom up - it is harder to knock over this way, and I'm moderately clumsy, so this is a legitimate concern.

Apr 16, 2014
jw615 in Cookware

"Just eat it, you'll like it"

I have the 'benefit' in these types of situations of having multiple food allergies.

When someone doesn't take 'no thank you' as an answer and gets pushy, I whip out the epi-pen and start explaining to them how to give an injection. By the time I get to the explanation of how the pen only buys me 10-15 minutes, so if the ambulance doesn't get there by then, they'll have to get out my extra for a second injection, they start losing color in their face and feeling sorry that they were pushy about it.

Apr 16, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food
4

Faux pas - eating fish at work?

I've only worked in a few places and don't currently work. One spot was pretty much open season for whatever you wanted to bring, but we did food heating in a large kitchen with a very good vent system.

In my other job, there was no outright prohibitions, but we commonly had at least one pregnant worker on staff pretty much all the time, so people were courteous about what they heated or brought into the building.

Apr 15, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food

HELP Can you make a cake without eggs? If so,

I'm allergic to eggs, and apples, which makes things interesting, since a lot of people recommend replacing eggs with apple sauce.

For some things, I use baby food - for muffins, I'll use banana baby food, for meatloaf I'll use sweet potato or squash.

For baking a more traditional cake or cupcakes, I would use Ener-G Egg replacer. This isn't an egg substitute (like egg beaters) - those still have eggs. It is a powder, comes in a box and is completely egg free. Some grocery stores will have it in the specialty foods section, I usually have to buy it from the health food store. The box has directions for how much powder to mix with water to replace eggs in a recipe.

Apr 15, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

pet peeves for other 'foodies'

Plus, not to be morbid, but when you hear about people dying from food allergies, it is very frequently people that 'didn't think their allergies were that bad' or 'had never had a serious reaction before.' Just because your previous reactions weren't life threatening does not mean that your next one will be.

I remembered when eating an apple just made me a little bit itchy. Then things got worse. Several years later, one of my students (preschool) accidentally wiped applesauce on my face, and I got to shoot myself in the thigh and ride in the ambulance.

Apr 14, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food

What's in your slow cooker today

Salted and peppered the ribs, then layered in the bottom with some barbeque sauce and chopped onion.

No foil for the ribs. Just the corn that I put on top.

Apr 14, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

How to keep leftover raw onion from smelling inside fridge

I have a collection of various sizes pyrex containers with plastic lids for food storage. I have never had a problem with smell when I stored cut onion in one of them.

Apr 13, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Wicked Simple Recipe Help

Does she have a slow cooker?

I love to cook, but do a lot of basic slow cooker recipes because I'm chronically ill, and sometimes I just need to bang something out for the family when I'm having a rough day.

Apr 12, 2014
jw615 in Special Diets
1

Is Anyone Food "Couponing"Anymore?

I don't coupon for groceries much unless I happen to come across a high value coupon. I'm allergic to a lot of things, so often I need a specific brand or type of product, and couponing isn't so adaptable to the allergies that I have.

I find that I do better shopping the sales, checking the meat and produce markdowns, and hitting aldi and the salvage grocery stores.

Apr 12, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food
1

Food allergies: When and how did you develop them?

I've been lactose intolerant since I was about 11 or 12. I can't say that it is the cause of abx, though I did and still do take quite a few of them - asthma, compromised immune system and all sorts of ugliness.

Luckily, of my food restrictions (I have several life threatening food allergies) the lactose intolerance is the mildest. I can eat most cheeses and some yogurt without issue. If I am going to eat something that has a lot of a soft cheese in it, I'll take a Lactaid. I have no idea what would happen if I drank a glass of milk, but I haven't had a taste for drinking milk since I was 3 or 4. Ice cream always causes major issues for me, but luckily I tend to prefer a good sorbet anyway.

Apr 12, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food

What's in your slow cooker today

I was pleasantly surprised - I wasn't sure it would work. Good way to have more of a full meal in the slow cooker without everything tasting the same.

I will definitely be using it again. I have chronic illness, so the slow cooker comes in handy when I'm really exhausted.

Apr 11, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Migraines: Coffee vs. Coke?

I usually have a Dr. Pepper with migraines. I think coffee would probably be a disaster - I really don't have a taste for it, and I'm pretty sure if I tried to drink it during a migraine, it would not stay down for long.

The caffeine in the soda is usually helpful, but I'm currently on day two of the migraine that I woke up with yesterday. At least it isn't as bright out today.

Apr 11, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Supermarket pricing.......can someone explain this to me?

One of the other benefits for BOGO on meat products for supermarkets is that it rarely actually reduces the price by half, since they give you the smaller package for 'free'.

A local chain frequently has BOGO on meat products. I know that they raise the prices then, and have compared them enough that I know which times are good deals and what I am better off buying somewhere else at 'regular' price. Last week they had beef roasts for BOGO, and that is one of the things that is a good deal. I was SO proud of myself when I managed to find two roasts in the meat case that were EXACTLY the same price. I always get the two that are closest, but I had never managed to be exact before.

Winner.

Apr 10, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Have you ever lost your cooking Mojo?

I don't often have a spectacular disaster (I can remember only a two things that I have had to throw away in maybe the past 5 years or so, and one of those was ingredients gone bad.) However, I pride myself on being very good on seasoning food to my family's tastes. I get frustrated and run into issues with this when my seasonal allergies get bad - like now, when the pollen count is approximately eleventy billion. I rely on smell a lot for seasoning things, because I have a decent amount of food allergies as well, and often can't actually taste the things that I make for the rest of the family.

Apr 10, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

What's in your slow cooker today

I made super lazy pork ribs in the slow cooker a few weeks ago - just the ribs layered with some doctored up bottled BBQ sauce and chopped onion.

Ever since then, my stepdaughter has been begging to have them again, and since I had a horrible migraine this morning, it seemed like a good day for a dump and go meal. Cooked for a while, then threw some corn on the cob wrapped in aluminum foil on top of the meat so that it would all be ready at dinner. Managed a pretty decent meal for a 'keep all the curtains closed and don't dare turn any of the lights on' day.

Apr 10, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking
2

Easter dinner, special/fun side dish suggestions?

I don't know if this is interesting, but in my family, you HAVE to have deviled eggs for Easter. You can make a few traditional style for the super picky, and then mix up a couple more creative fillings for some others.

Apr 10, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking
3

When You No Longer Can Eat Some Foods You Love

I do pizzas with alfredo, pesto, or olive oil and garlic, though that may not be an option where you are going.

Hope you can enjoy your treat!

Apr 09, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Your favorite (non-smelly) one pot/one dish recipes?

As long as the weather is decent (not raining) and you don't have roaming neighborhood dogs, I've plugged a slow cooker in out on the patio as well. (Didn't want to smell up the house when my bad gall bladder was making me super nauseated.) If you can't put it outside but have a safe spot in the garage, that might be an option as well - it is at least much easier to air out the garage.

I've had good luck lately cooking meat in the slow cooker (shredded beef or pulled pork for sandwiches, whole chicken, beef roast, pork ribs) and then putting corn on the cob, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil, on top of the meat. The corn cooks nicely without picking up the flavor of the meat, and then I can just add a side salad and some fresh fruit for a meal.

Soup (as long as it isn't dairy based) does well in the slow cooker as well. We are folks that are ok with eating soup during the warmer seasons though, so that might not be as good of a choice depending on your preferences.

Apr 09, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

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

I make a spinach alfredo lasagna that freezes well unbaked. It is my go to when I make a freeze a meal for family and friends with a new baby.

While it isn't necessarily the most simple, it is pretty quick once you have all the ingredients together. It also has the benefit of taking only a little bit more time to double or triple the recipe - when I make it I often make two and freeze one for later because it is barely any more work than making one.

Apr 09, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

LEG OF LAMB - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for April 2014

And a few days after I post this, I find that the local grocery has quite a few now, presumably special for Easter.

Which is good, because the nearest whole foods is at least an hour and a half away, and the nearest Costco is at least two and a half.

Aldi had it in their weekly flyer for a much better price (about $4/pound less) than the local grocery though, so I'll check it out there before buying at the other store. At least around here, the specialty meats at Aldi are often the same brand that the local grocery has.

Apr 09, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Bacon prices rise due to virus killing baby pigs

Agreed. In addition, someone with veterinary experience is probably far more qualified to ensure the health of his or her animals than the average farmer.

Large animal vets are few and far between, even in farming country. I can only think of good consequences of an animal farm owner being a veterinarian.

Apr 09, 2014
jw615 in Food Media & News
1

Anything to look for in Aldis?

I like the cheese selection at the price as well. The one nearby me has great turnover, and so I have had good luck with the produce as well.

I can only remember one time that I have had bad produce from Aldi (a bag of potatoes where I had to throw tons out because of spots). However, that was after I had started buying potatoes only from Aldi because of 3 bad bags in a row from the other nearby grocery. I have bought potatoes since then, and they have been good. I bought quite a few bags of the red potatoes when they had them on sale for St. Patrick's day and they have been very good.

I mostly plan what produce we are going to use for the week based on the Aldi produce specials - none of the groceries around here beat those prices. I got strawberries over the weekend at .89 for a pound container, and the rest of the family claims they have been delicious. (I can't vouch for them, since the current pollen count means that I have no sense of smell and thus, no real sense of taste.)

Apr 09, 2014
jw615 in Chains

Shark Tank promo

I watched the episode last night.

It won't be changing home cooking for me. My thought the entire time was that there might not be waste, but only if I want to make the recipe exactly as they prescribe. I change almost every recipe that I use to my family's tastes - more of this, less of that, etc.

And if I have leftovers of produce, meat, or herbs, that just means that I need to challenge myself to come up with something to use it up. A lot of the times, those 'use stuff up/clean out the fridge' meals end up being something that everyone likes.

I'm clearly not the target audience.

Apr 08, 2014
jw615 in Food Media & News
1

Eating pizza or burger w/ knife and fork

Agreed, 100%.

I eat pizza (and most things) with a knife and a fork because I just really, really have a sensory issue with getting food on my hands.

I don't eat hamburgers, but I do actually eat wings with a knife and a fork, and yes, I know this is weird. After this many years though, I am incredibly efficient at getting all the meat off the bones with just utensils though.

I don't think any of this is pretentious. It would be if I thought that others needed to use a knife and fork. But I don't. Anyone else is free to get as much food on their hands as they want. If you want to eat mashed potatoes with your hands, go for it. (Though, for your sake, I hope that you have fastidious hand washing practices.) It just isn't for me personally.

Apr 08, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food
1

LEG OF LAMB - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for April 2014

Hmm...I made lamb for the first time a couple of days ago and really enjoyed it. I did a small rack though, not a leg.

Where does everyone get their leg of lamb? I live in a medium size Midwestern town, and I don't think I have ever seen it in a grocery. The place where I got the rack just has vacuum packed racks and shanks. I think there is a specialty butcher reasonably close, which I may try.

Apr 04, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Home made butter anyone?

A plastic jar works just as well as a glass jar, as long as it has a well fitting lid.

It is a great way to keep kids busy while you are finishing up the big family Easter or Thanksgiving meal. Then they can serve 'their' butter with the meal.

Apr 04, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Cooking When You are Poor

While we don't need to be on a strict budget, since I don't work, I pretty much consider it my job to spend the family money in the most responsible way possible. It's not always easy, because I'm tired a lot (not working because I'm disabled), but the slow cooker does help a lot. I also sometimes make different meals just for me because I'm allergic to a lot of foods that the rest of the family likes.

I like a challenge. My current 'game' has been going to the grocery store late at night when they markdown the meat, and buying whatever happens to be on markdown that night to cook the next day. I keep a large pantry of staples at home so that I can usually improvise a meal from whatever protein I happen to be able to get. Last week I found a huge package of pork ribs really marked down - I had never made them before. Did them in the slow cooker for lunch, and my step-daughter has decided they are her new favorite food.

Slow cookers are great for making soup out of leftovers, which I do all the time. The only negative is that sometimes my husband or step-daughter really likes the soup and I can't remember exactly what I put into it since it tends to be different every time.

I buy whole chickens and bone-in turkey breasts when they are on sale for a good price. I season and cook in the slow cooker. (no one in my family is a crispy skin fan, so this works for us) The first night we'll have a big dinner of chicken or turkey, mashed or roasted potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. Depending on how my freezer stash is, I might use the carcass to make broth (right now I have 10 cups in the freezer, so this isn't really necessary). I use the leftovers for a ton of things - soup, chicken/turkey salad, lettuce salad with chopped chicken or turkey, creamed chicken over biscuits, various casseroles, quesadillas, quiche, sandwiches. Sometimes I'll mix the chopped meat with some leftover gravy and veg and cover with mashed potatoes for a knock-off shepherds pie. If we get tired of chicken, I'll chop it up and freeze, and then take it out to make something in a week when it can seem 'new' again.

Breakfast for dinner is popular here - I can't eat eggs, but the rest of the family loves scrambles made up with whatever leftovers I have on hand. I'm actually making a specific kind of steak sandwich this weekend because my step-daughter has asked for scrambled eggs with the leftover steak.

I go to Aldi and the local salvage grocery about once a week. I usually pick up produce from Aldi - they have specials each week that are usually great prices. If peppers are on special, we'll have fajitas or pasta with sausage and peppers. If potatoes are on special, we'll have a baked potato night with chili. The salvage grocery has different stuff all the time, and it is fun to see what I can make out of what they have. It is also a great place to get staples for the pantry so that I can easily make meals.

Apr 03, 2014
jw615 in General Topics
1