jw615's Profile

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Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

I think Thanksgiving a lot.

My family (husband and step-daughter) really love the traditional Thanksgiving meal, so I make smaller versions often throughout the year. Roasted turkey breast or a small turkey. Some combination of mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, steamed green beans, rolls, cranberry salad (I buy fresh and then freeze so that I have them year round), pie or some other dessert.

Hoping to be able to have a larger Thanksgiving at our house this year - we moved into our first house Thanksgiving weekend last year, and I finally have a big enough kitchen that we can comfortably have more people over. I was capable of fixing huge dinners in my last kitchen, but there really was no where for people to eat.

Sep 18, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures

I occasionally need an Arby's roast beef as well - my dad used to get them for me when I was a kid. No shake for me though - not a milkshake fan at all.

Sep 18, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

The ugliest shepherd's pie you've ever seen....

So I don't think my shepherd's pie is necessarily the most attractive food item I make (not piping my potatoes into pretty designs with a pastry bag), but it tastes good and looks worlds better than that.

And that gelatinous mass on top of it all is the reason that you never microwave gravy. Reheating it in a pan on the stove works. Microwave...ugh.

Sep 18, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Moving a fridge full of food... HELP?!

I would do the same - secure the freezer door and leave the frozen food there, and do the rest in coolers. I lost power for 6 days once, and didn't open the freezer at all. Once the power kicked back on, I still had popsicles frozen in the original shapes.

When we moved about a year ago, we had about the same length of drive, and I did everything in coolers (we weren't moving our appliances). Worked out well. I know from other posts that you have more medical issues than me, but I am on immune suppressants, so I use a fair degree of caution.

Sep 16, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Power Outage - FRidge/Freezer - what to keep ...if anything

If you did not open it at all, most things are probably just fine.

Several years ago, I lost power in my house for 6 days after a massive windstorm. I did not open the refrigerator or the freezer the entire time. When the power came back on, I kept everything in the freezer - I even had popsicles still frozen in their original shapes.

Cheese and most things in the fridge were fine. I don't drink milk, so didn't have any. I did throw out the fresh meat that I had - I had it for a few days before the power went out anyway, so I wasn't going to eat it after iffy refrigeration and over a week and a half past buying.

Sep 16, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious

I have a life threatening apple allergy now, but I remember when I was in 2th grade, one of our big projects was we did a study on apples and had a tasting of different varieties of apples. This would have been around 1990 or so.

Everyone voted on their favorite variety, and we made a chart. The favorite of the class, by far, was a Winesap apple, picked from the tree in my backyard.

Sep 14, 2014
jw615 in Food Media & News

Tackling the dreaded Beef wellington. What's your preference on cut?

Good luck!

I agree with what everyone else said - beef wellington is rather easy, just that lots of folks hype it up as if it is difficult. The first time I made it I felt like a total badass, and I let my husband believe that it is difficult so he thinks that it is special, but it really isn't.

I usually do filet. With sides, I just get a larger-ish filet steak and split that between the two of us, and it is always plenty.

Sep 11, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Cooking for one with limited left overs

A loaf pan is perfect - I often make up several lasagnas in foil loaf pans and then freeze. When baked up they taste fresh and it is just enough for my husband and I.

My little brother got his first apartment recently and struggles with cooking sometimes. (He likes to make things and has decent skills, but has issues with depression.) Planning to make several for him the next time I'm home.

Sep 11, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Does it HAVE to be "pretty"?!?

I buy tons of produce and dry goods from the local 'bent and dent' groceries. Doesn't have to be pretty for me - just needs to taste good.

Sep 05, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Stand mixer - worth having?

I love mine for mashed potatoes, but I can see where it wouldn't be as useful for small quantities. We're only a household of three, but my husband always eats FAR too many mashed potatoes, and I like to have leftovers to whip up shepherd's pie, so I usually make quite a few at a time.

Sep 05, 2014
jw615 in Cookware

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

This may be just a difference in norms based on area or something, but I would not consider someone who contacts the restaurant or caterer to be out of line. I have done it myself several times (for work functions, weddings, other engagements). The few times that I haven't, and either brought my own food or didn't eat, I have been told by the staff to call in advance in the future, and they would make sure to have something.

I have a ton of dietary restrictions, but typically these can be managed with a simple change. I've never had a caterer or facility refuse to speak with me about it, and they usually offer WAY more accommodation than I end up asking for - typically my meal can be made safe by leaving the sauce off the protein and subbing a baked potato for the side. When going to personal events, I always offered to pay the cost if there was any charge for the substitution.

I go to a lot of events and don't eat, and people do notice - it makes them uncomfortable often. If a five minute conversation and a simple substitution can make things more comfortable, I'm up for that.

Of course, I always have emergency food with me. It would be dumb not to - I have life threatening allergies and take meds that would make things REAL interesting on an empty stomach. But whenever I have resorted to my emergency supplies, I have been told by the staff that they would have preferred to be able to accommodate me.

Sep 05, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

I wouldn't call myself 'pro-bread', more that 'bread, like most other things, is fine in moderation'.

Wheat is hardly the source or all modern illnesses. And given the long list of other foods that I have to avoid due to allergies and other issues, I'm not taking something else out of my diet just because it is the current fad.

Sep 05, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

When do you send back a steak for being under/over cooked?

I wish I had the same issue. I eat a lot of steak when dining out, because I have allergies, and a steak is generally a safe option for my allergies. Maybe it's my luck, but I order medium rare, and hardly ever have one come out under, but frequently come out over.

I will accept medium, but medium-well or beyond is just not ok with me. Rare is workable for me, depending upon how rare. At home I probably cook things on the rare side of medium rare, but I don't like cold in the middle.

Sep 03, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

PUMPKIN MANIA creep

Made cinnamon swirl pumpkin bars today - went over very well with the family.

I don't like a lot of the commercial pumpkin products. I am however, hoping that the early return of other seasonal stuff will mean that I can find some Starburst candy corn in stores soon. I know it is unhoundish, but I would cut a bitch for some Starburst candy corn.

Sep 01, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

can I pasteurize my raw milk icecream that made me sick and rechurn?

Why do you think that this is even remotely a good idea?

Food that makes you sick gets discarded. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

What makes you sick or react that you love?

I've developed a number of adult onset food allergies (of the swell up and die type), so I've had to give up a number of things. On a positive note, this has really improved my cooking skills, and I can make a safe version of almost anything that I want.

However, when I was younger, we lived in a rural area, and would go to the city to go to the shopping mall to get clothes twice a year. My mom and I would always get a caramel apple with peanuts from one of the stores in the mall, bring it home, and then share it for dinner that night. I really, really wish that I could have a caramel apple. (My mom still loves them, and I send her some from a mail order company for most holidays.) But the last time I touched apples, I got an Epi-Pen and a ride in an ambulance, so it is just not happening.

Aug 21, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Mashed potatoes, heated milk question

I never heat the milk when I make mashed potatoes.

Cook the potatoes, throw them in the stand mixer, add what I feel like that day (seasoning, milk, butter, sour cream, cream cheese), and let the mixer do the magic.

I like them and they are consistently good. Made some on Tuesday, and both my step-daughter and husband had thirds. So much for leftovers to make a shepherd's pie.

Aug 21, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

What do you eat when you don't know what you want?

Hot or grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Aug 17, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Would you give up cooking or eating?

I'd give up eating. Don't even have to think about it much.

This is influenced by the fact that I love cooking, and that I have a number of medical issues that would be greatly improved if I didn't have to eat. If I didn't eat, I wouldn't have to worry nearly as much about having an EpiPen with me.

Aug 14, 2014
jw615 in General Topics
1

What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

I use my slow cookers a ton, but I think that one of the bigger problems with this would be that the things that slow cookers tend to do well also tend to result in some leftovers, which without refrigeration, would just end up wasted.

Aug 08, 2014
jw615 in Food Media & News

"Dirty" recipes that are crowd pleasers

My family and younger brother LOVE this stuff. I don't get it, but it is easy to make, and I don't have to eat it, so...

Aug 06, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

"Back" button, still not working right.

Agree - this is super obnoxious for me, and is an issue more often than not. I typically have to click multiple times.

I'm using firefox, and don't have any add-ons like adblock or the like running.

Aug 06, 2014
jw615 in Site Talk

Have you ever sent steak back because it had too much gristle?

I've never returned a steak because of gristle, though I have returned them for overcooking.

I eat a lot of steak at restaurants. I have a number of pretty nasty food allergies, so often times, one of the only things that I can have at a restaurant is a grilled steak and a baked potato. Maybe I'm tolerant, but I don't typically mind having to trim a bit off if there is some gristle - I've never had a steak that had more inedible parts than edible.

Aug 06, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food

About Chow's Bananas Foster Milkshake

When I get home from my summer job (assistant director at a summer camp) this will be happening.

Husband and I will have milkshakes and lay on the couch in the air conditioning.

Aug 02, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking
1

"Should the Government Force Food-Stamp Users to Eat Better?"

I'm sort of glad that you can buy processed foods with food stamps.

My step-daughter lives with us most of the time, with limited visitation with her mother. Mom gets food stamps, and I know she's not buying what most of us consider to be healthy whole foods. Mom is also not great at making dinner - it is not uncommon for her to drop her off from a weekly visitation night at 9:30 and not have served dinner.

During the summer, we have to do a few weeks of extended visitation, which pretty much makes me so anxious that I want to throw up the whole time. But because I know that my stepdaughter's mom buys the prepared stuff, at least I know that daughter is eating. We actually specifically bought some of the stuff that mom buys to teach step-daughter to make it. We have a night every few weeks where we do 'fend for yourself' for dinner, and teach her to read the directions and make things that Mom commonly has: easy mac, frozen dinners, pizza rolls, those shelf stable hormel meals and the like. At least I know that there are things that she can fix when her Mom is not being awesome.

Jun 03, 2014
jw615 in Food Media & News
2

Poor man's slow cooker?

If you're going to go for a slow cooker, I would recommend trying to find an older one at a thrift store. The newer ones cook hotter than the older units did, and this really makes a difference for some things that I want to make. I got a great slow cooker at a thrift store that is almost as old as I am (I'm 30). It was still in the box and even had all the original manuals and such. It has a removable crock, and a much better low and high temperature than my more modern ones.

I use my slow cooker all the time, but you do have to be careful with slow cooker recipes and look for the good ones. I find that in general, the less ingredients a slow cooker recipe has, the more likely it will be good.

May 24, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking
1

Anyone else disgusted with dogs in restaurants?

Even if it isn't an anaphylactic reactions, allergens can trigger asthma attacks, which can be deadly.

May 22, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food
1

Anyone else disgusted with dogs in restaurants?

The problem with cat allergies is that the most common cat allergen is so small in particle size that it doesn't weigh enough to settle out of the air. So if you have any ventilation in your house, it doesn't matter where in the house the pet is, it all gets circulated around.

I really wish this wasn't the case. I really feel like I am a cat person, and would love one, but my allergies are too severe.

How germ phobic are you?

I dropped a bowl of homemade alfredo face down on the couch yesterday. It was all that was left of the sauce and pasta, and I seriously considered scraping it up and eating it.

I didn't. Not really for the sake of germs, but more because I have severe food allergies and we do have some of the foods that I react to in the house. Didn't want residue sending me into anaphylaxis.

May 21, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Liftlab's Anti-tremor spoon

Hopefully it works for you. I may have to try it - I'm at 5-6 nebs on a good day, so anything that would help with the tremors would be nice.

May 20, 2014
jw615 in Food Media & News