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What to eat with dips on soft food diet?

Cooked cheese tortellini on a toothpick. Dip and then eat. Can be tasty depending on the dip, but fairly soft and easy to chew, and no crumbs.

Jul 12, 2015
jw615 in Special Diets

Eating stale food

If I find something intended to be crunchy like crackers are stale, I'll sniff and do a quick nibble to make sure it is only a texture issue and doesn't taste or smell off (like if the fat has gone rancid.) If all is good, I spread them on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven for about 5 minutes, give or take, to crisp them up and eat.

Jun 20, 2015
jw615 in General Topics

Seems like I am always buying ______________ when I grocery shop

Potatoes, Onions, Green Onions, Bell Peppers, Bananas, Strawberries, Pineapple, Clementines, Grapes, Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Black Forest Ham, Bread, Whole Chicken, Flank Steak, Milk, Bread/Sandwich Buns

Jun 20, 2015
jw615 in General Topics

big big, fat, over-stuffed fridge/freezer!?!

We have a large upright freezer in our basement.

I store things grouped by shelf and in baskets on shelves. I tend to stock up in late fall/early winter. I have really sensitive lungs and airways, and doctor's orders are that I'm pretty much only allowed out (and with a mask then) for medical appointments when it gets below a certain temperature, so keeping a well stocked freezer and pantry ensures that we can still eat well. For most of the year, I just stock up on sales (mostly meat & frozen vegetables, though I do freeze some cheese for using when shredded). Then I tend to pare it down over the winter when I can't shop as much. Towards mid-late spring, I pick a month (April or May) to pretty much empty the freezer. I'll go down and make sure that anything that escaped to the wrong organizational spot is back in the right place. Then I make a list of everything that I have, and we'll mostly eat from the freezer and the pantry for a month.

I get a fresh start with my freezer, and the bonus is that we save a good chunk of money that month.

Jun 20, 2015
jw615 in General Topics

Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

Right now I have a newborn (7 weeks) and a step daughter. I've been in step-daughter's life for six years, and she is at our house a lot (50/50 custody for the first three years I was around, and primary custody for the past three years.)

We don't do alternative meals here. When I came into my husband and step-daughter's life, she was five and thought she was picky. Her mom told her that she didn't like a lot of things, and she went along with that (as expected, she was five and it was one of her parents.) Additionally, her Mom is a serviceable cook - she's not bad, but she only makes a few things, relies on convenience foods, and only seasons with salt and pepper. I'm not trying to talk badly here, just explain where we were coming from.

I made a TON of things that she thought she wouldn't like, and luckily, now I have a kid that will eat almost anything. In fact, she has switched a little bit too far perhaps - she is very, very attached to my cooking, to the point of saying that she doesn't think that other people can make food as good as I can. Which is a bit ridiculous when it gets to the point that she doesn't want to try the Indian restaurant because she thinks it won't be as good as the curry that I made - I'm guessing theirs is better. (Don't know personally, food allergies.) Also amusing to me is that she now prefers not to eat steak (and she LOVES steak) when her grandfather cooks it, because she wants medium rare and he tends to hit medium well.

Things step-daughter insisted she didn't like when her Dad and I started eating now that she loves now: bread, shrimp, onions (she always asks for EXTRA red onion when I pack her a salad now), jalapeno peppers (loves the corn salsa that I make with fresh jalapenos and pepper jack cheese is her favorite), soups (leftovers from these go for school lunch in a thermos often), tomatoes (I often send a small container of grape tomatoes in her lunch as well), cheesecake, snow peas, and kiwifruit. The only thing that I can think of that she didn't like then and doesn't like now is stuffing, and that's pretty much only her Dad's loss, because I don't like it either, so I don't make it often.

Something that I think helped was pointing out that sometimes I don't prefer things that I have made for dinner together and still eating them. I HATE carrots. Can't stand them at all. Step-daughter knows this, because when we have mixed veggies for dinner, I eat all my carrots first, and she knows that it is because I don't like them, but eat them anyway, because they are healthy and I make them because everyone else likes them.

The only time we really have an alternative meal is sometimes for myself - I have multiple 'swell up and die' food allergies, and while I can substitute most things, there are a few that just don't work without things that I can't have or the substitute is too expensive to use for the whole house.

She tends to have really unusual lunches at school. Kids did make fun of her for awhile, but she let them try things, and now they are generally jealous. They aren't really unusual foods overall - just things that you don't see in a typical kid's lunchbox. Favorites are salads with leftover steak, homemade sausage and cheese on an english muffin with hardboiled eggs on the side, fresh corn salsa and chips, leftover soup, biscuits and gravy (cut up the biscuit and put in a container, send the gravy in a thermos, cold roasted potatoes, leftover lasagna rolls or homemade alfredo, cold quesadillas, etc.)

I'm hoping that the same approach works with the baby when he starts on solids. It took awhile, but step-daughter is willing to try almost anything and eats a quite varied diet.

What trends do you see in the preparation of foods and drinks in restaurants?

For some reason, spoons are the same at my house - I don't know what happens to them, but they disappear, never to be seen again. I do not have the same problem with other utensils.

Every few years, I go to the dollar store and buy a ton of cheap spoons and keep a stash in my pantry so that I can re-up the silverware drawer every once in a while. I have no idea where they go. I'm sure that someday we will buy a different house and maybe when we're packing up, I'll find all the spoons.

Jun 04, 2015
jw615 in General Topics

Ants in kitchen--Four methods have not worked! Help!

I use the Terro prefilled baits - the ones that are in a clear plastic container. I have never, ever had them fail, and have had no luck with any other commercial products. Sometimes they are hard to find locally, so I just order from Amazon now.

They use borax, and obviously, you wouldn't want a toddler to be eating them. But they have always worked super fast for me - within 24-48 hours. I put a few down when I see ants, they swarm the bait (it will be quite disgusting) for about 12 hours or so, and then they leave and never come back. If you could gate off your kitchen for a day or two and treat in there, it might be a good bet.

Cook Your Vegetables to Death - Bon Appétit

Same here. I generally prefer more lightly cooked vegetables, but I vastly prefer green beans that my Mom cooks to death with bacon.

Apr 17, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

I let them know that I had called ahead of time, and kept getting some combination of "The chef doesn't want to come talk to you", "The chef says you can't have that", or "The chef says he doesn't know what is in that." They never told me that the person that I talked to was wrong, just gave me a generally unpleasant attitude. I didn't want to stir up things too much - my seasonal staff were all departing the next day.

I have a pretty large list, but I am always able to find at least 3 or 4 options at most places, sometimes with minor modifications, like leaving the sauce off of a steak or something. I don't expect them to make up a new dish for me or combine the components of three meals to make one.

My mistake might have been explaining that I was hoping to make a reservation for a company dinner before asking about allergies. I ask first now, just in case someone is just humoring me for business.

But you know, if the boss is plunking down several hundred dollars for food and drink (in an extremely low cost of living area), the boss should not have to pick up taco bell afterwards.

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

I'm about 5 years in to a grudge towards a restaurant that was entirely unwilling to accommodate my food allergies at a dinner.

Now, normally, this would be ok. I'd like to think that I am a rational person with allergies. I don't want to have to jab myself, I don't want to leave in an ambulance, I would much rather you tell me that you can't feed me safely, and I will just leave. This is better for everyone.

However, I did the right things here. I called the restaurant before we made reservations, went over my allergy list with a manager, who assured me that they wouldn't have any issue working with me, and that I just needed to ask the server to talk to the manager the night we would be in. Which I tried, and they were pretty much unwilling to discuss anything with me.

If this was just me and family, we would have just left. Unfortunately, I was taking all of my seasonal staff members out for a nice dinner at the end of our season, and even if I thought it was ok to make them go somewhere else, I wasn't going to be able to get into anywhere nice with that large of a group on zero notice. My staff did get to enjoy a nice dinner out for their hard work...I got to eat a baked potato.

Don't be an asshole to the person with the company credit card. I will never, ever go back there.

In case this is helpful to anyone who does not celebrate Passover--Many Passover foods are GF eg cake mixes and well reviewed and on clearance now

Passover is also a great time to find things that are soy free that you have a hard time with otherwise.

Apr 09, 2015
jw615 in Special Diets

Your go to fat?

Usually butter - I have about 25 pounds in my freezer right now.

Mar 24, 2015
jw615 in General Topics

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

I generally only go with what my doc recommends. Right now I'm on a prenatal for the obvious reasons. Aside from that I take a calcium supplement. I'm on a couple meds that inhibit the absorption of calcium and another med that can cause prematurely brittle bones. Will see if that is helping at all when I get another bone density scan after the baby comes.

Other than that, I get what I need from my diet, and my docs think that any other supplementation is unnecessary.

Mar 21, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Bring your shopping cart back where it belongs, please!

I did this for the first time in my life (I'm 31) about three weeks ago, and I felt like a horrible person.

I'm disabled, and the particular store has no cart returns near the disability parking. I have multiple severe lung issues, which is the reason for my parking permit. It was super cold, which is a trigger for me, and while I was putting the bags in my car my mask slipped and I got a huge breath of below zero air - instant constriction, severe asthma attack. I slammed the trunk shut, ditched the cart (I did push the front wheels up onto a small patch of snow next to my car so that it wouldn't roll from wind, and jumped in the car so that I could hook up my portable treatment machine.

I felt so guilty about it that I actually called my Mom, who made me feel a bit better. I will say that I wish that more stores had returns near the disability parking - most of them are quite far from there, and I can't always shop with my husband. I should try asking for help sometimes, as some people have suggested. I'm reluctant to mostly because I get enough disapproving looks (and even comments) from others, since I'm a young person (who looks even younger, I still get carded for white out, which is ridiculous) with an 'invisible' disability.

Mar 20, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Bring your shopping cart back where it belongs, please!

We have a local chain that is similar. They pack your bags of groceries into plastic tubs and then give you a large plastic tag for each tub that matches the label on the tub. They put the tubs on a conveyor belt that carries them outside.

Then you can go out, get into your car and drive to the covered area where the conveyor ends. You hand the tags to the employee there, and they load the bags into your trunk or back seat. You don't even have to get out of the car, it is AMAZING.

This store does it for everyone if you have more groceries than you can easily carry. They actually don't allow carts into the parking lot at all.

Mar 20, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Meal Train for young family

While it isn't dinner, I've made breakfast sandwiches (eggs, cheese, & meat on English muffins) for many different people and they have always been appreciated. Wrap individually in aluminum foil, and they can be tossed in the oven (about 20 minutes thawed, 40 minutes from frozen) and eaten while on the go.

I make them a lot for my husband. He can put one in the oven when he wakes up and by the time he is showered and ready, it is heated through.

Mar 14, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking
1

dutch ovens vs. slow cookers

I would agree with that with the newer slow cookers that cook at a higher temperature. One of my slow cookers is pretty old (about 30 years) and it cooks at a lower temperature, and I definitely choose it for some of my recipes because they turn out better in that particular pot.

Mar 02, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking

dutch ovens vs. slow cookers

Some older slow cookers were designed that way, but newer ones have coils that wrap all the way around up the sides. However, I have a good number of slow cookers, and of the two that have hot spots, they are on the bottom or on the side at the very bottom, so they may get more heat from the bottom than the sides. The sides probably also lose more heat than the bottom, since the bottom of the slow cooker would be insulated by the extra material there.

Mar 02, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking

Breakfast Idea

I use a muffin top/whoopie pie pan for baking eggs to put on English muffins. Perfect size to fit on one. They are shallow, so it wouldn't be super thick, but you could always layer two of the egg 'patties' if you wanted more.

When I bake whole eggs in the muffin top pans, it takes about 15 minutes at 350.

Best thing is that you can make 12 egg patties at one time. I make a bunch of sausage and egg sandwiches at a time, then assemble them and wrap in foil so that my husband can throw one in the oven before he gets in the shower in the morning, and have a hot and portable breakfast for the drive to work.

When Food Is Too Good To Waste, College Kids Pick Up The Scraps

I do lots of shopping at salvage groceries. I live in/near a pretty heavily Amish area in Ohio, and there is one that I go to about 3 or 4 times a month, and 3 or 4 others that I go to on a less frequent, but regular basis.

The amount of money that I save on our food budget by doing this is a little bit ridiculous. Has been a great source for snacks for school for my step-daughter, and the ones around me tend to have a good amount of specialty foods as well.

Mar 02, 2015
jw615 in Food Media & News

The Food Babe Says There’s Beaver Butt in Your Ice Cream

Given how much cheaper other substitutes are, I doubt that there is beaver butt in my ice cream.

However, I suspect that there may be a beaver butt where the Food Babe's brain might be.

You're eating it wrong

My step-daughter is really amused by them. I find some of them interesting, but I wouldn't take any of the advice offered by them. I can't say that I follow any of the 'advice' though - I'm pretty particular, and have long ago figured out what is the best way for me to eat things that I like.

And I may be wrong about this, but it isn't like adding a flour tortilla with refried beans in between is a new idea, right? Hasn't Taco Bell been doing something like that forever, or is that just in my head?

And I don't really feel like my tacos need any more carbs than they already have. I rarely eat tacos with hard shells anyway, because I don't like that they break - I just put all of the taco ingredients on tortilla chips and make nachos. Problem solved for me.

Mar 02, 2015
jw615 in Food Media & News

On peanut allergies and peanut exposures and the joy of Bamba

I wouldn't worry as much if I had one or two food allergies, but my allergist thinks it is a concern since I have pretty much all of the allergic issues - food, drug, and enviro allergies, asthma, and eczema. We'll probably hold off on walnuts for a while, but I want to be able to introduce most other things. While this study only really concerned peanuts, my doc has had me rotating the more common allergens that I don't react to in my diet for several years to keep my exposure up - my food allergies are adult onset, and he is hoping that might help prevent me from developing any more.

Mar 01, 2015
jw615 in Food Media & News

Food storage Russian roulette: what's your riskiest food safety gamble that went okay?

I made a spinach lasagna. Used the leftover ricotta to make toasted sandwiches with ricotta, spinach, mozzarella, and red onion.

As I was making my last sandwich, I noticed that the ricotta had expired over 16 months before then. We had even moved to a new house in between that time - I somehow moved ridiculously old ricotta without noticing, and then used it without noticing either.

The lasagna and the sandwiches were delicious. I ate the last one, even after noticing the date, because at that point I figured that it didn't really make a difference.

Feb 26, 2015
jw615 in General Topics

On peanut allergies and peanut exposures and the joy of Bamba

Research has been tending to lean towards not delaying exposure for a while now. However, as someone with multiple food allergies, I worry that preventing a peanut allergy may just cause the allergic tendency to pop up with something else. Most of my allergens are not common ones (I can eat peanuts, and the only tree nut I avoid is walnut), but the things that I have to avoid will send me to the ER just as fast.

I'm expecting my first biological child in about three months. We're trying to figure out how we will safely expose the baby to the things that I'm allergic to without endangering me.

Feb 26, 2015
jw615 in Food Media & News

Only in America...

So, mildly funny story.

I didn't really learn to cook until I started dating my now husband. One weekend I decided that I would roast a chicken, and this was a big deal to me. (Sidenote: It was delicious.) However, I knew that there was supposed to be a bag of innards inside the chicken. I looked for that bag for probably five whole minutes. I was worried that somehow I had missed it. The whole time the chicken was cooking (and I slow roasted it), I was worried that the meal would be ruined when we cut into it and there was the bag that I couldn't find. Apparently not all chickens come with the insides - which was the case for this chicken.

Also, I'm pretty sure my grandpa would stab someone with a fork for any number of chicken gizzards.

Feb 11, 2015
jw615 in Food Media & News

I eat it my way

I eat chicken wings with a knife and a fork - I just really, really hate getting food on my hands.

Feb 10, 2015
jw615 in General Topics
1

Husband Coming from 3 months stay in China; What to cook .

Pizza was going to be my recommendation as well. I have a friend that lives in China, and one thing that she mentioned was that her kids think that it is a real treat when they have homemade pizza, because the cheese is so expensive.

Feb 10, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking
1

Would you buy your neighbors' home cooked food

Same here. I have severe food allergies, and I have messed up a few times, so why would I trust a stranger not to kill me accidentally.

And someone with the same dietary restrictions? Still no. First of all, with the foods that I'm allergic to, that's super unlikely, but that is not the point. But even within people with the same allergy or other restriction, there are greatly varying comfort zones - one person may be comfortable with a certain level of contamination, while another may not.

This is true even for myself. One of my allergies is soy. We keep soy products in our house, and I cook for my husband and step-daughter with them. This is a risk I feel ok with - I don't react to trace quantities of soy, and even if I do, I've never had a life threatening reaction to soy, just discomfort. Another of my allergies is apple. There are no apple products in our house at all, and barring a miraculous cure, I don't see there ever being any. The last time I was in contact with an apple product, I didn't even eat it, and I still got a ride in an ambulance.

When we moved into our first house (about a year and a half ago) my new neighbors brought us cookies. My husband did eat them, but I didn't touch them. Absolutely not going to pay for something that I don't know is safe to have in my home.

Feb 02, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking During A Storm

And if you don't open the freezer and it is reasonably full, things will stay frozen for a long time. We had a huge windstorm in the fall several years ago, and being that I was living in the middle of nowhere, I didn't get power back at my house for 5 days. Popsicles were still frozen in the original shape, so I didn't worry about anything in there.

However, if you live in the middle of nowhere, you may want to be extra careful about food safety until the power comes back on...because if you're on well water, you get to flush the toilet one time, and things could get ugly if a gastrointestinal illness strikes.

Jan 26, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking
1