Barbara76137's Profile

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Recent cooking fails?

Monday night had company for dinner, which is very rare. I just thought ahi tuna & asparagus on the grill would be simple & quick along with a wild rice pilaf with mushrooms & shallots.

I overloaded my little rice cooker and so it turned into this bubbling, oozing mess on my kitchen counter. The cooker also didn't automatically turn off so when I finally took the lid off the rice was total mush.

In the meantime, a storm complete with high winds, rain & hail blew in (gotta love north TX) as I was trying to light the grill outside, and I overcooked both the fish and asparagus.

My guests were too busy drinking vodka/tonics (oh, and I was trying to refill their drinks as I was trying to run back & forth outside to the grill) to even notice the storm until one said 'gee, is it raining?' I'm soaking wet and my hair is plastered all over my face from the wind & rain!

The meal was edible, but not up to my standards. They polished off everything!!!

Apr 10, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking
1

Recent cooking fails?

Just think....what other meal have you ever made where you can eat AND floss at the same time?

Apr 10, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking
1

Cooking with Bourbon/JD

Yes! I had some grilled salmon in a JD marinade many years ago and really liked it. I don't drink bourbon either but bf drinks JD so I always have a bottle on hand for him.

Mar 24, 2014
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Fort Worth grocery cheapskates (and frugal epicureans)

Sprouts has "double ad Wednesdays" where you can take advantage of two weeks of specials.

I keep watching for their 25% off all bulk food sale which is a few times a year, but haven't seen it lately. That's when I buy pine nuts since they are normally so expensive. Like you, I also take advantage of the bulk foods since I can buy quantities that suit my needs. I have a wide variety of sizes & shapes of glass jars that I use for all my bulk food purchases. I use "blackboard paint" on the jars so I can write with chalk what's inside.

Mar 13, 2014
Barbara76137 in Dallas - Fort Worth

Fort Worth grocery cheapskates (and frugal epicureans)

When I used to work in the Stockyards I had very good luck with some of the produce at Fiesta. Definitely anything used in Hispanic food like tomatillos, peppers, etc. were better quality & price than anywhere else.

I'm surprised no one else mentioned Sprouts. There is a new one on Denton Highway in Keller that I've been going to when I'm in the area and the produce is excellent and reasonably priced. There is also another one at Hulen & 20 that is also good. You'll also love their bulk foods.

Mar 12, 2014
Barbara76137 in Dallas - Fort Worth

What's for Dinner #259 - the I'm Sick of Turkey By Now Edition [through December 7, 2013]

A warm, soupy bran mash with lots of carrots & apples......Oh, that's for my horses since it is below freezing here in North Texas and we've have a horrible sleet/ice storm.

As for me, I think lasagna and a nice glass of red wine sounds good tonight. It was 17 degrees last night and won't make it past freezing until sometime tomorrow afternoon. I'm so thankful that my fridge & freezer (as well as wine rack) are very well-stocked. I can walk to work and don't have to be anywhere else anytime soon.

Dec 07, 2013
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking
1

Do you cook too much?

I was looking at my freezer and thinking the same thing a few days ago, but there is an ice storm heading here in the next 24-48 hours and so I'm thankful for being prepared. Tonight I'll just make sure I have fresh vegetables, fruits & cat food...and plenty of wine :)

I live alone and don't have anyone to cook for, so I've finally figured out how to portion frozen meals into 2 or 3 servings. I love popping an uncooked meatloaf or lasagna into the oven for a very easy dinner with little cleanup. Soups & chilis are great for lunch during the work week, and muffins are great for breakfast. All of these things are so convenient coming out of my freezer. I'll get on a roll when ingredients are on sale and cook a bunch of stuff in advance.

So, to answer your initial question, you are not alone!

Dec 04, 2013
Barbara76137 in General Topics

Dining with someone grown, but immature...

My boyfriend pointed this out to me when a person at the table next to us was doing this. He's been in law enforcement for years and can pick scam artists pretty well!

Nov 27, 2013
Barbara76137 in Not About Food
1

Countdown to T-day: What's working? What are you doing that's new?

The relish is the refrigerated one. I tasted it last week & decided it was easier than making cranberries from scratch, since I'd never made them before. This was when I thought BF would be here.

I've spent many a holiday alone, but I was really looking forward to spending it with him. So, I'm disappointed that plans changed. But he has it worse, since he will be at his daughter's inlaws and his ex will also be there. Gotta love holidays!

Nov 27, 2013
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Dining with someone grown, but immature...

I had a friend who's girlfriend was like that. 30-something years old but acted more like a 3 year old. She always had something to complain about when we'd go out to eat, and if she couldn't find anything wrong with HER meal, then she'd find a way to complain about one of ours! It was extremely embarrassing, to say the least.

I finally quit eating out with them, and ultimately she destroyed my friendship with her boyfriend whom I had known for years before she ever entered the picture.

My boyfriend has a theory that she did the complaining to always get something free or discounted. I think he's right, that it is a scam to get out of paying what is owed when the food is perfectly acceptable. She had a loud mouth, and I think the waitstaff would often comp her just to shut her up.

Nov 27, 2013
Barbara76137 in Not About Food

FN Thanksgiving Live

Did you notice that they didn't really answer any of the questions?

Oh, and the little kid who won the Junior Chef deal (can't remember the name of the show) was beyond obnoxious when he was reading his "tip"!

Nov 27, 2013
Barbara76137 in Food Media & News
1

Countdown to T-day: What's working? What are you doing that's new?

Well, it's back to "Thanksgiving for One" here, since boyfriend can't make it to N. Texas. Poor guy!

So, here's my menu:

Fennel & orange salad
Boneless stuffed turkey thigh
Sweet potato puree with chili en adobo
Green beans w/mushrooms, shallots & pancetta
Roasted fennel
Cranberry/orange relish from Trader Joe's

To those of you under the weather, I hope you feel better by tomorrow!

Nov 27, 2013
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Your Thanksgiving 2013 Menus

I don't have a slow cooker either, but could I reheat them in my rice cooker with the "warm" setting?

Nov 25, 2013
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Need Specific Trader Joe's Input

The pancetta is also a great deal since it is much cheaper than anywhere else.

Nov 23, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - November 2013 [Old]

I was going to buy the cranberries yesterday but they were demoing the cranberry/orange relish. I'm not a big fan of cranberries with turkey, but the relish was excellent and now I have one less thing to worry about on Thanksgiving.

Nov 23, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains

How's T-day coming? What have you prepped?

I've finally got my "Thanksgiving for One" perfected, but last night I found out my boyfriend can spend Thanksgiving with me. Now that changes everything since I'm sure he will be expecting all the traditional menu items. I'm thinking of deboning & stuffing a turkey breast to go with the turkey thigh I already bought.

Nov 21, 2013
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

"My Grandmother's Ravioli"

I appreciate his respect for these people.

Nov 21, 2013
Barbara76137 in Food Media & News
1

Freezer Management

I love my side by side. I also store things in "zones". Breads go on first shelf, seafood on second, poultry on third, convenience foods on fourth. The last shelf and the bottom drawer are for homemade, individual portions of soups, chilis and other good stuff. I lay zip lock bags flat to freeze, so they can easily stand up and it is almost like flipping through books when I'm looking for a particular item. I've also just started using the disposable foil "half pans" with the cardboard/foil top for things like meatloaf, lasagna or casseroles. I write both frozen & thawed cooking instructions complete with the oven temp/covered/uncovered/resting time so I don't have to think about it.
I rotate everything so I use the oldest things first.

Nov 20, 2013
Barbara76137 in General Topics

Anyone else giving up their Supermarkets for Costco/Trader Joe's. .

I do the same as you do, and have for years. Costco, Trader Joe's & Sprouts are where I shop. Since moving to the "sticks" here in North Texas, the local supermarket is horrible. The selection is awful and the veggies/produce is half rotten.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Sprouts, imagine a scaled down version of Whole Foods without the high prices. They carry vitamins, bulk foods, fresh meat, seafood & poultry at excellent prices, and a great selection of produce at great prices. A lot of their stuff is organic.

Sprouts fans, did I miss anything?

Nov 19, 2013
Barbara76137 in General Topics
1

Anyone else giving up their Supermarkets for Costco/Trader Joe's. .

I'm not a big fan of WalMart, but a new one opened near me (well, 25 minutes away) and their rotisserie chickens for $4.98 are excellent! Stopped in at 6:30PM and they were just packaging a fresh batch.

Nov 19, 2013
Barbara76137 in General Topics

Odd/Nontraditional Sushi Rolls?

Here's one I just found on a menu in Fort Worth, TX:

Tempura Pumpkin Roll
A new veggie roll! A delicious roll of tempura pumpkin, cream cheese, topped with avocado & sweet soy glaze

ICK!!!!! I hope it's just on the menu for Thanksgiving!

Nov 19, 2013
Barbara76137 in General Topics

Need Specific Trader Joe's Input

For about 10 weeks last year I had to be in a motel 3-4 days a week and Trader Joe's was a lifesaver! All I had was a fridge & microwave, but between any of their fresh salads and fresh entrees such as the rosemary chicken with rice, it made life bearable.

I like their pizzas, especially the arugula one, and also their calzones. The selection of cheeses with either crackers or the kalamata bread is also a nice light meal. I wasn't too fond of any of the seafood frozen entrees, however. The gnocchi w/gorgonzola sauce is good, I fry up a little of these diced pancetta and add it to the sauce.

Nov 19, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains

No Sundried Tomatoes at Costco??

I saw them in the Frisco, TX store about a week ago with the dreaded asterisk on the sign. I should have bought a jar but it wasn't in my budget.

Nov 17, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains

How far would you drive to Trader Joe's?

When I lived in Memphis, TN I would drive to St. Louis, MO to the closest TJ's. That was 4 1/2 hours each way. I'd do this about once a month, and I'd also hit "The Hill", which is the Italian area of St. Louis.

Here in TX the closest one is about 30 miles away, but that is where any decent shopping is. I have Friday afternoons off, so I make a big loop of Costco, TJ's & Sprouts, most of the time I don't have to go to all three. I miss all the weekend crowds and traffic as well.

Nov 17, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - November 2013 [Old]

yes, I have a pizza stone. What I've discovered that works best is I start the pizza on the pizza stone and then move it to the rack. That seems to give me the crisp crust I like.

Nov 17, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains

are ya thrifty, frugal, or almost CHEAP!?!

Yep, same boat. I shop at Sprouts and I always keep my eyes peeled for the red "Manager's Special" stickers. I think sometimes they have sliced too much turkey or cheese, or maybe made too much of a particular salad or ground meat. I've also found great deals on packages of chicken parts with a "buy by" date a day or two away. All of these are marked down quite a bit so I really get some great bargains. I can repackage and freeze these so I always have a great selection.

Nov 13, 2013
Barbara76137 in Home Cooking

Should I get a Costco membership?

It is Scoop Away brand, & I've been using it for years. I recently had to temporarily introduce a 3rd cat to the household, and panicked when I couldn't find it! Turns out they had it on a center display away from the rest of the pet things. I think it is $11.99 a bag, so that is pretty good. It doesn't have an overpowering scent and the cats all seem to like it.

Nov 13, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains

Should I get a Costco membership?

I've been a member since 1989 and have lived alone all that time. My card definitely pays for itself. Here are a few things I always buy there:

Coffee (love the Columbian Supremo)
Kitty Litter (w/3 cats 42 lbs. goes fast)
Kirkland EVOO
10 lb. organic carrots (horses gotta eat too! )
Toilet Paper/Paper Towels/cleaning supplies
cheeses (price on goat cheese is great)

Tires & gas used to be cheaper, but here in TX I've had better luck elsewhere.

Got glasses frames much cheaper than my optometrist & Costco had a bigger selection, so my optometrist wasn't offended I didn't get frames from him.

Nov 12, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains

Should I get a Costco membership?

'If you time your trips right, you can get a full lunch out of the samples they always seem to have.'

Ha ha!!! Many a Friday afternoon I leave my office at noon and do "the Costco Buffet". Even if I don't buy that particular item that day, I still know if it is something I'll get on a future visit.

Nov 12, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains
1

Should I get a Costco membership?

Check your refrigerator. I thought the same thing until I bought a "new to me" 23 cubic ft. one last year. My produce lasts 3 times as long as in the old one.

Nov 12, 2013
Barbara76137 in Chains