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Food and restaurant jokes.

Did you hear about the cannibal who passed his neighbor in the woods?

Sep 13, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

Countertop material: granite vs. solid surface (corian) vs. engineered stone (silestone)

I agree with this. There is something fake looking about silestone to me. It lacks the depth and natural sparkle of granite. The Silestone reps at the stores were sooo obnoxious, too, trying to convince us of all these awful things about granite. I think that is where some of the misinformation about granite comes from.

Sep 09, 2009
Jitterbug in Cookware

Is Organic a Hoax?

Actually, there has been dozens of studies on the topic of nutrients in organic produce, although the results have been mixed. Many studies have shown that organic produce has more nutrients:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

However, a large retrospective study recently said that overall no significant difference could be determined based on an analysis of 162 studies:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

I personally have my suspicions about the legitimacy of the most recent retrospective study - they agency who funded it may have had an agenda and they rejected 2/3 of the previous studies outright for inclusion. So many of these studies are often funded by groups with a conflict of interest.

At any rate, the theory is that organic farming puts more nutrients back into the soil (composting, organic fertilizer), and those nutrients end up back in the fruit or veggie. Whether that is true or not isn't a big deal to me personally, because I buy organic for other reasons.

Sep 09, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

An inspiration from McDonald's in Tokyo ... the "All-American Tamago"!

That is great! Good work on a feat only a chowhounder would accomplish!

Did you try to explain to the staff why you were ordering what you were?

Sep 08, 2009
Jitterbug in Chains

Can you taste dish soap on your dishes?

I agree - I never pre-rinse a dish and my dishes come out very clean.

I heard that the dishsoap grabs on to the food particles and foams up - so that is why you don't want to rinse all the food off the dishes.

I also use vinegar in the rinse-aid compartment.

Sep 08, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

glass jars for the freezer?

Many of the typical Ball and Kerr canning jars are made to be also used in the freezer. They state that the ones with straight sides are the best to freeze in. Avoid using jars with narrower lids and "shoulders".

Sep 08, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

Stating 'Suggested Gratuity' on the Menu - Good Idea? (or not)

I used to go out after work with coworkers who were mostly young. Everyone would try to split out the bill and pay just their tab - but somehow we always came up short. The last one to leave would be stuck with a shortage. I think people would forget some of their items, forget to add in tax, and just be a cheapskate in hopes someone else would over-tip. I got to hate going out with them because I would end up feeling bad for the server and covering for everyone. I prefer just splitting the tab evenly between the number of patrons to help eliminate error, but most young people I dine with don't like to do that.

I like the newer thing I have seen where right under your total on your receipt, there is a little tip chart, saying what your total would be if you tipped 15, 18, or 20 percent. It never says you have to tip that amount but it is just a "handy tip calculator" (hint hint). Since I am math-challenged I actually like it.

Sep 08, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

Minneapolis Scotch

I'm curious if anyone has checked out the scotch selection at Chicago Lake liquors. I've been impressed lately with cost and selection there - but I'm not buying scotch so I can't speak to that in particular.

Sep 08, 2009
Jitterbug in General Midwest Archive

Chowing with the Choo-Choo's (MSP)

I had an experience today that reminded me of this post, so I dug it up again!

Anyway, we were driving NW along highway 55 to visit a county park. Just past Plymouth in Hamel MN was a place called Peg's Countryside Cafe (right on 55), and we stopped there for breakfast. It was a country diner kind of place, and only open for breakfast and lunch. Anyway, there are booths along the window and a train went right by just across 55 while we were dining. Train traffic might be heavier on a regular day - this was on labor day.
http://www.pegscountrysidecafe.com/

Sep 07, 2009
Jitterbug in General Midwest Archive

Ever feel guilty about eating too much at a buffet or all-you-can-eat?

The only time I have ever felt guilty for the reason you are stating is when I hiked the Appalachian Trail, My hiker friends and I would be half starved and then we would reach a town, head for the AYCE places and practically clean them out.

Nowadays I feel guilty at buffets because I overeat and I feel guilty because almost always the food is not as good or as high of qualityt. The food is almost always overly greasy, oversalted, overcooked, filled with cheap ingredients, etc. I'd rather eat out less frequently but at nicer places - better use of my time and money.

Sep 06, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

Should I keep my Le Creuset round oven?

I say keep the LC. You will love it and it will last forever. An LC is an heirloom while a food processor is great but will die and you will get a new one. Bake a loaf of no-knead bread (get the stainless replacement knob first) and enjoy.

Can you ask for a food processor as a gift? I often save the more practical items to ask for as gifts - if I hinted at anyone to gift me an LC they would roll their eyes and tell me to get a knockoff at Target.

The only other thought I have is that you can often find good deals on LC dutch ovens (ebay, Craigslist, factory outlets), so if you paid full price, you might be able to do better than that.

Sep 06, 2009
Jitterbug in Cookware

Best Toaster Oven with the Smallest Countertop Footprint?

Can you do an under counter model? I had a cheap black and decker under-counter model from Target a while back. Nothing fancy but it was small and did the job. I used to keep frozen balls of cookie dough in my freezer and pop one in the toaster oven for a warm cookie treat!

Sep 03, 2009
Jitterbug in Cookware

what food/cooking related gift to give a european (who has everything?!)

Being a Minnesotan I often give visitors Wild Rice (manoomen) that has been canoe harvested, as it tastes different than the farmed "wild rice" they have now. Also, there is a lot of history to the plant and importance to Native Americans, so it does seem to be a particularly American food. Note that the wild-harvested variety needs much less cooking time and is softer.

Sep 01, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

Is Organic a Hoax?

Some of the food that has been given to "feed the hungry" in both this country and overseas is cheap but nutrient poor. Or worse, has made people sick. There are children in the united states who are overweight yet have nutritional deficiencies like rickets and scurvy because they are eating inexpensive junk food. Time Magazine just had a small piece about the low cost per calorie of junk food when compared to produce. And what about the cost of long term health consequences? What about the cost of government subsidies on conventional farming?
I know that the original discussion was about organic only - but my point is that there is a lot more to food than quantity and cheapness when assessing its value.

Aug 31, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

Candy Store (MSP)

Thanks for the replies everyone, Regina's looks like a great place to start. If I go to the fall tour there I will definitely report back.

I don't know how I forgot about Candyland downtown... so many of the places I used to visit downtown are gone and I don't get around there as much.

Aug 31, 2009
Jitterbug in Minneapolis-St. Paul

better ice cream makers than Cuisinart automatic?

Awesome! Glad it is working better for you - there is nothing sadder than a spoiled batch of ice cream.. :)

I usually put the ice cream in a tupperware in the freezer after I make it (where it goes from too soft to too hard!).. but I can never resist eating some of it right after it is mixed, too.

David Leibovitz does have good ice cream making tips online and in his book - it is worth checking out if you haven't done so.

Aug 28, 2009
Jitterbug in Cookware

Candy Store (MSP)

Hi,

I'm looking for good candy stores - the kind that have bulk bins of gummies, jawbreakers, suckers and so on. I'm mostly interested in metro area candy stores, but would love to hear about any really excellent ones in out state Minnesota in case I would happen to travel by them. I would like to take my little boy to candy stores on occasion as a special treat and don't know where any are nowadays..

Thanks!

Aug 27, 2009
Jitterbug in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Anyone have a Kohler Karbon faucet?

You know, we kind of splurged on the faucet when we remodeled our kitchen. It happens to be in a prominent place (sight-line wise) and, well, it just seemed like the right faucet. We did buy it online from some random website for a good discount. I say if you love it and can afford it, go for it. You might want to talk to a plumber you trust about that faucet or Kohler's in general, I found that plumbers can be really opinionated about which faucet brands are built well and are easy to repair. And shop around online (ebay, random websites), as you are almost sure to get a better deal than in a store.

The faucet we bought was a Brizo Venuto, FWIW. http://www.brizo.com/experience/galle...

Aug 22, 2009
Jitterbug in Cookware

18-inch dishwasher recommendations

Yes it does have a stainless interior. It seems quiet to me. To be honest though the dishwasher is one item we didn't research a whole lot when we remodeled our kitchen, and I certainly can't vouch for it against a different brand. There just aren't too many brands to choose from in that size and I think it was on sale at the time.

Aug 22, 2009
Jitterbug in Cookware

Is Organic a Hoax?

I very much believe that there are health and environmental benefits to eating organic foods. But when I say organic I don't necessarily mean "certified organic". There are local producers here that can't afford the official certification but don't use chemicals and pesticides. There are also big "organic" producers that have very deceptive practices and are certified.

It does frustrate me when I hear people say that it is all a big scam to sucker "rich people". My parents grew our food organically because they were poor and growing their own food was cheaper.. organic doesn't have to cost more. Also, if you look at the stats, Americans pay a very small percentage of their income on food compared to other countries. As a culture we just don't place a high value on food but many could afford organic whole food items.

I also don't really expect organic food to taste better, or to have more vitamins. But I do expect it to be more natural and to have less chemical residue. I don't even really care what the studies show - if chemicals are on it, I don't want to eat it!

Aug 21, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

MSP-Fav place for dinner w/ toddler

Lots of good options already have been mentioned - but I'll resurrect the thread and add a few. I have a 2 year old and a 3 month old and we dine out a lot. :)

The Chatterbox in St. Paul (lots of games, kid meals & very kid friendly).
Galactic Pizza (small section of dine in tables, possibility of seeing superheros coming and going)
Sen Yai Sen Lek - they have a kid's menu that is yummy small thai dishes
Chang Mai Thai
La Perla Del Pacifico - servers are soooo kid friendly
The Malt Shop
Bagu (outdoor seating, edamame, sushi on a boat)
Hard Times Cafe (some people would think I'm crazy, but my toddler loves the fish tanks and is treated very well there)
Victors 1959
Jun Bo
Holy Land
Common Roots
One I'm not necessarily proud of is QCumbers - it is barely a step up from Old Country Buffet but if you need a place that is 110% kid friendly, where you can go even if your toddler is having a rotten day, this is the place. No waiting (it is a salad buffet), kids under 3 eat free, lots of items on the salad bar that would please a toddler even on their pickiest day - peas, cottage cheese, goldfish, jello, cherry tomatoes, fresh fruits, noodles etc. (For similar reasons the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays at MOA has provided a quick in and out meal when holiday shopping).

The biggest problem we have eating out at this stage is time - if the service or cooking is really slow it can be hard. For example, we love Ecopolitan and they are super friendly to our babies, but they are awfully slow on toddler-time. And I don't mind slow if it just me and dh, but with kids it is a different story..

Aug 21, 2009
Jitterbug in Minneapolis-St. Paul

What do you make for your baby?

Hi! My baby is now two, but I still remember a lot of what we fed him at that age. From 6 months to around 8 months we mostly did single item purees in the food processor - sweet potato, parsnip, green beans, etc, along with hand-mashed avocado, bananas, roasted pears. I used this web site quite a bit: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

Probably about 8 months we started adding in finger food. Favorites baby food items were: edamame (out of the shell of course), hummus, yogurt, scrambled eggs, fish, and diced fruit like mango. (Note that some pediatricians still advise waiting a year on eggs and dairy - ours did not.

)

I also made couscous bean balls by cooking together couscous and mashed navy beans and adding cheese at the end and shaping it all into loose balls. Sometimes I'd add little bits of veggie in to the balls too. Otherwise, whatever we ate I would give him little bits of.

Aug 21, 2009
Jitterbug in Home Cooking

I Have 4 Egg Yolks

Ice cream!

Aug 20, 2009
Jitterbug in Home Cooking

Most Eco-Friendly Disposable Dishes?

I have tried a couple brands - I used Bare by Solo renewable plates and those were nice. I don't know how elegant I would say they were but they were very sturdy and unbleached. I used another brand - Earthshell - which I didn't like as much. They were brittle at the edges and after some time in my cupboard the outer layer started to peel away. I don't know about wine glasses... I've seen renewable cups but not wine glasses.

I guess it depends too - will there be an opportunity to compost the plates? If not, just try to get ones manufactured in the most sustainable way. That might be bamboo, paper or even recycled plastic. I doubt corn would be the best because of all the pesticides & water used, but who knows. If someone will be composting the plates, look for biodegradable plates. Even Chinets can be home-composted. Some of the fancy compostable glasses though only compost if put into industrial composters.

In Minneapolis there is a company that provides the high end corn based stuff for events and then picks it up to take to an industrial com poster. Might be a thought.

Good luck!

Aug 19, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

Second-hand stainless cookware - good idea?

I have been researching stainless steel cookware and had been leaning toward purchasing some pieces of the Cuisinart Multiclad pro. However, I just came across an advertisement for a used set of All-Clad, and I might go check it out.

Is buying used stainless a good idea? Is there anything in particular I should look for as far as how it has been treated? Will the warranty still stand?

I normally have no reservations about purchasing things second-hand but used All-Clad still costs enough to make me think twice about it. PLUS I will be ending up with some pieces I wasn't intending to buy as it is a set.

Thanks!

Aug 19, 2009
Jitterbug in Cookware

Nut free protein

I was also going to suggest edamame, in or out of their shell. Most kids I know love it.

Aug 17, 2009
Jitterbug in Home Cooking

When you invite company for dinner do you make whatever you want or cater to their special tastes

I mostly cater to the tastes of guests - that is part of the fun of it for me, to make them feel like a special guest, and show that I remember their preferences. I also like the challenge of learning to make gluten free or whatever. The only people I ever try to "push" my tastes on are my immediate family (parents, sister etc.) And that is because with them I feel like I can try to "convert" them and push their boundaries, because that is how we are with each other. In fact, sometimes I am sneakier than that - like the time they said they refused to try turnips and I hid some in the mashed potatoes . :)

Aug 17, 2009
Jitterbug in Not About Food

What candy (chocolate) Bars do you still crave?

Almond Joy
KitKat

Aug 17, 2009
Jitterbug in General Topics

better ice cream makers than Cuisinart automatic?

You've probably already know these troubleshooting tips since it sounds like you have had the mixer for a while. But I just thought I'd give a couple suggestions based on my experience with the Cuisinart just in case it helps.

First, make sure not to skip the step of cooling the mix in the fridge before pouring it into the maker. Second, make sure the arm is NOT turning. The frozen bowl should spin, the arm should be motionless - if it is turning you probably didn't get the top piece on right. It should look like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nBoi4...

Those are the 2 things that have tripped me up before and caused freezing around the sides only. Otherwise I've had all my batches come out very well. It could be that something else is wrong with your mixer though.

Aug 17, 2009
Jitterbug in Cookware

Organic and pesticides

To be organic certified you only have to be inspected for certain chemicals/ practices. Which means that other types of contamination are still possible through handling, processing, animal manure, or the environment. There has been e-coli outbreaks linked to organic food for instance, and areas in California where high levels of rocket fuel were found on organics. It is better to wash them. I think large scale organic farms are more at risk. If you have any small growers near you, call and talk to them about their practices, they are usually happy to discuss.

To be perfectly honest, i've been known to eat a few unwashed rasberries myself, but I'd definitely wash them before serving to guests. Also, I find the gentlest way to wash raspberries is cupped in my hand under the faucet.

Aug 17, 2009
Jitterbug in General Topics