DonShirer's Profile

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Why Don't the Chinese Eat Outside?

No MSG = No More Sunny Gnoshing?

Feb 28, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

Favorite brand of canned beans?

No, but thanks for the recommendation. I'll give them a shot.

Feb 28, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

Favorite brand of canned beans?

Goya for white, pink, kidney, black and cannellini beans.
Bush's or B&M for baked or Boston beans.

Feb 27, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics
1

Oliver's Tavern closed

Mixed signals. Went past there (Essex) at 4pm today and there were no cars in the lot and it did not appear to be plowed clean, but their sign does not say closed. Yelp says it is closed, but their website is still active.
http://www.oliverstavern.com

Wedding restaurant + grounds for 25 people in Southern New England?

You said New England, but I only know CT.

I've driven past Bill Miller's Castle in Branford many times when it was hosting a wedding.
Never eaten there but here's the website
http://www.billmillerscastle.com

You might also want to check out Water's Edge in Westbrook. I have eaten there--their Sunday Brunch is spectacular.
http://www.watersedgeresortandspa.com

The best of Connecticut?

Just saw a very flattering review of Olea in last month's CT Magazine.

Middlesex County CT eats...

Glad you found a few of our Middlesex high points. There are lots more, from Middletown to the shoreline, so come back soon!

Heinz adds Sriracha to Ketchup

Note that Heinz did not say where they were obtaining the Sriracha from. Since Mr. Tran of Huy Fong inexplicably did not copyright the name, many others have produced imitation hot sauces.

Feb 11, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

What is your favorite frozen chicken pot pie?

If you're in CT, the source is Summer Hill Catering, in Madison.

Feb 10, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

Scrambled eggs with ketchup - how strange/common is this?

I occasionally use a few dots of Sriracha (no ketchup) when I need a little buzz at breakfast time.
(Now that Heinz is going to put Sriracha in Ketchup, you can do both K and S at once!)

Feb 10, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

Frozen Dinners aka TV Dinners: Why are they so Popular?

I keep a couple in the freezer for emergency meals when rehearsals and such alter our usual eating times.

I gave up on the usual "TV dinners" featuring tasteless meatloaf, bland chicken or turkey, watery mashed potatoes and truly blah veggies. I can make better pasta dinners in not much more time. A few years ago I discovered the Asian dinners made by Wanchai Ferry and P.F. Chang. They are not bad. More recently, Healthy Choice found a way to steam the veggies and actually make them taste like real food. They call it "Cafe Steamers", and while you really have to add a salad or side dish to get a full meal, they will do by themselves for a quick lunch. Visit the Healthy Choice website for reviews about their many varieties.

Heinz adds Sriracha to Ketchup

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/heinz-g...

(Or I suppose you could just squeeze on a couple drops of the hot stuff yourself)

Feb 10, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

GMO

Here is an interesting article by a respected food reviewer (a chemist) who relates how he was initially taken in by anti-GMO propaganda, and how he changed his mind when he reviewed the scientific evidence.

http://www.examiner.com/article/why-i...

It is an object lesson in how you must be very cautious whom you quote to bolster your arguments.

Feb 10, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics
1

Seed Swapping, I'm hooked!

I participated in tomato and pepper seed swaps for five years, getting a good idea of what types of these plants I liked, and how well they grew in my area. I stopped last year since I decided that I had pretty well picked my favorites, and I don't have enough room to grow a lot of unknown varieties as well.

So if you are interested, go for it. Many internet garden sites have special forums set up for seed swappers. One caution. There is no guarantee that your sources will identify the plants properly, although most are properly diligent. I did identify one plant that was obviously mislabeled (red instead of yellow fruit), but that was out of maybe 50 others that seemed ok.

Feb 09, 2015
DonShirer in Gardening

Where do you buy your seeds?

There was another thread about seeds just a few days ago:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/992276

About halfway through they start talking about where to order seeds.

Feb 07, 2015
DonShirer in Gardening

Pronounce "Gouda", Please.

I have a Dutch grandmother (who never spoke Hollandisch). Maybe that's why I'm in the "ow" camp (or maybe it's my college German instead, which makes me guttural the initial "gh"). Anyway, I think Gooda is rude-a, and Howda makes me think of elephants.

Feb 07, 2015
DonShirer in Cheese

What is your favorite frozen chicken pot pie?

Local brand sold at a nearby Cheese shop. They make 11inch pies as well as the usual smaller size, and they are much MUCH better than Marie Callendars (which I think are fairly good themselves) but about 20% more expensive. Bonus: They also make Turkey dinner pies (yep, with everything in it) and Beef and Mushroom pies.

Feb 07, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

Breakfasts so good you had them again for dinner

Huevos Rancheros. Well, not for dinner, but I made it again the next day for lunch.

Feb 07, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

Make my edamame more exciting!

Just found out today (via a crossword puzzle) that Edamame literaly means
"twig bean".

Does that make it more exciting?

Feb 04, 2015
DonShirer in Home Cooking

The best of Connecticut?

Ibiza's chef M.Romero recently opened Olea at 39 High St. Menu described as "innovative interpretation of Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine".

Lots more good stuff along shoreline, even if it doesn't equal the top restaurants (and prices!) in NYC and Boston.
Add Som Siam (Thai) in Guilford and Old Saybrook. Union League Cafe and Thali in NH. Lobster roll at Lobster Landing in Clinton. Cafe Routier in Westbrook. Liv's Oyster Bar in Old Saybrook.

(P.S. I think Lenny&Joes FishTail (Westbrook or Madison) is better than Clam Castle. )

What's for Dinner? #346 - The Deep Freeze Edition! [through Feb 3, 2015]

Kung Pao chicken and Jasmati rice. Although made with mild instead of hot chilis, to cater to DW's palate. (I put sriracha on mine--so sue me!)

US East Coasters!!

Gas stove (matches back up electric igniter).
Have a pot of pasta in the fridge, and plenty of soups in the pantry.
And most importantly, a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies!

Jan 27, 2015
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Favorite "Seasoning Salt"? Is This Regional?

I tried some. Wish there was less salt and more of the other seasonings.

Jan 17, 2015
DonShirer in General Topics

Kraft Mac&Cheese Variety Explosion

I just noticed that our local grocery started carrying more varieties of Kraft Mac&Cheese Dinners than they used to. I checked the Kraft website and found a dizzying 16 regular dinner varieties, 9 "Bowls", 10 Microwavable varieties, and 7 "Deluxe" dinners. Most of these were new to me, but probably not to most of you.

I won't trouble you with a complete listing, but the regular dinner varieties are:
Original (a.k.a. The Cheesiest), Buffalo Cheddar, Southwest Chipotle,
Garlic & Herb Alfredo, Three Cheese Jalapeño, Spirals, Cheddar Explosion,
Thick ‘nl Creamy, Three Cheese, White Cheddar, Dragon 2 Shapes, SpongeBob Shapes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shapes, with 50% Whole Grain, Organic Cheddar, and Organic White Cheddar. Whew!

Now while I usually make my own Mac&Cheese, I do keep a Kraft Dinner box on the pantry shelf for occasions when when I'm out of suitable cheese or pasta (translation: or too lazy to fix my own). I tried the Buffalo Chicken and found it was spicier than the original and used thicker macaroni. It would take me forever to try all of their varieties (even if I skipped the comic shapes) so I wondered if anyone had tried the others and found them better or worse than "the original".

Jan 15, 2015
DonShirer in Cheese

chilli

Sounds ok except for the bean liquid. Often that is sort of slimy, so it might be a good idea to rinse off the beans before adding.

Jan 13, 2015
DonShirer in Home Cooking
1

Sushi in CT--let's talk about our favorite places

I'm not a Sushi lover, but one of my sons is. On a recent visit from AZ he tried several shoreline Japanese restaurants and thought that Hanami (Clinton) was the best he'd seen here. (He didn't visit the Branford location.)

Washed Rind Cheeses - Cheese of the Month (November 2013)

Just tried some Quader de Cavra, a washed rind, tallegio style goat cheese made by Carozzi in Lomarday, Italy. I am not a big fan of many washed rind cheeses, but this one is much better than average. Not very stinky, either. Comes in a rectangular slab with orange rind. Thought it was definitely worth adding to this old thread.

Jan 07, 2015
DonShirer in Cheese

What are the best kind of ground meats for hamburgers?

My wife buys either ground grass-fed beef or ground buffalo meat. I can't really tell much difference, but I like the name "BisonBurgers".

Dec 29, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

In your seasonal culinary garden, what do you grow EVERY year?

In CT and a space a bit smaller than yours:
Staples: Tomatoes (6 kinds), Peppers (8 kinds), Peas(snap and snow)
Leafs: Lettuce (8 kinds), Kale, Chard, Cress, Pak Choi, Tatsoi,Spinach
Vines: Cukes (2), Summer Squash (2), Winter Squash (3),PoleBeans(3)
Misc: Radish(2), Garlic(2), Carrots(2) Broccoli,EggPlant, Beets(2)
Herbs:Basil Arugula,Mizuna, (I keep trying Cilantro with minimal success!)
I try at least one new thing every year. This year it was fennel.

Yes, I too have troubles with rabbits and chipmunks. Best remedy seems to be to grow as much as possible vertically out of their reach.

Dec 26, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition [through December 29, 2014]

Garlic-rubbed pork roast, mashed gold potatoes, roasted parmesan asparagus. Son's family called later; they were having an almost identical meal!