DonShirer's Profile

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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!

1 day ago
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


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

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!

Did Santa bring you any new cooking devices, gadgets, etc?

Gave my wife a rotary cheese grater (we had a really hard brick of Parmesan in the fridge). She was definitely not impressed, but her spirits lifted considerably when she read the fine print: it's also good for grating chocolate.

Dec 26, 2014
DonShirer in Cookware

Graeter's Ice Cream...Anyone tried it?

Had it many times when visiting relatives in Columbus. Greater's is great, but I've had just as good in my own area. Have you researched good ice cream suppliers in your state?

Dec 24, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Cheapest Heat (as in chili preppers/hot sauces)?

I prefer not to use the extremely hot chilis, since it takes so little of them to reach my caliente limit. It is easier to use more of the medium hot chilis and not risk an overdose!

Dec 21, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

A truly new cooking technique from Japan

Talk about fast food!

Dec 21, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Ghirardelli Brownie Mix

They also make a "dark chocolate" brownie mix. Get both. Have a taste test!

Dec 19, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Thai Cookbook Suggestions

I bought a copy of Nancie McDermott's Quick & Easy Thai last year because it sounded like it was aimed at my cooking level. Unfortunately it does not have roti in the index.

Dec 11, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

America's 25 Favorite Home Cooked Dishes

Are you talking about sautéed chicken or deep fat frying? I don't do deep frying at home, but have never had any trouble with sautéing.

Dec 10, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

your favourite slow cooker recipes, please

If you want a nice slow cooker cookbook, Phyllis Good's slow cooker version of her "Fix It and Forget It" series has some nice-looking (and temptingly illustrated) recipes.

Dec 08, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Help me order a Cuban sandwich

I'm following the Cuban thread with interest, but you may want to reconsider your comment about refrigerators in WWII (yes, I was around then). We lived in a medium-sized city in the '30's, and everyone I knew had "fridges". In 1940 we moved to a small village, and while we had an icebox until the end of the war, most of our neighbors had refrigerators. So there was no problem storing either mayo or eggs (and we had those from our own chickens and ducks).

The mayo during WWII was nasty stuff that looked like lard until you colored it (this was the kids job), evidently because of dairy lobby politics.

Dec 08, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

Scones--first time I tried them.
Yummy with tea and strawberry preserves.

Dec 07, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Tapas on the Shoreline!

The old New Deal Steakhouse on Rt. 1 in Westbrook has been replaced by Bistro, a Mediterranean/Tapas Bar. DW is excited so I hope to report on it soon.


General Tso's Chicken = Orange Chicken?

Definitely different dishes.

(And have you noticed the imitations in the frozen food aisle?
General Chang's Chicken
General Paul's Chicken
by you know who. Good try but no cigar.)

Dec 06, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Macaroni & Cheese in a crockpot... will this work?

I happened to take Phyllis Good's book of slow cooker recipes out of the library this week. She throws everything, uncooked mac, cheese, eval. milk, milk, eggs, seasonings, in the pot and cooks it on low for 3-4 hr. (If you want a crusty top she cooks it for 4hr 15 min, then uncovers the pot and cooks for an additional 15 min.) Looks like that might fit into your time frame. I won't be able to try this out until next week, so I can't tell you yet how it turned out.

Dec 05, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

DEVILED EGGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014)

And here are some more...

17 Deviled Egg Recipes

6 Ways to love Deviled Eggs

Dec 03, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Your explaining brewing tea wrong..."Your doing it wrong"

Well...I don't know to whom you were directing your comment, but most water does contain dissolved oxygen (DO). It is essential to aquatic life. The amount varies, with moving streams containing more than stagnant water. Power plants and other industries using large quantities of water actually try to get rid of the DO because it corrodes valves and other instruments. Boiling should evaporate some of the DO, but I don't know how much. (Caveat: I'm relying on my memory of a college chemistry class taken MANY years ago, and would welcome a chemist or hydrologist giving us the straight dope.)

Here is one online reference:

Dec 01, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Best inexpensive dinner party main course for foodies?

On a recent episode of Masterchef Junior, one of the kids made
"Salmon with asparagus 5 ways" (or maybe 4 ways, I don't remember).
Anyway, it looked awesome enough to impress "foodies" of whatever stripe.

Nov 30, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Brie: Cheese of the Month (November 2014)

A cheese shop a few towns over just announced in their newsletter that they have some goat brie, a triple-créme from Woolwich dairy in Ontario Canada. I won't have a chance to visit them before December, but I thought I might let you know of this product before this COM takes its place on the shelf of forgotten posts.

Nov 24, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese

Brie: Cheese of the Month (November 2014)

Just found some old notes about cheese. Several years ago I picked up some Baby Belletoile (French triple creme brie) from Stew Leonard's at a ridiculously low price. If they still have it, grab some.

Nov 20, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese

Mr. Jalepeno opens in Old Saybrook

Mr. Jalepeno has opened at 1232 Boston Post Rd. in a location that housed a former sports bar (and before that an Italian restaurant). It is competing with two other Mexican restaurants in the vicinity. Reviews on other sites have been mixed.

Cuisines which you like, but not all the time.

With so many choices available, I would get really bored eating any one cuisine more than twice a week.

Nov 19, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Anyone else on Planet who doesn't like Fruit??

I dimly remember a book on human evolution I read several decades ago that said humans like fruit because that was the preferred diet of the arboreal apes we descended from.

Nov 19, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics