DonShirer's Profile

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Do you have a favorite fruit juice?

Here's one from the Saturday NYTimes crossword by Eric Agard.
It doesn't sound very appetizing to me but evidently Eric likes it.

39 minutes ago
DonShirer in General Topics

an overnight in celebration of 50th wedding anniversary

Do you have a favorite fruit juice?

My wife likes Ocean Spray or Apple&Eve cranberry juice, even though I pointed out that cranberry is not the first item on the contents list.

Sep 18, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Metlted Cheese - Flavor?

While I tend to agree that I would rather have gouda/cheddar/etc unmelted, I have found that partially melting those blah Bries sold in supermarkets does make them more palatable. 10 seconds at full power in the microwave does it.

Sep 16, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese

an overnight in celebration of 50th wedding anniversary

Hopkins Inn at Lake Waramaug? We haven't been there for 2 years, but had a pleasant meal each time we went. If your anniversary is in October, the leaf peeping around the lake is great. There is an interesting winery next door.

Three Meals in Beautiful New Haven (long) 09/2014

Thanks for the insight, o-chef. I always though Caseus decor was their way of making you look at the food since there was nothing else to draw the eye. While anything with cheese in it is usually great there, I think I'll have to take your word for it that Poutine joins that company!

Saybrook Soup & Sandwich Co.

Stopped by for picnic fixin's with visiting son. We tried some of their new offerings. I was very happy with the Pastrami Reuben and Napoli Minestrone. My son was so pleased with his Virginia Baked Ham with Jalapeno spread that he wouldn't let me taste it! You'll have to take his word for it.

STUFFED VEGETABLES! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2014)

(I originally posted this elsewhere but didn't see this thread until I scrolled down.)

I seldom invent a recipe, but today while surveying leftovers I accidently hit on something I'll call Italian/Eggplant Stuffed Peppers for lack of a better name.
2 of my garden Goliath bell peppers (or one of those humongous red peppers from the grocery)
2 Sweet Italian Sausages
about 1/2 cup diced red onion (I didn't measure so these are guesses)
2 diced garlic cloves
1 eggplant (mine was about 5" long) sliced, salted, then rinsed
about 1/4 cup of chopped sweet basil leaves
about 1/4 cup of Italian Parsley
about 1/5 cup of Panko
1 egg
Grated Cheese (I was out of Mozz, so I used Mexican)
Pepper and Jane's Krazy Salt to taste
I sauteed the eggplant, sausage and onion/garlic separately with olive oil in a frying pan until they were about half of what I would consider "done".
Dumped the eggplant in a food mixer and gave it a few good pulses, then added the sausage, onion, garlic, Panko, Egg, basil, parsley and seasonings and pulsed it some more to remove the large lumps.
Cutting the peppers pole-to-pole and removing the seeds, I placed them in a glass loaf pan and stuffed them with the mix, then baked them at 350° for 45-60 min until interior was 160° and peppers were cooked. About 15 min from end I sprinkled cheese on top. Yum. Served with garden broccoli and lettuce/tomato salad. 2 people had enough left over for a mini-lunch tomorrow.

Remove a Cucumber’s Bitterness by Chopping and Rubbing the Ends

This needs to be verified. For one thing, the cucumbers I grow are not bitter. For another, if the bitter stuff is in the skin as the poster says, how does it migrate to the ends in just a minute or so, and why does rubbing the ends release it? Mysterious to say the least. I may have to wait until next year to check this myself since I just picked my last cucumber.

Sep 11, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Best Frozen Chicken Pot Pie

Yes, I've had trouble with other brands top browning. I have a pretty powerful microwave and when I cooked the BM pot pie the maximum recommended time the crust came out nicely browned. The BM pie tasted good but I thought it a mite light on the chicken.

Sep 09, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Ingenious Pizza Box

Pizza box transforms into plates and leftover storage!

Sep 05, 2014
DonShirer in Cookware

tomatoes from plants affected by blight

3/4 of my tomato plants suffered from blight or wilt this year. Nevertheless I have been eating the fruit all summer with no problem.

When you rip up the plants, throw them in the trash, not the compost heap, and plant tomatoes in a different location next year if you can.

Sep 05, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening


This year, besides giving some to friends, I'm donating my excess tomatoes to the local food bank. They were happy to accept both standard and cherry varieties.

Sep 04, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Looking for nice dinner in Lyme, Chester, Deep River, etc...

May I suggest you look up Cafe Routier in Westbrook or possibly Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point Inn in Old Saybrook. Both say they use locally grown ingredients.

Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt

likewise on potato salad--adds a little kick but not transformative

Sep 02, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Interesting article on pizza cheese selection

Their conclusion: mozzarella is king, but other cheeses can improve appearance.

Aug 31, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese

Microwave corn on the cob?

Aug 30, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt

Found some at local Stop&Shop. Tried it on some scrambled eggs--ok but not stupendous. Will try on potato salad, corn, etc.

Aug 27, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Pho Madison Open

Yes. Next door.
And incidentally, I tried the pizza place last year.
When we got home, we found it was not the topping I had ordered (but it was ok anyway).

CT: Let's Thai one on--share your Thai favorites!

On the Eastern shoreline (alphabetically by town)

the winners are:
Guilford: Ayuthai and Som Siam
New Haven: Bangkok Gardens
Old Saybrook: Som Siam

and the runners up:
Branford: Thais' One
New Haven: Thai Taste
Old Saybrook: Bangkok Paradise and Saigon City

plus several others in New Haven, Branford, Mystic and Orange I haven't tried.

Dock and Dine Closing-Rebuilding

As far as I can tell. Neither the local paper where I read this, nor their website mentions any change of ownership.

In need of cheese 101

OK, I am going to take a chance and suggest you try (in the Brie-like cheeses) Lille Coulommiers (Vermont Farmstead), St. Andre or St. Simeon (France), and Seal Bay (Australia).

If you like Cheddar and Parm, you may also like Fiore di Sardo (or Pecorino Sardo-Italy), 3-yr aged Gouda (Holland), or Ewephoria (if only for the name! - a sheep cheese from Holland).

The prices on these will be higher than grocery store cheese. Don't worry if none of these appeal to you - there are lots more out there that may! Have fun exploring.

Aug 18, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese

In need of cheese 101

There are too many good cheeses "out there" that somebody likes to list here without some clue as to what kinds you like. Soft, hard, blue, goat, cheddar?

One possibility is for you to search this board for "Cheese of the Month". The discussions about each particular cheese will give you some clue as to whether you might like them or not.

If you are near a cheese specialty shop, tell the proprietor what you have tried so far and he can give you some suggestions for further exploration.

Aug 17, 2014
DonShirer in Cheese

Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

It's difficult to change a persons food antipathies, but you might try Harvard beets.
(If he hates Harvard, call 'em Yale beets).

Aug 17, 2014
DonShirer in Home Cooking

things you put ketchup on


Aug 17, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Do you like ramen?

There have been recent health warnings about the "instant" ramen packs you see in grocery stores (google "ramen danger"). As far as I know, restaurant servings are ok.

Aug 16, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics

Dock and Dine Closing-Rebuilding

Their plans for rebuilding this summer fell through when government Hurricane Sandy relief funds took too long to obtain. They now hope to have financing from the state and private sources by this fall.

Tomato identification ideas

I agree that pencil works well on the usual white plastic markers you get from garden stores, and from what you say on mini blinds too. Not so well on milk bottle plastic, which is why I switched to the 'industrial' markers.

Aug 13, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

Tomato identification ideas

I make labels from cut up plastic milk bottles (the mini blind method also works well, I hear). But don't use ordinary "magic" markers. Sharpie makes an "Industrial" marker with "super permanent ink" that will stand up to sunshine and weather for the entire season. (I got mine at Staples.) Other manufacturers may have similar products.

Since it is hard to find a label stuck into the ground when the vines have matured, I often wrap a piece of duct tape around the cage or fence supporting the plant at eye level, leaving a 2" flap, and write the variety name on that as well, using the same markers.

Aug 11, 2014
DonShirer in Gardening

Best Frozen Chicken Pot Pie

Marie Callenders also has a Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pot Pie. Good tasting, upper and lower crust, enough chicken but would have appreciated more veggies. Just a hint of bacony flavor.

Aug 10, 2014
DonShirer in General Topics