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_jj_'s Profile

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Travel food

If you are using a "regular" cooler with ice, think about how you want to package your food/ice to keep it separate. I found (on a 4.5-week trip) that ziplocs do NOT keep the water out with "normal" use..... We ended up using lock-n-locks to put our food into and then used loose ice in the cooler. We had good luck finding ice (hotels or purchased by the bag from the store/gas station). (I wasn't able to find places to re-freeze the reusable ice so that didn't work for us.) A cooler you can plug into the car/wall outlet eliminates the "water-in-the-food" problem but it might not work if you are changing locations regularly and leaving your items in your car for the entire day while playing tourist.

I strongly recommend planning to visit grocery stores along the way rather than trying to go too specialty/dried/canned foods, etc. We found that while our trip was enjoyable, it was also stressful to be away from home and fixing "normal" foods for the kids was a way to make things more familiar.

Enjoy your trip!

Jan 21, 2013
_jj_ in General Topics

Who eats low cal low fat??

I don't know if it would work with the flatbread but when we make english muffin pizzas, I toast them first and then do toppings and broil.

Jul 06, 2012
_jj_ in Special Diets

Impromptu Meals - how do I plan for them?

I know you said you don't like frozen cooked meat but....
We started cooking our ground beef before putting it in the freezer. If you spread it into a relatively thin layer in a gallon ziploc, it makes it easy to take out a lot or a little as you need. Because we use this as an ingredient in other dishes (think tacos where the ground beef is mixed in a thick sauce), the "look" doesn't come into play as much. Seems obvious now but was a "duh" when we finally changed from putting it into the freezer raw and then trying to portion, thaw, and cook it properly while hungry...

Edit to add: I re-read your message about not wanting to take the time to pre-cook the meats. We find that we purchase the ground beef and use it "fresh" for meal one and just go ahead & cook all of it at the same time. It takes a little bit longer than cooking just the exact needed amount but it isn't significant.)

Apr 15, 2012
_jj_ in Home Cooking

Indian in Gwinnett/I-85?

THANKS everyone. We ended up being short on time so went to Naan N Curry. We enjoyed the food and they liked the friendly atmosphere.

There are so many good suggestions on this thread that I hope to be able to try a bunch and learn more about the variations on food from this region.

Thank you to all who responded and I really appreciate the reasons "why" you like one place over another. (Sorry it took so long to get back.)

Mar 24, 2012
_jj_ in Atlanta

Indian in Gwinnett/I-85?

I found a yelp listing for Bukharaa Indian Restaurant in Johns Creek. Would that be my best bet?

Feb 15, 2012
_jj_ in Atlanta

Indian in Gwinnett/I-85?

A while back, my folks had a friend from India who made them a few home-cooked meals. She returned home & they miss the food (and her!).

They are coming into town & I'd like to take them somewhere to get good Indian food.

Not looking for anything fancy or expensive, something simple is fine.

We're located near the I-85 Gwinnett corridor if there is anything on this side of town or Buford Hwy.

I'm thinking about taking them to Naan N Curry but I don' t know enough about the different cuisines to know if it would be close or not.

We might be able to travel out of Gwinnett depending on time. (We will be near perimeter mall one day)


Feb 14, 2012
_jj_ in Atlanta

Pillivuyt dishes/bakers - breaking characteristics?

Thanks for the replies. My daughter is learning to make pies from Grandma (who uses old Pyrex) so this information is helpful. (of course, my daughter's comment when she saw the Pyrex Explodes thread is that she would love to see the explosion!)

Jan 24, 2012
_jj_ in Cookware

Pillivuyt dishes/bakers - breaking characteristics?

GH1618 mentioned Pillivuyt bakers on a different thread talking about cracks in ceramics.

This may be a strange question but does anyone know the likelihood of these breaking and their characteristics when they do?

Especially with a daughter who enjoys baking, I am concerned about the pyrex "exploding" issue and would like to have an alternative to pyrex baking pans and pie plates.

(I'm ok with dishes breaking when you do something wrong or when they are just old. I'm not ok with the possibility of flying shards of glass. Please don't delve into whether or not I SHOULD be concerned about the pyrex exploding - I think that's been covered pretty well in the set of pyrex threads.)

The Pillivuyt web site says their products are resistant to thermal shock. Specifically: "Resistant to thermal shocks. Pillivuyt products can withstand temperatures ranging from -15°F to +575°F (-25°C +300°C ) and go directly from freezer to oven or microwave"

My questions:
* if a Pillivuyt dish is pulled out of the hot oven and put on a cool/wet surface, I assume it has a likelihood of breaking..... if it does, will the porcelain "explode"/shatter or will it crack into pieces but without flying shards?

* if the dish is dropped and broken are the pieces likely to be tiny shards or more likely to be bigger segments (corelle typically becomes tiny sharp shards so I'm looking for alternatives for that as well...


* what would be the best alternative to pyrex pie plates from the perspective of producing a good end product as well as safety?


Jan 20, 2012
_jj_ in Cookware

Death of shared cheese at Sardi's in NY; why can't US serve shared terrine's, Amuse Buche items like the French?

From my perspective, I don't have an overall problem with "shared" dishes but I measure the risk based on the situation.

If I am sharing Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family, we are already staying in the same house for a few days & the increased risk to me from each person serving him/herself from a passed meal is trivial.

In other circumstances, I'm fine with food served from a common dish with "serving" utensils used. If I'm in a culture that uses personal utensils to collect food from a shared serving dish and there are well understood traditions about how to do that without contaminating other food in the dish, no problem. (for example, using chopsticks to get one piece from a platter).

Now if it involves shared saliva - that's a whole different ballgame. (double dipping, using personal utensils to dip into a shared dish to get seconds, people sneezing over the buffet line, .....)

In my mind, that's the line. I have to give serious thought to shared saliva or dishes that have had stranger's hands all over "my" food. Not saying I wouldn't do it (bar peanuts or that shared tea in a culturally appropriate situation might be exceptions). If your proposed restaurant depended on this type of scenario (hands/saliva in dishes), I'm pretty sure it would have a tough time being commercially successful in the US regardless of whether it could pass local heath codes.... Whether a terrine passed from table to table would fly at a restaurant in the US would probably depend on the impression given whether it falls into the first risk category (serving utensils used, no sneezing over the dish) or the second risk category (shared saliva from personal utensils, etc.)

Nov 30, 2011
_jj_ in General Topics


We've gone once. I found it OK. Not spectacular, not horrible. I wasn't sure I would like the ordering process but it was very quick - much faster than either McAlisters or Panera. It is nice to have the food brought to the table rather than pickup at the counter.

Nov 19, 2011
_jj_ in Chains

Ignorance of Food and Other Peoples Cultures

I read your original post (and this reply) as stating that it was ignorant that this student didn't know that some Jews don't keep kosher and that it was shocking that they asked their question directly.

You have thereby ruled out what in my opinion is one of the best routes for people to expand their knowledge of differing food cultures. (asking)

Oct 11, 2011
_jj_ in Not About Food

Should GREAT service be expected 15 minutes before a restaurant closes?

joe777cool - how is that customer supposed to know what time it is ok to enter your restaurant? Why don't you ask your management to post both a "last seating" time and an "out-the-door" time? If your management says it is ok for a customer to enter 2 minutes before the posted closing time and that they should get "the same great service" but isn't paying you to provide that service then you have an issue with your management, not the customer.

Oct 02, 2011
_jj_ in Not About Food

Should GREAT service be expected 15 minutes before a restaurant closes?

If I'm scheduled to work until 10, I'm scheduled to work until 10. Whether that work is doing something new for my boss or whether that work is doing something previously assigned, that's my agreed-to schedule. It may be that I'm more tired than I would be at the beginning of the day but I wasn't planning to quit work and go home at 9 if the agreed to time was 10.

The problem with this at a restaurant is that the time on the door is not well defined. It isn't said whether it is the "last seating" time or the "be-done-and-out-the-door" time or the "kitchen closed" time. We have to guess. (This is compounded because in many cases the restaurant doesn't WANT to define the time because they want the owner/manager to determine on a nightly basis what time to close the kitchen/send people home based on the number of customers and the expense of the workers.)

The other problem is that many people will LIE when asked whether it is ok to eat because they don't want to (be caught) telling you that no, we really are closing down & would prefer you not stay tonight. I've had it happen to me - what I was told when I ASKED, was very different from the ATTITUDE I got from my server.

So now, I'm supposed to be able to read the situation to determine whether someone is lying to me or not and I'm supposed to be all apologetic for the fact that I'm asking someone to do work at the end of their workday..... (more so than in any other business relationship)

At some point, it is easier to just skip the whole dance....... of course then I'll miss out on that great restaurant that has posted their "last seating" time on the door and actually welcomes customers until that time.....

Oct 02, 2011
_jj_ in Not About Food

Glass food storage: Luminarc vs Pyrex vs GlassLock?

Another glass choice would be canning jars.... the Ball canning website mentions that the straight-sided jars (without "shoulders") work for freezing.

They aren't stackable & round doesn't stack as tightly as rectangular but....

Oct 01, 2011
_jj_ in Cookware

Should GREAT service be expected 15 minutes before a restaurant closes?

OK, got-it. The posted time should be considered the "leave-the-restaurant" time.

Oct 01, 2011
_jj_ in Not About Food

Should GREAT service be expected 15 minutes before a restaurant closes?

Assuming that I want to be a well-behaved customer, how do I know what time to not walk into a restaurant? If my meeting ran late & it is 9:15pm & I need a meal, do I skip all the places that have a 10:00 closing and try to find one with a 11:00 (or later) closing? I've read all the messages about how long it takes to break down a kitchen & how as a customer, I should be sensitive to this. That's great & I get it but I've never worked in a restaurant and have no idea how that time relates to the time on the website. Other than driving to the restaurant and peering in the window to see if they are full/empty how am I supposed to know when the restaurant/server wants my money and when they just want me to go away and pick a different place that is open later?

Oct 01, 2011
_jj_ in Not About Food


Would be interesting to see if chow could work a deal with (groundspeak) to have a or something like that with categories for different types of food / experiences.....

Sep 18, 2011
_jj_ in Site Talk

Does anyone else use an iced tea maker?

Ours is over 19 years old and still going strong. Brews an average of a pot a day year round. We have replaced lots of pitchers but like the old style brewer too. Found an unused one at a thrift shop for $3 & bought it in case ours gives up the ghost. (And for the pitcher.)

We brew into the pitcher - 2 family bags - no ice. Dilute with water to the line, put in the fridge to cool or pour over ice in the glass. Usually have two pitchers in the fridge - one unsweetened regular and one unsweetened decaf..... 0 calories & keeps me from going for the cokes all the time.

Aug 11, 2011
_jj_ in Cookware

Breakfast Food in Johns Creek

Went to Egg Harbor Cafe in Johns Creek for the first time. I had the Eggs Benedict and he had a San Antonio skillet. Both meals were very good. Service was excellent. The on-site made "jelly" for the English Muffins was fantastic - blueberry, strawberry, raspberry plus something else with chunks of fruit in a loose jelly.

I really like the menu choices here. After seeing the options, I wasn't surprised at all when I checked the web site and found that it is an Illinois based small-chain.

We're not close but will be back when we are in the area.

Egg Harbor Cafe
10270 Medlock Bridge Road
Johns Creek, GA 30022
Tel. (770) 807-8018

(apparently they close at 2 pm so this is a breakfast/lunch only place)

Jun 16, 2011
_jj_ in Atlanta

Can you hounds help me out with some dinner party advice?

As a parent, we look for food the young'ins can eat and an activity schedule appropriate for their attention spans and our enjoyment.

You seem to have planned for these quite well.

Like someone else mentioned, at these ages, pool play needs to be heavily supervised with adults in-the-water with the children. (and as a PSA announcement, please remember that children sitting in an inflatable can tip over and go under in a heartbeat.... I know a few parents who had big scares when they relaxed their watch ...)

Relax, enjoy. Serve the Thai food. Have fun watching and playing with the kids and then enjoy your moment of silence when they head home!

Jun 14, 2011
_jj_ in Not About Food

Where do you keep your kitchen garbage can?

We have an open can with no lid to get messy. Smelly trash goes out right away. The can is sized so the kitchen bag is larger than the can so you always have room to close it completely no matter how full the can gets! We keep it out in the kitchen right off the work triangle. Works well for us but no dogs in the house.

Oct 05, 2010
_jj_ in Not About Food

Cupcake Help! Please:)

I'm a novice baker and have had good luck with some of the recipes. (especially the KAF Guaranteed ones).

Aug 02, 2010
_jj_ in Home Cooking

kitchen/bbq tools for arthritics

I found a link to tongs with different style handles - don't know anything about them but they sound like they were designed for this type of reason: They have a "trigger" grip to allow different ways to hold them...

I guess the other option might be to move away from tongs to different types of tools that don't require squeezing - using a fork or turner instead.

article: http://tastecincinnati-food.blogspot....

Jul 21, 2010
_jj_ in Cookware