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Recipes You've Never Heard of Outside Your Family

More things to do with hot dogs: So, in 1959, my oldest brother bought a summer, soft-serve and grill drive-in, on Cape Cod, the Sea Freeze, where all five of us siblings worked. We were the first on the Cape to have 2-flavor twist soft-serve (this was a very big deal in the 1960’s). We didn’t do plain old chocolate and vanilla, but “mocha” twist of chocolate and coffee.

We experimented with food and the store was our lab. We made stuff up that our customers loved. Once, my brother dropped a hot dog in the deep fryer by mistake and we did it that way from then on. We served chili dogs (revolutionary for Cape Cod at the time) using no-bean Chef Mate (still available today). We put pinapple on hot dogs (a big seller). We carved names in hot dogs for our favorite customers (make sure you score the other side so the hot dog won’t curl up).

But, the best hot-dog thing we ever made were the spiders: Take a skinless frank and a very sharp knife. Leaving 1” intact at the center, slice one end of the frank, the long way, twice, into quarters. Do the other end after rotating the dog 45°. When you put it in the deep fryer, the ends curl backwards (between each other like interleaved fingers because of the rotation) and make a crunchy hot dog “spider” with eight “legs”. They are especially appealing to kids, who usually leave the hot dog roll behind anyhow. And they can be a fun appetizer for adults while they’re waiting for a deep-fried main course. Restaurants ought to have these on their kids’ menus. A dog with a kid’s name “engraved” into it makes an excellent birthday surprise. So, when you’re deep frying, try these - they’ll become an instant family favorite.

A postscript. We baked our own brownies for the brownie fudge royals. Take a banana split dish, heap vanilla ice cream on top of the brownie, then add hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry. We also sold the brownies by themselves. One of our regular customers, Mrs. Kennedy (yes, that Mrs. Kennedy), never ordered ice cream, just the brownies.

Mar 07, 2014
Mom the Foodie in Home Cooking
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H Mart Store-Made Kimchi

'Hate bottled kimchi - 'Love fresh by H-Mart! It never lasts long enough to spoil. 'Also a big fan of their ice cream novelties.

Mar 07, 2013
Mom the Foodie in Home Cooking

Decades of Delicious Dumplings

Mary Chung's has been open since 1980. I used to live down the street and was there the first week she opened - check your facts!

Sep 06, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

How to Get Cardamom Seeds Out of the Pod

If you use as much cardamom as I do (I grind it fresh into my coffee), do it the easy way - buy it decorticated from Penzey's. It's listed as "Whole Cardamom Seeds" (as opposed to "pods"). Easy and cheap. Use the mortar & pestle (which works great) when you're baking with the fancy white seeds; it's what my Grandma Anderson did.

And, scald/steep the coarsely cracked seeds in the milk for the best flavor in your braided Swedish coffee bread.

Jul 23, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

More Than Just Soft-Serve at Celebrity Pizza in Watertown

TYPO! Cooke's seafood is OK, despite the fact that it has the ambiance of McDonald's, but their coleslaw tastes like it's made with Cool Whip........

Jul 23, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

More Than Just Soft-Serve at Celebrity Pizza in Watertown

I've never eaten their seafood, BUT. Their soft serve is authentic and terrific. How do I know this? I'm the youngest of the Sea Freeze family. We had a drive-in with soft serve across the street from the Cape Cod Melody Tent for 17 years as well as being the first to serve two flavor "twist" on the Cape. Hood soft serve 5% mix is the classic and best in its category of dairy product. For anyone who summers at the seashore, they can be instantly transported back there, even in the dead of winter with a cone from Celebrity. The one flavor combo they're missing is a no-brainer - coffee/chocolate, aka "Mocha Twist". It was our best seller after vanilla.

Otherwise, anyone who charges over $20 for a meal should provide fresh, homemade coleslaw. Folks in the know mix the dressing into the slaw at the last minute (or at least every half hour). This is one of the reasons I pay top-dollar for the seafood at Baxter's and never set foot into Cook's (both in Hyannis). Baxter's is authentic and made fresh daily. Cook's seafood is OK, tastes like it's made with Cool Whip and reeks of ammonia - the worst of commercial slaw. Coleslaw is really hard to screw up. I'll make a point of sending Celebrity my classic recipe - we Cape Codders take our slaw seriously.

I really appreciate the "clean" factor at Celebrity, this is important with dairy service. Even though I'm addicted to Andrea's BLT subs, I eat them and a large cone at Celebrity. Joe & Maurice have really got it goin' on! Congratulations from my family business to your family business.

Jul 22, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

Exceptionally kid-friendly service at Mary Chung's

Alice does know best! She's a great waitress in the mold of Durgin-Park; she tells us what to order and she's always right! As much as we love Mary, Alice is the bomb. She patiently writes down all of the "on the side" orders that my picky daughter requires. Even though we've enjoyed the food since they opened in 1980, we have more fun eating there now with Alice on duty.

Jun 22, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Greater Boston Area

Catering to Toddlers at Mary Chung

Alice is the best! She's a good waitress who tells you what to order (like the waitresses at Durgin-Park) and she's always right,

Jun 22, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

Supertaster Daily: A Tale of Two Cookie Spreads

So, I read about Speculoos and bought some at my local TJ's. The texture is borderline slimy with a bit of gritty sugar. I thought my 17-year-old would not be happy with the grit - he favors creamy PB. He tried it and moaned with pleasure, "Oh Mom!" When I asked my peeps @ TJ's about this stuff, they rolled their eyes and said that it's addictive and that many favor it spread on apple slices. This makes sense since the folks @ Whole Foods recommend their white choc./PB blend spread on apples as well. To make this palatable and take away the creepy mouth feel I'd probably mix in toffee bits, but honestly, the flavor and texture were too weird even for me (although I love butter cookies). The only reason I keep it in the house is because my son gets plenty of exercise and no one else will eatit. As a cashier @ TJ's said, "you either love it or hate it."

Jun 02, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

The Pure Flavor of Molasses

I love molasses with espresso and plenty of fat-free 1/2 & 1/2 or bailey's flavor creamer as a morning, wake up elixir. It's great over ice as well. I guess this is the grown-up way to get your iron (my Mom used to stir it into milk too).

May 18, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

Best Fresh Bagels In Boston?

OK Kids, here we go.

Shelf life - Important when you're buying bagels as a destination shop. Breugger's has a shelf life of about one hour. Eat them immediately or slice and freeze them. They (and Dunkin's) won't stand up to a Bagel Biter. That's an easy criterion. Finagle's (and those other two) are the Wonder Bread of the bagel world. But there's no accounting for taste, as my very Jewish mother-in-law actually serves Stop& Shop's (Ugh!).

Kupel's gets my vote for best bagel. Our relatives are still talking about the minis with lox hand-cut-to-order we served at our wedding 30 years ago. The sourdough cissels are similar to rolls I ate in Salzburg as an exchange student. The destination shop factor is strong. Combine your trip to Kupel's with stops to C-Mart for Chinese groceries and a trip to their food court. Of course there all the other shops on Harvard St. as well as the Coolidge Corner Theater. Movie & a Bagel? You bet.

Var så god! Mom

May 03, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Greater Boston Area

A Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q Update

Absolutely not, Blue Ribbon quality Southern road food in the city.

May 02, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

Kerala Brass Pans (Re Anthony Bourdain No Reservations)

Thank Chew!
You have found the Indian food-ie version of the holy grail. Not only do I want one, but wouldn't it make a fab wedding gift for a cooking couple? What are your thoughts on the uses of the different sizes? Thanks, Mom

P.S. Indian food Chowhounds, I just used a couple of tablespoons of Panch Puran in my St. Pat's corned beef dinner (as well as telicherry bl. pepp.). It gave the stew a nice, rich and mellow flavor.

Mar 29, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Cookware

Valentine's Day: What Did Boston Hounds Eat?

MC Slim JB's advice is solid. DON'T go out to eat on Valentine's Day (or, go to dim sum on Mother's Day).

See the reasons below as well as some hot tips for Valentine's Fun.

"Foodie" reasons:
1. The restaurants are jammed as well as the cooks and waitstaff.
2. You'll wind up with twice the wait and an annoyed date.
3. The menu may be entirely different from what they usually serve - more chances for a late meal and screw-ups. Pick a place you both love and go mid-week for a relaxing meal.
4. Who wants to have hot monkey sex after a 4-5 course Valentine's Day menu? Reserve a piece of your Valentine's Day to spend in the sack with your honey instead of worrying about lost reservations.
5. Do something out of the ordinary:
Surprise your significant other the week before Valentine's day.
Go to a cooking class or famous chef demo together.
Spend the Valentine's budget on a getaway weekend.
Show up in a goofy pair of boxers.
Socks with sushi motifs are just as good a box of chocolates.

The "Mom" reasons:
1. It's impossible to get a babysitter for Feb. 14.
2. Valentine flowers are at such a premium. Get Mom twice as many the week before or after. Even better, get her flowers more often throughout the year.
3. If Dad is comfortable, Mom will have a better time. You can skip the suit and tie, but show up in a personalized Valentine's T-shirt - they're all over the interwebs. Get Mom one to match and folks will think you're on your honeymoon!

And finally:
Not Feb 14 means no "Hallmark Defense" (when some dopes say that the holiday was invented by Hallmark just to sell long-stem roses and greeting cards). Any fool who would say this in the first place should be immediately jettisoned. Treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry and let everyone know you're looking for a new Valentine! It really works wonders.

Feb 23, 2012
Mom the Foodie in Features

Kerala Brass Pans (Re Anthony Bourdain No Reservations)

Here's some positive info from Shop India. They appear to be on the trail of what we're all looking for. I'd really like to get the specific urlis featured on the show and give those artisans some business. Here's the Info:

"This product is the contemporary traditional vessel used for cooking in Kerala. Bell metal is an alloy of Bronze and Copper as described in the wikipedia. This metal has been used in cooking utensils for ages in India. The only restriction I have heard of thus far is that food cooked in these vessels should be removed and stored away - rather than being left in the utensil.

We have been trying to watch the episode you are referring to so that we are able to see the exact vessel that was shown. Do you by chance have a link where I can watch the exact episode you are referring to, in its entirety? The exact episode number/name would help as well (the episode number given by another customer turned out to be wrong). That will help a lot in determining how close the item we have listed is to what you are looking for. We watched this snippet. But it doesn't have very many details. "

Sep 07, 2011
Mom the Foodie in Cookware

Kerala Brass Pans (Re Anthony Bourdain No Reservations)

Oops, you're right. I'm no ugly American, but like most, ignorant of much Indian Culture, particularly since my Indian-American friends and contacts are so assimilated. Thanks for the correction & recipe link.

Sep 07, 2011
Mom the Foodie in Cookware

Kerala Brass Pans (Re Anthony Bourdain No Reservations)

Thanks!

Sep 06, 2011
Mom the Foodie in Cookware

Kerala Brass Pans (Re Anthony Bourdain No Reservations)

'Saw the urli on shop India and asked them some additional questions about the pans. Can you Chow folks recommend definitive cookbooks or recipe sitesfor Kerala-style cuisine? I can get only so far asking the southern Indian guys who run my local Indian market. If i'm going to blow a couple hundred bucks on an urli, I ought to have some stellar recipes up the sleeve of my salwar!

Sep 06, 2011
Mom the Foodie in Cookware

Quinoa for Haters

I rinse, rinse, rinse red quinoa and use low sodium chicken broth as the liquid when I cook it in my Tiger rice cooker. Excellent results!

Aug 21, 2010
Mom the Foodie in Features

Kerala Brass Pans (Re Anthony Bourdain No Reservations)

I've located a restaurant supplier, shalimarorlando.com who design/consult/sells Indian ovens for home use and have asked tham to watch the show and find the brass urlis. From their website they appear to be innovative and enterprising, so we'll see what they come up with. Let them know of your interest to get them going. Those terrific urli artisans who make the "Le Creuset" of India, as Tony said surely need the work. Let's cook some South India Food!

Does anyone know the name of the restaurants in London that Tony's colleague owns or the village that he and the urlis come from?

Aug 11, 2010
Mom the Foodie in Cookware