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What to cook in rented beach house Labor Day weekend?

I agree with the crockpot suggestion. I'm making Kalua Pork in the crockpot myself Labor Day weekend:
*1 pork butt/shoulder roast 6-8 lbs
*1-2 Tbls Hawaiian Sea Salt
*1 Tbls Liquid Smoke (I use Wright's hickory flavor)
*8 cloves of garlic, cut in half
Trim most of the excess fat from the roast. Insert knife in the roast to make an opening for garlic clove half; do that in random spots equally spaced all over. Have your Hawaiian sea salt measured out and ready. THIS IS IMPORTANT: Put on rubber gloves or put plastic bags on your hands or they will smell like liquid smoke for hours. Put the roast in the crockpot. Rub on 1 Tablespoon of the liquid smoke all over the roast and then rub on the Hawaiian salt. Discard gloves and turn cooker on LOW for 16-20 hours. You do not need to add liquid; the roast will produce its own, savory juices. Trust. Turn the roast over at the half-way point. When it's done, take two forks and shred-shred-shred. If you like, you can carefully pour out some of the juices into a cup or bowl and put it in the freezer for awhile to skim off some fat and then pour the juices back over the meat (I use the turkey baster for that at home).
Serve with those little Hawaiian rolls, and good cole slaw. Please don't desecrate it by adding barbecue sauce.
Dessert is ripe, grilled peaches with quality vanilla ice cream topped with brown sugar and cinnamon for the kids, cointreau for the adults.

Just got braces and EVERYTHING hurts, need ideas for softer foods...

Get a Waterpik. I can't stress this enough. It will get stuff out of your braces that flossing and brushing won't, plus (if you use warm water and maybe a little antiseptic mouthwash) it feels great when your gums aren't too tender, like a Jacuzzi for the mouth. I still use one and my braces are 2 years gone.

One of my favorite quick meals was always vegetarian chili:

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 can Rotel (mild or spicy)
1 can kidney beans in chili sauce
1 bag Morningstar or Boca Crumbles
1 package of (mild or hot) chili mix, or your own favorite blend of spices

I'd drop the Crumbles bag on the counter a few times to break up the crumbles (sometimes they freeze in big chunks), dump everything in a medium saucepan, stir, put a lid on, set the flame to medium high, and I'd have dinner in 10 minutes.

The first time I waterpiked after eating chili with my braces, I swear a quarter cup of chili was in the bathroom sink, I had so much stuck above my gums. I kind of had to learn how to eat all over again.

May 02, 2015
MysticYoYo in General Topics

Is the Pringles container recyclable?

I'll use a Pringles lid as a coaster for a can of shaving cream in the shower (the can tends to leave rust rings). New can, new coaster, and the old one goes in the recycle bin.

May 01, 2015
MysticYoYo in Not About Food

Is it time to stop buying/eating almonds?

That article is dated March 27. An April 13th Business Insider article recognizes that the beef industry here uses far more water.

@ junescook: Most people I know are letting their lawns die.

Apr 26, 2015
MysticYoYo in General Topics

Pronunciation-checked at Penzey’s

Ditto on the Mexican grocery stores. The pouch is anywhere from 69 cents to a dollar, depending on the store. Regular supermarkets charge $3.00+ for the same amount, although part of that goes to cover the packaging. I just continually refill my McCormick's and Penzey's bottles from those pouches.

I find myself pronouncing cumin both ways.

Horrible Restaurant Names

There's a tiny restaurant in Cocoa Beach, Florida called "The Old Fish House". Old fish. Yum.

One of the contestants from Top Chef, Jen Carroll, planned to open a place called "Concrete Blonde".

Apr 26, 2015
MysticYoYo in Not About Food

Your favorite junk food or guilty pleasure?

Kettle chips (regular, S&V, jalapeño). Oh, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but it MUST have walnuts. After much deliberation (seriously, I stared at for a full two minutes) I splurged on a slice at Von's... and it had no walnuts! Whyyyyyyyy??? *shakes fist at the heavens*

Apr 26, 2015
MysticYoYo in General Topics

Are you hungry after a bowl of oatmeal?

“Please, sir, I want some more.”

Apr 26, 2015
MysticYoYo in General Topics

Greasy Silicone Mats

For those who DO like parchment, "Dollar Tree" and "99 Cents Only" sell 25-foot long rolls for $1.00. If you don't live near one of those stores and you're a mad baker, Dollar Tree will ship you 24 boxes, according to their website.

Feb 16, 2015
MysticYoYo in Cookware

Can Baked Buffalo Wings Ever Taste as Good as Fried?

Sauterc: Recipe please!

Jan 18, 2015
MysticYoYo in Features

Mystery chinese food question -- What the heck did I eat ?

Next time that happens (if there is a next time...) please take a picture with your phone and upload it here.

Jan 11, 2015
MysticYoYo in General Topics

Spiral veggies anyone?

Any tips on how to get some of the liquid out of veggies that have a high water content (like zucchini) so they aren't such a soggy mess when cooking ribbons and spirals?


Jan 04, 2015
MysticYoYo in Special Diets

Old Posts, CH'ers who are no longer with us

Sam passed away? Wow, that saddens me. I enjoyed his posts so very much.

Jan 03, 2015
MysticYoYo in Site Talk

(Relatively Inexpensive) Mail Order Steaks

Harris Ranch. Their beef is superb.

Oct 19, 2014
MysticYoYo in General Topics

Hellmans Original vs Hellmans Olive Oil Version

I haven't tried the olive oil version; I don't like to mess with perfection. The only other mayo I will even *consider* using if I can't find Hellmann's/Best Foods is Kraft.

I was vegetarian for many years and vegan for a year. During that year, I used Vegenaise, which has a very pure, clean taste. When I went back to eating Hellmann's, it seemed to me that Hellmann's had a pronounced eggy taste - plain Hellmann's mayonnaise almost tasted like egg salad!

The other day I was at the 99¢ Only Store and they had a big pallet of jars of Best Foods Balsamic Mayonnaise, (You're probably aware that Best Foods is what Hellmann's is called west of the Rockies.) The mayo had a slightly brownish hue. Yeah, not very appealing, which is probably why they were in a discount store for 99¢. Maybe it didn't taste half-bad, but I wasn't tempted, even at that price.

Jul 12, 2014
MysticYoYo in General Topics


Good luck, and don't forget to use clean your lemons with a fruit/vegetable wash.

A friend of mine made tangerinecello a few years ago and it was to.die.for.

Jul 12, 2014
MysticYoYo in Spirits

Most underused spices in home cooking?

Fennel seeds are used in Italian sausages. I love to crush/chop some to throw in the pot with some other spices when we're jazzing up a bottled pasta sauce.

I use paprika all the time in Mexican and Indian recipes.

Jul 12, 2014
MysticYoYo in Home Cooking

Stupid easy recipes you really love

I have and it is! :-)

Jun 15, 2014
MysticYoYo in Home Cooking

Stupid easy recipes you really love

Scrambled eggs cooked over low heat with little pieces of cream cheese dropped in, or better yet, cream cheese with chives. Delicious served on a slice of hot, buttered toast.

Jun 14, 2014
MysticYoYo in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - June 2014 [OLD]

NAY - TJ's Curry Chicken Tenders. They're more turmeric flavored than curry and even a generous dose of barbecue sauce and a squirt of Sriracha couldn't save them.

NAY - Many Clove Garlic Cooking & Simmer Sauce. No one loves garlic more than I do, but I found this sauce a big disappointment. There was something weird about the flavor. Also, it's low fat and I think it needs the boost of flavor that only good butter or olive oil can provide.

Jun 05, 2014
MysticYoYo in Chains

Commonly mispronounced foods

I used to work with a woman who was born in Palestine and if my memory is right, she pronounced tahini as "CHEE-neh".

Jan 26, 2014
MysticYoYo in Food Media & News

Impact of plastic bag ban?

In San Luis Obispo County, CA there's a ban on plastic bags and stores charge 10 cents for paper bags. I live just over the border in Santa Barbara County where there is no ban, but it's just a matter of time so I'm hoarding plastic bags to use for the litter box. I have a few cloth bags that I try to remember to bring into stores but I read something in passing that bacteria, mold and yeast gets built up in reusable bags and they need to be washed or tossed out periodically. I tried machine washing a Trader Joe's bag and it fell apart.

Jan 26, 2014
MysticYoYo in Not About Food

What's for Dinner #270 - The Hunkering Down Edition [through January 27, 2014]

Sausage Lentil Soup

1 large carrot
2 stalks celery
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb hot Italian sausage (or mild Italian sausage if you can't tolerate heat)
1 (12-16 oz) package smoked bacon
8 cups Trader Joe's chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups dried lentils washed and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (recommended if you go with mild Italian sausage)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1 bay leaf

Place package of bacon in the freezer for an hour so it will be easier to slice. Slice bacon into quarter-inch slices. Brown in pan on stove or line a baking pan with foil and bake the bacon for 20 minutes or until browned in a pre-heated 400 degree oven. Drain the bacon (and reserve bacon fat in small container in fridge for roasting Brussels sprouts-- you will thank me for this later!)

Dice carrot, celery and onion and saute in olive oil in a large pot until tender. Add diced garlic in the last minutes of saute so the garlic doesn't burn.

Remove sausage casing from sausage and add to a large heated skillet. Brown, breaking into small pieces, and drain off the fat.

Pour 8 cups of chicken broth into the large pot and add the lentils, the can of tomatoes, the drained sausage, drained bacon and the spices.

Simmer until the lentils are tender, 30-45 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and puree about 1/3-1/2 of the soup with an immersion blender, or carefully puree in batches in a regular blender.

Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings to your preference and simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with hot crusty bread and butter.

Note: You might wish to keep extra chicken stock on hand as the refrigerated soup will absorb the broth, or you can add water to thin it out as you re-heat portions.

Why do bakeries that cater to white folks...

I really enjoy Milton's Seeds & Grains bread. Their website says that the bread has "a hint of honey" but I don't find it sweet. This from someone who dislikes sweet and savory
together (for instance, I love coconut and I love shrimp but coconut shrimp? BLEH!)

Dec 29, 2013
MysticYoYo in General Topics

'Staple' foods you just don't like

Common foods:
Ketchup (though I love barbecue sauce)
Miracle Whip (I love, love, LOVE mayo)
Canned vegetables, except for beets
Any of the Campbell's Cream of ____ soups
Peanut butter
Jellies and jams
Donuts (except for those chocolate covered yellow Entemann's donuts)
Red (tomato) pasta sauce

Dec 29, 2013
MysticYoYo in General Topics

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - November 2013 [Old]

Great price ($1.99) and a deep, golden color. It's my go-to broth when I can't make my own.

Nov 28, 2013
MysticYoYo in Chains

What is your absolute favorite dish from your cultural heritage?

I know it's horrible to admit in this, Oh! So horribly politically correct, self-conscious, healthy age, but DAMN, fried food ROCKS! And add an extra helping of butter. With some bacon bits, please!

Eggies? Useful? Reviews please.

I was at The Dollar Tree today (where everything sold is really a dollar!) and they had something called an "EZ Egg Cook" for a buck. It looked just like an Eggie, but it came with just one in a package. It looks like there are a couple of Dollar Tree stores in your area (if you're still in Woodbridge); maybe you can call them and see if they are carrying the Egg Cook?

Apr 12, 2013
MysticYoYo in Cookware

Eggies? Useful? Reviews please.

If your heart is set on trying out your idea (which does sound rather intriguing) I would definitely look for Eggies in one of those "As Seen on TV Stores" or even in Walgreens or CVS (most seem to have an ASoTV aisle) to avoid the S&H charge, and if you don't like it you can just return it and not have to deal with the nightmare that comes with dealing with a return with one of these companies.

Have fun with it and let us know how it turns out. Eggs are probably my favorite food so I'm curious and now a bit hungry, too.

Apr 11, 2013
MysticYoYo in Cookware

Eggies? Useful? Reviews please.

I'm always a bit amazed that people buy hard boiled eggs at the supermarket. How hard is it to boil eggs? The mark-up on a dozen boiled eggs is ridiculous. '

That said, go to and read the customer reviews. Out of 417 reviews, 312 rated Eggies 1-star. Cleaning the Eggies cups of egg residue seems to be a major complaint.

Apr 11, 2013
MysticYoYo in Cookware