c

Cady's Profile

Title Last Reply

Please denote which links are videos in your email newsletters

I finally just gave up and unsubscribed from all Chow newsletters. :(

Maybe they should rename them "Video-letters".

The newsletters are usually what initially brings me to the site to look around (and then of course, I get sucked in for two hours). Guess I'll just have to try to remember to drop by once in a while.

Aug 31, 2012
Cady in Site Talk

Food Scars - Things you will never eat again.

When I was about 5 years old, my mom - who was a lousy cook anyway - gave me a huge bowl of split pea soup on Hallowe'en, and I wasn't allowed to go trick or treating until it was gone. Now, I didn't like split peas much to begin with, but after spending two and a half hours literally gagging down the (eventually cold) bowl of split pea soup, I will never, ever eat it again. For years I had a huge list of things that my mother turned me off of, and I've gotten over a lot of them, and others, I can at least eat to be polite if I'm a dinner guest. I absolutely draw the line at split pea soup, though, and kissing cousins like bean soup.

My husband went to a potluck Thanksgiving once, and a friend said that the dish he'd brought was 'possum stew. DH figured he'd try at least a little to be polite - what the heck? - and he took a bite and some soft, slimy thing slid down his throat and he IMMEDIATELY ran for the bathroom. The funny thing was, the guy was joking, and it was *oyster* stew. If he'd known they were oysters, then he would have been fine with it, but the whole thing creeped him out so bad that he won't eat cooked oysters to this day. Loves 'em raw, though.

Aug 10, 2012
Cady in Not About Food

Please denote which links are videos in your email newsletters

This probably isn't the right place for this, but I'm not finding a more appropriate venue:

I really wish that you'd let me know in your newsletters which links are videos. The only videos I sometimes watch are Chow tips, because my bandwidth is limited. I have satellite internet, all that's available here, and if I go over a certain amount per day, they cap my speed to less than dial up rates for 24 hours. So video is the exception, not the rule.

In today's newsletter, I clicked 4 links (with the teaser "Read More"), and three of them were videos, and none of them were Chow Tips video, which is at least denoted with "Chow Video Team" and "Tip".

On your web pages, at least, it's obvious. :)

I like videos sometimes, but I'd really like to be warned so I don't waste my time when it's not an option.

On a separate note, I wish your Chow Tips videos didn't automatically advance to the next video then the next one, then the next one. A few times now I've accidentally left the page open after viewing one, or viewed pages on another tab, and come back to find out I was capped because of the page automatically advancing through the whole series. Having to explain to my long distance employer why I wasn't able to work that day, once I'm capped, isn't fun. lol

I'm a web developer - you should never continually stream/autorun video after video on a web page like that. It's bad form for web pages: your user asked for a particular video, not the entire contents of your video folder. (By the way, I'm a tired, grumpy web developer, as I just worked all night migrating a server, databases and 5 websites, so perhaps take some of this post with a grain of kosher salt. :)

Thanks.

Jul 27, 2012
Cady in Site Talk

Chick-fil-A Is Conservative? So Are a Lot of Other Restaurants

After reading this article and the associated links, I got the impression that the author read the titles and the first paragraphs of some of these articles, and not the rest of the article, e.g.:

"Chick-Fila-A has donated millions of dollars to groups such as the Marriage & Family Foundation and the Family Research Council, which oppose the legalization of gay marriage."

How can you think that's OK? I'm not really sure how that compares to signs in your brother's yard, but...whatever.

Jul 27, 2012
Cady in Features

Homemade pasta makers - looking for a metaphor/simile for dough consistency...

Pie dough would be another good one, yes! They are both still slightly...Hmm. Tacky? Without being sticky.

I'd use a food processor if I had one. Someone gave us one a year ago, and I used it a few times, but it died after the third time of creating bread dough from biga. Some day, I'll get another one.

I don't think there's a thing at ALL wrong with doing it with a food processor, though I know others might disagree. Heck, the way I do a lot of pasta dough - not kneading it, for example, if it's just fettuccine...let the Atlas do that - would get a lot of people's hackles up.

And while I love my mom's/grandmother's homemade egg noodles for chicken and noodles, I get the dough ready for a last roll, and then cutting, using the first setting on my pasta machine. I still get the same rustic texture, but with a LOT less work.

Pie dough, Playdough, slightly tacky OK, but not sticky.

Anyone else?

Apr 08, 2012
Cady in Home Cooking

Homemade pasta makers - looking for a metaphor/simile for dough consistency...

lol. That's the best I've come up with so far, so far as consistency and stickiness. While I don't have kids, I do remember how Playdough felt. I'm trying to find something more generic, for others who don't have kids, and also DON'T remember what Playdough feels like. My husband says, "Just tell them to go to the dollar store and buy a can of Playdough.

Apr 07, 2012
Cady in Home Cooking

Homemade pasta makers - looking for a metaphor/simile for dough consistency...

Well, this will be one of my weirder posts.

I'm off this week for my birthday, and am taking that time to work through a long held task of documenting various pasta shapes/doughs/etc., to go in a blog I've been sitting on for three years.

I'm writing about pasta dough. When I hit a recipe that calls for X amount of flour, Y amount of eggs, and then if the *dough is dry* add Z amount of water...I cringe. Sometimes the eggs don't take up all of the flour that I'm using, and therefore, I toss the extra. At other times, I actually need to add a bit of flour.

I'm looking for a description of *how the dough should feel*, and at that point, they should stop trying to add flour to it. The best I can come up with so far is Play-Dough...vaguely, vaguely sticky, but not actually sticky. I told a friend of mine, "Until it's not sticky", and she added flour and flour until she ended up with some really leaden dough.

(Minor rant: Flours vary. Eggs vary. Moisture content in eggs varies not only by the size of the egg, but according to the age of the egg. Moisture content of flour varies according to when/where you got the flour (more or less humid climate), and the average moisture content of where you live and how long you've had the flour hanging around. There's no way you can specify X amount of flour and Y amount of eggs, and get a consistent product. So recipes that say that and then suggest you amend them by adding water, drive me crazy. End of rant.)

Anyway...if you make lots of pasta by hand, what's the perfect texture for you? Since that also varies according to the type of dough/pasta, I guess I'll specify a general AP + Semolina mix, or all AP mix.

Hot water doughs like I use for Chinese noodles, are a different thing, of course. I've also got some 00 flour coming in next week, and I'm sure that will have its own rules, as well.

Apr 07, 2012
Cady in Home Cooking

Simple Recipes that are Incredibly Delicious!

This thread makes me want to have the ability to "like" posts, like Facebook!

I mentioned in another thread already today. The first time I tried it, I wasn't expecting much. I mean...it's greens and pasta, essentially. It's killer. I could live on it. Cook mixed greens/bitter greens in water - turnip, chard, beet, kale. Scoop out with a strainer/slotted spoon, drain, press, fluff. Cook orecchiette in the pan (or some other sort of chewy pasta). While the pasta is cooking in the greens water, heat some olive oil, add ample garlic, red pepper flakes and a few anchovy filets. Squish the filets until they melt. Add the pasta, the greens, and a bit of the pasta water. Saute for a few minutes and serve with fresh grated parm. Killer for a dish with so few ingredients, though takes me a while because I make the orecchiette by hand. Takes LOTS of greens, too.

I second the basic tomato sauce recipes mentioned earlier. Another one of those "sum is greater than the parts" recipes.

Chicken Adobo - that is one of the few things my husband makes. Hack some thighs in half with a cleaver, marinated in soy, vinegar, garlic, onion, bay, pepper corns. Cook it in the marinade until it's falling off the bone. Brown the chicken while reducing the marinade, serve over basmati or jasmine rice. Prior to adobo, if we had chicken for dinner - e.g. fried/baked/stewed chicken, vegetable or salad, starch - I'd eat about a half of a thigh. Done this way, though, I swear I could go through the 3 or 4, no problem. Totally changed the "chicken parts" for dinner thing for me.

Chopped morels in butter and garlic just until very juicy, and swirled through homemade pasta. It's a great way to feature morels when you only have a few. The texture of the pasta is similar enough to the mushrooms that it feels/tastes almost like you're eating a plate of just morels.

And summer sides: Chopped basil stirred into cottage cheese, and allowed to develop in the fridge overnight - hard to say how many pints of cottage cheese we went through last year. Tomatos/cucumber/green onion, with S&P and fresh herbs, plus a bit of basalmic. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour, and it makes it's own dressing...no oil required. (Goes great in a tortilla, if there's leftovers.)

A wonderful spread or filling for ravioli or something to melt over an appropriate dish...Caramelize a couple of cups of finely chopped onion until you end up with 1/2-3/4 cup. Add a can of chopped olives. Add a touch of balsalmic vinegar. Mix about half and half with cream cheese (err on the side of more onions/olives). Refrigerate for an hour. If I'm doing ravioli, I usually top it with a brown butter/garlic/lemon juice/basil mixture. The tart/sweet/salty thing is wonderful. There are a zillion varations of this with the caramelized onions...use kalamata olives, use a soft goat cheese, add a bit of feta to the mixture with cream cheese, add some finely chopped sundried tomatoes, etc. Killer in stuffed pasta. One year, I formed it in heart shaped moulds and stenciled on fresh chopped herbs, as a gift for Valentine's day, because it's also great on a cracker.

Good grief, I'm starving....running off to make asparagus/shrimp risotto, another quickie. :)

Mar 24, 2012
Cady in Home Cooking

Immersion Blender - proper usage?

Thanks guys...escondido, that's what I had finally settled on at just about the time that the soup was perfectly blended.

Paulj, the plunging down repeatedly was what was so much work - I'd plunge down, it'd stick to the bottom, I'd hold the pan and pry it off, and try to do it again.

I think the deeper container might be part of my issue. The asparagus/vegetables/broth only came up about 3-3.5 inches in a fairly large pan. I'll try a smaller, taller pan next time. Fortunately, I did NOT spray myself or my kitchen. :)

Having never used one of these before, the sucking thing was totally unexpected. I actually pulled it out and looked at the end, in case I'd put it together incorrectly!

Mar 24, 2012
Cady in Cookware

What to do with beets & beet greens????

Beet ravioli with poppy seed/browned butter. Yum. Google it, there are lots of recipes out there.

We're still snow-covered here, I'm jealous. The greens are best young - we eat the thinnings right up until the beets themselves are ready.

If I had tons of beet greens right now I'd make some homemade oricchiette, cook it in the water that I cooked the chopped greens in. (Add a bit of kale/chard/turnip greens/etc. if you don't have enough beet greens...takes tons.) Then melt a few anchovy filets in olive oil, with lots of garlic and some red pepper, add the cooked, strained/pressed/fluffed greens and the oricchiette, a little of the pasta water if it's dry, and serve with parmesan. Oh lord, that sounds good. Where the heck is spring?

Mar 24, 2012
Cady in Home Cooking

Immersion Blender - proper usage?

I just got my first immersion blender, a Cuisinart. If it turns out I like it/use it a lot, I'll get a better one, but this is about a $40 model, good to experiment with.

In the instructions, it says to blend with an up and down motion. Well, I made a pureed asparagus soup the other night - first and only time I've used it, and it was *fabulous* - and when blending, the thing wants to suck to the bottom. I mean, I could have almost lifted the pan with the amount of suction it produced. Holding it up so it wasn't sucking on the bottom was actually work...it kept trying to drag it back down.

Essentially all my blending time was simply spent fighting to keep the blender from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Never did get it to do an "up and down" motion, though it blended just fine.

I'm obviously doing *something* wrong. What?

Thanks.

Mar 24, 2012
Cady in Cookware

Mark McClusky's DIY American Cheese

This sounds like it would taste better than Kraft, but melt like American cheese. (I hate the taste of American cheese, but love the way it melts.) Not sure about the carrageenan and sodium citrate - that type of thing is why I buy very little processed food - though I can see why you'd need 'em in this case.

Feb 16, 2012
Cady in Recipes

Any memories of "poor people food" from your childhood that you still crave?

My mom used to feed seven of us on "clam fritters", made with one can of minced clams, mixed in some sort of batter and fried. Might have been Bisquick, might not. She also fed all of us on 1/4 pound of burger, usually with mac and canned tomatoes.

Dill pickle sandwiches and "fried cabbage" - cabbage sauteed in margarine - also come to mind.

I also remember crappie season. All seven of us would jig off a local bridge for crappie, and we'd have battered fish and fried potatoes...food and cheap entertainment, all in one. Haven't had crappie in *years*.

And butter clams from the Puget Sound, split, cleaned, dipped in milk and cracker crumbs and fried on the half shell...huge platters of them. After eating the clams you'd gnaw on the edges of the shells for the toasty bits. My grandmother lived on the Hood Canal, so it was almost free.

Gah, now I'm dying for fried crams on the half shell and crappie!

Feb 05, 2012
Cady in General Topics

Is There Any Commonplace Dish You've Never Eaten?

Yogurt. I've had it in tzatziki, but never from those little containers, plain or with fruit, nor have I ever eaten frozen yogurt. The thought grosses me out.

I have some recipes I want to try that require plain yogurt, so there may be more in my future, but you'll still never catch me with one of those fruity yogurt cup thingies.

Feb 05, 2012
Cady in General Topics

Is There Any Commonplace Dish You've Never Eaten?

We grow Jerusalem artichokes - hard NOT to grow them, once you start, as the multiply like crazy - and I love them. The texture is excellent. But they do cause a bit of...intestinal distress, if you eat enough of them.

Feb 05, 2012
Cady in General Topics

Baked spuds: To poke or not to poke?

Thanks, guys. I love Chowhounds for stuff like this - even when a thorough search can't find the answer, a quick question here put the issue to bed.

(And this is probably a good thing, because if I know my husband, his next step would have been an "experiment"!)

Thanks again!

Feb 05, 2012
Cady in Home Cooking

Cooking hash browns: a side-by-side method comparison

Interesting thread. When I was very small, pre-elementary school, my mom would make "shredded potatoes" for lunch, because there wasn't a lot of money in our house.

But I remember hanging out at a restaurant when I was 16 (36-37 years ago, thereabouts?) where they had hashbrowns on the menu (NOT called "hashed" browns) and they were made from shredded potatoes. And at this little cafe, they were the best in town.

So, while for a lot of people, only diced potatoes are hash browns, the first time I ever had them in a restaurant, more than 30 years ago, they were shredded. *shrug*. Must be a regional thing.

Feb 04, 2012
Cady in Home Cooking

Baked spuds: To poke or not to poke?

My husband was just throwing some oil-coated bakers in the oven, and I asked him if he'd poked them. He hadn't yet, and then did so, then asked me, "Isn't that an old wives tale? Isn't only for microwaves or..."

The first time I learned about poking holes in potatoes before baking was long before I'd ever heard of a microwave, but that doesn't really mean anything.

I tried a search of the web in general and a search of Chowhounds, and couldn't find anything definitive.

In a microwave, the exploding potato story sort of makes sense. But in a conventional oven? Does anyone know?

I do it because that's what my Mom taught me. (Keep in mind, though, like the "cutting the ends of the ham" story, I thought you were supposed to cut the ends off the potatoes before baking because my Mom always did...and years later realized it was because she always bought #2 potatoes, and the ends were...questionable. I learned the poking thing from the same person.)

(Feel free to steer me toward an appropriate Chowhounds post if it exists. I couldn't find it on search.)

Thanks

Cady

Feb 04, 2012
Cady in Home Cooking

50+ pounds of onions; no storage

Wyogal, we *don't* have a dehydrator, and we should. We've dried greens and herbs in the oven with the pilot light, but never something as adventurous as carrots or onions.

(I love kale, and SHOULD dry some, but currently, even with extended 35 degree days and 20 degree nights, we're still picking kale.)

Thanks for the carrot storage link, and I'll look into oven drying both carrots and onions.

Thanks! :)

Dec 09, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

50+ pounds of onions; no storage

Thanks. Sent that link along to the "prep cook" (also known as "husband") to hopefully get started on this. I hate waste.

Dec 09, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

50+ pounds of onions; no storage

I see much caramelization in my future. lol. I LOVE caramelized onions. (I have a party pasta filling or spread that I do with chopped olives, caramelized onions and cream cheese that I could live on.)

I guess if nothing else we should START caramelizing. Maybe the friends who don't need onions, *would* take some caramelized onions, for their own freezers. :D

Dec 09, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

50+ pounds of onions; no storage

My husband just informed me that they also gave us several heads of cabbage and a 50 pound bag of carrots. Cabbage I can deal with but fifty pounds of carrots?

And we've had the carrots and onions for almost two weeks now, so now I'm getting nervous. lol.

Dec 09, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

50+ pounds of onions; no storage

Alas, the county that we live in is about 2/3 the size of the state of Rhode Island, but has less than 1/100th of the population of that state. There are a few more than 9,000 people in the entire county, and most of them garden, I swear. (We're looking for friends who are willing to ALSO figure out stuff to do with toomanyonions, though. lol.)

There isn't anywhere to send these things, which is why they were given to us. (Keep in mind that the nearest McDonald's, movie theater or Walmart from where I live is 60+ miles away, and where we live, we don't have mail/Fed Ex/UPS delivery...really remote.)

Though of the very few (two?) places in this county that deal with food, I wonder if I prepped them in a commercial kitchen, if they would have space for them. I'll check.

Thanks. :)

Dec 09, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

50+ pounds of onions; no storage

I was thinking that caramelizing a chunk of them would be a good idea (smaller, concentrated), but the work involved sounded...not worth it. (I'm imagining pan after pan of onions here. lol.) I'm not familiar with caramelizing in the oven; that seems like it might be a bit faster.

(And thank you for the onion/freezer tip. We'll be careful!)

Dec 09, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

50+ pounds of onions; no storage

About two weeks ago, a farmer friend gifted us with at least 50 pounds of organically grown onions, perhaps closer to 100 pounds. About half of them are sweet onions so they won't last long.

We've had some great batches of French onion soup, but beyond that - though we use onions in most dishes - I'm at a loss.

Here's the kicker: We live off-grid in northern Idaho. Our freezer space is minimal. At this time of year we can and do use the outdoors as freezer space, but if we're doing any major storage thing, it needs to be stuff that will be used up before the temperatures rise in March.

We're trying to do SOMETHING with these before they go bad, though I guess there is always the compost pile. Suggestions? (We do have friends we can swipe a little electric-run-freezer-space from in a pinch.)

C.

Dec 09, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

cowering in fear

I use the Idahoan regular, if I have to use instant. If you just fold in the liquid gently, the texture is pretty adequate. (I live in Idaho, and weirdly, the potatoes in the stores here mostly suck.)

Nov 30, 2011
Cady in General Topics

cowering in fear

KaimukiMan, I'm curious. What was the mashed potato emergency?

I don't mind instant mashed potatoes if I'm in a hurry...I just don't think of them as mashed potatoes, the same way I don't think of McDonald's hamburgers as hamburgers or Taco Bell tacos as tacos. They actually taste good if you substitute butter/milk/water combo with chicken broth...they just don't taste like mashed potatoes.

Nov 30, 2011
Cady in General Topics

Pasta dumpling shapes for turkey dumplings?

So I tried this with several different shapes. The filling was great - about one part onion, one part celery, one part turkey, all finely diced plus some garlic, sage and s&p. Lightly sauteed the veggies, and then mixed the batch (about a cup and a half of filling) with a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese, just to make it easier to handle for stuffing. (The cream cheese was fine, but I think I'd use ricotta next time, as it's more...I dunno...neutral?)

I don't personally normally use sage *inside* pasta, so I was just a little too careful, I think. I did add quite a lot of sage to the filling, just prior to the point of getting bitter. Unfortunately, like a lot of fillings for stuffed pasta, if you're not shooting for subtle in the sauce/broth for them, the flavor needs to be strong, 'cause it gets sort of diluted by the pasta. By the time the turkey gravy hit it, I could taste it, but not as strongly as I would have liked. Next time, I'll add more sage, and probably a few dried mushrooms.

For pasta shapes, I tried several, from those that take tons of filling - a 4 inch square ravioli, that took about 4 tsp - all the way down to those that take just a bit more filling that a "big" ravioli - about 1.5 tbsp.

Shapes I did were (filling amount in parens):
4 inch square ravioli (~4 tsp.)
2.75 inch pleated potsticker-like (~1.5 tsp)
3 inch pansotti-like (folded triangle, ~2 tsp)
2.75 inch circle folded in half (like agnolotti) but with the ends pulled together to form a round shape; I think this is an Asian fold, I'm not sure. (~1.75-2 tsp)
Stars, made from a 3 inch square (corners brought up to a point, edges sealed, base ends up being around inch and a quarter to inch and a half, ~2 tsp filling)

I started this with two assumptions: 1. My husband would like the giant ravioli best, because it had the most filling, and 2. I'd like the pasta stars best, because it's one of my favorite shapes for holding a good-sized bite of filling.

I simmered the pasta in broth (in different batches, due to varying sizes and thicknesses), put a touch of butter on 'em, and covered them with basic turkey gravy. Amazingly, not one broke.

The two that I thought we'd like the most - the large ravioli and the star pasta - were the two we liked the least.

The big ravioli...I might as well have just made a semi chunky sauce out of the filling ingredients and mixed it with the gravy. You really couldn't tell where the filling started and the pasta ended.

The star shape, which I LOVE for a shrimp/ricotta pasta that I make, wasn't the proper shape for a chunky, non-cohesive filling. We'd take a bite of pasta/filling which was good, then all the rest of the filling fell out, so you were left with a pile of filling and a bite of pasta.

The pansotti style triangles were pretty good - ample filling, slightly chewy pasta edges. I could see building these and baking the result, as they feel like they would hold up well. My husband didn't love the pasta-to-filling-ratio, though he might like them baked.

We both agreed that the little potsticker shaped ones were great. They held the filling well, and it was a nice bite or two of filling. The pleated edges were just slightly chewy. And if I were just going to stick to my original plan (freeze some pasta to later be covered with gravy and a few vegetables) this is probably what I'd make.

But the real winner was the pasta shape that I don't know the name of! lol. I use this shape in soups sometimes. It's not won ton or tortellini shaped, it's just a folded circle of dough, with the ends brought around into a round shape. It had the perfect amount of filling to pasta ratio - a bit more than the potsticker-like one - and would work in soup, covered with sauce or baked. The sealed edges were slightly chewy, but the bulk of the pasta was very tender. They were exactly what I was looking for. (I have to laugh, because they were sort of an afterthought.) Another plus is that they're a little quicker to make than our next most favorite, the potsticker-type.

So tomorrow I'm making a whole bunch of pasta-shape-I-don't-know-the-name-of, for freezing.

I just thought the sizes vs. filling ratios might be handy for someone else, later.

J.

Nov 25, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

Pasta dumpling shapes for turkey dumplings?

I'm taking leftover turkey and making some ravioli/dumpling sort of thing, with minced turkey, celery, onion, garlic and sage...maybe a bit of thyme, some salt and pepper. Filling will be very slightly on the chunky side, so it has good texture. I'll probably add just a touch of ricotta or cream cheese to make it stick together a little - makes it easier to stuff into dumplings - and freeze 'em, and boil them up later to toss with some turkey-mushroom gravy or something.

This is the kind of filling that if I put it in my standard ravioli size, my husband will gripe, 'cause he wants a good bite of filling, and the pasta is secondary. (Me, being pasta obsessed, thinks he is mean, cruel, evil and lacks taste, but what do I know? Kidding, kidding...)

I'm going to do a small experimental batch tonight. I'll do a couple of large ravioli; a couple using a potsticker pleated fold, only smaller; a couple almost potsticker-sized; two sizes of stars (that's where you take a square of pasta, pull up the corners and seal or pleat the edges). I might do something sort of won-ton like.

Any other recommendations for what I might try, fold-wise?

I must admit that as much as I like pasta, it'll be a lot quicker if the dumplings are heavy on the filling. :D

Thanks!

Nov 25, 2011
Cady in Home Cooking

Quick! I need help! :(

Yep, sounds like aphids, which will attract little ants. Insecticidal soap is what you want, because you can just rinse the produce and eat it.

Oct 01, 2011
Cady in Gardening