KarenDW's Profile

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Your automobile as dining room!

As the parent of young teens, who were competitive athletes and dancers, I was often driving a car full of hungry kids. They would always have a bag of healthy snacks, fruit, water; to eat enroute from school to rehearsal/practice. I probably drove 500-600 "loaded" miles/week, plus back and forth to work. Must. Have. Coffee.
These days, I often take along coffee if driving to work, and sometimes hit a drive-through for a french fry fix at the end of a long day. As I rarely eat /at/ work (don't like wolfing down my food in a 10 min break), I need a car-snack after a long day!

about 15 hours ago
KarenDW in General Topics

Pressure Cooking for Two

I really like using our Breville Fast Slow Cooker, which is a pressure cooker and slow cooker combined. Sometimes I even use multiple modes of operation for a single dish!
Are you opposed to having the same dish twice within one week? If not, then just make the recipe for 6, freeze 1/3, and then plan to eat the remaining amount within 7 days.

1 day ago
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Brunch potluck where all the brunch basics are covered...

depending upon who the hosts are, I might bring nice coffee, and have it ground the day-of.

Mar 25, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH "MAYBES" WHEN YOU INVITE GUESTS FOR DINNER?

We issued invites by telephone to anyone without a working email address. Most of the "maybe" responses were due to health concerns of the over 75s and their "appointed driver" children.

Mar 25, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH "MAYBES" WHEN YOU INVITE GUESTS FOR DINNER?

We self catered at a rented hall. No food was available to be prepared on-site. It was a group effort, indeed; a glorious re-enactment of the smaller (40 pax) tea parties of my childhood.

Mar 25, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Your go to fat?

olive oil, not EV
butter
grapeseed oil
animal fats which have been rendered & strained, such as chicken, turkey, duck, beef
other oils for flavoring, including EVOO, walnut and sesame oils.

Mar 24, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH "MAYBES" WHEN YOU INVITE GUESTS FOR DINNER?

We recently planned a family event with a specific RSVP date. Not a sit down meal, but certainly not a stand-up reception. Out of 140 invitees, 80 responded, either yes or no. Many of the others had not received their email invite. We phoned to follow up. Because the guest list included many guests aged over 75, we understood the numerous responses of "I hope so", or "maybe". I organized catering for 100 guests. Probably 105 showed up. We had enough food; enough chairs. My aunt arrived with four additional guests, all of whom are related to us "not too distantly". My parents were thrilled to see everyone, and later, my dad commented that there were "a few" surprise guests.
Our family was not rich, but neither were we deprived. It is our custom to graciously welcome guests to our homes, including extending planned meals to accommodate visitors at dinner-time.

Mar 24, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Bring your shopping cart back where it belongs, please!

If I am purchasing more than 5 kg of goods (which is frequently, due to my work), I need a cart.

Mar 24, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Bring your shopping cart back where it belongs, please!

sometimes I can't see where the "official" cart station is located. So, I place my cart with others, in an obvious place. Clearly, the shopping center or store operators need to deal with this situation. FWIW, our local Costco does not have any signage indicating the location of a cart-return; staff pick up carts throughout the parking garage.

Mar 23, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Does one RSVP to a Save the Date?

I was recently advised of a wedding being planned for Jan 2016. Attending the event would commit me to two 5-hour flights plus 2 days off work. Really, I do appreciate knowing this far in advance, so that I don't plan additional extensive travel in the same year. I am already committed to a trip "at some time" during the first half of 2016.
So yes, even though I have no firm dates yet, it is handy to know, for budgeting purposes; time and money are both limited resources.

Mar 22, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Need advice for tipping a wedding caterer

The price you paid represented value to you, so all good on pricing :)
I'm a personal chef, so do cater medium sized events. When waiters are included in the service ordered, I add 17% to the invoice.

Mar 22, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Frozen Duck

will "stay good" for a very long time, if you have a freezer separate from your daily-use refrigerator. Maybe 3-4 years? Fluctuating temperature does cause some slight degradation of quality in frozen foods.

Mar 22, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Is it safe to let my chicken stock simmer on the stove overnight while I sleep?

I frequently leave an 18Qt stockpot simmering on my gas range, overnight. Also use the 6qt slow cooker overnight.
We live in a concrete tower apartment, with smoke alarms and several sprinkler heads.
Previously, I lived in a woodframe detached house, with my children. We had an electric coil stove, which was often used for overnight cooking.
p.s., I am over age 50

Mar 22, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Mr. & Mrs. cocktails for wedding reception

Tequila Sunrise...
citrus-y, lots of ice, refreshing, and delicious. Also a contrasting color for the mojito

Mar 22, 2015
KarenDW in Spirits
1

Traveling with frozen foods to beach vacation

I'm smiling at the thought of a "small" cooler of 38qt. Our 20 qt soft-side cooler will keep frozen things nearly solid for 10 hrs...
Not sure whether you are able to do this, but if you freeze your food items in "bricks", you'll minimize the amount of air in the cooler. Especially if you can then add baggies ice to fill the spaces.
The less "empty" space in the cooler, the more likely your foods will stay frozen.
Just minimize the number of times you open the cooler while enroute. Pre-cooling will definitely help.And, keep a separate cooler/bag for travel snacks.
Also, presuming that you'll be putting the food into a refrigerator upon arrival at the beach?

Mar 21, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Does one RSVP to a Save the Date?

For a family event (non-wedding), we sent StD notes via email to about 50 ppl, so that they could spread the word to their family members. Updated the mailing list based on some responses. Then sent proper invitation details via email, to the expanded list. All good.
Thanks to the notes of "regrets" responding to StD message, we know not to follow up w/ certain non-responders (to the invitation).
fwiw, I'm on the further side of 55.
If I am sending Save the Date messages, I'm inviting everyone to whom I've sent an StD card.

Mar 16, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Does one RSVP to a Save the Date?

"Some brides to be are sending these date notices to all identifiable 'friends of friends,' former college classmates, etc. It is to put them on notice that this person has chosen a specific date and please don't plan an event for the same date that may siphon off some mutual friends from the guest list."

I am not surprised by this. While (much) younger couples are planning weddings, our household has been planning other major family events, with common guest lists. It's great to receive a little advance notice of a lovely celebration. Some wedding dates have influenced the timing for other events. I'm grateful for the heads up.

Mar 16, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

What's that smell and why is it permeating my food?

I wonder whether the food storage containers are a bit old or have had strongly smelling items in before?
Have you considered storing your food in mason jars with clean/new lids, as an experiment?
I have noticed that there is less transfer of odor when I store food in glass. But, uh, no pickle jars!

Mar 16, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Edible Flowers in Vancouver?

The only edible flowers on our deck right now are rosemary. But calendula are starting to sprout!

Mar 11, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Edible Flowers in Vancouver?

UrbanFare and Whole Foods often have edible flowers in their produce section, close to other fresh herbs.
Or, check with Westham Island Herb Farm. It's a bit early, yet, for local fresh edible flowers...

Mar 08, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

I started this day a mere boy.........but now I am a man!

The original deep-fried FOF was a crispy bite of deliciousness. More recent versions, no longer fried, IIRC, are improved by the addition of tomato slices. Beware increase to "drip potential".

Mar 08, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Travelers: what unique ingredient should I buy as a souvenir and what recipe should I make with it?

From Barcelona, I like to bring back dried mushrooms of all sorts. Then use for soups, sautes, stews, risotto, etc.
From Melbourne or Tasmania, I bring pepperberry spice. Use like black peppercorn, usually in savoury preparations. My daughter is bringing me some soon (!) which I might try in a dessert, as well.
Other food items I bring back include salts from the regions I visit, and good quality tinned tuna and anchovies from Mediterranean stops.

West End Foodies

There were a couple of people sitting at tables...

Mar 04, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

West End Foodies

Also, current ideas re: Legendary Noodle? Walked by at 6:30 Tues. evening, and seemed very quiet.

Mar 03, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

West End Foodies

Any intel re: what's happening at the RainCity site?

Mar 03, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Do you use your stove for storage ?

brings to mind one of my roommates of old: stored the "extra" pizza in the oven. Also neglecting to tell anyone...

Mar 01, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

one of my clients is fond of sparkling juices: cranberry. cranberry apple. orange cranberry. pomegranate. I purchase at Whole Foods.

Mar 01, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Is dessert optional?

I'd be ok w/ the guest taking one bite and leaving the rest. Yup, if it's something I like, I'll put it away and eat it myself tomorrow :) But then, I only have dinner parties with people I know and like.
re: @Indy67 sometimes the plating of a separate portion would pose a challenge to me that, at that point of the day, I no longer have the capacity to cope. YMMV
Or, perhaps I've pre-portioned the desserts ahead of time, to reduce the time/stress of dessert service. Because I planned ahead.

Feb 28, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

dinner host responsibilities

I would at least consult w/ the host as to whether or not s/he was planning to order tea, dessert or any other item which prolongs the meal.
Sometimes one may underestimate the time passing, during the enjoyment of a meal together.
This does not need to be a difficult nor time consuming exchange! The way I see the situation unfold could be thus:
I'm invited to lunch, the host offers to treat; we enjoy a lovely time together, perhaps 90 min. on a business day. At the end of the main course, the server clears the table and asks whether or not we'd like to look at the dessert menu. I glance up at my host; she say's "no, I don't need anything else." This is my signal to also decline dessert, tea or coffee. Time elapsed = 5 seconds. Had my host responded to the server's inquiry, "I'm too full. K, do you want anything?" I might order coffee/tea. It's not usually my habit to order dessert. If my host indicates that s/he will be ordering dessert, coffee or tea, then I'll order coffee or tea.
Additionally, if I'm the one with the more limited schedule, then I might mention "I don't really have time for dessert today. We've had such a good time chatting, but I need to head off." But it all depends...

Feb 26, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Storage Containers For Freezing Food That Are NOT Plastic

I use mason jars and other glass jars for freezing, with no problem. As a food preservation teacher, I'm always "on the hunt" for inexpensive storage options.
Tip: when looking for containers for freezing, choose containers with rounded corners. These containers will be more airtight than those with completely square corners.

Feb 25, 2015
KarenDW in Cookware