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KarenDW's Profile

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Best inexpensive but decent knives for sharing at cottage (must be avail in Grter Vancouver)

Hi GS. As one who has rented cottages for many years... I'll just offer this thought: we take our own knives when possible. I do not expect good knives at a cottage. Actually, I don't even expect highly functional knives. My flight kit (carry on bags only!) includes a small-profile knife sharpener. And I generally plan on purchasing a $10 paring knife at destination.
That said... the Kuron (?) knives I found at HomeSense/Winners have been quite functional for general use. Bonus for cottages or community kitchens: these knives are available in colors! and with sheaths! and are cheap ;) Totally fine if you sharpen/groom on a regular basis.
A functional bread knife, in a cottage, is also a bonus.

Aug 31, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

The B&B breakfast from hell

When I'm researching a BnB, I try to find out what sorts of items are actually served for breakfast. Because (a) I'm a special snowflake, and (b), I actually do have a couple of food sensitivities.
For $150 a night, I would expect a comfortable bed with decent linens and "not worn out" pillows; private bath (or maybe shared by 2 rooms?) including towels; maybe access to a place to make a cup of tea; lounge space to sit when not "in bed". Bonus points for drinkable coffee, juice-not-from-powder, or some fresh fruit at breakfast. I'm ok w/ EggBeaters; they really do start out as actual eggs...
However, what I would serve, if I was to run a BnB, is not what you received. But I would probably charge more...
Or, did you mean $150 per person per night?

Aug 31, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics
1

Restaurant staff self-grooming

Any time that I notice unprofessional behavior, I bring it to the attention of a manager. Sometimes I wait until after we are finished our meal. Unless, of course, the behavior is so offensive that I can't eat. (i.e., strong B.O., really dirty fingernails, hair in my food)

Aug 21, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Dinner and a movie

Mamma Mia + Greek food?
Grease + 50's diner
Tampopo + ramen or Japanese
Dr.Zivago + vodka, caviar, blini and borsch

Aug 21, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

What can I make with chickpea pot liquor BESIDES hummus or soup?

smoothie with cucumber, kale/spinach and apple juice
cook rice

Aug 21, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Food prep for the new baby

Whatever you decide to cook, freeze any leftovers in single portions. It's much less daunting to defrost 2 portions of anything, than to think about what to do with 4 of anything.
Also, pureed/smooth soups are your friend. Defrost and pour into a mug. Drink (CAREFULLY) while nursing/holding babe.

Aug 21, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Yet another request for lunch ideas (but a little different)

All manner of items can be wrapped in rice paper wraps, and then transported in a small cooler. Also easy to eat at the desk; sadly, I have a lot of experience with this.

Aug 21, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking
1

Yet another request for lunch ideas (but a little different)

do you have cooked lentils, beans, quinoa and rice on hand? I pack in single portion sized containers, and freeze some, and keep a few in the fridge for quick meals.

Aug 21, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Milan Expo

I wonder whether there is any recent response? Hopefully some of the pavilions are interesting, even if the food is pedestrian.
Fully expecting the site to be large. When I consider that we spent several days, over 6 months, visiting Vancouver Expo, 30 years ago... I feel that the two days we have in Milano are going to be rushed.

Aug 20, 2015
KarenDW in Italy

Hanoi bistro on Davie: really good broth

I concur re: broth. Lovely.

Aug 17, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

homemade ice cream with no sweetener, will it taste okay?

Recipe doesn't call for much sugar. Why not just taste before freezing, and if you like it, continue on... if you don't, then consider what you'd like to add instead of sweetener.
Creme fraiche instead of sour cream will be yummy! Slightly richer, but in a good way ;)

Aug 10, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Current restaurant pet peeve

sometimes is just the plates which have been under the heat lamp, not the full plate of food...

Aug 04, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Current restaurant pet peeve

in several of our local restaurants, we order bread when we want it. Some still arrive with cold butter. grr.

Aug 04, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Would you have asked...? Food to be thrown out

<<re the whole *taking leftovers home in a box* as a cultural issue...

I can remember when it wasn't done. Sometime in my early teens came the doggie bag, then came large capacity refrigerators and microwaves in almost every home kitchen - and the doggie bag became the leftovers box.>>

Yes, I recognize that there are cultural influences. In the situation I referenced up-thread, we were in a casual Cantonese restaurant in a suburban Vancouver neighbourhood. In order to enjoy a variety of dishes, our family ordered several items, fully intending to take home any excess.

Aug 03, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Would you have asked...? Food to be thrown out

"that is unusual" meaning, the act of bringing my own containers?
The dinner was held in a casual Cantonese-style neighbourhood family restaurant. Our family have dined there often. Taking food home, after a meal, is very common in that venue, and in our family's culture. At that particular venue, take-away food is packed in styrene foam clamshell containers, which tend to leak. For logistical and environmental reasons, I bring my own containers, and reusable bag.

Aug 03, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Do You Use Refrigerator Drawer Liners? Worth it?

IDK, for $4, I'd just try them and see whether or not it's a good fit for me and my fridge. In my region, $4 doesn't even buy a beer or a good juice.

Aug 01, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Closed restaurants, cafes, etc.

wow. That (rebranding) was quick. I was at ABC on Boundary with my dad, not 3 months ago.

Jul 31, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

20 hour layover in Vancouver, recs?

Others may not agree, but I happen to like the poutine (with "extra crispy fries" at Fritz Belgian Fry house on Davie near Granville, downtown. 10 minute walk from the Yaletown Canadaline station. Conveniently located on my way home from... nearly everywhere.

Jul 31, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Would you have asked...? Food to be thrown out

#urbancultureshock = recognizing the differences between different urban environments. I love Melbourne!
I'm pretty sure that our new family were astonished that I would have thought to bring my own containers.

Jul 31, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

No kids allowed?

<I love children, but I don't always like their parents.>
I'm allergic to children, but it's the parents of ill-behaved ones who give me the twitches.
Honestly, as the single mom of two kids, I really appreciated that I had the means to take my kids out to dinner a couple of times a month. We all need to get out, now and then. But the girls did understand the need to moderate their behaviors to suit the environment.
I think that what helped to form my girls' love of eating out... was my (Cantonese) family's celebration of food-based gatherings.

Jul 31, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Would you have asked...? Food to be thrown out

I'm in Vancouver, Canada. Not long ago, our family hosted some new in-laws from Melbourne, Australia to a multi-dish/course Cantonese dinner. There were many dishes, and so therefore, some excess food. Anticipating this, I had brought along reusable containers for taking home extra food. I really dislike using disposable styro boxes! Anyhow, the completely surprised look on our guests' faces was quite unexpected on my part. My hosting family explained the desire to avoid wasting food. Our guests understood. #urbancultureshock

Jul 29, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Vancouver food trucks

As one who has need to rent commercial kitchens on occasion, I can attest that the high cost of kitchen rental, relative to gross income, is one significant barrier to success.

Jul 28, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What to do with a bunch of sliced havarti cheese?

Slice into thin strips, freeze in heavy recloseable zip bags. Once frozen, "rustle up" the bag a bit, to loosen the cheese bits for later use, and remove excess air.
There are slight textural changes from freezing, usually towards being more crumbly.

Jul 28, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Canning Question (Peaches)

<<I did read that if the food is in contact with the underside of the lid, it will make a dull sound--how do I know if that's the case or if it isn't a good seal?>>
If you remove the ring, and take a look at the seal, you should be able to see whether or not the fruit it touching the lid. :)
If the jars pass the other seal tests, I'd say good to go! Check the jars for leakage, or damage, when you are ready to use.

Jul 28, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

What do you keep stocked at home?

When space in the freezer permits, I do like to keep both raw and cooked sausage. Also cooked, seasoned ground meats, diced roast chicken or beef. Grated cheese.

Jul 27, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Does parking make a difference for you ?

+1
I drive an "older" Toyota Matrix. With scratched up paint.
Not a fancy hybrid or German engineered sport coupe, that my husband would want. (and he would park far away from the maddening crowds, to reduce the risk of door dings)

Jul 25, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

$15 Minimum Wage=No Tip

A cash tip, of $20+, depending upon the total bill and service requirements.

And for those who don't want to pay "too much" as a tip... consider that many FOH and BOH employees neither work full time, nor have any sort of benefits related thereto.
In Canada, if an employee works for more than one employer (i.e., like 75% of the ppl in my circle) our at-source deductions for such things a pension, employment insurance and income tax may not reflect our actual income. The result is a large bill at fiscal year-end, for an employee who is only being paid minimum wage, and barely/not able to save enough $$ to pay the tax(wo)man/IRS anyways. Really, it's all just be big hot mess.
Better to recognize that people need a guaranteed minimum income, and that some professions should earn more than others.

Jul 25, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Beloved picky guests

The most challenging family guest I've hosted is allergic to pepper (black, chili); and somewhat garlic averse. We never host "a la minute", although most days I have a chicken breast or thigh in the freezer. Hardest part is ensuring that dressings or marinades are pepper-free.
Other than the pepper issue, she is easy going and a wonderful conversationalist. #greatguest
I am guilty of being a picky guest. Generally avoid fresh dairy (i.e., milk, cream) and milled grains (pasta, flour; even gluten free). But will take a very small sample if the dish otherwise looks appealing. And I can easily eat Asian rice noodles, but not really the brown rice pasta. Believe me, it's frustrating for me too, because I love food!
Usually, I can eat around whatever is being served, except for dessert. Then I take a small (i.e., 2 tbsp) portion, taste, and then leave alone, because I'm too full.
Dear friends, please don't hate me because I can't eat the whole wedge of pie. I asked for "just a bite".
Also, I don't expect someone to try and make a GF/DF version of their favourite dessert, just for me. I'd much rather have a BITE of the original, favourite, version.

How do you take your hard boiled eggs (when you eat them as-is)?

Cut in half, salt and pepper. Caesar cocktail or tomato "martini" on the side.

Jul 18, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

The well equipped kitchen

When living abroad, my daughter laments the lack of baking supplies (i.e., baking powder, yeast, granulated sugar) and some spices.

Jul 16, 2015
KarenDW in Cookware