KarenDW's Profile

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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

Vancouver wedding venues

I've recently done a site visit at UBC Boathouse in Richmond. Lovely water view, outdoor space, convivial space. Large enough to accommodate over 100 guests, but with smart decor planning, will still look intimate for a smaller group.

Feb 25, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Do you test-run a preparation before making it later for guests?

I rarely test recipes prior to making for guests (and sometimes clients). In fact, we have some guests who particularly enjoy the experimental nights, and might send a recipe to try.
If the technique or main ingredient are completely unfamiliar to me, then I might plan the menu to include "lots" of alternatives.
But I never let myself become intimidated in not testing first.

Feb 25, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Yaletown lunch on a Sunday in March with gluten free options?

I like Flying Pig for the roasted brussels sprouts. DH likes the Mac & Cheese, which are far from GF.
Really, for folks who need GF, the chains can be the most reliable, as they really do have a protocol for handling allergies.
Salsa y Agave is ok, in that generally acceptable way. It's also totally close to the train station, if that is a consideration. You'll still need to do due diligence on the GF factors.

Feb 24, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

does silence on an rsvp mean they aren't coming ?

I agree. If the people were those with whom I'd like to remain in relationship, I would welcome. Perhaps speak privately with, at a later date.

Feb 24, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

dinner host responsibilities

yes

Feb 24, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

dinner host responsibilities

If the host neither orders dessert, nor asks, "would anyone like dessert?" then I would not order dessert. Nor would I order a post-dinner drink of any sort, unless the host has ordered something. Nope, not even tea or coffee, unless the host has ordered or offered.

Feb 24, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

dinner host responsibilities

Do not want to offend in any way wrt alcohol. For example, my mother is opposed to drinking, and so therefore I don't order wine when lunching with her. However, if my father offers "a drink from the bar", sometimes my b-i-l and I will order something inexpensive.

Feb 22, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

dinner host responsibilities

If my husband and I are dining out, hosted by people who don't drink alcohol, we do not order alcohol. If our hosts order a fancy juice or non-alc cocktail, then we might do likewise. If our hosts do not order anything from the bar, neither do we.
In a case where my husband does not know the hosts, I would definitely advise him in advance that our hosts do not drink.

Feb 22, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

Are you a food hoarder ?

Hoarder or just prepared?
I keep a couple tins each of tuna, salmon, artichokes, olives, tomato products; "some" nut butter(s), honey; baking supplies. Perhaps I have too much paprika (3 tins of one sort, a few tins of other sorts).
Refrigerator has at least 2 dozen partial jars of olives, pickles, various condiments, jams, jellies; 3 different cheese. Plus at least one bottle of wine.
Freezer contains the product of my "poultry disscection practise", fruit from last summer, and some left-over meals, packaged in individual portions.
I like that I can offer hospitality at the drop of a hat, or after a long work day, without a trip to the market.

Feb 18, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Are you a food hoarder ?

I wash and reuse the bags, just as I would containers.

Feb 18, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Crunchy martini olives!

try castelvetranno olives
also, refrigerate the open jar of olives

Feb 16, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics

Teppanyaki in Vancouver - recommendations?

We used to take the kids to Kobe, downtown. Not at all a "budget" meal... but there are sometimes Groupon/social-buying promotions.
However, I've not been for over 5 yrs.

Feb 15, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Would you buy your neighbors' home cooked food

@ FeeFee34: Good questions :)
1. My clients have the option of providing a kitchen (in their home, office, or someone else's home) OR pay a rental fee for the commercial kitchen. For larger events, the client usually rents the venue kitchen, in addition to paying my fee for a commercial prep kitchen.
2. I use oven and refrigerator thermometers to check temps; transport food according to standards for safe food handling; heat, cook and chill foods according to health dept. guidelines.
Basically, I follow the same protocols for home kitchens and commercial kitchens, except for the dish-sanitizing protocol(i.e., rinsing w/ bleach or high-temp dish sanitizer for commercial kitchens)

Feb 15, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Vegetables that aren't necessary to grow at home?

Thumbelina carrots are about 1.5" dia, and delicious! Don't need to dig too deeply for planting. They are fast growing, so you can seed several plantings during the season. As with most crops in our small space, I individually seed carrots, spacing about 2-3" apart, in a staggered grid. (reference Square Foot Gardening).
Potatoes can be grown in a sack, 3 ft. dia or so. Start with a shallow pile of soil, and just keep adding soil as the leave of the plant grow taller. I like to grow the more costly varieties, such as yellow fingerling; cut up one or two organic potatoes from the grocery store, and plant in the sack.

Feb 13, 2015
KarenDW in Gardening
2

Breadcrumb topping for mac & cheese

It sounds as though you are using "fine, dry" breadcrumbs, when soft, coarse breadcrumbs might yield a better result. You may find better texture from either grating bread on a box grated, as mentioned upthread, or by pulsing fresh/ish bread in a blender or food processor.

Feb 12, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Group dining / anniversary dinner

Our family (18 ppl, including 2 primary school kids + the 80 yr old grandparents) has enjoyed meals at Cotto Enoteca on East Hastings in Burnaby. Casual, rustic Italian-esque. The little ones like to watch pizza making...

Feb 12, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Kits Happenings Part II (Jan 2014 onwards)

http://www.fooshoho.com/
closed since mid October

Feb 12, 2015
KarenDW in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Would you buy your neighbors' home cooked food

I'm a personal chef. My clients pay for service, which includes shopping for supplies. If the client has cookware, great. If not, I bring the cookware and tools required. It does not matter to me whether I am cooking 20 meals for 2 ppl, or one meal for 40. If the work is done in the client's facility (home, office, rented function hall, church kitchen, etc.) we're all good. I have business insurance which covers those situations.

Feb 11, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food
1

Husband Coming from 3 months stay in China; What to cook .

IDK, I might not be planning to cook anything which needs advance planning. ;)

Stock the fridge w/ cheese (if he likes that), fresh fruit, yogurt, nice charcuterie, salad fixings.
Home baking is not common in China, as many households do not have ovens. So, whatever cookies/cake he especially likes, made ahead and in the freezer... good to have on hand?
Live in the moment! and enjoy your time together.

Recipes perfect for leftover freezing

Have also stocked up my freezer recently, and it's mostly "ingredients, not meals" as my kids would say.
confit duck
trimmed, individually packed duck breasts
congee
pork tenderloin, roasted, sliced, with pan sauce
desserts: fruit crumbles, individually wrapped slices of quick bread or cake, cookies.

Feb 06, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking
1

Recipes perfect for leftover freezing

Grilled chicken breasts, sliced and in small portions.
Ditto grilled beef steaks.
Roasted vegetables, such as winter squash/pumpkin, beets, parsnip, brussels sprouts.
I also do "teriyaki" chicken/beef, and package with rice and some blanched vegetables. Roasted meats, packaged with sauce, jus or gravy, in individual servings.
One of the keys to great quality with frozen foods is to cool QUICKLY! So, plate the meal you're eating together, and then get the rest of that entree on ice.
If I'm making a stew with vegetables, then I set aside some of the raw veg to blanch and add to the finished stew before chilling. This step has particularly profound benefit when you are using broccoli, beans or snap peas.

Feb 06, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Crumbly Blackbean brownies

I would check the oven temp with a thermometer... sounds as though it might be too high.

Feb 06, 2015
KarenDW in Home Cooking

Do you make dining decisions based on coupons or discounts?

Sometimes.
My DH likes to see "value" when he is dining out, so often will purchase a groupon/social marketing discount. These discounts are often at places I wouldn't choose, but it's ok. We are going out to eat, and the discount allows us to make a different choice re: wine/cocktails.
The only rule we have about coupons is that we don't use coupons at my friends' restaurants.

Feb 05, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics
1

Fake wedding cake trend?

The top layer of our fake cake was real cake, which we froze for anniversary, according to the tradition of the day.

Feb 04, 2015
KarenDW in Not About Food

How many stores do you try before you give up and Amazon?

I concur. There are many on-line sources, including Amazon, many including direct from the producer. So, buying online does not necessarily equal buying for Amazon.
I prefer to purchase from the producer, when buying on-line.

Feb 01, 2015
KarenDW in General Topics
1