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Daisy L's Profile

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Vacation cooking - need suggestions

Great thread. Thanks for the tips!

We are planning our second big family vacation. Last year worked out okay, but we clearly had a lot to learn about stocking the kitchen.

Thankfully, my sister did a great job stocking teen-friendly foods. Single serve mac'n cheese, granola bars, slim jims, popsicles, trail mix etc.

For the adults, we need to make some improvements. The menu ended up being dominated by camping food, which wasn't really necessary since we had a full kitchen at our dispoal.

(The main-kitchen planner is not a foodie, but the rest of the crew is.... )

For next time.. I want to plan a balance of classic summer dishes, and interesting foodie meals.

Making basics ahead of time and stocking the fridge with pre-made salads is a great idea. That way, there is always something available for fussy eaters.


Aug 21, 2008
Daisy L in Home Cooking

Sushi Kyu

I don't like Zen either - in my case I wouldn't put Sushi Kyu below Zen. (Zen mystifies me.)

Had lunch at Sushi Kyu yesterday. The rolls were subtle and inventive. The sushi was good. We also tried the ika and sweet potato tempura, the ika was tender.

Service was prompt, helpful and professional without being fussy.

The food was solid, but it did seem pricey for what we had.

Not a sushi showcase. Good for lunch with a non-sushi eating friend .

Aug 13, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

bahn mi

Any word on the Baguette house? (The place next to the tofu place at Chinatown mall?)

Jul 02, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Socca and panisse

No worries, I also have a gluten-intolerant friend. She is my inspiration for conquering breads (and things) made with garbanzo flour.

I used Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo flour. Maybe this is where I went wrong, and I need to be using a different product.

I have read differing opinions on Garbano flour compared to Besan and the italian version (cici?).

Jul 02, 2008
Daisy L in Home Cooking

Socca and panisse

Mark Bittman extols the delights of panisse in the latest entry on his blog ("My new favorite thing").

It sounds good, but after my socca experience, I am not so sure

I tried to make socca a couple weeks back - and the results were a disappointment. The flavor was okay, but the results were uneven. Outside was super crispy, inside was kinda sorta creamy.. - but the pieces were pretty crumbly. (I used a cast iron skillet)

I was never able to produce the thin socca that everyone seems to be bragging about across the blogsphere.

I have more chickpea flour, and I hate to give up.... so tell me, move on to Panisse, or conquer Socca first?

Jul 01, 2008
Daisy L in Home Cooking

bahn mi

Second on Thanh Nhi.

Jun 23, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Red Bean Ice Cream

Shan is right, I saw Red Bean Ice Cream at MT Supermarket. It was in the same case as other speciality ice creams. In addition to red bean, I saw (if memory serves me right0 Green Tea, Cheese and Corn Ice Cream, sweet purple yam with bean are a few of the other flavors in the case.

Magnolia was the brand picked up:

Jun 23, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Food Mill Frustration

Screen bowing upwards: Check
Bar holding the handle hooked: Check

Tension - not so good, it just doesn't seem to hold that well.

This is the only brand of food mill I have tried, and I agree... it feels small.

Is there an alternative food mill? Especially one that could handle fruit for making jelly etc?

I like to use as much of the fruit as possible.

i will tinker with it tonight, and post results.

Jun 19, 2008
Daisy L in Cookware

Food Mill Frustration

Any tips on how to keep a food-mill together?

(I have reviewed the old threads about food mills, and did not find any clues on this particular issue.)

I have a Cuispro (pardon my spelling). It assembles okay, but shortly after I start turning... the handle/spring thingy breaks out of position.

Nothing appears broken, the sieve is on in the right direction, the bar thingy holding the handle-turny thing is hooked in..

Clearly I am missing something, I've never made it past a couple of turns with it...

.now, it's personal... I want this baby to work!

Jun 19, 2008
Daisy L in Cookware

Whoopie Pies?

I have never had either a Whoopie Pie or Moon Pie.

What is the difference?

Jun 16, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Food Blog Heaven

Not to start another controversy, but Monkey is a terrycloth monkey, not a sock-monkey.

Totally different cooking styles. ;-)

Jun 16, 2008
Daisy L in Features

Kids 'n' Calories

What a shame. Verb was an interesting program. We used the materials to pull together a fitness initiative that brought schools and families together - and encouraged them to use our parks.

Jun 15, 2008
Daisy L in Features

Cheesy Chips Mellow Out

Crayons showed up at my local natural food store a few weeks ago. It's a bit hit at my house.

I am a skeptic when it comes to promises about low sugar items, but SugarGuard seems to the real deal.

Boo didn't experience a spike in blood glucose that comes with most juices. (Yay! big points for Crayons juice. Having a "juice box in my lunch just like everyone else" is a big win.


Tradeoff: no high fructose corn syrup vs just 30% juice.

Priced $1.49 .

Jun 14, 2008
Daisy L in Features

Every Story Needs a Villain

Cameras are bound to catch every quirk and weakness. Editing does come into play. In Lisa's case, she gave them a lot of material.

Now it is her time to choose how she reacts: Reinforce the impression or display the positive aspects of her personality.

Convincing people you are someone they want to work with is no small matter.

It will be interesting to see which avenue she chooses.

Jun 14, 2008
Daisy L in Features

roast beef sandwiches?

Yikes - this thread shows the dearth of great sandwiches in Austin.

I am still hunting for a good french dip in Austin. I suspect my problem links back to the "no good bread in Austin' theme.

Jun 03, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Restaurants willing to modify for special diets?

Mirabelle was extremely accommodating when I was there and had special dining restrictions. I don't want to discuss my food issues with my dining companions - and Mirabelle handled it with class.

Best of all, they didn't make a big fuss about it. My plates arrived with everyone else’s - which was a huge relief.

I did call ahead during a slow time - and the person on the phone was able to recommend items that could be easily adapted.

I cringe when the wait staff "announces' a special meal to the table, and gives a play by play of what is on there, or delivers it separately.

Jun 03, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Blue Star Cafeteria

Blue Star totally bailed me out with their Chicken and Stars soup. Great comfort food.

May 21, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Semi-"Catered" Meals for a Meeting

Final decision: Sandwiches from San Francisco Bakery ,drinks from Sun Harvest, and dessert platter and fruit from Costco.

Pulled together the presentation with a few bowls and platters, some semi-nice paper products. And Viola! Business lunch for 6.

It was pulled together without too much driving around/ or fussing. I would do the same pattern again for another meeting on short notice.

Lessons learned:

The dessert plate was a bit much for 6 people. I would divide the platter in half.
Don't forget extra condiments. They had some, but were hunting for more mustard.

May 21, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Semi-"Catered" Meals for a Meeting

Set up:

A friend of mine is hosting a meeting next week. This thing is being planned on very short notice. She will be hosting all day working sessions... where she needs the full attention of her colleagues.

They won't have the time/luxury of going out for a meal. The meeting location is all set, but it is not in a hotel that offers full service catering. (and it is fine to bring in outside food)

The group is relatively small (4-8 people), and they are all executive directors of their own organizations.

And now for my question(s):

What are some good "take out" options for a meeting? I can pick-up, but I don't want to be driving all over town to pull this off.

Few rules:
Keep driving to a minimum, the meeting is in the Arboretum area.
No stinky foods, they are going to be confined to a small room together for 8 hours
Healthy foods
There will be access to a small kitchenette.

I forgot an important twist: They all consider themselves adventurous foodies

May 02, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Thanh Nhi: What a find!

Just had dinner at Thanh Nhi - and i can confirm they are closed on Monday. The hours on the door show closed on Monday, and there were some added signs inside stating the same....

Apr 20, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Thanh Nhi: What a find!

Ate at Thanh Nhi last night. We ordered a lot of similar things. Bhanh Mi, Pho and a Chicken Lemongrass vermicelli bowl.

Our experience was pretty much a repeat of Abidonfood's comments.

Tasty, Friendly, Clean, Affordable.

The ladies taking orders and serving were super nice and friendly.

Apr 12, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Cheap, hidden ethnic (or not) eats?

Thanks for the recommendations folks. Ate at Thanh Nhi last night, and had a great meal. The banh mi was good - as well as the pho (broth was yummy) and the lemongrass chicken. A few regulars came in and ordered plates of just spring rolls (i think?) - I'll have to try them next time.

Also, the ladies that served the food were extremely nice. Happy service goes a long way. We left smiling.

Apr 12, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Best Cheap Eats in Austin?

I second the recommendation of Gene's. The Po'Boys are the real deal and the Gumbo was tasty. The live Blues guitar sealed the deal - all Austin, affordable, and close to downtown.

Feb 16, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Good Eats within 15 min from Airport

Oaxacan tamaleo is a good bet.

I was sad when they moved out of the location off Anderson lane - but I can understand the move.. the space was teeny tiny and attached to convenience store....

Highly recommended

Feb 02, 2008
Daisy L in Austin

Rotel deception [moved from Texas board]

Rotel is handy and flexible - as Alton might say - a multi-tasker.

I keep a few cans on hand for foodie emergencies. Rotel can be combined with a lot of things to create simple dishes with some snap. (Very little need to add other seasonings.)

Works great on Snapper, baked potatos, with kale ....

Feb 02, 2008
Daisy L in General Topics

What Are Your Favorite Grocery Store Items?

Great fun reading the lists.

Stadium Mustard --
Cholula hot sauce --
Heinz Chili Sauce
Rotel - Diced Tomatos and green chilis
Quaker Oats
Fage Yogurt
Kozy Shack rice pudding
Gourmet Gardens Basil - relatively new item, not sure if it is a fad or not... but it will maintained stocked for now.

Jan 17, 2008
Daisy L in General Topics

NYT & Mark Bittman question [Moved from Food Media and News board]

I suspect this is the recipe related to the column mentioned by the previous poster:

"...refrigerate oranges with their syrup. Oranges will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks."

Dec 30, 2007
Daisy L in Home Cooking

Good cookie press?

Although this thread is from last year, I thought I would add my own experience.

I bought a trigger style cookie press at Williams-Sonoma - and I am very dissapointed. The die shapes are flimsy, and after a few dozen cookies both the snowman and candy cane shapes were warped - producing distorted blobs. I tried allowing the dough to warm up a bit, and then warm up a lot.. and it just never did produce even shapes.

And despite the labeling, it is not dishwasher safe. So back to the W&S it goes.

I will be hunting through the stores tomorrow for a decent replacement.

Dec 14, 2007
Daisy L in Cookware

Yeast Free Menu

Exactly, this diet will be a bit change for her. She admits to being a "pop tart gal".
So, this new vegetable habit is going to be a big adjustment.

I suspect that her symptom-free days will motivate her to keep trying.

In researching options, I have noticed lots of different diets that hit on this theme. (Paleo diet, Makers Diet, Sugar busters etc.) I have been able to browse through their eating plans for inspiration.

Also, I have learned about all the "hidden" elements in our foods. I was always a label reader, but I was focusing mainly on hydrogenated oils, sugar, and wheat . Now I have expanded the list, and I am learning about options that seem equal to me...

Sep 08, 2007
Daisy L in General Topics

Yeast Free Menu

Thanks. I am happy to do it, especially if it gives her some relief. After the first dinner, she reported her symptoms were alleviated for several days.

She admits that pop-tarts make up a lot of her if this diet is a way to get her eating healthier, I will go with it.

Second dinner: Turkey meatloaf, cauliflower, wilted mustard greens, tossed salad.

For the meatloaf, I used the rub recipe for the roasted chicken to flavor the ground Turkey.

I steamed the cauliflower until it was very soft, and sort of smashed it a bit..... so it would have a kind of mashed potato feeling with the meatloaf.

The mustard greens were okay, but a bit too bitter for our tastes. The sweet onion was not enough to balance the greens... but I couldn't come up with a way to balance it out without adding sugar or some other forbidden food.

Next time, I am going to try to find something a bit sweeter.

Sep 08, 2007
Daisy L in General Topics