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pepperqueen's Profile

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Do you remember what's in your freezer?

I do a computer list by category and print it. It then hangs on the front of freezer. Everything taken out or put in is added to list. Every few months, we inventory and make sure list is correct. It is as simple as marking additions and subtractions from your list.

Aug 08, 2011
pepperqueen in Not About Food

Foods that make you sick?

Jen--must agree with the bell peppers; they affect me the same way. I can eat every kind of hot pepper and not have a problem. Also have a major problem with watermelon, cantelope and most other melons and cucumbers.

May 11, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food

Desperate Times Call for...

We have 30 or so cases of wine and enough food for at least a year.

Apr 19, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

new vitamin water 10: weird-tasting

I guess I don't undestand why everyone is buying vitamin water, bottled water, bottled iced tea. It just dosn't make sense to me. I can make a galon of iced tea for about 15 cents . We fill bottles about 1/3 full and freeze and then fill when we are ready to go. If your water is not wonderful, get a water filter. This beats the cost of bottled water.

Apr 19, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

serving sizes and recipes we post on chow

food, must disagree with you. We have found exactly the opposite. If a recipe describes that it serves 4, it will be at least 2 meals for us and each will have a nice lunch (or 6 servings). The food magazine recipes are even worse -- 1 lb of pasta with sauce and protein indicates 4 servings; for us it is 8 servings.

Mar 29, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

"Problem" ingredients

I use Nido (whole milk) dried for cooking and for eating and everything else. it is quite good and tastes like fresh milk. I was lucky enough to find cans of it at flea market for $1 and stocked up. price in grocery about $4.

Mar 11, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

What have you given up trying to cook?

Agree with you poptart and catrn--I can't make good fried chicken either; not only does it make big mess, but not as good as what we can get out. When we want fried chicken, our favorite is Popeyes. An old family friend makes wonderful fried chicken, and I have followed her recipe to the letter and it still isn't very good.

Mar 03, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

Do you have a favorite I'm-alone-now-so-nobody-will-know favorite dish?

I do mine the same way. I have tried it the classic way and find, as you have, that the dumpling were soggy. I start with a bit of oil and put in the dumplings and then add the water and put on the lid for a while and leave lid askew.

Mar 02, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

Ghee - shelf life?

I have ghee in the fridge that is at least 6 or 8 years old and I am still using it. It still smells good and tastes good. I think people have a wierd view of what is good and what is not. We have gotten carried away with "best by dates". They are mostly companies covering their rearends.

Feb 26, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

How high should a corkage fee be? (split from San Francisco board)

Alan, I think I also need to rant. We live in a small town in the Western Carolina mountains. We have about three (maybe more if we were willing to drive more miles) good restaurants in the area. We had dinner at one of them Friday night. Wine we can buy at $9 per botttle was priced at $7 per glass (not very big glasses--and wine should not be served in tiny glasses anyway). I will call and ask if we can bring our own wine if we go there again. How do others think about this?

Feb 25, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food

People's weird idea of "dinner"

This reminds me of one of my aunts. Her family was husband and 4 children, our family was my mom and dad and 2 children, other aunt had only one child. My aunt made good food, but not ever enough of it. One of her favorites was chicken and noodles--one chicken and about a pound of homemade noodles to serve 12 people. You could always count on leaving her house hungry. I don't think she did it on purpose--just didn't know how much to cook for that many people.

Feb 25, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food

Where did Aspic go?

My xmil made a wonderful chicken dish that was done in aspic. I wish I could find the recipe. I think it was like the one described by OnkleWillie, but without the vinegar.

Feb 19, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

Microwave popcorn peeve

I use the popcorn button on my micro and ususally have to add about 15 sec. Stand by your micro and listen--when you hear only a pop or so per second, turn it off. I have different results with different brands of popcorn. My micro is 1,000 watts and it takes about 3 min..

Feb 19, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

Is it worth buying Virginia or other "gourmet" peanuts?

We also live in western NC. We have found a great source for nuts, cheese, and lots of other things at a place called "Room Full of Nuts" Great prices on nuts, cheese and other bulk things.

Feb 19, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

What are you cooking for Valentines day?

After reading all of the responses, our menu sounds a bit old and boring, but things we love. We will be having a roast duck, wild rice and asparagus. No desert for us because I don't do well making desert.

Feb 13, 2009
pepperqueen in Home Cooking

2009: The Great Valentine Restaurant Rebellion

We thought about going to a winery to have a great dinner and we would also have to book a hotel. Best husband really wanted to do this for Valentines. We talked about it and I estimated our dinner at over $400 and to me it made no sense. We are having a roasted duck ( I got 3 ducks at Christmas for .99 per lb) and wild rice at home for about $10. We will have very good wine for $10 or so a bottle instead of $40 for the same wine and we won't have to wait for a table or put up with noise. We will have our own music.

Feb 12, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food

The End of the World as We Know it

Must agree!!! We always have 15 - 20 cases of wine on hand. Must have wine with whatever storage food is being served.

Feb 12, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food

The End of the World as We Know it

We also have thought about stocking up a bit more. We always have a good stock of things in the pantry and freezer. Think about freeze-dried meats, cheezes and vegies. What would you do with wheat?? Stock things you will eat, including powdered milk, pasta, rice, etc. A really good source for storage foods is Emergency Essentials --BePrepared .com. We have ordered from them and prices and service are really good.

Feb 12, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food

Special Chili Ingredient

Our chili is beef (round or london broil chopped in the processor ) , ground ancho chili (about 1/3 cup per pound of meat, chopped onion (1 per lb. of meat), 3 or more cloves of garlic ,cumin, mexican oregano, a dash of cinnamon and at least ` tsp of chili flakes. Brown meat well and then add onions, garlic and spices and cook until onions wilt. Add 2 cans of beef broth. Simmer for 2 hrs. or so and if you like add a can or 2 of pinto or kidney beans and cook for another 30 min. or so.

I know you didn't ask for a recipe, but I just couldn't resist.

Jan 29, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

best packaged or bottled ranch dressing? (not hidden valley!)

Our favorite bottled salad dressing is Cardini, especially the Ceasar. The Cardini dressings don't have sugar or HFCS and they don;t have lots of things that your can't pronounce. We hate salad dressings that are sweet--YUK. The Good Seasons mixes are good, but a bit too much salt.

Jan 29, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

which products have you stopped buying because of price increases or volume decreases?

We just got diet Pepsi(12 packs) for 4/$12 with a $10 bonus cash back with $20 purchase--had to buy 4 more to use the bonus cash back--12 for $26 total drive-out price. Watch ads for CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens, etc. for similar bargains. They are out there. We don't buy diet Pepsi unless it is on sale. Not about to pay grocery store prices of $4 or $5 per 12 pack--NO WAY

Jan 24, 2009
pepperqueen in General Topics

Average Grocery Bill-for 2

Had to laugh here. We buy at least four or five cases of wine a month. Our wine budget is higher than our food budget (about $600 per mo.). We eat very well and our food budget is about $300 per mo. We eat at home and take lunches to work. I read grocery ads and only buy what is on sale. We have a large freezer and pantry is full.

Jan 23, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food

Making Yogurt at Home

What kind of powdered milk are you using??? We have some #10 cans of powdered milk and it would be wonderful to use them. Thanks.

Jan 22, 2009
pepperqueen in Home Cooking

garlic skin removal -- new technique!

a good way to peel garlic is to put clove of garlic, rounded side up, on cutting board and then smack it with the flat side of a chef's knife, using your fist on the flat side of the knife to do the smacking--skin come right off. I discovered this technique from an old Chinese cookbook.

Jan 18, 2009
pepperqueen in Home Cooking

pepper mill rec?

greglor -- must agree with the Penzey's pepper grinder. If you like a lot of pepper (and we do) this one puts out a lot without much effort. It is the only one we have found that will handle the Special Extra-bold tellichery peppercorns (because they are so big). We have several expensive grinders and they do not do as good a job as the Penzey's grinder. Highly recommended.

Jan 16, 2009
pepperqueen in Cookware

What is your "test kitchen" process for new recipes?

I just write them in the cookbook. Mine all have lots of little notes. A friend was here for dinner and I had a cookbook out and he almost had a heart attack because I had written in the cookbook.

Jan 11, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food

What are your absolute must-have spices?

I would not recommend any of the spice racks. Spices shoud be in a dark place and not in racks on the cupboard. I have three cupboards with spices, herbs, etc. and use rotating trays so I can find them. I order from Penzy's and love the spices I get.

My must have spices is a very long list:

pepper (tellecherrry extra-bold) - order 1 lb (or more) at a time
ancho chili powder
cumin (whole and ground)
red pepper flakes
thyme
tarragon
cayanne pepper
allepo pepper
bay leaves
tumeric
coriander
cardomon pods
basil
asoepheda
anise
szechuan pepper corns

and If went into my spice cupboards, there would be many more.

Jan 08, 2009
pepperqueen in Home Cooking

Good Szechuan cookbook?

Thanks for the suggestion--I will definitely try "Land of Plenty".

Jan 08, 2009
pepperqueen in Home Cooking

Good Szechuan cookbook?

My all time favorite is "Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook". I have been cooking from this since it came out in 1976 and have made most of the recipes in it (some many times). It is probably out of print, but available on Ebay or other used book sources.

Jan 08, 2009
pepperqueen in Home Cooking

Path to take to being a very good Cook at home

Must agree with Apple--I learned a lot of my cooking skills from Julia--both from tv and from cookbooks. Could not live without The Way to Cook.

Jan 06, 2009
pepperqueen in Not About Food