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New ownership of the Skellig in Waltham?

You convinced me. Skipping it. Drove by last night and it wasn't the place I thought it was that was under construction - maybe one day when I'm desperate for something I haven't tried.…

Jun 28, 2015
thimes in Greater Boston Area

New ownership of the Skellig in Waltham?

Saw that they just opened. I'll still have to try it but thanks for the warning. Interior looked nice when it was still under construction a few weeks ago.

Does the Lowell location have similar bad reviews? Wondering if they are still figuring things out in Waltham.

Jun 27, 2015
thimes in Greater Boston Area

Freezing Guacamole?

Are you trying to freeze because you have made a lot that will go to waste or because you want to have some on hand?

I ask because you may have more luck freezing a very chunky avocado and lime mixture - then thaw that and mash it to your final consistency with onion/etc to make guacamole.

Jun 24, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Favorites from Watertown Markets?

I've been enjoying this thread. Just moving to the area, so trolling for places to check out.

But I'm having to google 1/2 of what everyone is talking about. We don't have a large Armenian population here! Can't wait to experiment!

Jun 21, 2015
thimes in Greater Boston Area

Planning a Birthday Lunch - Do I pay for Birthday Girl?

Lol

Jun 19, 2015
thimes in Not About Food

Summer evening tapas menu--crazy easy and/or make ahead

grilled/roasted spring onions with romesco is great!

Summer evening tapas menu--crazy easy and/or make ahead

Are you wanting to stay "Spanish" for your tapas? I know you mentioned a Spanish cookbook and sangria but not sure if the food has to be traditional Spanish tapas fair as well?

If you're willing to reheat, I always recommend a range of phyllo dough things. You can make 2-3 fillings and then roll them differently (rolls, triangles, squares, etc) to help differentiate. They freeze really well in general, will all bake together at the same temp - just aren't very Spanish.

Jun 18, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking
1

Planning a Birthday Lunch - Do I pay for Birthday Girl?

There have been a few threads about this type of thing.

- you should pay for the birthday girl and hope friends chip in if they want

- but - there has always been mixed expectations on what happens with all the friends that show up . . . my friends would all expect to pay for their portion . . . but let's hope this thread doesn't deteriorate into whether you should be paying for everything since you invited them to this party . . . .

Jun 18, 2015
thimes in Not About Food

First trip to Boston

moving to Boston area myself - thanks so much for posting this, I've been starting to plan a few "get out and about to experience the city" days and this was super helpful!

Wicked cool :)

Jun 17, 2015
thimes in Greater Boston Area

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

Every time I hold mail because of travel I get at least 3 bands.

Paris By Mouth website - any good?

You'll get plenty of "second votes" for john talbott's blog.

And as mentioned above - be careful about information overload when it comes to deciding on Paris restaurants. I did a "good trip" a few years ago and trying to make the "perfect" combination of choices wasn't worth it for me in the end. I loved them all, even the ones that weren't all that interesting sounding.

Jun 16, 2015
thimes in France

Paris By Mouth website - any good?

It is a perfectly respectable site and I don't think it steers anyone "wrong". So by all means use it for research and then you can search the places that interest you on other sites for second opinions and more details.

Paris is so full of restaurants (many good ones too ;) ) that doing online research about it is very overwhelming but from my experiences I would NOT say that PBM should be avoided for any reasons.

Jun 16, 2015
thimes in France

current restaurant pet peeve

We are in agreement - which is why I also am sick of seeing it on menus.

Jun 16, 2015
thimes in General Topics

current restaurant pet peeve

It does have a positive connotation - unfortunately it doesn't really mean anything and anyone can use it to mean anything on their menu …

We do have one restaurant that during the growing season has a section where they list what meats/produce was from what local farms.

Jun 16, 2015
thimes in General Topics
1

current restaurant pet peeve

When the waiter asks or talks about dessert before everyone is done with their entree.

this just happened this weekend - the waiter was also a clear one plate at a time as people appear to be done kind of waiter (another peeve already mentioned many times) - and it was a "nicer" restaurant.

current restaurant pet peeve

I've often thought the same thing - I love going to experiment and trying cuisines that I'm just not all that well versed in . . . but then you get there and you are just at a complete loss and the poor wait staff has to essentially walk through every dish on the menu . . .

Sometimes all I'm asking for is some general direction - is this a chicken dish? beef? spicy? a soup? noodles? just some broad strokes would do wonders. While some day I hope to be fluent in all the languages of the world and familiar with all the dishes of all the cuisines of the world this day is far off - help me out a little.

Jun 16, 2015
thimes in General Topics

Fresh seafood sticker shock.

Halibut cheeks - used to be a throw away part of the fish, they would virtually give those away… ah the old days.

Even beef cheeks are so much more expensive than they used to be.

Jun 15, 2015
thimes in General Topics
1

Fresh seafood sticker shock.

Now you're just rubbing it in ;)

Fresh seafood sticker shock.

Carolina shrimp was $24/lb here last week. And fresh quality fish is almost always in the 20's a lb as well.

I agree, it is crossing a line . . . though the fish stocks may appreciate a little slow down . . .

Jun 15, 2015
thimes in General Topics

Sugar causes cancer!

There wasn't a study that showed that . . . there was a study that was misinterpreted to mean that . . . .

All cells use sugar for energy.
Cancer cells are mutated cells that are more "active" than regular cells.
Therefor they require more energy and thus use more sugar - as would ANY cell in the body that is highly active.

No correlation between sugar and cancer. Even if you eliminate ALL sugars from your diet, your body will create other energy sources for your cells (because all cells need some energy source - or you die) and cancer cells will use more of that source as well . . . because they are mutated over-active cells. . . .

Modern Kitchen Outfitting on a Budget

I do love my stand mixer . . . . but I highly recommend thinking about what you cook most often if you're trying to prioritize equipment!

I use my cuisinart food processor FAR MORE OFTEN than I use my stand mixer. - chopping, slicing, shredding cheese, dough (pasta, pie crust, batter, quick breads, bread) . . . .

Jun 12, 2015
thimes in Cookware

Cooking for myself in Paris - several questions.

I must have just had herb blinders on then - thanks! I will have to be more aware next time.

Jun 12, 2015
thimes in France

Cooking for myself in Paris - several questions.

I was at many street markets. It was March the last time I was in Paris cooking but …

Jun 11, 2015
thimes in France

Cooking for myself in Paris - several questions.

I'll add one other thing that I found surprising (though maybe I was never looking in the right places) / fresh herbs were always hard to find.

I found basil plants but unlike here in the U.S. where you can get a little clamshell of any herb, I never found those in Paris and buying plants wasn't practical.

Any locals have tips on that for visiting cooks? I would have loved to find some parsley, basil, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, etc. does everyone just have those plants in the house somewhere?

Jun 11, 2015
thimes in France

Cooking for myself in Paris - several questions.

I was also going to mention that stock in every Parisian home kitchen I've been in and cooked in has been a bouillon cube (I don't prefer the taste of bouillon cubes, so when I was there for a long spell I just bought a bunch of wings and made a big pot of stock at the start of my trip one night).

While I was there for an extended time, I just used left over baguette (which I almost always had around) for bread crumbs, though I did see them in the grocery as well.

I was able to find both the shelf stable milk as well as refrigerator milk.

As far as cheese goes - you'll have to find a cheese monger that you are willing to trust with cheeses as french have a lot of unpasteurized cheeses. It isn't an unusual request (friends that I know who were pregnant in Paris also avoided unpasteurized cheeses and had no problems), you just need to be sure they understand what you're asking for . . .

Jun 11, 2015
thimes in France

Could really use some guidance - I need to start cooking at home

Well I can't give a lot of street cred for Rachel Ray :) (j/k) . . . . but I had been cooking for a while before this . . .

but I have to give a lot of credit to "Cooking Live" with Sarah Moulton for expanding my cooking repertoire. She was great on that show, she had great guests, and she cooked in real time (it was an hour show). She had great tips and had to solve problems on the fly since it was live TV. I loved watching that show and learned a lot more from that show than I'm aware of, I'm sure.

And as much as I like her new show (on PBS or something like that) she was so much better live. Scripted dialog isn't her wheel house, though she still knows her cooking.

Jun 11, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking
1

Could really use some guidance - I need to start cooking at home

You have a lot of advice - so I'll keep mine to two simple things

1) Think about cooking for 2 nights instead of each night as a single meal. What I mean by that is, for example, if you're having chicken one night, cook twice what you need. Use the first half for that night's dinner and the rest for the next nights.

So if you roast a chickens one night, from that you can make multiple meals for that night and the left overs for the next (or skip a night if having chicken two nights in a row doesn't work for you):
- roast chicken with a salad
- shredded and tossed with pesto and pasta
- shredded and turned into a taco with a few vegetables and some salsa
- cut up and tossed into a chicken salad

Same things works for other things as well - shrimp, steaks, pork loin, etc. It can also work for vegetables . . . potatoes (can be baked potatoes one night - oven baked fries the next); corn (can be corn on the cob one night - tossed with herbs and a vinaigrette for a corn salad or salsa the next).

2) If you're looking for a cookbook, I always recommend "Barefoot Contessa" (The first one she ever made, not the so much the others). All the recipes are very simple, have few ingredients, and the instructions are straight forward. It is a great "basics" cookbook. You'll have to flip through it to see if the recipes seem like something your family would eat, but if they are it is a great starter cookbook for exactly what you're asking for.

Alright one last piece of advice after re-reading your post:

3) Get away from recipes for the week and only experiment with recipes on the weekend. This may seem unrealistic since I don't know your basic cooking abilities. But, a lot of meals don't really need a "recipe" if you're willing to start with a mix of fully from scratch and some pre-made components.

You probably don't need a recipe for chicken and pasta tossed with butter and some parmesan cheese (kid friendly and quick). Or if you want to do tacos, if you've never made salsa, start with a commercial salsa you like and on a weekend find a recipe to try and make your own on a Sunday for your dinner on Monday or Tuesday.

Jun 11, 2015
thimes in Home Cooking

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

I don't disagree with the sentiment. So what a bad end - a worm - no big deal.

Which is why I find that you feel a slightly peeled ear - no way I'm buying that - a bit puzzling.

Jun 11, 2015
thimes in Not About Food
1

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

why wouldn't you take that ear home? If only the tip of the ear is exposed, why does that make it unworthy to you - especially if you're not looking at the ear anyway . . .

just curious why the change once you see it pulled back a smidge?

Jun 11, 2015
thimes in Not About Food

Wegman's Faux Pas [Moved from Boston]

I'm a corn peeler (though i wouldn't go through a carton of berries. I don't pull the husk all the way back, but I do pull it back an inch or so to make sure the kernels are mature all the way to the end of the ear of corn . . . sorry

Jun 08, 2015
thimes in Not About Food
2