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Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

so, NOW you tell, after i've already bought a can...sigh.. ;)

1 day ago
Vidute in Chains

Best recipes for homemade Christmas gifts

i haven't made a baumkuchen, but i've made a a simplified version of raguolis, the lithuanian version of baumkuchen. as you can see by the photo, the traditional raguolis is more tree-shaped (evergreen) than the german baumkuchen. the baumkuchen batter is spreadable whereas the raguolis batter is quite thin. it is ladled over a revolving spit and the drips create the "branches".

the heat source should, ideally, be behind the spit. there is a special oven that you can purchase or you can rig a grill's spit with a wide-diameter steel pipe covered in foil.

here's a youtube link showing how raguolis for a large crowd is made. it's in russian. about 39 seconds into the video, you can see the raguolis spinning on the spit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXG521...

the home, oven-baked version requires that a thin layer of batter is repeatedly poured into a round cake pan (preferable a tube pan)and baked after each poured layer so that the "tree rings" develop and are visible once the cake is cut. the cake's texture is dense and somewhat chewy. the batter is very rich and uses egg yolks and butter. a friend of my mother's used to make the "tree" version and once said that he used six dozen egg yolks.

if you want to try raguolis without having to bake it yourself, racine bakery in chicago makes a very nice version. and as raguolis is baked for celebrations and holidays, now is the perfect time to order.

http://www.racinebakery.com/rbBakery_...

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in Home Cooking

What do you do with leftover seafood ?

most of the time i like the broth over the actual mussels/clams. :) soup's my weakness.

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in Home Cooking

What do you do with leftover seafood ?

if you have the mussel/clam broth, you could make a quick stew.

butter, celery, shallots, half-and-half, cayenne pepper

i use this for oyster stew.

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in Home Cooking

Best recipes for homemade Christmas gifts

baumkuchen- a thin batter is poured over a rotating spit creating "tree rings"; hence, "tree cake".

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in Home Cooking

Looking for recipes to make boozy gifts for Christmas

a lithuanian, spiced-honey liquer, virytas.

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in Spirits

What do you do with leftover seafood ?

"leftover seafood" is an unknown phenomenon. as with jello, there's always room. (says she who polished off a dozen chesapeake bay blue steamed crabs, this afternoon, as bittersweet farewell to the end of the 2014 maryland crab season. sweet, fat, spicy. a memory to keep me warm all winter.)

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in Home Cooking
1

Soft Foods for Thanksgiving

klopse- german meatballs simmered in broth with the broth being made into a cream sauce after the meatballs have cooked. the meatballs are quite tender, especially if made with veal. since it's t-day, ground or minced turkey could be substituted.

fish filets.

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in Special Diets

Rule #1...always...

how frequently does he succeed?

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

Rule #1...always...

okie doke, henny!

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

The food's terrible...and such large portions

found this review on yelp:

4.0 star rating

2/4/2012

2 check-ins
$14? For all you can eat oysters on the half shell? I didn't believe it either, but Green Olive does it and pretty well. The last time I gorged myself on 3 dozen oysters, the tab ran me $70 at a certain overpriced raw bar in Old Town. Being the adventurous type, I decided to give these a go. Green Olive's were actually BETTER: big, plump, briney and not iodiney. Two caveats: these aren't shucked so much as opened (you have to use a knife to separate oyster from shell) and the staff tends to pile on the oysters. That means you sometimes get bits of shell on top of your oyster. For $14 all-you-can-eat, I can live with this.

The rest of the seafood bar isn't bad either: clams on the half shell, steamed shrimp, boiled crawfish. Steer clear of the sushi; the rice isn't seasoned and the fish doesn't taste like anything. The fried stuff is alright, if you're into that sorta thing. The American food is just there because it has to be; not good, but not bad either. The roast beef was medium rare instead of well done shoeleather, so that's a plus. Sides were the usual steam tray buffet offerings. Skip those and head for the soups: wonton, hot and sour, clam chowder. These were actually pretty decent.

You don't come to buffets for ambience, but at Green Olive, you don't have to squeeze past human mountains to get to the food, unlike Great American Steak Company. The aisles are wide, they have private rooms, and there's plenty of seating. Servers are snappy with the drink orders and table cleanup. I'm not a fan of buffets to begin with, yet everybody seems to want to have their retirement/birthday parties at them. In Alexandria, your choices are the execrable Great American Steak Company and the totally forgettable Old Country Buffet. Green Olive is the only one I'd consider returning to, particularly for those oysters. You can do a lot worse. Just think of it as an all-you-can-eat seafood shack that happens to peddle Chinese and American food, order a beer, and stuff yourself stupid.

Nov 23, 2014
Vidute in Chains

Rule #1...always...

i've done that. no real harm if you've entered too little time, but too much....

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

Rule #1...always...

aciu, emglow. jau laikas virti barsciu sriuba.

and...when making borscht, always wear old clothes and an apron because anything else is a beet juice magnet. anybody want some jackson pollockesque beet spattered shirts or pants?

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 (Part II)

thank you, grace. i'll palm the caramel as i open the box! :)

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in Chains
1

Fresh Un-shucked Oysters? Local market or mail order suggestions?

not a seafood market, but wegmans usually has a variety of oysters.

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014) Nominations!

thank you!!! i'll be here all week!

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 (Part II)

here are the ingredients. although margarine is listed, it's not the hydrogenated kind. palm oil is used, instead.

INGREDIENTS: Wheat Flour,
Granulated Sugar, Water, Butter
Margarine Blend (butter (milk), palm oil,
soybean oil, water, salt, mono and
diglycerides, annatto (natural color),
natural flavor, vitamin A palmitate),
Sugar, Kernal Paste, Margarine (palm
oil, water, soybean oil, salt, soy lecithin,
natural flavor, beta carotene (natural
color), vitamin A palmitate), Shortening
(palm oil, soybean oil & vitamin E), Egg
Whites (triethyl citrate added as a
whipping aid), Corn Syrup, Glucose, Egg
Yolks, Instant Modified Starch, Almond
Paste (almonds, sugar, potassium
sorbate), Yeast, Whey, Salt, Palm Oil,
Granulated Sugar, Modified Corn Starch,
Guar Gum, Agar, Natural Flavoring,
Artificial Flavoring, Sodium Benzoate
(preservative), Beta Carotene (natural
color).

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in Chains
2

Rule #1...always...

true, true, true.....but just think, you can make a double batch, and who doesn't love more cookies!!???

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

Rule #1...always...

who'da thunk that chowhound would have ever prevented a disaster? way to go laliz!!!

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014) Nominations!

per sandwich_sister's post: "a dish is loosely defined as an ingredient and a method of preparation"

the ingredient i'm nominating is flour and the method of preparation is baking. :D

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in Home Cooking
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 (Part II)

the dried mushrooms are back as well as the horseradish (who woulda thought horseradish is seasonal? only tj's)

there were some beautiful, fat asparagus spears in the elkridge, md store this afternoon. i think $3.49 for the pound pack. also, a 3lb bag of honeycrisp apples for $4.49. they looked really nice. i didn't pick up the asparagus or apples as i had purchased some yesterday at another store. i paid $2.99/lb for the honeycrisps.

i also saw dried ghostpeppers in a spice grinder amongst the spices.

and, the 3-pack of hand creams are back....!!!

i picked up a box of those precious-looking "cupcake chocolates". i'll be taking them to my sister's for thanksgiving for the taste-test.

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in Chains
1

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

the dried mushrooms are back as well as the 3-pack of hand cream.

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in Chains
1

Rule #1...always...

i think sparrowgrass meant "right" as in the "correct" side of the sink. :)

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014) Nominations!

FLOUR BAKED

Nov 21, 2014
Vidute in Home Cooking

Rule #1...always...

akin to: remember to take all meat products home with you for winter break after you've removed them from the fridge. roommate will not be pleased when she/he returns to the dorm a month later to find a "fragrant" room and "pets". yup...been there done that.

Nov 20, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

Rule #1...always...

i've run out to the grocery mid-recipe before.

Nov 20, 2014
Vidute in General Topics

Pie??? in Baltimore

happy hunting! :)

Rule #1...always...

i've been mocked in the morning by leftovers sitting on the counter a number of times!

Nov 19, 2014
Vidute in General Topics
1

Pie??? in Baltimore

bacon jam, anyone?

Rule #1...always...

check the carton of milk that's been sitting in the fridge for a while before pouring on cereal (or adding to other ingredients)

Rule #2...remember rule #1

so, yes, i poured the milk on my cereal, took a bite, and.....gaaagg!!! i know better, but, wasn't thinking.

what food rule(s) do you follow, that when it (they) slip(s) your mind you do a homer simpson "doh!" and shake your head?

Nov 19, 2014
Vidute in General Topics