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Leftover mac and cheese

Put portions in muffin tins, top with breadcrumbs and bake off, then freeze.

Oct 22, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

I think I saw a mouse in frying pan....throw out or clean it?

This reminds me of the time when I accidentally typed "mouse" instead of "mousse" on a menu. I got lots of good-natured ribbing from that one. And of course that was pre-computer days, on a manual--not electric--typewriter. Sheesh, I'm dating myself...

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

Bummer...I don't have a cast iron skillet. Could I use a regular one?

Otherwise, looks great. What kind of apple did you use?

Thanks for the recipe!

Sep 29, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

ISO Fancy, elegant plated dessert

I love doing a trifle but for a more elegant touch, would do individual ones. Any kind of stemmed glass would work.

My favorite is layers of

chocolate pound cake
chocolate mousse
sliced strawberries
whipped cream
chocolate shavings on top

Sep 28, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

That sounds interesting, if not for Tgiving, then another time. Could you please share the recipe?

Thanks!

Sep 27, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

Damn exciting indeed! My kitchen is almost done--a 10 day project turned into almost 3 weeks, as far as when it will actually be fully usable. New floors will be put in a few weeks after that, just in time for T-giving.

I think the gathering will be on the smaller side as I'm the only one on the left coast, everyone else is back east. Still, I'm really looking forward to using the kitchen of-my-almost-dreams (my dream kitchen would have cost 2x what I've done).

I hope yours is just as wonderful and thanks!

Sep 27, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

It wasn't just the sweet old ladies stealing the S&L. I once had lunch with two women (I think we were all in our early 30s at the time) and they had just lost alot of weight on WW. Both literally emptied out the sugar basket, but then again, I think they were on the lower part of the middle class scale (and I'm referring to $$, not their manners).

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

I happily pass whatever is needed and try not to hog the counter. I'm sure I'm not the only person out there doing dastardly deeds to the fine swill served at Starbucks et al. And I think the whole process takes less than 30 sec, if that much.

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

Definitely relaxed. Not quite comatose, but yeah, I do it that way. At home, I only keep 1% milk and it's much quicker, 2 S&L and enough milk. I can't explain why I do it differently, I just do. Again, so sue me...

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

Honestly I don't know (or really care) when/how milk and sugar became condiments. All I know is, I've got my own set of taste buds, and I don't see how anyone can tell me what my coffee should taste like after it is brewed and served. At Starbucks or Peets, I order a decaf drip, please leave room for cream. Done, and I put what I want into it. If someone watches me put in 2% milk, a touch of 1% milk, cream, Sweet & Low (the nasty pink stuff), taste/adjust/taste again, and is freaked out, well, that's just too bad.

I'm pretty relaxed, thanks, and agreed, it's only a cup of coffee. But I want it the way I want it.

"Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker, ain't no liquor in Costa Rica, ain't nobody's business but my own."

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

Yep, probably. I kept the whole damn line waiting while I grilled the counterperson. I don't think she knew what hit her LOL indeed! Seriously, I think it took all of a minute.

"What, I can't put in the condiments myself?"
"No you can't"
"But...but"
"Take it or leave it"
Sigh....desperately looking for Starbucks, no luck.
"OK, I'll take it."

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

Hmmm...I'm not exactly sweating. I can count on 1 hand how many Tgiving dinners I've done--I think this is the 4th time and I'm not a that young. I've always been a guest. Mostly, it's about getting the turkey done right and on time, and then carving the sucker. Oh and I won't have any help either. I'll only dole out the pumpkin pie for someone else to bring (and I don't care if it's store-bought). I really want to do everything else myself.

I'm in Northern CA so the temp could be anywhere from warm-ish to cool-ish, but not cold. I just don't know when I'll be able to shop/prep for perishables and the turkey, given my work schedule. Once I know that, I can figure out the battle plan.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions!

Sep 17, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

My appliances aren't new (were installed last holiday season) so that's one reason it's a partial remodel. I haven't done as much cooking as I would like since then but it seems to have the kinks worked out. But I like your advice to keep it simple! Thanks.

Sep 16, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

I am excited beyond belief. I just started a (partial) kitchen remodel that will be done in a few weeks and my son has agreed to fly home for Thanksgiving weekend. I haven't hosted in a few years and have to start my planning NOW or I'll go nuts. I think I'll do some recipes that I've done before and try some new ones too. I won't have much time to shop and prep (have to work the weekend before) but I'll get it all done. We'll eat late since my friend's son-in-law has to work and won't get off til 5:30 pm.

Has anyone else started thinking about Thanksgiving besides me? Care to share your plans? A VERRY early "Happy Thanksgiving" to everyone!

Sep 16, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

I have no idea what "light and sweet" is. Who decided that?

I was in JFK airport a few years ago, went to a coffee kiosk, ordered decaf coffee, and looked for the condiment station. Was told there wasn't one, and how did I want my coffee? I want it without anything in it, I'll do it myself. Server insisted doing it their way, and I reluctantly agreed and said what I wanted in it. I walked away and the coffee tasted like swill, wasn't even close to "perfect". The line was too long and I needed to get to my gate, otherwise I would have complained.

I think this is an East Coast thing. I grew up in NYC but can't remember ever buying coffee, or really even drinking it at home. When I go to Starbucks or Peets (Bay Area chain), I always put in my condiments, taste and adjust as needed. I usually do a blend of 1/2 & 1/2 and milk--regular and lowfat. So sue me for "having it my way." I don't think it's about "customer service" at all.

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

Some health plans require a visit to the main physician (whether it is a general practitioner or a pediatrician)a before a referral to a specialist is done. That used to be my situation but I changed the type of coverage I have and don't have to deal with that anymore.

When my son was about 2 years old, he adamantly refused to eat anything but PBJ for lunch, every day. I don't know what I would have done if PBJ was forbidden at his day care. Luckily my ex got him to eat turkey sandwiches, so that alternated with PBJ until he grew out of that phase.

My niece has been lactose intolerant for many years. She is a young adult now and knows to take a Lactaid pill, if needed, before eating anything with dairy. Nevertheless, my sister does not keep butter in the house at all, therefore avoiding any issues. I was there a few months ago and my sister asked me to make cookies. I had to use margarine instead of butter, but didn't have anything to sub for cream cheese, another essential ingredient. Said niece took a pill and happily enjoyed the cookies.

I have a client who developed celiac disease a few years ago (I think she's in her late 50s now). She travels with GF snacks and presents a card to servers when she dines out. I have a friend who developed allergies to shellfish, mushroom and peppers after her pregnancies; she is cautious when eating out and I make sure not to include those ingredients when she comes over for dinner.

I feel sorry for people who have diagnosed allergies and agree, there is some "helicoptering" going on. That list of 20 forbidden foods seems a bit excessive to me, but I also understand the need for schools to protect themselves from dangerous situations and/or litigation. I like some of the ideas posted elsewhere in this thread (schools teaching children to prepare for the world; parents donating a book to the library in lieu of birthday treats). It's really unfortunate that parents have to worry about their child's health in such a way at all.

2 days in Atlanta - need breakfast and lunch options

Thanks for the recs, very helpful!

Sep 14, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Atlanta

2 days in Atlanta - need breakfast and lunch options

Thanks for the recs, very helpful. Proof & Provision is where the after party for the second night (wedding) will be.

Sep 14, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Atlanta

2 days in Atlanta - need breakfast and lunch options

OK, I don't know where I got the name Publix from, maybe from reading another board. The restaurant I found is P.D.H. at 654 Peachtree St which would put it across the street from the hotel at 659 Peachtree. I'll check out the recs you suggested, thanks.

Is there no hope near Centennial Park?

Thanks again.

Sep 12, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Atlanta

2 days in Atlanta - need breakfast and lunch options

Hi Atlanta hounds, I'm staying at the Georgian Terrace over a weekend in October. I need just 2 days of breakfast and lunch (dinner both nights are covered). Optimistically I'd like to eat breakfast near the hotel both days (tho I might just do room service the first morning); for lunch, it's entirely possible I'll end up near Centennial Park at least one day. I don't know what I'll do (activity-wise) the other day. I won't have a car so will have to rely on public transit (MARTA?) and/or cabs.

I don't need heart-stopping food, just good grub and nothing spicy (I just can't handle the heat). I see on Google maps there is Publix near the hotel--it looks perfect for lunch but is it good?

Many thanks!

Sep 11, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Atlanta

Peninsula baby shower location

Do you prefer brunch, lunch or dinner? And budget or cuisine?

Food Souvenirs from San Francisco

I'm not surprised. I was in Las Vegas about 15 years ago and there was a Ghiradelli Chocolate shop near Harrah's.

My niece wants something edible that her fiance hasn't had, and he hasn't had sourdough bread or See's. I guess they can't get them in Atlanta, or he just hasn't had them anywhere else he's lived...I think he's from Arkansas.

Food Souvenirs from San Francisco

I truly have no time to go to the Ferry Plaza before my trip next week and am kicking myself for not thinking about it when I was there 2 weeks ago. So I will either get a box of See's Candy (the night before I travel) or a loaf of Boudin's sourdough bread at the airport...

HELP! What Goes With Grilled Veggies?

My first thought is "where's the beef?" meaning, where's the protein? So to keep it light, a salad incorporating protein of any kind (grain, dairy, etc) would be perfect. Or, if you can get great tomatoes, a caprese salad (or kabobs, for portion control) would be nice and colorful. Heirloom tomatoes filled with the caprese components would be an elegant touch.

Clueless cook with parents dropping by (long)

Your buffet looks lovely! So glad everything worked out for you and your parents had a great time. I'm sure you'll feel more confident the next time they come to visit.

Great job!

Aug 11, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

Clueless cook with parents dropping by (long)

Glad to know this was useful advise. I forgot to mention that I also list the serving vessel (platter, bowl etc) so that helps the last minute "what should I put it in?" confusion. I've accumulated alot of serving pieces throughout the years and this saves time when I'm ready to serve.

Aug 11, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

Clueless cook with parents dropping by (long)

Everyone has given you lots of great ideas, so I'm going to recommend something else.

Plan your prep carefully. If you know how to use Excel, make a spreadsheet with your menu items on top; the ingredients for each and then make a master shopping list from that.

Then--a daily list of what has to be purchased and a timeline of what has to be done that day. If you need more than one day to shop and/or prep, this part is the most essential. After you've reviewed your recipes (several times if needed), list everything that has to be done in the order needed. When I have entertain, I plan, plan, plan and refine my spreadsheet til I'm ready to execute.

Can you practice doing anything ahead of time? Brown some butter, use the blender, try one of the recipes (make a small batch if possible).

And lastly as others said, BREATHE. I'm sure that whatever you prepare, your parents will appreciate. And hopefully you'll have gained some confidence doing this, and do it more often.

Clueless cook with parents dropping by (long)

I've eaten at that restaurant and it was very good. Small, homey, and the portions were very generous.

Aug 08, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

Freezing cauliflower

I have roasted cauliflower and then frozen it. No loss of quality--texture or flavor.

Aug 06, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking

Your best tomato recipes please - worthy of the tastiest specimens!

Slice (overripe) grape tomatoes in half (stem to end). Toss with alot of olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of kosher salt & ground black pepper. Add some Italian seasoning if you want, chopped parsley is good too (save basil for garnish). Turn onto a sheet pan lined with foil, cut side up and roast at 350-360 degrees til they get nice and soft (no slow roasting for me, I want 'em done quick!). Toss with hot cooked pasta, julienned basil and Parmesan. Add sun-dried tomatoes if you want an extra tomatoey flavor.

Jul 31, 2014
alwayshungrygal in Home Cooking