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BecaC's Profile

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Best crackers for cheese

I love Stoned Wheat Thins by Nabisco. Great for soft or firm cheeses; sturdy, tasty and not too salty.

Nov 03, 2012
BecaC in General Topics

Maui report!

awesome post! makes me miss the islands even more!

Oct 10, 2012
BecaC in Hawaii

New In Chico

I'm headed to Chico this weekend. Is the whole town doomed for the inevitable beer fest, or just the immediate river areas?

Aug 28, 2012
BecaC in California

What was the most memorable thing you ate in Hawaii?

the mangoes-so sweet, juicy, and not at all stringy like the ones that arrive in the continental US grocery stores.
the dragon fruits, guava, passion fruits purchased at farm stands
the deep purple color and amazing flavors of the locally caught ahi
the kona coffee found in the offbeat, local coffee houses

Aug 15, 2012
BecaC in Hawaii

simple chicken livers recipe (not pate) - pan frying

Jacques Pepin has a couple of quick recipes for chicken livers. One of my favorites is the result of his roast chicken method. Not pan-fried, as you roast it in the pan with the chicken for a couple of minutes, but still easy and delicious:

"Roast Chicken:

Preheat a convection oven to 400°F or a regular oven to 425°F. Reserve the chicken liver, and sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and place it on its side in the roasting pan. (I start it on its side, because the legs take the longest to cook.) Cook for 20 minutes on one side, and then turn it and cook it for 20 minutes on the other side. Finally, finish it up on its back, basting occasionally until done. It takes about 1 hour in a convection oven to produce a chicken with a beautiful, crusty, brown exterior and juicy meat.

Near the end of the cooking time, sprinkle the liver with a dash of salt and pepper, and add it to the pan next to the chicken to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Cut it in half, place each half on a toast–half for me and half for my wife–and enjoy with a glass of wine as a special bonus for the cook."

Jul 26, 2012
BecaC in Home Cooking

What dish do you cook that people just rave about?

Jacques' method never fails. Best Roast Chicken. Ever.

Jul 25, 2012
BecaC in Home Cooking

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

Sometimes it's an issue of butterfat percentage that leads to a weird mouth feel and an almost waxy-residue coating on the roof of my mouth or spoon. However, I also agree with the masses about this potentially being caused by the pre-whipping of the cream.

I own 2 of the same Cuisinart ice cream makers and love them! Ice cream recipes vary tremendously, and I have stumbled upon some really good sounding ones whose proportions of ingredients or technique were off and produced mediocre ice cream.

I highly recommend David Lebovitz's ice cream book The Perfect Scoop. The title does not lie. He talks you through the custard technique and there are several recipes that require no cooking as well. Every single recipe I have made has turned out epic.

Jul 25, 2012
BecaC in Home Cooking

Orcas Island?

MUST VISIT Rose's Bakery & Cafe in Eastsound for breakfast or baked goods! Went last summer, and everything sampled from the bakery was delicious.

I personally enjoyed my dinner at Inn at Ship's Bay slightly more than the one I had at New Leaf; food was a little more refined and less heavy. Both were pricey (app, drinks, dinner, dessert estimate $50pp)

Jul 24, 2012
BecaC in Pacific Northwest

Mac n cheese at a picnic?

Last 4th of July, I attended a family BBQ outdoors on a warm, sunny day. When Grandma Lil showed up with a large pan of a baked version of mac and cheese, it was one of the sides that got devoured immediately. Put on the buffet table while it's still hot, insulated if you can, and it should get plenty of action. It helps if the food table is shaded.

Jul 12, 2012
BecaC in Home Cooking

Top Chef Texas Finale Part 2 - Ep. #17 - 02/29/12 (Spoilers)

His knife technique was amateurish. Tyler was holding his chef knife with his index finger extended along the top of the blade. My BF's been cooking professionally for 15+ years and about died laughing at that clip.

Mar 01, 2012
BecaC in Food Media & News

Joel Palmer House - Dayton, OR

Joel Palmer House has been one of my favorite "special occasion" restaurants in Oregon. I went again last autumn and had a very nice experience. The food was just as good as I remember it, and the mushroom soup is still amazing, as well as the mushroom tart. There have been some changes as Jack Czarnacki's sons have taken over the kitchen and front of the house. The mushroom madness tasting menu's concept has changed slightly, and seems even more decadent, but several favorite dishes remain true to old favorites with a balance of new concepts.

On our last visit, service started out with a little stumble for the first time ever. We waited for a long time to be sat despite reservations, and then were seated at a table without menus for over 20 minutes, despite being served bread and water promptly. When this was realized by the staff when we requested to see a menu, server attentiveness increased significantly, our corkage fee was waived, and we discovered our dessert had been comped. It was still an awesome experience.

Joel Palmer House
600 Ferry St, Dayton, OR 97114

Feb 17, 2012
BecaC in Pacific Northwest

Kale and Mushroom Stroganoff

Very tasty and filling. A nice meat-free alternative to the classic without compromising flavor or comforting quality of this familiar dish. I added veg broth instead of the pasta water, and a tablespoon of Dijon-syle mustard along with the sour cream, and a sprinkling of capers at the end.

Jan 23, 2012
BecaC in Recipes

Your mom's weird cooking ... and other stories? (recipes encouraged)

Remembering my stepmother's cooking is enough to give me nightmares. Most meals were packaged, processed foods, out of a box or can from the pantry or a package from the freezer. When she did cook, things were atrocious.

We didn't have "spaghetti", we had pasta with red sauce. This was elbow macaroni with a can of tomato juice (yes, juice) and seasoned with sugar. Seriously.

But the worst was when my father, who used to dive for abalone before I was born, actually acquired one from a fellow diver. He cut thin slices, pounded them thin, dredged them lightly, and pan-fried them. Sooo Good!
When stepmom heard me waxing poetic about that abalone, she surprised me one day with a platter of something that slightly resembled what I remembered, but tasted absolutely horrid. Turned out to be chicken breast, pounded thin, soaked in bottled clam juice, and fried.
She called it "phony abalone".

Jan 13, 2012
BecaC in Home Cooking

Asian food in Eugene, OR

Chinese-Twin Dragons on River Road; family owned, homemade items, generous portions. Favorites include the chive potstickers, General Tso's Chicken, and Gai Lan with Broccoli Sauce.

(note: a native Chinese friend heartily recommends the Good Taste Restaurant [also on River Road] as her family favorite, because their dumplings are reminiscent of soup dumplings, but I haven't tried them yet)

Sushi-Kamitori is the best and most authentic (read: non-americanized rolls full of ingredients like cream chese and deep fried) sushi in town. Great quality fish for sashimi/nigiri lovers.

Thai-Ubon Thai Kitchen on HWY 99 serves up some of the most flavorful Thai food I have had in Eugene. The owner is from Thailand and learned to cook over there. She's not afraid of the heat!! A large, varied menu in a very casual cart/restaurant atmosphere.

Thai Kitchen
621 S Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206

Sep 13, 2011
BecaC in Pacific Northwest

Best Food Carts in Eugene/Springfield

Ume Grill-small menu of japanese-style beef skewers, rice, slaw, sauces
(evenings @ 19th & Agate)

Party Cart-changing menu of PacNW samplings featuring local ingredients or purveyors
(11am-9pm @ 27th & Friendly)

Ubon Thai Kitchen-large menu of incredibly flavorful Thai favorites and variations
(11am-8pm @ HWY 99 between Roosevelt & Royal)

Nosh Pit-small rotating menu of PacNW/American/International offerings featuring (mostly) local and all natural ingredients
(11am-3pm @ Broadway & Willamette for the time being)

Sep 13, 2011
BecaC in Pacific Northwest