venushakti's Profile

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Hello. My name is PotatoHouse and I am a _______ addict.


You know, Cheetos, Doritos, Fritos,Tostitos...

My only salvation is that I dislike most flavors they come in. But if you give me Cool Ranch, Nacho Cheese or plain? 1 bag, 1 serving.

Jan 02, 2014
venushakti in General Topics

What are your culinary resolutions?

Make an edible veg stock, more pickles, and cook a proper, protein rich breakfast daily. Also, get my red beans and rice in order-I struggle with soupy, not creamy beans.

Jan 02, 2014
venushakti in General Topics

Ivory china or white?

Opted to let him choose on this one. I found some really simple white porcelain plates at Pier 1 that would make me happy for every day, and he would be happy on the rare occasions that we pull out the fancy gold rimmed china. I'll try to do a formal couple's dinner once a month, just so we can make some memories with our lovely new dishes.

Wedding is March 1st and save the dates are going in a couple of weeks, so we needed to have everything all set to share with our families.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Nov 13, 2013
venushakti in Cookware

Ivory china or white?

We still need to go to the store to check on the flatware physically, but this is the tentative choice:

My grandmother had a full set of formal silver that my mom plans to give to me, so I'm covered on that end. We also chose some Schott Zweisel wine glasses and champagne flutes.

I'd like to get one set and actually use them on a daily basis-I hate having extra stuff that doesn't get used on a regular basis. My understanding is that Apilco is durable and will hold up to daily use.

No dishwasher in our new home, and no space to put one in, so thats not a consideration for a long while.

Nov 10, 2013
venushakti in Cookware

Ivory china or white?

I thought flexibility might be easier in terms of serveware, but having looked again, that Lenox comes in every serving item we may need for a while.

We weren't even going to register for china, but everyone I mentioned that to told me it was a terrible idea. Even if our entertaining is casual now, at some point in the future we would be throwing a more formal dinner and would be thankful.

Nov 10, 2013
venushakti in Cookware

Ivory china or white?

My fiance and I have hit a wall with our wedding registry. He loves Lenox Eternal Gold:

while I am loving Apilco Hemstitch:

I'd welcome some advice from more experienced china buyers as to which is the better choice long term. I worry that the ivory color is less flexible. He says the Apilco may not be formal enough. For reference, we have also registered for a mix of Le Creuset and Staub in Cherry and Flame, and are basically starting from zero-we eat off a bunch of dollar tree plates and flatware.

Nov 10, 2013
venushakti in Cookware

Getting to Cochon and other question

I believe that there is 1 bus that runs into New Orleans from Metairie, but its possible I am imagining things. Definitely no streetcars. You'll need a taxi or a rental car. It should take less than 20 minutes on I-10.

As far as dinner Monday, you are again facing a taxi ride. As far as eating in Metairie, I'm not sure if the Drago's will be open that late. The only other options closer to that hotel are the Tic Toc Cafe and City Diner, which are both diners that are 24/7.

Jun 15, 2013
venushakti in New Orleans

What are you making this weekend?

Just prepped my first beef heart. I'm pretty sure I wasted a ton of meat due to my lack of a good filet knife. Left it in the fridge to marinate, and we will grill it at my friend's place tomorrow for lunch.
Tomorrow morning I will prep short ribs and crock pot them, then some pork chops and baked chicken for weekday lunches. My dad is far away and I won't be able to be with him tomorrow, but I may get a good German beer to enjoy without him.

Jun 15, 2013
venushakti in Home Cooking

Your Bottom Five Vegetables

I can eat spring mix when served, but I find it rots on me within 24 hours of purchase. As such, I now have a Pavlovian reaction when I see a tub and immediately smell rotting greens.

Apr 21, 2013
venushakti in General Topics

Your Bottom Five Vegetables

That dip sounds great. I'd probably just eat with celery, pepper and jicama slices, but I'd be amenable to someone else steaming the artichokes for me.

Apr 20, 2013
venushakti in General Topics

Your Bottom Five Vegetables

I feel like artichokes are just a waste of my time. I eat and eat a million leaves and am never full. So the eating method must be it.

Papaya smells and tastes like trash. I had beautiful ripe papaya in Guatemala, and it still was awful. In every form.

Also, definitely forgot radishes.

Apr 19, 2013
venushakti in General Topics

What was the worst food you HAD to eat as a kid?

Chicken roll sandwiches.

Slimy, mealy, artificial pressed chicken meat. I know we were broke as hell, but chicken roll earns a spot in my personal hell. The little clear gelatinous bits in the meat?!

Apr 18, 2013
venushakti in General Topics

Your Bottom Five Vegetables

Artichoke (but I like the heart)
Fava beans
Fava beans
Papaya! its not a veg, but its truly the only fruit or veg that I struggle to get down

Apr 18, 2013
venushakti in General Topics

What do you put in your chicken soup?

normally-mirepoix, a little garlic, dark meat, and a bit of rice. Always make sure to add plenty of celery leaf because thats how my Chilean grandma does it.

today-sauteed my mirepoix in coconut oil, then poached my chicken leg quarters for about an hour. Took the meat off the bone and returned it to the pot along with a big pile of kale. Seasoned with some Sriracha and ate after about 20 minutes of simmering. Simple and tasty.

Apr 14, 2013
venushakti in Home Cooking

Jumpin Jack/Sour Cream & Onion Doritos are back

For anyone else who misses their old chips, I just bought a bag of Jumpin Jack and a bag of Sour Cream & Onion at a Rouse's in New Orleans. I don't know how well the recipe was preserved, but I opened the bag and the smell transported me back to being 4 years old and watching scary movies on the couch with my Dad, without my mom's knowledge. ;)

Happy chip hunting!

Mar 08, 2013
venushakti in General Topics

Please, need ideas to use up LOTS of broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale, cabbage, etc.

Cauliflower is really delicious mixed with onion, or leeks and used as a bed for roasted chicken or turkey. I did this yesterday with a whole head, some yellow onion and fresh garlic beneath chicken drumsticks. Reminiscent of stuffing/dressing.
For the broccoli I would cook in veggie stock, season with curry and purée, adding in a can of coconut milk. Great way to use up a large quantity and freezes well.
Cabbage I use in stir fry in place noodles. Or just sauté with lots of butter. Otherwise, preserving it via fermentation as already stated. Curtido style, with onion, carrot, and hot pepper is my favorite.

Jan 24, 2013
venushakti in Home Cooking

Slow cookers and FAT

I think it really depends on what you are cooking, but I rarely find my crock pot meals to be greasy. The exception is definitely pork shoulder for when I'm cooking carnitas or pulled pork. I tend to purchase lean and tough meats for using in my crockpot, and add nearly no fat, relying on the time and low temperature to do all my tenderizing. I've done whole chickens with no added liquid, and they make a ton of broth which I then defat overnight in the fridge.

Stick to lean cuts and you should be fine.

Oct 09, 2012
venushakti in Home Cooking

Emergency! Can I use red potatoes to make mashed potatoes?

We have only made mashed with red potatoes in my house. I've done both dairy and garlic olive oil smashed versions. They are less starchy, so you may need to adjust your quantities as you taste.

If you don't want to mash, they are really great pan fried.

Sep 15, 2012
venushakti in Home Cooking

Ideas for Paprika condiment?

My Chilean grandmother always serves her beans and lentils with a swirl of some paprika warmed in olive oil. Maybe a riff on that?

Sep 09, 2012
venushakti in Home Cooking

What's your favorite Pepperidge Farm cookie?

Orange Milanos or Sausalitos.

Jun 05, 2012
venushakti in General Topics

The best thing your school cafeteria served

Im not sure about the deep fryers, but yes, we are lucky to still have a functioning kitchen. Here in New Orleans, the vast majority of schools are charters and some put more effort into the kitchen facilities and food service, and some take the Sysco/Aramark cheap way out. There is an Edible Schoolyard here at another building, as well as this lucky school:
I've eaten at Liberty's Kitchen many times and the food is great. Imagine the school lunches!

May 08, 2012
venushakti in General Topics

After school snack memories

When my grandmother lived with us, she always served us an entire plate of food, salad, and a mug of tea once you were done. She's Chilean, so traditionally the big meal is lunch and then tea and a sandwich at 5ish. In high school, I would get home at 2:30 and she would have the food hot and ready for me, and would sit with me to talk while I ate. My favorite meal is still fricandelas, white rice cooked with onion and a single strip of green pepper, a green salad and lots of raw tomato and onion salad. Its a treasured memory that my siblings and I share.

May 07, 2012
venushakti in General Topics

Childhood favorite sandwich

2 that I still make about once per year-
genoa salami, yellow Land O Lakes american, and whole wheat bread. nothing else.
bologna, yellow Land O Lakes american, on a super buttered English muffin.

I haven't had a cream cheese and strawberry jelly in a long time, but that was my favorite to take to school. I was the only weirdo whose sandwich was wrapped in foil not a baggie, so I still like to make mine that way.

May 07, 2012
venushakti in General Topics

The best thing your school cafeteria served

Upstate NY, graduated in 2000. I dont recall eating much at all growing up, but I do remember:
Elementary-canned plums and canned apricots, and a rotating cast of burger/pizza/chicken patty/hot dog/hot dish of indeterminate origin
Middle School-1 bag Dipsy Doodles, 1 bagel, 1 Snapple. Repeat 187 times.
High School-getting there early for a fresh cooked bacon egg and cheese on a hard roll. We also had a salad bar, and I remember no one using it so I was allowed to make myself obscenely huge salads with tuna on top.

I teach now in a K-8 school, so routinely eat school lunch. Our cafeteria staff are phenomenal, and there are many teachers who will sacrifice their leftovers from home if something really great is in the cafeteria.Seriously, they do amazing things with an oven and a giant steam kettle back there. My favorites now:
red beans and rice
baked chicken and yellow rice
twice baked potato with homemade chili
chicken salad
our salad bar includes pickled okra, sliced cucumbers, and baby spinach. Its a public charter school and we are lucky enough to have the freedom to do what we like with our food. Not too much Sysco.
Coincidentally, it is Food Service Appreciation Week this week, so we'll be writing letters and making a big poster to say thank you in my class.

May 07, 2012
venushakti in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

I was the only one who liked the Diet Coke with Lemon, wasn't I? Mmm, Pledgey painful goodness.
Ben and Jerrys Oatmeal Cookie Dough. Has anyone seen that one? We found it in a 7-11 in Dallas, bought and inhaled 2 pints in 1 night, then it lives forevermore in my memory.

I already saw most of my frequent complaints-Rainforest Crunch, Monterey Jack Doritos, Surge, and that incredible Haagen Dazs Fleur de Sel.

May 02, 2012
venushakti in General Topics

What's The One Thing You Can't Eat, even for money.

anything Chef Boyardee
blue cheese
canned mushrooms

I love good, funky charcuterie, I've had pate and some other processed meat product on a banh mi, I think kim chee and lots of other fermented foods are delicious. Those three things above send me running to the bathroom. I'd eat them for a few thousand, but no guarantees how long they will stay down.

Apr 29, 2012
venushakti in General Topics

Paleo diet - any experience?

I've been following a Paleo/Primal diet for close to a year. While I didn't start shedding pounds right away, I eliminated the mysterious pains that would crop up after I ate, as well as healed my allergies that had hounded me for almost 8 years. I believe that our diets can contribute to inflammation, and while I know I do not have Celiac disease, there is something in wheat that, when I eat it in large doses, aggravates my system.

Now I follow an 80/20 where most of the time, I eat fruit, sometimes Greek yogurt in the morning, and then about half my diet is vegetables with the other half being protein. The elimination of pasta was easy for me because I saw an immediate benefit, but leaving rice and potatoes behind was tougher. Not everyone cuts them completely, but for me its important to for weight loss for right now.

I basically plan my meals to incorporate lots of cold salads as well as cooked vegetables each week, to help fill my plate and not feel like I am missing out on the starch. In winter, we ate a lot more turnips, parsnips and the occasional sweet potato. Now in summer, I eat jicama and zucchini noodles. Once every couple of weeks or so, I'll enjoy some french fries, or Indian food, and it causes me no stress.

Apr 27, 2012
venushakti in Special Diets

any secrets to a great tuna fish sandwich?

The only thing that matters to me is that the sandwich comes with lots of raw onion and provolone. I like tuna salad prepared most any way except sweet, but the onions and provolone are my non-negotiables.

Apr 26, 2012
venushakti in Home Cooking

Generally scorned products that are madly delicious -- in certain applications

I've served my sweet Starbucks latte loving friends Nescafe with condensed milk and they love it. I can enjoy a good Antiguan coffee black, but sometimes I want that sweet, trashy stuff.

Apr 24, 2012
venushakti in Home Cooking

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

My mom took a job in a deli when they were getting divorced and we were living on groceries my grandparents bought for us. She would bring home the milk and eggs that were about to expire, along with the ends of any deli meat she could get free. We ate lots of pudding, which is a great way to use tangy almost bad milk because it completely covered the taste. But then she would make us "quiche" to use up those ends of meat and cheese. Some choice ones included:
Chicken roll and cheese, usually American
Roast beef and cabbage
Ham and anything barely edible in the crisper

For YEARS I would not eat quiche for fear of bring served one of my moms creations. Ive become my own extremely frugal cook, but I still can't do quiche or frittata. Just triggers bad memories.

Otherwise, my mom is a decent cook. My brother and I will sometimes reminisce with her and laugh now.

Apr 24, 2012
venushakti in Home Cooking