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Does this product exist?

You know how when you walk through the door into a supermarket, you sometimes feel a blast of air coming down on your head? That's because they use air pressure to keep insects from getting in. They use it in the back, too, at the loading dock. While that might not be enough to get rid of bugs already hanging out in the crates of produce that is brought in, it certainly helps by keeping random fruit and/or other flies from getting in the store to set up camp.

Your favorite non-food-related items that get tons of use in the kitchen

Needlenose pliars for pulling bones out of raw salmon and other fish.


AJ's Fine Foods usually has it at the butcher counter. You might want to call ahead to make sure they have it when you want it, (sometimes their selection is more limited in the summer.) They will always be happy to order it for you, which takes one day.

Jun 22, 2015
bitchincook in Southwest

Ever considered writing a cookbook?

I am very good at reinventing leftovers into something entirely new and different, often better than the original, and I thought about doing a book on how to do that. But then I looked on Amazon to see what's going on in that category, and basically, you can barely give it away. So I gave up on that idea, though my family and friends continue to say that I do my best work with leftovers. And they don't even mean it as an insult.

Jun 12, 2015
bitchincook in Not About Food

how do couples handle dinner?

My guy and I moved in to a new place after we got married, and it was "our" place, which changed the whole dynamic compared to how it had been before. That said, I pretty much took charge of the kitchen, or at least the cooking. I spent the first three years of our marriage learning how to cook, rather than just heat processed food up, working mainly with Julia Child's first book and the Joy of Cooking, 1975 edition. My new husband ate everything quite happily and even scrubbed the pots and pans.

Then kids came along, and my culinary adventures got decidedly more practical, especially as I had a high pressure job. My guy still ate it all gleefully, and also was fine with scrubbing the pots and pans.

Eventually the kids grew up and we retired, and I got more adventurous once again in the kitchen. My cookbook collection has grown from Julia and Joy to maybe 300 volumes. No matter what I try, he still eats it happily. And he still scrubs the pots and pans, very happy, from what he tells me, to be on this adventure together.

What's For Dinner #369 - Is It Really Summer?? [through June 15, 2015]

Here in Tucson it is pretty much always summer, at least during the daytime. Tonight I'm hoping to grill some fish if they have anything decent at the store. Otherwise, I'll make pizza.

I have a friend who rarely puts food in the fridge who is still alive .

My mom put stuff in the refrigerator, but for her own crazy reasons, she kept that fridge as warm as it would go. I am still alive, too, but I could have done without all those cases of food poisoning as a child.

Odd flavors - i.e. Cilantro tastes like soap or some foods taste like mold.....(?)

So you are suggesting that your uncle's aversion to cilantro was psychosomatic? Stick it my salad and sit next to me, and you will get it barfed all over your supercillious lap!

Odd flavors - i.e. Cilantro tastes like soap or some foods taste like mold.....(?)

At least! And I wish restaurants would get wise to that fact and at a minimum mention it on the menu when it's in a given dish.

i am not planning to replace the dishwasher when it dies.

By the time the crepes go in the oven, I am ready to sit down and relax, giving my feet a break and enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail, while leaving the dish-washing work to the machine.

If you would rather stand at the sink and wash dishes, well then, you must be a much better, more virtuous person than I am. Cheers!

May 27, 2015
bitchincook in Cookware

Seeded watermelon

Get female eggplants, and there will be considerably fewer seeds. You can tell by the mark on the bottom. Oval marks indicate male eggplants; round marks are female.

May 27, 2015
bitchincook in Outer Boroughs

Mac & Cheese: To bake or not to bake?

I always bake it after topping it with. Mix of panko and grated Parmesan cheese dotted with a bit of butter. This makes a great crust, that some think is the best part. I don't have a problem with the dish drying out. Maybe you need to put a bit more milk in your cheese sauce.

May 25, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

i am not planning to replace the dishwasher when it dies.

I am surprised to learn that there are so many "hounds" who rarely, if ever, use their dishwashers. My dream kitchen would have two dishwashers. That way there would be room not just for the dishes, but for all the equipment I use to prepare three meals a day.

Tonight, for instance, I am planning to make baked crepes filled with ham and leeks with Mornay sauce. For this there will be the blender jar used to make the batter for the crepes, a dry measuring cup for the flour, a ladle for portioning the batter into the crepe pan, a bowl used to wash the leeks, a cutting board, a box grater for the cheese, microplane for the nutmeg, Pyrex measuring cup for microwaving the milk for the sauce and for measuring the milk and water for the crepe batter. That's all before I get to the actual pan for cooking the leeks and a pot for making the sauce. And then there's the crepe pan itself...

Add in the two gratin dishes in which the crepes will be baked and served, a couple of salad plates, silverware, water glasses and wine glasses, and there is no way all of this will fit in the dishwasher, which is already partially full from breakfast and lunch dishes.

I run a full load every night, and there are just two of us.

And when we entertain, I typically run at least three loads that day, and multiple loads doing prep work the day ahead of the party.

I spend plenty of time in the kitchen doing what I do best in there, cooking. By the time I'm done with that, I'm usually beat, or my feet are, anyhow. The last thing I want to do is spend yet more time on my feet doing the thankless grunt work of washing dishes. Not when I have a machine that does that just fine. Now, if only I could find a machine that would clean leeks and make perfect Mornay sauce...

May 25, 2015
bitchincook in Cookware

Dinner ideas for a tricky house guest combination?

I totally get where you are coming from, wanting to make food that your guests will like, as I am the same way. But eventually, the time came when my head more or less exploded trying to please everybody. It can't be done! Especially these days, with this one not touching gluten and that one a vegan, etc.

I came close to closing up my kitchen, not inviting anyone, though eventually sanity prevailed. I decided to make such a bountiful feast, with something for everyone, that nobody had to eat any one particular thing, and we could all be happy. Especially me.

May 25, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

How do you deal with the compulsive need for everyone to like your food?

My sister-in-law criticizes just about everything I make, claiming that she would be fine with just vegetables. At first it really got to me, as I try hard to please my guests. Eventually I learned that she is more or less a professional orthorexic, and nothing I could ever serve her, except maybe boiled tofu atop lettuce from an organic farmers's market, would shut her up.

So now I make whatever I want. She can eat it, or not. I don't care. All the more for the rest of us!

Recipes for Impromptu Casual Summer Entertaining?

I like to keep a jar of caponata in the refrigerator for this kind of ad hoc entertaining. I always have crackers around, as well as a baguette in the freezer, to serve it with.

May 17, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

large shrimp and grilling

I can barely get my husband to eat shrimp as it is. He'd balk entirely if he had to pull the shells off of them at the table.

May 16, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

New veggie side dish recipes, please!

I agree with you on the spinach-chard thing. I absolutely love spinach, but more often than not, chard tastes like dirt to me. Kale, on the other hand, is just fine. Especially when quickly cooked in a bit of chicken broth and then sprinkled with crisp bits of bacon.

May 16, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Eating in Paris with a young toddler

Speaking as someone who lived in Paris with two young children, one of whom was born there, I think you should reconsider bringing a toddler to fine restaurants for dinner. It is just not done, and you would be made to feel extremely unwelcome. I would suggest trying to get an English-speaking babysitter for your child. The US consulate used to maintain a list of them, though I don't know if they still do.

May 12, 2015
bitchincook in France

Are you going to toss it . Or just hold onto it forever ?

Good question!

I have a jumble of junk in my house, for sure. Closets that need purging. Piles of magazines, catalogs and so on in a tower threatening to block the view to the TV.

But in my kitchen, order reigns. Spices are arranged inalphabetical order. The same is true of my collection of various kinds of rice. My collection of vinegars is displayed for easy selection. My cookbook library could use some dusting, but still it's organized and reasonably accessible. The same could never be said for my shoes, for instance. So in the end, apparently my willingness to organize my stuff is directly related to what said stuff means to me.

Are you going to toss it . Or just hold onto it forever ?

Generally, my house is a jumble of junk that I should have thrown out long ago. But not my kitchen. There, everything is fresh and/or ripe and ready to rock. This seriously shows me where my true priorities are.

May 09, 2015
bitchincook in General Topics

Dinner Party Menu Question

At the risk of going against the tide here, I'll say I'd do the salad. While the potato salad has lots of vegetables, its base, potatoes and peas, are on the filling side, and I'd appreciate a lighter salad option to balance that out.

Also, given that you are going with a Mediterranean theme, somehow the brownie pie and marshmallows really seem wrong. How about fresh ripe fruit and dark chocolate truffles instead? I know that truffles aren't exactly Greek, but you sould certainly find them in the south of France.

May 05, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Epicurious gone bad on iPad

I am a big fan of Epicurious, but lately whenever I try to find a recipe on my iPad mini, moments after the recipe comes up the screen darkens and they want me to watch some bleeping video, selling cars or some such carp, before they will show the recipe.

Bad enough that this happens once, the first time viewing a recipe, but if I am dumb enough to endure this annoyance, start going on the recipe, close the flap on my iPad to conserve the bsttery while chopping one thing or another, I open it up again to find out about the next ingredient, and there is the dark screen and bleeping video all over again.

It's enough to make me dust off my cookbooks, quite literally.

Apr 30, 2015
bitchincook in Food Media & News

Chipotle is now GMO-free.

It is harmful if it feeds the groundless fear.

Do you love the concept of organic peanut butter but just hate the mess?

I make my own, as much as I need at the time, by putting organic peanuts in my mini food processor.

Apr 18, 2015
bitchincook in General Topics

Made a pork pot roast (I think)! Exciting. But puzzled.

Your technique is by far the most common, though I have seen recipes that call for adding the raw onions into the liquid. My mother used to make pork chops that way, and the end result was translucent onions that were very tasty. Of course, that was back in the day when pork chops were succulent and delicious.

Apr 11, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Help with braised lamb ideas

I might cut it into cubes and marinate it in Greek seasonings and make shish kebabs.

Apr 11, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Are you the main shopper/cook at home?

I agree that it can get tiresome to find inspiration, especially as the availability of foods that make me want to cook continues to shrink in the stores. Whole Foods, once a showcase of beautiful produce, fish practically straight from the boat, a vast array of meat and an excellent bakery, has become a place catering mostly to gluten freaks, take-out fans and veg heads.

Safeway, formerly a pillar of mediocrity, has given way to the tastes of its investment banker owners for profits. Good luck finding fish there that isn't farmed, or meat that hasn't spent months in some cyropack.

Lacking inspiration from what looks good at the market, I sometimes ask my husband what he's in the mood for for dinner. His answer, always, is "good food." Sometimes I just want to hang up my apron.

how to use a new mold?

I'm not sure what you are asking, either, but I'll add a tip based on my experience using a silicone mold to make a semi-freddo. These kinds of molds are not rigid and tend to flop around. Be sure to put it on something sturdy, like a baking sheet, before you attempt to fill it. In my case, I put the mold inside a metal bowl of the same size before I put it in the freezer. Otherwise I probably would have had chocolate hazelnut goo all over the insides of the appliance.

Also, it turned out to be more difficult to remove the frozen dessert from the mold than I expected. It certainly didn't just pop out. So be sure to grease it if you are baking something. If you are freezing something, you can dip the mold in hot water for a moment to help loosen its grip on the food.

Apr 06, 2015
bitchincook in Cookware

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Yay for the Mini Pie Medley. They really are tiny, but they are tasty, and they satisfy my husband's appetite for some kind of pie after dinner. The thing I have to remember is to turn or keep the oven on when I'm done cooking dinner, as they bake in only eight minutes but it takes ten for the oven to heat up. The thing he has to remember is to turn the oven off after he removes his mini pie. (Last night he forgot, and the oven was on all night.)

Apr 03, 2015
bitchincook in Chains