bitchincook's Profile

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What to do with over-cooked, dried out rotisserie chicken breast?

I bought a rotisserie chicken at a store that used to cook them properly, but not anymore, apparently. The dark meat was fine, but the breast meat is dry and tasteless. What can I do with it to make it palatable? I was thinking perhaps of grinding it up and making enchiladas, but I'd really love some other ideas. Thanks

about 4 hours ago
bitchincook in Home Cooking

Beware the Arrowtooth Flounder!

I bought some of that at Safeway a few years ago, and it disintegrated in the pan. Yuck! Made me wish my cat were still alive, as he might have eaten it. Then again, he had better taste than that. As it was, it went in the garbage and stunk up the garage until pick-up day.

2 days ago
bitchincook in General Topics

How common is a warm or room temp rice pudding vs one from the fridge?

One of my fondest childhood memories involves warm rice pudding. I was 13 and had just come home from an evening class in "social dance," which involved dancing with boys. My mom generally was not much of a cook, but somehow she had been inspired to turn some leftover rice into rice pudding. It was fragrant with cinnamon and vanilla and studded with plump raisins within a rich custard. It was one last taste of childhood as I stood in the headlights of adolescence, and it was one of the best things I've ever eaten.

Does parking make a difference for you ?

Today I did a mental cartwheel when I got to Whole Foods and saw that the only decent parking spot in the lot was available. The lot is on a steep hill, and all the spots are absurdly narrow, even for cars, much less the enormous SUVs parked there by all those environmentally-conscious vegans. I drive a small 2-door car, but because it is a coupe, it requires more space than a sedan for opening the longer door.

My favorite spot has a space for motorcycle parking next to it on the driver's side. There is never a motorcycle there. Thus, I can get out and back into my car without pretzeling myself and/or having the car door close on my legs thanks to gravity from the hill. I have abandoned my shopping plans many times because that parking lot is such a hassle.

Though today I got lucky. Now if only those SUV-driving veganistas would stop micro-managing the packing of their precious bags at the check-out, we all might get done in a reasonable amount of time.

Jul 25, 2015
bitchincook in Not About Food

trip from Phoenix to San Diego

I-8 is definitely the way to go. It is a generally easy drive, with relatively little truck traffic, and the speed limit is 75 in most of Arizona. That is your first clue that there's not much in the way of unique, interesting places to stop along the way. The biggest town you'll pass through is Yuma. If you are interested in history, there is jewel of a museum there. I don't know about restaurants there though. From I-8, Yuma appears to be a giant strip mall punctuated by car dealerships and mobile home parks. It goes on for miles.

I make the trip from Tucson to San Diego often enough, and actually my favorite place to stop is the In and Out Burger in El Centro, California. It's clean, and the food is a major cut above typical fast food fare.

Jul 20, 2015
bitchincook in Phoenix

Substitute for cilantro?

To me it tastes like soap, but others say it tastes like citrus. So I go with that idea and use lemon and/or lime zest, plus some basil or parsley for color.

Jul 19, 2015
bitchincook in Home Cooking

There's No Such Thing As Bad…

I would bet that there is not and has never been any actual cheese in it. Just artificial, imitation, cheese-like fake food.

Jul 18, 2015
bitchincook in General Topics

Do you bake your own cakes or cookies ?

I keep the freezer full of home-baked chocolate chip cookies made with almond meal substituting for half the flour and Amaretto instead of vanilla. They are lower in carbs than the traditional recipe and much tastier, in my opinion. Ironically, I started making these five years ago when my husband developed diabetes and had to lose weight and reduce his carb consumption. He was able to find the discipline to do that as he knew he could have a couple of these cookies in the evening as a reward for staying with the new plan. He lost all the weight, has stayed slim, and his blood sugar is normal. So now he allows himself a small glass of Amaretto with his cookies. When the supply in the freezer gets low, he tells me we have a "cookie crisis," so I bake some more.

Thinning the herd. Getting my cookbooks down to a reasonable number

This reminds me a little bit of a conversation with my adult daughter a few years ago when I was trying to decide which cookbooks to take with me to a temporary summer house. She remarked, English major that she was in college, that it would be like trying to decide which of your children to bring along.

IMHO, lose the currently hip preoccupation with decluttering for its own sake. If you have more than a dozen books that you love, keep them!

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

My husband loves these mini pies.

Jul 07, 2015
bitchincook in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

I like the 365 brand from Whole Foods much better. Sure, I could mess around with the timing and oven temp for Trader Taters, and that might even rescue them from the flabby mess that they were. But why bother? IMHO, if a company can't be bothered to actually test its products when prepared according to the direction on the package, why should I dick around with their stuff?

Jul 07, 2015
bitchincook in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

Nay for Trader's Tater Tots, at least if cooked per the directions on the bag. Mushy, tasteless, bleh! The rest of the bag is going to the landfill.

Jul 06, 2015
bitchincook in Chains

Food you cook out of love

Pasta. I'm generally not a fan, as all those carbs leave me hungry in an hour or two, but DH loves the stuff.

Jul 06, 2015
bitchincook in General Topics

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.

Jul 01, 2015
bitchincook in Not About Food

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