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St. Louis Candy Store

I can't believe I've never seen this thread before. Merb's on South Grand still carries the Molasses Puffs. Let me tell you a short, sad story. Husband receives large box of molasses puffs for Valentine's Day. (Backstory: Wife waits in line at Merb's for 40 minutes to buy delicious candy confection). Husband hides box of candy atop very tall bookcase behind speaker so children cannot partake of aforementioned treats. Wife gets around to cleaning top of bookcase six long, hot months later(it's really tall, I have to get the ladder...) Molasses puffs retain their shape when mummified, but crumble into odd little flakes at the first touch. I thought he was going to cry.

Sep 26, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains

Dinner recommendations for Rolla, MO area?

Thai food in Rolla? Praise the lord and pass the peanuts! Once they know you, dear hillfood, I'm sure they'll bring the heat. (Wear your cool aviator shades).

Sep 20, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains
1

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Gosh, and here I was thinking of myself as a wild-eyed leftist liberal and all along I've been Phyllis-freakin'-Schlafly because I think it is worth the extra effort to feed the 2.5 kids a home-cooked meal. (I counted the dog as .5).

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

As a modern-age woman currently living a very traditional societal role (yep, I'm a stay-at-home mom...) I'd be very interested in a well-written and intelligently researched article on this subject. This ain't it. Dumb, dumb article. (Sorry Slate, normally I love you.)

Stand mixer - worth having?

I agree with the poster who asked if you had room for it on the counter, because lifting it in and out of a cabinet would be enough of a chore to make me limit my use, I suppose...BUT...mine lives on the counter (KitchenAid, smaller model, tilt-head) and if the house catches fire it is going to be the first non-living thing I save from the flames. I use it constantly. Bread. Mashers. Whipped cream. Sauces. I recently acquired the meat grinder and I love it. I do smallish quantities at a time, I've never had a problem. My husband bought the grain mill attachment, he grinds rye and barley for brewing.

Sep 05, 2014
tonifi in Cookware

Help please with first pork shoulder

Awesome! Also, I find, the least expensive way in the world to feed (and impress the heck out of) a whole lot of people. Don't you love waking up to the smell of roasting pork?

Help please with first pork shoulder

I'm on Team Woodburner here, too. I regularly put a pork shoulder in the oven overnight at somewhere around 225 or 250. And internal temperature won't really be your guide, you just need a good long time at a low temp to break it all down and make it nice and pull-able. When you get up tomorrow jam a fork in the meat, twist the fork, if it doesn't pull a nice tender chunk off, it needs more time. Once it is pulling apart easily, you can either tent it with foil (don't seal it, just tent it a little, and leave the oven on low, or just turn it off and throw some foil over it...it will stay warm for hours...I have a grill and a smoker, but I am #1:Unwilling to leave actual fire going outside overnight and #2: Much too lazy to get up as early as I need to if I were to want to tend it for 10-12 hours. Throw some smoked paprika on it to cheat a little smokiness if you want, but no one will miss it if you don't. When you pull it apart, be sure to get a good mix of crispy bark and tender shreds.

Aug 30, 2014
tonifi in Home Cooking

Charlotte - Higher fat Yogurt recommendations?

You could always make your own with heavy cream. There are lots of discussions on ch about making yogurt, it isn't terribly difficult. I've done whole milk with cream added, it works just fine, though I've never tried an all-cream yogurt, I can't see why it wouldn't work.

Aug 30, 2014
tonifi in Southeast
1

How do you like to dine...booth or table?

bluehaze, when I'm going somewhere new I almost always scour the internet for photos, just to know what I'm getting into. I know, I know, I should lose weight...but if I am spending twenty bucks for my pasta, I think they can provide me with something better than a spindly plastic chair.

Aug 28, 2014
tonifi in Not About Food

What's for Dinner #321 - Seasons Change Edition [through August 26, 2014]

Oh poor puppy! My old guy (he's 14) is zonked on the floor behind me. He has a condition known as laryngeal paralysis (his larynx is no longer opening all the way and restricts his breathing) so it is particularly important that the air in here stays cool. Hasn't affected his appetite, though. The 'excessive heat warning' is supposed to lift some time this evening, so the a/c can rest a little.

Aug 27, 2014
tonifi in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #321 - Seasons Change Edition [through August 26, 2014]

It is hot as the blue blazes here...I can hear the a/c units in the gangway groaning and whining and I only hope they stay with us for the duration. I think tonight is going to be lemongrass pork chops, white rice, and a great big cucumber I need to use ('oops, this one should have come off the vine a week ago). I'll do the pork chops out on the grill if I can stand it out there, otherwise I'll probably cheat and use the grill pan. I don't care for summer.

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Gotta tell you, this thread has shown me that there are certain points beyond which I will not go. The chili stems may work because ants have been cruising around on them...or maybe the ants work because they cruise around on the plants...BUT... while I can deal with the ants-once-removed, I don't think I could bring myself to culture actual ants. Or eat the results. I salute the brave souls who have, thank you for furthering the cause of the research for me without my ever having to handle, ugh, bugs.

Aug 23, 2014
tonifi in Home Cooking

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

Everybody is getting barbecue. Ribs, pork steaks, mac n' cheese, slaw, cornbread, maybe some corn on the cob if it is in season. Strawberry shortcake for dessert. Looks like I'm hosting my international guests in late June...hope it isn't too hot outside, and remind me to spray for mosquitoes.

Lake Forest Pastry shop in Clayton Missouri

Got to say I agree with you. And Russell's has another location in South City as well. Their gooey butter cake is neck-in-neck with the chewy butter version by Companion Bakehouse...different renditions, both fantastic.

Aug 20, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Oh, I don't think there's anything wrong with starters, I think we're all just enjoying our yogurt experiments. I just made up another 'mother' batch with peppers picked from the pots out on our deck. It set up nicely in just about 7 hours and has spawned several generations of terrific yogurt. And as to earlier posts about whether or not what I've made here is 'actual' yogurt...well, it looks like yogurt,it tastes like yogurt, and if I hear hoofbeats, I look around for horses, you know? I've been making yogurt for years using a couple spoonfuls of whatever plain yogurt was on sale, so enjoy your experiment, and let us know how it turns out. I've been making our own Greek-style yogurt for three-four years, it's much cheaper and the texture is much better than any store-bought we've tried.

Aug 19, 2014
tonifi in Home Cooking

New incarnations of foods?

I've always been neutral about coconut, I didn't much like it in pies or cakes or other desserts. Then I discovered that I love the taste of coconut in savory applications...tom kha, coconut-milk curries. The odd thing is that now I don't mind it in desserts, either. Still not my favorite, but I like it more than I used to. Something similar happened with peanut butter. I liked it well enough with jelly or in a cookie, but I LOVE it as peanut sauce with chicken or pork.

Aug 16, 2014
tonifi in General Topics

Anyone Cook with Truffles at Home?

No law, I've seen them once or twice at the Farmer's Market (brought in from Oregon) but I just don't see them anywhere. Maybe I'm shopping in the low-rent district? I'm a St. Louis girl, bred and buttered, but I might have to move if truffles were outlawed. (Though I'll admit that I have no love for truffle oil, most of it tastes pretty gnarly to me).

Aug 15, 2014
tonifi in Home Cooking

Anyone Cook with Truffles at Home?

Stop it. I'm in truffle-free St. Louis and you're going to make me cry. (And it isn't like I've had a great week, anyway...)

Aug 14, 2014
tonifi in Home Cooking

It is that time of year again.....school lunches

Both of mine take their lunch to school. She is a snacky eater so I make sure to have cheese sticks, individual yogurts, applesauce cups, crackers, pretzels, fruit snacks, fruit, and vegetables like carrots and celery. The boy likes to take a dinner leftover (which is sometimes upsetting for his father, like the day the boy took the ribs and left the sloppy joes for dad). At least once a week I make a point of making some sort of pulled pork or baked pasta or shepherd's pie-type meal, something that makes a lot of fairly stable leftovers. Neither one of them uses a microwave, and they're still alive (though anything left at the end of the day is off-limits for everyone but the dog). A big baked spaghetti will carve off lots of lunchtime hunks, and it is just as good at room temperature, and they both love calzone and stromboli for the leftovers.

Aug 14, 2014
tonifi in Home Cooking

Looking for a good source for Lamb in O'Fallon, IL

I was thinking too, that you mentioned Costco, but not Sam's Club. Our Sam's has lamb chops, pretty decent ones, too. (I don't care for lamb, but the husband adores it). I'm pretty sure O'Fallon has a Sam's...and they'll sometimes give you a one day 'guest pass' to try the place out even if you aren't a member...you have to pay in cash, I believe. It can't hurt to call and ask if they still do that.

Aug 10, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains
1

Looking for a good source for Lamb in O'Fallon, IL

I don't know about O'Fallon, but here in St. Louis both Dierbergs and Schnucks have a small selection of lamb. I suggest you call them and ask to speak to the butcher.

Aug 09, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains

St Louis recommendations (potential relocation)

Look at any map of Tower Grove Park online and you'll see the road that crosses through the middle of the park that has a circle in the middle. The market is held just to the west side of that circle. There is a big pavilion (painted kind of yellow right now I believe) and a fountain/splash pool/playground in front of the pavilion. The farmer's market is held behind, alongside, and all around the pavilion. And the whole area is usually SWARMING with people on Saturday morning. Truly, you can't miss it. Market closes up promptly at noon, so don't be late. When you're staggering out of the market at noon, you should drive a couple blocks east on Magnolia, make a left on 39th Street, and get yourself an ice cream at our new place, Ices Plain & Fancy, two blocks from the park on the corner of 39th & Shenandoah. I haven't yet been, but my kids tell me the ice cream is pricey but kind of awesome...they use liquid nitrogen to freeze each serving individually and I'm told it's quite a show.

Aug 07, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains

St Louis recommendations (potential relocation)

Well, only if the fire escape is catered. Say the word, my friend, I'm there.

Aug 06, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains

St Louis recommendations (potential relocation)

I loved the memories at the Majestic. I did not love the margarine they served with the pancakes. Seriously, hill food, were we separated at birth? zillow.com is my porn channel. And in a perfect world I would take any one of the lofts over City Museum so long as they look out over MonstroCity. I long to lounge on my couch in bathrobe and slippers, sipping coffee as hundreds of strangers climb past my windows.

Aug 05, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains

St Louis recommendations (potential relocation)

I think you mean Fields Foods on Lafayette right across from the old City Hospital (now condos), locavore in focus, though they do have store-brand options, lots of prepared food, a small bakery, sushi...that kind of thing, AND a bar in the store...the shopping carts have cup-holders for your beer or wine (I have friends who are great fans of this option). On the other end of the scale, there is a new Save A Lot on Lafayette and Jefferson, inexpensive groceries, mostly their own cut-rate brands...pretty good basic staple-item shopping. Good to see the retail food business responding to the population growth in our heart-of-the-city areas.

Aug 03, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains
1

St Louis recommendations (potential relocation)

I realize we've gone off the rails a bit from your original question...truth is, the CWE is so chock-a-block with places to coffee/lunch/dinner that you're not going to be able to walk a block without passing a bunch of them. I LOVE Brasserie by Niche for lunch, I've heard all kinds of good things about Central Table, there are coffee shops everywhere. There a quite a few students in the area, but I (a fiftyish woman) am perfectly comfortable in any of the establishments in the area. A big plus to the Central West End for me is the good branch of the public library on Euclid, I rather like dining alone...but I need a book!

Aug 03, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains

St Louis recommendations (potential relocation)

hill food, I really am your biggest fan. I was going to suggest looking into the DeMun area of Clayton. I'm not a fan of the downtown area of Clayton (white bread, bo-ring) , but the girl-child has recently acquired a dear friend who lives off DeMun,and a what a lovely little pocket of the metro area that is. (Kaldi Coffee and Carl's Deli for pastrami sandwiches, what more could you ask for?)
I think that you should take a quick run to all sides of Forest Park. The Central West End is lovely, very walkable, very bustling, but the west (Clayton/DeMun)side of the park is lovely as well. Dogtown, to the South of the park and within the city limits, is a bit more working class, but also a lovely, friendly part of the city with plenty of neighborhood places to go. To the north, the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood has beautiful residentials, although the area is geared a bit more to the college students from nearby Washington University, and can be less walkable at night. Whatever you choose, welcome to the Lou, let us know what you're leaning toward, I love this town, and I love to hear what newcomers have to say about it.
If you don't mind a little grit with your city, our nabe of South Grand-Tower Grove would be glad to have you...

Aug 03, 2014
tonifi in Great Plains

What not to do at a farmers market

As an occasional seller of home-produced goods, I can tell you there is no shame in looking for late-day discounts. There will always be people who want (and are willing to pay for) the best early-morning, widest-variety of stuff early in the day. I don't mind a bit if someone at the end of the day is willing to take the less-popular items or the stuff I made too much of. If the price they offer is unacceptable, I don't accept it. Simple as that.

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Awww...I love Springfield's Cashew Chicken, though I'll admit that your description is not wrong at all. Sooooo not Chinese, sooo not healthy, but when I'm in Springfield, I have to have it. (Though I've noticed a trend at Springfield buffets to 'hide' the cashews...not that I blame them, the price of the little buggers being what it is now. You have to go look back by the sushi guy or the kitchen pass. Presumably, with an employee nearby, patrons won't dump three cups of cashews on one cup of cashew chicken...)

Jul 09, 2014
tonifi in General Topics

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Ah. You have guessed my shameful secret. It always made me cough...