pcdarnell's Profile

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Lay's Potato Chips' New Flavors -- Seen or Tried Them?

Now I'm going to have to go back just to check the dates on the bag. They were in a stand-alone display which is why they caught my eye, so I assumed it was some recent promotion. That's so strange.

Jul 31, 2014
pcdarnell in General Topics

Lay's Potato Chips' New Flavors -- Seen or Tried Them?

I saw some Chicken and Waffle-flavored Lay's chips in my neighborhood Safeway recently (Oakland, CA). I took a picture because I couldn't believe it, but did not purchase them. I hadn't seen any advertising about new flavors, so it was quite a surprise. I'll have to see if there are different flavors when I go next time.

Jul 31, 2014
pcdarnell in General Topics

Rotel Velveeta Dip

I used to love this stuff when I was in college, but I never actually made it myself. One guy was famous for bringing it to parties. One question I never asked: do you have to drain the Rotel tomatoes or not?

Jun 30, 2014
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

A vegan, a person who's gluten free, someone with a nut allergy and an anorexic walk into a bar…

That's funny. Only the second time I have ever seen that show too.

May 21, 2014
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Cookware you secretly use as dishware?

One of my sons uses my stainless mixing bowls as a cereal bowl. I have to avert my eyes.

May 20, 2014
pcdarnell in Cookware

A vegan, a person who's gluten free, someone with a nut allergy and an anorexic walk into a bar…

I was home sick yesterday watching dreaded daytime TV and saw this Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili recipe made. It looked very easy and it's vegan.


I have a similar problem next week on my vacation where I'll be cooking for my vegetarian sister and my diabetic dad. I feel your pain, though vegan is mush harder to do than vegetarian. I can't do my go-to vegetarian pasta dishes because my dad has to limit carbs. The Vegan Navy Bean & Tomato Veggie Soup posted by Racecar75 looks great. I have already printed that one.
Good luck.

May 20, 2014
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Need an East Bay dinner spot for around 30 people

Sorry for the late response, but I don't recall the upstairs being too bad. Maybe it's selective memory.

Need an East Bay dinner spot for around 30 people

My company does this frequently. Highlights are the upstairs/mezzanine at Mua, the back patio at A Cote, and take over of the whole restaurant at Barlata. If I think of any more I'll post.

Need help with this mystery pot

Google "copper jelly pan" and look at the images to see if you think that's a match. I have one, but it is probably closer to 18" diameter. I have made jelly in mine, but not for a while so I can't recall if the interior was different from the exterior like yours appears to be.

Apr 21, 2014
pcdarnell in Cookware

Anyone still using chipped beef?

My mom did this but used chopped green olives instead of the scallions. I remember her using scissors to cut the beef up. Yum.

Apr 21, 2014
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Seeking help for removing oven light bulb cover

I have some jar openers made of this stuff you linked, DuffyH. I use them to unscrew the light bulbs in my oven since the bulbs are almost flush with the back wall of the oven and there is no way to get a grip around them. I just apply pressure and turn at the same time.

Apr 17, 2014
pcdarnell in Cookware

What to do with spicy preserved lemons from Indian store?

Chop some of the peel with garlic and parsley and put it under the skin of a chicken breast before baking/roasting. It's really good.

Apr 03, 2014
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Oven baked salmon help

I have made this recipe and shared it many times since I found it on epicurious. The no smell factor is a plus, and the salmon itself is tender and moist and cooked evenly through.

Mar 25, 2014
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

King Cake Mix -Oakland area!

La Farine on Fruitvale Ave. (Dimond District in Oakland) sent out an email last week saying they had them. I don't know if they still do, or if pre-ordering is required. I suggest you call them today.

Puzzling over tapioca pudding

I believe you are correct. I love homemade tapioca, especially served warm I have always made it with eggs, just like every other pudding. It's a custard. There is separated eggs involved typically, making the custard with the yolks and beating egg whites and folding them in at the end. I'm not sure what the consistency of this recipe would be.

Feb 25, 2014
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Need to buy La Bodega Sherry wine vinegar

I buy it at Piedmont Grocery in Oakland.

Favorite recipe for preserving plums?

I made some plum syrup this year when a friend delivered a bucket full of small plums. I just boiled them with sugar, water, a little lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks. It is really good. I have used in in cocktails and with sparkling wine. Also in pan sauces for meats, over vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet. The cinnamon added a nice hint of spice.

I also made some plum jam with ginger. I froze the rest for when I figure out what else I can do.

Jul 23, 2013
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Cooking From: Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree

When I was in college (Georgia Tech) I took a week-long, 40-hour class called The Basics of French Cooking (or something close). It was taught by Nathalie Dupree and was held in the Rich's department store in downtown Atlanta. They had a big teaching kitchen in the store. It was the best class I have ever taken, and 35 years later I still use the techniques I learned there.
I have never bought any of her books, but I might have to get this one.

Jul 22, 2013
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Pastry making/Bread making classes in the Bay Area?

Kitchen on Fire in Berkely has weekend and evening classes. I took a pie making class this summer that was alot of fun. Check out their website for the class calendar. They offer series and one-time classes. I think they do bread making classes. They also do some cool theme classes like different ethnic cooking, cooking for a dinner party, etc.
I would most defintiely go back, I just haven't had time.

Let's talk about pies. Vintage pies, that is.

That's the recipe my family uses too, from the old BC cookbook. My sister and one of my sons both request this instead of a birthday cake. My parents have rhubarb growing in the yard (NH). It kills me to buy it, but I'm in CA and haven't tried growing it.
I prefer strawberry rhubarb pie, myself.

Dec 05, 2012
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Anyone Hoarding Twinkies?

Every Christmas my kids buy me a cooking related gift, really only for their benefit, and usually pretty hilarious. One year it was a funnel cake maker, a pie-pop maker last year, and once it was a Twinkie making kit. Now I see the brilliance.

BTW, does anyone remember Suzie-Q's? I loved those things. Chocolate cakey oblong things with (faux) cream filling. I grew up in MA, so it must have been a Drakes product.

Nov 19, 2012
pcdarnell in General Topics

Oakland Small Plate Lunch Options-Black Friday 2012

I like Barlata (Telegraph Ave. at about 43rd) and District (Old Oakland) for small plates, wine, and cocktails. I have only been for dinner and have not checked their hours for lunch, but both are in good locations in terms of reasonable parking and interesting neighborhoods..

New England Clam Chowder: To Corn or not to Corn?

I grew up in Mass, and my mother is from Portsmouth, NH. We had clam chowder as a leftover meal after eating steamers and lobster on Saturday nights when we went to my grandparents' house in Portsmouth. There was no flour involved in her clam chowder, just clam broth from the night before and half and half. No corn, just potatoes and onions. Salt pork was used diced to render the fat in which to cook the onions.

The other leftover meals we had were lobster salad sandwiches and lobster Newburg. Those were the days!

Jul 05, 2012
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Need Asparagus Recipe Help

I just remembered a recipe i got with a CSA delivery once that was great for roasted veggies. You just roast as noted in these replies, but about halfway through .you drizzle the veggies with a mixture of olive oil, salt, chopped garlic, and red pepper flakes. It works well on anything - asparagus, cauliflower, brussles sprouts, broccoloi rabe.

I am going to try the lemon zest suggestions as well as the preserved lemon idea on my next batch of roasted vegetables.

Apr 06, 2012
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Need Asparagus Recipe Help

Definitely oven roasted. I drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then place in one layer on a cookie sheet(s) and roast at 425 until just tender. Depending on the thickness of the stalks, you should start checking for doneness in less than 10 minutes. I shake the pan about halfway through (or when I check them) to turn them a bit.

Apr 05, 2012
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

Potato salad secrets?

+1 for pickle juice. A friend's grandmother told me about this and it really makes a difference. Dill pickles, and just a splash.

Mar 15, 2012
pcdarnell in Home Cooking

First apartment - best cookware to purchase

An inexpensive set of Pyrex glass bakeware - 9"x13", 8"x8', and a loaf pan - are always handy whether you are roasting a chicken or baking brownies, making mac and cheese, making meatloaf or banana bread.

Mar 08, 2012
pcdarnell in Cookware

Tastiest stop between OAK and Yountville for lunch?

I agree with Ruth about lunch in Alameda. Alameda is incredibly safe - I joke with my coworkers who live here that the whole town is in a bubble. Plus downtown Alameda is only about two miles (surface streets) from the rental car lots.
I would eat early rather than be famished later and eat too much (that's just me) too close to dinnertime.
Burma Superstar is great. There is also DragonRouge at their new location near the Park Street Bridge, but I think they open for lunch again on the 10th after their move to this new location. It's Vietnamese, but a really cool place with great food.


Thanks for the info. I'll try it with rye and play with the proportions. Maybe if I make mini drinks I can do a side-by-side tasting. I should probably wait for the weekend!

Mar 07, 2012
pcdarnell in Spirits

Steakhouses - Stop asking me to cut into my steak as soon as it arrives!

I saw this happen for the first time last weekend. We were at a non-steakhouse in Tacoma, WA called the Lobster Shop. It was a nice restaurant, right on the water. One of the folks in our party of four had ordered a medium rare steak, and when they cut into it (flashlight at the ready) it was obviously overcooked. They took it back and brought another, after about 15 minutes. I guess he would have figured it out soon enough that it was overcooked, but the whole ceremonial cutting into the steak while everyone fixated on the flashlight was bizarre. Regardless, having to send a steak back screws up the whole meal when all but one person is eating.
I have been to nice steakhouses all over the country and have never seen this before. I have never been to an Outback, Texas Roadhouse, or anything like that though.

Mar 06, 2012
pcdarnell in Not About Food