Maggiethecat's Profile

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Bottled hard apple cider in garage -- still good after a year?

Oh, yeah, I use beer/cider in stuff like pulled pork, slow-roasted brisket, and chili, so I could totally use it for those purposes. I'm pretty sure I had even considered that at one point and just forgot, so thanks for the reminder!

Nov 15, 2014
Maggiethecat in Beer

Bottled hard apple cider in garage -- still good after a year?

So my husband and I don't drink. But we have an annual Christmas party and invite people to BYOB for themselves or to share if they like. Last year, someone brought a case of bottled hard apple cider. Not all of it got consumed during the party, and I must have stashed the rest out in the garage, since it was cold enough in the winter to keep it cold in case anyone wanted it when they came over for our regular dinner parties, but it still never got consumed.

This year's party is approaching and I have re-discovered the cider from last year. My question is, is it still good? We live in central Texas, so temperatures in the garage have ranged from low-30s to over 100 in the last year. Otherwise, the bottles are sealed and unopened. I don't really want to open one myself to try it, since I don't really know what it's supposed to taste like to begin with, and I wouldn't even finish an entire bottle if I did. I honestly don't know what the shelf-life of something like this is, especially in a fluctuating temperature environment like it has been. If the taste would have gone off due to the temperature being what it has been in that area, then I'll just toss it.

Nov 14, 2014
Maggiethecat in Beer

housewarming gift?rude

Depending on what was given to me, it could be useless to downright dangerous to me; I have a number of food intolerance and allergies so if someone who didn't know my very specific dietary restrictions bought me a bunch of stuff I couldn't eat, I'd either have to return it, re-gift it, or toss it. It's a very nice gesture; gift cards are much safer for me.

Nov 10, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Best/worst Thanksgiving ever...

My husband and I live several hundred (and in my case, over a thousand) miles away from our families so we don't get to spend every holiday with family. So often we will have friends over for the holidays instead, or go over to friends' houses who also have no family in town and are not out of town visiting their families.

One year a few years ago, we decided to do Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving Day for anyone in town who wanted to come over who wasn't doing anything with family. We ended up only getting a couple of people to RSVP which was fine. One of the guys who accepted our invite asked if he could also bring a mutual friend along, which I said was fine, we knew the guy and had plenty of food so no problem. Well, we had (an early) dinner and everyone hung around our house for a couple of hours, we played some card games and watched some TV, and after a couple of hours, everyone else pretty much right on queue decided to leave, except for the +1. He and our originally invited guest had not come together so he was the only person left...for another 5 hours in our house, as I put away the leftovers, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the dishes, and then proceeded to nearly pass out in the living room on the couch since I had been up super early to get the food ready, while he and my husband chatted about video games. This was several years ago and I was trying to be polite by not kicking him out of my house, but if it were now, I would have told him to get lost way sooner than when he actually left, which was nearly 11pm.

We don't do Thanksgiving Dinner anymore. If we don't get invited over to someone else's house, we go out for dinner. Instead of doing a Thanksgiving Day meal, we do a holiday party between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, usually the first or second weekend in December. The +1 is not invited (and actually, neither is the guest who originally invited him, although not because he invited him, we're just not friends with him anymore.) I'm very...insistent on people RSVPing to the invite I send out.

Oct 29, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

How much do you spend on groceries each month?

We are a household of 2 and we spend an average of $60-70/week at the grocery store, so around $280/month. That includes paper products like paper towels and toilet paper, but it does not include much meat since we get all of our meat from a local CSA, which is not factored into that amount. The CSA is I think currently $415 for 10 weeks, so about $166/month, so once you factor that in, our food bill is closer to $450/month. That also doesn't include eating out, which we do together maybe once a week, and my husband eats lunch with his co-workers maybe twice a week. It seems a little high, but we do feed our friends on a pretty regular basis as well; I usually am cooking for about 5-8 people at least once a week, so am having to plan and purchase a bit extra for those meals.

Oct 04, 2014
Maggiethecat in General Topics

Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US

As various people have mentioned or implied, the holidays are really all about whatever is your personal/family tradition or preference. I'll go ahead and share ours.

I have one big "holiday party" sometime between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. I usually call it a Christmas party since I do put up my Christmas tree/decorations and we exchange gifts for it. Since my husband and I don't live near family, we invite all of our good friends (around 20 people) over to our house on a Saturday for an afternoon/evening of food and merriment.

Since it usually falls a week or two after Thanksgiving, I never do turkey since most people are turkey'ed out by then. I almost always do some kind of pig product since no one in our group has any dietary/religious restrictions against eating it and everyone likes the change from poultry to pork. Sometimes I do ham, although last year I did a 10lb pork loin roast that got rave reviews, was very cheap (about $2/lb) and super easy to prep (not that ham isn't), so I think I'll probably do that again this year. The sides vary slightly from year to year, but usually include twice baked potatoes, wilted spinach salad with bacon dressing (I think I would be lynched now if I didn't serve this -- it is several peoples' favorite part of the meal), applesauce, some other kind of vegetable, some kind of bread or roll, and some kind of dessert.

I buy a gift for everyone in attendance and we play a round-robin kind of game where the first person (always me) opens one gift from under the tree, then the second person opens a gift and then has the option of trading with the first person. Then the third person opens a gift and has the option to trade with either of the first two, etc. until everyone has had a chance to open a gift. My gifts are always nice (ie, not gag gifts.) As a local artisan who sells at comic conventions and craft shows, I buy about 90% of my gifts from other local artisans and I spend the year keeping an eye out for nice, hand-crafted items that I think most people in the group would appreciate. At the end of the gift opening, if someone ends up with a gift they really dislike, I do offer them the opportunity to trade with me or ask if someone else would trade with them so no one ends up with something they dislike. I've never had someone who leaves with a gift they didn't like.

I spend the whole year sort of casually planning the gift part of the party since I'm always on the lookout for gifts. I spend about 2 months planning the actual party itself; I actually just sent out the first batch of email invites to it today (I usually do one email in early October announcing the date, and another email in mid-November reminding everyone and confirming the date, time, etc.) and have been working on the menu and figuring out how many more gifts I need to buy based on my invite list for the last few days.

Anyway, on Christmas Day itself, my husband and I usually just have a quiet day together. Last year we tentatively started a tradition of watching Home Alone & Home Alone 2 together while eating homemade pizza on Christmas Eve, although that is going to have to change, at least slightly, since we found out this year that I'm lactose intolerant so pizza with cheese is out for me. We usually exchange one gift with each other on Christmas Eve night, and if we have any others for each other, we exchange them on Christmas Day morning. The cats get lots of wrapping paper and kitty treats, we get to spend a quiet day together after a nice big holiday party earlier in the month, and everyone is happy.

crisper drawers in fridge??

I keep all my veggies in one and all my meat in the other, but I don't really pay attention to what the humidity setting on the veggie one is set at. There's only two of us and we don't eat a lot of salads/leafy greens so most of the veggies we get (things like carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms...) keep long enough that I don't have to worry about them going bad before we actually eat them.

Sep 07, 2014
Maggiethecat in Cookware

Wasted food due to guest taking too much -- any solutions?

I like the idea of asking if she'd like to take her leftovers with her. Not sure why I didn't think of that to begin with. It would make me feel better to know they are not being wasted and would probably be enough for her to take for lunch. I think she ends up dumping her leftovers in the trash before I really notice so I will just have to be mindful to ask before she does so. I'm pretty sure she would not be offended by it, I know her well enough to know she wouldn't take it that way. Thanks for the suggestion!

Wasted food due to guest taking too much -- any solutions?

So here's my situation. My husband and I get together with a group of friends every other Sunday and most of the time, I provide at least some of the food. We and another member of our group are part of a meat-based CSA so a lot of times, we will combine one of our shares for me to make something that will feed a crowd of 8. For example, last time we got together, our friend and I each had a share of brisket that we combined and I made BBQ brisket sandwiches, homemade baked beans, and corn on the cob. Other times with appropriate cuts of meat, I have done stew with homemade bread. Sometimes we grill out, especially if we have sausage, and I'll do veggie kebabs and rice on the side. etc. The meals are very casual and relaxed, serve yourself style.

Another member of our group is a woman who, earlier this year, had surgery to alter her stomach. She had a gastric sleeve put in place, which is supposed to reduce how much she eats. Here's my conundrum. She still tends to take rather large portion sizes, nearly as large as the rest of our group (who, besides her and me, are all guys with very big appetites), eats maybe half of it (at most) and can't finish the rest. If I'm lucky, her husband will finish her plate for her, but sometimes by the time she has decided she is done, he has already gone back for seconds on his own and he doesn't want any more, so her plate will sit and the rest of her food gets tossed at the end of the day. Wasted food, especially food that I have put the time and effort into preparing, is at best an annoyance of mine, and is quickly growing into more than that. If it was something that happened a few times right after her surgery, I could understand as she was learning the limitations of her intake. However, it has now been several months since her surgery, and she consistently makes comments like, "Well I'm sure my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I won't be able to eat all this, but that's okay." and I just want to tell her "Actually, it's NOT okay."

I don't think it's a matter of her not appreciating how a home cooked meal is made. She frequently watches me in the kitchen and often offers to help. I know she does some amount of cooking herself. She, and the rest of the people in the group, always look forward to the meals, partly because they all work fulltime jobs and don't always have a chance to cook home cooked meals for themselves (a lot of them just don't have a lot of cooking knowledge, either.) I work from home, and a lot of dietary restrictions (lots of allergies, severe lactose intolerance, and a chronic stomach disease) have forced me to learn to be a pretty good cook and I cook about 95% of the food that me and my husband eat (not that I mind, even before my slew of dietary restrictions I liked cooking, for myself and for others.) I like to make food for people and I like it when the food I make, makes other people happy. When everyone leaves at the end of the day, I always get a lot of "thank yous" and "the food was great" and "we really appreciate the meal" from everyone. Everyone's plate is always empty...except for her's.

So, is there any good way to approach this? Should I just not let it bother me? Would it be really rude of me to ask her to take smaller portions, and that she can always go back for seconds if she does want more afterword?

Aug 07, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Control freak in my kitchen.

Occasionally I will ask for a hand in the kitchen, but it is usually almost literally just that...a hand. Like, "could you hold this for a second" or "could you grab that for me real quick." Most of my friends know me well enough to know to stay the hell out of my way unless/until I ask for that hand. I do a lot of cooking and hosting and they all love to be invited over for a meal and are happy to help if I ask, but I do prefer to do almost everything myself.

However, there is one guy who we have had over who just hasn't gotten the memo. He will frequently bring something to share, which is fine, but will require something on my end to finish it. For example, for our last Christmas party. 20 people and I was doing dinner all by myself. I told people they could bring prepared appetizers if they wanted to but it was not necessary. Had a few people bring stuff like deviled eggs or crackers and cream cheese dip. So our clueless friend -- who, by the way, is also always notoriously late -- shows up about 2 hours after I told people to bring apps if they were bringing apps. Right about when I'm about to serve dinner (I had about 20 minutes of prep left, was just about to pull the meat out of the oven, finishing sauteeing one of the sides, etc.) He strolls in, dumps a bagful of stuff on my table (space I needed) and says he needs a bowl and a spoon to make his appetizer. I think I must have looked at him like he had three heads and my girlfriends who were keeping me company in the kitchen and watching me work while the boys watched Die Hard in the living room, probably thought there was going to be a homicide.

I know it doesn't sound like much, but when I'm getting dinner for 20 together, you don't come waltzing into my kitchen demanding anything except a drink, which my girlfriends will get for you...or you can get yourself, since that's the way we roll around here.

May 29, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Dairy-free chocolate pie?

So a couple of weeks ago I spotted a recipe on my Facebook feed, for a chocolate pie. I think it was a re-post from one of the food blogs I follow, but I don't remember which blog or which site it linked to and now I cannot, for the life of me, find the recipe again.

The thing that stuck out to me about it was that it was dairy-free (it did have eggs in it, but no milk/cream/butter, which I cannot have as I am extremely lactose intolerant.) It was topped with either whipped cream or ice cream but those can easily be held off and I was really interested in just the pie itself. For further notes, I'm allergic to soy (tofu), avocados, and nuts, so it didn't have any of those things in it (or any other milk substitutes, like coconut milk.) It was not a pudding-like pie, it was more like a baked custard pie.

Does anyone know of such a recipe?

Apr 23, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Egg entrees for egg haters?

I have never had or even heard of Kedgeree (as far as I know) but that recipe does look very good, and, aside from the cilantro, which I detest (tastes like soap to me) but can just sub with basil or parsley I'm thinking, everything looks like stuff we both like. Also, after having one of the CSA eggs hard-boiled yesterday for breakfast, I have to say they are excellent -- much better than supermarket eggs. I knew they were good, but hard-boiled was never my favorite preparation, and having one that way that was truly delicious proved that they're much superior to anything we can get at the store.

Apr 19, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

vodka pokeballs gone wrong

If you are just trying to make vodka-infused pokeball treats, you could try jell-o "shots." I have made this recipe before but incorporated vodka for the adults, and it could be modified to be used in the round molds instead: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/20...

Here's how I would do it:
Red Half:
Mix 1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin with 1/4 cup cold water in a small bowl. Add 2/3 cup boiling water, 1/3 cup vodka, and 1 box red jell-o (cherry, strawberry, etc.) Stir to combine and pour into molds. You might need to make a double batch to have equal amounts as the white layer.

White half:
Mix 2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin with 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, combine 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup vodka, and 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve the condensed milk into the boiling water and vodka. Add the gelatin mixture to the milk mixture, then add another 1/2 cup boiling water, and stir everything to combine. Pour into molds.

For the black ring in the center, I can think of a couple options. You can do something similar to what the person in the article did, and make another batch of jell-o to pour over the red/white halves. Follow the instructions for the red layer but use an appropriate colored jello flavor. Not sure if there is a black-colored jello so you might have to go with grape or some other purple color. You'll probably also have a lot leftover. If you do this, let your red and white layers chill and set completely, and black/purple/whatever layer cool for a while before pouring over the red/white layers, or else it will melt the red/white layer.

Alternately, you could take some black licorice rope and wrap it around the center after putting the red and white halves together: http://www.amazon.com/Kennys-Black-Li...
Or pipe prepared black icing around the center.

For the button in the center, how about Wilton candy eyes: http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Candy-Ey...
Admittedly, the black is supposed to be on the outside and the white on the inside...but unless you are serving these to some hard-core geeks, they hopefully won't notice.

Apr 19, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

vodka pokeballs gone wrong

I think the whole point of the experiment is to make them look like pokeballs...

Apr 19, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Recent cooking fails?

We get fresh meat every week from a local CSA so I cook a lot. Usually 5-6 meals a week. I am also dairy free due to severe lactose intolerance -- this is a relatively recent discovery (January 2014) so I am still learning and experimenting with how to substitute dairy in some recipes. I am a pretty good cook, since I do so pretty often and am pretty intuitive in the kitchen, so I haven't had any major disasters. I did try to make popovers with coconut milk and they did not "pop" at all. But they were still a pretty tasty, dense little egg muffin.

The biggest "fail" most recently happened last week. I was going out with some friends on Thursday (a standing date, every other week). On Sundays, my husband and I are gone all day, so I spent the day Thursday braising some beef short ribs from our weekly CSA pack for dinner on Sunday. We had an assortment of leftovers in the fridge for my husband to have for dinner Thursday night. Before I left to go out with my friends, I removed the bones from the short ribs, roughly chopped the meat, and put the meat in a separate container from the sauce so that I could skim the fat off the sauce on Sunday when I finished the dish. I told my husband that the short ribs were for dinner on Sunday and also listed what we had available for leftovers for him to eat that night. One thing I had finished up for lunch that day was some leftover pulled pork in BBQ sauce. So I get home later that night and ask him what he had for dinner, and he tells me, pulled pork. Pulled pork? But I ate the rest of that for lunch today. He goes to the fridge and pulls out a container and shows me -- my braised short rib meat. Over half of it eaten on a bun as a sandwich. Sigh.

Egg entrees for egg haters?

Yeah, he will not touch deviled eggs with a ten-foot pole. I made two dozen for our annual Christmas party this year, spiced with curry powder and sriracha sauce no less (two of his favorite things) and all of them got eaten...but none by him.

Apr 16, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Egg entrees for egg haters?

That does sound good! Thank you for experimenting and sharing your results! I haven't used jarred dried tomatoes much but this sounds like a great introduction to them.

Apr 15, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Selling greek yogurt at farmer's market.. would you buy a vegan option?

I am not vegan or vegetarian but I am highly lactose intolerant so I would jump on this. I am also allergic to nuts and a lot of fruit so my topping options would be limited. I would go for the berries, pineapple, pumpkin butter, honey, sugared ginger.

Egg entrees for egg haters?

Thank you for all the suggestions so far. I was in a bit of a hurry when I posted the OP so I forgot to add sort of a critical point: I am extremely lactose intolerant, and combined with a digestive disease, eating any amount of dairy makes me extremely ill. So we are dairy-free. I am also allergic to soy and nuts, so I can't sub milk with soy milk or almond milk. I can (and successfully have, on many occasions) sub coconut milk for regular cow's milk in recipes.

Fried rice and egg drop or hot and sour soup are things I have meant to try and forgotten about, so I will definitely add those to the list. Egg curry is also an excellent option, as he loves curry. I also like the idea of a savory bread pudding; I think I can make coconut milk work with that, especially if I spice it properly, maybe with a curry powder blend and appropriate vegetables.

Pasta carbonara is certainly an interesting idea. I have not yet tried experimenting with non-cow milk products, but perhaps this would be a good dish to do so with; pecorino romano being a sheep milk cheese. Even if that still makes me ill, I could probably make a pretty good carbonara with no cheese at all.

I cook around 5 or 6 nights out of the week; leftovers are our lunches, or dinner for the random night I don't cook. We eat out maybe one meal a week. So, I am trying to make everything stretch as much as I can. We do some vegetarian meals but I'd still like to be able to incorporate eggs a little more often since we're getting them on a regular basis now. Some of these suggestions are great and I'll be looking forward to trying them.

Apr 11, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Egg entrees for egg haters?

My husband hates eggs. Apparently it's the taste; we've tried several different methods of preparation and he has not been a fan of any of them. However, we recently joined a meat-based CSA (community supported agriculture) and every other week we get a dozen eggs. I like eggs just fine so I can eat them for breakfast or lunch, or use them in baking. However, on the weeks when we get eggs, we only get 3 portions of meat which isn't quite enough for meals for the two of us for the whole week, and I'm trying to avoid having to buy extra meat. So I'm looking for dishes where I can incorporate the eggs as part of the protein, that he might eat.

He loves heavily spiced Asian food; Thai, Indian, etc. We recently went to an Indian buffet and egg biryani was on the buffet and he tried it and said it was good and he would eat it if I prepared it like that at home. Most egg biryani recipes I have seen leave the hard boiled eggs whole in the rice; but on the buffet they were chopped really finely so he wasn't getting a whole mouthful all at once, which was probably what was appealing to him. I don't think he would enjoy something like quiche where egg is the overwhelming flavor.

I have also thought of doing "brinner" like french toast or pancakes as he does like those, but I am not a big fan of a sweet, heavy meal at the end of the day so I generally avoid meals like that.

Apr 11, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Do you have a vegan or plant-based menu that you serve to omnivore guests? Just brainstorming...

I cannot eat soy or dairy (but I can and do love meat) but there is at least one vegan soup I can think of off the top of my head that I make sometimes that is really good, that I have made for others and it has gone over well.

Roasted Curried Butternut Squash Soup (sorry there are not really any measurements, I just eyeball everything and go by taste)

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
Safflower or olive oil
Salt, pepper, & cayenne

Toss the peeled and cubed squash in oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees, along side the chickpeas (see below), for about an hour to an hour 20 minutes, until tender and golden.

Coconut oil
2 apples
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger
Maharaja curry powder*
Aleppo pepper (or cayenne pepper, or omit if you don't like it hot)
Vegetable broth
Maple syrup
Coconut milk

*Maharaja curry powder is a spice blend I get from Penzey's. It consists of the following, so use any or all to your taste and preference: turmeric, coriander, cumin, cardamom, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, black pepper, cloves, red pepper and saffron.

When the squash is almost done roasting, melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Peel, core, and cube the apples and dice the onion. Sautee in the coconut oil until they start to soften. When they are close to done, grate in the garlic and ginger and stir in the spices. Sautee for another couple of minutes. Deglaze the pan with vegetable broth, then toss in the roasted squash and enough broth just to cover. Simmer for a few minutes until broth is slightly reduced. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender.) Stir in the maple syrup, coconut milk and more broth as needed to achieve desired consistency. Serve with roasted chickpeas.

Maple roasted chickpeas:

1 (15oz) can organic chickpeas
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon safflower or olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch cinnamon

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and remove the skins (optional, but I prefer them with skins removed. Smitten Kitchen describes how to skin chickepeas in her hummus recipe here: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/0...). In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients, then pour over the chickpeas and toss gently to coat. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Arrange chickpeas in an even layer onto baking sheet and sprinkle with additional salt. Roast at 375, alongside the butternut squash, for about 40-45 minutes, tossing every 10-12 minutes, until dark brown and caramelized.

I will usually serve this with some kind of bread/muffin/cornbread/etc (also dairy free.)

kitchen OWIES!?!

My husband had a doozy about a month and a half ago. The bottom heating element in our oven cracked (a friend of ours said, I am the only person he knows who uses their oven enough to actually manage to break it) and he ordered a replacement part off of Amazon to install himself. He got the old, damaged element out and the new one installed and turned the oven on to see if it worked. He had the oven on for about 5 seconds when he realized that the element was slightly crooked, and also that the bottom of the oven was kinda dirty, so he decided to clean/straighten everything up while he had the oven torn up. Turned the oven off -- again, had only been on about 5 seconds at this point -- and reached in with the tips of his forefinger and thumb to grasp the bottom element...

Instant second degree burns.

We did not have to go to the ER but he was in a lot of pain for the rest of the evening. Fortunately, I keep a big bottle of aloe vera gel so between that and a lot of cool water he recovered pretty well after a couple of days, the blisters didn't pop for about two weeks, and there was no scarring.

Mar 29, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

The Chatty Bagger at the Grocery Store

I do not think you should "just go with the flow", especially with your medical conditions. Seriously, shame on your mother for saying such a thing. You have real, valid reasons for not wanting to just stand around waiting for people to idly chit-chat your time away. You have every right to be irritated by this bagger's behavior and should not feel bad about bringing it to management's attention. She is literally putting your health at risk by making you wait while she prattles on willy-nilly.

Mar 10, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

The Chatty Bagger at the Grocery Store

I probably would have lost it on her when she asked about the PICC line. "Needed for medication because I am chronically ill" and "Not that it's any of your damned business" would have just been the start.

But if you're trying not to be rude, you can still go to a manager. Just tell them you don't want to get her in trouble, and that she seems like such a nice woman, but that she really does seem to be holding up the express lane, perhaps she could be assigned to a regular lane instead? If they're not aware of the issue, they can't do anything to remedy it.

Coke and peanuts

I was born and raised in Wisconsin but moved to Texas about five years ago. I used to get together with a group of guys about once a week at a game shop that had vending machines and other snacks and we were often there for 4-5 hours at a time, so people would either bring snacks or buy them. One of the guys who'd come on a regular basis was a Texas native and introduced me to Coke and peanuts. I remember the first time I saw it; he bought a 20oz bottle of Coke and a small vending machine bag of peanuts and dumped the whole bag into the bottle when I wasn't paying attention, so all I saw later on were these white bits floating around in his bottle of Coke. I think my reaction was something along the lines of, "What the hell happened to your Coke!?"

I always wanted to try it, but being allergic to peanuts sort of puts a damper on that.

Jan 31, 2014
Maggiethecat in General Topics

So many food allergies....need suggestions

I totally understand about being afraid of trying new things. There are some fruits and stuff that I have never tried, because I'm not sure if I am allergic to them and I don't want to find out the hard way. We have a lot of those self-serve yogurt places around here, where you dish out your own yogurt and then choose from a huge topping buffet that usually consists of fresh fruit and various candy toppings. Some of them have lychee fruit and I have always wanted to try it, but I don't want to in case I end up having a reaction in the middle of the cafe.

And, just so you know, with kimchi, if you make your own, you can control pretty much everything about it; how spicy it is, how fermented it gets before you eat it, etc. So if you don't like traditional spicy, strong kimchi, you might like it better if you make it homemade and cut back on the pepper and/or only let it ferment for a day or even half a day. Just a suggestion, I know it's hard finding stuff you can eat that's healthy and safe when you've got a lot of allergies and/or other medical conditions!

Jan 29, 2014
Maggiethecat in Special Diets

So many food allergies....need suggestions

With my condition I cannot have whole grains or anything high in fiber, including beans/legumes or whole seeds or nuts (I'm allergic to nuts, anyway.) I have started eating Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) for the protein/fat/nutrients and I can handle that in small quantities, 1-2 tablespoons a day, since it is pureed.

I recently made up a batch of homemade kimchi and it is about ready to be consumed so we are going to try it with dinner tonight. I am really eager to try it and see how I can handle it and if it has any effect on my digestive issues. It was easy to make, the hardest part was tracking down the Korean red pepper flakes that are used in traditional kimchi. We found them in an Asian market but I did see them on Amazon as well, in case we couldn't find them locally. Here are some links I used for recipes/guidelines:

I also eat a lot of pureed vegetables, like squash and mashed potatoes (I make mine with coconut milk and olive oil, but since you can't have coconut or dairy milk...is there another milk alternative you can have? Or, if you can handle yogurt, try mixing some of that in to give it a little creaminess.) Also I try to seed most vegetables if I want to try to eat them raw, even ones you wouldn't think would cause problems, including tomatoes and cucumbers. I can handle them in small quantities this way, so I can have a few tomatoes on shredded chicken tacos, for example.

Jan 29, 2014
Maggiethecat in Special Diets

So many food allergies....need suggestions

I have a lot of, but not quite as many of the same restrictions as you. It's hard, I know. I can eat wheat and rice (for now, anyway) so that makes up a big bulk of my diet, along with meat. I can't do dairy, soy, or almond, though, so I have recently made the switch to coconut milk-based products. So Delicious (http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/) makes coconut milk yogurt that is actually pretty good and works well in recipes that call for yogurt.

I have made baked goods with it, and also this lamb recipe that turned out fantastic: http://video.about.com/mideastfood/Sh...
We had it with pita bread like in the video, but you could serve it over greens as a salad, or with some other kind of grains that you can eat (couscous? bulgar?


I find that pre-set diet plans don't really work in cases like ours, since we have so many restrictions. You can look at them for inspiration and maybe find a recipe or two to try, or tweak, but in the end you will need to come up with your own diet plan. I have a list of recipe that I have made that I know my husband and I both really like, and that I can handle well with my food restrictions. I do try new recipes as well and when I find ones that meet both of those criteria, they go on the list. Read food blogs and recipe sites; they don't have to be specifically gluten free or dairy free or allergy friendly sites. Just start browsing in your spare time and when you see a recipe that looks good and doesn't have any bad ingredients for you in it, bookmark it and make a note to get the ingredients next week so you can try it. That's basically what I do.

Jan 28, 2014
Maggiethecat in Special Diets

Are we allowed to share horrible, completely unredeemable experiences here?

To everyone who has told the OP that he should have paid for the take-out order, let me ask you this. Honest question here. Have you guys never walked into a restaurant, been seated, ordered off the menu, had your order taken back to the kitchen, and then left before receiving your order, for whatever reason? Either something went badly with the restaurant -- they screwed up your apps/drinks, the staff was inexcusably rude, the facility was unsanitary, etc -- or you got some emergency phone call that suddenly called you away before your meal arrived. Do you pay in these situations? If not, how is this any different than what the OP did? In both cases, food has been prepared but not consumed and cannot be given to another patron so the restaurant must eat the cost. But I hear about people who walk into restaurants, place orders, have a bad experience in the first 10-20 minutes, pay for their drinks but not their meals (which have not been delivered but have undoubtedly been started by the kitchen), and then walk out, all the time, and those situations seem to be perfectly acceptable, yet the OP's, which involved a car accident, was not.

Jan 28, 2014
Maggiethecat in Austin

Dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free: Suggestions?

Peanut butter (smooth) is actually on the recommended gastroparesis diet plans that I've seen, since it is pureed and high in protein/calories so is a good way to get some nutrients when you can't keep much down, if you can handle it. I tried the sun butter on some toast today, only a small amount, maybe a tablespoon or less, and it went down pretty well. The diet plans I've seen recommend to restrict nut butters to 2 tablespoons or less a day so as long as I watch my intake hopefully I'll be able to handle it sometimes.

Jan 21, 2014
Maggiethecat in Special Diets