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Maggiethecat's Profile

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Difference between coconut cream and milk?

Thai Kitchen's brand of full-fat coconut milk is what I use as well but only about half of the cans separate properly. When they don't, I still try to skim off the thicker, creamier portion of the milk, which will still rise to the top even though it doesn't solidify. If you start spooning it out about a tablespoon at a time (don't dip your spoon in too far), you will eventually skim off most of the white portion and the rest will be lighter/clearer, and I leave that behind (use it in other cooking or baking recipes.) I also sometimes add a little bit of unflavored gelatin that I bloom in cold water and then dissolve in hot water (only about a tsp of unflavored gelatin granules, and a tbs each of cold water and hot water. I don't measure it.) This helps it stabilize and whip to stiffer peaks like regular whipped cream.

Dec 15, 2014
Maggiethecat in General Topics

I too need help on uninvited guests.

A couple of points about your reply that I thought were amusing/ironic.

My brother and his family (wife and two kids) were very indecisive about what they were ever going to do for the holidays or any kind of family get-together. We literally wouldn't know until the day before or sometimes the day of, whether they were coming. This started well before the kids were born and continues to this day (oldest is 19 now.) We would always be wondering whether the reservation should be for 10, or just 6 because they weren't showing up, or if we should wait for them to start dinner (if it was being hosted at my parents' house.) They would use everything from the weather to her family's gathering plans to the football game as excuses to why they wouldn't be able to commit until the last minute.

Also, while I was always (well, usually) happy to play with my niece and nephew when they were little, my husband is the exact opposite. If you would have suggested to him, when he was a teenager, that he babysit a random relative's toddler while everyone else enjoyed dinner, he not only would have been insulted, he would have said no to your face, no matter how much you offered to pay him (and that's if you offered to pay him at all -- I imagine a lot of families shove this responsibility onto teenagers and expect them to comply without any sort of payment, as I was, although like I said, I was usually happy to take care of the kids. Usually.)

Not trying to be critical, just pointing out that not all families are alike.

Dec 03, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

Do you give out your recipes at thanksgiving?

Copyright law doesn't cover the actual recipe itself, anyway. You can't copyright the actual list of ingredients. You can copyright your method of putting those ingredients together, and any pictures you may provide of the finished product, but the actual list of ingredients can't be copyrighted.

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl122.html

It's very easy to just re-word the description or method for a recipe into your own words. This is how so many food bloggers can take recipes from "copyrighted" sources like cookbooks and put them on their blogs or even in their own cookbooks without breaking any copyright laws.

Dec 02, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

The Crockpot Holiday Dinner? First Timer Needs Help!

I didn't read all the replies so maybe some or all of this has been suggested, but here is my advice. I host a party that sounds similar to what you are aiming for every year. Mine is pretty informal; we don't have family in the area, so we get about 20-25 good friends together once a year for a big dinner. We eat off disposable plates and people sit around the living room since we don't have a table big enough to seat that many people. I serve a lot of my side dishes out of crock pots.

I do start a couple of days in advance but the majority of the prepping and cooking is done the day of. Stuff you can do in advance that isn't too labor intensive includes:
-Chop vegetables (that won't spoil or discolor from being chopped in advance; I wouldn't do apples in advance, but stuff like onions/celery/carrots would be fine)
-Make pie crust (or use store-bought, that is one of the few things I don't make myself since I hate making pie crust)
-Make any yeast dough for rolls and let it rise slowly overnight in the fridge
-Make stuffing (When I make stuffing, I make it the day before, up to just before baking it, and then bake it the day of the dinner)
-Deviled eggs (keep the filling and the whites separate and fill right before serving)
-Bake potatoes for twice baked potatoes (obviously not applicable if you're doing mashed potatoes and I wouldn't do mashed in advance; but I usually do twice baked since people are just coming off a load of mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving and like the variety, so baking them a day in advance and making the filling, then filling the skins and baking them the second time on the day of the event is a big time-saver)

As for stuff to do the day of the party...you're going to have to get up early to start. Nothing you can do about that. I'm usually up by about 6-7am to get my dinner going on the day of my party. I also have a schedule of when I should be doing things; something like this:
8am: Frost cakes
10am: Make sweet potatoes, keep warm in crock pot
Noon: Make cream corn, keep warm in crock pot
1:30pm: Take roll dough out of fridge, form rolls
2pm: Spice-rub & brown pork
2:30pm: Rolls rise 2nd time
3pm: Pork in oven; Make bacon dressing for spinach salad, keep warm in crock pot
3:30pm: Twice baked potatoes in oven
4pm: Rolls in oven
Dinner @ 5pm

I usually start at the end, with when I want dinner to be served, and work my way backwards. What do I want to be done right as dinner is being served? Usually the meat, so I figure out when that has to go in the oven and how much time is required to prep it, and go from there, fitting in the side-dishes as necessary (the sweet potatoes and corn, in this example, can be done at any time and kept warm throughout the day.)

Nov 26, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

The Crockpot Holiday Dinner? First Timer Needs Help!

I agree with the others that there is nothing wrong with using crock pots, or doing the majority of the cooking the day of the meal. I host a holiday party every year that sounds very similar to this; it is fairly informal compared to what some people may consider a dinner party (we eat off disposable plates and people sit around our living room during dinner; with 20+ people we simply don't have the space or the dinnerware to serve that many people all at once for a formal sit-down setting at a table.) The food is serve-yourself style, set out on my kitchen table and counter tops and people are free to come back for more as much as they want, I always make plenty for seconds and thirds. I usually make a roast meat of some kind in the oven, along with homemade baked rolls, but many of my side dishes, anything from creamed corn to candied yams to even the dressing for my wilted spinach salad, are kept warm in crock pots. No one has ever once complained to my face (and these are people who would tell you if they thought something sucked) and everyone who has attended once, has eagerly awaited their invitation to come back the next year; I send out invites 2 months in advance so people can plan accordingly to take time off work if necessary, which several people do.

Please don't insult those of us who have different traditions than yours, just because they don't meet your standards.

Christmas Baking 2014

Oh, I guess the peppermint ones are actually called Peppermint Meltaways (took me a minute to find the recipe 'cuz I was searching for the wrong thing, lol)
http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/2720...
That's another one that I haven't made since I went dairy free (I only make these at Christmas time, and I went dairy free right before Valentine's Day this year.) So I'm not sure how or even if I'll make them this year. If I do, I might just make them with butter and not eat them myself. As a side note, if you can find the Andes peppermint chips to sprinkle on top, I personally like those better than regular crushed peppermint flakes; they have the texture of an Andes mint (soft and melty, like a chocolate chip, as opposed to crunchy like a candy cane.) I can usually find them with the chocolate chips/baking chips around this time of year.

Chocolate caramel coconut cookies:
http://www.simply-gourmet.com/2012/12...
Haven't ever made them so can't comment on if they're any good! I'll probably make them at some point for my husband, since he's a chocolate/coconut fiend.

Nov 25, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Christmas Baking 2014

Awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

Nov 25, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking

Christmas Baking 2014

Ooh, I live in the US but I have been thinking about Christmas baking for a couple of weeks now. Collecting recipes and such; I always do a good 10-12 different cookie and candy recipes, a mix of old favorites and new ones that I want to try to see what will be added to the tradition. So far for this year:

Old favorites (I may not do all of these, but they have all been well-received in the past):
Cinnamon-sugar biscotti
Eggnog cookies
Soft Ginger-Spice cookies
Pecan Snowballs
Peppermint Snowballs
Spiced Icebox Cookies
Peanut butter blossoms
Peanut butter pretzel bites
Chocolate covered cherries
Chocolate covered peanut butter balls

New ones that I am considering trying (not all of these...I will have to prune the list at some point):
Biscochitosz (a friend of mine made these last year and they were amazing!)
Honey ginger bites
Chocolate cherry crinkles
Sugar 'n Spice Twists
Green tea matcha fudge
Chocolate coconut caramel cookies

Edit to add: I usually do a rolled sugar cookie and a spritz cookie as well, but I had to go dairy free earlier this year for health reasons so I'm not sure how either of those would turn out with a butter-substitute (I usually use coconut oil or Earth Balance's coconut oil-based spread.) So I might just leave them out this year and concentrate on other things.

Nov 25, 2014
Maggiethecat in Home Cooking
1

Let's ban the word GUYS!!!

dictionary.com even defines "guys" as an informal term for "person of either sex; people"
http://dictionary.reference.com/brows...
So the very dictionary definition of the word, and almost certainly her intent, was a casual "How are you people doing tonight?"

Nov 22, 2014
Maggiethecat in Not About Food

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
Cinnamon
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
salt

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.)