RachelJ's Profile

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When a food is good it's good......when it's bad it's eeeehhhhhhh

I agree with the seafood and sushi 100%. Meatloaf I wouldn't even order in a restaurant because I love mine so much that I've always been disappointed in any restaurant's version. But for me, the worst is bad bagels and bad soup, two things I feel passionate about. A soup made without care, and a bagel that's more like a soft bun are just depressing and I won't even try to eat the soup if it is bad. I feel like a good, simple, flavorful soup is really not that hard to make. Saute the mirepoix, for god's sakes! Ugh, it makes me mad just thinking about bad soup. Sorry, I'm ranting.

about 6 hours ago
RachelJ in General Topics

Healthy Fast Food (remembering Delites Chain)

I know this is an old post that has been reopened, but maybe someone would be interested in these healthy fast food chains...not sure where the op lives or if she will even see it...
http://veggiegrill.com/

https://www.freshii.com/us

Both are located in Portland, OR but have other locations around the country.

Mar 01, 2015
RachelJ in Chains

Portland Eliot Neighborhood - Any restaurant recommendations?

I would add OX and Broder Nord to the very fine list above.

Feb 26, 2015
RachelJ in Metro Portland

I eat it my way

I don't like pepperoni, but I like the flavor of pepperoni on a cheese pizza after I have picked it all off. I don't like it enough to actually order a pepperoni pizza, but if that's all there is I do enjoy it. And I thoughtfully donate my peeled off pep to any takers (family) or toss it back in the box for others to enjoy.

Feb 11, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics

I eat it my way

My dad eats the peanut shells too! He also eats the whole apple, core and all.

Feb 11, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics
1

Too much hassle to bother with foods

Donuts and croissants. I have tried making croissants at home after making them while working in a bakery-so much easier with a dough roller! I don't do anything deep fried, really. I can get good croissants and amazing donuts from nearby bakeries, that is fine for me. Plus, then I can eat only one and leave the scene, instead of having several dozen calling to me from the kitchen.
Cheese. I will leave that one to the pros. I dearly love cheese, but there are so many wonderful ones to buy that I've never felt the need to make my own.

Feb 04, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics

Kids' Menus

If you have 2 kids and they don't like the kids menu, maybe you could have them split an adult entree? I agree, some of them are pretty bad. I don't mind the choices, necessarily, but the quality! Dried out pasta that has been sitting around for who knows how long comes to mind. My son (7) sometimes gets a regular entree, and brings the leftovers home for the next day. More expensive, but I'd rather have him eat and enjoy his food than be grossed out by rubbery chicken and have to eat a bowl of cereal when we get home. Now that his tastebuds are more developed, he realized that the stuff was crap and also got bored of the same old thing on every kids menu. Mid-low priced American and chain restaurants always seem to offer the same chicken strips and box mac and cheese. Other types of cuisine are often served family style or meant to be shared. Chinese, Sushi, Indian? It gives kids an opportunity to try something new without the commitment to a whole plate of their own.

That being said, I would have loved to see mac and cheese on a kid's menu when I was a kid (80's)! It was always something like a smaller version of the adult turkey dinner or a pork chop and I was not a big meat eater, or an adventurous one. Nowadays the world caters to kids much more. I think they put that stuff on kids menus because that is what many young kids like to eat. If only it was better quality. Some of the places we go (mexican, italian and a seafood place at the coast) do just offer smaller portions of the regular food as their kids menu, and it is great food.
I just reread the post and saw the Austin part, sorry I can't help there. I'm in Oregon.

Feb 04, 2015
RachelJ in Austin

How to eat healthy as a picky adult

Smoothies are your friend. I make my picky, no veggie eating son a smoothie of banana, fresh pineapple, frozen blueberries, spinach (!) and plain yogurt with a splash of apple juice almost every morning. I told him about the spinach after he tried it for the first time, and he still loves it. He loves that he is getting the vegetables in without having to chew the vegetables. It just tastes sweet and fruity and tangy. This thing is like morning energy in a glass, and you can feel good about what you are eating without forcing yourself to eat a huge plate of veggies.

I also make marinara sauce with sauteed onion, garlic, finely diced bell pepper and finely shredded carrots added to the tomato products and cooked for a few hours on low heat. Long cooking is the key to good flavor (along with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, maybe a splash of wine). The vegetables totally dissolve into the sauce. You can make a big pot and portion it out into freezer bags or containers. All you have to do is thaw it out a little, heat it up and make pasta or saute some ground beef or chicken, or both. Quick, cheap and healthy. This is picky eater tested and approved!

My mom doesn't like spinach, but she loves a rice dish I make with spinach. You can't taste it at all. I just cook the rice separately and chop the spinach up so it's as fine as chopped parsley. I saute mushrooms and onions in olive oil with salt and pepper (or you could sub corn or steamed chopped broccoli or both) and add the chopped spinach at the end just to wilt it. I mix it all together with some grated cheese. This is a good side dish for chicken, meat or fish. I personally just like it as the main dish. This is cheap and easy, too.

Baby steps. I think that feeling like crap is a good motivation to do something and make some changes. The fact that you are reaching out for help and advice says a lot. The smoothie is seriously a good place to start. Once you see how good eating healthier makes you feel, I think that will be motivating you even more to keep it going and try new things.

Jan 26, 2015
RachelJ in Home Cooking

Sturdy post office-ready cake or tart idea

A chocolate chip cookie cake is pretty sturdy and very delicious. I used the Toll House recipe and baked it in a glass pie plate for my son's birthday-a huge hit. You can cut wedges like a cake. I recommend vanilla ice cream along side at the other end of it's journey.

Jan 26, 2015
RachelJ in Home Cooking

Last Thanksgiving leftovers in North America?

Someone in my house (a major turkey lover) just finished the last of our Thanksgiving freezer turkey over the weekend. Now he's ready for more.

Jan 26, 2015
RachelJ in Home Cooking

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A cat pancake I made for my son

Fried rice always sticks

I'd say if sticking and burning is the problem, you'd want to lower the temp and add more oil. Maybe the pan is too hot if it's burning that fast? Try starting at a medium temp instead, and letting the pan get fully hot from that setting. Also, I think you need more oil, depending on how much rice you are using/how big your pan is. I've never tried this, but what about adding some oil to the cold rice and coating the grains lightly before cooking. Once you add the well oiled rice to well oiled hot pan, try leaving it alone for a bit before trying to move it around in the pan. I haven't used refined coconut oil for stir frying, does it have a high smoke point?

Interesting ideas for leftover cheese sauce?

Use as a baked potato topping, or a sauce for potatoes au gratin or mac and cheese, or serve over vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.

Jan 18, 2015
RachelJ in Home Cooking
1

Favorite "Seasoning Salt"? Is This Regional?

I'm from Oregon, and grew up using Johnny's Seafood Seasoning (now called Lemon Dill Seasoning), although not the seasoning salt.

Jan 17, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics

Master Shopping List

Sorry, I was feeling snarky. I definitely understand the need for local honey, I don't buy anything but. I get mine from the farmers market. I just don't write "local honey" or "farm eggs" on my list because if it's my list I obviously know what I want. I'm not going to buy Sue Bee from the grocery store if I don't write local down. I can understand wanting to be specific if someone else is doing your shopping. To me, it just came off as pretentious, and I was in a mood to call it out. I apologize.

How to convince wife to go to TJ

My first thought was, why would you have to convince your wife to go to Trader Joes ? :)

Jan 17, 2015
RachelJ in San Diego

Master Shopping List

This is a strange post, to me. It kind of comes across as you showing off your exotic/fancy/pretentious taste in food. I mean, who knows what you want? Did you forget anything, is that really the question? Ok, what about oatmeal, cereal, crackers, cheese, bacon, lentils, split peas, canned tuna, pasta? I could put a million things for you to add, but I don't know you or what you do or don't like.

Master Shopping List

I have a pad and pen in the kitchen, and we just write down things as we run out throughout the week. I usually think of some things I want to cook during the week and buy what I need. I do the big grocery shop on Saturday morning, but usually make a few other trips to get last minute items. As for what the OP would want, I have no idea. Your list seems pretty extensive, and quite different from mine. For me, things like canned beans and ketchup wouldn't be on a "master list" because how often do you need to buy stuff like that? I get cases of beans at Costco and ketchup lasts about 9 months around here. I just add it to my list when we get down to the last few cans, etc. Not to mention the fact that I personally don't want the same things every time I go to the store. Seems kind of limiting.
I guess I'm missing the point of a master list?
Do you take this whole big list around to the store(s) with you when you just need a few of the items?

Jan 16, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics
1

How many people really use shallots? I generally don't.

I love them, so I grow them in the summer. After harvest, cure (dry) them on the covered patio for 2 weeks, and store them hanging in paper bags with holes punched in them in my laundry room. They lasted us this year until Thanksgiving, which was wonderful., but next year I'm growing more! I agree that they are too expensive at the store and I have had the problem several times with them being moldy in the center. I think they sit too long at the store.

Jan 16, 2015
RachelJ in Home Cooking

Moldy pasta sauce, help

I make many gallons of marinara every summer and freeze them flat in plastic bags like this. It saves so much space in the freezer. I do apple and plum sauce this way also. No freezer burn from air space at the top of a container to worry about.

Jan 15, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics

White fish is BLAND. What to do?

That sound so good! Thanks for sharing.

Jan 15, 2015
RachelJ in Home Cooking

White fish is BLAND. What to do?

Butter. You don't need half a stick, a little goes a long way. Salted butter plus olive oil is good. Salt and pepper, or a simple seasoning of choice. I like Penzey's Mural of Flavor or Johnny's Lemon Dill seasoning, but just a little. I think sometimes one can do too much and then it doesn't taste like fish anymore. I want my fish enhanced, not disguised. Simple is good.

Eta: I just realized this thread was originally from 2010.

Jan 15, 2015
RachelJ in Home Cooking

Moldy pasta sauce, help

I once got food poisoning from eating jarred pasta sauce that was about 5 days old. Now I freeze any that I have leftover right away if I'm not going to eat it the next day. Food poisoning has a way of making one very cautious! It's not supposed to last that long once opened. Use it, freeze it, or lose it.

Jan 15, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics

DQ that serves burgers?

Dairy Queen in Portland, OR has burgers, chicken strips, grilled cheese, plus all the other stuff.

Eta: Sorry, I missed the New Jersey part. I guess I just got excited about Dairy Queen :)

What to put on rice?

I like roasted vegetables (my favorites:Mushrooms, green beans, carrots, peppers, cauliflower) and sauteed onion over rice with grated parmesan on top.

Another favorite is Risi e Bisi (rice and peas)-rice cooked in chicken stock or broth with peas and parmesan.

We always seem to have leftover rice after a meal, so I often microwave it with salsa and grated cheddar for a quick lunch.

Butter and soy sauce is pure comfort food to me. Yum, now I want some.

Jan 09, 2015
RachelJ in Home Cooking

what do you put on your cottage cheese?

I like pepper in mine. The sunflower seeds are a great idea. My son likes a spoonful of jam mixed in, kind of like a blintz filling without the crepe. He also enjoys a fresh pear diced in cottage cheese for breakfast. My mom eats cottage cheese with chopped cucumber, tomato and shredded carrot for lunch sometimes. And thousand island dressing (I kind of gag at that part).

Jan 09, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics

Simple Good Things

Apple slices with peanut butter

Scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms

Cheese melted on toast

My "Turkish Breakfast" : A plate of olives, almonds, any good cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes (preferably in the summer, fresh from the garden)

Ripe garden tomato sandwich on toast ( I like a chewy crusted sourdough wheat), also a summer treat

Looking at this list, I realize these are all things I eat for breakfast.

Jan 06, 2015
RachelJ in General Topics

can you make an avocado soup with lime juice three days ahead?

Right off the bat I would say no, it would probably taste better fresh. I think the lime would be too strong by then. But if you really want to know, I would recommend making a small batch and letting it sit 3 days, then trying it to see if it's any good. You never know, it could be ok or it could be awful. I realize this answer is a bit late, but I think it's a good practice to try things like that out ahead before serving to guests.

Dec 11, 2014
RachelJ in Home Cooking

What are your stovetop oatmeal tricks?

I like to make oatmeal with raisins added to the pot and cooked all together. They get all plump and juicy, and it sweetens up whatever cooking liquid you use, just a bit. I always add a pinch of salt when cooking oatmeal, not so it tastes salty, just more flavorful and balanced. I personally like cinnamon in my oatmeal, milk and maybe a little butter.

Dec 11, 2014
RachelJ in Home Cooking

Good eats around NW Vaughn St, travelling with a toddler.

I find it very easy to get around without a car. I've lived here my whole life (37 years) and I have never had a car. I take public transportation (bus, MAX train, streetcar) everywhere, to all parts of the city. The Pearl district is easily accessed by the streetcar, and it does a loop through the city from SW to NW, across the river to NE and SE. All the MAX trains, busses and streetcars are wheelchair accessible. I love Portland and highly recommend it as a car free place to live!

Dec 01, 2014
RachelJ in Metro Portland