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Opening Clams

Thanks for the responses. I used to make baked/stuffed clams using a recipe I've since lost but am sure I can recreate.

But going back to my second question--how can you tell if clams are dead using a clam opener? Or does it matter (do they not die that way)?

Thanks.

Aug 08, 2011
rednails in General Topics

Opening Clams

A post on garlic presses got me rummaging thru a kitchen drawer, and I found a only-one-kind-of-use item I forgot I had. Bought many years ago, the clam opener is just that--for one use only. Trying to decide to keep or pitch, I thought about cooking instructions I have seen about steaming clams--those that do not open after steaming are "dead" and should be thrown out.

That got me to thinking--should a clam opener be used at all? Cuz if you do use it, how can you tell if any clams opened are dead?

Should I keep this thing or toss? I should add the clam opener is a Hoffritz item which was (and maybe still is, I don't know) quality stuff back when I bought it (circa 1978-79).

Any thoughts, advise? Thanks!

Aug 07, 2011
rednails in General Topics

I may need a new fridge...

I went to Sears tonight and have narrowed it down to 2 French door models. One is a Samsung 26 cu ft for ~ $1600 and the other is a 25 cu ft Kenmore for ~ $1200 (I'm rounding up just a bit). I decided against side by side as it just doesn't work out when entertaining (can't fit large platters) and the top freezer seems...outdated (tho much cheaper). Both models don't have outside icemakers which is fine with me, I don't need that. Inside ice is OK. The thing I really like are the wide shelves and separate pull-out wide bin for deli stuff. Oh and both have very large produce bins - essential for me after my weekly farmer's market trips. What I will miss from my side by side is being able to see all the frozen stuff. The bottom freezers all seem to be the "dump it all in" kind without separate shelves (or just a slim pull out tray).

I will also look at Best Buy, and the usual home stores-Home Depot and Lowes if I have the time. It may come down to what I can get delivered first (the Kenmore at Sears). The salesman said the Kenmores are made by either Samsung or LG.

Thanks again for all of the input. This may all be moot if the fridge is not to expensive to repair.

Aug 04, 2011
rednails in Cookware

I may need a new fridge...

Thank you both for your helpful replies.

Re Sears: I called for an appt but couldn't get one til next week so am using a local/independent repairman. I know Kenmore is the Sears brand/made by another company but don't remember who.

Yes, thinking of the French door (didn't know the proper name). My sister has one and loves it. I think her ice maker is inside...

Yes I remember the ice cube thing which is funny in a way as my ice maker stopped working last year so was glad I kept the trays from the GE.

I don't know why GE is iffy, but as I said, my 31 yr old model still works perfectly.

I'll do some comparison shopping and see what current models are going for and then decide. I figure that (just like a car) there's a point of no return, where it's better just to replace the item than keep repairing it.

Thanks again!

Aug 03, 2011
rednails in Cookware

Removing Oil Stains From Fabric - Any foolproof methods?

Lestoil is a very, very heavy duty detergent that always works for me. It is very thick, almost a gel. You prewash the item (or just wet it), pour the stuff on the spot, and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Warning--it has a very strong smell. Rinse well (it will take a lot of water to get the smell out), let dry and repeat if needed. It's a hassle but this stuff works. I can't find it in the Bay Area so bring it back from NYC when I visit.

Aug 03, 2011
rednails in Not About Food
3

I may need a new fridge...

my 11 year old Kenmore needs service (not cooling, everything in freezer defrosted). I've got a service appt but if it costs too much to fix, I will probably buy a new one. My 31+ year old GE energy guzzler (that I keep in the garage) works just fine, go figure. I almost got rid of it but glad I didn't!

The Kenmore is a side by side but I'm thinking I'll go back to a "traditional" freezer top (or bottom) mount. Can anyone recommend one brand over another? The Kenmore has an outside ice/water dispenser and I think I may not need/want one again. I've seen the models where the doors open in the center and I'm not sure I like that idea. I don't want stainless steel, but otherwise, I'll be as flexible as possible.

Any thoughts, recs, etc?

Thanks!

Aug 03, 2011
rednails in Cookware

Why would anyone go to Denny’s these days?

Ditto this. I recently stayed in a motel near where my son was moving. One morning I had to meet him, had literally 20 minutes to eat breakfast. and I was starving. Denny's was THISCLOSE to the motel. I went, told the manager how much time I had, ordered (2 eggs over easy, toast, juice, fruit) and was out the door in 20 minutes flat. Then 2 mornings later I wanted breakfast after checking out, before hitting the road to drive home. I *could* have driven anywhere else (probably in the opposite direction of where I needed to go) but it would have delayed my long drive home. So, I ate at Denny's again. That time I ate more "leisurely"
but was still out the door pretty quick.

I remember the one of the first times I ate at Denny's, well over 35 years ago. Friend and I did the long road trip on Hwy 1 from LA north. Hit Carmel/Monterey, we were exhausted from the drive and saw Denny's. We were so excited to see something familiar. And it fit our college-student budget pretty well.

Otherwise, I almost never ever eat there...but they are so damned reliable and consistent. You know exactly what you're gonna get.

Jul 21, 2011
rednails in Chains

Lunch stop SFO to Monterey

Sorry, I meant Jeffrey's Burgers. I don't know what I was thinking....

Jul 19, 2011
rednails in San Francisco Bay Area

Lunch stop SFO to Monterey

Not sure how much time you want to spend dining but here are some options (all are casual):

Burlingame is 10 minutes from the airport with several good choices on Burlingame Ave and the side streets. My recs: Crepevine (casual, order at the counter), and Steelhead Brewery.

San Mateo is just 5 minutes past Burlingame, and B Street (parallel to the 101) between 1st and 4th Aves has many options, some noted above. My recs: Johnny's for burgers, B Street & Vine (their bruschetta is great, as are the panini--both savory and sweet); and the taquerias are all good. If you walk from one end to the other you'll have over 20 different restaurant options.

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B Street & Vine
320 S B St, San Mateo, CA 94401

Jul 18, 2011
rednails in San Francisco Bay Area

Belated Honeymoon - First Week in October - California Coast from Sonoma to L.A. - Help!

Tho I'm not able to respond to your restaurant choices, you will have to repost the Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur section on the California Board. And then, repost the Los Angeles section on that board. You'll get the right responses on those boards.

And, enjoy your trip!

Jul 18, 2011
rednails in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for recs in Valencia

Thanks for all the recs. I won't mind driving to Brents as I got used to driving far distances when I lived in the SFV many years ago. (We used to drive to the Original Pantry for breakfast from Sherman Oaks & Reseda, and to a great pizza place--Pedones-- in Hermosa Beach.) My son doesn't like to drive far but I think--hope-- he'll get used to it. He'll be busy w/his new job so that's a factor, tho the job is only 5 min away.

I forgot to ask for a good burger place. My son LOVES 5 Guys and is thrilled there is one nearby. We don't have one in our area yet. Is it really worth the hype? Seems like In-n-Out but not really fast food.

I know I'll be driving over the hill - both sets - as I'll head down for shopping, museums etc so will keep looking for other restaurants worth going to. I'm looking forward to hitting some of my past favs as well.

Thanks again!

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Original Pantry Cafe
877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Jun 28, 2011
rednails in Los Angeles Area

Looking for recs in Valencia

So my son is moving to Valencia next week (we're in the Bay Area) and I'm looking for some good, casual places. When we were down there a week ago all I noticed were the usual chain restaurants. I'd love to find good Italian, Mexican, BBQ and a great breakfast place. Oh yeah, and we've got to find great pizza. Is there any hope for a NY style deli (without having to drive to Brents in Northridge)? His place is on Magic Mountain Parkway but I realized that everything in the Santa Clarita Valley is practically 10 minutes from wherever you are.

Are there any places that don't require reservations, are reasonably priced-under $25.00 per person not including alcohol (we're not big drinkers and I'm always driving) that aren't the usual chains?

I know I'll be visiting as often as I can (or he'll let me) so some variety will be most apprreciated.

Thanks very much.

Jun 27, 2011
rednails in Los Angeles Area

hors d'oeuvres trays on the Peninsula

Draegers has them, but I've never purchased any of them. Generally, their quality is really good. I shop at the store in San Mateo. Don't know if they deliver.

Jun 25, 2011
rednails in San Francisco Bay Area

Need a rec for SM Blvd

Ended up at Umami Burger. Actually, my friend's daughter had eaten there before so it was perfect. My friend and I both had the SoCal burger, my son had the Manly Special, and friend's daughter had...I forget. Shared 2 orders of sweet potato fries. Everything was delicious, service was quick and efficient. Total bill (4 burgers, 2 orders of SP fries, 3 sodas and 1 margarita) was $75.00 including tax but not tip. A bit pricey considering the burgers don't come with any side (and extra condiments cost $) but would go there again.

Excellent suggestion, thanks!

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Umami Burger
850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Jun 21, 2011
rednails in Los Angeles Area

Need a rec for SM Blvd

Thanks for all the recs. I hope we can get there early enough to relax and have dinner. Timing will be tight as I'm helping my son apt hunt in the Santa Clarita Valley (will be the subject of my next search), then try to get dinner/see the show, etc etc. I tried the link for Unamiburger last night w/out any luck. Will try again.

Jun 17, 2011
rednails in Los Angeles Area

Time to update the I-5 Border to Border run. Anything new?

+1 for Toot Sweets. Tho I discovered it way too late, during my son's senior year at Univ of the Pacific.

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Toot Sweets
4755 Quail Lakes Dr D, Stockton, CA 95207

Jun 16, 2011
rednails in California

Need a rec for SM Blvd

Thanks for the response. Is there anything in the Sunset/Vine area that you've liked? Tho Tere's sounds good, as it's got to be (a) reasonable (b) casual and (c) fairly closeby.

Jun 15, 2011
rednails in Los Angeles Area

Need a rec for SM Blvd

Going to a play this Saturday nite on the 6200 block of Santa Monica Blvd. I need a rec for casual dinner pre-show or dessert after. 4 of us are coming in 3 separate cars, so parking is definitely a consideration. Nothing spicy for me, but Mexican is doable. Italian, BBQ, Calif cuisine, etc are fine. Budget no more than $25 pp tops (including tax/tip) not including alcohol for dinner. It would be great if we didn't need a res as I'm not even sure if we'll get there early enough to have a nice, unrushed dinner.

Dessert could be anywhere nearby or on the Westside as we're all headed in that general direction afterwards going our separate ways. Showtime is at 8 pm....

Any thoughts or suggestions? I don't know the area at all.

Thanks!!

Jun 14, 2011
rednails in Los Angeles Area

Healthy snack to keep in car in varying temperatures

I've kept almonds in the car (in a zip lock bag) in all kinds of weather (granted in the Bay Area we don't have frigit weather) without any noticable problem. You might consider keeping them out of the sun, in a glove compartment.

I have also kept granola bars in the car but you have to be careful in the summer months as they can melt, depending on what kind you have. Obviously the frosted/coated ones fare worse than others.

Feb 03, 2011
rednails in General Topics

Where to watch the Super Bowl on the Peninsula?

The Clubhouse Bistro in the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza (Foster City, next to Hwy 92) is a huge sports bar and the food is good too. I bet the place will be packed.

Feb 01, 2011
rednails in San Francisco Bay Area

My, how could that taste so awful?

+1 for split pea.....

Jan 30, 2011
rednails in General Topics

Substituting ground (what?) for ground beef

Interesting idea, good to try for burgers. Don't think it would go over well for baked ziti.

But thanks for the suggestion!

Jan 28, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking

Substituting ground (what?) for ground beef

Normally this would be a good idea but I don't think I'll have the time....

thanks anyway

Jan 28, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking

Finger food desserts for 50 -- what's better than brownies?

LOL. I kind of figured as much, but ya never know. Looks great, will definitely have to try it soon.

Thanks!

Jan 28, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking

Substituting ground (what?) for ground beef

I've pretty much only bought ground turkey for a few years so I haven't been able to compare costs. I figure for this event, I'll go to my favorite upscale grocery store and buy fresh ground at the butcher counter. I used to make my own meatballs, using a mix of (I think) pork, veal and lamb, but it's been years since I've done that.

As for tofu, I haven't had much of that item that interested me. There was something at a sushi restaurant that used silken tofu and ahi tuna, but that's another story......

Thanks for your input. I'll be careful to check prices when I get to the market.

Jan 27, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking

Substituting ground (what?) for ground beef

No kidding! I work in catering sales doing events for thousands of people at a time, so when it comes to entertaining at home, I want everything as perfect as it would be at work. My pre-Thanksgiving dinner took 4 days to do.

Even still, a "casual" dinner will still involve 2 days of shopping/prep, after a full week at work, including working late Friday night. Baked ziti, a huge green salad, at least 3 different roasted veggies, garlic bread, dessert....oh, and apps/munchy food. I haven't decided on those yet. I've got to spend some time looking at my recipe collection.....so many recipes, not enough opportunities to entertain.

Thanks!

Jan 27, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking

Substituting ground (what?) for ground beef

Thanks for all your replies. I think I'll look for fresh turkey sausage and then add ground pork and veal. Maybe just a teeny bit of beef, I'll decide when I get to the butcher. Doubling the original recipe means 2 pounds total so I can play around with the quantities.

We'll be watching the Oscars so I'm looking forward to cooking casually, instead of making a big, several-days-to-prep dinner!

Thanks again!

Jan 27, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking

Suggestions for developing my vegetable palate

I too didn't like many vegetables growing up, but I suspect it was partly because my mother didn't have much access to good produce; she bought alot of canned vegs (think square carrot/pea mixes) and she didn't flavor them at all. For a while, in my mid-twenties I was a vegetarian but didn't cook too much at the time and eventually went back to eating everything.

In the last 5 years, I've eaten more vegetables than ever before, and for myself, the easier the prep/healthier, the better. I roast these veggies on a regular basis, depending on what is seasonal and available at my farmers market: cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, butternut squash, zucchini, brussels sprouts, green beans and carrots. I keep the flavorings simple (olive oil or butter, a little kosher salt, and an herb). I also make alot of spinach, chard and baby bok choy when I have the time/energy (requires more prep). The best thing I do is make a very simple dipping sauce that goes with almost everything, and not just vegetables, it's good with pork and fish. I always have a container in the fridge.

Lemon Dill Sauce
3 tablespoon mayo (I use nonfat)
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

Blend all the ingredients. Adjust flavors as desired.

I am constantly on the hunt for new recipes and ways to eat my veggies. I have way too many recipes to cook in my lifetime but I'm determined to keey trying new ones as much as possible. Last week I made a cauliflower recipe (with Dijon mustard and breadcrumbs) I found here on Chowhound. You might want to look at some old threads, not just about vegetables but other meals as well (holidays, special occasions etc) and see if anything appeals to you. Also try searcing epicurious.com as that is a huge resource for recipes.

Good luck!

Jan 26, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking

Substituting ground (what?) for ground beef

Chef did mention sausage but it always has too much salt. I'm trying to keep this healthy but still flavorful. So if I did sausage, I'd have to find the right ratio to pork/veal/beef.......hence my dilemna.

Thanks!

Jan 26, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking

Finger food desserts for 50 -- what's better than brownies?

This looks really good but I'm confused. "Pastry: Let cheese and pastry soften." Do you mean let cheese and butter soften?

Thanks!

Jan 26, 2011
rednails in Home Cooking