khh1138's Profile

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Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2014

Thank you! This never would have occurred to me to steam them - I just assumed they were ready to go.

about 23 hours ago
khh1138 in Chains

Which Ice Cream-Haagen Daz or Ben & Jerry's

SIGH so good.

about 23 hours ago
khh1138 in General Topics

Which Ice Cream-Haagen Daz or Ben & Jerry's

I think all commercial ice creams are overpriced - so no matter what, I feel like I am overpaying. If I am going to eat ice cream out, I may as well pay another dollar and get that creamy flavour I am craving (as opposed to sugar, and something artificial and plastic-y, which is what B&J tastes like to me). I would rather not have any ice cream at all than have Ben & Jerry's.

It's funny to me that I can pay considerably less for Fosselmans (a dairy that's local to me in Southern California) that tastes SO much better than either of these brands. Similarly, when I lived out in Princeton, NJ for a few years, I found a dairy called Halo Farm that made great ice cream - again, better, cleaner creamy flavour for much much cheaper than store brands.

2 days ago
khh1138 in General Topics

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

I got some to feed to a vegetarian friend who came for a visit. Not bad, but I wouldn't buy them for myself. Good flavour, but just a little too dry. For the last couple I ate, I made a quick remoulade for dipping. Then I threw out the rest of the package because I knew I shouldn't be eating that much remoulade sauce.

Oct 18, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

This does happen to us whenever we travel with my husband's family. They just eat a lot more than us and need constant "top-offs" with snacks and sodas and other amusements. We're very good at estimating our costs on solo vacations (and pre-paying when possible takes some of the sting out), but I've taken to just assuming a joint vacation will cost an extra $1000 and then being slightly relieved when it comes in under that.
I have one friend who always wants to "up the ante" - if we're at a nice restaurant, she wants to go out after for expensive drinks, if we're at a spa, she wants to go for the deluxe service. I know I should never go on a vacation with her, unless I want to take out a second mortgage.

Oct 12, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food
1

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

There's a particular smell to those frozen/boxed burgers, too, that I can smell a city block away. I've come to associate that smell with cookouts thrown for volunteers. Home-made burgers never smell anything like that.

Oct 12, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Cooking Woes: Always Using Too Much or Too Little Heat. It's Driving Me Nuts!!

I grew up cooking on an electric range - a giant beast with 6 burners of different sizes, a griddle in the middle, and a built-in deep fat fryer! Back then, I did exactly what you suggest - one burner set to a high number, and another set to a lower number, since it took an age for the burners to cool down. That way I could sear on one burner and turn it off and finish cooking on another.

Since moving into my first apartment and then buying my own house, I've always cooked on gas. I think it would be really hard to go back. I have cooked a bit on my MIL's radiant electric range, but it requires SO much more concentration and effort.

Oct 10, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

Terra Cotta Bear and Brown Sugar

Yes, a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies every week takes care of it in short order. I also discovered that melted butter + soy sauce + brown sugar is really excellent tossed with popcorn. I've eaten more brown sugar in the past year than in my whole life put together.

Oct 07, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Declining quality at Costco?

A comment card! I don't know why that never occurred to me. I am def. going to do this next time I'm at Costco.

Oct 07, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Declining quality at Costco?

I'd be so happy with 7 days! - I've never been able to get more than 3-4 with soft greens from Costco. I usually buy veggies every 5 or 6 days or so anyway (I can't fit any more in my fridge), and if I buy anything from Costco I just plan to use it up in the first couple of days and then go out shopping again.

Oct 07, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Declining quality at Costco?

I haven't noticed a decline, but rather there has always been an issue with the produce at our local Costcos (Alhambra and Azusa in Southern California), at least, as long as I've been shopping there. It's especially a problem for boxes of tomatoes (very often a squashed moldy tomato lurking in the middle of the box where you can't see it), boxes of spring mix (as another poster said, always on the verge of going bad) and bags of onions (they rapidly develop blooms of black mold). As a rule, I just don't buy those things at Costco unless I am really in a pinch and I can't go to my regular place for produce (SuperKing).
I've never had bad meat,eggs, or dairy. We've been shopping at these two Costcos for 11 years now.

Oct 05, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Recipe ideas for picky husband?

I am doing remedial work of this nature with my husband, who was raised by his picky fast-food-eating parents to be "nutritionally crippled" (this phrase is so apt). I honestly don't know how he grew so tall on a steady diet of McDonald's and Pizza Hut.

It does help when he shops with me and expresses interest in trying a new recipe. He has very gradually expanded his diet to include more veggies, more kinds of meat, more kinds of grains, more kinds of pasta - but it took years, no, DECADES. Meanwhile, I cook what I know is tasty AND healthy. I grew up in a meat + 2 veg + salad household, everything cooked fresh, and I simply refuse to settle.

Oct 04, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

The yogurt section at the supermarket is freaking me out!

In the 80s, a friend of mine in high school hosted an exchange student from the USSR for a semester. It was part of a program to encourage peace love and understanding between the US and the USSR. We all loved the Russian student, so it worked I think. One day we took him to an AMPM after school to get slurpies (this was a *tiny* quicky-mart like 7-11) and he was SHOCKED by the abundance. He took pictures of every aisle, saying "my mom and sister would die of happiness." After that, we weren't sure if we should take him to a real supermarket.

Oct 04, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Food-related allergies to non-food items?

I'm so allergic to juniper (if I rub against it in the garden I get hives that last a whole day) that I was afraid for years to try gin (flavoured with juniper berries). I cautiously had my first gin & tonic last year, and it turns out - it's my drink! Years wasted.

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

hahaha! Dirt and herb soup! You really need to write a book, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

I think I saw a mouse in frying pan....throw out or clean it?

A couple of years ago, we had a problem with mice in our house, and we NEVER leave food out. They didn't care - they weren't eating anything in the kitchen, they were just coming in to have a cozy place to have lots of little mouse babies. We could hear them scratching and squeaking in the attic crawspace and between the walls (shudder).
We tried traps of all kinds. We wound up catching our cat on a glue trap - never again (we learned you can detach unwitting innocents by soaking with olive oil). They snickered at our poison pellets we put in the attic and laughed at our spring-loaded traps and never once took any bait. This went on for like 2 months.
Finally we called a professional - a fellow called "the Critter Trapper" and he did a careful inspection of the outside of the house and sealed up about 6 places with mesh and then an expanding foam. He set a few traps, caught everything, and we've been rodent free ever since. THANK GOD.
Sometimes it's WEP to pay a professional.

PS as someone who used to work with mice and rats in a research setting - yes, mice are dirty, but they're not radioactive. Just wash everything well with soap and water and you'll be fine.

Sep 24, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

I hear there's a Steak N Shake opening here in LA (Santa Monica). I had it out in the midwest and I *really* liked it. Their shakes especially.

Sep 22, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

I'm in Southern California, and it's one of the few chains I'm happy to go to. I skip most of the more prepared entrees (rice bowls or something? I don't even look) and just go for ~1/2 chicken, corn tortillas, and whole beans. Make yourself little soft tacos, and don't forget they have a salsa bar with some very nice fresh salsas (I especially like the green one with avocado, it has a nice little kick without being overwhelming).

Sep 22, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

I'm Going Deaf Eating Out in LA

We have to sit close to each other, and if I put my face close to my husband's ear, he can hear me just fine - which is funny because that's what I'd have to do if I went without the earplugs in some loud places. It just means I don't have to be quite as put off by the noise. I also find that when I'm in a loud place for even half an hour, I feel exhausted. Wearing earplugs helps keep me feeling more normal. When I first discovered noise cancelling headphones, I realized that the non-stop noise was a huge part of why flying made me so tired. I'm sure there must be *someone* who feels energized by being in loud places, but it sure isn't me.

Sep 22, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

I'm Going Deaf Eating Out in LA

It may look ridiculous, but I carry a set of earplugs with me. It's remarkable how often they come in handy (restaurants with clattering silverware and chairs dragging on concrete floors, museums that seem to echo every screaming child). I like these that can be reused: http://goo.gl/jdKD4n

The loud restaurants must be pleasing/exciting to someone, or they wouldn't do it, right? Except everyone I know hates it. There are several of our favourite places where we just take food home so we can eat it in peace.

Sep 21, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

nothingswrong, I just have to tell you your story about your brother sneaking the forbidden cookie made me chuckle. I could see it in my head just like a movie. I bet he was a handful.

Sep 20, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

Why coconut oil?

That sounds fantastic. I've just started experimenting with coconut oil. Have to give this a try!

Sep 20, 2014
khh1138 in Special Diets

Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2014

I'll have to really look carefully - I've never seen it at Alhambra or Azusa stores. I love burrata!

Sep 15, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

What to do with gallons of 2% milk

I agree, I always leave out the straining step! I had no idea it would be so easy (and cheap!) to make my own pudding. You can pick your favourite chocolate (or other flavour) and it is so much better than store-bought.

Sep 10, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

What to do with gallons of 2% milk

When I have a lot of milk and it's getting close to the expiration date, I make a big batch of pudding. I like the recipe from Scharffenberger: http://wednesdaychef.typepad.com/the_...
I usually cut down the amount of sugar but I like my puddings less sweet and more bitter.

Sep 10, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking
1

Who do you follow on the Los Angeles board, and why?

Hooray for fun food friends! :)

Sep 04, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

The Downside of Sharing Recipes...

This is not unlike bench science, honestly. I was a molecular biologist for 16 years, and for some protocols, I just had golden hands. No one in my lab could get as clean and consistent results as I could. I couldn't explain in words in what ways my techniques were different - we all followed the same protocols, but it probably came down to a dozen little things, like the speed with which I pipetted liquids up and down to the angle I held a needle or how evenly I spread bacteria on a plate. I usually have pretty good luck in the kitchen as well - it might be how much you observe and modify what you are doing in response to your observations.

Aug 31, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food
1

Who do you follow on the Los Angeles board, and why?

I'm sorry to hear about the disparaging remarks - uncalled for! I would certainly follow an OC board - I live in Pasadena, but I visit the OC several times a month and almost always get a bite while I'm there. So far, I've been sticking to Vietnamese and Korean food (with the occasional German at Jagerhaus). I'd love to hear from locals about their finds.

Aug 29, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena City Hall lunch options?

I once had the lobsta truck right across the street from City Hall...I follow them on twitter to know where they are going to be.
If you don't mind going in to Old Town, I like Azeen's Afghani restaurant on Union a few blocks from City Hall.

Aug 24, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Costco Food Finds - 3rd Quarter 2014

We had almond bark thins the first time they carried them (about a year ago) and demolished the bag in a couple days. We went back to buy more, and they didn't have any.
Last week we saw them at Costco again, so we bought 3 bags. One is gone already. Terrible, terrible stuff.

Aug 24, 2014
khh1138 in Chains