khh1138's Profile

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What do you not order in restaurants...

- Pasta, unless it is from a place that handpulls/ handcuts their noodles. It always seems grossly overpriced and is usually not as high of quality of pasta as what I make at home.
- Tea. Same problem as the pasta - overpriced and I have better quality tea at home. I should say, that only applies when I am in the US and Canada. In England, I've only had one bad cup of tea ever. I figure if I am paying $2-4 for a cup of tea, it should be at least as good as my standard cup at home.
- Steak. My husband cooks a mean steak for about 1/3 the price of a steakhouse, and he understands that I want my steak seriously, seriously rare. RARE. I hate that dancing around that I've had to do at steakhouses when I have to insist on rare, and sometimes send it back. Just take my word for it, please.
- This is a specific example, but I just went to a coffee place that specializes in toast. Their signature item is toast with goat cheese, honey, and lavender. It's delicious, but I can make that at home so easily.

Do you have family/friends who don't appreciate good home cooking?

To think there are people who don't have any life experience to know that real whipped cream is what it's *supposed* to taste like, and cool whip is the interloping impersonator.

Dec 16, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

Guerrilla Tacos Revisited (A Photo Story and Review)

One of my favourite combinations is steelcut oatmeal, avocado, very runny eggs, and sambal oelek sauce. It's so hearty, it lights my fire in the morning!

Dec 12, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Being "put to work" at a Christmas Party

I only recently (sometime in my 30s) came to the realization I didn't have to put up with people I'm not crazy about in my free time. For some of us it's a gradual process. I had 3 or 4 people like this Roz character in my life who were unavoidable to some extent because I worked with them and they would be invited to some of the same events I wanted to go to. Sometimes it was a command performance (obvious when the boss or the boss's boss is hosting and you don't show up). Towards the end of my time at that job, I just flat-out stopped going to their holiday parties because it was something to suffer through rather than enjoy. Since leaving that job I am blissfully jerk-free. I think I'm only going to one Christmas party this year, and it's thrown by someone I genuinely love.

Guerrilla Tacos Revisited (A Photo Story and Review)

Agreed, like chilaquiles. But then again, I love eggs and I add a big fried runny egg to lots of things: steak, ramen, oatmeal, bacon sandwiches, kimchee and rice, almost anything savoury, really.

Dec 12, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Help! gumbo came out too oily / too salty

I also make my own spice mix and leave out the salt and pepper so I can adjust the final gumbo. It's a little different every time, because I don't have a standard chicken or sausage that I use. I would also take out any form of garlic powder or onion powder and use fresh instead, because for whatever reason the dried/granulated kinds read as "salty" to me.

I found homemade broth really essential for my gumbo and most other brothy dishes. Since I started making my own, I'm pretty sure I can't go back to using store-bought (just too insipid, not to mention expensive compared to basically free).

Dec 07, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

Thomas's English Muffins

This is the one big drawback of working from home. I no longer have a ready way of disposing of things like this (I had to beg friends to take our leftover Hallowe'en candy).

Dec 07, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics
1

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

I bought the giant pumpkin pie for the first time this year. It was ~1/3 the price (and twice the size?) of a pumpkin pie from our favourite bakery. I didn't care for the crust at all - I left it behind on my plate after trying a few bites - but I found the filling quite nice! Not too sweet, just enough spice, and with a soft but not mushy texture.
Oddly, on the second day, I found the flavour to have changed slightly. Has anyone else noticed a rapid aging to the pumpkin pie?

Dec 03, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

I too need help on uninvited guests.

Hee hee! I wish I could give my sister-in-law a spanking when her naughty, spoiled children misbehaved! (They have never been told "no" about anything.) I'm thinking that would result in a rapid improvement in behavior!

Dec 01, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

Mmm! That's one I haven't tried to make myself yet.

Nov 29, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

That's good news. I'm about halfway through one of the giant packs and I really shouldn't be eating this much cream cheese all at once. I'm making a lot of pumpkin bread/zucchini bread/banana bread and serving it with cream cheese frosting. I can't even remember what I bought this giant brick for in the first place.

Nov 29, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

It's called "Golden Island Natural Style Pork Jerky, Korean Barbecue Recipe." It's in the nuts section, but not at all Costcos. I find it at the Alhambra, CA Costco, but not at the Azusa one. You can get it on Amazon, but it's going to be more expensive there.

Nov 29, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Stuck at Claim Jumper for Thanksgiving - Please Advise

Ha ha ha! I think to my friend, the giant portions at CJ convey a sense of American jollity (she comes from another country where a large portion of the population is hungry or food-insecure). Nothing makes her happier than seeing that massive piece of Mud Pie and all of her friends sharing it.

She also tends to not eat when stressed, so I think she assumed she would naturally lose a few pounds as the wedding approached.

Nov 29, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Rule #1...always...

Ah, good tip! I never really knew what temp to use for roasting nuts, I just guessed/ went with the default. I confess I do usually roast things at a very high temp so 350 seems gentle.

Nov 27, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Rule #1...always...

I think you are exactly right. Maybe I have to face up to the fact that I really shouldn't be toasting nuts at the same time as something else (usually trying to finish chopping *all* the veggies).

Nov 27, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Turkey necks for broth?

I am so tickled by your successful afternoon. This has got to be the best reason for a holiday ever. All hail turkey gravy!

Nov 27, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

Stuck at Claim Jumper for Thanksgiving - Please Advise

It's been about 5 years since I've been to a Claim Jumper (it was the personal request of a friend on her wedding-dress-shopping-day - I was in no position to say no). I remember the food being large and bland. We all sampled each other's meals and I don't think there was a single dish where I thought - oh, that's what you should order here. But I remember a giant appetizer platter being tastier than anything else - maybe order a couple appetizers instead of an entree? Should be *plenty* of food and probably enough to share.

Nov 26, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Rule #1...always...

That's so nice! Now that I think about it, I did borrow an egg from our neighbor once! And we hand over our extra lemons.

Nov 26, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Turkey necks for broth?

I use neck, giblets, hearts and liver to make a small batch of turkey stock the day before Thanksgiving (I let it go overnight in a crockpot) and then use it on the big day in my stuffing and gravy. I love the flavour of the neck meat. I brown these variety meats a bit before throwing them in, but I know my mum never did, and it always seemed to turn out fine.

After we decimate the turkey, I use the carcass to make large batch of turkey stock, which I use with turkey leftovers to make turkey curry and turkey gumbo.

I have now written the word "turkey" so many times that it looks like an alien language.

Nov 25, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking
1

Rule #1...always...

I throw out more burnt pine nuts than any other kind of nut. I can't quite seem to time them correctly. I always check on them around 10 minutes at 350 - they're not done - I shake the pan around a little, one side lightly browned, the other still very pale. Come back in two minutes, overdone sometimes, not done yet others. Clearly I need to sit and watch each batch during the 10 minute - 13 minute time period, but I am rebelling against that notion.

Nov 25, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Rule #1...always...

My MIL gave me that exact one for xmas last year. Everyone pooh-poohed it but I LOVE it. I'm a bit OCD about the handwashing thing.

Nov 25, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Rule #1...always...

Oh how I miss sometimes our tiny first apartment we had when we were first married - right across the street from a grocery store! Many's the time I'd send my dear husband across the street for a missing ingredient *while* I was cooking.

Nov 25, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Declining quality at Costco?

I agree with you mrsjoujou - I am in the San Gabriel valley, where we are no stranger to the drought, and this is not that. This issue with hit-or-miss produce quality has been going on for at least the last 10 years (that's how long I can remember having to return poor produce) at our local Costcos, Sam's, as well as some of our local grocery chains. Clearly someone has been cutting corners, and getting away with it for a good long time.

Nov 25, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

Does a pecan tart need anything like whipped cream or ice cream?

I like it plain, with coffee or tea. It's just so sweet, whipped cream or ice cream seems like gilding the lily.

Nov 22, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

This is what I always do with it (and I make sure to add some Grand Marnier or DiSaronno - some liqueur to give it a little kick). I think I could tell just from the smell/feel of the panettone that I wouldn't like it just plain. Every one I've gotten smells and feels slightly stale and very dry, which makes for very nice bread pudding!

Nov 19, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

What turns you off about restaurant restrooms?

I have a recurring nightmare about dreadful public bathrooms as well! In my horrible dream-bathrooms, there is always water spilling out of sinks everywhere, so the floor is wet, and the dividers between stalls are very short or non-existent. There are also about 30 toilets crammed in a small room. Truly terrifying.

What turns you off about restaurant restrooms?

We put in one when we remodeled our bathroom as well, also about 6 years ago - after a trip to Japan. It's hard to go back to a regular toilet after getting used to all the bells and whistles.
At the time, our contractor said it was the first year they were being imported from Japan. We felt so lucky!

The wash/dry cycle does not fully eliminate the need for TP, however. :)

Nov 15, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

Wormy smell on dishes

I also don't have any idea what worms smell like, but if it smells like mold then I would solve that problem with white vinegar.

Some foods are just too fragrant for my dishwasher to handle, despite being a state-of-the-art Siemens number. One is when I make hot-smoked salmon, and then wash the grill plate in the dishwasher. I should learn that I just have to re-wash all those dishes, with vinegar, just to get the fishy smell off them. It's happened 3 or 4 times, but I guess I just can't bring myself to run the dishwasher with just one item. I've tried handwashing the grill plate, but it takes FOREVER and so much scrubbing.

Nov 12, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

I bought some of the Korean pork jerky while I was eating low carb last year (didn't look too closely at the label) and loved it so much - later realized (duh, it's sweet like candy) that it isn't exactly low carb. Now I just think of it as a snacky treat. Hard not to keep coming back to it all day long.

Nov 07, 2014
khh1138 in Chains

I'm Going Deaf Eating Out in LA

I wrote about them below! Unbearable. A real shame.

Nov 04, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area