khh1138's Profile

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Fuddruckers Santa Monica (Again)

It's the same on the eastside. We always joke in Pasadena when we see some new construction that it's going to be a bank or a church. We're holding out for the First Banking Church of Bank.

Jul 20, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area
1

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

I follow WildSwede, who I think lives a parallel life to mine only she is 15 minutes ahead of me and so always has the jump on the best restaurants (we seem to share opinions on so many). ChinoWayne is still in my list (missing you), and exilekiss, who I relied on for Japanese advice. ipsedixit, who I rely on for everything.

Jul 15, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Your best cook book finds at garage salesthrift stores etc

Whenever I would visit Berkeley, CA, I would stop into Moe's Books. Really, that was always the highlight of my trips and I would always bring an extra suitcase for my Moe's finds, and I always found something wonderful. On one trip, I found 3 autographed cookbooks from Wolfgang Puck, at $3 each. I grew up with my mum's Austrian cooking, so I know the basics of many dishes, but these allowed me to *really* know how to cook Austrian food (and all sorts of other things, too).

Jul 12, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

What's So Wrong About Not Lliking ..... ?

A bowl of whipped cream might be my very favourite thing in the world. And I know this even though I've never had an entire bowl to myself.

Jul 12, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food
1

What's your favorite way to cook?

I think we are pretty similar! I love to have enough clean countertop to work and spread out ingredients, so I clean as I go. Usually by the time I have dinner ready, everything has been loaded into the dishwasher or put into the sink to soak. One difference is - if I'm cooking something complicated or time-consuming, my husband will come into the kitchen and read to me (usually some kind of trivia) to make the time pass. It's a nice relaxed way to make meals. I'm hoping my husband is at least subconsciously observing what I do, and he'll gradually catch on.
I really can't stand when someone wants to cook in the kitchen at the _same time_ with me, though. Every time a friend or family member has tried, there have been numerous near-misses with boiling water and sharp knives. One friend spilled looseleaf tea all over the floor. It's just too nerve-wracking.

Jul 12, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

Restaurant Pet Peeves

I suspect it's more that the pee has had time to fester and start to smell (it takes a little while for enough bacteria to grow so you can smell it) - so no one has cleaned the restroom for at least a day. Yecch!

Jul 12, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food
1

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

Apologies, DuffyH, for adding to the "piling on." Totally not my intention.
As AlexRast said, "I'm not trying to criticise your choices but rather to provide encouragement that it may not be as hard or impractical as it might seem at first."
This was my intention as well - Sort of like how for years I thought roasting chickens was hard. Now it's my go-to for whenever I need a no-brainer dinner. I have to thank Jamie Oliver for that, and I've been able to share that discovery with a dozen friends.
We have a small household (2 people) with a small fridge (the bottleneck is we have very small doors in our house - my husband is actually seriously considering cutting a new, bigger door so we can get in a bigger fridge). For years and years we didn't make our own stock because I assumed it would be difficult and messy and time-consuming. Much to my surprise, it's become a common event in our house - every two to three weeks or so. But then again, we actually use stock in many dishes - gumbo, stew, goulash, soup, risotto, etc. If we didn't cook like this so much, it wouldn't make sense to use up our precious fridge space.
What I'd really love is a way to store the stock outside of my fridge or freezer - and canning seems the obvious answer, but all kinds of preserving seems like an impossible task to me - too messy, too time-consuming, too afraid of botulism. Probably 10 years from now I'll figure out that canning is awesome and kick myself for not doing it earlier. :)

Jun 28, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

I had the same experience as a kid - my East Coast grandmother showed me how to make "REAL" Boston Baked Beans. It took the better part of two days. They were good, but not worth the work of two people!
Refried beans, on the other hand - homemade all the way!

Jun 27, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

I always make stock in a slow cooker - just one big pot to clean. I usually make stock from bones of something I've already cooked, so I don't have the browning step (and it's actually saving money rather than spending extra - I don't buy extra meat for stock, and I save up the ends of carrots and celery and onion to throw in). My slow cooker isn't good for much - it's too hot to use as a true slow cooker - but it's changed my opinion of making stock to a maybe to an always. I set it up and let it go overnight and my stocks are so rich and dark and velvety - they've really elevated my cooking.

Jun 27, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics
3

Food additives that wreck the taste of food

I'm the same way with artificial sweeteners. They taste so, so bad to me. There have been several times when I've bought a fruity drink that says "no sugar added" and it turns out to have an artificial sweetener. I love it when it's just bubbly water with a fruity aftertaste - there are several of those on the market with 0 calories, but unfortunately the ones with artificial sweeteners also have 0 calories and you have to read the label very carefully sometimes to spot it.

Jun 26, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

This is my reasoning as well - canned cranberry sauce is so sweet to me it sets my teeth on edge. Homemade, I can tinker with how much sugar and I also add some fresh lemon juice. I also prefer the more opaque/chunky look and feel compared with the jello-like look and consistency of canned. Sort of like the difference between homemade flan and jello flan (which I cannot stomach).

Jun 25, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

That San Dimas Restaurant from the '70s...Pike's Peak? Pete's??

I wonder if Pinnacle Peak was the inspiration for that episode of Frasier where the dad takes Frasier and Niles out for a steak dinner with all the "fixins" and the boys sneer at it, then feel guilty about it.

"Dinner at Eight"
http://youtu.be/aOzlFwW4uSk?t=13m33s

Jun 24, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

In search of XO noodles

I had a delicious noodle dish at a restaurant in the Bellagio in Vegas called "Noodle." It was XO Crabmeat Vermicelli, with (according to the menu) lump crab, egg, bean sprouts, cabbage, and XO sauce (mild/spicy). Has anyone had a dish like this here in the SGV? Hopefully at less than the ~$25 they were charging. I think I remember plain XO noodles at Elite, but does anyplace have them with crab?

Jun 23, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

The Pastrami List 2014

You do have to be careful to go to "the original Tops" rather than that other Tops. The original one is better - still nothing compared to homemade, but at least not a disaster. I thought the Hat was awful the one and only time I went, which was in...1991 I think.

Jun 15, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Ground Cardamom

I always sprinkle on a little ground cardamom on my baked apples (along with cinnamon and nutmeg). I use it in a lot of quick breads and sweets like pancakes, too.

Follow-up question - does anyone know the conversion between cardamom pods and ground cardamom? My curry recipe calls for a certain # of pods, but I have ground cardamom on hand for baked goods so I always just throw in a half a teaspoon and cross my fingers.

Jun 12, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

Camping Meals/Recipes?

We've also made "boil in a bag" omelets using ziplock bags (the freezer kind - the regular ones aren't durable enough). Everyone gets their own bag, and they can add whatever they'd like to their omelet - chopped onions, cheese, little wedges of ham, whatever). Takes ~ 1-2 minutes - our camp stove is very hot. We bring tongs to pull the bags out of the water.
Like Weezieduzzit, we do virtually all the prep before leaving home. We often freeze meals like stew quite flat in heavy-duty ziplock bags, so they can stack in a cooler. Heat up in a pot of boiling water like above, just takes a little longer than the omelet. Then the one big pot doesn't really need cleaning - just throw away the bags and clean your plate and spork using the hot water from the pot.
Eating like this is a real treat, compared to when I went camping as a kid and we ate mainly ramen.

May 17, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

Carnitas Burritos in the San Gabriel Valley?

I like Tonny's on Orange Grove in Pasadena. But I actually prefer their carnitas in taco form. My husband prefers the burrito, and he's a burrito fanatic.

May 15, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Discount for well-behaved kids on restaurant bill

Same for me - and also working in the family store! It wasn't until I got my first job outside of the family when I was 15-16 that I got paid!
It was just a given that we were all in this together, and everyone had to pitch in and do their part. Getting good grades in school was my full-time job, and helping out around the house and in the store was my second job. No $ ever changed hands, but my mum did take me book shopping every month!

May 15, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food
1

Ever been recognized on the street by a fellow Chowhound you never met before?

In the final days of a beloved taco stand ("Las Ruinas" in Pasadena), local chowhounds started making their last visits before they closed. I ate there maybe 3 times in their last week. One of those nights, a fellow looked over at me and said "Chowhound?" I nodded in solidarity. He tilted his head towards another woman nearby and said "that's...xxx" - a handle I recognized but have since forgotten. I guess we all had the same expression of sadness, because there wasn't an official meetup and I didn't have my picture in my profile. I'm sorry now I didn't properly introduce myself to my fellow 'hounds that night.

May 14, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

Discount for well-behaved kids on restaurant bill

This is the reason I think it is going to backfire. The very parents who *don't* know how to parent are going to think their "spirited" children merit the good-behavior discount. Who is going to draw the line? I picture it turning into just another "kids eat free" enticement - bring your kid, get $5 off no matter what.

May 14, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food
1

Fage Greek yogurt too thick?

Flax seeds! I'm adding that today. Great idea!

May 14, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Fage Greek yogurt too thick?

It would never occur to me that I had to eat what the carton declares to be the serving size. :) My typical serving of Fage is 3 heaping tablespoons (a little less than 1/4 cup). I like it plain, but I am also partial to mixing in pomegranate seeds. I use Fage in cooking all the time, and I'm really glad for the thickness then - especially since it's practically impossible for me to find good full-fat thick dairy products in the US.

May 13, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics
2

What's your favorite somewhat obscure specialty food item?

This strikes me as something that shouldn't be obscure, but it is for me living in Southern California: Branston Pickle. I can only find it occasionally at specialty shops here, or I'll break down and order 4 jars at a time off of Amazon. But it's a staple in our house - can't have a midnight cheese sandwich without it.

May 13, 2014
khh1138 in General Topics

Restaurant Pet Peeves

That's one of my favourite things about eating at our usual Korean BBQ place - they bring me a cute little water pitcher that is a little more than I need for the entire meal - so civilized! And I loved it in Paris when they started up the "drink our tap water" campaign and all the restaurants were given water pitchers to serve their customers (order une carafe d'eau).

May 01, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food

What is your handwash routine?

This is what I do when I have a giant pot too big to put in the dishwasher. I have a giant single sink (I wanted a really big one so I could lay completely flat a roasting pan that needed soaking (which happens a few times a month in our house).
Other than a giant roasting pan, the only thing I really wash by hand all the time is the parts to my juicer. I spray rinse, soap up, scrub, rinse some more, etc. in the one sink and the whole process takes about 4 minutes, which is much less time than it would take to fill the sink with water.

May 01, 2014
khh1138 in Cookware

Game changer? Newport Seafood -> Beverly HIlls

We always do the $15 massage _before_ dinner so we aren't uncomfotably full while getting poked and prodded.

May 01, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Butter & Soy Sauce?

I do butter + soy sauce + brown sugar. I don't really measure - I just put in a hunk of butter into a little pyrex mixing dish to melt in the microwave, then add maybe a tablespoon of soy sauce (it turns a lovely dark glisteny brown) and then about a tablespoon of brown sugar and stir to mix. I drizzle it over the popcorn in a large bowl, tossing ~ 10 times to mix. It's heavenly. It is a little bit soggy, but I don't even care. I imagine to make it perfect I should then spread it on a cookie sheet and bake briefly in the oven (like caramel corn) but by that time the smell drives me crazy and I have to eat it immediately.
Recipe may also be enhanced by adding small chipped up pieces of nori and/or sesame seeds.

Apr 29, 2014
khh1138 in Home Cooking

Hidden gem spots on the way to San Diego from LA?

We usually stop at El Pescador in La Jolla. It's a little fish market on Pearl St. I get fish tacos or some fresh char-grilled fish. Sometimes I get one on the way down and the other on the way back up.

Apr 29, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area

Single Men Who Cook

I do find the inability to make a sandwich *baffling*. It's not even cooking. It's like failing basic pattern recognition, like not being able to alphabetize. If you've ever eaten a sandwich, you should know how to assemble a sandwich.

My husband grew up in a household where good quality food was not important, vegetables were a foreign concept, almost all meals were takeout, and everyone in the family was picky. And yet, as soon as he was out on his own, he started grocery shopping and experimenting in the kitchen. Many of his early meals were borderline inedible (he used to try to make some very thin steak in a frying pan soaked with Worstershire sauce and it would turn black and yet it was better than anything he had growing up and he was so proud). But now he makes authentic Szechuan chicken and other delicacies. He's come a long way. And yes, his efforts to learn to care for himself, even though he lacked all basic experience and training, was definitely attractive to me.

Apr 28, 2014
khh1138 in Not About Food
3

Best macaron spot?

Fair enough. :) But did you try their legendary egg salad sandwich?

Apr 28, 2014
khh1138 in Los Angeles Area