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Canning pears - need good recipes!

Pear Preserves: Take about 5 lb hard pears, peel them, chop them in food processor. Also grind up in processor 1 whole lemon (rind and all) and 1/2 cup candied ginger. Add all this to the pears with a can of crushed pineapple (liquid and all). Measure all of it mixed together and add an equal amount of sugar. Simmer until it reaches the jelly stage. Makes about 12 glasses. Delicious on toast.

about 4 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

I have an okra question too -

Not a Southerner here and I don't know from gumbo. I saute onions and green peppers, add tomatoes (canned are fine), then add sliced okra at the last minute as I don't want it to cook very long. Makes a nice saucey vegetable that is very low-carb. Tastes green, fresh.

about 4 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

I have an okra question too -

I use okra in vegetable soup to give a mouthy consistency--- the sliced frozen works fine for that.

about 4 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Embroidered turkeys out of season suggest to me that either a) these items were being re-gifted to you or b) they were picked up at a post-holiday clearance sale. I find the gift bizarre in the first place, like Santa Claus decorations in July. And as everyone here has said, whatever is brought to a dinner party doesn't have to be served. Plus, your friends sound a little socially out of touch so don't look for them knowing what's what.

about 13 hours ago
Querencia in Not About Food

Montreal restaurants with vegetarian options, including a special-occasion place?

What a sad loss. Le Commensal's cold table, aka magnificent salad bar, was wonderful. Can anyone recommend a killer salad bar in Montreal now? Many thanks.

Kouign amann - first foodie souvenir request

In the US they are sold frozen at Trader Joe's stores.

Montreal restaurants with vegetarian options, including a special-occasion place?

This query brings me to a question. I just now read online that Le Commensal was declaring bankruptcy a year ago and was closing some of its restaurants. Not special-occasion, but excellent vegetarian and an old favorite of mine---had hoped to include on upcoming trip to Montreal. Does anyone know if Le Commensal has closed down entirely or, if not, which branches are still open?

Openings & Closings July, August & September 2014

Planning a trip to Montreal and horrified to read online just now that Le Commensal was declaring bankruptcy and closing some restaurants as of last year. I looooooove their salad bar. What is the story nowadays---are any branches still open?

Low carber avoiding restaurants

A good restaurant for low-carb is the Brazilian "Churrasqueria" (sp?) that offers an elaborate salad bar followed by 10-20 choices of grilled meats, brought ad lib to the table. If you avoid the rice, black beans, and other carb-sh sides, you can do well. Check out Fogo de Chao and other such chains.

Aug 27, 2014
Querencia in Special Diets

Help - no-chew diabetic foods?

Sort-of Gazpacho: Puree in food processor: peeled tomato, seeded green pepper, onion, and peeled cucumber. Add to canned tomato juice (I do 3 or 4 tomatoes, one pepper, one onion, one cucumber to 46 oz tomato juice). Season to taste with salt, garlic powder, cumin, and a couple of tablespoons each of olive oil and vinegar. Keeps 10 days in refrigerator. Very low-carb and a savory alternative to sweet drinks for one who can't chew.

Or...just V-8.

Aug 27, 2014
Querencia in Special Diets

Too much corn on the cob! Help me use it!

Corn Pudding: Put cut kernels in the Cuisinart just to pulse on and off, not to puree the corn but to break up the kernels. Mix about a quart of this with 2-3 eggs, 2 cups milk, 2 T oil, 1/4 cup Bisquick, an envelope (2 cups) of shredded cheddar cheese, and salt to taste. Bake 30-40 minutes until brown.

Aug 27, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Married a Meat and Potatoes Man....Help!

How about this---I buy vegetables from local farmers who bring them into the city to sell at the Farmers' Markets---lovely corn, peppers, beets, baby potatoes, okra, greens, squash, eggplant, green beans, cabbage sprouts, tomatoes---and many of the vendors tell me they NEVER eat vegetables---never touch them except to raise, transport, and sell them.

Aug 27, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

What to do with vacation okra

This is why God made compost heaps.

Back for more with family of four . . .

Listen carefully. Brazzaz is a Brazilian restaurant that offers a prix-fixe dinner that usually is around $50 but currently has twofer coupons online (I just printed one out). What you get is, first, a salad bar that you could live on for a week, then costumed waters come to your table again and again, world without end, Amen, bearing a dozen cuts of beef plus chicken, sausage, lamb chops, pork, and shrimp. Sides are on the buffet (rice, black beans, other stuff). The meal is gargantuan and would be a memorable treat for your kids. Brazzaz probably has a website with pictures.

Aug 25, 2014
Querencia in Chicago Area

ISO Middle Eastern Meatball Recipies

I invented my own, not authentic for sure but they are good and they taste like things I like in ME restaurants. I mix ground beef or lamb with dill, mint, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. You could add egg and bread crumbs. I make the meat into balls and put them in a baking dish with tomato sauce, lemon juice, dill, mint, cinnamon, and salt. I add some chunks of onion and green pepper and zucchini and then I bake this and serve it with rice.

Aug 25, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Have you ever made Boston Cream Pie?

Forty years ago there was an excellent Boston Cream Pie mix that I used to make all the time because it was quick and my family liked it. Does anyone else remember it? Probably Betty Crocker. I can't imagine why it was discontinued. One envelope for the cake, one for the custard, and one for the icing, zippity-zap.

Aug 25, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Picky eaters are the bane of my existence...and now I live with them

As you say, food is your hobby and the way you express love, but it is other things too and one thing it is is the A #1 medium for a control fight between parent and child. It might be helpful to have a few sessions with a family therapist to get at the facts that underlie the food.

Aug 25, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

what NY restaurant serves classic hot Kiddish food

You might check with Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery---they have a restaurant with limited menu but might be able to suggest something. They are at 137 E Houston. Have been in business forever. Look online.

Aug 25, 2014
Querencia in Kosher

Summer veggie dish for a crowd?

Yes yes yes to collards with ribs and mac&cheese. Cook them the old-fashioned Southern way, all day with a ham bone and a teensy hit of hot pepper. No newfangled raw collards chips etc.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Your Best Soup Recipe

Cuban black bean, any seafood chowder, minestrone, goulash soup, tortellini soup, split pea with ham---I think my favorite is the black bean, but now that I cook just for myself I end up with sixteen pints to freeze and not that much freezer space any more. So I have found a quick-and-dirty black bean soup, not quite the same but not at all bad. Take a quart carton of Trader Joe's Latin Style Black Bean Soup, which is a smooth puree,and add a can of black beans then take your potato masher and give it a few whomps. Add a glop of sherry.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

J-E-L-L-O problems

Jello will not set with raw pineapple in it. You can use canned pineapple.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

J-E-L-L-O problems

I have a book on the history of convenience foods that explains that having an electric refrigerator was a) necessary for making Jello and b) an expensive luxury in the 1920's and 1930's so that Jello salads and desserts became fashionable (so you could show off having a Frigidaire). Yes, vegetables were very commonly used in Jello salads, especially grated carrot and shredded cabbage. My grandma could sure show us how that's done. I still make her salad every Thanksgiving and Christmas: orange Jello with grated carrot and drained crushed pineapple. Every time I make it, I remember her hand-grating carrots for hours and wish I could introduce her to my Cuisinart, which makes short work of raw carrots in about 30 seconds.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Advice for my Mum on printing her own recipe book

I did this and for the same reason---to make a family cookbook. I typed everything just as I wanted it using word processing software and then collected the pages (about 100), put them in order, and took them to Kinko's asking for six copies. They bound the pages on a spiral and added hard plastic covers. The total cost was about $5 per book.

Friends who have self-published a book (hard-bound and printed the traditional way) tell me that the cost runs upward of $2000. If your purpose is just to collect and share family recipes with family members, the Kinko's route works fine and is a lot more reasonable in cost.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

I have heard TJ described as "a gourmet store for cheapskates". I know for a fact that their frozen Apple Blossoms, Chocolate Lava Cakes, and Mochi Ice Cream are sold for twice the price at other stores.

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

You aren't likely to find name brands like Kit Kat and Heath and Kellogg and Stouffer at TJ. That's the point, actually.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Chains
1

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

Country of origin is printed on bag and most of us here can read.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Chains

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

Smiley, you seem to have an anti-TJ agenda (and why would that be, I wonder). Godspeed: it's a free country. But, personally, I find TJ to be a source of unique and excellent products I don't see anywhere else, and their staff is invariably courteous and helpful---they stand behind what they sell and cheerfully accept a return--- and their prices compare favorably with other stores (I am in Chicago). Yes, they are more expensive than Aldi's, but they are 'way cheaper than WholeFoods, and a lot more fun. Re TJ's wine, I googled just now and found that it has won awards in 2002, 2007, and 2013, so it seems that wine experts disagree with your assessment.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Chains

Kolachky bakeries

Ancient thread.... Do you mean cookie kolachkys or yeast kolachkys (that are like mini-Danishes)? For the latter, Pticek's Bakery on S Narragansett about two doors south of South Archer, has 12 varieties.

Aug 23, 2014
Querencia in Chicago Area

How to Cut Hard Squash

I stick the point of a paring knife into a hard squash (eg acorn) to let the steam out and microwave it for 2 or 3 minutes---then it cuts in half quite easily and I can remove the seeds and bake it.

Aug 22, 2014
Querencia in Features

Looking for ideas for a Sunday Supper for 30

I favor Middle Eastern/Balkan for large groups because I can do EVERYTHING ahead of time. First a cold buffet of "the usual suspects"---tabbouleh, hummos, baba ganooj, cucumbers in yogurt, olives, pita, tomatoes, cheeses, fatoosh salad etc. For your purposes, these would be refrigerated and you would have only to set them out. Meanwhile, if your oven could be quietly working at 300* during the 90-minute performance, the moussaka that you made yesterday could be slowly heating and the spankorizo (cooked rice and chopped spinach flavored with lemon juice and cinnamon) could be staying hot in a slow-cooker. Sherbets and small fresh fruits (little bunches of grapes) would be nice for dessert.