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What are you baking these days? August 2015

Every year at this time I make a cake with the little purple prune plums. A rich butter cake dough on the bottom, then the plums cut in half, peel side down, lined up close together all over the top. About a half-teaspoon of sugar in each plum. Bake. The loveliest purple juicy glaze forms.

about 2 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

Trying to think of a biscuit that was sold......

I was hoping to find you a link but you might need to go there yourself. Google "Discontinued Food Products"---there are multiple lists sorted by decade and in other ways.

about 22 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

FRESH CORN SIDE DISHES! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (August 2015)

Boil ears of corn, cool, cut corn off cobs, freeze, eat it next winter during a snowstorm. You will be amazed. "Oh, yes, hmmm, this is reminding me of something...I can't quite place it...".

The Hazards of Harvesting Armadillos

There's an additional hazard to harvesting armadillos. Right now on Yahoo News is the report that when a Texas man shot an armadillo, the bullet ricocheted off the armadillo's shell and broke the man's jaw. The armadillo has not been seen since; a commenter suggested that it went home to reload.

Best Buffets in the World

Tsk tsk tsk. I started to answer the OP then realized that my "best buffets" are in the realm of memory. Possibly the best meal I ever had in my life was the Sunday brunch buffet of a now-history Montreal restaurant, Les Filles du Roi, that did traditional Quebecois food. Clearly meant to sustain a farmer in the Canadian winter, it was all fat and sugar and more wonderful than I can describe---ham and dumplings poached in maple syrup, tourtiere, feves au lard...Then there was a super-duper fancy buffet in Acapulco that featured boiled lobsters stacked about two feet high, plus maybe 200 other goodies.....And an El Cheapo Chinese buffet in New England with REAL fried scallops, not surimi fake ones, all you wanted, fresh from New Bedford and about two hours out of the ocean. And a seafood buffet at some hotel in Easton, MD---oh the scalloped oysters and fried oysters and all manner of oysters...

I LOVE buffets and am so sorry to see them disappearing.

Jul 31, 2015
Querencia in General Topics

Help with Suggestions PLEASE

Don't know about atmosphere, don't know about trendy, but when I am in New York I never miss going to Ipanema, a Brazilian restaurant in the Brazilian block 46th between Fifth and Sixth. Everything is authentic and delicious, especially the Feijoada. Midtown. Moderate prices.

http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

Jul 31, 2015
Querencia in Manhattan

Need help- chicken breasts

1. Wrap each one in a slice or two of bacon, then bake. 2) Pour over them an undiluted can of Cream of (Chicken, Celery, Mushroom) Soup and bake. Juice from the chicken combines with the soup to make a not-bad sauce. 3) Pour over them a jar of chicken gravy, and bake. 4) Mix up a box of Stove Top Stuffing, half-bury the chicken breasts in it, pour over a jar of chicken gravy, and bake. 5) Poach in a little water and use the meat for chicken salad, sandwiches, tacos, crepes.

Jul 30, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Chicago Classics?

Random thoughts, not ranked for importance: 1) Because we used to have stockyards and packinghouses, Chicago has traditionally been a steak town, not as much now as formerly. 2) Chicago is known for pizza and hot dogs and you will find plenty of both. 3) Chicago is a big multi-ethnic town. It has more Polish people than any city but Warsaw, so you will find pierogies here. It has a huge Mexican presence, so look for great Mexican food. Ditto Southeast Asians, so look for Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Pakistani, with many restaurants offering that food. We have 7000 restaurants---here is a list, sorted by ethnicity and neighborhood:

http://chicago.menupages.com/

Jul 30, 2015
Querencia in Chicago Area

Need Breakfast Ideas...

Just one more. Canned corned beef hash resembles dogfood but if you frizzle some in a frying pan with a little butter then dump an egg on top of it (whole or scrambled as you prefer) the result is delicious---a sort of super-quick mini-omelet.

Jul 29, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Need Breakfast Ideas...

Add a whole pint of blueberries to a box of Krusteaz Cinnamon Coffee Cake Mix.

Jul 29, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Need Breakfast Ideas...

Weezie, I couldn't agree more and apparently this is a genetic trait. I remember my son at about sixteen when I had made a big vat of chili---he ate chili for breakfast, saying that with chili in the house he didn't see the point of eating anything else. Same son one winter used to have a baked sweet potato every morning. I had to leave for work before he got up for school so I would put a big sweet potato in the oven and when he got up it would be ready. He would bust it open, fill it with butter and brown sugar, and eat it hot with three or four glasses of cold milk. I also remember him eating leftover cold paella for breakfast. Personally I think apple or peach pie makes a fine breakfast and I went through a phase of eating a hot dog on a bun for breakfast---protein (not just sweety carb) and fast.

Jul 29, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

Need Breakfast Ideas...

I have done that adding a little Bisquick to hold it together.

Jul 29, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Newbie here: Collective wisdom re ceramic cooktops

This is my message to the world regarding glass/ceramic cooktops. I put a hot lid, the kind that isn't flat, that was all wet with hot steam on the inside, down on my top and it set up such a suction that the entire top cracked diagonally from one end to the other---cost us a few hundred bucks to replace. (Picture my scientist husband and scientist neighbor standing there scratching their heads and saying, "I would not have thought that was possible"). So when you set a hot lid down, make sure part of it is over the edge so air can get up under.

Other caveat to newbies---keep a single-edged razor blade very handy and use it to scrape spills. Immediately. Now is when your most obsessional self must be summoned.

Otherwise, I love the top and would have no other. Much easier to clean, and doubles as extra counter space when needed.

Jul 28, 2015
Querencia in Cookware
1

What are the treasured items in your kitchen?

I have a cookbook, the blank kind that you write recipes in. My grandmother hated to cook but she loved keeping this cookbook, sitting at the kitchen table at night, sorting and organizing and recording information, a scholar manquee who went only through 8th grade but in 1900 girls had little opportunity. Was a wizard at crossword puzzles and could recite verbatim everything she had ever learned. I think that cookbook was her dissertation.

Looking for Foods that you can just stick in your mouth and Eat!

Popcorn.

Jul 28, 2015
Querencia in General Topics

Do you pray before a meal?

We have never said grace. We are Protestant. When my husband was a student we invited his classmate, a Catholic priest, to dinner and, when he chanted a blessing before we ate, our young child reassured him, "You don't have to sing Happy Birthday---we're not having a party---this is just dinner."

Need Breakfast Ideas...

When we go to Europe we are served breakfast buffets of cold ham, roast beef, cheese, and even lunchmeats, and find this exotic and charming, so why not have a sandwich for breakfast at home? You could make it the night before and have it the next morning with hot coffee.

Need Breakfast Ideas...

Make a quiche with anything that pleases you. Use pre-made frozen pie crusts. Bake the pie crust about halfway baked. Beat 3 eggs with 1 1/2 cups milk, salt and pepper, and a bag of shredded cheese. Pour this into the pie shell and add chopped ham, sauteed sausage, chopped onion, green pepper, asparagus, or anything you like. Bake about 40 minutes. Cool. Cut into slices. Freeze each slice separately in a plastic bag (thus provisioning yourself with 8 breakfasts). When you want breakfast, zap the frozen slice 2 minutes. This makes a quick, savory, substantial breakfast that goes with coffee, as you ask, and takes almost no time to prepare.

Jul 28, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

What do you keep stocked at home?

I bake the whole pound of bacon at once, on a bun pan, until it is barely done. Drain it on newspaper covered with paper towel and store in freezer in plastic bag. When I want a couple of slices, I wrap them in paper towel and zap them for 30 seconds.

Beloved picky guests

I suggest that you used the wrong descriptor. Instead of "picky eater", which makes your guest sound child-like and endearing, how about "rude person". An adult with good manners does not impose his personal dislikes on his host. He is free to take a small portion out of politeness, or to say "No, thank you" and not take any at all. But "I hate mushrooms" is rude. (Sounds like my children with "This cheese tastes like throw-up".) And I do not speak of diabetes ("I would love to come but you know I am diabetic so I will be bringing something of my own") or severe allergy ("That shrimp looks so good but the last time I ate it they had to call 911 and I will spare you that drama. Here, let me have some of that delicious rice and salad.")

Jul 22, 2015
Querencia in Not About Food

Help me replicate corn recipe

I make corn pudding with a little Bisquick in it. To a 1-quart casserole, maybe 1/4 cup Bisquick to 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, a bag of shredded cheese, and corn. I don't use sour cream so you'd have to allow for that. But the Bisquick gives just enough body.

Jul 22, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

what to do with mini sweet peppers

I love these little peppers any way at all but the thing I have done with them that I liked best was that I put a layer of them in lasagna---several layers of meat sauce, one layer of ricotta beaten with a couple of eggs, and a layer of mini peppers (I sliced the stems off, split them in half, and steamed them briefly to soften a little). The peppers' bold pepper flavor really stood out.

Jul 19, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

Do we know the age of the birthday boy? If he is six, eight, or ten he would probably be happy with Maraschino cherries. And would love the chocolate covered cherries. Wow. If he is 42 and a gourmet, he would probably agree with you.

Jul 18, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

TOO MANY FIGS!

Dear Fig Person: I read your post last night then thought of you today when I saw that in Chicago the season's first figs have appeared in the market, and they cost six dollars a pint.

Jul 16, 2015
Querencia in General Topics
1

Do you drink tea?

My tea has to be decaf. Best decaf hot tea brand I know is PG Tips from England, available on amazon. Best decaf iced tea is Luzianne---special big bags make a quart.

Jul 16, 2015
Querencia in General Topics

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

White powdered sugar buttercream icing with a lot of chopped Maraschino cherries in it, and chocolate-covered cherries in a ring around the top of the cake, as decoration---if possible, coordinated with the candles.

Jul 16, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

Unbelievable !!

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

red cabbage

If you like sweet & sour red cabbage, braised with a little bacon and onion in the Czechoslovakian style, you can make a big recipe of it and freeze it in dinner-size portions.

Preparing summer salads ahead of time?

Janniecook's advice is wonderful, perfect---great post. I would add that with salads for 150 people your main problem is going to be refrigerator space. Can you borrow some space from neighbors? And I would think that some things---not eggy potato salad but maybe the chopped peppers, celery, undressed greens, all in plastic bags---might be held in large coolers with blocks of ice. Meanwhile, in your home refrigerator, start now to weed out everything non-essential, to make more room for the salads.

Jul 13, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Naked man found drunk in pig barn

Make him ill? Many years ago we hosted the visit of an 85 year-old aunt. At the time of her arrival we had a six-pack of beer in the house. She polished it off in twenty minutes and sent us out for more.

Jul 13, 2015
Querencia in Beer