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Querencia's Profile

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Best POST on CH for 2014

I am especially grateful for a post recommending a brand of decaffeinated tea that actually tastes like tea (sorry, I don't recall the poster or I would acknowledge). This tea comes from England and is not available locally so I ordered it from amazon and now, for the first time in years, can once again enjoy a whole pot of lovely tea with lemon and sugar. I even bought an electric kettle in its honor. No, it isn't the best tea I ever drank, but it is light-years better than any other decaf tea I have tried. So, many thanks to the CH who recommended PG Tips Decaffeinated Tea.

And, in a more general way, let me say how grateful I am for Chowhound, where good tips and suggestions always abound. "All of us are smarter than any of us."

about 11 hours ago
Querencia in Site Talk

Pretzel Factory Pretzel Crisps - use up ideas please

There is another last resort for using up any cookies or snack stuff like pretzels--- take it to work and put it by the coffee pot. People at work eat anything and everything. It will be gone in an hour. Stale boring stuff will be perceived to be the finest French pastry.

about 11 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

Actually she sounds to me kind of nutty. Think of a continuum with "rude" at one end and "crazy" at the other.

1 day ago
Querencia in Not About Food

Making liver palatable

I know a wonderful true story of a visiting grandfather who was determined to get liver into his five grandkids so he ground it and made it into spaghetti sauce. When the meal was served the very well-brought up Catholic children knew better than to voice their opinions but then the baby, who was just starting to speak in sentences, after tasting the mess said "Now what in hell is this?" and the older kids fell off their chairs laughing. Look, Enso, if you hate liver why not just forget it and take an iron pill?

1 day ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

Roasted pork. We have pounds leftover.

I would freeze it, not all in one package, and use it for future hot barbecued pork sandwiches. You can either make your own sauce and do a crockpot full or just squirt on some Sweet Baby Ray and zap it.

Otherwise, I would make Chinese-style Sweet and Sour Pork (saute onions and green pepper, add canned pineapple, make a sauce using the pineapple liquid augmented with chicken stock, plus vinegar and sugar, thicken with cornstarch, put all together, add some quartered tomatoes, serve with rice).

Dec 26, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

Best ways to make use of a food processor?

Most important, keep it out on the counter. If you have to get it out every time you won't use it as much. It is excellent for blending flour and fat, pureeing anything, chopping cabbage or parsley, making a quick batter. Mine is irreplaceable for gazpacho, coleslaw, everything in meatloaf but the meat. And Raffles is wrong about it being a pain to clean---you can put everything but the motor in the dishwasher.

Dec 25, 2014
Querencia in Cookware
1

TOO MANY CHERRY TOMATOES!

The first year we had a vegetable garden we had started our tomato plants from seed and, wanting to make use of them and lacking experience as farmers, we set out 72. The best use I found was to fill the car with tomatoes and visit every single person I knew. Often. Taking them to work also helps.

Dec 24, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

Fudgecake

This one is a gem---quick and easy and delicious. It has its limitations, which I will explain, but is a winner where you can use it. In a saucepan put 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup milk, and 1/3 cup butter(just cut part of a stick, using the markings). Bring this to a boil. Boil it for exactly 60 seconds by the clock. Remove from burner and dump in 1 cup chocolate chips. Stir until they melt. Immediately pour it over any cake or brownies that are still in the pan---it is runny when it starts out then it sets up as it cools. Won't do for a layer cake. But it sets up to make a layer of decent-tasting fudge and it gilds the lily very nicely with brownies.

Dec 24, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Amazing and fairly easy appetizer to bring to xmas eve?

Just reading about so many fat-laden appetizers makes me want something opposite---could you make some pretty little appetizer-size skewers with a chunk of pineapple and a strawberry, something like that? People always go for the fresh fruit.

The Most Fabulous Candy Bar Ever

Oh God, that was exactly my reaction but I wasn't going to say. Thank you. You are absolutely right.

Dec 23, 2014
Querencia in Features

Pear desserts

If those are the Harry & David signature "Royal Riviera" pears, they aren't meant for cooking! These gold standard pears ripen to utter juiciness---the juice runs down your arm when you are eating them. Eat them out of hand or with cheese and crackers or maybe in a salad, but they aren't supposed to be cooked. Just give them a little time.

Dec 21, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

National Fruitcake Day

Just re-gift it to us fruitcake lovers. We will saturate it with dark Jamaican rum and then, on a snowy afternoon, slice it wafer thin and enjoy it with a pot of hot-hot tea. As we wash rummy fruitcake down with tea, the now-hot rum will make our tummies nice and warm. And then you will be sorry you didn't keep it.

I think it's just trendy to say "I hate fruitcake", like, "I love kale".

Searching old Gourmet linzer cookie recipe

This may be a cousin to your recipe; it was published in the newspaper in the 80's and was from a White House chef. Cream 1 cup butter with 1/2 cup sugar and 2 large egg yolks. Work in the grated rind of a lemon, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 1/3 cups ground almonds, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Form two rolls, wrap, and refrigerate any time from 2 hours to 2 weeks. Roll thin, cut, bake at 375*, cool, and put together with raspberry jam and/or chocolate icing. Dust with powdered sugar. I have also used this dough as an icebox cookie, just slicing the rolls and baking. It is rich and crumbly. If you have access to a Trader Joe's, the "Almond Meal" ground almonds they sell is/are perfect for this recipe.

Dec 20, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

HELP - Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole for Christmas Brunch

Why not just make your usual breakfast casserole (which I assume to be a strata since this dish goes by those two names) using gluten-free bread?

Dec 20, 2014
Querencia in Special Diets

Re Gingerbread Graham Crackers

Several years ago my chain markets sold a Christmas-season-only version of Honey Maid Graham Crackers in a gingerbread flavor. They were so good (with milk at bedtime!) that they totally spoiled me for regular graham crackers---but in the last couple of years I haven't seen them at all. Has anyone here run into them? I wonder if they've been terminated. I would love to stock up during the season. The Honey Maid website doesn't mention Gingergread and has no contact information. Amazon and WalMart websites offer them by mail but with the caveat that the product is unavailable. Sounds to me as if they are kaput but just in case there is some kind of limited edition Christmas-only availability somewhere, has anyone seen them?

quiche questions

And if you do asparagus, try crumbling some feta along with the Swiss cheese. The saltiness of the feta and the sweetness of the asparagus bounce off each other.

Dec 20, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Half-price on Harry&David pears

Thank you. Only pears I know that, when you eat them, the juice runs down your arms.

Dec 19, 2014
Querencia in General Topics

Wolferman's English Muffins

Thanks to 51rich for suggesting Bay's. I tried them and like them better than the new Thomas's, which have changed. Tell me, do they teach MBA students to change the product as soon as they are hired?.....so, no Wolferman/s in the city, but they are great online for sending as gifts---many flavors---wish we could get the citrus with cranberries close to home.

Dec 19, 2014
Querencia in Chicago Area

Cookie recipe lost in time (like tears in rain)

I looked in my Russian cookbook and found no such. But they sound to me like linzertorte cookies---a thin-rolled short cookie dough (made with or without ground nuts in it) cut and baked and then put together with raspberry jam and/or chocolate filling. Your mom may have designed that specific cookie, with the marbleized icing. They sound beautiful. Let me give you my linzertorte cookie recipe---not really mine, was in the newspaper, came from some White House chef but I forget which administration. Here it is: Cream 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 large egg yolks, the grated rind of 1 lemon. Work in 2 1/3 cups ground almonds (Trader Joe's sells them that way), 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour. Form into two rolls. Wrap and refrigerate to make easier to handle. Leave in refrigerator 2 hours to 2 weeks. When convenient, roll out the dough thin on a floured board and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 375*. Cool. Put together with raspberry jam or chocolate icing. Roll in powdered sugar (or finish as your mother did, with icing). (PS I have also used this dough for simple icebox cookies, slicing the rolls and avoiding the rolling out step---these are tasty little cookies).

A holiday "gift" to supermarket shoppers

Thank you so much for posting this wonderful video. I had not seen it before and since discovering it here this morning have been sending it all over the place. Who could watch it without smiling?

Dec 18, 2014
Querencia in Not About Food

Reluctance to buy online?

And nail salons.

The thing is, your words "when possible" glow in the dark and flash in neon. When my husband requested long wool underwear and I couldn't find it in downtown Chicago, I knew the game had changed. When my knees got elderly and I couldn't find a long-handled bathtub-cleaning brush in the city of Chicago, I recognized my new environment as Brave New World. We're there, and it's online.

Cheapest Heat (as in chili preppers/hot sauces)?

Are you in or near a big city? just go to any Indian or Asian supermarket---you will find dozens, possibly hundreds, of options. I think they wrote the book.

Dec 18, 2014
Querencia in General Topics

Question re Fort MyersFlorida

This place is not fancy but it is super-authentic---very basic and down-home, the opposite of elegant, with terrific food. Do not miss the Fort Myer Farmers' Market Restaurant, 2736 Edison, Fort Myers. Real Southern country cooking--- you can read a lot of detail about it on Yelp. The food is, like, country ham, chicken & dumplings, country-fried steak, collard greens, buttered corn, yams, black-eyed peas, fried okra, cornbread---you get the idea. What your Granny would cook if she came from rural Florida.

Dec 17, 2014
Querencia in Florida

Need ideas for things to make for under-the-weather preschooler, please!

This might be the time to step away from your Jello concerns---in my experience raising children, a sick and feverish child will eat red Jello when he won't eat anything else, and it gets liquid into him, which is your main priority if he is feverish, has diarrhea, or is vomiting. Likewise Popsicles. Likewise Kool-Aid---one of mine, when he had flu at two-and-a-half, survived for a week on red Kool-Aid, which he requested every five minutes night and day. What you want now is for him to take liquid and hopefully a few calories. When he's feeling better you can return to your scruples. PS, I hope you have a rocking chair and know lots of songs.

Dec 17, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

One lunch in Chicago

Chicago is a HUGE city where traffic and parking may be beyond your wildest nightmares. If you do decide to come into the city for lunch, it would be realistic to allow pretty much a half-day away from your highway route. This can't be a quick hour-and-a-half lunch stopover. Could you possibly stay overnight so you'd have time to absorb the city a little more?

Dec 17, 2014
Querencia in Chicago Area

Little Yeasties

The purple guy looks as if he has eyes.

Dec 17, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Reluctance to buy online?

I don't live out in the desert---I live in downtown Chicago---and about 80% of the time I can't FIND locally whatever I am looking for. So I buy online---for selection primarily, for convenience and price only secondarily. If local merchants want my business, they need to figure out how to accommodate me. And they aren't even trying. Last year I went to Macy's to buy boots that cost $80--- when they didn't have my size and color in stock, I went online and found them for $40---ON MACY'S WEBSITE--- they undersold themselves by 50% online. Not that different with kitchenware. Within the last month I've bought a crock pot, an electric kettle, and a roasting pan, all online because nobody local had the selection, not to mention the price. Business is business, and it's not my job to pamper local stores. Amazon may be faceless but, damn, they are good at what they do.

We don't eat meat, they don't eat fish.....

I diverge from tradition and make a baked version simply because it is so easy to do for guests---assemble it the day before and just put it in the oven when I want it. If you all eat chicken, there you are. Cut some boneless skinless breasts into large chunks and brown in olive oil. Remove chicken and in same oil brown onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Put all this together in a great big flat deep baking dish (or a lasagna pan) with RAW rice and include a bag of frozen peas. Refrigerate. Before baking, dissolve saffron in water and totally cover the rice mixture with the saffron water. Cover airtight with foil and bake about an hour until rice is done but grains have not split. Call it arroz con pollo, and if you use shrimp and scallops instead of chicken, call it paella---mas o menos.

Dec 15, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Xmas Eve menu with a standing rib roast.....serve with rolls for sandwiches?

If it's a large party you could also station a paid helper at the carvery.

Dec 15, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Xmas Eve menu with a standing rib roast.....serve with rolls for sandwiches?

After our children were grown up and we didn't do Christmas morning Santa Claus any more, we developed a tradition of having Christmas Eve dinner composed entirely of appetizers so I am excited to see your menu. People have fun filling up on their favorites and don't have to be virtuous about saving room for dinner. I notice comments that self-carving of roast beef may be problematic---consider a crock-pot full of barbecued beef, or maybe a baked ham (easier than beef for people to carve slivers from to make sandwiches). Bakeries many bakeries will make teensy rolls for a special order.
But consider the size of your crowd---if you have 50 people and one ham, a bottleneck will form at the buffet, so place things strategically. I am surprised to see so many anti-carving posts here---I have been putting carve-it-yourself hams on buffets for sixty years and have always found that people go wild with joy and just love making themselves little sandwiches.

Dec 15, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking