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Querencia's Profile

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(Silly) question about ingesting soap.

Well, in "Snow White" when Dopey swallowed a bar of soap, bubbles came out of his ears. That would be the first clue that you'd ingested too much Ivory.

about 12 hours ago
Querencia in Not About Food

ISO Fancy, elegant plated dessert

In the US this is a standard dessert at the Fogo de Chao chain.

about 12 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

ISO Fancy, elegant plated dessert

I have made a nice pear sorbet using pear nectar that came in a bottle, simple syrup, lemon juice, Pear William liqueur, and a teensy drop of red food coloring just to give a faint blush. It's clearly pear, but delicate. Could that be partnered with your poached pears or would the spices overwhelm?

about 12 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

ISO Fancy, elegant plated dessert

1. Anything in a meringue shell.
2. Napoleons made from either phyllo or mille-feuilles, good homemade custard, sliced sugared fresh strawberries, and whipped cream.
3. A trifle in a stemmed glass trifle bowl---showing the layers.

about 12 hours ago
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

Sweet Jesus: Whole Foods No Longer Getting Brillat-Savarin Due to FDA?!

FDA does not make the law---Congress makes the law, and FDA works under Congress and answers (constantly) to Congress (my husband was an FDA scientist for nearly 30 years and spent about half his time on the Hill answering to Congress, believe me). If certain standards are established by law, then FDA is mandated to enforce those standards. Doing the job you are legally committed to do is not bureaucratic overreach---it's professional responsibility. The activist effort you long for can best be accomplished by complaining to your Congressperson. However, Congress will hear not only from the cheese lobby, the grocery business, and individual cheese lovers, but also from advocates for the public health---its decisions must balance the needs of the entire community.

1 day ago
Querencia in Cheese

chicago italian near downtown

Ah nsxtasy, how could you not mention Petterino's? I love their salads, their savory meatballs, their real tablecloths even in the lunch rush. For visitors: corner Dearborn and Randolph, right in the theater district of the Loop.

1 day ago
Querencia in Chicago Area

Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise

I live in a big city and get good tomatoes at a farmers' market. At the very end of the tomato season, I empty one of my refrigerator crisper drawers, line it with dishtowels, and fill it with tomatoes that I have washed and dried to minimize surface bacteria. These tomatoes last for about four weeks. I keep going through them and using the ones that seem most ready. Toward the end there are a few that have to be used in cooking, but this method extends my tomato salad season by nearly a month.

What discontinued products do you miss?

Just google the words "Discontinued food products" and prepare to weep.

Sep 16, 2014
Querencia in General Topics

What is the real cream used in coffee?

In my recent experience (I live and shop in Chicago) most US supermarkets sell a) half-and-half, which is half cream and half milk, and which many people use in coffee, and b) "whipping" cream, which is heavy cream. I have not seen "light" cream for years. I remember it being sold also as "coffee cream" forty or fifty years ago. Try putting whipping aka heavy cream in your coffee and see if that is what you've been missing---it's a lovely indulgence.

Depardieu: ‘I drink 14 bottles of wine a day’

"J'en boirai cinq ou six bouteilles,
Une femme sur les genoux..."

...but he beats that record. What would fourteen bottles be, three with each meal, including breakfast and tea, and a couple of extras for between meals?

Sep 16, 2014
Querencia in Wine

Apple-themed potluck

The most bizarre recipe I ever found online was Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings so naturally I had to try it. Cut two apples in quarters. Wrap each quarter in a Crescent Roll. Melt 1 cup brown sugar, 1 stick butter, and 1 tsp cinnamon in microwave and pour over dumplings, which should be in a deepish baking dish. Pour over them a can of Mountain Dew so they are completely covered. Bake for 60 minutes @ 350*. The dumplings take up most of the Mountain Dew and the rest makes a sauce. Set aside your reasonable Mountain Dew prejudice---people actually like this apple dessert.

Sep 15, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Apple-themed potluck

Plain old Waldorf Salad is always good: apples, grapes, celery, walnuts, mayonnaise (does anyone remember "Fawlty Towers"?).

Affordable lunch & dinner options in Chicago

Orientation: downtown Chicago is bisected by the Chicago River. South of the river is the older downtown, "The Loop", now mostly finance and offices but also live theater and a few good hotels and restaurants. Most of the tourist action now is north of the river along the Michigan Avenue corridor (Magnificent Mile is from the river to Oak Street Beach). Between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan is called Streeterville, while west of Michigan Avenue is River West (many hotels and restaurants in both neighborhoods). Chicago Avenue north to North Avenue, lake to Wells, is called either Near North or the Gold Coast---restaurants mostly cling along Rush Street, bars on Division. Taxis are under your nose 24/7 and public transportation is great--Red Line subway runs under State and connects to all other lines--- many CTA buses run on Michigan, State, Dearborn---study CTA's online maps. But it's all walkable.

Sep 15, 2014
Querencia in Chicago Area

Affordable lunch & dinner options in Chicago

1) Breakfast near Michigan and Walton would be on Bellevue almost to State, Original Pancake House. All the reliable oldies, a neighborhood favorite. 2) Google "Lettuce Entertain You", a local company that owns and runs a line of good restaurants. There, click on Big Bowl and see if their menu appeals. Two locations (Cedar & State and Ohio & Rush), my go-to for taking visiting family as everyone seems to like the cheery atmosphere and delicious Asian-oriented meals, and I like paying the (reasonable) check. 3)Two breakfast places on East Randolph (just off Michigan) are a) Wildberry and b) the water garden in front of the AON building, down a level from the sidewalk---order whatever from Soprafina and eat outdoors amongst waterfalls and fountains. 4) Water Tower Place (shopping mall at Michigan and Chicago) has a food court totally run by Lettuce Entertain You---kind of hard to find---walk through Macy's or American Doll, to the rear, and go up escalator to Mezzanine level. Also Lettuce has a sit-down restaurant there, Mity Nice Grill. 5) Stroll through Eataly, a mall devoted to Italian food, on Ohio across from Big Bowl, and see what you think. 6) If you get a clear good visibility day, lunch at the Signature Room is fun as it's on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center. Evening dinner there is pricey but the lunch buffet (Mon-Sat) is around $20 (do this instead of the Observation Deck which costs almost the same and you don't get lunch). Walls are glass: need I say more?

Sep 15, 2014
Querencia in Chicago Area

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Today from a Chicago city bus saw the following sign: "Comidas---Menudo y Chop Suey". Am submitting it here to see if it gets one of your flags.

Sep 15, 2014
Querencia in General Topics

"Dirty" recipes that are crowd pleasers

I love this dear old thread and will now add: Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings. Cut two apples into quarters. Wrap each quarter in a Crescent Roll and lay in baking dish. Put 1 cup brown sugar, 1 stick butter, and 1 tsp cinnamon in microwave until melted and pour this over the dumplings. Now pour in a can of Mountain Dew to completely cover and drown the dumplings and bake for about an hour. The dumplings will take up the Mountain Dew except for a little bit that will make a sauce, and the tops will get crispy.

Sep 14, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Putting food on the table. How did your Mom do it?

The last fifty years have brought sea changes in home cooking. 1) Much more awareness (partly from media) of "gourmet" and multi-ethnic cooking---bringing great expectations. 2) A couple of new generations of women socialized to expect fulfillment outside the home in jobs, school, etc---the days when a woman's sense of herself was limited to "my brownies" or "my lemon pie" are gone. 3) A feeling among some that cooking is now an occasional social activity more than a predictable daily duty. 4) Huge advances in food technology, leading to greater availability of processed and prepared foods, freezer, microwave, special appliances. 5) Softening of gender role boundaries.

Sep 14, 2014
Querencia in General Topics

Moving a fridge full of food... HELP?!

This will not be a problem. I have done such a move and am as paranoid about food spoilage as anyone you will ever meet. 1) 30 minutes is nothing. 2 Packed together, cold things will keep each other cold. 3) Newspaper is an amazing insulator. Just get a great big box or styrofoam cooler and pack your cold and frozen food items in it as tight as you can, like doing a jigsaw puzzle, close the box, put the box in the car, pack newspapers around it, and you can even put a blanket or two around it and on top of it. Believe me, everything will stay frozen and cold for 30 minutes (or a couple of hours). Don't try leaving food in the fridge when you move it as items will fly all over the inside and make a mess. Your new fridge will be cold and waiting for you to transfer the items into it. That will leave you free to move the (empty) older fridge, plug it in, and let it get cold before you distribute items the way you want them, between the two refrigerators.

Morning Cakes that Go With Coffee

From some course or other I remember the definition of nonsummativity---"the whole is greater than the sum of its parts"---here is a breakfast cake that illustrates that. I don't usually use cake mixes at all but there is one, Krusteaz Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake, that I add a full pint of blueberries to, making it much better than you'd think. I sprinkle on extra cinnamon and sugar too.

Sep 13, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Do I have to peel and seed tomatoes to make marinara sauce from scratch?

Two things. 1) See Foley Food Mill on amazon, about $ 30 and will make your life much easier if you want to take out peels and seeds. 2) If you do want to peel tomatoes, get out your widest pan and lay a double layer of tomatoes in it then about an inch of water. COVER THE PAN. Bring the water to a boil and promptly remove pan from burner. Leave cover on as you peel one tomato at a time---just slit the skin with a criss-cross cut going north-south and east-west with a serrated paring knife and the whole skin will slide off---the work goes very fast.

Sep 13, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Recipe Suggestions During Kitchen Remodel

You mention refrigerator--- we had the workers move the old fridge into an adjacent room not being rehabbed and used it there until the new one was installed. So take full advantage of whatever freezer space, in advance, by cooking and freezing easy things that the family likes that you just have to zap, and make a salad to go with. I agree with all who said that cleanup is harder than cooking. Use disposable plates, forks etc if you can. Get a big plastic dishpan that will fit into whatever "sink" you are using (laundry, bathroom) and run it full of hot water with detergent so you can wash things well and keep them sanitary as life is going to feel gross for a while. Rinse soapy dishes under running water. Use a rack to let them drain dry---you can set the rack on a tray or big folded towel. In your satellite kitchen, a card table or folding camping table allows these manuevers.

Sep 13, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

What are some low potassium substitutes for tomatoes and dried beans/peas/lentils?

Google USDA Nutrients Database. It gives, in exquisite detail, the information you are looking for---in your case, the Potassium content of every food you can think of so you can choose the ones you are allowed.

Sep 13, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Uses for Corn Relish and/or Chili Sauce?

Grandma-type chili sauce is the perfect relish for meatloaf.

Sep 13, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Cooking for one with limited left overs

I love and share your freezer philosophy. After I was widowed, you would not believe how fast I got bored with Stouffer's. They mean well. They know all the words, but they ain't got the music.

Sep 11, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Cooking for one with limited left overs

15 THINGS TO COOK FOR 1 WITHOUT LEFTOVERS: 1) One chicken breast in the oven with one Idaho or sweet potato. 2) One cup of Stove Top Stuffing Mix, mixed with a little water, in a small baking dish with one chicken breast or one pork chop pressed halfway down into it, baked (can also add a fat slice of onion on top). 3) Two chicken thighs sprinkled with garlic powder and soy sauce, baked. Eat with little package of the rice that gets microwaved. You can also pour half a can of crushed pineapple over chicken before baking. Use up the rest of the pineapple on vanilla ice cream. 4) Brown one pork chop. Pour a small can of sauerkraut over it, cover, and bake. Put a potato in the same oven. 5) Bake a small pork tenderloin. Use 1/3 of it for dinner with a baked sweet potato, 1/3 with bottled BBQ sauce to make a hot sandwich, and 1/3 with corn tortillas, avocado, canned refried beans, lettuce, tomato, and salsa to make a Mexican dinner. 6) Buy a pound of ground lamb. Mix it with salt and garlic powder. Make 4 patties. Wrap 3 of them individually and freeze. Bake the other one for about 30 minutes until meat thermometer indicates 175*. Enjoy very hot with mint jelly and a baked potato. Repeat 3 more times on other nights. 7) Buy thin-sliced deli roast beef. Heat in canned beef gravy. Eat open-faced on white bread a la truck stop diner. 8) Or put same type beef on dinner plate atop slice of buttered bread. Anoint with horseradish. Cover with huge pile of salad. Eat with knife and fork as a cold dinner. 9) Buy a precooked ham steak, cut into suitable portions, wrap extra and freeze---cover one with a slice of pineapple and bake until palatable, along with a sweet potato. 10) Individual portion of salmon filet. Can bake with BBQ sauce or can poach in small skillet. 11) Dredge a catfish filet in bread crumbs. Bake at 425*. 12) Eggs, however you like them. 13) A jar of B&M baked beans with a chunk of ham steak or a couple of frankfurters halfway buried therein, baked. 14) Form ground lamb into a big meatball with salt, mint, dill, garlic, cinnamon. Mix an 8-oz can tomato sauce with a can of water and pour over. Stick chunks of zucchini, onion, and pepper halfway in the sauce. Bake. Eat with microwaved rice. 15) Keep salad things in refrigerator and make chef salads ad lib using lettuce, tomato, artichoke hearts, pickled beets, hearts of palm, cooked shrimp, a cut red onion, green pepper, deli ham and cheese, canned kidney beans or garbanzos, hardboiled eggs.

Sep 11, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Three strands are twisted around together on this thread: 1) The comparative nutritional value of homecooked meals. 2) The standard of elegance and expertise we hold ourselves to---the Martha Stewart factor. 3) The psychological value to children of knowing that a reliable adult is going to feed them.

Sep 10, 2014
Querencia in Food Media & News

Soup pots

I use a huge heavy Vollrath commercial soup pot that I bought years ago at an auction. It never scorches and cleans like a dream.

Sep 09, 2014
Querencia in Cookware

Favorite clean out fridge meals

1) When my children were children, a favorite meal used to be Leftovers Night. I would have frozen the leftovers from many meals, using little aluminum foil pans the size that frozen meat pies come in, or muffin cup size. This was in pre-microwave days so I would put all the little pans, a couple of dozen, on a cookie sheet and heat them in the oven. Everybody got to choose whatever---there would be a portion or two of many things. Nothing creative here but the family found it fun and sort of like the buffet dinner at a party.

2) If you are eating in a Chinese restaurant and there's a little of a dish left but not much, it may not seem worth bringing it home. But. Bring it home and add it to a carton of chicken broth to make Chinese Soup.

Sep 09, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Looking for ideas for a Sunday Supper for 30

Oliver, did you miss that there is a hot meat entree, moussaka, with an accompanying rice dish? The cold buffet is just the first course.

Sep 09, 2014
Querencia in Home Cooking

Need seasonal side dish for a pot luck

Corn Pudding: Put a 2 lb bag of frozen corn (partly thawed) in the food processor and just pulse it on and off to break up the kernels. Beat 3 eggs with 2 cups milk, 1 tsp salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 1/4 cup Bisquick. Stir in the corn and a package of shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350* about 45 minutes or until an inserted table knife comes out clean (like for custard) and the dish is getting golden on top.