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Querencia's Profile

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Lost Cheesecake Repice

I googled Smoked Salmon Savory Cheesecake a several hits came up starting with Emeril. Take a look and see if one of them is it.

1 day ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

old china and porcelain dishes..safe in microwave?

Stand right there and watch it the first time. I have had decorative stuff on the sides of a casserole catch fire (metallic paint of some kind).

1 day ago
Querencia in Cookware

"Country club casual" dress code. What is it?

In the US a country club is a golf club with private membership. It may also have tennis and swimming facilities. Dress would be informal but neat and traditional (sports shirt with collar, not T-shirt, no coat and tie necessary for men) but not hippie style. Conservative shorts OK at breakfast and lunch but long khaki pants later in the day. No bathing suits in the dining room.

Shoes, who knows. I have a friend who got turned away from a restaurant that enforced a "No tennis shoes" rule even when she pointed out that her shoes were $250 Mephistos. Last week I took guests to a "No tennis shoes" place so we were all scrupulous about wearing leather shoes and half the people there were wearing sneakers.

1 day ago
Querencia in Not About Food

What to cook in rented beach house Labor Day weekend?

From bitter experience: in a rented holiday place, do not plan what you are going to cook until you see what equipment is actually there. (No point planning pasta unless you've got a large pot and some way to strain it out of the water.)If at all possible, try to eyeball your facilities before food shopping. And while you are checking out the refrigerator, review the ice cube situation---you may want to pick up a bag when you shop if all you have are two small trays full of cubes of questionable vintage.

Leftover/reuse chicken nuggets/strips recipe ideas

I love the name of your casserole. I do something similar with leftover stuffing (or Stove Top), leftover turkey, and gravy at Thanksgiving, which makes a treasure of a dinner to find in the freezer about a month later when you're busy before Christmas. Hadn't thought of the green beans and soup. They do add a certain Yee-Hah je ne sais quoi......

1 day ago
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

Leftover/reuse chicken nuggets/strips recipe ideas

Any cooked meat that is dry and boring can be reworked in barbecue sauce. Any cooked meat that is too tough can be reworked in barbecue sauce in a slow cooker. I can't think how to do that without tomato sauce but you may have a favorite recipe---I would use canned tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, garlic, a little cinnamon and clove, a chopped onion, a chopped green pepper if you like, a little steak sauce, hot chili pepper if you like. Pretty much anything goes so you might improvise sans tomato sauce. If you are re-running chicken nuggets you might want to slice them. Provide hamburger buns.

1 day ago
Querencia in Home Cooking

Sketchy Stuff We Resort To In Kitchens

My mother used to tell of a woman who had a maid serving dinner to guests when the chicken fell on the floor. The hostess never missed a beat. "That's all right, Maria," she said, "just bring out the other chicken." (Get it? There was no other chicken.)

The Most Amazingly Delicious Appetizer/Drinks Absorber

1. An attractive baked ham
2. A sharp knife
3. A basket of small rolls cut not quite through
4. An assortment of mustards

Let each guest carve a bit of ham and make himself little two-bite-size ham sandwiches. This always wins the popularity prize over fussy "made" appetizers.

A bakery will supply the rolls if you order ahead--request cocktail size.

Aug 28, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Rustic garden party ideas needed

If children are attending, and if some of the organizers have children, could the hosting children run a (free) lemonade stand to serve the guest children? Pretzels are pretty rustic, to go with, and easy for kids to handle.

Aug 28, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

Recipes to recycle dry fried chicken?

Country Captain. Find a recipe online or make a sauce with tomatoes and green peppers, add a little curry powder, pour over the dry fried chicken, cover, and bake. To serve, sprinkle with currants and almonds and have rice nearby.

Aug 26, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Flour Tortillas - What do You do With Them ?

Fake Peking Duck: Chicken meat, scallions, and Hoisin sauce rolled up in flour tortillas.

Aug 25, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking
1

Brownie Mix Contest--Ideas!!!

1. Make any brownies. Add walnuts if you like. 2) Soon after they come out of the oven, pour this fudge glaze over: In saucepan put 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup butter. Bring to boil and boil 1 minute by the clock. Remove from burner and dump in 1 cup chocolate chips. Whisk until all is melted and smooth then immediately pour over the brownies. It sets up as it cools.

Aug 25, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Ideas for planned leftovers/make ahead meals

If you have the freezer space, just about anything is possible. On weekends, cook what makes a lot and freeze dinner-size or individual portions (lasagna, moussaka, slices of beef potroast in gravy, many chicken dishes in gravy, chili, curried beef or chicken, pasta casseroles, chicken or pork chops baked with stuffing, (entrees) and also some vegetables and other sides). Write up a plan for teenagers and Dad to follow---if you aren't getting home until 7 and a responsible person age 15 or older is at home by, say, 5, that person can take an item from the freezer and put it in the oven, set the table, and make the salad. That's if family dinner is even possible---kids may be too hungry to wait if they do after-school sports. In that case, focus on individual portions, frozen. I once froze all dinners for 10 weeks when I was going to be away going to school. I hope you have a big freezer.

Ice Cream: Best Bang (Density) for Buck

I can't really answer your question but am impressed this summer with Graeter's ice cream which is made in 2 1/2 gallon batches using actual cream, milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla bean, plus a thickening agent. 16 grams fat per 1/2 cup. The package feels heavy in my hand. I don't suppose my coronary arteries like it, but I do. It ain't cheap.

what do you think?

Regarding going to the top of the John Hancock for food or drink---the view is wonderful, I have no experience with the cocktail lounge, and I have not been to the lunch buffet in years, but last week I took guests to the Sunday brunch there (Signature Room) and the food was so awful that I was embarrassed. I could not believe how it has gone down.

Aug 24, 2015
Querencia in Chicago Area

Portable Christmas Dinner

**I would roast a very large turkey, or a couple of turkeys, and take a lot of sandwich buns and various sauces so people could carve their own turkey (all will not be eating at the same time---depending on the flow of patients this meal could go on for hours as ER workers are freed up) and make sandwiches. Cold relishes to go with (celery, cherry tomatoes etc), potato chips, and lots of portable desserty things (Christmas cookies, brownies, fruitcake bits). See ahead of time what the drink situation there will be---will you be making lots of coffee or should you bring canned drinks? Also, scope out the serving logistics. I should imagine you will be working out of their break room, which may not be very big, and 40 is a lot of people even if they trickle in a few at a time.

Steakhouse w/Prix Fixe menu

http://www.fogodechao.com/

A solution to your problem would be a Brazilian steakhouse---look at Fogo de Chao, located in midtown Manhattan. At lunch the cost is prix fixe $39.50 for all the beef you can eat, without limit. First you go to a gorgeous salad bar that you could live on for a week, then waiters bring a steady parade of a dozen cuts of grilled beef, plus grilled pork, lamb, and chicken, to your table until you beg them to stop, not to mention side dishes. I put up the link so you can see pictures of the meat they offer but it keeps disappearing. If it doesn't go up, just google "Fogo de Chao".

Aug 23, 2015
Querencia in Manhattan

Canned cherries?

Re tart cherries: bring to a boil with a little sugar and thicken with a spoonful or two of cornstarch dissolved in cold water. As soon as the mixture returns to a boil, the cornstarch is cooked. This hot cherry sauce is ace on French toast, pancakes, or waffles (even Eggo). So good. If you do this with canned cherries you will already have some liquid. If using fresh or frozen cherries, add a little water.

This is also works well with fresh or frozen strawberes or blueberries or sliced peaches.

Aug 23, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Blender salsa...Do I need to skin the tomatoes?

I would skin them and it is painless to do it this way---put tomatoes in a pan with an inch or so of water and set on stove. Before the water actually boils, enough heat and steam will have loosened the skins on the tomatoes that you can remove the pan from the fire, slit skin with a serrated paring knife, and they will slip off like a glove.

Aug 23, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Dinner and a movie

"Babette's Feast" and Quail en Sarcophage. You could use Rock Cornish hens instead of quail, stuff them with something less expensive than black truffle, and, absent a turtle, fake the turtle soup.

"Tortilla Soup" with any nice big multi-course Mexican meal.

Probably not: "Silence of the Lambs" with liver and fava beans.

Probably not either: "Sweeney Todd" with meat pies.

Aug 21, 2015
Querencia in General Topics

Food prep for the new baby

With him gone for such a stretch of time and liking breakfast, would it make sense to have breakfast be your big meal together, around 10 AM? Does he eat eggs? You will need protein if you are making milk so that's an argument for eggs. If breakfast would work as THE meal together, no doubt CH could help you think of quick but substantial breakfasts.

Aug 21, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Food prep for the new baby

As an elderly widow who prefers home cooking I freeze individual portions all the time. You can make lasagna or moussaka in a 9 x 12 pan, chill it to get it as stiff as possible, then cut it in 12 squares. Using a pancake turner, lift a square onto a big piece of plastic wrap and wrap it securely, label it, then put it in a plastic sandwich bag and seal with tape. Stuffed peppers can be frozen the same way. I use 8-oz plastic tubs that other foods came in (ricotta, cheese spread, sour cream) to freeze pasta with sauce, chicken a la king, slices of beef potroast with gravy, roast pork tenderloin with sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes mashed with crushed pineapple, cauliflower in cheese sauce, curried spinach, curried rice, etc etc. Soups (minestrone, split pea, tortellini, chicken noodle) freeze in pint plastic boxes with lid. Do you live where you have a Trader Joe's? Do you live where you can get frozen peirogis? Will you be nursing the baby?

Aug 21, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Yet another request for lunch ideas (but a little different)

Tabbouleh. Deviled eggs. Cheese & crackers. Hummos & crackers. Hummos & pita. Gazpacho in a thermos. Egg & olive sandwich (chopped hb egg with mayo & stuffed olives on whole wheat bread, lettuce on the side to add). A bag of salad things and a container of whatever you like, cottage cheese or yogurt or salad dressing, and a cut pita, then on the site mix all and stuff the salad into the pita. Pasta salads (try shredded chicken breast marinated in soy sauce & garlic then mixed with cooked pasta, scallions, pineapple chunks, cashew nuts, a touch of red pepper).

Aug 20, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Need dessert idea

If you want to stay French you can always make meringues and put them together with ice cream or whipped cream eg meringue glace' or meringue Chantilly with or without fruit or sauce added.
But this would be quicker: red raspberries are in season and go well with chocolate. Last week I served this dessert: a fudge-y chocolate brownie sitting in a puddle of raspberry sauce with a few big raspberries for garnish and a small glop of vanilla ice cream on top. Raspberry sauce: I ran a pint of raspberries through the food processor with 1/4 cup of sugar. Would have added a little Chambord if I'd had any on hand. I froze this ahead of time, thawed it out when I needed it.

OR a really pretty fresh fruit salad. Can you get fresh figs? They are sensuous(and Provencale). Cut them in half and set them up prettily with other fruits on small dessert plates.

Aug 19, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

food processor or grinder?

Just watch your processor like a hawk---things happen in nanoseconds---and you can get a consistency not that different from grinding, with a lot less mess and work. Think of what you want as chopping rather than processing, which makes a person think of pureeing.

Aug 18, 2015
Querencia in Home Cooking

Repurposing leftovers

Re your one-day-a-week plan: years ago when my children were growing up and microwaves were in the future, I used to freeze whatever was left from dinner (three slices of meatloaf in gravy, a portion of mashed potatoes, a portion of green beans, whatever, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, two portions of chicken, two rolls of stuffed cabbage, one pork chop, etc) in the small foil pans that little chicken pies came in. When I had enough to make a dinner, I would heat them all on a cookie sheet, in the oven, and everyone would choose his favorites. Much horse-trading went on. After the children were grown they remembered Leftover Night as their favorite meal.

Repurposing leftovers

1) I read an article once claiming that children will eat any leftovers (meatloaf, roast chicken, pork chops etc) if you turn them into pizza. 2) Leftover beef stew makes a good beef pie if you put a crust on it and bake it. I was blessed with a family that adores leftovers so I haven't had to disguise them and can be obvious eg leftover Thanksgiving turkey sliced on top of leftover dressing and topped with leftover gravy, a combo which, if you freeze it and then retrieve it about December 15 on a night when you are busy getting ready for Christmas, is lovely to discover in the freezer.

SPAM

Personally I don't care for it but I have noticed that a) SPAM has its enamored partisans and b) in Hawaii it is considered manna. The only recipe I have ever read (probably on CH) that sounded halfway decent was baked like a ham with rings of canned pineapple and a glaze of brown sugar and mustard.

Aug 17, 2015
Querencia in General Topics

Chicago locals - where do you go to eat in the city?

I feel sad when I see visitors sticking just to downtown and eating at the Cheesecake Factory because it's there---we are a big city with interesting (safe) neighborhoods that are like going abroad without a passport and it is VERY EASY to get to them on the CTA: do not be intimidated. Nxstasy has already mentioned Devon Avenue. From downtown take the Red Line subway (runs under State Street) direction Howard. Get off at Loyola (university is across the street---busy safe area). Wait in front of CTA station for 155 Devon bus---ask driver to call Western Avenue. Only a 10-minute ride but not an interesting walk. Get off at Western and keep strolling in the same direction you were traveling---you will instantly be in Mumbai or Lahore with dozens and dozens of restaurants, sweets shops, stores selling saris and lovely gold jewelry, gifts, Hindu religious objects etc. Many restaurants have an all-you-can-eat lunch. Reasonable prices, great food.

For the Vietnamese area mentioned, take the Red Line to Argyle. Restaurants, groceries, and other shops are on Argyle between Broadway and N Sheridan with lots of spill-over on Broadway south of Argyle. Thai as well as Vietnamese.

Chinatown has its own stop on the Red Line, just south of the Loop.

One more, and a winner---an all-you-can-eat Polish smorgasbord. From Loop, take #56 Milwaukee bus (Madison at Wabash) traveling west. Ask driver to call Hamlin (30 minutes). You will get off right in front of the Red Apple in an old Polish neighborhood called Avondale. Red Apple = all the food in the world for <$12 (it has a website).

Chicago is very much a city of neighborhoods and of immigrants. Put these two together and you can't miss finding good food.

Aug 15, 2015
Querencia in Chicago Area

What tools, ingredients, etc. should I bring to a beach house rental?

Serrated paring knife and reliable hand can opener can go anywhere. Corkscrew if you will be drinking wine. If driving, a slow cooker is nice because you can have dinner waiting for you after a day out (especially valuable in presence of hungry children). If going to another country, take some plastic bags for storage as quality varies. One's favorite teabags or coffee are nice. Even if circumstances tempt you to hit the supermarket on the way in, eyeball your kitchen before you shop to estimate freezer space and type of pots available eg big enough to cook pasta and is there a colander to drain it. Depends hugely on where you are headed (I recall a self-catering flat in London so poorly equipped that I had to find the local thrift shop before I could cook). I have carried a small can of minced clams to many lands because with a potato, an onion, and some milk I have clam chowder, anywhere. A tiny plastic bag of raisins and a little cumin and if I can find ground beef, an onion, tomato sauce, and a jar of olives I have picadillo. Less of a scrounge in the US or big-deal Western countries. Also, a decent scouring pad for cleanup.