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Isolda's Profile

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Raw Garlic - How Do People Do It?

Raw garlic is potent. I remember spending some time at the Gilroy Garlic Festival when the kids were little, and eating everything from pasta to garlic ice cream. When we got back in the car the next morning, the upholstery still reeked from our breath the previous day.

Apr 08, 2014
Isolda in General Topics
1

Foods Without Enemies

Yes, they do still make "circus peanuts." They taste like nail polish, but for some reason, I can eat them. Ditto for candy corn, but only at Halloween. And yet if you serve me a rich, homemade dessert that is too sweet, I'll gag. Lots of sugar combined with lots of fat is just gross to me but plain ol' sugar by itself is fine.

Apr 05, 2014
Isolda in General Topics
1

Foods Without Enemies

Sorry, Nonnie, but I hate cinnamon rolls. I don't know why. I've made them myself for other people, but I didn't even like those. It's inexplicable, really. I like homemade bread, sugar, cinnamon and butter. I even like cinnamon toast. I guess there's just some unmagical chemistry with an actual cinnamon roll.

Apr 05, 2014
Isolda in General Topics

How often do you drink alcoholic drinks?

I guess I'd rather hurt my liver a little than live in a beige apartment. I do have cats, though. Uh oh.

Apr 05, 2014
Isolda in General Topics

How often do you drink alcoholic drinks?

Monica, my husband and I do the same thing. We drink wine daily. But he is 6'1" and 160, while I am 5'5" and 115, so yeah, that's probably too much for me and just about right for him.

Apr 05, 2014
Isolda in General Topics

Why can't I find halloumi cheese anywhere?

Do you know if you can fry or grill queso de freir without it melting? And does it have that awesome tooth squeak when you eat it?

Apr 04, 2014
Isolda in Greater Boston Area

Why can't I find halloumi cheese anywhere?

Thanks for the great recs. I went to Arax and Sevan, bought a ton of halloumi, as well as a bunch of other yummy stuff (Turkish delight, bread, pastries, lahmacun, etc.) I did not need, so now I hate you.

The good news is that they're just far enough to not become a habit.

Apr 04, 2014
Isolda in Greater Boston Area
1

Why can't I find halloumi cheese anywhere?

I've been to 3 Whole Foods (Bedford, Woburn/Winchester, Arlington), Stop and Shop (the crappy one in Lexington), and Market Basket (Burlington), all places where I've bought it many times before. The cheese counter guy at one of the WFs told me there was some sort of milk recall, but they had other cheeses from Cyprus.

Anyone have any insight or, better yet, a place that has halloumi?

Mar 28, 2014
Isolda in Greater Boston Area

Waffles keep sticking? Waring Pro

Heat it for a lot longer before oiling it. Then close and heat again before adding the batter.

If that doesn't work, the oil itself may be the problem. The spray kind has additives that can make a pan sticky over time. If this is the case, you may have to thoroughly clean your waffle iron, then season it again.

I have a nonstick waffle iron and I never need to oil it. I just add a few tbsp. of oil to the batter and it never sticks. I've had it for 18-20 years.

Mar 22, 2014
Isolda in Cookware

Why are expensive fresh herbs used in most recipes?

I often substitute dried for fresh (except for parsley, mint, basil and cilantro), especially in the winter. I also dry some of the herbs I grow in the summer and then stuff them into empty dried herb jars, and use them until they run out. You could do the same with the fresh herbs you buy at the market so they won't go to waste if you don't plan to use them up quickly.

Mar 22, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

How do you feel about dogs in the grocery cart?

This wouldn't bother me. Supermarkets and food warehouses are generally disgustingly dirty, and a dog, baby, or sneezing shopper just add to the mix of rodent droppings, insects, raw meat juice, and plain old dirt.

Just wipe down the cart if you're worried about it, and always wash your cans before opening them.

Mar 19, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food
2

What To Do With Tons of Breadcrumbs

Medieval gingerbread: boil the bread crumbs in honey and ground ginger until they soften. Cool and roll into balls. At Christmas, we roll these in powdered sugar and serve them on cookie trays. People love them. These freeze well and you can use them to thicken soups and stews.

Mar 14, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Weight Loss Eating At McDonalds

If my diet was that monotonous, I'd lose weight, too.

Mar 14, 2014
Isolda in Chains
1

Why do people go to All-You-Can-Eat Buffets?

We had one of those in Boston (Country Life or something like that) and it was very good. I never knew exactly what I was eating and it was definitely loaded with plant fats, but most people I brought there really liked it.

Mar 05, 2014
Isolda in General Topics

Why do people go to All-You-Can-Eat Buffets?

I don't usually eat enough to justify paying for an AYCE buffet. I especially hate the fancy $40 brunch buffets because I just can't eat $40 worth of eggs, sausage and smoked salmon at 11 in the morning. However, when I have no choice (dining with picky people, need variety to suit everyone, or there's nothing else), I will eat at an AYCE place. I don't usually eat much more than I would in a regular restaurant.

That said, one of the best meals I ever had was at an AYCE buffet at Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge. They had a massive buffet with boring beige American fried crap (for the picky kid) plus a lot of really interesting dishes from various African countries. I tried bobotie for the first time there, and it remains among my favorite dishes.

Mar 05, 2014
Isolda in General Topics

Worth feeding squirrels peanuts if all they do is bury them?

Funniest post I've read today! Thanks for the laugh!

Mar 05, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food

Food from childhood you cannot eat

American "cheese"
Bologna
Vienna sausage and mayo sandwiches
Sugary cereals

Feb 26, 2014
Isolda in General Topics
1

Avocados in desserts

I'll throw an avocado into key lime pie. You need to blend it very thoroughly first so the filling isn't stringy.

Feb 26, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Banoffe Pie -- who's made it and has a great recipe?

This is how I make it, too. I also put a lid on my pot to reduce evaporation. The cans must be submerged the whole time, so adding water is a must if the water level starts to drop.

Feb 25, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Advice from Those Who Have to Those Who Haven't...

As you can see from these replies, B&Bs are not for everyone. If you: like older homes; don't mind quirky plumbing or drafty windows; like or at least don't dislike socializing at breakfast; and enjoy meeting people on your travels, then you might enjoy a B&B.

If, however, you: are a person with allergies or celiac disease or are just a picky eater; prefer not to talk to people in your hotel; are traveling with younger children; want everything to be standard (beds, rooms, amenities, etc.), then you're probably better of at a hotel.

We stayed at B&Bs all the time before we had kids, but then found that either they were too expensive (the sleeping arrangements usually required two rooms) or they didn't take kids under 12, so we went through a hotel phase for a while. Now that one is out of the house and the other is a junior in high school, we're back to looking for a B&B first, and then hotels when a B&B is too expensive or unavailable.

We especially love the ones where people are allowed to bring their dogs, or where the owners have resident pets. We avoid the ones where there are shared baths. Hate that!

Feb 24, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food
2

Receiving expired food as a gift

I wouldn't own this problem on anyone's behalf. By this I mean that if she wants to give them to others, that is between her and the recipient. If she gives them to you, you can decide what to do with them. I don't think this needs to be handled at all.

Some people are just weird about giving and there's nothing anyone can do.

Feb 19, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food

What do you think about 51 Lincoln's new manifesto?

This reminds me a lot of the B and B owner in Nova Scotia who bragged on her website about her hospitality, then made us take off our shoes outside on the porch and wouldn't let us roll our suitcases on her floors. My take on anyone like this is that control freaks shouldn't be in hte hospitality business.

Feb 18, 2014
Isolda in Greater Boston Area
1

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay - February 2014! [OLD]

We use those in fish tacos, too. A hit with the whole family.

Feb 10, 2014
Isolda in Chains

Mice in apartment

Since they are only on the ground floor, you can probably solve this by having the landlord call an exterminator to put "Rock Cafes" around the outside of your building (and maybe in the basement). These are plastic domes that contain a poison that the mice eat and carry back to the nest with them, where it kills the whole family. We never had a mouse again after these things were installed.

Feb 06, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food

Recent cooking fails?

I have come to the conclusion that crockpots should only be used for keeping foods warm, not cooking them.

Feb 06, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Recent cooking fails?

My Christmas fudge was horrible. I cheated and used the recipe on the Fluff container, which is supposedly fool-proof. It isn't, 'cuz this fool overcooked it. I had a slab so hard I had to throw it on the ground (in a plastic bag) and pound it to get it to break into pieces. My family thought it was delicious. I thought it was nauseatingly sweet.

Next time, I'll make it from scratch using a candy thermometer.

Feb 06, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Pet Peeve: Servers Who Sneer at What You Want

I've never been sneered at for a food choice, but I did once get a snippy waiter who replied, "Most of our customers know what they want" when I asked for a wine recommendation to go with the meal I'd ordered. My husband replied, "So you don't know the wines on the list either, huh?"

Jan 28, 2014
Isolda in Features
7

Looking for a fennel substitute OR what to do with a lot of smoked salmon

Oops, I missed this, too. Next time, cut into manageable portions and only defrost one at a time.

For today, maybe invite some friends for an impromptu cocktail party?

Jan 28, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Looking for a fennel substitute OR what to do with a lot of smoked salmon

Smoked salmon freezes very well. Just use the portion you want to use today, then cut the rest into reasonable portions and freeze them individually.

For today's fattening-as-hell, but delicious, dinner: Saute some finely diced onion in a little butter, stir in a block of cream cheese, a dash or three of hot sauce, and let the cream cheese melt. Stir in your chopped smoked salmon, plus a small handful of capers and toss with pasta. You can thin the sauce with cream or a bit of your pasta cooking water if you think it's too heavy.

Go for a long run tomorrow.

Jan 28, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Are we allowed to share horrible, completely unredeemable experiences here?

This is so over-the-top weird that I don't think it matters whether you paid or did not pay for your order. What matters is that the owner looked up your address and came to your house, demanding payment. This makes him a stalker and a creep. I would be very nervous if someone like that knew where I lived.

Jan 28, 2014
Isolda in Austin