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alitria's Profile

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Refried Red Beans

I'd planned to make a big pot of red beans and rice but plans changed. Since I'd already soaked the beans, I went ahead and cooked them. I'm making chile verde tonight and I'm wondering if anyone has every subbed red beans for pintos in their refried beans? Since I wasn't sure what I'd be using them for, I kept seasonings very generic so there's nothing in them I wouldn't use in refried beans. I tried searching online but all of the hits turned out to be for refried kidney beans, not actual small red beans.

Dec 12, 2014
alitria in Home Cooking

Something crispy for a main that I can make ahead

Maybe a crisp autumn coleslaw? Maybe a napa cabbage with fennel and apple? I've seen a number of varieties of that recipe with various veggies, fruits and nuts.

I should add this could be served warm (but not really cooked, or heated just with a warm dressing) or cold, depending on preference and other offerings.

Oct 22, 2014
alitria in Home Cooking

Food Quantities for a Party

I read this as you were having one type of soup that included those ingredients. If that's correct, I'd plan two cups of soup per person. Soup freezes well and people often tend to eat a little more at parties, in my experience, because it's spread out and you're socializing and people continue to slowly munch.

Jan 21, 2014
alitria in Home Cooking

non dairy dessert

How about you work with the restrictions and go for an olive oil cake? They're simple, tasty, you can always add fruit or even whipped cream for those who do dairy but they're good on their own.

Here's an example but you can google olive oil cake for an abundance of recipes:

May 30, 2013
alitria in Home Cooking

First-trimester hounding

Just finished the delights of non-stop sickness not long ago myself. It finally eased halfway into my second trimester. I also had good luck with ginger ale, I had cans and bottles of that and saltines stashed everywhere I could possibly go as well as in my car.

Other things I found helpful:

I'd eat enough carbs to get my stomach somewhat under control then make sure I ate protein. I ate a rather ridiculous amount of cold roasted chicken for three months when no other type of meat was even a possibility. If I could get myself to a place where I could get some protein down, it helped so much.

Lots of cottage cheese and yogurt without much sugar. Anything too sweet would send me running for the bathroom, to the point I could *smell* sugar in food and feel ill.

Refried beans, with or without cheese, on a tortilla if I needed carbs or just plain. Normally, I like spicy stuff, but for three months I ate plain warmed up canned refried beans. This was my lunch many days when nothing else would work. As I began to feel more human, I slowly could add back in more stuff.

Frozen fruit/juice bars

Protein shakes from Costco when I just couldn't face food

Chai, with steamed milk (more sneaky protein) if I could stand it

Bland hummus and crackers, then later baby tomatoes and carrots

Avgolemono soup

Hard fruit candies, especially citrus flavors

Macaroni and cheese

And even though it isn't a food, I finally splurged on the Rainbow Light Prenatal One vitamins. They are food based, so they were easier on my stomach, and they come with plant enzymes and ginger IN them so they have a component to help settle your stomach built in to the vitamin. I took them before bed with a snack of crackers and it's the only way I could keep ANY sort of vitamin down.

May 08, 2012
alitria in General Topics

What should I do with cube steak?

Sticky rice, cube steak or hamburger patties and fried egg, topped with brown gravy. I got hooked in Hawaii and have continued to make it on my own ever since.

Feb 17, 2012
alitria in Home Cooking

Buttermilk pie? Sugar pie?

We used to always have lemon chess pie that was essentially the same as a chess pie but not as sweet and my grandmother would brown the top for a lovely crispness.

Feb 16, 2012
alitria in Home Cooking

Buffalo Wings - Let's do Something Different

I dip mine in flour or rice flour and bake them in the over on 375 until they're nice and crispy. Baking them on parchment paper really helps. While the wings are baking, I make a sauce on the stove top. I don't really measure, but I'll take my best guess about how much of everything I use.

1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine
1/2 to 1 cup sweet chili sauce/chili sauce
extra Korean red pepper powder or dried red chili flakes
sesame oil (couple tablespoons)
bit of brown sugar

Cook it all down until it's mixed and it has a nice thick consistency.

Toss the wings in the sauce and cover liberally with sesame seeds and fresh cilantro. I always adjust this to different proportions of sweet and spicy depending upon who will be eating. It also makes a great dinner with some sticky rice.

Jan 30, 2012
alitria in Home Cooking

What should I do with cube steak?

It's so cheap at my market that I use it to make Loco Moco when we're craving comfort food.

Jan 30, 2012
alitria in Home Cooking

School Has Started!! Autumn Has Arrived! And I've Got 31 REALLY Hungry Guys to Cook For!

Nothing like a big bowl of gumbo and plenty of rice to fill up hungry crowds! I have a college age cousin in Oklahoma who calls when he's coming home to schedule gumbo night at my house.

Also, when (if) you have a chance, I'd love to hear about that buffalo wing soup! I do chili, taco soup, etc and love a good spicy bowl of soup on cold nights. You can never have too many options!

Jan 16, 2012
alitria in Home Cooking

School Has Started!! Autumn Has Arrived! And I've Got 31 REALLY Hungry Guys to Cook For!

I just came across this and I'm loving it! I've cooked for large groups of high school students and in my experience, for sheer appreciation there are few groups for gratifying to serve than young men. I also cook for smaller "large" groups of 8-10 guys when my husband hosts gaming night.

It sounds like you've already gotten plenty of ideas, but perhaps a pulled chicken/pulled pork night? A friend of mine introduced us to "hot wing" chicken sandwiches. Chicken pieces cooked in buffalo sauce and served on buns with glue cheese and carrot/celery sticks on the side. Very simple but delicious. Dirty rice is another stick to the ribs favorite from my southern childhood. My mom made a simplified version using ground beef but tvp would work easily for a veg option. I've also done rolled and stuffed burritos baked "wet" with chili sauce. Delicious with rice. I do traditional red rice but I LOVE a arroz verde and find it's perfect for using up all the odds and ends of green bits in my kitchen. I have added things like beet and radish greens for a nice extra flavor. If you serve it mixed with beans and corn, it's a full meal for the veg students and you can serve a meat dish on the side. For a change from pasta, I love a good polenta lasagne. Gumbo is another dish I often make for a crowd and will cook meat on the side to toss in if I'm serving a diverse group. A nice smoked veg sausage would be perfect for everyone. I hate making enchiladas for a huge group, but stacked enchiladas hit the same flavor notes are are far simpler to assemble. Also, like lasagne, they're delicious for a late night snack or lunch the next day. Thai red curry with sweet potato or kombucha is also a simple option for groups and so delicious.

I'm sort of jealous of your job, sounds like it's incredible fun and usually pretty rewarding!

Jan 16, 2012
alitria in Home Cooking

which island has the best food / cocktial (tiki) bars

LOVE La Mariana. Nearly impossible to find and well worth the search. I spent an entire afternoon there this summer on my honeymoon. Maybe it's not the BEST food or the BEST drinks on the island, but for sheer tiki bar kitsch it cannot be missed.

Jan 13, 2012
alitria in Hawaii

What Is the Hottest Hot Sauce You've Ever Tasted?

I've eaten some hot food but most recently I have clear and painful memories of the guy who owns my local pho place bringing me a small container of the hot sauce he'd just been making to try out. He knows I enjoy spice so I took a taste. I think I might have cried. When I asked him what type of chili it was he said he didn't know, but his Vietnamese mom grows them and she mailed him some. He said it wasn't one of the chilis he knew, so maybe some sort of hybrid she'd gotten hold of locally. Whatever it was, it was hot. However, it did still have a flavor so I'm sure it wouldn't compete with some commercially available sauces. He gave me a tiny to-go container and I've been using microscopic portions of it in my food. It really is delicious.

Jan 09, 2012
alitria in General Topics

Drinking with a straw..

I drink out of a straw because my teeth are sensitive to temperature. I use them out and at home and I am more likely to drink something warm with no straw than something very cold. However, since I loved iced tea and water with lots of ice, I use straws most of the time.

Jan 08, 2012
alitria in General Topics

Beans for breakfast

I love refried beans, scrambled or fried eggs, good salsa and some cheese for breakfast. If I'm feeling indulgent, I'll add some fresh avocado. One of my favorite breakfasts and keeps you full all morning. I got hooked when I was living in San Diego, unfortunately I can't yet convince my husband that beans and eggs are a breakfast food.

Jan 04, 2012
alitria in Home Cooking

About to go Vegan - need cookbook advice!

I swear by Appetite for Reduction (also by Moskowitz) and I'm not vegan. It's lower fat/lower calorie type stuff, but honestly, I bought the book because the food was really tasty. Got the book from the library when I was trying to find some lighter recipes and decided I needed it because the food just plain tasted good.

Dec 28, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

What will/did you have for Christmas dinner?

We had quite the feast at my parent's house yesterday for the extended family. Cheese, crackers, veggies, and shrimp to start. Then we moved on to prime rib and ham, german potato salad (with extra vinegar and bacon), yams, roasted brussel sprouts with olive oil and garlic, corn casserole and green bean casserole (my aunt makes these every year), fresh rolls, and cranberry sauce. For dessert there was key lime cheesecake with fresh whipped cream, chocolate cream pie, pecan pie, and an assortment of cookies, candies, brownies, etc contributed by various family members. Keep in mind, this is for about 20 people and everyone expects leftovers!

Dec 26, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

How do you pronounce 'bruschetta'?

Thank You.

I cook frequently, read often, and am always eager to learn more about the world around me. However, as someone who is self-taught and from a family and region of the US where frozen burritos and grocery store Chinese food were the extent of cultural exploration I'm sure I have mangled many words in my time. I'm one of those people who spent plenty of time mispronouncing bruschetta because I read a recipe for it long before I heard anyone pronounce it correctly.

This, to me, is an argument that is far more about class than it is about food.

Dec 06, 2011
alitria in Not About Food

Cookbook recommendation for a REAL beginner. I mean, a REAL beginner.

This gives me a (little) bit of hope for my husband. I don't mind doing the majority of the cooking but it would be lovely if he were willing to master a few simple dishes for nights I can't cook.

Dec 01, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

Wine like Lambic

Pasek Cellars, in Washington, has a number of fruity wines that are quite good. Definitely still sweet (but so is lambic) but with some bite. We had the cranberry wine on Thanksgiving and there was definitely still the pucker factor I assosciate with cranberry. The Pasek fruit wines are probably not as "sophisticated" as many other wines, but sometimes I enjoy sweeter and fruiter flavors as well. Still, something that tastes JUST sweet it too much for me. I also just finished off a bottle of Gewurztraminer from Eagle Creek Winery (2008) that had a really rich fruity taste but was still definitely wine.

I should add the disclaimer that, while I enjoy drinking wines, I'm not especially knowledgable and I'm limited in budget so this is pretty much the opposite of an expert opinion.

Dec 01, 2011
alitria in Wine

Cookbook recommendation for a REAL beginner. I mean, a REAL beginner.

I was going to suggest this myself. It's not gourmet food, but it does cover some simple and basic meals using very basic ingredients (with pictures of the ingredients), simple steps like "stir" or "combine" and is the kind of cookbook I can imagine that even my husband would use. Since I (sort of) jokingly refered to the kitchen as "the room where the frozen pizza comes from" before I moved in, I feel like it's a realistic approach.

In a perfect world, there would be plenty of fresh veggies and simple but delicious food. In the real world, creating some functional meals from frozen foods and some canned staples is a much more realistic outcome.

Nov 30, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

Why would I use white vinegar?

For holidays, my mom or I always make German Potato Salad. I've tried tweaking the recipe but nothing is as good as my great-grandmother's recipe that calls for white vinegar.

Nov 21, 2011
alitria in General Topics

Your most requested recipe from Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners

We had it when I was a kid, but it was just a traditional cornbread stuffing recipe with minced oysters mixed into the stuffing. My mother has since developed life threatening food allergies, so it's not making much of an appearance these days. However, we still do a cornbread stuffing and just leave out the oysters.

Nov 09, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

How do you pronounce "praline"?

+1 from Tennessee (Memphis)

Nov 01, 2011
alitria in Not About Food

Non-dairy mashed potatoes

I've done the same thing for severe dairy allergies and no one could tell the difference. Very tasty.

Oct 30, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

Anyone Else Planning for Thanksgiving Already?

If it's not too much trouble, I'd be very interested in the recipe for the Pumpkin Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting.

Oct 30, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

Favorite "make on weekend, eat during the week", meals

I've done a bag of chicken thighs I leave soaking in the fridge for a couple of days with soy, red chili, and a can of pineapple. I just throw them on a baking sheet while I steam rice and a veggie. If I'm feeling fancy I sprinkle sesame seed and cilantro on top when I serve.

I've also made a sort of fake stroganoff in the slow cooker. I leave beef stew meat, plenty of mushrooms, wine or beer (whatever I need to use) and various spices. Just before serving, I usually mix in a little low fat sour cream.

I love chicken in the slow cooker with black beans, tomatoes, green chilis, corn, etc. I've used various things and then serve with rice or tortillas, depending upon how much energy I have. In this same vein, enchilladas and chili verde are both good.

Oct 30, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

What to serve with French Dip sandwiches?

You could always do a mixture of roasted veggies or a salad if you want a veggie side. A cup of tomato soup might be good as well.

Oct 30, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

Gluten Free Meatloaf

You can use gluten free crackers, breadcrumbs from gluten free bread, or GF oats. Not sure you the flour would work, but GF meatloaf in general can definitely be done.

Sep 01, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking

I'll never make THAT again!

I don't know, but I've thought it before as well.

Sometimes, the idea that "everything homemade is better" combines with "I love a cooking challenge" in my brain to produce something fantastic that I want to keep picture of in my wallet and mail out in Christmas cards.

And sometimes, well, there is an exception to every rule and I sometimes joke that I do my part by finding it, so others don't have to... Sometimes I should accept the fact that there are times that an industrial kitchen and large staff are going to outdo my decent home kitchen and profound stubborn streak. (But not many, darn it!)

Aug 28, 2011
alitria in Home Cooking