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Whatever happened to...Tony's on 45th?

Back in college days (aboout 13 years ago) a friend and I met every other week or so at a place called Tony's, it was on 45th, right up the block from an old high school. Tony's was a tiny place, in an old house with maybe a dozen table tops. It was an Italian place, though I hate to call it that because it was so much more. He served some amazing handmade pasta dishes, local, fresh indredients, etc. My favorites were his Ligurian pasta and fazzoleta di seta (not sure if the spelling is right on that), eggplant fingers with roasted red pepper and olive tapenade, and his little oranges (arborio rice around fontina, breaded and fried). I never had anything there that was less than divine. Anyone else remember the place or know what happened to Tony? I moved out of the area about 8 years ago and when we came back later looking for the place, Tony's was no more. I ate there too many times to think I dreamed it. But a place that good still haunts my dreams.

Anyone else have a favorite, that alas, is no more?

Sep 18, 2008
mamapajama in Pacific Northwest

How to boost coffee flavor in homemade ice cream?

I'd go with instant espresso powder, or quad strength espresso shots, subbed for some of the liquid. When I'm using instant espresso granules, I dissolve them in the vanilla. It makes a thick syrup-like goo that I add to whatever recipe I'm using. Works pretty well. I'm guessing that the instant coffee flavor is just not robust enough to stand up to freezing.

Sep 18, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

MAMAPAJAMA - I would like your help with Custom Diabetic Recipes!

Hi there.  At our house we focus on quality protein, fresh veggies of a low carb nature.  If I can't tell my husband how many carbs a serving has, he won't eat it.  So I've invested in a couple of tools.  One is a scale so I can weigh ingredients and portions.  I found 5 pound scale at target with a removable stainless bowl that has worked well for us.  I have a few low carb cook books that have been very helpful for ideas and ingredient proportions.  Dana Carpender has published a couple that I think are pretty good.  She avoids a lot of "frankenfood" ingredients, whenever possible.  I also purchased a produce guide from my local supermarket.  It's a simple spiral bound booklet that lists several types of fruits and vegetables and gives portions sizes and carb counts.  When I'm making a recipe, I figure out all the carbs/fiber that are in the dish and then divide that by the number of portions which gives me carbs per serving.

I use cauliflower, rutabagas, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, turnips, kohlrabi, greeens, peppers, tomatoes, green beens and cabbage quite regularly because they are all good lowcarb veggies. We have utilized our bbq a great deal this summer because it's so easy to marinate a good piece of meat and grill it, add a veggie side dish and salad and voila - dinner. Fall and winter favorites in our family are pot roast, roast pork loin, meatloaf (I make mine without breadcrumbs) and soups and stews. I understand what you mean by being stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to meal ideas. I shake things up by approaching our protein choice from a different angle. Focusing on different ethnic takes like pulled pork, or asian flavors. We like to make curries with coconut milk and curry paste (green curry is our family favorite, at the moment) veggies like mushrooms, bean sprouts, tomato, even eggplant, we also add sliced chicken breast or prawns and serve it over cauliflower "rice". Hope these are some helpful ideas for you. If you want more info. I'd be happy to email.

Sep 16, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

ratatouille --

I like to layer it with some spicy italian sausage links sliced on the diagonal. Then I top it with cheese (whatever is in the drawer, but usually a combo of parm and mozz) and bake it until bubbly. My kids pick out the sausage chunks and leave the rest, but Mr. Pajama happily scarfs it all down.

Sep 15, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

Custom Diabetic Recipe

I've been cooking for my type 1 husband for ten years now. He eats low carb, so he doesn't have to inject so much insulin. We use cauliflower quite a bit as a sub for potatoes. It's good roasted or steamed and then pureed with some butter, salt, pepper and bit of whatever cheese you want to throw in. Zucchini and/or mushrooms might go nicely in your roasted veggie dish and they are both low carb, as well.

Sep 14, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

Problem with canning pears - help!

Are you scraping down the sides with a thin spatula to release air bubbles? Are you leaving sufficient head room? For litre jars, I'm approximating that you need at least 1/2 inch or about 1.5 centimetres. Bands should be only finger tight on lids. You're not a novice, so I'm sure you've checked these things. I don't think there is anything inherently different about pears, sorry you are having difficulty.

Sep 09, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

food mill - tomatoes - help

Not at all, I rarely peel my tomatoes or remove the seeds when I am using fresh in a recipe where they will be cooked. I think it's an old school presentation thing. If your chunks are largish, you will have that lovely rolled tomato skin effect floating around. I've done batches in the past where I pushed my raw tomatoes through the grinder attatchment on my kitchenaid mixer. I then simmer the resulting product until sauce consistency and preserve it in jars for later. The skin pieces end up so fine, they are not noticeable. Admittedly, this works best with my romas, which are a bit meatier with far fewer seeds.

Sep 09, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

Please help me identify this squash!

It may be a banana squash. Is the skin hard, can you pierce it with your fingernail? If it is soft, most likely it is a summer squash as noted in another post. But if it is hard, it most likely is considered a "winter squash". I found some great pictures to compare it with at www.whatscookingamerica.net/squash Most winter squash do well baked in the oven. Cut it in halve, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place cut-side down on a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 until soft. Flip it over, dot with butter and salt and pepper. You can also drizzle it with some molasses or sprinkle with some brown sugar and cinnamon. Or scoop out the pulp and make some soup.

Sep 09, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

Home Canning

I've been canning since about eight years ago when we moved to Eastern Washington and started planting a garden every year. We also have access to inexpensive fruit from all the orchards around us. Dill pickles, tomato puree, salsa, pickled beets and green beans are staples for us every year. This year we've had a plethora of jalapeno peppers so I put by some chutney that used green tomatoes (we have had lots of those too), peppers, sugar, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, cilantro and mint. It's like jalapeno jelly, but a little more dressed up. I've also done apple butter, and pear butter in years past.

Sep 09, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

food mill - tomatoes - help

Not sure if you are canning plain tomato puree or adding spices and other ingredients. If it's just plain tomatoes, I've always followed the method in Putting Food By. For sauce, you wash your firm, red, perfect tomatoes thoroughly, and then slice off the stem and blossom ends. Chunk up the tomatoes in manageable pieces and put in an enameled or stainless kettle (no aluminum or cast iron). Bring your pot of tomatoes to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often until soft. Now you can put the tomatoes through a food mill or fine sieve. Bring the resulting juice to boiling, boil gently until thickened but don't turn it into tomato paste. Depending on the size of your batch it will probably take a little over an hour. Don't forget to stir often to prevent scorching and sticking. You then pour your puree into pristine clean pint jars that are hot, hot, hot, I mean boiling water hot, leave 1/2" headroom in pints. I use 1 tablespoon commercially prepared lemon juice for each pint to ensure proper acidity. You may also add 1/2 teaspoon salt, I know I do. Set on your lids and bands according to directions and process in a boiling water bath (212 F) for 30 minutes. Take out the jars. Pretty simple. Works great as a base for sauces, soups, etc.

Sep 09, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

Apple Crisp for a Crowd

When I make apple crunch (as it's called around our house) I've found the key to crunchy topping is how you mix it. If you cut the butter in and have crumbly topping, you won't get the crisp you are after. My sister (ever the better baker than I) shared that the secret is to smear the butter into the dry ingredients. You will actually have more of a stiff oat dough. Then you place the dough by clumpfuls over the top of the apples. The sugar and butter combined with the cinnamon, flour (and just a pinch of salt and splash of vanilla) make a wonderful crispy crunchy topping that everyone loves to snitch by the pinchful off the top of the apples when it is done.

Sep 09, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

Fall Recipes

Nothing says fall to me like a huge kettle of soup. I just made my first-ever batch of borscht . It ended up being a bit of whatchagot stew, but it was still good. I pulled several pounds of beets from the garden over the weekend and wanted a way to use them up. The recipe I used as a framework called for a pound of lamb stew meat. I didn't have lamb, but I did have some duck breasts that had been languishing in the deep-freeze for nearly a year (hubby likes to shoot duck, doesn't always like to eat it). So I cubed that up and browned it in some rendered bacon fat. Threw in chopped onion to cook for a minute or two. Then the duck simmered for an hour in a mixture of pepsiOne, a glug or two of wine, bay leaf and mystery stock from the freezer(I think it might have been pork roast in a tomatillo glaze) Then I added the diced beets, shredded cabbage and chopped tomatoes and left that to simmer for another almost hour. At this point I dared my husband to taste it. He did, I did (he insisted I try a bite with the duck meat as it gave the soup a whole 'nother dimension of flavor). The consensus? It was in dire need of some salt and pepper, but other than that it was entirely edible. The recipe I was mostly not following, called for chopped beet tops to be stirred in and simmered for the last 15 minutes. Well all my beet tops looked terrible, more holes than leaves actually, so they were out of the picture (out in the compost heap, actually). But I did have some lovely ruby red swiss chard that was crying out to be used (it looked like the beet tops so it must be an acceptable substitute, or so my logic went) I chopped it up stems and all, and into the pot it went. We served it with the traditional dollop of sour cream, or in my husband's case half-cup, and a sprinkle of chopped dillweed. My picky 8yo son ate up his bowl with nary a fuss, however my nearly 5yo eats-anything daughter had to be cajoled into finishing up hers. Husband went back for seconds and took the rest to work with him today to have as lunch for the rest of the week. He said I can make it again, and perhaps I will; next time I might even follow the recipe. All in all, it was a successful foray into a little peasant cooking.

Sep 09, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

How do you preserve garlic?

You can preserve it with vinegar and salt, like pickles. We received a jar of canned garlic from my aunt last year. It was a little 4 oz. jar packed full of cloves. I left it on the shelf for a few months, a bit wary of it. Was desperate for garlic for a recipe and was out of all other forms, so finally cracked it open. The vinegar flavor was fairly mild, definitely not strong enough to overpower the garlic. The texture of the garlic was still fairly crunchy. It worked great for cooking. There are a few cloves left in the jar in my fridge, and they still look and smell fine, even after a month (okay two months) :) So it's doable, just don't know what proportions you would use.

Sep 05, 2008
mamapajama in Home Cooking

quincy/ephrata/moseslake/kelso/longview/kalama/cathlamet=roadtrip

You may be thinking of Eddie's over on Stratford. Kyogi in his current incarnation is down on Third at Tsunami Sushi. I ate there before their remodel (almost a year ago) and it was good. Chico's? Only if you mop the grease off the top. Dana's on Broadway can be a decent choice for lunch, it's not gourmet by any stretch, but it beats the chains. You might check out local farmer's markets as well. Moses Lake holds theirs on Saturday in the morning. Peaches, nectarines, plums, corn, peppers, tomatoes, and some of the best melon I've ever had are all in season now.

Aug 24, 2008
mamapajama in Pacific Northwest

Indiana Jones Treats

Okay, I finally found these on clearance at our Rite-Aid. I bought the last four bags they had as I've been looking for them ever since I read this story. They are as good as suggested by the above review. Reminded me a lot of thin mint cookies from those evil girl scouts. Or Ben & Jerry's mint cookie ice cream in a portable, crunchy form. So sad, yet grateful that they are a limited time option.

Jul 16, 2008
mamapajama in Features

Strawberry "Shortcake on a Stick"

We call these biscuits on a stick, you can wrap the end of the stick with foil for easier removal. I don't care for doughy biscuits, so I make sure to keep mine over low coals until thoroughly browned.

Jun 18, 2008
mamapajama in Recipes