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Looking for non-perishable things to pack for my boyfriend...

Have you ever canned anything? You could make homemade fruit sauces (apple, pear, apple/berry combo) and can them in half-pint jars. You can also make a tested salsa recipe (like these: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_salsa.html) that you can waterbath process in single-serving jars.

You could try making homemade bagels that he could eat for breakfasts or use to make sandwiches. There are always the many varieties of quick breads you could make. Banana, Pumpkin-Cranberry, Zucchini. Or muffins. Cornbread muffins are good and can be made savory or sweet.

Kale chips for a healthier alternative to get some greens into him. Send him off Monday mornings with a homemade smoothie.

Sep 30, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

Return to Phoenix

I haven't been to Habit Burger, but have heard from others who have told us to avoid, so we do. In & Out is our burger chain of choice. If we're going local, then it's Chuckbox in Tempe or Giant Burgers in Mesa. I think it's Giant Burgers > Chuckbox for me personally, though my husband might disagree...I may be getting too old for the college dive scene that is Chuckbox.

When I worked downtown over a decade ago, my favorite lunch spot was Focaccia Fiorentina. They appear to be still in business, but I haven't been there since about 2001. They are only open for lunch, and since I'm way too far away now to go for lunch there during the week, I haven't made it back, so I can't say how it is now, but you might check it out.

Have you been to Cornish Pasty Company? They have 2 locations now. The original in North Tempe and a newer one in Mesa near the Tempe border. Great for a low-budget dinner. You can even buy them par-baked to take home and finish in your own oven.

Our budget is similar to yours. We have not been to most of the high end places in town. Just not our "thing" - though it really does seem to be the focus of this board - we had to live on so little for so long that it's difficult for us to stomach high end prices, no matter how good it may be. Someday I hope to try Kai though, just because it really sounds unique.

Sep 29, 2012
Jen76 in Phoenix

Who makes your favorite Egg Salad Sandwich?

Pardon me for butting in, but I just came across the phrase "hen's egg" for the first time while perusing a menu for a SD-based restaurant (as we are headed to SD for a little weekend getaway in October). I admit I sat there for a bit pondering why someone would need to specify that an egg came from a hen, but not what species of hen it came from. I passed it off as "menu speak" but now I realize that it probably did say "pastured hen's egg" but I was so befuddled by "hen" that I didn't even think about the "pastured" part. Your explanation of why a restaurant would use hen vs. chicken helped it to make a smidgen more sense now.

Sep 22, 2012
Jen76 in San Diego

Revisiting the mirepoix

I use leaves all the time. I like them chopped in soups. Haven't made anything inedible yet. I don't use more than a small bunch though.

Sep 16, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

Low Carb People...What Will Be in Your Shopping Cart?

Thanks :)

Sep 16, 2012
Jen76 in Special Diets

Low Carb People...What Will Be in Your Shopping Cart?

I guess what I really was getting at was, will non diabetics still have glucose spikes? Will the spikes be within "normal" range? I don't know a thing about this stuff. I do have a sweet tooth - but not with candy/cakes/etc. - i just love sweet veggies (beets, butternut squash), fruits (watermelon, peaches, citrus), and all the other stuff that causes you spikes (beans, oatmeal, polenta).

Sep 16, 2012
Jen76 in Special Diets

Celery is Evil?

Ditto. Celery is a favorite of mine. The leaves are good chopped into soups and salads too.

Sep 16, 2012
Jen76 in General Topics

Low Carb People...What Will Be in Your Shopping Cart?

mcf -

Does this type of diet apply to non-diabetics? Or is it generally safer for those of us without BG problems to eat more of the things you need to avoid? Just curious what your thoughts are on this.

Sep 16, 2012
Jen76 in Special Diets

Best low carb lunchbags and school snacks for BIG & lil' KIDS......lookn for ideas

HTH = hope that helps (usually)

Sep 16, 2012
Jen76 in Special Diets

The “A Cookbook a Week” Challenge….Will you join me? [old]

That sounds like a fascinating book! Would you be willing to list some of the recipes, especially pre-contact ones?

Sep 15, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

The “A Cookbook a Week” Challenge….Will you join me? [old]

THE PAPRIKAS WEISS HUNGARIAN COOKBOOK

Ok, here goes. My mom gave me this little hardcover cookbook from 1979. Somehow she ended up with 2 copies, so one came to me. This book was written by the owner of what used to be a shop in NYC called Paprikas Weiss. I Googled and it apparently closed many years ago in the mid-90s. The New York Times called it the "Hungarian Zabars" so I'm a little disappointed I'll never be able to see it. Sounds like it was a fascinating little shop.

The recipes all seem fairly simple and remind me a lot of my MIL's Romanian home cooking. The seasonings are mostly salt, pepper, parsley, paprika, and dill (or dill pickles). There is liberal use of bacon and butter. Onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, parsley root, potatoes, cabbage, kraut are all common ingredients. Sour cream is added to many recipes at the end. And lots of saucier dishes are thickened with a flour/water paste (I'd probably prefer a roux, but maybe that's not authentic to Hungarian cooking).

The fish recipes are most appealing to me. I love fish and they seem to rely a little less on bell peppers (which I'm not fond of and aren't fond of me). In particular, the "Baked Stuffed Red Snapper" recipe is intriguing to me, since I've never really heard of stuffing a fish with ground veal before (or any meat, really).

He does say,"Since Hungary is far from the sea, lobsters, shrimp, and saltwater fish are seldom if ever found on the menu. This may be the only Hungarian cookbook you'll ever find that has recipes for fried, baked, and broiled fresh herring! Fish from the rivers and lakes would have been used in these recipes as well as in stews and casseroles. Though the recipes are Hungarian, we used the fish we preferred, and suggest that you do the same; any firm-fleshed fish can be substituted in these recipes." Since I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan, I love fresh water fish and river fish, and plan to try some of these with trout instead of the cod or red snapper called for.

The "Bacon Scrap Biscuits" sound like quite the indulgence as the bacon is incorporated into the dough. I may have to make them once just out of pure curiosity. I bet they are awesome, and I will die from a coronary from wonderful carb/bacon/chicken fat richness! ;)

I found the "Spicy Red Cabbage with Carraway Seeds" recipe almost humorous since there is nothing in that ingredient list that would make the dish "spicy" in any way. Not even hot paprika or black pepper! Sounds more like a sweet/sour red cabbage.

All in all, it's a cute little cookbook and has some interesting ideas that maybe I can do a riff on once in awhile, or things I can make when I just feel like old-fashioned home cooking. They are somewhat heavier types of dishes so they'll probably be reserved for the cooler winter months here in Phoenix.

Sep 15, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

American or Canadian breakfast ideas that might be novel/interesting to European visitors, and are more interesting that bacon & eggs or French toast...

Oatmeal with fresh peaches and maple syrup is one of my favorite things.

Sep 13, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

Crock Pot versus Dutch Oven cooking

Hope it all works out! It's under 100 today which in Phoenix is "cool" for this time of year. I finished up a batch of plum jam, have milk culturing into yogurt, and have stock simmering in the slow cooker for soup tonight!

Sep 09, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

Crock Pot versus Dutch Oven cooking

Here's a quicker no-knead bread. I've made it, and it was good!

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

Sep 09, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

Crock Pot versus Dutch Oven cooking

I use my slow cooker mostly for making stock. It does a really good job at that task and keeps my house from getting even hotter in the summers (in Phoenix!). It's also my rice cooker, so it's not a single-tasker at least. On occasion, I also use it for other things, but usually when I'm home. Pulled pork works well in it but only takes a few hours.

Sep 08, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

One more quick question....no knead bread burning the pot???

I've made a NK recipe off the King Arthur Flour site and even started it in a cold oven, as they suggested, and didn't burn the bottom of the bread or the pot. No parchment. Turned out lovely.

Sep 08, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

The “A Cookbook a Week” Challenge….Will you join me? [old]

Yay! I've always wanted to participate in COTM (I love reading them) but can never seem to get it together enough to do it. Maybe this will help. Are you going to start a new thread or use this one?

Sep 08, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

The “A Cookbook a Week” Challenge….Will you join me? [old]

"cleaning out the dudes"

This made me chuckle.

I don't have as many cookbooks as all of you seem to, although my mother might! Maybe I'll go thru her collection along with my little one (which my husband thinks is big. Pft. Under 50 is not big!). I often just get cookbooks from the library as our house is rather limited in space. Could I review those as well?

Sep 08, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

Bountiful Baskets, CSA or similar?

Check Maya's Farm. They are often at the Downtown Phx farmer's market on Saturday mornings. There's also Crooked Sky Farms. I don't participate in a CSA, so unfortunately can't offer any sort of review of either.

Sep 08, 2012
Jen76 in Phoenix

What is your choice of PB?What jelly etc. do you add,if you use jelly etc.?

Guilty. It's just so convenient, small, friendly, next door to my favorite local book store, and close enough to ride my bike. :)

Sep 08, 2012
Jen76 in General Topics

Russian Dressing

Sep 06, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

Yogurt maker recommendations?

Get a thermometer to make sure your milk stays around 110 degrees F and then let it sit for at least 6 hours. I had the best luck with about 8 hours. You can try using quart canning jars and putting them in your oven. Either set the oven at a really low temp (110ish) or turn the light on inside the oven. If you use just the light and it's cool in your house, then you might want to pre-heat it a little to about 200, then turn it off, then put your milk in. Just be careful that it doesn't get too hot or it will kill the culture. Temperature is important.

You can also add milk powder to increase the milk proteins or strain the finished yogurt to make it thicker.

This older thread might be helpful. Lots of good info in it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/292076

Sep 06, 2012
Jen76 in Cookware

salmon left out 45 min?

Just go to any Romanian house and that's a common sight! Spent weeks in the cities and all my in-laws leave food out for hours and there's not a lot of a/c usage there. They bought some mici (aka, mititei, a type of fresh sausage) for dinner at a shop one afternoon, put them in the trunk of the car on a 95 degree day, and we went to another store for a few *hours* before heading home to cook them. And I couldn't drink the plum brandy - that stuff is like kerosene.

Sep 04, 2012
Jen76 in General Topics

What five countries do you cook most?

That's why we participate on CH, right? Firsthand knowledge/experiences/ideas vs. Google searches. ;)

Romania has been invaded a lot over its history, so there's a lot of Russian, Turkish, Mediterranean, and, of course, Roman/Latin influence on the food and language. It's the only Latin-based language in Eastern Europe. It's also been rather impoverished for a long time, so the cooking techniques are those of making use of what you've got and preservation. It's comfort food.

Sep 02, 2012
Jen76 in General Topics

What five countries do you cook most?

Ha! No blood, contrary to popular mythology. ;)

Romanian food is fairly simple - not to be confused with simplistic - despite Anthony Bourdain's poor experience there (never take a Russian as your guide to Romania; you will receive a cool reception). Chicken and pork are popular. They love soups, especially "ciorbă" (pronounced chore-buh) which are made tart/sour with a fermented wheat bran "broth" called "borş" (borsh), which is not to be confused with the Russian beet soup.

My personal favorite is Ciorba de Perisoare which is a meatball soup somewhat similar to Italian wedding soup but with a different flavor profile since it's sour. I also make my MIL's recipe for salata de beouf, which, despite its name, I've never seen made with beef. It is basically a potato salad that my MIL makes with chicken in it. I love salata de icre which is a spread made with carp roe, and is very similar to the Greek taramosalata. My husband loves the eggplant spread and the roasted red pepper/eggplant spread, and sometimes he'll make some if he has a craving. I don't like either vegetable, unfortunately for me. We also make chiftele (kif-tel-eh), which are basically meatballs. My MIL makes them with a light tomato sauce and serves them with "mămăligă " which is Romanian polenta. And, as soon as the weather cools down here in the desert, I will return to my quest to attempt to make the perfect cozonac, a traditional sweet bread. There are lots of other dishes, but the meatball soup, the potato salad, and the chiftele are staples in our house.

Cozonac:
http://homecookinginmontana.blogspot.com/2009/01/romanian-cozonac-nut-filled.html

Chiftele:
http://magdawithlove.blogspot.com/201...

Sep 02, 2012
Jen76 in General Topics

In need of more breakfast options (that I can eat in the car)

Make a fruit smoothie and add green elements to it (spirulina powder, wheatgrass, kale, etc.) and/or add chia seeds. Raw chia seeds supposedly pack a lot of nutrition in a small serving (a teaspoon or so per smoothie?).

My husband likes avjar in the mornings. It's a spread made from roasted red peppers and eggplant. You can usually buy it in a jar. It would probably work well on your turkey sandwiches.

Sep 01, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

What five countries do you cook most?

Romania
Italy
Germany
not a country, but Mediterranean style foods are popular in our house
Brazil - just started
Argentina is next on the list of things to try

I love Asian food of all kinds, but husband doesn't, so I get my fix by eating out for lunch many work days.

Sep 01, 2012
Jen76 in General Topics

What is your choice of PB?What jelly etc. do you add,if you use jelly etc.?

I have plums sliced, pitted, and coated in sugar sitting in the fridge right now. Tomorrow or Monday they'll be put in the slow cooker (which is really my rice cooker with a slow cook setting) with a couple lemon juice cubes (from homegrown and homesqueezed lemons) until they turn into jam. Will keep a jar in the fridge and the rest will go into freezer jars. Yum.

As for the PB, Trader Joe's Organic Crunchy currently resides in my fridge along with a jar of homemade peach jam (made from locally grown peaches) to be eaten on Trader Joe's Multigrain bread. I love the oats on the crust.

Sep 01, 2012
Jen76 in General Topics

I need some belgium Waffle storage and reheating advice.

I just store in a ziploc bag in the fridge and stick one on the toaster to reheat. I like crispy waffles.

Sep 01, 2012
Jen76 in Home Cooking

Care to share an MSG free recipe?

Learn how to make stock so you can make your own soups and use it in recipes. Stock is not hard to make and homemade will taste leaps and bounds better than boxed. Don't use any boullion cubes/powder/etc. Nearly all contain some form of glutamates. Stock is really easy to make in a slow cooker or pressure cooker, as are dry beans.

Also, according to a quick Google search, apparently nuts and seeds are high in tyramine as well as "anything aged, dried, fermented, salted, smoked or pickled. Watch out especially for pepperoni, salami and liverwurst."

Sep 01, 2012
Jen76 in Special Diets