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Fiona's Profile

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Help Me Find a Place to Meet in Northern DE?

Thank you for your suggestions Red and Travelmad. My friend finally wanted to meet at Soybean Grille in Pike Creek as it was close to her last client meeting. It was fine - although it was pretty full, it was quiet and we could talk. I had pumpkin (Thai-style) curry which very tasty and had healthy amounts of chicken and shrimp. Service was fine and not intrusive.

Jul 14, 2015
Fiona in Mid-Atlantic

Help Me Find a Place to Meet in Northern DE?

Thank you for your suggestions which normally I would follow - I do like all of the places that you suggest. However - for this meeting convenience turns out to be the most important consideration. Thanks again for your reply.

Jul 06, 2015
Fiona in Mid-Atlantic

Help Me Find a Place to Meet in Northern DE?

Thanks Red - I don't know why I didn't think of that. We will probably go to the Brewery as I am inordinately fond of pub food. Thanks again for your response.

Jul 04, 2015
Fiona in Mid-Atlantic

Help Me Find a Place to Meet in Northern DE?

Hello - I am meeting a friend for dinner on a Thursday evening and neither of us can think of a place that is not Christiana Mall. We need a place between Newark and north Wilmington. Moderate price is okay, excessive waiting times and high noise level are not okay. We are open as to type of food.

Jul 02, 2015
Fiona in Mid-Atlantic

Soup Kitchen

You could also make pineapple salsa for some variety. That could be frozen.

Jun 17, 2015
Fiona in Home Cooking

Cooking and being friendly to planet earth

Good for you!I too am trying to be conscious of resources and environmental issues at home, especially in the kitchen where there can be so much waste. I use silicon mats instead of baking/parchment paper. I do use aluminum foil but I try to minimize that use and I buy foil that is made from recycled material, I buy it at my food coop but it available from Amazon at the link below. I also reuse it and a roll lasts me a couple of years. I do use the occasional paper towel but, again I buy them made from recycled materials. I probably use a roll every two months. The link to the aluminum foil is:

Jun 10, 2015
Fiona in General Topics

What do y'all do with dried pasta odds and ends?

I find those small amounts are just right for adding to a soup or salad.

B'day dinner in Mendenhall/ Kennett Square area?

There are a number of possible options depending on what sort of food and price you desire. I am very fond of Half Moon which is in downtown Kennett Square. The noise level will depend on the time that you are there. If you make a reservation I know that you can ask for a quiet location (as I usually do).

I am sorry that I could not turn this into a link for you.

Apr 06, 2015
Fiona in Philadelphia

Does anyone else but me prefer, or even insist on, light roast coffee?

I like a light medium roast and can't stand Starbucks. At home I use light/medium (2 on a scale of 1 to 5)roasted Guatemalan beans and I brew it strong. When I am out my preference is Dunkin Donuts. I do like espresso and I also like bitter tastes in general - I just don't like dark roast coffee unless it is espresso.

Mar 23, 2015
Fiona in General Topics

If you could only have one- cast iron or stainless dutch oven

I have versions of both - the stainless one I just bought recently. I like both and use both but my go to pot is the enameled cast iron. I think it heat more evenly, the stainless steel seems to develop a burn layer on the bottom much more easily. Unless weight of the pot is a concern for you I recommend the cast iron pot as the more versatile and the better for cooking. Good luck!

Mar 21, 2015
Fiona in Cookware

Lasagna with fresh pasta

I do it the same way but I usually make spinach pasta which I think has a little more texture and flavor. I like the pasta to be quite thin.

Feb 28, 2015
Fiona in Home Cooking

What Is This Salmon I Bought

Will - even though the label said chum salmon it was not the bait chum. The salmon was an intact fillet of a decent sized fish. It looked pretty much as described in the link provided by BadaBing above. In case you are seriously interested I bought it at Pathmark (I don't know if you have them where you are) and the price was $6.99 for a package that fed 4 people.

Feb 27, 2015
Fiona in General Topics

What Is This Salmon I Bought

Thank you very much. That was quite helpful.

Feb 26, 2015
Fiona in General Topics

What Is This Salmon I Bought

I am generally careful about the food I but and I try to buy organic and local foods. The other day I saw frozen wild-caught salmon for a VERY good price - so, since I love salmon, I bought it. As I was getting ready to cook it I looked closely at the package - the contents were listed as chum salmon and it was from China. What was it I bought and, aside from the fact that China is hardly local, is this something I should buy again? The taste was fine - I am concerned about possible contaminants and sustainability.

Feb 26, 2015
Fiona in General Topics

Pat peeves as a guest at a dinner party?

This conversation is very scary for me! I love to cook and love to feed people so I invite people over often - sometimes for more formal dinners, sometimes for soup, wine and desert. If I worried about the list of peeves here I would never be able to do that. Before people come over I do check the TP supply in the guest bathroom and clean the litter box. The public part of the house is generally pretty orderly. Beyond that - hey, it is a home not a restaurant. People - RELAX! Isn't it about the company, community, conversation and food?

Sturdy post office-ready cake or tart idea

This is a dark chocolate/Guinness cake that is baked in a bundt pan and is pretty sturdy. For your purposes I would use an inexpensive supermarket bundt pan and, after cooling, put it back in the pan for shipping, It is REALLY good:
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup Guinness
1/3 cup brewed strong coffee
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Generously butter and flour an 8- to 10-cup Bundt cake pan and set it on a large baking sheet.
Combine the chocolates in a small bowl and melt gently in the microwave or set over a pan of simmering water . Set aside to cool slightly.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for about 10 seconds. Cut the butter into pieces, add to the flour mixture, and mix on low to medium-low speed until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs .
Add the beer, coffee, and vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute.
Add the eggs, one at a time , beating again for about 1 minute.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap it lightly to remove any air bubbles and settle the batter, and bake until the cake is well risen , fragrant, and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and set on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Jan 26, 2015
Fiona in Home Cooking

broth substitutes from my chicken soup help asap please!

Do you have any type of miso? I think that miso would work better than beef stock for your purpose. Also the chicken might just be enough to to give you flavor

Jan 08, 2015
Fiona in Home Cooking

Mandatory municipal composting: how do you handle your food scraps?

I compost my food (non-meat) waste. I have a plastic food storage container with a lid on my kitchen counter, On a daily basis the scraps go into the container and every day or so I put it on the compost pile in the back. From what everyone else has said, and from my experience, a two step process seems the way to go.

Jan 05, 2015
Fiona in Not About Food

Cooked to Perfection!

I particularly hate the phrase when it shows up (as it does frequently)on the menu of a place that clearly doesn't actually cook anything "in house" and all the food obviously comes prepackaged from Sysco!

Cocktail party eats -- a report

All I can say is WOW!

Dec 30, 2014
Fiona in Home Cooking

if you could live anywhere at any income level, what would you choose?

I would stay put, as others have said - like is good! It is an easy trip to 4 cities, including NYC. I am close to family and have virtually immediate access to locally grown food.As I have gotten older cooking is more important to me than restaurants. Given unlimited financial resources I would also have a place at the beach and I would figure out how to add a bigger dining area to my house so space would not be the limiting factor in planning dinner parties. I would certainly travel more than I do now. I would love to visit southeast Asia and eat; I would also like to eat my way through Italy, the Middle East, South America, etc.

Dec 28, 2014
Fiona in Not About Food

Your kitchen in a word (or two, or three...)

No signs in my very small kitchen but I painted "It's Time" on my dining room wall. That sign has served my very well as a reminder to live in the moment.

Bread Pudding

This is the type of bread pudding recipe I have been looking for for years! Thank you, thank you!

Dec 27, 2014
Fiona in Home Cooking

Cherry pie filling tastes like corn starch - Help!

Thanks for all the suggestions! After the pie baked the taste disappeared so all was fine despite my moment of panic. Thanks again!

Dec 26, 2014
Fiona in Home Cooking

Cherry pie filling tastes like corn starch - Help!

I should have been more clear - the filling is cooked, the pie is not yet filled and baked.

Dec 24, 2014
Fiona in Home Cooking

Cherry pie filling tastes like corn starch - Help!

Last night I made cherry pie filling using corn starch instead of tapioca and it tastes like corn starch. should I just bag it and do something else or is there a solution? Can I cook it more to get rid of the taste?

Dec 24, 2014
Fiona in Home Cooking

Suggest a soup (or side) for this menu.

celeriac soup or pureed celeriac

Dec 15, 2014
Fiona in Home Cooking

Venison Question

Thanks for all your suggestions. I can cook it as BB in the oven for a Long time - I am thinking 3 1/2 to 4 hours at 300* - does that sound about right?

Dec 12, 2014
Fiona in Home Cooking

Input on venison dish please!

I can't comment on the temperature question but I think that the cranberry sauce would be a better choice than the creamy mushroom sauce. The tartness of the cranberries will nicely offset the venison. I also suggest adding some crushed juniper berries to the brine. I find they add something special to the taste of venison.

Dec 11, 2014
Fiona in Home Cooking

Thanks Mom

I am sorry for your loss. I am sure that your Mom would be proud of you! It has been more than 30 holiday seasons since my Mom passed and I still miss her and remember with sadness and joy at this time of year.

Dec 11, 2014
Fiona in Not About Food