oldbaycupcake's Profile

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What gives some red meats that horrific "smell/aftertaste"??

It could also be the packaging. Air tight (like Cryovac) is a good thing for shelf life, visual color and to be leak proof but the lack of oxygen can also cause a funky smell when first opened and an off flavor/aftertaste if cooked too soon after packaging is removed. There's all kinds of science behind the packaging that I'm not going to pretend to understand (gases used in packaging, residual oxygen anyone?) but I have noticed small print on labels that advise that product should sit at room temperature or in the cooler for a certain amount of time prior to prepping or cooking. How to avoid...open packaging & run fast or only buy fresh cuts from a butcher?

Apr 27, 2009
oldbaycupcake in General Topics

Augusta National Pimento Cheese

My translation has always been to use French's Classic Yellow and a commercial horseradish sauce,like Tulkoff, Boars Head or Heluvagood. I'm in the Mid-Atlantic and its commonly found at grocery stores, I think Heinz even makes a version.

Apr 27, 2009
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Augusta National Pimento Cheese

Augusta won't give out the recipe but will only say that it is made locally. The last time I went to the Masters it was still only $1 per sandwich (around 2000). Here's the recipe from Second Round: Tea-Time at the Masters, Junior League of Augusta

ZESTY PIMENTO CHEESE SPREAD

Although purists would use only sharp Cheddar cheese, Hellmann's or Duke's mayonnaise, pimentos and possibly finely chopped onion, the ladies of the Junior League of Augusta have a wonderful, spicy version.

1 1/2 pounds grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup horseradish sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 7-ounce jar chopped pimentos, drained

Combine all ingredients, except the pimentos, in a bowl. Once spreadable, add in the pimentos and combine. Store covered in the refrigerator. Yields four cups.

I make this version for our annual Masters party but make my Grammy's version for Showers, Holidays and family gatherings. She used Worcheshire Sauce in pretty much everything including Pimento Cheese.

Apr 27, 2009
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Group Snacks on a Budget?

I always like a theme! Since its a group of teachers you could go "Old School" with the snacks! Take some childhood favorites and give them an upscale spin or presentation always makes the simple things look fancy.

Popcorn is easy & you could offer a variety of toppings. Savory (bacon salt, herbs de prov, Old Bay, cajun seasoning, etc.) and sweet things they can toss in with tthe popcorn (Snow Caps, M&Ms, chocolate or butterscotch chips). Air pop at home and store in brown paper bags. Give everyone a paper lunch bag to eat out of and use to mix with seasoning or sweets.

Sandwiches cut in quarters like Mom used to pack. PBJ, American Cheese, Bologna, Pimento Cheese...serve with Fritos! Green leaf lettuce lining a platter under the sandwiches and some cherry tomatoes or strawberries to make it look more grown-up.

Make some Jello cups with fresh fruit and Cool Whip or Pudding with fresh berries. I did some yogurt parfaits recently in plastic cocktail glasses and rimmed the cups with colored sugars for a more adult appearance.

Apr 27, 2009
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Am I the only one who lives in a magic house? A lighthearted look at ourselves & food safety

Always been anal about my kitchen, food storage & sanitation. UNTIL, I met my boyfriend and his three kids! I've taught them the basics, but they're kids. They lick fingers & spoons while still mixing, they drop stuff on the floor & put it in the mixing bowl when I'm not looking....

Recently the 7 y.o. jumped off his kitchen stool half way through battering tempura vegetables. When I asked where he was going, he said he had scratched his bottom & had to wash his hands again! And I was proud!

Apparently, I now live in a magic house but it's a lot of fun!

Nov 17, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

Popcorn "Toppings"

Savory popcorn...yum!
butter infused with garlic & herbes de Provence
Tabasco
Dill
Old Bay, of course!

Nov 17, 2008
oldbaycupcake in General Topics

The "Everyone at my office loved it" comment.

Jfood is my role model & very wise. I would like to live in a world full of Jfood's social graces and common sense!

Nov 14, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

Best Sandwich in the World

Had a crabcake at Faidley's this week! Still one of my favorites!

Another great Baltimore offering is Pit Beef sandwiches. Piled high on an oversized bun.

Herb Rubbed Mahi Mahi sandwich at Pusser's in Annapolis. Mahi filet with Key West herbs and topped with LTO and mango corn relish. yum.

Nov 14, 2008
oldbaycupcake in General Topics

Do you REALLY not want to cook on T Day?

How about a compromise? Go out for dinner & then invite the "orphans" over for drinks and dessert! Everyone wins!

Nov 14, 2008
oldbaycupcake in General Topics

What makes great French onion soup?

The onions are key! A good sweet onion, like Vidalia, carmelized in the oven really enriches the flavor. No ordinary onion will do for French Onion Soup.

Nov 14, 2008
oldbaycupcake in General Topics

Grinch Themed Office Breakfast - really!

Thanks for all of your great suggestions so far! I'm doing a first trial run of the Grinch breakfast this weekend & may do another over Thanksgiving weekend when family is in town. Here's what I'm planning:

Grinch Waffles with Who-berry sauce
Green Eggs n' Ham - shirred eggs over spinach served in a ham crisp cup
Who-Pudding - Krispy Kreme bread pudding
Grinch Fruit kabobs & yogurt - all green fruits on a skewer with yogurt dip

I won't be there when he does this at his office, so it needs to be prepped the night before or easy to assemble. May still try the popovers, mini quiche and who-hash. Thoughts? More suggestions? Thanks again for the great input!

Nov 13, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Double tipping on a bar bill?

Throw some money on the bar, maybe not a full tip, but a partial one to make up for the fact that the server is probably only required to tip the bar 10% or so of the alcohol bill.

If it's a significant sized bar bill, I always settle up with the bartender to ensure that they get the full tip that they earned. If it's a small tab, I'm more likely to throw some money on the bar and still tip on the full bill.

Nov 13, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

Thawing Turkey in a Cooler: What's with the Freezer Packs?

Ever try to transport an ice cream cake for more than an hour with freezer packs? They melt because the ice cream(-10 or below) is colder than the higher temperature (0-32 degrees) freezer pack that's supposed to be keeping it cold. For a frozen turkey in a cooler, you are basically using the freezer packs to create a fridge like environment. Without the packs, it would basically be sitting in a fridge that had never been plugged in.

Nov 13, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

"have you been here before? well, we recommend. . . ."

I think your issue is more about the delivery than with the content. Bad deliver is pushy and predatory. Good delivery is informative and consultative. If it's such a hot issue, why not just say you've dined there before & avoid the whole thing?

Nov 13, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

Top Chef Fantasy Game

Whoo Hoo! Last place! Are you kidding? Not a single bleep for Alex & I was counting on him being a potty mouth. And Melissa, my hometown girl, use some seasoning! Lost 2 pts. for that one! She just needed to cry to keep me in the positive. Now I get why my boyfriend plays Fantasy Football! So glad we get to make new picks each week...gotta make a comeback, this is embarrassing!

Best Homemade Food Gift

We usually make a variety of breads in mini loaves (zucchini, strawberry nut, banana, cranberry orange. lemon poppy, gingerbread) & homemade fruit perserves or compound butters. Damson plum preserves have been a big hit in years when I can find them at the Farmer's Market. The Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread is always a hit & I've given that as a whole cake or mini loaf.

The breads freeze well & I put 3 of them in a basket with a linen napkin and jar of preserves or butter for hostess gifts. Just realized....I'm turning into my Mother! Everyone is getting Stoli Doli this year! Stoli vodka infused with fresh pineapple. Mom would never do that! Cheers!

Nov 12, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Bayless, Smith considered for White House Top Chef

I was thinking the exact same thing! I believe it's a traditional role and some First Ladies are more involved than others.

Bayless, Smith considered for White House Top Chef

The current Chef worked there for ten years before being promoted to Executive Chef. It's a non-political position & she and the former Chef worked for both Rep. and Dem. administrations. Gotta be a very unique experience & interesting working conditions (the kitchens are supposed to be small for commercial kitchens).

Interestingly, its the First Lady that makes the decision on household staff, including the Exec. Chef. & it's her and her social secretary that help plan menus for events. They do have a kitchen in the residence and personal staff to see to all of their needs.

Top Chef Fantasy Game

There are some preview videos of the first QF & elimination on bravo's website. May help with making week 1 picks! One chef never even gets a chefs coat! They are eliminated during the first QF.

Thanksgiving...Want to bring Something to Future In-Laws but will be Traveling the Day Before

How about taking a variety of breads? Banana, strawberry, cinnamon, lemon poppy, cranberry orange or gingerbread. They look great when presented in a nice basket lined with cloth napkins and jars of marmalade, preserves and/or compound butters. Great by themselves for breakfast or in addition to what she has planned. Or they might enjoy some real NY bagels with all of the fixings!

If his Southern Mom is anything like mine, she'll have the oven full by 5 a.m. Breads or bagels might be the most unobtrusive and appreciated offerings. Best wishes for the first of many happy holiday with the In-Laws!

Nov 11, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Has Dear Abby lost her mind?

The suggestion was made in response to RWO about taking another tactic if the requester had a legit, uncontrollable compulsion. My original post said to suck it up but RWO then posed a completely different situation.

BTW, I also appreciate a heads up when a guest has accepted an invitation if they have food allergies, dietary issues or are vegan. People invited to my home for a social event should feel confident that I will extend them my hospitalty, not my judgements.

Nov 11, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

I'm a Foodie, But You're Still My Friend

I've had it happen both when dining at a friends' home and when dining in restaurants. Once dined at the home of a friend & his wife. The wife knew I worked in the restaurant industry and was freaked out. Made sure my compliments started when we arrived by stating how good things smelled & how I was looking forward to a home cooked meal since I'd been out of town for the past week. Seemed to make her more comfortable. No matter how the food is, I try to be a gracious guest & thankful that they were nice enough to include me in the gathering.

Sometimes find myself in awkward positions when dining out with friends, too. They look at me like aren't you going to do an analysis of the service? the menu? the decor? the food? Nope. I'm off work!

Nov 10, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

Has Dear Abby lost her mind?

If it's just his thing & unavoidable, I'd recommend giving the host a heads up prior to the event. Make sure they know it's not a reflection on their host skills, it's just an odd compulsion. A gracious host would accomodate him in a way that would make him comfortable without drawing attention. A simple phone call would make the situation less awkward for everyone.

Nov 10, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

Looking for low calorie food/snack ideas (aside from Konjac/Konnyaku)

Another option is to doctor up the powdered drink mix to make it tastier and more satisfying. I've followed the Body for Life program for years & there are tons of recipes using their protein shake mixes. I like to add bananas/berries to the Vanilla and peanut butter to the Chocolate. I also like to turn them into puddings for an after dinner snack. You can get pretty creative with protein shakes when you need to!

Nov 10, 2008
oldbaycupcake in General Topics

Grinch Themed Office Breakfast - really!

Love the new Avatar! Very fitting for such a knowledgable Seussian!

Nov 10, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Has Dear Abby lost her mind?

Abby has lost it. Absolutely suck it up, enjoy the company, wine and music if not the food. I wouldn't even mention food temp in general conversation for fear of embarrassing or offending my hosts.

I cannot remember what movie it was, but I remember a scene with a line of people going through an outdoor Thanksgiving buffet with two microwaves at the end to heat their food. I doubt that would really be an acceptable social event for Dear Abby!

Nov 09, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

Restaurant pricing - death spiral

Your example is far too simplistic. You are assuming that all price increases actually cause loss of sales & that there is no other cause for loss of business. Raising prices isn't the only way to increase revenue to cover fixed overhead, but it is the laziest, IMO.

Would love to hear what has prompted this question!

Nov 09, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Not About Food

Grinch Themed Office Breakfast - really!

We like the idea of a Seussian inspired menu! Before your posts, I was thinking more about Holiday type foods, but this is more fun! Keep the ideas coming. In the past most of the themes have been inspired by heritage (Frech, Jewish, Italian, Southern, etc.), so a Seuss theme will be dialing it up a notch. Last time he was the host we did a Breakfast Fiesta; the Chorizo, queso fresco and poblano Strata was a hit.

Nov 09, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Grinch Themed Office Breakfast - really!

Great creative suggestions! I actually have two of the Grinch waffle makers & a regular Belgian one. He will have a buddy helping him with waffle duty & they can use the oven or a chafing dish to keep pre-made ones warm. People usually stagger in for about an hour & not all at once, which helps!

Nov 09, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking

Grinch Themed Office Breakfast - really!

Need help with a Grinch themed breakfast! My dear boyfriend works for an advertising agency where every Friday someone provides breakfast for everyone (25ppl). They have a small standard kitchen with 4 burner stove top, oven and microwave. Other offerings have ranged from basic to the extremely creative.

It's his turn again in December & he wants to use my Grinch waffle irons and have a Holiday theme. Breakfast is served around 9 a.m. He's definetly going to make Gingerbread waffles, so he wants to keep the other items simple or can be made ahead of time.

Would love some creative ideas to go with the Gingerbread waffles! Smithfield ham? Flavored syrups? Fruit or chocolate toppings for waffles? Easy egg dish? Specialty drink? Help!

BTW, the Grinch waffle iron creates waffles that look like the curly-q or swirls that are all over the original movie & book.

Nov 09, 2008
oldbaycupcake in Home Cooking