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Most almond-y dessert?

I make almond tofu, but I do it using gelatin, water, evaporated milk, and almond extract....so all things you can buy at a regular supermarket.

Oct 18, 2013
Pandora in Home Cooking

Eating between Chicago and Iowa City

I think there's a potbelly's in midway airport. I'd probably grab a sandwich there. there really is not much until iowa city. I work in the quad cities and generally find the food to be bad. Machine shed was not good. Bier stube in le Claire is ok.

Just realized you've probably made your trip, but in case anyone else is wondering....

Aug 03, 2013
Pandora in Great Plains

Porcelain dishes - dishwasher safe?

I just impulse bought some Linnea Arabia bowls made in Finland from an antique store. From searching online, it appears these are porcelain and it definitely looks Iike it has a glaze on it. Any ideas whether these are dishwasher safe? I'd hate to ruin the glaze or something - my dishwasher does get crazy hot.

Mar 24, 2013
Pandora in Cookware

BEST Recipes To Impress a Man... Please HELP!

The dish I make that comes to mind is duck confit shepards pie. If you can get ahold of pre-made duck confit,you can just sub it for ground lamb or beef in any shepards pie recipe. Some frozen pearl onions, a salad, and you're set.

Mar 16, 2013
Pandora in Home Cooking

Szechuan House in Iowa City

How was the service? I went there when they first opened and thought the food was decent, but the place was incredibly disorganized. We waited for perhaps an extra half hour after we had finished all our other food for the final dish to come.

The food could also have been spicier.

Jan 30, 2013
Pandora in Great Plains

Roti jala molds [moved from Los Angeles board]

Does anyone know where I can buy one? I'm in the San gabriel/Pasadena area.

It looks like this:

http://almostbourdain.blogspot.com/20...

Thanks!

Dec 24, 2012
Pandora in Cookware

Sushi in Oak Brook? Or other Asian?

We're visiting the western suburbs and will likely make Oak Brook our base. Any recommendations for good sushi? I saw a post from about 2006 so thought I would ask again and see if there were some updated recs. I'm looking for fresh sushi, not lots of mayonnaise-y, and accommodating of small children (who eat sushi, just messily).

Along the same lines, any recommendations for any other good Asian restaurants very nearby? Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese? Dim sum? Trying to get a bit of a food fix without having to go downtown Chicago, but am not sure how realistic that is. I used to spend quite a lot of time in Westmont and sometimes also headed up to Mitsuwa, but that was 10+ years ago.

Thanks!

Oct 14, 2012
Pandora in Chicago Area

Smoked Fish IC

Costco

Sep 19, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Concord grape wine

Thanks. I'll go look for that article....right now I'm thinking i'll adding some unflavored jello to make grape wine jello shots and serving it up as a kitschy cocktail. Maybe with some peanut butter and crackers on the side. =).

Sep 16, 2012
Pandora in Home Cooking

Concord grape wine

Someone gave us a bottle of concord grape wine and in a momentary lapse of judgment, I opened it. Can anything be done with this to make it edible? Perhaps reduce it and make a glaze for duck? Or does that just do a disservice to a duck? It pretty much tastes like grape juice; pretty sure my kids would drink it without a problem.

Sep 14, 2012
Pandora in Home Cooking

Iowa City foodie gifts

oh cool - that looks like a good one. it doesn't matter if it doesn't specify...people in california associate Iowa with corn. I'll have to do that next time.

Jul 12, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Pasadena and Arcadia Help

I tried Oto-Oto. We liked it fine, although we didn't think it was a "must return" type of place. Overall, decent food and a nice modern decor. I was really hesitant about ordering the sushi based on the the Yelp reviews, the fact that it's really an Izakaya, and my own super-pickiness about fish quality, but the fish we ordered turned out to be pretty good.

Jun 07, 2012
Pandora in Los Angeles Area

Pasadena and Arcadia Help

Just a report back that I finally tried Pho-licious. I wasn't very impressed. Unfortunately we were there during a lunch rush, so service was not very good...they didn't serve us for ages, until after the people who came after us had already finished eating....with two kids, that was just a disaster. Food-wise, I thought the pho lacked depth and didn't have as much spice/herb flavor as I was hoping for. My mom reported that the fried rice was inedible....heavily larded.

Jun 07, 2012
Pandora in Los Angeles Area

Iowa City foodie gifts

Problem is I hate Joseph Schmidt chocolates....so if they're of that style...blech. I should try Bochner though. Maybe I can make my way there this weekend. I'm thinking some coffee might do the trick. I like the idea of the booze too.

Jun 07, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Iowa City foodie gifts

Any recommendations? I'm looking for easily transportable non-perishables like jams, local honey, etc., but would like something really interesting or unusual. The catch is that the recipients are in San Francisco, so the bar is high. I would do prosciutto from La Quercia, but i think it would need refrigeration. Are Bochner chocolates any good? Any favorite vendors at the farmers market?

May 11, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Cake in Iowa City

I've tried the cupcakes at cottage with mixed results. The buttercream was gritty and it tasted a bit like the refrigerator - I think their cupcakes may sit there for a day or two before being sold, so they aren't always super fresh.

I'm looking forward to the opening of Molly's cupcakes downtown though.

May 03, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Cake in Iowa City

Just wanted to report back that Deluxe fit the bill. The frosting was much less sweet than some of the new pi cakes, and they don't load as much onto the cupcakes as some places do. I liked the croissants also, and the coffee was good as well (Intelligentsia). I did have a coffee cake that I thought was just ok, but am lookng forward to trying everything else they offer.

Apr 23, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Iowa - Regional Food ideas anyone???

I just tried some and thought it was much less pungent than "real" prosciutto. So maybe that's why the ATK didn't like it? It had the mouthfeel I look for in prosciutto, but not the deep umami flavor.

Apr 20, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

"Cooking" with a toddler?

Feel free to ignore the ziploc suggestion if you don't want....I think they did do it to contain the mess, and also to make it less frustrating to combine all the ingredients since they are all easily contained in a bag. I thought it was pretty neat. Also, it may depend on how much an adult is helping. In this class, they had pre-measured ingredients and the kid pretty much combined all the ingredients and did all the kneading independently. My daughter was really young at the time - maybe 2.5, 3? So limited motor skills.

Apr 12, 2012
Pandora in Home Cooking

Vegetarian options in Iowa City?

I'd vote Motley Cow also. I don't know the Wig and Pen's pizza yet, but really ilke Pagliai's. Thai Spice is ok, not too bad, but not as good as some of the stellar Thai places in Chicago for example. I would do takeout there - the restaurant does not have good ventilation.

Hope you report back with your impressions.

Apr 09, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

"Cooking" with a toddler?

My daughter took a toddler cooking class. I can't remember all the things they made, but definitely pizza - knead the dough inside a ziploc bag, roll out and scatter toppings. Make sure to include veggies because he will eat them. I think she may have also made chocolate chip cookies and done the stirring by hand. I think she made butter at daycare in a ziploc bag, and maybe also ice cream once. Jello would work, although not really cooking.

Mar 30, 2012
Pandora in Home Cooking

Vegetarian options in Iowa City?

You can also check out the New PIoneer Coop and Bread Garden. New Pi has a great veggie burrito that I eat just about every morning, and some really yummy veggie sandwich options with tempeh, etc. I am not a vegetarian, but I always order a veggie sandwich from there because I think the way they combine ingredients is really interesting. I'm not sure about Bread Garden's veggie choices specifically, but they have a steam table and salad bar, so it's generally a nice place to hit for a casual lunch. I like their cous cous salads. Breakfast there is pleasant also as you can pick up a small portion of eggs, french toast, etc. at exactly the quantities you need. Both places are also grocery stores, so you can pick up food for those days you're not eating out. Oh - and both places are definitely the place to go to scope out local cheeses.

I do think most places here are will generally have a couple of decent veggie options. Other restaurants with good food you might want to scope out online to see anything if appeals to you are Atlas, Heath/126/moonmrakers, Short's burgers (black bean burgers, but I haven't tried yet), Leaf, and Stella's.

Mar 25, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Cake in Iowa City

Looking for a source for birthday cake. I'm familiar with the offerings at New Pi, but am interested in branching out - any other suggestions? Would love to find a place with good, not sweet frosting - maybe even whipped cream instead of buttercream. Decorations don't matter as much as taste.

Mar 04, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Classroom Birthday Treat Ideas - Help Needed

This sounds like a good idea for my kid's birthday at preschool. Her school doesn't really have any restrictions on sweets and I've seen a crazy number of cheap Safeway cakes - yuck. Since I'm always the one complaining about the amount of candy and sweets in her classroom, I'm looking to set an example of something tasty, but not junky. Anyone have any idea if this would travel well? I'd probably smear the cream cheese on in the am and drop it off in the around 8 ....it would have to be ok for an hour or two before it was served. To complicate matters, we are undergoing a kitchen remodel so any pie crust baking would have to happen in the toaster oven. I'm thinking I'd just make a couple rectangles rolled out and let the teacher slice it up.

Feb 26, 2012
Pandora in General Topics

Iowa City to Chicago road trip

Thanks! Bier Stube looks like the kind of place we'd like.

Feb 15, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Iowa City to Chicago road trip

Is there anything to eat off I-80/I-88 between IC and Chicago? Maybe someplace in the quad cities? Preferably fast - good deli sandwiches or something like that would hit the spot, and easy to access off the freeway. We have tried the Machine Shed, but did not like it at all.

Feb 06, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Remodeling - what food to freeze? Microwave, slow cooker, grill, and other non-stove cooking suggestions?

We are about to embark on a kitchen remodel and will be without a stove for about 5 weeks. Our fridge and micro will be in operation; we also have a chest freezer, a slow cooker, grill, and one of those butane stoves for hot pot. Would love suggestions for things we can cook and freeze now and heat up in microwave as well as recipes we can easily put int the slow cooker. Since we won't be able to brown meat, I think a lot of slow cooker recipes will be less than successful. And obvious candidates for frozen food such as lasagne seem like they would be difficult to heat up without an oven.

I'm probably overthinking this, but if you have suggestions that would be appreciated.

Feb 03, 2012
Pandora in Home Cooking

Des Moines trip report

Went to Des Moines for a whirlwind trip. Did research on here beforehand and thought I would report back.

Dinner (takeout) at Open Sesame: Not bad. Ali baba eggplant generally tasty, but I thought it was a little weird it used a big globe eggplant. I think I've had something similar at other restaurants and they used smaller, more delicate eggplants. The falafel unfortunately was way too salty and not very satisfying.

Breakfast at La Mie: fantastic. Total highlight of the trip. I could spend all day here if I weren't worried about accidentally eating all the pastries in sight on the big center table. Croissants had the nice shatteringly crisp crust that is so hard to find. French macarons were still good the next day also.

Lunch at A Dong: Just so so. The pho had a nice flavor to the broth, but was a bit on the salty side for me. The side of herbs was not very fragrant - perhaps the herbs were not as fresh? the bean sprouts hadn't had their roots picked at all unfortunately. Cha gio was a bit greasy and did not have the kind of filling I usually expect from a vietnamese imperial roll - seemed americanized. Any other recommendations for vietnamese that I should try in the area?

Dinner at Tasty Tacos: So we tried Flying Mango and a bunch of other casual sit down restaurants but they al had pretty long 1.5 hr waits at 5:30 pm on a Saturday night. Ended up figuring we would grab a bit here as it was reported as a Des Moines institution. Generally I didn't think it was all that tasty, although I could see that it might hit the spot if it is a local tradition. Tried all the fried tacos on offer, plus some other items. The fried tacos were a disappointment - was hoping for something puffy and crisp, but these were puffy, doughy, and soft. The fillings were very low quality meat - "steak" was a flat out misadvertisement. Maybe we ordered wrong. Figure it was good to have said we went once but we won't be back.

Feb 03, 2012
Pandora in Great Plains

Pasadena and Arcadia Help

I wanted to report back.

Sushi Kimagure Ike was fantastic. We loved everything about it except for the single-use wrapped in plastic towels. but really the fish was excellent. The initial seafood salad was exceptional. If I were going to pick at anything, I would say that I thought the uni wasn't quite as good as some other preparations I've had, but that's really nit picking. I will definitely be back.

Ding Tai Fung was as good as always. I know it's controversial on this board, but I do prefer the lighter thinner XLB style to the kind we get in SF. (Although Yank Sing's is also good - just $$).

We did go to Capital Seafood. I'd been before actually, but wanted to go back. This time, it was completely swamped. Unable to get a high chair. A couple of the items we wanted were out, but they didn't tell us until much later....all told the meal took 1.5 hrs, which is unusual for us with kids - usually the benefit of dim sum is that you get in, sit, eat and jet. They tried to convince us that sesame balls were the same as egg tarts....uh, no. Good still, but not the same at all. I think they were unprepared for the holiday demand. I thought the dim sum was overall very high quality though. To the poster that commented it was up to SF level, I actually generally think dim sum in SF is very poor quality, except for a couple exceptional restaurants. So I went in with high expectations that were by and large met.

I really really wanted to try Pho-Licious, but ran out of time. Next time. Thank you all for the suggestions - we usually hit just a couple of the same places (Chang's Garden, Inaka are two that actually weren't mentioned here but others might like) and this helped mix it up a bit.

Jan 09, 2012
Pandora in Los Angeles Area

Kid Friendly lunch near Getty Malibu

Thanks for the recs. We got there later than expected so just ate at the Villa so we could go back to the galleries for a bit afterward. The food was just OK...we're probably spoiled by eating at places like the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. burger was very good, but the accompanying fries were awful....lukewarm and very Sysco-like. The chicken wrap was a bit dry, but ok. The pizza was a hit with my daughter.

Jan 01, 2012
Pandora in Los Angeles Area