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Best packaged non-bakery store bought cookies

I see several favorites already listed like the dare maple cookies and stroopwaffels, but I didn't notice any mention of Newman's Own Ginger-Os. I can't buy them because I can't leave them alone, but while I wouldn't call them "healthy," the ingredients list is short and normal-sounding.

Apr 12, 2008
mizinformation in General Topics

Does 'quality' beef jerky exist?

Jerky from Gartner's meats in Portland, OR is good stuff. Big, thick, smoky pieces of dried steak--chewy, but too thick to be dried-out. It appears they will ship, though I've always purchased it in person.

Gartner's Country Meat Market
7450 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97218

Jul 26, 2007
mizinformation in General Topics

Portland and Corvallis suggestions

In Corvallis you might be interested in Magenta for lunch. I've only been once, but I liked what I had. They describe themselves as "organic Asian fusion" and there is at least some focus on local foods. It's close to the OSU campus too, if that's where you're headed

Magenta Restaurant & Catering
1425 NW Monroe Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330

Jul 26, 2007
mizinformation in Metro Portland

Thoughts on Plenty/100 Mile Diet

Nettie, I just realized you're probably in the PNW too--Azure Standard may be a source of local wheat flour (among other things.) They're in Dufur which is about 100 miles from Portland. Also, I thought I read somewhere that at least some of Bob's Red Mill wheat flours are Oregon-grown (like maybe the organic ones?) but I can't find the info again so I may be confused--I'm sure they could tell you at the BRM shop though.

Need Homemade Tortilla Help

I don't disagree with Romanmk, but if fresh ground masa isn't an option I've found that I need to add more water to the masa than the recipe on the back of the bag calls for. I'm not sure how much more--I just tried to make the texture of my dough look like what the woman in the taco stand had. I also try not to press them too thin.

Jul 21, 2007
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Thoughts on Plenty/100 Mile Diet

One of the things I find really interesting is that many people's first reaction (myself included--I do live in the Pacific Northwest, but on the dry side of the mountains) is "oh, that's nice, but I couldn't do that where *I* live". When I started looking though, I was surprised at how much was available in my "foodshed". I wouldn't necessarily stick to exactly 100 miles, since we drive further than that fairly regularly to visit family, but it did get me thinking about finding more of my food locally, even stuff I'd never though twice about (like flour). I'm also thinking about making the time and space to preserve some produce (I really wish we had a decent freezer....) I think a strong point of the book (and the accompanying blog/website) is that while the authors stuck to their goal, they never made it sound like anyone else should do exactly what they did--they just showed that it can be done. Maybe 100 miles isn't going to work for you but 250 might (there is a section of the book about someone from Minnesota who eats locally, btw, and I think her circle was closer to 250 mi..) Maybe you eat one local meal a week, or decide to buy something that's a little more expensive but grown closer to home. Maybe you decide there are five "imports" you're going to keep on the menu--coffee is pretty much sacred in our house so I don't think that's going anywhere :) Small changes, as Gooseberry said, can make a difference too.

Microbreweries & other cheap eats in DC

I was in DC for a conference recently too, and I found the food at Teaism decent in terms of both quality and price. The one at Penn Quarter is open for dinner and isn't far from your hotel. It's definitely not a microbrewery, but I would call it a cheap eat.

Teaism Penn Quarter
400 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Simple alternatives to sandwiches

my mom used to make us "walking salads", i.e. a cored-out apple stuffed with peanut butter and raisins (there was another version with cheese and olive filling in a green apple, but I can't imagine a kid eating that even though I always loved them). Might be a little hard for a two y/o to eat, I don't know.

This might violate the "easy to throw together" condition, but if it's not too hot to use the oven a big batch of calzones can be made ahead and frozen (maybe as extras from one night's dinner?) They can thaw during the morning's activities and be eaten at room temp. at lunch time. Not all that different from a sandwich as far as the ingredients go, but it seems different at least.

Jul 10, 2007
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Korean Mint?

thanks to you both--I really haven't experimented with Korean food at all, but your suggestions sound really good! I'm not sure if it's the same thing as the sesame/perilla, but I think I'll find out tomorrow.

Jul 10, 2007
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Korean Mint?

A friend has a Korean mint plant that is taking over her yard so she's offered to share. I had never even heard of it before--any suggestions for using it up? Can I use it like Thai Basil? Are there any dishes in which it is a key ingredient?

Jul 10, 2007
mizinformation in Home Cooking

East OR ideas

This might not be quite what you're looking for (i.e not groceries and I'm not sure they're open for lunch), but we always like to hit the Terminal Gravity Brewery in Enterprise. Food is decent (or better), beer is excellent, view from the deck is priceless, and the crowd is super-friendly.

how to fix waterlogged cookbooks

Looks like freezing them might be an important part of the process--
From the Library of Congress:

the National Archives:

and a kind of ugly site but what looks to be a credible source:

You might also see if you can get in contact with an archivist at a college or university library, he or she would probably be able to give good advice. You do want to watch for any type of mold as it can spread to your undamaged books. Good luck!

Mar 16, 2007
mizinformation in Not About Food

Hot Sour Salty Sweet: beef/ pork

I ground my own pork for these and about halfway through I thought "why on earth didn't I just buy ground pork?" It made kind of a sticky, yucky mess out of my food processor. If I ever get the meat grinder attachment for my KA mixer I might do it this way again, otherwise I'm starting with the ground stuff next time.

They were really good though--this is a favorite order of mine in Vietnamese resataurants but I moved somewhere that doesn't have one so I was glad to find another option. I made them in the summer and grilled them over charcol and we ate them hot with rice, shredded cabbage and carrots, and the nuoc cham sauce. Yum.

Feb 24, 2007
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Hard boiled eggs at altitude

Actually, since water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes (around 10 degrees F lower in Denver) it *does* have something to do with it. I'm only at about 3500 feet and I have trouble getting them right as well (and I had to pretty much re-learn to bake when I moved here from sea level too!).

Best advice I could find was this rather scientific article:
Basically it says if your eggs are room temperature they will take about 40% longer to boil than they would at sea level and if you're putting them straight into the pot from the refrigerator they will take about 10-15% longer.

I've also found good advice for other high-altitude cooking questions on the Colorado State University extension office site here: (although everyone is very non-specific about eggs!)

Feb 06, 2007
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Recipes using olive tapenade?

In the summer I like to make stuffed burgers with tapenade & feta in the center--keeps the burger from drying out on the grill. I'm pretty sure it keeps for a long time. I just added some to soup (which didn't turn out as I hoped so I'm not really recommending that) that was left over from said burger grilling this summer. Now I wish I'd made egg salad sandwiches with it!

Jan 29, 2007
mizinformation in Home Cooking

jittery and in need of espresso advice

It sounds like you may have gone from a grind that was not fine enough to one that is too fine. Perhaps you can ask your coffee shop to move the grinder a notch or two bigger then mix the new coffee in with what you already have. A shot that comes dripping out of the machine with no crema can't taste good.....

I don't know what is available in your area, but ultimately you may want to invest in your own burr grinder so you can find the setting that works best for your machine. Good luck!

Jan 26, 2007
mizinformation in Cookware

Search suggestions

Oddly enough I was planning on starting this post sometime soon anyway, after a lousy and frustrating search experience last week. When I logged in on Monday it was obvious there were some bigger problems so I decided to wait a bit. That said, it seems like there are probably more folks thinking and posting about what (doesn't) work right about now and the chowhound engineers are obviously working hard to respond. So...

-I see search results are now defaulting to a most-recent first order. Great improvement.

Needs work:
-knowing what you're searching. Before a search from a board searched that board first with the option to expand. That made sense. (update: I see you've already mostly fixed this--thanks!)
-labelling on search results. An example of what I'm talking about: what the heck are the "filters" (and I don't mean that literally, I'm familiar with the concept of filters)? Filter by "all" is contradictory. Filter by topic makes no sense--there is no section called topics so it isn't clear what is and is not included
-whole word searching--if I search for "eat" I don't want to find "great". Stemming (searching for alternate word endings) might be ok, perhaps as an advanced search option.

Ideal search features (in advanced search at least)
-phrase searching
-date range
-preview of where your term appears in the initial list of results (a la Google) so you have a better chance of choosing a relevant result
-ability to use boolean logic, nest terms, and to search within results (yes, I am a librarian, but I know I'm not the only one who uses this stuff)
-ability to sort results (or you can call it filter if you want) by board, author, date, relevance, etc. as desired

I'll probably think of some more, but what search features are others pining for?

Jan 24, 2007
mizinformation in Site Talk

What are your weeknight standbys?

One of my favorite super fast dinners is chicken with coconut and lime from Mark Bittman's Minimalist Cooks at Home book. I haven't even looked at the recipe in awhile--I know I've adapted it a bit.

Start a batch of Jasmine rice.

Start with cooked or nearly-cooked chicken (grilled is good, but I often use the frozen chicken tenders that don't even need to be defrosted before cooking in a pan on the stove). Add a can of coconut milk (I often use the light version), a generous squirt of fish sauce, and the zest and juice of two limes. Add some chopped bok choy if you want more green veggies and heat everything through. Spoon over rice and top with chopped cilantro & green onions as well as siracha or hot chili sesame oil.

This is also good with shrimp, pork, and probably even beef, though I've never tried it. I've also made it without rice on a bed of sauteed asian greens as a low-carb recipe. I could probably eat it once a week!

Jan 09, 2007
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Christmas dessert

I made this chocolate cranberry torte from epicurious last year:

It turned out great even though I was afraid I overbaked it a bit (hard to use someone else's oven!) A little went a long ways, and it was still moist and tasted good days later. I think making it ahead would be no problem. Also, the garnish made it look extra Christmas-y.

We used some of the leftover Chambord in pink grapefruit mimosas. Yum.

Dec 21, 2006
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Bend/Sunriver recommendations

The grocery store in Sunriver (the country store?) is actually pretty decent. In Bend good options include Newport Market (on Newport & 11th, westside) and Devore's which is right across the street.

There's also a Wild Oats on the East side and Ray's on the way to the mountain (from Bend, not SR). I actually do almost all my grocery shopping at Fred Meyer which is certainly not "gourmet" but is very well-stocked.

I'll let someone else answer the Blacksmith question--I've had good food there, but I'm more of a low-budget hound most of the time.

Puetro Vallarta grocery shopping recommendations?

thanks, this is exactly the type of info I'm looking for.
marlie, thanks to you too--I'm definitly planning to do some exploring, but I don't speak a lot of Spanish so I'm afraid I'll miss some good stuff if I don't get some advice!

anyone have a rec for baked goods? I often find the stuff in our local panaderia looks better than it tastes....

Dec 12, 2006
mizinformation in Mexico

Puetro Vallarta grocery shopping recommendations?

Thanks--I have a pretty good idea of *where* I'm going to shop, I just was hoping for some specific things to look for.

Dec 11, 2006
mizinformation in Mexico

Puetro Vallarta grocery shopping recommendations?

I'm making my first trip to Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) this month and have seen the helpful restaurant recommendations in recent threads. Now I'm looking for some help at the grocery store! I'm interested in both things to buy & consume there as well as (food-related, of course) things to bring back as gifts (and to stock my own kitchen!)

As far as things to eat there, I'm open to pretty much anything--we'll have a kitchen. I'm specifically interested in recs. for baked goods and dairy products but if there is interesting produce/meat/fish I might miss (as opposed to the limes, avocados, etc. that I'm already dreaming about!) please let me know.

Things I have in mind to bring back:
citrus juicers (I have one for limes that I use constantly!)
beverages (alcoholic and non)

I'm interested in any specific favorites folks might have and also any other general categories I should be considering. I'll be sure to check the customs info before I go!

Also, I'm in the Pacific Northwest, so my local grocery stores have pretty extensive Mexican food aisles. I'm looking for items that aren't readily available in the states.


Dec 10, 2006
mizinformation in Mexico

oatmeal cookie question

I make a lot of oatmeal cookies and never use quick oats--you should be fine.

Dec 10, 2006
mizinformation in Home Cooking

As a Chowhound, what do you want for Christmas?

I bought one one year for my SO's dad who is decidedly non-chowish. He loves it (and as far as I know never sharpened a kitchen knife before owning the gadget.)

Dec 08, 2006
mizinformation in Not About Food

Trader Joe's sighting: pomegranite seeds

costco (at least the one I shop at) has them too, if you are looking for a large quantity. I didn't look closely (i.e. no idea what the price was) but the package had two fairly large bowls of the arils.

Dec 07, 2006
mizinformation in Chains

alternative to crisco shortening for pie crust

I used a combination of butter and Earth Balance brand shortening for my pies at Thanksgiving and the crusts came out great.

I found it at a local chain, but they probably carry it at whole foods/wild oats, etc. if not your regular grocer.

Dec 06, 2006
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Condiment-aholics, listen up! The Condiment Police are here to help....

I keep my PB in the fridge because I like the kind that separates if it is kept at room temperature and I hate stirring it up.

Dec 05, 2006
mizinformation in General Topics

Gingerbread House

Last year I found a kit made by Anna's (the co. that makes the Swedish ginger thins cookies) at Ikea. It was good gingerbread, easy to put together, *very* inexpensive (something like $3-$4) and included only the house (no frosting mix, candy, etc.) I haven't been to Ikea for a while so I don't know if they have them again this year.

I'm not trying to talk you out of building your own, but if you decide to go with a kit and are near an ikea this is a good alternative.

Dec 03, 2006
mizinformation in Home Cooking

Really great gin?

too bad about the broken links! it does say most states' liquor stores/boards should be able to special order them here:

but I know that doesn't necessarily mean your state. Hope you get a chance to try it eventually, it's good stuff!

Nov 30, 2006
mizinformation in Spirits