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erisgrrrl's Profile

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Easy Tart Dough

I tried this and had to hurry up and make more b/c it wouldn't even cover the bottom, let alone the sides, of my tart pan. It was a little "heavy" but it was also slightly sweet and salty and broke into flaky bits when cut. I'd make this again but it won't be my go-to.

Jan 17, 2012
erisgrrrl in Recipes

Cookie Dough's Surprising Danger

"Perhaps they should also take the opportunity to remind industrial food manufacturers to actually make their products safe for human consumption." gee, what kind of country do you think this is!?!?

Dec 13, 2011
erisgrrrl in Features

Should GREAT service be expected 15 minutes before a restaurant closes?

I wouldn't go to a restaurant with only 15min to close (or even 30 in most cases) but I do think that service should be exactly the same as it was 3 hours previous. I manage a retail store and we're open until 9pm. That means my door is unlocked, registers are open and we're ready to help whoever walks in right up until close. Does it cut into the time I have to close down the store? Yes. Does it irritate the hell out of me and my employees? Yes. Does it really matter what we think about it? Nope b/c that's part of our job!

Sep 12, 2011
erisgrrrl in Not About Food

Strawberry Cake recipe? No mixes, please!!!

I'm making this cake for the 2nd time tonight. My son requested strawberry cake for his 6th birthday and he can't have artificial food dyes. We tested this recipe a couple weeks ago and it's really good! Since it's a ghost cake (yes, a ghost cake for a December bday - I have the weirdest kid ever!) we're using whipped cream frosting but I like the sound of the frosting posted with it! Thanks for sharing! :D

Dec 19, 2010
erisgrrrl in Home Cooking

Ginger Syrup

I wondered the same thing hungry_united! When I saw the yield then the ingredients I was like.... "Danger... does not compute...."

Jul 11, 2010
erisgrrrl in Recipes

Groats and Bell Pepper Scramble

This was a little bland. I used chicken stock to cook the groats and still ended up adding lots of extra salt and pepper as well as some finely chopped cilantro. My son still didn't think it was taste-y enough and he added some Tabasco.

It wasn't bad by any means, just not the gush of flavors I was expecting. We'll make this again b/c it was really easy but we'll diva it up a bit!

May 22, 2010
erisgrrrl in Recipes

Most schools have commercial grade kitchens. What would YOU do, or suggest, toward a solution to lunch programs/ obesity / food stamp hunger, using the school kitchen as an evening training ground?

I think that is a fantastic idea! However, I'm with the 2 previous posters in that schools don't have kitchens anymore ... and there would be major legal issues in doing such a thing.

However, many churches do have adequate kitchens to hold a function like that.

I feel like I have a skewed perspective on the whole thing though because I live in a community that is a destination for homeless people. There are people who travel across the country to be homeless in this city. At the same time our farmer's market is one of the most expensive I've ever seen or heard of and the city offers classes on how to cook on a small budget - but you have to pay $15/person and it the food it shows you is closer to the hot-dog-mac than to anything you'd consider healthful!

Anyway, I'm constantly amazed that people lack VERY BASIC kitchen skills. As a matter of fact, the woman teaching one section of the above mentioned class tried to use a paring knife to peel a bulb of garlic instead of giving it a little bash and picking up the skin. She did the same thing with an onion instead of simply cutting it in 1/2 and peeling off the outer skin. I have a friend who couldn't even cook oats - she relied on the small packets of microwave oatmeal because she had no idea how to make oats! What I'm saying is, it would be a fabulous idea to round up a group of knowledgeable volunteers to teach basic cooking skills to people. One very important thing to remember in that sort of practice would be that not everyone gets to go home and rock a $30 santoku so it would be important to show how to get results from that steak knife that gets used for everything but steak or the ancient aluminum pot you picked up for $2 at Salvation Army. It's frustrating for people to assume that kitchens are just magically equipped instead of dealing with what's available to a more average person.

I'm actually fairly inspired by this post and am now formulating some ideas to teach a free basic cooking skills class!

Mar 24, 2010
erisgrrrl in Not About Food

Looking for a great cupcake place in Chicago!

Feb 22, 2010
erisgrrrl in Chicago Area

Strange Pairings that Taste Uncommonly Good

There are so many things!

I LOVE peanut butter and pickles on toast - and it HAS to be toast! Sometimes just the smell of toasting white bread makes me want this sandwich!
Ketchup on ridge-y potato chips. Mayo-mustard combo for french fries.

Yesterday I had catfish lasagna in a white sauce- sounded crazy but it was so good! My husband liked my food better than his! :D

Sep 07, 2009
erisgrrrl in General Topics

Strange Pairings that Taste Uncommonly Good

YUM! I love that combo!

Sep 07, 2009
erisgrrrl in General Topics

Time for School Lunch

I can't imagine not being able to eat any kind of nuts! I'm pretty good at justifying things... like the chocolate soy butter has only 8% of you DV of saturated fat but it has 12% of your fiber and 6g of protein! And with only 7 ingredients I'd say it's still a pretty good "deal." I used it in place of peanut butter in some monster breakfast cookies that I made. They have tons of other nuts in them so they're still not school friendly but it was a nice addition to those! I just don't like eating it as a sandwich like my son does (and like I love to do with nutella).

Sep 03, 2009
erisgrrrl in Features

Time for School Lunch

I have to add a little disclaimer that my husband and I don't really like the chocolate soy butter very well but our son LOVES it! We get ours at the natural food co-op here but I have seen the non-chocolate version at the regular grocery as well. It's a brand called "I.M. Healthy" and it looks like it should come in a set of kids pretend food! You might ask at the grocery store if they can order it for you - I dunno if places still do that or not?!

Sep 02, 2009
erisgrrrl in Features

Time for School Lunch

My son goes to a nut-free school (supposedly all nuts are a no-go, not just peanuts, but I saw another parent doling out almond "Nut Thins" on Monday).

It's a bit frustrating b/c it rules out so many crackers/bars and milk/protein alternatives, but I understand. Small children aren't the tidiest of eaters and if they get nutty goodness all over their hands it's going to find it's way to another child!

Like vencogirl we use sunflower butter or chocolate soy butter (to replace Nutella). The rafts could easily be made nut free with either of those choices or by using cream cheese instead of "butters"... then you could call them "clouds" or something.

Sep 02, 2009
erisgrrrl in Features

Scent-Free Dining

Like bakinggirl, queencru I am also allergic to many many many perfumes/scents. It's not just a matter of my meal not tasting as yummy, it's a matter of me possibly horking all over the place!

I think that it's just another one of those things that some people are sensitive about (for example a feminist leadership conference I attended was totally scent-free) and some people just don't care. I mean, how many times have you been out in public with you children and some schmoe lights up right next to you?!?! It'd be nice if everyone was open to others' needs but we just don't operate that way in the US :-(

Aug 27, 2009
erisgrrrl in Features

Gubment Breakfast (inspired by the Reagan years)

LOL this brings back some memories! I certainly don't miss the days of standing in line at the armory waiting for our powdered milk and even-worse-than-Velveeta-but-pretty-close-to-the-same-stuff-cheese. I wish my mom was even 1/4 as creative as yall because maybe meals wouldn't have been so gross!

Aug 24, 2009
erisgrrrl in Recipes

Time for School Lunch

boogiebaby they have those at Bed Bath and Beyond.

And rusty_s is it really necessary to insult me?

Aug 22, 2009
erisgrrrl in Features

Time for School Lunch

I think that I see a lot of excuses!
I also work full time and manage to make healthy, interesting meals for my son. It makes me so sad to walk into his lunchroom and see kids polishing off Lunchables! One day I actually had another mom say "PFTT I wish *I* had that kind of time" ... well you do! You just choose to use it some other way!

Involving your children in meals (not just lunches) - from picking out fruits/veggies at the store to taking a little extra time so they can help cook- goes a long way to avoiding picky eating and having them eat what you send! Vencogirl, RLTRLDY and gdavis all have a great ideas! Instead of thinking of healthful eating as some kind of burden, treat it as a special thing you share with your child - and they'll begin to see it that way too!

Once school gets into swing I make things ahead of time and freeze them. Then I share them between my lunch, his lunch and my husbands lunch. I've been out of the habit over the summer but I can't wait to get back to it! His teachers are always impressed by the presentation of his lunches as well as the variety of foods he eats without thinking twice! One day his teacher (jokingly) tried to trade his lunch b/c he was eating pepper shrimp and she had leftovers.

Aug 20, 2009
erisgrrrl in Features

Using purple cauliflower water

Even when you steam purple cauliflower you still get some gorgeous lavender colored water in the bottom of the pot. I've used colored water from steaming to cook rice hoping that it would be a natural food color for my bento but alas my rice was just white :-(
I'd say to use it more for the nutrients or flavor than the color.... and the flavor (unless you've put in other seasonings) isn't much.

Jul 18, 2008
erisgrrrl in Home Cooking

Purple Cauliflower

Be careful adding acids to foods like this b/c they could actually CHANGE color - and not always for the better! Have you ever noticed that when you cook lemon and garlic the garlic turns blue? Purple/red cabbage also changes color when acid is added - they're phytoreactive. I haven't tried adding acid to purple cauliflower but it could actually make the color worse! If you lightly steam it tho it seems to retain nearly all of it's color! :D

Jul 18, 2008
erisgrrrl in Home Cooking