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Mandy's Profile

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Looking for excellent party food for housewarming in Orange

Please help! My husband and I are endlessly discussing what to serve at our labor day housewarming/pool party. We're expecting about 75 people and would like food that can sit outside…perhaps sandwiches or even a taco bar? I have visions of a soft serve ice cream truck…or something like that. Since we're new to the area we don't know where to start. Please help add harmony to our marriage :)

Aug 07, 2015
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Tried Twenty Eight? Or something similar?

We are new to Orange and looking for a place for dinner that isn't super-loud or too pricey (The Ranch menu sounds good but too expensive for a weekly dinner out, likewise prix fixe menu at Tacos Maria), but still has an interesting menu. This is our date night so something a little more upscale would be nice too. I haven't found any comments about Twenty Eight in Irvine but wondering if that might fit the bill. Would appreciate any recommendations!

Jul 27, 2015
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

North OC Farmer's Markets

Thank you! One more thing: I'm looking for a French bakery to make a croquembouche. Any recommendations?

Jul 01, 2015
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

North OC Farmer's Markets

We just moved to Orange and I'm looking for a farmer's market, preferably with a few good organic produce vendors. I'm used to the Encino Sunday market and am hoping to find something similar here. I've tried Old Town Orange and the Anaheim Packing House. Even a great produce stand would be welcome! While we're at it, where can I get good fresh fish? Thank you!

Jun 30, 2015
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

9 year old girl's birthday party

Kids (and adults) love those hot dogs wrapped in pastry. Serve with ketchup and mustard dipping sauce. When my daughter turned 9 we served an English tea, complete w finger sandwiches. I had lots left over, except for the Nutella sandwiches. :)

Favorite brown bag lunches that don't require reheating

I like a can of sardines, and quartered hard boiled egg, cut up tomato and cucumber, drizzled w vinaigrette. Kind of smelly but delicious. Also, I often make this salad on Monday and eat it throughout the week:

Sep 22, 2014
Mandy in Home Cooking

Joan Nathan's Plov recipe in today's NYT

Did anyone see this recipe? I'm confused by two things:

1. Directions say to add the rice and mix every 10 mins, 'being careful not to disturb the carrots.' Do you cover the pot after that? Otherwise how will the rice cook, if it's not submerged in liquid?

2. The picture has big green vegetables in it…not listed in the recipe, that I can see. Am I missing something?

Sep 17, 2014
Mandy in Home Cooking

Unsanitary behavior by restaurant employees

Although this happened yesterday, and it's too late to do anything about it, I'd love to get Chowhounders' opinions on what to do if it happens again:

I was in the bathroom of a local restaurant yesterday and witnessed a food preparer using the stall (still w plastic gloves on from the kitchen), then not washing her hands, then blowing her nose, then leaving the bathroom. Yuk! It is a VERY busy brunch place. What would you have done?

(Also, recently at a local bakery and before the counterperson handed me my baguette, he wiped his nose with his hand.)

I'm sure these things happen often, but I don't want to witness them!


Aug 18, 2014
Mandy in Not About Food

Deborah Madison's Farro and Cabbage Soup

Would someone be so kind as to paraphrase this recipe? (which I think also includes white beans. ) I'm looking for foods to cook and freeze, as I'll be incapacitated for a couple of weeks. I read about this and figured it'd be a nice break from all the meat dishes I'm preparing. Any other suggestions are welcome but DH doesn't eat pasta or white flour. Thank you!

May 13, 2014
Mandy in Home Cooking

Mexican Food in Tucson

We'll be in town for one night, staying near the University of Arizona. Looking for a comfortable place for good Mexican food. I've searched the board, but can't find any recent threads for Tucson. Any help is much appreciated!

Jan 06, 2014
Mandy in Southwest

Lamb shanks with caramelized onions, from NY Times

Thanks, GretchenS. I cooked it at 325 and it was perfect.

Sep 08, 2013
Mandy in Home Cooking

Lamb shanks with caramelized onions, from NY Times

I'm planning to make this today, but the recipe calls for cooking the shanks in the oven for two hours at 275 degrees. I've never cooked meat at such a low heat...pardon the dumb question, but is this safe? Thanks.

Sep 04, 2013
Mandy in Home Cooking

Kid's punch--not disgustingly sweet

I've been looking online for a punch that will appeal to 9-yr olds but they all seem to not fruit juice plus sprite. I would like to make something less sugar-saturated, as they'll get enough sugar from cake! Any ideas would be welcome! Thanks.

Jul 26, 2013
Mandy in Home Cooking

Mail order salmon

Anyone have experience ordering salmon by mail? I always wait till wild salmon is fresh at market, but it'd be nice to have some--especially Copper River--in the freezer. Would appreciate any info. Halibut too.

Mar 30, 2013
Mandy in General Topics

Pies from Cake Monkey?

We ordered a pumpkin tart with marshmallow topping from Cake Monkey for Thanksgiving and it had absolutely no taste other than sweet. I think they'd forgotten to spice the least I hope that's what happened. And the graham cracker crust completely fell apart upon cutting.

Dec 15, 2012
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Mexican food in San Fernando/Sylmar

I've noticed lots of Mexican restaurants in this area, and would like to find a comfortable place with good food and margaritas. Any recommendations? I've noticed Tres Hermanos seems popular but doesn't look like they have a liquor license.

Dec 15, 2012
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Help me use up my pimenton!

So I brought a big jar back from Madrid and have barely used it. It's cold in Los Angeles and I'd love to cook up a big pot of chicken stew--would this taste good w smoked paprika? Does anyone have a good recipe? Thanks.

Dec 14, 2012
Mandy in Home Cooking

Need a great small coffee maker for my mom

I'm looking for something that will grind and brew and is relatively simple to use. Prefer a 2 or 4 cup capacity, as it's just for one person. I've looked in a few stores and can only find the premeasured coffee, which I don't care for. Thanks for any help.

Nov 30, 2012
Mandy in Cookware

Business Lunch near Miracle Mile

I'm looking for a quiet place, preferably with booths, for conversation. Any suggestions? Thanks. Mandy

May 14, 2012
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Celery plus a lot of leaves!

I bought a HUGE bunch of celery with a bushel of leaves at the farmer's market yesterday. I've been eating masses of celery/fennel salad, but what can I do with the leaves? Coincidentally, Mark Bittman had a recipe for celery salt in yesterday's NYT, but what do you do with celery salt? Thanks.

Apr 16, 2012
Mandy in Home Cooking

Pepe's NY Pizza or other thin-crust in Studio City area

Anyone know anything about this place? I'm looking for some good thin crust pizza for dinner.

Feb 10, 2012
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Great croissant in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Noho, etc?

Pain Quotidien on Ventura near Whitsett. Good coffee too.

Jan 05, 2012
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Need help choosing: Walrus & Carpenter or Ponti's?

I'm looking for "NW cuisine," as I lived in Seattle many years ago and have great memories of my first tastes of really wonderful mushrooms, salmon, oysters! So after perusing the board, I've narrowed it down to two. Please help me choose; we only have one night in Seattle and I'd like a memorable dinner.

Oct 24, 2011
Mandy in Greater Seattle

Looking for Northwest Cuisine

We're coming from LA, staying downtown and have time for one lunch and one dinner. I would love to find great Northwest food--oysters, mushrooms, and whatever fish is in season. Any recommendations?

Oct 14, 2011
Mandy in Greater Seattle

Kid-friendly place between Penn Station and Central Park for visitors from LA

My 7 yr old and I will be meeting my husband for an early dinner. Any suggestions for a moderately priced place that would welcome a child? She's an adventurous eater who loves most things, esp. pasta (though my husband doesn't eat carbs). No sushi. Japanese or Mexican, please. Thank you.

Jun 06, 2011
Mandy in Manhattan

Help needed in the Valley

Try Cafe Bizou. It gets crowded but food is pretty good and prices are reasonable.

Jun 02, 2011
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Empress Pavilion in Chinatown

I wasn't looking to be chided, just inquiring about the restaurant. But thanks.

May 03, 2011
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Empress Pavilion in Chinatown

Has anyone been there lately and how was it? My mother is insisting on going there for mother's day. I would hate to waste all my dim sum calories on a substandard place when there are so many good ones a bit further away! Thanks.

Empress Pavilion Restaurant
988 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

May 03, 2011
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Food stand in Griffith Park?

Years ago I read an article about a nice little lunch stand in Griffith Park. Does it still exist , how's the food and where is it? I cannot find any reference to it on their website.

Mar 01, 2011
Mandy in Los Angeles Area

Restaurants in Laguna

We are heading to Laguna this weekend and would love some suggestions on where to eat, both kid-friendly and not. Would love to find casual Mexican and/or seafood as well as a nicer grown-up place, any type of food is fine. Thanks.

Feb 14, 2011
Mandy in Los Angeles Area