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Masterchef July 29 2015 spoilers galore

I'm finding her less and less appealing to watch. She's quite smug and without any empathy. Why so mean? IMO a poor choice for MC.

1 day ago
smartie in Food Media & News

lamb dish for a virgin to the meat

A Shepherd's Pie as opposed to a Cottage Pie. The former made with ground lamb, the latter with beef. Lots of nice gravy added to the cooked and seasoned lamb, add some peas and diced carrots and a creamy mash on top, baked in the oven to get a crispy top to the mash.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

YAY to the Kosher Ribeye. Thought it might be tough but it wasn't. I used the BBQ Rub with Coffee and Garlic and it was delicious.

I'm loving TJs since they opened in S FL about a year ago. I wasn't sure at first but I am finding it quite a pleasant experience.

Jul 29, 2015
smartie in Chains
2

Boynton Beach?

Try Zorba's Greek restaurant on Military and Linton. It's not Boynton but it's on Military and saves the traffic going East. It's right next to Big Lots and Aldi.

Location is not pretty, they have a few tables outside with views of the parking lot but the food is fresh and mostly good. A couple things have been hit or miss (meatballs were meh) but their spanakopitas, tsatsiki and other dips were nice.

My daughter and I are frequently complaining there's nothing much along Military that's local. I heard Saltimbocca is closing, apart from IHOP and Friendly's and Sal's were don't have much. I think there's an Italian around Woolbright along Military.

Masterchef U.S. 7-22-2015 spoilers

I'm still not liking Christina as a judge, no warmth, trying the Joe mean look but looking sinister instead. Fed up with baking almost every challenge. Graham barely speaks these days.

Yes the same old same old drama and Ramsay-isms.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

NAY for Butternut Squash Soup, oh my that's horrible, tastes like pureed cardboard.

Jul 27, 2015
smartie in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

YAY to Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), I know it's been mentioned here before but thanks for the recommendations, they are nice and soft.

My 85/15% ground beef from last week was watery and tasted of liver. I did tell them today, they offered a refund which I refused as I hadn't gone to complain just to let them know it was weird. There's none in the fridge today so maybe other customers thought the same thing.

South African Smoke Spice is out of season now.

Jul 27, 2015
smartie in Chains

Made fresh daily

Yesterday's soup doesn't quite have the same ring to it as fresh made today.

Jul 26, 2015
smartie in General Topics

Odd Ground Beef

I bought a pound of ground beef from Trader Joes, it's 85/15%. It's been in my freezer for about a week, I defrosted it on the counter and added some chopped onions and seasoning.

After shaping it into hamburgers I heated a small frying pan with a little olive oil until hot, put the burgers in to pan fry. Immediately after the sizzle the burgers seemed to leach water so they didn't fry properly. The meat had a 'liverish' taste to it. I ate half of one and the rest will become dog food. The texture, taste and smell was unpleasant but the meat was definitely not off. The meat was not labeled grass fed.

Any suggestions as to what was wrong with the beef? Maybe nothing wrong but not quite right.

Jul 26, 2015
smartie in General Topics

$15 Minimum Wage=No Tip

Actually no, whether $15 an hour is a living wage is neither here nor there, many workers are currently paid this amount. The discussion is about whether traditional tipping should continue. I don't believe the discussion is leading to an excuse to stop tipping, though I would see no reason to tip at $15 an hour compared to $5.75 or whatever the current wage is for tipped workers.

Jul 24, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

$15 Minimum Wage=No Tip

But once servers get $15 an hour there will be no further reason to tip them as they will no longer be a tipped worker but a wage earner.

Jul 24, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

$15 Minimum Wage=No Tip

This is unlikely but however, if true then don't you think everything is going to go up? Who pays the medical assistants? Ergo doing business will cost the doctor more so either an increase in doctor's visits prices(via insurance or cash payers) or you'll get less time with your doctor as they'll need to see more patients per day.

Raising minimum wage to $15 an hour is a false economy but whatever. As long as everybody can have more pairs of Nikes, a new Iphone every year and go out every weekend then what does it matter?

Jul 24, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

$15 Minimum Wage=No Tip

Florida is a right to work state, good luck seeing medical staff better compensated. My boss (a doctor) is correct in saying if you don't like the wages then leave, I can always get somebody at $9 an hour.

Jul 24, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

$15 Minimum Wage=No Tip

Why don't you tip the kind of professions I cited? Once the waitress is earning $15 an hour but your doctor's nurse is earning $11 maybe you should stop one and start the other? I don't know what the trash collector earns, I don't know what my yard guy pays his workers and I'm getting to the point where I won't care what the Barista at Starbucks gets paid, but if they are getting more than me then they won't be tipped.

Sorry but 1 year at Medical Assistant school and responsible for patients' lives and getting their meds correct is more important than whether my iced tea got refilled when I wanted it or whether they got my dinner order in correctly to the kitchen.

Tipping is mainly an American thing. Historically wait staff got paid a minimum wage which started the the circle. I think once their wages are in line with other low paid workers then tipping will, rightly in my opinion, be a thing of the past.

Jul 24, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

$15 Minimum Wage=No Tip

I'm not sure that some of you Chowers realize how many workers are on $15 or less an hour already and are not in a tipping business. The receptionist at my job earns $10 an hour, the 2 medical assistants earn $11 an hour. Most LPNs earn $15-22 an hour depending on age and experience.

What constitutes a living wage? If I want to live in an $8million mansion on A1A then $15 an hour isn't going to cut it obviously. So $30k a year which is approx $15 an hour less taxes is considered a living wage but so is less if your expectations are lowered. Do we really need a new phone each year, 4 pairs of sneakers, do we have to see a movie the day it comes out at the theater, or go for sushi every weekend?

Many economic arguments can be discussed regarding wages and cost of living and standards of living. But I say it's unfair to pay $15 an hour to a burger flipper when the Medical Assistant at my workplace is working for less, checking your prescriptions are correct and drawing your blood (amongst other things she does in her job).
Why should the underpaid medical assistant tip a waitress for her dinner when the waitperson is being paid more than the MA. Does the waitperson now have to tip the doctor's MA for drawing blood? When does it ever stop?

Jul 24, 2015
smartie in Not About Food
1

Does parking make a difference for you ?

Here in South Florida it's seasonal. This time of year (summer) parking is pretty easy all over but as we get into the winter and around Christmas and New Year it becomes pretty dismal in some parking lots that I avoid either shopping or eating at those places. There are a few weeks where I avoid downtown Delray at night because it's almost impossible to find parking, some of the specialty grocery stores have limited parking also and are avoided or visited as soon as they open or just before closing time.

The other incentive to stay away from tight parking areas is the poor parking and driving abilities of some of our visitors!

Jul 21, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

thanks for the info :)

Jul 19, 2015
smartie in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

Yay-ish for the White Bean and Basil Hummus which is very garlicky but seems ok in small amounts.
Meh for Lamb Vindaloo - way too hot (yes I know it's a Vindaloo) and yet not enough depth of flavor.

Brown tomatoes - have not tried them yet but they looked interesting so I bought 4 in a package.

Jul 19, 2015
smartie in Chains

Starbucks

I maybe buy a Starbucks once a month and I am happy with the occasional coffee or mocha that I do buy. So that raise doesn't really affect me.

I do find it mind boggling that people BUY coffee every day when they could make it at home and take a cup to work with them, or drink it at home and make coffee at work. I berate my daughter, an RN, for stopping for some frappamochachino thing EVERY day at $5 a pop that adds up. 3 of my coworkers would rather stop at McDs or DD and pay for coffee each morning rather than drink the free and very good coffee at work. Oh well each to his own :).

Masterchef USA 7-8-15 spoilers

I agree, who was Kerry? And crepes in a Beef Wellington?

Not liking our new lady judge much. I don't see what she adds to the mix, she's trying to walk around and make comments like Joe used to but comes off as mean with her cold stares. I hope they ditch her next season, the baking is annoying me (yes this week's episode didn't really have any unless you count pastry crust).

Eating Alone

I have to stop myself from making very large amounts and cut down to a maximum of 2 servings unless I want to get very fat or get bored with the same meal 3 nights in a row. I do freeze things like soup or sauces though. I would say I cook 4-5 nights a week, go out twice and make eggs or a bowl of cereal on occasion.

I try not to get tempted by BOGOF salads. I also try to remember to portion off meat and fish for the freezer BEFORE I freeze it. Sometimes I forget then I look at 8 frozen chicken breasts or thighs and sigh inwardly.

The one thing I find difficult is not being able to buy a leg or shoulder of lamb, or a large piece of beef for roasting, or a whole large fish. I just don't like cold lamb, and there's only so much cold roast beef I can eat and it's not great frozen.

Jul 10, 2015
smartie in General Topics

Guyanese Rum

A few weeks ago I was riding my Harley through Georgia from Florida and I saw a sign saying Richland rum. So I detoured into Richland and found the distillery. Unfortunately the store that sold the rum across the street from the distillery was closed as it was 10am, so I couldn't buy a bottle, but a man that worked in the distillery invited me in for a taster.

I told him I was on a motorcycle and that it was 10am, but he said 'well it's 5 o clock somewhere' so I shrugged and followed him in. That rum was smooth and damn good.

I must find where it's sold in Florida.

Jul 08, 2015
smartie in Spirits

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

I don't know Knudsens so I can't comment. I wasn't a fan of the TJ cottage cheese but it was just ok.

Jul 06, 2015
smartie in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

I agree about the cottage cheese, very Meh. Too loose with not much flavor. I'll go back to my Friendship brand.

Jul 06, 2015
smartie in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

Nay to Decaff coffee beans (I think French Roast). Much too weak even with extra spoonfuls in my French press. Folgers is way better.

Jul 06, 2015
smartie in Chains

Trader Joes... Please, just ring up my groceries.

TJs are still pretty new in South Florida and I'm still learning my way around the store and liking some things and not liking others. I find the cashiers really pleasant. I'd much rather shop at TJs than Publix even though I still need Publix or Walmart for certain things.

Jul 04, 2015
smartie in Chains

Is it okay to ask guests at a suprise party to pay to attend?

Why didn't they just do a potluck?

Anyway, yes it's weird, I hate when goalposts are moved as you've already said yes and now if you say no ...........

I'd still say no I couldn't go, something came up last minute.

Jul 04, 2015
smartie in Not About Food

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

They are quite similar but I have a preference for the mocha.

Jul 03, 2015
smartie in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

Yay for Country Grain Salad with white balsamic dressing. Very simple cabbage, couscous and chickpeas and a couple cherry tomatoes. The dressing has cumin in it I think. It works well together.

Jul 02, 2015
smartie in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015

Mocha yoghurts are like crack. I actually like waiting to get to the bottom and eating the dark part on its own. Have you tried the chocolate ones too?

Jul 02, 2015
smartie in Chains