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Niman Ranch chicken- is it really better?

I have noticed lately that the chicken (especially breasts) I find in the stores are MASSIVE. I bought a whole boneless, skinless breast at my local butcher and it was over 2lbs! Along with the massive size, I have also noticed that the texture seems off- mostly stringy and tough. I have taken to brining to combat this somewhat, but that adds precious time on weeknights. Another market a few towns over advertises that they sell Niman Ranch chicken. Are they any better? I know they are humanely raised, etc but I am wondering about the flavor and texture. Any input would be much appreciated.

Nov 17, 2014
justme123 in General Topics

Funniest thing a server said to you 2 (or, funniest thing you've heard in a restaurant)

ah!! a similar thing happened to me. I asked if they had zinfandel, got an affirmative answer and a lovely glass of 'pink' wine appeared. UGH. I explained to the BARTENDER that this wasn't zinfandel (didn't get into the issue of whether or not it is even wine) and he argued with me, showing me the bottle.
I told them it wasn't what I thought and ordered a glass of merlot...

Apr 23, 2014
justme123 in Not About Food

Your "evil food" (super unhealthy) recipe?? :)

Oma's chicken. Take a whole chicken separated into sections (breast, leg, thigh, etc sometimes I get extra thighs and legs and throw them in). Add one stick unsalted butter (ok, maybe 1 and a half). 3 onions, cut into quarters, and about 8 potatoes, cut into chunks.
Cook in slow cooker (Oma used her oven but the slow cooker is better for me) for about 8 hours on low, or until the potatoes are 'soft' and the chicken is cooked through and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

She made this all of the time. The best is dipping a homemade dinner roll into the 'juice' (aka fat).

I haven't made it in years but when I do the smell of it cooking reminds me of her and family gatherings.

Cheese with crystals

Aged manchego.... yummmmm

Apr 08, 2014
justme123 in Cheese

Mario Batali coming to New Haven?

Not a huge fan of his- (disclaimer-I have never eaten at any of his places- he just rubs me the wrong way on his shows), but for those that are- it looks like he is exploring coming to New Haven
http://www.nhregister.com/business/20...

Bridal Shower Ideas for New Haven Area?

I agree with ceegee's suggestions, and would add that Anthony's Ocean View and Amarantes are right on the water overlooking NH harbor-really can't beat the view. They might be listed as in East Haven, but they are just on the border with New Haven. I have been to many showers and other events there and they do a nice job. Not sure how much they are, though.

Turkey Meatballs...

I don't eat beef at all, so I make turkey meatballs (and meatloaf) all of the time. I add GRATED (not diced or minced) onion to my meatballs, as well as tomato paste.Also, as suggested before some chicken or veggie broth in the mix helps too (I use unsalted). Use a cookie scooper thing and roll them before you bake them on parchment. I have found this helps them hold their shape.

Feb 18, 2014
justme123 in Home Cooking

Food habits that make you go...

My DH likes to dip peanut butter sandwiches into soup. ANY KIND of soup. Chicken, butternut squash bisque...and even... New England clam chowder (this is his absolute favorite). He really enjoys it and that is great, but sometimes the fishy peanut butter smell and seeing the bread and peanut butter coated in the creamy clam chowder makes me want to gag.

Dec 06, 2013
justme123 in Not About Food

Help me identify and cook this squash!

Thanks! these are great suggestions. The hash sounds like a great idea and I have some chicken apple sausage in the fridge.
I get what you mean about being a squash-a-hoilic! I am an eggplant-a-holic!

Sep 15, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

I love my ladle

I do. Probably more than I should. I got it as a gift after coveting it for years. It is made out of cherry and has an off-set handle. When I use it with my Le Crueset dutch oven I feel like I cook better, and could host my own cooking show. I base this on absolutely nothing other than my beautiful equipment...anyone else out there a nerd like me?

Sep 15, 2013
justme123 in Cookware

Help me identify and cook this squash!

ohhhh. SweetTooth that sounds GOOD!!!! I am way more of a savory person than a sweet person, so that is right up my alley. And, I got 6 ears of corn last week in my share, and am anticipating another 6 this week!!!! I may have a hunk of manchego in the fridge...that would be perfect....mmmmmm

Sep 10, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

Help me identify and cook this squash!

sorry. here are a few pics of it. I think it is a carnival squash, based on DonShirer's pics....

Sep 09, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

Help me identify and cook this squash!

Hi all- as part of my farmshare this week, we received a winter squash. Ordinarily they walk you through the basket and tell you what you received- for some reason they didn't do that this week and I have no idea what the heck this is. It was hiding under the huge head of lettuce otherwise I would have asked when I picked it up. I think it is either a buttercup or carnival squash (thanks google!). It is shaped like a small pumpkin (sugar pumpkin size) and is green with yellowish white striations.

So, any cooking advice/recipes? I was thinking of cubing and roasting it with some cayenne pepper next weekend or maybe makding a soup. But, perhaps these types lend themselves to a better/different cooking method?

Any advice is appreciated.

Sep 09, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

new haven: skappo vs tre scalini vs l'orcio?

It depends entirely on what kind of a meal you want.

Skappo is more casual, and they specialize in small plates (think Italian tapas) . The food is really, really good and very fresh. You also may be seated at the communal table, with other parties. It can get pretty loud in there, especially if the son comes out and sings. 'Mama' is charming and will greet every table and chat with you. It reminds me of going to my Italian relatives and the chaos that entails. Don't get me wrong, I love it here- it just depends on what you want from the restaurant. If you want a quiet place to catch up with mom and dad, I would not recommend it.

L'orcio and Tre Scalini are more upscale, and have dishes that people might be more used to in an Italian restaurant. They tend to be more sedate. I personally prefer L'orcio, especially if you can get a table outside on the patio. I would put these two on par with each other (although I havent been to Tre Scalini in few years).

I hope that helps- I would be interested to find out where you wind up!

Someone should immediately forward this video to Tuschman as it is clearly the next Food Network Star

I SWEAR I thought the puffed cheese balls were going in there some how. you know, to give it that 'real' lasagna flavor.

Kitchen Nightmares -- Amy's Baking Company Scottsdale -- Spoilers

you mean who BOUGHT the cakes.....LOL

black pepper vs. white pepper

DH can't tolerate finely ground black pepper (that you would buy pre-ground), but he is fine with coarse ground black or fine ground white pepper. So, if the recipe calls for ground pepper I use white pepper. If I am using it on, say, a steak to be grilled, I use coarse ground black.

May 17, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

Do you use lemon and lime interchangeably?

Sometimes I do, but there are certain things I would never do that with. For example, I can't imagine chicken picatta tasting right with lime instead of lemon. On the other hand, I have marinated shrimp for the grill in either lemon and garlic, or lime and garlic, depending on what is in the fruit bowl!

Question for the Group . . .

I love this scale, and will be sharing it with DH!

May 15, 2013
justme123 in Wine

Kitchen Nightmares -- Amy's Baking Company Scottsdale -- Spoilers

I love this whole thing too much for it to be healthy. LOL. So, the only things that were edible were the desserts, which she didn't make?? unreal

May 15, 2013
justme123 in Food Media & News

Cicadas Anyone?

For those of you in CT, it seems that Miya's Sushi is planning to serve some up on their menu!

http://www.nhregister.com/articles/20...

Enjoy...I guess.

May 15, 2013
justme123 in General Topics

What are you making for Mother's Day brunch?

ohhh Indianriverfl that sounds great! I love any kind of thick dense bread. mmmmmm

May 09, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

What are you making for Mother's Day brunch?

I got mine from my mom- I have NO idea where she got it.
Here is the recipe:
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter (cut into quarters)
2 tbs Karo syrup
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
16 slices cinnamon bread (I usually use cinnamon raisin)

Heat oven to 350
In a 13x9 pan, put butter, Karo and brown sugar (break it up a bit). Melt in oven (stir every once in a while to combine it).

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together. Cut crusts off bread and quarter the slices (stack half the loaf and cut into quarters-repeat).

Once the butter and sugar is melted and combined, place the bread cubes in the pan-like lasagna noodles (that note is from my mom-my note- we are Italian-American)

Pour egg mixture over, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake covered 45 minutes in a 325 oven. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
The recipe says to serve it with syrup. We have never needed it!

May 09, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

What are you making for Mother's Day brunch?

I think you menu sounds wonderful!

I am having so much angst over this very topic today. My original guest list would have allowed for more creativity and variety. Now, instead, I have 1 person who is allergic to shellfish, 1 person who eats NO fish whatsoever (or onions), 1 person who has celiac, 1 person who cannot eat any dairy. And 1 fussy 10 year old. My total guest list is 7 people, so that leaves two who have no dietary restrictions.

*Sigh*

I was thinking of herbed scrambled eggs, an overnight french toast casserole, maple-roasted bacon, fruit salad, waldorf chicken salad, roasted potatoes, banana bread and wolferman's english muffins (granted it was just an excuse to buy them. I love those things :).

Oh, and Bellini. Lots of Bellinis.

am I missing anything? there will only be 7 of us, so I am probably making WAY too much....

May 09, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

Cook-ahead meals - recipe ideas and inspiration needed!

DH works nights as well , plus every-other weekend. He has been doing this for 17 years, so I totally get where you are coming from! On the nights he is home, I generally make enough food for at least 2 full meals (so, 4 servings). He can have one of those meals for his next shift, and I freeze the other one for another day so that he is not eating the same thing in row for several nights. I usually have some of the leftovers on the second night.
things that do well with this technique are chilis and soups, roast pork (drizzle with sauce and wrap each slice in saran and then bag in a freezer bag), meatballs/loaf- I make a morrocon meatball he LOVES, roasted chicken and what he calls 'gruel' (in a loving way, of course).
To make it, I cut up 1-2 zucchini or yellow squash, 1 onion, 1 pepper, and about 1 lb of green beans, along with 3-4 chicken breasts into cubes. Season chicken with S&P, a little oregano and thyme and saute for a few minutes till golden. Remove from pan, add olive oil and throw in veggies. Once veg begins to soften, add chicken back in along with a 15 oz can of tomatoes (Diced or stewed). cook about 10 minutes, Serve over rice. that amount will last us both for several days, but doesn't freeze great.

One of the new products that has been a godsend is the minute rice microwavable cups- they have a ton of different varieties. I really like the multi-grain one.

At least one night a month, I do resort to eating like I was in College again- you know, a bag of microwave popcorn! on those nights the freezer food is on his menu :)

May 03, 2013
justme123 in Home Cooking

When do you correct incorrect pronunciation?

LOL! OH GOD does this bring back a bad memory. I had consumed a glass (or two) of wine, and my adult nephew said he did something 'similar' to someone else. Before I could stop myself, the 'ly' popped out of my mouth. I got horrified looks all around (totally deserved) and then before I could stop myself, I started explaining that since the word 'similar' was being used to modify the verb XXX, it should be used in the adverb form; thus-similarly. The whole time in MY OWN head I was sceaming 'STOP!!! STOP this RIGHT NOW!!!'. I have never forgiven myself, and certainly never done anything like this again. My nephew probably wouldn't even remember this if I brought it up!

May 02, 2013
justme123 in Not About Food

How much does food contribute to a successful marriage?

UGH! I had typed a reply that the internet ate.
Anyway, I think, as others have said, that shared interest is what it is about. we love to entertain, and if we go more tha a month without an event, I say--how about we host [insert ethnic food type here] night!. Our next event is Mother's day brunch (we don't have kids, so we host all of the mom'
s in our life), and then the very stressful book club. Which, admittedly is as much about the mixology as the food. LOL

Apr 30, 2013
justme123 in Not About Food

How much does food contribute to a successful marriage?

We have several family members like that! they say to us 'why do you have to cook so fancy' when I roast my own chicken! they love to come for whatever event we are hosting, though! so funny to us. To us, good food =love. That explains my waistline ;)

How much does food contribute to a successful marriage?

Oh yes, wine while cooking is a MUST :)

Apr 30, 2013
justme123 in Not About Food

How much does food contribute to a successful marriage?

Thanks! all is well! we really do bond over food, and we entertain often and always around food! Sounds like you do as well. I think as others have said, it is about shared interests. For most of our relationship it was about me cooking and him eating my creations. Now, it really is shared and is so much more fun. Mother's day brunch is next-we don't have kids and so host all of 'our' moms, and then the very stressful book club the following week :) If we go more than 2 months without hosting a party. I will say 'Hey! I have an idea...let's have [insert food here] night!'

Apr 30, 2013
justme123 in Not About Food