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cycloneillini's Profile

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Help, braces! [moved from San Francisco]

I had braces when I was in my early 30's and very quickly got to the point where I ate pretty much anything I wanted - by using a knife and fork and cutting everything into very small pieces.

Feb 15, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

What is "dinner"?

Being from Iowa, Will, I came from one of those families with the time requirement. Not so much for breakfast, but "dinner" was at noon and "supper" was at 5p. You could almost set your watch by it. My dad still prefers eating on that schedule, although now that he is retired (vs. when I was growing up and he always worked 2nd shift), my parents eat their larger meal in the evening rather than mid-day. It wasn't until I went to college that I realized most people ate lunch and dinner rather than dinner and supper. Of course that's also where I learned that most everyone else drank "soda" rather than "pop".

Feb 15, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

Do you buy Frozen Pizza? Do you Buy Pre-made Crusts? Why the Reluctance to Go the Next Step?

We love the Boboli thin crusts with a thin layer of good sauce, a sprinkling of shredded mozz and then proscuittio on top so it gets kind of crispy when it bakes. It absolutely has to go directly on the rack to get nice and crispy rather than on a cookie sheet. A pre-heated pizza stone would work too.

Feb 09, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

best thing to eat when stomach is off?

Ramen noodle soup always works for me. It's the first thing I get a craving for after I start feeling better.

Feb 09, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

Best Table-side Desserts You've Had.

Our local steak house does two other tableside flaming desserts in addition to Bananas Foster - which was always my favorite until I tried the others. They serve all three over a big scoop of very solidly frozen vanilla Blue Bell. One is the Mont Blanc with a white chocolate sauce and the other is the Nutty D'Angelo that is like flaming pecan pie sauce. OMG.

Feb 09, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

Best soy milk?

My weakness is the Silk eggnog that at least in my area is only around during the holidays. It makes an amazing soy eggnog latte.

Feb 09, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

Squishing potato chips in your sandwich...anyone else do this?

There were a couple semesters in college when my only lunch choice was the food service brown bag lunch. Crushing the Lays potato chips on my bologna sandwich on squishy white bread with yellow mustard was the only thing that got me through those lunches.

Feb 09, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

Best or Favorite Pies?

I come from a pie-baking family, and the list of pies that I love is very long. Interestingly one of my favorites was my grandmother's custard pie which is one type that seems to have a lot of non-fans. Her vanilla with graham cracker crust and meringue was another. The best though is still my mother's dutch apple which I can replicate pretty darn well. My favorite time to eat it is for breakfast.

Feb 09, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

Ranch Dressing, what is up with that?

I had forgotten that thanks to HVR, ranch dressing had originated in CA. I'm a native midwesterner and so was appalled when I moved to TX found everything here deep fried and dipped in ranch dressing. Some restaurants here even offer multiple flavors of ranch dressing on their menus. Pity poor souls like me who want to go to a restaurant here and order red "French" dressing like I grew up with. I can barely find it in the grocery store, but there's no problem finding every flavor of ranch imaginable.

Jan 30, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

My, how could that taste so awful?

I agree and was very disappointed. I have tried a lot of other SB products and have liked all the others a lot. The PB was even worse after it sat around for awhile. It separated into an oily goo. I ended up throwing out most of the jar.

Jan 30, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

Are there things you eat/avoid every day to be healthy?

I drink no sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages - not even fruit juices. Sweetened beverages are a waste of calories in my book, and I'm convinced artificial sweeteners are not healhy. I used to be a diet soda addict, but I gave it up almost cold turkey about 2-1/2 years ago and have had maybe a total of 10 since then - I really don't even like it any more, and my acid reflux has been significantly better without it. Thankfully I've never liked my coffee (which I drink very little of), or my tea (which I drink a lot of) sweetened.

Jan 30, 2011
cycloneillini in General Topics

Where are all the white onions?

We seem to be fortunate in Houston in that we have almost all kinds of produce all year round. I guess it's easy to get it here from Central/South America. I don't recall ever not seeing white, red, and yellow onions in the grocery store. Texans love their onions. It depends on what I'm doing with them, but there are many things for which I prefer white onions.

May 02, 2010
cycloneillini in General Topics

Your Salad Dressing History

Dorothy Lynch or "Western". Stil love them both, although I now have to have my Western thinned down with some extra olive oil and vinegar. Too thick and sweet otherwise. Being a midwesterner transplanted to Texas, it drives me crazy that very few restaurants here serve any type of red/orange dressing. You can get 5 different flavors of Ranch, but no French or anything resembling it.

My husband and I both love salads, and I'll eat almost any kind of dressing. He, on the other hand, is a purist and in a restaurant always asks for V&O, because he doesn't like most other dressings. We've met in the middle, however, and he now loves any of the various forms of vinegarette that I make. One thing I love to do is start with some type of bottled marinade or sauce and then turn it into a vinegarette by adding EVOO and an appropriate type of vinegar. For example if its something Asian, I'll use rice wine vinegar. If I want it a little sweeter, I always add honey - never sugar. The downside is that once I've concocted something I can almost never recreate it.

May 02, 2010
cycloneillini in General Topics

Strawberries have no flavor anymore. Agree or disagree?

I live in the Houston area, and every year we go to King's Orchard to pick our own strawberries. They have been in business for over 20 years, and they said this was the best strawberry crop they have ever had. Four of us picked 36 pounds in about an hour. And they were amazing! Juicy and sweet. The trick with strawberries is to not pick them until they are perfectly red and ripe. Unfortunately the ones in the stored have been picked too green so that they transport better.

May 02, 2010
cycloneillini in General Topics

PB & J dilemma - Please weigh in!

There are not very many cross contamination issues that gross me out, but I would definitely have to have my own jar of PB, because jelly is one of the few foods I just cannot eat. The thought of eating a PB and J sandwich just about turns my stomach. My PB must be unmarred by any form of J.

Jan 16, 2010
cycloneillini in General Topics

Custom Made Cakes - What did you pay?

I got married in May 2008, and my two budget surprises were how expensive the flowers were and how INEXPENSIVE the cake was. I got it from a cake bakery in suburban Houston. It was a two-tiered cake serving about 40 people. The bottom was Italian cream cake, and the top was red velvet cake. Very nicely decorated with a fondant bow, etc. $85

Jan 10, 2010
cycloneillini in General Topics

Your first taste of fast food!

As soon as you mentioned Tastee-Freez and Dog 'n' Suds I knew you had to be a midwesterner. My first recollection was an A&W drive in where they brought out a tray and put it on your car window. There was nothing better than a cold draft A&W in a frosty mug. I don't have any special recollection of their hamburgers or hot dogs, but I remember their onion rings were amazing. Our local one - which was closed all winter of course - also had homemade ice cream, and I've been searching for butter brickle ice cream ever since.

Dog 'n' Suds was also a regular stop for us in the mid 60's. Great onion rings and coney dogs.

In high school I discovered Big Macs. I think they were 99 cents at the time, and I ate two or three a week. We had an open campus and could go out for lunch, and there was a McD's about 5 minutes from school. Now I don't think I could choke one down.

My first taco was at the National Dairy Cattle Congress (our county fair), and I thought it was the most incredible thing I had ever tasted. I was maybe a sophomore in high school, and it was the beginning of my life long love for spicy foods.

Jan 10, 2010
cycloneillini in General Topics

Do You Feel This Way Too After Cooking a Big Meal?

Thankfully I love to eat as much as I love to cook, so no I've never had this problem. Even this Thanksgiving when I baked and cooked for two days straight to have 18 people for Thanksgiving dinner. It all tasted pretty darn good to me. The only time I have a problem is if it's too hot in the dining room when I finally sit down to eat. A ceiling fan in the eating area is a necessity for me.

Dec 29, 2009
cycloneillini in Not About Food

Hormel Compleats - Woof

I take my lunch to work almost every day and have found these to be an acceptable alternative when I have no leftovers in the fridge. The only two I really like though are the Chicken and Noodles and Chicken and Dumplings. I try not to make a habit of it due to the sodium and additives, but I figure one every other week or so when I'm in a pinch isn't going to kill me.

Dec 29, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

desserts a lot of people do not like but you do?

Me too, but I like mine more like custard with bread in it than bread soaked in custard.

Dec 22, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

desserts a lot of people do not like but you do?

My grandmother made the most amazing custard pie like I have never had anyone else. I know so many people that can't stomach it.

Dec 22, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

Good (alcoholic) drink for a party?

I have done the red sangria thing at several parties and have found almost no body that doesn't like it. Mine is less sweet than what you get in most restaurants, and I have found that red and white wine drinkers and beer drinkers all like it. I very loosely follow a recipe I found years ago, and the main trick is that I use club soda instead of 7-up in it. I guess maybe the bubbles make it more like a wine punch than a true sangria.

Dec 10, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

How best to enjoy fruitcake?

There are actually some ideas in this thread that make me want to use fruitcake for something other than a doorstop.

Dec 10, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

Boneless Pork Loin chops in the slow cooker?

Definitely. Brown them quickly on each side in a hot skillet first. Makes for richer flavor, better color, and seals in the juices even better. Pork of all cuts is my favorite thing to do in the crock pot.

Dec 08, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

Have to go on a cruise, will I die of starvation?

Yes, I remember that the Diamond did have a Wheelhouse, but I don't recall an Irish Pub Lunch. Maybe it was on days we were in port on an excursion. It won't be our last Princess cruise, so I'll have to look for that next time.

Dec 08, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

Have to go on a cruise, will I die of starvation?

My husband and I went on the Diamond Princess from Vancouver to Anchorage last summer and were very impressed with the quality of the food, especially at the standard sit down dining areas for dinner. The upgraded (pay extra) restaurants were not worth it in our opinion. Our only disappointment was that we wished there were better options for lunch than the buffet - maybe some place where we could have gotten pub grub. The special lunch events they did on our sea days were quite nice, but how many chocolate desserts can one really eat for lunch?!

Dec 07, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

What are your favorite sandwich fixin's?

I am not big on cold sandwiches (or sandwiches in general for that matter), but every now and then I find one with just the right combination of quality ingredients that I find just amazing. Last week I had a "Chilled Grilled Chicken Sandwich" that was described on the menu as a "classic Vietnamese sandwich". It was sliced chicken breast, lightly tossed in a herbed mayonaise, on a fresh baguette with red onions, cilantro and sliced fresh jalapenos. It was so big and so delicious that I saved the second half for breakfast the next morning. Of all places, I never would have guessed I could have gotten something so yummy at an airport wine bar. They must make good money off their $9 glasses of wine, because this huge sandwich that came with an also very good small side salad was only $10.99 - not bad for good airport food.

Dec 07, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

Steaklovers ... when did you first fall in love with steak?

Growing up we had steak 2-3 times a year at most on special weekends like 4th of July or Labor Day. It was T-bone - now one of my least favorites - and grilled until it was at least medium well. I ate it because it was a special treat, but there were lots of things we ate that I liked a lot better. Then when I was in college, my then future and now ex in-laws who had a lot more money than my family, would take us to one of the nicer restaurants in our smallish university town, and it was my first taste of medium rare filet mignon. I've been a steak lover ever since, and rarely order/buy anything other than filet.

Nov 22, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

Thanksgiving Mishaps

My Thanksgiving lesson learned is to never cook in my stocking feet. A few years ago I had to sit through Thanksgiving dinner with a freshly broken toe after catching it on the doorway from the kitchen into the dining room just as I was putting dinner on the table. I couldn't bear to take my sock off and look at it until after dinner because it had already ruined my appetite enough.

Nov 21, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics

The Munch Box

OMG! It looks like at least two days worth of food for me, but it would be a great two days of eating!

Nov 16, 2009
cycloneillini in General Topics