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Announcement: The Beta Site is Open to Everyone!

I've only visited it once. First impression was that navigating the site is not at all intuitive. It's more visually interesting than the old format but I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to find what I wanted to view.

Copper lovers: Monet's copper collection/kitchen in Giverny

I frankly had forgotten that I owned the book until I saw this thread. It is shelved with my "travel" books in our den, rather than the cookbooks in the kitchen. I am pretty busy over the next several weeks but will try to make some of the recipes after Labor Day and post about it on HC.

Jul 31, 2015
masha in Cookware

Copper lovers: Monet's copper collection/kitchen in Giverny

You may be interested in the Cookbook, Monet's Table, http://www.cookbookvillage.com/produc..., which is full of pictures relating to the food/entertaining side of Giverney, and includes favorite recipes. (I own the book but can't say I've cooked any of the dishes.)

Jul 29, 2015
masha in Cookware

The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar

We've been buying Motts "natural" apple sauce for years, which is absolutely sweetener-fee. I typically mix in some cinnamon, which also seems to amp up the "sweetness" component.

Otherwise, we consume a relatively large amount of artificial sweeteners in our home as both my husband and son are T-1 diabetics -- mainly in the form of diet soda. When our son was small, the availability of diet Jello and diet popsicles were also appreciated, as carb-free treats that he could enjoy.

Jul 28, 2015
masha in Food Media & News

Best coffee/breweries/sandwiches/art in Chicago for a weekend away...

For coffee, I am also a fan of Hero Coffee Bar, located on the southern edge of the Loop, on the northeast corner of Dearborn & Congress. They also have a sister location in Roscoe Village (Lakeview), but I've never been. Aside from their coffee, their sandwiches are also quite good.

Here is the link to their website, http://herocoffeetraders.com. It indicates that their coffee is supplied by "Headstash roasters," but also refers to sourcing from Dark Matter.

Jul 28, 2015
masha in Chicago Area

Unique Options for a Celebratory Dinner (Next Like Recs)

You might give El Ideas a call to see if they have any last minute openings. Their website, http://www.elideas.com, shows availability for the following weekend but not this one. Nonetheless, they may be able to fit you in if you ask.

(It's $145pp plus tax & 18% automatic service charge, plus the cost of any BYOB alcohol you choose to bring along. Not sure if that is close enough to your $150pp goal.)

Jul 27, 2015
masha in Chicago Area

Q. What do you get after 25 years of a glutinous diet and alcohol abuse?

And a lot of companies practically giveaway the meters, so that you will use their test strips. If your health insurance includes meds, you may find that you will need to order the test strips by mail from a preferred provider designated by the insurer (e.g., Caremark), along with any oral medication (or insulin) that your doctor prescribes.

Jul 27, 2015
masha in Special Diets

Q. What do you get after 25 years of a glutinous diet and alcohol abuse?

Grapefruit juice is less sweet than most other juice. However, I would not be surprised if your doctor puts you on statins to control cholesterol, as heart disease is a common secondary effect of diabetes. Generally speaking, if you are on a statin, you are not supposed to consume grapefruit (because of some sort of undesirable chemical reaction, by which the grapefruit interferes with the efficacy of the statin -- I don' know the exact mechanism but am sure someone will chime in to explain the exact pharmokinetic mechanism).

Jul 27, 2015
masha in Special Diets
1

Q. What do you get after 25 years of a glutinous diet and alcohol abuse?

Sugar-free gum is fine (said as the wife and mother of Type 1 diabetics). In fact, ripped from today's headlines: an article from the NYT surveying the weight of peer-reviewed legitimate science, that artificial sweeteners pose far less (if any) health risks compared to sugar -- http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/ups...

Jul 27, 2015
masha in Special Diets

Q. What do you get after 25 years of a glutinous diet and alcohol abuse?

JR, sorry about your diagnosis. You may want to post on Special Diets, as that's where most of the conversation on diabetic dietary choices tends to be located. Low carb snacks that may work for you could include nuts and olives, although if you are also trying to lose weight, you need to be mindful that the calories from them can add up.

Jul 27, 2015
masha in Special Diets
1

quick help needed re: marinating fish for tacos

It's not really a "marinade" because it does not contain any acid, but I coat my fish for fish tacos in a mixture of olive oil, chopped cilantro, chopped jalapeños, and other seasonings and allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes before cooking the fish to infuse the fish with some flavor. No risk that the fish will "cook" because of the lack of acidic component.

Jul 26, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

site forgetting "read" posts

Once I've reopened an old thread once, if I reopen it again then, it behave properly, collapsing all of the previously read threads.

Jul 22, 2015
masha in Site Talk
2

Ailing GE fridge

They don't make appliances to last multiple decades anymore. Just a fact. 8-12 years seems to be the usual life expectancy. Unless someone on the board can help you diagnose and fix the problem, you are likely looking at spending multiple 100s of dollars on the repair. Replacing it may make more economic sense although it seems terribly wasteful.

Jul 22, 2015
masha in Cookware

VEGGIE SLAWS/COLESLAWS! Home Cooking Dish Of The Month (July 2015)

I'm with you. As I stated upthread, I make a traditional mayo based cole slaw that contains no sugar whatsoever. To me the flavor of the cabbage and carrots impart plenty of sweetness, especially when celery seed is added. And I omit sugar from vinaigrette based slaws too. Last night I made slaw of cabbage and chopped cilantro dressed with equal parts lime juice and oil (plus salt and pepper) as a garnish for fish tacos.

Jul 22, 2015
masha in Home Cooking
1

Visiting Cheese Farms in Vermont

See also this WSJ article, http://www.wsj.com/articles/driving-v..., about one reporter's travels along the VT cheese trail.

Jul 20, 2015
masha in Northern New England

Visiting Cheese Farms in Vermont

Not sure if this is the same VT Cheese Trail that SP1 linked from the National Geographic site. This one is from the site of the Vermont Cheese Council:
http://www.vtcheese.com/vermont-chees...

Jul 20, 2015
masha in Northern New England

McDonald’s now sells lobster rolls in New England

For one thing, as I understand it, because they are not served on a split-top (aka New England style hot dog) roll.

Jul 19, 2015
masha in Greater Boston Area

Sending to App Store again

Perfect irony. It just happened as I was reading this thread. Got hijacked to the App Store for a product called Draftkings. About the 5th time today I've been hijacked to the AppStore. All when on my iPad.

Jul 18, 2015
masha in Site Talk
1

Some biscuit making questions

I am by no means an expert on making biscuits. I do, however, make "shortcakes" from scratch -- which are essentially sweetened biscuits-- for topping with berries and other fruits, with a recipe calling for buttermilk. I agree with others that the main source of your problem is likely the failure to chill the shortening and only remove it from the fridge when you are ready to add it to the recipe. Beyond that:
1. Butter would likely give a better flavor than Crisco. I've never made them with anything other than butter, so cannot say.
2. I agree with Gourmanda that, for me at least, forming and patting out the biscuits by hand, rather than rolling and cutting them, results in a better biscuit. When I rolled & cut, the biscuits were tough, presumably from over-handling.
3. I also agree with Sheetz. The dough should be on the wet/sticky side - one reason that forming the biscuits by hand is easier.
4. I don't keep buttermilk on hand. Rather, I substitute a mixture of plain yoghurt and skim milk in a ratio of 3:1. Depending on what I have on hand, it may be fat-free, low-fat, or fully-fatted yoghurt. With 10 tbs of butter in the recipe, I don't find that the fat content of the buttermilk really matters.

Jul 17, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

No knead bread

Do you have a Corningware or other 3-4 quart casserole with a lid? That will work fine. It is what I typically use.

See also this thread, which is on the same subject, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3434...

Jul 16, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

pizza vs pasta sauce

If I've got leftover pasta sauce, I use it to top pizza although I may forego or limit the toppings because the sauce is chunkier. For example, the last time I made pizza, we had leftover meat sauce from pasta a few days earlier so I used that, with only caramelized onions as an additional topping.

Jul 14, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

How to cook salmon?

If they are fillets (not steaks), I think 10 minutes is too long. I'd say 6-8 minutes. As they cook, you will notice some white spots appear. This is protein that comes to the surface as the salmon cooks. Once you see those white spots, they are cooked through.

Jul 08, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Free meals and snacks in Economy class for domestic US flights have pretty much gone the way of the dodo bird since shortly after 9/11. Southwest still provides small bags of nuts or pretzels (or cookies at breakfast) but most of the other carriers don't.

Jul 08, 2015
masha in Food Media & News

Restaurants and credit card fraud

Yes, I am always appreciative of the efforts of our credit card company to root out fraud. We get a call about every 6 months from the Fraud Dept., inquiring about recent purchases that appear out-of-line. Typically they are legitimate purchases but there have been instances where they were spot-on in deducing that these were not our charges.

Jul 06, 2015
masha in Not About Food

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

The OP has already explained her decision. The hostess and the guest of honor are both people she used to work with at former job, as are most of the other invitees. Her husband doesn't know (or barely knows) this group. The OP is not organizing a "boycott." She's just decided not to attend and will separately get-together with the honoree over coffee, which is how they typically celebrate birthdays. Given these facts, I doubt that the honoree will wonder why she is not there, or feeled snub.

Jul 06, 2015
masha in Not About Food

Navy reunion in August

You might also consider Miller's Pub in the Loop, http://millerspub.com/. An "old school" place with moderate prices and food selections that may please your group, given your description. (And the food is fine; don't mean to seem snobby in the way I described it.)

Jul 06, 2015
masha in Chicago Area

Cookbook Challenge

Same here. I've made new recipes each of the last 3 weekends but they've been pulled from web sources, not cookbooks.

Jul 06, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Many years ago (pre 9/11) we were supposed to fly from Heathrow to Chicago on the Monday of Labor Day weekend. The flight was scheduled to depart at 2pm. so we had planned to eat lunch at the airport once we'd checked in. However, because of traffic delays and mobs at the airport, we never got lunch on the ground. Then, after we boarded the flight, we were on the plane on the ground for 5 hours, because of mechanical problems. They did not have a substitute plane available so they kept us on board, as they kept trying to fix the problem.

Throughout this 5 hour ordeal, they would not serve any of the Economy customers any food or drinks, with the exception of water. (We could see Business Class was eating & I am sure they were in 1st.) Their excuse was that, if they fed us on the ground, there would not be food on board during the flight, unless they took the time to re-stock the food supply, which they did not want to do. Ultimately, they cancelled the flight and we got food on the ground, while waiting an additional 6 hours for a jet that was arriving from JFK after midnight. (We took off 11 hours after the original scheduled 2pm departure and arrive at ORD at about 3 am.)

Anyway, the lessons that I learned from this experience were to always bring some sort of snacks on board, as well as more reading material than you think you could conceivably use (not so much a problem in these days of e-readers). Luckily, I was in the midst of reading Vol. 2 the Jewel in the Crown Quartet, and had kept Volumes 3 and 4 in my carry-on, so I was set with the reading material. Just not the food.

Jul 06, 2015
masha in Food Media & News

Current restaurant pet peeve

Oh, Sandy, I am so sorry.

Jul 05, 2015
masha in General Topics
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Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

"I don't eat food I don't like so I never expected my kids to." Exactly. It's important that they eat balanced meals -- not necessarily every day but in general. It's not important whether they eat specific food preparations or foods. I don't like lamb, although my husband adores it; I love beets and he hates them. -- neither are ever served at home. Similarly, I would not knowingly put a dish on the table that our son disliked without at least making some alternative available. For years -- from about the ages of 2 to 7 -- the only vegetables he liked were carrot & red pepper strips, or snow pea pods. No big deal to prepare those for him rather than trying to get him to eat the broccoli, beans, etc that we may be eating. He is now is in his 20s and is a very adventurous eater. In the realm of things that are important in raising kids, instilling character and values are more important than whether they are adventurous eaters.

Jul 05, 2015
masha in Not About Food