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Breakfast Idea

If you don't have a ring, you can do it this way: Remove sautéed vegetables from pan. Pour one beaten egg into center of pan. Allow bottom of eggs to set (i.e., do not stir or scramble). When bottom of egg has set, scatter vegetables on top and some shredded cheese, if you would like, but don't overload. Using a spatula, fold each side of the egg over to form a squarish omelet about the same size as the English muffin. Allow to cook slightly longer so that interior of egg is cooked. This will be more rustic than using a ring, but works fine.

about 1 hour ago
masha in Home Cooking

Foodies going to Providence and then looking at Maine or Cape cod?

Kids are 9 & 11 (or will be this summer) based on OP's post on the Chicago Board last summer, linked here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/986925, which will also give you a better sense of their food-style and price points.

about 3 hours ago
masha in Southern New England

Irish Soda Bread recipe that isn't too dry?

I made this one last year, substituting raisins for currants (because the store was sold out of currants) and adding lemon zest. http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

As I recall, it turned out well, but perhaps I am not as harsh a critic of my own baking as you are of yours.

Edited to add the link to the thread I started last year on the subject (which mainly had to do with what to substitute for the currants but, like many CH threads, then went in other directions by other posters): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9689...

Feb 26, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

Ginger turned blue in the freezer?

Thanks for the info.

Feb 24, 2015
masha in General Topics

Ginger turned blue in the freezer?

Happens to me when I store it for a long time in the fridge. I've always assumed it was mold. I cut off the blue and use the remaining part -- similar to how I would deal with moldy cheese.

Feb 23, 2015
masha in General Topics

Ads That Play Automatically

Just happened again -- again with an ad for Cuties -- this time on the France Board (this thread, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1005...)

Feb 23, 2015
masha in Site Talk

First time in Chicago, what should I eat?

Thanks for reporting back Marie. Your post makes me think it is time to go back to Mexique.

Feb 22, 2015
masha in Chicago Area

Stewpot/Stockpot shape and usage

Assuming your burner is large enough, one advantage of the wider surface area is that it makes it easier to sautee or brown large quantities in the initial stage of making soups, stews or braises, compared to a taller stock pot. In that sense, it functions similarly to a dutch oven. I have a 5 qt pot that is similarly shaped (but with one long handle) that I prefer over our 6 qt stock pot for a lot of soups both because the wider surface area makes sautéing easier and because I am short --so it's easier for me to stir items than with the stock pot, where I almost have to stand on tip-toe to stir the pot.

Feb 18, 2015
masha in Cookware

Profile post listings question

After clicking on the profile and reviewing the lists of posts, did you then click on "Posts" on that person's profile? This will pull up the 25 most recent posts actually made by that poster.

Board Consensus on Sable?

This post is near the top because the Chicago Board is on life support. Since Feb. 1, there have been only 12 new threads started, and one of those was locked & moved to Home Cooking, as off-topic. One can speculate as to why activity is down -- some relate to CH in general and have been discussed ad nauseum on Site Talk -- but another reason for decreased activity, in my view, is the presence of a few passionate posters who strenuously advocate the same few restaurants and points of view, which discourages others from posting. (For a current, vibrant discussion of the Chicago restaurant and food scene, you need to go to lthforum.)

Feb 18, 2015
masha in Chicago Area
1

Should I buy a food processor or a blender and mandolin?

Kaleo, you probably have better knife skills than I. The draw backs that you identify (and my machine does not have all that you list) are offset by the improved speed and quality of the output in terms of the tasks that I've identified above. As to cleaning, I really don't understand this issue which is frequently cited; we typically toss all the parts in the DW but I've washed them by hand too and it is not a big deal.

Feb 10, 2015
masha in Cookware

Should I buy a food processor or a blender and mandolin?

Kaleo, obviously depends on the kind of cabinet space you have available and which items you make a priority in terms of access. We've got a good size kitchen with plenty of cabinets. The FP is stored on the bottom shelf of a shallow cabinet that is just deep enough for the base and bowl to be stored one behind the other. No need to remove anything else to reach the FP; just need to squat down for a moment.

The storage of my baking pans is a different matter. The ones that I use relatively rarely (pie pans, bundt pan, spring-fom) are all stacked in the blind corner of a different corner base cabinet and I have to pull out the KA stand mixer and other pans to get to them. But I don't use any of those pans with the frequency of the FP.

Feb 10, 2015
masha in Cookware

Should I buy a food processor or a blender and mandolin?

My FP doesn't clutter up my counter. It's in a under counter cabinet and I have to pull it out when I want to use it. Which means that, for relatively small slicing & chopping jobs, I use a knife. But it gets pulled out at least once/week for bigger jobs -- to shred potatoes for latkes, cabbage for slaw, for pureeing humus or guacamole, etc. And, once take the FP out for a job like that, I'll also use it for more mundane chopping for the same meal, which I might have otherwise done manually.

I find it no more inconvenient to have to reach into a cabinet to get my FP than I do to pull out a stock pot, or to pull out the dishes that we use with our daily meals.

Feb 09, 2015
masha in Cookware

Not liking small plates, tapas trend.

Province in Chicago had this ostensible policy when we dined there last summer. As stated upthread, we were sufficiently underwhelmed by what we ordered at first that we did not attempt to place additional orders later. It has since closed.

Feb 08, 2015
masha in General Topics

Not liking small plates, tapas trend.

We have only encountered the rule of placing all orders upfront at one small plates restaurant, where we ate only once. We were not aware of their policy before arriving or I doubt we would have booked there. We accepted the instructions at face value and ordered everything upfront. Food was only so-so, so we were not inclined to challenge the policy by seeking to order another dish later.

Feb 08, 2015
masha in General Topics

Not liking small plates, tapas trend.

Yes to this. I've had servers at small plate restaurants advise in advance that they make no promises as to which dish will arrive first and that they will be brought to the table as soon as they are ready -- just seems like the kitchen is not interested in taking any responsibility for pacing of the meal. It's manageable if they allow you to order in stages but truly annoying if they have the arrogance to insist that all dishes must be ordered at once.

Feb 08, 2015
masha in General Topics

90s food!

True but in the early years the Chinese emigres' ability to replicate their native dishes was far more constrained by the lack of access to the ingredients they used at home -- hence the creation of dishes like Chow Mein and Chop Suey, which were Chinese-like adaptations but did not necessarily rely on "authentic" ingredients.

Feb 06, 2015
masha in General Topics

90s food!

In the New York City area where we lived, I recall eating dim sum, moo shoo pork, & kung pao chicken, among other things, in the late 70s.

Feb 06, 2015
masha in General Topics
1

Menu Suggestions

I don't know if it's an "authentic" Indian dish as I pulled the recipe out of a newspaper article years ago, but I sometimes just sauté cauliflower florets (perhaps blanched first) in olive oil (or ghee) with garam masala and garnish with chopped cilantro. (If you want more precise directions, I can dig out the recipe and post.)

Feb 03, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

Chardonnay in corn chowder?

A splash of chardonnay should be fine. And I base this on personal experience, making fish chowder, which included corn. In particular, as I've reported on other threads in HC (I'll try to link it), a few months ago the NYT's Cooking e-newsletter included a "no-recipe" recipe for Fish Chowder, that suggested using wine and/or water, in place of fish stock, if you lacked the latter. I've made the recipe a few times now, typically with just fish stock (actually Kitchen Basics seafood broth) but on one occasion I wanted to make a larger quantity of chowder and only had 1 quart of the broth on hand, so I included about 1 cup of white wine (either Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, can't recall) and it tasted fine.

Edited to add link to my earlier post with my paraphrase of the NYT "no recipe", http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9981...
Note that my paraphrase reflects my own quantities and selection of ingredients. The NYT "no recipe" has no quantities and includes alternative suggestions as to certain of the ingredients -- e.g., stock/wine/water.

Feb 03, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

Breakfast Subtsitute for Birthday Cake?

Cinnamon rolls, for sure. If in a real hurry, the Pillsbury refrigerated ones are fine.

Ads That Play Automatically

Just happened again, with an ad for Cuties (the mandarin oranges) on this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1004022.

Feb 03, 2015
masha in Site Talk

Best Romantic restaurant in downtown Chicago

By "Downtown" do you mean the Loop, River North, Mag Mile area, or are you including a broader swath? If you consider Lincoln Park to be part of "downtown Chicago," I'd suggest Boka. It should be within your price range, given no alcohol. And, given the very professional quality of the service personnel, I bet they would treat 18 year olds very well (which is not necessarily true of all restaurants). No view, however.

Also, the obvious choice for a romantic restaurant with a view in Lincoln Park is North Pond. I've not eaten there so I've got no personal basis to recommend it but it is frequently included in lists on this Board when people posts inquiries like yours. I believe it's in your price range (again, without alcohol).

Feb 01, 2015
masha in Chicago Area

Coppervine Report

Wow. The menu did not really appeal to me, as I noted above, but that was fast!

Jan 30, 2015
masha in Chicago Area

Home Cooks - How do you minimize food waste?

We also grind our own beans and use a drip coffee maker. If we only want a single cup of coffe, we can make an expresso or latte in our ancient Krups expresso maker.

Jan 29, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

chicken on a budget

A very simple recipe for the thighs that tastes great (and you can make it with the legs too but I would separate the thighs from the legs before cooking): Brush the pieces with melted butter and bake, turning halfway through. About 10 minutes before they are done, place thighs skinside up, and brush with a mixture of apricot jam, with a bit of lemon juice. To ease spreading, warm the jam briefly in the microwave and then add the lemon juice; if you have some fresh rosemary, thyme, or similar herbs, add that to the jam mixture too. Finish the thighs in the oven until the skin, covered with the jam, is golden.

Jan 29, 2015
masha in Home Cooking
1

What to do with Mrs. Buttersworth Pancake Syrup?

My point is that the incremental harm caused by consumption of Mrs B syrup would be de minimis. And the science is quite unsettled as to whether HFCS is worse than "real" sweeteners like cane sugar, maple syrup, etc with respect to the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in children. (Calling it "childhood diabetes" is confusing as the incidence of "type 1" diabetes, which used to be called "juvenile diabetes," is largely unchanged and is not caused by lifestyle factors like food and exercise.).

The OP should donate it too food bank or pantry rather than tossing it out.

Jan 28, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

What to do with Mrs. Buttersworth Pancake Syrup?

Sadly, my childhood was much longer than 20 years ago. We consumed ersatz maple syrup (Log Cabin) then. While the taste is far superior, it is doubtful that equivalent quantities of real maple syrup are any more healthful than the imitation, in terms of promoting obesity and related ailments.

Jan 27, 2015
masha in Home Cooking

What are your favorite kitchen device for making dinner?

The electric powered device used most often in our household for dinner are the electric wall ovens.

If the question is directed at small appliances, then probably the food processor, which gets used about 1/week for dinner preparation.

We keep the small electric appliances in our household to a minimum. Most of the other electric appliances that we have don't get used very often for dinner -- toaster, coffee-maker, microwave, immersion blender, full-size blender, waffle-maker, stand mixer, and hand-held mixer. No rice cooker, or slow cooker; the pressure cooker is not electric, just a pot that goes on a stove burner.

Jan 27, 2015
masha in Cookware

Last Thanksgiving leftovers in North America?

I've still got some dinner rolls leftover from Thanksgiving in the freezer but that's not the same as leftover turkey.

Jan 26, 2015
masha in Home Cooking