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southerna's Profile

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Is Jamie Oliver Right or Wrong About Sugary Milk in Schools?

Getting schools to drop flavored milk is a small victory in a very large battle for Jamie. For anyone who has watched his show, LA and/or WV, you have seen that the main reason why schools offer the crap they do is for cost savings. Getting schools and food administrators to see that healthy, fresh food can be just as easy and inexpensive has been tough, which is why I think this is a great first step (assuming it happens). I applaud Jamie for all of his efforts and even if nothing happens, countless people and parents have been educated and made aware of this troubling problem in our schools.

It's pathetic that a Brit cares more about school food and is willing to put himself out there for our children's health than we are.

May 02, 2011
southerna in Features

Any decent Chinese Food recommendations in Central CT?

I do not like Fong's, but that is the category of chinese food that I am searching for. I haven't heard much about Xing Hua - what would you recommend? I know Oyama doesn't make sense with what I'm looking for, but it's just been really tough finding decent fried rice and other standard chinese items, like General Tso, S/S Chicken, Beef/Broccoli... You can get the hibachi as take-out @ Oyama, so that's what I do because the rice + noodles are just as good as eating in the restaurant, as is the chicken. I used to frequent Luen Hop in the old JoAnn Fabric plaza, but seemingly overnight, they went to h*ll in a handbasket.

Any decent Chinese Food recommendations in Central CT?

I live in Middletown and have had ZERO luck in finding a chinese restaurant that is edible when craving greasy chinese take-out. When the craving strikes, I just order from Oyama, but has anyone had any luck in the Middletown/Cromwell area in finding a decent restaurant?

Stew ongoing debate

I, too, am a regular shopper of the Berlin Stew's, and it is my go-to store for meat. After way too many bad meat experiences at the Stop and Shop on Rte. 372, I now shop at Stew's exclusively for meat and the Berlin S&S for everything else.
The SL sea scallops have been great as are the crab legs, but I have had some no-so-great raw shrimp from them, so I've found their seafood dept. to be pretty inconsistent. Never anything causing me sickness, but now, if I'm going to buy shrimp, I'll make a special trip to CityFish in Wethersfield.
I do enjoy Stew's overall, though.

Post-Reality Barbecue... TLC "BBQ Pittmasters" inspired cooks.

I bought a Weber Bullet smoker last summer, which is what the Slap Yo Daddy team used, and I have to say that smoking is much more difficult than I expected. I was lucky and found Weber on Craigs List for about $150 and it was brand new. However, I found it was very difficult to regulate the temp throughout the cooking process, unless you sat right there the whole time. Unless you are Myron, who wants to do that? The few times I used the smoker (before I sold it in the fall), I enjoyed smoking salmon and chicken. Good luck to you if Pitmasters inspired you! Hopefully you'll have better luck than I!

Feb 05, 2010
southerna in Cookware

RĂ©moulade Spread

I am new to the world of shallots and they are basically smaller onions with a mild flavor. IMO, they are much more mild than any green onion. I have also substituted shallots for regular onions on occasion, so I don't really under why they seem pretentious to you.

Feb 04, 2010
southerna in Recipes

Fried Calamari

Has anyone ever bought the frozen calamari from Whole Foods? After my bleachy odor experience, I am considering that option when I get the urge to make another attempt.

Jan 22, 2010
southerna in Recipes

Does Ruth's Chris have the best steak?

I've been to a local Ruth's Chris and found it to be just so-so. I have been to several Morton's locations and find their steak, and menu in general, to be far superior. Also, the service you receive at Morton's is incredible.

Jan 21, 2010
southerna in Chains


I frequent this PF Chang's about once a month, maybe once every two months, and my experience has always been favorable. I always make reservations, otherwise you are waiting a min of one hour, and they have a miniscule bar area. Service is always great, and we received a comp dessert one evening after the manager was displeased with the quality of SO's entree <<before>> it was even brought out to us. I also disagree with another poster's claim that PFC is expensive - I have found it to be equal to or below average for pricing compared to other area chains, especially if you have the membership card. For those who question the food quality, what do you expect, it's a chain that serves mass-produced food.

Jan 21, 2010
southerna in Chains

Two More Restaurants Closing in Manchester, CT

Didn't it just open a few years ago, too? (99)

Best of Florida

What's your route? Will you be heading up 95 or cutting across via back roads? In Indialantic (just below Melbourne Beach) is my favorite seafood restaurant ever - Islands Fish Grill. Very creative and tasty dishes - oh how I miss it so being up here in awful Connecticut. I look forward to hearing additional suggestions.

Jan 11, 2010
southerna in Florida

Fried Calamari

I recently bought some calamari to try for this recipe and while slicing it, I could not help but notice a bleachy odor. It turned my stomach and I ended up throwing out everything without even attempting to fry. I bought the calamari from a reputable local grocer - Stew Leonard's, so was I in the wrong for tossing everything out, or is that a common smell for raw calamari?

Jan 11, 2010
southerna in Recipes

The best canned tomatoes

I believe Whole Foods carries San Marzano.

Jan 08, 2010
southerna in General Topics

Paula Deen on foodtv

YES! Thank you someone else for seeing this awful evolution. Every so often FN will show a few of her older shows and I remember how I really fell in love with her back then. But now, her regular show is just unbearable. They play music under her talking- which is extremely distracting and her recipes are clearly not from her family or Bag Lady days anymore. I can no longer watch, BUT if it's an old one, I will watch over and over again. I will not even give the Party show a chance.
She has become way over the top and a borderline mockery now. I miss old Paula. :(

Dec 18, 2009
southerna in Food Media & News

The Chilled Relish they still exist?

Every year at Thanksgiving I am tasked with the assembly of our relish tray. In a cut glass tray with compartments, I assemble dill pickles, gherkins, green olives with pimentos, black olives, and three kinds of celery - plain, stuffed with pimento cheese, and stuffed with pineapple cheese.
This year was the first when we nixed it, as no one ever ate from it. I'm sure this explains the demise of relish trays all around.

Dec 17, 2009
southerna in General Topics

Fried Calamari

I love calamari and can't wait to try this!

Dec 03, 2009
southerna in Recipes

The Basics: How to Make Shrimp Pasta

I think it is not a recipe because it is teaching you techniques along the way and providing help with the timing. It seems more instructional to me than a regular recipe.

I can't wait to try it out!

May 18, 2009
southerna in Features

Best BBQ Festival for eating?

Hi, I'm interested in finding out what the best BBQ Festival for eating would be. I know there are alot out there that feature competitions, but you can't really sample any of the competing teams' ribs, etc. I'm looking for advice on the best events to attend, really a 'can't miss' festival, where you can eat! Any comments and suggestions would be sincerely appreciated!

Jan 23, 2009
southerna in General Topics