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SparkleKristy's Profile

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Walmart steak,not that I would but has anyone tried? [Moved from General Chowhounding board]

I was in the MILs home town where all of the grocery stores were closed on Sunday except Walmart. I purchased four ribeyes. They were about $80- even there! The flavor was bland but what was worse was the texture. It was like chewing on a balloon. It even made sounds. It wasn't just tough - it was weird. They were literally inedible. We thew them away.

The next day I took my receipt back to the store and initially they would not refund my money without the steaks. I told them we threw them away and it would have been unsanitary to bring them back. The response was -"Well, how do I know you didn't eat them?" I ended up talking to a supervisor and the store manager who finally gave me a gift card for the full amount.

Now I pre-plan if I am cooking.

May 31, 2013
SparkleKristy in Chains

Cringeworthy dishes by people who think they are terrific cooks...

Even Chef Keller says the Zuni method is the best. I ran into him when we were both looking over cookbooks in same section of the store. He recommended the Zuni Cafe cookbook specifically for the Chicken recipe.

Romantic Weekday Lunch in DC/NoVa?

I would recommend L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls. They have a beautiful Three course + Amuse - Prix Fixe lunch that includes a glass of Champagne for under $40. The service is always stellar and unobtrusive. Plus, if the weather stays nice, you can go to the park too. Very romantic!

Good Bread Pudding in NW DC up to Bethesda area for sick child?

Usually the Whole Foods near me has Bread Pudding made in house. . Call the one close to you and see if they have it or will make it. They have all kinds of sale bread to do something with every day. By your note, I would guess that you aren't feelin' like making it. An easy shortcut to making it (And a very delicious way) is to buy some pre-made croissants, rip them up and bake them in the cream, vanilla, egg, sugar etc. custard.

Also, UNO's Pizzeria has a DELICIOUS (believe it or not) Bread pudding on their permanent dessert menu. Very homemade flavored and not expensive.

I hope the little boy feels better soon. Poor little guy!

What's for dinner? #121 - 2012 Introductory Edition! [old]

Oh Floridagirl - I am a Polish girl form Florida now living in VA. Reading your dinner rushed me with thoughts of My Granny making this for us, right down to the rye bread. Wow! I haven't had it in so long. It might be time for me to make it myself. Thanks for the memories!

Jan 02, 2012
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner? #111 [old]

It is pretty easy. Easier than you one would think. Give it a whirl. It's a great event for a family or date night at home.

Oct 18, 2011
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

Where to eat a nice dinner casually dressed

Bouchon at the Venetian. It's a fun place owned by Chef Thomas Keller. It's lively with delicious food and drink - and can be casual.

3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jul 31, 2011
SparkleKristy in Las Vegas

Where to eat @ Wynn/Encore?

The Wynn / Encore is where we stay too. We've eaten in every restaurant there and have consistently had good experiences. We've had some really great times just waking over the bridge to the Venetian. Walk through the shopping promenade go out the exit doors and the walk over bridge is right there. Bouchon there has a GREAT seafood bar for Fruits de mere and they also have great fish dishes among other delicious food. It is a crowded, lively atmosphere. A good place to people watch if you are by yourself too.

Do look ina ll the restarants at the Wynn. Some are really beautiful. One has a hand blown glass dragon covering one wall. In another, the wholer oom changes, the walls come down the chandeliers change etc every 20 minutes. Enjoy yourself! You can't go wrong.

3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jul 30, 2011
SparkleKristy in Las Vegas

What's for Dinner? Part 99! [old]

Organic Chicken Feta Sausages on toasted buns with chooped cucumber, scallion, bell pepper and thinly sliced tomatoes with feta sprinkles and a greek feta salad dressing. Served with minted peas.

Jul 29, 2011
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

Bite size cupcake/muffin pans

Pampered Chef carries a mini muffin pan. They don't list dimensions, but it holds 24. I used ot have one of these and was pleased with it. muffin pan

Mar 01, 2011
SparkleKristy in General Topics

Small DC Wedding?

Mansion on O is a very interesting place. I have had good experiences there.

High on my list is Lauberge Chez Francois in Great Falls. It is perhaps a little further than you expected, but the weddings there are BEAUTIFUL. The ceremony is usually on the terrace with dinner in or outside. The food and service is amazing! Historically, it was originally located in DC and moved years ago. It has been a top place for the past 50 years or so. Check it out.

"Kids Say the Darndest Things" about Food, Cooking, etc.: Plse Add Your Funny Experiences!

@ Oncedaily - Prell WAS beautiful - so viscous. I still can't beleive it was in glass bottles.

@macca - I only know this becuase I just ordered some too. I can;t wait for it to arrive. I'll be smelling my hair all day!!! ;) I read the reviews and they say that the conditioner is what throws it over the edge for smelling good.

Jan 24, 2011
SparkleKristy in Not About Food

"Kids Say the Darndest Things" about Food, Cooking, etc.: Plse Add Your Funny Experiences!

Gee Your Hiar Smells Terrific is now sold by the Vermont Country Store...

They also have Body on Tap and Prell (but no glass bottle) ha ha!!

Jan 23, 2011
SparkleKristy in Not About Food

Kicking around some ideas for Oddball "Egg white only" Healthy Devilled Eggs- any thoughts?

I'm late in checking back, but I hope you liked them.

Jan 23, 2011
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

Best (and unique) appetizers to serve at a wine tasting?

Sure, my pleasure. I'll check my old files for more budget friendly ideas. Deviled eggs are so inexpensive and though they seem a little country - the shrimp dresses them up and people LOVE them!

Jan 23, 2011
SparkleKristy in General Topics

Dinner for a crowd -- preferably somewhat cheap!

Its easy to draw a blank when your mind id full Good luck with your remodel and let us know how dinner turns out!

Jan 23, 2011
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

Dinner for a crowd -- preferably somewhat cheap!

You gotta love the Chowhound community!

Jan 23, 2011
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

Best (and unique) appetizers to serve at a wine tasting?

I do a few wine parties a year. Here are some of the items that have been big hits.

Deviled eggs with chopped shrimp and a smidge chopped dill pickle is great with Reisling.

Fondue is a always a hit with apples, bread cubes, veggies, potatoes etc. It can be expensive with all that Entemaller cheese, but everyone LOVES it.

Keilbasa marinated for 2 hours and roasted in a red wine you are serving.

Roasted small red poatoes, tossed in black olive tapenade, oilive oil and fresh lemon slices.

Overnight marinated shrimp - I use ths recipe from Southern Living.

This REALLY cheating, I know, but after trying these, I will never make homemade dolmas again. They are great finger foods for a tasting. I can sometimes use a respite from cooking EVERYTHING.

7 Layer Greek Dip w party sized pitas (I used a recipe similar to this one.)

Crostini with cream cheese mixed with sun dried tomatoes in oil, raw garlic, freshly minced and a mix of herbs.

Crostinis can have everything.
Buschetta - add some chopped hearts of palm for flair.
Cream cheese with horseradish mixed in topped with thin cucumber, red onion and roast beef

Anyway, I hope some of these help. I have been building my "finger food" collection for 10 years or so becuase theya re just so much easier for guests to enjoy when you ahve ahuseful of people.

Jan 23, 2011
SparkleKristy in General Topics

Hot "pantry" dinners that aren't pasta...

We like brown rice too, but is does take sooo long I thought I would try the microwave recipe on the Mahatma Brown Rice bag. Tt comes out PERFECTLY everytime in my microwave. I use a round, flat bottomed casserole sigh. It still takes 25 minutes, but I just start it first. I was so happy this worked so well!

Jan 23, 2011
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

Dinner for a crowd -- preferably somewhat cheap!

Like you, I am the friend that "can cook". I find my expectations for myself are always WAY higher than that of my guests who are happy just to have real food. So I imagine you can go easier on your self than you imagine. I am learning myself how to lighten up a little.

Spaghetti with a homemade bolognese sauce is another good make ahead with salad and garlic bread.

This is the recipe that I have used to delight my friends. I have this cookbook and it is my go to. I started using Kendall Jackson Chardonnay back in the day when that was all I knew for the white wine and the results are so great I just stick with it. I follow the recipe exactly. I always double whatever I think I'll need though.

You can make the lasagne less expensive by making a Bechamel in substitute for some of the cheese.

Simple old fashioned baked chicken thighs and drumsticks with salt, pepper and dried parsley - makes even the pickiest connoisseur drool like I've done something magical. (Crazy I know - these are friends I've travelled the world with dining at some REALLY amazing places too.) With homemade mashed yukon golds with twice the butter you think you should use. You can make some cravy out of he chicken juices too.

Also, people LOVE a good meatloaf. I've cooked so many fancy and delicious dishes for my book club, but I get a lot of requests for my meatloaf.

I guess, at the end of the day, so many popele don't get homecooked food any more, that they really just LOVE great food - cooked well.

I'm sure you;ll get so many good ideas on this post and no matter what you choose, it will be a great night.

Jan 23, 2011
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

SPRINGFIELD, VA after funeral dinner for 30-e5, Valentine's Day suggestions?

Savios off of Van Dorn is GREAT, the food is perfect, the Chef Owner is very nice, talented and very accomodating. The service is always excellent. Call and ask for the owner and he'll make your planning, very easy.

good eating near Kennedy center

I agree with RIS.

2275 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

Need rec for tonight within 30 mins of national harbor

This has always been and it still one of my favorite places. It was just voted in the top 50 restaurants in the country by OpenTable and for the past 40 years has been listed as a top fave in the DC area. Great for politician spotting too if its your thing.

ISO Recipe to use up blanched, toasted almonds

I once ordered Cream of Almond soup at a French restaurant because I was curious. It was so super delicious and really surprising. The flavor might be a a little forward since they are a little overtoasted, but I still think you can make a great fall soup with it.

You can Google a recipe for it. The ingredients are simple, like chicken stock, almonds and cream...

Sep 27, 2010
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

Kicking around some ideas for Oddball "Egg white only" Healthy Devilled Eggs- any thoughts?

I was in Curacao at a litttle downtown place and had "deviled" eggs where the stuffing was tuna, capers and plain yogurt. It was very tasty and I now make them at home. I like eggs in my tuna salad anyway... so I thought this was a GREAT way to load up on protein without a lot of fat.

You can then use the hard cooked egg yolks in place of oil in a homeade salad dressing and will probably still end up better than store bought with all the added sugar.

This also prompts me to think about anything I may put on cracker in a porcelain spoon as an appetizer. Maybe I'll try mashing some white beans with some herbs... or add some mustard and pickle relish... hmmmmm.... I wonder....

Sep 09, 2010
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

Wedding Wine

My hubby, friends and I have a lot of fun with Wine. We are life long students and LOVE to drink anything from fine wines to great wines at good prices. Our cellar has close to 1000 bottles of wine, but there are no wine snobs here. Just fun drinkers and "tipsy" spenders. A couple of tastings at those CA wineries and everything seems like a "good price". HA HA! Then, shipment after shipment arrives at your door and you realize... It's time to get more cellar racks!!

Here are some recommendations I have for you. I've provided links to some sites so you can see the labels etc. I haven't done business with Crown, but they had the wine for a good price with pics and good descriptions. I am lucky enough to buy all of this (except the red) locally.

White - Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a great, crispy white. New Zealand does some of the best Sauv Blancs in the world in my opinion. And it is surprisingly anywhere from $9 - $12 a bottle. One of my friends is a Chef/Owner at a famous French restaurant here in the DC area and I tasted it on his recommendation. It's been my house white now for the last 5 years or more. White drinkers almost always love it. (Unless they love it REALLY sweet)

Sparkling - I included this wine in a blind taste test with a group of friends, fellow winos. Among the several sparkling wines in the $40 - $60 range, I including The Widow, Vueve Cliquot in this tasting and WHite Star by Moet Chanfdon. This one ranked most expensive. It's only $10 - $12 or so a bottle. Francois Montand Brut. We carry this by the case to any parties we go to / vacation homes we rent.

Red - Now there are as many palates as there are stars in the sky. I find choosing red to fit the needs of a crowd really tricky. But, even the most sophisticated of tasters can from time to time enjoy a manstream red. To show this, I had another blind tasting at my house. I had 50 guests. All avid winos. Everyone tasted all the wines and put a rubbery thing around the neck of the bottle they loved best. The price cap on the wine was $60. (I know that my friends would get competitive otherwise and whip out something crazy, but delicious) Of all the wines, including Silverado and Silver Oak from the beautiful Napa Valley, the hands down clear winner was... (you're never going to believe this....) A 2002 Sutter Home Merlot. (This was about 2004 when I hosted the party) It was $6.00 bottle. I have to say, it was a big upset and the stories are still being told today.

For the red, perhaps get some friends together, put all the bottles in brown bags for a tasting and figure out what most of your friends love. Keep them all under a certain price. Then, if it is a really crazy brand in the eyes of your guests, have them serve it out of decanters instead of the bottle. Some people get judgemental just on the label when really, they can't tell the difference.

If you want a wine with a sense of humor that you would be proud to show the bottle, I've had a lot of fun with this tasty Merlot. I order it by the case. It's called "Not another !@#% Merlot" and it's produced in Southern Oregon. It is tasty and SOOOO FUN! The bottle LEANS sideways and the label will get people laughing. It's a little higher price point becuase it is more artisinal, bt the fun factor might make it worth it, if your guests find that kind of thing humorous,

I hope this was helpful. Good luck. Don't be stressed by your price point. It's smart to stay in a budget. Newly married couples have way more imprtant things to spend money on after the wedding. If all else fails, have a signature liquor drink up front to loosen the palate and they'll drink anything. I've seen EverClear all over when I have visited Texas. A little concoction made with that will loosen everyone up. :)

There is no mention if this is your wedding or not, but best wishes to you or betrothed loved ones!

Aug 16, 2010
SparkleKristy in Wine

Weight Watchers Recipes - the good, the bad and the...

Citric Acid is typically made from corn - which turns into sugar.

Aug 13, 2010
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking

all u can drink brunch?

The Ritz Carlton in Tysons and thier Sunday Brunch Buffet is AMAZING!

French lentils in Baltimore?

My Whole Foods carries them in thier bulk section too.

What's For Dinner? Part XXVIII

I saved this recipe too Sharon. I can't wait to try it!


May 01, 2010
SparkleKristy in Home Cooking