critter101's Profile

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Birthday Party planning - help needed with the menu

I second the taco caterer - less stress, less work. I'd keep the black bean dip, the chicken dip, and cheese and crackers. With the tacos, I might serve several salsas, including one made of fresh pineapple, mango, diced jalepeno peppers, red onion, green onion, red and green bell peppers, and dressed with fresh lime juice and cilantro. I'd serve beer with lime wedges and big pitchers of sangria with lemon, lime and orange slices. For a fabulous birthday toast, serve a tequila shooter. Sounds like a party to me!

May 05, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

looking for healthy dessert recipes!

Parfaits, layered in a small wine glass. Make them with unsweetened non-fat Greek yogurt, and fresh berries. Add a little granola between layers for a bit of crunch.

Apr 24, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Jeni's Ice Cream Recall

Jeni's Ice Cream is recalling all product and temporarily closing all stores due to listeria

Apr 23, 2015
critter101 in Food Media & News

Can I Freeze Potato-Leek Soup (non-dairy)?

Since you have a bit left over that you are planning to use tonight or tomorrow for the family, just take a small quantity and freeze it. Defrost in a few days, taste, and you'll have your solution. It only takes a mouthful or two to determine texture issues.

Apr 17, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Shishito Peppers

One thing that makes them even tastier is a dipping sauce served along side. I like a mix of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and a bit of rice vinegar. Season the sauce with some freshly grated ginger and finely chopped cilantro. I've just planted some in my garden and can hardly wait to harvest. I did buy some at Sprouts last week, and found them tasting a bit green and immature.

Apr 16, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Vintage LA diners with great food

No one has mentioned Beeps, on the corner of Woodley and Sherman Way, in Van Nuys. It's been there since the '50s.

Throwing a party with no oven...suggestions?

How about a taco/burrito bar? You can make everything stovetop - chili meat or shredded beef/pork/chicken, Spanish rice, beans, grated cheeses, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, salsas, sour cream, guacamole, taco shells, flour and corn tortillas. The hot foods can be served in crock pots, the rest in bowls - simple and delicious.

Steaming--can you flavor things?

When I steam baby red jacket potatoes, I always add salt and a few dried bay leaves to the water. In my opinion, it " perfumes" the steam, and imparts a bit of flavor to the potatoes (which are then buttered and tossed with fresh chives and finely minced parsley).

Apr 11, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Can you suggest easy dinners for a stressful month?

When I make dinner, I usually cook enough for two meals. Then I have that meal on night #1, and again on night #3. I follow that plan several nights a week, freeing up a lot of food prep hours. If I make soup, or a braise (something which benefits from sitting for a few days), I will serve it on night #1 and #4. Or, I will use the main ingredient as a component for another dish, thereby avoiding the utterance of, "leftovers again?".

Mar 29, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

What cooked veggie to add to this entree?

Sautéed broccoli with garlic, or carrots with brown sugar, or cubed butternut squash, or cauliflower. But personally, I'd go with rice, mixed with a very fine dice of onion, cilantro, and some lime juice.

Mar 23, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Need help recalling restaurant (1978 photo).

My first thought was something in Toluca Lake.

Mar 13, 2015
critter101 in Los Angeles Area

Can I simply replace water with coffee in a recipe?

Google "Wacky Cake". It's even easier, and uses the same size pan. You can probably substitute coffee for the water in this recipe, as well.

Mar 04, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Dessert when main course is waffles?

Sorbet with some simple shortbread cookie or biscotti. Or some lovely cheese and fresh fruit.

Feb 11, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Breakfast and Lunch suggestions for a group of women

Sounds like an interesting method. What oven temp do you use?

Feb 08, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Savory Dish Containing Chocolate?

See if this works...it's Mary Ann Esposito making caponata on YouTube

Video for maryann esposito's caponata▶ 11:58▶ 11:58
Aug 24, 2010 - Uploaded by Mary Ann Esposito
Ciao Italia 402-r0709 Caponata. ... Caponata. Mary Ann Esposito ... Receita de Caponata Siciliana, o tradicional refogado de berinjelas.

Feb 05, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Savory Dish Containing Chocolate?

If you Google "Mary Ann Esposito Caponata"' you'll find her recipe for a wonderful Italian eggplant relish that uses a bit of cocoa. It's a sweet and sour dish (although I cut back a bit on the amount of sugar she calls for), and it's great at room temp, and served on sliced baguettes. There's even a video online of her making it. Just be aware that the number of eggplants she calls for are the young, smaller ones. I think I usually use two large for this recipe.

Feb 05, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Frito's salad recipe?

Is it the one made with ground beef? If so, it's called taco salad with Fritos, and if you Google it, you'll find many recipes.

Feb 02, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Need help with edible conference favor

Pretzel rods dipped halfway in white or dark chocolate and sprinkled with your logo color sprinkles. These could be made in advance, and sealed in cello bags.

Jan 31, 2015
critter101 in Home Cooking

Leftover Week

I have a freezer in my garage that is just about bursting. I have made a resolution to take a full inventory, and use up at least 50% of my food before replenishing. I keep a list next to the freezer, and subtract as I go. So far, so good - it's amazing what I have squirreled away in there.

Sturdy post office-ready cake or tart idea


Bread Pudding

I broke it into chunks, assembled it, and baked right away. My recipe is quite old and is custardy rather than bready. In other words, it's not a terribly dense product. I once tried cake donuts, but, for me, it was a failure. The doughnuts just crumbled in the egg mixture.

Dec 07, 2014
critter101 in Home Cooking

Bread Pudding

This time of year, I like to use pannetone.

Dec 07, 2014
critter101 in Home Cooking

Which pasta?

I like pappardelle.

What to serve with cheese ravioli xmas day?

Shaved fennel, red onions, and orange segments in a red wine vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette is wonderful and refreshing.

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets - Burnt!

Was the puff pastry warm when you baked the strudel? The dough should be chilled before putting the ready-to-bake dish into the oven.

Nov 24, 2014
critter101 in Home Cooking

Curl-your-toes Braised Red Cabbage

My grandmother used to use pieces of sour salt for her sweet and sour cabbage dishes. Haven't seen it available for a number of years. As I recall, it was made by Maneschewitz, and came in a small glass jar. The pieces were in varying sizes, and were irregularly shaped, like rock candy. EarlyBird's recipe is very similar to the one I make today, using cider vinegar.

Nov 24, 2014
critter101 in Home Cooking

Coffee Syrups - Where to buy?

Try Smart and Final

Quick and festive BD cake to travel for nonagenarian

How about Marion Cunningham's sour cream coffee cake, or Grammercy Tavern's gingerbread? Both recipes can be Googled, get great reviews, and should have no problem making the trip. Just garnish with powdered sugar, and some fresh flowers.

Nov 20, 2014
critter101 in Home Cooking

Is there a good "pork store" in LA?

You may be able to find what you're looking for at a Vallarta market. Google it for a location near you. The chain is Hispanic, and carries many cuts of meat not readily available at regular grocery stores.

Nov 17, 2014
critter101 in Los Angeles Area

How to clean the face of an oven thermometer?

Try making a paste with baking soda and water. Cover the glass face, and let sit for a while. Then scrub it a bit with a Scotchbrite sponge, and wipe clean. It worked great on the inside of my glass oven door.

Nov 16, 2014
critter101 in Cookware