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Alicat24's Profile

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Survey: Do we cook worse than the previous generations?

"My DW is about 20 yrs old - wouldn't mind having a new one."

Crawling out of the woodwork because this caused me to do a re-read and almost choke laughing. I didn't look at who's posting it was and took DW as "Dear Wife" until it dawned on me it was "Dish Washer". Brain fart overall, the context didn't even fit. Been awhile since I literally LOL! Time to go to bed methinks.

For CK's poll, without elaborating because others have said much what I would have, I will say B) About the same.

Oct 21, 2011
Alicat24 in Food Media & News

The worst thing, bar none, that you ever did or that ever happened to you in a kitchen"

Hi Allie from another Ali! As I was responding below to Gaffk, I thought about what you posted about domestic abuse. I thankfully have never been a victim and am also a kitchen "dum dum". Every time I've burned my forearms while cooking, I've always thought that "someone" might see it and think it was the result of abuse.

The worst was one that somehow was completely round, about a centimeter+ big and looked just like the cigar burn Judd Nelson shows on his forearm in "The Breakfast Club" (if you've ever seen it). I do realize how lucky I am not to be a true victim of abuse but I am still always hyper-aware of my burns when I get them!

Jan 18, 2011
Alicat24 in Not About Food

The worst thing, bar none, that you ever did or that ever happened to you in a kitchen"

Weeks? Only weeks? I am notorious for burning myself on hot oven racks, pans, even a burner once or twice. Those burn scars have always taken upwards of six MONTHS or longer to fade from my pasty skin. I cannot even imagine the pain and burns from molten toffee/caramel!

Oh, my bad, you probably meant the acute burn "blister" stage, not the scarring. If that's the case than reference the last sentence of the previous paragraph! ;D

Jan 18, 2011
Alicat24 in Not About Food

The worst thing, bar none, that you ever did or that ever happened to you in a kitchen"

Mama, I'm a looong time lurker, became an "official" member quite awhile ago and then life got in the way and I haven't posted in a good piece of time (though I read a little bit almost daily). This post of yours "literallly" made me laugh out loud and post again!!!

I grew up camping, hubs never had (a "motel" was roughing it!). After 22+ yrs. together, starting when we were 17, he's been schooled! Still, I do all the cooking because I enjoy it, don't think food should be an afterthought because of the limitations, and because I'll always stand by the non-scientific opinion that everything tastes better when you are (semi) outside all the time!

The visual of your son dumping the pot full of water onto your carefully built and blazing cooking fire has me sooo comiserating because it very easily could have been me in our early yrs of camping!! Thanks for the belly laugh and "Viva la Coleman stove's"! :D

Jan 17, 2011
Alicat24 in Not About Food

Stupid easy recipes you really love

My Taco Soup recipe is even more shamelessly easy! I remember this recipe went around our office back in 1997.

Brown and drain 1 lb. ground chuck
Sprinkle with one packet taco seasoning
Add 1/2 a standard size jar of taco sauce
Add (all undrained):
1 can whole corn
1 can kidney beans (I use dark)
1 can diced tomatoes (w/ chilies optional)

Simmer till all warmed through. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar (and any other condiments you want) and tortilla chips. I prefer it spicy so I use the "hot and spicy" taco seasoning and "hot" taco sauce. Good eats!

Edited to add that I too sometimes will add onions to the beef while browning.

Mar 18, 2010
Alicat24 in Home Cooking

How Do You Spin Your Food

Thank you GG for agreeing with my main gripe, which was people claiming allergies when in fact it is just a dislike. I grew up watching 60 min. and Sunday Morning, only SM has stuck to this day! I also don't doubt the allergies exist in the children of today and think all the germ-phobe, anti-bacterial stuff is hurting us in the long run. That said, I and my hubby had confirmed H1N1 back in Nov. and I have been using Purell like crazy so I don't have to go through that again!

There was just recently a post here about (I think) something called PB2 that is a powdered peanut butter product that is reconstituted with water that called to mind the product you referenced from Africa. I may be mistaken but I believe peanuts are actually legumes and are native to Africa, which to me would make sense that the children didn't exibt any allergic reactions whatsoever. They and thier countless ancestors have eaten peanuts for a looong time.

Mar 17, 2010
Alicat24 in Home Cooking

How Do You Spin Your Food

I will appologize in advance, I am only singling you out because you are the only person that I've witnessed in my time here who has stepped up and said you aren't allergic, but you use that as an excuse. I feel that a majority of adults these days claim allergies where none exist. I'm 38 and when I was growing up and in my school years (late 70's-late 80's), there was never even a whisper about peanut butter or nuts or anything else in my schools. I went to nine different schools between 1st and 9th grades, so I believe in my (admittedly non-scientific) opinion.

WHY can't people just be honest? If you don't like something, fine, eat around it or pick it out. If you are one of the (truely) allergic, then I am sorry for your plight and I am not talking to you. I realize and understand that we don't fully know whats going on with all the kids that have been born in the past, say, 15 yrs. when it comes to the causes of autism and allergies. But what explains the PARENTS of my age that are claiming they are allergic? Most of what I read here on Chow is from presumably adults. Why do they feel the need to claim allergies instead of just admitting that they are picky and don't like something?

I expect a lot of venom for this post, but I stand by it.

Mar 17, 2010
Alicat24 in Home Cooking

PB & J dilemma - Please weigh in!

Gack!!! PB&J with crystalized jelly soaked into the bread and warm from sitting in a locker was the food bane of my school lunches.

Imagine my surprise and regret when I met DH in our senior year and learned he'd never experienced this travesty. HIS mothers simple but wonderous method was to spread BUTTER on the jelly slice of bread, the perfect barrier from jelly soak. Oh, all those PB&J's I could've enjoyed instead of reviling. 20+ yrs. on and I still love a PB&J&B, although MC's method of spreading the PB on both slices would be just as effective, I have to have the flavor of the butter on mine now.

As to the OP, I have to use a paper towel or napkin (which I then use while eating) to avoid cross contamination with three componants . Butter on first slice, wipe knife on other slice then the PB on second slice. Wipe the knife on the napkin to avoid getting any in the jam (mine goes on the PB). I try to seal each edge together to avoid jelly leakage but it usually doesn't work due to the quantity of it I put on. :)

Jan 25, 2010
Alicat24 in General Topics

Pizza To End All Pizza Discussions

rw, I haven't posted in awhile but I had to because Bernie O's is local to me. They and the "Twist" are pretty popular here in Muskegon. They are good and would probably be welcome even if they weren't, given we are pretty much stuck with chains (Pizza Hut, Little Caesar's, Dominos, Jet's, etc).

I was very sceptical about the Twist. I love most of the toppings individually that are on it with the exception of banana peppers and raw tomatoes. Still, honey mustard and ranch at the same time? I have only tried it twice but I have to say that it really all does work together!! Strange but true. None of the ingredients are overwhelming and they somehow work harmoniously with each other.

I can't say I love it because of the two ingredients mentioned that I dislike and it has a very thin crust when I prefer a thicker type, so me saying it's "very good" really is a compliment. As far as their pizza with mashed potatoes, yeah, count me out when it comes to a starch on starch pie.

Jan 19, 2010
Alicat24 in General Topics

Silly Eating Habits

My hubby has laughed at me for years because of the way I eat a Big Mac! I always order it with extra sauce and then I throw away the top bun, pick off the pickle slices (love 'em, just not on a burger), pull up the top layer that has the "middle" bun as the base and flip that over so that the "middle" bun is now the top bun. I guess I just don't see the need for the extra piece of bread!

For some strange reason, when I have a Big Boy, I never feel the need to do this even though they are essentially the same burger (although I do add ketchup to the Big Boy). Gahhh, I think a once a year craving is coming on now!!.

I also MUST order my fries well done at Big Boy and even though we don't have one locally anymore, they have always been the BEST at giving me the well done one's I love consistantly. I miss me my Big Boy's!

Oct 23, 2009
Alicat24 in Not About Food

Silly Eating Habits

I'm glad this thread was resurrected because I had to respond to this (and many other) posts.

Bocco: You are not silly or alone!!! I am the same way, my hubby is in no way a chauvanistic pig or anything and I don't even think he knows that I do this. If I pull out two plates and one has some schmutz on it that the dishwasher didn't get off, I will designate the clean plate as his. I also cut the best piece of meat for him or dole out the freshest looking romaine into his salad. I give him the least browned piece of garlic bread because he likes his less well-done, even if the other piece is more well done than I like it!

I also just automatically make him a plate of food in any situation that isn't a sit-down meal. Eating out with my sister and BIL about a year ago, she laughed and said how funny she thought it was that I alway's am the one to box up both our leftover's if there are any. None of this behavior is in any way due to hubby, it's all me!!

I wonder if it's a nurturing thing (we've been together 20 yrs. since our teens and don't have kids yet). I don't know, I just had to say you're not alone or silly!

Oct 23, 2009
Alicat24 in Not About Food

Food Idioms

I don't have any new one's to put forth, or answer's to any other's. Still, I find it humorous that there are so many asked, and so few answered!

Sep 02, 2009
Alicat24 in Not About Food

You don't like that?!

I missed your reply. Yes, because I use them so infrequently and rarely get to the the farmers market, it's grocery tomatoes for me. I tried to grow them myself in the garden last year but they all split, were eaten by bugs or fell off the plants before they matured. I'm trying again this year, only in my raised beds instead of the area that is just tilled up yard. I've got a Brandywine, Roma and Yellow pear that I am looking forward to trying. Funnily enough, I've got 5 volunteer's that popped up from last year! We'll see what comes of them.

My father's girlfriend grew up on a small family farm and she is constantly lamenting the poor quality and taste of today's tomatoes. Her neverending search for flavorfull tomatoes just cracks me up, as one who has not admired them previously and therefore, do not know of these infamous, delicious tomatoes of yore!

Since I first posted in this thread, I have actually been eating them more and more. I can't say I love them but I am starting to gain an appreciation. I find myself being irked that "grocery" tomatoes, more and more often, are not fully ripe and red but hard, orangish-red and under-ripe. I and hubby like to cook according to what we feel like, so I shop multiple times a week and don't have time to ripen a tomato needed for dinner that evening when they occationally are warrented. Grrrr.

Jul 20, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Is it "Soda" or "Pop" ?

Yep, alive and well here in Michigan. Unfortunately for me, I can rarely find any of my favorite flavors in Diet. It's usually just Redpop, Root beer or Orange. I stock up when I find Diet Rock & Rye or Frosh.

And CWE is correct, definately pop here!

Jul 18, 2009
Alicat24 in Not About Food

It seems like Bumble Bee Tuna has gone down in quality

LOL, it's interesting how we all have such varied tastes. Some posters below compare some tuna's to cat food. I'm sure it really smells like it to them but I'll alway's love my "cat foody" tuna! Even though, as I have already complained, I lose half the "minced" fish down the drain with the water.

Jul 10, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Your latest 'addiction'?

I have two. I've been on a kick for about two weeks for "Artichoke and garlic" Rondele on Triscuit's. I'd argue the artichoke is nearly non-existant though and what little there is, is overpowered by the garlic. I think the next tub, I may chop and add a heap of artichokes to beef it up.

Thankfully it's waning but for about a month I had a craving for chocolate cake with really fudgy rich frosting. Every trip to the grocery I was going through the bakery scanning for anything chocolate that might fit the bill. I hate to admit it but I even grabbed a pack of Zinger's at the corner store (blech, hard chalky "something" on top and dry cake). I have a very good recipe but the hubbie and I rarely will finish even a half cake and when this craving started, I didn't know it was going to last for a month.

Believe it or not, the best I have found are the single pieces of cake that are sold in the cold bakery cases at Wal-mart. Rich, moist and a great thick fudgy frosting. Incidentally, their New York Cheesecake is also my favorite I've found in this area. Hmmm, I think I may have an errand to run near Wal-mart tomorrow....

May 31, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Cooker's Slump

I appreciate your concern sueatmo, really I do, but I am not depressed. Thankfully I have been completely depression free for about 9 yrs. now, but I have been there done that with many med's, hospitalization, etc. so I speak from experience.

My slump really only is with cooking. Everything else in my life is peachy keen. I'm not sure where you got the idea that my hubbie is critical, I thought it was clear that we just for the most part don't share the same tastes and it is not a new issue.

When I am working, both of us clean. We also cook together and enjoy it immensly, but when I am not working and he is I certainly don't expect him to share cooking duties or chores. It may be different if we had children but we don't.

I have cookbook's coming out of my ears as well as the internet. None of those issues are my problem, I don't know what is, I just have no inspiration for what to cook. It's not that I don't want to cook or lack a plethura of options or aren't cooking everyday, I just don't want to "think" about what to cook lately.

May 28, 2009
Alicat24 in Not About Food

You don't like that?!

Your reply is very timely. I had a BL for dinner tonight (notice the absence of the "T") and found myself thinking "Even with the mayo, this would be better with some wet tomato on it to counter-act the dry toast". Maybe you and I will get there some day! I have slowly made myself try fresh tomato, like 4 little diced pieces on a taco.

The last time I made BLT's, I took hubbies tomato slices and laid them on my sandwich, just to get the flavor, and removed them. I didn't mind it! Which may have led to my thought tonight while eating my normal BL. Will I ever take a salt shaker, pull a mater off the plant and eat it like an apple, or dig into a caprese salad? Probably not! I'd like to get to a place where I can enjoy small doses though.

BTW, I just realized I never got around to trying Bat Guano's suggestion. I'll have to remember that tip for the future.

May 27, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Hot & Sour Soup/Egg Rolls All the Same?

Rather than address everyone individually, I'll hope this shows up at the bottom. I realize chicken stock is defacto for Hot and Sour, it has been in the many years since that first restaurant I had it at, I use it in my own as well. But, theirs was definately different than any I have ever had since, way darker than from just soy with more depth of flavor, that is why I suspect beef or possibly mushroom stock. I would think to be as dark as theirs was from soy sauce, it would have been inediblely salty. They may have used caramel coloring although I wouldn't see the point.

As for egg rolls, it may very well be a regional thing. At least two of you guys seem to be familiar with and speak about the NY area. I had bean sprouts soley for 18 yrs. eating them all over the east side of MI before cabbage started to creep in. Even then it was still primarily sprouts when I left for the west side of the state at 23. There were only a couple restos here then that had sprouts vs. cabbage and as I said, the last one went to cabbage a year+ ago. Egg rolls here are usually plain or with pork or with shrimp or (rarely) with chicken. I can't recall seeing any ever offered with BOTH pork and shrimp.

I appreciate that you guys may not have, or ever have had, bean sprout egg rolls but I am quite certain that I and my immediate family weren't mistaking cabbage with sprouts for 20+ yrs. (tack on a decade or two for my parents). FWIW, I'd never even heard of a "spring roll" until the early to mid 90's which roughly correspond's with cabbage becoming ubiquitous.

May 27, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Cooker's Slump

This really hits home. I have been in a "slump" for about 2+ months now. I love cooking and food but for some reason my brain has just checked out on wanting to think about "what's for dinner". I don't have kid's, haven't been called into work for a few months, not depressed (trust me, I've been through clinical depression) and yet I just have lost all motivation/inspiration for meals.

I honestly think this is only a small contributing factor because it's existed for 20 yrs. but part of it is that Hubby and I rarely enjoy the same meals equally. His favorite meal is my chicken parm and he could eat it twice a week, I really like it but only about once a month. I love my carbonara which I only indulge in maybe twice a year, he seems to really like it (except that one time I added one too many eggs ;P) but never want's it when I do. He loves any chicken fajitas I make while I am still in search of the elusive perfect recipe.

Okay, being my own armchair shrink I'd say that could be the major contributing factor, not so minor. EXCEPT, we've always been that way and I'm equally uninspired for my own lunches. I got's no clue, maybe it's a food fugue. Like Elaine on Seinfeld "How come I don't know no Portuguese?". Have I cited that before? If so, must be the fugue.

May 26, 2009
Alicat24 in Not About Food

Hot & Sour Soup/Egg Rolls All the Same?

Growing up, it was our few times a year treat to eat out at a Chinese restaurant, usually Cantonese and for a Sunday buffet (in Michigan). Sweet and sour chicken, almond chicken, egg foo young, won ton soup and egg rolls were the standard fare my family ate. It wasn't until 20+ years ago when I was a teenager that my hubby (then BF) started to introduce me to spicer food like H & S. The first bowl I ever tried was at a long gone resto Fun Yin in Westland that absolutely lit up my tastebuds! I think it was a beef stock base with the perfect balance of med. heat and med. sour (spicy for me back then, it would probably be tame these days).

We've lived in W. Mich. for 15 yrs. now and I have only found one Chinese restaurant that had a H & S nearly as good and they unfortunately went out of business about three years ago. Out of desperation, I started searching for recipes and almost right out the gate I found one that is almost exact if not better. Labor intensive but I'm soo grateful to still have that flavorful soup. And I can add all the chili garlic paste I want! ;)

I'm surprised that in other parts of the country, it seems to some of you so standardized/Sysco'd. None of our restaurant's/buffets are anything to write home about but in my experience they all have mediocre but distinct H & S. Even the pretty standard Wonton soup I grew up with (chicken stock, meat wontons, greens) are all wonky; beef stock, no greens, scallions or not, even just noodles with no meat.

Egg rolls are a personal pet peeve. I don't care what wrapper is used or the size, anything that is filled with cabbage is NOT any egg roll I grew up with, it's a spring roll. I love cabbage but to me an egg roll is made with BEAN SPROUTS. I ate them with sprouts until the mid to late 80's and for some reason the dreaded cabbage crept in.

There was a place near us that has been around for decades and although rather run-of-the-mill they served the best REAL sprout egg rolls. I started working a block away from them and went in for lunch about a year ago. Drooling internally, I decided to forgo an entree and just ordered two egg rolls to devour. Imagine the disappointment (I know you guys can relate) when I eagerly dipped and bit into my beloved roll only to encounter....you guessed it right?! Cabbage. I think I should just throw in my hat and accept my sprout rolls have gone the way of the Dodo.

Edited to add what I didn't address. If it wasn't apparent :P, I agree that all "egg rolls" these days do seem to be from some warehouse.

May 26, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Stupid easy recipes you really love

Oh, man!!!!!!!! I hope you guys laughed as hard at the "Crown Roast" et al, as your responses made me. I have tears rolling down my face! I *heart* you guys.

And mackerel pudding? There goes breakfast.........!!!!!!!!!!!!!

edit: Weird, I don't know how this didn't post at the end of the chain.

May 22, 2009
Alicat24 in Home Cooking

Morel's...I dislike mushrooms, except these!!!

Wow, that Morel is huge! That's a cute story, don't feel too bad, it took me 38 yrs. to taste my first one. I know morel hunting is popular all over here in Michigan but I never expected to find them in my own backyard. I'm a little bummed, they said in the article that this season isn't the best. We haven't gotten much rain lately and I didn't see any others when I checked yesterday. I wonder if it would help if I watered the area really well, hmmm.

May 21, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Stupid easy recipes you really love

LOL, as soon as I read "garish photography", it reminded me of some of the weird or funny recipes and specifically the "Crown Roast" of hotdogs! I Googled it and sure enough the first hit shows the card. I cannot picture someone with a flourish bringing that thing to the table!

It's strange though, it's says "Weight Watchers" at the bottom of the card and I know my set wasn't from them. Maybe that was one of the catagories? I'm feeling the urge to go search the basement for mine now...

May 21, 2009
Alicat24 in Home Cooking

It seems like Bumble Bee Tuna has gone down in quality

You're welcome! Glad to help a convert! MMM, after revisiting this thread, I do believe a tuna salad sandwich is in order for lunch. It'll shore me up with some protein before I tackle mowing the backyard. :)

May 21, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Who makes the best frozen pot pie?

You're right that grocery corn pales in comparison. Unfortunately it's quite a trek for me to find any roadside stands and I can rarely make it to our farmer's market. I guess I'd rather have mediocre fresh than frozen!

This year is my first stab at growing corn myself, "Honey 'n Pearl" from Gurney's. I'm not getting my hopes up but if I'm sucessful I'll be a happy woman!

May 21, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Stupid easy recipes you really love

Yes!! That has to be where I found it! My mom had the card set when I was a kid in the 70's and my sister picked up a lime green and a yellow set for the both of us at a garage sale. I didn't think I ever cooked anything from mine but apparently there was at least one recipe! Thanks for reminding me, and I still HAVE mine buried somewhere in the basement.

May 21, 2009
Alicat24 in Home Cooking

Stupid easy recipes you really love

I too make hamburger "Stroganoff". I have no recollection of where I found the recipe but I started making it about 15 yrs. ago before I fell in love with cooking and quality food. I tweeked it to my tastes so it's a bit different. I still crave this once in awhile and only make it when hubby is on the road because he's not a big fan.

I slice a whole med onion (vadalia or sweet) and sweat them in a large skillet with only enough water to cover the bottom (replenished as needed) until soft and translucent but with still a bit of bite. Remove those and then brown ground chuck which I season with a TON of garlic salt., enough that it would put most people off tasting a morsel but it is just right in the end. I do it to taste but it might be around a tsp. more or less.

I then add the onions back to the beef and a can of cream of mushroom (no whole mushroom's because I can't take their texture but have learned to like the flavor). A little bit of milk to help loosen the soup, cook a little bit to meld and then add about a 1/2 C. of sour cream. Simmer to heat through and serve over egg noodles.

My sister absolutely loves this as a comfort food when I make it and claims i have some magic touch because she can't duplicate it exactly, as simple as it is. I think it's because of the amount of garlic salt I use and her fear of using as much as I say. It was funny, for some get together about 5 yrs. ago she made it but decided to do the meat in the crock-pot to cut down on cooking time. It turned out really funky tasting because the meat turned out tasting like steak (not a bad thing if you're eating steak!). She kept apologizing during dinner to everyone that my recipe is usually much better! For such a low-brow meal, it really cracked me up.

May 19, 2009
Alicat24 in Home Cooking

Morel's...I dislike mushrooms, except these!!!

It is indeed good fortune! Last spring was the first in this house and I'm pretty positive they weren't there. From what I've read conditions have to be just right for them to grow so I'll have to cross my fingers every spring!

edit: I just realized I made a boo boo in the OP, I meant to say sea salt from Utah not Salt Lake salt. Brain fart.

May 19, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics

Morel's...I dislike mushrooms, except these!!!

I did not grow up eating mushrooms and despite being with my mushroom loving hubby for over 20+ yrs., I have not aquired a taste for them. Taste isn't the correct word because it's more a texture thing. The rather odd exception being "wood ear" in bought or homemade "hot and sour soup". For some reason, i really love their "slick" vs "spongy" texture.

Two days ago I was walking around our backyard with the dog and noticed by the fire pit a rather large (4") mushroom that I thought looked like a Morel. I only know this because on our many trips to the U.P., travelling through the Leelanau penninsula, we have bought pieces from a potter, including a couple "trinket's" that were lifesize morels (at least as far as we thought then, about 3").

My sister came over Sunday to help plant my raised bed's and I showed her the mushroom I had picked. We took a break and searched the back fence, where we proceeded to find (mostly in the footprint of our sole old apple tree) about 24 (possible) Morel's.

We don't know anything about wild mushrooms, so Hubby took 4 to work today because he knew two co-workers were experienced hunters. They both, upon the first glance, said we have "white morels", not false or poisonous and one even offered $6 for the rather small four. Hubby, being a shroom lover, decided to bring them home and had me saute one up in a little butter. I took one quarter for myself to taste.

Ahhhh!!!!! The heavens parted, the earth quaked, I loved a mushroom!!!!!! I sauteed it in a tiny bit of butter and a smidge of Salt Lake salt (yes, IT, just the one) and we were rolling our eye's. The "beefy"ness, my god, it tasted like it was dipped in the world's best Au Jus!!! I know I am veerrryyy late to the party but for a confirmed shroom detester, this has been an absolute revelation!!! Now I understand what all the fuss is about, and I have my very own patch in my backyard!!

Has anyone else had the same transcendant experience with mushroom's (morel's or otherwise)? Or feel free to chime in with any other food that was the same type of "awakening" to an otherwise disliked item.

May 18, 2009
Alicat24 in General Topics