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ajcraig's Profile

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Poker? I hardly know her!

Thank you all for your ideas! I knew Chowhounders would come through.

Nov 01, 2011
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Poker? I hardly know her!

We are starting a once a month poker night with friends and have volunteered to host the first one. What should I serve? Waht do you serve? I do have a few requirements: It must be easy to make, or make ahead, easy to eat, probably finger foody or bite sized, and nothing sticky or greasy that will transfer to the cards

So far I'm thinking along the lines of baked egg rolls and flavored/spicy popcorns (including my famous Gingerbread Carmel Corn. What else shoudl I be thinking of?

Oct 30, 2011
ajcraig in Home Cooking

4th of July menu

I make a slaw with jicama instead of cabbage and with a wasabi mayo dressing that's pretty popular.

Jul 02, 2011
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Pad Thai noodle sticking all together

Oooo, I feel for you! I have been there with a gluey, leaden wad of noodle. What I do now is the second the water had drained through I sprinkle a little (1 tsp approx.) oil on them (sesame, peanut, whatever) and quickly toss. I usually use my fingers 'cause it's quicker, but the noodles are still hot which inspires me to keep tossing very, very quickly.

Jun 23, 2011
ajcraig in Home Cooking

What are you cooking for the Super Bowl?

GO PACK GO!! BTW, making a savory cheescake to take to a friend's...I think. spinach and yellow pepper ? Nah, gotta be something better than that for creating the Green and Gold.

Feb 01, 2011
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Swimming Rama

I've made the recipe from the Taste of Thai website and we found it to be so tasty that it is now in my Quick & Easy file.

http://www.atasteofthai.com/index.php...

If you have to do a search they call it "Chicken in Peanut Sauce with Spinich" in the index. I followed recipe except couldn't find packets of peanut sauce mix so added some I had in the fridge from previous Rainbow noodles. I also added just one 6 oz.bag of baby spinach (Thought, surely recipe's 18 oz. MUST be a misprint...Pssssht). Next time I will add it all. Also didn't use fresh tomato on top, might as well sprinkle w/ styrofoam as use winter tomatoes around here.

Dec 29, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving: Tired of Pies

Yes! Trifle. I hadn't thought about the whole gingerbread angle....hmmmmmmm, I may have to usurp that idea.....I was thinking cranberry and port.

Nov 05, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

What's your fantasty Food Truck?

Food great and GREEN! I can picture a line of folks anxiously waiting for their soup and sammies, banging on their containers like tamborines!

Aug 16, 2010
ajcraig in General Topics

What's your fantasty Food Truck?

OOoooo! Desserts of the World, featuring a different continant each day of the week! I'd Tweet that!

Aug 14, 2010
ajcraig in General Topics

What's your fantasty Food Truck?

It seems that the latest foodie fad is food trucks, you know, what used to be called a "roach coach" and no one would be caught dead, yadda, yadda, but now serve the famous Korean tacos, mac n' cheese, and all sorts of treasures with Twitters. And they all have such clever names.

I keep day dreaming about doing this, not that practical in the frozen north......what would I serve that would be easy enough, fun enough and versitile enough. First I thought Mac and cheese, cuz' who doesn't love it, and there's a million variations you could use. Then I figured noodle bowls, again, so many variations and a personal favorite.

All I need is to win the lottery, quit my job and think of a clever name. What would your truck be?

Aug 13, 2010
ajcraig in General Topics

"Dirty" recipes that are crowd pleasers

Living in college dorms and eating food service we perfected the way to eat ice cream. Spread peanut butter in the bottom of a bowl, add a scoop of ice cream, top with chocolate syrup. Later, when I was able to move out of the dorms we simplified this to a late night snack which consisted of
ingredients -
1. jar of chunky peanut tbutter
2. bag of chocolate chips
process -
insert index finger in peanut butter, scoop. Insert same finger in bag of chocolate chips, roll. Insert finger in mouth, eat.
It probably tasted best after a night of beer and disco music at Mr. Lucky's in Oshkosh.

Aug 13, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

best thing I ever ate-giada and her nut mix

I've made thse all summer long. They are so easy and CRAZY delicious and addictive! I've learned to put out multiple small dishes of them because the single dish was constantly moving and being "stashed" by someone's chair.

Aug 13, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

What's For Dinner? Part XXXV

Plumbers and city water guys have been in and out all morning working on the water meter and it looks like it may storm any second so I'm glad I postponed the grilling for tomorrow. Now chicken thighs are marinating in buttermilk ,onions, and hot sauce for Oven "Fried" Chicken and I just shucked my first fresh corn of the season. That will become Pan Roasted Corn Salad with Black Beans and Tomatoes.

Jun 15, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Beans (kidney, black, pinto, etc.) - keeping them interesting

LOL! I've become quite skillful in my underhand slow freezer pitch. My husband vaccuum packs everything and makes me lable & date with a Sharpie. I still end up pitching stuff, but it's more painful to know it really is/was delicious Guiness braised shortribs from a year ago. You'd think I'd learn. But this IS the year I cook that extra Thanksgivig turkey on the grill...or not.

Jun 08, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Jicama - how do you use it?

I made a slaw yesterday of shredded jicama, Granny Smith apples, and red onion. I've also tossed it with mango, chile, and lime juice for a salad which, I think, is based on a Mexican street snack.

Jun 01, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Home Cooking in the Wild...

Every year we pack in to a remote site on the shores of Lake Michigan and stay for a week. We also have to pack everything in and out and keeping meals interesting is my personal challenge. My favorite thing to make is Paella. I vacuum pack and freeze the chicken sprinkled w/ dried oregano, smoked paprika s & p and sausage (substituting brats for the chorizo and precooking it and slicing it before vacuuming and freezing) before we go. In the evening just sauté onion and garlic, brown the chicken and sausage slices, add a can of crushed tomatoes, some saffron infused broth, rice, and some dehydrated peas, cover and simmer away. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs before serving.

Remember, fresh air makes everything taste better.

Also, freeze water in milk jugs for your coolers. Big blocks stay frozen longer.

May 16, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Savory Muesli?

WOW! Thank you for all the effort you put into your reply, rworange. In answer to your question about the apple, we just cut an apple in chunks and toss it in. It stays pretty crisp for the 3 days or so each batch lasts. I think that the real key ingredients are the oats and enough moisture to make it mushy and creamy, whether it's yogurt or milk or both, as we use. I love the idea of rosemary, when I imagine it, seems like a logical fit with oats.
If Mickey D's was into healthy eating they would snatch up our McMuesli idea, but they are not, so it might be your ticket to your first million!

Jan 16, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Savory Muesli?

We mix up a couple of days of bircher muesli at a time, keep it in the fridge, and eat it every morning. This is very handy and healthy, but is getting to be very boring. The idea of a savory oatmeal sort of congee/jook really appeals to me (I prefer savory to sweet in the morning and think it’s about time for equal time). Does anyone see any drawbacks to shifting muesli from sweet yogurt/apples/OJ/honey mix to savory and keeping in the fridge for a couple of days? I would like to switch to the chicken broth/soy sauce/scallion/ginger sort of mix I’ve seen on other Chowhound threads.

Jan 09, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Saag Chicken - any advice?

In addition to all of the other great ideas, my suggestion...use the best quality and freshest spices you can. The difference between generic garam masala and the stuff from an Indian grocery or The Spice House can be huge.

Jan 09, 2010
ajcraig in Home Cooking

2009 - Top ten tips and recipes of the DECADE

Knowing what's in your food and from where it came.

Dec 29, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Grilled Pizza Toppings?

Just made grilled pizza last night. Used fresh pesto made with basil and lemon thyme out of my garden and topped with grilled baby shrimps and a combo of fresh mozz and grated fontina. After is was grilled, right before servin, topped with shredded arugula and diced garden fresh tomatoes. YUM! We are calling this the summer of grilled pizza 'cuz since we "discovered it" a couple of months ago (thanks Chowhounders) we've had it on a regular basis.

Also excellent was carmellized onions and sauteed mushroom with goat cheese.

The best advice I read on this site was to keep it light. True words of wisdom.

Sep 07, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Left over girlie beer

What amazing ideas and suggestions! Much more than I had even hoped. The shrimp boil and grilled chicken thighs are my favs, so far, but I reserve the right to switch to chiguiro or ronsoco just as soon as I research whether to hunt them in the sea, land, or sky. : }

Once again I nod my head to the brilliance of the Chowhounders! Thank you.

Jul 27, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Left over girlie beer

One of our recent guests brought a 6 pack of Leinenkuegel Berry Weiss beer. He drank 2, no one else drank any, so now I have 4 sweet and fruity beers left. Well, I can't just let them sit there, not with the entire Chowhound nation at my disposal. So, what do I do?

I, personally don't like beer at all, hard for me to admit 'cuz I'm from Milwaukee and I oughta know, so I wouldn't mind playing up the sweet and berry aspects and minimizing the weiss beer aspect.

Can I make a reduction for a sauce for steaks, shrimp, or fish or ice cream? What else ya got Chowhounders?

Jul 26, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Help, Roast duck ?

So my first duck experience is over. It was good. The meat wasa little dry, caused, I'm sure, by the giant slashes in the skin that made it look like one of Jason's victims. It was a good learning experience and I will do it again for sure. Thank you for everyone's input and encouragement. It is so good to know that I have all you chounders to hold my hand in a culinary crises!
I made the Thai variation with lemon grass and cilantro in the cavity and a coconut, red curry and lime juice basting for the last hour.
The best part is that I have about 1 1/2 cupsof duck fat! YEAH!
I going to use the leftover meat tonight in a fried rice or a lo mein. COOK ON!

Jul 09, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Help, Roast duck ?

Oh I KNOW to save the fat. I have been reading ( and drooling over) posts on Chowhound about potatoes roasted in duck fat forever. I honestly wonder if that is more my ultimate goal, rather than the duck itself!

Jul 08, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Help, Roast duck ?

Yeah, I don't know WHY I saw pierce and my brain said ,"SLASH!" And now I posted this question for the 2nd time. SIGH>>> Maybe I should have stayed in bed and had DH order takeout for tonight.

Jul 08, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Help, Roast duck ?

I am roasting a duck for the first time, using The Amazing 5 hour Roast Duck recipe. When it said pierce the bird all over I interpreted that as slash. I now have several 1 - 2 inch slashes all over the bird through the skin and fat. I didn't cut the flesh (I don't think...) Will this effect the results? should I cover is or anything?

Jul 08, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar - Animal

Well, that would get the job done, but recipe I was looking for was dessert with layers of ganache, hazelnut praline, and a sprinkle of bacon.

Jul 01, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar - Animal

Ok, bacon, as a trend may be waning, but never, NEVER, in my heart. I caught the end of the Food Network Show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, just in time to see the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar from the LA restaurant, Animal.

I did a quick scan for the recipe on Google, no luck expect for a very simplified version from Time Magazine.

Does anyone have a recipe for the original version with all the layers?

Jul 01, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking

Dried Porcini Mushrooms

Dried porcini smell so good I wish they could be made into a potpourri! I guess non-Chowhounds wouldn't get it, though. I use mine for a grill rub, grind them with s & p, and some combination of dried garlic and onion, dried thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne or even cocoa. Fantastic. I am under ordes from friends to it include it in my Christmas gift baskets each year. If only they knew how easy it is.

Jun 29, 2009
ajcraig in Home Cooking