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What are tricks to the perfect spaghetti sauce?

I've always used San Marzano canned toms until I was visiting my sister in a small NM town and the only toms (at the Wal Mart) were Del Monte. Well, I had just read a taste test saying they were great, so I tried them. Just as fabulous!

Btw, I use carrot/onion/celery to start, usually throw in a few red peppers and garlic, then simmer away. Watch the sugar/sodium content in canned toms when seasoning.

May 13, 2009
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Mother's Day brunch in Wilmington, NC?

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! We picked Deluxe. My parents, who are from NC, were thrilled with the idea as they had heard it had fab food. The food was great, however the service wasn't the best. I should say the kitchen was in the weeds, making everyone's experience a little off. After waiting 15 minutes past our reservation time (we thought we'd wait it out at the bar, but had trouble flagging down the barman), we were seated.

Our server was friendly and fairly good (my BF and I are veteran servers), but he wasn't very attentive or pro-active to our 50-minute wait for food.

The host apologized afterward -- when we came in, he mentioned a wedding party came in with double the amount of guests and it threw off the whole kitchen, which was evident by the lack of menu items available -- and I did tell him that I was disappointed in the experience, not the food. The bloodies, btw, were outstanding.

May 13, 2009
dpnpt in General South Archive

Mother's Day brunch in Wilmington, NC?

I've looked around the board and found a few recs for good eats in Wilmington, however I'm wondering if anyone can rec a spot for Mother's Day brunch? Am taking the new BF down South that weekend to meet the parents. I'm not from that area, but my parents live nearby in Southport.

Apr 09, 2009
dpnpt in General South Archive

Wilmington, NC brunch?

Taking my BF to NC to meet the parents. Trip is Mother's Day weekend so we want to have a nice brunch. Any recs?

Apr 07, 2009
dpnpt in Southeast

Cape Town what to eat?

Thanks for the update erly. I'll report back PieDesigns, thanks for your note!

Feb 03, 2009
dpnpt in Middle East & Africa

Cape Town what to eat?

Thank you for starting this thread again. I am going next month (Feb. 09) and would love any input on exploring the food/wine of Cape Town.

Jan 27, 2009
dpnpt in Middle East & Africa

Cape Town what to eat?

Kurt_A, thanks for your thorough notes. I'm headed to CT in February and appreciate your guidance.

Jan 16, 2009
dpnpt in Middle East & Africa

"Dirty" recipes that are crowd pleasers

Oh how I love me some dirty recipes and these are really filling the need!

My Mom makes this stuff that she made me promise to say came from a "neighbor in Wisconsin"

1 big block Velveeta
1 bag Ore Ida Hash Brown potatoes
1 half pint (or maybe more) heavy cream

Melt Velveeta, stir in cream, pour over taters in a baking pan. Bake til bubbly. I've also had this the low-fat way (reduced fat Velveeta / fat free half-n-half). Believe me, people will get ridiculous once they taste it. Feels so so bad to be eating it! It's for brunch, btw.

Dec 22, 2008
dpnpt in Home Cooking

What to bring home from NM?

I'm headed to Alamogordo, NM for Christmas and wondering what Chowhounds would recommend I add to my shopping list of food items to bring home. I love exploring local grocery stores for interesting food and condiments. Are there items that are only available in NM/the Southwest?

Dec 10, 2008
dpnpt in Southwest

Meyer Lemon source in RI?

I'm longing for meyer lemons. Anyone know where to buy in RI?

Jan 24, 2008
dpnpt in All New England Archive

Newport, RI Dog Friendly Restaurants

I've got an update for you: Last week I had lunch at O'Brien's on the outdoor patio (really nice update) and there were at least 5 tables with little dogs under them. Crazy enough, I also saw a woman with two little dogs in her shopping cart that evening. Ech. I'll definitely bag all my produce from now on!

Jul 12, 2007
dpnpt in All New England Archive

Stocking up food before baby arrives

Hi Laura, A friend of mine, with a new baby, used my idea for having the fixings for quesadillas or burritos (Actually I do this all the time when I'm too tuckered to cook). Most of the ingredients - tortillas, shredded cheese, beans, salsa -- can be frozen and used whenever you need them. Throw in some veggies (fresh or frozen) and you have a meal in less than 5 minutes. Good luck with the baby and the meals.

Jun 25, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Newport, RI Dog Friendly Restaurants

I've lived here for 10 years and haven't found any restaurants to be dog-friendly. I am pretty sure that RI Health code prevents dogs from restaurants, inside and out. Sad, but true. However, I might have missed one. You could go up the road to Bristol, which has a few lovely outdoor spots where I've often seen folks w/ their dogs.

Jun 25, 2007
dpnpt in All New England Archive

killer chili dogs

Check out Paula Dean's sons' chili recipe for dogs (search foodnetwork). We made it a few weeks ago and it was supereasy and really good on grilled dogs. Mmmmm, I'm hungry!

Jun 21, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Radishes shrunk in fridge, now what?

Wonderful! Thanks for the suggestion.

Jun 12, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Newport - Need Restaurant down town

SO hope you enjoy our little town. Let me know how you liked The Moorings! Enjoy!

Jun 11, 2007
dpnpt in All New England Archive

Radishes shrunk in fridge, now what?

Ok, I must admit, it was my first time buying radishes and I didn't trim/store them. Popped them in the fridge, as is, and what I got in return is a lesson in radishes. Thanks for the tips. Haven't liked radishes in my 42 years until recently. Will try again, soon.

Jun 11, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Radishes shrunk in fridge, now what?

Bought a glorious bunch of fresh-picked radishes at the Farmers Market on Sat morning. By Tues afternoon, they were shrunken in my fridge to abt. the size of grapes. What happened and can I do anything with them besides tossing in the compost?

Jun 08, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Newport - Need Restaurant down town

One thing to keep in mind, bmgjrg, is that you should make reservations. With Newport being a seasonal tourist-centric town, restaurants -- especially the ones mentioned -- fill up fast. I'd skip the Rhumbline: bad service, poor location, bad food, icky/dirty interior.

If you've never been to Newport, focus your walking around on Thames/America's Cup Ave. and if you see another spot that interests you, try it. The Black Pearl is on Banniester's Wharf and fun for people watching at the outdoor bar before dinner (The Moorings is next wharf over and a great spot) Or you could have drinks and appies at Clarke Cooke House at the Midway bar (another great spot for watching folks go by outside) and have dinner there (2 dining rooms, 1 takes res, the other doesn't), but expect inconsistent service. Have fun and enjoy!

Jun 06, 2007
dpnpt in All New England Archive

tarragon tips?

Love the fresh, not the dried. Try a pizza with fresh tarragon,grilled zucchini, mozzarella. Yum

Jun 01, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Help me prepare under the radar chow

Start them all off with a killer margarita and they'll love everything you offer.

May 30, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Best Cookbooks--cooking with fresh vegetables, for omnivores?

Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market in San Francisco has a wonderful cookbook organized by season and vegetable. Definitely recommend a trip to experince this market in person and pick up the cookbook.

May 29, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Your Memorial Day successes (or failures)?

Something about the first summertime holiday made me think margaritas on Sunday afternoon. Made with frozen limeade, jose cuervo, triple sec and limes. Had smoked cheddar corn tortilla quesadillas with peach salsa on the side to tide us over (um, soak up some alcohol) while grilling chicken tenders marinated 3 hrs in OJ, garlic, S&P.

Dinner last night was shrimp cocktail and cold beer while watching the sunset at a local beach.

May 29, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Farmers' Markets Alert

Saw sign for URI farmers' market this Saturday and I cannot wait to get the farmers' market season started. I long for local produce, herbs and meat all winter....

Did a little research and found this gem of a source http://www.farmfreshri.org/ that lists RI markets, farms, etc.

What have you found at the local markets at this time of year?

May 23, 2007
dpnpt in All New England Archive

What to do with 2lb of cherries

I am in Cherry Heaven with all of these ideas. Thanks to the chowhounds for taking this subject and offering creative ideas for my 2lbs of cherries. The clafoutis was a first for me and I absolutely loved it. Am headed to the market for more cherries -- damn the expense (an outrageous $8/lb, but still less than the ones Amanita found) -- to make the brandy. Bravo!

May 22, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

What to do with 2lb of cherries

rworange, I never would've thought to make jello. Question, perhaps silly, do I use bottled cherry juice?

May 18, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

What to do with 2lb of cherries

Aside from eating them in one sitting, any suggestions of what to do with 2lbs of yummy, red cherries?

May 18, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Any brilliant heavy appetizer suggestions?

I love to pick after a late arrival, so I'm inclined to offer an antipaso platter: prosciutto, salami, fresh mozzarella, a good hard cheese maybe a smoked one, cherry toms, olives, artichokes, grilled veg, etc with some crostini that are rubbed w/ garlic, olive oil and sea salt.

May 17, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Great Carrot Cake recipe please!

I recently made this Dr. Weil recipe for Easter, omitting the walnuts (some family members cannot eat), and it was fabulous. Made as cupcakes (although I bet you cold make as a cake) and topped w/ a simple cream cheese + powdered sugar icing. Delicious and healthy!

from www.drweil.com

"Carrot cake is a perennial favorite, but it is often loaded with vegetable oil and laden with cream cheese frosting. This version is healthier, using a small amount of olive oil, a full cup of honey for moistness and flavor, and a combination of whole wheat pastry and unbleached flours. The crunchy walnuts even add a bit of omega-3 fats to this sweet treat. With a cup of hot ginger tea, this cake will make you forget about cream cheese frosting."

2 cups firmly packed finely grated carrots
Juice of 1 large orange
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 cup honey, liquefied in microwave (30 sec.)
1/2 cup crushed or chopped pineapple, drained
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup California walnuts, chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the carrots, orange juice, vanilla, olive oil, honey, and pineapple until well blended.
In another bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda, and spices. Mix in the walnuts.
Blend the dry ingredients into the carrot mixture, stirring until just mixed.
Pour the batter into a 12-cup muffin pan lined with paper liners. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

NOTE: You can also pour the batter into a nonstick 8-inch-square baking pan and bake for 45-60 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, cut into 12 pieces, and serve.

May 17, 2007
dpnpt in Home Cooking

Lobster Roll- Rhode Island

Jane, is that the place that's across the road from Aunt Carrie's?

May 15, 2007
dpnpt in Southern New England