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Charleston area restaurants with a 6 year old

We will be in Charleston this Sunday-Wed and need some restaurant ideas that are child friendly. He's well behaved in restaurants - but not for a 3 hour dinner! We aren't picky eaters - but are looking for primarily seafood ideas (and are thrilled that softshells are early this year!). We'll have a car, so we are up for adventures (The Wreck and Bowens Island look like fun places, but food gets mixed reviews?). Also would love some suggestions for where we could pick up a to go picnic to take to a park somehwere. Also on the agenda for the few days is a visit to sea The Hunley Subamrine, Patriot's Point, and the aquarium. We'll be staying downtown at the French Quarter Inn by the market. Any help would be great. Oh, and we also would like to charter a boat for a few hours to do some inshore fishing - any good companies? Thanks!

Mar 30, 2012
JennyHunter in Southeast

Proper Tea Party for Fifteen, Would Love Suggestions

My mom and I have been hosting a tea party every year for about a decade. The first one seemed very overwhelming, but we now have it down to a science!
You for sure need scones, clotted cream and jam. The king arthur flour scone recipe is a good one. It sounds like you have the sweets covered. Everyones favorite sandwich is always one with stilton, walnut, sliced pear and watercress. I don't know how traditional it is, but it's delicious. Here is the recipe http://www.food.com/recipe/stilton-pe... I always leave out the tarragon as not everyone likes it. The other thing we do is lamb sausage wrapped in puff pastry. Again, I don't think it's traditional - but is a fun, fancy pigs in a blanket. I always follow Ina Gartens' recipe - but you really can just wing it. Good luck - do as much as you can in advance. But be prepared, there is always a lot of last minute prep to do!

Feb 23, 2012
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Need ideas for an easy (but special) 70th birthday dinner

I think all I am going to do beforehand is an old fashioned southern relish tray that we can munch on before dinner with drinks. Pickles veggies, maybe cream cheese with pepper jelly and if I have the time deviled eggs! It will be totally unexpected for sure.

Apr 06, 2011
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Need ideas for an easy (but special) 70th birthday dinner

I've been looking at recipes and most of them do seem to be more or less a pan sauce - so I am just going to assemble that evening. I'll have the shrimp peeled, the chopping done, etc... ahead of time. I am going to see what my options are for grits - if any at all. Apparently Harris Teeter chain has more "southern" staples than other stores in the area. Hoping they also might have some tasso ham, but not holding my breath!

Apr 06, 2011
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Need ideas for an easy (but special) 70th birthday dinner

Well, last night my husband says to me that his dad really likes shrimp and grits and doesn't get them very often living in MD/VA. So that is what I am going to attempt for the first time. It looks like it comes together pretty quickly. I am toying with the idea of making the 'gravy" the night before and then re-heating and throwing the shrimp in at the last minute. If not, I will just have everything chopped and ready to go. And I'll serve it with maybe some blanched green beans tossed with pecans and shallots??? Any appetizer suggestions? Maybe southern themed relish tray?

Apr 06, 2011
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Need ideas for an easy (but special) 70th birthday dinner

I need some menu suggestions for a 70th birthday dinner for my father in law (7 people are coming) on Saturday night. The problem is my week is totally slammed. I have a few hours on Friday night that I can dedicate and that's about it. I'd prefer not to be in the kitchen frantically cooking when everyone is here Saturday afternoon and evening. Any great ideas? I'm already exhausted and just can't come up with any great ideas. (Going out to eat isn't really an option or I would go that route). HELP!

Apr 05, 2011
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Foodie Date = NO MONEY help!!

May seem like a simple idea, but why not offer to cook her dinner in? Or cook the meal together? Almost always cooking a "foodie" meal at home is cheaper than an average meal out. Also, what about ethnic restaurants? I don't know where you live, but ethnic restaurants can be delicious and usually inexpensive. Also, restaurants frequently have less expensive lunch and brunch menus. Maybe suggest that on a weekend to save money. What about packing a picnic with great meats, cheese, etc... and take to a park. Or visit a local winery (if you have one) and enjoy your picnic there along with a wine tasting. However, none of these ideas will solve your problem if it is the "scene" she is really into and not the food. And if you are going on frequent dates I really think she be offering to pay part of the time - or cook for you! Don't go broke trying to impress her :) Good luck.

Mar 30, 2011
JennyHunter in Not About Food

Everyone in my family needs something different from their diet, but I don't want to cook multiple dishes for each meal!

I can totally relate as I have a husband trying to lose weight and a 5 year old son that needs to also put on a few pounds. All of the ideas here are good ones. I also found a product called Orgain - it is kind of like an organic slimfast but much better for you. Comes in chocolate and vanilla. My son loves it - I sometimes keep in on hand to serve with his meals for some extra calories. My husband will also have one sometimes for breakfast. And I drink them sometimes as a snack. http://www.drinkorgain.com/

Feb 11, 2011
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

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

Frittata are my life saver on busy evening that everyone will eat! I follow Marcella Hazan's method and it super easy - no need to flip, etc.. and the combinations are endless. They are also a great way to use up any small amounts of random leftovers in the refrigerator.

I also like canned salmon cakes or salmon soup - both of which are a flashback to my youth!

And I will also agree with suggestions of frozen rice. It seems silly to buy since it's easy to cook, but some nights I don't have the hour to make brown rice. The individual frozen packs of brown organic rice from trader joes are a life saver!

One last idea are pre-bought simmer sauces. There are some really nice indian ones - I like seeds of change brand. You just brown your protein on choice, throw on the sauce and in ten minutes you have dinner. Serve with frozen rice!! :)

Jan 21, 2011
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Clarifications to Lasasgna Bolognese Recipe (CI and Hazan recipes)

I've made Marcella Hazan's bolognese recipe for years, but am going to attempt the lasagna bolognese for a group this weekend. Marcella states that only fresh pasta can be used, but fresh noodle lasagna is going to be a first for me. Here are my questions -

Do I really need to do all of the washing and drying of the noodles as she explains?

Also, I want to make the lasagna the day ahead, will that work? If so, do I need to bring to room temp before baking or just increase the baking time/temp? The baking time seems so short to me.

I also have the Cooks Illustrated Lasagna Bolognese recipe - which is pretty similar to hers. But it allows for the dried no cook noodles. This would be a million times easier for me, but if it's not going to work, I will figure a way to make the homeade noodle.

Any one out there made both? Opinions?

Thanks!

Nov 22, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Help with ideas for finger food for 5 year old birthday party -PIRATE THEMED

I am having a pirate themed birthday party for my 5 year old on Sunday. Both kids and adults will be present. It's at 1:30 so I am going to have a table of finger/munchy type of foods. I want to keep it all within the pirate theme if I can...here is what I have come up with (but I still want people to eat it!)

"Gator Bites/Legs" - Chicken Nuggets/Tenders (mainly for the kids)
"Capt hook fingers" - Sausage cut into pieces and wrapped in crescent dough w/ ketchup as blood
"Jewels of the Sea" - Marinated Cocktail Shrimp (Using Bon Apetit recipe for citrus cocktail shrimp)
"Cannonballs" - Some sort of cocktail meatball...sauce ideas that are adult and kid friendly?
Tropical Fruit Platter
Some sort of cheese/crackers

Does this even sound appealing? It is such a mish mash of things since I was trying to please kids and adults, and think of things I could make pirate themed....

Put on your creative thinking caps!!!

Nov 05, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Okay, so it HAS to be turkey...recipes for a turkey hater?

Cornish game hens will not pass as a turkey substitute at Thanksgiving if they are expecting traditional dinner. An aunt did this years ago and we still give her grief about it. I'm not a huge fan of turkey, but deep fried they are delicious. I just make the stuffing in a crockpot to go along with it. And they don't take long to cook either!!

Nov 03, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Bought "Veal Cubes" from local farm - how long to cook?

I purchased a package of veal labeled "Veal Cubes" from a local farm. It doesn't say what cut they are from. So my question is without knowing what they are, how long should I cook them. I am wondering if they will be OK in a quick stew cooking for 30-45 minutes, or will they need a couple hours to be tender? Any suggestions? Recipe ideas? I was thinking of doing them german style in a cream based sauce over spaetzle.....???

Sep 30, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Home Wedding Reception Appetizers

That would work too. You could make the vinaigrette the day ahead as well. And just mix at the last minute before you plate.

Sep 25, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Home Wedding Reception Appetizers

Instead of crabcakes that require additional cooking, I always get rave reviews from crab salad served on cucumber rounds. I don't make it with mayo, but with a light viniagrette, finely diced red/yellow pepper, spices to taste, etc.. Can be made a day ahead and just plated for the event.

Sep 25, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Home Wedding Reception Appetizers

I would love to have exact method of how you Stuff the yorkshire pudding!!! Sounds so good.

Sep 25, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

I don't want to be the mom who always brings the salad...

What about a few antipato pressed sanwiches. Below is a link for suggestions, but you can really fill with anything you like, salami, olive tapenade, marinated veggies, assorted italian meats, pesto, etc..... Best weighted down and made the night before. The day of the game unwrap and slice into smaller pieces.

http://www.examiner.com/cooking-in-or...

Sep 23, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Southern-style Green Beans

When my grandmother makes green beans she starts with fresh green beans. First she fries up several pcs of bacon (6-8 slices at least depending on the amount of beans). Once the pan is full of the hot bacon grease, she adds a chopped onion to it. Once the onions brown a little she adds the green beans, water, salt & pepper. And sometimes a little Accent! Then it all cooks down until the beans are really tender. The will shrink significantly. The funny part is that she refers to all of the bacon grease as "the juice". I think they taste better the second day. When she first showed me how she makes them , I asked her if she was going to keep all of that grease in the pan. She looked at me like I was crazy and said "of course you keep all the juice!". In our family we now always refer to the fat from meat as the juice! When my cousin makes her green beans she uses country ham - that is another option, but I prefer them with bacon. Good luck.

Sep 23, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Help with dinner tonight - chicken legs!

I did in fact search the boards and just overlooked the earlier post. I saw it after I posted this question. I always try to search before I post, but I'm obviously not perfect - especially given the day I was having yesterday.

Sep 18, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Help with dinner tonight - chicken legs!

Due to a hectic week, my planned meals for the week have been all screwed up. I have some pinto beans cooking with mexican flavors, and also have some chicken legs and wings I need to use up....what can I do with them quickly without much prep? I have some avacados, limes, spices, garlic, sour cream, cilantro, etc...as well that I would like to use? I don't cook with legs very often....Any suggestions would be great!

Sep 17, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

What to do with olive tepanade?

I use left over muffaleta spread in egg salad. Maybe that would be an option?

Sep 13, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Restaurant suggestions for a 2-3 day visit with a 4 year old

Thanks. I think I remember seeing this place on Dirty Jobs. We'll eat there for dinner for sure! Thanks again.

Jul 03, 2010
JennyHunter in Greater Seattle

Restaurant suggestions for a 2-3 day visit with a 4 year old

Thanks. We are staying at the Inn at the Market for 2 nights. Then heading to Portland for a wedding. And then back to the Seattle Area at the Hood Canal for 2 more days. Any additional restaurant ideas or activities for those areas would be great. Thanks!

Jun 29, 2010
JennyHunter in Greater Seattle

Restaurant suggestions for a 2-3 day visit with a 4 year old

We will be in Seattle for a few days with our 4 1/2 year old son. He is pretty good in a restaurant - but can't tolerate a 2-3 dinner. So I am hoping for some suggestions of places with good food but child friendly. He's not too picky - will eat seafood, ethnic, etc...so any type of restaurant would work. Thanks!

Jun 28, 2010
JennyHunter in Greater Seattle

What am I doing wrong with Sockeye Salmon

Thanks for the advice. I was in a hurry which is why i chose to broil. What about steaming or poaching? Or am i the safest in baking in the oven?

Jun 14, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

What am I doing wrong with Sockeye Salmon

My brother in law (who lives in Alaska) sent us some frozen sockeye salmon. They are whole side fillets with the skin on. Tonight I basted them with a maple syrup and dijon mustard sauce I made, threw pineapple around the edges, and stuck it all under the broiler for about 8 minutes. The fish was sooo dry - even though it didn't seem over cooked if that makes sense. Is it the nature of the fish, is it that they could have been frozen for too long, or did I simply cook them for too long? I have about 5 more large pcs in the freezer and would like to get it right next time. Any theories or fool proof recipes would be appreciated.

Jun 14, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Beyond Hummous: Living (and Chowhounding) on the Mediterranean Diet

What about a shrimp and veggie stir fry to satisfy the Chinese take out craving? You can make it healthy by first blanching the veggies before adding to the pan with the shrimp. Make a quick pan sauce with a little soy sauce, chile garlic paste, OJ, sweet rice vinegar, etc... and serve with a small portion of brown rice. Also do you eat steamed mussels? They are delicious and lend themselves to all sorts of flavor variations - thai, italian, etc... For the pizza craving, what about using a portabella mushroom as your "crust" and fill with sauce, veggies and maybe a little meat and mozarella cheese. I agree with you on the whole wheat pasta. I don't eat it very often, but when I do I have to have the real thing. Good luck.

Jun 09, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Help with 4 pound boneless turkey breast

I bought a pastured boneless turkey breast at the farmers market today. It weighs approx. 4 pounds. It is still in the packaging, but does not appear to have any skin on it. It was expensive, so I don't want to mess it up. I bought it not with dinner in mind, but to slice for sandwiches/salads for lunch this week. Should I brine it? What temp to cook it on? Any suggestions would be great!

Apr 18, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

Quiche. What kind? How many?

I second the strata option. Much easier. Cooks Illustrated has a great basic recipe - with a few variations also. The two favorites are always the spinach/gruyere or the sausage/colby jack. I make them all the time for events and always get asked for the recipes. I will caution you that they take slightly longer to cook than the recipe says if you are making the 9x13 size - so give yourself a little extra time. Plus they taste better and are easier to cut when they are not steaming hot. I also think having the smoked salmon, etc.. for the bagels is a great idea. Another poplar veggie option I do at brunch is Ina Garten's vegetable torte. Not too complicated and looks beautiful on a buffet. As do the fruit kabobs instead of fruit salad - very popular with kids. I also usually have a bloody mary bar set up and that makes everybody happy :)

Apr 06, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking

A freakin' fire in my cast iron pan.....

I use my cast iron all the time on my ceramic flat top and have never had a problem!

Mar 16, 2010
JennyHunter in Home Cooking