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Mermazon's Profile

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No self-respecting hound would go out to dinner tonight - what's on your home-cooked menu?

Happy Valentine's to All!
(Ah, to be snowbound...very romantic and cozy...but let it be nice for the weekend!!!)
Our Main Menu? Good ol' Surf and Turf!
(my DH is not much of a "gourmet" eater)

For Starters-
Buttery Chard
Some sort of cheese fondue and Brie en croute w/dried cranberries and pecans
Baby Greens with a champagne viniagrette

Main Course-
Steamed Broccoli w/lemon butter (my husband is not a huge sauce or veggie fan)
Jumbo Prawns on the Barbie
Marinated Filet Mignon with roasted rosemary garlic bulbs
Sauteed crimini mushrooms
Fragrant brown rice
Late Harvest Zin

Dessert-
Choc Dipped Strawberries
Champagne and......
Me! O=;)

Feb 14, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking

White Pizza...the kind like back East?!?

Cool! Thanks for the suggestion. (Did you mean no parmesan or no mozzarella? See your post above) My hubby thinks it's an atrocity to have pineapple on pizza too! O=;)

Feb 09, 2007
Mermazon in Los Angeles Area

Fondest Childhood Memories...

Ah, Tang...it really does inspire a lot of great memories for many people! (BTW-your dog licking the dishes is classic. What a cutie! O=;)

Feb 09, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Unforgettable Restaurant Experiences

Ha! That's great! Or should I say that was a "gouda" story?!? (Cheesy, I know! O=;)

Feb 09, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Fondest Childhood Memories...

If you get one soon, let us know, if it's sturdy enough. I know nothing's as good as the "real thing"...but those online at Target DID look pretty darned close...O=:)

Feb 05, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Fondest Childhood Memories...

Luv2Bake...
Yes, I will be glad to give you the recipe! I have been trying to get over this darned bronchitis so I haven't been in the kitchen a lot lately. However, once I'm "mended", I'll be happy to put it on here. "Chow" for now! O=;)

Feb 03, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Unforgettable Restaurant Experiences

I love it when you're in a restaurant (Cafe', Bistro, etc.) and the employees don't "throw" you out, but let you stay until "whenever" you decide to leave!! I recall y e a r s ago meeting up with a friend at a great Cajun restaurant in Baton Rouge. (Funny, I can't recall the name, just that the food was delish and the staff was very kind and patient!) We hadn't seen eachother for quite a while. He was there on business, while I was coming from NO. I had taken a long weekend from college in FL to visit family, (him) and also, to see the World's Fair.
(BTW-do they even have those any more?!?).

Any way...we chatted for about 3 hours (before even ordering), and then took about another 3 hours talking all throughout dinner, dessert and coffee! It was nice to not get jeers or leers from the staff. Matter of fact, I think they gave us a bottle of wine! O=:)

Feb 03, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Unforgettable Restaurant Experiences

I agree, usually we don't recall the food (quality) as much as the love spent with someone special. Sometimes even if food isn't "up to par", those precious memories sure are!!
(BTW-Love the hat!! Is Mrs. jfood also a Lab? I had one for over 18 yrs...what a Luv! O=;)

Feb 03, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Unforgettable Restaurant Experiences

Yeow! That made me laugh!! O=;)

Feb 03, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

haricot verts

Oooo, you're 'bean' funny! O=;)

Feb 03, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking

Disinfecting Kitchen Spray for Cutting Boards, etc.

I've heard that about white vinegar too, but wasn't sure how much of the smell remained. Do you rinse/wipe things after you've used it? With the water/bleach combo, I've not had a lingering smell, so I was curious about the vinegar.

Feb 03, 2007
Mermazon in Cookware

Disinfecting Kitchen Spray for Cutting Boards, etc.

I'm not sure if this is "right", but what I use is one part bleach to four parts water. On the cutting boards I always rinse with hot water afterwards. The counters, I wipe dry. I have heard that Hydrogen Peroxide is a great anti-bacterial, but I haven't tried that yet. Good Luck! O=:)

Feb 03, 2007
Mermazon in Cookware

St. Pete Beach and Tampa Recommendations

I was born in St Pete, but live in So Cal now. It was a true trip down Memory Lane to read your report! Yes, SP is a charming area to live-I spent infancy into my 20's living there. It was nice to reminisce while reading your post. When you went to La Teresita did you happen to try the yucca? Oh my! They make it with garlic and lime-sooo tasty! There are sooo many delicious places to try, but I am glad you hit Ted Peters-so delish!! Apologies to So Cal, but virtually nowhere has better seafood!! Too bad you didn't get to venture into "Old Town" St. Petersburg-there are wonderful sites and eateries there too. Truthfully, there are a lot of great places to check out, it's tough to do it ALL in one visit. Yep, great time of year to go there as well-the air is so pleasant and mild. (You might have thought differently in the middle of August!!) Ah, but I miss it greatly! O=:)

Feb 01, 2007
Mermazon in Florida

Unforgettable Restaurant Experiences

Recently I was reminiscing about places my precious Mommers and myself used to visit and the restaurants we ate at. I remember one time my Mom taking me to this (what I thought was posh) French restaurant. Besides teaching several different subjects at the local college, she also taught French, so it was fun to hear her speak the language like a native.

I remember being so amazed how our waiter kept our table spotless using this "little metal thing" to scrape crumbs off our table-seemingly every 5 minutes. It felt like he was at our side constantly, treating us like we were the only customers there. It was such a treat to be spoiled! We laughed and laughed and had such a grand 'ol time feeling like royalty! We went for lunch, instead of dinner (I imagine the cost for dinner was exorbitant!) but I didn't care, I had my Mom all to myself! Being a community college professor, my Mom didn't make a ton of money, but she always liked to expose me to the "finer things" in life. She took me to musical, artistic and cultural events and to various restaurants and eateries. She truly taught me how to appreciate all that life has to offer.

A couple things I remember most that day:
1) Sweet potato soup with creme' fraiche on top
2) Pousse-Cafe' (Barely 21, I was enthralled!)
3) AMAZING bread and pastries
4) Spending time with her...priceless!

Going places with my Mother always made everything that much better...

Feb 01, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Fondest Childhood Memories...

"I got some 'ise ceam' and you can't have it, and you can't have it, and you can't have it! "
O=;)

Feb 01, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Really? London Broil is just good for grilling/broiling?

Yes, I second that-to both! O=:)

Jan 28, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking

Unforgettable Restaurant Experiences

Wow, I love experiences like that! How very coooool!! That's what I love about "Mom & Pop" establishments. Sadly a lot are losing out to the chains, etc...

Jan 28, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

What do you do when in a Pinch? Cooking Shortcuts

I agree, I take advantage of the MW, especially when I need to defrost or reheat certain things. As far as plastic, I've read a lot of negativity on Web MD and Quality Health. Have you considered using ceramic or glassware for the MW? I've also been told that wax paper, parchment paper or paper towels are safer to use as a "cover". I must admit once in a while I still use plastic containers, but not wrap. Plastic wrap has received too much bad rap (sorry for the pun! ;-) for me to continue to use it in the MW.

Jan 28, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking

What do you do when in a Pinch? Cooking Shortcuts

Wow, great idea. Couple questions...Do you leave it in it's skin/peel? What do you use these for when thawed? O=:)

Jan 28, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking

What do you do when in a Pinch? Cooking Shortcuts

I love my garlic press, but I have also done what 'thejulia' suggests below. I typically use the garlic press when I don't want to smell really garlicky and desire minced instead of smooshed. O=:)

Jan 28, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking

Unforgettable Restaurant Experiences

What was one of your most memorable dining encounters you've had? Feel free to share any you deem fit. They can be incredibly lovely, wonderful, delicious-OR-horrible, appalling-even downright terrifying. O=:)

Jan 27, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

What do you do when in a Pinch? Cooking Shortcuts

Want to share somehow you cut corners cooking or in the kitchen? Perhaps you have a great idea to share that will save hassles and/or messes? Really, anything provided would be great. Please share, we'd love to hear! O=:)

A couple came to mind today while I was making a simple soup...here they are:

Cheescloth Stretch Wraps (approx. 2 doz.) -
I use these when I am squeezing lemons, key limes or any citrus that fits. It keeps the seeds from falling into whatever I am making. I can clean & reuse them several times. I find these are better than regular cheesecloth, plus they're very sturdy & have elastic on them so they fit snugly. They sell in a little bag for a few dollars. (I found mine at Cost Plus World Market)

Frozen Herbs (in a cube) -
If I have no fresh herbs on hand, in a pinch, I use these. They're really quite convenient and have come in handy several times when I forgot to buy a certain herb. They are these neat little frozen cubes, all ready to use. You just pop in the amount you want and "presto! all done!" So far, I've only tried the basil and parsley-but I like the simplicity of them-how they are proportioned and easy to use. ** I know I can make some like these in ice cube trays, but we don't have a lot of room in our freezer and these are so compact! IMO, they're reasonably priced too. (I discovered these at Trader Joe's)

Jan 27, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking

Foods/drinks/snacks you sneak into a movie theater...

YUM! Yes, I forgot about good 'ol rootbeer!

Jan 27, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Foods/drinks/snacks you sneak into a movie theater...

Anyone know if there used to be one in Denver? When I lived there, I could've sworn there was a cool Deco theater with the same name. Always showed "Avant Garde"/Indy films there...very groooooovy places, not too many around anymore.

Jan 27, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Foods/drinks/snacks you sneak into a movie theater...

If I went with you, you'd HAVE to share them with me ;-) I love those things, but hardly ever eat 'em anymore. I saw them in the store just a few days ago-I was tempted!

Jan 27, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Fondest Childhood Memories...

Luv2Bake, anything you want to write is ALWAYS a pleasure to read!! Thanks sooo very much for opening your heart to all of us and sharing some wonderful food and family memories. That is EXACTLY what I was hoping for!! So many wonderful people (Chowers) have shared stories like this, and I feel blessed to read them. I get the "warm fuzzies" reading these threads and then it makes me think of more fond memories.

What you wrote made me recall the 'encounter' that I experienced a few days ago while baking some fruit pies. Of all the things I've cooked and baked, I've never made a 2-crust fruit pie. I'm not sure why, maybe b/c I never thought mine would ever be as delicious as my Auntie J's. She made these truly amazing strawberry pies! Unfortunately, she passed away before I had the opportunity to glean from her some of her wonderful recipes, especially her "famous" strawberry pie. If you recall, I wanted a recipe for a 2-crust strawb pie and was having a difficult time finding one that used the ingredients I wanted.

I finally did find a recipe for a blackberry pie, and since I had a bunch of blkberries, I thought I'd try making that one first. As I was making the blackberry pie, I followed the recipe to a "T". I felt pretty confident about the pie, so I popped it in the oven.

However, when it came to start the strawberry pie, I still didn't have a recipe for that, so I figured I'd just wing it. Then I recalled my Mommers saying to me that my Auntie J always advised "It never hurts to add vanilla (extract) when baking." So, I did. I then felt guided to use raw sugar instead of fine white. Then I felt compelled to use less sugar and more corn starch. I had no idea why I kept experimenting, b/c if I have never made something before (esp. when baking) I stick to the recipe verbatim. In this case, though, the whole time I felt like I was not alone in the kitchen while I was making this strawberry pie. Once both pies were baked and fully cooled, I tried a bite of each. First I tried the blkberry-it was good, but too juicey. Then I bit into the strawberry pie. In an instance I had this wonderful picture of my Mommers and my Auntie Jane standing in her kitchen-both of them laughing and giggling and eating her strawberry pie. (My Mom and she were sisters, but more importantly best friends. They were so full of love and joy.) Wow! It tasted JUST LIKE HERS! I KNEW she must have been guiding me all the way through the process. I could sense my Auntie and Mom looking down from Heaven in approval. That's when I knew that I definately had some help from above! It brought tears to my eyes and then I smiled because I felt my Mom and Auntie's presence in my home, and knew they had helped me through the whole process. I now believe I have the recipe-Heaven sent!

Jan 26, 2007
Mermazon in General Topics

Really? London Broil is just good for grilling/broiling?

Yes, I keep it frozen to slice. Sooooo much easier that way! O=:)

Jan 24, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking

Shocking, it's a national disgrace!

Seventy-five CENTS?!? Hmmmm..."methinks you are being sarcastic?!?"

Jan 24, 2007
Mermazon in New Orleans

We’re listening... we always have been

Tatum, et al....
I guess because I am new to this site, I was able to adjust to the changes more easily. Still, I admit, I was confused at first. However, I have noticed that in just a day, the site has already improved. For ME, that red was tooooo toooo harsh, so I thank you for providing us with a theme choice. Thanks too, for allowing to us vent, hearing us (and in a lot of cases, personally responding back) and considering our views and opinions. IMO, some of the changes today seem an improvement to the format I had first come across. I do agree, the surprise tactic was tough to take, but I fully understand now. I can imagine if it was tough for me as a "newbie" to adjust to this change, I'm certain that for your "old timers" they have it tougher and it MAY take them longer to adjust. Gonna Hang on.......Over all, thanks for a great site, I love discovering it! O=:) Mermazon

Jan 24, 2007
Mermazon in Site Talk

Really? London Broil is just good for grilling/broiling?

For a while here where I live, London Broil was on sale all the time! Since I married a meat-n-potatoes man, I took advantage of those sales. Personally, I used the LB for a TON of meat dishes. Besides on the grill, (which is delish), I have sliced it thin and used it for "steak" sandwiches, stir fries, soft tacos, (chunks) in stews, fajitas, Asian dishes, etc. I have never had a problem with it being tough or chewy. I can't offer advice regarding a soup, though I'd probably use a good beef bone at start for the broth and then cook the beef separately (in a skillet to sear the meat and capture all the juices) adding it to the soup in the end. Oh, and I'd never tried grinding it, but I'd bet a good butcher would be able to tell you. Hope this helps. O=:)

Jan 24, 2007
Mermazon in Home Cooking