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Trader Joe's balsamic vinegar

Just a comment and query on Trader Joe's Aceto Balsamico di Modena. I bought a bottle several months ago and loved it. It was the small square bottle with a cork stopper. The vinegar's consistency was slightly syrupy and the flavor was good with some sweetness. My family couldn't get enough of it. A few weeks ago, I bought another bottle and I feel that the product has totally changed. My first clue was that the cork stopper has been replaced by a plastic lid and there is now a plastic pour spout so that the vinegar won't come glugging out too quickly. This, presumably, is because the vinegar is no longer slightly syrupy, but thin like any other vinegar. Has anyone else noticed this? I don't like this product!

May 08, 2012
Furgs in Chains

6 Meanest Things Said About ABC's New Food Talk Show "The Chew"

It bugged me that Ms. Oz didn't know what a bratwurst was. She had never heard of bratwurst. Just because you're supposed to be the "healthy food" talker, doesn't mean you should be ignorant of mainstream foods.

Oct 09, 2011
Furgs in Features

The 78 Most Annoying Words to Read in a Restaurant Review

"sexy" or "better than sex" are two that come to mind. I will immediately cease reading (or watching) a review when I see either of these phrases.

Jul 19, 2011
Furgs in Features

Kewpie Mayonnaise's Secret Ingredient

I used to make my own mayo all the time. However, when I became a parent, I was reluctant to expose my kids to the dangers of consuming raw no licking cake batter off the mixing spoon and no fresh mayo for our family! Btw, does Kewpie mayo contain sugar? I am devoted to that Southern favorite, Duke's mayonnaise, because it contains no sweeteners.

Sep 26, 2010
Furgs in Features

Your tried and true Cook's illustrated Best recipes.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake. No fail, excellent!

Dec 26, 2009
Furgs in Home Cooking

What do you make for breakfast on Christmas morning?

Homemade "Country Scones" (a recipe that I acquired years ago from who knows where) with butter and raspberry preserves and a big pot of coffee. I'm brewing Trader Joe's "Holiday Blend," but my college aged son has declared that he doesn't like it and can I make regular coffee. ;) The lucky may get a steaming mug of mocha latte instead.

Dec 26, 2009
Furgs in Home Cooking

Do you have a favorite I'm-alone-now-so-nobody-will-know favorite dish?

Hominy sauteed in butter or olive oil. Scramble in a couple of eggs, lots of cheese, and toss with salt and cayenne!

Same as above with any leftover carb...potatoes, pasta, rice.

Orzo cooked in chicken broth, mix in some scallions and top with parmesan.

Shin Cup korean style noodles--spicy! Throw in leftover cubed meat for variety. ;)

Tamales from a jar.

Anything related to tomato-less pasta. Love to carbo load when I'm alone.

Refried beans mixed with lots of cheese.

Ice cream topped with peanut butter and something chocolate.

Fat-free chocolate pudding topped with "light" whipped cream.

Frozen steamed chopped spinach topped with butter and parmesan.

Oct 14, 2009
Furgs in General Topics

Do you have a favorite I'm-alone-now-so-nobody-will-know favorite dish?

Was wondering when someone would mention hominy. I like to saute a can of it in butter or olive oil, add a couple of eggs and scramble it around, top with cheese, salt and red pepper. Yum! Mayo, huh? Thanks for the idea!

Oct 14, 2009
Furgs in General Topics

Do you have a favorite I'm-alone-now-so-nobody-will-know favorite dish?

Loved those butterscotch krimpets. That was the treat my mom would buy me at the grocery store if I was a good girl while shopping. And the jelly krimpets were good, too!

Oct 14, 2009
Furgs in General Topics

Do you have a favorite I'm-alone-now-so-nobody-will-know favorite dish?

ooo-h, ooo-h, no fair! I was gonna say this! Tamales in a can, or from a jar. I lived in Russia when I was little and we "imported" a lot of American canned food. Tamales in a jar/can, with canned chili. Yeah, baby! And canned chicken a la king. (although I don't eat that anymore. I do have standards.) :)

Oct 14, 2009
Furgs in General Topics

Chobani Yogurt...changed?

I love Chobani brand greek yogurt and I see that other Chowhounders do, too. I especially like the price. The larger container costs a dollar less than the same sized container of Fage at our local grocery store.

However, today I opened a large container of nonfat plain Chobani and it was totally different! Instead of the thick almost-like-sour-cream consistency that I expect and love, the yogurt was runny. As in, I could actually pour it from the container. It smelled and tasted fine, that is, it wasn't spoiled. But the taste was actually different, too. Like non-Greek yogurt.

Has anyone else had this experience recently? I note that a couple of years ago, some CHers noticed that Fage had changed because it is now made in the US instead of Greece. The change was not that noticeable to me, although it seemed a little grainier than before. But this Chobani change is MAJOR.

Hope it was just a fluke.

Oct 14, 2009
Furgs in General Topics

Egg-less ice cream recipes

Does anyone have any good recipes for ice cream that does not contain eggs? I'm particularly interested in ginger, caramel, dulce de leche, and chocolate banana flavors.

Jun 10, 2009
Furgs in Home Cooking

Lid didn't pop-is it still good?


I just opened a jar of National Brand Mixed Pickle (I believe it is Pakistani). The jar lid was sealed with a plastic strip, with no leakage noted. However, I did not hear that familiar, comforting "pop" sound when I unscrewed the lid and I know better than to assume something is safe to eat just because it "looks ok." This happened before with other chutneys/pickles and I threw them away.

As a matter of fact I once opened a jar of "Coriander Chutney"--I believe it was a brand made in India that is widely available in the international foods aisle at general grocery stores. There was no pop, and then the chutney began to flow out of the jar like lava out of a volcano! It's like it had a life of its own.

Any advice? Or reason why this seems to happen often with Indian or Pakistani brand condiments?



Jan 28, 2009
Furgs in Home Cooking

Things I ate/drank in college that I will never eat again

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (or generic brand) made with no butter/margarine, with a crap load of curry powder mixed in, all made in a Hot Pot.

Any alcohol mixed with Hawaiian Punch. You don't want to know what we did one night after drinking LOTS of vodka and Hawaiian Punch.

Jan 19, 2009
Furgs in General Topics

Haagen-Daz carton size chg. but no price change

I just find this to be so discouraging. I sometimes walk through the grocery store shaking my head and not buying items I used to because I feel like I'm being so ripped off AND that I'm being treated like an imbecile.

I would much prefer that the sizes stay the same and the price go up. That way I can make a direct comparison. What happens now is I look at the shrinking package and see that it is the "same" price as before and I'm mad because I want a 1/2 gallon of ice cream, not 2/5 gallon (or whatever.) Then, inevitably, the price goes up anyway.

I noticed the other day that a brand of granola-type bars I used to buy (usually on sale) now have only 5 bars per box instead of 6. When did this happen? I know there were 6 in a box last fall.

Just venting, but, to repeat, I would fell a lot less ripped off if sizes stayed the same and the price goes up. I GET that. Just like a pound of chicken goes up, or a gallon of gas goes up.

Jan 19, 2009
Furgs in General Topics

Top-5 Cooking Goals for 2009

1. Learn to make bread, and make it often enough that it becomes second nature.
2. "Subscribe" to a local farm in order to get fresh, organic produce almost year round.
3. Finally attempt to make some jaw-dropping cakes--not necessarily fancy or decorated, but just tall and luscious.
4. Make home made sausage.
5. Attempt to make one "out of my comfort/experience zone" meal a month, with the result being some of the dishes becoming part of my repertoire.

Dec 30, 2008
Furgs in Home Cooking

Favorite Cheese?

HF all the way. Had it first at Kluge Vineyards in Virginia. I could have eaten a pound myself.

Nov 05, 2008
Furgs in Cheese

Fiber One Bars--Now with Heart-Healthy Ethanol!

I look at these Fiber One bars as candy bars with fiber. That's the only way I can eat them with a clear conscience. I figure if I have a sugar/chocolate craving, it's better to eat one of these and get some fiber than it is to scarf a Snickers bar. Although, I'd much rather have the Snickers.

Oct 21, 2008
Furgs in General Topics

What did I do wrong?/Figs

I have seen so many recipes for fresh figs recently that I was thrilled when my husband came home from work with a bag of them. I had seen a simple recipe for bacon wrapped figs so I tried it. I sliced each fig in quarters, leaving the bottom intact (so they sorta looked like open tulips). Then I wrapped each one with a half a strip of raw bacon, securing the bundle with a toothpick. I then broiled them until the bacon was cooked and supposedly crisp-ish.

Bad result. There was so much liquid rendered during the cooking process that the bacon didn't get very crisp. Then, the figs did not taste very sweet--they tasted almost vegetable-y.

I had sliced the figs open so I could place a dollop of cream cheese/gorgonzola mixture atop each one after cooking. I'm thinking now that opening up the figs before cooking allowed for too much of the liquid to cook out, and therefore much of the sweetness.

Any suggestions?

Sep 20, 2008
Furgs in Home Cooking

Fresh Figs?

Ok, what's with the figs? Fresh figs seem to be the goodie of the moment. I see more fig recipes in the paper, in mags and online than I ever remember seeing.

My husband works at a well-known historic house site, replete with 18th century gardens. He says there is a huge bumper crop of figs this year.

Is there some worldwide explosion of fig production, leading to a plethora of fig recipes?

Anybody know?

Sep 10, 2008
Furgs in General Topics

Recipes using pac peo as ingredient?

Thanks. I usually put a handful of Thai basil in my green curry, so I'll use this, too. I read somewhere to put it in salad, too.

Sep 09, 2008
Furgs in Home Cooking

Things I ate/drank in college that I will never eat again

Thanks to the original poster! I haven't chuckled so much in a while!

I have a few...

Kraft Mac 'n Cheese made in a popcorn popper, with lots of curry powder mixed in..

Vodka and Hawaiian punch--we had already gone through every other mixer on the premises and Hawaiian punch was the only thing left in the vending machine. Boy did I pay for that one! But it took 24 hours. Yeesh.

Brownies baked with, well, you know...

"Fried cheese" which was our name for scrambled eggs mixed with about a pound of cheddar cheese which resulted in a sort of separated curdy mess.

Cheese from a spray nozzle. Or should I say "cheese food."

Miller beer. Lukewarm.

Tequila Sunrises.

Mateus rose "wine.

All the cafeteria food at my college. Mystery meat was abundant.

Sep 06, 2008
Furgs in General Topics

Recipes using pac peo as ingredient?

I accidentally bought a big bunch of pac peo at my local Global Foods market and I don't know how to use it. I know it is used in Vietnamese as well as other Southeast Asian cuisines, but I'm having a hard time finding recipes online. Any ideas? I also have pork and chicken on hand, so any recipe that includes one of those would be appreciated.


Sep 06, 2008
Furgs in Home Cooking

Cheese rind video: WHAT WAS THAT?

Gosh, I am so relieved to read these posts! I am considered a foodie in my neck of the woods, but compared to most of the posters on CH, I'm a total tyro! I saw the "never eat cheese rind!!!!" video and thought it was way off base, but then I started thinking that maybe I've just been doing it "wrong" all these years.

I was presented with a wedge of wonderful Humboldt Fog the weekend after seeing the video and all I could think was I was going to die if I ate the rind...but I soldiered on and ate everything and have lived to tell the tale.

I am surprised that videos that disseminate this kind of misinformation are allowed on CH.

Aug 06, 2008
Furgs in Site Talk

What Shame Looks Like

"Calling each cake bite-size is appropriate only if the biter in question is a housecat or an unambitious raccoon." Hi-LAR-ious! Thanks for the laugh. Yeah, I've fallen victim to the 100-cal snacks. In my case, the chocolate cupcakes. Each pack equals about 1/2 a regular Hostess cake. But when it's late at night and you're TRYING to be good, that little shot of chocolate fix can do the trick!

But, no, Hostess has not "gone green" with these products.

Jul 20, 2008
Furgs in Features

Starbucks Vivanno Smoothies??

I decided to try the banana/chocolate one yesterday. I had them add a shot of espresso. I'm not sure what I expected...I guess I wanted it to be sweeter. My son got the same drink sans espresso and his tasted relatively sweeter and more banana-ier. Mine tasted sort of like green banana, so I would say that the ripeness of the banana is key. Put it this way, it tastes like you're drinking something "healthy." My curiosity has been sated and I don't need to get another one.

Jul 19, 2008
Furgs in Chains

Asian/Thai Cookbook

I have a rather dog-eared copy of "Real Thai: The Best of Thailand's Regional Cooking" by Nanci McDermott that has served me well. It was given to me by my teenaged son who, I suspect, had ulterior motives and has benefitted from those motives! I've had good luck with many of the recipes.

Jun 29, 2008
Furgs in Home Cooking

College visit rd trip VA, NC

A fun and popular place in Richmond is Kuba Kuba. Cuban food. Although it isn't "local type" food, the atmosphere is definitely local-type. It's located on Park Avenue in the Fan District, 10-15 minutes from the Univ. of Richmond. If you want to tour a little of the city, a trip to Kuba Kuba will give you that opportunity. The place is always bustling, but laid back and it is in your price range. Plus the food is good!

BTW, if you haven't been there already, the campus of Univ. of Richmond is BEAUTIFUL!

Have fun!

Jun 29, 2008
Furgs in General South Archive

anything near Crown Brownstone Hostel/Bklyn.

My college age son and 3 of his buddies are making a 3 day pilgrimage to New York and staying at the Crown Brownstone Hostel at 958 St. Marks in Brooklyn. They plan to spend most of their time in Manhattan and will go to Yankee Stadium to catch a game on the evening of the 21st. I think they plan to take the subway into Manhattan and then travel up and down--I know a couple of spots for them in Lower Manhattan and one or two in Upper Manhattan. But what about in Brooklyn? Places that would either be near their hostel or en route between the hostel and Manhattan/Yankee Stadium? They are adventurous eaters but I know they'd love a slice of good pizza.

Any advice is appreciated!!!

May 15, 2008
Furgs in Outer Boroughs

Charlottesville (UVA)

Follow that link! The Post featured Charlottesville eateries in yesterday's Food Section. Big article. You can read it online. Many of the places written about have been mentioned by CH'ers but there were some some establishments I hadn't heard of before. It will give me more places to try when I go to C-ville to deliver/retrieve my son at UVA.

May 08, 2008
Furgs in General South Archive