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dishchrista's Profile

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As A Chowhound, What Did You Get For Christmas?

A stainless steel egg cup set complete with an egg spoon and tiny salt shaker.

Meat thermometer.

Dec 25, 2007
dishchrista in Not About Food

mother in my vinegar

If it really IS a mother than yes you can use it to start other vinegars, add to wine of choice and wait. Does your vinegar smell like it did when you bought it?

Nov 28, 2007
dishchrista in Home Cooking

What food products have NOT changed?

Ketchup, mustard and mayo are all pretty easy to make. I have to make small batches of ketchup, though, as it ferments into a bourbon smelling ketchup in about 6 weeks in the fridge. It isn't too much trouble since they sell tomato paste in tiny cans.

Nov 28, 2007
dishchrista in General Topics

What to donate to the food bank?

I needed to make use of the food bank for about a month. As a then-vegetarian there weren't many protein options, not even shelf stable tofu which isn't a high dollar item. I ended up eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day. I can't look at them now. Also items for people who are diabetic, or kosher stuff. Special diet, iow. When I got my first paycheck I donated everything I wished had been available. Props to the volunteer who includes pet food. I'd add litter.

Nov 27, 2007
dishchrista in General Topics

Best inexpensive coffee?

Cafe Goya. I like it better than the premium folgers.

Nov 26, 2007
dishchrista in General Topics

What food products have NOT changed?

Fritos. I think.

Nov 26, 2007
dishchrista in General Topics

What Food Products Have Changed?

A few changes since then are the use of hydrogenated oils to replace lard, coconut oil, and butter... and the proliferation of hfcs in place of natural sweeteners. And sometimes even when items didn't contain sugars. Also the food chemistry companies convince our taste buds we're eating a tasty 'food product' when it's natural state wouldn't seem appetizing. And GMOs. I could go on but I'm deporessing myself.

Nov 24, 2007
dishchrista in General Topics

Iowa City/Coralville Thanksgiving

Ha ha! Laughing in empathy, of course. Sounds like a good time to shut off the taste buds and enjoy your company. Good luck!

Nov 22, 2007
dishchrista in General Midwest Archive

Best single-cup coffee maker?

To be clear, my comment about becoming a coffee snob wasn't a passive aggressive way of calling more knowledgeable folks snobs. I meant it as I said it: I used to be a coffee snob but it led to drinking waaay too much of the stuff, and I *was* a snob about it. My heart is much healthier, I am no longer constantly dehydrated and my ears no longer ring. I'm happy with the status quo. If others want to learn more power to them. I appreciate others' willingness to share their knowledge. I felt slightly attacked for merely stating my coffee preference.

Nov 19, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Best single-cup coffee maker?

It may be a marketing term, but it is one I appreciate. If it's called espresso there's a good chance I'll like it. It isn't a ploy, it gives me a fairly good idea of what to expect. I have no interest in becoming a coffee "expert." Experience tells me this would lead me to be a snob and an addict. At one point I was drinking 6 or more coffee mugs of 'proper' espresso [machine made] per day. To be satisfied with 2 cups of coffee Espresso daily is progress.

Nov 19, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Best single-cup coffee maker?

Fine. I have been happily duped into purchasing dark roasted beans under the guise of "espresso." I don't drink it because of the name, I drink it because I like it. I don't care what it's called.

Nov 19, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Best single-cup coffee maker?

Look, it may not be pc, but the fact is that it exists. It's like saying watermelon flavored candy doesn't exist because it isn't really made from watermelons.

Nov 19, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Best single-cup coffee maker?

I don't follow your logic. For the past twenty years I have purchased "espresso beans"... from a local roaster, from a local espresso bar, from chain grocery stores. It's a dark roast, finely ground [if ground]. You're suggesting that although espresso beans are sold everywhere, they aren't?

Nov 19, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Best single-cup coffee maker?

Just reread this: I meant weaker than espresso made in an espresso machine. It's at least as strong as that made in a coffee maker, if not more so.

Nov 18, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

How long will sealed, jarred kimchi last?

I enjoy my homemade kimchi for months at a time. I make a gallon batch a few times a year. My local korean resto serves very fresh kimchi, which I like, but I do prefer the stuff that's fermented longer. Has your jarred kimchi been pasteurized?

Nov 16, 2007
dishchrista in General Topics

considering a food sealer

Do you use very day saran wrap out of the box? When I worked at a resto we had a permanent bar built in to a prep table. It only required the use of one hand to reach, pull, tear. Much quicker to use, and less waste. I made a similar dowel work station for my work for use with bubble wrap and other packing materials and they make work a lot easier.

Or... would zip bags be easier?

Nov 15, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

considering a food sealer

I use a larger heat sealer model for work and imho wouldn't save much if any time over plastic wrap.

Nov 15, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Christmas Wish List $20 or Less

Lots of great suggestions, foxy! If I didn't already have one I'd put a small, simple rice cooker [w/ steamer] on my list. I never knew how versatile they are.

I love vintage cookware and dishes, they can often be found for $20 or less.

I just added Ratatoulie to my list.

Some folks have pointed out that $20 isn't that much. And it isn't, but that's the challenge. I don't spend very much money on myself, I find it difficult to justify, so it is genuinely appreciated when I receive requested gifts regardless of the price tag. The second challenge is coming up with things I have space to store - tiny kitchen, full closets. We came up with this system when it became apparent that we didn't know what the other person would want, and the list includes exactly where to get items :). It makes shopping easy and we know everyone will get something they will appreciate.

I like foxy's mention of consumables... I get my dad a bunch of goodies from germandeli.com for his birthday and Christmas. He honestly doesn't want any more "stuff".

Nov 13, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Shopping at Whole Foods on a budget

I should have said organic vanilla beans. Pop them in a bottle of vodka and wait a month for extract.

Nov 13, 2007
dishchrista in Chains

Iowa City/Coralville Thanksgiving

New Pioneer caters... you'd have to reheat the meal [they're closed Thanksgiving] but they have vegetarian options.

Nov 13, 2007
dishchrista in General Midwest Archive

need your recs for a good immersion blender

I bought my 400w Braun immersion blender on Amazon a few years ago. Accessories include a whisk, chopper, larger "chopper" with an ice crusher blade, smoothie container, and blender. I like the fact that I can mix things up in quart size canning jars. I make whipped cream, butter, smoothies, pesto, and the occassional soup. I'm quite satisfied. I have a tiny kitchen and it lives on the wall next to the counter, always plugged in and ready to use. Since the accessories are tucked in a cabinet they are used infrequently.

I'm not familiar with the wolfgang puck blender, but I own two wp appliances [convection oven and electric skillet] and they are both crap. The convection oven door requires tape to keep the door closed in use and the skillet is much hotter on one side than the other.

Nov 13, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Shopping at Whole Foods on a budget

I quit shopping at WF when the traffic became too narly to handle, but I always shop on a budget and I relied on them for bulk items [nuts, flours, noodles, rice, honey] and 365 label staples like canned tomatoes, oils and nut butters. They had a nice selection of canned fish that was more expensive than what I could find locally but the quality made up for the difference. I remember their spices as being quite overpriced, I get organic vanilla on eBay for a fraction of what they charge. But in the produce section they had live basil plants for just a few dollars, much cheaper than Krogers and Albertson's little bitty containers of herbs. Bottom line, stay away from prepared foods.

Nov 12, 2007
dishchrista in Chains

Christmas Wish List $20 or Less

Got it, thanks! I better let everyone know I'll prefer a probe thermometer.

Nov 11, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Christmas Wish List $20 or Less

I love my chopper! When I cook for a dear but picky friend I have to cut up veggies until they are unrecognizable. He'll eat it if he can't see it. I don't have the knife skills to obliterate veggies, but 30 seconds with the chopper does the trick.

Nov 11, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Christmas Wish List $20 or Less

Thanks Kelli. I found some ir thermos on eBay for cheap. I'm questioning whether these are appropriate for kitchen use, though. The ads specifically say they can be used for food, but my best friend insists that they only take the external temperature. I'd appreciate some guidance on this issue.

Nov 11, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

braun yogurt maker--instructions??[Moved from Ontario board]

A poster on another site said they requested a yogurt maker manual from Braun and they sent it to them.

A few years ago I bought a used bread maker and requested a scan of the manual via freecycle. That worked out well.

Nov 11, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

Admit it... There's Some Dishes at Chain Restaurants You Like

Thanks for the taste memory! I often ordered bubble gum BR ice cream as a child. It was like a 2fer... ice cream! gum! I'd try to eat around the gum and save it in my cheek pocket until the ice cream was gone, giving it a chance to warm up a bit and easier to chew.

Nov 09, 2007
dishchrista in Chains

Christmas Wish List $20 or Less

My family and friends enjoy exchanging gifts, but we keep the limit to $20 or it can become ridiculous. I'm forced to come up with a list early because my birthday is on 11/26 so it's a 2fer. Foodie items on my list this year include a stainless steel egg cup set with spoon and topper, and an infrared thermometer. I thought about cookbooks but haven't been able to narrow them down to a few choices. What's going on your list?

Nov 09, 2007
dishchrista in Cookware

For those that don't host Thanksgiving, what, if anything, do you contribute?

Sure! Sear fresh green beans in olive oil with 5 or more cloves of minced garlic. When seared but not burned cover with chicken stock and a splash of white wine and cook til beans are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. I usually finish cooking the beans in a roaster [200 degrees]/ crockpot for about 3-4 hours, but taste as you go so they don't over cook. I imagine one could make these up to a few days before. Very simple and tasty!

Nov 08, 2007
dishchrista in Home Cooking

For those that don't host Thanksgiving, what, if anything, do you contribute?

Garlic green beans. Even people who don't like green beans like 'em.

Nov 08, 2007
dishchrista in Home Cooking