linengirl's Profile

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Food guilt - do you get it and what do you do about it?

Nope. No guilt. None at all. I just gobble down the good stuff and feel proud of myself for ... supporting a great restaurant... cooking, when so few people do any more... supporting a great farmer doing really good work... feeding my friends and family and making them smile... putting healthy things into my body to make it stronger and more resilient...
I do over-tip quite egregiously when I get good service, my thinking being that I get paid very well for what I do and waiters should know that I appreciate what they do for me. And I don't do lots of stuff: don't eat veal, don't eat foie gras, don't eat unsustainable fish (mostly, at least), don't buy meat unless from places that can assure me the animals were raised healthily and kindly and killed kindly.
So... is it bad that I don't feel guilt? ;->

Jun 29, 2012
linengirl in Not About Food

recommendations for supermarkets, butchers, fishmongers, farmers markets in DC?

This has all been incredibly helpful. Thank you for your input, hamster! Every city has unique charms and unique issues, yes? It is so SO great to be able to get opinions and advice on this from you all, rather than having to learn it the hard way by myself!

recommendations for supermarkets, butchers, fishmongers, farmers markets in DC?

Excellent! Thank you so much, Kate! I'll look into Logan Circle. For reference, I wouldn't be working in Georgetown. Closer, in fact, to Faragut (sp?) metro station(s). Frame of reference otherwise: I hate mass transit (esp subways/metros - claustrophobic), so I'll always avoid them if I can. But I'll give up a lot for access to great fish and great produce in my neighbourhood. And for living in a real neighbourhood, with real coffee, and real sidewalks! (Sorry, I don't mean to diss you if you are a suburbanite but... we all have our little quirks, yes? This is one of my painfully many!)

Can you tell me why you like Logan Circle for foodies?

recommendations for supermarkets, butchers, fishmongers, farmers markets in DC?

I hadn't even considered that option! Had to go find out and you are spot on. Might be a GREAT option!

recommendations for supermarkets, butchers, fishmongers, farmers markets in DC?

Hi all,

I'm investigating the possibility of a move to DC (oh, lucky you, to live there - so so so impressive!). Based on where I work and my preference for walking to work rather than driving, I'm thinking best place to live might be in/around Georgetown or (I think I have this right?) Foggy Bottom.

I like to cook, though, and it would be wise to make my final choice based on where the good food stores are. Because shopping once a week at a supermarket is just no fun as compared to stopping in at the great farmer's market or fish monger on the way home, yes?

So... yes, I know about Whole Foods. But I don't know Southern supermarkets (who is this Harris Teeter person?). And I don't know DC supermarkets (who do you all like?). I also know next to nothing about your ethnic neighbourhoods and their markets (I'd be quite thrilled if I had to shop at a good Chinese market for the rest of my life!), Or farmers' markets. Or great butchers/fishmongers/cheese shops/such.

Any advice? This isn't urgent, but I AM interested.

Thanks!

Conversing when you cook

I have 2 kinds of meals I make for company: meals I make for SO because I want to make them (he has kindly learned to be a fabulous sous/commis/bartender, which makes it HUGELY more fun!)
Meals I make for guests: braises and such which allow me to do all (almost all?) my cooking beforehand, and genuinely enjoy guests' company while I have it. Aside from braises, I count salads as a success here, as well as risottos, most pastas, casseroles... Suchlike. Would that work for you? Not all the time but... Sometimes?

Jun 25, 2012
linengirl in Not About Food

Your "Food Fantasy Lifestyle." Have you got one?

That's easy. Enough money to introduce BF to all the delicious foods he doesn't know he'll love. As in... "you think you don't like sushi? Let's go to Japan for a month. We'll start with a trip to a good izakaya, work our way up from Okonomiyaki to truly great tempura, and then ease into raw fish by way of genuinely excellent Buddhist vegetarian and kaiseki ryori...". Then on to Chinese in China: from great Beijing noodles to Szechuan. Then Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian (a few weeks in Penang: not much of a penance, hm?)...

Jun 18, 2012
linengirl in General Topics

Help! Non-vegan looking for plant-based deliciousness...

Thanks, all, for the varied, interesting, and incredibly useful advice! I've bought myself a fun new cookbook to play with as I ease into this: River Cottage veg. Not all vegan, but quite a lot vegan. So that's good. Now (TMI, I know), if I can just get my gut to quit its very expressive commentary on all this new and interesting roughage it is seeing on a daily basis! ;-)

Jun 15, 2012
linengirl in Vegetarian & Vegan

Help! Non-vegan looking for plant-based deliciousness...

Thank you so much, everyone! I have trickled along to my favorite Asian grocery for some high-quality super firm tofu. First concerted, attentive effort will be, I think, a black bean sauce/tofu/veg stir fry for dinner tonight... And yes, I'm lucky to have the space for an herb garden, and some great herbs flourishing in it. The (@*#&$@#(*&$ squirrels ate my borage, it is true. But there's other good stuff . I'm going to have to put in cilantro if I'm going to explore Indian and Thai, though! That's on today's to-do list too!

Jun 12, 2012
linengirl in Vegetarian & Vegan

Help! Non-vegan looking for plant-based deliciousness...

Well, it had to happen some time. I am climbing down off my bacon-centric high horse and admitting that the vegetarian / vegan community may know some stuff I need to learn.

Last week, I made the painful choice (ignorance really is bliss in some instances) to watch the documentary "Forks over Knives". It's point (outlined more completely in the book "The China Study") is that a whole foods, plant-based diet (in other words, I think, a vegan diet) can do more to manage and even reverse the effects of heart disease and diabetes than surgery and/or medication.

That hits close to home, as fiancé had a heart attack a few years back, and now has a stent. AND he has been diagnosed diabetic. He works very hard at managing his blood sugar levels with diet, and is very health conscious, generally, and quite fit. But he takes a boatload of pills, of course, and they have a boatload of nasty side effects. And he watched the movie too, and would like to try eating like this.

So... Dairy-loving bacon-centric food-snob that I am... I need to re-educate myself.

I know delicious vegan food exists out there. It must. But my experience of both vegetarian and vegan has been pretty negative. Tofurkey (yech!), veggie burgers (double yech!)... Mollie Katzen's well-meaning but unenthralling casseroles...

Can any of you foodie/chow-ish folks out there recommend starting places for someone that wants to dip a toe in the vegan water for health reasons? And perhaps work up to wading or even swimming in the shallow end? Cookbooks you like? Blogs? Ideas? Approaches? Products?

Much obliged, as always!

Adrienne

Jun 11, 2012
linengirl in Vegetarian & Vegan

"Least Favorite Vegetable" Poll

baby corn. whose idea was that? let the little buggers at least grow to adolescent-hood!
okra. But I admit to woeful ignorance re: good Louisiana cooking.
zucchini flower. Again, I may not have tasted good examples of what they CAN be like.
spaghetti squash. Which can NOT substitute, whatever my mother says, for spaghetti.
Cauliflower if masquerading as mashed potato. Sorry. No dice.

May 18, 2012
linengirl in General Topics

Green smoothies?

Thank you all! Pantz, I did live in NYC... a couple of years ago. I don't any more, so I wasn't aware of either Organic Avenue or Miss Lily's. Happily, though, I get back fairly often. So I'll go try these places out! Thank you for the heads up!

May 15, 2012
linengirl in Special Diets

WEIGHT WATCHER FOODIES - WHAT ARE YOU COOKING? PART 6 [old]

Farmer's market had the first local asparagus in this Saturday. So yesterday I made Dorie Greenspan's bacon, egg and asparagus salad. Gosh, it was good. I calculate about 9 points/serving. Ish. Entirely worth it.

May 07, 2012
linengirl in Home Cooking

Friend coming for a few days from London, England. What can't she get across the pond that we do well here?

I'd consider 2 places: Jacob & Co (for the dry aged Alberta ribeye -- though I've heard great things about the quality of some of the beef now available in the UK); Soma in the distillery (for the chocolate - not that she can't get great chocolate at home, but many Brits have a thing for chocolate, and Soma's really is special)

Green smoothies?

Hi all,

I'm not on any special diet other than a weight loss diet (ahem. What can I say? I love food and don't so much love sweat...).

Have started to drink protein smoothies for breakfast, and found it quite a helpful habit to have. Not really missing out on good stuff, because breakfast is my least interesting meal of the day anyway. And I can pack in a LOT of good stuff: besides my protein powder, typically a couple of cups of spinach or kale or other leafy green, and a banana or some frozen fruit.

I am quite happy to stick with this, but if any of you have green smoothie ideas that you really like, I'd love to hear about them!

Note that because I am rather weight-reduction focused right now, I will tend (only tend - not so strict) to prefer the smoothies that are full of water and ice cubes, rather than, for example, peach nectar or mango puree.

smiles and thanks!

May 07, 2012
linengirl in Special Diets

Breast cancer diet recommendations?

If she likes the idea, juicing might also be a nice thing to explore. Especially if you are trying to get her to feel happy about cutting down on the diet sodas, processed foods and whatnot. Juices (even juices made mostly with vegetables) can be quite sweet and delicious. And if she has to have chemo (I didn't, so I'm speculating here), a little ginger in her juice might help her to feel less ill, as well? And if getting a juicer, using it and keeping it clean is more than you think she's ready to sign up for right now, there are lots of pretty-good alternatives: odwalla? bolthouse (the carrot people)? your neighbourhood juice bar, if you are lucky enough to have one nearby?

May 07, 2012
linengirl in Special Diets

Recs for LONDON, Ontario

I second The Only and Church Key. Church Key is particularly good on the subject of Sunday brunch, if you can get a table. And they have a patio -- right opposite The Tasting Room.

If you are willing to drive and want a good bakery (excellent source of pasteis nata, toasted sandwiches, lattes...), there is a branch of Toronto's Nova Era (a traditional Portuguese bakery) near the Western Fair grounds -- 460 Egerton, says their website. Bet ya can't eat just one pastel de nata... It's rare that anyone can...

Where should an aspiring cook begin?

I'm a visual learner, so if it were me (and it was), I'd start out with videos. The French Chef DVD collection (Julia Child) from PBS, and the Good Eats (Alton Brown) collection from Food Network are both wonderful. And neither assumes you know much at all. Cook along with them: when you find an episode with food you like (whether it's braised, microwaved, frozen or just sliced into bits and served)... watch it a few times, consult the recipe, and try making it yourself. Then watch it again, and make it again. And then make it AGAIN!

If you get through those two, another series I like (though it is too fussy for some, and assumes, I think, a broader knowledge of cooking than you might be ready for right now) is America's Test Kitchen. And that will keep you going for a GOOD long time. They are into their 12th season, now!

May 01, 2012
linengirl in Home Cooking

What's in your freezer

Too much stuff that will end up in the garbage, sadly. Like coll and Crockett67, I now keep a list. But there is just NOT a good reason for some of the stuff in there. Store bought frozen lasagna: what was I thinking? Bad leftovers: why bother? Gotta go do a freezer clean now... ;->

Apr 30, 2012
linengirl in General Topics

Airplane Food

I'm afraid I'm one of the folks you disapprove of. But I DO try to consider your quality of life too. My usual go-to goodies: bottle of water, bag of cashews or almonds, bag of crudités with a bit of Maldon salt to dip them in, bar of good chocolate. All things that dont smell, wont get on anyone's clothes or leave debris. I wonder, now, though, reading your post? Does the crunching interfere with your enjoyment of your flight? Maybe I should stick to a couple of protein bars after all?

Apr 18, 2012
linengirl in General Topics

Do you like it when your server recognizes you?

Wait until you get sick and need an overnight at her hospital, Bill. Then you'll be REALLY grateful. All that caring and interest she has tried to give to them... Your nurses and caregivers will probably try to return the favour. You are VERY lucky. I know. Off topic. ON topic, I find it embarrassing. Which is quite ridiculous of me. Particularly because in the small places I love the most, I try to overtip a bit on a regular basis. Just to say, in another way, "thank you, I value your help".

Apr 18, 2012
linengirl in Not About Food

Martin Picard's new book

It's out, and I looked at it in Indigo. And while I have great respect for this man's creative ability, it's a bit frightening. I write this referencing pictures of a) squirrel sushi; b) club sandwich. It's not a cookbook I'd feel ok about leaving around for my young nieces to look at. Am I too squeamish?

Apr 16, 2012
linengirl in Food Media & News

What were your FIRST three cookbooks?

Fannie Farmer Junior Cookbook
Julia Child's Mastering (vol 1)
My mother's collection of Gourmet magazines

Apr 15, 2012
linengirl in Home Cooking

Feeding a new diabetic?

You don't need a completely vegetarian diet. It's ok to eat a modest amount of meat as part of your meals (no larger than the palm of your hand). You might like to (as you are) cut out potatoes, but may find you only need to limit bread and rolls. Ep if you veer toward whole grains. Lots of veg in your daily diet is a very good thing. Don't cut out desserts: you are more likely to "cheat" if you do that -- and in a not-good way. Instead, go for low or no sugar desserts like jello and fruit. I am writing this as dictated by my SO, who is also a diabetic, and managed to get his blood sugar under control. He believes that exercise is also very important, and bikes and walks with me all the time.

Apr 15, 2012
linengirl in Special Diets

Impromptu Meals - how do I plan for them?

Alternatively, you can do what I did (quite by accident). Move. Move to an apartment above a great grocery store. It's like having an enormous refrigerator in your basement! Otherwise, I think grey is right. If you want the luxury of not having to plan, you must expect to pay for it. Most often by overbuying (= a certain amount of spoiled / wasted food) or by giving more money and stomach space than you might like to restaurants or packaged/canned/frozen food manufacturers. Sorry, but there ain't no other way that I can see...

Apr 14, 2012
linengirl in Home Cooking

Recipe Organizer

I've been using both pepper plate (the app and website) for a couple of months now, and www.eatyourbooks.com (website only: I dream of the day they give me an app...) for the last year. Pepper plate is free. And useful. But eatyourbooks has changed the extent to which I use my cookbooks, helped me to cook more and cook better, and been just tremendous fun. It's probably one of the best purchases I've made in the last 12 months.

Apr 13, 2012
linengirl in Not About Food

Need help with meal planning to pair with Marcella Hazan Bolognese

That sounds heavenly!

Apr 13, 2012
linengirl in Home Cooking

Tricks you figured out in the kitchen and thought 'good one'!!!

Keep a pantry.

Stock your pantry with things you USE. Not with what you THINK you might use. Or, painful though it is, things that well-meaning friends and relations give you that you know you wont use. Those treats, if store bought rather than home made, can go elsewhere to live. Neighbourhood food pantry?

Unless you shop for a family of 8, no, that gallon jug of Hellman's is NOT a good use of your refrigerator real estate. Share it out with your friends or buy smaller.

Go through your pantry with a garbage bag, checking for expiry dates, regularly. Once a year. Be ruthless.

Keep a list of what's currently in the freezer, to minimize freezer-burn-means-I-have-to-toss-it evenings.

Label anything you put into the freezer. Unless you want to freeze it preliminary to wondering what it once was and having to toss.

When you buy a jar of spice, write the date on the label. So you don't have to wonder if it really should be replaced. (gosh... I can't smell anything any more AND I dated it June 2002? Might be time to replace it...)

PS: can anyone guess what I've been doing today? Instead of cooking? :-(

Apr 13, 2012
linengirl in Home Cooking

Need help with meal planning to pair with Marcella Hazan Bolognese

I agree. Having made that particular bolognese many times, it is rich. And heavy. So balancing it out with something vegetably would be my choice, too. It's spring: maybe baby artichokes? Or pan roasted asparagus with a little olive oil, parm and lemon? But oh... That bolognese.... SUCH a treat. Your guests are lucky!

Apr 13, 2012
linengirl in Home Cooking

Angel food cake

Woo hoo!!! Thank you, all!!! I'm off to find my fresh eggs!!!

Apr 13, 2012
linengirl in Home Cooking