Nestra's Profile

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Homemade Marshmallow Crème

I have done this before, but usually bring the egg whites and sugar mixture to 160F in a double boiler over simmering water while stirring. Once at temperature, it is easy to transfer the mixture to the standing mixer and whisk. This is a great way to avoid scrambled eggs and to ensure that the egg whites receive enough heat to be considered "cooked"

Sep 20, 2012
Nestra in Recipes

50 Years of Packages That Fool Stupid People

Back in 2003 when I was working in marketing at HoneyBaked Ham, we went through a brand refresh which included a new company slogan - "Simply. Delicious" Our ad agency was waaaaay ahead of the curve! The philosophy was just what was stated above - delicious food mean to invoke simple memories of home and family.

Sep 20, 2012
Nestra in Features

Screwtops/Synthetic Corks...

Especially considering that he referenced each quote with a link. He should be fine. :)

Aug 11, 2010
Nestra in Wine

2010 - What are you drinking?

I don't have a huge budget for wines, but instead tent to purchase in the $10-$20 range, so please read the following with that in mind. :)

I just opened a bottle of Cupcake Vineyards Merlot. It is quite nice. I've also been drinking a funky little Washington Reisling (a slightly dry reisling) called Kung Fu Girl and my old faithful - Mad Housewife Merlot.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a silky, non-acidic red? I prefer less "smoke" flavor as well. I fell in love with Hope Estate Shiraz back in 2005, but I am not a fan of the 2008. I am having a hard time finding exactly what I want in a red. Any help from you experts out there would be greatly appreciated. I am still a baby when it comes to exploring the world of red wine. I know I prefer it to white, but finding a white I enjoy is a lot easier... if that makes any sense!

Apr 03, 2010
Nestra in Wine

Hosts cleaning up/doing dishes while guests still around?

I entertain a lot and usually I get offers to help. Of course, I have an open style home where the kitchen, dining room and living room are essentially one big room, so it is very easy to socialize while cleaning up. But I still leave the nitty-gritty to the next morning. To each their own, but if entertaining is just an expensive chore, I wouldn't do it.

Sep 10, 2009
Nestra in Not About Food

best way to reheat frozen tamales

That sounds soooo good Cristina, do they have a smokey flavor?

Sep 10, 2009
Nestra in General Topics

Your latest 'addiction'?

I have a few addictions right now:

1. Tuna Sashimi - if I could find sushi grade tuna at the market, I would buy it in BULK and eat it every day. I know, mercury and all that, but I love it! On that note, if you know of a place to buy fresh sushi grade fish in NW Arkansas, I would love to know!
2. Gruyere cheese sliced very thin and eaten with thin slices of green apple.
3. Melissa's brand Soyrizo (vegan chorizo) cooked with an egg and served in a warm tortilla with cilantro and fresh salsa for brekkie.

Jun 06, 2009
Nestra in General Topics

Your latest 'addiction'?

My favorite is the Ritter Sport with the biscuit layer. So good.

Jun 06, 2009
Nestra in General Topics

Your latest 'addiction'?

Love Cliff Bars! I am a fan of the Chocolate Chip. Great meal replacement.

Jun 06, 2009
Nestra in General Topics

trendy ingredient or spice?

I love cardamom! If it tastes like ginger to you, we need to get you some better cardimom! :)

It is definitely something that people love or hate though.

Jun 06, 2009
Nestra in General Topics

trendy ingredient or spice?

For spices and sauces, I am hearing a lot about peri-peri hot spice from Africa as well as Chinchurri Sauce from Argentina. Also apparently Masala is trending this year.

I also hear that Persimmon is going to replace things like Pomegranate and Acai as the hot new fruit. Dragon-fruit is also on the rise.

Locally grown and seasonal ingredients and sustainable seafood will continue to be touted on menus nationwide, or so the buzz says.

Jun 03, 2009
Nestra in General Topics

Should You Really Be Eating That?

As someone who is overweight, this thread of comments is both encouraging and dismaying.

I fully know my size. I see it in the mirror every single day and am acutely aware when people look at me with mild disgust. I even understand that reaction. Certainly, since they have never been in my place, they do not understand what I go through every day. So I cannot expect them to respect me or see beyond my bulk.

I am not this way because I am lazy and ignorant. I am, in fact, a very energetic, intelligent and highly-educated person. I am also strong-willed about everything in my life, with the exception of food.

It truly is a drug to me. If I do not eat something sweet in the evening, I suffer psychological withdrawal and emotional distress that is very hard to describe. When I sit down to a meal, if my plate doesn't look filled past what I can eat, I am nervous and anxious.

I am helpless to explain why I feel this way and even more helpless to understand why I cannot reverse this habit when I have such iron-clad control over everything else in my life.

I do know that I suffered severe depression for many years and, as a result, put myself in a situation where it is very difficult for me to exercise, which has done nothing but exascerbate my weight problem, but even now, when I have worked through a lot of my depression without the aid of conventional drugs, I still rely on food to get me through each day.

I do feel guilt and shame and a general sense of worthlessness and helplessness. It is a horrible feeling and one I would never choose for myself.

I wish I could encourage people to look past their knee-jerk reaction to fat people and try to get to know the person inside. Your respect and friendship could be exactly what I need to work through my food issues.

Just my two cents...

Jun 03, 2009
Nestra in Features

Fashionable Food: Sausage-Stuffed Dates

I have a great recipe for Bacon-Wrapped, Gorgonzola stuffed Medjool Dates on my blog: http://voidandnestra.blogspot.com/200...

Everyone who tries them becomes instantly addicted.

Jun 03, 2009
Nestra in Features

10 Canned Goods Worth Using

I am glad o see coconut milk on this list. Though high in fat, it does lend a distinct and uniquely creamy flavor to more than just Asian dishes and desserts.

Jun 03, 2009
Nestra in Features

Best wine you've had under $15

Hope Estate Shiraz - was under $20.

Chateau St. Michelle Reisling

Bloom Reisling

Jun 06, 2007
Nestra in Wine

Hot water + ______ = a nice drink

I've been drinking rhoobus for a while (in the form of no-caffiene chai), but also have been trying some of the new white teas on the market. Surprisingly, One of my new favorites is Tazo's Berry Blossom White Tea. It is very light, sweet on its own, which nice blueberry fragrence and flavor with just a little bit of bite from cranberries. Very nice and easy to find at SBUX.

Mar 27, 2007
Nestra in Home Cooking

Egg Salad

I second that, but I use salad dressing instead (Miracle Whip).

Mar 27, 2007
Nestra in Home Cooking

Need Dessert that doubleserves as Breakfast

Zataar - Would you care to share your recipe? This sounds incredible. I make a darned good French Toast casserole, but have been looking for something a little bit different than the traditional recipe.

Mar 27, 2007
Nestra in Home Cooking

What can I make with a HAM BONE

I have to go with Davwud on this one. No greater pairing than green beans and cured pork.

Also good, if making Boston Baked beans from scratch, simmer with the ham bone adds a depth of flavor to your sweet beans.

Any stew, soup or other meal where a good simmer can extract all of the delicious flavors of a ham bone will do though.

Mar 27, 2007
Nestra in Home Cooking

Moroccan Food NYC

My favorite NYC Moroccan/Northern Africa style restaurant is Le Souk. They do have a back room with more traditional seating, but I am not certain about whether or not it would specifically suit your needs. The food is incredible though and around 10:00pm, the vibe of the place reverts to a sort of Middle Eastern night club. Lots of excellent music, people belly dancing (customers LOL). Just a really great vibe. One of the most enjoyable nights I have spent in NYC. Make sure to ask for a table in the back room though. They get packed very, very quickly on Friday and Saturday nights though, so you might want to get there early and stick around. Here's their website: http://www.lesoukny.com/

Mar 27, 2007
Nestra in Manhattan

Judging the wine by its bottle - how significant is the punt?

It is refreshing to hear that I am not mistaken in my understanding of screw topped wine. I purchased a screw-topped wine last year on the recommendation of a friend and it was absolutely excellent. I then purchased a bottle for each of my friends for Christmas and got a lot of strange looks when they saw the screw top. I wanted to crawl into the floor. You would have thought I bought them Boon Farms Strawberry wine!

Several of them did come back later and say they enjoyed the wine, but I do have to wonder if the perception of screw-topped wine is sometimes enough to put people off a possibly great bottle of wine.

Mar 26, 2007
Nestra in Wine

Went to McDonald's today. A couple of observations...

I think it is because there are two "pancakes" on each sandwich. :-)

I am also a huge fan of the sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle. I try to limit my consumption of them to once every six months or so though... It is hard, but oh so worth it when I do allow myself the indulgence.

Mar 26, 2007
Nestra in Chains

When you leave a small tip...

I would venture to say that a good server, deserving of a good tip will be mindful of visually checking dishes for completeness (i.e. sauces that should be on the food, appropriate garnishes, all ordered foods and condiments present), but short of probing your steak with a finger tip and popping it into his or her mouth, I can't see how they could be responsible for the integrity of the food on the plate.

Now, if they are not timely in picking up prepared dishes and bringing them to the table as soon as they are ready, that is another issue and completely the responsibility of the server.

Mar 26, 2007
Nestra in Not About Food

When you leave a small tip...

It seems to me that a lot of the perspective on this thread may be related to generation gaps as well. I would venture to guess that TP is of an older generation. I could be wrong, but that is my assessment. Here's how it is in my family:

My grampa, who is the kindest and most gracious person I know, tips 10% for good service. It is what he has always tipped. He grew up during the Depression and, as I have said before, reuses plastic bags, and even sometimes paper towels. Nothing is wasted in his house, and tipping 20% would be a completely alien concept to him. Still, he isn't a stingy man. He gave me one of his older, but excellently maintained vehicles when I started college and gave my brother $2,000 to buy a "from here to there" car when he started college. He sends me, my siblings, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, nice big checks for Christmas each year. If you asked for the shirt off his back, he would give it to you before you finished the question. But his life has given him a different perspective on the subtle line between being generous and throwing money away.

My father tips 15% for good service (but never more than that) and is horribly embarrassed by my grandpa when they go to dinner and Gramps picks up the tab and gives 10%.

I tip 20% for good service (sometimes more if a server has really wow'ed me or if I am at a place where my meal costs less than $10) and am equally embarrassed by my father's 15% tips when we go out to dinner. I solve the problem by finding a way to sneak back to the table and leave a little bit more (same thing when dining with Gramps).

I am sure, some day, I will have a son or daughter who will make it a point to circle back and leave a couple of dollars on my 20% tip to make it 25%.

In the words of my mother "That's the way the cookie bounces".

Mar 23, 2007
Nestra in Not About Food

Coldstone Creamery

I've wanted to try that as well. Nothing like a good Red Velvet, although, the technique escapes me. I cannot seem to get that velvety texture when I bake them at home.

Mar 21, 2007
Nestra in Chains

starbucks green tea latte is really gross

By all means, try it. Different stokes and all that.

Mar 21, 2007
Nestra in Chains

When you leave a small tip...

I miss it. Dining was truly an event where I lived. People still dressed nicely for dinners, there were five or more courses, even at less expensive restaurants, that were served at a very slow pace, the wine was excellent, service impeccable. Definitely more of an event. After a few times out, we were old pros and gladly relaxed for three hours, chatting away and enjoying each other's company. You hit the nail on the head, no turn and burn, unlike a lot restaurants in the States.

Mar 21, 2007
Nestra in Not About Food

I'm Vegetarian but I Eat Bacon

To the poster who asked about substituting bacon in recipes. I am of the opinion that there is really nothing on planet earth that can replace flavor for flavor, good crispy bacon, but there are some things that come darn close. I have had some fairly decent turkey bacon recently. It is much leaner than pork bacon, but if you find a way to increase the fat (I know, sounds gross) in another way (vegetable oil, etc.) turkey bacon can be a good porky imposter.

Mar 21, 2007
Nestra in Features

Open My Wine First

A friend of mine makes mixed CDs of music appropriate to the event (fun Christmas music for a Christmas party, sean-nos for an upscale St. Patty's Day dinner, smokey blues for a cool fall get-to-gether and funky magic/monster themed music for Halloween night). He loves doing it and his selections are usually spot on for the event. We have all gotten to the point where we look forward to whatever music he brings. It is never ordinary and always gives us something to yammer about during the event.

Mar 21, 2007
Nestra in Features

Advice for Heathens

Being a religious person with non-religious people in her family, this is an issue that I watched people dance around all while I was growing up.

If I am hosting a get-together, we say grace. It's a dinner I put together and I feel perfectly justified in having grace said before any meal that has been prepared in my home.

With that said, I would NEVER ask one of my athiest or even agnostic friends to say grace and when grace is said, it is kept very short. To me, the first rule of being a good host is making my guests as comfortable as possible.

Mar 21, 2007
Nestra in Features