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Site for small Outdoor Wedding and dinner at a restaurant for 25 people in/near Philadelphia?

Holly Hedge in New Hope (as suggested below) is beautiful, I haven't eaten there but went to a work holiday party there about 10 years ago.

We got married on the lawn at the Joseph Ambler Inn in North Wales, and had the reception (including dinner) there as well. The beautiful gardens were enough decoration for us. The food was delicious, and the staff worked with us to come up with a menu that fit our needs. Added bonus: guest rooms on-site!

1 day ago
truman in Philadelphia

Do you hold Grudges against Restaurants? And for how long?

If it's a bad service issue, I may give the place a second chance. If it's a sanitation issue, then heck no. There is a Dunkin Donuts near us that we avoid, and will go out of our way to go to another location, because we brought home a box of donuts once with two ants inside. To make matters worse, when I called the store immediately to let them know, the manager wouldn't want to speak to me.

Mar 27, 2015
truman in Not About Food

Barbecue in the (western) 'burbs?

Thanks for all the suggestions - keep 'em coming! We are former North Carolina residents (not natives) who will eat pretty much any kind of BBQ - NC, Texas, Memphis, Kansas City, etc. We've tried Jimmy's in Malvern but it was just okay.

Mar 27, 2015
truman in Philadelphia

Barbecue in the (western) 'burbs?

Hi - there's an old thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/703365) discussing BBQ/barbecue in the Philly area. Does anyone have updated recommendations? Extra credit for anything in the vicinity of West Chester or between WC and King of Prussia... GoogleMaps is showing me Bridgeport Rib House, but the reviews make it sound like a bar that happens to also serve BBQ.

Thanks!

Mar 27, 2015
truman in Philadelphia

So. Chester County -- Moving

The Costco in Concordville (on US 1 about a mile east of 202) is a newer store, and is really nice. They've got a good selection of prepared foods, like most Costcos, which could be a good alternative to take-out during your move and renovations if you'll have access to a fridge and microwave.

Mar 26, 2015
truman in Philadelphia

Superlative food in Bergen County?

I know this is an old thread, but based on the suggestion above we ate at Sparta on our way through town last week, and it was great! Good gyros, good chicken souvlaki, and delicious falafel (appetizer). The complimentary pita and hummus to start was also a nice touch. We shared baklava and while it was tasty, it was a bit dry. I wish we lived closer so we could go back...
http://www.spartataverna.com/

Mar 25, 2015
truman in New Jersey

DC - Durham trip

I did that drive a lot (lived in Durham for 10 years while my brother was in DC and parents in PA)... I-95 exit 61, VA-10 in Chester, was my go-to stop. Almost every chain imaginable is within a few minutes of the exit, and the Cracker Barrel has particularly clean restrooms. :)

Mar 25, 2015
truman in Southeast
1

Poll: Favorite everyday glassware?

We have the Rings glasses from Crate and Barrel: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/rings-g... - 16oz for most drinks, plus some juice glasses. They're quite durable, and feel good in our hands. And on the rare occasions one has tumbled to the floor, it's been easy to replace just the broken one. :)

Mar 24, 2015
truman in Cookware

Healthy, filling soups/stews for repeat lunches

We saved a recipe from the newspaper last year for "Monday Night Soup." It is very adaptable and full of veggies. I'll list the original ingredients list below with some of the changes we've made; you may need to make further changes to meet your parameters. (Note this is from memory, not the actual written recipe!)

Saute 1/2 lb of spicy sausage (eg chorizo); remove from pan. Chop 1 onion and saute in chorizo droppings and a bit of olive oil. Add 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced, 1 C small pasta like ditalini, and 2 cartons (8 C total) broth of your choice. Bring to a boil and simmer until the squash is almost cooked. Add 1-2 bell peppers (I like red), diced and cook for another minute or two. Stir in 1 bag of fresh baby spinach and cooked chorizo. Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese.

My notes:
Chorizo is optional, but helps with the umami taste. I add more cheese without it. :)
I use a small package of already peeled squash for convenience.
I've added a can of white beans (eg cannelini, chickpeas) with the bell peppers.
OK to make with less or no pasta - I haven't tried with anything other than regular white flour pasta.
You could probably sub kale or other greens for the spinach; we're not fans so I haven't tried that.

Mar 19, 2015
truman in Home Cooking

Cooking Non-Rice foods in a Rice cooker?

Yes - also banana and almond butter!

More ideas: http://www.runnersworld.com/photos/6-... (though the recipes work with old-fashioned oats just fine...)

Mar 18, 2015
truman in Cookware

Cooking Non-Rice foods in a Rice cooker?

I have a fairly basic Cuisinart rice cooker (maybe 4C?) and I've used it to make other grains, as well as oatmeal. I just follow the standard stovetop directions.

Mar 17, 2015
truman in Cookware

Best BAKED chicken wings recipe?

I LOVE the baked Old Bay wings too - http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... .

Mar 16, 2015
truman in Home Cooking

Weekend in Pittsburgh with 3 year old: suggestions?

I'm not a local, but we had brunch at Meat and Potatoes last spring (without our kid!) and we saw kids there. You may want to let them know when you make the reservation.

Mar 16, 2015
truman in Pennsylvania

Children-Table Manners And Etiquette Milestones

My son is a few months shy of 5, and here is what we expect him to do at mealtimes:
1. Wipe his face on a napkin, not sleeves
2. Use a fork or spoon to eat his food
3. Not talk with his mouth full
4. Stay in his seat

I'd say he does these things about 2/3 of the time. The rest - well, he's a little kid, and he forgets, especially as the meal goes on. He is a slow eater, and so we can get into a vicious cycle.

He does chew with his mouth closed (unless he is talking), and knows to spit things like gristle into a napkin, so I guess we're ahead of these 10-year-olds!

Mar 16, 2015
truman in Not About Food
1

Peanut butter plus....

When I was a kid, my mom and I ate peanut butter and salami sandwiches. The garlic in the salami (the hard Italian kind, not kosher salami) works really well with the PB!

Mar 04, 2015
truman in General Topics

What Do You Do With Canned Soup?

I just made this last night - my grandma Katherine's recipe:

2 C elbow macaroni
2 T butter or margarine
1 can cream of tomato soup (low-sodium/light is okay)
1/2 soup can water
2 C shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook noodles al dente. Drain and stir in butter until it melts, then add the soup, water, and cheese. Pour into greased/sprayed casserole dish and bake 1 hour at 325.

Two notes:
1. You can shorten the baking time and increase the temperature - it's pretty forgiving - and/or run it under the broiler to crisp up the top...
2. ... which, IMHO, is the best part, so I tend to use a larger dish for maximum surface area.

Mar 03, 2015
truman in Home Cooking
1

Core de Roma - West Chester

We ate there on Friday for an early Valentine's dinner. I was quite surprised that they had a limited "special" menu where substitutions were not permitted, and the bucatini I'd planned to order was not available. (DH said he was not told about the limited menu when he called to make the reservation.) The artichoke appetizer was amazing, as on our previous visit, but my lasagna was just okay. Service was spotty (and got worse as the evening went on) and it was LOUD in the back room; we felt like the annoying couples at the table next to us were sitting with us. So... I'm not sure if we will go back any time soon unless it's on a boring weeknight.

Feb 17, 2015
truman in Philadelphia

where can I get wines used during the mass (catholic)?

I'm Jewish, not Catholic, so I can't answer your specific question - but Jewish wine such as Manischevitz is very sweet. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find it at a regular wine shop.

Feb 10, 2015
truman in Wine

Frozen Poblano Strips!

Feb 10, 2015
truman in General Topics

Frozen Poblano Strips!

This may not help you West Coast-ers, but Wegmans carries frozen diced poblanos (store brand)...

Feb 09, 2015
truman in General Topics

I eat it my way

My husband and his mom do this with apple crisp.

Serious Eats Pan Pizza Recipe

I've made this several times in 9" cake pans (since I don't have cast iron) - it's fantastic.

That being said, I can only comment on the crust because I use sauce from a jar. I bake the pizzas for 15min at 500F because my oven doesn't like going hotter. Without cast iron, the bottoms don't brown much, but we can live with it.

Feb 09, 2015
truman in Home Cooking

How do you save a list of restaurants to try?

We use an app called Cozi for family calendar/planning stuff, and it allows you to create multiple to-do lists - so you could create a specific one for "Restaurants to try." The app also has a web interface - like Pepperplate does - so you can create entries on your phone, tablet, or computer. And our family has access to the same account so we can all add to it. (To be honest, I haven't used it for restaurants, but we are in the midst of a zillion house projects and therefore have a zillion associated to-do lists!)

Feb 05, 2015
truman in General Topics

How long does it take to bake meatloaf??

Thanks, all - I should have mentioned that I am completely committed to my meat thermometer, trusting it way more than a recipe's suggested baking time. And of course we make notes on our recipes, so the "true" baking time is recorded for the next time. I do find it interesting that we had the same situation with these two recipes from different sources, and that my experience is not that different from what y'all have seen.

I grew up thinking that I didn't like meatloaf, because my mom made it (a) with farfel (broken-up matzah) instead of breadcrumbs - huge white chunks are unappetizing! and (b) in the microwave, that newfangled appliance in the 1980s. One day DH made the Italian meatloaf I linked above, and I was converted. :)

Jan 29, 2015
truman in Home Cooking

How long does it take to bake meatloaf??

I've noticed that we have baking time issues with both our "old standby" meatloaf (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/fo...) and with a new addition to the meatloaf family (http://cupcakesandkalechips.com/2014/...). Both recipes call for 2-2.5 lbs of meat and are supposed to bake in about 45-60 minutes. The old standby usually takes 90 minutes, and the new addition (which was delicious, by the way) took more than 75 min this week. What gives?? Our oven is pretty accurate - we haven't had similar problems with other baking or roasting experiences. We shape the meatloaf as directed and use the recommended pan... but we still end up with pink in the middle of the loaf if we go by time and not the meat thermometer. So are the recipes drastically under-estimating the bake time, or are we unwittingly doing something funky? Has anyone else had a similar problem?

Jan 29, 2015
truman in Home Cooking

new refrigerator

We're Whirlpool fridge folks, and bought this model in July: http://www.whirlpool.com/-[WRX988SIBM...
We are very happy with it; I'd expect the same level of happiness in a counter-depth model if you need to go that route. My only complaint/wish is for more storage for tall items. It wasn't an issue early on when the garage fridge (our old one) was still working, but now that it's winter, we are down to one fridge, so leftovers and rarely-used condiments are back in the kitchen.

Jan 26, 2015
truman in Cookware

Costco or BJ's membership?

We have memberships at both; our preferred/closest locations are 20 min away, give or take. Here are things that we buy at one vs. the other:

Costco: better produce selection (lettuces, green beans, fruit), torta rolls from the bakery, deli ham/turkey (Kirkland brand, pre-packaged), shredded Parmesan (? brand, but black label on the container), Kirkland brand fish sticks
BJ's: single-serve Breakstone cottage cheese cups, Sargento cheese sticks, Mott's applesauce cups or pouches, Dole fruit cups, Quaker 1-minute oats, ? brand frozen fish eg multigrain-crusted tilapia, pub-style cod
Either: big bags of shredded cheddar, bakery bread, meat (slight preference to Costco)

Non-food items: this Costco sells gas but BJ's doesn't. BJ's takes manufacturer's coupons, which was incredibly important when we were buying diapers. Costco sells fresh flowers. Both have similar ranges of health and beauty products and paper goods.

One things I strongly recommend - as have others - is to go to the actual warehouses you would be shopping at to see what they have in that warehouse that your family would use. The other local Costco and BJ's locations have different items in stock, so I don't think it's fair to say "all Costcos" or "all BJs" carry certain things. For us, the next closest Costco is badly set up and the next closest BJ's is really nice... so if we lived 30 min northeast of where we do live, the situation would be quite different.

Jan 26, 2015
truman in Chains

Damn, I want some Skyline Chili!

My DH is from Ohio and gets Skyline cravings regularly... he says this is just like the real thing.
http://www.cooks.com/recipe/dm3zc0sk/...

Dec 23, 2014
truman in Chains

What did you/would you eat the morning of your wedding?

I don't remember eating breakfast - I'd stayed at the hotel with my brother and parents (since DH and I were already living together), and although they had a breakfast buffet, I have no memory of visiting it. At lunchtime, while I was getting my hair and makeup done, my MOH ran out to get me a turkey sub and a Coke.

Dec 22, 2014
truman in General Topics

Should I use pie dough or puff pastry for the crust on pot pie?

Me four for biscuit crust. The cheat version my mom used to use: 3 parts Bisquik to 1 part sour cream. It's pretty sticky, so she just put dollops all over the top of the pot pie.

Dec 17, 2014
truman in Home Cooking