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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!

about 4 hours ago
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.

1 day ago
truman in Home Cooking

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

Dinner near Voorhees please

We haven't made it to the children's museum in Wilmington yet. This is a relatively new place but we haven't been there yet either: http://www.diggerlandusa.com/

I should have also mentioned that Redstone does not have a kids' menu, but will make kid-sized portions of some adult entrees (including the rotisserie chicken). Hooray for something other than buttered noodles and grilled cheese!!

Dec 16, 2014
truman in New Jersey

Dinner near Voorhees please

We moved away 2+ years ago, so current residents may have some other suggestions, but here's what I would have suggested before we moved:

Dubb Linh Square and Short Hills Deli off Evesham Rd at Short Hills
Shangri-La, Evesham at Kresson Rd
Pasta Pomodoro in Eagle Plaza
Iron Hill Brewery in Voorhees Town Center (local chain - good kids' menu)

A bit further away (but not far) are Redstone American Grill in Marlton and El Azteca for hole-in-the-wall Mexican in Mt Laurel

And - off the topic of food for a second - the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill is a small kids' museum, good to kill an afternoon indoors if necessary.

Dec 15, 2014
truman in New Jersey

best pancakes

If you feel like heading to the western suburbs, we really like the pancakes at Nudy's (several locations) and the Bacon Press Cafe (Malvern/Frazer). Both have chocolate chip pancakes.

Dec 11, 2014
truman in Philadelphia

What are your stovetop oatmeal tricks?

I'm on an oatmeal kick right now. I prefer Quaker Quick-Cooking (boil 1 min, then let sit for 5 min) over steel-cut oats. My usual stir-ins are about 2-3 T crunchy almond butter and a dash or two of maple syrup, and some milk to loosen it up. It's not too sweet and the nut butter gives a dash of protein. I want to try with sliced almonds instead of almond butter but keep forgetting to buy them!

Dec 11, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Anyone else crazy enough to bake with a preschooler?

My 4yo helps me bake and cook quite a bit. He loves measuring dry ingredients like flour and sugar, especially when he gets to level them. He has made some valiant attempts to peel potatoes but prefers to scrub them instead. He is in charge of the "pulse" button on the Cuisinart, the whisk, and the pastry brush. He prefers baking to cooking, though. I'm hoping that this pays off in both math skills and an open-minded palate - so far we're good on the former but behind on the latter...

Dec 09, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Next up Christmas, Hanukah, Festivus, etc.

Look for the Simply Potatoes brand - in a green bag. http://www.simplypotatoes.com/product...

Dec 09, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Next up Christmas, Hanukah, Festivus, etc.

Yum, thanks!

On a related note, I've made baked Mexican hashbrowns before:
1 bag fresh (not frozen) shredded hashbrowns
1 big onion, chopped
1 jar salsa
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Spray a casserole dish - layer ingredients in the order above (two layers total), then bake for about 30 min at 350. Top with sour cream and hot sauce.

Dec 04, 2014
truman in Home Cooking
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Next up Christmas, Hanukah, Festivus, etc.

We celebrate both Hanukkah (me) and Christmas (DH). No traveling and no extended family visiting, which helps with the sanity.

Last year I found latkes at Costco, in the refrigerated section. They were surprisingly good, albeit a bit pricey, but it was worth it to avoid the labor and hassle of homemade. I hope they're there on our next trip...

Christmas eve dinner is often Chinese food. On Christmas, we always have cinnamon rolls right when we get up; this year I will convince the 4yo to help me make homemade ones the night before (recipe TBD). Late morning will involve some sort of strata or breakfast casserole. Dinner will be Alton Brown's ham with the gingersnap/mustard crust - I think it's officially called "City Ham" although we call it Crack Ham - along with some cheesy potato dish and a simple green vegetable. If we make cookies during the day, they'll be dessert.

Dec 04, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Next up Christmas, Hanukah, Festivus, etc.

Can you please share the recipe (or instructions/general guidance) for the huevos rancheros breakfast casserole? Thanks!

Dec 04, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Per person Thanksgiving cost

In past years, we've spent $300-400 between grocery store and warehouse club trips to feed 3 of us + 3 out-of-town guests for the weekend, + 2-4 dinner-only guests. I'm guessing that is about $200-250 for T'giving dinner alone (including leftovers), which works out to about $25 per person. Our dinner-only guests are not allowed to bring food because they don't cook and it just gets ugly.

This year, we were on vacation :) and went out for dinner. Two adults, one child, three courses: about $125 with tax and tip. Definitely not economical, but soooo relaxing!

Dec 02, 2014
truman in Not About Food

Marco Island and Naples - where to eat around Thanksgiving

Reporting back for future travelers:

Marco Island: we loved Capri Fish House (early bird dinner) and Lee Be Fish (lunch), and had two good lunches at Doreen's Cup of Joe - though the service was definitely better when they weren't as busy (nice beach weather day). Philly Grill was okay, and Stonewalls was so-so (my deli sandwich was fine, but hubby's meatball sub and the kid's pizza suffered from "weird red sauce"). We were underwhelmed by Kretch's: friendly service, but our meals were overpriced for what we got. And breakfast at the Hilton was included in our room rate, but 4 days of the same buffet selections was mind-numbing.

Naples: Thanksgiving dinner at Chez Boet was perfect!! We ordered the turkey dinner special, and everything was delicious. The kid chose fish instead, and was happy enough with his meal. I was impressed with the service as well - we didn't feel rushed, and a few special requests were accommodated with smiles and patience. We had breakfast this morning at First Watch, and were very happy with our various pancake choices.

Nov 28, 2014
truman in Florida

My Macaroni and Cheese Always Comes Out Grainy-What to do?

Thanks kassideek and greygarious - I'll definitely try this!

Nov 21, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

My Macaroni and Cheese Always Comes Out Grainy-What to do?

How long did you cook the roux? Did it brown or did you keep the heat low to avoid browning?

Also, does anyone have experience with using evaporated skim milk instead of "regular" milk for a stovetop (not baked) m&c? One of my usual baked m&c recipes uses a custard base with evap milk and a couple eggs, and I'm curious if this ingredient swap would work on the stovetop. We're skim milk people, and I can't eat cream without getting ill.

Nov 21, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving--how many side dishes do you make for small groups?

in my family, the cranberries from the can with the marks are called CAN-BERRIES. They are a must - my brother slices between the lines...

Nov 21, 2014
truman in Home Cooking
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