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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
1

Marco Island and Naples - where to eat around Thanksgiving

I did a little digging elsewhere and it turns out that our Thanksgiving choices were going to be limited to expensive hotel turkey dinners or non-turkey meals, as not many restaurants had availability this late in the game. We've opted for Chez Boet - they seem to have a turkey dinner but I really like their regular menu. Fingers crossed!

Nov 18, 2014
truman in Florida

Marco Island and Naples - where to eat around Thanksgiving

Thanks for the suggestions! We'll be at the Hilton Naples on Thanksgiving and the hotel restaurant will be open, so we won't starve, but I'm not excited about their menu or the $60pp price tag...

Nov 13, 2014
truman in Florida

Honey from Pete's Produce in Westtown

Their website says:

"There are few wild bees in Pennsylvania due to Bee mite infestations. We rely on our own bees for pollination on our farm. The honey is available in our store seasonally. We also always have a supply of local honey."

So... I'd still call and ask.

Also, FDA has regulations for what can be labeled "honey". These are described in a draft guidance document, http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregul...:
4. If a food consists of honey and a sweetener, such as sugar or corn syrup, can I label the food as only “honey”?
No, a product consisting of honey and a sweetener cannot be labeled with the common or usual name “honey.” The food is a blend or a mixture of honey and another sweetener. You must sufficiently describe the name of the food on the label to distinguish it from simply “honey”.

(I work in pharma, so I'm used to finding/reading this stuff for drugs... :) )

Nov 07, 2014
truman in Philadelphia

Nightshade-free freezer meal recipes?

I like parsnips in my stew (eg Guinness beef stew) instead of potatoes.

Nov 07, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Crab Cakes- What do you serve with them?

This is a good way to echo the Old Bay flavor of the crab cakes (if you go that route): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... - but cut the oil in half, and definitely make this ahead to let the flavors meld.

Nov 06, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Dining Mentors

+1 million. And not just in San Diego... some of us East Coasters would appreciate it too!

Nov 06, 2014
truman in General Topics

Help with packed salad lunches+

You may get more responses if you post on the Home Cooking board...

Have you tried keeping everything separate (not just lettuce vs. non-lettuce) and combining just before you eat? Something like this: http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/Pa... - I have one and really like it. Wet veggies tend to make the lettuce soggy if they hang out together for too long, in my experience.

Baby spinach and arugula tend to be sturdier than leaf lettuce and spring mix, so maybe give that a shot?

Nov 06, 2014
truman in General Topics

Meals for Family Struggling with Illness

How about Cajun Chicken Pasta? I use this basic recipe: http://community.cookinglight.com/sho... ... minus the mushrooms, with extra peppers. It is not spicy, so you can send along a shaker/container of extra cajun seasoning for those who want it.

Nov 06, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Your Thanksgiving Menu for 2014

Sounds like my husband's family's "pink stuff": Whip-and-Chill, red food coloring, canned fruit cocktail, mini marshmallows. Fortunately he loves it enough to eat the entire batch.

Nov 06, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Marco Island and Naples - where to eat around Thanksgiving

We'll be in Marco Island and Naples in late November, and would appreciate some restaurant suggestions. No haute cuisine (the 4yo doesn't have much patience for that) but anything else is fine, and we will have a car. In particular, we'd like some ideas of where to eat on Thanksgiving...

Thanks!

Nov 05, 2014
truman in Florida

What method do you use to drain cooked and crumbled ground meat?

This is what I do, minus the tongs (one less thing to wash).

Nov 04, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Do-it-yourself recipe kits to mail to family with a new baby?

Actually, that might be a good idea in addition to somehow sending food - send some menu plans with grocery lists! Sometimes all I have the energy to do is execute a plan somebody else has made... but alas, the Menu Fairy doesn't visit us very often. I know AllRecipes and other sites have subscription services for menus, but their recipes aren't always for things we would eat.

Nov 04, 2014
truman in Home Cooking
1

Brooklyn - where to go for brunch near Bedford Ave station

Thanks - the kid picked Crif Dogs, so we didn't make reservations anywhere... When we walked in, though, he freaked out at the leftover Halloween decorations and insisted we leave. So we ended up getting slices of pizza at the place on Bedford at 7th, right near the subway entrance. It was actually really good and a good spot to watch the race!

Nov 03, 2014
truman in Outer Boroughs

4 days in Manhattan, running NYC Marathon!

Yes, we had planned to go to the one on 21st, but I called Rubirosa shortly after I posted on Weds (instead of relying on the OpenTable robots) and they were able to fit us in. Dinner was awesome, as expected!

Nov 03, 2014
truman in Manhattan
1

Looking for technical / academic cookbook recommendations

Also consider Alton Brown's books, such as "I'm Just Here for the Food." Like his show Good Eats, they do a great job of explaining the "why" behind the "what/how."

Oct 30, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Best/worst Thanksgiving ever...

Worst was in 2011: at one point before dinner, my aunt and 20ish-year-old cousin got into a screaming match that involved flying F-bombs. Three of the 12 people in our house were under the age of 5 (my son and my friends' twins) and did not need to hear that. I was *this close* to kicking them out when my aunt walked out and didn't come back. (They lived nearby and had apparently brought multiple cars.) And before anyone asks, neither my aunt nor cousin were drinking.

Best was some time when I was in high school: my parents invited the local family, as usual, but we also had some out-of-town relatives visiting, and some family friends, for a total of 25+ people. It was a blast! Grandpa was in charge of watching the sweet potatoes to make sure the marshmallows didn't catch on fire (his usual job) and he shirked his duties (as usual). :)

Oct 29, 2014
truman in Not About Food
1

4 days in Manhattan, running NYC Marathon!

We're booked at Trattoria Zero Otto Nove... it seemed like the best option.

Oct 28, 2014
truman in Manhattan

4 days in Manhattan, running NYC Marathon!

Well, it turns out that I waited too long to make our reservation at Rubirosa for Sunday night... so we need a new plan. OpenTable spouted the following suggestions (based on availability, Italian, 4 stars or more):
Chelsea: Crispo, Trattoria Zero Otto Nove, Bocca di Bacco
Nolita: Fiat Cafe
Meatpacking District: Mulino a Vino
TriBeCa: Gigino, Max Trattoria

I don't recall hearing/reading much about any of these on this board... Are any of them good (or better than good)? Also, we'll have our 4yo with us so foo-foo places are out.

Oct 27, 2014
truman in Manhattan

Surprisingly simple ingredients you make, never buy

Me too. I've never found a store-bought dough or crust I like as much as homemade versions.

Oct 23, 2014
truman in Home Cooking
1

Please help me make a plan for teaching my sister to cook

How about a stir fry? That would help with the technique of getting everything ready before you start cooking, and is fast for weeknights. Pick a protein, pick some vegs, and pick a sauce (out of a jar in the fridge...), cook some rice or noodles, and go to town. This is a great quick meal, which I usually double:

http://www.parents.com/recipe/fast-fr...

Fast-Fried Noodles With Chicken, Lettuce, Carrots, and Peanuts
Ingredients
5 ounces Chinese noodles (chuka soba
)1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 pound chicken tenders (or breasts), cut into bite-size strips
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded (4 cups) (or buy a bag...)
2 large carrots, shredded (1 cup) (or buy a bag...)
1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions until just done. Drain and toss with the sesame oil to keep from sticking; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and vinegar; set aside.

3. Place a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peanut oil and heat until almost smoking. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 10 to 15 seconds or until just fragrant but not colored. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Add the lettuce and carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute more or until lettuce wilts. Add the reserved noodles and toss to combine.

4. Add the sauce mixture and toss until everything is well-coated. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve immediately.

Oct 22, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

First Date Food?

The date was only dessert; I tried to keep the more questionable "eh, I'll give him a chance" first dates short, to allow for easy escapes if need be... which may of them did need. OTOH, my first date with my now-husband was 3+ hours and we closed down the restaurant... :)

Oct 22, 2014
truman in Not About Food

First Date Food?

I was on a first date once (courtesy of a common online dating site) where we met for dessert. We ordered at the counter and took our plates to an open table. I hadn't even sat down when he reached out his fork to MY plate and said, as he stabbed my dessert, "Mind if I taste this?" Um, yeah, I do mind - I haven't even tried it yet! So... uninvited forking is a deal-breaker for me.

Not Your Average Joe's -- Glen Mills

We ate there yesterday for lunch - I was really impressed! The focaccia and dipping oil were delicious, and my dad was well on his way to hogging the entire basket before I called him out on it. His Cobb salad, my mom's French onion soup and chicken/mozzarella/tomato sandwich, and my bacon cheeseburger were all well prepared, and the portions were huge. Service was good, though we didn't get as much of an orientation to the restaurant's philosophy of making everything from scratch as the table behind me (different server).

We will definitely go back... though the one thing I am both happy and sad about is the kids' menu. They had two additional options (sirloin tips and salmon - both $12, not much less than the adult meal) as well as the standard fare of chicken fingers, grilled cheese, buttered noodles, etc. We often let our 4yo order off the regular menu so he can get something interesting and not fried; I bet there are other entrees on their menu that they could reasonably scale back for kids.

Oct 21, 2014
truman in Philadelphia

Need ideas for cooking meals without a kitchen

+1 to the suggestion to buy a toaster oven for this project... even if you donate it afterwards. Having the ability to bake, even a bit, will be incredibly helpful.

And +100 to the suggestion to cook ahead and freeze, so you'll just need to defrost and eat. When we did our kitchen, I made chili, soups, lasagna, etc. and froze in "one meal" servings. And if you have a crockpot, prepare some meals for the freezer: http://whoneedsacape.com/2012/11/croc...
(I haven't tried any of these). Buy crockpot liners for easy clean-up.

Paper/plastic plates, cups, and silverware are your friends. We tried to wash plates and silverware in our bathroom sink, but that got old really fast.

Oct 15, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

favorite fish dish

I want to be more into fish... but for now, I will say homemade fish tacos using baked pub-battered cod fillets (from BJ's), shredded cabbage/slaw mix, salsa verde, and a sprinkling of shredded cheddar, wrapped in corn tortillas. Or sushi tuna rolls.

For shellfish, that's a no-brainer: give me a dozen Maryland blue crabs, steamed, with Old Bay, a small bowl of melted butter, a mallet, and somewhere I can make a mess. Beer would be nice too.

Oct 15, 2014
truman in General Topics

What's the best recipe off a supermarket item label you have made recently?

Hidden Valley ranch chicken:
http://www.cooks.com/recipe/oo88m6s3/... (sorry, can't find it on the HV website. Works fine with b/s breasts.

)

We also like the strawberry shortcake recipe on the Bisquik box.

Oct 15, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

food in movies/ grotesque chewing

Clue - soup-slurping around the table (and a later reference to chilled monkey brains that sends Eileen Brennan reeling)

Chocolat - the mayor's chocolate-eating orgy towards the end of the movie

The Help - Octavia Spencer does an amazing job making a pie... tee hee...

Oct 15, 2014
truman in Food Media & News