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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

4 days in Manhattan, running NYC Marathon!

Sorry for the late response... He wanted to eat light the night before the race and feast afterwards... no other real tips besides plan for a nap. :) Also, we will be heading over the Brooklyn to see him mid-race. I asked for brunch suggestions on the Outer Boroughs board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/992106

Oct 15, 2014
truman in Manhattan

Homemade Meatballs: Bake or Fry/Brown in Saucepan. Which do you do?

I bake them, mostly because I am lazy and time-constrained. I tend to make 4+ lbs at a time and freeze them in "one family dinner" size portions. A quick zap in the microwave to thaw most of the way, a simmer in the sauce while the pasta water boils, and we're good to go.

Oct 14, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Brooklyn - where to go for brunch near Bedford Ave station

Silverjay, thanks for the suggestions and heads-up. I run too, and I know better than to try to cross the street in the middle of a race! Are you saying that we won't be able to come out of the subway station on the NW side of Bedford/7th? I can't find station details on the MTA website.

Oct 14, 2014
truman in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn - where to go for brunch near Bedford Ave station

Thanks much - it's hard to tell how kid-friendly places are from their menus (though the "bottomless brunch" is a pretty good tip-off)... both of these restaurants look like good options!

Oct 14, 2014
truman in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn - where to go for brunch near Bedford Ave station

Can anyone recommend a restaurant for brunch that's reasonably near Bedford Ave and N. 7th St? We'll be in town in a few weeks for the NYC Marathon, and I'd like to head out to Brooklyn to cheer on my husband mid-race - but feeding the 4yo will be a top priority as well. We plan to take the L train out (staying in Chelsea), hence my request for something close to the station... the 4yo will grump if I make him walk too much.

Looking at the map, Station is close by, and Allswell is a few blocks up Bedford - are either of these good? Are there better options?

Thanks in advance!

Oct 13, 2014
truman in Outer Boroughs

4 days in Manhattan, running NYC Marathon!

OP, we'll be there that weekend too (DH is running). Last year we had his celebratory post-race dinner Sunday at Rubirosa, and will be doing the same this year! :)

Oct 10, 2014
truman in Manhattan

Latke waffles?

Not only did I remember correctly, but the hash browns recipe is featured on Serious Eats now: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/10/ho...

Oct 09, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

More diaper changing - this time in Chipotle

I am not sure whether that truly was/is company policy, but that's what the manager told me!

Oct 07, 2014
truman in Food Media & News

visiting for a convention- recs?

I am not a local, but was there in June for a conference and had two good lunches within walking distance of the convention center:

Blind Burro: http://www.theblindburro.com/
Tin Fish: http://www.tinfishgaslamp.com/

I also ate at Kansas City Barbeque (kcbbq.net) but it was just okay.

Oct 03, 2014
truman in San Diego

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

I found spinach-artichoke-quinoa patties (kinda like falafel, in the refrigerated case) last weekend at the store in Concordville, PA. They were tasty and filling, and made for a nice easy lunch. Unfortunately, something in them did not agree with my belly - so I can't recommend them.

Oct 02, 2014
truman in Chains

Latke waffles?

This does look good. I recently impulse-bought a copy of a new cookbook called Will it Waffle? (http://www.willitwaffle.com/) and I seem to remember a recipe in there for waffled hash browns... so I suspect the latkes would work too.

Oct 02, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US

I think what you're seeing is that there is no single right answer... you need to figure out what works for your family.

When I was growing up, my parents hosted Thanksgiving and invited all reasonably local family and some friends. We often had 20+ people and even had to rent tables/chairs/dishes one year! More recently, DH and I have hosted and my family has visited us. This year, DH and I decided to go on vacation that week - my parents were shocked but eventually recovered. :)

I'm Jewish but DH is not, so our Christmas tradition is staying in our PJs and watching movies all day long. We do not have family nearby and we do not travel for Christmas (DH's former job did not allow him take time off during the holidays, and the precedent has been set). It is a nice quiet day at home, with cinnamon rolls for breakfast and Alton Brown's "crack ham" (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...) and scalloped potatoes for dinner. We also celebrate Hanukkah whenever it falls, lighting candles and eating latkes (Costco had some really good ones last year).

Food-related allergies to non-food items?

I had a friend who was allergic to mangoes, and also to a lacquer used in certain Asian arts (decorative boxes, furniture, etc.). He said his allergist told him to avoid the lacquer because of the mango allergy. Oddly, his identical twin brother did not have the same allergy!

Oct 01, 2014
truman in Not About Food

What's your favourite or most useful, kitchen item?

Most used/useful: Cuisinart and 8"(ish) Henckels santoku knife

Favorite, as in I love this model so much more than the others I've owned or seen: my 3-sided folding box grater. It's from Rubbermaid and I've had it for about 10 years. https://www.google.com/search?sa=G&am... No rust, few accidental finger gratings, and it takes up so little storage space!

Oct 01, 2014
truman in Cookware

More diaper changing - this time in Chipotle

When my son was still in diapers (3 years ago or so), we stopped into a relatively new Chipotle for lunch, and first headed to the restroom for a quick diaper change. There was no changing table in the women's restroom, so I asked the manager if there was one in the men's room instead. She said no, and I asked why not. "Company policy," she said. We left and I have not eaten at Chipotle since. (I changed my son in the car, and then we ate at another quick-service restaurant.) It would have never occurred to me to change him on the table, though. Ick.

Oct 01, 2014
truman in Food Media & News

Declining quality at Costco?

I was told the exact same thing re. moldy raspberries. The produce manager told me they need the actual product (frozen, moldy, whatever), not just the empty package, in order to get their money back from the supplier. I'm in the Philly area.

Oct 01, 2014
truman in Chains

Where to eat in/near Marco Island?

Thanks - any other suggestions?

And to add to my original request: due to unforeseen flight changes, we'll need somewhere to eat dinner on Thanksgiving! This would be anywhere between Marco Island and Naples, because we may need to switch hotels. So, are there any good restaurants that might be serving turkey etc. on Turkey Day? (I should mention that this will be the first Thanksgiving in, um, forever that I have had zero responsibilities for cooking. I'm not sure what to expect at a restaurant for a holiday!)

Sep 29, 2014
truman in Florida

Help! Refrigerator FULL of shredded cheese! What now?

I've had bad fails using pre-shredded cheese in bechamel-based sauces for m&c, due to the anti-clumping agents added by the manufacturer. Pre-shredded cheese works fine in a sauce with evaporated milk and eggs - this is the one I like: http://www.marthastewart.com/331828/e... (omit bacon, mix and match cheeses to 2.5 C total).

Sep 26, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Worst Cooking Disaster Thread

The explosion stories have reminded me of another disaster - exploding monkey bread! The recipe called for 1.5 lbs of bread dough, but I'd bought two 1-lb packages and didn't want the rest to go to waste, so I scaled up the recipe by 33% and crammed it all in the bundt pan. About 30 min into baking, I started hearing odd thumps from the kitchen... as the dough baked, the overflowing pan shot sugar-covered bread balls off into the oven. It was a nightmare to clean up, but pretty darn funny in hindsight.

Sep 25, 2014
truman in Home Cooking
1

Worst Cooking Disaster Thread

Oh, I've made some stinkers in my day - I don't recall poisoning anyone, but there were definitely some meals that we gave a valiant try and then had cereal instead. Most recently was a pasta dish that had no flavor: crushed tomatoes + white beans + smoked sausage = zip, zero, nada. Not even tons of cheese could rescue that meal.

I just posted on another discussion about the time I read "3 C cornflakes, crushed" as "3 C crushed cornflakes" for a casserole topping. The topping layer was as tall as the casserole filling, and it was dry and inedible. Fortunately it was removable.

Cornflakes as a cookie ingredient?

I haven't baked with cornflakes, but one caution from a cooking fail: make sure you know whether the recipe calls for "X cups of cornflakes, crushed" or "X cups of crushed cornflakes." I made a casserole from my MIL's recipe a few years ago, and got it wrong... 3 C crushed cornflakes was way too much (it should have been 3 C cornflakes, crushed - which is about 3/4 C). Blech. DH laughed for several hours.

Oh, you can crush them in a food processor like making cracker crumbs or breadcrumbs - go to about panko-sized. They will not be as fine as breadcrumbs or graham cracker crumbs. At least that's what stuff from the the box of Kellogg's Corn Flake Crumbs looks like.

Sep 24, 2014
truman in Home Cooking