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I can't believe I ate the WHOLE thing!

I was 4 months pregnant and decided to cook up some bacon one night to use in a breakfast casserole. I munched on a piece after it was cooked, then another piece, then another, and before I knew it I'd eaten the entire pound of bacon. For a 120 lb. girl, that's a LOT of bacon. I just blamed the baby though, saying he was hungry for bacon.

Jan 03, 2009
Raeviola in Not About Food

I don't know how to wash dishes correctly

I believe you confused the word "dishwaTer" in Querencia's post with "dishwaSHer." Making note of the difference should clear up any confusion.

Dec 19, 2007
Raeviola in Not About Food
1

I'm 8 wks. pregnant and HATE FOOD. :) Need help...

Thanks for all the thoughts!
Update: Miraculously, I am starting to feel better, going into my 10th week here... Much of the nausea is subsiding, and while I still have the aversions, they are not as strong and I can even eat a few vegetables again. Thanks for your kind words and hepful advice...

Dec 16, 2007
Raeviola in General Topics

I'm 8 wks. pregnant and HATE FOOD. :) Need help...

I have always been a lover of vegetables, cooked or raw, pasta, seafood, meat, fruit, chocolate... in short, all food. Now that I'm pregnant, NOTHING seems appetizing and I basically eat to keep from starving, pretty much whatever I can keep down. Do any ladies have suggestions for foods you found particularly non-revolting during this stage? Cooking is really out of the question (gag central) so things that are cold/room temperature are generally better. Thanks for any advice! Also, how to make sure husband stays fed during this period, without my having a meltdown upon opening the fridge? :)

Dec 06, 2007
Raeviola in General Topics

What to do with my pureed vegetables?

Thanks for all the great ideas! You really saved our dinner...

I went ahead and spiced it up with some curry and cocout milk. Turned into an "Indian-ish" slop. Served over rice, it was quite edible (thanks!) and even Mr. R. liked it.

I froze the rest and will add it to stew, spaghetti sauce, etc, as needed.

Thank you!

Jun 15, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

What to do with my pureed vegetables?

Wanting to use up some broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and cauliflower, I steamed all of it and then pureed it into a lovely... mush. It's kind of a greenish-orange color, just a little lumpy. Seasoned with a little salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and a whole bunch of fresh herbs.

I guess I was hoping it could work as soup. But I find that I don't actually like it, and I'm sure my husband won't like it either. It tastes and looks astonishingly like... well-seasoned baby food.

Any ideas on how to use this? Generally, we are not picky eaters and like almost anything.
Just not baby food. :)

Thanks!

Jun 14, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

Lots of over-ripe bananas... but we don't care for banana bread. Ideas?

Well, I should say we don't "prefer" banana bread. It's just kind of ho-hum to me and my husband. I guess if you have a really amazing banana bread recipe (the kind that banana-bread-haters drool over) we'd definitely be willing to try it.

Or other ideas for how to use them?

I have 6 or 7 of them, popped into the freezer when they were at the very, very brown phase.

To make things more challenging for you... we don't have a food processor or a blender. :)

Thanks in advance!!

May 19, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

Lincoln Center area dining

Us Juilliard kids loved Cafe Mozart for a "fancy" dessert now and then. Il Violino was a favorite too. Of course, we also frequented every hole-in-the-wall chinese place we could walk to... Anything to escape cafeteria food! :)

Apr 30, 2007
Raeviola in Manhattan

My bread sticks to the loaf pans - help!

I've just finished making my second batch of bread ever. This was a few loaves of whole-wheat, which are delicious. Yum!

Before I shaped it and put it into my Pyrex glass pans, I oiled the pans WELL with olive oil... also the bread dough was well-greased with the oil; so much so that it nearly slipped out of my hands as I was trying to put it in the loaf pans. I thought that with that much oil it wouldn't stick at all... but man, I had to pry those loaves out with a knife! Took a while and made a mess of my beautiful bread. Any ideas? Do I need to get non-stick dark pans instead?

Same thing happened with my last batch of (white) bread.

Thanks!

Apr 30, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

Dairy Substitute

For lasagna or other Italian dishes requiring ricotta, try silken tofu, the really soft (not firm) kind. It replicates the creamy texture of ricotta really well and no one can tell the difference!

Of course, soy cheese may help you with your mac & cheese idea... not quite the same as 'real' cheese but it's better than the yellow powder in Kraft mixes... :)

No advice yet on the other dairy items you mentioned.

I second the lactaid recommendations -- my husband is lactose-intolerant (big time) but just one little pill and he is good to go for anything from ice cream to cheese to a glass of milk. Makes my life a lot easier, cooking for him! :)

Apr 30, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

No Cook Lasagna Noodles

Yes -- they are great (no one has ever commented on a differece in taste or texture, and I certainly can't tell a difference). They save so much time... when I discovered these a few years ago, I went on a lasagna-making spree!

Be sure every noodle is covered with cheese and/or sauce. Spread your filling all the way to the edges of each noodle. Otherwise th part of the noodle that is exposed will not soften up, and you'll have a crunchy surprise around the edges of your lasagna.

Good luck!

Apr 22, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

Scorched layer of rice at bottom of rice cooker -- always

Ha. :) Not the reply I was expecting! :)

Perhaps it is delicious to some -- to me it just tastes scorched. Like burnt popcorn or burnt... anything. Not a personal 'favorite flavor' but I suppose your answer implies that this may be normal and the problem is me, not my rice cooker. :)

Apr 14, 2007
Raeviola in Cookware

Scorched layer of rice at bottom of rice cooker -- always

I love using my rice-cooker for all kinds of rice. However, the bottom layer of rice always has a scorched, brown "crust" on it - as if the heat is too high so it's burning just a little.

I don't think it has to do with the proportion of rice to water, although it could... I have experimented endlessly with using more/less water to see what would help. For example, for a cup of sushi rice, I have tried using between 1 and 2.25 cups of water. Generally, using less water makes the problem worse... Perhaps I need to use even more water? That seems unlikely since my rice cooker directs just 1 c. water for 1 c. "sticky" rice.

I put the rice and water in together, turn it on, and check the rice as soon as it's done and goes to its "warming" state. And always -- brown crust at the bottom.

Help? :) Thanks.

Apr 14, 2007
Raeviola in Cookware

What's your "cooking budget?"

Thanks! These thoughts are really helpful. Yes, I am obsessive about comparing unit prices on items... Mom taught me well.

Going to start an herb garden this month, I think. That should help some. Those little plastic containers of "fresh" herbs in the grocers are ridiculously over-priced!

Thanks for the ideas.

Apr 12, 2007
Raeviola in Not About Food

What's your "cooking budget?"

In trying to save money for a new home, my husband and I laid out a monthly budget that we try to stick with. We rarely eat out and have set aside around $250/month for me to spend on food (cooking). This is definitely do-able for just the two of us (ends up being about $8.33 per day) but makes it difficult to build up a good spice collection, for instance, or to splurge on any higher-end ingredients. Keeping healthy, nutritious meals on the table (3 per day) on that budget can be a challenge!
Note: we were married recently and are starting from scratch here... very little in the way of "staples" in our cupboards.

In browsing these boards, a lot of great ideas come up that I'd love to try (my husband will eat anything and I LOVE to experiment with new foods) but simply getting the ingredients I'd need for many of these things would be too costly. For example, one indian dish could mean I'd need to buy lamb, fresh veggies, curry powder, cumin, fresh ginger, etc... none of which we have in the cupboards because there's normally no room in the budget for them. Those items could add up to way more than the $3 or $4 I have to spend on dinner. So I typically resort to pasta, homemade soup, chili, sandwiches, etc, which are fine, but not very exciting.

I'm wondering two things:

a) Any thoughts about how to continue to cook 3 healthy, balanced meals each day while also trying to expand our culinary horizons and stock the cupboard with an increased number of ingredients to always have on hand?

b) What is your "cooking budget," and how do you generally split up your spending to cover day-to-day needs (getting a meal on the table) and building your stockpile of ingredients?

One more note: This post is not meant as a complaint. I relish the opportunity to cook for my dear husband and try to look at the budget as a fun "challenge" rather than just a restriction. Just looking for ways to do this better! :)

Apr 12, 2007
Raeviola in Not About Food

Artichoke Novice Needs Help

Report: Yum.

Went ahead and cleaned, steamed, and lightly broiled my artichoke with my version of CF's "spicy vinaigrette" (olive oil, rice vinegar - it's all I had! - crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes). That was all I needed - I just dipped each leaf in more of the vinaigrette and pulled it between my teeth to enjoy the fleshy goodness. Delicious. The heart and tender center of the stem were also really good.

Thanks to all who offered advice!

Apr 11, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

Artichoke Novice Needs Help

Thanks! This is really helpful. I didn't even think to check the Cheesecake Factory's menu... duh.

I'll give it a shot and let you know how it turns out. This could be the start of a wonderful new spring tradition around our house...

Apr 10, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

Does lactose free marg./butter exist? [Moved from Home Cooking board]

Trying to bake something special for my husband (we are newlyweds - 4 months) is tricky as he is lactose intolerant. We are great with soymilk and I use it for everything I can. But recipes that call for butter/margarine (as almost every bread/cake/cookie does) don't work very well for him. Is there such a thing as lactose free magarine or butter?

If they can make lactose free ice cream (where I think they just add the lactase enzyme, right?) then surely butter is do-able? I hope? :)

Apr 10, 2007
Raeviola in General Topics

Artichoke Novice Needs Help

Just bought my first artichoke at the grocers the other day. I have memories of a tasty "fire-roasted artichoke" served at the Cheesecake Factory -- college friends and I used to walk up to 3 miles to indulge in one of these.

Any help as to how to cook the spiney little thing to give it that crisp-tender-slightly charred goodness I remember? I have an oven (with a broiler). No grill.

Part of what made the CF one so good was the sauce they served with it. My college-aged palette wasn't sophisticated enough to discern what went into that sauce just by taste -- any ideas?

Perhaps the reason that artichoke tasted like heaven was because it was far from the revolting "dorm food" we had to endure each day... :)

Thanks!

Apr 10, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

How do you dress up a bowl of Top Ramen?

This is a great thread. I have always wanted to compile a cookbook of recipes using Ramen (though I'm sure someone already has...).

My dad suggested I call it: "Everybody Loves Ramen." :)

Apr 10, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking

TJ's dried apple ideas -- dried apple pie??

I recently bought a bag of Trader Joe's dried apple slices, looking for a healthy snack. These are the chewy, rather rubbery ones, already sweetened with sugar and cinnamon. Found out my husband and I don't prefer them for snacking (something about the texture), so I want to know what else I can do with them.

I have most of the (large) bag left. I have vague recollections of seeing on the price tag at TJ's: "Make these into a pie!" with no further instructions.

Any idea of how I would do this? Do I need to soak them in water first or something? How would I add enough moisture for this to work?

Any ideas would be welcome!

Apr 05, 2007
Raeviola in Home Cooking