PattiCakes's Profile

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Trip Report: Dining unexpectedly on a dime

What an awesome post!!! I am sorry you were victimized at the Cit, but am so glad you kept your good humor and your sense of adventure. Your account could have been a whine fest, but is, instead, very interesting and quite refreshing. Kudos too those who went out of their way to help, and major kudos to Maureen.

about 14 hours ago
PattiCakes in Philadelphia
1

earthquake themed chili cookoff ideas?

Aftershock Chili, made with lots and lots of beans.

about 14 hours ago
PattiCakes in Not About Food

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

I am sure this is all driven by a need on the part of schools schools to protect themselves from potential litigation. Rather than the over-reaching ban on anything indigestible that might possible cause an allergic reaction, the ban on sharing food seems more appropriate for middle school kids and older.

My daughter teaches elementary school. A few years ago the principal became concerned with the ever escalating birthday pageantry. It is a fairly affluent school district, and the competition to provide bigger, better classroom treats had gotten way o
ut of hand. The children of parents who were not able to (or were not willing to) play that game, were made to feel inadequate. The principal banned all treats. The only way a parent can "celebrate" a child's birthday in school now is to either come in to class and read a book to the class (lower grades), or donate a book in their child's name to the library. You might have thought the principal had suggested a blood sacrifice, so great was the uproar. Several parents in my daughter's 5th grade class openly defied the mandate. Now, a few years after the fact, it's SOP, and no one thinks twice about it.

I can understand (and support) restricting what is brought in to an elementary school to share, and can understand a ban on certain high-profile allergens (like peanuts) in the classroom, but to put out a list of 20 banned foods in a middle school? That's nuts (pun intended).

Dim sum @100 Degree Hot Pot Restaurant / State College, PA

I wish. Festivities start early. Are you in State College?

Sep 12, 2014
PattiCakes in Pennsylvania

Dim sum @100 Degree Hot Pot Restaurant / State College, PA

Wowza!! We are going to a wedding in State College the weekend of Oct. 4th. Now I am dreaming of this in lieu of the post wedding breakfast on Sunday!

Sep 12, 2014
PattiCakes in Pennsylvania

How do you cook your meatballs?

I've done it both ways, but browning first is better. There have been times when I've been in a time crunch & just haven't wanted to take the extra step of cooking those balls, so I've just dumped them in the simmering sauce. It works, but you run the risk of having them fall apart, and they do not add nearly as much flavor to the sauce. Pan frying them is the best, but it takes a lot of time, especially if you make a big quantity. My usual MO is to bake them in the oven to brown them. I do the same with the hot and sweet sausage I put in my sauce. I put a thin layer of olive oil on the baking sheet first because I want the OO taste in the meat. I bake the sausage whole, in the coil, then cut it into pieces after it's browned. I will make up to 100-120 meatballs at a time, and do big coils of sausage -- half goes in the gravy I'm making; the rest gets cooled and put in the freezer for my next batch. TRUE CONFESSION: I keep a bag of commercial, frozen turkey meatballs in the freezer for a grand child emergency. Yeah, yeah, they aren't great, but they have saved the day for me more than once. I've even put them in soup for the kiddies.

Sep 12, 2014
PattiCakes in Home Cooking

Mystery Diner. 100% faked, i'll tell you why.

My husband is a friend of an auctioneer who was on a Container Wars episode, and he was there for a taping. THAT show is totally fake. All pre-scripted, all items planted, all "experts" contacted ahead of time and ready with their schtick. On this particular episode, one "contestant" even brought her own "find" in case nothing at the auction was interesting. You guessed it, that was what she ended up "finding" and taking to her expert. If you watch the show, it was the fake Kermit the Frog muppet. All of these "reality" shows are fake.

Aug 15, 2014
PattiCakes in Food Media & News

Mother kicked out of restaurant for changing baby's diaper at table.

I think the connection was "women who have been thrown out of restaurants for something having to do with a baby". Dumb.

Mother kicked out of restaurant for changing baby's diaper at table.

I've been in a restaurant with my son's family, which includes 4 young 'uns, one of which was in diapers. Even with her own changing pad, my DIL will almost never use a changing station in a bathroom because of the germ and ick factor. We stay with the kids, and one parent or the other will make the trip out to the car to do the changing.

Aug 11, 2014
PattiCakes in Food Media & News

Best Clam Strips and/or Lobster Roll near OOB or Ferry Beach

We had them last year! Big diner-ish place, with a sign that touted their clam strips. Way better than anything HoJos ever had, BTW. Also saw lots of "shacks" along the OOB road that had signs out for them. The problem is that most of those "shacks" are closed by the time we go. Not everyone is a whole belly fan.

Mother kicked out of restaurant for changing baby's diaper at table.

Who can possible think it"s acceptable to change their child's diaper at a table, in a restaurant, and in the general vicinity of other people trying to eat? I can only surmise it wasn't just a wet diaper either based on the urgency to change it. Tell the waiter you need to leave for a few minutes, take the kids, and go change the diaper in the minivan!

The article also references the woman who was kicked out of a resto for breastfeeding. Totally different thing.

If that restaurant is one that typically serves families, they might want to consider a changing table in the rest room. Just sayin'.

Wasted food due to guest taking too much -- any solutions?

How about if, when she remarks about taking so much, you say things to her along the lines of: "I really admire what you did and that you took such a big step to help yourself. It must be very hard to break some of those old habits. Would it help if I gave you a slightly smaller plate?"

Aug 08, 2014
PattiCakes in Not About Food
1

Best Clam Strips and/or Lobster Roll near OOB or Ferry Beach

Thanks. Last year we headed towards Saco, got very lost, and ended up at a place that was terrific. Of course we never wrote down the name of the town nor the name of the place (it was diner-ish). Duh.

Best Clam Strips and/or Lobster Roll near OOB or Ferry Beach

I am staying at Ferry Beach at the end of August, and need my fried clam and lobster roll fix. I realize that you must get tired of touristy questions like this, but I'm from outside Philadelphia, so what the heck do I know? Suggestions?

Need recs for good restos for conference in October

Where is your "base of operations"?

Jul 31, 2014
PattiCakes in Philadelphia

Attention Chefs: Can we all agree that bacon is over?

Bacon will never be over. It deserves to be in its own major food group, as do chocolate and wine.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/din...

Need to vent quickly.. new HUGE pet peeve Restaurant week only menus

I guess I understand your reply, but if that's the case 2/3ds of Chow would shut down because we shouldn't be complaining about restaurants.

Jul 23, 2014
PattiCakes in Not About Food

How to peel a bucket of potatoes in less than a minute

The folks at my local supermarket are going to think I'm obsessed with toilet brushes. I just bought a new one to use in my sewing room -- works great for cleaning up all of those threads from the carpet. Now I need a spud brush.....

Taqueria del Sol/Sweet Taco: Willow Grove

Can someone help me understand what happened here? Taqueria del Sol (TdS) was part of what looked like a franchise that began in Atlanta. My husband and I liked the place, and were frequent diners. Two weeks ago, I got my usual weekly email telling what the specials for the week were, and two days later their Facebook page posts that they are no longer TdS, but are now Sweet Taco. "Same menu, they say, but now we have donuts. Huh?

Hubby and I went last night. The interior is different, but not in a good way. They removed some ofthe clean, stainless-topped tables and replaced them with cheesy booths, with old doors-under-plexiglass for tables. They've added a "conversation pit" in the far corner, with oversized black sofas and chairs. The taco, sides and soups are still on the menu, but gone are the enchiladas (which my DH loved), and gone are the entrees. The enchiladas have been replaced with burritos, a cheese steak burrito being one of the more creative listings. They still have a bar. No donuts were in evidence.

Hubby and I walked out. There was nothing on the menu that we wanted or that we couldn't have gotten across the way at Qdoba. I went to TdS's website, and this location is no longer listed. I went to the FB page, and they are still under Taqueria del Sol, but the info is all about Sweet Taco.

What's up? Falling out amongst partners? Behind the scenes intrigue? Whatever caused this shift, they've lost us, and our extended family, as customers.

Jun 27, 2014
PattiCakes in Philadelphia

Saving a cookbook: disintergrating plastic spiral

I am a quilter, and have my favorite quilting books spiral bound because it makes it so much easier to lay the book flat when following a pattern. I take them to Staples, where they cut the perfect binding edge off, punch it (using a machine), then add a true spiral coil binding. My bet is that you could take that book and have them do something similar. If the holes are still ok, it might be just a matter of inserting a new spiral binding. If not, they may have to cut the edge & repunch.

Jun 25, 2014
PattiCakes in Not About Food
1

Mayo Clinic's 3-Day Emergency Meal Plan

The Amish actually can meat in much the same way as you would can fruits or vegetables. Not my cup 'o tea, but if you do a search for "Amish canned meat", you will find quite a bit.

Jun 25, 2014
PattiCakes in Home Cooking

Glenside Train Station

Do you take the train out of Glenside?

Jun 25, 2014
PattiCakes in Philadelphia

Glenside Train Station

I think that's old, "water over the bridge" info. I park at Glenside, and have been following the construction/rehab of the old building. It had been a mess -- lots of water in the basement, apartments riddled with mold, & etc. They gutted the place, remedied the water problem, conducted mold remediation, and have spent tons on money on what appears to be a classy rehab, including copper flashing and trim. My schedule is not in sync with the work crew's, so I haven't been able to ask.

Jun 25, 2014
PattiCakes in Philadelphia

Glenside Train Station

Hmm, that would be nice. I'm a little concerned about what it might be doing to the reserved parking sports over there!

Jun 25, 2014
PattiCakes in Philadelphia

Glenside Train Station

I'm glad you like the Farmers' Market, Elcy's and the train station, but I was asking about the restaurant that is purported to be going into the building on the other side of the tracks.

Jun 25, 2014
PattiCakes in Philadelphia

Glenside Train Station

They have been carefully rehabbing the building on the inbound side of the racks, and I must say it looks nice. I am being told there will be a restaurant going in there. Anyone have updated info? Inquiring minds want to know.

Jun 24, 2014
PattiCakes in Philadelphia

Confession

I put 1000 Island on my burgers all the time. On occasion, I dip my pizza crust or fries in Ranch Dressing (or Bacon Ranch). I marinate shrimp for the barbie in French Dressing. And last night I drizzled pineapple balsamic vinegar on vanilla ice cream. I am indeed going to culinary hell. Wanna make something of it??

Jun 18, 2014
PattiCakes in General Topics

So annoyed with dinner guest

I think the bottom line is that this person seems to be more "demanding" than most. I use the quotation marks because he appears to me more passive-aggressive in his demands rather than coming right out and saying up front, "these are the things I like, and these are things I don't like". It's a also a red flag when someone has so many caveats to participating in a meal you are providing that you need to keep a list. And it sounds like you are upset because every time you think you are doing something good, he finds something wrong.

I think I would have a chat with him, not your friend, but with him. Let him know you want to make him feel welcome, but that it makes you feel bad that every time you try, he finds something wrong with your efforts. Is there a way the two of you could come up with a list of his likes/dislikes together. That way, the next time you make a meal & he says "oh, I really don't like avocados", you can whip out the "list" and say, "hey Buddy, avocados weren't on the list! Do you want me to add them?"

May 30, 2014
PattiCakes in Not About Food

looking for Beef Suet - for baking, online sources?

The only time I use it is when I make Yorkshire pudding. I just render down the fat from the meat (and ask the butcher for extra), but that's not the kind of beef fat you are talking about. Can't remember the last time I made Yorkshire pudding.......

May 30, 2014
PattiCakes in General Topics

I scream, You scream... What are you pet peeves about ice cream?

The fact that "a gallon" of ice cream is no longer a gallon, but a significantly smaller container! No different that lots of other packaged goods, but it still ticks me off.