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Texas Monkey

  • Location: Houston

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Cocktail Party quantities

When I was planning a larger "finger foods" party back in July, I found a pretty good guide on the BHG website. It broke things down by catageory (dips, veggies, meats, cheeses, etc), gave ideas for each, & suggested the # of plates to serve from each category. It also suggested how many pieces for each dish made... (ie- for 12 people, choose 3 plates & make 12-15 pieces each- NOT accurate, just an example...). That was the best online tool that I found, & it helped a lot! Happy Planning!!!-Chris

Chai tea latte powder recommendations?

I'm a fan of Tazo, too... LOVE that stuff!

Buying a whole tuna

Umm... Whole Tuna, No. My Hubby is actually on an off -shore "Tuna Trip" right now... Almost 200 miles out- deep water, HUGE fish. When they come in, the first thing that everybody does is either clean & fillet/portion or have someone do it for you. Other fish we have done whole, but for some reason Tuna just isn't on the list... Don't know why, it's just not done... But if you DO do it, let us know- I'd be interested in the results!-Chris

Hangover Helper: Veggie Enchiladas from Chuy's in Austin, TX

I agree w/ BrockSamson. I actually know one of the Owners... Still can't "get behind" Chuy's as a good restaurant. Sad, but True...

Grocery Clerk - What Would You Do?

Okay, I'm a "Crazy Dog Lady". I have 2 small ones that I love more than anything. I've even taken them to dinner at one of those "Paws on the Patio" places that allow dogs outside. Now THAT was fun (insert sarcasm ANYWHERE in that sentence-)... NEVER AGAIN! Why oh WHY would I want to grocery shop w/the pups?!? I've taken my 3 year old niece shopping... That was interesting. And time-consuming... I hate shopping anyway, so maybe I'm biased. But c'mon- taking the dogs would be worse than taking my husband (who has to go up & down Every isle, "just looking"...). I have a list, get in, & get out! THEN go home & enjoy your Furry Friends/Family!!! I'm just sayin'... -Chris

cast iron... 2nd try!?!

@Mike @ Allison- & anyone else... I've had issues seeing the Talk posts for the last 4 or 5 days- I kept getting the whole "Oops! Page Not Found" message... Today it's all correct, & I see the 1st of these 2 posts, but before... There seemed to be posts during a certain timeframe that were not showing up correctly... I'm on the Mobil, iPhone version, so maybe that's part of it, but just a heads up, nobody's going crazy, there have been some issues recently!-Chris

How to Make Real-Deal Tortilla Soup

Ok- I saw this post this morning & thought "AWESOME"!!! I love tortilla soup- always looking for a new spin, great for when it gets cooler... ThenI started thinking...I have a whole batch of Hatch Chilis in the kitchen... Any thoughts on how Hatch Chicken Tortilla Soup might turn out? May have to give it a shot!...

Headed to Texas. Where do I eat?

Let me know when u are going to be in Houston- I would love to meet you, & the Hubs is all about good food!
You can access my email, right? Let me know what's up! We're all for an evening out, Fancy or not... Christy

Headed to Texas. Where do I eat?

I agree w/Kristin on lots of the Houston places- Rainbow Lodge is nice, Raven Grill is good as well. If you make it South of town, hit Gilhooley's- total dive, but such a great place (Oysters...)! No dogs allowed, sadly...in Austin, I second Kerbey Lane & would add Hyde Park Grill, maybe Conan's pizza, and Hula Hut or the Oasis- not the BEST in Austin, but old-school, been there 20+ years, if ya can, try them kind of places. Oh, & Hut's Hamburgers in Austin- been there since my Dad went to UT & he's 60+...I don't know about G'vine, but Ft. worth has Kinkade's burgers as well. You stand at the counters to eat... As a kid it was great- haven't been in years. Oh, & Amy's Ice Cream in Austin- Must Try! Have fun!!!- Chris

Help for Too Spicy Soup...

Thank you all SO MUCH!!! Believe it or not, I've nailed it-with yall's help, of course!!! You guys know your stuff... I went ahead & peeled, chopped, boiled, & puréed the other potato, then reheated my first batch (stovetop) & added the second potato... At that point the spice was down, but overall it was kind of "blah"... So about 2Tbsp of honey & a few dashes of salt were added... Left to warm through... Then I scooped out a small bowl, let it cool for a few, & drizzled with lime juice. PERFECT!!! DH came home for lunch & couldn't believe that it was the same "crap" (his word, not mine) that I tried to serve last night! When I asked him if it was "decent", he said "No, it's good-REALLY Good!" As in- Save this Recipe, It's Darn Good!!! So... Thanks a Million, SE'ers! I'm not used to having Epic Fails in the kitchen, & I was just heartbroken last night, crying over my Lost Cause... I Owe it All to You Guys!!! Thanks Again!- Christy

Help for Too Spicy Soup...

Thank you all SO MUCH!!! Believe it or not, I've nailed it-with yall's help, of course!!! You guys know your stuff... I went ahead & peeled, chopped, boiled, & puréed the other potato, then reheated my first batch (stovetop) & added the second potato... At that point the spice was down, but overall it was kind of "blah"... So about 2Tbsp of honey & a few dashes of salt were added... Left to warm through... Then I scooped out a small bowl, let it cool for a few, & drizzled with lime juice. PERFECT!!! DH came home for lunch & couldn't believe that it was the same "crap" (his word, not mine) that I tried to serve last night! When I asked him if it was "decent", he said "No, it's good-REALLY Good!" As in- Save this Recipe, It's Darn Good!!! So... Thanks a Million, SE'ers! I'm not used to having Epic Fails in the kitchen, & I was just heartbroken last night, crying over my Lost Cause... I Owe it All to You Guys!!! Thanks Again!- Christy

Annoying TV Product Placement

I don't go to WM often, but... FYI, Yes, they do sell cactus/Cacti (nopales, both paddles & Pre- cut), at least in my area... We get ours from another, more local store, but- they do exist...

Staff Picks: What Do You Eat When Nobody's Looking?

Sweets-wise: chocolate chips, PB, & mini marshmallows, microwaved. Spicy: Wiclkes and Spicy Pickled Okra, from the jar... On occasion, saltines w/Miracle Whip (standing in the kitchen, of course)... But my new fave: a small bowl of Goldfish crackers, a dab of butter, minced garlic, & a couple of shakes of something spicy (Tabasco, cayenne, etc). Microwave & mix- crush it up & eat it plain, or mix w/popcorn... Mmmmm!-c *** none of these are on my regular menu, mind you...

Reality Check: Fiery Ghost at Red Robin Packs No Ghost Pepper Punch

@ Texas Blues... When can I come over?!? Sounds like you've got the hook-up! Nice- Enjoy!!!

How different are grape juice and wine from one another?

I personally can not help you, but I have a very dear friend who married into a Muslim family 8-10 years ago. She has been learning from her Mother In Law ever since. Sadly, her family relocated a few months ago due to her husband's job... As she is many time zones away from me now, I have sent her an email requesting info on this subject... If/when she responds, I will pass on her advice. I figure that she would be a good person to ask, as she grew up cooking one way, then learned to do things differently. She probably has a point of reference that many others may lack (myself included). In the meantime, best of luck! Hope to have some tips for you soon!!!- Chris

2012 crop of strawberries

Yep, same here. I got one good round of cherries (when they were cheap enough) & some pretty good sweet corn locally. Everything else has dissapionted... When I went to visit family in June, I was gifted some wonderful potatoes, squash, & peaches. Also about 4 really nice tomatoes. We enjoyed all of those- plus a few cucumbers- for a brief time. Now, nothing... The tomatoes are taking off at my family's place now (they are canning them, have an over abundance), but I'm about 400 miles away- can't just go & grab some. So sad, as the tomatoes are what I really look forward to each summer... But strawberries- yes, HUGE dissapointment! So pretty in the store, but worthless when you get them home. Boo!!! :-(- C

Dreams of Queso, Realities of Separating Cheese

Well, in my area, a fundido is supposed to be a stringy, chewy white cheese dish, usually served w/add ins such as chorizo or peppers. You scoop it up with a fork, kinda twist it around, & wrap it in a tortilla to eat. So, really, you're doing the right thing to make a Queso Fundido. But I think that you're looking for a cheese SAUCE, right? That's a completely different thing- if you want a sauce- to dip chips in, to pour over enchiladas, etc- & you don't want to go the Velveeta Way, do check out Kenji's recent article, mentioned above. He has lots of good tips. It is possible to do, people make cheese sauce from scratch all the time, but... It's NOT the same as fundido. Make sure that you are looking for the right thing before you waste any more time/money. Hope this helps- Best of luck!- Chris

Who here has a pressure cooker?

We got an electric one a couple of years ago & were so excited... Then the novelty wore off & it is rarely used now. I agree that it makes great stews (that's the only type of meat dish I would use it for). It is also our go-to for fresh greens. And that's about it. Ours is a pain to clean afterwards- I'd much rather wash a pan or the crockpot. I'm not trying to discourage you from getting one, I'm just throwing my opinion out there. A lot of people use theirs often, it just wasn't as useful as we had hoped for our lifestyle. Best of luck!- Chris

Why do martinis taste better in bars?

I agree w/ESNY- my Hubby loves his martinis (vodka), & has perfected "his" method. If the shards of ice are what you are after, ya gotta shake the heck out of it! He does them for at least 2 minutes each... I, who don't shake as hard as he does, have to put in a full 3 minutes... And around here, the ice doesn't seem to matter so much- we use what we've got- from the ice maker, trays, bagged...filtered, not... If you're happy with the taste you've got, try stepping up the Shake- Best of Luck...Cheers!- Chris

Gadgets: Ice Huggy

We called them Pop Ice, a brand name, I believe... And we were always handed a paper towel to sop up the mess. Then you just tossed it all... It's kind of a neat idea, but do you think that they would be easy to clean? If they are designed for kiddos (mainly), I can see this leaving a sticky, sugar-coated aftermath... If at home, you could just rinse, but if not around a water source, what would ya do? Throw them in a ziplock until you could clean it all up? At that point, just give them a wipe or towel in the first place! Cute idea, but I'm not really convinced that it's practical.- Chris

All out American Meal

@Les ah- Thanks for the link! I just read the intro, & it does look interesting. I'll sit down with it tomorrow, when I have more time... And, of course, you're right- the butter/cream is just a twist on the homemade mayo idea... I'll try it myself next time I do coleslaw! @nillawan- good choices! If you've really never had hush puppies, do try them sometime if possible. They are delicious!!! Have fun with your meal!!!- Chris

All out American Meal

@ Les ah- I am in NO WAY trying to start anything, but I'm very curious. Whereabouts are you located? I'm a Lifelong Texan & have never even heard of putting butter or cream into coleslaw! Very interesting... Maybe I'm actually gonna learn something new- Cool! Thanks in advance for any info/tips!!!-c

All out American Meal

Okay, if you're doing BBQ ribs- coleslaw or potato salad, along with baked beans. Maybe a tossed green salad.  You also need a loaf of plain white bread, dill pickle slices, & white/yellow onions, cut into rings. You could also do pulled pork/ BBQ sandwiches (ahead of time, in a crock pot or something). Mac & cheese is good, hush puppies, around here, are for fried catfish (always an option), not so much for 'Que. Cornbread  is good, but I wouldn't do chicken wings before- too much protein- your guests will be full before the main event. For apps maybe veggies with Ranch dressing (or fried pickles, squash), cheese & sausage (thrown on the grill as it warms) w/ crackers.
Dessert- Apple Pie/Crumble, Cheesecake, or simple grilled fruit with pound cake & vanilla ice cream. and to drink- Beer, Margaritas, Wine... Best of Luck!- Chris

Meat Cooking Guide For A Vegetarian

I was thinking lasagna as well. You could even split it into 2 seperate, smaller pans & go half veg/half meat. Then people could choose...

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