Profile

Denita TwoDragons

Freaky Eaters

Suddenly I'm feeling thankful all over again for getting rid of my TV several years ago..

How to pomegranate?

I do the same thing as ByrdBrain, and score the outer skin. If you cut an X deeply into the flower end of the fruit (where the end flares out) it's pretty easy to dig your thumbs into that spot and rip the whole thing open with minimal fuss. from there you can turn the quarters inside-out and most of the seeds come right out. If you want the juice all you have to do is mash the seeds in a strainer, but I can't stress highly enough how yummy the whole arils are! The seeds are edible with a pleasant nutty flavor similar to a miniature pine nut.

Ancient techniques from your fore-fathers/mothers.

When making hamburger patties or meatballs, handle the meat as little as possible or it will be mushy and not have much texture.

If you want to save your chicken broth, put it in a freezer-safe container and pop it in the freezer. The grease will rise to the top and you can scoop it right off.

Things you should never be without: A rasher of bacon in your freezer, a few cans of diced tomatoes, a bag of frozen soup veggies, and at least two bags of beans in your dry-goods pantry!

How to Make Gyoza

Oh baby! A recipe for my most favorite snack...? Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming! :-)

Fondant Cakes: I'm so over them.

I'll take buttercream over fondant--but I'd rather eat a pound of fondant than taste that vile fake whipped-topping crap!

When I grow up I'm going to eat all the____I want to. everyday?!

Dark Chocolate Hershey's Kisses! And brownies! And those horrible-but-oddly-addictive cherry cordials you get in dozen boxes right around Christmas time...

Foods we did not like as kids but now like as an adult..Got one?

Let me add: raisin bran cereal and pickled beets...NOT together! ;-)

Foods we did not like as kids but now like as an adult..Got one?

Raisin bran cereal and pickled beets! I used to turn my nose up at them, and now I have to get my regular "fix!"

At the Grocers..Do you taste-test fruits/food before buying?

As a former cashier and retail employee, I have been known to confront people who open food and eat it. Usually not if they head to the register and show that they are paying for what they ate--but I catch someone put it back on a shelf and they'll have one mad mama to contend with. When I worked at Walmart I used to have to throw away literally hundreds of pounds of wasted half-eaten food (not to mention opened diaper / feminine hygiene / baby wipes / etc. packages, empty CD cases, used makeup...the most ironic one was the empty shrink-wrap from a book that had been shoplifted. The book in question was a Bible.)

If I or my kids get a case of the munchies or get thirsty or need some gum, I usually do what I used to do when I worked: Buy that item, then keep it where it can be clearly seen with the receipt on display so any employees see that it's legit.

Weekend Giveaway: 'Masterchef Cookbook'

Curried pork chops with Granny Smith apples and yellow onions, served over jasmine rice pilaf. Homemade bread with honey butter. And completely-from-scratch brownies for dessert!

That Darn Cat!

OH MUH GAWSH!! Contazia! Your Rabbit's name takes the proverbial cake! Gallifrey...so does he sleep in a blue police box too? ;-)

That Darn Cat!

Two stories:

When I was young we had a jet-black Manx cat named Pepper who was a notorious food thief. Our house was an odd layout, mainly because the plans had been intended for a vacation cabin, NOT a family home (which we lived in for more than 20 years...). Long story short, my parents slept in a loft which had a ladder that came down about four feet in front of the kitchen counter.

My Mom had just pulled a steaming-hot roast chicken out of the oven and put it on the counter. It had no sooner touched the hot pad when she caught a lightning-quick blur out of the corner of her eye. She was still registering the fact that something had moved when she looked down to find a deep ridge gouged out of the breast of that chicken. Pepper hadn't even been on the ladder when she put the chicken out--and in the blink of an eye he had not only dashed up it, he had leaped the seven feet across the counter, nabbed a forbidden mouthful, and disappeared with the goods!

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When my husband and I were still engaged, we lived in an apartment in Austin with what would end up becoming an impressive EIGHT ferrets, but at the time was just the first two; Loki and Oni. My fiance had just sat down with a full bottle of Guinness when he realized he had left his plate of food on the counter and went to grab it. When he got back he found that Loki and Oni had knocked the bottle over and were licking up as much of the beer as they could! Nothing is funnier than a couple of drunk ferrets crashing into each other like miniature mosh-pit dancers!

Free third story: We had a cat who we literally had to lock up whenever we carved a pumpkin. She would eat the entire thing, skin and innards and all!

Is your kid good in a restaurant?

I will not tolerate any sort of rude behavior from my kids, not just at a restaurant but anywhere in public! Or at home, for that matter...

Useful kitchen gadget? Or amazing amuser of small children?

Hee hee! I'm seriously thinking of getting a steamer basket just to see if my kids would play with it as much as I did when I was little. Of course, it would also get a heck of a workout for steaming, too!

My daughter's favorite kitchen toy is, of all things, the top of my popcorn popper. It's one of those air-popper types with the little insert that sits at the top for you to melt butter in (not that that works, the microwave does a far better job!). If she's not wearing the insert like a hat, she's walking around the house peeking through is and saying "I see you!" (She'll be two this December, so she's still in that "easily amused" stage, LOL...)

American Chop Suey?

My Mom used to make variations of this, but I think she just called it "Stuff". We at a whole lot of "stuff" growing up. Some of it was dessert "stuff" and some of it was dinner "stuff"...Yeah, I know...original...LOL

Seriously Asian: Bamboo Stalks

You could be eating delicate young shoots of bamboo dressed in chili oil, served in a bamboo bowl with bamboo chopsticks, while sitting in your bamboo hut.

...while wearing a soft silky dress made of bamboo fabric, and writing a critique of the meal on bamboo paper. Bamboo is the most amazing renewable resource on the planet, AND incredibly tasty!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@cookiequiz: Depends on the peanut butter. Real peanut butter isn't shelf-stable and will go rancid unless it's kept cool. It's all the chemicals and replacement fats in your average jar of Jiffy that keeps it from going bad quickly. Scary thought, huh? :-)

You gotta love a food critic that can lick his own nose. Among other parts. I shudder to think what his back end smelled like after that ducky treat, though!

At the movie theatre...Do you sneak snacks or buy there?

We usually either eat beforehand or buy the food at the theater. But then, we so rarely go out to the movies nowadays anyways* we just figure the extra expense is a splurge. If we went out more than once every year or two, we'd probably reconsider and bring our own!


*(what with trying to figure out the arrangements for two kids, travel expenses, and then invariably being sandwiched in the middle of a group of people who a.) can't control their verbal diarrhea of four-letter words that would make a Russian sailor blush like a nun, b.) has a bladder the size of a baby's fist and is working on their third "MegaGulp 7000", c.) compulsively texts to their friend three rows down, 4.) has the heady aroma only achievable by owning more than fifteen incontinent cats, d.) is seven feet tall and thinks it's their patriotic duty to keep their ten-gallon hat on at all times. PLUS the fact that at home we have a 32" TV and the Pause button so we can pee anytime we want!)

Grilling: Jerk Pork Skewers

All I gotta say is, Ohhhhhh BABY!!

Food for Him going through Chemo

You are a wonderful friend, and I will be keeping you both in my prayers!

My Mom is a survivor of lymphoma and brain tumors. Many times she wanted simple broths that packed a lot of nourishment and also kept her hydrated. Nausea and vomiting can really dry out a person's system. Upping the Vitamin C and B-Complex will help both with the immune issues as well as with the physical and mental stress chemo can take on a person.

Pretzel M&M's--Anyone tried them? What do you think of them?

Addictive! And they'd be even more addictive if they upped the salt on the pretzels just a smidge. If they switched to dark chocolate, I'd be in serious trouble.

Food Fights

Hot Tamales candies! And my 7 year old son, almost-2 year old daughter, and husband have been known to get vicious over cheddar cheese!

How to Make a Gastrique

Ooh! I never knew the name of this, but I make it all the time with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar! It goes as well brushed lightly on a ribeye steak as it does drizzled lightly over vanilla-bean ice cream. I've even been known to just lick it right off the spoon!

Best in Show: Pleasant Ridge Reserve

The pictures alone are making me ravenously hungry for a slice of that cheese!

Serious Heat: Combining Chile and Chocolate

I combined some candied jalapeños to a brownie batter once, and it had promise. The problem was, they were too juicy and I think the batter needed a little more "oomph" to it. I should have diced them finely instead of laying them out over the top as rings. I oughta go back and give it another try...

Useful kitchen gadget? Or amazing amuser of small children?

When I was a tender little squirt my grandmother had the most amazing toy ever conceived. I could entertain myself for hours with it, folding and unfolding its shiny perforated petals. But to this day I don't ever recall her actually USING her steamer basket!

So how about y'all? Is it mostly used to entertain the rugrats and keep them out of your cooking, or do you actually use yours for the purpose the manufacturers intended?

Red Onion Recipe Suggestions, Please!

I have a friend who runs a food pantry for the needy here in town. He gives the excess produce he receives to his friends so it doesn't go to waste. Knowing my passion for red onions, he gave me a few. As in, a whopping FIVE GROCERY BAGS full of the fragrant bulbs!

So now I have about 15-20 pounds of Allium cepa in my sink, waiting to be turned into something yummy. I already have a few earmarked for my favorite salad and a caramelized onion sandwich I love to make. But I've only just begun! So I appeal to you, my fellow SEers: What would you do with a heaping load of onions? Thanks in advance for your advice!

Barbecue Event Roundup: Contests, Cookouts, and Festivals in the United States

Barbecue events are the intersection of food, friends, family and fun in Americana. Here is an epic roundup of barbecue festivals and competitions across the country. Barbecue season begins as soon as snowfall begins to melt, kicks into high gear at Memphis in May, and peaks in October, when The American Royal Barbecue draws teams from all over the country in the world's biggest barbecue contest. More