Profile

Hilfy

Unapologetic omnivore, skilled at home cooking, love to read cookbooks for new ideas, love trying new foods. An environmental engineer with degrees in Microbiology, Liberal Arts and Environmental Science who grew up on a tiny farm.

  • Location: Central Florida
  • Favorite foods: Tex Mex, Italian, Cuban, curries, spicy oriental foods, beef stroganof, salsa, hash browns, sopapillas, tom ka gai, sticky toffee pudding, cheese toasties, lobster, chili con queso, tempura, knoppers, classic buschetta, fried chicken
  • Last bite on earth: A mix of the above foods!

Ricotta and Chocolate Chip Cannoli

You could always process the dough as smaller flat circles, then fry those up and make the finished desert napoleon style or as a cannoli sandwich. Or would it be sacrilegious to mix cultures that way?

I love cannoli, but the filling must be packed just before serving otherwise the shell gets soggy and that ruins the delight.

Video: Feeding a Hungry Kitten With a Syringe

I've fed many kittens in my day. I dearly love them, they are the cutest little rascals in the world.

It's just having a problem because by nature they knead their mothers while suckling and with that syringe, there's nothing to knead. Such a cute little fellow (girl?).

Would you eat genetically modified salmon?

Sure, no problem. To second @AnnieNT's comment, man has been genetically modifying plants and animals since the dawn of agriculture. There's nothing scary about it.

Simple question... Do you eat while driving? If so, what?

Occasionally (much to my husband's dismay if he knew), usually a breakfast sandwich on the way to work along with a can of diet Coke. I take extra care to stay in the right hand lane and travel somewhat more slowly than I normally do when noshing on the run. That said, I drive a stick so that really limits it to half a hand munchies.

Food Shopping- "List" or "Scramble"?

List and scramble like some others here.

Sometimes I just forget to make a list and other times, I don't really feel like making one. I do browse the weekly for sales before going either way though.

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

If they had something I wanted at a reasonable price, I'd be happy to buy there. However, this is not the case so I usually bring my own. The rule is only there so you feel guilty enough to pay their exorbitant prices.

TOO MANY FOOD SHOWS NOT ABOUT FOOD!!

I'm with you - I already do not watch them.

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

Nothing much has changed for me except I will eat green peas when they are mixed with things. I still hate most all of the things I hated and was forced to eat as a child. I have found a few new things to hate too and quite a lot of new things to love.

How much time do you spend cooking?

As much time as I can on the weekends and as little time as I can on the weekdays!

Chili Con Queso

My mexican cookbook is at home right now, but in general, when I make a non-velveta chili con queso, I start with a good cheddar and another cheese that's good for melting. Guyere and Monterey Jack are examples of good melting cheeses. Most cheese tastes great melted - the tomatoes and jalapenos are more important to the flavor than the specific cheese.

Use equal parts of cheese - lets say 2 cups total to start with. You want to melt over low heat then you want to add a little cream (probably about 1/4 cup per 2 cups cheese) to the mixture. Finely chop a couple of jalapeno peppers (core them first if you are wimpy about heat). Core and finely chop a really nice tomato. Add tomatoes and jalapenos to cheese mixture and heat slowly until they soften slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Time to serve. Flour tortillas are fantastic with chile con queso.

You can also add - finely chopped onions, 1/2 clove mashed garlic, taco meat.

I have a little electric fondue pot that is great for keeping it warm enough for pleasant eating.

Do You Take Your Knives on Vacation?

Yes, if we're taking our travel trailer (already got it outfitted with decent kitchen tools right down to a tiny cuisinart processor), no if we're just going somewhere where I might have a kitchen.

Since I'm the only cook at home, vacations away from home are usually for me to get a little rest and try the local cuisine. If we're taking the travel trailer, it's understood that I'm doing most of the cooking and usually we're staying someplace where getting food out is problematic. Like when we go to Jennings FL for a track day. The nearest decent place to eat is in Valdosta, GA which is at least a 40 minute drive.

McDonald's Hamburger Barely Changes After Sitting Out for 137 Days

Well, it was nice and clean when they made it.

Battle for the Seas: McDonald's Filet-O-Fish vs. Wendy's Fish Fillet

I was really disappointed when McD's cut back from a full slice of cheese on it's filet o fish to a 1/2 slice. Consequently, when I order one these days, I always ask for extra cheese. The Wendy's version doesn't hold a candle to the McDs.

OMG, @healthytouch101, I used to work at Rax (long long ago). Best salad bar in the fast food business and the BBCs were awesome (especially since I could make one for myself and put more bacon and cheddar on it!). I still miss the poppyseed dressing that they used to carry.

'Slice' Poll: Fresh Mushrooms or Canned?

Either - I like them both for different reasons. To me comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges. Just leave off the portobellos...

Have you ever pulled a selfish cooking move?

Of course it's not rude to make something else for yourself while you make the main meal that others want. I have to do this at home all the time otherwise I would never get a lot of things I love to eat because hubby is a picky eater. So I make him something I know he wants and I make myself something different that I want. If I think he might want some, I ask him when I bring it to the table.

I agree about choice bits from the meal belonging to the cook. You put a lot of work in and this is the little reward. I certainly look forward to scrounging those little bits of crisp skin and meat from roasts and I usually treat myself to a strip of bacon when I'm cooking it up.

What's your favorite Indian dish?

another vote for Vindaloo, also like tikka masala, tandoori, butter curry

How fast does food disappear at work?

Hey, work is the place to get rid of food you don't want/need to eat yourself! There's a mix of people here, whiny "health conscious" types and heavy hitters and food flies off the table in the break room.

You have to be careful not to leave your lunch unguarded on the table that is designated as the "free - take me" table.

Man vs. Food Tackles Syracuse:Wed. 9/1 Travel Channel 9pm East

Sigh, I was born in Cortland, but was dragged down to Florida before I ever had a chance to grow up in Central NY. Got loads of cousins, uncles and aunts up there though!

I'll be watching that Man vs Food because I watch that show already.

Liverwurst: Love it or hate it?

It's not a big favorite of mine, but every once in a while, I really crave it.

There is a little German place in Sanford, Florida called the Willow Tree Cafe. They make their own liverwurst and serve it on the perfect German brown bread with the perfect mustard along with onions, tomatoes and cornichons. I'd try some of their other stuff when I go, but I don't get to visit often and when I do, I must have the liverwurst.

Chain Gang -- Do you secretly love a chain restaurant??

Another vote for Chili's, and then one for Skyline Chili, and one for In N Out Burgers, Chuy's Mexican, at least Chili's are in my neighborhood, I have to pine for the other stuff.

The Food Lab: Do 'Better' Eggs Really Taste Better?

@J. Kenji Lopez-Alt - thanks so much for going the extra mile to nullify the placebo effect in your tests. And what a difference it made too! Obviously prevailing attitudes about food sources heavily influence taste perceptions.

@chiffonte - in answer to your question about how food manages to have whatever level of nutrients that it has. Much of this is genetically determined - particularly when you are talking about fruits and vegetables. Regardless of how the fertilizing agents come to the plant, once they are inside the plant, they are used in the same way. That is part of why it is patently ridiculous to claim that organic fertilizer makes better produce. When plants don't have as much fertilizer as they would like, they make less produce instead of the same amount of produce with less nutrients in it.

@The True Adonis - thanks for tellin' it like it is on organic food production!

Restaurant Pet Peeves....anyone?

@guy, I think the fridge taste on the butter is from storing said butter in a container that is not air tight. I hate that taste too and I keep my butter in a lock and lock container so that it doesn't taste like that.

Also, you can thank food safety legislation for the butter being too cold to spread. Restaurants are required to keep it cold until it is served.

Pet Peeve at restaurants - the practice of filling the salt and pepper shakers so full that you can't get anything out of them. And don't get me started on overly perky and obsequious wait staff.

How do you season your fried eggs?

I'm with you @suburbanfoodie for fried or poached eggs, but if they are scrambled or or omelet style, then I get out the salsa and hot sauce.

Two Fat Ladies

@millede, even funnier to me about the chilli rellenos were the peppers that she called "jalapenos". They certainly weren't that. Just from looks, given the peppers in the markets that I frequent I'd call them either Cubanelles or Hungarian Wax, but certainly not jalapenos. That said, the UK is slowly starting to get the right stuff for Mexican Cuisine.

I was so happy the Cooking channel decided to replay the show. I only ever got to see a few before. Luckily I have a DVR so I can fast forward through all the commercials (ever 5 minutes!!!). I respect them for their adamant use of traditional ingredients and recipes. Also the areas they visit make me nostalgic for all my trips to the UK.

Stella Doro

I miss the stuff Stella Doro used to make before Kraft took them over. Sugared Egg Biscuits come to mind, I miss them terribly.

Manicotti question

I'm hoping someone with experience making typical manicotti has an answer for my silly question.

A few restaurants make manicotti the way I like it. Most others don't. I'm talking classic manicotti - ricotta, parsley, pasta, tomato sauce, mozarella.

What I'm looking for in a dish of manicotti is for the ricotta filling to be somewhat grainy in texture with a hint of butter flavor on top of the tomato and pasta flavors. Of course the buttery flavor might be coming from the melted mozzarella too.

But in most restaurants, the filling for the manicotti has no texture -it is a fine paste, and that buttery flavor is missing.

I was wondering if someone who had more experience making manicotti could clue me in on the possible difference between the two methods.

Idiosyncracies and Cooking/Eating (just curious)

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if anyone else has an idiosyncrasy that interferes with their foodie desires. And I'm talking about something other than "I don't like the way that tastes".

For example - one of my favorite foods is freshly baked breads. However, I can't stand the way that flour feels when I get it on my hands, so I avoid doing that as much as possible. I use a scale to measure flour and put gloves on if I actually have to knead or shape baked goods. Same thing goes for confectionery sugar - gives me the willies if I have to touch it.

I know someone who will not eat any frozen treat that has a wooden stick because they can't stand the feel of the stick in their mouth.

Some people can't eat something because of how it looks.

How about the rest of you all?

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