Copycat recipes...any luck??

Thanks for all the input. @bubbamom, KFC coleslaw is actually one of the two recipes I was curious about, could you post yours? The second recipe I am craving is The Pasta House Co.'s Flamingo Chicken. Anyone seen or tried that??

Underground Eats

Both of my surviving sons and spouses live in Portland, OR., and each has attended an "underground supper club" (different ones). They both raved about their experiences! Wine and other diners were great at each; as far as the food experience, each totally different. One had a very, very good "upscale" menu, while the other had a great "everyday, cook at home style dinner", with step by step instruction on how to prepare at home for company. All four are anxious to try again, there seems to be several plus of these "clubs" in the Portland area. Will try to find out how to locate them, and report back.

Who loves Anne Burrell?!

I agree that her mannerisms and growling can get annoying, but no more than other chef's particularities. I like the fact that she teaches as she cooks, and gives reasons behind some of her prep techniques. Her love of all things food is obvious, and contagious!!

Need help with a personal, touchy dilemma.

Thanks for the comments so far. I should update original post - I figured I could be the out of date items by going through cabinets while she is sleeping and "toss". BTW, she has stuff with expiration dates from 1993!! She says that expiration dates are a conspiracy from food manufacturers to by new products, and that she has never gotten sick because of it!!! I will be doing all of the shopping. Regarding the suggestions to show enthusiasm for cooking and convincing her to let me pamper her by doing all of the cooking - won't work!! She really wants to cook for us!! Thanks, again, for the ideas, and keep them coming, especially the ones regarding sanitation and what needs to be refrigerated, etc.

So Proud!

@ foodiegal. Right on!!

News Report: First Organic Vegetable Garden at the White House!

@Pooch, right on!! You took the words right out of my mouth...good thing it wasn't food!!

News Report: First Organic Vegetable Garden at the White House!

I shouldn't comment when I'm up in the middle of the night with insomnia - I meant "Michelle has it GOING on"!!! See 1st comment.

Dried beans

Third the cooking recommendation! I agree with Pooch regarding leaving them in water, not only would they get funky, but I think the texture would change. Let us know!

News Report: First Organic Vegetable Garden at the White House!

Love it, love it, love it! And what a great example for the rest of the country. I'm sure this was discussed, and probably even planned long before Alice Waters brought up the subject. Sounds like Michelle's got it gonna on!!

Pay what is fair: One cafe's no price policy experiment.

Personally, I don't mind at all paying a more than fair price for good food prepared properly. As a caterer, I know what goes into a dish is always more than meets the eye. I would just fear that some people would take advantage of the situation, and too many customers like that could close a place quickly. It would be nice if you could "ban" those customers after a 2nd time or so, but don't have any solutions for that idea. I read about a cafe in Berkeley, I believe, that did this, and it turned into a flying success. Ingeniously, the owner also allowed customers to "work" their meal off if they couldn't afford floors, doing dishes, bussing tables. It turned into a wonderful thing for the community.

New Orleans, when to go, what to eat

I really enjoyed K-Paul's while visiting this wonderful city. Last time I was there, the wait was around the corner, but well worth it! Have a great trip, and a stroll around Jackson Square to walk off all the good eats!!

Slow going on Food Network website

Ditto dbcurrie! The frustation is usually not worth it anymore for me.

Spousal Cooking: Am I a bad person?

IMHO, it sounds like their problems stretched way beyond the kitchen.

My situation is like PumpkimBear's, I cook indoors, and he cooks outdoors, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love it, he loves it, so it works well for us. I kid him a lot that if he "brings home the bacon, I'll fry it up in the pan"! I do work from home part time, catering, which also kills two birds with one stone on those days. On days that I want him to cook out, I make sure I have everything ready for him...meat marinated, veggies prepped, etc. Works for me, and him!!

Food Careers

@bareneed, oh, thank you so much...I have such wonderful memories of Adam. I tried to refrain from mentioning this part, as it's off-subject, but I also counsel Mothers who have just lost a child, and no matter how old the child is, it is still your child. I have posted my main (not the catering one) email address on here for other reasons, but if you know someone that has experienced the same situation, please feel free to share it, and again, thank you sooo much for your comments and recognition. L,K

Food Careers

Hi Juman23, I am a caterer, and kind of "fell" into it. After losing my 17 yr. old son about 15 years ago, I used cooking as my therapy and escape. I was an okay cook at the time, not bad, just average. Cooking then became my "valium" so to speak, and I started raising the bar, experimenting with more difficult recipes and different cuisines, and found that I REALLY enjoyed it. Since I don't know how to cook for just a few, I organized a "Meals Ministry" at our church, and began giving/preparing food for sick and elderly folks, neighbors, friends and family. They started to share the food, and before I knew it, I was getting calls to do b'day parties, funerals, weddings etc., hence - karencooks (a small thyme catering company) began. Since then, I have attended or taken many advanced classes, but still think my self-taught education has been the backbone. Often now, when preparing food, I think of Adam (my son) with wonderful memories, and the final gift he gave to me. What joy!!!

Rusty Cast Iron-- Help!

Throwing cast iron pans into an outdoor fire is an old tried and true method! I got that advice from Lodge customer service department. After I explained that we have a burn ordinance here and couldn't do that, she also suggested the "clean" cycle on the oven. We have such smart people on these SE threads, don't we?? (I'm being serious, not facetious)

homemade ravioli- too ambitious for this amateur?

I've done it many, many times with the fresh pasta sheets, and used a pizza cutter to cut them. Unfortunately, I now live 200 miles away from the closest shop that sells them, in St. Louis. Anybody have any ideas on how/where/what I could use in place of it? I'm curious, too, on how won-ton wrappers affect the taste. Has anyone tried them for ravs?

What's your favorite kitchen gadget?

Hard to choose, but probably my WS whisk, or my probe thermometer, it sounds like the one Perky has. Has saved many a burnt offerings when I get involved in something else, and forget the time.

What's your favorite kitchen gadget?

pksmash, how do you make your sausage? I've just started experimenting, and am looking for good recipes, if you don't mind sharing. You can email me at to keep this thread on subject. Thanks. Would like to hear more about your stuffer, also. drink!

Oh chisai, I totally agree...what a great "toast" drink!

Disturbed by near-slavery in Florida's tomato industry

I lived many years in the Bay Area, specifically Palo Alto, then moved to Monterey for many years. Salinas, nicknamed the "salad bowl" of America is situated between the two cities, along with Gilroy, the "garlic capitol of the world", Prunedale, and other smaller communities, that produce huge amounts of artichokes, strawberries, avocados, etc. It was so sad to drive Highway 1, or the 101, and see so many farm workers out slaving in the fields in dangerously high temps. That made me want to support the local farm stands along those routes even more, and sharing my concerns with the farm owners. Hope they had their hearing ears on, and not just acted like they did. Also, best produce ever, anywhere!

Dates for Fine Food

NOOOO...granted, the last person I dated was my husband 20 years ago, but I can fix a nice meal myself, or don't mind dining out alone. The pay off isn't great enough for me to do that.

Say That You Had a Year...

Hands down - Italy, especially around the Tuscon region.

Help -- Meat(not so much)balls.

@Perky, this is kind of off subject. I posted a request 3 weeks or so for a good italian sausage recipe...tried three different ones, and the winner with hubby was with McCormick's grill seasonings (for steak) only. Did turn out great, so many more uses than just for steak seasoning.

Menu help!

All of the above are great, but for simplicity, color, texture and taste, why not roast some asparagus?? Love it that way, just a little olive oil, S&P, and a splash of either balsamic or lemon juice...mmmmm!

Copycat recipes...any luck??

Recently I've gotten cravings for a few restaurant dishes that were so good that I remember them! They are from chains, and I mostly prefer independent restaurants, so I rarely frequent them, but a few meals stood out. After a quick online search, I found "copycat" recipes for them, which I will make this weekend...rainy days are great for cooking!! Do you have any experience with restaurant makeover recipes?? Share your stories, and I'll update in a day or so, with recipes, if successful!! (And are there really 11 different herbs and spices??) No, I'm not trying to duplicate KFC, but saw a lot of copycats for it!!

Need help with a personal, touchy dilemma.

Hubby and I are moving in with his folks next week (BIG house). Dad has early-mid stage alzheimer"s, and Mom forgets a lot. We've tried doing it with living only a few miles apart for a few years, but they need someone there almost 24/7 now. Here's my uncomfortable situation: Not only is Mom not a good cook, but I don't trust her cooking. Either she's unsanitary, undercooks, uses out of date products, or uses stuff that I think should have been refrigerated, and she doesn't. She grew up during the depression, and has different ideas than I have regarding food prep and storage. We are very close, and I love her to death, but she is very, very sensitive, which makes it difficult to give her constructive advice. She had stated that she can't wait to share the cooking duties with me. Does any SEer's have any advice on how I can handle this situation, short of hubby and I not eating her food? That would become pretty apparent after the 2nd meal or so. Help!!

You live where?

I've been a SE follower for a few months or so, and have gotten to know several of the regular posters by name. Is there a way to tell where everyone lives...not addresses, just by state or large city? I read post that I would like to follow up on, but don't know if they are 2 miles, 200 miles or 2000 miles from me. BTW, I live in the Ozarks in Missouri, better known as Dysfunction Junction, Misery!!!

Farmer's Markets

Any other SEer's out there anxiously awaiting the opening of the Farmer's Markets near them? We've had unseasonably warm weather lately, in the mid 70's, (although it's getting down to freezing tonight), and it has really has me thinking about all the fresh produce coming soon. I'm envious of all of you who have Farmer's Markets year round! What are you looking forward to the most?

Counter/toaster oven help!

My MIL will be without her oven for about two months or so due to remodel. Hubby and I want to get her a good toaster oven (I cook over there for them alot, so I also have a hidden agenda), but I don't have experience with the ones on the market today. I'd like it to be a fairly large size, with a broiler feature, if possible. Any SEers have one that they love, or hate?? All advice on this appreciated. drink!

Have you heard about the new cocktail going around? I just heard, and may be 2 weeks late...wouldn't be the first time! It's called "The Sully" - 2 shots of Grey Goose, add water and ice!! Bet high end bars get a fortune for it!! Still LOL, sometimes I'm easy to entertain!!

Spinach: Way or No Way?

I love spinach, raw, sauteed, creamed, and any other way you can prepare it. I hate it as a child, even when Daddy told me about Popeye...that didn't fly. As popular as it is now, I am ever so surprised at the number of "foodies" that SECRETLY don't like it, but hate to admit it. What about you, WAY or NO WAY?

"Sticky" subject ... giving "bites" ... how to handle?

I am a very generous person in almost all aspects of my life. Want the shirt off my back? Here, it's yours. The one area I'm not is when dining out, unless I offer, I want ALL of my food! It doesn't matter if you're willing to give me a "bite" (which the size of bites differs with each person) of yours, I'd rather not. Does anyone else share this view, and how do you diplomatically handle this issue?

Kitchen Aid mixer help

I have a Kitchen Aid mixer, almost 20 years old, in need of a "tune-up". I remember reading some time back about a company that you could send your mixer to for refurbishing it, but can't recall any info about it. Does anyone know of a company that does this? Has anyone ever done this before here at SE? It is not broken, but really out f line, etc. Thanks for ideas!!

Blue Cheese steak roll-up stuffing ingredients??

Okay, I'm drawing a blank, friends. I'm trying to create a blue cheese themed "stuffing/spread" to layer on steak, and then roll it up, sear and grill, and slice into spirals. I thought about just adding a little butter and flat leaf parsley to the crumbled blue cheese, but am afraid it would all melt out. Should I add some bread crumbs? Onions? Please put your creative thinking caps on and share some thoughts. BTW, made the home made italian sausage today, after the third test patty, turned out great! Will share recipe if anyone is interested, was shocked at how easy it was. Will be making again and again!

Truth Be Told...Cleaning cast iron cookware

Oh, what I wouldn't give for my Grandmother's 3 perfectly seasoned cast skillets!! I have a few Lodge pieces, and one Griswald, and sometimes I feel I need to wash them with soap, which means I am forever reseasoning them. How do you clean yours? Any tips on seasoning...what do you use, veggie oil, bacon fat?? Please share your tips!!

What to do with this...?

I was given 3 lbs. of thin sirloin tip "steaks"...what should I do with them? Do you have any other "what should I do with..." questions?
PS Just made stroganoff last week, so that's out!

"Good (CH)eats", anyone?

Got a call from a friend last night wanting my "recipe" for my banana bread. I don't bake, so had to think about what she was asking. When my sons were younger, this is what I did, always with excellent results. Took one yellow cake mix w/pudding in the mix, added 3 overly ripe bananas, mushed up, to the rest of the ingredients, and baked according to box directions. Poured into two loaf pans, and miracles happened in the oven! (Sometimes added shopped walnuts or mini choc. chips). Do you have any "good (ch)eats"? to share?

Italian sausage: ever made your own?

I've been reading a lot lately about how easy it is to make your own Italian sausage. I use it quite often, but have never made it. Does anyone have a tried and true recipe, either for sweet or hot Italian sausage to share?

Monte Cristos, anyone?

When I lived in the Bay Area more than a few years ago, I used to get the best Monte Cristo sandwiches...ahh. how Iong for those days, and al the great food. But now that I live in a small midwestern town, nobody even knows what I'm talking about! As much as I cook, I've never made one of these at home. There are several recipes for them on the web, but does anyone SE land have a tried and true recipe?

Ever create a Family Cookbook?

I've thought about doing this for years, usually around November, with grand plans to have them done for Christmas...another failed plan! This year I'm committed to making one (or 20), and am starting now, with a November completion my goal. Have you ever created a "semi-professional" looking cookbook? There are quite a few software applications that can be purchased for this. Did you use one, and did you tell your relatives about it to get their recipes, or try to be sneaky about it? Share your ideas and experience. Christmas will be here sooner than usual this year!!