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LisaPDX

How should I clean a cast-iron skillet to get it allergen-free?

Scrub and reseason. And tell your roommate to get his or her own cast iron.

Portland: 12 Breakfasts We Love from Food Carts

I used to eat at Tito's on third almost every day. I no longer work nearby, but I loved that cart so much!

How Do You Like Your Mac n' Cheese?

I use the stovetop recipe from the Joy of Cooking. It's fast, rich, and I drop in whatever cheeses appeal to me in addition to the cheddar. Must use shell macaroni though.

Boiled my cast iron skillet dry - now what?

Just coat it lightly with oil and bake it at about 325-350 next time you bake something else.

One-handed cooking

Hehe... I just went through this myself. Fortunately, my kid let me put her in a Bjorn, giving me two hands most of the time.. One handed meal= an apple, a chunk of cheese, a ham and cheese sandwich, crackers, mug of tomato soup, heat and serve leftovers. Save the real meals for times when you can have someone else hold the baby while you cook. Made-ahead and frozen portions of tamales, lasagna, pot pies... Those might be one-handers too, if you can do that.

Pizza on Big Green Egg

1.5 hours to heat... Ugh... I'll stick with cast iron stovetop/broiler method. I've also been around when the BGE "flashed back" at around 600F, and would be terrified of what it would do when opening the lid at 900F! Maybe someone should figure out how to use a flame thrower to make pizza.

Pizza on Big Green Egg

I just had a friend cook me pizza on a Big Green, and I was unimpressed. It was just like the pizza he makes in his oven. Maybe other people are more skilled...

Buying a Cast Iron Skillet On a Budget

Go to thrift store. Handle a few pans: some have a nicer balance than others. Wagners are great, if you can find one. Lodge pans always seem to have a rough finish that I dislike, although it disappears with age. If the ones you find are crudded up, you can usually steel wool them down to bare metal and season them up nicely. If they're really bad, google up "cast iron electrolysis": save the elbow grease! The title of your post made me smile: I've never bought a cast iron pan when I was flush with cash (student/americorps days), and I have a gorgeous little stash, probably for less than $10 per pan.

Do you have food allergies?

Wine and hard cider! Actually, I'm pretty sure it's sulfites, both naturally occurring and added (sulfite free wine is still a problem). My throat and face itch, and if I have more than a sip it can become very uncomfortable.

Video: When Backyard Chickens Are Illegal

We live somewhere where chickens are okay, and the rules about them are thus: no more than three without a permit, no roosters. We actually wound up with three roosters the first time we raised chicks. Our neighbors heard them crow for one or two mornings, then all was silent. They were delicious roosters. Cities are slowly coming around: urban chickens aren't a big deal really. Certainly much more pleasant than my neighbor's constantly barking dog, or my neighbor's outdoor cats, which crap in my garden.

How Do You Pay the Bill at Restaurants?

I wonder if the people suggesting that light eaters and non-drinkers should uncomplainingly pony up more are the ones ordering bottles of vodka and steaks?

How Do You Pay the Bill at Restaurants?

I feel like it's just good customer service for a restaurant to be able to do separate checks. We have friends (whom we have stopped dining with!) because we would go out for pizza or burgers, and the wife would order an appetizer, a salad, a special entree, something for their toddler, glasses and glasses of wine, and then want to split the bill evenly. Between my husband and I, we'd had two burgers and two beers... I think our "half" was sixty dollars on one occasion!

Judging a restaurant by its....?

Maybe this one is strange, but in a lot of restaurants around here, it is not obvious when I walk in whether I should seat myself or wait to be seated. I think this is WEIRD and a major turn-off. A simple sign or having a hostess station would solve this quickly... Also, service and server attitude! Portland restaurants suffer from having smarmy hispter servers with crappy attitudes and better things to do than wait on customers. It's prevalent around here and I think restaurant and bar owners should mystery-shop their own establishments once in a while, flog some waitstaff, and see if morale improves.

French in a Flash: Roasted Ratatouille Lasagna Napoleons

I caught that too.

'Foodie-ism,' as youth culture

From what I've seen of this, the author shouldn't have discounted the "locavore" organic-only, know-thy-farmer types. I've known members of this cult to spend $8 on a head of green cabbage at a farmer's market when they can't afford rent, be eating expensive cheeses and local breads when they work at burger joints... In moderation I think it's laughable but harmless, but when people are exceeding their means in order to eat exciting grub, well, it's just stupid. $350 bucks a week? Bet my family eats for about three weeks on that, and we enjoy our food as well.

Alternative to a Salad Spinner?

Use a pillowcase. Go outside with it, and whip it in a big circle.

Old Bread - Yay or Nay?

The bread might still be fine to eat, but I would inspect it carefully, then cook it into something else. Or chop it up for stuffing and throw it in the freezer. Eating a sandwich made with old bread would make me think at every bite "does this taste okay?"

Biscuits spreading too much

Check oven temps if you continue to have problems?

How often do you eat meat? And what type?

I would place us in the 5-9 category. I make my husband sandwiches for lunch a few days a week, and they are usually ham or turkey, but also he takes dinner leftovers if there are any. We usually have meat a few nights a week for dinner: venison or chicken. Maybe a breakfast with bacon once a week. I was a vegetarian for ten years, and I enjoy adding meat to our diet, but my repertoire of vegetarian recipes is pretty good, and often I just forget that I could be cooking meat for dinner. Besides that, it has to be defrosted, etc.

Food Dehydrators Opinions on Models?

I know you said you weren't up for paying the extra money for an Excalibur, so with that in mind, here's my review. I've always used the round American harvest or Nesco kind with bottom heat/fan. I've had good results with them, but hated the brittle trays. I think that, for the money, get the biggest one you can, and enjoy it. That said, my parents gave me a huge Excalibur, and I've dried entire five gallon buckets of tomatoes (got sick of canning them), prunes, fruit rollups, jerk, apples and pears in it. I love the thing! Quiet, enormous capacity, easier to clean with no brittle white trays, and although I haven't done a side-by-side comparison, it seems faster. But, get what you can afford and make it work for you.

Fast-Food Fried Fish Sandwiches: Popeyes vs. Burger King vs. McDonald's vs. Wendy's

This sent me into my kitchen for homemade fish sticks and tartar sauce.

Lunch Pail Envy

My two cube-mates/coworkers were always dieting: gluten free, solanaceous vegetable free, carb free, meat free, dairy free, purging, cleansing, in short, starving themselves. So when the girls would ask what I was having, they would be drooling as I described my leftovers. One of them would ask to see or smell my food more closely, on occasion. I found it to be really uncomfortable, because she would sit eating rice cakes and water, or whatever it was she was allowing herself to eat that week, and looking longingly at my food. There was no break room, so I started eating in the conference room to get away from the lunchtime scrutiny.

A Beginner's Guide to Canning

The link she gives to the National Center For Home Food Preservation gives really good information about using pressure canners.

Pantry and Fridge Frustrations. Has It Happened To You?

"Not me" likes to eat all of the cheese. No bread, no crackers, just slice after big fat slice of cheese. When I go to make dinner, Mac and cheese, homemade pizza, grilled cheese, burritos, tacos... All out of question because he has started with the string cheese, powered through all orange cheeses, then to the mozzarella, and sometimes even the Parmesan. Drives me crazy. I cannot get him to stop doing this, no matter what other snack options I provide. Husbands...

We're having a party! You bring the food and drinks.

Scargosun: not really any literary license taken! Really, at the superbowl party the host provided coolers with ice (BYOB) and two ten-pound turkeys, deep fried. I was there a little early, and saw the "setup". And the evite went to about eighty people, about half of whom came. Other parties in same friend group, typically the hosts provide one or two dishes (i.e. chips and dip, crudites) but nothing larger or fancier than the other guests bring. I say "typically", there are exceptions, and I am grateful for them.

Traditionally I enjoy showing up with a little something, like other posters mentioned, but I'm wearing out on it and have started declining these things. It isn't bringing a "little something" that kills my enthusiam: it's being asked, in the invite, to bring a dish to share AND a beverage to share, and also, a lawnchair! That's more items than I have arms, even if hubs is carrying the kid! I think if the invite says "bring a dish to share", then the title of the event had better say "Potluck".

Favorite near-beer?

I'm an avid beer drinker and homebrewer, but right now I can't have beer... I'm pregnant. I found my way to O'Doul's Amber, which isn't a great beer, but even a faux beer is better than nothing, sometimes. Does anyone have other brands of non-alcoholic beer that they would recommend trying? It's like "drinking the bottom shelf"... Except lower!

We're having a party! You bring the food and drinks.

There seems to be an ingrained idea in my circle of friends (who are mostly 30 or older and financially well-to-do) that throwing a party means providing nothing more than a space for gathering, perhaps some music. It is becoming a bore! Party invites frequently say things like "bring something for the grill, a beverage to share, and a lawn chair or two", or "we will provide a deep-fried turkey, you bring the chips and the beer and booze".

To me, it seems like asking a lot of your guests to routinely tell them they should bring food and beverage to share. Why have a party involving food if you can't be bothered to provide it? I would never expect the Superbowl to be a balanced dinner, or anything resembling, but the above-mentioned four hour party with the "fried turkey" was terrible! There was a table with chips and dip of every description, and a plate of hotdogs in a blanket, and lots of cookies. The turkey, being the only substantial food in a room of forty people, lasted ten minutes. We brought, as requested, chips and dip, thinking maybe "we'll provide the turkey" meant something more generous than it did.

At other times, I find my husband and I bringing a large box to hold a side and a six pack, and something for the grill. Now that we're parents, we bring our LO and snacks and diaper bag, etc... by the time that's all done, I'm thinking, "well, I made dinner, all I have to do is light the grill, and we could stay home and relax!".

We haven't thrown any parties in a while, between parenthood and buying a house, but even for casual late-night parties, I always felt it was my responsibility to provide at least a keg, if not a cocktail or two, and enough snacks so that nobody got plastered on an empty stomach. I have done potlucks before, but I would clearly say that it was a "potluck" and ask people to bring varied foods. If a dinner party is what I want, I cook!

Do your friends send out invites like this? Do you? What do you think?