Is cooking a really big turkey any different from a smaller one?

That's a big bird! Good luck with it.

EVERY Day Foods

I start every morning with a cup of coffee...then an hour later I have another cup of coffee with a small bowl of fiber cereal (dry no milk).

For lunch, I love eating Top Ramen soup. 3 - 5 days a week. People tend to wonder why - well, I like eating a meal for .12cts. It actually fills me up and the taste isn't bad. Don't get me wrong there are days when I take customers or prospects out to lunch, but with the economic crunch, my company is beginning to cut back on 'the business lunch' concept. So I'm usually at my desk with a bowl of hot Top Ramen.

In-Flight Drinks: Spicy Tomato Juice

@ The Wondering Foodie - "Don't trust aisle sitters" - that's funny..I flew over 150,000 miles last year. The only time I didn't sit in an aisle seat was when I got upgraded to 1st class.

Why the aisle - I'm a little claustrophobic plus I don't like having to apologize to go pee. I will gladly wake up and move to let the other folks out.

My drink of choice on flights - beer, scotch, coffee or water depending on time of day.

Banished from tonic forever!

Wow never heard that, but shouldn't be a problem. Plenty of alternatives.

How about just a good old fashioned Gin Martini, replace the olive with a twist of lime. (I'm allergic to olives). Gives the gin a refreshing essence of lime which to me makes a really nice drink.

Or sometimes I forgo the martini concept and just go for gin rocks with a lime wedge.

BBQ recipe needed for last minute birthday party

I'm a Texan and yes @Pyles BBQ is right. You can't do it right inside. That's an awful thought, even though there are some who show you how to build little tiny smoker trays with wood chips and water..yada yada..but it's not the same.

With that said, I've at times, broiled some chicken, with the last 4 minutes slathering some sugar based sauce on it. Usually a hickory flavored one. Tends to do the trick.

Good luck and let us know what you end up doing. Thx

In-Flight Drinks: Spicy Tomato Juice

Gee, on flights it's either a beer or scotch - coffee or water depending on my biological time.

Never never a Bloody Mary or Tomato Juice. I hate that stuff. I can stomach a good tomato soup or bisque but not a cold spicy BM. Go figure!

Ideas for using up leftover beer

Beer Can Chicken - always a winner.

What are YOU making for Christmas dinner? Why?

We start the day with a hearty breakfast of pancakes, loads of bacon and breakfast tacos.

Then we let the kids go for the presents.

Will snack throughout the day on an endless array of appetizers. Our house becomes an open house on xmas day with friends, relatives, neighborhood kids etc. etc. dropping in at will. I also will set up the crock pot with some sort of warm xmas drink (oh and an open bar with a few wines, scotch, martini stuff). It's a fun day.

Finish the day off with an early dinner of:
Homemade Lasagna
A small Standing Rib Roast
King Crab legs
Homemade Bread
Homemade Ice Cream
Plus a few sides

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal...

My favorite part of Thanksgiving is actually the day after. It's incredible how many cool recipes there are for leftovers.

So I spend Thanksgiving morning cooking - in the afternoon it's family time with a mid afternoon dinner.

Then on Friday it's a whole new ballgame with everything from Turkey enchiladas, soup and chili's to Turkey nachos, turkey stuffed peppers, turkey omelets etc. etc....we feast all weekend!

Then try to loose some weight so we can do it again over Xmas.

Love the holiday season!

Tipping on Alcohol

Actually the more alcohol I drink the more I tip! So I've stopped ordering drinks when we go out for family dinners. What I spend in scotch at a bar for 2 drinks, will usually buy me a nice bottle for home.

I have expensive tastes for my whiskey, wine and martini desires. My alcohol component can run as much as $20 - 30 dollars - for drinks before dinner, throw in a bottle of wine and now I'm close to $70 / $80 dollars before any food comes to the table....Oy!

And yes I tip on alcohol. Good bartenders and wait staff need to compensated for their talents.

Now I enjoy a glass of water with a lime. I do reserve a few bucks for special meals out (anniversary, birthdays, big commission check etc. etc).

Fried potato question

A touch of Cayenne pepper always does the trick for us. Or occasionally will sprinkle with some of Tony Chacere's (?) cajun spice. Doesn't take much of either to bring it up a notch.

Bad dining experience?

There's lots of ways to look at this situation. My favorite quote is 'every Chef has a bad night'!.

So many will say "send it back", "you paid for the product it should exceed your expectations", "they can't improve unless they know something's a problem...." etc. etc. yada yada yada.

And they are correct.

Others will say be sympathetic, patient, give them another try etc. etc. etc. and they too are correct.

I have had wonderful meals in places I swore I'd never go back and lousy meals in very top notch rated multiple star restaurants.

There is no right and wrong way to resolve your evening. It depends so much on a lot of variables. My personal approach is too just not go back for a few months. Watch the online restaurant blogs and reviews, see if it's a common problem amongst others who've eaten there. If it is, there's little chance they will survive as a business entity. If it was just a bad night and reviews are good, I'd give them another try.

It's only my two cents - have a great day.

Living on the Edge: Gas Station Junk Food

Corn Nuts...can never get enough of them on the road!

Slow Cooker Substitute Oven Temp

I do chickens in my dutch oven all the time, instead of the crock pot. They come out better and are more moist due to the heat coming at it from all sides.

I set my oven temp to 150. It's surprising how heat will build up in the dutch oven.

What would you eat for 30 days?

We probably do this more then we think. My morning habit is black coffee and dry high fiber cereal..the same Monday through Sunday. :o)

Obviously not the only thing I eat in a day, but I've been doing this for years fro breakfast. Black coffee - same cup of dry fiber cereal. Black coffee - same cup of dry fiber cereal...on and on. I have no desire to change.

It's like a day in Groundhog day.

Instant Noodles/Ramen

Not as bad as a slice of pizza. I like eating them for lunch. However I usually only use half the bag of flavoring and will mix in some leftover proteins or veges from the nite before.

It's fun to eat fro .10cts/

What are you asking Santa (or whomever) to bring you?

A new up to date Food those things.

100 (okay, 50) Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

And my pet peeve's are:
Wait staff who reach over full plates of food to pick up a glass to fill. Too many times their arm goes right between my mouth and my fork. I don't like smelling their skanky sleeves or risking hair or something dropping off on to my plate. I prefer they ask me for my glass and I will gladly hand it to them.

Also, I do a lot of business meals with customers / prospects. So while I appreciate a server asking how everything is, many times it's an interruption to very intense business conversations. I know it's a timing thing and they're looking for feedback. Sometimes I wish they would look for signs or signals that it's okay to stop by.

Otherwise great list. Thx

Fruit Loops served at Best Western...

Traveled a lot (I mean a lot) last 5 years for business. Found the best breakfast deals were at the Staybridge Suites and Hilton Garden Inns.

Most of the time, though I travel with my own high fiber cereals and bars. Just to get the morning started.

All of the comments above are so accurate and spot on. I've stared at preformed omelets that look and taste like cardboard. Utlra sweet selections of cereals with bruised fruit set out. Coffee thats been sitting all night, tepid and horrible. Rubbery boiled eggs, selections of pastries still stuck in their wrappers.

Most of these places, you could go to a locals Sam's or Costco and see what they're selling in bulk and assume that's what you'll be eating for breakfast.

I could go on, but will get off my soapbox. Last thing I'll say is that 'free hotel breakfasts at most of the major chain hotel / motels, is barely a step above what little food they serve on airplanes now!'

Why are you a serious eater?

Been cooking since I was in grade school. Chose not to make it a profession. Have a large family, kids and grandkids and they all live with us. So I run my kitchen like a small cafe. Menus / financial analysis of supplies vs what's eaten / ongoing work to keep clean and food prepped for a variety of different schedules etc. etc.

So hanging out on the food boards helps a lot with recipes, shortcuts, new ideas. It's also very frustrating for us to all go out to eat (plus expensive) and / or call in for delivery pizza. And it's easier to produce healthier meals when done at home.

Besides all that, the whole process for me is relaxing. I take our food needs very seriously. I figure since we need to eat, I want to make it fun! Oh and by the way, with the swine flu / cold / virus season here, I have little faith in other people prepping my food. I know what my sanitation standards are.

Pho Season?

Funny you should bring this up. There are a lot PHO cafes popping up. And with the first touch of cool / cold they are standing out. I'm usually there 1 - 2 times per week for lunch.

Good stuff..

Your Clever SE Name

Online user names are nothing more than the 'handles' we used to create back in the CB Radio days! Remember 'Breaker breaker 19 this is the Bandit'!

So now we're in cyberspace instead of radio wave space. I for one like to gage my online names with the nature of the site.

So for all the food sites I'm typically Ribster (extracted from the fact that I can't get enough of them) :0)

Bad Host: Invited to dinner and asked to PAY! Would you?

Arrrgh - that is an uncomfortable situation, especially with neighbors. However curious if there's a story behind the situation. For example, was the neighbor recently laid off from a job, maybe having some financial stress. One thing I always do when invited is make it a point to bring something, even if told that it's not needed. Or in the case of pizzas being ordered, such as hanging out on a Sunday afternoon watching football, then I will offer to share the cost.

I always like to be the one in control of situations which have the potential to get bizarre like posted above.

The Cooking Channel to replace Fine Living

This is cool. Food Networking programmers had a deaf ear to those of us screaming out here in Cyber Space. The parent Scripps is shuffling around FLN due to it's revenue loss. Food Network I believe is there #1 revenue (at least for tv). So this makes sense and I for one look forward to it.

I hear the change won't hit till 2Q or 3Q 2010.

What Did You Eat Today?

So to keep the thread it is the morning of 10/11 - just ate my 1/2 cup of cereal with 2 cups of coffee. Starts the day - it's a fiber thing.

Moving forward I see an omelet in about an hour.

A tuna sandwich for lunch.

Popcorn for mid afternoon / football snack.

A few martinis around 5:00 with a Roasted Chicken / Cauliflour w cheese sauce and some stuffed baked tomatoes for dinner.

Purple Potatoes from South America

Bought a bag of these the other day. Couldn't find any unique recipes. So I sliced them, drizzled with Olive Oil, seasoned em and then stuck in oven till done.

Nothing spectacular, little starchier than I care for, but flavor was ok.

Any ideas what to do with these?


Shift in Beef Buying Habits - better taste / great cost!

Local grocery chain here in SE Texas has started putting prime (restaurant and hotel) grade beef for sale in their butcher counters. I've been buying recently 3" think Prime Sirloins for anywhere between $6.99 and $5.99 a lb, Prime Ribeyes are averaging $8.99 - $9.99 a lb. A definite benefit to consumer budgets and palates.

Great deal and the taste and texture is out of this world. Normally would buy the package stuff in the open refridgerator shelves.

Apparently with the economy on the down shift, job losses high, uncertainity etc. restaurants and hotels are cutting back on their orders due to business slowdown. The meat brokers are now beginning to sell directly to the grocery stores in order to move inventory.

I Caved In and Ate Grocery Store Fried Chicken - Yuck!

For some stupid reason I bought 8 pieces of 'Fresh Fried' chicken from the deli section of a 'very large national' grocery chain. And it was awful. It looked great, especially watching them make it. But the breading was soggy and salty. The meat was okay but I was after the whole fried chicken eating experience. The only way I was able to turn it into something semi reasonable was throw it in the oven @ 400 for 20 minutes to crisp it up. Then dip the pieces I was eating in BBQ sauce to break up the salt.

However, will never buy it again and save my craving for good fried chicken when I have the time to make it myself.

Just needed to get this off my chest. I feel bad for caving in to a very weak moment in my culinary desires!

Griddle Heaven

For some reason I've never had a griddle. Till now - I got one as a gift. It's a Lodge - 16 lbs of pure cast iron, even heat distribution, easy to clean. Perfect fit over two burners on my gas stove. And I love it. Can't stop cooking on it.

Has relieved me of using at least 2 frying pans, my toaster, my oven, my gas grill and the George Foreman lean electric thing. Why I've never had one is now something of the past. Can't wait for the family to get up so I can short order them for breakfast - pancakes / eggs / french toast / hash browns / sausage / bacon.
They call it - I'll griddle it !

My question to SE'ers is anyone else having as much fun with a new legacy utensil and can you name the most creative thing you've 'griddled'?

Enjoy the holiday today...

Lasagna Noodles

I have a lot of left over cooked lasagna noodles that I did not use in my lasagna last night. Normally I make two: one vege one beef and sausage. I decided at the last minute I was too tired to make the second and now I have leftover noodles.

Does anyone have some creative ideas about what I can do with them?


Just Curious: What really starts your engine in the morning?

Talking about food here..what is your morning routine that gets you started for the day?

Mine - Up very early (old habit). One cup of coffee to get me out of the sleep haze. 20 minutes later - another cup of coffee and a small bowl of dry cereal - that's when I begin to fully appreciate the value of caffeine.

Two hours later - something more substantial - piece of fruit / toast / bowl of oatmeal or small amount of left over anything from dinner the night before. Plus another cup of coffee.

After that - I'm good to go till lunch with exception of occasional cup of Starbucks or other local coffee cafes.

Baking Bread Question: Help?

I don't have a bread machine anymore. Last one broke. I've gone way too long without some good homemade loaves. Have decided to just break down and make some white yeast bread from scratch.

In preparation I've bought some yeast and a 5 lb bag of King Arthur Bread Flour. Then went out to the King Arthur website for a good recipe.

Most of their recipes call for King Arthur All Purpose Flour instead of KAF Bread Flour. Can I adequately substitute what I've got without creating any problems? Seems the only difference between the two products is the amount of protein. Bread Flour has 12..x % while All Purpose has 11.x %.


Bionic Burgers

I heard this guy on the radio and rushed home to hit his website. He's got a good point. It's about fast food hamburgers that don't degrade over time. Really pretty scary when you think about it.

I've been looking for reasons to stop taking the kids, but their playgrounds and Kid Meals seem to win most of the time. Especially on cold winter rainy days when you can't get them to the park. Luckily they're more interested in playing then eating.

Lifespan of Lunch Meat and Leftovers

I may be over cautious but I put a strict 3 day limit on lunch meat and leftovers. Incidence of stomach trouble has dropped dramatically in the family. But I am curious how long do most people keep stuff (not talking about cheeses, fruits and veggies or bottle sauces). Focusing on that 1/2 pound of shaved turkey, the opened package of sliced smoked ham, the half eaten meatloaf, the chicken parmesan cooked last night etc. etc.

Thanks - comments ?

Bar Americain vs Mesa c/o Bobby Flay

Ok so I'm a Texan who was in NY for business few weeks ago. Lucky enough to have found an okay hotel room on 43rd for less than a million dollars.. :o)

My objective for the evening was to eat at one of Bobby Flays restaurants. So I ended up at Bar Americain. Atmosphere was great - food was good. Not sure though I got the full Bobby Flay experience. So it will always sit on my mind that I should've gone to Mesa.

Any comments from those in the know up there ?

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