Stay at home Mommy. Love to I cook. A lot.

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  • Location: Pacific Northwest
  • Favorite foods: Scallops, Grandma's blackberry cobbler and a really great bleu cheese dressed salad.
  • Last bite on earth: Rhubarb crisp

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Thai Curry Fish Custard With a Twist at Noodle Boat Near Seattle

Hubs and I ended up here tonight, after our first choice was closed and our second choice had completely shut up shop. It wasn't until we passed this place, cruising down Gilman, that I remembered your review. We turned around, and I'm so glad we did! We had the green curry, and the Banana Queen. Both dishes were incredible. We will definitely be back!

Karaoke, Cosplay, and Excellent Hot Pot at Twilight 7 Near Seattle

Absolutely loving all these local (to me) haunts! (We followed your recommendation and hit up Noodle Boat tonight. AMAZING. We'll have to try this place next!)
According to my (Chinese) mother in law, tomorrow marks a big festival in China - the arrival of winter! It is completely appropriate to celebrate with a large "hot pot" meal, so this review is especially timely!

NYC To Launch Citywide Compost Program

I live in a suburb near Seattle, and we have had curbside compost pick up for a few years. LOVE it. We have a really comprehensive trash program here. Tons of things can be recycled, and we can put food scraps, chicken bones, greasy pizza boxes and paper bags full of scraps out with our yard waste. My garbage can is tiny, and only has diapers and plastic wrappers in it.

Reality Check: We Try the New Premium McWrap from McDonald's

My guilty admission of the day - I eat one of these every week or so. My kids love McDonald's, and it's the easiest thing to grab on the way to the park. I get the sweet chili, or the bacon, without any of the mayo/garlic sauce, or shredded cheese. (Dairy issues around here.) Anyhow, it's decent, and I don't feel too crummy afterwards. A huge white tortilla is never going to be health food, but it hits the spot. I've noticed that the quality swings wildly from franchise to franchise. Our local spot does a great job, but one a few miles down the road was positively gag-inducing. Weird, given that McD's whole schtick is uniformity.

Little Debbie-Style Christmas Tree Cakes

Ok, so excited to try this...mostly to try the glaze, though. How close is it to the chewy glaze of the original???

rhubarb razzberry jam

Large scale jam recipes are tricky, because they just don't evaporate and cook the same way as small batches. Try a freezer jam recipe? (Also, try searching for rhubarb and RASPBERRY recipes. Different spelling, might give different results. Unless I'm an idiot, and a razzberry is an entirely different thing. Very possible...haha)

What to do with leftover chocolate glaze?

Step 1. Get a friend.
Step 2. Turn on your favorite flick.
Step 3. Get out two spoons and dive in. No regrets. ;-)

Other than that, I bet it would be killer in a milkshake!

A Big Big Bag of Spinach

One great thing about those bags? THEY FREEZE. Unless you plan on eating the spinach raw, just chuck the whole bag in the freezer and pull out what you need. Throw it in a saute, or chuck it into a smoothie. Unless your freezer has a leak and is really humid, the leaves won't stick to each other. Bonus? No more chopping. Just crumble it up by hand. haha

Nutrition Counts - where to find?

I use an app called My Fitness Pal - it has calorie counts for most ingredients in an American kitchen, and the ability to save recipes with their calorie counts. You can either save them publicly, with the recipe shared, or save them on your private account. I make my own bread, so it's really helpful to put in all the ingredients and know the info per slice. (My Fitness Pal is also a free website, if that is easier.)

Open Thread: What's Your Favorite Chinese Takeout Order?

My husband is from Hong Kong, and my mother in law is an EXCELLENT cook. However, when I find myself out for Chinese food without my "chaperones"...I get pretty much any deep fried chicken smothered in neon sauce I can find. Lemon, Orange, General Tso's...doesn't matter. It takes me back to the greasy all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets my grandma took me to as a child. A little fried wonton skin in my hot and sour soup, and I'm a happy camper. (As I type this, my husband is reading over my shoulder and choking back protests. I never said this stuff was Chinese! I only said it was tasty. ;-) If you get a chance, get someone from HK sometime to tell you about the pizzas available in Pizza Hut there. Thousand Island dressing and baby squid anyone?)

No-Waste Tacos de Carnitas With Salsa Verde

I'm going to add this comment, and completely destroy my street cred.
IF you decide to ignore Kenji's awesome oven method, and IF you decide to make this in something like a Ninja or a Cuisinart's a few tips:
DON'T throw your roast into the cooker, set it for 250, and congratulate yourself on saving energy. Your sauce will reduce in a matter of minutes and become a layer of char on the bottom of the pot. Anything other than a slow cooker setting on low for 10 hours will require babysitting.

DON'T not cut the meat into cubes. Otherwise it will be absolutely flavorless.

You're welcome. (And, after a few bad scares, dinner is finally served. And it's delicious. *phew*!)

A Guide to the Art of the Tim Tam Slam

Hello! Sister of myrnie_twin here. ;-) I wish I could finf a video of the handless tim-tam slam..but its awesome. Hold the cookie-straw in your lips and suck up your hot chocolate. Just before the cookie falls apart, throw your head back and toss the whole cookie down the hatch. It adds a bit of a game of chicken. If you wait too long, your cookie ends up a soggy mess in the bottom of your mug. Too early, and you can't fit the whole cookie in your mouth. Give it a try! (For added drama, freeze the cookies first. Fire and ice. ;-))

The Worst Fast Food of 2012

I was actually surprised the McD's Southern Chicken Sandwich didn't make the list. The last time I was that disappointed at a McD's was 6 years ago in Hong Kong, when I ordered the Faan-tastic. (Faan meaning "rice" in Cantonese".) I don't remember what was inside, but the "bun" was made of flavorless rice, pressed into a patty. The Southern sandwich was nearly as bland - white squishy bun, a few pickles, and a piece of fried chicken. Not even mayo to lube things up. I didn't see anything southern about it...maybe if they had fried the pickles?

The Worst Fast Food of 2012

I'm so sad the Panera turkey cranberry sandwich made the Worst list. I had one (in Bellevue, WA) that was just awesome. Yeah, it wasn't stuffed as full as the picture, but the elements were all there, and it was balanced. It disappeared from the menu almost immediately. (Full disclosure - I'm nearly 9 months pregnant, and anything tart and/or fruity is automatically going to get a thumbs up from me.)

Regional Chinese Cuisine in New York

I've been to Xian and Shanghai. Xian is big on wheat, not rice. Think dumplings and noodles. I also had the most amazing leg of lamb there - I ate so much, I was sick for days...but it was worth it! I'm sorry I'm not more specific - it was about 6 years ago, and I was pregnant at the time. Most of the trip is a blur. ;-) Try to check out Wa Shan while you're there. It's a huge mountain that is one. solid. rock. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. GORGEOUS.

If your'e in New York, head up to Flushing. There's a food court there in one of the malls (Golden Mall?) with awesome regional food. SPICY, but really, really tasty.

Where to eat/what to do in Portland and Seattle

My tastes run rather low-brow, but I'm a Seattle native. Sea Star, in downtown Bellevue, is a great place for dinner or lunch (their sushi is tasty, and their white chocolate coconut cream pie is famous!). If you want a bit of a jaunt, head up to Bellingham and go to Mallard's for some ice cream. Any ice cream. It's all good, and it's all really unique! (vanilla, chocolate...pepper...basil...port...the list goes on and on.) Make sure you take in the scenery when you are here!! Head up to Alki Beach, and get some fish and chips with a view.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream?

Thank you! I've got a test batch in the freezer - I used my food processor to combine some cherry pie filling, crushed chocolate chips, vanilla and almond extract into my condensed milk. It tastes great - can't wait to try out the texture tonight!

Cook the Book: 'The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook'

It's silly, but I was always completely smitten with the food from the Mossflower series. Even after I thought about it. ( real life, "dandelion milk" does NOT sound tasty. But when it's part of a huge spread, full of nut cheeses and dense dark sounds delicious. Maybe that's just me. ;-))

How to Make Fresh Silken Tofu from Soy Milk

@ piccola - if you do a google search for "tofu fa" or "dau fu fa" you will come up with recipes that almost exclusively use store-bought soy milk. Good luck!!!

How to Make Fresh Silken Tofu from Soy Milk

About as well as your attempts. ;-) The soy milk coagulated as soon as the gypsum hit it, almost exactly like lemon juice in milk. Trying to salvage my time and effort, I dumped the curds into a tea-towel lined colander, and just let them drain. For hours. What I ended up with was very similar to tofu yogurt! It was thick and creamy, but absolutely nothing like the daufu fa my husband and I were looking forward to. haha

I'll have to find the Book of Tofu! You're right - making a brick of tofu seems fun, but not totally WOW. Now, making a tub of creamy, cool, spoonable tofu...sounds amazing. I will persevere! ;-)

How to Make Fresh Silken Tofu from Soy Milk

Will this work with gypsum?? I'm so excited!!

Fresh Silken Tofu

How did you know that I tried, three times, last week to make tofu??! Not just any tofu - dau fu fa, the pinnacle of hot weather treats on the streets of Hong Kong. This sounds so similar (except that dau fu fa uses gypsum powder...or is that the same as nigari??) Thanks for the recipe!!

Sliders and Ice cream sandwiches buffet - HELP!

@Teachertalk - yeah, I'm a little worried about other option, I suppose, is to be broiling sliders for two hours. I will go check out Kenji's post again - thanks! And, thank you for the reminder about how cold the dry ice will make my sandwiches!

@PoorOldMama - I've asked the mother of the bride if pulled pork sliders are an option. I'm waiting to hear back. She's out of town...and the reception is a week from Saturday. No pressure. ;-) Pulled pork would sure be a lot easier, though!! I could make them tableside, right from my crockpot! Easy...

Ice Cream Sandwiches: Cookie or Cake?

Wow - thanks everyone!! I ended up using this recipe:

It's a really nice compromise between a cookie, and a cake.

The batter is as thick as brownie batter, but you bake it in a half-sheet pan. It comes out just barely pliable (unless you overbake it, like I did the first time. Oops. Oh well - still tasty!) You make yourself, basically, a 12x18 cookie, cut it in half, spread it with ice cream, put it back together, and freeze. Then you use a long, sharp knife to cut it into pieces. It worked perfectly! The chocolate part doesn't get mushy, and it doesn't shatter. It's thin enough that the "cookie" part thaws almost immediately after removing it from the freezer, so you don't squish the ice cream out. Perfection! For the wedding, I will make sheets and sheets of these things, and decorate one of the cookies with hearts or the bride and grooms' initials before making my "sandwich." When it's time to serve, I will cut between all the decorations. (Kind of like a carrot cake?) Anyhow - thank you all SO much for your help!!

(I did try cutting out individual cookies out of the finished sheets, but after I put them into the freezer, sandwiched with ice cream, the ice cream seems to have melted out the sides. Better to freeze these in a huge piece - fewer edges to ooze!)

Ice Cream Sandwiches: Cookie or Cake?

Hrm. Cookies, eh? haha. Alright - what's your favorite recipe for a thin, crispy chocolate cookie?


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