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mainegirl

Cook the Book: 'The Essential New York Times Cookbook'

I tend to rotate through cookbooks. Currently, In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark is getting a lot of mileage in my kitchen.

I'm addicted to Peanut Butter! Anyone else a Food Addict?

@seriousb, are you kidding? *Only* a "a single jar of peanut butter"? I certainly have gone through phases when I liked to eat the same thing, but a whole jar of peanut butter every day? That's something like 3,000 calories worth of peanut butter.

@mn21485, are you eating anything else? I'd try taking a break from p-butter altogether.

Pomegranate Molasses...

Cucumber Overload

@Rozenjoze - Yes, I am in Maine! Thanks for the link to your cucumber discussion - I had missed it.

@VerySmallAnna - Good suggestion! I actually just made some cucumber-melon juice. mmm

Thanks for the other great suggestions. After reading the gazpacho recommendations, I found a recipe for a cold cucumber-yogurt soup that I will try out tonight.

I work from home, so no co-workers to pass them off to, but I may be knocking on some neighbors doors this afternoon.

Saturday or Sunday lunch in Portland Maine

I'd recommend (in addition to the Sapporo, Flatbread and Green Elephant recs above) el Rayo Taqueria on York Street. So, so good. Norm's East End Grill is good for barbecue. And Local 188 on Congress St is another favorite.

Leftover mashed potato ideas?

Wow, so many great suggestions! Now they're two-day-old leftover potatoes, but I think I'll try the mashed potato quesadillas tonight since it is Cinco de Mayo. We'll probably have enough for something else too...pastelón..pancakes...so many good ideas. Thanks!

The Best Bagels in Maine? They're at 158 Pickett Street Cafe

@jbuttitta~ there's no way Bagel Central even compares. their bagels are too soft and sweet...

How to cook a steak.

Thanks for the advice...definitely wouldn't have known to let it rest at room temp first. (Also, I looked again, and it's probably a little over an inch thick. I do believe it's grass fed.)

Spring Parsnip Recipes, Please

hmm, looks like the link didn't work: http://sproutedkitchen.com/?p=918

Spring Parsnip Recipes, Please

Also, just found this recipe for Roasted Parmesan Parsnips

Spring Parsnip Recipes, Please

Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone! Deciding between a parsnip-and-apple soup or one of the mashes/purees above to try first.

@cajunnan- I never would have thought to make a parsnip cake, sounds amazing!

Quinoa for Passover

I tried this recipe from Food52 for quinoa and kale pilaf recently: link

Dinner theme: Childhood Classics for Grown Ups!?

Going with the milk and cookies idea...
homemade Oreos (http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/05/my-kingdom-for-a-glass-of-milk/) or homemade fig newtons (http://wednesdaychef.typepad.com/the_wednesday_chef/2008/02/sherry-yards-fi.html) - so good!

or

homemade Hostess cake (http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/02/homemade-devil-dog-ding-dong-or-hostess-cake/)

*you'll have to copy and paste the links - sorry!*

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

typo above: desserts should be deserts. so glad desserts aren't going to be banned!

Le Creuset: Which to get- round or oval, 5 qt or higher?

I have a round 5.5 quart (Caribbean blue) one and it's the most used item in our kitchen. It's the perfect size for everyday cooking, I think. I wouldn't go any smaller.

Haunting your cupboard: that fancy ingredient you only used once

Pomegranate molasses. I bought a bottle for a Muhammara recipe (yum), but haven't used it since. Any ideas?

(Also, smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices. So good on roasted tomatoes, in lentil soup and in tomato-y fish stew.)

DVD Giveaway: Food, Inc.

My husband and I frequent our local farmer's market in the summer and fall, and we also try to can/freeze and grow at least some of our own food, with the small amount of land and space that we have to work with. We also only eat meats produced locally (which really cuts down our meat consumption), and buy eggs from a local farmer.

Is dating a picky eater a dealbreaker for anyone?!

I think if you were really crazy about this person, his food habits wouldn't bother you as much. And, vice-versa, he would make an attempt to be more adventurous.

My husband was a picky eater when we first started dating. Over time, he's broadened his horizons food-wise, and I save the things he really won't eat to savor when I'm having a meal without him. A good compromise, I think.

Kiss the Cook!! What's for dinner Thursday Oct. 29th?

spinach quiche (smitten kitchen recipe) with a side of roasted delicata squash, and a few squares of sea salted chocolate for dessert.

Serious Chocolate: Rice Krispie Spider Treats

hmm, I don't think the recipe matches the photo here. Cute though...

Chris Kimball's NY Times Editorial

@HeartofGlass, I think you're missing the point. It's not that blogs are "bad" or "vile", it's that there is such a glut of mediocre blogs out there that its completely uninspiring. I don't think it's "anti-blog snobbery". There are some great food blogs, but just because someone can write a food blog doesn't make them an expert on food and cooking. And yes, there are many bad cookbooks out there, but it's much easier to write a blog than a cookbook, which makes so so blogs even more prevalent.

Chris Kimball's NY Times Editorial

Honestly, I think Chris Kimball makes some good points. Sorry folks. The internet is swimming with food bloggers making the same recipes (not even their own recipes, for the most part) over and over and over again. Aside from a few standouts, most of these blogs are mediocre at best. Anyone can start a blog, a fact that is painfully obvious if you take a look at most food blogs out there. I think experience and expertise should be valued.

Also, gossiping "about what Kimball is like in real life" is just obnoxious.

Potluck Help: Traveling with and Reheating Food?

Thanks for the great (and reasonable) advice everyone. I think I'll reheat in the microwave when I arrive to play it safe.

(Also, thanks to the SE folks who fixed my spelling error and reformatted my question before posting it. You people rock!)

Caramels without corn syrup. Possible?

@SqueezeBottle, I avoid corn syrup for several reasons, personal and political. But, I'd prefer to stick to talking about caramel recipes here.

Caramels without corn syrup. Possible?

Thanks everyone! These are great ideas - I knew SE folks could help out with this one. The Chez Pim recipe looks especially delicious.

Cucumber Overload

I planted too many cucumbers this year, and we just cannot keep up. I have made a couple batches of pickles with our pickling cucumbers. But, we still have a basket of about 15 large slicing cucumbers in our kitchen right now, with many more on the way. Any recipes/ideas for using these up?

Leftover mashed potato ideas?

My husband was a little overzealous when he made garlic mashed potatoes to go with last night's dinner. We have a huge amount leftover. Any interesting recipe ideas for using them up?

How to cook a steak.

Because I was a vegetarian for many years, cooking meat is not my forte. Now that I eat (and love) meat, I tend to buy things that are more difficult to ruin (chicken thighs, ground beef/lamb) and steer clear of expensive cuts. But, I just bought a sirloin strip steak from a local farm and would like to do it justice. It's about a pound, and 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" thick. Any suggestions? Unfortunately, our grill is out of commission - so oven and stove top are the only options. (Thanks in advance!)

Spring Parsnip Recipes, Please

Yesterday I dug a huge pile of sweet spring parsnips from our garden. This is the first time I've grown them, and my husband is not a huge fan but I'd like to convince him of how delicious they can be. Any suggestions for interesting and delicious parsnip recipes?

Potluck Help: Traveling with and Reheating Food?

I'm headed to an office potluck tomorrow, and I volunteered to bring turkey chili. The problem is, I actually have to travel 2.5 hours to get to the party (I work from home most days) and I'm not sure how to deal with keeping the food safe.

I thought I would just reheat the chili in my crockpot (which I have never used before) but the instructions say not to reheat food in it because it takes too long (is this true?).

So, would it be unsafe to heat the chili before leaving my house in the morning, and then wrap the pot in a bunch of towels to hold the heat in? The other option is to keep the chili cold for my drive, and then reheat it in small batches in our small office microwave. Either way, I would then keep it warm in the crockpot. Any suggestions?

Caramels without corn syrup. Possible?

I am hoping to make some caramel candies to send out with my holiday cookies this year. Problem is, I'd like to avoid corn syrup. Does anyone out there have a recipe for caramels that doesn't involve corn syrup? Is it even possible to make them without it?

fish soup recipes?

Not too long ago, I ate a tomato-based fish soup at a favorite restaurant. It was a Spanish-style soup and I believe had some smoked paprika/and or saffron in it. Anyone have a good recipe for a soup along these lines?

French picnic food ideas/recipes?

I am going to a potluck party, and the theme is "French Picnic". I have been asked to bring some sort of hearty salad - all I can think of is a french lentil salad. Any thoughts/ideas/recipes for "french" picnic salads?

How to store champagne?

My husband and I received a bottle of 1998 Dom Perignon on our wedding day in September. Things have been a little busy since then, and I just realized that the bottle has just been sitting in our fridge for the past couple months. We would like to open it on our first anniversary, but I'm not sure how to store it until then. I've been told that the basement might be the best place, but can it go from the fridge to basement? I'm clearly a novice when it comes to champagne. any thoughts?

Pressure cookers....do you use one?

We just received a Fagor Duo 8-quart pressure cooker as a wedding present. I have never used a pressure cooker and I have only seen the old-school models in use - steaming, spitting, and rattling on the kitchen stove. But, I am excited to give this one a try. Do you use a pressure cooker? If so, what's your favorite thing to make with it??

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