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melissalara01

Los Angeles: We Love the Huitlacoche Tacos at CaCao Mexicatessen

had never tried huitlacoche prior to having huitlacoche tamales at Frontera in Chicago. Not being a mushroom person, I was surprised to find out that "corn mushrooms" are apparently my thing. LOVE it! Will definitely give these tacos a try (once they get beer)

A Premium Burger at 25 Degrees in Hollywood, California

My S.O. and I were staying at the Roosevelt for a birthday party. We wanted to watch the basketball game and have a little something to eat prior to the party, so we sought out what ended up being this fine gem of a restaurant. I have to recommend the Tuna Burger. I am not a huge fan of non-burger, burgers. But this is the exception. Get it just as it comes, and do make sure to get those onion rings.
We stayed 3 nights, and had 25 degrees 4 times....if that says anything! ;-)

Best Fast Food Ice Cream and Milkshakes

Wendy's frosties, Blizzards from DQ, Rootbeer floats from A&W, and if you can find it...Fosters Freeze, dipped cones.
Well great...now I need a sweet treat! ;-)

With whom do you drink?

I think post-work cocktails on a Friday evening are probably my most enjoyed...
Although, followed by going out with the Mr. for cocktails with friends is a close second.

T-minus 4 hours until I can pop that cold bottle of bubbly that has been staring at me from the fridge all week. Ahhhhhhhh.....

what can i do with...

For under $50, you could get a foreman grill, and a single hot plate...thereby expanding your food preparation options tenfold. I'd invest in one or the other if you can't afford to do both. The grill is great for panini's, vegetables and any meats. If you got a more expensive version with the varied types of plate inserts your options would expand even more. Good Luck!! :-)

http://farrato.com/p/30067/Aroma%20AHP-303SB%20Single%20Hot%20Plate,%20Silver%20and%20Black-%252d%252d-0O001N2R53N99.html

http://www.target.com/p/George-Foreman-Champ-Grill-Black-36/-/A-12833820?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Froogle_df&LNM=|12833820&CPNG=appliances&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=12833820

Are you an onion crier?

Definitely a crier. I've found that putting a small fan on the counter next to where I am chopping definitely helps. There is also a vent for our heat/ac that blows down on top of my favorite chopping spot in the kitchen...this is how I discovered the fan idea!

Your next food project

@BF - funny!!!
I too fear the yeast monster...and am equally as discouraged because should it come out well, I can picture myself with butter knife in one hand, loaf of freshly baked bread in other hand and fifteen minutes later.....What bread??? ;-)
One of these days I'm going to tackle pizza dough though. I've just got to.

First time cooking for the SO

I'm with the others...simple is your best bet. Trying to do something fancy or out of the box is just unnecessary.
I'd say go with a whole roast chicken with roasted red potatoes and whatever his/your favorite vegetable is. Easy, simple, inexpensive...plus you'll have leftovers that he can take home! Feeding him 2x - BONUS points! ;-)
Good Luck!!

How Do You Like Your Mac n' Cheese?

@Lili13 - my mom always used cream cheese too!

My s.o.'s family totally uses the campbell's cheddar cheese soup...not my favorite.

Personally, I like to cook the noodles then toss them with some milk, butter, cheddar cheese and cream cheese. Then add everything into a baking dish, top with panko and dot with butter. Bake for about 30 mins. Nice crunchy top with silky cheesy noodles.

Weekend Cook and Tell: La Celebración de Cinco de Mayo

Punishable proceedures

Overcooking steak has got to be the worst. I do not think that a prime cut of beef should resemble or taste anything like cowboy boots.
--punishment...? Eating said cowboy boots.

I also have a thing with ketchup - it is just a personal thing, but I'm not a big fan. But when I watch people douse their food...of all sorts...from burgers to grilled cheese and even vegetables...it just grosses me out.
Personal story - I worked at a very upscale Steakhouse for a couple years and we actually had customers ask for ketchup for their steaks! I wanted to smack them upside the head (though that would've gotten me fired for sure)! I mean you just paid $50 for a steak...now you want to smother it in KETCHUP!?!?!
Punishment - sitting at the kids table b/c clearly you still are one ;-)

First Bacon, now Eggs.

@LizR - thank you for getting it. Clearly I must be much more specific here.

Yes, I mean in America. Yes, I do understand that eggs are not some newfangled discovery that are appearing on menus suddenly.

No, I don't think that comparing olive oil to a poached egg on top of a burger is the same thing AT ALL.

No, I'm not passing judgement on anyone for eating said egg any which way the please.

Again - simply noting that in America, on American menus, I have noticed that adding an egg to something seems to be much more prevalent recently than it has been in the past.

Goodness, never realized people were so passionate about their eggs. Please, continue to eat to your eggstreme satisfaction :-)

First Bacon, now Eggs.

@AnnieNT - wow, someone sure is sensitive about their eggs! Yes, I am exaggerating, and obviously yes, you can request items WITHOUT an egg...the point is that "topped with an egg" is becoming a very popular add-on in many restaurants. Sheesh, no need to get so defensive of eggs. No one will stop you from getting to your eggs and using them however you please.

21+ Ways to Upgrade Your Grilled Cheese

@boobird, I thought I was the only one! My s.o. thinks it's crazy...we can't all be perfect, right?? ;-)

Do you discriminate or are you indiscriminate?

@cyberroo - I think we may be long-lost sisters! ;-) My sentiments EXACTLY!

Wine tasting picnic ideas

Cheese, crackers (or baguette), apples or pears, and chocolates. We usually take some salami as well. This way everyone can choose what they want. I.E. - cheese & pears, cracker & cheese, chocolate & pear, etc. If you get a few small chunks of cheese, it won't be too expensive :-) Happy Tasting!

Do I need pickle rehab?

@sobriquet - I just cut up the squash into rounds (used yellow & green), then used a bread & butter recipe & made pickles. I added a sliced jalapeno to a couple of jars for some heat. Those ones ended up being my favorite. I was out of cucumbers and thought it would work out ok, turns out...I was right! ;-)

Do I need pickle rehab?

My pickled companions include:
hot & spicy pickles
bread & butter pickles
garlic dill pickles
capers
pickled ginger
pickled asparagus
kimchi
pickled squash (made from last years garden bounty)
pickled onions
pickled jalapenos
pickled beets
every shape, size, color & stuffing variety of olive

Alright...let's not get too crazy. You won't find me with a pigs foot anytime soon...but I think it is pretty safe to say - if it comes in a brine - Let it be mine! ;-)

I'll raise my claussen pickle spear to you! CinCin my fellow vinegar-ites! ;-)

21+ Ways to Upgrade Your Grilled Cheese

One of my all time comfort foods is grilled cheese with tomato soup.

My mom always put butter the outside of the bread, then spread a THIN layer of "Miracle Whip" on the inside. And always with sharp cheddar cheese.

I still make it mom's way...And while I do not care for mayonnaise, I totally buy a jar of miracle whip at the store just for this particular use. LOL

Recommendations for Downtown SF plz

You're right next to Swan Oyster Depot. Oysters obviously...but chowder, crab, smoked salmon...I really don't think you can go wrong.

Also right near Freddie's sandwiches...quite good and an easy lunch.

Just off the top of my head. Have a great trip! Oh and just so you are aware, public transportation is very easy and cost effective in SF. I'm sure your hotel will be happy to assist you with the basics. Just something to keep in mind in case you care to venture out of that general neighborhood.

Best Bread pairing for Barbeque?

I think it depends on what kind of barbecue you are having. Grilled sourdough garlic & herb bread is always a hit with steaks, tri-tip, etc. Otherwise I agree with @Saria about the cornbread. Here are a couple links for each...

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-garlic-herb-bread

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cheddar-Corn-Muffins-with-Jalapeno-Butter-356109

What's Your Hangover Cure?

Night of...just try to get some water down before sleeping (aka passing out)....
Next day: First wake up & take an airborne tablet. Then, when you're ready...original coca-cola, in a can. Yes, the CAN is very important...it tastes different & the bubbles are better.
Foodwise...not usually into breakfast, but when hunger strikes - find me an in-n-out cheeseburger w/ fries. OR if I'm feeling REALLY terrible...Hot & Sour soup from the Chinese joint.
I don't take any medicine (advil, etc.) b/c I figure I've tortured my organs enough for the time being.

Pistachio Cupcake Recipe from scratch?

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pistachio-Cake-241050


Haven't tried this out myself...but the reviews look good! Are you just against using white cake mix? Or is it for allergy reasons? Just wondering....because I saw a recipe from PioneerWoman that looked delicious too (but used cake mix). Good luck!

Going to SF for a week, need suggestions!

Oola - watermelon cosmopolitan's (or any specialty drink is pretty darn good!)

Zero Zero - delicious pizza and apps...right down the street from Oola

If you're looking to do the Mission Street mexican thing...they offer food tours that are pretty cool. There is one for Chinatown too, I believe. Kind of a fun way to get in a bunch of tastings :-)

Definitely go to the Ferry building...Saturdays are packed, just a heads up.

Sears Cafe, right next to Union Square has amazing breakfast/brunch. There is usually a line (a good sign) but it moves pretty quickly.

Have a great trip!!

Making pizza at home: what do you like on them?

A couple of our favorites:
chicken, bacon, spinach with provolone & garlicky white sauce.
Pepperoni, ital sausage crumble & canandian bacon slices with mozz & marinara.
chicken, smoked gouda, bacon & fig jam (more like flatbread...but so good)

Be creative...if it tastes good on bread...it just might taste good on pizza! (minus burgers...don't mix pizza & burgers!)

First Bacon, now Eggs.

So I'm sure that there will be a bombardment of disagreement here, but somebody has got to be with me on this one...
It seems the latest food "trend" is to put an egg on it. And by "it", I mean freakin' everything.
I like eggs just as much as the next gal, but just as the everything with bacon trend wore me out, now the eggs are wearing on me too.
I mean is it too much to ask to have a burger or pizza or a darn sandwich, without an egg OR bacon??
What happened to simplicity?
Ok, ok...let the onslaught of "I love eggs on..." begin! ;-)

Homemade fresh pasta....HELP!

Being the non-traditional, rebellious little lady I am, I have decided that I would like to spend my Labor Day holiday making fresh pasta.
Now I know the rest of you will be out flipping burgers, steaks, ribs, etc. But, I live in California...so we can kind of BBQ year-round (not trying to rub it in).
I haven't ever made fresh pasta before. But, I inherited my mom's Kitchenaid mixer with every pasta attachment imaginable, so I think I would like to give it a try. I was picturing lasagna, as that seems simple enough...but am open to all suggestions.
A few things:
1. What are the easiest pastas to make? Since I am a beginner...lets keep this simple.
2. pasta dough recipes?
3. Any tips?
4. best recipes for using fresh pasta?
5. can you freeze fresh pasta?
6. What do you do if you have extra pasta?

Dinner Rut......

Do you ever find yourself in a food rut? With the economy keeping our grocery budget tight, I have been finding it harder to come up with new, tasty & different dinner ideas.

So - the big question: Do you have any ideas on how to change up the ol' menu...while keeping to a budget?

(Mind you, the s/o is a bit of a meat-a-tarian. So no, going all veggie just isn't going to work. He doesn't exclude vegetables, but they must accompany meat.)

I step on my tiny little soapbox 4(th) a second....

I've been getting rather annoyed over this last week. More and more I am noticing peoples comments and reviews on various recipes (this website, and many others)...and it seems all they can talk about is how "unhealthy" something is... "oh that is so fattening"..."Oh I could never eat THAT"...well you know what?! Nobody asked YOU to eat it, make it, or review it!
With the upcoming holiday weekend, I was looking for a few good recipes to take to the bbq we are attending, and I just keep noticing how many people are such debbie-downers!
I say...All things in moderation! I for one am going to thoroughly enjoy my 3-day weekend...fat-filled potato salad, hotdog & all!
Enjoy your carrot & cucumber stix party pooper! :-P

July 4th sides, desserts & fun!

So this Sunday, we are attending a July 4th pool party (yes, we know it's on the 3rd)...the hosts will be bbq'ing all the standards. The guests have been asked to BYOB & a side dish.
I haven't been able to make up my mind about potato salad, pasta salad, or my famous lentil salad (stolen & modified from foodnetwork).
Also, I just love cupcakes & thought it might be fun to make some cutesy themed 4th of July cupcakes. There will be about 20 of us...so certainly not anything I can't handle! ;-)

So...what are you going to bring to your 4th of July parties?

Any fabulous recipes I should look at before making my final decision on what to bring?

Mini Vacay to LALA land....

Heading out to Santa Monica/LA for a 4-day getaway with the b/f. We are going to a Dodger game Friday night & have a party to go to on Saturday night....anything we must do...or EAT while we're in the Santa Monica area?
He is from LA...so no touristy stuff please :-))

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