• Last bite on earth: Gooey, stinky, runny cheese!

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The curious minds of children.

When I was a child, my neighbor snacked of uncooked pasta. The crackling sound was enticing to me so I joined in. It was our favorite snack that summer, we'd eat a box of spaghetti a week. Potato chips seemed so yesterday.

The one food you are SICK of this summer....

Sorry, LOVE everything that's summer.
WAIT... come to think of it, I love things that are seasonal.

BUT, forget it. GRILLING?!

I grew up in Calif. North Bay and grilled on our deck in the backyard everyday (even breakfast), but now I'm grill-less. So I hate (with green envy) any and all discussions about grilling and BBQ.

That includes even the seasonal grilling of summer's best meats (abalone) , vegies (sweet corn) and even fruits (pineapple). Curse you all with outdoor grill access!

what's your new thing?


Add them in all salads, soups and stews - even many sauces. Great thickening agent, avoiding the usual starches like flour or potatoes. And really soaks in the flavors as well as adding a nice mouth-feel.

Of course, even as a main ingredient too. Plus they're inexpensive.

learning to like beets?

I understand your reluctance, yet applaude you fortitiude.

My conversion to beeets was (foil-wrapped, oven roasted fresh beets w/olive oil + fennel + sprinkle rock salt) peeled then tossed in light vinegarete w/ goat cheese on top of mixed green salad and crispy bacon. I didn't need the bacon, but the salty, sharp goat cheese and the sweet beet root contrast was delightful. The fennel may be strong, but it's a good match to the cheese, if you'd prefer the crunch may be found in celery or cucumber (both are good for summer) or maybe you'd prefer colorful bell peppers.

Oh and BTW have you ever seen the candy-stripe-beet? It's a beauty, (roasted in pasta or salad dishes) enough to over come any previous fears.

When does bulb garlic go bad?

Really, garlic, like ginger, potatoes or onions should never be in the fridge. Think about where they come from. Oh and also apples store better out of the chill box.
But when garlic sprouts, use the sprouted greens. Mince and add as a flavor as well as color or crunch (esp stir fry). If the bulb parts aren't too leathery you can still use the inner bulbs in soups or stews.
Also, you can use the sprouted garlic in your garden, for the brownest thumb to produce the best garlic you've ever had.

OIAJ: Oatmeal in a (Peanut Butter) Jar

Love PB in oatmeal (I also add a few pieces of chocolate) Yumm.
Also I sometimes add a dollop of PB in warm milk - almost a PB soup.
Very good when I can't sleep at night.

Weekend Giveaway: 'United Cakes of America'

Been out of the States for 28 years.
Seen lotsa desserts, but no Rubarb/Strawberry Pie,
nor a Cheddar Cheese slice on an Apple Pie.
All sorts of American Pies and cakes are available in nasty
copies, but fundamentally these are always missing.

Tough, flavorless beef. What to do?

Braising sounds good, but this meat is TOTALLY fatless. How can I add that "umph!"? Like we all know fat is flavor.
Straganoff has sour cream, so that's a idea, but I haven't found any sour cream at the local market.
Fajitas - perhaps that's the way to go...
But what anything else?
The challenge is that there is a lot of beef here and there are 3 meals to a day and 7 days a week.
Please, more ideas.
I know that SE readers are good.

Hush, hush. Do I have to smuggle fresh food?

I live in Tokyo, Japan these days and the durian availability is only found in dried chip-like snacks that are disappointedly bland and salty. No ice creams or other things. So I guess I'm out of luck there.
I can't find cilantro (or livable corriander seeds) in Japan either. Although I can occasionally but very stingy and expensive cilantro leaves.
Is there a paste recipe, or maybe on oil marinade recipe that will help me keep the cilantro fresh and safe for transport?

Hush, hush. Do I have to smuggle fresh food?

OK, I know about the bugs.
Other than just washing and drowning the cilantro (which I know may not be enough) what kind of prep can I do?
Making a paste, sauce, or heating?

Favorite Potato Chips?

Zap's! Dill pickle! I've sadly never encountered them.
But, alas...I'm a traditionalist when it comes to chips. Simply salted.
Yet there was a moment when I was tempted by salt and vinegar flavor.
Now, have you ever been through Asia? Wierd flavors that should never be touched: Cool cucumber, Cherryblossom, "Ume boshi"(sour dried plum), Soy/mayo, Consomme... the list goes on and is supplemented regualrly with a kaliedescope of pretty and colorful packages. Beware!

How do you avoid buying too much food so you don't waste it?

I live alone, yet have a passion, therefore a weakness for food. Shopping for for food or eating at a restaurant often poses a left-over or over-extention of greed for me.
In restaurants, I just pig for hours. No help there. My freezer is also filled like a Disneyland treasure chest of goodies.
In a market with carts, I never use a cart. This is so I can actually feel the weight of too much purchasing.
Also, if it's a shopping day at a un-negotionable volume, discount or wholesale market, I go with or for freinds. So we can pool our money and divide purchases later. This is also great for cooking ideas and for trying new food.

What's Your Favorite Topping for Ice Cream?

Is this weird? -Kosher salt.
Good crunch!
Also warm and dribbly honey with toasted pistachios or pine nuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon - exotic!

Need advice for a simple, but tasty buffet

Re. Hand rolled sushi:
Oh I forgot, this is so cheap, you may want to step it up with the "real" raw stuff. If you do, set it up on plates of ice covered by clean leaves (so as not to water log the fish) or wax paper decorated with flowers or just flower petals.

Need advice for a simple, but tasty buffet

I've gone Asian for a serious party buffet once. It was easy, cheap and a conversational hit.
"Te Maki Sushi" (Hand rolled sushi) They do their own choosing and rolling.
You'll need a lot of sushi riceand "Nori"(dried seaweed leaves), though.
Guests place rice in the corner of the "Nori" then add a little filling of their choice (you can opt for less expensive stuff) and roll it into a cone shape, dip in a sauce walk around or eat!
Inexpensive fillings: Tuna salad, scramble egg, cucumbers, avocado, ground meat, Krab sticks, cream cheese,etc.
Additions: Mayo, seasame seeds, crushed nuts, and so on.
Dipping sauces: Wasabi/soy sauce, mayo/soy sauce, peanut butter/soy sauce, tocasco, even salad dressings, or bbq sauce.
All is prepared ahead and needs no heating. This fills a corner of a buffet and requires no intensive maintenance.

Seoul. Wish I could take the spice!

Sounds like I'll have a Seoul satisfying stomach trip, with no fears.
Thank you all! Wish you could join me.

when no one is looking

What a topic! Such a great headline! Hook line and sinker!
For me, alone is my norm. Nutrition is my form, but when endulgence calls, its got to be: halved, pitted avocados sprinkled with sugar - warm, soft boiled eggs with wheat toast or asparagus for dipping with corase salt - can of smoked oysters - thickly buttered english muffins! Heaven! Wish you could join me.

Canned Salmon - How do you use yours?

In Japan there are cans of salmon that are all bones and little to no meat! That's how edible the bones are cooked in the cans. A slight toothsome quality that is much appreciated for taste and calcium, I guess.
I find that adding olives bring a similar texture to "cover" the bony bits. And a bit of lemon or hot sauce offsets that cat food smell of the skin.
Otherwise, I've included canned salmon in potato salads, pasta sauces, and of course patties. The bone and skin can add flavor and texture (if not a bit too much). Also, fresh herbs can add alot to distract from the "cat food" smell.

What's Your Favorite Topping for Ice Cream?

1) Ground Coffee
2) Pretzels
3) Balsamic Vinegar
4) Fresh fruit
5) Corn flakes

Seoul. Wish I could take the spice!

Oh, I'm soooo looking foraward to explore Seoul Cuisines now.
One more question, "Sudae" - the blood sausage.
I deeply love the 'nasty bits", pork knuckles, ears, etc. Is sundae spicy or no?
Where can I give it a go?

Seoul. Wish I could take the spice!

Thanks for alot of wonderful sounding suggestions. I can't wait to eat my way through Seoul.
Another thought, Where can I find the great food? Street food stalls? Restaurants? Markets?

Seoul. Wish I could take the spice!

myinnerfatty: is that alcohol? Sorry, can't imbibe.

Cooking in Shanghai- Recipe suggestions?

When I'm in Shanghai I find the meats very flavorful and delisious. Whereas the seafodd can be a little muddy. And although I'm a big dairy person, I try to keep it simple with the Chinese dairy.
So I usually go BBQ with all the fixin's!
Good beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck and turkey are to be had at almost any supermarket. Even rabbit, if you go to the open air markets.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes,carrots, cabbage, cucumbers for all the sides are always fresh and reasonably priced. But the mayo sold in Shanghai is very sweet, so I do the vinegary cole slaw and the German-style potato salad.
Then my special thing is brown sugar glazed BBQ pineapple!
Have fun. The markets there are a blast to explore. "Fancy" western food is getting popular there, so I'd keep it simple so as not to over-extend yourstress level or your relatives palate.


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