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violarulz/ducksandbooks

my husband keeps me from killing the patio pots garden. I love all vegetarian foods I'm not allergic to (minus bell peppers, yuck). When not cooking, reading, or thinking about food I am a violist with a legal admin day job.

  • Website
  • Location: Rockville, MD
  • Favorite foods: Thai, vegetarian pho, anything curry/Indian, pizza, ice cream, sushi, Italian, Middle Eastern, civiche, Dim Sum, Kosher meatstravaganzas
  • Last bite on earth: Tasty Bite's madras lentils with perfectly cooked basmati rice and my husband's saag (really Madhur Jaffrey's recipe but with browned butter and CSA greens).

Cook the Book: 'Joy of Kosher' by Jamie Geller

I was vegetarian for 14 years until I met my husband and he made me fried chicken for our third date (we met at Hillel, so he thought I just at vegetarian when eating out!). Now I have 4 sets of dishes, Vegetarian (not dairy), Meat (the nicer set, for shabbat), Passover Dairy, and Passover Meat. Younger Me would totally mock Now Me.

Have You Ever Tried an Opal Apple?

These were my favorite apples in February, then they disappeared from the store! I didn't realize they don't brown at the time, but looking back I remember that they didn't when I brought a friend apple slices when she was in the hospital. What a yummy pear-like apple!

Snack Attack: What's Your Favorite Snack Cake?

TastyKake Apple Pie, or Peach Pie, or French Apple Pie --AKA apple pie with raisins in it and frosting on top. They're even better heated up in the toaster oven (or, more authentically, forgotten on the back of a volvo station wagon in the summer on the way to swim team and eaten on the way home, all smooshy and hot).

The cake ones are always too sweet, I

Wake and Bake: Sesame Flatbreads with Salted Honey Butter

OMG, that looks so tasty! The first photo made me hungry for my afternoon snack an hour early (Sunbutter and apple slices)

We Try Knudsen's New Nature's Peak Vegetable Juice Blends

I'm excited to see (after checking their website) that the green juice doesn't have any citrus in it! I'm stupidly allergic to pineapple, oranges, and grapefruits, which makes it hard to find packaged green juices that aren't insanely expensive/freshly pressed -which are delicious, just pricey.

Serious Cheese: A Cheesemonger Tells All on Picking Favorites

what, no mention of Manchego? Was there a secret limitation to only cow cheeses and not sheep. Not that I don't love cow cheeses, but I'd rather have a REALLY good cheese toast than fondue any day. Or maybe I just love bread a little bit more than cheese....

What's the Weirdest Ice Cream Flavor You've Ever Tried?

purple ubi fruit in Thailand (I ordered it because it was purple and the picture on the sign was of a brown blob and not a berry, also to weird out my brother). It was delicious, now I seek it out at every SE Asian grocery I can!

We Eat All the Sandwiches at Potbelly

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Baking Steel

ricotta, fresh spinach, and anchovies. OR grilled eggplant on a plain NY slice.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Boozy Eggnog Cake

try cloves, they're holiday-y too

Ask the Critic: 'A 10-Year-Old Foodie's Quest of NYC'

a visit to Zabar's (food AND upstairs gadgets) and Sahadi's or some other welcoming ethnic grocery! SE's done profiles of a few. This kid needs an awesome grocery/deli experience with samples and ingredients they may not be able to get back home. Also: Shake Shack 'Shroom Burger, skip the fries and go for 'tots and a concrete (salted caramel is my favorite, but go nuts!). The best part about being a kid is that the caloric count of your meal never matters :)

Turkey Porchetta

YUM! I'm excited that this can easily be made kosher by using a kosher turkey breast, going easy on the salt, and subbing olive oil for the melted butter. This is going to be awesome!

The Food Lab Answers All of Your Thanksgiving Questions, 2013 Edition

RE: KOSHER BUTTER SUBSTITUTES, other than kosher schmaltz (in all it's tasty poultry variations) Earth Balance is, IMO, the least gross of the butter-like substitutes and is actually pretty good on a roll. Just don't expect it to melt and brown in the same way butter would in a pan and; and be sure read the company's recommendations for which of their products to use in what instance, they really do help.

Bake the Book: The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie

pumpkin donuts stuffed with cranberry jelly, for Thanksgivikkah!

Chinese Eggplant- how do they get it so silky?

is steaming what lets the eggplant stay purple too??? When mine is cooked through in the wok it's starting to get mushy and gone from purple to brown!

Ask the Critic: What Can I Bring to a Dinner Party?

In the summer, just showing up with a good watermelon to a potluck will earn you high praise (look for one that feels extra heavy and has a good yellow spot from where it ripened on the ground). Bonus if the potluck is at someone else's house: they probably already have a cutting board and knife you can use to carve it up, just ask ahead!

During the rest of the year any seasonal produce that can be eaten raw (just rinsed and served in a bowl or sliced and served on a plate). Cheese and a good bread are great low-key offerings too (check outZabar's AWESOME cheese counter and breads too).

Not into produce? Baked goods always go over well too, a package of treats from the prepared/packaged bulk stuff shelf at a good bakery can be a great potluck addition (I'm partial to mini palmiers AKA elephant ears, or cheese crisps/mini flat breads).

If nothing else inspires you: a 6 pack of something you enjoy or a bottle of wine you don't mind sharing. It doesn't have to be pricy, just something you'd enjoy drinking.

First meal with new stove

PASTA, just to see how long it takes to boil the water. Those 30 minute meals could take 45 minutes if you keep using the "lame" burner because it's the "big" one (I speak from experience here).

Our new apartment's gas stove LOOKED nice, but it's totally inefficient. I miss our old ceramic cooktop from our old place, also I don't like gas. I am weird.

Smoking indoors?

too much basil (Thai and sweet/Italian)

Thanks for all the suggestions gang! For those of you with basil growing envy: be meaner to your plants! The more tops you break off (and eat), just above any pair of leaves, the more bushy your plant will grow back! I've toned down my basil pruning (and it's gotten hotter) so they're not as prolific as before. For now, I'm just harvesting as I eat it -experimenting with asian themed and italianish salad dressings before my lettuce plants die from heat. If you're in the Rockville area, you're welcome to come glean from my garden, but don't touch my tomatoes or I'll cut you. :-D

We Try Chicha Morada, a Purple Peruvian Power Potion

OMG, you're absolutely right, it's like the purple version of Tang! Only it's made from real juice and not powder. It's some seriously weird stuff, but not bad over ice or cut with seltzer, though I'm sure those are heathen white girl things to do to it :)

Cumin-Scented French Lentil Salad

I've made this recipe multiple times, it's my go-to potluck dish. I didn't have any celery this time and use an apple instead, it was even better!

Win 2 Tickets to Sweetlife: A Music + Food Festival!

cherries and peaches. I love stone fruits!

Grill-Pressed Chorizo Tortas

something sorta like this sandwich is going to come out of my kitchen this week, but it's going to involve a lot of subs (veggie soy chorizo, skillets, and a griddler instead of a grill), and it is going to be AWESOME! I just had something like this in Austin and was wondering how to recreate it at home. OM NOM NOM!

Dear Oreo, What In The What Are You Thinking?

I think the layer of filling looks like someone stuck a few pieces of used gum between two cookies, smooshed them together, and tried to pass it off as icing. It doesn't look tasty at all, too neon-y.

too much basil (Thai and sweet/Italian)

I need more ideas using fistfulls of Thai Basil? No shellfish please (though we have access to veg/mushroom "fish sauce" for Thai cooking).

If I'd known how happy my basil plants were going to be in my suburban MD patio garden, I would have only planted 1 of each of them. As is I have 4 Thai Basil plants, 7 Genovese Basil, and 4 purple Italian plants (though they're noticeably smaller).

We're getting tired of thai-themed stirfry or Thai Basil Chicken/Tofu/Eggplant 2 nights a week, and other than making a simple syrup for cocktails I'm out of ideas for eating up the Thai Basil as quickly as it grows.

The Italian Basil is easier, pesto freezes well and watermelon season is coming up soon (basil+watermelon+feta=bite of heaven). It's also just less sharp and easier to munch on raw in salads and other lighter/summer preparations.

Any and all ideas welcome!

What should we eat and see around Traverse City/Interlochen, MI?

I'm going back to the Grand Traverse Area for the first time as an adult (IAA and IAC alumni). I've looked online and there are an overwhelming number of awesome foodie places to visit and eat at!

Moomers is obviously on the list, but ice cream alone for a week will give me a tummy ache. Where should two budget minded and adventurous vegetarians eat or visit?

(We already plan to see the Music House Museum, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan Maritime Museum, and LOTS of shows at Interlochen.)