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livelyupurself
mmmm, mole chicken pizza could be good. I make mole chicken, onion and cheese enchiladas.

the green chile, or verde sauce is also good with chicken and sour cream, suizas style.
pepper
sh1t, i put cinnamon in the guac one time and the boy would NOT stop bitching for hours, literally HOURS about how i'd ruined it. not my fault you don't have any frikken spices at your house you doofus, geez. it did taste funky but Come On, it wasn't exactly inedible or anything. stuck in a foody rut like crazy.
there's a totally authentic mexican restaurant in town, two actually, and i mean so authentic that i can't hack even the mild spicy dishes. the margeritas are kicking though.

ok, so i have been baking with the kid and we've had some fun times, he's into it with all his little five year old heart. i'd like to make some muffins with him but there's just so much oil in them. anyone got a recipe that they've actually tried that subs apple sauce or baby prunes or some such to make moist muffins that actually works and doesn't taste like crap? please let me know, he's going to waldorf for kindergarten in sept and baking will figure big in his life so i'd like to do it at home with him too with edible results.
thanks!!
pollystyrene
Ever try putting cumin in guacamole? It's quite tasty.
pepper
yes, yes, every time. celery seeds too, so yummy! cayenne. um.
once in a while i use actual finely chopped celery and a little tomato, fresh cilantro too.
i love the guac. i could eat that every day but mostly i just settle for a smashed avo sprinkled with a little sea salt.
pollystyrene
Hmm, never tried celery (seeds or otherwise). I usually do onion, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, sometimes some chopped jalapenos, cumin, pepper and maybe a little salt.

If I'm just doing plain avocado, I like them sliced with French dressing.
raisingirl
OFF-TOPIC: Oh, Pepper, I don't know anything about Waldorf schools and don't have a good recipe for you, but I hear that they teach the kids how to knit at Waldorf. If it's true, I think it's fabulous. I learned when I was in first grade, but not in school.

I'm so happy that it's farmer's market season up here. I miss living in an area where it's year-round, so bring it on!
pepper
Celery seeds in guac are awesome. Teeny little bursts of celery flavour, so yummy!

There's a great outdoor farmer's market here too, right by a gorgeous natural waterfall and a sweet public garden. Lots of organic fruit and veggies and fun arts and crafts. I love the farmer's market.

Raisin, they DO teach them to knit, and bake and play instruments and dance and hike in the woods and watercolour paint and felt and all kinds of ather amazing natural activities. Look them up, they usually have a bursaries available for lower income parents, I'll be paying about $50/month and it is SO worth it. It's an awesome school, not perfect of course but WAY better than ordinary classes.
pollystyrene
Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do with anchovies? My friends brought me a jar of really good anchovies from Italy last year, and they're just sitting there because I'm not into them. Go figure- I eat sardines and pickled herring, but anchovies just aren't my thing. I've heard that you can use them in other stuff and not get the full-on salty fishy flavor, though.
jemisoutrageous
Polly,
Throw them away!
(I keeeed.) They are really good on Caesar salads with really thin sloces of parmesan or greek salad with fresh dill, red onions and feta. Yum.
turbojenn
My favorite thing is to sort of melt them in olive oil add minced garlic, and then saute up some bok choy or broccoli in it....it is sooooo tasty. I think its actually called bagna cauda if you wanted to look for a recipe online....I'd also second the caesar salad route....mmmm.
livelyupurself
you can also make pasta puttanesca with them, which is your basic marinara plus anchovies, onion, olives and capers. I like to follow what jenn said and melt them in the olive oil, saute up a diced onion, add some fresh garlic and then the tomatoes, oregano, and what ever other spices you want to make the sauce, and mix in the capers and olives toward the end. It's good on spaghetti. And the dish's name comes from the Italian word for puttana which means whore. So you are making pasta ala woman of ill repute, heh.
lorewolf
Hmmm, cumin & celery seed... *takes notes*

Thanks!
msgoofball
celery seed??? hm....we actually use something called 'guacamole seasoning'..i know...its cheating..but its got everything in it. mmmm

this weekend camping i was making my dutch oven cobblers...the vanilla apple turned out pretty good....it carmelized a bit...the chocolate cherry was a bit fudgy..maybe more cherry filling next time. i need to get more recipes for actual food though.
pollystyrene
Ah! Last-minute dinner guest- need seasoning ideas for lamb chops, something mediterranean-y. I'm making Mediterranean Curry couscous with it. I have the basic herbs & spices- cinnamon, cumin, basil, oregano, rosemary, chili powder, paprika, ginger, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, cloves.

Any ideas?
turbojenn
well, you could do the garlic, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, salt/pepper thing. Or you could do a little cinnamon, allspice, olive oil, salt/pepper...those would be my faves. Mix it up, and massage it in, and let it marinade for a bit....Enjoy - sounds like a lovely dinner!
pollystyrene
Hmm, I tried a cinnamon/mustard (and something else that I can't remember) rub on some chicken a couple of months ago and this same friend liked it (I thought it needed a little tweaking).

I think I'll go with the rosemary, thyme, olive oil route. Thanks!

ETA: my overn thermometer says lamb should be at 170 degrees for well done- if I don't want it too well done (but by no means "rare") should I pull it at 155, since it will continue to cook a little and will probably go up to 160 or so?
pollystyrene
Yum! The lamb chops turned out really well- I marinaded them in olive oil, red wine, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt & pepper.
zora
My landlords planted raspberries at some point and today when we got home the bushes had a ton of satiny red raspberries weighing them down. I felt sorry for them so I grabbed a bowl and sent Ben to the store for ice cream.

Zora's Raspberry Rum Sauce:

1 1/2 cups raspberries (appx)
1/3 cup sugar (appx, taste your berries, they may need more or less)

Heat these up in a pot. Don't stir yet. Heat until the berries start to pop and boil, about 5 minutes. Stir, or if you have a hand blender, blend. Strain and add back to the pot.

Add one tablespoon of dark rum, bring to a low boil and let it go for five more minutes. Pour over ice cream.
livelyupurself
wow zora, that sounds yummy! makes me want to make raspberry jalapeno chicken & plantains.
treehugger
Thought this article might interest you...it's about organizing your kitchen efficiently. Which I'm currently embarking on doing just now. When I moved I haphazardly threw stuff in cupboards and I just KNOW there's gotta be a better method. :-)

http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/gallery/0,21863,1037805-1,00.html
pollystyrene
Has anyone used one of these? My boyfriend's mom has one similar to it, the one that Williams-Sonoma sells, but I didn't like it because it only had a dicer blade, and sometimes I want a chunkier cut. Not only does this one have a coarse blade, but it has that container underneath that catches everything.

I'm a little wary of these "As Seen on TV" products- does this seem worth $19.95? You can also chop cheese and nuts with it, according to the commercial.
pepper
oh, that thing looks amazing! can't see how it works with nuts though, unless you're a strong arm. and it's prolly a bit of a pain to clean it but still, i'm ordering one. those old slicer dicer things were a serious hazzard to your fingers and i hardly ever used mine despite it awesomeness.
pollystyrene
Well, they showed them as being shelled nuts, of course. If one of those grinder things can chop them with the little circulating teeth, I don't see why this couldn't do it.

My grandma is a sucker for infomercials and has more useless kitchen gadgets than anyone. I've tried some of them (she even gave me one of those Magic Bullet blenders- it's sitting in my closet, unopened) and they work well enough, but they're usually replacing something that didn't really need to be replaced in the first place and I know that if I had them, they'd just take up counter space. This thing would be nice to chop onions with (I'm really sensitive to the onion gases and start crying as soon as I cut one open.) But I kinda like the idea of improving my knife skills, so I don't want to lose that.

Also, pepper, it says all the pieces are dishwasher safe. You'd probably have to get most of the residue out of the blades, but then it should get all clean in a dishwasher.
pepper
dishwasher eh? just whose kitchen do you think i'm in? the only dishwaher 'round here is typing on bust right now. heh.
hey, if you don't want that magic bullet blender and would like to sell it, i'd gladly take it off your hands. pm me and let me know, i think those things are nifty.
the little man and i made banana bread the other day, it was so much fun! he mashed the bananas and mixed everything all together and really loved it. i have a wee little baker on my hands here. time for some more gingerbread i think.
pollystyrene
How does one steam an artichoke? I bought one today because I recently discovered that they don't taste as bad as I spent the last 26 years believing.

I was inspired by some dressing I was looking at (the French Vinaigrette) and it said it tastes good on steamed artichokes.

Anyway, I've never prepared an artichoke myself. How do I do it?

ETA: Oh, and Pepper, I'll think about it. I'm pretty sure I'll never use it...
zora
Polly, cut off the stem and set aside. Using a knife take off the top of the artichoke, just to remove the thorny bits. You can also use sicsors to snip off the rest of the thorns. They steam for about 45 minutes. To test, pull on one of the outer leaves. If it comes out easily, it's done. Be sure and check your water level a few times during the steaming, just to make sure your pot doesn't run dry.
You can take the stem, trim the cut end and peel it, and cook it along side of the artichoke.
I like them with mayonaise, some people like them with butter and some just eat them plain. Enjoy!
turbojenn
oh, and don't forget to take the hairy center out of the choke when you cut it in half, so you can eat the tender meat of the heart.

I used to love dipping them in lemon butter...now, I think I'd go the vinaigrette route too....
pollystyrene
So cut off the stem, snip off the pointy tips of the layers, chop off the top with all the little pointy parts and steam for 45 minutes or so, with the peeled, trimmed stem? At what point do I cut it in half, turbo? This had better be worth it!
turbojenn
your could probably halve it before steaming - might even cut down on cooking time...

Worth it....I dunno. They're darned tasty, but I do also love the marinated hearts you buy in a jar...and its a lot easier!
zora
Hmm, I never cut them in half. It looks pretty sometimes, but I think it's easier to steam them whole.
lorewolf
Mmmm! Artichoke!
I just love the way that you and others have to eat it slowly. It's like nature's upscale party food.
pepper
i am making soup. as in i'm-totally-broke-and-need-some-food-in-the-house soup.
split pea with wild rice potato carrot celery red onion curry cumin paprika soup
and lentil barley potato red cabbage tomato basil oregano soup.
hope they're good, wish me luck!

mm, i love artichoke. steamed with garlic butter or garlic aioli, yum!
raisingirl
I leave the artichoke whole, I never cut off the pointy tips, and sometimes when it's just me I'll leave the stem on (then you can't stand the artichoke on end, all fancy-like), just cutting a small slice of it off for the trash. When the artichoke is cooked, the stem tastes just like the base. I love that stuff.

But then again, what I do is more like boil the artichokes, not steam them. Sometimes I add a bay leaf to the water.
korengrrl
I've been inspired by all of your fantastic recipes and food ideas! So, I'm having a party tomorrow night and wanted to make a vegetarian jambalaya. Does anyone have any good recipes or experience making a vegetarian jambalaya?
erinjane
raisin, I boil artichokes exactly as you do. I love them sooo much. But they're really expensive here. Safeway had an amazing sale on organic ones a while ago though. 99 cents per pound, so it only cost me 88 cents for one. Normally they're at lest $2.

I made a really wonderful soup this week that I just sort of threw together. A bunch of cut up carrots and celery, one chopped onion sauteed for a few minutes with garlic, parsley and thyme. 8 cups of water, 1.5 veggie stock cubes, and the juice of two lemons, with 1/2 cup of basmati rice. I let it simmer for 20 minutes and it was divine. Tasted like this lemon chicken soup they serve at this greek restaurant near me, but I'm veggie now so I left out the chicken.
pollystyrene
Speaking of Greek soup, I have a really easy recipe for Egg-Lemon Soup (aka "Avegolemono".) It's from a cookbook called "The Olive and The Caper" by Susanna Hoffman. I made it back in January when I had that Greek dinner party and everyone said it was some of the best they'd ever had.

8 cups of chicken stock, fish stock or lamb stock (the cookbook has from-scratch recipes for each, I just used regular store-bought chicken stock)

1/2 cup uncooked orzo or white rice, preferably Arborio (I used orzo)

4 large eggs

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, for serving

1. Place the stock and orzo in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the orzo is tender, but not mushy, about 12 minutes.

2. Beat the eggs in a medium-size bowl until frothy. Whisk in the lemon juice, then slowly beat in 1 cup of the hot stock, then whisking vigorously.

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the egg/lemon mixture. Add salt to taste and serve right away without reboiling. Pass the pepper separately.

Note: It is important not to reboil the soup once the egg mixture has been added, or else the eggs will clump.

There's several variations suggested, such as using other small pastas (broken up vermicelli, trahana, which are Greek sourdough noodles, or tapioca; also, adding white pepper, cayanne or freshly grated nutmeg instead of black pepper; adding chopped fresh sage, mint dill or parsley; they also suggest adding minced chicken, tiny meatballs or beef tripe cut into 1/4 inch diced pieces. If you add one of those meat options, add it into the stock before the egg mixture is added in. If you use the tripe, it has to cook for an hour in the stock before the egg mixture is added.
raisingirl
Oooh, good sale, Erin! I only like to get them on sale, too.

Polly, mmmm, that kind of soup is one of the big things I've missed by being veg for more than a decade. I'm practically salivating over here! You guys, seriously, if you've never made this soup, DO IT! It might take you a couple of times to get the hang of it where you don't curdle the eggs, but it's soooo worth it.

My mom made egg drop soup all the time when I was growing up (she added little morsels of chicken to it, too; always using tiny pasta shapes like orzo, broken-up vermicelli, or bow ties, not rice) and it pains me that I can't eat it now! A veg substitute just doesn't do it justice. I find this is a common problem for ALL the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean dishes that have meat in them.

Erin, I just might try your improvisation soup. Did you use dried thyme?
pepper
oh, erinjane that soup sounds super yummy! and totally unlike anything that i would make out of my head so i'm for sure going to try it. i get so sick of everything tasting like something i cooked sometimes, ye know? i'm mostly veg too (i won't cook it myself but i'll eat it if someone else offers it to me. you know, eating their love offering and all..).
i've been egg dropping into soup forever, it seems really easy to me. is there really a trick to it? i must have just lucked right out on the technique. i just scramble the egg and pour it slowly into soup that i've given a vigorous stir to. it always seems to turn out fine.

i love that suggestion of nutmeg instead of pepper, that is so faboo!
maybe i should change my name.
quantumspice
i really should have bought more food (like shrimp), but i was rushed. i hate moving.
doodlebug
Can anyone tell me how safe it is to eat meat/poultry that's been frozen in a deep freezer for over a year? How about if it's been there for 2 years?

Thanks!
jemisoutrageous
No,Doodle. No.
quantumspice
i think i'm gonna grab some taters & worcestershire & another onion & some cream at the store tomorrow and make some salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli tomorrow for dinner coz i still don't really feel like cookin.
turbojenn
qspice - where'd you move to? Your dinner plans sound fab for not wanting to cook!

We're having friends from the 'hood over for dinner tonight, so I'm making my renowned morrocan lamburgers, with some hummus and veg, tater chips and some ice cream with fresh macerated strawberries on top. YUM.

I *love* strawberry season...I bought a whole flat of 'em at the farmers market yesterday, its like the first taste of summer to me....but then as a wee tot, I worked at a strawberry farm picking, so it feels nostalgic to me. ;)
erinjane
I'm waiting for cherry season. At the grocery store I work at once a week we had them on sale for $6.99 for a fairly small bag. I thought that was outrageous, but this week we had to weigh the bags and the average was $13!!!! Now I wish I would have picked some up last week because there is no way I'm paying that much for fruit. (although knowing me I'll probably break down.)

And our raspberry bushes are starting to look like we may have some in the next few weeks. Yum...I love fresh fruit.
karianne
jenn, that dinner sounds delicious!

Erinjane, me too. I want cherries, but they are too expensive right now.

I did get some tomatoes yesterday that taste almost like mid-summer tomatoes. Won't be long now!

Last night Mr K & I made a good dinner. Brined grilled shrimp with mango salsa, some black beans, and slices of tomatoes. Good stuff.

I have decided though that next week will be low cost eating at our house. We have been spending way too much at the grocery. This may have been covered here before (my apologies) but about how much do you guys spend at the store per week? We have been averaging $80, for two. Yesterday I went & the bill was $100.
raisingirl
Pints of blueberries on sale for $1.97. Gotta love that.

CHERRIES, glorious cherries, on the other hand, are a maddening $4.99 a pound. I'll wait, thank you.

Karianne, I would have to save my reciepts for a week to give you an answer. I buy groceries almost daily; I've never really been into the once-a-week (or every other week) trip to the supermarket.

I'm going to the Farmers' market this afternoon. They better have stuff for sale, considering all the rain we've been getting.
loli
Back into this thread after a looong hiatus.
Hmm...I'd say that I spend $80 or so per week of grocery shopping.
Tonight: polenta with roasted portobellos and a drizzle of alfredo. mmmmmm....

treehugger
Doodlebug,

Ask me, the new refrigeration expert! :-) Meat's generally safe for a year HOWEVER pork is only safe for six months or so. The fat in pork has something in it that makes it go rancid faster.

You want your freezer to be around -20 fahrenheit (not sure what that is in celsius).

And, if it's a non-self-defrosting freezer your food will stay non-freezerburned for longer.
quantumspice
turbo, i moved to cleveland til december - picked up a short term contract that'll pay for a few terms of grad school.

i ended up reheating some leftover 'za, and i think i'm going to do that again today. yeah, i'm a winna! but after dinner, i'm portioning up the meat i bought and tossing it in the freezer coz i'm going on travel w/ work on wednesday. yeah, my third day on the job. ha!


i spent nearly $200 at the grocery store friday, but i didn't have anything in the pantry. i have to go back to get spices and stuff. normally, i spend about $30-40/wk on groceries, but until i hit TJs to get some stuff to reinvent for lunches, there's gonna be an extra $50/wk or so for lunch.
msgoofball
my friend lisa made me a guinness chocolate cake for my birthday with cream cheese frosting....ABSOLUTELY DIVINE!!!

but the guacamole, the macaroni salad, and the tri tip sandwiches weren't a bad starter either...mmmmmm
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