cupcakemuffin's Profile

Display Name: cupcakemuffin
Member Since: 1/23/09

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All of the above suggestions are good, but I would also mention this to the CSA folks and see what they suggest. How do they transport items, and might those strategies be able to help you? The CSAs I've been a part of have been way to expensive to lose half the produce every week and still have the cost be worth it, so maybe point out to them that if you can't figure out how to solve the problem, you're not going to be able to continue as a member. They might be willing to waive the "bring your own bag" rule and let you have one or two of their storage boxes that will perhaps keep things more protected? Ideally, part of what you're getting when you're paying the premium for a CSA is a relationship with the people growing the food who will hopefully want to make sure it stays in great shape and not get thrown away. In my experience, this often means they'll be willing to work with you to make sure everything works out.

Also - if you're driving, crank up the air conditioner on the way home!

How Do I Keep My CSA Veggies Fresh on the Way Home? Good Questions
7/15/14 09:35 AM

Edit: I don't know why I called these "glass-top" containers! The containers are glass, but the lids are plastic. Brain fart. :) I think it works ok since the food does not touch the lid unless you overfill it.

What's the Best Container for Bringing My Lunch to Work? Good Questions
7/10/14 03:44 PM

I have similar glass-top containers (I have this version:

They are a little more expensive upfront, but I love them. They last longer than plastic containers since the glass doesn't stain or pick up odors, and they are totally leakproof. I will throw containers of soup in my bag and it will stay 100% sealed even when bounced around/turned on the side or upside down. I do remove the lids (which are plastic, although they are BPA free) for microwaving at the office. The only downside is they are heavier than plastic containers, but I consider that a minor tradeoff.

What's the Best Container for Bringing My Lunch to Work? Good Questions
7/10/14 03:43 PM

I'm not married, but my absolute favorite wedding food from a wedding I've attended was barbecue. The couple had a local barbecue restaurant cater the event, and it ended up way cheaper than a traditional wedding caterer and WAY more delicious. :)

How Did You Plan Your Wedding Menu? It's Trickier Than I Expected
5/14/14 11:44 AM

If your allergy to dairy is limited to cow milk, I would just go with a goat or sheep cheese. There are some awesome ones out there!

What Are Some Tasty Sandwiches Without Cheese? Good Questions
5/13/14 12:53 PM

We have one of those Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich makers, and I have also been known to use it for a quick hot sandwich at other times of the day. Also: English muffin pizzas in the toaster and quesadillas with pre-prepped ingredients! :)

Cure My Cooking Problem! Help Me Cook Dinner for Especially Busy Nights The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/19/14 02:03 PM

I find curry, many soups, many pasta dishes, and grain-based salads keep best in the fridge fora few days. Sandwiches and lettuce-based salads, not so much.

Cure My Cooking Problem! Help Me Make Lunches That Can Last Well in the Fridge The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/14/14 02:59 PM

Yum, this was very inspiring! I usually bring leftovers for lunch, and default to eating out if there are no leftovers. So, it was good to focus on recipes that will work with quick preparation for days when I am leftover-less. :)

These pita ideas look awesome, especially the one with red pepper hummus:

And I am SO making this grilled cheese over the weekend:

Day 8: Find 5 New Recipes for Lunch The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/12/14 04:16 PM

I find it's easier to do "for one" when I'm focusing around a piece of protein rather than a casserole dish or pot of soup. For example, I buy just one chicken breast/piece of fish/big sausage. You can look at regular recipes to get an idea of seasonings and cooking techniques, and they tend to scale down fairly well. Then you can add on a simple side, and just prepare however much you actually want to eat (i.e. roast or steam just enough veggies for the meal, make a salad with just the amount of lettuce you will eat, etc.)

Another thing I have love is Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, although fridge space could be an issue. But, you could always do a half recipe and store in a smaller container -- the recipe scales very easily. You can bake it up into bread, but even better, you can make personal-sized pizzas with just the amount of dough you want, and then sprinkle on basically whatever you have in the fridge for toppings.

Cure My Cooking Problem! Help Me Learn How to Cook Satisfying Meals for One The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/7/14 04:40 PM

I made homemade granola this morning, using this recipe:

Really easy and fast (basically, mix everything up and bake 10 minutes). I had never made homemade granola was awesome having WARM granola on my yogurt. :)

Day 5: Make Breakfast Today & Plan Next Week's Breakfasts The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/7/14 01:31 PM

These are a couple of 'romantic dinner' dishes my boyfriend and I have made...

Help Me Find Something New and Challenging to Make for Valentine's Dinner! Good Questions
1/27/14 07:50 PM

I just got the new cookbook Power Hungry, which has a ton of excellent recipes for different types of granola/protein/power bars, including a whole section on protein-heavy bars. Most of them are either naturally vegan or the author gives options for how to make them vegan. I've tried a couple of recipes so far and have LOVED them! :)

Ideas for High-Protein, Make-Ahead Vegan Breakfasts? Good Questions
1/1/14 06:29 PM

I like the SparkPeople recipe calculator as well.

How Do I Calculate the Nutritional Content of Home-Cooked Food? Good Questions
10/9/13 06:01 PM

You might consider getting a toaster oven that can do convection - they're cheaper than you would think (I think ours was maybe $40-$50 on sale at Target). Especially if you're just cooking for one, the size is fine and it will expand your options dramatically.

Some other stovetop ideas --

Curry over rice or noodles. You can get fancy, or just saute some stuff (I like chicken + 2-3 types of veggie) and dump a pre-made sauce over...Trader Joe's yellow curry sauce is awesome and cheap.

Polenta. You can get a quick-cooking type, and then if you're feeling fancy stir in some butter and cheese before eating (or skip that for a healthier/cheaper meal). Top it with whatever you'd put on pasta, but with a different twist - meatballs, a veggie-filled marinara, etc.

Fish. You can get pretty inexpensive white fish, and then sprinkle with whatever yummy spices that you have on hand. Just saute in a pan, and then serve with something fresh. I like to do fresh fruit salsas, but a big green salad is also awesome.

Breakfast for dinner. Of course you can do pancakes (from a mix will still be good!) and bacon or fakin, but you can also go healthy. Try doing a big omelette stuffed with steamed or sauteed veggies, and optional cheese.

Taco night. Cook up some ground beef, chicken, or your fav vegetarian substitute with cheap taco seasoning (or your favorite spices). Then stuff in tortillas with fresh veggies and other favorite toppings. I also like to do quesadillas on the stovetop -- melt cheese between two tortillas, and then top with whatever you like -- super quick and yummy.

So Tired of Pasta! What Recipes Can I Cook With Just Two Burners? Good Questions
9/27/13 03:39 PM

I'm looking forward to this one!

Martha Stewart's Cakes New Cookbook
9/27/13 03:15 PM

I LOVE this restaurant! Can't wait to check out the cookbook. :)

The Mac + Cheese Cookbook by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade New Cookbook
9/6/13 02:36 PM

This estimate seems on the low end to mandoos02, I would plan on 1/2 pound of meat and 1 piece of chicken per person. Some people will take less, but unless there are literally no men invited to this event, some people will take significantly more than that. :) I would also use small plates for people to serve themselves so that you make sure everyone does get some food the first time around, and then people can go back for leftovers if there is enough.

How Much Food Should I Make for a Wedding Reception for 200 People? Good Questions
6/13/13 04:17 PM

My biggest tip here would be to ASK the person in question - as janeray mentions above, some folks can't really risk it (especially for those with severe cross-contamination issues, even cooking in a kitchen where gluten flour is regularly used could be an issue), while others can be more flexible. This would avoid hurt feelings and missteps based on good intentions but incomplete information. Also, the friend may have some recipes to suggest to you that have worked well for them!

Baking For Friends With Dietary Restrictions: 3 Tips for Success
5/30/13 04:10 PM

The other thing I would add here is that people's photos ARE protected under copyright, and lots of people will get upset if you use them without asking permission. I think it's not usually enough to use someone's photo and credit them...some will be ok with that, but many will not. For photos, you should either take your own or ask permission.

Not directly the question asked, but something I think a lot of new bloggers get into hot water over.

Can I Post Adaptations of Published Recipes on My Food Blog? Good Questions
5/24/13 12:29 PM

"so technically you could post a rewritten recipe that uses the exact same ingredients without violating the law. You probably wouldn't make many friends in the food-blogging world, though."

I also have to disagree with this. You may not personally like this, but I think this is pretty standard practice as long as proper credit and a link back are provided. Definitely not cool to claim a recipe is your own creation when it's not, but I think it's both perfectly legal and standard practice to post adaptations even where the adaptations are minimal.

And honestly, I LOVE it when people repost original recipes from my website! It's cool that they're reading and enjoyed the recipe, and this is also a way for new readers to discover my site. I can't even count how many cookbooks I've purchased, new blogs I've found, etc. etc. from people making and liking recipes from those cookbooks/websites. This is actually the main way I discover new cookbooks...seeing the recipes posted on other people's sites and seeing if they look appealing to me and look like they would really 'work' (so many cookbooks don't have recipes that actually work!).

I think the process of cooking is both communal and organic. It's impossible to say "I created this recipe, and so now I own it and get to control it forever." I mean, you can say it, I suppose, but what's the point? To me at least, the whole point of having a blog is to share all the awesome things I've been cooking and eating with others, with the hopes that they will use and change these recipes and maybe share them again! Just make sure to credit those who came before you, and in my mind it's all good. :)

Can I Post Adaptations of Published Recipes on My Food Blog? Good Questions
5/24/13 11:39 AM