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Everything posted by creaton

  1. This thread brings back some great memories of stumbling around Amsterdam on a mission for food... Orange juice and Cheetos were always my munchie foods of choice. Never have tasted OJ as good since....
  2. I wanted to begin by thanking you for your book, On Food and Cooking, and acknowledging the inspiration that it's been for my career. Looking back, reading your book was the defining moment that lead me to a career in Food Science. Lost for a career path, not unlike most college students, I stumbled upon your book on Amazon.com, read it quickly with much fascination, and realized how to meld my interests in culinary arts and science. This led me to a new university with a food science program, some training in culinary arts, working for some time in product development for industry, and now back to college for graduate studies in food chemistry/nutraceuticals. I've found your book to be a great reference and a great loaner (to young aspiring scientists looking for a field to settle into). I find the fields of science, human nutrition, food politics, and culinary arts to be in a battle of sorts with each other. ie... nutritionists blame my field for creating the sodium/trans-fat/high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)/preservative laden foods of the world... food scientists blame nutritionists for creating confusing/ever changing nutrition advice for consumers and industry.... the slowfoodies / culinary artists blame scientists for destroying the cultural aspects of food with modern agricultural practices and mass produced food consumed on the go... all these fields blame food politicians for succumbing to industry lobbying groups for skewed nutritional messages and subsidizing crops like corn to make cheap HFCS.. and on and on... With all the advances we've made in all of these fields, we still find ourselves in a predicament with the Obesity epidemic. As a food scientist I get a lot of heat on these types of issues. And this is, of course, is what makes my job interesting and brings passion to my work. From your perspective, has science played a more positive or negative role in the evolution of food in our society in the last few decades?? Thanks, Jeff, aka "Creaton"
  3. Thanks everyone for all the advice!!... Everything worked out great!.. I ended up proposing in front of Jefferson Memorial last night.... And YES, she did say yes.. and I think jefferson approved too.. It was a surprise for the most part (she started to wonder what was going on when the taxi was going towards Jefferson memorial instead of the restaurant I told her we were going towards:). We ended up going to Tosca which was excellent.. Our favorite dish was "Raviolini ripieni di polpa di pomodoro biologico alla salsa cremosa al pesto di basilico" Now that I've moved to DC, I cannot wait to explore all this new restaurant scence.
  4. Great story.. haha...that's exactly my fear.. As much much of a foodie as I am, and would love to hide the ring in the food, I just know that somehow the ring would end up down the shoot!
  5. The one on 7th... I cannot wait to check out some of the other locations!
  6. I'm in the midst of planning a wonderful evening to propose to my girlfriend... who happens to be a vegetarian! In terms of dinner plans, I'm trying to find places that we've never been so it'll be a new experience for both of us. I've narrowed my choices down to Cafe Atlantico, Nora, or Tosca. All of which seem to get good reviews. Any suggestions?? I'm most excited about Cafe Atlantico, but they seem to be the least accomodating for vegetarians. In terms of places to propose.. I'm thinking about Jefferson Memorial or this scenic overview of DC downtown from some point near arlington (between Iwa Jima Memorial and Netherlands Carillon). Thanks!
  7. We ended up at Jaleo and absolutely loved it!! They had a great selection of vegetarian items which we enjoyed. We tried at least 6 or 7, a few desert and and more than enough Sangria. I was quite suprised how inexpensive the whole meal was, considering how impressed I was with the food.. Most memorable (its been almost 1 year) was a red pepper stuffed (sorry I don't recall the name) with a wonderful cheese filling. I was trying to re-create these a few weeks ago, but couldn't figure out what combination of cheeses went into the filling.. Any suggestions?
  8. Thanks for all the links and advice.. I can see that I have many places to explore. I'm living in the college park area right now doing the grad school thing at UMCP, so I think I'll check out this Takohma Park Farmer's Market. Thanks and have a flavourful day!
  9. I just moved to the DC area from Ohio and need help finding some food stores with a good selection of cheeses/oils/vinegars/meats etc. My local Shoppersfoodwarehouse just isn't cutting it. Any recommendations? I'm also looking for some farmersmarket kinda places to buy good produce. I noticed some posts about Wegmans. This is the most exciting part of moving for me...exploring the new food stores/restaurants. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  10. Any room for me to attend?? I just moved to the DC area from Ohio and am excited to have a real restaurant scene to explore!. Let me know if there's still room!
  11. 2 new outdoor shopping center/malls have opened in the last year which offer some cool new stores and decent but mostly chain restaurants. Legacy Village -- New Viking Culinary Arts Store if your into kitchen appliances, CheeseCake Factory, Brio Tuscan Grill(been there and its decent, same owners as Bravo Restaurants), Gelatto place, Claddagh Irish Pub (another decent chain of pubs.. they have both blue moon and strongbow on tap--two of my favorites), Heather's Heat and Flavor -- a spice/hotsauce/condiment store that an aquaintance of mine owns. Eton Collection -- Has Trader Joe's(which I love) that you mentioned, Sur La Table(nice addition for cleveland), Organized Living Store (cool store if you're an organized person), Ruth's Chris Steakhouse(another one), Mitchelle Fish Market, a new Tapas restaurant next to Fish Market (not sure the name, but looks intersting), Bravo restaurant (same company as Brio above). Other Eastside openings -- Bahama Breeze Enjoy your trip!
  12. Thanks All for the recommendations!! I'll report back next week how things turned out.
  13. I'll be visiting the DC area this coming weekend with a vegetarian friend, and am looking for good veg/veg-friendly restaurant recommendations. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  14. creaton

    Mac & cheese failure

    My point was that there is a wide spectrum of mac n cheese sauces out there. One need not necessarily stick to the traditional bechamel based sauce. Relative to some sauces out there, such as the ones mentioned above which use the egg/liason method from Cook's Illustrated, a bechamel is grainy. Whether you consider it grainy depends on your preference.
  15. creaton

    Mac & cheese failure

    Depending on your cheese sauce texture preferences, there are a few things that could help. Using flour (roux) as a thickner tends to lead to a grainy cheese sauce. If that's the way you like it, thats fine, but for those that prefer a smoother sauce, other starches such as rice starch and corn starch can be used. Rice starch is my preference. It thickens and adds body to the sauce without making it gritty. Corn starch is another choice, but it doens't do as good with the sauce body. If you are to try rice or corn starch, my recommendation is to start by still using some roux, and supplement with either. My guess is that the cheap cheese didn't contribute to the problems you encountered. Some of the best scoring mac n cheese products in the frozen / shelf stable market use cheese ingredients that are simply horrible. Another thing to try which can add a nice creamy note is some cream cheese or boursin (preferrably boursin).
  16. Cannot say as though I can quite top that combination... but back in college I used to eat turnip kimchee (eaten with chopsticks out of the jar), thai ramen (i forget the brand, but was a wonderful spicy shrimp/lime flavored ramen, and guava Jarritos (mexican fruit soda) for a meal.
  17. Zapp's Cajun Crawtators are great... Salt and Vinegar in general are my favorite flavor... I've also really enjoyed some of the Lay's Bistro Gourmet chips... applewood flavor i believe, but the flavors seem to become too much after eating a few.... guess that's a good thing... stops you from eating too many
  18. creaton

    Dinner! 2003

    Tomato vodka cream sauce over penne pasta (fresh tomatoes from my garden... they finally got ripe!!) Herbed, grilled chicken breast Grilled red bell peppers, onions, zucchini (again, fresh from the garden) Fresh chopped basil and fresh grated parm to top it off
  19. You're reading McGee, straight through? Good for you. Seriously. I tried that once, about three years ago. I stopped when I hit page 350, unable to go on. I was a little better educated, and my brain a lot more numb, than when I began that trek. Now it sits there, this book, waiting for me to have a question so that it can be opened. It's never on the shelf long enough to gather dust, and eventually I'll have read every page. But straight through? No way. My night-stand pile of books is surprisingly food-free these days. Currently reading Bellocq's Women, by Peter Everett, fictionalized account of EJ Bellocq's life in Storyville. I'm reading this because I am passionate about photography, New Orleans, and, occasionally, hookers. Last food-related book I read was It must've been something I ate by Steingarten. Highly recommended. I actually read On Food and Cooking almost straight through (over the course of 2 months).... I actually loved it... but then again, I'm a food science geek.... So much so that I purchased another of his books, The Curious Cook, which I also finished off rather quickly Of course, I do enjoy things besides food... Just finished reading In Evil Hour by Gabriel Marquez
  20. Growing up in Michigan, my favorite grocery store was always Meijer's.... Now that I live in Ohio, I live off a combination of Giant Eagle, Tops, and Mustard Seed Market
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