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Everything posted by Tess

  1. I don't think calorie counts and other such information will cause anyone to lose weight (or get healthy-- good point in subsequent posts), but I think it can and does help some people. Maybe not people who don't care about their weight, but people who would like to control it better. I know I spent a couple of years thinking I was eating moderately while my weight crept up, and the minute I started actually applying numbers to what I was eating, everything became a lot clearer. I can now-- with practice-- pretty much maintain by doing what feels natural but to shift any poundage, I need to do math. I'm still not in favor of forcing anyone to provide that information, but I think it's good if they do. Uh, to the extent that it's accurate.
  2. I think an awful lot of perfectly intelligent people don't know how to do that, at least when it comes to restaurant food. I'm an avid home cook, and I have also gone on diets where you track your fat and calories, and even so I feel I am lucky if I can make a ballpark guess about how much fat has been used in the preparation of restaurant food. Bourdain in (I believe) Kitchen Confidential has pointed out that it's usually much more than you think. That fat (and often more salt that you would use at home) is not all that obtrusive to the palate but can make the food so delicious that you'll go on eating longer without noticing it. Most of us on eG know enough about food to suspect something like that is going on or at least realize that's the cause of that little weight gain last week. But I have friends who are not dumb but don't really understand why their weight is out of control or at least don't know an effective way of dealing with it. As it happens, I don't think that's a reason to put nutritional information up everywhere. For one thing, it probably won't be accurate. But I don't think this is a non-problem in the way you are suggesting. (As far as the other part of your prescription, "Get some exercise," here again it's not that simple. Depending on your lifestyle it may take some education and require some complicated logistics to work in the kind and amount of activity that will be effective for you. That's why people hire trainers.)
  3. I feel as if the Vosges (both bars and truffles) vary wildly as far as how much of the advertised flavors they have. These days I am buying only bars-- the truffles are so small and expensive and, to me, have too thick of a shell-- and mostly the ones labeled "dark milk chocolate" vel sim. I am generally a fan of dark chocolate but I don't think most of the flavors stand up well to that. Something in dark milk chocolate, especially with salt, such as the Barcelona or Goji bars, seems to hit the right balance for me. Agreed, the hot chocolates are good and the store is fun.
  4. I think Prospect Heights is kind of unusual. It doesn't have that dense a population and it doesn't have much of a village center. (I mean, 83 and Camp McDonald?) As for the village center of Mt. Prospect, it is a nightmare to get around, much worse than Arlington Heights or some of the other villages in that area. Although it is a rather prosperous area I just don't know how many people from there are dining out on a weekly basis, say. For those who are, there is Milwaukee Road and there are a few places in Arlington Heights. I don't know how much more business there is to capture. There are a lot of people staying in the hotels nearby and near O'Hare who might be looking for something to eat but I bet an awful lot of those go to chains. I would think long and hard before opening a restaurant anywhere near Prospect Heights.
  5. Tess

    Fish in a packet

    Oh, coolness. I just ordered some fata paper. Sometimes I am so glad I read this board.
  6. That was weird. It's too bad the episode was so full of personal crap, because (dumb complaints about the no cooking aside) this was one of the more interesting ideas for a challenge, especially towards the end. It kind of leveled the field and gave them a fresh start, especially as none of them seemed to have been into Hawaiian food before. Much better than that Napa thing where Dave got past Lee Anne (grr).
  7. I would much rather have seen Sam in the finals too. (Or Lee Anne or Tiffani or... What a lousy cast this time.) They've been going on and on about how Marcel got on their nerves with weeks of living at close quarters. And there's Ilan two months later, presumably having had time to recover, yet the first thing you see is him bitching about how he has to sit next to Marcel on the plane. What is the matter with these people? I thought Marcel was really cute doing his experiments in that little kitchen. I love Alan Wong.
  8. The manipulation of the numbers goes farther than that! Some packages announce e.g. "zero trans fats per serving" yet trans fats are listed in the ingredients. If the number is under a certain amount per (often tiny) serving, they are allowed to claim zero.
  9. Armchair diagnosis. I've read threads, especially on TWoP, where people said this, and not one of them had a source. I've never seen a reputable news source even insinuate that he was autistic or had Asperger's. And I think that's part of why people dislike him so-- it would be a completely different situation if he had an actual reason to act the way he does, but he doesn't. As an aside, how do you pronounce Asperger's? ← I believe it's AsPERger's, but that may be wrong. We'll have to ask Mr. Asperger. It's weird to me how fashionable it's gotten to say people have that-- or for people to say they have it themselves, without a diagnosis. The two people I see from day to day who have diagnoses have a very obvious problem, like from the minute you speak with them, and they do a lot of work to compensate. They both act nothing like Marcel, but then they don't act that much like each other, either. I have a lot of respect for these guys and what they go through. I am sure there are degrees of this condition but I don't like the way "Asperger's" is coming to = "socially inept." That's unfair to people who have the condition and to people who don't but are said to have it. Whether or not Marcel might have it doesn't make me like him any less though, or any more.
  10. If you check out the full recap on televisionwithoutpity dot com, it does sound an awful lot like the other two shaved their heads after the assault. Now, I wonder if the fact that Alan Wong is the judge for the finale means I will not be able to eat at his place in a couple of weeks' time.
  11. Does Marcel say he has Asperger's or are people just diagnosing him? It's a popular armchair disgnosis these days-- usually the people doing the armchair diagnosis pronounce it "Ass Burgers." Heh, maybe a theme for a cooking challenge. The more I think about it, the more I think Marcel handled this just right. You can only keep your side of the street clean. He wasn't at a regular job, where a little judicious biting back might not hurt; he was on TV. He may well look dorky right now but he doesn't look mean or dishonest. (Back when he was razzing Betty, I wasn't so sure.)
  12. Helps if they're twice the other person's size, too, and prepared to fight dirty (e.g. sneak up on them in their sleep.) What some call "standing up" to harrassment is going down to the bully's level in other people's books. It would almost certainly have been edited to look that way. Marcel wound up looking like the only mature one in the bunch.
  13. That was really jacked up. Worse than anything I've seen on The Real World, and that is saying a whole lot. It also amazes me that Sam and Ilan are still badmouthing Marcel to the press. What is the matter with these people?
  14. New flavor of Pretz for me: Baked curry flavor with cheddar cheese and 16 spices. It's great, IMO, really convincing curry flavor. Thanks to the nice eGer who sent them!
  15. Aside from the weird conjecture at the end, I don't see her being mean to CHers-- and it must have been tempting, given the tone of some of the stuff that was written about her there.
  16. I'm not sure he's acting all that badly. If the editors are trying to make him look bad-- and it was his turn; they are so predictable-- they don't have much to work with. His behavior seems stilted, but maybe he's just trying too hard to keep control and not to lose it or do something stupid. I haven't noticed him be really mean or nasty to anyone apart from raising his voice, which could be a result of being bottled up. Not conducive to teamwork but not flat-out ugly. Or maybe I just want to have somebody in the finals that I can stand. Right now it's down to Marcel, Elia and Cliff for people I like at all. Why does Ilan sit there with the hoodie up all the time? Is he imitating Jeffrey from Project Runway? (Jeffrey claims he did that deliberately to make himself look weird.)
  17. I like most types of hard liquor in at least some drinks, but if I could only keep one it would probably be vodka. I like to make infusions. I also happen to like a few commercially flavored vodkas, like Charbay. (It has a weird oily texture but the flavors stand up in tall drinks.) If I was stuck with plain vodka, my choice might be different-- maybe brandy in its various forms. Edited to add: by "plain" I mean not flavored either commercially or at home. Most of the vodka I buy is actually plain.
  18. Come to think of it, these two are similar! I'd say Fox and Obel has about 4 times as much stuff, and the selection of condiments and other cooking items at FS is pretty haphazard, but I think FS has improved. I just had their turkey cranberry salad yesterday. Every time I go in there I try to worm the recipe for those lower-fat mayo salad dressings out of them, but no luck so far. Also, I think they put heroin in those fish quesadillas and burritos. The takeout food at Fox and Obel is pretty awesome. I had the Indonesian ginger chicken recently-- fabulous! Wish I lived closer. I also scored a huge bag of cippollini onions that day, quite a bit cheaper and in much better shape than you get at my nearest Whole Foods. I'm with you on Sunset too. I tried to come up with a list of restaurants and, wow, it looks like I didn't eat out much at all. Will have to remedy that in 2007.
  19. It's one thing to understand it and another to trust it. I haven't lived in NYC for years now, but hasn't nearly everyone who's been caught in previous crackdowns been unbelieving at first because they imagined the authorities were turning a blind eye to whatever it was they were doing? Law enforcement is kind of unpredictable that way. I also think it's silly for college-age people to be stopped from drinking wine at dinner with their parents present but if they do start busting restaurants for that, someone's going to be first.
  20. It does seem that way to me, at least from the vantage point of Season 1 being over. We know that Lee Anne and Harold remained friends with each other and with several other people. In fact I think Lee Anne was a big part of the success of Seaon 1-- someone who got that far (and should have got to the finals in my opinion) and had that much personal warmth. I like Elia, and she may even get to the final 3, so maybe something will still emerge, but I don't find her exciting like Lee Anne. I've noticed a similar progresssion with Project Runway-- contestants seeming less and less interested in each other-- and wondered if it was a function of people coming on having seen the show and being more determined to play it for results.
  21. It is so irritating how hard it is to find marrons glaces in the US. Here in Chicago, I have resorted to ordering them from Dean & Deluca, at a $7 markup to what the same box of 8 costs if you can find them in a store. (At least they offer standard shipping so you don't get soaked on that.) Zingermans advertise them too but when I tried to order they said they were sold out. And forget about getting the irregular/broken marrons like you used to be able to. Turkish markets often carry jars of chestnuts in syrup; the brand is Uzungil or something like that. Not a substitute for marrons glaces but they are good in various desserts
  22. I'm so excited! Hawaii is my favorite place and the food is so wonderful! The place where you live looks fabulous. This is going to be a real treat.
  23. Pink salts and smoked salts are wonderful sprinkled on light-colored seafood, like scallops. Maybe ceviche? Not so useful now, but in the summer it's nice to arrange cucumber spears on a platter and sprinkle them with different colored salts to make a pattern. As well as sweet butter (great idea) the salts might look nice on mild goat cheese.
  24. Oh, that's a cool story. Salt for sprinkling on chocolate? Pink salt or smoked salt would come to mind, but the possibilities are endless. The only Vosges chocolate bars I really like contain pink Himalayan salt and grey salt.
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