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Everything posted by lcdm

  1. I received a hostess gift from this place: Dayton Home Made Chocolates & Gift Baskets 110 Market St Clifton, NJ 07012 (973) 574-0444 Very Yummy
  2. lcdm

    Baked Ziti

    I usually mix the pasta with the sauce and 1/2 the mozzarella and layer with the ricotta: Mix all the pasta, 1/2 the mozz. & sauce, put 1/2 the pasta mixture in your baking dish, layer the ricotta (I mix with 1 egg and italian saesoning into the ricotta) in blobs, top with the rest of pasta & finish with the rest of the grated mozzarella.
  3. Let me preface this by saying that I have been a waitress in a diner, I've received good tips and received bad tips (penny under the glass of water trick). The automatic gratuity is a problem for me. 1st gratuity (from Merriam Webster) - is something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service. If a place wants to tack on a change for large parties fine, but call it a service charge (of course there may be tax ramifications). If it is a true gratuity than the patron should be allowed to dispute the amount and the amount should not include the tax for calculation purposes.
  4. I've never heard "How's your food tasting?" either, maybe it's a Pacific North West kind of thing - since the other people mentioning it are from that area? Usually get - How is everything? ... Can I get you anything? or the younger waitstaff.... How you guys doing.
  5. lcdm

    Range Questions

    Yes check out Capital, the company was started by former DCS employees after DCS was bought out by Fisher & Paykel. I purchased my range in 2005 so it may differ from the current model(s). Check out this site for opinions on appliances, it has tons of information and I found it very helpful when I remodeled my kitchen: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl/
  6. lcdm

    Range Questions

    I also had a tough time deciding griddle or grill, I opted for 6 burners. I figured the grill or griddle would be a pain to clean. If I want to griddle I have a griddle pan that fits over 2 burners which I can clean in the sink. I purchased a 36 inch 6 burner DCS and a KA single wall oven.
  7. Polish sausage (aka kielbasa) is usually cold smoked. I guess they could have made fresh kielbasa, but I don't think they would have had enough time (plus they had no electrical equipment). Epicurious has a few good recipes that would have fit the bill. I think one person on that team should have gone home due to the lack of a main ingredient.
  8. I disagree, last year someone used frozen waffles and won the challenge. I think if Nikki used a different kind of pre-made sausage with an innovative topping she could have won. For example: chicken apple sausage w/jicama, red pepper slaw served in a pita or kielbasa w/sauerkraut, apples, fennel and carmalized onions with a horseradish mustard on a long roll. I agree that she should go - she can't make decent sausage & peppers or mac & cheese(which is her specialty).
  9. Store-bought sausage (or pre cooked chicken) in of itself is not bad. For example, If she removed it from the casing and used it to stuff a butterflied pork loin. That can then be rolled and tied and grilled and made into porchetta sandwiches. That would've been great and no one would be complaining about her laziness and uncreativity. However, she chose to use the sausage as her main dish! In that case she most certainly was just a bad lazy cook by choosing to not make her own sausage. I cannot remember what the other contestant used the chicken for in previous seasons, but I'm willing to bet it was not a stand in for roast chicken. Was it? ← I agree with you, I think she lacked creativity in her choice, and to top it off it was not very good. I can't remember what the pre-made chicken was for, maybe a taco or quesadilla.
  10. I KNOW! She's in the bottom almost every week, she loses almost every quick fire, and yet she's somehow still here!!!! I think this is a major failing in the show, the fact that someone can consistently cook crap and still remain week after week. I predict she'll be gone within the next two episodes. ← Agreed. I was shocked they kicked Ryan off! Sure his concept was idiotic, but still she was downright bad. She grilled some store-bought sausages fro heaven's sake! Oh yeah and added some grilled onions and peppers for good measure. Any semi-good cook would've at least made an effort to make their own sausages, let alone a Top CHEF contestant. She. Cannot. Cook. ← I don't think that store-bought sausage is a bad thing, last year one of the contestants won with using pre-cooked chicken. At the very least she should have bought a more interesting sausage and top it with something different. She failed at sausage & peppers and mac & cheese. Come on. The only way she'll make it through the next round is if they have a team challenge and she happens to be part of the winning team.
  11. I canned last year for the first time, 2 books that really helped were The Ball Blue Book and Blue Ribbon Preserves: Secrets to Award-Winning Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and More. I also found the Ball website: http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/home/1.php and the harvest forum on gardenweb http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/harvest/ very helpful.
  12. We like Sweet Baby Ray's or Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce.
  13. It's around St. Patricks day so you could probably get a good deal on corned beef and make Rubens for lunch. Spiral cut ham with rolls Choucroute Garnie Soup Bar - you can make several types of soups ahead of time, and serve w/ several types of garnishes (depending on the soup - oyster crackers, gold fish, chives, cream, nuts, croutons, chesse.......) eat out of cups - this way people can sample more than one soup, and it's easily carried. Quiche/Savory Tarts - breakfast or lunch item or an egg casserole.
  14. lcdm

    Menu Atrocities

    Along the same line, I always chuckle at: brie cheese and chai tea
  15. lcdm

    Vegetable Garden Ideas

    What a great idea. For my top 5 I'd pick: Tomato Cucumber green Beans Red Pepper Squash
  16. Especially if it's filled with nitrites. ← I don't know how it's wrapped - the outer layer is foil w/netting. I'm assuming it's cryovaced under the foil (similar to a spiral cut ham).
  17. It could be OK, we have a gifted precooked turkey breast in the fridge from Christmas and the label says it's good until 1/26. It was purchased at Costco.
  18. lcdm

    Mashed Potato Substitutes

    I've read that new potatoes and sweet potatoes have a lower Glycemic Index (than regular potatoes). You may want to try these as an alternative (in moderation).
  19. After trying multple recipes I've settled on this one - my Mom agrees that this tastes almost as good as my grandmothers. The dough is nice and soft. Enjoy Lisa • 1 large egg • 2 tablespoons sour cream • 1 cup milk • 1 cup water • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour • 1 cup cake flour, plus more for dusting 1.Using a mixer (with wisk attachment), whisk egg. Add sour cream, and whisk until smooth. Add milk and 1 cup water, and whisk until combined. 2. Switch to paddle attachment and add 1 cup cake flour and about 2 cups flour, and stir to combine. 3. Work in about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour. The dough should be elastic in texture and no longer sticky. Be careful not to add too much flour, as this will toughen dough. Place dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rest while you prepare filling. 3.On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Using a glass or cookie cutter measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out as many circles as possible. Gather dough scraps together, rolling them out again, and continue cutting.
  20. lcdm

    Prime Rib

    Thanks Marlene - I used this method last night and it came out perfect.
  21. ← Interesting article I laughed out loud when I read this :
  22. A crockpot on low is usually 200 degrees and 300 on high. Could you heat up the food at home - keep warm in the car (store in a cooler wraped in a towel), and plug in the crockpot when you get to work?
  23. I have both an electric (Kitchen Aid) and gas oven (DCS Range). I like using the gas oven better. I think the gas oven holds a more even temp.
  24. What about an electric frying pan? Don't know if it's deep enough or goes low enought for you purpose.
  25. I would put the double oven where the frig is, leave the stove, sink, diswasher and pantry palcement. Get rid of the peninsula, put the refrig next to the dishwasher, and put an island in the kitchen running parallel with the sink wall.
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