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Posts posted by lcdm

  1. I agree with most of the others simple food done well (especially burgers/hot dogs)

    some other options with a little twist:

    Wings w/raspberry chipotle sauce

    Fish & Chips - w/ special tarter sauce (jalapenos, capers...)

    Sausage/keilbasa platter w/red cabbage and brown bread served with several types of mustard

    soup/chili/stew in a bread bowl

    Pierogies - twist on the fillings

    Grilled cheese - different bread & cheeses/fillings

    Panini - tons of options

    French onion soup

    Po' Boy's

    One of our favorites at a local place - rock shrimp - lightly breaded & fried (like tempura) served in a bowl with olive oil, lemon, garlic and crushed red pepper.

    That and a loaf of bread for sopping up the sauce - yum!

    If you are trying to cater to families - one place we go to serves the kids meal in a frisbee and ice cream is included in the price (usually an ice cream sandwich). If the kids are happy the parents are happy.

  2. The Le Creuset website states that the knobs are safe up to 450F

    Phenolic knobs are heat proof to 450°F. Further, it is best to keep phenolic knobs away from the heating elements in an oven as the temperature in this area is generally hotter than the temperature throughout the oven.


    When I had the oven up to 500 I did notice a smell but I didn't know if it was the oven or the knob on the pot. I'm guessing after repeated use at 500 the integrity of the knob may be compromised.

  3. This may come off as rather callous but at no time did the judges say to limit the use of sugar, only to limit calories.  While what Betty did may have been against the rules (which weren't all that clearly explained according to what we saw on show) you can't fault her ethically for using sugar if it in fact was under the 500 calorie limit.

    It is not the responsibility of the chefs to know or care whether the kids were diabetic or not.  The rules were 500 calories, make it taste good.  This is a competition and if using sugar while staying in the rules works, I'm fine with it.

    That's how I interpreted the challenge 500 calories - main, side and dessert. They could have served a salad w/no cal dressing, small piece of turkey cutlet and a snickers bar and come in under 500 calories.

  4. I don't know, I sort of liked the challanges. Making something out of a vending machine - some of the dishes were really imaginative; although I didn't like that the last couple people got scraps. I thought the glucose challange was a good one also, it really surprised me that some of the contestants had no idea how many calories were in what. Colicchio bought up an interesting point when he was in the kitchen, he asked one team why would a kid want a fruit drink when they could have fudge cake? One of the team members said because they are watching their weight and they should get used to it (or something like that). Even though the kids are on diets they should have access to things that taste good.

  5. It depends how strict the person is. My girlfriend would not eat chocolate because it had caffeine in it.

    Let's see I ate just about everything (no raw meat/fish and tried to cut down on caffeine). I craved chicken salad and spicy foods. Even though I love spinach I could not eat it during my pregnancy (don't know why but it really grossed me out).

  6. Thanks for all the replies!

    I've spent many years in an upscale catering industry, where I've seen lots of rehearsal dinners that were attempts to out-do the wedding.

    My own rehearsal dinner (22 years ago) was for the parents, bridal party and their guest/spouse, and the cleryman. 

    What prompted my original question was this:  my older son (not the groom) can't understand why we wouldn't have the rehearsal dinner at the hotel where most of the wedding party and out-of-town guests are staying.  His reasoning:

        a) that, of course, any out-of-town guest is going to be invited to the rehearsal dinner; and so the rehearsal dinner will be one big pre-reception party, and so

          b)  that way we (the parents) can keep the bar open all night and everyone will already be at the hotel.

    Other comments of his lead his father and me to believe that the past couple of weddings he has participated in have basically amounted to an all expenses paid weekend away (food and bar tabs picked up; all transportation furnished; discounted rooms & tux rentals, etc.)

    Again, please let me know your thoughts/experiences, etc. on this.  I also realize that customs are different in different parts of the country.


    Most rehersal dinners that I have attended were only for the parents, bridal party and their guest/spouse, and the cleryman. They have either been at a local restaurant or at someones home. My MIL threw mine (very nice buffet at her house). My mom threw my sisters since the grooms family was from out of town. My mom catered Chinese food. The rehersal dinners I have attended at restaurants have been at all types of places, high end, burger joint, steakhouse.....

    usually last a few hours and the bride and groom thank the attendants and give out attendant gifts.

    I guess if you want and can afford to throw basically another wedding (but exclude people who live within commuting distance) thats up to you.

  7. If you don't want to go heavy, how about an onion or mushroom soup.

    For a little kick add some sherry pepper sauce.

    Am in the process of planning the Thanksgiving menu, and need some new ideas.  We've been stuck in a rut of butternut-squash and chunky chowder soups for the past several years, and folks always groan about filling up too much on a rich soup before the big meal.  (Of course, the idea of just not having the soup course also met with serious disapproval from opposing camps in the Soup Wars.)

    So I'm trying to think of an interesting soup that will make everyone happy.  Like a soup with...

    ...mostly vegetables

    ...some kick to it

    ...not too heavy - enough to whet people's appetites, but not so they fill up before dinner

    ...make-ahead to reduce stress on T-Day

    Ideas?  Help!

  8. Don't know if this is what you are looking for:

    I try to buy what's on sale. I know that my supermarket sales go in cycles, pork one week, chicken another, beef another. So I try to buy on sale a freeze, this week skinless boneless chicken breasts were on sale for 1.99 a lb and whole chicken legs for .49. Sometimes I'll get the large family pack and freeze in serving size portions (or cook the whole thing and freeze that way). I use the supermarkets shopping card each time I shop to qualify for discounts & free"stuff". Free turkey or ham for Thanksgiving, one time during the year they have a promo - for each 500 (or was it 250, can't remember) you spend you get a 10% off coupon. During one period I accumulated 5-10% coupons. I saved 50% on a very large shopping order.

  9. Wow what a question. I agree with most of what is written.

    My husband and I own a wine shop. He manages it, I work a “normal” 9-5 job w/benefits (I worked there part time plus my “normal” job before kids). During college I worked as a waitress at a diner 6pm-6am on the weekends and 1-2 nights a week. IMHO working somewhere and owning are two entirely different things.

    1.Benefits – offering benefits may break the bank, if you don’t you have to make sure you are covered personally $$$$$$ (also you get what you pay for).

    2.Wait staff, cooks, dishwashers are a transient lot, who will fill in the spaces when someone doesn’t show up (usually during a holiday weekend). Also you have to worry about who is getting along with who, who’s not. What are you going to do if a waitress complains about getting pinched by customers/by the chef, what if the waitress retaliates (like sort of stabbing a cook with a knife)?

    3.Don’t plan on a life outside your business, holidays, weekends, sleep, vacations, social engagements, forget them. In fact if you plan a vacation 3 employees will not show up (jail, sick, never coming back, shacked up/drugged out).

    4.No one cares about your business the way you would, get over it, it’s just a fact. Maybe you’ll get lucky and hire someone that does, don’t count on it.

    5.Some may say look at the guy who is successful and owns three restaurants……. He/She worked like a dog for 10-20 years to just pay their loans and doesn’t know their kids birthdays (if they have kids).

    6.Family & friends – how will you handle this, discount/free – they may take up valuable table space from paying customers.

    7.Fundraisers – prepare to be bombarded by every school/charity/hospital/town function, yes they are important, but when you are just paying the bills it’s tough and people tend to think “since you own a business”.

    8.More importantly – do you like people? I mean really like people, all types. The blue haired ladies that ask for a discount, the people that count their pennies, the people that complain to make themselves seem better/more knowledgeable than you. The people that send stuff back even though it’s fine, the people that complain to receive a comp…… My sister and husband opened a business and came to the conclusion that they were not cut out to serve the people (they liked people just fine, were great at parties, my sister has the patience of a saint, just couldn’t stand the neediness and “special requests”).

  10. Made the applesauce spice bars last night. There were only 4 left when I left for work this morning. Thumbs up from the whole family. I was getting tired and was going to skip making the topping, I'm glad I didn't ; it really made the bars special.

    I wonder if there will be any left when I return from work :raz:

  11. I should add that when I do a butt, I almost always smoke a whole butt (about 7 - 9 lbs, bone-in), in a dedicated smoker (Bar-B-Chef Offset from Barbeques Galore) at around 250 deg F.  Smoking technique can be a little complicated, and I don't sense any need to get into it here.  But ... if you want advice, just ask.   

    That said, you can do a very good job in a kitchen oven at 300 deg F.   Having brined, there's no need to add any moisture, or use any sort of braise technique. 


    My "plan" was a 5-pound butt at around 250 for 10 hours or so. It's in the brine already, so for this shot, the best I can do is improve the rub-type thing.

    I would love to get into a real smoking deal, but this one is sadly down the river too far to be brought back. I will message about a future plan rich.

    I usually smoke outdoors (weber bullet) but on occasion I have made "pulled pork" in the oven. The best recipe/method I have found is from Tyler Florence:


    Basically -

    apply the rub & roast at 300 degrees until it's falling apart (about 6 hours).


  12. I usually take a loaf of crusty (Italian or French) bread. Cut lengthwise, smear on both sides a stick of softened salted butter. Spoon on chopped garlic and grated parm. cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. I close it up and cut into serving slices (I don't cut all the way through just enough so it's easier to serve when it's hot). I wrap in AL foil and bake at 350 for approx. 30 minutes. The outside is nice and crusty and the inside is a little mushy.

  13. I also purchased the book at Costco.

    For my first recipe I made the Cardamom crumb cake. I didn't know how orange, expresso and cardamom would work but it did. It was very nice - not too sweet.

    I baked it a little longer than the recipe specified (the knife did not come out clean) and the nuts browned too much. Would using a glass pan caused this, maybe I'll use a metal pan next time?



  14. Does anyone have an opinion about/or has used linoleum.

    I am at the beginning of a kitchen remodel that will take a few years as it will be done in stages. I presently have a wood floor in my kitchen and I hate it... it looks good admittedly but needs refinishing (sanding, restaining and 3-5 coats of urethane every 5 years or so) as well as daily cleaning. I don't think I want tile because it is hard on the feet but admittedly also looks good and is easy to clean (needs resealing I think periodically). Which leave me linoleum as I refuse to consider vinyl.

    We have linoleum and I could not be happier. I didn't want tile because as you said it's hard on the feet (and dropped glasses). Wood would have been OK but I would have obssesed about the scratches. So we got lino with a design around the border. Works for us (family of 5 and 1 dog/2 cats).

  15. I think they probably will bring everything on this list..I'm just not sure which ones my team will get...yep juniper, just what I was thinking...I'm not really going to get into my final preperation ideas here (I'd like a bit of a creative edge come competition day) just in case my competition is paying attention  :rolleyes:

    Whole hog...I don't envy the person who gets that one!

    I thought everyone gets the same "meat" to prepare and you are judged against each other. Am I wrong?

    Congrats on the brisket.

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