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Posts posted by lcdm

  1. My husband and I went to lunch there today. We shared the chili, chicken legs, and a "pig out platter" (consisting of ribs, sausage, brisket and pulled pork) we ordered cole slaw and sweet potato fries as sides. Atmosphere was nice and the staff was attentive. All the food was good, nice and smokey but not overly so. I liked that the meats were not drenched in sauce (which was good because I did not care for the BBQ sauce, it was a little too sweet for me).

    If I had to put the items in order of what we liked best to OK




    brisket/pulled pork

    Next time we go back we will try the beef ribs.

    Oh and you just gotta love a place that has Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap :)

  2. How <i>should</i> my oven be behaving? Should it be heating just as well in the middle as it does at the sides? The same at the top as the bottom? How can I tell if I'm working with shoddy tools or simply a poor technique?

    I'm reasonably new to cooking, particularly using my oven. I have an electric fan-forced oven that was not taken care of my the house's previous owners. I've lived here for 2 years now, but shy away from using it since all of my attempts have been unsuccessful. I even managed to mess up a supermarket-bought apple pie -- the crust was black while the middle was cold, despite following the instructions. I would have thought those things were idiot-proof!  :wacko:

    So I've decided to put my oven through some controlled trials. The 'controlled' part of these trials means that they won't rely on the strength of my oven acumen, which at my level of experience is wildly variable at best!

    If anyone can recommend ways to 'test' the oven, no matter how creative, I'd love some suggestions.

    Buy an oven thermometer to make sure the oven temp is not off.

    A good way to gauge an oven is to make cookies (you could buy those pilsbury slica and bake or make your own). Make them according to the directions, you will be able to see where the hot spots are in your oven.

    Also you say the oven is electric fan-forced, can you shut off the fan or does it run all the time?

  3. Those of you with under-cabinet lighting: what kind of lights do you have? I'm concerned about the heat that a halogen light would generate, but I'm also not thrilled with the color of the fluorescent lights I've seen. I'm hoping that the under-cabinet lighting will be the major source of task lighting, and my husband's put me in charge of choosing the ones we'll use.

    Any advice?


    I wanted fluorescent (GE makes a very nice slimline that's no-flicker or buzz) but the electrician did me a "favor" and put in Halogen. They are nice but they do get very hot and they heat up the cabinet they are mounted under. I've heard good things about Xenon lights, but have not seen them in person.

  4. Another vote for Weber both propane and charcoal. If you go the charcoal route buy a chimney starter, the coals are ready a lot quicker.

    We use the propane for quick things and charcoal for low and slow or all day cooking events.

    I have also read favorable reviews of Vermont Casting grills.

  5. Knowing the little bit that I do about how all of this reality stuff works (a number of these have been filmed in NOLA and I have many friends who have worked on the production side of things), I would imagine that the Scott's were comped the whole thing as a trade off for being part of a commercial production.

    I mean, the Scotts did probably have some fun with it and I suspect that they knew what they were dealing with on some level, so it's hard to feel too bad for them. After all, there was probably some kind of newsprint or web thing that they responded to in order to get on the list so they pretty much knew the score going in, I would be willing to bet.

    I was thinking the same thing, only if they had seen stuff like Queer Eye they probably didn't expect to get anything so crappy. People on those shows usually get a very expensive and seemingly classy (for reality TV) event and a lot of free stuff to boot.

    I agree that they probably knew it was a contest and were comped. They made an informed decision and chose to go that route instead of having a reception of their own. I don't think the food was crappy, as Tiffany said it was better than most typical wedding fare, it just wasn't up to "elite" standards. It was probably much better than my wedding: stuffed breast of capon, veggie medly and twice baked potato :)

  6. We have Marmoleum (sheet, not the click). It's a great floor and it works for us (3 kids, a dog and cat).

    Didn't want tile - too hard on the feet and glasses :)

    Wood would have been nice but I would have obsessed about the scraches

    Vinyl (been there done that, always looked dirty to me)

    Cork was an alternate choice, but husband nixed.

    So we chose marmoleum, the hardest thing about it was picking the color. If you go with it bring home samples and test in your light, the color is variable.

    To clean I vacuum and damp mop, I have not re-sealed the floor yet, but I'm sure it will be no harder than damp mopping. It was a little on the expensive side, but I think that was due to the fact that we had it prof. installed. I think the "click' project can be "DIY".

  7. The baby showers I have attended had quite normal finger foods, spinach dip, veggies & dip, finger sandwiches, quiche, spinach salad. Desert was usually some kind of "bar", sheetcake or fruit salad. Think of a cross between a ladies luncheon and cocktail party.

    One game I remember. Take 10-20 lunch bags and number, enclose some kind of baby item in each bag (like a bottle, a pacifier, a diaper, small toy, bib........) and seal the bag. Each person gets a numbered list and has to write down what they think is in each bag, (it's OK to feel/shake the bags) the person with the highest number of guesses wins (and the mom-to-be gets to keep the baby items).

  8. Melissa, have you read this topic on experiences with IKEA cabinets and cupboards?

    Anyone have experience with Blanco sinks or faucets? This sink and this faucet caught our eye. Much as we'd love an apron-front sink, it wouldn't really work without undermount capability, and we have such a gloriously huge amount of counter space planned that we really can't afford the dream soapstone countertop to make an undermount work, at least for now. (At least we'll be able to put in a sponge holder tip-out or a towel bar on the front. I don't think both would work?)


    I have the Blanco sister sink; same model but 10 inch depth undermount. It is very deep and I wish I got the 8.5" (the counter added an additional inch and a quarter). If you go with the 12" and want a garbage disposal or garbage can under the sink measure to make sure it will fit (our garbage can now resides elsewhere, oh well live and learn).

    I found the cheapest price was on ebay from faucetdepot.com (even less expensive than their online store).

    Love the faucet you have chosen. We went with the HasGrohe Retroaktiv


    I agree that soapstone is expensive, if you still want undermount and a stone counter look at granite, some of the selections are quite reasonable (even less expensive than corian). But than again some of the formica choices are also very nice and about 1/3 - 1/2 the price.

  9. This may sound obvious, and I may offend pet people here, but be willing/able to put your pets outside, or in a spare bedroom, if there are guests that are a) severely allergic or b) have problems, or your pets have problems (the cat always throws up when company's there, or your huge dog likes to jump up on people).

    I usually warn people in advance that we have a cat, so they can take whatever precautions they may need to (allergy medicine, or whatever).

    And for heaven's sake, you might think it charming when Bootsy licks your plate clean, but your guests will likely be horrified and wonder how clean their own plates are!

    I agree while my dog gets used to company after a while, we usually keep her in a seperate room while we are having a party. This is also beneficial for the dog, a lot of people feel "sorry" for the dog and give them "just a little"; they don't have to deal with the aftermath.

    On a more serious note my SIL knows we have a dog and pops her medicine before coming over and brings her inhaler just in case.

  10. Why don't you make it flat? Like a sheet cake in the shape of a house.

    Or if you want it built to look like a model of a house, maybe make a rectangular layer cake and use something else for the roof (like gingerbread) and remove before serving.

  11. When we have held wine tastings I try to get everyone at the table, we supply paper and pencil and have people write down their thoughts about each wine (this way people will remember what they liked/disliked when they make their next trip to the wine shop). We usually do a blind tasting, which throws out any preconceived notions about the wine before tasting it (like "oh I hate Merlot" or "I only drink Chardonnay"). Ask people to rate each wine on a scale of 1-10 (just general how they liked it). At the end of the tasting unmask the wines and tally up the scores to see which wine was liked best by the crowd.

    Start out with the lightest wine and progess to the more full bodied. Try not to have foods that may leave a lingering or strong taste on the persons palate (like smoked salmon, or garlic spread).

    To start out the evening we usually serve a light sparkling wine, a Prosecco would be very nice.

    Provide plenty of water and have a discard bin available.

    If you can, have a seperate glass for each pour.

    If you happen to get a "bad or corked" bottle consider it a learning experience and explain what it means to the guests & what the causes could be.

    At the end of the evening you can opt to serve dessert with a sauterne or port.

  12. I will be worthy of my kitchen and it, me. I'm in the pre-construction final plan stage of a major remodel and spent five years with an ugly, malfunctioning, poorly laid out kitchen that's not entirely up to code (no downdraft for the cooktop), with cheap cabinets that would be fine if I didn't use it for more than setting the pizza box on the counter. 

    Do I need what I'm getting?  Technically, no.  Will it make my life easier and my house value increase?  Yes, to both.  Do I deserve it?  Yeah, baby!  And last, will I use it?  Of course.  I teach, write/test/edit recipes, cook for my family every day, and entertain for pleasure and business.  The architects I work with jumped at the chance to design such a kitchen.  And believe it or not, I'm not going as fancy-schmancy as some of the kitchens I've seen around here, that rarely get used.

    Andii, I liked your story.  I sold my last house with a fabulous kitchen to someone who is probably whipping up Tater Tots in the speed oven, and Hamburger Helper on the stove.

    I have a similar situation. We just finished our kitchen renovation (110 yr old house kitchen was literally falling apart and needed to gut to the studs).

    Did I need to buy the higher end appliances - I guess not I'm sure I could have been OK with lower end stuff. I did research each appliance and the layout of the kitchen to death and I must say that I love my kitchen. We use the kitchen everyday. I have a large family and during the holidays and various family get-togethers our usual crowd is about 30 people. I have entertained with standard appliances and with larger appliances and the larger appliances are definitely better.

  13. I bought mine at Home Goods.

    I tried using dried beans once, never again, they stunk up the whole house.

    I use dried garbanzo beans and aluminum foil. They work beautifully, and the beans never stink up the house or the oven. I've got some pie weights too, but really they seem nearly the same to me except the garbanzo beans of course are way cheaper.

    I thought the beans would have worked well and was surprised that they didn't. I used dried Kidney beans maybe that had something to do with it.

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