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Everything posted by cakewench

  1. hmm pumpkinseed oil. What do you use this in? It sounds intriguing. I'll have to keep a lookout in my wanderings... Walnut schnapps also sounds excellent. I've just done a bit of shopping for small hostess gifts. We are staying with a couple we don't know very well, in Germany. I've picked up for them: -a jar of Chivers lemon marmalade -stroopwaffels -stroopkoeken! -some nice gouda with caraway seeds (well, okay, I haven't bought this yet, but I will tomorrow, in the city.
  2. On that note, I would like to add here that I have just purchased a Virginia Woolf mug on Ebay UK. Purple, even! Thanks for the inspiration. I would also like to second the idea of a nice scone recipe. Assuming you're interested in the task. The closest I've done were some feta-chive things which really turned out more like American biscuits than anything else. (still tasted good, though!)
  3. In a few days, my husband and I will be heading to Germany to visit his old University. I'm already making my shopping list: -rapshonig -plum wine -an assortment of the latest seasonal Ritter Sport chocolates (wow, the Maple Walnut one is good, as well as the Italian flavor which I can't recall the name of...) -beer, of course. He is especially fond of one of the beers local to the city we will be visiting. (I forget the name of the beer, sorry if anyone is keeping track!) Anyhoo. I'm sure there must be other folks who have lists for when they find themselves across country borders. And there are just so many borders here, 'Elsewhere in Europe'.
  4. hey ho. I visited CK with a few friends on my last visit to DC (early December), but forgot to post about it. Everything was fantastic. really. I had read so many things about the service (not a single problem, and our server was actually quite informative/helpful/amusing) that I gave my little group the heads-up before we even left. IE, "I don't care if they tell us to fetch our own drinks and bus our own tables, remember we're in it for the food." The warning was not needed. Who ARE those people writing reviews on wp.com? (not Sietsema, I mean the whingeing masses in 'reader review'-land) There were four of us. I was very excited to have my husband, who is German, have a chance to try some typical 'American' dishes, done well. Unfortunately, Europeans tend to think 'American' = hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. I was hoping to have that inclination wiped away, at least a bit. My own home cooking is not traditional, in case you're wondering why I haven't done the job myself! We were sent some turkey soup to taste (very nice, he ended up ordering it for his app), and as it was pre-liquor license, we all ordered some nostalgic flavored sodas. Unfortunately, I can't recall the details of every dish that was ordered, but we did pass around tastes of each item, so I was able to sample a good portion of the menu. I had the chicken pot pie as my own app. The crust (read, no 'crust' as such, more of a light, flakey biscuit cap for the filling) was not what I expected, but that isn't a bad thing. The filling was pot-pie-perfection. I think it was my favorite bit of the evening. My main was the meatloaf with redeye gravy. I should say that I am extremely... ambivilent about meatloaf in general. It's one of those dishes that one's mother cooks to perfection, and all others tend to pale in comparison with. It also something I never crave, and never think "gosh, could hitch myself up to the diner and get me some semi-homemade meatloaf'n'gravy'n'fixins'." I also dislike gravy in general. BUT. I had read lovely things about her meatloaf, and so I had to order it. And, good lord, am I glad I did. yum. My husband had some flavorful fish. Another companion ordered what was possibly the least interesting dish (not 'bad', mind you, just not earth-shattering), which was a shrimp dish. Everyone was pleased, and stuffed. So of COURSE we ordered some dessert. I shared the chocolate... souffle.. something (oh boy. I forget.) with my husband. Our other two companions, unencumbered by spouses, got their own desserts. Our cake was the winner for that round, I must say. I went to give some fangirl-esque compliments to Chef at her window, and she tolerated me very politely. Why am I bothering to write this all up? I'm really hoping you all keep her in business until we are able to visit again! Also, I've noticed the menu change (why yes, I AM on their mailing list), and I'm curious to hear any reports as to how it is.
  5. oh, boy. This reminded me of my the grilled cheese sandwiches I discovered in high school. I would occasionally make them with bacon, and then I discovered frying the sandwiches in the bacon fat. I don't make them like that anymore. *edited* again to add, welcome to eG, Idlewild! What a great first post...
  6. I was fortunate in that my first experience with recipes from Australia were from the cookbooks published by the Australian Woman's Weekly and the inside back cover included all the conversion factors for U.K., America and OZ. However many of the recipes were by weight so I tended to avoid the ones measured by volume. Have you posted your recipe? ← andi- I have not posted the recipe. I will find it and do so, if you are interested. I can say, though, that if you happen to already have an Anzac biscuit recipe, you pretty much just need to reduce all of the main dry ingredients by approx. 1/4 cup. Butter stays the same. Cooking time also needs to be reduced. (yeah, okay, I'll try to make it up into a proper recipe!) When I first made them, I hadn't yet been to Australia, and had never had the things. I had never even seen them. They were a flop with the then-boyfriend (an Aussie), but when I tried again and inflicted them upon my American friends, they thought they were the best things ever. I think the Aussie was just hung up on the way the cookies 'should have' looked. Because the taste was certainly excellent. Says the woman who made them. That was a few years ago. I now prefer my recipe instructions to give the weights of the ingredients. I also have some Australian Women's Weekly booklets, btw! They have some nice bar cookies ('slices').
  7. When I read the subject, my immediate reaction was, well, 'ew.' Of course, now that I've read it, I find that I agree with a lot of the semi-positive comments. I DO like brunch buffets, especially those in nice hotels. It might have more to do with the fact that that sort of big breakfast is usually reserved (in my world, anyway) for vacations. Instead of word association, it's food association! Eggs + bacon + possible waffle = relaxation, where's the beach? I like when there is someone there to make fresh omelettes, crepes, or whatever. Add fresh squeezed OJ and crisp bacon... yum. (and if it's a buffet, well, that means bacon refills. 'nuff said.) Indian buffets can also be good. There was a place I really liked back in DC (I forget the name) which was a really nice restaurant. They were 'normal' for dinner, but at lunch they did a buffet, presumably to drag in the local working crowd. It was an excellent way to sample their menu, and I did visit a few times for dinner to have the full experience.
  8. nerdgirl- It's okay. My husband is German and was flummoxed over the potato question. I mean, the answer was obvious, just from the way the choices were laid out, but he hasn't heard of it. We're both wondering if it isn't a Bavarian tradition. (Bavaria = place where most foreigners visit, and so people come away with the idea that the entire country must be that way. ) He also said, and I quote, "maybe it's something old people do?" heh. Germans overwhelmingly use both utensils at once, in European style. I notice this (as an observant foodie, and outsider American), and have followed suit. And I know it said 'snooty restaurants', but his family is easily upper middle class, and we have visited some excellent restaurants when we are there. Okay, maybe I'm just a little bitter than I scored so poorly. 7/11 !
  9. Thanks for posting the mug info. I was pondering whether or not I should ask, especially after you said you hoped the mug wouldn't get more attention than the food in the blog.
  10. I don't do dinner for other people very often, so I don't have a popular savoury dish. My husband, though, absolutely loves... my marinated salmon (marinade: ginger, garlic, soy sauce, some sort of fruit juice, peanut oil. variations may occur). I like it, too, but I think his zeal for it is explained by the fact that it is a 'new' taste to him. Simple marinades in that style are not popular in Germany. I did recently discover a fantastic recipe for walnut-crusted turkey medallions, served with a mushroom-wine sauce. It was from a German chef's website. I made it for Christmas, and we both loved it. I would certainly make it again for a special occasion. The dishes people ask me for regularly are cakes and cookies. I have a great recipe for Australian Anzac cookies, which has been made truly my own by the measuring mistakes I made the first time I baked them. (Anyone else know that Australian cups are about 1/4 c. more than American ones? Similar differences with the spoon sizes. I didn't, at that point. hah.) My version produces a very thin cookie, almost lattice-style. People rave over them, and have claimed that the cookies possess an addictive quality on par with certain illegal drugs. The requests are usually worded in format of "could you bring the Australian Crack cookies?"
  11. Okay, who has seen this? I mean the actual item more than the article, you realize. Comments? Anyone think this will be available to the general public? (and if this has already been brought up somewhere, I apologize. I'm a few time zones away, and I miss things sometimes..)
  12. hey ho, another blog close to my time zone. I love reading these things real-time. And so let me be the first to say: wow, those flapjacks look nothing like American flapjacks. Not that there is anything wrong with that. They look awesome. Carry on. *edited* to add that I covet your mug, if not its instant contents.
  13. I recall being very envious of kids whose parents bought PopTarts. Why, oh why, I don't know. I liked the strawberry ones. I used to like making lettuce sandwiches. Mayo, squishy white bread, and crisp iceburg lettuce. Salt and pepper. Completely lacking in nutritional value. Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies were a favorite of mine. Grape Nehi soda from the corner market. Sometimes Butterscotch Krimpets. My mother baked lovely things, when she had time to. But somehow, when you're a kid, crap with bright wrappers is more appealing than homemade. Luckily, enough of my friends adored her cookies that I learned to appreciate having a mom who could bake.
  14. cakewench

    Hash Browns?

    oh, such helpful replies! And me too stupid to correctly quote several posts at once! I haven't made mine yet, as I ended up making the eG famous roasted cauliflower instead. (more from necessity than anything else. The potatoes will keep, the cauliflower would have walked out on its own had I ignored it another day!) I believe tomorrow will be The Day. And, like bleu-Lucy, I believe I shall invite the foreign husband in on the ceremony. For dinner. Love the photos, btw, Lucy! FWIW, since lots of people asked: I will probably be aiming for large-ish chunks of potato, mixed in with the smaller crumbly bits, of course. Onion is a must, which shall be cooked down a bit before adding the potatoes. If I'm feeling fancy, garlic may be involved. We shall see. Thanks again, everyone, for the input!
  15. Oh, good lord, leave it to eGullet to bring back my canned bread memories. I had completely forgotten about the stuff. But, like everyone else here down memory lane, I really liked it at the time. I'm sure I'd still like it, actually. The worst canned veg are peas. hatehatehate them. Asparagus aren't far behind, but they weren't foisted upon me as a child, so I don't have quite the degree of pent-up animosity towards them.
  16. cakewench

    Hash Browns?

    Alrightie. Back in Amsterdam after a weekend with the in-laws in Germany. I've had it up to here *gestures* with foreign-ity right now. When I get in these moods (rare, but powerful when they occur), only Comfort Foods can help. I'm typing this up after a long, tedious car ride, and will be falling into bed shortly. I hope to wake up to find an answer or two to this question. Which is: Any suggestions for hash brown preparation? The potato-and-onion sort. Minimal frills. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous, but I think I've only made them myself once, a long time ago, and I don't recall what I did. For example, perhaps a question better suited to the 'stupid question' thread, but does one cook the potatoes first? ie, am I frying raw potato (okay, it already sounds wrong, somehow), or boiling/roasting beforehand? Any other suggestions regarding nice, fried, breakfast-style potatoes are welcome, also. I'm picturing some nice over-easy eggs, toast, and hash browns on the menu tomorrow for lunch. (no, not breakfast. I might like the 'American breakfast', but it's a bit ...much... for actual breakfast. Unless I'm on vacation. Which I'm not. /sidetrack) Thanks!
  17. You know, 'sammich' bugs the hell out of me, too. The other ones don't make me cringe AS much. I have taken to the abbreviation of 'veg' sometimes. Not often, but most people over here speak British English, anyway (and it's a popular term there, at least in print.) I think my extra problem with 'sammich' is that it isn't making the word any shorter. It doesn't serve much purpose, except to make the speaker sound cute. Or 6 years old. whichever. 'Entree' = main course needs to stop because it's incorrect. I hate that it's been beaten into my brain as having that meaning, because it leaves me having to correct myself in social eating situations here in Europe. '...Oh yes, I said entree, but I didn't really mean it.' sigh. Likewise, it means I have to explain to my husband and his family, when we visit the US, just why the 'entrees' are all so pricey. carry on.
  18. god, I love cake. I'm another one who prefers it over candy, chocolate, whatever. It is my sweet of choice. I guess I don't see it as having to be 'too' sweet, though. Usually that sweetness is dictated by the icing. A nice glaze is lovely. Birthday cake-style frosting, well, that's another matter. I can like that, too, but it is certainly more cloying than a glaze. And now that I'm getting used to having a proper coffee/tea time in the afternoon, I have really come to appreciate cake with coffee. (I'm one of those people who can't drink coffee after oh, 6pm, without being up all night. pity. When did this happen, dammit?? ) mmm cake.
  19. mmm Cream of Wheat. I have NO idea why I liked it so much. We would also have oatmeal, which was fine. Cream of Wheat had the horrible little puzzles on the instant baggies, though. (if we had oatmeal, yes, it was the real thing. Cream of Wheat was always in baggies, though... I think I bought it a few years ago, for old times sake, and the puzzles were gone. sniff.)
  20. for me: the simple pumpkin soup I made to accompany our Christmas dinner. amazing. for my husband: the walnut-coated turkey medallions (with a wine cream sauce) which I made as the main course. Though he was impressed with the pumpkin soup, too.
  21. Yeah, what she said. You can do retro with syrups, too. You would just have to make an intial investment in a cutesy old-tyme soda fountain. I can't think of a good example, but I remember a working model at the Dr Pepper museum in TX, and I know I have seen them elsewhere. Offering other options outside of bottled beverages can only work in your favor. As an accountant for a restaurant, you must see firsthand the huge profit margin in that area. Anyhoo, for what it's worth, I'm interested in reading more about the process of opening your cafe!
  22. Put me down for canned black beans, too. Also, for soups, I use canned tomato paste sometimes. Canned peas are just shocking, and should not even allowed to retain the 'pea' name. My mother likes to put canned peas in her cold tuna/pasta salad thing. Thankfully, she knows it's an acquired taste (to say the least!) and doesn't generally do it if she knows someone else will be having the salad. I do miss Goya products. I found some in a Chinese wholesale market over here, in the American import section. No beans, though.
  23. Well, if we're talking dream sandwiches... and really, this isn't a sandwich, but it does feature contents surrounded by a bread substance, similar to the caviar experience above. but: I spent all my summers in RI as a child, with my grandparents, and got addicted to NE-style lobster rolls. It has to be one of those rectangular-style hot dog rolls, grilled with a tiny bit of butter, then buried in a simple lobster salad ('simple' meaning, big hunks of lobster which have been waved past some mayo and possibly a spice or two.) ah, gorgeous. I know someone who visited NE a few years ago, then went on a search for the aforementioned rolls in the DC area. She reported back that there was a place that did them, with reasonable success (albeit for at east twice the price, but whatever.) If I found that place, that would be my sandwich. But, dreamworld aside, I would totally go with my original choice. If it were my last sandwich ever, though, I could stop worrying about all the fat the mayo, oil, and salami has, and grab a pint of Ben and Jerry's at the same deli to chase it down.
  24. My favorite sandwiches in the DC area come from the Gourmet Pizza Deli (or Lost Dog Cafe... I lived in the neighborhood as a kid, and I still think of it as the GPD. Not sure if they changed the name, or just added the eating space next door) in North Arlington. I believe my favorite was the Sicilian, which had an awesome combination of Genoa salami, turkey, mayo (though I think they changed the recipe, and it features oil now), some sort of veg, and a pretty good bread. They also have coolers full of hard-to-find imported beers. And decent VA wines.
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