Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by LindaJ

  1. How do you get through life without sippy cups? I mean, I even use them in the car. No spilling my coffee is great! Anyway, cute baby, great trip, awesome Graco baby gear packing. Some of my best family memories are road tripping to the Cape. We thumped around more down towards Chatham, but Wellfleet/Truro are beautiful too. Down by the beach at night is the best place in the Northeast to see the Milky Way.
  2. You guys are the greatest. Thanks so much for all your thoughtful responses and experience. It was exactly what I needed to hear. First, this stuff is the candy buds or melts. I've seen it start to melt in the sun on a day that was 60 degrees - that's crazy. It means we'll have problems selling outside in a Farmer's Market even in the spring (Easter) and fall (Halloween). I am going to try a test where I send a dozen in a US Mail Priority shipper with gel pack to a few friends across the country. We'll see what happens. I'm happy to send larger orders in the big shipper, but that seems like overkill for a small order. Thanks for the leads on vendors too. I agree that summer and chocolate don't really mix, but a business that can only run from Sept to April ain't a real viable business. I'll let you guys know how the experiment works out.
  3. My neighbor and I have started a little chocolate business. That's her background and marketing is mine. Our product line is basic supplies (melting chocolate, consumer grade molds, lollipop sticks, etc.), all-in-one kits targeted towards busy working women who need to entertain kids, and some finished products. Our main finished product is chocolate covered pretzels with indulgent toppings. Summer is here and we're going over and over ways to reliably ship product without it going into puddles. What is the most efficient way you've found of doing that? We see gel packs and insulated packaging out there - that's pretty expensive for a product that basically retails for 7-9 bucks a pound. Would a 2-3 day shipper with a gel pack be sufficient? My partner is worried about moisture getting into the chocolate, but other companies are doing this so it must work somehow. All comments welcome on this or the chocolate business in general. I'll take any advice I can get. Our web site is listed in my sig but it's a mess right now. I'm converting over to an Ebay store in the coming week or two and it's going the way of the dodo. Thanks in advance.
  4. I made the pilgrimage to the Wegman's in Allentown PA which is a 1/2 hour drive for me (e.g., eternity with a screaming 20 month old who hates her car seat). They had ground beef club pack on sale for $1.99/lb and chicken breast for $1.79/lb. Sign up for their email newsletter online - it makes it worth the trip if you can get a good deal on the loss leader staples.
  5. I would agree with the cold sake. There's absolutely nothing like it with traditional light Japanese fare. Good cold sake is smooth and smells heavenly, like flowers and fruit. I save the hot stuff for winter now.
  6. LindaJ

    The BevWizard gadget

    It's deja vu all over again.
  7. I tried my last batch of orangecello last night. I seem to detect a "cheap lollipop" taste underneath that comes from the sugar. I didn't overcook the simple syrup or carmelize it in any way. I didn't add a huge amount to the batch either. There was plenty alcohol to balance the sweetness, but somehow it didn't do it for me. Has anyone tried any other sweetening agent? Cane sugar syrup like in the super fancy pants sodas? Based on this tasting, I've decided to go back to the 100 proof vodka for my next strawberry Lindacello experiment. Maybe the additional proof will cut the sweetness? My friends will just have to suck it up and use more mixer if they can't stand the bite.
  8. Summertime, and the 'cello is flowing. Based on Katie's recipe, I've made orangecello, limecello and grapefruitcello over the past year. Orange is my standard and is everyone's favorite. The lime is very like Rose's lime juice with a helluva kick. It's basically a vodka gimlet. Very tasty. I didn't like the grapefruit because it required too much simple syrup to cut the bitterness of the grapefruit, but I have a friend who loved it. I'm down to using 80 proof vodka cause no one can seem to stand the 100 proof stuff even when it's combined with a mixer. Maybe my friends are just lightweights. I regularly get requests to bring my "Lindacello" to parties I'm bottling it in 375ml bottles from the local beer/wine supply store with tasting corks which are reusable. It makes a quite pretty gift presentation with some custom labels my husband Photoshopped for me. Next on deck, by request of my Memorial Day picnic crew, is strawberrycello since my little organic strawberry patch is producing a bumper crop. Should be ready for July 4th so I'll let you all know how it goes. Happy 'celloing.
  9. LindaJ

    Top Chef

    Actually, based on some recent media accounts, I don't think that young sommeliers are all that rare: Food & Wine San Francisco Chronicle ← A few of these people seem to want to be "Celebrity Sommeliers." It's a little distressing.
  10. I get it too. It can be absolutely appalling but sometimes there are good ideas. Often times, I just give it to my 1 1/2 year old to "read" (i.e., rip apart).
  11. LindaJ

    Top Chef

    For this, I stayed up late? I didn't know there was Finale Part 1 and Finale Part 2. Silly me thought something called the Finale would be, you know, the finale.
  12. LindaJ

    Top Chef

    Oh my. How Bourdain of her. I liked her on the show, but now I love her and would buy her drinks anytime.
  13. I'm going to chime in here like Cleo. I'm in the US. My 18 month old eats whatever we eat. As we were introducing solids, I made my own baby food using a kit from Fresh Baby - www.freshbaby.com. Until she was about a year old, she only had organic, either home made or I found the Gerber Tender Harvest stuff to be incredibly yummy and more convenient while traveling. She's never had juice which I consider to be wine for children - all calories, no nutrition (Note: I'm a big wino, but she can chug on junk food when she's old enough to pay for it herself). She loves home made pizza, bread, and her favorite treat is peas. I'm not psycho, organic Mom, but not everyone is feeding their 10 month olds Happy Meals. Considering the growth of the organic baby foods segment in the US, I don't think I'm alone.
  14. For what it's worth, I also vote a Cotes du Rhone.
  15. I just read about this book coming out in my Smith College Alumnae Quarterly. I can't believe she's been gone so long already. She's in my thoughts every time I try to cook something new. I often think, "How would Julia do it?" She is so missed.
  16. LindaJ

    Wine doggy bags

    I moved to Penn from Mass about 3 years ago. I wouldn't use PA as an example of liberal (or even sensible) liquor laws. You can only buy liquor and wine in the State Stores (which are now VERY well run thanks to a new chairman). They do not allow direct sales to consumers from wineries (unless ordering from a PA winery). You have to order through the state system. You buy beer by the case ONLY in beer stores. If you want your beer cold, you pay extra. If you want a 6 pack, you can buy at triple the normal price from a bar. The fact I can't get a 6 pack of Sam Adams the couple of times a year I want chaps my britches. Yes, I am bitter! Based on all this, I don't think PA will be instituting this anytime soon and a lot of the best restaurants are BYOB anyway since they don't want to deal with any of it. MA seems to have really lightened up a lot on the whole blue law thing recently. I would take MA anytime. Edit: Oh yeah. MA did "open on Sundays" year round months before PA did. At least MA did open on Sundays for the holidays for a few years.
  17. By total coincidence, my husband and I spent Valentine's Day evening re-watching "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle". Must be some sort of harmonic convergence made us all White Castley.
  18. It still doesn't beat the NASCAR brand tomatoes for weirdness.
  19. Back when I was growing up in Chicopee, Mass going to Polish Catholic church in Holyoke, we called these "jelly doughnuts." None of my extended Polish family ever called these paczki or made them. Me and my Mom think it's a marketing ploy. It's certainly not a tradition from where we came from (Southeastern Poland aka Galicia). I never heard of them until the Big Y grocery chain in Western Mass (mentioned above) started making a big deal out of them. Maybe it's a more recent Polish tradition from the newer immigrants coming over. The concept of using up sugar and fruit before Lent assumes that you were rich enough to have sugar and fruit! That sure wasn't my little Polish farming family. I've eaten them, but you have to eat them real fresh or they become like little hockey pucks. Not even the birds will touch em once they go stale.
  20. Congratulations. I've found that a lot of stuff gets left in the bottom. Very depressing for the cheap people like me, but the stuff is just sludge. I like your choice of power tools as an aid in winemaking. Must steal the idea. After reviewing the thread, I find I have the same really classy "Biere et Vin" plastic fermentor that you do I would hope that it is food grade plastic because I've never noticed a petrochemical plasticy smell in my wine. I leave it in the kitchen high up so the Wee One doesn't get near it, and I swear, you can get high off the fumes that thing puts out in the first week. Please let us know the reaction when you pop the top on that first bottle.
  21. I lived in the Springfield area for 41 years - 10 of which were spent in Northampton. I moved away 3 years ago to marry my true love Any of the restaurants referenced above in Northampton will provide you with a really good dining experience. But on a Fri or Sat night, do you really want to drive 1/2 hour to a town you don't know, park in the parking garage, and then wander around all these cool places to find out there's a one hour plus waiting period. Probably not. I'd pick Del Raye or Green St. and make a reservation. Northampton is a really interesting place and that's part of the attraction of the restaurants. The food is good and made better by being part of the Northampton "scene". I, however, am sick to death of the Northampton scene All these place have web sites so look them up and pick one that suits you. I've been to Max's once when they first opened and it's a pretty good steak house. As I stated in my previous post, I think Chef Wayne's beats eveyone hands down for good food and experience including the Noho'ites. If these are still open, A Touch of Garlic at the "X" had really excellent Italian food and the Hofbrauhaus in West Springfield had great German without being stuffy like The Fort (Student Prince).
  22. Is Chef Wayne's Big Mamou still around? It's on Liberty St. across from the main Post Office in Springfield. There's usually on street parking readily available. Excellent Cajun style soul food. Cash only and no liquor but you can BYO. Servings are huge. Last time I was there, Chef Wayne was "selling" tequila shots for charitable donations and the line for the 20 or so seats was out the door. Arrive early and get your name on the list. Atmosphere is friendly since you're eating a foot away from your neighbors, but I'd choose this experience over the snootier restaurants 1/2 hour away and tons more expensive in Northampton. Springfield also has a number of old school Italian American restaurants (especially the South End) where the food can range in quality from Chef-Boy-R-Dee style to really amazing.
  23. LindaJ

    Wine and Pregnancy

    Loved the article. Finally, the voice of sanity backed up with scientific studies. I drank a few glasses of wine throughout my pregnancy. Baby is 15 months old today and is way smarter than I am. I've gotten so tired of defending my position to shocked people that I've stopped mentioning it. Or the fact that other countries tolerate or even approve of a glass of wine during pregnancy. I abstained for the first three months because that's when things can most go wrong from environmental factors. But after the amnio, I just tried to eat right and go with the flow. When I did my pre-labor checkin at the hospital, I had to fill out a long ass questionnaire about all the smoking I did (none). And the nurse didn't blink when I told her I drank a few glasses of wine, but became very concerned over my ice tea habit. Caffeine and smoking cause way more problems in terms of complications, pre-term labor, fetus size, premature delivery, etc. than moderate drinking.
  24. I heartily agree. The days when I could plunk down $100-$200 for a few bottles of wine ended the moment I decided to be a stay-at-home Mom. Until the wee one is in school and I'm gainfully employed or until that PowerBall finally hits, it's wine kits for me. And actually, it's a lot of fun spraying wine around the kitchen. I gave away a lot of my Petite Verdot for the holidays. Very big hit with the family and neighbors along with my home made orange/grapefruit/limoncellos. I wasn't terribly impressed with it though. I'd love to do a Pinot for my next. I'm thinking about doing some white and rose for the spring and summer even though I'm a red wine drinker. Wine kits are great that way - it's almost like planning your garden. Wine kit snobs don't know what they are missing - more for us to drink anyway!
  25. Now that I think about it, I think someone explained to me that the Weber was a cheesesteak hoagie. As if that would clarify anything to a Yankee girl. This is also the town where the best Chinese food is from the deli in the Giant.
  • Create New...