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Posts posted by nessa

  1. OK, its Sunday so obviously I didn't buy this today, but does Tuesday count as close enough?

    There's a new Smirnoff in town and its tasty. Marshmallow vodka. They had a tasting, I really was just there for bourbon but got suckered in. I also bought some Knob Creek.

    The Smirnoff went into a chocolate "martini" cocktail thing that kept me from strangling folks while I smoked the turkeys. It was too early for strait bourbon.

  2. Whew! What a whirlwind week! I managed to get downtown 2 times. Last Sunday I ate at Tajitu, and found it quite tasty and good. I had the veggie combo and was happy with most of the selections. The spicy dishes could have had a bit more kick to them, but all in all, I'd recommend them.

    Monday night I grabbed a fast take out from Peking Gourmet. Bleh. Kung pao with so much super sweet sauce and more peanuts than a circus only a token green onion for veggies, but the shrimp and scallops were good after I wiped the sauce off. Super cloyingly sweet, in my opinion. I was tired and didn't feel like exploring. Tuesday I found the Mediterranean Grill and ordered the Lebanon plate, which was my choice of 6 mezze. I got some shrimp in tomato-garlic sauce, Tzaziki, hummus, falafel, dolmas and the olives/feta plate. Needless to say this was enough for one person for like 3 nights. So I found a liquor store and a couple bottles of wine, and enjoyed that for Tues-Thurs. Everything was really good, but the dolmas were mushy. The tzaziki was pretty stellar. The bread looked yummy and smelled good, I can't eat wheat anymore so I can't comment on its flavor.

    Tonight I found the Black Boar BBQ and had the Arkansas beef and the Carolina pork. Arkansas beef was too sweet for my liking but the pork was pretty well flavored. Decent 'cue but nothing to write home about. I bought some promising looking coffee-chocolate bars at Zoe's, I'll report on them after I've partaken, sometime next week. I also found the Baltimore coffee place this morning and was quite happy with my 6 shot latte, and will visit them again tomorrow. I have no idea if I'll be here for lunch or on the road, but thanks for all the suggestions! I had a good time here in Frederick.

  3. >swoon< Oh Mal! Shopping!!! Oil and vinegar (check) Truffles (check) Cheese (check) Knives (check) I'm so in.

    Thank you all for all of your suggestions and advice. I can now make the most of my time in lovely Frederick. I'll take pics!! Texas gal storms MD, news at 11~

  4. So, I'll be in Frederick MD for a whole week, and I need dining options other than Volt. They have no available reservations that week, I'm sad to say.

    So far I've gleaned the fourms for tidbits and want to try Tajitu, John Hagen's Tavern, and Isabella's.

    I hear downtown is wonderful so I'll try to spend as much time there as I can, perusing shops and noshing.

    So what's a Texas gal have to do in MD to catch some local flavor?

  5. I'll check and see when I get home what brand it is, and see if its actually "real" balsamic. I was wondering if adding that chunkiness, if it is in fact mother, to my own vinegar jar and if so would it improve on it. I might just throw it away and be sad. Its gelatinous but not fiberous.

    After reading that link, I bet is is "modena" and this could be the guar gum solidifying. EWEWEWEWEWWWWW

  6. I found fresh fava beans at my local "farmer's market". I would like to make a middle eastern dish with them that I've had before, though I'm open to suggestions for other dishes. The one I'm thinking of had some kind of lemony sauce, maybe with tahini or yogurt. It was so good I wanted to lick the plate. I think it was made with dried fava beans.... can I use fresh in place? Is there some other prep that would make these little jewels shine?

    Here is what I think I know about prep:

    Boil for a few min until pods are easily opened, then cool. Peel each individual bean...... then they are ready?

    I'd love some advice!

  7. If I don't see the word "dry" on the tag, I always ask, even at my favorite fishmonger. My understanding is that most scallops have this preservative.

    They were in the case, not a bag. I never thought to ask ut now I'm going to look that up and have a wee little word with the nice man behind the counter!

  8. I got them from Sprouts, a local farmers markety kinda grocery store, they are usually pretty organic. But I will ask them cause that was just plain nasty. I've always been pretty happy with their fish. If I recall correctly the last scallops I bought from them were previously frozen.....

  9. Or was I just misbehavin'?

    I bought some fresh scallops for dinner this evening and something was just not right.

    They didn't smell bad, no more or less fishy than any other fish product I've brought home to my kitchen to lovingly prepare..... And I have cooked scallops before.... but not very often.

    They were nice and large, most about the size of a half dollar or larger. At least when I started, that is. They did seem to fall apart a little easier than I remember while gently washing and patting them dry. I tossed them with a couple teaspoons of tamari, heated the oil in the pan to sear them, then added a teaspoon of sugar, thinking to up the carmelization. I tossed them in the pan and they started to sputter and sizzle like good little scallops. I turned my back to cut the green onions, and when I turned back they were swimming in some whitish liquid. Drowning in it. Perplexed, and not wanting boiled scallops, I drained them and added a touch more oil. Then the smell hit me. Twerent quite right. It didnt smell like bad fish, just did not smell like scallops. I still cant place the smell but it made me very nervous. More whitish liquid was coming out, but they looked done so I, being the good little lab rat, ate one. They had reduced to the size of a quarter or so. Gross. chemically, soapy, weirdness. No sweet delicate scallops, these. I dumped them down the disposal. I was afraid to give them to the dogs lest they be toxic. I really wanted pan-seared scallops, but I settled for some broiled salmon. :( I was using a cast iron skillet, could they have reacted? Am I out of my mind? Lets hope I won't be sick in the morning.... Can anyone offer any insight?

  10. nessa, how did your party go???? the toum ou zeit (toumeyya) is really addictive! glad you enjjoyed it!

    all best,

    linda dalal

    It was a smashing success! Everyone loved the muhammara<sp> and the toum especially. The lamb was favored over the chicken but both got rave reviews.

    The bread was ok, I need to use a higher gluten flour I think. Baklava was gone.... :shock: . The dolmas did not turn out well, I made the mistake of using basmati rice and they turned out kind of pasty. All in all though, much fun was had by all!

  11. Nessa, it sounds like a fun party!  I have to ask whether you mean YOU will be belly dancing all evening?  If so, I see why you want not to be tired out from cooking!

    Linda, thanks for offering up that toum ou zeit recipe.  I'm always on the lookout for more ways to try making what I know as toumeyya, so as to get as close as possible to my favorite restaurant version.  That restaurant (a place in Cairo) uses an egg yolk in their toumeyya.  Have you ever tried that?  Or does that, in your opinion, change the nature of the dip too much?

    Yes, I will be belly dancing all evening. That way I won't eat too much!! Belly rolls on a full tummy are a really bad thing. :wacko:

    I made the toum and I'm in love!! :wub: Thanks for that awesome recipe and serving tip. I'm about to start marinating the chicken.

    I added to the menu some candied figs which I boiled in honey, water, orange blossom water and cardamom. I also plan to add some honeyed apricots. I'm hoping all I have to do is simmer the apricots in some water and honey. I dont want them to be candied like the figs, just.... glazed. We used to get these when I was a kid, these huge honeyed apricots, and I love them so.

  12. Wow!! Thats a lot of helpful info, thanks! That sounds like the kind of baklava that I've made before. I typically use pistachios but this time I'm going to use pecans because my stores were out of pistachios and I do not have the energy or time to go across town yet again. I do have some extra walnuts from the muhamara......

    Fabulous idea on the dough, though. Do you think I could refrigerate the dough instead of freezing it?

    I have got to make that garlic stuff.... I think I even have that much garlic! Much thanks!

    ETA:I'm running behind as usual, just prepping stuff for dolmas because I have some slave lab...... er friends coming over who want to learn to make them I wonder what else I can press them into doing......

  13. Ok, I'm having about 50 people over on Saturday evening for a themed party. We are calling it Arabian Nights, basically because I wanted to cook some Middle Eastern food, and belly dance all evening. Its not really a dinner party, so I'm making mostly mezze type things. What I need the most help with is timing all the prep so that I don't kill myself on Saturday with cooking Here is what I'm planning on having:

    Hummus bi tahini


    Lebneh spread

    Lebneh balls rolled in zataar

    Vegetarian dolmas

    Lamb kofta

    Chicken kebabs




    Raw veggies

    Its now Thursday, I'm off work, and I want to start getting what can be done, done. What besides the Hummus and Lebneh stuff can be made before Saturday?

    I figure I can do the Baklava tomorrow, it will still be fresh for Sat. Dolmas maybe tonight. What about the meats and the pide? I want the pide to be lovely and fresh.

    Any help, suggestions on timing, menu planning, ingredient choice, pep talks etc. would be much appreciated.

  14. Grocery stores wo do not provide the little shopping carts. Either the mini-carts or the two-tiered numbers. I'm dreadfully short, and have a really hard time reaching the bottom of the normal mega-carts. I have to put all my stuff in the little kiddie seat thingamajig. So, I make it a point to shop where they have my size carts.

  15. I make the Mooswood cornbread with buckwheat honey and bake it in a cast iron skillet.

    I also really like a little number called Mexican Spoon Bread by Dolores Casella.  You can google it and get the recipe.

    I have no standards whatsoever and will eat any form of it.

    However, I do order my corn meal stone ground from Falls Mill.

    OhhhhhHHHHHHHhhhhh. My mother used to make spoonbread. That takes me back about 30 years!!! Must call and get recipe!!!

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