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Everything posted by SusanGiff

  1. Well...if you find yourself with this problem again, try making peanut butter cookies with milk chocolate chips ("Baked" has a fantastic recipe). They work better with peanut butter than darker chocolate does.
  2. Help! I'm looking for a place to go with my parents, who are in good health but, you know, are older and not up for someplace sceney or loud--my father in particular has real hearing problems, and if the place is noisy, he won't even try to be in the conversation. The other catch is that my mom doesn't want anything <too> expensive, which knocks out lots of the lush, quiet spots. Places I've considered: Dovetail (which honestly looks kind of crazy expensive to me), Gramercy Tavern, A Voce Columbus Circle. Oh, and the other other catch is that they are not remotely adventurous eaters, so we're talking Italian, French, or new American. I realize Saturday night poses challenges of its own, but I'm thinking as long as I have a reservation somewhere, I can ask to be put on a wait list if there's a restaurant we think is ideal. Thanks!
  3. Man, that does look good. ALL the pictures I see of goose look good. I'm not crazy about duck (or goat), but heck, I'll try anything. Thanks.
  4. Slightly off this topic, but now that I know we can get one, I'm wondering: Do we want one? My husband's taking over Xmas dinner duties from his mother for the first time this year, and we're talking about goose, but I don't think either of us have even eaten it before. What's it like? My sense is it'll be more like duck than turkey. Could someone please provide a description, if that's possible?
  5. Hi. I have a fairly dense chocolate layer cake recipe that I'd like to make as a bundt for ease of service at a large party. Can I just make the recipe, pour it into the bundt pan, and cook it longer than I would the layers? Or is there some special quality to bundt cakes that I'm not thinking about? Thanks!
  6. Hi. This may be too late (I see you posted Dec 1, but I don't go to egullet so much anymore), but our family likes Bond 45 a lot. The food is good enough for grown-ups, and enough is kid-friendly (pizzas, pastas, etc) to keep them happy. Best of all, they sometimes walk around with large baking sheets full of cookies.
  7. I really wouldn't write it off your list. When I ate there about three weeks ago, every dish was faultless, and most went beyond that and into the realm of amazing. Very far from ordinary.
  8. Are there any excellent pitmasters or bbq-ing caterers here in northern NJ (or willing to travel from nearby) who could handle a large (150+) party in September? It's a late afternoon party, so we wouldn't need massive amounts pp. Thanks.
  9. I totally missed this the first time. Are you using the paddle that came with the mixer or the after market "beater blade"? Home models usually have the coated blades, but some come with metal blades. Again, I think you should check your height adjustment or make sure that the bowl is sitting properly. Sometimes when people have a small amount to mix, they lift the bowl slightly so that everything gets scraped down. I think bowl to paddle contact is your culprit. I don't think it makes things inedible, but I don't know how much metal you want to ingest ;-) ← Hi. It came with the mixer--this is the second beater I've had, and they've both had the coated blades that wore down after some use. I actually never knew you could adjust the height, so I'll look into that. A tiny bit of metal doesn't bother me too much, but motor oil? Eww.
  10. could be the bowl and whisk you're using. are you using a stand mixer? sometimes the height adjustment needs to be worked on in order that the attachments don't hit the metal. if you're using a hand whisk and a stainless steel bowl, sometimes poorer quality stainless can impart color. in other words, i would attribute this to a mechanical issue rather than ingredient. of course, there could be some acid in the recipe (leavener?) that's reacting with your bowl or mixing apparatus as well. ← Using a stand mixer, no whisk for this recipe. It's odd, though, because nothing's changed and I bake all the time--made something on Sunday that was fine. And there were no leaveners added when I mixed up the eggs this morning--just the eggs in the bowl. I'll try rubbing everything down before I bake again. Thanks.
  11. Last night, my daughter made a cake mix and, being a teenager, freaked out and deemed it unservable when she noticed some grayish streaks in the batter as she was pouring it into the pan. We baked it up anyway and the streaks disappeared. This morning, I was making my own cake, from scratch, with a recipe that began with beating four eggs until slightly thickened and lemon-colored. I'd say they ended up more a sort of gray-lemon mix. So now I'm wondering whether it was the eggs. Has this happened to anyone? Will our cakes indeed be inedible? As for particulars, we're using the usual stainless bowl that comes with the Kitchenaid mixer. The rubber keeps rubbing off the blade, so maybe that's it? Curious... Thanks.
  12. IN for us after more than 72 hours: Galatoire's: Our first visit. Something odd happened to me about an inch into my Sazerac. Yeah, I'm a lightweight, but what do they put in there? Good service, good food, great room. Slim Goodies (Magazine St.): Phenomenal breakfast. They ran out of food shortly after we sat down. I don't think it was us. Louisiana Pizza Kitchen: I put this down not because the food was so great (it was okay) but because it was a great place to go with teenagers after a day at Jazz Fest. August: We held a private party there on Saturday night, and it was amazing. These people are really pros, and I just want to give a shout-out to them because we're grateful. Cafe du Monde: I had no idea I could keep eating. Parkway Tavern: Where it all began (for us). OUT for my husband: The Casino. But what did he expect? My only regret is that we didn't try anything new at Jazz Fest, because we were so busy re-eating the stuff we've loved previously.
  13. They're crazy lazy, but you know what? They were giving out samples at Costco one day, and at least they're damned tasty. The Smuckers ones, right? Still, I've never been able to bring myself to buy them, and hopefully, never will.
  14. Exactly. We've done this both ways--asked for another entree, or just said, 'no thanks, let's forget it'--and in both cases the entrees have been taken off the bill. That seems proper policy to me.
  15. Hi. We're celebrating my husband's birthday in New Orleans, and I'm thinking of getting some sort of Ace of Cakes-style birthday cake for him. This'll be mostly decorative, and supplementary to the restaurant's dessert, so style's a little more important than substance in this case. Any recommendations? Thanks.
  16. I've been mildly obsessed with Millionaire's Shortbread since we were in Scotland this summer, and I had just an amazing version at, of all places, the cafeteria at Sterling Castle. I just made a flawed batch yesterday, from a Nigella Lawson recipe. I've made this twice now, with the same bad results--her recipe calls for a melting about a stick of butter, then adding three T of Lyle's syrup and a can of SCM, whisking, and microwaving until it's boiling and lightly browned. It tastes good but is very grainy, so I'm looking for a recipe with a better caramel-layer result. Can anyone a) explain why the graininess might have occurred, despite lots of intermittent stirring, and a final vigorous whisking at the end, and b)let me know which of the mentioned recipes here might be an improvement? Thanks. ETA: I did try making the caramel on the stovetop instead of the microwave, thinking I'd have better control over the results. THAT was a complete disaster--shortly after it boiled, the milk and butter separated for good. interesting...
  17. I love lime cookies. Can you post your recipe for the Lime Snowdrops? ← I used Ling's infamous recipe, they're on RecipeGullet. I think she calls them Lime Meltaways, I don't know why I changed the name to snowdrops. When I get home I'll look up my printed out recipe to see if I made any notes or changes. I do remember thinking I wanted them to be a bigger cookie rather than the smallish cookies they were. ← I'm curious: Does anyone know whether these cookies are similar to Key Lime Cooler cookies made by the Byrd Cookie Company (in Savannah)? I had a yen to make some earlier this year and yanked a random recipe off the Internet. They were so far from edible that I didn't even bother posting to find out what went wrong. If these are close (shortbready, crumbly, limey), I'd be thrilled.
  18. Flour Patch Bakery in Lackawanna Plaza has amazing cupcakes; I haven't tried their cakes, but I imagine they'd be good, too.
  19. I guess I'll be calling Viking anyway, because now two of the freaking burners just won't light. Missing my Thermador more and more.
  20. I'll try the pizza stone before I call the Viking man. Thanks for the tip! Never heard that before.
  21. Okay, so in July, we moved from a house with a nice little Thermador dual-fuel range to a bigger house with a massive Viking all-gas, double-oven, multi-burner range. In the process, I've gone from being a fairly proficient amateur home baker to a lousy one. As I write this, the smell of singed muffins fills the house. The recipe called for 400 degrees; after I preheated, it was at 425 on an oven thermometer, so I turned it down to 375, after which the temp dropped to 350. So I turned it up again. A little. And still the outside of the muffins burned. In a word, I hate this thing. Oh, and also--can anyone explain to me why someone would spend upwards of 10K on a range that doesn't even have a self-cleaning oven???? (Perhaps there's a good reason.) That's the rant. Since it would be mildly crazy to replace it (not that I haven't considered it), can someone please tell me how to bake well with a gas oven? Should I just bake as often as possible until I get used to it? Am I missing something, other than my dear old relatively humble Thermador? Thanks for reading.
  22. Thank you all! This actually isn't, believe it or not, for Thanksgiving, because I make a sweet potato casserole with pecans that unfortunately would make the pie redundant. But once this feast is behind me, there's lots of good unrestricted holiday baking ahead, so I look forward to trying your recipes.
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