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Everything posted by SusanGiff

  1. Corn syrup, corn syrup, corn syrup!
  2. We went two or three weeks ago, and the service was excellent, as was the meal. I think it was even a Saturday night; I know the house was full.
  3. What do you do about the baking soda? Use the K for P stuff? Edited to add: Oops, baking powder. Fortunately I don't make that mistake when I bake. At least, not too often.
  4. I go to my hometown about once a year to see my parents and I just can't stay away from Payne's, even after I've tried the others. Hotly debated, I know, but I always feel Payne's doesn't get quite enough attention, so it's my job to get it more! A place we just started going to and love is Alcenia's, a newish soul food restaurant on N. Main, just above downtown (you can take the trolley). Fantastic fried chicken and fried catfish, great sides, and just the friendliest service possible. Also, her frozen lemon icebox pie is something I dream about the rest of the year. Just a great place. Personally, I'd skip the Rendezvous, but it's good and an institution and all 'at. They get you in and out so fast that you could go, have a beer and sample the ribs, and then go eat somewhere else. Please report back. I'm heading down in April and I'd love to hear what you liked. Susan
  5. I have two kids, and I will do almost anything and go almost anywhere for or with them (I've seen Rent twice in the past year, so there you go). So with that said: PLEASE SEE IF YOU CAN TALK THEM OUT OF THIS ONE! One of the worst meals I've ever had in New York City. Truly. It was just horrible. Even the diet Coke was bad. Even my daughter, as far from epicurean as you can get, thought it was bad, and was unamused by the roving alien. There are lots of better (not good, just better) restaurants in the area that will satisfy their need for touristy. Actually, there's a new Hard Rock Cafe nearby, and I've always found that food palatable and the atmosphere kind of fun. But maybe you have one near you. Alright, I just felt it was my duty to warn you.
  6. Oh, thanks! I actually haven't made that particular recipe in a long time. I have since modified another brownie recipe that I really like. It's very chocolate-y, moist, and melts in your mouth because it uses the meringue technique (whip whites separately, and fold). It uses both cocoa and bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of salt. Sometimes I add some espresso and/or cinnamon, and sometimes glaze them with ganache. ← Ooh, those sound good. Have you posted the recipe? ← No, but it's the "Cakey brownie" recipe in the Scharffen Berger Chocolate cookbook. I don't know why it's called that, but it's not a cakey brownie, at least not when I add an extra ounce of chopped chocolate. I also add a pinch of salt, 1 less tablespoon of flour, 1 extra tablespoon of cocoa, and sometimes espresso and cinnamon, and a ganache glaze. Be careful not to over-bake! ← Thanks. I'll try to find it. Meanwhile, I made your old recipe yesterday. They took a lot longer than 25 minutes to bake for some reason (hmm...it just occurred to me that I may have used an 8 inch pan) but they were worth every minute. Fantastic, and even the family (previously devoted to my other recipe) loved them. In fact, the babysitter mentioned them when we got home last night. Definitely a keeper!
  7. Also, I'd pay almost any price for a recipe approximating the brownies at Sullivan St. Bakery on 47th St in New York. (they call them tortini di cioccolato, but they taste like brownies to me). This is quite possibly my favorite brownie on earth.
  8. Oh, thanks! I actually haven't made that particular recipe in a long time. I have since modified another brownie recipe that I really like. It's very chocolate-y, moist, and melts in your mouth because it uses the meringue technique (whip whites separately, and fold). It uses both cocoa and bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of salt. Sometimes I add some espresso and/or cinnamon, and sometimes glaze them with ganache. ← Ooh, those sound good. Have you posted the recipe?
  9. There's an amazing French bakery in Bergen Co., and I can't remember the name! Have you tried the NJ board? Someone there will know right away. If not, I'll track it down. Edited to add: Got it: Patisserie St. Michel in Teaneck. Good stuff.
  10. I bought the Baker's Edge pan after (long after) reading about the inventor, who won grant money after coming up with this cool idea. It's fun--everyone does get an edge piece, and couple of lucky people get the ends, which actually have THREE edges. If you like that bit, this pan is great. Our family favorite, after a few weeks of testing, is in the Cook's Illustrated best recipes book. It's a nice cross between cakey (of which I disapprove) and fudgy. But I'm willing to experiment.
  11. For something upscale, think about L'Impero, for a number of reasons: the pickier in your group can have their fine spaghetti with marinara sauce, while the try-anything kids will find plenty to try, especially seafood. It's beautiful, and elegant in a very New York way, without being stuffy or imposing. It's not crazy expensive, and the food is just consistently very good.
  12. Time to confess: A Costco cake is under consideration. Just not sure I have the nerve to bring it to the restaurant unless we also order "real" desserts.
  13. Thanks, all. Duane St and Balthazar were on my list to check out, and interestingly, Magnolia was way off (I didn't want to say anything so as to avoid general negativity!), so I see we're coming from the same place, sugar-wise. Black Hound is still good? Good to hear. I always loved their stuff but haven't had it in a while. The previous thread's a trove of info. This is going to be an enjoyable chore.
  14. We're eating out, but I'd like to serve a fantastic birthday cake that we can bring to the restaurant (I've checked). Beautiful is important, but we're not looking for over-the-top theme decorating--more important that we serve something delicious. And it won't have to be enormous, so price isn't too much of an object. What bakeries would you recommend for something simple and delicous?
  15. Much better, thank you! I believe this might actually work. Thanks for the advice.
  16. I'll always be grateful to Mayhaw Man for giving the NO Jazz Fest the name it deserves: The Best Restaurant in the World.
  17. Umm, sorry Glenbech...stick with rye flour?
  18. Oh, help! This thread has gotten way beyond me. In the past week, I've attempted three starters, and all three appear to have been/be non-starters. I can't tell if I'm doing something wrong or am simply too impatient. I started with the Amy's Bread Book method, 1/2 c. rye flour and 1/2 c. spring water, stirred together in an old Chinese-soup container and left with the lid on airtight. After two days, the starter had risen a quarter of an inch above my original mark, at most. Still, I tossed in the specified amounts of flour and water, stirred it up, and basically watched it sink. After a couple more days of total inactivity (the starter, not me so much), I threw it away. Second try was KA bread flour and spring water. It separated, but nothing more. I currently have a third attempt standing by: 1/2 c. of organic rye flour from a brand new bag, 1/2 c. of tepid spring water, in a 70 degree room, loosely covered. After almost 48 hours, it bubbled a bit, rose a TEENY bit, then fell and separated. I just mixed it up again. What's happening here? Isn't it supposed to double? Should I toss some and feed it even though it hasn't risen? Or should I just stick to no-knead bread, which works like a dream for me? Thanks for any efforts to unravel the mystery. Susan
  19. Susan, why don't you just PM Dorie and ask her if she has the recipe you want in her files? I'm sure she'd be glad to help! Kim ← You're right, I could have! But the recipe otherwise appears to be exactly the same, and I remembered the grapefruit part. It was just one of those things that was driving me nuts but not getting in the way of making a good pound cake!
  20. Well, now that you bring it up, I've been finding that a lot of them are very sweet. I made the peanut butter criss-crosses last week and would have preferred more peanut taste, less sugar.
  21. You could also try the lemon yogurt pound cake in Dorie's book. I glaze mine with grapefruit jelly (because I have distinct memories of baking this same loaf from a recipe of hers in the NYT, which I can't track down anywhere, and that one recommended a grapefruit glaze). It's light and delicious, and people love it.
  22. I'm just outraged. I don't understand why this guy gets to keep his job. Can anyone offer a defense for this review? Is there a steak anywhere that's so sublime that I'd be willing to share my dining time and my table with Mahogany or Brianne?
  23. The bar at Daniel, according to my husband, who's done it.
  24. Just one more data point: I grew up in Memphis and started going to a few of these in high school (especially Buntyn's), but I didn't start hearing the phrase "meat and three" until a few years ago. I still haven't actually seen it in a restaurant, but I don't live there anymore, so my meat-and-three experiences are mere annual events at this point. I wasn't much of a vegetable eater back then. For me, the more resonant expression would have been meat-and-biscuits. Or meat-and-mashed. Susan
  25. This probably doesn't belong on this board, but have you tried Le Coq Au Vin down there? It's a French restaurant which was run by Actual French People. Not sure if it's still good, but my husband and I lived in Orlando for three (exceeeeeeedddingly long) years and went there fairly often. I went into labor with our first baby on our second anniversary, and the next day my husband asked them if they could make a meal to go--they very nicely packed up a lovely anniversary dinner, complete with linens and china, which we ate in the hospital. You're right. Orlando is not exactly a culinary capital. Susan
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