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Everything posted by SusanGiff

  1. FYI, The Gluten Free Pantry makes a brownie mix that produces one of the best brownies I've eaten, including scratch. I first had it years ago at one of my kids' friend's birthday celebration. We use it sometimes even though no one here has any wheat issues.
  2. Hmm. I found it snotty and wildly overstated. A couple of mentions of exceptions to Bruni's Rule would have given his complaints a lot more weight. A little less of Bruni's generalizations, and a little more stuff like Thomas Keller hoisted by his own petard (comparing a five-course tasting menu to just going to one act of a play? Ridiculous! Just present a masterful one-act, please, for those of us with smaller appetites who burn out after four or five courses anyway. Then I can come back and try more).
  3. ...formerly known as Paulie Pizza. yeah. Paulie was always good for a 3 am slice. another place that hasn't changed in forever. sadly, the pizza isn't as good. i also love how the "new" owners have never bothered to get a real sign - they still have just a banner up over the old Paulie sign. ← You're right. It just adds to its incredible charm. Sorry to hear the pizza's suffered.
  4. I've always liked the pizza at Van Houten Lanes (on Van Houten, naturally), but have never had it to go. Just wondering: Has anyone else tried the pie at the place on Route 3 W, just past (or just before) Clifton Commons? We had great slices there a few years ago, less successful experience taking out. But I think they've changed hands since then. I can't remember the name, although I believe it's...Route 3 Pizza.
  5. Thank you. I was about to ask you to define that fancy baking term "degas" (I figured it was French), until I realized you meant de-gas! Or didn't you?
  6. Agreed! I'm getting more interested in experimenting, and even in making bread the old-fashioned way (although why I would do that is a mystery, since what I loved about this recipe is that I got better results for less work than my previous efforts). Anyhow, this leads to my next question. I just started a batch, and would like to turn at least half of it into rolls to serve with soup tomorrow night. At what point should I divvy up the dough? Before the rest? Before the second rise? Would you (who know) use a pastry cutter, or just pull off pieces. Thanks. No rush--I've got 18 hours to decide! Susan
  7. Opening day? I'm pretty sure I was there before Christmas. In fact, I know I was. Must have been their grand opening. Anyhow, I haven't been to Kalustyan's often, so can't speak to their prices, but actually I was surprised at how low the Penzey's prices were--comparable to, and in some cases lower than, decent supermarket brands. Good quality, too. The service was on the unknowledgable side, maybe because it's so new.
  8. Agreed. It looks like a New Jersey diner, but a NEW New Jersey diner, not a funky old diner--plastic on the banquettes, unattractive Formica on the counter. All of which would be fine but for the fact that they aim so high with the food. It just doesn't jibe, so if you're going for the high- or medium-end experience, you're not going to go there. It's a shame, because the owner is lovely and seems to be one of the few restaurateurs in town with true community spirit. They host lots of meetings and group get-togethers, have music fairly often, etc. And the food's pretty good. A makeover would help that place a lot. Susan
  9. HOw about rolling the dough in chopped pistachios before you cut them? Hmm. Might have to make another batch myself. And I thought I was done.
  10. From the restaurant itself. When I checked out the PDFs of the menus online, I noticed that the more extensive (expensive) one is headed "a la carte."
  11. That's the one. Thanks. I'm going to try it again, with lots of Pam. Just waiting for the occasion, which shouldn't take long. Susan
  12. Wow! Didn't realize the recipe was over there. FYI, there are some significant differences between that one and the one she provided the newspaper. PM me if you're interested (and haven't made it yet). She cut the sugar a lot, and added grated fresh ginger. I'm relieved to see it wasn't just me! Thanks.
  13. My husband and I went for lunch last week. As I recall, there was the three-course prix-fixe with a limited selection, and also an $80 menu with a bit more on offer. I don't believe there was a straight a la carte (with each item priced separately). Nor do I recall why we went for the $80 one! More tempting stuff on that side of the menu, I think. But the $45 menu is a fantastic deal. Susan
  14. Just a regular non-stick Bundt, unscratched, never dishwashed I don't think. It wasn't THAT resistant to cleaning, just tougher than I would have expected after soaking it all night. By tougher, I mean it didn't simply pour out with the water. I can only assume I mixed the ingredients well, because it tasted fine, and the texture was good--very moist, an even crumb, etc. The recipe also has a cup of stout and 3/4 c. vegetable oil. You know how newspapers sometimes run recipes in advertorials, and they're a little sketchier than they would be if a newspaper or magazine food editor had been scrutinizing them and forcing the celeb chef to adapt for the home kitchen? That's what it was. All kinds of odd measurements (1 1/2 T. of cinnamon, eg). So I'm wondering if some instruction or other was missing. Thanks for your detective work. It might just be me (or my pan). I had this problem wth one of Dorie Greenspan's bundt cakes, too. It came out more easily on my second try, but didn't taste as good. Or maybe I just enjoy cakes more when I have the license to dig in with my fingers because the cake's a goner anyway! Susan
  15. You know, I actually tried that, as well as all kinds of tapping and knocking. That baby was just stuck. I even had some trouble cleaning the pan this morning (after soaking all night, just because I was too tired to clean), although the cake definitely didn't burn or even overcook. The recipe uses a cup of molasses, in addition to half a cup of brown sugar (and some white). Any chance that made it extra sticky after being heated and cooled? Just wondering. In any case, thanks for all the suggestions. Does the Pam with flour alter the taste? I used Baker's Joy once and hated the way it made the cake look and taste. I'd love to get this to work, because the part of the cake I got to eat tasted great! Susan
  16. SusanGiff

    Bah humbug

    Could it be a weekend of bad baking karma? In addition to the ruined bundt I mentioned on another thread, I just took my latest Minimalist No-Knead Bread out of the oven. It's foccacia-flat. Probably the 12th loaf I've made. It tastes okay, but I won't be making any sandwiches on it today, unless I decide to slice it horizontally and try for a muffaletta.
  17. Okay, I've just seen one too many bundt cakes rendered completely useless by my inability to get it out of the pan. The last one, a tasty ginger cake with stout from a Claudia Fleming recipe I saw in the newspaper, broke clear in half horizontally. I buttered the pan as generously as I could, then floured it. I may have been a little impatient during the cooling, but the recipe gave no instructions regarding how long to leave the cake in there before turning it out onto the cooling rack, and I didn't want to let it go too long. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong, and more important, what I can do right? This cake tastes great, but I can't serve it to anyone but my immediate family (and myself)! Thanks. Susan
  18. Epicurious has loads of spiced nuts recipes. The one I used this year, for Thanksgiving and again for a holiday party, has cumin, cayenne, and sugar--very tasty.
  19. This is NO-KNEAD bread. That means that there's NO need to knead. Let me repeat. No knead (need). (Mr. Bittman definitely picked up on several the best tips here, but not that one. Why are people clinging to this?) Steve ← Well, I can only speak for myself here, but I cling to it because it's the only tactile part of the whole recipe, and after you get the hang of it and can do it easily, it just feels so damned good to get your hands on that dough you've been staring at for 18 hours! Also, once you've plopped it out and folded it a couple of times, it looks all round and pretty, and you can give it a little pat of encouragement before you cover it up again. Is it clear to everyone by now that I've gotten COMPLETELY carried away by this recipe? My family thinks I'm crazy. But they sure do like the bread. I was interested to read in Bittman's article this a.m. that he's extending the second rise to three hours, which I kind of thought would overproof it. Anyone here doing that? Results? Susan
  20. Are you making the Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkles from this month's Gourmet? If so, can you let us know how they turn out? Or if you have another recipe you've used successfully, I'd love to see it. They sound great. Susan
  21. Thank you all. I'm a big dark chocolate eater, but hadn't considered that, cocoa content aside, good eating chocolate and good baking chocolate are two different animals. I'll experiment. Susan
  22. I'm noticing a lot of recipes lately that specify using good bittersweet or semisweet chocolate with a cacao content no higher than 60 percent; I guess it's a response to the boom in superdark chocolates and the to fact that so many bars actually do specify how high the cocoa content is now. Makes sense to me, because frankly, when I bake with Scharffenberger or some such, it's just too bittersweet for people who aren't serious dark chocolate eaters. In fact, I recently brought a very beautiful, very delicious frosted chocolate stout cake to a party, and I think a lot of people were put off by the fact that they'd been staring at it all through dinner, and then it just wasn't as gooey and sweet as they'd anticipated. So my question is, what are some good, widely available, under 60 percent baking bars? I think the lowest Scharffenberger I've seen is 62--close enough, but that's what I used to frost the stout cake. Not sure about the Callebaut that's at my Whole Foods, but I'm pretty sure the big Valrhona bars they have are above. I'll confess to a personal weakness for Ghirardelli, but I'd like to find something a little better! Thanks. Susan
  23. We bought some incredible lamb from Vacchiano Farms at the Greenmarket in Montclair this fall. (In fact, we still have some in the freezer.) I have their phone and email around somewhere if you need it.
  24. I think the fact that it has actual fruit in it disqualifies is as dessert for my folks.
  25. First of all, Pontormo, thanks for the synopsis. Very helpful. And to others, thanks for suggestions of moving the pot. I think I'm going to stick with 450 or 475 from now on. And get this! This morning I took a closer look at the teeny tiny measuring spoon I'd been using for the yeast. It turns out I've made something like 6 delicious breads with just an eighth of a teaspoon of yeast, not the 1/4 teaspoon the recipe calls for. Number 7 is rising now with the full amount. Will it make any difference? Also, I'm definitely going with the oiled bowl from now on--it worked great for me, unlike the floured towel, which was an enormous mess and actually ruined a few pair of socks when I threw it in the machine. Domestic life: such a trial. Susan
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