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Everything posted by Shannon_Elise

  1. This weekend for football Saturday (Go Bucks! Number 4 baby) I went to The Winking Lizard Tavern (100 beers by the bottle from around the world). I had Houblon Chouffe (a personal favorite), Lion Stout (from Sri Lanka, a cheapie but gets the job done, plus the bottle is pretty cool), and a Thirsty Dog Siberian Night. I tend to go for a high ABV beer with the taste to back up the alcohol content. However, after all that I had to calm it down with one of the best Bloody Mary's I'd ever had. Yeah, so it was 11 at night and I just had a lot of beer, but it was sure refreshing.
  2. Love: Chocolat (okay, so mostly because it's Johnny Depp with an accent...an Irish accent) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp again. He's the creepy Willy Wonka that Dahl envisioned - not the drunk Willy Wonka) Dinner Rush (okay, so I think the squinty eyed guy who plays the chef - I think he also played a guy on a few episodes of the Sopranos - is really hot) Waiting - disgustinly hilarious if you've ever worked in the service industry Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal (certain scenes anyway) So, its completely obvious that I'm a little pedestrian in my tastes in popular culture. I had to watch Babette's Feast too many times in various French language classes and got really sick of it. I haven't watched it since college - I'll revisit it. Sideways is an odd movie for me. Sometimes I watch it and love it. Other times I watch it and hate it.
  3. I bartended at a smallish Cali-Mex? style and when we were slow or I was bored I would take tables. (Full disclosure. I'm a much better bartender than a server). But I would try and not do everything that pissed me off as a customer. Especially the "do you need change?". I just said "I'll be right back with your change." Most people, if they didn't need change would say "Oh, I don't need any. Thank you." I had to do the same script that everyone else did. Though if the manager was goofing off in the back office I didn't follow it. We were supposed to say "Hi! My name is Shannon and I'll be taking care of you today. Have you ever dined here before?" Take care? It's a restaurant, not a hospital. Okay, so I rarely introduced myself either. Honestly, I never really care what a server's name is (different if its the bartender as I am in much closer proximity to them for the period I am eating/mostly drinking) and I refuse to yell "Bartender!" I much prefer bartending to serving. I never worked as a server before bartending though. So I have a lot more pet peeves as a bartender to other bartenders than I do to servers. Mostly because when I go out, I sit at the bar if they serve food there. My pet peeves: Not washing hands in the bathroom Grabbing the glass by the rim Water/pop glass remaining empty for an EXTENDED period of time And I usually tip wayyyyy too much because I feel for them. Unless they were rude. There is no excuse for being rude or snotty.
  4. I very narrowly missed being the un-proud owner of a Sandra Lee cookbook. Several years ago (as I was making the braised short ribs from the French Laundry Cookbook) my grandma calls to tell me she was watching QVC and wanted to order me a cookbook (my first hint) and that it was by some woman from the food network (the second hint). So I asked who it was and she said, "I think her name is Sandra Lee. And I..." I had to cut her off with a big "NO!" don't waste your money. I then proceeded to go on a 15 minute rant on Sandra Lee (SL used to make me angry, now I just laugh at her). This was around the time that she wrote something for Gourmet (or Bon App, I'm not sure) and wrote that chefs in four star restaurants were not making their own stock or something. What an idiot. I do have to state that I am a proud owner of the Mickey Mouse Gourmet Cookbook. Got it on a childhood trip to Disney World. I've never cooked anything from it, but it reminds me of that trip. Shannon
  5. I worked as a bartender at Mad Mex in Columbus, Ohio and for a time we had four different Unibroues on tap (including the Ephemere). It was sad to see because for a lot of people, this was their first experience with this type of beer and most were not fans. Something about the taste of all four was just not right, hard to explain to someone, but it was just "off." I'm not a huge belgian fan to begin with, but I can appreciate them and their nuances, on tap did not do these justice. Shannon
  6. I used to bartend at a tequila-focused bar and have a few favorites to add to the mix: On the expensive side, I love Don Julio 1942. When it is poured into a brandy snifter the vanilla aroma is amazing (although if "training wheels" - limes and/or salt - come near it, it is not the same) Delicious on the blanco side is El Tesoro Platinum. I'm not a fan of the El Tesoro Anejo though. Let's see if I can help a little more. Personally, and I don't know if you were even thinking about this, but most Patron is overrated - although I have yet to try the Gran Patron. Cazadores Reposado (theres a deer or something on the bottle) is very good, as is the Anejo Corazon. Herradura is a lowland tequila and the earthy quality of this one in particular is not something I'm a big fan of. Hopefully you are getting a mix of blancos, reposados and anjeos. Personal preference here: No chilling of anjeos or reposados. For my palate it ruins the smooth quality. You might want to serve some palate cleansing sangrita (not sangria). Sangrita is a traditional mixture of tomato juice and citrus juices (there might be a little hot sauce in there too). Have fun!
  7. Thanks so much for all the quick replies. It has been store very well. I may be young, but I know not to store wines on top of the fridge (so no temp. changes). It also has only been moved once (when I moved into my new apartment). Now for a super-stupid question: What is the best way to chill it before New Years? I really only drink red wine at home (which I don't put in the fridge) and if it's not red wine, its a whiskey, so I'm not used to chilling a whole bottle of anything. Nuttier? That sounds great to me! And flatter is fine as well (i don't like too many bubbles). Shannon
  8. I got this bottle in the topic decription a few years ago as a gift. Don't ask me why I havn't drank it until now, its a long story. My question is, is it still good? I wanted to open it on New Year's Eve, but don't want to if it is going to be bad. Thanks! Shannon
  9. Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Yum!
  10. After the Terra Madre, Dominic is spending (I think) a couple of weeks exploring the part of Italy that Carrie Cerino herself is from, so I don't think he'll be back for a few weeks. What an awesome trip! Shannon
  11. Ever since I had pork belly for the first time in Cleveland at The Leopard, it's hard to top. I still dream about it. Wish more (or even one that I know of) restaurants in Columbus would serve pork belly. Lamb chops done correctly are pretty hard to beat as well. If it is me doing the cooking, I love braised short ribs or a bloody, rare organic, well-marbled steak. Oh, I almost forgot how much I love duck breast, still havn't had duck leg confit yet... Wait, favorite implies only one, so if I could only have one piece of meat for the rest of my life, his name would be...just kidding, it would be the pork belly. Shannon
  12. Because being a journalist pays like crap, I started bartending school (don't laugh) to suppliment my income). Just starting out, I would like to know when you do go out to a nice restaurant or lounge, what do bartenders do that annoys the crap out of you? What do most not know that you wish they did? What are little things a bartender can do that make you happy as a customer? Any information would be extremely helpful. (On a side note: I searched to see if this came up before and I could not find anything along this line). Thanks in advance. Shannon
  13. May I please have the 45 seconds it took to read that piece back? I could really use it to apply lip gloss or tie my shoe - both of which are activities I find more enjoyable than that. Does she really want to see the salt shaker, with its rice to keep it from clumping that looks like small bugs, on the table? And could she please insert the word Pellagrino in her piece one more time? I don't think the 50 times it was included was enough. In all seriousness though, she makes it clear that this happens at most of the places she goes out to and that certain courses and utensils always suck. Then why does she still go out to dine? Even the flow of the piece seemed jagged and uneven to me and left me with the worst question to have after reading an editorial or opinion piece: "What was the point?"
  14. I grew up on dipping my fries in a chocolate milkshake like Wendy's Frosty's. I also love a good mustard. If I'm having fried fish at the same time I like to sprinkle (ok, drench) the whole combo in malt vinegar. The only "fries" I eat with ketchup are the waffle fries at Chick-fil-A and then I use a whole lot of salt too.
  15. I had to go to the Ohio State Fair a few weeks ago to interview a local woman who enters over 40 things in the food contest; so I got to taste a little bit of fair food. Although I wasn't that hungry after looking at all the rotting, molded cookies and breads in the display cases. At the Ohio State Fair, if you can fry something, they will fry it. Fried oreos, baby ruths, mac and cheese, carnies . I saw a few people taking a picture of the booth that was frying everything and I immediately wondered if they were egulleters! I did not partake in the fried fest, I had my annual cheese sandwich with butter on whole wheat bread in the Butter Cow building. Usually they have German mustard to put on it, but this year there was only yellow. For lunch we went to the Ohio foods pavillion and had shredded lamb sandwiches - pretty good. Sadly the lamb booth was the least busy out of all the sections (dairy, poultry, pork). It was either that or a heinously pale chicken breast sandwich on really bad bread.
  16. I'm so glad someone mentioned Sisters Chicken in this thread. I miss that place so much. In their kids meals they always gave away these weird plastic monster finger puppets. I'm not sure what I enjoyed more about that place, the puppets or the chicken. And of what I remember, it was good chicken. Of course, this was also the period in my life where I wouldn't eat vegetables and I thought anything that wasn't fried or gravy-ed was "icky." I dearly miss Rax as well. The last one in Columbus closed a few years ago, although I hear there is one elsewhere in Ohio. The Alligator kid's meal was always the highlight of my week, It came in an alligator box and had a fabulous roast beef sandwich, fries, and the only soda I was allowed to have for the week. Again though, this was during my non-vegetable phase and perhaps it is also nostalgia. And those Little Bucket Parfaits at Kentucky Fried Chicken. I used to devour those. Of course, I haven't eaten at a fast food drive thru in a while now. I think the last time was when I was in high school (over 6 years ago) and they had those teeny beanie babies. *edited because I am the world's worst speller!
  17. No matter if it has gone down (stayed stagnant or gone up), the New York Times food section is better than anything in my area of the country. Our local daily's food section is always filled with nothing but syndicated articles and columns, an inane take out review (more a menu listing) and recipes that contain cake mix and cream of....soup. Many sections don't even acknowledge that there is a contingent of people that *surprise* like to take the time to cook, even if it just for themselves. And as much as Bruni (and that has an entire thread devoted to it) annoys me sometimes, he is still a million times better than the menu-listing reviews done here in central Ohio. I am probably also a bit biased because this week I loved the Austrian wines article and I would love to know where to get a great Jamacian Patty (too bad I live too far to get any). All the "so called Carribean" places in Columbus serve just Jerk Chicken - you'd think that's all that people make in Jamaica - and not even good Jerk Chicken at that. Although for me at least, thank goodness for the Internet having articles online. It is only that way that I get to read Russ Parson's stuff. I printed out a recent thing he did on aioli to pass around my office (a community weekly paper) as an example of great writing. Of course, I've only been reading the NYT Dining Out section for about 7 or 8 years, so maybe I don't have the right comparison. I will stop reading, however, if I ever see Sandra Lee in anything other than an ad. I had to cut her out of the Hampton Food and Wine fest ad this week, just because I can't stand her. Shannon
  18. I love the smell of the usual suspects: A loaf of bread baking (though I also love the subtle sent as it rises before going into the oven). The scent of short ribs that have been braising in the oven at a very low heat for four hours. Spices in general (of course not aesfetida - I know I spelled that wrong), but especially mexican ceylon cinnamon, pure ancho powder, curry powder, saffron... I love the smell of the Japanese market near where I used to work, but I think that is more scent-memory than anything. It makes me feel like I'm back in Japan. Roasted garlic, raw garlic. Bacon. The smell of the smokehouse at the local sausage place. I hate: The smell of baking or roasting onions (not a onion fan in general, I cook with them for others, but French Onion Soup grosses me out). Pineapple anything (I once got completely-blacked-out-plastered on Captain Morgans and Pineapple. Remarkably, I can still drink any kind of rum, but I can't even look at a pineapple, let alone smell or taste one). Sauerkraut. I grew up with a family who always ate pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day and they wondered why I usually stayed in the other room. I'm sure good sauerkraut is delicious, but my family would just open up a can and dump it in a pot; then cook it for hours until it permiated the walls. Shannon
  19. Carrie Cerino's was definitly worth the two and a half hour drive to Cleveland and the three hour drive back to Columbus (hit some torrential downpours on the way home after the meal.) As has been stated several times before, the Blue Egg Ravioli was wonderful. As was the tutorial on the differences between a blue egg and a regular egg. Chef Dominic Cerino took so much time to talk to our table. The mole salumi was awesome. And since I'm reading my way through Ruhlman's Charcuterie, I'm understanding all the elements that go into a restaurant curing their own sausages - and that makes it all the more amazing. The chef's coppa was wonderful as well. If it were lunch, I could create a meal out of the mole salumi, the coppa and the bread. I was one of the few who did not get the Copper River Salmon. I got the pork crepe canelloni which Nancy said was served at the Terre Madre dinner. Thanks for the recommendation Nancy, it was great. I had to share the experience with others, so I got what I didn't eat boxed up and let my parents taste it. I also had two glasses of a Riserva Chianti (not sure about the full name) and it went well with the entire meal. The tour of the kitchen was fantastic. The chef even had a map of the Copper River and told us all about it. You can tell how much he loves what he does when he speaks about it. I can't wait to go back there. Thanks to Chef Dominic and everyone who was at the dinner! Shannon
  20. After talking with Ruhlman about "The Reach of a Chef" for an article I'm doing, he suggested I get this book. So, this weekend I did (after having to ask the desk people at Barnes and Noble where it was...in with French cooking and there I was looking at the meat specialty section the whole time) and over the course of this week I am determined to work my way through all the pages of this thread so that I don't ask questions that have been answered before. I'm starting easy with the duck proscuitto. The only thing is, any guy that I bring to my apartment is going to think I'm some sort of psycho when they see various animal parts hanging in cheesecloth from my ceiling. Being a single girl, living by herself in a small apartment, and with a social life makes curing meats an unusual thing to explain to random people. I can't wait to start. Shannon
  21. Brian, I think I can remember that recipe, even after too many Jack and Cokes. And I always have some good chocolate on hand. I want to get drunk with you! Chocolate and a hangover solution...its the holy grail. Shannon
  22. Shannon_Elise

    Marrow Bones

    I'd never had marrow bones before preparing them for my parent's anniversary dinner when I was 19 and cooking out of the French Laundry cookbook. I decided against telling them what exactly they were eating (Dad's a meat and potatoes guy; Mom cooks permanately with "cream of..." soup). They both loved the marrow and asked for more to spread on the french bread I made. The biggest surprise came when I repeated the braised short ribs with bone marrow menu for my entire family - including my (at the time) six year old nephew. I had to explain to him what he was eating, and he still asked for more. Of course this is the same kid I took to the farmer's market and when he pointed to the cleaned and skinned rabbits and asked what they were I told him they were like the family's pet bunny, but intended for cooking instead of petting. He wasn't grossed out, he didn't flinch...he only asked when "Aunt Shannon" was going to cook Clarice (the pet rabbit's name). "She's a little too old and tough," I said. Anyway, back to the marrow, I always use the technique described in "The French Laundry Cookbook." Haven't tried it in a restaurant. In fact, I'm not sure I've seen much of it on menus in Columbus, Ohio. Shannon
  23. I've lost count of the number of times I've stumbled into a convenience store looking for Circus Peanuts and Beef Jerky. Now, when it comes to cooking food at 3 a.m. for myself, I usually have an odd craving for brown basmati rice and I usually combine it with whatever fresh herbs I have growing in the pot on the porch or I'll grill a piece of fish with some cumin seed, lime and pepper. However, I got home from an event in Columbus called "ComFest" a couple days ago with a very large contact buzz and found that the cravings were completely different from an alcohol fueled-hunger pain. With that sort of buzz going on, I melted a Valrhona chocolate bar and dipped chocolate chip cookies I had made during the day in it. Of course, I fell asleep in mid-dip and woke up the next morning with a major mess to clean up. Shannon
  24. Well...I'm a Midwestern Leo who dips (but not double dips) into a homemade dressing (I chose Italian - the closests to what I make) who also happends to love mustard (just not the yellow kind). By all accounts of the quiz I should like French Dressing (ick), dress trendy and work in a professional setting (true, though only when my job allows me the money to dress trendy), into thrill seeking attention grabber(so true), very shy (I guess in small group situations this is true, but not in front of a crowd), and spontaneous (guess the belly button ring and two tattoos were born of my own hatred of thinking things through). It makes me seem ver eccentric (also very true). Shannon
  25. Actually, I'm serious, I used to have a burn mark on my tummy (since healed) after I ran in the house to get cookies out of the oven. I had lost track of time laying out in a vain attempt to get a tan when I heard the alarm go off inside the house. Hey, if Food Network wants to give this non-trained, bikini and stiletto-wearing 23 year old a show, I'd take it. Anything pays better than what I'm making now as editor of a community newspaper! Credibility be damned! Shannon
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