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Jen Keenan

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Everything posted by Jen Keenan

  1. Yeah, what's up with that? I DVR a whole lot more ATK than I watch, but I still manage to catch most of the shows every season. I like the new set a little, but I'm distraught about Adam's facial hair. What the hell is wrong with this guy? He looks like he just barely made bail in time for the taping. ← I've had a Season Pass for this show on my Tivo for ages. They seem at times to be reaching for subjects, judging from recent viewings. The Thai stir-fry was lovely even if I was wondering what happened to chef Julia. But Toliver - I just saw an episode about Chicken Kiev! Herbed butter was flooding the plate. Health is clearly not their number one concern. They're trying to span the tastes of the country. As for your comment about facial hair, fiftydollars, I think it's clear to anyone who's been watching for a while that Adam's gained quite a bit of weight recently and is trying to shade it a little. It is a bit surprising but let's give him a break
  2. Is anyone watching Series 2 now? I'm finding it really difficult to watch him yelling at amateurs. I don't deny one or two of them could use being taken down a peg but, oi, professional kitchens are really intimidating places for some people. One class at the CIA and ICE each were enough for me. But hey, as long as I fast-forward through the screaming bits, it's still kinda fun.
  3. Hey fellow larbers! I am one of you now and extremely proud. I haven't read all twenty pages of this thread (although it did get me to try the magical stuff). Do you all roast your rice until it puffs? I toasted my rice on low heat on the stove for a long time and no puff - granted, it was only jasmine rice. Would anyone know if it was the type of rice, or the amount of time? Or does no one bother. It was still very delicious
  4. [Manager note: This topic continues the conversation from Thai Cooking at Home, 2005 - 2006] I did it I did it I did it! I knew I was going to have leftover beef from the Christmas roast, so I planned to make a Thai Beef Salad. I read and planned and shopped and found myself paralyzed - new territory! New cuisine! In my house??? But I finally got it together and did it and it was delicious. I didn't photograph it though - partially because I didn't feel like it, and partially because I didn't want any of you telling me how inaccurate it was My thanks go to everyone on this thread for sharing both your trepidation and your techniques! I'll tell you one thing - it sure did make me think differently about salad. I grew up eating salad all the time and it was always the same - vegetables for the base, dressing for the flavor. But the herbs and aromatics are so important here! Now I gotta go get me some of them there tiny eggplants
  5. I got an e-mail from BBC America that says they're showing 'new' F-Word episodes starting January 7. I'm assuming Season 2 is at hand. It dismays me to find out Giles won't be back, especially when Gordon was so hoping to get the guy hooked up! I've seen at least two episodes so far where Gordon asked a lady guest if she was interested in him or in setting him up. Anyone remember more? Is love in the air as well as the smell of roast turkey next week?
  6. Not only Mitchell's Mexican Chocolate but an It's It as well! I'm not a big ice cream eater either, but there are something one just musn't pass up. The food was my #1 favorite thing about living in SF so it's almost overpowering to see it again through a foodblog, i.e. the "highlights" of the city. If I hadn't just visited last year, I might have forgotten why I left at all! Thanks for the fun week. It was a cool revisitation for me and a nice thing to see the city from someone else's perspective.
  7. Since when has Mitchell's gotten so much play on the Internet, I wonder? What else I wonder relates to food history. I might have tried the Halo Halo or whatever but Dulce de Leche never even came up on my radar as a flavor until it got national recognition about five years ago. Was it a local flavor before the trend? Is Mitchell's the originator or a participator? I don't need my burritos to be the size of my neck, but I did really love the way they made chorizo in SF. And to try to find a way to not make this about me...how about a visual cocktail challenge? You pick the drink, we get a pretty view as garnish. Wherever that may lead.
  8. Have fun this week eje! I did four years on Guerrero in the 20s. We used to call it the "Trans-Mission" because although it was technically Mission, it felt like Noe. May I assume you know the joys of Mitchell's Ice Cream? If so, and you find it in your way one day this week, a visual revisit of their Mexican Chocolate flavor would be greatly appreciated All this talk of cocktails reminds me of my time in SF in the 90s. People were just getting into swing dancing, cocktails and supper clubs. It certainly added a lot of variety to the beer-at-a-bar lifestyle. I enjoy cocktails a lot more now than I used to because of that time of experimentation but I don't think anyone will ever again convince me to have a Harvey Wallbanger
  9. Mei, please tell the farmboy he has nice hands. I don't expect to change his mind, but do also tell him there are plenty of pictures of me on the Internet, several of them unflattering, and my favorite one is absolutely ridiculous - I'm wearing a terrible wig and a bedsheet for a dress. No harm has ever come to me because of it. To answer a question or two: I had never heard of Malaysian food until I came to New York. A friend took us to a place I don't remember the name of in Chinatown and we had Roti Canai. Delicious. There is also a chain of Malaysian restaurants in the city called "Penang" (what isn't called Penang?) and there I have VERY much enjoyed their mango chicken. Spicy and sweet and savory, yum! I had no idea Malaysia was so ethnically diverse but to me this means more chance for happiness in eating. Not sure if this is at all relevant or helpful, but a good friend of mine moved to Finland for a boy and is using her you-can't-work-here time to finish her education. Somehow they have managed to survive - or more than. They're getting married next summer!
  10. Mei, thank you for blogging! I think I speak for most when I say we would like to see a picture of the farmboy. Preferably high You probably don't get seeds in 'commercial' herb purchases, but it happens privately. I've heard that the sauteed-in-butter trick is an excellent way to make use of an otherwise inconvenient byproduct. I am so psyched! My hairdresser back in San Francisco told me that ten years ago and I've not since had occasion to repeat it. Thank you eGullet
  11. Chris, Congrats on the show! I have spent a LOT of time in Philadelphia; yet you managed to show me four places I had never even heard of and one place I had been dying to see (Capogiro). Part of me is going, "when the hell am I ever going to get to Mt. Airy?" (although I have indeed seen Germantown) and part of me is going, "oh, that's good advice". Believe it or not, you put me in mind of the time I went to Paris with my sister. We had come out of the Musee Picasso starving, wandering the side streets, and we walked into the first cafe that Looked Good. We were lucky enough to have a waiter who wanted to practice his English, a neighbor who loved her dog, and some quiches that made our day. So if it's not obvious, what I really like about your show is your advice to follow your instinct. I sincerely hope that the Food TV audience appreciates this twist on your show - the idea that if you find yourself in a strange place, just follow your gut. It's new for them, and I hope it resonates!
  12. Latvian community in West Philadelphia? Where? Unless I'm very much mistaken, that community is history now. I wouldn't know where to find it, or any culinary traces of its existence (what would those be, anyway?). We (like I was there) were in the 40s, I believe, in the tree streets. Looking at a map I think we might've lived on Filbert Street. I'm not sure how many of us were there, but there were enough to support a Latvian Baptist Church somewhere - that's where my grandparents met! Their generation started having babies and moving out to the 'burbs (Manoa) in the 1930s and '40s. The only thing my family left behind is the stained glass "L" (for Luhks, corrupted at immigration from Lujks) in their front window. Culinarily, the only Latvian food I know of is some obscure sauerkraut recipe I haven't had since grandma left us, and the magical, heavenly Piragi. Pronounced "peadogs"! We only make them for holidays because it's so tedious and time-consuming to chop up pounds of ham, bacon and onions to go inside the savory dough buns. But oh, wow, you had better believe they are worth it There are Latvians all over the place but you might never know it since we are hard to spot (people guess I'm English) and assimilated so well. My forbears were adamant about becoming Americans. This included speaking English and cooking from magazines. I probably know more about depression-era cooking than anything Latvian! I did my own rant on "the sixth borough" back in my first foodblog Sandy, from what you and one of my friends have said, I will just have to believe that the "City of Brotherly Love" must necessarily also be the "City of Brotherly Arm-Punching" I always liked Philadelphia whether from genetics or experience. If it weren't for my desire to move around until I finally settled in New York, the only U.S. city frenetic enough to keep me entertained, I'd probably still live there. The entire family is thrilled that my sister's there now so they have an excuse to go visit. When I moved here, there were Ethiopian restaurants--two of them, one in Center City and one at 45th and Locust. The latter was called the Red Sea then; it's called Abyssinia now. The former is long gone. But there were no Jamaican places, nothing serving up West African fare, no authetic Mexican restaurants, nothing from South America, nothing from Russia, and only the Warsaw Cafe representing Eastern Europe. You will find all of these and more here now. I went to Red Sea! I love that I got to try Ethiopian food in college. For the life of me, I don't remember when I found Indian or Thai, but it was definitely afterwards. Did you ever have that conversation? Or think about the first time you tried something? A few weeks ago I went out for Vietnamese Pho with my teenaged cousins and was impressed with their openness. Things sure have changed. If you haven't gotten your hoagie yet, would you consider going to Lee's? And not just because they also sell Butterscotch Krimpet Tastykakes. Oh, and I totally thought that lobby you photographed looked 30th-Street-Station-ish!
  13. Sandy, your explorations make it very hard for me to restrain myself! Both the Irish and the Latvian (and, I think, the German) branches of my family immigrated through Philadelphia. My Latvian grandma moved from the family farm in Trexlertown to live in the Latvian community in West Philadelphia, where she met my Latvian grandfather, married him, and had my mom at the old Women's Hospital there which no longer exists. She worked at both Bookbinder's and Gimbel's at times, and I of course have very fond memories of being taken to see the holiday light show at Wanamaker's in Center City. Is it any wonder I went to Penn? (Oh, duh, that's where my parents met, although whether that really was such a good idea was later to be proven by time ) My little sister just graduated U Del and moved there, to the Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philly. I visited her over Labor Day Weekend and had a whole new part of the city opened to me! She also took me on a very quick drive around the Penn campus, which has indeed changed almost entirely since I left in the early '90s. Much of the city has changed since then, I believe drastically. I know that some people are rather touchy about the "sixth borough of New York" comparison but I believe this is rather an error of proximity than reality. In truth, I have lived in many smaller- to medium-sized cities that have all been improving lately since people returned to city life. And honestly, I have heard no one ever make that kind of reference who wasn't in PA. Can you perhaps comment on how your food choices have improved in the last 15 years? I remember little but pubs and ethnic restaurants, with the occasional fresh food treat like Le Bus (which used to be near Penn). Now it seems like you have a lot more options in dining. How excited are you?
  14. I don't want to alarm anyone, but in terms of gentrification, 5th Avenue has just about maxed out. You can find smatterings of bobo chic all the way up to Flatbush. Hipster joints have started to open up on FOURTH AVE. The DMZ is dwindling... Prospect Park is lovely but I admit, I prefer the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for the occasional stroll. It's free on Saturdays before noon! And to bring it back to food, johnder, I tend to avoid eating in Park Slope before I hike it on home to Boerum Hill. Any local joints you're particularly proud of? I always have my Metrocard on me, in case a short bus or train ride is called for
  15. Thanks to you both! You have no idea how much more relaxed I will be walking into that madding crowd with good info in my pocket. I will pass on all of these details to my more discerning friends, and no doubt that on that one day you will feel a wave of gratitude wafting your way...
  16. Thank you davebrown, that sounds just about my speed, especially considering I just desperately purchased a ticket for Rock 'n' Roll at an extremely poor exchange rate. I'm thinking every day on my own is going to be about picnics. Can you really take your pints away from the pub? In New York you have to have a special license just to serve alcohol outside. Back when the no-smoking-inside law passed I used to earn free drinks from the bartenders at my local by pointing out the patrons who were trying to take their beers with them when heading out for a smoke. But please don't think of me as a snitch - the owners promised to fire my bartender friends at the first violation.
  17. I will be spending a Saturday afternoon in July in Stratford-upon-Avon. None of these factors are of my choosing. I love good food, but imagining fighting the size and ugliness of crowds in that town to get to some on such a day scares the bejeezus out of me. I kind of imagine fortifying myself for Henry VI Part II with pints at the Black Swan and just eating whatever they have to keep me afloat. Or is the beer total crap as well? Any and all survival eating/drinking strategies would be much appreciated. And feel free to add your favorite Dirty Duck joke if you think it would be nice to have them all in one place
  18. Yes! *Deborah*, thank you for all the cake porn, the Wolf porn, the kitty porn, the food porn, and the *life* porn, if you know what I mean (and I really do hope so! ) Jen Who totally understands about the magic properties of photographs in terms of chin multiplication.
  19. *Deborah*, I am glad to see I am not the only one who's done some middle-of-the-night cake baking. Only with me it's usually the night before Thanksgiving, and the spiced pumpkin cheesecake has to go into the fridge before I go to bed. Good morning! Hope the coffee was perfect and the power worked out. I am really looking forward to today's activities and plenty of Wolf porn shots
  20. Stepping over the haters and debaters, I just came in here to say I went to TJ's last Saturday night. I had been invited to a sangria party and wanted to bring a hostess gift, and since Trader Joe's is new and has super-fun party food I went for the symbolism as well as the products. What fun! I got pepitas and dried chile mangos, but the huge hit was the marcona almonds with rosemary. Totally addictive, and a pretty-good sized bag was around four dollars. (They must've been slightly imperfect? Aren't these things generally like gold?) Tiny downside - we needed more napkins for the olive-oil coating. But what a perfect match for sangria, and it brought out that "Oh, it's from Trader Joe's!" from the transplants. I went in at 9pm on a Saturday. Negligible crowd, no line (all right, there was ONE person in front of me). I have had different experiences at different times but no more than at any other store in New York, be it Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Key Food, or Pathmark. I like that in Trader Joe's the employees are friendly, the cashiers tend to ask what I got and share things that they like. I like that the wine store cashier totally acknowledged that I waited until she was done conversing with her previous customer until I approached her desk. I like that customers are running around the stores, grabbing things and telling any employee who will listen (and they do), "oh, I used to live in ____ and get this at the ____ Trader Joe's!" New York City is lousy with people who like to get in my way, gripe loudly and shit all over everything as if this is somehow impressive. I go to Trader Joe's for a vacation from this sort of thing. Trader Joe's is one of the places I can go for a guaranteed dose of nice. And those green chile cheese tamales...hmm, I might be running low on those...
  21. Since I didn't see it mentioned, and since Mario came up, what about Mario Batali's Sugo? I picked some up out of curiosity and was pretty impressed - good tomato taste, and actual chunks of flavoring agents in the sauce, which to me is pretty gutsy in this world of whiny consumers. My favorite was the "SUGO FINOCCHIATO – Tomato Sauce with Sweet Garlic & Toasted Fennel with whole cloves of caramelized fresh garlic and crunchy, toasted fennel seeds." Yum. But not an everyday sauce for me, which is more likely to be Barilla. I'm guessing while it seemed reasonably priced at TJ's, it's probably now one the fancier brands at Whole Paycheck. Rebecca, your party sounds like it'll be super fun! Congratulations on the new job, and careful of those processed-food-induced salt levels
  22. Neither of which are in New York City! I am glad to hear Macaroni Grill isn't thoroughly despised. I went to the one near Princeton, NJ once, back when I had a car and a reason to go to Princeton, and I quite enjoyed my cannelloni. I believe I enjoyed the bread quite a bit as well and most especially the check, totalling about $10.50 for a meal and a coke. Without a car, however, I'm more lost than Daniel. I know there are tons of Italian restaurants with okay food and okay prices and plenty with good food and prices that scare me very much. I wouldn't for a second know what to recommend.
  23. Hi Khadija! My mother's family came from Latvia (to Philadelphia) and to me Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without these magical goodies. Even if my brother does goof 'em up by his incessant need to 'improve' on family recipes Bless him, though; I certainly don't have the patience to do all that dicing - and you have to dice the meat by hand, otherwise you won't get that all-important mouth feel. I'm a little nervous about the dough portion of my recipe for pierogs. I hand-copied it from my mom, who wrote it down after intercepting my grandmother's pinch-of-this and handful-of-that and measuring them. And, like I said, I haven't the patience to attempt them on my own, so I'm afraid it's not tried. So if you have a recipe you're happy with, I'd say go for it. About the filling - I will say my recipe includes a lovely combination of about 3/4 lb. pork butt, 1/4 lb. bacon, and 1/2 a medium onion. Like Wayne said, there are other varieties, but we all know this one is the best Does it sound about like the other recipes you've found?
  24. I would like to give a shout out to Island Burger's Cobb Salad. They make it with their very delicious grilled chicken, yum. I work in Midtown and they'll deliver to 6th Ave., as do so many of the Ninth Avenue restaurants (they're at 52nd Street). Much less formal than Sardi's or Shelly's but oh so tasty! Okay, I know a Cobb Salad is technically supposed to be turkey, but who cares?
  25. Ooh, Mr. Cutlets, what an intriguing suggestion Pan, a quick Google search reveals Adrienne's is in Manhattan's Financial District. I'll do two outings! I'll show up late! I'll repost my availability! Weekday evenings after 7pm Saturday lunch and dinner (i.e. just not between 3 and 6pm) Sunday lunch (tho' Father's Day might present a conflict) So tempting to call in sick to make an early dinner on the 10th, too bad I haven't any sick days left
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