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KMPickard

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Everything posted by KMPickard

  1. Bricktop is right; the Fresh Ginger Cake is seriously good. I actually find myself craving it. I had one guest spontaneously exclaim that this was the best cake she'd ever had. It is an adult cake, definitely not shy on flavour. I can't imagine that kids would find it palatable though. I've also made the Buckwheat Cake (minus the poached apples). It's a simple, homely cake - in a good way. I liked it best for breakfast with a mug of milky black tea. When fresh, I'd call its taste subtle. As it aged the flavour bloomed and I actually found it to be at its best in the third day after baking, jus
  2. My copy of "the" book arrived last week and my first perusal resulted in a long list of things I want to try. We're fortunate enough to be spending a week at a cottage up north next week and I'm planning to do a lot of cooking, reading, cooking, photography, cooking. You get the idea. I couldn't wait until next week to start working on the list though. First up were the grated carrot salad, the curried chicken etc in papillote, and marie-helene's apple cake. The carrot salad couldn't have been quicker. Using the food processor to grate the carrots and then mixing up the vinaigrette in the same
  3. Add another one to the list. It's plum season and I tried the Flip Over Plum Cake. Another winner! Easy too. It does, in fact, have a rather puddingy texture with a delicious caramelized, buttery outer ,um, how to describe it?.. skin? Crust doesn't seem quite accurate given the texture. It's actually a bit chewy. My plums were quite tart so I decided to go with the full amount of sugar suggested in the recipe. We did find it overly sweet for our tastes; so, next time the sugar added to the fruit gets halved. I'm wondering if the sugar in the batter could also be diminished somewhat without aff
  4. I made the Butterscotch Pecan ice cream while on holidays last week. All I can say is WOW!. I had four very happy guests and, thankfully for my waistline, not a lot of leftovers. I think that it may just become an annual cottage tradition. (and, yes, I did schlep my ice cream maker up to to cottage.) Kathy
  5. I just returned from a wonderful cottage week on Georgian Bay in Ontario. Crystal clear water and gorgeous rocks - and, really, the first nice summer weather of the season. It's always a bit of a crap shoot in regards to kitchen equipment in a rental cottage so I load the car up with far more stuff than I think I could possibly use. I even packed in "the" book, as I think of it. This particular cottage, though great in every other way, was, to put it kindly, kitchen deficient. I do like to inaugurate the corn season with Dorie's corniest corn muffins and, of course, there was no muffin pan and
  6. We have a 3 year old 22 cu ft GE Profile bottom mount fridge that seems to be decomposing rapidly. The motherboard has gone (an approximately $500 repair) and, on top of that, the interior plastic shelf supports are breaking off - so far the deli drawer support and the whole bottom shelf. And this is in a household of two rather careful adults . Now the decision is whether or not to repair this piece of junk and, if we do replace it, what to replace it with. We need a fridge of about 32" width and really can't expand the space available for it. Any suggestions? Kathy
  7. I've made about 8 loaves using the Cook's Illustrated modifications--as mentioned up thread, they reduce the water, use lager and vinegar, reduce the first rise, and do the second rise on oiled parchment paper which is then lifted into the dutch oven for a no mess transfer. The loaf is easier to handle since there is less liquid. 15 hand kneads are advised before the second rise, and this is easy on a floured surface since the dough is less wet and messy. I've been using wheat beer and cider vinegar. The flavour is definitely improved over the base recipe. I also used the toasted walnut and dr
  8. Thanks to all for your help so far. I've come to the conclusion that we just don't have enough days to eat everywhere that we want to. What a surprise, eh? Now L has proudly announced that we have tickets for the San Francisco Opera on Saturday night. Being Wagner it's going to be a marathon session starting at 7 o'clock. That means we're going to have a very late lunch/very early dinner and it can't be so heavy as to set me snoring before the first intermission. What would be recommended within an easy walk of the opera? TIA, Kathy
  9. Thanks, everyone, for the replies so far. Carolyn - it's acutually your mini-blog that put me on to Aziza. It doesn't sound like anything that we'd be able to experience elsewhere. I've been following your food adventures with much interest (and envy). It sounds like SF has endless possibilities for the food obsessed. Zuni is on our list for late lunch/early dinner on our first day in the city after Manresa - I thought that we'd need some simpler food after Los Gatos. Alas, we are no longer up to consecutive tasting menus from either a digestive or budgetary point of view. Or would Tadish Gri
  10. L& I are going to be travelling from Southern Ontario to the Monterey Penninsula and San Francisco for 10 days at the end of September and I'm hoping to refine our eating itinerary with your help. As you will see, our existing plans are already heavily influenced by my reading on this board. We're stationed in Moss Landing for the first several days. I've made a dinner reservation at Passionfish in Pacific Grove and we're thinking about the Moss Landing Cafe and Sea Harvest for more casual and convenient eats. Can anyone tell me what sand dabs are like? Tuesday is Manresa and we'll stay in
  11. Over the last several years L & I have done a number of the tours mentioned above. As far as we're concerned they're one of the best values available to a tourist in the city. In fact, in our week this year we did two - the Central Village with Food Tours of NY and the "Slice of Brooklyn" Pizza Tour. The Central Village tour took us to places like Joe's Dairy (fresh hickory smoked mozarella and Grandaisy Bakery (white pizza) and numerous other spots, all with prearranged nibbles. By the end of the three hours we had a good working knowledge of a neighbourhood that we weren't familiar with
  12. KMPickard

    Casellula

    I'm surprised how little note Casellula has received on this board given the quality of its offerings and its pleasant, low key atmosphere. It calls itself a "Cheese and Wine" cafe, with the emphasis on the cheese - and rightly so. It's a small, brick-exposed bistro setting with welcoming, efficient staff, including a cheese sommelier. We arrived early, sans reservation, and that was fine, although it did fill quickly. Many of the other diners, uh, nibblers, seemed to be there for a platter of meats or cheeses and a glass of wine before moving on for the evening. Fine, it's well situated for
  13. I'm looking to fill a few holes in our dining schedule for the upcoming week. This was reviewed in the latest issue of The New Yorker and I'm wondering what the eGullet opinion is. At this point, if we arrive for early dining, are we likely to need a reservation? We're already booked for Lupa, Artisanal, EMP, The Little Owl and the Bar Room at the Modern. Hoping for neighbourhood eats at Kefi or Celeste and lots and lots of gelato. Any feedback? Cheers, Kathy
  14. As to menu choices at Devi, do what my SO and I did, have the tasting menus - one with meat and one vegetarian. If both of you are willing to share (and I warn you that's going to be a challenge) then you get to taste the widest range of what they have to offer. I'm a confirmed carnivore and I had the vegetarian menu. I was absolutely delighted with it - and would have been even if I hadn't been able to strong arm a few bites from hubby's meat dishes. Have a happy birthday, Kathy
  15. Is there anything new to report near the theatre? Or, is Thomas Beisl still the best and most convenient option? TIA Kathy
  16. I thought I'd give the chocolate gingerbread a pre-Xmas run through and it turned out very well indeed. I added the suggested glaced orange peel, though not the raisins. The layering of flavours was marvellous - ginger, chocolate, orange. If this was wine you'd say it had a great finish This is a gingerbread to serve to people (like my husband) who think they don't care for gingerbread. He's now converted. As I was making the gingerbread I realized that one of the special things about this book is that Dorie anticipates just when you think you might have gone off the rails. OK- the batter ha
  17. I've searched every which way I can think of to track down Miagai's BEP recipe that's been lauded in the above posts - and I haven't been successful. Could someone be so kind as to post a link? TIA Kathy
  18. Hi all - the Lenox Almond Biscotti (with the addition of dried cherries flamed with brandy) are cooling as I type. The aroma is heavenly. My husband -"Do they really have to cool to room temperature?" Me- "Yes. Delayed gratification will only make them taste better". If I can figure out the procedure I'll post a photo later. Since I last posted I've made the Coconut Tea Cake, the Apple Spice Bars and the Cream Scones. The Apple Spice Bars, as expected, were a winner. A bit sweet for my personal taste; but, man, did they go over big at the office. I guess that I'm like Dorie's friend who pref
  19. Dorie, your book is well on its way to creating a monster. My husband, who works out of town during the week, arrived home on Friday night and the first words out his mouth were "What are you making out of Dorie this week". He knows good things are in the offing when he sees "the book" open on the counter. First up was the Amaretti Torte. I had my moments with it. I don't own and couldn't find a round 8X2 pan so I baked it in a ceramic 8 inch pie plate. I think that led the upper, tapering edge to be a bit over-baked - as well as the finish being less than professional looking. But, hey, it
  20. Dorie, I have to reveal that I have a deeply engrained fear of making biscuits. Previous efforts have resulted in dense, barely edible hockey pucks. So it was with no small amount of trepidation that tried your Maple-Cornmeal Drop Biscuits this morning. Anxiety rose when the batter seemed drier than than the "very soft" indicated in the instructions.( Canadian flour maybe?) But I soldiered on and the end result was a batch of light, yummy, rustic looking biscuits. They had a great exterior crunch and a light. soft interior crumb. Flakey? no-but still the best I've ever made. I don't think that
  21. It's two for two for me too. I made the Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake for our Thanksgiving gathering today. The universal reaction was "WOW, this is really good". In fact, it was so good that it totally disappeared without the opportunity for me to photograph it. You'll have to take my word that it looked as good as it tasted. I used my favorite baking apple, Liberty, in place of the Golden Delicious and the flavour and texture were excellent. Hmmm... what to try next? Kathy
  22. My copy arrived just in time for me to nab the very last of the fresh corn for the corniest corn muffins. I could tell, as I mixed the batter, that things were coming together well. The muffins baked up with a nice firm crumb but were surprisingly light, almost delicate. I had expected them to be on the heavy side considering the corn kernals, but not so. And the aroma was wonderful - it brought the last of summer into the kitchen on a dark rainy day. One was not enough. We each ate two, dripping with butter. The diet can wait. Kathy PS: My husband said "make sure that you thank Dorie". So,
  23. One thing that we brought home with us from NS (actually we had them shipped) was a selection of condiments - jams, salsa, chutney, mustard etc - from the Tangled Garden in Grand Pre. I'm not sure whether or not she has a distributer in Halifax but she was at a Halifax craft show on the waterfront when we were there. The garden itself is well worth a visit. The owner is a true artist of the garden. The preserves etc are made with ingredients harvested from the garden. Think Strawberry Lavender jam, Cherry Anise Hyssop Jam, Lemon Horseradish Jelly, Hot Peach Salsa etc. Interesting and well-bal
  24. I'll second the suggestion of a stay at Cambridge Suites. We stayed there this summer. It's a fantastic location- you can easily walk to any number of good restaurants. As well, I think it would be especially good when travelling with a little one - the room comes equipped with microwave and fridge and, although not a "suite" there's plenty of room to spread out. As a bonus "Bud the Spud" sets up just around the corner - fantastic fries. I don't have any suggestions for kid friendly restaurants, that not being something I have to seek out. However, if the great aunties can be persuaded to baby
  25. Well, we're just back from our first foray to Stratford this year and it was a fine start to the season (Coriolanus, Oliver and The Glass Menagerie). On the strength of the upthread review we decided on dinner at The Globe and we were not disappointed. Of the 6 predessert courses we sampled (we're fressers) 5 were outstanding with one, the Lobster Ceviche, being merely OK. We started with Olive Oil poached Baby Fennell with light lemony goat cheese and parmesan cheese. It was a lovely light spring combination. Along with that we had the "Pancake Stack" described above (we both gave it top m
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