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    New Hampshire
  1. You're absolutely right - I didn't mean that the waiters should know how to juggle, but they should be prepared to interact with you if that's what you'd like; talk about wine, or how the fish is prepared, or what they would recommend that evening. Or just leave you alone; it's true that they can be too intrusive, thinking that whatever they have to say must be more important than any conversation you're having with your dinner companions.
  2. Sometimes I think that waitstaff fail to appreciate how much responsibility they have; people go to restaurants for special occasions and dates, not just to eat. Bad service and a bad attitude can be embarrassing, or worse, make (theoretically) once-in-a-lifetime events like engagement or rehersal dinners a disaster. I don't want to remember that the service sucked at my 40th birthday dinner, especially if my family made elaborate plans or paid a lot of money for it. If I want to just eat, I can stay at home, or go to my favorite diner. If I'm going to a great restaurant, I want to be entertained as well as fed; I think the waitstaff should be "on" every night just like actors in theater. That said, accidents happen, plates get dropped, orders screwed up, food gets overcooked. It's how staff gracefully handle those issues that make them excellent, not just the easy nights when the kitchen is on top of things.
  3. a surfeit of lampreys: food celebrities separated at birth My friend and I did this one for my blog - it's kindof funny -
  4. I saw that episode; Cat Cora did get trounced, but the bacon ice cream sounded pretty good - I'd try it, especially if it had toffee covered bacon in it. A nice variation of butter crunch. Pork is great with all types of fruit and sweet things, like apples and maple syrup.
  5. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours. Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times he was still a crusty old man and was considered a roll model for millions. Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play Dough, two children, John Dough and Jane Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is survived by his elderly dad, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.
  6. This year's cookie list includes: Molasses cookies cut into big fat gingerbread men Pecan shortbread Oatmeal raisin Hermits Spicy chocolate stars Filled sugar cookies with orange-fig preserves Peanut butter brownies Nanaimo bars. My friend and I spent the day mixing and baking, and got them done fast.
  7. eslamprey

    stuffed peppers

    I like to stuff peppers with mushroom risotto: soak 1 cup of dried chanterelle mushrooms in enough warm chicken stock and sauvignon blanc to cover, until mushrooms are soft cut the tops off 6 peppers and clean out seeds. save the tops and set the peppers aside for roasting later. chop the pepper tops, one yellow or orange pepper, 4 shallots and 3 cloves of garlic and saute in olive oil until peppers are soft. set aside. remove the mushrooms from the liquid, and finely chop. save the liquid and add it to 6 cups of chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups sauvignon blanc then bring to a boil. meanwhile, saute 1 1/2 cups arborio rice in 1/4 cup olive oil for 5 minutes in a large pan. pour 1/3 of the broth into the rice, reduce heat to simmer covered until liquid is 2/3 absorbed, about 10 minutes; repeat process until liquid is used up and absorbed into the rice, about 30 minutes give or take. add the chopped mushrooms, then 5 minutes later add the pepper/shallot mixture. finally stir in 3 cups of baby spinach then turn off the heat. let the rice sit covered, while you grill or roast the peppers until soft, with lovely grill marks. stuff the peppers with the risotto; serve them by placing the peppers on top of a mound of risotto and serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
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