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About MelissaH

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    Central New York via NEO, CO, Pittsburgh

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  1. I've been reading Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich. I'm about halfway through it, and he doesn't come across as a likable character to me, more like a Bourdain-style bad boy without the charm. Whether this is actually how he is IRL or if it's a persona he adopted because he thought it would sell the book, I don't know. But at this point, I have zero interest in eating at his restaurants or meeting him. I'm currently debating whether it's worth finishing the book.
  2. Definitely go to the Tenement Museum. It's become my new favorite museum in NYC. But be aware that admission is only by guided tour—and they fill up. So plan ahead, and book on line for the tour and/or neighborhood walk that you want. While you're in the neighborhood, the Museum of Chinese in America is also worth a visit. And there are plenty of places nearby to get a nice meal.
  3. Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    Ruth Reichl's My Kitchen Year is $1.99 on Kindle, US Prime. This is one book where it's helpful to have a tablet rather than an e-ink device, as the photographs are lovely.
  4. Chris, do you think the pretzels work better than the normal version where they get a bath before going in the oven? (Is the modernist version actually an improvement, or just different?)
  5. I don't think so. But for our general munching needs, the Delhaize store brand are more than adequate, and also cheaper than Lotus brand.
  6. I'll check it out. Cheesy onion sounds fab.
  7. One Belgian friend swears by Dandoy brand. They have their own stores. I'm still working on the special Belgian supermarket brand.
  8. You're making me quite homesick with all your photos. Noses! We learned about them in Gent from the cart selling them in front of the Tierentijn mustard shop. (You can actually see the shop in the BBC video, with its green facade. Awesome mustard, and something we always bring home.) One classic use for the purple ones is to sweeten your tea, we were told. I kinda liked that, although a whole nose was a bit much for me, so I made two cups at once and used one nose for the two cups. Looks like you found a Delhaize, which is our favorite of the Belgian supermarket chains. The square bottle of their store-brand speculoos spice mix is awesome. I use it in place of plain cinnamon in almost everything that calls for cinnamon...or at least I did till I ran out. :-( While you're in Belgium, you might also look for brands of speculoos other than Lotus (the ones known in North America as Biscoff) in the supermarket. There's one brand that's super-good, only available in Belgium, and I can't remember the name of it. Stay tuned.
  9. Is your A World of Breads the one by Dolores Casella? That was one of my mom's go-to bread books. I was thrilled to find my own copy at a library sale last winter in Vermont. Ironically, the only recipe I've ever used from it is the waffle recipe, which is still the one I use when I didn't think ahead to start yeast waffle batter. But I really should explore the rest of the book.
  10. Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    If you enjoy Luisa Weiss's writing style, you may also enjoy her memoir , in which she basically finds her way home to Berlin. It's not on sale right now, but I enjoyed it.
  11. Could you please add me as a maybe? I'll be able to confirm early in December.
  12. The Soup Topic (2013–)

    This sounds similar to the Serious Eats pressure cooker corn soup, which adds tarragon stems and bay leaves to the pressure cooker (pick them out before blending) and then the tarragon leaves to the finished soup. It's heavenly, and strictly seasonal for us.
  13. Pumpkin

    My mom doesn't particularly like pumpkin pie, so we never had it when I was growing up. (Squash with dinner, yes. Pumpkin pie/bread/whatever, no.) I still don't quite get pumpkin pie myself, although if it's put in front of me I'll eat it. I feel like I should try making BraveTart's pumpkin pie, which starts with homemade sweetened condensed milk and butternut squash. Rick Bayless also has a terrific and easy recipe for roasted butternut squash soup with apple and chipotle, which I suspect would work equally well with other roastable squashes. Everyone here loooooves when I make the Trader Joe's pumpkin bread mix, in mini muffins, with a couple of big handfuls of chocolate chips stirred into the batter. I'd love to figure out how to make something like this myself, as easily as opening the box.
  14. Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    Another new discount, one I've been hoping would happen: Luisa Weiss, Classic German Baking ($1.99).
  15. I've never eaten a kugel with cheese. My mom's recipe is similar to Shain's, but without the nuts, and using cornflake crumbs for crunch. We also separate the eggs, and fold in the beaten whites at the end. The inclusion of raisins (not soaked in wine) or other dried fruit is a hot topic of discussion in our family; we generally include chopped dried apricots because none of us hates them.