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Everything posted by *Deborah*

  1. Gourmet Warehouse had something like 4 or 5 different fleur de sel types. I would expect them to be reasonably priced, but I'm not really sure.
  2. I was reading a package at Gourmet Warehouse on Sunday, yes, the fleur de sel is skimmed off the top of the sea by cute French maidens or something poetic like that. I use sea salt in my salt grinder, and I don't actually have fleur de sel in the house as I don't have much need for it at home, but I love to have it as a finish on a dish at a restaurant, it's got a very ...clear sort of taste, IMO.
  3. Conventional wisdom is also that you have more bugs and whatnot with organic, not using chemical pesticides etc., so you end up charging more for the produce that comes out nice and healthy and pretty by the end of the season.
  4. Wow, nothing to compare with you lot: I am usually at my parents' place in Sun Peaks (not a multi-million-dollar chalet, more's the pity!) and we have usually had so much eating done by New Year's that we just graze on appetizers all night long, and drink bubbles, typically one bottle of Dom Pérignon in there, but anything is possible after the first bottle (since we're only three people, two bottles is usually the most we get through--well, depending on how thirsty I am). And what with the skiing and everything, we're often in bed right after midnight. But then we get up and ski on New Year's Day, early! one of the best days of the year. Previous years have seen many many Cosmopolitans (or much much whiskey) and cheap-ass bubbles with a girlfriend at one of the local hangouts, but I will be solo this year, so quiet and at home (with Champagne) will fit the bill.
  5. Back in my "radio days" I worked with the man who wrote that jingle. His name is Tony Antonias, and he was one of the most brilliant copy-writers I worked with. Very old-school, but could write a dozen 30 second ads in the time it took me to do 1. It was Tony you heard whistling that jingle. ← Damn you both! You have committed the criminal act of DSI: Deadly Song Implant. Now I'll have, "Dollar forty-nine day Woodwards, dollar forty-nine day Tuesday" playing in my head for the rest of the evening! Oh, my siblings and I did this, too! It was called the "Malt Stop" and was located under the escalators. I still remember how delicious it tasted...... ← I lived on hot dogs and malts from both the Malt Stop and Willie Woozle in elementary school. Now, as a guilty pleasure, I pull up to the Wendy's drive-thru window and order a Frosty which seems to be the closest thing I can find to a malt these days. ← I had a Frosty on Sunday! When I lived in Montreal, we used to dip our french fries in our Frosties. I have no idea why...I guess it's similar to the chocolate-covered pretzel, sweet and salty phenomenon. I haven't been there in a while, but you used to be able to get a malted at the hotdog stand outside Super-Valu in Park Royal, but I have a horrible feeling that hotdog stand is gone...
  6. Sinclair, thanks...yes, as I stated in my initial post, I am adding raspberry sauce and Chantilly, and my audience is far from broad...it's 20 die-hard chocoholics, so I expect my Callebaut and Scharffenberger concoction to be enthusiastically received. The bride and I went through a bunch of cakes before deciding on this one. Hmm, it sounds as though I really do need a layer of ganache..oh well, that's not a problem, although I haven't made a white chocolate one before. I am very happy to know the cake can freeze with no ill-effects; it may need to be stored outside when we get there. Choux, I am glad to have your same-highway tale, too! I have a friend in a bar that has those nice sturdy black bar straws, so I'll swipe a few of those when the time comes. If it weren't a challenge, I probably wouldn't be interested in doing it
  7. Wow! you guys are the best! I went insane today, I got pans, and boards, and I already have a turntable (thank God) and a smoother and a roller and shaper things and stuff to make gum with? for decoration stuff and stencils to help me shape things and colours and brushes...I got two lbs of Callebaut and one lb of Scharffenburger, this is going to be one fabulous damn cake. I got some Wilton fondant to play with while I try to source the Pettinice in my neighbourhood, I couldn't make it to Ming Wo today, but I'll try there. and I'll go to Surrey if I have to LOL. Putting fondant on a pan to practice is a great idea! thanks! I will certainly do that. Really, Kate, I appreciate your recipe and your great advice very much, but I will feel much more confident it's as it's supposed to be if I buy the fondant. If it's gross, everyone can leave it on the plate, it's all about the inside anyways. I don't have Colette Peters' book; I have The Cake Bible, and Dede Wilson's Wedding Cake book, and Kate Manchester's and Bette Matthews'. Between them and you guys I think I have a good chance of pulling this off. $300-odd later, basically, and I haven't finished yet! and millions in advice from those who know better than I
  8. Now that I've met Ling, I have only one question ... Where the hell do you put it all??? 1/2 a box of Almond Roca would have finished me for the day! A. ← I put it the same place you put your Reubens--in the gut! Almond Roca are some of my favourite candies. I share Moosh's love for sweets and over time, I seem to have grown a separate stomach just for sugar-laden treats. ← Ha ha ha, I have an extra stomach too! it's right in front of the regular one!
  9. Thanks for responding See, that thing about the Wilton's is exactly what I need to know. I will search out the other brand. No, I'm quite serious about the beginner's luck: you should have tasted my first osso buco! it was better than any I've had in a restaurant. The second...not so much It's a real theme. I truly can't afford to make three of these cakes...I'm going to price fondant today though, so yeah, maybe I can take a practice run on another type of cake. I intend to give myself a weekend to do the ivy leaves, I'll get into a leaf-making zone. If I fail, I have those little flower watering test-tube things with pierced lids, we can use more real ivy in those. Oh, when you have two layers, one dirctly on top of the other, do you cover them with fondant separately? and then plop one on top? I think you must, eh? rather than setting one on top and then covering them both. Hence those little bits of icing covering the seam. I have books, I should really read them again before I go asking stupid questions. Thanks again, I will keep you apprised of my progress and probably bug you with additional questions as time goes by.
  10. Thoughts: Smoked meat sandwich: yes, it's lacking. Rosie's on Robson has something that wouldn't quite pass muster in Montréal, but it's not bad, and they also have latke with sour cream and applesauce, so those of you with an Eastern-deli-jones might try them out (Robson and Hamilton). Wiener Schnitzel mit Spätzle...well, I doubt any Schnitzel will top the one I had on the IC between Salzburg and Zürich, but when I have a craving I get one from the William Tell Bistro (I lunch at the restaurant next door (same kitchen) several times a week, and they'll get me a Schnitzel if I ask nicely). Their Spätzle isn't the best I've ever had, but it's fine. The veal is lovely (Beatty between Robson and Georgia). I miss the street vendors from back east, as well, and what I really miss are the kosher hot dogs. If it's cooked on the street, it better be kosher to begin with, is my thinking. I miss kosher dogs in general. The only supermarket I've ever seen them in is Choices on Cambie, and they were prohibitively expensive... I think service is improving in this town. When I first started dining out around here, around nine years ago, a lot of the time, service staff acted as though they were doing you a favour, rather than their job. I've slung hash and cocktails, and I've eaten at all manner of establishments...I'm not one of those "on the side" people, nor do I try to completely change a plate, and I don't expect my toes to be kissed (well, not by my service staff), but I do expect my wine to be opened at the table, and reasonable requests to be honoured...that is the fault of the owner or manager, I suppose, in a lack of training. The waiter at Hy's who included the croutons in my Caesar when I was Atkinsing and had asked him to leave them out, and I had a moment of inattention when he was preparing and didn't notice them going in...he made me another whole salad from scratch, as he should have. I've never eaten at French Laundry, but does Lumière not qualify as that type of experience? I haven't made it to Le Crocodile or Le Gavroche yet, either. I know the room is not so dressy, but eating at Parkside, I normally spend a great deal of time doing the "I have good food in my mouth" chair dance. Ditto for Lumière, Pastis, and Bishop's. I could yap all day but I have Christmas shopping to do!
  11. Wow am I glad I decided to come to this site when I did. I am an enthusiastic if not necessarily skilled home cake baker. I would say my skill is more in picking recipes I can manage. I have pretty good home tools, including a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer (the light of my life, really) but not a lot of specialized stuff. In a moment of weakness and shocking ambition, I offered to bake my best friend's wedding cake. We have decided on a recipe which seems eminently doable for the small (20-person) party (Rose Levy Beranbaum chocolate truffle cake: chocolate, eggs, and butter) due to the small number of ingredients, and fairly simple prep. I have gotten three or four good wedding cake books (including Dede Wilson's) and have come up with a plan to cover it with fondant and modelled ivy leaves (one 10-in. tier with one 6-in tier on top, not separated with columns, something like Rose Levy Berenbaum's Art Deco Cake, if anyone is familiar with that, and we're making it big for the number of people so we can all have seconds)...so basically pretty simple as my decorating skills, in particular, are not anything to write home about. It will be served with a raspberry coulis and Chantilly and some IQF raspberries if I can find 'em. Historically, I have beginner's luck in all manner of cooking, so I am relying on that to see me through. The second wedding cake I attempt to make will probably be a disaster, but I expect the first to turn out OK. That's why I'm not making a practice one (that, and the cost of good chocolate). The wedding is January 22, in Whistler. I live in Vancouver, and the cake will have to be transported up there in a car; I am already collecting boxes. My major concern at the moment is timing: it seems as though this particular cake can easily wait four or five days to be served, and it probably will have to as I am also maid of honour and have other things I need to do, but can anyone offer tips as far as how long I can expect it to take me to put fondant on, whether I should roll or use the other kind (I think not as I think cool temps are important to this cake, I don't want to have it melt all over my counter--is that a valid worry?) and is store-bought fondant really OK, especially if you have no confidence in being able to make it!!! and is it OK to store it assembled like that, refrigerated, for a few days and then stick on the leaves on the day? I plan to bake on the 18th, assemble and put fondant on the 19th, have the 20th in case of emergencies, and then it will be brought up to the site on the 21st. I would be really grateful for any tips anyone could provide. Thanks in advance Deborah
  12. Thanks for all the warm welcomes, everyone My parents live in Sun Peaks, and there are restaurants there that will only accept a reservation with a credit card. We don't frequent them. I have a huge issue with that...especially in a village like that, to treat the locals the same way you treat the tourists is not really a good thing. I can see where it will smackdown the people who need it, but it's insulting to the rest of us who actually have manners and would never miss a reservation. I phone when I'll be 10 minutes late, even, because that's how I was brought up. Perhaps one day the restaurants will have the lists of good and bad clientèle, and those of us on the side of the angels will be rewarded with the trust of the reservationists.
  13. I haven't stayed at The Wedgewood in a long time (junior suite five or six years ago?) but I liked it fine, and wouldn't hesitate to stay again. IIRC, they had chocolate chip cookies at turndown :) When I lived on Bowen Island, and needed to stay in hotels here more often, I had two mainstays, though: the Hotel Van, which you could get a great room or a crappy room, but everything else about it was consistent, and the Metropolitan, which I used to get a rate on and you could get room service from Diva. The Metropolitan ended up beating our the Hotel Van largely for the room service As far as breakfast, I have nothing against a fancy-dan one (one of my all-time favourites is the brunch at Brennan's several years back; I don't usually have dessert after Benny, but, hey; Pastis also puts on a great breakfast) but if I'm seriously hungover, I usually want lots of grease, and pretty quick, so a diner-type place fits the bill. I also like the resident dogs at The Templeton.
  14. Last three restaurants: Saturday late dinner with out-of-town guest: Shiru-Bay in Yaletown, HOLY COW I loved it there (so did my friend), we shared the deep-fried prawns with sweet chili mayonnaise, a salmon tartare with a relish (I’m sorry, I forget the salient ingredient, it was unknown to me and it didn’t stick. It was good though), bluefin sashimi, and beef carpaccio with fleur de sel. We were just swooning, it was so good. We washed it down with a few Sapporos. Sunday for lunch we went to Kitto on Granville Street, cheap and fast, I had the lunch special B with yaki-udon, and he had an Oden, wacky fish soup with strange strange things within. He was very game, though, and ate it all up, and said it was good. My friend lives in Copenhagen, so I guess his sushi possibilities are few, hence also the fact that we ate Japanese two meals in a row. Sunday for dinner we went to Parkside, my new favourite place (well, for the past six or seven months--I managed to be taken to two separate birthday dinners there this year! score! as well as taking my parents there for Mother’s and Father’s Day) and I forewent the terrine of duck and foie gras, opting instead for Yukon gold blini with smoked salmon and crème fraîche, capers, etc...lovely. My friend started with the pithivier, which he was very impressed with. For mains, I had roasted pheasant, and he had prawns and scallops with a risotto Milanese. We finished off the me having the chocolate terrine (ingredients: chocolate, cream, and Amaretto, if I can believe my tongue) and he had the pink grapefruit in ice wine syrup. We drank my new lower-end fave, a Burrowing Owl Syrah (edited, because I had a blonde moment, and initially had Merlot in there ), started with cocktails (I had a Parkside Negroni--the only way I can bear to drink gin--and he had a Cranberry Collins). We loved it madly. One of my best-eating weekends in a while, even including humble Kitto.
  15. I am usually content with attempts to make my puns bilingual, but will change my position in order to increase the sexual thrust and over (and/or) under tones. I feel so much closer to you all already.
  16. I hear you. I go to Doolin's sometimes (Granville & Nelson) but my wardrobe isn't always up to some of the Yaletown spots. Have you eaten at that Japanese place on the 1200 block of Hamilton yet? (can't remember the name) the deep-fried prawns with sweet Thai chili mayonnaise are just...insanely good! as was everything else we tried. Thanks for the pub ideas :) I'll let you know how it pans out.
  17. That is a pity, I was there this past Sunday. How about Raincity Grill? or cab down to Provence Marinaside in Yaletown.
  18. Different kind of mood, but The Templeton on Granville fits the bill for a hangover breakfast, and it will leave you lots of dough for your Christmas shopping :)
  19. Oh, a friend said I should pass by and see what that was like since it re-opened, I had forgotten. Thanks, I'll take a look!
  20. Welcome Deborah to your new addiction! So, have you gone back to either of your two DOV experiences? A. ← Oh, Provence was and is on my regular schedule, it's so close by :) Circolo I have also been to before. Always happy to go to an Umberto restaurant! Thanks for the welcome :) I am already sucked into other message boards (non-food) and this one promises to be completely engrossing (ooh! double-entendre!). :p
  21. A bunch of current and former co-workers are trying to meet up for drinks during the week to catch up, and we'd like somewhere loungey/pubby, but not sportsbarish or too loud. We'd also like it if it were somewhere where drinks aren't $10/each. Original thought was YBC, but we think it's not quite quite for the bossish types among us, and would like somewhere with decent wine...the main thing is we don't want to have to shout to be heard. My current thinking is the bar at Brix; I seldom go out for "drinks" at 5:00 or whatever, I'm more of a dinner person, can anyone recommend me somewhere suitable? preferably in the Yaletown area. Thanks for your help :)
  22. I managed to get out for two dinners last year (Circolo and Provence) and at Provence, particularly, noticed those tables of tap water...luckily, my mum was buying, so we were able to offset some of the cheapies with a nice Bandol and a bottle of moscato with dessert ;) For some of us, the cheaper menu means a better bottle of wine than we might otherwise go for, too. I can't even believe no-shows! shocking. My first post...greetings!
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