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Everything posted by FabulousFoodBabe

  1. Well, folks, it's time for me to say good-bye. Mr. FFB and I had a marvelous meal at Crabtree's Kittle House (a favorite of President Clinton, and of ours). He had oysters ( ), I started with stuffed squash blossoms, and we both had fish. Salmon for him, sea bass for me. We brought dessert home with us -- the restaurant has always had a Valrhona "package," which is valrhona and chocolate cake in phyllo, and I'll bake it for one of my kids tomorrow. Dave's was a carrot cake and he just told me that I had "better not eat it tonight." He knows me so well. I'm waiting for the youngest to come home from a "mixer" at school. Older is out somewhere with some friends. My husband has an early tee-time and I'm going to hang with the dog, eat peaches and pastries, and think about my next steps. At the Kittle House was one of the FOH mangers from Blue Hill at Stone Barns (where I externed and worked; I stay in close touch with the people there). It was great to see him and catch up, and it made me even more determined to find a job that will keep me sharp, and to connect with someone for that cookbook I"ve got waiting. I am so happy to have found eGullet! I've met a few of you in person, and will meet more in coming weeks/months, I hope. As one of my friends who I met on eG said, "blogging is like having a party; you really hope people show up and have fun." Thank you for the warm reception. I've had fun, and I hope you-all have, too. And last, but definitely not least, this is for you, Pontormo. You are smart and sharp and knew immediately from my "queen mug" teaser that I'd be blogging. I can think of no better time than now to show you what I"ve been doing since I day I read of your little project on the "Fruit Stickers" thread. I kind of want to be you when I grow up.
  2. As was said earlier by hathor, this is what they call the "$60 market." We love it here -- I buy the sushi rice by the 10# bag, and can always find a bottle of our favorite barbecue sauce. Plus, for anyone who loves surimi California rolls, they sell frozen blocks of that, too. First, for those of you who wish to feel superior to our little villages and hamlets, here's your opportunity: No wall o'Pocky here. It's more like a Pile o'Pocky. Anyway. They had some tomatoes -- won't say where they got 'em, though. Yeah, that's $25 per half-pound on those chanterelles. I don't think most of their customers have ever seen a fresh Lychee. Every kind of noodle, rice, nori, sauce, jelly, nut, you can imagine, is here. They carry 'name' brands, as you can see, and a lot of imported products. I get Kewpie Mayo here -- they didn't have any when I was in. I love that little bottle ... We wanted to do a parallel chocolate tasting today (well, I did), to see if Ghirardelli is getting better; also, to see if I was right, that the coating on the chocolate bombe we got at La Tulipe was 65%. I can almost always find gooseberries and real currants here, as well. Here's what I got (minus two boxes of Pocky that the kids already took.) It cost ... $45.47. Not quite the $60, but pretty pricey anyway. If I'd gotten the Kewpie, and the Cacao Nibs I considered, no doubt it would have reached $60.
  3. After a nice long walk with Jean-Luc, I headed over to one of my favorite adjacent towns' farmers markets: Pleasantville. There aren't a lot of vendors, but the ones there are very good. I get very excited, food-wise, just a few times a year: when the first tomatoes, nectarines, softshell crabs, and Peeps arrive. I'm almost as happy about the apples and pears, and late-season peaches help me hang on to summer. One of the farms, Mead Orchards, comes Tivoli, NY, a bit upstate from here. This is just a bit of the crowd lined up to buy from them -- the apples were particularly wonderful today. I'm dying to make dumplings, pie, turnovers, applesauce. so I just got some Galas for the boys (they love them). they had lots of prune plums, and Seckle pears Late season peaches, too. My younger son won't eat them because he says they look like butts. I couldn't leave without getting something from Bread Alone. Today, my favorites -- Chocolate croissants, and a chocolate-currant scone with just a tiny bit of lemon. I could sleep in a big pile of those. Next stop: Mt. Kisco, for the Mt. Kisco Farm!
  4. Cabinets will be cherry-wood. Countertops for the bar, the pass, and the Big Island will be dark grey Fireslate (in a thread on eG, we discussed this.). I chose it because I don't want seams, I do want something dark and stone-like, and I want something nice and thick. Honed granite was a consideration, but the Fireslate is less dense and about half the cost (I'm going with 1 3/4" thick). Countertops for the cleanup area and prep areas, will be stainless, with a short backsplash. The rest of the backsplashes will be grey rock. The idea was to make as much of the materials 'flow' with the outdoors, and with the fireplace (which is big and faced in stone, too).
  5. Coquus, someone asked kind of offhandedly if I'd sell once it was done. I said, suuuure. But I'm not listing it with a realtor. I'm not doing showings, or dickering over prices, or going through contingencies or paying someone to do it. It'll be (insert a ridiculous price here), and that's that. Oh, and I won't move until my next house is ready! When I said this was the last move we'd 'have to' make, I meant it! I've missed giving parties; I used to do a lot of it when Dave was in marketing. I'd always do all the food and hire helpers. We can start that up again.
  6. Oh, the diet. It's sloooooowly evolving and it's all my fault, I swear. We moved to Modesto when my oldest son was 2 weeks old. My second was born a couple of years later. I was one of those moms who made baby food for the kids when they started on solids; gradually, I would mill what we were having for dinner. I also felt that there were enough choices out there and so, for example, wouldn't force them to eat squash or spinach because they were loving carrots and broccoli. They used to eat pretty much what we gave them. And then my business took off. I walked in the door one day after being in the kitchen since 5 a.m. for a breakfast catering, and my husband was feeding them Spaghetti-O's. The look on their faces was bliss and accusatory: "How could you keep this from us!???" They were 3 and 1 1/2 and it went downhill from there. My husband's mother had a housekeeper, but she herself cooked for the family. She took Sunday dinners off, but cranked out hot meals for breakfast and dinner, six days a week. There were six in the family, and she relied heavily on packaged and prepared foods. Membership in the Clean Plate Club was mandatory. My family, OTOH, was pretty poor, so we grew our vegetables and canned/froze for the winter. I do think my Italian grandfather, even if he owned the coal mine instead of mining the coal, would have had his own gardens. It gave him great pleasure. He died days before my first child was born. My younger son is a gifted gardener/grower as well, but he won't eat the stuff he grows. He stopped eating vegetables when we left California. I used to find it adorable, because nothing will ever taste as good as the stuff we ate there, but then it got annoying. One pediatrician told me to feed him nothing but vegetables and eventually he'd cave. Well, I caved -- after three days of not eating. It's just not worth it. ('And to this day, he remembers that episode more than anything else from his childhood!) BTW, that was the first sign that something was going on with him; he's since been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. Not a full-on case, but the symptoms he does have are pretty strong. He has a hard time with textures, like potatoes, and still can't stand the smell of freshly-peeled oranges. He does love sushi and sashimi, but can't stand canned tuna. My older son's palate has developed slowly. He's eaten more of a variety of vegetables as he's grown. A couple of years ago, his bio teacher did one of those taste-bud tests and he came out "super taster;" he triumphantly showed me the results as soon as I got home. He's a very lean kid and when he'd get teased for being skinny, I'd just tell him that one day he'll love it, and until then, he won't. now that he's going out with his friends more, he's eating a lot more and trying what I'm doing at home. The attitude we've always had is, "stay very active, don't eat when you're not hungry, and go easy on the treats." It's worked for them; they don't eat to be polite or social. (My MIL's advice was to spank the younger child until he ate vegetables, and to force-feed the older so his stomach will stretch and he'll eat more." I told her I don't hit my children, but if she wanted to try to force-feed my son she could, as long as I got to watch! ) Yes, I'm sure many will find this just horrifying. We don't do the Clean Plate club, either. We've applied the same attitude toward travel and restaurants with them. They've both been flying since they were a few weeks old, and now can navigate the airports and customs as well as we can. I also took them to white-tablecloth restaurants, with an advance call to the place, early in the evenings every few weeks, to get them used to reading menus and ordering. They can find just about anything they want at any restaurant, and I'm the table manners Nazi, too. And on that note, I'm off to do some errands and food shopping. Photos when I return!
  7. Okay, mates. It's been a hell of a day today. I should have had this for my coffee this morning: It's how I've felt all day! Whine! We went for cocktails and I didn't bring my camera, but they were nicely done and the usual. Friday night has always been our pizza night, for as long as I can remember. When Dave and I were first married, I worked in advertising (and he, in marketing), and we traveled most days. We'd come home on Friday evenings and order pizza in, and watch "Miami Vice." Now, we order or I cook and because of the day today we ordered in. Gorgonzola, mushrooms and caramelized onion ... rich. When I make something similar, I put capers on it to cut the richness, but the pizza place didn't have any (snif). The other we got was barbecue and fried onions, with a little cheddar. very, very nice. All is well here in Chappaqua. Some days it's hard to be queen, but still, here I am. This has been such fun for me -- and we've got one more day to go. See you tomorrow! Night all, Fabby. PS -- I may sneak over and try to photograph Clinton's house, even though we aren't supposed to do it.
  8. Ahhh, the sink. I found a big deep one by Kohler or someone like that, for about $5K. My architects took that idea and are having an integrated sink and counter for the entire cleanup/cooking side of the kitchen, for a little more than that -- including backsplash and the steel behind the range. The faucet will have to be from a company my husband does business with; it's German but I forget the name (not Franke; not a well-known name. What kind of Wifey am I, eh? ) I'm also having a sink in the wet bar, and a hand sink near the range, with a foot-pedal instead of faucet-handles.
  9. You rabble-rouser, you. I wonder who owns the right to the Galloping Gourmet?
  10. Oh, man. When I have the opening night party for this kitchen (and you all better come, dammit!), we can do one and put it on YouTube.
  11. Oh, thank you, Miss Megan! I knew I could count on you. Any Clinton is good at this point! Tomorrow night, we're going to the Clintons' favorite restaurant here in town ... next to Lange's. I'm so bummed that he's traveling this week; I hear he's very good about having photos with people, or just for them.
  12. It's one of my favorite parts of the kitchen! When you walk into the kitchen from the dining room, to the left will be a small "pass" with a staging area, warming drawer/coffee center, and a speed oven. The pull-down door will open to a cleanup area on the other side of the 'wall.' I think of it as a grocery aisle, with the big refrigerator being an 'end cap' display ... pass on one side; dishwasher/cleanup on the other. It's hard to describe without having something to look at, but this is the way I think of it. The refrigerator will open to the island, and the wet bar/beverage area will be between the kitchen and sitting room. Am I making sense? My initial hope was to have the big sinks, dishwasher, storage, etc., in a separate room. I didn't want to change the footprint of the house, and to build it into this plan would make it very closed-off and boxy, which is what we're trying to get away from.
  13. Sandy! I have a sneaking feeling that you didn't have to Google either one of those! (this is an admiring glance ) I really, really thought it was "Song of the South," and I didn't know Woodrow was a PhD. I think your prize is the scallops that I brought home yesterday -- I'll stick them in the mail to you, okay? The duck fat grilled cheese sandwich was SO good. I buttered the bread a little bit, too. It did brown quickly, so I finished it in the oven.
  14. Errrr ... we're not doing any of it. After seven houses, I lost my joie de doing stuff myself. It's one of the reasons it's taking so long to get it done I hired architect this time, because the renovation is going to include structural work inside, and a good bit of outdoor work. I wanted to stay with the contemporary feel of the outside and the homey way we live inside. The first single-family house my husband and I bought way long ago, we redid the kitchen ourselves. O-M-G, what a nightmare. We decided that our marital happiness was worth more than the cost of having someone else do it, and so have waited a long time for this kitchen.
  15. Okay, here it is. My kitchen. Our house is one of those flat-roofed contemporaries, lots of windows, angles, and high ceilings. The previous owner was a clean-freak (even though she had 8 cats), and the house was chalk-white on the walls, wood floors, everywhere. Before we moved in, I stained the wood floors dark coffee-color and painted the walls in various soft beiges, peaches, etc. The kitchen cabinets were white once; now they're dulling to yellow and grey. Some of the fronts came off in my hands and wouldn't stay on, so I just yanked them off. I'll give a brief explanation of what's going to be changed with each picture. Here's the view from our front door. To the left is the dining room and to the right is a l sitting room. the kitchen is boxed in. (All white tiles will become slate tiles: four white tiles = 1 grey slate.) Here's a great reason why work triangles are so awful. Everything happens in this corner and it drives us nuts. (the cooktop is relatively new; when we bought the house, the owner had a ceramic cooktop and NO ventilation.) On the right is a tall cabinet, next to that is the microwave and the oven that heats once in a while. These were thoughtfully installed across the kitchen because, you know, you just put in a roast and let it go for an hour or two. And, of course, the obligatory and very handy planning desk. This ... sigh. There's a small eating area where we have a table and chairs; the "breakfast counter" is nothing but an overhang of countertop. And there it is. Our new kitchen will open into the sitting room, which will then become a wet bar/wine tasting room. I don't want to go into overload on you-all here, so here are the plans: What you can't see, is that the sitting room has a fireplace in it and over that will be a flat-screen television, both for my cooking classes/cable show (hah!), and for the MST-3K ripoff I'd like to do with the Food Network shows. Takers, let me know!
  16. One of our favorite "easy" dishes to make. Melt whole butter until it starts to bubble; add panko and brown slightly, then stir in grated horseradish (be sure it's drained well if you get it from a jar). Salmon itself has salt, white pepper, and lemon drizzled on it. I just press the crumbs into the salmon and bake at 350 until it's where we want it. Leftovers usually go into a salad or omelette.
  17. I think that ship has sailed, m'dear. TELL!!! Yes, the green pads are scrubbers. They only have store brand green pads at the A&P now, and they are just not the same. They do offer "blue pads," or purple pads, but I want my green pads, darn it. P.T.s are usually Paper Towels. In this case, it's Pop-Tarts. And yes, I feel dirty admitting it. I don't eat them, but I do buy them. My husband thinks every day starts brighter with a pop-tart. Lettuce in a sheet. Rolls of lettuce for making lettuce rolls! I like that.
  18. Yes! Liz and I guessed it immediately. I usually guess three times before I ask the counter guys to tell me what the answer is. Once, it was "which US President earned a PhD?" Another, "In which Disney Movie was "Bare Necessities" featured?" Anyway. It's a great place. I had 'my' salmon for my 10:00 meal today:
  19. Heh. I had a few crackers with Rainbeau Ridge goat cheese to start, and then the Chocolate Ecstasy and the lemon tart for dinner. And I'd do it again. (Everyone else got salmon with horseradish crumbs, asparagus and garden tomatoes.) I'm stuffed and smiling, and will see you all in the morning!
  20. I meant to reply to this: All the snake ate was mice. The cat was eating the snake's food and at the time we had the snake (his name was Bob -- and our cat's name is John), I had to drive 45 minutes round trip to get the feeder mice. So John eating Bob's lunch was just not cool -- I was afraid Bob would go into python mode and eat my kid in his sleep or, worse than that, come to my room looking for something to tide him over. I just grabbed John by the back of his head, right by the jaws and squeezed; when he opened, I reached in and yanked. It was pretty nasty. At one point, I was such a girlie girl, you can't imagine.
  21. tomorrow, I promise. Plans will be shown and photos of the current FUGLY kitchen will be revealed. After the last reno I swore "no more," and here I am, getting ready to gut. One day, though, I'll rent again. My husband will go crazy with nothing to mulch, but I'll be happy and have clean nails.
  22. Yeah, at the top of my lungs. Their father is not a help with this. He has to hit the jar more than any of us. (Well, okay, I do cuss a little when I'm driving ...) Youngest wants me to install a rotisserie (really, a barbecue pit) so he can learn how to roast meat. I'm trying to teach him pan roasting and oven roasting, but he's got this vision of himself cranking a suckling pit on a spit in the back yard. I guess it could be worse.
  23. Hi, Susan! Yes, it's built for speed, and kept my blood sugar nice and stable until I needed to eat something else. The nutritionist even put it into her dietary recommendations for the other pregnant ladies. I have one almost every day. Yes, we'd talked about Josie. What breed is she? Our Josie was a black Lab, and on a very strict diet. We used to give her allergy shots! Her predecessor was Bogart, the Basset boy, who was the kid we made all our mistakes with. We'd walk him to Graeter's in Cincinnati and order him his own ice cream cone! that dog got Chinese food, anything we ate, I made for him too. Is your Josie a Basset? Yes, we shall.
  24. Wasn't it Gabrielle Hamilton who said she got out of line cooking because she was tired of being screeched at by a 25 year old in chili pepper pants? My gosh, I love her.
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