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Everything posted by FabulousFoodBabe

  1. It's Sunday, and I can see some blue sky out there. Yippee skippee! One of the reasons I chose the coffee cup for my teaser photo is because coffee has played a very prominent role in my marriage. Please tell me you've heard weirder things than that. I forced myself to learn to drink coffee when I started working in an office. I soon realized that coffee wasn't the issue -- that coffee was. The stuff in a can that our company produced and actually sold to its employees was, and is, nasty (to me). I've always had a pretty sensitive palate and getting the good roasted beans was a revelation. And yeah, I was called 'Yuppie' because of it. From the day we married, my husband has brought me a cup of coffee in the morning. The only exceptions have been my pregnancies when I was either too nauseous to smell it or too paranoid to drink it. He bought me a coffeemaker with a timer on it when we were dating, and I'd have a cup and a cigarette before I got out of bed in the morning, watching Joanie Someone do her Jazzercise routines in those legwarmers and leotards. What a way to wake up. When we moved to California in 1988, a couple of small local companies were roasting their own and we got weekly batches. Moving to Central Ohio a few years later, I was thrilled to find a small roaster in Worthington -- I like to keep things close to home if I can, and I still remember fondly their "Large Marge" blend. When we moved to North Jersey, though, we had to travel to get the good stuff, which was fine. Then a family from Northern Cal moved in and with them, Peet's. My search was over. Someone told my husband a long time ago that keeping the beans in the freezer retains freshness. I cannot get him to stop doing it, and because of that repeated attempts to get him to use a burr grinder have failed (imagine what they do to frozen beans and no, he won't let the beans sit out and be un-frozen). This is one quirk I let him have: Ground coffee only. And in a drip pot (I make my next cups with a small press pot). The new kitchen will have a Miele center that uses whole beans, but he's squawking that he still wants his Krups coffeemaker. Please note that Mr. Foodbabe has used the same Borden sherbet container since 1992, to hold ground coffee. If he can't find it, he gets kind of twitchy. And then I get twitchy and all hell breaks loose.
  2. P.S.: About the Wieners Wellington: They are of Lobel's hot dogs, and Dufour's puff! I do my own puff when I have time and I haven't for a while, but this stuff is pretty great in a pinch. And yeah, my husband likes HIS W'sW with dough-in-a-can. ::shudder:: The man should weigh a wheezing, cholesterol-laden 300#. It's just not fair! (whine!)
  3. Aw, shucks. Thank you, fou. the shoes are lovely and I smile through the pain! Unfortunately, the banana dessert was nixed by everyone here, since they wanted to eat Chipwich's (yick). More on my husband's horrible eating habits and the fact that, at 48, he looks like he's 22, later (when I'm not reminded of how jealous that makes me!). But I will do the bananas, maybe tomorrow night. They've got another day or two left on them. Probably for the best, because we had issues with the oven and the plumbing today; I had to put out a fire and deal with a flood. But more on the reno later this week. In short, the cabinets have been chosen and are now being designed; variances have been requested; appliance schedules have been finalized and all materials have been chosen. And best of all -- a contractor who is just amazing is doing the work. Anyway. Here's my mis en place (I call it plaaaahhhhhzzz) for the burgers: And what my dinner looked like Best of all, we finished a bottle of one of my favorite wines in the world: Williams Selyem 2003 Pinot Noir. Sigh. I didn't photograph the stock becuz I forgot, and I'm too lazy to go back and do it. tomorrow, if it's nice out, I'm going to play golf with my husband and another couple. The club we belong to has THE most amazing chef (we'll have dinner there tomorrow night with some friends and I'll show you), and equally great is Mary, who runs the halfway house. Her hot dogs are legendary, and I'm sure are why I always shoot better on the back 9. ***** Oh, and Pan: We live on the Millwood side of Chappaqua -- where the poor folks are! Seriously, one of my son's friends said they "downsized" by moving from Riverdale to here. Good grief. I've got too much Ohio left in me, I think, to get my arms around that one! good night, eGullet!
  4. So another day ends chez Foodbabe. We are pooped from two weeks of houseguests -- first, the inlaws and then, a girl my older son met on his work/study to Vancouver this summer. She lives just outside Los Angeles. Of course. Every time we've relocated we chose neighborhoods with lots of kids so that the boys would have someone close by to hang with. Every single time -- no kidding -- they connected with someone who lived a few miles away. Now, it's 3000 miles. Sigh. We have few traditions in our house, but the ones we have mostly revolve around food and drink. Memorial Day and Labor Day meals are blue cheese-stuffed burgers (for us; the boys have plain or hot dogs), potato and egg salad, and the last "legal" gin & tonics of the season. My husband's job is to be sure I've got mine in hand by the time the burgers go on the grill: As you can see, my kitchen island is a little cramped. I try not to get too mad at it; it didn't ask to be annoying. The kids love this soda, and I try to get some for them once in a great while. Pure cane sugar -- I could never drink full-sugar sodas sweetened with corn syrup,but this stuff is pretty nice. We started our pre-dinner noshing with a Hardie Family Favorite: Wieners Wellington
  5. Ah, whatta day. I realize I forgot to show you how I spoil my sons. When they requested lunch, I go into Mom's Diner mode and cook them what they want. Firstborn: Egg bagel. This is a plain bagel, toasted and buttered, with scrambled eggs (NO seasoning, no salt, nothing, nada, and 'firm'). Hey, it works for him. Youngun wanted rice. Sushi rice, in the rice cooker, with a little soy sauce. His preferred rice is Kokuho Rose which we get at the Mt. Kisco Farm market in the next town (one of my favorite little stores and I'll show you why later this week). My lunch was leftover jerk chicken breast, some sliced tomatoes, and leftover mashed potatoes from the other night ... eaten at 10:30 a.m. Mahvelous!
  6. When I was considering what school to return to, right after we moved here, I went over to Purchase to meet with one of the Deans. It was a beautiful day, all the windows were open, and as I walked by each building the most beautiful music was wafting out. I sat down on a bench and listened for a while. Just a lovely moment, and once again made me glad that, since I dont' have that talent, so many people who love to share it with others, do. So, did you go over to Lucy's in Pleasantville? I don't think there are any good bars in Chappaqua, but we've got quite a few neato delis and little places plus, of course, Crabtree's Kittle House. Bananas, fried, with the Lusardo cherries I just got? Maybe with a little ice cream ... I'm in heaven. Okay, gotta go feed the hound(s). More later.
  7. Yep -- I picked the first one a week ago, and Jean-Luc ripped the second one off the vine, today! The inside looks like pumpkin seeds, though. Tonight, we'll cut one open and show you-all something to use as scale. Unless, of course, I drink too many Ten&Tonics. Plus, we have the rest of the Williams-Selyem Pinot Noir ... I can't drink ten drinks and keep standing, Miss Ling, much less write adorable drunken blog entries. I'm a sloppy drunk, not a cute one! But I was, once ...
  8. Hey, babe! How's it goin'? Oh, pardon me: And a gracious good morning to you too, my queen ... I would be interested in that "wild ride" you had in Modesto, CA ... hehehe ... ← Russell! Can you imagine a better place to get into trouble than Mo-town? I tell people I 'grew up' there. It was in Modesto that I got my calling to food, even though I'd worked in the industry for quite a few years before that. My husband worked for the Gallo Winery for about five years. I left a terrific writing job, lucrative freelancing work and a lifetime of friends and moved to Modesto sight-unseenwith a 2week old infant. My younger son was born in Modesto 18 months later. One weekend, we snow-skiied and waterskiied on the same day, just to say we did! It really was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and some very happy memories.
  9. I'm ashamed to admit that I only have three pairs of Danskos, all black. One pair oiled and two, shiny. I dress from the feet up: what shoes do I want to wear? That drives the day's outfit. Or the night's. Today, I made beef stock from some amazing bones I got from Lasater's Grassland Beef ... They're gorgeous and meaty, and the stock has this great rich color and smell. After it's cooled and clarified,I'll show you -- now, it's got a bunch of stuff on the surface. I've been ordering meat from Lasater's for a long time; I like the way they do things. Lobel's of NY is starting a program where your beef can be ordered whole/half steer, etc., and it's all sourced from NY State cattle ranches. When the new kitchen is in and I have some actual storage space, I'll start getting beef from them as well. Yanno, when my new kitchen goes in, my clothes will be brighter and my teeth will be whiter. I just know it.
  10. Hey, we found another of the Mystery Squashes today -- Jean-Luc was playing with it. Here's a photo; the pock marks are from his teeth. We thought for a while it was a pumpkin, but now we're not sure. And for the fridge shots: There's always a teenager with his head inside it! If I can wrest them away long enough, I'll show the inside (and it's not a pretty sight). But for now ... And the doggie equivalent ...
  11. Hee! I am planning to invite him and Senator C. to our opening-night party, when the new kitchen is done. Coquus, one of the things I'm doing in the new kitchen is from what Chef Pepin has done in his. Catskills aren't really close to Chappaqua, but Bedford is. Who lives there, hmm?::aside: Coquus refers to my asking him if he had a certain CIA chef who spelled foie gras "fois." He (coquus) was also nice enough to explain why he did it that way and didn't say, "bitch," at the end of his explanation! :: therese, I'll send those fridge shots when I get it cleaned out, or is that cheating? Cali, where do you live? We love Chappaqua, though sometimes I really wish we lived in the city. But in three years, we'll have an empty nest, so who knows where we'll wind up? Hmm. This is what popped out of a garden my younger son grew this year. I'll add his gardening to some photos later on this week when the rain stops completely, so you can see what he's done. We were stumped by this until we cut it open. Now, we're semi-sure. Any ideas?
  12. One thing a few of you know about me, is that I'm a techno-dork. Anyone ever see the Albert Brooks movie, "Mother"? That's me with the photos. But thanks to Susan in FL for her direction, and therese for telling me that I already fucked up (no, she didn't use those words. She's a very dignified lady <-- No, really.) So, I'll go back and fix my cup photo. You should all know that it's a souvenir from my last trip to London. I can't run fast in my heels, but I CAN outrun an 80 year old woman, especially when she has to hold on to her hat and purse. Here's my to-do list today. My husband is playing golf, the kids and dog are asleep, and I have lots of stuff to do before we have our wee cookout tonight.
  13. And a gracious good morning to you. We had a little discussion here chez Fabby about what to call the blog. My firstborn (18 year old son) said, "aren't you a little, well, old to be doing this?" My secondborn (16 year old son) thought "a week in the life of an underachiever" would be fitting. My husband said, "how about 'my husband really is not such a picky eater'!" Smartasses, all of 'em. I've raised them well. Our home now is in Chappaqua, New York; we've been here since July, 2001. Prior to that we lived in Atlanta, North Jersey, Columbus OH, Modesto CA, and Cincinnati. It's been a wild ride and a good one; makes for an interesting life but not a brief resume! (How many times you think I've said that over the years ...) I'll give bits of my past life this week as you want 'em. And for all of you, because you are special, I will do my darnedest to get a real-time photo of President Clinton, who is our most famous Chappaquan. I know all his pre-heart attack haunts and will haunt them, as well. I was going to stalk Megan Blocker, but she guessed it was me as this week's blogger, and invited me to trek into the city and hang with her, so I guess that's out! Ask me anything! I'll try not to ramble on. And yeah, it's good to be queen.
  14. You're right, Si. Most people have become so accustomed to food tasting like nothing. I think Americans overeat because they're trying to taste something besides salt, sugar, and _____. Free-range chicken breasts -- the good ones -- taste so different than the others. If you poach them or steam them and do a parallel tasting (which I've participated in when trying to pick a vendor/source), it's amazing how different.
  15. I would go with the pairings -- there are some that hit so beautifully with the course, it would be a shame to miss out. Mismatchings, eh, so subjective. I'm not big on certain types of wines but found each one to work beautifully with their course. Our tour did have a few dishes that had the same pairing (or maybe it was no pairing?). It was nice to give the palate a rest every so often.
  16. In my next life, I want to be a toulouse goose.
  17. Oh yeah? Well, he's an outstanding chef and a super guy. I think my superlatives are just a little more restrained than yours. And you are right. When I first started looking for Externships, he was one of the few chefs to call me when he got my resume, even to say, "we're set for that period; let me know if your timing changes." At a F&W event, too, he made sure to introduce himself to all the student chefs and brought his sous, who he called his right-hand. Not all of them did that and we all remembered. Own restaurant, eh? I'll be there.
  18. No kidding. He's a good chef and a decent person.
  19. The Epicure's Lament. The Epicure's Lament. The Epicure's Lament.
  20. This has proven to be a good solution. I just roasted some soup bones for a beef stock. I knew that was going to produce a lot of drippings so I poured about a cup of peanut oil into the pan and was able to easily extract all the fond. ← Wouldn't it be easier to roast over or in a metal pan, and put the pan on the stove top, heat, and deglaze with liquid?
  21. First -- best wishes for your endeavor! When I think of what my husband did in his Duke residence ... oy. Having friends in for dinner was the least of it, and he was one of the less-rowdy types. Anyway, this is the type of thing I've always wanted to do myself, and I'm enjoying watching yours take off. I've always used a standard percentage or cost per portion for this stuff, depending on the volume and type of food. I like this sentence best of all when it looks like this.
  22. And after that, a sword fight with your little brother. With the breadsticks, I mean.
  23. My (veddy) Southern MIL would claim that cake in an instant. What a lot of fun this blog has been! Yeah, you two are the bomb(s).
  24. My house in California had Pergo on the kitchen floors -- same deal, we inherited it when we bought the house. No one could tell the difference but me (no scratches!), and it sat well on the slab floor. *** As most of you know, I'm in the final planning, pre-demolition stage for my own remodel/renovation. It's been a year in the planning, and today I signed the application for a variance for the outdoor portion of it. I can't believe it's actually going to happen!
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