Jump to content

wyf4lyf

participating member
  • Posts

    61
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by wyf4lyf

  1. I think I'm in. We're having an Oscar Party on Sunday night, so will have plenty of leftovers, I'm sure. Our freezer is full of not only frozen entrees, but also various fish and poultry items. My pantry has beans and lentils (which my sons won't eat)...and lots of rice and pasta. I will need to get veggies, fruit and milk. Great idea!
  2. My husband's been telling me about a new coffee place near his work, called Crave Espresso Bar. I went with him on Tuesday morning and it was great!! It's on Broadway, in the same strip as C.I. Chu's Mongolian BBQ and Rockin' Pizza; the website with all the info is: http://www.craveespressobar.com The menu is huge...one menu alone for mochas...then other coffee drinks (including French press to order)...then non-coffee drinks. They had lots of yummy-looking baked goods, all made fresh there. There were 2 quiche offerings, a savory muffin/roll, 3-4 types of scones, and other decadent looking goodies. I had a blueberry scone which was probably the best coffee house scone I've had. Finally someone understands that a scone doesn't need to be heavy like a doorstop; this was lighter and more biscuity. The blueberries were of the dried variety, and plenty of them, so they added wonderful texture and flavor. A small drizzle of icing to add sweetness, but not too much. I was impressed. I had a latte with sugar-free vanilla syrup. It was a tad bit sweet...next time I'll ask for 1/2 as much syrup. My husband, who is very picky about his lattes, really loves all the coffee drinks he's had there so far. There were plenty of tables as well as a bar with bar stools. Also a nice balance with some comfy chairs and then my favorite spot -- a "nook" with very comfortable built-in high-backed couches; this area would 4-5 people well...great for a meeting, or a gathering of friends. Also great for 2 people to stretch out with a cup of joe and a good book. Picture here -- http://www.craveespressobar.com/photo... Kim, the owner-manager, is incredibly friendly and welcoming. She hasn't staged their "Grand Opening" yet as she wants to make sure all the employees are well-trained before the crowds come. So far they seem to be doing a great job. Oh...and free wifi... and outlets available to plug in the laptops! I encourage all Tucsonans to give this place a try. It's hard to compete with Starbuck's and corporate America, so let's help a good local business make a good go of it!
  3. I love the Time Out Paris guide. Not only is it incredibly helpful while in Paris, but it makes for wonderful reading after the trip! We went in '05 and I bought the '06 guide just to enjoy. Will have to get the '07 one for an update. Don't know when I'll be able to get back to my favorite city, but reading about all the wonderful places to eat keeps my dream alive!!!
  4. I second Le P'tit Troquet. We had a lovely evening there. The food was excellent and the service warm. A charming family-run bistro worth checking out. If the pork with lemon confit is on the menu, be sure to order it. Divine!
  5. My mother used to make a molded mousse that was flavored with coffee and ground up macadamia nuts. I remember it used gelatin and lots of whipped cream folded in. I can't find the recipe anywhere on the internet. Does anyone have anything like this in their files? Thanks so much...
  6. wyf4lyf

    Tour d'Argent

    I was saddened to hear of Claude Terrail's passing. We had the most magical evening at La Tour d'Argent a year ago for our 20th anniversary. We were treated like roaylty; Mr. Terrail presented us with an autographed copy of his book, and our visit to the wine cellar capped off a perfect evening. Mr. Terrail was so kind to us as we fumbled our way through some rudimentary French to converse with him. We will never forget his kindness...nor the 3 hours we spent watching the sunset over Notre Dame, and enjoying some wonderful food in that historic and elegant room.
  7. La Truffiere in the 5th. Ask to be seated downstairs in the "cave." Here's a review I wrote of our meal there last June...we'd had lunch at Robuchon which had been amazing...and then dinner at La Truffiere...truly a wonderful day! Another magical, amazing 3-hour meal experience. Should people be allowed to have 2 of these in one day??? I had forgotten that La Truffiere was as pricey as it was, but it was worth every euro. (The bill came to 211e for both of us.) We were seated downstairs in the cave, which was mostly lit by candles (a small strip of unobtrusive track lighting was on the ceiling)...the stone cave with just 8 small tables created a cozy and very romantic atmosphere. Given the price and caliber of cuisine, this could have been and incredibly stuffy place, but the staff was probably the most wonderful of the week, not going overboard (as they do at La Tour d’Argent...and rightfully so there!), but being so warm, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and even funny. We felt instantly welcomed and relaxed and settled into our corner for some of the most unique and splendid food in the city. The sommelier suggested a red wine cocktail for an aperitif, which he said he liked better than a kir, so we took his suggestion, and it was delicious, a bit like sangria. Not sure I liked it better than a kir royale (champagne being a favorite!), but this was a lovely change of pace. The menus came and mine didn’t have prices on it, so I knew we were in for a big bill. The specialties of the house all involve truffles (hence the name of the place) so I decided to go with the flow, and order the specialties recommended by our server. But first, they brought us an amuse-bouche of the cutest little tureens, filled with cream of courgette (zucchini) soup. Glenn does not like zucchini, but he ate his whole serving. It was masterful...creamy, delicate, with a drizzle of white truffle oil...a perfect start. We split the starter of a pressed potato cake with foie gras and morel mushrooms. Lovely textures and flavors, very earthy and rich. Lovely sauce with little vegetables about. I’m glad we split it as we were starting to get full and much was ahead. To our surprise, they brought us each a tiny foie gras creme brulee, which was fantastic. What a divine idea...foie gras silk with burnt sugar on top. We were sorely tempted to take our finger and lick the little bowls clean. Of course we did not! My main was the last “make me sing” food moment of the trip -- duck leg stew with mashed potato cake and black truffles. I had pictured a shallow bowl of the stuff, but what came to me was a lovely plate, with a layered timbale in the center -- the duck stew on the bottom, potatoes on top, paper thin slices of truffles on the outside and a piece of cooked foie gras resting on top with a fried herb piercing the very top... all surrounded by an outstanding truffle sauce which was also drizzled over it. I took my first bite, and decided to eat very very slowly. This, like the pork at Le P’tit Troquet, was a dish that needed to be savored. I had a glass of wine hand-picked by the sommelier...wish I had written down what it was...but it was the first time I truly understood what it’s like to have the perfect wine with a dish. Each bite and each sip married together. I’d heard of this before and thought people were exaggerating, but now I get it. Red wine and steak will never be the same. Oh well. Meanwhile hubby is across the table swooning as he eats his tuna and foie gras in a filo crust, with a lime and honey sauce. He said he never would have thought to put tuna and foie gras together, but that it was amazing. Next came the cheese TROLLEY...a beautiful thing of wood and brass, carrying at least 20 different kinds of cheese. The server took the time to explain each one, and then asked us to choose a few, then he added one or two, and then put them in clockwise order from mildest to strongest, and told us to eat them in that order, and also gave us certain condiments to be eaten with a few of the cheeses. This was a wonderful thing we hadn’t experienced at any other place. I remember having chevre, and a cheese made with Calvados (apple brandy) and then something really strong that was fabulous. Can’t remember the other 2. There was a drizzle of the most delicate orange honey (and I don’t like honey as a condiment usually) to go on the chevre (fabulous), cumin seeds for one of the other cheeses, and then an apple chutney to eat with the Calvados one. The most wonderful cheese course. If this wasn’t enough, our pre-desserts came next -- a little glass with rice cream (the silkiest rice pudding ever) topped with an apricot-mango sauce. Dessert for me was the house specialty of (and I quote the menu from the website) Hot Black Truffles Soufflé, Caramelized Custard Cream with Truffles, Yoghourt Sherbet Flavoured with Truffle Honey. Not mentioned in this description was the little pitcher of cold mango coulis the server poured into the center of the piping hot souffle. (Love that hot-cold thing!) Well, this was the most unique thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. Every bite, I’d say to Glenn, “This is so weird!” but I couldn’t stop eating it! The earthiness of the black truffles (and they didn’t skimp here!), with the sweetness of the souffle and the fruit sauce, along with the creaminess and sweetness of the sherbet (which really tasted like ice cream)...just amazing and bizarre and everyone should try this once because it is something that is totally unique to this amazing restaurant. Of course, a tray of apres-desserts was brought to us with our coffee one of which was the teeniest little chocolate tart with one blueberry on top. Fabulous. (I love blueberries!) We rolled out of there, totally amazed at the level of cooking we had experienced in one day.
  8. Jumping back to the tourist topic...I have always found the query "where can I eat where there won't be any tourists?" a bizarre question. People seem to want to go places where they won't hear any English spoken. I guess I can understand this to a degree. But am I the only one who sees the irony here? If you are part of an English-speaking couple or group, and you go sit down to eat at a bistro where no one else is speaking English, you have now just "ruined" the experience for the next "I don't want to hear any English spoken" patrons who come in. That's why I find the whole thing ridiculous. The very people who want this pure non-tourist environment have the potential to be the tourists that others want to avoid. And so on. Just an odd thought to throw into the mix...
  9. OK...so now I'm curious. What makes a cake a "pound cake"?? I have a recipe for a fabulous vanilla coffee cake (it uses 5t vanilla in the recipe). It's light yet dense at the same time...go figure. Fabulous flavor...buttery...yum! I make in a Bundt pan...it's always reminded me of "pound cake" but it's not called that. Here are the ingredients...what would need to change -- if anything -- in order for it to be a pound cake? (Maybe it's the sour cream?) 2 sticks butter, room temperature 1C sugar 3 eggs 2-1/2C flour 2t baking powder 1t baking soda 1t salt 1C sour cream 5t vanilla Either way, this thread is making me drool!!!! Nina
  10. wyf4lyf

    Thompson's Turkey

    I've had the recipe for many years, a couple of versions in fact, but haven't been brave enough to try it. Anyone out there make it successfully? Any tips/advice to pass along?
  11. Great topic! Here is my recipe, which I have "perfected" (ha!) over the past 20 years. I based it on a recipe in the Silver Palate cookbook, adding a couple of things... I have to say that no other stuffing ever tastes better to me or my family than this! I must admit that some years I've "cheated" and bought good bakery white and wheat breads instead of making them homemade. (A bread machine is really great for making the white and wheat breads ahead of time!) I do believe using all 3 types of bread makes this extra special. Favorite Stuffing 12T sweet butter (1-1/2 sticks) 2-1/2C finely chopped onions 6 stalks celery, coarsely chopped 3 tart apples, chunked (don’t peel) 1 lb. bulk sausage (with sage) 3C coarsely crumbled cornbread 3C coarsely crumbled wheat bread, homemade if possible 3C coarsely crumbled white bread, homemade if possibe 4-8 cloves garlic, minced (to taste...this really makes a difference; adds fabulous flavor!!) 1-1/2C coarsely chopped pecans (I sometimes leave these out for my son who prefers no nuts) 2 handfuls of dried cherries (you can use raisins or dried cranberries instead) 2t thyme 1t sage salt & pepper to taste 1/2C Italian parsley, chopped Melt 6T butter in skillet. Add onions & clelery and cook partially covered until onion is tender. Transfer to huge bowl. Melt remaining butter in same skillet. Add apples and cook over high heat until colored lightly, but not mushy. Put in same bowl. Brown sausage in same skillet; drain; add to bowl. Add remaining ingreds, mixing lightly with hands or wooden spoons. Cool completely before stuffing into bird. For extra casserole (and there will be one!) Place stuffing in dish and cover with lid or foil. Place in larger pan. Fill larger pan with hot water 1/2 way up the sides. Bake at 325 30-40 min. Can baste with turkey juices if it needs moisture. Or... just put in a baking dish, and bake until hot. Top will be crusty, which is how we like it!!
  12. And don't forget that Taillevent has a 70e lunch menu. Don't most of the high-end places have a less expensive prix-fixe lunch?
  13. This is a recipe from Patricia Wells's "At Home in Provence" cookbook. I served it warm for dinner last night, but today at lunch I had it cold, and it was even better. The extra day made all the flavors meld even more...fabulous on a warm day!! I took the time to make the homemade vegetable stock and it was great. But I'm sure canned will be fine. Maggie's Vegetable Potage 4T extra-virgin olive oil 1 leek, white part only, trimmed, scrubbed, and chopped Salt to taste 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 2 turnips, peeled and chopped 2 zucchini, peeled and chopped 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped A handful of minced cabbage 1/2 head Romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped Hot water 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock (recipe for veggie stock follows) 1 small wedge Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese In large, heavy-duty stock pot (about 8-qt. capacity), combine the oil, leeks, and 1t salt, and cook until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes. Add carrots, turnips, zucchini and potatoes in small batches, cooking each vegetable for several minutes before adding the next one. Once all the vegetables are lightly browned, add the cabbage and lettuce, stirring vigorously until wilted. there should be almost no liquid left at this point. Add hot water just to cover the vegetables and simmer, covered, until carrots and turnips are soft, about 25 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the stock and simmer gently, covered, for 30 minutes more. Taste for seasoning. (I added more salt and also freshly ground pepper. Nothing else is needed!) While the soup simmers, prepare the cheese. Using a vegetable peeler, shave long thick strips of the cheese into a bowl. If the chunk of cheese becomes to small to shave, grate the remaining cheese and add it to the bowl. Set aside. Remove stockpot from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the stockpot until smooth. Taste for seasoning. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and place cheese shavings on top. Serve immediately. (Or...cool to room temperature then chill overnight. Fabulous!!!) Serves 6-8 Note -- the lettuce may sound odd, but it's a common French custom and it adds some nice color to the finished soup. Also, you don't have to chop the veggies very fine since they will all be blended later. I chopped mine fairly coarsely into chunks and they cooked up just fine and then blended very easily. ------------------- Vegetable Stock (Patricia Wells calls it "Potager Stock") 4 leeks, cleaned and chopped 4 carrots, scrubbed and chopped 4 turnips, scrubbed and chopped 4 ribs celery, cleaned and chopped 4 onions, halved but not peeled 1 head of garlic, halved but not peeled 2 ripe tomatoes, halved and seeded 2 large bunches flat-leaf (Italian) parsley 1 large bunch thyme 1 large bunch rosemary 2 bay leaves 6 whole black peppercorns 4 quarts water Place all ingredients in an 8 qt. stockpot. Bring to boil; lower the heat and simmer UNCOVERED, for 1-1/2 hours. Strain the stock, pressing out as much moistrue as possible from the vegetables. Discard vegetables and herbs. The stock may be chilled, covered, 2-3 dfays or frozen up to 2 months. Note -- the pot will be VERY full. I kept gently pressing the herbs and veggies into the water and once it started simmering, everything became submerged. Also, you don't have to peel any of the veggies, which makes this really easy.
  14. I don't really mind the over-the-top names...what gets me is that they seem to be soley for chocolate. Where is "Death by Lemon" or "Caramel Damnation" ?? One of the best names of all is "Better than Sex" cake. A different kind of "dangerous." P.S. Loved "Triple Chocolate Blubber Butt Dessert"!!!!! I think I may have made that once, actually.
  15. Here's the mousse recipe. It was to die for...we were all swooning!! I used Ghirardelli chocolate which comes in 4 oz. bars, so I used 4 oz. semi sweet and 4 oz. bittersweet and it was perfect. I like darker chocolate anyway. Next time I might use all bittersweet! Chocolate-Orange Mousse (from Barefoot in Paris cookbook) 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate, chopped 2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped 1/4 cup Grand Marnier 1/4 cup water 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon grated orange zest 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 8 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, separated 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar Pinch kosher salt 1/2 cup cold heavy cream Whipped Cream, for decoration Mandarin oranges, drained, for decoration Combine the 2 chocolates, Grand Marnier, 1/4 cup water, and the vanilla in a heat-proof bowl. Set it over a pan of simmering water just until the chocolate melts. Cool completely to room temperature. Whisk in the orange zest and butter until combined. Place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick and pale yellow. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture. Transfer to a large bowl. Place 1 cup of egg whites (save or discard the rest), the salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until firm but not dry. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold the rest in carefully with a rubber spatula. Without cleaning the bowl or whisk, whip the heavy cream and the remaining tablespoon of sugar until firm. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mousse into individual dishes or an 8-cup serving bowl. Chill and decorate with whipped cream and oranges. Serve with extra whipped cream on the side.
  16. wyf4lyf

    Dinner! 2005

    I really must learn how to upload photos....anyway, here's the menu from last night's French cafe feast. I cooked my own birthday dinner for some foodie friends and my somewhat non-foodie family. Thankfully it was enjoyed by all! Gougeres (hot cheese puffs) Various pates with olives, cornichons Vichyssoise (Julia Child's recipe) Goat cheese tart Frisee aux Lardons (curly endive with hot bacon dressing and a poached egg on top...the surprise hit of the night!) Cheese platter Chocoate-Orange Mousse (this made everyone swoon...a Barefoot Contessa recipe) Lemon bars (from Cook's Illustrated -- the best lemon bars ever!) We had Kir Royales to start, a lovely Pinot Gris in the middle, and hot coffee at the end. We all collapsed on the sofa afterwards!
  17. Thanks for the link to Ling's brownie recipe....it sounds divine! Scharfeberger chocolate is soooo good, but quite pricey, so these will need to be special occasion brownies for sure. One thought on that recipe, if Ling is out there....I find it much easier to follow a recipe when the ingredients are listed in the order they are used. Helps to ensure I don't forget anything!
  18. wyf4lyf

    Dinner! 2005

    Tonight I made Cook's Illustrated's recipe for pot roast. I happened to catch it demonstrated on America's Test Kitchen recently and wanted to give it a try. I have NEVER (I repeat, NEVER) liked pot roast. It has always been dry, tough, stringy, with no flavor...no matter what "new and improved" recipe I tried. So I was skeptical about this one. To my surprise, it was FABULOUS!!! Using the chuck-eye (or chuck roll) made all the difference, I think. And turning the roast every 1/2 hour kept it moist. It was truly delicious...it was even a bit pink in the middle, and my family totally devoured it. It's a keeper!
  19. I made 2 desserts today for tomorrow's dinner....friends are coming over for my birthday and I love to cook, so I'm having a blast! I made Chocolate-Orange Mousse (from the Barefoot in Paris cookbook), and Cook's Illustrated's "Perfect Lemon Bars." I have tasted both and I am thrilled with the results. The lemon bars are truly perfect...the crust is excellent and the filling is just right.
  20. Comfort Me, Your recipe sounds wonderful and easy. My question is this -- is your crockpot tall and narrow, or shorter and wide? I have one of the wider ones, so the layer of onions won't be as thick and I'm concerned about burning them if I leave them in overnight. Perhaps I'm just being paranoid?? I do want to give it a try... Thanks, Nina
  21. Thanks for all the advice. The cake turned out pretty well. I tested it with a toothpick and it came out almost clean. Alton Brown had said it shouldn't be bone dry. But it turned out that I really should have baked it at least 5 minutes more. It was a bit sticky. I have a really old 2-piece tube pan with feet (from my Mom) and the cake actually slid out of the pan onto the platter! I didn't grease the pan, either. Really odd. But it did rise up very sell, it tasted good, and my son was happy (though I think he's so used to store bought ones that he probably prefers them over homemade...sigh...). I'll try it again another time. Thanks again. Nina
  22. LOL! The last 2 years, I did it a la Sandra Lee, I'm ashamed to say. I bought an angel food cake, made milk chocolate frosting to fill it and ice it and then a dark chocolate ganache to pour over the whole thing. It looked great and my son was happy. He'd requested all the chocolate...I thought it totally masked the angel food, but hey...the things we do for love. This year I promised him a homemade one. Thankfully all he wants with it this time are fresh berries, a much more sensible choice, IMO!
  23. Thanks, everyone. I'll be baking it on Weds. morning...will come back with a full report! Nina
  24. My son's 18th birthday is this week and his favorite cake is angel food. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never made one from scratch. But this time, I want to bake one for him. I have the Cook's Illustrated recipe and it looks simple enough. Has anyone tried that one? Is there a better one I should make instead? Thanks... Nina
  25. Thanks for posting the CI recipe. It looks great!!
×
×
  • Create New...