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Everything posted by hsm

  1. I'm trying F&O first, as it's closest. I'll keep you posted. **reaches for Lipitor**
  2. Thanks, Ronnie. We were up in Madison last weekend and had lunch at L'Etoile's Cafe Soleil. Delicious cheese plate, our favorite of which was a Carr Valley Kasa Creme served with Future Fruit pear butter. It had a flavor that someone described as gorgonzola without the blue. If you can imagine. Piquant, fer sure. I'm in charge of tracking it down in Chicago, so thanks for the links.
  3. Could also be a Michigan thing. That's where and how we were served restaurant Chinese food in the 60's/70's. They had covers, but no interior dishes were used, as I remember scraping the last of the lobster sauce directly from the stainless steel pedestal bottom. Aw, maybe it's time for a comeback?
  4. hsm

    Top Chef

    Getting rid of Insufferable Boy right off the bat makes me want to tune in again. I didn't think last night's episode had all that much to do with the food. Not sure the worst dish 'won' - there's taste and then there's...dirty kale? So it sounds interesting to me, La Civilian, that the process may get the same weight as the product. At least in the beginning. And as with PR, most of the drama should stay with the contestants, not the overbearing celebrity chef. I'm not that big a fan of reality TV, but I'll give this one another viewing. If only to see Cynthia follow up crazy rice with lunatic linguine. She's hilarious.
  5. My Grandma's apple brown betty. NO raisins. And my Michigan Mom's Howard Johnson's Ice Cream Fudge Cake (she hadn't cracked the code, she okayed the purchase).
  6. Another schmaltz-covered thumb up for Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Kitchen. But my heart belongs to a book I bought over 20 years ago and its sequel my Mom got me: Fiddler in the Kitchen (isbn 0-939-11466-6) and More Fiddler in the Kitchen. They were put together by the National Council of Jewish Women (Greater Detroit Section). I'll bet many cities have similar books - but I'll also bet no one beats the two brisket recipes here!
  7. Tru/W are in Streeterville, so if you're using the guide, River North – Streeterville – Magnificent Mile – Gold Coast would be your choice for walking distances or very short cab rides. Enjoy!
  8. Ah, copywriting. In which grammar is the woman married to grampar.
  9. Perhaps she's been taken over by a semi-pod of Sandra Lee? Holy crap. Literally. I've seen a bit of her southern cooking and thought it a bit rich for my blood. Once again, not in the good way, either. She? Grates.
  10. Thank you for a wonderful week, Swisskaese and Tapanade! I enjoyed every journey and every bite. And I thank you, if my waistline won't, for the news that the best ever rugelach is at B&B Bagel on Touhy. Where I will be. One day soon. Shalom and Lila Tov!
  11. My Mozilla lets me in but when I went to the recipes, all I get are photos. They're beautiful. But I've clicked on every square inch of their pages and there is no moving on.
  12. Pho Xe Tang - Tank Restaurant in Chicago is another Never on Wednesday. Luckily there were good alternatives nearby when I learned that the hard way. I keep meaning to ask them why.
  13. It's good to read that you had an experience similar to our first visit to Bhabi's. I'm with your 3 y.o. in love with the tamarind chutney. I could just eat it with a spoon and would have if the samosas hadn't been so good. It's the uneveness that concerns me. I rather my Indian restaurants not be like life or a box of chocolates: I want to know what I'm going to get.
  14. I've been with friends. Twice. First time, last summer, it was among the best Indian meals I've ever had. The butter chicken, daal and broccoli rabe were superb; flavorful, fresh-tasting, mouth-watering. Our naans were excellent. The vegetable samosas were so perfectly cooked and flaky - and served with a delicious tamarind chutney - they gave us hope after we'd given up on samosas elsewhere. Unfortunately, this experience was not repeated when we went back a couple of weeks ago. We got there around 5 on a Sunday, to avoid the crowds. The samosas were the same as we remembered them. So, excitedly, we repeated the broccoli rabe order and added butter shrimp. "Disappointment" doesn't quite cover it. The butter shrimp was a bowl of greasy tomato sauce in which several baby shrimp floating pathetically. The rabe was tasteless. It had been so layered with flavor before. I have no idea who was in the kitchen. I don't know if Mrs. Sayed was in there, but I doubt it. Or at least, I hope not. We should have returned both the orders or at least asked Mr. Sayed to taste them and help us understand what had happened. We didn't. We ate a little and left. The server, noticing the food left on the serving pieces didn't ask if we'd like to have them packed to go (as before). We would have declined. Hema, we'll see you again soon.
  15. hsm


    Too true. But I'm having a challenge imagining any of them as regular Martha viewers. Holy Mother of Mercy. WTF? I'm one of those who thought Martha was tagged as a scapegoat, and while I'm not sure I'd want to be her girlfriend, I have admired her business sense and her ways with kitchen utensils. I imagine the ratings will start out ok this week, what with everyone excited about her being back. But after that? They'll either have to retool this thing fast or grab some paddles.
  16. hsm


    Seriously. If I hadn't seen it with my very own eyes, I would have accused you of all kinds of humorous things. Call this episode, "Martha Dug Prison" with David Spade. Besides the nachos (which Spade couldn't eat because of the hot sauce on top), she microwaved "grilled" cheese sandwiches with pre-nuked dandelion greens in a brown paper bag. Because, in prison, she got her mail in brown paper bags everyday - and you couldn't keep them, so she used them. I'm not making this up. There was a running commentary about how all of the recipes were done in prison. How she saved everything little thing to make stuff for herself and her...prison friends. I felt like I was eavesdropping on one of Martha's therapy sessions. Totally fascinating, a little frightening, yet hilarious, in an innocent bystander kind of way.
  17. No composting at the condo, so one more fan of those cute little plastic bags. They open wide in the sink. They hook onto the drawer pulls. They fit nicely inside the big stainless steel bowl and save it from a cleaning. I use them whichever way makes sense at the time.
  18. hsm

    Rachael Ray

    Rachel is targeted at who the FN would like to bring on board. My 26-year-old niece requested Rachel's latest cookbook for her latest birthday. She was raised in a home where everyone sat down together for a dinner prepared by her organized working Mom who is a truly wonderful cook. So wha? I think she identifies with Rachel. Rachel is young and attractive, active, instructive, 'has a cool kitchen' and makes popular dishes. I think she sees this as a way to cook complete meals for herself and others without too much strain. As long as I don't hear YUMM or EVOO out of her mouth, I'm fine with that. Her other present, in the works, is a handmade cookbook which will contain some of her Mother's, Grandmother's and my recipes, along with room to stash her own. I'm confident which book will last longer on her bookshelf.
  19. Thank you all for this! You should be proud.
  20. Thank you very much for your time, Chef Adria. You explore such innovative ideas with your food. I was wondering if there was a strong food memory from your childhood that has influenced your work, and if so, how. Best regards, Hilary
  21. Isn't Bourdain working on a cooking show? Or did I just dream that? And if he is, can we wait to hear what gets repeated there?
  22. Amen. Before the first viewing, I was so excited that they were putting one of my favorite TV chefs into one of my favorite countries. Then, the watching. Gah. That may have been the moment FNTV went into the sinkhole for me. Good times!
  23. I like watching people do the same thing I do. But better. Much better. So I'm not only entertained, I'm informed. Or taught. And often, delighted. But then, I grew up watching Julia, Jacques and the Frug. The Food Network was a great idea - and offered some compelling television. (Remembering the early days of Iron Chef ) But that was before the cheapo food-o-mentaries. Give me PBS anyday.
  24. Some of the imaginative and whimsical service pieces just made me smile. Congratulations to the team for their creativity and sensitivity in experimenting to find these unique combinations of new tastes and new ways to present them. And thank you to everyone involved for this very special window on the entire project.
  25. Tears must like company. I, too, treasure meeting her at a book signing many years ago. I've met celebrities, but no one has ever had me in awe like she did. Warm, gracious, funny, and not just a little pleased to see the very long line of women and men, young and old, waiting to meet her. Tomorrow night, we'll be making a 50th birthday dinner for a friend at a cooking school. Toasts will be made. And at least one of them will be to Julia. For so much.
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