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Everything posted by hsm

  1. The River North location is the only one I know. I'm a big fan. It's the buttery, cornmeal-dusted crust that sells it. I like Pizzano's on State as well, although in my memory, their sauce is sweeter than Lou's. Which, once again, Lou's! [Can't speak for any of the other ingredients, just give me cheese, please.) eta: Another bravo for SN. When they opened, Jonathon said he was importing all of the pizza crust ingredients from Italy. And using less yeast than others used, iho. (Don't know him personally, he had stopped by to ask what we thought.)
  2. Nice to see I have company. The food shelves at Marshall's have kept me in great jams and preserves for years. With "best by" dates a year or more out. I almost felt guilty yesterday buying Casa Guilia Pera Williams preserves at an Italian grocery store. Almost. (Still a better bargain than at the downtown upscale grocers.) edited because best buy doesn't sell jams, well, not that kind.
  3. Every time I look at the overflow on the cookbooks/food-related bookshelves, I think about pruning. Then I think about getting more shelves. I've given several away to people who could use them. I admit none of those were favorites, either for sentimental, entertainment or practical reasons. I should check and see if I've reported into the counting thread
  4. One of my addictions: Costco sells the Costco-sized bag of Ling Ling frozen chicken and vegetable pot stickers. They're damn good and about 10 bucks (Whole Foods is carrying them, too, except their packages have about 10 dumplings and sell for just under $5). I'm raising my hand for the Souffer's Spinach Souffle. I mix one with sour cream (or yogurt), 2 T of pesto, a bit of nutmeg and broad noodles, then top with cheese and bake. And eat.
  5. Tony's rant was a lot more enjoyable to me than the Show, or what little of it I could stand to watch. But I'm more of a fan of snark about a TV train wreck than the actual...wreck, or in this case, dreck. I chuckled over his Irvine reference, although while the concept is pretty much in keeping with Food Network's programming of Food as Drama or Comedy, the execution, like the food, looks good.
  6. We come from downtown to Dixie Bait Shop. Mmmm...bread pudding. (We always split one order, but the servers always bring a piece the size of your head, which both defeats the purpose and is very appreciated.) Someone recommended the Caribbean place next door, but we haven't tried that yet. eta: I'm typing while Tim's posting. Yes, thanks, Calypso Cafe.
  7. This looks a lot like the recipe I've used with the exception of the Sugar Babies. I add a cup of Ginger Baking Chips from The Ginger People. (Ok, sometimes I add 3/4 of a cup and 1/4 cup of teeny tiny mini-chocolate chips. Because...chocolate and ginger.)
  8. It's all about the comfort, isn't it? We know Margy wasn't comfortable eating when she wasn't hungry and she wasn't comfortable eating food she didn't want. We suspect MIL wasn't comfortable having 25% of the table watch the other 75% eat. Either way, not exactly comfort food. I think your 'next time' choice is a good one, Margy. But then, I used to find something to order and eat whenever my Mom wanted to go to this one particular restaurant. It wasn't horrible, just no where I'd ever go without her. She liked the place. It made her feel...comfortable. And it made her happy that we were eating together. Me, too. Since those are my memories now, I'm glad.
  9. hsm

    Toast toppings

    Yes and it's the best way to find out. My ricotta is fresh if I've been to the Italian deli, otherwise, it's...not. (Now that I know how relatively easy it is to make, that may change). And there's usually coarse, med and fine grinds of sea salt nearby the toaster oven, so when in need - indeed. I have to add: fresh pecorino and honey. (We hauled a kilo back from Pienza last year and life just hasn't been the same.)
  10. hsm

    Toast toppings

    1. Butter. And jam. Cherry, blueberry, peach, mango/pineapple - it matters not a fig. Fig, too. 2. Ricotta drizzled with honey. 3. Johnnybird's dope. Thanks for that new one! **Looking out window at snow. Heading into kitchen looking for bread.**
  11. Ladies, I've enjoyed your blog on many levels. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share. And thanks for the inspiration! That and the freezing temperature resulted in two soups made here this week. An empty-the-fridge minestrone and a roasted carrot, garlic and ginger soup. Had to use packaged chicken stock, but added fresh orange and lemon juices, red onion, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, caraway seed, pepper and, when I tasted too much salt, a little honey. I know, the caraway seed was a little crazy, enough with the Cs, but still, above average.
  12. In Chicago, when you ring CEO Deliveries, they'll bring you pretty much anything you want. Some places, as you can see, will be better than others. I haven't tried it, so I have no idea how they prepare and wrap the food to travel well. If, indeed, they do. Edited for grammar's sake.
  13. Full story. ← I don't believe I fully understood just how weak that opinion was until now. Caught the tail end, sts, of Ilan and Marcel on the Today Show. Ilan's still a weasel, so while I don't have to like him to like his food, I do have to at least hope he'll win to watch. The continuing attempt to sell the mythology that the hair cuts took place after the assault may be one of the most annoying TV things ever. You were busted, Bravo. Try making something out of that besides Lame Stew.
  14. I'd agree that the fun of the reunion shows is to find out what behind-the-scenes hijinks were ensuing. Here? Seeing what we saw on-camera, I've probably had enough of this bunch. Besides, pretty much everyone has the tread marks of a bus all over them already.I've come to like Padme and even in the beginning, saw her as a vast improvement over the KatieBot. All in all, this season has shown me what the show is really about and I find it entertaining on its own demented, desperate, delightful level. Not about who is really a Top Chef, though.
  15. It's an uggghhh either way for me. Unsurprising about the lack of a reunion show. With this bunch? Dignity went out the window some time ago. Good/bad reality TV, though, appears to be thriving. At least that preview shows food. Pretty food.
  16. I also like to leave these things to professionals - sent the clip to snopes.com
  17. Unlike many of you, I only knew Bux from his posts. Those illuminating, opinionated, sometimes humorous, sometimes caustic, always informing, entertaining, worth-the-time posts. He was very inspiring in many ways and will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.
  18. Top Chef Wrestling was about as distasteful as Ilan's chocolate covered chicken livers. Although they did inspire the best line of the night. (Thanks, Chef Ripert.) "...should not be served, for example, in a restaurant."
  19. I'm betting the undercooked chicken and the Watermelon con WTF? will assure that their respective chefs will not make Top Chef.
  20. I'd agree they're focused on excellent economics. Although I wonder if the Penzy's blends, e.g., might be a little better than the mass brands.
  21. I think Heidi Klum put it best: One week you're a star, the next, you're out, or auf'd, or knifed, in this case. I think Tom has had it in for Michael from the get-go and saw a chance tonight to send him packing. For not buying little pit dishes? Really? Oy. Cliff was a big ol' mess FOH but I'm betting on he and Elia to be in the finale. I know they give the cheftestants (tm TWoP's Keckler) the good/evil edits, but making a judge appear lamer than she really is? Nah, Gail doesn't do anything for me, either. And she really suffers when compared with Ted.
  22. Nice list, Ron. I, too, am a big fan of Fox & Obel, both the cafe and the store. Hello, tomato/basil soup. Also, I second nsxtasy's choice of the Marketplace on Oakton. Love it for the sheer variety of produce I don't always see downtown. And certainly, at much friendlier prices. I'd substitute Spacca Napoli (on Sunnyside at Ravenswood) for Pizza D.O.C. I was at both last year and the crust on the pizzas at Spacca Napoli is so far superior it keeps me coming back. Also, for cheap eats, Dixie Bait Shop in Hyde Park. Consistently delicious, superb greens, good red beans and rice and crispy breading on the fried shrimp po'boys. Plus, the waitstaff is prompt, if not anticipatory with refills and extra plates, and somehow, always manages to make that single piece of bread pudding we like to split - the size of our heads.
  23. Thanks, Reefpimp. That's the most enjoyment I've ever gotten out of anything related to Bobby Flay.
  24. My very first loaf of bread is out of the oven and in me (well, not all of it, not yet, anyway). Thanks to Ruth, MelissaH and SparrowsFall for their encouragement and the (even more) simplified way - and to everyone for all the info. I used King Arthur AP flour and scooped 3 cups with a little settling, so I'm sure I was on the high-side of the flour measurement, 1 5/8 cups of water plus a couple of extra tablespoons because it seemed a little dry (like Abra's). I let it sit for 18 hours, about half that time on top of the oven, which was turned to warm - the temp is cool in my kitchen - and then another 2 hours after I scooped it over itself a few times. Following SparrowsFall advice, the dough went from the bowl to the LC. The place smelled divine. My timing and the look of the loaf is very close to MelissaH's (sorry, no camera). And sure enough, it slid easily onto the rack. And it's tasty! There were a couple of small blisters on the top and quite a few small and medium holes inside but is a little denser than I'd imagined (or hoped for) so perhaps a little wetter next time? And there will be a next time! Forgive a newbie's newbie enthusiasm, but I did a small happy dance. (We'll see what kind of bread-baking monster this creates.)
  25. I can't wait for the zombie challenge. I can live without more kid targets, though. Unless they're members of a family and the whole gang has to render one judgment. Sam is diabetic so I don't blame him for being sensitive to and/or pissed off about the alleged squirting. (And I don't mean because his levels were low. ) While no one besides Mia, in that group, said anything on camera, I'd bet that if he was the only one to see anything funny, that would have been mentioned. Loudly. I think Betty knew what 'the recipe is locked' meant but also realized that her cookies were crap without the sugar. So, she played the card avec tears. I also think that this is a reality TV show and while it, and its sister designer show, may have ambitions to not be just another slutty drama queen, the proof is, as they say, in the pudding. Doesn't mean I'm not watching, just wish it didn't have to be that way.
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