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Elizabeth_11

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    Chicago, IL

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  1. Elizabeth_11

    Chain Restaurant Killer

    I grew up in Deerfield, and having gone back to visit it a few months ago, I was SHOCKED to see that Applebee's and *gasp* Chili's were gone! I must admit, I was really upset about Chili's. That was my old high school restaurant that we would frequent, and you know---I happen to really like Chili's and their menu. Sure, it's not "fine dining", but I actually ate there the other week and was very impressed with it. Their margaritas are GREAT, and my grilled carribean chicken salad with added grilled shrimp was fantastic. And don't get me started on their chips and salsa.....maybe it's a nostalgic thing for me, but I miss my old Chili's!
  2. Elizabeth_11

    Appropriate interview attire

    Well in my opinion, it kind of depends on the position you're applying for. If you're applying for a pastry cook/asst. job, I don't think you need to come into it in full-on chef gear. If you're applying for a head pastry/sous chef job--sure, wear a chef coat, etc. I have a feeling that since it's your first pastry job, that you're not applying for the latter position? If that is indeed the case, and it is just a preliminary interview and not a stage, then do dress up. Why not? It's professional. I did it at my very first pastry interview and was immediately offered a stage. I walked in there in a nice pantsuit and high heels, hair pulled back in a neat ponytail. After all, it IS an interview, NOT a stage. Even at my stage I didn't wear full on gear and was offered the job a couple hours later. However, I did ask him in advance what he preferred me to wear. His response was, "whatever's comfortable for you". So I suppose it really does vary. But I just don't think it's necessary to get all "chefed out" on your trial day. Your potential boss isn't going to be judging you on if you wear jeans or not. They're gonna care if you can get the job done. Just don't go into it with hair in your face wearing your jammy-jams. THAT would be bad. As long as you're not in the kitchen preparing food, I would dress professionally. Again, just MY opinion!
  3. My fiance and I recently had a coffee martini made with it at the W hotel Times Square, and it was delicious. We decided to purchase it at home, and I have since made several martinis with it. I personally think it has a much better flavor than kahlua, and it's especially good with vanilla vodka and some Godiva white or dark liqueur. We're also probably a bit biased since we are Starbucks addicts!
  4. Elizabeth_11

    Islamorada

    Thanks, Gifted! Yes, I managed to check out that link and peruse the restaurants--but I was also looking for a visitor's impression on the atmosphere. The link was very helpful though! We're up in the air about Islamorada--we're also considering Sanibel or Key West. We're renting a car and hitting up the state to find the perfect location! I'm just a little anxious about wedding planning and was trying to get a feel for the area and firsthand reviews. Thanks again!
  5. Elizabeth_11

    Islamorada

    I am also planning a trip down to Islamorada/Keys this coming May. My fiance and I are scouting locations for our mini-destination wedding (we are leaning towards Islamorada Cheeca Lodge). I'd love any and all info you can give about Islamorada dining and atmosphere! Thanks!
  6. Elizabeth_11

    Orange - for breakfast - Chicago

    I actually had a VERY bad experience at Orange a little while back. I ordered an omelette with swiss, asparagus, and garlic (at least I think that's what it was) and it came to me with just about NO cheese whatsoever, huge raw chunks of garlic, and undercooked, hard, bitter asparagus chunks. Not only that, but I substituted the side dish for spring greens at an additional charge of $1, and they gave me about 5 leaves with an unremarkable dressing on it. Overpriced and overrated! The frushi on the other hand sounds interesting, but again, I won't be back because it was the worst breakfast meal I have ever ordered.
  7. Elizabeth_11

    Adding eggs last in cookie recipes?

    Thanks for the replies guys, Our final product actually had to be pitched! It was a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. It spread a LOT, had tiny looking air bubbles throughout and tasted "eggy" according to unbiased opinions. They kind of looked like flattened pancakes. When we baked them frozen, it wasnt as bad spreading-wise, but the texture was off and the tops had that tiny air bubbly appearance. Makes me wonder if something else was mismeasured since it was more chewy than short.
  8. Hello experts, We recently hired a new girl at our bakery who uses the unusual technique of adding all her eggs last to all her recipes, even after all the flour and dry ingredients. She was taught to do it that way at her previous job (which was a reputable fine pastries shop) but doesn't know the "whys" behind it. I know that I was taught to add eggs to a creamed butter/sugar mixture and continue creaming(especially in cakes in order to aerate it), and it just seems like the only logical way to do it. I don't even think twice about adding eggs to butter/sugar. Am I crazy? Is there a specific reason to incorporate eggs last in a cookie recipe? Can anyone shed some light on this technique for me please?
  9. I'm sure there are a number of possibilities for you, it would just help a little if we all knew more specifically what you would like to make. Is petits four more your style? Bite sized nibbles? Or would you prefer making larger sized desserts (cobblers, pies, bar cookies, etc) that you cut up to make numerous servingsout of? I'm sure we could all help you out a bit if we knew more of what you and your clients are looking to do.
  10. Elizabeth_11

    Angel Food Cake

    I'm in charge of making the weekly batches of angelfood cake at my shop, so I feel that I've pretty much perfected my technique. Here are a few tips that I feel are very important: 1.) Using room temperature egg whites will help you achieve a fuller volume cake, thus creating a very light and fluffy end result--so be sure to keep your whites out for several hours before making it. 2.) Start adding your first batch of sugar (most recipes I've found add sugar to the whites while whipping, along with sifted cake flour during the fold-in step) after you've whipped your whites to soft peak---if you add it too soon it will create a meringue, which I've found does not produce the best results. So once you have soft peaks forming, slowly add your sugar in a steady stream. 3.) Whip your whites and sugar till they are STIFF. I have whipped them a tad under stiff and by the end of my folding in of the flour, it was a goopy mess, so be sure to whip the hell out of them. 4.) Sift your flour/sugar several times. This will aerate your mixure and make it easier to fold in. 5.) Folding too much or too hard is death for angelfood. Using a VERY gentle motion, fold in circles from the inside and bottom of the bowl outwardly and over. Hard to explain without demonstrating, but just be sure not to overmix OR undermix, but be as gentle as you can be so you don't deflate your egg whites. Those are my tips! I have a recipe for plain that I am sure would suffice for a lemon-ginger. Just add ginger powder or even grated ginger?? and lemon zest in with your flour/sugar. This makes 2 cakes so feel free to halve the recipe: 3 1/2 cups room temp egg whites 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar 1 1/2 cups extrafine sugar 2 cups cake flour 1 1/2 cups extrafine sugar 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1/2 tsp. almond extract 1 1/2 tsp. salt Sift the cake flour and 1 1/2 cups sugar 3 times. Beat egg whites til foamy. Add cream of tartar. Whip whites to soft peak, then add first 1 1/2 cups sugar slowly. Continue whipping until whites are extremely voluminous and stiff. Add extracts and salt. Fold in flour/sugar mixture along with your zests (if you're making lemon ginger and omit the vanilla/almond). Carefully spoon mixture into bundt pan and bake at 325 (i have no idea how long--we use convection ovens and miniature cakes) until top is golden brown and the cracks are dry. Invert pan immediately until cooled and pop out. Enjoy!
  11. Elizabeth_11

    Chocolate brands

    I'm not in charge of ordering at the establishment I work at (in Chicago), but I am aware of what we do receive and what we request as well. As recently as last week, our main supplier, Dawn, brought over a large array of brand new E. Guittard samples for us. I'm not sure what type of couveture you need, but we saw a pretty nice selection of %s, an excellent white, and a milk--along with the coating chocolate you were talking about which we weren't interested in. Phil has yet to give us prices since I believe they JUST began carrying this and haven't started shipping it out yet. (to my knowledge) We're most certainly going to order the E. Guittard over our current Callebaut if the prices aren't outrageous. I'm just wondering if you contacted Dawn a while back and this is a recent development that they now carry it? I'm just curious, and also curious of your findings since we're not very happy with the chocolate we currently use. Good luck in your search!
  12. Elizabeth_11

    Dessert Sales Down

    Browniebaker--I am SO in your corner. I live for sweets too! Saccharovore! Love it!
  13. Elizabeth_11

    Packaged Cookies

    Girl Scout Thin Mints Oreo Double Stuff Dominick's Brand (Chicagoland grocer) mint oreos and while I hate to admit it, Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies! I'm so embarrassed *blush*!
  14. Elizabeth_11

    Dessert Sales Down

    Jinmyo, with all due respect, you are offending the art of pastry; now that is objectionable.
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