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Everything posted by Sugarella

  1. It'll probably be ok. Rinse it well then wipe it out with straight vinegar on some cheesecloth, rinse again and buff dry. The vinegar will help loosen any soap residue that's left. (If it'll take dishsoap off a black SUV - Yes I AM that stupid! - then it'll take it off plastic too I'd expect.)
  2. I always figured that kitchen he was using was the "set" kitchen for the show.... it's way too small for the house, and the doors going behind are always closed. I assumed the house has a real kitchen plus that little one. I'll bet it is his house, actually. They probably just say it isn't to give him some privacy. Then again, even if it isn't, there's no reason Gabe couldn't really be sleeping upstairs while they're filming...he's with Dad all day until he's older, right? Oh well, doesn't bother me either way. I like Michael Smith. Actually, that's just Michael; he's not acting for the camera. He did that on the Inn Chef, on Chef at Large, on that other little show he did with his restaurant Maple (does he still have that place?) and now with chef at home. At least he no longer refers to all of his appliances as "handy-dandy time machines." As for the 3 year old that'll eat anything.... I think they all will if parents just act like that's what's normal......
  3. Sugarella

    Sign stands

    I too checked "place card holders" knowing I'd probably get a bazillion wedding sites. Here's one.... these all appear to be $2-$3 each but you have to buy in multiples, but there's an awful lot of cute ones on there.
  4. I'll bet the waitstaff didn't figure it out until after the next patron said..."Hey, how come my seat's wet!?" I can top this. An ex was horrified in a Japanese restaurant that the lady at the next table was using her hands to dip and eat her sushi, and exclaimed to our server that not all white people were such slobs and ate with our hands, and that he was very cultured and refined blah blah blah. When our Japanese server explained that it was perfectly acceptable to eat nori rolls with your fingers, my ex proceeded to scream at our Japanese server that he didn't know the first thing about Japanese culture and was a poseur. And by scream at I mean rant for a good 3 minutes at the top of his lungs.
  5. I make these all the time.... the trick is to not cook them 'til they're wilted and mottled brown. Yours still look good to me though.
  6. Ditto for me with the peach skins and popsicle sticks...... Here's a few more that I'm sure nobody else has, but they're serious for me: 1) As recently mentioned in another thread, I have to look at forkfuls of cooked rice for a few seconds before eating it, just to make sure none of them moved. 2) I cannot eat cereal from an open container. Either the package was just opened and I saw it being opened, or else the cereal was taken from a sealed tupperware container, or else I cannot eat it. (This one comes from shovelling cereal into my face without looking while staring at television, going to drink up the last bits of milk from the bowl only to find the remaining milk was FULL of dead floating grain bugs. GAH! ) 3) I cannot eat anything with whole pecans in it, on it, or near it. Those could be even bigger dead bugs. 4) Can't eat anything with raisins in it. Those could be dead flies. 5) I can't drink pop from the can. (You guessed it....bugs could be hiding in there.) 6) Can't eat honey. Bugs made it. Watching someone actually eating a piece of honeycomb will make me barf. 7) I'm ok with apples and apple juice, but I absolutely cannot be near a baby that's been drinking apple juice, because if it burps on me and I catch a whiff of apple juice mixed with stomach acid I will barf. Ok I guess that's enough.... now I'm ashamed of myself...... ETA: Thought of one more which I've since gotten over. When I was little I couldn't handle eating cake because it tasted "fuzzy and crunchy in my mouth at the same time." (Mum's quote.) Thinking back, I suppose the crunchiness may have been from experiencing cake slices that'd be left out in the open too long and had dried out. In any case, I got over it. Or just finally had fresh cake, one or the other.
  7. Sugarella

    Victoria Day

    Ah, I forgot too. Unfortunately I'm not going to a barbecue nor am I having one otherwise I'd invite you out here. It's not May 2-4 because it's Victoria's birthday....that's just the politically correct reason for the holiday. It's called May 2-4 because you're supposed to drink one.... preferably Moosehead.
  8. Oh, ok.... now I understand you!! (not saying I agree, just saying you make sense now. ) Hehheeheh.... I use my drill press, my dremel and my scroll saw, so there! You've got me stumped with the disc sander tho....
  9. A LOT of baking soda dissolved in warm water, then soak the clothes for an hour or so, then wash. If that doesn't do it, nothing will. ....Actually.... you can also try soaking the clothes in straight vinegar too. That works on cat pee...might work on fish.
  10. ....I know those magazines depict all us girl pastry chefs wearing garter belts in the kitchen, but.... psst! It ain't true!
  11. Dejaq's link corrected above.....erm.... I see MTV video awards......
  12. I disagee. At least, that's not how I would interpret the terms. To me, the term "ethnic market" has always meant, very simply and just as the dictionary would seem to imply, a market that specifically caters to a particular group of people associated with a particular geographic derivation or ancestry. That would include, for example, the local Italian or Armenian or German or Polish or French (or whatever) markets that are largely run by, and cater to, caucasian persons. I've never understood "ethnic market" to mean "market catering to nonwhites," and I don't think that most other people do either. ← Well, I was all set to totally agree with PatrickS that "ethnic" simply means of or pertaining to a particular group, and that the word is commonly used when referring to any group other than your own (like me being Hungarian/British Canadian would make me ethnic anywhere outside of Hungary, Britain or Canada, yes?). So off I went to dictionary.com to double-check the meaing of ethnic and boy did I get a rude awakening: Er.... ok.... So obviously "ethnic" is not so innocuous after all, at least to some people. But back on topic...... ....I think busboy got it right with this bit..... I've been to plenty of markets in plenty of places that could be described as ethnic, (erm....the first definition up there) some being very clean and some not. I can agree that mom and pop type places that've probably been operating on a shoestring budget since they opened (and opened on a shoestring budget as well, for that matter) where you can clearly see the owners as the ones working the cash registers all day every day, it's pretty safe to say that there is no time and no money to actually hire someone to keep things clean. Things get put on shelves and they don't get touched again until someone buys them. (or until some grubby customer comes along and damages the packaging and puts it back on the shelf...and nobody in management notices.) It's also pretty fair to say that ethnic shops or any small markets are small private enterprises whereas supermarkets of course are corporations, and that of course corporations should be held to higher standards by health departments and the general public alike.
  13. Well I guess everyone else likes them but me......
  14. Ok.... I've been served stuff like this before; mushy brown rice made by someone else is always a source of anxiety for me. Am I the only one who stares at a forkful for a few seconds before eating, just to make sure none of them moved, or does everybody do that?
  15. I haven't used the aerograph airbrush but I went to the site and it sounds like they make a very high quality airbrush which may not be meant for spraying dust particles through it, or for using a thicker medium like cocoa butter, for that matter. I have 2 airbrushes, an airmaster and a badger, and I can tell you the airmaster is meant for very fine work as well and I cannot get lustre dusts to go through so I'd never attempt cocoa butter because it'd just clog for sure. The badger works great for spraying the cocoa butter because the sprayed medium never actually runs through the tip. A badger will cost you about $25 in the US and is well worth it, plus I'm pretty sure you can't wreck it! (I've been pretty mean to mine and there's no way to clog it, really.) If I were you I'd save the expensive aerograph for other work and get a badger for chocolate work. As for using the propellant cans.... first it's not really air in there so I'm not sure you want to be spraying that stuff on food items. Second, it's not very cost effective to use them....they're designed to be used in remote locations if I'm not mistaken. I think you should see if you can get a compressor.....just make sure it's a compressor designer for an airbrush bcause they run a lot quieter than the compressors you can get at the hardware store.
  16. Well....this thing has more counter space than Megan Blocker's kitchen! I was thinking Rv's and dorms like someone else mentioned.... not for me though...I still want a full kitchen.
  17. Hats off to you, Ruth! A terrifiic demo and I'm sure very many people will find it extremely useful. Please, please try this everyone if you already haven't.... REAL BUTTERCREAM can't even be described unless you've tasted it, and you'll never go back! I'd like to make 2 points not mentioned, although there are no flaws in Ruth's demo. Just more info in case anyone needs more help..... First...this bit: This is exactly right.... you can pour directly from the saucepan or you can move the sugar syrup into a heatproof container like a pyrex measuring cup first, which buys you a little time. The point I wanted to make is that in either case, NEVER scrape the saucepan. You will inevitably get chunky crystallized sugar bits around the maniscus of the sugar syrup clinging to the pans sides.... don't scrape that down... don't touch it and don't let it get into your buttercream. Otherwise all you'll end up with is crunchy sugar bits in the buttercream, which ain't so good..... The second point I wanted to make is that in Ruth's photo of "stiff peaks" on the egg whites....forgive me if I'm wrong Ruth but that to me looks like "firm peaks," not stiff. The difference between firm and stiff isn't visual, because both appear the same, but textural. "Stiff peaks" make the mixer work pretty hard, and show up about 4 or 5 minutes after what looks like "firm peaks." In either case, the peaks will hold their shape when you stop the mixer, but "firm peaks" are much more solid. This buttercream still works beautifully and tastes the same whether you take the whites to the firm peak stage or just to the stiff peak stage, but mixing them another 4 or 5 minutes further to get a solid mass of egg whites first does make the rest of the process a little easier, (ie: incorporating the butter) and it also helps keep the final buttercream from deflating or weeping over time. Figured I'd add that in there....once you have firm peaks on your whites you don't necessarily need to stop the mixer and wait for your syrup is all. I make mine by getting the whites to firm peaks, firing up the sugar syrup and waiting for it to come to temp, and by the time that's ready the whites are at stiff peaks so I just pour the syrup directly into them. Just worth a mention, anyways. Again, terrific demo. Thank you....thank you....
  18. Uhm, how does the average family afford to send several kids to school with spending money each day, exactly? If I was going to school and I had to buy a lunch there at several dollars a day, then bought a bag of chips and pop too, and presumably ice cream daily as the article is suggesting, I'd easily be spending about $150-$200/month. How do working class families with 2 or 3 or 4 kids going to school afford this, even? Banning ice cream trucks near schools....I don't know. But if kids buy it every day, then it's not all the ice cream man's fault, is it?
  19. I went to the Splendid table site and checked the recipe.... unfortunately those need to be kept refridgerated. Yours.... were they comercially produced or did your ex make them himself? I'm familiar with canning and preserving.... assuming I can do this with straight armagnac and heat to seal as ususal?
  20. Print the font you like in the sizes you want out onto a sheet of paper, cut that out with an exacto knife, then lay the template atop fondant and cut them out, again with the exacto knife. Let the fondant form a crust and firm up before moving it; otherwise the letters with stretch and look warbly, but don't let it sit so long the fondant hardens and you can't adjust it with the curvature of the rounded cake. I'm sure this seems much more labour intensive then just using a cutter, but if you had to buy cutters for each letter of the alphabet, in two sizes no less, in all the fonts out there that customers might want, you'd go broke.
  21. Sugarella

    New Cafe

    Bri, your product is NOT the problem; it's just getting people in there. I agree the company you're keeping on that block won't really help attract customers, so I think you need to look beyond the scope of what's in the immediate vicinity and don't expect to share the same customers with any of them. For me personally, after sitting through a movie for 2 hours downing a gigantic box of popcorn and enough pop to embalm small animals, the last thing I'd be in the mood for would be pastry. People are already FULL when they leave a theatre. I think you should forget about the moviegoers altogether and target other customers. Speaking of the movie crowd....you're talking about patrons for the evenings....what's going on the rest of the day?? Do you have lunch customers stopping in? And how late are you open? I ask because many of the Toronto specialty cafes are at their busiest just after 2am.... right after the bars close. Everybody wants coffee and something decadent to eat. I know being open so late would be a giant pain in the ass, but it could sure help with revenues in the short term, even if you only tried it on weekends to start. Are there any clubs in the area within walking distance of the cafe? First things first..... your website www.sweetkarmadesserts.com gives absolutely no indication that there is also a new cafe. Change that immediately. I don't know how close the cafe is to Sweet Karma, but have you been advertising to all of your existing customers that the new cafe is open? You already know they like your product...I'd be bombarding them with advertising for the cafe in any way you can think of. Examples could be a wall poster (visuals), giving out discount coupons to them, or even at the very least having the counter staff tell everyone. And I know money is tight now, but when it's time to re-order any of your packaging you should change it to read with both locations on it. Sorry things aren't going well but I certainly hope you can turn this around quick. I'll see if I can think of anything else to suggest.....
  22. I am so glad gfron bumped this thread back up....I'd never seen it. What an unbelievable visual feast! A few questions Neil, if you don't mind. Maury mentioned they're selling 300-400 pastries daily in the shop....I assume that pace has kept up but has it increased? And are the pastries changing or do you generally keep them the same, excepting variances in seasonal fruits, of course? And if you had to guess.... if you included the dessert pastries only, the finished packaged chocolates, cookies and candies, and the larger ordered cakes, how many people would you say it takes to comfortably produce all of that? (Not the crepes, sandwiches, or gelattos.) Thanks..... It's a wonder pastry chefs don't get laid more than rock stars.....
  23. All food in Ontario needs to be produced in a legal, health inspected facility; even just candy. The AGO, being a public space, would of course require this for outside food being brought in for any event, and I've personally been required to provide documentation that I'm legal before delivering wedding cakes to some places. If you haven't had any problems delivering home baked goods to various places, good for you. Perhaps the venue isn't aware of the law, or didn't bother to read their liability insurance policy carefully either. (Allowing food produced in a space that isn't health inspected would void most liabilty policies.)
  24. I agree that this is not the way it's done, especially considering the restaurant did give each dish a big serving spoon. Daniel, did you ask your dining companions about it?
  25. I. AM. TRULY. AGHAST. I've had the new early spring 2006 issue for a while now, but just flipped through it for the first time this evening. And to my horror, my absolute HORROR, there it is starting on page 47. Make your own wedding cake! Sure kids, why not? It's eeeeeeasyyyyyyy! Somehow I knew this day was coming...... Gawd.... where to even begin. The baking directions are sketchy. The directions for making the meringue buttercream (all 6 sentences of it) are incomplete and will result in absolute failure by the "home baker" who is being encouraged to make this wedding cake, with the article implying this may very well be one's first attempt at icing a cake ever. The dowelling instructions are also incomplete and will again result in absolute failure. And of course cake boards, dowels, spatulas, piping bags and tips, and rotating cake stands are all "available at high end kitchen stores," you know. The cake pans, however, you are to rent from "stores that sell cake decorating supplies." Now, the cake recipe and presumably the decorating of it was done by one Eshun Mott, whereas the article was written by one Robert Hercz, who, according to his biography, has previously won the Arthur Andersen award as business technology writer of the year! Woo-hoo! Now, the magazine unfortunately does not state whether both the article and accompanying directions for making the wedding cake were written by the technology writer, but shall we assume they were? Or should we assume the recipe developer and cake decorator Mott wrote the directions in such a way as to make it impossible for anyone to actually replicate? Regardless, there are absolutely no directions for actually decorating the cake, although the cake is clearly decorated. As the article states, "The tapered, towering, pedestal mounted structure, coloured and garlanded to match the bride, is like a small effigy of the bride herself." We'll give Mr. Hercz the benefit of the doubt here and assumed he was tired when he wrote the article, and assume he instead meant ICON of the bride herself, as an effigy of course is a crude representation of a hated person, not unlike a voodoo doll. But I digress. For those of you who cannot get the magazine, apparently the bride, assuming the cake was designed in her image, is Minnie Mouse if Minnie Mouse in fact is a cheap whore. But again I digress. Aimed towards the "home baker," the article then goes on to quote Anne Yarymowich, executive chef at the Art Gallery of Ontario, a popular wedding reception venue in these here parts, with anecdotes regarding modern wedding cakes. One can certainly assume the article's author did not inform Ms. Yarymowich she was being questioned for a DIY bake-at-home, try-to-bring-your-own-home- baked-wedding-cake-into-a-health-inspected- public-venue, because of course that would be illegal in Ontario, wouldn't it? Just think of how hilarious it's gonna be when so many brides stay up all night every night the week before the wedding trying to get this thing done with such bad instructions, only to find their wedding venue won't, not wait, cannot legally allow them to bring it in and serve it? So.... for those of you who can get hold of the magazine, as you as horrified as I am by this, or am I just overreacting?
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