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Posts posted by annachan

  1. The Mr. and I are thinking about trying our hands at making truffles for Valentine's Day. We are thinking about making heart and rose shape truffles w/ different ganache fillings.

    We are currently in search of a few good books that would lead us in the right directions. I've had my eyes on Chocolate Obession (Michael Recchiuti, et al), Pure Chocolate (Fran Bigelow, Helene Siegel) and Chocolate Chocolate (Lisa Yockelson), but not sure how useful they will be as resources for truffles.

    Also, we've been looking around for molds and transfer sheets to play around with. Anyone know of some good resources online or in the Bay Area?

    We'll also appreciate any recipes that people have success with. Recipes without alcohol would be great.

    TIA :biggrin:

  2. Just returned to SF earlier today from a road trip to LA. Stopped at Monterey on the way down and Santa Barbara on the way up.

    I found a nice place to dine in Monterey. It's called Amir Kabobs (on Lighthouse, only a few blocks from the Aquarium). It's Afhgan food and everything was delicious. The prices were very reasonable for the quality and quantity of food.

  3. My stepdad is English and got us addicted to English candy early on.  Our favorites have always been Crunchies, Flakes and Jelly Babies.  I just made a candy that is amazingly close to a Crunchie. 

    Sponge Monkey Candy

    Named in honor of those creepy little characters that Mr. Kim is unaccountably fascinated by. Foamy and crunchy, with tiny little bubbles, these candies are not overly sweet despite being made with sugar and sugar (corn syrup). These are very good, but if you melt Cadbury Dairy Milk (two 4.5 oz. bars) and dip each piece in the chocolate you have almost a perfect confection. They taste very similar to a Cadbury Crunchie bar. Amazingly good.

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup dark corn syrup

    1 tablespoon cider vinegar

    1 tablespoon baking soda

    Heat sugar, corn syrup and vinegar to boiling in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, to 300 degrees on candy thermometer (or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into threads that are hard and brittle): remove from heat. Quickly stir in baking soda thoroughly. Pour mixture into ungreased rectangular pan. 13x9x2 inches. Do not spread; cool. Break into pieces. Makes about 3 dozen candies; 50 calories per candy.

    Sponge Monkey Candy

    I used your recipe and it came out great! :wub: Thank you very much!!!!!

    Because of the comment made before, I did used a little more baking soda than called for, about 1 and 1/2 tbsp. I found that after I stir in the baking soda, I really can't mess with it much. The first batch, I scraped out the bowl and the part I scraped out didn't come out poofy. The second batch, I just let the candy pour out of the pot and left whatever didn't pour out on its own alone. That batch came out better, poofy all over.

    What I will do next time is to sift the baking soda. I noticed that there were a few lumps of baking soda when cutting the candy. I dug those put when I saw them.

  4. I like to put my leftover chicken in a pot pie. Just sautee up some vegetables (I usually use carrots, celery, onion, mushroom and potatoes), add some cream, chicken stock and chicken and cook until the sauce reduced and thickened, cool and put in a pie dish, top w/ pie dough or puff pastry and bake. Depending on how much leftover you have, you can make a large pie for the family or an individual one for yourself.

  5. If you're looking for the quality of E. Guittard you'll be hard pressed to find anything in the $4 range.

    The chocolate disks Spun Sugar quoted me @ $3.50/lb for the 11 lb box are E. Guittard. That's why I was hoping that they got their shipment. Even the store was running out of their stock of chocolate for their own chocolate truffles.

  6.   I'm sure you've already thought of this, but what about the Guittard outlet store in San Leandro?

    Just came back from getting the chocolate.....Guittard Outlet? Didn't know it exist.....I did a google search on Guittard last night and didn't even see the outlet store....I'll have to check it out, just in case I'm short on chocolate. Thanks!

  7. Thank you so much for all your help! Unfortunately, both Pacific Gourmet and Qzina are only open on weekdays and I won't be able to even talk to someone live to see what they have available until Monday. So, I will just have to pay more this year and buy many smaller bags this year. BUT, I will definitely keep these two places in mind for my next big order.

    Happy Holidays! :raz:

  8. I'm making candies the weekend and I DON"T HAVE MY CHOCOLATE. :wacko: To make the long story short, the place I ordered (Spun Sugar in Berkeley) from did not receive their shipment.

    So, does anyone have any idea where I can pick up:

    10+lb each of milk and semisweet chocolate disks (don't want to deal w/ blocks this year) that is of similar quality to Guittard for a reasonable price (around $4 or so a lb) somewhere in the Bay Area

    I would prefer San Francisco or the Peinsula, but I'm willing to cross a bridge or two if I have to.

    Thank you!

  9. I think I can understand and appreciate the difference between a US$1.50 bottle of ShaoHsing cooking wine and a US$6.00 bottle one.  And a $5.00 fish from a $20.00 fish.  But when the price scale goes exponentially higher, I really don't comprehend: (1) why the price is set so high (just because of scarcity?)?  And (2) what is the incremental benefit for paying this exponential increase?  For example, what would one gain in taking the US$46000 piece of Wild Ginseng versus taking a US $100 one.

    But... people's believes are their believes.  If one believes that taking this piece of Wild Ginseng would make him/her live forever, or increases (for him) his manhood for the next 10 years, then I suppose no price is too high.  Especially to the Rich (and may or may not need to be famous)...  This is the way of life in their realm and money is never in considerations.

    I agree w/ you that the prices for some food is just way out of hand. Frankly, a lot of people probably can't tell the difference between a moderate priced ingredient from an extremely expensive ingredient. If I didn't see the price tag and are presented w/ two bowls of ginseng soup, I probably won't be able to tell you which one is made w/ the $100 ginseng and which one w/ the $46,000 one....We all like good food, and probably won't mind spending a pretty penny on it once in a while. But if I have $46000 to spend on anything I want, it probably won't be on a piece of ginseng, unless I have more money than Bill Gates.... :wacko:

  10. Over in HK, people can get a little "nuts" over food. My dad still talks about a what a bargain it was to get a particular fish (less than 2lbs) for $100US. He said it would have costed more at another restaurant. There are some very expensive ingredients in Chinese cooking, so it's not hard to believe that a meal can run above $1000 per person.

  11. It's time of the year for candy making at my house and I'm looking for ways to make the process easier. We use a large amount of chocolate each year. So, here are my questions:

    1) Is a chocolate tempering machine worth it? Does it work? I'm looking at the lower price models (under $400). Any recs?

    2) I've been using Ghirardelli chocolate and like it. I get the 10 lb bars because the price is cheaper (about $2.00/lb). However, it's a pain breaking up the bar, even with the chocolate chipper we got at Sur La Table. Any suggestion on how we can go about breaking up the bar easier and quicker? Also, if not, any suggestion on a good subsitute that will be the same quality and roughly around the same price?

    TIA :smile:

  12. In the past few years, I've seen many families buy cooked turkey from Chinese BBQ restaurants. I've never had any but they llok like they're roasted the same way as some of the chicken.

    I'm doing a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year because my grandmother is here and it's her first Thanksgiving. However, if that wasn't the case, I would have been happy doing hot pot for Thanksgiving.

    A few ideas to incorpate Chinese food into Thanksgiving:

    Green bean - dry sautee, Szchewan style

    Greens - Chinese brocoilli w/ oyster sauce

    Sweet potato - roast them in the oven w/ nothing added

    Pumpkin - sliced and steam

    Turkey - soy sauce turkey

    Dressing - sticky rice

    Corn - corn and egg flower soup

    Bread - steamed buns

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :raz:

  13. We went there earlier this year and had a great meal. Like someone else said before, the ribeye was definitely the star. I've always love ribeye and was served a great one. The sides we ordered was good, but nothing to write home about.

    I got to say, I would never ever compare Acme to Outback. I've had Outback and it's nothing more than an overpriced Sizzlers for steak. I do think that inconsistency is probably an issue that Acme needs to address.

    On a side note, Lotus in the Sunset district served up some really nice ribeye. I prefer there over Acme because it's more convenient.

  14. I saw them @ Costco today on sale! It's now $39.95 for the set of three knives. I tried it out this eveing and it served me well. I was able to slice onion paper thin w/ ease. It also worked well on the butternut squash. It's probably not as good as some of the high end knives, but at this price, I think the quality is pretty darn good. Oh yeah, I got them at the Costco at Colma. :rolleyes:

  15. I plan on making sweet potato for Thanksgiving but would like something different from the baked or mashed version. I ran across a sweet potato spoon bread recipe that sounds interesting. I'm thinking something along that line, maybe a souffle.

    Any suggestions/recipes that you have had success with? Also, if possible, would love to be able to prep ahead. Thanks! :raz:

  16. I'm thinking of doing a coconut cake for Thanksgiving. I found a recipe that I like, but I would prefer not to use rum in the simple syrup mixture to soak the cake. I would like to stay away for any alcohol flavor. Would coconut extract work in place or the rum? Any suggestions?

  17. I've used my mini fountain several times and also found that chocolate and oil works great. You really need chocolate with a high fat content for this to work. If the chocolate isn't thin enough, you won't get the nice sheeting on the fountain. My rec is to go with a chocolate you like (I use Gharidelli semi-sweet) and add a light vegetable oil to thin it out. A light vegetable oil should not change the taste of the chocolate, just the texture.

  18. Anna: if you go to Hong Kong, let us know where you can still find these street eats.  I am eager to make a home visit too.  Next year perhaps.

    When I went back last year, I stayed in Causeway Bay. There is a store right in the heart of the shopping district that serves up a vareity of street food. Since we stayed close by, we make a trip there everyday to pick up some goodies. The place offered eggettes, waffles, chive dumplings, fish balls, siu mai, stuffed freid tofu (not the stinky type), an assortment of fried vegetables, cuttlefish, beef organ stew, fake shark fin soup and some more that I can't remember. Within and around the shopping district, I also found places for chestnuts, grilled squid, herbal tea/dessert, cheung fun, etc.

    I do want to emphasize Ben Hong's point. Do skip the street food if you have a sensitive stomach. I have never had a problem with street food, ever since I was little. My sister and my aunt (who has lived in Hong Kong all her life and is till there) do not dare go near street food. They have sensitive stomachs (over sensitive, in my opinion) and almost always get sick. It's not just the seafood items, they even get sick from eating siu mai or fried vegetables. Do beware when enjoying your street food. You don't want food poisoning to ruin your trip.... :wacko:

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