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Lisa Shock

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About Lisa Shock

  • Birthday 03/04/1961

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    Phoenix, AZ

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  1. Lasagna Wars

    Who are the judges? If they are trained chefs, I'd watch out with the parsley. There are protocols for how it should be cut. You could lose points for having 'grass clippings'.
  2. Thanksgiving cocktails

    We're dipping into the Vin d'Orange. Made it months ago, no fussing around now, just pouring.
  3. New Guy on the Board

    IMO, you should check out Japanese ceramic knives. And, welcome to EG!
  4. Lasagna Wars

    Thanks! I did not know. That said, I'd like to see a more finished top. One idea that ties in with the season is to cut out a bunch of leaf shapes with the dough and arrange them on top, like this pie, or this one. The pasta could have small amounts of seasonings in it to give a variety of colors. In making bread showpieces, dried red bell pepper, turmeric, saffron, egg yolk, dried tomato, various green herbs, etc. are added for color and, if used carefully wouldn't affect the flavor too much. (maybe toasted nut butter for brown?) Doesn't have to be leaves, use your imagination. (croxetti might be fun, too)
  5. Lasagna Wars

    Thanks for posting the picture. I am noting that your top is dry noodles. For me, one of the highlights of lasagna is a layer of browned cheese on top. I usually spread a little red sauce around and use mozzarella topped with either rows of tiny basil leaves, or a sprinkling of dry oregano, with paper-thin slices of red onion on top of that. (the onion gets a bit crunchy) Others will undoubtedly chime in here, but, I think you definitely need a topper.
  6. Does your country have some sort of review website? here in the US, we have yelp, where customers talk about their experiences at restaurants, bakeries, etc. I looked at their website. While it is impossible for me to rate this shop's flavors, I would say that the quality is somewhere in the middle of the pack, not the best but not the worst. I am a pastry chef. I have attended international competitions in pastry, and have seen world-class cakes. This bakery is missing many details. I don't like the hulls left on the strawberries. (nothing inedible should be served) The piping is sloppy, and much of the assembly isn't great. It's better than a supermarket cake, but, not a top tier item. I am sorry, I cannot help you much more, welcome to eGullet and good luck to you!
  7. I have a grabber tool and one of those folding one-step thingies stored just under the shelves where needed, and a 4 step stepladder next to the fridge. Also, for general use, I purchased a 12" long ½" screwdriver -the handle makes it longer. I can do all sorts of things around the house very easily with this extending my reach.
  8. Lasagna Wars

    As a competitor myself, and occasional judge, I'd plan on doing multiple practice runs, just in case. BTW, one thing you might try, if you are making the noodles from scratch, is to make this into a timpano. It's impressive looking when served whole, unlike most lasagna which is more about looking at a pan. You can change the shape depending on the type of bucket or bowl used. You can make it very tall, with lots of layers. (you can just use lasagna layers, no need to make all the dishes that go into regular timpano, I think it will be neater with lasagna stuff inside) I would use the pie-crust style crust, I have tried the noodle crust and it develops hard areas. Inside, you can make the flat noodles for the layers into sheets and cut into big circles so you simply have one circle per layer. (remember, fresh noodles do not need to be cooked in lasagna) I would slice a few vent holes in each circle, and aggressively vent the top by cutting thin shapes out, It can be served upside down, like in the linked thread, or, if you can remove it carefully, right side up and maybe those vent holes could be made into a decoration. Try researching pie tops for this. You might be able to make this in a springform pan, as well. That all said, in most competitions, taste is 60% of the points, so make sure you've got that down. Then, work on appearance. Remember that color and contrast are important.
  9. Lasagna Wars

    I'd like to point out that some of the best I've ever made had a couple layers where I used roasted zucchini strips instead of noodles. I just sprinkled some olive oil and salt on top and roasted on parchment. The roasting got the water out, and the flavor was like artichokes. I used a mandoline to cut thin strips. There was a lot of shrinkage, but it was a nice, concentrated flavor. Another trick I have used in a veggie version was making a layer of artichoke leaf pasta and bechemel. (a very thin layer) I par-cooked the noodles. For the sauce, I used a liberal amount of buerre noisette. Everyone asked what the 'vegetable' was that was so delicious. (I had gotten the pasta a while earlier at a local fancy supermarket when they ran a clearance, and had been waiting to use it) Artichokes themselves are delicious, too. If you can source 6-8 of them for a 9x12 pan, you can break them down to just bottoms, cut into 8 wedges each and saute lightly in butter, or roast/microwave until almost tender to concentrate flavor. I personally would make a bechemel sauce with a little tarragon for this layer. (even though the herb is mostly used in French cooking, I find it brings up 'green' flavors very well) I tend to add roasted garlic to a ricotta layer, if used. And, a little chopped frozen spinach (well drained) adds color and flavor. That said, I agree that a ricotta layer is not necessary. But lots of layers can be good (I tend to use a deep roasting pan for mine) -as long as it sticks together. You want a good presentation, not a collapsing house of cards. I also tend to put low moisture mozzarella on top of filling layers to keep things together and to help prevent color seepage. You know, you can layer green, white, and red like the Italian flag on its side...
  10. Scratch Guacamole - Labor Intensive

    You could use a Robot Coupe for the non-avocado ingredients. I think at a certain point, you have to weigh out how much the 'handmade' label does for your business. When I lived in Santa Fe, there was a restaurant that locals would take out-of-towners to if they were serious about local food. It wasn't downtown. It was in an old house, in a nondescript neighborhood, and had been started in 1950. (in pre-internet days, it was like a secret club, a regular had to tell you how to get there) In the front window, an older woman sat making tortillas, and next to her was the guac station with another lady making each serving from scratch. You could see this from the outside and the inside. And the servers would tell you the ladies' names. So, you knew that Marcella was making your tortillas tonight, and Consuela was ready to make some guacamole just for you. If they got machines, I suspect their business would dry up immediately. There would be no real reason to go there anymore. One cost saving measure, if you can get a year-round supply, is to add a small amount of small-dice jicama to the guacamole. That said, it's always been something to be treated carefully in the kitchen. Make sure the servers aren't dipping into it for snacks, and generally make sure everyone knows that ounce for ounce it costs as much as good seafood.
  11. Newbie no-bake cheesecake question

    Frozen fruit always leaks a lot of liquid. There was no reaction. Freezing causes the liquid inside the plant cells to expand and crystallize, bursting the cell walls. When thawed, fruit is mushy and very watery as its cells are now essentially sieves. If you read the comments on this recipe, many people found that it does not work. Some recommend whipping the cream prior to adding. Most no-bake cheesecake recipes include gelatin as a stabilizer as it, if handled properly, pretty much guarantees a good result. You have to be very careful, especially with a formula like this, which apparently just barely holds together on its own, to think about the consequences of any changes you make to it. Perhaps a couple tablespoons of strawberry jam would work better, but, I'd look for a tested formula for a strawberry flavored cheese pie before choosing to add a non-binding ingredient to this particular recipe.
  12. Mine has not shipped. It's 9:53pm AZ time and the website says the book is supposes to ship today. I opted for standard shipping. And, yes, there was a big price drop the other day!
  13. Newbie no-bake cheesecake question

    How long did you bake it, and at what temperature?
  14. How's your water? Minerals in tap water can prevent beans from cooking properly. Here in Phoenix, the water quality and hardness fluctuates a lot, so I use RO filtered water to cook beans. Haven't had an issue since I switched.
  15. Unsweetened nut butter uses

    I make my own nut butter with just freshly roasted nuts. I have not had any issues using them as-is. That said, IMO, many cookies are good without being super sweet -the butter, etc. really shines there. Like shortbread.