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Everything posted by MissAmy

  1. I'll be going to Tony's tomorrow with some work people. My boss seems to like it better than Hoover's, but I really like Hoover's so we'll see. I'll report back. Has anyone been to Mrs. B's Creole Cuisine yet? I keep hearing good things but haven't tried it.
  2. I'm loving your blog. Do you ever get up to Northern Colorado to the mountains? My family has a cabin on Lake Vallecito, and I LOVE IT THERE. Although, we do bring in most of our own food, because the choices are really limited. Honestly, I've never understood why Colorado doesn't have more of a food scene than it does. It seems like there are a lot of people there who would support it, but I guess not...
  3. I lived in China and the Philippines (also Japan, but this isn't a problem there, obviously), ate street food all the time, ate in dodgy-looking places, and never got sick. In China, we boiled all our water for drinking and brushing teeth, and didn't eat raw vegetables and fruits that couldn't be peeled. We applied the same strategies in other developing nations we travelled to. However, I understand this had changed and it is now safe to eat lettuces and what-not in China. It wasn't then. With a little bit of caution and a lot of adventursome spirit, you should be fine. Interestingly, the onl
  4. Oh god. That shrimp po boy looks so good it's bringing tears to my eyes. Tears, I tell you! NO ONE in Austin does a shrip po boy right. -sob-
  5. Ah yes, the dreaded soup-drip. I refer to this problem as "It landed on the mezzanine."
  6. Where can you get better Italian food for less? Even the large chains, with their Americanized cream-sauce-on-everything and giganitc portions aren't cheaper than Mandolas. Places like Vinny's may be cheaper, but the food certainly isn't better. Really good Italian places like Andiamo and Asti may be better, but the prices certainly reflect that. I'm genuinely asking where you are finding Italian food that is cheaper and better than Mandola's. I'm really, really curious.
  7. The fried shrimp poor boys in New Orleans. I can't find anything even coming close to them anywhere else.
  8. Although it's a big chain, Jason's Deli has a nice salad bar. They have nice lettuces, good veggies, some good slaws and pasta salads, and good dressing options. It's a good place to go for a cup of soup and a salad. It's certainly not four star cuisine, but does the trick on a hot day, or if you just feel the need to load up on veggies. The Whole Foods salad bar is also nice, but because they charge by weight it can get expensive if you're not careful. I once let this fact fly out of my head, loaded up my salad with lots of dolmas, and ended up paying $12 for one salad! I felt like an idiot.
  9. I would bet good money that it will be fine. I've over-kneaded before, but I kneaded for A LOT longer than I should have, not just a few minutes. If I were you, I'd just go on and bake it and see what happens. Let us know how it goes.
  10. Mmmm! Those tacos look fab! I can just taste them! Taco night was a favorite of mine growing up. I LOOOOVE real tacos! P.S. Tupac's gravy DID NOT look "anemic." It looked like real gravy.
  11. From what I understand, the lobsters that are used to produce the frozen lobster tails have a much more horrific end than those sold live to be killed by the consumer at home. I like Whole Foods. I shop there, and admire what they do. However, if they are so concerned with the killing and ethical treatment of animals, why do they sell meat at all? Are they absolutely certain that every single morsel of flesh they sell has been raised humanely and killed humanely? I doubt it. I doubt it highly.
  12. Ok. This is really embarrassing... So, the spring before Katrina, I went to New Orleans to visit some friends. I arrived at around 10pm, we went out, as one is wont to do in New Orleans, got shitty drunk, and arrived back at the apartment sometime around the ungodly hour of 4am. I was exhausted from driving all day and drinking all night, and just wanted to crash. When I undressed for bed, I just took of my pants and underware in one fell swoop, somehow managed to get into my pajamas and crashed. Anyway, the next morning dawns bright and early with a TERRIBLE zydeco band playing right below
  13. Oh god. I had to do that in culinary school. And yes, I had pissed off the chef. Good times.
  14. Beyond working in a 120 degree kitchen when the air conditioning went out, beyond cutting myself fiercely and working throught, burns, etc, was working as a hostess. WORST. JOB. EVER. You're yelled at by the customers, you're yelled at by the waitstaff, you're yelled at by the managers. Nothing, and I repeat NOTHING you do is ever right or ever good enough. I delt with customers who would touch me inappropriately, try to grab my arm as I took another party to their seat, ENDLESSLY bitch about where they were seated, and endlessly bitch about wait times as if I controlled how long other patrons
  15. When my family lived in China, we frequently attended banquets that lasted round the five hour mark. You didn't really notice the time slipping by because so much food was brought out continuously, and there was generally some form of entertainment. Most of those were pretty fun. There were a couple of them (the more formal events) that got tedious. Sometimes, my mother would have me politely excuse myself so that I could take my little sister for a walk. It kept her from getting cranky. Now days, my own dinner parties tend to last anywhere from four to seven hours. But that's with gathering
  16. TimH, thanks for the update. I've been reading this thread since way back when I was still a lurker and it fascinates me. When my family moved to the Philippines, we had two maids who also cooked, but we always gave them a heads-up! Had I just walked into the kitchen and expected a full-blown meal with no notice, my mother would have punished me.
  17. I'm surprised there are people here who think that 20% is too much. Everytime I've been out to eat with large group and the tip is automatically tacked on, it's almost always 20%, the lowest I've seen was 18% and we added enough to make it up. It's the norm, at least around here. I'm kind of shocked it's not everywhere else, as we're not exactly the most sophisticated and cosmopolitan place on earth. And about those elderly people who think that service is service regardless of what you order and refuse to tip on percentages... Oh those people curl my hair! My grandfather used to be like that
  18. Yeah, I should've made it with the pan drippings. That's the way I would normally do it. I was in kind of quick-cooking mode yesterday, so I just did it in a separate pan and used butter as the fat. That way I could get the gravy going while the chicken-fried steaks were still cooking. What can I say, I am impatient sometimes. ← Ahh.. yes, impatience gets the better of us all at times. It can be SUCH torture to have to wait for the gravy to thicken up when you're hungry! I understand completely.
  19. Mmmmmm... Homemade tortillas are the shiznit! When we lived in China, my mom used to make them all the time, as it was a lot easier to just bring in a crap-load of masa than it was to drag in sub-par packaged tortillas from Hong Kong. She would have to make them when my sister and I weren't home because as soon as they'd come off the comal, we'd grab them and eat them quick like lightening! She could never get enough made for her enchiladas with us around! Next time you make them, grab on hot off the griddle, slap some butter and salt on to it, roll it up, and praise god for the manna that is
  20. I use a custom grill my father built for me. It is cast iron, with a firebox, and enough room to smoke two briskets comfortably. You can also just build a fire right in the bottom and do regular grilling. Mine is smaller than the typical ones he makes, as I don't have a lot of room to work with, and really don't need to cook 25 briskets at a time. He typically sells them for $200-$2000 depending on size and how many fancy attachments people want. I think they're really worth it. They cook evenly, hold heat well, and are extremely sturdy. My father went to a huge cook-off in Lockhart, TX, t
  21. You don't make your gravy out of the pan drippings? Did you use the bacon grease for the fat? By the way, your chicken fried steak looked fantastic. I haven't had one in a month of Sundays, and am feeling the urge....
  22. I typically do what Megan does. Just add whatever the tip should be (always 20% in my world, only less for REALLY terrible service) then divide it among everyone. I recently had the misfortune of being in a party with one person who, when she realized how much I was calucating the tip to be, threw a fit within ear-shot of the server. I was mortified, and promptly told her that 20% was the accepted norm nowadays and I refused to give less as we had had really great service. I will never again be dining out with this person.
  23. Cool! A fellow Texan is blogging! Welcome, and I can't wait to see more pics.
  24. I have some post-WW2 era cookbooks from my grandmother, and a lot of times I've noticed that when they're calling for butter, they just assume everyone was using margarine, and if you use butter in baking things may turn out differently. Apperantly, there was a huge shortage of real butter back then, and everyone just used margarine. The recipes were adjusted for that, and I've baked a couple of cakes with butter that turned out funky, but with margarine, they turned out just fine. Just FYI.
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