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  1. esowchek

    Rolling/flattening things out

    I would recommend the quarter-turn method, too. However, if the crust is going to be round, you might want to look at the "Pie Crust Bag," available from King Arthur. Dorie Greenspan includes it in her list of holiday gifts for bakers. She describes it as follows: "It looks like a slipcover for a pillow, but it helps you roll dough out to the perfect thickness and diameter. You put your disk of dough in this zippered plastic bag (I flour the bag) and roll, roll, roll. Even if you’ve never rolled out pie dough before, you can look like an ace with this gadget." Sounds like a good idea. Ellen
  2. I did a quick search for Bernard Loiseau + Cuisine at www.abebooks.com and found a number of copies of his books listed for sale, both new and used. All are in French - it does not appear that any of his works were translated into English. I often used abebooks to purchase French titles. It is not a bookstore, but a consortium of booksellers, so frequently you will find the same book listed at several different prices. It all depends on the seller. Bonne chance! Ellen
  3. I am in total agreement about Jell-O. I think it has to do with the consistency. I do not like aspic either. #1 on my list: asparagus, both green and white. Ellen
  4. We are having Cranberry Upside-Down Cake - I made it last year and it was a big success. In fact, a friend asked me to make one for him to bring to his mother's Thanksgiving Dinner. I use the recipe from Everyday Food Magazine. I am also making a Maple-Nut Tart (combined pecans and walnuts) and my current favorite, Pear Custard Pie. Ellen
  5. esowchek

    A Paean to Pears

    Comice pears with val d'aosta fontina - my favorite fruit/cheese combination. Tarte tatin made with pears instead of apples. It just seems like an "autumnal" kind of dessert to me. Ellen
  6. esowchek

    Vegan baking books

    Either of Fran Costigan's two books, Great Good Desserts Naturally and More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally (referenced above), are a good place to start, and the results are delicious. If you would like to experiment on a smaller scale, try Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero and Sara Quin. The Apple Cider cupcakes are just right for Fall! Ellen
  7. esowchek

    Beautiful food words

    courgette - it sounds so much nicer than zucchini sfogliatelle - because its fun to say Ellen
  8. esowchek

    Greek cuisine

    Emily, I would suggest checking out the following website: www.pylosrestaurant.com. Pylos is a Greek restaurant in New York City and Diane Kochilas is their consulting chef. Click on either the lunch or dinner menu, and there is a short but descriptive explanation of each of the dishes listed. This should give your dad a good idea of the kinds of thing to expect. Ellen
  9. Just beautiful, inside and out! How inspiring! I am wondering, now that you have downsized in terms of square footage, whether you have changed your cooking style/preferences in any way to accomodate the smaller space? Ellen
  10. esowchek

    Greek cuisine

    I would like to second the recommendations made above. Here are some specifics: The Art of Greek Cookery, by The Women of St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church, which was their first recipe collection published in 1963 by Doubleday. This is a basic introduction to Greek food, and is still my favorite Greek cookbook. Shortly after it came out, Craig Claiborne featured it in an article in the New York Times, which resulted in excellent sales for the book. The Regional Cuisines of Greece, by The Recipe Club of St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church, published by in 1981. This book, by the women of the same church (which is located in Hempstead, NY), was published almost twenty years after the previous bookin. It includes more recipes and expands its coverage to include dishes from all parts of Greece. The Glorious Foods of Greece: Traditional Recipes from the Islands, Cities and Villages, by Diane Kochilas. I have all of her books but this one, published in 2001 by William Morrow/Harper Collins, is arranged by region, making it extremely useful if you are looking to explore the food of a specific area. Unlike the first two books, which have virtually no narrative accompanying the recipes, this one provides excellent historical and cultural information on all of the regions, as seen through their food. Not only are the recipes good, but it is also a good read! I think what I like best about all of these books is the real love for their cuisine that these authors, all Greek women, express through their recipes. And now that more of the ingredients - specifically some of the regional cheeses - are available here in the US, it is great to be able to try out many of these dishes at home. Whatever book(s) you decide to get, I hope that once you have them you will enjoy cooking from them! Ellen
  11. I would like to add two films that have a lot of food in them, but are not exactly food movies. The first is Delicatessen (1991), directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (the director of Amelie and A Very Long Engagement). This is a truly black comedy in which it really is better not to ask what kind of meat was used to make the saucisson. The second is The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), directed by Luis Bunuel. This is a surrealistic film without much plot, but a main thread involves six people who just want to sit down to dinner and enjoy their leg of lamb. One of the six is played by Stephane Audran, who later went on to play Babette in Babette's Feast. Both of these films are available on DVD. Ellen
  12. Oh, and I thought I had posted this correctly, but I guess I messed up. AB, Ruhrlman, Ripert and Gabrielle Hamilton will be at the 92nd Streeet Y in NYC on 10/23 Thanks so much for posting this information I was able to purchase my ticket on-line today. However, as an update, a friend who tried this afternoon told me that it is now listed as sold out. Ellen
  13. There is also a Ukrainian kishka that is made in two ways. The first is with pork, pork blood, buckwheat and spices, and the second is with pork, rice and spices (no blood). The casing is pork intestines. An excellent source for both is Kurowycky's Pork Store in New York. I was once invited to the home of an Irish friend for Christmas Eve dinner, at which she served black pudding and white pudding. The white pudding tasted a lot like rice kishka, but I believe that oats are used instead of rice or buckwheat. Ellen
  14. esowchek

    Who Owns a Baker's Recipes?

    Annie, even though we have never met, I have been following your thread with great interest, and rooting for you all the way. My mother always said that when you have to make an important decisions, think about what you will regret five years down the road and choose accordingly. I do not think that you would ever regret leaving those recipes behind. I think that the return of your cat and your excellent medical report (keep up those monthly self-exams!) are an omen of good things to come for you. Thanks so much for posting the good news, Ellen (another one!)
  15. This happened a number of years ago. My (now ex-)husband and I were invited to dinner with two other couples at a popular restaurant in NYC called Maxwell's Plum. For an appetizer, on the host's recommendation, we all ordered the artichoke with vinaigrette sauce. Conversation was very animated, and I was not really paying attention, but my husband excused himself to go to the men's room. While he was gone, I noticed that his plate was practically empty - no scraped leaves on the dish, no fuzzy choke... At that moment, I knew. When I asked him about it later, he confirmed my suspicions: he had attempted to swallow as much as he could of the fibrous part of the leaves (ouch!) and had almost choked on the choke. He had never eaten an artichoke before and, after that experience, I am sure he never ate one again. Ellen