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Everything posted by tino27

  1. Whether you have a ginormous (sure ... it's a real word) Flash site or a large PDF of the menu available for download, please make sure that the company who hosts your site has the bandwidth to be able to serve it. I visited a restaurant's website and attempted to download a PDF of their menu and gave up after fifteen minutes and only 3% downloaded (I was at work, so bandwidth on my end wasn't a problem). Agreed about music ... default should be off. I can't complain too loudly about Flash content being unavailable for mobile devices since my Android device upgraded to firmware 2.2. Then again, I still have to wait for it to be downloaded, which is annoying.
  2. I wonder if they made up that last "Truck Stop" on the spot to give the Nom Noms, who up until now dominated but had a rather bad break on the final lap, at least a fighting chance, in order to generate some suspense. _________________ I wondered the exact same thing.
  3. Regardless of when and how the bill is taken care of, you are still going into the experience knowing that you will be getting a free meal, which in my mind compromises your ability to write a truly honest review of the place.
  4. This reminds me when everything became "extreme" back in the early 2000's. I joked around with a colleague at the time that next thing you know, there'll be Extreme Jell-O, and wouldn't you know it, about two months later, I noticed the exact same thing in the grocery store. And to keep this more on-topic, while I do love a great homemade macaroni and cheese, the stuff in the little blue box sustained me through my many years of collegiate life. And, like you, I started with the directions provided on the box and by the end of my tenure at Case Western, had deviated to a tweaked recipe that much more suited my tastes at the time. Going from 3 tbsp of margarine to a 1/2 tbsp of butter does sound like a pretty dramatic reduction though. Unless you're using half-and-half as your milk component, I can't believe you wouldn't be able to pick up the lack of richness.
  5. Kerry, this sounds like a real blast and since it's only a couple of hours from Cleveland, I'd like to attend, too. I have a sneaking suspicion that Edsel might be joining me as well, but I'll let him make that call on his own.
  6. Sorry that I've been rather quiet on this thread, but I wanted to make sure that if people were interested, all three posts have finally published on my blog regarding the main events from this weekend. First up, there was the seven course prix fixe at Grange Kitchen & Bar. Second, there was my contribution of breads for the main dinner on Saturday night. Finally, there was the Bacon Brunch we enjoyed at Zingerman's Roadhouse. Feel free to click on one or more of the links to read about (and view) what I thought of the weekend.
  7. tino27

    Storing tahini

    I always have. The sesame oil will stay fresher longer if you refrigerate it. Just like most oils.
  8. Case Western Reserve for me, in the early to mid 90's. Like others have mentioned, you could have a specific number of meals per week (like 10 or 14, which would get you lunch and dinner every day) or you could buy "points" which acted much in the same way as cash. I was only subjected to dorm food my freshman year as I moved into a fraternity until my senior year when I moved into my own apartment. One thing I always noticed was that the food at the cafeteria was always very good at the beginning of the year and I suspect it was because the parents were still around and encouraged by the university to share a meal with their child before leaving. Two weeks into the first semester, the food took a remarkable turn for the worse and it stayed there for the remainder of the year. Two of my most vivid (and very much not fond) memories are of the beef stroganoff, which had the most revolting smell of vomit and the pancakes, or as we called them, absorb-o-cakes for their incredible ability to soak up as much butter or syrup as you could ladle onto them. Eat one or two of those bad boys in the morning before classes and you'd be pretty much down for the count. Of course, then there was the time one of my roommates went to work for the cafeteria's made-to-order sandwich counter. He didn't get paid a whole lot for the job, but the amount of lunchmeat that started appearing in our refrigerator skyrocketed. While I'm sure the deli cuts were probably purloined, I didn't ask and he didn't tell. The food at the non-cafeteria places on campus (like the Student Center) was actually much better, although there was no shortage of fast food options, too.
  9. Well, here were my two contributions to the dinner on Saturday night (well, besides helping out Edsel with the Hake en Papillote). First up was some traditional French batards and mini baguettes that I cut across the bias: And second was some focaccia (which I did last year), but topped it this year with some slow caramelized onions (thanks to the help from Alex) laced with reduced balsamic vinegar and finished off with some fresh thyme (thanks to the help from Prasantrin): Dinner on Saturday was absolutely fantastic and while I left definitely feeling full, I wasn't on complete overload. While I much appreciated the comments I received during the day for the breads, the best compliment of all was when I returned to the cutting board at the end of the meal to start divvying up the leftovers and everything was simply ... GONE! Thanks again to tammylc for arranging and pulling off another great Heartland Gathering weekend. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be.
  10. Breads are out of the oven, sliced, and being served with the awesome charcuterie that Chris Hennes brought with him. The French bread came out very well; I'm pleased. Oh, man, and that homemade pepperoni is fantastic. Right now we're sort of in a pre-dinner, mise en place kind of place and I'm confident that the meal to come will be both bountiful and delicious. I believe there is a homemade pasta course, a lamb course, a walleye en papillote course, a cheese course and a dessert course. And I'm sure I'm missing a few courses as well. More pictures to come soon.
  11. Rona, LOVE the hat!! Sorry I am missing the awesomeness that would be szechuan cuisine tonight, but I am really amped up about dinner at Grange tomorrow night.
  12. Had dinner tonight at a small bistro near where I live. For dessert they were offering macerated blueberries and raspberries topped with an ethereally light zabaglioni. Everything was great. The problem was the texture of the blueberries. They were really "chewy" or "pulpy". After a chew or two, the pulp kind of dried out and stuck to the side of my mouth. I had to "rehydrate" with a gulp of water. I rinsed a single berry off with my water and tried the blueberry naked. I wanted to see if the berry was extra acidic (meaning that maybe it wasn't ripe). While I wouldn't call it sweet, it did have some sweetness to it. It also had the "chew" to it as well. A friend of mine suggested that it either might be the varietal of blueberries the restaurant was using, or perhaps low rainfall this year took what would ordinarily be a wonderful fruit and rendered it just a bit pulpy. Also, these blueberries were pretty fat, and I've had wild blueberries before, so I don't believe that is the answer to my question. Any thoughts out there?
  13. A helpful conversation for yeast is converting from fresh cake yeast -> active dry yeast -> instant yeast (in grams). If I want to bake bread and my recipe calls for 20 grams of fresh yeast, it'd be swell to know that I only need 7 grams if all I have on hand is instant yeast.
  14. All -- I have a bit of bad news. I just found out this morning that my client has decided that this Friday will be the day a project I have been working on for several months is going to be installed and go live. This means that I will have to work all day in Cleveland in able to support it should anything go wrong. As such, I won't be able to get to Ann Arbor until Friday night for the dinner at Grange. This obviously means I won't be at dinner on Thursday night and more importantly, won't be able to conduct the bread workshop on Friday. I apologize. I have already put together the documentation for the class. There are really two paths in front of us. 1) Someone else can use mine or their own documentation and put the class on in my place. 2) I would be happy to email the document (I have copies both in Word as well as OpenOffice formats) to anyone who would like a copy, free of charge. This would require that you PM me your email address. I am still planning on baking bread in the common area at Tammy's cohousing complex on Saturday morning for the afternoon snacking and meal on Saturday night. And the offer is still open if anyone wants to join me for that (at the expense of not shopping at the various markets). Thoughts? Questions?
  15. I, too, caught this last night. Honestly, I spent as much time watching it with the "Mute" on as off as I found the tears and stories just plain stupid. The one thing that struck me right off the bat was that it appeared that none of the contestants knew that the winner won $250k and their own cookbook published. I would think as a contestant, I'd want to know the possible reward for selling my soul to Fox (or any other reality show). Finally, I seem to remember a series called MasterChef being aired on PBS. Actually, several seasons of it. And I remember it was WAY more about the cooking than the silly drama that I witnessed last night. It's like the different between Iron Chef USA (ack!) and Iron Chef America.
  16. Updated Bread Workshop attendee list: tino27 Kerry Beal Edsel Chris A2 Alex Torakris Prasantrin NancyH & Bob (I removed Darienne from the list.) Let me know of any other changes.
  17. Updated Bread Workshop attendee list: tino27 Darienne Kerry Beal Edsel Chris A2 Alex Torakris Prasantrin NancyH & Bob (I removed LuckyGirl and Bob was in the list twice.) Let me know of any other changes.
  18. I'll be staying literally across the street from the airport: Lexington Hotel At Detroit Metro Airport 30847 Flynn Drive Romulus, MI 48174 Room Type: 2 Double Beds/No Smoking/Free Wi-Fi/Microwave Mini-Fridge/Coffeemaker/Free Cont. Breakfast I'm planning on arriving at the hotel on Thursday afternoon, probably around 3:30-4:00 pm. And I have a car. I can pick you up (or you can probably take a shuttle, I'd imagine) and drop you off on Sunday. Only downside is that you may need to make alternative arrangements for transportation to Friday and Saturday mornings' events as I'll need to be at Tammy's cohousing community fairly early (especially on Saturday).
  19. OK, I do care what time we do the workshop. Anytime after 8:30! But only because my hotel is 20 minutes away and it'll take me a half-hour to unload and set up.
  20. In that case, do people wanting to do the bread workshop still want 8:30 am - 12:30 pm? Or do we want to shift it later? I don't personally care what time we do it, but I know there were other afternoon activities planned besides what was originally Kerry's TMX workshop. Any strong opinions one way or the other? As a side trip, I was also trying to find time to visit a local Ann Arbor eatery, Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger, and Friday afternoon right after the bread workshop may just be that time for me. Of course, anyone who wants to tag along is more than welcome.
  21. Kerry: So are you definitely not going to do the TMX workshop on Friday afternoon?
  22. Here is what I'm in for: Thursday night at Chia Shiang Friday morning bread workshop Friday afternoon Thermomix workshop Friday night dinner at Grange Saturday afternoon session Saturday evening feast Sunday Bacon Tasting & Brunch
  23. Hey everyone -- I've put together some preliminaries for this year's bread workshop. If you would like to attend or would like to remove your name from the list, please leave a post on this thread or simply PM me. Bread Workshop Friday, August 6th from 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM Kitchen Area of the Common House @ tammylc's Cohousing community Workshop Contents * Pre-ferments and soakers * Ingredients * Baker's Percentages/Formulae (General bread recipes) * Equipment * General bread making technique * Recipe: Rich Man's Brioche * Recipe: Ciabatta * Recipe: Focaccia * Recipe: Potato Rosemary Items To Bring I am going to try and make this as interactive as possible, but I plan to bring enough equipment to do the entire workshop. However, if you are concerned about keeping your clothes clean, you may want to bring a kitchen apron. Workshop Attendees Darienne LuckyGirl Kerry Beal Edsel Chris A2 Alex Bob (NancyH's +1) Torakris Prasantrin Workshop Cost $5, to cover printed materials and workshop materials. I will figure out with tammylc regarding payment options. At the end of the workshop, all baked breads will be distributed to workshop participants (first) and then to anyone else who wants to partake. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask.
  24. I'm open for either style of Chinese cuisine, but my preference is for szechuan.
  25. I definitely like the idea of doing a taste comparison as an early Saturday afternoon activity.
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