Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Lordof7

  1. I originally read this topic a few years ago, and have finally gotten around to making some homemade preserved cherries. I used the red ones that arrived at the Supermarket a few months ago (can't remember the variety, but they were from the west coast.) I washed them in water, put them in a Ball jar with stems and seeds, and covered them with bourbon. They've been in the fridge since then. I have eaten a few, alone and in a Manhattan. While still very crisp, the don't taste much like cherries at all - just booze. I think next year I will add some sugar syrup (I may just add some this year.) I also find the bourbon taste to be a bit harsh, but that's cause I'm cheap, and used Evan Williams Black Lable instead of something better. Oh well. Still beats the neon red ones I suppose!

  2. I've got a few things that have been given to me that are special. From my great grandmother, I have one of those Club aluminum saucepans. I think she got it from a supermarket promotion. I don't use it for much, as it gives off a metallic taste, particularly when I touch it with a metal utensil. But it reminds me of my great grandmother, who was a great cook, and the source of my bad cooking habits. (We use to tease her that she was "up to her elbows" in whatever she was cooking/tasting.)

    My mom has given me some of her Griswold cast iron pans, but I haven't figured out how to use them properly yet.

    The best has to be a spaetzel maker, which mom gave me. I don't know where she got it, but it didn't get much use. I use it occasionally for spaetzels, but more often for mashed potatoes, which it excels at!

    I guess these aren't too unusual, but they are a treasure to me!

  3. Well, after watching the two shows last night, my money is on Brad and Melissa. As for a third person (can't remember if its final two or three) I'll take a shot with Julia. As many people said here earlier, she KNOWS how to move food. I think she'll keep her chin up under Ramsey's criticism - my guess is she broke down due to the utter frustration with the lunacy of the situation (perhaps even as a calculation to gets things moving). Yeah, high end food may be different, but they must be given some instruction - it seems like the regular menu is the same as last year - spaghetti, rissotto, scallops, wellington, etc. All in all, this early on Melissa seems to know her shit and leads without being a bitch. I'll bet on her.

    As far as the customers, let's be real. Nobody is going to Hell's Kitchen for the food. Its all to be seen, possibly even on television. Maybe some are there to watch Ramsey yell and scream, but I highly doubt anyone is there for the food. What they're cooking doesn't even sound like anything special. Of course, if its expertly prepared, fine, but I'm not sure how "expertly" prepared anything is, even towards the end of the show. It does make me wonder how well the restaurant would do in a more food-centric city (as opposed to the image-first thing).

  4. I am a big fan of brown herbal liquors. Think Jagermeister, but not sicky sweet and syrupy, I enjoy Jagertee, Echt Stondorfer, Schierker Feuerstein, etc. I saw this dusty bottle of Pimms at the liquor store, and had to try it. I think I like it, although not as much as the German variants. It seems to have a more molasses-like taste than those, but I agree that it doesn't have as much fire. Definitely tasty though, and I've grown to like it. I will have to apologize to those Brits (or anyone really) who like the whole setup of the punch/cocktail/etc. As this poor Yank didn't grow up with those traditions, I tend to sip it neat from a shot glass. I will have to make a proper cup one of these days.

  5. I am particular in the order of building things. A burger, for instance, can only be built in the following order:

    meat>cheese>condiments(ketchup, little mustard, sometimes sour cream)> veggies

    (all in between the bun)

    If it is in any other order, I will deconstruct it, and reassemble it properly, thank you. Some places are good though, and build it EXACTLY opposite, so I just flip it over and eat it upside-down. I guess I also eat tacos this way (well, build them that way. I don't flip them upside down.)

    For deli sandwiches, the cheese goes on the bottom. everything else is the same. Don't know why.

    Ohhh, and waffles must have butter in every little hole, but then should be topped with powdered sugar.

    I am also a food sniffer. Usually because it smells good!

  6. My wife bought me this game for the Nintendo DS (little handheld game system that can use a stylus as an input.) Its definitely a cutesy game, but it is quite a bit of fun. I don't know you'd learn anything about cooking by playing it, but it may be a source of inspiration. It definitely is useful to show off the unique inputs in the DS (you make all the flipping, cutting motions with the stylus, and blow into the microphone to "cool off" hot foods!) I imagine it would be just as fun on the wii.

  7. Yeah, this 2111 code is on old jars as well as new. I had just bought a new jar of peter pan, as the old one was almost gone. Checked both - both had the number. I don't recall feeling ill at all from eating the entire old jar - I must have been lucky.

  8. Hey, if its in the name of charity - I have no problem with that. However, I was interested to see the line at the bottom of the quoted article:

    The guest list included 15 paying customers and 25 invited guests.

    So, were the charity beneficiaries really the 25 invited guests? If they payed as well, than no problem. Otherwise....

  9. Back in July of last year the NYTimes had an interesting article about high fructose corn syrup. It seemed to be a fact based article, and although there are more than a few PR quotes along the lines of "its perfectly fine, nothing to see here", I think it is a balanced article.

    article link

    The article points out that the fructose:glucose concentration of sugar is 50:50, whereas HFCS in beverages is 55:45, and in other products 42:58. The "high-fructose" bit is compared to normal corn syrup, which I think was 100% glucose. The article concludes that the syrup itself isn't convincingly less healthy than cane sugar, but that perhaps the increased consumption of calories in general may be responsible for the observed weight increases. The article does point out that soda consumption increased when the syrup was used.

    As for me, I do wish most foods I buy in the grocery store didn't have so much sugars of any kind in them. I still don't think bread needs that much sugar (or HFCS.)

    Additionally, I have often thought Coke outside the US tastes better, and think it might be due to cane sugar vs. corn syrup, but I haven't done a blind taste test to know for sure.

    Also, I remember reading at one point that cane sugar would be cheaper if it weren't for tariffs on imported sugar to protect US sugar growers.

  10. Apparently you need a dog

    Yep! I have our beagle well trained. When I yell "Clean up!", she comes runnning. It amuses the relatives.

    I definitely like Land o' lakes white American. Good on cold sandwiches, good for melted cheese sandiwiches, good for cheesesteaks etc. The additional processesing required for American really does let it melt better. Interestingly, I prefer the land o lakes to the fancy brands I sometimes see at the deli. Maybe because I can't taste the price difference. Sliced cheddar I have mixed luck with. I feel like the more deli cheddar is aged, the weirder it tastes (more "American-ness"), which is very different from the little blocks of cheddar you buy in the cheese section. Perhaps its the brand of deli cheddar our supermarket stocks...

  11. If I remember, Utz barbecue potatoe chips may not have MSG. However, I don't know if they have other glutamate sources, like the hydrolized vegetable protein, etc. Interestingly, they are quite tasty, but don't have that "intensity" that MSG barbecue chips have.

  12. I actually can't think of too many things my wife does that annoy me. The biggest one has to do with eating healthy. We are both trying to eat better, which is fine. However, if you want to make something "bad", just make it right and don't eat a lot! She makes pies once a year (Thanksgiving), and this year had to use Splenda. Ditto with the Christmas cookies. She considers holiday baking her turf, but I may just have to invade to make a really bad-for-you pie. I was also amused when she tried to make french toast with Smart Balance. It was a sight to see.

    I probably irritate her more when I am cooking - I make a total mess (although I am the kitchen cleaner, so it should really bother me more!) I know I also stick my fingers in everything I'm cooking (bad habit learned from the great-grandmother), but I do wash my hands a lot! When guests are over, I am more mindful of this, and just dirty lots of spoons to do the tasting. I think she likes it when I cook, and so doesn't care how I go about doing it.

    Although she likes her meat cooked medium well and I usually like it rare, it doesn't bother me for some reason. Her grandfather also orders everything "well-well-done. Burn it. Yes, filet, WELL WELL DONE!!!" I figure if I wouldn't want to eat it that way, they wouldn't want to eat it my way. As long as its enjoyed!

    I would also like to wholeheartedly agree with the comment about examining the kitchen/food habits of potential mates. Because lets face it - you'll have to cook and eat every day, and will usually do it together. If its always going to be a fight...

  13. Glad to hear that the pasta portions are most likely for multicourse meals. I'm still probably overeating, but its REALLY good! Anyway, the square shaped pasta we made is tonarelli (which is apparently the Roman name for spaghettini.) It was good - I would like to make it again, and realizing that such a shape can be made has opened up the possibility of home-made lo mein! Mmmmm...

  14. Slkinsey, my guess is that "manual" means a hand-crank one. In any case, a while ago I stumbled on a company that offers all kinds of interesting kitchen stuff called Lehman's, and they have a whole section of meat grinders. Here

    is a link to the page. I honestly don't know anything about the company, or the grinders, but they look good. I'm sure others with actually hands-on knowledge will chime in.

  15. I just got this for Christmas, and also love it! I am still learning how to cook properly, so I started simple with the Tomato with Porcini sauce and homemade pasta (I can't remember the name, but I used a thicker sheet of pasta on the small cutter to make a square shaped strands.) Her pasta-making techinque was very straightforward, and easier than other techniques I've used. (Well, expect the whole "Use the flour to hold in the eggs" thing. That has NEVER worked for me, but I suppose practice makes perfect!) Delicious! I can't wait to cook from it again. I'm glad to hear that the green lasagna is good - that may be next for me!

    One question; did anyone else find the pasta portions to be small? I doubled the pasta and the sauce recipe to save for leftovers/freezer, but my wife and I ate all the pasta and 3/4 of the sauce (which should have been 6-8 servings!) I know from time to time I will over eat, but I would've guessed we each ate two servings. Are these portions for course sizes, assuming one will be eating several other courses, or am I just a hog?

    At any rate, it speaks to the good taste of the recipe!

  16. Mmmm. Cupcakes! I grew up in NJ, and have fond memories of bringing cupcakes to school on my birthday (in a large shirt box, thank you!) Didn't realize that it was a statewide thing. Throughout college, my roommates and I would bake cupcakes all the time, using boxed mix and a tub of frosting. I think we almost always had a plate of them on the counter. Our finest moment was making cupcakes out of brownie mix, and then liberally frosting them. Yep, it was sweet, but boy was it good. Also during college, I spent some time in Germany. At one point I made ice cream cone cupcakes for my co-workers (used the stand-on-their-own ice cream cones as cups, because I didn't have a muffin tin.) I really wanted them to experience something truly American. I loved them! My co-workers were less enthusiastic. They didn't like root beer either.

    Nowadays, I have mostly attempted layer cakes to impress the wife. If I can ever be bothered to upload pics, I will show you my first attempt. One tub of frosting was not nearly enough "spackle" for repairs....

    What's funny is I've got the Sex and the city DVDs, and don't remember anything about cupcakes. Cosmopolitans, yes, but not cupcakes. And now because I'm trying to be a "cooler" baker, I don't make them so much any more.

    I should really bake a cake (layer or cup) by scratch, but even homemade from a box tastes better than most storebought cupcakes I've tasted (I agree with above sentiments about dry cake and sicky-sweet frosting.)

  17. I used to buy a lot of hummus, but I make it now. I may have to start buying it again, though, because my wife eats most of it before I get a shot!

    I am finding that I don't care for canned soups and chilis any more either, but I still buy them for convenience. Every time I am dissappointed - I should just make twice as much and freeze more.

    Oh, and I don't buy those baby carrots any more, nor does my wife. Why do they have no taste? Big carrots have that great earthy flavor that any carrot should have. Plus, big carrots don't all look the same, which I find to be another unsettling aspect of the baby ones.

    I definitely need a bigger freezer...

  18. The New York Times has an updated article here that identifies the growing and processing chain for these particular onions. It seems to me that this could have happened to any restaurant, and happened to Taco Bell in particular as they use lots of green onions. A potentially spooky turn was this statement:

    But for now, the foremost question was where the problem started. It is still unclear whether the green onions were contaminated at Boskovich Farms in California, where they were grown; at the Ready Pac Produce plant in Florence, N.J., where they were cut, washed and sanitized; or at the huge warehouse of McLane Foodservice in Burlington Township, N.J., which then distributed the vegetables and other ingredients to the Taco Bell outlets in eight Northeastern states.

    Boskovich, which began growing green onions on its farms 40 years ago, provided the green onions that led to a hepatitis outbreak that began at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant in Pennsylvania in 2003.

    The same farm that provided the Hepatitis A onions to Chi-Chi's provided these onions...


  19. The New York Times Dining section this week is a drinks special, and included an article on experimental but unpopular drinks, and one on rye. The rye article is nice - Dave Wondrich was one of the tasters - and it discusses tasting notes of several aged ryes. Now, the article does mention that the rye staples (Old Overholt and Jim Beam) were good, but did not make the top ten. In fact, only the top 10 were listed. I was wondering if the esteemed Mr. Wondrich could release the tasting notes for the bottom five. I ask, because the prices on those preium boys are a bit rich for my blood, and the Rittenhouse, Sazerac, and Wild Turkey are not available to me. At any rate, the articles are quite good - check them out!

    (Although I must admit, I felt a pang of fear, as hard to find ryes may become harder to find. However, hopefully it also means not so hard to find ryes that I can't get will become easier to find!)

    Rye Article

    Experiment Article

  20. I'm somewhat undecided about this show. I definitely enjoy watching it, as I feel I'm learning something about what I am actually doing when I cook. It also seems to simplify those methods/ingredients that one might not attempt were one not already experienced with such things. (For me, that would be the fried chicken episode - this Yankee will someday make pan fried chicken dammit!)

    However, sometimes he says things that just seem really wrong to me. Sure, I am a novice, and he is some sort of expert (or at least plays one on TV :laugh:) but, for instance, I resented the episode where we were implored to never, ever sharpen our own knives, but to get someone to do it for us. For one, it totally doesn't jibe with the nerdy experimentation inherent in the show, and for another, if I really, truly, irreversably kill a knife (which I think is hard without power grinders, etc.), I will have lost at most $50. Next time I'll buy a $10 knife and learn correctly. One of the only things I've actually made from a tv was his quick tomato sauce recipe (I think the same show as the knife thing.) Although I clearly may have screwed something up, I found the recipe to be so sicky sweet as to be inedible. Apperently I also don't know how to properly "sweat" foods, as the carrots in the recipe were still crunchy at the end. Even after blending, crunchy bits were still present, which also contributed to the sauce failure.

    There have been a few other things I take exception to, and it probably has to do with his sometimes condescending attitude. However, it is a show I regularly tivo and, in fact, enjoy. Even after the tomato sauce failure, I am itching to try both the fried chicken and the pie crusts.

  21. What is this haze that forms on stainless pans? After breaking in my Sitram Catering sauce pan with a mustard cream sauce, I had a haze right over the copper disc, even though I had used lowish heat. I wasn't worried at all about it, but after making a vinegar mop, the haze disappeared, presumably into the mop, which I had happily used on my first smoked pork butt. I didn't notice the haze had disappeared until I washed the pan.

    Yeah, so a warm apple cider vinegar wash works well to remove that!

  22. For my wife and I, although we have had better meals, the following will probably count as our most romantic dinner:

    The Setting: Two kids just out of college moving to Boston - first experience living together "on our own." I had been there for a bit, but had only enjoyed the city's offerings of Ramen and free pizza at school (I was/still am a graduate student, which = small budget!) To celebrate my honey's graduation, I wanted to take her out for Italian at a nice fancy Italian restaurant. I chose to take her to Maggiano's, in downtown Boston. I picked her up in New Hampshire that morning, helped her move all her stuff into our new place, and then took her out to dinner.

    Act I: (Before the fact)

    I called to make reservations a week ahead of time I think. "I'd like to make a reservation for <Last name>, two of us." "OK, that should be fine." This should go well - my first experience with a big city restaurant. Ok.

    Act II: (The day of the meal)

    I called to confirm the reservation. "I'm calling to confirm a reservation." "Ok that's <somebody else's last name>, party of 25?" Somewhat surprised, I enunciated, "no, <my last name>, party of 2." "Ok, <same wrong last name>, party of 25." Hmmmm. I was feeling a little nervous now - but after a few minutes, we get it figured out. My lady and I dress, and head out for dinner. I am really nervous now.

    Act III: (The meal)

    We arrive after a nice walk in the cool fall air. We have to wait a little bit, and are then seated at a nice sidewall table. The Maggiano's in Boston has an atmosphere that can only be described as classicly elegant American-Italian. Nice low lighting, lots of pictures and classical fixtures, etc. The maitre'd looks like he's straight out of the Godfather. He smiles widely and leads us to our table like we're his old friends. We have a great meal including the parmegiano breadsticks, Eggplant parm for her, gnoccis in vodka sauce for me. We really enjoyed ourselves. The food, atmosphere, sense of adventure (for us!) and the company of each other made it a wonderful evening. At this point I am REALLY nervous, and am practically sweating buckets.

    The Finale:

    As we are finishing, I start telling her how special she is to me, and how much I love her. I get up from the table, pretending to see something interesting, and pull her to the side of the table. I get down on one knee and pull out the ring I have been nervously playing with all evening, and ask her to marry me. She bursts into tears, hugs me harder then she ever has, and says yes.


    That was the start of our great adventure together (and partly the start of our food adventure together.) Clearly, it will be very hard to top it, although we have done well since. You might be amused to hear that during the difficulty with the resevations, she blurted out "Tell 'em you're going to propose to me. That'll get us the table!" I am pretty sure my heart did stop for a second. I will always remember it fondly, not least because I had definitely lowered her expectations on the proposal front, and managed to catch her absolutely, completely off guard. She later told me as I was telling her all those wonderful things at the end of the meal, that the night would be perfect if I would propose then. Hehe.

  23. This discussion on hard cheeses had me noticing them more on my last trip to the grocery store. Interestingly, I picked up a wedge that was packaged as "Boar's Head brand Grana Padano", which then had the store sticker on it that said "Parmiagano Reggiano". I assume the manufacturer was correct in this case, but stuff like that just adds to the naming confusion!

  24. Well, I learned something about cheese today! I had no idea that the crystals were supposed to be there. It will take some getting used to. That parmagiano was delicious in chunks but the crystals were strange. Out of curiousity, what causes them? Is it proteins or other biologicals that actually crystallize over time as the cheese looses moisture? (I assume that's what make a chees hard - moisture loss. Correct me if wrong.)

  25. and the stuff in the "green can" is definitely saltier. Could that be one of the reasons you find they have more taste than the Parmigiano?

    This thread has really got me thinking about why I really like Kraft parmesan, and I think merstar hit it on the head. I feel like when I grate the real stuff, that I can't taste it on whatever I'm using it for after the first bite. I'll admit, I use LOTS of the Kraft, whereas I don't seem to use quite as much of the real stuff. When I sample each one alone, the real stuff has much more complex flavors, and is quite tasty, but it seems to get lost in the mix. It seems reasonable that the increased salt amount (or increased salt "flavor"!) makes the Kraft stand up better to robust sauces, along with the increased amount due to ease. I will try to slow down and taste for the real stuff in my dishes, as I do like the increased range of flavors. But I will still continue to use Kraft because, hey, I like it!

    To really scare those of you who avoid processed foods, although I often make my own pasta, stuffed or otherwise (and clearly prefer it), I will open a can of Chef Boyardee, nuke it, and cover it with Kraft. Mmmmmm.....

  • Create New...