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Everything posted by dividend

  1. I'll bite on this one. Zuni chicken and bread salad Bourdain's french onion soup from Les Halles, including the beef stock, and I have half a mind to buy some rustic glazed soup crocks the next time Mom and I hit a local craft fair Bacon from Charcuterie Hollandaise. I don't have a specific recipe, but I feel like this is something I should know how to make Sugar cookie dough. I KNOW there's something better out their than the rolls of Pillsbury. While this is another one without a specific recipe, there is a very specific vision in my mind involving pretty piped icing made according to the mother of an XBF, which I have not yet gotten around to trying. Those are general. I also have a very specific set of things to try involving hosting my first Thanksgiving in 2010. Including butternut squash ravioli (Mario Battali's recipe), and recreating an oyster stuffing recipe from my Dad's childhood. Do those count?
  2. The last time the BF and I sat at the bar of my favorite neighborhood pizza place, we got to talking to the bartender. We were sort of uninspired about what beer to order, and the bartender said, what do you like to drink? BF really likes Orval, and the bartender suggested he would like Goose Island Matilde. He was spot on - we both really enjoyed it. It's like a Orval's funky American cousin. A few weeks ago I was back there again, and he suggested that if I really like Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, I would love La Terrible. And again, I found a new beer to add to my list of favorites. (I'm on a Goose Island kick lately, what can I say?) So I thought it would be fun to play If you like _____, then you'll love _____, to get new recommendations. So post something you like that you want more beers in the style of. I'll start. I like Tripel Karmeliet. What else haven't I tried that I will love?
  3. I was thinking about this thread as I sat down to meal plan this weekend, and I decided to go for it. I didn't have Thanksgiving leftovers to help me along (came home from dinner at my parents' with enough for one meal), but I had been to Costco a couple of weeks ago, so it was almost too easy. Breakfasts are whole grain hot cereal with maple syrup for me, and DBF makes these smoothies every day from oatmeal, bananas, frozen rasberries, milk, and peanut butter. For packed lunches for the two of us, I made a huge batch of leek and tomato pasta sauce, using leeks, onions, and garlic from the last farmshare of the year, penne/tomato sauce from Costco (I have 20 lbs of various pastas). I'll get roasted brussel sprouts (farmshare), he'll get green beans (frozen from summer), we'll split some huge huge honeycrisps in the fridge, and snack on odds and ends of dried fruit, nuts, crackers, and cheese. I just ate lunch, and it was really good, with cold brew tea from the approximately 1 million tea bags in the pantry. We don't mind eating the same thing all week. For dinners, I've got a rough plan: - Pasta with sausage and chard, chard from farmshare, sausage from freezer. We'll eat it with the last of the salad greens and cherry tomatoes. - Blackened salmon (from parents' trip to Sams Club), rice, something with the big pack of baby cucs in the fridge - Red thai chicken curry over rice, probably more cucs, everything is either in freezer or pantry - Roasted shrimp and broccoli, broccoli is languishing in the fridge, giant bag of shrimp in freezer Into next week: - Asian slaw, chicken boobs marinated in the dressing and cut into strips, and Korean cucs (recipe from my Korean cube-mate), to use up farmshare cabbage, and more of the cucs (I might buy green onions, since both recipes use them) - Steaks(freezer), gratin dauphinoise (I would need cream, but this would use up a bag of potatoes, turnips, onions, and thyme in one delicius package) - Turkey soup using smoked turkey stock, frozen veggies, and frozen chopped turkey - Curried turkey salad (I would need mayo, since I'm almost out). I did have to buy orange juice, because it would be really ugly in the mornings around here without it, and bananas for DBF's smoothies, since otherwise he'll buy breakfast from a gas station, but that was it this week. Unless we run out of olive oil. Which would constitute an emergency, right? I'm wondering how the stuff we buy on an as-needed basis fits into this challenge. Stuff like orange juice, olive oil, peanut butter, milk... stuff that is completely consumed and then replaced, but not stockpiled. And, any idea what to do with celeriac, a whole grain torpedo shaped loaf of bread from Bouchon Bakery (found in the bottom of the freezer), 1# ground lamb, a bunch of tiny little lamb chops, a bag of bread ends, tons of flavored brats (no grilling in the winter), or leg of lamb ends?
  4. I have my fallbacks that are quick and easy. Roasted shrimp and broccoli over rice, several pasta sauces that come together in the time the pasta cooks. Frozen soups/lasagne slices are awesome, as is homemade macaroni and cheese wedges. It's not as gooey as when it's fresh, but it's great with some sirhacha. I like grocery shopping, but I do it once a week, normally on Saturday after breakfast. If I sent DBF, I would spend more time making the list incredibly specific than it would take to just go. For myself, I can write "yogurt", and I know it means a large container of a certain brand, full fat variety. I would also miss the spontaneity of being able to put "fruit" on the list, knowing that it means whatever looks good at a good price that will fit in our lunch boxes. I also don't shop for stuff on a regular basis, so I kind of enjoy picking stuff out and spending money on it. I seem to struggle with cooking/meal planning burnout on a cyclical basis. The suggestions and coping strategies are a good thing.
  5. GAH. Feeling a little overwhelmed again. Classes are in full swing. CSA season ended, so it's back to the grocery store (Whole Foods) for everything, and I've been really uninspired, and like I fall back on the same few dishes over and over. We're eating peanut butter and jelly for lunches this week (althought honeycrisp apples make my whole world better), and I seriously don't want to do anything more complicated than reheating something, or going out. Yesterday, I had one of those moments where I remember why cooking is important. I defrosted a package of meat from the CSA that just said "Beef Roast" on it, intending to just stuff it it in my crockpot with broth, wine, and herbs all day, and eat off of it for a few days. Easy, which is good, since I had homework to do all day, and class until late tonight. Once I got it defrosted, it became clear that it was a 3-bone cut of prime rib. Which I had NO idea how to cook, and which was obviously too nice to crockpot. It got to be 4:00, and I set it out to come to room temp, and paced around the kitchen, anxiety building. I needed to cook this peice of for dinner, or it would throw off the whole schedule. It was stressing me, in a most disproportionate way. I tried to talk DBF into tossing the roast and going out for sushi - he told me I was being silly. Finally, getting hungry, I slapped down my worries and trusted my best instincts. Debone, salt/pepper/olive oil, sear, into the oven with the probe thermometer set to 135 degrees. Wait. And you know what? It was delicious. The potatoes alongside and the improvised butter-glazed carrots were also good. I sat down to dinner, and relaxed for the first time all day. DBF took one bite of the beef and said, "You could serve me only this and I would be happy." So why do I let myself forget pleasures like that? It shouldn't take an accidental delicious prime rib dinner to remind me, right?
  6. The death of Gourmet makes me really really sad. I'm not exagerating when I say that one of the summer issues a few years ago focusing on local eating literally changed my life. Or at least, the parts of it that relate to food. I'm not so much sad for myself, because I, too, had let my subscription lapse. I'm more sad for the unknown number of young women out there like me, who won't have Gourmet in their mailbox every month, bridging the gap from mom's old recipes and the Food Network to something better in the kitchen, to beauty, and romance, and slightly breathless recipes accompanying travelogues. I'm sad because I know that this magazine was exactly what I needed to evolve from just someone who cooks, to someone who thinks about where my food comes from, how is the best way to prepare it, what do I take into account when feeding myself. I always sort of looked at Gourmet as my more stylish, more sophisticated friend who came over and cooked with me, and I'm sad that it's gone.
  7. I don't think this is true around here. Last year I paid like $8 and came away with over 20 lbs of apples. They're not that cheap in the grocery stores here.
  8. One of my coworker's brought in some sugar cookies. They were in one of those quaint white wax cardboard boxes lined with tissue paper like you'd expect from a cute little bakeries, and they were delicious - so soft and buttery. I was fooled. He got them, not from one of the bakeries scattered around town, but from Walmart.
  9. I like granulated garlic in baked chicken coating (especially the one my mom makes using crushed potato chips). I also reguarly make a cooked red salsa originally posted by Jaymes, and if I'm remembering it correctly, she eloquently defends the use of garlic salt. I normally mix equal volumed granulated garlic, and salt, and the salsa is always spectacular.
  10. It doesn't. I gave up along time ago on holding out for someone to date who appreciates food in any meaningful way. Among my entire group of friends, (I'm not a spectacular cook), the fact that I cook on a regular basis and belong to a CSA makes me the foodie freind. I've dated boys whose dream was to be able to take a pill that would take the place of eating because they thought it was such a waste of time. I've dated guys who tried to "impress me" with grocery store sushi on those tacky ceramic plates, whose secret special recipe was chicken breasts marinated OVERNIGHT in lime juice/soy sauce, cooked on the George Foreman. I've dated guys who were happy eating McDonald's for breakfast, Burger King for lunch, and bar food for dinner every single day, and that is not an exageration. I've dated guys who told me that they don't like the taste of expensive food. I've dated guys who wouldn't go to dinner with me on my birthday at an expensive restaurant, so instead I paid for myself and my freind to go. DBF just told me on Monday, when I asked him if he could put dinner together since I had schoolwork due, that he would rather starve than learn how to cook something. I long for the kind of relationship where food is important. For a guy to suggest a new recipe, or even a new restaurant, or even seem excited when I suggest one. For a guy who can really cook, and who appreciates that I view cooking as a way of showing that I care about someone. For a guy who would at least say thank you. For someone who will wake me up on Saturday morning and suggest we go to the Farmer's Market downtown and then make brunch from what we find, cooking it together in that playful intimacy that comes from two people enjyoing each other, and what they're doing. To sit out on the patio and linger over said brunch and drink coffee, and putter around the garden one of us is growing. To me, that would be such a perfect date that I can't even imagine it. But men like that do not exist. I looked for them. Among my friends, and friends of friends. I took cooking classes and joined fine dining social clubs. I talked food up front in online dating profiles. Nothing. So I guess the short answer really is: it doesn't. But oh, how I wish it did.
  11. I was sitting at l'Atelier in Las Vegas on Friday night, thoroughly disappointed by the desserts at the end of my tasting menu (the rest of the meal was amazing). And seriously, all I could think about was Megan's deconstructed carrot cake. (Well, that and how expensive Bluestem would be if you moved it to the strip.) I'm going to have to come in for dessert like ASAP.
  12. I had a wonderful dinner at l'Atelier on Friday. Sat by myself at the counter and had the Menu Decouverte. It's a lovely place to sit and eat as solo diner - I felt very well taken care of. I loved some of the warm, savory dishes - in particular the foie gras ravioli, the quail stuffed with foie, the lobster/langostine custard amuse, the fish carpacio with the salt/oil/seeds, and there was a white fish dish that preceded the quail that was wonderful. I was eating myself into a nice happy glow up unitl the last couple of courses. I felt like the desserts were a little bit of a let down. They were both very one-dimensionally sweet, which turned me off. The first one had chopped peaches, vanilla custard, and white chocolate covered corn flakes. It was like eating a super sugary children's breakfast cereal, and totally broke the luxurious mood. The second included rasberry granita, and a puff of cotton candy on top. I understand what they were going for, that cotton candy is suppposed to be all retro kitsch, but this just tasted like sugar. This was my ONE splurge meal of my trip to Vegas, and I definately got my money's worth from the meal as a whole, but I feel like at a restaurant of that caliber, I would have expected more thoughtful, complex dessert offerings. The entire rest of the meal was exceptional.
  13. I agree with this. I don't really enjoy taking DBF to the grocery store, because he wants to rush around frantically, finding everything on the list and be done with it. I like to take my time, poke around, read labels, make mental notes. I hardly buy anything not on the list, but it's not about completing a task. It's about enjoying the sensory experience. The best is the Saturday morning farmer's market. I love being there.
  14. I'm an absolutist when it comes to dining out. Left to my own devices, I eat in a restaurant only when I'm making the conscious decision to do so, and at places where I feel that the food is worth the money spent. Never just because I'm too lazy to go home and cook. I haven't eaten fast food since July, and I can't remember the last time I ate at one of those mid-priced chains. Neither of those are worth the money to me. I would rather drive home and make a peanut butter sandwich, or defrost something homemade. Well thought out packed lunches and snacks take the edge off being so hungry I make poor dining decisions during the work week, and good meal planning around each day's time constraints means there's never really a "what's for dinner?" moment. Like today, I go right from work to class, and get home at 9:30. So I brought breakfast, good coffee, lunch, dinner, and snacks with me, since the other option would be one of the mediocre overpriced sit-downs for lunch, or fast food on the way to class. That's an easy choice, even if it did take a bit of time last night to get organized. I enjoy food and eating out more because of this mentality. Because dining out comes out of my fun money, and I used to hate walking out of a mediocre chain, wishing I could have that money back. But there is relativism in this absolutism, hinging on how I define whether something is worth the money. That can encompass an expensive tasting menu, or a $6 plate of tacos, and the tasting menu does not have to be 33 times more delicious than the tacos for them both to be worth the money. And sometimes, what I really want is to pay someone else to make me a greasy spoon breakfast with all the trimmings. There's no bright line test. So does that make me an absolute relativist, or a relative absolutist?
  15. The "five" mint was delicious. I had a friend who made some homemade mint ice cream the other day, and this was nearly identical. Of course, DBF asked me why it wasn't green. One of the best commercial ice creams I've had in a long time. Of course, it was better after I topped it with chopped dark chocolate.
  16. I finally got around to moving the chest freezer from the parents' garage to DBF's basement, so it's practically barren: - Various meat from my CSA meat share - whole big chunks, 1# ground packages, and brats - Salted / unsalted butter - A dwindling supply of homemade stock, plus some chicken carcasses and beef bones - Homemade cookie dough balls - A bunch of banana / carrot breads The over the fridge freezer has the more day to day useful stuff: - Frozen fish - salmon, tilapia, shrimp (Costco) - Bready stuff - tortillas, puff pastry, the last unfinished loaf, cubes, crumbs, cooked rice - Pine nuts - Entirely too many frozen bananas (even after I baked 6 loaves of banana bread) - Homemade pesto cubes - Mini chocolate Haagan Daas - Whole bean coffee I just realized that the couple packets of pesto cubes is the last of the homemade goodness in the freezers. Time to get back into the habit of doing some batch cooking. Lasagna, mac and cheese, and tomato soup are a few of my usual offenders.
  17. I'm open to anything, from swanky to dive, where you think I'll find a great meal. Off the strip a little is fine if it's a reasonable taxi ride and not a scary neighborhood for a young woman by herself.
  18. What's the weekend lunch situation like? I'm going to be in Vegas in September for a Friday afternoon - Sunday evening, with Saturday night taken up by a wedding (and a waste of a dinner oppportunity on wedding food, I'm sure). I think I'm going to eat at l'Atelier on Friday night, which will be my only dinner out. I'm planning on breakfasting at Bouchon, and probably one of the over-the-top buffets just for fun, unless there's a compelling breakfast spot not-to-be-missed. (ETA: Just saw the post about Mon Ami Gabi - may put that on the breakfast list.) I need two spots where I can eat really well for lunch Saturday or Sunday. Alot of the restaurants I looked at appear to only do lunch during the week. Suggestions?
  19. ^^^Yeah! I've been thinking about this focaccia for a week. Can't wait to try it!
  20. I budget $100/week for DBF and I. That includes my CSA, cat food/litter, cleaning supplies, and Costco stock ups, but not eating out. We eat out maybe 1-2 times a week. I pack both of our lunches with snacks every day, and we both take coffee with us in travel mugs. I'm making an effort to cook from the CSA shares and pantry staples as much as possible this summer, and my weekly grocery trips have been averaging $45-55 excluding coffee - I think I'm doing well. (The only time we've been over budget this year was when I took my brother to Costco to make sure he had some real food at his college apartment. Here's a tip - if your grocery budget is rigid, don't go to Costco with a skinny, 6'3" college soccer player. Yikes.) It's funny. This thread makes me think that my budget isn't too far out of whack. On the money message board I read, I think I would get crucified for admitting that I spend that much for 2 people and a cat. My problem with the farmer's market is carrying cash. If I spend $21, I have to have taken $40 from the ATM, and that extra $19 magically disappears.
  21. What a fantastic weekend! Hats off to Judy and Aaron - you guys did such a great job highlighting what Kansas City has to offer for everyone, and I love excuses to cram it all into a few days. Although, I think I'm just now coming out of a pork-fat induced coma.
  22. One of my college roommates taught me to make this as the perfect late night drunken snack, and he called them "hobo eggs." Only I heard "HOMO eggs." So that's what I call them in my own head, with an internal (drunken) giggle. But we always called them "hobo eggs" outloud. It sort of fits with the theme here - isn't "toad in the hole" a slang phrase for the bundle that a hobo would tie around his stick?
  23. I'm confused about what critics of her opinion would want her to do/say instead of what she's doing. I've never looked her example and message and felt condescended to because what she's doing isn't possible for everyone right now; I don't think it's snobbery to take a reporter to a boutique farmers market stall, and I certainly don't think that sharing her visions of what should be possible is worth of jabs and eye rolling. That doesn't do anyone any good. She's one example of what is possible here and now, and she has the resources and means to live that example vocally and publicly. Should she moderate her message, water it down to make it more palatable? I don't think so - in fact, I think doing so dilutes her effectiveness. Someone like me looks at what she's able to accomplish, and is motivated to become more educated about food and nutrition, to seek out farmers markets and local meat producers, to grow something in my backyard, to figure out ways to spend my food existing food budget more thoughtfully. To try to say that she has nothing to say to the straw man inner city single mother with 11 kids making minimum wage is disingenuous, because at every income level and circumstance, there is some degree of choice to be made. Maybe that single mother is inspired by Alice Waters and plants a few vegetables, gets her children to help, eats a little better, and shaves a few dollars off her grocery bill. That course of action is certainly under the umbrella alongside $5/lb ramps, yes? It's also disingenuous to say that her message needs to be moderated during a recession to avoid being out of touch. It is during tough economic times that small farms need support the most, and it's during times of stress and turmoil that we most need to nourish ourselves. If we're buying/growing simple whole foods as a baseline when times are tough, and then local/organic as we can afford to choose to do so, isn't that better than using the recession as an excuse to not have to think about it? If the person standing at the extreme motivates some people to stand halfway there, and even more to start in that direction, that person has done an incredible amount of good for the cause they believe in, whatever it is. So I would reiterate my question - what would her critics prefer her to be saying/doing?
  24. At the risk of being redundant, I want to LAVISH praise upon the Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli recipe. This is like the definition of a recipe that rocks - fast, easy, unfussy, dirties just one pan and one bowl, and totally delicious. If you weren't convinced already, go and make it now!
  25. Good point, and btw I hope that your daughter is doing well. In addition to those with permanent disabilities, people get sick or injured all the time, and sometimes temporarily can't do all the prep work and scratch cooking they're used to. I recently broke my wrist, and had to let myself be ok with some shortcuts I don't normally take since my cast prevented me from doing things like chopping with a chef's knife, or opening even getting jars open. Whole Foods sells precut mirepoix in a plastic tub. Before breaking my wrist, I remember looking at those and thinking, who would buy them? Now I look at those pre-prepped tubs and think, even with my temporary limitations, I can make a passible pot of soup. I even considered thos pre-chopped apples in a plastsic bag, because a whole apples doesn't fit into my Mr. Bento for lunch, but a sliced one does. That said, I still don't get the single, plastic wrapped potato.
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