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ChocoKitty

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Everything posted by ChocoKitty

  1. Here's an example they gave: Cheese ravioli with garlic, olive oil and sage • Cost: $17.18 per person • Restaurant price: $13, La Pastaia, San Jose • Time: 2 hours • Biggest hassle: The shopping. We had to visit three supermarkets before we found fresh sage. • Comment: It is a lot cheaper to make this dish if you have olive oil on hand (We spent $13.99 on fancy olive oil the owner of our local cheese shop recommended. He also convinced us to buy the "red cow" parmesan for $6.52.) ---- The context was how people can't afford to eat at home. They also mentioned how today's 20 and 30-somethings
  2. I don't have a link, but has anyone read a recent Wall Street Journal article claiming that it costs more to cook at home than to eat out? One example they gave claimed that it cost $30(!) to make a blueberry pie from scratch. They paid $15 for out-of-season blueberries. You can take it from there. Sheesh, the WSJ just lost a ton of credibility in my eyes right there....
  3. For absolute beginners, I like "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen. The book helped me navigate my new grill, and now I feel reasonably comfortable around it. The recipes are very simple and the book is more focused on techniques rather than just recipes.
  4. Weird trend -- Grape Nuts is my favorite cereal too! Either with raisins and a little honey, or with sliced bananas. Any time, day or night. I craved the stuff during my unsuccesful attempt at training for a marathon. Oh, and homemade granola. Preferably in a parfait with vanilla yogurt and fresh berries.
  5. I will never again....puree hot soup by filling a blender over 2/3 full and closing the top without leaving a vent.
  6. Didn't the definitional question of gelato vs. ice cream come up on The Splendid Table recently (like 2 weeks ago)? IIRC, the higher proportion of milk was one difference. The other was the temperature at which it's served: gelato is served at a higher temperature than ice cream, and therefore it melts on your tongue immediately to deliver that intense flavor. Ms. Kasper went so far to say that places that serve gelato at ice cream temperatures are missing the point. Again, this is just from memory....
  7. Any input on how much food science knowledge a food writer (ok, restaurant reviewer) should have? After reading in a local restaurant review that a restaurant boiled melted butter to "reduce its fat content", I wonder....
  8. Eggs Benedict at Cricketwood B&B in Bend, OR. I know, I know, it's not a restaurant, but it's one of the few times I've ever eaten out and thought about the food months later. The hosts there are *incredible* home cooks (and they cook a mean Thai-themed dinner too -- yes, they cook dinner for you as well). When in Bend, GO THERE! You can help them feed their chickens too. http://www.cricketwood.com
  9. Ok, that helps! There's a Blue Nile in Ferndale. There's also a relatively new restaurant called Assaggi Mediterranean Bistro there. I haven't been there, but I've heard good things about the place. Also, some less adventurous eaters I know pronounced the food at Assaggi "a little weird", so it will probably be a good place for folks like us! ;) I'm so glad mlpc brought up Five Lakes. I wasn't sure if you would be heading out in that direction because the place is literally not near *anything*! Yes, you have to aim for the place, but the food is worth it. For A2 restaurant reviews, check out
  10. *snore* -- looks like you've been recommended "the usual suspects". Beverly Hills Grill is way overrated, I think. Rattlesnake Club and the Whitney are in Detroit proper, about an hour from A2. Tribute is closer to A2, in Farmington Hills. I can give you directions if you need them. For sushi, there have been sushi places popping up all over the area like mushrooms. Noble Fish in Clawson is good and cheap, but you'll have to carry out. The local Japanese community tends to congregate at Musashi in Southfield and Sharaku in West Bloomfield. Make sure you know whether you want to visit A2, Detro
  11. Well said, Tony. I agree, that kind of behavior sounds like workplace bullying to me. Sad to say, restaurants are not the only place where this sort of thing is tolerated and even encouraged. There are quite a few law firms that have yellers, screamers, mind f*ckers, and all sorts of other miscreants. I worked at one firm where one of the partners was famous for throwing things at you when he got mad. The excuses that chefs give for behaving like idiots are exactly the same ones that I've heard from some lawyers (especially litigators) about managing their law firms. Same crap, different setti
  12. mlpc, first let me say "thank you" for providing so much information from your vantage point! I have to agree with you on Ric Bohy -- I think he consistently provides detailed, insightful reviews (I'm sure it helps that he's the editor of the magazine and can therefore devote more space than most to covering food). Here are links to the food sections of the two major papers. Steve, I'd be interested to see what your opinion of these are and where they could improve. I may pitch an idea or two to them in the near future: Detroit News Detroit Free Press I really can't add to mlpc's excellent com
  13. I have to agree with you on your assessment of the Detroit restaurant scene (that's probably another reason why I don't eat out much). For good food, I find myself driving across the river to Windsor! Do you think the state of dining in the Detroit area will improve say, in the next 10 years? And why do you think that this area is behind the times when it comes to food trends? Is it chef-driven, customer driven, food media (such as it is) driven? And is NOT following trends such a bad thing? (sorry, I think too much!). What would you like to see more/less of? Thanks for the reminder about Jan
  14. I must admit (with some embarassment) that I don't frequent fine dining establishments much, so I haven't been to Tribute (although I do want to go) or The Lark (which is 2 miles from my home!) or many of the other famous places around here. If/when I do, I'll definitely post a report. Zingerman's!! I went to U-M, and Zingerman's was my "happy place". I could spend hours there! The great thing is that Zingerman's bread is now being sold in stores located in metro Detroit proper. If you're ever in the area, go to Holiday Market in Royal Oak. Their motto is "If we don't have it, you don't need
  15. I think it can, but I say that with reservation because the book does assume that the reader has some basic experience following recipes. The recipe directions tend to be on the brief side, which may not be appropriate for an absolute beginner working alone in the kitchen. If that beginner also has someone nearby for answering questions like "how do I peel an onion?", then I think this book is a good reference tool. I'm flipping through the book again right now and I'm still delighted at how many topics it covers in such a small space. For someone who wants to take their cooking to the next le
  16. I've had this book for several years -- it's great! As Jinmyo noted, you need to get past some of the cutesy prose (and the cutesy cartoon drawings), but it really does have good, solid info and recipes.
  17. Is anyone here from the Metro Detroit area? I'm curious to see what people think about how food trends from the coast filter into the Midwest, and into Michigan specifically. Any thoughts/observations? Also, with respect to Detroit in particular, I'm intrigued how there are a number of high-end restaurants (e.g., Cuisine, Rattlesnake Club) plopped into a city that is essentially a war zone. I've heard more than one media commentator call the city "Beirut". The contrast just strikes me as a bit strange, even surreal. I drove by Duet a few weeks ago, and it's this shining little beacon among boa
  18. Does it have something to do with the relative concentration of the salt inside the meat's cells vs. outside the cells? It seems to me that nature would want to equalize the salt concentration on either side of the cell wall, so during the brining process the cells draw in the brining solution (and the flavor) while kicking out some of the existing plain water inside the cell until the salt concentration is the same both inside and outside the cell. At least that's my theory (no, I haven't read McGee yet! Does he discuss brining?). Now please excuse me as I continue licking the screen. *drool
  19. Steve's latest post reminds me of a situation here in the Detroit area: the editor-in-chief of our local glossy magazine is also the restaurant critic and head food writer. Restaurants do advertise in the magazine. Would this raise a conflict of interest issue as well?
  20. Oh my goodness, this is bringing back memories of some legal research I did a while back for Coalition for Free Trade (http://www.coalitionft.org). Forgive me if I ramble (I'm trying to keep this short) and/or make a few mistakes -- I'm doing this off the top of my head. The 21st Amendment delegates alcohol regulation to the states. The Commerce Clause in the Constitution delegates to Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. BUT (very big BUT) states are NOT allowed to enact laws that conflict with the Constitution and federal laws (because the Supremacy Clause makes the Constitutio
  21. Fat? Me? Hardly. Obviously you haven't seen me in a leather....uh....scratch that. Wouldn't want to be starting any scandalous rumors! The unique thing is that most (all?) of us on this thread have kept the weight off for long periods of time. THAT'S the test for success. I think that qualifies us to at least share what's worked in our fat battle.....
  22. Ron gave fabulous advice. Don't "diet" -- instead, focus on incorporating healthy lifestyle habits. Diets don't work anyway, and for a food lover, they're intolerable! I lost 25 lbs 12 years ago and have managed to keep it off, plus or minus five pounds, the entire time. Exercise was the key missing ingredient for me. In the past 6 years or so, I stopped viewing exercise as "exercise" and more as a sport. I signed up for short triathlons, and more recently I've gotten more into long-distance running (incorporating weights as a cross-training activity). And lo and behold, even more fat came off
  23. I hear ya on that one. I especially despise s/he. How would someone pronounce that? While they're at it, they might as well write s/he/it.
  24. At the risk of sounding like a blowhard, I think part of the problem is whether there's copyright protection for *dishes* as opposed to the recipes themselves. Those are two different expressions of an idea and therefore correspond to two different rights (for example, sheet music and the performance of the music on that sheet are two separate rights). I think we agree that printed recipes (like sheet music) is copyrightable. But the problem comes when we look at the dish created using that recipe. I don't know whether dishes CAN be copyrighted. If not, then no legal protection can be extended
  25. But wasn't it Picasso (or some other great artist) who said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal"? Steve: I've been following the "food critics" thread with great interest, but I must admit that I'm still working through my own issues re: the roles and obligations of a food writer. After reading the book "Dining Out" and comparing the methods of different critics and writers (e.g., writers who dine "anonymously" vs. writers who dine publicly a la John Mariani), I'm still mulling. Meeting some critics last month at Greenbrier, including Michael Bauer, hasn't helped clarify things in my mi
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