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Everything posted by mamagotcha

  1. Wow, Div! You did a fantastic job, and thanks so much for sharing your week with us... and especially for giving us a great excuse to visit Bluestem for brunch.
  2. After enjoying Chef John's crawfish and gumbo... well, if it's from N'awlins, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him make a good one!
  3. We finally got around the the bluestem brunch a few weekends back. What a great deal! Sundays only, though... Do you mean Sharp's? or did something else open down there that I've missed? And since we're talking breakfast... has anyone tried the Aixois breakfast yet? (Yeah, it's been a long time... I've missed you guys!) Katje
  4. I just got finished seeing a preview screening of this film, and I want to tell you all that it is wonderful! There's plenty for everyone: humor, philosophy, romance... but the best part is the FOOD! Brad Bird and his crowd have done a fabulous job capturing the frantic pace of a busy restaurant, the passion of those who love food, and the sheer joy of experimentation and creation. I won't ruin the story or pretend I'm a critic, but I do want to say that Brad Bird is 3 for 3 in my book (Iron Giant, The Incredibles), and I predict that this will be one of The Best food films ever! June 29 in the US... I can't wait to see it again! Katje
  5. We liked LC's meat too, and were also a bit put off by the atmosphere. AB's is where we take out-of-towners. For a quick rack of ribs on a Saturday afternoon (we don't have our own grill... yet!), we like to sneak down Ward Parkway to McGonigal's.
  6. Hey, Aaron, the guanciale and bucatini are back on the menu. I had it last Tuesday with my visiting-from-out-of-town sister... perfect for a slightly chilly spring day! (More on that meal, plus a visit to the American Restaurant, on my blog.) What brings me back to this thread is to let you guys know that Chef John is giving Starkers a serious makeover... iirc, a paint job last Sunday, and new carpeting coming in this Sunday. Give it a week or so for all the fumes to dissipate, then head back for more of that fantastic pasta. Don't forget the snickerdoodles!
  7. After battening down the hatches (up to 3" of snow forecast by NOAA! Yikes!) and dragging all my potted plants back into the garage, I was a bit nervous about what would greet me at the Brookside market. I think there were a total of six vendors, and only one had produce. We took home some lovely spring greens (complete with nasturtiums) and olive-cheese bread to go with my vegan cassoulet that night. One car in the parking lot did indeed have quite a bit of snow on it, but the rest of the day was really nice. All the potted plants are back outside, and with the exception of a touch-and-go lavendar, we all seem to have made it in one piece. I don't think my ficus tree is speaking to me yet, though. I am wondering, though, what this frost has done to my CSA farmers (The Organic Way). This has got to have slammed 'em good... the produce vendor said all the plants they'd set in the ground the week before were dead, but that it could have been much worse. Hoping for some plant starts this weekend!
  8. Dang! I didn't get that there were two papaya salads... we had one at our end of the table, and I just assumed there was more of the same down at the other end. Thanks, Aaron, for pulling this together. I had a blast, and it was wonderful chatting up other foodies. Looking forward to the next gathering!
  9. Can't compare anything to Kaiyo as I haven't tried it yet, but we've been happy with Domo down in Brookside (where the old Einstein Bros. Bagels was). The sushi bar has a couple of patient and creative chefs who will work with you to find new things to try... last time we were there, I was introduced to monkfish (I didn't know it was the liver, though... I'm not a big fan of the mineral-y flavors, but I'm glad I tried it). They also are great with special needs (I've got a vegetarian and a vegan amongst my offspring). I might be a bit biased in that it's in walking distance, but so far we've been very happy each time we've visited. The place is very pretty, with a lovely mural along the south wall, and boast the coolest bathrooms I've seen in a long time. The service has been wonderful too. Can't seem to find a website, else I'd ring 'em up and ask about the uni. But one nice thing is that they're open most nights until 10pm, and they never rush you out... it's one of our favorite after-movie spots.
  10. Templeton? As in, near Paso Robles? Jeez, that was the STICKS not too long ago. But I was there a few months back, and now Paso's got piles and piles of new development. Yep, no TJ and no Ikea were huge negatives when I moved here. Thank goodness for Brookside Market... we bought a house in walking distance because of it (and the now-defunct Breadsmith, but I'm consoling myself with some Orchard Bread from Fervere so I'm not too sad right now). I'm sure it's all over eG in other forums, but doya think the Whole Foods/Wild Oats merger will bring a nicer WF to the metro core area? Wouldn't THAT be nice!? ... and sorry, ue, for yet another unfruitful ding in your email.
  11. I'm glad you were able to wake up enough to type this out for us... sounds like a winner! Thanks for the report. I've been thinking about indulging in Urban Arts, so perhaps a Cafe lunch is in my near future...
  12. Greetings! I heard about Dorie's new book as she was swinging through town on a promo tour, so I got hold of the book and met her on the same day. (Please Click Here for more about meeting Dorie in person!) The next day, I tried the Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits, and they were truly fantastic... and dead easy. It was a great start to a wonderful baking relationship! The next morning, my husband had requested biscuits and gravy, so I tried the Basic Biscuits... as good or better than my old Cook's Illustrated standby recipe (I'll have to try a head-to-head bake-off; fortunately we're a family of six, and no baked good goes uneaten for very long). I've never heard that tip about not twisting the biscuit cutter (a glass, in my case)... I'll have to try that! I needed something quick to send off to distant relatives, so I tried the Chunky Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chipsters. Two thumbs way, way up on this one! I loved the more elegant freshly grated nutmeg against the rustic oats and nuts, and the relatives raved up and down too. Wouldn't change a thing! Next up was the Blueberry Crumb Cake. I was not terribly thrilled with this one, but I did have to use zest from an orange that wasn't very interesting (a navel)... maybe I should have stuck with lemon. I love the part where you mix in the zest with the sugar... it smells sooo good, it's a treat on its own (even with the weak zest). This too was quickly devoured. I neglected to take any pictures of those previous goodies, but I happened to have the next three still at hand today: The first I made were the Orange-Currant Sunshine Muffins. Of all the things I've made out of this book, this was the first that didn't go over well here. I don't know, the flavor was a little flat and weak (or maybe I'm just picky about oranges, being from California but currently living in Kansas City... not exactly a citrus zone). We've slowly gone through them by toasting them and spreading them with butter (this treatment improves everything) but I don't think this recipe will make it into my regular rotation. They sure are pretty, though! Yesterday I made the Lenox Almond Biscotti, with the added anise variation (I upped the anise to 2 tsp., and ground it into the sugar, oh man the kitchen smelled sooo good!). I think I didn't bake it long enough the first time (so they squished down a little when I sliced them) and baked 'em too long the second time (some of the ones on the edges were definitely browned), but that was my own darned fault. The biscotti were just right in the flavor department, even if they're not the prettiest things around. I will DEFINITELY make more of these, and I think they've earned a position on my annual Christmas Cookie Tray. Finally, I got the nerve up to make the World Peace Cookies. Everyone has raved about them so much, and I tried one at Dorie's signing party (and it was knock-out good) that I must admit I was a little bit intimidated: could I possibly pull this off? After tracking down the fleur-de-sel, and hacking up five ounces of my hoarded Scharffenberger bittersweet, I finally took the plunge. The dough was indeed very dry and crumbly, as Dorie mentions in the recipe, but when it was warmed by my hands during the brief gathering-into-logs process, it managed to stick together. I let it rest overnight, and this morning heated my oven (I have a husband who bakes too, and he insists on leaving the pizza stone in the oven, so after reading what you folks said way back early in this thread, I made sure to preheat well before putting in the single sheet). I am bursting with pride to say that even a dopey amateur like me can pull off these cookies! They are intense, rich, crumbly but not falling-apart, everything that was promised. The only drawback is that this recipe doesn't make very many (I think I got 30 cookies out of it), so I'll try doubling the recipe next time. Check the calendar; if Dorie's coming to town, you should make an effort to meet her. She's got an amazing way of somehow making you feel like she's all excited to meet YOU, instead of the other way 'round. How wonderful to read all your stories, and I look forward to further sharing ideas, tweaks and adventures as we cook our way through this book. I hope Dorie drops back in soon... and I second the motion to have Patrick lead a photography session. ALL his pictures are soooo yummy, and about as sexy as food can get! What's next? That Far Breton is pretty tempting... the brioche (and the Bostock) sound great... and those pecan rolls... decisions, decisions!
  13. Shades of Woody Allen's lobster chase in "Annie Hall"... Thankya, thankya. I spent two decades in Davis and wondered the same thing about the river critters. And I'm no line cook, but I do have a pretty huge collection of kitchen towels... since I'm my own laundry service, I can't be too cranky when they're late. More, more, more! I don't know why you're not getting more responses... maybe not many eGulleters read this forum? They don't know what they're missing!
  14. Heh, that's thinking outside the pot!
  15. Please help save my marriage! My husband is an amateur pastry chef, and I want to encourage him in this pursuit. Once in a while, he is instructed to put ice cubes into the oven with whatever he's baking. A Pyrex pie pan and 13x9 pan were quickly destroyed. Last week, he used one of my cast iron skillets. I discovered it a few days later, quietly rusting away in there. He is now clear on my policy concerning this piece of cookware. Last night, I smelled something odd, hot, chemicalish... he was baking and said some butter dripped and smoked, but it didn't smell like butter. Today, I find a well-toasted nonstick pizza pan in there. If I remember correctly, we're not supposed to let nonstick things get really hot due to offgassing nasty toxics. I'm running out of things he can use. Should I just go to the thrift store and find some old stainless steel pot and remove the handle? What do you folks use? Thank you!
  16. Yes, I'm fortunate in that I live where I probably could have walked if I really wanted to. That storm played havoc with my original plans, too. Just this morning, the snow melted enough to reveal a package that had been delivered before the snow fell (a new oven thermometer for the husband's stocking, shh!). It's been out there for three days! Hope your friends had safe travels, and plan to return soon to find out what they missed!
  17. Well, the universe aligned just right (no toddler, ice scraped off driveway, enough shekels in the moneybag) so that I got to eat at Starker's Reserve on the first day of lunch service! Short version: Fantabulous. Long version: Click here.
  18. Thanks, well done, and more please! You have a remarkable knack of being in places at significant times, with significant people. It's been fascinating to read your stories... looking forward to the next installation (and, of course, any tidbits you'd care to share to keep us going until then...)
  19. I've come to the party late but eager nonetheless... will stay tuned as instructed. You're a fabulous storyteller, and thanks for spinning your yarns for us here at eG!
  20. Have I caught the venerable u.e. with a typo? Or is there a new type of baked good I'm gonna learn more about real soon now? A bit of Googling turned up this: <a href="http://www.wheatfieldsbakery.com/">Wheatfields.</a> I sent an email asking about their distribution sites; will report back if I get a reply. re: the soccer team... OK, Judy, I guess in some ways I'm more of a gourmand!
  21. Forgive me, Judy, for being unclear. I was lamenting both losses. I've certainly partaken of my fair share of espresso delights from Bella Napoli, and watched Jake greet an entire visiting European soccer team before a Wizards game... now THAT was some lovely scenery! Cafe Aponaire? NOT a personal favorite. Awful food (though baked goods OK, not stellar), horrid service... no thanks. Napoleon I like, it's just not walking distance like Breadsmith was. I stopped by the new Green Acres store (more prepared foods, less ingredients, but pleasant enough) and found some really fabulous Wheatfields Walnut Sage French Country Bread. The label says it's from Lawrence... do they distribute anywhere else? This is good, hearty stuff... very close to my old favorite Sour Wheat Walnut loaf I used to get in Sacramento.
  22. I, too, was a bit surprised by Chapin's review of Cucina. Could it be that she was swooning from the effect of Jake's considerable charm? We are big Bella Napoli fans (nothing like their fresh mozarella, tomato and basil sandwich on a hot summer day) BUT our visits to the new pizzaria left much to be desired. The service was nothing... you ordered and picked up at the counter. The atmosphere wasn't much... uncomfortable chairs, bare tables. The pizza was OK, but certainly nothing to write home about. The prices were high for food that was not very filling. Really, the only reason to support the place is because it's locally owned (and, of course, the frission of pleasure of having a handsome Italian fellow boom out a greeting to you). We planned to eventually stop in again for a snack sometime when wandering Brookside, but now that Jake has made Laura see God, we might try dinner again... maybe we caught them on bad days, and they've invested in some furniture.
  23. Perhaps this is old news, but congratulations to Big Country on his acquisition of Starker's Reserve, as announced in today's Star!
  24. Yeah, Mildred's will be a hard act to follow, charm-wise. One of the reasons we decided to live in the Brookside area was the Breadsmith. I was heartbroken when it closed, and I haven't found anything else like it yet (any ideas?).
  25. TNT = toffee 'n' truffles I was there Saturday night, too, and ran off with a quart of that sorbet! I also had a double dip of TNT and Chocolate Coma... great minds chow alike, I suppose. Did you see that the last day they're open is Dec. 3, and they're giving a deal on packed frozen goodies?
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