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Everything posted by Sararwelch

  1. Hi, I am planning a weekend in Vegas and wanted some input. I was thinking of doing dinner at B&B and L'Atelier. For lunch/brunch, I want to do Mesa Grill for one day, but I'm not sure what do to the other day. Any good lunch options on the strip that I should look into? I should also mention that I live in the San Francisco area, so I want to avoid restaurants that have San Francisco or Napa locations. Thanks!
  2. For what it's worth, we were taught in the cake class that I recently took at the California Culinary Academy that an American buttercream is butter, confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla. We were also told that a German buttercream is pastry cream based, but we didn't actually pipe with it, so I don't know how it performs.
  3. Thank you. Peter reinhard's Foccacia recipe has a lot of oil in the dough, and a lot of herb oil sprinkled on top. Do you use the same amount of oil when making sandwich foccacias? Or do you use the Pain a l'ancienne recipe as well as the teqhnique? ← I always use pain a l'ancienne because I'm leery of all the oil in the other recipe. With pain a l'ancienne, the only oil is what is drizzled on top. I don't measure, but I'd say I end up with about 1/4 cup oil. I also keep mine pretty plain because I always end up freezing it. Here are some pics: half sheet pan: 9x13 with the addition of chopped fresh rosemary to the dough:
  4. I made the frozen lemon meringue pie from the cover of this month's Bon Appetit. It was very good and I made it a day in advance which was convenient.
  5. yes and it came out really wonderful! I used a cup half of it in the bloom and half in the sugar syrup and it worked out great I would love to make PEEPS!!!! ← When you add the half cup of fruit puree to the syrup, do you decrease the amount of water?
  6. Your focaccia looks great! I use the pain a l'ancienne technique for foccacia. Sometimes I bake it in a half sheet pan, and it ends up about an inch thick. When I want focaccia for sandwiches I bake it in a 9x13 pan and it comes out about 1.5 to 2 inches thick.
  7. Sararwelch

    Dinner! 2007

    Chicken pot pie with a phyllo topping - the phyllo topping was really good, we preferred it to the standard crust.
  8. Sararwelch

    Dinner! 2007

    Last night was marinated tri tip with roasted green onions and mushrooms. It was very good, I served it with steamed rice.
  9. Thanks for the tips - is there a taste or texture difference between the swiss and italian? I'm tempted to try them both out and see which one I prefer.
  10. I am planning to make a lemon meringue pie. Instead of the standard meringue made by adding sugar to beaten egg whites, I wanted to do a cooked meringue. I've seen different recipes that call for different techniques - some cook the meringue over a double boiler, others heat a sugar syrup and stream it into the egg whites. Does it matter what technique I use? I was thinking about using the meringue recipe that is in my Mustards Napa Valley cookbook, which calls for heating brown sugar and water to 245 degrees and pouring it into the egg whites. I would prefer not to do brown sugar, could I substitute an equal amount of white sugar? Any other recipes or tips would be appreciated. Thanks!
  11. This was my second time at Chez Panisse Cafe. It was one of the worst meals we've had at any restaurant of any caliber in a long time. I understand the style of cooking and what Alice Water is trying to achieve, but this food was just bad. We started with leeks vinaigrette with egg and black truffle. The only discernible truffle was some black specks in the dressing, and the leeks were just ok. This was the best part of our meal. I got the sand dabs with leeks and lemon sauce. One sand dab with some sauteed leeks and boiled potatoes. The fish was completely devoid of seasoning. The lemon sauce was flat tasting. The potatoes were just peeled and boiled. No salt, no seasonings. My husband got the laughing stock farms grilled pork leg with sausage, polenta and slow cooked peas. When it came to the table, my husband remarked that it looked like a tv dinner. The pork leg looked and tasted like cold cuts. The sausage had an extremely coarse texture and a jarring flavor - too much juniper perhaps? The polenta was gritty, and the peas looked as if they had come from a green giant bag. At this point, we just wanted to get out of there with as low of a bill as possible, so we declined dessert. The service was strange. The leeks vinaigrette was taken from us before we had finished eating it, and our bread plates were taken from us while we were actively eating the bread, so we had no where to set the bread down. I don't mind paying a lot of money for good food, and I like the idea of local, seasonal ingredients, but this food was just subpar. Was it an off day? Maybe. But we definitely will not return ever again.
  12. I just started a food blog a few months ago. My primary motivation for starting the blog was the fact that I had friends and family constantly asking me what I was up to in the kitchen. By putting it on a blog, it saves me from emailing the same descriptions over and over again, and it adds a visual element. It also forces me to write down the recipes that I create, which was not something that happened before. I only blog when I have the time, and so far I've enjoyed it. It's especially exciting when strangers write to tell me that they've tried my recipes and liked them. Since it's more of a hobby to me than anything else, I don't expect any kind of financial payoff.
  13. I had a bad experience at Chez Panisse last weekend for lunch. I most definitely will not be back again. I agree that Peasant and the Pear is good. I haven't been to Bridges since it changed hands, but I know multiple people who have gone, and no one's been impressed with the food, which is too bad.
  14. I am working on my shaping technique, so I made pain de campagne from Bread Baker's Apprentice.
  15. A friend and I made these chouquettes yesterday - very easy and so addictive!
  16. I would suggest Cafe Esin in San Ramon. It's California style food with a Mediterranean influence. If you go there, plan to get dessert. Esin makes all the desserts herself, there are about 10 choices that change regularly. I would recommend the brownie torte and the lemon meringue tart with gingersnap crust. I also really like Lark Creek in Walnut Creek. It's American style food with local ingredients. They also have a nice lunch menu.
  17. Sararwelch

    Dinner! 2007

    Here are a few things I've made recently. Beef braised in red wine: Turkey osso buco: Pizza with wild mushrooms and prosciutto:
  18. I generally followed the cake recipe that Gifted Gourmet posted from Martha Stewart. We liked it, but didn't love it - Martha Stewart's recipe calls for pink grapefruits, which are sweeter than the yellow grapefruits I had. Also, it was hard to make segments out of my grapefruit, it broke apart into smaller pieces. When the grapefruit cooked, it actually took on a consistency similar to pineapple -combine that with the color of the yellow grapefruit, and it tasted and looked like a slightly bitter pineapple upside down cake! I still like the concept, it just might work better with pink grapefruit.
  19. Here's the grapefruit upside down cake: I haven't tasted it yet, but my grapefruit released a lot of liquid during the baking process, so it's a little on the wet side.
  20. So first up was orange marmalade: Last night was grapefruit and orange gelatin: Coming up next - grapefruit upside down cake!
  21. Grapefruit upside down cake sounds really interesting - I will look for a recipe, if I don't see one I may just have to create my own.
  22. I have about 10 lbs of oranges and 10 lbs of yellow grapefruit. I made orange marmalade last night, I'm thinking about doing sorbet or granita this weekend. Any other ideas for all this citrus? Thanks
  23. Sararwelch

    Dinner! 2007

    Here are a few pictures from a dinner party I had last weekend: Microgreens with beets, blue cheese and tangerine vinaigrette Chicken and sweet potato shepherd's pie, baby green beans with bacon Chocolate molten cakes with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream
  24. I made challah too! Both cranberry pecan rolls and a loaf:
  25. Sararwelch

    Dinner! 2007

    I made this seafood stew a few days ago - mussels, squid, shrimp and scallops. It was my first time cooking mussels, so I was pleased that it came out ok.
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