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Everything posted by Alisond

  1. Spoons! Offset Spatula, chopsticks, needle nose pliers. All essentials.
  2. I am dying for some good Korean BBQ. I know of many places in MSP that have them on the menu but have not found any that have the little grills in the table. There is something about cooking your own meat right there, listening to the fat sizzle and the sweet smell of the marinade. I know I can go to Chicago, or make them at home, but I want to go out. Anyone got any local spots they'd care to share? Or if not, can someone please open one?!
  3. If you are considering a career, work for free for at least 6 months in a really good place and then you will know weather you can handle it or not. You can't just go to culinary school and expect to be ready for a high end or any good restaurant. You need lots of hands on experience weather male or female. You will have fun days and bad days, but you will learn a lot. And if the guys give you shit make sure you learn how to talk shit back. They like that for some reason. Good luck!
  4. Alisond

    Chef Attire

    Try UAchef.com . They have some reasonably priced womens jackets and pants.
  5. I like dining solo every now and then. I feel like I can do a better evaluation of the place that way. I like to investigate new places on my own first and then take friends if I think they are any good.
  6. Ok, I thought of something even BETTER! This is probably about 8 Blocks from the Hyatt BUT WELL WORTH IT! If you like spicy and interesting this is the place to go! http://www.saffronmpls.com/menu.html
  7. I could on and on about this. Your best bet downtown is the Dakota. The Dakota has a wonderful lunch menu and service is great. They have several lighter options. You'll be pleased. http://www.dakotacooks.com/menu.htm
  8. I can relate. I'm 24 and I recently quit my fluffy-corporate-torture-office-job to work at a great restaurant. Of course the pay is bad, I have no status there and I work like a dog, but that’s all right. I feel good about myself for all of the things that I learn and make everyday. This is what matters to me. The 14 hour days just fly by because I am so engrossed in what is going on. I'm pretty close to my family and of course most of them think I am insane for leaving the cushy job for cooking. They look at me with troubled eyes and ask me stupid questions. I have to admit, it is discouraging. Their ideas of what success is are different than mine and I have to accept it. It is a drag, but they are family and you can't pick them. It's true, cooking for these nay sayers does appease them. But at least for now I would rather keep a little distance. There are many people in my life who are encouraging me and I would rather make wonderful meals for them. You have accomplished so much already!! I'm sorry to hear that your family is being critical and lame, they should be proud of you. You have to get over it now though. Years from now, when you are very successful, those folks may still view your career as marginal. Also, try to surround yourself with friends and other people who are supportive of your choices, so that you do have some positive reinforcement in your personal life. And keep up the good work; I'm sure it will all work out.
  9. You could make jam, chutney, salsa or preserve them in spirits for mango infused cocktails. You could also make sorbet and freeze that for a short while. Or you could candy them.
  10. It is very bad form to tip servers less than 18% in any US establishment. The only exception would be if you are not being waited on. For example, a coffee shop, bakery, taco stand. It is polite to give at least a dollar per item tip in these places. If you feel that the service is poor, talk to the manager. It is not your job as a patron to discipline the staff. Perhaps give them some constructive ideas on how they can fix the issue. If the service does not improve, don't go back. If they do not care enough to train quality servers they don't deserve your repeat business. It's as simple as that. Not leaving a tip is a very jerky thing to do to someone who is depending on tips to live. Most people are not waiting tables for sport. Everyone, regardless of thier ability to live up to your standards is deserving of respect and fairness. However, there are many places around the world where your tip will be met with a look that says "are you insane?". It is best to check with the locals to see what the tipping custom is.
  11. I'd be more worried about all that windex everywhere than bacteria.
  12. My grandma makes sumac lemonaid. It's a very good beverage.
  13. I have a friend who loves my cooking but can't eat a drop of dairy. So it works out great to use duck fat when she comes to dinner. Duck fat has worked out wonderfully for me in everything from pie crust to risotto. I love it. Duck fat is close to my heart, literally.
  14. I will probably make a pudding or custard out of the champagne mangos I have sitting around. Usually I save the elaborate desserts for the weekend, but we always have a sweet treat no matter what!
  15. Alisond

    Pop Rocks

    I think that would be a nice idea but I don't think they even need to be coated if they are added just before serving. However, coating things in good chocolate is always the right answer.
  16. Alisond

    Pop Rocks

    I was also thinking of ice cream but also savory applications. I STILL want to make them myself. It sounds like there will be some engineering involved. Wouldn't tamarind pop rocks be good with chili-mango ice cream and a thickened horchata cream? What about floating them on something in a soup so when they fall in they do their thing? How did you incorporate them into poached quail eggs? A few years back Dairy Queen did a shake that featured pop rocks. The pop rocks were coated in a purple waxy substance that was really gross stuck in your teeth. The wax was just there to preserve their integrity until they got in your mouth, but it was so disgusting. I still ordered it a few times though because it was still an exciting item although it was practically inedible.
  17. Alisond

    Pop Rocks

    C'mon, nothing is impossible and it can't be all that hard. What about a Co2 cartridge and some hard-ball stage sugar? I can't believe that no one has tried this. I am going to figure it out.
  18. Alisond

    Pop Rocks

    You have got to love Pop Rocks. Has anyone had any luck trying to make these? A recipe? I've got some fun ideas for flavors but need a little direction on the how-to.
  19. The variety I am speaking of is 4-7 inches long, about inch in diameter. These are less bitter than the big ones.
  20. You may want to try the smaller variety of eggplant that is often sold at asian markets. They take far less time to cook and I find that they have less bitterness.
  21. Good to hear that it is still being served in Chicago, despite the ridiculous prohibition. Fight the power! It's cruelty to humans. I think I would cry if foie gras was banned in Minneapolis.
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