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Everything posted by blue_dolphin

  1. Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    Raw "Couscous" Cauliflower with Almonds, Dried Cherries & Sumac from Six Seasons p 186. There's plenty of texture going on here - crunchy toasted nuts, chewy dried cherries, fresh greens and cauliflower that really does have a couscous-like texture. A lot of flavor, too, much of it sour - tart dried cherries, red wine vinegar and sumac. I'm usually adding acid to things but this was a bit sour for me. I had it as a main course, though I can see it working as a bracing side with other dishes. Maybe I was off in measuring out the vinegar? If I make it again, I'll drain the vinegar from the cherries and hold some of it back instead of tossing it all in along with the cherries.
  2. A few of us have posted dishes from Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables and I'd very much like to cook from it a good bit more so I thought I'd give it a "Cooking with" thread in hopes of encouraging myself and hopefully attracting some cooking companions to the book. This is not a vegan cookbook, there's lots of cheese and butter and for a vegetable-centric cookbook, it includes quite a few recipes that contain meat. The author seems to love scallions as they appear almost everywhere and he may not care for cilantro as it makes an appearance in relatively few recipes. The book starts with a section of "Go-To Recipes" for compound butters, dressings and sauces, pickles, etc. I'd especially love to hear how people are using these condiments, even if they're being used in other applications. The full list of recipes can be viewed on Eat Your Books here. I'll start this off with links to existing posts using the book (this is what I could find easily, feel free to add anything I missed): @Anna N kicked things off back in May: Smashed Broccoli & Potatoes, Celery Salad with Dates, Almonds & Parmigiano Cream of Celery Soup Broccoli Rabe, Mozzarella, Anchovy & Spicy Tomato Fried Potato & Cheese Pancake Raw Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Anchovy, Walnuts & Pecorino @koen posted about the Israeli-Spiced Tomatoes, Yogurt Sauce & Chickpeas @liamsaunt made the Rigatoni with Broccoli, Sausage and Whipped Ricotta and the Corn, Tomato, Scallion and Torn Crouton Salad Summer Squash Pickles Pasta with Eggplant alla Norma I started in with the book this year and so far, I've made: Frico - did I need a recipe for this? Apparently so, as I'd never made it before Raw Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Anchovy, Walnuts & Pecorino Turnip Salad with Yogurt, Herbs & Poppy Seeds Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins Pasta alla Gricia with Slivered Sugar Snap Peas Leeks with Anchovy and Soft Boiled Eggs Please join in!
  3. The Ladies Who Lunch (Part 3)

    Apologies in advance for my crappy photos. Yesterday's lunch was a recon mission with my cousin for an upcoming ladies lunch with a larger group. Last week, we went to a Korean restaurant that had good food but the staff were not particularly communicative so we vetoed it since a number of the group would be unfamiliar with the menu offerings. So we checked out the local branch of the Gyu-Kaku chain that's all over the place. I chose the Signature Cut Set from the lunch menu. Mostly slurped miso soup and half-eaten salad - greens, daikon, tomato, cucumber and hard boiled egg. Out of frame is a bowl of edamame and a bowl of steamed rice. Left to right below: garlic-marinated shrimp, thin sliced spicy yaki-shabu beef, harami miso skirt steak and kalbi beef short rib Sauces on the table were labeled: sweet-soy, spicy and ponzu I've never done this before and enjoyed it. We will go back with the other 6 ladies next week.
  4. Breakfast! 2018

    Now that's a toastie!
  5. Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    A version of the Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage from Six Seasons p 179. Rigatoni isn't my favorite pasta shape so I substituted cavatappi. Also, I was a little short on the broccoli so I sliced up the leaves off a head of cauliflower to make up the difference. For this dish, I made Instant Pot ricotta yesterday and whipped up the Whipped Ricotta p 37 - ricotta blended with olive oil, salt & pepper. I wasn't sure about this. Tasted on it's own, it seemed to take the nice fresh cheese and make it heavy and tasting of olive oil but just a little of it and the pasta water make a lovely creamy sauce. I enjoyed it. My first choice for a broccoli-sausage pasta would be to omit the cream but I appreciate the variety.
  6. Costco vs Total Wine for Spirits ?

    The links took me to my local Total Wine, where the liter of Cointreau is $40.99. It's 2 bucks cheaper at Hi-Time.
  7. Costco vs Total Wine for Spirits ?

    Interesting. Cointreau 750 ml is $28.99 at my Total Wine. The 375 ml size is $17.99.
  8. Smart Speakers in the Kitchen

    I'm wondering Alexa users are using it for kitchen or cooking-related tasks. I couldn't find a dedicated thread but found some comments from other threads: I am new to the Alexa party and jumped in late last year after Alexa got the Sonos skill, enabling me to control my sound system. I was mostly interested in being able to do that in the kitchen, so when I'm listening to a podcast and some noisy appliance makes me miss a sentence, I can just tell Alexa to "rewind 10 sec" and I can catch up. I paid $25 for a Dot, with a coupon from Sonos. After trying it out for a while, I spent $30 for a second Dot over the holidays. I already have speakers in every room, so I didn't need an Echo. I absolutely love using it to set timers - so much easier to use voice than need to dry off my hands to push timer buttons or fiddle with my phone. Unlike a timer, I don't have a display to check but Alexa will gladly tell me that I have 7 min left on the oven timer, 30 min on the laundry timer and 12 min on my dough timer and when time is up, she tells me which timer is up. For me, it's worth the $25 just as a multi-channel timer. I wish Alexa had a good measurement conversion skill so I could ask how much a tablespoon of something weighs in grams - she does OK with some things but not others. I also wish it had the ability to group devices so I'd be able to have the timer I set in the kitchen go off on the other Dot on the other end of the house. How about you? How are you using Alexa? Successes? Failures? What would you like to see added? Host's note: this topic was originally titled "Using Alexa in the Kitchen" but renamed when it quickly morphed into a broader range of speakers.
  9. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    I got them from a hydroponic grower who sells at the local farmers market. They aren't summer tomatoes but at least they are picked and brought to market ripe so they're pretty good.
  10. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Coquilles St. Jacques à la Parisienne from Mastering the Art of French Cooking with a version of the Pan-Steamed Broccoli from Six Seasons I once again demonstrate that I don't know what Julia means by a moderately hot broiler - something for me to work on! Luckily, the over browning was limited to the cheese and the scallops were tender and delicious.
  11. The Dish Towel

    Most dishes air dry but I use dish towels to dry wine glasses and other crystal. We have hard water so air drying always leaves water spots.
  12. Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    That looks amazing, @liamsaunt! I picked up some nice beets with fresh greens at the local farmers market: So today, I made the Roasted Beets, Avocado & Sunflower Seeds, p 134. I subbed toasted slivered almonds for the sunflower seeds. Had a mix of red, gold and candy beets but the red ones turned the others pink on the outside. This is an interesting cross between a warm side dish and a salad. The beet greens get sautéed in olive oil, then marinated with vinegar along with the warm beets. I added a sprinkle of feta because I thought it needed a little something and didn't want to turn the avocado to mush by mixing too much more.
  13. Breakfast! 2018

    I was going to make this for dinner last night but I didn't so...Coquilles St. Jacques à la Provençale from Mastering the Art of French Cooking With crusty bread to dip into the buttery sauce.
  14. The Dish Towel

    I have one drawer full. It's a big drawer. The formerly colorfully printed linen calendar towels that are now entirely white are used for straining things as are some of the blue and white check collection that must be 30+ years old. After that, they range in age. Once they get so many holes that I can't even find a few inches to line a strainer....that's when they become dust cloths! Two other factors prevent new additions from earning admittance to the towel drawer: non-absorbancy - why would anyone make towels that repel water? I don't know, but they do. I give them a couple of rounds through the washer. Then, they are OUT! The other issue is towels that aren't cut on the straight grain of the fabric so the hems twist and wrinkle and prevent me from folding them into tidy stacks. Again, I give them a few washer rounds to see if they will relax. If not - OUT! Both of those flaws are usually recognized early, while the towels are still presentable so I use them for lining gift baskets or wrapping other food gifts.
  15. Anything odd about these carb counts to you?

    Is this product actually labeled "soy milk"? I ask because it sounds like one of the "Better Than Milk" soy powders that are about as close to true soy milk as coffee creamers are to powdered milk.
  16. Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts if you try it. It wasn't bad at all. I'm certainly not binning it and I expect it may improve on sitting a bit longer. Just didn't quite knock my socks off today.
  17. Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    I was having a bit of a calamari craving and decided to mix up some of the Artichoke Mayonnaise from Six Seasons p 42 to use as a dip. This is one of the "orphan" condiment recipes in the book in that it's not specifically called for in any of the other recipes. So like many orphans, these recipes have to make their own way! I used frozen artichoke hearts and found the flavor bland. Perhaps marinated artichoke hearts should have been specified? Or I had unreasonable expectations? To adjust, I tripled the lemon juice, added the zest of a lemon, more salt, a squirt of hot sauce and a little fish sauce. I enjoyed it, especially after squirting the calamari with fresh lemon juice. I also used the Artichoke Mayo to make some cheesy toasts. I added some grated Parm & Romano to the artichoke mayo, spread it on sourdough toast, topped with a bit more cheese and broiled. Very tasty. A few of these would turn a soup or salad into a meal but so would a lot of things so still not sure this one is a winner for me. I'm looking forward to trying it on fish (as suggested in the recipe) but, at this point, I'm not sure I would make it again.
  18. I bought the Peche after a recent Cocktail Virgin Slut blog post about a negroni-like cocktail with a bit of the peach liqueur. Sounded interesting. I don't have anything planned for the Strawberry Brandy, other than when having friends over for brunch, I like to put out a variety of liqueurs that can be used to make Kir-type champagne cocktails or added to sparkling water for something light. By Jove, I think you've got it! Thank you!
  19. Drinks! 2018

    I've been thinking of posting a photo of my rums over in that very long Mai Tai thread and asking @JoNorvelleWalker to "make" me a Mai Tai!
  20. Drinks! 2018

    I'm quoting my post from back in Dec: I really like that coriander syrup. I've always shied away from the sweetness in an Old Fashioned but this syrup includes some red chile flakes, which provide a bit of heat to balance the sweetness. It also makes very nice coriander soda. In addition to the Elijah Craig bourbon specified in the recipe, I've made this cocktail with various base spirits: Wild Turkey 101 - not recommended Rittenhouse Rye - so so Laird's 100 proof apple brandy - good Appleton Estate Reserve - excellent Koloa Kaua'i Coconut rum - (I used a dash Angostura and 1 dash orange bitters for this one) sweet, but very nice Cazadores Añejo tequila - no, no, no Hacienda de Chihuahua reposado sotol - nice! Maybe I should try a brandy or cognac version. What I've learned from my experiments it that a sippable spirit will make a sippable Cliff Old Fashioned. Also, coriander seeds are cheaper by the pound
  21. It's been quite a while since I bought anything new but a spate of holiday Réveillon cocktails used up my Laird's and it's not available in my immediate neighborhood so I placed an order with Hi-Time yesterday. Here's what was delivered today, all but one still wearing their travel attire The Laird's, Plantation pineapple rum, Punt e Mes and Elijah Craig are restocks. The pineapple rum was $22.99 vs $31.99 @ Total Wine and the vermouth was $15.99 vs $23.99 @ Total Wine so those 2 covered the delivery charge of $11.99/case. I wanted a bottle of the Bigallet China China but it's out of stock so I tossed in the Elijah Craig to fill up the box, even though it's exactly the same price. New to me are: The Barr Hill Gin is a recent purchase from Trader Joe's and decided to join the group photo. I've been enjoying it with some fresh lime juice - thanks to the honey, it doesn't really need more sweetening. Suze is new to me. I''ve been using Salers so I'll be interested in comparing them in a white negroni. I really can't remember what I wanted the Batavia-Arrack for but it was out of stock last time I ordered. I figured it will come to me eventually . The Strawberry Brandy is a local product and I've been meaning to get over to their distillery to try their Persimmon Brandy. I don't believe they are distributing that one yet so I went with the berries. Finally, three new-to-me amari - 2 from SoCal: The Amaro della Sirene is made by an Italian in Oregon and is flanked by the 2 LA offerings.
  22. Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    That looks really good and more saucy than mine turned out. I subbed some diced pancetta (browned and drained) for the prosciutto. I usually roast Brussels sprouts so it was nice to try something different. Could be a very rich side or stand on its own as a main dish. Had a serving for lunch yesterday: Leftovers were reheated in the CSO and topped with a poached egg for today's breakfast:
  23. 2017 releases

    A small nit - there's a table of contents but no index of specific ingredients so when looking for a cup to gram conversion for mayonnaise, I found it in the "Various Mix-Ins" section, rather than in the "Fats" section where I was looking. When I first got the book, it did feel like I was flipping pages a lot but now that I'm familiar with the organization, I can find what I need quickly.
  24. Picked up 2 of these pretty pink glass soup/salad bowls at the local Goodwill yesterday for $0.99 each. I think there were 8 of them so I may go back when they open this morning and get a couple more. They are 8.5" diameter at the widest point and every third swirl is frosted (actually a very light molded texture on the reverse.) They are marked Vereco France, a company later purchased by Duralex. I believe Duralex continues to make something very similar, but in other colors, as the Beau Rivage pattern. I don't imagine they are particularly valuable but I think they'll look pretty for salads. I already had the pink plate. Also picked up 2 of these cute oval plates and 2 Old Fashioned-sized glasses, also $0.99 each:
  25. 2017 releases

    I couldn't find a mention of the Baker's Appendix so I thought I'd give this little book, which has earned a spot on my counter, a shout-out. It contains cup/spoon to gram conversions for ingredients, conversions for oven temps, volume charts for baking pans, high altitude adjustments, ingredient substitutions. All the info you'd find in the appendices of various cookbooks, combined into one small volume. All of that info is readily available online but there are times when I find it easier to check the book rather than fiddle with my phone or go to the computer. I used to keep some printouts around but this is tidier. It also includes a few basic baking recipes. That's not what drew me to the book, but I can see it being handy to use for things like browned butter, crumb topping, glazes and frostings. I think it would make a great little gift, maybe combined with a few utensils, for a new cook or baker. It's available as an ebook, although to me, the value is to have the info handy WITHOUT needing to refer to a device.