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Everything posted by LVic

  1. No coffee cans or milk cartons in our house, only (narrow-mouthed) gallon milk jugs. But we've found that the wide-mouthed carafes of Simply Orange o.j. are such good containers that we always keep an empty one in the pantry for any frying occasion (3-4 during Xmas and new years', when we engage in a sinful amount of torrid deep-frying!)
  2. The last two snow-ins, I made Chicken Stew with Herbed Cornbread Dumplings from The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen , in my cast iron Dutch oven. Wonderful!
  3. When we got married, I received a $200 Williams-Sonoma gift card from my coworkers. Without missing a beat, I went in and bought a Le Crueset french oven (with a substantial discount from my wedding registry completion program.) Cost me $9 in the end.
  4. I'm reading this and making noises like Wall-E looking at EVE
  5. I received a Jacksonville Jaguars cookbook this Christmas from my family in Jacksonville, it's um... very casserole and cookie "bars"-centric. Previous year, I got a Paula Deen party cookbook. I get the feeling every cook south of the Mason-Dixon line has a huge closet filled with nothing but 9X13 casserole pans, and a walk-in freezer full of Cool Whip tubs... Fun fact: my husband and I have been househunting, and in almost all the homes we toured, I saw at least 1 of Rachel Ray's cookbooks. Is this really the most important/most commonly used book in any home cook's kitchen, or is this just the book that realtors/stagers like to strategically place on the shelf? Edited to add: I could just cry... or weep for joy, at any rate... I'd just remembered to add a truly embarrassing (albeit online) cookbook by horrific essayist and unfortunate sort-of-cook Amber Pawlik. Sadly, her site is no more, but here is a hilarious recap of her Recipes page, particularly her veggie pizza (stolen from Pamered Chef): http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/001377.html Well, we'll always have the Freeper Canteen, the most embarrassing online cookbook I've ever seen, ever. taco Soup, anyone? http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1579429/posts
  6. Thanks very much! I was wondering if that was the right blog! I'm convinced we'd water it down too much, like "Cybil" (an American version of "Absolutely Fabulous") especially since pretending to be wealthy and cultured has become so mainstream in the US, it might confound or offend the viewers (or at least, clash terribly with the Lexus and Amex commercials shown during the program!) Personally, I swear Mrs. Bucket has a publishing empire in the US, with two notable publications in our geographic area alone: NJ Monthly and Philadelphia Magazine These two mags make MSL look like Family Circle
  7. Dagnabbit it Sandy, I've been looking around your various blogs and cannot find your "Hyacinth Bucket" posts, what's the URL? (I'm a very big Keeping Up Appearances Fan. )
  8. Ya think? Seriously, it's Bruce Sterling, a science fiction author (from what I've read of his work, an excessively snarky one) and well... as a sci-fi fan myself, I can tell you that it's a particularly obnoxious and anti-social demographic of society. Simply elitists of a different stripe. At any rate, it's never wise to take culinary advice from beings that survive on Mountain Dew and Hot Pockets.
  9. I'd say "definitely". And speaking for New Jersey... our state dessert should probably be cannoli. Edited because "definitely" was definitely spelled wrong!
  10. Oh boy, I've got one for you... You know you're an eGulleter when you quickly cut and pasted the URL of a Web site you want him to review for a site re-design, and you get this response... "You may want to double check the weblink example you gave me below as I think it may be incorrect, and if it isn't, I think we would like to go for a more professional look and have less information about ice cream :-)" Guess I shouldn't have had the E-Gullet Ice-Cream Cook-Off thread open at the same time. (I'd link to the Cook-off thread here, but I'm afraid of history repeating itself.) Thank Julia Child's ghost that he's got a sense of humor... and works in an office an ocean away...
  11. Good grief, I've got 132 here, including a few still in the basement and a few on my nightstand.
  12. I definitely think so... dessert has become a high-profit item, since it's been outsourced to Sysco and other factories producing frozen pastries, custards, cobblers, etc. Problem is, dessert is rarely at its best when brought out chilled (we've all had the frosty-on-the-bottom, broiled-on-top creme brulee with the taste & consistency of Kozy Shack "flan".) Even ice cream is better a little warm & soft, so you can imagine how much better a bowl of chocolate mousse left to come to room temp can be, compared to the bowl left in the fridge till service.
  13. Creme brulee, Caesar salad, and molten chocolate cakes are in a group of dishes I call "better at home". The versions I've made/had at home are light-years beyond the vast majority of versions I've been served at restaurants. The only great Caesar salads I've been served are my husband's made at home, and a made-to-order old-school tableside version at Delmonico's in Vegas. The only great molten cake I've had was made at home (from scratch, not a frozen food miracle of technology). The only great creme brulee... again, made at home. Notice the pattern... you're in an environment where the cook is taking the time, labor and $$$ to use good ingredients and make it right (or you're forking over major moolah for the rare restaurant that bothers to take the time and money to do it right.) And particularly with desserts, it seems there's a race to the bottom regarding quality. Edited: I can now add French Onion Soup au Gratin to the list, thanks to Tony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook!
  14. Mara's in Denville (same owners as the one in Emerson mentioned upthread) makes terrific soups. I'm particularly fond of their Italian wedding soup, butternut squash bisque and Maryland crab. My husband (eGulleter JVictor930!) is a confirmed Italian Wedding Soup aficionado, and he loved the takeout container of Mara's version I brought home for dinner. $9/quart and a bargain (especially if you've ever made it at home!) Mara's Desserts Web site
  15. LVic

    Recipes That Rock: 2008

    I've had a fantastic experience with Bourdain's Onion Soup Les Halles. My first time making onion soup, and it was hands-down the best onion soup I've ever had (and I must confess I still had left out the bacon and replaced the port with an equal amount of Cabernet.) I'm defrosting the leftovers for dinner tonight... after we consumed 4 servings the day I made it, I still had enough left over to fill a 1-gallon Oreo Ice Cream container. Yes, I re-use every container that comes into this house
  16. LVic

    Truffle Torte

    I've made the recipe twice, both times following the directions, and had terrific results. I usually give it a day to set in the fridge, and give it an hour to come to room temp before serving (for the best consistency). It's fantastic, and I highly recommend it!
  17. When I read this post, I ran right out and grabbed a copy. I loved the first Sopranos' cookbook (which unfortunately after buying used on EBay from a gentleman in North Carolina, still reeks of his cigarettes. Gives it an authentic feel when I open the book, it's like I'm really at the table in front of Satriani's Pork Store!) As the only new Jerseyan that wasn't regularly watching this show, I'd caught up with it on DVD now and, of course, am completely engrossed in the food aspect. I'm no "mayonaisser" by far, but I am one of those people that calls spaghetti, ziti, and fettucine "pasta" rather than "macaroni" (which to me, means the elbows with the cheese powder.) And of course, the tomato-based sauce I call "pasta sauce", rather than "gravy" (which to me was brown stuff from a can that you put on meatloaf.) As you can guess, in the first year of our marriage, my Italian-American husband and I have had a severe culinary "language barrier" regarding food. ;-)
  18. I use chocolate chunks in baking (brownies, cookies, etc) and have always done very well with just tossing them with about 1 TBSP of flour (usually re-using the bowl I just combined the dry ingredients in) before combining with the batter. Keeps them from sinking or melting completely into the batter. I found out the hard way that when a recipe advises you to let melted chocolate cool completely, that is good advice - my 1 1/2 lbs of chips in 3 sheet pans of brownies just completely disappeared in the chocolatey oblivion. Still delicious, though! I've always chopped my own chocolate chunks (usually TJ's Pound Plus Bittersweet or Guittard bulk) and love the big boost in flavor over most chocolate chips (I do pretty well with Ghirardelli Double Chocolate or Guittard chips, when I can find them, that is.) But then again, I consider a square of baking chocolate to be a perfect snack, so you can tell I lean a little toward the bittersweet side of things.
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