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Everything posted by PassionateAmateur

  1. About 12 years ago I scored about 15 small pyrex bowls that a neighbor in my apartment building had left in the communal "free to whoever wants it" zone - they hold maybe 1.5 cups, go in the microwave, stack...couldn't have been more perfect if I'd had them commissioned specially for me. It's the little things, you know?
  2. Fair point, Craig. I promise I used Sacramento, which the Gramercy Tavern bartender told me is a decent enough cheat if you're too lazy to juice that many tomatoes. And it was fine. Overly salty, but fine.
  3. The Solara is nice enough (and yeah, super sweet), but I really just stocked it for an incoming houseguest who's a fan. Will find a use for the remains after he heads out. The Herencia anejo is roll-around-on-the-floor-hugging-yourself-in-glee good. Uber smooth and rich, doesn't kill you with oak though it's definitely there. And the El Jolgorio is just crazy -- Astor was having a sale on agave spirits or I'd never have splurged so much, but I'm soooo glad I did. It's so herbal it makes me think someone made a light-on-the-juniper gin out of agave. Never tasted anything like it. The Pasubio is great -- I was pleased to come across a bottle after trying it at a bar -- spent significant time with the bartender trying to decide where to place it in a line-up of amari -- it's not wildly bitter, but strongly herbal/root-y/bark-y, medium sweet as amari go - I'll have to give your Manhattan idea a try!
  4. I'm finding a whole lot of books with "open packet and boil" and very scant info on "weigh flour and add..." Any suggestions on techniques and recipes for making the actual soba, udon, ramen etc noodles?
  5. Thanks all. I love the weirdness of Clamato, but I'm having 14 people over for brunch, and can't rely on more than a few of them to be comfortable with the clam aspect. Though if I didn't tell them...
  6. As I lack the fortitude to juice my own. I'm in NY, if regional brands are an issue. Thanks!
  7. Ooo--Newkirk Plaza's just one subway stop way! Thanks so much, I'll hit Coffee Mob this weekend.
  8. I'm a fan of the Last Word - no matter how tipsy I become, I can always remember the recipe: Equal parts dry gin, green chartreuse, maraschino and fresh lime juice - shake over ice and strain. Easy-peasy. ETA: Though it belatedly occurs to me that people just starting their cocktail explorations aren't likely to have maraschino and chartreuse laying around. My bad!
  9. I'm ready to upgrade my daily coffee habit. Any suggestions?
  10. Some winners, some ok, no real losers in there. Dorothy Parker gin is lovely but quite delicate -- easily lost in any cocktail more complex than a dry martini. Tepache -- I loved the flavor profile, but there's a definite harsh quality to it that I would generally expect from cheaper bottles. The Escubac, Skinos and Chareau were each amazing in their own ways, alone for sipping, and also standing tall in cocktails. Particularly the Chareau -- who would have thought that aloe would make such a fantastic booze? I think that is going to turn out to be one of those odd bottles that, when creating a new drink that just needs....SOMETHING to pull it together and make the other ingredients play like friends, a barspoon of aloe might be the answer.
  11. I have a 20 year old bottle of Chambourd that's 3/4 full -- I think I bought it to flavor buttercream for a friend's wedding cake. Color has rusted a bit and the fake gold is chipping off the cap, but it smells the same as always so I assume it's fine.
  12. Very curious about the aloe liqueur. New experiments this weekend--woot!
  13. This was....interesting. Not bad, but something I'd play with a bit more to improve. Recipe was wetter than I expected given the eggs : dry ratio. Perhaps just because polenta doesn't absorb the way a wheat flour would. I was in a rush and the pan slipped out of my hand while I was about to flip it to cooling rack, so I can't say whether it would have torn or not under less fraught circumstances -- it certainly broke when it dropped to the countertop on its edge! Pieced it back together, poked lots of holes, spooned syrup over it until it threatened to start puddling, covered center with candied citrus rinds and piped a sweetened mascarpone cream around the top edge -- effectively hid the major sins. Flavor was excellent. Texture -- I think a finer grain of polenta would have been an improvement. At any rate, thanks for the suggestions. Cheers!
  14. Thanks, Cally and PastryGirl. 3 eggs in the recipe, to 2 cups almond flour plus 3/4 cup polenta (plus butter, sugar etc, obviously). I can't remember what horrified me so much about the original glaze formula, unfortunately, and I threw out that page!
  15. I have a genuine gluten-allergy coming to Thanksgiving, so in addition to my normal pies I'm making a polenta/almond flour cake that I've never tried before (after all, why not make someone my guinea pig on a major holiday?). The recipe calls for poking baked cake with holes and glazing, but the glaze formula sounds revolting. I candied kumquats and orange and lemon peel - plan to use the flavored simple to moisten the cake and then pile the rinds on top. It'll be a 9" round single layer, probably 2 to 2.5" finished height. Any guesses on how much syrup to use? I don't want to turn it into pudding!
  16. What's everyone doing this year? I keep it pretty simple - I just spice (usually cinnamon, cloves, ginger, orange & lemon peel) a batch of hot cider and put it out with bourbon (probably Old Grandad bonded) and rum (Appleton 12) options for those who wish to doctor their glasses. Everyone always brings wine for the dinner table. And I'll pick up some sherry or port to accompany dessert. And this year I'll make them all my guinea pigs for the green walnut liqueur I made over the summer.
  17. Quiet1, last year I made herbed spaetzle (I think the recipe was from the Scarpetta cookbook) with roasted mushrooms - total winner, and nice that you can do everything ahead of time except the final saute on the spaetzle - use a big enough pan and you can toss in the (already roasted) mushrooms at the last moment to bring them up to temp.
  18. The Nastro D'Oro Avvero Campania is absolutely delicious - bit of mint, bit of cola, bit of citrus. Haven't tried the Gifford Passionfruit yet.
  19. Fridge. It'll be fine in there for, say, a couple of months. Flavor will start to fade a little, but it won't get nasty.
  20. naturally I just ordered a miscellaneous case of booze from them last week.
  21. I'm noodling over how to make a toasted sesame liqueur. I was thinking I'd follow the rough outline of Katie Loeb's limoncello instructions -- toast sesame seeds in the oven, cool, let sit in 100 proof vodka at least a few days, strain, add simple syrup to taste to balance the sweet/umami/bitter, then top off with sufficient 80 proof vodka to bring alcohol quotient up to 30% by volume (that is, assuming it required enough simple syrup to drop it below 30% -- who knows? I could end up adding water instead to go the other way). So my questions are -- what volume of sesame seeds should I use per liter of overproof vodka? Any guesses on how long I show leave it to infuse? And are there any concerns about the alcohol drawing the oil from the seeds and into the finished product -- and if so, should/how do I then remove the oil? Or is there some totally different methodology I should pursue? Thanks in advance for any advice/experience you have!
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