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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by JFLinLA

  1. If you like tart apples -- and I do -- you can do very well with an apple pie. I've been making them for my husband for years. He can't have sugar but tolerates barley malt syrup well. Just toss some in with the apple chunks, a little lemon juice, bit of salt, cinnamon and other seasonings, flour or other thickener and bake as usual. Of course, no sugar in the crust but it really is fine without. You might also investigate and of the fruit juice concentrates that are out there. I also used Splenda recently for a rustic pear tart and it worked fine. If the fruit is good, the dessert will be too. Good luck.
  2. This works extremely well with probably any fruit pie that doesn't have dairy (except the butter) in the filling. I used to do this all the time when we lived in a house with an apple tree. And, the pies would be in the freezer -- well wrapped -- for several months while we went through them bit by bit. I found it generally took about 20 minutes longer to bake and, if the crust was getting too brown, I would tent it loosely with foil. I learned about this method from my old Fanny Farmer book eons ago and it hasn't failed me yet.
  3. In Los Angeles: Sona Restaurant and it's counterpart Boule Patisserie on La Cienega. Jin Patisserie in Venice. While not "pastry" in a fancy sense -- there are any number of great bakeries of the more tranditional kind that are doing them with a whole new level of quality. Many will debate the finer points of cupcakes at Sprinkles (Beverly Hills) compared to many others. I also really like the newish SusieCakes in Brentwood.
  4. Joe's in Venice is always good. Slightly north of Venice on Main Street in Santa Monica is Chinois on Main if you want the Wolfgang Puck experience. Campanile (east of LACMA on La Brea just north of Wilshire) is always good. Farmer's Market (the original) has stalls and sit down places and it depends on what you want. The scene itself is great. My fave there is Monsieur Marcel located in the southeast area of the original market. Culver City -- I love Beacon (get the black cod). I also like La Dijonnaise just across from Beacon if you're going for a French Bistro thing. Lot's of hot new places in Culver City -- Ford's Filling Station, etc. If you are in the area and do not stop into Surfas (the best gourmet/cookware/restaurant supply store on the planet), you will really be missing something.
  5. What a great idea. Some of my best memories are cooking or baking with my late grandmother. One of my best and last memories of her before she got sick for the last time was when we had 4 generations cooking together -- Grandma, my mom, myself, and my daughter who was then about 4 years old (now 15). Some years earlier than this, my mom spent time with Grandma following her around and taking copious notes on some of her classic dishes where she never really followed a recipe. It just never seems like a particular holiday without one of the classic dishes. Is there something newer and more gourmet? Absolutely. But the memories are more important. Now that she's gone, I know we are keeping her memory alive with these dishes. Cooking is a great way to pass on culture and traditions as it uses every one of the senses.
  6. Pan -- Venice & LACMA are not in the same neighborhood by a long shot. Venice is (obviously) on the coast and LACMA is easily 10 miles inland and somewhat north. That's a lot of real estate to cover between the two. This thread has any number of good suggestions in Venice that would meet your requirements. The food in the immediate environs of LACMA (Wilshire & Fairfax) is not great. However, you might want head just a bit north to 3rd Street. There you can eat at the original Farmer's Market (NE corner of 3rd & Fairfax) for a truly LA experience and much preferable in my opinion to the Grove mall adjacent to FM. Or you can eat at any number of good places on 3rd Street. In between the two and sort of on the way from one to the other is Culver City which is brimming with great places.
  7. For the Wolfgang Puck experience, there's "Chinois on Main." Haven't been there in forever but always loved the crispy fried catfish. Even if that's not on the menu, you'll do fine. Used to like Ocean Avenue Seafood but was incredibly underwhelmed when I went recently. Santa Monica has tons of great places. Not far however is Venice with lots and lots of options as well. I've never gone wrong at Joe's in Venice.
  8. For more on Al Langer, read the great obit from LA's Pulitzer Prize winning Jonathon Gold. Al Langer: The Counterman Had lunch at Langer's last Friday. Got the cabbage soup and some great rye bread but did what I've been doing lately when I go there. Got some pastrami and rye bread to go and we feasted on it all weekend. Yum. For more information on Jonathon Gold and why he won the Pulitzer, click to this thread here.
  9. There is some extra pastry cream left over from a fruit tart I made. How long can I keep it refrigerated? Can I freeze and reuse it? Thanks.
  10. 99 Essential Restaurants: The Metropolitan Palate (Summer 2007)
  11. My favorite quote from the article is For those of you long-time eG folks, you will remember our Langer's lunch. If you want to reminisce or enjoy it vicariously, check out this old thread. Make sure you get to the posts with the pictures so you can really start salivating. Perhaps it's time for another eG Langer's lunch in Al's memory. Luckily his family has taken the place over and the legend will continue. Luckily for Al, he also just lived long enough for the big celebration of Langer's 60th anniversary just 2 weeks ago. Click here for that story and more great pictures.
  12. Yes, I know Mozza is the new in place to go (Mario Batali/Nancy Silverton) and not far from WeHo at the corner of Melrose & Highland. However, I am forever a fan of Angeli Caffe on Melrose . . . a little further west. The owner there, Evan Kleiman, taught LA about great real Italian food when we were just hearing of Wolfgang Puck and is big in the slow foods movement. Never had a bad meal there. Also, not far from WeHo is the Original Farmer's Market @ 3rd & Fairfax. Skip the new glitzy mall, The Grove, attached to it but the Original Farmer's Market is great and an LA institution. Pick up something to eat at one of the stalls and grab a table and people watch, or get some table service and French Food at Monsieur Marcel, or go for a yummy all-American breakfast ant Dupar's. Either way, be sure to wander around. A great LA classic! Oh yeah, what's the name of Michelle Myer's pastry shop on La Cienege across from Sona? Go get some macaroons.
  13. No, no. Don't make round and cut square . . . too much waste. You can make cheesecakes in a square pan and then cut bites or bars the size you want. Check out my caramel cheesecake squares in the eGRA.
  14. Let me be the 3rd one to chime in on the freeze method. Thaw slightly, dip knife in hot water and wipe between slices. Makes for a messy towel and pitcher of water but really nice clean slices. Oh, and for a really clean look, don't forget to trip the edges of your square or rectangle before slicing -- the cook gets to eat the scraps . . . yum.
  15. RJ -- Price range info please? JFL
  16. I love almost anything made with almond paste. Yum. This gives me the opportunity (yet again) to mention one of my favorite companies -- almond paste and related stuff from this company: Mandelin I have know financial interest or relatives with the company. I just really like their stuff and love supporting a company dedicated to a great product here in my home state of California. I'm just a home baker but love their stuff so much, I got my local professional cooking supply place to carry their stuff in quantities that work for me. However, when I first found them, they were really nice on the phone to lil 'ol me when I ordered direct. I just want them to be successful so I'm always happy to turn more people on to them. Hope you check it out.
  17. The courage of their confections Two candy makers are asking chocolate lovers to protest plans to allow cheaper ingredients. Vegetable oil, anyone? From the Los Angeles Times, Saturday, April 14, 2007 Read more about it here.
  18. No need for a special bread recipe at all. I do this all the time with breads that need 3 rising periods (2 in the bowl & I after shaping). And I have refrigerated at any and all 3 stages depending on my schedule. Absolutely, let it go overnight. Take it out in the AM and give it some time to come up to temp (heck, I've even skipped that part too), into the oven and it should be fine in time to cool for your early supper. Good luck and let us know how it all works out.
  19. Well, they've gotten everyone convinced about the health benefits of chocolate -- at least dark chocolate. Now it seems that cocoa itself also is potentially beneficial for heart disease, diabetes, dementia -- including Alzheimers, and stroke. Cocoa shows promise as next wonder drug However, like most things, much can be lost in the processing.
  20. Well, I don't know whether you're nuts or I admire your ambition. There is a matzah recipe in the Baking with Julia book. Even though it contains recipes from others, it has nver let me down. (But then, nothing from Julia or by Dorie ever has.)
  21. To get yourself familiar before you come here, you might want to check in regularly with food section of the LA Times on-line. It's a great food section and in just a few short weeks, you'll begin to get an overview of what's going on. Also, once you get to the food section on-line, there's a link with a listing of most of the Farmer's Markets in and around LA environs. Did I mention Surfas? It's a stand-alone restaurant supply, gourmet food and cooking store that, quite frankly puts Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table and most else to shame. It's in Culver City which has been getting lots of press lately locally and nationally for its food, art, design, architecture and creative scene. That's in West LA . . . practically due west from USC and in 3 short years there will be a direct light rail connection between downtown Culver City (with a stop walking distance from Surfas) and USC.
  22. I'm not a big breakfast sausage fan but you might check with Surfas and see what they carry in their refrigerated of frozen section. You might also check with some of the butchers at Farmer's Market -- the "original" one at 3rd & Fairfax. Good luck and do report back on what turns up.
  23. Feh: blondies are an abomination against brownies and, possibly, food in general -- although a salted caramel blondie... now, that might work.... ←
  24. Can blondies count? If so, then my favorite all already posted in the recipe archive -- Coffee Chocolate Chip Blondies with Kahlua!
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