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Everything posted by JFLinLA

  1. Hi David. I remember a chocolate class I took a long time ago. One of the first things we did was taste different chocolates. We each had small pieces of different chocolate arranged at our places. We started with the milk chocolate and proceeded to successively darker chocolate. We learned how to hold a small piece against the roof of our mouth and begin to taste it and then talk about the different tastes. It was a great way to begin learning about chocolate.
  2. I'd like to find a recipe for a good, chewy ginger molasses cookie. Please share if you've got one. Thanks.
  3. JFLinLA


    It's a little late for this year but I'm always thinking about new hamantashen flavors. What about dulce de leche? Anybody think that would work?
  4. JFLinLA


    Just to brag but we figure our annual hamantashen assembly line produced 115-120 dozen hamantashen for the Temple. They are in the freezer at the temple kitchen. I'm pooped but only a little rest for the weary. I've got to start on my own.
  5. JFLinLA


    Good for you, Pam. All you had to do was ask. One sweet cheese hamantashen filling right here. This is great on its own or combined with a berry flavor -- cherry/cheese, blueberry/cheese, yum. And, yes, I also make a yeast dough. It's less sweet than a cookie dough which means it's more about the filling anyway. It's also lighter and more flaky.
  6. I do this all the time and generally follow Gifted Gourmet's process. You can certainly bake a pan and keep half to eat now and freeze the rest. One addition to the process, keep your brownies wrapped in all the layers (plastic, foil & bag) while defrosting. That keeps the condensation on the wrap and off the treats.
  7. Cooking classes, cooking classes, cooking classes. And, if you are feeling like a novice in the kitchen, I'd avoid the classes on a specific topic or a one-time shot with a celebrity chef for now. Find a cooking school and sign yourself up for an introduction to the basics type series. And, not classes for people interested in becoming pros but classes for the home cook. You can build from there but that's the place to start.
  8. Not as hip as Joe's in Venice but: Beverly Hills Hotel for the "Hollywood" power breakfast. Pacific Dining Car for the downtown power breakfast. Both fancy, white tablecloths, etc. What part of town are you focusing on?
  9. I actually follow Andrew's model all the time for chocolate chip cookies and others. For chocolate chip, I scoop and freeze on parchment, then pop into a zip-lock bag. Whenever I need some or a lot, they go straight from the freezer on to a lined baking tray and into a hot oven. I find they hold their shape just a little better and perhaps take another minute to bake through. Slice & bake cookies also work well this way. At the moment, I've got several logs of Dorie Greenspan's Korova/World Peace cookies in the freezer. They work great. Did you know cheesecake freezes well? I'd freeze it unwrapped till it's solid, then wrap well to prevent freezer burn and any odd flavors. Cheesecake always slices a littler prettier when it's just slightly frozen anyway. Brownies and bar cookies generally freeze well too. Typically, I put them on an appropriate size cake board, wrap well and freeze them without cutting them. Take them out to thaw while keeping them wrapped, then cut.
  10. For years, I tried to come up with a chocolate filling for hamantashen similar to what you are looking for in the rugelach. The ganache failed horribly no matter how I doctored it. Now I use Nutella. I've had my eye on the "shmear" and may give that a try.
  11. Make sure you get an "It's-It." That's an ice cream sandwich type treat between cookies that's only available in the SF Area.
  12. You may also want to check out florist supply places . . . either on line or wherever you live. That's where I get these kinds of bags. They call them boutinniere (sp?) or corsage bags and come in a variety of sizes. I buy them in boxes of 100 each. Good luck.
  13. DJ & Others -- I would be remiss if I didn't comment that the "traffic" on the site about Los Angeles has dropped off markedly in my opinion in the nearly 6-months since the weekly summaries of the LA Times Food section stopped. RJWong put in a good run providing the summaries and gave notice that he was stopping. A few posts by me urging someone . . . anyone . . . to take this on went unanswered. I am not ready to resume this but someone really ought to do this. Personally I think the Food section at the LA Times is great. If you have any doubt check out this week's issue from today with a great write up about the changes at the venerable, old-school Matteo's . . . a review of the somewhat updated Chinois on Main . . . a great article about McGrath Farms in Ventura . . . a how-to for really slow cooked lamb . . . caramel . . . and more. Again, I plead for someone to resume the weekly summaries. Once you get a week or two under your belt, it becomes pretty straightforward. There is no one way to do it. Each of us who has taken this on has put his/her own spin on it. And, you become a minor celebrity here on eG and, in RJ's case anyway, in the LA Food scene. Please, please, please. (Sorry DJ -- Bet this wasn't the response you were expecting.)
  14. The Palms Boulevard location is closest to Marina del Rey. It's in a strip mall and I can't imagine reservations are necessary.
  15. Thanks Jackal. You can disagree with Grandma if you like. Latkes are like a lot of things . . . everyone has their favorite way to eat them. Think of the debates over black & whites, bagels, knishes, matzoh balls (is your family tradition for sinkers or floaters?) . . . and that's just some of the Jewish examples. In our family, we like them a little smaller. And, Grandma Yetta never liked pepper in hers so that's how I do it. I lost count but I think my daughter and I made about 300 latkes yesterday in 3-4 hours. It was about 18 pounds of potatoes, 1 large food processor and 2 large frying pans. Everything is in the freezer though the smell of onions and oil is still permeating the house. It was fun and is always a great way to remember Grandma. And, I don't have to clean up the oily mess more than once.
  16. Okay, with T-Day behind us it's time for me to start preparing. I already purchased 20 pounds of potatos and a bunch of onions. Just hanging out at home tomorrow so it's going to be my big annual frying and advance freezing of the latkes. As I've noted earlier, I hate the mess of frying in oil and this way I only have to clean it up once! Plus, since I throw the big family Hanukkah party, this way I can actually be at the party rather than standing at the stove getting cranky.
  17. Vervain -- Any luck yet? It seems as if you've searched all the usual suspects. One other thought -- which is a shot in the dark -- have you called the Monsieur Marcel at the Farmers Market? The store part, not the restaurant.
  18. I was looking to Dorie's new book and contemplating the pumpkin marshmallows for one of the Thanksgiving sweets. Then it occured to me, what about gingerbread marshmallows too? Take a look at Dorie's recipe and the variations and let me know how you think you would make gingerbread marshmallows.
  19. Those of us who cook and bake have all made mistakes . . . some more spectacular than others. Of course, in many cases, I find that I learn more from my mistakes than my successes. Some are "happy" mistakes that result in something wonderful and unanticipated. Others are sheer disasters but educational nonetheless. Dorie -- Would you be willing to reveal some of your mistakes and what you learned from them.
  20. This is not so much of a baking question. I guess it's a follow-up to the earlier post about creating recipes where you indicate you share much of what you make but also taste everything. Clearly you are a petite person. How do you manage to be a baker and stay so fit? Maybe it's just genetic and you're lucky that way. Or, perhaps, living in NYC you get to do much more walking around than the average American. (Ah, sometimes I wish I had a less fattening hobby but it's too late. I'm hooked.)
  21. Just to clarify . . . yes, hot water & clean knife. But, after wiping your blade clean from the previous slice and dipping in hot water, wipe it again before the next slice. No need to drip water and get your cake soggy.
  22. Hey Chris -- Congrats, man from one of your original So Cal eG friends. When do we hit Langers again for some great pastrami? Actually, I'm having lunch there tomorrow. BTW, my new Langers standard is that I get soup or something else for lunch and then have the counter pack me some great sliced rye and pastrami to take home for the family for dinner that night. Warm up the pastrami in the oven, wrapped to keep moist, their fresh rye and we're in business on a hectic week night. As for the rest of you, Chris is one of the originals. A regular guy who just loves food and has a great attitude. He's one of the early e-Gulleteers. I'm just thrilled that he got discovered. Wherever this takes him, I'm happy to watch it unfold. Jody
  23. JFLinLA

    Apple Cake

    The Double Apple Bundt Cake from the new Dorie Greenspan book (Baking from Home to Yours) is great. It uses 2 apples grated and apple butter. Very moist and apple-y.
  24. Dorie -- I'm sorry to mention this but I have to bring up one complaint -- the index. When you do another edition, could you please rethink this? Here's an example of what I'm talking about. If you want to make Korova (aka World Peace) cookies, as I did the other week, where will you find them? They are not in the index under "K" or under "W." Instead, I have to look under "cookies, chocolate." Maybe it's just me but, if I know exactly what I'm looking for, it should be more straight forward. That said, I love the book and am slowly working my way thought new and old favorites. The double apple bundt cake was terrific for Rosh Hashanah and am looking forward to making it again. For what it's worth, I make a triple batch of the Korova/WP cookies. Sliced and baked one batch immediately and froze the remaining 4 logs. Sliced and baked 2 more this past weekend which were enjoyed by my son's AP Government study group and he and his sister are enjoying at school this week. The remaining 2 logs of dough are awaiting their turn in the freezer. These cookies have such a great texture and are perfect when you really need that hit of cocoa/chocolate. Also, I so love this do ahead and bake when ready approach.
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