Jump to content


eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by JFLinLA

  1. Thank you all for your help and input. We did the class last Sunday and it was a hit and tons of fun. The How-to Guide that I included at the top when I started this thread has been tweaked with more info on traditions and we included a Sephardic menu as well as a bunch of recipes. I'd be glad to e-mail anyone the complete PDF version. Just PM me with your e-mail address and it will be on its way. Jody
  2. My husband loves to tell the story of Uncle who is very frum and Ashkenazi. The first Passover he was married, he was appalled to find that his equally frum but Sephardic wife kept rice in the house. On consultation with the Rabbi they were told, it's OK to keep the rice in the house, she can eat it, you can't.
  3. In addition to something chocolate, I always make almond macaroons (I don't like coconut). They are so easy -- almonds, egg whites, sugar, almond extract all in the food processor, that's it! And they taste great. You'll never buy that crap in the cans again. It's another dessert alternative that isn't chocolate and isn't fruit. Nick Malgieri also has a brown sugar-pecan macaroon that my kids really like.
  4. Tejon -- I'm in the middle like you. I had many failed attempts at buttercream then I found the recipe for mousseline buttercream in RLB's Cake Bible. I like the taste and texture and the way it holds up and I've yet to screw it up. Good luck.
  5. Gini -- Thanks for the input. I love hearing and sharing about everyone else's traditions because, ultimately, each family has to find what works for them. I'll definitely throw some of these ideas into the class. As for Italian type dishes, I'd love to know more. Would you be willing to post a menu of the dishes you serve? And maybe even provide a recipe or two? I'm already enhancing the version you see here to include a typical Sephardic menu along with the Ashkenazi one. Since you mentioned it, here's a tradition that my family created. First, let me point out that I grew up in a politically very liberal family. So, in the early 1970's, one year, we had a guest who spontaneously started adding plagues after the first 10 -- Watergate, the War, Nixon, Haldeman, etc. We were in hysterics and the tradition stuck around for many years. For some time, my one brother really took it upon himself to draft up a set of plagues based on current events that were also witty and humorous. He stopped doing that and it started to turn ugly with people mentioning things or people they didn't like that they really wanted to wish plagues upon. So, we stopped that. However, it was great for a long time. (Note to self, e-mail brother to get his brain working on "modern" plagues.)
  6. Okay everyone. Time to bring this up again. This thread starts with my "how-to" guide that I created a few years back. The temple has asked that I teach the class again in 2 weeks so, I would love any input you have. What have I left out? What are some creative ideas you have? What's the best advice you ever got about hosting a seder? And, what about great ideas for dining the rest of the week? Remember, while I have not included recipes in this thread, we definitely do that in the material for the class as well as some basic holiday background . . . but this is definitely focused on the big event itself. Jody
  7. You know, this would upset me but I'm not surprised. I had a disappointment with another SY recipe from her book -- thumbprint lime meltaways. I even posted about it here. No matter what I did for the cookie part of the recipe, they spread into thin disks and completely lost the thumbprint. Others also tried the recipe and had the same problems. She's a very talented chef but I think she or her editors really need to go back and re-test the recipes. This is unfortunate for someone of her caliber.
  8. Can I refer you to my thread from last year: How-To Passover Seder Guide This is from a class I taught at the temple a few years back. The class included recipes, we cooked some food for people to taste and included other stuff than what you see in this thread. Anyway, I'm teaching the class again (with my pal Karen, the gefilte fish queen ) and would appreciate any suggestions you have for improvements, updates, killer recipes, whatever. Please post your suggestions on that thread, rather than here. Thanks. Jody
  9. JFLinLA


    Some general comments and a question: First, I think there's a bit of alchemy that goes on with hamantashen. If you are making smaller ones -- say starting from a 3" piece of dough -- then you have a much greater proportion of dough. In that case, I find that I generally like a sweeter, cookie dough. When I'm making them larger -- ones that take more than a bite or two to eat -- it's much more about the filling. In this case, I make a yeast dough that's not sweet and ends up very, very flaky. You had also better make sure the fillings are good. Regarding using a chocolate ganache -- if you read back through this thread, you will see that I struggled with this for years. I could never get it to bake without the chocolate scorching and bubbling out. However, the kids still love the chocolate so now I use Nutella . . . yum. If anyone else has figured out another way to do chocolate, please share. In addition to the traditional poppy, prune and various fruit flavors, I also do a caramel-pecan filling and a sweet cheese filling that like a cheese danish. Made with cream cheese, it's great on it's own or in combination with cherry.
  10. You will, of course, post your recipes once you work through your refinements, right? Please, please, please.
  11. I took some baking classes last weekend and the instructor actually showed us a really neat trick when using the whisk attachment with the Kitchen Aid mixer. Ensure the wires of your whisk attachment are in place (check the ones at the bottom tip to make sure that bottom one is locked into the little notch), lock your bowl onto the mixer, lock the whisk attachment in place, raise and lock the bowl, then lift and unhook the whish attachment and let it drop. It will stay on the stem and still whisk while reaching the bottom of the bowl. We used this method over and over again in class with egg whites, cream, etc. Go figure! Just listen the mixer as it goes and, if anything sounds funny, then you probably need to adjust something. Anyway, it won't help with the syrup left behind, but it may help with the glob that gathers on the bottom.
  12. I remember a similar experience involving Sharon Gless (at the height of Cagney & Lacey fame) at the Palm in the '80's. Of course, that was BK (before kids) so don't do much of that anymore.
  13. We ate at Meson G on Saturday night. It was a birthday party for my sister in law so we didn't have the complete menu to choose from but everything was quite good. Amuse -- Chestnut poppers: My SIL loves chestnut so I'm sure she picked these but they weren't anything special to me. Appetizers -- There was a choice of 3 things. I had the acorn squash soup which was delicious. There was a drizzle of maple syrup (I think) in there that was great and not too sweet -- worked great with the squash. The butter lettuce salad was also delicious -- just fresh with a perfect vinaigrette dressing. The 3rd choice was a crab salad which I didn't taste but those that had it raved. Entrees -- Again a choice of 3. The sea bass that I had was very good -- delicate and perfectly cooked. The vegetables served with it were phenomenal, just perfect. Another choice was short ribs that I didn't taste but those that had it loved. The 3rd choice was spaetzle which was good but nothing special -- pasta, butter, parmesan and some seasonings. It was probably for those in the crowd that wanted something plain. Cheese course -- Okay, I love virtually any and all cheese so I thought this was great but honestly, don't ask me what we had. I don't remember. Dessert -- Was a yummy cake with berries from Sweet Lady Jane so no comment on the restaurant here. Service was good but missed on a few cues -- They were very pleasant and tried to please however, after the first serving of bread they ran out. They apologized and said they had ordered wrong and were bringing in more bread from their "other restaurant" but it was a long time before any more showed up. Also, I never got my coffee that I asked for after the meal before we left the restaurant. My husband, who ordered his before me, said it was really good. Too bad. The space is fine but I can't help remembering when that site first opened up as Citrus. Yes, I am that old. Our party was in the front room, not the main part of the restaurant. By the time we left (after 11:00, well past my usual bed time these days), the main dining room was nearly empty. However, there was a another private party in the bar and the other separate dining room off of the bar that was gearing up with a DJ. Even though they already had a pretty good crowd, more people were still arriving for that as we were leaving. They were clearly a much younger and hipper crowd than our group.
  14. I think it can be done for the price in question. Below is the link to the thread on the Nook Bistro in West LA. I would definitely call first since it's in the new issue of LA Magazine as one of the top ten new LA restaurants. I don't recall if I mentioned it in my post but our post T-Day dinner there was $175 with 6 people, a bottle of wine, 2 desserts and coffee. Nook Bistro I also like Monsieur Marcel in the original Farmer's Market though remember you're eating outside. Certainly a lot of fun and you can walk around Farmer's Market and the Grove. There's also Beacon Cafe in Culver City which might be within or budget. However, just across the street is Cafe Dijonaise for great French Bistro style food. This will definitely be in the budget. I'd give them all a call.
  15. Okay, I've mentioned this company elsewhere on eG before. It's called Mandelin, is based in Bakersfield, California and is a great source for all things almond. I love their almond paste. And, they are really nice on the phone, even if you're not a big customer (I'm just a home baker). I liked their stuff so much I convinced my local restaurant supply/gourmet store to carry their stuff so I can buy in quantities that work for me.
  16. You can try my Caramel Cheesecake Squares/Bars in the eGRA. I'm sure you could convert to a round cheesecake and, yes, you do not need to use a water bath but it does come out better when you do. Also, Turtle, you're in Los Angeles??? Where can we go check out your stuff?
  17. Victor -- You still haven't told us exactly where you will be in Studio City. That will be helpful. And, if I may be so bold, depending on where you are, you could have a variety of options that may make it easy to get around WITHOUT A CAR, really. If you are near Universal City, you are just a short hop away on the Red Line to the Noho Arts area which has options. Or, you can take the Red Line in the other direction and head into Hollywood proper, "east" Hollywood for Thai or Armenian, or all the way into downtown or even, dare I say, Langers for better Pastrami on Rye than at Jerry's. (RJ-How did we let this one get away?)
  18. Are you talking about Palermo ? ← Yes, yes, yes, Palermo. Right. Oh and RJ, sorry but gotta disagree with your pronunciation. Despite what may be linguistically correct, most everyone calls the area Los FEE-liz.
  19. Damn, damn, damn. What's the name of that place? Oh well, someone else will know. I'm talking about a great, classic Italian place, on the east side of Vermont. Not trendy or upscale. It's one of those that's been around forever, dark inside, etc. Great place to take the family for pizza and the like. This isn't my area of town so I haven't been there in ages but I do remember it was great.
  20. Wherever you live, check out the places that supply florists. We have a whole flower mart section. However, in addition to the actual flowers, there are other stores for supplies -- vases, that green foam stuff, ribbons, etc. They have cellophane bags for corsages, boutinierres and the like in all different sizes. I'm able to buy them in quantities of 100 each and they work and look great. There's a company called Floral Supply Syndicate that seems to have several locations around the US.
  21. Ah, RJ, my mind was a blank when I looked at this last night but now the juices are flowing. Two of my favorites: Angeli Cafe -- This is Evan Kleiman's place on Melrose and has always had great food since before there was a slow food movement for Evan to head up in LA or before pizza became hip. Monsieur Marcel -- In the original Farmer's Market (not the Grove) which is worth going to anyway. Great cheese plates and other French stuff. My favorite however are the mussels. A small green salad, bowl of mussels, bread to dip in the broth and some wine and I'm a happy girl. It's outside so if it's chilly . . .
  22. Well, since you asked, here's a recipe I submitted to the eGRA a long time ago for Mel's Mother's Fruit Kugel. As it has no hametz, I usually make it for Passover but, it's sweet with lots of apples so could work for RH as well.
  23. When I bake 2 pans at a time in my home convection oven, I rotate but not at half-way. More like 2/3 or 3/4 through. If I do it at half-way, I think I lose too much heat through the open dour no matter how fast I do this, the temp goes down and then I end up with the dreaded spread. By waiting longer, I find I've set the cookie shape, am finishing baking the interior and the rotating just ensures fairly even browning.
  24. The original recipe called for a 375 degree oven, but you have a convection oven which should usually be set about 50 degrees lower. I'd definitely try it at 300 degrees and I'd also try baking the cookies from a frozen state. But really, they look so good. I wish I could jump through the computer screen and grab them! ← No, no, no. I also have a convection oven and use this same recipe at 375. The goal is to get the outside cooked enough to set the shape before there is too much spread, then just finish cooking through. Maybe there is not as much difference between standard and regular with a home convection oven vs. a commercial one. Lower the temp and you'll get too much spread. I'd prefer you to keep your temp and adjust your baking time if need be. Of course, every oven is different so you'll figure yours out.
  25. JFLinLA


    Soup -- So, so glad it's been working for you. I have a lot of experience with both chilling the dough in the fridge to slow down the rise, and freezing. I have successfully allowed all 3 of the rising periods (2 in the bowl and 1 shaped) to occur in the refrigerator. Typically it's overnight, or during the day while I'm at work but I've allowed up to 24 hours. I have also froze the dough after the first rise or after shaping. In both cases, I place either the ball of dough or the braided, unbaked challah on a parchment lined pan in the freezer. Then, after it's frozen solid, I'll wrap well in plastic and place the whole thing in a zip-lock freezer bag. When I'm ready to continue, I'll take it out of the freezer and unwrap. Then, depending on what stage I'm at, it's either back in a bowl covered with plastic or onto a lined baking sheet covered loosely with a towel. The dough will thaw and rise though this will take several hours. For example, you could take your braided, frozen dough out of the freezer early Friday morning. It will probably thaw, rise and be ready to bake by mid-day . . . just in time to have fresh-baked challah for Friday night dinner. Just last Sunday, I took some balls of frozen dough out of the freezer early in the morning. It was ready for braiding before noon. I've got some frozen stuff now at various stages, including a round one ready to bake for Rosh Hashanah.
  • Create New...