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Everything posted by laurenmilan

  1. ... And I'll NEVER eat at Red Lobster.
  2. Ditto. Ina is nothing short of an inspiration for me, she entertains the way I want to... she makes people feel comfortable and pampered. It's quite the opposite of the "clenched-jaw politesse" of Martha stewart (as the Slate article so aptly put it.) Oh and, unlike so many FTV personalities, she ain't afraid of a good cocktail... The funny thing is, in the broadest possible sense, Ina and Sandra Lee are doing the same thing... semi homemade cooking. Ina does some items from scratch, and picks up some readymade from a store. Difference is, Ina's getting excellent olives, breads, pastries, and arranging them, whereas Sandra is buying mass-marketed, preserved food products and giving them a dollop of processed whipped topping. The difference is, Ina's thinking "I'll shower them with the best I can find, even if I didn't make it myself" (she also does a lot of dishes that require little/no cooking by nature... composed salads, antipasti, cheeseplatters). Sandra Lee throws together fake foods and says "my guests won't notice the difference."
  3. Hey wasn't that one in Chocolatier magazine a few months back? I have it here somewhere, the photo of it was so magnificent, I would flash it at buddies to distract them.
  4. The best one in that campaign had to be the one with the "new girl" with the Minnesota accent, talking about how lovely it was to be so warm, and how annoying it is to be stuck in the snow dontchaknow. "Dude, what's snow?" Driving through Sonoma and Napa counties, the cows I passed did look like they had it pretty good. Even though their legs must be mismatched lengths, due to those steep hillsides!
  5. laurenmilan

    Hideous Recipes

    You guys are gonna make me cry, just like with that "worst meal at someone's home" thread! Seriously though... a few years ago I was into that whole Death by Chocolate thing. Looked up a lot of different recipes out there, as opposed to Desaulnier's meringue-centered original. Well there are some doozies out there, a lot of them with some pretty liberal definitions of what an "indulgence" is (and here I was thinking an indulgence should TASTE like one...) For example, here's a classic in processed-food-product application: Friends don't let friends eat frozen whipped topping... And here's a whole slew of em: You call that fake? THIS is fake! FYI, there's now a rock group in Williamsburg, VA, birthplace of Death By Chocolate, called "Death by Chocolate". Virginia's answer to NJ's "Fountains of Wayne," I guess...
  6. But Florida has Cuban coffee, which is the most sublime coffee on the planet (well I think so) so it all evens out, don't it?
  7. A slice of buffalo chicken pizza, and a slice of pepperoni pizza, both liberally doused with garlic & red pepper, and a Stewarts root beer, at the upstairs cafe at Wegmans before doing some graocery shopping.
  8. You know, I've noticed that too. Why is it that only people on the coasts know the proper strength of coffee?
  9. Swedish pancakes at IHOP and a carafe of coffee. Sue me.
  10. No worries; the Cheesecake Factory thread is an evergreen one. yup, they're still there, and their lines are still freaky...
  11. I have a weakness for the many $2-5 options in my local area, we have a lot of Indian, Chinese, Korean and Thai restaurants and groceries around here. Unfortunately, a lot of my coworkers get turned off or intimidated by such things, and then lament the lack of good choices in local dining (we have a choice of non-western ethnic cuisines, or chain restaurants, in these parts.) More for me, I guess. You want good eats, sometimes that means expanding your definition of what "good eats" is.
  12. I just picked up 12 vanilla beans from the Baker's catalogue, and will be trying to make my own extract. Any suggestions/pointers I should heed? I'm planning to put it in a glass bottle with about 18 ounces of vodka, and let it steep for a month.
  13. Pastel fruit-flavored doughs? That WOULD be beautiful! Maybe a rich chocolate filling like a bittersweet ganache (think chocolate truffle filling) mixed with chopped dried fruits, or fruit juices, or layered underneath a thick fruit layer? Sky's the limit here... When I think of bao, I think of those sweet buns filled with sweet red bean paste, so the consistency of ganache would be similar to that. The various ideas that have cropped up so far sound so good I may try 'em myself...
  14. Maybe a chocolate dough, with a fruit compote center? A few tablespoons of fruit per bao should suffice (think summer pierogis, that are filled with peaches, strawberries, blackberries, plums or blueberries).
  15. Mangoes that don't require a shower after eating.
  16. One actually GOOD TV Cookbook is the Sopranos Cookbook. Actually very good Italian-American recipes in there...
  17. As a centerpiece for the table, I assembled a collection of the stranges fruits and vegetables that I could find (a common prop trick on Trek). Kiwano, squashes, some w/blossoms, things like that. And the focal point was the durian, a fruit as strange smelling as it is looking. Now most of this stuff is recognizable to wacky folks like me, but to the average joe it's downright otherworldly. Well folks were slicing up the other fruits over the course of the festival, and eventually the crazed "pro chef in residence" we call Iron Trek Chef took his cleaver and chopped that durian open! It was like a stink bomb! It was quickly escorted outside where it had several adventures before going in the dumpster, including a 6 1/2 foot tall guy dressed as a Klingon chasing a man dressed as an Andorian down the beach across the street with this thing.
  18. Durian cookies. Had to throw the cookies outside in a dumpster. For some reason, kept the wrapper inside, and it was so bad it had to be thrown away. Later taken outside too, as the wrapper itself was so foul people were afraid to go near the garbage can.
  19. For some more fun with crappy cookbooks, I just started a Hall of Shame for our cookbook collections: Confess or I'll get the Comfy Chair!
  20. I got 2 large bottles of the Gingerbread syrup from an employee. You can also order Torani Ginger Spice syrup for $7/bottle. Great stuff... and I pour it in my coffee quite often.
  21. Good lord, this same battle is raging on in my office! D&D is winning by a mile...
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