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Posts posted by bergerka

  1. And to go along with beansnrice, above, I will never again put the cannisters of sugar and salt (unlabeled, but COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPES OF CANNISTERS) next to each other on my kitchen counter.

    The scene: me, happily making the Smitten Bitch's (it's an endearment, trust me, I adore this woman) cream cheese pound cake with strawberry coulis for a dinner party. Humming away to my iPod, I put in the requisite three cups of...well, I thought it was sugar.

    Can we all just say how glad we are that I have this nasty tendency to taste batter before I bake it?

    Salt. THREE CUPS of salt.


    After much cursing, I went back to the store for more butter, cream cheese and salt, since the recipe also requires a touch of it and I was now FRESH OUT.

    I then came home and wrote, in permanent marker, SAL in great big letters on the top of my salt cannister. Just in case.

  2. You are all horrible, awful, terrible people, I've had a pizza craving for three days and YOU ARE MAKING IT WORSE. *sigh* I may have to scoot out tonight to this great little Italian takeaway place (run by actual Italians, before we get all up in arms) near Tribunal...

    I would gladly join you in your fear of pineapple on pizza, were it not that a) I like it and b) I was recently in Firenze, where I ate most excellent pizza in a restaurant that, indeed, offered one with pineapple. Strangely, the only ones ordering it were the Italians. I stuck with quattro stagioni, myself, but I have to say the pineapple looked delicious. And yes, this happened. I was there with witnesses. :rolleyes:

    And just to flip you all out totally, try pizza that has a nice light tomato sauce with a topping of grilled peaches sometime. No, seriously.

    My one golden rule of pizza is that the crust has to be able to stand up to whatever you're putting on it. I don't care if it's thin pizza, deep-dish pizza, whatever, if the crust gets soggy, you're screwed, regardless of the toppings.

  3. An American school that serves real food? I just fell off my chair in shock. :blink:

    Sasha-Lower School

    Snack: Grapes & Graham Crackers

    Lunch: Cheese Tortellini w/Garden Marinara

    Garlic Green Beans


    Malia-Middle School

    Lunch: Corn Chowder

    Salad du Jour

    Apple Carrot Salad

    Vintner's Salad

    Cheese Tortellini w/ Fresh Marinara

    Garlic Organic Green Beans


    To see the rest of the weeks eats at Sidwell Friends click:


  4. I really don't know much about the origins of Spanish tapas, but that's hardly vegetarian. Clearly in this country we elevated the concept of small plates or tapas from bar food to "why not make a meal of this stuff?" since it was often better and more interesting than just eating one entree, and you could fool yourself into thinking you were eating less. Always appealing for the American Waistline. But have the Spanish had a long tradition of small plates as a complete dinner option? In restaurants that's easy to do, but if you are eating in a Spanish home, or out for country/rustic food in Spain (and I've never been) aren't you most likely to find more traditional menus with a main course?

    Katie, this is probably a thread of its own (and a question for Rogelio or Pedro or someone who is actually Spanish) but in my two years in Madrid and the rest of the country, eating both in restaurants and in friends' homes, the main meal with a main course is more likely to be the midday one, and it's fairly common to set out a bunch of little plates and everyone kind of graze during the evening, especially in summer. So you have both.

    and just to keep it on topic, I think you were craving lamb kabobs because lamb kabobs are good. Basta.


  5. I'll suggest that arbitrary threshold levels, wherever they're set, may be a less useful tool than patterns, & a good doctor-patient relationship will focus on the latter & perhaps avert a crisis diagnosis.  That of course requires regular visits to the doc.

    It sounds like you have a relationship with your doctor that works. However, there are plenty of people who in your situation would have been given a course of medication to lower their blood sugar. That's when the "epidemic of diagnoses" gets scary.

    You know, I'm sorry, but personal responsibility could also include doctor shopping to find the one you can communicate with. It DOES happen.

  6. I, too, would like to hear how exactly it is that diabetes is "overdiagnosed," since, um, it's diagnosed by testing blood glucose levels, not by, yanno, flipping a coin or something.

    All in all a good and interesting article. I too subscribe to "everything in moderation," and I don't feel it decreases my enjoyment of life at all to do so. If anything, it's increased, since after I eat a meal I don't still feel too full to eat two days later... :laugh:

  7. hi there - although I am not quite as physically active as you, I too have had a significant (25 pound) weight drop in the last year and it seems I just can't take in enough calories. Here are a few things that seem to be helping me stabilize (I DO NOT want to lose any more weight - I am 5'11" and weigh just under 130 pounds now!).

    Ok, first of all, lay off the diet coke while you're working unless it's caffeine-free. Caffeine is a diuretic. Drink even more water (I drink 3 liters a day, easy), drink juice, which has the added benefit of calories. Also, try to avoid those frozen and prepackaged meals, they tend to be high in sodium...also a diuretic. You need to avoid dehydration with all that physical labor! Mild dehydration could also be a cause of your not feeling hungry in the evening, in addition to the exhaustion.

    Second, don't try to eat three big meals a day (I TOTALLY understand about that feeling that your stomach capacity has diminished!), try to eat five or even six smaller ones. Just snack all day, and make sure they are "long" snacks, which is to say heavy on protein and complex carbohydrates. Hard boiled eggs are great, so are nuts and dried fruits. Add some peanut butter to your celery (or even egg salad, egg salad on celery sticks is delicious). Oatmeal in the morning is perfect, so is peanut butter toast. cook a steak, slice it up and put it in a big salad or make a steak sandwich and stick it in the fridge to eat when you get home - feels nice and light with all the veggies, but you're still getting some protein.

    I agree about getting to a nutritionist, but in the meantime, get thee to the library and read up on what, how often and how much athletes eat, because that is what you are becoming!

    Congrats on your newfound muscles! Isn't it fun to feel like you look FABULOUS???


  8. If you are in the mood for something completely delicious but a tad bit more...um...rustic (to put it politely), get in a car and figure out how to get to Pendones, possibly the only ugly little town in Spain, way up in the mountains (an hour away from Gijon...and from everything). Go to the only restaurant in Pendones. Order the cabrito and/or the fabes con jabalí.

    Trust me. I THINK it's Casa Isabel, phone 985 613 725 (and if you go on a weekend, call for reservations in advance, you'd be freakin' shocked how many people will drive way the hell up there to eat at this place), if that's not right I'll change it. All I remember is it's the only restaurant in Pendones, the damn trip makes me carsick every time I go there (probably doesn't help that I've only gone there on huge hangovers, which is what happens when you travel with Eric_Malson!), and it's ohhhhhh so worth it.

    Just don't count on being hungry for three days thereafter.


  9. Hi all. I'll be in Paris Christmas Eve with my gentleman friend, and we'd like to find a good place to eat that night! I assume we will need to make reservations! :shock:

    We will most likely be at the Marriott Rive Gauche, on Boulevard St-Jacques, right by Montparnasse.

    A couple of restrictions:

    We don't want to spend a million dollars on dinner, in fact, I'd like to keep it to €50 per person if possible.

    We aren't really interested in experimental cuisine (á la Adriá et al) - a good traditional place is far more interesting to us. I am familiar with the Paris métro system, and we have walked all over the city on our last two trips there, as well.

    That said, we like pretty much everything, so no food restrictions, and of course we drink wine! We'll be sticking to wine rather than cocktails, as he has to fly the next day and I have completely lost my tolerance for hard alcohol due to a 25-pound weight loss and, well, not drinking it!

    Thanks, all! Looking forward to your suggestions.


  10. For what it's worth, I had a strong meal at Landmarc Time Warner tonight. Walked in, got a table right away, told them we were in a rush and got appropriately accelerated but not frantic service, they were nice to our kid, the meal was very satisfying, the space is great and the price was incredibly reasonable.

    We shared the foie gras terrine, which was textbook. No technical flaws that I could discern (appropriate salt level). I had the hamburger, which was beautifully composed on its platter (generous green salad, crispy fries, a pickle condiment, onions, tomato, everything) and cooked precisely as ordered. A very high quality burger. Ellen had the tuna steak, which was a thick, good piece of tuna seared rare. Can't complain there. PJ had the fish sticks and fries from the kids' menu -- we tried this on a lark (we almost never order from kids' menus) thinking maybe Landmarc would be doing something interesting. But they were sucky fish sticks (pucks really) like you'd get from any kids' menu. Same great fries as from the real menu, though. Blueberry cobbler and three sorbets for dessert -- the tiny cobbler was quite good, but the sorbets while flavorful had too icy a texture and serving them in cones is awkward. They bring free lime-green cotton candy for kids. We had a half-bottle of a pleasant New Zealand sauvignon blanc, from Dashwood.

    We were in and out in under an hour (again, at our request). Subtotal before tax and tip, for all that food and a half-bottle of wine: $88.

    FWIW, from the kids' menu: get the pigs in blankets. Seriously.

  11. Rachel, wonderful, wonderful blog. I've only visited Mexico twice, and one of those times I was eight months old (hence no memories). The other was last year, but was on the Riviera Maya in a carefully plotted tourist resort.

    Question (and you may have answered this already, I'm not really awake yet, having only had one café con leche) - is the ensaladilla rusa you get in Mexico similar to the one we eat in Spain? Basically potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas and ham with a mayonnaise?

    It's one of my favorite things here.

    Thanks again for this beautiful blog!


  12. McDonald's.

    Sausage biscuit.

    No egg. No cheese. No hash browns. No muffin. No McGriddle. None of their frigging horrible coffee (I can get better coffee at Dunkin Donuts).

    Sausage biscuit.

    their sausage is peppery and juicy and yum, their biscuits flaky with just the right amount of grease for my palate.

    I started this addiction when my best friend, the Goddess Coreen (join the cult! ask me how!) and I took a college class together at 7:30 am one summer. We'd meet at 6:30 in the McDonald's across the street from campus, drink buckets of coffee (at that time we didn't know coffee COULD taste better than the crap McDonald's was making) and plot our trouble scheme for the day.

    I only have one now maybe once a year - my latest indulgence was in the Chicago airport while awaiting a flight to Wichita, Kansas in September - but they still taste great and they still flood my mind with college memories.


  13. Oh hey, I forgot one, this one's thanks to Mom! She has three wonderful cake recipes she uses for large receptions and things, a very moist chocolate cake, a marsala cake and a cream sherry cake.

    All three come out of boxes.

    I defy you to tell the difference.


  14. Thank heavens for living in Spain, where canned corn is the norm. :biggrin:

    My cheats:

    I don't sift the dry ingredients when I bake

    I used pre-roasted red peppers (I have a vitroceramic stove, roasting red peppers is a pain in the ass)

    I make a salad that has canned tuna, canned corn...and CANNED PINEAPPLE in it. Sounds disgusting. Is delish.


  15. The concert was wonderful. We heard music by Poulenc and Britten, for solo piano; horn and piano; tenor, horn, and piano; mezzo-soprano and piano; and mezzo, tenor, and piano. My favorite of the evening was a song by Poulenc, one of a group of poems by Careme that Poulenc found, put together, and set to music. The mezzo told us about the first of the songs being a mother's lament that her child refused to sleep, and the rest of the songs were her version of Scheherazade. By the end of the last song, you could practically hear her quietly leaving the child's room as he finally slept. The song I particularly liked was the sixth in this set, about the Thursday angels who play Mozart on their harps.

    Oh my gosh! totally not food related, for which I apologize, but this set is called La courte paille (the short straw), and has been included on every recital I have given since I was 19 years old and first found it. I LOVE this set!

    Sorry. Nothing to see here. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.


  16. I am LOVING this blog, this is an area of NY I never got to in my ten years there (yes, I am ashamed, it's a verguenza for the neighbors). :wub:

    Owen, I think you just got some crap hake. I eat it often on this side of the pond (merluza) and while it is a lightly flavored fish, it usually has SOME flavor and a pleasant texture. It's great for poaching, flaking, mixing with a bechamel and stuffing into roasted pimientos de piquillo (small, slightly spicy red peppers).


  17. Batali and Paltrow are both actually huge proponents of Spanish cuisine.  Batali is on record saying he prefers Iberico over any prosciutto.  It's his latest (and ongoing) obsession, along with Vietnamese food.  Word on the street is that he may open a Vietnamese cuisine restaurant, actually.  It could be good if they can manage to focus on food, which may be hoping for too much.  PBS has a good track record in my view, so I'm surely gonna give it a chance.  It isn't like my life is so unbelievably busy that I can't spare 30 minutes to check out a food show.  Y'all know you're the same; you just might not admit it. :)

    Ok, I take it back. It was a snotty comment anyway. :biggrin:

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