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Everything posted by bergerka

  1. It's possible that you had to be there to get this, but one of the new courses slkinsey did this year in our totally gorgeous and amazing multicourse meal was arctic char tartare with chive gelee (this was actually my favorite thing next to the brussels sprouts). First of all, try saying "arctic char tartare," then visualize a table of twelve mildly tipsy people all repeating it to each other over and over and laughing our heads off. We sounded like a cross between the "pecan piiiiiiieeee" scene in When Harry Met Sally and the aliens from "Mars Attacks!" Then, I took one look at the bright green (delicious, btw) chive gelee and blurted out to Eric_Malson "There's always room for jell-o!" L
  2. Well, I was up till 5 am cleaning up (not as bad as it sounds, the last guest didn't leave till after 2 and I didn't START cleaning till about 1/2 hour after that), then had to get up at 10 to get a caroling group going, so I didn't manage to eat anything till about 2pm. I had cranberry cheesecake for brunch. Then, um, I had cranberry cheesecake and some bread pudding for a late-afternoon snack. then I ate a couple of truffles and palmiers. Now I'm eying the pumpkin pie. I love Thansgiving.
  3. Wow, is that woman ever rude! It's one thing to say "no thanks, I don't eat sugar," but ruining a Thansgiving dessert for everyone???? Surely that's a capital crime somewhere... I'd drop her from my guest list and laugh my ass off telling the story to all and sundry today...while making and devouring a pumpkin pie WITH sugar. K
  4. That is just SO wrong. But I look both ways to ensure I'm not spotted by any coffee cognoscenti when I pop into Starbucks for a frappuccino affrogato on those really hot summer days. So who am I to talk? ← I swear to you the pumpkin spice and gingerbread syrups have crack in them. BTW, the one-pump thing is so they aren't too sweet - this way, they're just sweet enough and have all the spicy flavor. Rancilio is heating now and it's a good thing, because I'm going to need a lot of caffeine to get through this day. K
  5. Ordinarily I get it from the Rancilio Silvia, a nice, freshly ground cappuccino. Sometimes I get it from the coffee cart at 41st and Park. They make such delicious coffee at that one cart! I might just add that I have to hide under the bed in shame now. I walked into Starbucks and ordered one "grande skim one-pump pumpkin spice latte, no whip." I've become one of...THOSE PEOPLE.
  6. Keep cooking. A little blood can only improve the flavor of the sauce. I recently cut the shit out of my thumb with a serrated knife (OUCHIE) - was using it to slice a not-so-fresh mini bagel. My bad. Have a pretty scar now.
  7. OMG, my blogging inspiration is back! This is AWESOME! I promise not to cyberstalk you TOO much. K, president and founder of the official bleudauvergne fan club. We have t-shirts!
  8. you should be able to use exactly the same recipe, you just need to measure how much each individual mould takes and make sure that a batch will fill all the moulds you require, as individuals can (sometimes) use more mix than one big one. If it is a baked cheesecake just remember that it is going to take far less time to cook them than your recipe dictates, so keep a close eye one them. as for any more detailed advice, need to see your original recipe. if you are unsure PM me and I will check it with my pastry chefs for you. Alex. ← Thank you! K
  9. I'll be making individual cranberry cheesecakes for Thanksgiving this year - do I need to make any adjustments to the recipe - or do anything else differently? Any and all and very detailed advice appreciated... K
  10. Abra, I'd kill to know where you got that mini-cheesecake pan. I'm in desperate need of one for Thanksgiving. That dinner looks so good I'm going to have to make the braised beef this weekend (last chance to cook it before Sam comes home! SAM'S COMING HOME! THE FERRETS ARE SO EXCITED! )
  11. Oh. Mah. GAWD. You are a far, far braver woman than I. No wonder you were so patient with me. Those kids will never forget their experience helping you (in a good way! ). and I vote for Dutch.
  12. Oh, Abra, I can't wait to read this - your last blog was awesome, and you've been so helpful to me!!! *rubbing hands together in anticipation* K
  13. Hey sweetie? If you start the bean soup in the crock pot in the morning, it'll be done by the time you get home. Just cook them till they're done... *ducks and runs* :raz: Don't worry, Sam - after cramming a month's worth of eating into one week, I'll be joining you in the cereal for dinner choice! Well, I HAD lost four pounds... K
  14. I'm shocked - SHOCKED - that Eric would say such a thing. He's a delicate flower, you know. It was mussels for five, Eric_Malson, SarahD, special guest michaeldauphinais, in town from AZ, Charlie the coolest roommate, and me. I realized that there had been not one stinky cheese incident in this whole blog. This had to be remedied. So while I was at Fairway, buying the mussels and being laughed at by the fish guys, I picked up some St. Andre (not stinky, but buttery rich) and some ripe, smelly Le Fournols, which is supposedly what Chaumes was like before it was factory made. I would not know. SarahD had brought some baguettes from the Silver Moon Bakery over to have with the mussels, so we used some of one for the cheese. While the mussels were rinsing, waiting to be scrubbed, I made some Twentieth Century cocktails. The consensus recipe was 1.5 gin to .5 each of lemon juice, lillet blanc and white creme de cacao, so that's what we went with. Mmmmm...just right. I scrubbed all the mussels with a scotch-brite pad, yanked out the beards, and put them in a colander to drain. Then, in a big copper pan, I put about 16 oz of Hoegaarden, five or six whole cloves, 1 teaspoon of mustard seed - I had to skip the coriander called for in the recipe, as - oops - we didn't have it. I bought mustard seed, but um...we already had plenty of that - some red pepper flakes, some salt, 2 bay leaves and 2 lemon wedges. I brought the liquid to a boil and let it boil, partially covered, for two minutes. Then I dumped in the mussels, stirred them around and covered the pan. At this point it occurred to me that this is the first time I have ever personally killed my food. After about six minutes (there were a lot of mussels), they had all opened and were smelling delicious. I chopped up some parsley and sprinkled it on. Then I brought over the pan to the table and we all dug in! Here's my plate, complete with baguette for the dipping liquid and a glass of Hoegaarden. They were very good - I would have liked the beer and the spices to permeate the ones at the top a little more, but now that I know how freakin' easy these are, I'll be making them much more often. That's my blog! Thanks so much, all - your encouragement, support and great suggestions have left me feeling much more confident about just diving in and cookin' away. I'll be checking in for as long as this thread is open. The ferrets and I wish you all a great and good night!
  15. Well, yes, a ton of Hoegaarden is definitely the way to go. How many pounds of mussels would you all buy for four people? Now...this is hard...I have a confession to make. I had fully intended to go to Sophie's for lunch today. Sophie's is a new Cuban place (a small chain, I think) that has recently opened up across the street from the office. They make a more than respectable Cubano, which I like to eat with plantain chips. However...I'm afraid that after last night, I a) wasn't all that hungry and b) could not face more meat today. My body was screaming for vegetables, so I gave in. Actually, my feet, of their own accord, walked PAST Sophie's and into...you guessed it...Bistro NY, one more time. This time I had tomato-basil soup, a teeny side salad of spinach, mushrooms and roasted cauliflower with shredded parmeggiano and red wine vinegar, bagel chips (duh!) and, of course, an A&W diet root beer. here it is: I wholeheartedly apologize for falling down on the job.
  16. Yeah, but he asked about the BEST, right? I mean, you can eat in a diner for under $100 for two, but it's not necessarily the best. You could do it at someplace like Bianca or Celeste if you were careful, too.
  17. Yay! Have you decided which beer you are going to use? ← Klary - Hoegaarden, for sure! In fact, the beer will probably cost me more than the mussels...I should be able to get everything at Fairway Market on the way home. I hate Fairway, but I can stand it for a short trip. K
  18. Così fan tutte is a comic opera that Mozart composed in 1790 at the age of 34. It's about two couples, where the men head off to battle and the women say they will be faithful to them while they're away. Mind you, this is all a set-up by the men to show the fickleness of women. In Mozart's opera, the title means "They're all like that," namely women (tutte). In bergerka's case, where the two guys bailed out, it means "They're all like that," namely men (tutti). If this is confusing to you, don't worry about it. Opera lovers ... They're all like that ... ← And here I PM'd the answer to stay on topic. You phrased it better than I did, though. Oooh! SarahD just gave me a homemade pumpkin applesauce muffin! It's delish. Here it is: Genny - I think I'll call the coffee guys "Jim" and um...."Jim."
  19. Two people can easily eat at Regional for under $100, and if you choose carefully, at Landmarc as well. "A" is a good choice, too.
  20. I don't think I've ever made polenta. And sorry, no mushrooms! ← Polenta is a terrific idea - provided you have a lovely assistant to stand there and stir it while it cooks. If you do, it's low-maintenance, easy and delicious. Just pick up some stracchino cheese to swirl in at the last minute. MMMMMMMMM...polenta and short ribs...
  21. Pan's nailed it, rjwong - it'd be Così fan tutti-frutti...or something. ACK! Overslept! Thank heavens the partner IS in India, as I can just imagine running in late and saying "but you don't understand...sure, the alarm went off, but I had a warm sleepy ferret curled up right next to my head and it was just so comfy..." No time for cappuccino, just made it into the shower, out of the shower, barely time to thank goodness for a closet full of clothes that all match and a haircut that can be blow-and-go and still look good if I need it to, raced through the voting booth to do my civic duty, and dashed into a downtown 1 train just as the doors were closing. The trains were bizarrely cooperative, though, and I still got in right on time...and had time to take some pictures of a couple of my favorite breakfast places along the way. Those will come later, but I'll describe them now. Coffee from the cart in New York City varies widely in quality, as anyone who lives here can tell you. I think I have found the best one anywhere in town, though. The guys on the southeast corner of 40th and Park (right by the building where I work), who still refuse to tell me their names (but they know mine! They say they like to remain mysterious. They're adorable) after four years, make some seriously excellent hot coffee and, in summer, probably the best iced coffee around. They're my go-to guys on mornings when I need an extra jolt or (like...um...today) haven't had time or beans for a cappuccino. This morning I got a large with milk and one sugar - and they REALLY know just the right proportions to make it creamy but still strong and sweet but not too sweet. These are the coffee cart guys: Right next to them is a relatively new addition to our corner (since, I think, this summer), the Fruit Shake cart. You can get about 30 different kinds of fruit and vegetable shakes (one of these days I'm going to try the apple-ginger-cucumber), with, if you like, protein powder, or ginseng, or bee pollen, or any of about ten nutritional supplements. I truly love the strawberry-banana shake (or the "Good morning," as they call it) and that's what I got today - I'm not hungry, after last night, but I know that with very little sleep and an overindulgence of food and drink I really need to get something into my stomach or I'll be VERY sorry in about an hour or two. The fruit shake guy The fruit shake truck The breakfast of champions! Coffee and a fruit shake. Hey Herb - I'll still be cooking for another couple of weeks, want to come to dinner? K
  22. No, no, Sam should not go away more often. I MISS him!!!! Oy. Just returned from Tropical. The other two guys bailed, so it was just Eric and me. How would we ever do justice to it???? I think we did just fine. I didn't get a pic of the outside - was too darned hungry to wait, and afterward, um, the camera battery had run out. I'm hoping it's just charged enough now to upload these pix. There were many, many more meats than these presented tonight - this is just a sampling. Here's the salad bar. No hot dish tonight, but they had all kinds of good stuff on there - snap pea salad, two different potato salads, peas with onion, hard-boiled eggs, a bunch of cool different veggies. Obviously, the point is to eat as little salad as possible, but that's difficult when some of the choices are this good. Here's my salad plate. Looks pretty sparse, but again, I wanted to taste a lot of stuff while not filling up! One really can't go to a rodizio without having at least one caipirinha. I had two. Had to make sure that the hangover was really killed off, you know. The first meat brought out was a lovely prime rib. I said "rare," but I think the guy thought I meant "mostly fat." This is sausage on one skewer, bacon-wrapped turkey on the other. I wanted to show you this because no other rodizio I have been to can make this very well - it's usually dry, overcooked, obviously not much care taken. Not at Tropical. It's juicy (you have to be really careful with the sausage especially, as it has a tendency to drip VERY HOT JUICE down your chin), flavorful and really delish. Here are the sides, next to my plate o'prime rib fat and the BIG SAUSAGE I was then eating. as you can see, there is the yucca powder stuff (what is that called, anyway?), fried yucca, the salsa to go with the powder, black beans, rice (behind the water) and fried sweet plantains (my favorite). Here's lamb with rosemary. Again, at all the other rodizios I've been to, the lamb has an unpleasantly gamey taste and slightly funky texture. Not here...it's juicy and delicious, very sweet. Here is picanha, rare, juicy, tender and full of flavor. Here is filet mignon wrapped in bacon - for me, this was the one failure of the night. It was overcooked and a little tough. Oh well. Fortunately, they brought out flank steak and more picanha right afterward. Unfortunately, that's when the camera battery died, but I think this gives you an idea of what we had. I can't believe I have to be up in six hours and 39 minutes. Tomorrow is one of my long days, 8:30-6:30 in the office, oy vey. Fortunately, the partner is in India, so it shouldn't be that busy. I'll try to have some interesting work food for my last day of blogging (I can't believe how fast this week has gone!) and tomorrow night I will make mussels. Good night, everyone! K
  23. I live in Nebraska. My lesbian friends take me dancing at a gay bar. Two of my military jobs are circumcisions and administering drug tests. I have seen enough meat in my life. Now if it were a bacon restaurant... ← Circumcisions? I'm not gonna ask. I'm not gonna ask. I'm not gonna ask. Fine, jsolomon...more roasted juicy rare delicious MEAT for ME Then. And Genny - oh hell yes, caipirinhas for me! K
  24. Daniel and M.X. Hassett nailed it. MEAT MEAT MEAT. It's going to be me and three guys, which is just about appropriate. Ok, screw it...it's 3:18 pm and I need chocolate. The woman down the hall has little teeny Nestle Crunch bars - a huge weakness of mine.
  25. Tonight? You'll just have to wait and SEE. Well, the hangover has finally dissipated, although I'm still very tired. I wanted to eat a light lunch because of the incipient meat orgy, so went back to Bistro NY for soup - chickpea and red pepper, this time, with bagel chips, a caffeine-free diet coke and a VERY large chocolate rice crispy cookie that looked far better than it tasted. Picture! And yeah, it's actually kind of hot, which is weird in November.
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