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Everything posted by pattimw

  1. A post above mentioned mushy peas. Let me just say that I love them with mint and topped with seared scallops. mmmmmm Also, Twinings tea that you buy in England. Blackcurrant juice. Hobknobs. Ok, these are not recipes or dishes, like haggis or bangers and mash, but I love them all the same. I also loved the wonderful selection of European butters Sainsbury's had. I had never really been exposed to unsalted butter before, that is, butter that good, sweet, rich, and creamy that was heaven slathered on a piece of bread in the morning.
  2. you don't need an excuse to drink champagne(or sparkling wine) usually we do tapas but this year john will be seeing deep purple in nyc so i've been invited to a friend's house. we are expected to dress - good thing i didn't give away all my concert black - and throw rolled up socks at the screen when we don't agree with an award. so true.... I thought tapas might be fun - maybe some empandas and tortilla espanola, but then I started thinking about Prosecco, which I really enjoy, and thinking about building a menu from there....perhaps maybe more like Italian small plates, there's a recipe for ome made ravioli in a thyme cream sauce I have been wanting to try....
  3. Perhaps I should dig up some of those Lord of the Rings recipes from the Food Media & News board. Seriously, I like the "theme" ideas.... There are some great ideas! DH and I love to make fun of people, and of course, I like to see what they are wearing.
  4. What a great article. The man is a genius.
  5. I've never really thought about doing this before, but do any of you cook food to go with watching the Oscars? I thought it would be kind of fun to make something a little extravagant, plus have an excuse to drink champagne. Do any of you do this and if so, what do you cook?
  6. Wow, that was a totally visual description of the tapas. I felt like I was there, for, a few, wonderful fleeting moments....
  7. pattimw


    Based on all the recs here, I picked up some Total at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago, and am now completely addicted. I got the 2% and full fat varieties and they are F***** fantastic. I will NEVER go back to Dannon, Stonyfield, and the like. tastes great with granola, I stirred it into some roasted red pepper and tomato soup....served it with chestnut honey and cardamom roasted walnuts..... YES!
  8. I just read Home Cooking myself for the first time and found it wonderful to read. I am definitely going to read More Home Cooking. I just started Near a Thousand Tables and absolutely love it- it is more scholarly than I was expecting, but completely engaging and thought provoking. I just ordered Joanne Weir's cookbook Cooking in the City and am going through that. I made a fantastic salad - Duck Salad with Pecans and Kumquats - I've never eaten kumquats before - they were so tangy and delicious, and duck, well, anything with duck I love.... I have found fewer recipes in this book that I like, compared to More Cooking in the Wine Country, however, I really like Weir's style of cooking.
  9. I love PG tips! It's the only British tea i can find reliably in my area. A question for you - do you think Twinings tea tastes different in the UK? I feel that the tea they sell here in the US as Twinings is insipid and weak. The Twinings I had there and have had friends bring back for me seems to have a fuller flavor, more satisfying.....maybe it is just wishful thinking?
  10. pattimw

    Port recommendations?

    Although I responded with some recommendations for Port and Banyuls, my favorite beverage with chocolate is coffee. It isn't even close. But you asked about wine, so... My guess as to what made the Banyuls appear harsh is a coupld of things -- your dessert was very rich and quite sweet (dark chocolate on its own with a high cacao percentage would be less so). Pairing wines with desserts can be difficult. If the food is much sweeter than the wine, the wine will come across as harsh every time. Your second dessert was lighter, more acidic (raspberry sauce) and perhaps less "thickly" sweet, and the same wine proved to be a decent match. Yes, I thought it had something to do with the way I prepared the cake....I do think it would have been better with some plain semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate. The Banyuls is definitely something I will go back to - thank you for the recommendation.
  11. pattimw

    Port recommendations?

    It's so funny- before I read these responses, I was the perusing the aisles at the wine shop I work at part time. I came across the Banyuls, and remembering the manager recommended it with chocolate, I decided to give it a go. I was originally going to just have some nice dark chocolates with it, but ended up making molten chocolate cakes instead. I was somewhat disappointed by the match - the cakes made the wine seem really harsh. I felt it didn't enhance it at all, but I think that may be the addition of other ingredients to the cakes (like eggs and butter). With just chocolate, like truffles or something, I think it may have been different. Or perhaps it was the little scoop of vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce I served with it? There was probably too much going on there. However, we had some friends over for dinner on Tuesday and I made an almond cake that had 7 oz almond paste, 2.5 sticks of butter and 6 eggs, only 1 cup of flour. Sounds incredibly dense, but it was much lighter than it sounds. I served it with some raspberry sauce as well. We had some leftover Banyuls (love my vacuum saver!!) and decided to give it a try. I thought that this was a much more complimentary match - I didn't feel that the flavors were battling each other in my mouth.
  12. I don't know much about port and don't even know where to begin picking one out. I was thinking of doing port with some chocolate truffles for Valentine's dessert tomorrow. Does anyone know of any good ones for less than $25? Bear with me, I don't even know what price a decent port will fetch.... Thanks!
  13. Wow...I am simply amazed at the amount of caffeine you drink! Do you do it for the buzz, or is it more the taste? I mean, those cappuccinos look very appealing. You must have it down to an art.
  14. pattimw

    Dinner! 2004

    Monday- Spinach fettuccine with ham, broccoli and a light cream sauce. Topped with parmesan. Tuesday. Sauteed sirloin steak rubbed with cumin, coriander, and chili powder, sauteed red peppers and onions with a coffee balsamic glaze. Garlic french fries Salad of baby romaine and baby arugula with a sherry vinegar-walnut oil dressing. Few surreptitious bites of leftover chocolate cake from the weekend.
  15. that dinner looked beautiful, especially the white plate on the wood table, with the glass of wine and the fork. It could be in a magazine.
  16. fifi- I picked some up over the weekend and it worked like a charm! Thanks!
  17. I graduated from Cornell in '95, and boy did it make me appreciate sunny weather! Now that I'm in the Napa Valley, I absolutely take it for granted that all summer (and most of the spring and fall) it will be warm and dry and that we can grow all sorts of veggies in our garden. How did you and Melkor end up in Napa Valley? I'm trying to find a way to end up there myself.... I live in Boston....I don't think I was meant to live in a cold climate.
  18. pattimw

    Dinner with Friends

    She did mention that organic chicken bothered her slightly less than regular. (I was using Bell &Evans) SHe didn't eat it anyway. This friend is somewhat known for being, ahem, a bit of a hypochondriac, so, it is possible that this chicken "allergy" could be fake. Oh, well, there was more chicken for us and I made some great stock out of it!
  19. This is just too funny, I had to share it here. I invited two friends of mine from college over for dinner for tonight (I asked them a week ago). I see them on a fairly regular basis, but don't get to cook for them often, so this was the perfect opportunity. I designed what I thought was a lovely meal, simple for me the chef, after a long work week- Herbed goat Cheese spread to start Roast Chicken Orange and Fennel Salad Green Beans with Toasted Almonds Baguette Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Chocolate layer cake. Simple, but good, and homey, right? I was very proud of myself until a few minutes ago when I emailed said friends to make sure they knew the directions to get to our place. One friend emailed back, said yes, could I send them to her again? And then she drops the bomb that oh, yes, she was talking to the other friend who is coming and this friend reminded her that she should tell me that she has developed an allergy to chicken, but if it can be picked out of the main entree, she'll be fine!!!!!!! Not with roast chicken, you won't!!!! I am laughing my a** off, only this would happen to me. If I invite people to come over whom I do not know very well, I usually ask if they have food allergies or are vegetarians, etc. I thought i knew this friend well enough to know of any issues. Just thought some of you may find that amusing......
  20. I guess stains was not the best word, it really is more cooked-on grease. I got some of it off, between soaking it for days, scrubbing, then soaking some more. There are some great suggestions here. I'll give them a try. melkor, I love the caramelizing onions idea!
  21. I am pretty routine when it comes to lunch. I either takes last night's leftovers, or I have soup and salad. I usually go out for that. I like Au Bon Pain's soup and salads. In fact, I am eating both right now.
  22. I was frying some shrimp cakes over the weekend in a stainless steel saute pan (perhaps this wasn't the best idea, but they were oh so good), and now I have lovely oil stains that just won't come off so matter how hard I scrub. Does anyone have any tips to remove? Thanks
  23. pattimw

    Dutch Ovens

    Excellent suggestion. I'll third that. Great for the cold with a nice big glass of red wine. With egg noodles. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM
  24. I'd really like to check out Barbara Lynch's new ventures - B&G Oysters and, The Butcher Shop (is that right?). Anyone tried those yet? I've never been to No. 9 Park (have heard mixed reviews), but the bar is a good idea. I'll have to check it out sometime.
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