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Found 352 results

  1. I'm having my annual Not Holiday brunch on Sunday--people just drop in and visit--we have mimosas to drink. I have to keep it do ahead because once people start arriving I can't be cooking--so I just put out a buffet table. I'm serving a ham this year and I usually make overnight French toast-- I call it Cuban French toast because the recipe is from my friend Nieves, who's Cuban--but i don't know if it actually is Cuban--but i wanted to do something different. I found this recipe in Epicurious http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/238006 haven't really looked at it yet, but the flavor combo sounds good. Or I could possibly so some sort of strata--not the traditional one, but i've seen fancier recipes for this--or maybe a fritatta or two...or a grits casserole.... I'll make a fruit platter, have some cheeses and salamis, some muffins and tea breads--but if you have anything that you make that works for you, I'm all ears! Zoe
  2. We do brunch on the weekends a lot. Depending on who is in town, the spot changes. For casual brunch, Pancake House, Stella's, Cora's (about once a year) and dim sum. For a not-so-casual brunch, Tavern in the Park or Fort Garry. Are we missing out on any other good spots? I'd like to have a few more options.
  3. Four of us are going to Vegas next weekend. Is the Sterling brunch worth the money? My friend and I have good appetites, though neither one of us are caviar people. He and his wife are champagne lovers, and I wouldn't mind a couple of glasses. My wife is not a big drinker, and her interest would be in good solid breakfast foods, and pastries. Or is our $240+ better off at a casino buffet or a la carte elsewhere?
  4. This morning we made pancakes. Last night, I decided to review all the eG Forums literature on pancakes. Unfortunately, because of dead links, print references and a lot of assumed knowledge, the old topics weren't as useful as they could have been. So, I thought we'd start fresh and try to do it right this time. I propose the following guidelines for this, the pancake topic to end all pancake topics: 1 - State your pancake formula up front. Saying "I use the recipe in Cookbook X" isn't helpful to people who don't have that cookbook. Likewise, links to recipes elsewhere are, as history demonstrates, likely to go dead at some point. So, while it's good to give credit where credit is due (a link, the name of a book), we also need to know the actual formula. We're talking about pancake recipes, so they're not complex or lengthy. Just list your ingredients and amounts. 2 - Don't assume too much knowledge. Saying "I add buttermilk," without more, isn't as useful a piece of advice as laying out your formula and specifying how much buttermilk you use, and why. 3 - Be as specific as possible about techniques, equipment and other elements of pancake cookery. For example, if you use an electric griddle, let us know which one you use, what setting you use and any other tips and tricks. 4 - Embrace the diversity of pancake styles. The pancake topic to end all pancake topics need to be ecumenical on questions of thin v. thick, wheat v. buckwheat, etc. What we should do is try to lay out the ways to do each, not argue about which is better. Make sense? Let me start with a confession: we often use Bisquick. For those of you who don't live in Bisquick nations, Bisquick is mixture of flour, leavening agents, salt and shortening -- basically all the dry ingredients for pancakes (or biscuits, or a million other things). You just add eggs and milk and you have pancake batter. I know it's not cool to use Bisquick, but, well, I'm sorry. Anyway, the formula on the Bisquick box is: 2 cups Bisquick 1 cup milk 2 eggs I've made two modifications to the recipe. First, because I have various objections to volume measures for dry ingredients, I use a scale for pretty much everything these days -- including liquid ingredients. I've also been switching over to the metric system, so my recipe card is in grams. Second, I think the pancakes come out better if you use a little more liquid than the recipe specifies. Interestingly, the simplest shorthand conversion actually makes this happen. I also am guessing that the test-kitchen recipe assumes large eggs whereas the eggs in my refrigerator are almost always extra large or jumbo. (I prefer to weigh eggs for large recipes, but for small recipes I give in to the convenience of whole-egg units.) So, when I do it, it looks like this: 250 g Bisquick 250 g milk 2 extra-large eggs This gives a slightly thinner batter than the official recipe, and the 250/250 system is really simple. Put the bowl on the scale. Tare. Add Bisquick up to 250 g. Add milk up to 500 g (or tare and go to 250). Add 2 eggs. You never even have to use a measuring cup (or two), so in the end the scale method winds up being a little bit quicker (if you always have a scale out on your counter anyway). We don't always use Bisquick. When we don't use Bisquick, however, we use the same formula but just add baking powder, salt and either oil or melted butter. In other words, 250 g of all-purpose flour, 250 g of milk, 2 extra-large eggs, plus 15 g of baking powder, 5 g of salt and 30 g of either oil or melted butter. The liquid balance of the recipe remains pretty much the same if you do it this way. Stir with a wooden spoon until most of the visible lumps are out, though it's fine if a few remain. Resting the batter for about half an hour after making it improves the pancakes in various ways. It seems to resolve any powdery spots, and they come out a little bit fluffier. But even a ten-minute rest is helpful. I know you're supposed to do this in the refrigerator, presumably for food-safety reasons, but I do it on the countertop. In terms of cooking pancakes, I don't have an electric griddle or even a stovetop griddle. I use a 12" nonstick skillet, which accommodates four pancakes made with what I would guess is 50 ml of batter each. I'm saying 50 ml because I use a 1/4 cup plastic measuring cup (which would be about 60 ml) and don't fill it quite to the top, plus because the batter is sticky some of it remains behind in the cup. I heat the skillet until drops of water dance pretty rapidly over its surface. I really should measure it with an infrared thermometer, but I don't have one. I put a pat of butter in, swirl it around, then wipe most of it out with a bunched up paper towel. This leaves enough of a film of butter to give a little flavor and help with browning, but not enough to make a mess of things. I've never been able to judge doneness by the bubbles. They help a little, but ultimately I have to life one pancake a little bit to see the color of the underside (which will eventually be the top presentation side). When it's the right golden brown, that's when I flip the pancakes. The second side cooks for much less time. My preference is to serve pancakes with a mixture of warm maple syrup and melted butter, which basically means putting maple syrup and butter in a Pyrex cup and microwaving it a little (not too much -- maple syrup will bubble over if you're not careful). Next?
  5. I'm picking up a friend at Newark Airport 6 a.m. on Memorial Day and driving to the Dream hotel, which I believe is on West 55th. We'll be spending the day in the city catching up on almost 20 years. What breakfast, lunch and dinner recommendations do you have? I'm sure we wouldn't mind taking a cab or subway someplace, but walking distance of a mile or two is fine. Nothing fancy and I'll probably be leaving before 5 p.m. to Philly, so dinner may not happen. Thanks!
  6. In discussions with a colleague, I was shocked...SHOCKED...to learn that neither he nor his wife eats breakfast before leaving the house in the morning. Now I know there are certain clichés that are just not worth repeating; but frankly, I feel that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I basically always have breakfast, and always make breakfast for my wife, when we're in the same city. And I'm not talking about coffee = breakfast. I make oatmeal or some other hot cereal, cut up fruit, scramble eggs, whole wheat toast, whatever...it's breakfast. And for me, it's necessary, otherwise I start to feel like crap within an hour or two. So, seriously, do you skip breakfast? Why?
  7. We are planning a trip to NVA in a couple of weekends are are hoping to go to my sister's for breakfast on the Sunday. I'd like to find something besides WF where I can get some really good breakfast pastries to take to contribute. I know that every time I go home I spot a dozen bakeries that look interesting, but I can't remember one now! Thanks for the help!
  8. A tall order, I know. Some friends of ours have a lay over between 10:00 - 2:00 at Gatwick. Brunch seems to be the only viable option. They also are coming with a 3 year old. Anywhere within shooting distance of the airport would be best. Any suggestions? I'm at a loss. Thanks!
  9. Traveling to Vancouver this weekend (from Portland) to watch my beloved Red Wings take on the Canucks and am in search of a Sunday brunch venue where my traveling companion will be able to partake in March Madness (a.k.a. watch hoops on t.v. while we dine). We were planning on Aurora until I learned that a) they don't serve Sunday brunch any longer and b) our dining experience must include a television. I'd actually like a meal that's somewhat inventive (or at the very least has a benedict offering on the menu) but understand that given the circumstances, beggars can't be choosers. Could anything possibly fit the bill? We're staying at the Marriott but will have a car. Thanks!
  10. I made a Dutch baby pancake today and on a whim I added a couple dashes of Angostura. The effect was subtle but I think improved the dish, which can be cloyingly sweet with maple syrup. Anyone else tried bitters in their bakegoods? Any thoughts?
  11. It's possible I'm the last to hear about this trick, or perhaps it's really as clever as it seemed to me when I saw it yesterday. I was at a street fair for my son's school and one of the booths was selling pancakes. The chef/owner of the restaurant Kitchenette was cooking pancakes on a charcoal grill. Rather than using a cast-iron skillet or heavy cast-iron griddle, she had laid several inverted aluminum sheet pans over the grill and was using those as a griddle surface. The pancakes came out great, so the idea is valid at least in this application. Not-great cell-phone photo:
  12. O.K. three couples coming from Ireland looking for a good Sunday brunch.in Manhattan. Good food and cocktails a mus, anyone with recommendations? Arriving the 2nd dec and one of the party has birthday for tye second so something out of this world would not be amiss. G
  13. Some good friends are taking us to brunch at Feenie's on Sunday. Has anyone been? If so, is it a buffet (so we can chow down on a bit of everything) or do we order? And if the latter, any suggestions?
  14. I will be near Junior's for breakfast tomorrow. Never been. I did a search and couldn't find any comments relating to what to eat at Juniors other than cheesecake. Any suggestions? When do they stop serving breakfast?
  15. One day after the cease fire and a month long invasion of Lebanon, an old lady stood in front of the rubble of her family's home in the south of Lebanon and declared, " We will, be able to knead and bake our own bread". Here is to her and hers. My wife let this dough rise overnight. Early in the morning I heat the Saaj and my wife cleans it with water. Our neighbours from one side (my brother Sam and his wife Fadia) join in to help. Our neighbours from the other side (my brother Dani and his wife Claude) bring Arabic coffee. The AB looking guy is Sam. The pillow is called 'kara'. Used to stretch the dough to half the thickness of a Tortilla and delivery onto the Saaj.. Viviana and Fadia work feverishly. The bread cooks in about one minute. They get help. Brother Dani and his son Nader. Some Baabeel Manaeesh. Home made Labneh and cheese. Olives, oil, zaatar from Lebanon and homegrown veggies.
  16. I know there have been some brunch discussions here before but I need a place for this Sunday that can accomodate 9 people with relative ease, with a young baby. Yikes. Everybody here came through big time when this Montrealer was in need of Philadelphia restaurant advice ... now I need a great brunch place! There are too many for me to choose from ... El Vez, Standard Tap (would prefer not, because I want to eat dinner there Sunday night), Carman's Country Kitchen (looks small), La Croix (looks expensive), Jones, Rx ... what do you all think?
  17. Thinking of going for Belgian Waffles this holiday Monday - anyone have some suggestions? (For brunch, so Chambar is out of the question ) I'm in Burnaby so some nearby ideas would be great, but willing to travel!
  18. I've been wondering about this for a few weeks, but haven't had any luck finding answers. Our neighborhood garage sale is coming up in a few weeks (the neighborhood association does the advertising, and anyone who wants sets up in their driveways with their own garage sale, and the neighborhood association publishes maps marking where the houses participating are located). Anyway, I'm thinking about trying to get rid of my junk, but thought it would be fun to make things like breakfast tacos or lunch tacos and sell them as well, along with bottled water and sodas, etc. I'm also watching this thread for additional ideas. Anyone know if this is allowed by the city or state or whoever governs food matters?
  19. If you had the option of one breakfast in Manhattan - where would it be? Barney Greengrass?
  20. I'm flying into Newcastle with some friends next week, and spending the night in Durham before heading to the Pennines for a week. Can anyone recommend anywhere for a good breakfast? I'm thinking primarily of a good fry-up (I've only had one since I moved to Germany two years ago), but preferably somewhere where they take more care than in the average greasy spoon. And other suggestions are also very much appreciated, if the food makes a visit worthwhile. Alternatively, since we're not pushed for time and have use of a relatively well-equipped kitchen, can anyone recommend a good butcher's or other source of good-quality eggs and meat? It's years since I had a good-quality, oatmeal-based black pudding. In both cases, recommendations in easy reach (by foot) of the city centre would be much appreciated.
  21. A group of us does Father's Day brunch. Previously we've gone to The Restaurant in Hackensack (great), Arthur's Landing (great; still sad about them closing), Chart House (very good). We're thinking of Essex County this year. One of the group does not like The Manor so any other interesting ideas for a really nice brunch spot?
  22. by David Ross "Your crab was dry," Mike says as I walk into his shop, Williams Seafood Market and Wines in the Spokane Valley. He tells me the crab cakes I made on TV back in December looked delicious . . . but the giant Dungeness Crab that he donated for the on-camera display "looked dry and the shell wasn’t shiny enough." Mike’s brutal critique doesn’t shake my resolve to do another seafood dish. I tell him I’m at the store to purchase the shellfish that I need for the dish I’ll be doing on Sunday: "Grilled Shrimp Stuffed with Crab." But thanks for the constructive criticism, anyway. I guess I should count myself lucky. My small fan base includes a wisecracking fishmonger. Such is the life of a cook on local television. + + + Today I’m preparing for my 34th show on "Sunday Morning Northwest" on KXLY-ABC 4. During the week, the program is called "Good Morning Northwest." The show focuses on news and weather, and serves as the lead-in to "Good Morning America," on ABC. On Sunday, the show takes a different turn-much like the local programs that first aired on television back in the early days. The laid-back, carefree attitude and spontaneity of live, local television, lives on at "Sunday Morning Northwest." The first half-hour of the show always includes a reading of the newspaper headlines from the small, rural, farming towns that surround Spokane. If a moose decided to take a dip in the community pool in Omak, you can be sure it will make the headlines of the Okanagan County Chronicle -- and it will certainly by noted live on "Sunday Morning Northwest." The weather is usually done from a live remote at a local community event. Of course, the Sunday show is never complete without a cooking segment featuring a local Chef or nervous home cook. We’ve seen everything from "Roasted Loin of Elk with Huckleberry Demi-Glace" presented by the Chef of a fancy resort in Northern Idaho to the Woman who won the Spam cook-off at the Interstate Fair. It’s all done in the spirit of promoting local Chefs and restaurants while having fun with food and cooking. (And as fate often demonstrates on live TV -- the viewers have a few laughs at wacky cooks who muster-up enough courage to come on live television and make some sort of horrendous tuna casserole). We try to make the recipe simple enough that it can be done in a reasonable amount of time, but we don’t restrict ourselves to doing recipes in 30 minutes or less. If you have to chill the custard base of the ice cream overnight, that’s what we tell the viewers. While we may use short-cuts on-camera to demonstrate the steps of the recipe, short cuts in the actual recipe aren’t allowed for the sake of convenience. If crab cakes taste better when they’re sautéed in clarified butter, so be it. We don’t forsake flavor at the cost of cutting fat and calories. We present the most flavorful dish possible. I e-mail the producer about three weeks before the show with a general idea of the dish I’m planning. Then about three or four days before the show, I send the recipe of the final dish. This allows KXLY to do promos up to two days in advance of the show: "Coming up on KXLY Sunday Morning Northwest, our favorite local chef, David Ross, will be preparing a delicious dish using fresh Dungeness Crab and Shrimp from Williams Seafood in the Valley." The recipe we post on the station’s website is usually written to serve 6-8 people. But, when you cook on local television, there is a very, very important consideration that you must factor into your shopping list-enough food to feed the crew. That means a recipe written for the public to serve precisely one "Shrimp Stuffed with Crab" to each of 8 guests, is a much different, and much larger recipe, behind the scenes. It’s more than just a matter of prepping 8 stuffed shrimp. It’s a matter of stuffing 30, maybe even 40 shrimp. I triple or quadruple the quantities called for in a recipe so that I can feed the cameramen, the floor director, the producer, the hosts, the sports guy, the weather lady, the DJ’s in the adjacent AM radio station booth-every person working in the studio on Sunday morning will have at least one of these delectable stuffed shrimp. (It’s vital to send the crew home sated; they are the ultimate taste-test panel. If they like your food, the viewers will like it too.) After the recipe for the dish I put together an "Invoice," a shopping list of ingredients that lists the cost of the products I’ll be buying for the recipe. This serves as my contract, if you will, for KXLY. The final piece of the written paperwork for each show is the "script" that I write for myself. This isn’t the same type of "script" that might be rehearsed by the actors on "The Bold and The Beautiful." The only person that reads this script is me. (And maybe the co-host who glances at the script tucked under the plate displayed on the set). When you cook on local television you don’t rehearse with other actors. If you choose to rehearse you do it at home ahead of time. Remember, this is live TV. We don’t have room for errors. We don’t do re-takes or re-shoot scenes. We’re LIVE! For my own piece of mind, I need a script as a sort of crutch to lean on. (Hey, Martha always has a cheat sheet on the counter). The script is my guide to all the points of the dish that I want to convey. This Sunday, I want to mention Williams Seafood and the array of products that Mike offers. I’ll talk about using wild American shrimp because they have a sweeter taste than farm-raised, and I’ll demonstrate how the prosciutto serves as a natural wrapper to hold the crab stuffing in the shrimp. The script helps me with my timing when I’m on-camera -- and timing is critical when you cook on television. I rehearse the script over and over and over in my living room, while a little white kitchen timer ticks away. I can’t tell you how many professional chefs and amateur cooks I’ve seen on television who didn’t rehearse their bit-and the results on live television were disastrous. (Like the chef who -- at the moment of presenting his dessert -- realized that he left the ice cream in his car. In the sun. He literally ran out of the studio, on live TV, to go get the ice cream.) The only small measure of direction I get from the Floor Director on the set is when I’m told to "look into the camera" seconds before the red light comes on. + + + I’ll need two of Mike’s best crabs for Sunday’s show -- one for the meat in the crab stuffing, and another one for the display of ingredients on the set. This morning Mike takes literally 20 minutes to scrub and wash the shell of the prized "display crab." As he toils away, I vow to honor his crab by insuring that the shell will be kept wet and shiny during its appearance -- or I won’t be able to show my face in Mike’s shop again. I’ll be making a crab cake mixture to stuff the shrimp. I’m wondering if Mike can top himself after the wondrous crabs he’s already given me, but he doesn’t disappoint today -- his fresh Wild American Shrimp fished out of the Gulf of Florida are just the right size to hold my savory crab cake stuffing. In the case of Sunday’s dish of Stuffed Shrimp, the recipe calls for grilling the shrimp on the outdoor barbecue. But we won’t be barbecuing the shrimp on camera this Sunday. I’ll grill the shrimp at home and then we’ll go through the motions of the cooking process during our live segment. I try to have all of my prep work done by late Saturday afternoon so I all I have to do on Sunday morning is pack the coolers and drive to the studio. There won’t be a Hummer limousine at my doorstep on Sunday morning waiting to whisk me in comfort to KXLY. I’ll be driving myself to the studio in a Dodge pickup. My home office serves as the "staging" area for packing the coolers. Make note of the supplies on the floor next to the cooler-dishes, toothpicks, silverware, tongs, spatulas and kitchen towels. And yes, I am following the direct instructions of Mike the fish guy -- I bought a spray bottle at the "Dollar Store" so that I can keep our precious "display crab" wet on camera. + + + I’ve never cooked on the "Today Show" on NBC in New York. I’ve heard that cooks who appear on "Today" are escorted into what is called a "Green Room," catered with lush displays of fresh fruit, vegetable and cheese trays, pastries and a never-ending assortment of beverages to await their few moments of fame. We don’t have a "Green Room" at KXLY. What we have is a room used by the weekday news staff to script out the flow of the news programs. Not having a Green Room is a blessing in disguise. The atmosphere in the studio is very casual and I don’t have to sit in a cold, lonely room waiting for a perky intern to escort me to the studio. I wait in the studio. You learn to be patient and immodest around the crew -- these are the people who watch you unzip your pants in the studio. You pull out your shirt so they can thread a small microphone from your waist, underneath your shirt, up to your neck and then clip the little mouthpiece to your collar. The only style advice I ever got was from my co-host, Teresa Lukens, who cautioned me not to wear a striped or checked shirt on-camera-something about the pattern of my shirt being a distraction to the viewers. (And I thought the girth of my waist was more of a distraction to the viewers than the pattern of my shirt). I don’t wear a Chef’s coat, because I don’t consider myself a Chef. I’m a cook and I want the viewers to relate to my story and my personality with ease and comfort. I want them to feel comfortable going into their kitchens at home and creating the types of dishes they might have at a restaurant. I don’t want to scare them by thinking only a guy in a chef’s coat can cook good food. Our kitchen at KXLY comprises an electric, flat-top stove inserted into a formica cabinet on wheels, held in place with sandbags. We don’t have an oven, refrigerator, freezer or running water. We make do with what we have-and that’s why I bring my own spatulas, spoons and water bottle to spray the crab. After the "Pet for Adoption" segment, I’m allowed on the set to get ready. I usually have about 15 minutes to unpack the coolers, put the ingredients on display and get the stove-top heated. We begin our cooking segment with a 30-second lead-in, usually after the local sports report. Teresa introduces the dish we’ll be doing and then we break to another commercial. I don’t have a lot of time to grill shrimp when we go live on KLXY -- only four minutes total for cooking time and discussion of the dish with my co-host. I’m lucky to have Teresa as my host. She knows food and cooking. She knows that prosciutto is cured Italian ham and she knows it’s thin and slightly salty. She knows to ask if smaller prawns will work for the recipe. And without prompting, she’ll ask why I’m using fresh Dungeness crab instead of canned lump crab meat. At the end of the segment we cut to one last commercial. As we come back live, Rick and Teresa are their normally gracious selves, tasting the stuffed shrimp and declaring it delicious. The show is a wrap. One more taste-test lies ahead before we can bring this journey to an end. What will the crew say about my "Shrimp Stuffed with Crab?" They tell me the stuffed shrimp were delicious. But you know what they really liked? What impressed them the most? The radishes. About a week after Sunday’s show, I went back to Williams Seafood to get some photos of the shop for this story. I find Mike behind the counter cutting fresh tuna steaks. "At least it looked fresh this time," he says. + + + Epilogue Shortly after I finished this piece, I began working with KXLY on our next cooking segment, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 16. The plan was to cook some unique side dishes that the home cook could easily do to accompany the holiday turkey or prime rib. At least that was the plan until I picked up the local newspaper on November 2. When I turned to the business section, I saw the ominous news: "KXLY cancels weekend news program." I immediately contacted the producer. I had been cancelled -- a victim of the horrible state of the economy. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. Cancelled after seven years and dozens of live cooking segments. Cancelled. Because "Sunday Morning Northwest" wasn’t the lead-in program to "Good Morning America," on the weekdays, it relied heavily on local advertising for its survival. ABC wouldn’t (and KXLY couldn’t) carry the burden of producing a local show that didn’t feed into network programming. With so many local businesses filing for bankruptcy and others literally closing the doors, one of the first budget items to go was television advertising -- advertising revenue that paid to produce "Sunday Morning Northwest." I wasn’t the only on-air "personality" to get the pink slip. The weekend weather "person" also got her walking papers. Rick and Teresa Lukens returned to the security of the KXLY-AM 920 radio booth and continue with their weekday morning drive-time show. And I have taken an unwanted leave of absence from local television. At least for a few months. Loyalty is not a word that is highly regarded in the television business. If ABC cancels you, you talk to NBC and so I’ve shifted my ambitions to KHQ -- the local NBC affiliate. KHQ airs a local morning program seven days a week. So if the culinary Gods are praying for me, someday soon I’ll begin doing a live cooking segment on the "KHQ Morning News." * * * David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food, reviews restaurants and -- obviously -- does food presentation. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team for the Culinary Culture and Kitchen forums.
  23. Of all my past experiences, I'd have to say that the one I rue the most is my involvement with the Waffle House as a Manager Trainee and then Unit manager. From the very beginning the relationship cost me more than it was worth. I had just moved to Atlanta and had moved in to the spare bedroom of my brother's apartment. As I was searching for gainful employ, I responded to an ad in the Atlanta Journal-constitution. I had at the time just separated from four years of service in the Marines as a Food Service Specialist (cook) and it was the base of my experience. The ad as it turns out was from AAA Employment. I had no experience with these kinds of services and quickly found myself being taken advantage. I interviewed twice, once with a management recruiter for Waffle House and then with my future division manager Jim H. We negotiated a salary and the fee for AAA was supposedly added to it. Once I accepted the terms and had started the training program, AAA contacted me wanting their money right away. Waffle House had pulled a bait and switch! I discovered after I had started, that the "Salary" we negotiated was simply the basis upon which a hourly wage was determined while I was in training and once I actually became a Unit Manager, I would make a base salary plus a package of bonuses. AAA was adamant when I tried to explain my situation to them that I had to pay them or I could not take the job. I should have taken the “or”. So the next six weeks of hourly pay, or practically the whole training period at “Waffle House University” went to AAA and I depended heavily on my brother's good nature. In retrospect I should have seen what was coming when I had to sign a contract that essentially made me financially responsible and accountable for all food and money in the restaurant. The next chapter in this story opens with me moving out of my brother's place and into a one bedroom apartment in Lithonia, GA in order to be assigned to my first Waffle House as a prerequisite. The restaurant I was eventually assigned after working “Internships” at other Waffle Houses in Jim's division was unit #580 on Evans Mill Rd. in Lithonia. I showed up at 6:30am to discover I was replacing one of my management training classmates. I was instructed to send him to the district manager's other store which was on the opposite side of the interstate exit we were adjacent to. I then proceeded to meet the staff of my first restaurant as manager and worked the entire day with them. Unit Manager at Waffle House is pretty straight forward. You cook the first shift of the day, 7:00am to 2:00pm. You then change shifts, count out the sales from the first shift, replace the cash register drawer with the new shift, fill out a sales report and make a bank deposit for sales from the last twenty four hours. After which the manager inventories the food on the floor and replaces what was used during the last day from the commissary which is kept under lock and key. My mistake as I would later learn was that I was not properly “Checked in” to the restaurant by the district manager that morning and had thusly assumed all responsibility blindly. The district manager “Darrel” showed up at the next shift change (9pm) to do a audit of food and money. As this was all new and exciting to me and I have a habit in general to trust people, found myself being taken to the bank. Darrel audited the cash which came out just fine. Then we went to the commissary and inventoried all the food, which also came out fine. BUT, when we came back to the office we discovered we (I) had not secured the cash in the safe and after recounting discovered five hundred dollars missing. I was afforded the opportunity to replace the cash personally or it would have to be reported and I would most likely lose my job on the first day and the money would have been deducted from my pay and a bill sent to me for the remainder. Thus was the nature of the contract I had signed.
  24. Has anyone tried the ebelskiver pancake pan from Williams-Sonoma? It gets insanely high ratings on their site, and I think my daughter would love them and enjoy helping make them. It is only $40, so I can't go that wrong, but I just hate specialized tools taking up space that might only be marginally used. Also, some reviews said the non-stick surface tended to flake. Here is the link. k.
  25. I am going to prepare Brunch for around 150 people. Will be a combination of breakfast / brunch items as well as main entree, to include starch, vegetables, breads / muffins, fruit, cheese and an array of fabulous desserts. Suggestions / great combinations would be muchly appreciated.
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