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Found 295 results

  1. Is it bad form to start Foodblog admitting to be lightly intimidated? I mean, seriously, having to follow Kew & Tepee's blog is like a comic having to follow Robin Williams! I hope I am worthy. My name is Arne Salvesen, I'm 39 (40 in August - egads!) and live in Burnaby, BC, Canada which is the next municipality east of Vancouver - home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Bottom line, I'm no more than 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. My family consists of my two sons (who gave me the Daddy-A handle) who live with their mother in Pitt Meadows (we'll be making a trip there this week), my wife "J", and our two Jack Russel Terriers, Ringo & Gromit, who graciously allow us to share our home with them. I'll be posting dog pictures later, but in the meantime my avatar will have to suffice. My connection to the "food" scene is completely amateur in nature. Never worked in a restaurant and have only really thought about it as a "hobby" over the last couple years. Professionaly some of you already know I am a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), so that is probably my closet "professional" connection. My web site is in my sig line, or you can PM if you'd like more information. Still, one of the greatest joys I have in life is cooking for my family & friends, or enjoying a meal out in one of the most vibrant food scenes anywhere. That is what I hope to share with you this week: a small sampling on how Daddy-A cooks & eats his way through a week in Vancouver. We'll visit some of the better known places, but I hope to also introduce you to something new. Along the way we'll also meet a few of the local eGulleters, and see what I can do with my brand new Weber Smokey Mountain! Heaven help my waistline! A.
  2. Hi! I guess I should begin by introducing myself. Call me kew ('kyü), short for Qistina. I live in Malaysia's model intelligent township about 50km from the capital city Kuala Lumpur, and adjacent to the new administrative capital city Putrajaya. I am a SAHM, with 4 kids ages 4 to 12. I quit working about 8 years ago to concentrate on being a full-time Mommy. 6 years ago, I began baking goodies at home for sale, mostly to friends, family, and acquaintances. Back in the 80's I had the opportunity to live in Canada, where I studied Computer Math at one of the universities in Ontario. I loved it there, and still miss it very much. Given a choice I would have stayed there and work, but I had to come back. After about 2 years of being back and working in the field of my training, I realized that I didn't want to be holed up with machines and data all day long and eventually found myself in Personnel/Human Resources. I enjoyed what I did very much. I was first assigned to the Recuitment Section, then on to Compensations and Benefit and later to Employee Relations where I was also in charge of the cafeteria. We had about 4000 employees working round the clock on 8 hour shifts then. The cafeteria services was leased out to Gardner Merchant of the UK and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. During that time, our cafeteria was known to be the cleanest and the best within Penang. I really loved my job, but when I was pregant with my third child, I decided that being a Mommy is more important to me. So, when my oldest child entered kindergarten, I quit my job. It was then that I had time to dabble with my other passion which is baking. My Grandma was a baker and my Mom, although she didn’t really pursue that as a career, loved baking and always did so for friends. Apart from the baking, I also now have a small home-based web services business. I should warn you that we don't eat any designer or elegant food at home everyday. And I hardly plan out in great detail as to what we'd eat. Gone are those days. Now, I much prefer to take it easy, so to speak, and work things out according to the changing demands. Some days I cook, other days I just want to be lazy. Weekends are rest days, we eat out. Breakfast is usually a hurried affair of bread or cereal and juice or milk for the kids before they leave for school. DH, he just wants a cup of coffee. And as for me, I eat whatever I want. Today, I had a Butterfinger Wafer for breakfast followed by some ice-cream. Butterfinger Wafers are not available here - we received a box of goodies from a friend in the US - hence the excitement And I needed to be real quick about it. I had a cake to deliver this morning, some 40km away and then come back in time to pick up my little girl from kindy. I seldom eat lunch because the kids have lunch at school and DH works too far away to come home for lunch. So, mostly I will talk about what we have for dinner. But I will try to eat a proper lunch the next 3 days. And you've been warned, it will be nothing like those you've seen before .... where you see them prepare/eat elaborate and elegant food. Everyday meals are a simple affair. And as I am currently over my head with things (but I've been asked to blog for several times that I feel guilty of saying no ) , I don't foresee preparing any time-consuming dishes. I will blog for the first 4 days and then TeePee will take over the next 3 days. Perhaps, we can see the similarities or differences between what a typical Malay family (mine) eat for everyday and what a Chinese family (TeePee's) normally eat. Feel free though to ask questions and I will try my best to answer them. I will talk about today's dinner in a bit. It's only 5:30pm here now and we don't eat dinner till about 7:30pm or so.
  3. My name's Rochelle. I think I had the original foodblog here on eGullet--I blogged twice a week for six months while I was a student at L'academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, MD. (Lookie here if you're interested.) I go back and read that blog sometimes and I'm amazed at how many stories are within--my journey from amateur to professional started there, yes, but I was also journeying from vegetarian to omnivore. Culinary school isn't the end of the story--not by a long shot! I've been busy working on all the things I wanted to do in the culinary field since graduating. I have a steady cooking job, I teach little kids cooking skills at a day camp in the summertime, and I started writing for a new local magazine on area food recently. Cooking, writing, teaching--these are the reasons why I wanted to go to culinary school, and I'm fortunate to be able to do them all. So what do I do for my regular job? I am the chef for the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha at the University of Maryland. I embody the cliche chief-cook-bottle-washer. I control the food budget, I set the menus, I order the food, I put the food away when it arrives, I cook the food, I wash the dishes afterwards. I can't blame anybody but myself when things go wrong. My boss, the "house mom," is not a cook--the few times I've been unable to make it because of illness or weather, I've ordered food from a place near campus and arranged to have it delivered. (Big food budget bite--that's a last resort.) I love the level of responsibility this job requires, and I enjoy getting to play around with food for the 34 girls who live in the house. They're good eaters--many do watch their weight, but others tuck enthusiastically into beef burgers or linguine alfredo. I cook lunch and dinner, Monday-Friday for them. There's no dinner on Friday, so Friday's a short day (thank God, my feet are starting to kill me by then!). I rarely work into the night or on weekends, but I plan to go in for a few hours tomorrow to start getting ready for Tuesday, when I run two special events in one day (a record for me!). But more on that later. When I'm not at work, I don't cook all that much. I used to, but I'm a little more tired of it than I was when I started this job. I cook mostly simple American food at home. It's easy and satisfying. I still haven't decided what to make for dinner tonight though, so we'll see what happens. My parents are visiting next weekend so I expect to cook something a little more interesting for them. I have two ducks in the freezer, so they're sure to figure prominently. Suggestions welcome. So far today, I've consumed a bowl of oatmeal (the rolled kind, from the bulk bins of the natural foods coop we belong to)--with a touch of butter, a little milk, Trader Joe's Golden Berry Blend, Penzey's cinnamon, and a tiny bit of brown sugar. Big mug of coffee alongside, which I am nursing as I write this post. I was working my way through some coffee with chicory from Community Coffee but I ran out. So today's is the dregs from Costco's in-house coffee roaster. I have a big sack of beans from the local Mayorga Coffee Roasters which I am eager to break into. Hopefully tomorrow. I am a big fan of coffee though I am no coffee connoissuer. I drink decaf almost exclusively. I have enough energy without the drug. I will try to get photos into this blog when possible, but I make no promises. There's only one computer in my house with photo-editing capability, and my spouse is on it most of the time since it's his desktop. (He's a doctoral candidate in the school of music at UMD, which makes my job super-convenient. When he's on spring break, so am I. We shared a langorous winter break together recently--five delicious weeks, two of them in Paris.)
  4. So, it’s the morning of the 19th, and it’s my turn on stage. Oh, no! I think I’ve forgotten my lines, even worse, it appears there isn’t a script! How do I keep up the high standards therese set in her blog? Help! Deep breath, I’m sure I’m not the only one that gets food blog stage fright… Ok, OK…Start with the basics… Well, I grew up in Montana USA, moved to Alaska USA after uni/with husband (husband is from Alaska). After 4 years in Anchorage we moved to Melbourne Australia. We had a 2 year temporary visa but ended up staying 11 years. (Don't worry, we did actually renew our visas! ) Then just a few months ago we decided to take an opportunity that has brought us to Dubai UAE. And that’s a looooong way from Montana in more than just distance! To prepare for this week I did what I usually do to plan food. I grabbed some of my food mags and some of my cookbooks and paged through to find somthing I felt like cookin'. There's often not a rhyme or reason to what I pick, it just sounds fun to make! The thing I’ve done the most this past year is make bread and I’m very proud of some of my efforts. This week I want to give Ciabatta a try and I, of course am open to hints in making it! Of course I'll just HAVE to go out for a meal or two this week. Sometimes that's hard to fit in with all the stuff I organise to cook but I'll just have to make the time, now won't I? therese asked loads of questions of us last week and I’ll be asking some too. Difference is I don’t know the answers! I’m still trying to identify things at the supermarkets! Before I forget, I need to say thanks to my friend Amanda who sent me the quote in my signature just in time for my blog and without even knowing I was gonna be doing this! (doing dance of joy now since I made it over the initial posting!)
  5. Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese. As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better. Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which. We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product. So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it. But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast? Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat. The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner. I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
  6. Hi everybody! Breakfast on this sunny Saturday morning is a small bowl of milk & granola: When I am not Chufi, I am Klary, and I live with my husband and 2 rats in Amsterdam. I work parttime and when people ask what I do on the days I don't work, my answer is: I'm always busy with food I'll be taking you on a tour around my favorite shops and foodplaces this week. Ofcourse I'll get some cooking and eating done as well! I hope my english will hold up. If you don't understand me, please say so and I'll try to explain! off to the shops now, see you later
  7. Good morning, everyone. Let me begin by saying I am freakishly excited and quiveringly nervous. Let's begin, then? I often eat a multi-stage breakfast, as you'll see shortly. This morning I slunk out of bed at 4:40 to make it to a 5:15 Pilates class (I only do this once per week!), drinking a small coffee adulterated with General Foods International Coffee (vanilla flavor - an on again, off again addiction) on the drive over. After class, and partially awakened, I head over to work and eat a greens bar on *that* drive. Calories of any sort after being at the gym is always a good idea. Finally, at work, I have my customary cafe au lait with crappy work brew and nuked 2% milk, and a small bowl of plain yogurt with handful of granola and a little bit of leftover "breakfast" quinoa from lunch yesterday. My camera phone takes an awful picture, I know, but some visuals are better than none, I hope: Bad photo #1: Bad photo of freaky yogurt quinoa mush #2: More to come, and better pictures - I promise. Andrea http://tenacity.net [edited to change photo links]
  8. Good morning, EGulleters! Food before introductions. . . TJ's breakfast: That's Kashi Good Friends CinnaRaisin crunch and Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat English Muffins with peanut butter. My breakfast: That's. . .yeah, you can probably read the labels. Nice to meet you. I'm Diana, 31, living with TJ (the boyfriend) for just over 5 years now. A couple of years ago, we bought a house in St Petersburg, Florida, USA, which is in the Tampa Bay area. All the foodstuffs this week will come from the Bay area, and I hope you enjoy the trip. Goodness knows some of you could use a glimpse of sunshine & warmth right about now. Today's going to be a little busier than usual. . .we've been looking for an excuse to fire up the smoker, and thank goodness the blog opportunity came along. Tomorrow (Saturday) we'll be smoking a brisket and a pork shoulder, so I have to go to the meat market today to get the brisket. Before that, I need to turn a bowl of cookie dough into cookies, and meet TJ & friends for lunch at a great Cuban place over in Tampa. I feel like this requires full disclosure: I love shopping for foodstuffs almost as much as I enjoy cooking & eating it. So this week, I plan to take you all to the Saturday Morning Market here in St Pete (it's like a farmer's market & crafter's market all together); the Italian import shop; and Publix. I think the only place you'll miss this week is Costco, since that's not an every week shopping trip. Grab some flip flops and sunscreen and enjoy a trip to the (near) tropics in the middle of winter! Diana
  9. My name is Andy Lynes and I am a Site Manager for eGullet. I live in the village of Patcham, just outside of the seaside resort of Brighton and Hove on the South Coast of England. I'm 39 years old and married to Gill. We have two kids, George (11) and Alice (7) and a German Shorthaired Pointer named Lulu. My entire life revolves around food. Apart from my duties here on eGullet, I write about it for a living, I cook most days at home, I eat out a great deal and I read everything I can lay my hands on that is food, drink and restaurant related. My interest in just about anything else (apart from music and Uma Thurman) is limited, which can make me tiresome company for the non-food obsessed people in my life. However, I think we're all on the same page here, so this week I'll be documenting everything I cook and pretty much everything I eat. I won't pretend that its going to be a normal week in the Lynes household, I'll be making a special effort in order to make the blog at least readable. So I'll be visiting my local butchers, fish mongers, markets and supermarkets to give you a flavour of what its like to live and cook where I am. I'll be sharing recipes, techniques and general food-musings with you and I'll document the soundtrack to my cooking (there's always music or the radio playing when I'm preparing a meal). I'll tell you how I'm feeling in order to judge if mood can affect what I cook and how well I cook it. I'll be exploring what food means to me and who and what has influenced the way I cook. This week is a particularly interesting one as it will include a visit to Bray to chat with Heston Blumental and a gathering of UK eGullet members for a winter feast in London. I'm looking forward to it.
  10. For the next week, I invite you to join me for meals at my house...nothing quite so exotic as eating in SE Asia (not by a long shot!) but, based on some of the threads popping up lately (e.g., January Detox and New Years Resolution - Lose Weight), it might be of some interest. As a quick introduction, I am Jen Jensen and I live in Sacramento. This is my second turn at blogging; the first blog is here. I won't go into too much personal detail, since it's all there and I'd just be repeating myself. Back then, I wrote "In the coming week, I'll be eating at home, eating out, and (most exciting of all) eating at Tigh-na-Mara, a spa/resort on Vancouver Island in BC." Well, I definitely ate a lot! A few months later, I stepped on the bathroom scale and realised that, if I didn't do something, I was just going to keep putting on weight until I popped like that fellow in the Monty Python skit. And so I joined Weight Watchers. My primary goal was to relearn my better eating habits. I reckoned if I did that, then I would also lose weight. So far, it's worked quite well. As of yesterday, I've lost exactly 27 pounds. And, thanks to eGullet for inspiration (and the Weight Watchers thread in particular), I've been able to eat some pretty damn good food while losing that weight! And now...I'm off to make my breakfast!
  11. So here we are in an internet cafe in Siem Reap Cambodia, sharing a dial-up connection with a handful of locals. We've been traveling for two weeks, we're blogging the last week of our vacation here. In the past two weeks we've been wandering around Thailand, we were fortunate in our inability to extend our diving trip in Phuket last week so we were safely up north in Chiang Rai for the earthquake and Tsunami that trashed the beach we were staying on a few days earlier. We spent the past two days in Phnom Penh which was surprisingly enjoyable. Good food, nice people, and traffic that makes my driving look calm by comparison. This morning our first meal was on a converted cargo plane flying from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. We'll add pictures once we find reasonable speed net access. On a 45 minute flight on President Airlines we were fed a bag of peanuts and what looked like a croissant but was egg bread with some sort of coconut jam inside. When we checked into our hotel this morning we had a proper breakfast (for the country we just left) of rice porridge with chicken, scallions, and celery tops - the usual condiment tray of chili powder, sliced chilis in vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar was provided. Some pineapple, papaya, orange juice that tasted more like flat orange soda, lipton tea, and a doxycycline pill rounded out the meal. We're off to Angkor Wat for the day, we'll check in again tonight - hopefully with pictures. MsMelkor & Melkor
  12. Hello, it's been a while. Since we've been promised snow in this week's forecast, I've traded in my food bus for a sleigh. This blog doesn't actually get started until tomorrow, but I wanted to get y'all thinking some. See here's the deal. In my first foodblog, many of you came and visited with me as guests in my home. Well, now you're all more like family. So this time, you have to help me. Welcome to the interactive foodblog. I decided that if I was going to do another blog, I had to branch out. I couldn't just do the same thing I did last time and more importantly, I didn't want to replicate any of the dishes I did last time around. This I realized was going to require me to step outside my foodbox somewhat though. So I'm going to do some experimenting. I'm going to make some things I've never made before. Now I know, from reading the various threads on these forums that there's a wealth of information and advice to be had, and that's exactly what I need from y'all. I'll be doing stuff that you're going to think "how can she not know how to do that?!". Well I haven't and I don't. But, I'm willing to put my ingnorance on the line in the interests of higher learning. I'm putting myself out there folks. Don't let me fall. Not only that, but other than our big Christmas dinner, which will actually be Boxing Day (the day after Christmas for all you non Canadian and English people), I don't think there's a speck of beef on the menu. Oh the withdrawal! Note the Southern drawl? A lot of what I'll be doing are Southern dishes. I figure by the time I'm done, not only will my drawl have improved, but I'll be a card carrying Southern Mama. So sit back and relax. But don't get too comfortable. Y'all need to work with me on this one.
  13. Meanwhile, back in Seattle... I have to admit to feeling a bit daunted following up slkinsey's feast of a Thanksgiving as well as our own little ms foodie's romp through the Emerald City. Still, I will do my mostest. I'm gonna start this up with a bit of an intriduction and some background and will then post on today's actual food and suchlike a bit later this evening, once I finish rooting through today's pics. So, a bit about me and where this foodblog is headed. For the last year or so I've been a cheese-maker here in Seattle. THis came kinda out of the blue for me, as up to that point I'd spent the previous ten years in computer systems and netowrk administration. Maybe two years ago I started to give real thought to leaving IT for some sort of wortk in food. I attribute this desire to a mix of my love of sharing good food with people. In college my best friend and I threw dinner parties for anywhere from eight to twenty-five people very nearly every friday night for over a year. My cooking at the time was rather rudimentary but still impressive enoug to my college peeps. In any case, as I started pondering the idea of food work in that sort of distant hypothetical way (i.e. "boy, it'd be neat to be doing XYZ for a living") one of my closest fgriends , who was also considering such amove, loaned me his copy of Bourdain's delightful Kitchen Confidential. I tore through the book and found that it really humanized the wholke prospect a lot. Showed me the real workaday side of it rather than the pipe-dream what-ifs I'd been podering up till then. So, I started poking around the net for more, stumbled upon this delightful site and was immediately sucked in. About six months later I finally bagged my lousy job at the Evil Empire across the lake in Redmond and decided to search in earnest for work in foodland. I came, naturally, to eGullet for advice and got it in spades. I mentioned that I'd made cheese from a kit and dig it as I've been a cheese-o-phile for many years. I was then told by a certain ms ramsey [ed. actually it was tsquare] who shall remain anonymous that down at Pike Place Market there was a sign up that said "looking for cheesemakers." A month and a half later I was hired and here I am a little over a year later making cheese for a living. Well, cheese, butter and sometimes ice cream. Needless to say, I love it. I see Kitchen Confidential (and as such Bourdain) as the catalyst that started the ball rolling. The rest was serendipity, luck and whatever else makes the world go round. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to thank him in person when he did a signing to push his Les Halles cookbook a few weeks ago in town. It pleased me to no end that night, upon starting to read the book itself, to see him use phrases like "renegade cheesemakers." I am heartened by this sort of encouragement. This sort as well: As such, this blog, along with being a peek into my daily cooking and eating, will also present a look at the day-to-day workings of a new little cheese company. The company is Beecher's Handmade Cheese and at this point my role is assistant cheesemaker and essentially second in command with regard to the day-to-day workings of the production side of the business. I'll post again shortly with today's meal goodness as well as a bit of cheese-production goodness. The title of this blog is a bit of an accidental tribute to Evan dorkin's classic Milk and Cheese comic series. [Edited to correct an attribution]
  14. Note: Now that it's Thanksgiving week, this Diary has upped the ante by turning into the weekly foodblog as well. Click here to go down to the beginning of the foodblog. In consultation with our blog Czar over in the General forum, I am going to be writing about the preparations leading up to our big Thanksgiving Dinner which, as most of you know, is just around the corner in a few weeks. I guess it's been around ten years now that I've been doing Thanksgiving dinner partys, and they have increased in sophistication and complexity every year. It was just the usual turkey, dressing, and vegetable sides the first year. Then that grew into Turducken with the usual sides jazzed up a bit. After a few years of Turducken, I started getting tired of that and began moving in the direction of multiple courses. The first time I think we made a lobster bisque followed by a buckwheat crepe filled with a leek and gruyere mixture alongside a bundle of three asparagus spears held together with a strip of bacon, and then a turkey ballotine stuffed with a chicken and foie gras mousse. From there, it just kind of took off, and this is where we found ourselves last year: So the question is, what are we going to have this year? Over the next few weeks I'll post here about the process from end-to-end, from settling on a guest list to picking the wines, to QAing new dishes to picking out wines to dinnertime logistics and execution to cleanup, and more.
  15. Good morning!! So I'm pretty nervous to be blogging this week, it seems others have an effortless way of writing and I'm just not so sure that is the case with me. But I'm excited so I hope you enjoy!! I've just been on eGullet since March and am learning so much around the forums. The foodblogs have been so interesting to read that I hope there is something others will learn from mine. My husband and I live in Seattle, WA and we love to cook. We especially like to try to cook with what is locally available and in season. Obviously it's a bit more of a challlenge this time of year but we are still plugging along. We are still considered newly weds. Just celebrated our 1st year anniversary. I was lucky in that the first year of our marriage I didn't have to work. I had a whole year to really work on my cooking. I loved starting dinner at 2pm and cooking multiple couses for dinner. So 1950's maybe but such a great feeling to have your love come home and be so excited for dinner! So now we both are working full time and the all day cooking is reserved for weekends. We still have great dinners every night we are at home though. This week will be a mix of me cooking at home, menu planning, shopping our local markets and a bit of dining out! Wendy
  16. Good Morning, all. Thank you, Ronnie Suburban, for a great blog! It would be hard to deliver such an appealing display of foods! Hopefully we can provide continuing enjoyment to all, as eG food blogging travels south, especially to those of you who dream of a warmer climate, like we used to! I will start this, and acquaint you with my husband, and his own introduction will follow soon. We are pleased to be food blogging during this time of year, when many think that Florida is at its best (well, except for all the election controversies). Fall does hold some of the best weather in this sunshine state, and the weather affects our cooking and eating almost as much as anything else. We have been having days in the mid to high 80’s, and nights in the high 60’s recently, with mostly clear skies. We hope to show you that Florida is much more than strip malls, the hanging chads of 2000, hurricanes, and who knows what by the time this Election Day is over; and we hope to share some of the joys of being here and living our dream. We will both be leaving for work shortly, and so until we get home and continue posting, we welcome you to our home, our kitchen, and our eating places. Come on in: Here's an outside view of the porch: Our kitchen, as you enter from the dining area: From the other end: And, from the living room, looking across the bar: For those who know me from the eG topics I frequent, especially the Dinner thread, it is no secret that our eating place is usually our porch. What is more of a secret is that we have a TV on our porch and we often watch a lot of sports and some other programs while we eat dinner. Some of our most romantic dinners were with a baseball or soccer game, a NASCAR race, or other sports event on TV, and a beautiful place setting with candlelight and flowers on the table. It’s been a tradition for us for a long time. I often post on eG about the enjoyment my husband and I have in cooking together, or cooking for each other; but as you may have gathered, Russ reads a lot more than he posts. When he introduces himself in this blog, it will be his second post! I asked him to join me in this, since so much of our cooking involves him. (He might say that I threatened him in some way if he didn’t do it.) So after I have introduced myself to those who don’t know me, Prepcook will introduce himself. Then we will proceed to journal our eating! I work part time and he works full time, so most likely I will have more entries and most of his will probably be early morning or evenings. Unfortunately, neither of us can access eG while we are at work, but please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions, and we will respond as soon as we’re back home and online. I grew up in a food-loving home, and my parents were good cooks. They bought a restaurant when my brother and I were teenagers, and spent most of their waking hours there for several years. I first learned about meal planning and cooking from my mom, but she did not teach me about what she did. She was one of those people who, for reasons unknown to me, didn’t share her knowledge of home cooking and kept many of her recipes “secret.” After I was grown and on my own, my mom and I began sharing recipes, and I began developing my own tastes and my own cooking styles. I have loved cooking ever since. Up until our move to Florida, I always worked full time and more, except for the first five months of my son Michael’s life. With rare exception, Russ and/or I cooked a nice dinner from scratch every night, no matter how many practices or games or other activities were going on, and we always sat down to eat together. Some nights back in the days of Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, and all the school teams, we ate dinner at around 10 PM! We all loved it, and our home was where all our boys’ friends wanted to come for dinner, and often did. …All that was making a short story long, to say that I am a self-taught cook. After the boys grew up, and were going to college and all that, my love of cooking and food became a passion. As much as I have always enjoyed cooking, it is even more fun now to cook for just the two of us. We do love the empty nest syndrome. There were a couple of years after I retired and before moving to Florida that I did some food consulting/ recipe development/ food writing/ food and wine education -- mostly for a wine shop where Russ and I both moonlighted. I owned a small company and had a web site called Culinary Passions. However, since moving to Florida, I have only pursued these activities as play, rather than work. This morning I am having my usual black coffee, even as we speak (type). On work days, I rarely eat breakfast and usually not lunch. If I get hungry and take the time, I’ll eat just a little on the run at around brunch time. I’m not sure how today will be, but I’ll keep you posted.
  17. Hi All, It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since I last blogged. My! How time flies! Some very brief background about myself. I am 41 and I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago with my wife and my 7-year-old son. I work in the food industry selling bulk ingredients; primarily 100% natural, processed fruit products. I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. I love to do it and I love to learn how to cook new things but I also reserve the right to "not cook" any time it (or the thought of it) ceases to be fun. My wife is culinarily-challenged and, as such, I am the primary meal provider in our house. There are some nights when after getting home from work, spending time in the kitchen is the last thing I want to do. So I don't. There are other times when after getting home from work, nothing sounds better to me than relaxing by spending time in the kitchen (or out by the grill or smoker) making a meal for my family. I'm not exactly sure what specific factors influence these moods but they will no doubt manifest here, over the course of this blog. It'll be a mixed bag this week for sure...probably about 1/3 cooking, 1/3 going out and 1/3 scrounging for leftovers. I started out this morning (and pretty much every morning) with an Iced Venti Americano (no water, please) from Starbuck's. To this I add 1 packet of sweet and low and a splash of half and half. I really need the caffeine in the a.m. but I'm not a particularly passionate coffee person. When I occasionally come across the good stuff, I'm very happy to have it but I don't go out of my way for it either. A friend of mine roasts his own beans and he will hook me up from time to time. Yes, I can tell the difference and yes I can appreciate it. But honestly, I'd rather sleep an extra few minutes in the morning than spend the time making coffee for myself. When I get to my office, my IVA is waiting for me because one of the guys at the office hits Starbucks every morning. Good deal I spent most of this past Sunday cooking (was really in the mood ) and I brought some split pea soup to the office today to share with my cohorts. I'm sure it'll end up being part of our lunch in some manner but we'll no doubt augment it by ordering carryout from one of our local spots. There are 5 of us in the office and we recently went to a system where each one of is assigned a day to choose the lunch venue. Today, our resident vegetarian will be making the choice so the soup, which turned out quite well, is a solid insurance policy that lunch--or at least some portion of it--will be edible =R=
  18. Good morning! I think it's my turn and it's a scary thought to follow Kristen and Rachel. I know I can't compete with either of them for their generosity in sharing their experiences but I will do my best to make this as interesting as I can. I have called my blog "Thirteen Steps to Dinner" and will reveal the meaning behind this as we go along. For now, here's The Dane's lunch for today. He HATES taking lunch and would prefer to spend his 10 hours in the machine shop foodless! I worry that anyone operating dangerous machinery on empty is ripe for an accident and so he allows me to pack him half a sandwich. The other half will be my breakfast. This is store-bought white bread (busy week!) with liver paste and bacon. His "goodies" are 2 home made chocolate chip cookies, one home made gingersnap and in the plastic wrap his all-time favourite, a marzipan and dried cherry square. He does not object to the goodies - just the sandwich!
  19. Ahem. Is this thing on? I'm it! I have to admit that I'm very nervous about this week. Kris is a tough act to follow. A little background--I'll try not to bore you all with "too much information," but you might like to know where I'm coming from. I live in a small town in Wisconsin with my husband Jason and 7-year-old son Daniel. I used to be a court reporter and my family's main provider. A chronic illness has caused some major setbacks, and after a hospitalization in January my healthcare providers told me very bluntly that I needed to hang it up and stay home. That was a kick in the head. I spent a couple months sitting in a recliner, staring dully at Court TV (yeah, I'm real proud of that)...that is, until an acquaintance told me that I reminded him of Rachael Ray (don't ask) and I decided to turn on Food Network and check this chick out. Now, I had taught myself how to "cook" over the past 10 years, but my "cooking" revolved around Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup recipes with a side of canned corn. I was a vegetarian in the first 8 of these formative cooking years, so that limited me even more. I loved to read cookbooks, but they were all the "Working Mother's 5-Ingredient Recipes" types of cookbooks. I got hooked on Ray's show at first, watching in awe--you mean you're not supposed to chop your vegetables with a steak knife? Why does she put salt and pepper on everything while it's still cooking? What the hell is fennel? My Food TV watching started to extend to Sara Moulton's show, and others. Over time, it dawned on me that I could learn to cook--I mean, cook with fresh ingredients, cook complicated dishes, cook food that was really, really impressive and not just edible and filling. I could perhaps try out recipes that I used to skip over, recipes that were "too hard" or "too weird." And it might even be good! I might even be good at it! I realized that I may be limited by health and lack of funds, but I have been blessed in a backwards way--with lots of time. So here I am, several months later. I've been introduced to so many foods: capers, shallots, jalapenos, Kalamata olives, chorizo, fresh herbs, curries, swiss chard, fresh tuna, shrimp, things that you all probably consider very basic, not exotic. I am savoring my novice status, where everything is fresh and exciting to me, and I don't want to become jaded. Jason is enjoying my cooking. He doesn't really get into food like I do, but he'll eat anything--and eat it fast, which is a good trait when my experimentation doesn't turn out so well. Daniel is another story; he has his own menu, and I don't know if I'll get into that with this foodblog. I went through a period of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants menu planning, but I found that it was very difficult to keep within a budget that way, so I've gone back to selecting a menu. This week I'm going to be making something from one of Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks, several selections from the new CIA cookbook, and more--I might even roast my first chicken. Each recipe represents something I've never done before or eaten before; I try to plan meals like this whenever possible. You will see where budgetary concerns come into play--especially when you see pictures of my ratty kitchen equipment. I'm acquiring nice things little by little, though, and that's fun too because I'm still at the point where a new Oxo vegetable peeler makes a huge difference. In other words, I'm easily amused! Hope you all are amused this week as well!
  20. Hello everyone! My turn again. In case you may have missed my first blog, I took everyone through the New Years festivities in Japan about a year ago: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=34074&hl= A short intro for those who might not know me...... My name is Kristin, I spent the first 18 years of life in Cleveland, Ohio in a large family of 8 kids, I then spent the next 6 in Athens, Ohio at Ohio University working on various degrees. The past 10 now I have been in Yokohama, Japan with my (Japanese husband) Tora (hence the name torakris) raising our 3 children Mia (soon to be 9), Julia (soon to be 7) and Hide (soon to be 4). The math should have been easy enough to figure out, I am currently 34 years old. I come from a family that loves food, even with 10 people to feed on a very strict budget my mother always put out great meals. Family get togethers are always filled with incredible food, my mother's parents came over from Italy between wars, but in the years since then our family has grown to include a number of nationalities. I have one uncle from Mexico and an aunt from the island of Martinque, this past June my sister married her French boyfriend who is from Strausburg and loves to cook. So now we all get proper Alsatian dishes. It is 7:00am (10/5) Japan time and it has has been raining straight for the past two and a half days and is forecast to rain all day today as well..... yuck! I am drinking an iced coffee (my drink of choice) made with the Toddy cold brew method, if I remember to I may eat something for breakfast a little later. My kids have eaten, the girls had maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal and my son had a peanut butter sandwich. My whole family wakes up around 5:30am and I make a lunch and pack an onigiri (rice ball) for my husband to eat at work for lunch and breakfast respectively, he leaves the house around 6:00.
  21. here's what i ate/cooked with today. can you guess what i made? water salt cucumbers shallots red onions turmeric red wine gummie bears 1/2 & 1/2 gerolstiner green coffee (guatemala antigua) bay leaves pepper pork cutlets Val's Bakery wheat bread brown sugar goat cheese eagle river bourbon flour sage butter olive oil grapefruit juice yellow beans garlic rice POM wonderful carrots chicken stock cider vinegar diet coke mustard seeds roasted coffee celery seeds thai bird chilies more details later. at some point i'll declare a winner, who will get a prize
  22. 14 Sept 2004 8am Cambridge UK I've been tipped again to do the foodblog. Last time was Christmas and New Year. This time is Rosh Hashonah, which seems fair, so you will have to suffer my awful typos for this week. "L’Shona Tova Tikosaiv v’Saichosaim". "May you be written down for a sweet and good year in the Book of Life! " to all First of all coffee, mail and eG's overnight messages. The coffee is dark roast Java Sumatra, made in a press pot, and is breakfast unless otherwise noted. The mug is a Microsoft give-away. My desk, unusally tidy, and the view from the window in front of me. Sunny but windy. While I am not religious myself, I did have an othodox Jewish upbringing, and still like the food, so I guess some will figure this week. This week is fairly busy, and today is the calm before the storm. Main highlight is our annual apple pressing party on Sunday, weather permitting. We have open house, and expect about 100 people to come and pick apples and help press them into apple juice. We fire up the wood burning bread oven and bake pizza and things. . What we eat and talk about on the rest of the week is to some extent up to you, an I hope for a lot of interaction. If I get time I'll try and rig a webcam, as an experiment. Current fixed points: Today is fairly quite. Probably Bangers and Mash for supper Wednesday we are going to friends for supper to celebrate another friends birthday. Thursday a freind of Jill's (my partner) is coming to stay. Being Rosh Hashonah I plan a Brisket Tzimmes, with a pototo kugel. Friday start prep for the party, and start the bread doughs Saturday Fire the oven and bake breads etc Sunday Apple pressing Monday I'm hosting dinner in College The house is built in an old orchard, with about 20 of the original trees still standing. There is a newer orchard, maybe 30 years old, with 30 trees. Here are some pictures taken this morning of apples. The identification is noit certain, but were done by The Brogdale Trust. . Joan Morgan's The New Book of Apples (ISBN0-091-88398-9 is definitive. Regular eGulleteers may remember that many of apple trees were severely ringed by the rabbits last winter, and I feared for their survival. I'm happy to report that they seem to have pulled through. Some, like the NewtonWonder, are biennial bearing and are off this year with only a few apples, but most have a large crop. However since we have not pruned or reduced the fruit numbers the apples are mostly small. They are mostly cookers or eating apples, rather than cider. I've tried making cider from the juice, but it is thin and weedy stuff, but more of that anon. The apple juice is lovely, an we freeze it in plastic bottles, straight from the press. Allington Pippin (my favourite, good general purpose apple) and Newton Wonder (cooker, said to be derived from the apple tree that dropped and apple on Newton's head) Lord Derby (cooker) and Tydman's Early Worcester Orelans Reinette (russet); Queen Cox and Ellison's Orange Other apples are Charles Ross, Laxton's Fortune, Cox (poor trees), Grandier (cooking) and John Standish (late red, not yet ripe), Also pears and Quinces, again a bit early. Late purple plums (Marjorie's seedling?) and Damsons Dog rose hip and Brambles (wild blackberries) in the hedges
  23. Good morning. Those cheers you heard this morning were from me, as I put the last of the three kids on the bus. I have loved having them home all summer, but I really loved the peace and quiet when they left. I celebrated my first day of freedom with a trip to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. Before we moved to our new home, I was only about 5 minutes away. Since it's now a 20-minute drive, I don't get there as often. I stopped by my formerly-local Kowalski's market on the way home to get some Hope Butter. I do miss the very close and easy (most often biking distance) to a wonderful local supermarket and lots of Asian markets, but I am adapting. For breakfast today, I had several cups of really strong coffee and an Old Gold. Oh, and I had 1/2 piece of toast. I'm not a big early morning eater, and have noticed that as I've aged, I do not want to eat anything sweet in the morning. In fact, my sweet tooth in general is not very strong, except for fruit. I tend to have my first real hunger of the day at about 11:00 am. My eating patterns during the day will be quite different than they were up until last week, when there were three kids who wanted breakfast and lunch, not the frequent "little" meals I gravitate toward when I am home alone. So, now, I will go and grab something to eat and attempt to fix whatever happened on the computer to my camera program when Paul installed a new operating system. Hopefully, it will be an easy process so I can post photos of the bounty I acquired this morning.
  24. Good morning from soggy Toledo, Ohio. It has been raining for days, which the grass and plants appreciate, but we're all getting a little bit sitr crazy! I'm very excited about this week, though I must warn you that it will be far less exotic than laksa's wonderful blog. I grew up in NY (on Long Island), but my husband, daughter and I live in Toledo. To give everyone some reference, we are very close to the Michigan border. We are an hour from Detroit, and about 50 minutes from Ann Arbor. In fact, Ann Arbor is where we do most of our food shopping. We get our high quality supplies (EVOO, sherry vinegar, mustards, capers packed in salt, etc.) from Zingerman's, get most of our meats from a wonderful butcher up there called Sparrow Meat Market, and then pick up the rest of our supplies at Whole Foods. They also have a new Trader Joe's that we have just started to take advantage of. This week, though, we will be sticking to Toledo for all of our food supplies, which isn't as bad as some might assume. One of the things I love about Toledo is its ethnic neighborhoods, all of which have their own markets. We have Tiger Bakery for Lebanese food, Stanley's for Polish food, Takacs and Golden Oven Bakery for Hungarian favorites, Sofo's for Italian food, and La Perla for Mexican food such as homemade tortillas. We also have an excellent fruit and vegetable market called Rhode's which I will be visiting today for inspiration. I won't have my week's menu planned until after that trip, but here are some highlights that you can look forward to: This evening for dinner, we will be heading out to the annual German American Festival in Oregon, Ohio. Today is the last day of the three-day festival, and I'm excited about my pig hock with potato salad. I am sure that my almost-three-year-old daughter Dylan will want something resembling a hot dog, so I will try to introduce her the "wurst booth". Stay tuned this evening for lots of photos of this crazy event and the food we eat there. We'll also go out to eat one night this week. I used to be the food critic in Ann Arbor, so I thought it would be fun to "review" a restaurant for you guys. I'm leaning towards one of the Lebanese favorites in town. The Lebanese population is by far the most prevalent of all of the immigrant groups here, so it seems like a good choice. Dylan, my daughter, is a big fan of the place we're going to go, because they allow you to order a side dish of olives. She loves olives. Finally, I'll end the blog on Saturday with a breakfast tailgate at a University of Michigan football game. My husband is a U of M alum, and we have four season tickets. This is the first game of the season and it starts at noon. The breakfast tailgates are always my favorites. So, that's the deal with me. I'm going to try to get back to my coffee and NY Times now before my daughter comes home. She had her first ever sleepover at Grandma's house, and I need to take advantage of my remaining free time!
  25. Hello everybody! I hope you guys like bananas! 99.9% of my diet consists of bananas. For protein, I pick ticks from my fellow wild men. But seriously... I work as a computer programmer in Poughkeepsie, NY. So what's this crap about being a wild man of Borneo, I hear you ask. I am really from Borneo. I was born and raised in Sarawak, Malaysia, but my grandparents originally came from Fuzhou, China. From the age of 13 until 26, I lived in Melbourne, Australia. For the last four years, I've been going wild in the jungles of Poughkeepsie. "Wild man gone wild" is now available in VHS and DVD from your local quality video store. Why is the wild man rambling? I think it gives some background to the type of food you can expect to see in this food blog. That's right, it's gonna be a confusing and incoherent mish mash. Ok, there will be Chinese, there will be Malaysian, there will be Australian, and there will be Sarawakian. There will be steak because I love steak. I like cooking only when it's not a "chore", so sometimes we eat out. I bet all the New Yorkers are dying to read about the wonders of Poughkeepsie's restaurant scene. Here's an attempt at providing some structure to the ideas swirling in my head, in no particular order: Pork congee - what I'm going to have for lunch today. Pictures to come. Asian BBQ pork - inspired by the recent eG BBQ pork thread. Kari Ayam (Malaysian Chicken Curry) Umai - Sarawakian raw fish salad Sarawak Laksa (of course... and nothing like the one from Penang) Tuna casserole (Australian recipe) Aussie burger with the lot (that means fried egg and beetroot, I'm afraid) Steak I'm terrible at making desserts, but I'll have a go at making kueh salat, because I miss it so. I hope that list meets with your approval, fellow eGulleteers. There's only going to be two of us eating the food, and our main meal is dinner, so the list may be overly ambitious. Forgive me if I don't get around to every item or if I change things around mid-stream. I can't make any promises, but there is a plan to eat some stinky durian and to incorporate as much stinky shrimp paste in the recipes as possible. Be prepared to hold your noses! If any term or ingredient is unfamiliar to you, please feel free to ask. My googling skills are at your disposal!
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