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eG Foodblog: FabulousFoodBabe - Brand New Kitchen, Same Old Husband


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But the rest of the afternoon ha been lovely. Bright and sunny; if I can easily get the photos off my camera, I'll add them here before I go out to exercise.

I got a nice set of soft rolls through the first rise; they're in the freezer and will be fresh for Saturday.

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I think I'll make another batch with herbs tomorrow. One of the food stations will be filet and sides of poached salmon; what type of herbed rolls would be amazing with this? Rosemary, of course; I've never tried tarragon bread. Anyone?

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Well, what set off the smoke alarm was the croissant she sold me and charged me for.  gallery_28660_5638_8196.jpg Of course I didn't check the food before I got home.  Who in the world would sell a burnt croissant to someone, while that person was standing right there?

The questioin is:  WWFeGD?  (What Would Fellow eGers Do?)

I'm inclined to do nothing.  This was done by the owner, while I was standing right there in her kitchen.  This is the way she does business, this is the way she respects the food she sells, and the customers she sells it to.  If it were an overworked staff with people lined out the door, I'd feel a little differently about it.  Not much, but some.

What would you-all do?

I am the wrong egulleteer to ask about this one :laugh: ! Unless that is a really bad picture that is exactly how I dream that my toasted things will come and never, ever do. I like really, really toasted things - too many restaurants bring me something that resembles stale bread - stiff and tan, but not what I call toast :angry: .

Seriously, if you liked the place otherwise, what I would do is just remember it and order it 'lightly toasted' next time. She can't have helped seeing what it looked like when she put it in the box, so she might be like me - a 'dark toaster' (that sounds like a Seinfeld-ism :wink: ).

Kim

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I think I'd chalk up the toast experience to "caveat emptor" and be sure to check the order before leaving, next time, if there were a next time. I also like Kim's advice about asking for the croissant lightly toasted.

With regard to the rolls: you're right about rosemary for one; what about some thyme with the rosemary? How would dill be for the other rolls, to compliment the salmon? Too pedestrian? I love that flavor combination.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I looooooove your fridge!

About the pigs in a blanket--do they have a yeast-bread-like dough, a biscuit-like dough, or a puff pastry-like dough?

In Canada I've only seen frozen sausage rolls, which have a puff pastry-like dough. They were a staple at my house when I was a kid (I usually make my own now, but sometimes a wave of nostalgia hits me and I have to have Schneider's sausage rolls).

About the toast--if you really like that place, go back, but mention the burnt croissant. She should know if she made a mistake. You could also mention that you posted the picture on eGullet for all the world to see, but that might not go over too well...

I would have gladly eaten it, but I like my toast on the dark side.

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So earlier,I went into town. First stop was a "gourmet kitchen and crepery(sp?) that has been open for a few months, by a chef who owns another restaurant in town.  I've heard amazing things about it.  I walked in, and one person who looked lost was working.  Three people were eating in and there was almost no food in the cases, and not another employee or sound in the place.  I asked for a menu but they didn't have one.  I asked about crepes but he didn't seem to understand me.  I am not sure it would be fair to name the place or razz on them because it just didn't fit with what I'd heard about the place so many times before and honestly, the other restaurant is really nice.  Bad day, maybe? I've had 'em. But I'll get back there another time, maybe tomorrow or Saturday.

Up the road is a place that has been reported on several times, because the owner decided to make her cafe into a"Water Bar."  Yes, I know, WTF, but I wanted to check it out. I think she's gotten ink in the Times and certainly in the local papers, for selling expensive waters in fancy bottles.  Since my breakfast down the road was thwarted, I stopped in this cafe.  It's warm, cozy, ten seats.  Okay, it's tiny and has lots and lots and lots of stuff for sale, from Bodum press pots to chocolate-covered sunflower seeds to honey sticks to, ahem, water. The menu seemed to be mostly wraps and a few breakfast dishes.

Only one person was working: the owner.  I asked for two croissants with jam and Nutella.  She was talking to some salesmen as she prepared this and at one point, set off the smoke alarm.  Told me not to worry, it happens all the time, and mentioned to one of the salesmen, "that's what I get when I try to make garlic bread in something that's not made for garlic bread." 

Well, what set off the smoke alarm was the croissant she sold me and charged me for.  gallery_28660_5638_8196.jpg Of course I didn't check the food before I got home.  Who in the world would sell a burnt croissant to someone, while that person was standing right there?

The questioin is:  WWFeGD?  (What Would Fellow eGers Do?)

I'm inclined to do nothing.  This was done by the owner, while I was standing right there in her kitchen.  This is the way she does business, this is the way she respects the food she sells, and the customers she sells it to.  If it were an overworked staff with people lined out the door, I'd feel a little differently about it.  Not much, but some.

What would you-all do?

Honestly, I would probably give them one more chance, if I was feeling charitable, and steering well clear of anything that required toasting. And that one more chance would be because it is small town, and it is nice to patronize local business.

I know some people like their toast dark, but I don't know anyone who likes a burnt croissant.

Gorgeous kitchen, by the way. Could you demonstrate exactly what this Miele Coffee Center does? Or is it just the area where you perform coffee related functions ? EDIT to say - Oh nevermind, I see you did that back on page 1. Carry on.

Edited by crouching tyler (log)

Robin Tyler McWaters

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I think I'll make another batch with herbs tomorrow.  One of the food stations will be filet and sides of poached salmon; what type of herbed rolls would be amazing with this?  Rosemary, of course; I've never tried tarragon bread.  Anyone?

I like these mini savory muffins, which I think I first read about on one of Chufi's foodblogs.

Your kitchen just gets better and better, like Ali Baba's cave! :smile:

Thanks for blogging and have a great party!

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Last night, my son put his fingertips together and tapped his forefingers thoughtfully on his chin, and said,"Hmmm. It's just a croissant, Mom. Let's get to what's reallllllly going on here. Are you upset that she disrespected the food, or YOU?"

Kid has a point.

And Kim, you are a much nicer person than I am, giving the benefit of the doubt. I failed to mention that the croissant was black in those spots ... and that I'd ordered two and the other one was fine.

We are still searching for the SnakeyBoy file -- he's in there somewhere. For six months most of our lives have been in boxes and we just yelled out into the mass, "SnakeyBoy, stay alive! We will find you!"

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Dinner at 42 last night, on the 42nd floor of the Ritz Carlton White Plains. It was wonderful. Great service, great food, nice treatment for the kid. Mr. Foodbabe asked me not to photograph :sad: but I remember what we all had.

Kid started with the caviar sampler (California, California Estate, and Uruguayan). Came with little brioche toasts. Interesting presentation: sour cream smeared on the plate and choped capers scattered on top of it. It was his first sturgeon caviar (he's had salmon roe and tobiki with his sushi). He said it was good, "but geez, $95?" (Our waiter made sure we knew the price before we let him have it. But what they hey, Mr. FB only turns 50 once.)

I had foie gras with pineapple and licorice; I get it every time we eat out because I can see the day where only outlaws can have foie gras and I'm not sure I'm ready to go that way. The Birthday Boy had beef tartare, which was served under some crisp potato straws, on top of a poached egg yolk, with little egg white pearls scattered around. He loved it, too.

Entrees were venison with cherry (for the kid), with quinoa (which he left for me). Mr. FB had arctic char with fingerling puree, and I had lamb cassoulet. It had a nice piece of lamb tenderloin, some braised shoulder, black-eyed peas, salsify, and turnips. It was kind of a deconstructed version and very very good. We shared a bottle of Hartford Pinot Noir and agreed that when it's recommended, it should be pointed out that it doesn't come from Hartford, CT.

Desserts flowed and flowed. I had nuts and chocolate (which included brittle, ice cream, a small bombe, and sweet pastes), Mr. FB had sorbets (part of the reason he looks like he's 25), and my son had the creme brulee sampler. Then, we got a tray of sweets: individual tiramisus and petit fours.

Definitely worth it, definitely a go-back place.

When we got home, Mr. Foodbabe opened his gifts from the boys: Golf ball/tee cufflinks from Firstie, and Duke Blue Devil cufflinks from the one still at home.

And now, on with the show!

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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It was obvious that we needed a new kitchen when we first saw the house. It appeared to have been an afterthought, stuck in a corner of an otherwise beautiful open floor plan. The cabinets were laminate that had been turning to yellow for years. There was no downdraft for the cooktop. Counterspace? As if! gallery_28660_5638_46854.jpg

I was still getting my arms around the idea of not having to move in two years, and I kind of resisted the renovation idea. I remembered too well the Atlanta renovation, which I wound up having to contract myself, and it was just not something I wanted to repeat. But I came around the day I met the architects who did the entire project for us, including securing the most amazing contractor I could expect.

By that time, I'd gotten through CIA (the government agency, not the culinary school*), and was ready to do something with my life. Since teaching, consulting, testing/developing, and writing, I can do until I drop dead at 105, I decided to make that the next chapter of my life. I've been teaching formally and informally for years, here and there, and am always asked for cooking classes. This is my kitchen "stadium," I guess, set up for a home and family, for entertaining comfortably, to work for me, and to teach classes.

One of the cool things about this, is the center island. It's 10x4 feet of FireSlate (which I absolutely love), with a raised counter (you should see how the designer made this float ... very cool!). We have cameras trained on the workspace and on the range, so whatever I'm doing can be seen by everyone.

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We have four cameras because this also goes to a split screen, and it can only go full screen, 2/4 or 4/4. It's pretty cool.

The island has some interesting storage in it; we have those counter-height pullouts for big appliances (because I refused to have an appliance garage ), and lots of open storage on the work -side.

gallery_28660_5638_35861.jpgI'm sure it'll be neater another day :wink: Maybe.

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This is the other view of the island and work area. There's lots of storage on this side of the island; things I don't need often like chemicals for the spa, boxes of utensils for the classes, etc.

BTW, I'm on the schedule again for the Chappaqua Continuing Education program, and will teach courses in Chinese (Mandarin and Szechuan), Crepes, and Bread-Baking. I've also taught basics methods for roasting/braising, vegetables, etc; sushi, sauce making, pasta, and the requisite pizza (mostly for kids' sleepover parties). I also do cooking class dinner parties.

So. I keep myself up to date on methods, I practice as much as I can, and plan to spend 3-4 weeks each summer 'reeducating' myself, as a stage somewhere. then I can come back and teach it to my students. I've been in the industry for most of my life and learn somethiing every time I stop to pay attention.

And now, the party!

(*Edited to add: Not really, it was the culinary school but I bet you knew that, didn't you? :wink: )

Edited by FabulousFoodBabe (log)
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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My to-do list today:

-Trim, tie, season roasts for tomorrow

-Pick up wine, booze, salmon sides, and sea bass for the tartare

-Find something that compares even a little bit to Rainbeau Ridge goat cheese

-Gather up some herbs

-Make sauces

-Gougere

-Rolls

-Bread for the family

-Pizza dough (Friday is pizza night at our house; Dave and I started this when we were newlyweds and both traveled almost every week; we'd watch Miami Vice and eat pizza with our firstborn, Bogart the Basset Boy).

Oh, wait. I digressed.

I also have a foofing at noon. :laugh:

Seriously: If at this point I can't prep for 40 in three hours' time, I should hang it up forever.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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What's a foofing?

I was looking forward to your interpretation, Fressie. :wink:

I'd venture a guess that she's going for some beauty treatment!!
LOL -- my younger brother used to call it my "Day of Ugly!" You are correct, m'dear. I'm pretty low maintenance in general, but I do like mah haircuts.
Ha! Fabby doesn't need any beauty treatment--she looks like buttah! A stick of buttah
Greasy, sweaty, yellowish? Thanks a lot, pal. Next time you need someone to help you find just the right garter belt, I'll be busy. :angry:
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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What's a foofing?

I was looking forward to your interpretation, Fressie. :wink:

Ha! Fabby doesn't need any beauty treatment--she looks like buttah! A stick of buttah
Greasy, sweaty, yellowish? Thanks a lot, pal. Next time you need someone to help you find just the right garter belt, I'll be busy. :angry:

Harrumph. Now I'll just have to find fishnets in control-top.

As far as your "foofing," does it in anyway resemble snorfling?

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Ha! Fabby doesn't need any beauty treatment--she looks like buttah! A stick of buttah

At least he's keeping it food-related. :biggrin:

Speaking of which, what did you have for breakfast/lunch/snacks today? The kitchen shots are, indeed, fab, but I want to know what's being cooked and eaten in there! :raz:

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Foofing is the process by which one has a "foofed" appearance. Foofy hair, all foofed up. Etc.

I'm still smarting over being called buttah.

Okay. It wasn't all foofing today -- I made things. Some I will show you:

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You're all pretty sharp, so I think you know what these are. :smile: I won't show you the cocktail sauce, the sweet/hot sauce for the shrimp, or the herbed mustard/mayo ... or the herbs I chopped. And chopped, and chopped -- because it's kind of dull. When I finish the sauces tomorrow, I'll give recipes if you want 'em.

I will show you my lunch (breakfast was the usual -- cappuccino, wheat toast with peanut butter). I had some leftovers from last night.

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This was the venison; the round thing is really beautiful and pink in the center. It's herbed quinoa in a lettuce leaf wrap. The long things are fennel slaw, and the venison was really, really nice. Kid even left cherry sauce with it!

I ate the leavin's of my cassoulet. It's mostly black-eyed peas, but there was enough lamb shank in there to make me remember the original dish with a happy sigh.

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I'm sorry that my personal meals are so dull! I'll try to improve on that in a little bit -- I'm making pizza.

While the pizza dough rests, I'm going to prep two whole tenderloins for roasting. Toodles!

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Time for a Jargon Clue:

You've referred to "3-pans" and "6-pans" on a few occasions in this blog. I would have guessed that "6-pans" were larger than "3-pans," but after comparing the shot of your "canister" drawer and the ice pan in your fridge, I'm not so sure. What do the 3 and 6 refer to? And which is larger?

We get things like that from Despair, Inc.  Yes, I know, it's juvenile but it just cracks us up.

Aren't those the people who put out the parodies of those motivational posters that feature nature scenes and inspirational blather?

For the first time in my life, I work in a workplace that has some of these posters in one of its conference rooms. I'm sorely tempted to get a parody poster for my cubicle. (You saw both the cubicle and what I consider inspirational prose in that recently concluded tag-team foodblog.)

Dinner tonight is at 42, in the new Ritz-Carlton in White Plains.

Had you told me in college that someday I would read the terms "Ritz-Carlton" and "White Plains" in the same sentence, I would have said you were crazy. Times have certainly changed in the Westchester County seat!

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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You've referred to "3-pans" and "6-pans" on a few occasions in this blog.  I would have guessed that "6-pans" were larger than "3-pans," but after comparing the shot of your "canister" drawer and the ice pan in your fridge, I'm not so sure.  What do the 3 and 6 refer to?  And which is larger?

My understanding is that the number is a reference to the size of the pan in relation to a full-size "hotel pan". So a 3-pan would be 1/3 of a hotel pan, and a 6-pan would be 1/6 of a hotel pan. If I'm wrong, I'm sure that someone will correct me. :wink:

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Time for a Jargon Clue:

You've referred to "3-pans" and "6-pans" on a few occasions in this blog.  I would have guessed that "6-pans" were larger than "3-pans," but after comparing the shot of your "canister" drawer and the ice pan in your fridge, I'm not so sure.  What do the 3 and 6 refer to?  And which is larger?

Excellent question! They are based on the full-sized, "hotel" pan. A three-pan is 1/3 of the hotel pan, a six-pan is 1/6, and a 9-pan is 1/9. They come in different depths, too. Half-sized pans are simply, half-pans.

Aren't those the people who put out the parodies of those motivational posters that feature nature scenes and inspirational blather?

Yes! "Successories," I think, was the original. Our favorite is a beautiful photograph of Supersized French Fries that says, "Ambition: Not Everyone Grows Up To Be An Astronaut." :laugh: They have BitterSweets for Valentine's Day, and a Customer Disservice department.

For the first time in my life, I work in a workplace that has some of these posters in one of its conference rooms.  I'm sorely tempted to get a parody poster for my cubicle.  (You saw both the cubicle and what I consider inspirational prose in that recently concluded tag-team foodblog.)

Oh, do. We love them. Our sons have them in their room, too.

Had you told me in college that someday I would read the terms "Ritz-Carlton" and "White Plains" in the same sentence, I would have said you were crazy.  Times have certainly changed in the Westchester County seat!

Aint' that the truth? And, they have "Residences" there, and people live in them. On purpose. And they're not cheap, either. :huh:

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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gallery_28660_5638_10180.jpg

This is one of the things that makes me happiest about this kitchen -- the range. On the left you see three pots of water set for boiling shrimp and pasta. On the right, my saute pans with sausage in one, and sauce for the pizza in the other. I keep dishes above (the lights also keep food warm). In the center left is a griddle and on the right, a grill.

Right now, the two full-sized ovens have sheet pans with salmon and beef on them. The beef has been resting overnight with salt, pepper, some garlic, and fresh rosemary (a rosemary tree was the kitchen-warming gift from my friend Cathy :wub: ) Salmon is farmed king salmon in a little veg stock, bay leaf, leek leaves, and nothing else.

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It's heaven, really.

I'll be back when the party is ready to go, when my helpers get here.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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What do you think of the appliance pull-outs in the island (obviously, you love 'em!) Did you get really heavy duty ones or do yours tend to jiggle when the appliance is on? I hear mixed reports - though they seem like a good idea. Are there plugs inside so you can keep the cords plugged in (dangerous?)

The deep shelf over your range - why doesn't it get in your way when you are cooking? Does it get gooky on the underside?

Thanks.

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      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By shain
      It's been more than a year in which international travel was challenging to impossible, but gladly this is changing, as more countries are able to vaccinate their population.
      Greece had managed to return to a state of near normality, and opted to allow vaccinated individuals to enter. And so I decided to go on a slightly spontaneous vacation (only slightly, we still had almost a month for planning). To the trip I was joined by my father, to whom I owed some good one-on-one time and was able to travel on a short-ish notice.
       
       
      Many people are yet unable to travel, and many countries are suffering quite badly from the virus, and therefore I considered if I should wait some time with this post. However, I hope that it will instead be seen with an optimistic view, showing that back-to-normal is growing ever closer.
       
       
      We returned just a few days ago, and it will take me some time to organize my photos, so this is a teaser until then.
       
       
       
       
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