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FabulousFoodBabe

eG Foodblog: FabulousFoodBabe - Of Queens and Former Presidents

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Walking this dog is like walking a vacuum cleaner; I can tell he's got something when the flaps on the side of his mouth bulge out.  Today:  a pine cone,  a piece of wood, and a dead bird.

Well, this IS a foodblog...it's important that we be up-to-date on Jean-Luc's habits, too. :wink: He's adorable. What's his favorite kind of people-food?

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Believe it or not, I have had my age flat-out cited as a "concern."  Hmmm, maybe I should put my teeth in before interviews, and quit calling the chef "sonny boy" and "whippersnapper."  Good Lord.  Oh -- and these concerns are cited without seeing me work in a kitchen.  Those are not the right environments for me, but there's a place for me.

Oh -- I'm 48 now and am pretty energetic.  I'll find my place but until then, I'm having fun, staying in touch, and always taking classes and looking for something new.  And that cookbook ... its time will come, too.  :wink:

Arrrg. I am normally a pacifist, but I confess to sometimes fantasizing about slapping these ageists upside the head with the nearest copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"--and then demanding that they recite Julia's age when she first entered the profession. (And then slapping them again, repeatedly, until they come up with the correct answer.)

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Ohh, so sorry, Jean Luc is the dog in the picture, I'm confused? Rest in Peace Josie.

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What is peanut butter with preservatives?

I can answer that one since my favorite is Jiff.

I'm assuming he means any pb other than the natural stuff( just ground peanuts)

Yep, Jif it is. Extra crunchy.

Have you tried the organic peanut butter (made with Valencia peanuts if that means anything) from Trader Joe's? We were Jiff lovers and started going the natural/organic route -- and found most stuff just tolerable.

Oh.

My.

God.

The TJ's stuff tastes like Jiff, but soooo much better. And of course, better for you. :wink:

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Ohh, so sorry, Jean Luc is the dog in the picture, I'm confused?  Rest in Peace Josie.

Yep, coquus. Josie left us a few months ago, after 15 years. Jean-Luc is a hellion.

Feeding animals is a big part of my life as well, but I won't yak much about them except when they're noshing or dining.

And coquus: In my new kitchen, I'm having one cabinet designed to hold a bun rack, counter height; I think 7 or 8 full sheets will fit in it. The rack will be on casters, of course. I saw one in a photo spread of J-P's kitchen and just had to have it.

Is it plagiarism/copycatting if you give credit where it's due? :smile:

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Have you tried the organic peanut butter (made with Valencia peanuts if that means anything) from Trader Joe's?  We were Jiff lovers and started going the natural/organic route -- and found most stuff just tolerable.

Oh.

My.

God.

The TJ's stuff tastes like Jiff, but soooo much better.  And of course, better for you.  :wink:

As a matter of fact, that's EXACTLY what I have right now! OMG is right. I lovelovelove the flavor and if Mr. FB doesn't want it, well, more for moi.

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Lunch today was the infamous Rocky's Millwood Deli, which is just a few miles from my house. It's the tiniest space, right next to a hardware store. When we had an area-wide power outage in 2003, Rocky's switched to the generator and didn't miss a beat.

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It is take-out only and does a lot of business. Went in late'ish today, at 1:30, and this is what it was like:

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The place is maybe 50 feet long, and this is during a slow time. Besides sandwiches posted on the boards above the counter, they keep a few things in the case

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We always go for the sandwiches, though. Firstborn son always gets the same thing: American Combo with provolone (roast beef, turkey, ham, provolone)

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Secondborn went with a steak and cheese this time, no onions or peppers

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Today, I had a chicken cutlet. I don't know why, but this is really, really good.

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And honestly, I really do cook! You'll see, in a couple of hours, when I start dinner.

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Feeding animals is a big part of my life as well, but I won't yak much about them except when they're noshing or dining.

Jean-Luc is truly adorable! I know this isn't a dog blog, but would you mind talking a bit about what the hound eats? Any special treats or food in particular that he just loves?

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Yay! A blog from my stomping grounds! I can't believe those sandwiches and the salad bar at Rocky's — that place looks great! I'll have to pay a visit....

And if you need a guide to Nyack, shoot me a PM... I live there.

How's the kitchen renovation going? We'll have to pick that up in the paper again!

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So glad to see you blogging, FFB.

Those tomatos... oh .........

The banana dessert looks very good.

Blue-cheese stuffed burgers....

I gotta go eat dinner now.

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Handwriting! :wub:

I love lists, especially handwritten. In my house, they're everywhere, they're everywhere.

But it IS disconcerting to see ER underlined at the end of someone's cookery list.

What WAS that?

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But it IS disconcerting to see ER underlined at the end of someone's cookery list.

What WAS that?

Racheld,

I'm pretty sure it says, "Etc."

But that would be funny....to put ER at the end of your cooking list.

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But it IS disconcerting to see  ER underlined at the end of someone's cookery list.

What WAS that?

:laugh::laugh::laugh: It's my crabbed hand, saying 'etc.' Racheld, this is too much! We have a little shorthand in our household, on our grocery lists -- FOSS is Fruit of Some Sort, VOSS is Vegetables Of Some Sort, etc. From now on, we'll put "E.R." on all the lists. thank you in advance for another tradition! :cool:

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Okay. Another rainy day in Chappaqua, the last before school starts for my sons. I let them decide what meal I'll cook on such occasions -- they chose flank steak with mashed potatoes and green beans, and a yellow cake for dessert.

I went into what the locals call "town;" there's not even a stoplight or flashing light in Chappaqua. Since it was raining, it was hard to get a good shot so I'll take some later in the week. Anyway, during heavy traffic times, which we can always predict, the most adorable young policemen come to direct traffic.

But I digress. Here's a shot of the Chappaqua Village Market, aka CVM. It's tucked away down a side street near the train station

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I buy meat here, Dufour's puff pastry, fresh herbs, etc. The store also gets a truckload of breads and bagbels in the morning. The shelves behind the counter here are overflowing until noon.

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Lots and lots of pies and cakes, by the slice or whole. Here are just a few --

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The CVM makes lots of sausage in house, breaks down your meat for you if you want, etc. Prices are a little high, but the counter guys know what they're doing and are always a joy to deal with.

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I don't buy whole tenderloins here, though; they charge nearly $30/lb trimmed and peeled, and I can do that myself.

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The store also carries lots of prepared-there foods, and they do a good business with the commuters. Fish, too, is pretty good -- but I usually buy mine at a fish store in the next town. I'll show you that place, tomorrow.

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Dinner tonight, as I'd said earlier, was selected by the young men. It's funny, though; this is one of their favorite meals and it has lots of sentimental value attached.

When I first started my catering business (and that "ah-hah!" moment was one for the record books), one of the takeout meals was called Stuffed Steak. It was a buterflied, marinated flank steak stuffed with herbs,sauteed mushrooms and Monterey Jack cheese, and I sold it by the half-ton, practically. Part of the reason was the beef marinade; it's soooo good and I learned to make it when I was in my 20s. A guy taught me -- one of those guys who took time off from getting his MBA from Wharton, because he played bass in a band that waas opening for some big name. Anyway, I booted the guy and kept the marinade. He was a lunatic but I've made a lot of money off the marinade, and off the Caesar salad dressing (egg-free) that he taught me, too. Hee hee.

So. The young men aren't too fond of the stuffed steak; they like their flank nice and rare. I grill it first, and then finish it off in the oven which was not cooperating tonight.

But there wasn't any left over, so I guess it was okay. :smile:

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I made the stuffed steak for my husband,

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along with his favorite green beans: blanched, shocked, and reheated in butter, shallots, salt and pepper. Please don't tell his mother! She cooks her green beans for a week in pure bacon fat and thinks that's the way he likes them :raz::raz::raz:

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I had this wild French chef in school who always told me I couldn't cook green veg. Zees are no goot! Do again! " I'd get all mad and do them again and again ... anyway, I channel him every time I cook green vegetables. And yanno what? I'm getting okay at it!

Last is the yellow cake. My boys like it plain, with white frosting (I made butter only frosting this time, no cream cheese). But when I want a little bit, I drizzle the Luxardo cherries and wish I had some Scharffen Berger chocolate sauce, too.

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Hey, the week is still young! And on that note, I'm going to bed. The kids leave for school before 7:00, and I like to get up in time to cook for them, if they want.

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So, I'm figuring the boys are back to school tomorrow. What do they do for breakfast? What part do you play? What about their lunches during the day? After school snacks?

And, yes, for $30/lb, I can trim stuff myself, and very well! My dad grew up butchering meat, so I have have learned how to do it!

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Do you have a favourite yellow cake recipe? There's a thread in the Pastry forum where some people have submitted their favourites, and I haven't gotten through testing all of them. Yours looks very good!

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A few odds and ends before I wrap up:

Mizducky, I'm with ya on the age thing. I have to say, though, that the really good chefs out there don't behave this way, nor did my school chefs. And one interview was so bizarre that I giggled with glee over how I'm going to use this story one day! One reason I'm so loyal to a few that I've worked with and for, is because they've treated me just like they do their 23 year old cooks, including kicking my fanny hard when I need it!

Liz, the reno is finally getting off the ground. I'm thrilled to death with everything and the contractor I got is truly a gem. As a matter of fact, everyone is. We need to get a variance from the town before we can start, and will know in a couple of weeks.

Hey, everyone -- wanna see the plans?

Eilen, Megan et al -- Jean-Luc is already on a doggie diet! He was getting too fat a couple of months ago, so we had to cut him down. And now he's got a bit of a rash and he's on prescription dog food, in case that was causing problems! Just like Josie, in fact. Anyway, Jean-Luc will do anything for a bit of rawhide. He only 8 months old, but long enough that if he stands on his hind legs, he can get to things on the kitchen counters. So far this week: A hamburger, a piece of pizza, some banana dessert (he rolled the cherries around in his mouth and spit them out; that's how I figured it out). I give him bits of leftover fish, and before he went on his diet, I'd let him try whatever I was cooking. He loved the filling for pea and pistachio ravioli!

He's also gotten fish food (we have a saltwater tank and they get plankton and krill), and loves to chase and eat stray crickets (the skink gets a dozen every week). Other things he's brought in have had little claws and teeth and fur. ::shudder::

Which is why I'm no longer a princess. If I stayed totally princesslike,I could neve have dealt with watching a four-foot long corn snake eat live mice, much less purchase them and bring them home in my purse, and pull them out of the cat's mouth when necessary.

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A few odds and ends before I wrap up:

Mizducky, I'm with ya on the age thing.  I have to say, though, that the really good chefs out there don't behave this way, nor did my school chefs.  And one interview was so bizarre that I giggled with glee over how I'm going to use this story one day!  One reason I'm so loyal to a few that I've worked with and for, is because they've treated me just like they do their 23 year old cooks, including kicking my fanny hard when I need it!

Liz, the reno is finally getting off the ground.  I'm thrilled to death with everything and the contractor I got is truly a gem. As a matter of fact, everyone is.  We need to get a variance from the town before we can start, and will know in a couple of weeks. 

Hey, everyone -- wanna see the plans? 

Eilen, Megan et al -- Jean-Luc is already on a doggie diet!  He was getting too fat a couple of months ago, so we had to cut him down. And now he's got a bit of a rash and he's on prescription dog food, in case that was causing problems!  Just like Josie, in fact.  Anyway, Jean-Luc will do anything for a bit of rawhide.  He only 8 months old, but long enough that if he stands on his hind legs, he can get to things on the kitchen counters.  So far this week:  A hamburger, a piece of pizza, some banana dessert (he rolled the cherries around in his mouth and spit them out; that's how I figured it out).  I give him bits of leftover fish, and before he went on his diet, I'd let him try whatever I was cooking.  He loved the filling for pea and pistachio ravioli! 

He's also gotten fish food (we have a saltwater tank and they get plankton and krill), and loves to chase and eat stray crickets (the skink gets a dozen every week).  Other things he's brought in have had little claws and teeth and fur.  ::shudder::

Which is why I'm no longer a princess.  If I stayed totally princesslike,I could neve have dealt with watching a four-foot long corn snake eat live mice, much less purchase them and bring them home in my purse, and pull them out of the cat's mouth when necessary.

Oh. My. GAWD! (Snark!) I had a Daschund that would catch his own mice, toss them in the air, and they'd come down dead with a broken neck. I was left to remove the corpses and dispose of them... I also had a "friend" who had a huge python (?) that ate bunnies, and then full grown rabbits, before said "friend" gave him away, he was getting ready for piglets! :shock:

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I would like a piece of that cake, please.

Your husband is a funny man (his list cracked me up). Is the JP who you are inspired by for your kitchen plans Jacques Pepin?

Er, not sure why you'd be acquiring mice eaten by a corn snake, then feeding them to your cat and then rescuing them - but it sounds like a great idea for a reality show. I've seen worse.

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Your husband is a funny man (his list cracked me up).  Is the JP who you are inspired by for your kitchen plans Jacques Pepin? 

Yes, I am really glad to hear you took a practical idea from his kitchen and put it to use. If I had the space I would totally do that, and I remember thinking "I want that" when I saw it. I do have a 9" sheet pan cabinet (shelf-less) to the left of my stove which is great however thanks to the HD cabinet guy who screwed up a couple of other things so, unfortunatly for him, he's at 0 in my book.

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What is peanut butter with preservatives?

I can answer that one since my favorite is Jiff.

I'm assuming he means any pb other than the natural stuff( just ground peanuts)

Putting on my usage-maven hat:

The word your hubby really wants is "additives."

The unnatural brands of peanut butter all add ingredients intended to keep the oil from separating (mono- and diglycerides), sweeteners (sugar, molasses) and maybe ingredients to make the consistency smoother (at least that's what I assume the small amounts of partially and fully hydrogenated vegetable oils are doing in Jif--funny, though, the nutrition facts label says that the product has 0 grams of trans fat per 2-tablespoon serving, so it must be a small amount indeed), but no preservatives. Peanut butter without additives keeps a good long time--you just have to stir the oil back in.

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Oh -- I'm 48 now and am pretty energetic.   I'll find my place but until then, I'm having fun, staying in touch, and always taking classes and looking for something new.  And that cookbook ... its time will come, too.   :wink:

I'll join you on that plateau in about a month and a half.

Several friends and most of my Pem-Day classmates insist I have a book in me. I suspect they're right, but I haven't figured out how to extract it from the depths of memory yet. I do know this: It will have food in it somewhere, no doubt, but it won't be a cookbook. I don't think I could pull off the neat feat Alice B. Toklas did back in the 1950s when she wrote her autobiography in the form of a collection of recipes.

Edited to add: No, I'm not talking about The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. That, as I assume you all know, was written by her soulmate Gertrude Stein.


Edited by MarketStEl (log)

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