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Top Chef Boston – Ep. #9 – 12/17/14 (spoilers)

I agree with you. But, the choice of Emily Dickinson is mystifying to me especially when Louisa May Alcott would have fit in, thematically, with the rest of the authors.

As for my other idea, it's my inner book geekishness merged with my food/hound nerdiness. In other words, the perfect combo for me.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #9 – 12/17/14 (spoilers)

I really liked the idea of this challenge but not the implementation as much. I'm new to Top Chef because I don't have cable but I only realized this season that I could watch it on hulu, gratis.

Anyway, the author choices could have been significantly better, especially given the richness of NE authors, both alive and dead. Doug was also given the short straw of having the only poet in the grouping. What could have been really cool is if they chose living authors who could appear on the show. Or, if it's a deceased author, an expert on that author. That way, they could see if they dish lived up to the chef's interpretation.

Although, the major disadvantage is if the chef has no idea who the author is or what s/he wrote.

In the spirit of the season... hidden chow tips

That looks delicious. That stretch of Arlington Heights/Lexington is kind of dangerous. Between Lakota and Ma France, I feel my waistline virtually expanding.

I posted a chow tip on the NE board a few days ago. It's in Kittery and well worth the trip or side trip.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9992...

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #9 – 12/17/14 (spoilers)

While Poe is more associated with Baltimore, the City of Boston is definitely proud of being the birthplace of EAP. There is a Poe Sq downtown and a new statue of Poe himself. I *think* these are part of the soon to be coming literary walk that is being developed.

http://www.bostonpoe.org

I am surprised that Louisa May Alcott wasn't on the list. She was a few years after Thoreau (her dad and Thoreau were peers). Her books (esp Little Women) has lots of potential for dishes). And, now that I am thinking about it, other then Dickenson, it was more focused on male authors.

Maine Meat (aka MEat) in Kittery, Maine

I went to MEat before Thanksgiving and I thought it was fantastic. I saw MEat on my way to Anju Noodle Bar and we immediately checked it out (after eating bowls of noodles). This is a butcher shop that started as a kickstarter.

Anyway, I had a hard time choosing what to buy since it was a few days before Thanksgiving. I settled on 2 pork chops and half a pound of a ground beef/bacon mixture. I asked the butcher to wrap the pork chops so that I could freeze them and she immediately asked if I wanted them sealed in that freezer plastic wrap. It was a great option.

I don't know what I was thinking when I bought only half a lb of the ground beef/bacon mixture. I had some vague idea of making burgers but realized that the burgers would be too small. So I added some chopped leaks and soy sauce and made meatballs. I wanted to keep these simple so I could taste the meat and they were amazing. The slight smokiness of the bacon came through and the meatballs held up well. I would go back just for this mixture.

But the pork chops. Just thinking about these is making my mouth water. They were thick bone in chops with the right amount of fat. Unbelievable flavorful. Again, I used a simple preparation (oven and then seared off) to see how the meat tasted but if I had to do it again, I would keep it simple. The fat was just delicious.

They had a bunch of homemade sausages that looked intriguing as well as lamb. There is a lot I want to try and may ask them to package it up to freeze for me. But, I know I am definitely repeating the ground beef/bacon and the pork chops. Just more of each for my next order.

http://www.memeat.com

January 2015 Openings and Closings

Yes, the restaurant was around the corner from the supermarket, corner of Herald and Berkley, I think. But, it was a great Cantonese restaurant. Super fresh seafood dishes. One of the best renditions of salted fried squid. Even better then Peach Farm's.

Dec 12, 2014
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

January 2015 Openings and Closings

Thanks, I saw this years ago. I loved Ming's restaurant that was affiliated with the supermarket.

Dec 12, 2014
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

January 2015 Openings and Closings

Any idea if the Ming's Seafood is related to the former restaurant with the same name that was around the corner from the Ming's grocery store in the SE? Sorry for the convoluted sentence.

Dec 11, 2014
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

Is it just me, or is this really utterly ridiculous?

Apparently, that's Edelman's thing - being the internet police and catching all these mistakes. And, he prides himself on it. I was chatting with some HBS students this morning and they are appalled by the negative publicity this story is generating.

Dec 10, 2014
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? December 2014 edition!

Be careful when reading because if you drift off, you may give yourself a black eye or a broken nose. ;-)

Feel better soon.

Tell us about your Thanksgiving disaster

Ditto. I (we) get that it's a fundraiser and it may not be feasible to have homemade pies for all. But bad frozen Sara Lee pies is just wrong on so many levels.

Nov 29, 2014
beetlebug in Home Cooking

Tell us about your Thanksgiving disaster

Not a disaster just a minor annoyance. We do joint thanksgiving with an old college friend and her family. She does the turkey and maybe one side, I do the rest of the sides and we split dessert. I made four sides (stuffing, salad, mash and veg).

This year, she said that neither of us needed to make dessert because she bought 2 pies from the PTA fundraiser. We both incorrectly assumed that it was from the local farm that has a huge prepared food section. We arrived at her house and she was totally peeved. She picked up the pies on Wednesday and stuck them in the fridge without looking at them. It turned out, that each pie was $20 (hence our earlier assumption) but they weren't locally made. Instead, they were frozen Sara Lee pies! Both were devoid of any flavor and slightly mushy since they had thawed out in the fridge prior to baking. I joked that she should have just written a bigger check and she said she did make an extra donation. We both wished that another parent would have warned her that these were sub par pies and we could have made other arrangements for dessert.

It wasn't totally lost though, we had vanilla ice cream with hot fudge. We were all stuffed from the main meal anyway. But, still, $20 for a Sara Lee pie. I was annoyed on sheer principle.

Take A Bite Out Of Ringo: Giant Cookies Honor Pop Culture Icons

Oops. Sorry about the confusion. Caffeine hadn't kicked in yet.

No, I meant that the cookies are great looking and just so much fun. Actually, they are almost too pretty to eat.

Nov 26, 2014
beetlebug in Food Media & News

Take A Bite Out Of Ringo: Giant Cookies Honor Pop Culture Icons

Thanks for the link. I agree with MplsM ary about the usually yucky frosting on sugar cookies. But, these cookies are great. I love the Calvin and Hobbes cookie.

ETA: I haven't eaten these. The cookies are visually appealing and tempting to eat. Although, they may be too pretty to ruin with a bite.

Nov 26, 2014
beetlebug in Food Media & News

Wilfa Precision Coffee Maker - Anyone tried it? I'm over my Technivorm

I have the thermal carafe with a glass interior. The coffee is hot even if I don't switch the filter to the lid right away. The full and used filter seems to insulate the coffee well enough until I put the proper lid on. The thermal carafe keeps the coffee hot for almost an hour. I'm usually finished with the coffee by that time.

Nov 19, 2014
beetlebug in Cookware

Wilfa Precision Coffee Maker - Anyone tried it? I'm over my Technivorm

I recently bought a Bonavita and love it. It's simple without a lot of moving parts. In my research, I considered the TV but between the price and all the pieces to it, the Bonavita won out. I didn't like how there were numerous parts to clean and re-assemble for each pot of coffee. We've been using the Bonavita twice daily since Halloween and are more then satisfied with it. Personally, I like that the filter sits on top of the carafe. Even if I don't put the lid on immediately, it doesn't lose any discernible heat. Clean up is a breeze as well.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9938...

ETA: I know nothing about the Wilfa other then it is very hi tech looking.

Nov 19, 2014
beetlebug in Cookware

Sakura Bana

No, the Osaka/Little Osaka I'm referring to was definitely on the Cambridge side of Concord Ave by the rotary. It's been closed for ages though because it's where those townhouses are now located.

But, also down on Concord Ave, in Belmont, next to Golden Garden, is a sushi place. Before it's current incarnation (which I'm blanking on), there have been a number of japanese restaurants there. Maybe one of those was named Osaka at some point.

Nov 12, 2014
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

Sakura Bana

Tokyo was at fresh pond and Osaka was on Concord Ave near the cash gas station at the rotary.

Nov 11, 2014
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

I'm not that lucky. These are new library books that came into the library. I checked the pie book out and wasn't greedy but checking out Slanted Door. Although, I am lucky as to when I get my library books though. But, that's through research and requesting the book before it's published (I requested a non cookbook that will be published in April 2015!)

Nov 07, 2014
beetlebug in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

A batch of new cookbooks came into the library. I went through them and came home with First Prize Pies by Allison Kave. I showed great restraint because Slanted Door and Simple Thai Cooking were both there. Ok, maybe not that much restraint since I already have a library copy of STC and I knew I wouldn't cook much from SD.

Anyway, I'm not much of a pie eater. And, I was rolling my eyes at this book because it had a lot of cutesy font. But, the organization and pies really appealed to me. It's organized by month and there are pies with various crusts, including cookie and pretzel crusts. There were a few recipes that had the salt/sweet thing that I tend to gravitate towards. And, I may make the Mexican Chocolate Pie for book group next week (it has cayenne, ginger, cinnamon and a gingersnap crust).

Right now, this looks like a hard book to resist. But as I drooled over a salted caramel chocolate pie, I'm reminded that I've barely looked at Caramel by Carol Bloom since I bought it months ago.

http://www.amazon.com/First-Prize-Pie...

Nov 07, 2014
beetlebug in Home Cooking

cranberries at Farmers Markets or local at stores?

Formaggio has local cranberries. $4.95 lb.

Nov 07, 2014
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

So excited for your new little free library. It would be fun to add a cookbook component as well.

Nov 05, 2014
beetlebug in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

I read Bookriot more religiously then I read CH. But, there have been a handful oF articles about the LFL. Mostly positive.

http://bookriot.com/2014/03/10/awesom...

http://bookriot.com/2014/03/24/5-tips...

http://bookriot.com/2014/11/05/15-awe...

And one bummer.

http://bookriot.com/2014/07/23/little...

But, I still really want one. I love the idea, concept and execution of a LFL.

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

I really want to put a Little Free Library in front of my house. It would be the perfect place to give a book and get a book. Unfortunately, I have no carpentry skills, but one of these days, I'm going to buy one.

http://www.littlefreelibrary.org

Nov 05, 2014
beetlebug in Home Cooking
1

Current (11/14) gas range recommendations?

I've had my GE Cafe for about a year and I am really happy with my purchase. My range is all gas and it has one big oven door and one small warming drawer.

I particularly love the burners. I stir fry with my wok, multiple times a week and the lower right hand burner is perfect for that. It has a high BTU (maybe 22K?) and it has a double flame (larger ring with a smaller ring). But, when it's time to go lower heat, that burner then uses the smaller flame to make a perfect simmer heat.

There is also another simmer burner in the top right hand, another stronger burner in the lower left. I don't use the top left burner as much and I've never used the griddle burner in the middle. I find that one kind of useless.

As for the oven, it works well although it's on the cooler side of the temperature. I've found when baking and there is a range of time to finish, I need the longer time. I also haven't really used the warmer drawer and find that it takes a while to heat up. I should have gone for the double oven.

JoanN bought her range at the same time. She and flour girl (who also has the GE Cafe) have posted on other range threads. I *think* both are more then satisfied with the range but JoanN has noted that the broil function doesn't work as well. I don't broil so I don't have any comment.

Lastly, when I was doing my range research, there wasn't a single brand that people universally loved. Every range has complaints about something from low end to uber high end. I don't think people post as much when they are happy with their purchases but are quick to post about machine failure.

Nov 02, 2014
beetlebug in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? October 2014 Edition. [old]

Thanks for the info. I agree that prepping ahead is not the same as making it ahead. And considerably less useful.

How do the recipes look?

Oct 31, 2014
beetlebug in Home Cooking

reliable drip coffee maker

Just brewed my first pot and it's promising. My grind could have been a hair finer but it's a learning process with a new machine. But, the coffee is the right temperature and has stayed hot in the carafe. I really like the glass carafe.

Anyway, I'm happy with the purchase.

ETA: the Sur La Table discount code is Carving14. The model I bought is being discontinued for a newer model. I called two different stores, one only had the floor model, the other had one floor model and one in the box. If you aren't going to order on line, be sure to call your local store first.

Oct 31, 2014
beetlebug in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? October 2014 Edition. [old]

I'm intrigued by Ina Garten's newest book, Make it Ahead. I don't have any strong feelings about Garten, although I LOVE her Outrageous Brownies and Coconut Cupcakes. But, I read an interview with her in yesterday's Boston Globe and am interested in checking the book out. Costco usually has a bunch of Garten's in the cookbook section in case my library wait is on the longer side.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...

Oct 30, 2014
beetlebug in Home Cooking

reliable drip coffee maker

I'm in the same boat. My Capresso 500 with the thermal carafe died last week. I can't really complain because I had that thing for about 12 years. I loved that coffee maker. Anyway, the Capresso 600 didn't get great reviews and since the carafes weren't compatible, I started looking around. I thought I read a few threads on this board but can't be bothered to look for them now. Anyway, I narrowed it down to the Technivorm and the Bonavita. After reading reviews and price surfing, I bought the Bonavita earlier today.

Here is the video that sold me on it.

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/bon...

I also watched the technivorm video. Not only was it more expensive, there were way too many parts for me.

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/tec...

Anyway, Sur La Table has it and they sent a 20% coupon in the latest catalog (I got it yesterday). Most of the reviews compared it to the Technivorm in just about everything except looks and price. Coffee tasting was comparable.

With the coupon, plus tax, it came to $140. It is about the same price on amazon but I try not to buy on amazon.

http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

There is a newer model that is either out or coming out soon. The difference is in the thermal carafe. Mine has glass on the inside. The newer version has a stainless interior. I *think* this is the newer version.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

Anyway, I bought the older version because the reviews are very good and there are no reviews for the newer version.

Keep in mind, I just unpacked it and haven't cleaned it yet, let alone made coffee with it. But, I did research the heck out of it.

Oct 30, 2014
beetlebug in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? October 2014 Edition. [old]

I met Yotam Ottolenghi soon after Jerusalem was released. He signed all three of my books and we took a picture together. He did make a comment about my books (because they were well used and well loved) about the amount of bits of paper sticking out of them. C commented about our picture and said I looked very very happy. YO is a gem.