a

annomy's Profile

Title Last Reply

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

I'll stand up for Red Lobster. Tried it as the best option of just a few on a road trip a couple of years ago. Sticking with simple stuff (grilled tilapia which I was glad they had as a relatively sustainable choice, baked potato, salad), we had a very nice dinner. I can't speak to the more ornate meals, and it may also vary by location. Definitely a pleasant surprise.

Nov 30, 2014
annomy in Features

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

The last time I went to McD's was years ago. I'd probably still like the fries, but after the last burger I told my husband to remind me how I felt if I was ever tempted again. I haven't been: too many places to get a better burger, including [non-chain] diners.

Nov 29, 2014
annomy in Features

Last minute NYC trip

Oh, did forget to mention: I've loved Aldea in the past, but have also heard really negative comments from friends more recently about snotty service. Agree on pretty much all the comments below, and was at Scarpetta recently (I think since SC left) and it was still great, but not as special as some of the other places.

Nov 07, 2014
annomy in Manhattan

acorn squash meat without cooking?

Thanks, that sounds like a good plan and where my thinking was heading. Now I know why I've always stuffed them!

Nov 07, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

Last minute NYC trip

Colicchio & Sons is our recent fave, and I think they have bar seating or some equivalent. They are generally pretty accommodating, as well as serving fantastic food!
Good luck, and please report back.

Nov 07, 2014
annomy in Manhattan

acorn squash meat without cooking?

I'm making a winter squash/black bean chili for dinner. The recipe calls for butternut squash, but since I have a bunch of acorn squashes from my CSA, I'd prefer to use those. I'd also like to cook the squash in the chili rather than pre-cooking and just adding the squash meat to the chili. But can't figure out how to get the meat out raw. These squash have pretty big flanges/ribs (or whatever you call them), so I just don't see peeling it.
Any suggestions/tips? Or should I just suck it up and cook them separately? Thanks

Nov 07, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

Lamb Shanks in the Slow Cooker?

Oh, I wish I could say for sure, but honestly don't exactly remember. My gut/guess is that it was the smaller (14.5 oz) can. If you make it, please let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!

Oct 23, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

Removing bitter aftertaste from pesto?

Thanks, jjjr, I was wondering about the buds on the scapes. Never used them in the past, but had read someplace that they were fine. If I get more, I'll definitely taste them first! I know what you mean about the price of pine nuts, too - that's why I was so thrilled when I saw the relatively inexpensive TJs. And cashews are none too cheap either!
When I blanch at the price of an ingredient, I try and think about what the total meal costs, and compare it with what even cheap take-out costs. Unless you're talking fast food (which we never do here on Chow! :)), it usually makes me feel better. I'm not talking duck & lobster!

Jul 14, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

Ginger Chicken Jook (Rice Porridge)

This is my second review of this, partly to answer BaoMeiLing's question about the slow cooker. I did it that way last night. Again with a whole chicken, since I had one from the CSA, though I only used about half of the meat from it. I doubled the ginger and reduced the liquid by 1/3? 1/2? since you really don't lose much to evaporation. Even after ~8 hours, it never got quite as porridgey as the original method, but pretty close. I'd give it a 90 compared to the original, but definitely worth it for the sake of less heat in the kitchen and not having to pay much attention to it.
I did add chopped greens (kale and kohlrabi greens without the stems) for the last 20 minutes, and thought that was great. I love the mushroom idea too!

Jul 10, 2014
annomy in Recipes

Removing bitter aftertaste from pesto?

Thanks for all the advice. I added some sugar, which definitely helped quite a bit without making it sweet. But was still dubious about it standing alone (on pasta), so cooked up some CSA ground beef, mixed that and a can of tomatoes with some of the pesto, and served that over cavatelli. Good enough for my husband to go back for seconds, though definitely not my usual minimalist approach to pesto. Will be more careful next time!

Jul 08, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking
1

Removing bitter aftertaste from pesto?

Right, I get that. I mentioned the toasting because 1) I did wonder if toasting brings up a bitter flavor; and 2) if I'd taken the time to toast myself as usual, I might have also tasted as I'd gone along, so would have caught it earlier. I'll try some tonight with a pinch of sugar and let you know.

Jul 07, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

Removing bitter aftertaste from pesto?

Thanks for the quick response. I hadn't heard or experienced that, but usually toast pine nuts myself. Any suggestions for counteracting? I'm looking for something along the lines of adding a potato to compensate for excess salt.

Jul 07, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

Removing bitter aftertaste from pesto?

Not wanting to waste a batch of CSA garlic scapes before heading out of town, I made pesto to stick in the freezer. I was in a rush, didn’t measure anything, just used a food processor to combine the garlic scapes (including the little bud ends), grated asiago/parmesan, EVOO & toasted pine nuts & S&P. The pine nuts were Trader Joe’s toasted, not brand new but had been stored in the freezer.
Anyway, it came out the right texture & a lovely color; it even tastes pretty good at first bite but the aftertaste is quite bitter. Any suggestions for how to counteract? If I combine it with other flavors, will the effect be reduced, or will I just be spoiling the entire meal? And what went wrong? I hate to blame the scapes, especially since I love my CSA farmer & didn't taste as I went along, but they do seem the most likely culprit...
Thx!

Jul 07, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

Garlic Scapes

Not an answer, but another question:
Not wanting to waste a batch of CSA garlic scapes before heading out of town, I made pesto. I was in a rush, didn’t measure anything, just used a food processor to combine the garlic scapes (including the little bud ends), grated asiago/parmesan, EVOO & toasted pine nuts & S&P. The pine nuts were Trader Joe’s toasted, not brand new but had been stored in the freezer.
Anyway, it came out the right texture & a lovely color; it even tastes pretty good at first bite but the aftertaste is quite bitter.
Any suggestions for how to counteract? If I combine it with other flavors, will the effect be reduced, or will I just be spoiling the entire dinner? And what went wrong? I hate to blame the scapes or the pine nuts, but really didn't taste as I went along...

Jul 07, 2014
annomy in General Topics

Lamb Shanks in the Slow Cooker?

Okay, here's a really delayed response. In a general way, I am really learning to love my crockpot, especially in the summer when I don't want the oven on. I made some lamb shanks over the last couple of nights that came out great! Basically like a lamb shank/pot roast. My recipe was kind of based on http://homecooking.about.com/od/lambr.... Here was my problem. As suggested, I was going to make in the crockpot a day early, to give it time to chill so I could scrape the fat off the top. But all the ingredients wouldn't fit in my crockpot. Those lamb shanks are long! But I didn't want to do it all in my 6qt. Le Creuset, because I didn't have room in the fridge for that. So I did all the ingredients except the mushrooms, carrots & potatoes in the crockpot for 6 hours, chilled overnight, scraped the fat, then moved to LC, added the other veggies and just a little water that I used to rinse the crockpot, and simmered another hour or so. Served with horseradish. Oh WTH, here's the whole recipe:
Crockpot Lamb Shanks
Lamb shanks are not very tender and require slow braising. The crockpot is the perfect choice to tenderize tough meat. These lamb shanks are flavored with garlic, onions, mushrooms, herbs, red wine, and tomatoes. To reduce the fat, refrigerate overnight, scrape off the congealed fat, and reheat before serving. The garlic cloves are extremely mild when cooked whole. If you like a stronger garlic flavor, mince some of the garlic before adding to the crockpot.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
•1 sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
•4 lamb shanks
•1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
•1 teaspoon kosher salt
•Freshly ground black pepper
•1 teaspoon olive oil
•10 whole, peeled garlic cloves, large ones cut in half (or more to taste
)•8 ounces mushrooms, brushed clean, large ones cut in half
Baby carrots
•1/2 cup red wine
•1/2 cup strong beef broth (double-strength)
•1 can diced tomatoes
•1 teaspoon dried oregano
•1 teaspoon dried basil
•4 sprigs fresh thyme
•1 teaspoon ground allspice
•1 small bay leaf, broken in half

Preparation:

Spread sliced and separated onion rings on bottom of crockpot.
Rub lamb shanks with Worcestershire sauce, then sprinkle all over with salt and pepper and dust with flour.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and brown the lamb shanks. Place browned lamb shanks, in the slow cooker crock on top of the onions. Add tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, allspice, and bay leaf Top with whole garlic cloves, carrots, and mushrooms. (Could also add potatoes.) Deglaze pan with wine & broth. along with any browned bits from the skillet ,. Pour mixture over the vegetables and lamb shanks.

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until tender. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Could add cornstarch 1 hour before finishing. Serve with warm crispy bread.

Serve with pan juices and vegetables, or even better, make this a day ahead of time and refrigerate. This way you can easily scrape off the excess fat from the gravy before reheating and serving. If no potatoes, could serve over polenta for the gravy.

Jun 11, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

What kind of viburnum? I have a very shady NYC "back space." You can't even call it a yard, really. But we do have a volunteer redbud tree that's managed to survive almost seven years, though it's not yet clear if it made it through this past brutal winter. We definitely lost the hydrangeas, though, so maybe I'll try viburnum in their place.

Apr 06, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

Tonight was dinner & a movie out. (Yummy seafood and somewhat disappointing Grand Budapest Hotel.) Tomorrow will be some madeup version of risotto with winter greens, carrots and either sausage or bacon.

Apr 05, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

HV?

Apr 05, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

Interesting. I've been meaning to try a similar recipe, but made with pork in a slow cooker. http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/sl....
FYI, I don't have the exact ingredients at hand, but you can make your own 5-spice, like you can make your own garam masala.

Apr 05, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

Only adds to the charm, suzi. This picture literally did make me laugh out loud.

Apr 05, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

You might try myspicesage.com for dried mushrooms. I've never bought their mushrooms, but have several times gotten herbs & spices, including dried chili peppers. Quality & price have always been outstanding. Free shipping does end up taking around a week, though, so it's not for when you discover you're out of something that you need for dinner.

Apr 05, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

Lilacs for me - a little later in the season, but I just love the way they smell, and no artificial fragrance comes close.

Apr 05, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking
1

How to handle uninvited children at a cocktail party

I agree with most of this, but also think it's fine for kids to be around adults drinking. Not at every cocktail party, no, and not sitting around getting hammered every night. But certainly there are kids at my big annual barbecue and lots of adults are drinking beer, wine, hard cider. In fact, I think kids should see adults drinking responsibly; that's how they learn appropriate behavior, from seeing it modeled. Otherwise they'll just learn it from their older friends, and we see how that goes...

We were kicked out of a restaurant because.....

As would I! Diners are a dime a dozen in this area. BS like that would loss them my business forever.

Feb 03, 2014
annomy in Not About Food

How many nights a week do you have dessert?

I interpreted dessert as something sweet sometime after a meal. In that case, I'm an anomaly, not a never or an always. I was also surprised by how bifurcated these answers were, that's why I'm replying. Probably three nights a week, I'll have something sweet, but I'm basically content with a bite or two of ice cream or a Two-bite brownie or cupcake. My husband, on the other hand, only eats desserts on weekends (Fri-Sun), but can go through most of a box of Entenmann's donuts at a sitting. If we're going out for a fancy dinner, we get dessert pretty often; shared if we agree or two if we want something different.

Jan 26, 2014
annomy in General Topics

Etiquette for your birthday

If that's her way of expressing her hurt, it's pretty passive-aggressive, which you should avoid enabling. Yes, maybe you could have softened the blow by saying you felt like a restaurant celebration this year (and vaguely inviting her) or just a quiet evening. But I'm definitely a fan of the "queen for the day" theory of birthdays, and you get what you want. Is the problem that her house is filled with delicate tchotchkes? Or just that she's controlling? If it's always that tense at her house but your kids aren't that bad, I agree, her son might gently tell her... Hmm, not actually sure how to end that sentence... but something that might give her a better understanding of how she's coming off. It's not going to do much for her relationship with her grandkids, either.
And remember, you said it was an invitation. If it was actually a command performance, the relationship definitely needs some work.
Good luck!

Jan 26, 2014
annomy in Not About Food

What time do you normally eat dinner?

I'm really impressed. If you get home around 5pm, how do you ever get dinner on the table by 6pm, especially with a production (what a lovely idea - wish I could pull it off!)?

Jan 26, 2014
annomy in Not About Food

What time do you normally eat dinner?

I live in NYC with my DH and no kids. Not currently working full-time but do have frequent evening meetings or volunteer commitments. If I'm making a restaurant reservation my ideal is 8pm. If I'm cooking and it's just a regular night, I usually aim for 8, but it often ends up a little later. If it's a weekend, I aim later, often a lot later, 9-9:30. But there are usually salty nibbles before, with drinks. On evenings that I'm out, I usually eat a large late lunch (2-3pm) and nosh when I get home, any time from 10 to midnight.

Jan 26, 2014
annomy in Not About Food

Can I have your secret family recipe?!?!?

That sounds great! I'm always looking for ways to improve my potato salad, and like the whole vinegar concept, but hadn't figured out how to reconcile it with the mayo. I don't do olives or pickles, but do add celery and Colman's mustard..

Jan 26, 2014
annomy in Home Cooking

Impact of plastic bag ban?

Hello left coast! Here in NYC we are considering not a ban of plastic bags, but a charge for them. My local Community Board (I’m a member) is weighing in, and I thought Chowhounds would be a good source of info from a place that’s gone even further. What’s been the experience/reaction from this broad group of thoughtful people who presumably buy a fair amount of food? Not looking for statistics (though that would be nice); more just the anecdotes. Is it a big deal? Have your attitudes and behaviors changed since the ban went in place? Sorry to the moderators if this is too tangential!

Jan 26, 2014
annomy in Not About Food