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CarmenR's Profile

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A Tiny Cocktail Trend In America?

Why in god's name would anyone want a 7oz+ martini? I'm a big martini drinker but once it starts to get warm, it's game over. yuck.

Oct 05, 2014
CarmenR in Spirits

Wedding at restaurant - tipping question

We did basically exactly this when we got married (Oct 12 last year, similar date!) There were 110 people in attendance and we did a sat night buyout. We had 3 bartenders, 2 waiters/runners, a hostess/doorperson and the manager there plus I think 3 people in the kitchen.

There was a 20% gratuity built into the price of the buyout, which was no joke and we asked if it was split evenly through the staff when we signed the contract. It was, except for the manager who refused a tip (but seemed to have a really fun time, actually, they kept the place open for us an extra hour after the time we paid for and the kitchen staff came and hung out with a cocktail!)

We did not suggest tipping and made it clear that we had everything covered, however many of our guests tipped the bartenders. Based on what I saw, they probably got a pretty penny- most people laid down $3-5 a drink at first (the drinks at this place retail for about $14, so they tipped accordingly) and then scaled to $1-2 moving on from there.

That said, we had a LOT of industry folks in attendance and they tip for basically everything as a good-will effort. YMMV but I would ask how the gratuity is split and then would tip out accordingly. The runners and kitchen staff worked their butts off for us and I'm glad they got paid to do so!

Also, we sent thank-you notes to the resto and named as many folks as we could remember, and have always been greeted warmly when we've visited since. I would recommend that as a kind gesture- people like getting cards!

Oct 05, 2014
CarmenR in Not About Food

Eastern North Carolina style barbeque in NYC???

I'm going to agree with you here- I grew up in Wilmington NC and Quinn's tastes way too sweet to me (more like TN bbq.) Maybe it's just a personal preference, though.

Oct 04, 2014
CarmenR in Manhattan

Good non-toxic, grain-free things for a puppy who is teething to chew on?

Be careful with the Kongs- my maltese mix is a serious chewer, and at the rip-old age of 6 months was able to DESTROY the puppy kongs. And I mean totally destroy- he ripped them apart and was working on eating the rubber pieces when I caught him. We moved on to the "tough chewer" (black) models which took him a mere few days to shred.

In short, if you can monitor the pup, kongs are amazing. But be careful- they're not as indestructible as they purport!

Unheralded Brooklyn Restaurants

Lot 2 is my favorite "unknown" restaurant. My husband and I eat there a few times a month and have never had a bad meal. It is NOT a good place if you're sensitive to salt, though...

Jul 26, 2014
CarmenR in Outer Boroughs

What would YOU make with this? Malibu and Ciroc Red Berry

What would you make if you had a party coming up and your wife was forcing you to get rid of 3/4 bottle of malibu rum and a bottle of circoc red berry? Because this is exactly what I am telling my husband.

We were gifted both bottles and they've been sitting forever. They seem like maybe a good mix for generic punch, and my husband says he's going to "wing it," but last time he did this it took him almost an hour of reblending to make something tasty (after over-habanero-ing the tequila and making something incredibly spicy!)

We also have 5 lbs of limes, 10 lbs of lemons and an industrial juicer. I'm wondering if we should go with something more pineapple/orange based...

We had guests raving over a white, peach-based sangria with whole vanilla beans a few years ago, but I believe that called for vodka. We generally have pretty good drinks at our parties and I'd prefer to not turn this into frat-party jungle-juice, so I turn to you fine folks. What large-batch would YOU make?

Jul 01, 2014
CarmenR in Spirits

What sides should I make for my annual crab boil?

This is great and I can use my mandolin to whip this up quickly, I think!

Jun 30, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

What sides should I make for my annual crab boil?

It would be if we actually served it like a meal, but its more like a giant, roving 8 hour long garden party where we do two batches of boil but then people obv want to eat in between. Plus, let's be honest, those crabs have only a teenytiny amount of meat in them. They're really not even my scene, but people love them and they're cheap enough!

Jun 26, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking
1

What sides should I make for my annual crab boil?

funny you should mention that, I actually made a summer orzo salad yesterday! I could def double the recipe- I love using orzo for those salads since it's so small volume-wise.

Jun 26, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

What sides should I make for my annual crab boil?

I do! I get supermarket coleslaw for authenticity sake (growing up in NC we didn't *do* gourmet slaw!)

We do usually have bread as someone generally brings roughly 5 lbs of cheese...

Jun 25, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

What sides should I make for my annual crab boil?

Ooo this is a good idea! I always forget about fennel and am surprised by how much I like it. Do you have a specific recipe you like?

Jun 25, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

What sides should I make for my annual crab boil?

Hounds, flex your creative muscles!

My husband and I are getting ready for our third annual crab boil for 4th of July, and I need some ideas of new sides to make. This is a potluck, so we always end up with a ton of random stuff from steaks and hotdogs and frito pie to kalbi "sushi" and peach cobbler. Usually, I make the following:

crab boil (which has potatoes and shrimp and veggies and all that normal junk)
NC style pulled pork with sandwich fixings
Guac
Chips/Salsa
Store-bought potato salad
Grilled corn
giant bowl o alcoholic punch (tbd by husband.)

This year, I have more time leading up to the actual day so I'd like to make some more exciting stuff, however we have a few limitations.
1) We live in NYC and, while our apartment is pretty big, we don't have a TON of counter space or fridge space. For this reason, things like salads that can be room temp-ish are good (bowls take up less footprint) and things like deviled eggs are not good.
2) I will have basically no time on the 4th to actually cook anything we we spend the morning hours picking up crabs/lobsters/kegs/ice etc. So make ahead STRONGLY preferred.
3) It's going to be hot, so using the oven on that day is not ideal but can be done in advance.
4) I am a good enough baker of easy stuff (muffins, biscuits, brownies, etc) but not of pie crusts or anything overly sensitive.

So basically I'm looking for some interesting, make ahead, doesn't-need-to-sit-on-a-tray types of dishes. We expect about 45 people, but it doesn't need to feed that many.

What would YOU like to eat at a crabboil!?

Jun 25, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #308 - A Midsummer's Night's Dream Dinner Edition! [through June 25, 2014]

We've been making totchos at parties for at least 7 years. It would be easier if we had a deep fryer, but doing them in the oven is surprisingly easy. People rave about them!

What are you baking these days? June 2014 edition, part 2! [OLD]

Ah fair enough. I should have been more specific- I don't think I'd try to do a loaf or a bundt in a cake pan at all because the recipe size is generally different (I could be wrong there!) I actually have a bundt and a couple of loaf pans for bread baking, just the regular old cake pans are notably absent! Thanks for the comment :)

Jun 20, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? June 2014 edition, part 2! [OLD]

Yup it's a 9". Since we're on the topic, can you think of a cake that could NOT be baked in a springform instead of a normal cake pan? I'm trying to improve my cake baking and will hopefully be trying a bunch of recipes this summer...

Jun 18, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? June 2014 edition, part 2! [OLD]

This is potentially a *really* stupid question, but I don't actually have a round cake pan (and I'm 100x maxed out on kitchen space,)... can a springform pan work for a cake like this? I have a springform gathering dust and I'd rather not buy yet another pan...

Jun 17, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

Food porn as man bait

I think everyone here needs to lighten up a bit. What if this thread had been "Food Porn for Significant Other/Partner Bait"? Would that have made everyone less hurt? I didn't read this as sexist at all- my husband cooks as much as I do, and cooked as many meals when we were dating as I did.

Food porn as man bait

I'll let my husband know ;)

Jun 13, 2014
CarmenR in Not About Food
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Food porn as man bait

Chicken, fish and some bone marrow (different days, obv.)

Jun 13, 2014
CarmenR in Not About Food

Food porn as man bait

My husband says he knew he would marry me when I made him linguine with clams for the first time when we were "just friends" 5 or 6 years ago. That dish was included in our wedding vows. I think I sealed the deal with the roasted chicken a few weeks later.

He's a pretty good cook as well, but I enjoy making dinner and usually have more time. He still requests the linguine with clams anytime I ask him what he wants me to make to celebrate something, which I don't mind because it is THE easiest dish ever.

Jun 10, 2014
CarmenR in Not About Food
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Lavender - Use Leaves or Flowers?

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to see if anyone has success cooking with the fresh leaves? I wanted to try to make a lavender glaze for a poundcake I'm making and I have two decent-sized plants in my garden, but neither of them have flowers. Thoughts? Considering that lavender SUGAR is a thing, there's very few recipes around for a glaze... most of what I'm seeing includes the flowers in the baked good, but not the glaze so I'm wondering if there's a reason for that.

Jun 10, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

Marco's Brooklyn

My husband and I must be the outliers- we have eaten at Marco's three times- twice for dinner and once for brunch. All three times we have been completely underwhelmed, especially for the price. The first time we went (about a month after it opened) our meal was almost $200 pre-tip and out of the 8ish plates we tried, we both only liked one.

We are both huge fans of Franny's food (NOT the snarky hostess) and used to go about once a month, so we were really let down when Marco's failed to deliver. I will say that the service at Marco's has been pretty good, in our experience.

Jun 05, 2014
CarmenR in Outer Boroughs

Rehearsal dinner for 20 in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill?

Check out Rucola- we were going to have our wedding lunch there but we ended up having too many people for a reservation, and too few for a buyout (we had 28 people and I THINK the max was 20.) Food is great and its super cute.

May 30, 2014
CarmenR in Outer Boroughs

Rehearsal dinner for 20 in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill?

Frankies is going to be more than $40pp

May 30, 2014
CarmenR in Outer Boroughs

park slope

lot 2 does not for small groups, but you can call ahead for seating (ie- calling when you're 10 minutes away to be put in the list.) There's not usually too much of a wait, though.

May 30, 2014
CarmenR in Outer Boroughs

park slope

Lot 2!! Hidden gem- we've been going once a month for years and never had a bad meal

May 29, 2014
CarmenR in Outer Boroughs

Best whole wheat bread recipe (kitchenaid a plus!)

could be partial. I really have no preference, I'm just looking for a decent recipe. The google yields many results, but they seem to have varying success rates...

May 15, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

Best whole wheat bread recipe (kitchenaid a plus!)

Subject says it all- looking for your best whole-wheat bread recipe and, if you'd be so kind, your fave whole wheat flour as well. I'm finding bags from $3 to $9 and I'd love to know if there's a tangible difference...

As an aside, I have a kitchenaid with the traditional dough hook and I'd love to utilize that if at all possible!

May 13, 2014
CarmenR in Home Cooking

Ramps are $36 a pound at Fairway.

if you dont mind, do you recall how much the asparagus was?

May 04, 2014
CarmenR in Manhattan

kitchen OWIES!?!

Your first story echos what happened to me. Removed the pan with potholders, turned around to wash my hand, then immediately went back and grabbed the handle to put the pan in the sink. It was about 20 seconds after it came out of the oven. Ouch.

Mar 30, 2014
CarmenR in Not About Food
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