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help me create a simple rustic dinner menu

No greens, just the pear, mint and pink peppercorns. It's very simple but always seems to dazzle, maybe because the pink peppercorns are unusual. I think of it almost as a chutney, though it isn't cooked. If you're so inclined, try making it and see if you like it enough to include it at the party. I think it's surprisingly special. Good luck with the party :-)

Oct 06, 2014
luckiestduck in Home Cooking

help me create a simple rustic dinner menu

This all sounds delicious! For appetizers, I love the Union Square Cafe nuts according to Nigela Lawson. I've made these for many parties and events, and they're always a hit:

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/b...

Personally, the pasta e fragile sound a little heavy as a soup course. In general, I find soup courses can really fill people up, but if you love the idea, I'd go with a puree of some kind. This mushroom soup is very fall-like, easy to make, and even better if you make it the day before:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

If you want something more colorful, this squash soup is delicious:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

I'd be sure to serve the soup in small bowls so people don't fill up.

I love lamb, but I also like something fresh with it to cut the richness. I'd do a simple salad of pears, mint (also classic with lamb) and pink peppercorns. I've been making that a lot lately with a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing and it's unusual enough that it impresses people and very easy to make.

Have a wonderful party! Your guests are lucky to have such a thoughtful host/hostess!

best fancy chocolates

What are your thoughts on Lilac? You sound like you really know your chocolate!

Sep 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

has anyone been to au zataar on ave a?

Thanks! Definitely not up to snuff by birthday standards! She just requested Cafe Mogador, which I feel is too casual, but it's her birthday so it's all about making her happy. :-)

Sep 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

has anyone been to au zataar on ave a?

Ooh, that looks great!

Sep 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

has anyone been to au zataar on ave a?

That doesn't sound too promising!

Sep 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

has anyone been to au zataar on ave a?

I'm looking for a place to take my mom for her birthday. She has great taste in food, but is always upset by the rising prices. If I take her somewhere that has mostly $25 and up entrees she'll just get tense that it's too expensive. Au Zataar looks like it might be festive and within reason price-wise, but I've never been. Any thoughts?

Sep 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

best fancy chocolates

I have a couple of bday parties coming up for friends who I'm not that close with. Both of them have stated 'no gifts,' but I never feel comfortable with that. Birthdays deserve a little something! I'm thinking of giving them each chocolates. Where do you get your favorite chocolates? (Other food gift recommendations welcome!)

Sep 21, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

bone broth not getting gelatinous

Thanks for all the suggestions. I've been feeling like I absolutely had to roast a chicken in order to make a broth. As much as I like roast chicken, it becomes a chore to eat it up. I'll try using a lot wings, backs and thighs and see how that turns out.

Sep 21, 2014
luckiestduck in Home Cooking

bone broth not getting gelatinous

I've started making chicken bone broth and it's delicious and rich, however the two times I've made it, it hasn't become gelatinous. The first time I used a the carcass from a roasted chicken with the standard veggies and spices in a dutch oven for around 8 hours, and it was deep and tasted great, but not gelatinous. The next time I wanted to add a lot of chicken feet, but I couldn't find them organic, so I added a very large back and cooked for 20 hours, and still no gelatin. If I can't find organic feet, what parts will yield the most gelatin? Is there some other technique I should use? Thanks!

Sep 21, 2014
luckiestduck in Home Cooking

greenpoint recs

Thanks for the recommendations! These are all great. I'm excited for her to discover some new places.

And, just to be clear, I love those Polish places, but it's not her thing. She thinks she's moving to the land of heavy Polish food and I'm eager to show her that that's not true. But I plan on hitting up some of those spots myself!

Sep 15, 2014
luckiestduck in Outer Boroughs

greenpoint recs

I didn't find any recent threads for Greenpoint. What's good out there that is also toddler friendly? A friend is getting ready to move there with her wee one, after a divorce, and I'd love to have some fun spots to take her and help her get settled into a new life. I don't think she's too excited about the authentic Polish places, but most types of cuisine are welcome, probably around the $20/entree range. Thanks!

Sep 14, 2014
luckiestduck in Outer Boroughs

Does anyone remember La Focacceria on 1st Avenue?

I used to get vested with just cheese, too! I was a kid when I frequented the place with family, and I really wish that I could have tasted the food as an adult. I'll look for the place you mentioned next time in the area!

Sep 07, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

Pink Peppercorns

I just made a salad of nectarines, cucumber, mint and pink peppercorns, with a simple drizzle of OO and balsamic. Delightful!

Aug 23, 2014
luckiestduck in Home Cooking

Orange Flower Water and Rose Water-How do you like to cook with these?

Ashta is an absolutely heavenly Lebanese dessert (actually I think it's a filling for other desserts, but I've only had it on its own at a Lebanese restaurant in LA) that uses both orange water and rose water. Here's a recipe:

http://www.mamaslebanesekitchen.com/v...

Aug 23, 2014
luckiestduck in Home Cooking

solo casual breakfast soho, village, nolita

Oh my gosh, thrilling! Thanks for letting me know!

Aug 23, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

solo casual breakfast soho, village, nolita

Il Bucolic Alimentari- perfect!

Aug 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

solo casual breakfast soho, village, nolita

That's a great spot, though I'm definitely looking for an egg sandwich. Thanks for the suggestion!

Aug 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

solo casual breakfast soho, village, nolita

If Doma was still around, that would have been perfect.

Aug 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

solo casual breakfast soho, village, nolita

I'm looking for a casual place to have a good breakfast alone. The type of place where you can sit with the paper, have a great egg sandwich and coffee and not feel bothered. Cozy but neither pretentious nor nondescript. Should be in a ten block radius from bleecker and laguardia.

Aug 22, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

What's your favorite Little Wisco restaurant?

I've never been to any of the Little Wisco spots and am thinking of taking a friend (if I can get us a reservation) to one this Friday night. Which are the best of them?

Aug 19, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

cooking for yet another party of mixed food needs

Yes! It was a hit! I made a delicious pulled pork, simple pan seared fish, beans from scratch, quinoa with herbs and garlic, pico de gallo, guacamole, plain avocado and tomato for non-onion eaters, corn/tomato/jalapeño succotash, Asian pickles, pickled jalapeño, kale/mango/jicama/cucumber/avocado/hearts of Palm salad, with lots of different hot sauces,fresh cilantro, cheese and crema. Everybody raved and went back for thirds. The only thing that I wished was better was the tortillas. I didn't have time to hunt down really good ones, so I had to go with some generic and too dense super market tortillas. But nobody seemed to mind and we had a great time. Loved this thread in preparing for the party!

cooking for yet another party of mixed food needs

Ha!

Aug 05, 2014
luckiestduck in Home Cooking

where can i buy shishito peppers?

They didn't have them at Union Sq WF.

Aug 05, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

where can i buy shishito peppers?

Good lord, that looks good.

Aug 05, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

where can i buy shishito peppers?

I think it was Lani's at the Jackson Heights market where I got them last week. Do they offer a lot of varieties of greens? No pesticides? Run by Asian people? That's my favorite farm stand at the Jax H market for sure. Lovely produce and people.

Aug 05, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

where can i buy shishito peppers?

Thanks for the suggestions. Sunrise Mart seems like it should be my first trip.
I don't know about their season, but I'm totally obsessed at the moment. I'm thinking putting seared shishitos out with martinis for an easy cocktail party.

Aug 05, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

where can i buy shishito peppers?

I bought some shishito peepers at the greenmarket last Sunday and put them in a breakfast burrito. Oh my lord, that was good. Now I want them every day and don't want to wait until next Sunday to get them. Any ideas about where they're sold regularly?

Aug 05, 2014
luckiestduck in Manhattan

best fresh corn and flour tortillas in Jackson Heights?

Thank you!

Jul 31, 2014
luckiestduck in Outer Boroughs

need a crock pot roast recipe (beef or pork) with no onion

Hm… well I already got the 4 1/2 lb bone-in shoulder. I've got it marinating in that delicious smelling paste for tomorrow. The original recipe says to cook it for 3 hours in a 350 degree oven. That seems like a high heat to me, no?

Jul 31, 2014
luckiestduck in Home Cooking