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help!! need recs for food shop that will deliver knockout fruit platter/basket

I was wondering about the distance. I looked at a map and it seemed to be 25 to 30 miles away. Since I don't live in the area, I just assumed these recs deliver to Boston areas as a whole. Thanks for the information. I will check these out and see what they say. I happen to love Italian food and I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with an Italian fruit/food platter. Besides, it's the thought that counts. Right?

Dec 28, 2009
doughreme in Greater Boston Area

Fondue dipper suggestions (new year's eve tradition)

A couple more I should have added (some have been mentioned before): steamed green beans and broccoli, bread sticks and french fries for the cheese. For the chocolate, we also like to dip bread, but the possibilities are endless. We too use fruit of all kinds (apples, strawberries, bananas, etc.) as well as marshmallows, pretzels sticks and potato chips. Try pringles for this. They don't fall apart as much. Or really any thick chip. Have fun with this. My daughter looks forward to our fondue every year.

Dec 28, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

Fondue dipper suggestions (new year's eve tradition)

Every New Year's Eve we make a cheese fondue with our daughter. Our dipper of choice - after bread, of course - is lobster. Some would say lobster and cheese do not work well together. I say, don't listen. It's amazing.

Dec 28, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

Food processor 101? Or how to avoid gluey hash browns

Agreed. Don't cook them first. Just shred them raw and drain the water out of them before pan frying. If you have cheesecloth, lay it in the colander before adding the potatoes. Use it to lift and squeeze the potatoes. Paper towels can also be used, but not as effectively. Work quickly because you have to be careful about letting them sit out. Otherwise they will turn brown/oxidize. You can also mix in shredded/drained beets or carrots too.

Dec 28, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

help!! need recs for food shop that will deliver knockout fruit platter/basket

Thanks everyone. I am going to call Pemberton and Wilson tomorrow. If Wilson will deliver, I am going to order one of their fruit platters (and possibly a veggie platter too). They look great. Especially for the price. I think cut fruit is great for an office. Orchard's platter is cut up and everyone goes crazy for it, including us. Somehow all of the little pieces of food seem to disappear by the end of the day. I forgot about Edible Arrangements. They are a good fall back too. I just worry about them thinking it is cheesy too. I received it and loved it, but you never know how it will be received in an office. Better to take the safe route.

Now that I think of it, I bet a place like Dean and Deluca that does catering would prepare a fruit platter. Are there any shops like it in the Boston area that deliver? Should I stick with Wilson?

Dec 28, 2009
doughreme in Greater Boston Area

help!! need recs for food shop that will deliver knockout fruit platter/basket

Hi Boston Area Hounds,

I have a client in Beverly that I would like to send a fruit platter (or something similar for an office), but not sure where to order from. In Brooklyn, we have a place called Orchard (http://www.orchardfruit.com/ProductsL...) that has gorgeous platters for under a $100. Unfortunately, it costs $60 to ship one of their platters.

Which food shop or store in the Boston area prepares high quality fruit or food platters to send to an office? If anyone would know, it would be someone on this board.

Any recommendations would be extremely appreciated.

Thanks!!

Dec 28, 2009
doughreme in Greater Boston Area

Homemade Granola

Love, love, homemade granola. I like nuts, but you can certainly use only what you like. Some things I use are coconut, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, wheatgerm, almonds, pecans and mix those with oats, honey and agave. I also use canola oil, but the next time I make it I am going to use coconut oil instead.

Oct 14, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

Why doesn't my dry measuring cups include a 3/4 cup size?

My old Tupperware cups are some of my most worn out pieces of cooking tools. They last forever and have all of the necessary sizes. Highly recommended. I looked them up recently and I think they are now in red and a little cuter. Just happen to have a picture of them (the old ones) stored on my computer.

Sep 29, 2009
doughreme in Cookware

portable burners (maybe induction?) - need some advice

Yes. Very informative, thanks. I never needed one before, so I never noticed the "coils". I do have Le Creuset and cast iron, so I guess I'll be able to start cooking right away. I wanted to get a Le Creuset skillet and now I have a good excuse. My favorite pan for years has been a copper one though. Kind of a bummer.

Sep 29, 2009
doughreme in Cookware

Ideas for tomorrow last minute dinner party - 8 ppl. - 3 hours to cook

Thank you everyone for your very helpful ideas. I haven't been able to get near the computer all day to respond to you (but I have been reading the posts from my phone, which only allows me to read - not post). Couldn't end the night without letting you know how it turned out. Just in case you find yourself in a similar situation...

Here is what I did:
Before dinner, mozzarella, roasted red peppers and stuffed hot peppers, with semolina loaf - all purchased from a great local Italian pork store, with fresh basil and tomatoes on hand. Was going to be pizza with peppers, but ran out of time.
Soup - escarole and tortellini (from same Italian store) in chicken broth (organic in box), with grated Reggiano, also shaved on top.
Main - coq au vin, steamed haricot verts and frites (made myself and still need to clean the deep fryer).
Dessert - assorted mini Italian pastries (purchased from great Italian bakery), such as cannoli, tiramisu, etc.
Funny tidbit - as I was getting ready to brown the chicken in the rendered bacon fat, I remembered that Bacon Is Pork! I was supposed to leave the pork out of the menu for a guest and I somehow forgot that bacon qualifies as pork. Luckily, I remembered at the right moment and was able to brown the chicken another way. It's funny how pork is so ingrained in my eating, that I forgot this obvious fact.

All in all, a fantastic meal. A bit hurried, but no one knew... except my 8 year old that was frantically prepping everything with me.

I really appreciate all of the support. Thanks again. Hounds Rock!!!

Sep 29, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

Ideas for tomorrow last minute dinner party - 8 ppl. - 3 hours to cook

Thanks Normandie. Got me going. Used to do a great quick tortellini and escarole soup. That's one. Wanted to short ribs, but not enough time. Working first, then shopping and cooking. Dessert I can purchase at the bakery, so it's just the main course. The rest I can fill in when I am shopping. Running to work, so I will check in during the day. Budget should be reasonable for 8 people but not too crazy. Just looking for a nice menu.

Sep 29, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

He's going to be 3! What to serve for "brunch" at park?

I love making a deconstructed Nicoise Salad for afternoon parties. Arrange all of the components separately on one large platter. Use good tuna jarred in olive oil, steamed small red potatoes, capers, olives, dressed lettuce, steamed haricots verts, sliced hard-boiled egg and whatever else you want. Have dijon mustard, oil and vinegar, and a couple baguettes available too. You can also have a cold beef tenderloin, sliced and arranged on a platter with a horseradish sauce. Lots of assorted crudite and a platter of roasted peppers, mozzarella, tomatoes and olives. Everything can be done ahead of time and eaten at room temp or cold. These are foods that kids like too. For the salad, you can bring everything in baggies and arrange the platter when you arrive. It looks very festive for a party.

Sep 28, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

Ideas for tomorrow last minute dinner party - 8 ppl. - 3 hours to cook

Ok, this will probably be easy for all of you. For some reason, I am stuck. Please help...

Having a last minute dinner party tomorrow night for 8. Supposed to be 4, but I couldn't help myself, and it magically turned into 8. I was supposed to have the whole day to shop and cook. (Still cutting it close, but I figured once I started shopping, I could come up with a decent menu.) Then, a couple of hours ago, I was asked to work and said Yes! Now, I am left with 3 hours to do everything (maybe 1/2 hr. extra to shop, if I can get away).

I have been digging through my cookbooks and looking online, but haven't come up with a menu I am satisfied with yet. It was always supposed to be casual, but my idea of casual usually isn't "casual" (probably like the rest of you). Most of the guests cook themselves and know their food.

One more tidbit, one of the guests doesn't eat pork, so I was going to skip it altogether.

Any ideas? (Other than cancel?)

Sep 28, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

portable burners (maybe induction?) - need some advice

Thanks for the great input. It sounds like I should definitely get an induction burner. Didn't realize that a quality one would be so accessibly priced. A 120V is preferred since I bring equipment to other locations for parties and workshops. How much of a difference is there between the commercial and home use burners? Also, are the pans identified as induction pans or do I just need to know what I am looking for? Shopping information is greatly appreciated too.

Sep 28, 2009
doughreme in Cookware

portable burners (maybe induction?) - need some advice

Has anyone used a portable burner, plain electric or induction, that they can recommend? I am considering purchasing one for children's cooking classes. I want them to be able to see into the pan and with a portable burner, I will be able to bring it down to their level. I have never used one of these before. I read a great deal about induction burners as well. They are quite expensive and require special pans, but are they worth it? Would a regular electric burner be better? Any advice you can provide is appreciated.

Sep 27, 2009
doughreme in Cookware

HELP! Family dinner ideas for picky toddler!

Believe me, he won't starve. My daughter did the very same thing. One thing that works, but might not be the healthiest, is to have bacon cooking when he hasn't eaten for a while. The smell makes them want to eat and they will usually try something new at that point. You could try turkey bacon, but it certainly doesn't taste as good.

Sep 16, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

HELP! Family dinner ideas for picky toddler!

Have you tried letting him cook with you? Most kids will eat, or at least try what they make. Granola is a great way to start. It's fun to make and there are a bunch of ingredients to eat along the way.

I agree with the previous post from sweet tooth. Hiding food ends up backfiring on you. If you want them to expand their horizons, they have to know what they end up liking, so they can ask for it again. My 8 year old used to be very picky. At 2, the only meat she would eat was sausage. She has come a long way since then. I have learned that you need to keep introducing the same foods they turned away, over and over again. Their palates change over time and they will eat more variety as they grow.

She too, likes raw veggies over cooked. At first, I would add only a small amount to pasta, couscous or rice until I could serve it to her with more veggies than carbs. Try grating the raw veggies over things he likes, adding more as he gets used to it. I told mine that beets tasted like candy and she ate them. I grated beets (raw) can be added to a lot of foods.

Another thing you can try, is to have him lick the food to get a taste for it. I know it sounds strange, but when my daughter would like what she tasted, she would go back for an actual bite. If he likes salt, like she does, I would sprinkle a couple of grains (with a little lemon vinaigrette for the ones it won't stick to) on the food to be eaten. It worked for me with cucumber, beets, cauliflower, carrots, fennel, arugula and a bunch of others.

For brussel sprouts, shave or slice super thin and serve with lemon, olive oil, grated reggiano and salt/pepper. The kids love it (esp. once they lick it - ha ha).

Most important is to gain trust. If he says no, let it go and try again in a couple of weeks. If he knows that after he tries something, he won't be forced to eat it, he will be more apt to do so. Good luck. Things will definitely get better as he gets older.

Sep 15, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

Vinegar Hill House - Review

We went this summer and luckily got a table without a wait at about 7:30. The place was packed shortly after. We enjoyed most of our meal and would definitely go back. Didn't notice the griminess, but will keep an eye out for it the next time. That type of thing bothers me too. The room was small and sweetly decorated. Our server was attentive, but very busy once the place filled up. Had the pork chop and loved it. It looks like it should be "porterhouse for two". It was a large, juicy, sliced chop served reddish/pink. Didn't care for the cold potato salad that accompanied it and our table was very small (and oddly shaped). But, it is a great addition to an area with very few good options for dinner.

Sep 08, 2009
doughreme in Outer Boroughs

Lorenzos at Copperfield Inn near Gore and Friends Lake Inn-Long Post Warning

Hi Hounds,
Just got back from an annual trip to Loon Lake and I want to report on a new find for us...Lorenzos at the Copperfield Inn. It is in North Creek which is Gore Mountain territory. The restaurant is Italian and owned by a New Yorker that took it over after being closed for two years. The food is inventive and consists of mostly small plates. There is something for everyone and it seems like they are trying to work with fresh, local producers, so the menu is quite interesting. They also have a thin crust pizza that is decent. The toppings were varied with meats, cheeses and interesting combinations, but the crust wasn't crisp enough for me. The pastas and salads were very good. My fish, the whole branzino was delicious. Clams in a spicy broth were tasty, but not very spicy. Everything is al a carte so the menu seems like it is inexpensive, but you could end up ordering a few dishes per person and the price adds up. The wine list was comprehensive enough for this type of place and not too pricey. The desserts were really good (berry tiramisu) and ok (fried dough with chocolate dipping sauce). The owner and all of the workers were super attentive. When an order wasn't what we expected (a gnocchi dish), they brought another dish of the same ilk for us to try (on the house). They also gave us an after dinner drink on the house. The room was elegant, but it wasn't stuffy at all. You could easily bring kids. They would love the food. The kitchen is open and we could speak to those cooking our meal from our seats. The music had a hip vibe to it (not too loud) which we really enjoyed. My only gripe was that the room was too brightly lit and once we said something, they lowered the lights. We will definitely go back there. It is a welcome addition to a restaurant wasteland. We took a peek at the rooms too. They were corporate looking, but clean and not too pricey either. The pool looks beautiful.

We also went to Friends Lake Inn. I really love this place, but after eating there four times, I am a little tired of the menu. The items don't appear to have changed much in the last 3 years (which are all I can report). It seems to be left behind in the times (classical music and all). The ingredients in the sides seem to be present in several dishes as well. The kitchen did a commendable job with what they had to cook, but it is getting a little predictable. There are no surprises or excitement. The wine list is outstanding and will keep me coming back, but on a Monday night, our server was spread too thin. I hope it was just an off night because it is a really special place. My wish is that it gets more attention. I was sad to see it in this light. Has anyone else been there lately?

Sep 08, 2009
doughreme in General Tristate Archive

Is this a weed? Flower?

They may have died, like your icelandics. Not as hardy as they sound. Two years ago I planted bright red oriental poppies (dumping the seeds into the dirt, like you) and knew I would be waiting through an entire season sans poppies. This was the year!! I let everything in the two pots grow because when they are small, its hard to tell them apart. All of the flowers that should be there came up, except the poppies. Now that I got rid of those #@$% weeds, I can see a few things coming up underneath, but I doubt they're poppies. Is it better to buy the poppy plants fully grown? I haven't seen them at the market or nursery, but I imagine I can get them online. I have visions of that gorgeous red coming up year after year.

BTW: Yesterday after I pulled the weeds, I took a bike ride past an empty lot that had tons of the very same weeds growing everywhere. I'll probably see them every day now.

Jul 04, 2009
doughreme in Gardening

Radishes are in season, now what?

One more way to cook them. I used them as the white on a "flag" (for the 4th) flatbread. Slice thin and overlap in rows for the white in your flag. (beets do the red rows). They got a bit stained from the beets, but it was a fun way to put them to use.

Jul 02, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

Is this a weed? Flower?

Wow!! Thanks everyone. I can't believe I waited this long to ask. There are quite a few of them and now I am so annoyed that I let them stay. They are pushing everything else out of the way. They are out of here tomorrow morning. Wonder what happened to my poppy plants...?

Jul 02, 2009
doughreme in Gardening

Brooklyn Bridge

When you come down the stairs from the bridge, walk downhill and you are on Washington Street. Keep walking down a couple blocks and you will reach the water (passing Front St. and then Water St., where most of these recs are). We live near Bubbys and I agree that it isn't very good. The area is fantastic to walk around and you shouldn't miss it. But, you can get a decent brunch there, like a BLT with fries or French Toast, etc. My daughter and her friends love it there. On the weekends there are lots of people in the restaurant and with the view, its not that bad. During the week you should avoid it, as it is dead. Like others said, go to Almondine and get a sandwich to bring to the park, which is right there. Go to J. Torres; they now serve ice cream too. In the Dumbo neighborhood, we also have the General Store (on Front, off of Washington) for great paninis and simple salads. It is a very local, buzzing place during the week. There is a great food shop, Foragers (Front St. couple of doors away from General Store), that also has really good food that you can take out or eat on stools in the store or at a counter outside. Grimaldis always has a long line, but its up to you whether you want deal with it. We usually take out, but the kids love going there. Pizza is good, but not the absolute best in Brooklyn. There will be so much to see that you will both most likely have the best time if you get something really good from either Almondine or Foragers and take it to the park. Unless it is raining, of course. BTW, Almondine has great pretzel bread. I highly recommend getting some if it isn't sold out. Have fun!

Jul 02, 2009
doughreme in Outer Boroughs

Is this a weed? Flower?

Hello Chow Gardeners,

I have many of this plant growing in a couple of pots where I added some flower seeds two years ago. I decided to leave them to see what they grew into, but so far, nothing is giving away their identity. Now, they are growing quite tall (1 1/2 feet), and are starting to take over. I think I planted dianthus and poppy seeds in those pots, but may have planted something else and threw away the seed packet. There are also a couple other flowers growing in the pots, but they are nothing like these plants. I have checked photos of both online to see if any variations of these flowers resembled the plants in question. Unfortunately, I can't figure out what they are. Does anyone know?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Jul 02, 2009
doughreme in Gardening

need scone recipe - not too sweet

Thanks everyone. I am going to try a few of these. I am intrigued by the recipes made without fruit. I have always used something; blueberries, cranberries, etc. The Cook's Illustrated recipe recommended grating the butter and then freezing it. It was pretty good, but still, the crust wasn't flaky or slightly crunchy. Do you think it has to do with what is brushed on top? I ate one recently that tasted as if there were some type of animal fat in it. Has anyone heard of using that for a scone that isn't savory (perhaps brushing it on top)?

Jun 24, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

TC Masters - Episode 3 [Spoiler Alert!]

I am loving this show. I see a theme with the winners here. Aside from their obvious talent, all happen to be seasoned, humble, calm, and respectful of others. There were some non-winners that also fit this description, but the three winners so far seemed to be really fantastic under all of that pressure. Does anyone else see similarities?

Jun 24, 2009
doughreme in Food Media & News

need scone recipe - not too sweet

They are definitely the right shape. Hopefully they are talking about the scones that were pre "health law" and not post. Have you made them?

Jun 19, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

need scone recipe - not too sweet

I have been on a quest for a great scone recipe ever since Starbucks got rid of the old unhealthy ones when the law changed here in NY. I was never able to find out where they sourced them from. I am talking about the blueberry scones with the crunchy browned outside and not too sweet inside. The scones I find are either completely dry, like a biscuit or too cakey like a muffin or a bad cake. Ideally they should have a nice crust with an interior that isn't too sweet, but not bland like a biscuit. A while back, Cooks Illustrated did a recipe with blueberries that were folded into the dough. It was good, but the crust wasn't there. I tried to search for the old Starbucks recipe, but never found it. It appears that their products differ region to region. I am not a lover of Starbucks food, but this one scone haunts me. I want to make it for Fathers Day, if I can find it.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Jun 19, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking

Cuy...Guinea Pig...Ecuadorian Delicacy

I read this too! Its a great story included in Best Food Writing 2008. It was written by Scott Gold. The website is shamelesscarnivore.com. Even if you don't go to this restaurant, the article is worth reading.

Jun 19, 2009
doughreme in Outer Boroughs

Mahelb - ideas for this great spice?

Thanks Jen for the link. It mentioned Easter pie, but I think it may be considered the same thing. I did a few searches with maleb and malab on this site, but didn't see anything. On google I found cookies and bread, but nothing in regular dishes. A while ago I saw an article in NY Times mag that listed it as a new spice chefs were using, but no recipes and I haven't seen any since. Maybe a couscous dish?

Jun 17, 2009
doughreme in Home Cooking