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Top 10 Signs of a Bad Cook

PS: Sorry for the typos. That's what happens when I type in a hurry. B.

Jun 17, 2011
marlynn in Features

Top 10 Signs of a Bad Cook

Wow, I just wrote a comment and it disappeared... I hate when that happens. To repeat, I don't really like generalizations. For instance, my seasonings may be dusty, as I haven't be able to cook since the December holidays. However, when I next cook, I will check all those spices and make sure they taste fresh and will discard those that don't. I think it's kind of rude to look into people's cupboards and refrigerators, just t check up on them. Also, I do use canned tomatoes when making pomodoro sauce and people love it! There's a time and place for some of those short cuts. In our family, we've come to prefer a milder garlic taste and thus, I season with chopped garlic in a jar, which is delicious when used judiciously. I have to say that I do wonder how women with long, polished real or fake nails manage all the hand/veggie, etc. washing, while keeping those nails in perfect condition. Admiration is what I feel for the one friend who does that and manages to make great food, too. This may inspire a bunch of strong opposing opinions, but that's what makes discussion. Whatever... here's to good food!!!

Jun 17, 2011
marlynn in Features

Is the Thank-You Card Obsolete?

I think there is a place for each kind of thank you. Emails for a casual, but still hard work types of dinners, are nice, as is a phone call. A bit more of a thank you for more formal, sit down dinners with a new mix of people, might call for a gussied up email [which I love to make] or a paper card. Expressing your appreciation for a particular part of the evening would be much appreciated for the hosts. And, of course, a paper thank you, ranging from formal to more relaxed, fun cards is always nice, unless the recipients are very careful re the waste of resources. Most important, there are no real rules as the hosts' style should always be uppermost in the guests' choice of thank yous.

Feb 12, 2011
marlynn in Features

Ostentatious Celebration Place That Won't Leave Me Suicidal

An oldie but an excellent choice is The Four Seasons! Jean Georges is great.. has a lovely view of Central Park, depending where you're seated. And the food is sublime. A New and fabulous place, with fabulous city views, incredible service, and amazing food is Asiate. I couldn't recommend it more. You enter to a trully impressive and gorgeous Chihuly sculpture hanging from the ceiling. Art on the walls. Soft gold fabric here and there. And, the Asian food lends itself to delicious vegetarian. I don't know about children, but a phone call should take care of that. If your grandmother can be convinced to eat somewhere so young, I can't believe you wouldn't all love it! The River Cafe has a view, the room is not that interesting, the food is good but not great [in our humble opinion] and unless you live in lower Manhattan or Brooklyn can be a long trip if it's a rainy day... this learned from experience. Hope this helps. Please let us all know where you land up and if it was great! Enjoy

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Jean Georges
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

Asiate
80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

The Four Seasons
99 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

Dec 21, 2010
marlynn in Manhattan

Don't Get Suckered at the Farmers' Market

Forgot to post this... If you live in NY city [and for some really strange reason don't know about this] or are just visiting, you should try the Union Square Greenmarket, at Broadway and 14th Street. It's great, the vendors are friendly, even by late afternoon, which is when I usually shop, and you can find some interesting things. I've never found a sticker from Mexico or China. Enjoy! Find it online.

Dec 01, 2010
marlynn in Features

Don't Get Suckered at the Farmers' Market

Also, Monopod, what's a CSA?
Johng6, I agree. Knowing the vendor really helps.

Dec 01, 2010
marlynn in Features

Don't Get Suckered at the Farmers' Market

to whaledancer, where is Harbor Area Farmer's Market? Thanks, in advance.

Dec 01, 2010
marlynn in Features

Turchetta with Vermouth Gravy

Why are you covering part of the recipe with WRITING about "Other things I might be interested in" I can't see the recipe. What's the point!!!!? Yesterday, I wrote about an intel advertisement covering the recipe.. But, there was the same kind of annoying "Other things I might be...." covering that recipe, but a few paragraphs down. Please put those things where they don't interfere with what the page is about . Thank you for your help with this. Doesn't this annoy anybody else????

Nov 11, 2010
marlynn in Recipes

Homemade Tofurkey with Brown Rice Stuffing

How do I get rid of the Intel advertisement. It won't close. If I go anywhere near it, it opens the ad in another tab. I can't move it, and it's covering information that I want. Why do something like that? It's really annoying. I thought if I came all the way down here, it would be gone when I went up again, but it's still there. Please remove it. The tweet, email, facebook, thingy is also annoying. Just put it somewhere on the page and let it stay still. We're all intelligent enough to find it. I don't want it following me, and, also not closing when it's in the way. PLEASE Chow, you're such a wonderful site, get rid of these annoying extras. I don't mind the occasional add, but these are too intrusive, and make me want to have nothing to do with either of them. Thank you, if you respond.

Nov 08, 2010
marlynn in Recipes

Homemade Vegan Tofurkey That Tastes Good

I agree with Jay D. Also, what's wrong with regular bread stuffing. Having not made bread in a while, I'm asking if bread always has milk or eggs in it? If the answer is yes, does someone have a recipe for bread that is Vegan and can be used for stuffing? We love our very traditional and simple stuffing, Though it's usually made without mushrooms, perhaps we could try them for this special recipe.

And, to get back to JayD, any ideas for a yummy crust for the ToFaux Turkey & Stuffing? Is that better than Tofurkey, EWSflash? I think most of the vegans I know will be so delighted at your efforts if you make this, they won't care what it's called. Enjoy!

Nov 08, 2010
marlynn in Features

What's The One Thing You Can't Eat, even for money.

I think a lot of the input forgot the main question. MC was specifically asking about "regular" not fear factor foods. That said, one person's regular is another person's "never tasted it". Some people have implied that taste aversions can be simply overcome by trying. Not true. Many [for all I know, maybe most] food aversions are based in the brain. They've written about that in newspapers and research journals. For instance, one such is Cilantro, which I love but was surprised to find that some people HATE. So, I don't serve it them. As for me, I have a list of strong dislikes, headed by sweet potatoes or yams. I loathe the taste and the stringiness. As a child, they were served by a mother who demanded they be eaten, because she liked them, and she couldn't understand my total aversion. I grew up to realize that I disliked any vegetable that turns sweet when cooked... beets, peas [love them raw], carrots, etc. I tried eating cooked veggies till I hit 50. Half a century was enuf. Some of the stories here are funny - DH grinning [though he lost a bit of his finger] at the thought he would never have to make breakfast again. Personally, I'd rather have a whole finger. Each to his or her own. But, some of us really suffer from feeling the need to eat something we hate, just to be polite. I don't do that. I, politely ignore the food I don't like. My equally polite hosts usually, also, ignore the food I don't eat. No scene. I don't like cheese cake. One hostess insisted I would like her particular cheese cake. It really wasn't bad. But, if it had been, I wouldn't have eaten more than 2 bites. That's not good manners, it's a form of subtle torture. I also have recently given up eating fish. Not because I don't enjoy good, well prepared fish, but because so many times, part of the fish has been "fishy". Nobody else mentioned that fishy fish is awful. It's disgusting. Yet, often my husband doesn't mind it. Though, he has his limits, too. My sons take after their Dad. But, one bite of "fishiness" can ruin an entire entree, for me. Does anyone else feel that way? And, how about sweet, cooked veggies? I know most people love them. By the way, I've tasted blood sausage - not my thing but doesn't make me gag like sweet potatoes do. And, I'm not concerned with exotic fried bugs or eyeballs, etc, as that wasn't the question.

The only post I had a problem with was the one where the writer tries to "battle" his niece into eating something she really dislikes. I found that troubling, even more because this child wasn't his own. But, that's my personal opinion. Children don't need bullying by the people who are supposed to love them. There are other ways. I found that serving everything and not making a fuss one way or another was helpful in raising children with open minds. Sorry, if this is preachy. Those who disagree, will undoubtedly let me know. Meanwhile, we can all find lots of foods we love to eat. Yum!!!!!

Oct 06, 2010
marlynn in General Topics

Culturally Insensitive Takeout

I'm a bit older than your in-laws. When I was a child, and till now, everyone I know called Chinese food, Chinese food. Nobody referred to it as oriental. However, a number of years ago [can't remember exactly when] the word "Oriental" became unacceptable. One had to use the word Asian to refer, in a general way, to a variety of peoples, such as Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc. Restaurants always were referred to by their specific ethnic identity. Till this day, I never knew what was wrong with Oriental. Now, I see it had to do with colonialism. I agree that your husband should be the one to tell your in-laws. But, while you want to expand their horizons, perhaps you should also think about how they might feel. They've been doing this their whole lives and not in a racist way, so I think gently should be the key. Very gently.

Sep 22, 2010
marlynn in Features

Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage - Long Lost?

I, accidentally, made Hungarian stuffed cabbage. I didn't know it was that style until a guest told me he loved it and that he remembered it from his youth, in Hungary. The 1st time was a great success. I made up the recipe by remembering what my mother-in-law's version tasted like and what I would like and what I found in books. I like it savory rather than sweet with raisins. The 2nd time I made it, it was bland. I tried everything... adding garlic, salt, etc. Then my husband dredged up a memory from his childhood, of his mother adding lemon juice. I was skeptical, but kept adding till the taste was again delicious. So, I hope this experience will help you. Add lemon juice till it tastes good!

Jul 18, 2010
marlynn in Home Cooking

Babies in Bars

I don't think restaurants or bars are the place for babies. Babies fill their diapers whenever they need to and sometimes give off a very unpleasant aroma, regardless of whether the parent [not just mothers] finally takes them for a diaper change. Also, babies cry when they are unhappy, and often scream just for fun. That's very disconcerting, when you're trying to have a friendly chat with your friends or special person. I speak from more than one experience. If parents need to see other grown-ups in adult [note I'm saying adult] public places, then the parents can set up a babysitting circle with some friends. That way, they can find safe watchers, who are known to them and everybody gets a chance to go out, without disturbing the rest of the restaurants' or pubs' clientele. Sorry if that is upsetting to some parents. It helps to remember one can't have everything at the same time. It's clear that these parents love their children and don't want to be apart from then one minute more than necessary. But, it really isn't kind to other people and not the best for the little ones, either.

Jul 18, 2010
marlynn in Features

Quorum Call

Please don't cancel a birthday party for a child. That is much more traumatic than having a small group. Instead, plan for a couple more in case they show up without notice. And, make it the best darn party you can. You can still make a special dessert, the cupcakes they can decorate sounds great to me. And, plan special games with prizes for the first person to arrive, the last to leave, the best looking cupcake, the winner of the games.... whatever. I always had a rule that there would be only one prize per child. But, with that small number, you could give 2. You can take them to the park since there's only going to be 4 of them. If more show up, perhaps another parent will want to stay. I often had that with my kids. And, if you stay home, make lots of decorations, with some that the kids can take home. There are some wonderful books around if you don't feel inspired, for games, decorations and party desserts for children. Have a great time!!!

Jul 18, 2010
marlynn in Features