gildeddawn's Profile

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Japanese grocery items

I bet we could. Or maybe I just wish it.

Dining Report: Caffe Biaggio

I also like Cafe Biaggio - we had a lovely, quiet, romantic dinner there this summer and thought they did a great job with everything - service, food, ambiance - the whole package. Not as adventurous or brash as Bar La Grassa, nor as unique as Broder's, but really good and classic.

Cakes. Where to begin?

Baker's Joy is also great - but not cheap, either, really. Parchment is the safest for a beginner, who might not get even coverage or might put too much flour on and get more residue than is preferable on the corners. But to each his own.

Feb 07, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Cakes. Where to begin?

I've found the the heavier a cake is (so, think carrot cake, which usually has lots of oil and moist ingredients like carrot, raisins, etc.), the better it does gluten-free. I'm not much of a gluten-free baker, though, so I'll let others chime in.

As far as pans, the basics you'll want are:
2 8-inch rounds
2 9-inch rounds
1 9x13 rectangle

That's probably good enough to be getting on with. Get some parchment paper as well, and line the bottoms of those pans with it for any cake. Virtually guarantees they won't stick, especially if you grease before and after putting the parchment in.

If you want a nice, smooth icing or frosting, an offset spatula is a cheap and easy way to improve the finished look of your cake. Also great for smoothing the batter in the cake pan.

As for resources, I'd get yourself a copy of Baking Illustrated. It's a great reference and perfect set of base recipes, though I can't remember whether it has carrot cake or tres leches - it's more about basics than specialty cakes.

Feb 04, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

How long does it take to bake meatloaf??

My two pound recipe is 90 minutes at 350 at least. Sometimes 105. I think they tested poorly (or not at all). It happens.

Jan 29, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Barking at Burch or Did I Pick the Wrong Tree? (Drink Prices)

I agree that I'd expect a call drink to cost roughly the same, or slightly less, than a "signature" cocktail. As far as the debit, it might be worth calling back about it, not so much to recoup the $1.50 as to make a point.

Quieter breakfast spots

Blue Plate restaurants tend to be pretty loud and busy for breakfast on the weekends these days.

Cinnamon Yeast Rolls

This one's my favorite (http://www.food.com/recipe/glazed-cin...) - the only difference from the instructions listed here is that I soften four tablespoons of butter and spread it over the dough before rolling, which makes the whole thing one level stickier and caramellier. (Not a word. Don't care.) Oh, and line the pan with parchment first, as well as skipping the "turn them out onto a rack" step at the end. Parchment will keep them from sticking to the pan, but turning them out still results in a big mess.

Jan 18, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Wing-type corkscrew that doesn't fall apart?

I have an OXO that I got this summer and I've been very happy with it so far.

Jan 13, 2015
gildeddawn in Wine

Hola Arepa

Just went for the first time last night, and thought it deserved a thread of its own. (Some mentions in other threads, I know, but I didn't find anything comprehensive.)

We loved it! The food was great - interesting, well thought-out, with complexity of flavor and what seemed like really fresh, high-quality ingredients. We had chips and salsa and guacamole to start, along with the vegetable special small plate, which was roasted yucca and butternut squash with arugula salad and a sauce made with pepitas. The salsas were really nice - lots of variety of flavor and good balance. Serviceable guac, too. The veggie appetizer was great - good acid and savory and sweet and salty balance, plus it was something I'd never had before, which is always nice.

For arepas, we had beef and plantain and black bean and queso fresco. Beef was really savory and complex, and the beans had nice bite, and went great with the pickled cabbage and roasted corn salsa. Also - the yucca fries were a revelation. I've never had them before and they were amazing - so light and crispy on the outside and creamy inside. Perfect frying job, and both the dipping sauces available (chimmichurri and aioli verde) were also excellent.

I also had a drink, and I'm going to go ahead and say it's one of the best cocktails I've ever had - maybe the best? Can't recall the name, but it was pisco, housemade cider, velvet falernum and pear shrub. I like a sweeter cocktail, and it was, but the vinegar bite at the end really made it.

On top of all that, attentive but not overbearing service, and everyone working there seemed happy to be there, from front-of-house to wait staff to bartenders.

Only slight negative was that it's a bit loud and tables are close together (and we had to wait 25 minutes, but it was a Friday night, and frankly, I'm glad they're so popular if it keeps them around).

Just a great experience overall. I can't remember the last time I was so satisfied with every aspect of a restaurant. We will be back.

Soy Sauce: Dark vs. Light

Agreed - for the Chinese classifications, Kikkoman is light.

Jan 09, 2015
gildeddawn in General Topics

what do you put on your cottage cheese?

Homemade applesauce.

Soy Sauce: Dark vs. Light

Dark is much sweeter, and in a recipe calling for sugar already, might be problematic. It's also not as salty as light, so it just doesn't have the same effect. I agree with letsindulge - light subs for dark, not the opposite.

Jan 08, 2015
gildeddawn in General Topics

Help me use my tomatillos

Great chicken tacos:

Carnitas with tomatillo/pork fat salsa:

Jan 05, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Brining Pork chops resulting in 'porkle" What am I doing wrong?

Yeah, I agree with some of the other posters - your brine was way too long. I usually do chops for an hour, no more.

Jan 05, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Minestrone Soup

Just be careful not to use a recipe with lots of tomatoes/tomato sauce. While those are great, they're not going to help your heartburn.

Dec 19, 2014
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Pork Braised In Milk?

I feel like it's kind of an over-rated technique. It's fine, but there are better things to do with a shoulder, as far as I'm concerned.

Dec 13, 2014
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Dungeons & Dragons food theme/RPG session menu/food for geeks :)

In the first Dragonlance book - heavily related to D&D - there's a character named Otik, who owns a tavern, and always makes Otik's Spicy Potatoes. I'd recommend that, and anyone who gets the reference will be amused.

Here are a bunch of recipes from a Facebook group who had a cookoff with that theme: http://dragonlancenexus.com/recipe/ot...

Dec 05, 2014
gildeddawn in General Topics

Little Szechuan (St. Paul)

Well, now that it's hot pot, I'm not sure that would be particularly useful. Or did you mean St. Paul as it was before with West End now?

Best Flour for Parker House Rolls, Other Ingrediants

Regular AP flour is the way to go to get the softer texture you want in Parker House rolls. That's also what the potato flakes will do. For even softer rolls, also replace 1/2 cup of flour with dry milk. My Parker House recipe does not have an egg, but I think it would probably be nice in there. It should be enriched dough, though - meaning some butter. I also like using honey instead of sugar, which gives the dough more flavor. (You'll have to add a little extra flour to compensate for the moisture in the honey, though.)

Nov 25, 2014
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Restaurants

Well, Manny's steakhouse certainly has some pricey lobster, and they're open on Thanksgiving. I can't vouch for it myself, but I've heard good things.

Ohiyou from Kyoto! (Quick question)

There's a good Indian place called Kerala not too far from Shiyakushomae station on the Tozai line. We enjoyed it as our break from Japanese when we visited.

Nov 18, 2014
gildeddawn in Japan

Gingersnap crust for pumpkin pie?

Just make sure you bake it before you add the filling, and it won't get soggy. You might want to cut a little sugar from the custard, also.

Nov 18, 2014
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Cooking from: The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen

I'm thinking of making the roast duck over wild rice for a holiday meal. Has anyone tried it?

Nov 17, 2014
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner: Adults-Individual Beef Wellingtons; Kids-???

I'd say make some appealing sides for everyone so you're covered just in case, make the Wellingtons for the kids, too, and give it a shot. Maybe they'll really love them. They're not a particularly challenging dish for the eater, and it'll be good exposure for them.

mexican restaurant on west seventh in st. paul

What's it like as far as service and decor? Sit-down? Counter? Nice inside or more of a hole-in-the-wall?

WA Frost

I feel like I'm a broken record about Frost on this board, but I've always had good experiences there. We last went in June and thought it was pretty nice. Not as interesting as some other times, but still good. But we also went in, I think, February, and it was top notch. Not super innovative, I'll grant you that, but good quality, well composed plates, and great service. I do admit to being fond of the atmosphere, so to each his own on that one.

Gifts for a timid cook

Could you buy her a really great cookbook you know she doesn't have? If you were to get an Indian, Chinese, Mexican, or other "ethnic" cookbook, you could package it with key spices or ingredients she might not already have, to give her a head start.

Nov 06, 2014
gildeddawn in Cookware

Sarmas Today at the Croatian Hall

For those of us unfamiliar - what are they, and why are they exciting?

Best Packaged Local Bacon in TC

I don't know, but sometimes the shelf tags at Kowalski's list the sources of their private label stuff. (It's true of the "regular" cheese - not in the fancy cheese section, just over with the other dairy - which comes from Shullsburg Creamery in Wisconsin.)