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Eggs Go AWOL, And Bakers Scramble For High-Tech Substitutes

Yeah, but it seems to be on the downswing here, at least, because a month ago I was paying $3.89, and I got the same $2.69 price yesterday. Same store.

Jul 24, 2015
gildeddawn in Food Media & News

Good salad bars?

Yeah, I mean, honestly, I feel like grocery stores usually have the best ones - Whole Foods, Kowalski's, and Lund's all do a nice job. Probably the co-ops, too, but I don't know firsthand.

Raspberry desserts

Make raspberry mousse! Really shows off the fruit and is delicious and refreshing on a hot day. You can even freeze it, which makes it more like a fluffy sorbet.

MSP New Szechuan restaurant where China Jen (Roseville) was - anyone tried it?

Did it have big chunks of roasted jalapenos in it? We had one like that, as well, that was "Stir-fried chicken with roasted chilies" I think.

MSP New Szechuan restaurant where China Jen (Roseville) was - anyone tried it?

I agree! We've recently moved to Roseville and are now in delivery range of Szechuan, and I have to say, it's been really lovely. I didn't expect to have a better Chinese delivery option in Roseville than Saint Paul, but lo and behold, Szechuan. We really love their rendition of Dan Dan - seems like fresh-made noodles? And have also enjoyed the Fish with Szechuan Sauce (similar to Quick-Fried Crispy Fish at Grand Szechuan).

Can you elaborate on "spicy crispy chicken"? I don't see it listed on their menu online, and I'd love to order it. Could it be "Stir-fried hot and spicy chicken"? Any guidance?

August visit - 1 lunch, 2 dinners - how are my choices?

Thanks for all the replies - this discussion is really helpful!

Jul 14, 2015
gildeddawn in Los Angeles Area

August visit - 1 lunch, 2 dinners - how are my choices?

I wish there were lunch on Saturday, but that's the work day, so it'll be whatever random catered food we get from the client. Alas.

These notes are very helpful - thanks!

Anything you love at Gjelina or Luv2Eat, in particular?

Cassia looks interesting, but a bit formal - how casual is it?

Jul 14, 2015
gildeddawn in Los Angeles Area

August visit - 1 lunch, 2 dinners - how are my choices?

Talk to me about Father's Office - I can't seem to find a menu, but I thought I saw a post that said it was super beer-centric. What's the food like? Is conversation comfortable, or is it more of a loud bar kind of scene?

Jul 13, 2015
gildeddawn in Los Angeles Area

August visit - 1 lunch, 2 dinners - how are my choices?

Why not?

Jul 12, 2015
gildeddawn in Los Angeles Area

August visit - 1 lunch, 2 dinners - how are my choices?

Coming for a quick work trip in August, but seeing friends while I'm here, and going out to lunch and dinners with them. That in mind, I'd like to keep the plates under $30, for sure, and preferably even lower. One friend, also, isn't a fan of things that are too adventurous, though he's assured me he's willing to try some new things (including Thai) - still, it'd be nice to have a few safer options on the menu. So, here's what I'm thinking, after doing some research. I'm staying in Santa Monica, by the way, and my friends have cars, so we can get around, but looking to avoid super long drives (and I don't want to put them to a bunch of driving trouble). (I understand Friday night could be an issue, especially.)

In general, I look for great ethnic that I can't get in MSP (our Thai and Mexican aren't spectacular), and a bit more casual feel - not looking for white tablecloths and candlesticks. But anything really great is assured at least my consideration. (With the exception of shellfish. Just not my jam.) Good cocktail menu is always nice, but not a must, and I'm not terribly discerning when it comes to wine, though I like off-dry and somewhat sweet whites and sparkling wines, as a rule. Not a beer drinker.

I'd also take recs on great ice cream (though it's hard to beat the ice cream in the Twin Cities) or doughnuts (especially in Santa Monica), which I understand are something of an L.A. specialty. (Or other stand-out desserts.)

Lunch on Friday - Tsujita
(Pretty definite on this, because I haven't had Tsukemen since Rokurinsha, last time I was in Tokyo, and it was awesome.)

Dinner on Friday:
Mozza Pizzeria
Luv2Eat Thai
Gjelina

Dinner on Saturday:
Same options as Friday

So, what do you think? Are those three worth going to? Which two should I pick?

Other options I considered:
Stella Rossa
Musha
Fritto Misto
M Street Kitchen
Border Grill
Fig

Jul 12, 2015
gildeddawn in Los Angeles Area

Purchase veal?

They usually have it at Lund's - always ground, usually shank, and I think they keep frozen, pounded cutlets, as well. There are, I'm sure, better sources in the Cities, like Clancey's, but no personal experience there.

Good balsamic vinegar locally?

Cook's of Crocus Hill has a ton of different ones, and lets you taste a lot of them. Pricey, but if you're looking for a lot of variety, they've got it.

New Kitchen, ideas

I don't think you need to get stainless just because everything else is. Also, I don't know if you have a stainless sink now, but they have a tendency to always look dirty, in my opinion - especially the polished ones. It might not be the kind of thing that bothers you, but it's worth considering.

Jun 29, 2015
gildeddawn in Cookware

Critique my Vienna and Salzburg picks, pls

I would also add - don't miss Cafe Tomaselli in Salzburg for coffee/chocolate and cake in the afternoon, ditto for Demel in Vienna. We absolutely loved both - though Tomaselli is perhaps the more charming of the two. I recommend what was translated to us as "Coffee Cream," but I think was Kardinalschnitte.

Jun 27, 2015
gildeddawn in Europe

Pork chop help!!!

Ditto to all previous advice - brine first for a half hour (mix 4 tablespoons of salt with 1 quart cold water in a Ziploc until dissolved, then drop in pork chops), remove chops and pat dry with paper towels, then coat a skillet with a film of olive oil, heat over medium-high heat, and sear until done (probably, as suggested above, about two minutes a side).

Jun 16, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Cheese similar to "bellavitano""TJ's "toscano?"

I agree with the asiago assessment. That's what plain, un-wine-soaked BellaVitano is labeled at my grocery store.

Jun 13, 2015
gildeddawn in Cheese

Parlour burger

Man, you HAD me at American cheese.

Filling for a cake with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream frosting?

You could also do a fruit mousse, using fruit puree, whipped cream, and gelatin. I love it as a cake filling.

Jun 11, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Best pick-your-own strawberry farm?

I know it's not the season yet, but I was wondering if anyone had opinions on a good (or several good) pick-your-own strawberry farms within fairly short driving distance of the Cities (not more than 45 minutes, probably). We have some friends coming up the third weekend in June, and we thought it might be a fun thing to do - plus, I want to make jam.

Any thoughts?

Also, they have an almost-two-year-old who loves strawberries...so somewhere where the staff won't freak out if a toddler eats some berries before they're paid for would be good.

Can't taste or smell anything

Man, my ENT was also a callous jerk about the whole thing. He was like, "Yeah, this happens sometimes. You'll just have to live with it." I mean, I know, medically, he couldn't help me, but a little understanding of how much it sucked would have been nice.

May 28, 2015
gildeddawn in Not About Food
1

Pasta in Venice?

We really enjoyed a dinner at Antica Sacrestia, and they had a nice selection. Incredible carbonara - but a lot of their pasta dishes are, for some reason, only available for two, so if you're traveling alone, it might not work that well.

May 26, 2015
gildeddawn in Italy

Dinner ideas for a tricky house guest combination?

Definitely some good potential here - makes me think of doing kind of an "all side dishes" meal, with several protein options, which I think might work quite well.

May 24, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Dinner ideas for a tricky house guest combination?

I think fried fish is a great idea - I'm putting that on the list.

May 24, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Dinner ideas for a tricky house guest combination?

Fish is definitely a good call, though I think we'd probably be better off doing pan-fried, which will make it more accessible to the guest with plainer taste.

For more context, I think strata would be too squishy for the pickier guest, but I think omelets/eggs to order for 6 is totally doable. I'm a dab hand with omelets. Waffles or pancakes are a good call, though, too.

Thanks!

May 24, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Dinner ideas for a tricky house guest combination?

Unfortunately, I'm sure lasagna would fall into the "too sauce-y/squishy" category for him. Which is a shame, because it's a great suggestion otherwise.

May 24, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Dinner ideas for a tricky house guest combination?

They're both coming at the same time, so you see my problem.

May 24, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Can't taste or smell anything

Mine was definitely gradual - sometimes so gradual that I couldn't tell if it was changing, and it was only looking back on how it was before that I was like, "Oh, this is way better." So, I'd say, yes, little whiffs of things here and there is just how it was for me. I never had that "All at once" thunderclap return. If you can smell little bit of things, I think that sounds like at least a possibly positive sign. Good luck!

May 24, 2015
gildeddawn in Not About Food
1

Dinner ideas for a tricky house guest combination?

So, we're having two different sets of guests stay with us in a couple of weeks, and I'd like to cook dinner for them at least two, if not three, nights. Now, before we get into an etiquette discussion, I'm sure they'd all be mortified that I'm even asking this question, and would insist that anything I want to feed them is just fine, but I want to be a good hostess and make them food they actually want to eat.

So, one of the guests has quite plain tastes - I know he likes roasted meats, especially chicken, and vegetables, plain salad, most breakfast food, and things like pizza and burgers. I know he doesn't like most food that's semi or fully liquid (soup, stew, curry, pasta with sauce, etc.) or things that are heavily spiced or otherwise exotic. (Herbs seems to generally be fine, spices less so.)

The other guests are quite adventurous eaters, who avoid meat, especially chicken, most of the time, but are also fine with eating meat, especially as a flavoring element (bacon in soup, etc.). I know they eat a lot vegetables and beans, especially soup and curry.

So, how can I scare up a couple of meals that fit this somewhat challenging restrictions?

My ideas so far:
Grill one night - a variety of vegetables and proteins. I think this one's solid.

Maybe a salad bar with different proteins and dressings added at everyone's discretion to their own bowls?

Breakfast for dinner, possibly, but I'd want to find a way to add vegetables. Maybe omelets/eggs to order.

Any advice would be much appreciated. And again, I'm sure they'd all want me to make whatever I feel like, but what I feel like is making food my guests will enjoy.

May 24, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Help with make-head/freeze then reheat/serve techniques for a party food

Sounds like others have had some good experiences with pulled pork, especially if you freeze it in the braising liquid - so, I think that sounds like it'll go ok. (Although it really will be perfectly safe for a couple of days in the fridge, if you've got the time, and never-frozen meat is always better.)

As for replacing the mac and cheese, there must be a way. Fresh coleslaw (refrigerated, not frozen), is a great suggestion - you could also do refrigerated pasta salad, or bean salad. With any of those, you don't have to worry about freezing and thawing.

May 13, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking

Help with make-head/freeze then reheat/serve techniques for a party food

Freezing and thawing the pulled pork is going to hurt it - actually, that's true of the mac and cheese, too. These aren't great options for making ahead and reheating. Have you thought about maybe a different menu, or is locked in?

If you do have to go ahead with it, I'd definitely par cook the noodles for the mac and cheese, and leave them partially underdone - that should help.

For the pulled pork - any chance you could just cook it a couple of days ahead and avoid freezing it?

May 12, 2015
gildeddawn in Home Cooking