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Default Beans?

The default here (Puerto Rico) is pink or red. We also have a serious relationship with garbanzos, especially with pig legs (feet?), but if you ask for a plate of rice and beans, it will most likely be pink beans, maybe red, and most definitely stewed in a tomato sauce with ham and probably pumpkin.

Feb 03, 2012
lyri in General Topics

what to do with half a can of pumpkin puree

I just boiled too many sweet potatoes.

Nov 28, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

what to do with half a can of pumpkin puree

No, I made this: http://www.marthastewart.com/317934/s...

I substituted the Bourbon for spiced rum, and added some more spices. I also made a completely different glaze for it which was so delicious I had to stop myself from eating spoonsfuls of it.

Nov 26, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

what to do with half a can of pumpkin puree

I made pumpkin soup yesterday. It was more like Thanksgiving Left-Over Soup. I made some turkey broth, used the left over heavy cream from the cheesecakes, leftover sweet potato from the sweet potato cake, and that leftover canned pumpkin. Added in some onions, allspice, nutmeg, salt, pepper, chili powder and smoked (chipotle) tabasco, and it was super creamy and delicious.

Nov 26, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

What foods are a MUST for Thanksgiving?

Absolutely non-negotiable:
Turkey
Macaroni Salad (Green pepper, red pepper, spam, mayo, and it MUST be made my by mother, nobody else is an acceptable substitute for this one)
Arroz con Gandules

Sort of non-negotiable:
Sweet potato something. This is only as of the past two years, and it's non-negotiable for ME, not necessarily for anyone else. Last two years I made some sort of casserole with a crumb topping, this year I made sweet potato cake.

Nov 24, 2011
lyri in General Topics

Thanksgiving 2011 Disaster Stories

Ugh, my first cheesecake of the day (making two) was a disaster. Everything was going well in the oven, no cracking, all beautiful, until I decided to take out of the water bath to put it on the cooling rack. I just didn't have a good enough grip on the springform pan and SPLAT, the whole top just slid off to one side and forget it. My bf wanted to save it but I have way too much pride. So I ended up going back to the grocery store and baking three times today, only two of those successful.

Nov 23, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

Charging for cakes

I agree with you that if the cake fee is affecting your business then maybe it should be reconsidered or lowered. As reasonable as I think a small fee is, I'm not sure if my workplace is going to benefit or get hurt by it. However, some places have cakes brought in not once or twice a month, but once or twice a day. You should see my workplace on Sundays, I often run out of ideas of where to store the cakes.

Nov 22, 2011
lyri in Not About Food

Charging for cakes

The place where I work started charging a $15 flat fee for bringing in a cake. I think it's more than reasonable, especially considering how much goes into the whole ordeal. It's not about the singing, that's irrelevant. It's everything else. On average, a table with a cake will stay 30 to 45 minutes longer than another table, that's money right there, especially considering we are a high-volume restaurant with a constant waiting list. Not to mention the washing of dishes, and the loss of the dessert sale.

Most people have been quite understanding about the new fee, but for some, it means "there goes your tip". We've had more than one customer say that to one of our servers, even when we are instructed (and usually follow-through on) telling the customer about the fee as soon as we see the cake. As a hostess, I let the person know outside, during their wait, in case they want to run with the cake back to the car, or decide just to not cut the cake and keep it in the box, or heck, choose another restaurant.

I think £7.40 per person is absurd, but overall, a "cakeage" or "forkage" fee makes just as much sense as a corkage fee.

Nov 22, 2011
lyri in Not About Food

Cheesecake/Springform question.

Oh and, to clarify, I've baked cheesecake before, just never in a springform pan. I baked a cheesecake in a CareBears pan once, with the cracker crust sitting on top, and was able to invert it unto a serving cardboard so that the cracker crust was on the bottom and had no cracking or anything. The thing is, this is not only a different recipe, but also a much more traditional technique that I am using this time, so I don't trust my previous good luck to just follow me again.

Nov 22, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

Cheesecake/Springform question.

Yes I planned on doing one in the morning and one in the evening anyway.

The alternative is to bake them on two different days, but I would still need to reuse the pan.

Nov 22, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

Cheesecake/Springform question.

Okay, so I'm a total newbie at cheesecake. I plan on baking two cheesecakes in one day and I only have one springform pan. Can I just chill the first one half way (maybe 2 or 3 hours) and transfer to a plate to continue chilling while I bake the other one? And should I put in a little round of parchment paper at the bottom or something to ease that transfer?

Nov 22, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Pie---When are you actually baking it?

Well, I'm not baking pie, but rather other desserts, and I am baking two of them on Wednesday because they need time to chill, and then two of them in the morning of Thursday itself. I plan to wake up early because Thanksgiving at home is way more lunch than dinner.

Nov 22, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? November 2011, part 2

This week I am baking Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake and mostly likely Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake. I want to do two of each (one for home, one for work) but it will mostly depend on total cost. The Holidays are so expensive!

Nov 21, 2011
lyri in Home Cooking

What time do you all eat dinner?

I'm in the "anytime" camp. I have flexible hours (I work in a restaurant) and I could easily be going to work at 4 (then what I eat before I leave is my dinner) or coming home from work at around 6:30 which means I'll probably be eating dinner sometime before 8.

I'd say if I'm home on a day off, anything between 5 and 7 is acceptable and normal. Anything after 7 is pretty late.

And for reference, I usually go to sleep around midnight, unless I'm closing which makes it sometime before 2am. I'll have a snack around 8 or so in that case.

Nov 20, 2011
lyri in Not About Food

Popular flavors that you don't care for

I like hazelnuts, but I hate hazelnut flavored anything, especially coffee. Same with almonds, except for amaretto. I love amaretto, but please keep your almond syrup out of my coffee.

Thyme. I don't know why. Maybe I'm using it wrong, but when I cook with thyme it just tastes weird to me, so I've given up.

Strawberry flavored candy, and even worse, PINEAPPLE flavored candy. I love pineapple, I do, but the artificial flavoring is just vile and makes me nauseous.

Ketchup/mayo/mustard. I can use mayo in certain things, but mayo on a sandwich? No thanks. And I just can't stand the smell of ketchup and mustard, together or apart. I can't stand pickles either, so yeah, I have the plainest burgers you could ever imagine.

As for the papaya, I can use it in a smoothie with other fruits, but papaya on its own is also quite vomit-like to me.

Sweet plantains are extremely popular here, with many preferring them over green ones, but I can't stand them. I LOVE green plantains, but "amarillos" just taste rotten to me.

Oct 30, 2011
lyri in General Topics

What foods feel indulgent but are actually quite healthy?

I'm joining the avocado crowd, of course.

I'll also have to add sweet potato and winter squash/pumpkin. They are so sweet and almost feel like a dessert but are really good for you.

Some fruits also feel quite indulgent to me, especially really good peaches and pineapples, and some berries.

Oct 24, 2011
lyri in General Topics

Which brands are you loyal to?

Barilla Pasta
Simply Orange or Tropicana
Frontera/Salpica Salsas
Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Coca Cola
Ben & Jerrys

Aug 02, 2011
lyri in General Topics

Foods that unreasonably gross you out...

I am seconding the cottage cheese.

I'm also repulsed by ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. I can EAT mayo if it's mixed into something, and I've handled ketchup in a burger, but if it's very visible and I can SMELL it I start gagging.

My number one things, though, have to be olives and pickles. If I find a pickle in my sandwich, I can't just take it out and eat the sandwich. That sandwich is done for me. And if I find an olive in literally anything it's worse. I start gagging and spitting things out and I have to wash my mouth and it's a huge turn off the whole meal. I'll eat it, but I have to remove the few inches that were around the olive because the flavor permeates everything. I like strong olive oil and I like kalamata olives, but regular green olives are probably the grossest thing ever in my mind.

Jul 11, 2011
lyri in General Topics

Arriving before a restaurant opens [split from Ontario]

I have no problem with people arriving early as long as they understand that the waiting area is outside. Yes, it's hot and usually sunny, but if we're not ready to open, then we're not ready to open. You can start complaining about the heat after 11 a.m.

Feb 15, 2011
lyri in Not About Food

Servers at ethnic eateries ...

I'm a hostess (and occasional server/runner/etc) at a Puerto Rican restaurant IN Puerto Rico. It's very Puerto Rican. It couldn't be more Puerto Rican. And I'm 100% Puerto Rican. In fact, my parents can't watch movies without subtitles. But I'm also very very fair skinned with green eyes and no accent at all. I'm often questioned by customers to a point where it's a little offensive. I've had a few people tell me the place can't possibly be authentic if they have an American greeter. I understand the reason for the question because if I met myself, while speaking in English, I'd also think I was American, but once I answer that I'm local, shouldn't that be enough?

Even if a server/cook/runner/bartender/etc isn't of the expected ethnicity, it's irrelevant. I think it's about the work you do, and not who you are. Someone already used this example, but isn't Rick Bayless a prime example of that?

One of my favorite French restaurants in town is run by a Puerto Rican and a Mexican. It doesn't make their food any less awesome, or their recipes any less French.

Feb 15, 2011
lyri in Not About Food

Waiting for a table - what's your limit?

It depends on how hungry I am and where I am. If I'm traveling and it's my last day and I really really want to go to a particular restaurant, I'll wait. But if it's a local place, or if there will be other opportunities to go there, then 30 minutes max if I'm not too hungry.

I work in a place that reaches two hour waits almost every weekend and I have no idea how people do it. I mean, I understand tourists, but locals? I'd just ask when the best time to come is and come back another day at that time.

Feb 15, 2011
lyri in Not About Food