krissywats's Profile

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serial reality show contestants

I know this is old but I was looking into something else and ran upon it. The answer is that if you ever contacted one of the casting agencies to try out for a reality show (on any network) your name gets sold and passed around on lists. If you ever auditioned for one, same thing. You then are contacted about any and everything that comes along to see if you're interested. It's just basic casting like for any other "actor" show.

Amelia Island - David's

I hate doing this review at all because we wanted this meal to be great. It's a lovely place and has enormous potential.

The service was incredible. The ambience is wonderful and the decor is beautiful. We loved everything about the setting, the tables, the formality and it set a standard that we didn't feel was quite met by the food.

But I digress: the only thing we did not love about the ambience was that there was a live saxophone player in the room next to ours that we could clearly hear while there was recorded, light jazz saxophone playing in the dining room. Surprised me that no one thought of this. It was unpleasant to hear dueling saxophones clashing all through dinner.

The dinner started off with a wonderful amuse bouche. Sweet potato puree with prosciutto and a few other elements. Lovely start to the meal. It set our expectations high.

My appetizer was portobello mushrooms with lump crap and a red pepper hollandaise. It was....fine. Nothing special but good. I just felt like it mostly needed more salt, which ended up being a theme throughout the meal for us.

We ordered two salads: spinach with bacon, vinaigrette and a poached egg and a caesar. The caesar was fine (again, could have used salt) and same for the spinach salad. My egg was under cooked. The whites were still runny and the egg itself was barely tepid. I don't know if they pre-poached and forgot to do the rest or what. I ate around the egg. I also felt like the vinaigrette was good but sparse and unevenly dressed.

Between courses our server brought a really great peach sorbet to cleanse our palate. Nice touch.

My husband loved his main dish: two petit filets with risotto and carrots. I thought, oddly, the risotto was a bit too salty but the filets were perfect and the reduction on the side had a good flavor but was slightly over reduced (a little gelatinous).

My main was a boneless ribeye with truffle butter, blue cheese mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. The mashed potatoes were great. The steak was cooked well but clearly wasn't allowed to rest long enough because on the first cut, all the juice ran out onto my plate. The flavor was fine (But again, salt and also pepper needed).

For dessert my husband ordered the cheese plate and I got the trio with creme brulee, an orange curd and pot de creme. The cheese plate was HUGE for one person. A lot of cheese. It also had crackers on it that we thought were odd. The fruit and nuts made sense but a bunch of crackers AFTER an entire meal seemed odd to us. The trio was good. The flavors were all nice. The curd and the pot de creme were both a bit grainy but the flavor was good.

Another nice touch as we were given the bill was two lovely and juicy dark chocolate covered strawberries.

Overall, we really were rooting for the place and would love to come back when we're in town again in hopes they've made a few tweaks to bring the food up to the level of the great service and ambience and general sense of greatness!

Dec 23, 2012
krissywats in Florida

Amelia Island - España

We're visiting the island from NYC for several days and our first dinner out decided to try España. Very glad we did. We love great food and even enjoy discussing how we would make a dish better. No place is perfect, but this was a great meal.There were only a few minor food issues we had.

Tapas:
The pork tenderloin in brown sauce was so tender and flavorful. It had some middle eastern influence in the sauce we couldn't name but found delicious. I don't even know how you get chunks of pork that tender.

Portabello mushroom with serrano ham and cheese. Lovely and very rich. The saltiness of the ham was a great pairing with the earthy mushroom.

Shrimp with garlic was wonderful. I ate the sauce with a spoon.

Potato tortilla was ok. I liked it more than my husband who thought it was dry. The moisture didn't bother me but it did have a lack of salt. However, since I don't eat wheat (allergy), it was a great source for soaking up the sauce around the shrimp.

Salad:
We shared a salad with oranges, apples, raisins, almonds, on a bed of romaine, with grated manchego on top and a raspberry vinaigrette. We didn't love it. The dressing was overly sweet to us and the salad was too heavily dressed. The manchego was a nice salty flavor, but not enough of it to cut through the sweet. In my perfect world there would be more cheese, less dressing (or even a different, more tart and less sweet dressing....maybe lemon or balsamic?) more almonds, more fruit and less romaine.

Entrees:
Husband had the beef tenderloin with spanish bleu cheese and bleu cheese sauce. Served with saffron rice and sort of a cold spanish slaw. He cleaned his entire plate. He said all he needed to cut through the tenderloin was gravity. It was so tender and the meat had a wonderful flavor on it's own. Paired with the cheese, it was heavenly.

Desserts:
I have spent my entire life wanting to like flan. On paper, it looks like something I would enjoy but up until tonight, I have never liked it. Their flan is extraordinary. My husband loves flan and was floored by this dish. Our wonderful server explained to us that it's his grandmother's recipe (he is related to the chef), and he was touched that her recipe won me over. We talked about how temperamental flan can be and how hard it is to get right. We enjoyed his honesty in regards to how they make it and on rare nights it's just not quite as good but usually it's this rich deliciousness we savored.

The flourless chocolate cake was also wonderful. Not made on site, but smooth and like eating a truffle. Ultra rich, which I love.

This is a minor thing but one that always impresses me: I am a tea drinker. When a place brings me water that is ACTUALLY almost boiling, I am happy. This is lost on a ton of restaurants. Most tea should be brewed just off the boil, rather than the slightly hot water most place bring you. When this can happen, it makes for a lovely experience.

Overall, thrilled. Would go again in a heartbreat.

http://www.espanadowntown.com/

Dec 22, 2012
krissywats in Florida

French Themed Dessert For 6th Gr. French Class?

Concorde cake is delicious and feeds many and not terribly difficult: large chocolate meringue discs baked and then when cooled, layered with chocolate mousse. I have made it several times with chocolate meringue and chocolate mousse and then frosted the outside with a not too sweet swiss buttercream and dusted with cocoa. Sort of an easy show-stopper.

Jun 09, 2012
krissywats in Home Cooking

Gluten free semolina substitute?

Good ideas, thanks for the thoughts!!!

May 25, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Gluten free semolina substitute?

Thanks - yes, that was my first thought. I'll try polenta first.

May 21, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Sharing Ideas for Gluten-free Eating

Oooooh - what a great idea! I bet they WOULD take cream filling very well.

May 21, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Sharing Ideas for Gluten-free Eating

Sure! I honestly can't remember where I found the recipe initially but I've altered it enough that it's not all that similar anyway:

This makes 1 8-inch round.

3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (or other vinegar)
6 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup of oil
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cup of almond flour (finely ground, blanched almonds)

Taste the batter - you may feel it needs more sugar but I like a lightly sweetened cake with fantastic frosting.

325 oven
Prepare pan with oil, then parchment, then more oil and GF flour or I like to use sugar.
Separate yolks and whites.
Beat the whites with the vinegar until stiff peaks.
In a separate bowl combine the yolks with sugar, baking soda, oil and vanilla. Mix well.
Add lemon juice, blend to combine.
Add the almond flour into the yolk mixture and once mixed, fold in the egg whites.
Bake about 20 minutes.

Let me know if you try any flavors with it! Oh, also, you can use honey but I prefer sugar.

May 20, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Sharing Ideas for Gluten-free Eating

I really enjoy udi's GF pizza crust but I feel it must be pre-baked first. But I also like a really crispy crust.

May 20, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Gluten free semolina substitute?

Good idea - here is a link!

http://www.raymondblanc.com/Portals/1...

May 20, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Gluten free semolina substitute?

Any thoughts? I'm dying to make a quenelle recipe I found but it calls for semolina and I haven't figured out what to replace it with? Buckwheat flour? Polenta? A combination? Would love ideas.

Thanks!!

May 18, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Sharing Ideas for Gluten-free Eating

I'm allergic to wheat (as opposed to celiac) but for all intents and purposes, I eat gluten free (except I can have spelt) and I am head over heels in love with brown rice flour. I make everything from onion rings to rich sauces to breading. Ditto for brown rice "bread crumbs". They go in my crab cakes and meatballs. The old stand-by used to be white rice flour but I find it gritty/pasty and never enjoyed how my baked goods come out. THE BESt chocolate chip cookies are from an Alton Brown recipe using brown rice flour. No one ever knows the difference:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

My other favorite is blanched almond flour. I was afraid I'd never be able to have cake again until I discovered this wonderful substitute. It makes a delicious, angel-food like cake. I haven't tried making a chocolate version yet, but I love that I can make CAKE! Again, it doesn't taste like a 'substitute' - it just tastes like freakin' good cake. So many lovely, delicate french pastries are made just almond flour that it inspired me to start looking around (macarons anyone?). Below is a picture a friend took of a cake I made for a party.

I also use a lot of tapioca flour and am going to start venturing more into buckwheat flour.

Good luck! Be sure and share any great finds!!

May 18, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Gougeres with alternative flours?

Thanks!!

Apr 23, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Happy to See This Board

Glad to see it too! I have a wheat allergy (not celiac) that is very debilitating to me even in small amounts so it's great to have a place to still adore food while having certain limitations.

Apr 20, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Make me a muffin -- a Chowhound Challenge

Oh now now, not so fast......

Apr 20, 2012
krissywats in Home Cooking

Gougeres with alternative flours?

Looking for thoughts on trying a gougeres recipe with brown rice flour or perhaps a combination of brown rice flour and tapioca starch? Any thoughts?

Apr 20, 2012
krissywats in Special Diets

Favorite spring dishes and menus?

One of my all time favorites. I never bother with the tea smoked chicken, I just saute some chicken with salt and pepper, let it cool, and then shred it. The flavors are lovely and unexpected.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Apr 10, 2011
krissywats in Home Cooking

Uber Rich Chocolate Cake

We had this cake at the Barrington Brewery in MA and fell in love. Lucky for me the server told us the recipe is online:

Chocolate Stout Cake: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Apr 10, 2011
krissywats in Home Cooking

Flourless Peanut Butter Choc Chunk Cookies

My families favorite peanut butter cookie recipe is flour-less. It's mostly just peanut butter, egg and sugar. The egg 'seizes up' the peanut butter and they honest to god come out with a texture like a cookie with flour. I haven't used any baking soda or powder in them, but I wonder if that lightens them up a bit (they are quite dense). No one ever believes when I tell them they are flour-less.

Apr 10, 2011
krissywats in Home Cooking

HELP!! In Forest Hills

We were at Nick's Bistro every week (sometimes twice a week) when they first opened. Fell in love and the owners loved us and often gave us free food because we were there so often. The lemon potatoes were amazing and the hummus was seriously the best I'd ever tried. Then suddenly (like overnight) the food wasn't as good. We were told they changed chefs (this was about six months after opening?). I almost cried at what the new chef did to the lemon potatoes. We were just so incredibly disappointed. We tried it about three more times and it was never as good as those first few months. We need to give it another try, I suppose. We haven't been back in well over a year......it was seriously some incredible greek food. Wondering if they worked out the kinks?

Apr 10, 2011
krissywats in Outer Boroughs

Horrible Host: Invited to a Dinner Party, and then asked to bring DINNER!!!

Ah yes - i think it is....I think it is. However - I prefer, with my guests, to be gracious and if they 'tit', I refuse to 'tat'.

There are a million cultural, personal, maybe even economical reasons that might lead a person to think a gift of food would be appreciated. If one feels assaulted by that - that's all on you.

Why don't we take it back to basic psychology: you cannot control anything but yourself which includes how you react. Someone might one day bring a gift of food. If your get-together is about people enjoying one another then someone dropping in with a plate is not that big of a deal. If, however, it is not about the people but rather only your presentation - well then 'assaulted' you seem to be.

Dec 03, 2009
krissywats in Not About Food

Horrible Host: Invited to a Dinner Party, and then asked to bring DINNER!!!

What you're missing here, Chris, is the sense of self-importance that goes along with the art I, and only I, can create and if anyone interrupts my artistic flow with their nasty and offensive dessert for the masses (who cares about their intention), then they must be punished with my vitriol and offended as deeply as I feel offended that they dared to question my masterpiece. Don't you see?

Dec 03, 2009
krissywats in Not About Food

The strangest NYC request I've gotten

An old friend from college is visiting next weekend for a Yankees game and is staying near Penn Station - his request is for a great place to get omelets?

Normally I'd do a search and find the answer from old posts but omelets? Really? I mean, I don't have anything against omelets but that just seems like such a random request when coming to NY - do they not have good omelets in LA? Or maybe he just really looooooooves omelets.

Anyway - any help would be appreciated very much. Know of a fabulous omelet in midtown?

Apr 26, 2008
krissywats in Manhattan

What the heck I actually did with bulgur wheat...

http://www.recipezaar.com/175759

I didn't add the peas or the butter at the end. Super easy and I think I actually prefer it to the usual brown rice. Lovely texture - but I prefer a starch that stick together a bit.

Next I'm trying a risotto recipe. Will report back.

Feb 08, 2008
krissywats in Home Cooking

I want to learn to make killer biscuits...

Just made these with my 'gifted' lard (thanks CVR) and they are literally the best biscuits I've ever had. Light, flaky, indescribably good. I'm on my second and I made them for beef stew. Screw that.

I am NOT a biscuit maker so the 'light touch' seems to be infallible with these. YUM!

Feb 07, 2008
krissywats in Home Cooking

What the heck to do with bulgur wheat?

Besides tabbouleh. I read on the box that I can use as a hot cereal? Thoughts? Ideas? Recipes?

Jan 31, 2008
krissywats in Home Cooking

Bonnie's Buffalo Chicken Dip

I used the suggestion of an old post and used blue cheese dressing and added in a packet of ranch to the blue cheese/cream cheese mix.

I thought the celery in the dish was sort or worthless but couldn't have enough celery around for people to dip. They preferred dipping with the celery rather than tortilla chips.

I used pre-cooked chicken from Trader Joe's....never thought about using canned as mentioned above although I much prefer the layer than I think I would to it being all mixed in.

Jan 28, 2008
krissywats in Home Cooking

Weight Watchers Recipes - the good, the bad and the...

The pasta and salmon sounds great. I'm going to give it a go!

Jan 24, 2008
krissywats in Home Cooking

Weight Watchers Recipes - the good, the bad and the...

I've made several WW recipes or recipes I altered myself in the last few days to synch up with my WW flex plan. But first - how should we do this? Maybe once a week post a 'what WW recipes did you make or create this week' post? As it is, this post is getting really long.

OK, so tonight I altered a scallop recipe from epicurious in a 'cream' sauce:

1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cup of white wine
1 cup of water
1 small shallot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound of sea scallops
10 oz of mushrooms, sliced
3T light butter
1T flour
1/2 cup fat free half and half

Toast bread crumbs then toss with cheese and set aside.

Simmer wine, water, onion, bay leaf, salt, and pepper in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan, uncovered, 5 minutes, then add scallops and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer scallops to a platter with a slotted spoon and keep warm, then boil cooking liquid until reduced to about 1 cup. Strain if desired.

Cook mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together half and half and yolk in a heatproof bowl. Melt 1 tablespoons butter in cleaned 2 1/2- to 3-quart saucepan (I just wiped out the one I used for the scallops) over moderately low heat, then add flour and cook roux, whisking, 1 minutes (I find that with light butter sometimes I have to add a bit of water to get the roux right). Remove pan from heat and add reduced cooking liquid in a stream, whisking constantly and pour accumulated liquid off scallops into the sauce, as well. Return pan to heat and simmer, whisking, 2 minute. Pour sauce in a slow stream into cream mixture, whisking constantly, then pour sauce back into pan and simmer, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

At this point add the scallops and mushrooms into the sauce and, if desired, put into fridge to keep until ready to eat.

Preheat oven to 350 and reheat dish for 15 minutes and then sprinkle the top with the cheese and bread crumb mix and put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Serve with whole wheat pasta or brown rice.

4 servings. 6pts (not including rice or pasta)

Jan 23, 2008
krissywats in Home Cooking

Weight Watchers Recipes - the good, the bad and the...

I'm sigh you Keri - I've converted most friends and family to now eating tongol tuna from TJs packed in lightly salted water with balsamic vinegar and black pepper.

I pretty much put balsamic on everything these days. Big flavor punch for little impact.

Jan 23, 2008
krissywats in Home Cooking