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HillsofBeverly's Profile

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Critique my cocktail party menu!

I think the M&Ms are genius. I'm a salt and savory freak, so I'd appreciate a few peanut M&Ms, maybe take a handful home, but would not be interested in ganache cake after all of those wonderful savories either (I'd have a second helping of something cheesy or beefy for "dessert") - multiply that by 30+ people and you save yourself a lot of time by not baking. I do not see everyone at parties and dinners go for dessert - the sugar fiends do but fewer of the rest in the age of sugar/carb fear.

Dec 07, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Need a better bechamel (and/or mornay), not gloppy

Double Cotswold worked very well from tonight's test.

Dec 06, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Need a better bechamel (and/or mornay), not gloppy

BTW, one dish I made for Thanksgiving was Cooks Illustrated's Brussels sprouts braised in heavy cream with salt, pepper, touch of nutmeg. It made a perfect, luscious sauce with no fuss. That was a winner.

Dec 06, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Need a better bechamel (and/or mornay), not gloppy

Wow, I went a way and this took on a life of its own. Thanks, folks.

I am going to try veloute, Marcella Hazan and also 1 Tbsp butter, grated shallot, and 1 Tbsp flour (this is less flour than Julia's proportions) with a very powerful English cheese (Huntsman? Double Cotswold)? I usually roast most veggies with olive oil, herbs, S&P but winter seems like a good time to try another prep.

Dec 06, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Help! Looking for Japanese Raw Salmon Sushi Marinade!

Thank you. I'm a fatty fish (salmon, hamachi) sashimi and sushi freak and cannot wait to try this at home with the plain blocks of sashimi-grade fish from our Japanese market.

Best New Thanksgiving Dish

Nothing. 1 cup cream, salt and pepper, bit of nutmeg if you like, and (for me) a stalk's worth of blanched sprouts. Braise covered until soft. The cream thickens into a sauce. Simple and delicious.

Nov 28, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Need a better bechamel (and/or mornay), not gloppy

Great ideas, thank you. I also think that Julia's recipes seem bland by today's standards, and as an Indian and Asian food and salsa lover, my tastebuds are set for higher levels of contrast (or pain). By contrast, hubs and I have found that our 70-80 year old parents can barely eat what we enjoy (the mildest amounts of chili are deemed too much, etc.).

Nov 28, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Need a better bechamel (and/or mornay), not gloppy

I made a cauliflower gratin for Thanksgiving at the parents's place yesterday, and used the Julia Child bechamel (mornay when cheese added, which I did) recipe. After looking at a few cookbooks, it seemed that her ratio of approximately 2 cups milk, 2+ TBsp butter, 3+ TBsp flour was common enough.

It was "ok." A bit too thick, not cheesy enough. A bit thick or "gloppy." A tad bland, even with mustard, cayenne, S+P and cheese added. Did NOT separate or get watery though (I had blanched the cauliflower, that probably helped).

Anyone have a bechamel/mornay they like better (more supple, less gloppy/floury)? OTOH, I don't eat this often, maybe I just am not attuned to a "normal" bechamel and don't particularly enjoy it?

Thanks!

Nov 28, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Best New Thanksgiving Dish

Brussels sprouts braised in heavy cream per Cooks Illustrated. We're sprout fans, but generally prefer them roasted. Braised in heavy cream was DIVINE.

Nov 28, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

Intriguing, thank you.

Nov 26, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

Yum. Or if I can't find pecan oil, pecan bits are definitely going in! Their sweetness will play well with sprouts.

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

Excellent suggestions, everyone. Thank you very much!

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

That sounds delicious! Thank you.

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Veggie Side Dish for non-traditional Turkey day?

I just saw this and bookmarked it for our home dinner tonight and if it is good, for Thursday too. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Veggie Side Dish for non-traditional Turkey day?

I'm always a Brussels sprouts fan (and cabbage is global). Roasted or stir fried sprouts (shredded if stir fried) with garlic and nut bits for crunch (or a wee bit of bacon for savor and crunch)? Green beans cooked but still crunchy with sesame/soy/garlic or olive oil/garlic/lemon?

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

Hello,

I'm a frequent reader and infrequent commenter. This year I am doing the veggies for Thanksgiving (small family, smallish quantities) but have to take whatever I make to my parents' house about 20 minutes away.

Husband and I love Brussels sprouts and oven roast them with olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe herbs at home all the time. I enjoy them most hot, fresh from roasting.

I'm trying to figure out my Thanksgiving strategy. Mom has one standard residential size oven and may have the dressing or something else heating in it. I could parboil or blanch the sprouts at home and roast or caramelize quickly in her oven, or on their grill in aluminum foil. I don't want to pre-roast and then take the sprouts, which will have cooled and gotten soft by dinner time. Or maybe that is the better option?

Any tips on getting the most enjoyable hot, browned sprouts at the dinner table at someone else's house? I sense that prepping as much as possible at my home will be key, but haven't tried this before. Other dishes (a cauliflower dish, roasted carrots) can just travel and be reheated more easily without loss of texture.

Thanks!

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

ISO Beef Tallow [DTW]

I bought some for plum pudding use at a grocery store (A&P?) years ago. I swear that I've seen it at the Meijer in Troy/Royal Oak. Also, call a store with a butcher counter like Holiday Market - they may have it or be able to get it and hold it for you. I don't think I'd trust Krogers etc. to have this regularly now. Or call Ronnies or the other beef sellers at Eastern Market/Gratiot Central (I'd call before you drive).

Nov 21, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

Almond arrived in Michigan late last week.

Nov 10, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

The almond kringle freezes well and is outstanding right out of the freezer too! As others have noted, in small wedges due to being very sweet. nom nom nom this will be a repeat purchase.

Nov 10, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

Nay, nay, nay, barf, ptew to the seasonal Cinnamon Brooms in my TJ's floral department. The powerful odor (in enough quantity it change from "aroma" to "odor") of spice is so strong that it's an air quality issue. Woe to the asthmatics or shoppers with allergies or compromised lung capacity. Can't they just seal these?

Middle Aged Suburbanites Do Detroit #2 - Vincente's, Russell Street Deli, Detroit City Distillery

Bacon is, IMO, best suited to being bacon. Fried, wrapped around a thing, in egg dishes, BLTs, etc.

Bacon washed bourbon struck me as a waste of both bourbon and bacon.

Oct 30, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Coming back to Detroit from Grand Rapids...

Heckuva lot of nice Wendy's on 96....

Oct 29, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes
1

Middle Aged Suburbanites Do Detroit #2 - Vincente's, Russell Street Deli, Detroit City Distillery

So, these two pudgy suburbanites "do" get out occasionally. We may not be hipsters but we know where some of them go, sometimes.

In short.

Dinner with a large group ended up at Vincente's for Cuban food. We had not been there in a year or so - in the past had a mix of great and "meh" foods. This past weekend was very good to us - trout with tomato and artichoke and ropa vieja (my favorite) were excellent. The ropa was to me, a non-Cuban who likes food, very, very enjoyable with the right piquant and savory flavor in the shredded beef from olives and other seasonings. Hub's Mojito was mixed very well (not too sweet or sour or watery). Will return again in less than 1 year, we were pleasantly surprised.

Hit Eastern Market on Saturday, had lunch at the always enjoyable and crowded Russell Street Deli (I have not had a miss with egg based breakfasts, savory omelets or sandwiches and like their "Rhode Island" clam chowder (one ladle of New England and one of Manhattan). Great Ethiopian coffee and iced tea. In and out efficiently.

Read about Detroit City Distillery, found it on Riopelle (OMG, SO Brooklyn that street is now - art gallery, pet store, distillery, all artfully graffitied - my relatives who moved after '67 would not recognize parts of this town). Crowd was nearly all white, and I'd say affluent enough - either suburbanites or hip kids living in the "right" niches. For $10 drinks, everyone should be. My craft cocktail pick remains The Oakland for making a few things I thought were delicious and can't make at home - I can totally make a gin Martini or bourbon Manhattan or Negroni at home so I'm not going to order those as pricy "craft" drinks out. DCD is a cool new reclaimed space, our waitress was friendly and helpful (very good service). They don't have a ton of tables, popcorn (brown butter and Old Bay) was delish. I tried the Fashionably Yogi - a "bacon washed bourbon" cocktail with spice and other housemade flavorings in the mix. The pecan and coffee bitters stood out (what is that flavor? pecan and coffee). It was (1) good and (2) not my thing for a repeat performance. Glad I tried it once, but will not be "bacon washing" my own bourbon at home. Glad I tried it though. Frankly, I don't think I'm a craft cocktail person. I like what I like, and I can make what I like at home with the liquors and vermouths I prefer, so craft bacon-mania and shaken egg white drinks are just not where I'm going to spend much of my time and money. But more power to them, I hope they succeed.

Oct 28, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

I like the chicken liver pate a lot. IMHO it is not as good as the Trois Petit Cochon brand that TJ's used to carry (in addition to gourmet stores in Michigan, though TJ's was a few dollars cheaper). TPC had more truffle and liver taste, the TJ's pate now seems a bit drier and sweeter. HOWEVER, if you like pate, it's well worth trying.

Oct 26, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Trader Joe's best whole bean coffee?

Not in my experience. TJ's Kauai whole bean is drinkable as is the Pinion ground, but we've never found a coffee we love at TJ's. I buy the Kauai most often as a backup for when spouse's favorite (more expensive, from a local roaster) runs out.

Oct 26, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Appalachian recipes ideas?

Pittsburgh as the Paris of Appalachia - this explains so much about my mother's family. Thank you, now a lot falls into place...

Coming back to Detroit from Grand Rapids...

I've done that drive for work about 100 times. There really isn't that much that isn't a chain between GR and Novi. Plenty of Wendy's and at least two Culvers off of 96, but no "must-trys" that I've found, in my opinion. Truck stop in Ionia in case you need a shower. I used to (1) eat in GR or (2) stop at One World Market for sushi in Novi before getting all the way home. For overnight, East Lansing has the Kellogg Center (MSU hotel) and some food and beer but must-have is arguable.

Oct 19, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Trader Joe's "pumpkinundation" 2014

Thank you for the reminder to look in my local store for the almond - I'd much rather have an almond kringle than pumpkin caramel. I love pumpkin but the caramel makes it too sweet for me.

Oct 16, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Dinner at El Asador, drinks at Sugar House (SW Detroit)

Yes, I'm going back for more beef and the salmon wrapped in banana leaves. Also wanted to try the calamari (which I cannot make at home (no skill, no desire to learn) and enjoy out).

It is a sketchy neighborhood but VERY close to the highway - it's not like the out-of-element suburbanites are driving in unknown territory long.

Oct 15, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Dinner at El Asador, drinks at Sugar House (SW Detroit)

I Googled for cream of pobalo soups and found a bunch of recipes, FYI. None too hard - mostly onions, roasted and peeled poblanos, chicken broth and some dairy. We can do this!

Oct 12, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes