mushroomaffairs's Profile

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Port Chester or Northern Westchester dining for Easter brunch?

Yeah, the Hyatt puts out a really good spread for their Sunday brunches but I need less of the herd mentality because I have 3 sets of really old grandparents who are coming up for the day. :) I've decided to have Easter at my house so they can spend the whole day to relax.

Now I have to figure out my last minute menu!

Apr 14, 2014
mushroomaffairs in New York State (exc. NYC)

Port Chester or Northern Westchester dining for Easter brunch?

I was hoping for suggestions in lower FFC but no one replied. I'm guessing my options are more limited since it's last minute. I may still need to accommodate a fairly large group (9-13 people). My family will most likely prefer traditional Easter, ham, lamb, asparagus, salads, eggs benedict type food............................................................

Apr 13, 2014
mushroomaffairs in New York State (exc. NYC)

Restaurant for Easter brunch lower FFC? Cobb's Mill?

From Greenwich to Westport/Wilton, American fare or old-fashioned New Englandly places? Cobb's Mill Inn? I was also told that there used to be a lot of restaurants like Cobb's Mill (as far as setting is concerned) but they've all closed down? It can be a set menu, hotel dining? I've tried the Greenwich Hyatt brunch (liked it a lot), Long Ridge Tavern brunch (meh), Red Barn (meh but better than I thought).

I'm concerend about last minute reservations because I don't know how many people there will be in my party. It could possibly be 10-17 people or possibly 2 (just me and bf).

Apr 10, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Southern New England

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

How old is she? If she's 13-14, she might like the candy section of FAO Schwarz, large size everything and candy board games. Just be prepared that the giant peanut butter cup is like$25. She can play with all the toys after. IF she's 18-19, take her to ABC Cocina for dinner or Kitchen for lunch (def.make reservations, even for lunch) for a trendier option.

If she really wants to tweet a restaurant, take her to Asiate for brunch. For brunch it's casual, people dress all over the place, you can wear whatever, it's pricey but it's a lot of food (prix-fix 2 main courses and dessert) and a great view.

Apr 10, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

Surprising sodium content foods?

Almost all raw chicken, raw fish, shellfish, shrimp now comes brined or pumped with some sort of saline solution. It used to be only kosher chickens were brined. Now everything is brined including jumbo scallops that reduce to the size of bay scallops after cooking. >:(

Apr 07, 2014
mushroomaffairs in General Topics

Would this rub you the wrong way? (House Guests selectively picking up the tab) and questions on house guest expectations

I'm with you on this one, but being The Oracle and all, you should have seen it coming.


You should know where you will be spending your next vacation!

Apr 02, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Not About Food

Plane Food for a LOOONG Flight--Frozen pastrami?

OMG, John! As I was reading through this thread, the discussion of TSA screenings made me think of my grandmother and the 60 Minutes segment of YOUR mother. This happened to my grandmother also.

TSA singled her out. They made her get up out of her wheelchair, she had to be helped up by two agents and then patted down. She is old as shit now and at the time it happened, she was 92 or 93????

I think it was last year I was at my parent's apt. and saw the 60 Minutes repeat. I pointed at the screen and said, "Look, that happened to grandma!" LOL

Little would I know it was your poor mother on that segment!

Mar 25, 2014
mushroomaffairs in General Topics

Pancake mix to make cake with?

Awesome, thanks all for your imput. I just read the ingredients and other than various flours in each bag, there is powdered buttermilk, calcium phosphate? and bicarbonate of soda and salt. I have a friend's birthday so I thought I could experiment by making a cake (not too worried about technical aspects or outcome, just wanted to make one for fun) to see what happened!

Mar 12, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Home Cooking

Pancake mix to make cake with?

I was given an entire box, four large bags, of pancake mix. Can I use this to make a cake? I want to make a birthday cake this weekend and am wondering if I can use this in place of regular flour. One of the bags is buckwheat flour?

I'm guessing these flours are finely milled so it's like cake flour?

Mar 10, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Home Cooking

Best Homemade Veggie Burger Recipe

I'm not vegetarian but almost all my meals eaten at home are vegetarian. I've recently made chickpea and eggplant burgers.

I don't have exact recipes for either but for the eggplant burgers, I cube the eggplant w/ the skin on and cook it down with lots of garlic. Once that's cooked down, I add chopped raw onion, raw scallion, a bunch of chopped parsley, chopped red bell pepper, whatever spices I have, and fresh chopped bread pieces, dried mustard and whatever else I think might be interesting, but that's usually the basis.

For this recipe I don't add eggs because it gets more mushy. I form them into giant balls and drop them in cornstarch, push them down into burgers and then flip them over. I lay them out in a tray and freeze them for about 20-30 min before frying.

For the chickpea burgers, I smush the chickpeas, add curry powder, chopped cilantro and parsley, whatever spices, grated raw carrot, and garlic and onion. For this recipe, I sautee the garlic and onion first. I pulverize oatmeal and use that in place of flour. For the chickpea burger, I do add two eggs and it makes a really big difference in keeping the burger firm and really holding it together before frying. I also freeze them for about 20-30 minutes. They really retain their shape with the two eggs. I've made them w/o eggs and with mayonnaise. I like the texture of the burgers made with mayo best but the mixture gets really mushy and the texture is softer.

I used to make black bean burgers but I prefer chickpea over black bean.

I've also tried baking. The chickpea burgers come out drier. but the eggplant still stays somewhat mush.

I once pureed soft tofu and mixed all sorts of stuff into it, including whole black beans, celery, etc. and coated it in rice flour and fried them. They came out really good as long as you can fry it long enough to have a crusty exterior. The rice flour makes a huge crusty difference.

Mar 09, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Vegetarian & Vegan

brunch/saturday lunch with mother in law, mom and teenage daughter

Check out The Lion. My boyfriend took me for Vday and it's beyond beautiful. I think the interior would really please both moms and daughter will like the menu since it's pretty straight forward I'm a sucker for scenery and gorgeous interior design, food be damned.

Mar 03, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

Eclisse no more?

Went for dinner w/ a couple of work peeps but Eclisse is gone and is now a churrascaria steakhouse? Of the few times I've gone the food was always very good and it was always crowded after work/dinner hours. Granted I had not been since last year but still.... Does anyone know why? Bummer

Feb 27, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Southern New England

Another splitting the bill question

I don't necessarily mind funneling a little more on occasion but if the tab gets expensive because of too many alcoholic beverages or desserts that I don't eat, I either portion my expense out since I don't drink alcohol and rarely order or even eat desserts, or I just pay whatever but let everyone know that they're relegated to the tip. I have no issue with this.

Feb 24, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Not About Food

Ricotta, do you make your own?

I saw a PBS show a few months back, I think it was Mind of a Chef, and they featured a woman from Brooklyn who makes and sells ricotta directly to the public but also to some serious NYC restaurants like Per Se and it was really easy. She used lemon juice to curdle the milk but I don't recall the portions or temps she used to gauge her cooking process.

I looked it up and there's a lot of youtube vids of people making homemade ricotta with lemon juice. It seems professionals tend to use rennet? as their acid but almost everyone seems to use whole milk versus 2% or skim. There's also a floating debate as to whether it's really farmer's cheese (lemon) or ricotta (rennet).

Some also had suggestions for the leftover whey.

I've been dying to try this since I saw that show.

Feb 24, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Cheese

Prime Rib in Fairfield County CT

Trip's in Stamford has prime rib specials M-Thurs. according to their website menu, and I'm sure you can order it still mooing.

I've been a couple of times but only for their lobster specials in the summer, it's a nice casual-elegant little neighborhood place.

Feb 20, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Southern New England

Inn at Pound Ridge open

Angry much?

Feb 19, 2014
mushroomaffairs in New York State (exc. NYC)

Commonly mispronounced foods

Stolichnya. I learned this from No Rez when Anthony Bourdain went to Russia with his friend who got waxed. Stole-lee-ch-neeyah, not Stole-leech-nigh-yah.

I still pronounce gyro as jye-roh, not hero or yeer-roh.

Another name I can't pronounce, Steve Buschemi.

Jan 26, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Food Media & News

What's for Dinner #265 - Into the Deep Freeze Edition! (through Jan. 6, 2014)

I woke up to about 7 inches of snow but still had to work...pppfffft

I wanted to make something homey but wound up mashing an avocado for lunch with carrot and apple slices.

For dinner, which I ate around 3 pm, haha, I made tortellini with artchoke, peas and a red pepper and doused it with like three pounds of cheese.

I'm going to eat a large ripe pear soon. It was from a mail order gift and is ready to go.

I still might make cookies even though it's 9pm. Not the most exciting day for me.

Jan 03, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Home Cooking

Restaurant Biz: Optional Up-Charges for Higher Quality Alternatives

Does the tomato sauce go straight from the can directly on to the pizza or pasta dish? What about a compromise? Sauté garlic and onions, some herbs, hot pepper flakes, cook the canned tomato sauce for a few minutes, add a little sugar if needed, etc....

As a kid I hated canned tomatoes and jarred sauce and thought tomato paste was putrid and not fresh tasting, but now as an adult, while still not my favorite, I do, rarely, use canned plum tomatoes as a last resort, just doctored up.

Jan 03, 2014
mushroomaffairs in General Topics

adding eggs to batter

I made my first cheesecake ever this year, and I just dumped all the eggs in at once and didn't have a problem with the outcome. I also beat the cream cheese to oblivion by hand since I don't have a mixer and it came out really fluffy.

I also never stream oil into vinegar to make dressing. When I first started making dressings I always used a fork and not a whisk, and never had an issue with anything breaking or not incorporating. Now I just use whatever empty jar I have, put everything in and shake it. Comes out totally blended.

Same thing with hollandaise for my first homemade egg bennys. I just dumped the melted butter into the yolks and beat the crap out of it (by hand whisk). Sauce didn't break and came out very creamy and lemony. I did completely remove the yolks from the heat though. I didn't see any difference from what I did at home to what I've had at any restaurant or the hollandaise my mother made when I was a child (and hated btw). Same pale yellow creamy sauce.

And I also saw Ina Garten do it on one of her shows. I don't remember what she made or why I was even home watching her but I remember she dumped a bunch of eggs into whatever she was making and said something to the effect of "who has time for this?" re: dropping the eggs in one by one. lol

Maybe Ina and I have the magic touch. Dump and stir.

Jan 02, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Home Cooking

Authentic Greek in Fairfield County, is there such a thing?

There's also Estia in Norwalk, CT, haven't been here yet. Pontos is really good for the platters.

For Greek pizza, salads, platters, there's

Athens, Stamford, CT
Hope Street, Stamford, CT
Atlantic St., Stamford, CT
Post Corner, Darien, CT.

The Greek style pizzas and greek salads are pretty much awesome at all four places.

My favorite local Mediterranean, more Israeli I guess, is Tabouli Grille in a strip mall. Kam Pei next door is theee shiznit for Japanese.

Orem's Diner is a family run Greek Diner in Wilton, CT, my favorite weekend breakfast place.

If you're willing to make the trek, I think Astoria, Queens (Ditmus Ave.) is like Greektown heaven.

Jan 02, 2014
mushroomaffairs in Southern New England

What would you want named after yourself. . .


Probably a strawberry. Not one of those large farmed strawberries like Driscoll but the little weird ones no one's seen before only sold at farmer's markets that become really popular the following summer.

Dec 18, 2013
mushroomaffairs in Not About Food

What would you want named after yourself. . .

A sex act.

Dec 18, 2013
mushroomaffairs in Not About Food

Popular flavors that you don't care for

Goat cheese and lamb do it to me.

I can smell that little baby lamb chop from a hundred million miles away.

Dec 09, 2013
mushroomaffairs in General Topics

Coffee besides Starbucks around Battery Park???

There's an Inatesso Café next to the Ritz. Never been there but it'd be close to you if you're stayin and payin at the RCBP :).

There's also a Gristedes, Café Express for cheap coffee going north from the RC if you're looking for a quick slurp in that more residential area where the main entrance to the esplanade is.

Financier also serves coffee but that's kind of far. Fika is even farther. Don't barther.

Dec 09, 2013
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

The Mis-use of "Miss"

I've been addressed as Miss, Ma'am, Excuse Me, Hey Bitch, (just) Bitch, Hore, Whore, Hey Whore, Sweetheart, Love, Sweatpea, etc. pretty much everything under the table (the middle endearments exclusively, mutually, by friends) but the funniest way I've ever been addressed is when I went with a friend to visit our friend who had a baby at a Children's hospital up in Washington Heights. We wandered around and got lunch at this random place and the guy behind the counter called both of Mami.

Ma'am is the worst but Mami is the weirdest. Never been called Mami, haven't been called it since. I know in Hispanic, and in this case most likely Dominican culture, calling each other Mami or Papi might be normal, but if you looked at the both of us, you'd be like WTF?

I don't know why I felt so weird about it but I'm laughing as I type this. We spent a a total of about two minutes staring at the baby btw.

Nov 23, 2013
mushroomaffairs in Not About Food

Great dining spots in NYC w no signs outside building!!?? Why?

Pulqueria never had one, does this place still exist? Locande Vini e Oili has a drugstore sign instead the actual name.

Nov 23, 2013
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

upper west side romantic meal?

There's a new place called Corvo Bianco on Columbus my friend's mother went to. From the website it looks beautiful.

Take me.

Nov 19, 2013
mushroomaffairs in Manhattan

Whole Belly Clams [Westchester]

Where is Gus's?!

Nov 19, 2013
mushroomaffairs in New York State (exc. NYC)

Looking for black treacle and Lyle's Golden Syrup in southern/western anywhere in CT

Isn't treacle just black strap molasses? I ask because I'm also planning to make a giant gingerbread man cake for our office lunch and also saw treacle as an ingredient and had to look it up. I also had to look up black strap molasses, lol.

Nov 18, 2013
mushroomaffairs in Southern New England