free sample addict aka Tracy L's Profile

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visiting Sacramento from SF

+1 for One Speed. I met a friend traveling from Redding to SF there for a late lunch. It was perfect. Parking was easy and she really enjoyed the food.

Party Early Birds

I used to entertain a lot. I had a group of friends that always arrived early because they couldn't judge traffic or were in the area earlier and didn't want the hassle of going back home and leave again (they lived about 45 mins away ~ mostly traffic). If they came early I'd set them up with some cards and magazines, some snacks and drinks. I usually put them in a spot where they wouldn't be in the way. One time I sent them to the store with a list of things I forgot.

Upping the ante on boxed pancake mix

I like to replace the liquid with banana bread ale and a little cinnamon:

Cold stuffed mushrooms

I love this recipe:

I'd cook the garlic though.

My Seattle Report

I think midweek in winter would be ideal.

My Seattle Report

I just finished my visit yesterday. My plans changed quite a bit since my first post. Instead of a spendy place I took a tour to Rainier so I kept myself to a slightly tighter budget. I ended up staying in West Seattle and everyday I explored two or more different neighborhoods.

Pike Place Market: I went with too high of expectations. Despite going early, it was too claustrophobic for me. I was sad as there seemed to be so many wonderful places to try. I did have a piroshki which led me to consume more piroshkis on other days.

Piroshki on 3rd ave. I ended up there twice during my travels and had a corned beef piroshki and a spinach, cheese and egg piroshki. They were both excellent and held me until the afternoon both days.

Anapurna (Capitol Hill): Cute place with a lot of character. I had the Goan Curry with lamb. It was so so. I think I ordered wrong, but it was a fun place in a fun neighborhood.

Central Dock in the Pt Orchard Public Market: I had a dozen oysters on the half shell and fries. The oysters were perfect, probably some of the best oysters I have ever had. The fries were crispy and were seasoned with salt and rosemary.

Ivar's Acres of Clams: This was a friend's recommendation. I did the walk up counter and sat outside at sunset. I have a weakness for calamari and they didn't disappoint. I know the place isn't considered chowish, but it a was cheap meal (they lost my order so my snacker size became a dinner size) and the sunset was lovely.

Taylors Shellfish Farm, Pioneer Square: I had a dozen Shigoku oysters and an order of geoduck clam. The oysters were excellent here too and quite different than any I have experienced in SF bay area. The saltiness was really interesting. As for my geoduck it was my first time trying it. My server really did a great job of explaining (with a sexy, deep voice)the parts of the clam and how each would taste. I loved it. It was an unusual treat. I really liked this restaurant a lot. I wanted to try the steamed mussels and clams, but I was a bit overheated from my walking around all day. I could see whiling away an afternoon here.

Pike Place Chowder in the Pacific Place mall. I had lunch there before going to the airport. Yelp (I use yelp for the map function) had a $2 off coupon for the a soup and crab roll combo. I had the 1/2 crab roll and 8 oz New England clam chowder. It was a perfect little lunch. I am not a crab roll sort of person as the mayo can be overpowering, but this crab roll was the opposite. The mayo was more like a yogurt, the crab mixture was tangy, light and refreshing. I liked the chowder a lot, I have not had clams that tender in a very long time.

I went to both QFC and Whole Foods for dinner salads and lunch provisions for Mt. Rainier. I wish Sacramento would become as food driven as Seattle. Even though we have WF the Magnolia location was a lot better.

I know I missed a lot of other opportunities, but I plan to return. There was so much to see I was actually too tired a couple of nights to eat! Overall I love Seattle, everyone was so friendly and I was stunned how clean it is.

Overwhelmed, need ideas on where to start

About Tostones

For breakfast w/scrambled eggs w/black bean frijoles on the side. I have also had them served with a small amount ceviche on top, sort of like a canape.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

I am lusting after Roy Choi's LA Son. His story really resonates with me on many levels. The recipes seem ideal right now as I am having a "love affair" with a Korean/International market in my town. It has other foods and products from around the world as well (house made tortillas!). I think his book would be a nice companion for my trips to there. I am still lusting after Pok Pok and Smoke and Pickles, but I think I'll pick up Choi's first.

What's for Dinner #323 - The Labor Day Edition! [through Sept 3, 2014]

No rain here, only 100 degree weather and a brief power failure. I always wanted to try the sausage and plum recipe in All About Braising by Molly Stevens. Being that plums are still in season here I chose tonight to try it out. I had to make several changes to the recipe as I decided to make this at the last minute and had to use what I had on hand. I didn't have a shallot and I had to substitute mild sausage for sweet and a sweet white wine for the red. Despite the substitutions it came out very good. I would have tagged this to the COTM when the cookbook was featured, but my computer is moving slowly and it took forever to search. I made some creamy grits to go with it as well as some steamed broccoli.

What's for Dinner #323 - The Labor Day Edition! [through Sept 3, 2014]

I love goat curry. What recipe did you use?

What is omakase?

Nice and thank you. This is precisely what I am looking for.

What is omakase?

Thanks for the suggestions, they are very useful.

What is omakase?

Why point that out?

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

I am just looking for ideas right now. I am not asking for help in developing a menu. It would be another guest and myself.

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

Yes, and thank you.

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

I just want hear about an array of Japanese small dishes and sushi. Since some of you are interested in discussing my misunderstanding of the word then I have posted the question here:

What is omakase?

Since my post got hoodwinked:


Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

Wrong. I mean as in an array of sushi and possibly other small plates. Is there an acceptable word for that I should be using?

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

>In my house, the "customers" get what I choose to serve them--always<

That really isn't answering the question. Now I remember why I
infrequently post on CH.

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

I want to make an Omakase "style" dinner ~ as in you went to the restaurant and ordered omakase and had a memorable meal. If you have had an Omakase dinner what was on your menu? If you were to do (or have done this) this what is/was your inspiration? Are there any cookbooks, websites or reference books you can steer me towards? If you could set it the menu, what would be your "must haves" on a Omakase menu? I have access to sushi grade fish as well as other appropriate ingredients. I have editted as best I could. And yes, I have access to the fish and other ingredients I need.

Tell-Tale Terms

If I avoided reading about certain restaurants because of a few buzzwords I would probably end up eating home or at the same-ol-same-ol places. I look past the buzz words to the message people are trying to convey.

Talking about restaurants that no longer exist

Lamenting the closure of an old favorite from months or years ago can also spark a "where are they now?" response. If a chef or manager has moved to a new venue, I would like to know so I can see if I like the work he/she does at the new place.

Also, I would imagine restaurant staff peruse these boards for inspiration. I think there may be a few lessons learned from these threads (like what dishes were great, flaws or assets in service, location etc.).

Something missing - Asian edition

I read somewhere a light drizzle of sesame oil at the end (after the dish is cooked) gives food that "Chinese food taste". It works for me, but I love sesame oil.

Have you ever left a Restaurant...

Yes, if on I was on my own. Sometimes the other choices don't appeal as much as my first choice. Why eat and pay for something you don't want?

Learn how to cook and host an amazing dinner party

Good for you! It is always nice to see how other people get inspired to learn. I was invited to a dinner party and was asked to bring dessert. I brought the pine nut tart from the Last Course by Claudia Fleming. It had been a decade since I produced a good pie or tart crust and I had never worked with almond flour. Luckily a friend who was an expert baker talked me through it. I think I made two crusts a night until I nailed it. Keep up the good work your efforts will not only pay off for dinner parties, but you will be able to put something together that is special on a week night.

No ketSUP for you!

I hope this becomes popular and that refusal of serving ranch dressing as a condiment follows.

Good non-toxic, grain-free things for a puppy who is teething to chew on?

If you have access to a food dehydrator they are super easy and cheap to make. The vet loved them too as she said they were lower in calories than other dog treats.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2014 Edition!

Thanks, I am thinking of buying a cast iron skillet.

What's for Dinner #316 - the Hot August Night edition [through August 4, 2014]

We had a reprieve from the triple digit weather. I made the breaded beef cutlet with spinach and mushroom salad from Michael Symon's 5 ingredient cookbook. I was craving fried food and the pan frying did the trick. Nice comfort food combined with a summery salad. It was quite satisfying. I was in luck the grocery store had all the items on sale. Even though I halved the recipe I had enough for two dinners and lunch tomorrow. I was regretting spending money on a cookbook I didn't need, but my savings on dinner paid for the book!