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Skippy1414's Profile

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Food related television commercial failures

I always think he must be the most underpaid person in the entertainment industry, because I can't imagine what kind of compensation could make up for what he must hear from other kids.

Wouldn't it be great, though, if he grew up to be a dashing leading man, and then one day, someone digs up this commercial...?

about 21 hours ago
Skippy1414 in Food Media & News
1

cooking for yet another party of mixed food needs

That's funny, I also had a lot of trouble with math in school, but could just breeze through those logic problems. One year I was on the verge of failing geometry, but then we did a logic unit, and that pulled my grade up to a C-. Whew

As for the initial inquiry--I'm vegan and I would be delighted if I was at a dinner party and ratatouille was on the menu.

Jul 29, 2014
Skippy1414 in Home Cooking

Christmas lunch/dinner and NYE in NYC - 2014

On Christmas day, many people like to go to a movie and get Chinese food.

Jul 10, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Bye Bye CRUMBS

I remember when the first Crumbs opened on Amsterdam near 76th St, almost across from an Equinox gym. You'd see people walk out of Equinox and directly into Crumbs. I thought, "You'll never go broke opening an ice cream store or bakery across from a gym..." I guess the problem was all the other non-gym-adjacent locations.

Jul 08, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan
1

NYC Fine Dining Reading List

Yes! Thanks--

Jun 15, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

NYC Fine Dining Reading List

I feel like I read a book that covers the 19th century/early 20th century evolution of the restaurant but can't think of it right now.

For mid to late 20th century information, maybe you should consider the biography of NY Times restaurant critic Craig Claiborne that came out a few years ago: "The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance," by Thomas McNamee. I haven't read it, but I know he was hugely influential during that time period; life story information aside, I would think it would give a portrait of the era. I think another NY Times critic after him, Gail Greene, also has a memoir.

For real primary source material, I'd probably dive into the NY Times archives and read restaurant reviews or other Food section articles.

Jun 14, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Best of the UWS, 2014 Edition

If you're going to go up into the 100s, then I'll say Zoma at 113th and Frederick Douglass Blvd. There's also a fascinating looking little cocktail bar next door to it called 67 Orange St that I wish I knew more about (I can't drink so I'm no use there).

Jun 11, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Best of the UWS, 2014 Edition

Yay!! Come on up here, everyone! It's great! They've only been open about six months maybe...? They look like they're doing well, though.

(P.S. It's the B/C, not A train at W 116th)

Jun 11, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Flatiron District with a 5 year old foodie

Or if they go up to the Museum of Natural History (which most five year olds like), there is the Shake Shack up there. I don't think the lines at that one are too difficult to manage.

Jun 09, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

first time in NY

This discussion of Best Slices is only a few months old and may be some help:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/966337

Jun 03, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Simple Salmon dish?

Or the Whole Foods at 97th and Columbus may be closer (I'm interpreting Upper Upper West Side as low to mid 100s).

May 05, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

More Torontonians Seeking Distinctly NYC Tastes

"And Nathan’s is such an institution that I’m sure we will end up there for hot dogs one time."

Just keep in mind that it's a pretty long trip to Coney Island; you can't just pop over there and back.

Apr 26, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Babycakes also has several cookbooks, so if you try anything you really like, you can find out how to make it at home!

Also, there's a highly regarded vegan food truck called the Cinnamon Snail that always has a lot of different sweets. They post where they're going to be on Twitter: @VeganLunchTruck. Might be worth checking to see if they'll be anywhere you'll be.

Apr 23, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Challenge: various diet requirements and various locations

Babycakes is a well-known vegan bakery: http://www.babycakesnyc.com/

Apr 22, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

What to expect at a Nepalese restaurant?

I've been to Nepal. I remember dal, momos, dal, naan-like breads, yak cheese, dal, more dal...

Apr 15, 2014
Skippy1414 in General Topics

Is anyone taking this course with the old NY times restaurant critic ????

No, unfortunately, but I would guess that he would prefer to be described as "the former NY Times restaurant critic."

Apr 08, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan
1

“Authenticity,” he confided to me, “is a bourgeois value posing as an aesthetic one.”

May I ask what book you're referring to?

Apr 08, 2014
Skippy1414 in Food Media & News

Prix Fixe Lunch in Manhattan

From 168 St, Red Rooster is about four stops on the C train and one or two avenues walk east. I don't think that's that much more inconvenient than anything else from that starting point...

Apr 06, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

ISO simple Maui Banana Bread recipe

Coconut oil might be a good sub for the shortening.

Apr 05, 2014
Skippy1414 in Home Cooking

Pearl and Ash - Alder - Estela

Try The Cecil. I haven't been, but so far it seems like it's been well-received.

Apr 03, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Restaurants suggestion near United Palace Theater (in Washington Heights)

The NY Times just did a feature on the dining scene in Washington Heights:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/nyr...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/nyr...

Apr 02, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Talk for 3 hours at lunch?

Was it Nice Matin you've been going to?

Mar 27, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Where can I find the best chocolate bunnies and more?

Vosges has some beautiful looking Easter chocolates, but they definitely fall into the top dollar category:

http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/catego...

Mar 27, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Have you ever made Croissants?

I've made both croissants and puff pastry, and really enjoyed it. I would say they're time consuming...but they're not. There are plenty of steps, but also plenty of rest periods in between, so it's a bad thing to do if you're starting at 5 pm and need to go someplace, but a good thing to do if you're just going to be home all day and have other things to do while the dough is chilling.

The key thing I learned is just don't over handle the dough. Aside from making the butter melty, you can also end up with tough croissants. That happened to me once, but they had chocolate filling, and when chocolate is involved, people are much more forgiving.

Mar 26, 2014
Skippy1414 in Home Cooking

New(-ish) UWS restaurants

Yes, they walked away from their lease. They felt like they were losing too much money trying to deal with the city agencies involved (Landmarks, DOB, DOH, liquor license).

Mar 25, 2014
Skippy1414 in Manhattan

Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Problem: Once Flat, Now Puffy

I understand. Since I don't get many chances to bake, I guess I tried to do too much at once. I'm sorry.

Mar 24, 2014
Skippy1414 in Home Cooking

Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Problem: Once Flat, Now Puffy

UPDATE*****
(I apologize again--this is another crazy long post from me.)

Thanks to everyone for your ideas and comments. They gave me a lot to think about as I planned to bake a new batch of cookies.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt that poorly measured flour and overbeating were the main reasons my cookies came out tough and bready the last time I made them. So when I set out to bake them last night, I (perhaps stubbornly) didn't want to stray too far from the recipe that had previously produce the fairly flat, chewy cookies I wanted...

...but of course I made some changes. Some were obvious--instead of scoop and sweep, I measured the flour by spooning it into the measuring cup, and I made sure my eggs were at room temp so I wouldn't have to work hard to break them up. I was intrigued by Trish's idea of making my own brown sugar with molasses, which I had only done in the past when I was out of brown sugar, but I didn't have enough molasses on hand, so maybe another time. I read the big Serious Eats article about chocolate chip cookies (hereafter referred to as SE), which I hadn't paid much attention to when it came out in December because at that time, I'm sure I probably thought, "My cookies are always perfect! I don't need to read this!" However, it was very interesting, with the kind of minutiae and testing that I love and wish I could do myself. I borrowed a few ideas from that:

- browning the butter
- beating the eggs with the white sugar before adding them to the brown sugar/butter mix
- lowering the oven temp (SE had it all the way down to 325, but I'm gutless and just brought it down to 350 from the usual 375)

Also, I felt bad after everyone's comments about my lack of vanilla, so I tried to think of a substitute. Vanilla adds liquid and conveys flavor, so I wanted to add something liquid. SE had recommended adding a little corn syrup for extra chewiness so...I came up with a teaspoon of molasses (I had that much!). It's liquid (though not as liquid as vanilla) and it's sticky and sweet, like corn syrup (though not as sticky or sweet), so I thought I'd try it.

Another change was inadvertent: I realized at the last minute that I was out of baking soda. Well, since I didn't want the cookies to puff much, I didn't think I'd miss the leavening, but I thought I'd read that baking soda helps with the browning process, so I just braced myself for paler than desired cookies.

Not everything went smoothly--I browned the butter, but wasn't sure if I browned it enough. When I left it to cool at room temperature, it solidified again, so I had to melt it again in the microwave. The first batch, baked at 350, didn't look great--pale (even paler than expected) and still puffy, so I chickened out and put the temp back up to 375 for the next batch. Those looked a little browner, which I liked, but were still on the puffy side.

For the last batch, I made two changes: a) I noticed that I had made the cookies in the two batches fairly small, so much that I wondered if there actually wasn't enough dough in proportion to the chips to spread out, so I made the last batch bigger. Also, as I described in my initial post, I had this obsession with cooling down the cookie sheets before putting on the next group of cookies (I honestly don't remember if I read this somewhere or if I came up with the idea myself), but some of you said I didn't need to do that. So I just put the last batch on the still warm cookie sheets as soon and put them in the oven. That batch came out flatter, though still not super thin. I'm not sure if that was due to the change in size or technique, but both are worth pursuing.

Since these aren't for me, I didn't want to pick out the best ones to try, so I just found one that was a little dark on the bottom and tried that. The results were very interesting--the edges weren't just crisp, they were hard and crunchy, like hard candy. That's too hard, in my opinion. Hmm. But the center was chewy and dense (in a good way), like a fudgy brownie, and that seemed promising. I'm not sure whether the texture of the edges was just due to the fact that I had a cookie that was a little overdone, or if it was due to one of the things I tried (the extra molasses? no baking soda? any ideas?).

The person I made them for hasn't tried them yet and she's probably too nice anyway to tell me if they aren't good. I attached a picture, but you probably can't tell much from it.

Thanks again, and I hope to keep experimenting.

Mar 24, 2014
Skippy1414 in Home Cooking

Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Problem: Once Flat, Now Puffy

Thanks for all the thoughts about vanilla. I understand you can find bargains, and I have read in some places that imitation vanilla is an acceptable substitute. Sometimes, though, that extra two, three or seven dollars just isn't around when you want it. I'm sorry. Maybe someday.

Mar 24, 2014
Skippy1414 in Home Cooking

Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Problem: Once Flat, Now Puffy

Thanks--those are all good thoughts. But just to be clear--I've had vanilla in the past, just haven't had it for some months now. It would be very nice to have a 40 oz container. Hopefully sometime.

Mar 22, 2014
Skippy1414 in Home Cooking

Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Problem: Once Flat, Now Puffy

Good guess, but I don't have bread flour, so that's at least one mistake I can avoid. Hooray!

Mar 21, 2014
Skippy1414 in Home Cooking