BerkshireTsarina's Profile

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Williamstown, MA

Next time you might consider putting in a new question as well as relying on the search---
That would have got you information about Mezze, which is a wonderful restaurant, and convenient to the theater (if you remember to reserve in advance!). It's expensive, but really worth the money.

Jul 26, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Egg salad: how many eggs per sandwich?

What can I say? This is the best egg salad ever. It's not my word for it, it's Leibowitz's, who has since gone to the Great Beyond, where I just know he checks out his egg salad recipe from time to time to make sure I'm still honest.
Three eggs for two people. A 1-inch square of green pepper chopped as fine as I have patience for. Three scallions, chopped, white part and a little ways up the green depending on my mood. Hellmann's mayo (nothing else ever found in this house). A little salt and ---VERY important --- a little white pepper. Has to be white. Goes on toasted whole wheat, or Carr's crackers. Or if you're feeling austere, just eaten by the spoonful. Tomatoes are nice sliced up separately (here it's only Kumatos ever, unless it's midsummer and we have access to rare ripe garden tomatoes).
Just had lunch --- and I'm hungry again.

Jul 16, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Must have mexican cookbooks

I do realize that, DD. It was Cristina who dismissed RB up front, and as she said --- she was braced for the flak. (Although I was surprised there was so little.)
Thanks for the tip on the sweet potato salad, I'll give it a try now that our supermarkets occasionally stock guajillo chiles. I'm partial to the Roasted Poblano-Potato Salad with Flaked Tuna, an old favorite made new by a Mexican accent, and an example of why I find this cookbook so useful.
Buen provecho!

Jul 15, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Must have mexican cookbooks

I don't like one Plate at a Time either, perhaps because it's really a television show transcript, rather than an original book. Mexican Everyday I find extremely useful (cooking from it today) and especially adapted for just contemporary people who want to just cook Mexican food, traditional and contemporary, with lots of riffs on the basics. Like I said, I'm not Señora Autentica. I like good food, and since good Mexican doesn't exist where I live, it's essential to be able to produce it myself. Rick is (relatively) quick and (relatively) easy, but I don't feel that he's sacrificing quality for those goals. It sounds like the OP has different goals for his Mexican cooking, which other cookbooks may meet better. But I frown on putting down Rick Bayless; he's one of the modern champions of an ancient cuisine, and still tops in quality.

Jul 14, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Must have mexican cookbooks

First fallout, yo, Cristina!
Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday is my go-to cookbook, ahead of all his others, ahead of Diana Kennedy.
(And I've spent enough time in Mexico and studied enough to be pretty knowledgeable. "Authentic" means lots of different things to different people.)

Jul 14, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Quick Lunch near Barrington Stage?

Are you in Cummington? We stop at the Creamery sometimes if we're driving between Pittsfield and N'hampton. What's your special recco's for eating there?
(We got baskets from Berkshire Organics at their beginning, but even the smallest baskets were too big for us two. They deserve their growing success, they work hard and strive for quality. Same for Barrington Stage! We've been with them since they were in Sheffield, and miss them now that we're in N'hampton. We don't drive at night any more ---)

Jul 12, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Quick Lunch near Barrington Stage?

An amen to that about Kiss Me, Kate!
I didn't know that Jonathan's was gone or there was a new place. Anything close to Chocolate Springs has automatic attraction!

Jul 12, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Quick Lunch near Barrington Stage?

Today was Barrington Stage day, but Family Footwear has been put off till next week, so we ate before we left chez nous --- that is, not the Lee restaurant, but chez our own home, which was fine. I think for next week either the Lantern or Guido's cafe will be the choice, although a dark horse candidate is the Old Forge (if that's its name) in Lanesborough. We'll have more time next week! Thanks to all for refreshing my memory bank of possibilities.

Jul 09, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Quick Lunch near Barrington Stage?

Hmmm, one website said it was open for lunch W - F, but on checking further, you're right, mom, it doesn't seem to be open at all. Rats. We're not up to walking very far, and intend to park at the garage across the street. Outside of Mary's Carrot Cake, not much else I can think of. The Indian place I never thought was very good; maybe it's got better? The Lantern for a burger? Dottie's? Hmmm, Mission?

Jul 07, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Quick Lunch near Barrington Stage?

Well, for just that economy of time magie's mom is referring to, I think we'll go with what used to be Jae's Spice, because it's right where we park and go to the theater. (Also, we walk a lot slower than we used to, and not so far!)
For good or bad ---
Thanks to all!

Jul 07, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Quick Lunch near Barrington Stage?

So long since we've been in the Shires --- I don't know the scene any more. First stop after coming west over the mountain is Family Footwear in Lenox, then we have a little time for a quick lunch before Kiss Me, Kate matinee. What's close and good, if anything?

Jul 06, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Great Meal in Burlington, VT?

Thank you, Morganna. That's a very nice thought, and may even happen some day! Downtown looked really nice and interesting as we drove through on our way to the pier. And the lake was splendid.

Jun 12, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Northern New England

Great Meal in Burlington, VT?

Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. I enjoyed reading them and anticipating, but in the event that's not how it played out.
Was visiting with a senior tour group. So many activities first day traveling that we were pooped by the time we got to the Best Western in So. Burlington. Too tired to go anywhere but to their restaurant, which was far from the best, but was THERE. I kept thinking wistfully of A Single Pebble, but it was not to be. Second night we did a harbor cruise with dinner. Again the food was far from the best, but the cruise was delightful.
So it will take another trip to sample the cuisine of Burlington! The best laid plans -----

Jun 11, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Northern New England

Birthday Celebration in Springfield, MA--Do I go to Woodstar in Northampton to get a delicious chocolate cake?

Cakes (cookies, muffins) from Woodstar are outstanding. La Fiorentina has its attractive points, but I don't really think the pastry compares. Then again, I'm not an Italian pastry fan, and Woodstar is much more to my sweet tooth's taste.

May 28, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

sour cream &/or yogurt... interchangable??

One of James Beard's (remember him? right up there with J. Child) excellent, easy and delicious tips for dessert was blueberries with maple syrup and a dollop of sour cream. An oldie but still very very goodie.

May 25, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Flat Beer?

Once again I couldn't finish a whole bottle of beer, and so the rest went down the drain. Then it occurred to me --- maybe any answer might be obvious, but not to me --- that maybe there's a use for that flat beer in cooking. Any suggestions?

May 22, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Model train diner along rte 91?

But the trains were removed in a recent renovation. Evidently this made a lot of people unhappy, and the owner said in the Gazette the other day that he will be restoring them. In the meantime, no trains.
OTOH, this is a really old thread.

May 18, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Dublin urgent help needed!

Just Googled it and was wrong about the name. Roly's!
Here's the link:
http://www.rolysbistro.ie/
It's in Ballsbridge (where we were staying) which is not downtown exactly but certainly still heartland Dublin. I'd go again in a heartbeat! but it's a far piece from western Massachusetts.

May 05, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in U.K./Ireland

Dublin urgent help needed!

This is an old recommendation, but things don't move as fast in Dublin as in the US, so probably still will be applicable.
Rollie's (maybe Rollo's) sounds exactly like what he would like. In a month's stay in Dublin we went several times and enjoyed it each time.

May 05, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in U.K./Ireland

French Macarons in Greater New Haven?

Since we have no real macarons up here in N'hampton that I've found, I go for Trader Joe's assorted package. They're small but beautiful, and are (cross my heart) very creditable indeed. In the freezer compartment.

May 02, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

What to Drink with Shrimp and Grits

What happened:
I had beer ready on hand, and made unsweetened ginger peach iced tea. (Couldn't bring myself to do the sweet tea!)
(Abita beer doesn't exist around here, so that was that.)
There's always bourbon on hand, so we were set. BUT --- guests brought white wine! A New Zealand sauvignon blanc, and that was consumed, and so was the ginger peach iced tea, as well as all the food. No one put sugar in their tea. So I guess it was a North-South dinner after all. But DELISH! Thanks for all the chat, I enjoyed it very much. Chowhounds are great company.

Apr 28, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking
2

What to Drink with Shrimp and Grits

Mixed? (You can tell I'm an ignorant drinker.)
Or one or the other separately?

Apr 21, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

What to Drink with Shrimp and Grits

Right you are! And I have right in the pantry Republic of Tea's Ginger Peach tea which we first tasted in Charleston. I'd forgotten all about it. I guess we have to sweeten it to make it really Southern.
(The New Orleans cocktails look delicious but complicated. I don't do complicated --- pulling a cork is as far as I go.) Thanks!

Apr 21, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

What to Drink with Shrimp and Grits

We're having a shrimp and grits dinner, with fried okra as a side. What to drink with this? Beer? White wine? (Somehow I don't feature red wine.) If white, dry? Off-dry? Am I overlooking something obvious?
Our guests are three Southerners; we're Yankees. Opinions welcome from all regions!

Apr 21, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Ibiza, New Haven....closed

Ibiza in Northampton lives.
We were there a few weeks ago and it was still serving and still delicious. Long may it wave!

Apr 20, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

Hadley asian market

I add my voice to yours --- I'm lost without the market, I was a regular shopper. Has it reopened anyplace else?

Apr 17, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Southern New England

What else can I do with kale and swiss chard?

This soup is delicious.
I have no idea where the recipe came from, but I put it in my Big Book and make it a lot. (I skip the cilantro, though, cuz I don't like it.)
You could give it a try ---

Curried Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp curry powder

1/4 tsp cayenne (optional; leave out if you don’t want it spicy, or use a little more if you like it really hot)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root

1 pound red lentils (about 2 1/4 cups), rinsed and picked over to remove any debris

8 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock

1 15-oz can coconut milk (stir well before using)

1 tsp salt

1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, red pepper, garlic, ginger and spices and saute until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the water or stock along with the salt, lentils and coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, wash and prep the chard and chop the cilantro. After the lentils have finished cooking, stir the chard and cilantro into the soup — it will look like a lot of chard for the soup at first, but have no fear. The chard will wilt down as it heats up. Keep stirring until the chard is bright green and wilted, about another 2 minutes. Taste and season as needed with more salt or pepper, and serve.
Serves 8-10.

Apr 07, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Butter & Soy Sauce?

How do you make it?
I'm not much of a wings person, so I don't know the technique. But these sound really good!

Apr 05, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Cooked Pork Belly

Went to Trader Joe this morning, was tempted and fell for the cooked pork belly. But the recipes I was thinking of in Molly Stevens' braising cookbook are for raw pork belly. Does any chowhound know what to do with already-cooked pork belly?
I hope some of you will have yummy suggestions, because the idea of bacon that's more than bacon is so alluring!

Mar 23, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Home Cooking

Why Is Kosher Salt Called "Kosher" Salt?

Morton's, which I prefer to Diamond, is more like sea salt and you can use roughly the same amounts. Diamond, as you say, you need close to twice the amount. The two brands are formed differently, that's why.

Mar 17, 2014
BerkshireTsarina in Features