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Walla Walla wineries?

We'll be passing through the Walla Walla area in a week or so. We'd love to do some wine tasting, but the number of wineries I see there is just overwhelming. Can anyone recommend any particular favorites? We'd prefer not to have to make an appointment, since we like to travel without a tight schedule, so those that are appointment-only are out.

We're pretty open as to style and varietal, we'd just like to learn what's making this region so special.

May 11, 2015
judybird in Pacific Northwest

When do you eat your salad?

It was always before the meal until a few years ago when we became friends with a couple from Switzerland. They always served salad after the main course, and DH and I both liked it that say. It was nice to have something light after the main course.

May 05, 2015
judybird in General Topics

Top Chef Season 13 Is Heading To...

As a native Californian, I'd love to see something a little less well-known. How about the Central Coast - Morro Bay to San Simeon? Or the far northeastern part of the state, with beautiful grasslands and ranches. Maybe somewhere in the Sierra for rustic creations? Or heck, why not the gorgeous Eastern Mojave?

May 03, 2015
judybird in Food Media & News
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How do you split the bill and tip evenly?

We sometimes go out with a group of people we don't know well, but all of whom like to try new and often unusual restaurants. Usually somebody will send a note to a local Yahoo group suggesting a time and place, and will make reservations for whatever number of folks respond.

One participant created and printed a card-sized piece of paper for everyone with headings and blank lines for drinks, entree, dessert, other, then added a line for 8% tax and one for 20% tip. Each person was able to fill in exactly what they'd eaten and drunk, add correct tax and tip, and pay accordingly. There was never a problem, and everybody is happy to know that they're paying the right amount, the tip is fair, and nobody is getting screwed.

May 03, 2015
judybird in Not About Food

Help! How many jiggers in an ounce, or vice versa?

We're enjoying perfect Manhattans and often make them at home, but are often confused on measurements. The recipe we like calls for 4 oz rye, 1 oz each sweet and dry vermouth, a few dashes of bitters. All is good, but we don't have a measuring thing that uses ounces, we have a double-sided jigger. The big side is 1 1/2 ounces, the small side is 3/4 ounce. So how the heck do we get one ounce???

Bottom line - can somebody give me a recipe in jiggers?

Apr 14, 2015
judybird in Spirits

'Farm Eggs'

Where are you?

Mar 23, 2015
judybird in General Topics

Store bought Salmon Burger for grill?

We've been using the Costco ones for some time now, always keep a bag in the freezer.

Mar 12, 2015
judybird in Los Angeles Area

Giuseppe's, Pismo Beach

We spent two nights in Pismo last summer. Ate at Giuseppe's the first night, and liked it so much we went back the second night! Agree with all the previous comments - generous portions, good wine list, prices reasonable for the quality.

Mar 12, 2015
judybird in California

Mint Leaf Indian Restaurant (Pasadena, Washington/Altadena) - Coming soon??

You have the story just right. It's been at least a year since he was denied the CUP for the Banquet Hall, and the place has been sitting empty ever since. We live in the area, and will probably give it a try.

The press release, quoted in full on Eater, says the restaurant is "just a stone's throw away from office complexes, adding a convenient lunch stop to the area around Old Town Pasadena." It's a pretty long throw from Old Town, at least a 10-15 minute drive.

Mar 12, 2015
judybird in Los Angeles Area

can you identify this plant?

Similar to horse tail, but I think it's actually Mormon Tea, a plant of the Great Plains and desert areas. The genus is Ephedra, and as you may guess from the name, it contains alkaloids related to Ephedrine. There are a lot of medicinal uses in history, Google it to find the details.

Horsetail is Equisetum, or scouring reed. It's a very primitive plant, and actually contains silica in the stems. It can be used as an abrasive for cleaning.

Feb 23, 2015
judybird in General Topics

LA BARBERA'S - ONE NIGHT RE-OPENING

Really??? We live in Pasadena, and try to avoid the west side as much as humanly possible, but would make an exception in this case!

Feb 17, 2015
judybird in Los Angeles Area

Looking for help with winery recommendation Santa Ynez

So many in that area,it's hard to think of just one or two, but since you're going to be in Pismo, I'd suggest Hearst Winery in old San Simeon. It's about 45 minutes north of Pismo on Highway 1, beautiful scenery all the way. It's right across the road from the Hearst Castle.

Not much in the way of a tour, but there's a restaurant adjacent and a lovely beach/picnic area just around the corner. Also fun if you're there in spring is a trip about another 4 miles north to see the elephant seals on the beach. By March there should be youngsters around as well as some of the big males.

Dec 27, 2014
judybird in California

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #8 – 12/10/14 (spoilers)

Katsuji's restaurant has a web site, complete with some hilarious videos of him making various Kosher Mexican creations. http://www.mexikosher.com/

Dec 12, 2014
judybird in Food Media & News

Which pasta?

We'll be hosting some friends for a small dinner in a few weeks, and I plan to make a rich, meaty ragu bolognese - final recipe not decided yet, but there are lots of choices. The question has become - what size/shape pasta is best with that kind of sauce? There's a wonderful Italian grocery store in our area, so there are lots of choices.

Dec 05, 2014
judybird in Home Cooking

Need a dish for holiday tea

I'm in Southern California, where there's plenty of good citrus right now, but tomatoes are just so-so. Still cherry and grape tomatoes at farmers' markets, though, so one of the cherry tomato ideas sounds like a plan.

Dec 05, 2014
judybird in Home Cooking

Need a dish for holiday tea

A friend is hosting a tea for about 10 in a couple of weeks - actually, it's more of a late lunch, although she's calling it a tea. She's making some sort of main dish, and others are bringing cookies or salads. Any suggestions for a light side dish would be appreciated. I've considered cold shrimp or deviled eggs, but neither is a new idea, I'd appreciate something more original.

Dec 04, 2014
judybird in Home Cooking

[UPDATE] Vote for Your Worst Food Trends for "Best (or in this case, worst) of 2014"

And dang it, we love kale! It grows in our garden like crazy, it's always easy to walk out and pick enough for dinner. But we've been doing that for years, long before it became trendy, and we'll keep doing it long after the trend fades. Thanks for letting me rant.

Dec 04, 2014
judybird in General Topics
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Anything new on the Central Coast for breakfast and lunch?

Sad to say, Sebastian's is under new ownership and is a shadow of its former self. Very few menu items, just a couple of burgers and salads, not bad, but no longer the "gotta go there" place it was for years.

Nov 29, 2014
judybird in California

Czech president: US beer is ‘filthy water’

One of the Pythons (Eric Idle?) once explained why American beer is like making love in a canoe. The answer - it's f***ing close to water.

Nov 25, 2014
judybird in Beer
1

Food "Practical Jokes" / violations

Many years ago a friend, who was a very good cook, dated a nice guy from Iowa who insisted his favorite salad was green jello with celery. She finally said she'd make it for his birthday. So she laid out about 7 whole stalks of celery in a baking dish, covered them with green jello and served it with a smile. It was weird-looking to say the least.

Nov 25, 2014
judybird in Not About Food

Dickey's BBQ

One in Pasadena, CA - lots of food for not much money, that's about the only thing I can see that would draw people. We tried it once, most dishes were way too sweet.

Nov 25, 2014
judybird in Chains

I hate Cook’s Illustrated: The soul-crushing wonkiness of the world’s worst cookbook

I subscribed to CI for a couple of years, and got so tired of the formulaic articles: "We thought X would be too spicy, but Y was too bland." Or "Standard recipes for X are easy to overcook, but Y was too soupy". And eventually, voila!, they'd come up with the perfect solution. It has some good recipes and I much appreciate the lack of advertising, but just got bored with the whole thing.

3-4 bourbons as a gift

A bartender we know recently introduced us to Booker's bourbon. Both DH and I were skeptical, since we prefer rye and don't like the sweetness of many bourbons, but this stuff was amazing. It's expensive, and very high in alcohol, so needs to be drunk with a lot of water, but we found it delicious.

Nov 22, 2014
judybird in Spirits

Let's ban the word GUYS!!!

Annoys the hell out of me. Yes, English lacks a second-person plural word which many other languages have, but guys is just too casual. What about "Are you two ready to order?" Or "you folks", or just plan "you" as the OP said.

Nov 21, 2014
judybird in Not About Food
1

Food Jokes

The same man paid for his pizza with a $20 bill. He asked for his change, but the waiter said "Sorry, change has to come from within"

Nov 18, 2014
judybird in Not About Food
1

Best/worst Thanksgiving ever...

No, but she said her hand was pretty badly swollen from being compressed for so long.

Nov 02, 2014
judybird in Not About Food

Best/worst Thanksgiving ever...

Not my story, but this happened to a close friend. She had moved to NYC for a job, didn't know anyone there. Her company gave everyone a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving, and she decided to take the plunge and cook it for herself. I'll also add, she hadn't done much cooking in her life.

When the turkey was partly thawed, she started to clean out the inside. She knew there was a bag of stuff she was supposed to remove, and found the bag of giblets, but wasn't sure if she'd gotten everything. She kept reaching farther into the cavity, forcing her hand deeper and deeper, when her hand slid through from the belly into the neck cavity, and wouldn't slide back. The bird was still too frozen to get her hand out, and she was caught tight. She called a cab, wrapped a towel around her hand with the attached turkey, and went to the nearest Emergency Room, where they removed the turkey with a bone saw and contained their laughter until she'd left. I think she left the turkey behind.

Nov 02, 2014
judybird in Not About Food
1

chicken heart recipes that don't involve grilling?

Not really a recipe, but here's what I do. I love hearts & gizzards, DH doesn't so when he's out of town I indulge myself. Coarsely chop an onion and cook in olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until it's starting to brown. Add salted and peppered giblets and a splash of white wine, cover and simmer slowly until done, about 1/2 hour. Sometimes if there's a fair bit of liquid, I'll uncover and let the liquid evaporate, then turn heat up for a quick browning.

Oct 31, 2014
judybird in Home Cooking

2014 Sammy Awards - Who's In?

Second the motion, and amen!

Oct 29, 2014
judybird in Los Angeles Area

Veggie Grill to Pasadena

Isn't Real Food Daily at that corner?

Oct 23, 2014
judybird in Los Angeles Area