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CT: Let's Thai one on--share your Thai favorites!

That Thai Place used to be a fave of ours (living in the area). But the last few times we got take-out the fried items were super greasy. Seems the quality has gone down. Anyone else notice that?

Best Bets for Dinner at Mohegan Sun this Saturday night?

Glad to hear someone else mention Birches - it's our go-to place when the casino is packed. Normally good to great service, food is executed well, and a nice selection.

BBQ in CT

I've been to Grandaddy's a couple of times. I do not claim to be a Q expert, but theirs is pretty good. Their brisket and pulled pork are good enough to go back for, and we had smoked chicken wings once that were also good. Sides are so-so (but then I'm picky). The blueberry-chipotle sauce was great!
My main problem was the service/owner. Both times that I ate there, he came out from the back to yell at the other staff (family?). He was pleasant and conversant with us, but the way he treated the ladies working for him really left a bad taste in my mouth. It made us feel awkward and I'm not sure I would go back because of that.

Connecticut Wine Trail

Thanks kattyeyes - we're headed to Heritage Trail for dinner shortly, and I was thinking of getting the passports if they were out!
Let the games begin!

The Flood of '10, Defrosting Freezer, and LOTS of Corn

We've received about 8 inches of rain here in Eastern Connecticut and it finally started to collect in our basement this afternoon. Hence, the freezer has been unloaded and everything moved upstairs...I hope the freezer drawer doesn't give out!

I now have 18 ears of corn defrosting in my refrigerator, since there was no way they'd fit in the freezer. What to do?

The corn-freezing was a new thing for us this year; it was blanched and freezer-saved in the fall. I've found that it hasn't held up well for defrosting and eating as corn on the cob. I'm thinking about making corn puddings or corn bread, but I think I have too much corn for that...

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance! ~ Meliss

Mar 30, 2010
bakinggirl in Home Cooking

Strains in Todd English's Empire...

Ditto on Tuscany - we had good meals a couple of times after it first opened, but haven't been there for years now. It's too bad he comes for WineFest and doesn't seem to have a clue what kind of food comes out of HIS kitchen day-to-day.

Feb 26, 2010
bakinggirl in Food Media & News

New FDA Rules On "Organic" marginally less laughable

That's why we buy local meat now. We meet the farmers, meet the animals and get a sense of how they do things. Lots of places growing meat and produce go beyond organic without paying for the certification.

Feb 15, 2010
bakinggirl in General Topics

Connecticut Wine Trail

Just had to post on this thread regarding Heritage Trail. A week ago Friday was our first visit (even though we live 10 mins. away) and I was pleasantly surprised.
Wines - very unique, enjoyed everything, and found a dessert wine that's not so sweet that mr. bakinggirl won't drink it.
Food - I can still taste the smoked pork loin with Rochambeau...apps to dessert, everything was great. mr. bakinggirl had the smoked salmon tacos and he's still talking about them.
Service - Wow. A homey, fun, informal yet elegant environment. I ordered the tasting with dinner (couldn't wait to eat, but HAD to try all of the wines) and my glass was never empty even during a busy dinner shift.
We'll definitely be back for more!

Connecticut Chocolatiers

Thanks for the thread, kattyeyes!
I enjoy Munson's malted milk balls (esp. dark chocolate). However, mr. bakinggirl, the chocolate snob, does not like their stuff (probably good for me overall...).
Those cherries sound wonderful - I'll have to take a road trip!

Hey, CT: Where do you buy your sausage?

That's exactly it! They sell only CT grown or made items and collect them from the producers and farms. It includes meat, dairy and produce, bakery items like bread and sweets, and locally made cleaning products and toiletries. There are also sources for honey and maple syrup.
I've been ordering from them for over a year and am never disappointed!
www.ctffe.com

Seyon Lodge in Groton, VT

The Groton state forest area is great for camping - thanks to Morganna for the review of Seyon (we hope to stay there sometime soon). I've stayed at various state campgrounds there over the years and am always amazed by the quiet (other than the loons, which are awesome).

Buying local plants etc. in Connecticut

I'm looking for apple trees, rhubarb and asparagus in eastern CT (or a reasonable drive from here). I'd like to find specimens that were actually grown in CT or the local region as opposed to plants and trees shipped in from out of state. Organic helps but is not necessary.
Anyone have a good source for this kind of stuff?
And as a help to anyone else looking for vegetable, herb and flower plants, RocK Meadow Farm in Union, CT is a great source for those plants. Grown on the farm using organic methods (not certified), and lots of unusual plants that can usually be found only through mail-order suppliers. Tomatoes are especially great!
Thanks! Melissa

Feb 15, 2010
bakinggirl in Gardening

Hey, CT: Where do you buy your sausage?

CT Farm Fresh Express! www.ctffe.com
Awesome source for local meats of all varieties. We have a CSA with Cedar Meadow Farm in Ledyard during the summer and generally get our sausage from there; you can get their meat through Farm Fresh Express.
Note, though, that I haven't had the chance to try the goat meat sausage from Blue Slope Farm...one of these days it will definitely be part of my order.

Armsby Abbey Jerk Chicken Sandwich [Worcester, MA]

We were there for brunch a couple weekends ago and I had the jerk chicken breakfast sandwich. Our waitress made sure I knew it was *authentically spicy* and wow, what an amazing experience. I'm not real up on jerk flavors but I love spice and it was really complex. (Luckily mr. bakinggirl had the mac and cheese so I was able to hose my mouth down with cheesy goodness.)
Highly recommend Armsby Abbey to anyone looking for a laid-back wonderful food & drink experience (sans children, that is).

NORWICH CONN - PLaces to eat?

In downtown Norwich, try the Wauregan Deli - great sandwiches etc. for lunch. They also have breakfast which isn't too shabby.
La Stella pizza is awesome - NY style pizza. Try their clam chowder (really - it's the best in the area).
If you're going to be around for dinner, there are other places further out that you could travel to...

Figs: No longer just for Newtons?

If you're like me, and love Fig Newtons...try making them at home! King Arthur has a great recipe. It's a bit of a pain in the butt, but SO worth it. Plus with the whole wheat flour I don't feel as guilty.

Sep 03, 2009
bakinggirl in General Topics

Underipe fruit/veggie in grocery stores

I live in CT and didn't realize, until last year, how great the peaches are here! We have a couple farmstands in NE CT that carry peaches by the flat, if you're interested in driving that far...

Sep 03, 2009
bakinggirl in General Topics

Haribo and the Case of the Randy Lime

I seriously need to find these candies...

Sep 03, 2009
bakinggirl in Features

Underipe fruit/veggie in grocery stores

Considering the amount of travel time (and miles) that most produce goes through, there's really no way to guarantee the ripeness once something gets to the store. But I get that you know that already. (BTW I'm with Smileelisa on this one, as much as possible.)
So, I'd recommend something I've heard many a TV chef suggest. Go to the market, see what's ripe/cheap/in season/yummy NOW, and then plan your menu.

Sep 02, 2009
bakinggirl in General Topics

Doggy Bag ... sub rosa style. A big "no-no"?

I agree - I paid for it, it's mine. The restaurant doesn't want to pay to box stuff up, that's fine.
On a related note - I've thought about carrying a container along for a doggie bag, in an effort to avoid extra plastic/styrofoam. I mostly think about it when we go places where we don't usually finish what we order (pizza, Chinese food). However, I think I might really be labeled as crazy...

Sep 02, 2009
bakinggirl in Not About Food

Raiders of the Lost Drink

buspirone has a point about being close to the host - but then again, my closest friends usually help with the picking up as well as other hosting duties (and vice versa).
I can't imagine having my party guests going through my cabinets, regardless of whether their favorite cocktail has run out. The idea of having a party host unavailable for that length of time...if they're that preoccupied it's time to leave.
My question to Helena: does this mean that the prescription painkillers in the medicine cabinet are up for grabs, too?!

Sep 02, 2009
bakinggirl in Features

Recommendations along route from Saint Johnsbury to Derby Center, Vermont.

No, they're not dog friendly, but definitely still around and a good place to go for dinner.
Are you driving on a Saturday? The St. J farmers market had some yummy treats last time we were there. I'd imagine it's even better now that harvest season is upon us.
Trout River brewery in Lyndonville is a great place for a pizza and beer - you could probably get takeout (including a growler) and hang out at Bandstand Park eating, with the dogs chilling.
I can't really think of any dog-friendly places to sit down and eat - our JRTs always stay at the in-laws or my parents while we go out to eat.

Brooklyn Fair---concessions?

Don't worry about those NYC-centric folk - I knew exactly where you meant!The bison burgers are great - check it out. Plus, it's always nice to be served by the farmer themselves.
We'll be headed up there Saturday night. I love this fair; along with the Lebanon fair, they're the best in the state.

Anywhere in CT to buy local chicken or grass fed beef

If you are interested in local food in general, check out CT Farm Fresh Express: http://www.ctffe.com/
They do a great job - we've ordered numerous times. We buy our meat from Cedar Meadow Farm which is carried by CTFFE.

Down East Maine recs needed (Machias/Jonesport/Milbridge)

RE - Helen's in Machias
I was there in May and had the best fried scallops and steamed mussels EVER. No grit, perfectly done. It's the only time I've ever been, but my friends in East Machias go there often enough for me to give it the thumbs up.
And no, I didn't have pie...I couldn't possibly fit it into my full belly!

Scent-Free Dining

Great topic Helena. I, like queencru, have asthma and migraines. Attacks of both are triggered by perfumes, and the damage is done within a couple minutes of the first whiff.

Aug 27, 2009
bakinggirl in Features

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana: Manchester & Fairfield CT

On a related note, a Frank Pepe's opened recently at Mohegan Sun in one of the food courts. We were able to get a bird's eye view of their diners via the escalator last night; all of the 5 or 6 pizzas we saw were burnt around the edges.
Having never been to the original, I wouldn't know if the burnt edges are normal, but I'm not a fan of burnt pizza crust!

If you use canvas bags for groceries - what do you use for garbage bags?

The worst is when I don't have a bag, and have only bought a couple of items, I say "Oh, I don't need a bag, thanks." THAT comment seems to make the nasty side of people come out. (I have rec'd independent verification that I can say this politely but I still get a weird look.)
Allice98 - the old man story about putting the shopping bag people out of business is great. Did he worry about the paper bag people, or the glass milk bottle people (or better still the milk delivery guy), or his local butcher, baker etc? I doubt it....

Aug 20, 2009
bakinggirl in Not About Food

If you use canvas bags for groceries - what do you use for garbage bags?

I do buy plastic garbage bags - we have to pay for private trash pickup where I live (town waste center won't accept household garbage). We use the kitchen trash as the "main trash" and none of the other bins in the house get lined.
We've cut down on our waste significantly. Anything that MIGHT be considered as recyclable goes in the recycle bin (private trash contractor can throw it out if it's not recyclable), and we have a compost pile at the back of our property. So all in all, maybe 1-2 trash bags per week for the landfill.
For those interested in composting (outside) but worried about the smell of the bin - I was recently amazed, while at a relative's house, when I asked where her compost bin was and she directed me to the FREEZER. We now have non-smelly fodder for compost, instead of summertime smelly compost that has to be taken out every other day!
As an aside - I rarely go to WalMart (EvilMart), but it is the best place to take reusable bags. The look on the cashier's face as they go through the motions of "how do I do this, can't use revolving plastic baggie contraption" is priceless. (Not trying to being mean, I just like bucking the system!)

Aug 19, 2009
bakinggirl in Not About Food

What's Your Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect Peanut Butter Cookie?

My favorite PB cookies have been made with a standard PB cookie recipe, but I've used a different type of PB from Peanut Butter & Co. The Maple Syrup PB cookies were to die for! I have yet to open my jar of Dark Chocolate PB, but I may do so now...

Aug 19, 2009
bakinggirl in General Topics