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Sturdy post office-ready cake or tart idea

That looks great but I can't imagine it will stand up to a couple days in transit without refrigeration.

I sent chocolate chip banana bread half-way across the country last month and was told it came through the mail very well. I also second the brownie suggestion.

Jan 26, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Looking for a place to have a quick early lunch...

Lemon Moon on Olympic? Cafeteria style but not fast food.

Last Minute Recommendation - Bev Hills/WeHo Area

Dominick's is a good idea. Or maybe Lala's in WeHo?

Pat peeves as a guest at a dinner party?

Echoing a couple other posters:

No snacks / apps ready when guests arrive. I don't need anything elaborate (and in fact I'm likely to spoil my appetite for dinner if a bunch of fancy hors d'oeuvres are available) but some nuts or cheese or crudite are much appreciated, especially if we aren't going to sit down to dinner until a while after the designated start time.

Hosts pushing food - that can be very awkward for guests like me who have some strong food aversions but don't want to be be impolite. There's really no good response when a host looks at my plate of salad and bread and says "oh, you didn't get any salmon. You have to try the salmon" while adding some to my plate.

Re: pets, while I love dogs and don't mind having their slobbery bouncy selves around during the party, I'm extremely allergic to some cats. So I agree the rule should be keep the pets away from the dinner guests, unless you know them all well enough to be sure it won't be an issue.

And yes, please check on the state of the bathroom periodically. Can't tell you the number of times that I've felt like a snoop as a try to quietly open cupboards and closets, looking for a new roll of toilet paper . . .

Jan 16, 2015
cookie monster in Not About Food

Salty Cuisines: Your thought?

As I'm reading through the comments here I'm wondering about the answer to the opposite question: what cuisines aren't particularly salty? And I'm having trouble answering it, especially if we're talking about restaurant food. To echo what foodieX2 said, I find that most restaurant meals, regardless of the specific cuisine, are noticeably salty to me.

Need suggestion for a ladies club dessert

Mine too. Popular combinations include white chocolate + pistachios, pecans + coconut, and caramel + pretzels.

Jan 11, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Does a bialy always have onions?

That looks like a good read. thanks!

Jan 04, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

Does a bialy always have onions?

I had this discussion with the counter person at a local bakery this morning, after I ordered a bialy and he said "which kind?" I had always thought that a bialy by definition had onions (and usually poppyseeds) in the middle. But he said no, it just means that the dough has been baked, not boiled, so the other round bagel-looking things in the bakery case were in fact sesame bialys, rye bialys, etc. if that is indeed the case, what makes a bialy any different from a roll? Something about the dough? I tried googling this of course, but didn't get a clear answer as most of the bialy definitions said something like "typically filled with an onion mixture."

Jan 04, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

How do you Elvis?

Minimal Elvis (or maybe it's the skinny Elvis): slice banana; put on plate; smear with peanut butter; eat.

Dec 22, 2014
cookie monster in Home Cooking

The Closures Continue... Mo-Chica Closing This Weekend

I've also heard Axe in Venice is closing end of the year but I haven't seen any confirmation of that. Was never one of my favorites but a lot of people seem to love it.

The Closures Continue... Mo-Chica Closing This Weekend

Chaya Brasserie is closing as of 12/31; I've always liked that place.

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

I bake and freeze my Christmas cookies early so I can give them out to people all December long. Today was lemon iced ginger cookies (combo of a couple recipes) and classic decorated sugar cookies (same recipe I learned from my mom 40+ years ago).

Gjusta great place for your Croissant fix

I am addicted to that bialy. Gjusta has become the bane of my healthy living existence. I work out at Gold's every morning and since Gjusta opened the smells of rv exhaust and questionable personal hygiene have been replaced with those of baking bread and roasting meat. At least a couple times a week I am unable to resist and end up going across the street for a bialy or bagel to go, thus undoing the effects of my workout. I've also enjoyed their soups and frittatas. Only thing I tried and didn't love was a squash (I think) quick bread that was too oily for my taste.

ISO advice from seasoned cookie bakers and/or crafty types

I've done this before with slightly younger kids and would definitely recommend making the dough in advance, especially since most recipes for cut-out cookies require chilling the dough for at least a few hours before rolling and cutting. You could have them prepare the icing and get the experience of measuring and combining ingredients that way.

Nov 28, 2014
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Post your ideas for Thanksgiving sides/dishes and give and get feedback..

I like roasted chick peas a lot but they're more crunchy than creamy. More like a nut than a vegetable.

Nov 26, 2014
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Rule #1...always...

And trust your instinct, not the recipe, regarding how much time. Just did, or rather failed to do, that this weekend with pine nuts. Recipe said 15 minutes at 350'. I thought that seemed way too long, yet I set the timer for 15 minutes. at 8 minutes I smelled the beginnings of burning but was too late to rescue them. Fortunately I had more.

Other than the burger (and beer) what else do you like at Father's Office?

+2 on the sweet potato fries. also the beet salad.

"Artisan" pickled veggies for sale?

Gjusta, the new bakery/cafe from the Gjelina folks on Sunset in Venice, has some really nice looking jars of pickled vegetables. I haven't tried them yet, but the various pickles served at Gjelina are really good.

I've also seen them at the farmers market but of course I can't remember the name of the vendor.

Thanksgiving late night on Maui

Safeways in Kahalui and Lahaina are normally open 24 hours a day. might be worth calling them to ask about Thanksgiving Day hours.

Nov 21, 2014
cookie monster in Hawaii

Lowering Salt and Seasoning on TrJ Seasoned Nuts

Same here. I actually mix them together in the same container so the seasoning gets distributed to the unsalted ones. Seems like a much simpler process.

Nov 19, 2014
cookie monster in Chains

Rule #1...always...

Crack each egg into a bowl separately before adding it to whatever you're making. Nothing like trying to pick bits of shell out of your cake batter, or even better ruining it with a bloody chicken embryo, to reinforce that rule.

Honolulu report (and a footnote about Maui)

Thanks for the background info on Ginza Barin Tonkatsu, macsak. I'm glad we decided to check it out.

Nov 19, 2014
cookie monster in Hawaii

Honolulu report (and a footnote about Maui)

Reporting back following my inquiry here:

Was in Waikiki for 5 days with two friends and we ended up having meals at a mix of touristy spots (hard to avoid when one is indeed a tourist in Waikiki) and more off the beaten path locations. We stayed at the Trump International (long story how that came about) in a condo with a full kitchen so we picked up groceries at Foodland and fixed our own breakfasts at the condo, which worked out well for me in particular since I was up at 5:30 every morning to go surfing :-). I don't eat any seafood, one friend eats very little meat and the other eats everything, so we had to do some negotiating over menus when choosing restaurants. Places we ate and drank, in no particular order other than how I'm remembering them:

Wai'olu Lounge at the Trump – nothing earth-shattering, but the sunset view is spectacular and the happy hour food and drink prices are quite reasonable. Friends had a few sushi rolls and poke, and I enjoyed some fancy nachos. This is where we discovered that Hawaii (or at least Honolulu) has a law that prohibits serving a person more than one drink at a time. So no rushing in 5 minutes before happy hour ends and ordering 2 drinks at once.

Sunset drinks at House Without A Key, Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian, and Duke's Beach Bar – all full of other tourists and yet fun and totally worth doing. I'm not a Mai Tai drinker – I stuck with white wine and the occasional beer – but friends liked the ones at the Mai Tai Bar best. We ended up ordering dinner at Duke's and I was pleasantly surprised by my Korean steak tacos. Seriously spicy sauce, good quality beef, and cooling crunchy vegetable slaw for contrast.

MW Restaurant – definitely the highlight of the trip food-wise. Appealing space once you find it in the back of the shopping center and excellent service. I thoroughly enjoyed my pickled beets and goat cheese (both local) and pork shank, along with a taste of my friend's pork belly buns. Friends were very pleased with various seafood dishes, and we shared a chocolate banana cream pie for dessert. Oh, and they sent us home with little bags of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I definitely want to go back there – there were so many items on the menu that I wanted to try. Highly recommended for a great meal away from Waikiki.

North Shore Tacos (Hauula) – we stumbled across this place during our day trip to see the big wave surfing on the North Shore while we were starving and discovering that a lot of local places were closed on Sundays. Very good beef, pork and fish tacos (although honestly I was so hungry I would've been happy with Taco Bell) and some interesting South American desserts made by one of the owners.

Giovanni Pastrami – I know, I know – what were we thinking? All I can say is we needed someplace with a bunch of tvs to watch college football, and the menu here appealed more than the Yard House. Decent drinks and over-priced but edible omelets and salads. And they didn't mind that we hung out for 4 hours watching the games.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin – we happened across this place while returning to our condo and were intrigued by the menu and the vibe, so we came back for dinner a few days later. I have to admit that Tonkatsu was a totally new concept to me, and I really enjoyed both the cutlet and ground pork versions. And grinding our own sesame seeds to make the sauce was fun.

Arnold's Beach Bar & Grill – no view, no fancy appetizers, no hula dancers, just cheap drinks and a young mixed local and visitor crowd down a little alley half a block from the Trump. Probably not a place I would've wandered into on my own, but a friend took me there the last time I was in Honolulu so I had to go back this trip for a nightcap.

*Footnote re: Maui – I also spent 5 days in Paia solo where I pretty much cooked all my own meals (love the Kahalui Whole Foods!) other than a trip to the Flatbread Company for some of my favorite pizza anywhere and a couple stops at local bars for happy hour and football viewing.

Thanks everyone for all your input. I'm already planning for my next Hawaii trip!

Nov 18, 2014
cookie monster in Hawaii

Late Thanksgiving in LA?

That is a helpful list. I would also try to get a sense of places that are serving that late and still have availability.

Santa Monica

Wilshire Restaurant has a beautiful back patio with a couple different areas that can be separated for private parties.

burger and a glass of wine

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I ended up at Golden State because I wanted to try some place I hadn't been before. Plus it was 3pm by the time I was ready to eat so that eliminated some options. (Also Perk, J.L. - unless their website was wrong, Morton's in BH isn't open for lunch.) Anyways, I make no claim to be a burger expert but I really enjoyed the one at Golden State. Cooked exactly to the requested medium rare, good brioche bun (just a little too big for the patty), cheese and bacon. And a pretty good deal given the quality at $12 with a side (I was trying to leave some room for dinner so I got the cucumber salad rather than fries.) Also had a glass of decent pinot noir for $8. Next time, Plan Check, or Morton's after 5pm.

burger and a glass of wine

Looking for some quick suggestions as today is a rare weekday where I'm not working and not around my usual Venice/Santa Monica haunts. Instead I'm running around Culver City, WeHo, BH etc and I'd love to find a place to stop in a couple hours for a great burger and an at least decent glass of wine. So far I've come up with Father's Office in CC and Plan Check Fairfax. Any other suggestions?

Little cocktail wieners

I've purchased the Boars Head ones at various Ralph's in LA. They're typically in the service deli section, not in the case with the Oscar Meyer, Ballpark, etc.

Great Dessert at the Grove Los Angeles

Sorry - I meant to say maybe Monsieur Marcel has a chocolate soufflé. I know that's what you're looking for.

Great Dessert at the Grove Los Angeles

Maybe Monsieur Marcel at the Farmers Market has chocolate mousse? Otherwise Short Cake has some great desserts. And I know I'm not supposed to admit to liking anything at the Cheescake Factory, but they do have a decent chocolate mousse cake.