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Isolda's Profile

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Could someone please explain Sip's weird wine pricing?

It did look and feel like a full glass. I had a pleasant buzz after two glasses, although that was on an empty stomach and it was after 11 p.m., so I couldn't say for sure.

May 19, 2015
Isolda in Greater Boston Area

Could someone please explain Sip's weird wine pricing?

I'm not very hip, so maybe that's the problem, but my husband and I went to Sip the other night after the theatre (Henry VI, part 2 at the Modern--excellent show!). We nearly walked out when we saw the wine by the glass prices, but I saw a rose I wanted to try, so I ordered a glass.

On the menu, the price for what they called a half glass was about $10 and for a full was $25. The bartender asked me if I wanted a 6 ounce or a 10 ounce pour. I chose the 6 ounce pour, drank that, then ordered another because it was so delicious. When the bill came, the price for my wine was roughly $20 for my two 6 ounce pours. So I got 12 ounces for $20. However, if I'd accepted the 10 ounce pour, I would have paid $25. Why is the menu priced this way? Am I missing something?

Not complaining here. I would go back now that I know it's not going to cost me $25 a glass for a reasonable pour.

May 19, 2015
Isolda in Greater Boston Area

Pizza dough question

You are letting the dough rise for too long before you refrigerate it. Let it rise for 1.5 hours outside the fridge, punch it down, and then put it in the refrigerator overnight.

May 17, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking
1

Converting dried chickpeas to soaked?

Yes, it is always good to follow a recipe for something like this! However, I soaked the chickpeas, then figured out a use for them, which is what led me to my question!

Apr 23, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

Converting dried chickpeas to soaked?

Thanks but this is for dried to canned (cooked) conversions. I'm looking for dried to soaked, not yet cooked.

Apr 23, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

Converting dried chickpeas to soaked?

Yes, soaked, not cooked. I have a recipe (Mark Bittman's baked falafel) that calls for 1 3/4 cups dried chickpeas, which you then soak before proceeding with the recipe. However, I have already soaked an pound of chickpeas overnight, so I need to know how much of these I should use.

I can't seem to locate a formula that tells how much chickpeas increase in volume after an overnight soaking. After cooking yes, but soaking, no.

I know someone out there in chow world will know this!

Apr 23, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

How to handle a reaction to food allergies at a restaurant?

Anyone with an allergy should let the server know before ordering anything. This is a reminder to him/her to check with the cooks on whether an item contains the allergen. You're browsing a menu, not a recipe book. And because people make mistakes, always carry an Epipen.

Apr 22, 2015
Isolda in Not About Food

Who owns the leftovers?

House rules:
Leftovers from your plate, put in a doggy bag and taken home=you own it
Leftovers from takeout, brought into the house and served to all="I'm taking the leftover masala dosa to work. Does anyone care?"
Ditto for leftovers from a home cooked meal.

Apr 22, 2015
Isolda in Not About Food
2

Do pregnant Japanese women eat sushi?

By far, the biggest food danger for pregnant women is that other people police what they eat.

Apr 22, 2015
Isolda in General Topics

Weird drops of oil on my cooktop

So glad you said this. I just removed my filter and put it in the dishwasher on sanitize. Glad to know this works.

Apr 22, 2015
Isolda in Cookware

Triscuits flavors...any good?

The original Triscuits are such a perfect food--what can go wrong with wheat, oil, and salt? Minus the salt, that's practically a communion wafer! I can't imagine wanting to mess with it.

But yes, I have tried the rosemary ones and they taste like chemicals. I accidentally tried another flavor (onion?) at a social gathering, but fortunately, I recovered.

If you're gonna eat a chemical bomb, go all out and just eat Doritos!

Apr 22, 2015
Isolda in General Topics

Weird drops of oil on my cooktop

Now you have given me something to think about. I just wipe down the filter from the outside (this is the first house I've ever owned that had a real hood--all our others were downdrafts). I'm guessing I do need to figure out how to take the thing off and wash it.

Thanks, off to search for an online manual for my circa 1994 Thermador hood!

Apr 22, 2015
Isolda in Cookware

Tough Chicken Breasts?

I agree with the suggestion to pull the meat at 160, but even when I do that, some chicken is just bad. And it's not always the mass produced chickens that work out at a gym that turns into leather. Sometimes it's the happy, coddled, organic, free range, personally named chicken, too. So find a brand you like consistently, and use only that. Bell and Evans seems to be the best around here.

Oh, and if your chicken is tough, use it in a long-simmered stew instead. Sometimes, that is the only thing that works.

Apr 21, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

Weird drops of oil on my cooktop

We've lived in this house for three years, and every once in a while, I'll notice drops of oil on a pan I'd previous cleaned and left out on the stove, or on the cooktop itself. I finally figured out that it was probably coming from the hood, because it seems to happen after heavy rain or wind.

I'm guessing there's a buildup of oil in the vent to the outside and the rain probably gets in and washes it back down through the hood, where it drips onto the stove. Does this make sense and is there anything I can do about it?

It's not frequent, but it is annoying.

Apr 21, 2015
Isolda in Cookware

Ants in kitchen--Four methods have not worked! Help!

I would call in the pros at this point. There are things they can use, preferably outside and in your basement, if you have one, that won't harm your children, as long as you keep them away from the sprayed area until it dries.

We did use the Terro baits and they were very effective on pharaoh ants and sugar ants, but they don't work on the big black pavement ants. We now have a contract with an "environmentally sensitive" exterminator. Sometimes this is the only solution unless you're willing to live with the ants.

Apr 21, 2015
Isolda in Not About Food

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH "MAYBES" WHEN YOU INVITE GUESTS FOR DINNER?

I'm old-fashioned enough to think that "maybe" is a really rude answer. Either you will be there or you won't. "Maybe" is usually a placeholder in case a better option doesn't present itself, and that is disrespectful. (I say usually, because there are times when an invitee may not know whether he will be free because of a life circumstance, such as a sick family member, a spouse coming home from military service, etc.)

If the RSVP deadline passes, you don't need an excuse to track people down (surely, everyone knows you need a head count for planning purposes!). You can simply tell the maybes, "I am so sorry you can't join us this time. I hope to see you again soon." Sometimes even adults need training!

Mar 24, 2015
Isolda in Not About Food
1

Darned Electric Stove

Buying a flame tamer changed my life. It's good for simmering, making candy, and heat control on crappy stoves. Any brand will do.

Jan 15, 2015
Isolda in Cookware
1

Froze my T-day turkey carcass; okay to use now?

Thanks, all! I will try the NYT recipe, mainly because it calls for roasting the onion, rather than just tossing it raw into the turkey water.

Jan 15, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

Froze my T-day turkey carcass; okay to use now?

It was frozen as soon as we got all the meat off the turkey and has been in the freezer ever since. I meant to use it earlier, but today, 7 weeks after T-day, I found it in my downstairs freezer. If it's still suitable to use after thawing overnight in fridge, what uses do you recommend? I don't love turkey soup, but if the recipe is weird enough, I might give it a try.

Jan 15, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

People who bring their own food

My honest opinion is that many tweens in developed countries are spoiled. They are just selfish, rude, insecure jerks and their jerkiness has nothing to do with food. Instead, it comes from privilege, from knowing that there will always be enough food to eat and that they will have a place to sleep that night that is safe, clean, and free of bugs, and from not learning gratitude for these basic truths. The good news is that they will grow up. In the meantime, you have to deal with this girl and for this, I am sorry.

ETA: yes, I do have children, 18 and 19. One is on the autism spectrum, so I understand weird food behavior. I also get spoiled brat behavior. It's very common and has even, I am sorry to report, been found in my house on rare occasions.

Jan 12, 2015
Isolda in Not About Food
1

Mochi Deaths Increasing in Japan

Anything sticky and dense can cause choking. And it makes sense that more people are at risk of choking on mochi, simply because more people consume it than they do fugu. I've eaten a lot of mochi, but there's no way I'd risk fugu. I suspect its "deliciousness" lies in its risk, anyway. With mochi, you have some control. All you have to do is take small bites and chew really carefully.

Jan 06, 2015
Isolda in Food Media & News

January 2015 Openings and Closings

The Sherborn Inn, a lovely place to enjoy mediocre food, closes today. Rumor has it the place has been bought by the owners of La Morra in Brookline.

Jan 02, 2015
Isolda in Greater Boston Area

Freezing individual lasagne or ziti portions

With as little air as possible. If you can find a small plastic container that just fits the portion, that's ideal, but if you can't wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap in foil or put the plastic wrapped parcel in a plastic bag. The thing to remember is that air is your enemy when storing food.

Jan 02, 2015
Isolda in Home Cooking

Cocktail party eats -- a report

Feeling terribly left out here, but I'm sure your guests were thrilled at that beautiful spread!

Dec 31, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking
1

Catering a wedding for 200--How much to make?

^^^What Chefj said. I am stunned by the waste I see at large functions, usually because inexperienced caterers like me vastly overestimate what people will eat. (I still feel guilty about the food I tossed after a tea for 150 people a while back.)I've learned my lesson over the past year as part of a crew that cooks for theatre and music students at a private high school during tech week and on performance nights.

The head of our crew caters dinners for her church (usually serves about 300 people) every month. Her estimates of 4 ounces of meat per person, plus salad and 2 starches are always spot on and we are feeding teens.

Dec 31, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking

Ideas for using too-sweet Pfeffernusse in a recipe?

Or just dip them in rum, suck out the now-flavored rum, and throw out what's left of the cookie. ;) But seriously, I like those TJ's pfeffernusse and I usually don't care for things that sweet. They would be good in a fruit crisp, I bet.

Dec 31, 2014
Isolda in Home Cooking
1

Accommodating a Party Guest-What is Reasonable?

There is no way you are going to be able to redirect guy to eating the cheap food simply by having more of it available. He's sick and isn't going to get "hints" like this. Even being around food is going to trigger his problem, so he will overeat no matter what you do.

I think if I were in your shoes (or your kitchen), I'd make whatever I planned to make, but I would give the guy a call today and just let him know that you realize he has an issue that he's working on, but that you hope he will respect your budget and your other guests by limiting himself to 6 canap├ęs, 4 things on skewers and 8 mini sandwiches (or whatever). My point is that giving him a specific and reasonable number of items, while odd-sounding to a normal person, may actually give him a reasonable boundary.

Dec 31, 2014
Isolda in Not About Food
1

Accommodating a Party Guest-What is Reasonable?

People with Prader-Willi usually have cognitive issues and the OP says they met in grad school. The guy has a disorder, but not that one.

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

When choice is involved, my husband takes a picture of the item he is thinking of buying and texts it to me for my approval. Lots of crappy meals can be averted this way!

Eating moldy foods?

I only eat food that I think is going to taste good. Foods with unintentional mold (bread, soup, etc.) are not fresh and therefore will not taste good. Out they go.