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What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

I thought it might come from near you, Harters. It was one of the most popular cheeses.

And of course we had a Canajun cheese -- the Pont Blanc was from the lesser known province of Quebec ;-).

My favourite was the Brebis Rouge which will be going into regular rotation. Not often I get a bloomy rinded cheese that is perfectly ripe and that I still want to eat the rind as well.

I snaffled the portion of Corsu that was left :-). Also took home the entire piece of Saint Paulin. I'm sure it will be wonderful but it ponged so much even at fridge temp we didn't dare put it out (and dad and I loves us some stinky cheese). That one to be enjoyed in the company of just ourselves!

about 6 hours ago
grayelf in Home Cooking

Anything new in Bellingham these days ?

http://www.maikham.com/menu.html

Menu doesn't strike me as Lao or even particularly Isaan but I'd love to hear more if anyone's been.

about 6 hours ago
grayelf in Pacific Northwest

Christmas in Victoria...?

Hey Florentine, don't forget pusherman was here FIVE years ago. Brassneck, 33 Acres, Bomber and Powell Street all opened since then -- a lot has changed on the craft brewing scene here in the interim, no? Alibi Room was the only one on your list that was around and doing good things beerwise.

about 6 hours ago
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

gmc, I just watched season three and it was excellent, enjoy.

Today is Mum's Boxing Day open house. As has been the case for the last several years, cheese will be the star of the show. Our local monger provided me with a box of ten lovely wedges and rounds, all ready to put out. Mum's delicious ported Stilton will lead the pack. Here's the list with my write-ups just for fun:

The Cheeses:

Roquefort Carles An unpasteurized sheep's cheese from Aveyron, France, this blue dates back to Pliny in ancient Rome, and was the first French cheese to be granted AOC status. Cave ripened in Roquefort-wur-Soulzon, it surprisingly pairs well with a sweet Sauternes.

Le Pont Blanc This organic cow raw milk cheese from Quebec is made from winter milk ladled into a mold. Its flavour will vary from season to season. Aged less than 60 days with a soft paste and bloomy rind, try it with a Sauvignon Blanc.

Brebis rousse Milk is collected from ewes of the Argental region in Burgundy, France to make this luscious orange-hued washed rind cheese. The flavour is rich and sweet, developing meaty, earthy flavours as it ages. The texture is soft and velvety, designed to ooze deliciously on your cheese plate. Goes nicely with a crisp Riesling, Pinot Gris or Gewurtztraminer.

Truffo An old favourite, Chateau de Bourgogne triple crème from France comes with a layer of truffles in the centre. Creamy, buttery decadence.

Corsu Vecchiu is a traditional semi-firm unpasteurised sheep milk cheese from the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. Rich, buttery, nutty and somewhat sweet with a subtle saltiness that comes through at the end, it plays well with dried apricots and Pinot Noir.

Cambozola Grand Noir The black wax-mantled triple crème version of this popular cheese is a good choice if you are wary of blues. Super creamy and mild, it won the 2013 World Cheese Awards “best new cheese.” Excellent with something bubbly and brut.

Saint Paulin Isigny A monastery-style cheese from northern France, this raw cow's milk cheese is aged 60 days in the caves of Normandy, where the rind is brushed with brine to give it a touch of esprit. The result is a silky textured cheese with a sweet and salty taste.

Le Baron hails from Amrisil, in the Jura mountains of Switzerland. Smooth and creamy, this organic unpasteurized semi-hard cow's milk cheese is aged a minimum of 12 months.

Laguiole Another AOC winner, this cow lait cru from Auvergne, France was first made in a monastery in the 11th century. The name is pronounced Lay-Ohl, without the G sound. Goes beautifully with a Bordeaux-style red.

Parlick Fell Enrobed in green wax, this firm sheep's cheese from Lancashire, England is only made from milk sourced within 20 km of the dairy. Winner of the Prince of Wales’ award for specialty cheese in Yorkshire.

Christmas dinner - Turkey? Prime rib? Ham? And where to source it?

Everything turned out really well. The turkey was moist and tasty, cooked to 160 deg at the thigh and rested 20-25 min. The dressing was outrageously good and not at all dry, the pyrex lasagna pan fitting perfectly in the oven alongside Tom.

Brussels sprouts were sliced thin and stir fried with garlic and lemon, and the cabbage had onion and apple for a bit of a sweeter taste. I found lovely French beans to steam for extra green. Mum made some of her famous mincemeat tarts to augment the puddings. Prosecco, red wine, gin and beer for drinkies.

Christmas Openings

Didn't know Aaron was doing hot food -- excellent! And there's nothing better than Drews' sausage. Great score.

about 19 hours ago
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

Thanks, all. He was in his 80s so not as tragic as it could have been, but the timing is of course quite unfortunate for the family.

Turkey was successfully flipped and is now scenting the house with goodness. And the pudding is singing in the copper :-). I hope Uncle G is looking down at all of us and smiling.

Christmas Openings

Good to know. It's been a while, and last time the chef at Sunny Spot was prepping for a special event.

Never been to that Peaceful. I just noticed the one on 4th Avenue is closed.

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

All the mentions of parsnips are making me nostalgic. May do a carrot and parsnip mash next year.

A bit subdued here as my uncle died last night of a massive stroke. Very happy that Dad had a really good visit with him last Saturday. We raised a glass to him before dinner.

To distract myself, I will now create the cranberry salsa, finish the red cabbage braise, chop the sprouts, make the dressing and tend to the myriad details that will precede the moment of truth: will the turkey fit into my one large roasting pan?

Feliz navidad a todos.

Christmas Openings

After Kafka's you could check if Sunny Spot is open and have some noodles or a Chinese burger.

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

Thanks so much for going to the trouble of typing it out! It looks great but I have an aversion to coconut. Do you think it would ruin it to leave that out??

I have Charlie Brown Christmas on a continuous loop on the computer today. It's the one album I never get tired of, so seasonal.

Best to all who celebrate!

Dec 24, 2014
grayelf in Home Cooking

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

St Frank struck me as a bit sterile and subway tiley but I'd ignore that aesthetic if I liked the coffee there more. The new Wrecking Ball has a bit of that whiter white feel to but I like their coffee and will return.

I wasn't mad about the atmosphere of Mikkeller and the service could have been sharper. If I loved the beer and food, I'd overlook both though.

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

My SO's tried a few beers from Magnolia and wasn't blown away though he didn't think they were terrible. He is British by birth FWIW and is a fairly omnivorous and reasonably informed beer drinker. I was disappointed by the food at the Haight Street location when we went. I liked their root beer a lot.

Favorite Ice Cream 2014

I haven't had the chance to try Double 8 yet but I'm a fiend for sweet cream flavoured ice cream since trying it first years ago in Toronto. If you haven't had it yet, I'd love to know how the sweet cream flavor at Mr and Mrs Miscellaneous compares to Double 8's.

And Merry Christmas Eve to all who celebrate.

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

rasputina, do you have a link for the coffee cake recipe? It sounds wonderful.

Dec 23, 2014
grayelf in Home Cooking

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

I read somewhere that it has more caffeine too, because of the slow extraction method.

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

Thanks for the intel on Showplace. I like De La Paz. Sightglass I thought was better when they had the little cart inside the buildout than it was after, go figure. Four Barrel was the first third wave coffee I ever tried. I remember thinking how weird and citrusy it tasted!

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

Something about game and Thai curry just seems to work -- duck, rabbit, venison, yum.

Dinner here was my "fake" spaghetti sauce, which is jarred with olives and capers, adding some sautéed garlic, fish sauce and ground turkey. Did my "fake" Caesar salad to go with. Tasty and speedy as the SO had to orbital sand the dining room walls. All I can say is, thank God the cleaning lady is coming tomorrow.

I went next door to a holiday party to avoid having a teeny tiny spazz over the dust, even though he dropclothed as best he could. But we have all our wainscotting and plate rails back and the primer is going on as I type, so that's some serious progress.

Dec 22, 2014
grayelf in Home Cooking
3

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

Thanks, poser, for the recc. I think another Hound may have mentioned Andytown (hhc??) so it is on the list for sure for when we get to the Outer Sunset next.

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

Went to deck the halls at the parentals tonight expecting takeout pizza as we usually have. Lo and behold, the mater had plumped for a baked ham, green beans, asparagus (!) and scalloped potatoes. She is a great cook and we were very happy. Cherry pecan squares for dessert, drool.

Tomorrow and Tuesday are busy with grocery shopping and food pickups (preordered turkey, ribs, lovely cheeses and glassware for Boxing Day party etc etc.) Christmas Eve will be mise en place for the 25th, tea with an old friend in the afty, and then sushi at M&D's.

SO is still working madly away on the dining room renos. I finished my heatgun-assisted paint stripping yesterday, thanks be.

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

No expert but I've always had it served cold, sometimes on ice, sometimes not. It is the process to which the cold brew refers -- you put freshly ground coffee into a receptacle with water and (sometimes) chicory, leave it for 12 hours or so, strain and then mix with milk and/or sugar. We follow the Blue Bottle New Orleans cold brew recipe at home.

Anyone else getting tired of "new" Craft Beer,Gourmet Burgers & 3rd Wave Coffee joints in Bay Area?

Will check out Cento and Showplace next time we're in town and in SOMA, thanks. Looks like Four Barrel at the former and Sightglass at the latter.

Christmas dinner - Turkey? Prime rib? Ham? And where to source it?

Nice call on the fresh turkey! Where are you getting it from?

I agree on the fresh crans. I make an uncooked, frozen cranberry salsa that is addicting -- every year I have to make more because we all keep using more. I swear the turkey is just an excuse to eat that stuff :-).

Does anyone have any tips on how long you rest an unstuffed turkey after cooking? I don't want it to be cold and since I'll only be cooking it for 1 3/4 to 2 hrs (8-12 lb bird) 1 hour resting seems long...

ETA this is a pretty comprehensive guide to all things turkey http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe... -- note the links to Trussing and Testing for Doneness on the right (not left as it says) are also helpful and clear.

Dec 21, 2014
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

puerto rican pasteles

What Sam said -- there is a little Cuban place on Hastings near Main called Mama y Papa that I haven't tried yet but likely no pasteles.

We had gorgeous shrimp pasteles at a Salvadoran place in SF in November so maybe Rinconcito might be worth checking, but they were more like Cornish pasties than tamales so maybe not the same thing.

If you're south of the border, this place lists pasteles: http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/1/1530793...

Dec 20, 2014
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

What's for Dinner #339 -- The Advent Edition [through Dec. 21, 2014]

I would like to be able to heart those biscuits multiple times! (Had a wee bit too much of this delectable stuff http://www.sortilegewhisky.com/en/the... at a holiday open house this afty so please excuse any seasonal soppiness

)

WFD tonight will be pan fried sole with brown butter. I will need about a hundred pans as the fillets are all micro sized. Something green, possibly Brussels sprouts. Lightness needed after amazing but heavy snacks at party.

Dec 20, 2014
grayelf in Home Cooking
1

Breweries/brew pubs/tasting lounges in Vancouver and nearish by

Strange Fellows on Clark just a bit south of Venables is open as of Wednesday. I stopped by today to pick up a 1 L growler of their Talisman Pale Ale as an early Xmas pressie for the SO. Very nice hoppy front and a wee bit bitter on the finish. Should go well with pizza or sushi tomorrow night for tree decorating at the parentals.

Other offerings looked worthy, and the setup is classy, nice lofty ceilings, clean lines, communal high tables in the tasting area, all belying the rather bleak strip mall nature of that section of Clark. No snacks apart from the cheesy twists that the guy from Pig on the Street is supplying to a number of breweries.

Pacific Heights and Marina District recommendations please [San Francisco]

You didn't ask about coffee or pastries but you will (according to Google Maps) be staying 151 feet from Wrecking Ball Coffee, where you can find very good both. I haven't tried their hot chocolate but I saw them making it and it looked worthy.

Per smatbrat's list below, we loved Verbena on our last trip to SF in early November.

What's for Dinner #339 -- The Advent Edition [through Dec. 21, 2014]

Those of you who deal in the proverbial brown gloop will chuckle: what I thawed turned out to be a very nice white bean chile I'd forgotten I even had! So no sketti till... the next night, when I did my friend Jan's famous lemon shrimp pasta. Tonight was comfort food out with the little niece (google Super Trucker at Red Wagon if you want to instantly clog your arteries. What a way to go.)

Good salads in Van?

Very plausible (and large) Cobb tonight at Red Wagon. The half eggs were even a little bit runny still.

Dec 19, 2014
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Christmas dinner - Turkey? Prime rib? Ham? And where to source it?

Now THAT looks good, and easy peasy. Please do report back on how it tastes!

Dec 19, 2014
grayelf in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)