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Seeking Gingerbread Cookie Recipe, Crunchy not Cakey

I found a cookie cutter in the form of a squirrel, and have an idea of making molasses spice roll cookies with it. I'd like to incorporate almonds into the dough -- will get thinly sliced almonds and crush them so that there are little shards of almond, and spice it with ginger, cinnamon, ground star anise and black pepper.

Gingerbread cookie recipes that I've been looking at say that they are cakey rather than crisp, but what I have in mind is more crunchy but still brown with molasses. Does anyone have a tip or a recipe? Thanks!

Dec 14, 2010
lintsao in Home Cooking

Wine Yeast

I found a recipe for ginger beer (Halloween party Dark & Stormies!) that calls for champagne yeast. Is there a place to get wine yeast in NYC? Internet searches are deadending on this one -- I see there's a place in Brooklyn Terminal Market but I don't have a car (live LES) nor time to go there. Manhattan and Brooklyn trajectory B'burg - Park Slope/Gowanus would be do-able. Thanks!

Oct 24, 2009
lintsao in Manhattan

Bear Mountain & Points North

I had a fantastic Hudson Valley weekend, here are a few notes.

On Friday evening we had dinner at Brasserie Le Bouchon in Cold Spring. I had the roast chicken – I was all excited by the menu listing of local, organic chicken – and my husband had rib eye steak. I think it might have been an off night, for they were both good, but not great. We loved the place though – the aesthetic and the staff were easygoing and comfortable. We were very pleased with the wines, and what *was* fantastic, was the mango sorbet: it had a lovely fresh, almost floral flavor. I would go back to try Le Bouchon again.

We had breakfast both mornings at Garrison Market. Alas they did not have chocolate babka either day, but I didn’t feel deprived with a fresh homemade jelly doughnut one day and a maple muffin the next. It was a great place to sit outside in the sun and hear a bit of local gossip as well. For those staying at Bear Mountain, it’s not far and worth the trip for a good breakfast (it’s not just sweets, they have eggs and such too).

After a birthday boat ride on the Hudson out of Kingston Saturday afternoon, we stopped in a corner café where I had Jane’s lemon sorbet, it was intensely lemony with tart shavings of lemon rind. I wasn’t familiar with Jane’s Ice Cream, but now I must seek it out!

We were still in Kingston as dinnertime approached, with Red Hook not far away. We ate at Flatiron, where I had swordfish steak with locally made kielbasa and fried baby artichokes. It was served in a bowl with broth, the fried artichokes on top of the fish so that they stayed crisp. This was fantastic! The broth was complex and flavorful, and with the sausage (its Polish provenance notwithstanding) the dish had a Portuguese sensibility. The crunchy baby artichokes were a perfect counterpoint to the meatiness of the fish. Dessert was a frozen mousse of roasted pineapple and coconut with crème anglaise. Roasting the pineapple mellowed and deepened its flavor, and blended perfectly with the creamy coconut, so delicious.

On the way home on Sunday we stopped in Newburgh, and had lunch at The Wherehouse. I had grilled brats with sauerkraut and gruyère, with crisp potato wedges. These were very good, the only thing was, the portion was enormous – it was like a platter of melted cheese. In a good way. Except I can’t imagine anyone eating it in one sitting. It made for a tasty lunch the next day.

So we didn’t make it to Terrapin or The Foundry this time, but I have kept my notes for the next trip. Thanks so much Hudson Valley Hounds!

Bear Mountain & Points North

Thank you BAFU and GIOny...those both look like interesting picks, and both on my price point. Much appreciated!

Bear Mountain & Points North

I'll be heading upstate for a long weekend, staying at Bear Mountain and touring around to the north without a set itinerary -- possibly as far up as Kingston and down the east bank of the river. I'd really appreciate any recommendations for the following:

Bakeries/breakfast near Bear Mountain.

Birthday dinner or lunch anywhere as far up as Kingston or over to Red Hook -- would love to find a place with delicious, simple fare in a pretty setting -- my budget limit is in the mid-twenties for mains. It's for this coming Saturday so it would need to be a place where I can get a reservation on short notice.

Thanks very much!


Does anyone know where I can buy Dutch appelstroop in NYC? I know I can get it online but I'm making something this weekend that calls for it. Bedankt!

Feb 01, 2008
lintsao in Manhattan

Caramel Proportions?

I have made some cornmeal pecan cookies that are on the less-sweet side. They are good but they need a little sweet note to achieve maximum deliciousness, so I want to streak the tops with cream caramel. What I have in mind is a caramel that is opaque from the cream and that hardens just enough, meaning not brittle-hard that will crack off but hard enough that the streaks will be solid, not liquid. Does anyone have a good proportion of water-sugar-cream to achieve that? Should I use corn syrup? Thanks!

Nov 13, 2007
lintsao in Home Cooking

Where to buying plants/seedlings in Brooklyn to grow herbs?

I saw herb plants over the weekend at the Chelsea Garden Center on Van Brunt St. in Red Hook next to the Fairway.

Not Brooklyn, but the Union Square Greenmarket has herb sellers -- Silver Heights Farm which is there on Saturdays I think, has a ton.

Oct 16, 2007
lintsao in Outer Boroughs

Armenian Pastries?

I've been sending tins of cookies to my brother who is stationed in Iraq, and recently received a thank-you note from one of his co-workers there who is Armenian Chaldean. She wrote this.....

I learned to make special spices and certain foods that the middle east don't know. I learned from my father side a dessert that is filled with sesami oil and sugar and then in a certain way you fill the dough and make it like a bread, very few people do those recipes and I'm good in cooking too.

....which has me totally fascinated. Her father is Armenian, and the bread/pastry she describes with sesame oil and sugar sounds really interesting. Does anyone know what this is, or of any bakeries or restaurants where I can find it?


Oct 15, 2007
lintsao in Outer Boroughs

Disintegrating Crock Pot

The model I have is one of the ones involved in the recall (Model 3040) but I bought it in 2005 and the recall is only for units bought between 1999 and 2004. Thank you for the information though, I wasn't aware of the recall. It's odd because the machine I have seems to be having the same problem as the recalled units.

Oct 15, 2007
lintsao in Cookware

Disintegrating Crock Pot

We bought our first slow cooker, a Rival Crock Pot, a couple of years ago. I got some great recommendations for cookbooks here on chowhound (Slow Cooker Ready and Waiting, and Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, both are excellent). We love the thing and have been happily slow cooking every since. The problem is, the plastic handles and knobs on the Crock Pot have simply disintegrated -- I think because they are brittle plastic which gets more brittle with heat and time. At this point we use a pair of pliers to lift the lid and turn the temperature switch, and the side handles are going.

It's not a big deal to replace it, at a half price sale at Macy's I think I paid $15 for it. But I hate the idea of disposable appliances. Yet browsing through reviews of the expensive machines (Kitchen Aid, Cuisineart, All Clad) it seems like people experience the same problems with those. I get the feeling that expensive slow cookers are something of a boondoggle, it's really a very simple machine. But I'm wondering whether others here have had the same problem, or hopefully recommendations for models that last longer. Is there any particular difference among the less expensive brands like Hamilton Beach, Aroma, West Bend? Any comments on "programmable" models? I look at 'em a little squirrely, seems like another thing to break. Do they work well and last long?


Oct 12, 2007
lintsao in Cookware

Unusual..but cream flavors

At Laboratorio del Gelato NYC I recently had pink peppercorn & tarragon gelato that was so so delicious, aromatic with a mysterious anisey note. I wish they would make it more often. They have lots of unusual flavors, another favorite is licorice.
Also the jalapeño icecream at the Tabasco factory on Avery Island, Louisiana.

Sep 10, 2007
lintsao in General Topics

The state of turtle soup

I'm not from thereabouts, but on a trip to Acadiana a few years back had turtle piquante at Suire's in Kaplan. Now I'm really confused about what kind of critter I ate (snapper? slider?), but I can say it was mighty tasty. It was the plate lunch, I think on Fridays.

Aug 09, 2007
lintsao in New Orleans

Best and worst on the Outer Banks

Just adding a couple more two cents (from a tourist on summer vacation point of view) to some comments already posted: the Uglies at the Orange Blossom in Buxton sell out early but they're worth getting out of bed for; baked goods at Austin Creek Bakery in Hatteras Village are *not* worth getting out of bed for; if you go to Risky Business in Hatteras Village in the late afternoon you will find Steve Baily outside filleting fish and telling stories -- go in the shop and look for the $1 pieces of smoked tuna in ziplock bags next to the cash register, and get a pound of spicy steamed shrimp to go. We visit Hatteras Village every year, and it is hard to find good restaurants. We do better by just buying fresh fish every day and cooking. I have had good food at the Breakwater (Hatteras Village) but it's been a couple of years since I was there last -- it's nice to have a drink on their back deck to watch the sunset ('skeets willing). I like the Jolly Roger in Ocracoke Village because it's a laid back dockside bar that makes an excellent fried fish sandwich, usually flounder or bluefish, very simple and fresh. The Sno Cone place in Frisco, get the "Hatteras style": a scoop of icecream topped by a cloak of shaved ice with the syrup of your choice. Vanilla icecream with black cherry ice or vanilla with rootbeer ice are faves. Concur with all the positive recs for Sam and Omies in Nags Head -- best fries ever!

Jun 11, 2007
lintsao in Southeast

Adjusting Cake Batter Quantities

Does anyone know if there's a rule of thumb for adjusting cake recipes for pans other than the ones specified? I want to make the Peninsula Grill coconut cake for a big party (had it in Charleston last fall and am still dreaming about it).

The published version calls for three nine-inch layers but I want to make two fifteen-inch layers. I usually just wing it, but I was wondering whether there exists some kind of conversion chart or percentage rule.

Thanks baking hounds!

May 23, 2007
lintsao in Home Cooking

Leak-proof Containers

Is there any such thing as a leak-proof container? I like make soup on Sunday to take to work during the week, but as a car-less urban dweller, carrying it around in my bag can be problematic. Rubbermaid containers are so-so -- I have to enclose them in plastic and be careful about keeping my bag upright. There must be something better, I was thinking campers out there might have some suggestions. Thanks!

Mar 07, 2007
lintsao in Cookware

Please help a turkey virgin - where to buy a great turkey?

Another vote for the kosher turkey! We cook for a small group, so we get a turkey breast from the kosher butcher on Grand Street, East Side Glatt.
It's always fresh, tender, juicy and tasty (although when buying it we don't mention our plan to stuff it with porcini and prosciutto...).

Nov 06, 2006
lintsao in Manhattan

Roast turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce - Help!

Chat 'n' Chew in Union Square has it, although I haven't had it myself there so I can't comment on how good it is.

Nov 04, 2006
lintsao in Manhattan

Dinner Rolls

Does anyone know where to find fresh, soft, buttery dinner rolls? In this world of artisinal breads I think they might be a thing of the past. Normally I would make them but don't have time for guests coming tonight. Do any bakeries make them? Thanks!

Nov 04, 2006
lintsao in Manhattan

Bath - Wiscasset and Thereabouts

Thank you hounds for the suggestions! After a long bus ride up from NYC we wanted something simple so we opted for Montsweag Roadhouse near the place we were staying. Enter the lobster issue. While plenty of places where I live advertise "Maine lobster", they don't come with license plates and having grown up on the murky waters of Long Island Sound (in which they do nevertheless lobster) I always just wait until I visit Maine. Then I pig down as many as I can.

So I arrive with a profound hankering, and while I was quite interested in the steak offerings at Montsweag Roadhouse I had to get the lobster dinner. Which at $20 was very reasonable, and really very good. Everything was fresh and well-prepared: the green and yellow squash simply tossed in butter, salt and pepper, a fine baked potato and fresh butter for the lobster.

We returned a couple of nights later and sampled the clam chowder. It wasn't quite my idea of chowder -- I make chowder as a milk soup with a lot of clams and potatoes cooked first in the pot liquor, which gains body in the bowl when you crunch pilot crackers into it with your spoon -- rather it was more in the style of an oyster stew, made with cream. So while it wasn't quite my definition of chowder, it was extremely delicious, so who cares about definitions? The clams were clearly fresh and the soup was rich and creamy, nothing like the cornstarch-thickened glop that often passes for chowder.

I found Montsweag Roadhouse very comfortable and laid-back with wide farm tables, friendly service and a good selection of local beers. On that score I tried the Pemaquid Ale and Stone Coast IPA, both very good.

I mention the freshness of the butter served with the lobster at Montsweag Roadhouse because of...Cook's. I escaped Taste of Maine but couldn't dissuade my parents from taking us to their other favorite place which is Cook's on Bailey Island. For $30 they serve a lobster with rancid butter (really) and second-rate coleslaw. Plus a little dose of attitude from the waiter such as I leave NYC to escape. Blech.

Thank you for the other suggestions. I've had lunch at Kennebec Tavern on a prior visit and like it quite a lot. For some reason I can never get into going to Robinhood Meetinghouse. I went there when they first opened and it was okay, not great. I've since read many glowing reports here on chowhound so I think about trying it again but it just doesn't pull me in for some reason. My mother said she went there to a buffet dinner they served last May when she claims they were "cleaning out the refrigerator". Ahem. I hadn't heard of Solo Bistro before but it looks very interesting, will try that on my next trip. Thanks, hounds!

Bath - Wiscasset and Thereabouts

Coming to visit family in Five Islands and parents think Taste of Maine is good please please oh please hounds save me from that! Have weaseled out of dinner tomorrow night so El Spouse and I can get dinner on our own. No, really, family visits are a good thing, it’s just the prospect of bad food that’s making my head explode. I don’t normally eat in restaurants there – can anyone recommend something around Bath or Wiscasset? It can be plain, it can be fancy, just please make it good. Thank you!

Dupont Circle Breakfast/Bakeries

I'll be making one of my museum field trips to DC this weekend and staying at Dupont Circle. I'd like to escape the prospect of hotel breakfast -- does anyone have recommendations for a diner, bakery or café that serves breakfast in the neighborhood?

Also, browsing through some of the prior posts on dinner I see references to Pesce and Bistrot du Coin as moderately-priced and good in that area. Any comments or other suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks, DC hounds!

Gaming the Citysearch Ratings

I am on the email list for a NYC restaurant that has been dunning recipients for votes on Citysearch. They stress that you can vote once each day from each computer, and request that everyone vote *every day* from *every* computer. I've pasted in the texts here below.

One, do most restaurants with email lists do this?

Two, one takes online ratings with a grain of salt, but do Citysearch ratings have any value at all?

p.s. I've had their barbecue, it ain't great.

6/28 email
Citysearch voting has begun! Vote for us in the barbeque category. This year they do not have a Cajun and Creole category.
You can vote ONCE a DAY at EACH COMPUTER in each category. The total number of overall votes determines the winner.
So VOTE DAILY. Thanks for your support!

7/4 email
Thanks for voting for us in the barbeque category on CitySearch. We are gradually moving up the ladder and your votes are making it happen. Include us in your DAILY schedule to vote at home and office. YOU make it happen!

7/7 email
Don't forget to keep voting DAILY on Citysearch. You made the difference if we win.

7/10 email
Don't forget to keep voting DAILY on Citysearch. You make the difference if we win. You can vote on EACH computer, ONCE a day.

7/14 email
Don't forget to keep voting DAILY on Citysearch. You make the difference if we win.

7/17 email
We've moved to the top of the CitySearch Barbeque Voting, thanks to you! So keep those votes coming to keep us there.

Jul 17, 2006
lintsao in Food Media & News