Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

chowdear's Profile

Title Last Reply

Need (ok, want) Info on new and newish restaurants in Westerly area

We had a great evening at Trattoria. We're friends NOW because of the great experience. That's it. Because of this and to support a great mom & pop, went online and actually wrote a review:

We love homemade Italian; however, except for in Manhattan, we have not tried an Italian restaurant in years - - because of all the disappointments. But then this week, out on the beach, we had a serious hankering for Italian meatballs and then we read about Trattoria Longo in Westerly, RI. We learned their mother's homemade meatballs are famous. Would these meatballs compete with our Grandma's homemade Napolitano recipe? We had to find out. The verdict: Theirs is better - - sorry Grandma! And it wasn't just the meatballs. We found a welcoming waitstaff who warmly shared a few stories, suggestions, and anecdotes delivered with top notch service (Thank you, Carmella!). We noticed everyone around us beamed as they received the same excellent service. We think the menu is upscale red-sauce Italian with offerings carefully presented with love and creativity. In addition to the Meatball Salad, standouts were the Stuffed Pepper app and the Shrimp Fra Diavolo (homemade pasta perfection). Overall, a very nice room with the option to dine outside, manageable portions, good wine selection, and solid bartending. With its close-enough proximity to our regular vaca spot on the beach, this has become one of our first choices. ~ Al and Caroline

about 7 hours ago
chowdear in Southern New England

Alternate uses for a waffle iron?

Does anyone have a recipe for crispy fricos to make in a waffle iron?
(great idea, lightlybattered!)

Oct 05, 2009
chowdear in Cookware

Midtown East Recs Please

For an upcoming business lunch for six to eight, I'm looking for a restaurant that is moderately expensive, but not moderately priced, and preferably American cuisine. What do you recommend?

Thank you!

Dec 10, 2008
chowdear in Manhattan

Tier 2 Blogs

Hi all. I'd really be interested in your opinions about what blogs you perceive as almost tops - - the tier 2s, for lack of a better description. Would chocolate & zuccini be a tier 2? If yes, then what would the tier 3s be? Kind of interesting to see how others think of different culinary blogs. Thanks!

Apr 30, 2008
chowdear in Food Media & News

Lemony Desserts?

Here is a recipe that came together last weekend. I'm fairly certain the lemon pudding part of this recipe came from this site, and I'm sorry that in the copying down process, I left out that person's name. Coming up with the recipe and then actually making the trifle took a little more time than I anticipated, but it was well worth it.

Raspberry Trifle with Chambord and Lemon

~ Step 1 ~

The day before make the lemon pudding, which yields 4 cups:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cups milk
6 large egg yolks
zest from two lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp

Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan; add milk and whisk until smooth. Add egg yolks, zest and salt, and cook over medium heat. Stir frequently as it heats, constantly until thickened. About ten minutes altogether. When thickened, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and butter. Pour through a strainer to remove zest. Let cool and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days.

~ Step 2 ~

Next, make whipped cream:

Two cartons whipping cream
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
vanilla if desired

Divide whipped cream in half, with just a little more for the top layer because the trifle dish tapers out on top so that slightly more will be needed.

~ Step 3 ~

Wash and dry raspberries (30 oz), setting aside 7 or so for decorating top of trifle. Melt 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam on low heat. Remove just as soon as it melts. With gloved hand, coat raspberries with the melted jam. Reserve 1 1/4 cup of raspberries for first layer and 1 1/2 cup for the second layer.

~ Step 4 ~

Prepare two Sara Lee pound cakes:

Cut each evenly into eight 1/2" slices.

Line the bottom of the trifle dish completely with sliced pound cake, and spread 1/2 cup Chambord on top of cake layer using a pastry brush. Then spread the first layer (1 1/4 cup) of raspberries.

~ Step 5 ~

Spread 2 cups of lemon pudding as the next layer, followed by whipped cream.

~ Step 6 ~

Repeat Steps 4 - 5. Pipe whipped cream on top, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Just before serving, add reserved raspberries to garnish the top.

I uploaded a picture of the trifle, and you can see it here:

Jul 06, 2007
chowdear in Home Cooking

Sarasota Suggestions?

Glad I asked ... thanks.

May 17, 2007
chowdear in Florida

Sarasota Suggestions?

My understanding is Fast Eddie's Place on Anna Maria is a a good destination for a scenic drive followed by good food and that Coasters restaurant, just off Siesta on Stickney Point Road, offers good seafood. Are there any other restaurants worth driving to from Sarasota? Seafood would be ideal, but any suggestions are appreciated, including breakfast, lunch, dinner. Of course, anything closer and right in Sarasota are better - - thanks!

May 15, 2007
chowdear in Florida

Rare and favorite cookbooks

I'm not sure if this is rare, but my understanding is that it's still out of print: Howard Mitchum's Provincetown Seafood Cookbook for Portuguese Cape Cod cookery, which I found for the best price at Tim's Bookstore last summer. At the time there were three or four copies on the cookbook shelf. Tim's is in Provincetown, tucked away on Commercial Street.

Apr 21, 2007
chowdear in Home Cooking

Alternate uses for a waffle iron?

Here's a great waffle iron brownie recipe that's especially good on hot summer days, if you want to bake but do not have air conditioning:

Waffle Iron Brownies

Ingredients and Items Needed:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa pwder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs, well beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional
confectioner's sugar, optional
waffle iron
wooden skewer or toothpicks
covered tin to store brownies

Preheat waffle iron to medium setting. On most models the indicator light will go out when propoer temperature is reached. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Blend cocoa into butter with a wooden spoon. Stir in sugar, beaten eggs and water. Add flour and salt; beat well. If you choose to add nuts, do so now and mix thoroughly.

Into each section of the preheated waffle iron, drop one well-rounded teaspoon of batter. Close lid and bake about 1 1/2 minutes. The brownies are done if they do not stick to the top of the waffle iron. Use the tip of a wooden skewer to remove brownies easily. Let cool on racks. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar (recommended but optional).
Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Apr 17, 2007
chowdear in Cookware

Lobster Bakes, Potluck Suppers, etc. in Conn.

The Felician Sisters on Enfield Street in Enfield are holding their very popular yearly Polish Supper this Saturday, 3/24 from 3pm to 7pm. Best to get there early because they usually run out!

Palmer, MA

Ten miles or so away is Ludlow, and there you will find Primavera Cafe Restaurant on East Street. It's a small, humble Portuguese restaurant, which never disappoints.

Suffield Inn

Thank you!

Suffield Inn

Has anyone been to this restaurant on Mountain Road in Suffield, CT? I read an advertisement and am curious. Thanks.

b4 Wallingford CT

Pizza isn't the best match for your evening, but I must mention Jerry's Pizza in Middletown. Their white Sicilian pizza is fabulous. No cheese, no tomato, just anchovies, garlic, parsley and red pepperflakes. Another great pizza place is Little Rendezvous in Meriden. Their oven is from 1890, which does up Napoletano - crispy - crust style pizza. Their hamburger pie is the best.

Art & Dining Ideas?

Today, home in New England, I took a stroll via the Internet to view favorite masterpieces in Florence, Rome and Spain. Obviously, pixels are a far cry from up close and in person, and I can't schedule a European trip right now, but I can plan something fun, and, of course, include food. So I'm planning an afternoon to view one particular work of art in New England, followed by a complimentary dinner. I'd like to view Caravaggio's "The Ecstasy of St. Francis" at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. Since I've chosen an Italian artist, the restaurant I've decided on is Carbone's. That was fun, so here's another: Hoppers' Rooms by The Sea at Yale University Art Gallery. Okay, this has me thinking of water and seafood, so the complimentary dinner choice on the way home could be Mill on The River in South Windsor, CT. It's not a seafood restaurant, per se, but the location is lovely and the menu includes seafood. Chowhounders, do you have any "art & dining" ideas?


Here is a wonderful recipe for sorbetto al melone (cantaloupe sorbet). My notes say it's from Bon Appétit, May 1997. This fragrant sorbet is served in hollowed-out melons decorated with raspberries and elegant chocolate curls. Cancaloupe melon is recommended, but if unavailable other melon varieties may be used; adjust the sugar depending on the sweetness of the melon.

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded cantaloupe (about 1/2 cantaloupe)

Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Transfer to 11x7x2-inch glass dish and chill until cold, about 2 hours. Puree cantaloupe in blender until smooth. Add to sugar syrup in dish and stir until well blended. Freeze until almost firm, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours or overnight. Transfer cantaloupe mixture to large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until fluffy. Return to freezer and freeze until firm (do not stir), at least 3 hours or overnight. Sorbet can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and keep frozen. Serves 6.

Jan 26, 2007
chowdear in Home Cooking

Sloppy Pierogi Nirvana

Thank you, phofiend!

Jan 26, 2007
chowdear in Home Cooking

Sloppy Pierogi Nirvana

Thank you for the tips. I never heard of the name "sloppy pierogi" either, but that is how the dish was introduced to me. I googled "lazanki" and do see how you have connected it to this dish. As for cooking the cabbage, you mention the trick is to cook before slicing. Does that mean I remove just the outer layers and then plunge the whole cabbage into the pot, cover it with water that is salted and then boil until almost tender? About how long should it be boiled? Thanks again!

Jan 25, 2007
chowdear in Home Cooking

Sloppy Pierogi Nirvana

Despite being given broad but sincere instructions, I haven't been able to duplicate "sloppy cabbage pierogis". With eyes shut, a small forkfull tastes like the best-ever cabbage pierogi, but the actual dish resembles a bow-tie pasta conglomeration. Here is what I'm told to do:

Pulse carefully so as not to mince too finely raw cabbage. Then boil for 5 - 10 minutes - - no more then drain. Set aside for something else an entire package of well-cooked bacon, but use all of its grease to slowly cook the drained cabbage. Meantime, cook bow tie pasta and also boil Blue Seal kielbasa - - each in separate pots. After it's cooked, slice the kielbasa into small pieces. When the bow tie pasta is cooked, add to it the cooked cabbage and kielbasa pieces and serve.

With eyes shut this attempt produced a predominantly kielbasa-tasting dish. Delicious, but not the same. Any suggestions to achieve cabbage pierogi nirvana would be greatly appreciated - - thanks!

Jan 25, 2007
chowdear in Home Cooking

Custard-based Rice Pudding recipe needed

I noticed you have not yet received a reply, so thought I'd direct you to this post. Although my recipe is not custard-based, variations are given, which you might find useful. Best of luck!

Dec 26, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

Rice Pudding

In Portugal, I'm told my great-great grandmother made her Aroz Doce in the town oven for weddings and big events, so this is one dessert that's always served at family get-togethers. Recently I've found that sushi rice {gasp} produces the creamiest mousse-like pudding, and the possibilities for different flavor ideas and add-ins are endless. Vanilla, a little rum, dried figs, port-soaked currants, even topping with a light caramel sauce add something extra. But when the relatives visit, they expect it to be more traditional. This recipe is the most I can get away with:

5 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sushi rice
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons dark rum
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Combine the milk and rice in a heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean; add the bean. Bring the milk to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the rice is tender, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. Mix in the sugar, rum, and orange peel. Discard the vanilla bean. Cook until the mixture thickens - - about five minutes or so longer. Spoon into serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Dec 14, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

Best Bread for French Toast?

If you live in New England, I'd be happy to suggest a few bakeries. Otherwise, here is a link to what seems to be a good recipe. Please let me know if you do try out the recipe. Thanks!

Dec 03, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

What's Your Secret Ingredient?

I enjoy using a traditional Portuguese sauce/marinade called "Molho de Piri-Piri", which is usually a combination of olive oil, ground piri-piris (a type of chili, so you can substitute piquin or Thai chiles), paprika, garlic, salt and oregano. I make my own, store in the fridge for a few days so the flavors meld and then use in sauces, marinades, soups, stews and a number of savory dishes.

Nov 15, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

Ethnic-food Markets: What to Buy for What to Make?

On top of the tips here (thanks again), this thread entitled "What's Your Secret Ingredient?" has helped even more with putting together a shopping list for different ethnic market visits ... very exciting!

Nov 15, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

Best Bread for French Toast?

Try Portuguese sweet bread ("Massa Suvada") for to-die-for French toast.

Nov 13, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

Ethnic-food Markets: What to Buy for What to Make?

I live in New England and have a pretty good growing list of places to visit (thank you Chowhound) on top of the ones that I have. I'm especially interested in learning what favorite recipe a person thinks of when they're in an Ethnic grocery store and gets all excited because that magical ingredient is on the shelf. Thanks to all for tips on immersing/learning/asking/reading/trying - - just wanted to start with a shortcut by asking and then following Chowhound suggestions!

Nov 13, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

Ethnic-food Markets: What to Buy for What to Make?

You're right, my question is a bit broad and answering can be like any grocery list, depending upon what you eat. However, my experiences have often included visiting a busy, wonderful ethnic grocer, for example, and I get the feeling there's just something special I'm missing out on. Maybe I should simply pay more attention to the ingredients when I'm at restaurants of the same ethnicity or start reading up a bit more on recipes. That's what prompted me to write, I thought if I asked that a favorite recipe is included, I'd get a better flavor on what exciting products I should begint to search for. Hope this makes sense, and thanks for posting. I'm also thrilled about ghbrooklyn's reply, though I'm not sure what all the ingredients are for ... still, it's got me making plans to learn more about exploring some possibilities - - Thank you both!

Nov 13, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

Ethnic-food Markets: What to Buy for What to Make?

Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern Europe, Mediterranean, Scandanavian, West Indian - - any ethnic cuisine: Please share what it is you make sure to purchase when at that ethnic food market (please specify which one) and what dish does it become a part of. Recipes too if possible. Thank you!

Nov 13, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

Favorite Bake Sale Recipes?

For on-the-stick bake sale ideas, how about:

Giant M&M Cookie Pops

and ...

Rice Krispie Treats on a Stick


3 Tbs. butter
1 10-oz. pkg. regular marshmallows or 4 cups mini-marshmallows
6 to 7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
12 wooden popsicle sticks
1 pkg. chocolate chips


In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows, stirring constantly until melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cereal until it is well coated. Let the mixture cool until it is warm but comfortable to handle with the fingers. Lightly butter your hands, then shape the treats into 12 balls. Push a Popsicle stick into each one. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pan of hot, but not boiling water.

Holding the stick end, dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Set the coated treats on a waxed paper lined tray to cool. When the chocolate has hardened, wrap the treats in plastic wrap and tie with ribbon.

Sep 18, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking

star trek-y foods?

Definitely Calamari! I think most any Klingon would enjoy Portuguese-style Squid Stew in a red wine tomato sauce, tentacles included. Other possibilities:

"Spock's Mind Meld"
Elevate the fondue pot just high enough so a picture of Spock is positioned below it, so that the pot appears to be coming from his head so to speak.

“Bean Me Up, Scotty"
Choose a favorite bean recipe - - perhaps a good bean dip?

Dilithium Crystals
Should be added to "energize" all drinks. For this, use those plastic, battery-operated fake ice cubes that light up in blue. Hmmm, at least I'm pretty sure blue is the right color!

Sep 17, 2006
chowdear in Home Cooking