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sarafinadh's Profile

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What do you put in your chicken stock to make the most flavorful soup?

I throw all chicken trimmings and cooked carcasses into a big ziplock in the freezer. When I have enough and am ready to make stock I throw it all in the pot, stick a few cloves into an onion, toss that in and then turn it on so it just seethes, NEVER even comes close to a boil. Then I let it cook until all the knuckle is dissolved.

Drain and throw out all the solids.

And then to be perfectly honest I hit it with a boost from Better Than Bullion. An excellent top quality commercial product. Kicks knorr and swanson outta the house. The organic low salt chicken variety is my friend, and I usually add a dollop of the vegetable BTB as well.

On hard days when making stock from scratch is not in the works and I haven't any frozen I use the BTB as the base and build from there. If you haven't tried it it is an amazing pantry product for those days when...

Jan 13, 2015
sarafinadh in Home Cooking

Help with some site basics here

Oh my gosh Deb, THANK you so much. I was going crazy with all the mail in my inbox!!

Sara

Jan 13, 2015
sarafinadh in Site Talk

Talk to me about bread machines

I think all of them have some issue in this regard, but the Zorushis seem to be the best of the bunch. Pricy, but good.

Jan 13, 2015
sarafinadh in Cookware

Help with some site basics here

Struggling with this same issue. But the link to my Settings goes to a "Sorry we are messed up and working on it" page. It seems to be trying to direct me to a newsletter link; http://www.chow.com/newsletters It has for four days now. Anyone else unable to access their settings page or is it just me?

*CHOW: Food. Drink. Fun.
There's been a slight problem...

Sorry, something's not working with this page. The CHOW team has been notified and will check it out.
If there's something else we can provide in the meantime, please try searching:*

Jan 13, 2015
sarafinadh in Site Talk

French Onion Soup-How Do You Slice The Onions And What Booze Do You Use?

I am quite sure Julia never mentioned it, but ,y Grandma Rose had it in her arsenal always. It was a staple. That and liquid smoke. She was an amazing cook and I learned a ton about how to cook and entertain from her.

Jan 12, 2015
sarafinadh in Home Cooking

Looking for Suggestions for short stay in San Francisco

Yep, on the Eastern edge. It's a more central location than Inn San Francisco. You have closer access to the north end of town and civic center and downtown proper.

Inn San Francisco is so close to BART that it hardly matters, but still.

Neither of them are remote by any stretch.

Restaurant for a smallish post wedding dinner - 4 children included

Delancy Street also has small rooms for groups with bay front views.

A Long Weekend Plan

Not turning up my nose at all. I am reading a great deal and trying to hold it in my head. I didn't turn Louis down, I asked for suggestions on what is good there. I had the impression that Louis was a small chain. I agree 2 restaurants does not a chain make ; -)It's near where we will be staying and I am putting it on the go to list, along with Passion Fish, Amoos and Ryleigh's. I'll check out Stanford Grill also, it's not one that has crossed my radar yet. So that is four suggestions from you all that are lined up.

And no joke, Piedigrotta is actually for us a fabu suggestion. the Spouse is a HUGE tiramisu hound and will be tickled by a 'founding' location. I loath it, but there was never a bakery where I couldn't find something to make me happy.

What I turned down were just things that didn't interest me. Never said they were bad. I love Middle Eastern, we eat it all the time. Along with Chinese and Latin American. I would like to focus more on the seafood and meats and local styles, as I mentioned in my first post.

Only big name I think I mentioned was Central.

I asked about the local star dish; crabcakes, because all I have seen are necro threads covering it. Anyone have a link to a recent convo, or a suggestion of their own favorite?

French Onion Soup-How Do You Slice The Onions And What Booze Do You Use?

LOL... You must have known my grandmother!

I use Julia's version and have for years.

Jan 12, 2015
sarafinadh in Home Cooking

Looking for Suggestions for short stay in San Francisco

If by cool you are interested in a charming, old school boutique Edwardian hotel in the more downtown area check out the Queen Anne hotel.

http://queenanne1-px.trvlclick.com/

Like B&B's? The Inn San Francisco is in the Mission and an easy two blocks from the Valencia corridor and 24th street, both teeming with endless fabulous dining options. Your daughter and friend will like the area. Very Hip. The local hot spot for dining and shopping. Not sure you can do a one night option here. Close to BART to get anywhere.

http://www.innsf.com/?gclid=CPyE6Pf4j...

Late dinners;

State Bird Provisions
Beretta
Monks Kettle

Dim Sum

Hang Ah Tea Room on the edge of china town, funky and old and very good.

Yank Sing is in SOMA and is Dim Sum elevated to a fine dining experience.

The trip to Alcatraz is (amazing for a tourist trap ; -)VERY worth it. Really interesting and the most amazing views. Just walking around the island is wonderful. Go early enough to have some light to watch the sun go down and the City light come up. Pretty magical.

If you are compelled to have a lunch on the wharf go to Scoma's. Very old school San Francisco, but they handle seafood impeccably.

Have a great trip!

Restaurant for a smallish post wedding dinner - 4 children included

I think Cockscomb is a good idea if Chris's cuisine floats your friend's boat.

Garcon, on Valencia, has a smallish back room that would be the right size and is pretty, reasonable and festive.

Is Chowhound dead?

And besides, the DC/Balto board is full of necro threads. I was appalled at the lack of recent in depth activity. Searching for info dor an upcoming trip and there was very little current info already posted. I don't think there is enough activity to sustain either as a stand alone.

Jan 11, 2015
sarafinadh in Site Talk

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

Sorry, why would you ask Hounds about this? I never set foot in places such as these. I would hope if you're a savvy enough diner to have found Chow you would not be frequenting the worst chains... Seems as if it should be the wrong audience.

Jan 11, 2015
sarafinadh in Features

Is Chowhound dead?

I think maybe they got bored...

Jan 11, 2015
sarafinadh in Site Talk

8 yr old at Michelin 3*

Excellent point. My daughter and husband can do some SERIOUS damage to a good cheese cart!

Jan 11, 2015
sarafinadh in France

8 yr old at Michelin 3*

May I suggest if he orders venison and asks "what is this Daddy" that his father NOT answer "Bambi"?

We had our daughter, as an 8 year old at, maybe Laperousse, or maybe La Braisière, for lunch?

You can imagine what the meal devolved into at that point 8 -O

It's too bad that lunch isn't an option. I think that's more fun for a kid. We aimed, when she was that age, at restaurants such as these for a late lunch, when things were quiet.

I think La Braisière, while only one star is a good choice for a youngster. I noticed Le Cinq has a child's menu, and while I wouldn't have limited our daughter to it and I suspect you won't limit you son either, it does speak to a willingness to accommodate younger diners.

We have hired sitters when we were traveling so that we could go out. Perhaps if the 6 year old is a bit young for such a late night you might consider trying that and going with your husband and son. Ask your concierge; we have had mom's of the staff come to sit and they have been wonderful!

Have a wonderful trip. I am all for taking children pretty much everywhere. If you start young they know how to behave and are no trouble ; -)

Jan 11, 2015
sarafinadh in France

throw-back saturday: old-style veal parmigiana

Well, no surprise there; -) I use pork for cutlets, pounded out all the time and it's delicious. I get the pork roast 3 pack at costco. Keep them in the freezer. One of my go to meal options when I haven't planned anything. Pork is so mild and lean, so long as you barely cook it, just until it goes creamy pink, it's a perfect substitute.

Is Chowhound dead?

I landed on Chow in '98. Bulletin boards, not web sites. I check in and out, more when I am traveling, less when staying at home. Over the years it has changed a LOT.

This last phase of activity here began, for me, last summer while planning for a trip.

I am astounded by the lack of activity on some boards, and the necro threads that keep popping up in the side bar. Totally stupid. A year is often like a century in food years. Why would I EVER want to look at 7 year old threads?

And the quality of the posts have somewhat declined as well. Don't get me wrong, there is still excellent advice to be had here, but it's diluted now by many posts that are not, IMO, Chow worthy in any way.

Maybe not dead...but drifting into a moribund state? Maybe...

Jan 11, 2015
sarafinadh in Site Talk
1

Mandatory municipal composting: how do you handle your food scraps?

That's the one my girlfriend uses, looks nice too ; -)

Jan 11, 2015
sarafinadh in Not About Food

Mandatory municipal composting: how do you handle your food scraps?

Oh. Ugh. Some days ya just gotta do what ya just gotta do, huh?

Sorry you lost all that protein. Ouch.

Jan 11, 2015
sarafinadh in Not About Food

Mandatory municipal composting: how do you handle your food scraps?

Family of 5, with a constant flow of house guests and a busy amazon business supporting around 175 online sales a day;

55 Gallon blue bin is full of recycling every week.
5 to 10 gallons of compost
4 to 6 gallons of waste
1 t-shirt bag every 2 weeks of soft plastic to the grocery store for recycling.

So, yeah, whatever. No sheeple here...

Jan 10, 2015
sarafinadh in Not About Food
1

throw-back saturday: old-style veal parmigiana

Not in the east bay, but a block from BART 24th street is La Traviata, an old school Italian American family run restaurant.

The food is solid and unpretentious, the prices are very reasonable, the service friendly and caring, the atmosphere romantic. Perfect for a family gathering or date night.

And they do Veal Parmigiana, which one member of the family ALWAYS orders. He says it is not the very best he has had (and he has had a lot!) but he rates it as very good. Considering 'best' would require a trip to Venezia...

On the menu we are especially fond of the lasagne and the gnocchi in pink sauce. I often order it with shrimp. The eggplant parmigiana gets good reviews from a friend, and my daughter loves their carbonara. It's all tasty.

For desserts the tiramisu is too soggy to suit me, but the Spouse likes it, and I am not, in general, a tiramisu fan, so my opinion doesn't count for much on that one. The profiterols are nice and a large portion of 6. Avoid the creme caramel. They cook it too hot and it is full of air bubbles and is grainy. The pannacotta on the other hand is very good. I don't care for the overly sweet chocolate syrup they tend to drizzle on everything, including the pannacotta, but if you ask for the fig balsamic reduction instead you will prolly be very happy. I always am. The cool creamy panna with the tart sweet balsamic is nicely balanced. Really nice paired with a glass of port.

This is just a nice place to go for a relaxed dinner.

I am in sympathy with my Parisian food lovers

So sad, we were in your lovely city this fall for a month and were in some of the areas that are the scene of these tragic events. Just heartbreaking.

Jan 10, 2015
sarafinadh in France
1

Mandatory municipal composting: how do you handle your food scraps?

Commercial composting process is a very different animal from your back yard composting. Our city program takes everything as well, has for years.

A Long Weekend Plan

We don't 'usually' do chains, but sometimes an exception is the rule. What do you recommend?

New chef at the Palace? Has anyone been? [San Francisco]

We have been twice since July and enjoyed it both times. The 5 course Prix Fixe was good. Interesting combinations. The Chef's biggest strength in my opinion is his sauces. They were pleasantly cooperative about changes. The second time my companion was an ovolacto vegetarian. They accommodated her beautifully. They offer specialty cocktails that have been light and tasty. Desserts were fine, but not memorable.

One visit fell on an evening following a dinner at Chez TJ and we actually enjoyed it, over all, more!

I thought it was well worth the effort to visit. One time we had reso. once we walked in. They accommodated us easily.

Macarons (French cookie) available in DC?

Seems as if you couldn't go far wrong with a Ladurée trained baker ; -)

I'll have to stop in and pick some up for my daughter. She adores them!

A Long Weekend Plan

Excellent! A good onion tart can be a thing of beauty ; -)

A Long Weekend Plan

We got lucky, I was wrong about the landing, we will be in at 9pm. Since we won't have checked baggage for such a short trip we won't have any trouble making our 9:30 reservation. Barring the unforeseen of course. Any favorites on the menu?

Also; Any thoughts from anyone on Woodberry Kitchen?

Slanted Door dilemma [San Francisco]

I have the same problem, I find much of their menu hot spicy (like you even some is too much) And we have a friend who comes into town on business and just thinks Slanted Door is the bees knees. I have to say I just don't think it's all that and a PB&J, myself, but if you have to go there;

The Raw Bar. The crispy Imperial Rolls. They can do the Roasted Manilla Clams w/o the chiles. And the Roasted Crab is good. The Fuyu Persimmon & Asian Pear has ginger in the dressing, but it isn't over powering. I haven't had the Shaking Beef but it looks like a good option. Oven Roasted Butternut Squash w/o the rau ram sounds tasty. Ask about the Spicy Monterey Squid w/o the jalapenos. Fill up on rice ; -)