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Puff Pastry

I always add flour to the butter block (it's actually a chemistry thing, for me), but do not add melted butter to the dough.

I don't know how this version would be "drier" than regular puff -- especially with the melted butter added to the dough. I'm willing to be enlightened though, since I've been on a little bit of a puff pastry jag. Making puff this weekend probably.

Aug 28, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Puff Pastry

You get smearing and indistinct layers, IMO, using the reverse method, since exposure to air softens the butter much faster than the dough. A cold temperature during the entire process of rolling and folding is critical.

Besides, the reverse method is so much messier! Why make the process more difficult? Especially when the result is inferior.

Been doing a lot of puff pastry this summer.

Hot cheese straws to serve with cold French Champagne is my current favorite use.

Oh, and Palmiers in the morning.

First trip to Sonoma County- help!

I agree. Anderson Valley is too far.

Too much to see where you'll already be to justify driving the distance there and back, for the limited tasting experience that you'll have there. (And I taste there frequently.)

First trip to Sonoma County- help!

Whenever I read something about Napa Valley's "huge" or "glossy" tasting rooms -- as if they were all that way -- I wonder why the heck the person didn't get off the main roads and explore the smaller, rustic or boutique wineries on the small back roads that provide an intimate visit similar to Sonoma County's backcountry.

Broad-stroke characterizations (huge, glossy) like that strike me as absurd, as if one were rating the restaurants of an entire city based on those located on the major highways!

Of course the wineries on Napa Valley's main roads are touristy and have more of a packaged experience. It's an error to characterize the wineries of an entire growing region as being generally glossy and huge, especially if you haven't bothered to get off the main roads and wander down the winding back roads where the smaller, more intimate Napa Valley wineries are.

Narrowing down Yountville/Healdsburg

Sharing a tasting is fine. Agree with goldangI95 on this.

Spitting is the way to go. That way you can taste a wine again and again, and not have to swallow or get drunk.

When you have finished your tasting of a particular wine, then you can dump your glass so that it is empty for the next pour. Do not rinse your glass with water -- it will reduce the taste of the next wine by a third to a half. Just try to get (or shake) all the wine out of the glass to make it ready for the next pour.

Have fun. Ask questions.

Spanish wine pairing with Paella

Here's a thread with the best ideas I know of:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/544879

Aug 21, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Substitute for molasses in gingersnap recipe?

Since molasses holds on to water or liquid in the oven -- it's hygroscopic -- your cookies will be drier without it.

To prevent that, i'd use ALL brown sugar too, but I'd add some maple syrup (also hygroscopic) -- 1 Tablespoon or so -- so your cookies aren't dry.

Aug 15, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Last minute Napa Winery Suggestions

See this thread on Carneros area. There are lots of great ideas here.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8378...

Narrowing down Yountville/Healdsburg

Have you been to Farmstead lately?? Holy cow, it's getting pretty darn good.

Narrowing down Yountville/Healdsburg

Yes, lovely tasting rooms in Healdsburg but the wineries are not far outside of town and driving is easy. Good maps all around. It's such a different experience to be at the winery.

You will need maps and an itinerary, and a general plan. That being said, serendipity will happen, but you really must plan a little.

Sort of a toss-up between Redd and Press. If it's an anniversary dinner or special dinner, then definitely Press. It's got a great feel inside. Wonderful food too.

I live in Yountville, so if you have further questions, fire away. Better yet, here's what I've suggested before:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8637...

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9845...

Also, I'd drive the back way into Healdsburg from Yountville. That means going through Calistoga, up Highway 128. It's a *very* beautiful drive, and there are many good wineries along the way in the Alexander Valley area. Also, stop at the Jimtown store for coffee and to explore the retro knickknacks.

The Best Place to Sample Champagne in Paris Is...The Airport?

Fun! Thanks.Something to do while waiting.

Aug 14, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Can anyone recommend a wine shop in Dallas, TX...

Glad to know that worked out for you.

Aug 14, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Smoke taint threat from California wildfires

I am guessing the Lake and Yolo Counties grape crop is lost. The Rocky Fires reminds me of 2008 in Sonoma and Napa when wines from that vintage were tainted by the smoke from wildfires.

Unsure about the effect of the Rocky Fire on the current crop of Napa Valley grapes. The southeast border of the fire is still approx. 20 miles from northernmost Napa Valley.

Aug 06, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Sparkling wine sales fizzing in the US

Um, personally, I find the word "fizzing" in the headline too close to the word "fizzling," which means exactly the opposite.

Plus, there is that pesky urban slang definition of fizzing:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define...

Copy editor needed!

Aug 04, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Good wineries near town of Sonoma

Thanks for the heads-up.

Can I marinate pork in an foil roaster?

Don't do it. The acid and aluminum chemically react.

More here:
http://www.foodsafetysite.com/consume...

Plus, there's more on the web about this.

French Bistros Battle Over Secret Sauce

Here's a link to the older l'Entrecote sauce discussion:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/500786

Entrecote Steak Sauce - How to make

More on the sauce, and sauce wars:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/french-bi...

Jul 27, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Two different viewpoints on the differences in bacteria between curd and yogurt:

First, here's a scientific analysis of the microbial content of curd made daily in 16 households in India. The analysis of the samples showed lactobacillus bacteria consistent with yogurt.

See Table II at
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic...

On the other hand...

Dr. Neerja Hajela, a scientist in India (full disclosure: she works for Dannon India), quoted in The Hindu, said what differentiates curd from yogurt is the bacteria:

"Curd is defined as a product obtained by souring boiled or pasteurized milk naturally, by harmless lactic acid bacteria or other bacterial cultures. It may contain a wide variety of bacteria, which are not defined qualitatively/quantitatively. The number and type of bacteria also vary from home to home.

"Yoghurt, on the other hand, is obtained by lactic acid fermentation of milk by Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophillus."

She went on to say that neither curd nor yogurt have enough probiotic bacteria to be considered a true probiotic.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/scie...

In the FWIW category...

Jul 24, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Update, more reading...

Generally, India uses a different definition of the word "curd" than does the US, UK and Europe.

Curd in India refers to yogurt, but in the US, UK and Europe, curd refers to milk solids (chunks) that have separated from whey. More here:

http://www.differencebetween.net/obje...

Jul 24, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

The info at the links point out differences, if it is accurate.

Jul 24, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

One evening in San Fran / 5 nights in Napa

Napa Valley is not touristy if you get off the main highways. The back roads are exquisite country. Green and agricultural as far as the eye can see.

I live in Napa Valley, and taste all over this valley, Sonoma County's many wine regions, Anderson Valley, the Carneros, Mendocino, as well as France, Germany and Italy. I've written a lot of posts on where to go, and I'm short on time at the moment. If you would do a search on Chowhound or using a browser, you can pull up some of my recommendations. The Chowhound search function sometimes doesn't work that well, so I usually use a browser.

Good wineries near town of Sonoma

I like Laurel Glen and Pangloss in Glen Ellen.

HdV for truly stellar wines in the Carneros district. This is the area at the top of SF Bay (San Pablo Bay) and that straddles the southern end of both Sonoma and Napa.

Also, further up Highway 12: Arrowood, Chateau St. Jean.

All these wineries are easy drives from the town of Sonoma.

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Welcome to Chowhound.

I did look it up -- thank you. The two sources below say curd is made by adding an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to milk (usually buffalo milk) to coagulate it. It's made the same way we make farmer cheese in the US and ricotta in Italy.

So the difference is that curd is made with an acid, and yogurt is made with lactobacillus bacteria.

I thought the comparison table here was interesting:
http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-diff...

http://www.differencebetween.info/dif...

I can't vouch for the validity of what either website says, so if you have better info, please share it.

Thanks for your post.

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

Gadget claims to filter wine sulphites

What surprises me is that someone with PhD in chemistry would come up with a device whose success depends on a chemistry myth.

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine
1

Gadget claims to filter wine sulphites

White wine has more sulfites than red. What I've found, for me, is that my breath is wasted explaining what's what to someone who truly believes that sulfites are *the* issue for them.

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine
1

Gadget claims to filter wine sulphites

I'm guessing the device is based upon one of four Dow products that removes sulfites from liquid. These are ion exchange resins that grab onto the sulfites as they pass through the resin filter.

My understanding is the resin filter does change the chemistry of the wine, lessening its acid -- which could be an issue.

You can read about the Dow resins here:
http://www.dowwaterandprocess.com/en/...
http://dowac.custhelp.com/app/answers...

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Gadget claims to filter wine sulphites

"If you react to sulfites, you react to *a lot* of foods other than wine, you’re probably a severe asthmatic, and you’ll know. There’s nothing wrong with a tool to remove sulfites *per se*, but it contributes to this whole myth of their being a good reason why the Ordinary Wine Consumer would want to."

That's pretty much where I'm at.

That quote is from Erika Szymanski, a wine science writer and PhD candidate from New Zealand. The quote comes from her blog here.

http://wineoscope.com/2015/07/13/the-...

Jul 23, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Can anyone recommend a wine shop in Dallas, TX...

I'd say Pogo's with its Champagne selection. They also deliver.
Here's their Champagne page:
https://www.pogoswine.com/wines/All/F...

Also Monticello Liquor.

Also post on the DFW board.

Jul 20, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Sonoma County Egg Hunt: I Brake for Fresh Farm Eggs

I'll be there Tuesday. Will check it out.

Still loving this thread.