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traceybell's Profile

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Best coffee cake?

I think wichcraft if they still sell it has really good coffee cake. Or wherever Karen DeMasco is.

Mar 10, 2010
traceybell in Manhattan

Looking for the best cheesecake EVER

If you're in the theater district, Trecolori, the Italian restaurant has really good cheesecake. It's light and fluffy and tangy, not dense.

Mar 10, 2010
traceybell in Manhattan

Il Bagatto

I haven't been there in a few years but I always got the tortellini ragu. it was really good.

Mar 08, 2010
traceybell in Manhattan

Shrimp Chips in Koreatown

the korean grocery store han ah reum on 32nd st has them in the snack section. Not homemade but in mass-produced bags like any other snack. But more delicious in my opinion. I like the white bag with the big shrimp chip photo on the front.

Mar 08, 2010
traceybell in Manhattan

Where to buy Coca-cola (without high fructose corn syrup)?

Mexican Coca-cola in glass bottles are all over East Harlem. Try the Mexican grocery store on 100th and Lex. The lables say sugar and/or HFCS but when I asked about it the lady at the store told me they just use that English label to cover all the bases, but if it says it's from Mexico, it's with sugar. I believe her because I think I can taste the difference and I don't feel like I need more after I've had a Mexican Coke,

Mar 08, 2010
traceybell in Manhattan

Need new shop for frozen dumplings in Chinatown

Supertaste is my favorite. Juicy and lots of chives. I like Prosperity too but prefer Supertaste.

Mar 08, 2010
traceybell in Manhattan

Havana Pies

I don't. I just want to empathize. I loved that place. Especially the crawfish pie and even the very inauthentic pizza empanada. I think their empanada skins were very tender and thin, and haven't had one like that anywhere else. Other empanadas seem heavier.

Mar 02, 2010
traceybell in Manhattan

Top Chef - Las Vegas - Ep. #9 - Restaurant Wars! - 10/21/09 (Spoilers)

The judges are only human and have subjective biases. But I don't think this was an exception to the rule. They do it all the time--being influenced by past performance--but it's not about Jen, it's about Laurine. Laurine made "cat food" rillette the challenge before. But they let Ash go instead for his clammy pork because the episode right before he'd landed in the bottom 3 for doing nothing while likening his partner Michael to Picasso. During the French challenge, Mattin should've gone for his bad veloute but it took the camping elimination right afterwards to eliminate him for his bad ceviche. In the episode, Robin's shrimp tasted like chlorine, so she arguably should have gone. But the judges are always catching up, like the Oscars. Ron also left after he'd been in the bottom 3 twice in a row. I guess Robin's just lucky she's only in the bottom 3 every other time.

Oct 23, 2009
traceybell in Food Media & News

How do you organize recipes you find online?

I just started using this and love it. It's almost effortless but makes me feel so organized. And I can access it from work and home.

Jan 10, 2009
traceybell in Not About Food

Top Chef Jan. 7th with spoilers

I think it's that toxic crab at Whole Foods. Josea (sp?) picked it up in an earlier episode and tanked with it and I've used it, as the only lump crab option at that location. You think it's in a plastic container, but it's sealed with a metal lid underneath and tastes metallic and awful. You cannot make it taste like crab.

Jan 10, 2009
traceybell in Food Media & News

Favorite Out of the Ordinary Breakfast Recipe

I don't know how out of the ordinary this is, but I like breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and tomatillo salsa. Here's a recipe for the salsa which is very easy to do.

http://www.howtoeatlikeabird.com/how_...

Jan 02, 2009
traceybell in Home Cooking

Thermal-like Coffee Holder/Mug for Work [Moved from Not About Food]

I love my Tuff Mug from Zojiroshi. About $20 from Amazon. I trust the seal enough to toss into my handbag--it never leaks and keeps drinks hot and cold for a long time. Mostly I use it for iced coffee and even when left open all day on my desk, the ice cubes will last all day. The only thing is that it's smaller than most other mugs. Fine for a small iced coffee though. You also have to open the top completely to drink out of it, so maybe not a mug per se for driving and drinking, but good for when you're at work.

Dec 30, 2008
traceybell in Cookware

King's hawaiian sweet rolls

Found it! (Hopefully). The site said Pathmark should have it, so I called the one on the LES which is the most suburban supermarket I can think of in NYC. The aisles are huge and it even has a parking lot. --And the woman on the phone said they had it, with no hesitation. I'm always skeptical but I'll go today or tomorrow and if I don't report back with bitter disappointment, that means I found them. Thanks everyone for your input! If I didn't know others noticed a lack of the brand in the northeast, I wouldn't have been motivated to call because I hate talking to supermarket managers (and Duane Reade people). Thanks to E Eto for the Web site link!

Jul 16, 2008
traceybell in Manhattan

Basket or rack for steaming lobsters

Can you turn your steamer basket upside down to create the one-inch elevation? That's what I do.

Jul 16, 2008
traceybell in Cookware

King's hawaiian sweet rolls

Anyone come across these in any grocery store in Manhattan? They're supposed to have expanded distribution, so I'm hoping...

Jul 16, 2008
traceybell in Manhattan

Seafood shopping in Chinatown

I buy lobster from this wholesale place on Allen between Hester and Canal. They hold up the lobster to show you how alive and kicking it is, and if it seems a little listless, you can always request another. They have tanks and tanks of lobster. I've gotten snapper from Tan My My before and it's been good.

http://www.howtoeatlikeabird.com/how_...

Mar 22, 2008
traceybell in Manhattan

Your thoughts on EMP and others, please

I'd like to take out my friends for a memorable dinner because they really saved my life this year (metaphorically). I find Eleven Madison Park's menu very appealing, but is it merely solid and good, not great? And if it's still great, would you recommend the gourmand tasting menu or the 4-course which would basically be the same price with a couple of add-ons. I was originally thinking I would like a bigger portion of their more outstanding, signature dishes, but perhaps the longer tasting menu would be more fun if they showered us with special treats...these people love good food and one of them is more into smaller, more creative plates but it has to taste good too.

They've already been to Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin, Babbo, Fleur de Sel, Esca, Quality Meats; and Masa and Per Se are not in the running due to budget constraints. I was also thinking of Annisa, Etats-Unis (although it seems more of a traditional big plate/less variety kind of place), Degustation for fun, maybe one of the Boulud restaurants or Bouley? and I don't know what else. I think Blue Hill may be a little boring for them. And it seems like EMP is more consistent than the Modern or the bar room there. Would love your suggestions and opinions about said places. Thanks very much.

Dec 19, 2007
traceybell in Manhattan

recs for cookbooks w/easy everyday recipes bordering on the healthy

I need recommendations for a cookbook for someone who appreciates good food but doesn't want to put much time and effort into cooking with which she has little experience. She has little patience for sourcing ingredients, although would likely be less intimidated by Asian ingredients. And she just got married to someone who likes to eat fairly light for everyday meals. I was thinking of Everyday Food from Martha Stewart, and maybe one other title. Suggestions, anyone? Has anyone looked at Real Food by Rocco?

Dec 02, 2007
traceybell in Home Cooking

Saturday Sushi Near 55th and 3rd

Fukumatsu on 52nd between 3rd and 2nd.

Nov 03, 2007
traceybell in Manhattan

Esca or Neptune Room

I think Esca is definitely better than Neptune Room, which is more of a neighborhood restaurant. I've only been to both places once but wasn't impressed with anything at Neptune Room. I think Esca suffers from really high expectations and sticker shock, but I enjoyed what I had--not life-changing, but I was glad to have tried the pasta w/sea urchin finally, and their salt-baked whole fish looked good. I don't know if I'd go back again, as it's expensive and there are so many other places to try, but I would definitely pick it over Neptune Room if price isn't an issue.

Nov 02, 2007
traceybell in Manhattan

what to do with tomato butter

I just made some tomato butter, and it was great on seared scallops. A few drops of red vinegar would make it perfect, I think.

http://www.howtoeatlikeabird.com/how_...

Also, if you like grits, that sounds great. Saw that on Top Chef, and kind of drooled a little. That was a chipotle tomato butter, but same kind of idea.

Nov 01, 2007
traceybell in Home Cooking

Buckwheat (how should I use it?)

Buckwheat pancakes or Russian blinis w/smoked salmon.

Oct 28, 2007
traceybell in Home Cooking

kimchi jigae

First you should wait until your kimchi gets very ripe. New kimchi doesn't make for good chigae because you want it to be acidic. Basically, you stir-fry it with some pork, add water and let it boil, then simmer over medium-to-low heat for about 20 minutes. You can add Korean soup stock or dried anchovies for some depth. I think some people add Korean dried chili powder to make it more spicy. You can add tofu. This is the basic recipe.

--I'm not sure how to get the pork really tender. Maybe use a fatty cut and let it cook over low heat a lot longer? I often use canned tuna in place of pork, just adding drained tuna near the end of cooking. This is a very college student thing to do. And I will add an egg yolk. But I'd be interested if anyone knows how to make it w/very tender pieces of pork. That's the best kind.

Oct 28, 2007
traceybell in Home Cooking

Di Fara's-getting there.

Why is it dead on Wednesdays as opposed to, say, Tuesdays?

Oct 25, 2007
traceybell in Outer Boroughs

How do people portion size at home?

I scale down recipes more often than not, but if it's labor intensive or something I can freeze, like macaroni and cheese, I'll make the whole recipe, but will freeze half before the final step of baking. I'll try to freeze in individual portions, so it's not just a big mound of something, but ready to go.

I think the size of your fist is a good indicator of portion size--not that I follow that very much, but I have noticed that's what it takes to satiate my hunger, and everything after that is pure entertainment. I used to be enamored of really tiny plates and bowls a la a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle story about picky eaters (starve them out) and numerous magazine tips on how a smaller plate will make your food look bigger. But I found that it just gave me license to go back for seconds. Whereas 4 tiny meatballs served at a restaurant in a bowl with an enormous rim will actually leave me satisfied. Maybe because the plating seems so grandiose?

http://www.howtoeatlikeabird.com/

Oct 25, 2007
traceybell in Not About Food

Wu Liang Ye -- What should I order?

if they still have it, their braised tofu dish. very greasy and spicy and good. they may have replaced the minced pork with eggplant though, and that one is not as good.

Oct 24, 2007
traceybell in Manhattan

LEFTOVER STEAMED CABBAGE

Vietnamese stir-fry with egg. Slice it into ribbons and scramble with an egg (I like one egg per quarter cabbage) and about a teaspoon of fish sauce (or to taste) and plenty of black pepper. The original recipe is meant for a quick stir-fry of raw cabbage, but I like my cabbage pretty soft and sweet, so I think it would work for steamed as well.

http://www.howtoeatlikeabird.com/how_...

You could also make any kind of hash with it--cabbage, potato, and corned beef.

Oct 23, 2007
traceybell in Home Cooking

anything NEW in koreatown?

This is a really old place, but have you been to Third Floor on the corner of 32nd and 5th? It's a lounge with overpriced Coronas but I actually really like their food and sometimes go during the day when no one is there because I like their omerice. They also have good bar/group foods like squid bokum with ramen noodles and ddubukki. Then there's also the newish fried chicken place bon chon.

Oct 23, 2007
traceybell in Manhattan

What do you cook when you are cooking for one?

Scallops are perfect because you can select how many you want, so there's no waste and they cook up in two or three minutes. It's also not an expensive splurge when you're buying for one.

Oct 21, 2007
traceybell in Home Cooking

Why is it impossible to find really good food on the UWS?

I think the only place on the UWS I really like is Celeste's (Italian). There's also a Hummus Place, I hear. Have only been to the one downtown but it's good.

I was at Fairway cafe eating brunch and saw plenty of people taking probably hundreds' worth of groceries home, hailing cabs and double parking fancy SUVs. I don't think discretionary income is a problem. Maybe the real estate comes in too large of a size? Celeste's is pretty small (and always packed), but a lot of UWS places seem big compared to the little places in the East Village that only seat 20 and alway seem full. Maybe it's hard for a small business with a niche category of food to do well.

Oct 20, 2007
traceybell in Manhattan