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Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

Posh? hahahahaha.

about 5 hours ago
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Duel 9/10 Dale vs. Tiffany

If I recall correctly, Tiffany was the recipient of the famous "I"m not your bitch, Bitch" line from her first season.

Top Chef Duel 9/10 Dale vs. Tiffany

I just came away with the sense that the icons of Heavy Metal have aged rather badly. And they were mostly unappealing old coots. How ironic. Or may not.

Sep 12, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures

Jell-o that's been allowed to sit uncovered in the back of the fridge for about a week until it's rubbery and chewy.

Marshmallows that have been melted on top of saltines a la s'mores, but with a sweet/salty theme

Peeps that have been opened and allowed to dry out a bit.

Fried chicken

Ramen noodle soup with lots of veggies added, plus a raw egg mixed in a la egg drop soup

Sep 11, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Not to go too far afield, but - summer? What summer? Not much where I live.

Sep 11, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

China town recommendations

I know that the Tony Hu's restaurants (Lao Sze Chuan, Lao, Bejing, Lao Shanghai, etc) get a lot of press and praise. I've been to most of them and I have to say that while the food is not bad, for me they look/feel dirty and the service is abysmal. I'm pretty tolerant if the food is good, but I've kind of had it with these places.

Lately I prefer Moon Palace or Emperors Choice. Dim sum is reliable, if not mind-blowing at Phoenix and Three Happiness. I've heard good things about Ming Hin and Dim Dim, but have not tried either one yet.

Sep 10, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Not only did I do that as well, but my grown son and daughter (both working parents) do it for their children.

Yay! Something I did stuck for the good!

Sep 10, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News
1

Master Chef 9/8 spoilers

Texas man vs. California man. Lots of different points of view. None of it means a thing.

Sep 09, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Master Chef 9/8 spoilers

I noticed and was totally turned off by her increasingly silly looking clothes, but I would bet dollars to donuts that that's the producers' doing and not really her choice at all.

Sep 09, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

High Rise Cooking - no vents?!

Hoosier, I know and respect your opinion. Can you say more about what you mean by being "careful with prep" and being "somewhat limited"? Does that mean I can't pan grill meat? Or if I do the place will stink for days? What precautions would I have to take with prep?

Sep 09, 2014
chicgail in Cookware

High Rise Cooking - no vents?!

We are "downsizing" and moving from a nice big house - potentially - to a high rise condo. We can already see that we would need to move a gas line to switch from an electric range to a gas range.

I was surprised, however, to learn that there is no such thing as "venting" in high rise buildings. Those of you CHs who cook and live in such buildings, what do you do? Is it a problem? Is there some alternative way of dealing with smoke and/or cooking smells?

Before we move on this place, it seems to be a good idea to know how to handle this. Surely everyone who lives in a high rise doesn't depend on ordering out and/or heating things up in a microwave.

Sep 09, 2014
chicgail in Cookware

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

I'm sorry, but with all the "allergies" (many of which are by choice) and preferences and special diets, a caterer would have to offer options for:
gluten-free
dairy-free
tree nut-free
Kosher
vegetarian
vegan
Atkins/carb-free
Weight Watchers
Paleo

Ridiculous. It's not the bridal party's job to accommodate whatever it is your are/are not eating these days. Be a gracious guest. Eat what you want - at home or at the party. Don't eat what you don't want. Don't bitch about it.

The Tyranny of the Home-Cooked Family Dinner  

Silly article. Tyranny my butt.

One of those "beat the trend" trendoid articles that purports to fly in the face of what we are hearing so much of.

Gosh darn it. I am no saint or martyr. I am a lifelong feminist and certainly not special, but it just ain't that hard. It ain't all that stressful. It ain't ever perfect. There are a few standbys: quick sautéed chicken breasts and tacos and sloppy joes and spaghetti and burgers. Sheesh.

We're not talking about 50s sitcoms and wearing a cute little apron with pearls and slaving all day in the kitchen. We're talking about actually providing healthy, homemade food for families that give us an opportunity to be together if only for 20 minutes. We're talking about children seeing and learning that food doesn't just come in plastic and cardboard containers.

Food is organic and our relationship to it is as well. The preparation and sharing of a meal allows us to be together in a very special way.

OK, Ready for Feedback: My Heavily Researched Chicago Itinerary

Uban Belly and Frontera are both excellent, but VERY different.

Urban Belly is in a residential neighborhood, uber-casual serve-yourself, sit on plastic outdoor style chairs with a Latin/Asian style of food.

Frontera was Rick Bayless's first homage of Mexican regional cuisine as fine dining very much in the more touristy part of town. Reservations are very useful.

Girl and the Goat is also one of my faves. Stephanie Izard surprises me every time I eat there. I have had a few dishes that I thought were meh, but so many others that were absolute delights. Her vegetable dishes are some of the most interesting. Again, very difficult reservation to get, especially on short notice (apparently I m not the only one who likes it).

Au Cheval (virtually across the street from GATG) is also fun.

Sep 06, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Masterchef 9/1 OMG SPOILERS

That means that none of the challenges are actually a surprise. What a shock! Reality TV with no reality.

Sep 06, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Masterchef 9/1 OMG SPOILERS

So you're thinking of Cutter the Chef in the same vein as "Joe the Plumber" - who after all was neither named Joe nor was a plumber.

Masterchef 9/1 OMG SPOILERS

The contestants have very little say in what they wear, how they do their hair, their make-up, and even how they stand. Many are coached by people who create characters that get cast on "reality" TV. All of them are heavily coached by the producers for - wait for it! - Good Television.

Sep 02, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Masterchef 9/1 OMG SPOILERS

If Christian had no idea what a croquembouche was when the challenge started, how did he manage to create and construct a viable one? How much coaching, teaching, testing, goes on before the contestants actually do the challenge?

Sep 02, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

The nectar of the Gods, tuna noodle casserole....

The "lots of pepper" in the casserole is also a good tip.

Aug 31, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Absolute Tomatoey-est Tasting Tomato Sauce You Will EVER Eat

Rats. I just got a bunch of tomatoes for sauce - all plum!

Aug 31, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

24 Hours in Chicago - urgent recommendations needed : )

I agree with Gonzo and Masha about Boka. We've eaten there twice since they reopened and it's right at the top of my list. Other places up there include Naha, Takashi, and Girl and the Goat (which will probably NOT have availability on short notice).

For brunch I would never leave The Publican out of consideration. Great food. Great drink. Great fun.

Aug 31, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Remember Katie Joel on Top Chef?

What an awful line.

Although the walk down Memory Lane was interesting, for both the memorable chefs and the ones I can't remember AT ALL.

Top Chef Duels 8/20, spoilers, Antonia vs Mike - a profane and foggy recap

Cowboyaree, your recap was the best thing about the show.

I don't like that they have to do the fake trash talk with each other. I don't like that the judges know who made what. I don't like that the families had to say what they thought about the food that their family members and their opponents cooked. don't like the product placement stuff. I don't like Curtis Stone.

And I don't like that I have retrain myself to not put two spaces after each period.

This ain't Top Chef and I wish it was. I love Antonia and don't dislike Mike I as much as I used to. He was charming with his wife. And I want him to go on a diet to get back to his TC weight.

Master Chef 8/18 spoilers

Exactly what I was wondering. I would even have used the same words: boring & bland & dry.

Aug 20, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Restaurant Review - Japonais Morimoto

We had such high hopes. Japonais was always good and Morimoto's influence had to have made it even more interesting. And we had had an extraordinary omakase tasting by a chef who had worked with Morimoto at an obscure Japanese restaurant way off the strip in Vegas.

The place is still totally hip and WAAAY too noisy. Our waiter decided to ingratiate himself by telling us -repeatedly - that he had lived in Japan for 10 years. And how Morimoto sources his own fish and saki. Also repeatedly. And to tell us how he hoped we were having a good time. Ad nauseum.

Our intention was to try a few small plates, some sushi and call it a night. Instead we wound up ordering the omakae (Mr. CG said he did it just to get rid of the waiter who wouldn't shut up).

For the price ($120pp) and the time and the amount of food, I really hoped this meal would top our experience in Vegas. Nope.

A toro tartar was really a tuna paste stuck to a square glass serving piece inserted into a larger bowl of crushed ice. Tiny thin strips of sour cream, avocado, wasabe, something like fried Israeli couscous and something else were also on the serving piece. There was also a small bowl of soy sauce in the ice and we were given a tiny paddle or trowel with which to eat the thing. Scrape some tartar onto the paddle, dip it in the soy sauce and the tuna falls into the soy sauce.

It continued with a rather greasy octopus "bagna cauda," some very good sushi, an incredibly tender and well cooked lobster "marsala," and a grey piece of wagu NY strip steak.

We left with significantly less money, uncomfortably stuffed, our ears ringing from the noise and having to shout across the table at each other, and totally irritated by our unctuous waiter.

All and all, I cannot recommend this place and I am sorry to have to do that.

Aug 19, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Master Chef 8/18 spoilers

I had thought that a ring of ricotta kept the egg yolk in place. It didn't look like the contestants had that to use. What keep it from sliding off the pasta square?

Aug 19, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

"off hours" at The Purple Pig

I was there on a week night about 5:15 before an "alumni Wendella cruise" just up the block. We called first to be sure, but our wait was only about 15 minutes and dinner was perfectly wonderful. Glad you reminded me. I want to go back!

Aug 16, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Penn Jillette’s secrets of “Celebrity Apprentice”: Donald Trump is a whackjob!

Great businessman
Brilliant political mind.
Role model for us all.

Penn Jillette’s secrets of “Celebrity Apprentice”: Donald Trump is a whackjob!

That really is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Nothing to see here, folks. Just move along.

Aug 15, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Duel 8/13 spoilers Chung vs. Williamson

It sounded to me like the "trash talking" was prompted by the producers and not what either chef was thinking or would have said spontaneously. Somehow the producers have decided that that's what viewers want to see/hear. Apparently it's not.

Aug 15, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News