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Best Cookbooks of 2014 - Post your picks and your local retailer's/media outlet's/other picks here...please

Has anyone spent some time with How To Cook Eataly? I have my eye on it but I'm concerned that it may be too commerical?

Dec 14, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Christmas Day Dinner

How about a spiral ham - if you shop around they aren't as pricey as when they first became available at the specialty stores. I buy mine at Aldi's. Minimal prep or clean up. Make some kind of do ahead potato casserole type thing (I love an old recipe for potatoes boulange (sp?) its a fancy version of scalloped potatoes with gruyere cheese. A Side dish or two and you're done.

Dec 11, 2014
chocchic in General Topics
2

Are Meyer lemons in season now?

I saw them in our local Wisconsin supermarket last week. I didn't note where they were grown but I guarantee it wasn't around here. I thought it was a little early but they are available.

Nov 10, 2014
chocchic in Los Angeles Area

looking for restaurant/ carry out suggestions near Bagno a Ripoli (just south of Florence)

Thanks PastaMama - We'll be there next week. Starting in Venice tomorrow and working our way south. My twenty something son has been living/studying near Naples this summer so hopefully he has learned enough Italian to get us dinner. I think he's overloaded on pasta and ready for meat so this would be a good spot for him. We may take your suggestion of driving there in daytime. We will have a GPS so that should help. HaHa I just looked at their website - they don't have a button to select what language you want to view website - could be an adventure.

Sep 22, 2014
chocchic in Italy

looking for restaurant/ carry out suggestions near Bagno a Ripoli (just south of Florence)

Thanks so much Jen. After your message I did a little more poking around and found a list of interesting sounding restaurants - hopefully we aren't so far out in the country that we will be able to try one or two. And for sure the market looks promising.

Sep 22, 2014
chocchic in Italy

looking for restaurant/ carry out suggestions near Bagno a Ripoli (just south of Florence)

Thanks so much. In the country - I haven't been in this area so not even sure what to expect - good to know there is a market in Bagno a Ripoli. Is it a small village?

Sep 22, 2014
chocchic in Italy

looking for restaurant/ carry out suggestions near Bagno a Ripoli (just south of Florence)

We are spending 5 nights in Tuscany - staying in Bagno a Ripoli Looking for suggestions of how to handle dinner. Not wild about driving a lot of hilly, twisty roads in the dark. So possibly there is something nearby or maybe we take some simple dinner ingredients back to room. It does have small kitchen. One dinner suggestion was CentoPali in San Donatato in Collina. Anyone familiar with that?
Any other reccomendations?

Sep 22, 2014
chocchic in Italy

Brief Parma Report

enjoying your travel log - we're headed to Italy soon and to many of the same areas. thanks for taking the time to post and in such good detail.

Sep 14, 2014
chocchic in Italy

Brazilian Foods for World Cup Party?

Thanks - I was kind of thinking about Empanadas. We've been to Paraguay several times and they are one of our favorite South American treats but wasn't sure if they were eaten in Brazil as well.

Jun 14, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Brazilian Foods for World Cup Party?

I'm getting together with just a few friends to watch USA play in World Cup on Monday. I thought it would be fun to fix some food that soccer fans might be eating in Brazil. I'm finding black bean recipes and flan recipes. Any suggestions?

Jun 14, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

making fresh pasta with gorgonzola - need help

a dear friend asked me to re-create her favorite memory of her trip to Italy. She wants pasta with a Gorgonzola sauce. I found a recipe in my Italy for the Gourmet Traveler book. It's 6 ounces of cheese melted with 1/4 cup light cream and a Tbls of butter. Seems like I would want more cream? Also a restaurant we go to suggested Dulce style Gorgonzola cheese. Any thoughts? I want to make a great dish. Oh and btw so far I haven't found dulce cheese.

Jun 04, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Neapolitan pizza - is is supposed to be soggy in middle?

I am constantly in search of great pizza in my own kitchen and in restaurants. Today our local restaurant reviewer said the Neapolitan pizza had a "lovely blistered rim and a classically, well, soggy center". Really are well prepared or classically prepared Neapolitan pizza supposed to be soggy in the middle? BTW it won't change my perception of good pizza - I like a nice crispy thin crust that is crispy all the way across.

May 30, 2014
chocchic in General Topics

Need Pheasant Dinner Menu Suggestions

great ideas. Thanks so much. I was stuck in a place that I didn't feel quite comfortable but it's coming together for me now. Thanks

Apr 16, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Need Pheasant Dinner Menu Suggestions

I agree pheasant does pair nicely with wild rice - but I have this wonderful sauce that I actually learned originally to make with chicken. The sauce would be lost over wild rice.

Apr 16, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Need Pheasant Dinner Menu Suggestions

Kris - what a great link. I'm sort of committed to the pasta so the addition of roast potatoes seems a little heavy for this dinner but I've saved the link and will use another time. And I agree about the "want" even if it isn't fall.

Apr 16, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Need Pheasant Dinner Menu Suggestions

the apps will be self serve in the kitchen where all of my guests seem to fell a need to assemble. I'm liking vegie app idea ..maybe something with artichokes or peas. Or maybe I'll just do green beans on entre plate and then I could do something with asparagus. If I ditch the goat cheese and raspberry salad I could just do a more "Italian " dressing and as an upgrade add a crisp that is made of melted parmesean. I know it's cheese but not the creamy vareity.

Apr 16, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Need Pheasant Dinner Menu Suggestions

so far just the brat bites and crostini of some sort. I loved the mascarpone and merlot combo and it is different so sure my guests haven't had. Trying to add one more fairly simple app.

Apr 16, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Need Pheasant Dinner Menu Suggestions

It's supposed to be spring but in Wisconsin we got snow yesterday. I haven't been able to find Meyer Lemons for awhile now. Trying to think of a do ahead approach for salad that makes it a bit special. But thinking about eliminating the goat cheese.

Apr 16, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

Need Pheasant Dinner Menu Suggestions

Ooh, Traveler - if we have time my husband would love the idea of smoking pheasant. good one!
The theme is really pheasant - and we already have the brats made and in freezer. I like the idea of adding the mustard dipping sauce - sort of elevates it a bit.
And yes, my guests are all sort of wine fans so was trying to incorporate wine because they like and thought it might tie together.
I'm kind of rethinking the salad course. If I ditched the goat cheese it would make one fewer last minute worries.
also Blond, I was thinking of just simple roast asparagus on plate with pheasant and pasta to sort of green it up a bit; so maybe the pea or artichokes would be good. Do you think if I offered two or three spreads with the crostini and the pheasant brats that would all work together better than adding another completely different item - like fresh vegies or nuts?

Apr 16, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking
1

Need Pheasant Dinner Menu Suggestions

We donated a pheasant dinner at a fund raiser. We now have to actually prepare and serve it. The pheasant breast will be served on a bed of fresh pasta lightly drizzed with wine reduction sauce. Appetizers include pheasant brat bites (small slices of brat served with pretzel pick) and crostini topped with Mascarpone and a touch of locally sourced Merlot jelly. The appetizers seem sort of disjointed so I"m trying to think what I could serve in addition that would sort of bridge them all together. Fresh vegies? Sweet and spicy nuts? an additional Crostini topping?
For salad I"m thinking of spring greens topped with raspberry vinarette and toasted slice of goat cheese. Can I repeat the raspberry in dessert? I wanted to do a light White Chocolate Mousse served in a bed of Raspberry sauce.

Apr 16, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking

MKE - For fans of Sanford

hmmm I'll have to watch the listings would love to see the show. I went to a cooking class at Sanfords when he was just opening the restaurant. And I agree he is a gentle humble person who is passionate about his cooking. I did purchase his book and haven't read it all the way thru but it is that kind of cookbook - lots of stories to read.

Feb 25, 2014
chocchic in Great Lakes

Amazing Race All-Stars, Meet Chowhound

We're typically not reality TV viewers but because we love to travel we are avid Amazing Race fans and looking forward to tonight's premier. Of course food is an important part of enriching any travel experience so this is a delightful partnership. Can't wait.

Feb 23, 2014
chocchic in Features

buying kitchen appliances!

Interesting concept (insurance for ALL appliances) I am totally convinced that I would rather have a 10 year old working appliance than a brand new one so paying to keep it running is necessary. However I have been frustrated by my 5 year old Maytag stove since a week after I bought it. I got the shiny black double oven with convection. It was not meant to be cooked on. Within days the stove top lost some of the finish and it always looks like crap. since I am hoping it dies any day now I certainly wouldn't want insurance to kick in and force me to keep. I would however be very sad to have to replace my 10 year old Maytag dishwasher.

Feb 23, 2014
chocchic in Cookware

Jiffy Pie Crust Mix

I don't use it but reminds me of my in-laws. I tried for a couple of years to make the pies that my husband grew up with before I discovered the family secret. They ALL (grandma, aunt and Mom ) depended on Jiffy and they were good cooks

Jan 28, 2014
chocchic in Home Cooking
1

freeze spiral ham

i don't get hung up on typos. Probably because the only way I can get my 20-something son to reply is if I text and I seem to be incapable of texting without typos - especially when my phone auto corrects. I've sent some pretty funny material with auto corrects. thanks for the advice BTW

Jan 23, 2014
chocchic in General Topics
1

freeze spiral ham

The dating on package says use or freeze by January 26. I've never considered freezing an option; but for the price I couldn't pass up. Just wasn't sure if I should freeze whole. I think I'll enjoy what we can for a few days then freeze. And yes I'm looking forward to the soup. Heck I actually thought okay I'm just buying a slightly overpriced soup bone and the ham I eat is bonus

Jan 22, 2014
chocchic in General Topics

Anything to look for in Aldis?

I scored half a spiral ham for less than $6 yesterday at Aldis. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with it, alimost outdated. Freeze it?

Jan 22, 2014
chocchic in Chains

freeze spiral ham

scored a half of spiral ham at Aldis for less than $6. should I freeze the whole thing in original wrapper or have a meal or two and freeze the rest or is freezing not a good option?

Jan 22, 2014
chocchic in General Topics

Anything to look for in Aldis?

Pom juice???
I'm in Wisconsin no such bargains. Eggs $.35 last we ek. Advertised price on grapefruit was 35 vents and I thought that was a bargain.

Jan 17, 2014
chocchic in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - January 2014!! [OLD]

Try aldis grapefruit when you go. They are what motivated me to try Aldis and what keeps me comi g back especially during the winter (grapefruit season)

Jan 03, 2014
chocchic in Chains