chocomel's Profile

Title Last Reply

Where to get chocolate writing on cake

Hi everyone - need an urgent help. I'm getting an ice-cream cake from a store that doesn't do custom writing. Is there any bakery in the SF where I can get custom writing (preferably in chocolate)? I'm thinking of one of those chocolate slabs with chocolate writing on top. I've gotten it before, but can't remember from where...

Thank you so much!

Baby shower for 30 - food ideas

Great idea- i think i will go with this. Perfect for an all women shower!

Hainan Chicken Rice or Khao Man Gai Recommendations in the Bay Area?

Wanted to add one more to the list - chicken rice at banana leaf in milpitas (can be ordered boneless for additional ~$1). Very generous portion for about $12, does not come with side clear chicken soup.

Baby shower for 30 - food ideas

Thanks everyone for the replies!

Ideally would not like to reheat since the party will not be hosted in my home.

The group is mostly asian - I definitely considered the fresh spring rolls/vietnamese sandwiches/asian party trays route but not sure if it will be a little bit boring for the bride & guests (I personally can never get tired of the vietnamese/chinese options). Another question is how much to buy (how many of those trays needed for ~25 people) - I'll ask the restaurant once i decide on what to serve.

Baby shower for 30 - food ideas

Hi all,

I'm planning a baby shower for around 25 - 30 people with a budget of max $10 per person. The party will be held in someone's house in Milpitas. I'm really at a lost of what to serve and in general not a throw-a-party type of person.

Does anyone have any party tray/catering ideas near Milpitas? I'm looking for recommendation about specific restaurants that's tried and true. I live in San Francisco, so also willing to pick something up from SF.

Options that I considered:
- Taco part (i read a thread somewhere that Taqueria Los Gollos in Concord can cater for $4 per person, is there a similar option near Milpitas)
- Maybe Mediterranean food?
- Open to get party trays of Asian food (maybe fresh spring rolls, vietnamese salad, chinese meats, etc)
- Whole foods for tea sandwiches and finger foods (i called in, this optioni seems expensive and not a lot of food)

I'm open to cooking/preparing the food as well although I have a small SF kitchen and still need to prep party decorations (again, not a party-thrower, so also at a lost here).

Thank you all in advance!

Convert to pressure cooker: Bo Ssam

Help needed to reduce cooking time for David Chang's Bo Ssam (recipe here: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12...). My schedule makes it hard for me to carve out time to have the oven on for 6 hours.

Anyone has any tips on how to improve these steps?

1. Marinate like normal, discard juices
2. Brown the pork in pressure cooker (I have an InstantPot with a browning option
)3. Set pressure cooker to high and cook for 70 minutes (no added juice, I'm going to assume there will be enough juice coming out from the pork)
4. Remove, dry. Cover with salt/brown sugar mixture and roast in the oven 10 -15 minutes until crusty(is this going to work for my pork?)

Some specific questions

- Do i need to add a little bit of liquid in the pressure cooker? If I do, would chicken stock or water work?
- Is the pressure cooking time enough? Is it going to be fork-tender?
- Is this going to yield a dry pork (sometimes my pulled pork come out dry). The oven roasted version is very juicy.

Thank you in advance for all your help and happy thanksgiving!

Nov 26, 2014
chocomel in Home Cooking

ISO pork/beef/chicken bones

Thanks all for the response. Haven't had a chance to stop by Man Sung yet and instead used a delivery service.

ISO pork/beef/chicken bones

I've only found the following threads:
- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8823...
- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6772... (mainly leads to east bay stores/ranch 99
)- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8823... (mainly east bay
)- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6784... (whole foods is suggested, anyone had success, i've never actually seen packages of bones, anyone has any experience with whole foods?)

ISO pork/beef/chicken bones

What are you favorite purveyors of reasonably priced bones from naturally raised pork/chicken/beef used to make bone broth? Preferably in SF proper, but willing to travel down the peninsula.

I'm looking to get the best bones at the best price while getting maximum health benefit.

Thank you!!

Recommendations - Whirlwind Rome / Florence / Venice Food Tour

I want to thank analogarsonist for the excellent and detailed trip report. We had two of our favorite meals based on the recommendation:
- Buca Dell’Orafo (Florence) – The artichoke omelette does live up to the hype. The best omelette I’ve had in my opinion. We had fish lasagna and a pappadelle with meat sauce for our mains, both delicious. We also had the groppa con pecorino (sliced steak) topped with sautéed herb and a lot of olive oil, very delicious. Make a reservation or call ahead – our reservation for another place fell through, we called this place and were told they only have 9pm reservation left.
- Pizzarium (Rome) – Everything looks and tastes delicious. Don’t forget to order based on weight or you can show how big of a slice you want instead of ordering one (in which case you’ll get one big slice that will fill you up). We came by at 11:30am when they first opened and they had about 8 different topping selections, mostly veggies. They brought out more pizzas (with meat options) around 12, so be sure to plan to stop in at the appropriate time.

I really wanted to try other highly recommended restaurants on this site in Rome and Florence but couldn’t make it due to timing issues with some sites we want to see. We also came in during a local holiday so every place we want to go to is fully booked! I have to say that I probably only had one bad meal in my whole trip in Italy, it was such a delicious trip and hard to go wrong. Our lack of plans results in some pretty good meals/snacks:
- Life (Rome) – Probably the best carbonara I’ve ever had. The black truffles topping did not overwhelm the dish.
- Trattoria Nella (Florence) – Great steak, lasagna and panna cotta at a great price
- Venchi (Everywhere) – This gelato chain (yes, a chain) serves some of the best gelato (I loved the consistency and flavors)
- Santa Trinita gelateria (Florence)
- San Lorenzo market (Florence) – Delicious bakery on the top floor with cherry and strawberry donut-like pastry
- Many places in Cinque Terre – Very bright flavors and cheap too! I can only remember a place near our hotel, Da Eraldo, that serves beautiful charcuterie plate with such delicious bread (tigelle) and pasta.

I can’t remember the name of some other places we visited and now kicking myself for not taking pictures of the names. Happy eating to those traveling to Italy!

May 12, 2014
chocomel in Italy

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - January 2013 [OLD]

Agreed with the NAY - French onion soup was horribly salty and tasted a little off.

Jan 06, 2013
chocomel in Chains

This foodie just moved from NYC area to Sacramento and needs help!

Golden Dragon in Rocklin. Ask for the chinese (szechuan) menu. This is comparable (if not better) than a lot of restaurants in the bay area. Love the chong qing chicken, any of the cold appetizers in chili oil, twice cooked pork, and fish.

Aug 22, 2012
chocomel in California

Delivery Options in SF

The few times I've called Lers Ros (and begged) they do not deliver all the way to the North Beach. Not too sure about Pac Heights,

Do You Doggie Bag?

FoiGras, I have the same problem with leftovers when travelling, in particular when I really enjoy the food. I feel so guilty for leaving the leftovers. Ordering just a salad or an app sometimes do not make sense because I have to order similar meals as my dining partners (app, entree, dessert - all eaten at about the same pace) and I, of course, do not want to miss out on some potentially delicious entree. To top it all off, after a few days of eating really rich food, my appetite typically shrinks - leaving even more leftovers!

Aug 12, 2012
chocomel in Not About Food

Recs for a great bar in SF for 21st birthday?

Also, if you choose Gitane/Comstock/15 Romolo, you can stop by Rickhouse. This will give you an amazing selection of romantic-girly-date worthy/great cocktail "old school" pub/slightly divey/packed to the gills frat boy atmosphere.

Have a happy birthday!

Recs for a great bar in SF for 21st birthday?

I love Gitane's drinks (not so much the food - very salty) especially the drink with saffron. The best thing about their cocktails is that it's more on the refreshing side than sweet. From there you can head on to 15 romolo, more divey, or comstock saloon. Comstock does excellent negroni and sazerac, I've never ordered an old fashioned there. Unfortunately, I don't think any of these places is great for beer. If beer is important, I would go to alembic, they have some beer there, and then walk a few blocks to magnolia for more beer (or better yet, take a bus/walk to toronado?).

What's growing in my pickle jar?

How long do quick pickles last (just doused in vinegar/salt/sugar). I make them frequently and still eat them after a week. I try not to go past a week - even if they still look good (but sometimes not an issue since I finish them before they hit a week).

May 18, 2012
chocomel in General Topics

What foods live up to their reputation? What do you 'rave' about?

Banh mis, fish tacos (deep fried versions), philly cheesesteaks, steak, NY pizza, macarons, pickles, fried chicken anything (with waffle, sandwiches, just fried chicken, etc).

May 03, 2012
chocomel in General Topics

Items you’ve converted into kitchen use

I use lip gloss cap (round metal cap pounded to a flat disk) as a coconut meat scraper...

May 02, 2012
chocomel in Cookware

need some inspired, healthy cauliflower ideas, beyond cauliflower cheese, roasted cauliflower and aloo gobi...

Reasonably healthy... ... Japanese curry with cauliflower. I like it when the cauliflower becomes really tender and breaks apart.. .gives a nice body to the japanese curry. I don't know anyone else who does this, but i guess it hits the spot for me.

Others options:
Mashed cauliflowers. Treat it like mashed potatoes, with gravy or even japanese curry/other curry gravy.
Pickled cauliflower

Apr 30, 2012
chocomel in Home Cooking

Name and locate that chinese soup - wintermelon soup!

Thanks all for the responses. I will need to run to a banquet restaurant and get that soup....

rubadubgdub, I haven't had these types of soup for years and actually stopped going to chinese restaurants except for dim sum (a lot of my friends are not big fans of chinese banquet style food). My chinese food cravings are primarily satisfied by my own (less than stellar) cooking.

On the apple soup, I remember there being fish bone or scallops but definitely no tonic taste which I hated as a kid. I remember that we don't eat the inside, just the broth. I know the wintermelon either has chicken or pork.

Thanks a bunch!

Name and locate that chinese soup - wintermelon soup!

Thanks! Do you know where i can get the wintermelon soup in SF/peninsula?

I'm not sure if both types of soup are steamed but they have that delicate, refreshing, lightness of steamed soup.

Name and locate that chinese soup - wintermelon soup!

I'm looking for two kinds of chinese soup that I used to eat growing up. I don't even know if I have the name/description right, so please bear with me. Do you know where I can find this soup in the bay area (preferably in SF proper or peninsula)?

Soup 1: Steamed soup with pork broth served in a wintermelon (or some other kind of savory melon). The broth is clear, watery, and not super rich. Overall taste is light and refreshing.

Soup 2: Steamed soup with pork/chicken broth also served in wintermelon or some other large soup or a claypot. I remember that it had a distinct apple flavor. The broth is light/dark brown in color and rich tasting though no special "mouthfeel". Smooth and watery - like how i like my chinese soup.

Neither soup has herbal flavors and neither soup tastes salty (unlike some won ton soup you can find here with too much salt - the soups i mentioned used to give me this fresh clean but satisfying feeling). Would appreciate all tips for finding this. I remember this being a common dish growing up but haven't been able to find them in menus. Thank you!

Inexpensive near Union Square with difficult people

What about Tropisueno for Mexican?

Does anyone know what these are called? And do you have a recipe for it?

Could this be chocolate nougat? I've never made it, but google searching it, found a number of recipes online. Can you taste other flavors/essence in the chewy layer. If it's just for texture/chocolaty-goodness, nougat could be the answer.

Apr 11, 2012
chocomel in Home Cooking

This foodie just moved from NYC area to Sacramento and needs help!

Szechuan house in Natomas - spicy pig ears, the chicken, fish in oil - if you're craving something spicy and satisfying.

Feb 09, 2012
chocomel in California

What Is the Hottest Cuisine on the Planet?

Yes, i agree that Malaysian food can be spicy (used to live in se asia), but in general, there is a good mix of non-spicy food that without the added sambal accompaniment, it is easy to control the heat level. However, the many times I've eaten in Thailand, everything seems to have a lot of heat.

Jan 31, 2012
chocomel in General Topics

What Is the Hottest Cuisine on the Planet?

While Malay food can be spicy, i don't think its typically as spicy as Thai. I don't quite know how to explain it but let me try.

Spicy malay food is typically accompanied by really spicy sambals or items that are cooked with sambals (chilli paste/mixture of some sort). When you order a certain type of dishes, you know it is going to be spicy, but you have other non-spicy dishes that balance out the spiciness. From my experience in Thailand, there are items that I have ordered, without knowing that it will be hot, that have scorched my tongue. As a percentage of available dishes, thai food incorporates heat more often in each dish (not as an accompaniment/condiment) and often leaving the unsuspecting diner no option to adjust the heat level.

I guess to sum it up, Malay food gives diners option to adjust as the heat comes from accompanying sauces/sambals (although not always) but for thai food, sometimes you don't realize it's too spicy until it's a little too late... has anyone ever felt this way before?

Jan 26, 2012
chocomel in General Topics

This foodie just moved from NYC area to Sacramento and needs help!

2nd Cafe Rolle for amazing french style sandwiches. The bread is perfectly crusty outside and warm and soft inside, absolutely delicious.

Jan 16, 2012
chocomel in California

Your kitchen cleaning tips

People forgetting to cover food in the microwave is also one of my pet peeve. Back in college (and also now in the office), I couldn't stand looking at the inside without wanting to clean it (tried, no use).

Jan 12, 2012
chocomel in Not About Food