m

masha's Profile

Title Last Reply

Power Outage - FRidge/Freezer - what to keep ...if anything

Thanks for clarifying. Yes, I was referring to raw food, especially meat ( in the broad sense, including poultry and fish).

about 15 hours ago
masha in General Topics

Power Outage - FRidge/Freezer - what to keep ...if anything

I agree with all of this except the advice to refreeze items from the freezer so long as they are still cold. If they still are predominately frozen, then I'd refreeze them. But if they are thawed, but cold, they are safe to eat now, but I'd not refreeze them without cooking first. I would expect however, that if you kept the freezer door shut and the power was only off 18 hours, most will still be frozen -- at least items stored on the bottom of the freezer, given that cold are falls. Our power was off for more than 48 hours a few summers ago, when the ambient temperature was in the upper 80s; I don't recall tossing anything from the freezer except for some ice cream, which was stored on the top shelf and had thawed.

Of course, if there is someone in your household who is immune compromised, you may want to be a bit more cautious on what you keep.

about 17 hours ago
masha in General Topics

Help with sandwich buffet for birthday...

I think Cheryl and I are both trying to suggest that the OP ought not to restrict the entirety of her offerings to pre-made sandwiches unless she is very certain that those sandwiches will fit within her guests' dietary preferences and restrictions. Premade subs in keeping with the Yellow Submarine/ Beatle theme are fine but the OP should include some other suitable entrée offering for guests who, for whatever reason, might not be enthused by her premade subs -- does not have to be a DIY sandwich bar. It could be soup or salad.

Sep 14, 2014
masha in Home Cooking
1

would you sue for this?

Similar but even more inexplicable experience (years ago): I encountered an extinguished cigarette butt midway through eating a salad. Unbelievably gross. The manager tried to make it up by offering free dessert. I had no interest in eating anything else coming out of that kitchen that night. I was there as the guest of someone else; but for that, I undoubtedly would have walked out immediately once the cigarette was discovered.

Sep 14, 2014
masha in Not About Food

Aggressive housekeeping

One reason would be that it makes it harder in the future for someone, who did not originally participate in the discussion, to find it through a search. If discussions about specific restaurants are not located on the appropriate regional board, but allowed to proceed on geographically proximate boards, then a subsequent CH who did not follow that thread -- e.g., someone visiting for the 1st time -- is less likely to find them.

Also, sometimes it just make sense to consolidate multiple discussions on the same topic under a single thread -- e.g., when there was a huge uproar last year about the couple who took a fussy infant to Alinea here in Chicago, the 1st post on CH was on Food Media and it grew quite rapidly. A day or so later someone started a parallel thread on the Chicago board. The mods sensibly locked the Chicago thread and directed everyone to the preexisting thread on Food Media. (The same thing just happened with parallel threads on Red Delicious Apples, where the mods locked a thread on General that went up after the same topic was on Food Media.)

Sep 14, 2014
masha in Site Talk

Help with sandwich buffet for birthday...

I can't speak for others but I cannot abide sandwiches when the bread has been buttered. I simply will not eat them.

Indeed, I don't much like mayonnaise as a spread on sandwiches either (fine as an ingredient in tuna salad, etc., but not on the bread itself). Maybe I am too picky but I question the whole concept of pre-making the sandwiches. I'd rather let my guests select the condiments and toppings that they'd prefer.

Sep 13, 2014
masha in Home Cooking

Small town restaurant + Bad experience = Would you go back?

The OP lives in Burlington VT (unless his/her profile is out of date). To go across the state line, he needs to get across Lake Champlain and is not likely to find much on the NY side of the Lake that is better than Burlington. (Indeed, that part of VT is something of a food mecca if you stick to farm-to-table, "American" food. The problem may be the focus on ethnic eateries.)

Sep 13, 2014
masha in Not About Food

Looking for a recipe for a parve holiday apple cake

This recipe is similar to Teddie's, but uses pecans and has no raisins. The recipe as I received it has a caramel sauce that uses both butter & milk so not parve. I would think that it would be fine either plain, or just dusted with a bit of confectioners' sugar. It is very easy to make and tastes delicious.

3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 lb any type apples (I use Granny Smiths), peeled, cored & cut into 1/3" cubes
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar (optional; it's plenty sweet without it)
1-1/2 cups canola oil
3 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecans, toasted & coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with Pam.
2. In medium bowl, sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
3. In separate bowl, combine apples with 2 Tbs of the flour mixture, and toss to thoroughly coat apples.
4. In large bowl, beat sugar(s) oil, eggs, and vanilla.
5. Add flour mixture to liquids, and beat. Add apples and pecans, and fold to combine.
6. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake about 1 hour. Allow to cool in pan.

Sep 13, 2014
masha in Kosher

Breakfasts, lunch and a dinner

Another breakfast option that is within a few blocks of your hotel is Wildberry Café, on Randolph St directly across the street from Millenium Park (so, to the south of the Hyatt, away from the river).
http://www.wildberrycafe.com/chicago....

I cannot speak to whether Greek food in Chicago is better than NY's but Greektown is to the west of the Loop, a bit more than a mile from your hotel (most easily reached by cab).

In terms of "grabbing" lunch near the hotel, I'd recommend Soprafina, which is located in the 1st level of the Aon Building, at Randoph & Stetson (just next-door, uphill from where Wildberry Café is located). Soprafina is a small local "chain" (maybe 5 locations total) that features entrée salads (made to order), sandwiches, pizzas, and a couple of hot entrees each day -- essentially what's referred to as "fast, fresh food," where you place your order & get your food at the counter and then just seat yourself. The salads, especially, are excellent, with good quality ingredients and dressings.

Sep 13, 2014
masha in Chicago Area
1

One very nice (but not bank-breaking) dinner in October

I've not been to Bavette's but have heard great things about it -- not just on this board but directly from friends who have eaten there.

One restaurant that I would recommend you add to your list is Boka. It is in Lincoln Park so perhaps not geographically perfect but it hits all of you other criteria -- excellent contemporary food but not molecular gastronomy, atmosphere appropriate for a special occasion, and not break-the-bank expensive. Here is a link to a recent post where a number of Chicago board regulars (myself included) were singing its praises.
Edited to add link. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9863...

Sep 13, 2014
masha in Chicago Area

When do you send back a steak for being under/over cooked?

The mid-price versus high-end distinction is valid, although I still probably would be annoyed, but would comply with the request at a mid-price resto.

Sep 12, 2014
masha in General Topics

When do you send back a steak for being under/over cooked?

I would understand the request if I'd sent back a steak and this was the 2nd one delivered. But if this is the original delivery of my entrée, I expect the server to circle back in about 5 minutes to ask if everything is acceptable. To me it just smacks of laziness by the server when they tell me to do this.

On the other hand, I am not the kind of diner who would eat more than a few bites of the steak before sending it back. Perhaps they've been burned by diners who eat 1/2 the steak and then complain so the server is instructed to make sure the patron has checked the center of the steak before he/she has eaten a substantial amount of it.

Sep 12, 2014
masha in General Topics

When do you send back a steak for being under/over cooked?

This annoys me to no end when the server asks me to cut into the middle of my steak to check whether it is appropriately done. First, a good chef can check the doneness of a steak simply by touching the surface; the amount of yield will tell you the doneness. They should know before they served it whether it was cooked to my request. Second, I don't want to cut into the center of my steak. I start from one end and proceed towards the other; if it's overdone, I can generally tell when I cut the first piece off the end -- if the end is brown, then the middle is not going to be in the light red to deep pink range that I requested (i.e., medium rare, erring on the side of rare).

Sep 12, 2014
masha in General Topics

Adventurous food family heading to Chicago

Palmtree, based on the most recent reviews of Yum Cha from the lthforum, http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic....,
I retract my suggestion that you explore their happy hour. I've not personally eaten there but had seen references (on lth) that they served a dim sum happy hour and noted their proximity to your hotel. Based on the comments at the end of the linked thread, it sounds like their service is sadly lacking.

Sep 11, 2014
masha in Chicago Area

Best restaurants in Portland, Maine

For the past several summers, we've spent a few days in Portland on our way to or from Down East. We ate at Back Bay for the first time when we were there in August of this year, and it was fantastic, as you say. Food was excellent and service was warm and personal, but not chummy. (We ate at Caiola the evening before -- good apps but main dishes were pedestrian.)

Sep 11, 2014
masha in Northern New England

China town recommendations

Also a big fan of Moon Palace here. Especially love their soup dumplings (xia long bao).

Sep 10, 2014
masha in Chicago Area

OK, Ready for Feedback: My Heavily Researched Chicago Itinerary

I am pretty certain that Greek Islands in Greektown has shuttle service to & from games. That is one of the restos I suggested because it fits within the Palmtree's stated price points, as identified on his other post (not sure that Carmichael's would).

Sep 09, 2014
masha in Chicago Area

Easy home cooking?

I apologize if someone else has already mentioned this but the Motherlode Blog on the NYT site has a series all week about cooking from scratch for a busy family. Today's article is linked here, http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/20... Main&contentCollection=Dinner: The Boot Camp&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body,

And there are links in that article to the earlier pieces. You may not be interested in participating in the full week's menus, but it may give you some additional interesting recipes and tips that you will find of use.

Easy home cooking?

Actually, when I make pizza, I use Pastorelli's canned sauce. Everything else on the pizza is from scratch -- well, not everything: I buy a block of mozzarella and shred it, I don't make the cheese myself, and I likewise use hot Italian sausage that is housemade at a local butcher.

Sep 08, 2014
masha in Home Cooking
1

site forgetting "read" posts

Ditto, I've done the same.

Sep 05, 2014
masha in Site Talk

In town this week for convention

I cannot repeat too often Nsxtasy's advice that you do not want to use a car to go from your hotel (or McCormick Place) for dinner. There is NO free street parking in downtown Chicago. I am not sure where you are from, but unless it's NYC, San Francisco or another expensive, highly dense major city, you are likely to be shocked at how expensive it is to park at meters, in self-park lots, and by valet in downtown Chicago. From where you are staying, there are literally hundreds of restaurants within a 1 mile radius; if it's too far (or raining), take a cab or use public transport, but do not drive.

For Italian food in the Loop, in addition to Tesori and Vivere recommended by Nsxtasy (his perennial Loop favorites for Italian), I would recommend Trattoria No. 10, which is at 10 N. Dearborn St. It has a large theater crowd, so it's best to arrive around 7:15 or 7:30 when the theater people are leaving for their curtains. Although it has a very modern focus on locavore, organic sourcing of its food, it's menu has plenty to offer a "conservative" crowd.

As to Nsxtasy's recommendation of Atwood, I have 2 caveats: (a) First you should look at the menu and see if it is too "out there" for your conservative crowd. There are dishes that will satisfy meat & potatoes types, but you may think the menu is a bit beyond their tastes. (2) Although it has been one of my favorite Loop restaurants, my last meal (lunch, not dinner) there was disappointing. Nothing was positively awful, but I thought the menu was not very interesting and was underwhelmed by the execution. Hoping they were just having an off day.

Sep 04, 2014
masha in Chicago Area

When do you send back a steak for being under/over cooked?

If I order steak at a restaurant, it means that there is literally nothing else on the menu that appeals to me, for all of the reasons that lingua mentions.

Sep 04, 2014
masha in General Topics

Easy home cooking?

Your comment about wanting suggestions for meals that don't "require 5 trips to the grocery for 20 never heard of ingredients" triggered the thought that one of the most important components to achieving your goal is smart grocery shopping and maintaining a stocked pantry and fridge of ingredients that you can use for quick & easy meals. Lots of threads on that topic on HC; one that you might find of use, on the subject of "pantry dinners," is linked here, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6804...

Easy home cooking?

First, congratulations on your decision. For me, good quality, home cooked meals as a regular part of family life, both as a child and as a parent, really have been an important part of my daily quality of life. Aside from the health benefits, you will be setting an example for your children that will hopefully interest them in cooking at an early point.

There have been a fair number of discussions on this Board on the subject of quick and easy meals to prepare for families. Here is a link to one, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4931...
If you just enter the words "quick" "easy" into the search function on the top right for the Home Cooking board you will pull up several more.

And I (and other hounds, I am sure) would be happy to share our own recipes and ideas. I am a bit rushed now but will try to post some specific menu and recipe suggestions later. Also, if there are particular kinds of food that you do like, we can try to give you specific suggestions as to them.

Sep 04, 2014
masha in Home Cooking
1

When do you send back a steak for being under/over cooked?

I like steaks cooked medium rare, and I am happy if they are a bit under cooked. Cooked to medium is completely unacceptable to my palate. When I order a steak (and I don't very often in restaurants), I specify that I'd like "medium rare" and it's ok to "err on the side of rare." If it is delivered medium, it gets sent back. To me that kind of error is the cardinal example of when it's perfectly acceptable to send back a dish -- it is expensive, relatively easy to prepare properly, and directly contrary to what I requested. If I do not send it back under those circumstances, it is only because of the context of the meal setting.

On the other hand, if there is a screw-up in the done-ness of a hamburger (which I prefer medium), I would not send it back unless it was virtually uncooked. The difference in price-point between a steak and burger and the type of restaurant where I'd be likely to order either dictate my approach to these 2 situations.

Sep 03, 2014
masha in General Topics
1

Cooked Green and Wax Beans -- Need Your Ideas!

When I have leftover beans, I typically use them in one of 2 ways:
1. Add to a green salad and dress with whatever vinaigrette complements the salad -- often a lemon based one, as suggested by Maggie's Mom.

2. Sautee some mushrooms, onions, sweet peppers, and then add the cooked beans, with a bit of butter for a vegetable medley (plus whatever other odds & ends vegetables that I have -- e.g., some blanched broccoli florettes or par-cooked carrots.

Sep 03, 2014
masha in Home Cooking
2

Are bagels "a thing" now?

I love blueberries, love bagels but cannot wrap my head around combining them. I have never even tasted a blueberry bagel. Maybe if I approached it the same way that I approach Chicago deep dish "pizza" -- i.e., not thinking of it as pizza -- I could manage it.

Sep 03, 2014
masha in France
2

Are bagels "a thing" now?

Lorenzo, the adaptation of bagel sandwiches with local ingredients that you've observed in France seems in keeping with worldwide trends to modify and localize "foreign" food items. Sort of like serving a hamburger on a croissant, which I am sure you can find in certain US restaurants. Other examples:
1. The ubiquitous practice of McDonalds of offering foods in its overseas stores to cater to local tastes, including the offering of wine in France.
2. Localized adaptations of pizza, such as toppings with ham and pineapple in the UK (and elsewhere for all I know).
3. Various flavors of potato chips in Asia that are completely alien to traditional western tastes.
4. And, to recur to the bagel, the creation of varieties like sun-dried tomato, blueberry, etc. that would completely flummox my eastern European born grandmother if she had lived long enough to see that trend.

Sep 02, 2014
masha in France
1

Are bagels "a thing" now?

Maybe bagel sandwiches are not common in your neck of the woods, Lorenzo. but they are quite common in the areas of the US where I live and visit. This includes predominately Jewish communities with authentic bagels -- e.g., NY Bagel & Bialy in Lincolnwood, IL which is the closet legitimate source of bagels for me in the Chicago area, and Goldbergs in Pikesville, MD (and NYC too when I've visited there) -- as well as doughy inauthentic bagels, which are commonly available for sandwiches in airports and strip malls in many American communities. Typical sandwich fillings run from obvious Jewish deli selections (corned beef, pastrami, etc), to mainstream "American sandwiches (chicken, tuna, and egg salad, and, ironically, ham & cheese), as well as more exotic and regional choices.

In terms of tracking the trend in France, I am only an occasional visitor there so will not presume to be as observant of these trends as the Board regulars, but would note:

(1) When we were in Lyon in June 2011, I was tickled to run across a restaurant in the center of the City (on Rue Victor Hugo, between Perrache and Belle Coeur) that featured "New York Street Food," including bagels. See linked picture. At the time, it struck me as a novelty.

(2) Two years later, in June 2013 we were back in Lyon and it seemed that there were bagel places virtually every few blocks in the same area. I also noted many bagel places in Paris during my brief sojourn there that same trip. So, it is evidently a relatively recent trend, based upon my admittedly unscientific, incomplete, anecdotal observations.

Sep 02, 2014
masha in France
1

how to use standard pizza oven? what temperature and time should i set for baking pizza?

Sirrith, the OP used the Q&A, rather than Discussion, format for this post so you cannot directly reply to comments posted by others (and that is why each reply has a voting option).

Sep 02, 2014
masha in Cookware