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The Worst Paragraph in All of 2011's Food Writing

THANK YOU! I'm so glad I am not alone in my HATRED for that awful movie, specifically because of that whiny, fame-mongering blogger. Why could Hollywood not just make a movie based on "My Life in France" and let it be?

Oct 11, 2011
butterfingers in Features

Three Days in Chicago

I've heard so many good things about it, that I am going to give it a shot. Thanks.

Jul 26, 2011
butterfingers in Chicago Area

Three Days in Chicago

Thanks so much everyone! I didn't realize there were so many choices. My dad used to go to Healthy Food when he was in Chicago on business. He said it was exactly like the food his grandmother (a Lithuanian immigrant) used to make for him. He was very sad when it closed, and I regret never making it there. I didn't know of any others, except Grand Duke's, which seems quite difficult to get to without a car.

I appreciate the pointers. A lot more than I found with a Google search. Thanks to everyone! I will call first before I visit -- just in case. I actually thought I found a Lithuanian restaurant in New York, and was so excited, and after making the long haul out to Brooklyn, I was faced with a boarded up restaurant and a "closed" sign.

Jul 25, 2011
butterfingers in Chicago Area

Three Days in Chicago

I, too, am going to be in Chicago for 3 days and want to find some good places to eat. Last time I was there, I had a great dinner at The Girl and The Goat, but alas, they have no reservations available during the time I am visiting.

I am of Lithuanian descent, and would LOVE to know of any Lithuanian restaurants that are easy to access via public transportation. I have found some that seem to be hard to get to without a car, but that will not work for me.

If I can make a market suggestion as an occasional visiting Easterner, my friend took me to the French Market when I was visiting last time, and I greatly enjoyed it.

http://www.frenchmarketchicago.com/ve...

Jul 23, 2011
butterfingers in Chicago Area

$200 Gift Certificate at Kitchen Arts and Letters. Ideas?

Yeah, but 2/3 of it is paid. And that would be as close as I could ever get to affording it. I HAVE seen it closer to $200 though.

Jun 23, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

Chocolate Cookbooks

If you want to make chocolates, i.e. bonbons, and other confections (which I guess is sort of a sub-category but worth mentioning), these are my faves (I own them all):

1. Fine Chocolates: Great Experience, Jean-Pierre Wybauw (all of his, btw)
2. Chocolate Obsession, Michael Recdhiuti
3. Making Artisan Chocolate, Andrew Shotts
4. Chocolate and Confections, Peter Greweling

Also, under the more comprehensive category, I'm fond of Nick Malgieri's chocolate book. I think it's called "Chocolate".

Jun 22, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

$200 Gift Certificate at Kitchen Arts and Letters. Ideas?

If I had $200 to spend on any book, I wouldn't hesitate:

Patisserie of Pierre Hermé

That's just me, of course!

Jun 22, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

Five Guys Burgers opening in Fremont

OMG! The West coast ones have veggie sandwiches? And grilled cheese? In the DC area (where they originated and where I live) and in Queens, NY (where my honey lives), you've got a choice of burgers, cheeseburgers, and fries. Of course, they're AWESOME!

Jun 11, 2010
butterfingers in San Francisco Bay Area

Boston Chowhound needs recommendation near (ish) to BWI

I live in Takoma Park -- less than one mile over the DC/MD line, and used to work at an ad agency on Charles Street, and door-to-door it took me about 35-40 minutes to get to work on BW Parkway So, it really isn't that bad to get to DC from BWI. I don't know Baltimore very well. I never spent much time there. Even when I worked there, I socialized closer to home. I'm sure there are people here who know Baltimore well, and I know it has some great restaurants. I have heard some good things about this place (below), and it's always looked interesting -- maybe someone can give his/her 2 cents:

http://www.johnshields.com/restaurant...

Frankly, I'd enjoy opinions on it as well.

Mar 26, 2010
butterfingers in Washington DC & Baltimore

Boston Chowhound needs recommendation near (ish) to BWI

Boy, that's like a wasteland out there. DC and Baltimore are about 20 minutes away in either direction, and there is public transportation into both cities and excellent restaurants in each, but I wouldn't stay out by BWI if it's for a special occasion. No way.

I just edited to add that if you're total kitsch, and I do mean TOTAL kitsch, Blob's Park in Jessup is a huge Bavarian Beirgarten that's a lot of fun if you like wurst and polka music. I wouldn't go there for the cuisine, but it's a lot of fun.

Mar 25, 2010
butterfingers in Washington DC & Baltimore

cocoa powder ideas?

Thanks for THAT link. I have seen them advertised, but I have never actually gone there.

Mar 11, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

Driving down 95 from DC to Daytona, Need Grub clues.

I'm a transplanted Floridian who lives in DC and makes that drive regularly, and the thing I get most excited about is the first sighting of a Crystal Burger. Probably not what you're looking for, but it's the truth.

Mar 10, 2010
butterfingers in Southeast

Does wasabi powder go bad?

That is an AWESOME idea! I have a jar that I bought on a whim. THANK YOU!

Mar 10, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

need ideas for using sundried tomatoes in oil

Here's an old Bon Appetit recipe I've been making for years. REALLY good. You can find it on epicurious, but here it is:

Turkey Meat Loaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Bon Appétit | March 1996

A crowd-pleasing standard gets a makeover with ground turkey instead of beef; sautéed vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes add flavor. Round out the meat loaf with the mashed potatoes, some green beans and dinner rolls. Pour a dry white or light red wine.

Yield: Serves 6


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from soft white bread
2/3 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
Ketchup


Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 9x5x3-inch glass loaf pan. Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add celery; sauté until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer to large bowl.

Add all remaining ingredients except ketchup to vegetables in bowl. Mix thoroughly. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 1 hour. Brush with ketchup and bake until thermometer inserted into center registers 165°F, about 15 minutes longer. Cool 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Mar 10, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

Your tried and true Cook's illustrated Best recipes.

It works (the reverse pan searing). I tried it. It's a little "weird" doing it that way, but it does work. No gray ring.

Mar 10, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

cocoa powder ideas?

http://www.lepicerie.com/catalog/prod...

I buy a lot of stuff from them. They repackage bulk restaurant packaging and sell it in smaller packages than the restaurant packaging, but larger than what you can buy on a grocery store or speciality food store shelf. They also ship FAST!

Mar 10, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

cocoa powder ideas?

I was going to suggest the brownie recipe in the latest CI, HA! But I also made Rose Levy Berenbaum's Hot Fudge Chocolate Snowball Sauce from her latest book (without the snowball), Rose's Heavenly Cakes. I made it for brownie sundaes for a homey dessert last weekend (with ice cream too, of course). Also, the chocolate cookies from "Cookie Craft" are the best chocolate cookies I have ever made. People go nuts over them. They are very fudgy and rich cookies. I made them last Halloween and cut out bats and cats and used a silver dragee for the eye as the only decoration and they were a great hit.

Mar 09, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

favorite vegetarian soups

I just posted on another board for Hippie Soup that I just bought Anna Thomas' "Love Soup" and I made the pickle soup recipe last weekend. It was great. A lot of ingredients, and a lot of veggie chopping, but very good soup. I made her no knead walnut bread, from the same book, as well. The bread was great too.

Mar 02, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

ISO Your Most Tried-and-True Healthy Vegetarian Weeknight Staples

I made some GREAT fried rice on Friday night with some leftover basmati rice. I sauteed some broccoli, red onion, napa cabbage, and red bell pepper, added some grated ginger and garlic toward the end of cooking (so it wouldn't burn) and some thawed frozen green peas, added the rice and sauteed a few minutes, scrambled a lightly beaten egg in the middle of the pan, mixed it all together, and sprinked on some sesame seeds and drizzled it with kecap manis before I ate it. Very tasty.

Also, on a trip to my local Indian supermarket, I bought some mixes. I don't usually buy mixes because they are heavy on sodium, but working full-time and going to grad school at night is starting to make me compromise a bit. I got a mix for mutter paneer and bought some packaged paneer. I also got some chana masala because I love those chickpeas at my local vegetarian Indian restaurant. I haven't tried either yet. I've got my fingers crossed. I've taken Indian cooking classes and mixes and packaged paneer were both frowned upon by the teacher -- but SOMEONE is using these mixes because they seem to be doing a brisk business.

Mar 02, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

ISO Your Most Tried-and-True Healthy Vegetarian Weeknight Staples

I did. I bought the ingredients and have made it for lunch a couple of times since I purchased it.

Mar 02, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

Hippie Soup Recipes?

I just bought Anna Thomas' "Love Soup". Doesn't get much more hippie than that. I made the pickle soup and the walnut bread for a vegan friend (the soup is vegan, and Ms. Thomas suggests serving it with farmer's cheese -- which we omitted). They were both awesome. I gave her the cookbook and bought another one for myself. The soup was great, but took forever. I made the stock with the "light vegetable stock" recipe in the front, which I simmered for twice as long as her suggested 45 minutes for a richer stock. Between the stock and the soup, I think I chopped about a million veggies. Very labor intensive, but great. The bread was interesting. I'm a pretty accomplished bread baker, and this was her take on no knead. It was very soft bread -- not the crusty, rustic bread I usually make -- but it was really great. I think I'll definitely make it again.

Edited to add that I made the bread with honey (the instructions give a choice between honey or agave nectar) forgetting that most vegans don't eat honey. I fessed up when I gave her the bread, but she said she was ok with honey. So although Ms. Thomas DOES use dairy or honey in some of her recipes, most are vegan or offer vegan substitutes -- if you have vegan friends like I do and want to cook for them.

Mar 02, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

Where to buy Sashimi grade fish?

There used to be a great sushi place that had a cult following in Glen Echo, in a strip mall on the corner of Goldboro and MacArthur Blvd. I don't remember the name of the place, but it sold it's sushi/sashimi grade fish by the pound as well as take-out sushi (they didn't have any seating). This place was awesome, despite it's rather odd location.

I just googled it. Here it is: http://www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-kanpai-...

Mar 02, 2010
butterfingers in Washington DC & Baltimore

What is your favorite Food TV show?

Anything NOT on TFN. But specifically, I'm liking Avec Eric, Hubert Keller: Secrets of a Chef, and all of the old Julia Child shows in reruns. For a laugh, there's a "local" show that's just godawful. My Washington D.C. PBS channel changed to a central Virginia channel, and suddenly many great shows were replaced with "Virginia Farming" and some boondocks local horror called "Cooking with Tassie" that's like a train wreck. It's so horribly, horribly, HORRIBLY wrong that sometimes I can't stop watching.

Mar 01, 2010
butterfingers in Food Media & News

Has Food Network "Jumped the Shark"?

I watched an Emeril rerun where he said he was going to demonstrate "tempering chocolate" and proceeded to put chocolate into a saucepan with heavy cream and, while stirring them together over heat, repeated to his audience that he was "tempering chocolate". Sadly, some novice cook is going to read a recipe that requires to her/him to "temper chocolate" and follow Emeril's lead and wonder why it didn't work out.

Mar 01, 2010
butterfingers in Food Media & News

Has Food Network "Jumped the Shark"?

I think that "What Would Brian Boitano Make?" is proof that FN tried to jump the shark, missed, and is now floundering in the water and bleeding from all major arteries.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/brian-boit...

Mar 01, 2010
butterfingers in Food Media & News

ISO Your Most Tried-and-True Healthy Vegetarian Weeknight Staples

OK don't laugh. I had a doctor's appointment a few weeks ago at lunchtime and I had to go "fasting" for blood tests and was STARVING by the time I got out and had to be back at work pronto. I went into a "Pret A Porter" take-out (redundant, I know) and looked for something fast and vegetarian that I could grab and go and found (this is the part that you don't laugh) a chutney and white cheddar sandwich. It was SO GOOD! Really good. Chutney (mixed with a little mayo, as I discovered from their website), sharp white cheddar (I use Cabot), lettuce, and sliced tomato on whole wheat bread. Really good. Seriously.

Mar 01, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

Your tried and true Cook's illustrated Best recipes.

I've never had a bad CI experience. I just with that editor would leave out the hokey, insipid crap on the first page of every issue. I feel like I get hijacked with it every month and I just HATE IT. That said, I make the CI buttermilk pancakes at least once a month in the winter. I made CI lemon bars last night with Meyer lemons they had at Whole Foods, and they were FANTASTIC. The shortbread crust is amazing. And I made the chewy brownies from the current issue this weekend as well (both the brownies and the lemon bars were for a friend recovering from surgery, lest you think I'm a sugar glutton -- which I AM, but I have an excuse this time). They are the best brownies I have ever made. I wish I had greased the foil "sling" in the pan better, because they ARE sticky and they form an almost fudge-like bottom. They are amazing brownies. I, too, use the chicken piccatta recipe regularly. It's one of my favorites. I saw one of the TV shows once, where they demo'd a large omelet for a crowd and finished it in the oven that also works really well for me.

Mar 01, 2010
butterfingers in Home Cooking

Gender Bending in Restaurant Restrooms

I use whichever restroom is not occupied. And so should everyone of either gender. A lot of guys here have some pretty serious mysogyny issues that methinks go a little deeper than a restroom discussion. Wow -- it's pretty scary! I would love to see some pipsqueak call the cops because a woman has invaded "his" restroom (like he actually owns it) and watch the cops laugh their butts off! And also, men primp just as much as women do nowadays. They fix their hair, adjust their clothing, clean their teeth, check themselves out, etc. Watch any sports event on television and count how many health and "beauty" products are marketed toward men. Wake up and smell the 21st century! It's a bathroom, for godsake, not personal space.

Jan 11, 2010
butterfingers in Features

Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries Coming to Middlesex, NJ!

I love Five Guys. My s.o. is from Queens, and a Five Guys just opened down the street from my in-laws' house. It's as good in New York as it is in DC.

But I wanted to let you know that my favorite burger, when I was in college in central Virginia, was the Beverly Burger at The Beverly in Staunton. You should try it. It's been a few years since I've been there, but I can't imagine it not being as good as it was when I was in college.

May 29, 2007
butterfingers in Mid-Atlantic