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Best and Worst Cooking Shows

Most of the competitors in this series own successful bbq restaurants in their home communities in the US and Canada and then spend tens of thousands of dollars traveling around the country competing in the major bbq competitions of which this particular series, sponsored by Kingsford, is only one though it carries a $50,000 prize. Myron Mixon, the main judge on the competition and owner of Jack's Old South, has won 180 Barbecue Grand Championships and has over 1700 BBQ trophies. While barbecue started as a southern poor man's food, it is now becoming ubiquitous and we're seeing competition popping up from New England and the provinces.

Jun 27, 2015
junescook in Food Media & News

Best and Worst Cooking Shows

One of our favorites, and one that I record and always seem to pick up tips from is BBQ Pitmasters. We've been watching it for several years and interestingly this season is the first season in a while in which the judging has NOT been blind, rather they are using a quick round to determine the order in which entrants will be judged. In general entrants are given two cuts of meat and ten hours to prepare them, and in the middle of the day, surprised with one other food and given 30 minutes to prepare a one-bite sample for the judges. Watching always gets me in the mood for making (or just eating) barbecue.

http://www.destinationamerica.com/tv-...

Jun 27, 2015
junescook in Food Media & News

Interesting articel about Frank Pepe's

Thank you for that article. I just so wish they'd open up the place nearby in Waterbury they were considering.

Next Food Network Star - latest and greatest?

And it's sure not going to work in reruns which FN thrives on.

Advice for new food gardeners

Our extension department strongly suggests to gardeners and vegetable farmers that you use plastic for mulch to prevent disease and pest diseases, and, if possible, water using a drip irrigation system laid under the plastic.

Of course the number one recommendation: have your soil tested. Many of us who supplement with compost will actually find that our soil is deficient in nitrogen.

May 24, 2015
junescook in Gardening

Best Food Films - any new additions?

I don't know if anybody's mentioned the two films: The Trip, and The Trip to Italy in which comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing themselves travel through Britain and Italy respectively to review inns and restaurants for Coogan's newspaper. The plot is minimal, the scenery breathtaking, the food stunning and the dialogue witty.

May 24, 2015
junescook in Food Media & News

Does Stop and Shop cook lobsters for you?

Down here in CT they steam them for you and if you request, will steam them for only 5 minutes if say you want to warm the meat in butter or toss them on the grill when you get home and don't want to kill them yourself.

Danbury thoughts

Frankie's on Watertown Ave. is the old drive in and will I think be the easiest to access unless you're looking for s sit-down place.

http://frankieshotdogs.com/

I love the Market Place. We have one in Woodbury where, by chance there is also Dottie's Diner, (that inherited the Philip's diner donut recipe) and who won the a Food Network Donut competition. In either location I would pick MP over the other two.

http://www.marketplacedanbury.com/menu/

Finally, (and people may argue with this) just north of the Elephant's Trunk flea market on Rt-7, is the Cookhouse, which I think has some very good barbecue and has been crowned the state's best barbecue by Connecticut Magazine for something like the last 13 years.

http://thecookhouse.com/

The Market Place, Danbury CT

We've been to the one in Danbury two or three times, and now that we have one here in Woodbury, it has become one of our favorite restaurants. It opened here in November I think and we've been there at least eight times. The service has always been excellent, and the food very well prepared. They specialize in local, grass fed, etc., etc., but pretty creatively done. We were there for lunch yesterday. I had the fish fry which I've had several times before, four perfectly cooked pieces of cod in a little basket with four little dishes of sauce (tarter, cocktail, remoulade, and dill sauce). Sometimes it comes with fries, sometimes with sweet potato puffs. DW had grilled salmon over a chick pea and asparagus mix. Oh, as an appetizer we had the crispy Brussels sprouts with garlic aioli which are amazing and a generous plateful of them. I often get their house burger which is one of my favorites there. I think their prices are very reasonable for what you get:

http://www.marketplacedanbury.com/menu/

Lunch in Litchfield, CT - suggestions?

If the appt's in a.m., why stay in town? Go 15 - 20 min. west on 202 and go to White Horse Inn

http://www.whitehorsecountrypub.com/

one of the best and the most reasonable places in the state. Plus you can eat fire side or stream side.

Lunch in Litchfield, CT - suggestions?

@ the Corner is really close by, right on the corner of 63 and 202, within walking distance of the library. It's decent if a little pricey

http://www.athecorner.com/

I personally don't particularly care for either the Village or West St. Grill, so if I had to be right on the green I'd probably opt for that. There used to be a Greek place down farther at the west end but I don't recall what it is now.

Growing Cilantro

Cilantro is hard to grow for exactly the reasons you have described. While we put some in every year, I also go to my garden center and get a potted Vietnamese Cilantro or Coriander plant to hang just outside my kitchen door. This is kind of a vine type plant with pointy leaves. It is a perennial and a member of the smartweed family. Its scent and flavor are very similar to regular cilantro and it is used regularly in Vietnamese cooking so when I need some I'll just reach out the door and snip a branch or two off and julienne some of the leaves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persicar...

Apr 19, 2015
junescook in Gardening

Is it safe to eat the wild onion/garlic chives in my yard?

I think what I have in my CT yard is more likely wild chives, allium schoenoprasum:

http://eol.org/pages/1084938/overview

They're edible too.

Apr 19, 2015
junescook in Gardening

Carmen Anthony's Waterbury & New Haven Closed

And San Marino's still is busy at night. And it's a pretty old fashioned kind of a restaurant, like Carmine Anthony's is/was.

Celebrity Chef Homaro Cantu Found Dead in Chicago

I also remember him being on Iron Chef. According to Wikipedia, he defeated Morimoto in battle beets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homaro_C...

Apr 15, 2015
junescook in Food Media & News

Celebrity Chef Homaro Cantu Found Dead in Chicago

Such a young man. Such a loss.

http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/na...

Apr 15, 2015
junescook in Food Media & News

Carmen Anthony's Waterbury & New Haven Closed

There was an interesting article this (4-12-15) morning in the Waterbury Rep-Am about the downfall of Mr. Vacalebre's empire:

http://republicanamerican.ct.newsmemo...

We like the Woodbury place for lunch; they have an excellent burger on the bar menu for $10 that comes with decent fries and good slaw. My wife always gets a fish luncheon entrée for about $12 there

One time we went to the Waterbury place and I found it dark and kind of musty smelling. Unfortunately I don't think the Fishhouse will last past the end of the year given the company's financial condition and the amount of competition here in this little town.

Is it time to stop buying/eating almonds?

Not while people there are watering their lawns there every day.

Where can I take my Thai Friends in Dallas, TX?

I know that when we travel, we want to eat the cuisine of the country we're visiting (China, Vietnam, Italy, whatever). I would take them for barbecue, Tex-Mex, good hamburgers, steaks, or whatever you feel represents the best of your area.

Mar 16, 2015
junescook in Dallas - Fort Worth

Lamb spare ribs

Which would be fine with me. A coupe of years ago I bought a half of a very young lamb from a neighbor and I found it frankly tasteless.

Lamb spare ribs

I see lamb ribs regularly at the Shop Rite in Southbury so it might be worth picking up the phone and calling a Shop Rite up in your area. I love lamb and I love ribs, but the last time I did them DW thought that they were "too greasy," so I haven't made them since.

Russian or European Market

Not Russian per se, but Adolph's Meats and Sausage Kitchen is a wonderful place to get German and Polish sausages etc. It's on New Britain Ave. near the jct. of Broad St in Hartford.

https://plus.google.com/1080066277493...

Costco or BJ's membership?

We found that BJ's had products that we use, have good prices on gas, and take credit cards. On the other hand, I found our Costco difficult to navigate lacking aisle labeling and the samples a lot of junk we'd rather not bother with.

Feb 07, 2015
junescook in Chains

NPR's "On Point" 2/5/15: Ming Tsai and Bridget Lancaster talk soup

I happened to catch them while hauling a load to the dump. Couldn't help myself. Went home and made a pot of white bean soup and added some left over collard greens and a drizzle of olive oil. Perfect for a windy day in the 20s with snow blowing around.

Feb 05, 2015
junescook in Food Media & News

KFC Crosses the Line

I think everything has its place and time, but there are a lot of salads that are deceptively higher in fat and calories (and will leave you feeling hungry later on):

http://www.eatthis.com/slide/tgifrida...

The fried version of this has 540 calories, and the grilled version just 460, and low in carbs.

Jan 31, 2015
junescook in Chains

Would You Name Your Kid Nutella?

It would be a cute name for a brown cat. Didn't some actress name her kid Apple? I've always thought Chardonnay sounded like a little girl's name.

Jan 27, 2015
junescook in Food Media & News

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

I kind of have to agree with you. We had some friends come up and visit a few weeks back. They have pretty high expectations in restaurants and always brag how many excellent restos they have in New Haven where they live compared to where we are in Litchfield County. Well we wanted to take them out to a new place in our town that we think is really good (and which has also been garnering some good press). Now we had been to this place at least three time previously, but the date of their visit just happened to be DECEMBER 31. Well, don't you know, the menu was cut to about a third of its normal size, prices increased by a third, and the food all seemingly prepared ahead. I was really embarrassed.

So I agree with your tactic and take it a step further. I have a birthday coming this weekend. So as we work up to it we start going out to lunch at some of our favorite spots (just got back from having ceviche). Then I have fried chicken on the list. DW will be making me a duck, one of her extraordinary dishes, next maybe Indian, etc. So rather than doing one big expensive splurge dinner, we do a celebration period for life events. (Of course then we won't have anything to celebrate again until Super Bowl).

Can someone help me understand this recipe

The glossary included with the recipe indicates that they are indeed calling for the Italian biscuits made from ground almonds. For me it sounds a little fussy but I love lamb and I think that if you have the patience to do all that it would work out fine. It's certainly a pretty presentation for a special day.

Jan 16, 2015
junescook in Home Cooking

Whole Chickens Disappearing From Supermarkets?

Yesterday I slow-roasted a 9# Oven Stuffer that I had bought on sale at a local market @ $.99. They also had their own roasters at $1.60 and Bell & Evans for $$$.

Jan 05, 2015
junescook in General Topics

whole roasted chicken left out cooling 4 hrs

No problem.

Dec 24, 2014
junescook in General Topics