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nicoleberry83's Profile

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phoenix : best blt?

On the menu at Cowboy Ciao in Old Town Scottsdale right now is pork belly sliders. They're basically thick hunks of bacon on mini French rolls w/arugula, aioli, and tomatoes. Holy geez. I'm still dreaming of these.

Oct 16, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Southwest

Thinning egg-white royal icing?

Can I just add water? Or do I have to add more egg whites?

Sep 27, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

If you were choosing one of these cookware sets...

Thank you to everyone for your help. I ended up going w/the All-Clad, as there's no way I'd spend upwards of $600 on it outside of this rewards program. All your feedback was invaluable, and I look forward to using my awesome new cookware. :o)

Sep 25, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Cookware

If you were choosing one of these cookware sets...

Here's what I have on my wish list, as well as the number of points each one costs...

1,853 Black & Decker CHV1400 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster
2,647 Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper 3-Quart Chef's Pan with Stainless Lid
4,235 Calphalon Tri-Ply Copper 12-Inch Everyday Pan with Stainless Lid
4,235 T-Fal OT8085002 Avante Elite Convection Toaster Oven
6,353 Füri Rachael Ray Coppertail 3-Piece Knife Set
7,941 KitchenAid KFP740CR 9-Cup Food Processor with 4-Cup Mini Bowl, Chrome
10,586 Henckels Twin Signature Stainless-Steel 11-Piece Knife Set with Block
12,124 KitchenAid K5SSWH Heavy Duty 5-Quart Mixer, White

I've left out the cookware sets mentioned in the original post. As I mentioned, I'd love to mix-and-match some stuff. For example, I'd really love to have the KitchenAid mixer, the food processor, and the toaster oven, for a total of 24,200 points. I could then throw in one of the sets that doesn't cost as much. Then again, Henckels knives would be really nice...

So, if YOU were spending my insurance bucks, what would you get? :o) I can't wait to order this stuff!

I appreciate everyone's help; I know I'm in good hands.

Sep 22, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Cookware

If you were choosing one of these cookware sets...

I was kinda hoping everyone would recommend one of the other sets so I could use my reward points to get other stuff in addition to a set, like a KitchenAid 5 qt. mixer, a really nice toaster oven, a heavy-duty blender... :o)

Thanks for the feedback!

Sep 22, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Cookware

If you were choosing one of these cookware sets...

Any other votes or advice?

Sep 22, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Cookware

If you were choosing one of these cookware sets...

...which one would you get? And why?

(And also, thanks in advance for your patience w/me!)

I'm using some rewards I earned w/my health insurance to redeem cool stuff, and I'm thinking about upgrading my current stuff. I cook pretty often and really enjoy using good products. I want to take into consideration durability, ease of clean-up, and overall performance.

I have 32,000 insurance bucks to spend, so the numbers below reflect what these sets. For the point value, which set will serve me best?

30,176 -- All-Clad Stainless 9-Piece Cookware Set

25,676 -- Swiss Diamond Cast-Aluminum Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set

21,176 -- Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel 13-Piece Cookware Set

15,882 -- Emerilware Hard Anodized 14-Piece Cookware Set

15,830 -- Cuisinart MCP-12 Multiclad Pro Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

13,182 -- Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 17-Piece Cookware Set

10,588 -- Calphalon Commercial Hard Anodized 9-Piece Set

10,535 -- Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 14-Piece Cookware Set

10,058 -- Anolon Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Titanium 10-Piece Cookware set

9,791 -- Circulon 2 10-Piece Set

9,690 -- Kitchenaid Gourmet Essentials Hard Anodized 12 Piece Cookware Set

9,529 -- Anolon Professional 12-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set

9,529 -- Cuisinart Chefs Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Piece Cookware Set

9,209 -- Circulon Total 10-Piece Cookware Set

8,999 -- Circulon Classic 14-Piece Cookware Set

7,939 -- KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials 10-Piece Hard Anodized Cookware Set

Okay, I'll stop here! There are even more options, but I figure the lower the point value, the worse the set will be.

Advice? Thoughts? Feedback?

Thanks soooo much for helping me pick out a great set!

Sep 21, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Cookware

Best All-Clad line?

All-Clad has any number of different cooking lines. I'm now trying to figure out which one to get.

I'm an amateur home cook who doesn't have any sort of professional experience. Regardless, I like to cook like the pros--or at least try to.

I'm taking price, ease of clean-up, durability, and look into consideration. What will give me the most bang for my buck and also best meet my needs?

Sep 20, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Cookware

fresh pizza dough

Vace sells their dough. Makes a nice pie.

Admit it... There's Some Dishes at Chain Restaurants You Like

Good lord, I love the Cheesecake Factory's Buffalo Blasts. What ARE they, anyway? I mean, are they basically chicken-fried buffalo chicken wontons?

Jul 17, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Chains

Melting Pot's Curry Sauce

It's not thick and's a bit runny. If you spoon some onto a plate, it will definitely spread out a bit. Do you think those tricksters put cream in what they call a yogurt-based sauce? I mean, that would be a way to thin it out, for sure... Ooh, I really hope there was no cream in it, 'cause I definitely always end up having them bring me out an extra ramekin of sauce!

Jun 13, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

Brasserie Les Halles?

Are the fries here really that good? Or would I get better ones at du Coin?

Eating in and around Luray

I've seen this post ( about restaurants on the way to Luray, but is there anything worth eating in Luray itself? I'm thinking a quick trip to the caverns is in order within the next few days.


Melting Pot's Curry Sauce

I could eat this stuff on anything: steak, chicken, apple pie.

It's a yogurt-based yellow curry sauce, but why does it taste to good? Does anyone have any ideas about how to replicate it at home? If so, please let me know, 'cause I need to mix me up a viat of that.

Thanks in advance. :o)

Jun 12, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

Need Suggestions on what side dishes to serve with tortilla crusted Tilapia?

I absolutely second the cilantro rice.

When I make tortilla-crusted tilapia, I serve it w/cucumber mango salsa (cucumber, mango, cilantro, serrano, red onion, vinegar, garlic, S&P) and cheddar-serrano mashed potatoes. I heat up some half-and-half w/small bits of serrano, simmer until the flavors mix, add some butter, melt, pour over boiled potatoes, add some cheddar, and mash away. Fish and potatoes usually aren't served together, it seems (except for fish and chips), but they're a lovely combination. The pseudo-Tex-Mex flavors work really well together in the dishes I mentioned.

Jun 11, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

White sauce for fish tacos?

I read an article about Rubio's. The owner (I think) said his recipe is mayo, some vinegar, and milk or water to thin it out. This is what I use and it works perfectly.

Jun 11, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

Alternatives to pan frying bacon

I broil... Once it curls up a bit, I give it a flip. It ends up as crispy as I want it, as it's not sitting in the fat. Seeing all the fat in the bottom of the pan is gross, but it makes me thankful that it's not in my arteries!

Jun 06, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

Mango Salsa

This is exactly what I do! I do cucumber, mango, red onion, cilantro, lime, serrano, and a splash of vinegar to cut the sweetness. I serve w/tortilla-crusted tilapia. Sooooo tasty.

Jun 04, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

Best Overall Brand for Sets

Calphalon? All-Clad? Anolon? Circulon? I know there are a bunch of brands, but which set is the best overall, taking into consideration a number of factors:

*Reliability (is it gonna heat up evenly, like it's supposed to?)


May 14, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Cookware

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ... fried or toasted?

I used real mayo. It takes so little to cover each side, so why go low-fat? :o)

May 09, 2007
nicoleberry83 in General Topics

Alio e Olio, too simple to call a recipe?

I'd love to get my hands on that Bolognese recipe, too. :o)

May 09, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

That Cilantro Rice

I even loved it cold!

May 09, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

Arlington-Falls Church Rotisserie Chicken

El Pollo Loco?

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ... fried or toasted?

After reading the post about mayo, I made a grilled cheese w/bacon that night. Lo and behold, that was a really freakin' good sandwich! A friend who goes to CIA told me it's because mayo is a solid fat. It coats and cooks more evenly. The acidity of the vinegar goes away and all you're left with is perfect crunchiness. Wow. Yum. Hungry.

Feb 13, 2007
nicoleberry83 in General Topics

breakfast near somerville

Also a huge SoundBites fan. I don't care if the service isn't top-notch, 'cause I'm there for the food, not the ambiance or a smiling waiter. The food is great and that's all that matters to me. The challah French toast is lovely, and I used to order it ("used to" only 'cause I no longer live in Boston!) with fruit, but with the fruit on the side. It made for a perfect serving. Love those NoPlaceLikeHome Fries, too, even though they're just chunky grilled mashed potatoes. I haven't found any places like SoundBites in any of the other places I've lived. I miss it dearly...

Lunch in Ballston

What kinda stuff is there at Aladdin's? Standard Middle Eastern stuff? How was the pita? It looks like they have a fridge stocked w/drinks, which leads me to believe they do carryout. Is that the case? And how pricy? (TIA for being patient w/all my questions!)

Of all the fast-food chains ... who makes the best ice cream shakes?

Ask them to mix half shamrock w/half chocolate. It's like drinking a Grasshopper cookie. Mm.

Jan 19, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Chains

Fried Chicken with a difference?

Unless you let the Hawaiian bread sit out for a while and get stale, crush it into crumbs.

Jan 18, 2007
nicoleberry83 in Home Cooking

Hard salami in Baltimore?

Hebrew National is pretty soft. He's looking for some seriously cured, seriously hard salami. :o)

Hard salami in Baltimore?

My friend is looking for whole "links"/"logs" of hard salami so he can cut them himself. He's looking for something similar in size to Hebrew Nat'l., so the massive ones they sell at the deli counter in grocery stores won't work. Any thoughts?