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Thanksgiving Turkey Cake

This is from the trippy category, right?

Nov 05, 2010
mayiomoula in Recipes

The Basics: How to Make Lentil Soup

My recipe is traditional, European and for carnivores, but it's delicious. A pound of regular lentils cooked in a soup pot at a slow boil, with 1 onion and a ham hock, salt and pepper, for 1 hour. Then sliced celery (about 2 cups) and sliced carrots (about 2 cups) are added and the soup is boiled gently for another hour, and it's done.

Apr 06, 2009
mayiomoula in Features

Hootsla (Egg Bread)

Wow! I have been making "French toast" this way because I thought it was so much easier and better than classic French toast, and I thought I made it up myself. My version is not exactly the same, but the principle is the same. And I confess that I use regular white sandwich bread, nothing fancy, torn into pieces. I've found that when I use bread that has been in the freezer, it comes out extra light and fluffy, I guess because of the moisture that is formed in the bread after being in the freezer. If anyone is wondering whether they should try this recipe, I say, absolutely. It produces wonderful, light, crisp, golden buttery French toast bites.

Mar 06, 2009
mayiomoula in Recipes

Cacio e Pepe Pasta

My two cents: my grandparents came here from Abruzzi, so I should respect Italian authenticity, but I don't care -- I like pasta with butter and Romano. It's one of my favorite meals. Maybe olive oil, hot starchy water or guanciale are more authentic, but give me butter.

And MacArthur Mike, you are on to something. Fulvi Romano is the best Romano cheese out there! When I first tasted it a few years ago, I suddenly remembered what real Romano cheese tastes like. Just do a google search for fulvi romano and you'll find several online stores that sell it. I've bought it from Galucci's, Capri Flavors, Zabar's, and Zingerman's.

Mar 02, 2009
mayiomoula in Recipes

What's your favorite grocery store stock and why?

My first choice for relatively quick chicken stock, homemade version, is to boil chicken wings with Cento chicken broth and water for 2 hours, which results in a delicious broth that tastes like real chicken soup. When I don't have this on hand, I use Cento chicken broth, the one prepared broth that tastes as close to real chicken soup as a canned one can, in my opinion.

I grew up on homemade chicken soup so I feel as though I know what the real thing tastes like (the chickens we used to make the soup had been killed the day the soup was made). College Inn chicken broth used to be good, but to me (and contrary to Cook's Illustrated's verdict) in the past few years the flavor has become more fake. Ditto Swanson's. I used to consider Swanson's the most real-tasting broth, but maybe Campbell's changed the formula or something, because it is not what it used to be. I feel lucky to have discovered Cento broth. I rely on it all the time.

Jan 16, 2009
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

The fact that lighter roasts are increasing in popularity means that it is becoming impossible for me to get the kind of coffee that I like. I am not letting other peoples' opinions influence me. Their opinions of what is good is affecting what is available to me.

Sep 22, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

I appreciate your comments and see too that I perhaps have been influenced by the poor immigrants who used inferior beans. Maybe what I have been drinking and enjoying all these years is just over-roasted inferior coffee. I guess I can't argue with George Howell. I do recall my grandmother's espresso, which is what I grew up to love. I thought she knew what she was doing, but maybe she just didn't know any better. She was an immigrant, although not poor. She was from Abruzzi, which is technically in central Italy but most people consider it Southern Italy (i.e., "poor immigrants).

I have tasted the coffees that are considered superior, and absolutely do not like them. I spent $50 on a pound of Las Esmeralda, or whatever it's called, expecting to be transported, and the coffee I tasted was like something you'd get at some chain restaurant. To be honest, if that is what is considered good coffee, then I don't want to like coffee.

Maybe until the coffee renaissance, no one really knew enough about coffee to recognize a good cup when they drank it. I am probably a product of that era. Now that people are so much more knowledgeable, they know what coffee should taste like and can appreciate these lighter beans that seem to me to be nothing more than very dark tea.

This revelation makes me think back to all the cups I enjoyed, all the times that I served family and guests coffee, and they loved it -- how could we have been so mistaken? It's a weird feeling to suddenly question what you took to be a pleasant experience, and begin to wonder how you could have been so wrong for so long.

This answers my question definitively. The coffee that I loved was born of poverty and ignorance. Now that people know better, it is recognized for what it is: unacceptable. Oh well.

Sep 22, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

Thanks! I'll check them out. Fingers crossed, I'll find what I'm looking for.

Sep 22, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

Thanks! That sounds like what I'm looking for!

Sep 22, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

Basically what I'm saying is that I can no longer find the kind of bean I used to be able to get to make the kind of coffee I like. I have been buying whole bean cofee for about 30 years, so I don't think I'm confused about what I want. I was getting what I wanted for 30 years, but that seems not to be possible anymore.

I do happen to be one of those who like dark, strong coffee. I have tried and do not like coffees like Kona and Jamaice Blue Mountain. They may be the best coffees, but for me they are not.

I have tried getting the beans from at least 5 different roasters in the past 6 months, with disappointing results. The only coffee of the many pounds that I bought that I actually enjoyed was Sumatra Harimau Tiger,which is now out of stock at the place where I bought it.

What prompted my post was reading the plain statement on coffeereview.com that roasters are now tending toward medium or light roasts. It's the new preference. This is dismal news for me. I will try home roasting, but I think I also have to accept, based on what you said and what so many coffee experts say, that I have never known what good coffee should taste like. Apparently what I have loved all my life is not really good coffee. If that is the case, then I can't call myself a coffee lover. If the tart, thin liquid that wins prizes is what coffee should be, I will have to find another beverage.

Sep 22, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

Thanks, I will definitely consider it.

Sep 17, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

Well, I guess I do sound rather dramatic, but it's just a reflection of how I feel about coffee. I've always loved the stuff, and drinking my first cup in the morning was one of the great delights of the day. To think that because a new way of thinking about coffee has made what I love disappear is very sad. And I think all those medium-roast-, mild-flavor-, high-acid-loving people are just WRONG! And they have ruined coffee.

Sep 17, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

Good idea. Maybe it's come to that. Thanks!

Sep 17, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Goodbye to coffee

About six months ago I began to be aware of a change in the idea of what constitutes a good cup of coffee. I was probably hopelessly behind everyone else in realizing this, but I hadn't been keeping up with developments in coffee trends because I was busy drinking coffee that I really enjoyed.

When the coffee I was formerly enjoying (La Colombe Corsica) began to seem less than delicious to me, I started trying to find another source. First I spent almost $60 on a pound of Las Esmeralda Especial (apologies if I have misspelled one of the words), anticipating something glorious. When I tasted it I couldn't believe there were people who considered this a great, let alone good, cup of coffee. I wrote to the roaster to express my disappointment, and was told that their preference is for lighter, more acidic coffees. To me, that sounds like tea. I did find a miraculous Sumatra Marimau Tiger, probably the most delicious coffee I've ever drunk, but the roaster ran out of their supply and has not replenished it since.

Over the past 5 months on coffee roasters' sites I've fallen for descriptions of rich, strong coffee that will result from the "espresso roast" beans they sell, only to find, time after time, that there is a harshness and a tanginess that does not fit with my idea of what good coffee should taste like. It is always apparent just from looking at the bean that the coffee was only a medium roast, not dark. This is what espresso roast has become.

Today I found out for sure that it is all over for me and coffee. On the site www.coffeereview.com, it is stated plainly, in the July 2008 newsletter, that the trend is toward the lighter roasts and roasters do not want to produce the dark roasts now. When I complained to Ecco Caffe about the three "espresso" roasts I ordered, I was told that they could understand how their medium roast might be a shock to my system, if I'm used to dark roasts.

It's clear that my preference is no longer considered drink-worthy, so I can foresee the day when I will no longer be able to find a coffee that I enjoy. I see too that I must be in the minority, or else this trend would not be growing. This is a sad and unanticipated development.

Sep 17, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

one-hit wonders primed for a comeback

Thanks for the tip. I used to love Green Goddess dressing and had no idea where to find a good recipe for it.

Aug 15, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Bull-Market Burger

This recipe is really just disgusting, not worth the time, effort or expense. Whatever results from making it almost certainly could not be better than a simple hamburger made from a good cut of good beef.

Jul 20, 2008
mayiomoula in Recipes

Almond and Walnut Baklava

Fennel seed and cloves? Ick ick ick. Cinnamon, butter and walnuts, layered with phyllo pastry and drenched with honey syrup, is all I want in baklava.

Jun 30, 2008
mayiomoula in Recipes

Home Fries are Good Again!!!!

I'm joining this discussion late, but I would like to chime in about my experience of home fries in the Philadelphia area. I regret to say that there has been no home fries renaissance here. I would say that Pam cooking spray has been the death of them. I have always loved home fries, and until the past few years never doubted that the home fries I ordered at a diner or a coffee shop would be good. Now, what I get is practically just the original boiled potato, pushed around on a grill with some other boiled potatoes, then slapped on a plate. It's all because they're using that blasted cooking spray on the grill. Once they go back to using good old fat, home fries will be what they once were.

Jun 20, 2008
mayiomoula in General Topics

Good diners or other humble establishments in Doylestown,

Thanks! We'll keep this as a backup in case the Cross Keys is mobbed. It's getting harder and harder to find decent tuna salad, so I'm looking forward to trying their tuna hoagie.

Jun 21, 2007
mayiomoula in Pennsylvania

Good diners or other humble establishments in Doylestown,

Thanks! That's just what I was hoping for!

Jun 20, 2007
mayiomoula in Pennsylvania

Good diners or other humble establishments in Doylestown,

We are going to Doylestown on Sunday June 24, and want to find a good but not necessarily fancy place to have lunch. Can someone recommend a diner or similar kind of place that isn't fancy but has good food?

Jun 19, 2007
mayiomoula in Pennsylvania

Great place for breakfast at 15th & Arch

There's a place on 15th Street just above Arch (103 N. 15th St) called Bubby's Brisket and Bugsy's Weiners that has a fantastic breakfast sandwich deal for just $1! I haven't tried the lunch sandwiches or any of the other breakfast items, but the egg and cheese sandwich I got today was the best I've had from a street-food type place (and probably every bit as good as an egg scrambled at the Fountain at the Four Seasons) in all my years of buying egg-and-cheese sandwiches for breakfast.

The roll was thick and of better quality that the rolls usually used for these sandwiches. The cheese tasted almost cheddar-y. For $1, plus a free cup of coffee, I doubt you could do better anywhere in the city. The coffe was good, too. Also, the two guys who run the place were very pleasant and friendly.

They also serve cheeseteak for breakfast, and you can get sausage, Canadian bacon, steak or chicken on your sandwich, with American, Provolone or Cheddar, or mushrooms if you want. Plus, they have home fries and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

The stand has been there for about 7 months. This is an absolutely unsolicited testimonial. The place is great and deserves to be known. If you pass the area on the way to work, you should check it out. Here's a link to their site: http://www.bubbysbrisket.com/main.htm

Oct 04, 2006
mayiomoula in Pennsylvania