Nora Rocket's Profile

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Stop Bashing Paula Deen

Everyone should stop bashing Deen for developing Type 2. Diet is *but one* factor in a concert of other factors. I myself am at risk for Type 2, as a home-cook CSA-subscribing "proper BMI" gym-three-times-a-week vegetarian (with PCOS, which gives me my risk factor), so please: lay off the FATTY FATTY FOOD PERSON IS FAT AND GETS THE FATTY DISEASE. It's unseemly and inaccurate.

However: everyone should START bashing Paula Deen for cynically and sickeningly pivoting her brand identity - at this exact moment, some time after her diagnosis and right after she secures the endorsement deal - from her empire of foods that do not NOT contribute to health problems and to a DRUG that will make LOADS of money for her. Like obomobo says.

Jan 17, 2012
Nora Rocket in Features

New Gins: Will Somebody Please Love Them?

The female palate? FFS. Bloom has just guaranteed that their gin will never cross mine.

Aug 23, 2011
Nora Rocket in Features

Sushi near the Boston Common Loews?

As well they shouldn't, yes? What with the no fish delivery on Sunday (or do I recall incorrectly)? This may be the place for us.

Sushi near the Boston Common Loews?

Hm, the InterWebs tell me Sushihaya is at 2 Tyler near Beach, and looks like a fine place into which to pop. Ginza too. Thanks also for the head's up on Shino...you'd never know I'd lived here over a year given what I still don't know.

Sushi near the Boston Common Loews?

Pre-holiday date with the SO tonight: dinner and a movie. Where might we get tasty sushi within a brisk walk to the movie theatre, given that the show starts at 6:45 and I'm off work at 5? I work near the green line Arlington stop and was thinking we'd just pop over to Newbury for a quick bite at Shino Express (I think it's called...) and then a walk through the garden and common in the snow. White Christmas indeed.

Thanks in advance!

Double-Dipping on Trial

For chips or other dip-ables with a flat or concave surface (and assuming there are no small plates around...), I load one strong one up with a bit-o-dip and then dip another dip-able in that dip, eating my makeshift plate last. Oh and, providing small plates and a spreader/spooner in the dip obviates the double-dipping issue completely.

Of course, this is my "in public" behaviour. As JK's waitress says, if we love each other, no one cares. My friends and I are the "reaching over onto each others' plates for sharing" types, though, and that's another issue Table Manners has already covered.

Dec 20, 2007
Nora Rocket in Features

Favourite FOODIE Thanksgiving Dish?

I make a great lentil & nut roast that can be done vegan if you like. It's from a random cookbook but I've made a few...improvements. Served with garlic/ginger cranberry chutney for full effect (the spicy, the sweet, the savoury--it's all there!). It's all neither elaborate nor expensive: red lentils, hazelnuts, and walnuts are the only even remotely specialty ingredients.

For sides I always like a seasonal veggie roast, like carrots & parsnips done in maple pecan mustard glaze. A roasted squash is always welcome, as are mashed potatoes prepared with roasted garlic and celery root (ugly from the ground, nutty in the mash). My partner loves stuffing and we've been experimenting with cornbread style stuffing lately.

This year I might go a little more...polished than usual, with courses of soup, vegetable, lentil roast, cheese plate.

Now you've got me all excited. Thanksgiving is, like, American foodie Christmas, but secular and centered squarely around togetherness and food. These are a few of my favourite thiiiiiiings...

Sep 27, 2007
Nora Rocket in Home Cooking

Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Provincetown--Recs?

Okay, I've trolled the boards and found a few recomendations, but let's say your mother-out-law and some assorted family--five of us in all--are driving from Boston to stay on the cape this weekend. Many have said Clem & Ursies, many have mentioned making sure to hit the Portuguese bakery for sweets, Karoo for South African, possibly Lorraine's... Any other knockouts? She's paying, but my part of the deal, as I'm well known to be a bit of an eater/drinker/diner, was to scout places to eat. We'll do two dinners, two lunches, possibly two breakfasts, and are a cheifly pesco-vegetarian bunch. A round of festive cocktails on Saturday--with a view--would be stellar.

Thanks in advance to all!

World's Best Mustard? Please stake your claim.

Singing Pig Garlic White Wine mustard. Ordered, of course, from my number one food museum in the LAND: The Mustard Museum of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, metioned above by LindaWhit. If you love mustard, you must go. I've been, oh, six times.

Aug 29, 2007
Nora Rocket in General Topics

Lemon Thai Cuisine in Somerville

Thanks for this--am on the hunt for good Thai near me and hadn't found it yet. Will try Lemon Thai and Tamarind House (had looked in their windows and wondered before).

Taipei Tokyo in Davis Sqaure

I like Yoshi's for a neighbourhood place and find it pretty "standard" in terms of cost, bang-for-buck. WAY superiour to Tapei Tokyo, which I tried two weeks ago and found deeply mediocre and overpriced. I mean really, crab stick as a component to the "sushi deluxe?" Dream on.

Chocolate Coconut Sherbet

I'm sure a vegan bittersweet chocolate can be obtained. I say this as a former vegan.

Aug 22, 2007
Nora Rocket in Recipes

RW Week Plans

Joanie: L'espalier is on the list, yes. Good thought on PR and its cost; I nixed a few off my list of "to do" because I can afford them in a good month or will go anyway. This was to be a pie-in-the-sky eating endeavour for me, but dang my late-to-the-party-ness! Maybe I can slip away for a lot of lunches, when things might be less packed? Good to know for next year; I didn't even know of RW up until very very recently.

RW Week Plans

I'm new to Boston and new to RW, so I'm shooting in the dark on my ideas. Would love to hear suggestions--and after the other Pigalle review, I think it's on my list, as well as the popular-to-chowhounds Aquitaine and Taranta. What about Sel de la Terre? L'Espalier? Mistral? Petit Robert? So excited!

Campari's Made from Bugs

ronla, barcelona: Ergo, bugs taste great, am I right? :)

Aug 08, 2007
Nora Rocket in Features

Chile-Lime-Tequila Compound Butter

How amazing would this be on tilapia? So amazing, that's how.

Jul 10, 2007
Nora Rocket in Recipes

Dakshin Tonight - thank you HarpOOn!

Oh man, my Indian travels from last summer are calling to me, with this post...must go soon! Any chance that a girl could get to Dakshin via the commuter rail and some hoofin' it?

"Ratatouille" got me all choked up.

I agree I agree! I shed real tears of joy for that scene, the visceral tenderness of it and the truth of it! *That's* what food does to those of us who love food.

Ego also has the line that cracked only me up in the theater full of slightly understimulated kids (much higher-brow humour than they've become trained to enjoy--farts, puking aliens, etc...): "I don't *like* food; I *love* food. If I don't LOVE it I DON'T SWALLOW."

Jul 05, 2007
Nora Rocket in Food Media & News

Chicago Chowhound visiting Boston this weekend

Very close to the green line, I'll reemphasize. As for you, kcp118, I'll second Helmand--nothing like it in Chicago, and I say that as a recent transplant to Bostonland from that fair city. We were at Helmand the night of the 3rd for a great meal at a price I pretty much didn't believe: two aps, four entrees, a soup, two desserts, and two teas--we all had to be rolled out--for $87 before tip.

Best Salad in Boston???

Small Plates, I do dissent indeed, but that's another story. I enjoy the big spinach salad at the Parish Cafe on Boylston near the public gardens and my employer on Arlington. Handy for me, but you didn't say where you were coming from? I'd rec the Parish anyways, frankly.

Olive, Tomato, and Millet–Stuffed Zucchini

Mandymac, I bet you could bento it for lunch okay--just cut the canoes to the width of your container and snug them in there.

Also, was going to muse that this might be tasty with quinoa instead of millet? If one had the former on hand and not the latter...

Jul 05, 2007
Nora Rocket in Recipes

The Family Bandit

Usufruct forever! No one will miss those dandelions, and those who are able and willing to cure the olives their neighbours cannot (or will not) should have them. As for less labour-intensive, more desireable items (like the tangelos in my Phoenix grandmother's backyard), another issue comes up for me: shouldn't there be a sense of community such that neighbours feel like they can share the things that grow on their property? My grandmother's neighbours take her tangelos and she feels welcome to their limes. Go Yaya, go!

May 31, 2007
Nora Rocket in Features

BYOB mid-range spot, transit accessible?

Woah, and speaking of "Nora doesn't do her homework," I just uncovered that BYOB is not so much a thing in Boston. Forgive a Chicagoan; she doesn't know what she's doing out here!

BYOB mid-range spot, transit accessible?

Hey all,

I'm seeking suggestions for a mid-range price place off a train line, preferrably BYOB (but not required by any means). Friend in from out of town tomorrow night. Two omnivores and one pesco-ovo-lacto-vegetarian (me). Any ideers? Secret favourites? Thanks in advance!

-Nora Rocket

Brunch, Exchange Street Bistro, Malden

So, last week's hit was this week's miss. We happened to go again this past Sunday with a friend in town and things went less well.

I had the smoked salmon "benedict," and it was the kind of thing that a less shy person than myself would have sent back. Eggs tremendously overdone, paltry salmon, no avocado (as described on the menu--wish they would have told me!), and a hollandaise sauce that I could have sworn my well-meaning waiter called "light." As if I'd ever ask for low-cal hollandaise. Potatoes again disappointing: I think I'll stick with the non-potato-bearing dishes henceforth--that layered french toast seemed dependable.

My dining companions had the smoked salmon platter (better salmon than I got...) and the appetizer pizza with duck confit, and they also split a french onion soup. The pizza, while deliciously salty (to my palette), was overly oily, like they'd drizzled it when it came out of the oven. The soup was hearty, but it contained green onion as well as caramelized yellow onion (an odd choice in my book).

Service was again pleasant if unremarkable, and the coffee was tasty. Oh, and, this time around they gave me a cocktail menu--I guess I looked my age...

Valentine dinner at Gargoyles on the Square

Sounds like a really lackluster night--I may bump my plans to visit back a little, behind other restaurants, and not just because you had an ungreat meal. Oh no, there's a far more deep offense here...

"Then we had a “Not So Simple Ceasar Salad” with hamachi for two. I thought it was pretty simple, myself. The hamachi pieces were seared, fresh enough, but lacking in that buttery texture I hoped for. There were thin bits of an aged dry orange cheddar I think was called Mimolette, and some supposedly “truffled” croutons that didn’t taste like much"

Hamachi on a Caesar? CHEDDAR on a caesar??!! This was not only "Not So Simple," it was Not So Caesar. I call shennanigans!

Davis Square options - advice on places I haven't been to yet

I just ate at Yoshi's last night and it was exactly decent. The salmon last night was especially tasty and the rice was nicely seasoned and temperatured. The pickled gourd in the oshinko maki (my fave anywhere) was also really good. There was one piece of nigiri (dunno which it was) that seemed like it included a bit of ligament or fiber (?) but that might have just been an unfortunate cut. I like Yoshi's fine and would make it a regular stop if I lived in the area.

Can I Say That America's Test Kitchen REALLY Irritates Me?!

In Brookline, no less, and I went to their (I think annual) open house in early December and got to eat munchies, tour the test kitchen, and talk to some of the staff. A very cool night, and I bought my weight in their cookbooks as holiday gifts.

In other words, oakjoan can say that ATK really irritates, and I can definitely say that I disagree. :) To each, and all that...ATK makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook attentively. I really like their scientific approach, and it reminds me of Julia Child's recounting of cooking dishes over and over and over until she got it juuuust right for MtAoFC one.

Feb 14, 2007
Nora Rocket in Food Media & News

Brunch, Exchange Street Bistro, Malden

Well well well, a snazzily outfitted little bistro with a very economical brunch menu, no crowds, just a walk from my house? Don't mind if I do... I'd walked past the place a few times in town, and a short while ago someone on the board brought up that they served brunch on Sundays. I'd also seen it featured on a certain *mysterious* local restaurant review television show and I liked the chef's attitude: genuine and thoughtful. So we rocked over to the bistro this past weekend for some hot brunch action.

The place was busier in the front section, in front of the bar, which is backed by a sectional wall of pale green, frosted glass. The back section was nearly deserted and my dining companion and I were seated in one of the amply proportioned booths (could seat 6, no trouble). Dark wood, black (marble?) tabletops, and an inoffensively-volumed mix of music, from generic dance beats to jazz standards. Tap water was brought promptly, along with a pair of yeasty rolls with butter. Staff was capable if unremarkable, and kept the water and the coffee coming (huzzah). I ordered the crab cakes "benedict," very reasonable at $12, accompanied by house potatoes. Crab cakes were very tasty--they weren't made with big lumps of crab, as has been pointed out here in the past, but they were delicate and tasty nonetheless--and the eggs were perfectly poached. The hollandaise was tangier than I remember hollandaise being, but I think that reflects more on my hollandaise inexperience. The potatoes were the only weak element: they had a good moderate spice, included onion, and had a higher-than-average salt level, but they were a little...damp--like they'd been boiled, tossed in spice, and left in a pile. Too bad. My DC had the stuffed french toast, a total tower of power for only $9. Three thick texas toasts schmeared with mascarpone cheese (and did I detect a hint of maple in the mascarpone? I certainly hope so...) and topped with blueberry compote and a few peach wedges. Were the peach wedges canned? I fear so. Was the dish amazingly sweet and delicious? Yes. Her only complaint with the meal was her orange juice: it was akin to college dining services OJ, served from a spraying machine and containing no pulp. The juice didn't match the decor, for sure. I also missed a brunch cocktail menu--there was a martini list that had a few contenders, and I probably could have ordered one if I wanted one, but without the suggestions I defaulted to coffee.

The brunch menu is pretty limited, but if the two things we had are any indication, it's about quality and not quantity. The price is definitely right, and I plan to go again and again. With the large back seating area nearly vacant for our entire visit, I got the feeling that perhaps a girl could show up with her Sunday Times and linger over a relaxed brunch and cuppa coffee.

Garlic that has started to sprout?

Waaay down the line: garlic has to overwinter.

Jan 31, 2007
Nora Rocket in General Topics