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Top Chef 2: the fall of *****! [spoilers inside]

We agree on the poor choice of wardrobe. We do disagree on her affect. I feel her energy is quite low. I work with a lot of english-as-second-language people and it does not factor into how much energy, personality and fire they bring to the table.

Jan 08, 2007
Annabelicious in Food Media & News

Top Chef 2: the fall of *****! [spoilers inside]

I agree that Padma adds nothing; how did they manage to find an even less animated and contributing hostess than the first one? That took some skill.

Jan 08, 2007
Annabelicious in Food Media & News

Top Chef 2: the fall of *****! [spoilers inside]

I agree and is it just me that is really distressed by the cruelty in the lack-of-sexual experience cracks?

Jan 06, 2007
Annabelicious in Food Media & News

Top Chef 2: the fall of *****! [spoilers inside]

Perhaps he's manipulating - but he seems too naive to me for that awareness - in my humble opinion, of course. He seems to not be socially aware of how his self-involvement/confidence pisses people off. I get the feeling his mantra is "this is a competition" and not realizing cooperation can help him.

Jan 05, 2007
Annabelicious in Food Media & News

why cant americans make cheese ?

My father's a Brit - from cheese country actually - and he thinks the extra sharp Cabot from Vermont is better than British cheddar!

Jan 05, 2007
Annabelicious in Cheese

Top Chef 2: the fall of *****! [spoilers inside]

my .02

Good comments above regarding greed, envy, etc. ideas.

Well, I watched this episode with a teenager. She was surprised that school-yard "group-think" bullying goes on in the "adult" world and workplace. Sorry kid; you never get to put your crayons down. Marcel is wise to take the higher road when the others lose their cool. He may be an irritant - but there are plenty of irritating people at work and you can't lose it or they will win over you every time. Sheesh.

Betty was manipulative of her colleagues and the judges. She uses doe-like facial expressions to get sympathy and I never bought her shtick. Good riddance.

The new hostess is, well, quite similar in her flat affect and dispassionate personality judging style to the last one. *shrug*

Jan 05, 2007
Annabelicious in Food Media & News

best breakfast in boston?

Best pancakes ever; seriously. Real syrup. Fresh squeezed oj. Real diner. High quality ingredients to make the classic dishes. It's what you imagine could happen if real focus-on-ingredients-foodies ran a diner.

Dec 27, 2006
Annabelicious in Greater Boston Area

yes, you too can make a perfect Prime Rib Roast!

Thanks all. Our guests were very late so we ended up with a less than stellar cook. It was slightly overdone. We cut it off the bone and it was fine but not stellar. My awesome popovers made up for it (I hope ). Merry Christmas!

Dec 26, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

yes, you too can make a perfect Prime Rib Roast!

Carving help please? Mine should come out in an hour - hub doesn't know how to carve it!

Dec 25, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

What countries would you go to cooking schools/classes in (on vacation), and any particular favorites?

I too would love to know a good cooking/vacation school abroad - Italy in particular.

Dec 23, 2006
Annabelicious in Not About Food

Best Popover recipes?

I made popovers this week and they were so well recieved and so perfect (thank you Ina Garten) that I got up in the morning and made them again to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

425 degrees

BUTTER the popover pan (I sprayed a few as a trial and the butter ones tasted better and rose just as high)

Mix together:

1.5 cups milk (room temp)
1.5 cups flour
1.5 T melted unsalted butter
3 XL eggs at room temp
3.25 t salt

Batter was thin and a little lumpy. Fill cups 2/3 full (foodnetwork site says 1/2 but when I watched her on TV she filled them 2/3 and they were nice and high).

Bake 30 minutes exactly.

Here's the key: NO PEEKING. Let the puffing happen without disturbing the heat.

Ina says to put the pan in the hot oven for exactly two minutes prior to filling cups. I forgot this step and they were perfect without it.

Good luck!

Dec 23, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Help! I made a huge batch of butternut squash soup.....

Thank you for your replies. I tried the yogurt and half and half and apple. It was just too too much cayenne to deal with. I ended up splitting the soup in half and throwing in a couple of sweet potatoes into the microwave and throwing on some carrots to boil....and just before my guests arrived, I pureed the sweet potatoes and carrots and more chicken broth and half and half into half the original batch and pulled it off. It was still spicy hot -but manageable. I actually challenged my guests to try the other half which was hot as hell and only one tried it and almost gagged but agreed it was probably medicinal! Cayenne is dangerous. I think I only put in one heaping tablespoon into a huge lecreuset pan of soup. That stuff is potent. I had no idea. Live and learn. Thanks.

Dec 21, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Help! I made a huge batch of butternut squash soup.....

...and added too much Cayenne pepper! It's spicy hot! How can I cut it?

Dec 20, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

What is on your menu for the holiday feast?

Prime rib roast (my first)
Horseradish sauce (Contessa recipe)
Whipped sweet potatoes with cream and nutmeg
roasted potatoes
Popovers (my first - I'm using the Contessa's recipe)
Probably green beans (I don't have any wow but easy green dishes)

Red wine (undecided) with dinner
Veuve Clicquot with desserts (undecided)

Dec 20, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Peanut Butter Ball Recipe

This sounds great. I'm going to try it.

Dec 20, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Please share your delicious chicken enchilada recipes

That sounds very good - I'm going to try it though all I have on hand is flour tortillas. Thank you for sharing.

Dec 17, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Bittman's No-Knead Bread...Wow!

I wasn't aware of the updated article until reading about it here. I found the text on the epicurious boards.

http://boards.epicurious.com/message....

I have to disagree with him regarding finding a warmer spot for rising. In New England, I keep my house cool and have had much better rise with the dough once I found the "sweet spot" for rising the dough under my under-counter light overnight. The lightbulb definitely made for more bubble and a much higher rise.

Dec 17, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's warning - and request

I agree. I just had them at a friend's house. Excellent. ( I assume you're talking about the roughly 5" in diameter quiches not mini quiches.....)

Dec 08, 2006
Annabelicious in Chains

Found the perfect pot for the no-knead bread!

My friend's le crueset black plastic handle on top of her enameled pan cracked and sort of imploded while making this bread at 450.

Lodge heavy cast iron "dutch oven" worked well $44. from Sur la table.

Dec 01, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Best chain restaurants?

My kids like CPK so I've adapted and find their Tostada Pizza really good: black beans and cheese and cripsy iceberg lettuce and chopped tomatoes and tortilla strips on a decent crust (ranch dressing on the side). My husband likes the fettucini with mushrooms in a cream sauce. The desserts are good and the place is kid friendly and parent friendly. They pour a short glass of wine though which annoys me.

Nov 18, 2006
Annabelicious in Chains

Trader Joe's warning - and request

I agree with above, the frozen french onion soup is very good.
The frozen tamales are good - they are in corn husks. I dress them up with a little chili powder and quac.
Check out the big TJ frozen pizzas. They are prepared in Italy from organic ingredients and EVOO. They are much less expensive than delivered pizza and have a nice crust. With a salad - it's a good meal.
I buy the bags of boneless skinless chicken breasts. No hormones, etc...Not super plump and juicy, so not for a special occasion, but good flavor and chem free for everyday use.

I haven't had a lot of luck with the frozen meals, meals in bowls and the stir-fried meals in frozen bags. I'm glad to see some of you have had some luck there. I will try some of them.

Nov 18, 2006
Annabelicious in Chains

Thanksgiving wines--what to serve with turkey?

I really like sparkling italian rose wines in champagne flutes.

The lightness and bubbles and slight sweetness go well with the traditional HUGE meal.

They're festive and pretty and different for the holiday.

Nov 18, 2006
Annabelicious in Wine

Raoul's on Prince Street

My favorite ny restaurant. It does get loud later; they crank the music as the night goes on. Tarot card reader at top of stairs. Meryl S. there one time I was there....I've never had a bad meal there. Excellent. Great Ny local spot. You want to sit up front or the first room for the real experience. Once we sat in the very back back room and that was a drag....ambience was not half as good. Request a banquette right in the front bar if you like to people watch.

Nov 17, 2006
Annabelicious in Manhattan

Lahey's No Knead Bread - Pot Help?

Well, of course. One must pay homage. It was great of him to share this with the home cook.

Nov 17, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Lahey's No Knead Bread - Pot Help?

Folding razor is a great idea. I'm actually going to try not "flipping" the dough and carving on the smooth top side before I drop it in the pan....we'll see.

I've read a few blogs on this recipe...it's a hot topic around the world apparently...I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who felt the article was inspiring.....anyway, I've noticed that some feel the dough has a great crust and crumb but lacks flavor. Some are adding more salt....thoughts?

Nov 16, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Lahey's No Knead Bread - Pot Help?

Thanks for the tips. I will try a sharp knife. I'm going to also try a big sharp knife on an angle. I think a wider cut might have more holding power.

Nov 16, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Lahey's No Knead Bread - Pot Help?

I've baked it in a huge lecruset pan that was WAY too big and then had to do it in a small lecruset. Both adapted fine to the pan. When the NYT article said it's hard to screw up this recipe - they weren't kidding. I've done it with white flour and wheat and with wheat mixed with wheat bran and they have all been amazing. I also couldn't get to the baking on the second batch - so it rose for about 24 hours - still perfect. The next batch I make I want to try and carve an intitial in the top like some of the better Parisian bakeries do....any suggestions for that?

My only prob with the recipe is that my dough sticks to the dish towel quite a lot even though I flour it. I will figure out how not to set it on the towel on the next batch.

Good luck.

Nov 16, 2006
Annabelicious in Home Cooking

Lexington, KY advice?

I like Jonathan's. I had an amazing pumpkin seed crusted fish there recently that was amazing.

His bourbon-lit creme brulee arrives flambe and is the best I've had.

Nov 16, 2006
Annabelicious in General South Archive

food in Ojai / Ventura?

We've gone to Ojai twice a year for the past few years and have tried many of these restaurants - but by far, the best experience we've had was at Bodees. It's a couple of miles off the main drag but has a wonderful view and great food.

http://www.bodees.net/

Nov 16, 2006
Annabelicious in Los Angeles Area

Great breakfast "dives"?

I looked for years and finally found a diner that has a great feel, a great crowd, and the most amazing breakfast food. When you order OJ, it is fresh-squeezed. When you order pancakes, they are whole grain and delish. Real butter? Yes. Excellent coffee, excellent everything. Check it out. There is usually a crowd waiting - but it moves quickly.

http://www.deluxetowndiner.com/

Nov 16, 2006
Annabelicious in Greater Boston Area