lulubelle's Profile

Title Last Reply

Dessert for a Thai dinner?

We had prawns wrapped in wonton skins (like cigars) deep fried and served with shot glasses of sweet chili sauce for dipping, Tom Yum Gai, Green Papaya Salad and Massaman curry (beef) and for dessert I ended up making lime cupcakes filled with lime curd and frosted with coconut frosting. Not traditional, but yummy!

Nov 16, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Dessert for a Thai dinner?

Such great ideas! At this point I am wavering between making the warm rum and pineapple sauce and pouring it over a coconut pound cake, and making some lemongrass cupcakes I found in the "Who You Callin' Cupcake?" cookbook from Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago.

Aug 23, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Dessert for a Thai dinner?

such as?...

Aug 21, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Dessert for a Thai dinner?

I'm having a dinner party this week and cooking up a mess of yummy, spicy, fresh Thai food. I've got a signature cocktail and some good beer, and the menu is all set, except dessert. Tradition would suggest mango and sticky rice, but I really don't like mango much, and anyway, people kind of expect over the top desserts from me, heavy on the chocolate, and richer than Bill Gates. Any ideas for something thematically appropriate (although I would be fine with anything somewhat "Asian" or tropical,; I am not a stickler for authenticity), but that still meets my guests' expectations for something a little over the top?

Thanks,

lulu

Aug 21, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Types of pizza in and around Chicago

shouldn't that pie be cut into squares?

Aug 10, 2010
lulubelle in Chicago Area

Depot Diner or Glenn's Dinner, Smoque or Honk Tonk ? Is Paradice Pup worth the trip?

I love Glenn's. The fish is excellent, and despite what another commenter said about the service, I have had nothing but great, attentive service the four times I have been there. The last time, in fact, we had a few mix ups in service and the manager came over to take care of things himself, and took our drinks and our dessert off the bill.

Jul 15, 2010
lulubelle in Chicago Area

iso great food in Dhaka, Bangladesh

It is indeed the same Barry Ison. I think he just opened a second guest house and restaurant, but I am not exactly sure where it is located. He had long been a proponent of local crafts and culture, and has done a lot of work to promote them and the local people.

As for getting work here, it really depends on what you do and who you work for. Everyone I know who is an expat works for some sort of Western organization.

Jul 15, 2010
lulubelle in India & South Asia

Types of pizza in and around Chicago

"Also, the Chicago Tribune has conducted polls showing that most Chicagoans prefer deep-dish to thin-crust pizza."

"prefer" and "eat frequently" are two different things. My Platonic ideal of pizza is a deep dish sausage from Uno, however I only eat that maybe once a year, possibly less. On the other hand, I have pizza at least once a week when I am in Chicago, usually from DOC or Spaca Napoli. Growing up, deep dish was a special event kind of thing; we'd go downtown to celebrate a birthday or graduation, but Friday night pizza was thin crust. I can't imagine that most people in Chicago eat deep dish pizza the majority of the time, no matter what the Trib says they "prefer".

Jun 24, 2010
lulubelle in Chicago Area

Sri Lankan?

Drat! I figured you would be the one to know if there was one. I googled it as well and couldn't find anything. I guess we have to cook!

Jun 13, 2010
lulubelle in Chicago Area

Sri Lankan?

Is there Sri Lankian food in Chicago? Where do we go? I would love to introduce some friends to the joys of Sri Lankian food, but i have no idea where to go.

Thanks!

Jun 13, 2010
lulubelle in Chicago Area

Assorted questions about moving to Chicago (from NYC)

I think Metropolis only has one location, so it's not a chain, but the shop itself, in Edgewater, on Granville, is a great place to hang out and read or catch up on some work.

May 18, 2010
lulubelle in Chicago Area

How should a restaurant disclose that it is charging extra for providing employee health insurance? Or should it all?

Before I read all of the comments I had a completely different idea about the menu. Personally, I want to support businesses that pay their employees a livable wage and who give their employees things like health insurance, even if it means I pay a little more. (I spent half of my life in the service industry, so I understand how difficult it is to be uninsured). So I read the statement on the menu as being positive, however, after reading all of these comments, it is obvious that it is a statement was not meant in that light.

May 16, 2010
lulubelle in Not About Food

Spain had a HUGE impact on its colonies' cuisine. Why didn't France?

Bangladesh needs to have a positive reputation for something! Pretty much all people think about when they hear the name of the country is poverty and corrupt government. (oh, and George Harrison)

May 16, 2010
lulubelle in General Topics

One day in Chicago-- Looking for advice

Mixteco Grill is on the corner of Montrose and Ashland. There is a Brown Line stop on Montrose about 4 blocks away. No need for a bus.

-----
Mixteco Grill
1601 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

May 16, 2010
lulubelle in Chicago Area

Spain had a HUGE impact on its colonies' cuisine. Why didn't France?

I thought it was a Bangladeshi cook in Glasgow who invented CTM.

May 16, 2010
lulubelle in General Topics

What five cookbooks would you keep?

I have two dessert books listed in my nine, plus several of the others have dessert chapters. It is much easier for me to wing a meal than it is to wing a dessert--as long as you have a basic understanding of cooking, you can put together a decent version of most recipes, but you really need specific directions to bake something properly.

May 15, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Coldstone Creamery...........First & Last Visit

There is a Coldstone in my old neighborhood in Chicago. It did great business until a Dairy Queen opened up down the block; now there is a line out the door for Buster Bars and dipped cones, and the Coldstone is pretty empty.

May 15, 2010
lulubelle in Chains

What five cookbooks would you keep?

When I moved overseas, I packed up most of my cookbooks and only took a select few with me.

How To Cook Everything--Mark Bittman
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking--Marcella Hazan
Country Desserts--Lee Bailey
Swedish Recipes Book--American Daughters of Sweden (a sentimental choice; it was my grandmother's book.But there are some great recipes for cookies in it)
How to be a Domestic Goddess--Nigella Lawson
Barefoot Contessa at Home--Ina Gartner
Les Halles Cookbook--Anthony Bourdain (I've only made three things from it, but I love reading his writing)
Seasoned America--Paul Prudhomme
Bistro Cooking--Patricia Wells.

That's 9. I also have a big folder of recipes my mother copied out for me from various sources, and of course the internet.

May 15, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Have you had foods flown in to satisfy a craving?

I've never flown something in to satisfy a craving, mostly because things you order my mail here have a tendency not to arrive or to arrive months after the fact. I have, however, anticipated cravings by bringing a suitcase filled with food form home back to Bangladesh with me every time I go back to the States for a visit.

Some of the things that I have brought back with me include
5 pounds of Italian Beef and a gallon of gravy
3 pounds bacon from the farmers' market
salami, chorizo and other hard sausages
A 4 pound wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano
countless bars of Vosges Chocolate
spices, vanilla and candied ginger from The Spice House

May 15, 2010
lulubelle in General Topics

Have you had foods flown in to satisfy a craving?

I've never tried to make it, because I think you really need a pizza oven to do it justice. but here is a link with a review and an explanation of clam pizza http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Write...

As for Chicago style pizza. I really don't know many people who eat it more than once or twice a year. Going to Gino's or Uno's was always a special occasion type of thing, a birthday or a treat for getting straight As. Our regular Friday night pizza was always thin crust sausage and onion, cut in squares not wedges.

May 15, 2010
lulubelle in General Topics

Have you had foods flown in to satisfy a craving?

I drove from Boston to New Haven one afternoon because we had a craving for clam pizza. I''m a Chicago girl and we have our own ideas about pizza, but New Haven pizza is something special.

May 14, 2010
lulubelle in General Topics

The Best Chocolate Birthday cake?

I ended up making components from three of the recommended cakes and combining them. I made the Black Magic cake, mostly because it was the smallest of the cakes. The dinner party was for 10, and as much as I wanted to make that Celebration Cake, it serves 30. Now, I'm not one to turn down leftover cake, but it seemed excessive. I did use really good cocoa from The Spice House, and the resulting cake was beautiful, although moist to the point of almost being wet.

I split the layers and filled them with a 1/2 batch of the mousse from the celebration cake. I used a little Gale Gand trick and steeped a tablespoon of fresh ground coffee in the hot cream and then strained it out before adding it to the chocolate. I also added a couple of tablespoons of Kahlua, so that I ended up with a dark chocolate-mocha mousse. Then I frosted the whole thing with the ganache frosting from the double chocolate layer cake.

WOW! That was a good cake! Thanks for all of the recommendations!

May 14, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Your go-to Casserole dish - easy to give

Do breakfast casseroles count? I make French toast casserole that is always a hit at brunch. It's a great, totally forgiving recipe.

stale french bread cut into 1 inch slices and then halved (I use about 1 1/2 loaf to fill my pan, but you can use more or less depending on the size of the dish you are using)

2 1/2 Cups milk (I usually use about 2 cups of skim and 1/2 cup of 1/2&1/2, but you can use whatever you have on hand. all skim is fine too)

7 eggs

1/4 Cup white sugar

cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom (I just toss some in, mostly cinnamon, never measure, but probably about Tbs cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of the others.)

1/2 stick butter

1/3 Cup maple syrup

Spray the casserole with Pam and fill with bread. I use a big shallow dish because we like the crust, but you can do it in a deep dish too.

Mix the milk, eggs, sugar and spices, pour over bread and press down so bread is completely covered.

Cut the butter into little chunks and dot over the top. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon. Cover with foil and stick in fridge overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350, bake with foil on for about 25 minutes, then remove foil, drizzle syrup over the top and return to oven for about 1/2 an hour. It puffs up, gets a little crusty on top and is fabulous.

I used to buy cinnamon apple syrup at the farmers market and made a variation with chunks of peeled apple tossed in with the bread and then the cinnamon syrup drizzled over the top.

May 11, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

The Best Chocolate Birthday cake?

I actually love that kind of challenge, however I live in a place where the transfers are not available, and shipping is not really an option. (It might be fun to try it sometime though, maybe I'll pick up the transfers when I am in the States this summer.)

May 08, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Is the cuisine so boring or just bad that you have to ask for alternatives?

Where I live there is one company (who shall remain nameless) whose employees are famous for trying to set up a little USA right here in South Asia. The frequent the American Club, the Pizza Hut etc, but you never see them at the local restaurants. They are also the people who complain that the school is not "American" enough, whatever that means. I think that for people who are pushed into a life overseas, as opposed to going willingly, the food is something east to control in an unfamiliar place.

May 08, 2010
lulubelle in General Topics

Is the cuisine so boring or just bad that you have to ask for alternatives?

I just want to chime in as another expat who occasionally wants a taste of home. Or at the very least, a taste of something that isn't local. Usually I end up cooking it myself, because the one Mexican restaurant here makes "nachos" that resemble curry, but I do eat the local pizza and Chinese food. It doesn't taste like Italy, or like China, or even like Chicago, but at least it's not curry. (for the record, I do love curry.)

May 07, 2010
lulubelle in General Topics

Is the cuisine so boring or just bad that you have to ask for alternatives?

I went to the McDonalds in Bangkok almost every day for an ice tea and a chance to use the western style toilet. I never ate any food there, but the bathrooms are dependable.

May 07, 2010
lulubelle in General Topics
1

The Best Chocolate Birthday cake?

Oh my gosh, so many fabulous looking cakes! Thank you to all who responded. I am making the cake for a party on Thursday, so i will let you know which one I ended up with.

May 07, 2010
lulubelle in Home Cooking

Good restaurant for bachelorette night...?

How about Le Colonial? http://www.lecolonialchicago.com/

I have had a number of girly evenings there, the food is great, the atmosphere is stunning and the service is really good.

May 05, 2010
lulubelle in Chicago Area

Dinner with friends - should they show up empty handed?

it's simply the group norm.

Bingo.

It appears that is not the group norm in the OP's new group of friends. She can either work towards that, by asking people to contribute, either directly "Hey. I'd really like to keep hosting these get-togethers, but you know there's a recession on, and we really don't have the budget to host every time" or indirectly "I didn't get to the store, would you mind picking up a bottle of wine on the way over" OR she can cut her losses and find a new group of friends.

I have a group of friends who get together once a week to watch movies. The hosts have been very upfront with the "rules" for the evening. Home brew is always available, as are mixers and basic hard liquor, but wine is BYOB. Everyone is expected to contribute a snack. Some people bring chips or cheese and crackers, while others go all out and make fancy dishes.

May 05, 2010
lulubelle in Not About Food