milklady's Profile

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Cookbook/supplies rec for absolute beginner- kosher and somewhat picky!

I was definitely going to recommend Kosher by Design! I think that's a great idea. The foods are diverse and inherently kosher, not just "jewish" food.

Aug 28, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Family gathering in Berkeley: restaurant and caterer ideas, please

We have done group dinners at Lalime, Comal (check out their 5:30 pm group reservation) and Pizzaiolo.

For catering, you could do something as simple as Picante catering or as extravagant as having a private chef / caterer come and provide a multi-course plated meal. I have been very impressed with both Jasmine Catering and Oren's Kitchen for catering.

The Half Orange [Oakland]

I have been a couple of times. It seems to me that the neighborhood, at least during lunch, doesn't quite get what THO is trying to do.

I have tried the portabello mushroom sandwich. It was quite good, pretty acidic. Definitely a nice change of pace from other local offerings. I have also tried the market salad (that day it had cotija, peaches and pepitas). The service has been very friendly and helpful.

No carb snacks for child

Dealing with a new DM1 diagnosis is a huge adjustment for any families. You have my virtual support!

Have you met with a nutritionist or other professional on your team to help with this? They will have great ideas.

Other kinds of nuts an nori (seaweed) might be appealing as additional ideas.

Hopefully in a few months your daughter will be able to get a pump, which will minimize the need for shots.

Aug 07, 2014
milklady in Special Diets

Best Kosher (Shabbos) Food LA

I know people who really like Pico Kosher Deli.

Jul 24, 2014
milklady in Kosher

Favorite Ice Cream 2014

That looks fantastic!

I haven't made any new ice cream discoveries. My favorites remain: Lottie's Creamery in Walnut Creek (salted almond toffee is always amazing, and I love it when there are unique flavors), Lush Gelato (amazing creamy gelatos in special flavors and great fruit sorbets) in North Berkeley and Piedmont Ave and Ici on College Ave in Berkeley.

Good meals in Murphys

I found little information when searching for where to eat in Bear Valley, Murphys, Arnold and other locations in Calaveras and Alpine Counties, so I thought I should post a report.

We ate four meals in Murphys, all of which were very good and featured fresh local produce.

Lunch at Roquefort - all vegetarian, mostly organic. It features a "grilled cheese bar". We had delicious castelvrano olives with preserved lemon, a classic (cheddar on sourdough) grilled cheese served with pickled curried cauliflower, a baby kale salad and corn/pasta/cheese fritters with aioli. All the ingredients were very high quality and nicely prepared. I wish I could have tried more of the menu!
No air conditioning, but the patio is very nice.

V Restaurant and Bar - We had two of the day's specials - strawberry gazpacho (sweet, smooth and spicy - made with strawberries, tomatoes, jalapenos, kefir and basil) and a caprese salad (buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, avocado on greens, with a raspberry dressing - I would have liked it better with just olive oil maybe lemon). We also had the ahi tacos, which had a cabbage/avocado slaw.

They have a great cocktail menu, but we had just finished wine tasting and weren't up for cocktails.

Grounds - we stopped here for a quick breakfast. There were lots of people feasting on eggs and potato pancakes and other features. We ended up eating light - yogurt, a housemade muffin and sourdough French toast. Coffee was great. They have a very nice lunch and dinner menu (on the pricier side), and indoor and outdoor seating.

Dinner at Brice Winery by Creative Catering, before the Murphys Theater outdoor performance of Twelfth Night
This was a lovely outdoor dinner in a beautiful setting. There was some sort of problem with more people reserving dinner than the caterer knew about, so portions were smaller than I'd expect. I think the caterer also would benefit from serving bread and butter with the meal. All the food was very fresh and delicious - clearly farm to table. Wine could be purchased by the glass or bottle from Brice Winery. This was the menu:
Chilled cucumber/avocado soup
Grilled pork with apricot chimichurri (we asked for a vegetarian alternative, and were each served an heirloom tomato stuffed with quinoa salad)
Grilled summer vegies
Heirloom tomato, peach and arugula salad with champagne vinaigrette
Dessert: Raspberry cheesecake muffins

I look forward to being back in the area! I would recommend any of these restaurants.

Jul 21, 2014
milklady in California

Baby-friendly SF and Wine Country Foodie spots?

Here's an article about kid friendly wineries:

Looking for soft, chewable "nugget" ice cubes

I don't know where to buy this kind of ice, but please talk to your health care provider about this craving - she or she might be concerned about pica and/or anemia.

Best of luck!

What are you baking these days? June 2014 edition, part 1! [through June 14, 2014]

How did it turn out?

I made a 2 layer 12" cake this weekend. I will try to post a photo later.

Jun 09, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? June 2014 edition, part 1! [through June 14, 2014]

That is not my experience (I have made 4 layer cakes with 9 inch pans regular recipes that make cakes nearly 2" high that have indeed toppled), but I'm glad it works for you. I look forward to hearing how it goes for the original poster.

Jun 05, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? June 2014 edition, part 1! [through June 14, 2014]

I would fear that a double recipe of that cake, with 4 9" inch layers, will become uneven and topple, even if it is skewered. That would be a very tall cake and difficult to slice!

If you can get 12" in pans, a double recipe would make two cakes that you could stack together and would be beautiful.

Jun 05, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Falafel: SFBA Dish of the Month June 2014

Yesterday I tried the Flying Falafel at a festival. They were frying as fast as they could to keep up with the crowd. Service was incredibly friendly.

$8 bought you a full falafel. I was given a whole wheat pita (soft and thick), and then there were bowls set up with falafel, pickles, cabbage, sliced tomatoes and shredded carrots to fill your own pita. There were squeeze bottles of hot sauce and tehina.

The falafel were very fresh. They were crispy but irregularly shaped. They were lightly golden brown on the outside, and light brown on the inside. They tasted good, but definitely lacked salt. The pickles seemed like pretty good Israeli pickles. The sliced tomatoes were sad looking. The tehina also lacked salt.

Overall, it was a pretty satisfying falafel. My 4 year old was thrilled with it, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

What's cooking for Shavuot?

So far I plan to make:

Macaroni and cheese (with béchamel, cheddar and gruyere)
Mini oreo cheesecakes
homemade lebneh

I've also purchased a lot of ice cream bars.

May 29, 2014
milklady in Kosher

Need an East Bay dinner spot for around 30 people

Friends had a dinner for 30 or 40 at Revival in Berkeley recently, and they were thrilled how the event turned out. Comal (also in downtown Berkeley) can accommodate nearly 30 in their downstairs room Abajo.

Fighting to keep my voice

I'm so sorry to hear this news. It sounds very challenging. But it also sounds like you have a great attitude, so that will go very far.

A couple years ago I was on a soft-foods diet for 6 months (luckily due to problems with orthodontia, not anything more serious) and also helped a friend with oral cancer who was on a liquid diet for quite a while post surgery.

You actually probably could live on fruit smoothies (especially protein enhanced smoothies) for a very long time. I usually added protein powder and/or ground flax seeds to smoothies. But, that isn't very satisfying. I found it incredibly important to have savory options as well as sweet.

Pureed vegetables with seasonings or butter or cream can actually be quite delicious. I loved pureed cauliflower or broccoli. This works for nearly all vegetables. I made every kind of (for me vegetarian) soup imaginable. I would often make 2-3 pots of soup in a week, and freeze individual portions, so there were always several types to choose from in the freezer. I loved vegetable soups of al kinds, and was very happy with the heartiness of pureed bean or lentil soups. Things that are meant to be dips (hummus, tzatziki, etc.) became foods I ate off a spoon and really enjoyed. I was also able to eat thinned refried beans.

The biggest change for me at first was the sudden reduction in fiber intake. It was hard on my system. I added in fiber powder to one or more meals a day.

I also felt very challenged eating at other people's homes, especially at first. I would try to drink a snack before I went, and I would also let them know what was going on with me (without expecting accommodation - I just didn't want to be rude.) I was luckier than you in that I could eat soft foods from a spoon like polenta. I even realized that I could simply swallow overcooked vegetables and lasagna and things like that, but that probably isn't recommended in your situation.

I also met with a nutritionist which I found helpful.

Good luck to you! If you think of more questions please ask. Take care.

May 06, 2014
milklady in Special Diets

Oakland (Montclair): Amba Kosher organic vegetarian restaurant - Babka, warm hummus with mushrooms, Lebanese pitza, shuee't, masbacha, ful, schug and more

I have not yet tried it, but we will be waiting a bit. We keep hearing from friends that they do not yet have beef or any kabobs and they have run out of schwarma by dinner time. Hopefully they are still in the warm up phase and will be ready for prime time soon.

Shabbat dinner menus for meat-eaters and vegetarians

I often do two main dishes for Shabbat. We usually serve dairy meals, so most often I do some sort of fish and some sort of pasta with vegetables or lasagna. The same works well with meat meals, though - I simply add a vegetarian pasta or stew or tofu dish or bean dish or lentil dish and that can be a side for the meat eaters, in addition to salads and vegetable sides.

Apr 30, 2014
milklady in Kosher

"Private Dinning" in Berkeley, CA

That is a very low price per person. Where in SF have you found places that work for you? What places in LA work?

What to serve for Pre-Passover meal

This is always a very casual meal, not formally served. We usually have some combination of baked potatoes, yogurt, blintzes (frozen Passover ones from a package), veggies, string, cheese, etc. Everyone is always busy with cooking and other prep.

Apr 09, 2014
milklady in Kosher

Chocolate flourless cake for Passover

It sounds like you do not need the bakery to be kosher / kosher for Passover, that just flourless ingredients work. In that case, Sweet Adeline, Crixa and Masse's all have fantastic choices. My personal favorites are from Masse's.

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - March 2014 [OLD]

Oh yeah, I love this new mix. Great to mix it up from just a kale salad, but it works very well in applications like raw kale.

Mar 12, 2014
milklady in Chains

Breakfast / brunch in the Berkeley / Oakland area

I agree. 900 Grayson was great when it opened, and it is still great, but I am so bored that they haven't really changed the menu at all in years.

Pot luck brunch

Homemade scones and lemon curd or jam. So impressive and quite inexpensive to make.

Feb 25, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Lunch near the Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale

I would recommend Taco Grill right near the Fruitvale BART station or Vulcan Café for Thai food off of E. 12 St.

What are you baking these days? February 2014 edition! [Through February 28, 2014]

I had several gluten free folks around this weekend.

I made Alice Medrich's New Bittersweet Brownies, substituting King Arthur gluten free baking mix for the AP flour. I baked them in a sheet pan, then cut them into hearts and glazed them with a thin ganache for Valentine's Day. They were moist and rich, almost melted in your mouth.

I also made the Martha Stewart Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread cookies, but gluten free and standard. They were both fantastic. The gluten free ones were a little bit sandier in texture, but the guests were very impressed. Side by side comparisons (by those who tolerate gluten) were that that the standard ones were a bit better, but you would never know the difference if you were given a gluten-free cookie without being told.

Earlier this month I also made a no dairy chocolate cake with an almond milk ganache. I guess it's a month of adaptation!

Feb 18, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Berkeley Eat/Study/Seduction Spot

I think the Elmwood Café idea is a great one. I would also consider Local 123 on San Pablo at University.

ISO Freeze ahead macaroni and cheese and other make-ahead Christmas dishes

I think that would be fine. I wouldn't push it further than that.

Dec 13, 2013
milklady in Home Cooking

ISO Freeze ahead macaroni and cheese and other make-ahead Christmas dishes

I make the sauce and cook the pasta per directions, assemble completely, then wrap with foil and freeze. I let it defrost in the fridge and then bake.

Dec 12, 2013
milklady in Home Cooking

Question about applying Edible Luster to cut out cookies

This is exactly what I was going to say! I would first decorate with royal icing. Once that's dry, then apply the luster dust with an extract.

Dec 11, 2013
milklady in Home Cooking