jeni1002's Profile

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Romania - Bucharest and Brasov - recommendations please

In Bucharest, I can't help you much.

I was in the Brasov area two weeks ago: we ate at a restaurant in the central square (Piata Sfatului), but I was unimpressed.

I will recommend however, the restaurant at the hotel Le Provence in Bran. It's about 2 miles away from the center of town and it's not very easy to find (the street numbers are wonky and it's pretty much in a residential neighborhood), but the food is out of this world. They have a wonderful selection of local cheeses (Brasov is known for several kinds of sheep cheese, including cheese wrapped in fir tree bark), meats, soups, and traditional stews.

If you want to get the 'wood' cheese, make sure you get it from a place that has a refrigerator. You'll be surprised how many sellers don't have one.

Aug 20, 2010
jeni1002 in Europe

Crete - 10 days

We loved Leventis and I would definitely recommend it. The food was fresh and well-executed and there were no other tourists around our table. (There was actually a very loud and happy family reunion at 70% of tables.) If you want fish, you need to tell them in advance.

Ela is in the old town, in an excellent location and the decor is wonderful, but the food was mediocre.

Jul 13, 2010
jeni1002 in Europe

Why are they SO sour at Bakery Normand?

Another sour vote here, unfortunately. The very few times I went to Normand, I had the same uneasy feeling. No one was rude or anything, and typically, too friendly of a service makes me uncomfortable (!), but I remember wondering why everyone seemed so sad.

Jun 27, 2010
jeni1002 in Southern New England

Best plain yogurt

Noted (and added to the list).

I've tried Nancy's, but for some reason, I found it too thick. Will give it another try. Thank you!

Apr 21, 2010
jeni1002 in General Topics

Best plain yogurt

Thank you! I will definitely try the buckwheat groats!

Apr 21, 2010
jeni1002 in General Topics

Best plain yogurt

Caitlin, I concur - overnight oats are really, really good. I will have to try it with steel cut oats; depending on the oats and the yogurt, sometimes the concoction gets mushy.

My latest obsession is a variation of this: cook oats with vanilla, top with yogurt and berries. The oats are still warm, the yogurt is cold.....Clearly, I spend too much time thinking about food :)

Apr 21, 2010
jeni1002 in General Topics

Best plain yogurt

I've seen the Seven Stars yogurt (my MIL also buys it regularly), but never got around to try it. Sounds delicious. Thank you!

Apr 20, 2010
jeni1002 in General Topics

Best plain yogurt

I really like TJs, and I understand their European Style brand is actually Straus. I will now have to look for Pavel's. Their Web site says Whole Foods carries their products.

Apr 20, 2010
jeni1002 in General Topics

Best plain yogurt

I am on a mission to find the best plain yogurt. I had my Greek yogurt phase, and while I still enjoy it, I am looking for something different. Not a big fan of pectin or milk solids in my yogurt (it's a texture thing more than anything else).

Here's what I've found so far and liked:
* Hawthorne Valley yogurt (available at WFM, only full-fat version, rather pricey, but really good)
* Sidehill Farm yogurt (from a local farm in my area, full-fat and low-fat versions, very tasty, probably not available anywhere else other than Western Mass)
* Trader Joe's European Style yogurt (full-fat and non-fat versions, not as chunky as your typical American yogurt)

Your finds? TIA.

Apr 20, 2010
jeni1002 in General Topics

Good eats in Chania — Western Crete?

Leventis in Ano Stalos (between Daratso and Platanias). No tourists, very well-prepared food, reasonable price tag.

www.athinaeos.com/gastronomy/restaura...
www.leventis-tavern.com

You will need to order seafood ahead of time; except octopus, you won't be able to get any fresh fish unless you call the restaurant.

Feb 09, 2010
jeni1002 in Europe

Seek Road Food Recs along Rt. 91 in MA

FYI: Mi Tierra is closed on Mondays.

Jan 12, 2010
jeni1002 in Southern New England

New Trader Joe's yea/nay thread

I will definitely try it! Thanks for suggesting it :)

Dec 04, 2009
jeni1002 in Chains

New Trader Joe's yea/nay thread

Yay - sheep's milk feta in brine

Nay - Sweet potatoes with maple and pecans - they were way too sweet!

Dec 03, 2009
jeni1002 in Chains

Northampton, MA need a delicious birthday cake

I agree with mjoyous - every time I've had something from La Fiorentina, I wasn't inspired to go for more (although I haven't tried their cannoli). I distinctly remember an eclair that was kind of too dry, and a chocolate mousse that was not that good. Sorry.

Nov 12, 2009
jeni1002 in Southern New England

Roadhouse Cafe-Belchertown

Just came back from the Roadhouse - it's also a 45 minute drive for us, but in my book, always worth it. I actually like their home fries - yes, the seasoning is quite distinguishable, but they are not greasy and heavy. Their sun-dried tomato toast rocks my world every time, and I've never had better (fluffier, bigger) pancakes anywhere else. (Apparently GC agrees with me about the pancakes since they just rated them the best :)

New Trader Joe's yea/nay thread

You may have tried them in the meantime - I don't mind them even if I am not a big fan of salmon (but I am a big fan of crepes).

Nov 11, 2009
jeni1002 in Chains

Winter CSA in Western Mass

We've had a winter share at Brookfield for the past three years and we love it. Pickup is every other week, and there is sufficient variety not to feel bored. They mostly have root vegetables and some kale. Towards the end, it's mostly carrots and potatoes. Let me know what kind of details you're interested in.

amherst/northampton/hadley special occasion bakeries

Try the Black Sheep - they have amazing desserts.
http://www.blacksheepdeli.com/

Crete - 10 days

We have just returned from a week in Western Crete, and wanted to add another recommendation. Dinner at Leventis in Ano Stalos (between Daratso and Platanias) was the highlight of our trip. There were no tourists, the food was exquisite, and price tag reasonable.

www.athinaeos.com/gastronomy/restaura...
www.leventis-tavern.com

Sep 16, 2009
jeni1002 in Europe

Northhampton Eats

This coming weekend is graduation weekend for UMass - most places will be a lot more crowded than usual. I think most posters on this board will agree that Green Street Cafe is an option for dinner (and brunch).

Romania. Slow food, Saxon village farm stay

Exactly how long did you spend in Romania? And what is the basis (culinary or otherwise) for your preferences? I happen to think that Bucovina (where Suceava is located, and parts West of Suceava) is a gem. And so is Cluj, if you know how to approach it.

TSA just confiscated.... (aka "my creole mustard is contraband")

Yes - it is certainly a different dynamic - on the one hand, you are always in self-defense, not knowing what to anticipate, but at the same time, you don't feel so guilty about testing the boundaries of acceptability (I would have never started a conversation like this in the US or elsewhere outside Eastern Europe, but in this case, I felt I could be just as shameless as he was).

May 06, 2009
jeni1002 in Not About Food

TSA just confiscated.... (aka "my creole mustard is contraband")

I went through security with an entire bottle of TJ kefir at Logan last September without a problem. Two months earlier, I am going through security in Bucharest with two yogurt containers, get pulled over and the following occurs:
'You cannot take these bottles with you..."
"But I did have the same bottles 6 months ago, and you let me pass through .... How is this possible?"
"Ok fine, you can take the smaller bottle..."
"Why not the big one?"
"Because I'm thirsty".
Needless to say, I left with the smaller bottle.

May 06, 2009
jeni1002 in Not About Food

Potluck Wedding Reception?

And..if you choose one of the frozen desserts, by the time you get there, it will be already defrosted :)

May 01, 2009
jeni1002 in Not About Food

An absurdly simple dessert that tasted good - instant ice cream (for lack of a better name)

Good question - I am not sure. I typically use the frozen mango from Trader Joe's for this particular concoction, and my DH typically handles the fresh mango mess. But I will ask him to chime in.

Apr 30, 2009
jeni1002 in Home Cooking

An absurdly simple dessert that tasted good - instant ice cream (for lack of a better name)

This uses the same principle (and it was an accident as well): 1 cup frozen mango, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup milk, cardamom. Add sweetener if you like. Just like ice cream.

Apr 30, 2009
jeni1002 in Home Cooking

Local Burger and Fries - Northampton

Well, you are definitely entitled to your opinions - what the other posters were trying to do, imo, is provide a little bit of context ... regardless of what we think of Local Burger, we can all agree that restaurants in Northampton are over-priced (whether it's the actual dollar amount, portions, etc.). and we need to evaluate it in comparison to other places in town. Is there another place that you recommend in Northampton or in the valley?

Apr 28, 2009
jeni1002 in Southern New England

Thoughts on the Pioneer Valley

I wanted to resurrect this thread only because we finally made it to Primavera in Ludlow and it was fantastic. Like the OP and others, I don't know much about Portuguese food, but everything we ordered was tasty and fresh: every order comes with a bowl of soup (this one had cabbage, potato, and carrot and it definitely fit the definition of comfort food). We also ordered the spicy shrimp as an appetizer - the shrimp was fresh and the sauce, which I believe was tomato-based, was spicy and so flavorful that the entire bread basket became a vehicle for removing it from the bowl....I ordered the grilled cod with green peppers, my DH the pork and our friend the grilled chicken. All portions were beyond generous (I can honestly make 3 meals out of it) - the two meat dishes came with 3 sides - rice, potatoes and vegetables. The only thing we think of was that a meal like this would never be possible in Northampton for the same price. The service was friendly and attentive, and the place had that neighborhood atmosphere that makes restaurants like this so charming. Take the drive ... it's definitely worth it!

Apr 25, 2009
jeni1002 in Southern New England

Rose flavored anything

One of my best childhood memories is my grandmother's rose petal preserves. Amazon sells a few varieties of rose petal jams, jellies, and preserves.
http://tinyurl.com/ch8v9s

Apr 07, 2009
jeni1002 in Home Cooking

Happy Little Kid Desserts

Both my mother and grandmother are/were pretty accomplished bakers and desserts were always around (although neither of them actually did eat them).
* Cozonac - which is loosely the Romanian version of the panettone was a family project on Christmas and Easter
* My sister's birthday cake - a fruit tart with different kind of berries and vanilla cream
* Schumeke (sp?) was a neighbor's almost flourless cake - lots of cocoa, butter, walnuts
* Coltunasi - loosely resembling ravioli, typically filled with sour cherries or sweet farmer's cheese
My attempts to replicate any of these have failed miserably every time, but I persevere...

And then there was the pistachio ice cream from the street corner in this dry, almost inedible cone that all the kids in the neighborhood, including myself absolutely loved....

Apr 07, 2009
jeni1002 in General Topics