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Monday, July 23rd, 2012
4:48 pm - Spammer on the loose

Hello, everyone! It seems there's a spammer running amok on LiveJournal. If you receive any spam responses to a post you've made in this community, please let me know so I can ban the troublemaker. Many thanks!

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Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
9:58 pm - Digital cookbooks

So, has anyone tried cooking from a digital cookbook on an e-reader? I've downloaded a few to my Nook, but haven't given them a try yet. What was your experience like? Did you have to increase the screen timeout? I'm not a messy cook, but I do feel a little hesitant about getting preparation materials on my screen. :)

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
1:59 pm - Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie

a new years favorite for me! follow the link for the recipe (has pictures as well!)


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Saturday, September 17th, 2011
5:33 pm - Autumn approaches!

Depending on where you are in the world, you may be experiencing the first hints of fall: a crisp note in the air here; a falling leaf there.

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely ready to cook for this season. :) Anyone feeling the same way?

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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
7:02 am - Last Weekend

Saturday Night OutCollapse )

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Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
1:26 pm - Coconut cream pie recipe?

Anyone here have a tried and true killer coconut cream pie recipe? I'm not a big coconut fan, but my son is, so I thought this would be a nice change for a birthday cake. The most interesting recipe I can find is http://www.emerils.com/recipe/7761/best-ever-coconut-cream-pie , but I've made a couple of Emeril recipes which were real duds. Comments, advice? Thanks!

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Saturday, October 31st, 2009
5:39 pm - Deep frying in butter (ghee)

After looking over the Wikipedia entry on smoke point and noticing that ghee had a very high smoke point, I decided I'd try to use it to deep fry with.

I generally followed the guidelines in this article (using a coffee filter rather than cheese cloth), and it looked like it came out ok but it's possible I cooked it too long.

I then put the ghee in a small deep fryer and tried to deep fry some cheese sticks at 350 degrees. As it was heating, I noticed that the ghee looked like it was turning somewhat darker. When I put in the food, I got excessive foaming.

What went wrong here? Has anyone tried deep frying in ghee, and has it been successful? Did I overcook the ghee, causing the foaming? This seems odd to me since the deep fryer temperatures are probably higher than the ghee making temperatures--I just wouldn't think that a little extra cooking would render the ghee inappropriate for deep frying, assuming ghee is ever appropriate for deep frying.

Should I use the remaining ghee or toss it out?

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
4:03 pm - Taste of Atlanta 2009

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Taste of Atlanta on Saturday, October 10th, 2009.

We reached Technology Square just after noon. Armed with 30 tickets, we began our tour of the tents.

The section near the entrance featured restaurants that emphasize sustainable food choices in their menus, such as the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead and Restaurant Eugene. It also included displays showcasing local organic produce and livestock (some of the healthiest-looking chickens I've ever seen were strutting around in a spacious cage). The entire group was arranged in a semicircle around the Farm to Festival stage, where several chefs performed cooking demonstrations (more about that later).

Sixteen pictures with commentary behind the cutCollapse )

One thing I really appreciated about Taste of Atlanta was that it was well-organized. It was thoughtful of the planners to allow an ample amount of clearance between each tent: this really helped with traffic flow, and was a real improvement over other food festivals I've attended. Also, the overall quality of the offerings was consistently good: definitely up a notch from Taste of Sandy Springs, where you had maybe two or three really memorable bites.

Additionally, I liked the fact that they kept the focus on food, for the most part. The only non-food tents appeared to belong to event sponsors like Amica Insurance, and that's fine. The non-food constituency did include one item of interest to us: Cavalia, the brainchild of one of Cirque du Soleil's founders, was setting up its tent at Atlantic Station, and they had representatives at ToA handing out flyers. No discounts on tickets, unfortunately, but I'm certainly curious. It opens October 27th.

My hubby's only minor gripe about ToA was that Asian fusion seemed to be overrepresented, but that's somewhat true of the Atlanta food scene as a whole, so it makes sense that the sample would reflect that. The Asian emphasis didn't bother me. My only suggestion would be to remedy the lack of tables and chairs next year. There were a few benches, but it would have been nice to have a few tables here and there for some of the messier fare.

My Picks for the Best of ToACollapse )

There were a few noteworthy absences. Where was Anne Quatrano? Where was the critically-acclaimed Cakes & Ale? Given the current state of the Atlanta pizza wars, I expected Varasano's, Fritti, and Antico Pizza Napoletana to be there. Speaking of Fritti, where was Riccardo Ullio's group? Despite the fact that a few of Atlanta's culinary luminaries were otherwise occupied, there was so much good food at the festival that it wasn't a big deal.

I definitely plan to return next year!

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Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
10:35 pm - Cookery School - Part Two

Cookery School - Part TwoCollapse )

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Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
10:14 pm - Cookery School - Part One

Cookery School - Part OneCollapse )

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Monday, July 13th, 2009
10:44 pm - Cookery School

Cookery SchoolCollapse )

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Sunday, June 28th, 2009
9:30 am - The great 2009 German roadtrip... The meals!

A recent roadtrip to Germany led to some excellent meals... well, we did use the Michelin guide to garner local recommendations!

We were working at Hockenheim over the weekend, and The Michelin Guide, when consulted the week before, suggested a couple of restaurants nearby in Ketsch (about three miles away), so I booked one for Friday and one for Saturday. And a very good thing they proved to be too.

Restaurant Hirsch, Ketsch, Baden-Wurttemburg, GermanyCollapse )

Gasthaus Adler, Restaurant Stecker, Ketsch, Baden-Wurttemburg, GermanyCollapse )

SundayCollapse )

Hotel Moselschild, Oliver's Restaurant, Urzig, Rheinpfalz, GermanyCollapse )

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Sunday, April 19th, 2009
3:42 pm - Locanda Locatelli, London

Lunch at Locanda LocatelliCollapse )

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9:00 am - Chopped Challenge

Do you ever feel like you are in food rut? Wandering up and down the aisles of the grocery store last night, I realized that I just wasn't feeling inspired to cook...again. Seriously, I had the worst time figuring out what to make for dinner. Got through three quarters of the store and didn't have a single idea. Later, watching TV with my hubby, I saw Food Network's Chopped.

The basic premise on Chopped is that three or more chefs are selected and they are each given a mystery picnic basket of unrelated ingredients to work with. With this mystery basket they must create either an appetizer, entree or dessert, using all of the components in the basket. The dish must be created in under thirty minutes. The chefs are in a fully stocked kitchen so they are also permitted to use other ingredients in addition to the contents of the basket.

Chopped gave me an idea. What if we hosted a Challenge here on LJ? Would anyone be interested? Here's my thoughts:

1. The challenge would be open to cooks of all skill levels. It is not a contest. There are no winners or losers. The idea is to help us get creative and think 'outside the (culinary) box'. Participation each month is totally optional.
2. Week #1 I would make a post, asking for suggested ingredients.
3. Week #2 I would create a poll with the suggested ingredients and everyone can vote on their favorite. The top four ingredients will need to be used in the dish. You may create a breakfast, lunch, appetizer, entree, dessert or beverage with your ingredients. I reserve the right to veto any single ingredient that I find really vile or revolting.
4. Just like with Chopped, you can use other ingredients in addition to the mystery ingredients. Preperation and cook time should be limited to one hour or less.
5. The remainder of each month you will have time to create your dish.
6. Once completed, you must post your recipe as a reply to the orginal challenge. Dishes are due no later than the end of the month. Pictures of the completed dish are appreciated but not required.

If you're interested, drop by my LJ and reply to the poll.

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Monday, January 19th, 2009
11:50 am - What do you do witha whole pork shoulder...

I never expected to find a whole pork shoulder at Safeway, complete with outer skin, bone in, all 11 pounds of it.  I know at one time I had lots of recipes for cooking one, but I never found one in the market. Now, I have one and, you guessed it, no recipes.  After a load of Googling, I've found several for pernil, but Mexican style seasoning isn't a favorite in our house.  Anyone got any ideas from a different culture?  If not, I guess it's Bittman's pernil, although it will make me cry.  A lot.  (The onions, not Bittman.)  I'm already assuming 11 hours or so of cooking at a low temp - sure hope it gets cold again soon.  (Yeah, I live in CA, and it's been 70 degrees lately.)

Any suggestions greatly appreciated - other than moving to Minnesota for the cold.  ;).

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Saturday, January 17th, 2009
12:50 am - Unusual fruits and veggies

As part of my New Year's resolutions, I am making a concerted effort to introduce newer fruits and veggies into our everyday cooking. Many of these we have tried but don't use regularly. They include:

Boniato, Carambola (Star Fruit), Celeriac, Chayote, Cherimoya, Daikon Radish, Dragon Fruit, Edamame, Fennel, Jicima, Kiwano (Horned Melon), Papaya, Parsnips, Pomegranate, Pomelo, Quinoa, Rhubarb, Tamarind, Tomatillo and Yuca

Does anyone have a recipe or two that use the fruits and veggies above, one they'd be willing to share?

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
1:44 pm - Food in Dresden and Berlin - Part 2

For anyone in interested in two more days of gastronomic indulgence, please read on!

Sunday, DresdenCollapse )

Monday, BerlinCollapse )

For more food photos you can go here for the Caroussel, here for the breakfast room of the Hotel Suitess, and here for the Traube.

For a full description of the touristy stuff, Day 3 is here and Day 4 is here.

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Friday, November 28th, 2008
8:32 am - Hong Kong and Macau Dining

Hong Kong and Macau GastronomyCollapse )

Macau non-food photos are here while the Hong Kong photos are here. Pictures from the Intercontinental Grand Stanford are here.

Work (motor racing) photos are here, here, here and here. Additionally, anyone interested in what happened during the race can go here or here for reports.

If you’re interested in other details of the trip, then my LiveJournal has full reports.

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Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
7:46 pm - Root vegetable dishes for Thanksgiving?

I have been given the task of making something out of my fresh veggie delivery for Thanksgiving.

I have beets, turnips, potatoes, four whole artichokes, cauliflower, celery, rainbow chard, tomatoes, carrots, and possibly some kale. I'm willing to buy more veggies or other ingredients if necessary, but the point is to use up the veggies before we're all only eating leftovers and the veggies have spoiled.

Ideas? I feel like there is a root vegetable dish I'm forgetting and the ingredients seem to yell colorful at me.

Cross posted to other communities.

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Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
7:11 pm

I want to make this for Thanksgiving (Roast Duck with Prunes and Wine-Braised Cabbage) but I can't find blackberry-cranberry juice anywhere.  Any suggestion for a substitute?

I've tried local markets, including Whole Foods. 
Any advice would be appreciated.  TIA.


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