Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
roll a 4" strip from each color. place strips side by side, press lightly together and twist like a rope. place on ungreased baking sheet. curve the top down to form handle of cane.
bake about 9 minutes until lightly browned. while still warm, remove from baking sheet with spatula and sprinkle with sugar (and peppermint candy, if desired).
eat them all and don't share any, even when your sister calls from colorado and asks you to send her some. she can make her own damn cookies.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
this is on top of the innumerable broken sugar cookies. i may not feel so well later today.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
but i am not basing my statement about mediocre food on some sugar-charged coconut candy. for breakfast before hitting the parks, we went to spoodles, which promised "a trip around the mediterranean sea with an eclectic menu featuring coastal cuisine favorites from such locales as greece, italy, spain and north africa". sounds pretty amazing, right? the warm atmosphere was promising, with a shining, inviting open-kitchen.
my smoked ham and cheddar frittata was bland and dry, but ok (cheese obscures all manners of sin). i asked for extra crispy bacon, but it was floppy and fatty (and $3.29). my bellini was routine. the service was terrible. our server was nice enough, but the food took FOREVER. i don't mind waiting if i'm presented with something worth my wait. unfortunately i was not. and, as expected, it was expensive for what it was.
the other girls sampled the breakfast flatbread and the belgian waffle (is that mediterranean?)i guess i just expected higher caliber food and service from someplace that promises a magical day.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
either way, it is a family favorite. here is our recipe, taken from mccall's cook book, 1963. my parents started my sister and i on this as kids, so there is no rum in our version.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk, chilled
1 cup light cream, chilled
nutmeg for sprinkling
1. combine sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in bowl, set aside.
2. in large bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
3. gradually beat in half of sugar mixture until stiff peaks form.
4. in small bowl, beat egg yolks until lemon colored. gradually beat in remaining sugar mixture until thick and smooth.
5. thoroughly fold into whites. stir in milk and cream; mix well.
6. serve well chilled, each serving sprinkled with nutmeg.
frothy and delicious! although i do have to admit, this year i cheated and served hood's sugar cookie eggnog sprinkled with nutmeg. it was ok. this was pretty much a sin, but when we got around to the tree decorating at 9pm, a carton and a sprinkle was all the eggnog i could muster.ps. the christmas tree lights blew a fuse.
stone's is one of those places i frequented as a child with my grandparents. i hadn't been there in probably 15+ years, but it was still just as i remembered it. pink wall paper. wood paneling. ruffled kitchen curtain. warm, grandparent-y feel. decorated for christmas with purple tinsel garland.
the menu is basic 'home-cooking' diner fare, with everything you'd expect, including pickled beets. the most expensive dinner is $10.75 (pork chops), but most range from $6-7. breakfast is served anytime. cash only.
our waitress (somehow calling her a waitress is so much more...right...than calling her a server), the sassy aunt i never had, took our orders for the hot turkey and swiss (me) and the double cheeseburger (brian). the hot turkey and swiss with tomatoes was pretty good, not sloppy, with crisp toasted bread. i ordered a side of mashed potatoes with the (foolish) hope they would be real. alas, as i suspected would be the case, an ice cream scoop of potato flakes adorned my plate.
brian has been endeavoring to improve his food descriptions for me, rather than just saying 'it's good'. here is the conversation that transpired:
me: how is your burger?
him: it's good.
i look at him with disapproval and reproach.
him (sighs): it has a plain taste, but a lot of cheese, so that's good.
me (jotting in pocket notebook): the fries?
him: good texture and weight. need more seasoning.
me: potato salad?
him (one of my favorite things he has ever said, ever): it's not very good. i think it could use some paprika.
the light of heaven illuminated our table.
we skipped dessert, a selection of pies and cakes. our bill was under $20, which was good because it gave me the hope that my grandparents have not been ridiculously under-tipping for years, as they believe every restaurant check warrants a standard $2 tip.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
i ordered the brisket with a side of mac and cheese, and brian the pulled pork and fries. both were very tender and had decent flavor. i thought the brisket had a better taste than the pork. the sauces were ok, each sampled on a piece of brisket. but really i prefer meat plain. i think it's a better testament to the smoking if the meat can stand alone. (really, i'm just making this up as i go. feel free to call bullshit. i just started eating barbeque this summer.) while i appreciated walt's, it paled in comparison to double d's and the other meats we tried at jim dandy's barbeque competition. and i don't think i'd get a sandwich again. too much starchy bread.
speaking of starchy, the fries fell into that category as well, and they were kind of cold.
actually, all the sides were disappointing. the mac and cheese was thick and sticky, with cheese the consistency of velveeta. my mom deemed the cole slaw mediocre (although she wanted me to note she has a cold and her taste might be off).
the highlights of the meal were the friendly service and the sweet tea, something i rarely order but was quite delicious. i also enjoyed my banana pudding with vanilla wafers, a underrated dessert i feel should put in an appearance on more menus.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
the menu is deceptively simple and straightforward. meats, toppings, sauces. but as i began to consider what i was going to order, i realized the combinations were endless and all equally tantalizing. bleu cheese or goat cheese? bacon? grilled onions? crab meat? burgundy sauce?
my only complaint is that it was over too soon. i wanted to keep eating. and let me note that had they placed more food on my plate i would have eaten all of that as well.
here is brian's. he said it was fantastic and seriously considered ordering another one. he wants to go back next week and is also willing to drive the excessive distance for carry-out (not excessive to eat in, but excessive to carry-out). he is addicted.
this first burger is mine. i went for a simplier option. just bleu cheese........eric had a variation of what krissy had which is below mine. goat cheese, mushroom sauce and grilled onions. oh and bacon.all in all, i would agree with wine me, dine me and get in mah belly. terry's has one damn good burger. it is the first burger to rate a 6...yes, that's right, divine bovine. additionally, beth and i both unthinkingly wore cream and neither of us got anything on ourselves. good things happen at terry's! it truly was a night of miracles; here's a quick recap -- they were EARLY, food was WONDERFUL and no MESS!
our service was also great, considering how crowded it was. the bathroom, however...
next up on the search for the perfect burger - quatman's.
me (slightly intoxicated): so you like to cook?
friend-of-a-friend (nibbling cheese): yeah, well, sort of. i use a lot of recipes.
me: do you improvise ever?
foaf: i follow every recipe exactly. i don't want to mess anything up.
me: you shouldn't be afraid. you know what flavors and ingredients you like, right?
foaf: yes, i think.
me: you're most of the way there. just start experimenting.
foaf (doubtfully): really?
me: yes. trust me. trust yourself. anyone can cook.
what i didn't tell her: there may be a learning curve.
i do read recipes, usually for inspiration or new ideas. but i never measure anything and may 'adapt' the recipe at whim. and i'm a much better cook than i was 5 years ago when i decided i needed to learn because i could not afford to eat the food i wanted at restaurants all the time.
so, in the spirit of cooks who throw caution to the wind (like jeff), here are my top 5 favorite flavors for experimenting:
- citrus: usually lemon, sometimes lime or orange
what are your favorites? and what kind of cook are you?