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Member Since 19 Jun 2006
Offline Last Active May 12 2009 11:58 PM

Topics I've Started

Cooking with Alcohol

05 March 2009 - 05:58 PM

A recent recipe for beef stroganoff in the newspaper calls for deglazing with "Cognac, Brandy or Dry Sherry." Is there a reason why recipes are almost never specific? Why so vague? This is like saying "Add spices." Is there any authoritative brand cookbook? Or even type-specific? My guess is that this is the secret mystery ingredient that defines great chefs and they'll be damned before they tell. I'd like to be sweet and innocent and unassuming and just acknowledge this means I've tasted most cognacs, brandies and dry sherries in the world and have the sophisticated and gracious gift of being able to chose the best for any particular dish. Right. I've used $35 chianti in an Italian dish and served the rest of the bottle at the table, but this may not be right, either. And I certainly wouldn't have substituted a cognac or brandy no matter what the cost. And don't just say, "Just add what you like." I would like to think this question isn't as stupid as asking which brand of beer to use in beer-battered fish. Budweiser or a fine small-lot home brew makes a difference in taste?

Carnuba Wax in Food?

11 February 2009 - 08:32 PM

Expecting a visit from my grandkids on Valentine's Day, I've been stocking up on all the crap their mom won't let them eat. Like Lucky Charms and John Deere Gummies. Bought some Yoghurty Strawberry Fruit Flavored Snacks at Vons yesterday and my sixth sense told me to test drive one before stuffing them with Cool Whip into homemade pizelle cones on Saturday. Their smell should've kept them out of my mouth, but, nooooo, took one bite and instantly spit it out. Horrible. Still can't kill the taste in my mouth. Trying to learn what caused such atrocious taste, I perused the list of ingredients. They contain CARNAUBA WAX. The box says "Best by Sept. 01 2009" and "100% Money Back Quality and Satisfaction GUARANTEED." I've put paraffin in chocolate before, but this is like adding the taste of stinky car wax. The box says it's distrubuted by Safeway but no clue to actual origin. Y U C K !!

Melamine in Milk

24 January 2009 - 02:57 PM

Have we discussed this somewhere? This morning on C-SPAN's BookTV, Marion Nestle was promoting her book, "Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine." Basically she said don't buy any food for pets or humans from China. Not being just the melamine sickening/killing babies in China (which has been in the news for several months now), but the milk powder used in prepared foods is now cause for alarm. This includes candy (M&M's and Cadbury chocolates), cookies (Oreos), cake mixes, Ritz Crackers and tea and coffee mixes. W H A T?! I just Googled "melamine in food" and got alot more than I want to know. What else is tainted? I just looked at the list of ingredients on the box of my new love, Trader Joe's made-in-Belgium "The Art of Chocolate." It's second ingredient after sugar is milk powder. Source not mentioned. Is www.sciencebase.com legitimate? Another conspiracy theory? I'm sitting here afraid to eat breakfast. Have decided on bacon, an egg and flax seed toast from bread I made myself. Need input. YIKES. HELP!

Anybody like airplanes?

25 November 2008 - 09:58 PM

Am going to try to post this . . .


Just made my day. The little 64 minute flight at the end, well, the sonic boom woke me up. The music doesn't start right away so please be patient. This makes me proud.


24 November 2008 - 06:34 PM

Just learned from a Maine native that lobsters are down to $2/lb. Any recommended mail order sources?