Profile

NYCAnn

Manner Matters: Dealing with Dietary Demands

I always ask about dietary restrictions and food preferences (or avoidances), and yet twice have had Thanksgiving guests show up and announce that they are vegetarian. I also have non-dairy, gluten free, egg-free friends who routinely wait to RSVP until the day before a gathering. I just make multiple plans and adjust when I have to.

Ironically, I've been eating a diet that is mainly vegetarian, low-fat, and with minimal white flour for 3 years now and when spending time with the aforementioned people am consistently offered wings, greasy pizza, and BBQ as the only options.

I just have to suck it up and decide that my friends are worth it (and that they are perhaps not ready to transition into entertaining like the grown-ups that they are).

what are your favorite DIY kitchen hacks?

I have tension rods above the stove, between the wall and the cabinets, to make "shelves" for spices. The jars are small enough that it works perfectly!

Cornmeal Issue Part 2: Less smoke & folded pie

It sounds like you're just getting started on pizza making. It's a fun journey! To be honest, you might just need to take the time to find out what works for you-- you're the only one who can feel the consistency of your dough and see where it's sticking. Sometimes experience and experimentation are the only way to getting it right! You'll get better results learning from your own experience than trusting that others have had exactly the same issue and can solve it for you.
I also notice that you mention oiling your crust. I've noticed that if I oil my crust and the oil makes contact between the crust and the peel, it acts like glue and ruins a clean transfer. I flour the bottom of my crust before I put it on the peel (my "peel" is a baking sheet), and so long as I don't have any oil between the two or any unnoticed tiny holes in my crust, I get a perfect transfer. However, it took practice-- especially when I "graduated" from cornmeal to just flour.
Good luck!

How much do you tip for online food delivery?

I tip 20%, same as I would anyone else whose wages are on a tip-based system and are therefore earning less than minimum wage.

9 Oscar Hot Dogs Inspired by the 2014 Best Picture Nominees

You're right, slavery is no laughing matter. Last I checked, neither was the AIDS epidemic or Somali piracy.I thoroughly enjoyed the whole lineup, but am a little miffed at the double standards. You can make puns without being offensive, but setting aside one serious topic as carrying more weight than the others actually offends.

What's on the menu for the Big Game?

I am from Denver and my husband is from Washington, so we're each cooking to represent our home team. He's doing teriyaki salmon bahn-mi, apple pork meatballs, walla-walla onion dip with Tim's Cascade chips, a Beecher's cheese plate with Salumi Salami, and a Frappuccino cake. I'm doing green chili (with tortillas, beans, guac and cheese), Denver omelet bites, bison hotdog "pigs" in Colorado biscuit "blankets" with a peach mustard dip, chips with salsa/guac, seitan wings, Rocky Mountain rum cake w/ jalepeno creme brulee filling, and vegan/gluten free Ranger cookies. We're having everyone bring beverages from Colorado or Washington.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos: Who Wins the Super Bowl of Food?

You didn't count Beau Jo's in the pizza round. That seems remiss. Does Seattle have its own pizza variant? I think not. (I hail from Denver and my husband from Seattle-- we're hosting a party where we each cook regional specialties. Denver is going to win by a mile.)

Tell Us About Your Favorite Uptown Restaurants

Indian Road Cafe has gotten a mention or two, but they just keep getting better- I love them. Rusty Mackerel is a new breed of restaurant for Washington Heights, though it has consistency issues. For coffee-- Bunnii is changing the game up here as well!

Where can I find the best coffee/pastries?

I love Stumptown-- they get their croissants from Ceci-Cela, actually. I also love Culture Espresso Bar on 38th just east of 6th.

Orgeat in NYC?

Whole Foods is stocking bitters and syrups these days. Buon Italia has it. Foragers likely would as well. I'd imagine West Side Market and Garden of Eden are also safe bets.

Gluten Free AND Kosher Thanksgiving . . .HELP!

@Les ah: if you have to worry about your turkey containing gluten, it's probably a good sign you shouldn't be buying that brand anyway. Regardless, the labels usually states when the turkey is loaded up with additives.

Gluten Free AND Kosher Thanksgiving . . .HELP!

How strictly kosher? My kosher friends are so orthodox that I can't have them over because my kitchen is not kosher and would contaminate everything. If it is a matter of eliminating dairy, pork products, and shellfish there are some ways to manage-- using olive oil mashed potatoes, shortening or lard pie crusts, dairy substitutes. I'd imagine that going to a grocery store with a good kosher section will alert you to helpful products that you didn't even know existed!
As for gluten-free, it is such a trend now that you can buy pre-made substitutes for pretty much anything that would be an issue without you having to make them (pie crusts, rolls, etc). Just be sure not to use flour to thicken your gravy!

24 Essential Kitchen Tricks and Tips

I switched from buying pre-peeled garlic to buying whole heads after an experience where (due to the store being out of the peeled) I used them side by side and was alarmed at the difference in flavor. Maybe its the brand my local store stocks, but it was a stark contrast. Now I take the extra 15 seconds to peel. It doesn't bother me.

5 Coffee Splurges that Aren't Worth the Money

My cheap mid-1990's espresso machine makes better espresso (and lattes, etc.) than any Starbucks I've been to in New York in years; it even does better than the not-so-skilled barista at our local coffee-geek cafe. When that one died on me last December, I found the same model unused on ebay for $40.
Honestly, I bet most home espresso machines can do better than Starbucks does these days, so unless you have a better option within a few blocks of home or work it is worth it.

Whole wheat pizza dough?

I haven't done it with Kenji's, but I have my own recipe that is excellent and I have had decent luck subbing in some whole wheat flour. I sub less than 50% add gluten when I do so. Healthful pizza is not unrealistic, really. If the crust is thin, you put veggies on, and are moderate with the cheese it's not bad. A slice of a 12" Neapolitan margherita supposedly is only 100 calories.

Favorite On-The-Go Bars

Lately I'm liking Quest bars. The texture may be a little off-putting for some (they are quite chewy), but they are high in fiber and protein and don't have any scary ingredients or very much sugar. In the same vein, I love Seitenbacher protein bars-- nothing artificial, high in fiber and protein.

Sugar Rush: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Cocoa Nib Cookie with Chocolate Chips from Birdbath Bakery

I'm confused by the descriptor in the second paragraph of a fat-free cookie that uses a palm oil base. Surely part of that is a mistake.

Vegetarian Meats and Cheese

I love Field Roast sausages. They are high in calories and fat for meat substitutes, but they are my favorite vegan sausage by far. Some of their other products are not great, but the sausages are fab. I have to admit that, while I am not vegetarian, I love meat substitutes. Tofu, tempeh, seitan, tvp. . . I will happily chose them over meat any day. I'll eat pretty much any kind of meat, but on a day-to-day basis I just prefer vegetarian substitutes. We have a Thai restaurant near here that does awesome veggie duck, and I love the pre-packaged macro/vegan veggie turkey that the grocery stores around here sell.

EW! I HATE that!!

I've had several "don't like" foods that I've intentionally eaten more often and ended up being fine with them. Sometimes I think it's just a matter of training your palette.

AHT Giveaway: Tickets to NY Burger Week's Beer, Bowling & Burger Festival on May 3

Depends on the burger. For a run-of-the mill burger, I love a good hoppy IPA.

Win Two VIP Tickets to STREETS International, May 1st

Roasted chestnuts in the winter.

Homemade Kahlua

Coolwhip frosting

Has anyone been looking?

Best NYC Supermarket

NYC isn't about one-stop shopping. We have lots of small markets where you can get certain ingredients. Butchers I love: Dickson's, Otomanelli & Sons, Esposito's Pork Store, Heritage Meat Shop. For produce: Manhattan Fruit Exchange, Garden of Eden, some locations of West Side Market, various farmer's markets. For dairy: Murray's, Beechers, Saxelby. For various other foodstuffs: Grace's Market, Citarella, Eli's, Zabar's, The Lobster Place, most things in Essex market, Eataly, Dean and Deluca. For ethnic foods: too many to list. Of course, there are tons of other fantastic little neighborhood spots-- it pays to explore. Space is at such a premium in the city, there's no such thing as one-stop shopping. If you want to prepare something special, gathering all the components can take some time, but it's worth it. You can find almost anything. Kangaroo? Sure. Morels out of season? Yup! Giant vats of duck fat? Go for it!

Fresh Morels in NYC?

Eli's on the Upper East Side seems to stock fresh morels year round. Most "wild" mushrooms I've bought at specialty shops in NYC seem utterly devoid of flavor. I grew up gathering mushrooms in the woods of Colorado, and by comparison everything I buy in a store tastes like paste.

Ideas for a mint substitute in juleps?

I enjoy doing juleps in honor of the Kentucky Derby (or, of course, just because they're tasty). I have a sensitivity to fresh mint- it has always given me a raging sore throat. Dried mint tea and peppermint oil flavoring are not a problem for some reason, but fresh mint and I do not get along. Last year I found a great 1840's julep recipe involving port and cognac that seemed like it could play well with other herbs. I tried substituting thyme in one cocktail and basil in another, but they lacked the freshness and crispness of flavor that the mint had. I stole a sip of my husband's cocktail using mint and it's 500% better. Any clever ideas for something with an aromatic punch and brightness of flavor on par with fresh mint?

NYCAnn hasn't favorited a post yet.