I love food, punk rock, and my job! I'm a hairdresser from SE Michigan, and you can usually find me spending my days off planning food-centric parties or tooling around Serious Eats.

  • Location: SE Michigan

Latest Comments

Tipping per-item vs. bill percentage

Oops, instead of $30 to $50 on a $200 tab, it would be $40-70, I don't math good.

Tipping per-item vs. bill percentage

I think we have some progress to make on creating a societal norm of tipping before we get into the intricacies. Granted, many people are aware that they should leave a gratuity when they receive a service, but it is not as wide spread as people think-especially in my industry (I'm a hairstylist). It is not uncommon in my industry for professionals to spend upwards of $15,000 for one year of education and licensing fees, get a job making minimum wage, and have to hope your guest tips you so you can afford to pay off your loans!
On the restaurant front, servers at high end establishments have a significantly more demanding workload than a wait person at a diner-and I'm not putting down diner servers at all! But at a high end establishment, servers have to constantly learn a new menu, be able to describe dishes in detail, and make recommendations to suit a guests palate. They must also provide a deft, seamless execution of all their duties to ensure a flawless experience for the diners-many of whom would not tolerate anything less than perfection, given the price they are paying for the meal.
I could go on and on-but this is long enough as it is!
How do I tip?
By the amount of time I occupy a table combined with the amount spent on the meal, and the quality of the overall experience. And never less than $5. At a diner where I sat for an hour and consumed 3 cups of coffee, $5. On a $200 tab with excellent service, $30-$50

What are some good Jameson drinks?

Jameson is my absolute favorite liquor, followed closely by, well, whiskey in general. A simple cocktail can really show off the nuances of whiskey, so I mix Jameson with club soda and a twist of lemon. It really has the flavor of whiskey without a strong bite. And, as a bonus, no added sugar in your drink. Sugary cocktails give me massive hangovers.

A Sandwich a Day: Oyster Po'boy at Tupelo in Cambridge, MA

It seems to me that the creator of this sandwich is the one that named it a po'boy, not Will personally. If Will decided to call it a fried oyster sandwich instead of referring to it by the menu name, it could cause confusion to those who might go to the restaurant to try the sandwich. If people want to argue the semantics, maybe they should take it up with the restaurant, not the reviewer, especially when the reviewer is honest enough to admit outright that he is not familiar with po'boys. (IMHO, the bread is important. Without the right bread, it's not a po'boy)

Cook the Book: 'The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook'

My Side of the Mountain had fabulous descriptions of foraged meals that have always made me want to search out my own wild foods. We read this one when I was in 5th grade, and 20 years later I still remember our class project for that book- writing our own menu that fit the story line. It was a clever change from a book report, and tons of fun

WOW Factor Food & Beverage Ideas

What's the harm in a few helpful suggestions? My husband cooks for 500+ people in an upscale corporate environment, and asks for my input on dishes all the time.
For the record, I am also from the Midwest, but I do follow cooking programs and browse the web every day, which helps me keep up on food trends. Some ideas that may seem played out in major food cities go over very well in more conservative areas.
Descontructed dishes-take familiar flavors and present them in a new way. BLTs can be cocktail tomatoes hollowed out and filled with chopped bacon, baby spinach and homemade mayo
Substitutions: replace one ingredient to a less familiar ingredient, such as lamb or chicken sausage in place of pork. You have to experiment a lot to come up with the right combos
More than anything, if you are catering, keep the food somewhat familiar and recognizable. Use fresh seasonal produce, and the best dairy products you can afford. No amount of trendiness or creativity can compensate for poor quality ingredients.

Care to introduce yourself?

I'm a hairdresser from southeast MI who has been lurking around SE nearly since it began. I don't post or comment often, but I have begun to feel like the regulars around here are my extended family. I have learned so much about food from SE, it's posters and contributors and I love you guys!
I am turning 30 this year, and am married to a professional chef who cannot believe how useful I've become in the kitchen. Most of my best dishes are finger foods that I make for the 3-4 large theme parties I throw a year-entertaining is one of my passions. Expect lots of questions from me in talk soon, I'm planning my largest, most food-centric party in july for my bday.
@saucyjohnny-you are def in the running for the most interesting man in the world!

Enter to Win a Copy of the 'Alinea' Cookbook

French onion soup bites! Concentrated, homemade French onion soup, frozen into small cubes, wrapped in wonton wrappers, then deep fried. Garnished with a homemade crouton on a pick and grated gruyere.

Instant Mashed Potato Reviews?

I can admit to taking ome shortcuts here and there! I've bought the same brand, and, probably worse, bought individual serving size pouches in the variety flavor pack, and ya know what? Not bad. Don't expect them to bring up memories of Sunday dinner lovingly cooked at home, but they are a good quick lunch, especially if you overindulged the night before. Never make them with water though, always use milk.
Also agree with using them as a thickener, as boobird mentioned

Blast from the Past: The McDLT

I fondly remember the McDLT, it was my dad's go-to on the rare occasions we had McDs. Apparently, he had really good luck, because the hot side was hot and served with cheese, and the cool side was nicely chilled. I had always looked forward to graduating from happy meals to the "grown ups' burger" but it was discontinued before I ever had the chance.
I too always heard it was discontinued due to the wasteful packaging, and dad never took us back to McDs after that, we had to get the junk food fix from Taco Bell

Entertaining Without a Stove

Look for recipes for cocktail party foods, most are designed to be safe and tasty whether hot, cold or room temp.
An assortment of cheese, salumi, bread and relishes would be a nice update to the sandwich idea
I would ask those who attend most frequently if there are any themes they would like to do, as it would be much easier to narrow down your options with a direction, such as Mexican or comfort foods. A theme also helps cut down on cost, as the same ingredients can be used in diffrent ways to create more dishes.
Are you more interested in cooking/prepping the food, or purchasing ready made items?

Advice sought. I swear it is not to name a blog!

I personally look for an apron that I don't mind my guests seeing me wearing! I love fun prints, a fitted look, full coverage (with the "bib" top) one large pocket, and, something I usually add to aprons I buy, a small elastic loop that will hold a kitchen towel or potholder. I also like extra long ties that I can wrap around and tie in front.
Please no lace or ruffle trim, or cutesy sayings
Good luck with your endeavors, I think it's a really good idea

Flavor Tripping Party

Thanks so much for the feedback! I found a site that let me order a sample of the tablets, a pack of 2 versus the full 10 pack, so I should be trying them out in about a week! @krizzrulz, love the Blumenthal idea! Thanks again!
Really looking forward to hearing about more experiences!

Flavor Tripping Party

Flavor tripping involves taking some form of miraculen, which is a substance that occurs naturally in the miracle berry, and in tablets made of dried miracle berries. The fruit coats your tongue, and transforms sour/bitter flavors into sweet. Favorite examples on websites are fresh lemon tasting as sweet as lemonade, and Guiness tasting like a chocolate milkshake.
A flavor tripping party simply involves gathering adventurous friends, taking some form of miraculen, and tucking into an unusual buffet. Tho, at my event, a regular buffet will also be available.

Product Tasters

I keep hoping to hear something! It was such an exciting proposition, I would really like to know if they have already chosen the tasters, if they are still in the process, or if they decided to scrap the whole thing.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

The whole roasted pig presented at the annual Yule Feast my good friend threw before he moved down south. I also fondly remember cooking cajun food from noon until 3am the day before, and getting up at 5am to start the big. Gotta give thanks to my friend Ed for all he's taught me about cooking!

January 8 is International Serious Eats Day (Let's all meet up!)

Anyone up for a Detroit meeting? I'd be happy to organize it if there's enough interested!

Worst foodie gift ever?

The 4 Ingedient Cookbook! EVERYTHING has cream cheese (and this covers appetizers all the way through dessert). I kept it for a year, just for kicks and giggles. No recipe out of it actually looked like something I would prepare for anyone. And the "pie bird" that "accidently" broke when I threw it against the wall...

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia

I like to "frizzle" it for salad. I heat it for a couple of seconds in a fry pan until it is crisp, crumble it and top a salad of baby greens and gorgonzola stuffed black olive slices with an oil and vinegar dressing

Olive oil...why is it rationed in beauty products

As a beauty professional, I have read and studied this quite a bit. First off, olive oil is more beneficial consumed than applied topically, though it does have it's place in beauty products.
The reason you will not find many product composed primarily of olive oil is that olive oil is pretty much only good for moisturizing. It cannot cleanse the hair or skin, or remove make up well. Olive oil will also build up on the hair and skin, causing other products to fail to work to their full potential. Hair color and products will not work as well when the hair has been treated with pure olive oil.
The Regis Salon Company (check their website for franchise names and locations) produces a wonderful line of olive oil products that contain a higher quality and amount of olive oil than most other lines, while still including ingredients that cleanse the hair and skin. They also produce a line called Pure that is organic through and through.
Please know that while homemade skin and hair remedies may seem great (all natural, cheap, etc), many scientists and doctors go to great lengths and expense to compose products that will fully benefit the hair and skin. Most homemade products will fail because the particles they have been composed of are too large to penetrate the surface of the hair and skin.

It's A Texture Thing....

I totally second tapioca - and anything that is creamy and grainy at the same time (rice pudding is just as bad) I don't do risotto either.
I am just now starting to eat egg yolk. I used to have my eggs cooked over hard so I could pop the yolk out in one piece and eat the whites only. Egg white cooked by itself doesn't taste the same as an egg cooked whole to me.
Any sort of canned veggie in any form is yucky.
I can't stand the coat-your-mouth texture of white or milk chocolate. Peanut butter is the same.
Wonderbread is weird. It's like eating a slice of pillow.
I guess I have more food hang-ups than I thought! I could probably list another ten things!

Should Restaurants Charge No-Show Fees?

I understand the scenarios are different, but I am a hairdresser who charges no-show fees, anywhere from 50%-100% of the service cost. I would not dream of charging someone who has a legitamate reason (i.e., illness, the client was in a car accident, or has suffered a death or illness in the family) because life just happens sometimes. However, there are some people who consistently "forget" or show up 30min. late and expect my undivided attention. When a client (or restaurant guest) does this, serious money is lost by the service provider and odds are that I have turned away other clients because that time was reserved for Ms. Forgetful. Sometimes charging people for being inconsiderate is the only way to have them respect your time and efforts. Any business I lost has been made up for by new business that appreciates that I stay on schedule, and people who are responsible and considerate enough to cancel an appointment at least 24 hours in advance.

Bruni "review" of Charles in today's NYT

The only real issue I noticed was that there was no review...a few passing comments on a small selection of dishes, and price complaints regarding the wine. I don't mind when a writer wants to experiment or be a little creative, but this piece totally missed the point of the column.