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Bloody Mary Garnishes for Kentucky Derby Brunch

There was a pickled dill carrot recipe on this site that looked good and I always enjoy olives. I've also had one with shrimp before that was kind of a cross between a bloody Mary and shrimp cocktail, but that may be a bit much if you're doing a whole brunch.

Best Coffee Travel Mug?

I haven't found the perfect mug, but have been using Copco travel mugs. What I give up (the flip top doesn't have the best seal and it keeps coffee warm, but not really hot), is made up by the fact that it fits in my car's weird cup holders, it's microwaveable, and dishwasher safe. I found that putting them in the dishwasher gets rid of any plastic, coffee or odd smells.

Downtown (convention center area) Memphis

Also, there is City Market Grocery if you want to pick up a couple of things to take back to your hotel. Miss Cordelia's is a grocery store as well, but you'll have to bring them over the bridge (not a bad walk, but the bridge is a touch steeper than it appears, especially if you're carrying items).

Downtown (convention center area) Memphis

There've been some great suggestions and I think the only places that I frequently go to, but haven't been listed yet, are Flying Fish (casual seafood restaurant) and Blues City Cafe (I like the ribs there better than Rendezvous, but I'm not originally from Memphis and could be tarred and feathered for that). There are also restaurants in the Peabody Hotel (the lobby bar is a good place to grab a drink if you want to people watch and see the ducks) and in the Westin.

Aside from those, all I can think of at the moment is Spindini, Arcade, Huey's, Texas de Brazil (if you would like to be rolled back to the convention center) and Rio Loco.

Like everyone has mentioned, downtown Memphis is pretty small, so you can easily walk, or take the trolly, to many of these places.

Recipe for "Ginger Wine" or "Ginger Liquor"?

Not sure if this is it, but try looking up Sikkim Ginger Liquor (looks to be available online).

Entertainment Coupon Books?

I always use the grocery store coupons, which generally cover the cost of the book and then some. There's usually a few restaurant and dry cleaner coupons for places I frequent (or want to try) and then I take the rest of the book to work. I don't mind using the restaurant coupons, they're generally for casual places. Some of the restrictions can be annoying, but I always manage to use a few.

Where to Eat Graduation Lunch on the Main Line in Philly?

Yangming is great. I also like Positano Ristorante in Ardmore (but it's been a few years since I lived in Philly so I can't vouch for it's current state, maybe someone else has been there recently). Susanna Foo in Radnor is also very good (same disclaimer as above).

Restaurant Health Inspection Grades

I'm with seriousb on this - I'm less concerned about what the actual grade is then what the violations are. I worked at one restaurant that got points taken off because the door to the dumpster was broken. To me,that's less of an issue than cleanliness in the kitchen, etc. Besides, just because the restaurant did well on one day, doesn't mean there aren't problems later on!

Please recommend Memphis BBQ

My personal favs: Cozy Corner, Blues City Cafe and Commissary but Dbrackst has a pretty solid list. Everyone generally goes to Central and Rendevous since they're the more well known institutions, but I agree with Teachertalk that some of the smaller places have them beat. Also, if you want bbq nachos, I'd recommend going to a Redbirds game and getting them there. It's the best part of going to a game!

Crystal/Cellophane/Mung-Bean Noodles TOO AL-DENTE

I've only ever prepared them by pouring water over them and soaking for a few minutes. I use hot water if I'm using them as is and cold water if I'm stir frying them. I think you can even cook them in a sauce if you keep the temperature down and let the noodles absorb the liquid. It sounds like you overcooked them, but I can't think of why they would still be crunchy and not completely mushy. Have to concur with LPhila, perhaps the batch you had was stale?

Chain Reaction: Cracker Barrel

@fatfudge Thank goodness I'm not crazy! I must have looked at that picture and description twenty times trying to figure out when Cracker Barrel started serving Spam.

Speaking of Samuel Adams...

Awesome, I'll have to seek it out. Thanks for the info!

Oven Mitts

I just got a pair of Calphalon oven mitts and pot holders and have been pretty happy with them. They have silicone strips on them which I like because they don't slip off of the pot handles. I don't think they're rated as high, maybe 500 degrees or so, but I haven't had a problem with any melting so far. The only drawback is that the mitts are cut a little small - it works well for me because they actually fit but they're a little snug for my husband.

San Diego: Overcooked Burger Blues at East Village Tavern and Bowl

@dongale-I thought it was just me. No matter how rare I order a burger, it always comes out well done. The Butcher Shop has a burger day and I'm wondering if they can manage medium.

@MandyEats-I'm not sure it's regulated in Memphis. I'm always asked what temperature I want, it just never comes out that way.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: D'Artagnan Boneless Heritage Ham

Grainy mustard, a little mayo and swiss cheese. Lettuce and tomato are optional.

What Should I Do with These Ham Drippings?

Sorry if this is a double post. The beans or greens sounds great, but how about split pea soup?

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Russ & Daughters Brunch Package

Bagels, nova, cream cheese, red onion and capers. If not, then french toast with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar. Great, it's 10:30 at night and now I want brunch!

I have a weird standing mixer

Apologies if this is a duplicate post, I've had some issues with my internet connection tonight. I did a quick search and I think they might be spiral dough hooks. They're supposed to replicate hand-kneading and work better on yeast doughs. I have no idea if this is actually the case as I don't bake much...

Sushi for Dummies (or at least Beginners)...

I second jaf's idea about going out and trying a variety. Grab a couple of friends who like sushi and start ordering! Most of the places I've been the sushi chefs are very helpful and knowledgable. I'm sure they'd be able to start you off with some rolls that you might enjoy.

Depending on your boss and work situation, you may just want to go out with them and let them know that you haven't had that much exposure to sushi. Your boss might be flattered that you're trying something new because of him and that you want his suggestions.

And, if all else fails and you find you don't like it, most places serve more than just sushi. I have plenty of friends and a bf that won't touch it and there's no shame in that! I wouldn't let sushi stand in the way of spending time with your office folks.

Does green tea cause nausea?

Haven't heard of anything like that, perhaps you have an allergy? I know mint tea, and mint in general, is supposed to help settle the stomach but mint makes me nauseated. Hopefully someone else will have more insight!

Thansgiving menu - I think I'm missing something...

Thanks for all of the great ideas! I know the meal isn't traditional but we're having the standard turkey, gravy, etc at the BF's parents and my parents aren't huge on the traditional foods - we like to change things up. Last year was Cuban food and the year before my mom made corned beef and cabbage! I'll have to decide what I'm going to add (the creamed onions sound fantastic and I can't believe I didn't think about pre-meal snacks) and don't worry, wine is a given!

Dinner party tonight - help with wine

I'm no wine expert, so I can't really assist with what type of wine to buy. However, why don't you get something nice and let them know when you present it to them that it's a little something for them to enjoy later on. At most of the dinner parties I've attended, the host already has wine and/or beverages picked out that pair well with the dinner - an unexpected bottle of wine may throw a wrench in their plans. A nice bottle of wine that's meant to be saved for the weekend, though, always welcome.

Is dating a picky eater a dealbreaker for anyone?!

Are we dating the same guy? My BF won't touch mayo or mustard. He'll make me a sandwich and turn green when he uses those! He also hates the vast majority of vegetables and thinks they smell...

Seriously, though, I don't think food issues have to be a deal breaker as long as other parts of the relationship are there. If you're making a list there's obviously something bothering you and I'd focus more on how he treats you and whether you and he are willing to make compromises for each other.

I'd love it if my BF would be more adventurous, but he's always willing to take me resturants where he knows there's probably only one thing he'll eat. He'll also try new stuff that I make, even if the end result is that I have yummy leftovers for lunch and he has a sandwich for dinner. If you can't see compromising about this, then it sounds like a deal breaker, but as much as I love food I think there's more important things to focus on in a relationship.