baguette with butter and saucisson sec, a glass of rosé on the side! david's mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe is AMAZING so i have total faith in this book.
i too go for stouffer's french bread pizza, and agree with others that you must embrace the frozen format wholeheartedly (for me that includes mama celeste, elio's etc.) or you will end your frozen pizza meal in disappointment.
everything bagel with cream cheese, or a plain bagel with jalapeño cream cheese, or a yeasted waffle. or, to put it simply, CARBS! ;)
I would NEVER have thought of using anything less than the fancy expensive stuff until I read Joe Pastry's take on it, which seems to echo your findings.
interesting. the jalapeño tasty burger is my go-to in south boston when i want fast food, but i don't know that it would win best of boston for me.
christmas with my family -- over the years we have evolved to have a totally non-traditional meal, but it is our tradition and never wavers, so it's really special to me. that and my dad is a really good cook! ;)
I third Joe Pastry. He explains the chemistry behind how pastry works but is somehow unintimidating and friendly. He is very involved responding to reader comments and taking suggestions for future topics as well.
beef tenderloin -- it's too expensive to dare messing up by overcooking!
i had things to say but everyone above me did a better job.
I made my Dad a "pizza kit" with Jim Lahey's no-knead pizza dough, sauce, mozzarella and basil. He just had to assemble and bake. That was definitely a hit!
technically myself -- my doctor took my temperature yesterday. besides that, hmmm, water to make sure it wasn't too hot for my yeast, making bread.
they have peppermint bark at trader joe's if you happen to have one in your area. williams sonoma also sells it but for a lot more $.
the best advice i received was that the cook is always their own worst critic. i find faults in everything i make, and no one else does!
looks amazing. the bratty spanish major in me wonders why it's "fundito" instead of "fundido" though. must...control...nitpicking...
if you read the book "extra virginity" there is a buying guide that i find interesting. then again you will also be traumatized in the process reading about the completely corrupt worldwide olive oil market.
lame answer but joy the baker -- her molasses chocolate chip cookies are AMAZING.
no-knead bread was my gateway drug -- i was intimidated to make bread (besides quickbreads) until i made no-knead bread, and now i'm obsessed!
really really good. i had a bit more peanut sauce than i needed (glad i reserved a bit before putting the noodles in). my husband ate himself until food coma, aka success.
this isn't really fair because my most memorable italian meal was in italy -- in ischia at a small outdoor restaurant we stumbled upon while at a vegetable market. it helped that it was one of the most gorgeous places i've ever been, with my new boyfriend (now my husband), and the freshest ingredients all together in a simple meal with lots of wine.
my husband and our friends -- out of all of us i'm the only one that really cooks (and enjoys it) so inevitably i end up hosting all of the big feasts. luckily i like it that way! :)
agree that they have turned bizarrely waxy and un-chocolatey tasting. serious letdown because whoppers were always my favorite!
i say yes, ask to change your table if it will make for an uncomfortable meal and you'll be unhappy the whole time. for example -- in the middle of winter in the first table right next to the door and you get an icy blast every time someone comes in. or if it's a size problem (like @omnomnom i have a tall husband and his legs don't fit in some crammed tables). obviously i understand i may have to wait if i choose to not sit in the table i've been originally assigned to.
that said i do REQUEST specific nice tables if i am returning to a place i've been before when i MAKE the reservation, but i certainly don't expect to get said table every time.
i lived basically above a mcdonalds in madrid, and when i was tired and hungry yes i would get a chicken sandwich and a mcflurry (must roll the r's saying fluRRy obviously! ;) ) the euro mcdonalds really did seem to be of better quality than what i've had stateside. the menu was certainly different than the US one so it is a different experience no matter what.
two words -- family style!