grew up during the best era of food in brooklyn, ny. former restaurant(s) owner, specialty food shop owner, now i do some cooking here and there. living a nice clean life in the country. love my chickens.

  • Location: clermont ny
  • Favorite foods: salads with olive oil, lemon & salt - roasted chicken - really good cheeses,
    pears. just to name a few.
  • Last bite on earth: the crystal in a piece of aged parmigianno or gruyere.

Where can I buy Carl Rossi Wine Burgandy Online

used to buy their chianti in a jug years ago, back in the 80's when i was broke and entertaining friends, making spaghetti dinners for us poor starving artist types. it wasn't bad, really.

How do I cook good food for a VERY large crowd?

polenta lasagna - with meat & cheese or with veggies - vegan - gluten free also
taco party - corn & flour tortillas, various fillings to suit everyone's needs
bean salads - served room temp. - different beans & veggie combo's
just a few ideas.

restaurant for birthday lunch off the Taconic Parkway?

thank you... trying to stay around carmel area...

summer rolls - how much ahead of time can they be made?

thanks and i think if i make them on friday, i could be calling them 'spring' rolls.

Secret Ingredient

it's been so long since i've had something that someone else makes that is so comforting, i'm usually the one doing the comforting....i guess, that's comforting enough.

Your Dining Companions Faux Pas at the Table

@jlewfoodie: that is an awful story.... sounds like a career move on her part..... i am always embarrassed by people who take up SO much of the servers time .... usually they need a shrink and not a meal.

A baked pasta dish to complete my dinner party?

a white baked ziti: substitute a light bechamel for tomato and add some sauteed spinach or swiss chard with garlic in with the ricotta..... mozz and parmigiano or romano....

From Behind the Bar: On Drinking for Free

a few years back we owned a friendly neighborhood place which saw good times and bad times.... it was great treating regulars to a free round or a free dessert. these regulars kept us going throughout all of it and boy was it ever good to see them coming in on a slow night.... seeing their familiar faces was just as comforting to us as a warm welcome from us was to them.

"Big" salad ideas, please!

salad is my favorite meal.... lots of greens, escarole, watercress, spinach, or regular romaine or leaf lettuce. bibb is good when i can get it..... sliced red onion, avocado, grapefruit/oranges/apples/pears (whatever i have in the house), shavings of cheese (cheddar, reggianno) or soft goat, mozzarella - pistachios or sunflower seeds, cucumbers, tomatoes, whatever you have in the house..... pressed fresh garlic (if i'm feeling like i need a zing of flavor), fresh herbs, basil or cilantro..... tossed with extra v. olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime - a sprinkling of sea or coarse salt. and if i want a little something extra - grilled chicken, a leftover piece of steak - if i'm feeling flush shrimp or salmon - parma proscuitto or smoked salmon.... very, very satisfying. a nice piece of toasted peasant bread to dip into the leftover dressing.... oh yeah.

What food makes you happy?

popcorn - whenever i make a big batch of popcorn i can't wait to dig in.... it makes me happy! i love, love, love popcorn. freshly popped!

Has anyone tried making corn crepes?

have you tried heating the tortilla before you try to roll or fold it? heating makes it much more pliable. you'd be surprised. you can put it into a hot, dry frying pan (turn once) or stick in in the oven wrapped in foil, or popped into the microwave.

Best Bloody Mary Garnishes

i second "shrimp"

Ways to use Prosciuitto?

lay your proscuitto slice down and put a pinch of fresh arugula salad and wrap it up.... drizzle with ev olive oil and bp. makes a nice first course.

I'm thinking about going to the CIA...

that's true! if you're normal don't try it -- but you'll laugh all of your laughs and cry all of your tears..... being in the food business is like being in a love-hate relationship.

Have you ever tasted your breadcrumbs?

i love to do my own breadcrumbs when i have leftover bread .... let it get hard or toast it.... then add garlic, romano cheese, fresh parsley and S&P to taste..... great for making chicken or pork cutlets. or stuffing stuff ....

I'm thinking about going to the CIA...

the cia has some continuing ed classes that might interest you. this way you can get a feel for the pace and drama of it all. it's never too late to do what you like to do, i think.

Freezing Mozarella

if i have extra fresh mozzarella - i'll pop it into the freezer really well wrapped or in a plastic container.... i won't eat it as fresh cheese anymore but will use it in cooking. like making lasagna or something like that.

What do you CLEAN with??

@somechick - for really baked on stuff - this is a trick that works for me... take a plastic garbage bag and put your pot in it and dump a bottle of household ammonia into it. make sure the part you really want clean is immersed in the ammonia. tie it up and let it sit overnight. don't breathe the fumes.

i'm not really into chemicals but this really does clean well. plus - there's no scrubbing involved.

Leisurely Eating, with Conversation

there is nothing like a good meal shared with good people and good conversation..... maybe you need to seek out those who share the need... i've spent my whole life eating and drinking with friends and family.... always a nice feeling.

When life gives you lemon juice, what do you make?

i always keep that much lemon juice on hand because i like it on my salads, in my drinks -- then i don't have to stop and squeeze.... it keeps in the fridge for a while..... love organic lemons, i never use anything but.

Anyone ever try to make homemade salumi?

years ago i made dried sausage with an old italian lady in newark, nj, we chopped the meat by hand, seasoned it - stuffed it into casings through a funnel and then she hung it in her garage..... it was during the winter months.... i'll never forget the experience.....

Inexperienced in the kitchen- what to cook for "thank you" meal?

a big tray of homemade shrimp cocktail (using nice big shrimp) some nice dipping sauces, some icy martini's and a luscious chocolate & fresh raspberry something for dessert. sometimes less is more.

I get totally psyched on cooking - and then lose motivation!!

happens to me when i'm in "menu overload" .... i.e. having people over and planning on many different things .... one or two which never get made....

as long as this doesn't translate into other areas of your life.... and if it does .... well there's always the line, "it's my life!"

Simple Ways to Liven Up Food on the Grill

throw some sprigs of rosemary on the coals.... or some wild garlic chives....

Anyone have a Vitamix blender?

you can add whole eggs into a vitamix drink and never taste a piece of shell. do you know how hard an eggshell is?

a nice place to eat off the NY State Thruway

looking for a place to have a special occasion lunch (86 year old bd. party) in between queens and upstate, ny. maybe around the harriman exit ... (we all want to meet mid-way)....

any suggestions? good food rules over poofy atmosphere.

cooking on top of a woodstove .... or inside one.

i'm having an old friend over saturday nite and would like to put something up on top of the woodstove.... i thought of a stew or something.... but any other suggestions....? i used to do potatoes wrapped in foil inside the stove.... love to hear your experiences or suggestions. because you guys are the bomb!

eating out -- when was the last time?

It's been ages since I've eaten out.... Maybe it's the economy.... Maybe I'm not restaurant-curious anymore. It's not like I'm in the big apple or a big city. It's kind of a been-there-done-that kind of feeling....

Know what I mean?

stuffed calamari .....

i'm in the mood for some..... i like it with homemade bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, capers, olive oil.... cooked in tomato sauce and served over linguini....

but i know there are other stuffings/sauces out there.... have any ideas kids?

glazes & stuffings for winter squash?

now that the frost is almost on the pumpkin ... i'm busy baking winter squash.... today i did a glaze with pear butter and a touch of maple syrup.... i also baked an apple in the center of each squash half.

i'd love to hear what you stuff & glaze your squashes with because you all have such good ideas.


what's for dinner tomorrow night?

i love the "what's for dinner tonite" thread ... but does anyone know what they're cooking tomorrow night?

i'm having company, so i know what i'm making.... usually i wing my meals everynight and don't think too far ahead. but because there's company coming.... well, i've got a menu planned.

how about you? got it figured out or are you winging it?

thinking back to 9/11 - a meal shared with friends.....

in shock and stunned - the only place to turn to was to each other.... i made a big batch of chicken fricasee with sour cream and paprika .... we could hardly touch it ... but the fact was that we came together to share our pain and to break bread.

can you remember what you shared that night and with who?

my salad is too cold....

i just had a little leftover salad right out of the fridge and it's too cold for me. i don't know.... i like my salad cool, just above room temp.... i find if it's really cold, i don't enjoy the flavors.

my friend has to have her plate chilled and the salad chilling for hours before she eats it....

are there any culinary or ethnic guidelines to serving salad super chilled or closer to room temp.... hmmm.... i wonder.....

rice noodles in bulk...?

i'm going to be doing some cooking for gluten-intolerant people and need to find a source for rice noodles in bulk. i would prefer the lighter-asian type than the clunky health-food type.... i'm
upstate ny .... know of any sources that can ship?

many thanks!

i need to make a little wedding cake .....

for friends and for about 15 people.... not the run of the mill white cake, buttercream deal ... but something a little more interesting -- but not too difficult. i've got tons of fresh apricots on hand ... so perhaps i can incorporate them in the filling....

any groovy ideas kids? thanks!

and speaking of onions .....

.... i have a 50# bag of organic onions that need to be used up
soon .... i love carmelizing them with sage and adding them to pasta.... i serve this dish at my farmer's market table... but was thinking what else can i do? roasted onions? i can't do soup, someone else does it.... onion custards or flan? onion bread pudding........ what else ... something a little unusual, por favor...

chicken on the bone.....

i'm really amazed when i roast chicken pieces or a whole roast chicken at how much meat people leave on the bone.... i feel like the poor chicken is looking down from heaven thinking that it lost it's life for nothing. i don't know, i'm a bone person.... rib eye with the bone, centercut pork chops with the bone, maybe it's not polite in certain circles to pick up the bone and chew ... but man, people are really missing the flavor.

are you a bone person or not?

savory bread puddings?

anyone out there ever make savory bread pudding? i'm on a kick at the moment.... my current one is: organic shitake mushrooms, caramelized onion, eggs, milk, mushroom stock (made from the stems) .... fresh sage ... a little local cheese.... baked in a muffin tin....

any good combo's out there kids?

best donut/doughnuts in nyc?

about once every 2-3 years i crave a jelly donut - the last one i had was a raspberry jelly donut from the DOUGHNUT (DONUT)PLANT .... i have to say it was exquisite.

i'll be in town for the fancy food show at the end of the month and would like to make a detour for a good donut, so it's gotta be the best. jelly donuts only, and not grape. any suggestions?

Serious Efforts: cracker making equipment...

Specifically: a rolling device — making crackers to sell. Is there anything that can be used to roll big sheet pan size amounts of dough? It's not a real elastic kind of dough.... Been doing it by hand with a regular rollin' pin — but it's very labor intensive.

Anyone out there know if there is any kind of rolling/or pressing device to make crackers a little easier?


[Serious Efforts guidelines »]

Do you like cooking to music?

Maybe a little opera while you're makin' de pasta?

Or does music make you crazy when you're cooking?

I have to be in the mood for music, personally, I like to be present with my thoughts while I'm cooking.... very zen.

pushing the menu envelope....

i'm here in my kitchen creating all kinds of goodies for the weekend .... i'm catching up quickly .... but there's maybe one more thing i want to offer ... i should quit while i'm ahead but i'm going to push the envelope a little more....

i'll add one more thing ... just to keep myself in a state of adrenaline rush.... how about you? do you push the envelope just a little or do you kick back and put your feet up and say "enough"?

meat slicer woes

i picked up a used meat slicer .... not the greatest model, but i thought it would be good for my purpose. it's aluminum -- and when i slice on it i get a black residue on the meat or cheese.... not good. i personally have never seen this before, but then again, i've always used stainless steel slicers. it's not the blade itself causing this but the housing around the blade.

so my question is, has anyone ever seen this -- and what can i do to stop this from happening? help.....

memorial day menu plans?

it's awfully quiet on the set tonite.... are you all marinating?

what's up for the weekend folks? grillin' or chillin'?

i'm working all weekend -- may squeeze in a little q on sunday afternoon... what's cooking with you?

Serious Grape: A Mixed Case of Interesting Reds and Whites for Fall

If you're longing to learn something new this fall, how about grapes? Most of us gravitate to the same few grapes when we buy wine and prefer to bank on familiar favorites rather than take a risk with something we're not sure we'll like. But these grapes will please most palates and provide you with an opportunity to expand your wine knowledge--and your wine comfort zone. More