Sunday, February 21, 2010

Deceptacon: More than meets the eye

Deceptively simple, this hat was actually long in knitting. Knit on teeny needles it is a vegan yarn so its hand washable! This yarn has good stretch, little sheen and is warm and toasty.

great hat for a boyfriend or urban guy.

$30.00 will bring it home.



Deceptacon (side)


Friday, February 19, 2010

Double knit brim

The Wilford

starting bid: 20.00

E-mail if interested

Brimley (side)


Brimley (top w/ flash)

Brimley (side w/flash)


One more hat up for Auction

The Pixie

starting bid 20.00

E-mail if interested.

The Pixie



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

First Hat up for auction!

So I am auctioning this hat. I am jobless and physically crapped out. But I can knit, and apparently really well so here is a hat: Its made out of Moochi Plus by Crystal Palace. It is 80% Merino wool and 20% nylon so you can wash gently and flat dry.

Shipping to anywhere inside the Continental US (sorry Hawaii,Alaska, and Puerto Rico)

would be free, anywhere else I can calculate once it is figured out.

So here is the hat.

Bids start a $20.00

New hats will be up Shortly!


Thank you!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Life in review

So I have been watching a lot of Andrew Zimmerman, Man vs. Food,and Anthony Bourdain in my recovery since contracting a wicked kidney infection, then piggy-packing a sinus infection and costo-condritis on top of that.

It made me want to start my product reviews even more. There are so many products that we use or are given and asked to review that we I love or hate and I review them on Associated Content, but I always mean to make the reviews available here if they are not picked up exclusively.

I have picked up product and band reviews even some event and organization and company reviews. I would love to get some restaurant reviews. Having been raised my a chef dad and a Nana whose recipes were featured in over 20 church cookbooks and who made 12 different types of holiday cookies for over 14 sets of families not including her own every year until she was 83. I used to get cooking implements and pots and pans for holidays and birthdays because I asked for them.

Whenever I go home to Minnesota my Nana and I sneak her out of her retirement home and I find out which restaurant is supposedly the best in town that year and we get a reservation (I still don't know how, you mention her name and suddenly there is a table) and we go and eat and I always know if it is good not by how it tastes but by whether or not she asks if the chef would step out and say hello so she can give her compliments.

Once we were eating at a new restaurant in town and she had a reuben that was greasy and terrible. She told me to taste it and I could they had not used fresh sliced meat (from that day) they had left it on the grill to long, and had applied oil to the grill before putting the meat down to warm.

All rookie mistakes. But simple to see if you looked at the presentation of the sandwich. Also, if a customer complains, especially an 80 year old customer, you comp the meal and apologize.

Well this manager came out and said there was nothing wrong with the sandwich, maybe my Nana had no idea how Reubens were made and it wasn't his problem if she couldn't take a little grease.

I happened to know the owner of the restaurant was in the kitchen so I leaned over to my Nana and told her to follow me.

I walked quickly past the manager with my Nana on my heels with her walker. Walked up to the owner who knew my Nana. He said hello and I told him what his manager had said and dropped the greasy sandwich plate on his prep area.

He looked down at the soggy bread and sighed. He said our meal was free and he insisted we come back for dinner on him that weekend and bring the whole family.

The manager started mouthing off again and I slapped my hand on the counter and said "OK thats enough, I am going to SHOW you what a real Reuben looks like, get me a jacket and gloves."

The manager started saying something about insurance and impossible and the owner just laughed and told him my father had worked there as a sous chef when I was a little girl and to stop talking and watch.

I got my gear together tot bread toasting got kraut draining, started warming meat on a dry skillet on the grill as soon as it was steaming I flipped it a few times used tongs to put it on the toasted bread, added cheese, covered it for a few seconds with a lis, grabbed a plate, turned grabbed the kraut, gave a final shake, turned out the toasted sandwich, tonged out the kraut on the sandwich used a spatula to put it together, cut it in half on a cutting board, and plated it and then wiped the plate with a clean cloth.

The owner and my Nana each took a bit of the Reuben and said it was good, moist, not greasy. I asked the cook and the Manager to bite and they did. The manager just shook his head and walked out. The cook apologized.

I explained to the cook that My dad once worked at a Kosher deli and they used to make Reubens and Brisket, and all sorts of meat sandwiches in which you had to re heat meat. The trick was you had to make sure that if it was a oily meat like certain parts of Beef or perk, you didn't need to add oil when heating it up for a sandwich. Especially when serving it with something as moist as kraut.

It is were Chicken you might have to add some oil but you would have to slow the cooking process to make sure the meat didn't dry out and get chewy like breast tends to.

My Nana said it was too bad I already had a job in NY. I shook my head, I would never do food service again, talk about a harsh mistress!

We did end up coming back and having a great meal. They did hire a friend of my dads who was looking for less hours due to retirement and specialized in BBQ so he knew his meat. The steaks they served were excellent. They have since re-opened under a new name and re-located downtown and I have not had a chance to visit their new digs. Same chef, same owner. New menu with simpler options prepared based on seasnal availability.

My Nana said she heard it was great and she wants to go eat there. I just hope I don't end up in the kitchen.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Dear Food Bloggers, Hear my small rant

If you are going to go to a restaurant or a cafe or diner and review food there are a few ground rules those of us firmly ensconced in the culinary world ask of you.

1. If you are going to rant or rave about something; know what it is and what the ingredients are. Nothing is more annoying when a self proclaimed "foodie" says they enjoyed or hated something and can't describe what about the item or preparation they didn't like. Which brings us to number two.

2. Learn to cook. You don't have to cook well. You don't have to be a master chef, baker or BBQ boss. However you should be able to know how sauces are thickened, what common spices are used for what, and the names of some universally used meats, vegetables, fruits, grains, and how to prepare them in theory at least.

3. Be willing to try it. I have myself sampled so much wine, that I am now allergic to it and can't even eat dried fruit, drink grape juice,or anything with sulfites. I am also allergic to shellfish. But the way I found out how much I was allergic to shellfish was when I tried fresh caught oysters on the half shell with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a shot of hot sauce. My sister had to inject me with my epipen and I had to take a weeks worth of prednisone. Was it worth it to be able to say I have tried fresh Oysters? Hell yes. Unless its the local drinking water in a third world country be willing to take palate risks. This is how I found out I absolutely LOVE fried caterpillars and sun dried crickets in lime and salt.

4. When speaking about experiences with food keep perspectives clear. When you dine alone it is easier to describe food. Do not try to describe your dining partners experience! Not only is this impossible to do, but it is boring to read about. If you must let your diner relay his or her experience make a clear distinction; "Sally ordered the Corn Fritters. She ate half her order leaving the rest saying it was too rich but good. She described the fritters as crispy without being over fried with a soft bread like inside that was not the least bit goey...I sampled them as well and found the spices to a great compliment to the crunch of the corn meal crust. I could taste the black pepper, and a hint of oregano in the seasoning"

To sum it all up Foodie reviewers at large. If you are going to review food you need to do more than shove it down your gullet and describe what it tastes like and how it makes you feel. My father is a chef and my Nana a master baker and cook in her own right. I grew up around food and have spent years refining and spoiling my palate, and learning from both of them as well as some top chefs in the world who came to learn from my dad or came to visit the animal rescue I run with my partner. I love seeking out restaurants "known" for their award winning or famous entrees or desserts and taking friends with me. I've put in my time and have my chops and can call myself a foodie and not feel I have not earned the title.

Ask yourself Foodie blogger, if you are bragging about the restaurant PR invites you scored because you give good reviews even if its sub par food, are you doing well? Have you juggled four pans over a stove, cooked for 12 people, had 6 people all tell you they hated your food, or have 20 people clear you out of your appetizers? Have you written a review about someones restaurant that was so bad you were worried that they might send you a bill for the PR invite?
Unless you can say yes, in this foodies opinion you have not gotten your training wheels off yet and have more work to do.