Friday, April 27, 2012
Celebrity Silhouette April 2012-----The Worst Food I Had on A Cruise--Quality, Variety, and Taste All Sucked!
Actually, except food, I am pretty happy with this ship. But for me, going on a cruise, food is one of the most important things. This is a beautiful big new ship, nice clean stateroom, public area, a very nice in door swimming pool, friendly staffs etc. I like the bathroom a lot, so nice big and clean. Service was very good and thoughtful, especially every port, there were staffs stood at the entrance gave you ice water, punch and cold towels. I saw another ship Royal Caribbean didn’t have this service for their customers.
But you ask me if I would go on this ship again? The answer will be NO. Why? Because of the food. This ship has one main dinning room, and lots of special restaurants that you have to pay $40 cover charge per person. My husband and I ate at main dinning for supper every night, and couple times for lunch ( main dinning room didn’t open for port days which my other cruises’ main dinning rooms were all opened for port days).
Service was good if you find the right waiters. We used the selected dinning. So one night, we had waited 20 minutes for somebody brought us the bread, then about 40 minutes somebody came over to take our order after we complained about it. Next day we switched to another side of the dinning room, had great service with different waiters then.
Appetizers: Many of them didn’t taste that good, very plain. I normally just got one, cause nothing good on the menu. On other cruises before, I wanted to try all the appetizers on the menu cause they were so different. This ship uses the cheap food material to feed main dinning room customers. I especially remember one night, there was one appetizer called cured meat platter. If you know cured meat, you know these are the meat preserved or cured with salt such as prosciutto. But the platter l got, there was only one piece of prosciutto that you can call it cured meat, other five pieces are those really cheap processed lunch meat, such as bologna, ham, the ones you can find in Subways’ $2 cold cut combo. Before on other ships, the cured meat platters I got were all those expensive Italian and Spanish cured meat that I usually buy from grocery stores. This ship really tried to be cheap on food in the main dinning room. Several appetizers that I got had too much rice for the base, if you eat whole thing, you will be filled up by the rice before you get your entrees.
Soup and salad: Soup were pretty bad except French onion soup you can order every time. I tried several daily different soups, none of them tasted that good, some of them actually I didn’t want to finish. So finally I had to have French Onion soups many times. Salads were not bad, but the Caesar salad on the everyday menu was really good flavor except the croutons were always tasted staled. So I always just ate everything in there except the croutons.
Entrees: The bread on this ship was very good, loved them, we always ate too much bread before our entrees came. Entrees were very boring, not that many things looked different and special that made you want to try. Couple nights I even didn’t know what to choose, cause I felt like I just had the same thing yesterday. Like different beef everyday, you feel they were pretty much in the same brown gravy. Not too much seafood on the dinner menu except some fish. One night, there was one seafood finally was not just fish. I ordered it, there were just 3 shrimps, one scallop and couple mussels on top of bunch of rice. You call this seafood entrée? The ship had lobster night the day before the last day. Plain broiled frozen lobster tails, not bad, not that good as fresh ones. Good thing was that you could ask them to put three lobster tails on your dish. Entrees were pretty normal taste, only one veal entrée I would say delicious and wrote home about it.
Deserts: deserts were not good on this ship at all. Several nights I had to skip it cause nothing on the menu was good. They only served soufflé one time that I had on other ships a lot. Many deserts I ordered I only had one bite cause the taste. Tiramisu they had one night was a joke, it was made from sponge cake, no lady fingers in there, and tasted pretty bad. I talked to their pastry chef, he told me they serve the real version tiramisu in their special restaurant. So don’t’ call those coffee flavored sponge cakes tiramisu then! Horrible ice cream on this ship, even the factory ice cream tastes much better than theirs. Lots of ice chunks in side, horrible, horrible. The best ice cream I had was on one of the Princess ships, best ice cream I had, so smooth and creamy, tasted just like those Italian ice cream, they made it everyday on the ship.
Lunch at the main dinning room was worse, I had to eat at buffet upstairs most of the time.
So main dinning room, if you like plain food, you probably will like it. But if you like trying different tasty food, and you love deserts, you will feel the same way I feel.
Now let’s talk about buffet: Ocianveiw Café was pretty good for breakfast. Lots of breakfast items, much more choice than the breakfast served at main dinning room. Wonderful pastries, croissants were great! So we ate most of breakfast in the buffet. But buffet’s orange juice was pretty bad, it tasted like half orange juice half water most of the time. Coffee was horrible! The worst coffee I had than everywhere I’ve had recent years. It tasted so bitter, burned and had really bad old coffee taste. I couldn’t even drink it, it tasted like it were filtered through the sewer pipe. You could smell the staled coffee smell when it was brewing. The self serve coffee you could get on the ship were all tasted like this. But I actually got good taste coffee in the main dinning room at dinner time.
Lunch at the buffet was normal but fresh everyday. I like it has Indian and Thai food stations. But the food were pretty much the same everyday except the hot entrees were changed a little bit, but not that much. Hot entrees were repeated a lot. Desserts at the buffet most of them were pretty bad, tasted and looked like those cheap buffet restaurant deserts, and they were repeated a lot, many items were there for at least 5 times. Supper at the buffet was amazingly not that much different than lunch buffet, some items actually were leftovers from lunch. Only one different was there was sushi at night. But the sushi sucked, you can get much better sushi than those even from you local cheap Chinese buffet. Maybe it’s good that supper at buffet was not good, so people could all go eat at main dinning room and get their money worth. One cruise I was on, their dinner buffet were so good. There were different themes every night, Italian night, Caribbean night , Mideast night etc. Tons of food to choose from, totally different from lunch, lots of special food belonged to the themes to eat that you can’t even get from main dinning room. Bad things were the buffet were so busy for dinner, many people gave up their main dinning for the buffet which I thought main dinning room was still the better choice. So I would get something I liked from the buffet before I ate at the main dinning room. But this ship, supper time, only a little bit people ate at the buffet. After 10pm as I remember, the buffet only served a few very crappy food that were different from dinner buffet. I was on other cruise line, their dinner buffet was served all the way till midnight.
Well, that’s it! For the food, I am not going on this ship again. My husband has been on Celebrity ship before, and he said it was way much better. And they even don’t have the snail dish( don’t know how to spell it), such a disappointment! The food I had on this ship was the worst. The cheap NCL cruise I took, their food was even better than this one. I don’t know if all other Celebrity ships are the same way now, but I will definitely try another cruise line next time.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
It’s a very little restaurant located at N Prince ST, Lancaster PA. I am amazed how many Vietnamese restaurants around Lancaster. I visited another Vietnamese restaurant called Rice and Noodle before, it was pretty good, the Pho tested like the ones in Chinatown. I saw Pho Thanh Thuy had pretty good reviews on Yelp, so I decided to give it a try.
We went there in the late afternoon. We were the first group of customers. The owner was there, you could tell she is real Vietnamese, so we could expect more authentic food. I ordered my all time favorite fresh spring rolls and special Pho( the one has everything inside).
Fresh spring rolls were about $3.75 for two. They were OK. Not as good as the ones I had before. To be honest, you could make your own fresh spring rolls at home, very easy and very low cost. I used make bunch of them in summer time when I had mint grew in my garden.
The everything Pho was $8. Compare with the Pho you could get from Philly or Boston for cheaper price, it was a lot smaller, it felt like the small size there. But we got lots of Asian basil, bean sprouts and limes to put in our soup, very generous portion of this. My beef was totally cooked in my Pho (it got chewy), and I prefer my beef is medium cooked like other places does. As everything Pho, it didn’t have enough other stuff such as meatballs, tripe etc. Meatball didn’t test too good either. The broth was very good, but a little bit too salty for me ( I ate salty stuff all the time).
BTW, this place is Cash only. So if you don't use cash often, bring cash with you when you come here.
Overall, I feel Rice and Noodle has better potion of the Pho than this place. The taste of the broth, both are good. But if I will have Pho in Lancaster, PA, I would go back to Rice and Noodle. Or I will try some other places in town.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Here are the two recipes I found that seems are close:
Italian Lemon Creme Cake
FOR THE CAKE:
1 18.25-ounce box Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
I added 1 tsp. lemon zest to the cake.
FOR THE LEMON CREAM FILLING:
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, softened (could use mascarpone instead of cream cheese)
2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
FOR THE VANILLA CRUMB TOPPING:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE GARNISH: powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan or springform pan
Make white cake following the directions on the box. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely when it comes out of the oven.
Make lemon cream filling by mixing cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with
an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in lemon juice.
Whip cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Combine
cream cheese mixture with whipped cream. Stir by hand until blended.
Make crumb topping by combining flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter and
dribble in the vanilla extract. Use your hands to mix cold butter into the flour and sugar. Break butter
into smaller and smaller pieces as you incorporate it into the dry ingredients. Be sure not to press the
mixture together. You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with pieces no bigger than a pea.
(If you have trouble making small crumbs, pop the bowl into your fridge for a few minutes.) Chill this
crumb topping until you are ready to use it.
When the cake is cool, slice it in half through the middle and remove the top. Spread all but 1/2 cup of
the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully replace the top half of the cake.
Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of cream filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crumb
topping on top of the cake and press it onto the sides all the way around the cake.
Now chill the cake for at least 3 hours before you serve it. When you are ready to dig in, slice the cake into
12 slices. Serve each slice topped with powdered sugar tapped through a strainer.
LEMONCELLO CREAM TORTE
Shortcut Version (like Cheesecake Factory)
"I work at the Cheesecake Factory, but all of our cheesecakes and desserts come frozen from factories in california and north carolina. i am a huge fan of the lemoncello, so i made up my own (shortcut) version. i hope this helps..."
FOR THE CAKE:
1 box (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
Mix cake mix with eggs, oil, and water as directed on the box.
Bake in a springform pan. Let cool, then slice into 3 layers. (If you want it to look like the C.F.'s, slice it into 2 layers, and use ladyfingers for the middle layer).
Optional: lightly soak layers in limoncello. (I soak everything in booze - so good!)
FOR THE LEMONCELLO CREME:
1 (3 ounce) package sugar-free lemon gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (13 ounce) can milnot (evaporated milk), whipped **
Dissolve gelatin in water. Chill until thick, but not set.
Cream cheese and vanilla extract together. Blend in gelatin.
Whip chilled milnot and fold into the gelatin mixture.
HERE'S THE FUN PART:
Put a layer of cake back into the bottom of the springform pan.
Pour about a half inch (or just a little more) of the lemon creme mixture over the top of this layer.
Layer either the next layer of cake or the ladyfingers. if you're using ladyfingers for the more authentic C.F. look, just arrange them in a circle in the middle of the cake).
Pour in more of the lemon creme mixture (the same amount as before).
Place the last cake layer on top.
The cake will have to set for a few hours in the fridge.
FOR THE FROSTING:
I just mixed a little lemon juice and water with powdered sugar to a thick pouring consistency, and spread it on the cake.
FOR THE CRUNCH TOPPING:
I coarsely chopped (beat with a rolling pin in a ziplock bag) some "nilla" wafers, then covered the cake with the cookie pieces. I had some frosting left over, so I thinned it with a little water (to a glaze consistency), and drizzled it on top of the cake.
Keep it refrigerated.
Also, I don't think they use limoncello in the actual cake, but I'm not sure.
**Milot is a brand name of canned milks. The company makes evaporated milk, fat free evaporated skim milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Since the recipe calls for the Milot to be whipped, it is referring to the evaporated milk.
Let’s see which one is better.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Our God is Greater - Chris Tomlin
What a Savior - Laura Story
Praise the father praise the son - chris tomlin
David Crowder Band - How He Loves
Forever by Michael W. Smith
Michael W. Smith- Lord I Give You My Heart
Matt Redman - The Heart of Worship
Matt Redman - Blessed Be Your Name
Beautiful One - Jeremy Camp
Awesome God(two versions)
How He Loves Us - Kim Walker / Jesus Culture
ALL I NEED IS YOU
Majesty(Here I am) - Delirious
We Are Hungry - Brian Sites
All to Jesus I Surrender
DRAW ME CLOSE TO YOU
ALL I NEED IS YOU
Sing, Sing, Sing - Chris Tomlin
Chris Tomlin - I Will Rise
Chris Tomlin - My Deliverer (hello love)
JESUS,Lover of my soul (it's all about You)
You are God Alone Music Video
"Indescribable" by Laura Story
Father Can You Hear Me
Jesus Lover of My Soul (worship video w/ lyrics)
Worthy Is the Lamb
Call on Jesus
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Another Way to Go Around Amazon's Horrbile No Pirce Match or Price Adjustment Policy ----- Before You Receive It----Refusing the Package
Amazon used to have very good price adjustment policy couple years ago that they would simply refund the price difference in 30 days if their own price dropped. But now, it's tough. I actually tried and got my money back several months ago from another big online merchant Newegg.com which stated now price adjustment policy either. But luckily, they gave me the $27 price different back after I purchase the camera about 2 weeks later. So I thought I would give it a try with Amazon, cause this one purchase I just made 4 days ago, and even didn't receive it yet. It's just 3 dollars...
Then I chatted with one of their customer reps all the way over India, no luck. I explained my situation, and the answer I got was they would not do a price adjustment for me as their policy even it was just 3 dollars, cause it was unfair to other customers. What the heck! So was it fair to me? I guess it's only fair to the company, nothing about other customers, I didn't rip them off, actually I got ripped off. If they want to, they could call and ask for price adjustments too. It's just the matter if they tried or care about their money. I care about it cause I didn't receive those pair of boots yet, and if I already wore them, I wouldn't bother even they would drop another 10 bucks.
Anyway, I did a research and contacted their customer service again. What I could do now if I want the 3 bucks back so badly( I am not going to do this time cause it's just 3 bucks, but I will do it when it's 10 bucks or something, you know Amazon, their price always changes.)-----Refuse the Package! Then the package will be sent back to Amazon, and you will get the full refund of your original purchase amount in about 1 week ( include the shipping charge) . The return shipping charge is not on you. If you still want the stuff, you could purchase it again from Amazon at the lower price.
But I will only do this:
1.You didn't receive the package yet or it's not opened after delivery.
2.The item you want to buy at cheaper price is still available.
3.The price difference is worth to take your effort.
Amazon uses both UPS or USPS most of the time. Please use Google to search how to refuse a package from both of these carriers, you can find the right answer right over here:
For UPS: http://www.ehow.com/how_7531725_refuse-package-sent-ups.html
For USPS: http://www.ehow.com/how_5293278_refuse-return-package.html
Here is the Amazon's policy about this:
Occasionally packages are returned to us as undeliverable. When the carrier returns an undeliverable package to us, we issue a full refund (including shipping charges).
We are unable to re-ship orders that are returned to us as undeliverable. If you would still like to purchase items that were undeliverable, you are welcome to place a new order on our website.
If you suspect your order cannot be delivered as addressed and you have not received confirmation of its return or refund after 4 weeks from the estimated delivery date, please contact us using the button on the right side of this page.
Refused by Recipient. If a gift recipient is not expecting a gift, they may refuse the package if they believe it was sent to them in error. If you still want to send these items, you may want to let the recipient know that a surprise is on the way.
You don't need to do this just for the similar reason like I had. You can do this if you don't want the item, or the item take too long to deliver...etc, of course the most important thing that you don't want to pay for return shipping if you use their regular return process.
Hope this can help...
Sunday, February 27, 2011
这款美味的甜点，和我们的双皮奶感觉很像，不同的是，双皮奶主料用的是牛奶，蛋清和白砂糖，而creme brulee主料是用的比牛奶热量高很多，更浓厚的heavy cream（鲜奶油）以及蛋黄，当然还有白砂糖，其实两者都是custard。
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar（我用的raw sugar代替）
Whole vanilla bean (usually called Bourbon vanilla beans，我用1tsp vanilla extract代替)
Small blowtorch (these can be found in hardware stores, or in gourmet kitchen stores)
For 4 servings:
1. Slice vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape seeds and resin from half the bean, place in large sauce pan with the other half of the vanilla bean.
2. Add heavy cream and scald (cook) on low heat until hot, but not boiling.
3. While cream is warming, whisk egg yolks and sugar thoroughly.
4. When cream is hot, ladle 1/2 cup into the yolks and sugar, mix.
5. Then pour all the cream into the mixture.
6. Mix, taking care not to whip air into the mixture.
7. Pour through a strainer into a clean bowl.
8. Remove bubbles (you have to see this).
9. Place a wet towel on the bottom of a large shallow baking dish.
10. Fill four ramekins almost to the top with the custard mixture.
11. Place three ramekins in the baking dish.
12. Add boiling water half way to the top of the baking dish, do not get water in ramekins.
13. Add last ramekin.
14. Bake 35 minutes at 325 degrees.
15. Test for doneness by tapping the side of a ramekin. Custard should jiggle a bit.
16. Chill ramekins for four hours.
17. Remove from refrigerator, fill top of each with brown sugar.
18. Place on a clean baking sheet.
19. Use blowtorch to burn the sugar on top of each ramekin.
20. Make sure no one makes off with your portion; this stuff is heaven on a spoon.
21. Assign someone else to clean up the kitchen.
按照以上步骤，我的ramekin和范例中的不一样，范例中用的是那种宽口浅底的，而我的是6oz圆口深底的，所以烤箱我开到325F用了32分钟，结果只有上面三分之一的custard凝固了，而剩余的部分还是很running，很明显我烤的时间不够，还有我的烤箱温度一直也不是很够。下次我试试325F45分钟，还不行的话，烤箱开到350F45分钟。还有就是开始煮heavy cream的时候，忘了把火开成小火，用最大的火烧的，这样很容易烧糊，而且我也没把heavy cream加热到应该到的临近沸点（在快煮沸的时候马上熄火），这也是做得不是很完美的原因之一吧。其他的步骤，我想应该八九不离十。