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From Sweets

Scooped: Mint Oreo Ice Cream

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Here's the thing about cookies and cream. Everyone likes it, but no one really loves it. I mean, no one says that their last bite of ice cream on earth would be cookies and cream. No one gets into the deconstructive analytics of what makes amazing cookies and cream ice cream. Because there's a simple problem: Oreos, the most common cookie element of cookies and cream, already have a cream component. Sticking them in ice cream just feels a little redundant. Rule One of ice cream making: a flavor should be intensified, not diluted, by churning it into ice cream.*

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What's Your Favorite Kashi Cereal?

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[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

These days there are so many flavors of Kashi, it's hard to keep track. We've been Kashi fans over the years but decided to catch up by tasting some of the varieties we didn't recognize. There will be a whole report on Kashi's Go Lean line from Cereal Eats columnist Leandra this Monday, but in the meantime, here are some photos and brief thoughts on: Toasted Berry Crumble, Oat Flakes & Blueberry Clusters, and Kashi U's 7 Whole Grain Flakes & Granola with Black Currants and Walnuts.

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From Drinks

New Brewery: Rogness Brewing Co., Pflugerville, Texas

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Forrest Rogness attaches feet to a fermenter. [Photographs: Rogness Brewing]

Forrest Rogness studied photography at the University of Iowa for five years, where he learned the intricacies of framing the subjects in his pictures. Fortunately for the Austin beer community, Rogness transferred that knowledge to another craft. He says, "[It] was a natural progression into homebrewing—making beers and focusing on composition and balance."

Rogness and his wife Diane recently founded Rogness Brewing Company in Pflugerville, Texas, a small suburb located fourteen miles northeast of Austin. But this is not their first foray into the brewing industry. "In 1990, I started making beer—lots and lots of beer," he notes. And in 1999, Rogness bought Austin Homebrew Supply. "While I learned to run Austin Homebrew, I also learned that many of my beers were being received really well by customers." After more than a decade of running one of Texas' most successful homebrew stores, Rogness made the leap. "In 2004, I hatched a plan to launch a microbrewery in the future," he recalls.

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From Chicago

Standing Room Only: Barcito

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Barcito

151 West Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60654; 312-274-1111; standandeat.com
The Short Order: San Sebastian-style pintxo bar in the middle of River North
Want Fries with That? Fries are excellent, but pintxos are better.
Seats? Some stools are available, but standing at the bar is the most fun.

After I downed my second glass of cider, reckless thoughts fired through my mind. Had I made a mistake by skipping the escalivada pinxto? What about the meatballs with hazelnut romesco? And considering there were fresh oysters being shucked nearby, wasn't it my duty to try them? Which is to say, Barcito isn't a traditional stand—or at least not one that I'm used to visiting for this column.

Chicago has chef Ryan Poli to thank for bringing this to River North. Though he's also the chef of sleek and dark Tavernita located in the same building, Barcito is his ode to San Sebastian, and it's an open and airy place specializing in little snacks called pinxtos, many of which are prepared right in front of you. Most importantly, at least for me, Barcito celebrates the art of standing and eating, a subject I care deeply about. I mean, the website is standandeat.com. So while this column usually finds me stuffing my face with a hot dog and sucking back RC Cola out of a straw, I used this occasion to indulge.*

*On my own dime, of course. I swear accounting department!

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From A Hamburger Today

What Should an In-N-Out Virgin Order?

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

What do you remember about your first time? Did it sufficiently rock your world? Was it all fireworks and dancing unicorns and everything you dreamed it would be? What would you go back and change if you could? What smooth moves that you know now do you wish you'd had at the ready back then? What advice would you give a wide-eyed, nervous newbie right before his impending date with destiny?

Yeah, I'm pretty nervous about my first time at In-N-Out.

Wait, what did you think we were talking about???

I'll be heading to Texas for the Memorial Day Weekend, and in the past, that has meant a burger run to some obscure restaurant that I've read about in Hamburger America or seen on TV or found referenced in some weird online carnivore chatroom. Now that the burger barons of Baldwin Park have set up shop in the Lone Star State, I know exactly where I'm headed. But I don't know what I'm getting.

I mean, I have an idea. Thanks to Kenji's epic everything-on-the-secret-menu experiment, I think I have my maiden order gameplanned out. But it occurred to me that I also have legions of experienced veterans who can weigh in here. I know many of you think In-N-Out is waaaay overhyped. And many of you think we at Serious Eats give it waaaay too much love as it is. But face it, it is a Mount Rushmore-kind of hamburger institution, and I am a professional hamburger eater. So this is kind of a big deal. And I want to make sure that I don't royally screw up the only "first time" I'll ever get.

So, AHT Nation, what should an In-N-Out rookie order? Do I play it by the book, or go all Animal-Style with the not-so-secret menu? I look forward to your recommendations.

About the Author: Todd Brock lives the glamorous life of a stay-at-home freelance writer in the suburbs of Atlanta. Besides being paid to eat cheeseburgers for AHT and pizzas for Slice, he's written and produced over 1,000 hours of television and penned Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. When he grows up, he wants to be either the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys or the drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish. Or both.

Grilling: Cornell Chicken

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Not long after I started grilling, my friends started telling me about Cornell chicken. While I'm reminded of it every now and then, it wasn't until this past weekend that I finally tried it out myself. Beyond its geographical home, I didn't know much about the western New York treat, so I started with a little background first.

In the late 1940s, food scientist and Cornell professor Dr. Bob Baker was asked to develop a new chicken recipe for the then Pennsylvanian governor. He brought this method back to his home of New York, where it's been used as a means to cook a lot of chicken quickly at Baker's Chicken Coop at the New York State Fair for over half a century.

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From Serious Eats: New York

An Afternoon Tour of Soho with Andrew Carmellini

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: An Afternoon Tour of Soho with Andrew Carmellini

[Photographs: Max Falkowitz]

"I end up here more often than I should," admitted Andrew Carmellini when we met him at Dominique Ansel, the staggeringly good French bakery on Spring Street. This was stop number one on what would become our three-hour Soho food crawl. His restaurant The Dutch is just around the corner from the bakery, which means those buttery-amazing kouign ammans are dangerously convenient.

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From Sweets

American Classics: Pluma Moos

[Photograph: Pam Parrella]

After a cool spring, the weather is finally starting to warm up and fruit is slowly returning to the greenmarket. With summer around the corner and plans shaping up for plenty of picnicking fun, I wanted to find a dessert that would be cool and refreshing, and showcase these first fruits. And where better to hunt for a farm fresh recipe than the Heartland? A casual mention of Pluma Moos on the Greater Midwestern Foodways Alliance site lead me to dig deeper into this Mennonite tradition to uncover a versatile recipe that's perfect for the season.

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From Drinks

DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Raspberry Liqueur

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[Photograph: Marcia Simmons]

Picnics are one of my top five favorite ways to consume food. No two picnics are the same, but I do have a rule that there must be at least one item from each of the following groups: meat, cheese, fruit, wine.

I broke that rule recently and had a wine and raspberry picnic. (It counts as a picnic, because I was sitting outside on a blanket.) There was something unusually exciting about the way the dark red wine and the bright, fresh berries were blending together to create a new flavor. After my picnic, there was a little wine left in the bottle, so I decided to experiment. Wine and mashed up raspberries with a little whipped cream make an out-of-this-world topping for poundcake. Then I tried a dollop of berry mixture and a bit of sugar in a glass of sparkling wine for a fantastic Champagne cocktail. That's when I knew that I had to turn it into a liqueur I could keep in the liquor cabinet.

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Serious Entertaining: Picnic Recipes for a Concert in the Park

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[Photograph: Mike Flippo / Shutterstock]

Anyone else pumped for concerts in the park this summer? Is there anything better than picnicking with friends on a blanket on a warm summer night? My picnic spread usually includes a fresh crusty loaf of bread, whatever cheeses looked good at the market, and various hummus-y dips.

This isn't supposed to be a "real" meal per se; picnics in the park should be very nibbles-centric with plenty of graze-able foods that can be easily passed around to whoever's on the blanket. Pack foods that travel easily, won't be spill-hazardous en route, taste fine at park-temperature, and can be eaten with your hands or minimal cutlery.

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French in a Flash: Stoplight Piperade with Spicy Broiled Salmon

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[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

I love quirky French regional dishes. Some, like sauce mistral—an almond sauce from Provence—for example, really haven't make much of a splash. And others, like piperade—a pepper stew from the Basque country—have become international sensations (at least, in fashionable brunch spots).

Piperade is a stew made from peppers, onions, and tomatoes that is flavored with a very special, and very au courant, ingredient: piment d'Espelette. It's a kind of exuberant red chili powder from the Basque region of France that is lightly spicy and very earthy. Traditionally, and in a lot of brunch places, as I was saying, the trend is to bake eggs on top of the stew and serve them together.

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We Try Heinz's New Balsamic Vinegar Ketchup

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Heinz's new Balsamic Vinegar Ketchup sounds like a winner, right? Upping the balscidity (new word) in lieu of the traditional distilled white vinegar gives it a mild kick without completely throwing off the familiar taste of ketchup.

This is actually a pretty big move for Heinz, a bastion of ketchup tradition; they haven't released a new flavor in about a decade. (Remember green ketchup in the early 2000s?) Yet the new flavor doesn't taste that dramatically different from "normal ketchup." You certainly pick up on more of an umami-based depth and richer balsamic tang, but it's still the same sweet, sticky Heinz underneath.

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Dinner Tonight: Seared Scallops with Spring Onion and Tarragon Cream (via Food52)

Editor's Note: We're teaming up with our friends over at Food52 to bring you even more easy weeknight recipes. Food52 recipes will appear on this site every Tuesday and Thursday, and are carefully curated by the Serious Eats team. Check back on Serious Eats every weekday afternoon for a new quick and easy weeknight dinner idea from our own test kitchens, or from the good folks at Food52.

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[Photograph: Sarah Shatz via Food52]

Seafood in the summer is great because it's quick to cook (limiting time over a hot stove) and doesn't leave you feeling weighted down. This recipe from Food52 takes seared scallops and adds a fresh spring onion and tarragon cream to the equation. The result is a sweet scallop that's balanced by an herby and fresh cream sauce. It's easy to cook and looks stunning on the plate.

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