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Last Week's Poll Results: What's Your Favorite Hummus Flavor?

I purchased and sampled some "pizza" hummus tonight. It tasted like the inside of Combo pretzel snacks...I found it to be disturbingly delicious.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Russ & Daughters Brunch Package

Lox and bagels with ripe tomatoes, red onion and capers...Or Eggs Benedict. om nom nom.

Win a Free Organic D'Artagnan Turkey

I plan on doing the Honey Brined turkey this year...but I might make that cornbread and sausage stuffing this weekend. Om nom nom.

Dinner Tonight: Club Sandwich

I ordered a club sandwich, but I'm not even a member. "I like my sandwiches with three pieces of bread." "Well, so do I!" "Then let's form a club." "OK, but we need some more stipulations. Instead of cutting the sandwich once, let's cut it again. Yes, four triangles, arranged in a circle, and in the middle we will dump chips." "How do you feel about frilly toothpicks?" "I'm for 'em!" "Well, this club is formed."

-Mitch Hedberg

Wow. London Secret Restaurant Doing 9/11 Menu

You thought it would be more disrespectful to ignore 9/11 than to exploit the most horrific terrorist attack on U.S soil for your own perverse benefit? I read your post and I'm still gobsmacked that you claim, in the same breath, to be honoring the memory of those who were murdered while making snarky references to crack-pot conspiracy theorists.
And could you possibly be any more condescending with "Americans might do well to remember that we have suffered an enormous amount of terrorism in Britain." WE ARE AWARE. Will you feel better about our criticism if a restaurant in NYC has a "London Bombing Buffet" with fish & chip subs? Pretty repugnant right? But it's okay, I'm being ironic and referential and the British might do well to remember that Americans have suffered too, so we shouldn't be held accountable for being repulsive for profit and attention.
9/11 is still very present to many Americans. I don't mean to be so heated, especially on such a website, but this really takes the cake. One of my close friends lost his father when the South Tower collapsed. And every on 9/11 we all try to hang out with him and make the day as easy for him as possible. So your sickeningly inappropriate meal strikes a pretty damn big chord with me. And probably for any American who watched the live feed of people throwing themselves to their deaths. You must be out of your mind.

Cereal Bar

Waffle Crisp. It pretty much revolutionized how I feel about cereal. A giant bowl with some 2%. mmmm.

Morning Rant: People who talk with food in their mouths

I have issues with people chewing gum/food around me. Major, major, major issues. I've been called neurotic for this, by family and friends.
The last guy I dated was so noisy with his damn food. He chewed freaking vigorously on everything! It was torment to be near him whenever crunchy foods were available because it'd be the noisiest and most obnoxious experience. I knew he'd be an ex. How can you a marry a man when you have to hide your popcorn when he comes over? Or when you specifically avoid eating a Mexican restaurants (complimentary tortilla chips!) Ugh my skin crawls just thinking about it!
And at work, the most delightful and funny girl that works next to me eats and chews her gum in the grossest manner. The gum is a big issue. It's SO loud and wet sounding. I once walked by her desk while she was chomping away and saw that as she chewed, her jaw dropped down and the gum would practically fly out of her mouth. Except then her tongue would fly out of her mouth and catch it at the last moment. Then more smack smack smack. Ugh, it's no wonder I have to wear an IPOD day in and day out at my office. They think I'm antisocial. But I literally get bothered to the point of tears by loud, gross chewing sounds.
So glad I'm not alone.

Recipe Request: Scones

I typically just base my scones off of the Smitten Kitchen's recipe for basic cream scones. Which are super simple and always delicious.
I do like to add some vanilla and maple syrup to the cream before I add the dry ingredients. And I do add some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg to the dry stuff, as well as a sugar cinnamon mix to sprinkle on top.
A very light hand is key when it comes to mixing your dough!
I've never used buttermilk and will certainly try out some of these other recipes.

Foods or Aromas You Avoid When Sick, Stomach Bug or Otherwise

Any food that I relate to previous stomach bugs-I got a horrible virus a day or so after eating Popeye's chicken when I was 7 or 8. To this day I can remember the overly sweet, gummy cornbread and how grease (probably just meaty juices) poured out of the skin when I took a bite. Blech!
The scent of eggs cooking or the smell of onion being cooked in oil. Heavy, greasy smells set my stomach turning.

Word Play: Do you use food related words when you Scrabble?

@Adam Kuban Good call on "roux"'s fast become my go-to word when I'm stuck with an 'x'.
"Spatzle" has also yielded wonderful results.

Serious Efforts: A Buttermilk Brine for Fried Chicken?

@ccweb thanks again! For some reason I didn't connect the idea that salt and buttermilk would both be working to break down the chicken. I probably would have ended up with crisp-on-the-outside-mush. This is also probably why I didn't see many highly regarded buttermilk brine recipes out on the web.
Though I might try it later on, because a lot of what I read talked about brining first, and then doing a buttermilk soak. Both for 24 hours. Which makes me wonder if a more easily prepared combination of highly salted buttermilk wouldn't turn out an equally delicious product. I guess that will have to wait...but maybe you're right, and it'll end up being a total culinary break through that will revolutionize frying chicken.

@ChelleyD01 A big reason for me not frying so frequently is the "fry-shack" smell that clings to house and body for days. If Crisco is the solution to that odor...then god help me...good thing I didn't resolve to cut back on fried food this year. And I love the panko/boneless chicken idea...unfortunately my cooking partner is insisting on something more classic :( I can't wait to try it later on though. I also love Alton to death, but am always hesitant to follow his recipes to the letter, but I'm that way with pretty much every recipe. In regards to his fried chicken- Was the flavor bland? Was the crust not crusty? I just want to catch any major flaws with the recipe before I commit my chicken to it. The reviews seemed overwhelmingly positive...then again, I've seen some Sandra Lee recipes get glowing responses.

It's The End Of The World!

@ hungryinhouston
Not to got too off topic, but that scene was my favorite in the movie. For some reason it resonated with me: The poor guy lives through the end of the world and his one bright spot, his one thing to look forward to, is just a simple package of bacon. And he can't even be allowed that one pleasure. That, and I know how it feels to have a little something special that you've stored away eaten before your very eyes-by someone that is not you.:(
I'd take my chickpeas. The 20 or so cans that I have and the 5 bags of dried that are stashed in various cupboards and cabinets (there's a bag in my car, too.)
Those, with some spices, and I'd be totally set for the wasteland.

Serious Efforts: A Buttermilk Brine for Fried Chicken?

These suggestions are all awesome. I read some more reviews of Keller's chicken and did indeed see that his cooking process was more of a "deep fry", which isn't really what I wanted to do. I've got a skillet and some shortening, I'm not ready to commit to total submergence.
There was just something so..ambitious and grand, about Keller's recipe. But again, what Keller recipe isn't? You guys are right about fried chicken being a simple and delicious thing.
I did see something online about nutmeg being an ultimate secret ingredient to add to the seasoning mix. Any thoughts?
@ccbweb When you talk about a change in texture after a marinade/brine, do you mean it gets mushy? I've read that too acidic of a mix will break the meat down too much. But I guess a 24-hour bath in buttermilk shouldn't hurt the chicken too much. I also really appreciate the depth of your post. You've managed to steer me into a less complicated and fussy direction.
@JerzeeTomato In my house we use an insane amount of Tony Chachere's in our jambalaya. It's the ultimate spice mix.

This year , I would like to learn how to make________?

Fresh pasta, pate and fried chicken are biggies. The biggest? Char siu bao-I plan to make my own pork and dough. It's going to be the most ridiculously difficult thing I've ever attempted

What is your favorite cook's treat?

I believe very strongly that this is better than the end product. Gooey nectar of the gods!

How do I roast chestnuts?

I got so excited when I found this thread because I bought a bag of Chesnuts a couple of weeks ago and had neglected to use them.
Then I read the thread and learned about the freshness issue. Now I'm sad because I bought a bag of chesnuts a couple of weeks ago and neglected to use into the trash they go :(

Foodie Sins

My all time favorite Dip That Will Kill Me involves 2 8oz packages of cream cheese, a thing of bulk spicy sausage and a can of Rotel. That's it. Ambrosia on a tortilla chip.

Who the heck is Sandra Lee?

A couple of weeks ago I was in an Easton Mall Barnes and Noble outside of Columbus when I saw that she was coming in for a book signing. I made a mildly threatening comment that I'd douse her in homemade cake batter, which got me followed by a store employee till I left.

You know the recipes that are on Betty Crocker boxed foods and Campbell soup cans? Sandra Lee somehow gets paid to make those recipes for a 1/2 hour on national television.

3 course all American Meal

This is the first time I've ever craved corn dogs and red velvet cake at 10 in the morning. This thread is too delicious.

Foodie Sins

Last night the OH and I got a little too intoxicated before dinner time. We had a pound of ground pork and beef left over from making Italian Wedding soup that we needed to eat because we're leaving town for the holiday.
Since we obviously couldn't drive to the grocery store, we got the brilliant idea to walk to the corner shop and buy...Hamburger Helper Cheesy Hashbrowns. It took more work than I thought it would. And we both used half a bottle of hot sauce just to give the mess some flavor. But for 2 bucks, we utliized our leftover meat and I fulfilled some weird need to eat the bad and sinful foods my parents always refused to make.
I now know why that is.

3 course all American Meal

I think the South offers a lot of dishses that people would often associate with "All-American."
I'd have fun with it and make hushpuppies and fried okra for an appetizer. Fried Chicken with Waffles, ribs, or pulled pork for a main dish. Maybe some individual fried apple pies or pecan pie for dessert? Don't forget buttermilk biscuits!
Or generally you could make-
Green Bean Casserole
Beer-can chicken
New England Clam chowder
Chicago style hot dogs
Ambrosia salad

Funny Kitchen Disaster Stories

This wasn't in my own personal kitchen but it was in a kitchen/prep area of a "shall remain nameless" grocery store:
In my first and last stint in the Food Service Industry I successfully ruined a $300 leg of prosciutto and ended up with five stiches in my pointer finger. There was a very sharp knife involved. I've refused to trim large pieces of cured meats ever since.
I still question if they threw out the entire thing (It was brand new, right out of the packaging) or wiped off my blood, which had only gotten on the outer, inedible skin, and sold it anyway. Needless to say, I wasn't very popular in the store after that.

Stuffing: Dry Bread Overnight or Toast in the Oven?

That's something I might try one day. But sometimes I get so overwhelmed by how seemingly simple and straightforward recipes can get so complex. In terms of stuffing, I found a recipe that called for you to make your own sausage specifically for the dish. It was on epicurious and had really high ratings...but the second I read " meat grinder" my mind went "oh hell no."

Stuffing: Dry Bread Overnight or Toast in the Oven?

I just realized how nutty it seems to have started a post, semi-freaked out, over the best way to get bread stale. I need a glass of wine. I sent the OH out to get the Challah bread I need to make the stuffing, because I was too scared that I'd end up changing my mind once I got to the store and wasting 30 minutes debating over Challah vs. potato bread vs. french bread.
But thanks so much for you advice! I'm going with the overnight in the oven.


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