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Gadgets: Colorful, Disposable Paper Bakeware That Works Like a Charm

I've been buying the paper pans they sell at Sur La Table for close to twenty years(the brown and gold type you see Pannetone sold in) and these are at least as well priced as those, and a lot more fun in terms of the colors. I hate foil pans and giving people a real pan as a gift is out of my budget, so I really like these.

Have a milkshake today for Jakey. She will be missed

Donna's tribute to her was the first thing I saw on facebook this morning and my heart just sank. She had told a just small group of people how sick she was, so for the rest of us who saw her post recipes, photos and smart-ass comments just as she always had, we never could have guessed. I think that says something about her spirit and her strength that she could live life as usual despite having cancer.

That attitude, and one especially memorable dessert of hers (an over-the-top carrot cake with candied carrot ribbons as a garnish) will always serve as inspiration to me.

In Our Community Corner: Meet Kimberly Pope (aka: 'PoorOldMama')

Poor Old Mama, I am never, ever here anymore. Please come visit me at facebook. My life is total chaos and I need your humor.

Should I brine a Butterball turkey?

@Zinnia, shove a pumpkin pie up your ass.

New Year's Eve eating?

Hey, Mama. I'm having people over for lunch and will be cooking a chicken in the pot with leeks, parsnips and potatoes, serving that with a few sauces. I'll round things out with cheese, fruit, breads, and then a pear tart for dessert.

In the evening, it's just me and the various foster cats, so I'm not doing anything in particular.

American Classics: Mrs. Wakefield's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another version of the story has it that one of Mrs. Wakefield's kitchen staff was actually the person to make the error that resulted in the cookies and that that person was later fired for trying to get some credit for the recipe. I don't know if it's true but I think one of her children (or other relative) spent years trying to get their version of the story out there.

Thanksgiving leftovers: what's your favorite?

Cranberry sauce out of a canning jar, pie out of the pan. I do use a spoon.

Thanksgiving Dinner: No Substitutions Allowed?

My family doesn't even buy Van de Kaamp, that's a brand name, and I come from a long line of people who brag about how cheap they got something. I will be at a table that will boast rolls that cost $1.29 and a turkey they got for free by buying over a $100 in groceries. I am taking three kinds of cranberry sauce, pie and bourbon and will mostly stick to that.

There's also that canned fruit with whipped cream (I use the term loosely) which everyone calls ambrosia even if it's not.

In a Pickle: Pickled Cranberries

For future reference, in case someone gifts a bushel of them to you, I will never, ever tire of cranberries.

Have Holiday Help Hotlines Outlived Their Usefulness?

The best advice I have heard on cooking a turkey was in a recent video (available on youtube) put out by the owner of Taint Marie cooking school. She said "Just put the f@#%ing turkey in the oven" because no matter what you do it's still going to taste like a turkey, and that's why you serve cranberry sauce and plenty of wine.

What's on Your Menu?

The usual crap. I'm making a couple kinds of cranberry sauce, bringing a bottle of Wild Turkey (much better than the one that comes from the oven) and pie.

Cooking with Gin

Oh, and my favorite Ginger Rogers cocktail. It's on here somewhere if you do a search.

Cooking with Gin

I love it in braised pinto beans, and there is an amazing recipe by Maida Haetter (I spelled that wrong) for chocolate cookies with gin-soaked raisins). I have not tried it myself but have seen recipes for pork or boar that use gin in the marinade.

Dishes for someone that doesn't like Thanksgiving food

If it were me, I'd most likely make substantial side dishes that would go with the turkey but be filling enough to please those who don't want turkey, rather than make an additional main course. Perhaps a pilaf using wild rice, toasted hazelnuts, dried cherries or cranberries, etc. A salad of citrus, fennel, persimmons, dressed with a vinaigrette, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. Maybe a vegetable tart, something quiche-like, with kale or chard.

If you really do want a main course, I'd go with a baked pasta. I have had one in particular (I think it's from the Il Forno cookbook)--rigatoni cooked with plum tomatoes and a good deal of cream, that is quite good.

Vegetarian French onion soup recipe anyone?

dbcurrie posted a recipe on her blog (cookistry) recently that uses plain water. I have done this myself quite a few times and it makes for a remarkably good soup.

The Serious Eats Pot Luck Club

There was a thread on this subject last year, but a lot of the people who post regularly have changed so the menu will probably be different by now.

I'm sticking with what I think I said last time: cornmeal almond cookies, rosemary breadsticks, and the makings for Ginger Rogers cocktails (it's a summer drink so schedule accordingly).

I was just thinking of SE talk

Amen to techgirl: I have no idea why people feel the need to post a comment (or often several) to a thread they claim to hate. If you do not comment on sometthing it makes it clear to everyone that you are not interested, so taking the time to tell everyone is at best redundant, and at worst self-indulgent.

The other one is people who do not make any attempt to answer the posed food question but instead tell the originator of the thread that what they should be cooking is . . .

How to Make Swiss Buttercream

I usually do Italian merignue as someone else mentioned, but I'll try this one the next time I have the need for an icing.

Fondant is stupid. I understand it serves a purpose for "figural" cakes, but otherwise it's just plain stupid. A decorative coating that the guests have to scrape off before eating the cake. It's like serving a cheeseburger with the Kraft single still in its wrapper.

(That was just a metaphor, I don't eat Kraft singles.)

What a dumb argument

You wouldn't think cooking an egg was all that hard, but I have almost never had a decent scrambled egg in a restaurant. The same places that would scoul if you ordered steak well-done see nothing wrong with cooking an egg to that point.

Is this really a sucky cooking season?

I like fall weather but I don't much care for the food. What some people call hearty and comforting, I find heavy and overwhelming,

What's the deal w/ pumpkin?

I'm not really a fan of any dessert that uses pumpkin, I think it takes on an odd taste (with a weird sourness at the end) when made into a baked good. They are attractive, though.

@Cookiequiz, I know that pumpkin dish you're talking about it, but I can't remember the name.

Making Something that "Isn't" what "It Is"

I think the problem is that when we are trying to create something that is similar to a well-known dish, the easiest way to get the point across as to what we are going for is to call it by that name.

Some people say that soy-based mayonnaise is not really mayonnaise but if I were trying to make it I would not say I want to make something white and spreadable that could be used on bread in a sandwich, I would say I want to make mayonnaise minus the eggs; it might not be mayonnaise but at least people would know what I was talking about.

Dairy-Free, Tomato-Free, and Nearly Carb-Free Pizza.

I don't know how to achieve a not-too-starchy crust that is also gluten free since most use tapioca, potato or rice as the major component, but I would suggest you check out Bob's Red Mills website and see if they have recipes. Since you mentioned nuts-- and I'm not sure what equipment you have-- but I think that Cafe Gratitude might make a nut-based crust (someone does) but I'm pretty sure it is "cooked" using a dehydrator.

Dietary yeast, sprinkled lightly over a finished dish lends some of the nutty, salty quality of parmesan, and might also work in pesto.

General Info on Thai Cuisine

I do believe you can get a sense of a culture from its food, but I don't think it's something that can be done in short order. It will take eating and/or cooking its food for some time, talking with the people, and noting which foods are eaten in different regions of the country and how those regions differ from one another, what foods they eat on religious or state holidays and what the significance of that that is . . . That paper, unless you cut it down to its bare bones, would take a lot of time to research.