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Embackus

Where to eat on road trip: Detroit through Windsor to Niagara

The only food-related thing I remember about that trip is that there are no biscuits at McDonald's in Canada! So if you have a tradition of eating McD's breakfast on roadtrips, do it State-side, or suffer the muffin.;)

Cheetos Pasta...experiment success.

I'm dying to see this recipe! Is it top secret?

Gluten-Free Grapefruit Cake

In the interest of not purchasing a bunch of new pantry items, does this work with regular flour? Also, what does the xanthan gum contribute? Thanks!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans and Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Why throw out the original aluminum foil just to pour the bacon grease onto a new sheet?

Dinner around Denver airport

If you're stuck eating at the airport, your best bet is the ChopHouse.

Boulder CO - suggestions/advice

Shop at Sunflower Market. They take their motto "Serious food, silly prices" seriously. Prices for most organic foods are the same as for conventional foods at Safeway. They have a pretty decent meat dept (although I've never been to the store in Boulder); mostly shrink wrapped stuff but you can make requests and the butchers typically know what they're doing. They have excellent fresh turkeys at Thanksgiving.
If you're down in Denver, visit Marzyck's on 17th for some excellent (and unfortunately expensive) meat, cheeses and fancy stuff.

Favorite restaurant supply store purchases?

What food/cooking items did you get for Christmas?

A beautiful hand-hammered wok. Much more than I asked for! Of course now I need a wok ring because it doesn't quite balance on my burners.

Christmas Day Chinese Feast

We don't keep Kosher but thanks for the tip!

Mock Bread, Mock Cheese, Mock Food?

One of my favorite lunches in elementary school was 'mock chicken leg' . Apparently the school thought fried pork would go over better with the kids when shaped like a chicken leg. Definitely grosses me out to think about it now.

What food smell do you hate?

If McDs breakfast was served all day

If McDs served breakfast all day, I would actually eat there more than twice a year. Breakfast is the only good thing at that place.

Cooking steps you've seen but don't really get

Funny, I was just thinking about this as I made my pasta and veggies for dinner tonight. I do not get the adding pasta water to olive oil etc. to make "sauce". Conceptually, I understand how it works, but in reality it just waters down my food. I'd rather just have real sauce.

Mine is Better Than Yours

Brownies. They taste just as good when someone else makes them, it's really all in the recipe. There are just so many terrible brownie recipes and mixes out there, I don't even bother with other people's any more.

It's my 21st birthday, what should I drink first?

Champagne!! It is a celebration after all.

Oyster Rockefeller, Crepes Suzette...Favorite retro foods?

Tuna noodle casserole with cornflakes on top! Okay, definitely not classy, but totally retro. Still make it 2-3 time a winter.

Recipes you can't screw up

must eat Boulder

The Kitchen is a fantastic Farm to table place... a bit higher end ($30ish entrees) but really delicious.

healthy cookies

Try the smart balance sticks instead. I had alot of success when I bought their "50/50" sticks in the past; unfortunately they seem to have either discontinued these or changed the name. I recently bought a package of their new sticks but haven't had a chance to bake with them yet. Still, one would hope that a product which is designed for baking would work better than one designed for spreading on toast.

The Longest F***ing Bake Sale - Help!

Puppy Chow!! Beloved adults and children alike.
I no longer have the recipe (Mom has the book), but I used to make these bar cookies called Jaffa sqaures (inspired by the British snack) that went over like gangbusters. Just bake a sheet pan of shortbread, spread it with orange marmalade or raspberry jam, then sprinkle on chocolate chips. Pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes or so to melt the chips, then spread them over the top. Cool before transporting!!

What discontinued foods do you miss?

Quaker had a "simple" line of products recently that didn't last long, but I loved their granola bars. They were tasty, had only 5 or 6 ingredients, and much cheaper than the Cascadian Farm ones I buy now.

Heinz-like Ketchup

@mcWolfe, would you care to post your tomato paste recipe as well? Is it freezer friendly? I've always been interested in making tomato paste, since I never seem to use a whole can and the tubes seem overpriced to me.

Dinner Tonight: Huasteca-Style Chicken in Mole

@marylouh67 canela is cinnamon. I'm guessing that since Nick referred to it using the spanish name, he means some special kind of Mexican cinnamon, but I'm sure a regular old cinnamon stick will work too.

I *did* eat it as a kid...and I never stopped!

Grape nuts with Dannon Coffee yogurt. Had it for breakfast this morning. Definitely a weird thing for a kid to like, but it was (and still is) my fave!!

What would you do with $50/week?

Make your own granola! If you do it without maple syrup, it's crazy cheap. I can't even buy granola anymore now that I know what a rip-off it is at the store.

Christmas Day Chinese Feast

My boyfriend and I are hosting my parents for Christmas this year for the first time. Since both of our families observe both Jewish and Christian holidays we thought it would be fun to follow the tradition of Chinese food on Christmas day, except cook the food ourselves instead of going out.

So far we plan to make the spareribs and scallion pancakes using the recipes posted during Chinese appetizer week a while back. We were thinking of doing the Food Lab's peking duck, but I'm not feeling that brave and I don't know if there will be enough room in our fridge for the drying process.

I'm hoping you can help me find a third dish, preferably veggie based that would fit well with the menu. We are all adventurous eaters, like moderately spicy food and I think (fingers crossed) Santa is bringing me a wok so I'd like to make use of that.
Thanks SE!!

Poll Tallies

It seems like quite a few poll-type posts have popped up recently. Although everyone's personal comments are great, wouldn't it also be nice to set it up so users could check a box (yes or no, ketchup or mustard, whatever) so that over time we could get an aggregate of SEr's opinions? I'm really not trying to downplay the importance of everyone's posts, but sometimes when there's 120 comments on a post it would be nice to just get the gist.

Red potato latkes?

SO and I are having friends over for a Chanukah celebration Sunday and we have several large bags of red potatoes left from a farm pickin' trip back in October. I've always used russets for latkes, but can reds be used? I'm always up for trying something new, but I'm afraid the lower starch content will mean they will fall apart and/or not crisp up. Is there a way to compensate or should I just go out and buy a bag of russets?
Thanks!

SO thinks chili has potatoes...

My bf and I are having a chili dispute. He thinks that it is acceptable to put potatoes in it; while I contend the food he is making (while it may be delicious) is just not chili anymore. I'm no purist (I like beans), but we had to agree-to-disagree on this one. Thoughts?

Bag of baby bell peppers

So I had the genius idea of shopping at Costco a week before leaving the country for two weeks. While I have no problem working through the Brie, I have a bag (about 2 lbs or so) of those baby red, yellow and orange bell peppers. Besides just tossing them in the freezer, is there something I can do with them so they'll keep and I'll come home to something tasty in the fridge/freezer? Some kind of pepper dip or soup perhaps? Bell peppers are usually so I expensive I've never had to deal with this amount. Thanks!

Shun vs. MAC Knife Test

For my birthday, my parents gifted me with a new chef's knife. Unfortunately, the kitchen stores where they live were woefully lacking, so my (very practical) Dad instructed me to order the two I was most interested in off the internet and send the one I don't like back. I now have a MAC Mighty Chef 8.5" and a Shun Classic 8" Chef knife sitting in my kitchen and I love them both! I cut the heck out of an apple and a bunch of mint but I think need a more serious test to make my decision. I was thinking about undertaking a project that requires alot of chopping, like spring rolls. Ideas?

Urgent Bread Help Needed!

I started no-knead bread dough last night, intending to do the second rise (2 hrs) and bake it when I got home from work today. Of course I got home much later than expected and don't have time to get it done before I go out for the night. What should I do? Just let it do an extra-long second rising until tommorow morning? Stick it in the fridge?
I'm leaving in 40 mins... thanks for your help SErs!

Spare Ribs help

I got a massive rack of spare ribs for $1.99 a pound at Costco, and now I have no idea what to do with them. The recipes i've found online vary widely, from slow oven roasting, to braising, to smoking or grilling. I'm open to any of these, except for smoking, because I don't want to go out and buy a huge bag of overpriced hickory chips that I'll never use up. So eaters- what's your favorite way to make spare ribs?

Defrosting Tofu

I've seen several posts and articles lately lauding the virtues of freezing tofu. So, I stuck a package of tofu in the freezer about a month ago. Now that I want to use it, I went back and realized the tofu is supposed to be drained before freezing. So, what's the best way to defrost? Just stick it in the fridge overnight, then drain as normal? Or is there some way to drain it as I defrost? Or any good way to cook it frozen, because I'm lazy?

San Francisco Sunday Brunch

Bay Area eaters, I need your help! A friend and I are visiting SF the weekend after next and are looking for a fabulous sunday brunch. To us, brunch is the most important meal of the week, and we have pretty high standards (in terms of yumminess, not fanciness.) Who has the fluffiest, cheesiest omelets? Most decadent French toast? Perfect cafe au lait? We're probably staying in Nob Hill, so a place we can walk to is nice, but we are willing to trek for great brunch. Thanks friends!

Spicy Bean Soup Conundrum

Last weekend, I made a massive vat of black bean and chipotle soup under the assumption that my boyfriend and his roommates would polish off the leftovers. Lo and behold, my boyfriend is no longer my boyfriend and now I have way too much soup on my hands. Also, I underestimated the spiciness of canned chipotles in adobo, so it is inedible (to me) without adding a good amount of sour cream, which I am now out of. I froze as much as I could, but I still have about 5 cups of the stuff left in my fridge and am sick of eating it as is. Any ideas or recipes that can be made with this concoction? Some kind of bean casserole perhaps?
The soup is pretty basic- just black beans, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, chipotles, and cumin

Best Recession Specials

I'm traveling to the city in a few weeks for what will inevitably be a major eating blowout, and I'm looking forward to trying a few fancy-pants places that I can't normally afford. I've heard alot of rumors about recession specials around town, but haven't gotten any definitive advice. The Times article a few weeks ago was good, but certainly not comprehensive, and the New York Post list is from November, so likely outdated. Where are the best specials (lunch, dinner or brunch)? Which ones should be avoided? I'm looking for bang for my buck, meaning I can spend a few, but it better be worth it (i.e. smaller portions don't equal special value to me.)

No Trans Fat Shortening?

I am very devoted to my Crisco- based pie crust recipe, but would really like to find something without trans fats to replace the Crisco. Not butter, as this yeilds different results, but some other type of shortening. I'm not opposed to lard, but many of my friends are vegetarians and I make the pies mostly for them. Also, storing lard in the fridge when I only make pie 1x a month seems a waste of space. I've tried the Earth Balance shortening with not-so-good results. Any ideas?

Recipe Request: Crab Dip

My SO loooves crab dip. You know, the kind with a K that you get in the deli case. I thought for a special treat I'd make it with real crab. I'm sure I could approximate it myself, but I thought my fellow SE-ers might have tried-and-true ideas. Does anyone have a good traditional recipe? Nothing fancy schmancy, just the regular mayo-ey kind. Thanks!

Help needed- Catalan Lentil Dish

I've been thinking alot about a traditional Catalan lentil dish my host mom made when I studied in Barcelona. Unfortunately, I'm no longer in touch with her, but I'm hoping someone here has made it. It definitely had lentils, onions, garlic, carrots (i think), maybe celery, cooked to kind of a oatmeal consistency, and was served over small macaroni. Its the spices I'm not sure about, maybe cumin and some pimenton, but it definitely wasn't spicy/hot. Any ideas?

Inexperienced caramel-izer

Every year I make fabulous chocolate pecan pie for Thanksgiving. As I was digging into my second piece this year, the idea came to me to try adding a layer of salty caramel on top next time to make it more of a turtle experience. Then, lo and behold, the NY times writes about salty caramel today. I've never made caramel before and have visions of scary sugar burns dancing through my head from the one culinary class I took in college.
So, how to proceed? Follow NY times recipe, but pour it on top of finished pie? Or is there some way to bake the pie with the caramel on top?

On a side note, do you pronounce it car-mel or care-a-mel? I'm from Milwaukee so it's the former all the way

What to do with 1/2 can of Coconut Milk?

I frequently make curries, and since I cook for 1, end up with 1/2 a can of coconut milk sitting in the back of my fridge. The current one has been sitting in there for almost a week. Any ideas for what to use it for besides more curry or rice pudding (not a huge fan)? Everything I seem to find requires exotic ingredients which I'm unable to find in my small mountain town....

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