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Dense, Chewy, and Rich New England-Style Ice Cream

Is there a good substitute for the arrowroot starch? Can I use corn starch?

No Tools? No Experience? No Problem. How I Hacked an Ace Barbecue Smoker

I bought my first smoker at Home Depot for about $125. It came fully assembled. That was a lot easier than this contraption. But hey--if it works for you, go for it!

Kenji's Excellent Asian Adventures, Part 4: The Long, Smelly Road to Chengdu

Aside from the food, this sounds thoroughly awful. Hey, Kenji: Be sure to visit your doctor as soon as you get home.

Yuck.

The Food Lab: The Best Way To Grill Sausages

Fat is SO important when it comes to sausage making. I learned the hard way, with my first batch of Italian sausage and my first hot dogs. I'm not averse to fat at all, but just didn't realize how much I needed to include. It's true--40 percent fat would make a lovely sausage. Anything less than 20 percent, and you've got a dry stick of meat.

The Chain Breaker: A Dairy Queen Like No Other

Interesting. While I get that corporate would want to maintain a certain standard across all their stores, I would think they'd encourage a little creativity here and there. After all, that's how the Egg McMuffin and the Big Mac came to be.

Good for this guy, who's willing to keep things going the way they've been for decades.

The Good Bagel Manifesto

"...if the bagel is hot and fresh out of the oven, butter. If the bagel has had a chance to cool, cream cheese."

I'm the total opposite. I like cream cheese on a hot (or warm) bagel. Butter is best on a cold bagel. To each his own, as my mom would say.

And the best place to get bagels is at home, using the Cook's Illustrated recipe. Been doing it for years.

Ed Levine's Golden Rules of the Perfect Pancake

@Lanier: "...homemade sourdough pancakes, made with a starter that is older than I am, cooked over a wood-burning stove, and served with real butter and maple syrup in the El Dorado National Forest."

Sounds like Heaven.

Onion Rings or Mozzarella Sticks? We Pack BOTH Into the Ultimate Cheesy Baked Bar Snack

I love this recipe, and I'm really glad it's baked and not deep fried. Don't get me wrong--I love deep-fried food. I just hate the clean-up involved. Can't wait to try it. Thanks, Morgan!

The Food Lab: Why Chicken With Pan Sauce Is Always Better at Restaurants (and How to Make Yours Just as Good at Home)

@Kenji: I've got homemade stock that's VERY gelatinous. Do I really need to add the gelatin to it? I'm concerned it's going to end up way too thick.

Kenji's Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List)

I toured the US about 8 years ago, and discovered Whataburger when we passed through Texas. I LOVED IT.

Of course, the best eating places were the non-chain, mom-n-pop places. But yes, fast food can do the trick, and you may as well get the best when you can.

Like Whataburger. Yum.

Love Cast Iron Pans? Then You Should Know About Carbon Steel

I've been coveting DeBuyer pans for a long time now. Really want to get a set of them.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Love Popeye's Chicken (and their biscuits are to die for!). And I love Shabu!

Upgrade Your Potato Skins With Beer-Cooked Onions, Beer-Simmered Brats, Beer Cheese, and Bacon

Morgan, I love you! ;-)
Great tip about bacon grease on potato skins. I discovered that trick a few months back, and it makes an amazing difference. Thanks for sharing this--I think it's going on my list of party foods!

Inside New York's Cult of the Bialy

I had my first bialy at Barney Greengrass, sometime around 1980. It was a revelation, toasted with butter. It's a shame you can't get them in the suburbs. I'll have to try making them from scratch.

The Most Popular Recipes of 2014

I've made that red sauce twice. So good. I love recipes that take hours to cook.
(I'm making the incredible Bolognese sauce tomorrow. Thanks, SE!)

Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

Kinchley's is a treasure; great bar pie, and a classic road-house atmosphere, especially at the bar.

But be forewarned: They don't take plastic. Cash only.

The Food Lab: Slow Cooked Bolognese Sauce

I first made the No-Holds-Barred lasagna a year or two ago, and loved it. But what I loved the most about it was the Bolognese, which I've made several times since.

I think this recipe is on the agenda for this weekend.

Roasted Spiced Lamb Ribs With Whole Grain Mustard Sauce

This looks good, but I do side with the folks who say it should be cooked at a lower temperature for a longer time. I sorta like "falling off the bone," myself. I'm going to give it a try!

How to Restore Vintage Cast Iron Pans

Just my two cents: I purchased three Griswold cast iron pans on eBay several years ago. Each is more than 100 years old, and they are my favorite kitchen tools. I highly recommend checking the availability of these great old pieces!

Manner Matters: How to Deal With Lateness

@AndroidUser: "At a restaurant either go to the bar or sit at your table and have a drink."

Some restaurants don't have bars, and others won't seat you until the entire party has arrived. And I agree with most of the folks here: Chronic lateness is a show of disrespect. Hey, everybody gets caught in traffic now and then. But to constantly keep people waiting for you is just plain rude.

Traditional French Cassoulet

@onalark: According to a few different websites, one packet of unflavored gelatin = 2-1/2 teaspoons.

Traditional French Cassoulet

I'm just wondering: If I do use homemade stock (and mine's full of gelatin), would I still need to add the powdered stuff?

This recipe looks really delicious. I must try it soon.

What Cookbook Would You Buy For a First-Time Cook?

Another vote for Joy of Cooking. My mom had a copy that she had to keep repairing, because it would fall apart. I bought one more than 25 years ago, and have used it a lot.

That being said, I find a subscription to Cook's Illustrated/Cook's Country's websites invaluable. Some of their recipes are complicated, it's true; but I've found them to work every single time.