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Cook the Book: 'Planet Barbecue!'

I've never had a vinegar sauce on my pulled pork, so this weekend will be dedicated to tart, pig deliciousness.

Chain Gang -- Do you secretly love a chain restaurant??

Loving this thread... and since most of us are foodie-types it seems like love/nostalgia for certain places CAN co-exist with a discerning palate.

Count one more for Cracker Barrel, another for Rubio's (lobster tacos - mmm), and I dream of Chicago's Portillo's chain. And when the open road stretches long and hot, a frosty and fries from Wendy's (eaten by dipping the fries IN the ice cream) makes the miles go by.

A Virtual Tour of Kenji Alt's Food Lab Kitchen

Ha! Loved your wife's IKEA knife. My boyfriend had a set of WalMart knives and after attempting to cook dinner at his house twice, I laid down the ultimatum: invest in a real knife, or no more meals for you. We've since moved in together and I now use his Faberware specials to open the dog food.

Pine nuts substitute for pesto?

I just had an awesome pesto with peas instead of pine nuts - perfect for the spring/summer season.

Cook the Book: 'Farm to Fork'

Cherry tomatoes as I picked them from my grandma's garden; as a kid I could never figure out why they spewed out of my mouth when I chomped them... grandma had to tell me that grown-ups close their mouths when they chew!

Cakespy: Homemade Pudding Pops

Anybody try these with rice or soy milk? If so, let me know how your results are.

Cook the Book: 'Mary Mac's Tea Room'

I started dating a southern gentleman a year or so ago and he took me to Memphis for dry-rubbed ribs served with a grimace, as well as my first "BBQ Spaghetti", which was pulled pork served over noodles. Both were completely delicious. They really know how to do meat down there!

How to Make Yogurt

I've never done this and I'm intrigued - especially by the idea of using different milks. How long does homemade yogurt keep for?

Cook the Book: 'The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual'

As a kid, I *hated* tomato-based sauces; now as an adult, I've learned that there's a world of difference between a bottle of Prego and something homemade... my world has been forever changed. I love making my own sauces now!

Poll: How Do You Feel About Cash-Only Restaurants?

The bottom line for me is that sometimes a cash only policy at a restaurant is a deterrent (not always, but if I didn't have cash on me that day or if I was with a group). I'd think that as a business owner, you'd want to try to minimize ANYTHING that is a deterrent for people to patronize you... you'd instead want to make it as easy as possible for someone to find you and spend their money with you, however they choose to do so.

French in a Flash: Salmon with Sorrel and Asparagus en Papillote

Just made this last night and wanted to comment... thanks for the introduction to sorrel, which was very tasty in this dish. Any thoughts on other uses or pairings for this herb?

I found that the crème fraîche didn't really "melt" into a sauce - it kind of stayed in an unattractive lump in the packet... but did still taste good once stirred up and mixed around with everything.

Road trip from Ohio to Ukiah, CA taking route 80

If you're hopping off 80 in Reno, I'd recommend Bangkok Cuisine, Indian Garden or 4th St. Bistro over a casino buffet.

And then, as you head down from the Sierras, just south of Auburn, CA is an amazing fruit stand/sandwich shop called IKEDA'S which makes the best pies and cobblers (and fruit salsas and other goodies) around. A good stop for pie-to-go!

Weekend Giveaway: Vienna Beef Hot Dog Kit for Your Memorial Day Party

As a displaced Chicagoian, I really miss fresh tomatoes on my dogs... they just go so well with those tasty lil' sport peppers!

Have you ever just been completly insulted preparing a meal?

Yikes. Another person feeling lucky for having mostly polite and loving friends/family. I do have a friend that pulls out the "fancy" comment - but I try to remember where she's coming from when she says that... I think she probably feels a little uncomfortable and/or like SHE'S the one not up to the "fanciness" of my food. Attempting some compassion helps.

And as everyone has said, Chardonnay's son needs to be told he's been rude... but I also shamefacedly remember being inexcusably late to one of my Grandma's meals. I was in the throes of first love and simply couldn't leave the BF to attend a family event. Boy, did I get an earful from my parents after that. 15 years later and I still feel terrible. The point: even good kids make mistakes sometimes, so hopefully Chardonnay's son will get an earful from her and learn!

Are There Foods You Can't Keep In The House?

Oohhh, pre-made, convenient deli spinach dip... you seem sort of healthy, but you are not. Especially when I dip every cracker or veggie available in you and then lick the rest out of the tub with my fingers.

I'm another one for boxed mac & cheese as well (even though it literally makes me sick almost every time I eat it) and I allow myself one box of Golden Grahams cereal per year - on my birthday!

Family recipe you're glad to have

Reading this thread makes me miss my grandma - and her ginormous garden. She taught me how to make rhubarb-custard pie, cherry cobbler, grape jelly, and zucchini bread with produce so fresh it still had dirt on it.

And although I still haven't gotten it right yet, I'm SO glad to have my other grandma's bread recipe (See the Babka Bread thread) - one of these days I'll nail it. I love wondering which recipes of mine will be the ones that my progeny remember...

Cook the Book: 'The Vegetarian Option'

As an entree, I found a great recipe for a summer grilled veggie lasagna, which is somehow hearty and light at the same time. I'm also hooked on quinoa... I've been keeping my eyes open all over this board for new recipes!

Are Sloppy Joes a Poor Man's Barbecue?

@leebo - smokey and delicious! :p

But really, using a quality BBQ sauce (the boy ships it in from Memphis), makes sloppy joes pretty damn good for a quick meal.

Are Sloppy Joes a Poor Man's Barbecue?

@car1fsu - same here. I'm from the Midwest and was raised on sloppy joes that were just called "BBQ Sandwiches" and were mostly a barbecue sauce (as opposed to plain tomato). I don't want the BBQ purists to get themselves in knots about the semantics of smoked meat vs. sloppy joes, but I will say that my Southern, slow-roasted boyfriend LOVES my midwestern, blasphemous "BBQ Sandwich"!

Bread Baking: Babcia Bread

Donna, when I saw the picture of this week's loaf, I immediately clicked to zoom in... because it looks exactly like MY grandmother's "famous" bread! She was Polish too - coincidence? Her recipe was very similar, but also called for a touch of freshly grated nutmeg, which tasted and smelled wonderful in the final product. Thanks for the great flashback!

Cook the Book: 'In The Green Kitchen'

Taste constantly... at every production stage of your dish. It helps you learn to recognize flavors and how they come together.

And I second the "wear gloves for pepper chopping" lesson. Especially if you wear contact lenses that you have to remove later that evening!

San Francisco

You're right - your list could go on for days. But a few out-of-the-park spots:

Brenda's - French soul food for breakfast/brunch. Go early or late to avoid the lines, but it's just amazing. Crawfish beignets = heaven.

Aziza - Upscale Moroccan, romantic.

Betelnut or Slanted Door - Asian fusion/Vietnamese. Both excellent.

And look up one of the many Dim Sum places around Geary for Sunday morning. Have a fun trip - I'm jealous just thinking about it!

The Pillsbury Bake-Off makes me sad...

@thiskatie - thank you! Sounds like an interesting read.

Weekend Cook and Tell: You Ate Where?

One happy surprise: a Thai place with some of the best curries I've ever tasted... attached to a Super 8 Motel in Reno, NV :)

The Pillsbury Bake-Off makes me sad...

@HeartofGlass - that book sounds interesting. Do you remember what it was?