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The Crisper Whisperer: Blueberry Overload Coffee Cake

I just made this tonight and it is great, but it took way longer than the 35 min suggested baking time. Has anyone else had this issue, or was it a freak event as my oven is pretty spot on with temperature?

your priciest meal?

The Menu Spontanée at Clio in Boston - $400ish for two people when it was all said and done - and that was maybe 8 years ago.

Then the tasting menu at O Ya...I don't know the final total on that, but I don't think I want to!!

SE Staff Picks: Our Favorite Food Souvenirs to 'Smuggle' Home

I had a bevy of cured meats I purchased for my dad while in Italy once. I had a layover at EWR when he was going to meet me and I'd hand them over after customs. My bag never showed up on the carousel and I was sure the meat police took it all. So onward I went to BOS with no luggage and dad went home with no salumi.

Fortunately, the missing luggage was due to a whole luggage truck of bags not making it on the plane so the meat eventually made it to me and onward to dad's belly.

These days I tend to bring coffee from Sant'Eustachio in Rome and multitudes of the small glass nutella jars with cartoon characters on them. Italian nutella is better than the stuff they make in NoAm and they are dirt cheap in the Italian supermarket. An additional plus is that they make great juice glasses or jam jars once they are empty. What better way to remember a trip...sipping oj from a Kung Fu panda nutella cup. If that doesn't say Venice, I don't know what does! LOL!

It's Harder Than it Looks

I cannot make meatloaf to save my life. Epic fail every time.

I need your best cheap cookout recipes!

Instead of a basic pasta salad, how about an orzo salad? You can dress it up with chunks of feta, olives and green onion. I usually get grape tomatoes (which can be pricey) but then halve or even quarter them lengthwise to make it easier to stab and eat them. And it stretches the tomatoes so you can actually use more orzo. Then just an easy balsamic dressing/vinaigrette, etc to finish it off. I love toasted pine nuts for texture, but they are not always budget friendly.

Kitchen Appliance Royalty

To the OP, My Red KitchenAid is King and my green silicone Bodum toaster is queen. The KA because I am lazy, it is heavy and I have no where to move it to and the toaster because it is so cool looking. everything else appears when needed.

King and Queen of my stovetop are my huge Le Creuset and my kettle. The pot because of weight, lack of storage space and omg it is heavy! the Kettle because I use it to boil water for my coffee pot.

@Adam - I wouldn't say the small kitchen complaint is NYC-centric, it is more city-centric (I wont mention the 3sq ft of counter I had in my last Boston apartment). What we need is less of the complaining about the size (I am from the tri-state area and can gripe with the best of them!) and more 'look how amazingly creative I am with my kitchen organization' that emerge from size constraints - tips like that are universal.

pea shoots - what to do with them?

They are great as an omelet filling with mozzarella. Just saute first in a little olive oil with a little garlic.

Do You Remember Hojo's?

HoJos scarred me for life and it has taken me over 35 years to even start acknowledging my birthday.

When I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, my mom took my friends and I to HoJos for my birthday. After a typical lunch out came what I was awaiting all day...Cake! I saw it approaching. It was white, and I started dreaming of the delicious chocolate cake hidden under the fluffy white frosting. It came closer...something was not right...the cake looked just a little too fluffy.

The cake was set down on the table and my heart sunk. As my friends sang 'Happy Birthday,' what should have been a simple sweet confection succeeded in ruining that birthday - and the 30+ ones that followed.

The cake, to my utter horror, was covered in shredded coconut - a substance so foul my stomach turns even now just writing about it.

Roasted eggplant ideas

@KFC - that eggplant puree on pasta sounds good, especially since my eggplant is already pretty broken down.

I am not a huge pasta fan (Bad Italian! I know) so I was hoping for non-pasta ideas (moussaka *is* an option). And as there is so much, I didn't want to end up with a pound of dip. Eggplant caviar is a normal go-to for me, but I didn't think ahead and freeze in smaller portions - and there is only so much you can eat in a few days..

I love my kitchen because _____

I love my dual fuel range but what I *really* love is that my sink in big enough to lay a 1/2 sheet pan in the bottom - makes cleanups easy when you don't have to tilt pans to get them under the water. What I dislike is that the sink is fairly shallow and I still end up taking an unintended bath when cleaning up.

Expats: What foods do you miss from back home?


Butterscotch Krimpets are the best product in the Tastykake line. The TSA remark was just a joke since I usually have my handbag stuffed with krimpets on my return flights from PA.

Expats: What foods do you miss from back home?


I fear the day the TSA will start to consider the icing a 'liquid'.

Expats: What foods do you miss from back home?

Not an expat, but...

Tastykakes Butterscotch Krimpets and Yuengling. Both Pennsylvania products are a dime a dozen in NJ, but hard to find and not as fresh (Tastykakes) or non-existent (Yuengling) here in MA.

Thank you @MariaVII & @MissBrownEyes

Glad it it worked for you! The glaze adds just that extra bit of flavor that makes it extra delicious.

Have corned beef, cabbage & potatoes, now what?

The corned beef fell apart it was so tender after the ginger ale crock pot cooking. Mine is already's hoping this year's is as good as last.

Good luck!

Have corned beef, cabbage & potatoes, now what?

I cant recall for the life of me where I got this recipe for crock pot corned beef (and cabbage and potatoes), but it was a huge hit last year.

Corned Beef

Put in bottom of crock pot:
3 carrots – peeled and cut in half crosswise
3 stalks celery – cut in half crosswise
2 small onions – quartered
3 cloves garlic – peeled
3 bay leaves
Spring fresh thyme
Splash of beef stock (if on hand)
(adjust amounts so that entire bottom is covered)
Place corned beef on top of vegetables (fat side up).
Add to crock pot:
1 can Ginger Ale
Water to just cover corned beef.

Cook on low 8-10 hours.
Remove from crockpot and place on a baking sheet. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Mix in a bowl approx. 3 tablespoons Guinness and brown sugar to make a runny paste.
Strain crockpot liquid, reserve carrots and liquid separately but toss all other solids.
Drink remaining Guiness.
(Turn on broiler and start on potatoes)
Score fat on corned beef in a cross hatched pattern. Pour on Guinness glaze and place under broiler (2” away from heating element). Broil until just caramelized. Serve.

4-6 medium russet potatoes, quartered.
All but ¼ cup reserved cooking liquid from corned beef.

Place potatoes in a pot. Add cooking liquid so potatoes are almost covered. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer until potatoes are done (10-20min.)

(While potatoes are cooking, finish the beef and start on the cabbage)

When potatoes are done, drain them and add reserved cooked carrots to the pot. Mash roughly with ¼ c. cream and chunk of butter. Serve.


1 head cabbage, core removed, cut into quarters and then sliced to make ribbons
¼ cup reserved cooking liquid from corned beef
2 tbls + 2 tbls butter

In wide covered pan, bring liquid, 2 tbls butter and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add cabbage and toss well. Cover and simmer until tender (10 min – give or take). Remove lid, add remaining butter, toss and serve.

Recap: Top Chef All-Stars, Episode 13, Fit For A King

I thought Blais was channeling David Cook with that look so he, too, would become the next American Idol Top Chef.

Weekend in Boston - Good Eats Around Convention Center?

The Convention Center is in an odd location, a bit removed from downtown (not far, just removed). Between the seaport area and downtown you will find:
Lucky's Lounge - cocktails and comfort food
355 Congress St

Flour Bakery
Try the awesome breakfast sandwich!
12 Farnsworth St.

348 Congress
A Barbara Lynch restaurant - upscale modern italian in a counter service space.

Canning web sites--what are the best ones for beginners?

The national Center for Home Preservation ( is a great place to start for the basics - techniques as well as recipes. In addition, click the link for 'Publications' and you will see links to some other sites where you can download some great information.

Super Bowl of Beer


A PA staple that I now need to smuggle into MA.