Hot and Numbing Xi'an Style Oven-Fried Chicken Wings

Should your recipe say 3 tablespoons baking powder? Do the baking powder and salt give the wings a metallic taste? Should they be rinsed before baking?

Tacos de Canasta: How to Make the Perfect Potluck Taco

I just fed our combine crew lunch on a cold, windy day with these tacos. It was quite a treat! Being in the Midwest, I did a typical Midwestern filling of seasoned browned hamburger (well drained)and grated cheese. I piled mine in a Dutch oven, but that did not hold the heat as well as I had hoped. And I found flour tortillas worked better than the corn tortillas. Very delicious. Thanks for posting.

In the Midwest, Great Bologna Is a Way of Life

I grew up in an apartment above my grandpa's butcher shop, and he made ring bologna every Saturday from the meat trimmings of the week. It was ground, mixed with spices, smoked in the smokehouse in the basement of the store, cooked in boiling water, and sold on Saturday mornings. I love the photo above, because those who stopped in the store 8 am Saturday would taste that week's batch with saltine crackers for breakfast (and talk over the high school ball game from the night before). We made a pilgrimage to Pierz, MN, for bologna days earlier this year. Fresh bologna served at the local bar with fresh bread, butter, and horseradish. Oh, so good!

Tacos de Canasta: How to Make the Perfect Potluck Taco

I was just told I will need to provide supper for the combine crew harvesting our fields. This will be perfect!

Win a Copy of 'Baked Occasions'

French silk pie. Always a favorite.

Win a Copy of 'Tacolicious'

Hamburger and cheddar cheese.

Win a Copy of 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'

I am most intimidated by organ meats. I never ate them growing up, so I would find it hard to prepare and eat.

Win a Copy of 'A Change of Appetite'

Salsa made with black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions etc. Especially now with garden vegetables.

Win a Serious Eats Edition KettlePizza Baking Steel Combo for Father's Day!

My husband loves pepperoni and cheese, the classic.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

@jedd63 For dinner I had eggs scrambled with onion, pepper, and a leftover brat. For dessert, chocolate banana bread.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

So sorry to see Talk shut down. Like a death in the family. I will miss lemonfair, teachertalk, CJMcD, traveler and all the others. Good bye, friends. The conversation has been fun and informative. I will miss all of you.

Unusual Pizza Toppings

Tis the season for a shaved asparagus pizza. One of my favorites.

Simple Pleasures

I just introduced my grandkids to a slice of just baked bread, still warm spread with butter and sprinkled with brown sugar.

Cookie-Cutter Cookie Dough Recipe Suggestions

I have been using the Betty Crocker recipe mentioned above for 50 years and agree will all the comments above. I would add use good quality butter only, as cheap butter will make the cookies spread. Above all, have fun.

What's For Dinner- Sunday Edition

Took a Sunday afternoon drive into Wisconsin yesterday and arrived home with cheese curds, which became supper with a few crackers and a bowl of sliced bananas and strawberries. We weren't too hungry after our mid-afternoon ice cream cone at The Nelson Creamery.

In search of: Popcorn Popper

I agree the stovetop method is easy, but even easier is the Presto PowerPop in the microwave. I always use 1/3 cup Orville's popcorn. The 'Popcorn' button on my microwave is he perfect time needed. The only drawback is purchasing the paper disc that goes in the bottom of the popper.

Did you make a wedding cake? What went right? Wrong?

The authentic buttercream frosting freezes really well (Julia Child recipe or similar). I have had success baking and freezing a layer cake ahead. Depending on your venue, you may be able to transport while still frozen in the morning, allow it to defrost during the busy day, and it will be perfect for serving by cake time. Make a gorgeous 9 inch layer cake with 2 or 3 layers for pictures along with cake in sheet pans for serving. Enjoy your day!

Cook the Book: 'Lighten Up, America!'

I resolve is to cut back on the sugar I indulged in over the holidays.

Cook the Book: 'The New Midwestern Table'

I think of Betty Crocker. Amy's book is Betty Crocker with a heart.

Thankgiving recap

The turkey was dry, but everyone loved the corn casserole made with Jiffy cornbread mix and the green bean casserole with the fried onion rings. I love that despite the freezing temperatures, I can still harvest fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary for my stuffing. My favorite. The fresh herbs made for great turkey stock.

Best burger you have ever made?

The day after Thanksgiving I sent my husband to the local Fareway for 4 pounds of their own ground beef. I heated two large skillets to high, seasoned the 16 patties with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, fried the burgers to medium rare, and enjoyed with kids and grandkids. Top your own! Delicious. The best burgers I've ever made.

Pizza- Thick or thin crust?

@Traveller Fellow Minnesotan Amy Thielen has a recipe for cracker crust pizza in her new book The New Midwestern Table. I have not tried it. Must be a MN thing.

Oven rack position confusion

Never quite understood why you would bake 2 sheets of cookies at one time. I get one sheet ready, pop it in the oven, then get the next sheet ready to bake when the first sheet is done. Why open the oven door midway through baking and lose all that heat and disturb the cookies by moving the sheets while they are raising? For most even baking use a single shiny cookie sheet and do not crowd the cookies.

Sirloin tip steaks - sear and eat?

I enjoy PioneerWoman's Steak Bites. Just set the timer so you don't overcook. Very quick and easy.

Birthday cookies for shipping--help!

I agree with all the cookies listed above except cake like chocolate chip cookies. My favorite chocolate chip cookies are not so good after a couple of days. Crisp sugar cookies would break. Spritz cookies put through a cookie press keep well and are sturdy. Russian Teacakes (aka Mexican Wedding cakes) are also a good keeper. Do you know Grandma's nationality?

Sweet potato question

Our family likes roasted cubes of sweet potatoes finished with a butter and maple syrup glaze. This year I would like to combine 3 varieties of sweet potatoes just for the color. Is there any reason not to do this? Will they roast in the same amount of time?

Looking for tips to melt or caramelize sugar.

I had trouble making the candied pepitas for my pan roasted Brussels sprouts and the caramel sauce for flan (1 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water.). Both times, the sugar crystallized into hard white clumps. I suspect something has changed in the processing of granulated white sugar. Does anyone have any tips or advice on how to successfully melt sugar? I followed the instructions using a medium heat and stirring often.

What's playing in your kitchen?

Today I'm baking Christmas cookies with the cooks of Create TV playing in the background. When I frost sugar cookies with my children, we always listen to the John Denver and the Muppets Christmas CD. What is playing in your kitchen when you do your holiday baking/cooking?

How do you avoid buying too much food so you don't waste it?

When buying food off a menu, at the grocery story, at the farmer's market, or from your CSA how do you plan your purchase so you don't have more than you can use? None of us like to waste food. When buying bananas, I will break off only one or two, rather than buying the whole bunch. I see California green grapes have arrived, now being sold in plastic bags with 2-3 bunches per bag? Is it OK to take just one bunch out of the bag? How do you split or share meals when eating out to avoid leftovers that can't be used?

The Gospel of Mashed Potatoes: can food be spiritual?

Last night David Letterman talked about the Gospel of Mashed Potatoes. I agree there is a spiritual quality to passing a bowl of mashed potatoes at a family meal. It truly is food for the soul. World peace, maybe not, but certainly leads to family harmony. Do you agree a bowl of mashed potatoes is soul food? What foods serve as a spiritual component at your gatherings?

Favorite food on "The Day the Music Died"

I am wondering if there are any Serious Eats readers who remember "the day the music died." What was your favorite food back then? Mine was Chef Boyardee pizza in a box. My girl friends would come over and we would make our own pizza, which involved letting the dough rise, opening the can of pizza sauce, and opening the package of cheese.

How Do You Handle Uninvited Guests?

I was fixing a lunch of ‘eggs over easy’, and my husband’s friend knocked on the door just after I flipped the eggs. It was time to butter the toast. Do I invite our friend to join us for a meal? Or do we wait and eat later? My grandpa would always say there is room for one more, so I feel guilty if I don’t ask the uninvited guest to eat with us. What would you do?

How do you glorify your leftovers?

How do you glorify your leftovers? What ways do you turn your leftover food into something other than it was to begin with? Example, the small amount of thick chili left after three days of reheating the leftover soup becomes wonderful chilidogs. A bowl of soup is now a sandwich. A delight we had today was the three day old casserole of make ahead mashed potatoes. On top of the potatoes, I arranged the left over link breakfast sausage and reheated in the oven. My husband added picante sauce to his serving of this weird shepherd's pie and called it sensational. What are dishes you create with your leftovers?

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce. More

7 Layer Jello recipe Exported from MasterCook

My concern - are the proportions correct in this recipe? With these measurements, will I have trouble w/the jello separating from the condensed milk mixture? Or does that happen when u refrigerate the 7 Layer Jello tooo long? And what... More