Been cooking since I was tall enough to reach the stove controls. Still have my original chef's knife, a carbon steel Sabatier bought in Paris in 1971 and a coffee press bought on the same trip.

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  • Location: Berwyn, PA
  • Favorite foods: All of them except lima beans, and even those I'll eat. But not like.

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Spicy Bacon Cheddar Muffins

Not much bacon flavor, even with double smoked bacon. Next time I'm going to use one more slice of bacon, and replace the butter with bacon fat.

Murray Lender dead at 81

Thank you, Murray for my first bagel, too. Rest in peace.

Video: "I'm Making Cook's Illustrated Beef Stew! (Prep Time: 29 Hours)"

Love it! I've taught cooking for over 25 years, and CI is the only resource I know that can make so many things to cooking newbies seem so much like rocket science. My other peeve about them is their constant naming of recipes "The Best ____" because often it isn't. I think this is spot-on.

Paula Deen's Diabetes Reveal

I'd say she's trying to have her cake and eat it too. Makes her look like a drug dealer telling customers to only use in moderation. Guess it's just plain, old, greed.

Can you recommend a mandoline slicer?

Either an OXO or the Benriner are good choices if you want one that props up. But if you just need basic slicing, Kyocera has an adjustable thickness, ceramic blade mandoline that's hand held. About $25. I got a fancy-schmancy Bron a long time ago as a gift, and I rarely use it, but the hand held Kyocera gets just about constant use. Easy to store, too.

Ever Made Anything "Healthier" That Was Actually Good?

Sadly, it's called eat less and move more. Our grandparents had it right, if the belt got tight they ate less, and skipped the bread and desserts. Luckily, they didn't have the range of ersatz factory foods like soy meat and tinkered-with pasta like Dreamfields. And a little butter wasn't an evil thing. But just a little.

And to answer the original question, I made a chicken liver pate for my stepdaughter when she was nursing a dairy-allergic baby subbing plain tofu and olive oil for the butter and heavy cream. Knocked the calories way down, and everyone still asks for it that way.

Got a good sugar-free cheesecake recipe for diabetics?

Wonderful! Three good choices -- I'm going to let DH pick out which one since he'll be the one eating the leftovers. And I actually have a copy of the original SB book. Thank you all.

Dulces: Bocaditos de Corn Flakes y Leche Condensada (Corn Flake Clusters)

@PlumGaga, yep, there is sugar...1 cup. It's the first ingredient in the recipe list. Still, reading this makes me want to run and make these and it's only 7 AM.

mineral oil substitute?

@Lorenzo is right. Ever pick up an old wooden salad bowl at a tag sale (or out of Gramma's cupboard) and notice an off, funky smell? That's salad oils like olive or other vegetable oils gone rancid. It gets into the wood, and never, ever goes away.

Chef you have one and if so, what would you recommend?

I agree with @Pavlov about the buttons, and stay away from denim, as it's generally too hot. Darker colors don't show the mess quite as much. Doesn't you area have a uniform supply place, as the prices are a bit better.

Now that I don't teach so much I rarely wear one, though. A good apron is fine for home, but, I'm sorry, I think a chef's coat worn at home (OK for messy work) in front of guests is a bit "precious".

Excess Sour Cream: Ideas, Please

Got other leftovers you can gather into a tart or quiche? Or just brown up a nice batch of onions and bacon... Because it's acidic, you can make a pretty good custard base with sour cream by using the proportion of 1 cup sour cream to 1 large egg. In a deep quiche pan you can probably get rid of 2 pints of sour cream. When I use 4 cups of sour cream, I usually use 5 eggs.

Or make a cake using sour cream in place of buttermilk, and make the frosting by melting semi or bittersweet chocolate, and whisking in sour cream to make a smooth, shiny dark chocolate frosting. I think the frosting recipe is in either The Fannie Farmer Baking Book or something else by Marion Cunningham. It's killer.

Then maybe make some chocolate-sour cream custard with the rest?

Am not responsible for any weight gain or increase in serum cholesterol, lol.

Recycle old fudge?

Well, you can sure see which of us responders was raised by Depression-Era parents or parents who lived through rationing during WWII. And my French grandmother never wasted anything that could be converted into something delicious. I always try to make something good out of older-but-unspoiled foods if possible, before giving something the heave-ho.

Recycle old fudge?

Maybe crumble it, grate it or chop it up into pieces, mix it evenly, and melt it into some heavy cream over low heat -- just enough cream to make a dessert sauce? You could always add a few chocolate chips to it if the result isn't flavorful enough or add some sort of dessert-y booze.

Or sort out the flavors and melt it separately?

Ceramic-coated pots and pans

Is it the red and white stuff? White interior? It may come in other colors. Where I work we sell it as a low-moderate priced non-stick "green" cookware. Customers say it discolors easily but we've only gotten a few pieces back with the coating coming off.

Treat it like traditional non-stick cookware (although you'll have to boil it with white vinegar to get any stains out) by only using wood or plastic utensils, keeping the heat moderate, never use high, and never, ever putting it in the dishwasher. Also don't use stuff like Pam spray --it tends to leave a difficult-to-remove brown crud on non-stick cookware.

I think someone was trying to do a nice thing. Since it was a gift, I'd say use it until it falls apart, and then either replace it with either Swiss Diamond or ScanPan if you want non-stick of high quality, or something uncoated like either All-Clad or Mauviel stainless a few pieces at a time or you'll break the bank. Or give your family a list, lol.

Stand mixer vs. Food processor

It's not a bad recipe if it tells you to make it in a food processor. I've used a food processor for certain small-quantity bread recipes since 1978. Especially buttery, eggy doughs like brioche. They turn out fabulous. But you can certainly make it in a standing mixer, or by hand. It'll just take longer. Also, if it's a small-quantity recipe, it may not have enough volume to the dough to make in a standing mixer bowl.

Who Would You Ask A Culinary Question To?

You, Harold McGee, Mark Bittman or Thomas Keller. Alton Brown would be fun, but it seems everything he does is extrapolated from McGee.

+1@izatryt, LOL

Vegetarianism vs. Veganism

+1 JoeBatch.

It's not all-about-you, and if you've scrubbed the fly poo off your vegetables or make your own fake butter. Be grateful you live in a time and place where you have the ability to worry and write so badly about such self-centered trivia. There is too much war and true hunger in the world to waste your energy on this stuff.

You've just made me waste my time, too.

Where's the moderator when we need one?

Vegetarianism vs. Veganism

+1 JoeBatch.

It's not all-about-you, and if you've scrubbed the fly poo off your vegetables or make your own fake butter. Be grateful you live in a time and place where you have the ability to worry and write so badly about such self-centered trivia. There is too much war and true hunger in the world to waste your energy on this stuff.

You've just made me waste my time, too.

Where's the moderator when we need one?

How BIG is Your Christmas Spread?

Christmas is my favorite holiday, and we tend to do it up. We'll be 15 at the table this year, and we're a family of (French, Italian and German desent) good eaters. The appetizers / hors d'oeuvres will include crab and shrimp in puff pastry, baked brie and spiced nuts. Beef tenderloin, and Georges Perrier's recipe for crab cakes (made and frozen already) are the main course, with haricots verts, wild mushrooms with leeks, brussels sprouts with bacon, funeral potatoes and two sauces--a Bordelaise and a gorgonzola cream sauce. There's also a lasagna or my Italian mother would roll in her grave.

Lots of wine, and probably kir Royale.

DH is making tiramisu and and a chocolate layer cake, and a cookie tray.

Whatever anyone brings will get put out, too.

Gooey Cinnamon Rolls?

Seconding Joanne Chang's recipe from the flour bakery cookbook. Best ever!

Has anyone ever made their own ricotta?

Yes I have. My favorite is made with rennet, not with vinegar or lemon. Much sweeter, tenderer and greater yield. Have also made it the traditional way by cooking whey left from another cheese making project, but that's too much work for an end result a very small quantity of ricotta.

Saveur has a good recipe for rennet based ricotta on their site. There's also a gentleman named Sal Maggio who sells kits (yes, the same family from Maggio Cheeses in the Philly area). I think you can Google his address.

But do try, with any recipe you like, it's a whole different thing eaten fresh.

Can Your Parents Cook?

They're both gone.

My mother was adventurous, and a good cook but stymied by my father who had a fairly limited list of what he would eat. I first got interested in cooking by sitting on the floor with her after school and watching Julia Child on TV. Dad could make a mean bacon-and-egg breakfast, grill a burger or steak, and since he was an old-fashioned pharmacist back in the day when pharmacies had soda fountains, he could make ANY kind of ice cream treat a kid could imagine.

5 Ways to Organize Your Spice Rack

+1 @peekpoke on the stair-step insert in a cabinet. I'm on the short side, and it makes everything visible without a stepladder.

Preserved: Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Just reading the ingredients makes my mouth water! Can't wait to make a batch.