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Cook the Book: 'Put 'em Up!'

I just made my first batch of pickles and spiced beets yesterday! Who knew that home canning was so easy?

Las Vegas Resturants

I was highly disappointed with some of the celebrity chef restaurants (overpriced for what we got), however we did have a great time at Firefly which is an off the strip tapas restaurant with awesome sangria and great food. It was a great way to try a bunch of different things and I loved everything I ate and it was decently priced. If you're looking for a nicer restaurant to have a romantic dinner this may not be it, but definitely worth checking out if you're there for a few days and want to get off the strip.

Hidden gems of the cereal isle...

Trader Joe's has some interesting cereals of their own that (obviously) you won't find anywhere else. I'm partial to the High fiber one with cranberries and almonds but there are a few other good ones if you've got a TJ's near you.

Cook the Book: The Perfect Finish

My absolute favorite has always been frangipane tart. Depending on what fruits are in season it can be made with pears, apricots, cherries or berries. I'm salivating just thinking about it, too bad its too hot to bake.

Anyone have a Vitamix blender?

Consumer Reports just rated blenders. I think the Vitamix came out on top but the runner up only cost $30. You may want to check out their reviews.

Cook the Book: 'Recipes from an Italian Summer'

Easily bruschetta with an array of different toppings tomatoes mozzarella and fresh basil; parmigiano, fresh figs and balsamic vinegar; pesto and ricotta and pine nuts; capponata you get the idea.... mmm

Two Heads of Cabbage: What to do?

Shed the cabbage and saute it with carrots sliced in thin sticks and chopped sundried tomatoes until they are soft and caramelized (can add some pancetta if you want too) and use as a topping for cappellini or spaghetti. Some good parmesan and a little black pepper is all you need. mmm.

DVD Giveaway: Food, Inc.

We have always eaten local and/or organic due to our membership at a local food coop, but we are definitely paying more attention to where our food comes from and how its grown. We also cook at home more and try to replicate our favorite grocery store purchases.

Cook the Book: 'Jamie's Food Revolution'

A simple spread of toasted bread with olive oil, some cheeses topped with fig jam or balsamic vinegar, maybe a bruschetta if i'm feeling adventurous and a nice salad. Perfect Italian tapas in under 15 minutes.


Check out Cheryl Rowgowski at she's an amazing farmer (first farmer to win a MacArthur grant for work in sustainability) has great produce, all organic and grows everything and is also cheap! I've been part of her CSA for a year now and its fantastic, the only downside is that pickup is in the Bronx (however if she gets more members she may come to a different area, and sometimes will allow pickups at the farmers market in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn or Sunnyside Queens).

In terms of picking a CSA, it's important to find a farm that grows things you want to eat and that the farmer is a person you genuinely want to deal with on a regular basis. Just Food has a lot of great tips for doing that here:

Serious Eats Holiday Giveaway: Two Little Red Hens Cake

For Christmas Eve we're heading to Five Points and for Christmas dinner we are having a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern feast.

Cook the Book: America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Last year I was under a lot of stress and had agreed to make cookies for several people as holiday gifts. I had planned everything out and was going to make five or so kinds of cookies. Unfortunately I messed up every single cookie, the gingerbread wouldn't roll, I forgot sugar in the sugar cookies, the macaroons burned etc. By the end of the day I was almost in tears.

Cook the Book Party Planner: La Cucina

Our best Christmas dinner was a recreation of all of our favorite dishes from Puglia, Italy. We had Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa, braciole, stuffed eggplants, focaccia, a great big salad and zeppole for dessert. It was truly delicious.


Terrace Bagels on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn

What's Your Favorite Falafel In New York?

I have to say I adore Tanoreen in Bay Ridge, some of the most flavorful mediterranean food I have ever had in my life, however I recently made a new falafel discovery. In my neighborhood (Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn) there is a deli on the corner of 10th avenue and 17th street that sells amazing falafel. They are so good that all of the neighborhood kids buy them and eat them plain. Seriously worth the trip.

Cook the Book: 'Dishing Up Vermont'

New York apples, nothing better than a good Candy Crisp on a brisk fall day.

Cook the Book: 'What We Eat When We Eat Alone'

Usually leftovers piled in a bowl on some lettuce with a homemade dressing, last night for instance was roasted beets over mixed greens topped with polenta and beans stewed in tomato sauce with a balsamic vinaigrette, the other day was roasted corn, sauteed squash, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese over mixed greens topped with black bean, lime cilantro dressing, salsa and guacamole.

I love _____ but I'm allergic to it!

it may not actually be an allergy. very fresh pineapple (ie: not canned) contains an enzyme called bromelain which digests proteins and the prickly feeling your mouth could actually be the enzyme digesting the proteins that make up the primary epithelial layer in your mouth and causing a tingling/numb/burning sensation. The fresher the pineapple and the more of it you eat the worse the feeling is.

Cook the Book: 'Canal House Cooking, Vol. 1'

A hunk of bread, some good cheese, a few fresh tomatoes and cucumbers with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and basil all eaten with your hands on the beach watching the setting sun. maybe some berries and whipped cream for dessert...

Let's talk knives

Alright alright, you guys are just confirming everything I was already feeling. Thanks for the help. 1000 for knives really is ridiculous.

@salpico That site is amazing. I've had good experiences with the wusthofs and henckels so I may get a few of those but those Globals look mighty fine... there really is such a thing as too many choices. haha


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