Mixed Review: Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Cookie Mix

I must echo ag3208. Mixed review is also my favorite SE feature! I don't even buy mixes, but I love these reviews!

Beer Lovers: Win a Pair of Tickets to SAVOR in NYC

Burnside Brewing Company!

24 Green Recipes for St. Patrick's Day

FYI - Step 1 is missing for your Spinach and Gruyere Strata recipe.

Bake the Book: Nigellissima

Cook the Book: 'Home Made Winter'

Roasted Veggies

Help! My oven is broken!

@boobird - We already had our elements assessed - they are not broken (and they both stopped working simultaneously, which is another indicator that it's not the elements). It's an issue with the control panel itself, which obviously neither myself nor my husband can fix.

Mixed Review: Dr. Oetker's Organic Oatmeal Muffins

I love the Dr. Oetker's muffin mixes. They sell them at a Dollar Giant near my house for $1 each. I prefer the bran mix myself, but they are so convenient when I don't have breakfast for the week and don't feel like spending a bunch of time or energy coming up with anything.

They are easy to add fruit or nuts to, and take less time to throw together than it takes to pre-heat your oven. It's literally 1 minute of prep, and only 1 dish to bang out some muffins.

IHOP Adds Chicken: International House of Chicken and Waffles?

@Teachertalk - I think the review was appropriate, given the context. I think it's inappropriate for food reviewers (or any, for that matter) to blindly review food without accounting for the intended audience or context within which it was produced. This food is mass produced chain diner food, which typically costs less than $10 a plate. You get what you pay for, and you can expect a certain quality (and quantity!) for your money. Some people simply enjoy the occasional foray into processed fast food (I certainly do, from time to time). The review seems to provide helpful and relevant information to someone who would consider eating at IHOP and purchasing these items.

@aharste - Building on what I said above, I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense to hold all food to one standard, based on a past experience. I've had excellent burgers, but that doesn't mean that I don't occasionally want or don't enjoy a Wendy's burger. Different times, different foods, different quality, different price, different cravings.

Mixed Review: Dollhouse Bake Shoppe Easter Cupcakes

How many cupcakes did it actually end up making?

Angus Attack: Arby's Angus Three Cheese and Bacon

Is any of this available in Canada? I'd like to give it all a try. Loves me some Arby's!

Mixed Review: Stonewall Kitchen Chocolate Doughnuts

I would also totally buy this; in these instances, you inevitably substitute some quality for ease of preparation. But for making donuts at home, it seems too good to be true!

Mixed Review: Barefoot Contessa Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Hearts

I agree with ctfoodcritic - this really was a well developed review of the mix.

Poll: Do You Eat Ice Cream In The Cold?

I just had a bowl last night, and the temperature outside was about -19 Celsius (-2 Fahrenheit) around the time I was eating it.

The Crisper Whisperer: Broccoli and Walnut Pesto

I'm intrigued and going to try this in the upcoming weeks.

Mixed Review: La Brea Harvest Blend Stuffing

With all the add-ins (celery, onion, olive oil, chicken stock) this mix probably comes in at $14 or $15.

I've got to wonder if you put all those add-ins into the Stovetop mix, if you'd get something with comparable flavor (maybe not the same, but pretty decent) except at maybe $3 or $4.

Mixed Review: La Brea Harvest Blend Stuffing

With all the add-ins (celery, onion, olive oil, chicken stock) this mix probably comes in at $14 or $15.

I've got to wonder if you put all those add-ins into the Stovetop mix, if you'd get something with comparable flavor (maybe not the same, but pretty decent) except at maybe $3 or $4.

Ad "Recipes" Diluting the Recipe Database

I've been reading these posts with delight all morning. Internet drama is much better than marking statistics assignments. ;p

However, I've also got to pipe in with my support of these ads. I actually prefer them to the standard "side of the page" advertisements. I don't know why everyone hates advertisements so much. They want you to buy their product. Sometimes, I want to buy their product. I like it when they offer suggestions about how to use their product in different ways.

Personally, I would never actually buy Campbell's soup and eat it straight up. There are much better canned soups out there. So showing me different ways to use them in easy, convenient forms is helpful if I happen to have one sitting in my cupboard (which I do!) or I'm feeling lazy and poor one evening (which is frequent!)

@cycorider actually makes a very good point as well. I'm never going to go out and find most of the ingredients listed in some of these recipes that are obscure. But Campbell's soup is at the supermarket I shop at, and is easily available for purchase.

On top of that, I feel like perhaps there's a bit of food elitism going on here. If somebody wants to use some (inexpensive) prepared products in their meal(s), so what? I admit that I use the Campbell's mushroom soup in some recipes, and I secretly love it, even though my food snob of a husband is appalled.

Ideas for using leftover gravy?

@CJ McD; @carmason - My house as well. Bread topped with gravy was a regular lunch, snack or even dinner at our house after my mom made roast. It never occurred to me as a child that it was "cheap" food; I just thought it was delicious!

My husband thinks this is the most disgusting thing he's ever heard of, but to me, bread and gravy is comfort food!

Cheap Buzz: Signature Cocktails at Red Lobster

I get the sense from your review that perhaps you are not the target audience for the "Signature Drinks." Sickly sweet. smoothie style drinks are for people who want to indulge, who dislike the taste of alcohol, and enjoy sweet, candy flavoured beverages. There definitely is a very specific type of individual who purchases these drinks and for them, it is certainly more than "tolerable."

I understand that food reviewing is subjective, but perhaps try to approach it from the perspective of the individual most likely to purchase those drinks? Your article suggests that not tasting the alcohol is a bad thing, however these drinks are likely designed with that exact idea in mind, marketing to a young crowd (“18-year-old sorority girls”) who have no desire to taste alcohol.

Mixed Review: Pillsbury's Halloween Funfetti Cake

@dmcavanagh - Surprise! You're right - you win a prize! According to this website:

the number 1 ingredient is sugar, followed by flour, soybean oil, starch and baking powder.

Serious Reads: Empty Pleasures, by Carolyn de la Pena

@dbcurrie; @lemonfair - It's not off the wall at all - in fact that exact theory is being tested right now by neuroscientists (such as Dr. Pierce at the link posted in my original comment).

Mixed Review: Vosges Caramel Toffee Chocolate Chunk Brownies

maztec - First off, this is a "mixed review," not a "recipe review" - thus, Lucy reviews mixes. If you want a brownie recipe, go to the recipes tab at the top and search brownies.

Second of all, I've never seen French sea salt kissed toffee at my local grocery store, so I'm actually pretty confident that it would not, in fact, be easier to make these brownies from scratch. Gathering together the correct ingredients would undoubtedly be a headache, and more work that it was worth if I could just pick up a box mix. Particularly for those of us who don't have any intention of making this sort of recipe frequently.

Serious Reads: Empty Pleasures, by Carolyn de la Pena

I actually work with a professor at the University of Alberta who is currently conducting research on the relationship between low-calorie content beverages (diet pop) and obesity among rats. It's research in its infancy, but very interesting nonetheless.

Mixed Review: Crate & Barrel Soft Pretzels

@dbcurrie - You got it, and with rhyming no less!

Pretzels are such a pain in the butt to make, but SO delicious that it's almost worth it. The baking soda bath is what takes them to another level, but also (at least in my kitchen) what makes the biggest mess, takes the most time and it's the most labour intensive part (putting them in 1-2 at a time, pulling them out, drying them off, etc).

Mexican Food You've Maybe Never Heard of: Mixiote

Oh my god, I want this!

Also, there should be some sort of regular weekly Mexican cooking/food spotlight on SE's. Just my opinion.

Help! My oven is broken!

My oven recently broke (elements only, the stovetop still works) and the repair people said we would have to send our control panel away for inspection to see if it could be repaired. This means we would be completely range-less (both oven and stovetop) for a minimum of 1 week, if not longer.

We've been putting it off for a few weeks now, but we really need to just bite the bullet and do it. Going without an oven has been do-able, but I don't know how I'm going to last without burners for 7+ days. We have a bbq (but it doesn't have any outdoor burner, just the bbq) and a microwave.

I'm looking for suggestions on ways to plan for a week or more without my range. I don't mind bbq'ed meat and veggies, but I don't think I can do it for days on end. Any recipes I can prepare in advance using my burners, and store for later use, that are reheatable in either the microwave or on the bbq?

Why No Canadian Love, SE?

We like food too! We also have good restaurants and enjoy delicious food! (Pssst: I'm not just talking about Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal....if you can keep a secret: *glances left and right; moves in closer* there are actually other cities in Canada).

Oh Canada, why does SE not love you?

Suggestions/Advice on Cooking Chicken Breast on the BBQ

I'm having a few friends over for dinner on Sunday, and I'm planning on BBQing a salmon, which satisfies all but one of my friends (who doesn't eat fish). I asked her what she would like instead of salmon, and she said "chicken breast."

Growing up, my mother and brother were both allergic to chicken, so I never really ate it. I then became a vegetarian from the age of about 15 until a few months ago, so I've never purchased or prepared any chicken before, and I've ate it myself probably 2 dozen times (mostly KFC at primary school events, etc).

Does anyone have any advice about cooking chicken on the BBQ, or any easy recipes that would satisfy? I'm only cooking two breasts (just for the one friend) so I don't need a lot of marinade or sauce, just enough for the two breasts.

For the salmon, I'm making a marinade consisting of red wine, soya sauce, brown sugar, curry powder, thyme and olive oil (the brown sugar is rubbed on, then sits in the sauce marinating for a few hours). I don't know if that's an OK marinade for a chicken breast, or if something else would be better.


Do you eat while reading Serious Eats?

I am absolutely guilty of this. I'll either get my food together, and then open up SE or Photograzing and eat, or I'll be reading through SE and then get really hungry and have to get something to eat.

Unfortunately, 9/10 times when I go get something to eat while reading, I'm too lazy and hungry to make any of the delicious recipes I'm reading about, so I end up grabbing a bowl of cereal. Then I get back to my computer and eat my sad, pathetic cereal while looking at the delicious recipes I should have made.

Homemade Mexian Food - Is it authentic?

Let me preface this by saying that I live in Canada, and the closest I've ever been to Mexico is a week I spent in Las Vegas several years ago. I have NO direct knowledge of Mexican food or culture. The only things I know are recipes online and things I see on TV or in magazines/books.

What I'm wondering is, how "authentic" is the Mexican food that I make at home? We regularly make:
1) Burritos (consisting of refried beans, rice, tomatoes, onions, hot sauce, cheese and avocado in a tortilla)
2) Huevos rancheros (consisting of a fried tortilla topped with refried beans, a simmered tomato/pepper/spice mixture, cheese, onion, avocado and fried eggs - and sometimes fried potatoes)
3) Taco Salad - Basically a garden salad (lettuce, tomato, onion) topped with cheese and chilli, refried beans or baked black beans and eaten with pita chips or taco chips.
4) Mexican Lasagna - Layers of tortillas, refried beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, onions "lasagna" style and baked.

I always call this "faux" Mexican food when I'm cooking it. Does anyone familiar with Mexican food eat anything even remotely similar to this stuff, or is it all just bad Americanized (or in my case, Canadian) versions of Mexican food?

Freezer Food Ideas For New Mother

My sister is pregnant with her first child and due in a little while. Her and her husband are quite well off, and have pretty much purchased everything they need for the first little while of the baby’s life. However, my sister LOVES to eat, but HATES to cook (and is a terrible cook). So I was thinking that as a gift to her, instead of buying her something that she doesn't really need or already has, I would make her some freezer safe, easy to reheat meals/snacks so she has one less thing to worry about during the first little while of being a new mom.

So here's my question: I'm looking for menu ideas that are delicious, don't require a lot (or any) prep for someone to reheat, and that freeze well. I'm already planning on making some Lasagna/Spinach/Ricotta spirals that I know freeze well, and probably a variety of muffins for her to snack on. But I'm definitely looking for some main dishes/healthy ideas (not baked goods) that I could make for her.


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