Equipment: The $29 Thermopop Digital Thermometer Measures Up

@ALRUI will not ship this item to Canada and doesn't sell it.

The $14.00 shipping cost is from

Equipment: The $29 Thermopop Digital Thermometer Measures Up

$14.00 to ship to Canada...blarrrgh. Really wanted to buy two of these but I'll pass until they start offering fair shipping costs.

When Breakfast Gets "Weird"

I have a co-worker that microwaves a frozen mac n cheese entree every morning. The smell of that at 8am is very unappealing to me.
Just keep in mind when eating at the office, a lot of people do not have an appetite in the mornings, and strong food smells can be unpleasant or even nauseating.
I call lunch fair game in the odour department..but I know a lot of people want nothing to do with food before 10am and it's nice to be respectful of that.

Let's vent, shall we?

My mom will add milk to the bottle of nearly empty ranch dressing so as to not to waste any. There's nothing like unknowingly dumping watery ranch dressing onto your salad.
She also keeps fresh bread in the fridge because she thinks it will go stale if left out.

In search of: Popcorn Popper

Another vote for the Whirleypop here. I've had one for a few years now and it produces the best homemade popcorn I've ever had. I use about 1.5 teaspoons of coconut oil and within 2 minutes of turning the crank, you've got fresh, hot and flavourful popcorn. I've also had good results using safflower oil..although the popcorn doesn't end up as flavourful or aromatic.

I will say that it is a bit hard to clean...after many years of weekly use I find mine now has some built up sticky oil residue on the outside.

Have you ever been just a little sneaky?

I often make Kenji's potato chip Spanish tortilla but don't mention to anyone that it's made with chips instead of regular potatoes.

The Food Lab: How to Make Creamy Vegetable Soups Without a Recipe

I have a question about using dairy (cream, milk, buttermilk). Most recipes I have read, say not to stir in the dairy until the very end of cooking, and only to keep it on the heat long enough to warm through. Your method indicates that you can simmer your veg in dairy. Will this not cause it to separate?

The Serious Eats Guide to Ramen Styles

When I was in elementary school (in the early 90s) the huge trend in lunches was to eat the ramen noodles raw, crushed up and sprinkled with the seasoning packet. This sparked an urban legend that eating the raw noodles could give you worms.

Around the same time, it was also trendy to eat Jello powder straight from the package. Such nutritious food trends we had in the 90s! ;)

Polenta With Winter Salad, Poached Egg, and Blue Cheese From 'Feast'

The only thing labelled 'polenta' in the grocery store (in Canada) is the tubes of pre-cooked stuff. The rest is all just 'cornmeal' so hence the confusion. We don't have 'grits' up here either.

Polenta With Winter Salad, Poached Egg, and Blue Cheese From 'Feast'

This may be a silly question, but I've never made polenta before. When you say in the recipe, 1 cup of polenta...that just means 1 cup of regular cornmeal ?

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few notes to share from my experience with this recipe:
- cookies had a delicious toffee flavour that was probably enhanced by the 3 days I aged the dough
- not enough chocolate for me, although this is my error as I used semisweet chips instead of the chopped chocolate.
- the cookies were much cakier than I was expecting based on Kenji's description of a 'chewy' cookie.

Will be making this one again and using chopped chocolate instead of chips!

Eat This Now: Zapp's Voodoo Potato Chips at Bon Bon Sandwiches

The flavour description sounds kind of like the All-Dressed flavour of chips that we have in Canada. All-Dressed doesn't have a 'jalapeno-like finish' though.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't have a stand mixer. Can I achieve good results with this recipe using a hand mixer with standard beaters?

In Praise of Brickle

I make a version of crack using Breton crackers as the base. Cover with the brown sugar/butter mixture and then top with white chocolate chips, drizzle with melted peanut butter and sprinkled with sliced toasted almonds. It's so delicious and pretty looking.

Giveaway: Win A Copy of 'Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese'

Amazingly, I have never had it...

I have never had:
Twinkies (not sure if we even have them in Canada)
Taco Bell
Lucky Charms
White sausage gravy
Pillsbury toaster strudels
Strawberry milk (hate strawberries)
Chef Boyardee or any form of canned pasta

Girls "book club" night entertaining EMERGENCY!!!

Kenji's spinach and mushroom lasagna or his foolproof pan pizza

Macaroni and Cheese with Chickpeas and Spinach

Can someone help me out with the 'American cheese' part of the recipe? I live in Canada, and I thought American cheese was the same thing as Kraft Singles. So I'm confused as to how one would grate a piece of cheese like that as it calls for in the recipe.

Taste Test: New Ritter Sport Winter Edition Chocolates

Cornflake Ritter Sport for the win!

Basic Square Pan Pizza Dough Recipe (Sicilian-Style Dough)

So if I'm reading the instructions correctly, if you don't use a stand mixer you have to let the dough rest for 8 - 15 hours. And if you do use a stand mixer you only need to let the dough rest for 2 hours? Damn...I really need to invest in a stand mixer.

Indian Pre-cooked Instant Entrees

My current favourite quick meal is to cook some chicken pieces in the Kitchens of India Onion & Yogurt sauce. Served on top of basmati rice mixed with green peas. If I have extra time I also roast some cauliflower in the oven and then mix it in with the chicken and sauce.
The onion & yogurt sauce is the only one I've found that's not too spicy for me!

Most annoying food personalities

There are so many annoying Canadian food personalities! Roger Mooking, Nadia G, Anna Olson, Janet & Greta Podleski, Ricardo (of Ricardo and friends). Michael Smith's dialogue is so corny and the way he speaks is infuriating! Yet I still watch his show.

American...Duff Goldman, Anne Burrell, Jamie Deen

Taste Test: The Best Ketchup

Or there is always Canadian Heinz which is sweetened with liquid sugar, not HFCS.

Do you eat off the back of the fork? Why?

I will confess...I started eating the European way solely because it made me feel classier and more sophisticated. But once you get the hang of it, it does seem much more efficient than switching hands and setting your knife down every time you need to cut something.

Taste Test: The Best Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

I like to stir in a big spoonful of creme fraiche to up the creaminess and tanginess. I have also been known to purchase a box, remove the cheese packet and mix it in with gourmet quality pasta instead.

When I was a kid I had a friend that liked to add a ton of milk to it so that it basically ended up being orange soup with noodles floating in it. The thought of it still makes me shudder.

Best brand of soft tortilla?

I'm a Canadian and heading down to Ogdensburg, NY this weekend to do some shopping. I want to pick up some soft tortillas from the grocery store and I was wondering what brands people would recommend?
To clarify...I'm looking for a mexican style tortilla (corn or flour). The tortillas they sell in Canada are dry, tough and downright terrible.

The stores I will have access to are Walmart and PriceChopper.

Thanks for your suggestions!

Hungarian goulash fail..where did I go wrong?

I tried out Chef Michael Smith's recipe for Hungarian Goulash this past weekend. It turned out incredibly bitter. I had to add 2 quarts of beef stock, a can of tomato paste and a few tbsp. of sugar in order to get rid of the bitterness. I'm wondering if the variety of paprika I used was the culprit?

The recipe called for 1/2 cup sweet paprika. After going to 3 different grocery stores, all of the paprika I found was just labelled simply 'paprika'.

Do you think the paprika was to blame or is the recipe as written missing water or stock to make it less concentrated?

Here is the recipe and the link:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 large onions, sliced
1 head garlic cloves, halved
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 cup sweet paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 3-pound chuck roast, trimmed and cut in 1-inch cubes
4 carrots, chopped
3 cups Hungarian red wine or other red wine
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1. Preheat your oven to 325ºF and turn on your convection fan if you have one.
2. For the goulash heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onions, garlic and peppers and slowly cook without browning, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the paprika and caraway seeds and continue cooking at very low heat for a minute or two. Toss in the beef, carrots, red wine, bay leaves and salt. Continue cooking just to bring the works to a simmer, then transfer to the oven. Cover and bake until the beef is tender, about 3 hours. Stir in the vinegar.

Do beans need to be refrigerated while soaking?

This will be my first attempt at making baked beans. I started soaking my beans (white pea beans) at 7pm last night with the intent to put them into the slow cooker around 8am. I did not put them in the fridge while soaking as none of the recipes indicated it was necessary. Welll I ran out of time this morning and did not get the beans into the slow cooker. That means they will be soaking at room temperature for another 7 hours or so. I figure soaking for around 24 hours will be ok, it just means I can shorten the cooking time. My main question is...will the beans be safe to eat after soaking at room temperature for 24 hours?

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