A teen culinary afficionado

Culinary land mines

I always get duped with that "cashew cream". Regardless whether it's a thickener for curry or a vegan substitute, make it obvious where you use it; I'm allergic to it!

Open Thread: White Chocolate, Yay or Nay?

Never liked white chocolate. It's always so cloying and sweet - but after this post I might just have to invest in a bar at trader joe's.

NY vs. DC for a Californian

@sarahlizzy yes I know food should not be the determinant for college choices (as much as I'd like that, because it'd be a lot easier)!

I'm making this decision in parts, and weighing the pros and cons of a bunch of aspects of each school. Food options at the location happens to be just one of the factors

Snapshots from Hong Kong: Boiled Coke with Ginger and Lemon

Just made this, but it was too sweet so I diluted it with black tea. It is surprisingly good!

NY vs. DC for a Californian

Thank you all! At the moment NY is looking like a brighter option. I guess the subway will be my best friend, and I'm not sure how to feel about that. Should be fun!? Also, lots of variety is definitely something I'm looking for.

Behind the Scenes in Carrie's Home Kitchen

Steel cut oats & hot sauce omg what a beautiful combination.

Cacao Nib Almond Milk is Delicious and Easy to Make

@Lauren, yes I can eat peanuts, I'll give it a shot! I just love cacao. And @simon I was waiting for that reference hehe.

Cacao Nib Almond Milk is Delicious and Easy to Make

Do you think you could make milk from just the cacao beans? I have a hefty 4 pounds of them in my pantry, and I'm allergic to almonds/tree nuts.

What's your favorite way to prepare cauliflower?

I'm on the roasted boat. Broken into florets, with some olive oil, and essentially any seasoning you'd like - furikake, harissa, garam masala, whatever!

To think I used to dislike such a wonderful vegetable. How times have changed! My mom used to try to get us to eat it by covering it in cheese... so pairing cheese and cauliflower still weirds me out.

summer rolls - how much ahead of time can they be made?

@pooch punny one there!
My mom's trick is to tightly wrap them in plastic, and then stick 'em in the microwave for about 15 seconds if they come out of the fridge.
If you don't want to do that/have more time take them out of the fridge ~2 hours before serving.

First Look: A Palatial Ladurée Tea Salon Opens in Soho

Darn nuts in everything, ugh.

What's For Dinner?

We had chicken Rendang with a Vietnamese cabbage & herb salad with fish sauce dressing. Store bought curry pastes really ease the process, but still maintain that complex flavor.

Sunday Brunch: Mushrooms, Bacon, and Asparagus Topped With Eggs

That is egg yolk gold.

What food would you miss most as a vegan?

Could never do it because I'm allergic to nuts, so I'd wither away of some nutritional deficiency :(

Plus I enjoy things like chinese sausage, buttery shortbreads, custard cream, and a good, flaky, steamed fish a little too much.

What do I need from the Korean grocery store?

Roasted barley and roasted corn for tea. And of course all of the above.

The Food Lab: For the Best Baba Ganoush, Go For a Spin

Love baba ganoush (it made me love eggplant), and I, too, go for the food processor method. Also, I second the request for tahini recommendations!

savory or sweet breakfast?

I go for sweet in the morning - but only as sugary as the natural sweetness from dried or fresh fruits with my morning oatmeal.

Savory breakfasts happen about once a week. I feel they take more time to put together than sweet ones.

Most underrated foods?

I second the parsley. Also, okra, cabbage, broccoli stems, Vietnamese desserts, street grilled corn, water chestnuts, and morcilla.

Lake Trout With Nuoc Mam Gung and Broccoli

This dish is heavenly, & the nuoc mam gung really makes it!

Perfect Banh Mi Baguette?

This looks pretty promising, though I've never tried the recipe. She also includes some valid pointers which I imagine will be useful.

Beanless Chili - love or hate it?

@meatntaters, but beans ARE nutritious! Triple fiber/carb/protein source!

Anyway, I like beans in my chili. Typically red kidney beans. Not too much, maybe equal amount of beans : meat. It's like the anchor, the "rice" equivalent or whatever, that makes chili a hearty, filling meal.

At the same time I realize most of my chili are full of dark leafy greens, roasted corn, lots of bell peppers and tomatoes, and even sometimes (gasp) zucchini, so maybe my take on chili is untraditional.

Valentine's dessert for sour gummy candy loving wife?

Well, you could also go diy style and make homemade sour gummies:

or maybe something with candied sour fruit? Perhaps candied orange peel cookies?

This is so sweet by the way, best of luck :)

Duck Burgers With Pickled Fennel and Prune Mayonnaise

Darn this is so clever. With the prune mayonnaise... it's almost peking duck & plum sauce-esque

My Favorite Lunar New Year Dish: Fish Salad for a Crowd

I've never heard of this, but it sounds delicious! I'll be on the lookout from now on.

7 Great Asian Noodle Soups in Boston

Loooove Banh Canh Cua!

NY vs. DC for a Californian

I'm from California, and my goal for myself in college (besides well, getting a degree) is to get on over to the other side of the country.
I'm asking all of you (who have lived/live in NY/DC & maybe even come from CA) which location will not shock me into returning to my home state, but will still introduce me to new (food) experiences? I'm also curious as to which city you think will be better suited for a college student. Where is it easier to survive and still be able to indulge my culinary curiosities?
For those of you who want more specifics, I'm referring to CUNY Hunter College and George Washington University.

What do you think about Yelp/Foursquare?

Hi all,

I'm just wondering, what do you think of restaurant-social media sites like yelp and foursquare?

I personally use yelp to find nearby restaurants, to "check-in" and see where my friends are checked-in, view images of the place, and write short reviews.

The yelp rating of the restaurant DOES have an affect on my initial opinion of the place, but that being said, I'm not too picky because reviewers opinions are so spread. For example, a place that one girl might 'really like' gets 5 stars, while that same place gets 3 by someone else because the service was slow. What are your thoughts?

Sticky/waxy/glutinous corn on the cob

I buy this type of corn on the cob steamed from a Lee's Sandwiches near my house. It's also sold at the Chinese and Korean grocery stores, presteamed and frozen.

My mom, who grew up in Vietnam, said that she hasn't seen this variety that often since her childhood. It has a wonderfully chewy, sticky texture when you bite into each kernel. Also, they aren't as sweet as regular corn.

I've seen them both yellow, or yellow with some brown kernels. They are always plump and shiny.

Have you ever had sticky corn? What are your thoughts on it?

Sheep heart? (Not for the squeamish!!)

Warning guys, this isn't completely about food. It's about a dissection, too.

I was doing a dissection in my physiology class this morning of a sheep heart. The muscle is mostly covered in a fatty outer layer. In order to help us orient the heart for our dissection, we were instructed to try and remove some of the hard, white fat on the exterior of the upper part of the heart.

When we were cutting it off, we used a scalpel and it came off in slices. Then I got a horribly sick revelation. It looked, and worse, smelled like sheep's milk cheese. I'm completely serious here, it looked like someone was slicing off pieces of Manchego, and I could smell it. It was white, and firm, but wasn't quite as oily as cheese. But still, ugh.

So, has anyone else experienced anything similar? It must be because sheep has such a distinct smell, it just permeates the whole animal. Eh, I don't know how I feel about that.

Vermicelli in Rice

I've noticed in rice that I get at mediterranean restaurants (I can't name their countries of origin off the top of my head) has little brown/golden colored noodles in the rice. Why is this? And does anyone have the recipe for this amazing rice?

Honey for dipping pizza crusts?

Recently I've been told that two chicago-style pizza places in the bay area have begun to offer a side of honey (Patxi's and Blue Line)
Apparently, you're meant to dip the crusts in it once you're finished eating the middle. Has anyone had this? Is it any good, or is this just blasphemous pizza practice?

Uses for raw cacao beans?

I just got 4 lbs of cacao beans for christmas. As much as I love them, I don't see myself being able to polish off the whole bag. Any ideas for not too decadent ways to use them up?

I don't want to make any more sweets since I'm giving myself a break after the holidays. I've already made a batch of date-cacao spread (dates + cacao in a food processor).

Great food/travel writers or books?

I'm writing my college essay this month about "a place or environment where I am perfectly content". I've chosen to write about visiting an ethnic market, as it's one of my favorite pass-times and I feel it makes me unique. Do you know of any great food/travel writers, or books perhaps, where I can draw inspiration? I'm having difficulty capturing the space in words. Thanks so much!

How do you eat whole artichokes?

I have been blessed with a half dozen of whole globe artichokes leftover from a thanksgiving table centerpiece.

The first two, I simply steamed and ate plain, as I enjoy the delicate flavor of the artichoke by itself.

However, I'm looking for some other ways to eat the rest. Any dipping sauces, besides a butter or oil based ones, that are good to dip the leaves in? I'd also prefer to eat the artichokes whole rather than just use the hearts.

Other uses for an Air Popper?

I have an Orville Redenbacher Hot Air Popper that I use for popcorn. Are there any other things I can use it for (ex. grains)?

*I read rice in a popcorn popper shatters into flaming pieces, so I'd rather not try that.

Salvage Sad Zucchini, HELP! :(

I have a party tonight and one of the side dishes I prepared was two huge trays of baked breaded zucchini. Unfortunately most of the breading fell off, and the breading that did stay on is not even crunchy. :( I went ahead and baked the strips of zucchini for 20 minutes, but they are just unacceptable.

How can I salvage two trays worth of baked and soggy breadcrumb coated zucchini strips?

Sour Cold Brew?

Hi, I've been trying to cold brew my coffee in effort to remove the acidity. I know cold brew is supposed to eliminate this, but for some reason my coffee comes out MORE sour than it would've been if I'd run it through a regular old coffee machine. Is there a reason why?

My methods (that I remember): Trial 1 - In french press, place 1 part coffee to 3 parts water. Let sit for 24 hours in fridge with plunger on, but in up position. Results - WAY TOO SOUR

Trial 2 - In french press, place 1 part coffee to 3 parts water. Let sit for 12 hours on the counter covered in plastic wrap. Leave plunger aside. Results - Still sour :'(

Trial 3 - In a jar, place 1 part coffee to 3 parts water. Seal jar and let sit for 24 hours. Strain when finished. Results - Weak Coffee with slight acidity.

Also, is there anyway to remove acidity in already brewed coffee? I have a ton of sour coffee lying around now. I heard egg shells, but I'm a bit skeptical.

Beignets vs. Donuts

What's the difference? I'm going to New Orleans tuesday and can't wait to get my hands on a beignet, but I can't figure out what distinguishes a beignet from a donut!

On a side note, any tips on New Orleans? I'm staying a few blocks from the French Quarter.

On Paula Deen

How do you feel now that Paula Deen has been cut from Food Network? What are your opinions of her as a chef?

I'm curious to see how other people view the now-controversial chef. Personally, I'm rather indifferent about the whole mishap and her cooking style.

Silken Tofu Ideas?

Hey, I'm getting an oral surgery today and stocked up on silken tofu. I know I'm going to make smoothies for sure, any ideas for other things I can make?

Oh yeah, I am to avoid spicy, excessively salty food so Soondubu Jjigae is out :(

Pantry Essentials: All About Wasabi

Wasabi is a condiment that many of us first encountered in the context of sushi — it was largely unknown outside of Japan until the North American sushi boom of the 1980s. That unfamiliarity may explain why most of us still haven't encountered real wasabi—but we've developed a taste for the thing we think is wasabi. More

The Food Lab: For the Best Baba Ganoush, Go For a Spin

I used to hate all things eggplant. Until I had my first taste of really great baba ganoush. It was made by a good friend of mine, an Israeli line cook who'd take time out of her afternoon to hover over the eggplants slowly charring over the open flames of the kitchen's burners, waiting until they were meltingly tender, before recruiting me to carefully peel them before she'd mix them up with lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and olive oil. The resulting dip was simultaneously smoky, savory, bright, and creamy...and I was addicted. More

How to Find and Order Great Pizza in New York

As a New Yorker, I'm unfit to make the call on whether or not we have the best pizza in the world. It's against my basic upbringing to even entertain the notion that our pizza, bagels, pastrami, and hot dogs aren't the best. But if you, as a visitor to our fair city, want to make the call for yourself, you should start by getting the best that the city has to offer. More

Asian Cauliflower Fried "Rice" From 'Nom Nom Paleo'

What did a rice-lover like Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo do to satisfy the craving once she switched to a Paleo (a.k.a. rice-free) diet? Started making rice from cauliflower, of course. Okay, perhaps cauliflower "rice" is not an obvious choice to anyone unfamiliar with the Paleo diet, but the bright white vegetable makes for a texturally similar dish to rice once spun around in a food processor for a few minutes. More

Pantry Essentials: All About Ketchup

Ketchup may be the king of all condiments. It's a ubiquitous presence on tables in just about every home in North America, and its sweet, tangy flavor is as familiar and reassuring as a hug. Ketchup seems quintessentially American, yet it's evolved dramatically from Asian roots into the product we know and love today. So what makes ketchup, well...ketchup? More