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Mixed Review: Dr. Oetker Mug Cake Mix

I've made this, and it is, in truth, delicious. I bought it after a late night shift during the holidays and was delirious with excitement about the prospect of "MUGCAKE!!" (one word, thank you). The caramel flavor is not as delicious--too sweet and not enough toasted-sugar-caramel flavor to balance it out. I bought two boxes to try because the display had coupons!

How Pastry Chef Ghaya Oliveira Rose to One of New York's Most Prominent Pastry Positions

I love that more women are rising to top positions in haute cuisine and fine dining. So long it's been a man's world, and "old school" sexism. It's tough work, but that doesn't mean a lady isn't up for the task. Go Ghaya!

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

mmmm, sliders! I could watch a football game in the background while marveling over amazing sliders!

Nathan Wyburn, Pizza Portraitist Extraordinaire

doesn't look like much cheese in the toppings, so it is really "pizza"? I was hoping he somehow used a microblowtorch to brown "shadows" into the pizza surface. That would be more impressive!

Dessert is Just as Unique as Dinner at Hitchcock on Bainbridge Island, Near Seattle

I always put loads of crystallized ginger in my sticky toffee pudding, natural combo! ginger sorbet sounds awesome.

Parfait in Seattle Isn't Just a Scoop Shop, It's an 'Ice Cream Patisserie'

agree on the slideshow... neither firefox or safari are showing it

Staff Picks: What's Your Recipe Deal-Breaker?

grilling. it's cold, wet, and dark this time of year, and charcoal takes too long.

cucumbers. they're not coming in my house.

fresh herbs that I can't substitute or do without in a recipe. I have some fresh herb pastes I get from the produce dept, but if it's there to just "brighten" the flavor, plain ol' pasta or potatoes are probably fine. they just go slimey in my fridge.

deep frying isn't a deal breaker, but I broke my deep fryer and haven't thoroughly investigated my new-to-me deep cast iron pan. Fried chicken is coming soon to a plate near me!

Cobb Salad-Inspired Brussels Sprouts With Lemon Vinaigrette

Taste Test: Frozen Versus Fresh Pearl Onions

I throw haricot in frozen into a frying pan, sometimes with a short tablespoon of water just to create a little more steam. A little olive oil or butter is okay. I have ceramic pans these days, and sometimes use no oil, and just put some on at the end. I find the steam helps mitigate any freezer burn, but you don't want too much or they get soggy. Cook until the water is gone and beans are a nice bright green color. If they seemed super icey, I'll even press them a bit with my spatula to drive out more water/brown outsides. If you like soft beans, frozen are fine. If you like a little snap, stick with fresh. I got them as an emergency veg when I want something green and don't have anything else on hand.

Quick Morning Beans and Fried Eggs

sounds good, I'll just need the broiled tomato (toe-MAH-toe), sausage, and the black pudding!

Bake the Book: Desserts for Every Season

Winter, Sticky Toffee Pudding!

Win Pop Chart Lab's Huge 'The Magnificent Multitude of Beer' Print

I love Oakshire Brewing In Eugene, OR. All of their beers are delicous, including my favorite Line Dry Rye. Also Pelican is pretty darn great. There are so many more awesome ones... Ninkasi, Deschutes, Rogue, Laurelwood, Hop Valley, Hopworks, Bridgeport, Widmer, Caldera, Upright Brewing, gosh...

Dominique Ansel's Latest is a Gingerbread Pinecone Pastry

I would love to try any of his creations. The prices are totally reasonable too for how much work and care goes into the desserts. Props, man.

First Look: Bluebird Bakers, Portland OR

love these guys at Bluebird--they are so nice! Try their dark choc cookie that's made thumbprint style with a big gooey center of salted caramel. I like it more than the salted choc chunk! Their brown butter oatmeal has been decribed to me by other people as the best cookie in entire world. I still like the chocolate variations better.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Ice and Water

Makes a big difference, tea is one of the clearest examples for me. Tea can taste dramatically different based on the local water. I choose different flavors depending where I am and I know the water's gonna be harsh (i.e. southern california). I haven't thought of spirits as a similar thing. I think a fair number of coffee shops have filtration devices for their water, I would think conscientious bars follow suit.

World's First Lab-Grown Burger Unveiled Today

I'm excited--better for the environment, no need for extra hormones/anti-biotics, and as a meat lover, I can now eat more of the taste I love it without feeling guilty. It sounds like it could be safer in terms of food outbreaks since I guessing there are fewer points in the food chain where it could get contaminated (e. coli, etc.). It's probably healthier at this point since it doesn't have the fat engineered into it, it's lacking the saturated fats that make meat not such a good choice sometimes.

Sign me up for a lab burger!

Tater Tots x Nachos = Totchos

One of the local 24-hr cheap mexican joints has Carne Asada Fries. French fries topped with mini shred cheese, guac, sour cream, and lots of greasy carne asada. They also do a decent chicken version. We get it frequently enough for post-drinking munchies. It's so bad for you that we've made a rule you can't get it while the sun is shining, it's not for a normal meal. Totally salty, greasy, and delicious. Tots would be amazing!

Gin and Tonic Sorbetto

hmm... agree on the gin part. This sounded SO promising. Sad. Seems like the main flavor is going to be sugar water given the ratio of ingredients. I think this does make a pint, but still. Maybe I need to just make more of a gin slushy, I guess if I put more in outright that's what would happen? Not a bad idea.

Bake the Book: The Ice Creamists

oh man I need this. I have Jeni's Ice Cream book, and I've used David Lebovitz's book, but this one looks like it has some new tricks. Favorite ice cream: ANYTHING WITH CARAMEL. Yes please!

Dear Tim's Potato Chips: I Think I'm in Love

Love Kettle, love Tim's, love Boulder Canyon. I work in a big fancy food store here in Oregon and I get prime access to all sorts of delicious crunchies. I've got a whole line-up of favorite dips, corn chips, and salsas to go with any snack fix I need. Free samples from vendors are part of important "research."

Video: Inside the Mind of a Pro Cookie Decorator – Are Cookies an Art Form?

Cooking in home kitchens varies state by state, each state has it's own rules. Your thoughts about commissary kitchens is true, in other places it's more lax, like you can cook in your own kitchen, but there's some rules about keeping equipment seperate, sanitation requirements, and an inspection.

As a cookie decorator, hell yes it's an art. Color theory, artistic intent, as well as technique all come together to make an appealing cookie. Get one thing off and they quickly look sloppy. Nobody says "Oooh, I'll have the cookie that looks like a mistake!" Beautiful cookies = yummy cookies

Father's Day Giveaway: Win a Jumbo Cowboy Chop Steak

beans and pan fried potatoes. brown food all the way! Classic dad.

Tanoshi Sushi is the Holy Grail of New York Sushi Restaurants

beautiful post, Kenji. More poetic than your usual voice, but I think suiting to the subject matter. Thanks for sharing!

Ask a Cicerone: What's The Weirdest Beer You've Tried?

Oh, I've tried the Elysian beet beer mentioned on one of the slides, it was super pretty, and did have a definite beet flavor. Just earthy & slightly sweet, so-so as a beer? I've tried mushroom beers, rose beers, and lots of spicy chile beers. The spicy beers go awesome with burgers, some made from even chipotle can sneak up on you by halfway through the pint (I bet the brewing concentrates the flavor oils quite a bit). I've had Hatch chile ones that are pretty darn mild, and just have more of a vegetal funk.

Ask a Cicerone: What's The Weirdest Beer You've Tried?

I keep trying beers with smoked malt grains, hoping they will be good. They range from lightly-campfired to someone-put-out-their-cigarette-in-my-beer. I love smokey food, but the smokey beers don't work out.

Other ones include the Rogue Beard beer (can't remember the name), made with yeast from their head brewer's beard. Really. Mostly kinda Belgian.

Tried all kinds of seasonal weird ones, made with fruitcake (I think it was ~14%!), fruits, vegetables, flowers (chamomile comes to mind), nuts (coconut stout), chilies, you name it. Lots of single batch stuff from inventive breweries makes it to my local watering hole in Oregon.

Coffee-based Cocktails: Recommendations

I am gearing up for another cocktail research session with my posse, and was wondering if anyone had some good recipes or interesting ideas of drinks to share. We are hoping to do an exploration with brewed coffee as a base, and adding various liquors to make riffs on Spanish Coffee, Irish Coffee, etc., to see what flavors seem to pair better, and try a few unconventional combinations. We may also experiment making cocktails with coffee liquor as well--White Russians and the like, but we'd like to keep that as sort of a side interest.

What are some of the best coffee-based drinks you've tried? Do you have a favorite coffee roast or blend that you like to pair with alcohol? Interesting flavor ideas as points of experimentation to suggest?

Cheers!

Homemade Mallomar Bars

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti] Bite through the crunchy buttery graham cracker, the silky vanilla marshmallow, and the deep dark chocolate, and you just might find yourself muttering "Nabisco who?" Notes: Avoid overwhipping the marshmallow or it will cool down and... More