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heddylamar

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

I forgot some essentials: hand crank burr grinder and aero press.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

I've done this a time or two (military brat, wife, frequent mover) and having learned from my mother pack a box with:

Paper towels
Chef knife
Paring knife (or, more frequently, pocket knife)
Cutting board
5 qt Dutch oven (or similar pot)
Cast iron skillet
Mid-size mixing bowl
Place settings (2 for us)
Water bottles
Sponge
Dish soap
Salt, pepper and small bottle of olive oil
Trash bags

Manner Matters: How to Curb an Over-Orderer

I am that girl. Give me a new to me, well-regarded place and I will be tempted to order everything.

Between myself and my mother, we attempted to order 2/3 of the vegetarian menu at an Indian restaurant. The waiter finally exclaimed "too much, too much!" while my husband just covered his face :-)

It was too much, but the leftovers were fantastic.

Manner Matters: Can I Bring My Own Tonic Water?

No no no no. If you are a regular, ask the restaurant to stock a bottle or two of tonic. Otherwise, grow up and order something else.

Win a Copy of 'Salad Samurai'

Roasted kale, potato and tahini

Know Your Tahini: The Many Sides of a Sesame Powerhouse

+1 on the fridge. We go through a jar (tin?) rather rapidly, so it probably wouldn't have time to go rancid, but I'd rather not get a nasty surprise.

In addition to the above, I use it in potato kale salad.

The Bloody Mary: The History and Science of an Oddball Classic

@magtured & marais

I was just coming here to add the all-important gin. Vodka is used on occasion, when someone's left the remnants of a bottle after a party, but if I'm planning to make a bloody mary as a treat, only gin will do.

Win a Copy of 'Fruitful: Four Seasons of Fresh Fruit Recipes'

Pack Your Picnic Basket Like a Pro: Essential Gadgets for Your Next Outing

Cute picnic basket!

Win a Serious Eats Edition KettlePizza Baking Steel Combo for Father's Day!

fresh jalapeños and pineapple

Bake the Book: A Lighter Way to Bake

Tiramisu (husband)
strawberry shortcake (husband)
pecan pie (me)

Meet Your New Potluck Dessert: Texas Sheet Cake

I use coffee, not buttermilk.

Bake the Book: Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?

How do you avoid overspending?

@lemonfair: Cocktails, of course! :-)

How do you avoid overspending?

I break down my lists into three things:

1) Perishable staples: eggs, milk for cappuccinos, onions, carrots for the horses, lettuce (or any greens on sale for the cavys), etc.
2) Pantry staples: olive oil, maraschino cherries, vinegars, chili sauce, sugar, flour, wasa crackers, oatmeal, pb
3) # of dinners/lunches I will be cooking that week

The first is self-explanatory — those are the basic ingredients we always keep on hand. The second has a bit more ebb and flow. For instance, I note we're almost out of olive oil, so it goes on the list until either there's a sale or we are completely out. The same applies for sugar and flour (I stock up 2-3 times a year, when there's a sale), regular use condiments, dried rice and beans, etc.

With the third category there's flux based on 1) what looks good or, ideally, is in season 2) what looks good _and_ is a good price and occasionally coming into practice is 3) what is a good price.

Staff Picks: Design Your Dream Ben & Jerry's Flavor

@Mr. Nick: Try the new Hazed & Confused. It's far too sweet for me, so it may be something that really mocks the Nutella recipe.

@Jubjub: Agreed. None of the other flavors really catch my attention.

Manner Matters: Dealing with Dietary Demands

We face this regularly, both as guests and hosts. The solution is pretty simple: tell and ask when you accept/offer the invite.

As for myself, I tell the unimaginitive or tentative cooks I am vegetarian. Those who have the ability to think beyond that will be told of the dairy allergy. It won't kill me, just make me uncomfortable.

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

Thin flexi-plastic boards that go in the dishwasher.

When Breakfast Gets "Weird"

I prefer savory in the a.m. Leftover Thai, dal, spicy soups, apple & cheese ... and my normal looking, but not smelling oatmeal with an egg stirred in spiked with sesame oil, soy sauce and red pepper paste (plus fresh greens, if I have those on hand).

Deviled eggs

Coleman's mustard, sriracha and salt.

How do you like your hummus?

I never make it exactly the same twice, but always have tahini, garlic, lemon and a bit of oil. For oil, I skim the oil off the top of the tahini (I don't mix it in) to use in place of olive oil.

Add-ins vary: cilantro, chili peppers, roasted peppers and almost always a sprinkle of Harissa, za'atar or cayenne.

Culinary land mines

Northofboston -- those are the exact variety of B&B pickles I like. I add habaneros, Mom uses red pepper. I'll have to try the Thai chilis with this summer's batch.

Traveling Mac and Cheese questions

I've done this successfully several times. Tipsykit37's recommendations are spot on (though, I would never use American cheese :))

- thinner sauce
- less cooked pasta (8 min. v. 10)
- more liquid béchamel

Elbows have worked fine for me.

To transport, I drop the dish into a larger container lined with hot towels. Cover the whole thing with another hot towel, and it will still be warm 30-49 minutes later.

Culinary land mines

- Slimy greens, unintentional, I hope.
- Parsley, any.
- Candy-sweet salad dressings. Vinaigrettes should contain some vinegar. (I am not talking about the fruit vinaigrettes, rather savory-described varieties).

And to continue a theme, overly-sweet bread and butter pickles. I grew up on homemade B&B pickles with some spice, like Wickles. The sweet commercial variety are atrocious.

Another Where to Eat: Waikiki

Scenario: Vegetarian and vegetarian-leaning omnivore (aka no great big slabs of meat), spending part of trip with mixed group of omnivores.
Dislikes: no fryer-heavy, all blonde-toned meals.
Likes: adventurous, spicy, sour ... tend toward Ethiopian, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Mexican, good pizza.

The two main players want something they're not likely to find in the continental U.S.: Hawaiian cuisine? Good seafood (not shellfish) or sushi for the omnivore? Does Hawaii have a Hindu or Malaysian influx? Restaurants?

Jalapeño Jelly from 'Little Jars, Big Flavors'

I am not usually one for "semi-homemade" anything, but I take exception for one of the best hors d'oeurves of all time: store-bought pepper jelly slathered atop a block of cream cheese. The spicy sweetness of the jelly is a perfect match for the cool and tangy cheese, and it spreads gracefully atop many a cracker. But I'm willing to class up my act with some homemade jelly, and this verdant jalapeño and green bell pepper recipe from Southern Living's Little Jars, Big Flavors works even better than my usual grocery store grab. More

Raspberry Rhubarb Ginger Jam

Crystallized ginger melts into this tart raspberry-rhubarb jam, providing unexpected hints of heat and spice. The flavors are big and bold, so it would work best with straightforward baked goods that won't compete. More

Negroni Variations: 4 Recipes from Fiola in Washington, DC

Jeff Faile has crafted an evolving list of Negroni-inspired cocktails that occupies an entire page of Fiola's cocktail menu. Currently clocking in at six, the list includes a Negroni based on pisco, a clear version with Cocchi Americano and Dolin Blanc, and a richer one made with Barolo Chinato and Old Tom Gin. Each variation exposes new flavor possibilities for the drink. Lucky for you, we got the recipes for 4 favorites. More

Kale Greens in Coconut Milk from 'The Adobo Road Cookbook'

Kale salads and sauteed greens with chile flakes only go so far to satisfy my curious cravings, so I'm always looking for a new way to get my fix. Marvin Gapultos's recipe for Kale Greens in Coconut Milk is just the ticket: the greens are given a long-ish simmer in a potent mixture of thick coconut milk, shrimp paste, shrimp stock, and Thai chiles, emerging supple and succulent. More

Parsnip Muffins

These muffins get a little whole wheat flour and brown butter for nuttiness, plus a handful of dried cranberries to balance the sweetness. The parsnips are grated very roughly so they are only just cooked through and slightly crunchy, quite the opposite of hiding the vegetable. More

Green Herb and Kidney Bean Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi) from 'The New Persian Kitchen'

Herb stew sounds like one of those "recipes" I'd come up with as a kid poking around in the garden for kitchen experiments. After all, in Western cuisine, fresh herbs are usually added at the end of cooking for a burst of greenery and bright flavor. But according to Lousia Shafia, author of The New Persian Kitchen, herb-filled stews are some of the most famous in Iran. Her version is a lighter, vegetarian take on the green stew, filled with cubes of turmeric-laced tofu and fat red kidney beans. More

First Look: The Rye Bar, Washington DC

The Rye Bar has roughly a dozen ryes behind the 26-seat bar at any given time. Classic rye cocktails on the list get subtle twists: the Old(er) Fashioned uses an aged sherry instead of sugar, and the Manhattan, made with Dad's Hat Pennsylvania rye, Dolin sweet vermouth, Byrrh Quinquina, and housemade orange bitters, is aged in a 15 gallon barrel for six weeks to impart a subtle oaky funkiness that's proven to be extremely popular (Beverage director Will Rentschler went through his first batch of 250 Manhattans in a week). More

Make-Ahead Radish Fattoush Salad

If fattoush salad is not in your regular culinary vocabulary, add it in now. This Mediterranean bread salad is crunchy, fresh, colorful, and, like most good Mediterranean foods, stunningly good in its simplicity. Lucky you, this lunch hour! More