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jessie

Cook the Book: 'Yucatán' by David Sterling

Mexico! With a knowledgeable and bilingual guide.

Cook the Book: 'My Paris Kitchen' by David Lebovitz

A baguette with butter and salt

Bake the Book: Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop

Strawberry rhubarb? Never actually tried it, but I've been thinking about it lately...

Cook the Book: 'The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone' by Deborah Madison

Bean tostadas. Lately loving Anasazi beans.

Bake the Book: Frenchie

A croissant, please!

Giveaway: Win a Pair of California Wine Country Prints

Cook the Book: Lonely Planet's 'The World's Best Spicy Food'

Green chile from Horseman's Haven in Santa Fe, NM

Bake the Book: First Prize Pies

Cook the Book: 'My Irish Table' by Cathal Armstrong

Stew, soda bread, Guinness

Bake the Book: The Model Bakery Cookbook

Cook the Book: 'Down South' by Donald Link

Cook the Book: 'Spain' by Jeff Koehler

Patatas bravas

Cook the Book: The 'Roberta's' Cookbook

Leftover-fried-rice omelette

Cook the Book: 'Nom Nom Paleo' by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong

Bake the Book: Puddin'

Cook the Book: 'Daniel: My French Cuisine' by Daniel Boulud

Cook the Book: 'Whole-Grain Mornings' by Megan Gordon

Cinnamon toast

Bake the Book: Levi Roots' Sweet

Lemon squares!

Cook the Book: 'Feast' by Sarah Copeland

A simple salad

Bake the Book: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Book of Pie

Cook the Book: 'Lighten Up, America!'

Find ways to get my two sons to expand their palates a bit...

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: 'Round Things Are Tasty' Tote Bag

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

Green chile apple pie

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Baking Steel

Lemon makes savory foods taste sweet?

I've tried a number of savory recipes where lemon zest is included, most recently a chicken and kale baked pasta from this site. I'm pretty sure that the lemon is supposed to "brighten" flavors, but to me it always tastes intolerably sweet, almost as though I've added sugar. Does anyone else have this issue? Am I doing something wrong? I've never noticed this with a restaurant dish, and I assume the restaurants use lemon from time to time. (Oh, and in the case of the chicken/kale pasta, I used 1/2 the amount of lemon called for, because I was suspicious of this.)

Mostly wondering if I have really out-of-whack taste buds, and I'd appreciate any suggestions (other than, "Well, don't use the lemon!")

Making General Tso's Chicken at Home

I'm trying to recreate an old favorite version of General's Chicken that I remember from my student days. I've tried a few different versions that were good but not quite right, and so I'm hoping some SE-ers can help me brainstorm. I know that I want chicken thighs, deep-fried and crispy. The sauce that I'm aiming for is a thick, red, sweet-spicy sauce, and that's where I'm getting stuck. I assume I want soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and thai chiles. And probably some garlic and ginger. Maybe hoisin? Does anyone have any other ideas for what would make a good General's sauce?

What to do with leftover rice?

Yesterday I made a stir-fry, and cooked extra rice with the plan of making some fried rice with the excess. Of course, today fried rice is the last thing I want. So what should I do with about three cups of cooked jasmine rice?

What recipes do you have memorized?

Whipping up a batch of pancake batter this morning, I realized that I will probably always need to pull out my cookbook, turn to page 369, and read the recipe. I can't imagine not needing those words in front of me, prodding me along in my pre-caffeine haze.

The chocolate chip cookies I baked yesterday afternoon, however, were completely by memory. I've made them so many times over the years that the proportions are permanently etched somewhere in my brain. It's one of the few recipes I have memorized.

So that made me think - what recipes do other serious eaters have memorized? This may be directed more toward the baker than the cook; after all, I can always fix a nice pasta dish or piece of meat without resorting to the cookbook collection. But maybe others disagree! Curious...

Am I wrong about my definition of a cappuccino?

A small spin-off from the multiple coffee posts that have appeared lately. I worked at a coffee shop in college and always considered myself pretty knowledgeable about my drinks, but since I moved away from that college town three years ago, I've been filled with doubt about the difference between a cappuccino and a latte.

My most basic definition - a cappuccino has foam, and a latte doesn't. Since I moved, however, I've received any number of very foamy lattes. Most of them are tasty, but in my mind, they're not lattes.

Please tell me that I'm correct, and the entire state that I live in is wrong! (I live in New Mexico. This is, admittedly, not a place where I'd expect a lot of espresso knowledge, but I've seen this problem statewide. SOMEONE has to get it right - right?)

How to Make Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Kale Salad

At a recent cooking class during the New York Culinary Experience at the French Culinary Institute, Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten shared tips and a recipe for a raw kale salad from the menu at Nougatine restaurant on the Upper West Side. "It's a new-style Caesar salad," he said as he demonstrated the proper way to prepare dinosaur kale, serrano chilies, and a parmesan dressing for this delicious dish. More

Apple-Pork Ragu with Orecchiette

Whenever I think about pork and apples, my mind usually imagines inch-thick chops with cooked apples along the side. (Hey, it's not a bad thought.) But this pair can also combine in other interesting ways. That's the lesson I learned form this recipe in Stephanie Izard's Girl in the Kitchen, which spruces up a quick ragu with browned bits of pork and loads of sliced Honeycrisp apples. The result is surprisingly light and relatively easy to put together. More

Cook the Book: Farfalle Abruzzese with Veal, Porcini, and Spinach

This Farfalle Abruzzese with Veal, Porcini, and Spinach from Mario Batali's latest, Molto Batali is genius in that it gives you a deeply concentrated meaty ragu in barely any time at all. The secret here is the umami factor in the dried porcinis, chopped up fine and added with their liquid to a ground veal, rust-colored tomato paste and tomato sauce. The mushrooms add a depth that make it seem as though this sauce has been lazily bubbling away on the stove for hours instead of minutes. More

Sunday Brunch: Maple Syrup Dumplings

These sweet dumplings blur the line between brunch and dessert, but some mornings call for a bit of sugar, or maple syrup. Instead of using syrup as a garnish it becomes the central player in this warm, sweet breakfast. These dumplings come out plump and coated in reduced syrup, and although the rye whiskey is optional it adds an agreeable boozy element to this dish. More

Zero Proof: Blueberry Lavender Lemonade

If you could cram everything about summer into a glass, it would be this blueberry lavender lemonade. It's sweet, floral, and refreshing. Doctor it up with vodka or tequila, or drink it straight and cold from the refrigerator, barely pausing to pour it from the pitcher. You could try raspberries or strawberries, but for the tastiest, prettiest punch, your best bet is a blueberry. More

Dinner Tonight: Huaraches with Black Beans and Radish

Huaraches are flattened ovals of masa that get their name from the Mexican sandal. They are kind of like larger sopes without sides, and can be topped with just about anything. The first ones I encountered were straight-off-the-griddle from a cart in Parque El Llano in Oaxaca, Mexico. The tender huaraches were slightly blackened from the griddle, just like my favorite pizzas, and topped with a fiery salsa balanced by tender mushrooms and cream. I've been dreaming of them lately, so I really couldn't pass up this version of the dish from Rick Bayless's newest cookbook. More