Is there any way to make a ball cake (or really, half of one) without buying a specialty cake pan? I honestly just need it this once, and really don't have the space for a(nother, oops) gimmicky pan. I've been eying a couple of my smaller Pyrex bowls, but I can't imagine that will end well. Short of carving three or four regular rounds, does anyone have any suggestions?
My best friend from college is getting married in June, and next weekeallege and I and the rest of the bridesmaids are all getting together to plan various things, including creating a custom cocktail called the Dodger, after her and her fiancé's adorable mixed-breed puppy. I've never created a cocktail from scratch before, so I don't really know what to suggest. Has anybody done anything like this? Any ideas? Dodger's a bat-eared chocolate brown mutt, big and gangly, probably with some Pitt bull in him, if that helps. (I know this is an odd Talk topic, but if I can't ask here, where? :D)
My sister bought me a fantastic Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin for my birthday, hooray! I used it last night for the first time, and when I checked the box for cleaning instructions, it said to hand wash only and "oil the wood frequently." I've never had a rolling pin that required this before and am kind of at a loss. Google has informed me that one way to do this is a small amount of canola oil on a paper towel, while others swear you have to only use oil made for the express purpose of oiling wood that comes into contact with food (and also that you should never use soap on the wood; oops). Help?
I bought myself a lovely duck breast for Mardis Gras, carefully rendered all the fat .. and then gave up meat for Lent. I felt so silly when I realized it. It's been in the fridge for a week now; how long do I have before it goes rancid? Should I just suck it up and use it in something for my family?
So it turns out my parents really do love me (kidding), because they combined some Christmas presents and bought me a KitchenAid stand mixer this year. Of course, I'm an idiot and tried to open it by myself, which involved holding the box down with my foot while struggling to lift this absurdly heavy appliance out of the box. I didn't realize that the dough hook and flat paddle were on the outside of the styrofoam, and I ended up dropping the dough hook on my ceramic tile floor and chipping the edge of the top, flat part (image here for ref).
My question is, can I still use it? There's no more enamel flaking off, but there's definitely metal peeking through and I'm concerned about it rusting or eventually starting to flake again. I feel like a dope calling and getting a replacement part already, but I'd rather do that than contaminate food. Anyone else ever do this?
I offered to help a friend make cupcakes for her sister's baby shower, which turned into me offering to make them before she was able to tell me when the shower was. The problem is not that I have to make them by myself (I like the repetitive detail of decorating several dozen themed cupcakes!), it's that she finally told me when the shower is, and it's a week after I leave for a Maine vacation.
I've looked at some of my favorite cupcake recipes and they're not super clear on whether or not they'll keep. In the past, most of the cupcakes I've made have gone stale after about a week. So I turn to you, Serious Eaters:
What's the best way to go about this? Bake cupcakes and freeze them for the week? If I make very moist cupcakes, can they just be refrigerated for that amount of time? And, less urgently, should I decorate them and freeze/refrigerate, or make all the components separately and let my friend assemble them the day of the party? Please feel free to offer any recipes you might have that store well, too.
PS -- this, or something similar, will be the design of the cupcakes: A Baked Creation: Owl Baby Shower Cupcakes. (Aren't they cute?)
Great news! My best friend from college is starting at the NYFA this month and just moved into an apartment in the Village this week (Horatio Street, to be specific), so we're going out to celebrate. Any particularly awesome places I should take him? I'm a little more adventurous than he is, but he's pretty easy-going and will take suggestions. Casual is better, since he's not a fancy dude and I'm just barely employed, hah.
I want to start in his nabe, so West Village suggestions are preferable for now, but he will be my excuse to try every place I want to try in the city, so don't worry about being too geographically restricted. Thanks!
I decided to bake a cake tonight (just because -- mostly an excuse to play with fondant) and am bored with my normal layer fillings. I have some leftover ganache with hazelnuts, some delicious jam, and plain frosting. What's intriguing me, though, is a small container of dulce de leche I found in my fridge. (It's not old, it just slipped my mind.) Problem is, there's not a whole lot and it's VERY thick. I have about 6 or 7 oz. left from an 8.82-oz container. Is there anything I can thin it out with to spread on the inside, or should I just use something else? The cake is two 9-inch rounds.
I attempted to make spice cookies the other day, and I didn't look closely enough in the store and bought whole cloves instead of ground. Being resourceful (or so I thought) I whipped out my (still new) 3-cup Cuisinart food processor and tried to grind them myself. I think I may have killed the Cuisinart.
The bowl is hopelessly, hopelessly scratched. No amount of scrubbing or soaking will clear it up, and for the life of me, I CANNOT get rid of the smell. WIll it fade away eventually, or do I need a new bowl? Does Cuisinart even make replacement bowls?
What's your favorite fair food? Or, if you can't pick, what's the oddest thing you've ever seen?
I ask because this weekend is Spring Fair here at Hopkins, and a friend and I got to talking about what we had eaten so far and what was left. (Spring Fair is like any bazaar or fair you've ever been to, except magnified to fit on a college campus =]). As she ate her Indian combo plate, she said she couldn't understand what all the fuss was over chicken-on-a-stick, a Spring Fair institution. As I chewed on mine, I realized I couldn't really answer. After four years of making absolutely sure that I've gotten it every April, I have no idea why it's so important, haha.
So what's your staple? What's your tradition? And can you explain why?
I goofed again! I'm really having a bad week. In putting together the dough tonight for my hot cross buns, I picked up the pot (quite proud of myself) to move it to another counter, only to see behind it the two packets of yeast that I completely forgot to put in. I quickly uncovered the pot and mixed in the yeast with my hands to get it as incorporated as possible, but I just don't know. Is the dough hopeless, or will it be okay? Is there anything else I should do?
I've been researching various methods for making panna cotta, and I absolutely cannot find one that doesn't use gelatin or agar. (In my area, I've never ever seen either one, and I'm not too thrilled about ordering odd ingredients online for just one or two dishes. Stinks to be a poor college student, haha.) Is this a futile search, a question not even worthy of an answer? Am I going to have to resign myself to a panna-cotta-less life until I can get home and search NYC specialty stores?
I seem to do this more often than I'd like: I was prepping some dinner for myself the other night and decided to roast some brussels sprouts along with my eggs benedict. I washed, cleaned, and halved the sprouts, put them aside on the counter while I got to work on the eggs, and .. forgot about them. (It was my first hollandaise!) They've sat out on the counter now for about a day and a half. They look okay to me -- a little wilted and pale, but not mushy or "bad." Can I still cook them? Is there any way that will save them, or should I just use them as if they were still fresh?
I wanted to try my uncle's secret cheesecake recipe tonight, but it turns out my roommate used the requisite sour cream for onion dip. I have the right amount of Fage 2% plain yogurt -- can I use that as a substitute or will it affect the texture/flavor?
Since so many people responded to my post on my own Lent-induced caffeine withdrawal, I know a ton of SEaters will get a huge kick out of this Onion mug:
The other day, someone here mentioned prosciutto-wrapped melon, which got me jonesing. So today on my way home from work, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a melon and some prosciutto to go with dinner.
After cleaning and cutting the melon, though, I'm wondering if there's anything I can do with the seeds. Can I clean them and roast them like pumpkin seeds, or should I just toss them?
This weekend I went out to eat with some friends for a very casual, impromptu dinner. It was very much a hole in the wall, but the food was good and inexpensive and we had a great time. One thing I noticed when the bill came, though, was that, as usual, everyone had chosen the cheapest version of what they wanted, as opposed to what might have been the best. I ordered one entree and a drink, but still spent almost twice as much as the others.
Is this unusual, or par for the course, SEaters? When you go out with people who aren't "foodies," do you order based on what you want or what you can afford, and what about your dining companions? I don't want to sound whiny, because as I said, I love going out with these people, but I hate looking like a lush when we're all college students struggling on a budget.
For some masochistic reason, I've decided to give up coffee for Lent. (All the milk and sugar prob isn't too healthy, plus I shouldn't be so addicted to caffeine at only 21, etc. etc.) Problem is, I'm actually going through withdrawal from the caffeine. I don't want to switch over to soda, because I cut that out of my diet a couple of years ago and really don't want to go back to it. I also don't want to be popping Advil for the next week while I get it out of my system (yes, I drink so much that I get crazy caffeine headaches when I don't get enough coffee -- I'm in bad shape!).
I'm not a huge tea drinker (I just don't like most of them), but I suppose I'm willing to try anything while I wean myself off the caffeine bean. Does anybody have any suggestions -- both tea and non-tea? Or do I just have to suck it up?
In another thread, a poster mentioned a tahini sauce to go with a middle-eastern themed meal. Curious, I googled a recipe, then the ingredient itself.
A paste made from ground sesame seeds, the major ingredient used in hummus. Most used in the Middle East. Tahini may be purchased in cans, jars, fresh or dehydrated. Tahini comes in two varieties; hulled and Unhulled. Unhulled tahini is very bitter. Tahini is sometimes used to replace peanut butter on bread. In the Middle East tahini is used in a variety of dishes, and is often mixed with lemon juice, salt and garlic. May be thinned out to make a sauce. It is a main ingredient in soups. You can make your own tahini by using a blender and mixing white sesame seeds with peanut oil until creamy.
Substitutions: sesame butter OR 3 parts creamy peanut butter and 1 part sesame oil, OR toasted sesame seeds (for hummus) , OR toasted sesame oil (for hummus) OR peanut butter (for sauces).
Now, since I had no idea what it was to begin with, maybe this is a dumb question, but is there really not a significant difference between tahini and peanut butter? Maybe I'm just reading the above quote wrong, but when I think "hummus," I definitely don't think "peanut butter."
Okay, so a good friend of mine is hosting a potluck dinner tonight, and being the only one in our group who actively cooks for fun, I offered an appetizer -- bacon-wrapped scallops. Unfortunately, I'm also the world's worst organizer. I forgot that I had to work today from 1-5, and the dinner is at 6.
So I decided to make the scallops before I went to work; they're done and cooling on the stovetop. Now, the question is, how do I revive them tonight? The only thing I can do while at work is leave them well-wrapped in the fridge. Tonight when I get home, should I nuke them in the microwave as my mother suggested (doubtful)? Or put them back in the oven, very low, and risk overcooking them? Help!
Okay. Last Christmas, I thought I was going nuts. No one in my dorm had ever heard of star cookies. I had to bring a box back with me to Baltimore in January to show them, and still, blank stares.
Are these really a regional thing? And by regional, I mean New York -- not even my Jersey roommate has had these. I'm talking about small, star-shaped cookies (possibly graham crackers or similar), covered in chocolate and white sprinkles. I tried Googling them to find a national company, but the closest I found was these; still, the box is wrong and I'm pretty sure the company is as well.
However (rambling almost over, promise), that is what they look like. Anyone else know of these?
As something of a follow-up to my vanilla extract post (which is maturing quite nicely in the pantry), I took half of one of the beans and put it in a tupperware with about a cup of sugar, to see how long it would take to flavor it and whether I could do something with that.
The problem is, a day and a half later (and now a few days later), it's one solid lump. I guess it was the moisture in the bean, but something made it all clump together. It tastes fine so far (tried it in my coffee), but the results were disappointing. I can't very well give it away if it's clumping like old sugar. Did I do something wrong?
I'm getting more ambitious every year -- last year I put together little baked goods packages for Christmas presents, and this year I'm thinking about doing sets of homemade extracts/liquors. I already have a coffee liquor brewing in my pantry, but what I really want to make is vanilla extract.
I've finally picked the recipe from The Traveler's Lunchbox for simple vanilla extract, but the one thing I've noticed in all homemade extract recipes is that they all seem to call for a glass container. I live in an urban college town, but I can't say that I've seen canning jars or anything of the sort anywhere around here. I suppose I could order some online, but I'd rather wait and spend the money on pretty glass containers for the gifts themselves.
Is there a specific reason why I can't use a plastic bottle or container? Or do I really have to start hunting down some mason jars?
Related to Chelley's "half-assed junk food creations" thread, what's the strangest thing you put in your tuna or chicken salad? I don't think it's that out there, but I usually put a good dollop of dijon or honey mustard into mine; sometimes I'll add some nuts or different cheeses. Not too extraordinary, but I'm always curious about the more creative Serious Eaters. =)
I just saw the Swanson Broth commercial with Christopher Lee. I know how most Serious Eaters feel about prepackaged broth in general, so I thought I'd start the outraged thread. Can someone please explain to me why a James Beard Award-winner is shilling for Swanson Broth??
Derived from the great Niçoise traditions of chickpea pancakes, fried afternoon snacks, and fresh lemons, these crispy chickpeas are a salty, citrusy alternative to chips.
"Now, the company that brought you the Philly Cheesesteak Pizza, the Cali-Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Pizza, and the Oreo Pizza, has a radical new product: pizza that is pizza." Related Domino's New Pizza Recipe: What Does It Taste Like? We Try It! » Video: The Making of Domino's New Recipe Pizza » Domino's Changes Core Recipe »...
This holiday episode of No Reservations from 2007 is one of the show's few glimpses of Anthony Bourdain actually cooking in a kitchen. The key to moist turkey, according to Bourdain, is removing its legs ("dismembering a turkey is much like dismembering a human, actually...") and cooking them in a separate roasting pan from the breast. For health reasons, he also supports cooking the stuffing outside of the bird ("you got bacterias going at it like your parents did at Woodstock"). His last tip: do not get garlic anywhere near the turkey. Unless you want to ruin everything. Watch the video after the jump....
Just because a conscientious, responsible pig farmer decides to make bacon doesn't mean the bacon is going to be good.
©iStockphoto.com/JLGutierrez Sometimes I recall that I grew up without hummus and am amazed. It seems like such a natural kid-food, but it just wasn’t around in Houston then (now it is—my childhood, we’re talking decades ago now, people). I discovered...
On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Today, a recipe that would be right at home on the Thanksgiving table. Brussels sprouts have a complicated, spotty history...