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Need menu help for make-ahead veg/dairy/fish dinner party

Forgot to mention: No shellfish either.

I don't mind front-loading the work. fish en papaillote could be the ticket!

Anniversary dinner in Chicago

Fab suggestions! We went to Blackbird on a date about 12 years ago - could be a good time to go back!

Now I just need a good gift idea!

help me make lactose free ice cream - heavy cream substitute?

OP here - I found a way to cheat that works pretty well. I buy Trader Joes Soy Creamy vanilla ice cream, then beat in mint extract and bittersweet chocolate chips. It's not the same, but pretty darn good!

anyone decorate the side of a cake with M&Ms?

Ugh. Hadn't even thought of that. Not so festive, huh? Forget it.

Coating with sprinkles... that would be cute.

Potato Kugel

12 eggs? Really? I wish I'd seen this before I made the big trip to the store.

Cook the Book: 'Rose's Heavenly Cakes'

Bittersweet Bakery on Belmont in Chicago makes the most divine cakes. Beautiful to boot.

Buy two briskets or one really big one?

My inclination was to go with two, so glad to see I'm on the right track. Thanks!

Cook the Book: 'The Asian Grill'

Not wanting to heat the oven on a hot day, my husband decided to grill his freezer pizza. He removed the plastic overwrap, but couldn't separate the cardboard from the bottom of the pizza. I guess he figured it was an extra thick crust or something because he put the whole thing on the grill.

Did I mention that the cardboard was also wrapped in plastic? We had to spend over $100 on a new grate and Weber "flavorizer bars", so the value of the book ought to make a dent in that.

seeking layered matza cake recipe

cybercita's recipe looks like it could be the one or at least very similar. I forgot too about the crushed nuts on top! You would serve it chilled, so frozen could be interesting too.

The texture ends up generally soft, but the matzas still have a bit of firmness to them. Easy enough to slice/bite through, the firm enough to not fall apart. You don't really taste the wine in the finished product - you just want something sweet to soak the matzas in.


Not-so-glorious pan drippings - help!

Thanks so much... for some reason searching the NYTimes site originally didn't lead me to the blog entry. Glad to see I'm not the only one. I'll reduce my oven temp... esp. with my dark pan. And the idea of potatoes (from the blog comments) could be divine. Thanks again.


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