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megannesta

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

baguette with butter and saucisson sec, a glass of rosé on the side! david's mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe is AMAZING so i have total faith in this book.

Open Thread: What's the Best Frozen Pizza?

i too go for stouffer's french bread pizza, and agree with others that you must embrace the frozen format wholeheartedly (for me that includes mama celeste, elio's etc.) or you will end your frozen pizza meal in disappointment.

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

everything bagel with cream cheese, or a plain bagel with jalapeño cream cheese, or a yeasted waffle. or, to put it simply, CARBS! ;)

Taste Test: Is Better Vanilla Extract Worth the Price?

I would NEVER have thought of using anything less than the fancy expensive stuff until I read Joe Pastry's take on it, which seems to echo your findings.

http://www.joepastry.com/2013/imitation-vanilla/

Burger City Guides: Jamie Bissonnette's Favorite Burgers in Boston

interesting. the jalapeño tasty burger is my go-to in south boston when i want fast food, but i don't know that it would win best of boston for me.

Cook the Book: Roy Choi's 'L.A. Son'

christmas with my family -- over the years we have evolved to have a totally non-traditional meal, but it is our tradition and never wavers, so it's really special to me. that and my dad is a really good cook! ;)

Do you have a pastry blog you go to?

I third Joe Pastry. He explains the chemistry behind how pastry works but is somehow unintimidating and friendly. He is very involved responding to reader comments and taking suggestions for future topics as well.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

beef tenderloin -- it's too expensive to dare messing up by overcooking!

The Dark Side of Flavored Coffee

i had things to say but everyone above me did a better job.

Bake the Book: Edible DIY

I made my Dad a "pizza kit" with Jim Lahey's no-knead pizza dough, sauce, mozzarella and basil. He just had to assemble and bake. That was definitely a hit!

Holiday Giveaway: The Amazing Thermapen Thermometer

technically myself -- my doctor took my temperature yesterday. besides that, hmmm, water to make sure it wasn't too hot for my yeast, making bread.

Peppermint Bark Brownies

they have peppermint bark at trader joe's if you happen to have one in your area. williams sonoma also sells it but for a lot more $.

Cook the Book: 'Secrets of the Best Chefs'

the best advice i received was that the cook is always their own worst critic. i find faults in everything i make, and no one else does!

Spicy Tortilla Crisps with Queso Fundito from 'Salty Snacks'

looks amazing. the bratty spanish major in me wonders why it's "fundito" instead of "fundido" though. must...control...nitpicking...

best oilive oil...dont care about price also balsamic vin

if you read the book "extra virginity" there is a buying guide that i find interesting. then again you will also be traumatized in the process reading about the completely corrupt worldwide olive oil market.

Bake the Book: 'Joy the Baker Cookbook'

lame answer but joy the baker -- her molasses chocolate chip cookies are AMAZING.

Cook the Book: 'My Pizza'

no-knead bread was my gateway drug -- i was intimidated to make bread (besides quickbreads) until i made no-knead bread, and now i'm obsessed!

Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, and Basil (Vegan)

really really good. i had a bit more peanut sauce than i needed (glad i reserved a bit before putting the noodles in). my husband ate himself until food coma, aka success.

Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, and Basil (Vegan)

really really good. i had a bit more peanut sauce than i needed (glad i reserved a bit before putting the noodles in). my husband ate himself until food coma, aka success.

Cook the Book: 'Rustic Italian Food'

this isn't really fair because my most memorable italian meal was in italy -- in ischia at a small outdoor restaurant we stumbled upon while at a vegetable market. it helped that it was one of the most gorgeous places i've ever been, with my new boyfriend (now my husband), and the freshest ingredients all together in a simple meal with lots of wine.

Cook the Book: Molto Batali

my husband and our friends -- out of all of us i'm the only one that really cooks (and enjoys it) so inevitably i end up hosting all of the big feasts. luckily i like it that way! :)

Candy a Day: Whoppers

agree that they have turned bizarrely waxy and un-chocolatey tasting. serious letdown because whoppers were always my favorite!

Are you a serial table changer?

i say yes, ask to change your table if it will make for an uncomfortable meal and you'll be unhappy the whole time. for example -- in the middle of winter in the first table right next to the door and you get an icy blast every time someone comes in. or if it's a size problem (like @omnomnom i have a tall husband and his legs don't fit in some crammed tables). obviously i understand i may have to wait if i choose to not sit in the table i've been originally assigned to.

that said i do REQUEST specific nice tables if i am returning to a place i've been before when i MAKE the reservation, but i certainly don't expect to get said table every time.

McDonald's true or false question...

i lived basically above a mcdonalds in madrid, and when i was tired and hungry yes i would get a chicken sandwich and a mcflurry (must roll the r's saying fluRRy obviously! ;) ) the euro mcdonalds really did seem to be of better quality than what i've had stateside. the menu was certainly different than the US one so it is a different experience no matter what.

Cook the Book: 'The Family Meal'

two words -- family style!

How to use up two bags of marshmallows?

I randomly had two different friends in a week bring over ingredients for s'mores (LA is NOT experiencing campfire weather, so you can imagine the random coincidence of this). This means I'm left with two bags nearly full of marshmallows.

How can I use up these damn marshmallows that are sitting taking up space in my already-jammed cabinet? Anything besides rice krispie treats you guys can think of?

Thanks in advance!

How to christen my new KitchenAid stand mixer?

So I just received my first wedding present in the mail yesterday -- a KitchenAid (from my future mother-in-law's friend who I've never met -- generous friends!).

The question is -- what do I make first?! Bread? Marshmallows? Everything Ina Garten tortures me with that I don't have the energy to do with a whisk? What's your favorite thing to use a KitchenAid for?

Serious Efforts: Flat macarons — help

For Valentine's Day I made the bf pistachio macarons, from Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess. I folded everything in carefully, gently put it all into a pastry bag, piped out the little circles, let it sit for 10 minutes to "get a film" as instructed, and baked them. Upon cooking they looked great (no "foot" but we're not looking for perfection here!) and then within minutes were flat as pancakes. The final products looked like pistachio Oreos. They were delicious, just flat!

What did I do wrong? Too much egg beating? Not enough? Did I lose all the air while piping them out? They are essentially meringues and clearly mine had something wrong. (if this helps, the only ingredients in the "cookie" part were ground pistachios, egg white, and powdered sugar—baked at 350 for approx 10 minutes per her recipe). I'm confused and bf wants me to make them again because he loved them, but I'll be so frustrated making the same mistake twice!

Thanks in advance for any help :)

[Serious Efforts guidelines »]

Which Frozen Vegetables are Acceptable?

Riffing off of PerkyMac's pearl onion question -- it made me realize that I completely irrationally find some frozen vegetables acceptable and some not. It's not based on anything except my pre-conceived notions. For example -- haricot vert I'm fine with using frozen. Broccoli? Not so much. I would never eat frozen broccoli. Peas? I'm fine with.

Maybe it's a texture thing -- what about you guys? What veg do you keep on hand in your freezer to cook with and what would you never eat?

how to pull together a meal with disjointed courses

This is a very random question, but I made the mistake of offering my boyfriend ANY meal he wants for his birthday. He chose (I am so not kidding):
1. Maine-style lobster roll
2. Steak
3. Macaroni and cheese
4. Strawberry shortcake

I am going to make these all in small portions (almost tapas style) so we don't die or pass out during the meal from overeating.

The question is -- what can I possibly do for sides or appetizers in a meal with lobster, cheese, and steak? I guess anything green, but it all seems so unrelated that I'm having a hard time figuring out how to order the courses and make it have any kind of flow. I don't usually do meals with more than one or two courses so I'm open to any suggestions!! Much appreciated.

Thomas Keller's fried chicken?

I have been debating making Thomas Keller's fried chicken recipe, published last month in Bon Appetit (annoyingly I can't find it on epicurious to share with you all).

The questions I have are:
-Has anyone made this?
-It seems pretty labor-intensive, was it worth it?
-He calls for 3 chickens in the recipe and I would like to downsize it to 1. Should I just divide the brine mixture ingredients by 3 or does this not end up to scale the same way? I am a brine newbie.

Any of your SE genius advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

What to make with a food processor?

This may seem like a basic question, but I just got a beautiful Cuisinart 14-cup food processor for my birthday, but I'm so used to NOT having one that I don't know what to use it for.

I can think of sauces, purees, soups, but I would like to make something more exciting. Any suggestions for something more fun or complicated to make in it than pesto, salsa, etc?

Thank you!

sending a package to my mom for mother's day...

This is a pretty lame topic BUT -- I am completely running out of creativity and would love some suggestions. For Mother's Day I will be sending my Mom SOMETHING baked as a gift and I can't think of anything interesting. Chocolate chip cookies seem boring. Scones? Muffins? It will probably take 3 days in priority mail from LA to Boston, so there is the freshness factor to consider. I don't know, anyone have any epiphanies they'd like to share with me? Would be much appreciated. Thank you!
-Megan

Dinner Tonight: Ferran Adrià's Caesar Salad

Though the recipe deviates from the authentic recipe from Tijuana (using Spain's ubiquitous sherry vinegar instead of lemon or lime juice), it's a delicious variation, and otherwise a pretty basic recipe centered around garlic and anchovies, like a proper Caesar dressing should be. More

Fudgy, Spicy Cinnamon Chile Brownies

[Photograph: Andrew M. H. Alexander] This is a pretty classic brownie approach, but these are anything but boring. I've modified the classic (and well-loved) Baker's One Bowl recipe to produce a firmer slice with a stronger chocolate flavor, which, while... More

Favorite Julia Child Recipes

With all the great new foods and new recipes it can be easy to forget old favorites. Which old Julia Child recipes have you cooked over and over? A favorite dinner party recipe was Boeuf A La Catalane from Mastering... More

What's the remedy for hating seafood?

I just got back from Italy where seafood is abundant. The problem is, I grew up on a farm in Wisconsin so I pretty much ate red meat & poultry exclusively. My family fished, but I never developed a taste... More