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mschlock

Fud = gud

  • Location: Sunnyvale, CA
  • Last bite on earth: I dunno, but it's gotta be fried

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BraveTart: DIY Fudgsicles Are Even More Intense and Refreshing Than the Real Deal

Cocoa Barry is my secret weapon for cocoa brownies. $20 for 2.2lb is more than reasonable.

No Brine, No Heat: Easy Pickled Onions in Just 15 Minutes

I can't stand raw onion -- I pickle minced onion in red wine vinegar overnight for potato salad.

I also include a pinch of sugar, as instructed by my mother-in-law's recipe...it may not be necessary, but I haven't bothered doing the side-by-side testing yet.

More Than Magic Mushrooms: Playing With Food in Video Games

I've been playing the iPhone version of Cooking Dash for the last six months. It's one of those "freemium" games but has a surprising amount of staying power, assuming you're willing to watch ads to gain upgrades (or rather, hit Play on an ad and ignore your phone for 30 seconds to gain upgrades).

Stray observances on Cooking Dash...

(1) The most fun restaurants to play are the ones where you cook the kinds of food you actually like.

(2) I have personally found myself compelled to get sushi takeout after playing the sushi restaurant too much.

(3) I wouldn't be surprised if the restaurant where you cook grubs and bugs is the least popular shop among all players. It's not nearly as much fun to cook food that's kind of disgusting.

(4) My aversion to meat and spicy foods in early pregnancy apparently extends to avoiding the levels that take place in the BBQ restaurant. Go figure.

How to Cook the Moistest* and Tenderest* Chicken Breasts

Where's the vegetables?! I'm thinking maybe army-green canned beans in cream of sodium soup?

The Food Lab: Follow the Rules for the Best All-American Beef Stew

When you cut up the seared steaks, do you remove any of the gristle or other bits from between the muscles? Or does it gelatinize away in the long cook? I usually trim my stew beef, probably overtrim if I'm being honest.

The Food Lab: Follow the Rules for the Best All-American Beef Stew

When you cut up the seared steaks, do you remove any gristle or nasty-looking bits from between the muscles? Or does it all gelatinize away as it cooks?

I admit I probably habitually overtrim my stew beef.

Chocolate Peppermint Snowflake Cookies

FWIW, if others are thinking of making these as a holiday cookie, these don't freeze well -- when they come out of the freezer the candy cane pieces collect moisture and become sticky. They tasted OK but were my least favorite of my assortment this year.

Meet Tonnato, the Italian Tuna Sauce That Belongs on Your Meat

Vitello tonnato is fantastic. The last time I ordered it in a restaurant the waiter was surprised and said it is a "very Italian" thing to order, i.e. apparently not often ordered by Asian women. Hurr.

Thanks for the recipe -- I have a couple of cheap tenderloins in the freezer right now...

Homemade Wonton Soup

I occasionally throw wonton-making parties -- my standard is a pork/shrimp filling with a tortellini-like roll & fold that gives you the maximum floaty noodle cloud when cooked. However, we haven't managed to find a decent vegetarian wonton filling that binds into a decent ball and therefore can be used in a wonton style that isn't just a little dense packet. The recipes I've tried tend to fall apart in a sea of tofu chunks.

Would love to see SE tackle this one. Extra super bonus points for vegan...

How to Make Japanese-Style Pork and Cabbage Dumplings (Gyoza)

Yes please.

Also, all hail the pan-fry. While I support deep-frying of many things, it's so disappointing to go to a Japanese restaurant and find out they deep-fry their gyoza. I always check with the server before ordering. (And even then there's a good chance you're getting the same gyoza you can buy from Trader Joe's...)

The Le Creuset Bi-Material Spoon Is the First Plastic Spoon Worth Owning

My husband has this faded pink plastic spatula he got at the dollar store probably fifteen years ago, and it is the only spatula he ever uses for eggs. Someday it's going to break and then he's going to be sad.

FWIW: My go-to stiff spatula these days is the Epicurean angled turner, which is light and wood-like but also dishwasher safe. I also use this Zyliss a lot, but it's too flexible for breaking up ground meats.

The Best Pizza by the Slice in San Francisco

Please let us know when you perform similar research on the Peninsula/South Bay. :)

(I'm not a New York native, but my go-to is Giovanni's in Sunnyvale. There are adherents of A Slice of New York in Sunnyvale/Santa Clara as well, but the last time I got a slice there it was snowed under by kinda-rubbery cheese.)

Use Your Potato Masher To Break Up Ground Meat in the Skillet

I actually find it kind of meditative to break up chunks of browning meat with a stiff wooden spatula. Break up a few chunks, leave to develop brown seared bits, break some more.

I've had occasional problems finding the proper stiff wooden spatula for the job, of course.

Taste Test: Who Makes the Best Natural-Casing Hot Dog in the Bay Area?

Welcome to the West Coast, Kenji -- I am glad that we'll be seeing food brand recommendations that I can actually get ahold of. :)

(Oh, East Coast-based food blogs and magazines, you and your "Pepperidge Farm loaf"...)

Friday Night Meatballs: How to Change Your Life With Pasta

The "Every week" threw me until I read "extrovert." I could see a monthly gathering, though.

What's the Difference Between Dutch Process and Natural Cocoa Powder?

Interesting -- my go-to chocolate cookie uses dutch process cocoa and baking soda. The cookies come out pretty flat but are quite addictive, particularly since I use Callebaut or Cacao Barry cocoa powder and that stuff's way darker/more flavorful than Droste.

Martha Stewart's Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Lunch at Google HQ is as Insanely Awesome as You Thought

Here I sit in Silicon Valley at a company that does not have a cafeteria, upscale locavore or no. Alas.

The Apple cafes do pretty well too, though they're not free (they are subsidized). Which means my husband and I have a variation of this conversation regularly:

Him: For lunch today I had seared halibut with beurre blanc and a mushroom-farro pilaf.
Me: Yeah, I had Taco Bell. You suck.

The Food Lab: Hasselback Potato Gratin (These Might be the Best Potatoes Ever)

Oho. Might one assemble this in advance and finish it off at one's relatives' house?

Fast Food Chicken Dippin' Sauce Showdown: Popeye's Vs. McDonald's Vs. Burger King

The only sauce you really need is straight honey. Unfortunately, not all fast food locations offer it.

8 Essential Places to Eat and Drink in Silicon Valley

In re: Tamarine, for upscale Vietnamese we quite like Xanh in Mountain View, which may not be quite as refined (I haven't been to Tamarine in awhile) but is not quite as much of a schlep for San Jose folk.

Bake the Book: Red Velvet Cheesecake

Why scrape out the cookies? They make a perfectly good crumb crust if you pulverize and bake them for 15 minutes with some...oh, this is an icebox cheesecake. Never mind.

(I have never met an icebox cheesecake I actually liked.)

Open Thread: What's The Weirdest Thing You've Ever Grilled?

Krispy Kreme donuts. They get warm and gooey and collapse. I don't really like donuts as a matter of course but hot donuts with a hint of grill flavor are pretty damn tasty.

Open Thread: What's One Food You Wish You Liked?

I detest raw tomatoes as well as raw onions and especially cilantro. Life would be a lot easier if I liked all three of these since every time someone orders food for a group lunch, there is a high likelihood of something being covered in one or more of these. The worst is when someone orders non-customized burritos. /tiny violins

Shake Shack Coming to Las Vegas Next Year

Thought 1: I want to go to there.

Thought 2: "Outdoor park environment"? In Vegas? In the 110-degree desert? I can't see how this is at all conducive to a burger and fries pigout.

Taste Test: Every Flavor of Combos

I don't think I've ever had a Combo. Looking at them just reminds me inextricably of dog treats.

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