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Quinoa "Mac and Cheese"

I actually made a version of this last night and was pleasantly surprised. Mixed cooked quinoa with sharp cheddar, parmesan, a bit of milk, butter, and chopped roasted peppers, put in a small casserole dish, and topped with panko, parmesan, and a bit more butter. Baked at 350 for about 25 minutes, until melty and browned. The husband loved it, and while I prefer my quinoa in cold salads, this was way more enjoyable than I thought it would be.

Help with onion dip

What kind of mayo did you use? Certain brands hold up better in baked applications than others. This usually has to do with the emulsion process when they are manufactured. Hellmann's is pretty foolproof when baked, but other brands tend to separate in high heat.

Cook the Book: 'Not Your Mother's Casseroles'

I made mini casseroles in ramekins last week that were deee-vine. Parboiled cauliflower and a little sauteed onion, covered in a bechamel with some fontina and parmesan (a guess a mornay sauce, at that point?), and then sprinkled with some breadcrumbs and baked off for 10 minutes or so. Served with a mixed green salad for dinner. And lunch the next day. And a midnight snack. I love cauliflower.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Cookie Recipe Swap

I made Smitten Kitchen's Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks, which are not really Christmas-y, but they are delicious and my absolute favorite. What are the holidays for if not to indulge in everything you love?

Wedding Venues in Westchester/Hudson Valley

Thank you all! This is more information than I could have hoped for! I apologize that it's taken a few days to respond---I am already way over my head in planning!

Adam, your wedding is what foodie dreams are made of! Unfortunately, the venue is not large enough to hold our enormous family, but you've given a lot of inspiration on exactly what we'll ask the caterer to provide. Thank you!!

@square_pie - In my dreams.

We're are leaning towards C.V. Rich Mansion in White Plains. The location is right, and we've heard excellent things about the food. The caterers are willing to customize the cocktail hour to include some special requests, and they're been pretty flexible about giving us the extras we want at a reasonable price. Will let you all know what the final outcome is. Thank you for the help! Good to know there are always opinions to be had.

Delaware pizza recs needed

Pizza by Elizabeth's is like pizza crack. You MUST go!

The Nasty Bits: Chongqing-style Penis with Wolfberries [Valentine's Day Edition]

I'll be the first to say it...

Eating penis definitely takes balls.

I need a potluck dish to wow 'em

If you're leaning towards puff pastry, you should try Ina Garten's Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts. They are out-of-this-world-delicious, and I've scaled them down to bite size tartlets for parties and have gotten great reviews. You can also make them ahead, and they're good warm or at room temp.

Here's the recipe:

Snapshots from Greece: Nescafe Frappe

Take the N out to Astoria and check out the sidewalk cafes. You are guaranteed to have frappe sightings! They are too strong for me, but my boyfriend loves them---light and very sweet. Try Lefkos Pyrgos (23rd Ave. and 31st St, right by the Ditmars stop on the N) for old Greek men drinking frappes and eating delicious pastries.

Small Wedding Picnic

Remember to pack PLENTY of ice packs for cold foods and chafers/sternos for anything hot. Nothing should be kept out for longer than 4 hours, and only if it is the proper temp. I would be hesitant to serve anything with seafood if it will be sitting out for a long time. The last thing you want on such a special day is someone coming down with a food born illness!

Grad party ideas

I'll pipe in with some Queens bakery ideas. Artopolis on 31st St in Astoria makes unbelievable cakes---they did the wedding cake in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Martha's Bakery (Ditmars Blvd in Astoria and another location in Forest Hills) makes great cupcakes, which might be nice for the high school crowd.

Congrats to the grad!

Extremely Low Calorie Foods

@Giasbash6260 - Your search for "extremely" low cal foods makes me a little nervous. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for years and knows this well, swapping good, healthy food that gives you energy for celery sticks and pickles just isn't healthy. Why don't you try to make your meals more filling by choosing foods with higher satiety if you are worried about snacking? Or you can bump up your exercise a little bit to compensate for extra snacking if you're trying to lose a few pounds. There's never a quick or easy fix to lose weight, but there are definitely smart ways to do it!

Tell Your Asparagus Story

Eggs scrambled with asparagus and a little goat cheese is dinner at least once a week. On my list of favorite foods EVER, asparagus has to be in the top 3.

And I have to admit, I don't mind the asparagus's like a daily reminder that my body is doing what it's supposed to be doing. I have asparagus for dinner, and 20 minutes later, it's like, woohoo! All the bits are working properly!

Turkey Meatballs

When I use ground turkey breast, I grate some zucchini and saute it with some chopped onions, garlic, and dried herbs, then mix it in with the meat and an egg. Sometimes, I mix in a little feta or goat cheese too. I've also had luck making a florentine-esque turkey meatball with grated parm, egg, a little bit of bread crumbs, and chopped spinach. That one is great with a nice red sauce and some pasta!

i'm going to otto...what should i get?

The eggplant caponata and the salted caramel gelato. And a doggie bag that you can drop off at my apartment on your way home.

What Condiments Really Need To Be Refrigerated?

Actually, mayo does NOT need to be refrigerated once open. Manufacturers recommend that you stick it in the fridge for food safety concerns, but mayo is perfectly shelf stable for up to a month on your counter.

That being said, I'm sure we'll all keep our mayo right where it is, but it's an interesting fact!

Cook the Book: ''Wichcraft'

Sourdough toast, thick cut bacon, heirloom tomato, arugula, Hellmann's mayo, and a sunnyside-up egg....mmmm.

Carrot Cake Recipe

@mandoopandoo - That's my go-to recipe too! My boyfriend swears it's the best carrot cake he's ever had. I actually prefer it to Dorie's (which says a lot, because Dorie=Baking Goddess in our abode).

Kielbasa in NYC?

Adam, you read my mind! My family has been going to Jubilat for over 40 years. Kris, the owner, actually bought my grandmother's house when she moved out of Brooklyn. They're friendly, and the have the freshest and most authentic Polish meats in NYC. Definitely try the double-smoked kielbasas, and don't forget to get a big bag of Polish pickles. I make the trek from Astoria at least once a month, and I always have a kielbasa in my freezer for "emergencies".

Just a caution...don't go the Saturday before Easter unless you're willing to wait at least an hour!

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Blues

Thanks for the input! I consider myself pretty savvy in the kitchen, but after working all day, I just haven't had the energy to pull new recipes lately. The boyfriend loves chicken and requests it often---I appreciate having some new inspiration for quick weeknight meals.

If I have time, my preference is to roast 2 birds on Sunday and have leftover meat for sandwiches, salads, enchiladas, etc. all week long.

Question of the Day: What's the best food song?

A second vote for "Cheeseburger in Paradise!" It's my dad's favorite song---I've always told him we'll dance to THAT at my wedding!

Food Careers

I work in customer development for a major foodservice manufacturer. I spend most of my day in professional kitchens, speaking with chefs about our products and showing them how to use them. It's a great job---I really enjoy meeting new people every day, eating fantastic food, and doing the cooking demos. I graduated with a marketing degree but have always been a foodie at heart, and I knew I wanted to put my education to use in a field I love. My culinary knowledge has really come in handy, as I've been able to close some big deals by showing operators how to create several dishes by adding one or two extra ingredients to a basic prep. (It doesn't hurt that some of the brands I represent are frequently mentioned on SE as "the only brand I buy"!)

Quinoa - Now That I Bought It.....

I just bought (and made) my first bag of quinoa over the weekend! I made it with chicken stock, then tossed it with halved grape tomatoes, diced zucchini, scallions, feta cheese, fresh dill, and a lemon vinaigrette. The longer it sits, the better it gets!

I'm going to try another salad with dried fruit and nut oils next. Still trying to find the perfect recipe, but it's definitely my new favorite grain!


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