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Help! Picky Boyfriend Challenge!

I had the picky husband, but I've slowly incorporated ingredients into foods he likes. Now he eats almost anything (not lettuce - yet - but he's eaten more lettuce this year than the first of his 30 years).

You could put anything (shrimp and asparagus) on pizza, right? He can pick it off if after a few bites he doesn't like it.

A relative's husband is picky, and she's indulged him. He threw a fit last time we ate all together because he didn't like beans. I would have no tolerance for that behavior.

Compiling recipes for a family cookbook - advice?

One other thing to consider is having family members "proof" their recipes. A well-meaning family member put together our family cookbook, and the thing is so riddled with errors (ingredients, measurements, directions, attributions) that it's almost not usable. She worked so hard on it... but...

Watch It with Us: 'The Next Food Network Star,' Episode 7

I realized while watching last night that I would not watch a show with any of these people. In fact, I've switched to rooting against people like Debbie, who seems to have been set up to win since the beginning. The times that she's failed have been because the other contestants put her into a position of authority or because she's stuck her foot in her mouth.

Anyone catch Debbie explaining an excess of garlic powder (yuck) was a "Korean" thing?

The Simplicity of a Subway Breakfast

Subway does sound like a good breakfast option - but, in terms of fast food, Subway will always seem like fast food to me. Reason: in college, I frequently at a sketchy Subway in a very sketchy gas station in a transitional Chicago neighborhood. Anything that franchises into gas stations is definitely fast food.

Serious Green: Turn Your Lawn Into an Edible Garden

@itsmdorsey -- HOA stands for "home owners' association." They're a neighbor-run or company-run group that enforces rules in a neighborhood to ensure consistency and cleanliness and - so the theory goes - retain home values. Some HOAs regulate things like landscaping and communal garden areas, and others provide for pools and tennis courts, etc. When people buy in HOA-overseen areas, they sign a contract that states they will uphold those rules - and pay dues so others can enforce those rules - so a court case probably isn't going to do much. In Texas, an HOA can foreclose on your house for non-payment of dues and fines - like the ones you would get for planting veggies in your front lawn. Don't like the rules? Don't buy in those neighborhoods.

So that's why I don't live there and can enjoy dandelions, natural grasses, and a pesticide-free lawn.

Ethiopian food

Here's a recipe:

When I was motivated to make it, I wasn't able to find teff (aside from ordering on ebay) - but it looks like you can buy it on amazon now. The other "trick" is having a big enough pan.

Cook the Book: 'Endangered Recipes' by Lari Robling

Cream cheese and strawberry jam sandwiches!

My grandfather also made an amazing spinach dish - spinach with an egg on top and loads of vinegar.

Tap Water Now Available at Millennium in San Francisco

If people can pay for Brita filters in their homes, then what's the big deal of paying for filtered water when you eat out?

Best deals on appliances?

We bought a Bosch range from the Sears Outlet store last year for around $600 (and a Bosch built-in dishwasher for less than $300).

They even have their inventory online now:

What I did is stalk my local store's selections until they marked down their "hot deal" - which is how I saved so much on the dishwasher.

We've done Best Buy before - and that's great if you need delivery and want in-box, no scratch/dent/etc. However, I'd rather go through a little extra effort for higher quality like I've gotten at Sears.

In Season: Avocados

Rather than squeezing to tell ripeness, try testing the give/flexibility of the stem. No movement = not ripe. Very flexible = ripe.

Favorite Chicago Foods?

I think you hit all the musts. If I were there this weekend, I'd do:

lunch: Mr. G's for the hot dog - with everything (747 N Clark St.)
dinner: Lou's - sausage/mushroom as you mentioned - plus the dessert pizza
breakfast: Anne Sather's! a benedict and cinnamon rolls
lunch: Gyros - with everything
dinner: Rose Angelis for Italian
breakfast: Anne Sathers again? or a Greek diner

Dear Serious Eats: Ba Lee Banh Mi in Carrollton, Texas

The Dallas area has always been quite the boon for Vietnamese food. My parents were big on going to places in Arlington (southwestish of Carrollton) back in the 1980s - although the food seemed more Americanized/Chinese-influenced (or could that have just been what I ordered?).

"fix" an unripe avocado?

I've heard of microwaving it for a few seconds - or putting it in a paper bag for a few days.

Cook the Book: 'Serious Barbecue' by Adam Perry Lang

This is simple - but *finally* getting a grilled pizza cooked throughout without too many char marks. So good.

Domino's Launches Line of Bread Bowl Pastas

Ew. I love carbs, but those look like poorly conceived dessert pizzas.

Served: Why Tipping Makes Everyone Uncomfortable

Wow - way to spark discussion.

I've left crap tips before - for crap service. I live in a suburb where good service is the *exception* - and the last time we went out (where we live, not in the city), our waiter was completely/obviously stoned (at lunch). He would occasionally stop, stand by our table and kind of sway as he stared out the window. This is the second time this has happened to us this year. So odd. But in my opinion, a crap tip should still fix that person right at a living wage.

I love the idea someone mentioned about going more European. I'd be thrilled if our restaurants included the staff's wages in their mark ups on the food - and more thrilled if our government got with it and upped a waiter's wages to minimum wage. I'd still be happy to leave extra for exceptional service, and I think that I'd eat out - as opposed to carry out - more than I do now.

Snapshots from Italy: Grano Stompato, My New Favorite Food

If I were to be a poor 18th C. farmer, then I would want to be in Italy.

This, some cheese on occasion, and a steady supply of red wine = perfection.

No Beets Will Grow in the White House's Organic Vegetable Garden?

Down with beets. Long live the heirloom tomato!

(Seriously, if you had to devote a patch of your garden to something, would you pick a beet over a pepper or a berry?)

Anything special going into your menu today?

Funny - my family is Irish, but we've never once eaten corned beef for any type of family get-together. Anyone else?

New Identity for Jack in the Box

Isn't there some sort of marketing thing going on right now where "Jack" is missing? (Coma or something?)

Since the whole brand isn't being changed over, this reeks of publicity stunt. Get people worked up (similar to the orange juice packaging) about a "sissy"-ish change and bring back Jack along with a return to classic foods or prices or something.

If they were really changing anything, then they'd change everything.

Central Market

For fun, ask the cheese guy for his favorite cheese. Buy whatever produce is highlighted - since that's usually what's most seasonal.

They sometimes have a loaf of bread with prosciutto and black pepper. Yum.

In the take away section - the leek soup is my favorite, and the tuscan olives are fantastic. The homemade guacamole is really good, too.