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Stir-Fried Cucumbers With Spicy Ground Pork

I was eager to try this, but what I ended up with was like eating sliced pickles. I followed the prep as instructed, not sure if I goofed somewhere or if I just don't like this.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Food Giveaway: Russ & Daughters

exactly that: smoked salmon, cream cheese, good bagel. i live in texas now, and have had to say goodbye to bagels...

Time To Drink More Guinness—Pubs Are On the Decline

Is the Irish pub on the wane too? Wouldn't ale be a better choice to support the Brits?

Actually, I love that in virtually any city in the western world (and no doubt many in the eastern), you can find an Irish pub. It's like the embassy for drinkers.

Egg salad...what's your secret ingredient?

Mayo and mustard (and salt/pepper). The best is using Kewpie mayo (2d best being Hellmans). Then on sandwich bread. I like it English style, with cress, but I'm not going to buy cress myself.

Cooking club information to share?

Not a conventional sort of club, but you might check out the Daring Bakers circle. I'm sure there are quite a few around this site, but I know the blogs Tartelette and Cream Puffs in Venice are run by some of the original members.

Favorite no-bake treats?

Wow I'm an idiot: I never made them before (only had them from my mom) and I always supposed they were no-bake. But I was wrong. So I retract from this discussion, but stand by their deliciousness.

Favorite no-bake treats?

Magic Bars, or whatever you may call them (I think they are called Dolly bars in some places). Recipe available on a can of Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk and also here:

Everything delicious. You might call them kid stuff, since they are quite sweet, but I never met anyone who disliked them (except for those weird anti-coconut types)

Emergency Turkey Day plans -- Help!

Don't forget about turkey pieces: whole breasts, or if that's still too large, you can find cutlets. There are also legs and thighs available. That way you can pick what you like (dark v. white).

Most other sides can easily be scaled down.

Green Bean Casserole...

Ooh, Thomas Keller has his version, as well, on New York mag's site:

I tried it 2 years ago and thought it was great. but I used creminis, not cepes (budget).

The hardest part is making the shallot rings for the top, but they are so delicious, and not all that hard, really.

KitchenAid Artisan Mixer vs. KitchenAid Pro Mix

Oh, and you will probably want to find a good illustrated book or online source for learning to mix doughs by any method. A stand mixer is, of course, faster and more powerful than the handheld. If you're still learning to bake, you'll need a good teaching guide to show you what to look for (under/overmixing can have serious consequences for cakes), and no mixer will tell you that.

One web resource I like is The layout and organization is a bit confusing, but there's a lot of information--and photos--there.

KitchenAid Artisan Mixer vs. KitchenAid Pro Mix

Do keep in mind what previous commenters said about the quantities: unless your serious interest in learning to bake comes with a serious commitment to regularly turning out large quantities of baked goods, you might be better off with the Artisan. I have one, and I've done bread, pastas, cakes, cookies, etc., with it. I bake a lot (2 or more times a week), and I use the Artisan for things like mashed potatoes as well, and I've never thought that I should have gone with the bigger model.

The only time my mixer couldn't handle the batter was for a 16inch cake for a wedding. But the Pro wouldn't have handled that much batter, either (need an industrial mixer or--gasp--a really big bowl and a handheld). But for the 12inch on down, no problem.

You definitely don't need the Pro to get started (and even continue for many years) baking.

In a Yam Jam!

Maybe I was way off. A little more reflection and I realized I was thinking of the pumpkin candy also called dulce de calabaza (recipe here: It's vivid orange like a sweet potato, slightly crackly with sugar on the outside, and very sweet and tender within. Really, really good, imo.. It may still be like what you were thinking, but I don't know.

In a Yam Jam!

I think I know what you're talking about: it's more like an actual candy, and less like a side dish. am I on the right track? I've usually had these from Mexican bakeries.

Google turned up this recipe:
Sweet Potato Candy

1 pound sweet potatoes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Cook in boiling water until soft; let cool, then peel, mash, and pass through a sieve. Set aside.

In a saucepan on low heat dissolve the sugar with the water; cover, then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to wash down crystals from the sides of the pan. Uncover and continue cooking on medium heat to the firm ball stage (242 degrees F) or until the syrup forms a firm ball that does not flatten when removed from cold water.

Add the potatoes to the syrup. Let cook until the mixture resembles a paste. Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until cool. By hand, roll bits of paste into 1 x 3-inch sticks. Place them on a board covered with wax paper and let them dry in a warm, dray place for 24 hours.

The following day, brush the candies with Glaze. Dry again. Wrap individual candies in wax paper or plastic wrap.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water

Boil sugar with water to the thread stage (234 degrees F). Syrup will spin a 2-inch thread when dropped from a spoon. Remove from heat and apply with a pastry brush to the candies.

Makes 32.

Cook the Book: Chile-Garlic Egg Noodles

Oh, I just saw the "drain" step. silly me.

Cook the Book: Chile-Garlic Egg Noodles

Not to say it wouldn't be delicious, but even to me, this is a shocking quantity of oil.

Win Your Thanksgiving Turkey!

Alton's brine and roast. It's my first ever turkey.

Cook the Book: Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges

brobably singapore noodles but there are so many i have never tried and desperately want to (starting with bibimbop). but yeah, fried rice is always awesome.

Cook the Book: 'Beyond Nose to Tail' Contest

Only had sweetbreads once but it was one o the best dishes I can remember. On a regular basis, it's a tie between menudo (tripe) and chicken liver pate.

Houston's Doesn't Suck: What's Your Favorite Slightly Fancy Chain Restaurant?

It's been a while, but I've always had a good time at Benihana's. Love the scallops and steak. Not sure if it's a foodie destination but it's good and fun.

Chili beans. An oxymoron?

As a native Texan, I am obligated to vehemently proclaim no beans.

But my mom always threw in a can of kidneys and I liked it that way. Not fond of any other sort of bean in chili, though, the texture is not right to me.

Also not crazy about rice with chili. For me, it's corn bead only. Garnishes? A little cheese, maybe some diced white onion or sour cream.

Now I want some. Today was the first arguably fall-like day herei n Austin,and chili would have been great.

How often do you follow a recipe exactly as written?

There's Daring Bakers, and generally whenever I am making a cake, especially if i haven't done so before. Some types of baking will take more improv (pancakes and muffins definitely being examples), but cakes can be fussy.

Also, I think it's important to follow recipes pretty closely if I have any intention to review the recipes or books from which they came. Nothing annoys me more when looking for dishes to try or checking cookbook reviews on Amazon than people who totally change a dish--except for those who never even try it (ah, B. Marold, Amazon's pompous armchair cookbook reviewer, don't get me started...).

But those of us who have cooked a lot are probably only looking for ideas most of the time anyway, so it's only natural to put your own spin on fairly standard dishes and methods. I'm much more inclined to follow the letter when it uses unfamiliar ingredients (in my case, most Asian dishes) or, most often, new techniques. So for recipes from Thomas Keller or Michel Richard or any slightly ambitious pastry, I'll trust the expert over myself.


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