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Why Anything Slow Cookers Can Do, Others Can Do Better

Is a slow cooker ideal for everything? Nope. I am willing to bet that many people that are commenting how terrible they are never actually experimented to make the things they DO work for correctly. Even if you use a pressure cooker, there is a browning step involved in 90% of the meat dishes I have seen/made, just like the slow cooker. I never brown my meat in the pressure cooker because it takes forever if you are doing more than 3 or 4 boneless thighs or breasts. There is just not enough surface area. I have a recipe that calls for 12 chicken thighs. The first time I used the PC to brown them all the whole recipe took hours. Now I use skillet to brown my meat and some of the liquid in the recipe to deglaze then add to the pressure cooker. There are still steps involved (and more than one pan). If you like your slow cooker, use it and enjoy the food you cook. Don't let anyone tell you that you are a poor cook or take away your 'foodie registration' (I think I read that or something similar in a comment and it really irritated me). Should you experiment with different ways of cooking to the point where you are comfortable you are not going to waste food? Sure! Just don't hide your slow cooker in a closet because someone tried to shame you for using one.

Tamago Kake Gohan (Japanese-Style Rice With Egg)

This was perfect! I did not have Hodashi so I added a tiny bit of fish sauce. I also added a little bit of chili sauce. I keep furikake for popcorn so that went on top. :) I even had leftover rice I heated up in the microwave. This will be a regular dish.

Equipment: The Best Hand Blender for the Home Cook

Do you want to do a popcorn maker comparison? I need some popcorn with some of these comments. *eyeroll*

Equipment: The Best Hand Blender for the Home Cook

Great review! Very helpful! I am currently searching for a new immersion blender to replace the one that has worked well for a long time. It is now making rattley noises when I blend soup so before it explodes, I will need to find a new one. I learned a lot from your comparisons. I was lured by the new Electrolux (not in this review) but will probably come back to earth and choose the OXO or Vremi. I think the most useful part of the review was pointing out that the motor size did not matter more. I might have picked the 600 one based on the size but now I see it is not as relevant. Again, very helpful.

What Type of Canned Tomatoes Should I Use?

I always keep MG whole tomatoes in my pantry (if you can call one Ikea deep shelf a pantry). I will also use the MG diced if a recipe calls for it. I've never found their chunks/dice to be too hard. That being said, I will more than likely take my kitchen scissors to a can of whole tomatoes and use that more often than the diced. I have never very carefully measured the whole vs. diced for weight but I may pay more attention going forward.

Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

Had a similar corn dish at Picante in Anguilla. It was so loud in the restaurant I could not catch how they told me they made it although the only difference I can see if I remember them telling me they gave it a soak in buttermilk. Might have to try this and combine it with that additional step.

The Best Summer Spirits for $25 and Under

I agree that for vodka, Tito's would have been a better choice. I will def check out that reposado tequila. My Don Julio is running low.

Friday Night Meatballs: How to Change Your Life With Pasta

Yay! An awesome post/idea from Philly. :) I need to do this. I am thinking taco nights though. We know too many Italians for me to compete with Mom's perfect gravy and meatballs. ;)

Spicy Potato, Bok Choy, and Shallot Hash

Made this after a hot outdoor yoga class. I needed simple, quick and comforting...and I needed to use up a good deal of bok choy from my CSA. I LOVED this! Only subs, I had a jalapeno on hand so I used it instead of the chili and I used Sriracha for hot sauce since. Will make again and again with various veg.

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

Just made this last night. It was very good. Husband is not great with heat so I left out the hot peppers and the Sriracha was enough for him. The only thing I would change is to add the sauce a little at a time while tossing. The recipe makes a lot and even with 10oz of noodles, it was too much. I would totally save the sauce though. It would be great for leftover pasta, rice, etc and what ever veg I have around - hot or cold. I look forward to making it again soon.

Best Quick and Easy Strawberry Shortcakes

In the 'special equipment' section it specifies a whisk attachment for the mixer but in the directions it specifies the paddle. Sorry! I don't bake often (more of a cook than a baker) and am trying to get better at it so I need to know exactly which I should be using otherwise I will give up on trying to make desserts! :(

Poached Eggs with Spiced Lentils

Interesting. It smelled wonderful while it was cooking but the flavors did not really get absorbed into the lentils really. The were bland when I first tasted them. I added salt and pepper and it was better. Adding the eggs and the cilantro and red pepper made it even better. I could try chicken broth or veg broth too but will probably stick with the water and increase the spices for more flavor.

Save Your Life Garlic Soup From 'One Good Dish'

Kennan - I am so glad I was not the only one who saw that. I still want to make it though. I'll try to get the image out of my head.

Cheesy Onion, Bacon, and New Potato Gratin

I cannot wait to try this. Might do for Christmas dinner. Only thing I might change is I might brown the onions a bit or even brown braise them. I only thought of this b/c I made Beef Bourguignon recently a la Julia Child and the onion prep made them so amazing.

Too much thyme

I love thyme! Unfortunately my plant decided to kick the bucket this after about 5 years in my herb garden. One of my favorite recipes is roasted tomatoes with thyme. It holds up to the roasting better than fragile basil (even though I love that too). I roast small (grape, cherry, etc) ones in a baking dish with olive oil, thyme (just leave it on the stems), whole garlic cloves, salt and pepper at 325 for an hour or so. Just take the thyme stems out when it is done. I put it on bread slices, blend it up for a pasta sauce the possibilities are endless!

Bacon and Egg Fried Rice

Forgot to defrost the roast for dinner tonight. This was a VERY good substitute. I didn't have any chili paste - ran out. I used Sriracha. Other than that, I made it exactly as listed. All the ingredients I always have on hand. It's good to keep some bacon in the freezer. :) Chops up nicely.

Brussel Sprouts

Most brussels sprouts I have seen on the stem are sold by the stem, not by weight. They will keep a little bit longer (think head of lettuce vs stuff in a package). It costs less to do the stalk when it comes to processing as well. The stuff in the little netted bag had to be taken off the stalk and then bagged. That is a little labor intensive if you think about it unless you know of a brussels sprout machine. ;)

How Long Do You Spend On Dinner?

Depends on the day. On days I work late, I usually have something quick and easy planned. On days when I get home at a decent hour, prob around the 2 hour range. I love to cook though. It's my meditation. :)

No more Inspiration since becoming vegetarian

Kenji has some AMAZING recipes from his vegan stint in Jan. I am not vegan or 100% veg but his vegan chili is my favorite chili. The Coconut Lentil Soup is another fave. One of my fave dinners is dumplings and soup. You can find some veg dumplings (frozen or fresh) and have any number of excellent soups that are veg and have protein. My advice tho is not to try to sub tofu or soy products or any type of fake meat. It will only depress you. Not b/c they cannot be good but b/c they are not meat and you can really tell. Don't give up.

Greetings from a Retired Butcher!

When all someone has in their life is the hobby of policing just have to virtually wince a half smile and pat them on the back.
That being said, thanks for the great site! Extremely helpful!

Best Hard Cider Bar in NYC

There is actually a Crispin finder app for the iPhone if you are looking for one. Not sure if they are at bars in NYC but Frecon Farms here in PA is making some amazing ciders.

Vegan: Lentil and Coconut Soup with Cilantro-Habanero Gremolata

I thought I commented on this before as I made it early this year several times as well. I have been waiting for the weather to cool to make it again. It is one of my absolute faves now. The flavor combinations are excellent! If you are a Thai food fan, this soup is for you! Serve with some dumplings and you have a very filling meal. The gremolata is not to be missed. Don't skip it. If you are worried about heat, use something less hot, like jalapeno. Today, for the first time, I doubled it with intentions to freeze. When you do this, make sure you have a very big pot. My Ikea 9qt has about 1in left at the top. A close eye was needed while waiting for the boil. I doubled the gremolata too and froze it in ice cube trays with a little water for later.

Do You Agree with New York City's Soda Ban?

Not bothered. It is not like prohibition. I am tired of m taxes paying for healthcare for people that don't care if they are obese and/or diabetic because of over consumption. It is STILL available. If you think this is 'unconstitutional' do you think taxes on cigarettes is unconstitutional, how about the fact that they cannot be sold in certain places. How about alcohol for that matter? Please explain why the soda tax is different. It is made with a ton of HFCS and is cheap enough that it is practically pushed on consumers. Also, is is covered by food stamps. Does that make one bit of sense?

Weekend Cook and Tell: Cooking on the Quick

Pasta with pesto is my go to quick meal. I usually grow a TON of basil in the summer so I freeze a good deal of pesto as well. I amp it up with sauteed veg or leftover chicken. We had this just last night with some zucchini, chopped fresh tomatoes and additional parm. Absolutely LOVE! Pesto on sourdough with mozzarella, tomato and whole leaf basil make THE best pannini in the world!

Radically Weird Pasta Additions

I am not sure what would be really weird considering you can basically put anything from peanut butter on it (peanut sauce) to squid ink. ;) How about kielbasa in an otherwise classic red gravy? It was a go to in college.