Bake the Book: 'Entenmann's Big Book of Baking'

Caramel glazed doughnuts from the PA Dutch Market. Mmmm....

Win Pop Chart Lab's "Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" Poster

I've been making a cocktail I've titled the Bohannon which features star anise simple syrup, Rittenhouse 100 rye, and a nice wide strip of orange zest.

I've even got my wife hooked, and whiskey is about the last thing I'd expect her to enjoy.

shopsin's recommendations?

My wife and I will be there Saturday morning, but I haven't decided what I want to order yet. I think the Slutty Cakes have been my favorite single item, but that Symphony has caught my eye.

Last time I had the Castles with hatch chile and thought they were just okay. My wife loved the Mo'betta.

From Behind the Bar: What Makes a Good Bar?

Hmmm, these are a few of my favorite bars:

The Map Room, Chicago - awesome setting and beer selection. I feel like I'm drinking in an Indiana Jones movie.
Monk's Kettle, San Francisco/The Trappist, Oakland - Love both of these places for the same reasons: Great people behind the bar, great light, great beer list.
Bar UnCommon, New Orleans - A very chic look without feeling stuffy (this is New Orleans afterall) and simply put the best cocktails I've ever had.
Carousel Bar, New Orleans - Marvin makes a mean Pisco Sour.
Tria, Philadelphia - A very well edited beer list, great small plates, a well-lit open atmosphere.
Barcade, Brooklyn, NY - Beer and videogames.

The Vegetarian Option: Longman & Eagle

Screw vegetarianism, that wild boar sloppy joe was one of the best (if not the very best) sandwiches I've had all year. Rarely do dishes live up to the hype like that sandwich did. Bonus that the bartender knew how to make a traditional mint julep (even if it was a tad weaker than the ones I make at home).

A Sandwich a Day: Ahogada Torta at Xoco in Chicago

The flavors of this sandwich were undeniably great, but the time I had it the broth was served so insanely hot that after it finally cooled enough for me to take a bite, the bread had completely soggified. Out of our party of four, this sandwich still took 3/4 favorite votes, but my favorite was the cuban. Overall, Xoco is still one of my favorite places in the city. Expensive? Yes, but worth it for the quality ingredients and bold flavors.

Cereal Eats: Cereals Inspired by Baked Goods

It's interesting this topic just came up. I was in Wegman's the other day scouring for a sweet cereal when I came upon the Wegman's store brand section. I was about to pick up a box of generic CTC when I noticed Wegman's Blueberry Muffin Squares. They're pretty damn good, I highly recommend you seek them out and let us know what you think. They rank pretty highly on my baked good cereal list.

Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs

I'm always drawn to recipes like this, but the major setback is the fact that most people don't have access to things like merguez. I'd love to make this dish, but I'd probably have to mail-order the merguez, so in the end it wouldn't be worth the trouble.

Beet Generation

Well I made this drink last night using pear juice instead of beet juice and pasteurized apple cider. I added another .5 oz. of rye and pear juice. I used 2 T of anise seed and strained it out using a fine strainer into a plastic squeeze bottle.

It was really nice, especially after it warmed up a bit. I think I used too much ice in my shaker as my first few sips were relatively bland. The subtler flavors emerged as it warmed. When I make it again I might use sparkling cider or some lemon juice as I felt it needed a little something to cut the sweetness. I also might drop in a few brandied raisins or a cinnamon stick. With a little work, this recipe has the potential to be great.

Beet Generation

Well I made this drink last night using pear juice instead of beet juice and pasteurized apple cider. I added another .5 oz. of rye and pear juice. I used 2 T of anise seed and strained it out using a fine strainer into a plastic squeeze bottle.

It was really nice, especially after it warmed up a bit. I think I used too much ice in my shaker as my first few sips were relatively bland. The subtler flavors emerged as it warmed. When I make it again I might use sparkling cider or some lemon juice as I felt it needed a little something to cut the sweetness. I also might drop in a few brandied raisins or a cinnamon stick. With a little work, this recipe has the potential to be great.

Why Are Peanut and Peanut Butter Prices So High This Year?

It may only be increasing by .04 but that's still a 33% increase.

Fortunately a 12 jar case of Crazy Richard's just landed on my porch yesterday, so I'm set for at least a few months (it was just a coincidence that I ordered a case when headlines of the price of peanuts increasing started showing up, not some kneejerk reaction.)

Bake the Book: 'Momofuku Milk Bar'

It would be stacked with Tartine's Morning Buns and City Bakery's Pretzel Croissants. Alright, and it'd serve City Bakery's hot chocolate too.

Cereal Eats: Bats and Ghosts and Berries, Oh My! Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry

Frankenberry is hands down my favorite sugary cereal (and only second to Cracklin Oat Bran as my favorite cereal period.) There's just something so very addicting about the combination of synthetic strawberry flavoring and marshmallows.

I was this close to purchasing a Frankenberry costume for Halloween this year, but then my wife pointed out that I'd be a huge pink Frankenstein, at which point I came to my senses.

Brunch Drinks: Beet Generation

I'm not sure I can obtain beet juice, fresh squeezed or otherwise, can you recommend any suitable substitutions? I was thinking maybe cranberry juice... Or pear?

Soda: We Try All 127 Flavors from the Coke Freestyle Machine

Thank god this wasn't a 127 page slideshow.

13 Cheeses Everyone Should Know

While shopping for my wife's 30th birthday dinner we sampled an amazing pecorino toscano that's marinated in olive oil for... 6 months I think. It paired amazingly well with kalmata and green olives, and fresh bread dipped into spiced olive oil. We've gone back to it a few times and I think we're both addicted.

Drinking in Season: Pumpkin Punch with Cinnamon-Infused Rum

This sounds pretty interesting. If anyone tries it please post your thoughts.

We Sit Down with Alton Brown

I wonder if the threw that Welch's in there because hes a spokesperson. Nonetheless, a good interview. Alton Brown is certainly one of my favorite food personalities. My co-worker just recommended I check out the Coq au Vin episode. Thanks for all the great tips over the years.

Candy a Day: Peanut Butter M&M's

I used to love the light brown (apparently they were tan?) ones when I was a kid. No idea why, my favorite color growing up was yellow... RIP Light Brown.

GABF Highlights: 15 Unique Brews from the Great American Beer Festival 2011

I'm really surprised you guys mentioned Defenstration. When I visited RRBC back in August, it was one of the few beers I sampled that really missed the mark. Of their -ation beers I really enjoyed Consecration, Damnnation, Supplication, and Temptation. I also realized that Pliny the Elder, while good, is seriously overrated.

I'm envious of your beer samplings, some of those brews had my mouth watering. Thanks for the recap.

Serious Beer: 10 New Pumpkin Beers

I've been curious about The Fear, so thanks for the review. Just called my beer spot and they just got 3 cases in today so I will most certainly be stopping by on my way home from work. Glad to see 2 of the top 3 were MD brews.

Pumpkin Beer History: Colonial Necessity to Seasonal Treat

I hope this article is a lead-in to a Pumpkin Ale tasting. I just compared Pumking and Punkin, and Pumking was the clear favorite. I might enjoy Punkin more if I paired it with some appropriate food, but by itself I wasn't too crazy about it. I'm glad it only came in a 4-pack.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: M.H. Gordon's Vodka vs. Gordon's Vodka

The only time I've ever had alcohol poisoning was due to a bottle of Gordon's. I feel it is my duty to provide you with the entire story as it is quite entertaining:

It was the Summer before our senior year in high school and three friends and I had the bright idea to raid my parents' liquor cabinet immediately after they left for work so we could get drunk and sober up before they got home.

We whipped out the Gordon's and started making screwdrivers with some sort of fuzzy navel flavored orange juice that my mom had in the fridge. Just remembering that flavor is making me queasy. Anyway at some point in the day we lined up 4 shot glasses, one each for two of my friends (our other friend was dubbed the babysitter for the day) and two for me. After that the day is pretty much a blur.

I remember raiding the fridge and eating half of a Moby Dill pickle before chucking the other half back into the jar. I remember hanging my head off of my back deck and watching the pile of puke on the ground get bigger and bigger. Eventually the babysitter started threatening us with the hose if we didn't all pile into his car so we could get the hell out of there before my dad got home. I vaguely remember going in and out of consciousness in his back seat and finally I woke up in my other friend's bed at 9pm having no recollection whatsoever of how I got there. I called my mom and she came and picked me up.

Ah, the simple joys of youth.

One Big Bottle: Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

+1 @beersnob. As with most Stone brews I also felt this one was just a bit unbalanced due to it's hop-forwardness. It had so much potential, but unfortunately it just didn't come together in the end.

6 Best Licks of Frozen Custard in the Washington, D.C. Area

I'm disappointed Neilsen's didn't make this list. When my wife and I were in the area for a concert at Wolf Trap we stopped here and I got a concrete of vanilla custard, peanut butter, marshmallow, and cashews. It was magical.

A Barbecue-based SE branch

While reading the most recent PG post on Slice I just had the epiphany that barbecue would be a great site branch for SE. It's a cuisine of great passion/dedication and diehard loyalty to a huge array of regional styles. There's already quite a bit of intel here on SE and I think if there were a centralized location where fanatic backyard barbecuers like myself could congregate, the possibilities are endless.

Just something to consider.

Beer clubs?

I know this is a long shot, but does anyone know of any beer clubs in the Northern Baltimore, Baltimore County, Harford County area? I've really been wanting to find more like minded individuals like myself who prefer to drink more than whats on tap at the corner dive bar. Bonus if they're into barbecue!

A day-trip to NYC

Once again my friends and I are heading to NYC for the day. I'm very excited so I figured I would post what I had in mind for our daily eating/activities.

Bus arrives at 8:45a and I have two proposed plans for breakfast:

Walk a few blocks south and hit up the Chelsea Doughnut Plant then take the subway up to the UWS to Levain for some jumbo cookies OR take the subway down to LES for Shopsin's.

My wallet says DP/Levain, but my heart says Shopsin's. The new menu addition Mo'Jemima has my mouth slavering.

After breakfast/brunch I'm not really sure what we'll do to kill the earlier part of the day. If we go up to Levain that'll put us near the park and museums, otherwise we'll be in the LES.

2pm Lunch reservations at Peter Luger's. The highlight of the trip for me. Can't wait to get my hands on that burger.

After Luger's we'll be shooting over to Barcade for beers and games unless someone can suggest a different bar in the area. I've been to Barcade before and loved it, but I wouldn't mind trying something new.

Dinner depends on time/level of inebriation. My first idea was to go to Paulie Gee's in Greenpoint for pizza, and I think that is probably what we'll end up doing, but once my friend heard I'd never been to Katz's he said we should seriously consider going there. For the record I have been to PG's, but my favorite pizza, the Moby Grape, seems to be absent from the menu. Bus home leaves at 8:30.

What say you? Thanks for any comments/suggestions.

Bringing my pescatarian brother to the city...

...and looking for places to eat/. He expressed interest in the following areas:

- Gourmet Vegetarian (made a dinner res at Dirt Candy so I've got this one covered)
- Indian (was looking at Saravanaas)
- Asian (he didn't specify beyond that... Which cuisine would be best for a pescatarian?)
- Coffee (was considering Blue Bottle Coffee)
- Single Malt Scotch (had my eyes on Brandy Library)
- Pizza (planning on dedicating the entire day to getting him some Di Fara. How long will be the wait on a Sunday if we get there around 11am?)
- Beer (I wanted to check out Barcade for pre-dinner drinks since I think we'd both enjoy the old school arcade vibe)

What do you think of my choices? Your recommendations are highly appreciated.

Weekend itinerary for your enjoyment/discussion

My wife and I are spending a short weekend in NYC in a few weeks and I'm hammering out the details. Let me know what you think and give me a hand with the rough spots if you feel you can!

Our bus arrives early Saturday morning so our first stop is Bouley Bakery for some sweet treats to go.

After that a little stroll around Central Park to work up an appetite (recommendations welcome here for a cheap way to kill some time/work up an appetite).

Lunch lands us at The Breslin so I can rip into that lamb burger I've been reading so much about. Since the Spotted Pig is my favorite burger I have high hopes for this one.

The rest of Saturday is up in the air. I was thinking about doing a broadway/off broadway show but am finding the prices a little steep. Any suggestions on shows or how to keep costs down would be great. I've seen Spamalot and Fuerza Bruta (thanks to a recommendation here) and she's seen some of the classics when she visited the city ages ago.

As far as eating for the rest of day the options I have at the moment are grazing the Hester Street Fair or checking into our hotel down in Brooklyn then hitting up either Bark Hot Dogs or Char No. 4 for dinner. Recommendations welcome.

Sunday I have all planned out and am very happy with the day as a whole. A short walk from our hotel after we check out takes us to breakfast at Tom's Restaurant. Afterwards we plan on taking in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in it's entirety. After that it's lunch at Al Di La.

That's about it. Maybe a stop off at Murray's Bagels for a dozen to take home on our way back up to Penn Station for our bus ride home.


Homemade half sour pickles

After having great housemade pickles from Martin's bar-b-que at the BBQ Block Party and seeing some great cukes at my local farmer stand I've been interested in making some half sours at home.

I searched around, but no recipe I found really stood out. So if any of you have a good recipe you could point me to I'd appreciate it.


NY Times Sourdough Starter

The post here on slice inspired me to finally take the dive into home pizza-making. So I got the necessary items and followed the recipe for a sourdough starter to the T... And got no results.

This is my first time doing this, but I did everything as stated. KAO flour and Dole unsweetened pineapple juice in a plastic bowl stirred twice a day with a wet spoon. Stored at room temperature and sealed tightly with plastic wrap.

I was at the step where it should start foaming after 1-4 days and all I had was a bowl of gooey pineapple flour. It started to smell sour a day or two later so I dumped it, frustrated that I had wasted all that time and effort.

So... Is it something I'm doing wrong or is the NY Times recipe missing something?

Attn Chicagoans

Can anyone tell me what the current burger of the month at Kuma's Corner is? My searching skills are severely limited here at work so if anyone knows I'd love to hear it.


Mole in NYC?

Just finishing up my last notes for my trip to the city this weekend and I've had a hankering for some Mole. I've got El Maguel y la Tuna penciled in as a possible spot, can anyone recommend better? I don't mind travelling to the outter boroughs just as long as it's not an hour+ trip.

So, is there better to be had? I'm staying in East Harlem if that helps. Thanks!

April NYC trip itinerary for your enjoyment/discussion

I think I've just about finished planning out all of the possible stops on my 3 day trip to NYC in two weeks so I figured I would post it up here for reference or discussion or just to give someone some ideas for their own trip.

I've been on a sandwich kick as of late so this trip is laden with various sandwich stops. Also, the friend I'm staying with is kinda strapped at the moment so I was trying to keep most of my choices budget friendly.


Locanda Verde: Already made a rez for us. Looking to try the ricotta and the uova modenese and any baked goods I can get my grubby mits on.

Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar: Volcano, pork buns, compost cookie, other baked goods depending on whats available.

Shopsin's: I've already been once but would gladly go back.


Ba Xuyen or Baoguette: I've wanted to try a banh mi and put down both of these places as an option.

Taim: Sabich.

Azuri Cafe: Falafel pita.

Shake Shack: Shack Stack and fluffernutter custard if we manage to go Friday. Although the pancakes and bacon flavor for Saturday sounds great as well.

Tacos Xochimilco: Pambazo.

Puebla Mini Market: Tortas.

Txikito: el Double burger served during lunch.


Otto: veggie antipasti, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Olive Oil gelato.


Stand: Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake. Had this already, was blown away and would love another one.

City Bakery: Pretzel croissant. Hoping to take a dozen home with me.

H&H or Murray's Bagels: Bagels close to Penn station I'm interested in taking home if we don't make it to City Bakery.

I'm trying to not get my heart set on any one place because I know we won't get to try them all, I'm just happy to have a good spread of options for when the time to eat rolls around.

Thoughts/comments welcome as always.

Which city to visit for our 1st anniversary?

My wife and I randomly started talking last night about where we might go for our first anniversary (which isn't until late August, but we like to plan ahead!) so I drew up a list of some of the cities we were interested in visiting.

The trip would probably be 4-5 days over a long weekend. Here's the list of cities that we came up with:

Portland, OR (Oregon in general, we've always wanted to visit)

San Diego, CA (she has been there and I have not, I would love to taste some genuine Mexican street food there)

Santa Fe, NM (I just love the type of cooking they do there, although we would have to fly into Albuquerque and drive)

Boston, MA (in this case we would do a road-trip as we live in Maryland, possibly going as far north as Portland, ME)

New Orleans (would just love to experience the food scene down there)

Montreal (this is probably out of our price range but... we've heard great things!)

Any kind of help/suggestions/firsthand experience would be of great help because google doesn't seem to be helping much.

What do you like to cook on a long Sunday?

I just got off the phone with my wife and suggested the idea of spending the day in the kitchen this Sunday to give our overly-active social life a much needed break.

I love spending a long day cooking, my go-to recipes being pulled pork, ribs, carnitas, and my fondest recipe, chili verde.

I've decided to cook something new for this Sunday so I present this question to you: What do you enjoy cooking when you have a long lazy day to spend in the kitchen? Comments/Discussion welcome, and recipe links are highly encouraged! Thanks.

Microcosm K

ISO steak au poivre and bread pudding recipes

The wife and I have finally decided on our menu for Valentine's Day now all I need is adequate recipes. I've searched high and low to the point that I've developed a pretty mean headache (I tend to overthink things...) so I figured I would see what my fellow SEers can do for me. What I'm looking for is the following:

A very traditional steak au poivre recipe for two. The sauce should contain heavy cream, cognac, beef stock, shallots, and multiple types of peppercorns. Money/time isn't an issue as we have all day to cook. I'll be making rosemary red-skinned potatoes and a green veggie of some sort to accompany.

Bread pudding for dessert. I've made it once before and it wasn't custardy enough. The wife requested no chocolate so I'm thinking cinnamon raisin or date or apple or fig... anything that would follow steak au poivre nicely. We don't want the crusty NO-style we want mushy custardy goodness with a light top crust.

I'm sorry for the specifics but if anyone has a great suggestion for us we're all ears. Thank you.

First trip to Chicago: What pizza to eat?

I'm planning our first trip to Chicago and am asking recommendations for which pizza joint to try out. I'm not a huge fan of deep dish but I figured if I was going to ever like it, it would be straight from the horse's mouth in Chicago. So if you had one chance to eat pizza in Chicago where would you go? Great Lake? Spacca Napoli? Pizano's? Somewhere else?

Thank you for any/all recommendations. From researching this trip I've realized how much great food is in Chicago. A future branch of SE Chicago would definitely get my vote!

Food stops from MD to the Outer Banks

I will be going to the Outer Banks for the first time in two weeks and was looking for any recommendations for food along the way. Considering it will be roughly 8 hours we'll probably be stopping for either two meals or 3 or 4 quick bites. I was considering Ben's Chili Bowl for a half-smoke or maybe Coal Fire Pizza in Ellicott City.

What I would really love is some good Carolina barbecue but I haven't had any luck finding decent spots along the way. Any recommendations? Doing a quick route via google maps it looks like we'll be skirting Baltimore, D.C., Richmond, and Norfolk before crossing into eastern N.C.

Thanks for your help.

French Fry Slicer

Two things I'm trying to perfect cooking at home are burgers and fries and pizza. Right now I'm considering purchasing a french fry slicer. Is it worth it? Could anyone recommend a decent one under $30?

Bachelor party needs suggestions for Sat. nightlife in Philly

There are 9 guys total and after dinner at Morimoto this Saturday we're not really sure what we're going to get in to next. Strip-clubs aren't really our thing since we've all seen it before. We're looking for an area we can bar hop if needed or a waterfront bar that is upbeat enough to handle 9 loud drunk guys. We'd like to avoid the club scene and live music unless its a sweet 80s cover band. The bachelor really wanted to find a place we could hang out on the water but after some extensive searching I haven't really been able to find anything that's not a club.

We leave Saturday morning and I think I'm running out of places to turn for advice. Help me out with some suggestions if you've got them!


Getting from Port Authority to UPN

Our bus arrives in Port Authority at 6:35pm tomorrow and I am trying to get to UPN before they run out of dough and close. For those of you who go there fairly often, can it be done? If so which route am I taking? Is taxi faster than subway? (I would assume it's not). I'm visiting for my birthday and if I get to eat there (we've got plans Saturday) then I will consider the trip a success. Help me get to UPN goodness in time!

Anything worth seeing/doing this Sunday?

Since I don't see the usual NYC Food Events for the Weekend (I may be being a bit hasty, the last one was posted on Thursday) I thought I would ask directly. I will be on a business trip to NYC this weekend but am left to fend for myself all day Sunday until my trip back to Maryland Sunday night. So, of course I was wondering if there was anything interesting going on Sunday to see or do. While I am going to eat out a few times I would rather go somewhere and stay within walking distance since I'm not sure I trust myself solo in the subway system just yet. So any recommendations on a good place to take a cab to and walk around or events going on that could soak up most of my day would be great!


What did you eat/drink at your wedding shower?

My fiance and I are in the midst of planning our wedding and the maid of honor is right in the thick of planning our wedding shower as bridal showers are kind of old-fashioned around these parts. She is pestering us with questions about what kind of food/drink we want to serve. Whether to do pot-luck or have it catered or both. She just texted me asking me my favorite beer and I responded with a hefty list and she yelled at me.

I asked for a barbecue/tex-mex theme as that is my favorite type of cuisine to cook/eat but we love sushi too. Should we try for something that will appeal to the guests? What should I do? How did you handle your wedding/bridal shower? What factors did you consider when deciding what food/drinks to serve? Did you even have a say? Should I even care!?!?

Being a foodie, I think the answer to the last questions is definitely yes. :)

I want to hear about your experiences. Please, enlighten me.

Dinosaur BBQ chipotle garlic copycat recipe

Has anyone stumbled across this or seen it in their published book? I'm going to attempt to recreate these wings at home after having them this past weekend in Harlem and I cannot for the life of me find anything close to a chipotle garlic wing sauce recipe? Is my Google broken? I figured this would be a pretty popular sauce, but I can't find squat...

Thanks sirs and madams.

Where to take a NYC newbie on a budget

Put yourself in my shoes: I am spending Easter weekend in NYC and bringing a friend who has only seen the touristy side of what NYC has to offer. I'm looking to take him around to places that have amazing food, which are exclusive to the NYC experience, and are also budget friendly. Do not fear, I have already done some extensive browsing of SE on my own, but, as always, I wanted to utilize the invaluable resource that is my fellow SE readers. So, if you were in my shoes, where would you go?

On another side note what Broadway show and NYC museum would you recommend?

Thank you! I don't know what I would do without you guys.

Vegan tex-mex recipes?

I am having vegan friends over for dinner and I love to cook tex-mex so I'm consulting my friendly SE community to see if you can throw any decent links or recipes my way. They love spicy food and just moved back to Maryland from San Diego so I might have to pull something spectacular out of my kitchen to impress after having been feasting on the tex-mex available in San Diego for the last few years.

I was going to do my usual turkey habanero chili and just use quorn in place of the ground turkey but read that it's not vegan-friendly.

My plan right now is vegan falafel with a vegan cucumber dill soy yogurt sauce. I know, falafel isn't tex-mex, but it is one of my favorite foods, and who doesn't like falafel?

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Help with carnitas tacos

I've got most of my ideas ironed out for my tacos, I just need help finalizing a few things. I need a good salsa recipe (I was thinking tomatillo or salsa verde) as well as suggestions on what type of cheese to use. I read on here cojita is a good choice but I just wanted a couple back-up choices in case Wegmans doesn't carry cojita. I also searched around for a salsa recipe here but nothing really stood out for me.

In case you were wondering I will be using the following recipes:

Cilantro cream sauce (wasn't really sure if this would suit carnitas, any suggestions on this matter are welcome. What should I use instead?)
And my dad's guac recipe :)

Thanks for any replies!

Dungeons and Dragons-Themed Jones Soda

[Photographs:] Total nerd alert. Jones Soda has teamed up with the fantasy role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons to create a limited edition line of "Spellcasting Soda." Choose from flavors like: Potion of Healing, Dwarven Draught, Bigby's Crushing Thirst Destroyer, Illithid Brain Juice, and Eldritch Blast. A six-pack is $10.99. Wargame juice, alright, yeah! Perfect for those dehydrated moments after too much teleporting and spellcasting. Related A Primer to Star Trek Food and Drink Geek Cakes Slideshow of Food in Video Games... More