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thinkingincrayons

Kids Cooking Class Ideas

Pancake or Waffles - SE just did a "lets waffle everything" series

Tacos, burritos, or fajitas - lots of assembly for little hands to help

Dips! Guacamole, hummus, tzatziki, yogurt dip with fruits and veggies

Ravioli with wonton wrappers

Start with a graham cracker pie crust....

I second Pumpkin pie. But also, what about a chocolate-mousse-ish pie with a marshmallow-y meringue topping? Sort of a play on s'mores.

The Food Lab: Three Ways to Grill Corn

My Dad wraps each naked ear of corn in a slice of bacon (just use a toothpick at either end to get it to stay) then throws it onto the grill. Best of all worlds. Plus: Bacon.

Cereal Eats: If You Could Bring Back One Discontinued Cereal...

We still get Quaker Corn Bran Squares up here in Canada - not sure if it's the same, though.

Puffy Ramp Frittata

Wow. Delicious! I just made this to try ramps for the first time, and wow. Thanks Kenji!

Can you help me name this drink?

Ooh! I love "Pinky Swear"!

Also - congrats, and that drink sounds pretty yummy. Sorry I don't have any names to suggest.

Muffuletta Grilled Cheese

I think of grilled cheese much like pizza. You start with your three basics: bread, cheese, butter and grill them (or in pizza's case, dough, cheese, sauce and bake them). Then you can add toppings/filling as you see fit. If you start taking away those three basics, then we need to have a chat.

Personally, I prefer my grilled cheese plain, and my pizza topped. But that's just me.

Stocking the Bar

Not to push you over to another site, but I know theKitchn is focusing on cocktails this week. Might be worth checking out to see if any ideas inspire you.

I made taco shells out of cheese.

My first thought: "Ooh! Breakfast appetizers!"

Which led to thinking:
Breakfast (or Brunch) Tapas Party! Think these beautiful little tacos, mini pancakes, mini waffles, fruit and cheese on skewers, mini-muffins, donut holes, tiny quiches, toasted bagel chips (sliced so they make tiny medallions) topped with lox and cream cheese, smoothies and fresh squeezed juices in shot glasses...

Ham Bone.. duh

Make ham stock and use to make polenta - top with pulled pork and serve with a dark, leafy side salad.

ISO Gluten-Soy-Dairy Free Soup Base and Other Products

I went GF about 7 years ago, and the first little while was extremely daunting. I also went through a phase of soy (and all other beans) and dairy free, too. It was rough, to say the least, but it definitely got easier in time. I read all my labels, every time I purchased an item, and I learned that some brands are better (and safer) than others.

In terms of baking - I found muffins and brownies to be the most forgiving. Cookies never quite turned out, but I struggle with them regardless.

I never found a GF bread that seemed worth it, so I usually just opted to "miss it" and have something else instead. Rice paper wraps and corn tortillas might make good swap-ins, just be sure to check labels!

You probably know this already, but watch for Hydrolized Plant Protein/Starch when you're looking at soup bases, etc - it will often be wheat or soy based. Barley Malt extract is another one that sneaks its way into all kinds of things, putting them on the no-go list.

As for Thanksgiving - it really isn't so bad!
Corn-bread/rice stuffing. Or by this point you may have found a GF bread that doesn't resemble particle board - the texture won't be as crucial here, anyways.
Crack an egg into the mashed potatoes to make up for the creaminess you'll miss from using a rice/almond milk. Or better yet, make the crispy potato recipe that was floating around here and mash sweet potato instead - won't need the butter.
Fry your brussel sprouts (another Kenji one I think)
...I could go on.... post again closer to turkey day!

How do you get out of a food rut?

Couple different approaches I think:

Go for a walk to the grocery store, leave your phone behind if you can. Pick up whatever strikes you. Snacks, something fancy, ingredients for an old standby, breakfast for dinner, etc. just wander and enjoy. Sometimes spinning your wheels in a rut only makes it worse. Walk home and enjoy!

Pick a project - I think Kenji talked about this before. Find something that you've always wanted to try, or made before but "never have time" anymore, whatever it is. Then get to it!

If you have someone who could use a food-hug, think of what they'd like. Baked goods, jam, a spice rub, a whole care package, etc. and get to work. Sometimes getting inspired is easier when it's going to someone else. Altruism is one of the most powerful mood enhancers around. We feel good when we do good for others.

Mexican Mashups?

Quesadilla Nachos - make quesadillas, cut into triangles, disperse on baking sheet, top as nachos, bake, enjoy. Haven't tried it yet, but now I want to.

Can you share a easy and quick dinner recipe?

All great ideas above.

Also maybe consider meals you can make once and reheat as leftovers throughout the week. The recipes might be a bit more time consuming and involved upfront, but they'll save you prepping every meal.

Things like:
Lasagna
Chili
Bean soups and stews
Grain or pasta salads
Shepard's Pie

What should I do with this amazing broth?

Use it to make:
Polenta or grits
Lentils
Split pea soup
Bean soup or chili
Ramen
Rice - especially for fried rice

Best coffee on a budget

@Meister - would a taste-test for the "less-evil drinkable 'cheapish' options" be feasible in the near future? This way those of us on tighter budgets can have a little help figuring out which beans really are on the no-no list, and which ones are coffee-future friendly to buy and coffee-now friendly to drink while still being coffee-budget friendly, too.

Help! My roommate wrecked my bakeware!

I don't know if this is will work or not, I haven't tried it, but what about Coke? Apparently it can scrub anything off anything. Maybe try soaking the pan in it then give it a good scrub.

Deli Meat alternative recipies

Slice them up and cook into scrambled eggs, an omelet or a fritata.

We also used to use deli meat ends and odd pieces for 'calzones' with lots of cheese and pizza sauce.

What would you want to come home to?

I'd say something warm and hearty with the makings of a good vegetable-heavy salad. I always crave "real" food and lots of veggies after travel, no matter how long I've been away.

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup with Lime and Ginger

My judgement might not be very trustworthy at the moment as I'm at a point in the sick phase that renders those Ricola cough drops 'yummy,' but this soup kicks butt! I'm calling it Sniper Soup from now on, because I'm pretty sure it would take out anything in its path.

End of Year Lists

What about maybe including some "things you might have missed" lists, too? The stuff that might have been overlooked due to time constraints, or didn't quite get the attention it deserved, etc.

Brilliant Cookie-Shipping Idea or...? Help!

Thanks for all the help guys! I gave it a go - worst case it doesn't work. Will report back soon!

Meals to Gift to Grieving/Busy Families

Empanadas! You can make a few different kinds, they freeze great, and just need to be baked. Assemble them, freeze them on a tray and pack them in bags according to variety with baking instructions. They're portable, delicious (even when cold), and not a casserole!

I also second the veggies/something fresh, and freezing already portioned cookie dough.

What about homemade granola or snack bars? Sure, it's not a meal, but it'll help fill in the gaps for when schedules are a little off and they just need "something".

There Goes That Season

Rhubarb. Saw it once this year at the grocery store and thought "I have to remember to get it at the Farmers Market." Never happened.

A dozen limes - what to make?

Caipirinias! Or I'd second the lime curd - would make a great homemade gift if you're missing anyone on your list.

Brilliant Cookie-Shipping Idea or...? Help!

Ok Serious Eaters - I need you brains!

I'm looking to ship a care package to a friend who's deployed in Afghanistan. I'm planning to bake cookie-cookies (oreos inside peanut butter cookies) and toss a few more things into the box.

Where you come in - I know a lot of people suggest using popcorn as packing material. Serious Eats just recently (I think) posted a bunch of awesome popcorn recipes. In the name of not wasting precious shipping space (and weight), I was wondering if it would be at all sensible to make a few of those popcorn recipes and pack them into ziplocs with extra air and use those ziplocs as padding for the cookie tub. Maybe not all six sides (some could be just crumpled paper) - but would this work, or would I be shipping delicious soggy corn dust?

Any and all suggestions welcome - hoping to send the box on it's way tomorrow. Thanks a million!

Does cottage cheese melt?

This may seem like a dumb question, but does cottage cheese actually melt? I have some left over I was thinking of (maybe blending first) then adding to a cheese sauce to use it up. Will it melt, or just be kind of gross? Has anyone tried this before?

Slow Cooker Quinoa

In light of recent chatter about slow cookers, I've been contemplating trying some slow cooked oatmeal, only using quinoa instead. Has anyone tried this? I haven't done this with quinoa or oats, but am curious to see what you think. Any recipes to share?

Thanks a bunch!

Any Christmas kitchen disasters?

Now that the big day is over, for most anyways, did anyone have any disasters, catastrophes or mishaps they care to share? You know... so the rest of us can watch and learn what not to do. (*ahem* also because some are just downright hilarious).

I wasn't responsible for any kitchen duties this year, and thus have no stories to tell. I was at my boyfriends family and we took care of the cooking the week leading up to the big day, so we got the day off to relax.

So lets hear it - forget the giblets? Put baking soda in the gravy instead of corn starch? Don't be shy!

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