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Kitchen Appliance Royalty

KitchenAid Mixer & Blender, and electric kettle. The kettle has at least a twice daily workout for tea duty, the other two are permanently on the bench because there's nowhere else to store them, because I have a tiny kitchen. No, I don't live in NYC, but Brisbane, Australia. Small kitchens in small apartments with limited storage & counter space are a worldwide problem it seems Mr Kuban, and we single folk surely have a right to bemoan the fact, all the while envying the giant kitchens of others.

Infinite expiration dates

@agoodcooker You got cream of tartar as a wedding gift? Really?

Food Trend you wish would fade away?

Foam. Most of the time it looks like someone spit on the plate. And those awful smears of sauce which look like someone has smeared their dirty thumb across your plate. Not appealing!

What do you look for in a kid-friendly restaurant?

I don't have children, and would honestly shun a restaurant which proclaimed to be "kid-friendly". My sister and I ate out a lot as children, and I don't remember there being any special "kid's menus". We ate from the regular menu, behaved ourselves, and more often than not, received a special treat from the restaurant for said good behaviour. If children can't be trusted to behave in a restaurant environment, and eat normal food, then get a babysitter! If you're eating nice food, why subject the kiddies to boring, unhealthy deep-fried crap....unless this is what they're used to eating at home......then we need to have a whole other conversation......

Just for Fun, Fishing and Fish Stories, Got One?

My step-father & my sister went through a phase of being quite serious fisherfolk, and took my mother with them once when we were holidaying at the beach. They both had snazzy rods, reels & all the trappings, while my mother was using a rusty old rod which they had actually "caught" while fishing. Of course the walk back to our holiday shack was a triumphant one for my mother who had caught a monster flathead, whilst the two experts were quite downcast, having caught nothing but tiddlers to be thrown back. My mother dined out on this story for years & years. Oh and it was a delicious fish!

Quince Paste

It's also delicious melted in a pan with some verjuice or white wine as a glaze for duck, quail, or even a baked ham. I also melt it down & add to aioli to have with roast pork belly, or cold meats. Lovely!

Roquefort: Differences between producers?

As far as I know, Carles Roquefort is the only one still made by hand ladling the curds, which gives it a much softer, creamier texture. All brands of Roquefort are good because the rules for making it are so strict, but for a couple of dollars more, I'd recommend the Carles!
PS: I don't work for Carles.......

What odd foods does your pet love?

One of my parent's Golden Retriever is a complete glutton. He will eat anything that you're eating. He loves fruit, especially mangoes & pears. Their other Goldie will try things, and then politely spit it out on to the floor.

Cheese book

I second "The Cheese Primer" as a good introduction, and then taste, taste, taste! I work for a gourmet food wholesaler & retailer in Australia, and we often have customers asking for a particular cheese or brand because it is specified in a recipe or magazine article. If you can make yourself familiar with different varieties, a substitute can easily be found if you don't stock the exact brand specified. I have sold more cheese on personal recommendation than book-learning. If you can describe the flavour, mouthfeel etc and tell them that you personally love it ( or not - honesty is appreciated as well), people are more than happy to buy & try. Finally, I did a weekend-long cheesemaking course and found this invaluable.
Good luck!

Whats your favorite Whisky?

I went to Japan this time last year, and bought "The Yamazaki 18 year" whisky. It is excellent, and I'm almost finished the bottle.......might need to go back to Japan for another one (or two!).

Advice on catering for 25 people - needs to be transportable!

@Teachertalk I thought I'd leave the shellfish out - am planning on chicken, chorizo & peas for the meat eaters, and tomato, spinach, artichoke & peas for the veggie one.

@annet Condiments are a great idea - might well take some of those as well.

@PiggyWoo - that lime cheesecake does sound delicious, but I was planning to make something a little sturdier which won't need to be refrigerated. Not sure how large their fridge is, and it's too hot here to have cheesecake sitting out.

Thank you everyone!!

When you have a tummy-ache...

Vegemite on hot buttered toast & weak black tea. It's like magic.

Aprons: yea or nay?

But of course! I have a constant rotation of aprons hanging ready to use, or in the wash ready for next use. For special occasions, I have an apron my boss brought back from Spain for me which is black with big red polka dots and a long frilly front which looks like a (backless) Flamenco dress. Hilarious, and yet strangely glamorous......

Who are the Best Cooks, Men or Women?

More importantly, who are the best askers of foolish questions? Men or women? Who are the best taxidermists? Men or women? I could go on all night here....

Santa is the Best! What was under your tree?

Le Creuset Cherry Red Buffet Casserole dish - yippee! My mother was going to give me some $$$'s towards one, but she very cheekily just bought it for me. Thanks Mum - you're the best!

Finger Limes?

These are terrific with any sort of seafood, oysters especially. It's also nice to drop some of the little beads into a Gin & Tonic, or any sort of cocktail where you would normally use lemon or lime.

Festival Food in Australia: Dagwood Dogs

Years ago, a friend of mine had a dagwood dog just before taking a spin on the "Tilt & Whirl". Let's just say that it was promptly re-named the "Tilt & Hurl". Not pretty.....

Help me spice up my hummus

I was inspired by a great recipe for a hummus topping from the "Moro" cookbook, and it never fails to please:

Caramelise a finely chopped red onion in EVOO, then sauté lamb mince (ground lamb in the US?), with a pinch each of ground cumin & cinnamon, until nice and crispy. Stir through some toasted pinenuts and pile on top of hummus in a wide flat bowl. Serve with flatbread - DELICIOUS! A little smoked paprika is also lovely....

Food/Herbal remedies that work to cure what ails you? Got One?

My sister swears I once cured a cold she had by making her chicken soup heavily laced with ginger, garlic & chinese green vegetables. I still make it when I'm feeling poorly, and I don't know if it's a cure, but it is mighty comforting. Also when I was an exchange student in Japan many years ago, my host father gave me a hot cup of black tea HEAVILY laced with cognac when I had cold symptoms. Worked a treat! Maybe I was just euphoric from the fumes, but I felt sooooo much better & slept like a log. ;)

Foodie gifts gone right/wrong. What did you get for the holidays?

KitchenAid Mixer here! Limited edition Candy Apple Red. Sigh. Sooooo gorgeous!

Goat curd & black olives. What should I cook?

Thanks hungrychristel. I'm going with a Tomato, Rosemary, Goat Cheese & Olive Tart. I've borrowed the idea of semi-drying the tomatoes from the recipe you found so I think my co-workers are going to have a lovely lunch tomorrow!

Wedding gift ideas-Foodie up to 100 bucks

Apparently if you give a coin with the knife, it counteracts the bad luck! So I say good knives and a small coin.

What to eat 1st time in Paris

EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! ;b

I spent a month in Paris in May, and had a most memorable lunch at Taillevent (80 Euro set lunch menu), a fabulous falafel sandwich at L'As du Falafel in the rue des Rosiers in the Marais, and the best steak-frites EVER at Le Relais de l'Entrecote in St Germain des Pres.

Oh, and nothing beats a Baguette Tradition and some truly gorgeous cheese with a glass of wine at the end of the day.

Bon Appetit!

Free Food

A few months ago, my boss' wife & kids went away on holiday, and he had more eggs from their chickens, and produce from their garden than he could eat by himself, so he bought in fresh eggs, cucumbers and chillis for us all. YUM!
I repaid the favour by making Twice Baked Goat Cheese Soufflés for everyone for lunch the next day.

A product that made me scratch my head. Would you use it?

I dread to think what is in "pre-melted" chocolate...

I once saw a packet mix for Pumpkin Soup - "Just add pumpkin and water!" I nearly wet myself laughing in the supermarket aisle. Haven't see it since, which is a shame because I'd like to buy a pack to keep in the cupboard to pull out at parties and show people for a good laugh!


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