SparkPeople Culinary Artists Team Messageboard The team for culinary artists and lovers of fine cuisine. If you have fun with food as well as love the beauty and artistry of food then join us and lets exchange ideas and inspire one another! SparkPeople Culinary Artists Team Messageboard Chef ranks Okay, I already knew Executive Chef and Sous Chef. But since I started watching Food Network, I've learned there are ranks I've never heard of. Chef De Partie? Chef De Cuisine (I thought all chefs were)? Chef Tournant? I even heard one call herself a "roundsman" (she worked at a country club). <BR> <BR> Could someone please clarify for me? Sun, 5 Apr 2015 23:22:36 EST Possibly stupid question Watching cooking challenges, I notice the chefs handle hot vessels with folded kitchen towels. Wouldn't pot holders be better? Sun, 15 Feb 2015 00:06:32 EST Poultry puzzles Okay, so chicken, turkey and Cornish hens need to be thoroughly cooked but duck needs to be medium rare. Where does that leave squab, partridge or pheasant? (Not that there's much of a chance I'll ever cook any of them.) <BR> <BR> Also, when I see chefs cook duck on TV, it's always the breast. I can't imagine roasted leg/thigh of duck wouldn't be just as delicious. But I've only ever seen the leg quarter in confit. Does anybody serve it by itself? Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:11:50 EST What do you think? <link><BR>taurant-bans-ketchup-mad-fresh-bistro/<BR>?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl23%7Csec<BR>1_lnk3%26pLid%3D525179 </link> Sat, 6 Sep 2014 00:26:01 EST The one and only <link><BR>lia-child-one-liners </link> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 18:57:58 EST The insanely variable soup recipe Last night I dreamed a soup recipe and several variations. At the base, each had a type of sausage, onion, garlic, chicken or vegetable broth, beans and veggies. From there, there were three basic variations: <BR> <BR> Spicy: One pound of chorizo and about a half-teaspoon of red pepper flakes. <BR> <BR> Smoky: One pound of smoked sausage or ham and a teaspoon of liquid smoke flavoring, if desired. <BR> <BR> Italian: One pound of Italian sausage (sweet or hot as you prefer) and Italian h... Sat, 2 Aug 2014 19:07:33 EST How they got their names <link><BR>the-worlds-most-famous-restaurants-got<BR>-their-93146914916.html </link> <link><BR>the-worlds-most-famous-restaurants-got<BR>-their-93146914916.html </link> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:35:39 EST Which celebrity chef are you? Guess who I matched... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>brity-chef-are-you-take-our-quiz?ncid=<BR>txtlnkusfood00000069&ts=1406649703 </link> <link><BR>brity-chef-are-you-take-our-quiz?ncid=<BR>txtlnkusfood00000069&ts=1406649703 </link> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:31:03 EST French Onion Soup Hi All! <BR> <BR> I tried making French Onion Soup recently. I turned out delicious, but my bread ended up sinking, so my cheese didn't get a chance to brown and get yummy. I toasted my bread first but it absorbed the liquid and fell in. What's the trick? What did I do wrong? Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:56:05 EST Culinary school -- yea or nay? <link><BR>-need-a-pricey-culinary-degree-to-be-a<BR>-top-chef?bt_alias=eyJ1c2VySWQiOiIxMjA<BR>zNDcyIn0%3D </link> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 22:37:24 EST Vegetarian cooking questions Is there a way to cook steel-cut oats so they come out separate like brown rice instead of porridge? I love brown rice or bulgur pilaf and cold whole-grain salads, and my new vegetarian cookbook has suggested using steel-cut oats instead. <BR> <BR> The protein question concerns me. Is a plate of steamed veggies and whole-grain pilaf or some other whole grain side enough? Should I add a yogurt sauce like raita for the veggies? I detest all variations of tofu so that's not a possibility. <BR>... Sat, 24 May 2014 22:27:33 EST Semi Homemade? Check out the first line of the article. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ndra-lees-met-gala-dress.html#disqus_t<BR>hread </link> Fri, 9 May 2014 00:34:16 EST It's about time! <link><BR>nated-the-2014-james-beard-awards/ </link> Tue, 6 May 2014 21:10:39 EST PLEASE tell me they're kidding Cornell University researchers clearly don't have enough to do. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-eating-chicken-on-the-bone-make-kids-<BR>more-aggressive/20878371/?icid=maing-g<BR>rid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl21%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D470900 </link> Sat, 3 May 2014 19:44:02 EST What spice are you? <link> </link> Sat, 3 May 2014 10:44:14 EST Why chefs are better at life <link><BR>efs-life-better_n_5204653.html?utm_hp_<BR>ref=mostpopular </link> Sun, 27 Apr 2014 17:19:24 EST Spring onions, green garlic I got both of these in this week's CSA box. I know the bulbs can be used like any other onions or garlic, but what about the green tops? I thought of slicing them in salad like scallion tops, but they seem kind of tough. Does anyone else use them? What do you do? Sun, 27 Apr 2014 10:42:58 EST Gluten (warning, rant ahead) I totally understand that there are people who are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease. But aside from that, I think this whole gluten-free mania is just another food fad. I'm seeing foods that never in history contained gluten being labeled gluten free. <BR> <BR> Humanity has survived with gluten for millennia. Why is it so bad now? Sat, 22 Mar 2014 17:16:58 EST Low Cal App Its that time of year when I begin exercising and I am looking to eat as much as possible. Who has a great low calorie appetizer. <BR> Please share <em>4</em> Sun, 16 Mar 2014 12:59:50 EST Parmesan or Parmesan Style? <BR> I am really interested to know what every one thinks about this big Hoo Ha over the controversy of European cheese names being used for cheese produced in America. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>aspx?feed=AP&date=20140312&id=17426968 </link> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 14:50:43 EST Iconic food scenes from the movies <link><BR>d-scenes-classic-films?icid=maing-grid<BR>7%7Cmain5%7Cdl22%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D449062 </link> Sat, 1 Mar 2014 11:48:07 EST For meat eaters out there? I think that just the very idea is helping me to lose weight right now! Lol! <BR> <BR> Just take a's funny! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>te </link> <BR> <BR> Who would you add to the list? Thu, 27 Feb 2014 03:24:38 EST Hello!! Hi everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself. I consider myself a food artist as my goal is to not only have my food taste good but look AMAZING as well!! Looking forward to exchanging ideas and fun times. Happy Valentines Day to all. Hope it's a good one Fri, 14 Feb 2014 09:25:54 EST Cooking to fight breast cancer <link> </link> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 09:27:18 EST Irish cuisine Putting the ridiculous old stereotypes to rest. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>k/A-Revolution-in-Irish-cooking-with-B<BR>allymaloe-.html </link> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 13:55:34 EST Push Ups Just started day 1 of a hundred pushup challenge. In six weeks i will be able to do 100 push ups…any advice? <em>320</em> besides looking for a male comic figure doing a pushup <em>211</em> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:09:37 EST Maybe it's just me On a depressing number of shows lately I've seen various pastries being touted (Guy Fieri is in on a lot of them, but he's not the only offender). As the the baker gives the recipe, everything will go along swimmingly until s/he says the dreaded words, "then we add the margarine." (Insert sound of screeching brakes here). <BR> <BR> Margarine? SERIOUSLY??? I could see it if we were talking a kosher baker who can't use dairy, but otherwise you totally lose me. Sun, 22 Dec 2013 20:41:51 EST Gordon Ramsay vs. -- The Swedish Chef! And no, I do NOT mean Marcus Samuelsson. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>rdon-ramsay-swedish-chef_n_4412373.htm<BR>l?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003&ir=Food </link> Mon, 9 Dec 2013 12:51:34 EST Is it just me... Or does this look totally creepy? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/turkey-pinata-cake/ </link> Thu, 28 Nov 2013 20:13:04 EST No, Chef <link><BR>shwasher-turkey-david-burke-thanksgivi<BR>ng_n_4323355.html?ir=Taste </link> Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:22:37 EST Appetite -killing Thanksgiving aprons <link><BR>anksgiving-aprons_n_4332244.html?ref=t<BR>opbar </link> Sun, 24 Nov 2013 14:44:44 EST This takes the cake! <link><BR>n-bakes-terrifyingly-realistic-life-si<BR>zed-Johnny-Depp-cake-231192581.html </link> Sat, 9 Nov 2013 10:23:51 EST This is so dang funny! For those of you who are more than a little suspicious of molecular gastronomy...Chicago restaurant dresses up as Alinea for Halloween. Sooooo funny! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/31/chicago-restaurant-dresses-up-as-<BR>alinea-wins-halloween-2013/ </link> Wed, 6 Nov 2013 13:42:33 EST Guy Goes to Court Surfin' around and found this.... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ws/local/north_bay&id=9304617 </link> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 19:28:47 EST 29 signs you've worked in a restaurant kitchen For many of us I think alot of these you can relate to whether you have worked in a kitchen! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s-you-worked-in-a-restaurant-kitchen </link> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 16:02:34 EST Dinner party puzzles I'm having a dinner party in a couple of weeks. The menu includes red wine braised brisket (in the crock pot). rosemary-garlic roasted fingerling potatoes (from John Besh's wonderful book My Family Table), and kale sauteed with shallots and bacon (let's be honest, you could probably saute a paving stone in shallots and bacon and it would be delicious). Dessert is going to be Chef Besh's amazing Brendan's Bread Pudding. It is totally NOT Spark friendly, but this is as close to a holiday dinner... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 14:18:10 EST Tableside? Watching Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant Impossible, I see chefs Gordon Ramsay and Robert Irvine have opposite opinions of tableside service. Ramsay loves it because he says patrons enjoy the show and it eases stress on the kitchen. Irvine abolishes it in every restaurant he fixes that has it, because he says servers should serve and cooks should cook. He even had one crew demolish the cart (okay, I know cart isn't the right word but I can't remember it). <BR> <BR> Just wondering -- what d... Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:31:47 EST Just in time for Halloween... <link><BR>-never-have-been-canned-slideshow </link> Sat, 12 Oct 2013 20:54:52 EST The lopsided butterfly Sunday I made my first attempt at butterflying a Cornish hen. Cutting out the spine was a no-brainer, but it got more complicated when I got to the other side. I tried to split the sternum down the middle with my knife but it didn't work. Do I remove the sternum? Do I remove the wishbone? How do I butterfly or halve poultry? Sat, 5 Oct 2013 15:26:41 EST I'll cop to having eaten my fair share of ramen noodles. But these just look bizarre. <BR> <BR> <link><BR><BR>ml?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl24%7Cs<BR>ec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D380907 </link> Sun, 29 Sep 2013 23:09:01 EST What do you think? <link><BR>ols-you-dont-use-should?icid=stnwsltr%<BR>7Ckitchendaily%7Cweekly </link> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 23:47:42 EST No comment... <link><BR>y-fieri-new-spokesman-for-rolaids.html<BR>#disqus_thread </link> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 02:31:44 EST Why do this? and Why pay for this? I imagine that most of you are familiar with this...but this is one culinary creation that I just cannot get behind: Spaghetti Burger (why?) <BR> heres the link: <link><BR>spaghetti-burger </link> <BR> <BR> I'm normally not a party pooper when it comes to these types of things but this looks like a party poop. I love deconstructed food works. I would rather deconstruct this spaghetti burger back to what it should be Spaghetti Bolognese, plain ... Sat, 24 Aug 2013 06:10:34 EST 18 signs you're obsessed with Chopped I'm guilty of every one of them. I also dreamed one night that one of the men on the judging panel (who shall remain nameless) gave me an absolutely toe-curling kiss. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-are-obsessed-with-chopped </link> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 22:21:49 EST Cakes that look like other stuff... Sometimes I make pastries look like other stuff...I do a pretty darn good burger and fries pastry but this young lady really takes the cake! <BR> <BR> ...and she is so dang young!!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>386186/Amateur-baker-Louise-Caola-quit<BR>s-job-make-novelty-cakes-Poppy-Lulu.html </link> Sat, 10 Aug 2013 14:48:39 EST Battle Brussels Sprouts -- allez cuisine! First dish -- sprout-leaf "chips" with roasted garlic dip <BR> <BR> Second dish -- Brussels sprouts salad with pomegranate seeds, mandarin orange segments, shrimp and balsamic vinaigrette <BR> <BR> Third dish -- stir-fried Brussels sprout quarters with thin-sliced waygu beef, red chili flakes, hoi sin sauce, onions, slivered almonds and garlic <BR> <BR> Fourth dish -- stew of chicken thigh, sliced Brussels sprouts, Yukon gold potatoes and morel mushrooms <BR> <BR> Fifth dish -- (no, not B... Sun, 4 Aug 2013 20:18:05 EST Not so much culinary related but really funny! Through our job search we came across this very funny list of resume bloopers and I thought I would share. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/cv-bloopers/ </link> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 04:51:20 EST Pass the garlic butter! <link><BR>und-off-maine-coast-517838350?hp=1&pla<BR>ylist=127170&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%<BR>7Cdl18%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D337826 </link> Sun, 30 Jun 2013 00:59:01 EST Buttermilk Substitutes I'm sure that many have heard of using lemon juice in milk to make a buttermilk substitute, however, I was wondering if lime juice would acheive the same or similar effect. We much prefer the flavor of lime to lemon in our house, and I have a couple of recipes for cold soups and dips that ask for buttermilk, which I never have on hand nor would I use enough to justify buying on a regular basis. Has anyone ever tried this? Mon, 24 Jun 2013 15:41:19 EST The first recipe? <link><BR>od-100-recipes?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain<BR>5%7Cdl27%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D334056 </link> Sun, 23 Jun 2013 17:43:20 EST What's your opinion? Well, the whole Paula Deen brouhaha has exploded all over the Internet. <BR> <BR> My take? First of all, I don't buy her apology for a minute. She has a long and well-documented history of this sort of behavior. To me, saying "I used racial slurs but I don't condone racism" is a bit like saying "I hit people but I don't condone violence." Besides, "Southern" is NOT synonymous with "racist." Remember Miss Lillian Carter, President Carter's mother? She defied the racist conventions of the Sout... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 13:38:40 EST America's weird food laws <link><BR>erican-food-laws?icid=maing-grid7%7Cma<BR>in5%7Cdl17%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D333040 </link> Sat, 22 Jun 2013 20:35:04 EST I should be shot Last night I cooked a lamb chop. Stove-top sear, then fifteen minutes in a 400 degree oven. It came out too rare. Tonight I cooked a rib eye the same way. It was twice as thick and I wanted medium rare, so I cooked it twice as long in the oven. It came out well done. The flavor was decent and it was (reasonably) tender. But to me, well-done rib eye is a capital crime. I'm going to have to start taking a temp at twenty minutes. <BR> <BR> Phooey... Sun, 16 Jun 2013 23:07:37 EST Is it just me... ...or do just about all of these look vile? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>rthday-cake-flavored_n_3435966.html?ic<BR>id=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl28%7Csec3_l<BR>nk2%26pLid%3D329605 </link> <BR> <BR> Besides that, since when is "birthday cake" just one flavor? Isn't it whatever cake the birthday person prefers? I always wanted either spice cake or devil's food! Sat, 15 Jun 2013 15:19:20 EST A few culinary questions 1. When making clarified butter, is there any way to use the milk solids you skim off? Maybe to flavor veggies? Given the price of butter, I hate wasting any of it. <BR> <BR> 2. I'm considering olive oil poaching one of the cod fillets I have in my freezer, but it's a technique I've never tried. I'm told my cranky old electric stove is wrong for a LOT of great culinary techniques -- would it be advisable to try oil poaching, or am I better off not trying it? <BR> <BR> 3. I'm thinking of buy... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 14:45:59 EST This is me, snickering... I am not a Guy Fiere fan (you knew that), but occasionally I catch the end of Triple-D while waiting for another show to come on. So the other night, in a traditional English pub, he said he's never been able to make Yorkshire pudding. <BR> <BR> Seriously? I make it every Christmas, and sometimes for company. It's an extremely simple batter of milk, flour, eggs and salt baked in hot oil, then thoroughly sloshed with beef gravy for serving. The applause it gets is way out of proportion to the... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 00:12:31 EST Trying to work out a recipe I'm probably getting ahead of myself, since I haven't baked a cake from scratch in over forty years. But I've been almost obsessed the last few days with coming up with an Irish Coffee cupcake. Coffee-flavored cake with Irish whiskey in the batter and a simple whipped cream frosting (since Irish coffee is always topped with whipped cream). Garnish -- my kitchen is totally unequipped to deal with anything like fondant, but I keep thinking of a fondant Irish triskell (a three-pointed design wit... Sun, 9 Jun 2013 23:45:57 EST A possibly stupid question Chef Anne Burrell routinely has about half a dozen pens in her pockets or clipped to her chef coat. A huge number of chefs that I see on TV have not just one, but multiple pens on them in the kitchen. I understand an executive chef might have to sign off on things occasionally, but four to six pens seems like a bit of either overkill or a fashion statement! Is there a reason you might need so many? Sun, 9 Jun 2013 16:20:47 EST The Food Network drinking game While watching the Food Network, take a belt of your drink every time: <BR> <BR> Anne Burrell says "happy, happy girl." <BR> <BR> Robert Irvine says that someone's dish "tastes like dog food." (I do NOT want to know how he knows.) <BR> <BR> Marc Murphy complains a dish lacks salt. <BR> <BR> Alex Guarnaschelli complains a dish lacks acidity. <BR> <BR> Bobby Flay says "actually." (I love you, Bobby, but you REALLY need a new word.) <BR> <BR> Paula Deen says "y'all." (You could get serious... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 21:55:28 EST Top Chef University Just signed up on Top Chef University <link><BR>rsity-2028 </link> <BR> <BR> Even though I have been cooking for about 40 years, I thought I would hone up on my skills. These short classes are great for the visual learner, like me. <BR> <BR> Groupon sale ends June 4th. It is for a 12 month membership, over 200 lessons from Top Chef Contestants. I can watch when I have time and can skip around to just what I may need for a recipe. I also homesch... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 13:35:31 EST May I brag (a little)? I am so proud of myself! I just cooked the best rib-eye steak I've ever made. Perfect mid-rare temperature, melting tender and so juicy. I would be proud to put it in front of any of the Food Network chefs I so admire. Well, if I hadn't devoured every bite... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 00:40:16 EST The Cake Boss pastry quiz How well do you know your pastries? I got 15 out of 17. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>iz.htm?__utma=245999041.1014409369.136<BR>9596427.1369596427.1369596427.1&__utmb<BR>=245999041.4.10.1369596427&__utmc=2459<BR>99041&__utmx=-&__utmz=245999041.136959<BR>6427.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direc<BR>t)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=82000789 </link> Sun, 26 May 2013 15:33:26 EST Epic pasta fails The slide show is hysterical! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sta-fails-photos_n_3322463.html?icid=m<BR>aing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl4%7Csec1_lnk3%2<BR>6pLid%3D317849 </link> Sat, 25 May 2013 14:29:30 EST You've got to be kidding! Food TV edition Please feel free to add to this list. <BR> <BR> 1) The recent amateur episode of Chopped -- okay, I know these people don't have professional training or experience, and I can understand how one of them didn't know how to butcher the scallops properly. But how did he not know to wash the SAND off? I knew that when I was five! <BR> <BR> 2) Where on earth is Ramsay getting these yahoos? I see so many terrific chefs on Chopped -- I guess they're not applying for Hell's Kitchen. If Zach wins, I... Fri, 24 May 2013 21:34:59 EST I'm guessing they won't find anybody Would YOU take this job? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>y-detailed-craigslist-ad-for-restauran<BR>t-line-cook </link> Sat, 4 May 2013 23:39:52 EST Perfect Lamb Chops Lamb is no mystery. Here is my tip from chef Lucy Waverman for cooking lamb chops. You get perfect results every time. <BR> <BR> Heat your oven to 500 degrees, cook them in there for 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and do not open the door for any reason for 30 minutes. Voila, perfect chops. <BR> <BR> I personally top my lamb with a combination of herbs de provence, oil, s & p, (prior to roasting) served it with a dash of truffle oil over top. <BR> <BR> On the menu: rice begun on the... Sat, 4 May 2013 14:28:39 EST Veggies you may not know I actually recognized about half of them. I'm in love with romanesco, particularly roasted with olive oil and Italian herbs. Delicious! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ird-vegetables_n_3210027.html?utm_hp_r<BR>ef=world&ir=World </link> Sat, 4 May 2013 13:40:27 EST My restaurant tour This will sound weird, since I live an easy drive from Yountville, CA, but the French Laundry is NOT on my list. I had friends who went there -- four people with no alcohol was $1,200! I'm sorry, but when prices reach that level I think it's more about the chef's ego than the food. <BR> <BR> First of all, of course, a trip to Norway to visit Patrick and Ronna and dine at their fine restaurant! Shoot, I'll even wash the dishes or babysit the kids. <BR> <BR> I haven't decided yet whether I wa... Wed, 1 May 2013 23:35:05 EST Kataifi My local foodstore carries filo dough baklava, but not the whole wheat type. So I went hunting after recipes since I KNOW I've had these before. Turns out it appears to be a Greek speciality. I found the classic recipes made with kataifi wheat pastry, but there appears to be a make shift you can do by using Nabisco shredded wheat. <BR> <BR> Anyone tried making this? Mon, 29 Apr 2013 16:46:35 EST Why you shouldn't buy precooked bacon Is this even a question? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ecooked-bacon_n_3139751.html?icid=main<BR>g-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl22%7Csec3_lnk3%26p<BR>Lid%3D304208 </link> Sun, 28 Apr 2013 13:20:06 EST This week's produce box I just got the new CSA box and I'm figuring out what to do with it right now. <BR> <BR> I got a surprisingly large spring onion -- it looks like a purple scallion on steroids! The bulb is almost as large as a small yellow onion. I'm thinking of using the green part as the onion in a cream of broccoli soup I'm making, and roasting the bulb with an Italian bread crumb gratinee. <BR> <BR> Rainbow chard -- I always saute sturdy greens with shallots and Canadian bacon. I've tried using the stems... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:38:19 EST New Secret Ingredient: Shallots! I have become a total shallot junkie. I used to saute greens with onions, now I use shallots. I'm thinking of using them in place of scallions in stir-fries. They just have such a wonderful flavor. <BR> <BR> Any other shallot-lovers here? Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:31:23 EST Resignation letter takes the cake <link><BR>is-holmes-cake-resignation-letter/?ici<BR>d=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl37%7Csec3_ln<BR>k2%26pLid%3D300367 </link> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:39:38 EST Fresh basil I just got my bi-weekly produce box, and one of the things in it is a bunch of fresh basil. <BR> <BR> Okay, this will probably sound seriously stupid. I've never learned what to do with basil that doesn't involve tomatoes. The only fresh tomatoes available to me right now are imported, and I'm trying to stick with local produce. If I could get tomatoes I'd be getting some burrata and making Caprese salad for dinner tonight! <BR> <BR> What does basil go with other than tomatoes? Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:35:55 EST Bacon Wrapped Asparagus I made bacon wrapped asparagus a couple of times this week and it was delicious! However, the asparagus kind of dried out and wilted before the bacon became nicely crispy. It tasted great, but didn't look great. Is there any way to get the asparagus (especially the tips) to stay more moist? I tried a second time baking it under higher heat, but it had the same result. <BR> <BR> Suggestions? Sat, 13 Apr 2013 14:58:01 EST Will you be reading? Speaking strictly for myself, H*** no! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ndra-lees-writing-style-semi-fiction.html </link> <BR> <BR> Click the link in the article to check out her Christmas decorations (funny, I read somewhere she converted to Judaism). Correct me if I'm wrong, but to me it's about the worst I've ever seen. Wed, 27 Mar 2013 22:23:28 EST Common Cooking Mistakes Do you agree or disagree with this list? Anything in addition you would add? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>hniques/cooking-questions-tips-0040000<BR>0064986/print-index.html </link> <BR> <BR> Pretty sure I've made all of these mistakes, but now I know better! The ones I have comment on: <BR> <BR> #9. I hate measuring by volume. I don't like leveling off measuring cups, or switching between dry measure and liquid measure. Particularly in the south, measuri... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 12:08:40 EST Crockpot Bread? I see some crazy food concepts ideas come up while browsing the pinterest boards, and this one just rolled by. First there was no-knead bread, and now there is Crockpot bread? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>9/crock-pot-bread-baking-fast-bread-in<BR>-a-slow-cooker </link> <BR> <BR> Seems like it gets steamed in the crockpot, then put in the oven for color. <BR> <BR> What do you think? Viable? Mon, 18 Mar 2013 18:39:49 EST Egg Whites Tonight I made lemon curd with some lemons that needed to be used up. The recipe I followed used egg yolks, so now I have extra egg whites. What would you suggest making with egg whites that aren't egg white omelets? <BR> <BR> About separating eggs, I've tried a few different methods from a special strainer to juggling in cracked shells, but I've found the easiest most effective way for me is to just use my fingers. What's your preferred way of doing it? Sun, 10 Mar 2013 22:51:32 EST Secret Ingredient: Pine Nuts! I bought pine nuts for pesto, but now I have extra nuts that I'm not sure what to do with. If you were on Iron Chef America with secret ingredient Pine Nuts, what would you make with it? Wed, 6 Mar 2013 14:06:05 EST Chocolate Torte This weekend is my husband's birthday. There's no need to make a giant 9" cake when it's just the two of us, so I'm going to make us a mini cake. I've decided on a Chocolate Raspberry Torte recipe from Cook's Illustrated. <BR> <BR> Here is the recipe: <BR> <BR> Cake and Filling <BR> 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate <BR> 12 tablespoons unsalted butter <BR> 2 teaspoons vanilla extract <BR> 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder <BR> 1 3/4 cups sliced almonds <BR> 1/4 cup all purpose flour <BR> 1/2... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 16:16:30 EST Induction Stoves I have just moved as many of you know and have been fortunate enough to now be living in a house with an induction stove. Yay! I think. I have to admit I have never worked on one and I am a little confused by it. <BR> <BR> First off, our beautiful copper pots don't work on it! I guess it has something to do with not being magnetic? The owners of the house (the owners of the company we now work for) were kind enough to authorize new pots and pans for us to use in the house so now I have... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 01:39:14 EST Just wondering... I'm watching Chef Wanted right now, and a question occurs to me. <BR> <BR> Is the sound of the ticket printer really as maddening as they make it seem on TV? Sun, 24 Feb 2013 15:32:16 EST Foodspotting Patrick has recently found and been using (obsessed) with this website called so I thought I would share it. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ld# </link> <BR> <BR> It is really cool...maybe you guys already know about it. It is a place to find what people are eating through out the world. Regular people take food photos and post them. Patrick has posted a lot and is really enjoying seeing what is out there. Why am I the one posting about the... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 04:36:10 EST Good Cookbooks? Every so often I get it in my head that I want a new cookbook for home and I have recently found a site out of the UK where I can get reasonably priced books in English sooooo ...I am wondering what my team mates are liking these days in cookbooks. I am thinking of getting a good cookbook for one with all the basic categories...hoping for something interesting and inspiring. I am not at all into celebrity chefs cookbooks so that would not appeal to me. I tend to head to the web... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 16:21:32 EST Bread I'm planning to bake bread on Saturday. I don't have regular loaf pans (note for shopping list), so I'm planning to make a round loaf. The problem I have is that my round loaves spread instead of rise, so they're only about an inch in height and useless for much of anything besides buttering! I seriously love the beautiful rustic Italian and French round loaves I see on TV. Is there a way to shape the dough so it will turn out at least resembling them? I'm considering baking mine in a small s... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 10:54:22 EST Knives I've been lusting for a set of new Pfaltzgraff dishes from this tax return. Then it occurred to me that -- hello, genius! The prettiest plates in the world won't save mediocre food but great food could make paper plates beautiful. That said, I've decided to buy a new set of knives instead. <BR> <BR> I've been using a 3 1/2 year old set of K-Mart knives, and I probably don't need to tell you that they're about ready for the thrift shop. The rivet covers are even popping off the handle of my c... Wed, 30 Jan 2013 23:26:45 EST Great story I hope we see this chef on Food Network soon. I love stories like this! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>hef-flynn-mcgarry-makes-debut-beverly-<BR>hills-110152200--abc-news-topstories.html </link> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 21:51:26 EST White House culinary secrets Nixon was one SERIOUSLY weird puppy... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>e-culinary-secrets?icid=maing-grid10%7<BR>Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl11%7Csec1_lnk3%26p<BR>Lid%3D258562 </link> Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:02:54 EST Chefs and smoking Watching Hell's Kitchen and Top Chef, I'm stunned by how many of the chefs are heavy smokers. Any chef's most vital tool is the palate, isn't it? Smoking destroys your palate. It just seems to me like self-sabotage. Fri, 18 Jan 2013 09:11:09 EST Black bean soup question I'm planning to do black bean soup in the crock pot. The beans, ham and onions are a given. I'm thinking to put some poblano peppers in it as well, but what I'm debating is that I have some Nantes carrots as well. I'm wondering how the sweet carrots will blend with the other flavors? Or am I better advised to reserve them for another dish? Fri, 18 Jan 2013 00:20:38 EST Did I miss something? I'm watching Rachael vs. Guy. For this week's competition each competitor had to pick a protein, and two of the proteins were eggplant and portobello mushrooms. <BR> <BR> Hello? Aren't those veggies? How do they get PROTEIN out of them? Mon, 14 Jan 2013 00:09:52 EST SparkPeople Why did you originally join spark? <BR> and <BR> Is it working? Thu, 3 Jan 2013 13:22:43 EST Apparently my mother was misinformed I completely understood last night when a chef on Chopped lost when he dropped a piece of meat on the floor and then put it straight back into the skillet and served it to the judges(!). Ted Allen referred to it as "pork belly a la linoleum." <BR> <BR> However, I was a bit bemused awhile back when Gordon Ramsay tore a strip off of a cook who dropped a piece of food, picked it up, washed it and attempted to cook it. My mother told me this was not only acceptable but thrifty and prudent. <BR> ... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 21:16:13 EST Who's Up To The Challenge I'm hoping that a lot of us will do this so sign on and lets get going... <BR> <BR> Eat and track under 1800 calories today and tomorrow and the next day, and let us know what the best thing you had was and what was so good about it. <BR> <BR> Allright... I'll start, I did it today (wahooooo!) just under 1800 The best thing was after I got home from a long walk I had some Norwegian flat bread and a big virgin bloody mary...oh so tasty cold and spicy hot tomato juice and low in calories. <BR... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 11:32:46 EST Black Chicken! I watched an episode of "Chopped" this past week and I was surprised by one of the ingredients: Black Chicken! <BR> <BR> I had to look it up. Apparently it tastes just like chicken. But looks like it's been marinated in blueberries. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>blac.html </link> <BR> <BR> The bird, before it is defeathered and cooked, is actually quite beautiful. <BR> <BR> Has anyone cooked with an exotic chicken/poultry? Tue, 1 Jan 2013 21:36:12 EST I have to wonder Last year on Next Great Baker the Cake Boss was incensed when a contestant used a boxed cake mix. On Sweet Genius Chef Ron doesn't like it when a contestant uses a premade sauce or marshmallows. On NFNS last year Vic was scolded for using mint jelly with his lamb dish in Kitchen Stadium. This all begs just one question. <BR> <BR> If these ingredients are so objectionable, why are they in the pantry in the first place? Mon, 24 Dec 2012 11:29:02 EST Cake ideas? I am making a Christmas cake for Liam's little daycare on Friday and I am wondering if anyone has any ideas to help me out. I have decided that the theme will be two little elves sitting around a fire toasting marshmallows. All I have so far is marzipan elf heads! <BR> <BR> I will make the bodies tomorrow and was thinking I could use straight pretzels as sticks for them to toast mini marshmallows. My uncle sent me some Tootsie Rolls that I can use as logs and I think I will crush up these... Wed, 19 Dec 2012 14:01:45 EST Himalayan salt On several shows I've seen dished "plated" on a heated block of Himalayan salt. I'm not arguing with the "coool factor," but doesn't the food permeate the salt? How would you clean it so that tonight's fish doesn't flavor tomorrow's steak? Thu, 13 Dec 2012 00:41:44 EST Cookie Icing? With the holidays here, I've been doing more baking. Shocking, I know! ;) As many of you may remember, I have a baking handicap and my adventures usually end in disaster. <BR> <BR> After buying the book "Ratio" by Michael Ruhlman, I'm doing much better. I've worked my way through most of the book (I haven't tried angel food cake yet). I can make pound cakes, quick breads, and basic bread rolls just by memorizing the ratios - I feel like a contestant on "Sweet Genius"! <BR> <BR> This ho... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 08:24:38 EST Today is National Pastry Day! Do you have a favorite? Sun, 9 Dec 2012 11:30:59 EST Why I didn't post it This morning I saw an item on Yahoo that I almost shared. It was a slide show of their choices for the "Twelve Sexiest Celebrity Chefs." Why did I decide against it? <BR> <BR> 1. Bobby Flay and Aaron Sanchez weren't on it. Hello? They're both habanero-hot! <BR> <BR> 2. Sandra Lee is. Believe it or not. Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:41:42 EST The most awesome review I have read in a long time I have been sick the past few weeks due to a virus in my gives me headaches to go on the computer but today the review caught my eye and I just HAD to share it... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>views/restaurant-review-guys-american-<BR>kitchen-bar-in-times-square.html?pagew<BR>anted=1&_r=0 </link> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 13:05:17 EST Potato-leek soup I got some beautiful leeks in the CSA box this week and I always have potatoes in the kitchen. So of course I'm planning to make potato leek soup. <BR> <BR> Potatoes, leeks, chicken broth, milk, salt, pepper -- any other seasonings I should consider? I've never made it before. Sat, 10 Nov 2012 12:10:09 EST Looking for ideas for essential cooking gadgets... Hi everybody! <BR> <BR> I am sending my cousin a wedding present of kitchen gadgets and would love your ideas. I am trying to include things that not everyone has but that are really useful in the kitchen. <BR> <BR> So far I have: <BR> a microplane <BR> a bamboo salt cellar <BR> Joyce Chen scissors <BR> Y shaped vegetable peeler <BR> ...I may include some bamboo spoons too but would rather include something more unique <BR> <BR> What are your favorite kitchen gadgets? <BR> <BR> Sun, 14 Oct 2012 03:23:03 EST Hi everyone! Hi, <em>213</em> I'm Paige, a preschool teacher for kids with special needs, currently on leave due to foot surgery. I am not a culinary artist, but I appreciate the fine art of cooking. I grew up dreaming about food all the time because we were poor. So when I got my first real job, I started buying cookbooks. I probably have at least a hundred of them if not more (I never counted them). When I was nursing my baby, I used to watch the Food Channel all the time. I enjoy cooking when I have... Sun, 7 Oct 2012 00:35:36 EST A possibly stupid question Is there a difference between phyllo and puff pastry? Or are they just two names for the same thing? Sat, 6 Oct 2012 11:52:26 EST Have you heard of I just was doing a food search and ran across a very interesting website called Punchfork. <BR> <BR> Here's what it says: <BR> <BR> Punchfork makes it easier to find the best new recipes from popular sites like <BR> Simply Recipes, The Pioneer Woman, Leite's Culinaria, Bon Appetit, <BR> 101 Cookbooks and Picky Palate. We use conversations on social networks to show you high quality recipes that passionate cooks are talking about right now. <BR> <BR> So, you could put "cabbage" in the sear... Wed, 26 Sep 2012 18:37:46 EST NO!!! <link><BR>bacon-shortage-unavoidable-223157784.html </link> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 21:21:58 EST Cabbage ideas? Hi everybody! <BR> <BR> I would lover your help with some good recipes for cabbage...or with cabbage in them. I have hardly ever worked with cabbage ...maybe I have made coleslaw once. It has gone on sale here for 1 krone a kilo. (That is like 8 cents a pound USD.) No food is ever that cheap here and I feel compelled to do something with it. I could google some ideas but I always like it if I get a recommendation or a recipe from someone I know who has tried it. <BR> <BR> Any recipes o... Mon, 24 Sep 2012 03:37:18 EST Bizarre vintage recipes from Bon Appetit magazine Guaranteed to kill your appetite. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>vintage-recipes-ever-slideshow/ </link> Sat, 22 Sep 2012 11:34:02 EST Vintage cooking tools My parents had those ice trays! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ntage-kitchen-tools_n_1874776.html?134<BR>7456465&icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-mai<BR>n-bb%7Cdl9%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D205236<BR>#slide=1501989 </link> Sun, 16 Sep 2012 11:41:26 EST Cutting question Whenever I cut winter squash, melon, or anything of a similar texture my knife always goes sideways and I end up with one thick piece and one thin piece. Is there a way to prevent this? I've actually considered buying a hacksaw from the hardware store. Sat, 15 Sep 2012 22:44:49 EST Easiest Lemon Gelato ever I have been making Lemon Gelato for my lemon dessert this past month and I keep meaning to post the recipe here because it is so easy and soooooooo good! My assistant says I should sell it...I have also been caramelizing white chocolate and he thinks I could get rich off that too...Ahh, the fantasies of the young! <BR> <BR> Anyway, this definitely is not low cal but it is fresh and delicious...moderation right? I am not sure if the milk or cream could be substituted for lower fat dairy or ... Sat, 15 Sep 2012 03:25:44 EST Cupcake ideas for the new restaurant please! I posted this on Foodies Unite also but I know I will get some very good progressive ideas here... <BR> <BR> I am looking for some innovative and wonderful cupcake ideas. We are a little behind the US and people are asking now for cupcakes to be on our new menu. I would love for some help coming up with some tasty fun ideas. I might have a rotating menu so lots of ideas are welcome. These would be served in the new restaurant at lunch time. <BR> <BR> Let's all put on our frosting hats a... Wed, 12 Sep 2012 07:55:30 EST Culinary diplomacy I love it! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ate-department-american-chef-corps_n_1<BR>868503.html?utm_hp_ref=food </link> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 16:02:58 EST Food art Check out the links -- they're fascinating! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>od-art_n_1854873.html?icid=maing-grid1<BR>0%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl20%7Csec3_lnk2%<BR>26pLid%3D201635 </link> Thu, 6 Sep 2012 11:26:19 EST Produce box questions I just got my CSA box yesterday, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with some of it. <BR> <BR> There are a LOT of plums, so I thought I'd cook them. But I've never been clear on the difference between a compote and just cooked fruit. I thought to stew them with brown sugar and cinnamon. (One of the funniest lines I ever heard on Food Network came from a contestant on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle: "Dessert is house-made vanilla bean ice cream with a lovely plum compost." Lucky for him the ... Thu, 16 Aug 2012 22:30:20 EST Pork chorizo I tried it for the first time this morning, as sausage patties with my eggs. I have a feeling I'm going to have the same experience with beef, but this is what I noticed right off: <BR> <BR> The texture is a little odd. It doesn't come together as a patty, but wants to crumble. <BR> <BR> Due to the color and texture it's a bit hard to tell if it's done through. I think I have to cook it slowly and thoroughly. <BR> <BR> For my admittedly heatphobic taste it's a little hot to eat plain, but ... Sat, 11 Aug 2012 13:53:09 EST A few culinary questions Grits, polenta, cornmeal -- I've never figured the difference, unless the grits are made from hominy. Other than that, IS there a difference? Can I make polenta from the cornmeal I make my cornbread from? A few years ago I bought premade polenta in a tube and tried to saute slices. It had so much water, the splatter was insane! I'd like to make my own. As you may or may not have guessed, I'm quite a cornmeal fan. <BR> <BR> Greens -- best ways to cook that don't involve bacon? I love greens s... Sun, 5 Aug 2012 14:54:14 EST Time to play Chopped! In your entree basket we have: <BR> <BR> flank steak <BR> Israeli couscous <BR> red jalapeno peppers <BR> and chocolate chip cookies <BR> <BR> Thirty minutes on the clock -- starting now! Sat, 21 Jul 2012 13:16:39 EST Chorizo question If the recipe calls for chorizo but doesn't specify the type, how do you know whether use hard or ground? Or does it matter? Tue, 3 Jul 2012 21:54:42 EST Pound Cake? I've got a method for making a basic pound cake down pretty well. What I'm wondering is how would you dress it up? Particularly, what would you pair with it when plating to look presentable? <BR> <BR> I've been making citrus pound cakes and I feel pretty comfortable with it that I'm now looking to step it up. I was thinking of trying some marbling. What kind of marbles would you make? I was considering trying to swirl a lemon curd into it, but I was afraid that it might alter the struct... Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:35:11 EST May I rant here, please? I co-host Hooked on Cooking Shows and Food Network and Cooking Channel Fans. I can't talk about this on either page. <BR> <BR> Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is a culinary joke! Once a place he highly touted put great-looking fried chicken on a plate next to canned green beans (I can just HEAR Robert Irvine right now.). And how many of the pastry chefs he touts say, "Okay, we start with margerine." Not for me, you don't. <BR> <BR> I probably don't even need to discuss the fat, calorie and chol... Wed, 27 Jun 2012 23:47:29 EST The next Iron Chef? This kid is downright amazing. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ynn-mcgarry-13-year-old_n_1630639.html </link> Wed, 27 Jun 2012 23:06:24 EST Vacation Where and What Where are you going on your next vacation, and what are you going to eat? <BR> <BR> Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:44:02 EST Sandra Lee wins Daytime Emmy? I don't know what to say. Personally, I don't like her heavy use of processed foods. It reminds me of the old slowcooker cookbooks where the ingredients usually starts with a can of mushroom soup. I think the best comment I've seen is she has a cooking show, but doesn't cook anything. <BR> <BR> She won an Emmy for "Culinary/lifestyle host". I can't agree. I much prefer Rachael Ray (who can use more than a can opener). <BR> <BR> For those of you not on Twitter, check this out: <BR> <BR... Sun, 24 Jun 2012 01:09:13 EST How-To? Photos in team stream + Bentos I think that'd be GREAT for the Bento Buddies sparkteam. How do you do it? Btw, have you ever made a bento? Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:41:39 EST Pastry Flour? I saw some pastry flour at the store today. When would you want to use pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour? What difference does it make? Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:35:58 EST What do you think? <link><BR>ve/kitchen-gadgets-no-one-needs-163631<BR>923.html </link> Fri, 15 Jun 2012 19:54:36 EST Some general cooking questions I've got a box of white quinoa. I've never used quinoa before. I can see that it's cooked the same as rice, but how would you use it afer that? I've made rice salads before -- could you use quinoa chilled in salads? Could you use it in soup or as a base for casseroles? I will also be eventually trying red and black quinoa. Are there noticeable differences besides color? <BR> <BR> The CSA box comes on Wednesday. I'm getting a bunch of beets, which means beet greens. Given greens I knee-jerk g... Sun, 3 Jun 2012 16:07:53 EST Hard Boiled Eggs? What's the secret to peeling the shell off eggs without damaging the egg? I can make a very good hard boiled egg (I bring the water to just boiling, then shut off the heat), but when I go to peel them, sometime some of the whites comes off with the shell. I've tried using cold water baths, but that hasn't always worked. I end up making egg salad with the ones that don't peel perfectly, but deviled eggs need them perfect. Is there a trick? I want it to look like a restaurant chef! Fri, 25 May 2012 09:21:16 EST Freggie box questions 1. I got fresh fava beans, which I've never cooked before. I shelled and washed them. Do I remember right that they also need to be peeled? (Or was that raw garbanzos?). Also, can they be sauteed from raw, or do they need to be steamed? <BR> <BR> 2. I got some rhubarb. I'm thinking of making a compote of it, to eat over Greek yogurt. I thought of using sugar and cinnamon. Would you suggest anything else? Also, would you thicken it with a little cornstarch? <BR> <BR> 3. Broccoli rabe -- saut... Wed, 9 May 2012 18:37:20 EST Let's play Iron Chef! The secret ingredient is -- asparagus! All three colors (green, white and purple). <BR> <BR> Are you ready? <BR> <BR> Allez cuisine! <BR> <BR> My menu: <BR> <BR> Tri-color asparagus in chicken-chablis gelee <BR> <BR> Green asparagus-Cheddar tartlets topped with microgreens. <BR> <BR> Green asparagus bisque with cream sherry <BR> <BR> White asparagus and mustard-grilled salmon fillet en croute (makes gorgeous cross-sections!) <BR> <BR> Purple asparagus sorbet (just so I can hear Alton... Sat, 7 Apr 2012 11:02:32 EST What's in YOUR fridge? <link><BR>side-the-refrigerator-w_n_1385888.html<BR>?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7C<BR>dl12%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D147680 </link> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 15:27:52 EST Vintage cookbooks <link><BR>ntage-cookbooks_n_1388715.html?ref=topbar </link> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 15:16:48 EST Shellfish? I'm confused by something I heard on Chopped the other night. "I can't eat octopus. I'm allergic to shellfish." <BR> <BR> I know crustaceans and mollusks are shellfish, but cephalopods? They don't have shells. Do I misunderstand something? Thu, 22 Mar 2012 22:16:31 EST 15 International Food Etiquette Rules I thought this was such an interesting article I had to share: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>3/01/10552477-15-international-food-et<BR>iquette-rules-that-might-surprise-you </link> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 04:15:27 EST Oh, I don't believe it! I was watching a show I enjoy called Four Weddings (four brides attend and score each others' weddings to win a fancy honeymoon). At the reception of one of them, they honest-to-goodness did a dance called the Iron Chef! You shake your booty while making a two-handed chopping motion like Iron Chef Morimoto does chopping herbs. <BR> <BR> I'm still giggling. Sat, 3 Mar 2012 13:47:21 EST Guess I owe him an apology A few years ago on Hell's Kitchen a contestant named Ben (whom I didn't like to begin with -- one of those "I'm better than these yahoos" types) kept saying, "oui, Chef" to Ramsay. I thought at the time, "Speak English, you pompous twit! Neither of you is French." <BR> <BR> Watching the Top Chef finale this week, they ALL say "oui, Chef." Guess it's a point of etiquette I'm not familiar with. <BR> <BR> But I still didn't like Ben. <BR> Sat, 3 Mar 2012 12:51:45 EST Why do so many chose Bobby Flay on Iron Chef? Let's say you were on Iron Chef. Which Chef would you chose to compete against? <BR> <BR> Given Bobby Flay's track record, I'm surprised so many competitors choose him! It seems like he always wins! Morimoto was the same way with the original Iron Chef, but he doesn't seem to do as well with the American judges. I've eaten at Mesa Grill, and I do not think his reputation is overhyped - the man has great recipes. <BR> <BR> I'm sure it is a great honor to cook with Bobby, but with the kin... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 11:42:02 EST Outrageous cakes! A Spark friend of mine sent me this link today and I thought I would share it with you all. It is crazy good cake pictures...most of them that look like something else. Too fun! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>107662/The-cake-thought-English-breakf<BR>ast-Chef-recreates-bacon-eggs-packet-C<BR>ustard-Creams-using-icing-sponge.html </link> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 12:29:05 EST Cooking gadgets? I always thought a garlic press was mandatory, but on Food Network I've yet to see one. I have an egg separator, but again nobody uses them on TV (in fact, Chef Meg laughed at the whole idea in the Spark cookbook). Bobby Flay says he doesn't like single-use gadgets (except his mango pitter). <BR> <BR> Does anybody else use gadgets like these? Sat, 11 Feb 2012 17:08:56 EST Farro is my new best friend If you'll check out my latest blog (I heart my sous chef), I mention a farro salad she made this afternoon... wow! <BR> <BR> Has anyone else worked with it? It's great hot or cold; in this case we made it in a similar fashion to a pasta salad with squash and peppers. <BR> <BR> It has a nice nutty flavor and a really chewy but not too tough texture when done right. I want to run out tomorrow to the nearby bulk food store, buy a bag and experiment! Thu, 9 Feb 2012 22:59:59 EST Chocolate mousse experiment I did a little experimenting with the below chocolate mousse recipe today and thought I would share: <BR> <link><BR>9/01/chocolate-water-chocolate-mousse-<BR>little.html </link> <BR> <BR> This is a recipe that has only two ingredients...water and chocolate. Sedgey and I both came across it and I thought I would try it out today in my quest for a great chocolate dessert. <BR> <BR> Here is a link she found with a video: <BR> <link> Thu, 2 Feb 2012 07:24:57 EST Again with the chocolate... Hello everybody! As you might know I have been sick and quite out of it when it comes to work as I was on a 6 week sick leave. Well I'm back...both at work and here on Spark and I have a dreaded menu change to do! <BR> <BR> I am stuck where I always seem to get stuck...on Chocolate! I need a creative and interesting chocolate dessert and I would love your help. Coming up with a new chocolate item that is not the same old thing is a challenge to me. Right now I am running a version of Ge... Wed, 1 Feb 2012 03:07:04 EST Hi everyone, fine dining lover here. Hi! I used to work in professional kitchens, and I miss my work a lot, but had to give it up for another dream I'm chasing... But, I still love fine dining. I don't have a lot of cash on hand to spend at really great restaurants, so I live vicariously through restaurant reviews and other food writing. My culinary bucket list includes a trip to eat at one of Marcus Samuelsson's Swedish restaurants. I lived in Sweden for a bit and love Scandinavian food. <BR> <BR> Eating at home, I focus... Mon, 9 Jan 2012 16:13:22 EST Let's play Chopped! Chefs, please open your baskets for the entree round. And the mandatory ingredients are: <BR> <BR> Japanese eggplant <BR> Grenache Rosé wine <BR> Turkey thighs <BR> <BR> and <BR> <BR> Cinnamon red-hot candies. <BR> <BR> Thirty minutes on the clock -- time starts NOW! Sat, 7 Jan 2012 14:42:12 EST Christmas Dessert ideas Hi guys! I have been awfully quiet over here I know...just trying to rest per Dr.'s orders and yet still get a little shopping done. I have just finished the holiday cake for Liam's party (I'll try to get some pics tomorrow) and I am officially tired and feeling quite brain dead! <BR> <BR> We have two more days of stores being open here and have to shop for food for Christmas eve, Christmas and the next day which is also considered Christmas here. Nothing will be open for those three da... Wed, 21 Dec 2011 16:13:16 EST Restaurant lingo I used to think that "firing" a dish meant putting it on the stove. Imagine my confusion the first time I heard someone refer to firing a salad! Luckily I got set right on that one (thank you Robert Irvine!). But I've never understood what "all day" means. As in "I need three rib eyes all day." Can someone clue me in, please? Sun, 11 Dec 2011 00:07:01 EST Got Butter? Well I don't! As you may or may not know I have been whining a lot lately about the fact that Norway is out of butter. Apparently it has something to do with this years climate and the cows producing less butter fat in the milk due to issues with that they eat coupled with the fact that we don't import butter here and some how they have sold 20% more than normal due to a high fat low / carb diet that people are on these days. Sooooo they have been making milk and some cream but not much bu... Sat, 3 Dec 2011 14:38:48 EST Traditional Thanksgiving Meal Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday for Americans...we all have our stand by dishes...thing we HAVE to have ...and then there are things we tinker with, or add a twist to. For me this is where the fun in, trying to maintain the integrity of the dish while adding something to it or making it less boring...most years this is what I do. This year however is different. We have invited a family to eat with us and celebrate Thanksgiving. (We will be celebrating on the Sunday after since it i... Sat, 19 Nov 2011 14:18:24 EST Delicata squash I got a couple of these in my last produce box. I've never tried this type before. I cut it in half, seeded it, wrapped it in foil and baked it along with the rest of dinner (chicken and potato). <BR> <BR> Far and away the sweetest winter squash I've ever tasted. I'm giving serious thought to using the other one instead of pumpkin in a pumpkin muffin recipe I have. Mon, 14 Nov 2011 12:06:18 EST Food Magazine What is your favorite food magazine? Mine is Taste of the South, but I have a gazillion others as well. <em>30</em> Mon, 7 Nov 2011 21:34:23 EST Questions and observations Did you know the crock pot works a lot better if you actually TURN IT ON? Just sayin'... <BR> <BR> (Okay, so the pork soup is going to do eight hours on high instead of twelve on low.) <BR> <BR> Sauteed spinach is done when it wilts. I found out the hard way that this is not the case with kale! Great flavor, but rather tough. Next time I'll cook it a bit longer. <BR> <BR> Seeding a pomegranate: I tried the Iron Chef trick of holding it cut side-down over a bowl and whacking it with a meta... Sat, 5 Nov 2011 13:38:51 EST So I roasted a pumpkin I got a sugar pie pumpkin in my CSA box this week. I've never cooked a fresh pumpkin before. I cut it in half along the equator. Well, sort of. The knife kept angling upward and at last I just split it in half (more or less) by hand. I scraped out the center, put the halves on a cookie sheet and roasted it for about two hours in a slow oven. <BR> <BR> So now I have a container of cooked pumpkin, but I'm not sure how to proceed from here. Can it be mashed with a potato masher, or should I pur... Sat, 29 Oct 2011 21:56:10 EST What kind of Halloween treat are you? If you were a Halloween treat what kind would you be? <BR> <BR> I would be a Peanut butter cup...nutty but smooth on the inside and with a chocolate shell on the outside that is not too hard and not too soft! Fri, 28 Oct 2011 05:14:29 EST Spark sized desserts are the thing these days! I came across this article in the New York Times. I love it! Little is the new big thing! <BR> <link><BR>eets-small-enough-to-satisfy.html?part<BR>ner=rss&emc=rss </link> Thu, 27 Oct 2011 14:35:54 EST Why didn't I think of that? (Probably because I'm not an honor graduate of the French Culinary Institute, I suppose.) <BR> <BR> I tried flavored cream cheese from the grocery store and didn't like any of them. I've made compound butters many times, both savory and sweet. But it never occurred to me to make flavored cream cheese myself until yesterday. While watching Bobby (and only minimally drooling, I promise!) I watched him make flavored cream cheeses that looked DELICIOUS. <BR> <BR> DUH!!! My next brunch or hors d... Sun, 2 Oct 2011 13:53:40 EST Chefs' last meals The photos are amazing -- I might buy the book just for them! (I'd be tempted to call shenanigans on the story about Morimoto and the rice except I've actually seen him do it. Dangerously close to OCD, if you ask me.) <BR> <BR> <link><BR><BR>ml?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl28%7Cs<BR>ec1_lnk3%7C100477#s374807&title=Tom_Colicchio </link> Fri, 30 Sep 2011 21:30:39 EST Hors d’oeuvres Help! I need help! lol! My inlaws are coming this weekend and staying for a week. Actually the first part of the week they will be staying at the hotel but then they will be at our house. I always forget this until the last minute but they are accustomed to eating hors d’oeuvres every night before dinner. One hot and two cold...or is it two hot and one cold...I can't remember. (They also have drinks but I'll let them worry about that!) Anyway, even though Patrick was raised this way w... Fri, 30 Sep 2011 03:47:55 EST Sauteed chard question I sauteed chard with onions tonight. I cut the stems out and cooked them first with onions, then added the leaves. They tasted fantastic, but the stems turned a weird shade of gray. Is there a way to prevent that? Wed, 28 Sep 2011 23:04:02 EST Beets I got my new freggie box today, and there was a bunch of baby beets with greens. Of course, I'm going to cook the greens first (sauteed with garlic and olive oil, I'm thinking). But I've never cooked fresh beets before, I've heard that they're best roasted. Okay, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. But I have no clue what other seasonings or herbs go best with them. HELP! Wed, 28 Sep 2011 21:40:28 EST Top Foodie Restaurants Travel and Leisure rated the top foodie restaurants in the nation. Do you agree or disagree with the list? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>avel-leisure-releases-foodie-list_n_97<BR>0502.html#s365636&title=Number_One_New </link> <BR> <BR> New Orleans - Agreed. The food I had in New Orleans was unique, both in taste and culture. <BR> <BR> San Franscisco - Agreed. I love Californian cuisine, and some of my most memorable meals were in SF. <BR> <BR> Chicago - A... Tue, 20 Sep 2011 12:06:30 EST Sugar crystal thingys The health department was coming this past Friday and I was going through my dry storage cabinet and I found a rum syrup that I had made a while back. It was a very dense syrup and after sitting on the shelf it had started to recrystalize (like rock candy). When we were kids many of us may have made rock candy by hanging a string in sugar syrup until the sugar recrystallized in grade school. My syrup had no string to attach to so it was all attached to the sides and the bottom of the pan. ... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 04:23:49 EST Rouxbe Online Cooking School For anyone interested, Rouxbe is a an "online" cooking school. They have very high quality video that shows you how to make sauces, sears, braises, cutting, etc like a pro. I should have bought the lifetime subscription when it was available, but the annual subscription is now back on sale for $149/year or about $12.50 per month. Use the coupon code annual149 until September 17. You can also preview any of their video for 7 days if you want to evaluate. They come out with new video, tuto... Wed, 14 Sep 2011 20:18:31 EST Really creative food photos! I came across this link that has some awesome and creative food photos...enjoy! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>tive-food-photos/442/ </link> Thu, 8 Sep 2011 04:01:21 EST What is new with you? Hi everybody! As you may know I live in a country where food progress is slow...we do not have a lot of brands and not a lot of choices. Things that are common in the states don't always exist applesauce or canned pumpkin...those things are what I used to think of as basic. Now my basics are fish paste and brown cheese! <BR> <BR> Anyway...tangent aside...I am really curious about what is new and interesting in the food world out there. New products that are good...fads...what... Wed, 7 Sep 2011 05:44:09 EST National Mushroom Month! I just saw Ronna's announcement. WOO-HOO! I have a downright Hobbit-like taste for mushrooms. (For those not familiar, JRR Tolkien said in Lord of the Rings, "Hobbits had a passion for mushrooms far exceeding the greediest likings of Big Folk." Or words to that effect.) <BR> <BR> I am going to have to celebrate. Let's see -- stuffed creminis, portobello burgers... <BR> <BR> I've also seen that some chefs have replaced the pate in Beef Wellington with minced mushrooms. Works for me -- I love... Sun, 4 Sep 2011 12:31:09 EST Plums! I have been stunned this year from the amount of food that is in this moderately sized backyard I have. In the early spring I harvested stinging nettle and wilted it for a side dish. In the late spring tiny little wild strawberries poked through the grass...they are still coming up. When we got home from vacation we had bushes of raspberries followed by a shrub full of rips (red currents). Now we have three different types of plum trees going. One tree is almost done. It has purple plum... Mon, 29 Aug 2011 14:55:50 EST Share a Favorite Bar Recipe (& Lemon Bar Recipes) I can tell fall is in the air today here in Minnesota. <BR> <BR> Fall means more baking and cooking for me. <BR> <BR> I am looking for a good Lemon Bar or Lemon Square Recipe. <BR> <BR> There are so many types of Lemon Bars. What's your favorite? <BR> <BR> Or what's your favorite bar recipe. <BR> <BR> My husband loves Sour Cream Raisin Pie and this Friday is his birthday. I have been making a Sour Cream Raisin Bar for him for the last few years. Those are his favorite. <BR> <BR>... Sun, 28 Aug 2011 21:27:34 EST It's time for Battle Cod! I know better than to challenge Morimoto-San on seafood. I challenge Iron Chef Bobby Flay (we'll discuss the loser's forfeit later.) <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Allez cuisine! <BR> <BR> First course: Cold pickled cod on a bed of baby arugula <BR> <BR> Second course: Brandade cakes with kale sauteed with bacon and red pepper flakes. <BR> <BR> Third course: Ginger-sesame cod stir-fried with bok choi, shredded carrots, sliced scallions and straw mushrooms. <BR> <BR> Fourth course: Pa... Sun, 28 Aug 2011 11:40:19 EST I'm looking for a fruitcake recipe.. already! I know August is waaaay too soon to be thinking about fruitcake but believe it or not I have been thinking about it all day! Some famous fotbal player from here is having a party at the restaurant the 22nd of December and they want menu ideas by Monday. I figured rather than make a special menu for one day I would just menu plan for the holidays early and give him the choices we will already have on our I was forced to menu plan for the holidays today. (it seems like only last we... Wed, 24 Aug 2011 14:41:24 EST Looking for "GREAT" Eggplant Recipes...any ideas?? I have way too many eggplants in my garden and am looking for ways to prepare them that are interesting and flavorful. Does anyone have any ideas? My husband isn't a fan of them at all, but I do like them and share them with my extended family. <BR> Thanks! Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:19:44 EST I got a mandoline! Okay, it's from Avon so it's probably the "training wheels" model. It also doesn't have a hand guard (yes, Alton, I've paid attention), but I'm excited about getting acquainted with what it can do. Mon, 22 Aug 2011 21:28:34 EST Stop slandering vanilla! I just watched an ad for a luxury car. They compared their competition to vanilla ice cream to show how boring they allegedly are. We keep hearing variations of this, and I for one am sick of it. Vanilla is one of the most rich, complex flavors nature ever devised. It works as sweet or savory, and has depths well worth exploring. Yes, of course I love chocolate. But a world without both is a world in half-color for me. <BR> <BR> Maybe the haters have been ruined by artificial vanilla? I stup... Sun, 21 Aug 2011 12:41:40 EST Rose hips...what do you know? Everywhere I look in my neighbor hood right now there are beautiful rose hips. I know that they are edible when untreated but I have never done anything with them. Today Quintessa was asking me all kinds of questions about them: <BR> <BR> What do they taste like? <BR> Are they tangy if you tasted one raw? <BR> What do you use them for? <BR> How do you cook them? <BR> Do you have to cook them? <BR> <BR> Things like that. Sadly I had to tell her that I do not know. We had organic roses ... Thu, 18 Aug 2011 14:39:59 EST Finally finished my two new desserts... I know that me talking about desserts all the time is not very "Spark-like" but I sure do appreciate the feed back from you guys. We opened back up again today and it was a race to the finish to be sure! I am still going to have to rework my watermelon sherbet turned into a granita for today since I kept making watermelon butter! ...also my candied watermelon rinds were not tasty at all! <em>29</em> I just made candied watermelon instead... <BR> <BR> Anyway, if you can bear... Mon, 15 Aug 2011 15:28:43 EST Looking for feedback on a dessert... Well...I have put this off as long has humanly possible...I start back at work tomorrow and still have not finalized my menu! I did just come up with one that I think might work though and thought I would run it by you all...Wild blueberries are in season here so I started with that... <BR> <BR> I'm thinking of Blueberries, and Watermelon with Lavender for my dominate flavors highlighted with lemon and lavender honey if I can get it. <BR> <BR> The main part would be a lavender bavarian (wi... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 07:53:39 EST Sriracha? Last year on Next Food Network Star, one competitor said of another, "She's never heard of sriracha. Oh, please! Who's never heard of sriracha?" That was the first time I'd ever heard of it. Now, it seems to be as common as ketchup. <BR> <BR> I'm a serious heat-phobe, but I'm considering buying a bottle of it. Among other things, I'm working on a game-day buffet for football season, and one recipe that occurred to me is a spicy dip (Greek yogurt, sriracha and...minced shallot? Water... Mon, 8 Aug 2011 00:14:21 EST Sauce questions I know how to make a bechamel, and that if you add cheese to it, it becomes a mornay. After that, I get kind of confused. <BR> <BR> I heard someone say on TV that demiglace is simply reduced stock. So, if I took a quart of stock and boiled it down by half (give or take), I'd have demiglace? That would be good, because the jars of it in the stores are terribly expensive! <BR> <BR> I know a remoulade is mayonnaise-based, but is ANY mayonnaise-based sauce a remoulade, or is there more to it th... Fri, 5 Aug 2011 09:53:28 EST Ten most annoying food trends Do you agree? Let's discuss. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>t-food-trends-2504458/ </link> Tue, 5 Jul 2011 23:57:44 EST Planning ahead for a brunch (long story) My ex found out after both of his parents died that he was adopted (they totally lied to him while they were alive. You wouldn't believe my MIL's stories about her pregnancy and C-section!). After hiring an attorney and some searching, he found his birth family. Both parents are deceased, but he's become close with his sister (there's no doubt they're siblings -- the resemblance is remarkable). I have an amicable relationship with my ex because of our son, and I've gotten friendly with his si... Sun, 26 Jun 2011 13:42:45 EST Baking with Almond Flour Ok, so most of you know that I have changed over to a low-grain diet. I thought that meant baking would be out. But then I stumbled on an almond flour coffee cake, because I was thinking about Ronna's brunch coffee cake, and how much I love coffee cake! So I located some almond flour. I have no idea what it tastes like! For brunch this weekend, I'm going to try making almond flour scones and coffee cake. We found some English clotted cream at a Whole Foods, so the SO wants me to make sc... Tue, 21 Jun 2011 07:46:47 EST Shellfish question I'm planning to make Bobby's lobster and green chili chowder, except I'm planning to use shrimp instead as it's far more affordable that way. He says in the recipe that you can do this, but doesn't give an equivalent. So if the recipe calls for, say, two one-pound lobsters, how much meat does that translate to? How much shrimp would I need? (Bobby, you know I adore you, but not all of have your training or experience!) Sat, 18 Jun 2011 13:21:13 EST Great article by Chef Marcus Samuelsson I see him regularly on Food Network and I've always liked him. This is a GREAT blog entry. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>sson/eating-with-a-spiritual-c_b_87824<BR>2.html </link> Thu, 16 Jun 2011 22:03:16 EST White truffle oil? Okay, I've heard chefs on the absolute opposite ends of the spectrum on this. I've heard it praised as a great flavor ingredient, and condemned as garbage. Gordon Ramsay says it's made by perfumers, has nothing whatever to do with white truffles, and he'd fire any chef who used it in one of his restaurants. Others on the Food Network love it. <BR> <BR> Not that I'm planning to use it any time soon, but what does everyone here think? Sun, 12 Jun 2011 19:44:11 EST How did the brunch go? Details, please! Sun, 12 Jun 2011 15:36:40 EST Our Sunday Brunch Menu I know it sounds like a lot...and it still is two days away...some things could get cut but here is our menu. I was able to make a deal and make some of the pastry at work so a lot of that is done. Not really low cal but we don't really do this very often so we are just doing it! <BR> <BR> Set out first... <BR> Canape Sandwich <BR> <BR> Mini Caprese Bites on a skewar with oil and vineger dipping sauce <BR> <BR> Main Course food... <BR> Truffled Eggs and Steak on a fresh Biscuit <BR> ... Fri, 10 Jun 2011 17:22:29 EST Creme Fraiche? My attempt to make creme fraiche failed! Apparently it will not culture with ultra pasteurized heavy cream. I cannot find regular pasteurized heavy cream. They only have the UP because the shelf life is so long. If bacteria won't eat it, it doesn't seem like a good idea to eat in general. All the half and half is UP too!!! <BR> <BR> Anyway, is there a substitute? Can you make creme fraiche with whole milk? Thu, 9 Jun 2011 13:31:12 EST Would you/could you take this job? A job posting showed up in one of my groups on LinkedIn and I just had to click and read it. I'm not in a position to consider it seriously, but I am having fun thinking about it and pondering if I was the type of person that could do that job. Frankly, the short hours sound pretty good right now. ;) <BR> <BR> Posting: <BR> <BR> We have a Lead Baker position open at the South Pole Station! Visit our website for more information and to apply. U.S. citizens or permanent residents only please.... Wed, 8 Jun 2011 01:24:29 EST Coconut Oil? I just located some coconut oil. Not easy to find! I bought it because I have heard it is a heart healthy saturated fat. I've never used it before, though, so I don't know what kind of recipes it goes with. I have a cold at the moment, so I can't taste it to try and guess which of my recipes it would be a good oil for. <BR> <BR> Anyone have experience with coconut oil? What have you used it for? Sun, 5 Jun 2011 20:39:07 EST about decor... This afternoon Patrick and I will be finalizing our menu for the brunch we are having next Sunday. It is looking like we will be having 8 kids (ages baby to 13) and 11 adults. <BR> <BR> So here is the thing...I want it to look festive and I live a very simple life with not many "things" due to the fact that we move occasionally...OK alot! Anyway, I do not have things with me here in Oslo like very many platters or vases...things to decorate with. I have saved a few jars from things lik... Sun, 5 Jun 2011 04:03:00 EST Welcoming any fun brunch ideas! Hi everybody! I am asking your help in coming up with any fun and interesting brunch/luncheon ideas. In two weeks we have a long weekend here and we are inviting about 6 to 8 adults and 6 to 8 children to our home for a meal around 12ish. I would love some good ideas for a menu...we do have one low carber coming but other than that I don't think we have any food restrictions...oh wait, one person with a nut allergy...I will try to be sensible about calories but not restricting if this make... Sun, 29 May 2011 07:05:29 EST Best food quote of the week From 24 Hour Restaurant Battle: "The crepes are served with a plum compost." <BR> <BR> Yum...I think... Fri, 27 May 2011 21:48:21 EST Atlanta Chefs on Chopped! Two Atlanta Chefs are going to be on this week and next week's episodes of Chopped! Great publicity...I will definitely check out their restaurants next time we are in Atlanta. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>24/atlanta-chefs-tapped-for-food-netwo<BR>rk-shows-two-coming-up-on-%E2%80%98cho<BR>pped%E2%80%99/?cxntlid=thbz_hm </link> <BR> <BR> I must have missed the episode of Throwdown with an Atlanta chef. I'll have to look it up. Tue, 24 May 2011 12:34:43 EST Oil question I hear a wide variety of opinions on cooking oils, particularly olive oil. Bobby says he doesn't like cooking with extra-virgin olive oil. Anne Burrell says she uses nothing but. I've always used two types: mostly olive oil, but some dishes (like Yorkshire pudding) just don't work with it so I use canola oil for those. <BR> <BR> What does everybody think? Sun, 22 May 2011 11:15:20 EST Tonka Beans I was just looking at a lovely pastry blog called Paris Patisseries and I cam across a review of a chocolate and lime pastry flavored with Tonka Bean. I have never in my life heard of a tonka bean before today and I am wondering if any one here has. And if so... has anyone had a taste of the flavor? I did a tiny bit of research and it seems as if they are shaved like a truffle into and over things. Apparently they are banned or illegal or something in the US but I cannot really understand... Sat, 21 May 2011 12:19:22 EST Battle Sweet Potatoes -- allez cuisine! My proposal -- er, CHALLENGE -- is to Iron Chef Bobby Flay. <BR> <BR> (In cyberspace, of course, Kitchen Stadium's normal time constraints don't apply -- thank goodness!) <BR> <BR> First course: Curried sweet potato salad with coconut and golden raisins <BR> <BR> Second course: Beer-batter cod with sweet potato fries dusted with sea salt and ancho chili powder <BR> <BR> Third course: Ham-sweet potato fritters <BR> <BR> Fourth course: Duck and sweet potato stew sous-vide (a technique ... Sun, 15 May 2011 13:11:08 EST Controversy on Top Chef Canada What's YOUR take? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>p-chef-canada-horse-meat_n_861595.html<BR>?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl9%7Csec3<BR>_lnk2%7C62949 </link> Sat, 14 May 2011 14:33:08 EST The 2011 James Beard Awards What, Throwdown wasn't cookbook of the year? <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>11-james-beard-awards-media_n_858997.html </link> Tue, 10 May 2011 00:59:35 EST Seafood safety question People love ceviche and sushi, but I hear so many warnings about raw or undercooked seafood that I'm scared to try either one. Has the danger been overstated? Or does it only apply to certain types of seafood? Sat, 7 May 2011 13:16:30 EST Hello Hi there! <BR> I found this group while deciding if tonight's dinner will be honey balsamic snap beans, baked brown rice, with marinated then grilled chicken or lamb. LOL I just need to get out to the garden and grab some herbs then I will decide the protein I suppose. <BR> <BR> Needless to say I am a foodie, constantly thinking of food, wanting to try new things, bake bread, make reductions, etc. LOL! I am in no way in the culinary field, just a home cook, but hope to go to culinary schoo... Wed, 4 May 2011 14:36:07 EST Washing meat or fish? When I started cooking, I was told this was an absolute necessity to clean off contaminants from butchering or packaging. I also learned to leave it wet so that seasonings and/or coatings would adhere better. Now I'm hearing the opposite. In fact, an article I read recently said that washing chicken can actually SPREAD food-borne illness from splashing contaminated wash water! <BR> <BR> What does everybody think about this? Especially Patrick? <BR> Sun, 1 May 2011 16:31:46 EST My wine sauce was a miserable flop The recipe seemed simple enough: boil three cups of wine, with sugar and a little honey, down to ¼ cup. Allow to cool, then emulsify with olive oil in the blender. Well, when mine had cooled (still in the pan), it set like concrete to the bottom of the pan! I’m having to melt it out with hot water, and it’s obviously a total waste. I don’t know what Bobby did that I didn’t. Should I have poured it into a small container (or even the blender jar) to cool? Sun, 24 Apr 2011 12:20:37 EST More Mangoes! I bought mangoes last week, but I accidentally let them go overripe. So I am making mango chutney and a mango jam with it. <BR> <BR> On attempt #3 for mango cheesecake, I'm going to use a 'no bake cheesecake' recipe, then top it with the mango jam. That might be the easiest way to finally get a mango cheesecake I've been craving!! LOL Tue, 19 Apr 2011 10:52:50 EST Yogurt Maker? Anyone have a yogurt maker? I didn't know such a thing existed until yesterday when I bought this month's issue of "Clean Eating" magazine. They had a recipe for homemade yogurt. This made me do a search online, and it seems affordable. <BR> <BR> I eat tons and tons of yogurt. I eat it for breakfast every morning with half a cup of frozen blueberries and cereal. I go through about 500g (16oz) of plain yogurt per week. Only unsweetened plain - I sweeten with a tiny bit of agave nectar. ... Tue, 19 Apr 2011 09:23:31 EST Ice Cream Maker bowl scratched - is it ok? I'm so upset. Last night I made some chocolate-orange gelato. For some reason, the fiance got a metal spoon and started scraping the frozen bits still in the bowl to eat (even though I already served a scoop for dessert). When I saw him do it, I freaked out. He said he didn't want to "waste" it. Sure enough, the bottom of the freezer bowl is scratched. <BR> <BR> Sigh. Is the bowl done for? Do I have to get a replacement? If so, it's coming out of his budget. <BR> <BR> Rant: He doe... Mon, 18 Apr 2011 09:10:34 EST Fun time. Went to Dinner with a Restaurant Critic I live in Providence, Rhode Island which is where Johnson and Wales started and then became a culinary school. There are lots of great restaurants that are here because the chef's didn't want to leave here. So I have a friend who has a culinary degree and business degree from Johnson and Wales and works as a restaurant critic for a local online paper. I actually got to go on a review with him last week. I was sick the next day because of all the food we consumed, but it sure was fun. We ... Fri, 15 Apr 2011 18:40:03 EST Easter dinner wine questions I'm making leg of lamb with a port wine-rioja sauce. Couldn't find actual rioja -- closest I could get was a Spanish Marques de Caceres red. Does anybody know if this is close to a rioja? <BR> <BR> I'm planning to serve it with a Sterling Vineyards meritage -- suitable? Or should I pop the extra three dollars for the Argentinean malbec? Fri, 15 Apr 2011 00:14:05 EST Home Ice Cream Maker Tips I've been getting a lot of practice making homemade sorbets and gelatos. Thought I'd pass along a few tips. <BR> <BR> 1) Make sure the freezer bowl is completely frozen. Give it a shake. If you can hear liquid, it still needs more time. <BR> <BR> 2) After making your base mixture of ice cream/sorbet, put in the fridge and let it chill completely to fridge temperature ~ 40F. My ice cream maker won't churn it right unless it is already prechilled. Room temp is too warm, and it won't free... Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:48:32 EST Artichokes I love artichokes, and they’re coming into season. Of course, I need to get away from all the melted butter I used to dip the leaves in! I tried fat-free Italian dressing, but it has a lot of chemicals I don’t want in my food. While I could eat them plain, I’m wondering if anybody has any ideas for a healthy, low-cal dipping sauce? I’m thinking of something with Greek yogurt, lime and honey. Any other ideas? Sun, 10 Apr 2011 10:52:32 EST Roast Chicken Tip I love to roast whole chickens, but I sometimes end up with a chicken where the thermometer reads "done" but there are still pink parts. I found a recipe in Everyday Food magazine a few weeks ago for a "fast cooking roast chicken". They cut the backbone out of the chicken and spread it out to lay flat on a rack. They put potatoes on the bottom pan lined with aluminum so the chicken drippings would season the potatoes, making this a "two dishes in one baking dish" recipe. <BR> <BR> I tried... Sun, 10 Apr 2011 08:48:55 EST Ronna's Milk Chocolate Gelato Recipe Ok...I put in my milk chocolate gelato recipe. As I have said before I only have made this at work in a huge pot and churned it is a big machine so I really don't know exactly how many servings you will get off of this recipe. I would love some input on the servings if anyone makes this. This is my favorite choc. gelato! I hope you guys like it! <BR> <BR> I do actually have to say this...I did develop this recipe from scratch. I want to share it with you all for sure but I'm just sayin.... Fri, 8 Apr 2011 17:03:24 EST Tapas Contest Hi all! I posted some pictures of Patrick's food and the tapa's contest on my blog today if you are interested... <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4149837 </link> <BR> <BR> It was great fun but he did not win...ah well. Perhaps a good thing though...had he won they would have shipped him off to Spain for a month! Thu, 7 Apr 2011 16:33:51 EST Unexpected Benefit of All Clad Pan I bought my stainless steel All-Clad pans in 2001. I got them because I figured if I wanted to make professional grade food, I needed professional grade cookware. Still in great shape, never regretted getting them. Today I found an unexpected benefit. <BR> <BR> This morning we had a pretty intense thunderstorm and windstorm. While I was cooking my breakfast of a pancake and a poached egg, the power went out. Fortunately, I was halfway through the cooking time. I put the lid on my saucep... Tue, 5 Apr 2011 19:47:06 EST Homemade Strawberry Gelato If anyone is interested, I made a homemade strawberry gelato. It only has 166 calories per 1/2 cup serving, but tastes fully decadent. I used 2% milk and 1 cup heavy cream, so it's lower fat/calories, but still tastes like cream! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=1576793 </link> Mon, 4 Apr 2011 19:44:38 EST Summer Foods Might seem strange to be talking summer foods already, but in Georgia, we're already full steam ahead. We've had a few 80 degree days already. <BR> <BR> Last summer was my first summer in GA, and it was a scorcher. Cooking on a stove is the last thing I want to be doing, even with air conditioning. Forget about an oven. GA law says renters can't have bbq grills, so we have a shared bbq area for the complex that we use. So I'm already starting to compile a list of foods that require mini... Sat, 2 Apr 2011 21:59:57 EST What are your kitchen staples? Not including things like pasta or rice. We'll assume that these are a given. What are your kitchen staples that are in your grocery list every week? <BR> <BR> Mine are: <BR> Assorted lettuce - I love salads. <BR> Tomatoes - I'm going to try growing some on my balcony because we eat so many. <BR> Jalapenos - I love love love jalapenos. Even when I don't use them for heat, I love the flavor. <BR> Green onions - I use them for mild onion flavoring in my marinades. <BR> Lemons/limes - Flavor... Fri, 1 Apr 2011 11:13:02 EST Roasted summer veggies? Okay, all the really great veggies will be coming into season soon. I'm planning that my menus for the spring and summer will be heavy on gazpachos, salads, wraps and roasted vegetable sandwiches. What I don't know is, which summer veggies hold up to roasting best? I love zucchini and portobello caps. I'm not fond of eggplant but it know it roasts well. <BR> <BR> Please suggest any others you can think of. Can cauliflower be sliced into cross-sections that could roast? What else could I use? Thu, 31 Mar 2011 00:48:36 EST Kitchen Stadium is far too quiet... it's time for Battle Tiger Prawns. I hereby challenge Iron Chef Michael Symon! <BR> <BR> (Bobby, I'll see you a little later -- but not in the kitchen. <em>334</em> ). <BR> <BR> I'll start with an appetizer of poached chilled prawns marinated in soy sauce, ginger and scallion. <BR> <BR> Next is (already cooked) prawns bedded on grilled flatbreads, sauteed kale with bacon and toasted flax seeds. <BR> <BR> Third course, prawns twined with poblano peppers marinated in cilantro, oil a... Thu, 24 Mar 2011 21:43:26 EST Oy... Over on a few of my other, non-foodie teams we're playing variations of the "spit or swallow" game. Some of the answers I'm getting will amaze you (or not). <BR> <BR> I said fettuccini alfredo. Reply? "Only if it's not breaded or fried." <BR> <BR> "Kahlua." "Bless you." <BR> <BR> I could go on, but you get the idea. I really wouldn't think some of this stuff is THAT exotic, but I could be wrong (and I apparently am). Thu, 24 Mar 2011 19:56:21 EST Whoo HOOO! He did it! Well we may not have that Michelin star that we were hoping for but today we were notified that Patrick made it to the finals of that Tapas contest! Out of all the entrants they chose six people to compete in person and he was one of the six! It was open to any chef that is a resident of Norway and he had to submit 3 tapas ideas with pictures. The food he will be making is sooo tasty! The competition is two weeks from today. <BR> <BR> Whoo HOOO! Way to go MAESTROMAGRO! Wed, 23 Mar 2011 12:54:59 EST Spring is here? we go again! My menu change time is coming up in a few weeks and this time I am stuck on the concept of Spring. I say "concept" because if you were here you would see that spring here looks exactly like winter except for a tiny bit of melting in the street. The foods that I think about when I think "Spring" come in the fall strawberries. I do not think that there are any spring fruits from Norway. SO...I am menu planning and still have to come up with a spring desse... Mon, 21 Mar 2011 07:51:35 EST Mexican stuffed peppers I’m working out a new recipe, somewhere between a stuffed pepper and a chili relleno. I’m going to roast, peel and seed poblano peppers and split them not quite all the way down one side, to make an open cone. The filling is going to be corn, black beans, onion and tomato, spiced with cumin and smoked paprika. Each stuffed pepper will be topped with about two tablespoons of jack cheese, then bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese melts and browns a little. <BR> <BR> I’d appreciate any su... Sun, 20 Mar 2011 13:38:33 EST My Christmas gift to myself By the end of the year, I AM going to be strong enough to stand for the two hours each session may require. (No, he doesn't actually teach the class. I wish he did.) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>y-Bourdain's-Kitchen-Basics---Three-Pa<BR>rt-Series </link> Sat, 19 Mar 2011 16:14:40 EST You won't believe this I just got asked to co-lead the Food Network Fanatics Sparkteam! Wow... Fri, 18 Mar 2011 15:58:26 EST Marcel gets his own show He certainly landed on his feet after getting cut from Top Chef All-Stars! <BR> <BR> Now, here's where it gets weird -- the show in on the Syfy channel. It's called Marcel's Quantum Kitchen. Guess his obsession with liquid nitrogen paid off. <BR> <BR> Thu, 17 Mar 2011 21:43:51 EST St. Patrick's Day Menu - Any One Cooking Tomorrow? Any one cooking a St. Patrick's Day Dinner tomorrow? <BR> I usually make Corned Beef. With Cabbage. I have cooked the corned beef with cabbage and carrots. I have roasted the corned beef and made Colcannon and carrots on the side. <BR> This year I want to try a baked corned beef with hot sweet mustard, cloves & brown sugar. I may make Colcannon or cooked or sauted cabbage. Any one have some interesting recipes to share? I like to make Soda Bread, but fear that my meal will use enough ... Wed, 16 Mar 2011 18:26:14 EST Relearning Italian I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs tonight. But I've discovered that maybe I was taught a few things wrong about the entire process. <BR> <BR> First, the sauce. The sauce I learned from my parents is basically what I made, but with a few changes. They used garlic powder. I minced some (okay, a lot of) fresh garlic. I put a generous splash of olive oil in it. And where I really departed from them is that I decided to borrow a bit of a page from Bobby's playbook and put about a tablespo... Mon, 14 Mar 2011 00:35:15 EST Another go at Mango Cheesecake I bought more mangoes from Costco this week. I'm going to give another shot at mango cheesecake. My last attempts did not come out at all the way I liked. I'm going to try a no bake version of cheesecake this time. I followed a baked cheesecake recipe last time, and it didn't work out. I tried to alter the base recipe too much without knowing what I was doing, and the results were disappointing. The process of baking cooked out the flavor of the mango. The mango 'jam' (kinda, I probabl... Sun, 13 Mar 2011 21:01:55 EST Lemon curd I got a jar of this in a Christmas gift basket years ago and totally fell in love with it, although I don't buy it often due to the calories and the cost. I wonder if it's difficult to make? And if you can make it at home, I'd love to experiment with both lime and tangerine curds, since I also love both of those. <BR> <BR> I also wonder about uses beyond filling or glazing cakes and spreading on toast? Fri, 11 Mar 2011 10:19:00 EST Going to Heaven next Saturday night <link><BR>cials/bobbys-ireland/index.html </link> Sat, 5 Mar 2011 22:19:00 EST Pickled Herring uses? Maybe the Nordic chefs can help me out! I like pickled herring. I got a taste for it when I lived in Seattle, which surprising to me, has a very high Scandinavian population! The kind I like is the wine pickled herrings, not the mustard, cream or tomato type. I like to eat them on my salads kind of like nicoise, but with herring instead of tuna. However, I don't know how else to eat them. My searches for 'pickled herring' recipes only gives recipes on how to make it, not one how to use ... Sat, 5 Mar 2011 16:27:42 EST Tapas Contest...what would you do? Here in Oslo there is a tapas competition going on ...the first is open to all chefs who are residents in Norway. I thought about doing it but aside from running I am not really into the nervewrackingness of competition. When I did think about doing it I have to admit I right away thought that I would ask my team for your ideas and opinions so I thought it would be fun to ask you all anyway. <BR> <BR> They want three tapas ideas submitted <BR> · 1 cold tapas creation of its... Sat, 5 Mar 2011 16:20:03 EST Tempering chocolate So, do any of you have a really foolproof method for tempering chocolate using the seeding method? I have a ton of books including the ones by Peter Greweling, Michael Riceuitti, and Andy Shotts. We also spent a couple of weeks doing it in pastry school. But over the last two days it still took heating my dark chocolate to temperature 6 times before I got a batch tempered well enough for dipping the centers I made. Even now, I'm not sure they will be in temper when I go back tomorrow. The... Sat, 5 Mar 2011 13:38:16 EST Vanilla question For the record, you will NEVER hear me use "vanilla" as a synonym for "boring!" <BR> <BR> My question is this: Is there a difference between regular vanilla and "bourbon" vanilla (aside from the price? Thu, 3 Mar 2011 22:06:59 EST I think a prayer has been answered! Look what I found near me! I think (I sure as bleep hope!) it's an ongoing offering. Okay, I seriously need to work on being able to stand for more than ten minutes at a time, because this is just what I've been looking for: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urdain's-Kitchen-Basics---Three-Part-S<BR>eries </link> Wed, 2 Mar 2011 01:03:56 EST Watermelon recipes? I love watermelon. It's my favorite melon fruit, followed very closely by honeydew. Tonight while I was dicing one up, it occurred to me I don't know any watermelon recipes (other than fruit salad). I've eaten it whole, or in fruit salad my whole life. Are there any recipes that use watermelon? Mon, 28 Feb 2011 20:59:14 EST Sauces I'm trying to remember the seven master sausages. I remember bechamel, veloute, and hollandaise. I can't remember the other four. I've been able to make bechamel since I was a kid, but I've never made the others. Help! Sun, 27 Feb 2011 22:18:55 EST Top Chef All-Stars (spoilers) Paula Deen hosting a deep-frying challenge -- what a shock. <BR> <BR> Richard and his liquid nitrogen -- he has no imagination whatever. I like him, but I don't think he should win. <BR> <BR> I am still seriously bummed that Fabio was eliminated. He was my choice to win. Sat, 26 Feb 2011 16:09:23 EST Chopped All-Stars Chopped All-Stars starts next week. Let's play an all-star round! <BR> <BR> Your appetizer basket includes: <BR> <BR> Tilapia <BR> Miyataki mushrooms <BR> Cuban sour oranges <BR> Chocolate chips. <BR> <BR> Twenty minutes on the clock. Your time starts -- NOW! Sat, 26 Feb 2011 15:18:31 EST Looking for two recipes I hit my favorite recipe sites for recipes for brioche and challah, but all I can find is recipes for how to use them, not make them from scratch. Does anybody have recipes for baking them? Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:07:58 EST How the quiche turned out Okay, from now on I'll make ten-inch deep dish, because I think part of my problem was just volume of filling and custard (although I used Emeril's custard, and I didn't think there was that much of it). <BR> <BR> My co-workers LOVED them. I asked for comments or suggestions and all they said was that they were delicious (which, of course, I was very happy to hear). One even said she hates quiche but loves mine! <BR> <BR> I had a few thoughts, though. <BR> <BR> I put one teaspoon of red pe... Wed, 16 Feb 2011 21:18:41 EST Georgian Cilantro Sauce I have a quick minute (between my drafting work and gearing up for bunny season) to report one of the things that I did make with my big bag of cilantro. I had bookmarked this recipe when I heard it on The Splendid Table. Now that I had a big bag o' cilantro, I finally got to make it. <BR> <BR> Verdict? Excellent! I've been using it on toast and sandwiches. Even dipped some baked fries in it. <BR> <BR> I made the whole batch and packed it into 1/2 cup canning jars and froze 2 of them for ... Wed, 16 Feb 2011 15:50:16 EST Quiche disaster Boy, the Food Network kitchen feels a million miles away right now. My quiches are a mess. <BR> <BR> I used frozen deep-dish piecrusts (I know, I need to learn to make my own). Both were broken (the store didn't have any that were intact). I patched them as best I could, thoroughly perforated them and parbaked them. They puffed up and pulled out of shape anyway. Then I made the fillings and put them in the crusts. I had to leave the potatoes out of the Spanish quiche because there just wasn'... Tue, 15 Feb 2011 19:29:14 EST A lucky mess-up I don't know if the store messed up my grocery order, or if I did. I thought I ordered one block of provolone for making my spinach-prosciutto quiche for Wednesday. Somehow, I ended up with TWO blocks AND a package of sliced. <BR> <BR> Geeze, I'm heartbroken. More provolone than I counted on? Did I mention that it's probably my favorite hard cheese? Okay, tomorrow's lunch sandwich is provolone and roasted red pepper strips (from the jar I bought for my Spanish quiche) on whole grain bread. I... Tue, 15 Feb 2011 00:35:18 EST Chophouse Steak at home As I mentioned in my other thread, I am making Valentine's dinner tonight. While at the store picking up ingredients, I made a slight change of plan in my menu. I picked up gorgonzola, shallots, and a bottle of Beaujolais. I was inspired when I picked up the shallots that I could make a red wine shallot sauce for the top sirloin, but I originally went to the store to make a blue cheese butter for the steak. <BR> <BR> So my question is, will gorgonzola butter compliment a red wine shallot ... Mon, 14 Feb 2011 10:36:12 EST I'm becoming a food snob This past weekend, we went to one of the downtown Savannah restaurants for kind of a pre-Valentine's meal. We usually go to this place for cocktails, but have never eaten there. It's not a black suit and tie place, but we thought it would be on the upper end. <BR> <BR> He ordered a margherita pizza. I ordered a surf and turf with filet mignon and a crab cake. <BR> <BR> It was not good. The filet was cooked to a perfect medium, but the quality of the cut was terrible. I couldn't even fi... Mon, 14 Feb 2011 09:09:12 EST Sauteed cod problem I bought a beautiful cod fillet today that I decided to saute for dinner tonight. I seasoned it on both sides and heated some olive oil in the skilled (I had thought to use cooking spray but decided this beauty deserved olive oil). I put it in the pan and it cooked on one side very quickly. But it never developed a sear, and when I turned it it broke apart. <BR> <BR> Okay, I've got to be able to cook a fillet better than that, but I can't figure what happened. The fillet was skinless. Was th... Sun, 13 Feb 2011 23:01:16 EST Cod fillet -- what did I do wrong? <em>227</em> <em>227</em> <em>227</em> <BR> <BR> The Duplicate Post Monster struck again. Please reply on my OTHER sauteed cod post. Sun, 13 Feb 2011 23:00:59 EST Homemade Sriracha! I came across this today. For the chili heads out there like me, homemade Sriracha!! <BR> <BR> I haven't tried it yet, but I am going to! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>iracha_aka_home_made_rooster </link> Sun, 13 Feb 2011 20:12:03 EST Validation! My father considered himself the be-all and end-all on cooking (Gordon Ramsay would have made hash of him, though). When I'd mention making a pasta dish, he'd reply with an audible sniff, "We make our OWN pasta." <BR> <BR> Today I watched a recording of a show I enjoyed on Food Network. An Italian chef prepared to cook spaghetti. She went to the restaurant's pantry and got a box of pasta. She kept her hand over the label (of course!), but I know Barrilla when I see it -- it's the same brand ... Sun, 13 Feb 2011 16:10:27 EST The final versions (I think) Okay, I think I have the final versions of my quiches. The spinach-prosciutto quiche will have provolone and parmesan cheeses. With the bacon-potato, I'm going Spanish by adding roasted red peppers and using Manchego cheese instead of the sharp cheddar. Sat, 12 Feb 2011 17:08:39 EST Recipe help needed We're having potluck for my department at work on Thursday, and I'm bringing two quiches for breakfast. Both are recipes I'm working out for my Food Network portfolio, and I need help with one of them. <BR> <BR> One is spinach and prosciutto with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. I'm seasoning that one with garlic and about 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. This recipe I'm happy with. <BR> <BR> The other is potato, bacon and shallot with sharp cheddar cheese. Here's where I need some help. ... Fri, 11 Feb 2011 22:39:19 EST Yogurt instead of cream cheese? After my unexpected chemistry experiment with my brownies, I figured I better ask before I try it. <BR> <BR> I'm making mango cheesecakes. Is it possible to use greek yogurt instead of cream cheese? Or would that alter the structure of it too much? Thu, 10 Feb 2011 16:10:42 EST I just got the Mesa Grill cookbook This is one seriously gorgeous cookbook! I can't wait to dive into the recipes. Probably starting with the tangerine margaritas (I seriously love tangerines). The photos of the restaurant are beautiful, and the descriptions and photos of the food are vivid enough that you can practically smell and taste the dishes. <BR> <BR> Oh, and one more thing... <BR> <BR> Bobby manages to make chef whites look downright smokin' hot! Wed, 9 Feb 2011 22:23:00 EST Try, try again! As they say, if you don't succeed! <BR> <BR> Last night I tried my brownie recipe again. I fixed the scaling problem with the sugar, but now I'm thinking it wasn't the sugar that changed my brownie to toffee. I think it was the syrup in the banana compote. <BR> <BR> Anyway, it turned out perfect this time! I tried a 'basic brownie' recipe and thought I'd save the 'banana brownie' recipe for later. Need to be able to do the basics before you can make variations. <BR> <BR> My fiance sa... Mon, 7 Feb 2011 08:42:12 EST Cook-it- yourself restaurants? <link><BR>204/ts_yblog_weekend/so-im-the-chef </link> Sun, 6 Feb 2011 12:30:52 EST "The mushroom which must not be named" We had a lot of fun with this when Patrick couldn't mention a certain mushroom because the Spark censor said the name contained an obscenity. Turns out there's an easy way around it. Put the offending syllable in all caps and the censor won't recognize it. On one of my political teams someone managed to get in the profanity itself that way. <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> Totally true! Sun, 6 Feb 2011 11:00:19 EST Hello! Hi All! <BR> <BR> I was looking for a small team where people are actually posting, and since I just recently opened a small special-order-only kosher specialty cake and pastry studio in Mountain View, California, this group seems to fit. <BR> <BR> Luckily, while baking all day I usually can't stand the thought of tasting anything, but evenings at home are a different matter. <BR> <BR> I hope to post some photos soon, but wanted to get this started while I was motivated. <BR> <BR> Ho... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 18:46:25 EST ARGH! I am officially dying Watching Throwdown the other night, I found out that a few months ago Bobby filmed in San Francisco, barely thirty miles from me, and I didn't know it! <BR> <BR> He had a burrito throwdown against two brothers who emigrated from Mexico and now own a successful restaurant in the Mission District, the Latino quarter (and one of the trendiest food spots in town). Even though they beat him, it ended up being one of my favorite episodes because at the end one of the brothers, with an audible catc... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 16:31:34 EST Iron Chef Spark: Battle Mango! I bought a box of mangos at Costco today. These will be real recipes I'll be making this week, so it won't be your typical appetizer/starter/dinner/dessert type format. What would YOU do with a box of mangos? <BR> <BR> A la cuisine!! <BR> <BR> I challenge Iron Chef Cat Cora! <BR> <BR> Sunday: Marinated flank steak, mango-cilantro salsa and homemade tortillas. I didn't buy tortillas at the store because they come with way too much for two people. I don't want to be eating tortillas all w... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 16:30:46 EST Need help testing a recipe Unfortunately, I have nobody to test my recipes on, but I need to come up with THIRTY for my Food Network portfolio. If someone could try this recipe and let me know what you think, I'd sure appreciate it. <BR> <BR> I call this recipe Club Sandwich Salad and believe it or not, I came up with it at 2:30 in the morning the other day. I love club sandwiches, but they're serious calorie bombs (three slices of bread and lots of mayo). I wanted to come up with a way to enjoy all the flavors withou... Fri, 4 Feb 2011 21:29:47 EST Confessional: Worst Meal You Ever Made You're an award winning pasty chef. You're a restaurateur. Your three bean chili has won the state fair cook-off three years running. Your friends always look forward to your potluck contribution at work. Your kids' friends always say you make the best cookies in the whole world. <BR> <BR> But admit it - you once made something so awful, you tried to feed it to the dog. You put it down the garbage disposal and buried the evidence when he refused. <BR> <BR> What was the worst meal you e... Fri, 4 Feb 2011 15:34:29 EST Chestnuts I bought a jar of chestnuts over the holidays thinking I'd make something with them, but now am lacking inspiration. Anyone have any ideas? I'm leaning towards something in the dessert category but I'll hear any and all ideas! Fri, 4 Feb 2011 10:40:51 EST Iron Chef Time!! Battle Cilantro is on! Sedgey has a Big Bag o' Cilantro on her hands so it seems like the perfect time to play Iron Chef Spark Style....Battle Cilantro! <BR> <BR> Let's put on our leafy herb hats and come up with some ideas for her. At least one or two courses would be great but if you have four to five courses in mind go for it!...points for originality and ease of much cilantro so little thyme ! <BR> <BR> Allez Cuisine! Thu, 3 Feb 2011 15:33:47 EST Big bag o' cilantro Ok, kids, I have a 12 oz bag of cilantro. That is probably about a 2 gallon ziploc or so. $2.99 *and* organic at Costco so ... <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> I'm going to make an Indian cilantro relish with some of it and probably just whiz the rest up in the fopro and freeze it in cubes, but before I do that I thought I'd ask if anyone had any favorite dishes to try. I keep coming across an Indian tomato-cilantro soup recipe so I'll probably make that, but I can do that at a more convenient time wi... Thu, 3 Feb 2011 02:07:40 EST Knife Sharpening? Where is the best place to get your knives sharpened? While I was reviewing YouTube videos on knife skills, I realized that my knives aren't as razor sharp for zipping through onions. I thought I was keeping it sharp enough with the honing knife, but I think it's time for a new edge. Wed, 2 Feb 2011 15:56:58 EST Tip of the Day: Video Yourself If you want to improve your skills, video yourself. I've been making videos and I'm surprised by the mistakes I'm catching while prepping/cooking. I didn't even realize I was doing some of them. I'm going back to review my knife skills on YouTube... Wed, 2 Feb 2011 15:34:19 EST Why Throw Out Split Beans? I understand why you need to soak dried beans overnight. In the case of red kidney beans, it's a matter of food safety. But recipes that use dried beans often say to throw out split beans from the soaked water. Is there a reason for this? If it's just because they don't look nice in the final product, I'm ok with eating unattractive beans! Wed, 2 Feb 2011 10:52:20 EST Cooks versus Bakers? I recently watched an episode of "Giada at Home". Her aunt was visiting, and they were cooking together. Her aunt said, "There are cooks and there are bakers. I'm a cook. I like to taste things as I go." Giada proclaimed, "I'm a cook and a baker!" <BR> <BR> For me, I guess I would be a "cook". I'm not so great at baking - I can't bake without a recipe. With food recipes, I can improvise the seasonings, tweak cooking style/method, adjust and make it my own. With baking, if I try to im... Tue, 1 Feb 2011 20:44:33 EST Hey Everybody Hi. I'm new to this whole SparkPeople thing, but I found this group and it interests me. <BR> <BR> I am currently in culinary school and wanting to be a pastry chef. I make cakes on the side for anybody that orders them. I love baking and cooking sweets. <BR> <BR> I don't really know what else to put so...Bye! Tue, 1 Feb 2011 20:06:41 EST Thermo Spot Cookware I just heard about this today. T-Fal cookware set with a 'thermo-spot' that lets you know when your pan is 190 degrees. I use the 'water droplet test', but this is a great idea. Sounds like a good starter set for some of my friends who are learning to cook. Supposedly dishwasher safe too. One of the major turnoffs for me with non stick cookware is they are not dishwasher safe. Wish I knew about this when I was first starting to build my kitchen set! Tue, 1 Feb 2011 15:32:28 EST Two cookbook reviews Throwdown! with Bobby Flay <BR> Bobby Flay Cooks American <BR> <BR> I confess, Bobby Flay has a long-term lease on my daydreams. But if I'd never heard of him, I would still LOVE both of these books. <BR> <BR> Throwdown! tells the stories behind 50 challenges from the TV show. Bobby's recipe and the opponent's are both given so readers can prepare both and decide for themselves. The pictures are absolutely drool-worthy (the pictures of the food aren't bad, either). I know I'm definitely goi... Mon, 31 Jan 2011 21:31:51 EST My New Blog - Shortcut Menus My food blogs here at Spark have been very popular, and have received very positive feedback. I've decided to turn them into a food/cooking blog, and have bought a domain - I've attempted a couple of food/cooking blogs in the past, but I had trouble with focus on what I wanted to accomplish. <BR> <BR> Thanks to joining this team, I've finally figured out what I want to say, and how I want to say it. I admit that the "Iron Chef" challenges we did a few months ago had a l... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 12:33:54 EST Has this happened to you? Last week I roasted a chicken. When I thought it was done I stuck my meat thermometer into the thigh. It read 165, so I thought great! and took it out of the oven. Imagine my dismay when I cut into the thigh (my favorite part) and the juice was bright red. My thermometer betrayed me. I had to stick the chicken back into the oven for quite awhile longer. <BR> <BR> But my meat thermometer didn't just lie to me. An hour later I picked it up to wash it -- and it was still saying 165 degrees! I h... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:28:02 EST Citrus pie? Honey tangerines are in season right now, and I love them! Thinking of recipe ideas for them, it occurred to me that the only ways I see citrus in pies is either as juice (like in lemon cream) or as garnish. Is there a reason you couldn't use the fruit itself? I'm thinking tangerine pie the way you'd use apple or pineapple. I realize they're a lot softer and juicier, of course. Is there a way you could compensate? The idea has me intrigued. Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:25:13 EST Anyone else here follow the Daring Bakers? I often peruse Foodgawker and see submissions from the Daring Bakers team. This month they are making something called Biscuit Joconde. Never heard of it before but it looks so beautiful AND delicious! Maybe if I ever had a few hours to spare I'd give it a try. <BR> <BR> Here's the link to the site: <BR> <link><BR>joconde-imprimeentremet </link> Fri, 28 Jan 2011 11:03:33 EST Sugar question In one of my new cookbooks, several of the dessert recipes call for muscovado sugar, which I've never heard of. From the way it's used it seems like brown sugar can be substituted, but I don't know. Could someone please enlighten me? Tue, 25 Jan 2011 09:55:04 EST Lunch at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill! Ok, everyone knows I'm a huge fan of Bobby Flay. (2nd only to LadyIrish, of course!). I'm from Colorado, and I grew up with southwest/texmex flavors and cooking. It's one of my favorite cooking styles and foods. So when I was learning to cook, Bobby Flay's "Boy Meets Grill" show was on my Tivo list where I furiously scribbled notes so I could try his recipes. As wonderful the recipes are when I made it, I always wondered what it tasted like when HE cooked it. <BR> <BR> I was in Las Vegas... Mon, 24 Jan 2011 17:56:00 EST Thanks for your help! I finally got my chocolate dessert done today and I want to thank you guys for your help. I was inspired by everyone. <BR> I did chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. <BR> <BR> PetuniaPig got me thinking about white chocolate and orange so I put a small dense white chocolate cake flavored with a bit of orange zest and coated in white chocolate ganache on the has a milk chocolate sauce and a tempered dark chocolate garnish. <BR> <BR> Then I decided to go with the chocolate gelato that... Thu, 20 Jan 2011 14:59:44 EST Howdy! (Don't read if you're hungry!!) I just kinda popped right in without saying "hello" so I thought I'd better do it now. <BR> <BR> I've been cooking and baking for decades gradually challenging myself to try harder and harder things. I still haven't made puff pastry from scratch yet, but I'm no longer fearful of trying it. Of course, that one is off my list for a bit! I shall stick to something less fattening like preserved lemons. I know that one is easy, but I haven't done it yet and organic lemons are in season. <BR> <BR... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 02:08:30 EST I wouldn't have believed it On last night's Chopped, the dessert basket included Gummi worms, along with Rice Krispies and cashew butter. One chef decided to do "dessert sushi." He melted down the Gummi Worms and spread them on a silpat, then spread the other ingredients on top. He thought to roll it up when the Gummi Worms were set. What nobody knew was that whatever those things are made from sets like nothing you've ever seen. He couldn't get it loose. He fought and fought with it until -- brace yourself -- the silpa... Wed, 12 Jan 2011 21:36:15 EST Let's play Chopped! In your appetizer baskets are: <BR> <BR> Manila clams <BR> Pearl onions <BR> Sauterne <BR> Red licorice vines <BR> <BR> Your time starts...NOW! Wed, 12 Jan 2011 21:33:12 EST Looking for inspiratio! Well it is menu change time again for me and just like last season I am stuck with my chocolate dessert. (for those of you who don't know me I am a pastry chef at a high end restaurant) I get stuck on my chocolate dessert all of the time... <BR> <BR> Help me out please! What are your favorite chocolate desserts? What makes the perfect chocolate dessert to you? What are you always hoping for when you open a menu at a restaurant and look for a chocolate dessert? Any and all answers and i... Wed, 12 Jan 2011 15:28:20 EST One pot dishes In the winter, I love creating healthly, diet friendly but delicious soups and stews to take to work for lunch. I'm running out of ideas. Help!!! :-) Tue, 4 Jan 2011 13:28:37 EST What are your "kitchen sins?" Minds out of the gutter, please. I'm referring to bad cooking habits. Here are (a few of) mine: <BR> <BR> 1. Mise-en-place: "Organized" is not exactly my middle name. I really need to improve my kitchen tidiness. <BR> <BR> 2. Tasting: I don't do nearly enough. Got to make it a habit. Sun, 2 Jan 2011 20:10:39 EST I can't condone her methods, but... ...I certainly admire her taste! (BTW, this happened less than two miles from my office.) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ting-foodie-nabbed-at-costco </link> Tue, 28 Dec 2010 19:54:18 EST The biggest food trends of 2010 They left out mixology. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>lest-food-trends-of-2010-2426151/ </link> Sun, 26 Dec 2010 11:30:29 EST What's for Christmas dinner? I'm making roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, colcannon (mashed potatoes and sauteed kale) and hot rolls (I'm going to cheat a bit and use brown-and-serve rolls). This will all be washed down with a nice California shiraz. No dessert -- my two "guests" are my ex and my son. Ex is diabetic and my son is on a feeding tube due to his disability. <BR> <BR> What are YOU having? Sun, 19 Dec 2010 13:10:22 EST Vegetable dish for Christmas dinner I've always served Green Giant broccoli in cheese sauce with Christmas dinner (blushes). I still like it, but I'm a better cook than that. <BR> <BR> I wanted to make caramelized Brussels sprouts with roasted chestnuts, but my ex is coming to dinner and he hates Brussels sprouts (he's fond of saying that his favorite vegetable is chicken -- 'nuff said?). <BR> <BR> Well, I'm supposed to be developing recipes for my blog and my portfolio for when I apply for Next Food Network Star (believe it ... Sat, 18 Dec 2010 12:28:41 EST What are YOU baking/making for the holidays? What foods, cookies, candies, etc. are you making for the holidays? Even if you aren't eating them...what have you made or what will you be making? <BR> <BR> I made my grandmother's shortbread cookie recipe (Melting Moments) that I used her 'special' cookie press to flatten them with (borrowed it from my mother). I then half-dipped them into dark chocolate. I made them last week, but haven't tried them yet. I am keeping them to share with family at Christmas. I have a list of other cook... Tue, 14 Dec 2010 16:39:54 EST Next Great Baker (spoilers) Is anyone else watching this? <BR> <BR> I would happily watch Buddy Valastro read the phone book, so I couldn't wait to see this show. He's incredibly sweet, charming and funny. I had no idea he can be downright scary when he needs to be -- and with this bunch, he needs to be. He doesn't raise his voice or throw things. Instead, his voice lowers and goes stone cold. Made me more jittery than three of Gordon Ramsay's tirades, and I wasn't even on the receiving end. <BR> <BR> Pamela should th... Tue, 7 Dec 2010 09:59:26 EST Top Chef All-Stars (spoilers) Anthony Bourdain as a judge? I'd rather face my in-laws, and they hated EVERYTHING! <BR> <BR> Of course it's a handicap for us that we can't taste the dishes, but if Elia's fish was as raw as they say, I wouldn't eat it either. I was kind of surprised Stephen wasn't eliminated. He really strikes me as more maitre'd material than a chef. Sat, 4 Dec 2010 15:03:02 EST Traditional American Holiday Sweets Hello everybody! <BR> I was invited to a "Jule verksted" in a few weeks. Basically this is where people get together and all bake or make holiday treats to share with one another. At the end of the day all of your holiday baking should be done and you divide what you have made with the others on your group so you bring home a variety of things. <BR> <BR> The two women I will be baking with are Swedish and Norwegain. They like the idea of everyone making things that represent what people t... Fri, 3 Dec 2010 13:12:21 EST Battle Lamb -- allez cuisine! I challenge Iron Chef Morimoto. I'll challenge Bobby later... <BR> <em>18</em> <BR> <BR> First course: grilled lamb skewers marinated with shallots, roasted garlic and red wine. <BR> <BR> Second course: feta-stuffed lamb burger with tzatziki on a toasted ciabatta roll. <BR> <BR> Third course: lamb shanks dredged in flour, Parmesan cheese, pepper and garlic salt. Saute in olive oil, then oven-braise in Italian salad dressing (would the Italian dressing get me banished from Kitchen Stad... Thu, 2 Dec 2010 21:29:00 EST Here's hoping you all like Gourmands on yer team! <em>30</em> <em>41</em> <em>20</em> <em>43</em> <em>4</em> <em>213</em> <em>18</em> <em>211</em> <em>334</em> <BR> Hi everyone! <BR> I've been aRound good chefs for a long time, but only recently started making more than egg/baked dishes. I FInally have gotten my comfort-cooking DHeart to start using a wok and making a greater variety of dishes at home... and I just got a gift of a breadmaker, so now I'm finally baking with yeast! Now, if I can get my baking stone back from a fr... Sun, 28 Nov 2010 16:53:21 EST Leftover Turkey Meals Ok, my American friends! I know you many of you had turkey, and now have tons of leftover bird! What are you doing with the leftovers? <BR> <BR> Turkey/stuffing sammiches are my favorite, but this year since I'm having 2 "Thanksgivings", I'm going to end up with a LOT of turkey! So I'm trying to think of some creative uses for leftovers, outside the normal sammiches and casseroles. <BR> <BR> Some of my ideas: <BR> 1) Turkey crepes with drizzled cranberry sauce <BR> 2) Turkey chili con car... Sat, 27 Nov 2010 17:46:49 EST Wanted to say hello! Just joined this team and wanted to say hello. Not new to spark, but new to this team. Sat, 27 Nov 2010 11:50:33 EST