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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Pecan Pie with a TWIST? on: November 14, 2007 05:36:20 PM
another thought- you could play up whipped cream to be served with it.  I've been enjoying using caramel (in place of the sugar, to taste) to sweeten mine.
2  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Caramel Apple Help on: November 05, 2007 09:29:00 PM
Suggestion! (I was going to make caramel apples for my October wedding, but I ran out of time...) Try using Lady Apples.

I just saw these at our farmers market and thought about that too!
They're a nice small size.
3  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: cooking in your hotel room--do you have any tips? on: November 03, 2007 10:12:27 PM
this is a great thread of suggestions!

I'd swear I've heard of a coffee pot cookbook... like cooking pasta in it and everything.

Another idea- if you can pick up a George Foreman Grill from a garage sale or something- that would work in a hotel room really well.  Plus it takes care of having to have a pan.  Chopsticks pack well as an alternative to a spatula to move things around while cooking.

I try to eat like this for cons ... sometimes it feels silly and a bit anti-social, but it's usually good.  It's also a good way to keep meals healthy while out like this.

One idea that could be fun would be to have an iron chef night o0r a scavenger cook night.  Invite a bunch of people to your room, but under the condition that they bring one ingredient to cook with.  (And have a pizza delivery number figured out if it gets too weird!)
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: recipe storage/organization - suggestions? on: November 03, 2007 09:52:43 PM
You should start a blog- you could even keep it private if you really wanted.

That's how I started my food blog- as a way to keep track of favorite recipes, and where they came from.

Esp as many newspapers have an online version- you can just copy and paste. (though don't forget to include where you got the recipe from.)
5  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Ever Bake with Cottage Cheese? Banana Muffin Experiment on: November 03, 2007 09:50:30 PM
Nice idea!

A friend introduced me to the idea of adding cottage cheese to pancake batter- just stirred right in.  It's good.  The little cottage cheese bits melt and string just like cheese
6  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Dulce de Calabasas(pumkin candy) on: November 03, 2007 09:43:31 PM
Hard to tell what happened.  Giving us a heads up as to the recipe would help. 

Perhaps your pumpkin pieces were too big or too small?
If they were mushy I almost want to say you cooked them too long.  Maybe next time, take a piece of pumpkin out and test it before you get to the "finished" time.  Cook the pieces till they are the texture you think they should be.

Another idea... when letting the pieces dry out: have a fan blowing on them.  And don't put them in the refrigerator- its too humid of an environment and won't let the sugar harden/dry.

Try it again though :good luck:
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: What the heck can I do with packages of leftover HAM GLAZE MIX?? on: November 03, 2007 08:32:59 PM
Bake an apple (or other yummy) crisp and put it in the oat mixture on top.  That would be yummy. 

Oh nice one skoo!

I was just going to suggest tossing it in cookies as part of the sugar.
Or you could try candying pecans or walnuts with it.
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Pecan Pie with a TWIST? on: November 03, 2007 08:30:56 PM
Looking for a different recipe for this year's Thanksgiving. My husband loves Pecan Pie, but I want something more exciting than your traditional pecan. Anyone have any recipes or find any online that would just wow a guy, but not be too funky that he wouldn't eat it?  Roll Eyes

Umm- is alcohol ok?  Cause rum or bourbon or whiskey pecan pie kicks ass!  Or maybe just add a layer of chocolate to the top of the pie crust before baking the pecan filling.  Chocolate ganache (just a tiny bit of hot cream added to chocolate whirled in the food processor) would be best so that it isn't rock hard when refrigerated.   

Ooo and adding candied orange peel would work really well (and to the cranberry pecan one). 

And if you are feeling really adventurous- adding black pepper (no really!) to sweet pecan things is really good.  Like 1/4 tsp of freshly ground pepper to the whole pie filling would be enough.  It'll make it a tiny bit spicy, but not too much.

I bet Paula Dean has a couple interesting shake ups on the food network site.  I bet she adds extra butter and whiskey  Grin
9  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Caramel Apple Help on: November 03, 2007 08:24:06 PM
Next I tried the recipe in Martha Stewarts Magazine but the sugar burnt before it got to the right temperature eventhough I followed the directions exactly, I took it off the heat as soon as I noticed so it's still edible, it just it won't get hard since it never got to the right temperature and it's just falling off the apple (delicious none the less, but I couldn't wrap them and give them to people). 

Hmmm- your sugar problem doesn't make sense.  You want caramel apples and not the hard candy shell ones right?  To make caramel you have to burn the sugar, in a sense.  Pop up a link to the recipe here and lets take a look at it.

Likely the recipe told you to take a sugar and water solution to a boil.  It should have told you to watch carefully, and don't stir it (! very important with caramel) and to take it, not to a particular temperature, but to when the sugar solution starts to change color and darken.  This can happen fast- that's why you'll have your cream and or butter to add to the darkening sugar waiting right next to the pan. 

Helpful hint: use an enamel coated pan like a Creuset to do this cause they have nice white interiors that really help with checking the sugar color.  I wouldn't recommend a dark interior colored pan.

Your point about not wanting to make these apples right before your wedding is spot on!  It's good to double check in your testing how those apples will fare when a couple days old.  You don't want sweaty caramel! 

So yeah, when's your wedding?  Is it really humid where you are?
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: What do you think of Deceptively Delicious or The Sneaky Chef? on: November 03, 2007 08:12:31 PM
I just got her book and I think the idea is great.  But is their any other way to puree the food or use a short cut.  Do you think baby food would work?  I was just wondering what everyone else thought of it.  Or maybe The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine is better.  Let me know your thoughts on it.

SeaSun, you didn't say how they recommend to puree the foods in the first place. 

A couple ways off the top of my head: in the blender, with a potato masher, with a ricer, with a food mill.

I really wouldn't recommend buying babyfood instead.  It's not the same as pureeing the food items yourself.  You should also do a test for yourself to make sure I'm not talking out my arse  Cheesy
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