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Difficult cooking techniques or recipes

I'm a curious amateur chef looking for some challenges. What's given you the most trouble in the past? [more inside]
posted by Ephemeral10 on Feb 13, 2013 - 39 answers

How can I make my chocolate chip cookies come out flatter?

I made the same recipe multiple times, and have gotten different results every time. How can I maintain consistency?! [more inside]
posted by masquesoporfavor on Feb 13, 2013 - 20 answers

Help us eat healthy and save money with an infant

Mrs. Thabombshelter and I have a four month old son and would love to eat more meals that aren't takeout. Plus, with a baby, money is obviously a valuable and precious commodity. Easy prep and inexpensive ingredients are a priority. So please, help us with some suggestions for easy-ish, healthy-ish, cheap-ish meals that can help us avoid Papa Johns or Chinese takeout. [more inside]
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith on Feb 8, 2013 - 25 answers

I'll Grind Their Cereals-and-Grains to Make My Bread!

Quick question for the food science-y folks out there: lately, I've been pulverizing a lot of my baking ingredients in the spice grinder before using them in recipes (oat bran, wheat bran, wild rice, wheat germ, buckwheat groats, etc.). Does reducing these ingredients to a fine powder change any of their caloric/nutritional properties? Obviously, they'll be denser and more caloric cup-for-cup, and I'd imagine they'll have a higher glycemic load (not that I especially care about that). But does super-fine fiber still ACT like fiber in the body? Is super-fine buckwheat just as healthy as the un-pulverized stuff? I like the finer texture of powdered ingredients, but if I'm making them less-healthy, I'll suck it up and leave 'em whole.
posted by julthumbscrew on Feb 8, 2013 - 3 answers

Can you start a new business ( private cooking classes) in Asheville, nc

I am considering moving to Asheville and hear a lot about how hard it is to make a living there and how over saturated it is already with entrepreneurs. I am in my mid 50's and have been a successful private chef who is now teaching cooking in various small schools and in private homes. I am not thrilled with the northeast weather and thought of Asheville as a relocation spot. Having just visited there it seemed there is a lot of food buzz going on- I know it's a "foodie" town and think I might be able to succeed there. I am concerned about the rising cost of buying a house in the area and that I could find enough work there. Any input?
posted by privatechef on Feb 6, 2013 - 16 answers

Kitchen Idiots, lend me your unfuckupable recipes.

I need to make one (1) simple meal a week for two (2) people. This is not something I'm necessarily good at. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by griphus on Feb 6, 2013 - 59 answers

Bitter about carrots

I made some carrot soup. It has a slightly bitter after taste. Why is that, and can I fix this? [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Feb 5, 2013 - 18 answers

Salted rice

Is it common to add salt when cooking plain boiled or steamed rice? Specifically, is this widely done in India, China or Japan?
posted by dontjumplarry on Feb 4, 2013 - 23 answers

Tofu makers, give me your tips

I have been making my own tofu for awhile now, with highly mixed results - some days it is great, other days it is an un-holy disaster. Help me make it great every time. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Feb 1, 2013 - 5 answers

Help me start making sushi with all this cool stuff my sweetie got me

As an anniversary gift, my girlfriend got me all this cool stuff to begin learning to make sushi with. But where to begin? What is the purpose of some of these things on the left there? I get the bamboo mat but some of the other things are throwing me for a loop. Also, what would be the very best way for a beginner to jump into this world? Difficulty: I really dont want to sent anyone to the hospital from them eating some sushi I made.
posted by Senor Cardgage on Jan 31, 2013 - 18 answers

Tell me your American versions of Scandinavian recipes!!!!!

Please help me compile some American versions of Scandinavian recipes. My american-scandinavian mom died a few years ago and someone stole or tossed her recipe tin. Now this california girl has found herself living in Norway, can recognize the foods mom used to make, but can't remember how to cook it!!!!!!! Please please help!!!!! [more inside]
posted by misspony on Jan 30, 2013 - 14 answers

Food/Cooking/Sustainability crash course

I may have an opportunity to teach a ten week class to ninth graders about food, cooking, and sustainability. These are topics that interest me and that I pursue in my spare time, but I'm realizing I don't know as much as I thought I did-- what books, resources, concepts do I need to study in order to get a real grasp on this so I can teach it well? [more inside]
posted by bonheur on Jan 28, 2013 - 6 answers

End-to-end nutrition book

I would like to finally find a routine I can follow to eat healthy during the week and I am looking for book recommendations. Unfortunately, most nutrition/cooking books are very one-sided (only contain recipes, only discuss cooking skills, or only nutrition theory) and very biased towards some radical approach (vegatarian/vegan, very low-carb, very high-protein etc.). I am looking for the opposite - ideally a single book for learning about nutrition, cooking and planning your groceries and cooking so all the good advice is actually actionable considering having a 40-hour workweek; also without going into any dietetic extremes and based on sound science and actual practice. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by jarekr on Jan 27, 2013 - 17 answers

Fresh lobster, frozen, now what?

I was just gifted a fresh Caribbean lobster caught by my friend. It was put into the freezer. Now what do I do? It's whole and rather large. I've never prepared anything like this, and googling recipes isn't helping - half say I should thaw it first, half say I should stick the whole thing in boiling water. [more inside]
posted by Alpenglow on Jan 26, 2013 - 4 answers

Should I bake my own bread?

I absolutely hate baking. I really love good bread. No vendor in my area has good bread. Should I try making bread? [more inside]
posted by jaguar on Jan 23, 2013 - 51 answers

Ça me manque depuis 15 ans

Teach me how to make Cancoillotte cheese from things I can buy in an American supermarket or (unlikely) where to buy it for shipment to the USA (Nebraska). [more inside]
posted by jepler on Jan 22, 2013 - 12 answers

What is "stinky cheese"?

Help me find the name of this hard, pungent Italian cheese. [more inside]
posted by Thin Lizzy on Jan 22, 2013 - 20 answers

Monogramed knife bag?

My love has begun getting her foot in the door in the restaurant industry and working some kitchen shifts. Currently she brings her knives to work wrapped in a towel and rubber bands. I'd like to get her a nice knife bag/roll and have it monogrammed. I need advice on good brands/places to purchase this/what to look for! Any chefs/cooks out there have any recommends? Online stores or San Francisco shops preferred. Thanks!
posted by matt_od on Jan 22, 2013 - 6 answers

Can I do anything with pig skin after slow-cooking it?

I made some delicious slow-cooker pulled pork using this chow.com recipe. I cooked the pork shoulder with the skin on, believing it to add flavour. After cooking, it came right off, along with a thick layer of fat. I've looked up pork scratching recipes, but none of them take into account that I cooked it for 8 hours beforehand. I'd like to do something useful with it, but I'm not sure what. Is it destined for my tummy or the bin?
posted by Magnakai on Jan 20, 2013 - 9 answers

Emperor Wu liked cake, but not exploding cake!

I have a very utilitarian relationship with food. I want to have a sensuous relationship with food. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Jan 18, 2013 - 34 answers

I wouldn't like a bag of beef or a beer or a cup of chowder...

I need some fast, easy, healthy meals that I can make while traveling. Difficulty level - ingredients often limited and I'm sick of sandwiches. Extra points for vegetarian. [more inside]
posted by Paper rabies on Jan 17, 2013 - 6 answers

Who's the Jamie Oliver of vegetarian cooking?

I'm well aware that this opinion is not shared by everyone, but I really like Jamie Oliver's style of cooking (and, I confess, presentation on tv): simple ingredients (but the best you can get), big flavours, lots of fresh herbs, very informal. The thing is, he's not that big on vegetarian recipes, and I'm making an effort to *not* eat meat 3 or 4 times a week, so could you recommend a vegetarian Jamie Oliver please? Note: I googled this phrase and google came up with Simon Rimmer, but I was kind of underwhelmed.
posted by Skyanth on Jan 16, 2013 - 30 answers

F'ing gas stoves, how do they work?

After burning my second pot and almost poisoning myself by not quite turning the knob off, it's clear that I need remedial gas stove cooking classes. [more inside]
posted by Neneh on Jan 12, 2013 - 29 answers

Light beer recipes: it's like a kitchen on a dock... cooking (with) near water.

I have 8-10 Bud Light beers in cans left over from my New Year's party. I'm not going to drink them... but can I cook with them? [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jan 4, 2013 - 31 answers

best places to start for a beginner chef

Hi, I'd like to start cooking meals for myself more often, but I've been overwhelmed by the number of books and websites online. Does someone know a good place to find recipes for beginner chefs, whether it be at a premium or not? Eating healthy is a priority for me as well. Thanks!
posted by da_wump on Jan 2, 2013 - 22 answers

Ideas for fireplace cooking?

Suggestions for fireplace food for a NYE party? [more inside]
posted by emmatrotsky on Dec 29, 2012 - 9 answers

Oils and health: give me a primer, please!

I'm a little bit confused about whether oils (olive, etc.) are healthy, and in what quantities they belong in a balanced diet (given their high caloric content). Should I be aiming to add them into my diet (pour a couple of spoonfuls over salad, or cook with them), or should I be aiming to avoid them, substituting other things in their place and largely or entirely forgoing them. What nutrients or other benefits do they offer my body that other foods wouldn't, if any? If they are healthy, which are the healthiest? Which are the least healthy? Are some better for eating fresh and others better for cooking with? Help?
posted by UniversityNomad on Dec 29, 2012 - 10 answers

Next up, sous vide in your hot water heater

Cooking a rib roast in wood stove? [more inside]
posted by mkb on Dec 24, 2012 - 5 answers

Mmm...braised pork...

I picked up a pork shoulder for holiday cooking. I love braising, but have only done beef and lamb. I've dug up a couple of recipes, but none has really grabbed me yet. What is your favorite braised pork shoulder recipe? [more inside]
posted by madmethods on Dec 22, 2012 - 18 answers

Vegan Gift Ideas or Vegan Cooking Classes in Denver, CO?

I am looking for gift ideas for a vegan couple who live in Denver, CO. Budget is about $80. My first thought was to find a vegan cooking class for couples somewhere in the area, but I am not from Denver and my google-fu has failed me. I'm open to any and all suggestions other than cookbooks because we have already purchased one for them. Thanks in advance!
posted by adustum on Dec 21, 2012 - 15 answers

Bakers, why is this dough bitter?

I made a pie crust an hour ago and the dough tastes bitter to me. The ingredients: Gold Medal all-purpose white flour, lard, water, egg, vinegar, salt. I tasted each ingredient just now (except the egg) and they all seem fine. Does anyone know where if an interaction among some ingredients might be causing bitterness? Or are my taste buds wrong? I'd appreciate any relevant advice.
posted by wryly on Dec 20, 2012 - 10 answers

Looking For Not so Sweet Sweet Potato Recipes.

Help needed with sweet potato side dish recipes [more inside]
posted by wwax on Dec 20, 2012 - 23 answers

Make my honey a little less runny

How can I make honey stick to roasted chicken? [more inside]
posted by JDHarper on Dec 16, 2012 - 10 answers

Throw in some beans and let 'em go...

Looking for a quality crock pot for a family of 4. [more inside]
posted by LizardOfDoom on Dec 14, 2012 - 10 answers

Brunch: My Favorite Team Sport

I am having a New Year's Day brunch and I'd like to serve some fancy things that aren't typically homemade here in the US. [more inside]
posted by jph on Dec 11, 2012 - 19 answers

Gingerbread

Gingerbread baking: I hope to make some gingerbread today. Yum. However, all of the recipes I've come across tell me to bake it in a square pan. But I really want to bake it in some bread pans - for a nice little loaf of gingerbread. [more inside]
posted by Sassyfras on Dec 11, 2012 - 11 answers

Looking for recipes that use Sumac molasses

Does anyone cook with Sumac Molasses? [more inside]
posted by InkaLomax on Dec 6, 2012 - 3 answers

Stock to Soup

What's a good soup recipe to make with this yummy home-made chicken stock? [more inside]
posted by enzymatic on Dec 6, 2012 - 13 answers

What can I make for my widowed dad to eat who is on a salt restricted diet?

What can I cook my very old fashioned, CHF widowed dad? [more inside]
posted by stormpooper on Dec 6, 2012 - 23 answers

Too many raisins!

What savory, no-oven dishes do you recommend for raisins? I have a lot of raisins, but I do not like them in sweet things (baked in bread, ugh!) and do not have an oven. They do make a great accent flavor in savory dishes. The raisins in question are golden, but I am Prime Minister of Substitution so it's rather academic what the recipe asks for.
posted by whatzit on Dec 5, 2012 - 41 answers

Practical yet Attractive Uses for narrow-necked glass bottles?

I have a few old glass bottles which I've cleaned, de-labeled, and given airtight cork tops. They're attractive bottles, about 750ml each with narrow tops, and I'd like a practical way to show them off ideally in the kitchen. I already used one to infuse olive oil and other to hold my dried dried beans rather than leaving them tied up in the pantry. What else can do with them?
posted by The Whelk on Dec 5, 2012 - 28 answers

What's on the menu: Christmas Edition

What should we make for Christmas Dinner and possibly establish as a new family tradition? [more inside]
posted by otherwordlyglow on Dec 2, 2012 - 36 answers

Dishes similar to sautéd chanterelles?

I really enjoy eating sautéd chanterelles. Can you recommend similar dishes that are quick to make (~10 min), have very few, fresh ingredients and have an elegant and mild flavor?
posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 2, 2012 - 20 answers

Vegan Cream Cheese Doesn't Start Out Expired

Adding recipes from a digital cookbook to a digital recipe universe: how to? (iOS 10 filter) [more inside]
posted by tigerjade on Dec 1, 2012 - 2 answers

Cooking Woes

My boyfriend and I constantly fight about cooking. Are we both being too inflexible? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 28, 2012 - 50 answers

Pork-filter: Help me rescue my 'pulled pork' before it's too late!

Pork-filter: Help me rescue my 'pulled pork' before it's too late! [more inside]
posted by lovedbymarylane on Nov 27, 2012 - 18 answers

The fine art of stealth cooking at work.

I occupy a large, remote office that is rarely visited by anyone with authority. It just occurred to me that I could actually cook my lunch in my office each day. What are some tips for stealthily cooking at work? [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Nov 26, 2012 - 29 answers

Where to base our romantic NYC anniversary trip?

Planning a surprise anniversary trip to NYC: Questions about neighborhoods (romantic walkabout?), hotels (romantic ambiance), and recreational cooking (don't burn me, bro!). [more inside]
posted by joecacti on Nov 26, 2012 - 26 answers

Food for good moods

I think my diet is affecting my mood. What should I cook to perk up my mood? [more inside]
posted by LSK on Nov 25, 2012 - 10 answers

Bones Brigade...

[AuJusFilter]I am attempting to roast a prime rib for the first time at home, and the recipe included a from-scratch jus recipe that includes "meaty beef bones," then goes on to specify marrow or knuckle bones. Unfortunately, the only butcher in town is closed on Saturdays, and my only recourse is frozen beef soup bones from the grocery store. Close enough?
posted by kuanes on Nov 24, 2012 - 8 answers

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