Questions in the Food & Drink category.
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October 2

Explain tamales to me like I’m five

(and didn’t grow up with Mexican food). They’re delicious, but I feel like I fundamentally don’t get them. It’s like a dumpling... but you can’t eat the outside? [more inside]
posted by Questolicious at 1:54 PM - 30 answers

October 1

Looking for amazing vegetarian Chinese food

There's a restaurant in Chapel Hill that serves General Tso's Soy Chicken - fried chewy bits, good sauce, fresh vegetables. Is there something like that in Chicago? Note: not looking for fake meat made out of corn starch, tapioca, or arrow root (e.g. starch), but more proteiny stuff, like soy chicken or maybe seitan/gluten. [more inside]
posted by amtho at 4:01 PM - 9 answers

September 30

Shana tova!

I'd like to make this honey cake with added apple. But how much apple? And how? [more inside]
posted by joyceanmachine at 12:21 PM - 6 answers

Smoky baked beans - without liquid smoke

I want to make a small batch of beans to go with some BBQ meats. I have an aversion to liquid smoke (snowflaky story that I won't get into). Do any of you have a go-to recipe for smoky baked beans w/o liquid smoke? I have a small dutch oven, but no pressure cooker. Please suggest actual recipes that you have tried rather than ingredients I could add (I am not a good or confident cook).
posted by Feminazgul at 12:20 PM - 18 answers

September 29

risotto liquid variations?

The other day, the person I was cooking with had leftover salsa-flavored water from salsa-making and we used that instead of broth to make risotto. The result was delicious! What other unique flavored liquids could I try? I'm most curious about things that aren't broth but feel free to suggest unique broths.
posted by azalea_chant at 8:48 PM - 15 answers

Can I eat this plate of beans?

My beans (red, but not kidney) smell funny as they cook. I have cooked beans from scratch before, but they never smell like this. Can I eat them? [more inside]
posted by tavegyl at 4:15 PM - 5 answers

Vegetarian Showstopper Recipes

You're a skilled vegetarian cook and you don't shy away from any flavors/spices or international cuisines. What are your showstopper recipes? What do you cook that makes both vegetarians and omnivores say "wow"? [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 2:56 PM - 33 answers

Are these nine pounds of frozen ghost peppers still good?

I've had a nine-pound bucket of cleaned and processed ghost peppers (Bhut jolokia) in my freezer for five years. It's time to either use them or throw them out. Are they still good for cooking and canning? How could I tell? [more inside]
posted by hydrophonic at 10:44 AM - 7 answers

September 27

Don, we've got an Oreo Cookie Problem

Are we the only ones having MAJOR quality issues with Oreos lately? What's happening? Why?! [more inside]
posted by Crystalinne at 5:58 PM - 12 answers

What can I make with this chocolate sludge?

I was melting chocolate chips for a recipe, added about a teaspoon and a half of margarine (Earths Balance if it matters) so it wouldn’t cool too hard, and for some reason it seized up into a thick chocolate sludge (somewhere between cookie dough and fudge in texture and density. I have about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of it. What can I bake that will incorporate this? [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 12:26 PM - 12 answers

Please give me a dressing that would go superbly with these ingredients.

I have diced cooked potato, avocado, boiled eggs, sauted mushrooms (potentially), spring onions, mayonnaise, sour cream, greek yoghurt, feta cheese, celery, lemons and lime. What would be the most amazing dressing to bring all these things together, plus I need to bulk it out plus also please tell me what to leave out. I have other standard seasonings and herbs and spices and so on. Leaving things to the last minute, as always!
posted by h00py at 5:37 AM - 13 answers

September 26

Replacement Silpat

I need a replacement for my silpat. On, I see silpat, Amazon Basics and PrettyCare. Is there a quality difference or can I just go cheaper? I use these a lot. [more inside]
posted by jeather at 10:16 AM - 9 answers

September 24

Help finding a particular kind of meal planner

I'm trying to help a family member find some free versions of meal planners similar to this one. It is for two adults who want to take the decision making out of meal planning. So just a few choices from each food group for three meals a day. They are omnivores who generally eat healthy foods and cook simply. Clean, whole foods, you might say. I want to give them a few pre-planned menus like this to choose from. [more inside]
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 7:42 AM - 3 answers

September 21

Would you thaw and reshape Whole Foods' frozen pie crust?

I am in a pinch and am considering thawing two Whole Foods pie crusts, smushing them into a ball, then rolling the dough into a circle big enough to fit my tart tin (which has a removable bottom.) The diameter of the tart tin is larger than that of the original pie shell. Experienced culinary kludgers: what would you do? I don't have a food processor and don't have time and space to make a tart shell from scratch.
posted by Morpeth at 1:11 PM - 11 answers

Make them worship me as a coffee pod god

The office recently acquired a Keurig . Ok, Karen bought in an old one after our department was far from the break/coffee pot aka a flight of stars. But whatever, we've been taking turns bringing in different flavors of coffee and tea and now it's my turn. I want to impress. What coffee and/or tea pods do you suggest that will wow my co-workers? Previously we've enjoyed medium/french roast, Cafe Bustelo, Dunkin' Donuts brand and similar.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:06 PM - 8 answers

Can I eat it ? Sausage Skin edition

I have some sausage skins that I soaked, didn't use then instead of draining and salting them, I put them back in the soaking water and left them in the fridge. Are they safe to use? [more inside]
posted by missmagenta at 12:30 AM - 3 answers

September 20

Is there an easier way to do a Keto diet?

Here's what I've been reading about the Keto diet. I went on a Keto diet about a month ago, and I’m having trouble sticking to it. I really want just good simple fresh food without a lot of hassle. The “net carbs” approach sounds more like what I want to eat because you can eat more fresh greens and veggies, but I can’t get myself to calculate net carbs vs total carbs to save my life. So I try just using ballpark estimates of total carbs and I’m hardly eating veggies at all. Is there a simple way to learn to cook Keto with plenty of vegetables where I don’t need a calculator? I just want tasty meals and not just meat … simple but not boring. How do I do this?
posted by amartin at 2:49 PM - 15 answers

How often do kids eat dessert in the Us?

I’d like to know what the typical dessert consumption is in the US for kids. I can’t find any data on this. Can you?
posted by bq at 1:08 PM - 7 answers

September 19

Recipes for interesting, low-calorie vegetarian salads

I'm an adventurous eater, and love food from all over the world. Please recommend some recipes for interesting, low-calorie vegetarian salads. [more inside]
posted by panama joe at 10:03 AM - 11 answers

Where can I buy a variety box of bad but good American snacks?

I'm trying to explain to my students the US/Japan snack differences and it's time for some props. Gushers. Nerds. Corn Nuts. Flaming Hot Cheetos. BBQ flavored...something. Are there any big variety boxes on the market out there that are more low rent but also ship internationally?
posted by rileyray3000 at 12:36 AM - 4 answers

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