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Well, mouse, it is officially worse in your description than it sounded before. My range was an inherited, comes with the old kitchen model too. Believe me when I say I was thrilled to find out it was a small repair; it's old enough that the elements can still be found as replacements. So I hoped it was only a small thing on yours to replace, too.

But I'm already envisioning one of those spectaculofabulous ovens with gleaming chrome state of the art temperature control, enough design for you to roast, bake, and carmelize sugar on your creme brulees all at the same time, and comes in the colour of your choice models for you. And soon, too. If you want to return the favour, wish me a kitchen reno so I can stop using the original 1965 sink and cabinets I'm still dealing with in my old place. Even a cheap IKEA kitchen reno (which is not cheap to me!) would be massively appreciated.

Rosemary shortbreads it is, then. Did you try one at the market? Were they good?
i don't even know what a reno is and i'm wishing one for you tongue.gif

they were only selling the mix, so i didn't get to try the rosemary shortbread. but it sounds good.

i used to live with a girl who would make up these crazy delicious experiments all the time, like strawberry mint soup and unusual ravioli stuffings and things i can't even remember what were in them but they were amazing.
Oo, my quiches turned out really well! Here's some pictures!

Just out of the oven
Out of the springform
Mmm, tasty insides!

Here's a recipe that gives you a good idea of how I made them:

Irish Breakfast Mini-Quiches

4 4" springform pans
4 9" pastry pie crusts
3 medium red potatoes, finely diced
About half of a 7 oz brick of Dubliner cheese, shredded
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 lb of Irish bacon (aka "rashers"; Canadian bacon could be substituted, cooked and chopped
8 eggs
about 1/4 C milk
4 slices of tomato

- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Butter the springforms
- ETA: Brown diced potatoes in a pan with some butter. Should just be a little brown and a little soft.
- Cut a 7 1/2 inch circle from each of the pie crusts and put into the springforms, pressing against the sides and bottom.
- In a bowl, scramble 2 eggs, a splash of milk and 1/4 of each of the ingredients (except the tomato). Dump the mixture into the pie crust. Do this 4 times and put a tomato slice on top of each.
- Put the 4 springforms onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Crusts should be golden-y brown and eggs should be puffy and firm. Let cool for a few minutes before releasing the springform and lifting quiche off the bottom.
polly, those quiches look Fabulous!!! YUmmmmm! Whatta brekkie that is! Damn, I miss eggs...make me sicker than anything though.

Mouse, I think chacha was wishing for a kitchen renovation...confused me at first too! And I'd like to have one too, while we're wishing upon the lounge!

Well, I've made up a fantastic pot of white chili this morning, and the ladies over in Okayland have requested the recipe, so here it is....its from Cook's Illustrated, not my own this time.

2.5 lb chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
1 T veg oil
salt and pepper
4 jalepenos
3 anaheim chilis
3 poblanos
2 medium onions, cut into large pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 T cumin
1.5 tsp coriander
2 cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups chicken stock
3 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup minced cilantro
4 scallions, sliced thin

Rinse and dry chicken, season with salt and pepper. Heat your stock pot on high, add 1 T oil, then add the chicken in one layer, skin down. Brown on both sides, about 4min per side. Remove chicken, set aside and remove the skins.

Clean the chiles and chop into large pieces. Chop chiles and onions coarsely in the food processor (use only 2 of the jalepenos) - do this in batches - I did 3 batches, to get even chopping, about 10, 1 second pulses per batch. Add the chile, onions, garlic, cumin and coriander. Cover, add 1/4 tsp salt, and cook until soft over medium heat, about 10 minutes, stirring, occasionally.

Transfer 1 cup of the veg mixture to the food processor with 1 cup of stock, and 1 cup of beans, process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Return to stock pot, add the rest of the stock, chicken breasts, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook about 15 minutes until chicken is cooked. remove chicken and set aside to cool. Add the remaining beans to the pot, and when cool enough to touch, remove meat from the bones, and dice into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken to the soup, and heat through. Mince the remaining jalepeno, add to the soup, then add the lime juice, cilantro and scallions and serve.

Mouse, while we're wishing (which does, in its own way, have a powerful magic!) I am making a wish that you be surrounded with friends who love to prepare mint-strawberry soups and ravioli with things like pumpkin fillings or chestnut-flour pasta for you, and that Turbo gets a new, (purple?) kitchen reno too.

And yes, a kitchen reno = a kitchen with new cabinets, floors, sink and faucet, a fridge that is more practical, a stove that works reliably where you can actually control the temperature of the cooking elements, and goddess hear me on this one, a dishwasher. A renovation, or in my case, the creation of a 100% working kitchen, complete with storage we don't have. Since we cook and like to entertain. A lot!

So thank you for wishing!!

Turbo, when M.ChaCha and I were dating, we'd go to this really interesting little mexican food restaurant near his apartment where they made some innovative dishes. The place looked like hell, with changing artwork and stuff every couple of weeks (sometimes great, sometimes not so great) and they would often play mix-tapes (yeah, it was long ago!) with hardcore thrash metal and the occasional, easy listening Nine Inch Nails tape (the chef's selection) but they were really intent on making food with fresh ingredients, free-range meats if you wanted meat, organic blue cornmeal cornbread, etc. etc. They made the best chicken burrito in town: it featured a white chili with roasted chicken, really good aged cheddar, and white bean chili with quite a lot of heat. Your recipe reminded me of those burritos...I think I'll use it to make some up (but I won't do the puree part). Do you think it would work?

Those quiche photos have made my mouth water. Gorgeous!
You've got my number, chacha - a purple kitchen would be divine!!

*wishes for kitchen renos for all busties in need*

Chacha, those burritos sound divine! We've got lots of little hole in the wall mexican places near us, just like stuff ever. I think you could definitely adapt the recipe for burritos - just add a tiny bit of stock or water to the chile/bean slurry, and you should be good. The mixture of all the chiles was a lovely blend, not too spicy, but a nice lip-tingling burn.
Damn, Polly, those look good! I regret I have no photo to show for my pumpkin chiffon efforts this weekend, but I am here to say that it's a sound recipe... very delicate, granted, but spot on. We were talking before about there being so many variables that could go awry, and I think that's probably what went wrong for you, Polly - if the pumpkin bit isn't cooked or cooled enough, the whites or the cream whipped enough, the final mixture handled gently enough, the whole thing could easily turn to soup. It's tasty, but I don't know if it's worth the 4 bowls, 1 saucepan, food processor, mixer & questionable raw egg whites involved... If I had it to do again, I'd skip the whites, & whip up a total of 2 - 2 1/2 cups heavy cream with the sugar, and just go pumpkin mousse instead of chiffon. Not that it isn't disappearing from the fridge at a respectable clip, however... (and hey, no need to go to Trader Joe's for ginger, Polly - our local Dominick's has it, in the baking section)

Aw, Chacha, you make me blush... and feel guilty, because I have easily 250 original recipes from my pastry cheffing days, just sitting in a folder, gathering dust. Compiling a book is on my list of things to do once we move back to PA & Tartlet can go over to his cousin's for weekend playdates.

We're starting to look at houses online in preparation for the aforementioned move and damn, people don't know how to design kitchens in my hometown. 2 feet of counter space, the stove parked along the wall by itself, the fridge practically in the dining room... I've stopped even looking at them, and am just assuming a complete reno will be in order, no matter where we buy. I really like the idea of modular units, at least for the lower cabinetry - like this. But then I think, who's going to clean under all that? Certainly not me, given the current state of my kitchen...

*slaps forehead*

UHN. i'm dumb!

those quiches look AMAZING. all the more so since i haven't had breakfast. wowee.
Yay, tart! That's my problem with baking- I don't get the science behind whipped egg whites or cream, like the purpose they serve...I know it's for texture/consistency/firmness, but I never know how cold or whipped they have to be to do their job soon are you moving to PA? I may have to take a couple of your pastry classes before you leave! How'd that go yesterday, BTW? So you think I should eliminate the egg whites, increase the whipped cream and add the sugar into there? (Yeah, I pretty much went through most of my baking equipment to make that thing; I had to borrow a BIG mixing bowl from my parents to put my somewhat big mixing bowl into for the ice's definitely a once or twice a year pie.)

Well, I went to TJ's, not only for the ginger for the filling, but the gingersnaps for the crust- they have those triple ginger gingersnaps, with fresh, crystallized and ground (I think that's the 3 kinds) and they just kick the crap out of those Salerno ones at the regular grocery stores. So, it was a multi-purpose trip to TJ's. smile.gif

Mmm, kitchen renovation. I doubt we'd do anything major to the place we're currently living in, since it's been recently updated, we won't be living here for more than another 5-7 years and other than replacing a couple of the appliances that were on their last legs, there's nothing so horrible I can't deal with it. If I could change stuff, though, I'd change my countertops- they're laminate, but with a faux granite print. They're such a pain in the ass to clean because they're speckled and you can't see the dirt on them. I have to run my hands all over them to find the bits of stuck-on gunk when I clean them. I'd get rid of my sink- it's white and prone to stains and scuffs from our pots and pans. I'd get a stainless steel sink, instead. I also would like a more powerful garbage disposal. This one kind of chugs along and I'm always afraid it's going to die on me. I'd change the cabinets, too, but just for aesthetic purposes. They're new-ish, good quality, plenty of space, but they're this pearl-finish white laminate and just not my style.
Tart, I am wishing for your kitchen reno now, too. Can I also add that my friend Nick--the most amazing cook I know ("Please to the Table", a Russian cookbook, is his bible) just recently renovated his kitchen and he did the whole Varde cabinet free-standing thing. Can I just say that he's lovely, but boy is he messy? And yet the kitchen now looks and stays much cleaner than it used to. He's got a very old "cottage" home in Toronto, in a part of town where many of those old, thin houses came with basement kitchens. That's where his is, so you know it's prone to grunginess. But the Varde's actually defeated the tendency. So why not?

Also: I used to find the pieces on sale in the As Is section at Ikea--and then I'd call him up, and we'd rush to get the pieces home.

So I guess my wish for all our renovations is that they're on their way, they're reduced in price just for us, and they're perfect.

One last edit to add that the white bean chili is simmering away on my stove as we speak. I accidentally managed to inhale a tiny amount of capsaicin on my lip about an hour and a half ago when I was chopping them, and it is still burning. Oooh. But on a high note, I found some dried chipotle peppers in my stash of dried anchos and poblanos...and I love chipotles. Can't wait to have dinner this evening, thanks to Turbo's recipe.
I am SO going to have to try making that white chili. If I can find the different varieties of chiles. Maybe Brennans?

I actually popped in here to ask sort of a food etiquitte (how DO you spell that?) question. Is it ever acceptable to bring anything BUT wine or cheese, to a wine and cheese tasting?

Because I was thinking of bringing some nice crackers, hummus, and olives....just cause I like to be different and I thought it'd be a nice compliment to the wine and cheese.

Input, anybody?
I don't know about the etiquette of it, treehugger, but they sound like great accompaniments for you to take. Grapes are always good with cheese & wine so that's something to consider too.
I think "wine and cheese" is code for "lots of foods you can eat with toothpicks and your fingers". I think hummus and olives and crackers would be greatly appreciated, plus you'll be able to enjoy a little more variety if it really is only wine and cheese. There's no etiquette rule broken there--unless you don't bring enough that others can enjoy along with you.

So, my take on the finished white chili: pretty darned good. I wanted to make burritos with it, but M.ChaCha just served himself right out of the pot and loved the burritos will happen next time. It's a really nice, fresh take on the whole chili idea.

I don't remember where I got my dried peppers--they used to sell a few at my local supermarket but I haven't seen any of them around lately. I can usually find a variety of fresh hot peppers (jalapeno stubbies and "finger" peppers, your standard red chilis used in thai cooking, and scotch bonnets) but I buy the dried ones as I happen to come across them. There are a number of South American stores in Toronto which sell all kinds of them (quite a few in Kensington Market, if Pepper's reading this), and if I find some I don't have, I buy them up, put them in clean dry jars when I get home, and just reconstitute them when I need them.
General baking question- when a recipe calls for an amount of chopped nuts, do you measure before or after the nuts are chopped? Whole nuts would take up more room than chopped, so I want to be sure.

Also, I noticed that I left something out of my quiche recipe- you need to brown the potatoes a little before adding them in. I just put them in a pan with some butter and cooked them until they were a little brown and a little soft.
It depends how the recipe's written, Polly - for example..

1 c walnuts, chopped


1 c chopped walnuts

The former, you measure the whole nuts out first, then chop them. The latter, chop first, then measure. This is, of course, assuming your recipe source is in any way trustworthy - there are a LOT of crap recipes out there that I swear no one ever actually tested before they went into print. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Nigella/Martha/Epicurious...) If the nuts are just for mixing in as tasty additions (a la banana nut bread), the measurement needn't be exact. Only if you're making a very nut-heavy recipe (financiers, dacquoise, etc.) would you need precision.

In a perfect world, all baking recipes would be measured by weight, not volume, and everyone would own an inexpensive but accurate kitchen scale...
I have a potluck on Monday with a bunch of vegetarian women's studies students. Any suggestions? I went to another one last night and made crab and cream cheese wontons, but the crab won't go over too well with this crowd.
you could do samosas - they're a kind of indian potato and pea dumpling
brie and cranberry wontons? festive too!
Mmm...somosas. There's this great place near my university that sells them 12 for $10. I'd be too tempted to take them up on their offer. They've never turned out any good when I've tried them at home.

Brie and cranberry wontons sound awesome! I might consider those. Any other ideas welcome.
erin - I'd totally go with the takeout samosas - that's a great price! Of course the brie and cranberry wontons sound *amazing* as well. You could stuff wontons with all kinds of yummy things - do a samosa like stuffing, or roasted sweet potato mash and herbs, goat cheese and sun dried tomato...all kinds of options.

Oooh, you could also do the classic tapas, baked goat cheese in tomato sauce served with sliced baguette...that's a simple one!
Reposting for pepper

Homemade Nutella

2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking so ensure an even color. Since the skin is bitter, you'll want to discard them. Wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towl, and rub until most of the skins have come off. Don't fret if you can't get off all the skins.

Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. At first, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, and then it will turn into a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!

When the nuts are liquidized, add in the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more liquidy now than at room temperature. Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store refrigerated for up to 1 month. For best results, stir before using.

mmmm turbo, you just brought up memories of that tapas place downtown. *drooool* i think when i go to chicago in jan/feb, i'm going to have to visit them.

and, i love the idea of stuffing wonton wrappers with the various fillings!
It's for those cream cheese cookies I posted a couple weeks ago, tart. It's phrased "1/2 C walnuts, finely chopped". I'll measure, then chop.

Mmm, samosas. It sounds blasphemous, but the frozen samosas from Trader Joe's are really good. I managed to eat the entire package by myself as a meal. With some sweet garlic chili sauce for dipping- yum! If I had the choice of fresh (especially for erin's price!) I'd certainly do that though.
that's a really good tip about the chopped nuts/nuts, finely chopped. i didn't know that.

ok, i've been looking everywhere for organic liver pate to combat my iron deficiency (and my non-meat eating inclinations) but i can find it. the dude at the fishmarket/organic butcher shop let me take a peak at his joy of cooking and there was a recipe for pate that looked very simple but it called for chicken liver and they didn't have any. i bought bison instead, it was that or cow and i prefer wild stuff to domestic.

here's my question then... can i sub the bison for the chicken and get something that tastes ok or am i looking for a whole mouthful of nasty? if i really should hold out for the chicken livers, how do i cook this big slab of organ (ugh, that's making me a little nauseous right there)?
got any ideas?
Well lookie here... Bison Pate. It looks like a mess of work, poaching then peeling the liver, but that could be a bit better than having to handle it raw & dealing with a bain marie for the cooking process...

I am an absolute whore for homemade pate, so you'll have to let us know how it turned out, Pepper! Here's my mum's recipe from back in the day...

Pate France Comtois Bonne Hotesse
From Mum

1 oz butter 4 spring onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic 1 lb sausagemeat (ground pork)
1 lb chicken livers salt and pepper
1 tspn nutmeg 2 fl oz dry sherry
1 large egg Bay leaves and bacon to line tin

Saute onions and garlic in butter. Add sausagemeat and chicken livers; cook until colored. Put through mincer or food processor and add all remaining ingredients. Line a loaf pan with bay leaves, then bacon strips (up the sides as well). Pack pate mix into pan and cover with more bay leaves and bacon. Bake at 375 deg bain marie for 1-1/2 hours. Remove from oven and put a weight on the pate while it goes cold. Chill before serving.

We made a pretty spectacular rustic terrine at the restaurant, with big pieces of foie gras & roasted pistachios... mmmmmmmmmm.
Well, it doesn't look like it's that labour intensive--except for the membrane peeling and gristle removal.

Handling meat is...always the same, I say. You're always doing something that is the equivalent of membrane peeling and gristle removal! But I'm betting the outcome will be amazing.

Pepper, I don't know if you like this or not, but President's choice makes a duck liver pate. I'm sure the bison will be far superior.

ugh. the vegetarian in me is having a fit. i'll just pan fry small pieces of it with onions once or twice a week until it's gone. thanks though.

the joy of cooking recipe is So simple. just butter, shallots, a golden delicious apple, chicken liver and heavy cream. but there is really No organic chicken liver or pate to be had in this town and i'm pretty sure i don't want to eat non-organic organ meats. dang it.

i made pizza with the kids tonight with organic spelt crust from the bakery, oh my. so. delicious. mmmmmmm!
now it's time for fudge! there's a local kitcheny stuff place that makes there own fudge, like 25 flavours, with real butter and cream. so good.
Wow, Pepper, you can get organic spelt pizza crust, but no organic liver bits? That's a bummer... I'm trolling the 'net for a mailorder source for you, but nothing so far.

Fudge is one of those things that I never think to eat/buy/make, until our IT director brings a brick of it to the office - he brings it back from Oregon every year, made by nuns in a tiny convent in the hills. Cod damn, is it good...
QUOTE(pepper @ Dec 12 2006, 03:36 PM) *
i prefer wild stuff to domestic.

Bison is farmed just the same as cows are. Just because it's bison doesn't make it any more or less wild than cow!
Speaking of fudge, my darling husband wants vanilla fudge. Ever since he moved to this country, he moans about how he never gets to have vanilla fudge any more. It's getting to the point where the sight of chocolate fudge makes him sad because it is so prolific & vanilla fudge is so scarce. So! I have decided to give it a try. Anybody out there have a good recipe?
Hi RosieV! Oooo, I know what he's missing... Devonshire cream fudge, mmmmmm! Nigella's got a decent recipe in Domestic Goddess - not too fussy, and it set up well. This looks like a decent recipe to try... the double cream would make it more rich, and I think would make it chewier, like the real thing.
I was going to suggest Nigella's recipe too!

I can't believe chocolate fudge is more prolific than vanilla... I love Thornton's vanilla fudge with cherry and almond.
quantum, well at least it's organic. i still haven't eaten any though. blech.

when i go to buy fudge i have to make an effort to get some chocolate based ones, they all look alike while the vanillas are so colourful and pretty, i always end up with more of them. the best one this round is the mango vanilla, yum!

eta, i get the caster sugar but what is double cream?

love that link to a little dairy propaganda too, ha ha. funny.
Thank you all SO much! It's so nice when the Busties come in with such great suggestions.

Pepper, I swiped this info from a website. I wonder if I might be able to get double cream from my big gourmet food store. Hmmm.

Q:What is double cream?
A: Double cream is the name in Britain for a very rich cream — containing 48% butterfat. Whipping cream in this country, by contrast, contains between 30% and 40% butterfat. Single cream in Britain is comparable to American half and half (and may also be called pouring cream), with between 10% and 12% fat.

Double cream is so rich, in fact, that it is easy to overwhip it and get it too thick. Some cooks add a tablespoon or so of milk to 8 to 10 ounces of double cream before whipping it to keep it loose enough.

ETA: Here's more info from
Q: Is there an American equivalent to double cream? Heavy cream, perhaps? I noted that American half-and-half is equivalent to British single cream. If I am making an Irish Chocolate Cake that calls for double cream, what should I use? (I am attempting to make this for the Cultural Awareness Day buffet at work.)

A: Cultural Awareness Day, how did we miss that?

Double cream weighs in at 48% butterfat, or at least 8% higher than the highest-fat cream available in the United States — heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, which is 36% to 40% fat. British recipes call for double cream because they can — it's available and adds lots of richness to your dish. Will your cake flop if you use heavy cream? Almost certainly not.

Can you get a higher-fat cream to use in the recipe? Yes, with a little effort on your part. The first step is to prepare a homemade version of crème frâiche. Combine 2 tablespoons of buttermilk or sour cream with 2 cups of heavy cream. Heat the mixture to body temperature in a pan, and then let the mixture sit in a non-reactive container (stainless-steel, glass, or ceramic) in a warm place for 24 hours or so, until it thickens.

Step 2 is to line a strainer with a triple thickness of cheesecloth or a wet napkin, fill it with the crème frâiche, and suspend that over a container in the refrigerator. The whey will drain out of the cream, leaving it with a higher fat content. By the time about a quarter of a cup of whey drains from your 2 cups of crème frâiche, you will have a fat content around 48% to 50%.

And everyone at Cultural Awareness Day will be amazed at the Irishness of your chocolate cake (although some idiot will probably wonder why it's not green).

rosie - the current issue of Cook's Illustrated also has the full lowdown on fudgemaking...and while I think the recipe they have is all about chocolate, if you want to look at it for technique, let me know, and I'll scan it in and email it to you.
Well, well, look what I found: a whole thread devoted to fudge, courtesy of the lovely Qspice.
ROFL tart! i actually didn't start that thread - i started one for pumpkin fudge! the tidy cooking mods decided that with a half dozen other fudge recipes, they needed to be merged up.

i have a vanilla fudge recipe! but i like the sounds of the uktv one better - i'd much rather have double cream and caster sugar in my fudge than corn syrup!

Vanilla Fudge

2 C. white sugar
4 T. corn syrup
2/3 C. heavy cream
2 T. butter
1 C. milk
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla

Stir sugar, cream, milk and syrup with salt in a saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil. Continue boiling without stirring until mixture reaches a temperature of 238° F. or soft ball stage.

Cool without beating to a temperature of 110° F. or until mixture feels just warm. Add vanilla and beat mixture until it loses its gloss and thickens. Pour into a buttered pan and cut when cool.
Just wanted to pop in to say I actually found double cream in my local grocery store--it's imported from England, it comes in little glass bottles and it's about $5 a bottle. I'm kind of isolated out here from big city type grocery stores that carry a lot more of this kind of thing--so it pays to look around in your grocery store to see if you can find it. Now that I've seen in locally I notice that other markets around here also carry it if you look in the right place on their shelves (it usually isn't with the rest of the dairy stuff).
that sounds like devon cream - a clotted cream. it should work, it's got about a 52% fat content (double cream normally gets 48%).

i've been planning christmas dinner! the hardest part of the menu has yet to be undecided -- my mom likes having something sour to balance something sweet.

but, this is what is planned so far:

before dinner: champagne with poire william, winter fruit compote, cheese, crackers

dinner: rosemary and pepper standing rib roast, wild mushroom gravy, potato latkes, chunky and spicy applesauce, garlicky green beans and fennel, cranberry relish, sweet rolls.

after dinner: either upside down pear spice cake or pumpkin cheesecake, and mincemeat pie with vanilla ice cream
So, Qspice... what time should we all be there? drool...........

Finally, someone else who appreciates the joy of mince pies! For the mince, do you do the bottled kind, or do you make your own? I've made mine for the past few years, usually on Mix-up Sunday, along with the Christmas puddings - alas, time got away from me this year, and I haven't made any yet... at least I have a pud left over from last year. It should be nice & dark by now - yum!
oh, we make our own! our basic recipe - but it's meatless.

we normally make stollen for dinner, but i'm not arriving until the 23rd, so there's a big time crunch!

and, normally we make a fruit cake at the beginning of the month, but i don't have the ingredients here...
Actually, it's not the Devon cream--Devon cream's been available everywhere here for ages. This bottle's label is actually coloured differently and labelled differently (Devon cream's label is a blue colour--double cream comes in a white and red label).

They're not interchangeable, are they? Or, could you use one for the other, in a pinch? I doubt either one is actually what you'd find overseas (but at least they're not adulterated with seaweed like the "heavy" cream in our stores).

thanks for posting the mincemeat recipe.
Le Boy is having "Bacon Fest" with his geek friends this weekend. I found a couple of bacon appetizer-y things I could help him make (he's pretty clueless when it comes to cooking), and this was one of them. My original plan was to help him assemble them before he left, put them on ice, and then he'd stick them in the oven at his friend's house.

However, I was looking through the comments on the recipe and it sounds like there's some issues with it. Switching the cheese to asiago sounds like a good idea, but the whole "bacon being cooked enough, without overcooking the shrimp" issue is what worries me. Should I get the pre-cooked shrimp? If they're pre-cooked, will it be difficult to butterfly them and stick the cheese in without splitting the seam? I guess it doesn't matter if it's all being held together with a toothpick. Also, I was going to use some bacon we already had, and it's "thick-cut", so I'm concerned about how long it will take to cook it. If it's going to take longer, maybe I should buy un-cooked shrimp to compensate. I could go out and buy regular thickness bacon, too.....I've cooked bacon in an oven before, but never shrimp, so I have no idea how this will work.

I'm thinking this whole thing sounds too touchy for someone who's not an experienced cook (him, not me- I'd at least be able to judge if everything was cooked, but I won't be there) and maybe we should do the potato skin things instead.
clearly, polly, you need to do a little test run, and sample the goods to see how the cooked/uncooked shrimpies fare!!

My all-time favorite bacony treat is bacon wrapped dates, with an apple shallot vinaigrette....seriously good...and sooo easy.
Yeah, I should but I don't have the $$ for two rounds of shrimp and I've got to know by this weekend. I would like to make it myself, anyway, though. Maybe I'll just tell him I'm afraid it won't work (he's paranoid about food-borne illness anyway, so he won't want to risk it by himself) and I'll make it for Christmas dinner.

ETA: I'm not a date fan, but that does sound good. I also like the bacon wrapped around a water chestnut with some brown sugar on top. Yum.
My all time favourite bacon treat is bacon wrapped water chestnuts. So amazing. I didn't think of it, but now I wish I'd made those for last weeks potluck. Oh well.
I love simple bacon wrapped chipolatas (devils on horseback? or is that prunes wrapped in bacon?)

Bacon and avocado on foccacia is divine and incredibly simple.
man.......i've never had bacon-wrapped chestnuts but i can just imagine that it's amazing, because the texture of water chestnuts is so similar to the fatty/fried part of welldone bacon.

i'm kind of obsessed with water chestnuts. my best friend in college once found a can in the trunk of the (used) car she bought and we used to joke that we could survive off them if we got stranded....when she bought a new car, i bought her another can, just in case.

i made really good zucchini last night--just lightly sauteed in butter and oil with salt and pepper--i usually have trouble with zucchini, it never cooks as quickly as i want it to, and usually burns, but this time it turned out perfect. i was very happy.
QUOTE(mouse @ Dec 14 2006, 07:34 PM) *

man.......i've never had bacon-wrapped chestnuts but i can just imagine that it's amazing, because the texture of water chestnuts is so similar to the fatty/fried part of welldone bacon.

Yep, that's pretty much the beauty of them. ((drooling)) One of Le Boy's friend's ex-girlfriends would make them for parties they had, but then they broke up and I don't know what she put on them. I know brown sugar was one thing, and I've seen recipes with ketchup, too, but I don't think she used that (sounds kinda gross, anyway.) I wonder if Le Boy's friend would know- yeah, asking "what did that girl who dumped you for another guy put on those really good water chestnut/bacon things she used to make?" doesn't sound like a good way to start a conversation. I saw some recipes with soy or teriyaki sauce- maybe that was what she used.

I think we're just going to go with the potato skins idea for this weekend. I'll make the shrimp things for Christmas with the in-laws.
Yum...I'm having a Christmas soiree, and the things I'm making are random but delicious: caramelized onion filled bread, 6 cheese quiche, spanish omelette, and "cheese balls" which are green olives wrapped in a mixture of butter, cheese, and flour. I also found some delightful roasted garlic and onion jam to pour over cream cheese and dip into with crackers. Okay, I like cheese. My friends are all bringing their specialties, so it should be eclectic but very tasty.
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