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Roasted winter vegetables (brussel sprouts, purple potatoes and mushrooms) and watercress salad, with glazed cashews, peanuts and dried fruit
I'll have the recipe posted later.

That was a close shave.
I was mixing a cake while listening to a rather fascinating interview on the radio, when I was required by the recipe to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, reached out (without looking) and grabbed the nearest small bottle of said 'vanilla extract'; and was just about to tip in a teaspoonful when, just on time, I realised what I was holding in my hand was actually a tiny sample bottle of nam pla, Thai fish sauce. I can't even remember how it got into my kitchen.
Looking at the two bottles now, I see that one is much bigger than the other and the nam pla is clearly labelled Oyster brand and in case that isn't a big enough clue there is also a picture of an oyster. I'm just hoping that I might have noticed the aroma wasn't quite right. Fish sauce sponge cake, anyone?

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I should add that the recipe I followed instructed one to add the cream at the last "few" minutes of cooking--don't stir it in too early and let it cook for hours.

And the first entry in our contest to win a copy of Modernist Bread comes from eG Member "Raamo", who baked the French Lean Bread master recipe from the book and posted it at the eG Forums.

Want to win a copy? Join now and then get baking!
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Kimchi bokkeumbap with sweet peppers and leftover kielbasa.

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Everyone's feedback has invaluable to me. Our discussions have made me realize that there are even greater differences between Chicken Pie with Biscuits and Chicken and Dumplings than I had realized before we began our Cook-Off.
I've started with the base for my Chicken and Dumplings--Chicken Stock. I'll be using the stock to then make the "gravy" for my dish.
The Stock-
I started with my tried and true recipe for making chicken stock. I think you may find it a bit uncoventional in that I don't do much straining of all the foam and mucky stuff that floats to the top of the stock as it stews down. I might skim the stock about 3, maybe 4 times, that's it. I suppose it's mainly due to laziness on my part. Maybe I'm just stubborn and don't think it's really necessary, or then again, since the final stock is so delicious and has such a concentrated chicken flavor maybe I've proven my own theory right in that I think spending all that time to skim away flavor isn't necessary. In any case, I put the below ingredients in the largest Le Creuset pot made and cover the whole lot with water and let it simmer on the stovetop for about 6 hours.
Two roasting chickens, 2 yellow onions, skin on and cut in half, 2 heads garlic cut in half, celery, carrot, rosemary, parsley, thyme, allspice berries, 2 bay leaves, black peppercorns-
After hours of cooking in the aromatics, you can almost taste this wonderfully flavorful stock and tender, moist, chicken-
The vegetables and spices are strained out and the stock is returned to the pot to reduce. The meat is pulled off the chicken and reserved. The bones are also returned to the pot to flavor the stock as it reduces. This second cooking of the stock takes about two more hours or so.
I didn't weigh the chicken meat but it's a lot. More than enough for a nice big pot of Chicken and Dumplings-

We never are really sure what our wild mushroom crops will be like up here until the season arrives, but right now the chanterelle crop is very good.  The mushrooms are huge and full of flavor, and at a really reasonable price of $9.99 per pound.  A couple of smaller markets have them at $19.99 per pound which is still somewhat of a bargain for wild mushrooms picked by hand.  I usually serve them simple, like this dish of bucatini pasta, some olive oil, butter, fresh thyme and sage. 
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 Home made baguette slices brushed with olive oil and pan grilled before being scrubbed with tomato and piled with prosciutto. 
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Our first go at one of the sourdoughs from the forthcoming Modernist Bread -- this one is the Master Recipe, using the book's preferred levain maturity (12 hours after feeding for a moderate acidity) and final proof (14 hours at 13°C).
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My first Holiday Quick Bread was a combination of a recipe for pumpkin bread, but I added apple cider and some pecans.  Fresh apple cider up here is only sold in large jugs, but we get it in a lot of different apple varieties.  I happened to use Fuji apple cider that I originally bought to brine pork.  I'm terrible at making basic banana bread, it always turns out dense and dry.  So my reasoning I suppose was to add the apple cider to keep the bread moistened and add additional sweetness and flavor.  I wasn't happy with adding the pecans.  I thought I needed some crunch, but this bread turned out so soft and moist I felt the nuts took away from that a bit.  Next time I'll add some currants for a softer texture that I think will enhance the bread.  The powdered sugar icing and the holiday sprinkles were just to gild the bread a bit, but it makes it look nice and the icing is delicious.  It's a great quick bread for breakfast or at a buffet table. 
Pumpkin Apple Cider Quick Bread-
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Heat the oven to 350.  In a bowl stir together the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and apple cider until the mixture is smooth.  Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger and baking soda and mix to combine.  Add the sugar and the flour, and stir until the batter is smooth.  I used a bundt style of pan, but any loaf pan will do.  Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
I don't have exact measurements for the glaze.  I just stirred in some milk, adding enough powdered sugar to make a thick glaze.  I'd say about 1 cup powdered sugar to only about 2 tbsp. of milk.
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I just received my order of Madagascar Pepper from Old Stone Market.  The company is in Texas and they are great to deal with. Careful packaging and quick shipping.
I had a question and got an immediate response.  I recommend them highly!

It is very aromatic and is very flavorful.
My favorite way of tasting pepper is on a buttered saltine (unsalted butter) and so I carried out my usual "test" on these peppercorns.

It took me a few tries to get the grind just right for my taste (medium fine) I ground it into a shallow prep dish in segments so I could see the size. 
Then I moved it and mixed them together, doesn't matter, I ground the pepper directly on to the buttered saltines.

The flavor is very assertive and it has similar notes to the Wynad pepper, which I have been using heavily for the past year.
I think it will be very good on fruits, besides all the usual applications.  
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Thanks @Okanagancook, it’s good to be back !
@liuzhou, I bet it’s changed, the new name came into play in 1972 !
I had hired a driver for the next 9 days, and he would turn out to be a great choice. He loved his food, and knew his country well. 
But first, breakfast at our homestay.. It was simple and traditional, cooked with care. String hoppers, dal and coconut sambal with a cup of tea. The string hoppers are made with a rice flour soft dough, extruded through a special tool, then steamed. We fell in love with coconut sambal, a good thing too, as it’s ubiquitous in Sri Lanka.

The average serve is 8 of these for breakfast, you see 2 above. Meals are almost always served family style, so seconds are easy. 
Another common sight are king coconuts. Roadside stall holders will hack the top off for you and give you a straw to drink the cool liquid. You give the shell back and they will prize out the flesh, yum. 

The roadside got wilder.

Lunch - Rice and curry is a favoured lunch meal all over the country. We ate with our driver at Chammy Restaurant in Anuradhapura. It’s a very local and typical Sri Lankan place, with two chefs cooking on the footpath in enclosed stations. Various curries are held in a display case. You can choose meat, chicken, fish, egg or veg. We chose vegetarian (one with egg) and were served three different veggie curries including jackfruit, okra and mixed veggies, dal, two hard boiled eggs, rice in a banana leaf lined basket and pappads. The local way to eat is with the fingers of your right hand. On our first full day here, we newbies used cutlery, that would change soon enough.

Happy chef too...
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Charcuterie. By ruhlman and polcyn
They talk about emulsifying sausage. As opposed to just fresh grinding.
I just pulled my book and I haven't made any of this. Thought you might want to look at it

I've been going through old trunks and found this gem-the "Home Comfort Cook Book" published by the Wrought Iron Range Co., St. Louis, U.S.A.  There isn't a date, but it's probably in the timeframe of 1900-1915.  It was from my Great Grandmother Jennie Pink's home in Twin Falls, Idaho.  What's so interesting is that the book was published for folks buying one of the company's iron stoves.  Included were recipes, comments from other customers, and the proper ways to light the stove and cook with it.  A rare find indeed.

My Great Grandmother marked this stove in the book with two X's, so that's they one they bought.  I remember their kitchen, and a stove, but imagine over 100 years later I find the book that they used when deciding which stove to buy.
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The New Yorker A cartoon by Julia Suits.
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It's been a while since I made a cake, so I went back to an old favourite for a dinner last night.
Squash, orange and ginger tart

Speculoos base
Squash and orange crémeux
Crystallised ginger
The base was a bit of a cheat - just crushed Speculoos biscuits, roasted hazelnuts and candied ginger, held together with butter and white chocolate and seasoned with orange zest and flaky sea salt.  Not even any baking
Tasty though.
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I'm mostly on that 13-to-14-minute 75C egg tip recently. Yields a slightly firmer white than "usual" SV eggs and takes a fraction of the time.
But yeah, SV eggs aren't "poached eggs" and if you want a poached egg, you should poach that egg. A poached egg on a salad? YES! A SV egg on a salad? GROSS!
But on a benedict? Who cares. I hosted a Mothers' Day brunch for my family this year and did benedicts for 8 people. I would not have done that without a circulator. I could have. But getting 16 poached eggs hot and ready for service isn't my idea of a fun challenge. SV eggs also make perfect "onsen" eggs for ramen. My mother HATES eggs. She never eats them. Unless I make them. And one of her favorite things in the world is a 63C yolk. Last Christmas she asked me to SV a dozen eggs for her to enjoy in my absence. I keep telling her to get a Joule so she can have eggs whenever she wants. Still hasn't happened...
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Skullduggery from Tiki Drinks: passionfruit puree, dark rum, overproof rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream.
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Today was a dreary rainy day, so I had to bake something. (No, I do not notice any disconnect in that sentence.) This is a favorite that I haven't made in quite some time: Carole Walter's Dried Cherry Almond Pound Cake. It is so good. It freezes beautifully. (Although this one will be eaten!). 
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I have a large collection of old cookbooks, but these are my two favorites.  The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer, 1913 Edition-


Black and white photos were included in cookbooks in 1913, including these photos of "Chaud-Froid of Eggs" and "Capon in Aspic with Cooked Yolks and Whites of Eggs
cut in Fancy Shapes, Pistachio Nuts and Truffles."

The 1921 Edition-

The Game chapter included recipes for Venison with Port Wine Sauce, Rabbit 'a la Southern, Pigeon Pie, Squabs en Casserole, Sauteed Quail 'a la Moquin,
Larded Stuffed English Partridge with Cold Orange Sauce and Game Mousse with Sauce Bigarde.
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Bäco bread  from the cookbook of the same name by Josef Centeno. 

An attempt to show you the texture. 
Wow!   I see what all the fuss is about. I made my dough in the Thermomix because I no longer have the strength nor stamina to knead by hand. I found it required quite a lot more flour than was called for in the recipe.  One always has to be ready to adjust when making bread. 
 They were only two steps that were slightly challenging and both will be solved with experience. The first was shaping. The bread is very, very easy to roll out but getting a nicely shaped oval every time was beyond me. The other challenge is adjusting the heat to cook each side within about a minute.  Again with practice this can easily be overcome. 
 I have frozen 4 balls of dough to see if freezing is an option. And I will freeze the remaining fully cooked bread to see how it fares. 
 I stood at the stove and devoured the last one!
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Are you interested in spices, too, or just prepared sauces?
You may want to explore things available on other continents for things that may be harder to find in the US. Don't know if you can get this but good in an hot salty Indian fashion
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Store called Metro - Costco on steroids 




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Bump. I've been baking a lot of brioche lately, trying to find my favorite recipe. That means I've been eating a lot of brioche with butter or jam. Which was great, but pains aux raisins are better:
This was my first time making them. Really simple, actually, once you make the brioche--just add pastry cream and raisins. Perfect with coffee and the Sunday paper.