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Post in Salad 2016 –
Slightly different roasted squash, radish, parsley, St Agur cheese salad.
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Post in Challenge: Cook your way through your freezer (part 2)
Been AWOL yet again! Went down to Irving, Texas for an Edgar Rice Burroughs gathering (Think Tarzan and John Carter of Mars author). One of the events the ladies whose spouses are ERBfanatics always have is shopping! The spouses who attend the gathering are called J.A.N.E.S - just another neglected ERB spouse. I go shopping but I am an ERBfanatic
I was glad I went this time as there is a great shopping "Main Street" in an adjacent town - Grapevine, Texas.
There are lots of interesting shops and eateries. I hit the jackpot when I found The Spice & Tea Exchange. Picked up many different spices and some familiar ones.
I had pulled a bag of lean ground beef from the freezer and made Baharat seasoned burgers. They were lovely - could really taste the spices even after the BBQ.
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Post in Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden
Compound butters look gorgeous!
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Post in Trader Joe's Products (2017–)
Picked up am Amarena cherries for $3.99 and black truffle butter for $2.99 today. Tried the cherries which taste just like Fabri to me but not the butter.Thought these were good prices. 
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Post in Matzo Balls, Kneidlach, etc.
*casts thread necromancy spell*
I made my first batch of matzo balls in 2017.









The balls were slightly smaller than a golf ball. They were just right too.
Not bad for a goy.

Bonus pic - the feet went into a batch of chicken broth.

Chicken soup with matzo balls.
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Post in Desirable Vintage Cookware
Old German "multi-tool"
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Post in Dinner 2018 (Part 1)
Beef pho with brisket, chuck and tendon.
    • Delicious
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Post in Your Daily Sweets: What Are You Making and Baking? (2017 – )
Beautiful.  Each cookie is a work of art.

I promised Moe donuts this morning.  
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Post in Help Identifying China Pattern and Value
My mom came for a couple of days and brought the china   Some of the pieces are stamped!  Odd to me that they all aren't stamped but anyway it allowed us to look them up.  We ended up keeping the set.  She kept a couple of plates and the rest is in my china cabinet.
So, here's what it is:


Thanks again for all the help.
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Post in Ingredients via Internet
Latienda.com is fantastic.
I always buy piquillo and guindilla peppers (really chiles) from them, as well as Bomba rice, spanish chorizos (both grilling and precooked) and Iberico pork.
 I love the Iberico Secreto steaks which I vacuum bag and keep frozen until I'm ready to sous vide... it's unlike anything else... I first had it, grilled, at a José Andrés restaurant and it was incredible, so I was happy to find it online.

Post in Christmas presents for the cook and the kitchen
 I think we usually share our food and cooking related gifts each year. I don’t think anyone has started one for this year.
At the Nielsen household the tradition was always to open one’s gifts on Christmas eve.  And so I show you my bonanza. 

 Isn’t she cute? 

Two linen-lined oblong bannetons. 

My favourite boxed wine.  Don’t judge. 

For when wine won’t quite do the trick. Negroni makings because it’s my favourite cocktail and scotch because sometimes only the strongest medicine will serve. 

Perhaps the most appreciated of all because it keeps on giving for most of the year — an Amazon gift card. 
(And not shown — a bonanza of squash from the final day of the farmers’ market, some home-made cultured butter and 4 lbs of commercial butter so I can keep on making enriched breads.)
 I hope Santa is good to you too!
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Post in Unusual & unknown kitchen gadgets
OK, I could use some help here. A friend of mine has a small sterling silver cup which he believes to be a tastevin. To me, it simply isn't, but I cannot say what it is. Below are pictures. The cup itself is 2" in diameter and a little over 3" tall. (so it's more like a shot glass, whereas a tastevin is shallow and wide, so you can swirl the wine and observe and smell it) It has a smaller base, up to about half of the side is smaller (kind of like the top part of a double boiler) so it appears to have been made to sit inside another container. One side has a curved loop which appears to be designed to act as a hinge, or maybe just perch on the rim of something else. The other side has a stem and handle, about 3" long, which resembles a hat pin. The plastic/bakelite ball is very red. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Post in The Food Photography Topic
Just a selection of pix shot throughout 2017. I stopped blogging a while ago and have since transitioned to social media but I keep the old site around as storage space for old photos and also for inspiration.
B and I went to NYC in late April and it was there that my camera zonked and died. Since my camera is my baby - even more important than my cell phone, I dragged my hubby over to Best Buy to pick up a new device - a SONY that I was initially skeptical but have since gotten used to. The below are pix from our kitchen, along with shots from farmers' markets and stores in New York and San Francisco, and food from excursions to local restaurants. Enjoy.




































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Post in Bread knife recommendations?
 I cannot imagine trying to manipulate a knife that is almost 20 inches long unless I was a contestant in a fencing match. But, as always, to each their own
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Post in Dungeness crab
I've been really frustrated this year about our lack of fresh and live Dungeness crabs.  Typically the season in the Pacific Northwest opens about the first of December, and we rush to get crabs for the Holidays.  Finally we saw an update on the news yesterday that said the commercial season off the coast of WA will open on January 15.  (Too late to make Father's hot crab dip for a holiday party, but I'll make it just for me).  This particular news story said it was due to a red tide issue, but really I'm not sure exactly why the season was delayed.  I have a former employee who was crabbing with her husband two weeks ago out of Puget Sound and she said it was slow going for the effort.  They have a commercial fisherman friend who will sell them fresh Dungeness crabs at $5 apiece when the season starts!
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Post in Mortar and Pestle – The Topic
I really didn't need this, but there was a sort of pop-up concession at the entrance to my favourite supermarket and most reliable oyster store this morning. They were selling all manner of, mainly stainless steel, cooking equipment. My eyes immediately hit on this beauty. and there was no question that I was going to buy it.
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Post in Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)
I know there are fancier ways to start  Christmas day but I doubt there are any better ones. Fresh eggs on toasted  homemade bread.  
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Post in Dinner 2017 (Part 6)
We did group dinner on Saturday instead of Sunday this week.  Roasted pear salad

roasted artichoke salad

cheesy garlic bread

chicken parmesean
    • Delicious
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Post in So I bought a duck
Getting good all-over results with roasting a whole duck is very challenging.  If you cook it to keep the breasts rare, there will be a lot of unrendered fat by the legs, and they legs won't be as tender as you might like.  If you cook so that the legs are done nicely, then the breasts are typically overcooked.
I've had best success by butchering it... I cook the breasts either sous vide (if that's an option for you) or traditionally by slowly cooking skin side down in a pan (score the skin first) until most of the fat is rendered, then roast for a few more minutes until done.   The do the legs by confit... That's how I think gets the best results...

Post in Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)
Larb over rice noodles.   Moe had it for breakfast and I'm taking mine with me to work for lunch.
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Post in A week in Buenos Aires
Now the money shot.  Beef that was actually the last savory course but was the highlight of the meal.   It arrived rare, glistening with fatty juices, incredibly tender.  You get to choose the steak knife.  Carbon steel for me, thank you.

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Post in Holiday Nibbles
This is an easy nibble that really impresses folks.  At first they think its fondue but it's actually Hot Dungeness Crab Dip.  My Father always made this every December or his neighborhood cocktail party and to celebrate the opening of crab season here in the Northwest.
It's a mixture of cream cheese, cream, lots of fresh crab, Worcestershire, Old Bay seasoning, toasted slivered almonds, green onions and Tabasco.  I change the seasonings depending on what I think might go well with the crab.  Heat the mixture in a fondue pot over the stove then take it to your buffet table and place on the stand and light the flame.  I serve it with buttered toast. 
It takes a bit of effort and equipment, but the thin little toasts are much better than dried out melba toast out of a box.  I take a baguette and slice it really thin using my meat slicer.  Works fast and gives you uniform slices.  Then brushed with melted butter and popped into a hot oven until crisp and golden. 
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Post in Christmas Chocolate and Confections Redux
Christmas Santa ... To be broken into pieces and handed out to the kids in the shop next friday alongside chocolate presents. Will post a picture of the finished presentation - sometime next weekend. 
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Post in Worst cooking show ever
One that has been grating on me recently is The Pioneer Woman.  I normally never watch it, but I'm spending way too much time watching television right now as I recover from my broken arm.  Herewith is just one example that came across the television this morning. 
Most stupid quote on a cooking show? This morning, from Ree Drummond the so-named "Pioneer Woman,"..."Whenever I go out of town I make sure the fridge is stocked with food so the people I leave behind don't go hungry......" As if her husband and sons are cave dwellers and could only roast some of the beef they raise on the farm.  Then in the next segment her sons and husband raid the fridge and he makes a caveman-like statement, "let's see what the girls left us to eat."  Poor fellow needs to learn how to get along, maybe boil an egg and make some toast.....
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Post in Drinks! 2017
Cliff Old Fashioned from Dave Arnold's Liquid Intelligence 

Built over ice with Elijah Craig, ango bitters and a coriander syrup (which I could have filtered a bit better) as the sweetener.  The red chile flakes in the coriander syrup add a nice warming touch.
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