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snowman

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  1. snowman

    Potato soup gone wrong

    I think Yukon Golds make terrific soup, personally. You might want to try again with a more normal potato-leek soup recipe. One other nice choice might be to make tortilla (the Spanish potato/onion omelette/fritatta thing) with the Yukon Golds. Here is a recipe from this site's archive. Tortilla changed the way I feel about potatoes; I didn't realize just how wonderful they could be.
  2. I have to turn thumbs down on the potato bar idea for reasons besides the Atkins diet ones. When I was a grad student, I ate at an undergrad co-op, and we hated, *hated* the days when people made baked potatoes for dinner. For one, it doesn't really feel like a "home-cooked" meal, and for another, the leftovers are really boring. I like the Tex-Mex idea, though they may get that pretty often, too. It's also messy, so if the sisters don't want to have sauce spots on their shirt around the guys, that might not go over so well. Assuming you're in the Northeast, you might also do tropical fruit for dessert. I know I'm really feeling this long winter here in Ontario, and mangoes make everyone smile... (Also, while I get the hint that the canned stuff in the chicken casserole is essential, is there any substitute for the tomatoes for those of us who don't live in the US?)
  3. I have next to nothing to add to this topic, except that I had the experience of cooking for a person who was about 10 months post-op for this surgery at New Year's. She's eating mostly normal food, though not as much, and has lost 100 lbs. (I didn't expect her to eat the duck I cooked for New Year's, but she did.) One thing I did learn was to be really careful with dried chiles; normally, when I screw up and I or someone else eats one, it's annoying but no big deal. You know, you eat some rice, drink some water, whatever. When my friend ate one, her stomach was full and she couldn't eat any more. I was very chagrined...and she was more than a little uncomfortable. Good luck to you both.
  4. I am a complete non-expert on coffee, but I still have to concur about Gimme. I was in Ithaca last month visiting, and stopped by Gimme, since it's 3 blocks from the friends I was staying with. The espresso is really, really, really good. Conveniently, a friend bought me some beans for Xmas, but they're not nearly as amazing. (They're also expanding well in Tompkins County; they now have 3 locations in greater Ithaca. Nice to see quality being rewarded.) I'd suggest the trip to Ithaca versus Brooklyn, but that's just me...
  5. There was an interview with one of the lead authors of the salmon study on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s science program on Saturday, of which I heard the majority. His take was quite a bit more nuanced (when he had a few minutes to explain himself) than was the impression I got from the article in the newspaper about his study. (And, while I agree with Katherine about scientists over-plugging their own work,, I don't think it happened here: all they did was to buy salmon from all around the world, and test it for organochlorides. These authors didn't establish the link between organochlorides and cancer; that's from other, more well-established work.) For example, he gave a reasonable hypothesis about why farmed salmon from Chile was least polluted, which is that S. America has itself been industrialized far less long than N. America (which had moderate levels of PCBs in the salmon), which has itself been less long industrialized than W. Europe (which was the source of the most polluted salmon). His take was also that farmed salmon could be less contaminated if it were fed a feed that was, itself, less polluted. The working hypothesis is that farmed salmon is less contaminated than the wild because the wild's diet is of fish like shrimp that are themselves not very contaminated, while the farmed's diet is protein and fat from anchovies and other finfish that are contaminated. He also argued that people should eat more salmon, just the wild stuff, and more omega-3-rich fish in general. I mention this in this thread because it influences how I respond to the article. I'm a scientist myself (and I've been interviewed, and mis-represented a couple of times by mass media). As such, I like to get my news as raw as possible when it comes to food science questions. In this case, my response is likely to be small: I really prefer wild salmon's flavor anyhow, and I've eaten a small amount of fish from Lake Michigan which is quite high in organochlorides as well. But I think the "mixed messages" and such entirely come from a mass media that *wants* there to be mixed messages. This study, for example, doesn't give mixed messages; it says that farmed salmon could contribute to higher cancer risk. The mixing comes when the media conjoins this research with previous work on fish / heart disease or fish/hypertension.
  6. About a year ago (when I got a KitchenAid mixer and a digital scale for Xmas), I started to bake bread from the book _Artisan Baking across America_. I've made several changes to the recipes from it (mostly, I make much smaller loaves, as bread's primary purpose in my household is for breakfast, and so 200-300 g loaves are ideal), but I otherwise mostly follow them. Primarily, this has been country French bread (slow-risen multigrain bread), focaccia, herb breads, and bagels. I did do some baguettes, just to try it (I have a hard time shaping them, honestly), and they were mostly fine. (I also have made plenty of other loaves: raisin breads, dinner rolls, etc. But that's not the style you're really asking about.) Since my life doesn't allow daily baking, I tend to bake every 3 weeks or so, and do about 16 loaves at a time, storing them in the freezer.
  7. I've been baking overnight-fermented bread with the Robin Hood "Best for Bread" flour for about the last year, and been quite pleased with the outcome. I wish it were cheaper flour, but it seems to be priced up for some reason. I don't know if the RH flour has the same exacting levels of precision as has KA, but so far, it's made at least 100 good loaves for me.
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