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Everything posted by Lindacakes

  1. Pax, definitely go for the pasta rollers. This is one of the reasons why I bought a Kitchen Aid in the first place. I've read extensively in the pasta threads about pasta machines. It is easier to use a pasta machine with a motor. Hand cranking gets in the way of being able to control the passage of dough through the machine, not to mention catching luxuriant yards of pasta on the other side. The motor on a KitchenAid is strong and smooth and better than the motors on pasta makers. The height of a KitchenAid is perfect for catching the pasta, in my opinion. The roller has settings so that you gradually roll the pasta thinner and thinner. You can stop anywhere in between, so you can control how thick the pasta is. I have the linguini/spaghetti cutters and I love them. I have read that folks are not so happy with the extruders, but someone above here does like them. If you only get the roller and the long noodle cutters you can make lasagna, ravioli, spaghetti, fettucine, tagliatelle, not to mention all the hand cut types you can end up with, also. The juicer doesn't sound so great, I suppose I'll just keep my grandma's Fire King juicer. I don't have the ice cream bowl, I would if I didn't already have a Krups. If you are toying with the idea of making your own ice cream, stop it. Just run out and get just about any ice cream maker for fifty bucks and David Lebovitz's book (there's a whole thread for it). You'll be making divine ice cream and never, ever go back to the store bought version. You won't be able to eat the store bought version.
  2. Fig swirls? I love figs. Would you be willing to share that recipe?
  3. Did you use any dips? I like the Terra chips with hummus, and I also like that white bean dip from Trader Joe's. That is a gorgeous pile of chips. Congratulations.
  4. I've searched for this topic, and I see lots of topics on Which Stand Mixer Should I Buy? and individual threads where attachments would be recommended, such as pasta making. But I'd like to know from the panoply of available KitchenAid attachments, which ones are fabulous and which ones are crap? It's that time of year when KitchenAid has a sale on attachments, and I'm thinking of buying the juicer. Is it good? Does it truly do key limes up to grapefruit efficiently? Does it really strain the juice? Do blops of pulp fall off that shelf thingy into your juice receptacle? Does the plastique hold up? Most importantly, do the physics of that thing work? Why doesn't juice fly onto the Venetian blinds, or does it? I have the pasta rollers and cutters for linquine, spaghetti, etc. and I love them. I first used them to make cannoli. I have read that the extruders are not good. I am aware that many people love their meat grinders. Help me spend my money!
  5. It would be nice if the whole family thing came together somehow and formed a personage by the name of Pearl Pink.
  6. Oh my, I missed my cue up above -- if you need last minute candied cherries, you can get a recipe from David Lebovitz's web site -- Candied Cherries I spent two weeks candying my cherries. Each morning I drained the cherries, made a denser simple syrup with the juice and poured it back over the cherries. It takes about 20 minutes each morning, but the results are superior to the recipe above. I like your impromptu venture into the world of fruitcake, Anna. That one looks really good. I think the fruit mix is very individual -- many folks loath citron but I think it has a taste you can't get anywhere else and love it in certain cakes. Try aging it some and see if that improves the flavor -- it should.
  7. I see the recipe in the link -- thanks! Very interesting story about the fruitcake on the train.
  8. David, Is that a green cherry or green pineapple I think I see poking out the side? What sorts of fruit/nuts are you using? If you don't mind my asking, what is the ethnic background of your ancestral fruitcake bakers? My grandmother was Scotch. Linda
  9. Lindacakes

    Brussels Sprouts

    I love brussel sprouts, one of my favorite vegetables. Butter is a key ingredient. I like to separate the leaves, and saute in butter with roasted walnut pieces. Tasty.
  10. Thanks for the confimation on the fruit cake cookies -- I nabbed them off the Web. I'll try them.
  11. I'd be very interested to know if you like Ina Garten's fruitcake cookies. I have two recipes for fruitcake cookies I quite like -- one is Maida Heatter's California Fruit and Nut Bars (apricot, date and fig, I believe) and the other involves slivered almonds and three fruits (can't remember which, but it's a fabulous combo). Both really excellent. I made the Cranberry Coconut chews touted upthread -- and I like them very much. Buttery, and tangy from the cranberry. The coconut is subtle, more a texture than a flavor. I made Jayme's maple pecan popcorn, which I think is in Recipe Gullet. THAT was superb. I salted the pecans and I don't think I cooked by syrup long enough, it was a bit more chewy than crunchy. But WOW, was that good. I also made Dolores Casella's Date Nut bread. I used some spectacular dates I'd gotten my hands on, and pecans. Although the bread was very good and I certainly don't have any trouble inhaling it, it wasn't quite what I wanted. I plan on baking a lot of gingerbread for gifts this year and I'm in search of excellent gingerbread recipes. I like Tartine's Gingerbread Tiles a great deal -- there's another cookie thread in which someone has posted photos of her tiles done with a springerle pin. I did that last year and liked it a lot, but I want to use springerle molds for the same thing this year -- an old fashioned Santa I'd bought for spekulaas and just didn't like the spekulaas recipe. The color of the dough was like . . . ginger spice dough that had just received a terrible shock. It was a weird gray. Anyway, I thought if I spent the winter seeking the perfect gingerbread recipes (both cake and cookies), then it will have been a winter well spent.
  12. Yesterday I did some baking for my father's birthday: Dolores Casella's Date Nut Bread with Pecans. Jayme's Maple Popcorn with Pecans. I salted the pecans. That stuff is soooo easy, it's frightening. Cranberry Coconut Chewies from the Christmas cookie thread. All very good. Can't decide on a favorite, but sticky popcorn is definitely a rare treat.
  13. I would recommend baking it small -- multiple 7 inch pans or little loaf pans, etc. They won't break apart as easily. I have this sort of problem all the time -- my single father has the crappiest kitchen you can imagine, no equipment, and yet he loves it when I bake for him. So I've gone through every permutation and I can vouch for not baking in someone else's kitchen. I spent the entire day yesterday making cookies, caramel corn, and date bread to mail to him. If you pack things well, they actually get there just fine. Best to buy some pans you don't mind not bringing home, bake the cakes small in there. Pack them in a cardboard box, one on top of the other, tied shut so that you can show the airport guard what's inside. Generally speaking, they are just fine with whatever it is, often amused. The only thing that caused me trouble was when I tried to bring some Christine Ferber confiture through Charles DeGaulle. Confiscated. I was so very angry at the time I didn't do what I plan to do if it ever happens again -- open the jars and eat the stuff right there, with my fingers!!! I cannot believe I went to Paris, sought out and bought several jars and then lost them!!!
  14. That's very interesting. I suppose I'm paranoid, but I don't believe food labeling. Guido Gubbino is completely excellent but very expensive. You used to be able to get it at Zingerman's and Amazon of all places. Neither are carrying it right now. Nutella isn't perfect, but when you're sitting in one of those European hotel breakfast rooms trying to make something to eat out of the weird things offered, that little disk of Nutella and some croissants staring you in the face, well, you relinquish your standards, peel back the little foil cover and spread it on every damn thing you can get away with. Several packets, one falling into your purse quite by accident. Best sucked off fingers in molto molto longo lino to get into museo.
  15. Mind you, I was all but fetal at the time but the Swedish meatballs were definitely extremely high on the list. Party rye, my friends. Little sangwidges made with party rye! Laughing Cow cheese cubes. Pretzel sticks. You must call your drinks highballs and they must come in that glass. Short thick glasses with thick bottoms. I have a set of striped highball glasses I would poke someone's eyes out to protect. If you use higher glasses, use drink stirrers with whistles hanging on them -- whistle for another drink. Highballs and party rye. Wow. That was a time.
  16. Andiesenji --- Yep. M.W. is irreplaceable. Something about the vinegary, sweetish flavor. I also like it in tuna salad and on cheese sandwiches. Question for you on the casserole -- is it just the two layers, one of stuffing and one of turkey? Have you tried this with multiple layers? Are you a straightforward stuffing gal or do you do corn/sage/sausage things? Do you do your own cranberry sauce for the top? An entire layer or a dollop? I do a cranberry/orange/candied ginger thing I picked up on Epicurious. Today I was there and found a triple cranberry (cranberry concentrate, cranberries, dried cranberries) recipe that rates high forks . . . I turned around and read the whole thing (I feel sorry for those of you with no turkey tooth) and have to agree with the salt guy. Salt is very important, as pepper. Especially on the sandwich. Must have pepper.
  17. I have yet to savor this entire thread, so forgive me if I repeat what's already been said: I make my own turkey as well as attend someone else's turkey dinner. No, my host does not know. And it has nothing to do with my host's turkey. I love turkey, and more than I love turkey, I love turkey leftovers. There has to be at least two turkey dinners -- turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and pie. And yes, I make all this even when I go to someone else's house. I gotta have it. There's the turkey sandwich, which involves Miracle Whip as well as lettuce and tomatoes. I did see the cream cheese sandwich person and I will copy that. Don't like Miracle Whip? Tough noogies, I'm from Ohio. Then there's turkey soup, which is the whole point. I love, love, love turkey soup. I did this with a brown and wild rice mixture and I did this with little delicate pasta squares I got at a Greek supermarket. Both divine. The significant other must have her turkey legs. My pet parrot must have his turkey. And his turkey sandwich. And his turkey soup. Then there's the secret packet of turkey tucked into the freezer for creative turkey use after the fact. This year's game plan: turkey pot pie with a biscuit crust. I can't wait for that one. Chunks of happy turkey bobbing around in a nice turkey gravy, sleeping under biscuits . . . I scissored that out of Bon Appetit, and it fits right in with Fat Guy's target. This will be the first time I've actually used a turkey recipe and then I'll know . . .
  18. I think there's a difference between Nutella and gianduja in the sense that Nutella is a particular brand of gianduja. Many people really love Nutella. I think that there is a very distinct difference in the taste of Nutella in Italy and the taste of Nutella in the U.S. Maybe it's high fructose corn syrup, I don't know, I haven't done a side-by-side comparison of the labels. Maybe it's the sugar content. Maybe it's the relationship between the amount of chocolate and the amount of hazelnut. Maybe it's the sourcing of the hazelnuts. Italian hazelnuts are different than American filberts. If you are being picky about the quality, or the flavor, I'd try another brand. In many international grocery stores, there are alternative brands of gianduja. Zingerman's carries one. There is a thread in here somewhere that compares the various brands, and I think, the consensus is that non-Nutella brands are better.
  19. Lindacakes

    squirrel meat?

    Have you asked at Ottomanelli's? I know they carry rabbits and ostrich. I lost some beautiful ostrich steaks in the Great Blackout a couple of years back.
  20. This is an old thread, but I found it somehow, and for the record: when we are born, we have a lot of taste buds. They die as we age. Which is why children find lots of strongly-flavored food (broccoli, for instance) yucky. Which is why making children eat those foods is actually rather mean. When you're older and some of those receptors die off things like martinis and olives and truffles taste much better. Which is not to say it is a hard and fast rule, but it's why people keep trying. Because taste does change; anatomically, for certain. That being said, I hate liver, I have always hated liver and I plan to continue hating liver.
  21. I'm amazed at how many people remember this -- probably because dates almost always involve invitations out to restaurants and first dates are usually remembered. If you put a hot poker to my eyes I couldn't tell you the first meal (we worked together, so it was probably lunch) but I remember two quite well: I was dancing in a Middle Eastern restaurant not far from her house, her girlfriend was away at art camp and she invited me back to her house for a picnic. On the floor. We still have a set of nested glass bowls used for picnics on the floor. The other was a spinach pie. We ate spinach pie for breakfast this morning and reminisced about the first one. Details of which I cannot share with you.
  22. Jamie Lee, the super simple menu came about because one year I got into discussions with people at work about the food and everyone was making all sorts of appetizers. I felt bad, like I was missing out. So I planned a few appetizers, and I made those and at the end of the day when I was totally exhausted, totally stuffed, and with the kitchen a total mess, I said, never again! And ended up cutting the menu down to the essential favorites. I am itching to try something new this year, though, don't laugh -- a sweet potato pie with marshmallow topping. I can't help it, I love sweet potatoes with marshmallow. Not something my mom served, but the first year I made it with my friends when we were in college, what a revelation! Tasty.
  23. I think there's a very big difference, personally. My favorite is green olive and I like being able to control the size of the olive pieces as well as the amount. I prefer to make any simple dairy based product like this myself -- I can use organic dairy products, which taste better.
  24. Annecros, tell me more about that mincemeat pie. Where does the mincemeat come from? Homemade? I've had all sorts of Thanksgivings over the years, from the bologna sandwich in Costa Rica to the huge family meal at a farm in West Virginia, and I have to say, I like being with my loved one, just the two of us, best. The house is empty, I like to have a good bottle of wine, and eat only exactly what I want to eat. This means a nice little turkey, slow cooked. My mom's bread dressing. Cranberry sauce made with orange juice and candied ginger. And my own pumpkin pie. That's all. Double servings on everything. No appetizers, no vegetables, no choice. Just the best. And on those years (this is one of them) in which I'll be eating with friends or family, I still do this. Cook the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, and make the pie. Make turkey and rice soup from the carcass. At some point during the weekend, doesn't have to happen on Thursday. Sometimes it does, and I eat two meals, but I eat mine first. I suppose this is the height of curmudgeonly-ness, to implode a group holiday, but I really like to dwell on the thankful part, and I find that is best done in solitude. I also like the food to be good, which is rare when 50 dishes from 30 different cooks are combined. And, every year, I watch Home for the Holidays. Try it.
  25. I made the pampepato this weekend, as promised. Perhaps Kerry meant traditional, English style fruitcake, of which I am an officiando. Yesterday I ordered my fruit and nuts for it and as soon as they come, I will make two of those. My traditional fruit cake ages for a month. I consider any fruit and nut cake a fruitcake, although Lynn Rosetto Kasper makes the distinction of Keeping Cakes -- those that are meant to be kept for long periods. This is a good distinction, as I believe fruitcake originated as a long lasting food to take on the Crusades. Sugar and alcohol are preservatives. In her book Splendid Table, she makes a lovely analogy to candied fruit being akin to jewels in it's preciousness. It's too bad we're so spoiled by out of season fruits and exotic fruits and candy in general not to appreciate candied fruit any more. I candied my own cherries this year -- below I've included a picture of them drying on a cooling rack -- the syrup is dripping down below. These cherries taste like heaven -- concentrated fruit flavor. The candied cherries which cannot wait to meet the world enveloped in fruit cake -- The unbaked Pampepato, a fun-to-form cow patty -- The baked Pampepato, with almonds peeking out -- I've also included pictures of the pampepato before and after baking. Both resemble cow patties. The predominant flavors are cocoa, cloves, almonds, orange peel, citron, cinnamon and pepper. The cake is supposed to ripen for up to four days, so I can't yet tell you what it tastes like -- except that it is not unlike biscotti and has a distinctly Italian flavor.
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