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viva

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    Houston TX

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  1. Just signed up for the free trial to see how it worked - Greatest Website EVER! Of 89 cookbooks, 83 are in their database and 59 are indexed.
  2. Made the Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes last night - it was fantastic! The first use of my new tagine, so I was a bit nervous, but the recipe was easy to follow with fall-apart tender chicken, prunes, and potatoes. The flavors are perfect for fall with cinnamon, cayenne, and saffron (not that it's actually fall here in Texas yet, but I can pretend). I might personally bump up the heat a little in the future with a little more cayenne. Like Chris's comment about the apricots, I cut up the chicken and the prunes into bite-sized pieces just for ease of serving and eating. That, together with the fact that the sweet potatoes absorbed a lot of liquid overnight in the fridge, which made the whole thing more stew-like, which is totally fine with me.
  3. Dorie - the Mushroom & Shallot tart was really good! Said a friend at the party, "I think you need to bring me savory pies like this all the time."
  4. Am baking the filling for the Mushroom & Shallot Quiche tonight for a party, but using my own pie dough (with a combination duck fat and butter dough). It smells wonderful in the oven right now! I've been looking through the book and there are so many things I want to start cooking immediately. Eggplants and cherry tomatoes are in full swing right now in Texas, so going to hit the farmers' market tomorrow for the Eggplant Tartine.
  5. Okay guys - need your opinion. What's the best cassoulet in the book? I've made the Toulouse, but am torn on the next one to make, either the Fava Bean Cassoulet or the Catalan Cassoulet.
  6. viva

    The best Texas barbecue

    I just did a little bbq tour myself, being new to Texas - went to City Market (Luling), Smitty's (Lockhart), Kreuz (Lockhart), and Cooper's (Llano). All excellent, but my two favorites were Kreuz and Cooper's. I have to say, Holly, I was disappointed there was no Texas BBQ section on your site! You'll have to remedy that...
  7. I recently made the Orange Cream Tart with (I believe it was this thread that someone had the idea) the addition of a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate (with a little Cointreau mixed in) between the crust and the orange cream. Very popular and pretty to boot!
  8. I did make Brook's coconut cake recently, and all the cake-lovers in the gathering adored it. I thought it was pretty good (being cake and all), but I'll still take pie, thanks! Grandma made me some blackberry cobbler with a nice flaky crust for my birthday that was spectacular! Yes, I had birthday cobbler instead of birthday cake. My family knows me.
  9. All available in Houston. I would probably hit a combination of the Middle Eastern grocery for spices, the Vietnamese for the meats, with a stop to fill any gaps at Central Market or Spec's. --Pomegranate Molasses, Sumac & Aleppo Pepper - Phoenicia (Middle Eastern/East European grocery --Creme Fraiche, Mexican Crema, and Sherry Vinegar - easily obtainable anywhere --Spanish Smoked Paprika, Pancetta - Central Market or Spec's wine/food emporium --Miso Paste, Fresh Duck, and Less Common Pig Parts - Vietnamese or Korean grocery (ducks at the Vietnamese have heads and feet on - hellooo tasty stock) --duck fat - (expensive D'Artagnan version) Central Market or (cheap version) rendered off the asian ducks from above
  10. Just a another vote for the Moosewood cookbooks - I own four of them and find the recipes very flavorful and healthful. From an omnivore perspective: a number of the Moosewood cookbooks have a fish/seafood section in them. In addition to that, I replace some volume of the bulk ingredients with an animal protein - e.g. adding chicken instead of tofu or potato, lean pork to go along with some beans - depending on the recipe and what might fit. Surprisingly, I don't really do it that often - I like playing with other grains and proteins. But it's an option. Obviously keeping the protein to a reasonable amount will also keep the calories in line.
  11. isomer, that tart is lovely. I made the brown sugar apple cheesecake yesterday - delicious! I used the apple butter variation, layering homemade spiced apple butter on the bottom, a few chopped pecans for crunch, then the brown sugar cheesecake layer on top. I think next time I would try the other suggested way of using the apple butter, which is marbling it into the cheesecake better - having it as a layer on the bottom made the bottom crust slightly soggy. Not enough to turn me off, though! And the baking instructions were perfect - no dryness, and absolutely no cracks in the cheesecake. Yay!
  12. viva

    French Onion Soup

    That is the greatest idea ever. I have a heat gun!!
  13. And I have to say that the peanut butter burgers in the Burger Cookoff thread are mighty fine - I think it's all in the ratio. The PB burgers certainly ain't 1:1. Recent worst meal was a holiday gathering with: - Turkey blasted in the oven for hours with no basting - Saltiest ham on the planet - Popeye's chicken picked up several hours earlier (I went straight for this - it was cold but edible) - I've mentally blocked out the sides... there was something with black eyed peas in it. I went for the iceberg lettuce salad which was the least offensive. - Potato chips and ranch dressing dip - At least Grandma had brought some of her mac & cheese, so I was smart enough to take a large helping of this, as it disappeared quickly. Being one of the few things cooked well. I'm still wondering why I spent the time making little holiday petit fours and brownies for dessert...
  14. viva

    Pork Cake

    Oh, cool! I can't wait to see your final cake results. Yeah, I figured that since the mincemeat was going to be cooked that it would be okay to use raw pork fat to start (plus, see my second non-MeeMaw cake that called for slightly cooking the pork fat in boiling water and the little bits of pork present in the cake - that wasn't too pleasing to the eye) I need to make more mincemeat. It's time. I'm totally hungry for it now. I might mess around with the dried fruits - there have been some lovely figs at the middle eastern market recently. That and some dried apples, and maybe sultanas or dates... yum.
  15. viva

    Potato Chips!

    Utz makes a pretty good Dark Russet chip: Clickety. Although it isn't fried in lard like the Grandma Utz's Handcooked
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