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  1. Dinner 2017 (Part 6)

    No photos but I threw together pork tenderloin with apples and onions, leeks and cabbage, and some sautéed new potatoes. Turned out pretty tasty, even by the standards of the other folks in the house, who aren't fond of pork. I really didn't have a solid plan when I set out to make dinner - I need to remember that I'm actually halfway decent at cooking.
  2. Excellent. I just got a good deal on more pork so I will probably chuck it all in tomorrow and just top it off if needed. Everyone really liked it so might as well get more use out of all the flavorful components, right?
  3. We have a local Italian bakery my mom loves, but they are very expensive and hard for her to get to. She also really likes cookbooks (she reads them even if she never cooks from them ) so I was thinking for her birthday I could get her a cookbook that has similar cookies and cakes, and offer to make a few things for her on request also. I'll obviously look myself, but eGullet is always well informed about the quality of cookbooks so I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations. The thing about the Italian bakery is that the stuff they make seems to me to be not as sweet as classic American recipes, and often have more complex flavors and also are usually on the light end for whatever the item is. (Like even something that's intended to be dense doesn't have a very heavy sensation in the mouth.)
  4. Thanksgiving cocktails

    'Same as you, probably. We're not having dinner at home so the cider will be for in the evening. But it lets people do as much or little booze as they want, which works with our crowd. One of these days I want to experiment with spiking a cranberry-cider blend.
  5. Could someone tell me more about what's involved? I'm very curious but also have very very limited candy making experience.
  6. Lasagna Wars

    'I thought it might be, which is why I suggested making them more deliberate looking and decorative as an option too. It's a detail but I assume in competition details matter.
  7. Lasagna Wars

    Maybe the top needs to be arranged differently then when folded up? From a presentation perspective something is looking unfinished or untidy to me about the dry noodles on top. If they were more deliberately arranged it might help it look better and less 'oops, I patched this together and ran out of sauce.' ETA: I think it is the bits folded up giving me that feeling. Maybe they could be under the top layer? Or make sure they are even all the way around and do a decorative cut on the edges before baking? Or roll them like a pie crust? I'm just throwing out ideas. I'd also be tempted to do something decorative on the flat expanse in the center. I've seen pasta with herbs carefully rolled into the dough so the leaf looks like artwork. Maybe something like that just in the center?
  8. Scratch Guacamole - Labor Intensive

    Yeah, this is what they do here too - you can customize it which is part of the attraction. We don't go there often but when we do we usually get two orders of the table side guacamole and do them different ways.
  9. Made pork carnitas tonight. Turned out really well - we used pork butt steaks because we didn't want the size of pork butt that they had, and I used timing for a pork butt and I think it was a bit too long (the meat has that texture from being extra-well pressure cooked) but it's very successful. And it didn't take too long, so it's actually reasonable to do without too much advance planning. I'm wondering about keeping the broth in the freezer and using it next time. Any reason not to? I'm not sure what else I'd do with it.
  10. Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    Oh, that sounds lovely. Although now I think we're not having Thanksgiving at home, so I'll save this idea for Christmas instead.
  11. I have two pairs of scissors in the kitchen - a cheap blue pair from Ikea and a slightly nicer set that came with a magnetic sheath that I have stuck to the side of the fridge. Blue pair are for whatever someone invariably wants to grab scissors from the kitchen for that will get them beat up or dirty, the fridge pair are for things like cutting open packets where they might potentially come in contact with food. Given the wide range of odd things I know the blue ones get used for, I feel better having another set even though in theory they can be cleaned. (In practice I'm not sure even the dishwasher gets into all the nooks and crannies. As I've mentioned my mom lives with us and is immune compromised due to cancer so it's just easier to minimize risk.)
  12. Used rat litter also works, if you have friends with pet rats. (Excellent pets, actually.) Rats will attack and kill mice in the wild, so if it smells like a rat has set up shop the mice prefer elsewhere.
  13. 'My SO hates plastic ware so much he carries around a camping fork thing in a little plastic case in case he needs it.
  14. Drinks! 2017 (Part 1)

    This may inspire me to get one of those wee tiny slow cookers so I can have just enough of this waiting when I get home from a long walk with the dog on a winter evening.
  15. We have a step stool from Ikea for vertically challenged moments. It doesn't fold up but it is sturdy enough to use as a seat so it works out ok - I sit on it when I'm doing something that doesn't need constant attention but that I don't want to leave, either, or when I'm supervising someone else in the kitchen. (It helps if I'm sitting because then I don't have as much urge to take over and do it myself. )