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Jeni Hicks

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  1. Rice cooker brown basmati rice is the best!! I cook it in my Zojirushi, and it comes out perfectly every time - smells FANTASTIC while it's cooking, too! Until we used the cooker, we hated it, too, but the cooker + brown BASMATI made all the difference! Even my brown-anything hating DH is a convert, we haven't cooked white rice in months!
  2. Believe it or not, Art Knapp's Plantland, in Surrey (off the King George Highway) has one of the largest selections of hot sauces anywhere - I think the last count was at least 300 varieties. The section of the store devoted to the sauces is called the "Wall of Flame" 4391 King George Highway 604-596-9201 HTH!
  3. Sadly, no picture - but on my honeymoon in Kenya we stopped for gas on our way to Amboseli, and across the street from the pump was the sign I will never forget: "Guest House and Butchery" Jeni
  4. Thanks for all the replies. You've all given me some great ideas and a lot to think about. I'll definitely do some digging into the local market health regulations, and see if that winds up making the decision for me! I really appreciate all the feedback. Jeni
  5. I plan on selling my range of cookies at the local farmers' market this summer, and I'm wondering what kind of packaging I should plan on. My thoughts were to individually seal each cookie and stick a label on top, and sell them for "x" amount per cookie, as well as offer a deal if buying 6 or more (mix and matching flavors is fine). I started to wonder, though, if this kind of packaging would be off-putting for people buying at a market. Would the individual packaging be a detriment, do you think? Would it look too "factory-produced", or mass-created? I would like to do it for the sake of
  6. Thanks for taking a look DuckDuck...those sound promising! I'm off to check them out. Jeni
  7. Thanks for all your replies - I know what I'm trying to do sounds a bit odd. I guess what I'm going for is a cookie that captures some of that custard-y, rich vanilla flavour (a silky texture isn't required)...and also incorporates some caramelized sugar....a cookie that echoes the flavors of creme brulee, but isn't trying to BE creme brulee. I've seen creme brulee tea cookies on various websites, but I believe they're hard dunking cookies - I can't find an ingredients list anywhere to get a sense of how they're flavoring them. I really like the idea of adding pulverized caramel to a cookie
  8. Any thoughts on where I could begin to create such a cookie...or does a recipe already exist somewhere (not that I could find in Google)? Ideally, I would like it to be a rustic type cookie - I'm looking for the flavor of creme brulee...have dabbled with thoughts of adding crushed up caramelized sugar somehow....but in the guise of a gourmet-ish drop cookie (ie: no fancy custard-on-cookie-base concoctions). Any thoughts on where the actual creme brulee flavor injection could come from? I've been looking at Torani syrups, but don't know how they react to cooking. I know that LorAnn makes a t
  9. Well - expanding on what I use above, you could always use white (or another colour) foam core to make the grid, and secure it within the box the same way. That way it will look a lot more professional. The bonus is that it's a cheap way to package, especially if you won't be getting the box back. I know that sheet cake boxes can be had for less if you're willing to shop around.... It's the sturdiest way I can think to package the cupcakes - ESPECIALLY if your customers might be the ones doing the transporting.
  10. Unfortunately I don't have a pic, but DH made up this cool contraption for cupcake transport....basically, take a large sheet cake box, and make a grid out of crisscrossing strips of cardboard (he just taped them together really well - it's pretty sturdy). He then glued little "blocks" of cardboard along the edges of the box (every few inches) for the grid to rest on. The grid is suspended about 1 1/2" above the base of the sheet cake box (and below the "overhang" of the cupcakes). You just place a cupcake in each square, and it's held in place - the grid pieces of cardboard act as spacers,
  11. It was my understanding that the AU dust was labeled "decoration only" in the same way that dragees are - a technicality, really. Am I mistaken? I'm unable to use gold leaf as I need to paint a flowing, precise pattern. Thanks for the ideas - if anyone can clarify the "decoration only" thing, I'd appreciate it. J
  12. I'm trying to find a gold dust that can be mixed with vodka (or extracts, or whatever....) and painted on a fondant cake, that will result in a very realistic, metallic finish. I've tried Cal-Java Super Gold as well as a couple of others whose names elude me, and haven't been impressed - I wound up with a fairly matte, vaguely gold-like look...nothing near to a "real" gold finish. I've heard rumblings of good things about the dust from Albert Uster....anyone else? Can you recommend any other product? I can't afford to buy dusts from all over, so if someone can point me to a good one, I'd g
  13. Thanks for the help - and the link to the recipe. It sounds delicious - I'll give them a try later this week. The recipes that I've been trying to work with are all shortbread type doughs, and I'm wondering if that type of dough just doesn't translate well to this type of cookie even though the recipe writers indicate otherwise. Perhaps they don't mind the cracking! I did some research online, and found numerous complaints about the Ina Garten recipe I was using - lots of comments about the dough cracking, not holding it's shape well, etc. so I don't think I'm the only one having trouble.
  14. Yes, the cookies are cracking before I bake them - I don't chill the dough, and the "feel" of the dough is decent...not overly dry or crumbly. The recipe I'm presently trying isn't done by weight - but I have others that require weighing the dry ingredients, and have run into the same problem. It just doesn't seem to matter which recipe I try. I can't make my indentations much shallower than they already are - the cookies are filled with jam and then baked, so if they aren't deep enough the jam runs everywhere. I'm not able to re-form the indentation partway through baking this way, either.
  15. I'm really at my wit's end here, folks. I've tried countless recipes, I've sprinkled water on the dough, I've tried being ever so gentle while forming the indent, not pressing it too deep - and my darn thumprint cookies crack every single time The recipe doesn't seem to matter - but maybe I'm using real duds? I doubt it, 'cause they always taste great, and they come from great sources (epicurious, Gale Gand, Ina Garten, etc.). A little split here and there I can understand, but these are major crevasses I'm dealing with here, and they happen on each and every cookie. Can anyone help me
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