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  1. I haven't posted on this thread in forever! I'm currently living in a co-op and one person has a peanut allergy, so I decided to experiment making the oatmeal peanut-butter chocolate chipsters with almond butter instead. I used chunky natural almond butter (don't think there's any non-natural almond butter), and they came out fabulously! I think the texture was actually about the same, and the roasted almond flavor was subtle and really went well with the oatmeal. I may experiment with other nut butters now...
  2. Underfoot, I adore your gingerbread house! I really need to make the time to do more cookie cutouts next year-you've given me so many ideas! I think we both share an affinity for rather "special" gingerbread houses...
  3. Here is my first ever gingerbread house! It's not much, and also the back looks better than the front (but unfortunately I can't find a picture of it), but I had a lot of fun putting it together. It's supposed to be a model of the co-op I live in at school-it was the head of the table at this big wine and cheese feast we had. Note the igloo and the pond (and the huuuuge wheel of blue cheese just behind it)! After attempting this, I have a new respect for those of you who make such intricate and professional-looking houses. It's so difficult!
  4. Am I the only one who's been making ice cream??? I made the chocolate-peanut butter ice cream a week or two ago, and while it is very tasty, I realized while churning it that it's really more of a winter ice cream. It's been hovering in the 110's here, temperature-wise, and so I can only handle this ice cream's richness when it's paired with a vanilla or some fruit. Also it froze rock hard, much harder than the other ice creams I've made from the book. I also made the French-style vanilla and the olive oil. The vanilla was very good, of course, but almost a bit tooo rich. I think I might go f
  5. Speaking of the library, that's where I just got my copy! Although I'm sure, after looking through it, that it's going on my birthday list. So many exciting flavors, and I love the mix-in suggestions and recipes, because I am a big big fan of chunky ice cream. So far I have tried the strawberry sour cream and the milk chocolate. I very much liked the strawberry sour cream, and found that it actually firmed up really fast. I don't usually even like strawberry ice cream, but this one really tasted like strawberries. I didn't think it was extremely sour, but it was enough to cut the sweetness. An
  6. Actually, when I make mini-tarts, I freeze the tarts in the tart rings for about a half hour before baking, and then they generally keep their shape pretty nicely without using any weights at all. I'm not sure if that's an option for you, as I'm a home baker, but it works for me!
  7. I have a quick question as well. I'm currently attempting to cook various desserts for a 100+ people (out of a dorm kitchen, no less). So, I'm trying to make stuff ahead of time. But I've never before frozen already-baked goods-I know everyone says you can, but I've always been afraid they'll come out tasting odd. The only stuff I've frozen is cookie dough, lemon curd, etc. Any tips? But more specifically to this book, I'm making a cookie platter. Two of the cookies are going to be the espresso chocolate shortbreads and the pecan brown sugar shortbreads. It says in the book that they can be ba
  8. The only food that I really just can't stand (although I'm a vegetarian, so I suppose there are a lot of disgusting foods out there that I've never even tried) is eggs. Any form-scrambled, hardboiled, omelettes. Even things that taste eggy, like custards, flans, meringues...no good. Everything else (that's not meat) I'll eat, and even mostly like. I'm glad that I'm not alone in my egg-phobia! Although you guys are surprisingly picky for a bunch of foodies...which I guess is why we all feel sort of guilty about confessing these things!
  9. Yes, please do tell. I'm curious because I went there last night for the first time. I have no prior experience to judge from, but I had the cinque formaggio pizza and thought it was delicious, as was the salad with pine nuts and red peppers. I must admit that the service was pretty terrible, however. I waited five minutes for a hostess to appear, to be seated. Once seated and with menus, I think we sat around for a good ten minutes before anyone noticed us-and even then, we had to flag a waitress down as she was walking on her way to another table. And we didn't get waters for a few minutes
  10. As for Roaring Fork, check out this tidbit. Apparently McGrath has taken over at Pischke's Paradise in Scottsdale.
  11. Personally, I looooove string cheese. I should be too old for that sort of thing, but I still get a kick out of peeling it apart. And that stuff is pretty cheap. I also am fine with a cheapish cheddar or monterey jack for melting, sandwiches, quesadillas, that sort of thing. The only cheap stuff I won't do is cheap "mozzarella". For some reason, I can really taste the difference much there than with cheddar.
  12. juliachildish

    Toast toppings

    Ooh, last night I had some extremely delicious toast. I had been intending to slow roast some plum tomatoes for a pasta sauce, but I got started much later than expected, and so once I was done I didn't even want to bother with pasta. Instead I grabbed some sourdough toast, spread it with butter, and simply stuck the roasted tomato halves on top. Heaven!
  13. doughgirl-the only springform I have is 10 inch, so I just made mine in a regular 8-inch cake pan. I just unmolded it and then topped it with the caramel goo. I had a little issue with the topping spilling over, but I put wax paper underneath and scooped some back on afterwards, and it turned out fine and still looked lovely.
  14. Just in case anyone's interested, the NYTimes had an article on Red Velvet cake today: article here Doesn't really talk about anything we haven't already discussed here, but it does give a new recipe for anyone who's curious!
  15. I believe in Alice Meidrich's Bittersweet (and probably her other books too), she goes into her belief that it does make quite a difference. However, I pretty much ignore it when a recipe specifies, unless I'm totally out of cocoa and have to go to the store just to buy some. I have easy access to both, so if I'm buying it just for a recipe, then I'll usually buy what's specified (if I remember). Back on topic, I made the molten chocolate cakes the other day. They were quite delicious, and easy to make, but I felt like the centers were a little...gummy? Tasted undercooked rather than gooey. Ma
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