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  1. For something very close to the blue box mac & cheese, but with higher quality ingredients, try the King Arthur Flour Cheddar Cheese Powder and the recipe on its container. It's quick and easy and a hit with the 6-7 yr old crowd. Plus the cheese powder is quite nice in bread, savory muffins, and on popcorn. I also second Thanks for the Crepes' suggestion above for the stovetop mac & cheese where you toss the cooked noodles with butter, milk, and torn up American cheese - a midwestern roommate taught me that in grad school, and it's really quite tasty.
  2. MollyB

    Cooking with Grains

    For general info on different grains and how to cook them, I really like Lorna Sass's Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way. I've liked almost all the recipes I've tried (I've learned I am not a fan of buckwheat groats), and her instructions for cooking different grains seem to be spot on. Her advice to always make extra cooked grains and freeze them is really useful. If you have a rice cooker, I also recommend The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensberger and Julie Kaufman. It has recipes for cooking whole grains (barley, farro, wheat berries, etc.) in the rice cooker, as well as some recipes using them. I second the recommendation earlier in the thread for Bowls of Plenty - I've made a number of bowls from it and inspired by it. There's one tasty bowl with grilled vegetables that taught me that you can grill Romano beans - what a fabulous discovery!
  3. I have a couple of tofu and noodle dishes that I love and make regularly: Otsu from the 101 Cookbooks blog (This is good at room temperature) Spicy Pan-Fried Noodles with Tofu from Fine Cooking I used to not be a big tofu fan but these dishes helped convert me.
  4. I imagine risotto would work well, as it's soft but not not liquid. You could add minced or ground meat to get some protein. You could then use the leftovers to make pan-fried risotto cakes.
  5. Has anyone tried the Maple-Star Anise sandwich cookies? I'm thinking about making them as an non-pie option at Thanksgiving, and am wondering if they are worth the effort. The alternate choice would be the World Peace Cookies; they're great (I've made them several times) and they would be a lot easier. Any opinions or other suggestions?
  6. One of my favorite sides for Thanksgiving (if I'm being forced to do a relatively traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which I usually try to avoid) is whipped chipotle sweet potatoes. I find many sweet potato dishes (i.e. the ones with marshmallows or added sugar) way too sweet, but the chipotle works nicely to offset the sweetness. There's also a fabulous recipe I've made for ancho chiles stuffed with a pumpkin puree. (I can't find the recipe right now. It might have been from the L.A. Times a number of years ago?) The dried chiles are rehydrated in a sweet and sour marinade, then cut open and stuffed with the puree and baked to heat them through. These are way better than any turkey I've ever eaten.
  7. One thing I especially hate on cooking websites is the slide show display for recipes, where you have to click again to view another recipe. So if, say, I'm searching for recipes for farro, and go to some site that promises recipes for salads using farro, I want to see a list of recipes, not 15 thumbnail images of dishes made with farro where I have to click on the slideshow 15 times to even see the names of the recipes. I leave sites immediately when forced into this, and won't return to those sites.
  8. Thanks for the recommendations! I think I'll give Nuts.com a try. And maybe the "Freekehlicious" product on Amazon, too, because the name is entertaining.
  9. I guess I was so focused on finding small producers or farmers that it never occurred to me to try Amazon! I'm not familiar with many of the brands selling the (not cracked) freekeh on Amazon. Are there any you'd recommend? I was really disappointed in the cracked freekeh I got at a local grocery store (but I don't know if that was because it was cracked or the brand).
  10. Can anyone recommend a good online source (in the U.S.) for freekeh? I'm looking for whole grain freekeh, not cracked. Someone gave me a bag of it a while ago, and I loved it when I finally cooked it, but now I'm having trouble finding more. I'd appreciate any suggestions for reputable sources.
  11. Has anyone tried the New York Times meal kits from Chef'd? You can either order kits a la carte or get a subscription meal plan. I've been curious about them but haven't found any reviews.
  12. I recently discovered the Freezer-Friendly Frittata Breakfast Sandwiches from The Kitchn. I've made the frittata several times now with different kinds of sausage (and bacon, one time), and most recently I made it with leftover cooked link sausage that I diced. I don't make and freeze the whole sandwiches. I cool and cut out the frittata, then wrap the rounds individually with Glad Press N Seal, then freeze them. They can be quickly thawed in the microwave in the morning in the time it takes to toast an English muffin and make a good, filling weekday breakfast.
  13. The Green Chile Adobo really is great. Thanks for finding the recipe online, @blue_dolphin. And for correcting me that the recipe is from More Mexican Everyday. I have a lot of cookbooks where the authors tell you that certain recipes are something that you will always want to have a jar of in your fridge - this is one of the first times I've found a recipe where that has been true.
  14. My current favorites are guided by a need for relatively quick, good recipes that fit in with a busy work schedule plus a five-yr-old and a puppy. These are the cookbooks I've been turning to a lot lately: Mexican Everyday, by Rick Bayless. We keep a jar of his green chile adobo in the fridge so we can make his skillet tacos recipe in about 15 min on a weeknight. We also love the risotto-style rice and beans with poblanos and the same green chile adobo. The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Feeling Great, by Pam Anderson. A silly title but a great cookbook for quick, healthy, tasty recipes. We make the crustless quiche in one of its variants pretty regularly, The dinner packets - you choose a protein, vegetables, and a simple sauce and can cook them quickly on a gas grill - are also a regular weeknight meal for us. Soup Makes the Meal: 150 Soul-Satisfying Recipes for Soups, Salads, and Breads, by Ken Haedrich. Lots of great soup recipes, arranged by season of the year. There's a fabulous (not healthy) cauliflower and cheese soup, and a spinach and rice soup that we make all the time. (I actually have it in my lunch today.) We haven't tried many of the breads, but the salads are really good. There's one with radishes, apple, and celery
  15. Thanks for the feedback! Another variable in our choice is that we're hoping to do a continuous floor through the kitchen and family room (and maybe into the adjoining dining room), as the space is really open. I'd probably go with tile if it were just the kitchen, but I don't really want tile in the family room.
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