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Steven Blaski

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  1. Steven Blaski

    Rice Cookers

    The fuzzy's quick cycle is simply the regular cycle minus the normal 15 minute soak. I use the quick cycle all the time and don't notice much difference except maybe the rice is a little less tender. You can cook every kind of rice, from white to brown, from wild to sticky to risotto . . . plus porridges, grits, polenta, one-dish meals, and on and on. To get the most mileage out of your rice cooker I heartily recommend you get the cookbook I mentioned a couple posts back. Until I got the book I wasn't exploiting a fraction of the rice cooker's great capabilities.
  2. Steven Blaski

    Kitchenaid vs Cuisinart Food Processors

    Get the KitchenAid--it handles bread dough better than the Cuisinart. That has been my experience as an owner of both--(I owned the Pro Custom 11 forever until it died last year; I replaced it with the new model KA). A recent Cook's Illustrated equipment test also recommends choosing the KA. CI's top 2 models were the 12-Cup Ultra Wide Mouth Food Processor (model KTA KFP760) and the 12-Cup Food Processor (model KTA KFP750); the Cuisinart Pro Custom 11 came in third. They recommend the KFP750; it performed the same as the 760, but the 750 retails for about $30 less; plus, CI found that a safety feature of the feed tube in the wide mouth 760 model was somewhat cumbersome. The KA is also sexier and comes in cool colors.
  3. Steven Blaski

    Excellent flavor combinations

    I've always been puzzled by the ubiquitous pairing of chocolate & raspberry. I find it jarring. Anyone else agree?
  4. Steven Blaski

    Peanut brittle

    andiesenji - I made your brittle last night, with salted, roasted Virginia peanuts - it was fantastic! Just as good or better than stovetop brittle and WAY easier. Never imagined I could make great peanut brittle in 10 minutes. I used the minimum suggested minutes for microwaving at each step. For the corn syrup I substituted King golden syrup. Thanks for the tip on using golden syrup, and for sharing the recipe.
  5. Steven Blaski

    Madeleines: Tips & Techniques

    Thanks, everyone, for your great ideas and links. Looks like rosemary (usually with parm) is the common demoninator.
  6. Steven Blaski

    Madeleines: Tips & Techniques

    Checked all the madeleine threads on eG but all the talk is about the usual sweet versions. I'd like to find some recipes for savory madeleines so I can offer up a couple of different kinds for a buffet. Anyone have a favorite recipe to share? ... or a basic formula I could use to adapt for various flavorings? Thanks!
  7. Steven Blaski

    Peanut brittle

    andiesenji--I'd love to see your recipe, if you have time to post it. Thanks. ← Here's a good recipe for microwave peanut brittle from Bon Appetit: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/2122 ← Thanks, cookman!
  8. Steven Blaski

    Christmas Cookies

    Thanks, Ling, those all look delicious!
  9. Steven Blaski

    Peanut brittle

    andiesenji--I'd love to see your recipe, if you have time to post it. Thanks.
  10. Steven Blaski

    Banana Cake

    I always add a half-cup each of coconut and toasted pecans--or macadamia nuts if I have them-- to my banana bread and sub in some wholewheat for the white flour to add texture. But as far as Wendy's banana *cake*--I wouldn't add a thing to it; I made it recently and it was great -- didn't even need a glaze or frosting.
  11. Steven Blaski

    Martha Stewart's "Baking Handbook"

    My copy just arrived. I'm impressed. The design is impeccable and well organized (no surprise). The photographs are both useful (clearly showing techniques and step-by-steps) and of course very beautiful. Lots of good practical tips throughout. The recipes are largely spins on the good old American standbys, but there's quite a few international classics as well, such as French macarons, cannelé, dobos torte, financiers, sfogliatele. As theabroma said, the book looks like a good source of inspiration for when you're looking for new takes on the standards.
  12. Steven Blaski

    Virginia Hams

    Speaking of yeast biscuits, I just came across a recipe from John Martin Taylor for Ham Biscuits in which the biscuit (often called Angel's or Bride's biscuits) contains both baking powder and yeast, so it's like a cross between a biscuit and a roll. Seems like that would make a good textured "sandwich" for a bite of salty Virginia ham (sugar-cured Turner Ham is my favorite).
  13. Here's another vote for the Southern Kitchen in New Market. To really experience the place you need to get their "signature" (not a word they would ever use!) dishes: the southern fried chicken and the peanut soup -- oh, and of course the salty country ham (they sell whole hams on the premises, too) with biscuits. And a merengue pie for dessert. I try to make it there at least once a month, preferably on the all-you-can-eat-chicken-wings night. As has been noted, the waitresses are part of the comforting charm.
  14. Steven Blaski

    Making Tamales

    Thanks for the tips, chezcherie!
  15. Steven Blaski

    Making Tamales

    Abra, I just now read your fabulous illustrated tamale-fest from last year. I was wondering if you could share what you came up with for the vegetarian version, for both the dough (butter instead of lard perhaps?) and the filling (you had mentioned you were considering corn and cheese I think). Thank you!
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