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natter

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  1. The search for the perfect nacho

    I say go with carnitas or sliced up carne asada instead of ground beef. I also prefer black beans, not refried. I also like some kind of salsa on the bottom, like Chilula or Tapa Tio. Agree with the jack cheese and pickled jalapeno. Guac, no sour cream. Maybe some caramelized onions or roasted bell peppers (if I have some already on hand).
  2. I use a recipe that I got off of allrecipes.com and then tweaked quite a bit over time. 1/2 c barley flour 1/4 c buckwheat flour 1/4 c cake flour 1/4 cup barley flakes 1 T baking powder 1 c buttermilk 2 T grape seed oil 1 T macadamia oil 2 T honey (the darker the better) 1 egg beaten 1 tsp Angostura bitters I combine the dry, then in a separate bowl combine the oil, honey, and egg. Then I put it all together and let it sit while I take a shower. Then cook in a 7" non-stick with enough butter to coat the pan. I put either sliced banana, thin sliced apple, or raspberries on top and cook until the bubbles start to form, flip and finish browning. a little butter, and for the kids a little maple syrup. works great every time.
  3. Why is there pink lemonade?

    When I was a kid, I remember liking pink lemonade just because lemonade shouldn't be that color (rebel without a cause syndrome, I guess). Now, whenever strawberries are in season I make my kids pink lemonade, just because there are few things in this world better that a day at the pool and some fresh strawberry lemonade (which happens to be pink).
  4. Onion Rings

    I use mixture of evaporated milk, an egg, and a couple of teaspoons of sugar. Dunk the rings in that, then dredge in seasoned flour, back to the evap, back to the flour. This method works better than any other I have tried or have tasted.
  5. Culinary Cocktails

    I think that dileniating between soup or cocktail is all about expectations. Both the expectations of the preparer and the consumer. I think that it would be pretty easy to perform an experiment to find out. Basically whip something up that could go either way. Give one portion to someone as a soup, to another as a cocktail, on two separate occasions, of course. Each person will have an expectation of what they are consuming based on how you present it. I would guess that the more times you did this, the more times the test subject agreed with your expectations of how you presented it. I think that the most important part of the experiment is your confidence in presenting it. If you just tossed it up in a bowl/glass and asked, "what do you think?" it probably would not yield the same result as really planting in their head the expectation of soup/cocktail.
  6. Six Dozen Eggs

    Make and freeze some crepes, egg-drop soup, prep some fried-chicken.
  7. I agree that our palates may not be as sweet, but I don't think that all of the sugar is necessarily because of sweetness for sweetness sake. As I said before it's to cover up the use of inferior ingredients. And so added sugar is to bring the prepared products up to snuff flavorwise. I think that rather than enriching the food's flavor, all the added sugar just serves to deaden the palate of average consumers, which only leads to the need for more sugar (or salt or whatever else).
  8. I think that looking at recipes is a little misleading. Take for example cocktail recipes, they might be germane to cocktail bars, but your average bar goer is not drinking one of these cocktails. They are having simple highball, vodka and cranberry for example, and the cranberry juice has added sugar. Also there is the popularity of flavored vodkas and rums, etc. which are abounding in added sugar. Same goes with food. Most people aren't using superior products, but are using cheaper processed ingredients which have added sugar and salt and such. And the real problem, I think, is that the people who are more prone to consuming all this excess sugar are more likely the people who can't afford all that great healthcare we have in the US. Also, I don't think that looking at percentages is as important as looking at the aggregate consumption. Like so many other things, it's the aggregate sugar consumption that causes health problems.
  9. I think that arguing whether or not too much white sugar is bad for you is a moot point. What concerns me more is why such a radical increase in average sugar consumption. Is it for artificially extending shelf lives, or to cover up the use of inferior ingredients? It seems to me that increased sugar consumption is not the problem, but a symptom of the problem. The problem being the glorification of profit margins at the expense of all else, including quality and healthfulness. Its not just the food industry though, it's in every field. As far as the trans-fats controversy goes, I'm not too savvy about it. Is it a case of trans-fats producing superior products, or is it also a case of profit margins?
  10. I avoid artificial sweeteners because I don't like the taste. I usually go for raw sugar instead of white sugar because raw sugar has a depth of flavor instead of just plain sweetness. I generally buy organic fruit and veggies because I shop at local farmers markets because the produce is fresher and tastes better. But a lot of that has to do with when it was picked and how ripe it was when it was picked. But I also drink two cans of coke classic a day. And if you think that is good for you, then soak a pice of meat in coke and see what happens. It is also the best thing that I have found to clean rust. Also, there are myriads of toxins and other undesireables in everything you eat, if there was not then you would have no need to go to the bathroom. Still, there is nothing wrong with trying to minimize the crap that you put into your body. But if you take it too far then you end up like the guy in Dr. Strangelove who would only drink rain water mixed with pure grain alcohol and brought about the end of the world.
  11. Flavored Caramels

    You also might want to try some fruit liqueurs. They are essentially the same thing as vanilla extract just with flavors other than vanilla.
  12. Both ketchup and catsup. Not only do I think it is bad, but it also has negative flavor, and sucks up whatever goodness any other food has.
  13. left over ginger syrup

    I have quite a bit left over ginger syrup (about 750 ml) from making candied ginger. I was wondering if it can be used to make some ginger lollipops. Or if because it was cooked for so long, and I don't know the exact water content in it any more if would work well. Also the syrup has recrystalized quite a bit.
  14. Spirits from South Africa?

    http://www.wilderer.co.za/ looks pretty good. I find a good eau de vie to be fine represention of a region. And I agree with evo-lution, shipping liquor into the states is not so easy, but then just might go for cuban products.
  15. Cooking with bitters

    I put bitters of some sort in probably about half my food. I use different kinds for different reasons. They just add a different element to a dish and help to marry other ingredients. Like salt in a dish, bitters help accentuate other flavors rather than dominating them. Angostura is good, Fee's Old fashioned,Fee's Peach bitters (Roasted chicken legs with peach bitters, lemon and thyme is one of my wife's favorites), Regan's orange bitters, Peychauds. These are all good and not to hard to find, are cheap and last a long time. All of them are useful to have on hand, and if a dish is missing just a little, try a couple dashes and see if that doesn't do the trick.
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