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novelgazer's Profile

Title Last Reply

Yuri's Night nibbles - ideas?

Rocket pops?

Apr 08, 2011
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Candy Cane Cookies

@lightning81 -- My mother always used almond extract, but my wife's allergic. Anise sounds like a great alternative (I won't even consider mint extract.)

Nov 29, 2010
novelgazer in Recipes

What the *&@#%!$ Should I Do with Carrot Greens?

I use carrot greens whenever I make chicken stock.

Jun 16, 2010
novelgazer in Features

Pork Hoagies?

I'm not in Los Angeles, but I'm from Philly. On occasion, I've heard banh mi called pork hoagies, as well, although they're usually called Vietnamese hoagies.

Jun 12, 2010
novelgazer in Los Angeles Area

Most Bizarre sandwiches / street food in Philadelphia?

And, along the lines of bizarre food, the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities has a section devoted to items removed from the windpipes of choking people.

May 06, 2010
novelgazer in Philadelphia

Most Bizarre sandwiches / street food in Philadelphia?

I know you can get pig's blood congee in Chinatown. As far as only-in-Philly type foods, there's always scrapple, and cheesesteak rolls (egg roll stuffed with a cheesesteak.)

Edit: I realize none of these are particularly bizarre, but they are unique.

May 06, 2010
novelgazer in Philadelphia

Indian cookbook recommendations ?

I haven't used any of them myself, but the cookbooks of Madhur Jaffrey come highly recommended.

Mar 31, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Abundance of Snap Peas. What to do with them?

How about a pickle?

Mar 23, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Corned Beef from scratch?

I've never made it from scratch, but for comparison's sake, here's Alton Brown's recipe:

And, like Appycamper, I prefer braised to boiled.

Mar 05, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

chickpea flour - recipes

Here's another from the New York Times -- chickpea battered fried vegetables.

Feb 23, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

How to remove big dark stain from oak cutting board

I suppose (if it comes down to it) sandpaper and mineral oil might be your avenue of last resort.

Feb 23, 2010
novelgazer in Cookware

Help Please. Need ideas for side dishes (easy please) for short ribs

Great suggestions! To fancy up the mashed potatoes without complicating things, maybe add some mashed celery root. I was going to say Jerusalem artichoke, but those are such a pain to peel.

I've never done swiss chard, but I like pine nuts in other sauteed greens sometimes, for a little texture.

Feb 11, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Need recommendations for downtown Houston

I would second and third the recommendation for Hugo's if you can get there. Loved that place when I lived in Houston. Saw this article in the NYTimes and thought it might be of use:

I haven't eaten at any of the places mentioned, though.

Feb 04, 2010
novelgazer in Houston

does anyone know of a product that.........

I'm not very well versed in butter alternatives, but how about royal icing ( or seven minute frosting ( neither of which has any dairy?

Feb 02, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

What makes "hand cut" fries so special?

I think hand cut implies that the french fries have more recently been a potato -- when your options are 1. hand cut, 2. machine cut in the kitchen, or 3. machine cut in factory, most restaurants have probably opted for 1 or 3.

Jan 22, 2010
novelgazer in General Topics

Hot "pantry" dinners that aren't pasta...

While I admit it's a little silly for The 6 o'clock scramble to charge for their content, in their defense, the fee is only $55, not $55K.

Great links, btw. I'm totally bookmarking them.

Jan 15, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Hot "pantry" dinners that aren't pasta...

How about couscous with curry powder and frozen vegetables? That's very fast but satisfying, and usually feels like something different.

Jan 14, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

My copper pennies don't taste so great. What can I do?

I've never heard of copper pennies (I thought you were joking when I read the title) and have no idea how they should taste. Obviously, I'm going to give you my advice. =)

Is there enough salt? I don't see it listed as an ingredient, and that's usually my problem when a tomato-based dish falls flat.

Jan 10, 2010
novelgazer in Home Cooking

favorite cozy snowstorm food

Cream dried beef on toast.

Dec 18, 2009
novelgazer in General Topics

Source for klobasa?

I'm fairly new in town, so I basically haven't tried anywhere =). Very happy to receive your recommendations. I'll check them out and report back!

Dec 17, 2009
novelgazer in Chicago Area

Source for klobasa?

My wife and I, having recently returned from Slovakia, are planning on making up a batch of Kapustnica (sauerkraut soup) for the holidays. Can anyone recommend a good source for Slovak or Czech sausages in the Chicago area?

Dec 15, 2009
novelgazer in Chicago Area

Sorghum, the New Pancake Pour

So, not a sugar substitute, but a sugar source, right?

Dec 11, 2009
novelgazer in Features

Challenge:Cold main for Easter brunch/potluck?

>>Anything after Lent will taste wonderful! Happy Easter!

Ha, ha! Very true! Happy Easter to you, as well!

Apr 05, 2009
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Challenge:Cold main for Easter brunch/potluck?

From the quiche idea, my wife just thought of a spanish omlette... tortilla espanola or tortilla de patata, which has the benefit of not requiring a crust.

Apr 05, 2009
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Challenge:Cold main for Easter brunch/potluck?

Sausages are definitely more affordable -- and some sort of bean salad might even be hearty enough on its own. We don't have a particular number of people to feed, our direction is just to bring enough to feed more than just ourselves =). I'm not very experienced with quiche, but have access to some recipes. That might be a good plan -- people like quiche, right?

EDIT: Ooh... I could use ham in a quiche, but not need nearly as much and still get that nice flavor.

Apr 05, 2009
novelgazer in Home Cooking

What to do with ground pork?

Third the call for making sausage -- I'm a big fan of the Homesick Texan's <a href=" sausage patty recipe</a>. Or use that sausage (or some other loose sausage recipe) to make a bread stuffing for a chicken, or to roll in another cut of meat or something.

Apr 05, 2009
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Challenge:Cold main for Easter brunch/potluck?

So our church is holding a post-service Easter potluck Sunday morning, and on-site heating isn't really an option. We expect side dishes will be plentiful in this situation, so we'd like to contribute some sort of main-type thing.

We were thinking of cooking a large ham and slicing it to serve cold, but the prices and ham sizes here in Bratislava make that less than practical for us. Any suggestions for something hearty, cheap, tasty at room temperature and cheap?


Apr 05, 2009
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Taco House on RT 70 in NJ (Cherry Hill/Camden area)

I've gotta chime in with the praise for Taco House. Run down strip mall, but the friendliest staff and a great comfy atmosphere. I can't vouch for every dish -- the empanadas are a miss -- but they really do the basics right. I can confirm what the others have said about the great tacos and tamales (a touch sweeter than I'm used to, and it really works). They've also got a chorizo burrito that is basically flawless and very satisfying -- generous and substantial, with a good balance of textures and no trace of grease.

And Mexican Coca Cola with real sugar!

Dec 07, 2007
novelgazer in Mid-Atlantic

Share your favorite rather simple dinner recipe

I'm the husband mentioned above... last night we made a first time quick stir fry/lettuce wrap thing that we enjoyed a great deal:

Nice, quick stir fry with a bit of preparatory dicing; full of flavor and quite satisfying. You want to get a fairly small dice on the raw chicken before cooking -- ideally it will give up a lot of liquid to make a sauce, but cook fast enough that it doesn't evaporate off.

4 cloves garlic
3 or 4 green onions, diced, white section reserved
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts diced
1 can water chestnuts, rinsed, medium dice
2 medium carrots, medium dice
1/4-1/2 cup frozen peas (slightly thawed on counter while preparing)
Soy sauce
1-2Tbsp sugar
Kosher salt
Washed whole lettuce leaves -- something big and rollable.

1. Pre-heat cast iron skillet/wok to unfathomable hotness on stove top.
2. Work garlic and onion whites and a pinch of kosher salt with mortar and pestle (or food processor, chop-o-matic, etc.) into a nice paste.
3. Add about 2 Tbsp vegetable oil to cast iron skillet, allow it to get hot, then drop in the garlic and onion paste. Stir fry for about thirty seconds, but move on to step 4 if it cooks too quickly.
4. Add chicken. Stir fry until nearly cooked.
5. Add a drop more of oil to center of pan. Add carrots and water chestnuts, with fat pinch of salt. Stir fry for another thirty seconds or so (we want these to stay crunchy.)
6. Add peas, green onion, a couple dashes of soy sauce, and sugar. Stir to combine, then remove from heat. Or remove from heat and stir to combine: if you're cooking in cast iron it doesn't make much difference.
7. Serve with lettuce leaves -- either roll into a burrito/spring roll sort of thing, or just serve over top. Leftovers can be reheated or served with rice or rice noodles.

Aug 05, 2007
novelgazer in Home Cooking

Summer accompaniment for fried chicken?

I've never had bread salad/panzanella -- this sounds really good. Didn't see it in time for tonight's dinner, but I'm going to have to try this in the next couple days.

Jul 17, 2007
novelgazer in Home Cooking