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An Italian pastry called Santa Noire

An older lady friend of mine was recently reminiscing a dessert she had long ago in San Francisco called (to her recollection) Santa Noire. Her memory is also fuzzy on the details...maybe it's like a boston cream pie but more layers? But maybe not. It's the flavor she remembers, more so than the details. Any ideas? She recalls it being widely available.

Gingerbread Cake-does one of these recipes seem better than the other

I'm curious about the why and wherefore of using hot water at all? Is it strictly to make the molasses easier to work with? Since bicarb is also added to the hot water in some recipes, is this to change the acidity/pH of the molasses?

Oct 20, 2013
dulce lover in Home Cooking

Any good cold pasta salad recipe?

I based this salad on the one my FIL would buy from the Schwann's truck. Sadly, they stopped making it so I had to wing it.

Orzo or even better, the mixes I have recently seen with garbanzos etc. added, cooked with a cinnamon stick

oil to coat - mild is better

dried cranberries

chopped pecans

more nutmeg (or allspice) than you would think

Toss and refrigerate

nom nom

Jul 12, 2013
dulce lover in Home Cooking

I need to make a dish for a party...using cream cheese.....

I've been through the whole list of ideas (drooling the entire time), looking for something other than what I usually make, and am surprised to not see a version of my standard salmon spread. It goes like this:

1 small can salmon
1 brick cream cheese
sriracha to taste (if I know the crowd can handle it, I use a heaping spoonful)

It is so delicious and so easy. Always gets gobbled up.

My girlfriend Suzi is famous for her 'Tits on a Ritz' dip, which is just bleu cheese and cream cheese, whipped well.

Thanks, Hounds, for some terrific ideas.

Aug 17, 2012
dulce lover in Home Cooking

nanaimo bars

As long as we're encouraging 'close enough' was requested that I make a tray of Nanaimo Bars for a Canadian friend's potluck last Christmas and, try as I might, there was no finding custard powder down here in Mexico. Instant vanilla pudding I could find. Despite its not being authentic, everyone, especially her Canadian friends, loved them. So, if you can't get your hands on custard powder, ignore the nay-sayers and purists and make them anyway. While there is virtue in authenticity, I'll take dessert over virtue any day!

What to Do with Sour Green Plums

Here in Mexico, my neighbor harvests them green and sour (I know because he shared some with us and had a good laugh at my expression...sour! haha). But he likes them macerated with lots of mascobado sugar. I'll be sure to tell him about the salt.

Jun 08, 2012
dulce lover in Features

Supertaster Daily: Tempt Hemp "Ice Cream"

I tried some hemp ice cream a few years ago and thought it was delicious and surprisingly creamy. Nice to have a non-dairy, non-soy option out there. The name, with its 75% letter retention, is as clever as you noted...that marketing would have lured me in, most definitely.

As for your reviews, I like them and generally find them humorous and informative. You try products I either wouldn't take seriously but am curious to know if they're anything special (wedding cake vodka?!) or am actually interested in but don't want to spend the cash to find out. So thank you, Supertaster.


Jun 04, 2012
dulce lover in Features

Dry large lima beans - going the way of the dodo?

I'm also excited to try the fauxtato salad, but instead of mayo plan to use a tzatziki sauce that I saw, coincidentally, in a recipe this morning for tzatziki potato salad. Don't you love when beautiful things collide?

May 25, 2012
dulce lover in General Topics

Dry large lima beans - going the way of the dodo?

I'm not in the Boston area either (but I grew up in Little Rhody!). Here in Mexico they are called 'haba pelada', or 'peeled lima', so if you end up having to scour the ethnic markets you'll know what to ask/look for.

I'm new to them so any favorite recipe share would be very appreciated!


May 25, 2012
dulce lover in General Topics

NY hound visiting San Francisco. Must Try Foods?

Humphrey Slocum, yes! If you find you can't squeeze it in, at the very least grab yourself an It's It ice cream sandwich from any convenience store...yes, it is low brow but as an East Coast native I assure you, there's nothing like it back home.

100-Plus Proof: Crazy, or Trendy?

For the aficionados, okay. But as a trend I only see this making problems for bartenders who will find themselves dealing with customers who are just looking to get hammered faster (Jaeger and Red Bull, anyone?).

Mar 31, 2012
dulce lover in Features

How British People Eat

While it doesn't need posting three times, I'm not sure exactly how charleshrooneyjr's post is racist. The conversation has already covered Brits and a Scottish commenter has weighed in so, unless you are implying that what he said isn't true, it isn't racist. We are talking about cultural norms, specifically how people eat. I've seen enough Asians eat in enough cities to say that there is truth to it.

If anything, I am more annoyed with the reheating of a topic that wasn't all that interesting the first time (when it was,it was about whether people like their foods mixed or separate, focusing on this 'composite' style of eating rather than dragging a cultural group into it, ie. the Brits).

Dec 30, 2011
dulce lover in Features

Blessed with TWO fresh pineapples. Any idea of what to do with them?

It actually will bear fruit again, though it takes around 18 months in an ideal climate so in a pot maybe a few years will be necessary.

Pineapples are one of the few foods I don't bother 'gilding the lily'. Definitely eat some fresh and un-messed with. It's a pretty wonderful fruit.

Grilled pineapple is also super nice, whether it's on a kebab or over ice cream. Amazing how nice grilled pineapple tastes, without any spices, sweeteners, or seasonings (though I'm a huge fan of butter and brown sugar on just about anything else).

Dec 10, 2011
dulce lover in Home Cooking

Your favorite stuffed green pepper recipe

I steam the pepper first (often using poblanos), then steam up some vegetables like carrot, zucchini, cauliflower, onion. They get stuffed into the pepper mixed with cheese cubes and broiled for 15 or so, depending on your broiler. It sounds bland and pedestrian but is easy, tasty, sort of healthy, and very adaptable for using up leftovers and veggies on the edge. I once used leftover shepherd's pie, which was nice.

Sep 17, 2011
dulce lover in Home Cooking

Childhood foods you would *totally* eat now...

Ooooh. I was mad for them one very hot east coast summer - my flavors of choice were cinnamon pop tarts with coffee ice cream. It's hard but force yourself to put them back into the freezer after assembly so that they get good and 'married'. I'm drooling a bit just thinking of them! As long as we're back in RI, any Drakes cakes though most especially Funny Bones and Devil Dogs, those cheeseless pizza strips sold at just about every deli/convenience store counter wrapped in cellophane, Carvel cakes, and Table Talk pies. Why Table Talk isn't nationwide or even global is beyond me.

Sep 09, 2011
dulce lover in General Topics

6 Easy Party Dips

Three ingredients: salmon (canned or smoked), cream cheese, sriracha to taste. Also makes for a great sandwich slather.

Sep 09, 2011
dulce lover in Features

Mad for Crazy Hot Dog Toppings

I kid you not, maple syrup on a hot dog is bliss.

Sep 02, 2011
dulce lover in Features

Foods you can't keep in the house because you can't stop yourself eating them

Oh, Nutellla...I once put away a sleeve of saltines slathered with Nutella and coconut butter. The first one was a 'hey, I wonder what this will taste like?' moment and then my eyes rolled back and I gorged. But really, on a spoon is dangerous, too, so I just look away and keep walking at the market.

Just about anything from Trader Joe's is hard for me to show self-restraint around:

mochi ice cream
tofutti cuties
pirate booty
all of their cookies

When I was growing up in New England it was snack cakes of the Drake's variety, like devil dogs and funny bones. I have a hard time meting them out whenever I return with a suitcase full of goodies.

Aug 26, 2011
dulce lover in General Topics

Foods you can't keep in the house because you can't stop yourself eating them

It's not that the shells are hard to crack, it's the caustic liquid that is between the nut and the outer 'peel'. We have a cashew tree in front of our house, which I thought was pretty exciting until I learned just how messy/burn-inducing/time-consuming they are to process. Now I gladly pay the extra money, knowing how much work is involved. By the way, there is a fruit that grows under the nut (yes, it looks strange and exotic) that looks sort of like an apple and has a similar flavor except that it has an alum-like quality that dries your mouth and makes you pucker. People around here either love them or don't.

Aug 26, 2011
dulce lover in General Topics

Foods you always "deconstruct"

Snickers....first the sides, then the bottom, then the nougat, then the rest...chocolate, peanuts, and caramel...yum!

BTW, learned this from watching my mom eat them like this. Thanks, Mom!

Aug 19, 2011
dulce lover in General Topics

Poll: Would you eat a dog

I have a friend who was stationed in Korea for a bunch of years and he gave me the number one reason to never eat dog....they apparently taste better when the muscles are full of adrenaline, unlike venison, so the animals are beaten brutally with a stick before slaughter. Kind of throws all the other reasons for/arguments against right out the window. I know 'meat's meat and ya gotta eat' but that is just too much for me.

Aug 19, 2011
dulce lover in General Topics

Your Dish Is Unwelcome Here

While I absolutely understand why a host/ess would be irked by the unwelcome intrusion to their planned menu, I have gotten into the habit of bringing something dessert-related because apparently dessert is no longer served these days. Maybe it comes off as childish, churlish, and xenophobic to bring something sweet just because I like to end a meal on that note but perhaps the guests were anticipating a dearth in the dessert department. The suggestion that it would come in handy should her established plan of homemade ice cream fall through was, in my mind, the best way out of it. If I were the guest in that scenario, I would have been absolutely thrilled to have my boxed ice cream go to the back of their freezer for them to enjoy at a later date. (I hope it really was a favorite of the guests, therefore maybe worth receiving as a gift...I do make an effort to bring something high quality, homemade, or novel). So, in summary, if you don't serve dessert don't be surprised if a guest shows up with it and perhaps take the hint to heart. Viva los Dulces!!!!

Aug 04, 2011
dulce lover in Features

Coffee percolator lovers needed:

I love perc coffee. It's been years since I've used it outside of camping (we're cocoa folks these days) but I remember wishing the handle were further away from the pot as knuckle burns suck, and that the handle itself were heatproof. One of the greatest things is being able to see how dark your brew is (some days call for extra strength, doncha know) so I would encourage you to keep and perhaps enhance that little glass knob at the top. The filters were a bit awkward at first, though I eventually got used to folding them just so, but I imagine many would like a reusable basket instead, like the 'gold' filters for drip machines. One of the 'perks' (groan, I know) was that it wasn't electric and therefore, we could take it camping so I hope there's an unplugged version in your mind, as well. Kudos to you for resurrecting the percolator. Best of luck on your endeavor.

Jun 13, 2011
dulce lover in Cookware

7 Shocking Food Waste Statistics

That bent carrot brought to mind the excellent Agnes Varda movie, 'The Gleaners and I', which covers many kinds of waste, food especially. Very much worth watching.

Jun 03, 2011
dulce lover in Features

Hashing Out Corned Beef Leftovers

Though it's not a hash recipe, I've made some of the most delicious split pea soup from the leftover corned beef liquid. I'm actually pretty bummed out that we didn't make any this year because I look forward to the soup so much.

Mar 18, 2011
dulce lover in Features

Easy Kettle Corn

Like FlyerFan and FeeVert, I chuck it all in at the beginning and with continued shaking and, expecting a few 'old maids', remove from heat early. But what really sets it apart is using cold pressed coconut oil. The flavor is flat out awesome and the oil is not only not bad for you, but is recommended you ingest 2 or 3 tablespoons a day. Maybe SgtStens didn't tend to the pot(not something you can turn your back on) or put the sugar in first? Oil, kernels, salt, then sugar with a tight lid on high at the beginning then a bit lower with near-constant shaking after you hear the first serious pops, removing from heat when you hear it slow down a bit, leaving the lid on until all popping ceases (ow! my eye!) should reward you with some seriously delicious kettle corn. Sounds complicated but we're talking 5 minutes of work here and it's absolutely worth the extra attention.

Jan 22, 2011
dulce lover in Recipes

Ask RuBo: Cell Phones at the Table, Neurotic Food Whims

After countless times being invited to breakfast with a friend, only to eat by myself while she talked to everyone she knew except the person right in front of her, I started getting up to use the restroom and not returning whenever this happens. Thanks for breakfast, asswipe!

Jan 22, 2011
dulce lover in Features

50 Things to Do with Sriracha

For an addictive spread/dip: one package cream cheese, one small can salmon, sriracha to taste. Oh my.

Jan 22, 2011
dulce lover in Features

First Immersion Blender. What to do?

I make an 'instant' vegan pudding with my blender stick..... avocado, honey, dark cocoa, and coconut milk is my favorite. Sometimes I add some peanut butter and it tastes like a PB cup. I've added bananas, too. You can't taste the avocado at all and it makes it sooooo creamy smooth. Add it all to a mason jar, give it a whirl, cap it, and chill. Delicious.

Jan 07, 2011
dulce lover in Home Cooking

Christmas Food Traditions

Our Italian family has a traditional soup that is served called Passate. I've found a couple of recipes that were similar but not exact. It consists of a 'dumpling' made from bread crumbs, parmesan and romano cheeses, lemon zest, nutmeg, and black pepper bound with eggs. It's run through the meat grinder so the dumplings are shaped like long, thick squiggles and nuggets. Added to very hot chicken broth and simmered until firm, this stuff might smell like feet but it tastes like ambrosia. I have even been known to eat it cold out of the fridge. The matriarchs of the family take turns making it but my own mother's is the best. When a new boyfriend or girlfriend comes to Christmas dinner everyone holds their breath to see the newbie's reaction. It is, of course, looked upon favorably if they like it.

Dec 21, 2010
dulce lover in General Topics