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Best mushroom bisque?

Ina Garten did a Wild Mushroom Soup today on her show..it was the episode titled Mystery Guest. It looked delicious and received a 5 star rating. She used white wine, but I think substituting a touch of Brandy would be fine as well.

Sep 24, 2007
Free110853 in Home Cooking

Crab Cakes accompaniment?

Thank you for the grits link..would be awesome with crab cakes!! I also like the black bean salsa, either one would compliment the flavor of crab. Great Idea!!

Sep 24, 2007
Free110853 in Home Cooking

Problem with Alton Brown's Apple Cake Recipe

There is a recipe for Apple Sour Cream Steusel Cake on Allrecipes.com..I have not tried this one, but it is similar to my very successful version of the Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Southern Living...sometimes I sub apples for my blueberries and it turns out well. Allrecipes.com also has recipes for an Apple Stack Cake done with dried apples. One thing to remember..all cakes do not bake at 350 degrees. For example, pound cakes bake at 325 degrees for most of them..I have even baked them at 300 degrees from a cold oven. If you bake a pound cake at too high a temperature it will dry out in a hurry and the crust will be too brown (if not burned!)! Many of the streusel cakes and bundt pan coffee cakes bake at 325 degrees. You want to avoid over browning while still getting the inside of the cake done. A lower temp allows the crust to brown lightly and gives it that sweet crunchy texture. Most layer and sheet cakes do bake at 350 degrees though. The best advice is to always check the baking temp and time on the recipe..most often the lowest listed time is correct, although I have found some that I have altered due to the ingredients. You may also want to pick up a oven thermometer and check to see if the temperature of your oven is calibrated correctly..if not adjust the setting to reach the desired temp. This is a common problem and causes many a dry cake. Good Luck!

Sep 24, 2007
Free110853 in Home Cooking

What are your favorite appetizers to serve?

I know this is a very 70's idea, but I did one recently and my guests loved it! What was it?...the Pu Pu Platter! The food was delicious and prompted great conversation and reminiscing (if your of that time, if not the food is still good :) You can find recipes and ideas by googling "pu pu platter recipes"...about.com has a big selection. One recipe that is not on this site is the rumaki that I make using chicken livers and/or scallops..you can find this recipe at several places on the web ( at Epicurious or greatpartyrecipes.com...which also has other appetizer recipes). Another favorite is the Char Siu, a rich, red asian sparerib..recipe on about.com and other places on the web. I use combinations of pineapple, mango, papaya, kiwi, kabobs with a fresh yogurt dip to add a light flavor. The addition of fondue pots with dips and sauces goes over well. Everyone enjoys the food and the presentation. You can do just a few of the simpler appetizers and still get raves. None of this was hard to do and the recipes are simple. The rumaki is a tad time consuming, but they are done in advance, so all you have to do is pop them in the oven right before guest arrive. Tip: make plenty because they get gone fast...especially the scallop rumaki, although you would be surprised at how many people love the chicken liver! Hope your party is successful and all have a great time!

Sep 24, 2007
Free110853 in Home Cooking

Cake mastery...

One more thing..on the baking..once you know your oven temperature is correct, make sure you check your cake at the shortest time stated on the recipe. Use a toothpick (for layer or sheet cakes) or a wooden skewer (for bundt, pound cakes, or layer cakes) to test doneness. The skewer should come out with moist crumbs attached, but not looking wet like the batter. Most cakes are done at the shortest time stated if the oven calibration is correct.

Sep 23, 2007
Free110853 in Home Cooking

Cake mastery...

I am new also...great site! I bake and sale cakes, which may not make me an expert, but I can give you a few tips. Your oven calibration may be off causing your cakes to bake at too high a temperature. You can check your oven temp with a oven thermometer, available at kitchen specialty stores. A too hot oven will cause your cake to be done before the time stated on the recipe. Also be careful not to overmix when you add the flour and wet ingredients..always add the flour first, then wet, ending with the flour. Only mix at low speed and just enough to blend the ingredients. On the other hand make sure you cream your sugar and butter/shortening adequately..usually about 3 to 5 minutes depending on your mixer. I find cakes that have something other than milk as the wet ingredient seem to turn out more moist. I like to use sour cream..this is just a personal preference though. Cakes such as the Hummingbird and Carrot Cakes use vegetable oil which also turn out a moist cake. Your problem is more than likely your oven temp..over-baking is a sure fire way to get a dry cake. Hope this helps!

Sep 23, 2007
Free110853 in Home Cooking