p

porceluna's Profile

Title Last Reply

Deli-style double chocolate muffins

I've had a huge hankering for those massive double chocolate muffins you buy at the deli or grocery store--the ones as big as a grapefruit, super moist, oily even, with a crumb that pulls apart rather than, well, crumbling into a billion bits, and a chewy top. Definitely not springy or fluffy like a cupcake, and not crumbly like a healthy breakfast muffin. Decadent to eat plain, without frosting. Knowing that store-bought baked goods tend to have artificial ingredients, though, I want to bake my own. Trouble is, my current chocolate cake recipes don't have the right result, and the recipes I've seen online so far don't look like they'll do the trick. I have a hunch that using canola oil rather than eggs will play a role.

The closest I've had so far is the chocolate cake here, but it's still a little too tender-crumbled for my liking. (But if you haven't had it--make it! It is DELICIOUS with a salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream instead of the plain caramel filling.) http://www.marthastewart.com/857647/s...

Can anyone help me out with a recipe?

Feb 17, 2012
porceluna in Home Cooking

Tell me your favorite HEALTHY, but delicious recipes that may or may not require effort and are semi-exciting and creative! (Is that too tall of an order?)

One of my favorite things recently was inspired by an Epicurious recipe--fresh and hearty at the same time. One serving is:

Toss together 1/2 head radicchio thinly sliced/shredded and a decent handful of chopped parsley (maybe 1/4 c). Toss with a dressing made with juice from 1/2 lemon (maybe 1.5 tbsp), 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp grainy mustard, pepper. Top with drained canned sardines (I use a 4 oz can packed in EVOO) and half an avocado, sliced.

Sounds a little weird maybe, but soooo good. And very colorful!

Jul 01, 2010
porceluna in Home Cooking

Sister's weekend in Kansas City

We had a great weekend, and I feel I have you guys to thank in large part!

We went to Blue Bird Cafe for brunch, and let me tell you, it was the best meal either of us had had in a very long time--years, probably. Super sustainable and locavore, very cute atmosphere. Most importantly, though, delicious! The butter, even, is to die for. I definitely recommend both the ciabatta french toast with pecan butter (I got bison sausage patties on the side, and they were surprisingly moist for such a lean meat) and the blueberry pancakes. Ask to sit in the back room, we were by the window and it was the perfect spot for two.

For dinner, we ended up at La Bodega, per so many recs! It had a lively atmosphere and felt very Saturday night-ish. Of the tapas we ordered, the jamon iberico tartines and tortilla espanola were our favorites. The cold part of the menu definitely seems to be where it's at.

Overall, that neighborhood seems fantastic. My sister's already planning on going back to Blue Bird Cafe and to Chez Elle Creperie for the first time. Thanks everyone! :)

-----
La Bodega
703 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108

Apr 06, 2010
porceluna in Great Plains

Sister's weekend in Kansas City

Thanks, everyone, for the recs so far! This is where our thinking is at for now:

Dinner will probably be at La Bodega.

Brunch is still up in the air, but some top choices so far are Bluebird, Chez Elle, and Room 39. However, we're still pretty undecided so more ideas wouldn't be rejected. :)

Apr 01, 2010
porceluna in Great Plains

Sister's weekend in Kansas City

This weekend, I'll be visiting my sister in Kansas City (she doesn't live there, though she spends most weekends in Olathe, where her boyfriend's family is from). We'll be staying near the Plaza, but will be all around KC proper (don't want to go beyond the city limits if possible, in order to minimize driving).

Saturday is going to be "Sister Day", and we're looking for restaurant recommendations for two occasions:

1) Saturday brunch--special food, but relatively casual place
2) Saturday dinner--two 20-something sisters on the town, so somewhere fun with delicious food

I guess the key here is atmosphere--we want somewhere memorable! Two restrictions, though:

--No spicy food (so cajun/indian/etc. are out) for health reasons
--No BBQ because, well, we've had it a bunch and want to try something new!

I love locavore, creative "New American" but really just want solid recommendations!

Thanks for any suggestions you might be able to give us!

Mar 29, 2010
porceluna in Great Plains

Stovetop cake?

Wow, thanks for the ideas, all! It seems like a steamed cake/pudding is my best bet--don't really have the equipment for it (kitchen supplies aren't my own at the moment) but hopefully I can cobble something together. I'll let you all know if it ends up working out!

Oct 31, 2009
porceluna in Home Cooking

Stovetop cake?

Help! I'm a big baker (layer cakes, cupcakes, cookies...), but due to NYC rent constraints just moved to an apartment without an oven. Buying a toaster oven is out of the question (and it'd be too small for cakes anyway), and my best friend who would let me use her kitchen doesn't have an oven either.

This leaves me in a bit of a quandary. Is there any way to make a cake on the stovetop? I know Mark Bittman recently had a quiche-y, stovetop cake, but it requires finishing in the oven which I can't do.

Does anyone out there have a recipe/method for "baking" on the stovetop? If you do, I'd be indebted to you forever!

Oct 27, 2009
porceluna in Home Cooking

Flavor in cherry tart/pie

Last night, a friend brought over a rustic cherry pie (the kind where the crust is just folded over to make a sort of freeform tart, and baked flat on a baking sheet). It was delicious, but the filling had a flavor that I just could not identify. It was very pungent, savory rather than sweet, and with a vaguely acidic undertone (though no bite).

My friend is from PA, so the potential Pennsylvania Dutch influence made me think of vinegar, but the filling didn't have the heavy acidic bite I associate with vinegar. Then I thought mustard since something about the smell made me think of yellow ballpark mustard, but when I tasted some mustard powder today, that wasn't right either. The closest I've come is sumac, but I just can't imagine that a small-town bakery would use something so unusual.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what that flavor might be in the cherry pie filling?

Sep 12, 2009
porceluna in Home Cooking

Why do we soak tapioca?

Thanks for the info! Good to know that a slightly shorter soak will also work. At least I could have tapioca that night if I thought about it early enough in the afternoon!

Apr 14, 2009
porceluna in Home Cooking

Why do we soak tapioca?

I just bought my first non-instant (ie pearl) tapioca, and I noticed the recipe calls for soaking the tapioca overnight before actually cooking it. Does anyone know WHY the long soak is necessary? I'm not sure of the science here. Following that, if I left out the soak, would my pudding still taste good? Thanks for any info you guys have!

Apr 13, 2009
porceluna in Home Cooking

Plum wine recipes? Cocktail or other?

A japanese restaurant I like does plum wine, triple sec, and ginger ale. Delish!

Mar 24, 2009
porceluna in Wine

Interesting foreign cooking shows??

Andreas Viestad *is* still on, sgogo! I think it switched to the woman, but in the past year or two it's been Andreas again. New Scandinavian Cooking is definitely one of my favorite shows--permanently DVRed in my house. The cookbook "Kitchen of Light" is pretty decent, too, but the show is really tops. Hard to beat the outdoor cooking, Andreas' descriptions, and the clean, tasty recipes.

Mar 24, 2009
porceluna in Food Media & News

IACP Finalists

For months, I resisted getting Krieger's book (don't like the show, recipes looked boring) but finally gave in for the sake of some healthy recipes with predetermined nutrition facts.

Turns out, the recipes are actually really good! The whole-wheat pancakes are awesome--my whole-grain hating family has declared them the best pancakes they've ever had, and don't want to go back to our usual version. The pork w/cherries was also a hit. There has been only one recipe so far that wasn't great. I would recommend it.

Mar 14, 2009
porceluna in Home Cooking

Dining hall boredom

I graduated only a few years ago, so I definitely can relate! One of my go-tos: Load up your pasta with veggies from the salad bar, then stick in the microwave for a minute to semi-cook the fresh veg. i.e. pasta with marinara or pesto, with shredded carrots, onion, broccoli. Or try to really make your salads "recipe"-type salads--cranberries, nuts, and feta with balsamic for an elegant salad, or carrots, corn, beans, and ranch with some red pepper flakes mixed in for a southwestern salad. Also experiment with interesting fruit/veg combos on your panini: turkey on rye with apple slices, red onion, cheddar cheese, and honey mustard. Overall, though, if you're anything like me, the challenge over the next few years will be NOT overindulging just to satisfy a craving for good-tasting food. Even at the best dining hall, that's unlikely to happen, and you'll just end up piling on the pounds. Try to look at the food from a nutritional-benefits standpoint, if possible (ie salad bar instead of kielbasa lol).

Oh, and try breakfast, even though you have to get up early! Interesting oatmeal or omelet combos can help offset the boredom at later meals. And don't be afraid to ask the staff for special requests. If they don't set out brown sugar, but you want it for your oatmeal, just ask!

Oct 13, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

date & almond circles - a Ramadan recipe

Yay! I'm so happy for your sake, and for mine, that your mom had the recipe!

Sep 07, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

Chocolate Chip-Zucchini Muffins/Bread

Back in college, the dining hall made these awesome chocolate chip-zucchini muffins. They were loaded with zucchini (definitely looked a bit green, not just speckled with color), and just sweet enough. I would love to be able to use all the summer zucchini and freeze a batch of the muffins. Bread would work, too. But, I don't want to try some random internet recipe that is untested and likely to fail.

Does anyone have a *tried and tested* recipe for chocolate chip-zucchini muffins or bread?

Sep 06, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

date & almond circles - a Ramadan recipe

I've never heard of these treats, but they sound DELICIOUS! Hope someone can come up with the recipe!

Sep 06, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

Cooking with Gin

This is exactly what I've been looking for, guys! I'm definitely going to try gin in a marinade and with scallops. Yum! Now I can use up my bottle!

Aug 29, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

Cooking with Gin

Looking at my forlorn bottle of vodka bought solely for penne w/vodka sauce, and then thinking about how much I prefer gin, I had a flash tonight.... what can I cook with gin? I've thought of gamey, scandinavian dishes, but I'm hoping there are other things out there. So how about it?

Do you have any good recipes that use gin?

Aug 28, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

Retro cocktails for a party?

Moscow mules or my preferred variation, gin-gin mules: gin, ginger beer (NOT ginger ale), and lime juice!

Aug 24, 2008
porceluna in Spirits

ISO Summery Cake that Keeps

Update: You got me thinking on the mixed berry track. When I visited my parents this past weekend, I spotted a Barefoot Contessa recipe for tri-berry muffins. I'll probably make those for the car ride, and maybe your cake for another outing next weekend! Thanks again!

Jul 10, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

ISO Summery Cake that Keeps

Have you ever made this in a bundt pan as opposed to a tube pan? Is the flat bottom totally necessary, or would the simple round edge of a basic bundt pan still "hold the apples in?"

Jul 03, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

ISO Summery Cake that Keeps

The blackberry cake does sound really summery indeed, but one question: the recipe says it yields only 6 servings. Would you say that's accurate? If so, have you ever tried doubling it? (We're 8 people...)

Jul 03, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

ISO Summery Cake that Keeps

Next weekend, I'm going on a trip with a bunch of friends to a lake house, and I'm bringing the sweets. I'm known for my cakes, both layer and bundt, and would like to keep up that reputation!

I need a recipe for a summery-tasting cake that keeps well. I'm making it on Friday to be served on Saturday evening, and it must endure a relatively cooler-free, 3 hour-long car ride. I would like it to be really flavorful and summery, so a gently-flavored, lemony tea cake would NOT be appropriate. For the sake of variety, I'd also like to avoid basic chocolate, if possible.

Any ideas? Actual recipes, or links to them, would be especially appreciated. Thanks!

Jul 02, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

Food Network Blurb..EAT LESS MEAT

I think it's obvious by now (both generally and in the above posts) that the key to environmentally-friendly foodie satisfaction is to eat less meat (not none) for a variety of reasons (humaneness, transport costs, nutrition/portions, etc.).

One thing that hasn't been mentioned, though, is the other part of the cow-environment puzzle. That is, that cows are one of the biggest contributors worldwide of greenhouse gases, specifically methane from their digestive processes. Really, the thought alone of cow "air" (really no nice way of saying this....) significantly contributing to the ruin of our atmosphere is enough for me to reduce the amount of meat I eat...

May 08, 2008
porceluna in Food Media & News

absolutely delicious take-out snacks/treats around Manhattan?

OMG, how did I forget about Pommes Frites! Soooo good! My favorite sauces are vietnamese pineapple, pomegranate teriyaki, and roasted garlic. Just beware--those paper cones fit a lot more fries than you'd expect.

Apr 30, 2008
porceluna in Manhattan

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

I'm making cookies to bring on a big group trip this weekend, and I'd like to bring peanut butter cookies. I snagged my grandmother's recipe, but her's are more of a crumbly type. For transportation-durability, and just plain preference, I'd like to make a chewier version. I don't want to risk an untested recipe though.

Does anyone have a *tried-and-true* recipe for *chewy* peanut butter cookies?

Apr 30, 2008
porceluna in Home Cooking

Giada--the new "semi-homemade?"

One overlooked aspect of the shows you mentioned, I think, is that even though they're not marketed as such, many of the recipes are still fast & easy. A recent Jamie at Home show just wrapped asparagus in bacon, broiled it, and served it with a soft-cooked egg. It took him all of 30 seconds to explain the recipe, and probably would take the home cook less time to put together the food itself than to heat the broiler. Quick and unfussy, yet still very much homecooked, not assembled from "convenience foods." Nigella Express, too, has simple fast recipes, but they're still real food.

It's too bad that these types of shows about real food are full of tips/recipes useful to the harried cook, but that they get overpowered by quick-fixers just because they aren't specifically marketed as "American Mom" shows.

On the Jamie Oliver note: I wish FN would rerun his old shows, and throw it into the mix of 24/7 same-chef repeats (I do love Flay & crowd, but some extra Jamie during the week would be super!)

Apr 30, 2008
porceluna in Food Media & News

Giada--the new "semi-homemade?"

Don't get me wrong--I am very much in favor of smart shortcuts (I, too, have occasionally used a good jarred sauce, pretty much always used canned broth, and love frozen phyllo as a crust for chicken pot pie). Since I work long hours, my meals need to be done in ideally ~30 min as well.

Yet I still want the food I eat to be as homecooked as possible. I think it's healthier in terms of nutrition and yummier in terms of taste. The problem I have is when a "recipe" is presented in which not one ingredient is either homemade or in "whole" form from the market (ie veggies or a fish fillet, etc.). Thus, as far as the original example of the boxed brownie-Nutella-chocolate chips combo, I just don't consider it homecooked. It's both full of chemicals and lacking the homemade depth of flavor. I'd rather she gave a recipe for hazelnut-topped pudding, or something like that (I make from-scratch pudding all the time in under 10 min, which is likely faster than frosting all those fake brownies).

In short, give me **smart** shortcuts to speed the cooking process and fast recipes (isn't that the whole point of a show entitled **Everyday** Italian?). But let them be real recipes, not assemblages of "fake foods."

Apr 30, 2008
porceluna in Food Media & News

Books on Table Manners, Dining Cultures, Etc [moved from Not About Food board]

OMG I have been obsessed with Miss Manners since I was in junior high. I STRONGLY recommend "Miss Manners' Guide to Excrutiatingly Correct Behavior." It's generally built upon "letters" to Miss Manners, and is laugh-out-loud funny. It does, of course, discuss modern manners (and taught me well).

However, since Miss Manners fashions herself as a throwback to the Victorian-era, she includes a fair bit of history and esotera, explaining things like the tradition of turning cards (ie folding the corners of calling cards), a proper monogrammed truseau, how a man escorts a lady, etc.

I loved the book when I was a smart/curious 13yr old myself, and I love it now in my 20s. Get it for your kid!

Apr 29, 2008
porceluna in Food Media & News