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Moist chocolatey chocolate cake recipe like a boxed mix?

Yes! It's my go-to chocolate cake recipe. And it is indeed super easy. I do however tend to use a higher quality cocoa like Scharffenberger.

Mar 03, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

5 Times to Say "No Thank You" and 3 Things to Do When You Hear It — How to Be a Grownup

Same here. But then I'm also guilty of using "I'm good" on a regular basis, as shorthand for "I'm satisfied / completely taken care of/ not in need of another thing."

What's your favorite cake?

Is this different from an Italian cream cake, which is one of my friend's favorite (and I understand a Southern recipe that has nothing to do with Italy)?

Feb 16, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

What's your favorite cake?

Mmmmmm. I haven't made a marble cake in ages because mixing the two batters is kind of a pain, but Susiecakes, a local bakery chain, makes an outstanding one.

Feb 13, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

What's your favorite cake?

Caramel cake.

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is a close second. Or even better, chocolate and yellow marble cake.

Feedback please - Oahu & Maui

In Honolulu I highly recommend MW Restaurant - best dinner of my visit there last November.

Here's my trip report:
Can't really speak to your Maui choices since even though I go there about twice a year, I always stay on the north shore. I don't eat fish, but I still love Mama's for the atmosphere.

Feb 11, 2015
cookie monster in Hawaii

party caterers West Los Angeles

Truett Griffin catered a cocktail party for me last year and everything was fantastic.

(I've also been a guest at one of his "Julia" dinners and it was a real treat)

Breakfasts so good you had them again for dinner

Roasted vegetables of any sort topped with a sunny side up egg for dinner; add the leftover vegetables and a little cheese to scrambled eggs the next morning.

Feb 05, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

Sturdy post office-ready cake or tart idea

That looks great but I can't imagine it will stand up to a couple days in transit without refrigeration.

I sent chocolate chip banana bread half-way across the country last month and was told it came through the mail very well. I also second the brownie suggestion.

Jan 26, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Looking for a place to have a quick early lunch...

Lemon Moon on Olympic? Cafeteria style but not fast food.

Last Minute Recommendation - Bev Hills/WeHo Area

Dominick's is a good idea. Or maybe Lala's in WeHo?

Pat peeves as a guest at a dinner party?

Echoing a couple other posters:

No snacks / apps ready when guests arrive. I don't need anything elaborate (and in fact I'm likely to spoil my appetite for dinner if a bunch of fancy hors d'oeuvres are available) but some nuts or cheese or crudite are much appreciated, especially if we aren't going to sit down to dinner until a while after the designated start time.

Hosts pushing food - that can be very awkward for guests like me who have some strong food aversions but don't want to be be impolite. There's really no good response when a host looks at my plate of salad and bread and says "oh, you didn't get any salmon. You have to try the salmon" while adding some to my plate.

Re: pets, while I love dogs and don't mind having their slobbery bouncy selves around during the party, I'm extremely allergic to some cats. So I agree the rule should be keep the pets away from the dinner guests, unless you know them all well enough to be sure it won't be an issue.

And yes, please check on the state of the bathroom periodically. Can't tell you the number of times that I've felt like a snoop as a try to quietly open cupboards and closets, looking for a new roll of toilet paper . . .

Jan 16, 2015
cookie monster in Not About Food

Salty Cuisines: Your thought?

As I'm reading through the comments here I'm wondering about the answer to the opposite question: what cuisines aren't particularly salty? And I'm having trouble answering it, especially if we're talking about restaurant food. To echo what foodieX2 said, I find that most restaurant meals, regardless of the specific cuisine, are noticeably salty to me.

Need suggestion for a ladies club dessert

Mine too. Popular combinations include white chocolate + pistachios, pecans + coconut, and caramel + pretzels.

Jan 11, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Does a bialy always have onions?

That looks like a good read. thanks!

Jan 04, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

Does a bialy always have onions?

I had this discussion with the counter person at a local bakery this morning, after I ordered a bialy and he said "which kind?" I had always thought that a bialy by definition had onions (and usually poppyseeds) in the middle. But he said no, it just means that the dough has been baked, not boiled, so the other round bagel-looking things in the bakery case were in fact sesame bialys, rye bialys, etc. if that is indeed the case, what makes a bialy any different from a roll? Something about the dough? I tried googling this of course, but didn't get a clear answer as most of the bialy definitions said something like "typically filled with an onion mixture."

Jan 04, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

How do you Elvis?

Minimal Elvis (or maybe it's the skinny Elvis): slice banana; put on plate; smear with peanut butter; eat.

Dec 22, 2014
cookie monster in Home Cooking

The Closures Continue... Mo-Chica Closing This Weekend

I've also heard Axe in Venice is closing end of the year but I haven't seen any confirmation of that. Was never one of my favorites but a lot of people seem to love it.

The Closures Continue... Mo-Chica Closing This Weekend

Chaya Brasserie is closing as of 12/31; I've always liked that place.

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

I bake and freeze my Christmas cookies early so I can give them out to people all December long. Today was lemon iced ginger cookies (combo of a couple recipes) and classic decorated sugar cookies (same recipe I learned from my mom 40+ years ago).

Gjusta great place for your Croissant fix

I am addicted to that bialy. Gjusta has become the bane of my healthy living existence. I work out at Gold's every morning and since Gjusta opened the smells of rv exhaust and questionable personal hygiene have been replaced with those of baking bread and roasting meat. At least a couple times a week I am unable to resist and end up going across the street for a bialy or bagel to go, thus undoing the effects of my workout. I've also enjoyed their soups and frittatas. Only thing I tried and didn't love was a squash (I think) quick bread that was too oily for my taste.

ISO advice from seasoned cookie bakers and/or crafty types

I've done this before with slightly younger kids and would definitely recommend making the dough in advance, especially since most recipes for cut-out cookies require chilling the dough for at least a few hours before rolling and cutting. You could have them prepare the icing and get the experience of measuring and combining ingredients that way.

Nov 28, 2014
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Post your ideas for Thanksgiving sides/dishes and give and get feedback..

I like roasted chick peas a lot but they're more crunchy than creamy. More like a nut than a vegetable.

Nov 26, 2014
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Rule #1...always...

And trust your instinct, not the recipe, regarding how much time. Just did, or rather failed to do, that this weekend with pine nuts. Recipe said 15 minutes at 350'. I thought that seemed way too long, yet I set the timer for 15 minutes. at 8 minutes I smelled the beginnings of burning but was too late to rescue them. Fortunately I had more.

Other than the burger (and beer) what else do you like at Father's Office?

+2 on the sweet potato fries. also the beet salad.

"Artisan" pickled veggies for sale?

Gjusta, the new bakery/cafe from the Gjelina folks on Sunset in Venice, has some really nice looking jars of pickled vegetables. I haven't tried them yet, but the various pickles served at Gjelina are really good.

I've also seen them at the farmers market but of course I can't remember the name of the vendor.

Thanksgiving late night on Maui

Safeways in Kahalui and Lahaina are normally open 24 hours a day. might be worth calling them to ask about Thanksgiving Day hours.

Nov 21, 2014
cookie monster in Hawaii

Lowering Salt and Seasoning on TrJ Seasoned Nuts

Same here. I actually mix them together in the same container so the seasoning gets distributed to the unsalted ones. Seems like a much simpler process.

Nov 19, 2014
cookie monster in Chains

Rule #1...always...

Crack each egg into a bowl separately before adding it to whatever you're making. Nothing like trying to pick bits of shell out of your cake batter, or even better ruining it with a bloody chicken embryo, to reinforce that rule.

Honolulu report (and a footnote about Maui)

Thanks for the background info on Ginza Barin Tonkatsu, macsak. I'm glad we decided to check it out.

Nov 19, 2014
cookie monster in Hawaii