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Mjadra - recipe advice needed

This morning's breakfast was a hit -

Green Bottom layer - Arugula with an olive oil spritz
Brown Middle layer - Mjadra
White and red top layer - 1.5 cast iron skillet fried eggs with sriracha on top

The Mjadra was from a container of something that looked interesting from my favorite middle eastern bakery
in Austin, Texas.

Since everyone liked it so much, I retrieved the container lid from the trash bin to see what it was called: Mjadra

Here's a recipe I found from Food Network for: Mujadara
"Lebanese Lentils, Rice and Caramelized Onions"

Does this look loke a good Mjadra recipe to anyone more familiar with lebanese cooking?


about 24 hours ago
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Meat thermometer mayhem...

Meat thermometer mayhem...

At the end of this story is the question:
Why would my Polder meat thermometer suddenly stopped working?

Thanksgiving mayhem occurred when I discovered my Maverick temperature probes would not work with my Maverick base unit*.

* I thought the probes were dead. They were not. I simply did not know that some Maverick temperature probes are incompatible with some Maverick temperature based units !! I didn't realize I had mis-matched probes and base units!

I decided to do before Christmas what I should have done before Thanksgiving: calibrate and re-organize my temperature probes. Especially since I plan to use my Big Green egg a lot this Christmas.

Step 1) Battery check
Took all the batteries out and checked for rust and leakage.
3 units had some of each. Tried to fix all 3 using tips via google
for battery leakage - alcohol and qtips
for rust - nail file and alcohol

I was able to fix 1 of the 3. 1 transmitter and 1 receiver remain dead. The Polder seemed fine - still working at this point.

Step 2) Probe match up

This was where I realized that some Maverick temperature probes are incompatible with some Maverick temperature based units. Eureka! I retreived temp probes from the garage that I had marked "dead". They are no longer dead when paired with the right base unit.

Key Fact: (in case anyone else has a Maverick Redi-Chek thermometer)
Maverick probes with black colored plastic near the plug in end are not compatible with grey colored receiver holes on Maverick transmitter base units.
And Vice-Versa.
Grey only to grey, black to black. In low light near the BBQ, the color differences might not be obvious, and you might assume you have a dead probe, like I did.

Step 3) Calibration

At my altitude, boiling water temp should read 211 degrees Fahrenheit.

After measuring, I recorded on blue painters tape the boiling water temp that the units read so I know which probes run high or low. Then taped that to the end of the wire.

The Polder probes measured either perfectly or almost perfectly (I think they were 212).

Now, for the truly baffling part. I thought I was nearly done. I was deciding which ones to use for BBQ vs inside oven and where to store. Decided to use the Polder for inside oven since it doesn't have a remote transmitter / receiver setup.

So put 2 new batteries in it. Turned it back on. Now - the Polder base unit doesn't even turn on anymore.

I'm baffled. Note the pic that shows the Polder was working fine.

Any ideas / suggestions?

The Mavericks I bought for Big Green Egg use. The Polder I inherited from my mom. So it's kind of sentimental I guess.

Dec 15, 2014
sweet100s in Cookware

halving pork loin roast

fourunder, do you have pictures of your pork loin thirds?
Just curious :-)

Dec 15, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Rosemary roasted potatoes from Ina Garten's Barefoot in London episode

"Hasselback potatoes" - learned a new word!

Thank you!

Dec 15, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Rosemary roasted potatoes from Ina Garten's Barefoot in London episode

She said she used Yukon gold potatoes because they are her favorite.

Where to find Yukon gold's that small?


Dec 14, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Pork Tenderloins en masse

Dec 13, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Hard Hat XII

ieatthereforeiam...My guilty pleasure of kitchen appliances is the Hoshizaki undercounter ice maker. It makes the small "nugget" style ice like hospitals have. Made me wish I could have a tonsillectomy all over again :-).

On day of poker, I put all drink ingredients in the fridge so that it doesn't melt the ice quickly. Then the liquor coats the surface area of the nuggets.

Ditto for my go-to breakfast drink. 1/3 coffee, 1/3 unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 skim milk, 1 SweetNLow packet, all from the fridge + nugget ice.

Aerogarden reviews?

Did that list go away?

Dec 11, 2014
sweet100s in Cookware

Your favorite pumpkin cake

Followup: Totally delicious.

- Moistest cake I've ever made.

- The flavors of the nut topping added so much to the cake! I've never had a nut mixture that delicious before. Next time I'm going to make triple the nut topping mixture and freeze / vacupack some.

- Delicious overall cake flavor

- Loved the cream cheese taste in the icing. It added a "zing" not present in other icings.

- Next morning we used the pan that the brown butter was made in to toast one side of English Muffins. So good.

We ate half and took half to the care center / nursing home that took care of my Dad when he was in hospice.

Thank you Downtown Josie.

Dec 10, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Two SF folks headed to Austin for 48 hours: Where should we eat?

>> We have a rental car but are staying north of the city in Cedar Park.

If you're pinched for time in the morning, or heck, even if you are an early bird and want to try my favorite example of our delicious Kolaches, on your way into Austin, stop at
Donut 7
6:00 am - 12:00 pm


1) Deliciousness
- The migas tacos have all the right flavors and are served piping hot fresh.
- Their kolaches have my favorite dough taste of any kolaches in Austin or in Prague for that matter. The friendly woman at the counter said that her husband experimented with the recipe for a long time. You can see him running the kitchen in the back.

2) Friendly, family run business. Very chowhound-y type of place. The woman at the cash register remembers what I ordered last time, ask about whichever family member or friend I was with last time, etc...

3) Inexpensive. I think they undercharge.

If you get there past 10:00am, they might be out of some things, but they have always been able to make a Migas taco. It's a small place with a steady stream of people coming in and out, but I've always been able to get a seat even if it's the last one.

They have small kolaches with sausages inside. You could grab one as an "appetizer" for any of the other restaurant breakfasts.

Dec 03, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

Slow Roasting Turkey Times... Spatchcocked, Boned & Tied Roll/Porchetta and Single Breast... with Pictures.

The other huge advantage the low and slow approach to Thanksgiving Day is the (how to describe ..) combination of

1) Time certainty of "the turkey will be done in 1 hour!"

2) Flexibility that it seemed to add at the end of all menu prep

i.e., Our turkey was done but one of the side dishes took longer than expected to get ready. The turkey could simply stay in the oven, with the oven off at this point.

When the side dish was ready, I could pull the turkey from the oven and it was still
- Very hot of course
- Immediately ready for slicing

Nov 28, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Slow Roasting Turkey Times... Spatchcocked, Boned & Tied Roll/Porchetta and Single Breast... with Pictures.


Yum. Completely yum. Moist and delicious.

Thank you Fourunder.

Nov 28, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Slow Roasting Turkey Times... Spatchcocked, Boned & Tied Roll/Porchetta and Single Breast... with Pictures.

What size pan (length x width) did you use for what size of turkey?

I am wondering if my pan is going to fit a 10 pound turkey

Nov 26, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Slow Roasting Turkey Times... Spatchcocked, Boned & Tied Roll/Porchetta and Single Breast... with Pictures.

So, you dry brine first, and then do the scary spatchcock - hatchet - cleaver part.

If the butcher were to do the spatchcocking for me, how should I approach the dry brine ?

Nov 21, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Chuck Roast.... Roasted Low and Slow @ 220* F.....For A Better Pot Roast ?(Pictures)

fourunder, do you have any tips for getting a good sear on your roasts?

Which oil do you use?

Cast iron skillet for sear? (then transfer to pan?)

Nov 21, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Slow Roasting Turkey Times... Spatchcocked, Boned & Tied Roll/Porchetta and Single Breast... with Pictures.

FourUnder, If you were in my family, you'd be my favorite Auntie or Uncle or Cousin.

For your knife skills as well as your cooking skills!
(my last knife misadventure cost $750 from the ER and 8 stitches in my left forefinger due to a loaf of sourdough bread and a serrated knife that didn't dig "in" and instead skipped across the loaf and into my finger)

I shall give your approach a try. I have a turkey breast reserved. If I can find a small enough turkey I'll also spatchcock that (such a fun word to say).

Do you dry-brine *after* you spatchcock it or before?

Nov 20, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Slow Roasting Turkey Times... Spatchcocked, Boned & Tied Roll/Porchetta and Single Breast... with Pictures.

I am fascinated by the "two hour rest in a 140* oven".

That doesn't dry it out?

Great thread and pictures. Thank you.

Nov 20, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Black's BBQ + Wheatsville Coop food bar = perfect take out dinner

Before getting takeout from the new Black's BBQ on Guadalupe, I realized Wheatsville Coop was just across the street.

From Blacks:
Brisket for dinner that night - moist, flavorful, right amount of char
Turkey for sandwiches this week - moist and not too smoky
Smallest beef rib part left on the cutting block to sample - Wow. Very tender. Not too salty.
raw onions

From Wheatsville self-service hot food bar:
jalapeno cheddar biscuits, 1/2 of one leftover was still delicious tonight reheated for several minutes at 325, even after being in the fridge several days

From Wheatsville self-service cold food bar
2 types of pasta salads, one with peas that we've enjoyed cold
one with beans that we've reheated

From Wheatsville prepared foods bar with perfectly mounded dishes in the huge bowls:
lemon Parmesean kale salad - totally delicious. Seems like there's something else in there besides lemon and parm... I just wish that anyone who preps kale would remove the woody stems before chopping into small pieces.

Wheatsville's hot foods bar is now open till 9pm. Both the people who work at Wheatsville and their customers are some of the most pleasant and interesting Austinites I encountered while simply grocery shopping.

Nov 19, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

Pecan Shelling

Very cool...

I'd love to make a pecan pie from pecans that I personally grew.

Growing up we had > 20 citrus trees of all kinds in front and back yard including ones grafted in 4H club.

Nov 18, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

Your favorite pumpkin cake

OK... I was thinking they would look too... plain.

Is there a way to make them shiny without too sweet?

Nov 17, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Your favorite pumpkin cake

I'd like to make a caramel sauce to coat the pecans and pumpkin seeds that go on the cake top.

2 questions:

1) Does this recipe look OK to coat nuts with?

2) Can I do this part well in advance?

Nov 16, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Who sells brined turkey breasts?

This year I reserved a Mary's turkey breast from Wheatsville Co-op


I'll brine it with their poultry brine which we've enjoyed on many of their in-store roasted chickens. Wheatsville Co-op has the most moist roasted chicken for re-using in other recipes.

Wheatsville said "All local organic Coyote Creek turkeys have been reserved. For a comparable turkey, we suggest ordering Mary’s Free Range Heritage Breed."

Update from last year:

The Dai Due porchetta was good, but I would not do it again. It seemed like very little meat for the $. I remember
1) wishing I had just stuffed a pork tenderloin.
2) the scant leftovers were quite delicious

Nov 15, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

Where to get good smoked turkey?

Saw a sign at Slab BBQ that they are selling smoked turkeys this year.

Nov 15, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

The Great Burnet Road Chocolate War!!!

Love the title. Look forward to sitreps from those in-the-know.

Nov 13, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

Your favorite pumpkin cake

Ok thanks!

Nov 09, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Your favorite pumpkin cake


Any guesses as to how the cooking time would vary for making muffins vs cake out of that Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake recipe?

I really really want them to turn out moist.

If I were to use an instant read thermometer, what temp would "Moist but Done" read for cupcakes?

Nov 09, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking

Iced tea concentrate - local ingredient sources

Dina and Kosheri, somehow I missed your replies until recently! I called Phoenicia Bakery & Cafe as it was in the path of errands, and asked the person who answered if he had orange blossom water. He said without hesitation, "Of course we have orange blossom water."

Other goodies from Phoenicia:

Freshly made Croissants
The baker had just pulled chocolate croissants out of the oven, so that was impossible to resist. The croissant was huge and delicious. I believe the chocolate was milk chocolate; was expecting semi-sweet. However, they use BIG chunks of chocolate, not tiny pieces like some places make you hunt for.

Freshly made Pita
Made yummy chicken salad sandwiches for dinner

Pistachio Baklava
Haven't tried it yet. My bite is waiting for me.

Misc other things not tried yet:
- olives with feta from the olive bar
- fava bean salad from the refrigerated area in the back left
- tabouleh

Haven't tried it in the tea yet as I just made a 16oz concentrate with Orange Blossom tea leaves added to above recipe from Teavana.

The man working the Phoenicia bakery cash register said to only use a couple drops. He said orange blossom water is one of the "new" flavors coming into trends :-), but it's been used a long time in our desserts.

Nov 09, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

Who has Pumpkin desserts?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh Mr. Grinch,

Yes, the pumpkin permutations get a little out of hand,

but pumpkin desserts are CLASSIC !!!

(Go read the reviews for that brown butter pumpkin cake!)

Nov 07, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

Who has Pumpkin desserts?

I'm in search of delicious pumpkin desserts.

Specifically, next week I'll need a pumpkin cheesecake. I prefer the lighter fluffier cheesecake types, although this is not for me so really any delicious variety might be fine since I'll not have much.

Beyond next week's specific needs, I'm craving something sweet with pumpkin.

HEB's pumpkin cream cake sample tasted really good, but the ingredient list reads like a chemical factory. It's so misleading - they put those HEB-labeled desserts right by the bakery. I asked one of the bakery workers, "Why do you need to add in all the chemicals when it's sold within a day?" She said all the desserts actually arrive frozen from a central location.

Via another Chowhounder, I have settled on this recipe to tackle for Thanksgiving itself:
Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake

But I can't wait till then! Does your favorite bakery (or restaurant) sell a delicious pumpkin dessert?

Nov 07, 2014
sweet100s in Austin

Your favorite pumpkin cake

Oh my gosh, that sounds amazing. Thank you!

Nov 06, 2014
sweet100s in Home Cooking