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Hot cocoa DRY mix recipe - best practices

I used whole fat (nido brand), and it worked great with the cocoa. Good luck!

Apr 19, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

scotch/whiskey barrel/kit? (making, aging, storing)

JMF - this is super helpful! sounds like i'd be paying for just the novelty aspect, which is fine, but good to know. i did learn about angel's share, cuts, heads, etc. while in scotland, which is why i was so skeptical that something like this could work.

you mention something interesting to me… my husband LOVES negronis. i didn't know you could age cocktails like this. after 2-4 weeks in a small barrel, would you just take the leftover negroni out and store in a bottle so it doesn't overage? and then would it last indefinitely? thanks for your help!

Mar 28, 2014
jen223 in Spirits

scotch/whiskey barrel/kit? (making, aging, storing)

i'm probably more interested in buying an empty barrel and giving my husband the choice of what to do with it, whether that's making his own scotch whiskey or just filling it with scotch he already has as a novelty (although i'm guessing that would affect the flavor of whatever he ends up putting in it??)

thanks!

Mar 26, 2014
jen223 in Spirits

scotch/whiskey barrel/kit? (making, aging, storing)

i heard that the smaller the barrel, the faster the aging since there is more surface area exposure. so if i got him a 1-2L barrel, the aging can happen quite quickly.

anyway, thanks for the link - i will check it out!

Mar 26, 2014
jen223 in Spirits

scotch/whiskey barrel/kit? (making, aging, storing)

i'm looking into getting my husband a whiskey/scotch barrel for his birthday but am confused by the options i have. please help!

i'll be the first to admit that i know very little about spirits. my husband enjoys scotch and has joked about getting a barrel imported and engraved to age here at home. well i'd like to get a custom barrel engraved with his name, but i'm don't understand how these barrels work.

it seems you can actually MAKE whiskey/scotch in them? is this really possible? i've visited distilleries in scotland, and it seems much more complicated than adding essence to grain alcohol.

ideally the barrel i get for him would be multi-purpose - storing his current bottles of scotch for fun presentation/dispensing when we have guests, aging whiskey/scotch if he chooses, and then making it if he's really ambitious.

any thoughts? i came across this link (http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/201...) as a start but am focusing on the options where i can custom engrave his name, like this: http://www.mancavegifts.com/personali...

would be good to understand what exactly one can really do with one of these barrels, as it's not too clear to me from the descriptions.

thanks, hounds!

Mar 26, 2014
jen223 in Spirits

Extra day - Penang or Kuala Lumpur?

We stayed at the Anantara Veli resort, which I'm convinced is the most perfect honeymoon choice ever! Its location and setup in the Maldives was just perfect. We enjoyed the restaurants there and at their sister resort Dhigu, which is right next to Veli and accessible by 30 sec boat that goes back and forth constantly between the two islands. We thought the Thai restaurant (Baan Hara?) was particularly great and went twice in our short stay. We went over New year's so attended their buffet finer, which was wonderful. Overall the food is leagues above almost all resorts I've been to, but you're also paying a lot for the food here... probably due to both quality and difficulty getting ingredients to such a remote island. Congratulations and good luck! I hope you do go to the Maldives for your honeymoon!

Feb 17, 2014
jen223 in China & Southeast Asia

Chinese new year cake?

That's exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for the bakery recommendations

Jan 29, 2014
jen223 in Philadelphia

Chinese new year cake?

I'll be in town tomorrow for work and would like to pick up a Chinese new year cake (the traditional steamed kind). Any suggestions on where to go for this? Assuming bakeries in Chinatown or the Vietnamese area... anyone know if a particular place with a good, fresh one? Thanks!

Jan 28, 2014
jen223 in Philadelphia

Freeze-dried fruit in cookies?

Thanks! Where does one find powdered sour cream? I've never heard of such a thing!

Jan 24, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

Freeze-dried fruit in cookies?

Ooh these are pretty - thanks for the input. I think I might go with the freeze-dried strawberries, oatmeal, milk crumbs a la Momofuku, and maybe a few chocolate chips or Rice Krispies or pretzels thrown in. They're getting less healthy as I keep thinking about them, but I think they'll look pretty at least!

Jan 24, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

Freeze-dried fruit in cookies?

Thanks, pinehurst. I'm indifferent to moist, but if they did soften up, I'd want to add something crunchy/hard for texture.

Muffin batter is more liquid-y than cookie batter, so maybe the drier batter will keep the freeze-dried fruit from softening up.

Care to share your muffin recipe? I'm thinking freeze-dried strawberries in a healthier muffin sounds delicious!

Jan 24, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

Freeze-dried fruit in cookies?

I've been on a cookie-baking bender lately, and now I'm looking to make more of a "healthy" cookie. I also visited Trader Joe's lately and bought various bags of freeze-dried fruit, which I love and think is much better than regular dried fruit.

So I'm thinking I'd like to make a cookie with freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries, but I'm wondering if I should alter my recipe at all. Will the fruit soak up moisture from the batter, making the batter less moist? Along the same lines, will the fruit end up staying crunchy or becoming soft after baking? I have my theories but am curious as to what everyone thinks.

I'm thinking about making oatmeal cookies with freeze-dried strawberries/raspberries, a few chocolate chips, and maybe Rice Krispies thrown in there for extra texture (although, would the cereal stay crunchy after baking??). And maybe some powdered milk to give it a "strawberries 'n' cream oatmeal" feel.

Jan 24, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

have itinerary, need recs on what to order

Thanks, everyone! Any more recs appreciated. We had massive travel delays that resulted in US missing all of Thursday, but so far everything has been great.

Jan 18, 2014
jen223 in New Orleans

have itinerary, need recs on what to order

Hi hounds! I'm at the airport on my way to your lovely city (which I understand is COLD at the moment). We have an itinerary but would like to know what you suggest pursuing at each place to get the best dishes, variety, and representation of the NOLA experience. There are 2 of us, we eat anything (although I'm pregnant currently), and want good local eats. Thanks in advance! Also, any live music or activity recommendations (other than snug harbor) are appreciated as well.

Also let me know if any of these as ordered don't make sense or if you can help fill a gap. Need to add a po' boy place as well. Thanks!

THURSDAY
lunch: perino's boiling pot
dinner: jacques'imos
after: French 75? (cocktails)

FRIDAY
breakfast: ?
lunch: galatoire's
snack: angelo brocato
dinner: august

SATURDAY
pre-breakfast: vietnamese farmer's market
breakfast: Dong Phuong Bakery
lunch: vietnamese - Tan Dinh?  Ba Mien?  Pho Tau Bay?
dinner: brigsten's
After: snug harbor

SUNDAY
breakfast: cafe du monde
lunch: dookie chase
dinner: emeril's

MONDAY
breakfast: court of 2 sisters?

Jan 16, 2014
jen223 in New Orleans

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

DuffyH - I do have to mention that this happened to a friend of mine with a different word. I don't remember what the word was, but when I tried to type in that exact word into my phone, my phone instead autocorrected it to something different. So I concluded that he must've used that other word often enough that his phone memorized his usage! I was going to ask you if you had to consider why that word popped up on your son's phone, but when I "Swype" the word "orgy"on my phone, I also get "orgy". Oh well, would've been interesting.

At work, I generally proofread all my emails, but once I got a few laughs from typing out "tit" instead of "it". Actually, this happens quite often, but I usually catch it. Wonder what that says about me!

Jan 15, 2014
jen223 in Not About Food

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

Ha! I do generally prefer to write in all lowercase, especially if I'm in a hurry. Although right now I'm writing from my phone, which capitalizes on my behalf (although not always correctly). Let me be clear - I don't have issues with misspellings or grammar in general. It's only if it's so bad that it interferes with my reading of the post. I don't think lack of capitalization has this kind of effect, although if I were typing in all lowercase, I'd probably still capitalize names of books, etc. I think I actually capitalize in most of my Chowhound posts and this might be an exception! But note that I called out horrible grammar and punctuation, not capitalization!

So please note, for the record, I don't expect people to write perfectly (I'm a chemical engineer by training, so this stuff isn't my forte by default!). I'm just pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to read posts here and also value the discussions, so I end up wondering why this is such a better experience than elsewhere and can only conclude that it's the people.

Jan 14, 2014
jen223 in Not About Food

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

you may have a point there. the other board has moderators, who have rules to follow (not allowing direct attacks, but allowing opinions, etc.). BUT there are no rules (that are enforced at least!) around drama-inducing, stupid, or incomprehensible posts. the moderators are posters themselves, and i find it hard to understand a couple of them as well.

and i'm not being a snob! i do believe in spelling and grammar, but i'm not going to make a big deal about it unless it gets to the point where i can't understand what's being said. or if i need to re-read over and over to understand what's being said. usually the culprit is lack of punctuation - run-on sentences can be especially painful, but i'm fine with fragments!

i just believe that trying to understand what someone is saying shouldn't have to be difficult if the topic itself isn't a foreign or complex concept!

Jan 14, 2014
jen223 in Not About Food

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

thank you! my first child (daughter) will hopefully be born healthy and happy in a couple of months! looking forward to getting wiser and gaining new experiences, even if it doesn't mean i'll get any smarter!

Jan 14, 2014
jen223 in Not About Food

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

i didn't think i was young, but i guess if the average age is 40-50, i'm a baby at (almost) 33. i do agree that my palate is much more developed now than it was at 22 (being a poor college kid doesn't allow for much dining extravagance), but i don't know that my ability to structure thoughts and convey them has really increased much!

I do agree with being wiser, though. my bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 22-year old self was ready to conquer the world. by 28 i was already mostly jaded. now… i'm with you. there is so much i will never know, and i've (somewhat) learned to try to be happy with my state in life!

Jan 14, 2014
jen223 in Not About Food

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

i wouldn't have guessed that the average age is 40-50! now i feel like i'll take everyone's comments more seriously knowing that you have a few more years of experience with food than i do!

the people on the pregnancy boards are definitely interesting… i have to admit sometimes i'll get hooked on a thread. it's almost like watching really bad reality TV.

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Not About Food

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

do you think so? i know from the pregnancy board i'm on, an age poll of 400+ people showed a distribution that made the mean probably around age 28.

maybe it's just the younger moms-to-be that are the most active in posting nonsense on that board, but i don't think i'm much smarter now than i was at age 28, and at 28 i don't think i was much smarter than at 22 (at least not from a board/forum posting perspective!).

i wonder what the average age of chowhound users is...

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Not About Food

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

this post is likely to get me in trouble from just the question itself, but i'm wondering if there's a correlation between intelligence and curiosity/passion for food. of course intelligence can be defined in various ways, blah blah blah, but i find that the comments from hounds are generally good ones.

lately i've been spending most of my online board time split between chowhound and a pregnancy board, and i've realized it's so much more of a pleasure to browse the posts on this board. on my pregnancy board, my head hurts from reading through horrible grammar and particularly lack of punctuation. and it seems the commentary and questions from posters usually make no sense, add little to the discussion, or don't make me think "interesting!" or "good question" like they do here.

of course all boards have their share of people causing drama or not adding any value, but i'd say we all have a great community here compared to others i've seen!

any thoughts?

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Not About Food

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

with the after eight, do you mean the thin wafer? i guess you make a sort of sandwich with the dough surrounding the wafer? great idea

also like tara's pretzel idea… all these sound WAY better than just chocolate chip cookies!

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

also brilliant!! do you start with the dough at a warmer temp or some other technique so that they spread more easily and become thinner? or you use them at the same thickness as normal?

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

RICE KRISPIES! that's actually brilliant. i'm assuming they hold up their crunch and texture through baking?

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

i've heard about these pasteurized eggs, although at my grocery store i never could find them… i'll have to check out that brand.

the dried fruits is a good idea, especially to counter the richness of the cookie dough i make!

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

interesting… i thought eggs were needed for the moisture and air (after beating). do you have a recipe or just replace eggs with cream cheese by volume?

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

i'm not a fan of plain nuts in my desserts, but you gave me the idea of pralines. i think that could be good!

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

i'm with you on eating the dough… one of the hardest parts of my pregnancy at the moment isn't trying to stay away from booze, raw fish/meats, etc… it's not licking the spoon and eating any of the raw cookie dough! having a glass of wine is a conscious act, whereas apparently for me, trying cookie dough or raw cake batter is just instinct and subconscious!

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

does anyone else really like to make chocolate chip cookies… but then think they'd be better without the chocolate chips? i'm generally not a big chocolate person and can easily be overwhelmed by too much chocolate in these cookies (unless heated up and served w/vanilla ice cream… COMPLETELY different story).

what would you call such a cookie? other than something like chocolate chipless cookies. i don't know that i'd call them sugar cookies because of the brown sugar. would they be butter cookies?

is there a better recipe for chocolate chipless cookies other than making chocolate chip cookies and omitting the chocolate chips??

anyone else similar to me put something else in these cookies instead of chocolate chips that they really like? peanut butter or butterscotch won't do it for me… maybe i might try toffee bits or caramel nubs. but i still think i prefer just the dough...

Jan 13, 2014
jen223 in Home Cooking