FOOD FUN: Easter Naked Cake With Chocolate Nest

In our first apartment, we began to bake Easter cakes. For years, we had a Nordicware lamb-shape cake mold. We baked a chocolate cake (a black sheep, as it were), frosted it in vanilla and covered it with white flaked coconut. One year, we out grew the lamb, gave the mold away and moved on…
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RECIPE: Melba Toast

[1] Melba toast and olive tapenade. Here’s the recipe from Sprinkles & Sprouts. [2] Chicken liver paté and Melba toast, with a dab of marmalade. Here’s the recipe from Drizzle And Drip. [3] Salmon tartare and melba toast. Here’s the recipe from Olive Magazine. Crackers or crisps like these are thin and crunchy, but were…
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FOOD 101: Vanilla Vs. French Vanilla

A reader writes: What’s the difference between vanilla and French vanilla? Simply this: Vanilla is the flavoring made from the vanilla bean Vanilla beans themselves are identified in the trade by origin: Indonesian, Madagascar (Bourbon), Mexican, Tahitian, etc. (see the different types (origins) of vanilla beans). Vanilla ice cream without eggs is called Philadelphia-style ice…
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TIP OF THE DAY: Can You Substitute Kosher Salt Or Sea Salt For Table Salt?

While salt can be ground into fine, medium or coarse textures, table salt (top) is always a fine grain, kosher salt (center) a coarser, flat grain, and sea salt anything from finely ground to naturally extra-coarse (bottom photo shows medium-coarse). Photo courtesy Saltworks.us.   Certain recipes specify kosher salt or sea salt instead of table…
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TIP OF THE DAY: Don’t Crowd The Pan…& Use The Right Pan

Top Chef Sylvain Harribey of the Sofitel New York shares this tip: When you cook, don’t overcrowd the pan with the ingredients. In a packed pan, foods end up steaming rather than caramelizing. This adds cooking time and subtracts taste. All ingredients should fit comfortably in one layer. Either use a pan that’s big enough…
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