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Oven Temperatures by the Numbers

by Jane Wangersky October 31st, 2014 | Cooking Basics
Cooking Basics Long ago, when I was just a teen who had forgotten to turn on the oven to start dinner, I thought maybe I could make up for lost time by turning the temperature up as high as it would go. Why did the oven have a setting for 550°, after all?

I learned the hard way that bumping the temperature half again as high does not make the food cook half again as fast. What it does is make the outside of the food cook way too fast while the inside never even gets touched by the heat. In other
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Sugar and Smoke Ham

by Jane Wangersky October 30th, 2014 | Simple Solutions Simple Solutions
Usually, the only reason I buy cooked ham is to slice it up for sandwiches -- unsliced ham is half the price of sliced -- but the last time I went grocery shopping, bone-in cooked ham was on sale, so it was time to figure out how to turn it into a dinner. Actually, I had done that before with boneless ham, but always by cutting the ham into
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Ask The Chef

Crabapples: Not for Eating, But Good for Cooking

by Elizabeth Skipper October 29th, 2014 | Ask the Chef
We just bought a house that has a crab apple tree in the yard.  Are the fruits just decorative, or could I use them for any sort of cooking/recipes?

The mention of crabapples reminds me of a beautiful Christmas-time display I saw at the Concord History Museum years ago. The museum has since changed names and been substantially renovated, but in those days it was rustic. The image which has stayed with me was of a Colonial home decorated for a winter dinner, and in the middle of a plain pine table, amid table settings of pewter, was a wooden
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Best BnB Bites

Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb

by BnB Finder October 28th, 2014 | Best BnB Bites, Recipes
This is a great example of a special main dish  made with simple ingredients: meat, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper. It's finished with a balsamic glaze, which sounds fancy but is made with just vinegar, sugar, and patience. (Allrecipes.com recommends four parts vinegar and one part sugar; for more details check here.) The final touch is polenta, something else that seems exotic but that you can probably find at the supermarket. The Inn & Spa At Cedar Falls - Hocking Hills Lodging in Logan, Ohio, provides this recipe; if you can't get to their cooking
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Shrimp Pancakes- Definitely a Dinner Dish

by TT October 27th, 2014 | Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes, Tapas Monday
Recipes Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast dishes. Whether it's making them at home on a weekend morning or finding them with some interesting filling at a restaurant, I sure do enjoy them.  However, almost every pancake that I have made has tilted toward the sweet.  Zucchini bread pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, and (my children's favorite) chocolate chip pancakes are all meant to be served warm with butter and maple syrup.  Of course, that doesn't mean that I can't try branching out to a new flavor.

So it happened that last week I dipped my toe into the pool
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