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Cooking Wheat Berries

by Elizabeth Skipper November 26th, 2014 | Ask the Chef
Ask The Chef I just cooked with wheat berries for the first time. Following the recipe, I cooked the wheat berries for almost 2 hours (simmering in broth).  They were excellent!  I was wondering if there is a quicker way to cook them or if I could put them in a crock pot, so I don’t have to spend hours waiting for them in the evening.

 Two hours seems like an awfully long time to cook, even for a hard grain like wheat berries. There are a few possibilities as to why your wheat berries took so long, and some remedies.

 Do you know
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Brûléed Butternut Squash- Guaranteed to Please

by TT November 24th, 2014 | Recipes, Side Dishes Recipes
Two weeks ago I wrote about the easiest way to cook butternut squash.  If I only needed to serve myself, I would make squash this way and top it with the smallest amount of brown sugar and cinnamon. However, I usually have at least two other diners.  One of them is our 16 year old daughter, and she does not have the same love for winter squash that I
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Cooking Basics

Timing Your Thanksgiving Side Dishes

by Jane Wangersky November 21st, 2014 | Cooking Basics
As Thanksgiving gets near, there's a lot of cooking advice being sought and given out, most of it about turkey – understandably. But let's not forget the side dishes that are some people's favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner, and that are too easy to overlook in the quest for the perfect turkey.

Of course, the dinner does revolve around the turkey, so timing for the side dishes and everything else will have to be based on its schedule. The first thing to do is figure out when you want dinner, then count back to when you'll have to start the
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Recipes

Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar Carrot Stuffing

by Jane Wangersky November 20th, 2014 | Recipes, Simple Solutions
Sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping are a holiday food that cause just about as much disagreement as fruitcake – maybe more, because lots of people actually like this sweet potato dish. Others . . . well, I remember reading a Thanksgiving cookbook whose author had meant to put in a recipe for them, but, as she wrote, just couldn't bring herself to do it.

Still, for many families, sweet potatoes in some form are just part of Thanksgiving. And of course there are other ways to cook them. You can always just bake them like regular potatoes, but there are
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Making the Best Mashed Potatoes

by Elizabeth Skipper November 19th, 2014 | Ask the Chef
Ask The Chef We keep skim milk at home, so whenever I make mashed potatoes I use that. However, I was wondering if whole milk or cream might make them better. Or would cream be too rich? I also use butter. I want to make the tastiest mashed potatoes possible; any help is appreciated.

Good mashed potatoes rely on more than simply the kind of liquid used, although, yes, I do think  whole milk vs. skim milk will improve them. (I remember my dad marveling that when they removed the cream – the good stuff – from the milk, they raised the price.
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