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Plenty of Ways to Cook Peaches

by Elizabeth Skipper September 24th, 2014| Ask the Chef
processing-448526_1280I tried grilling peaches as part of our dinner.  I liked that we had warm, more tender peaches. However, I wasn’t crazy about the smoky flavor. To get the same results (minus the smokiness) would it be better to sauté or broil the peaches?

Ah, peaches – one of summer's fleeting wonders. Eaten outside or standing over the sink, a ripe, juicy peach is one of life's great pleasures. And as delicious as they are au naturel, they also take well to cooking. This is especially true if they're not perfectly ripe, because cooking softens them and concentrates their natural
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Mix-in-the-Pan Cherry Crunch

by Jane Wangersky August 7th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
cherry crunchIt’s cherry season around here right now, and I got a good deal on them the other day at the produce store, since I was willing to overlook a few bruised ones. I ate a couple of the unbruised cherries, then stopped, because the inside of my mouth was beginning to feel itchy. It happens every time, so though I like cherries, I can’t really eat them raw. They have to be cooked to destroy whatever it is that causes the reaction in me.

We needed a dessert anyway, so I got to work. First, really wanting to avoid heating
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

by BnB Finder August 5th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Here's a cool pie for those hot days. This time the crust's made of pretzels! You crush them and blend with butter and sugar for an easy press-in pastry that's both sweet and salty, and only takes a few minutes to bake. Next comes a layer of ganache -- if you're not familiar with that, it's a simple filling made with two parts chocolate to one part cream. Just heat the cream, pour it over the chocolate, and stir till smooth.  Finally there's a rich peanut butter-based filling, which you can even garnish with peanut

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What You Need to Caramelize Crème Brûlée

by Elizabeth Skipper July 30th, 2014| Ask the Chef
french-170370_640I don’t own a kitchen torch to make crème brûlée. I have heard that I can use my oven’s broiler. However, I also am worried about putting the glass dishes under the broiler. Won’t the combination of glass and a broiler have bad results?

Putting glass baking dishes like Pyrex or Anchor Hocking under the broiler is definitely not recommended; the manufacturers tell you so. However, don't confuse glass with porcelain or terracotta, both of which are made of clay. Their qualities differ, and both of those can take the heat of a broiler. The predominant material of choice is
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10 Fitch Tropical Breakfast Sorbet

by BnB Finder July 22nd, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
file4041257954147Where I live, we handle winter a lot better than summer -- we're much more used to winter. Lately, it's been too hot even for coffee or tea at breakfast. That's the kind of day when our thoughts turn to breakfasts like this. Though this sorbet is much like ice cream, the creaminess comes from ripe bananas -- and coconut milk, which, like most of the ingredients, comes out of a can. You don't need an ice cream maker; your freezer does the work overnight. If you'd like a getaway that's also quick and easy to plan, try this
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Make Your Own “Jello”, Only Better

by Elizabeth Skipper July 16th, 2014| Ask the Chef
file0001082961770I make most of my desserts from scratch:  cookies, cakes, pies, pudding.  However, I never have made gelatin from scratch. I always buy the flavored box mix.  Is it difficult to make homemade gelatin? I know that I can purchase plain gelatin but wasn’t sure how I would infuse flavors. Any suggestions?

For a minute there, I thought you were asking about making gelatin, not jelled desserts, from scratch. Then I realized you meant making a Jello equivalent, which is whole lot simpler! Making gelatin can be done, but it's a lengthy, somewhat messy, process. Making homemade Jello is easy.

Start
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Fruit Smoothie Ice Cream Tart: Sweet and Easy

by BnB Finder July 8th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Fruit Smoothie Ice Cream Tart

This special dessert takes some time and planning, but it features what has got to be the easiest homemade pie crust ever baked (at just 10 minutes' oven time, it won't heat up the kitchen too much either). And it's just what you need to cool down on a hot summer night. Plain old vanilla ice cream gets blended with fresh fruit for three layers of flavor. Pettigru Place Bed & Breakfast, in Greenville, South Carolina, is the original home of  this recipe. They offer you a peaceful English garden within walking distance

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Gelatin Turns (Almost) Anything to Jelly

by Jane Wangersky July 4th, 2014| Cooking Basics
file6401293551963If you’ve read my aspic recipe, you know I’ve been doing some thinking about gelatin -- not the finished jellied dessert or side dish, but the stuff that makes it that way, plain gelatin. It’s one more of those ingredients that seem to have a magical, one of a kind effect on food they’re used in. The food industry uses it in processed food and packaged mixes, and most of us are fine leaving it to them. But it’s available to home cooks, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t learn to use it ourselves.

As I wrote earlier, you can
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Real Whipped Cream: Keep It Real, Keep It Whipped

by Elizabeth Skipper July 2nd, 2014| Ask the Chef
whipped-cream-354174_640I saw a recipe that has whipped topping (non-dairy) with blueberries and strawberries to make a flag design.  I personally detest whipped topping.  However, I think that homemade whipped cream won’t hold up as well at a cookout.  Any suggestions on what I could use as a topping? The base of the dessert is a simple yellow cake.

I've seen this cake – didn't it originally come from an advertisement? It's perfect for any patriotic occasion, and with July 4th coming up, what a great dessert for a cookout. Of course, it's hot in July; and using whipped topping makes
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Chocolate Banana Tacos

by BnB Finder June 17th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Chocolate Banana TacosThis week we're taking a break from salads to bring you a recipe for a unique dessert that delivers plenty of sweetness without a whole lot of sugar.  Though this looks like decadent pastry with a rich filling, it starts out as simple flour tortillas baked into cup shapes. The creamy filling is sugar-free white chocolate pudding, finished off with bananas and a drizzle of chocolate sauce and maybe some whipped cream and cocoa. From Bass & Baskets Bed and Breakfast on the shores of Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, "Your Home at the Lake" complete with
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15 Years, 15 Best Recipes

by BnB Finder June 3rd, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
bacon-jamEvery week, we bring you one of the best recipes from another great bed and breakfast, courtesy of our friends at BnBFinder.com. This online resource not only helps you find a unique place to stay in any part of the country, but also offers special deals, gift certificates, and of course an extensive collection of recipes. On June 1st, BnBFinder celebrated its 15th anniversary, and in honor of the occasion we're looking back at 15 of our, and our readers', favorite Best BnB Bites from over the past two and a half years. We hope you're inspired
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Pecan Pie — It’s Really A Custard

by Elizabeth Skipper May 21st, 2014| Ask the Chef
pies2Is there a specific ratio for eggs, corn syrup, and melted butter in pecan pie?  I have used the same recipe the last two times I made it, but the filling stayed runny.  I didn’t want to bake it any longer, as it would burn. I was thinking that I might need to use less of one of the liquid ingredients; my current recipe uses 3 eggs, 1 cup corn syrup, and 1/3 cup butter.  Do you have any advice?

There are specific ratios for the amount of liquid ingredients a certain number of eggs will set. When we learned
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