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Last time we looked at a couple of incredible American dishes. This time we’re going to continue with two more of our twists on the best to come out of the USA and tell you guys exactly what our community thought of them…turns out we’re not always right!
This time let’s start with the savoury sensation that is mac ’n’ cheese balls. Yes, mac ’n’ cheese, surrounding melt-in-the-mouth short ribs then deep fried. We know…not everything in America is deep fried or unhealthy, and in fact many restaurants and households are now challenging that preconception…but sometimes you’ve just got to indulge in stuff like this and so it’s worth it!
This one kind of split people down the middle. There were a lot of mouths watering, but at the same time a lot of people were saying that it was most definitely not American. We always try to put our twist on dishes and sometimes we can really change things up! We really do associate mac ’n’ cheese and the most amazing short ribs with the US, but perhaps not all wrapped into a ball and covered in breadcrumbs! We can testify to them tasting great, but definitely a once-in-a-while thing. What do you reckon?
We couldn’t write a couple of posts on the USA without mentioning the ultimate sweet treat; cinnamon buns. We naturally associated it with America. It seems pretty popular over there and people certainly have strong opinions…we made the unforgivable mistake of cutting our rolls instead of tearing, and in hindsight why wouldn’t we jump right in and tear into that amazing bread?
Of course, having associated it so strongly with the US, our community promptly told us that it originated in Scandinavia! Apparently the Swedish version even has a national day dedicated to it!
So there you have it; some of the best conversation we have around food is hearing other people’s expertise and opinions. One of the best ways to become a better cook is to listen to other people talk about their own experiences and learn from it. Food really is the only truly universal language!
How to Make Vietnamese Beef Broth, Part Two: The Phở-low Up
Note: Read part 1 from Tam for the phở recipe and other tips.
It's impossible to keep phở a secret, Tam informed me. Such was the start of our phở get-together. She arrived at my apartment lugging a backpack crammed with gallons of phở broth, chunks of deboned oxtail, and little jars of fish sauce. Neatly sorted packets of noodles, bean sprouts, and mint completed the ensemble. If she'd brought a portable stove, she could've set up shop on my curb.
Unlike Tam, I didn't grow up eating phở. My education of the broth began in Vietnamese noodle joints, where bowls of noodles are assembled and slapped onto the table in a matter of minutes. Over the years, I've done a lot of harrumphing in Vietnamese phở joints. All the components of phở—from the beguiling broth to the doneness of the rice noodles—must be executed with care for the meal to reach sublime heights. Too often at restaurants, the beef flank used to make the broth is sliced thinly and served as a rubbery topping. (Ever notice that every permutation of phở invariably comes with "well-stewed" flank?) And the soup, oily from the beef fat with which it was stewed, becomes too cloying after a few initial sips. These days I make phở broth at home, de-fatting to my heart's content.
What's That Flavor?
The taste of phở broth had always seemed indecipherable to my palate. Spikes of cinnamon and anise came through, but what was that extra autumnal hint? Cloves, it turns out, completes the trio. Whole onions, charred over direct fire until the skin is smoldering black and the interior oozes caramelized juice, imparts sweetness to the broth. Large segments of ginger are given the same treatment.
Charring the onions and ginger is my favorite part of the process. In the summer I'll toss an onion or two on the grill so that I'm always prepared to break out the bags of beef bones in the winter, the charring is easily done over the direct flames of the stovetop. An exhaust fan is handy to have in such circumstances, but opening the windows suffices. Charring the vegetables indoors lends a distinct advantage over doing so on the grill: away from ambient noise, the crackling of the onion skin is a melody on the stove.
Using Beef Knee
My favorite cuts to use for phở are beef knee bones coupled with oxtail. Beef knee bones are widely sold at Korean or Vietnamese grocery stores for the express purpose of making broth. Primarily comprised of bone, tendon, and fat, every joint also comes attached with a small chunk of flesh. The tender little segments of meat are some the best part of the soup. Having absorbed hints of anise and cinnamon, the tendon on the bones are soft and gelatinous. In the company of friends who like to gnaw, I'll leave the oxtail meat on the bone. For convenience, debone the knee joints, reserving the meat and tendon.
A Few More Phở-Making Tips
Tam's experiments with phở display her expertise in the broth. As a counterpart, I'll share some of my rookie mistakes. First and foremost, leave the meat to slowly cool down in the broth. Once I made the mistake of retrieving the oxtail and the knee bones from the broth immediately after cooking. After a mere ten minutes out of the pot, the meat had shriveled up and darkened to a hue like dark coffee, becoming tough and stringy in the process. To prevent such disastrous results after many hours of tending, let the meat acclimate to the change in temperature by leaving it in the broth. (Alternatively, as Vietnamese cooking teacher and cookbook author Andrea Nguyen confirmed with me through email correspondence, plunging your meat into water allows it to absorb extra moisture right away.)
Second, be judicious when adding the fish sauce and spices. Fish sauce, the omnipresent ingredient in Vietnamese cookery, provides savory depth to the broth. Larger amounts of the seasoning, however, interfere with the beefiness of the broth. The same can be said of the cloves, anise, and cinnamon sticks. Over the course of many hours, the strength of these spices builds slowly yet forcefully, so a broth that doesn't taste particularly spiced after two hours of simmering will most likely taste balanced after another hour on the stove.
Finally, the method I follow differs from Tam's version only in its cooking time and choice of bones (a combination of knee bones and oxtail, rather than using only the latter). While Tam's patience in simmering oxtail yields intensely beefy results, I've never been disappointed with a pot of broth that's been simmered for a mere three hours instead of eight. Instead of bringing the broth to a barely simmering point, let it simmer gently so that the bubbles are small but apparent.
Chefs and recipes
As should be clear by now, the ponies in the show don't just eat raw or unexplained "it's magic" dishes. They also combine ingredients and cook. There are other non-pony creatures that can cook, as well.
- takes out a marshmallow on a stick from out of nowhere during Griffon the Brush Off, and roasts it on the fire Gilda breathed out from a vanilla lemon drop (with pepper inside) she ate.
- In The Ticket Master, Daffodil and daisy sandwiches and hay fries are served at Ponyville's café. In real life, daffodils are poisonous to equines. is described by Pinkie Pie as "the best baker ever" during Applebuck Season. Applejack herself says she can "bake anything from fritters to pies in the blink of an eye."
- In Applebuck Season, when Applejack struggles to hear what Twilight Sparkle is saying, she mistakes some phrases for foods like celery, beans, and kelp/seaweed.
- In The Ticket Master, Angel mixes and offers a salad to Twilight Sparkle.
- In Bridle Gossip, Applejack uses the exclamation "good gravy". is herself an enthusiastic baker, although her tendency to enjoy hot sauce (in Friendship is Magic, part 1) and blackened cupcakes (in Call of the Cutie) raises questions about the quality of her results. Nevertheless, she also happens to be the only employee of Sugarcube Corner.
- In Call of the Cutie, the young pony Twist makes her own peppermint sticks, mentioned by her.
- In Call of the Cutie, Apple Bloom tries to bake cupcakes with Pinkie Pie, but the results are a messy kitchen, blackened cupcakes that only Pinkie finds edible, and a very unhappy young filly.
- In various locations, processed snack foods that are sold commercially are also available, including potato chips and soda. In the real world, potatoes are not recommended as horse feed Equestrians, however, seem to enjoy them.
- In The Show Stoppers, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle attempt to make taffy in hopes of earning their cutie marks.
- In A Bird in the Hoof, Fluttershy makes some homemade soup for Philomena.
- In Over a Barrel, Pinkie Pie eats some mushy foods made by the buffaloes.
- Cider made from apples exists in Equestria.
- In Owl's Well That Ends Well, Spike drops by at Sugarcube Corner to ask Pinkie Pie for a quill. She does not have a quill, but she offers him a series of things, including the food items quiche and a quesadilla.
- In Fall Weather Friends, Pinkie Pie mentions a hot dog with ketchup and/or mustard after Spike says how Rainbow Dash is determined to "catch up".
- In Look Before You Sleep, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, and Applejack make s'mores together.
- In Sisterhooves Social, Sweetie Belle attempts to make breakfast for her whole family, but the results are burnt foods and smoke, including burnt juice and burnt toast (which appears to look like burnt applesauce). After their parents leave for their vacation, Rarity cooks some fried eggs but teaches Sweetie Belle how to add a sprig of parsley onto the eggs correctly. At the end of the episode, dark clouds of smoke roam around the kitchen, once again, but Sweetie Belle successfully bakes a pie.
- In Sisterhooves Social, Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Applejack roast marshmallows together.
- In The Last Roundup, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Twilight Sparkle help sort cherries in a cherry factory at Dodge Junction while asking Applejack many questions about why she won't come back to Ponyville.
- In The Last Roundup, when Rainbow Dash forces Applejack to "spill the beans", Pinkie Pie takes that literally and mentions beans and the words that rhyme with beans.
- In Read It and Weep, Rainbow Dash eats the hospital food of greens, a gelatin block, and a glass of carrot juice.
- In Putting Your Hoof Down, Fluttershy makes a special salad for her rabbit, Angel, after Rarity and Pinkie Pie help her obtain all the ingredients (except for a cherry) needed for it.
- At a picnic in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1 are Swiss cheese, cucumber, tomato, romaine lettuce, and bologna sandwiches in closeups, the bologna disappears. In some frames, the same sandwich has two pimento olives stuck with toothpicks and in others, they are missing. Frosted cake, an apple, and glasses of water are also there.
- The Crystal Empire's Crystal Faire offers berry pie, crystal corn, nectar, and fritters.
- In Too Many Pinkie Pies, Twilight Sparkle works on a spell that turns objects into oranges.
- In One Bad Apple, Carrot crêpes are served for the Summer Harvest Parade.
- In Apple Family Reunion, making apple fritters is a tradition for the Apple family reunion.
- In Keep Calm and Flutter On, Fluttershy and Discord prepare a dinner party for Fluttershy's friends in order to negotiate with and reform Discord. Fluttershy offers Pinkie gravy from a gravy boat.
- In Just for Sidekicks, Spike attempts to make a jewel cake but ends up eating the gems before he can mix them into the cake batter.
My Little Pony Equestria Girls
- The human counterparts of Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy are eating burgers.
- The human counterpart of Derpy is seen holding a muffin.
- In Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2, Discord eats some popcorn.
- In Rarity Takes Manehattan, Spike and some ponies eat carrot dogs.
- In Rarity Takes Manehattan, Suri Polomare orders Coco Pommel to get her some coffee.
- In Three's A Crowd, Discord requests many things during Glass of Water, including tea with honey, pumpkin soup, milk, pastries from Abyssinia, noodles, homemade rye with stacks of Swiss cheese, and sweet mince pies.
- In Pinkie Pride, during The Super Duper Party Pony song, Cheese Sandwich mentions certain food items that can be served during his parties, such as fizzy drinks and brie fondue.
- In Pinkie Pride, during the Make a Wish song in Rainbow Dash's party, Rainbow, Pinkie, and Cheese Sandwich nibble on a giant pizza with sliced tomatoes and cupcakes on it.
- In Twilight Time, a restaurant in Ponyville serves hayburgers and horseshoe-shaped fries or onion rings, along with milkshakes.
- In Maud Pie, Pinkie Pie makes rock candy (with actual rocks among the ingredients) to trade with her sister, Maud.
- In Trade Ya!, Amethyst Star gives Sassaflash a pineapple.
- In Trade Ya!, a booth selling oatburgers is seen.
- In Inspiration Manifestation, Rarity is eating ice cream and a box of chocolates while stressed.
Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
- During Battle, students are shown eating spaghetti, french fries, yogurt, and sandwiches. They are also shown drinking multiple kinds of juice boxes.
- For Pinkie Pie's slumber party, she orders pizza.
- When Sunset Shimmer opens Pinkie Pie's refrigerator, she finds many cans of whipped cream.
- In the middle of the night, while Twilight and Sunset Shimmer have a conversation in Pinkie Pie's kitchen, Maud comes in, feeding Boulder a box of crackers.
- In Castle Sweet Castle, the Mane Six have a pancake breakfast together in the castle dining room.
- In Appleoosa's Most Wanted, two ponies are eating caramel apples.
- In Canterlot Boutique, Pinkie Pie is seen serving strawberry cinnamon cilantro cupcakes.
- In Hearthbreakers, the Pie family serves rock soup for Hearth's Warming dinner. Once the Pies get along with the Apples, Limestone Pie makes Apple Bloom sweet rolls.
Friendship is Magic, part 1, The Ticket Master, Suited For Success, and Hard to Say Anything make use of a running gag—the listing of various apple-themed treats. Mentioned are:
- Apple pie
- Apple fritter
- Apple dumpling
- Apple crisp
- Apple crumble
- Apple Brown Betty
- Dutch apple pie
- Candied apple on a stick
- Apple turnover
- Apple cobbler
Pinkie Pie names the following ingredients for muffins in Applebuck Season:
- Chocolate chips
- Baking soda
- Flour (a cup)
- Wheat germ
Applejack mistakes some of the above ingredients for the following items:
- Potato chips (chocolate chips)
- Soda (baking soda)
- Lemons "a cuppa sour" (flour)
- Earthworms "wheat worms" (wheat germ)
Pinkie Pie sings about the ingredients for cupcakes in the Cupcake Song:
- Flour (a cup)
- Mix (the flour is added to it)
- Something sweet (shown as a lollipop, a candy stick, and a wrapped sweet)
- Salt ("just a pinch")
- Vanilla (a teaspoon, but "add a little more, and you count to four")
Various Zap Apple desserts.
In the episode Family Appreciation Day, Granny Smith and Apple Bloom make Zap Apple jam from Zap Apples, rainbow-colored apples discovered in the Everfree Forest by Granny Smith. In Granny Smith's flashback, her family also makes many different Zap Apple desserts.
In the episode The Last Roundup, Pinkie Pie mentions a Chimichanga-like dish that consists of "mashed up cherries in a tortilla that's deep-fried." She alters the name of this dish between 'Cherrychanga', 'Chimicherry', and 'Chimicherrychanga' several times in the course of her long-winded conversation with Applejack. However, she admits that she made it up herself. Applejack mentions that Cherry Jubilee, the owner of Cherry Hill Ranch, had a cherry stand at the rodeo selling cherry winks, cherry cheesecake, and cherry tarts.
In MMMystery on the Friendship Express, four desserts take the train to Canterlot for the National Dessert Competition. However, the competitors argue about whose dessert will win and make them the best bakers in all of Equestria. The competitors and their desserts are:
- with the Cakes' Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness (or simply as MMMM) with his Exquisite Éclairs with his "Donutopia", a small platter of donuts with sprinkles, resembling a city with her chocolate mousse moose the size of an actual moose
The next day, the desserts were partially eaten, causing Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle to start a case of which characters ate the desserts and found clues of those who ate the desserts. The accused characters who ate the desserts are:
- , Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash, who had bites of the MMMM , who ate parts of Gustave le Grand's éclairs , who ate parts of Mulia Mild's chocolate mousse moose , who ate parts of Pony Joe's "Donutopia"
In the end, the characters confess that they ate the desserts because the desserts look irresistible, and apologize to the owners of the desserts. The competitors then all agree to combine their desserts and form a new, huge dessert, which ends up winning the first prize. The episode ends with Pinkie Pie eating the whole cake in one bite. and ends up bloated. before eating the fourth wall. Applejack, although wanting a bit of cake at the beginning of the trip, was entirely innocent.
In the episode The Crystal Empire - Part 1, Applejack mentions in The Ballad of the Crystal Empire that the Crystal Ponies made sweets with crystal berries. In the same episode, Rainbow Dash offers a Crystal Pony "Crystal Empire berry pie" and "crystal corn on the cob", the latter of which has cube-shaped kernels. Several ponies eat corn throughout the two episodes.
Applejack bakes the Ponyville team Apple Brown Bettys in Rainbow Falls.
The Apples mention numerous foods served at Hearth's Warming dinner, such as six-layer bean dip, mulled cider, and double-baked pot pie in Hearthbreakers.
In My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy, a pirate trades his golden teeth for a pineapple pie. In Issue #14, Applejack makes seaweed muffins.
In My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #2, Applejack exclaims "Pork chops and apple sauce!" when lightning from the cloud gremlins' cloud strikes a tree near her.
In My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #3, Aria Blaze refers to Canterlot as "the greatest thing since sliced bread!"
In the German magazine comic Wundersame Apfelkekse, Pinkie Pie makes apple cookies with laughter-inducing magic flower dust.
In the German magazine comic "A Bright Idea", Fluttershy makes some herbal tea using mint and balm, in order to help Pinkie Pie regain her voice.
Mr. and Mrs. Cake, the owners and operators of Sugarcube Corner and Pinkie Pie's employers, bake desserts in multiple episodes.
According to her "Friendship Club" description, Queen Novo "enjoys the finer things in life, like Coconut Martinis and massages from an Octopus named Jamal."
In the first episode of PonyChat, Gavin and Isabella have an ice cream social with other humans at a My Little Pony-themed ice cream shop.
In the fifth episode of PonyChat, Hannah and Amaryllis have an Apple family-themed slushie stand whereat apple slushies and pear slushies are shared.
In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #63, Pinkie Pie confesses that "When nobody is looking, I eat a lot of vegetables."
Hungry Planet: What The World Eats
A merican photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D&rsquoAluisio have traveled the world documenting that most basic of human behaviors&mdashwhat we eat. Their project, &ldquoHungry Planet,&rdquo depicts everything that an average family consumes in a given week&mdashand what it costs. The pair released their book “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats” in 2005, showcasing meals in 24 countries.
The Ayme family of Tingo, Ecuador, was pictured with a haul of vegetables. The Natomo family of Kouakourou, in south-central Mali, sat for a portrait on the roof of their home with sacks of grains. And among the favorite foods listed by the Madsen family of Greenland was polar bear and the skin of a narwhal, or a medium-sized toothed whale.
In 2013 and 2014, their &ldquoHungry Planet&rdquo portraits were exhibited by the Nobel Peace Center to give viewers a peek into kitchens from Norway to Kuwait and China to Mexico, and to raise awareness about how environments and cultures influence the cost and calories of the world&rsquos dinners.
The Best of the Best
Oprah calls her Legends Weekend one of the great highlights of her life. During the three-day celebration at her home in Santa Barbara, California, she honored African-American women who have paved the way for others. On Monday, May 22, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, she's sharing the once-in-a-lifetime event during the primetime special Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball.
Recently, the stars got a sneak peek at the premiere in New York. Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Barbara Walters, Tyra Banks, Alicia Keyes, Tyler Perry and many others were there for the big night. Rapper P. Diddy was especially moved—Gayle says that he got so emotional he said he was "buggin'."
Celebrate Oprah's Legends and the legends in your own life—throw a party to watch the party! Invite your friends over and toast the occasion.
First stop, the Icebox Café in Miami! Before Gayle sits down with owner Robert Siegmann to sample the sweets, she asks for a moment to ogle the divine desserts in the bakery's display case. "Chocolate and cookies and pies, oh my!" Gayle says. "Am I in heaven and don't know it?"
She starts by tasting the cinnamon butter bundt cake. "This is very, very, very good," says Gayle. Other popular cakes at The Icebox include strawberry shortcake, coconut buttercream cake and "The Bomb," a cheesecake brownie sandwiched inside chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling.
Shaq and Shaunie sit down with Gayle in the kitchen to sample the goods, starting with a favorite of Shaq's, strawberry shortcake. The coconut buttercream and "The Bomb" chocolate cakes are also a big hit with the couple. "Oprah, this is the best cake in Miami right here!" Shaq says.
Mr. and Mrs. O'Neal may have the same take on cake. but matters of the heart are another story. Shaunie says the two met when he "stalked" her wearing "an obnoxious white suit with white shoes and white tie."
"And a white hat," Shaq says.
"It was awful, Gayle," says Shaunie. "He sent his cousin over to talk to me for him. How [age] 12 is that?"
Before long Shaq's charms began to work their magic. "He was so funny. He made me laugh," Shaunie says. "And he's just really sweet."
Shaunie says that soon after she and Shaq met, he invited her to have lunch at his house and took her on a very memorable tour. She was shocked to see he'd decorated his bachelor pad with pictures of himself "all over the place". but the biggest surprise came in the bedroom.
The room had a disco ball, smoke machine and computerized light show. When Shaq typed in "Shaunie," her name flashed across the walls. "Which was supposed to impress me!" she says. "Yuck!"
It wasn't game over for Shaq. He and Shaunie, married since 2002, are now celebrating the birth of their fourth child together—a beautiful baby girl named Me'arah Sanaa.
As editor at large of O, The Oprah Magazine, Gayle spends enough time working in New York City to be well acquainted with the town's tastiest sweet spots. There's one legendary place she hasn't tried. until now. Wimp's, located in Harlem, offers cakes "like your grandma used to make."
All the cakes follow the same recipes handed down by Wimp's own grandmother, says his wife, Donna. Wimp creates his sweet confections with the baking basics: real butter, lots of sugar, flour, buttermilk and all the fixins—coconut, pecans and chocolate. "It's not the best for the waistline," Donna says, "but they're definitely wholesome."
Gayle's next delicious delivery is to none other than "The Donald," Melania and baby Barron. Will this cake trump the others?
Wimp's whips up a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for Donald and Melania Trump. The bakery even adds a special birthday message for Melania, who's celebrating a birthday and the birth of her first child, Barron William Trump.
How did the Trumps come up with such a unique name? Donald says he suggested a name that he's always loved, but "never had the courage to use." Melania began calling the baby "Barron" while he was still in the womb, and it stuck!
Donald says it's terrific having a baby in the house again and that his wife is a fantastic mother, while Melania reveals a softer side of "The Donald."
"He's amazing with the baby," she says. "He takes him in the morning when he wakes up. He brings him in his room, and they are watching TV together and reading the papers."
At just five weeks old, Barron is ready for his close-up! Melania and Donald introduce Gayle to their latest addition. who's still a little groggy from his nap.
"I love the noise he makes. I love the smell," Gayle says as she holds Barron. "I want one, Oprah!"
Like the rest of the Trump home, Barron's nursery is warm and inviting. The room is filled with plush teddy bears and stuffed animals—including a giant stuffed frog from Gayle!
Gayle's cake quest takes her from New York City to Nashville, Oprah's hometown! She heads straight to Tennessee T-Cakes, a sweet shop known for their "ultimate Southern confections."
Inside the shop, bakers serve up bite-sized cakes in four flavors— original, chocolate truffle, luscious lemon and key lime. Each batch is baked for exactly 14 minutes, and then the cakes are finished off with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar.
Owner Frances Barkley reveals the secret ingredients that make her T-Cakes so special—flour, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. "What's so unusual about that?" Gayle asks.
"It's the portions and the brands of things that I use. That makes a big difference," Frances says. "Everything is top of the line in this T-Cake."
Tennessee T-Cakes may have brought Gayle to Nashville, but while she's in the neighborhood, she makes a surprise stop at Vernon Winfrey's barbershop to share these sweet treats with Oprah's dad.
The small shop is crowded with customers, who munch on T-Cakes while waiting for their turn in the barber chair. Vernon, who's hard at work cutting hair, says he told his daughter that he might retire when he turned 70, "but 70 came too soon," he says. "When I get to where I can't make folks look any better, I'll go home."
Gayle's next stop in Nashville is Oprah's childhood home! When she arrives at the modest, two-bedroom brick home—with a tray of T-Cakes in hand—Gayle learns that someone is sleeping in Oprah's old bedroom. After a surprising wake-up call, Gayle gets a look inside the room where Oprah slept as a child. "I wonder how she had it arranged back when," Gayle says.
Gayle takes a peek inside Oprah's childhood closet before saying goodbye to the current residents and wrapping up her Nashville "cakewalk."
Gayle has a sweet treat for Oprah and the entire audience—red velvet cake from Doughboys Bakery in Los Angeles! Oprah says the first time Gayle tried Doughboys' creamy frosting and moist cake, she sent her an e-mail that said, "Lord have mercy!"
"Most [bakeries] get it wrong," Gayle says. "Either it's too dry or the color isn't right, but this, I thought, was really perfection."
Oprah may not be as fond of sweets as Gayle, but even she thinks Doughboys' specialty is "exceptional". especially with a cold glass of milk.
Which cake does Gayle rate number one? She says they were all delicious. but if she had to pick, she'd go with Wimp's Caramel Coconut Cake.
Queen of quick Rachael Ray is known for her 30-minute meals, but her Chocolate Cups dessert is beyond fast! Rachael's take on pots de crème&mdashone of her mother's recipes and a personal favorite of Rachael's&mdashis a five-minute, no-fuss dessert. "It's a knockout," she says.
Simple recipes make great eats and great gifts! Rachael says she likes to transform her favorite recipes into last-minute gifts that are perfect for every occasion.
First, Rachael says to choose a super simple recipe from your collection, and print out the instructions on a recipe card. Then, head to the grocery store and stock up on all the ingredients you need to make the dish. Package all the ingredients in a gift bag or reusable grocery sack, throw in an affordable bottle of wine and your present is complete!
Rachael's go-to gift can also be adapted to suit any budget and recipient. "You can take it to any level," she says. "You can get, you know, really pricey with the bottle of wine. You can even adapt it for children. Buy a nice children's cookbook and put all the ingredients for one recipe in there. . It works for literally every occasion."
Get A Copy
The old-school places that laid the foundations for the revivalists to build upon. These are the slices you need to eat for some basic level-setting and for overall slice cultural literacy.
What more is there to say about Di Fara that hasn't been covered in this epic 2009 post, "All You Need to Know About Di Fara, 2009"? Well, turns out that a lot has changed in nearly 10 years—even at a place most people might have thought was frozen in time.
Proprietor and pizza patriarch Dom De Marco still takes the pies out of the oven with his bare hands, still takes forever, but his daughter Maggie has semi-successfully made order out of chaos when it comes to ordering, writing down each order manually in a notebook with her own unique shorthand. Dom has a pizza-making assistant now, which helps some. They're not using fresh mozzarella on the regular pie anymore, and the fistfuls of freshly grated Grana Padano were replaced by pre-grated Romano after Dom's old counter-mounted rotary grater broke and he was unable to find a replacement.
The Sicilian, which a lot of people prefer to the regular slice, was dense and tough. We much preferred the regular, which, even with the changes, somehow still tasted like Di Fara. He may have lost a step, but so does every great athlete before they retire. Scott calls it "the pilgrimage pizzeria of NYC."
Joe & Pat's
A photo of a slice from Staten Island legend Joe & Pat's is instantly recognizable: a super-thin, flat crust all the way to the edge, with discrete cubes of low-moisture mozzarella that melt into distinct blobs (rather than the full coverage that comes from using shredded cheese), against a background of very simple tomato sauce.
This is the New York–iest of New York slices. It defines classic NY slice pizza—crisp, thin crust, crushed canned tomatoes as sauce, low-moisture mozzarella for cheese. Don't bother with the fresh-mozz slices—they're invariably bland. Joe's is so consistent in all its locations (a bunch of NYC shops and one in Shanghai) that I have dreams of it replacing every mediocre Famiglia in airports and malls and train stations everywhere.
L&B Spumoni Gardens
When someone talks about an "L&B–style slice," they're often talking about the way this legendary Gravesend pizzeria assembles its square pizzas: dough, slices of low-moisture mozzarella, then the sauce. This is followed by a dusting of grated Romano cheese all over, especially along the edges, where it bakes into the crust, creating a kind of accidental Parmesan stick—you know, like those breadsticks that have just a dusting of baked-on cheese.
But there's more to it than that. The crust is like no other. The bottom is plenty crisp, but the interior is tender and soft—it's airy, even though it has a tight-to-medium crumb.
Where the cheese and crust meet, the two become one. Some people find this off-putting because, when you bite in, it feels like the dough is undercooked. But, as Scott pointed out to us, this is a false "gum line"—a line in the crust where the dough is still raw, which can happen in improperly cooked pizza. What's happening with L&B's is that your teeth push the melted cheese into the dough, creating the impression of a gum line.
The L&B Sicilian slice really is its own thing. And let's be clear that we're talking only about the Sicilian here, because that is 100% the pizza they're known for.
Louie and Ernie's
Let's use the superb, just-thin-enough slice at Louie and Ernie's to talk about topping distribution, because something they do there illustrates this concept perfectly: They put a little pinch of black pepper in the center of the pie, so your first bite has that zing. This is called center-loading. Another technique they're adept at here is evenly distributing the toppings so each bite is uniform.
These are the small differences you might not notice, but they're integral to making your favorite slice your favorite slice. There's also a bit of cornmeal on the underside here, which offers some extra texture. It's all topped sparingly with whole-milk mozzarella and grated cheese, and when you add up all the details, it makes for a diminutive slice of heaven in Throgs Neck in the Bronx.
New Park Pizza
We struggled with including New Park because it can be inconsistent, and because you have to ask for it well-done if it's to approach its potential greatness. But when it's on, it's so on. The regular slice is the thing to get, cooked in an old brick-lined oven that's got, like, a flamethrower inside. Scott thinks it used to be a coal oven that was just repurposed. They do this thing where they throw salt on the floor of the oven every hour or two, and when you get a just-salted slice? Perfect. It's the little quirks that make the difference here.
NY Pizza Suprema
After leaving the family business to work in law, Joe Riggio eventually came back and took over Suprema from his father, Sal. Located across from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, the place is always busy, so you're all but guaranteed a fresh slice that hasn't been sitting. It's got a sweet sauce, but it's one satisfying slice nonetheless. If you're going to the Garden, this should be your pre- or post-game slice. If you get to Penn Station early, head here immediately. The regular slice is exemplary, but the upside-down Sicilian is on another level altogether. Super-fast and efficient service, and you can almost always find a seat.
Patsy's East Harlem
Patsy's is a treasure. It's one of only two coal-oven pizzerias selling by the slice in New York—and a plain slice goes for only $1.75. An example of minimalist perfection, the Patsy's slice has been remarkably consistent ever since I've been in New York. [Editor's note: That is, since 1973.] Sure, it's smaller than most slices, but it's cheaper than any other good slice in New York. In the dining room, they offer a choice of fresh or low-moisture mozzarella—the only coal-oven pizzeria to do so—but at the slice counter next door, LMM is the default.
Rizzo's Fine Pizza
Rizzo's serves a unique slice, which it describes as a "thin-crust Sicilian." It's a rectangular slice sparsely topped with sauce and cheese. As with Joe & Pat's, its signature look is the whole discrete-areas-of-sauce-and-cheese thing. But Rizzo's takes it to a whole new level—you can almost imagine them meticulously laying on one two- by three-inch rectangle of sliced cheese per slice. The crust is biscuit-y and dense, but it works. Nobody else is making a slice like this, unless you head to Lazzara's in the Garment District, but that's whole-pie-only.
Make America Cake Again- Election cake
Same amount goes in the cake as the recipe instructs. Everything else is for the pain.
Image Transcription: Cake recipe
An old-fashioned Connecticut specialty. The leavening is yeast, so allow plenty of time.
Beat thoroughly, cover, and let rise over-night or atleast 6 hours.
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
Add to butter mixture. Add
Stir into the yeast batter and beat to blend well. Divide the dough in the tins. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Bake about 1 hour at 350
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From an article- you could stress-eat on Election Day!
These sound pretty good. Might have to make one tomorrow. Anyone know a good substitute for the whisky? As a teetotaler, it isn't worth buying a bottle just to bake with one cup and never use again.
You could just buy $8 of whisky nips, or one of those tiny little bottles, and use the whole thing. Otherwise you’re looking at something like brandy or run extract mixed with apple cider, and honestly if you don’t have those lying around anyways I would just go with 4x 1.7oz nips of real whisky for like $2 each. Just get something cheap like Jim Beam or Canadian Mist or something, I would avoid anything too expensive as you may start getting into smokier flavors you don’t want in the final product.
I’ve seen apple juice/cider used as a substitute for whiskey, though it might be a bit sweet in this recipe.
Maybe a can of Arnold Palmer? It’s less sweet than cider, plus the lemonade would go with the other lemon flavor.
Glenn and friends just made an election cake but it was a recipe from the depression so they didn’t have any whiskey. Looks very similar.
Tea is a good substitute for whiskey - brew a strong cup and leave it to cool. I use it all the time in fruity breads like these.
I'm not a drinker either, but a bottle of booze usually lasts a v long time. Maybe a small bottle that you can use in other recipes? My grandpa used whiskey in his apple pie because my nana was allergic to cinnamon.
I made this on Election Day 2016 and now it's a cursed cake to me.
Oh no. Now I’m scared to try.
I think the Tasting History YouTube channel is doing this cake today, haven't seen the episode yet, but his channel is awesome!
You haven't seen the video yet because it doesn't exist yet. He's gonna livestream it sometime today but put the ingredients in the description from the Sugar Part 2 video. He says his recipe is adapted from the 1896 Fannie Farmer cookbook, but made for a quicker bread. Looking at it, he appears to have changed it from a yeast recipe to a baking powder leavened one. And possibly added an icing/glaze to it.
The recipe OP linked is from the 1965 version of the same cookbook, so at least originally, it should be similar.
The Best Inexpensive Steak for the Grill, Part 3: Short Ribs
The Koreans and the Argentineans know something that we don't: Short rib is the best cut of meat for grilling. In Korean restaurants, it's on the menu as kalbi. At most, you'll find the short ribs cut flanken-style—that is, thin slices cut across the ribs so you see a few rib cross-sections in each slice. At fancier restaurants, you'll the ribs served as a single bone, the meat carefully butterflied so that it stretches out into a long thin ship.
In Argentina, the cut is known as asado de tira, and it's served thick-cut, grilled on an open fire, and drizzled with an herb, oil, and vinegar-based chimichurri sauce.
You're probably most familiar with short ribs as a braised cut—meat that gets cooked for a long period of time in a wet environment until its internal connective tissue gelatinizes and the meat turns spoon-tender. This method is fine, but in my opinion, a distant second to grilling. More intensely beefy than a strip steak, more well-marbled than a rib-eye, far more flavorful than a tenderloin, thicker and meatier than a skirt or hanger, there's nothing—and I mean nothing*—better on the grill than a short rib.
Nothing, that is, when the short rib is prepared properly. Ancient Korean secret, eh? Here's how to do it.
Also Sold As: Kalbi (Korean), Jacob's Ladder (U.K., when cut across the bones), asado de tira (Argentina)
Where it's Cut From: The ribs. Short ribs can be cut numerous ways, but come from the area of the ribs a bit further down towards the belly than rib steaks or strip steaks (which come from closer up towards the back). When cut into long slabs with bone sections about 6 to 8-inches in length, they are referred to as "English cut." When sliced across the bones so that each slice receives four to five short sections of bone, they are known as "flanken style."
Like all meat, short ribs can vary in quality. The very best short ribs come from high up on the ribs, close to where ribeye steaks are cut from. The top 6 inches or so is what you're looking for. With steaks cut from this region, you'll find a bone about 6 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide, and 1/2 inch thick along with a slab of meat sitting on top of it about an inch tall.
Some less scrupulous butchers will sell sections cut from much lower down on the rib as "short ribs." You'll recognize these by the skimpy amount of meat on them. Don't bother with these, they won't work at all (unless you've got a couple of hungry dogs). Look for meaty ribs with plenty of intramuscular fat known as marbling.
Either English or flanken cut will work just fine on the grill, but I personally prefer to buy my ribs English cut. This affords me the possibility to remove it from the bone into one, relatively thick steak, like this:
The bones are great for stock (or for dogs). If you can manage to find boneless short ribs, all the better. Simply slice them into individual steaks and you're good to go, no waste.
Because short ribs have such a high fat content—they are unforgivingly rich—they're a relatively fool-proof cut to work with. Intramuscular fat acts as an insulator, which means that they cook a bit slower, giving you a larger window of time to pull them off the grill at the desired level of doneness. While a lean cut like, say, a tenderloin might be in that perfect medium-rare sweet spot for a matter of seconds before it starts to overcook, with a short rib, you get a bit of extra leeway.
Because of its high fat content, I treat my short ribs much like I would a high-end Japanese Wagyu-style steak. That is, whether you like your regular steaks rare or well done, I very strongly suggest cooking your short ribs to medium-rare—about 130°F. Any cooler than that and the intramuscular fat will remain solid and waxy, rather than unctuous and juicy. Much hotter and the fat will start leaking out copiously, making your ribs tough and dry.
Short ribs cook best over a hot but not blazing hot fire. Like all things, fat has a tendency to burn when it gets too hot. If you were to cook your ribs over an inferno, that excess fat would vaporize, leaving a foul-tasting sooty deposit on the surface of your meat. A moderately hot fire is best. You should aim to have the short ribs cooked through to the center exactly as the exterior becomes deep brown and crusty.
Flavorings, Slicing, and Serving
I prefer my steak the Argentine way: cooked with nothing but salt and pepper, perhaps served with a nice sauce. There is, however, something to be said about Korean-style kalbi, although to be honest, I've found that the nicer the restaurant and the higher the quality of the meat, the less likely you are to see an over-marinated steak.
Short rib is a bit touger than the premium cuts of meat, so once again, slicing thinly against the grain before serving (or at least instructing your diners to do as much) is the way to go.
Trust me. Once you've tried short rib on the grill, you will never want to ruin it by braising it in the oven again. At least not until the winter comes.
Dear Melissa, How Do You Eat? (Part 1)
Welcome to Dear Melissa, where I answer your questions about transitioning into or completing a Whole30, successfully sticking to your new Food Freedom habits, and figuring out how to make this lifestyle work in the real world. Today, we’re answering the #1 question on everyone’s mind, in a three-part format.
How do you eat?
This is probably the question we get the most often—but how do you eat? You ask us in seminars, reporters ask us during interviews, the cameraman from Good Morning America asked us, even, between takes.
Honestly, I’ve been hesitant to answer this question in detail. I promise, it’s not because I’m a closet vegan or secretly obsessed with Hostess products. It’s because I don’t want any one of you trying to eat the exact way I eat, assuming it’s going to be the healthiest for them. In fact, I’ll put it another way…
You should not eat what I eat.
Wait, what? Shouldn’t I be telling all of you to eat exactly what I eat, because I eat super-duper healthy? (And, spoiler alert, I do.) Uh, no, I should not be telling you to eat like I eat, because you’re not me. You don’t have my genetics, my food sensitivities, my taste buds, my cravings, my health history, my digestive tract, my life stressors, my gut bacteria, my skin, my metabolism, my activity levels, or my sleep patterns. You’re not me, so eating exactly like me is highly unlikely to work as well for you as it does for me.
That’s the whole point of the Whole30, remember. It’s a 30-day program designed to help YOU figure out how the food YOU’VE been eating has been affecting YOUR cravings, YOUR hormones, YOUR digestive tract, YOUR immune system. It’s a scientific experiment of one, and what you learn during the course of YOUR Whole30 will help you make educated, informed decisions in creating the diet that is the healthiest for YOU for the rest of YOUR life.
How many times can I capitalize the word ‘you’ before it gets obnoxious? I think I crossed that line four you’s ago. Sorry. But I’m trying to make a point here. I’m going to tell you exactly, specifically how I eat, but I eat this way only as the result of multiple Whole30’s (with many Whole10’s, Whole7’s and Whole3’s thrown in for good measure).
I’ve discovered the foods that make me healthier, the foods that make me less healthy, and which in the latter category are still worth it. I know how often, how much, how many days in a row I can indulge, I know the consequences of my choices, and thanks to what I’ve learned, I have such a healthy relationship with my food that I no longer spend even a moment in the throes of guilt, shame, or remorse. (Well, sometimes the consequences bring remorse, but I always learn from my mistakes.)
In the next article, I’m going to tell you exactly what I eat… but if you’re going to model anything on my behavior, model my dedication to learning as much as I can about food + me through the Whole30 program.
Do it at least a few times, because each and every time, you learn something new and valuable. Pay extra-careful attention to reintroduction, especially noting in later Whole30’s how foods subtly affect your mood, attitude, and emotions. Continually strive to improve your awareness as to how food is affecting you, and be willing to admit it if foods you thought were okay after your first Whole30 may no longer feel okay now, in the context of your improved state of health and awareness. And always know that if you fall back into old habits (which you’re likely to do after holidays, vacations, or stressful periods of time), you can (and should) always return to the Whole30, where you’ll pick up right where you left off.
Stay tuned for part two later this week, where I promise there will be no mention of Hostess, but Prosecco with a splash of St. Germain may be a special guest.
Got a question for Melissa? Submit it using this handy form.
Remember, we aren’t answering questions about the Whole30 rules via this column (use the forum!), nor are we able to offer you specific advice about your medical issue, health condition, or body composition.
Melissa Hartwig is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and the author of the New York Times bestselling books It Starts With Food and The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom and the upcoming Food Freedom Forever. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Details, Outside, SELF, and Shape as the co-founder of the Whole30 program. Melissa lives in Salt Lake City, UT.
After three weeks of Whole30, 36 years of sinus congestion was completely gone.
I was 61, and I was old. I knew I was old because little by little throughout my life my abilities had diminished. My problems began when I was 8. Playing Little League.
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Get your Whole30 Starter Kit
Sign up for Whole30 email, and we’ll send you the Whole30 Starter Kit: a printable version of the Whole30 program rules, 15 recipes from Melissa’s cookbooks & other valuable resources. (Your email is safe with us. Promise.)
Get your Whole30 Starter Kit
Sign up for Whole30 email, and we’ll send you the Whole30 Starter Kit: a printable version of the Whole30 program rules, the Meal Planning template, and 15 recipes from Melissa’s cookbooks. (Your email is safe with us. Promise.)
The opinions and/or information presented on this website is in no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment, and should only be used in conjunction with the guidance, care, and approval of your physician. Nothing herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The Food Lab's Guide to Inexpensive Steak for the Grill: 5 Cuts You Should Know
So y'all read about the four high-end steaks you should know—that'd be the strip, the ribeye, the T-bone, and the tenderloin. But today, we're here to talk about something a little different and a lot more exciting: inexpensive steaks for the grill. What I'm talking about is the butcher's cuts.
The pieces of the steer that you won't find in the fancy-pants steakhouses or the styrofoam trays in the refrigerated cases in the supermarket (well, at least not most supermarkets). The pieces that chefs love to use because not only are they more inexpensive, but they've got character.
See, the high-end steaks are all cut from the same general region of the steer—along the ribs and spine on its back. Why? Because the muscles in that area—the Longissimus dorsi and the Psoas major do little to no work during the steer's lifetime. They are large, tender, and remarkably easy to cut into big, juicy, meaty steaks.
The butcher's steaks, on the other hand, come from all over the steer, and they're not quite as easy to extract. Many of them are whole muscles that must be trimmed by the butcher just-so if you want them to be tender and large enough to cook as steaks. There are also not many of them on a steer. For every 20 pounds of ribeyes and T-bones you can get off a steer, you'll get perhaps 1 or 2 pounds of these butcher's cuts.
These butcher's cuts tend to be more packed with flavor because of the work they do, yet because they're not as marketable to the general public and require a bit more skill to cook and serve correctly, they remain much cheaper than their mainstream counterparts. This is good news for you, particularly because all this week, we'll be posting an in-depth look at them. How to shop, how to trim, how to cook, and how to serve to maximize their flavor—and your dollar.
Let's start with a brief overview of my five favorite inexpensive steaks: the hanger, the tri-tip, the short-rib, the skirt, and the flap meat.
Also Sold As: Butcher's steak, hangar (this is an incorrect spelling but appears frequently), arrachera (Mexico), fajitas arracheras (South Texas), bistro steak, onglet (France).
Where iI's Cut From: From the plate section of the cow (the front of the belly), it "hangs" off of the cow's diaphragm, hence the name. U.S. meat-cutting classification of NAMP 140.
What It Tastes Like: Strongly beefy with a distinct minerality, it can occasionally come off as tasting livery to those with palates that are sensitive to that flavor. For my money, it's one of the tastiest cuts on the cow. Because of its loose texture, it takes well to marinating. I generally rub mine in a mixture of olive oil with garlic, fresh herbs, and peppercorns for a day or so before wiping it dry and grilling. When butchered into individual steaks, it has a triangular cross-section that can make it bit difficult to cook evenly. It takes well to high heat, and should be cooked no less than medium-rare (otherwise it stays fleshy and wet), and no more than medium (or it gets tough and dry).
Also Sold As: Santa Maria Steak, Newport Steak (when cut into individual steaks), aguillote baronne (France), punta de anca, punta de Solomo, or colita de cuadril (Latin America), maminha (Brazil).
Where It's Cut From: The bottom sirloin, from the muscle group that controls the steers back legs (it applies its force to the steer's kneecap).
What It Tastes Like: Very lean with a mild flavor somewhat reminiscent of eye round, though with a more pronounced juiciness and beef flavor. Because of it's severely tapering shape, it can be extremely difficult to cook to the right doneness the whole way through. The smaller end inevitably overcooks to a degree. It's extremely popular in Santa Maria where it is cooked over red oak wood. It takes well to smoke and spice rubs and should not be cooked past medium rare, unless being used in a braised dish such as chili.
Also Sold As: Kalbi (Korean), Jacob's Ladder (U.K., when cut across the bones), asado de tira (Argentina)
Where it's Cut From: The ribs. Short ribs can be cut numerous ways, but come from the area of the ribs a bit further down towards the belly than rib steaks or strip steaks (which come from closer up towards the back). When cut into long slabs with bone sections about 6 to 8-inches in length, they are referred to as "English cut". When sliced across the bones so that each slice receives four to five short sections of bone, they are known as "flanken style." Korean restaurants will often butterfly the meat while still attached to the bone, allowing them to unfurl into long, thin pieces that pick up marinade well and get far more tender than whole ribs.
What It Tastes Like: Extraordinarily rich, beefy, and juicy, it's one of the most well-marbled cuts on the animal. The flavor is very similar to the spinalis dorsi—the ribeye cap, which is the tastiest part of the ribeye steak. Some people may find it to be almost too rich, but I personally love the flavor when served in reasonably-sized portions. Unless sliced very thinly against the grain, short ribs can be quite tough—most people are familiar with them as a slow-cooking cut used primarily for braising. For my money, short ribs are are the greatest steak value available. All the flavor of the best ribeye steak, at perhaps a quarter of the cost.
Also Sold As: Fajita meat, Roumanian Strip (New York).
Where It's Cut From: The outside skirt is the diaphragm muscle of the cow, cut from the plate. It is the traditional cut for fajitas, and is generally sold to restaurants. Inside skirt is part of the flank, and is the more widely available form of skirt.
What It Tastes Like: Extremely rich and buttery with lots of fat and a loose, strongly grained texture. It practically bastes itself as it cooks. Skirt steak is thin, so it must be cooked over very intense heat so that it can char on the outside before it overcooks in the center. Unless it is cut correctly, it can be inedibly tough and chewy. It must be cut into sections, then sliced thinly against the grain. Skirt can also be braised into dishes like Cuban ropa vieja, where it pulls apart into long, stringy strands.
Also Sold As: Faux hanger, bavette (France), sirloin tip (New England).
Where It's Cut From: The bottom sirloin butt—the same general region where the tri-tip comes from.
What It Tastes Like: Extremely loos in texture with a sweet, beefy, minerality, it can also come across as livery some times, particularly when stored in a vacuum-sealed bag. It's coarse-grained and soft to the point of mushiness when raw or rare, so should be cooked to at least medium-rare. Like skirt and hanger, it must be cut closely against the grain to minimize toughness.
This week we'll feature a different one of these cuts every day with complete cooking tips and recipes. Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills.
DISCLAIMER: Since a lot of folks seem to be jumping in saying "x is not cheap," or "I can't find y" in the comments, I figured I should just explain right in the article that because of regional availability and pricing, not ALL of these steaks will be available or inexpensive in your given market. Hopefully at least a few of them will be both inexpensive and available to you, but I've never been anywhere where all five cuts are both available and inexpensive. Thanks!