Want to know something crazy? Sugar doesn’t melt; it undergoes thermal decomposition. That may sound like a pedantic distinction, considering we’ve all watched sugar effectively melt into a pool of caramel atop crème brûlée, but the implications are huge—worthy of far more explanation than a mere tl;dr.
With apologies to Andy Williams, now is the most wonderful time of the year … for it is Girl Scout cookie season.
But after plowing through several sleeves of Thin Mints, fatigue can set in. So we wondered, when you’re starting to feel sick of Girl Scout cookies, is there a way to rekindle the love?
We turned to Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful podcast at WNYC studios, for advice. His book, Eat More Better, tackles this pressing public interest matter. He suggests mixing it up — quite literally, by baking a cheesecake crafted from a mashup of cookies. His recipes for Girl Scout Unity Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cookie Centaur are excerpted below.
Q: Isn’t this pretty much a pavlova, swapping the cream for cream cheese (and obviously not filling it)?
A cheesecake is nothing like a pavlova, at all. Cheesecakes are more or less dense and creamy textured, but a pavlova is crisp and hollow. I’ve never known a pavlova to have cream in the meringue portion. We must be talking about two different things.
Sometimes a little change can make a big difference, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to cheese. You can completely change a dish just by substituting the cheese you usually use for something new.
I knew about the ricotta & goat cheese instead of cream cheese in cheesecake. I’m not keen to try until I figure out how to stop the cracking. Around here, there’s numerous interpretations of poutine. Bacon is a popular addition. I liked the last one I had, but it was quite salty. I can say with experience that Grilled Brie with Pears was awesome.
The Food and Drug Administration announced sweeping rules on Tuesday that will require chain restaurants, movie theaters and pizza parlors across the country to post calorie counts on their menus. Health experts said the new requirements would help combat the country’s obesity epidemic by showing Americans just how many calories lurk in their favorite foods.
The rules will have broad implications for public health. As much as a third of the calories that Americans consume come from outside the home, and many health experts believe that increasingly large portion sizes and unhealthy ingredients have been significant contributors to obesity in the United States.
…Perhaps the most surprising element of the new rules was the inclusion of alcoholic beverages, which had not been part of an earlier proposal. Beverages served in food establishments that are on menus and menu boards will be included, but a mixed drink at a bar will not, F.D.A. officials said.
…The National Grocers Association said: “Grocery stores are not chain restaurants, which is why Congress did not initially include them in the law. We are disappointed that the F.D.A.’s final rules will capture grocery stores, and impose such a large and costly regulatory burden on our members.”
I agree that having the information can be beneficial, but that information can be used for shaming – which is known not to work. You need “cheat” days, where it doesn’t matter. It’s to be a treat, not for every day…
The Maryland Renaissance Festival, aka The World Series of Cleavage, features a lot of weird things (its clientele typically chief among them), but it’s possible that nothing there is more bizarre than the food. Last weekend, I set out to eat these experiments in gastronomic mad science, because I am just that committed to comedy/taking vengeance against my digestive tract.
You have a robotic cooking machine, and you may not even know it. Dust off your bread machine, or go buy a bread maker from the second hand shop for a few dollars. They can be used for a lot more than just bread. Main courses, desserts, appetizers and drinks can all be made with this versatile, under-utilized machine.
You can use a bread machine for so much more than the obvious stuff: bread or pizza dough. Pretty much anything you need to stir and heat is fair game. My favorite idea is using it for soup (just toss in the ingredients and go), but hit up the site for suggestions on casseroles, sauces, breakfast, and snacks.
Pumpkin is in season! Figured I’d post this for those who might want to try something different for Thanksgiving.
It’s very easy to make, but did take longer than the quoted 50 minutes – at least an hour and a quarter for me. I researched, but didn’t put much hope in making the recipe gluten free or veganized sadly.