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[sticky post] Community Design Photo Contest

Before the holidays, I was contacted by LiveJournal about working with them to create a new (professional!) design for cooking that was more user-friendly, organized and attractive. They'd also like to help us promote the community on LJ in other communities and sites (including promotional placement on the LJ homepage).

On the topic of the design, though; we'd like to hold a photo contest here so that the community is represented in the design as well! Photos will be arranged in a collage for the header of the community. We will need at least five photos for this, and the exact number will be based on how many submissions (and therefore placements) we receive.

  1. Submitted photos must be photos you took yourself.

  2. Submitted photos must be cooking/food-related and not have a promotion or advertisement of any kind.

  3. Each person may submit up to two (2) photos in a comment to this post. All comments are screened.

  4. Photos should be at least 800px wide.

  5. Retouching is permitted for things like contrast, brightening, etc. but try not to go overboard with it.

  6. Photos must be submitted before 11:59PM EST on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 Tuesday, February 24th 2015 @ 11:59PM EST (will extend if needed).

The top 3 entrants will receive a free paid account that lasts a year! \o/

Submission form for submitting one photo:

Submission form for submitting two photos:

Tri-tip sandwiches

Hello all! I am looking for some advice on how to cook tri-tip from sandwiches. Normally I would grill it but my new apartment has some very strict rules on that and I haven't gotten an electric grill yet. I have the recipe that I want to use but I was hoping for some advice on how to actually cook the meat.

Also if anyone has any electric grill suggestions I would love to get those to. Thanks!

Kitchen Gadgets

I was wondering if y'all could give me some advice regarding food processors and hand mixers. Primarily, I'm looking for recommendations for well made versions of either that would be good for a small kitchen. I'd also like your opinions on food processors vs. blenders as well as stand mixers vs. hand mixers (as some of the various department stores such as Wal-Mart have stand mixers for pretty cheap lately).

Jan. 3rd, 2013


I was not at all aware about Swedish cooking before I got a request for a private Swedish cooking class last November. It looked like no chances to make for me. However at the end of the story the class went well and I became attached to many Scandinavian dishes among which gravlax goes first. Gravlax is home marinated salmon served with special mustard sauce on rye bread toast. It requires hardly any work and is a killer appetizer. For those like me, who can't really stop eating it halfway, it often tends to become a self sufficient lunch or dinner.
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We've had our electric Black and Decker griddle for some five or six years now. At first it was a pleasure, but now it's old and tired, isn't nearly as nonstick as it once was, and works efficiently when it feels like it. Has some hot spots and some cooler spots... it's time to send it off to the recyclers and buy a new one. But which one?

We use our griddle once or twice a month for pancakes on the weekends... we'd probably use it more often for other things if it was more fun to use. Right now the temperature gauge is fussy and it sparks when we unplug it, so it's just a matter of time.

So tell me, cooking peeps... which griddle do you recommend?

Pots and pans? What to buy?

Hello, cooking! I found you via the Spotlight a while ago, and I have two questions:

- My roommate and I have a pretty crummy collection of pots, secondhand or her mother's cast-offs, mostly aluminum: two saucepans, a bigger pot (not a proper dutch oven) we use for large quantities of stuff, and a (probably) stainless skillet that Roommate's previous roommate ruined.

We've got two things we'd like to keep--the non-stick wok we acquired last year, and the big enameled aluminum stockpot-sized pot (I think? It's absurdly light, much lighter than my mother's enameled cast pot of a similar size), but the rest of it needs to go away.

The pots we have do fine for "college kid" cooking, but for cooking rice or sauces or anything more delicate? Stuff sticks, doesn't heat evenly, and the pots themselves take forever to heat and don't clean up well.

We're looking at new sets, and what we need is a solid set of pots that will hold up; we don't need anything fancy, just something better than what we've got. We don't have a dishwasher, so dishwasher-safe is irrelevant, and Roommate would prefer to avoid non-stick pots.

- We had been making bread by hand after the old West Bend bread machine Roommate pulled out of her mother's basement finally bit the dust, but neither one of us is going to have the time to continue, unfortunately. Best recommendations for a mid-price bread machine, or even brands to look at? My grandmother's Black & Decker is a tank, but I have no idea what their recent quality is like.

Manual can opener maintenance.

I seem to be unable to keep a manual can opener (of this general sort) for more than a year or so before something snaps, dislocates, or whatever--I fear my mechanical illiteracy is hanging out here--with the result that the handle no longer operates the circular blade. What should be the life expectancy of such an appliance, and is there anything I need to know about its cleaning and care beyond wiping the blade clean after each use?

(Disclaimer: I'll grant that my penchant for buying el cheapo Big Lots or Dollar Store specimens may be my problem right there.)

ETA: Thanks for all the advice, everyone! (kosaginolegion, who knows me in the flesh, shares the prevalent opinion that the problem has been my choice of cheap-ass hardware and adds this observation: I tend to clench tools in a Kung-Fu Grip and exert more force than may be good for either the tools or my hands.) I'll keep my eyes out for an OXO-Grip, then.
I'm looking for a replacement for my blender, which I only ever use for soups. I started looking at soup makers rather than just blenders, and found this:
Price: £99.99
Sale: £32.99
You Save: £67.00 (67%)
That's the sort of price I like: but there's no reviews :( Does anyone know anything about this model, or have any advice on soup-makers in general?

Just got a bamboo steamer!

I just bought a bamboo steamer and I was wondering what all I could steam in it and if anyone has any good recipes?

Kitchen Appliances Question

Hello cookers!

I have a small general inquiry that I hope some of you can give some advice on!

With summer (and a job!) coming up again, I decided this year I wanted to treat myself to buying a few appliances for my kitchen like a food processor, stand mixer, copper pans, etc. Except I realized I'm very unaware of what the best items are to get or even if I need them! So I wanted to ask about a few items!

A) Which Mixer would be considered the best to buy? Should I save up for a KitchenAid or is any old mixer good?
B) Food Processors: How useful/versatile are they? For those of you that have one, do you use it a lot or does it hide in your cupboard?
C) Copper or Aluminum pots & pans?

I did try looking these up but, well, you know how marketing works. Everything is better than 'The Next Leading Brand', dear me!
Thank you all in advance! :)

NuWave oven

Has anyone tried this Nuwave oven?  It's an infrared oven, I'm watching the infomercial right now.


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