Free Range on Food: Our top cookbooks of the year, a chestnut sour for the holidays, this week's recipes and more.

Dec 12, 2018

Every Wednesday at noon, Food section staff members and guests answer your burning culinary questions.
Past Free Range on Food chats

Good afternoon, Free Rangers! 


Wasn't it fun to read Bill Booth's profile of British cookbook author Jack Monroe this week? I plan to make her salmon pasta again! We'll have columnists Cathy Barrow (of "Pie Squared" fame) and Carrie Allan on hand to discuss their strata- and chestnut-related stories and recipes today,  and if you've got thoughts on our annual cookbook list or easy steaming as an overlooked kitchen technique -- or Becky's great get on making Tom Yum Gai at home -- she and I are at your service!


A lucky chatter or two will win copies of  new cookbooks from our best-of list; per usual, we announce those at the end of the hour.


And for you PostPoints members, here's today's code: FR9676. Remember, you'll record and enter it at the PostPoints site under Claim My Points to earn points. The code expires at midnight, so be sure to enter the code by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday to get credit for participating.


Editor Joe's away. Ready, set, go! 



I'm hosting a few family members on Christmas morning, and I wanted to serve a nice warm beverage (probably will keep it warm in a slow cooker). I'm hoping for something that isn't too sweet and that would be tasty both with and without alcohol (I'm pregnant and at least one other person coming doesn't drink). I have the usual liquors that people can add to their mugs--whiskey and bourbon, vodka, various rums... Thank you!

I am sure Carrie will have good suggestions, but I can vouch for this hot chocolate recipe that I made for a cookie swap this weekend. Absolutely delicious, and I think spiking it would work well, too. Plus, you can make and keep warm in the slow cooker.

Mexican-Style Sipping Chocolate

RECIPE: Mexican-Style Sipping Chocolate

I love that hot choc recipe!

This is the time of year when recipes call for nutmeg. I have six whole nutmegs that are at least ten years old. Are they still viable? I know that spices don't exactly spoil, they just fade away. Should I buy new ones? I could gild the old ones and hang them on my tree as ornaments.

The best way to tell if they've still got flavor is to taste them! Grate a bit and try a it straight, or sprinkle on top of a drink or piece of toast with ricotta or something where you'll smell and taste (or not!) the nutmeg. Then you'll know.

(And very into the tree ornament idea!)

Do you folks wear aprons, or how do you protect your clothes? Last weekend, I splattered bacon grease on a favorite T-shirt while cooking. After two washings, the stains were still there. I rubbed dishwashing liquid into the stains with an old toothbrush before laundering, and that worked. Do you folks wear aprons, or how do you protect your clothes?

I always wear an apron. Always! Definitely don't trust myself to cook without one. Would much rather mess it up than my clothes. Plus I kinda use it like a hand towel/tool holder while I'm cooking.

Gah, we were just talking about this in the Lab yesterday. Even with an apron I have managed to get grease stains on 2 shirts. 


I'm thinking of switching to a Dorie Greenspan-style (as in, she what she wears, not what she sells) wraparound apron that covers more and doesn't have that strap loop around the neck. 

I am trying to reduce food waste in my kitchen and have a couple of questions in that regard. 1. I use the juice from 3-4 organic lemons each week and would like a good use for the rinds as well. Can I pack them with sea salt to make preserved lemons? Or does the lack of juicy pulp make that a bad idea? Any other ideas for using the rinds? 2. I almost never peel root vegetables, including ginger, but most recipes calling for ginger say that it should be peeled. I’m not worried about pesticides because the ginger is certified organic. Is there another reason to peel it, such as a flavor difference?

Let's tackle the ginger first. Peel it so the little pieces of dry peel don't show up in your food. If you don't care about that, don't worry.

As for your lemons. Preserved lemons need lemon juice as well as whole lemons, so that's not your best solution, but if you use preserved lemons a lot, then you can make a faux preserved lemon to move those peels along. It won't last as long as the whole lemons. 

You can also make candied lemon rind which is a lovely gift for the holidays. Simply exchange the lemons for the oranges in this recipe.

Last week I sent a box of cookies to my great-nephew at the University of Michigan. He lives off-campus in a house with five other boys and reported that the Snickerdoodle Blondies (WaPo Holiday Cookies 2018) were “incredible” and “my roommates want to make them.” How times hace changed since I was in college! I love the mental image of a houseful of boys making cookies.

They have become my quick, go-to dessert or bring along item this season! Easy, smells like heaven in the oven. A couple readers doubt their truthiness based on a lack of cream of tartar in the recipe....not to worry. They have snickerdoodle FLAVOR and are nice and soft and chewy. 

They are an instant classic at my house and I've passed the recipe along to several others. Thank you so much!

Yess! See answer above. 

Okay, CDC, we get it, we get it. We shouldn't eat cookie dough. But set aside the egg issue and concentrate on the flour for a second. They say that companies that sell edible cookie dough do so by treating their flour with heat. If I were to bake my flour in the oven, would that make it safe? And wouldn't it add a nice toasty flavor to the cookies?

Check out this recipe from Bonnie. It contains instructions for doing a heat treatment in the microwave.

Monster Cookie Dough

RECIPE: Monster Cookie Dough

If you like the idea of toasting in the oven, here's a piece from Bon Appetit.

Does anyone know of a bakery or grocery store selling Stollen in Northern Virginia? It seems like I've usually seen it by now, but my usual haunts are letting me down. Thanks!

Looks like you might be in luck at Heidelberg Bakery in Arlington.

I picked up a carton of non-dairy eggnog , which is also non-fat, and discovered it makes my morning coffee more delicious. So I'm wondering if you have suggestions for using eggnog in cookies, soups, or elsewhere that milk would normally go.

Eggnog cheesecake, eggnog ice cream, eggnog frosting on an eggnog cake. Eggnog goes everywhere! Here it is in bar cookies. Signed, An Eggnog Fan

I have to admit, I'm just not a fan of the taste of tuna. But I have wondered if those canned salmon I've seen in the store are any good. Is their absence from the article on purpose because the quality is lacking? If not, do you have any suggestions on using them?

Not on purpose! Canned salmon is great, too. But I admittedly don't cook with a lot and simply didn't think to include it

Here's a way very tasty way to use it, from Jack Monroe (Britain’s "Tin Can Cook"):

Creamy Salmon Pasta

RECIPE: Creamy Salmon Pasta

I also LOVE this recipe from Bonnie. It'd be nice for a holiday appetizer. 

Fages Salmon Mousse

RECIPE: Fages Salmon Mousse

The tuna-can-size canned salmon  I used for testing the Jack  Monroe recipe that Kara mentions was really good -- no bones or cartilage or skin, the meat was in good shape.

confession time: this time of year I wear my ratty, old bathrobe when I'm in the kitchen. It keeps me warm and protects my clothes.

:::raises hand:::: I just noticed the other day there is a pretty serious scattering of flour on the top of my slippers.

missed the chat last week, but hoping you can help! aunt sylvia won't share her recipe but i would love to be able to make these! do you have any recipes i can try? Hanukkah favorite - people steal and hide them so they don't miss out.

Happy to have been able to share my family's recipe!


RECIPE: Mandelbread

Hi - my office is doing a holiday breakfast, and I'd like to bring an egg dish that travels well and is still good at room temperature or that I can reheat in the microwave. Alternatively, I could do a savory dish in a slow-cooker, if you have any ideas for that. Thanks!

How 'bout a frittata or a kuku? They're great at room temp.

Farmers Market Frittata

RECIPE: Farmers Market Frittata

Anytime Frittata

RECIPE: Anytime Frittata

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

RECIPE: Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Yogurt Kuku

RECIPE: Yogurt Kuku

I usually keep a number of overripe frozen bananas around for smoothies, but I'm wondering if they would be OK for banana bread. The recipe I use is from Cooks Illustrated and calls for microwaving 5 bananas for a few minutes before mashing them. This works great and produced a moist, flavorful loaf. But I'm wondering if the frozen bananas would have too much moisture for banana bread. Thanks.

Frozen 'nanas can work for banana bread if they are allowed to defrost before you mash the smithereens out of them. Better yet, I recommend caramelizing them a la Cooking Light recipe, for which a banana in any condition can be used. (PS I skip the glaze on that one.)

I would love to make the Mexican sipping chocolate but I dont have guajillo at home (I do have other dry varieties) would you recommend a substitute?

I have substituted pasilla chile for guajillo -- it's a little milder, with a slightly smoky flavor. One online site (and I'm not naming names here) says chile arbol is a reasonable substitute, but they are VERY hot, and might surprise you if you're expecting the mellow guajillo.

I made these for my holiday gift plates. I am wondering though, if the sprinkles were an afterthought or traditional. What I made were delicious wholesome fig bars with nuts and dried fruits, why on earth would they think the multicolored tasteless sprinkles were needed or appropriate.


Instead I made a nice tart glaze using powder sugar, lemon juice, and some of the simple syrup from making the candies oranges. Yum!


Also, any suggestions to complement them in my cookie plates?

I dont think the purpose of multicolored sprinkles is to add flavor, do you? :) they make the cookies look more festive at holiday time. Your glaze sounds like a great idea...I might just throw all caution to the wind and use BOTH.

Two things I try to do (1) If I am only going to use the juice in a recipe, I take a minute to zest the lemon first and freeze the zest. (2) Throw the peels into the freezer. Add them as needed to add some zip to stock. Or toss them into a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a simmer. Experiment with the herbs you like to add for a pleasant room scent. For instance, I throw in rosemary stems, thyme, etc. and even a little imitation vanilla (because the real stuff is WAY to expensive for this use) or almond extract.

With a bamboo steamer, what foods can lay directly on the bamboo? I discovered that salmon skin and flesh stick to the bamboo, so now I put it on a saucer.

Eggs can go directly in a bamboo steamer basket. I do prefer using parchment paper or lettuce rather than a plate. but if that works for you, that's great!

ARTICLE The one cooking technique that won't steer you wrong

To use those lovely whole nutmegs more often, remember them for savory dishes: spinach/chard, green beans, winter squash, etc.

Mmm, I love love the idea of chocolate with chile. But, where does one find guajillo chiles in this area? Is it possible to use another kind of chile? Besides heat, does the guajillo have a special taste that cannot be found in any other chile? If I could substitute, what would I use? Thanks, Matilde

I got them at my local store (Tropimart on Kennedy St. NW), but they should be at any Hispanic market or supermarket with a good supply of dried chiles (pretty sure I've seen them at Safeway?). Or you could try using one or so ancho chile instead; they're kinda smoky and fruity and also pair well with chocolate.

Guajillos are almost always at PanAm on 14th Street NW, too.

Love how yummy this recipe sounds AND how great the cookie issue is again this year. I have a nut allergy in my family, but I really want to make these cookies. Is there anything else I can substitute for the almond butter? The Food Substitution Bible suggested tahini paste but I'm a little hesitant to use that. Thanks!

I think the tahini would make the cookies spread a bit more (and make a looser dough), but maybe you could offset that by tossing in more of the cereal, oats, choc chunks and OPTIONAL raisins. Let us know! 

I'm hoping you can help me figure out what I did wrong on this recipe for Gâteau Breton.  It's supposed to produce enough batter for a 9 inch cake pan, but it just didn't . When I started to spread the first half of the batter in a cake pan I quickly realized that it wouldn't even be enough for a layer 1/8 inch thick. I switched to a small loaf pan, and the final product was tasty but not attractive. I could double the recipe next time, but it seems odd that I'd be so far off. Any idea what happened?

I can't help with the Cook's Illustrated recipe, but here is one from my friend, StressCake's, blog. It's a solid recipe, works every time. 

I'm spending Christmas by myself this year and would like to do a simple nice meal for the day. I'm trying to avoid meat and I'm not too much into stews but besides that I'm pretty open. Any suggestions?

When I have time and appetite, I like to undertake a project, so maybe it's time to try one of Domenica Marchetti's wonderful Roasted Mushroom and Swiss Chard lasagna recipe and make your own pasta while you're at it. I've made this recipe and it's just fantastic. (Make in smaller containers and freeze half -- or make the whole recipe and invite a friend.)


I was wondering whether l could shave the peel from lemons I've used and keep them in a neutral oil for later use? I've tried freezing the peel but it mostly dries out from exposure to air, no matter how tightly I've wrapped it.

Preserved lemons are not preserved in oil, but in salt. Wrap the peel tightly in plastic wrap before freezing and it will emerge ready to use.

What? Raw eggs would drip right through the spaces between the slats! Wouldn't they?


Whole eggs -- steaming them rather than boiling them, to make hard-cooked eggs.

This is probably a very basic question, but I would appreciate your help. If a recipe calls for one and a half tablespoons of something, do I put in the full tablespoon and then one teaspoon and one half teaspoon (which is half a tablespoon)? It seems to me the recipe should be written out as one tablespoon and 1 teaspoon and one half teaspoon, but I may be overthinking this. I bake so this could make a difference in some of my recipes. I appreciate your expertise. Thanks!

As a recipe writer, I struggle with this question all the time. I believe the easiest way to write this for the reader is 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons. Or by weight, which is my preference.  

For the person who wants a use for lemon rinds -there’s a wonderful recipe for lemon/pistachio biscotti in Maida Heatter’s “ new book of great cookies” - it’s one of the variations of the Palm Beach biscotti recipe. One batch (2 loaf pans) uses the grated rind of 6 lemons. I make it every year around this time - my husband loves it. ( but then I have to find a use for those naked lemons.)

I take the rinds and whatever is left over, put them in a mixture of half white vinegar and half water (or more water sometimes) and then let that sit for a while...then you will have a solution that you can use for cleaning.

Is there an oven thermometer you trust for accurate readings? The kind that hangs or stands in the oven, not one that gets inserted into the food. This is for an electric oven. Hopefully you know of one that doesn't cost a whole, whole lot. The only one sold at my local kitchen goods store is rated wildly inaccurate by some users.

I've been using this oven thermometer for 10 years. It hasn't failed me yet. 

I have a family recipe from my late MIL that starts with making what I call a casual puff pastry. It includes cream of tartar. What does this do for a puff pastry?

Cream of tartar will keep the pastry from graying. Unbleached flour turns gray in a day or two in the refrigerator. Add cream of tartar and it will stay fresh looking for another two days, at least. I use it when I make pasta, too, for the same reason. 

Can the almond butter just be left out with no negative side effects?

No,  I don't believe so. It provides structure / binder for the dough. 

French toast for breakfast?? As to the other thread, aprons wouldn't help me. When I bake I always end up dusting my hands on my behind. You can tell I've been baking by the flour on the seat of my pants.

This eggnoggy bread pudding's along the same lines!


Re the flour: I was just watching the Great British Baking Show masterclass for holiday recipes the other day and noticed how Paul and Mary's jumpers, not to mention the counter, remained flour-free through 4 or 5 recipes. #lifegoals

I saw this mentioned in a chat some time ago and mentally filed it away. Well, I somehow ended up with leftover fries from a dinner out and finally had a chance to try this. Can't say that I followed the recipe exactly - added broth until I got the desired consistency rather than going by measured amount; and kept adding salt/pepper/garlic/other stuff until it tasted good. But the end result was some pretty tasty and extremely easy potato soup for a couple of days. Thanks!

Not following the recipe exactly is exactly how it's meant to be made. My mom will be happy to hear you liked it. :)

I read the Voraciously anchovies primer, Maura's story on Dyllan's, and Kara's suggestions for tinned fish recipes - and I wanna get into it! I come from a family that abhorred all fish in a jar/can except some water-packed StarKist so I don't know where to start. What are some good (or excellent) quality brands for some, say, anchovies/sardines with garlic and olive oil on some crusty homemade bread? or the other recipes in Kara's article? I shop mostly at Mom's and Whole Foods so I'm down to explore specialty stores if that's what is required.

You're so well-read! :)

I buy Genova brand tuna packed in oil (they sell it in six packs at Costco, but have seen it elsewhere, maybe Whole Foods?). Cento is usually pretty good for all things canned, too. And "tinned" fish sold in glass jars is, I think, generally higher in quality. You might also enjoy browsing all the options at A. Litteri. But Mom's and Whole Foods have solid options too!

Oh, and if you want to try something really, really special, try the smoked herring from Deckhand's Daughter (I wrote about them a while back!). It is worth every penny.

Anyone else care to chime in with brand names?

My measuring spoon set includes a 1/2 T spoon, I thought that was standard?

not a standard! if it's accurate, that's a keeper kitchen tool.

thank you for your annual list of cookbooks - my Christmas shopping is never done till it comes out. I am looking for a book for my son who is a competent cook and eats most things. He would like a book that would help him with strategies that rely on cooking for a block of time on the weekend and then use what was cooked to allow weeknight dinners to be prepared fairly quickly. Any ideas? thanks!

Perhaps the gift lies in a newsletter -- as in, Voraciously's most recent one, from the lovely and talented Tanya Sichynsky! 

He can sign up here, it's free, and has a 12-week plan. 

For some reason, I am not a fan of Swiss chard (always tastes "muddy" to me) - think I could swap in tuscan kale or mustard greens in that lasagna recipe?

Kale would be good!

I made this soup last week and we liked it a lot. It's going into rotation. My question: should I have used ground oregano or the little leaves? I have the good stuff from Rancho Gordo but wasn't sure which would be better to use.

We will pass that complement on to Editor Joe! A fresh supply of dried oregano leaves rather than ground is probably the way to go here. 

I am hosting a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner, and I'm in charge of doing a whole fish. Do you have recipes for grilled whole fish or baked salted fish that you'd recommend? Thank you!

This roasted one from Domenica Marchetti is excellent. 

Roasted Whole Fish

RECIPE: Roasted Whole Fish (and also check out the accompanying article)

And here's a salt-crusted one to try!

For this recipe - or any other baking project - does it matter if you use dark or light brown sugar?

Dark brown sugar has a more assertive molasses flavor, which might not be the ticket for these blondies. 

Lemon curd. That's what I did the year I made limoncello for gift-giving.

And it freezes so well! Get ready for lemon meringue pie!

I haven't tried the bars yet, but I wanted to thank you for the brown sugar cardamon snickerdoodle cookie recipe. It's a favorite in this home.


Yes!! :) Me, too - and my friends who bake. Maybe this is why professional bakers are shown in all-white clothes in photos?

Or why we all face forward when being photographed.

I can see the battles over what constitutes gorgeousness starting...

With the cold weather, I'm ready to start making onion soup again. My problem is that the cheese always falls into the broth. And while delicious, I don't get the gooey cheese thing I'm looking for. Any tips? Thank you!

Bread to the rescue! If you float a slice of chewy bread on top, then top that with lotsa cheese, you'll be golden (and bubbling and gooey).

For example:

French Onion Soup

RECIPE: French Onion Soup

Italian Onion Soup

RECIPE: Italian Onion Soup

I liked Carrie's description of roasting chestnuts. Many years ago I spend Christmas with my sister and her family. I had just returned from a year in France where roasted chestnuts are everywhere in winter. I did not know about the scoring needed. We put them in the oven and well, you know the end. I would believe the people living in that townhouse still find bits and pieces of chestnut in that kitchen 25+ years later.

Ha! I hope no one was injured. Everyone in our house survived but the dogs are still angry about it.

I do quite a bit of gluten-ful home baking, and I have just promised a dear friend a gluten-free challah for a milestone event. The amount of resources online for gluten-free baking and ingredients is overwhelming. Can you please point me to a good place to get started on this project, which is likely to be a one-time bread-only event?

This one might work; I have tested several recipes from the site and they were a-okay. Chatters, recommendations?

I loved the idea mentioned in last week's chat about using orange extract in homemade marshmallows instead of peppermint (especially for chocolate-dipped ones), but would I need to make any other tweaks to the recipe? Specifically, is there something that would need to replace the melted peppermint candies? Seems as though they add more than just flavor -- sugar, etc. Thanks!

Hi! Marshmallow fanatic here. The peppermint candies are mostly there for color and flavor, so I think you could probably adapt that recipe. When I want to do other flavors, though, I typically use these honey marshmallows, also from Nancy Baggett and go from there.

Peppermint Marshmallows

RECIPE: Peppermint Marshmallows

Another solution is to use shampoo, because shampoo is specifically formulated to remove oil. Simple Green de-greaser is useful too, but don't use it on dark colors because it has a slight bleaching effect, as we found out the hard way.

For the chatter who has lemon rinds left over, is it just the rind or is the pulp still in there? When we make cocktails that use up lots of lemon juice, we mix the remaining pulp and peels with sugar and leave out overnight. Next day, just strain. Makes a nice lemon-flavored simple syrup... for use in future cocktails. (There's a theme.)

Do you like using chestnuts for soup? I’ve been thinking about trying out a recipe and wondered if they work well in soups.

I love this recipe from Michel Roux Sr. Thanks for reminding me about it!


Probably weird, but making cookies has made me think of going faster. Would it be reasonable to use a mandoline set at 1/4" to slice frozen cookie dough from a log and then bake it? I don't know that it would necessarily be faster, but it would be neater and more consistent- and it might just be faster. I was thinking frozen dough because it would need to be stiff enough to stay round and not jam.

Eh, I wouldn't go there and not just because I am deathly afraid of mandolines. I think they'll smoosh more than you want (and possibly cause your hand to slip), especially as they thaw. I would just go with the knife.

Someone gave me a jar of Tunisian preserved lemons in slices and I have no idea what to do with them. I thought adding pieces to a potato salad but that's about it. I dont eat much meat or seafood, suggestions?

If you don't know Paula Wolfert's recipes, start there. She's written extensively about the foods of northern Africa and there are a zillion ways to use that jar of lemons. You'll never be without them again.

I'd like to put together an Old Fashioned cocktail kit as a gift. Couple questions - what type of bourbon/rye, should I buy simple syrup or make it myself, and where can I find fancy cherries for a garnish (I know this is apocryphal).

I'll leave the bourbon or rye suggestion for Carrie, but don't miss this sugar cube recipe. I've made it now (twice) and gifted it with a bottle of bourbon and some cherries. It's easy and so surprising. 

I made allspice dram on a whim recently, but now all the cocktail recipes I'm finding are tiki-type drinks or feature lots of lemon juice. Can you recommend any more wintry, holiday-feeling drinks?

Hmm, interesting ... you're right that ASD does tend to show up in citrusy drinks, as the two elements provide a nice balance. But if you're looking for something deeper and richer: I would try using it as a full or partial substitute for the vermouth in a Manhattan (rye or dark rum) or for the sugar in an Old Fashioned (bourbon or brandy -- try apple brandy with a little ASD and perhaps a bar spoon of pear or apple liqueur?) Also, this one (while it does contain citrus) sounds like it's aimed for the season!

For the new year, I would like to try some new recipes or a new type of cuisine. The top 10 list looks great, but if I had to choose one, which should I pick?

You mean on Bonnie's list? Of what's on there my top picks would be "Ottolenghi: Simple" (every dish I've had out of it, a lot, has been delicious) and "Israeli Soul," which is beautiful and would give you more of a whole cuisine to try. The hummus and harissa in there alone are worth the price of admission.

As a stay at home mom, I find the best time to cook dinner is while my daughter is at school. How do I cook dinner earlier in the day and still have it taste “freshly cooked” that night?

How about making good use of a slow cooker? That would let you prep more at your leisure and eat food that is "fresh."

I was at a party last week where the hostess made a warm cider punch with apple cider, caramel vodka, cinnamon liqueur, brown sugar, etc. I'm old enough to know when a drink is sneaking up on me so I was careful but man, it was good. Way smooth and not too sweet.

That sounds very tasty - and requiring moderation! 

At supper with a friend, he ordered chicken wings that came with "Alabama white sauce" which he just loved. I'd like to recreate the sauce for him but there are so many variants on-line, I don't know what to do. What do you think the odds are the restaurant would tell me if I 'phone and ask? Or would you ask for me? It was Due South in SE DC.

This is my favorite recipe for Alabama White Sauce.

My mom used to do that, too! She's in assisted living now, with her baking days behind her, and I'm tearing up a bit. (And not at the weak "behind" joke.)

... is delicious flaked over lettuce (and tomato, onion, whatever veggies you like in salad). Dress the salad as usual. Or you might find the salmon is so tasty, you don't need dressing!

my hummus recipe calls for 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice...which is how I end up with all those peels.

I found an Italian chestnut knife in Williams-Sonoma and it's magic. More like a GI can-opener where you just dig the point into the chestnut twice. Works like a charm.

I'd still keep bandages around. Just to be safe.

When we packed to move out of our house, we found chestnut bits still clinging to the underside of the dishwasher and in the corners of the ceiling...

So I was very intrigued by the Jack Monroe profile, and eating on the cheap at home is something that was ground into me as a poor student (and thereafter for a while, when things were lean). I will definitely be making some of those recipes for sure - but how come no further chatting about this way of cooking? I was looking forward to discussion of this today... Rats!

We answer the questions we get! Always up for talking budget recipes. Come back next week! 

It's insanely easy to make - and ridiculously expensive to buy.

Plus when you make it, you can do all sorts of fun things like vary the sugars and add spices and flavorings!

Well, you've rinsed us clean of canned tomato sauce and topped us with grated cheese, so you know what that means....we're done! Thanks to Cathy Barrow and Carrie for joining us, and to you, dear readers, for making it a lively hour. 


Cookbook winners: The chatter who asked about using leftover lemon rinds and ginger peelings wins a copy of Julia Turshen's "Now & Again"; the chatter who asked for an office potluck recipe gets a copy of Cathy's "Pie Squared."


Send your mailing info to, and she'll get those right out to you. Till next week, happy baking, cooking and eating!

In This Chat
Bonnie Benwick
Bonnie S. Benwick is Deputy Food Editor and recipe editor at The Post. Cook with her each week at Dinner in Minutes.
Carrie Allan
M. Carrie Allan is The Post's Spirits columnist.
Becky Krystal
Becky Krystal is the lead writer for Voraciously.
Cathy Barrow
Cathy Barrow is the author of "Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet and Savory Slab Pies" (Grand Central Life & Style, 2018).
Kara Elder
Kara Elder is the Food section editorial aide.
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