CK Friday Links--Friday June 24, 2011

Here's yet another selection of interesting links from around the internet. As always, I welcome your thoughts and your feedback.

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What is tunneling, and how can you prevent it when baking? (Baking Bites)

Is it really worth it to buy a slow cooker? (stonesoup)

Our fat future. (Fooducate)

Listen in on this "conversation" between a farmer and a clueless suburbanite armed with anti-Big Ag talking points. (Cause Matters)

Recipe Links:
Simple, elegant and delicious: Grilled Shrimp with Mustard & Honey. (Kalofagas)

Drool like Homer Simpson at this hilariously easy recipe. Caprese Pasta. (Alosha's Kitchen)

Hate hard oatmeal cookies? Then this recipe's for you: Soft Oatmeal Cookies. (Weekend Food Projects)

Off-Topic Links:
Explaining Big Herb's "research deficit." Remember: if you don't fund studies on your herbal supplement products, you won't find out they don't work. (Skeptic North)

The Law of the Ugly Chair. It's both a law and a metaphor. (Bindu Wiles, via Ombailamos)

Why human beings are so pathetic at making decisions, by the author of the brilliant book Stumbling on Happiness. Worth watching the entire thing. (Ted Talks)

Do you have an interesting article or recipe that you'd like to see featured in Casual Kitchen's Food Links? Send me an email!

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Sally said...

First thing I looked at was the Soft Oatmeal Cookie recipe. Compare the recipe with this:

I probably wouldn't have noticed it had I just not made the cookies.

Melissa said...

Deb uses all butter, no Crisco, and she also adds raisins. Two differences is enough not to credit. Besides, it's oatmeal cookies. How different can they be?

Thanks for the linkage - I made that dish again for dinner tonight and split it with our vegetarian friend (Steve and other friend got barbecue bacon burgers... ay ay ay). Still as awesome as ever, always, every time.

I like the ugly chair metaphor. Mucho. :)

Brittany said...

I love my slow cooker(s)! (Due to some gift-giving misremembrance on my mother's part, I have two...even in my two-person household, we still sometimes find uses for both at the same time.) We're mostly vegetarians, with the occasional meat indulgence, and we use it all the time. I think the value of a slow-cooker comes from the creativity in which you use it. In addition to the standard stews and roasts (which a slow cooker does wonderfully), we use ours for all sorts of one-pot vegetarian dishes, beans(!), and even our Thanksgiving turkey. It's true that you don't get as much of a Maillard reaction in meat (the process that causes meat to "brown" and also creates some of the complexity of flavors), but we've found taking a turkey/chicken out of the crockpot and throwing it under the broiler for 15 minutes fixes this while maintaining the awesome texture.

And contest. Instead of 8 hours of soaking and 1-2 hours of watching a pot on the stove, 4 hours on high on a crockpot, no soaking required, produces perfectly cooked beans that can be added to recipes from there. I'm too cheap and minimalist to buy canned beans, but too busy to actively cook them.

Finally, the crockpot is only a winter tool? Forget about it. You know how much residual heat a crockpot produces? Next to zero. (They're also crazy energy efficient... isn't that a minimalist value?) I live in Texas, in a poorly insulated apartment, with only a mediocre air conditioner. In the summer, if I turn on my stovetop, being in my kitchen is almost unbearable (and I've learned my lessons about cooking stovetop while wearing minimal clothing...). If I turn on my oven, unbearable permeated the whole apartment, and it takes hours of running the AC higher than normal to get back to a reasonable temperature. Having a crockpot to cook warm meals without making a warm house or to cook the ingredients of a cold meal (grains and beans for a salad, for example) with minimal heat and effort is glorious.

To sum up a long (ri)post(e), slow cookers=win.

Daniel said...

Yes, agreed, the two recipes are similar, but not that similar. Furthermore, Deb credits Smitten Kitchen anyway. It's in the last line of the post.

Brittany: I totally agree and am hugely pro-slow cooker.... although admittedly I was initially skeptical.