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Invent anything recently?

I invented cardamom sugar. I made a dish that called for simmering and then steeping crushed cardamom pods in half and half and then straining them out. I couldn't bear to just throw out the seeds (which had separated from the pods), so I decided to grind them. But there weren't enough to grind well, so I decided to add some sugar and grind them together. Voila! Cardamom sugar. It smells heavenly!

Then I went looking for something to do with it. I had egg whites leftover from the same recipe, so I decided to make meringues. I found a recipe for spicy walnut meringues that called for cinnamon and then rolling the meringue in sugar before baking. I used cardamom instead of cinnamon, and then used the cardamom sugar (mixed with plain sugar) for the exterior. Delicious!

What have you invented recently?

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  1. I wasn't quite sure what to do with garlic scapes from the garden plus I had a dried lima bean casserole that was not popular with the family. Since the casserole lacked flavor, I decided to turn part of it into a hummus-like concoction for my afternoon snacks. I added tahini, lemon juice and parsley from the garden.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dfrostnh

      That sounds delicious! I've never cooked with garlic scapes -- how did you use them? Raw? Steamed?

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I'm new to garlic scapes, too. I read that they need to be picked after they make their first turn so this year they were still nice, fresh and tender when I picked them so I used them raw.

    2. For my 4th of July dessert, I made s'mores with Lindt's dark chocolate with chili. Great grown-up twist to an old recipe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: weezycom

        Oh weezycom, that Lindt's dark chocolate with chili is my top favorite guilty pleasure. In fact, I like to keep a bar on my bedside table, for "just a little taste" when I'm reading or knitting at night.

      2. I made a huge vat of gazpacho, yesterday, and decided that I really didn't want to have it every day for the rest of the week. Result? Pureed gazpacho popsicles. Not bad.

        1. I posted about using cream soup rather than milk or cream in a strata:

          Last month, I made lentil soup which turned rather too thick as it cooled. I scooped out some of the lentils and other vegetables and froze in a container. The next time I was making meatballs, I thawed the container and used it in place of most of the bread crumb binder/filler. Good flavor, and a more tender texture; also more nutritional value than using only bread. So in the future, when I have cooked beans or lentils on hand, I'll add them to meatloaf/meatballs.

          1. Not really an invention but a riff on an old favorite: Alice Medrich's Reine de Saba cake from The Baker's Dozen cookbook, Americanized for the 4th with Hershey's Special Dark chocolate, pecans, and Zinfandel port as the liquor. I upped the flour to 1/2 c from 3 tb and added an extra egg because I couldn't face putting the carton back in the fridge with only 1 egg in it. Baked in 8" loose-bottomed 3" high pan for 30 mins, rose nice and high and had a velvety texture, more traditional cake than the usual Reine de Saba. A big hit.

            1. I made bread and butter pickles with apple cider vinegar and I think I accidentally used cardamon in addition to the turmeric. (unmarked spice bottles can cause this to happen.)

              Wasn't quite sure how the spices would work out, and was pleasantly surprised when we tried the first batch of pickles. :)

              1. Two words: Kim Chee-seburger. Seriously.

                1. OK this is not inventing. it is inventingish. I made without the benefit of cookbook a blueberry upside down cake with a second layer separated by homemade lemon curd. Two 9 x 12s. Lots of lemon zest. Genoise sponge cake. Not very pretty, but so yum.

                  1. made blueberry breakfast cake using that amish cake base i have an endless supply of. It was very moist and good. i suspect i can use this instead of buttermilk in most coffeecake/sweet quickbreads.

                    1. I recently made a riff on a swiss chard gratin which added in fennel and parmesan. It was a wonderful combination!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Phoo_d

                        Not my idea but a friends..when making polenta squares, add in raw black eyed peas. Cook for a minute or two with the polenta so they are still chewy. Then crisp the squares in a frying pan. The black eyed peas add a pleasant texture contrast..almost like chewing a walnut and also up the protein level.