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Jul 4, 2009 07:14 PM

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.