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Questions & Comments



I have been hearing about immersion blenders--that they perform wonders. Can you please give me the scoop on them? If they are worth the money, which one do you suggest?

Thank you.


Dear Dianne,

I can't believe I cooked without one; it certainly speeds up time in the kitchen. Actually, I use my immersion or hand blender less for blending than I do for chopping and mincing. It comes with an attachment that's like a small food processor bowl—handy for mincing garlic, parsley and green onions, or for whipping up fresh salad dressings in one container—by chopping the garlic first then adding mustard, oil, vinegar, etc. And whirring together to make a smooth emulsion that will keep for a long time. And it cleans up quickly, unlike larger food processors. I do occasionally use it to purée soups, beans and sauces directly in their cooking pots, but be careful to hold the wand comepletely submerged, lest you redecorate your kitchen in a splatter pattern. It also has a single eggbeater attachment, and a blade and cup for mixing smoothies. My favorite: the Braun Multiquick, which has all these attachments and feels good in the hand. You can usually find it on sale at major department stores.

Happy cooking!

Kate Heyhoe


Hi there, Kate,

I just love your site. I can't find how to subscribe though.

All my best to you,

Beth Ferrari (CA)

Dear Beth,

There is a link to subscribe to our free email newsletter, the eGG-Roll, on almost every foodwine.com page.

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

I am looking for kitchen tools that are made for children. My kids loves to help me prepare food but my peelers, spatula, whisk, etc. are too big for their little hands. Any suggestion on where I might be able to get something smaller for them?

Maggie Dearborn

Dear Maggie,

Spatulas and whisks come in all sorts of sizes—I have ones that are only three inches long! I'm not sure where you live, but gourmet cookware stores like Sur la Table often carry different sizes, as do restaurant supply stores. As I mention in my book, Cooking with Kids For Dummies (see www.cookingwithkids.com), the harp style vegetable peeler is easier for kids to control than swivel peelers, and you can adapt loads of other items as well (see Chapter 3: The Kid Friendly Kitchen), like using a sandwich spreader with a serrated blade to cut soft foods, a melon baller to scrape the insides of bell peppers, small schoolbox size scissors to snip herbs and cut soft cheese slices, and more. By the way, that's terrific that you're bringing your kids into the kitchen. I hope others get inspired from your letter and do the same thing.

I leave you with a favorite kid's food joke:

"What did the dog say before serving dinner? Bone appetit!"

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

Is there anything I can do to help rancid hazelnuts? They have been roasted and frozen. However, the rancid taste is very strong. I really do not want to trash them if there is a way to freshen them up.

Thank you.

Frances Shepherd

Dear Frances,

Aw, nuts! Throw them out. Rancidity doesn't just affect flavor—it's an indication that the nuts (actually the oils in them) have gone bad. Freezing helps prolong their freshness, but even so, foods will deteriorate gradually in the freezer. Best to start anew rather than taint your cooking—or your guests' stomachs.

Kate Heyhoe


Hi Kate,

My name is Mitu Mukherjee. Recently I visited Egypt and practically fell in love with the country, not to mention its food! Back home, so far I've tried a few of my favourites, but I would very much appreciate your help in finding me the recipe for "Kushari," a mixture of macaroni, lentils, rice and chickpeas served with fried onions and a generous dollop of hot tomato sauce! Can you help?

I am so glad to have found you on the Internet. My Egyptian friend is coming over for the New Year in a few days , and I do want to give him a surprise!

Thank you, and wish you a Happy New Year!

Mitu Mukherjee

Dear Mitu,

I hope this email finds you in time for New Years. I recommend you buy The Arabian Delights Cookbook, by Anne Marie Weiss-Armush. I use it all the time. She has a recipe for Koshari that sounds divine, and I always trust her cooking. She also includes a recipe for the Spicy Tomato Sauce and an optional Green Chile Vinaigrette. The recipe is too long for me to include here, alas, so if you can't get the book right away or from Amazon.com, then I found other recipes on the web at these sites:


Happy New Year!

Kate Heyhoe


Hello Kate,

I hope you can help. I have been searching the net for 2 ingredients. One is pipian & the other is mole verde. I picked up a jar of each & have no idea in what to use them! If you could assist me in what kind of recipe & what they may taste like. I would surely appreciate it!


Rosemary McEniry

Dear Rosemary (I just love folks with food names!),

I've never tried the bottled versions of pipian or mole, but the traditional dishes are sauces made of seeds (typically pumpkin or sesame), chiles (red or green), garlic, herbs and spices. If I were experimenting with your bottled sauces, I would make a chicken stew-like dish by simmering chicken pieces in water or broth with onion, carrot and celery, until almost cooked through. Then, I would remove the chicken from the broth, stir it up with some of the bottled sauce, adding just enough broth to make a sauce that coats the back of a spoon, then simmer or braise until cooked through. Or, stir some cooked, shredded chicken, pork or turkey meat into the bottled sauce, again thinned with broth or water to desired consistency and flavor (I'm not sure how concentrated these jarred sauces are). Serve with tortillas and shredded lettuce. The traditional sauces made from scratch are awesome, bursting with layers of flavors. Do let me know how these bottled varieties turn out.

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

The Tamale article is terrific. Thanks.

I found you by clicking on the what's related button on Netscape. I started at www.foodtv.com.

Mary Wynne



Dear Kate:

I can't wait to make your gravlax recipe. My only question is what kind of pan should I use? A cookie sheet or would pyrex be more suitable? Looking foward to hearing from you.

Claudia Litwack

Dear Claudia,

I prefer glass or a porcelain/ceramic coated pan. Metal can be damaged by the salt.

Good luck—and hope you like the recipe. : )

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

Hello, I'm looking for a menu for an Ireland restaurant for my daughter's school project. Could you please send me (her) one. Thank you and god bless your willingness to help.


Dear Brenda,

Look in the Ireland section of Global Destinations at globalgourmet.com. You will find some typical dishes there, some from Irish cookbooks written by Irish restaurant chefs.

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

Oh my goodness! I cannot believe that I won :) This is absolutely wonderful, I am so excited! I love doing the trivia on your website. Thank you so much, (I still can't believe I won :)))

Thank you again so much!!!

Karrie Millheim
Cape Coral FL


Dear Foodwine.com,

I was one of the Gourmet Guess winners from October. I received my Chantal 4qt. soup pot very quickly after I was notified of the win. After using this prize for over a month now, I must say I am very impressed with this product. I am saving my money to buy more Chantal cookware. Thank you so much for sponsoring this contest and for the great prize!!!

Debbie Hall
Kerrville, TX


Dear Foodwine.com,

Tried to access the Gourmet Guess Quiz and received the following: htmlscript cannot execute the application because the error FILEDOESNOTEXIST has occured. This may be an error in the application or it may be a problem with the server configuration. Following is information on who you can contact to report this error: Server Administrator: webmaster*globalgourmet.com.

Jerry Tufts

Dear Jerry,

The contest appears to be working fine. There was either a temporary server problem or you found a link to an old contest somewhere. The old contests are erased each month. To go to the current contest try pasting this link into your browser:


Thanks for writing.



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