November 24, 2004

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IMBB 10 - Cookies For many of us cookies are as much an everyday treat as they are a special occasion tradition. Holiday cookies are no exception. Around the world there are cookies that mark the Christmas holiday ranging in flavors from Switzerland’s brunsli, Germany's lebkuchen, Danish aebleskiver, Italian pizzelles, Czech kolacky, shortbread from Scotland. Mexico's bicochos and Russian Snowballs and of course the ubiquitous, German in origination but somehow a taste strongly associated with the holiday gingerbread cookies. For this edition of IMBB #10 Cookies hosted by Domestic Goddess we're all about cookie swapping--holiday style. I ended up in South America for this effort, specifically in Uruguay where there is a decidedly Italian influence on cooking and food preparation. Uruguayans love crusty bread, pasta and pizza. Uruguayans also drink strong espresso coffee from very small cups at coffee bars and enjoy an assortment of pastries and sweets. It should come as no surprise to me that I first discovered alfajores in my neighborhood Italian coffee shop. But I was pleasantly enchanted by the delicate balance of shortbread tenderness and sexy sweetness of the filling--dulce de leche. This cookie treat is one of the most common cookies found throughout much of South America. People from Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Peru all claim them as their own. The recipe calls for a surprising amount of cornstarch. This ingredient lowers the flour’s protein content, so the dough will have a weaker gluten formation, and as a result the cookies will be more tender. I ran...
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Burger Birthday There’s nothing more American than a burger. While many can’t agree on it’s origins most food historians agree that the hamburger made its official debut at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Concessionaire Fletcher Davis of Athens, TX, served the hamburger with a mixture of ground mustard and mayonnaise on slices of thick bread and topped the burger with cucumber pickles and a slice of Bermuda onion. And we Americans love our burgers. According to the research organization NPD who tracks trends for marketers and the generally curious, 73% of all burgers consumed in the U.S. are prepared and purchased; French fries are the most popular side item and burgers are more popular than pizza plus seven of every 10 commercially ordered burgers are cheeseburgers most often with American cheese followed by cheddar and Swiss. According to a Hardee’s survey, 48% of Americans say ketchup is their favorite hamburger condiment, followed by mayonnaise and then mustard. What's more, 83% of those surveyed say lettuce is their favorite topping, followed closely by tomato, and then pickle, onion, bacon, chili and salsa. Recently Hardee’s in a complete act of decadence, and perhaps to fill a market void announced the Monster Thickburger— two 1/3-pound slabs of Angus beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese and mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun. This 1,420 calorie meal sells for $5.49, or with fries and a soda for just over $7. In an interview on CNBC, Hardee's chief executive Andrew Puzder was...

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what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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