Q: Help! I am planning on making bottles of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for Christmas gifts this year, but my local grocer didn't carry red jalapeños or serrano peppers, so I bought a ton of Chile de Arbol chiles thinking the dark red color would work great. As it turns out, these things are able to set everything they touch on fire.
Q: For our office holiday potluck, we have been scolded in past years for bringing too many desserts and chips and dip, so I am looking for some ideas for savory options. The challenge is finding something that does not need to be refrigerated the day of (low on space) or reheated (no ovens and limited microwave use).
Q: Our annual family party is coming up, and I want to make chicken-andouille gumbo. How do I keep the rice warm? The gumbo will be fine in the slow cooker, but I don't want the rice to dry out and become hard.
Q: Now that winter is upon us, and I foresee many hearty meatballs in the weekly repertoire, I'd like to ask a seemingly obvious question: When instructions say to brown meatballs "X minutes per side," how many sides should be done? Two or four?
Q: I'm looking for good make-ahead, easy-to-transport appetizers to bring to all the holiday parties that are directly after work this season (although I think things that could be reheated in an oven or microwave would be fine). I live in a place where it's not easily feasible to go home between work and social functions.
Q: I'll be traveling to my in-laws' place for Christmas. I asked my husband to volunteer my cooking services, since his family usually just sticks to frozen food, and I'd love to contribute a home-cooked meal for Christmas day.