Q: Living outside of the US, I usually tend to spend quite a few hours in supermarkets every time I visit, strolling between the aisles, looking for products which cannot be easily found abroad. Being on a low-fat diet, I found that Betty Crocker has quite a few low-fat baking mixes - especially the fudge brownie and the muffin mixes, which proved to be quite successful, compared to other low-fat recipes I've tried in the past.
Since I'm not able to bring a few months supply of those every time I visit the US, can you help me with recreating the recipes for those mixes?
Q: On my last trip to the US, my friend made me discover those wonderfully addictive Martha White Honey Bran Muffins. I'm not usually a fan of batter mixes, but that one just blew my mind (stomach?). I brought back a few bags of it but have now ran out and can't find that mix or anything remotely close to a bran muffin in the UK.
Would you have any similar-ish recipe to recommend, or tips on how to recreate those muffins? My breakfasts aren't quite the same without warm muffins with honey and salted butter spread on them.
Q: I've been searching for ages for a German soup recipe. I was introduced to it by a former roommate, the son of an Army chaplain who grew up in Germany, but sadly I never learned the name for the soup, much less the recipe. It involved lots of onions, garlic, bacon, mushrooms, and beer, and it was served with large sourdough bread dumplings cooked in the soup near the end.
I would love to try again, but all my book and internet searches for recipes have come up fruitless. Does anyone know what this is called, and where I can find a recipe?
Q: I recently bought the Finax Swedish rye bread (rågbröd) mix in a quart milk carton from IKEA and tried it out, not expecting much. However, I loved it and can't figure out how to recreate it at home!
It must be easy — can you help? Otherwise it's back to IKEA to stock up.
Q: Went to my favorite sushi spot the other night, and as a starter they served us the yummiest glazed sweet potato. I think it was called Daigakuimo. I've searched a few places for recipes, but none seem to be quite what I'm looking for.
Do you (or other readers) have any good recipes for these yummy little morsels??
Q: I just returned from Heidelberg, Germany, where I had many wonderful salads that I would love to recreate. There were many variations but the basic theme was lettuce (green, like butter or leaf), shredded carrots, sometimes cherry tomatoes, and two little mounds of shredded veggies — one white and one dark purple-red.
I am mystified by the last two veggies — cabbage? Beets? The dressing was generally a vinaigrette (not creamy, lots of herbs). I should have asked while I was there but I didn't really realize how much I liked the salads until I left! I am hoping that someone who either lives or has traveled in that area of Germany can help me out.
Here's something to try at home: Chef Mark Ladner's hundred-layer lasagne, served on a special menu at his New York restaurant Del Posto. Can you even imagine a hundred-layer lasagna? It's not exactly simple...
Q: Until last year, there was a tiny shop in Allston, MA, called Fun Food Snackery. They had an amazing treat called Summer Snow. Unfortunately the shop has closed down and I've never seen a similar dessert. It was shaved ice, which was incredibly smooth and soft, topped with chopped fruit, syrup, and a scoop of ice cream. The syrup may have been coconut milk.
Does anyone know of this dessert or have a recipe for something similar?
When we asked what you would like to talk about during Dessert Week quite a few of you said that you would like ideas for "little bites" or small sweet things to close out the meal. We are on board with this — we love finishing the meal with a taste of something sweet but without the work (or calories) of a fullblown dessert.
And since we've also been thinking about inspiration from restaurants here's an inspiration for post-dinner sweets from a Southern restaurant chain. Mini indulgences!