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David T. Cole

America's Test Kitchen

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I've always liked Julia. She doesn't seem to be snarky, like somebody else on the show. Haven't seen the extensions but I wish she had a really good hairdresser & clothes consultant.  

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I still have not seen these recent episodes -- I watch Create for both shows, so the current season takes a little longer to get over there.  So thank you for the photograph.  I have to agree that whoever styles Julia and Bridget generally is not doing them any favors at all.  A more relaxed style would suit them fine, as it did when they had more of a supporting role.  They have seemed over-coiffed ever since they became the main hosts.  

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Well, this explains why on the intro to the new season of ATK, Julia's hair is in a pony tail, meanwhile the episodes still show her with the short hair.  That had been confounding me for weeks.  I was going to bring it up here but then I saw the new Cook's Country episode and realized she had extensions.

I hate them too, but I did like the way Bridget looked on that episode.  Her face looked much better than I'd seen her in recent years.  On her the makeup changes were a good thing.  She had been looking puffy and pasty-faced for a few years.  In fact Mr. Yeah No and I wondered if she was having medical issues.

I know this is probably an unpopular opinion but I don't like the new intro to CC nor do I like the new music (not arguing that they needed new music, just not that music).  It looks like either they or the producers want the two of them to look like twins between the outfits and the hair.  I don't know why but I preferred both of them the way they were years ago, both in style and in personality.  I agree that they both feel over-styled or over-produced or something.

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I saw an episode of the new CC season, and I agree with everyone on Julia's extensions. However, I don't watch this for grooming tips, so I don't care what she does. 

I also don't like the new theme music.

That aside, the brisket they made looked AMAZING. I wish they'd told you where to buy a whole brisket. Can you get it at the supermarket? Do you need to order it special from a butcher?

I was surprised how (relatively) easy the whole thing was, especially for CC/ATK. There's no way I'll ever be able to do this, but feel free to invite me if you do! 

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3 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

That aside, the brisket they made looked AMAZING. I wish they'd told you where to buy a whole brisket. Can you get it at the supermarket? Do you need to order it special from a butcher?

The flat cut is readily available at supermarkets here, but I'm not sure about a whole (I've never looked for one, but it seems as if something that large would catch my attention).  A quick internet search suggested Costco, Smart & Final, and Whole Foods as sources for whole brisket, but I'm sure even in areas with those stores it varies as to if and when it's stocked.  I checked the website for my local Whole Foods out of curiosity, and whole brisket is a suggested search term, but only the flat cut was listed when the available results were brought up.  

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I have a friend who is a butcher at Whole Foods and they usually get the whole brisket and break it down so if you ask they will sell it to you if they have them and they will order them for you.

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Y'all watch the intro?  I FF right past it, and watch the whole thing on 1.3 speed.

I don't know if it's a current episode, but they did a tasting of peanut butter and picked the Skippy that has sugar in it.  Now, they were doing crunchy, and I've never tried Skippy crunchy, but every peanut butter I've tried that has sugar in it tastes terrible to me.  Like granola cereals that pile on the sugar.  They taste unnatural.

I couldn't believe Bridget picked that one.

I'm not a foe of sugar; in fact, I love the stuff.  I'm happy to put a pile of it on shredded wheat, and like my tea so sweet it makes my teeth hurt.  But peanut butter with sugar in it is strictly for mousetraps as far as I'm concerned.

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Do they do still have that banjo strumming 3 times to bridge the change in time/scenes?  That was like fingernails on a blackboard for me. 

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That crunchy peanut butter taste testing was one of my favorites, because her reaction was exactly mine: I buy one that is just peanuts and salt, but what I really like is the Skippy.

In fact, since then, I have gone back to Skippy; I hardly ever eat peanut butter anyway, so I am perfectly content with the small amount of extra sugar and oil I am consuming per year in exchange for the taste I want when a peanut butter toast (or spoonful of peanut butter straight from the jar) craving hits.

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My brother, the peanut butter lover, grew up on Skippy and Jif, but even he’s gone to Kirklands’s organic creamy. I cook with that pb, so no added sugar and junk oil for me. I know ATK pushes taste over other factors, but add sugar or extra salt/fat to anything and watch what people who grew up with it think. Disappointing. If I still thought they were the harbinger of the best these days.

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5 minutes ago, buttersister said:

but add sugar or extra salt/fat to anything and watch what people who grew up with it think.

Yeah imitation vanilla still wins blind taste tests, sense memory is a hell of a thing.

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10 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

Do they do still have that banjo strumming 3 times to bridge the change in time/scenes?  That was like fingernails on a blackboard for me. 

Nope, it's now a more melodious riff taken from the new opening tune.

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I actually liked the "pasta fazool" recipe and felt it wasn't too different from my Italian grandma's, down to no tomatoes and just a little tomato paste.  I don't remember adding that much basil though.  She just put a little.  I liked the idea of pureeing one of the cans of beans in the food processor.  Grandma used to mash some of them with a potato masher after putting them in the pot, but this works too.  I remember I got used to eating it with a smoky taste because when I used to make it back in the day it wasn't so easy to find pancetta, plus I was relatively poor and it was expensive in the Italian delis, so I just used regular American smoked bacon.  I think I'm going to make this recipe. 

Oh - And I just remembered this - Grandma used only one can of broth and one can of water.  Somehow that seemed like the right proportion so it didn't taste too chicken-y.

Edited by Yeah No
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Back to peanut butter briefly: I buy Skippy Natural Super Chunk "peanut butter spread." It does have sugar and palm oil but no high-fructose corn syrup. And it's very crunchy.

I need to try Cook's Country's drop meatballs.

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I used to buy Jif to bake with, because years ago ATK said it gave a stronger peanut flavor, but now I just use Skippy Super Chunk for everything. I hate stirring in oil, and I also don't like the thinner consistency of natural peanut butters.

Loved Bridget's air quotes around "two hours and fifteen minutes" when referring to the cooling period for the food processor coffee cake. For a cake like that, I don't know why you can't eat it almost as soon as it's out of the oven. All you really need it to do is set a bit so it doesn't break/collapse when you remove it from the pan, if you even want to do that. Warm coffee cake is a delight!

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I wonder if they used to have a rule about visible tattoos, I noticed two of the new chefs have visible sleeves. Hawaiian Mac salad is way to sweet for me but I will make the fried chicken.

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I think we're several weeks behind on the new season.  I saw Julia's much-discussed extensions for the first time last week.

This past weekend they did a Chicago thin-crust pizza, which looked very good to this native-born NYer who thinks that Chicago deep-dish is a crime against humanity.  Coincidentally, I just got around to replacing our last broken pizza stone with a bigger new one, and I was thinking of christening it with this recipe.  Has anyone here tried it yet?

BTW, I really like Bryan Roof, the chef who demoed the pizza.  He has a great sense of humor, and I always want to make everything he cooks.

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I hate the new opening to Cooks Country.  It just doesn't have the same appeal.  I know things need to change and evolve, but I would have much preferred they kept the same style music.

I'm surprised that they are still using an audience for the taste-test segments.  They always mention that the studio audience taste-tested the item they are showing.  I wish they would show a  bit of that.

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3 hours ago, Mondrianyone said:

I think we're several weeks behind on the new season.  I saw Julia's much-discussed extensions for the first time last week.

This past weekend they did a Chicago thin-crust pizza, which looked very good to this native-born NYer who thinks that Chicago deep-dish is a crime against humanity.  Coincidentally, I just got around to replacing our last broken pizza stone with a bigger new one, and I was thinking of christening it with this recipe.  Has anyone here tried it yet?

BTW, I really like Bryan Roof, the chef who demoed the pizza.  He has a great sense of humor, and I always want to make everything he cooks.

Jon Stewart said that Chicago deep dish pizza is really "pizza casserole". 

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On 10/7/2019 at 8:52 PM, BigBingerBro said:

I hate the new opening to Cooks Country.  It just doesn't have the same appeal.  I know things need to change and evolve, but I would have much preferred they kept the same style music.

I'm surprised that they are still using an audience for the taste-test segments.  They always mention that the studio audience taste-tested the item they are showing.  I wish they would show a  bit of that.

I know you aren't the only one who has mentioned this but am I the only one who doesn't care about the opening music? If I've recorded the show I just fast forward to the segment and if I am watching live it doesn't even phase me enough to hit mute.

I do agree though that I would like to see a little background on the audience testing on Cooks Country if they are going through the trouble of having them there. My preference for whatever reason is to see Bridget in the tastings on ATC or CC, I don't know why but sometimes Julia irritates me.

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Am I the only one who can’t remember which blond host is which?  Bridget is the one who used to have shortish hair, right?

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23 minutes ago, Mittengirl said:

Bridget is the one who used to have shortish hair, right?

Other way around.  Julia's the one who used to have short hair.  Bridget's has always been on the longish side.

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I loved Bridget's horror at choosing the reduced fat kettle chips.  I'd feel the same way, except Jack explained that they sling the fat off in a centrifuge--it's not like they add a bunch of sugar to make up for taking out fat, which really should be a crime.  Besides, I thought fat wasn't the devil any more.

I'll quibble with their arithmetic, though.  They said she could eat 40% more chips because they have 40% less fat.  I think she can actually eat 66.666% more chips.  Here's my work:

Assume 100 units (of fat or whatever) is normal.  40% less than that is 60 units.

To get back to 100 units...

60x = 100

x = 100/60

x=1.666

I'm not sure she should know this, though, considering how excited she was when she thought she could eat 40% more. 

On 10/7/2019 at 10:28 PM, annzeepark914 said:

Jon Stewart said that Chicago deep dish pizza is really "pizza casserole". 

Except it has a bunch of dough, much of it undercooked.  I love the stuff, but I'm an outlier because I generally don't like any toppings other than cheese and sauce on my pizza, so the dough is prominent, and I like it rare.

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The Hawaiian Macaroni salad looked really good.  I am definitely going to try it.  I didn't care for the new lady that presented it with Julia.  She seemed to tick all the boxes for pulling in a "younger" audience.  I miss Becky, I hope she's still there.

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16 minutes ago, BigBingerBro said:

The Hawaiian Macaroni salad looked really good.  I am definitely going to try it.  I didn't care for the new lady that presented it with Julia.  She seemed to tick all the boxes for pulling in a "younger" audience.  I miss Becky, I hope she's still there.

I felt the same way about the new young lady.  She has no warmth and literally said “yeah” like a teenager would when Julia asked her something.  She added nothing positive to the show IMO.  She does have chicken carving skills, but they all do.  

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Here in NYC the CC episode was spice-rubbed steaks, among other recipes. I never quite understood why you'd take an excellent piece of meat and junk it up with other flavors. I do, of course, but I'd save a spice rub for a lesser cut. I want to taste beef!

Bridget tested bacon, so of course she was in heaven. Jack said there was a ringer in the bunch, and she asked, somewhat horrified, "It's not turkey bacon, is it?" Hee. I love her total disgust for turkey bacon. It's not bacon!

The other recipe was bacon burgers, with the bacon processed to a paste and mixed in with the hamburger that way. An interesting method, but not one I'm going to ever try. Though the burgers looked delicious with blue cheese and caramelized onions. Hamburger is one style of beef I don't mind adding things to, though it shouldn't become a dumping ground.

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