Dry Ice!  Yay!

Allen, the extremely kind purveyor of Eating Out Loud, was a total prince and made sure to check in first to confirm that the pints and pints of rich and decadent Häagen-Dazs ice cream he wanted to bestow upon me weren’t going to interfere with my “diet.” I told him I could measure ice cream servings too, and to bring it on (pretty please)!

Free Treats! And now I want to ruin 3 lucky Erin Cooks readers’ diets (Note: Unfortunately this offer is only open to U.S. residents). Here’s the catch: all you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a question for me to potentially answer for “Ask Erin Cooks.” I’ll pick my favorites, no doubt with a little assistance from live-in taste tester CK, and you’ll win free ice cream! Believe me when I say that there’s almost nothing as fabulous as getting ice cream in the mail. You’ll be the envy of all your neighbors who only receive packages of books from amazon.com and credit card offers.

If you win, your frosty package may contain the following delicious treats: Vanilla Honey Bee, Pomegranate Chip, Frozen Yogurt with Vanilla Honey and Granola, Fleur De Sel Caramel, and a box of snack size Vanilla and Almond Ice Cream Bars. They even throw in a packet of “Bee Friendly Seeds” for you to plant. What more could you ask for?!

So get your thinking caps on, but not too tight, and submit your questions below. Your ice cream is waiting! The winners will be announced on Monday.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna April 10, 2008 at 11:17 am

Since you already answered an Ask Erin Cooks question of mine AND I’m lactose intolerant, I will withdraw myself from the potential running, I just wanted to comment and thank you for the Vanilla Ice reference. That’s enough of a treat for me ;)

Good Luck everyone!!

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2 Ali April 10, 2008 at 11:31 am

Is there a technique or a particular recipe that produces extremely chocolaty, fudgey brownies? I use to be a fan of cakey brownies, but I’ve now seen the error of my ways. Bring on the fudgies. (That sounded horrible, I know.)

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3 Laura April 10, 2008 at 11:48 am

Ice cream is my greatest weakness! Especially Haagen-Dazs. I’m sure I could ask you a million questions since I have so much to learn about cooking, but since I’m a single gal who doesn’t have much money or time to invest in it, could you share one or more of your favorite go-to recipes when you’re running short on time? Or (if I’m even allowed two questions), what is your favorite cookbook?-probably a tough one, I know.

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4 Laura April 10, 2008 at 11:50 am

Also, in response to Ali’s comment, I don’t know of a made-from-scratch recipe, but Ghirardelli’s Double Chocolate brownie mix makes very chocolately and fudgey brownies that, in my opinion, taste homemade!

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5 Sarah April 10, 2008 at 11:56 am

OMG what a fantastic package to recieve! My question is as follows: What is your favorite Springtime dish? I would love to put a meal together that represents all that is delicious about Spring!

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6 Sarah April 10, 2008 at 11:58 am

What is the best way to use pomegranate chip ice cream? Okay, seriously I have been wanting to try my hand at fish tacos, but have no idea where to start. I also am a bit afraid of fish. I never know how to cook it. Can you help?! :)

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7 Carla April 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm

This giveaway sounds fantastic. We have had to form a separate budget for mainly my hubs weakness for Haagen-Dazs. We’ve tried the Honey Bee which is fantastic, but none of these others as we are at the mercy of whatever our Midwest grocers bring in.

You didn’t specify if the question HAD to be food related. So my question is – you’ve always had really terrific pictures and that is sort of the focus of your blog. Plus you had mentioned CK got a new camera. So any food photography tips for people wanting to improve on their pictures? What works best for you? Thanks!

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8 Erin April 10, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Anna: The only way it could have been better was if the title was actually “All right – Stop, Collaborate and Listen”!

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9 Shannon April 10, 2008 at 2:30 pm

my hopefully-ice-cream-worthy-question-for-erin: you recently shared with the world a secret chewy chocolate chip recipe and, awhile back, your famous artichoke dip. i’ve made both with stellar results. what’s the next super-secret recipe you’ll share with us and when?

this way, even if i don’t win the ice cream, i have hopes of winning another of your secrets =)

p.s: i happily discovered your blog several weeks ago while searching for possible new domain names for my sister, whose name is also erin and who also cooks. i’ve come back to it nearly daily since then, as has my sister, erin.

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10 Cze-Johnson Carrie April 10, 2008 at 2:54 pm

what if I threaten to come up there and hump you for it? oh wait.. that’s Hännikins’ job. but really. that honey granola ice cream is BEGGING to visit NC.

ok.. my question.

is there a particular food or style of cooking you refuse to cook? if so.. why the hate?

if NOT… prove it. can the audience/readers dare you to cook a particular food a la iron chef? (‘cept there will be no Alton Brown or Mark Dacascos there for comments.)

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11 Kerri Anne April 10, 2008 at 3:01 pm

What’s your favorite way to prepare fresh salmon? I have always loved to eat fish, and have recently started loving cooking it! too, but I’m short on recipes and tricks of the fishy trade.

(Um, and also? I love that Carrie just threatened to “hump you for it.” That phrase should be used every day.)

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12 Melanie April 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Here is my question:

I don’t own a garlic press and I would rather not buy one to clutter up my already tiny kitchen. So, what is the best way to mince garlic very finely, as is called for in so many recipes? Too often I end up with big chunks of garlic (fine for some recipes but not those where the garlic should be subtle) because I haven’t gotten the knack of mincing the garlic finely enough. Any tips?

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13 robin April 10, 2008 at 4:39 pm

I’d love to know some good gluten-free recipes—got any? My friend Alex has a new (and wonderful) girlfriend who’s allergic to gluten, and I’d love to make her a great GF dinner. Actually, while you’re at it, you could explain to me what gluten-free actually means… I’m such a bad foodie for not knowing!

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14 Francie April 10, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Is there a way to make broccoli palatable? Seriously. Because I’m 45 years old and still haven’t found one but know it must be out there somewhere!

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15 Elle April 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Oooooh, great giveaway, Erin!

Here;s my question:

What’s the best way to get rid of cooking odors, like fish and garlic?

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16 Jessica April 10, 2008 at 6:35 pm

mmmm! ice cream!

ok – question time. i’d love to have my parents (and maybe my in-laws) over for dinner. i want to make something delicious, but unfussy. i don’t want to have to stress about it, and especially don’t want to have to play around too much once they come over.

any particular low key menus for guests (especially ones you’re a little hesitant to cook for like your foodie MIL) that you like?

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17 Grace April 10, 2008 at 7:26 pm

I’d like to know a few quick and easy recipes that don’t involve too many ingredients but still manages to not be bland and hit the spot. :)

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18 geeky April 10, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I don’t have a question, I just want to chime in and say that I tried the Vanilla Honey Bee last night and it was really good :)

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19 DaReaVeRoFBiTS April 10, 2008 at 9:12 pm

With May coming around the corner, and a very special holiday as well. CINCO DE MAYO!!! While keeping with the party spirit, how many great mexican hors d’ oeuvres can you come up with? I was hoping I could get some great ideas for a party I would like to throw!

/stalker

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20 ttfn300 April 10, 2008 at 10:40 pm

I’ve recently discovered alot of new things about food… new ingredients, new spices, cooking, food blogs :) While I’m not vegetarian or vegan, I’ve found some appetizing recipes on vegan blogs. However, some ingredients I have no idea what they are, or what they’re a vegan substitute for! Are there some common substitutions that vegans use that can help me try their mouth-watering recipes, too (w/o buying even more unique ingredients)?

and oh my i can’t wait to hear the review on those flavors!!
thanks :)

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21 farida April 10, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Erin, here it comes, and yes, you should pick my question:) Do you believe that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? If yes, what food you prepare you think will find a way to any man’s heart faster than millions of other foods out there? And why? He he. I know I am asking too many questions, it’s fun:))

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22 Erin Rinay April 10, 2008 at 11:58 pm

I loved discovering your page a few weeks back. Especially since I’m an Erin who loves to cook as well!
Unfortunately, I live in a SMALL po-dunk town and I know that I will never see that yummy-ness that I know lurks within that Haagen-Dazs Fleur De Sel Caramel pint container.
So, other Erin who Cooks, you are my only hope!

*Cue: puppy dog pleading eyes*

Here are my questions:

If you could only eat 5 foods for the remainder of your life, what would they be and why?

Also, if you had to pick just one…

…which would it be?
The cheese and chocolate pick was TORTURE!!!

1. CHEESE or CHOCOLATE?
2. COFFEE or TEA?
3. BEER or WINE?
4. WAFFLES or PANCAKES or FRENCH TOAST?
5. RICE or PASTA or POTATOES?
6. CAKE or PIE?
7. HOT DOGS or HAMBURGERS?
8. DIET COKE or ANY SODA BUT?
9. ICED TEA – SWEETENED or STRAIGHT?
10. PEAS or CARROTS?
11. PUDDING or JELLO?
12. KETCHUP or MUSTARD or MAYO?
13. EGGS – SCRAMBLED or FRIED?
14. CLAM CHOWDER – WHITE or RED?
15. WHITE MEAT or DARK?

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23 wummy April 11, 2008 at 8:39 am

THE ICE CREAM SOUNDS GREAT!!
MY QUESTION IS FRENCH BREAD??
HOW DO YOU MAKE REALLY CRUSTY FRENCH BREAD??

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24 elizabeth (smug ellie) April 11, 2008 at 11:13 am

i want some ice cream. i also want to make very delicious deviled eggs. i’m good with the hard-boiling part but after that, i’m useless. i need a recipe that doesn’t call for too many bizarre ingredients that i would not normally have in my kitchen. i’ve tried the old “little of this, little of that” but nothing makes me want to eat the whole dozen and i end up foisting them onto unsuspecting visitors. also, my bread won’t rise. my yeast bubbles up just fine in the cup but when i knead everything in together, the dough stays just as doughy as before. in the last 3 weeks i have made more than 10 loaves to no avail in all kinds of weather. it tastes good but each loaf is about 30lbs. why does this happen? i follow my recipe exactly…and i can’t change it because it’s an “old family thing” and it HAS worked many times for me before. last but not least, why the hell did my merengue mushrooms (for a buche de noel) stay so sticky? it’s martha stewart’s recipe (which again, i make regularly during the holidays) and it usually works great. they were impossible to work with. i even made them twice because the first time it was raining outside and i chalked it up to too much moisture in the air. next day, all was dry but i still had sticky mushrooms! help! and hi to SORM.

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25 Julia April 11, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Here’s a suggestion for the broccoli question – toss (raw) broccoli florets with olive oil and kosher salt. Spread on a baking sheet, roast for 15 min at 425 (high heat) or until until crispy. It’s okay if they get a little caramelized/browned – you will love the flavor and want to eat it every night!

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26 Peter D April 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Great giveaway! Would like to ask what is your suggestion (other than quiche) for leftovers?

Good luck to all -

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27 Karen April 12, 2008 at 2:20 am

Ooh, I don’t think I have ever tried Haagen Dazs. I know, the horror! My husband likes another brand, but I am willing to venture out and try anything.
My silly question…can you over boil chicken? Hence, sometimes my chicken becomes very rubbery if I boil it over the stove (to be added to a dish later). I was wondering if I was cooking it too fast or too long.
Thanks

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28 Beth April 12, 2008 at 5:21 am

Actually, none of those flavors sound appealing to me right now.

I can answer the gluten-free question. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, grains, flour and many other products. Many people may be gluten sensitive and not know it. Being sensitive is also different from being intolerant.

The easiest way to make food gluten free is to use whole, fresh ingredients and check the labels of any pre-made things you might add; soy sauce often has gluten in it for example. Some people use rice flour or protein powder made from whey or egg or soy (I don’t recommend the soy, not only does it taste terrible but unfermented soy is dangerous to your thyroid and has estrogenic properties. For more information check out the Weston A Price foundation: http://www.westonaprice.org/soy/index.html )

A simple gluten-free meal would be a protein with vegetable side dishes.

Many people who low carb are totally gluten-free and found that they are gluten sensitive. No more allergies, afternoon crashes, depression lifted, migraines gone and digestion is better. Sensitivities are sometimes referred to as allergy addictions. You eat it so often that you don’t notice it’s effect on you. If you stay away from it you feel a lot better and if you try it again later all the symptoms come back.

Here is a link to the gluten file:

http://jccglutenfree.googlepages.com/

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29 April in CT April 13, 2008 at 8:51 pm

I found the greatness that is Haagen-Dazs a few years ago and fell in loooooove! Best ice cream I’ve ever had. The light caramel cone is crack in a container!

My question is: I want to bake with whole grain flour more often. Can I substitute whole wheat flour for all purpose flour in recipes? If not completely, what ratio should I use and are there any recipes I should avoid the substitution in? Love your blog and thank you for such a great give away!

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30 Amy April 13, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Oh, boy, I’ve been racking my brain to come up with a question because I am *drooling* thinking about that ice cream. We LOVE ice cream…actually, one of the first things I fell in love with about my (now) husband — when I first met him — was the fact that he kept his freezer stocked top to bottom with ice cream! Literally: I opened his freezer the first time I went to his house and saw gallons of Breyer’s, stacked top to bottom. *Swoon*…it was a match made in heaven!

So here’s my question: there was recently a book published called “My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meal”, where chefs are asked what they would eat for their last meal. Let’s not think of this question as a “last meal” question (too morbid), but rather, if you could have a meal of all your favorite things to eat, what would it be? It can be as long and involved a meal as you like.

Great idea for a giveaway! :)

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31 Cze-Johnson Carrie April 13, 2008 at 9:49 pm

ok.. new entries (and a few good questions means I have to up my ante.)

first off… I’ll SEE my previous mentioned hump, and throw in two more. I’m serious. don’t dash my hopes of frozen goodness, woman!

anyways… if it increases my chances (cause the wheat flour, the cinco de mayo and last meal questions have me worried) I’ll ask you this:

given a chance to be featured on ANY television show AS YOURSELF… which would it be? I’m very curious to see if you would follow your tastes by being on a cooking show with your favorite chef, an extremely popular show and get copious amounts of blog exposure, or follow your inner starlet dreams and just be on a show you love, like The Office. of course.. details would be needed.

damn. I don’t think that’s ice cream worthy, but I’m still curious.

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32 Smita April 14, 2008 at 7:41 am

I’m wondering if you’ve ever prepared Greek food or Indian food? Do you have a good receipe for either? I am partial to Indian Tandori Chicken, have you ever tried?

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33 Nix April 14, 2008 at 7:48 am

Dear Ask Erin Cooks:
My name is Nix and I hailed from the East Coast, I grew up in a weird sort of way and I’m not accustomed to how a lot of people eat. I am now happily engaged to, we’ll call him Don Ho. Don is a vegetarian (who does eat dairy and eggs) and we are both looking forward to summer. As I grew up strange and he doesn’t eat meat, we’re desperate for some summer picnic basket or cookout ideas to bring our romance and foodie tendencies into full bloom. I’m writing to you because I know you are a versatile cook who isn’t afraid to try things. In the name of love, Ask Erin, please give us a hand.

– Hankering for a Hunk of Cheese in Rural Pennsylvania.

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34 Anna K April 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Dear ErinCooks,

Recently I’ve been reading about fruit or vegetable substitute that can be used for certain baking recipes, like sweet breads and muffins, even cookies lieu of eggs or dairy. These suggestions seem to vary and I’m very concerned about taste. Do you follow a general rule when applying substations?

Thanks!
Anna

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35 Deborah April 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm

I just have to say that my grocery store had a couple of these in stock – I bought the Fleur de Sel Caramel – it is DELICIOUS! Even worth the 5 bucks for a pint container!

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