wizardnmJanuary 30, 2012

I am wondering if there is interest in my starting up the Cookalongs again. I really miss them and it's a good way to have some cooking fun. I know I got many ideas from them.

Any changes in the way they were done?

How long do you think a subject should run?

Should we include meat items this time?


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I miss them too and YES to meat! Otherwise I think the format was great.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:27PM
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I agree with Alexa. Yes, I'd like them back, and this time allow meat.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 3:33PM
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I agree, I'd also like to see them back, it gives us some new ideas. I also think we should include meat, even vegetarians often live with non-vegetarians, so they could maybe find some ideas here too.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 4:23PM
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I barely participated in them but I really enjoyed reading them and still refer back to them from time to time. I'd agree with adding meat; I assume that includes poultry and also seafood while we're at it. (LindaC broke the rules with Exoskeletal Critters last time around, but it was a good thread.)

Just thinking out loud...

One suggestion would be to be somewhat specific when it comes to meat and poultry. "Beef" or "chicken" would open the door too wide; I'd prefer to see "hanger steak" or "chicken thighs."

Another suggestion might be to do some sort of rotation. animal/seafood, fruit/vegetable, herb/spice or something like that. Something like that could help keep a little variety up.

I forget what the frequency was last time but somewhere around two weeks sounds good to me. Not too quick to miss it, not so slow that we lose interest.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 4:34PM
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What are cookalongs? Will they make the winter pass more quickly? If yes, bring 'em on.... and yes to meat, I have a freezer full.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 6:53PM
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Yes to meat; I like FOAS' suggestion for specific cuts of meat. Also, why not 'Meat substitutes', too? Something for the vegetarians and, given the price of meats, protein sources easier on the budget for everyone. A couple of weeks seems about right to me, too. I think that's about what it was last time, no?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 6:58PM
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How about including a Casserole category? If it's already been done as a category I don't recall it.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:18AM
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Love the suggestions! Using sprcific cuts of meat is a great idea, and casseroles are a super addition too. I love the cookalongs and have really missed them.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:28AM
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A big yes from me too! I hot so many new recipes from the thread even if I didn't always k join the cook along.

Love the suggestions.If folk have dietary restrictions they may still be able to adapt the recipes.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 8:59AM
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Oh, yes, do it!

Why restrict the categories at all? Let come what may. Very good suggestion to have the topics be sub-cats, though, like specific cuts of meat.

Woo-hoo! Let's get started!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 10:29AM
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Since no one answered Mabeldingeldine yet, I'll ask, too. What is the concept of a cookalong?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Here is what cookalongs look like:

Here is a link that might be useful: Cookalong Links

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 10:45AM
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The premise of the cook-a-long was someone named a topic, people posted their recipes and then on a specific weekend, as many people as could, or wanted to cooked and served a meal from the recipes provided....Sort of like a giant cyber progressive dinner.

Maybe we could have a section on breads? Maybe 2....quick breads and yeast breads?

And how about things in or on a crust? Including pizza, pasti, runza, empanadas, tortieres, enchiladas etc.....

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:29AM
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As a mostly vegetarian who lives with a poultry and fish eater, I would have no problem with meat as long as it wasn't always meat, lol! Also, we'll probably have to do a list of the previous topics, or we may start to repeat ourselves! For me, the fun is being challenged to think outside the box, try something new. I love the thrill on "Iron Chef" when the "secret ingredient" is revealed! :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Many good ideas here...Thanks!

What in the heck is a Cookalong?

The original idea was to share recipes using the focus ingredient. The recipes could be anything that used the focus ingredient so baked goods, casseroles and any type of cooking could be included. We usually changed the focus ingredient after about two weeks. When possible, make one of the recipes that somebody had posted and post about it. My hope was that we could make the recipe (of your choosing) at the end of the two week period, working it into your regular dinner plan and then post about the result.

At the end of the two week period, I would pick a person from those who participated during that Cookalong to choose a new ingredient for the next Cookalong.

I'll start a new Cookalong tonight or tomorrow and post changes from the suggestions then. Great ideas so far.

I also like the concept of a Cookalong Extra, so I'll work on that too. The Cookalong Extra is where we focus on a category, like quick Breads, pies, casseroles, etc. We did this with Christmas cookies. The focus is not on a specific ingredient but on a subject instead.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 6:03PM
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I enjoyed the cookalongs too. Can't add much to the above but hope there is room for some desserts/sweets with the ingriedents or a main topic. You know me and my sweets. : )

I know this format is best for the forum and all the members but I do miss the virtual dinners we had way back when. Everyone that could would prep, cook, and post on the same day. I think you did the pizza party a few years ago Nancy. I miss doing that. Like I said, this format is probably best for most memebers.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 7:27PM
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Oh David - I still have all the recipes from the South American Dinner and make them frequently in the summer when the grill is screaming and the rum is chilled.... I miss those virtual dinners too!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Thank you to all who explained the cookalongs. I'd seen the threads when I was searching for recipes, but didn't quite "get" what they were all about. They are a little difficult to follow. Why is the format different than a regular thread?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Rather than do a search, check out our FAQ. I've added all the Cookalong threads to the FAQ.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cooking Forum FAQ

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 8:15AM
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olychick - If the format looks different then you're reading the ones Ann put into the FAQ. They lose formatting, but the idea was to get them out there for when the original threads drop off the system. Until that happens, you can also follow the link that that Denise posted above, and they'll look normal.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 8:41AM
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I've noticed that formatting change sometimes when I do a search for a topic or thread, find the thread, and the format's different. It's very hard to read and even more annoying.

As for the cookalongs, I'm in full agreement with Lpink. Everyone is so excited that meat may be included, I'm afraid that will be all the cookalongs will become. I have started cooking meat items more frequently now, as I feel my grandson needs to eat better, and his parents don't feed him anything but hot pockets or peanut butter, or fill in the blank processed food. So, I although I used to prepare meat on a regular basis, I'm way out of practice. I could learn something. But, I hope they won't always be meat topics from now on.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:39AM
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foas, thank you for that make sense now!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Sally, it is sad what people are feeding their kids these days, isn't it? My friends kid eats hardly anything but frozen chicken nuggets. I was over at her house and was eating a couscous salad, and her daughter came begging. I asked if I could give her a taste, and my friend wouldn't let me! She'd never heard of it and looked at me like I was eating some exotic, bizarre food.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 1:02PM
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I'd love to see them back as well. I'll try to participate this time!! I have often referenced them when looking for ideas for a specific ingredient. As recently as this morning in fact as I have a pound of mushrooms to use up!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 4:04PM
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I'm happy to see them back and I'm extremely pleased that we are finally going to do meat. As much as I love vegetables.......


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 4:56PM
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I have a few favorites from that dinner too Alexa. Looks like we are on our way with the next cookalong. Thanks Nancy!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 8:42PM
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I really enjoyed the Cookalongs and took them as a personal challenge to see how many different ways I could use the featured ingredient. DH used to ask, "So what's our Secret Ingredient for this week?

I did sit out one or two where the ingredient was one which our family didn't particularly like but that's to be expected. Not everyone will like or want to use every ingredient.

On the other hand, some of the Cookalong recipes members posted are now in our Family Favorite club.

Thanks, Nancy, for starting them up again.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 1:20PM
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It's good to know so many people enjoyed the Cookalongs and I'm happy to start them up again.

David, desserts are my favorite too, we'll get there.

Thanks everyone.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 3:17PM
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