The Great Search Term Round Up: Volume VIII

Question markPlease click photo for attribution.

I'm not sure about other bloggers, but I am endlessly fascinated, and often amused/shocked/confused by the search terms folks use to end up here at Ye Olde Blogge.  Occasionally, I like to share Said Terms with you.

Here are my rules: I try to word the terms in the form of a question. I will then Answer the question, either for real or Not. I feel sure that you will be able to Discern the Difference.  Hopefully, you will a)learn something, b)get a good laugh and c)go check out your own stats.  Enjoy, and Happy December!

Can you make red beans and rice with chicken in it? Yes.  Make red beans and rice. Stir in cooked chicken. Laissez les bon temps rouler.

Is Cool Whip vegan? I'm pretty sure that Cool Whip isn't even food, let alone vegan.  For a nice vegan substitute for Deth Wip, skim the "cream" off of the top of a can of coconut milk, lightly sweeten it with your favorite vegan sweetener (granulated cane sugar is usually not vegan because it is filtered through charcoal made from animal bone) and a pinch of salt, chill it well and stir it up.  A nice, pouffy, coconutty, whipped-creamy vegan dessert topping.

Hey, do you know how to make Chef Fabio's marinara sauce? Why yes, I do. It is my new go-to marinara, and I also use it as the base for my vodka sauce.  The post also contains links to Fabio's marinara video and his Yahoo cooking channel.

Should I finish cooking my spaghetti noodles in sauce?  Absolutely.  As far as I'm concerned, there's not much that's less appealing than completely naked spaghetti noodles under a thick blanket of sauce. The whole point of spaghetti and sauce is for the two to marry, not just coexist on the same plate.  I actually wrote a whole Thing on it, but the short version is to cook the pasta about 2 fewer minutes than you normally would for it to be ready to your liking.  Then, drain the pasta, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid.  Put the pasta back in the pan over high heat.  Add in the reserved water and enough sauce to coat everything.  Stir madly while adding in a bit of fat--either cream, butter or olive oil, generally.  This will create an emulsion that will be silky smooth and will cling to every noodle.  The noodles will finish cooking in the sauce, soaking up all the Goodness.  Then, plate everything up. You can add a bit of extra sauce on top, if you want. Or not.

PS Yes, you can--and should--use this technique with Fabio's (or anyone's) marinara.

Can you Porte de Pate? I don't think so. I've seen Prêt-à-Porter. Does that count?

What Can I Use Instead of Cool Whip?  For what? Spackle, maybe.  Or, I don't know, you could maybe Whip Some Cream.

Hen.  I can't even put this in the form of a question.  It's just one lonely word. Sitting there all by itself.  Yes, we have chickens.

Can I whip sour cream for whipped cream?  No, but what you can do is whip however much whipping cream you want, along with some sugar, a pinch or two of salt and some vanilla or other flavoring until it reaches medium peaks.  Then, you can whip in an equal amount of sour cream without everything deflating.  Be sure to whip the cream first, because if you try to put sour cream and whipping cream in a bowl and then whip it, it won't happen.  Ever.  You can stand there and whisk for hours, and all you'll eventually/maybe get is some sad old butter.

Why is salt required in cheesecake? (Actual wording)  Technically, salt is not required to make a cheesecake.  The eggs will coagulate when heated regardless.  Salt is required, however, if you want your cheesecake to taste good.  Salt brings out the tanginess of the cream cheese (and sour cream, if you're using it). It helps to deepen the vanilla flavor (or whatever flavor) and adds dimension to your cheesecake (or any baked good).  If you don't believe me, make your favorite cheesecake recipe without salt.  Split the batter in two and add salt to half, to taste.  Depending on how much 1/2 of your batter is, this could be anywhere from 1/4-1/2 teaspoon or so of salt.  Taste both mixtures (or if you're squidgy about raw eggs, bake them both first).  I promise you that you will find the salted batter to be Not Salty but much more Interesting than the unsalted batter. Then, blend both batters together, add a bit more salt, and bake.  If you were squidgy and baked 2 separate small cheese cakes, give the unsalted one to your 86 year old hypertensive aunt.  She will thank you, and it will be out of your house.

What should I do with raisins?  Raisins are Polarizing. I love them. My friend Nadine hates them.  But, if you are With Me and love them, you can make them even better by plumping them up in a mixture of apple juice and either rum or brandy before using them for anything--even just eating out of hand. Except when driving.

Do you know how to make a stout caramel sauce?  Now, this can mean one of two things. Thing 1: they want a Very Sturdy and Stalwart caramel sauce.  Thing 2:  they want to put some stout beer in their caramel sauce.  I'm pretty sure they mean Thing 2.  As a matter of fact, I developed a Positively Lovely stout toffee sauce at the restaurant.  It was the sauce for our signature ice cream sundaes.  If you want it to be stout caramel sauce, leave out the butter.  The butter pretty much makes the difference between caramel and toffee.  In general, no butter=caramel.  Butter=toffee.

And this one just made me sad:  A good soft meal to make I am toothless.  If you're wondering why these particular words found me, it's because The Beloved had to go through some serious oral surgery and I was in charge of feeding him Soft Foods for awhile.  I went with Pimento Cheese, Tomato Soup and Butterscotch Pudding.  Pretty much covers the food groups, as far as I'm concerned.





  1. says

    I love these posts. My most common search term has been consistent for several years. A high percentage of people which my web site by searching for “facial hair poetry” or some variation thereon. I never stop being delighted by this.

    • says

      Do try it–the texture is just like whipped cream w/a bit of a tang. Of course, you could just whip creme fraiche, but I think this might have slightly less fat, if that matters. 🙂

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