Testing the Power of a Restaurant Social Network

Okay, here's the deal. My daughter has one of those school projects that all parents love. You know the ones that they're supposed to do in on their own but the reality is that we have to get involved and have to do pretty much everything?

For this one, every student had to pick a country, do a report, and bring a dish from that country to a class event. Being the busy working mom type who can't cook, I immediately said, yes, we have an Austrian Bakery (of all things) right here in little ole Reno. I'll buy my way out of the situation.

But then Sydney says, no, Mom. We have to make it. And write down the whole recipe. (The cynical side of me suspects it's a clever teacher scam to get free food and great recipes, but that other side of me knows that they're overworked and underpaid, so how can I fault them?)

I grill my daughter, flipping through a litany of shortcut ideas to save time. Turns out she's already tried my number one suggestion: Google Austrian Recipes. She says they're all complicated and too hard. I say, try Googling Easy Austrian Recipies or Simple Austrian Recipes.

Then it hits me... duh, FohBoh has over 5000 food loving members. One of them must know an easy, simple, even-a-cooking-moron-could-produce-it classic Austrian recipe.

My shameful plan B is to buy something at Backstube, beg them for the recipie, and maybe pretend that we made it if we have to... I hope we don't have to.

So there you go. The call is out there... my daughter's 4.0 GPA and moral dignity now rests in the hands of FohBites worldwide. Can anyone help?

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Comment by Carl Muth on April 16, 2008 at 3:06pm
Holy Cow! You're old enough to have a school age daughter?
Comment by diane on April 16, 2008 at 11:19am
Hey everyone, thanks for the great ideas. I'll talk it over with Sydney and let you know which one we try and how it goes. You're awesome!
Comment by Stoligirl on April 16, 2008 at 9:43am
Here's another one.

Quick Apple Strudel
From Linda Larsen,

Here's an easy version of Apple Strudel, made with dressed-up apple pie filling and filo dough.
• 21 ounce can apple pie filling
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 9 sheets filo dough, thawed
• 1/3 cup butter
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a slotted spoon, remove apples from the pie filling, discarding much of the thick liquid. Place in medium bowl; stir in walnuts, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and lemon zest.
In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and mix well.
On work surface, place one sheet of filo dough. Brush with butter and sprinkle with a generous teaspoon of the cinamon sugar mixture. Repeat layers, using all of the filo dough.
Spoon apple filling across one long end of the filo stack, leaving a 2" border along one long edge and the sides. Brush edges around apple filling with butter. Fold in side edges, then roll up filo dough, enclosing the filling. Brush edge with butter and seal. Brush butter over the entire roll.
Using two spatulas, carefully place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and crisp. Cool on pan for 10 minutes, then using two spatulas, remove to wire rack to cool. Serve warm. Serves 8
Comment by Stoligirl on April 16, 2008 at 9:32am
I found this recipe. I haven't tried it, but it looks fairly painless. I included the web page at the bottom. -andi

Easy Linzer Bars
from Laura Cunningham, Parsippany, NJ

Makes 24 to 30 bars
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 35 to 40 minutes

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
1/3 cup evaporated milk (from a 5-ounce can)
1 cup finely chopped almonds (from 6-ounce bag, reserving rest for topping)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups raspberry jam (an 18-ounce jar)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cake mix, melted butter, evaporated milk, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is moistened and the ingredients are well combined. Press half of the batter evenly into the bottom of a 13- by 9-inch pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

2. Meanwhile, while the crust is in the oven, place the raspberry jam and lemon zest in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly, 2 to 3 minutes, until the jam has warmed and you are able to pour it.

3. Immediately after removing the pan from the oven scatter the white chocolate chips evenly over the surface. Pour the warm raspberry jam over the chips. Dollop the remaining crust mixture on top of the raspberry jam the best you can. It will not completely cover the top of the jam. Sprinkle the remaining slivered almonds on top. Place the pan in the oven. Bake the bars until the top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the oven, and let it cool 10 to 15 minutes. Cut it into bars, dust the tops with confectioners' sugar, then remove them from the pan and serve.

Comment by Kristen Siqueiros on April 16, 2008 at 8:45am
Sorry Diane, I don't know of any dishes from that country. If you can't get any good ones, then try epicurious.com. My Aunt is a chef and she always uses their recipes.




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