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Posts by Pete

 This was exactly the point I was going to make, especially for someone just learning how to use chopsticks.  I find the cheap ones, that you get with takeout, to be the best for beginners as the roughness helps to hold on to the food. I do have a variety of chopsticks at home, both plastic and wooden.  I don't own any stainless ones, for the reason stated above.  The plastic are convenient and I often use them for mixing things.  I prefer the wooden ones when eating though.
Lasagna, I don't mean to come across as demeaning in any way, but you label yourself as a "food writer" but so many of your questions are so extremely basic, what exactly do you write about?
Lasagna, you are way overthinking things.  I understand your desire to learn and gain knowledge, but much of what you are asking are things that come with working the food, trying new things and discovering what works and what doesn't, what is good and what isn't.  Pick up one of the suggested books and read.  It won't give you all the insights you need, but it is starting place.  As for how to tell if a product is good or not, just start observing and doing your own...
While I probably I have lot to confess, over the years here I have made most of my confessions: my love of frozen pizza and burritos, my love of Miracle Whip, my dislike for cheeseburgers-much prefer a burger with a slice of cheese on the side, my love of just about any "junk" food.  But there is a confession that I have yet to make.   I confess: As a kid I used to love ketchup and mustard sandwiches.  As an adult I, on a very rare occasion, still get a craving for...
You could divide your recipes into quarters or maybe fifths, for your purposes but trying to do too small portions can be problematic as often spices, and herbs, and other flavoring agents, are used in very small quantities.  Going back to the sesame oil example.  Your recipe for dumplings may call for 2 teaspoons for an entire batch which might make 24 dumplings.  How do you measure out just enough sesame oil to make 1 dumpling?  It is easier to make super small batches...
Read enough and research enough and someone will tell you just about everything will kill you.  The "Food Babe" lives by this motto and makes a ton of money scaring people into believing that their food is killing them.  Personally, I wouldn't worry about it.  There are far more other things that are going to kill you before bleaching agents will.
I second "Culinary Artistry."  It was a very important book, for me, when I first started in this business.
I can't comment on the site as I've never bought any of their stuff.  Many of us on here swear by Penzey's Spices.  They are a little on the more expensive side, but good, high-quality product.  You might want to check them out.
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Iceman, I totally agree, burger making ain't rocket science, nor does it need to be.  I hate when chefs overly complicate things.  IMNSHO, there is a time and place for the gadgets and the molecular cooking methods, but making burgers isn't one of those times.  A burger is a simple, humble food, and I do agree with Paul about places that use Prime, dry aged beef, and top burgers with truffles and foie gras.  Sure, simple foods can sometimes benefit from ultra premium...
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