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Chicken wings, dim sum and more dim sum, lamb shoulder and ramen

I am going to go wild. After always cooking chicken wings in the oven on a rack in a roasting pan, I am going to try the rack-less approach, as recommended in How to Cook Everything.

I am going to go wild. After always cooking chicken wings in the oven on a rack in a roasting pan, I am going to try the rack-less approach, as recommended in How to Cook Everything. It goes roughly like this, except there are a few more steps in the book. Spill the wings into a roasting pan, salt and pepper them, roast for about 30 minutes, pull them out, flip them over if they are not stuck, roast some more, get rid of excess grease, then dabble on (or slather on, if that's your preference) tasty sauce.

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Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything, is unhappy about the sugar-laden oatmeal being served at McDonald's in the U.S. He points to this site, which offers recipes for inexpensive, fast, do-it-yourself oatmeal that isn't sugar-laden. Bittman's oatmeal rant was No. 1 on the nytimes.com most-emailed list tonight -- so this is obviously a very sensitive subject.

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Prices are going up at Tim Hortons. Blame the price of coffee beans. Blame the general increase in food costs.

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Our local Subway has a sign up saying they might be skimpy with the tomato and peppers because both are in short supply due to chilly weather in the southern U.S. and Mexico. More details in a story at theprovince.com

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Chinese New Year has inspired a lot of dim sum eating. Over at Jade Fountain, our regular dim sum haunt, the dining room has been almost full at 11:30 a.m., on weekdays. In the recent past, 11:30 a.m. has been a fine time to arrive to get a decent table, but not any more. Dim sum photos are on the way.

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Sometimes, you hit on something that just works, and you end up cooking it over and over again. In the last few month, it's been ramen and lamb shoulder slices, but not together.

For the ramen dish. We sliced up whatever was available in the fridge - choy of various kinds, mushrooms, onion, carrots - and stir fried in a wok. Boiled fresh ramen for 1.5 minutes, scooped it out with a spider strainer, added the ramen to the wok, stir fried, added a little soya sauce and maybe a little oyster sauce. It's fast and maybe even healthy - though there's still a lot of unhappiness among the food experts about us eating too much rice and pasta.

For the lamb shoulder. Brown the meat. Pour pasta sauce into a couple of casserole dishes, add shredded vegetables and maybe potatoes, add the meat, pour on more sauce and vegetables, cover, and into the oven for four hours at 200 to 250 F. It's a great, tasty, tender result.

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Over at cbsnews.com, they have advice on how to keep food fresher longer.

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