What's Cooking With Kim O'Donnel

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Kim O'Donnel
Special to washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, March 20, 2007; 12:00 PM

Calling all foodies! Join us for another edition of What's Cooking, our live online culinary hour with Kim O'Donnel.

A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly known as Peter Kump's New York Cooking School), Kim spends much of her time in front of the stove or with her nose in a cookbook.

Catch up on previous transcripts with the What's Cooking archive page.


Kim O'Donnel: Happy first day of spring! Tonight, at 8ET, we officially can say sayonara to winter and get on with warmer weather. Woo hoo! In my blog today, I wrote about how a simple omelette with herbs, is one of my fave ways to acknowledge the seasonal transition. Sunshine on a plate. I hope to hit the market this weekend and report back with the latest on spring maiden arrivals. What's happening on your burners? Tell me, tell me...


Takoma Park, Md.: Hi Kim! I also have Breath of a Wok and was trying out the Farm-Style Omelets. They tasted very, very good, but came out looking far more like a pile of eggs and stuffing than the tight, gorgeous rolls pictured in the book. Do you know of any obvious tips? Thanks!

Kim O'Donnel: I have the book right here in my lap, and it seems that the key here is gentle heat, which not only keeps these cigar shape rolls tender but also helps in coaxing them into shape. Tell me more.


Southern Maryland: I want to make a red velvet cake for Father's Day. I have seen a few receipes that call for cocoa and cream cheese or butter cream icing. How can I find a real "Red Velvet Cake"? I want a cake not -- a brownie texture. Thanks!

Kim O'Donnel: Check out this version of red velvet, which I wrote about in my blog recently. This does call for cocoa, as well as cream cheese frosting, and it's about the wackiest most wonderful thing you'll ever try. This is most definitely a cake -- and colored with red dye. See what you think.


Central Virginia: Hello! As far as anyone can become addicted to food, I have become addicted to those little grape-leaf wrapped items from Whole Foods. Every time I go by there, I end up getting at least half a dozen of the things and scarfing them down the minute I get home. Tasty little soakers!

However, being cheap as well as greedy, I was wondering about making them myself. Specifically, where does one get the grape leaves? One can buy the things, I presume -- but from where?? And in what form? Canned? Frozen? By the pound in the produce section?

Or should I amble over to the local winery and make friends with the pruners? Would my best bet be to go down to the local nursery, buy a baby grape vine, and pick a good spot by the fence? And once I have my fresh grape leaves, what in the world do I do with them? Do they need any kind of processing before I start putting the rice and stuff in there? (Well, besides washing the bugs off, I mean.)

It seemed like such a simple idea at the onset ...

Kim O'Donnel: Central, wondering if you've got a Middle Eastern grocery nearby, 'cause that's where you'll get the real deal. yes, you most certainly can make your own grape leaves, but it helps if you have a team of helpers for assembly. They come in jars. Here's a link to a

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