Profile

AliceBlue

I'm a museum curator. I got into cooking when I took over hosting a weekly dinner party for friends.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Favorite foods: Tea, fondue (well, okay, cheese in general, but melty gooey goodness with bread and cauliflower to dip in it is always happy,) honeycrisp apples, roasted veggies esp. winter squashes and root veggies

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers: Who Wins the Super Bowl of Food?

"rolling hills of the county roads in Woodlawn"?!? Are you kidding me? I mean, yes, Pioneer Pit Beef is on Rolling Road, which is technically maintained by Baltimore County but, really? No. Woodlawn - and I lived there for 10 years, and still drive through at least three days a week - is not about rolling hills, or pastoral anything. It's surrounded by concrete and run down shopping centers. Woodlawn is home to the massive Social Security and Medicare administration building complexes. You can't have been to Pioneer Pit Beef and be trying to describe its location as rural or pretty. The shack (Pioneer Pit Beef is actually a shack, and that's describing it kindly) sits immediately next to I-70.

It is incredible pit beef. They give you a slice of the beef when you order, to confirm that it's cooked the way you like it. Their Tiger Sauce is perfect. The portion they give you for just a few dollars is big enough for two meals. I consider Pioneer Pit Beef to be one of the best reasons to even live in this area. But you are so clearly demonstrating your ignorance about Baltimore with your words "rolling hills of the county roads in Woodlawn" that you strip yourself of all credibility. Thanks for complimenting Pioneer Pit Beef, but please actually eat there before you pass judgement!

The season's best does not necessarily a good meal make

Garlic Scapes. I was so excited to see them in my CSA box last year, and I went to work on pesto and a white bean dip, neither of which was very palatable. I decided to stick with regular garlic cloves henceforth.

I suck at making...

For all the failed rice cooks - I recently went from an apartment with an electric stove to a house with a gas stove, and my mad rice skills vanished. I have decided it's because the gas flame won't go to a low enough setting. My point being, maybe it's your stove and not your skills.

I can't make pie crust, just can't. I've also recently discovered that I really suck at making pottery. So no lovely bowls made by me.

Help with last minute Easter menu

I'm serving a vegetable quiche and a ham, for precisely those reasons - compatible, make ahead, easy.

Cheese Please

I second dhorst's recommendation of Moody Blue - it's got a great bacon-y undertone. I'm thinking a pizza with bacon, Moody Bleu plus a smoked mozzarella, and with pineapple, or with tomatoes and throw some arugula on top after its baked.

Stop the Cupcake Madness!

Actually, I frequently *really* want an Iced Gems cupcake later in the evening than the store is open, so this could be dangerous if they installed such a thing in Baltimore.

Super Bowl Help - need some creative suggestions....

Hummus w/ veggies? A white chicken chili, heavy on the cannellini beans?

New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens: Which Team Is the AFC Champ of Food?

And, seriously, an ice cream discussion about B'more and you don't bring up Taharka Brothers? And at least give a chance to our small producers like Broom's Bloom Dairy. And what about our Iced Gems cupcake truck? Best. Sweets. Anywhere. Baltimore has amazing food, people. And a great Raven's defense.

New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens: Which Team Is the AFC Champ of Food?

I live up the road from Pioneer Pit Beef and it is the most yummy, amazing, perfect pit beef.

Last meal of 2011?

Split Pea Soup, using up the last of Christmas dinner's ham.

Happy New Year!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are fantastic. The bacon isn't overwhelming (could even use just a tetch more). The cookie itself is nicely crunchy. Overall, really delicious flavor. I halved the recipe and still got 4 dozen from it! (This is actually the first recipe I've made from SE, despite being a reader for several years.) I'm taking as many as I can keep my husband from eating tonight into work tomorrow for a cookie throwdown...

What kitchen gifts are you making for others?

My husband is the treat maker in this house. He made marshmallows last night, and will make cookies (Gourmet's 6-Spice Oatmeal and others TBD), biscotti, peppermint chocolate bark, and chocolate-(liquour TBD) ganache truffles later this week. In past years we have made big boxes full of treats for folks, but this year we're hosting Christmas Eve so we're going to set it all out as a dessert buffet, then have boxes for everyone to pack stuff up to take home.

Cook the Book: 'Serious Eats'

The Sausage and Sage Dressing...saved my butt this Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Dinner: No Substitutions Allowed?

Oh goodness. No appreciation at all! My family always had store bought rolls, but when I started bringing my boyfriend - now husband - who bakes amazing rolls, they were willing to try something new, for the sake of my potential future. Now I think if we split up, they'd keep him for his Thanksgiving rolls over me!
I tried to introduce a homemade fresh cranberry sauce a few years ago (so good! oranges, and walnuts, and candied ginger, oh my!), and I don't think a single person was willing to even taste it. So I make myself a batch every year (had it with dinner tonight in fact) and leave them to enjoy their can-berries (to which I don't object, for the record).
So I guess, for my family, you can only mess with *some* tradition, if potential marriage for the only granddaughter is involved.

Hummus

A Lebanese restaurant in my area suggests boiling the chickpeas (whether they're dried/soaked or canned) with a bit of baking soda - like a teaspoon or so. It seems to me to really help soften the skins, giving my hummus that smooth texture but without the work of removing the skins.

Slow Cooker Cookbook?

Not strictly a slow cooker book, but Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday has some great slow cooker recipes in there among the rest.

How do you take your coffee?

1. with lots of 1% milk
2. latte, NO sugar or flavored syrup
3. with lots of milk (which I bring myself b/c I work with retirees many of whom for some reason *like* instant non-dairy creamer...I think it's a WWII scarcity holdover?)

Ed Levine's Caloric Journey, Week 181: The Dentist Diet, Painfully Effective

It is absolutely unacceptable that it required three visits to your dentist before they discovered the source of your pain. Please find yourself a new dentist. (I say this as someone who endured a month with an untreated tooth abscess, so I really sympathize!) And enjoy lots of fresh summer fruit smoothies while you heal!

Cook the Book: 'Salad as a Meal'

I like taco salads - loads of tomatoes, peppers, and cukes, plus cheese, crumbled tortilla chips (not fritos) and either shredded chicken or taco beef. Drizzle with a dressing made from sour cream, chipotle tabasco, lime juice, and honey. Yum!

Slow cooker summer recipes

BBQ chicken: pour one bottle of good barbecue sauce into the crock, stir in 1/4 cup each cider vinegar and brown sugar. Toss in 3 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cook on low for about 6 hours. At the end, shred the meat (it will fall right apart, really). I serve it as sandwiches one night, then use the leftovers on pita pizzas in the toaster oven, with pineapple chunks, red onion, and smoked mozzarella.

Do you have a food craving that you wish you didn't have?

For me it's the Utz brand cheese puffs, and Doritos dipped in sour cream. I usually crave these things when I'm already feeling crappy emotionally, so the crappy I feel physically after eating them doesn't stop me. (So, really, I wish I didn't crave them because craving them indicates a mood I don't want to be in.)

I also often crave a crisp salad, but don't mind that craving at all...

Annapolis, MD for Graduation Week

Chick and Ruth's! Just kidding, don't go to Chick and Ruth's. Congats to the grad! (Naval Academy? St. John's commencement already happened...) Assuming you want to stay near Main Street: I haven't been in a while, but if you like sushi Joss is good. Harry Brown's isn't necessarily the best food in town, but it is a great place for a group, likewise for Ram's Head. If you want super fancy, Treaty of Paris. I do not recommend the Irish place, Galway Bay. If you're willing to drive out of old town and like Indian, India's on West Street is good.

Anyone making anything for the "Royal Wedding"?

(ignoring the mean and blazing happily forward) Quiche...although I suppose I ought to be more British PC and call it Egg Pie. I'm calling it English Breakfast Quiche, and using a good cheddar, thick bacon, and tomatoes. (it's a 5am party, I'm taking liberties with authenticity) Also hubby is baking scones and blueberry muffins; I'm making egg canapes (pumpernickle toasts with mustard butter, sliced hard boiled egg, and a chive garnish) and Brie w/blackberry jam baked in those little Siljan's cracker cups.
Dessert is the McVitties Cake (I'm making), petit fours (courtesy Wegman's), and Champagne Oranges (recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cooks website)

And, I'll go ahead and engage the nuffers long enough to say: I'm excited to watch because I'm a social historian, and this is history in the making - even if this is a last hurrah for a dying monarchy, it's going to be part of history. Also because I watched Will's parents' wedding with my Nana and it's a very happy memory, so I'm watching for nostalgia's sake.

Royal Wedding Menu Ideas

Wow, there's some serious hate here!

My idea is a Breakfast Tea: I'm serving egg canapes, with mustard butter and a chive garnish; scones and muffins (w/clotted cream and assorted jellies, of course); sausage rolls; quiche; petit fours; fruit salad. Still looking for one more tea-type thing, since my party is rapidly growing (looks like about a dozen, as of today). I also hit Wegman's yesterday to stock up on McVitties cookies.

CSA's

I've just signed up for a CSA for the first time (actually, it was my anniversary gift from my husband) - $550 for 24 weeks of 8 "pieces" (aka a quart of squash, a bunch of greens). I do consider this a luxury in terms of initial output, but don't see it as unreasonable. I spend at least $15 a week on produce as it is, so the $23 of the CSA isn't outrageous. I will say that I knew going into this that part of the point was to support local, organic farming and I was aware that the produce I'll receive might be affected by the uncertainties of the season. (Which is I why I chose a CSA which has been in operation for 25 years to good reviews, and from which I've purchased produce at the Farmer's Market too. I've also been following this farm on FaceBook, so I've learned how they handle problems - recently one of their organic practices was called into question by the state - these guys have been organic longer than Maryland has regulated organicness - and they've been very forthcoming about the situation.) I've been waiting years to live where we could join a CSA, and was thrilled when we discovered that the drop off is just a block from our new house!

Salting Split Peas?

When cooking rice, I know to season the water so the flavor and salt penetrate the grains - just like with pasta. But, when cooking lentils or beans adding salt to the cooking water can make them tough (I only cook lentils in salted water if I'm going to use them in a salad, and want them to keep some structure.)

Which is better for split peas in soup, salt in the cooking liquid, or waiting to add salt after the cooking is complete?

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