Ancient Acolyte

I'm a 40-ish wife and mom to two, back to work-for-pay as a church secretary. Food - preparing it, eating it, reading about it, researching places to eat - is a favorite pastime. I know a little, but still have a lot to learn. That's why I'm here!

  • Location: Metro Detroit
  • Favorite foods: shellfish, pad thai, pizza, poached eggs on rye toast, potatoes in any form. I prefer savory to sweet, and would pick a fruit dessert over chocolate every time.
  • Last bite on earth: stone crab claws, or BLT on white bread with Miracle Whip and a home grown tomato still warm from the sun.

It's a Miracle: These Chicken-Breast Kebabs Won't Dry Out

I think this recipe sounds awesome. My totally picky family thinks it sounds good, too ("but can I take the pineapple off?"). Thanks for re-posting because even though I check Serious Eats regularly, I missed it the first time around.
I can't remember when I created my SE account, but I've been reading since 2010 at least. Max is legit and makes me want ice cream every day. If you don't know his writing, you have no business asking "what happened" to this site. Daniel is skilled beyond what any Grillin God - who as far as I can see, has not commented before today - can hope to be. There is a difference between explaining for the thousandth time how and why SE has changed, and being defensive.
The writers respond to constrictive criticism. This is not constructive, it's just whiny bitching. There's a food site for everyone. If this isn't your preference, move along and let the rest of us who liked the old but also enjoy the expanded depth in articles enjoy them in peace.

Taste Test: Dennis Eats All of Cricket's Cat Food

I lost it at the comparison of cat treats to Krave cereal. Complete with a link. Bravo!

Recipe for dinner using Honeybell Oranges

Ooooh, Honeybell tangelos! My absolute favorite citrus fruit. I've never gotten past eating them out of hand - but the salad and orange beef suggestions sound terrific.

What did Santa bring you?

Two pepper mills - one is a battery powered model. Now I have one for the table and one for the stove. My sister and I exchange Christmas stockings, and she found some neat made-in-Detroit treats: a barbecue rub, a seasoning sauce, locally roasted nuts and locally produced candies. Very happy with my presents!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Phantom of the Fridge Secret Stash

Cold leftover American-style Chinese food. Beef and pea pods, Moo goo gai pan, pork lomein. Or pork fried rice, but that needs to be reheated.

Thankgiving recap

I was a guest at family Thanksgiving, where two turkeys were cooked. Happily, I came home with ample leftovers for several sandwiches and a pot of Kenji's turkey & dumplings. I may have to bake another pumpkin pie (my favorite is Pam Anderson's Silky 3-Can Pumpkin Pie) because my daughters and I love it so much.

How do you eat whole artichokes?

I really like Italian dressing - from a bottle is fine - warmed up. Tangy!

American-style casserole recipes

This is a favorite of mine from my youth in the 1970s. My mom called it Coronado Casserole, but the recipes with that name I've seen online are quite different.
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 c uncooked white rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 small bottle green olives, sliced (about a cup)
1 small (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups hot water
Combine in shallow casserole dish, cover and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour.
Many recipes call for green chiles instead of green olives - I just realized that Mom may have made the substitution based on what was available in the suburban Midwest at the time. Cheese on top would be good, too.

Why does Pastrami have Such a Weird Taste?

I guess you could stick to corned beef- similar, but without the smoky spicy complexity. All the more pastrami for me!

Do you Dress it up? Or Leave it Alone?

I like to layer Cheerios with other not-too-sweet cereals - rice, corn, wheat or bran Chex; grape nuts, shredded wheat. Add fruit for sweetness and milk for, ummm, not-dryness.
My husband's family likes have cheerios topped with melted butter and salt as a snack. Not my taste, but now our kids love it, too.

Ask The Food Lab: Why Does My Noodle Soup Thicken As It Sits Overnight?

I appreciate the information - and the recipe. It makes perfect sense that homemade noodle soup gets thick overnight. "Condensed" soup has the same texture (viscosity?).

Favorite Kitchen/Food Smell...

Mmmm. Roasting chicken, beef on the grill, cinnamon rolls, fresh squeezed lemons.

Favorite Recipes from The Joy of Cooking?

US Senate Bean Soup, Corned Beef and Cabbage/New England Boiled Dinner/Corned Beef Hash.

help my boyfriend is so hard to cook for!

My boyfriend was like that. Twenty-three years ago he became my husband, and he's still like that. The only vegetable he likes is leaf lettuce - if it's covered with bacon bits, cheese, croutons and Ranch. He has subbed cottage cheese for vegetables so often I finally asked if he knew cottage cheese was not a vegetable. He doesn't eat potatoes either, so the starch of choice is usually bread or rice pilaf "without stuff in it." I love all the above suggestions, but they would not work for my veggie-averse spouse. He's not a three-year-old, he's a grown adult adult who will eat what he chooses and it's not my job to make him do otherwise. Be prepared, aimeeloop - maybe your BF's tastes will change, but maybe not. Make what you want with your steak and don't be offended if he doesn't partake.

"kid" food??

It's a reasonable question. Maybe at 4-5 the kids aren't fully trained in party etiquette, and at a family gathering the rules tend to be a little more forgiving. I would only have a problem if the little ones frittered away the shrimp by taking a big portion and not eating it, but I would feel the same way if they did that to the hot dogs. Or if they camped out at the shrimp bowl and didn't allow others any. No wasting and taking turns are basic concepts for child and adult alike.
That said, food is food. I like it when people enjoy food, no matter their age.

Video: S'mores Burger on 'Epic Meal Time'

I can't get the "eeew" expression off my face. Just....eeew.

Food Ignorance Frustration

I think it's a reasonable point, and Mike is "frustrated," not homicidal. There's a lively conversation a few posts back about getting angry about being served bad food at a restaurant, I read this a tangent of that thread.
How lucky some folk are to have access to real, authentic ethnic food! I love to try new things, but by the time it hits my white bread burbs who knows how authentic it is. I don't know how to pronounce it, but I still think it's tasty.
My food frustration is the puffy pastries called "bagels" by national chains. A bagel should be kind of dense and chewy and simply flavored, in my opinion. Those tender puffy Asiago-jalapeno-sundried tomato confections should have a different name.

Ask the Food Lab: Do I Need To Preheat My Oil?

So, The Frugal Gourmet's mantra of "hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick" isn't accurate? Jeff Smith said that over and over when using a wok.

Little Caesars Announces New DEEP!DEEP! Dish Pizza

I've lived in the Detroit 'burbs for 45 years. Little Caesars was the go-to carry out pizza since I was a kid. I love Jet's 8 corner, and I am looking forward to trying this new offering. There is a real market for cheap-but-good pizza, and I'm picking one up after I get off my second job tomorrow. I'll let you know. We can't fire up the wood fired oven every night (or ever, most of us).

Soda Pop Sorcery: Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer

Monopod, I Cheers, from another geek!

Deli Meat alternative recipies

I make a ham/noodle casserole using deli ham. I make a Swiss cheese sauce, add ham sliced like a chiffonade. Stir in cooked egg noodles and bake until bubbly and brown. Kids call it Ham and Cheese Heaven, and it's a favorite of theirs.

Foodie Celebrations: Carnevale, Chinese New Year, Fat Tuesday...

Here in the Detroit area, paczki (plural, "poonch-key")are popular for Fat Tuesday. It's traditional to Polish cuisine, but had been adopted by the entire SW Michigan area (and beyond?!) Large doughnuts with extra eggs and butter in the dough, plus delicious fillings. The idea is to clear the pantry before the Lenten season begins. They are so popular, in fact, that the grocery store bakeries are already offering their knockoffs. They run 300-450 calories, but are so yummy!

Does anyone have good low-sodium tips/tricks?

Milford (MI) Spice company sells an amazing Bourbon barrel smoked black pepper. Take a look at It's a featured product right now.

What would you want to come home to?

My goodness, all of these ideas sound wonderful! I wish somebody had prepped meals for me while my family was making the annual drive home from Florida to Michigan. After a full day or more in the car with cranky kids, fast food, and that (sorry) most boring stretch of road, I-75 in northern Ohio, all I hoped for was take-out pizza and strong cocktails.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I think Max and Craig are moonlighting at Blockbuster Video. Blue button down and khakis - that's the uniform.

A Gallon of 1/2% Milk to use Today

Due to a malfunction, the refrigerator was not chilling for at least a day. I got rid of everything else I thought might be a food safety issue, but there's this unopened gallon of 1/2% milk I just hate to dump. The milk was cool, not cold, when the repair was completed. I don't want to serve it to the family as is, but do you suppose there is something I could cook or bake to use it up? Or should I just pitch it and count myself lucky it wasn't a bigger loss?
If you think it can be used, what would you do with that much low fat milk?

Would you do it?

There's a gas station near where I work that has huge signs for its Food Center: Pizza/ Chicken/ Subs. Then, over to the side in equally huge letters, Shish Kebab, Hummus, Tabbouleh, Grape Leaves. That last group is one I'm awfully fond of. So, would you go to the gas station for lunch? It could be awesome, it could be awful. I'm thinking, one of these days I'm gonna give it a go.

Over the river and through the woods... How'd you get here?

Do you remember how you first came to Serious Eats? In 2010 I clicked on a link to Kenji's post on ordering everything off the Secret Menu at In-N-Out, from a pop culture blog. I thought, this is where I need to spend more time. Weird for a Midwestern gal who didn't know anything about In-N-Out. But I knew good writing!

Trying new cuisines for the first time

I'm ready to go from Taco Bell to taqueria, from spaghettios to authentic Italian, from sweet-n-sour chicken to whatever is on that menu they never give me at the Chinese restaurant...
I felt like an idiot the first time I went into an Indian restaurant. How do you know what to pick?
What would you recommend a first-timer to try in your favorite cuisine? Assume I'm genuinely open to new tastes.

Your favorite condiment hack

I recently got a jar of sambal oelek for a recipe, which wasn't kidding about only needing half a teaspoon. My family is kind of heat-adverse, but I made a second attempt to use this delightful concoction. The new recipe called for a teaspoon added to heated oil before adding chicken chunks. Shrapnel is the best word to describe the scorching bits popping out of the skillet. What to do? Recently, I've been mixing it with ketchup for a dipping sauce. Forget chili sauce, THIS is ketchup with a kick! For me, it's a great example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. What do you mix up at home?

When do you salt the water?

I'm kind of embarrassed to ask, it really doesn't matter.... But when do you salt cooking water? My mother in law swears salting cold water makes a solution that boils faster. I feel that adding the salt right to a rolling boil, right before adding the pasta/vegetables/whatever is kinder to my stainless steel pans. Any thoughts?

Eggs, eggs, eggs!

Due to a little miscommunication, my spouse and I both picked up extra eggs on sale. So now we have five dozen eggs. The oldest dozen were hard-cooked (I LOVE Easter Egg salad - those pastel flecks are so pretty!). Omelets for lunch today. French toast is on the menu later this week. Some sort of sausage-and-egg casserole, too. What else? What's your favorite way to use a lot of eggs? Can I freeze them somehow?

Food Practical Jokes

Just read @daleoliver's comment on the "Whoops!" thread about a burnt pot-pie prank. When I was a little kid my sister gave me green-tinted pancakes one year (edible), and the following year, blue-tinted scrambled eggs (couldn't choke 'em down). I like fun - not mean - practical jokes. April 1 is just around the corner - any good pranks to share?

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