• Location: Edmonds, WA

Giveaway: Win a Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer

A purple thermopen would be used for wild Alaskan salmon.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

I join others in disagreeing with the social media changes. I don't use social media for many of the same reasons. At Serious Eats, I can read/comment/contribute to Talk all in one place and I'm not besieged by requests from "fake friends" or people wanting to increase their Twitter followers. The other changes sound appealing, especially broadening the city-specific content to be more of a tour guide than a review that appeals more to locals.

Lazy Daisy Coconut Oatmeal Cake

My mother made Lazy Daisy oatmeal cake sans coconut. If coconut is part of the traditional recipe, I never knew - she didn't like coconut, so no way would she have added it or given me a recipe with that ingredient. Even without, this is a super-moist delicious and easy recipe. One of my favorites and I'm glad you are sharing it.

Manner Matters: Birthday Bill Blues

After a couple decades (no exaggeration) of hosting all family gatherings - Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, birthdays - and NEVER having a return invitation to anything (not even going out for pizza) unless a gift was expected, I quit. We had to cancel Thanksgiving dinner one year because my husband was in the hospital and wouldn't be discharged until Thanksgiving Day. We did not get any invitations from his family or any offers to come over and provide the meal. To me, that was pretty much the last straw. While I don't expect one-to-one reciprocity, it would have been nice to have a few invitations over the years.

Open Thread: Do You Lick Your Beaters?

No longer permitted to lick and it is SO hard!

Manner Matters: Bread and Butter Basics

I'd emphasize that you tear the bread, not cut it with a knife - which I see people do all the time.

Bake the Book: The Irish Pantry

Which part of the pantry? The Asian section or the baking section or the Mexican section or the grains/beans/rice section or the hot sauce section?

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

My son will be home for the first Super Bowl in 10 years, so no holds barred - probably ribs, jerk chicken and maybe sliders??

Go Hawks!

Cook the Book: 'One Good Dish' by David Tanis

Jerk chicken.

Cook the Book: 'The New Midwestern Table'

Both sides of my family came from the midwest - German from Iowa (farmers) and Norwegian from Minnesota and the Dakotas. I remember visiting the Iowa folks and was amazed at the food my aunt put out at lunch for the guys working the farm. Really basic food and lots of it! The Norwegians ruled at home, with Christmas being the big deal: krumkake, lefse (Hardanger, not potato), a variety of sausages. Unfortunately, much of that food has been absent since my grandmother's generation did all the work. I'm planning to do lefse this Christmas, but I will use my great aunt's hardanger recipe.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

Chocolate chunk with bourbon caramel

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

Sometimes a quick mac and cheese, sometimes just the cheese (melted on a plate and scooped up with bread or crackers). Especially if the cheese is a triple cream or rich blue.

Low sodium vs regular baking powder

I use it all the time and haven't noticed any problems.

The Complete 2013 Serious Eats Guide To Turkeys

In my experience, a fresh bird is not really fresh - it's just less solidly frozen than a frozen bird. Is there a rule of thumb for totally defrosting a "fresh" bird?

Bake the Book: The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook

Fruit pies: apple, blackberry, cherry. My mother could do them all with a crust that was perfect. I'm still working on it.

'Tude: Great Apple Juice, One Variety at a Time

I found some today, after reading your article. I bought the Granny Smith - least sweet and my favorite apple. The drink was perfect - a much less cloying apple juice which was very easy to drink and could be fizzed up or used in cooking. So glad you reviewed these juices!

The Model Bakery Cookbook: Promo Code and Giveaway

I rarely eat them but cherry danish are tied for the top along with some unusual doughnuts sold at a local restaurant.

Open Thread: What Words Should Never Be Used to Describe Food?

I recently read a review in a local newspaper (obviously written by an amateur reviewer, not a critic) which used the word "wonderful" seven times to describe everything from the decor, the service, the food - everything was wonderful - no other adjectives used. Oh, and the one comment that showed up was from someone who said the restaurant sounded wonderful!

Kenji's Jerk Chicken

Thanks - I thought I read the tweet on the weekend, so I was assuming it was last weekend. Next week it is!

Cook the Book: 'Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking'

Finding ways to enjoy old favorites, now that I'm sodium-restricted. Hard to figure out how to replace fish sauce, soy sauce and hot sauce!

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

I've had a couple memorable burgers - one a bit nontraditional, served on a sourdough baguette with lots of blue cheese and cracked black pepper. Totally juicy, with incredible flavors - at Two Bells Tavern in Seattle. The other one was at a sports bar in Hilo, Cronies. The burger was big, juicy, the lettuce/tomato/etc. were fresh and I enjoyed every bite.

Problem with Old Recipes

Well, I just ordered the cookbook from the library, so I won't have to wait for a fix!

Real Tacos Al Pastor

Clearly, something about my computer doesn't compute. Once again, I cannot get this recipe to print. Any help would be appreciated (I use a Mac and Firefox). Last time this happened, Paul gave me a link. Will I always need some kind of link?

5 Great No-Frills Spots to Drink Beer in Seattle, WA

And to make Chuck's even more appealing, Where Ya At Matt food truck, with all things New Orleans is there, usually on Fridays.

Grilled Cheese with Bacon, Tomato, and Avocado

Yes, that worked beautifully. Thanks!

Kenji's Jerk Chicken

The Food Lab tweeted that there would be a jerk chicken recipe posted on July 29. Haven't seen it yet - change in plans? I want to compare to the version I make.

Problem with Old Recipes

I've found that the older recipes on Serious Eats are missing steps (others may have noted this as well). I just tried to check out Ed Levine's potato salad recipe (from Jasper White's Summer Shack) and the recipe basically ended with the potatoes cooling - nothing about assembling the rest of the dish. In fact, step 3 was a link to some Flickr photos of a turkey?! Is there any way to fix this?

Annoying TV Product Placement

I understand that sponsors are necessary, but I find myself doubting that Joe Bastianich really thinks WalMart steaks are so amazing (Master Chef this week). When he or Elliott or Ramsey make these obviously scripted comments about products being used on the show, how sincere are they? If they were extolling Boos cutting boards, I'd get it, but often the compliments are directed to much more dubious products. Top Chef isn't a lot better, so I guess this is the way to advertise without risking that people will fast forward through actual commercials.

Oh no! Kenji's Twitter Has Been Hacked!

Unless Kenji is now into selling acai berry weight loss supplements, his Twitter account has been hacked. I had this same experience with a local cooking school. Someone must be looking for Tweeters who have a food connection.

Baby Back Rib Recipe?

The recipe for my son's favorite baby back ribs is in a binder which is in one of dozens of unpacked boxes in my new home. I cannot remember the source, just bits and pieces of the recipe - brined first, mustard and spice rub which sits for a while, bbq sauce made from a variety of hard-to-find and expensive fruit juices. I've checked Epicurious, Fine Cooking, Sunset, Saveur - nada. Any ideas?

Whole Wheat Pasta - Favorite Brand?

We try to eat whole wheat pasta but I am struggling to find a brand that I like. I bought some at Costco - can't even remember who made it - but it is just not very good. I think Barilla makes a whole wheat or multi-grain that was OK, but frankly, I can't remember what I've tried anymore! Do you have a favorite?

@good__eats - Do They Ask First?

I saw a tweet about this site copying other sites' content and posting on their site. When I checked, I saw several Serious Eats posts - photos and everything. While they did say the content was from Serious Eats and gave names of writers and photographers, it seems odd to me that their site is apparently completely non-original content. Do they ask if they can do this? It's not a link - it is the entire content.

Wretched Closed Captions

I know I'm probably in a minority, but I have to have closed captions on when I watch TV. Tonight on The Next Food Network Star, there was a major blooper. One of the guys tried to make pommes frites. The caption was pomfrets - more than once. Does anyone do any quality control on these captions? I bet they have weeks to edit! I've seen other problems on other cooking channels and it amazes me how little they care.

Food Feud vs Food Wars

I just watched Michael Symon and Food Feud. How is this different from Food Wars on the Travel Channel? Same vendors - Al's Beef and Mr. Beef; essentially the same info and format; slightly different judging process - one judge and different criteria rather than three judges; and Michael Symon instead of perky Camille. Is this the total rip-off I think it is?

How to Feed a Political Vegan

My son just told me that he and his roommates have decided to be virtual vegans, largely because they feel they cannot ignore the way meat and dairy products are produced. If they could find humane producers who didn't harm the animals or create unnatural living conditions (annual calves for cows, for example), they would be willing to eat dairy and/or meat, but they have no idea how to find what would probably be products from small farms. I have no idea either. He lives in Boston and I'm sure there are New England products which would meet his criteria, but how does one locate them? Any thoughts?

Time Limit in Restaurants?

I made a reservation for dinner and was "reminded" by the restaurant that we were to stick to the 90 minute timeframe for the reservation. Mind you, this is a pleasant seafood restaurant in a suburban location and the reservation is for 6 PM on a Sunday - not what I would think would be a really high traffic timeslot. While 90 minutes may be enough time for us to eat, assuming they serve efficiently and we don't linger over pre-dinner drinks or post-dinner brandies, I was a little taken aback. Is this now the standard?

Ruth Reichl - Really?

I just watched another episode of Ruth Reichl's Gourmet Adventures. While I enjoy the scenery and the food in these shows, I find Reichl's presence unnecessary and virtually useless. On the show about China, she wisely alleged that Chinese food was wonderful because it was "ingredient-based." Hmm. I'm not sure how that makes it different from Italian food or Brazilian food or other cuisines. Usually she ends the program by saying the techniques or ingredients she used she will now be using every day in her cooking. Should make for some interesting meals. I've never been a big fan of Reichl's but these shows really reinforced my dislike. Any other viewpoints?

What Is the Term for Citrus Segments?

Isn't there a term for the tidy little citrus sections you get when you cut in between the membrane and just have pure fruit - no peel, no pith, no membrane? Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but I'm sure they are called something other than "cute!"

Can You Cook What You've Never Eaten?

I spent 5 hours caramelizing onions in an effort to produce a perfect French onion soup. I've eaten lots of onion soup in a variety of locations, including Paris, and I know what is good and what is not and I've had both. But what about those dishes that sound good but I've never eaten? Paella, pho, laksa, Cajun prawns, jerk chicken and a variety of other foods are things I've made and enjoyed but I've never eaten an "authentic" version so I don't know how close I've come. Is it possible to make a good version of a food when you have no basis for comparison?

A Mouse - Do You Tell?

I drove 50+ miles to have lunch with friends. As I was waiting for them to arrive, I saw a mouse skitter across the waiting area and disappear into a fountain/plant display. What to do? Tell the friends when they got there and go somewhere else? I've eaten in this restaurant several times, never had a problem. There were lots of people already eating. No management people in sight. The restaurant does have extensive gardens around the outside, so it could have been an little mousey who got lost.... What would you do?

Are All Parties Potlucks Now?

Is it my friends or does no one actually totally host parties any more? I've been asked to graduation parties, bon voyage parties, retirement parties, Herbert's 95th birthday parties, whatever, and always the guests are expected to bring the food. As in - "we'll provide the entree - please bring a side dish or dessert or appetizer." I understand the "let's have a get-together - I'll bring the potato salad" concept of potluck gatherings, but when I'm hosting a party for a particular reason, I don't expect anyone to bring anything -- and that includes Thanksgiving. Is there anyone else who feels the new definition of host is the person who opens the front door and that's all?

Browning vs Burning

Okay, it happened again. The recipe said turn the heat to medium high and watch your veggies brown - takes 15-20 min. I did everything exactly the way the recipe said: heavy (cast iron) dutch oven, olive oil, medium high heat, frequent stirring - and what do I get? Beginnings of a burn, not a brown, in about 5 minutes. I turn the gas way down, take it much more slowly and manage to salvage the dish. This happens to me all the time. The temp suggestions and the predicted time to accomplish whatever - browning, softening, caramelizing - are so far from my reality! What am I doing wrong?


I have two pounds of cooked crayfish (in the shells) and have not a clue what to do with them. Any ideas?

Iron Chef HUGE Knife

Has anyone noticed the really large knife Michael Symon used on Sunday's Iron Chef? I've also seen Mario Batali use it. It has an orange and green handle and is massive. I've googled everything I can think of and haven't been able to figure out what kind of knife it is.

Roasting a Whole Pig

My son had mixed success spit-roasting a whole pig. It cooked unevenly, didn't seem all that flavorful (despite brining), and generally wasn't as wonderful as he was hoping it would be. He says he tried to find info about how to approach the pig, but didn't fare too well with that either. I'm not much help - I've never cooked anything larger than a turkey. Any recommendations?

Meet the Real Star of Your Favorite Food Travel Shows (It's Not the Host)

Never heard of a food fixer? Good—then they're doing their job right. Fixers are connected culinary experts who know a region or cuisine inside and out, and steer everyone from in-the-know tourists to TV personalities toward whatever it is they absolutely need to eat. We go behind the scenes with Kevin Cox, a Singapore-based fixer to find out exactly how one gets this dream job. More

Boiled Water Recipe

CJ McD asked where my recipe for boiled water went. LOL. That was from the test phase of the new SE Recipes functionality. Anyway, here it is ... Boiling water is essential to many recipes. If you have never cooked... More

Perfect Boiled Eggs

Perfect boiled eggs require the right technique. We cooked dozens and dozens of eggs before arriving at these methods that deliver soft boiled eggs with tender whites and liquid yolks, or hard boiled eggs that are evenly cooked throughout with a just-set yolk. More