• Location: Santa Barbara, California
  • Favorite foods: Anything that tastes good!

Brave New World: Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake

Like a true layer cake each layer needs to be baked acceptably and then constructed. That has potential as a pizza related object that could be really awesome.

We Try Everything On Taco Bell's New Breakfast Menu

Our local Taco Bell has always served breakfast. The bummer is with the nationwide roll-out they had to do away with their old menu which was vastly superior. Breakfast Gorditas were the jam.

Come Early and Come Often to Chief O'Neill's Sunday Brunch Buffet

How do the fountains compare to the amazing ones at Golden Coral? The beauty part is you can dip more than just strawberries in them.

Video: All Bacon Burger on 'Epic Meal Time'

Total Chads. What a waste of food.

Cornmeal on stone burning

All you need is a small amount of Wondra on the peel, no need for cornmeal or anything for that matter on the stone.

A Bacon Cheeseburger and Churros in Paradise at Tequila Grille in San Diego

The tacos here aren't bad either and the margaritas are good too. For pool side hotel food it is totally acceptable and even enjoyable.

Manner Matters: Crack Open That Bottle

I'm with dootsie. If you hand it off as a gift you should not expect it to be opened. If I bring over a special bottle I want to share with the host's I just ask for an opener and glasses.

New $12 Burger Lands at McDonald's in Switzerland...or Does It?

A truly class unifying sandwich. Arugula often thought to be the lettuce of choice for the rich, elite and out of touch combines in harmony with coleslaw, the poverty salad of choice for regular down to earth American folks.

A Sandwich a Day: The Dudewich at Terra Cole in Seattle

Hot butt mud on a bun.

Manner Matters: Bread and Butter Basics

What about when you are served rock hard butter? Is a steak knife appropriate?

Smiling With Hope Bakery: How Pizza-Making Transformed This High School Special Needs Program

Thanks for sharing this Adam, what an awesome program. Those pies look damn good.

Staff Picks: What to Drink at a Not-Great Bar

I also have a hard time getting ginger ale at poverty bars.

Dinner Tonight: Open-Faced Egg Salad Sandwich With Bacon

Agreed FediupusRex. Celery? Go back to Russia!

Advice for the beginning of a knife collection

A yogurt knife is a must in any knife collection. Total game changer.

Open Thread: What's the Best Frozen Pizza?

Celeste of course... "Celeste, the best a man can get"

Anyone serve punch anymore? Recipes?

Funny, just today I received a text from my Mom trying to pawn off her huge crystal punch bowl on us. I thought to myself when on Earth will I ever need that?

Taste Test: We Try Every Flavor of Cheez-It Crackers

@ChrisE The burnt ones are the best ones. I look for them like buried treasure.

Taste Test: We Try Every Flavor of Cheez-It Crackers

The BIG Original Flavor are hands down the best.

KFC Introduces New Big Mac Copycat in Canada

The review on Grubgrade last week of this is not encouraging at all.

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Burgers

I imagine the ingredients list on some of these must be impressive.

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Burgers

That first picture of the Kroger burger made me just throw up a little in my mouth.

What's Up in Pizza: Sbarro Files for Bankruptcy, Health Wars, and Heston Blumenthal's Airport Pizza

A Time Square Sbarro slice can hold it's' own against any pie in NYC. Worth the pilgrimage, other locations maybe not so much.

What should I put in a piñata?

Kenji, what is a plethora?

What should I put in a piñata?

Would you say you have a plethora of pinatas?

Unmold Cakes Easily With the Kuhn Rikon PushPan

That's pretty cool. Little pricey, but very useable.

Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies?

These are the peanut butter cookies with a Hershey Kiss on top, correct? Well I'm in charge of baking a batch this year and I can't claim I'm a master cookie baker only a master cookie eater. Most I've had of this variety are too on the dry side. Anyone have a favorite recipe? Thanks


All the Arby's advertising finally took it's toll on me. After an unknown about of years I finally set foot back in one. As the famous line goes "I'm so hungry I could eat at Arby's" and well I was really hungry after an evening of rock climbing.

Here's my trip report:
Greeted by a friendly and helpful cashier. I was unaware of the different sizing options and he was helpful in this matter. All employees were especially friendly and nice compared to other fast-food joints. I was tempted by some of their newer offerings but went with one of the classics, a "Mid" Beef n' Cheddar, supplemented with curly fries, and a Jr. Roast Beef.

Beef n' Chedder: Wow salt. I love salt but wooo this was intense. Cheese sauce wasn't too offensive, roast beef seemed to taste only of salt, kind of shockingly bland. Could have been warmer. Overall a let down even when dipped into the various sauces that flow freely at Arby's.

Curly Fries: Fresh batch, hard to go wrong. Nice and crispy, salty, salty, but good. Woudl eat again.

Jr. Roast Beef: dry and salty, not much beef, but was expected as it's a Jr.

Overall: underwhelmed. I would call it poverty food, but it was actually shockingly expensive. Still in the lower tier as far as fast-food goes. Should have just stuck with an order of curly fries and a Jamoca shake.

Denver... Where to Eat?

I'm heading to Denver on business for a few days next week. I will be staying downtown at The Sheraton (16th and Court Pl.). Any recommendations for a serious eater? I like it all but always on the hunt to find something I can't find at home. May be dining solo so any spots for a good solo dinner are appreciated as well as well as any craft beer\cocktail type spots. Thanks!

Side of Bread Loaf Broken... What Went Wrong?

I baked two loaves of bread over the weekend. One loaf baked in a glass loaf pan came out perfect. The other one baked in a Le Creuset stoneware loaf pan had a large indention running down the side of the loaf. It still tastes great but doesn't slice well for sandwiches due to the break in the side. Any idea of what went wrong?

The bread was a sort of rye-oatmeal variety. A blend of whole wheat, dark rye, bread flour, and rolled oats along with some dry milk powder, oil and molasses and avocado honey for sweetness. I let the sponge rise for 50 minutes, added the remaining ingredients and let rise for 1 hour, punched the dough back down and let rise for 50 minutes, portioned the dough and let rest for 5 minutes, shaped into loaves and let rise for 25 minutes, cut a few slits in the top and topped with egg wash and oats, then baked in a 350f oven for 1 hour.

What Are You Cooking On?

We just bought a home and the beautiful but totally inappropriate for this area AGA stove that resided there was not included with the purchase. We now have a empty void to fill with a 36in gas range of our choice. I'm currently leaning to the 36" Wolf w\ charbroiler, but Blue Star is intriguing as well, but appears to be more $$$ and is not sold locally.

Anyone buy a range they are in love recently?

Expired Vacuum Sealed Fully Cooked Sausage?

I have some vacuum sealed fully cooked sausages in the fridge, sell by date of June 2012. It's been a long week and I don't want to go out to the store, should we eat it? WWSED? I'm thinking if it doesn't have mold and is fully sealed it should be perfectly fine.

Ecto Cooler?

Does this glorious Slimer endorsed Hi-C beverage flavor still exist anywhere? I just had a flashback to my childhood lunch box and could really go for one. Human sacrifices, dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

Prepping Nettles for Pizza?

I've been seeing lots of nettles are our local farmers' market and would like to make a pizza utilizing them this weekend. I haven't worked with them before, but it sounds like getting rid of the stinging element is as simple as a blanch for ~1 minute in boiling water? After that I was planning to saute them in duck fat with garlic and hot chilis before topping the pie.

Any advice for prepping or recommendations for nettle pies?

Teach Me About Making Dashi

I'm a big fan of udon noodle soups and I'm not sure why I haven't been making them at home already. After looking up recipes for making the dashi soup base it appears pretty simple and straight forward but I imagine someone out there has tips and tricks for making a truly awesome broth. Is just bonito flakes and kombu the way to go? I see some add dried mushrooms. Ratios? Simmer time, etc.? Any tips, recipes, or other advice are appreciated. Thanks!

Guanciale on Pizza

Guanciale, where have you been all my pizza making life? Finally made a pie incorporating it over weekend, so tasty. I diced it up, rendered some of the fat in a pan, removed, added chanterelle mushrooms, leeks, a little bit of garlic and a couple springs of time and cooked down. I brushed the dough with olive oil and topped the pie with the chanterelle/leek mix, guanciale, Fontina Val D'Aosta and Moliterno Black Truffle Pecorino. Finished the pie hot out of the oven witha drizzle of early harvest olive oil and some more grated Moliterno truffled Pecorino. I have to say it was one of my best pies in recent memory.

Anyone else love this stuff? How do you use it?

Kenji's Ultra-Crispy Roast Potatoes = Legit Oven Fries

Sometimes you just don't feel like getting a pot of oil going or want your house to smell like a fry shack for a week, but you still want some French fries. Last night was one of those as I had a few pounds of local mussels and what better way to sop up all the leftover mussely goodness than French fries. I figured Kenji's Ultra-Crispy Roast Potatoes recipe could probably produce some decent oven fries so I cut my potatoes up into fries and used the same technique. I must say they came out great! Better than many a fry I've had fried the traditional way. The parboil w/ vinegar + duck fat seems to be the trick. I have a feeling we will be enjoying fries at home more often. Thanks Kenji, now oven fries don't have to suck!

See's Candy Russian Roulette

It's that time of the year again when boxes of See's Candy seem to be everywhere trying to lure you in. You pick a piece expecting some sort of chocolatey goodness and instead you are assaulted with some sort of vile filling resulting in a mini-puke. +++Vibes+++ to all that partake.

Smoky BBQ Wheat Thins

I'm typically a Wheat Thins purist, but the new Smoky BBQ flavor isn't half bad. The first one tastes kind of gross with the liquid smoke flavor, but then they become oddly addicting. They don't have the overly sweet BBQ flavor which I think is a good thing. You definitely need something to cleanse the palate afterwards as the flavor lingers. Still on the fence if I actually like them or not. Have you tried them? What do you think?

Kenji's Green Bean Casserole Base

Hot damn! This stuff is great I could bathe in it. I swapped out the butter for duck fat and added a dash of sherry and it didn't seem to hurt. For once I'm looking forward to green bean casserole. Thanks Kenji!

Turkey Stock in a Pressure Cooker = Win

Quick as far as stock goes and the results are excellent. I'd say its even better than a stock toiled over all day. If you are planning to make turkey stock and have a pressure cooker give it a try. It makes me realize I need to bust out the pressure cooker more often.

Cooking a Turkey w/ Convection On?

I'll be cooking my two ~12lb birds at my parent's house this time around. They have a pretty nice oven which has the option of running in convection mode. Anyone have a rough estimate of much faster the birds will cook with the convection fan on or any other tips?

Air-Chilled Turkey Availability?

Are air-chilled turkeys available where you live? Air-chilled chicken seems pretty widely available these days, but it seems it hasn't quite caught on with turkeys? I recommended using one to a friend and the meat counter at her local high end grocer had no clue what she was talking about. Thankfully our local poultry rancher raises turkeys as well, so that's what going in our oven.

Vegan: The Best Sweet Potato and Bean Chili

When I was a kid, we had a strict "30 minutes of screen time per day" rule, which meant that every day was filled with an epic internal struggle. You can bet your butt that now that I'm my own boss, I make as few forced choices as possible. For instance, why choose only one type of chili when you can have several? Last year, I took pains to develop a recipe for the Best Vegetarian Bean Chili, which is admittedly fantastic, but you know what else is fantastic? Sweet potato chili. And that's what we're making today. More

The Food Lab's Soup Month: Creamy Chanterelle Mushroom Soup

On Monday, I showed you how to make creamy soup out of virtually any vegetable. In that article, I mentioned that my old chef, Jason Bond, showed me how to make a creamy chanterelle mushroom soup. Tasting that soup for the first time was one of the high points of my culinary education. Today, by popular request, I'm going to share with you Chef Bond's chanterelle soup technique; the recipe for Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup on crack. More

The Food Lab: Hasselback Potato Gratin (These Might be the Best Potatoes Ever)

I woke up in the middle of the night the other day with an idea: what if I were to combine the concept of a Hasselback potato—that array of crisp ridges at the top—with a creamy potato gratin, the king of all casseroles? I went into the kitchen and got to work on the first batch of what would end up being my favorite potato recipe in years. More

Pork Larb (Thai Salad with Pork, Herbs, Chili, and Toasted Rice Powder)

A classic Northern Thai dish, larb is a meat-based salad that exemplifies the hot, sour, pungent, and sweet flavor balance typical of many Thai dishes. Our version uses fried shallots for extra flavor along with toasted rice powder, giving it an intense nuttiness. We found that grinding the meat yourself in a food processor results in a more interesting and varied texture. More

How to Make Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Kale Salad

At a recent cooking class during the New York Culinary Experience at the French Culinary Institute, Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten shared tips and a recipe for a raw kale salad from the menu at Nougatine restaurant on the Upper West Side. "It's a new-style Caesar salad," he said as he demonstrated the proper way to prepare dinosaur kale, serrano chilies, and a parmesan dressing for this delicious dish. More

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup with Lime and Ginger

The end result is a soup that's as fortifying as the best chicken noodle, but with a bit of kick from its sour/sweet/pungent flavor profile. With nothing but a single burner, a chicken, and a few vegetables, you can pull together a good soup in about an hour. The first key is to make extracting flavor and gelatin from the chicken bones as easy as possible. This means chopping the carcass into very fine pieces. More

Road Trip Snacking: Tasty Recipes to Make Ahead

When you enter about the sixth hour of a long road trip, the novelty of a Dairy Queen blizzard or Cracker Barrel (OK maybe not Cracker Barrel) starts to wear off. Packaged peanut butter crackers and gas station hot dogs just won't cut it anymore, and you find yourself starting to eye roadkill as a possible snack—that's where this list comes in. More

How to Quick Pickle

Quick pickles are one of the easiest, set-and-forget foods to make. And if, like me, you'll eat yours within a few days, you can make your own at home in a regular jar, with no special canning equipment or process required, on the spot. If you've got cucumbers and a few pantry staples—vinegar, sugar (or some form of it, like honey), salt and a few spices—and, better yet, 24 hours, you're in pickle business. More