Happily married. Young at heart. Slightly food obsessed.

  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Favorite foods: I am slightly partial to Mediterrenean foods. But like children, I love them all.
  • Last bite on earth: Preferably, not pablum.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

An over-the-cup Melitta brewing cone, small cone filters and a hot pot or way to heat water for fresh brewed coffee. Plus 2 mugs and a couple of days of pre-ground coffee.
chef knife
small serrated knife (for tomatoes and bread)
flexible cutting boards
small hand held can opener
folding corkscrew
vegetable peeler
locking tongs (8-10 inch)
silicone spoonula
deep cook spoon
flat spatula
cast iron pan
medium saucepan
2 plates
2- @forks, knives, spoons
2 kitchen towel- double as pot holders

Manner Matters: Can I Bring My Own Tonic Water?

If you are a regular, why not call or talk to the bar manager. Ask him to stock your preferred brand.

The Wok Mon Converts Your Home Burner Into a Wok Range. For Real.

In the top photo there are rolled aluminum foil off-sets seated around the bruner and underneath the heat grate. What is that about?

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

OK- One question. How do I NOT recieve email notifications for Serious Eats comments on Facebook? Help me please from the more tech savvy participants.

p.s. Send me a slice o' that pizza. :)

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

This is an experiment. I've posted a WHAT'S FOR DINNER? thread at SE on Facebook. Come join me and carry on. See you there! *smoochies*

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Ditto EVRYTHING BeavisPeters said. :(

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

I will ask again. Please do not close down TALK on Serious Eats. I don't want to use Facebook for Talk Conversations for multiple reasons.

If Talk isn't revived, I will be visiting Serious Eats less frequently for reasons apparent.

Please reconsider that decision. Thank you.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Keep Talk Please. It's an oasis in the web. Ut's the main reason I visit Serious Eats. Cool if you expand it. But don't delete it, please.

Cinco De Mayo - What Are You Cooking UP?

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?

One in the kitchen, one in the basement, one in the garage.

The kitchen also has a big box of baking soda and large pot lids for extinguishing fires. So far, none have been needed for that purpose.

Cinco De Mayo - What Are You Cooking UP?

Today we're having adobo seasoned, pulled slow roasted pork shoulder, chipotle black beans, yello rice, queso fresco, diced avocado-tomato salsa, fresh pico de gallo, roasted tomatillo salsa, corn and flour tortillas, fresh pineapple and mango for dessert.

Poaching chicken tonight for enchiladas suiza tomorrow, with whatever is left over from tonight in some form or other.

Looking forward to a week of happy eating.

Two Pounds of Ground Beef- What to make?

Thank you all for your input. I love to read about what others like to make at home.

Last night I was feeling under the weather, out of steam and time so I posed the question to Mr. McD. "Do you want hamburgers (easy for me to make) or black beans & rice (already made)?"

He chose black beans and rice for last night's dinner, so I still have the ground meat in the fridge.

@lemonfair- I haven't made "goulash" in ages. It has always been a comfort food here too.

@scaramoche- When you perfect that sauce, please share the recipe with us.

AnnieT- I love kubideh!

Thanks to everyone. Y'all have the BEST ideas!

White Beans with Ham Hocks - RECIPE

I haven't tried making beans in my pressure cooker. For some reason, I always use the stove top or slow cooker. I've got a large bag of cannelini beans in the pantry. I'm going to have to give this a try.

Love the vinegar steeped onions idea as a condiment.

Adam Kuban's Bar Pie Pop-Up: Feeling Like a Proud Papa

What a great write up and review Ed. I think it's safe to say that long time readers of Serious Eats all feel a special connection to Adam and miss him. So it was a wonderful surprise to not only see Adam featured, but a joy to see him pursuing his pizza passion with so much success.

Adam, we look forward to further updates! And as for the pizzas, I'll take one of each please! :)

Savory Grits With Slow-Cooked Collard Greens From 'Afro-Vegan'

Don't leave out the cashew cream. It's so easy to make and really adds a creamy richness to the grits. Gotta have creamy grits. :)

Recently tried making cashew cream with a little lime juice and cilantro in it to swirl a dab into a vegan chili for a party. It really added to the dish.

What to do with a bunch of hazelnut-flavored coffee beans?

Iced lattes or mochaccinos
iced coffee floats

Found this. It would adapt well to the hazelnut flavor. Mocha popsicles.

One-Pot Wonders: Warm Farro Salad With Asparagus, Peas, and Feta

As a fan of farro, feta and asparagus, this is a dish is one I will try.

Steaks reverse sear method gone wrong!

It a steak is only an inch thick, it probably only needs a good sear on both sides (3-4 minutes per side), then remove from the pan and let it rest.

As far as salting goes, salt can draw moisure out if it doesn't have enough time to work it's magic. I usually salt, then let the steak stand for about 45 minutes to bring it to room temperature and to allow the salt to be drawn back into the meat.

But I'll wait for meatguy to weigh in. He'll know.

Using a sauce for chicken on something else

Great suggestions above.

I looked at the link.

Stir a little into melted butter and pour over vegetables.

Stir into mashed potatoes or use to top a baked potato.

Stir into cooking liquid when making rice or grains.

Blend with some cream and toss with hot pasta.

Add to meatloaf mixture.

Use to marinate or baste shish ke bobs.

Stir into yougurt or sour cream as a dip or spread.

Brush on flatbread or pizza crust before adding toppings.

Use a spoonful to add flavor to a home made salad dressing.

Cook the Book: 'Yucatán' by David Sterling

My dream culinary tour would be a circle tour throughout Europe. I would love not only to eat, but learn to prepare food with cooks from each country.

Fried Chicken Prep - freezer question

Please report back in another post and let us know if you had success.

Home gardening?

Years ago I had very large vegetable and kitchen gardens, which I loved.

In this home I've have very limited sun exposure for the last 10 years, so grew an array of herbs, an assortment of tomatoes and experimented with flowering kale, potatoes, lettuces, radishes, beans and sugar snap peas trellised in pots. Space in the sun is very limited, so tomatoes and herbs always were a priority.

Last year we took down a massive but dying willow and cleared boulders from the site. It is currently covered with over wintered black plastic to kill off all the remnants of weeds and plant materials. We also pulled out a massive amount of established buckthorn along the fence line and laid down a thick barrier of cardboard, hay, landscape fabric and cedar mulch to prevent any sprouts from resurging. I hope to build raised beds in the future, but this year I want to experiment with hay bale gardening and track the light in the yard for long term planning , including fruit trees and edible landscaping.

Since we also host a CSA pick up site, we already have a very generous amount of fresh produce, but I love gardening. There is no such thing as too many fresh herbs and tomatoes! :)

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

We use thin, flexible mats that can go into the dishwasher for almost everything. They take up very little storage space. For bread, I love my wood board. For roasts, I have a wood board with routed drain wells.

Deviled eggs

My basic go-to is with mayo, a little mustard (not too much), dab or horseradish, a pinch of onion powder or minced chives.

I recently had one made with tuna, a hint of anchovy and lemon, parsley and capers. Not your mamma's deviled egg, but it sure was delicious. Another had finely chopped piquillo peppers in it. It was divine.

But really, I don't think I've EVER had a deviled egg I didn't like. Not matter how it was made.

Culinary land mines

Miracle whip is one. I find it to be overly sweet. I can tolerate in. In VERY small quantities.

I don't like gloppy chowders. Creamy, yes. Gloppy, no. I don't want my spoon to stick up in the bowl. No flour paste for me, thank you.

I generally hate the acrid garlic smell and overly MSG'd flavor of frozen entrees like Lean Cusine, et al. So many people bring them to work for lunch and the smell is just nauseating. Thank you for stinking up the work place. blehh! Same goes for butter "flavor" microwave butter popcorn. gahhh!

I do like an occasional bread and butter pickles. Usually home made ones because many commercial brands are overly sweet.

Another is the off flavors and artificial flavor in packaged cookies, cakes, etc. I'll pass.

My biggest culinary landmine is foods that are too salty. I salt foods generously, but find that most commerical preparations and especially restaurant soups are WAY too salty.

On the question of cilantro- I love it. But the first few times I tried it, I really didn't care for it either. Thought it tasted soapy. But as my taste buds acclimated I became a cilantro afficiando. You could almost call it an addiction. :)

What's For Dinner- Sunday Edition

March madness is almost over and the Badgers are still in the playoffs!

Tonight's dinner is a pasta-pizza casserole using some left over pasta and then loading it up with sauce, toppings and lots of cheese. Toppings include the usual suspects- onion, green pepper, sliced zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper, sausage and pepperoni. Green garden salad on the side and chocolate chip-walnut cookies for dessert.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Falafel Help- Mostly The Forming of..

Ok. My falafel craving got the best of me. So I followed the Mark Bittman recipe and it was delicious. My problem- forming the darn things so they don't fall apart. Things were going so-so. Tried different ways to get the mixture into the pan. My last batch was fairly successful by squeezing a large tablespoonful of mix, then sliding gently off the spoon into the oil. Not round or elegant but it worked. True- I only used about an inch of oil, shallow, not a super deep fry. Also, I'm thinking they may need to be ground finer before shaping. Please, please, PLEASE share your prep and shaping tips! I would be eternally grateful.

What's For Dinner?

Having an early dinner tonight so that we can watch the season finale of True Detective. We are having oven baked BBQ ribs (yes, I'm being totally lazy today, no grill or smoke), parsley buttered baby red potatoes and buttered corn. Simple meal, no fancy flourishes. What are you having tonight?

What's For Dinner?

It's ridiculously cold and snowy here so I've been craving soups all month, big, hearty, toe warming soups.

Just started a pot of smoked turkey-lentil soup. That with fresh made seasoned pita chips, salad of baby kale & greens and some good cheese; glass of red wine, maybe three.

What's for dinner?

Pizza- Thick or thin crust?

We all love pizza. Well, at leat the majoirity of us do. I love it in all it's variations, but my true love is a thin crust. I do love a deep dish too, but not with too bready of a crust. What is your preference? What's your outlier?

ISO Gluten-Soy-Dairy Free Soup Base and Other Products

Well, we've been thrown a curve. A family member has been diagnosed with high level gluten-soy-dairy sensitivites. And we live in an area that has limited access to gluten free products in grocery stores.

I know that many of our SE community struggle with these food sensitivities. I'm hoping someone can recommend a high quality, good tasting brand of soup base(s). I can order products online.

Other products I've purchased I would not buy again. I'm hoping for some recommendations for products tried and true rather than my current method, trial and error. Some of the products I've tasted were just so unappetizing or mushy (pasta).

Meanwhile, I'm reading labels, calling manufacturers to find out if their products contain gluten. Not much help with manufacturers, but that will be epic rant for another time.

Any feedback, tips and product referrals would be of greatly appreciated!!

What baked treats are you making for the holidays??

Are you baking this season? Any family specialties? Holiday breads? Your favorite holiday cookies?

I am going the simple route this year. Magic cookie bars, rollo turtles and fool proof fudge on the candy end. Peanut butter, walnut-maple, old fashioned molassess with dates and melting moment butter cookies so far. Still have a couple more cookies to go.

What's on your baking list?

Your favorite use for a meaty ham bone?

I've got a beautiful ham bone and lots of support ingredients. Spicy sausages, dried beans and grains of all sorts, aromatics, fresh herbs, spices, later harvest produce, the works.

Looking for inspiration, an idea I should try, a tried but true favorite, a spark.

What is your favorite, go-to or often made use for a meaty ham bone?

Harvest Moon, What's For Dinner?

Tonight we're having paninis made with ciabatta bread, roast pork, provolone, parmesan, sliced tomatoes, pickled peppers & onions along with a quick end-of-summer vegetable soup and apple slices.

What's on your table tonight?

What's For Dinner?

Here, a steaming, soothing pot of egg drop soup made from turkey stock. I've been craving soup.

What did you have for dinner?

Aged Cheese- The Oldest You've Sampled.

I was listening to a program on Wisconsin Public Radio earlier this week and the topic was cheese. (of course)

I recall a vacation in southwest portion of our state and stopped at Hook's Cheese Company in Middleton, WI. We purchased several selections, among them a twelve year old cheddar. It was the oldest cheddar I had ever tasted and was a revelation.

The radio program made me think this might be a good topic for Serious Eaters.

What's the most aged cheese you've ever eaten?

Fun With Farro

I've been exploring a number of new grains and this week I made a small amount of farro. I cooked it in lightly salted water and drained it when it was chewy-tender. Love the flavor and texture but always look to the SE community for ideas, suggestions and recipes.

What are some of your favorite ways to use farro?

Pak Choi- Seeking suggestions

I was blessed with an abundance of pak choi (similar to bok choy) in last week's CSA box.

I sliced some and added it to a brothy, tomato based vegetable soup. Made a spicy Asian style stir fry. Used it in place of cabbage in a saute' with sweet onions, green garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cooked some roughly chopped pac choi with chopped bacon and onions, added a splash of brown sugar and vinegar to serve along side grilled pork. I still have three fairly large heads left.

So, two things-
1.) I'm pak choi'd out. Can I blanch and freeze some?
2.) Does anyone have a preparation idea/suggestion/recipe to share or inspire me to make it again this week.

p.s. CSA box comes again on Thursday and since we are still in the very early stages of our growing season, I'm sure we're going to have a lot more of it coming.

I need ideas. Please.

How do you use black vinegar?

I just bought a bottle of black vinegar, a new condiment for me. I tasted it and really liked the depth of flavor. Yet I wonder how folks of the Serious Eats community use it.

How do you use black vinegar?

Tues., 6-7-11, What's For Dinner?

Super humid and hot here in "weird weather" Wisconsin.

Tonight I marinated boneless chicken breasts in a chipotle marinade and set them on the grill. Made a coarse salsa of tomato, red onion, cucumber, cilantro, jalapenos, avocado and lime juice. Grilled some split romaine hearts, topped with the salsa, grilled chicken slices and a couple of generous squeezes of lime. Super spicy and satifying for a hot summer night.

What did you have for dinner?

Ketchup. Me? Or has it become overly sweet in recent years?

Yes. We're talking about the number one brand of ketchup. I even tried the "natural" sugar version and found it even sweeter.

I remember a texture of tomato sauce, but with the spice, sweetness and tang. Now I find ketchup to be not only overly sweet, but the tomoato-ey texture is gone. Is it me? Or has ketchup changed. I'm not a huge fan of ketchup, but it has it's place on the food scene. The overly smooth and overly sweet thing has got me running for a better flavor. It is not the ketchup I remember.

Do you have a new one that you like? If so, please share.

Rice Cooker Assistance, Please

Alright. I was so excited about receiving a rice cooker for my birthday and so dissapointed with the rice every time I make it. I never have problems making rice on the stove top. Never. In the rice cooker, utter failure. I know... It's not supposed to be this way....

I have not branched out to my other rices (basmati, jasmine, etc.) at present due to my lack of success with plain white Riceland brand rice. I have adjusted the water to rice ratio several times, tried rinsing the rice, washed the rice.... you get the idea.

I'd like to blame it on the rice cookers, but I'm afraid that it's probably my water to rice ratio which I have yet to get down pat.
It's never separated grains, just a big bowl of mush. What am I doing wrong?

Please help me before I put the darn cooker in a rummage sale box.

What water to rice ration do you use? Is the brand of rice part of the problem? Do you rinse the rice before cooking? What do you do for perfect rice every time?

Turkey Stockapalooza!, What would you make?

I picked up several packages of meaty turkey back parts for 49 cents a pound and just finished making 4 1/2 quarts of rich turkey stock plus a generous 2 cups of tender, juicy bits of turkey meat.

I plan on making a small pot of turkey noodle soup tomorrow and freezing some of the stock. I also plan to use about a 3/4 cup of turkey meat for turkey salad sandwiches. And maybe some risotto with asparagus this weekend.

But I must ask- What you you make?

Macadamia Nut "Ricotta" From 'Nom Nom Paleo'

Nut "cheese" is not the first thing I expected to make from a Paleo cookbook. Most nut cheese recipes call for cashews; as someone with a cashew allergy, I have tended to avoid all dairy-free cheeses for the sake of safety. So I was pleasantly surprised when Michelle Tam's recipe for nut "cheese" in her new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo, called for macadamia nuts. Mild-tasting, rich, and sweet, these round nuts not only fit into my diet, but they also seem like an ideal substitute for ricotta. More

From Polish Country House Kitchen's Hunter's Stew (Bigos)

Bigos, or traditional Polish Hunter's Stew, is one of those homey recipes that changes from home to home. In fact, in From A Polish Country House Kitchen, Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden describe the stew as Poland's version of chili—long stewed meat with a suggestion of vegetable served with thick rustic bread. Their take blends pork, venison, beef, veal, and sausage with cabbage, sauerkraut, and mushrooms for a no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners, hearty meal for the meatiest of meat lovers. In other words, it's an awesome addition to your late winter repertoire. More

17 Bean Recipes To Beat The Cold

So you've made that New Year's resolution to eat more vegetables, but the weather's cold, and you're looking for some more rib-sticking fare. Beans are the best compromise in situations like this. And who are we kidding? Beans are no compromise at all—they're downright awesome on their own merits. Here are 17 easy bean recipes to help beat the cold. More

Bread Baking: Buttery Bread Machine Loaf

Got a bread machine? Tired of the few recipes that came with the book? Want to try something new? This recipe is one of the best that has come from my bread machine. The butter adds its own butteryness and the buttermilk adds the tang that's missing from short-fermented breads. More