Former chef and manager, went on to own a catering company for 4 years, then regained my sanity and went into retail with family. OK, not sane, but the hours are better. Love to troubleshoot recipes and menus, finding the perfect 1 before they need it.

  • Location: Dayton, OH
  • Favorite foods: Cheese, and anything that can enhance cheese in any way.

Everything You Can Do With a Jar of Marinated Peppers

Instant sauce for mexican dishes (stuffed poblanos, etc, grilled meat) puree one jar roasted red peppers with one can fire roasted tomatoes. Feeling fancy add some mexican oregano.

Grilled Shrimp With Garlic and Lemon

Perfect results as promised (and expected)! Served with garlic roasted cherry tomatoes tossed with capellini, fresh herbs, feta and the rest of the lemony oil mix.

Onion Rings or Mozzarella Sticks? We Pack BOTH Into the Ultimate Cheesy Baked Bar Snack

You my friend, have a gift.

Taste Test: The Best Supermarket Bacon

@lemonfair The way I read it, they didn't actually rank these as 1-2-3-4, but rather each is the best of a type/style/flavor profile. Still a bit surprising that OM was the best of its type, though... nice to know since it is often on sale or couponed...

Staff Picks: The Pantry Staples We Can't Live Without

Also dry vermouth... great wine/vinegar substitute for deglazing and vinaigrettes.

Staff Picks: The Pantry Staples We Can't Live Without

Tomato paste in a tube, crystallized lemon and lime powders, good cumin, and shallots. Cooking for two, one nice size shallot is abetter size and milder flavor that part of an onion, and if I don't have garlic, it works well there, too.
(I wish my comment notification worked...:-(

The Neverending Soup Pot: An Improv Routine to Kick Your Dinner Rut to the Curb

Safe or not, varied or not, i do not want soup every day! But it is a good reminder to transform leftovers on a regular basis.

Use the Microwave to Dry Your Herbs for Long-Lasting Intense Flavor

Great info!
(Typo under "microwaves are fast": By the way, while a "dry panty" is preferable in most situations, it is not where I would normally store my herbs! ;-p )

How to Clean Out Your Spice Cabinet and Organize it—for Good

@jaymac. thanks! It has been ideal for me. There are lots of different kcup drawers out there, just take an empty bottle along to make sure they fit.

How to Clean Out Your Spice Cabinet and Organize it—for Good

Just moved this weekend and purged at both ends of the move: at the old house got rid of obvious trash, at the new was more selective in what to keep to keep the new space looking perfectly organized. I use three K-cup drawers (metal mesh) stacked to store all of my most used spices in: Penzeys jars fit perfectly. They keep almost all light out, and I don't completely lose counter space as I can store frequently used utensils on top.

In the Midwest, Great Bologna Is a Way of Life

G&R, "ham"salad, what great memories! Lebanon bologna with a slice of cheese but NO CONDIMENTS on squishy white bread was the only sandwich I'd eat for lunch from early grade school on.... Peppery!

How to Clean and Debeard Mussels

@gumbercules: I used to make a big mussel bowl for a happy hour buffet (flavored with jalepenos, sherry, garlic, herbs, lemon) that was really good cool or room temperature

Win a Copy of 'Marcus Off Duty'

Pizza (and i dont mean delivery)

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Pumpkin Pizza

@J.kenji: I know, I keep trying. I feel the same way about sweet potatoes, too. Made them once roasted in chunks with cumin and chili powder and they were....better. Not so much better that I've made them again in the last 2-3 years...!

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Pumpkin Pizza

I love fall, but I hate fall because of squash. It's everywhere, mushing its bland, sweet, squishy way into everything. :-)

The Secret to Crisp Arancini (Rice Balls) With Molten Centers: Sushi Rice

I've never had them, but always imagined them to be like the childhood ones you described: a sad attempt to use up leftovers and make them maybe appealing.
Now I can't wait to try this!

Use Your Slow Cooker for Spoon-Tender Beef Osso Buco With Rich Gravy

Made in oven/dutch oven.... Very tasty, tangy gravy.

The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make a Simple Salad Worth Eating

Good reminder to take more care with the "simple" elements of a meal...

Kitchen Hack: Use a Guitar Mount to Store Your Pizza Peels

Love the wallpaper...:-)

The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles (and Make Your Coworkers Jealous)

I can see making a few up as I'm prepping dinner, using bits and pieces of that meal to fill the jars.

The Ultimate Mister Softee Secret Menu

@aloha: about to make the same comment... even half the profanity would be a "better" "effect". Otherwise a fun piece

What's the Difference Between Dutch Process and Natural Cocoa Powder?

Now THIS was a useful article...thank you!

Roasted Pork Loin From 'Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen'

and only seven yesterday, etc
fewer posts garnering fewer comments...odd business model

Inside Chef Dan Wright's Cincinnati Kitchens

We're just up the road from Cincinnati, but haven't eaten there in ages. I think we need to head your way!

Manner Matters: Guests with Chips

You are inviting the wrong people to the wrong party... your chip-snackers (that ignore your hints requests not to) should be invited to a potluck/barbecue, and your other friends to your more elaborate dinner parties. That way you keep all your friends, and everyone has fun...

"Wok" should I do?

I have been experimenting with a number of chinese recipes lately; my problem is I don't have a wok (am using a heavy stainless 14" skillet) and I think it would make a big difference to have the sloping sides. Problem: I have one of those stupid glass flat top stoves. Price IS an issue, so does anyone have any reasonable suggestions?

Where in the world is Kenji?

Imagine my surprise when I spy Kenjis name in my new issue of Cooking Light (which does not get the respect it deserves in my opinion)! In a review of food news and trends over the last 25 years, mention of his "why McDs burgers don't rot" experiment... Nice!

Bland Venison Summer sausage...what can I do with it?

My cousin got a lot of summer sausage when his deer was butchered this year, and he does not really like summer sausage. Well, if the hunk he gave me is all he's had, I can see why...not much flavor or spice to it! It's by no means bad, but kinda a waste of a cracker.
Any ideas on how to use it up? With no strong seasoning, I guess it could go a lot of directions, but the texture is throwing me off....

SE, are you messing with my mind?

I keep noticing posts through out the day that are back in the line up that I have already scrolled through. When you cross post from SENY or elsewhere, does it go in the lineup at the top or back when it chronologically was originally posted on SENY? When I scroll back and find new posts between too I saw earlier it makes me think I am crazy!!!

Freezing pizza and when?

I finally managed to make a double batch of my current favorite pizza dough (new KA 600 mixer, replacing old worn down KA) and I want to freeze half. It's been doing the cold rise for several days. So, do I punch it down before freezing, and how and how long do I thaw it when I'm ready? I don't expect to freeze dough often, but I'd like it to work when I do!

Stop the tilting!

Could someone fix the italics goof on the home starts in the This Week In Recipes post, I think you just need to place an "" somewhere so the rest of the site isn't tilting to the right!

There has to be more to dinner than trout...

I have two lovely trout that I will probably broil or saute with Ginger-Lime Butter, but what to serve with it? No flour (pasta) or sugar; I have all kinds of rice, bulgur, quinoa, polenta, brown soup lentils, veggies....and yet, I am stumped!

Any ideas? I can hit the store on the way home, so nothing is impossible!

Nutrition Information: Another Question

I recently asked you all for inspiration on eating healthy and still happy....and you came through for us! Now I am trying to do some nutrional analysis on a lot of our favorite recipes to see how I can make the healthiest changes. I currently use Big Oven recipe software, and the ability is there but the data base of info is VERY limited, and it is a little cumbersome to use.
Mastercook was better, data wise, but had other limitations I could not work around.
Does anyone know of an online nutrition calculator with a good database of ingredients?

Can We Be Happy AND Healthy?

Just got married and the honeymoon is over: our life insurance exams revealed high cholesterol, and he actually wants me to do something about it!
I cook with butter, cream, cheese, pork, sausage, bacon, and everything else our hearts desire. Now apparently our hearts are demanding some healthier options. Can anyone tell me how they've gone about compromising and adjusting but still retained flavor and joy in cooking and eating? Book suggestions?

Who gets into the club club?

The avacado/sprout club sandwich in Dinner Tonight last week got me thinking....what makes a club a club? To me it has to at least have bacon, tomato, and three slices of toast as well as another meat and cheese. (I don't LIKE sandwiches on toast, but that says club to me).

If you order a club sandwich, what minimum requirements do you expect?

Parks and Recreation's Tom Haverford Is a Food Instagrammer

If you watch Parks and Recreation then clearly you love Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari's goofball character) and his food neologisms. In Tom's world, sandwiches are "sandoozles" and cakes are "big 'ol cookies." Over on the NBC website, they've created a gallery of his Instagram food photos with captions, including this winner, among many others: "DO NOT PUT FILTERS ON SPRING ROLLS. #nofilter" More

Bar Bites: Anchovy, Red Pepper, and Manchego Pintxos

Anchovy fillets, roasted red peppers, and Manchego cheese are spiked onto a garlic-rubbed baguette round and quickly toasted under the broiler. A drizzle of sherry vinegar right before serving provides some sharp acidity to cut through the saltiness of the anchovy, and nuttiness of the cheese. Salty, tangy, and crisp, these pintxos are great pre-cursors to a glass of wine or beer. More

Mushroom Stew from 'Stewed'

Wintertime vegetable soups all to often tend towards the creamy, orange, winter squash/carrot type. And while there's nothing wrong with a well-made butternut squash puree, sometimes a little more texture and funk is in order. Enter Dave Becker's standout Mushroom Stew in his new book, Stewed. A terrific amalgamation of wild mushrooms, enokis, dried porcinis, sherry, and spinach, this stew tastes of earth in the best way possible. The mushrooms are sauteed in a ripping hot pot to brown quickly without steaming, and are then simmered to tender perfection. A (very slight) drizzle of truffle oil (haters, don't hate) and a smattering of Asaigo cheese enlivens the stew upon serving. More

My Thai: Shimeji Mushroom Laab

I don't know what happened on your end over the holidays, but over here not a lot of self-control was exercised. So, at least this week, I'm eating lighter than usual to make up for the craziness of the last few weeks. But I'm far from depriving myself of delicious things, though. This mushroom laab (or lap, most often spelled 'larb') you're looking at right here? Not exactly deprivation. More

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala

The secret to our Chicken Tikka Masala is a salty yogurt-based marinade followed by intense charring on a hot grill. We purposely undercook our chicken so it can simmer in a creamy spiced tomato and cream sauce before serving. When done right, the sauce should be a multifaceted affair; a balanced blend of intense spice flavors with a gingery kick rounded off by the richness of cream and butter, with a splash of freshness and acid from tomatoes and citrus. As you bite into a chunk of chicken, the smokey char should work its way though to the forefront, to be slowly replaced by a new layer of spicing, this time intensified by its time on the grill. The chicken chunks should be juicy, moist, and tender. More

Nigel Slater's Crisp Pork Belly, Sweet Peach Salsa

Nigel Slater's Crisp pork belly, sweet peach salsa from Ripe is a fabulous surprise of a recipe. The warm, vaguely Asian spice blend rubbed into the belly may not seem an obvious complement to a Southwestern-style peach salsa, but a quick glance through the ingredients reveals commonalities: cilantro, lime, and chile all play their parts in both cuisines, and peaches themselves are one of America's favorite imports from China. Not to mention, that once the peach salsa is piled on top of thinly sliced, quiveringly rich belly, it's hard to imagine doubting Slater's genius. More

The Food Lab: How To Make a Foie Gras Torchon (Secret Technique Inside!)

A perfect foie torchon melts on the tongue like the creamiest butter, but with a distinct cured sweetness that forms the perfect balance for a perfumed wine. It's simple to serve—just slice it, put it on a piece of toast, add a bit of dried fruit or preserves, and go—and let's face it, it'll impress your guests. It's the ultimate in hors d'oeuvres, using not just one of the finest ingredients money can buy, but also showcasing your kitchen skills. More

Melissa Clark's Seared Duck Breast with Garam Masala and Grapes

It'd be a shame to pass over a described as a "masterpiece." Full stop. In Secrets of the Best Chefs, Adam Roberts is totally enamored of Melissa Clark's recipe development process. And his adoration is most evident in his headnote to Clark's recipe for Seared Duck Breast with Garam Masala and Grapes. It's a relatively simple recipe (duck breast gets an hour-long rest with garam masala and salt before being seared, finished in the oven, and topped with a pan sauce of grapes, cinnamon, and balsamic vinegar) with show-stopping results. More

The Food Lab's Complete Guide To Pan-Seared Steaks

Summers are made for the grill, but what's a steak lover to do when the weather's too cold and wet to light the suckers up? Just cook them indoors. Indeed, pan-seared steaks have several distinct advantages over grilled steaks—enough that there are times when given the two choices, I'll choose pan-seared just for the sake of it. While grilling will get you a rapid-fire crust on your steak with all those delightfully crisp, on-the-verge-of-burnt bits and a good smoky flavor, I find that the even golden brown crust you can develop in a hot cast-iron pan really accentuates the flavor of the beef itself, letting it shine. On top of that, pan-searing affords you the opportunity to add your own flavorings in the form of aromatics. Pan-seared steaks come out about 4 percent moister to boot.

Here's the best way to do it.