25 year old self taught "chef." Looking to learn as much as possible as well as share what I have learned. I love food!

  • Website
  • Location: San Diego
  • Favorite foods: Pizza, Cheeseburgers, turkey burgers, all Italian food, bagel (from NJ/NY), fish tacos (SD only), any fish, any meat....
  • Last bite on earth: My moms baked ziti with meatballs.

iPhone Apps

Does anyone use the pricier apps; ie Gordon Ramsays or any other famous chef ones. Im not sure if its worth the money. 7.99 for a app seems a bit much. I love the free ones!

Leftover ground beef...need a good burger recipe..

Id just form the patty, season the beef liberally with salt and ground pepper, then grill them up. Whip up some chipotle mayo. Butter the rolls and toast them on the grill. Slather some chipotle mayo on the bottom of the bun, cheese your meat, then enjoy!

What's your favorite dumpling dipping sauce?

Trader Joes Soyaki sauce is incredible for dumplings.

Its grilling season and so far I have grilled...

@dhorst - Is pizza on the grill tough to do? Id love to try that out.

The Burger Lab's Top Ten Tips for Making Better Burgers

Which type of steak do you recommend for meat grinding?

Greatest Day of my Life: Won cooking competition!!!

Food magazines

Wow i really appreciate all this feedback. I didnt expect such a large response. In any event, I am going to subscribe to Saveur and Bon Appetit and I think maybe Cooks Illustrated, just maybe though. Congrats to everyone who suggested them and again thanks a lot.

To respond to the comments about the internet and tv and no need for paper clutter from the magazines...I have a two reasons for this...

1. My father in law works for the USPS so buying magazines helps keep them a float. I am all for going green, but I need to support the in-laws in this tough economy.

2. I like the old fashion recipe box concept. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the internet and blogs and recipes online and such, but having recipes to pass down to loved ones as they grow old seems more sentimental when given as a recipe box rather then sending them an email.


Irish Soda Bread...

Irish Soda Bread...

Here is what I use....

In a large bowl put in 4 cups of flour - sifted, then add 1.5 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of salt to flour and mix together.
In a separate bowl mix 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp of melted margarine, and 1 cup of raisins together.
Toss this mixture in with the flour mixture.
In another bowl, mix 1.5 cups of buttermilk and 2 eggs. (set aside a small amount to brush on bread). Mix the rest in with the flour mixture.
Grease and flour a loaf pan. Pour in the mixture. Brush the top with the remaining buttermilk/egg mixture.

Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

**After 20 min of baking "knife" and "X" in the top of the loaf.


I love putting cream cheese on mine

Where should we eat in Vegas?

I HIGHLY recommend The PepperMill. The food is awesome and the place is very old school Vegas.

Chili sauce? Do you use it?

I also use it with meatballs. Toss it in with some grape jelly and let simmer. Delicious.

Looking for good BYO restaurant

I recommend jumping on the SeaStreak ferry either at East 34th street or South Street Seaport, heading to Atlantic Highlands, NJ, getting off and walking two blocks to a restaurant called AMA Ristorante. The place is BYOB and the food is out of this world.

Watch It with Us: 'Top Chef Las Vegas,' Season Finale Part 1

Kevin is the man! Michael is a prick. Bryan is awesome too. I miss Jenn.

Top 5: Damon Gambuto's Favorite Burgers in Los Angeles

What about Apple Pan? That place is amazing.

Wine suggestion please

**Forgot to add that we do prefer red wine.

Great tool for finding restaurants featured on TV!

Great idea for a site. I am a big fan of going to any and all Diners Drive Ins and Dives places. To date I have been to 15 restaurants featured on the show. I also have been to a few Man V Food places. The site will really help in the future.

The website does however need something. Its a little boring. Also it does not work very well. I tried doing a search for San Diego and it kept saying error on the page. I know for a fact there are about 10 places in SD that should be on there.

In any event, the website is cool. Thanks for doing it!

Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving - 3 questions

Thank you everyone for all the ideas/tips.

I am actually very lucky and only driving 10 minutes at most. If we are eating 10-20 minutes after we arrive, I can make them before and try the "top chef" cooler/towel method. Im also going to look into the bain-marie method. Thanks again.

I will also run all these ideas by my wife and see which she likes best.

Trader Joes Petition - Middletown NJ/Monmouth County NJ

Oh I heard that was open. Still a little far. I am just being greedy and would love one really close to my home. Right now I drive to Westfield and/or Florham Park.

Pork Roll/Taylor Ham

Slaters deli in Leonardo NJ has the best pork roll sandwich I have ever had.

Apple Pie in NJ - Please help...

My fiance does make an incredibe dutch apple pie, but I was looking for something to buy. Maybe even take a day trip to have a slice.

What’s Your Favorite Weird Snack Combo?

Fritos with cream cheese... YUM

Animal Crackers - How Do You Eat Them?

I eat the appendages first also. I like any plain animal cracker.

Fun Fact:
Did you know the Barnum animal cracker box has a string on it so you can hang it on your xmas tree as a decoration when done eating them?

Tomato sauce too sweet! Help!

I always add a teaspoon of sugar to my sauce. I dont mean to sound cocky, but I have never tasted a sauce as good as mine.

Also I call it gravy.

Green Foods at Restaurants on St. Patty's?

I make green eggs and ham every St Pattys day. I also make a great Irish Soda bread, mmmmmm.


@HeartofGlass. Do you shop at Walmart?

Drying fresh herbs...?

We have a TON of fresh rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, mint, and oregano growing in our garden. In the past we have used the herbs as we needed them then just allowed them to whither away until next year. We have always been told to dry them or freeze them so we can use throughout the winter. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do so or maybe a graet easy to follow website with an explanation?

Thanks a lot.

Chinese New Year

Can anyone contribute any authentic Chinese New Year dishes? This is the year of the rabbit. We are trying to have an authentic Chinese dinner and would love some ideas.


iPhone Apps

Im sure this has been brought up before, but I was curious to see what everyone's favorite food related apps were. I like/use Epicurious, AroundMe, Yelp, and UrbanSpoon. Just downloaded Foodspotting and im excited to try it out.

Let us know.

Its grilling season and so far I have grilled...

Day one: Beef and chicken kabobs marinated in soyaki served with assorted grilled veggies and brown rice
Day two: Grilled jerk chicken for lunch and Blackened Salmon with Mango salsa for dinner
Day three: Make Your Own Burger night.
Day four: B.L.A.T. for lunch. Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato.

Man I love grilling season.


Food magazines

I am looking to get a subscription to a food magazine, ie; Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Food Network, etc. Does anyone have any recommendations? Any of the ones i mentioned or any others not mentioned are ok...

Irish Soda Bread...

Its that time of the year again...time for Irish Soda Bread and Guinness.

Im just excited for it and thought everyone should know.


BYOB at a Thai restaurant

Hello everyone. I am going out for Thai tonight and the restaurant is BYO. What would you recommend I bring? Wine? Beer? I am not sure what goes with the Thai cuisine.

Thanks in advance,

Chipotle Mayo - The new #1 condiment?

See you later ketchup!

I absolutely LOVE chipotle mayo and I am beginning to think it may be the new #1 condiment. It goes great on everything from burgers to fries, to pasta, to ham and cheese sandwiches, to meatloaf, to egg and cheese sandwiches.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

Quick and simple recipe:

A few Chipotle peppers and adobo sauce
Light Mayo (The chipotle masks the gross taste of light mayo)
Lime juice (half lime)
Salt and Pepper to taste

I use a Magic Bullet for this. Toss equal parts mayo and chipotle peppers and adobo sauce into bullet(bowl). Squeeze in lime juice. Add s&p to taste. **I add more chipotles for more heat. Warning they are spicy. Mix it all up and thats it. Refrigerate after making.

Please let me know if you feel the same way...

Culinary food trip...

My wife and I are looking to go somewhere new and exciting for a few days and we want the trip to be based solely on great restaurants/things to eat. We live in central NJ. Any suggestions on where to go? Please do not suggest NYC. We go all the time. Thanks.

NYC Restaurant Week

Planning on heading to NYC for Restaurant Week, but I have no idea where to go. Can anyone suggest any of the places on the list. Here is the link to the site.

Thank you.

Wine suggestion please

Going to dinner tonight with my wife at a very nice Italian restaurant. Reviews have said the food is prepared like the Tuscany region of Italy. What wine or wines would anyone suggest we bring? Oh it is a BYOB which is perfect.

Also - no price is too high.

Thank you in advance.

Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving - 3 questions

This year my wife and I are in charge of making the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. This is the first year we are not having the holiday at our house so I have a few questions...

1. There are going to be 25 people at this dinner. How many lbs of potatoes would you suggest we make?

2. What is the best potato to use for mashed (in your opinion)? We have made mashed with pretty much every potato, but I wanted to see what people think is the best.

*This third question is easily the most important question.

3. How are we going to transfer all these mashed potatoes and keep them hot for serving. Reheating the mashed pots in a microwave really ruins the potatoes.

Thank you in advance,

Trader Joes Petition - Middletown NJ/Monmouth County NJ

I would like to start a "bring Trader Joe's to Middletown NJ/Monmouth County NJ" petition. Does anyone have any idea how someone would start such a petition or does anyone know who I can contact to do so?

Thanks a lot and if you are with me please respond and show some support.

Trader Joes fan!

Apple Pie in NJ - Please help...

I just recently moved back to NJ from sunny San Diego, and now I am getting excited for some apple pie! For three years I was eating, and enjoying, Julian Apple Pie (Julian, CA) It was the best ive ever had. I currently live in Monmouth County, NJ. Does anyone have any tips on where to get some great apple pie. I will go anywhere in NJ!!!

Thanks so much.


Chick-fil-a for lunch today. What does everyone think of this Christian food chain? Everytime I mention the name 'Chick-Fil-A" in a conversation people get overly excited. What's the facination? I mean its good chicken, but some people are crazy about it.

Thoughts anyone...

How to Start Your Own Herb Garden

Would I consider myself a green thumb-obsessed environmentalist who loves the planet? Not really. All this started from the fact that I'm just cheap. Keeping a small herb garden and growing some even from seed isn't difficult. For the most part, the herbs one uses in almost daily food preparation are ones that are hearty enough for the even the most questionable green thumb. Here are some herb-growing basics for the no-muss, no-fuss crowd. More