I'm the food editor for All You magazine and author of "You Made That Dessert?", published in September 2009. I'm a passionate foodie, cook and baker. Also really interested in healthy living and nutritional alternatives to medicine.

  • Website
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Favorite foods: Too many to name!

Stories of Astonishing Food Ignorance

I was telling a friend that it's best to store eggs in their carton because they stay fresher and the carton has the expiration date stamped on it, so you don't forget it. She said, "Eggs EXPIRE?"

Poll: How Do You Top Your Pancakes?

I chose "other" - depends on the pancake, and the mood! Sometimes just pure maple syrup (grade B, please), sometimes butter and syrup, sometimes a flavored butter, sometimes fruit, sometimes a light skim of jam.

Are you eating/drinking this very second? If so, what?

Cup of oatmeal and water

What would "they" say about you?

As @gbania said so eloquently: "I don't know what they'll say about me later, but I hope it's something like: 'I love cooking and I learned from watching and helping my mom.' I just want my kids to know and love food, and learn about good food at home -- just like I learned by watching my mom cook and eating home-cooked meals every night."

My little one is only 9 months old, but she's already proving herself to be quite the adventurous little eater (with her 1 tooth!) -- I hope she looks back on her childhood and feels that she learned a love of food and a love of cooking and baking from her dad and me. It's already begun - here's a video of her whisking eggs with my MIL!

Alice Waters–Edible Schoolyard Takedown in the 'Atlantic Monthly': Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

I visited the Edible Schoolyard program in New Orleans as part of a culinary volunteer program called Culinary Corps a couple of years ago. This doesn't make me an expert on Edible Schoolyard, by any stretch -- but I can tell you that the program was just starting up there at that time, and those kids had ZERO idea about where their food came from. One kid even referred to different foods by numbers -- and it took me a while before I realized that he was talking about the meal deals at McDonalds. Instead of hamburger, he would say "No. 3" (or whatever the corresponding number was).

I don't know about kids becoming "eco-gastronomes" (though I suspect from Ms. Flanagan's leering tone that it's something I would fully support...), but I do think that the only way we're ever going to get out of this downward spiral -- that is, too many packaged foods leading to obesity leading to packaged diet foods full of chemicals that probably cause some of the horrible diseases we seem to get more than any other culture on the planet -- is by not only educating children about real, whole foods, but getting them excited about it. I can't think of a better way to do that than having them get their hands in it and really participate.

This also cracked me up in the piece: In talking about Chez Panisse, Flanagan writes:
"I’ve had major surgeries in which I was less scrupulously informed about what was about to happen to me, what was happening to me, and what had just happened to me than I’ve been during a dinner there."

Not for nothin', Caitlin, but if you ate more fresh, local, seasonal, and where possible organic foods, maybe you'd have fewer major surgeries. I'm just sayin'...

Shortcuts that DO NOT Work

I find making pie crust in the food processor just never works for me. It takes longer to use the pastry cutter and cut in the butter by hand, but it just works better.

Serious Eater Twitter user names

Sorry - @CookiePie0402

Serious Eater Twitter user names

Thanks for the heads up - I'm following @seriouseats now! I'm CookiePie0402

Do you have a food project for 2010?

@smiths37 - what a fun project - all the best to you! I'll be interested to hear how it's going.

My first cookbook was published this year and I'm working on a proposal for the next one. So the goal is to finish the proposal, get it sold in the next few months and start working on it!

Memories with Mom and Mom Mom's

@sbelle Thanks!! :) I love that your son bakes Christmas cookies with you!

Memories with Mom and Mom Mom's

If you want to indulge a proud mama, here's my baby girl with her lump of dough at day care last week. Yes, that's a baby-size rolling pin!

Memories with Mom and Mom Mom's

Thanks for all these wonderful posts! My daughter is only 8 months old, so she isn't cooking yet (though they do bake bread every week at day care, and even the tiny babies get some dough to touch and pat and play with). But I sit her in her high chair and she plays with measuring spoons while I make batches of baby food or prepare her meals. I'm hoping that she'll always hang out in the kitchen with me, whether or not she discovers a love for cooking (though both her dad and I are cooks, so it's in her DNA!).

Meatless Meals Needed

I've made this savory butternut squash pie dozens of times - everyone loves it, even non-vegetarians.

It has feta and Parmesan, bulgur, mint and of course the squash, all wrapped up in phyllo. It's delicious!! You can double it and make it in a 9x13 pan, and you can make the whole thing a day ahead, cover and chill, and just bake it when you're ready. It's fabulous the next day as leftovers, too. Enjoy!

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 98: Pastrami Tasting +Cookie Swap=?

Hang in there! I'm sure you did better than you think. I agree with @greenbean - more movement is the way to go. Even if you add a 15- or 20-minute walk to your regular day, that will help, and may even help out with your hamstring issues. Good luck! We're all rooting for you!

How to Keep Ginger Snaps Snappy?

Eat them all the day you make them - duh! :)

Cooked Fruit and Other Unappealing Things

@joeqboo "snotacular" made me laugh out loud!

This isn't a taste thing but more of an aesthetic bugaboo. Why do people decorate carrot cake with icing made to look like carrots??? It's not cute, or appealing, it's just silly. Imagine if we did that with other foods! Eeeew!

Please Help: Pregnant Wife's Birthday (Need Thai Rest.)

I'm with @PoorOldMama - bring a gift! I had a baby earlier this year and one of the nicest things my husband did for me was get me a prenatal massage. That will get you out of the doghouse!

Holiday Gifts for Foodies?

A dozen or so years ago someone gave me a lovely crepe pan as a gift, and I've used it hundreds of times. As much as I cook and bake, until then I'd never made crepes -- now I make them all the time, it's one of my husband's favorite weekend breakfast treats. And all because of my friend's fabulous gift!

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal...

Oh I love the whole thing! It's by far my favorite meal to cook. My favorite moment is right when everyone's been served, whole family and friends all around the table, and I'm staring down a plate of turkey and beautiful sides (I do different ones every year), and cranberry sauce, and just about to dig in. The best! I also love making all the desserts and presenting them -- everyone says they're too stuffed, but then they magically finish the desserts anyway. I love it!!!!

"Date night" lunch on Friday

Hey everyone - a belated thanks for your help! So far we've been to David Burke Townhouse (very good) and going to Eleven Madison Park on Friday. You've given us some great ideas for future lunches too -- thanks so much!!

Where's your beef?

I love Staubitz Market in Cobble Hill:

Celebratory Break-Up Dinner

I second @CharmCity's Cobble Hill recommendations. I'd also add QUality Meats, the Frankie's offshoot -- great food and cocktails.

I also recently had a fun and fantastic meal at Zenkichi in Williamsburg. Really great Japanese and saki, and such a fun place:

Enjoy -- and here's to new beginnings! (Glasses clinking in background :)

Do you twitter?

I started on Twitter pretty reluctantly, but I (here comes the self-promotion...) wrote a cookbook that just came out and I was advised to be on as many forms of social media as I could stand. What I've found though is that it's fun -- I'm following some of my favorite bloggers on Twitter and I've gotten to know them much better as people, which is really great.

Holy Apples!

Lucky you! Cut apples into wedges and saute with onions and some cider vinegar, serve on top of pork chops or chicken.

Also, at the magazine where I work we did an apple sauce a few years ago that had horseradish in it, so it was sweet and savory -- delicious!

What to do with spaghetti squash?

MMMM - love spaghetti squash. Cut it in half, place it cut side down on a baking sheet (I line mine with foil and lightly oil foil), roast at 400ºF for about an hour. Pull out shreds with a fork, add a couple of hunks of unsalted butter, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg, and dive in. YUM. I may just have to make that tonight!

@Garvey - I love your idea, definitely have to try that! Do you need any flour or breadcrumbs in there, or does it hold together with just the egg and onion?

"Date night" lunch on Friday

Hey SE-ers -

My husband is working weekends for the next couple of months, so our "date night" (without our baby) is now going to be Friday lunch. Where have you been for lunch in NYC that you've absolutely loved? Doesn't have to be fancy (though it's ok if it is) -- we just love great food, and we're pretty adventurous eaters. We live in Brooklyn but would go just about anywhere (well, probably not Staten Island, sorry...). Thanks!

Ingredient issues

Just reading nightowl's post about liking peanuts and peanut butter, but then hating peanut butter cookies. Any similar afflictions?

For me, it's raisins. Love them on their own, in cookies, bread, oatmeal, etc. But I CAN'T STAND them in cold cereal. I couldn't eat a bowl of Raisin Bran if you held a gun to my head.

Anyone else?

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

I know we were offering up ideas for sides a week or so ago, but now I'm just wondering about your favorite dish? What dish(es) to you look forward to the most? Is it grandma's stuffing, your Aunt Mabel's sweet potatoes, the turkey itself, a certain dessert, or just the cranberry sauce in a can?

And if you're up for sharing recipes, I'm sure we'd all love to see them and get some inspiration.

Anyone been to Matsugen?

I'm thinking of taking the hubby there for his birthday -- he loves Japanese food, the more authentic the better. I've read some good reviews and some that were lukewarm -- any SE-ers been there? I'd love to hear your impressions. Thanks!

Let cookie dough rest, and other secrets

I just read this fascinating article in the NY Times about the secrets behind perfect chocolate chip cookies (rest the dough for 36 hours! Who knew??). It made me wonder -- what other tricks are there for amazing brownies, cookies, etc.?

What do you say, Serious Eaters -- any baking secrets you'd like to share? (I'm trying to think of one, will share when I come up with a good one...)

The last meal you cooked for friends?

Just wondering how many Serious Eaters enjoy entertaining, and what you like to cook when you do? What's the last meal you made for guests?

We had 2 friends over for dinner last week, and we made steak in a Korean barbeque-style marinade, with a cellophane noodle and veggie salad tossed with a chili-lime dressing, and spicy stir-fried veggies. Dessert was chocolate-Nutella mousse.

Recipe deal-breakers

Just read this really delightful piece in the NY Times about recipe deal-breakers (those techniques, ingredients or words that will cause you to put a recipe down and move on):

I'm sure we all have them! Personally, I won't use fondant. And it's not a deal breaker, but it takes a lot to get me to roll up a cake jelly-roll style.

So, friends, what are your recipe deal-breakers?

What's for dinner?

What's your favorite dinner when you're on your own? My sweetie is going to the Yankee game tonight, so I'll be dining solo. Normally I have eggs on toast when I'm home unsupervised, but I would love to get some of that signature SE inspiration.

Food blogs

While we're on the subject of food blogs, it's been a while since we had a blog roll call. Please tell us:
Blog name
Subject matter/theme

What are you famous for?

Do you have a signature dish, something friends and family are always asking you to make? What is it? And will you share the recipe? (No "lessipes" now!)

What has Serious Eats inspired you to make?

This weekend I made cheese souffle (success!) and green tea cheesecake (needs work), inspired by threads right here on Serious Eats. Check it out:

How about you -- have you made anything recently inspired by our favorite food community?

What popular foods do you hate?

The sandwich question started me thinking about this -- there are a few foods that everyone seems to love that I can't stand (egg salad!!). What about you? Are there any foods that make everyone else go, "Mmmmmm," that make you say, "Ick!"

Strawberry Shortcake

JEP's question about whipped cream got me thinking about strawberry shortcake (I know it's winter, but a girl can dream...). There are so many different versions -- sponge cake, angel food, biscuits. I like it best with pound cake, very lightly sweetened whipped cream and the juiciest strawberries I can find. What about you? What's your ideal strawberry shortcake?

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