I am currently studying teaching at university, but throughout my entire highschool career worked in one kind of food joint or another, mainly bakeries. As such, baking is my passion, and I am famous for desserts.

  • Location: Ayr, Australia
  • Favorite foods: Chicken schnitzel served with potato bake, Sizzlers Cheesy Toast, Bread, Cheese sandwiches -grilled or ungrilled-, Chicken and brocolli in peanut sauce with rice,
  • Last bite on earth: Oh dear, so many gorgeous things. I would have to say either a grilled cheese sandwhich, or a mango picked fresh from the trees on our old farm.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Ohh gosh baci perugina's are divine. We went to the factory in perugia as part of our class trip to italy. My god it smelled delicious. They gave us each a huge bag of them at the end of the tour thing too. Much candy was consumed on the bus ride back to school.

Lamb shortage?

As much as I love australian lamb I have to admit kiwi lamb is just that little bit better. Tenderer, and jucier, and generally more lamby. That's not to say I would turn down aussie lamb if it was presented to me.

I have no idea exactly how much lamb is at the moment but I have noticed it getting cheaper each week lately. Which can only be a good thing.

Batch cooking

Cabbage rolls. They freeze wonderfully. I'm not sure for how long though, as all of mine were eaten in the next two days.
Also, cooked pumpkin, for adding to mashed potato later. Actually, quite a lot of vegetables. I do beans, broccolli, carrots and pumpkin. That way, when I don't feel like cooking huge meals, I just throw a couple of things in the microwave and voila!

Smoke Jazz Club: Can A Former Ballerina Save Jazz Club Food?

Am I the only one shocked that Ed was in the jazz business?

What food or technique has made you reevaluate your position?

Slicing onions from pole to pole rather than across for cooking. Salads and sandwiches still get cut across, but it is far easier to slice pole to pole if you're not worried about prettiness. And they seem to cook up a lot quicker. Although I don't know if that's true, but it seems that way. I actually learnt to do this in the Knife Skills series on SE.

Why No Canadian Love, SE?

Why No Canadian Love, SE?

Become a Culinary Ambassador for your city. Then when you have shown the SE overlords all the fabulousness, they will be forced to come visit you and have you show them around. At least, that's what I'm hoping for...

But seriously, you can become an ambassador over here:

Which celebrity chef is more "Celebrity" than Chef?

@Cookbook_Junky I am pretty sure the two fat ladies were the very first cooking show I ever watched. they were absolutely wonderful. Everyone in my family loved them.

Does your grocery store play boomer rock n roll?

Our local grocery store doesn't play music so my sister and I are forced to sing loud enough for all the other shoppers to enjoy. Lucky we're excellent singers. Or so we tell our selves.

And yes, we sing boomer rock. It's the only music we both know.

Golden syrup

@Simon I am with Chris Gregory all the way here. Golden syrup is incredibly popular here in Australia, much much more so than molasses, which is considered a 'waste product' of the sugar making process. About the only use we have for that here is to make rum.

@Chris Gregory Pikelets are indeed learnt very early on in a child's cooking lessons, but are you forgetting chocolate crackles? I'm pretty sure even three year olds can make chocolate crackles.

But back to the point. Australian sweets recipe are absolutely rife with golden syrup and for good reason. It is not a particularly sweet or strong flavour but it definitely makes a difference. And it beats the heck out of maple syrup on pancakes.

Maple Black Pepper Pork Chops

Also, I served them with a spanish tortilla and green beans sauteed in butter onion and garlic. It was all delicious.

Maple Black Pepper Pork Chops

Mmm I made these tonight and they were fantastic. Two I did exactly as the recipe said and put the sauce on after they were baked, but two I pan fried for just a touch longer, then baked them with the sauce on already. And they were both really, really good. I honestly can't decide which was better. The baked sauce got a lot more caramelisation, which was really nice, but the one baked without sauce got a little more crispy which was also really nice. I have a feeling they would be awesome no matter how you do them...

Dinner for one...what do you make when you are all alone?

Oooooh, I make whatever my boyfriend didn't want to eat that I was craving during the week. He generally works two or three nights a week, so for two nights I wait until he gets home to cook, but the other night I make whatever I was craving. Last week it was marinated lamb steak with pumpkin mash and it was gooooood.

Poll: Would You Eat at a 'C' Restaurant?

Having just taken the LA health departments test for my own kitchen, and scoring a 'B' just because I don't always cook meat all the way through until the juices run clear, I am very circumspect about these ratings... I like medium-rare meat, so sue me (or close down my kitchen).

wall-mounted spice storage?

My mother went to he dollar store and bought some of the wire racks that are designed to be hung over shower walls and such for bathroom storage. the are just the right depth for her spice jars. She got my father to mount them on a piece of wood, on under the other and then mounted that just inside our pantry door. They work perfectly and were only a few dollars each. I think it worked out to be less than fifteen bucks for a rack about a foot and a half high.

Sharing in Your Kitchen

@littlestcapy @ell.victor It seems like roommates like this exist everywhere, which is a shame. And believe me, we are definately looking for our own place. The Boy knows that I am liable to explode if I have to put up with this for much longer... Especially when I take such care with my kitchen stuff, which is by no means cheap.

Sharing in Your Kitchen

Also, I feel I should mention there are other tensions in the household, not just this, so I apologise if i come off sounding a little hostile.

Sharing in Your Kitchen

I've recently moved in with my boyfriend and his room-mates and was initially very willing to share all of my kitchen implements and gadgets. The only line I drew was my KitchenAid, and that only because my bowl has already been scratched and I do not want metal implements used in it ever again.

After being here almost a month, I am seriously regretting this generosity. Despite having explicitly stated that I don't want my stuff put through the dishwasher, because I never check if it's safe or not before I buy it, I constantly find it in there because "i was planning to have it washed and put away before you got home and you'd never notice it." My knives are constantly left either dirty on the counter or sitting in a sink of water for hours. My the colour coding and tabs on my cutting boards are entirely disregarded, despite the fact she knows I am a former vegetarian and therefore cannot stand having meat and vegetables cut on the same board. Pretty much every time I try to cook something, at least one of the things I need has been used and left dirty in the sink or the dishwasher. I wouldn't have as much of a problem with this if she didn't then harp on about how she "obsessively cleans everything" and "hates it when messes are left for more than ten minutes" but then leaves the kitchen full of dirty dishes and food scraps which I have to clean up everytime I want to cook.

I have a policy when it comes to sharing with others, which I picked up from a former roommate, which is to assume that they are going to need what you are using immediately after you are done using it. That is to say, if you are cooking and using their items, then wash it as soon as practicable so it will be available for them. A person should never have to wash someone elses dishes, simply because they couldn't be bothered. Also, I believe you should follow someones request for care as long as it isn't too outlandish, eg don't use metal utensils on my nonstick frying pans, and never, ever leave my knives dirty in a sink of water.

My problem isn't with sharing, because at my parents house everyone was free to use everyone elses stuff (my sister and I both moved back in after living away for quite awhile, so we all had our own stuff), my problem is with careless people who can't follow even the simplest of requests.

/end rant.

Gosh, I didn't know I was so sensitive about this until I started typing.

Serious Eats Shopping Bag?

Adam ever so kindly sent me a couple of the bags as a reward for being so patient in waiting for a cook the book win (almost a year), and I have to say, they are absolutely fantastic.

I can't wait until they come up for sale. I am definitely going to be buying more.. They fit amazing amounts of stuff in them. Most weeks I can do my entire grocery shop with just those two bags.

Too many tomatoes!

@lemonfair @CJ McD We live in a very small town so unfortunately no soup kitchens etc to donate to.

@lemonfair We pretty much have fresh all year round, it just depends on whether we plant the next round before the first stops fruiting or if we are lazy.

@everyone thanks for all the great ideas. Does anyone have a really great recipe for salsa? Or know of where I could find one?

Too many tomatoes!

@gingercookiewithlime I really wish I could drive to philadelphia, but it would involve driving across an ocean, living in Australia and all.

@ChelleyD01 Thanks for the idea.

What's your take on restaurants charging for splitting a dish?

Wow, needssalt, maybe you should calm down a little on Cassaendra. She's giving her opinion just like anyone else.

Is anyone else against uncalled for abbreviations when ordering?

Abbreviations drive me insane. Especially when it makes it harder to understand what a person is saying. Is it really going to hurt you to say a couple of extra letters for the sake of being heard properly? It really isn't saving you any time, especially if you then have to repeat yourself.

Serious Eats Shopping Bag?

ANy word on international shipping yet? Just wonderin'..

Shows We're Watching: Rachel Allen Bake! on the Cooking Channel

Believe me, when you're a baker you really do drink at odd hours. Finishing work at eight am and going home for a beer is a very, very common thing. As is going to bed at two pm.

Too many tomatoes!

Okay guys, despite it being the middle of winter here, my vegie garden is going absolutely mental.. including my tomato plants. At the moment we are picking a couple of kilos of big tomatoes every second day and about a kilo of cherry tomatoes.

We already have twelve takeaway containers of puree in the freezer for use in pasta sauces etc, and have just put up eight jars of relish, and now am out of ideas.

I am being emotionally abused by my tomato plants!! Help me!!!

Cabbage roll help!

Okay, so I have been researching cabbage roll recipes for a while now, and have just decided on one for dinner tonight.

But I need to know, what difference will it make to cook the mince before stuffing the cabbage leaves than to leave it raw? About 50% of the recipes I've read have said to cook it, 50% to leave it raw.

Will it only make a differnce to the texture (eg cooked will be looser and crumbly, raw will be denser) or will it make a differnce to juiciness, flavour etc?

Please feel free to leave recipes for me too, I am not convinced I am 100% sold on this one..

SE reusable shopping bag question

I saw the contest for the new SE reusable bags and have a question.

When they become available through the shop, will SE be shipping internationally, or will they only be available to US residents?

I know I want to get my hands on at least a couple of them, and they would be awesome to show my boyfriend in a sort of this-bag-exists-as-a-way-of-proving-that-it-is-vital-to-other-people-to-check-SE-everyday-and-be-obsessed-with-it-too-not-just-me sort of way.

So pleeease could we have international shipping?

Bread flour help.. It's so expensive!

Okay so I have been scouting out for bread flour over here in Australia, but it is so incredibly expensive. Like, up to $20 a kilo, vs 85c per kilo for AP flour. If I buy it in bulk, it gets cheaper, but I don't bake bread that often, so I don't want ten kilos at a time.

So my question is, is there anything I can add to my AP flour to help it along a bit? I have bread improver at the moment, but am a little hesitant as to how much it will help as the ingredients only list a mineral and flour, no extra gluten or anything like that.

Any suggestions?

Because of Serious Eats I _______

Because of Serious Eats I: stay up late every night so I can read talk.
Because of Serious Eats I: actually know the names of some of the weirder vegetables out there.
Because of Serious Eats I: am now addicted to food polls.
Because of Serious Eats I: drink waaay more caffeine than I should, to try and stay awake for school during the week.

What do you do because of Serious Eats?

Do you have a nostalgic birthday cake?

My birthday is coming up and I am trying to come up with an idea for a cake. In the last few years I have Branched out and made some weird, but yummy, birthday cakes (snickers tiramisu anyone?), but this year I am feeling a bit nostalgic and contemplating making the cake my father made for me pretty much every year until I started making my own cakes, a choc-banana cake, possibly shaped into the number 19, as my dad always made number cakes.

So, does anyone else have birthday cake traditions in their family? A specific flavour, a specific way of presenting it? Or do you just remember a really awesome birthday cake you, or someone you know, had that you have always wanted to have again?

Maple Black Pepper Pork Chops

I am addicted to this dish. Usually I have to cook so many new dishes a week, I don't have time to revisit the really impressive ones. But I've made an exception for this one. I understand on paper it doesn't sound like it should work. The recipe from Eggs On Sunday uses a lot of maple syrup, Too sticky sweet? Nope, everything is balanced by the cider vinegar and black peppercorns, which transform into this rich, meaty glaze that miraculously makes each bite taste like the best rib eye you can imagine. More

Ceramic Knife Brands?

Earlier in the summer, I picked up a Wusthof Grand Prix II chef's knife when I spotted a great deal on Amazon Marketplace. I've been exceedingly happy with it, but after giving away the cheap, hand-me-down, Wal-Mart block knives I... More

Happy Food Stories!

Ok, I'm officially tired of negativity. I want to hear some positive food stories. Anything that's silly but cute, heart-warming, feel-good, or just plain good food-related story that made you happy. Do you have any? Please share!! For me, I... More

A script is running...etc.

Here's a new fly in the ointment. Every once in a while, I get a message that a script is running on this page that is causing IE problems. If I stop the script, the photo carousel goes wonky and... More