Kitchenista reflects my life-long adoration of all things kitchen.

  • Location: Texas

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

Wow, number 4 is why I've never owned one, it just grosses me out to think it can't be washed. I've never heard otherwise. Well that's encouraging.

Cook the Book: 'Spain' by Jeff Koehler

Padron Peppers, blistered in a hot hot pan, oiled up with some fine Spanish olive oil and sprinkled with Mediterranean sea salt! Wowzer.

Oyster Mythbusting: Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions

Just a rather serious qualifier. Number 3 is absolutely TRUE when it comes to Gulf Coast Oysters and that should be pointed out. Vibrio vulnificus is a deadly bacterium that thrives in warm Gulf waters in the spring and summer and infects Gulf oysters. Gulf Coast oysters should only be consumed raw between December and April. Read "Sex Death and Oysters" by Robb Walsh.

Have a milkshake today for Jakey. She will be missed

Have a milkshake today for Jakey. She will be missed

Only Cooler members can see that I'm afraid. Maybe it is somewhere else...

Have a milkshake today for Jakey. She will be missed

Farewell, Amy! Your food was beautiful and delicious. Your courage and joy inspiring.

How to delete my account.

It could be that (s)he has just moved over to the CRABAPPLE post.

Gadgets: Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Jedd, refer to photo: bacon.

Latin Cuisine: How To Make Tequeños (Venezuelan Cheese Sticks)

Ate these by the basket full as a child, ordered from the pool's snack bar in Venezuela. This really brings back fond memories. Thanks for the recipe!

Do dishes must have a perfect kitchen

Spam is no longer removed from this site? Junk.


I remember when these posts used to bring out the fun.

Dear Slice: Texas Pizza Summit II

Woohoo!! Fantastical!

Favorite ice cream flavor?

Cookbooks for Gifts

I like Homesick Texas for the inexperienced. I also like favorite restaurant/chefs cookbooks. I just obtained one of Fergus Henderson's books on nose to tail cooking (from the Restaurant St. John's). So if I knew someone loved a certain establishment, I'd look and see if the chef or restaurant has a book (and many do). And I second Essential Pepin for new cooks also. My problem is I do more reading of them than cooking from them.

You Are Site-Checked Here, You Burger Lovers!

Sounds spamilicious!

How do you store Sriracha?

I store it in the fridge, because I like it cold. I keep all other hot sauces in the pantry. But the caps have always ALWAYS malfunctioned with Sriracha and that is something they need to correct. The open/close valve stops working properly, even with a cleaning. Just unscrewing the current bottle to pour.

Pick a flavor and pull this...

The only size container at the one near me is huge so that if you get a small portion it looks like not enough. Part of the game.

Authentic beginner-friendly eats in London's Chinatown?

Wait service is abrupt in Chinese places in most places. It is apparently a cultural thing where they believe quick and efficient service is best. It's lately been a topic of conversation in my hometown stateside. I wish I could remember the name of the place I last went to in Chinatown London. It was on the second story and they were very helpful with the dim sum menu.

Bolillo rolls

I don't recall seeing any with glaze, but that glaze in particular sounds awful. I would leave it off also.

British foods to bring to US friends?

We live in an area with lots of Brit ex-pats and our grocery stores all have a Brit section. But it's still hard to find Curly-Whirlys!

A Big Big Bag of Spinach

I "melt" a 5 lb bag into a pound of penne with sliced sausage, onion, garlic and some chicken broth, and occasionally sliced black olives and toasted pine nuts. One of my favorite quick meals.

Tipping: My latest conundrum

This is a struggle I have in places like this also, and they are plentiful and getting more so. But as to the Chinese take-out, I always consider the extra effort and materials necessary to package my order and tip 10%.

Nettles 101

I had some nettle soup once, it was delicious.

New to Amarillo. Where to eat?

I would just avoid the Big Texan. It's got to be a tourist destination. The DayTripper, Chet Garner recently filmed an Amarillo episode for PBS. It should air soon. I know he went to the BT as every food show does...

Animal Slaughter...Have you?! Would you?!

I've watched any number of animals killed and slaughtered by Anthony Bourdain.

Cookie Baking and Parchment Paper Hate

It's time to bake cookies. I seem to recall this topic coming up in years past, but WHY oh WHY do I find industrial 15 inch wide parchment paper in my grocery store! I like baking cookies on parchment, but the home cook's sheets are 17 inches long by 11 inches wide. Cutting the parchment to fit is a pain in the buttocks. Must I invest in silpat? Why doesn't the manufacturer know this? Plus it curls up while you are trying to cut it. Need I go on? Grrr.

Dried Shiitake Bargain

What to do with 6 ounces of dried shiitake mushrooms, which actually is 1/2 gallon in dried volume. I'm hydrating 1 cup for a lamb sauce tonight, but it barely made a dent in the Costo bargain bucket. Ideas?

Thin is now IN, Holidays are OUT

Here we go with the ubiquitous Slim Fast commercials, followed quickly by Valentine's Day surf and turf, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries! Are you eating a plastic cup of yogurt or Special K until then for lunch, then a "sensible dinner?" It all gets so dreary.

How BIG is Your Christmas Spread?

I will have a scant 7 people on Christmas Day, but of those people, several are of heritages that love to see the table LADEN with delicacies! I am making two appetizers, Kenji's Crown Pork, potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, two green veg and two desserts. But I know this will be inadequate for some who value the heavily laden tables of their youth (when they had many more people there). And those folks will either be disappointed or anticipate my middle America heritage and arrive with everything from bags of chips and dips to pies galore. And smoked meats. The sheer volume of food sometimes astonishes me. What is your anticipation of food on Christmas or any other special day in your family?


Do you order appetizers? What and how? By "what" I mean, is it a small amuse bouche you enjoy by yourself, or a platter for the table? And by "how," I mean do you order them earlier from your main course, as I have learned to do, to avoid it all coming at once? Too many times I have just begun an appetizer (or salad or soup) only to see the main course delivered promptly thereafter. Can't tell you how many appetizers/salads/soups I've left uneaten.

What's up this Labor Day?

I'm taking the day off from cooking AND working and heading out for Tex-Mex followed by a movie with buttered popcorn. How are you taking advantage of the day off? For most, there isn't another one until Thanksgiving!

Ghee wizz!

Got ghee? I do. What should I do with it? I was thinking about making some popcorn with it for movie night. I've never cooked with it before.

How to Bake a Potato

A no brainer, huh? But do those who grease, heavily salt with large grain salt and wrap in foil before baking have the right method? Do they taste better as I think they do? Do you rub fat of any kind on the outside and/or wrap them up? I usually microwave them in the nude for a time, then finish in the oven for a crispier jacket. It's certainly quick.

What's for Dinner, Tuesday May 24?

I made some bolognese on Sunday, which is now hitting its stride. I am making a fresh batch of basil pesto for garnish along with a dollop of ricotta, which I have found doubles the pleasure of the hard won bolognese sauce. So pleased with how that tastes, thought I'd share it. What's cooking? Sold!

In case you store your most beloved recipes on like I do, note you have to take action by July 2011 to retain your list:

"Yahoo! is excited to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, Hurley and Chen have firsthand expertise enabling millions of consumers to share their experiences with the world. Delicious will become part of their new Internet company, AVOS.

To continue using Delicious, you must agree to let Yahoo! transfer your bookmarks to AVOS. After a transition period and after your bookmarks are transferred, you will be subject to the AVOS terms of service and privacy policy.

• Delicious in its current form will be available until approximately July 2011.
• After that, you will no longer be able to use your existing Delicious account and will not have access to your existing bookmarks or account information."

So glad they found a buyer. The site is so usefull to me!

Packing Heat: Because I'm Fed Up

Fed up with bland food, that is. So while I haven't yet resorted to carrying my favorite hot sauce in my purse and whipping it out at restaurants, I do make sure there is a bottle in places where I often eat, like in my desk at work and in the church kitchen. It is, by the way, Cajun Chef brand. I noticed at our Mother's Day restaurant outing yesterday that my SIL slipped a packet of Truvia out of her purse and dumped it in her tea. Nothing slips past me, I tell you. Do you carry condiments on your person?

What's for Dinner Tonight?

Haven't seen this one in a while! And this time, I can report that I may have popcorn later, after a pizza lunch (darn you, Adam!). It was fine though, leeks, crumbled sausage and basil pizza. But I still want to hear what you cooked up this wedding-eve for your Thursday repast. Cheers!

Does Sifting the Flour/Dry Ingredients Really Make a Difference?

I'll admit right up front, I'm not a baker. A bag of flour usually lasts from Christmas to Christmas (as in cookies). But occasionally I am pressed into baking and I always get annoyed when a recipe calls for me to sift the flour or all dry ingredients together. Today I am making four buttermilk pies for a party. It calls for 3 Tablespoons of flour and a pinch of salt per pie, that I am to sift. I'll tell you right now, I didn't. It's a messy process with no discernible effect, that I can tell. This is a tiny bit of flour in a very liquidy pie filling. Even in other pastries where it is a major component, it gets all squished and compacted by the beaters anyway, doesn't it?

So, did Bon Appetite step in it?

This post on Facebook started a firestorm of backlash. What say you? BTW, I'm on the side of lets all share our heritage.

Blessings, all.

What topics are you tired of seeing on SE? My top 10

Okay, I KNOW there are new people here everyday, witness the constant flow of "what should I name my blog" posts, and variations thereof. I know there are those without historical knowledge of this site, that log on for the first time, post a blurt, then get offended by the responses, and then ultimately, my pithy comments are also deleted. But here you go, subject to editorial deletion, my top 10:

Where do I eat in NYC?
Where do I eat in Chicago?
Where do I eat in Seattle?
Help me make money with my blog (variations on driving traffic)
What can I do with an excess of spinach (or, fill in the blank)
How can I fix my fallen souffle (variations) immediately! Like in the next 2 seconds!
What dish can I bring to a vegetarian pot luck?
What does your pet eat (?!)
How can I make my relations understand how important my food knowledge is?

and the number one:

Yes, it's "help me name my food blog." Actually is like nails on a blackboard.

Next I'll try top 10 favs, maybe, but that won't probably drive traffic as well. This may already be a "woman of the evening" post, as expressed before here on SE (but deleted).

Watching Mildred Pierce?

Is anyone watching the mini-series "Mildred Pierce," HBO Sunday nights? Depression era home cook survives by opening a restaurant serving only chicken, starring Kate Winslet. "There are steak places and seafood places, but no chicken places!"

It seems it's a remake of a 1945 Joan Crawford movie. I won't say more about it, just that I'm enjoying watching the heroine's culinary efforts. It didn't seem to get much publicity.

Final Four, Where to Go - Houston Edition

So did your team make it to the final four? We here in Houston are stoked about the upcoming games. Here's a few links, for your eating pleasure. We are all about the food.

Welcome to Houston!

Houstonites, feel free to add your favs!

Crisco and Cookies *or* Crisco in anything

Thanks @MissBrownEyes for pointing me to a duck egg chocolate chip cookie in this thread:

I made those cookies today, EXACTLY as written, which included butter flavored Crisco, ostensibly because the Crisco makes a crunchy outside, moist inside cookie. I bought butter, then went back for the Crisco against my inner health nut, just to be true to the recipe. I haven't used Crisco since sometime in the late 1970's when, as a teen, I cooked dinner for the family one night a week and fried chicken in it. And now I read on the container that it has 50% less saturated fat than butter. I remain confused on what fats to use in baking/cooking.

The cookies are very good, and crispy/moist as advertised. But is Crisco still a product that people use regularly? And for what purpose? What say you?

New in Frozen Pizza!

I bought a frozen pizza today (California Pizza Kitchen) that includes an appetizer portion of artichoke dip and flatbread squares for dipping. For the first time, I noticed other national brands with other items in the pizza box...bread sticks and dip, chocolate chip cookies that you throw in the oven after the pizza (FTW!), even one with a side of wings. I think this was a great idea. Other than a recent Costco pizza, I haven't bought a prepared or frozen pizza in many moons. I was curious.

What do you think, have you tried any of these?

Talking Salads, and their Dressings

I was thinking today as I made a Caesar Salad, how much I hate those white rib stalks in my Caesars at restaurants. I always trim the leaves from the stalks. The stalks are like chalk on a blackboard to me.

But I would also like to hear about your favorite homemade dressings generally for salads. And your favorite main meal salad. Spring is here, and so are the leafy greens. I make the occasional vinegrette, but want to stop buying salad dressings altogether, and make my own. What secrets can you share?


"Slowly cooked submerged in its own rendered fat, in which it is then preserved."

Now we hear of vegetable "confit." So it's not "confit" anymore, is it?

I think the word "confit" has lost meaning.

Meat and Potato Quiche

There are those that consider quiche to be a delicate, light and—dare I say, feminine dish. This quiche goes against many of those traits by setting sausage, kielbasa and bacon in the classic egg custard and pastry crust. More

Great Deviled Eggs

Growing up, I was never a fan of deviled eggs (or anything mayonnaise related, for that matter), but then again, deviled eggs back then consisted mainly of overcooked, slightly sulfurous hard boiled eggs mashed up with Hellman's mayo and a bit of yellow mustard, served too cold. They were the default "serve them anyway, someone will eat them after the guacamole's gone" option at the potluck. I thought I'd swear them off forever. Well, times have changed. More

Cook the Book: Goat Cheese Brownies

These Goat Cheese Brownies are an ideal introduction to the world of goat-centric desserts, all moist and chocolatey upfront but made with enough chèvre and goat butter to give them a bigger goat flavor. Adding goat cheese in place of some of the butter makes for brownies with an intriguingly light texture—not chewy and dense or crumbly and cake-like—these have a lovely, almost melting softness about them. More

The Crisper Whisperer: Awesome (Herb) Sauce

Whether you grow your own herbs and end up with a bumper crop or buy a big bunch at the supermarket and use a few tablespoons in a recipe, leftover fresh herbs can threaten to overtake your home, garden, and sanity as the weather warms up. Making this flexible recipe is like waving a magic wand in the general direction of the garden and—voila!—what was once a looming burden is suddenly awesome sauce. More

Ranch Dressing

It would be remiss of me to leave Ranch out of Sauced any longer. Ranch has always been a little heavy-handed for me. Unless I had a reason to drown the flavor of whatever I was eating, I rarely dipped into it. This homemade version, on the other hand, strikes a mellower tone with creamy, rich buttermilk and fresh parsley, chives, and dill. More

Maple, Maple, Maple!

I am surprised not to see anything on the topic. It is maple syrup season, and if you have the oportunity to see the process, it is labor intensive, done by families passionate about keeping the spirit alive. The United... More

Cook the Book: Edamame Hummus

I was expecting tasty but not mind-blowing, but after whipping a batch of this leaf-green hummus in the food processor, I don't really see much chickpea-based hummus in my future—it was just that good. The edamame has a simple sweetness that plays down the earthy qualities of the roasted garlic and tahini. While chickpea hummus has a tendency to be heavy and pasty, this version is light with a fantastic green freshness. Its versatile flavors work equally well as a sandwich spread or condiment on its own. More

Food related books - need a good read.

It's winter and there's nothing better than curling up with a good book, especially one about food. Here are a few of my favorites: "Nathaniel's Nutmeg" Giles Milton (the history of nutmeg) "Kitchen Confidential" Anthony Bourdain "Hungry Planet: What the... More

Southern Belly: Gilhooley's, in San Leon, Texas

Editor's note: Occasionally what looks at first glance to be a conventional guidebook transcends the genre in surprising ways. John T. Edge's Southern Belly is just such a read, which is why I'm pleased that he has allowed us to excerpt selected items from it on Serious Eats, where they appear every other week. —Ed Levine "Back in the kitchen, they shuck a dozen, set them topless over a pecan- and oak-fueled fire, swab each with butter and Parmesan cheese, and cook until the shells shade toward black, the oysters lips curl, and the cheese burbles and spits."">By John T. Edge | If a team of New Urbanists set out to design the perfect waterside joint according to the... More

June's Milk Chocolate Pound Cake

In response to requests for my MIL's cake recipe, here it is. Enjoy and as far as I'm concerned, share it with anyone you like and modify the flavors, presentation or whatever however it suits your fancy.... More

Pickling Cucumbers

One of my favorite local food magazines published a recipe this week for Vic & Anthony's Executive Chef Carlos Rodriguez's pickles used on the restaurant's hamburgers. It sounded so easy, I decided to try it and embarked on an odyssey... More

Irish Coffee Caramel Ice Cream with Shaved Dark Chocolate and Candied Pecans

It has buttery, smoky caramel, a dash of coffee grinds, and a generous helping of whisky for good measure. It's a bracing combination, but oh does it work. First you taste the coffee, roasted and rich, with the pleasant bitterness of an actual cup of joe. Then comes the caramel to sweeten things up just a tad, melting to sweet buttery goodness. Then the whisky: the more ice cream you eat, the more you taste it. More