I am a high school student who loves to cook and eat out. I appreciate food of all types (from fine restaurants to lowest-of-the-low fast food) and love to spend time on cooking projects.

  • Location: Watertown, MA
  • Favorite foods: Mac and cheese, risotto, mangoes in any form, Greek yogurt, apple-raspberry crisp, homemade pasta salad, good sandwiches, Japanese curry, any soft, creamy cheese, any kind of REALLY fresh produce... I should probably stop here.
  • Last bite on earth: I don't know!

Open Thread: What Do You Want to Know this Thanksgiving?

Interesting seasonal vegetable sides, beyond squash, sweet potatoes, and green beans.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I live in Boston, and everyone who I know around here waits in line. I've only heard "on line" in New York.

Sugar Rush: Chocolate Truffle Cake from Sacred Chow

Looks delicious! One typo - I think "sense" was meant to be "dense."

Dinner Tonight: Mushroom Fried Rice with Pickled Ginger

Thank you for giving pickled ginger the appreciation it deserves! I will definitely be making this.

What's Your Favorite International Soda?

Agrum, a grapefruit soda from France.

The Pizza Lab: How To Make New England Greek-style Pizza At Home

This looks absolutely delicious. As a girl from the suburbs of Boston, the Pizza Cognition Theory has worked its magic, and I love good New England Greek pizza (although I only recently learned that the style has a name). I'll have to try this sometime soon.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Freezer Cuisine

Every Thanksgiving, we make a huge vat of cranberry sauce, and every summer we make pesto. With their respective roasted poultry and pasta, they usually last most of the rest of the year.

Pop Star: Fizzy Lizzy

I've never had Fizzy Lizzy, but I am an Izze fan, so I'l have to give it a try.

A Sandwich a Day: Hi-Rise Bakery's Sin Sandwich in Cambridge, MA

Want. Now. I live near Cambridge and have been to Hi-Rise, but I've never had this. This will change soon.

Whole Foods to Serve Humanely Raised Insects, Introduce Whole Paycheck Direct Deposit

And Serious Eats comes through once again! Happy April Fool's Day.

Regional Chain Restaurants

I live in the suburbs of Boston, which grants me access to Bertucci's (I love their pastas and the roasted tomato sauce appetizer) and Not Your Average Joe's. My true guilty pleasure chain restaurant is Friendly's (usually for the chicken fingers and sundaes).

What is it and how do you eat it?

I drink anything I can get away with, cold or hot, out of a mug. I always eat my least favorite part of a dish first and save the best for last, even if that means eating it strangely. When I eat a salad that comes with dressing on the side, I make a point of saving the dressing so I can dip things in it. I love drinking out of glass bottles.

Thumbs up for Drinks

Agreed, myrnie_twin. I don't have a problem with caffeine, but being several years under the legal drinking age, I'm glad to see plenty of non-alcoholic drinks featured.

Taste Test: Cream Soda

I love cream soda - I always describe it as tasting like vanilla cupcakes baked from a mix, in the best way possible. I'll have to try the winner.

So, you're saying DON'T learn from FN/CCTV?

FN chefs tend to be the object of Serious Eats snarking, but that's mostly just because they're easy targets - we have to find an outlet for our sarcasm somewhere. In reality, many of them are good chefs, and if you find that watching the cooking as it happens is helpful, then by all means take advantage of FN/CC shows. I like Ina Garten (though I prefer her cookbooks to her show) the best, but many of the others are also good.

SE Staff Picks: Our Favorite Girl Scout Cookies, and How to Eat Them

Caramel Delites/Samoas (is there a difference?) are the best.

You have a Star Trek food replicator. Would you still cook?

Yes, I would, at least sometimes. There are some foods that I like to cook almost as much as I like to eat. However, there are also foods that, no matter how good they are, simply aren't fun to cook, so if I could get a decent replicated version of them, I'd go for it.
I love the fact that people are backing up their opinions with actual examples from Star Trek.

Macarons - Am I too late? Have they jumped the shark?

Trendy or not, if they're delicious, people will eat them.

School Food we actually LIKE...

My school food has good days and bad days. Pasta (with choice of sauces), macaroni and cheese, anything served with mashed potatoes, fajitas, BBQ chicken or pork sandwiches, "breakfast for lunch" days, and teriyaki-style beef with broccoli and rice are all good. Decent salad bar is served daily, as well as vegetarian versions of non-vegetarian meals (if you do not like tofu or tempeh, beware) and fruit, yogurt, etc. Some recipes I've only seen served once. There are also some truly horrible days, but those are rare, and thankfully most meals come with some kind of side like rice or potatoes and veggies, which are generally edible.

8 Recipes for Lunar New Year

Some of my friends from middle school used to have a tradition (one of them was Chinese) of having a dumpling-making party every lunar new year. I'll have to come up with a new plan this year (I'm not Asian, but that doesn't mean I want to miss out on the fun), and I'm sure some of these recipes will be part of it. Thanks!

Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Usually it's based off of a roughly equal mixture of soy sauce and rice vinegar. Ginger, sesame oil, and/or chili oil can be added if you like them.

Would You Eat Human Cheese?

Human milk is certainly edible and is just as good for human consumption than animal milk, and probably tastes fine, so I'm not going to try to justify this, but the idea just sounds off-putting to me. No reason, just a gut reaction. However, if people do want to use human milk for culinary purposes, I certainly see nothing wrong with it, although as some people have pointed out, there may be more important uses for unneeded human milk.

5 Ways to Fix Your Restaurant's Website

Totally agree that background music is annoying, that out-of-date menus are useless, and that simple web pages are much better than PDFs. Contact information should be easy to find, but not necessarily on every page. Flash doesn't really bother me unless it's too long or annoying, but many restaurant sites misuse it so it is.

Do you remember?

I remember learning how to make mac and cheese and apple pie with my mom when I was five. I also remember helping my grandma make dinner every Friday after she picked me up from school at about the same age.

What to Eat for Breakfast on Christmas Day

Homemade blueberry muffins! Actually, it tends to vary from year to year, usually tending towards pastries. Hot chocolate (usually for the kids a.k.a my brother and I, but sometimes the adults have some too), coffee, OJ, apple cider, and chocolate sneaked out of your stocking when no one can see you eating chocolate for breakfast complete the meal.

Is there a cure for Pine Mouth?

I had pine nuts in a salad a few days ago and now seem to be experiencing a mild case of Pine Mouth (everything tastes bitter). While it does not seem to be as bad as some cases I have heard described, I am not looking forward to 2 more weeks of everything tasting bitter. Have any of you Serious Eaters found a way to make this go away?

How/When/Why did you join Serious Eats?

On the recent thread "What's the story behind your SE screen name?", someone commented that it looked like people were signing up just to answer the thread. I, too, set up my account (after several months of lurking) because I couldn't bear not being able to comment on a particular article. Do you have a story of how, when, or why you joined SE?

What is your most ridiculous food-related story or experience?

Cooking mishaps. Ordering an "ethnic" dish in a restaurant without knowing what it is. Pretending to like your friend's horrible cooking. Anyone who loves food has a few disastrous, unexpected, or just plain ridiculous experiences to share, whether they happened to you or an acquaintance. What's yours?

"Eyeballing" your cooking

When you cook, do you always measure your ingredients, taste and add as you go, or do a little of both? My usual rule is that "make-or-break" ingredients that really change the consistency of a dish, like baking soda in pastries, get measured, while flavor ingredients, like herbs, spices, vegetables, cheeses, and any others get eyeballed or tasted. What do you do?

Baking party!

Me and my two best friends plan to have a baking (and Star Trek-watching) gathering this weekend. With several hours to spare and 3 sets of hands, what would you bake?

What to do with phyllo?

I have 1 1/2 packages of frozen phyllo dough in my freezer. What should I do with it? I am particularly looking for sweet/dessert recipes. Any suggestions?

The Wonderful World of Salsa

Everyone knows how to make a quick pico de gallo that kicks jarred salsa's butt, but that's only one kind of Mexican salsa. What are your other favorite salsas, and how do yo make them?

What is your favorite kind of fried chicken?

Chicken. Hot oil. It seems so simple, doesn't it? But first- dark meat or light meat? Breaded or not? Where do marinades and dipping sauces enter into all of it? And that's before you get to Southern style, Asian style, Buffalo wings, and that timeless kid food, chicken fingers. What is your favorite way to enjoy some sort of fried chicken?

Risotto- a blank canvas?

I love risotto beyond almost all other foods and have recently begun making it at home. My favorite combo so far is basic Parmesan risotto with bacon or pancetta and roasted winter squash. That said, I haven't experimented that much. What is your favorite risotto add-in combo?

Problem with Eating Out

Whenever I read the Eating Out section, it works fine until I try to go back by clicking "older". Instead of getting previous posts, it just reloads the first page. Is my computer defective, or have other people noticed this?

Help w/ Easter food

My family plans to celebrate Easter at my grandmother's house, but, as my grandmother gets older, she does not want to cook as much as she used to. I have volunteered to do the majority of the cooking. Problem is, I don't know what to make as a main course. What are some of your favorite foods- traditional, traditional with a twist, or just plain delicious- to eat on Easter? Please note that my mom is a vegetarian 95% of the time (although she has no problem with meat, she just dislikes it), so it should not take so long that I have no time to make good, hearty sides and desserts. Thank you!

What is your processed/junk food weakness?

Every time a processed food is featured on SE, there are two groups of commenters: the "processed food is evil, I only eat raw vegan whole all-natural foods" people (just a joke, so no flaming) and the "hey, that looks really good" group. To the second group (and even the first group- c'mon, confess!) I ask you- what processed/junk food makes you throw caution (and food politics) to the wind?

Perplexing Problems with Pecan Pie

I have tried to make pecan pie several times using the recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook. It works pretty well, but instead of getting the gooey, rich consistency I want, the nuts on top harden into a crust so crunchy it is hard to cut with a pie server. Advice?

Food Trends: Yea or Nay?

Every year, it seems there are new trends among chefs and recipe writers. Sundried tomatoes went in everything for a while. Now, it seems like adding pork to everything- even desserts- is the way to go if you're a celebrity chef. "Upscale comfort food" is also everywhere. So...
1) What food trend do you think has gone too far?
2) If you could add any under-appreciated ingredient, dish, or cuisine onto the "trendy" list, what would it be?

How to Make Gyoza

This gyoza has been a favorite in my family for ages. It's so tasty that, until recently, I haven't bothered to deviate from the traditional filling. Check out the slideshow to learn how to make the classic Japanese-style pot stickers, then tweak the formula to make something new. More

The Food Lab: How to Make Peking Duck at Home (From Scratch!)

Does anything get golden browner, crispier, or duckier than Peking duck? When properly prepared, the deeply flavored skin should crackle and crunch with the slightest touch of your teeth, and the meat (more of an afterthought, really) should be moist, tender, and flavorful. But getting a decent version—even at a restaurant—can be a chore. Even places that do do it well generally require at least a day of advanced notice. Why, you might ask? The preparation is intensely complex, that's why. More

The Food Lab: The Best Way to Make Carnitas (Without a Bucket of Lard!)

Carnitas. The undisputed king of the taco cart. The Mexican answer to American pulled pork, at their best they should be moist, juicy, and ultra-porky with the rich, tender texture of a French confit, and riddled with plenty of well-browned crisp edges. Our version is easier than the traditional bucket-of-lard method, and produces results that are juicier and more flavorful. More

The Best Cupcakes in New York City

We know, we know—it's been years since cupcakes first hit New York. And Serious Eats is not the sort of blog that breathlessly covers every new cupcakery in the city. But at some point, we came to the realization that, when asked where sold the best cupcakes in New York City, we didn't have an answer. And that just wouldn't do. So we tracked down New York's best. More

The Food Lab: Real Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine

When I say ice cream, I mean the real deal: Ice cream that's rich, smooth and creamy on the spoon. Ice cream that melts slowly into a luscious, tongue-coating custard. The kind of badass ice cream that makes lesser people feel guilty for eating it. The kind of ice cream worth getting out of bed in the middle of the night for. I mean real ice cream. My goal this week: Keep the ice cream, lose the machine. More

The Meatball Shop: Food Destination Or One-Trick Pony?

If the pedigree of the owners (and the sourcing of their products) at The Meatball Shop in New York leads you to expect cheffy, ingredient-driven, innovative meatballs, where the beef tastes like beef and flavors are distinct and memorable, you'll likely be disappointed. But if you're looking for a hearty, tasty meatball meal on the cheap, perhaps washed down with a $3 PBR or $9 quart of Brooklyn Lager, you've come to the right place. More

Maialino Breakfast Review: Do Romans Really Eat This Well at Breakfast?

I've heard from countless Italian food experts that Italians in Italy as a whole and Rome in particular, don't eat much for breakfast—that most people tend to make do with coffee, roll, and juice for a modest beginning to the day. So what explains the spate of well-regarded and reviewed Italian restaurants serving amazing, only in New York breakfasts? Maialino is the latest—and, perhaps, one of the best. More

Spice Hunting: Niter Kibbeh

Niter kibbeh is nothing more than spiced clarified butter. But it's really something of a time capsule: fresh spices at the peak of their flavor are blended into ethereal balance, then locked in a solid almost impervious to age. When you use a few spoonfuls to sweat some aromatics or add a dab to finish a sauce, all that well-built flavor is released as an instant perfume that transforms whatever it touches. More

Serious Salad: Outrageously Inauthentic Asian Salad

For a full confession, my first faux Asian salad came from McDonalds. One of McDonald's first "healthy" campaigns designed to improve its image. Ah, the 1980s. The era of the guilt-free McNugget. But I was hooked on the faux Asian flavor combination as well. I have a nut consumption issue (or rather, a hard time stopping myself from nut-inhaling) and eating nuts on a salad (as opposed to from the jar) is a great way to slow myself down and have a more balanced dinner than bonding with Mr. Peanut one-on-one. More

Grilling: Cubanos

Fourteen pounds of pernil inevitably produced some leftovers, so what to do with that extra roast pork? Cubanos, of course! A sandwich of sandwiches, the double dose of pig combined with cheese, pickles, and mustard created and explosion of flavor and texture that tasted like perfection. More

Mixed Review: Black & White Cookies

While my search for a black and white mix proved unsuccessful, I did find a recipe on Betty Crocker's website for black and whites using a sugar cookie mix as the base. One review commented: "This recipe was fantastic. I made it for my dad who misses the old fashioned NY cookies and these taste EXACTLY like the originals." I was sold. I ran to the store to buy all the ingredients. More

The Food Lab: Homemade Greek-American Lamb Gyros

One of my earliest memories as a New York kid in the 1980s was when the Greek-owned pizza shop down the street first put up a poster featuring an attractive woman eating a Kronos-brand gyros sandwich. I couldn't get the image out of my head. Since then, I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to rigorously sample both women and gyros, and can safely say, it was the gyros that did it for me. Now, before I go any further, I want to clarify by saying that I'm not talking authentic Greek gyros here. I'm talking Greek-American gyros. More

Mexican 'Fondue' with Chorizo and Tomatillo Salsa

It didn't take long to convince my wife that we would indeed be eating a bowl of bubbling cheese for dinner. It would be stuffed with crumbled Mexican chorizo, I explained, then spooned into tortillas doused with a vibrant tomatillo salsa. It would be ready in about 15 minutes—as simple as grating some cheese, cooking the chorizo, and mixing them together to bake. Just think of it as a Mexican-style fondue ("fundido"). More

Seriously Italian: Snowy Day Risotto

Stirring as the liquid slowly evaporates. [Photographs: Gina DePalma] Previously Robiolina » All Seriously Italian recipes » On a snowy winter day, with a blizzard brewing outside and idle hands inside, my thoughts drifted to dinner. What can I make... More