Our Authors

5 Ice Cream Myths That Need to Disappear

While ice cream technology has certainly advanced in the past few hundred years, the basic recipes geared toward the home cook are pretty much what they've always been. That means old myths about making ice cream have never been questioned, and newly fashionable fancy foodists are spouting a lot of nonsense with no one holding them accountable. Today we put those myths to bed. More

Everything You Can Do With a Tub of Yogurt

In the steamy heat of New York in June, a tub of yogurt might as well be dinner on its own, but if you're willing to be a hair more ambitious, yogurt's one of the most versatile ingredients you can hold onto in your kitchen. Leaping from sweet to savory in a single bound, marinating meat and topping grilled vegetables, yogurt more than earns its place as a kitchen mainstay. More

Want Mindblowing Mint Chip Ice Cream? Ditch the Bottle of Extract

I'm about to dive deep into the makings of the perfect mint chip ice cream, but I need to get this out of the way: The stuff made with extract tastes like toothpaste to me. Now if your crystalline vision of the perfect ice cream is a pale scoop speckled with dark chocolate, redolent of the crisp, clean, subtly grassy aroma and taste of genuine mint leaf, step a little closer. My kitchen smells awesome right now. More

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

Whatever the reason you started drinking tea, chances are you have some questions about it. Fortunately there are many, many sources out there that simplify the vast world of tea into digestible nuggets of knowledge. Unfortunately, a lot of those sources—often the very companies selling you their tea—get some basic points pretty wrong. More

Confessions of a Maple Syrup Smuggler

You don't take Parmesan to a pizza joint. The fancy restaurant will not appreciate your dime bag of finishing salt. But one of the other pacts you make with a diner is that as long as you don't set the place on fire, you're pretty much free to do whatever you want. Which is why I've started bringing my very own maple syrup. More

Think Inside the Bun: How to Make Your Own Taco Bell Cemita

It's strange how a fast food menu that's inspired parody videos about endlessly recursive foodstuffs and redrawn mealtime taxonomies has never ventured into serving something as simple as a torta. But we deserve some Taco Bell sandwiches to call our own. Fortunately, with a quick supply run to the grocery store, you can make that happen with the chain's very own menu. More

Your Tea Starter Kit: 5 Great Teas to Kick Off an Obsession

The road to drinking great tea, even at its most simple, gets complicated fast. On the one hand, you need some thorough guides to navigate the overwhelming diversity of styles, growing regions, and cultivars to have some sense of what you're drinking. But on the other hand, you just need to start drinking some damn tea. Here are five great ones to get you started. More

The Best Ice Cream in Boston, 2015 Edition

@dtremit You're totally right about the location of the first Steve's; I'll make an edit. As for Christina's, I think your point cuts to the heart of the matter.

@szmansour It's the only abberation on an otherwise very traditional list. You're more than welcome to not eat that custard, but I thought it was remarkably good and worthy of inclusion.

We did indeed go to White Mountain. I really enjoyed their cookie monster flavor—cookie crumbs, cookie dough, chocolate wafers in sweet cream base—but the rest, and the overall textures, didn't do it for me.

You can see all the ice cream shops we visited over on my Flickr album. Take note there was a lot of sampling that didn't get photographed; we tasted a lot more ice cream flavors from each shop beyond the final photographs.

The Subtle Secrets to Making the Best Ice Cream Mix-Ins

@RSeymour A formal treatment on fruit is forthcoming! But in short: I like a combination of sugar and booze to keep fruit from turning icy.

@RobC_ Heh, was wondering if someone would pick up on that. The chocolate cools down really, really fast, though, because the streams are so thin. Worth doing, though agree, there's a time and a place for chunks.

The Best Ice Cream in Boston, 2015 Edition

@flyingvole What's wrong with frozen custard?

@yoadrienne1 Over two visits, one last week, one last November, I've had over a dozen flavors at Christina's. Some of them are really good, like this malted vanilla. But I've also had icy ice cream, bland flavors, or tastes that just didn't hit the mark—creamy but not driving me to go back for another spoonful. By comparison, I've never had any of those problems at Lizzy's, which I think operates in the same universe in Christina's, but more successfully and consistently.

Everything You Can Do With a Tub of Yogurt

@adnan Yes, it's awesome! The chaas recipe included above is somewhat similar; you could also use my recipe for neer more, swapping yogurt for buttermilk.

@luosha That was a silly oversight on my part; updated with a fully yogurtized cake!

The Best Mint Chip Ice Cream

@dFresh As mint is never sold by weight, that wouldn't be especially helpful for a shopping list. Let's say small bunch = one fist, large bunch = two. The exact amount isn't crucial.

@withaph You can leave the stems on.

The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea

@susansings Same amount as loose leaf tea, 8 to 12 grams per quart.

@CrystalDave Totally. A small spoonful or so per small glass, shaken vigorously with water and ice for the foam. A cocktail shaker's perfect for the job.

The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea

@Scar1etkn1ghts One rounded tablespoon (8-12 grams) per quart!

The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea

@MagicOatmealCookies Same brew time for all of them, five hours or longer. Rolled oolongs take a little more time then green and white, though.

The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea

@Enekk I'd keep it for a couple days. Usually doesn't even last that long with me. As for puerh, it's not my favorite to ice since cold-brewing doesn't bring out the warm body feelings I want in puerh, but there's no reason you couldn't do it. Just be sure to break up your cake well so it hydrates evenly. I'd use aged sheng or a mild shou for cold brew; young sheng might taste too bitter.

@Tkocareli Each of these teas has a lot going on all by themselves, but you certainly could blend. With tea blends it's typically lighter teas with lighter or darker teas with darker, so keep that in mind. A white would get lost blended with a roasted oolong.

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

@kmiffy Thanks for finding that. Looks like this is the original study that chemist is referencing. Haven't had time to read it in much depth, but from what it sounds like, the author's saying the thearubigins that bind with caffeine are a product of black tea oxidation, thus, if the author's claim is valid, the binding effect won't be as prevalent/visible for other, less oxidized tea styles.

I'm not familiar enough with the scientific literature to say with certainty whether any one perspective is totally right; if anything it looks like there's a dearth of studies on the subject. But none of the academic work I've seen, this included, lines up with tea sellers' ambitious claims of "decaffeinating" teas by quick brewing them, or that black tea necessarily has more or less caffeine than green, etc.

Everything You Can Do With a Can of Chickpeas

@DrGaellon Soak overnight, then cook in plain water with onion halves, a couple bay leaves, and as many smashed garlic cloves as I can stand. Several hours of conventional simmering or I use a pressure cooker. I also like my bean broth nice and thick, so I may crank up the heat once the beans are fully creamy to concentrate the liquid. Then pack in small containers and freeze for a rainy day.

The Many Tastes of Coffee Ice Cream: How to Make Just the Right Scoop for You

@ElieK The basic Cuisinart model is quite solid for what it is, and I think it's the best of the freezer bowl style machines. If you want to get into built-in compressor machine territory, I've used two in the $300 to $500 range, neither of which I'm 100% thrilled with but both make excellent ice cream: the DeLonghi and the Breville. The DeLonghi has a small capacity and is difficult to clean. The Breville makes great ice cream but doesn't have the most efficient yields.

The Many Tastes of Coffee Ice Cream: How to Make Just the Right Scoop for You

Whole beans certainly work, though you have to use a lot more to get the same strength (see the 1 1/2 cups in that recipe vs 2 to 5 tablespoons). You also have to steep the beans in dairy separately, which takes more time and another pot to clean, vs. the one-pot method using ground beans here.

As for coffee fines, you can see some very fine particles in these scoops, but they don't register on the tongue, and they tend to add to the visual appeal, at least among my tasters. I've had very good results using a fine filter to get out the coarser stuff.

A One-Day Food Tour of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, New York's Most Diverse Dining Destination

@thesteveroller Kababish almost made the cut, and Uncle Zhou's probably would have if this were more sit-down-focused and less crawl-y. Thanks for bringing them up. The goal was definitely to mix some less-celebrated names in with the common destination spots.

I live down the street from Chivito now and have been afraid to go back after a really sad experience of disastrously overcooked meat a couple years ago (preceded by an awesome trip a year before). You a fan of its current state?

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

@Kai2015 Do you have a link to that article you could share? People often make this claim but I've yet to see hard science that supports it. The study I linked to in the article suggests the opposite may be the case.

The Upgraded Paloma

@Atandy Those are our standard conversions for juice volumes to whole fruits to help guide people as a shopping list. If your fruit yields more juice, feel free to shop accordingly—the volumes are what you need to pay attention to.

Where to Eat in Taipei in the Time it Takes to Wait on Line at Din Tai Fung

@jennyt Sorry for the late reply! For you and others, the shop is just off the Da'an MRT stop:

http://msftea.weebly.com/

Bourbon Peach Brown Sugar Ice Cream

@renorose That was a response to someone asking about eggs in ice cream more generally; this recipe doesn't need eggs.

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

@Kanger The neurotoxin part is a bit of jokey hyperbole, but a couple examples:

http://www.twoleavestea.com/water-temperature/
http://steepster.com/discuss/3013-why-does-it-matter-tea-brewing-temperature

I love the one that says too-hot water "cooks" green tea leaves. As opposed to what, gives them a gentle bath?

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

@octopod I think that's fighting a losing battle. What does uncontaminated mean? How purist do you want to get? To me, in cases like that, the issue has more to do with the drinker than the tea; in the case of Taiwan in particular, the industry is generally well regulated and honest. There was a good discussion of this problem in a recent tea blog's comment section; see here for the complications of "100% uncontaminated" tea.

@BostonAdam Totally agree! Everyone's body chemistry is different, and I know some people who can drink coffee all day long but one small cup of young sheng and they're bouncing off the walls.

@loud foods Well, the reason there are pesticide safety limits is because most pesticides used for tea don't penetrate the leaf, and if a tea farmer is growing their tea carefully, the drinker's ingestion of pesticides can be nominal, especially if you do a quick rinse of your leaves first. (To put it in perspective, you'll likely ingest more pesticides from eating a salad than drinking tea.) It's easy to hold up some ideal of pesticide-free agriculture, but that ideal doesn't take into consideration the many, many complications of growing good tea well. I'd rather have a tea from a farmer who safely sprays and manages their land well than one from a farm that's managed poorly.

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

@Hungry Dan Thanks for reading! I don't drink much green tea, but when I do it's generally Japanese, either loose sencha and gyokuro from Ippodo or bottled Ito En and Teas' Tea.

Taiwanese Breakfast With the Pancake King

@JustinBK Those were just jokes I'm afraid.

Taiwanese Breakfast With the Pancake King

@condimentalitytw An earlier draft did, and perhaps the final should still have made mention, but I cut the aside for flow and brevity. I was lucky to experience some aboriginal culture and language but unfortunately none of the food. Need to fix that on the next trip.

Confessions of a Maple Syrup Smuggler

@Nick P Cholula or bust.

@atombaby Whaaaaaaaaat??

Confessions of a Maple Syrup Smuggler

@stefanle That's why this is a story about diners, not those types of restaurants.

Dulces: Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

I couldn't help but think of the stereotypical fiery Latin temperament when I was making this recipe. Arroz con leche (riz au lait or rice pudding), is such a languid, drowsy, gentle thing, so tender it's even suitable for those with smooth gums and weak constitutions, and yet, it is among the most well-liked and frequently made desserts throughout Latin America. Maybe we're all bark and no bite. More

How to Buy, Store, Use (and Re-Use!) Spices

It continues to baffle me how little attention is given to spices today. Maybe it's because we're told to eat local (they rarely are) or organic (they're usually not). Spices seem to still have a reputation of being slapdash cover-ups for mediocre chicken—and far too often they are—but they don't have to be. Yes, spice hunting requires a little time, effort, and money (though less than you think), but once you start using fresh spices in you're cooking, you may just find yourself addicted. More