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Maggie Hoffman

Maggie Hoffman

Senior Editor

Founded Serious Eats: Drinks in February of 2011. Wine writer, beer fanatic, cocktail enthusiast, coffee addict. Busy eating and drinking my way through San Francisco.

  • Website
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Favorite foods: Dungeness crab. Riesling. Rhubarb. Peking duck. Pie, all kinds.
  • Last bite on earth: Oysters and Champagne by the ocean. Riesling and pasta and clams. Pizza and Cru Beaujolais.

Ask a Sommelier: How to Pair Wine With Salads

When it comes to wine pairing, salads can be tricky: a salad that's dressed with something tart can knock out the flavor of the wine you're trying to enjoy. We asked a few sommeliers from around the country for their tips on the best wines to serve with salads, and all the factors to consider when pairing. More

How to Stock Your Wine Cellar

If you've really gotten into wine and you want to stash some away to drink at its peak in 5 or 10 or even 20 years, what sort of cellar space makes sense? What kinds of wine should you put in there? How many bottles of each? More

6 Irish Whiskey Cocktail Recipes for St. Patrick's Day

We're guessing your St. Patrick's Day memories are like ours...a little hazy. There was that time we tried to visit every single Irish bar in NYC for a pint of Guinness (some of us might have skipped work the next day), and that year when many, many shots of Jameson before dinner seemed like a good idea. (Protip: not really a good idea.) This year, we're thinking of celebrating a little differently—by mixing up some of our favorite Irish whiskey cocktails. More

Your First Spring Drink: Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano

It will be time, soon, to put away your hot toddies and marshmallow-puff coats, stash your gloves and cocoa and drink your first drink of spring. And when you toast the new season, I propose a new bottle: a bitter wine-based aperitif that's been made by the same Italian family for generations, but arrived on American shelves just last summer. More

Pitcher Drinks: Hibiscus-Tequila Cooler

@KevinMofM, tonic will add both sweetness and bitterness. Let us know if you play around with club soda; you might need to tweak the other ingredients a bit.

We Went and Ate All the Pastries at Sqirl in Los Angeles

I am totally obsessed with Sqirl jam.

Ever barrel aged tequila at home? I did...what now?

Agreed on the old fashioned! Or try any cocktail calling for reposado tequila.

The Arbequina Oil From Séka Hills is My New Favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I love this stuff! I can get it via Good Eggs here in the Bay Area....

Serious Entertaining: Ramps Ramps Ramps Ramps Ramps

I miss ramps! We don't see them much on the West coast. though we've been grilling green garlic which is an almost-similar springtime pleasure.

Behind the Scenes in Max's Home Kitchen

I love that you have 'some bitching calvados'.

Great New Affordable High-Rye Bourbon: Tincup American Whiskey

@Pete Zeria, sponsored posts are clearly marked. This is a review—and our reviewer finds this to be a great-deal whiskey. Part of what we want to do is point people to the good stuff! Have you tried it? Feel free to share your recommendations for other great whiskeys in this price range.

The Best Wines Under $20 According to Wine Bloggers

Hey @handfulofsounds, Unfortunately, a lot of the best value wines are most likely to be at a specialty wine shop. Here's a great piece from the NY Times on the reasons why.

Comfort food that freezes well.

Brisket cooked with onions and carrots seems to actually get better after freezing and reheating. There's something to the old-school recipes that call for a can of Coke in the mix.

Behind the Scenes in Maggie's Home Kitchen (and Bar)

@okupin: it has two levels, each tall enough to hold an 8-quart pot. I don't know what I'd do without it!

Classic Drinks: If You Like Negronis, Try the Quill

@smprada---that's the name of the drink, actually! More about it here.

Behind the Scenes in Maggie's Home Kitchen (and Bar)

@okupin, there's no question---more pantry space. I dream of a pantry you can stand in front of and not crawl into...

One more thing that's not pictured but is super-useful---a lazy-susan cupboard in the corner for pots and pans. Recommended.

How to Make Sweetleaf's Iced Chicory-Coffee 'Rocket Fuel'

@swhte, anywhere that sells spices in bulk might have it, but I've also seen it online here, here, and here.

Bake the Book: English Muffins

The English muffins are Model Bakery are by far the best I've ever experienced. I truly didn't know English muffins were worth caring about, but theirs are divine--tender, rich, pillowy, awesome. Excited to have the recipe on SE!

In search of: Popcorn Popper

If you aren't into the plastic packaging and ingredients of microwave pop, one thing to consider is popping regular plain kernels (or fancy farmers' market ones) in a regular paper lunch bag in your microwave. Spritz 'em with a little olive oil and go---about 3 minutes for a quarter cup of kernels in my microwave. I have to chop off the top inch or so of the bag to make it fit in my microwave, but otherwise it works perfectly.

Better Cocktail Mixers from Bittermilk

The bottles are 17 ounces, and you mostly use them equal-parts with spirits. So if you make a drink with 1 ounce of booze, you can make 17 drinks. If you use 2 ounces of booze, then more like 8 (and a half) drinks.

A Tour of the East Village's Borscht Belt Restaurants and Lunch Counters

Sigh. this makes me a little homesick for the East Village, even if I don't miss my 450 sq. foot apartment much...

Ed's Vegan Diary, Week 2: Getting Tight With Tofu

Hey Ed, if you didn't like the almond milk you tried, try another--I've found some GREAT options among smaller brands (though you can also make it yourself.) One of our favorites in NY is OMilk. It's almost like a milkshake!

Would You Pay a $10 Fee for Delivery?

I think Caviar makes sense in places like San Francisco, where delivery is really not a standard part of restaurant operating procedure. I haven't tried it, but I am regularly frustrated on a late work night when I can't get much delivered. Friends juggling work and childcare would really appreciate having more options...so Caviar is filling a need here. If more restaurants would use a free-to-user service like Seamless, things would be different.

A Beginner's Guide to French Wine

@Jbout, you got it—Italy IS next!

True Essentials for Your Home Bar: Bottles, Bitters, and Tools

Because a drinking-size glass is so wide, I'm not sure I'd trust it to measure to the quarter-ounce, which you sometimes need for cocktails.

Taste Test: The 8 Most Popular Full-Calorie Beers in the USA

@alvaroaze, good catch, the list was in reverse order. All fixed now!

How to Stock Your Wine Fridge

@coppertone: they won't go bad if you store them colder. But they also won't improve or evolve at all. So if you're looking to let your white wines develop some of the cool textural and flavor characteristics of more mature wines, store 'em a wee bit warmer, not in the kitchen fridge.

Meet the Trough, an Ice Cream Sundae for 10

also reminds me of this day on the job, which was both one of the best and also most terrible.

Meet the Trough, an Ice Cream Sundae for 10

Bar Tartine Chef Nicolaus Balla's Warm Brussels Sprouts with Honey, Caraway, and Lime

We love the charred, crisp, and just-sweet leaves of roasted brussels sprouts. The sprouts are a perfect canvas for just about any blanket of flavors, even the seemingly crazy combination of caraway, lime juice, mint, and cilantro Bar Tartine's Nicolaus Balla suggests in Food and Wine's new cookbook America's Greatest New Cooks. Balla's seamless blending of Eastern European and Southeast Asian tastes are fully realized in this vibrant vegetable side. More

Kale Caesar Salad

The key to a great kale Caesar salad is to marinate the kale in straight olive oil while you prepare the dressing and the croutons. The olive oil helps break down the leaves, turning them from tough to tender-crisp. More

My Thai: Shimeji Mushroom Laab

I don't know what happened on your end over the holidays, but over here not a lot of self-control was exercised. So, at least this week, I'm eating lighter than usual to make up for the craziness of the last few weeks. But I'm far from depriving myself of delicious things, though. This mushroom laab (or lap, most often spelled 'larb') you're looking at right here? Not exactly deprivation. More

The Food Lab: The Truth About Brining Turkey

These days, everybody and their grandmother has heard of brining, and more and more folks are doing it at home before Turkey Day. But it's not all pie and gravy. There are a few distinct and definite downsides to wet-brining, and many folks are making the switch to dry-brining (A.K.A. extended salting). The question is, which method works best? More

10 Foods From San Francisco I Want to Bring Back to NYC

San Francisco and New York are often mentioned in the same breath when it comes to the nation's great food cities, and are often compared as such. Growing up near San Francisco but having lived on the East Coast for nearly a decade, I can't say that there's one that strikes me as "superior"—and suggestions of a rivalry seem rather silly. They're just so different. So I couldn't choose one favorite food city between them. But, having just spent a fantastically delicious week by the Bay, I do know that there are a lot of foods from San Francisco I'd take back to New York with me if I could. Here are 10 of mine. What are your favorite SF eats? More

Welcome to Oregon Month!

While in Portland for the Feast festival (see our event recaps here), Maggie and I explored the city, from one food cart pod to another, with many nights ending in ice cream. After a weekend of feasting, we hit the road and do some more feasting elsewhere in the great state of Oregon. Stay tuned for a new dispatch from Oregon each day this month! More

James Peterson's Tomato and Herb Gratin

Hear the word gratin, and my mind often drifts towards rich, cheesy potato casseroles served up in the cold depths of winter. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to hear James Peterson wax poetic on a simple Tomato and Herb Gratin in his Vegetables. Made only with ripe summer tomatoes, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and herbs, the dish is the simplest (and lightest) in a long line of more recognizable baked tomato dishes like lasagna and eggplant parmesan. More

Let Them Eat: Brown Butter Pecan Carrot Cake

My mother is one of the loveliest, kindest, most generous people you will ever meet. With a ready and Colgate ad-perfect smile, friends and strangers flock to her. But this charmer has a dark side. Ask her for her carrot cake recipe and she'll reply with a short and decisive "No." It's too bad, really, because—scout's honor—it is the best carrot cake in the world. More