Food enthusiast trapped in a lawyer's body. Note - in no way do I consider myself (or approve of the term in general) a "foodie."

  • Location: Atlanta

Good Mail Order Steaks?

Try Lobel's - we always order our Christmas prime rib from there - quality is tops

Bake the Book: 'Entenmann's Big Book of Baking'

I have a nostalgic sweet spot for Entenmann's cream cheese-filled coffee cake - my family would get one every now and then and we had to apportion the interior slices (no one wanted the ends that skimped on the filling)

Super Bowl Giveaway: California Avocado Gift Box for Guacamole-Making

God, we eat them constantly with everything - but it's hard to beat the simplicity of a perfectly ripened avocado with lime and sea salt

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

tough decision - gotta go ribs or bacon (slow roasted pork shoulder a close third)

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Cured Meat Experience

with an awesome antipasto platter with good mozzarella, olives and marinated peppers and crusty bread

Hickory Farms Warmest Wishes Gift Box, a Big Letdown

I go through this problem every year - I think generally if you avoid gift packages and go for high-quality single items (knock em all you want, the Harry & David box of pears has always been well received, and you can generally get coupons for free shipping or other discounts) you can do ok with mail-order food gifts. Williams Sonoma, Zabars, Dean and Deluca, Allen Brothers and D'artagnan have quality selections and no, it will not be cheap for quality. (I miss Mari's NY brownies - anyone know what happened to them?)

Holiday Giveaway: Sara's Kitchen App by Sara Moulton

from scratch hot chocolate with lots of Baileys and fresh whipped cream

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Cured Meat Experience

As part of a gorgeous antipasto platter

The Food Lab: How to Roast a Whole Suckling Pig

"curled up likes he's ready to take a nap"

lol - that's right little piggy, just go to sleep - in my tummy, that is

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Southside Market Sausage, Chicken, and Steaks

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Cured Meat Experience

Wrapped around melon or on a antipasto plate with good olives, bread and parm

Bake the Book: 'Momofuku Milk Bar'

fresh baked, everything made with full-fat, primo fresh ingredients, zero calories

Favorite popcorn toppings?

I like to melt a little butter and drizzle over with grated Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice.
I also love this recipe from Heidi Swanson, but it's a little more intensive (good for parties)

I also make my popcorn in the microwave - no shaking the pot and no added oil if you don't want. Just pour about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of kernels in a paper lunch bag, fold it over tightly (i sometimes use regular, non-metallic tape to secure) and pop in microwave. (I use popcorn setting on my microwave which is pretty accurate but just nuke until the popping slows)

Cook the Book: 'Ruhlman's Twenty'

tasting and attention to detail

Where to eat in Atlanta

For meat and three southern lunch, try Carvers, Busy Bee Cafe or the Colonnade. For more modernish-southern, JCT or Empire State South. Also recommended: Holeman & Finch, Abatoir and Miller Union. Varasano's is pretty good but I'm also a fan of Antico for pizza. I could keep going but if you give more clues as to location/cuisine I can be more specific and more helpful.

Sponsored Giveaway: Enter to Win Tervis Products

I used to have a maroon plastic cup - it was nothing fancy, I'm pretty sure it was from Target, but it was the perfect travel beer cup. We got rid of all our plastic (or it was lost in the shuffle) but I loved that cup. Now I like mason jars, especially for cocktails and margaritas.

Goodbye, Dumpling

I just got a little teary eyed. Rest in peace, lil' Dumpling - I hope there's plenty of tasty snacks where you are now.

The Burger Lab: Building A Better Big Mac

Of course, there's always the artistic route to a better Le Big Mac

Drink the Book: 'Jelly Shot Test Kitchen'

Spiced-apple cider with infused rum and pumpkin pie with whipped cream vodka - but I used too much gelatin and they weren't quite as satisfactorily jiggly - def could use some guidance on proportions

Atlanta: A 'Mac' Worth Attacking at Local Three

Despite the mostly favorable press I hadn't been all that motivate to get to Local Three - until now. This just brought it to the top of the list.

French in a Flash: Olivey French Lentil and Barley Salad

I made this last night and really enjoyed it. Since there's only 1tbl of tapenade for the whole salad you don't really taste it - you just get that salty-briny hint. Added just a splash of red wine vinegar on top to finish it off - very good.

Weekend Giveaway: 'The Food Matters Cookbook'

Been hitting local farmer's markets, buying eggs that are supposed to be organic/cage free, buying local sustainable meat and diary and fish (fish is a tough one)

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Ron Botran Anejo Oro Rum

I pretty much loved this. (Except for you aversion to the beach - who *doesn't* like drinking and passing out in the hot hot sun?)

Enter to Win a Copy of the 'Alinea' Cookbook

I'm not sure how "experimental" this is but when I hosted my first Thanksgiving my attempts at being avant-garde including sweet-potato profiteroles with pomegranate seeds and cucumber-ginger sorbet as a palette cleanser. My family def considered it an experiment.

Serious Eats for pets

Since apparently this topic is permissible, I just saw this recipe the other day for cat treats. I have not actually tried it, though. I know cats don't really need grains so the flour/wheat germ put me off but in such small amount as a treat it probably wouldn't matter much if they're only getting 1-2/day

Amazing food community - Peanut Butter Pie

I searched to see if someone else posted about this but didn't find a thread so I hope I'm not rehashing old news. I think this story about the amazing spirit of the food community was inspiring. It's really nice to think in these times of snark and dissent that a community of strangers (and friends) can come together like this. It's nice that out of tragedy food can provide inspiration. At least I was inspired, and I do not personally know any of the people involved.

The cliff notes - a well-loved food blogger unexpectedly lost her husband and sent a recipe for peanut butter pie out into the world, her late husband's favorite dish. The outpouring of people making the pie and expressing their thoughts is nothing short of amazing. There's a hashtag on twitter if you feel like searching. Here's the original post:

Here's White on Rice Couple's tear-inducing video tribute:

I can't explain why this story struck me but maybe it'll inspire at least a few of the fiercely passionate SE'ers too.

Freezing cherries - to pit or not to pit

After a bountiful U-Pick cherry haul looking to freeze remaining cherries (after clafoutis and cherry frozen yogurt) for later use in jam or pie. I am a master procrastinator so if I can put something off til later I prefer to - so, can I freeze un-pitted cherries? Or do I need to pit them pre-freezer storage?

Crazily thinking ahead to holidays

I'm already trying to start planning for the 2010 winter holidays (namely, Christmas) as my husband and I are hosting BOTH our families (thankfully, just parents, siblings and 1 grandmother - no chitlins to deal with yet) at our weekend getaway. I'd done Thanksgiving for one family but I've never done an extending hosting holiday thing for this many people.

My main questions is (besides why I'm driving myself crazy in February but I can't answer that except I like to plan and be organized - type A to the extreme!) my husband's family is of Italian descent and does the seafood thing Christmas eve. My mother's family is Mexican and we typically did tamales (maed with all the helping hands at Thanksgiving) and/or pozole for Christmas eve. (Luckily, both families agree upon prime rib for the main dinner - thank you dad's white southern heritage).

I want to incorporate both family traditions on Christmas eve but I can't seam to reconcile the seafood (some sort of seafood salad, oyster casserole, squid in tomato sauce) with tamales/pozole and just serving everything will be incoherent. Any creative ideas for reconciliation? Will seafood tamales do the trick or is that gross? (I can't decide). Any ideas welcome.

(please no castigation for bringing up the holidays when we just finished the old one - this is my first combined family hosting and I'm excited to start planning).

Sub for Tasso

My local WF and specialty grocery store don't have tasso ham and I unfortunately don't have time to order online. I'm making a "cajun" pasta dish with shrimp and alfredo sauce so the tasso was supposed to be a flavoring agent and not necessarily the main emphasis of the dish. Any thoughts about subs? I'm thinking maybe pancetta or andouille or a combo of the two. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

Ice Cream and Pie pairings

Since the blueberry bounty has hit, I'm making a blueberry pie for the 4th. I also wanted to make some ice cream to go along with it and was trying to think of flavors other than vanilla. Any suggestions?

Huguenot Torte

Baking notes: The original Huguenot torte is made with apples and pecans. If you'd like to make that version, replace the cherries with 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (it should yield 1/2 to 3/4 cup) and the hazelnuts with... More