I believe healthy food can be delicious. I grow a lot of thing in my backyard. I have 2 little boys whom I try to introduce to many different flavors and am grateful that they have broad palates.

  • Location: Davis CA
  • Favorite foods: Butter. . . sigh. Bourbon, not sour mash. Real Chinese food. Cheese, cheese, and cheese!
  • Last bite on earth: Perfectly ripe camembert.

What is your Achilles Heel?

I have to say cheese. A great soft Bleu or a perfect Camembert. Great green olives. Don't like sweets so it's all savory for me!

The Top of the Bottom Shelf: Best Cheap Booze 2011

Can Your Parents Cook?

Neither could cook well. My mother has always been focused on what is healthy and not on taste. For example, she always cocked meat until it was the texture of leather to kill all the germs in it; I think it was a generational thing. Also, I think I became interested in cooking because I was HUNGRY for delicious food

Need a Good Pate Brisee Recipe

I have used the Martha Stewart recipe for years.

Least favorite Thanksgiving dish?

I'm with jo_wang. If I don't like it, I don't cook it. The beauty of being the only cook!

What's on Your Menu?

@ Malia: Hope you feel better soon!

@ Ajax, your menu sounds amazing! Your dressing really caught my eye; so creative. You also make me wonder about doing all the cooking yourself - I am, too, and it doesn't bother me a bit!

Thanksgiving Appetizer Ideas

Last year, I made brie en croute with Dalmatia Fig Spread and it was a great set of flavors. This year I am only having some pistachios and Japanese rice crackers - I moved dinner time up and I want people to be HUNGRY when we start!

Favorite Eggnog?

As Burger 365 said, Strauss Family. With a little brandy.

Cereal Eats: We Admit Our Cereal Habits

Whole milk all the way. Last week my father-in-law told me that his skim milk tasted just like whole milk because it was fortified. Whatever. We don't agree on much as you might guess.

America's Test Kitchen (jeez)

What Jerzee said. And great post Kenji.

Kenji's Green Bean Casserole Base

Where do you get duck fat? Good grocery store or do you "make" it your self?

What's on Your Menu?

Well, this is strange. I wrote a long reply last night that did not post. Sorry!

Here it is as far as I can remember:
@ Lear P: I don't have a bisque recipe yet but am hoping you can't go too far wrong with the main ingredients being lobster and cream. Hope I don't eat my words.
@ Jerzee: thanks for the recipe. I have to admit your posts are at Least half the reason I read this site!
@ Catboy: you crack me up. I couldn't agree more about Wild Turkey - it is my all time favorite.
@ Traveller: your plans sounds great to me.
@ Burger 365: the Manhattans especially sound good - see note re: Wild Turkey above!
@ Boobird: the recipe did come from Epicurious as Teacher says. But, it called for ginger and Chinese five spice. The sauce was fantastically delicious UNTIL I added those things so, this year I will make it up to that point and leave them out.

Happy Turkey day everyone!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Thanksgiving Pregame

Burger365, you're a person after my own heart!

What's on Your Menu?

So I apologize for not checking back in all day - I do hate to be left hanging.
@ Lear P, I do not have a lobster bisque recipe yet but have done some research. It seems like it would be hard to go wrong when your main ingredients are lobster and cream. Hope I don't eat my words!
@ Jerzee, thanks for the recipe! I have to admit your posts are half the reason I read this site!
@ Catboy, you made me laugh out loud. I LOVE Wild Turkey!
@ Traveller, your plans sound great to me!
@ Burger365, what is your cheesecake recipe? Like with dressing, I am on a quest for the perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe. And what is Junipero gin? Finally, my regular cocktail is a Manhattan. Yum!
@ boo bird, your menu sounds great. The Pinot cranberry recipe is from Epicurious. It has Ginger in it - made it last year and loved it until I added the Ginger and Chinese five spice. So will make it up to that point this year.
Happy Turkey Day everyone!

ATTENTION all you beautiful foodie-type people: pumpkin muffins

The spiced pumpkin bread recipe @ Epicurious is very good. I double the spices. Just make muffins instead of bread.

I Know Your Secret

Thank you, Jerzee.

Your favorite frugal foods and dishes

I know you mentioned black beans and rice but lentils and rice are the first thing that came to mind. Versatile, delicious, healthy, and cheap!

What's cooking this Halloween evening?

Had a pep. pizza from Costco (on sale for $5.99) for the kids. Last night's split pea soup for me! I'm thinking a veggie lasagne would be good next year.

I Know Your Secret

Latin, Jerzee? You never cease to amaze. Translation please.

7 Fruit-Based Ice Cream Recipes We Love

Gotta say the blackberry ice cream we made from Pioneer Woman's recipe was close to the best thing I"ve eaten this summer!

If salt/pepper were a given, what would be your one other spice?

Cinnamon but I would miss garlic!

What dessert for Christmas feast?

Now I have a GOOD problem - too many great things to choose from. Thank you all.

@ Lemons - Do you have a recipe for the mince pies? I was wondering about making them but dismissed the idea as too much work. Now you have rekindled the idea.

@dhorst - Divine idea.

@machelle - Double dog dare taken for next big event and will let you know results!

@ Gator Pam - thank you for entering the whole recipe. How do you serve trifle? Just a large spoonful for each serving?

Thanks again everyone.

What dessert for Christmas feast?

@Jen7714 - cool idea!

Where Do You Stand?

Fun Question!

Peanut Butter = chunky, Baby.
Pizza = none. Have eaten waaaaaay too often and am sick of it.
Ribs = wet
Drinks = tea
Mac and cheese = oven
Hamburger or hot dog = either as long as they are good ones
milk = whole ONLY
Chile = with beans
stuffing = onion and homemade like bmai76 but am trying Sunset's artichoke, parmesan this Christmas
paper or plastic = nyet, canvas
conventional or organic = organic unless it's crazy expensive or has been flown in from afar
Chocolate = dark but would rather eat only the good stuff a few times a year than cheap stuff every day
Chocolate or potato chip = salty over sweet so potato chip
Bourbon or scotch = bourbon, any day and everyday (just a little!)

You Are What You Eat

85% Fresh and local!

What's on Your Menu?

I haven't been on this site for a while but have to check in since Thanksgiving is impending. Please share what you are serving on Thanksgiving. There will be only five of us this year and two are children. So I was thinking of having a traditional menu, but going a little upscale on the appetizer: maybe a lobster or oyster bisque and a really good bottle of champagne to start. Then, turkey (brined), cranberry sauce made with Pinot Noir, mashed potatoes, the roasted sweet potato recipe from this site, peas, apple pie (Alton Brown's), and pumpkin pie (Cooks Illustrated.) There will definitely be dressing but am still searching for a good recipe - which maybe my life's quest.

What dessert for Christmas feast?

We are having turkey again on Christmas Eve (it's my husband's favorite menu) but I can't decide what to serve for dessert. After Thanksgiving, I don't want to do apple or pumpkin pie. I feel like something elegant and chocolate would be right. Maybe pot de creme? Flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce? Suggestions please!!

Aaaargh!! Pizza Stone!

How do you transfer your uncooked pizza to the hot pizza stone? I just had the whole doughy cheesy mess flop onto the stone. I've made about a half-dozen pizzas with my new stone but can't get the precooked pizza to slide easily onto the stone. Help!

What's your stuffing / dressing recipe?

We've always had Pepperidge Farm dressing at Thanksgiving, the herb seasoned variety. In my new effort to leave all processed food behind, I was wondering what Serious Eaters do for stuffing. I've never had sausage stuffing - was thinking of something with sage and onion.

How to have a more healthy, varied diet???

I am trying very hard to serve healthy food to my family, mostly focusing on fresh, non-processed food. I find the hardest thing is to have a lot of variety. We don't eat much fish because I feel like I can't pick a healthy one that's not farmed or over fished. So, for animal protein, it's chicken, turkey, pork, and a little grass-fed beef. We also like tofu. For vegetables, we always have a salad, and then what my husband and kids will eat are: artichokes, green beans, carrots (raw only), asparagus, corn, broccoli, and zucchini. Not really much of a rotation. Or maybe it is great variety and I just need some new ideas. I pledged about a year ago to stop buying cookbooks but now feel like I could use a little help. Do Serious Eaters have a favorite vegetarain / healthy cookbook? I am looking at both the Greens cookbook by Madison and the Moosewood cookbook. Any other suggestions would be great, too!

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

The Food Lab: Why You Should Make Your Own Gravy

Well the short and simple answer to the titular question can be found right here. Store-bought gravies just don't taste right. Sure, some of them have that nostalgic cafeteria appeal, but unless you're seriously trying to relive middle school, you're much better off making your own. With a few store-bought staples, it's surprisingly easy, and worlds better than anything you'd get out of a jar. More

The Food Lab's Guide to Thanksgiving Day Planning

The key to a successful Thanksgiving is planning. Know what needs to get done, when it needs to be done, and how much manpower and time it's gonna take you. There's no better way to derail a calm evening by scrambling at the last minute to make sure your turkey is cooked through, or the gravy isn't burning. By far the best way to make sure that your kitchen doesn't turn into a disaster site on the big day is to prepare everything as far in advance as you can. Some foods not only do well prepared in advance, but actually improve with a few days in the fridge. There's many theories as to when to prep each individual item, but here's my own schedule of events a few days before Thanksgiving. More

Cook the Book: Pumpkin Walnut Cranberry Quickbread

The last restaurant where I had the (dis)pleasure of working brunch shifts was happily located in close proximity to Amy's Bread. Each weekend morning I made a point to stop there and buy a big bag filled with a variety of Amy's goodies to share with my grumpy co-workers. It worked like a charm. Moods improved almost instantly with a few bites of the pastries. This Pumpkin Walnut Cranberry Quickbread was a particular favorite at the restaurant. More