I'm vegetarian, cooked for about 15 years professionally and no longer in the biz...miss it though...sometimes. I'm now working on a goal of moving to Maine to open a gourmet/comfort food cafe and takeaway.

  • Website
  • Location: PA - Bucks County
  • Favorite foods: Vegetarian Mediterranean cuisine, cold noodles in sesame, olives, cheese, fresh tomato salad (Mom's) pizza, ice cream, salmon...pasta...basil...eggplant...too much to mention...Greek yogurt...hmmmm...fave foods or fave ingredients...?
  • Last bite on earth: Mom's Tomato Salad, loaf of good bread, olives, great cheese...prefer provolone and ice cream for dessert. Oh, and a great bottle of wine - Cabernet or Pinot Nior.

dbcurrie could use some help

This brought tears to my eyes and I thank you for posting this Adam! Kind of you folks to spread the word about a fellow Serious Eats regular...I've been following Donna's posts and you are right, dhorst - she has been brave and strong through this storm and I know w/o the support she has gotten from the rest of us SE'ers, she may not have been able to keep that wonderful sense of humor. She's an inspiration and I keep her and Bob in my thoughts and prayers and I find this group to be an inspiration as well...nice to see us all come together like this.

Saturday Lunch/Brunch in Lancaster/Hershey, PA?

The Oregon Dairy is great! Good breakfast buffet...never been there for lunch, but they are on Oregon Pike in Lititz.

A Sandwich a Day: Renzo Special at Molinari Delicatessen in San Francisco

Sound delish...but, did you really mean that pun?

Huitlacoche, aka corn smut

@seemunkee - That was great!!! Loved that link!

Cookbook authors who you wish had a show

I vote for Betty Crocker! I bet she has great screen presence, gives clear and concise instruction and tells little stories about her life through the years!!!

Is there a food equivalent of the little black dress?

The first thing my partner ever made for me was a steak, broccoli and baked potato dinner. I think that can qualify as the LBD meal for those who eat meat. She has very limited cooking skills and like someone who has limited fashion sense, that simple and classic little black dress can make them look like a million bucks! The dinner swayed me, for sure!

It's a meal you can power up or down...grill in the backyard & serve on paper plates or broil in the high rise with the classic china and glassware!

Agree on the bruschetta. Goes with anything!

Most Beautiful Thing In Your Kitchen

My sweetheart is the most beautiful thing in my kitchen! Without her there, there's no reason to cook. She loves everything, and I mean everything I cook! She is a glorious and beautious sight to me and outshines anything I could bring to the table!

Put your shopping carts back where they belong, Please!

@OneWallKitchen - your statement of "Back then, we didn't hire people JUST to round up carts. We had to do it when we had time and weren't doing something more important," sort of irks me that you think getting carts isn't part of the customer service responsibility.

This post went out on 5/22 and has over 70 responses. This issue is very important to a lot of people as I read how many folks here are irritated by this. If you are a manager, gathering carts ought to be one of the more important parts of your staff's jobs! Just because an employee isn't working with a particular customer directly, doesn't mean its any less important overall.

However, as has been mentioned, our low expectations of customer service today are appalling! It's almost epidemic to see how we just take what we're given for convenience sake and forget about the fact that we can use our pocketbooks to make a statement. I too, do the same thing...I shop at a store that's on my way home and not at the Wegman's where customer service is an all-time high for grocery stores in my area.

I have also covered this topic on my blog and it's one of the things that will make my blood pressure go up. This and people not using their turn signals, but that's for another blog/site. I'll stay on topic!

My grocery store has employees whose smarts about gathering carts is parallel to packing grocery bags...there are no smarts! They avoid it at all costs till there aren't any in the store or the only one's left are the *bestest* carts of all with the wheels that don't work or the front seat is messed up!

I don't see the thing about putting a child in a car seat (that's the right thing to do anyway, right?) while you have the car in a direct line of vision for 30 seconds to be so god-awfully dangerous as long as the car is locked. And if you have an elderly or ill person with you, shouldn't you try and find a better time to go grocery shopping so you don't have to take them? Or better yet, ask for help from someone, be it the store or a friend or family member to make your life easier.

Before stepping down from my soapbox, I do think this has something to do with food as it's part of our hunter-gatherer survival methods in gaining the supplies we need to make serious food. For many of us this is a serious issue...damage caused by wayward shopping carts left by the lazy, inconsiderage bastards who don't give a damn about anyone but themselves (thanks DMC!) is considerable and it's just not right or fair to do to fellow human beings!

******stepping down now.....

Dinner Tonight: Artichoke, Olive, and Lemon Pasta

This does look great! Yes, I second the addition of capers and you could make it with scallops or shrimp or even chicken and make it a hearty main dish! Looks like a new one to try soon!

It's Harder Than it Looks

Just baking in general. There are only a few things I have in my repitiore and even those I can screw up! A Betty Crocker applesauce cake where everything goes in one bowl and guess what I forgot to add? Yup! The applesauce!

Even boxed mixes can be stumpers for me! I tend to forget to pull things out beforehand to get them soft or room temp. Don't know if that's my problem or not, but baking is just not my thing...I can poach eggs, make omlettes - even flip them in the air to turn them over - roasted chicken or potatoes, rice, soup...all that's fine for me. I just can't get over the baking thing, no matter what!

I need a Cheese-less pizza idea.

I have a friend who's husband is highly intolerant of dairy - *except* goat's or sheep's milk cheeses! He does so well if we make something with Romano or Manchego or other cheeses made without cow's milk. Same thing with yogurt - goat's milk yogurt is easy for him to digest and he can have it in things like fettuccini alfredo or on a baked potato. Goat's milk ricotta is great on pizza and ricotta is easy peazy to make! Might be worth a try...

BBQ Ribs on a teensy grill - suggestions?

I won't invest in a bigger grill, it's a space issue mostly and a shared back yard with family...a bit complicated, however, my brother-in-law who has the BIG grill on the property and I are having a semi-serious Rib Cook Off, so wanted your advice.

Had the idea to start in the oven and finish off on the grill, but wanted to see what you all said.

Yes, I'm going to make a grill rub with smoke flavor and love the idea of keeping them warm in the cooler!

I have about 5 pounds of country style ribs and about another 5 pounds of spare ribs...the B-I-L has the rest of the meat and I know there are a few who won't eat the pork, so there will be some variety of protein!

Thanks folks! Never let me down!

Expired canned beans

I think using canned beans that have expired is fine. Pretty much any canned goods are fine past expiration date. I think the FDA or Dept. of Ag. has now required all food producers to put an expiration date on foods regardless of what they are.

I have heard however, that mixes such as cake, biscuit and anything else flour-based ought to not be stored and used past its expiration date due to certain bacteria that may be present in the grains.

Do you like getting a cone?

Ice cream in a cup with a spoon from an ice cream shop? Unfathomable!

Pretzel cone if they are available. Love that salt and sweet together the best and the crunch is great. Otherwise its a waffle cone!

To Maine from PA in June...Any good road food along the way?

Thanks Folks!

@Swedishlasgana - looking for stuff along the way *to* Maine...know right where Moody's is and been there! Thinking of places to stop for breakfast and lunch while heading to vacation.

@AnnieNT - that sounds great! That's what I'm looking for...something just off an interstate along the way.

@Lynne - hmmmmm, maybe a detour by that hour of the day would be necessary!

Duck Egg Dilemma

Duck eggs are coveted by my baker friends. We used to have ducks and ate their eggs and I miss them! They are stronger tasting if you like them fried and runny, but I find them to be delicious and I'm truly not an egg eater...almost can't eat more than about once every two or three weeks!

Duck egg yolks are huge, high and very bright orange! The whites are thick and need a bit extra beating with a fork to make them less viscous...but, my friends love baking with them because they make cakes rise...and if you only have two, that would be perfect for a recipe...

Although, if they are really big...often bigger than a jumbo chicken egg, you may only wish to use one or measure the volume instead. They can be like having a double-yolker chicken egg...

Eyewitness Booze Investigation: Early Times Mint Julep

@fain fenix - You're right, it's not a mojito, but muddling isn't isolated to mojito's, you know...

Will, this is great! And I'm sure a true Kentuckian will set you straight on a few things Derby on Saturday!

Our Search for the Best Margarita Mix

Here's a margarita for you & don't knock it till you try it~~~ Absolutely GREAT!
New Alison Margarita’s
Courtesy of The Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love by Jill Conner-Brown

1 – 12 ounce can of Limeade
1 – 12 ounce bottle of Corona
12 oz Tequila
12 oz Triple Sec
12 oz 7-Up – never Sprite, not ever!

Pour all into a pitcher and stir. Pour over ice with or without salt on the rim of glass. DO NOT PUT IN BLENDER!

Served: Restaurant Emergencies and Closings

Glad everything worked out!

I too, live in the country and often have power outtages...more so in the summer during a thunderstorm than in the winter with ice and wind pushing down on those wires!
After a few times of being out of power long enough to lose food, we found out that we could put a claim into our power company for reimbursement of our food.

It helps some, but I would think a restaurant would have insurance for such a thing or the power company would have picked up the tab considering it was their infrastructure that caused the loss of power and not an 'act of God.'

I work in a small sandwich shop right now...only part time and one night we had a beeping going on. Since I'm part time, I never know of such things till an occurance. We checked the alarm panel and the walk in freezer had shut down for too long & the temp was up too high...small places have to protect their investments...even at a larger output at first.

Also, even the rental of a generator may have been helpful as well. At least it would curb your nightmares and Mickey could have had his coffee. That's what we finally a generator at home. It works the sump pump so we don't have flooding during a rainstorm and once the rain ends, it helps to keep our food cold and allows us to flush the toilet.

Served: When Restaurant Folk Forget to Feed Themselves

Wonderful article. Quite revealing and not an easy thing to do when it comes to your weight and your eating disorder...I commend you and really enjoy your entries here.
Thanks for opening up to us.

Win Tickets to the James Beard Foundation Awards, Monday, May 9, in NYC

Hands down - ABC!

Win Tickets to the James Beard Foundation Awards, Monday, May 9, in NYC

Hands down - ABC!

Food Trend you wish would fade away?

Duck confit...who uses that ingredient in their home cooking? Sous vide...the machines cost the price of the average kitchen make over! What's that about???

Pastry School: worth it?

I agree with folks here that it's not a steadfast rule. I'm one of those who is self-taught, but I am a "cook" not a chef. Never had any formal training and think for cooking that may be easier than being a pastry chef unless someone's willing to teach you on the job.

There's so much precise-ness (is that a word?) and if you screw up you can't necessarily turn it into something else as you often can with cooking.

I imagine that there's more chance to lose product/revenue if you don't know what your doing as a pastry chef...things take hours and hours to make and if you don't know the chemistry behind it, the work can all be for naught.

A few baking classes under your belt to learn large scale measurments and such would be nice and most community colleges have something like this in their rosters.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Watching Mildred Pierce?

@Kitchenista-it is a remake and I don't have HBO, so will miss it. I'm sure Kate Winslet can do this movie justice.

I had the opportunity to see the original with Joan Crawford in a Women in Film class at college and it was great.

During a time and era where women didn't necessarily make something of themselves on their own, it was quite a step forward in cinema. To see such a portrayal and considering it was Crawford who climbed the ladder at PepsiCo it was quite ahead of its time.

Also, I think Winslet takes parts that are important to her and portray strong women in general despite where they are broadcast/performed, i.e., theater, movies or TV. A good part is a good part and I imagine everyone's money is green, making it even better to get paid for a great and strong performance of a great role, right?

Now...tell us about the food!!! Those of us missing it are wondering!

Sausage Kitchen, Lisbon Falls, ME? Anyone been?

Hi Folks...I'm headed to visit my sister for the holiday in Lisbon Falls, Maine and there's a store up there called the Sausage Kitchen and I was wondering if anyone has ever been and if you like their products. Thinking I may make a trip for some items to bring back home.

Questions regarding Prep for Tomorrow & When do you start prep?

Hi Folks...wonder if anyone can tell me if I can peel parsnips today for roasting tomorrow. I've only ever peeled & roasted them the same day, but wanted to know if you possibly can do that. Do I have to submerge them in water like you would potatoes so they don't brown? Not sure if they do that or not.

Also, what about yams/sweet potatoes? Can I peel and put them in water till tomorrow too or should they be done the same day?

What are you doing today for tomorrow's dinner?

Cookbook Store in Portland Maine - Anyone been there?

Heading to Maine to visit the best cook/baker I sister and we'll be there for a whole week. We are calling this our Food Trip and I want to head to Portland and visit a few places there, but mostly want to see a book store dedicated to nothing but cookbooks and books on food. Have you ever been there?

BBQ Ribs on a teensy grill - suggestions?

I have the O-grill that I received last year as a gift. It's great, but for maybe four people. See it here if you've never seen one:

I'm having a few more than that...maybe about 20 people and wanted to know if anyone has ever used this grill for larger crowds and how you handled the timing of the food?

And can you suggest how to smoke meats on this grill? Any ideas would be appreciated!

To Maine from PA in June...Any good road food along the way?

Looking for a place or two to stop along the route from Bucks County, PA (between Philly & Allentown) to Lisbon Falls, Maine...about 40 minutes NE of Portland.

Possible diners off the interstates - Route 78 to 287 to 684 to 84 to 90 to 95. We go through NJ, NY, so breakfast is fine here. Then we'll go through CT, then MA and NH till finally ME.

I imagine we'll be in CT for lunch and want to avoid stopping in Hartford.

Any suggestions would be welcome!

Thanks and I know SE readers won't let me down!

Mexican Chicken Lime Soup...needing a tried and true recipe

I have tried to get a recipe from our cafeteria here at work for their Mexican Chicken Lime soup that I had recently and it's seemingly was awesome.

I have looked around for a recipe, but thought I'd ask here to see what folks here have made.

So far, anytime I use a recipe from here, it works and is great...why press my luck elsewhere, huh?

Anyone heard of Ployes? Gotta recipe?

My niece lives in Maine and I'm in PA...she posted on her Facebook page yesterday a photo of ployes she made and told me they are something like buckwheat cakes...

Every hear of them? What's their story? Recipe?


A new discovery for me - Gjetost Cheese from Norway

I've seen this little red wrapped block of cheese in the cheese bin at my grocery store and never tried, picked it up for some snacks a week or so ago and it is fantastic!

Has anyone else had it? Do you do more than just slice and eat or do you have recipes you would use it in?

I'd love to hear what SE'er's say about it!

Will there ever be a SE mobile app?

Ok, so I just got the iPhone 4 about a month was a present we gave one another for Christmas and I love it. So, as I search around I see there's no SE mobile app.

About a month or six weeks ago, people on here were talking about paying for this service/site by subscription if they had to...I don't know if I'd do that, but I'd probably purchase an app for it so I could see more of it on my phone.

What do you think?

Ginger Syrup - What to do with it?

Ok, peeled over a pound of ginger yesterday and made candied ginger for some holiday gifts, I have all this syrup left over.

I used Alton Brown's recipe where you simmer the ginger in 5 cups of water, drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid. You add sugar and the liquid back into the pot, then boil it down till the liquid almost evaporates (20 minutes), but it didn't. It became very thick, but after almost 40 minutes I decided to drain the ginger and save the syrup and let the ginger dry.

Now, I have about 2 cups of ginger syrup, which BTW is super delicious!!!

So, I'm needing some ideas on how to use it. In mixed drinks? In baked goods...wondering how long it will keep as well.

What's on your Foodie Christmas List?

Is there something special you want Santa to bring you for Christmas, be it food or equipment or anything food related.

I'd love a magnatized knife rack or that new Cuisinart food processor...or a gift certificate to a local cookery ware store or some of the cookbooks on my wishlist on Jessica's Biscuit.

What's on your list?

Do You Have A Dream Kitchen?

Ok, so this site is all about food and food comes from where after harvesting, shopping and comes from our kitchens...

Do you have a dream kitchen? If so, what would make you happy? Stainless steel appliances? SubZero, Viking, drawer dishwashers? Quarry tile floor? Special cabinetry?

Spill the beans and let your imagination fly!

Looking for an Italian Pickle - Can You Help?

My partner recalls her very Italian grandmother (immigrated from the boot) making something that was pickled and the name seems to be the issue here...we're not sure how to spell it - Gnunion Toddy/Gwonion or Gunyon or some other way to spell it...

We figure it may have been something particular to her area in Italy or an old family recipe of some sort, but are looking feverishly for it. I'd love to replicate it, but haven't found anything online.

Anyone ever hear of it or know what goes into it?

I told her that if anyone would know, it would be someone here on SE!!!

Is there more than one way to skin a tomato?

The baskets and cookie sheets are full of tomatoes picked out of the garden and finishing their ripening in my kitchen and I need some help.

I usually freeze tomatoes and with such a fantabulous crop this year, I have way more than anticipated! Typically, I use the boiling water method for removing skins, but it is intensive in this heat and wondered if anyone has another way they can recommend.

Thanks in advance!

The Canning Season is Upon Us! What stories do you have?

With my tomato plants giving me a much better crop this year than last, I am officially overrun with the colorful orbs and although I'm trying out some great recipes from all you SE'ers, I'm still going to have tomatoes go bad before I can eat them fresh!

Instead of watching my harvest turn to mush, I garnered the courage to finally can, put up, preserve or however you may say it! Took me years. I started out getting the book Stocking Up many moons ago and had the Ball Book of Preserving Food and last year at a yard sale I purchased the kit and kaboodle from someone who'd had enough and went the route of a freezer which was always my means of preserving food.

The kit and kaboodle just sat there all summer long and all winter long till my partner decided she'd had enough of kicking it out of her way and moved it to some forsaken part of our basement storage.

I bought a book this year on small batch preserving and that's what got me really intrigued. That I didn't have to make a dozen jars of one thing, but could make four and six jars of vegetables and sauces or preserves or jam.

Sunday was the day...after searching and whining about not being able to find the canning equipment, my partner found int a big plastic bag.

I made me six jars of tomato gravy, er' sauce as most know it and it was a breeze! All six jars sealed and are sitting beautifully like little trophies on my counter!

Working up the nerve to do pickles next!

Tell me...what's your canning experience? Ever done it? Have any hints or suggestions? Any interesting tidbits or stories?

Cukes overload! Needing some help!

Ok, as some may have seen in several posts, I am expecting an overload of cucumbers this season. Last year I planted four plants and due to a late frost, lost three of them and nursed the last one back and it showed appreciation by giving me a boatload of fruits!

This year, I bought a pack of four and guess what? Each little pot in the pack had two plants! Well, being the softie I am, I just couldn't choose one to pull out and kill and none of my neighbors or friends wanted them.

Sooooooooooooo....they are starting to come in now and there are only so many salads one can there anyone out there that has some other ideas besides pickles and salads for cucumbers?

Looking for Basil Cocktail Recipes - Can Anyone Help?

Hi Again!

Last summer I went to a restaurant where their drink special that night was a basil mojito and it was FABULOUS! I asked for the recipe and got some basic info and can make it at home, but thought that basil can be a great addition to any beverage and could make cocktails very lively.

So, if you have some recipes and feel like generously passing them along, I'd love to try them at an upcoming summer party we're having in a couple weeks.


Pan fried spaghetti, anyone?

Ok, my parther asked me the other night about pan frying spaghetti and I've never done that except something my dad did with leftover spaghetti with tomato gravy...he'd take it and add it to scrambled eggs. Actually not bad.

Anyway, someone on the Cooking Channel (too new to know the show name or the person) did it while she was watching the other day and I can't find it.

Know of any decent recipes? I have a bowl of plain, leftover angelhair pasta to use up...

Thanks in advance!

How Serious Are You About What You Pack For Lunch?

I'm one of those people that hates to have a mediocre meal, any time, including those I pack for lunch. Can't just be a plain ole' cheese sandwich or an apple and yogurt...just doesn't hold my attention.

Whether I'm on or off a diet, I have to pack things that keep me interested and even anticipating the meal in my lunch sack, like last night's leftover soup with a nice piece of crusty bread and maybe cucumber and feta salad on the side. A tuna salad in a fresh garden tomato with a side of avacado slices and cubed provolone. A great salad with some grilled shrimp, olives, marinated artichokes and crusty croutons on top with a homemade blue cheese dressing...

Am I the only one who may pack this kind of lunch or do you share in my idea that there ought not to be a mediocre meal, even for lunch at work?

Dim Sum in Philly

I had Dim Sum on a Sunday morning at the Imperial Inn about two years ago and wondered about other places and if any other Chinatown restaurant has Dim Sum on any other day of the week. Do you know of any and what are your recommendations?

Green Food for St. Patty's Day - What is the Appeal?

I know, I know...there's colored food for all sort of occasions, such as red hearts for Valentine's Day and all those pastels for Easter. Of course there's the patriotic colors for Independence day and the fall colors for Thanksgiving, but there is something not right about green bagels and cupcakes and pound cakes and dyed vanilla shakes and heaven knows what else.

I just don't get the appeal other than maybe for some sort of party for kids to celebrate...

Anyone care to share?

Where's your Fave Place to Shop for Kitchen/cooking Equipment?

I love to window shop since my kitchen is small and I truly have to justify when I purchase something bigger than a vintage measuring cup or new cookie sheet. Always trying to keep Alton Brown's rule of there being no 'uni-tasker' in the kitchen, I try to remain restrained. A good rule, but impossible to follow.

So, I tend to do this gazing in stores such as Bed, Bath and Beyond, a local branch of The Restaurant Store and even find myself in Walmart and KMart perusing the shelves for some little gadget I've been wanting to try.

Do you have a favorite shop where you go for that culinary gadget fix or equipment purchase?