I'm a broke college kid that spends more money on good food than I should. Text books? Pffft. Duck confit fries and a Korean burrito? Essential.

  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Favorite foods: Sushi, noodles, bacon, ox tail soup, taro leaves in coconut milk w/ chunks of corned beef, PB&A sandwiches, tuna sandwiches w/ slices of crispy green apple, anything made from a potato, gallo pinto, nacatamales, fried yucca, SOUP
  • Last bite on earth: A nacatamal; preferably one either made by my grandmother or using my masa recipe.

Latin American Cuisine: Nicaraguan Arroz con Pollo

Great Post! I'm Nica on my mother's side, so I grew up with my maternal grandma stuffing Nicaraguan food down my gullet since I could chew. She usually makes her arroz alla valenciana with Vienna sausages instead of ham. Odd, I know, but I think it was out of necessity from when she first moved to the states dirt poor, and it transitioned into a habit.

I hope to see some more Nica recipes in th future. :D

Jim Lahey's Bird's Nest Pie

The fourth ingredient listed, what is it supposed to be? It just says 20 grams. Of course, I'm not the sharpest knife in the block, so if I missed an obvious answer, I apologize haha.

Taste Test: Eggnog

Bud's Famous Eggnog would have blown these out of the water. Just sayin. I think it's just available in California though. Either way, it's good stuff.

Our 8 Favorite Milkshakes in the Bay Area

I heartily support @Nicole Vee's addition of a ninth milkshake to this list. The banana shake at the Falafel Drive in is nothing short of heavenly. It's easily one of the best shakes in San Jose and could stand up to the SF shakes too.

Photo of the Day: Lobster Dog

What's the big deal? I like weird, over the top toppings on my hot dogs. I'll take two please!

Photo of the Day: Lobster Dog

What's the big deal? I like weird, over the top toppings on my hot dogs. I'll take two please!

Goodbye, Dumpling

Oh no! Kenji I am so sorry for your loss! As someone who has lost a furry companion I know how bad you must be hurting. My deepest condolences to you and your wife.

Cook the Book: 'Food Trucks'

The lobster roll off Sam's Chowdermobile in San Jose was amazing!!! Huge chunks of lobster, like whole claw pieces, tossed in butter, and stuffed into a toasted roll. I can't think of anything better. Except for maybe the Shrimp Po'boy off Sam's too. That shit was insane. Juicy fried shrimp, good bread, with some hot sauce? Oh yeah. I'd scarf that truck's offerings all day.

The kimchee and short rib quesadilla off of the Mogo BBQ truck was amazing too. The service is fast, the prices are as good as the food, and the trucks vibe is great. The short rib tacos were really good too.

Treat Bot has some really good ice cream too. The Mexican hot chocolate ice cream sandwich was sooooooo good. Kinda smokey, and with a hit of cinnamon. But the 408 flavor was the best. It's hillarious watching people use the trucks karaoke machine . . . Kinda painful too though. Not everyone should sing, hahhahaha.

Regional Chain Restaurants

As a Northern Cali/Silicon Valley native these chains are my go to's:

Happi House; udon and tempura are not at all bad, and the salmon teriyaki is always a good option. Oh and the brown rice is yummy.

Erik's Deli; Pilgrim's Progress, with a Root Beer, and some Salt & Vinegar chips . . . That's a damn good lunch right there. I love their wheat bread and sprouts, and the fact that they use sliced bread instead of baguette type breads. And their clam chowder is pretty okay too.

Hobees; Breakfast items are good, coffee cake is awesome, the rest of their offerings are okay. I really only like coming here for their breakfasts. Their hash brown items are very tasty, so is their sweet stuff.

Foster's Freeze; I like their burgers, which are just good drive-in type burgers. The crinkle fries are great. And their vanilla cones are awesome! So big, so creamy, just great. I tried a brownie sundae here once and it was alright, the fudge sauce was good, but the brownie was bland. Their pineapple banana shake is delicious. As are their grilled cheeses and BLTs.

Stacks; I'm not sure if this is a regional chain, but I love em anyways! Best breakfast for a chain. Bacon waffle, and the bacon skillet. Everything is delicious.

In-n-Out; This is a no brainer. It's freakin In-n-Out.

I think that covers all my favorites.

Hungry movies

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; The scene with the candy meadow is my favorite and leaves me craving anything sweet.

Willy Wonka; I want to live in the factory and dive into the chocolate river.

Chocolat; I actually have to eat at least a bite of chocolate when I watch this. The hot chocolate she makes looks absolutely divine!

Ratatouille; I've always wanted to try ratatouille and even more so after this movie. But the way it's made in this movie looks so elegant and delicious!

Tortilla Soup; I'm always left wanting nopales, tortilla soup, and porcupine cookies. And everything else too!

Chain Gang -- Do you secretly love a chain restaurant??

Hmmm, secretly? No. Openly? Hell yeah. I like food from chain restaurants, oh gawds the horror! I must be an American with an underdeveloped palate, and no sense of fine cuisine! Pfffft. I don't see what the big deal is; people get their knickers in a twist over such silly stuff.

There's good stuff in chain places, and it's usually for a nicer price than a non-chain. A Double Double, animal style, with a coke from In-N-Out is just glorious. The Magarita Grilled Chicken at Chili's is a great flavorful meal, and a healthy alternative to their other options. Super Taqueria (does it even exist outside CA?) carne asada tacos, with a huge jugo de piña is the shizz.

Don't be ashamed fellow chain restaurant lovers! Say it loud, say it proud. There's no need to stay in the closet about this. :)

How do you roast your marshmallows?

Burnt to a crisp. I like that burnt sugar taste and then the gooey interior. Sooooo good on a s'more; especially when using chocolate studded with nuts and toffee bits. :)

Poll: Do You Ask Before Eating Off Your Friend's Plate?

My thinking is that good food is worth sharing.

With family we always share, but I do ask first. When it's the older members of my family it's all about respect; I won't just dip my fork uninvited. With the younger generations it's pretty fair game. Sometimes I ask first, sometimes I don't. My cousin and I are a divide and conquer sort, so eating from each others plates is a norm.

I do have some friends who I won't I ask to try their food at all, because we just aren't on that level as far as how close we are. However I do have one friend who, when we go out to eat, knows we're gonna snatch food from each other's plates.

People who are stingy and prissy about sharing their food irk me. I mean what's the big deal? Sharing is caring. :)

Taste Test: Store-Bought Hummus

I got a hummus craving while reading this, so mid post I ran to my fridge to get some. The only hummus I've ever really loved comes from this guy, who has a Mediterranean food stand at my local farmer's market. It's to die for! Creamy, but not like butter. Lemony, garlicky, delish!!! I dunno what it is but the hummus from stores just doesn't do it for me.

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day: Tuesday, March 23

I was only in line for 15 minutes and my scoop of Oatmeal Cookie Chunk was not ony delicious bit big too! I love Free Cone Day.

Scientists Using Radioactive Signatures in Wine to Detect Vintage Fraud


I saw that on White Collar too! Haha, I love learning random things off of TV.

Welcome to Our New Homepage

I loved the old SE, but I'm getting used to the new one. Honestly, I'm not sure why the redsign was even needed though. I thought it was great the way it was. Oh well.

My only gripes are the little article snippets and smaller pictures. Oh and that single ginormous photo is a little annoying too; takes forever to load and occupies more space than it's worth.

Cook the Book: 'Mad Hungry'

In my house the Super Bowl is like a holiday and We end up inviting some 15+ people over to watch the game. And like any other holiday at my house, we seriously EAT! The day before is spent marinating the truckload of meats and grocery shopping. The day of means an early start, cooking up until kick off, and snacking the entire time. And once everything is set up, we FEAST.

Appe-teasers: chips, dips of all kinds, WINGS, jalapeño poppers, pita chips+hummus, loaded potato skins,
Mains: grilled meats, grilled shrimp, grilled oysters, grilled veggies, grilled tortillas
Sweet Stuff: cheesecake, brownies, assortment of cookies, ice cream

Cakespy: Doughnut Upside-Down Cake

So this is what's been missing from my life all these years. Oh the joy of finding true love!!!

Poll: What's Your Favorite Kind of Pie?

@capndesign I agree; this question is evil. How can a person have only ONE pie preference??? It's absurd!!! And where is the Lemon Meringue option? Where's the Chocolate cream pie option? Not only is this question evil, it's flawed too.

Your Clever SE Name

One of the worst cooking mistakes I ever made had to do with donuts. I accidentally swapped the salt for the sugar in my donut recipe and thus I ended up with salty donuts. The situation was mildly depressing at first. But oh how I laughed when I took my botched donuts to school and surreptitiously left them in the teacher's lounge. Ahhh, memories.

And my little sister used to think bagels were salty donuts since they have the same shape; kids, LOL.

Does one need a microwave?

Microwaves are really just about convience. I have a lot of people in my home and two younger siblings who are always running around and always hungry. Now, do I want to wait for my oven to heat up when the kids beg for a hot pocket and want it instantaneously? No. Do I want to wait for my stove to heat up when five minutes later my lilttle brother wants some warm milk? No. In these cases a microwave is a godsend. In my life there just isn't enough time to wait for ovens and stoves. If I didn't have a microwave I would have to do things the old fashioned way. In a home with lots of people, not a lot of time, and rushing around, the microwave becomes an essential tool in the kitchen. But this is just my situation. I never grew up without a microwave. Depending on what your home life if like I think that you should try and live without one for a while. If you end up missing it you can get one for $25-$50 easy.

Stawberries + Crème Fraîche = Me looking for recipe ideas

I really like the ice cream idea. That sounds great. Thanks @LizLemon. Maybe I can try a makeshift ice cream maker, since I don't have a real one.

@sadispix, the romanoff idea sounds tasty. I bet my mother would really enjoy that one.

Thanks for the ideas everyone!

What's your favorite food when drunk?

I crave Jack In The Box when I'm drunk; specifically a Sourdough Jack. But I also usually crave fries, onion rings,spicy ramen, udon, and fried rice. I tend to avoid dairy things (except cheese) when I'm in this delicate state and go for greasy, fried, or spicy confections of goodness.

Gadgets: Pure Komachi 2 Knives

I bought a set of the Komachi knives at Costco and I've had them for about 5-6 months. They still work just as beautifully as they did the first day. I have 3 different paring knives, a chefs knife, a bread knife, and a santoku knife. These are the best knives I've ever used (so far, haha).

Chefs & Customers Who Linger After Hours

I have always been curious as to how chefs feel about customers who walk into their restaurant half an hour before closing and stay an hour after closing. Admittedly, more than once I have been said customer, and each time I felt a slight pang of guilt. The last time I did this was at a hole in the wall southern italian restaurant in San Jose, and the vibe was a little weird. Although, the only customers left were my family, so perhaps that is why. I have it in my head that chefs like most employed people, don't want to have to work longer than is necessary. And it would probably annoy me if someone came to eat only minutes before the kitchen was supposed to close. On the other hand paying customers, no matter if they walk in five minutes before closing, are still paying customers. Either way, I'd love to know what you serious eaters out there have to say on the subject.

17 Cooling Cucumber Recipes for Summer

Crisp, verdant, and refreshing, cucumbers are a go-to gourd for combatting the summer heat. Several varieties of the crunchy fruit (yes, it's technically a fruit; then are most "vegetables") are cropping up at farmer's markets and grocery stores this season, and we have creative recipes for every palate. More

Chinese Noodles 101: Crispy Pan-Fried Noodle Cakes With Seafood

Crispy and a little saucy, egg noodles pan-fried until they form a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-in-the-middle cake is a classic Hong Kong and Guangzhou dish. A nest of egg noodles are fried in a wok until golden brown and topped with a combination of stir-fried meat, seafood, or vegetables. Here's how to make my favorite version, topped with seafood in a light gravy. More

Small Batch Sweets: Clairesquares

San Francisco is a mighty long way from Ireland, but that doesn't mean we don't have some similarities—a lot of foggy, damp weather, hills, and a fondness for beer among them. And it was on just such a cool day that I discovered Clairesquares, the small "Handcrafted Irish Sweets" purveyor who sells her goods at a variety of San Francisco stores including Bi-Rite and Rainbow Market. More

Ask A Pastry Chef: What To Eat At Baker and Banker, San Francisco

For me, the choice is always easy: the Pecan Sticky Bun. At 5 inches wide and 3 inches high—yes, I measured it—it's just that much more of everything I want in a sticky bun: gooey caramel, tender dough, and crunchy pecans. Of course sticking to the bun is doing Baker and Banker a disservice. Chef Lori Baker, whose resume includes stints at EOS, Home, Bix, and the Fifth Floor, serves a wide array of treats at her Pacific Heights bakery and restaurant. More

Bacon, Cheese, and Scallion Waffles

Little did we know that our new waffle iron would prove to be one of the most-used pieces of equipment in the kitchen. In fact, we decided to create a little game called "Will it Waffle?" The results so far: frozen chocolate chip cookie dough does not waffle well. Stale panettone soaked in fresh egg nog does waffle well. And traditional waffle batter with lots of grated cheddar cheese, cooked bacon, and scallions does waffle well. Really well. More

28 Recipes to Celebrate Spring

It may not feel like it just yet, but spring has indeed arrived! Markets are already boasting an array of bright new vegetables, from sweet spring peas to tender shoots of asparagus, aromatic ramps, and more. We've rounded up 28 recipes that place our favorite early spring vegetables front and center. More

Chinese-American Mashup: Silken Tofu With Spicy Sausage

There are many homey Chinese recipes based on simply steaming silken-style tofu and topping it with a simple sauce of sautéd meat with a light gravy. I wondered what would happen if I replaced that meat with some spicy Italian-style sausage from my local American supermarket. It works shockingly well. Here's how I make it. More

4 Close-Up, High-Def, Insanely Awesome Shooter's-Style Sandwiches

The idea of a party-sized, ultra-pressed sandwich is so appealing that I've spent the last few weeks brainstorming and testing recipes for versions of shooter's-style sandwiches that actually work. Check out our awesome interactive infographic to take a look at four of my favorites and get an up-close and personal look at what's in between the buns. More

The Food Lab: The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've never been able to get a chocolate chip cookie exactly the way I like. I'm talking chocolate cookies that are barely crisp around the edges with a buttery, toffee-like crunch that transitions into a chewy, moist center that bends like caramel, rich with butter and big pockets of melted chocolate. I made it my goal to test each and every element from ingredients to cooking process, leaving no chocolate chip unturned in my quest for the best. 32 pounds of flour, over 100 individual tests, and 1,536 cookies later, I had my answers. More

Honey Biscuits

[Photograph: Donna Currie] About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in... More

Andrew Carmellini's World's Best Biscuits. End of Story.

I've never been able to make a successful batch of biscuits. My botched attempts have reached the double digits. I finally just assumed me and biscuits weren't meant to be. But I reconsidered this notion after coming across a recipe in Andrew Carmellini's American Flavor entitled The World's Best Biscuits—End of Story. Any biscuits with a name like that were certainly worth their weight in flour, buttermilk, and shortening. More