I like to cook.

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  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Favorite foods: Sweet and Salty together
  • Last bite on earth: The perfect strawberry

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Giveaway: Win a Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer

Steak. And pink.

Oh, the thermapen? Probably red.

Bake the Book: The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie

I think I'm going to make fresh cranberry pie.

Taste Test: The Best Mayonnaise

I grew up on Best Foods/Hellman's but I switched to Trader Joe's a few years ago. It tastes more like homemade or like European mayonnaise. It also is one of the few commercial brands that has NO added sugar (and it still comes in a glass jar - bonus!) Now I'll pick up Best Foods/Hellmans (and they are identical, says this Californian mayo lover who lived for 10 years in the Northeast) if I'm not going to Trader Joe's, but TJ's is our standard.

Cook the Book: 'Canal House Cooking Volume No. 6'

The first time I went to Chelsea Market, in NYC.

7-Layer Dip Showdown

I grew up in L.A. and I remember many a 7 layer dip by the pool, but I always make it as thusly-- refried beans, fresh tomatoes, black olives, avocadoes, pico de gallo, sour cream flavored with taco seasoning from a packet, shredded cheese,. If you don't have sour cream flavored with taco seasoning, then what's the point?

Cook the Book: 'Forgotten Skills of Cooking'

We had corned beef (braised in ale in the crock pot, then finished with a Colman's mustard/brown sugar glaze under the broiler), Champ (with Chinese garlic chives instead of scallions, Cabbage braised in cream, and soda bread.

Seriously Delicious Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Mike Mills Baby Back Ribs and Pulled Pork

Low and slow's the way
To cook and eat the tender pig.
Sweet, spicy and MINE.

Win a Free Organic D'Artagnan Turkey

I made a pumpkin pie brulee 2 years ago and it was fantastic, so I'm voting for that!

Market Scene: Boysenberries, Figs, and Pluots the Cure to L.A.'s June Gloom

Harry's Berries (the BEST strawberries in my opinion) has also had Seascape berries the last couple of weeks. They're not as sweet as the Gaviotas that are the bulk of their crop, but for intense strawberry flavor they cannot be beat.
I also got some fabulous blackberries from Burkhart Organics.

Market Scene: Cherries, Beets, and Sour Plums

I would love a pitless cherry -- perfect toddler food!

I like to put the cherries in a big bowl of ice water -- it makes them incredibly crisp and delicious.

I Ate L.A.

I think the Hollywood Farmer's Market is better than Santa Monica, personally.

You hit some of the highlights, but you missed some others. No excellent Japanese food -- either izaka-ya or sushi? What about some Dim Sum in the San Gabriel Valley? Or ice cream at Scoops? One of the things about LA is that everyone has their favorite neighborhood joint.

Cook the Book: 'Urban Italian'

Lasagna made with sweet potatoes or butternut squash and goat cheese.

Bugs in the cupboard

Ugh. We've had similar problems with pantry moths from time to time. They eat through cardboard and thin plastic -- the only way I know to keep them in their place is to put everything they might possibly be attracted to (and this includes powdered sugar, as I discovered much to my chagrin, and chocolate chips) into glass jars.

At what point does a recipe become your own?

I think it depends in part, for me, on the originality and creativity of the original recipe. If it's a recipe for, say, lemon curd, every recipe pretty much looks alike, and I'll claim it if it's become my recipe (because chances are I've forgotten the original source. If it's a recipe for something more original in either technique or flavor pairing, I'll give credit where credit is due, even if I'm adapting it. An adaptation is mine probably if there are three changes, like someone else said.

Do you let guests know they're eating raw eggs?

I would agree with this. Also, if you have friends who could possibly be pregnant but not sharing it, they would want to avoid raw eggs.

Food trucks: Way or No Way?

I think it depends on your market. In a place with an established cart market (like NYC or LA) it would be a good niche. Maybe harder in other locales.

What is your "give up" meal?

My dad's "special" hamburger -- crumbled ground beef cooked with worcestershire sauce and melted cheese. Sometimes with a salad. Or precooked chicken sausages heated on the Foreman grill.

Broccoli Brainstorming

Steam them and puree for a pasta sauce. Laurie Colwin has a recipe in her Home Cooking.

Yeast raised gingerbread

I would start with a sweet dough (maybe a cross between an Anadama bread with the molasses and a basic sweet dough) and add gingerbread spices, rather than trying to leaven a cake (which is what gingerbread is, mostly) with yeast.

Here's a recipe that might get you started:

Fancy Restaurants Should Implement an Early 'Baby Seating'

When our kid was small, we took her to many restaurants -- she usually slept through the meal (and if we didn't, my husband and I whisked her outside and took turns eating) and we usually ate early. Maybe even ridiculously early. In other words, we created our own baby seating. Now that she's a toddler it's not worth the wrangling, and we almost never eat out unless there's a babysitter involved.

what cooking tasks do you think need a better cooking tools?

How about something that will skin toasted hazelnuts for you?

A girl can dream ...