The Best Valentine's Day Giveaway Ever: Lobel's 4" Prime Dry-Aged Heart Shaped Steaks for Two

Medium-rare in my skillet with a bit of butter, coarse salt, and pepper.

Cook the Book: 'Nom Nom Paleo' by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong

All day, every day. (Well, about 90% of the time. The other ten percent covers birthdays and holidays. Gluten makes my arthritis angry and there's so many wonderful vegetable and meat farmers in my area it'd be a crime not to hit up the farmer's markets.)

Poll: Which Standard Burger Toppings Do You Secretly Despise?

It's not at all a secret that I hate mayo (down to a physiological level; I'm allergic to egg yolks). Sometimes I also feel like the only person in the world who likes both cheese and burgers, but not cheeseburgers.

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

Going to a party at a friend's house. None of us are football fans, so it's more an excuse to get together.

Win Pop Chart Lab's 'The Various Varieties of Fruits'

Y'all know that botanically speaking, there's no such thing as a "vegetable," right? The latter is a purely culinary/nutritional designation. The things we call vegetables are either fruiting bodies (tomatoes, squash, avocados, etc.), leaves (lettuce, kale, chard, etc.), stems (celery), or roots/tubers (potatoes, turnips, carrots, etc.). This is actually a good demonstration of a question in the philosophy of science - do the categories of taxonomy reflect something inherent in the organisms, or are they purely arbitrary artifacts of human study?

So the better question to ask would be "what's your favorite edible plant material?" though admittedly that doesn't have the nicest ring to it. Personally, I like tomatoes.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

Pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust pieces!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Secret Weapons Pork Kit

Extra-virgin oils - coconut and olive - and grass-fed tallow.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Cacao Drinking Chocolate Basket

Besides my mouth? A warmly spiced tea, like chai.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Perfect Steak Set from Double R Ranch Co.

Medium rare (erring on the side of rare) with flaky salt and fresh pepper, served with roasted Brussels sprouts and celeriac puree.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Secret Weapons Pork Kit

When cooking "sturdier" veggies (roots and Brassicaceae, for example), garlic salt, black pepper, and olive oil (and 15 - 30 minutes in the oven) is my go-to secret for delicious.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Cacao Drinking Chocolate Basket

Tea, preferably a nice, mellow chai.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

I'm still searching for the perfect pumpkin.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Perfect Steak Set from Double R Ranch Co.

Sirloin or T-bone, medium rare (erring on the side of rare), served with roasted Brussels sprouts and celeriac puree.

Cook the Book: 'Everyday Thai Cooking'

Green or red curry, especially with the aid of a food processor for the paste.

Cook the Book: 'The Catch'

If it comes from the water, I want to put it in my mouth. Salmon, trout, shrimp, crab, lobster, crawfish, tuna, squid, octopus, oysters, clams, mackerel, flounder, sardines, even anchovies...hell, I even love seaweed. The last really delicious dish I had was cioppino from a local Italian place, though (which went wonderfully with their house-made sourdough).

Cook the Book: 'Indian Cooking Unfolded'

Anything from Goa.

Celebrate Ham Independence, Win La Quercia Pork!

Hitting up my farmer's market for some local pastured pork products, of course!

Father's Day Giveaway: Win a Jumbo Cowboy Chop Steak

Roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted garlic celeriac puree!

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Perhaps embarassingly, my first hamburger was from McDonald's. I've acquired a better palate since then, thankfully.

Cook the Book: 'River Cottage Veg'

Grilled asparagus with garlic, lemon, and black pepper! (And maybe a little parmesan, because cheese.)

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

A summer barbecue/grilling party with friends.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Squishing the burger during cooking so it loses all its juices! (This is why I have nostalgia for my mom's burgers rather than my dad's; I love my dad, but a cook he is not.)

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

The best I've ever had are from a local spot (called Local Burger, appropriately enough); medium-rare local grassfed patty, standrad LTO, plus bacon and barbecue sauce. With some of their house-made sweet potato fries.

Hey fellow Nasty Bits fans - have I got a cookbook for you!

I was in Barnes and Noble the other day, and came upon this fantastic little thing. It covers all the bits and bobs that we've come to know and love, from headcheese and offal to the more unusual or labor-intensive muscle cuts. I've already started cooking from it, and I love it. There's some delightfully weird stuff in it, including a recipe for chocolate ice cream made with pig's blood which I can't wait to try. If you're a fan of Chichi's recipes, I'd highly recommend checking this book out.

Hey Nasty Bits eaters - what would you do with a pork jowl?

So while I was at the farmer's market today I picked up a pork jowl, pretty much on a whim. I've never prepared one before, so I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. I'd be quite grateful for any suggestions and advice anyone can offer; I'm not a picky eater (though I am allergic to nuts and extremely intolerant of dairy and grains).

Thanks to all in advance!

Suggestions for using up a pound and a half of butter?

So I've recently developed an extremely severe dairy intolerance. Of course, this has to happen right after butter goes on sale and I stock up. My loss will be my friends' and co-workers' gain, however, as I'd like to use it up quickly (its presence is mocking me and I'm already sad enough about this - seriously, I can't even express in words how sad this makes me). Anyone have a good butter-bomb recipe? Bonus points if it uses unsweetened chocolate, as I also have a bunch of that I'm looking to use up.

Thanks in advance!

It's May Day - how've your New Year's resolutions fared?

Happy Beltane, SE. 2011 is now four months old - how's everyone been doing with their food/culinary New Year's resolutions? I've been doing pretty well - my big one was to regularly try new produce, since I tend to eat the same vegetables over and over again. Since January, I've tried chard, parsnips, beets, bok choy, Napa cabbage, alfalfa sprouts and radishes, and liked them all. Mmm, variety.

Hope you've all been doing well, too.

Your one culinary wish.

So in an effort to take something bad and make it into something good, here's a thought that occurred to me last night after reading about the Ina Garten Make-A-Wish thing.

You've stumbled across a magic lamp that houses a genie. Unfortunately, he's a bit of a second-tier genie, so he's only able to grant you one wish, and it has to be related to food/cooking. What, oh dear reader, do you wish for?

Mine's a tossup between two options: a culinary hammerspace/bag of holding, so I'd never have to worry about kitchen storage space ever again - knives, bowls, pots, pans, ingredients, utensils all at my fingertips out of thin air - or a magic sous chef that I could summon at will to do all the stuff I hate, like chopping onions.

Washing a secondhand cast iron skillet.

This might be a silly question, but I'm a complete cast iron noob. I managed to find a skillet at Goodwill today for four bucks (hooray!); it's in perfectly fine condition, but it's got some crud on it (understandable considering the source). I know enough about cast iron to know that soap and water is a no-no, but does that only apply after you've seasoned it? If I hand wash it and then re-season it, will it be good to go? Or is there some sort of esoteric stardust-and-unicorn-hair treatment I should use instead of dish soap and water?

Saffron from Crete? Best present ever!

My parents just got back from a trip to Greece, and my mom picked up some saffron as a present for me. (The phone conversation in which I was informed of this was apparently amusing; my boyfriend likened my reaction to a 13-year-old girl with the new Justin Bieber album.) I've never had a chance to get my hands on saffron before (it's always been out of my price range), I'm quite excited by the prospect and already have various dishes planned (starting with the lamb tagine from Around My French Table, which I've made sans saffron and loved).

Just so this post isn't only me crowing about my good fortune (which I totally am), what's the best food-related present you've ever received?

Food transportation logistics?

So I'm going to be providing dinner for a weekly get-together of my friends for at least the next couple months. The only problem is, the house we're meeting at is a little over an hour away from me, plus we won't be eating right away (we're gathering at four, so there'll be at least two hours between arrival and dinner). On top of that, I can't do much (if any) of the cooking on-site (due to constraints on my attention, not equipment limitations).

How do I deal with this? Keeping food cold on the way down isn't a problem right now (I live in Massachusetts, so the ambient temperature is colder than my fridge), and I'm planning on jury-rigging what my inner 13-year-old boy insists on calling a hot box (because I totally saw it on the squid episode of Good Eats), so I'm reasonably confident about the car ride. It's the down time before dinner that makes me a bit nervous; I don't want the food sitting around too long and getting tepid, but I also can't really give it a lot of attention once I'm there.

Any suggestions are quite appreciated. :)

Calling all nasty bits aficionados.

For Thanksgiving, my family traditionally has goose rather than turkey. It is unbelievably delicious, and my favorite part has always been the liver. My dad has a recipe for it that's very simple but so very tasty (even if my mom never has any). However, I was wondering if there were anything I could do with the rest of the offal. Any suggestions for what to do with goose heart and kidneys?

Immersion blender and soup cookbook recommendations?

After a rather messy episode yesterday involving making marinara sauce in a food processor, I've decided that it's time to give in and acquire an immersion blender. Does anyone have a recommendation for brands/models that are good, reliable, easy to clean and reasonably priced? I don't usually make gallons of soup at one time, but I tend to make it quite a bit in the winter, so it'll be put through its paces.

On a related note, does anyone have any recommendations for a cookbook that focuses on soups? I'd like to branch out a bit from the two or three that are in my usual repertoire; I'm not vegetarian or vegan, but I am lactose intolerant, so a book that's full of milk- and cream-based soups isn't really for me.

Thanks in advance!

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