Born in a city on the Susquehanna River.

  • Location: The east coast

Easy Make-Ahead Carrot and Chickpea Salad With Dill and Pumpkin Seeds

@nathanir: Would think the nutty pepitas (seeds, of course) could ward off any sogginess.

@JKLA: Used kidney beans to stand-in for the garbanzos and omitted the pepitas but otherwise followed the procedures and heeded your Note . . . .

Let it all sit overnight before trying it for lunch the next day -- it worked out. I loved it. Big fan of all the dill with the dressed carrots and aromatic-infused beans.

Also, the orange carrots together with the brown-red beans made for quite the two-tone autumn palette. I may make this again with garbanzos and red beans for more color action.

What Do You Drink When You're Sick?

Rooibos red tea or ginger tea.

Amazingly, I have never had it...

Never ate a Ho-ho or a Ding Dong. Something is perverted about those names. Are they even that popular?

Open Thread: What's Your Ideal Chocolate Chip Cookie Texture?

Favorite texture is thick and chewy, which Cook's Illustrated nailed in its "Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe from a few years back. That recipe taught me how important brown sugar is to the chew-factor. Mmmm.

Open Thread: What's Your Fantasy Food Band Called?

Ah, yes. I've been reminded The Wishbones should be from Los Angeles . . . not D.C.

Open Thread: What's Your Fantasy Food Band Called?

The Wishbones, a DC-based ska/punk band dressed up as Cooked Turkeys, known for their accusatory anthem, "Sighin' Crass Wish."

(So bad, I know).

Favorite Yogurt

Give Siggi's cultured skyr a try. It's Icelandic and very creamy, like strained Greek yogurt.

Picking Up Two Live 90lb Boar Pigs!!!

@C Baughn -- Try to pay no mind to glib detractors. Your intentions are admirable to many. Hope you get the information you seek and experience all the best those beautiful animals have to offer you!

Ideas for Gifting Food in Jars

This jarred honey, walnut and dried fruit topping from Martha Stewart could work well with your granola:

Mortar and pestle

Before I had a food processor, I used the M & P to crush grahams to make a cheesecake crust. Which reminds me that I love cheesecake and will be needing to make one. Soon.

Hardest Kitchenware to Clean?

I have this jade glass Fire King baking pan that holds on to grime like crazy. Always needing to rub it down with baking soda or Barkeeper's Friend to get it clean.

Greasy Meat Farts

I lost my mind when Lorenzo said he thought he was clicking on a recipe.

Cook the Book: 'Burma: Rivers of Flavor'

Most exotic thing in the recent past? Lebanese grilled kofta. Perhaps not the most exotic but we really enjoyed it. Would love this recipe book, though! My sister has cooked from and raved about recipes (and photos) from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet for years. I don't have a cookbook remotely like Burma: Rivers of Flavor, so it would be a valuable addition to my collection.

Win Two Tickets to the Lucky Rice Grand Feast on May 4th

First dim sum experience on some Sunday in a little strip mall outside of D.C. Full house, lots of delicious Chinese food going around.

Our Search for the Best Zinfandel Under $20

My favorite are Peachy Canyon Vineyards zins from Paso Robles, CA. Visited their old school house tasting room in 2008 and was really impressed with their 2008 Westside Zinfandel. It's a pretty laid back operation, not uptight a bit.

In a Pickle: Small Batch Sauerkraut

Just prepped two jars of kraut using this recipe. Much appreciated! Thanks go to Lorenzo for the supplemental info. My kraut certainly won't be ready to eat tomorrow for good luck but I wish you all a happy New Year!!

Dishes for someone that doesn't like Thanksgiving food

Your Mom's oven will be occupied with the bird and the range might be full of traditional sides.

If she (or you) has a slow cooker, a pork shoulder or your favorite braised cut of meat could work. She could put the alternative protein in the cooker at the same time she puts the bird in the oven.

Whatever you want, what would you eat right now?

A bowl of steamy pho ga soup with a ton of basil, lime and nuoc cham and Vietnamese coffee.

@bitchincamero: Congrats! Hope you are feeling good. I haven't been around for so long. Miss all the familiar voices here. I had a baby boy last April . . . wonder how many SE'ers have multiplied since the site started. Didn't Alaina just have a baby, too?!

Video: Cat in a Banana Split Costume Eating a Banana

Oh my God. I had no idea that cats could eat bananas. Oh and by the way, this made me laugh my ass off.

cake balls are gross

Good point, hmw0029. I bet portiaf does eat sushi. And there is -- of course -- a very easy work around here for the germaphobes.

Just wear gloves when rolling the cake balls.

What's your favorite Indian dish?

My favorite dish right now is Avial, which originated in Kerala and is a spicy coconut-based vegetable curry.

Lemon verbena - what can I do with it?

Love the stuff. You can use it to flavor pound cake, scones, compound butter and also use it in a hair rinse and potpourri.

And if you love the smell as much as I do, you can wear it as a perfume.

cake balls are gross

@hmw0029: Cake balls are indeed a great idea for messed up scratch cake or cupcakes. I actually "favorited" Lucy Baker's SE article on cake balls a while back after my scratch Ghirardelli-based chocolate cupcakes slipped off my car hood. I used quality ingredients but adapted her methods. And, btw, chocolate chocolate cake balls are *aces* with coffee.

Serious Heat: What's Spicy in Your Fridge?

I'd like to add Swad coconut chutney, if you're a fan of South Indian dosa (like me). It's available at Patel Bros.

Perceived Food Passion vs. Actual Food Passion

@Likeswords: Well put.

Red Beets in Your Chocolate Cake?

Mayonnaise in a chocolate cake blew my mind. But beets. Really? I found out you can use them to make a very nutritious and pleasing chocolate cake.

Has anyone else made or tried a red beet chocolate cake?

Sun Tea

I love sun tea -- my mom used to make it and nobody ever got sick from it. But a friend recently mentioned that it wasn't safe and cited this article as proof.

Have you ever gotten sick from sun tea or know of others who have?

Mayonnaise in Your Chocolate Cake?

Does anybody especially enjoy chocolate cake made with mayonnaise? I stumbled upon some cake recipes with it and want to try one but I wonder how cakes using mayo stand up to cakes using more traditional cake methods where the eggs and oil are added separately.

Is Chartbeat Causing User Profile Problems?

Has anyone else unsuccessfully attempted to access other people's SE user profiles? I noted that the site was hung-up tracking stats from Chartbeat prior to failing to load a profile.

I ask because I like to follow others' incisive and educational comments via their profiles.

Tell Your Watermelon Story

If you've got one, spill it. Do you love pickling the rind? Spiking it with booze? Have you covered it with sunblock, thrown it in a pool and tried to fight for it?

Actually, a posse of surly neighborhood kids and I did just that when I was growing up. We'd split-up in to teams and see who could wrastle it up to "our side" of the deck first. Plenty of thrown elbows and underwater kicks. We'd always shake hands and eat the watermelon afterward, sunblock and all. After all these years, I can't believe any parent would let this go down in their pool! Nobody ever got (too) hurt, luckily. That's my story.

What Should Federer Eat?!

You are Roger Federer. You just won the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France. You are, quite possibly, the best tennis player of all time.

What are you going to eat to celebrate your win?

Tell Your Braggart Story

Who can fault a cook who is humbly proud of their hard work and progress in the kitchen? Not me.

Though, I bet some of us have friends or acquaintances who run their mouths about their expensive appliances and "always perfect" cooking. Instead of being helpful, they're cutting up others' efforts in the kitchen -- including yours -- to bolster their ego.

Do you know a culinary braggart and if so, how to do you react to them? Tell your story.

Tell Your Honey Story

I don't have a great honey story. But the sight and smell of honey used to make me gag and run when I was a child. Isn't that odd? As an adult, I developed a love for it, especially the dark and flavorful buckwheat honey. It's so good in tea, on oatmeal or buttered bread. Also, the fact that using locally-produced honey can help your body develop a resistance to local allergens is wonderful.

So, do you like or hate honey? Tell your story.

HBO Food

I wish HBO Food existed.

They could produce a show with a format like "Real Time with Bill Maher" but have Alton Brown or Anthony Bourdain (or both) moderate on various candid, food-centric topics in the world. Guests on the show could include anyone they want -- because HBO would give them creative freedom -- but most likely they'd feature chefs and others in the food service and hospitality industries.

Other ideas for shows on HBO Food?

A Buzzkill Halloween

My desire to create a tiki Halloween for the neighborhood kids had to be shelved for next year. Stuff came up, e.g. I had to attend a funeral yesterday . . . on Halloween. And I didn't even carve a pumpkin.

So, what was your Halloween buzzkill?

Complaints about the candy? Did a kid trip up your front steps and break his arm? Parents want to sue you now? Talk to me.

Tiki Halloween Ideas?

I'd like to do something fun and different for the trick-or-treating neighborhood kids. So, inspired by a recent SE article on tiki bars, Tiki Halloween it is! Planning to decorate our front porch with tiki torches, scary pumpkins with tiki god faces and I'd like to give out tropical candy.

I need tropical candy ideas and other creative ideas for porch tiki decorations. Help me out!

Freaky Frozen Food Habits?

Do you like to eat frozen foods that are not traditionally eaten frozen?

I adore noshing on frozen vegetables and I've learned that this strikes more than one person as really odd. Frozen peas, edamame and especially corn. I also love to dip frozen green beans in a creamy horseradish dip.

How about you? Anybody eat unusually frozen foods?!?

Soft-shell Crab

It's that time of year. Soft-shell crab season. Do you like them? Are you afraid of them? What's your favorite way to prepare them? Recipes welcome.

Grilling: Curried Pumpkin Soup

I've been on a sweet overload lately. We picked up ten pounds of candy for our Halloween party and I single-handedly must have already downed half of it. So when it came to making a grilled pumpkin soup last week, I avoided a sweet approach and spiced it up with curry powder, ginger, mustard, cumin, and cayenne instead. I couldn't have asked for better results. More

25 Cocktails Everyone Should Know

We who like to mix drinks at home do it for many reasons: First, it's cheaper than drinking out. Second, it's fun to mix your own drinks at home. Third, it's even more fun to mix drinks for other people at home. Any self-respecting home bartender should have a mental Rolodex Excel spreadsheet of favorite classic cocktail recipes. Today, I present the 25 essential drinks that I think everyone should be able to make. More

The Food Lab Mini: Crispy Taco Shells Made of Cheese? Yes!

In their 2011 post about "Italian Tacos", the folks from Ideas in Food fry a slice of provolone cheese on the griddle until it's a deep golden brown, then fold it over a rolling pin, tuile-style, and let it harden into the shape of a little crispy taco shell before stuffing it with fried mortadella and pickled peppers. It looks delicious. I decided to use the same technique to up my breakfast taco game. More

How to Brew Coffee in a Chemex

It's easy, it's delicious, and it couldn't be more stylish. In recent years, the super-simple Chemex coffee brewer has come out of the garage sale and into the limelight and regained its place on the counter and coffee bar. The handsome flask-carafe is American-made (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) item of both form and function, available surprisingly widely from grocery store aisles to haute cafes. So how do you make coffee in it? More

Classic Ligurian Basil Pesto

Pesto is ripe for experimentation but if we're talking traditional, it's going to be basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan combined into a smooth paste. I really wanted to go Grandma-style and make it in a mortar and pestle, but unfortunately don't own one large enough. That led me to the simpler, food processor method. More

Hot Dog of the Week: The Original Hot Dog Shop, aka 'Dirty O' in Pittsburgh

There's a handful of hot dog places around the country where you know as soon as you walk in the door that it's the real deal. Some sort of eccentric Coney Island atmosphere meets dive bar. The place is packed to the gills with a weird mix of businessmen, drunk college kids, hipsters and construction workers all chowing down on dogs that you couldn't replicate anywhere else in the world. Call it hot dog magic. Papaya King, Lafayette Coney Island, Rutt's Hut, Charlie's Pool Room, Ben's Chili Bowl, Gene & Jude's all have it. And most definitely the "Dirty O." More

Eat for Eight Bucks: Easy Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos with Red Cabbage Crunch and Avocado

I love soft tacos, at home and at restaurants. Since a taco's filling is infinitely variable, the choice lies in your hands to make them cheap or expensive. You could buy fresh fish, for example, but that would up the price a bit. You could also consider a wide range of potential garnishes, everything from salsa to shredded cheese to cilantro to black beans. On the other hand, if you're looking to save money, the trick is to minimize. Use a filling that's hearty but cheap, and practice rigid discipline with respect to your garnishes. More

Naomi Duguid's Golden Egg Curry

Eggs and tomato sauce seem to pop up everywhere these days--it seems most chefs have their own version of eggs in purgatory or else shakshuka somewhere in their repertoire. But the Golden Egg Curry in Naomi Duguid's Burma, is decidedly different. The eggs are hard-boiled, peeled, and then fried in turmeric-laced peanut oil. The tomato sauce is sparse but redolent of sauteed shallots, garlic, and chiles, leaving the eggs to take center stage. There may not be a runny yolk to mop up, but the golden crisped exterior of the eggs more than makes up for it. More