• Favorite foods: Seafood of any kind, Rissoto, anything made by Nonna, Chocolate, ice cream, artichokes

Do some people's eating habits drive you around the bend?

Where do I start!?

My dad is the loudest eater on the planet. He smacks his lips with every chew and then sucks his teeth when he is done! Then for a good 10 mintues after eating, he makes these wet mouth noises! ugh! I have to sit far away from him at every meal.

Also, my dad PILES his plate with food at every meal..and goes back for seconds or thirds making more piles. He sits in front of any appetizer I put out as if I made it just for him and eats continueously until it is gone. I have to shoo him away in order for anyone else to get a taste. He seriously is eating something at all times. like a machine.

My mother in law knows that I need a alone time in the kitchen when I am she thinks its funny to harrass me when I am all stressed out. She also hates cooking and cant remember sh*t about anything, but constantly asks me questions about how, what, why I am cooking or what I am cooking with at any given moment. I want to scream "Its a never saw a spatula in your life?" And she has asked me for recipes and then will make a devastating version of a favorite dish of mine.

My in-laws are very cheap when it comes to food. So when they come over and see that I have put out "the good nuts", they will devour them and talk about how good they are. I want to say "they sell them at any store!" They won't even spring for REAL butter at their house and have to comment "OH wow...real butter" when eating at our house. yes they do sell real butter even at your grocery store!

In spite of all this...I do love my in-laws....and once the food is on the table and I am calmer, I sure can handle all the compliments! And its a bonus that my MIL will always do the dishes!

Serious Sandwiches: Rosario's Italian Sausage

Sorry...but this photo is very unappealing!

Canadian Cuisine?

I live in the Detroit area and frequent Windsor often. One thing I have noticed is that the hamburgers in Canada taste wierd to me. The meat reminds me of the soy burgers they used to serve in the high school cafeteria. Has anyone else ever noticed this?

Snapshots From Italy: Hammer Your Spears

I tease my poor mother-in-law about her habit of "boiling the crap" out of her frozen vegetables. Perhaps I should be more polite and acuse her of hammering instead.

One Trick Pony Restaurants

Pizza! oh...i guess its been done.

Best Hangover Food?

A Big Boy Slim Jim sandwich and a chocolate shake. (wish i was hungover right now!)

Serious Easter Artisanal Chocolate Egg Giveaway

Serious Easter Artisanal Chocolate Egg Giveaway

It must be nostalgia, but I actually crave cheap, hollow chocolate bunnies.

True Confession is good for the Soul. My dilemma?

Cassandra, a corpse...really?

Serious Easter Artisanal Chocolate Egg Giveaway

My Nonna traditionally makes rabbit for Easter. When we were kids we used to joke that we were eating the Easter Bunny. He was tasty

How do you say Sandwiches?

My Nonna in her broken english says Saaaangwich. And she always called "hors d'oeuvres" - Hor Derbs, which has been shortened to "Derbs" in our family. She'll come over for dinner and say "OH! Don't make the derbs we have too much food". This is the same Nonna who offered to make me a "Fuzzy Nasal" with OJ and vodka....and calls my cousin's boyfriend "Trevor" - "Treasure" or "Travel". I could write a book!

Need a new Dutch Oven

Oh I have a great one for you! They sell them at Target. I believe its the Chefmate brand. I paid 40 bucks for it and it was highly recommended in Cooks Illustrated. I use it all the time and love it. I got is last year and it was somewhat hard to find. I just had to keep checking back at my local Target store until I found one. A few weeks later I found another one and bought if for my friend who also likes it a lot.

The perks of frozen entrees...

Trader Joe's has some new frozen entrees that are outstanding! I can't remember what they are called but there is a Chicken with gorgonzola sauce that is so fresh and delicious you might think it was carry-out from your favorite restaurant. There is enough for two people in each package. Cook for 30 minutes in the tray. They also have Salmon Mojitio, Citron Talapia and another Chicken dish which might be Chicken with Chipotle. I also buy the frozen rice bags from TJ's, they cook up nicely in 3 minutes and make an excellent companion to the frozen dinners. PS: I am super picky about frozen meals and RARELY if ever eat them.

Eastern Market: Almost Back to Normal

We went to DC in of our first stops was Eastern market. We were shocked to find it closed and I didn't know why till reading this article!

Soup's on

A soup my Nonna used to make for us.....a dough ball made of equal parts parm and breadcrumbs.....eggs, lemon zest and fresh nutmeg. you press the dough ball through a ricer with large holes (not sure what its called) into homemade chicken broth....this soup is delicious! she calls it Strechetella or Passatini.

What do you purchase from vending machines?

we have 6 vending machines here at work. Based on the number of people buying stuff out of them here, they will never be obsolete! Once in a while if I forgot to bring a lunch or need a snack I will get a rice krispy treat or an ice cream. And even more rarely, I will be a diet Dr Pepper.

Sad Foods: What do you eat in times of trouble?

a pint of ice cream and a spoon if front of mindless television

News flash: _____ will be discontinued in 2 weeks!

Trader Joes had these awesome japanese scallops in the frozen fish section. they were so good, you could eat them raw. I loved and cherished these scallops! They stopped carryinng them about a month ago...not officially discontinued but I am skeptical. If they come back, you bet your arse I will be STOCKING up!

Overused Food Words

Toothsome....I have no idea what it means and it sounds GROSS!

What to do with canned or fresh artichokes?

If you have access to baby artichokes, this is one of my favorite dishes......
1. Peel outer layers down to the more tender bright green leaves and cut top quarter of artichoke off to remove thorns and though edges.
2. Use a veggie pealer to peal the stem and then cut off stem tip
3. Cut artichokes in half lengthwise.
4. Heat up a heavy skillet ( I use my cast iron) add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a clove or 2 of garlic. Add artichokes and stir a bit. Salt & pepper.
5. Add a 1/2 cup water to and cover to steam for about 5 minutes. Remove cover and let water cook away.
6. Let artichokes crisp a bit. (add a tad more olive oil if needed)
7. Eat and enjoy
One new thing i love to do with any of the leftovers....make a "sandwich" with french bagguette bread, a little butter and warm leftover good!

Milkshake: make mine______

mint chocolate chip ice cream shake! You get to scoop out all the dark chocolate chips from the bottom when you are done!

Desserts I don't like...

I love sugar. But I hate jello, bread pudding, tapioca pudding, apple and cherry pie and typical birthday cakes. Cheesecake has to be something really special to win me over. Also, not a fan of plain vanilla ice cream....boring!

What do you think of the new site?

"competitive eating"

I don't think competitive eating is exclusively American. So there goes the American excess arguement.

Do You Love Iceberg Lettuce?

What's up with the "i can has blu cheeze" caption on the lettuce pic?

Question of the Day: Has the internet made you a better cook?

I will answer yes to that question. I find blogs and food boards an invaluable resource. I love that you can post a specific question about a recipe or technique and get a wide variety of responses and suggestions. I never was confident in my ability to cook roasts or large pieces of meat. Recently, thanks to the internet I made the best pork roast I have ever had!

I am ready to try making homemade bread!

I am piggybacking on the question of the day. I see lots of people make their own bread. For some reason I have never even considered doing that. It seems too time consuming and hard to get the results you want. But considering that I am fairly confident in my dough "handling" when making pasta, can I take that confidence into bread making? Any tips for an easy start?

Favorite Duos?

Do you have to flavors or food items that you can't eat one without the other? I love caramel and whipped cream (especially on coffee). Also, I must have tartar sauce with my fries!

Anyone have a cream whipper?

I bought a stainless steel cream whipper last year but have never used it. I have the C02 cartridges too. I am not really sure how to use it or what can be put in it. Here is a link to the one I have.

any advice for me?

Any local specialties that you didn't know you had?

On another site, someone was asking about Michigan-style hot dogs and where to find them in Boston. I am from Michigan and aware that we have many "Coney Dog" restaurants around the metro-Detroit area. What I always thought was that these were just copies of New York style Coney dogs. Upon further investigation, I found that here in Michigan we do have our own unique recipe for Coney Dogs that is coveted by others outside of this state. I myself will have to start taking advantage of our local specialty...I didn't know I had it so good!

What to do with all those spices and herbs?

I have so many. Alot of them get used up quickly and replenished. Many are used once or twice and then forgotten, or mabye only used for the holidays. It seems like such a waste. Does anyone have any ideas for using up forgotten herbs and spices?

Are most foodies fatties?

I have at LEAST 50 pounds to spare...but my love for food makes it seem impossible to be a skinny mini ! I try to make up for the extra calories by working out like crazy...but deep in my heart I know I need to cut way back on calories for it to really do any good. I hope no one is offended by this's supposed to be playful fun!

Is there a food you love that you won't buy?

Someone had suggested here that I use my Panini maker to make a Nutella and strawberry sandwich on pound cake slices. This sounds like complete heaven to me. But I know that most likely I will not make this anytime soon. Why you ask? Nutella is one of those foods that is loved too much and therefore banned from entering the house. Heck it's not even safe in the grocery bag in the back seat of my car! You see, Nutella will be devoured instantly before it makes it to the cupboard by me, myself and I. My Nonna gave it to us as kids and the comfort factor, coupled with the taste factor creates the perfect storm in the snack food sea. Nonna, comfort, yum - equals me with a spoon in the closet. Anyone else have a favorite food that tests your better judgement?

I made the Guinness cake!

First I must say, I am not much of a baker. But my finished product looked and tasted fabulous. And it was very easy to make. My dinner guests loved it. My baking confidence is high and I would next like to make a very moist and delicious Lemon Cake of some sort. Does anyone have an all-time favorite recipe they can share?

Tips for the perfect Reuben sandwich.

I am making Reubens Saturday for some friends. I plan on buying lunchmeat style corned beef from the deli, since I have never made homemade corned beef before. Can you give me your best tips for making the perfect Reuben sandwich?

I'm bored with my panini maker.

Anyone have any favorite Paninis recipes? Any tips on the best kind of bread to use? I either end up with a super flat sandwich with all the stuff oozing out, or one with the bread so crusty and hard it hurts my mouth to eat it!

Is your kitchen clean right now?

I hate cooking when the kitchen is a mess, but I admit that sometimes I cook anyway and just add to the disaster area! Nothing beats starting from a sparkling clean kitchen with a new recipe. How about the rest of the cooks out there?

Do you ever leave the oven on when you aren't home?

My plan for this weekend was to try out my new enamel/cast iron dutch oven by making the Roasted pork shoulder with salsa verde that was recently referenced from the LA times (8 to 10 hours cook time). Saturday I am busy so Sunday I was going to get up early and get it started. But my Nonna has summoned me to her house for a few hours on Sunday for a birthday party. What harm would come from leaving the pork in the oven at a low temp of 200 or so? Does anyone else ever do such a thing?

Ever over-indulge in a favorite food and now you can't eat it?

The article about Butterscotch reminded me of one Christmas when I was doing a cookie exchange with some friends. I was to make butterscotch oatmeal cookies (one of my favorites at the time)..... I had to make about 15 dozen cookies. By the time I had finished tasting the batter and "testing" each batch of warm cookies I was just sick with sugar overload. To this day butterscotch is a turn-off for me! Anyone else ever ruin a favorite by over doing it?

When cooking for others, do you save the best for yourself?

I admit, when it comes time to "plate" my meals, I often save the better cut of meat, or the crispiest chicken leg for myself. Sometimes I feel guilty or greedy when I do this. Since it's usually just my husband and I, I make up for my guilt by giving my husband a larger portion. So, do you think I should feel guilty or is the best piece the "prize" for cooking the meal?

Dining out with coupons?

I know restaurants put coupons out to increase business. My husband and I will at times use coupons if it's convenient and we almost always order drinks and appetizers etc when we use one. I LOVE my in-laws, but they are so ridiculous about coupons. They try to get every last possible penny out of each use....if it's a buy one get one free, they want to know what everyone is ordering so they can order by price instead of what they actually want to eat. A couple of times I have felt completely embarrassed and full of pity for the server over their nit-picking. Any thoughts on restaurant coupons?

Best American Seafood City?

My husband and I live in Detroit. I am starting to plan a vacation for the early spring. I would love to go somewhere with excellent food, nice scenery and close to or on the water. We both love seafood. Any suggestions? Please give lots of details if you desire!

What to do with the fryer oil?

I have a basket type deep fryer that I never use. The problem I have is it takes so much oil to fill it that it seems like a complete waste to fry up one dinner and then throw the oil away. I tried saving the oil in the fridge once but I read that it's not healthy to re-use fryer oil. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting more use out of my fryer without being so wasteful?

What causes food hangover?

Last night we had a fabulous dinner at Bastone in Royal Oak, Michigan. Seriously, I had some of the BEST scallops I have ever had. They were encrusted with hazelnuts and pan seared. They were served with mushroom rissoto and veggies. I woke up this morning with the worst food hangover.....groggy and puffy with a headache ( I had very little alcohol). I have noticed this before but only when eating at a restaurant. Is it caused by too much salt? MSG? Does this ever happen to anyone else?