Been cooking since I was tall enough to reach the stove controls. Still have my original chef's knife, a carbon steel Sabatier bought in Paris in 1971 and a coffee press bought on the same trip.

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  • Location: Berwyn, PA
  • Favorite foods: All of them except lima beans, and even those I'll eat. But not like.

Spicy Bacon Cheddar Muffins

Not much bacon flavor, even with double smoked bacon. Next time I'm going to use one more slice of bacon, and replace the butter with bacon fat.

Murray Lender dead at 81

Thank you, Murray for my first bagel, too. Rest in peace.

Video: "I'm Making Cook's Illustrated Beef Stew! (Prep Time: 29 Hours)"

Love it! I've taught cooking for over 25 years, and CI is the only resource I know that can make so many things to cooking newbies seem so much like rocket science. My other peeve about them is their constant naming of recipes "The Best ____" because often it isn't. I think this is spot-on.

Paula Deen's Diabetes Reveal

I'd say she's trying to have her cake and eat it too. Makes her look like a drug dealer telling customers to only use in moderation. Guess it's just plain, old, greed.

Can you recommend a mandoline slicer?

Either an OXO or the Benriner are good choices if you want one that props up. But if you just need basic slicing, Kyocera has an adjustable thickness, ceramic blade mandoline that's hand held. About $25. I got a fancy-schmancy Bron a long time ago as a gift, and I rarely use it, but the hand held Kyocera gets just about constant use. Easy to store, too.

Ever Made Anything "Healthier" That Was Actually Good?

Sadly, it's called eat less and move more. Our grandparents had it right, if the belt got tight they ate less, and skipped the bread and desserts. Luckily, they didn't have the range of ersatz factory foods like soy meat and tinkered-with pasta like Dreamfields. And a little butter wasn't an evil thing. But just a little.

And to answer the original question, I made a chicken liver pate for my stepdaughter when she was nursing a dairy-allergic baby subbing plain tofu and olive oil for the butter and heavy cream. Knocked the calories way down, and everyone still asks for it that way.

Got a good sugar-free cheesecake recipe for diabetics?

Wonderful! Three good choices -- I'm going to let DH pick out which one since he'll be the one eating the leftovers. And I actually have a copy of the original SB book. Thank you all.

Dulces: Bocaditos de Corn Flakes y Leche Condensada (Corn Flake Clusters)

@PlumGaga, yep, there is sugar...1 cup. It's the first ingredient in the recipe list. Still, reading this makes me want to run and make these and it's only 7 AM.

mineral oil substitute?

@Lorenzo is right. Ever pick up an old wooden salad bowl at a tag sale (or out of Gramma's cupboard) and notice an off, funky smell? That's salad oils like olive or other vegetable oils gone rancid. It gets into the wood, and never, ever goes away.

Chef you have one and if so, what would you recommend?

I agree with @Pavlov about the buttons, and stay away from denim, as it's generally too hot. Darker colors don't show the mess quite as much. Doesn't you area have a uniform supply place, as the prices are a bit better.

Now that I don't teach so much I rarely wear one, though. A good apron is fine for home, but, I'm sorry, I think a chef's coat worn at home (OK for messy work) in front of guests is a bit "precious".

Excess Sour Cream: Ideas, Please

Got other leftovers you can gather into a tart or quiche? Or just brown up a nice batch of onions and bacon... Because it's acidic, you can make a pretty good custard base with sour cream by using the proportion of 1 cup sour cream to 1 large egg. In a deep quiche pan you can probably get rid of 2 pints of sour cream. When I use 4 cups of sour cream, I usually use 5 eggs.

Or make a cake using sour cream in place of buttermilk, and make the frosting by melting semi or bittersweet chocolate, and whisking in sour cream to make a smooth, shiny dark chocolate frosting. I think the frosting recipe is in either The Fannie Farmer Baking Book or something else by Marion Cunningham. It's killer.

Then maybe make some chocolate-sour cream custard with the rest?

Am not responsible for any weight gain or increase in serum cholesterol, lol.

Recycle old fudge?

Well, you can sure see which of us responders was raised by Depression-Era parents or parents who lived through rationing during WWII. And my French grandmother never wasted anything that could be converted into something delicious. I always try to make something good out of older-but-unspoiled foods if possible, before giving something the heave-ho.

Recycle old fudge?

Maybe crumble it, grate it or chop it up into pieces, mix it evenly, and melt it into some heavy cream over low heat -- just enough cream to make a dessert sauce? You could always add a few chocolate chips to it if the result isn't flavorful enough or add some sort of dessert-y booze.

Or sort out the flavors and melt it separately?

Ceramic-coated pots and pans

Is it the red and white stuff? White interior? It may come in other colors. Where I work we sell it as a low-moderate priced non-stick "green" cookware. Customers say it discolors easily but we've only gotten a few pieces back with the coating coming off.

Treat it like traditional non-stick cookware (although you'll have to boil it with white vinegar to get any stains out) by only using wood or plastic utensils, keeping the heat moderate, never use high, and never, ever putting it in the dishwasher. Also don't use stuff like Pam spray --it tends to leave a difficult-to-remove brown crud on non-stick cookware.

I think someone was trying to do a nice thing. Since it was a gift, I'd say use it until it falls apart, and then either replace it with either Swiss Diamond or ScanPan if you want non-stick of high quality, or something uncoated like either All-Clad or Mauviel stainless a few pieces at a time or you'll break the bank. Or give your family a list, lol.

Stand mixer vs. Food processor

It's not a bad recipe if it tells you to make it in a food processor. I've used a food processor for certain small-quantity bread recipes since 1978. Especially buttery, eggy doughs like brioche. They turn out fabulous. But you can certainly make it in a standing mixer, or by hand. It'll just take longer. Also, if it's a small-quantity recipe, it may not have enough volume to the dough to make in a standing mixer bowl.

Who Would You Ask A Culinary Question To?

You, Harold McGee, Mark Bittman or Thomas Keller. Alton Brown would be fun, but it seems everything he does is extrapolated from McGee.

+1@izatryt, LOL

Vegetarianism vs. Veganism

+1 JoeBatch.

It's not all-about-you, and if you've scrubbed the fly poo off your vegetables or make your own fake butter. Be grateful you live in a time and place where you have the ability to worry and write so badly about such self-centered trivia. There is too much war and true hunger in the world to waste your energy on this stuff.

You've just made me waste my time, too.

Where's the moderator when we need one?

Vegetarianism vs. Veganism

+1 JoeBatch.

It's not all-about-you, and if you've scrubbed the fly poo off your vegetables or make your own fake butter. Be grateful you live in a time and place where you have the ability to worry and write so badly about such self-centered trivia. There is too much war and true hunger in the world to waste your energy on this stuff.

You've just made me waste my time, too.

Where's the moderator when we need one?

How BIG is Your Christmas Spread?

Christmas is my favorite holiday, and we tend to do it up. We'll be 15 at the table this year, and we're a family of (French, Italian and German desent) good eaters. The appetizers / hors d'oeuvres will include crab and shrimp in puff pastry, baked brie and spiced nuts. Beef tenderloin, and Georges Perrier's recipe for crab cakes (made and frozen already) are the main course, with haricots verts, wild mushrooms with leeks, brussels sprouts with bacon, funeral potatoes and two sauces--a Bordelaise and a gorgonzola cream sauce. There's also a lasagna or my Italian mother would roll in her grave.

Lots of wine, and probably kir Royale.

DH is making tiramisu and and a chocolate layer cake, and a cookie tray.

Whatever anyone brings will get put out, too.

Gooey Cinnamon Rolls?

Seconding Joanne Chang's recipe from the flour bakery cookbook. Best ever!

Has anyone ever made their own ricotta?

Yes I have. My favorite is made with rennet, not with vinegar or lemon. Much sweeter, tenderer and greater yield. Have also made it the traditional way by cooking whey left from another cheese making project, but that's too much work for an end result a very small quantity of ricotta.

Saveur has a good recipe for rennet based ricotta on their site. There's also a gentleman named Sal Maggio who sells kits (yes, the same family from Maggio Cheeses in the Philly area). I think you can Google his address.

But do try, with any recipe you like, it's a whole different thing eaten fresh.

Can Your Parents Cook?

They're both gone.

My mother was adventurous, and a good cook but stymied by my father who had a fairly limited list of what he would eat. I first got interested in cooking by sitting on the floor with her after school and watching Julia Child on TV. Dad could make a mean bacon-and-egg breakfast, grill a burger or steak, and since he was an old-fashioned pharmacist back in the day when pharmacies had soda fountains, he could make ANY kind of ice cream treat a kid could imagine.

5 Ways to Organize Your Spice Rack

+1 @peekpoke on the stair-step insert in a cabinet. I'm on the short side, and it makes everything visible without a stepladder.

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

+1 @arbeck, and +1 @Nezrite

Preserved: Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Just reading the ingredients makes my mouth water! Can't wait to make a batch.

Got a good sugar-free cheesecake recipe for diabetics?

Will have four diabetics (and 4 not) at the table for dinner on Thursday and the problem is, the last time I had this family here, I made a sugar free cheesecake they loved and I have no idea what I did with the recipe.

Looking for a nice, creamy NY style, and I have these non-sugar sweeteners on hand: Splenda, erythritol, polydextrose, and stevia. (DH is diabetic, too, and I use these in other baking projects for him.) My last two attempts have not been creamy enough. Thoughts?

I want to bake on Wednesday, and chill it until Thursday. Also have plenty of almond flour to make a crust.

Thanks in advance!

Best point to freeze rolls or dough? Or shouldn't I?

Here's my dilemma: I work for a retail kitchenware store and starting Sunday, it'll be looong days leading up to Turkey Day. We're going to family for Thanksgiving and my contribution is going to be homemade dinner rolls. I'm planning two kinds, a buttery brioche sort of thing, and something grainier, probably made with some sourdough starter I've been feeding and using since July.

I'd like to bake them off on Thanksgiving day, but would like to have them ready to bake ahead of time. My last day off is Saturday. If I make them up to the shaping stage, can I freeze them, and then thaw and bake on Thursday, or am I going to have to start bread dough at 11 PM on Wednesday when I get home from work (please say no)? Or freeze the dough after the first degassing or punch-down?

I'm considered the family "good cook" so I need to uphold my reputation and not show up with a bag of Pepperidge Farm rolls, lol. There are so many fine bakers here, I know someone will know the best way to do this.


Gem pans...???

Ok, I inherited from my Mom something she always called gem pans. Essentially they are muffin tins that hold a scant 1/4 cup of batter. Smaller than a standard muffin tin, but larger than a mini-muffin.

When searching the web to see if I could find a few more, I found that there are a variety of items referred to as "gem pans" --everything from ebelskiver pans to corn stick pans. There is no manufacturers name on these aluminum ones that I have; and I have 3 each having 6 cups. They're so tiny I was hoping for more.

Have you ever heard of them, and what kind of pan are they? I'm just curious since there seems to be some differences from region to region on what they are.

What brand of aged balsamic vinegar should I buy?

I've just used the end of a small, unmarked bottle brought from Italy by a friend (an Italian expat). It was wonderful, thick, syrupy, and I've become addicted to drizzling it over good parmesano reggiano as a snack. His sister evidently married into a family that's been producing it for their own use for more than a century and he shared some of theirs. I'm hooked.

What should I buy? Where can I get it? I'm in a Philly suburb. Am willing to spend on it. Thanks!

How to make a 7.5# factory "Stuffer" really taste like chicken?

I'm admittedly a chicken snob, I get them from a small farm and freeze them. But yesterday my elderly neighbor gave me a 7.5 pound Oven Stuffer she just bought and wasn't going to get to cook since her first great-grandchild arrived a bit early.

I know I can spice it up, sauce it, brine it, dry brine...but what do you think might make it taste more like chicken and less like the seasoning? Or is there really no hope for actual chicken flavor with factory chicken?

Am thinking about spatchcocking it and dry brining or curing it but I realize it'll pretty much be a canvas for whatever flavors I add.

Any suggestions, thoughts? I plan to cook it on Sunday, so I have some time to work on it in advance.

90% of a bottle of liquid French Vanilla Coffeemate leftover?

Anything I can do with it? I don't like flavored coffee, and I don't like that chemically stuff in my coffee, but I bought it to serve at a birthday party for a friend because her 88 year old mother loves it. I pretty much want to just dump it down the drain, but is there any good use for it other than that? Her mom went back to Ohio, so I can't send it over there.

Curious, and since I was raised by Depression-Era parents, I hate to waste anything. And aside, I wonder if today's babies will refer to their parents as "Depression-Era"?

Good online cooking / baking chocolate source you've used?

I've bought from Chocosphere before, but do you have a source you like? Diverse choices? Good prices? Fast shipping?

My chocolate "pantry" is starting to look kinda bare except for a couple of leftover pieces of El Rey, a Trader Joe's Pound Plus bar and a bag of Scharfenberger chunks.

Thanks in advance!

Kitchen Gardeners: Garlic variety to Fall plant for next year?

For the past couple of years I've just gone to my local farm stand and bought whatever organic hardneck garlic they had and planted it in October. What I planted last Fall was supposedly organic Musik. Not too impressed; even with plenty of water (irrigated), the heads are small. Tasty but small, and am using them up faster because of it. This year I may have to suck it up and order garlic online, although it kills me to pay triple what the seed bulbs are actually worth, lol.

I prefer hardneck, as I like to get scapes to use in the late spring and early summer, and softneck garlic doesn't produce them. Plus it seems that hardneck garlic keeps better in storage.

Any favorites? My garden's location is in a Philly suburb.


Carload of jalapenos coming! Any good preserving ideas?

The hot dry Summer is apparently making the six jalapeno plants in my garden VERY happy. I've picked nearly four pounds of mostly red ones and they just keep coming. Very hot, too, which is great.

Last year I made jalapeno jelly, peach and jalapeno preserves, and I thought a rather so-so fermented jalapeno hot sauce. Froze some to use over the winter, too.

Any new ideas will be gratefully accepted!

Creme fraiche ice cream ideas?

I've got more than a quart of homemade creme fraiche in my fridge, and I'm thinking ice cream. I've made peach and cherry with it before, but was considering trying something else.

Was thinking about some fresh lime juice and lots of lime zest, but Mr. Shecooks doesn't think it sounds good.

I have fresh ginger, mangoes, cherries, chocolate in various forms, matcha powder, almonds, hazelnuts and a lot of vanilla products (got a handful of vanilla beans as a gift from a relative) as well as a LOT of extracts. Also basil, sage, thyme, rosemary, chives, lovage, cilantro, parsley and tarragon in the garden.

What would you try?

Kitchen Gardeners: Whatcha got so far?

I'm in eastern PA, near Philadelphia, and I've got our first tomatoes, cherries and Amish Paste, lots of zucchini, chard, haricots, scallions, garlic already drying in the garage (planted in October), hot and sweet peppers are really prolific this year, too.

Asparagus and snow peas are sadly finished, spinach bolted last week. Regular green beans will be soon, the celery root looks like it may turn out well, and the chipmunks are stealing all the strawberries and the ground cherries. The little critters are so small, they get through the net and the chicken wire domes. Herbs are all luxuriant.

We could sure use some rain, though. Have to water.

How does your garden grow this year?

Volunteered to bake for a Great American Bake Sale. Help!!

A while back I volunteered to bake for a local Great American Bake Sale the benefits Share Our Strength that's going to be on July 2. It'll probably be hot and humid, and I have several conflicting family events, so I'm going to have to either bake ahead and freeze, or make something that will stay fresh for a few days.

Do you have ideas of things that will both keep well AND sell well? Any and all input is welcome. Thanks in advance! I have to head to work today for a while but will check back as often as I can. Thank you!

Need a crab cake recipe that reheats well in the oven, please.

Here's the deal, guys and I hope one of you can help. My son-in-law is in hospice thanks to a brain tumor, and currently, his only pleasure is good food. He's mostly paralyzed in a hospital bed in his living room, but has some use of one hand, and can still chew and swallow. He was a wonderful cook, and my right-hand man when we'd smoke briskets all night.

One day a week I care for him and their two pre-schoolers so my stepdaughter can keep her part-time job. I try to make the meals that day "restaurant quality" as much as I can under the circumstances. But I can't really stand over a frying pan full of crab cakes with the small kids loose.

Generally I make things at home, and reheat them there, or grill outside. Do you have a good crab cake recipe that doesn't get greasy when reheated? Or one that I can bake, not fry, that's still terrific? I have a pound of jumbo lump Maryland blue crab, and was thinking about serving it to him on a good roll, with remoulade sauce. My usual crab cake is George Perrier's, that has a cream and shrimp puree as the binder, but it's not so wonderful reheated.


How many fridges and freezers do you have? Or want? Or use?

I was in a new sample, huge house with 3 under-counter fridges in the kitchen, a rapid freeze drawer, and a big fridge / freezer plus an upright freezer in the walk-in pantry. I love to go to real estate open houses, but this one had a really crazy kitchen. The house designer must be a food-person, lol. Even for me, I think this is over the top. I'd never remember which drawer had what in it, and be opening and closing...

I have a fridge / freezer in the kitchen (smaller than I'd have liked, but the house is old and we have height constraints), another fridge / freezer in the basement, along with an upright freezer. It seems like a lot, but we regularly feed a lot of people, and have a good sized garden from which I freeze and can. We also buy most of our meat and poultry in bulk locally, so we store a lot of frozen meats.

I'm happy with my arrangement; it's just right for the way we cook and eat.

How about you?

Pork Stock questions???

Our Easter dinner was Berkshire fresh ham (pork shank, not smoked or cured) and now I have a big ole cooked bone with some meat and herbs still clinging to it as well as some fatty meat bits, since I don't toss out anything.

I think I'd like to make some stock with it. Not necessarily Asian flavored, but more neutral. The Zuni Cafe version leaves out carrots so the stock isn't too sweet, and adds some pigs feet. I don't have any pig's feet, but I do have some chicken feet in the freezer, so I could make a compound stock.

So, what would you add? A mirepoix? Herbs? Spices? Brown it again first before adding the water?

I've only made pork stock once before, and that was at least 15 years ago, and I've forgotten what I did. Thanks!

Anyone making anything for the "Royal Wedding"?

I personally just consider it another media event along the lines of the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards, but I can always come up with an excuse to cook or bake or drink something appropriate.

Am planning to make the Groom's Cake, if I can come up with some McVities Rich Tea Biscuits, or some other competing brand of British cookie. I already have the Golden Syrup in the pantry.


Food Trend you wish would fade away?

Since there have been a few posts here about specific food trends ( truffle oil, pork belly....) folks seem to like or dislike, lets just have open season on 'em.

Tell me / us which one you are sick of or love, and why.

My dislike is Red Velvet Cake, Cupcake...anything.

I can taste the bitter red dye in most of the concoctions, and basically, it's neither chocolate cake, even though it has a bit of cocoa in it, nor vanilla, either. It's just sweet. With a bitter at the back of it all. Eeeew. The frosting, IMHO, is usually the only edible part if it's a good cream cheese version.

Fresh Berkshire ham for Easter dinner. Recipe thoughts?

I'm tired of traditional smoked ham for Easter dinner and half of the group doesn't eat lamb. So I decided tha a nice roast pork would be the ticket. Am just doing a shank-end, bone in fresh ham, about 12 pounds. Most of my fresh ham recipes tend to use Fall-ish things like cider in the preparation, and I'd really like something Springish. Any thoughts? And would you consider brining a Berkshire, or do you think the fattier meat won't need it? I've had good luck brining a regular factory farmed fresh ham.

Thanks in advance! I have to sadly run off to work instead of hanging here and dream of food.

Lid came off my peppermill! Peppercorns in the cauliflower!

Ever drop something inappropriate into what you were cooking?

I was just about to make a cauliflower puree this evening when the whole top came off the peppermill and a gazillion white peppercorns dropped into a bowl with cooked cauliflower, creme fraiche, melted butter and parmesan! I ended up, instead of stick blending, pushing the whole mess through a tamis to strain out the peppercorns. Such a mess though, since first I tried to pick them out, but there were probably a couple hundred.

Years ago, when I was about 12 or 13, I had tried out fake fingernails...and my Mom asked me to mash the potatoes. Noticed one missing about 10 minutes later as we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner. I still hear about that one.

How about you?

Kitchen Gardeners: Ever grow celeriac? Aka celery root?

Went to the Philadelphia Flower Show today and picked up a packet of celeriac seed. I hadn't ordered any with my normal seed order and had wanted to try growing it since I adore it, and it costs a bloody fortune in the local markets here. Any thoughts or advice before I plunge into the unknown?

My current favorite way to serve it is cooked in cream with turnips and then pureed. Yours?

Beef Back Ribs. Not short ribs. How would you cook them?

Found some really cheap, beef back ribs from locally grown beef yesterday. I've never cooked them before. I have 6 pounds, two of which are resting in a teriyaki-ish marinade, with some 5-spice powder added. I am planning to braise these in their marinade (maybe 250°) for a few hours, and then broil to glaze and crisp.

The other four pounds are open for ideas. Obviously, I could freeze them to use later.

Since these are technically the ribs off a rib roast, am wondering if they could be rubbed and high-heat cooked quickly just to char the exterior and keep the meat between the bones on the rare side?

I can't use an outdoor grill right now , as we're having some construction work (not a new kitchen, but winter storm damage repair) done and the grills are tarped and stored in an area where we can't really use them for another week.

Got a good recipe? Thanks!

Ground cherries? Ever eat 'em? Should I plant some this year?

Got a freebee packet with my seed order from Jung's last week, and I've neither seen nor tasted them. I have a little extra room, and was wondering if any of you have eaten them, or grown them?

From Wikipedia, and some of the garden forums, they sound like they might be fun to try, good for pies and jam. But I figured the Serious Eaters would tell me if they were really table-worthy, or a waste of time and effort.


Two 1-pound blobs of brioche dough in my freezer. Ideas, please?

Been experimenting with brioche dough, and have frozen the extra dough. We've had sticky buns, a couple of fruit-filled coffeecake rings, a tarte tatin and some little orange, pistachio and white chocolate buns with some of it.

Am rather out of ideas to use the rest besides just bake it off as mini brioches. Anything you love that uses brioche dough as a base?

I have to run off to work in a couple of hours, but will check back tonight as I plan to bake over the weekend.

Thanks in advance!

Making blister peanuts at home? Or other nuts really crunchy?

I'm loving Lucy Baker's recipes here today for the roasted nuts, and I plan to try them all. I am, however, addicted to Trader Joe's blister peanuts. The bag says they are soaked first. Might be similar to the pecan recipe today.

What I'm trying to find out is how to make them at home. I have a few pounds of raw peanuts in the freezer and am wondering if after a soaking, they should be roasted or deep fried? Googling has given me highly inconclusive answers. I'm willing (sort of) to try both ways, but am hesitant to deep fry wet peanuts, unless I can wear a burn-proof suit and can have someone else clean the oil off the kitchen afterwards.

Any good ideas, besides just buying them? I fortunately / unfortunately work next door to a Trader Joe's.


ISO Pink frosting w/o artificial coloring for cupcakes, please?

I'll be babysitting a couple of kids on Friday (3 and 5 yo girls) and I thought decorating Valentine's cupcakes would be a fun if messy afternoon diversion. I have a good recipe for strawberry cupcakes, but most of the frosting recipes that make pink frosting seem to have some sort of fake coloring added. While I can't really avoid the coloring in the decorations, I prefer not to give kids artificial ingredients.

I'm taking the cupcakes already baked (will bake tomorrow), and the frosting separately, along with heart sprinkles, conversation hearts, freeze dried strawberries, etc.

The cupcakes are delicious, and I'd like the frosting to be too!

Any recipes or links to recipes that you've tried would be much appreciated.


The Complete Serious Eats Barbecue & Sauce Style Guide

A few years back, When Pigs Fly columnist James Boo published two separate but equally comprehensive guides—one to American regional barbecue styles, the other to American regional barbecue sauces. Now, to celebrate Barbecue Week, we've combined both posts into one glorious super guide, designed to provide you with the most encyclopedic barbecue coverage possible. More

From the Blender: Lean Green Smoothie

Let's be honest. Sometimes when we say "smoothie," we mean dessert masquerading as breakfast. Not so for this lean green smoothie, which is packed with nutrients and nutrients only. Don't be fooled, though. It's also delicious. The mango flavor dominates, with the arugula, lemon, and ginger spicing things up just enough to keep it interesting. More

Thanksgiving Sides: Rolls, Breads, Biscuits

Freshly baked bread always draws a crowd. Who can resist that tempting smell, especially when paired with gravy and turkey on Thanksgiving. Buns, bread, biscuits, of every kind and flavor—here's a handy selection of some favorites. And for cornbread fans, we've thrown in a few of those too! More

Sauced: Sweet Mango Chutney

Chutney has become a catch-all word for South Asian condiments. They come in all flavors, textures, and consistencies, although, at least for myself, when I hear "chutney" I'm usually thinking of a sweet, saucy pickled fruit or vegetable condiment, which is exactly what sweet mango chutney is. More

Sauced: Romesco Sauce

After a few months of writing the Sauced column, my first inclination whenever trying a new sauce is now always, "how can I make this at home?" This was the case for a Romesco sauce—a roasted red pepper and almond spread originating in the Catalonia area of Spain—I savored while out a couple weeks ago. More

Easy Pie Dough

This makes enough for two single-crust pies or one double crust pie. For a slightly more tender crust, replace up to 6 tablespoons of butter with vegetable shortening. Pie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before rolling and baking. More

Looking for a good food book

I'm on this, "I want to read every book about food possible" kick lately. Problem is, when you search on amazon for books about food, you get cookbooks. I want to know ABOUT food, not how to cook it. Any... More

Cakespy: Homemade Thin Mints

Smug, smug little Girl Scouts. Those sweet-looking sugar-pushers can be found all over this time of year, lurking outside drugstores and markets with their addictive little missives of sweet cookies. Oh, they seem so friendly and accommodating now. But what happens in a month or so, when they're gone and you've got a serious jonesing for some Samoas or Thin Mints? You make your own, that's what you do. More

Serious Cheese: So You Want to Be a Cheesemonger...

"Even though that complexity can be intimidating, any one of these sources will make you better informed about cheese than the average bear." Let's talk about how to talk about cheese. [Photograph: cwbuecheler on Flickr] OK, so maybe you don't want to work the counter every day but you want to know at least enough to impress that cute monger at your local cheese shop. Or you just really want to be able to hold your own at the next cheese-and-beer event your friends are holding. Or you, like me, just happen to like knowing things (and no, this does not mean you're a know-it-all... much). While the best way to learn a heck of a lot about cheese is,... More