Profile

annabanannas

I am a graphic designer, 25, and I live with my boyfriend, cat, and dog. My mom and her sisters have always been foodies, and it's totally rubbed off. My boyfriend and I love to cook and bake and watch cooking shows together.

  • Website
  • Location: Ambler, PA
  • Favorite foods: Apple pie, fried chicken, corn pudding, lobster, raw oysters, stuffing, dark green vegetables, cherries, pastas in creamy sauces, escargot, potato latkes, black-eyed peas, duck

Giveaway: Win a Sunday Funday Kit from Mrs. T's Pierogies

the smoked salmon & everything pierogies look like a great snack

Cook the Book: 'Spain' by Jeff Koehler

patatas bravas, yum. would love to make them at home!

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

very hot cast iron, butter, salt & pepper and some rosemary, with a big side of reminiscing about the steak florentine we ate on our honeymoon

Bake the Book: Levi Roots' Sweet

Cook the Book: 'Lighten Up, America!'

use yeast more until i can read a recipe that calls for a yeast dough and feel excited instead of intimidated.

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

salted brown butter sounds amazing

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Filet Mignon Roast from Pat LaFrieda Meats

Philadelphia: 10 Amazing Cheesesteaks You Should Eat

There's another Donkey's outpost in Ocean City NJ for those put off by the idea of going to Camden. It really was one of the best cheesesteaks I've ever had.

Cook the Book: 'The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook'

I kind of always wanted to try pumpkin juice since Harry loves it so much

Baking "projects"

How about food that looks like something else, like candy sushi?

Cook the Book: 'In the Small Kitchen'

My first kitchen was in a studio, and it felt like a coup that I had a full sized refrigerator. No counterspace at all though, the sink was directly next to the stove. I used tv trays as my tables, putting all four together and throwing a tablecloth over them when I had company.

What atmosphere turns you on or off when you are dining out?

I hate it when the tables are too wide, I feel like I'm not stiiting with the people I'm eating with. I also really dislike it when there is a row of fixed benches on one side of a row of tables and chairs on the other side. I know it's a good way to get more tables in small restaurants, but I feel very self conscious about the people dining on either side of me, especially when it comes time to get up from the table. Last annoyance: too large benches in booths. I'm too short for that. My feet are inches away from the floor, and I can't rest on the seat back and still reach the table.

Cherry pitters?

I have the oxo one, it's got a nice grip

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Served: Restaurant Biz Induced Exhaustion

I used to answer the phones for the delivery service of an upscale pizzeria. My boss told me when I'm on the phone with that guy whose so upset for one reason or another that I really felt like I was going to lose it, to stop, take a deep breath, and resort to bribery. "Sir, I'm very sorry that we cannot deliver to your location a mile outside of our delivery range. I'd be happy to offer you a coupon for your next pickup order". It was amazing the change in attitude when I would offer them that consolation.

So, did Bon Appetite step in it?

I found the inclusive side if the argument the presented more offensive than the terminology actually. "Lets invite non-jews to make fun of them and make them try weird food." Couldn't they find a quote from someone who was in favor of it for the more noble reason of wanting to teach and share? And besides, I like gefilte fish.

Foods everyone seems to like but you just can't get into....

Olives. Just can't do it. Ugh.

Weekend Giveaway: 'My Father's Daughter'

I'm going to go with Julia Roberts. Love her.

Baking for the Office

I try to save my baked treats exclusively for office birthdays. Otherwise I've always thought it would feel like I was just fishing for compliments.

Places to eat and drink in Philadelphia

I think that the Reading Terminal is really your best bet if you want to find things you can't find in NY. Good Dog is a fun funky spot to sit down with a decent beer selection, good food, and not the ridiculous wait there always seems to be at Monks. Have a fun trip! And please... It's Philly, with a y, not an i.

Cook the Book: 'Serve Yourself'

I get my shellfish fix when the bf goes out of town. Messy food, eating with my hands, with no one around to care about how I look.

Drink the Book: Maple-Bacon Shake

There's not a chance I would make this at home, but I would order it off of a menu in a heartbeat.

One day, I'm gonna get around to trying.....

Pho
Crawfish
Chicken Feet
Fiddlehead Ferns
Durian

Weekend Giveaway: 'Clean Start'

The warmer it is outside, the colder I want my food to be. I start craving sushi and big salads once the temps go north of 70.

Favorite Dim Sum

Love hargow for savory. Like others, I'm usually too full for sweet but I still get the sesame balls filled with red bean paste and I just take them home with me.

What's the best recommendation you've gotten from Serious Eats?

I just returned from a whirlwind road trip, a baseball induced tour from Philadelphia to St. Louis, via Cleveland and Chicago. I had some amazing food along the way, but the best thing that Serious Eats gave me the scoop on was Jeni's Ice Cream in Columbus.

It was the last day of our trip and the plan was to drive straight back home as fast as possible. Columbus was the most logical place to stop, we'd hit it around lunchtime if we left at 5AM (which we did, ugh). Diners Drive-Ins & Dives had been the source of most of our stops on the rest of the trip but they had bupkis in Columbus, so I turned to the SE archives. I had read Brad Thomas Parsons's posts on Jeni's when he first wrote them, and blown them off since Philly is no where near Columbus and I couldn't see myself spending that kind of money to mail-order ice cream just because the flavors sounded good. Well, I just got home and 4 pints will be coming my way by the end of the week! It's incredible stuff.

What's the best recommendation that you've found on Serious Eats?

Jose Garces' Groceries

Stood in line behind him in the store this morning and watched him buy a ridiculous amount of groceries. Was too chicken to tell him I loved his restaurants, but am still obnoxious enough to tell you some of the highlights of what he bought: 3 half gallons of skim milk, boxed macaroni and cheese, a big bunch of bananas, turmeric, a pound of prosciutto, and my personal favorite, a jar of Mario Batali tomato sauce. It was kind of neat to see up close what a chef eats at home. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Help! Bar Cookie Crisis

So my bf's family has this bar cookie that they make every Christmas. They call it Dream Bars. Its a graham cracker crust pressed into the bottom of a 9x9 pan, with butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, walnuts, and coconut flakes layered on top. You pour a can of condensed milk on top and stick it in the oven until its golden on top. Simple, right? Except, I was winging it with the crust and its wayyyyy too crumbly. Not holding together at all. Is there any way to salvage these?

What to do with 12 naked lemons?

So I had been wanting to make limoncello for a really long time, and our upcoming trip to the shore seemed like the perfect place to drink it. I was gifted a nice bottle of vodka, found a nice cheap jar that I liked, and remembered to buy the lemons when I was at the grocery store.

I was sitting at the kitchen counter, proudly zesting away last night, when I looked down at my growing pile of naked lemons, and realized that I didn't have a freaking clue as to what to do with them. Right now, they are in a ziplock bag in my fridge, hanging out until something good comes along. Lemonade seems like a cop out almost, although I'm totally intrigued by that Dirty Lemonade recipe that turned up in Look Who's Talking today, but otherwise I'm kinda stumped. Any special ideas out there?

Seattle: Where to Eat at Pike Place Market

Whenever we're in Seattle, we make a beeline straight to Pike Place Market. The daily market has brought together farmers, fishmongers, and bakers since 1907. Even if you haven't been there, you're probably familiar with the iconic fish toss. "Hali-BUT! Hali-BUT! Heyyyyyy!" In addition to the fresh produce and seafood, we love the hot dogs, doughnuts, chowder, and other snacks from vendors all over the market. Here are eight of our must-stops. 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

How to Make Ceviche

Ceviche is a South American dish made by marinating pieces of fish or shellfish in citrus juice. Essentially, the acid from the juice denatures the proteins just as heat might, giving the seafood a cooked texture and taste—but without any grilling, sautéing or other too-stifling-for-summer activity required. More

Bread Baking: Banana Cinnamon Bread

It happens to everyone. You buy a bunch of bananas, and inevitably a few of them get a little too brown. Banana bread is the easy answer. Bake those bananas into a yeast bread, roll it up with some sugar to sweeten it and some cinnamon to give it a little kick, and you've got a completely different kind of banana bread. Perfect for breakfast or brunch. Or a snack. More

Sunday Brunch: Bacon Cheddar Broiled Grits

Plain grits are a fine thing, yes, but grits plus bacon and cheese will win over anyone. The Lee brothers suggest serving these grits with scrambled eggs, but also imply that after a rough night you might want nothing more than a big bowl of grits, a spoon, and a tall mimosa. They also advise against instant grits, urging us to look instead for the label "stone-ground" or "old-fashioned." More

The Secret Ingredient (Key Lime): Key Lime Scallop Ceviche

For this ceviche, I start with mild, sweet sea scallops cut into a fine dice, and toss them with simple spikes of flavor from garlic, scallion, chili, and cilantro. The marinade gets its punch from freshly squeezed key lime juice, which mostly cooks the scallops and imparts a heady citrus scent, and pungent lime flavor. I serve it with freshly fried plantain chips. The perfect summer starter. More

Mixed Review: How to Make Cake Balls

Somehow, the cake ball phenomenon managed to escape me. Until now. For this week's Mixed Review I decided to give you a detailed account of just what it takes to whip up a batch of the impressive looking yet deceptively simple bite-sized treats. Cupcakes, meet your match. More

Cook the Book: Candied Pecan Bacon

I'm going to go out on a limb here and declare that this Candied Pecan Bacon from Pig: King of the Southern Table by James Villas might very well be the best cocktail hour snack ever. I realize that this is a bold statement but once you've tried these crisp, sweet and salty strips of pecan-crusted bacon you'll surely be on board. Making this might require a little more effort than, say, putting out a bowl of olives or nuts, but the payoff is worth it. Paired with some bourbon-based cocktails, it doesn't really get any better. More

Dinner Tonight: Spinach Salad with Lentils and Crispy Goat Cheese

I credit Nancy Silverton with my recent decision that an oozing patty of crisp goat cheese is a completely acceptable dinner. Especially when you lay it on a bed of green lentils sauteed in garlic and fresh spinach leaves. French green lentils—which hold their shape well when cooked, resisting mushiness—are a high-protein healthy component that help counteract the decadence. More

Lime Meltways

Meltaways were one of the first cookies I made when I began my professional baking career. They're incredibly easy and their delicate, crumbly texture makes them terribly addictive. In this version, I made them with lime zest. But if you'd prefer another flavor—like lemon, vanilla bean or even black pepper—go for it. More

Beer Bread Pecan Rolls

"Skip yeast in favor of a quick beer-and-baking-powder dough." [Photograph: Maggie Hoffman] Brunch at home needs to be easy. There's a reason that neighborhood cafés manage to sell a couple of sad poached eggs for $13 on Sundays: we're not... More