I'm a thirty-something married woman obsessed with food and cooking. I'm also an utter geek, and when I'm not in the kitchen, I knit and belly dance. OK, sometimes I do those in the kitchen, too.

  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Favorite foods: Cheese, chocolate, homemade yogurt, fresh bread, duck, french fries, calamari, pizza, summer rolls, winter squash
  • Last bite on earth: Chocolate-honey ganache tart, because I'd want to go out on a sweet note. Or maybe homemade yogurt with honey.

Latest Comments

Knife Skills: How to Cut Fennel

So basically, cutting out the core, you're doing it the same way you would do with a head of cabbage?

I lost the tip of a finger trying to cut fennel with a mandoline. I have used a knife for it ever since, but I think this method is better than what I did.

Meet Me at Moe's: 9 Fictional Restaurants and Bars We Wish Were Real

No one thought of Callahan's Place? Awww. If ever a bar should be real, it's that one. Callahan's is magic. Plus, they get the most interesting characters.

The Comfort Food Diaries: My Coke Habit

Not much of a Coke person, but this was a great story. I think I piggybacked on your nostalgia given my own New England upbringing and Armenian grandfather (who preferred whiskey and soda, if I recall correctly).

Why I Take My Asparagus out of the Fire and Into the Frying Pan

I tend to roast. It makes for more unattended cooking, and also ends up nicely browned.

9 Ways You Might Be Ruining Your Knives

I'm trying to get better about #6, even though I do hold the knife almost parallel to the cutting board when I do it! I have a bench scraper, I just don't have a good habit of getting it out before I start cutting stuff, and it's on the other side of the kitchen from my working spot on my counter, so I tend to be lazy about going to get it. I need to find a good way to store it near me.

Pizza With Hot Soppressata, Mozzarella, Chilies, and Honey

Using this as an inspiration, I just made a pizza with pepperoni, black olives, and hot honey. It was amazing.

The Benefits of Eating Without a Map

I'm with XXDavidsonXX, RealMenJulienne, and BostonAdam. If I only have a couple of meals in a new city when I'm there for a conference or something, I don't necessarily want the "hottest" restaurant that all the hipsters are going gaga over, but I also don't want some crappy, disappointing meal. I just want to make sure I'm going somewhere I'm likely to get something tasty. For preference, I'd like it to be something a little different from what I can get at home, but that's mostly in places where there are regional specialties I can't find near me. In general, though, I just want it to be good. I know reviews and recommendations are no guarantee of quality, but if enough people are saying "this place has tasty food," it seems more likely that it will be true. I don't regret getting recommendations for places to eat when I went to Hawaii. I got to eat the best fried rice of my life thanks to a mention by Saveur Magazine and Tony Bourdain. I found a wonderful cafe that gave me a much tastier and healthier breakfast than anything else I'd been able to find thanks to Yelp (and, though it was close to our hotel, it wouldn't have appealed as a place to try from the outside). I got to try foie gras sushi thanks to a friend's recommendation, which was a hell of an experience. Yeah, no regrets there.

The Mad-Libs Method for Perfect Fruit Salad in Any Season

I don't think I've ever combined all those textural elements in a fruit salad! I guess that when I think of fruit salad, I think of--and usually want--something that's more fresh-fruit-focused. At least, that seems to be true during the time of year when there's more fresh fruit available. This sounds like something I'd really enjoy for a winter fruit salad, maybe subbing clementine segments for the plum.

Actually, now that I think about it, I move outside the produce section when I make watermelon, cucumber, and feta salad. One of my summer favorites!

The Essential Tools for Homemade Pizza

@Ming-Tzu - I too use cornmeal on my peel because of sticking issues. Even so, I still have problems sometimes! I suspect my problem is that since I sub half whole wheat flour in the dough recipe I use, and I'm still tinkering with the hydration, as it seems to need a *little* more than the recipe calls for, but not too much more. I shape the dough on a piece of parchment paper, then flip it onto the cornmeal-covered peel, remove the paper, then top the dough and slide it onto my Baking Steel.

Serious Eats Recommends: 5 Food-Focused Books, Podcasts, Movies, and More We Love Right Now

I know I like hearing recommendations for food-related entertainment, being as I am slightly obsessed with food. This was a nice list. Thanks.

Serious Eats Recommends: 5 Food-Focused Books, Podcasts, Movies, and More We Love Right Now

@monopod, I would agree that Chef is pretty conflict-free after the initial trainwreck. I did enjoy it, though. Sometimes when you've been reading way too much George R.R. Martin (whose books also have lots of awesome food, btw), you need something simple and feel-good as a rest. Chef fit the bill for me there, and did have a lot of yummy food.

The Essential Tools for Homemade Pizza

By the way, Kenji, thanks for posting about pizza! I miss the heavy pizza coverage that SE used to have.

The Essential Tools for Homemade Pizza

@39km39, I don't have a metal peel, but I tend to use a long, sturdy metal spatula to get my pizza back onto my wooden peel. Works fine. I prefer that to tongs because it's easier to slip under the crust than it is to get tongs around the edge of the crust, IMO.

The Best Way to Cut a Mango

@BostonAdam - ditto!

@CosetTheTable - hear, hear!

How to Make Okonomiyaki: Japanese Comfort, Any Way You Like It

I vaguely remember that the Tassajara Bread Book has an okonomiyaki recipe in it. Always thought it sounded good, though I haven't yet tried it.

Hello, Tamago Kake Gohan, Your Time Has Come

@monopod, try it in scrambled eggs. I bet you could also make some awesome furikake crackers.

The Food Lab's Guide to Slow-Cooked, Sous Vide-Style Eggs

I was a little frustrated with my attempt at this recipe today. I followed it to the letter, but still had a huge amount of trouble peeling the eggs, even though they were a little older (got them a week ago). Trying to get the shell away from the white of the egg without tearing that incredibly delicate white was pretty much impossible. I did the best I could at it until I got a space large enough to stick a spoon in and scoop the egg out. I still left the firmest part of the white behind in the shell as a thin layer, but at least I was mostly able to avoid getting shell in the eggs when I served them. They refused to stay whole through the shelling process, though, and it made me sad to serve broken eggs. Part of me wonders if using a higher temperature for a shorter time might cook the outside of the white more thoroughly while leaving the yolks nice and runny.

More Than a Pizza Topping: 10 Smoky, Savory Ways to Use Pepperoni

My mom is crazy about pepperoni in her omelets, with onion and green bell pepper.

The Case for Filthy, Sopping-Wet Martinis

I feel like if you're going to do a martini without vermouth, you might as well say "I'd like a cold glass of gin, please." I like mine 2:1, with a modest splash of olive brine and plenty of olives as garnish. I've also used capers and pickled nasturtium pods in the garnish. My husband likes cocktail onions, but I prefer chopping those into my sardine salad. :D

The Food Lab: The Secrets to the Best Easy Homemade Falafel

I agree with the people asking about a baking method! Even if you don't care about fat consumption, even a couple of fingers of oil in a skillet is a lot of oil to deal with and clean up, IMO. I try to avoid that sort of thing whenever possible.

Stop Throwing Lemon Rinds Away! Make This No-Cook Syrup Instead

I have a friend who does this when making large quantities of lemonade: she juices the lemons, then mixes the rinds with sugar and uses the syrup to sweeten the lemonade.

BraveTart: Irish Soda Bread, as It Was Meant to Be

@Veganwithayoyo - Bravetart suggests a similar-but-not-quite-the-same loaf with beer. I've found a very simple beer bread recipe that I've used countless times that sounds like this sort of thing. It's a batter-based quick bread, so you pour it into a loaf pan rather than forming it into a boule, but it bakes up fairly sturdy and tastes delicious. I do usually cut the sugar in the recipe in half, for a more savory loaf. It calls for melted butter to brush the pan with, I'm sure something like Earth Balance would be fine. Here's the recipe I use:

The Fastest Slow Cook: Braised Squid With Harissa and Olives

I don't have a pressure cooker, and have nowhere to put one if I got one. My desire to try sous vide results from the fact that I'm guessing a really reliably tender octopus requires a long time cooking no matter what, if you don't have a pressure cooker. If there's a method that will give me reliably lovely tender octopus without a pressure cooker that does NOT take long, awesome! I just can't always be chained to the stove all day, much as I enjoy cooking. Sous vide, I can just leave running at home without fear while I go do errands and stuff.

The Fastest Slow Cook: Braised Squid With Harissa and Olives

@Daniel, that would be awesome if I had a pressure cooker!

Plumbing the Depths of Miso Soup

I'm not even a little bit Japanese, but miso soup has always been a comfort food for me since I first tried it. I really enjoyed reading this article. I'm also excited to learn about South River Miso. I'll have to look for it at Harvest Co-Op in Cambridge--they tend to like selling a lot of local products. I've been wondering what to have for dinner tonight. It might turn out to be a riff on miso soup with smoked tofu and maybe some sliced carrots, nice and hearty for a blah and rainy day.