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.

Take a Cue From Beijing Street Food and Make Spicy Lamb Skewers at Home

I made some of this rub to use on a lamb steak:
and had some left over. Now I want to throw that on some kebabs and grill them!

How to Make Farinata: The Italian Chickpea Pancake

Huh, I made something very like this, but cooked on the stovetop, when I just needed something to sop up the juices of some meal I'd made. I suspect this version is better, but that one wasn't bad. A little chewy, but not cardboard-like.

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Light and Fluffy Pancakes

Kenji, I love the way you help your readers understand the "why" behind recipes and the way they work, instead of just saying, "we did some tests and this way works best."

Ed Levine's Golden Rules of the Perfect Pancake

Ah, see, I get bored with plain-flour pancakes. For me, whole-grain pancakes have a delicious nutty flavor that I love. Then again, that's what I grew up with: my dad used a blend of whole wheat flour, white flour, and oatmeal. I also do happen to love buckwheat pancakes, especially from Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown, MA!

The Real Rules of Making Polenta (Hint: They're Not What Everyone Says)

I do use the instant polenta. No, it doesn't have as much flavor or as delectable a mouthfeel as the "real" stuff, but it's great as a base for a richly flavored ragú or sauté. I cook it with chicken stock, and often amp it up a little with parmesan.

All the Recipes You Need for Cinco de Mayo

I think you might want to edit the bit about clams with chorizo and tequila being good for those who don't eat meat. :)

Meet the Cheese-Crisp Taco: A Cheese Crisp-and-Tortilla Fusion That Will Change Your Tacos Forever

@Moosefight: So, cheese stuffed with cheese topped with cheese? I think you may have found my kryptonite!

Mexican Masa-Ball Soup, or, How a Silly Pun Led to a Really Tasty Dish

Oh my gods. I need to serve this at the pun-fest dinner I'm planning on having one of these days. The other dishes I have in mind are "Tako tacos" (tako = "octopus" in Japanese) and "Baba Yaga Ganouj" (eggplant dip garnished with chicken feet, like Baba Yaga's house has).

Cooking With Bacon? Store it in the Freezer for Maximum Ease

For tomato paste, I put it into a sandwich-sized Ziploc and flatten it out into a sheet, so that I can break off as much as I need at a time easily.

Wake Up Your Leg of Lamb With the Hot, Numbing Flavors of Sichuan Spices

@japril, I agree that a mortar and pestle made of granite is an excellent choice. I got one when I became frustrated with the ineffectiveness of my marble one. It makes me very happy. As far as care goes, I prepared mine by grinding raw white rice in it with a little water several times, to make sure that it smoothed out enough that rock dust wouldn't get into the food. After using it, I clean it out with a nylon brush and plain warm water--no soap.

Wake Up Your Leg of Lamb With the Hot, Numbing Flavors of Sichuan Spices

I recently used a variation on this rub (I added garlic, and the proportions might have been a bit different as I didn't measure) to season a lamb leg steak. It was absolutely delicious!

The Elements of Great Gravlax, the Easiest Luxury Food You Can Make at Home

Why Daniel, how did you know I'd been thinking about making gravlax? :) This looks great! I am a little concerned, though, about buying the fish, as other people have mentioned. Stuff labeled as sushi-grade is so expensive that doing this wouldn't be all that much cheaper than buying lox (if at all). Also, is previously-frozen better, or worse?

How to Make Your Ice Cream as Dense, Rich, and Chewy as a New England Scoop Shop's

Max, I hope you get to Boston soon! I can't wait to hear about what you try and what you like. In the meantime, thanks for the New England ice cream love. As someone who did, in fact, visit JP Licks for ice cream in the middle of February, I have to say that yes, we Boston-area folks do love our ice cream, regardless of the weather. :) Even when I don't feel like going out for ice cream, there's almost always a container of storebought ice cream in my freezer for when I crave something sweet after dinner.

How to Make Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts With Lemon and Rosemary Pan Sauce

I used your basic pan sauce method for making a pan sauce last night for pork chops! I used chicken broth and beer as the base. It came out amazing! My only issue was that either I cooked it down too much (possible, but not definite) or the amount of gelatin was more than I really needed: I had to let the sauce sit for a minute or two while I tossed the salad and plated the polenta that I was serving with the pork chops, and when I went to put the sauce on the chops, it was solid! I ended up just adding a splash of water to loosen it up, and it was fine, but I was surprised it gelled that much.

Wing in the Spring With Strawberry-Chipotle Baked Chicken Wings

This looks fantastic. There's a place near me that does a grilled cheese with a strawberry-habañero dipping sauce that's just awesome. This combo should be great!

Dim Sum Classics: How to Make Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf (Lo Mai Gai)

Oh man, these are just amazeballs. I will have to try this recipe. I'm glad to see that they freeze well.

8 Nonalcoholic Drinks That'll Satisfy When You're Craving a Cocktail

OR-ZHAH. French doesn't really stress syllables.

Knife Skills: How to Clean, Trim, and Prepare Artichokes

I loved steamed artichokes as a kid (hey, it's like being ALLOWED to play with your food), but I didn't make them as an adult for the longest time. Now, I've realized that while they take a little prep before cooking, and take a long time to cook, the fact that I can just plunk them in a pot with some water and let them go for ~45 minutes makes them super-easy. I may have to get some tonight, in fact. I usually make a dip for them with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon.

12 Kimchi Dishes We Love

The link to the Squash, Shitake, Kale, and Kimchi Stew is going to the Sweet Barbecue Kim-cheese Burgers page, FYI!

Tiki's Hollywood Origins and the Woman Behind It All

What a fun article! I've been getting into tiki a lot in recent years, and it's always fascinating reading about its golden days.

The Case for Loving Vintage Cookbooks

We have The New Settlement Cookbook, while my parents have The Joy of Cooking. Both are awesome because you can find recipes for almost anything. If you already have an idea in your head of what you want, you can turn to those, and find something that works. "I need a recipe for chocolate chip cookies." Done! "I need a recipe for roast chicken." Done! I find that a lot of modern cookbooks are better for me to use in cases where I'm looking for something interesting to do with a particular ingredient, or for a dish that represents the food of a particular season or a particular culture. The old-school cookbooks are great for basics. The new-school ones help me learn to be more creative.

Sunday Brunch: Tourtière

This is very similar to my recipe, but I add cloves and a little sage, and don't use the mustard and egg. My Mémère likes it, and my Pépère liked it, so I figure that's the most important test to pass!

Use the Microwave to Dry Your Herbs for Long-Lasting Intense Flavor

Wow. I'll never hang herbs to dry again. Thanks!

Philly Cheesesteak, Meet Dumpling: Introducing the Cheesesteak Pierogi

@Kenji, a friend of mine referred to Yuengling as "the cheap beer that forgot to suck." It is certainly the best of the big-name cheap beers I've had, and the only one I'll choose to drink.

The Le Creuset Bi-Material Spoon Is the First Plastic Spoon Worth Owning

I wonder if they have any of these at the LC outlet near me.

King Arthur vs. Stoughton Steel?

I'm debating whether to order a baking steel from King Arthur or from Stoughton Steel. With a case, the two cost about the same when you include the bag and the MA sales tax I'll be paying for the Stoughton Steel. They have the same dimensions and same weight. There are only three reviews for the KA one, though, and one is just a one-star from someone who hadn't bought the product and was just complaining about the price. Does anyone have a recommendation on which one I should get, or is it six of one, half a dozen of the other?

Knife Skills: How to Debone a Chicken Thigh

Recipes often call for boneless skinless chicken thighs, yet finding them in supermarkets can be a bit of a hassle. You're far more likely to find bone-in thighs or even whole legs. Knowing how to take that bone out yourself will save you some hassle and provide you with some good bones for making stock in the process. Here's how to do it. More

Time for a Drink: Bijou Cocktail

With equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and green Chartreuse, accompanied by a dash of orange bitters, the Bijou is bombastically herbaceous—too much so, some might say. If you find yourself fitting into this camp, there's no need to turn away from the Bijou; the recipe is easily updated for 21st-century palates by raising the amount of gin by a half ounce, and by rolling back the other two ingredients by the same amount. More