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

Orchard Boulevardier

I finally tried this recipe. It was amazeballs. The cider and the heat combined to make this a perfect autumn drink. I need to make this from my husband: he doesn't like Campari, but wants to, and I think this would be a perfect introduction.

The Food Lab: Here's What I'm Eating on Thanksgiving

Oh, that all looks amazing! My extended family (or most of it) gets together at my aunt and uncle's place for Thanksgiving, a.k.a. Way Too Much Food.

Appetizers: we usually have plenty of cheeses and crackers, my cousin makes guacamole, my husband will be making his mother's recipe for chopped liver, and my mom makes her retro-licious clam dip.

Turkey: one roasted by the aunt who hosts, one deep fried by another aunt and uncle.

Stuffing: bread stuffing made by my aunt, and a meat stuffing (similar to the filling for a tourtière) made by my Mémère

Sides: my father makes braised cippolini onions, and there are usually either green beans (not the casserole) or some other green vegetable, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes (no marshmallows), and often some kind of rice dish

Sauces: my aunt's gravy is usually fairly light, almost most like a jus. I make a whole-berry cranberry sauce flavored with the zest of an orange.

Dessert: usually includes pumpkin pie, chocolate cream pie, apple pie, and this Cool-Whip and Oreo concoction that my cousin makes.

14 Warming Thanksgiving Soups That Just Might Steal the Spotlight

My family has a winter vegetable soup (mostly squash, often parsnips and sweet potatoes, etc.) that's always been one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's house. That stuff is the reason why I got a stick blender, so I could make it (or something similar) myself.

Cooking With John

This was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Thank you for sharing.

Eat All the Alliums: 8 Thanksgiving Onion, Leek, and Shallot Recipes

Every year, my dad makes braised cipollini onions for Thanksgiving, and we DEVOUR them. All of these look good, though. I love me some alliums.

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

@VeganWithAYoYo - I wonder how it would work if you substituted soy milk with a little acid for the buttermilk, good margarine for the butter, and maybe a mix of aquafaba and some extra margarine for the whole eggs (to replace the proteins and fat from them)?

Step-by-Step: How to Make a Pumpkin Cheesecake With a Gingersnap Crust

Those candied walnuts are actually kind of nostalgic for me: my grandma used to make candied walnuts similar to those ones for Christmas Eve, when we'd have appetizers and drinks at her place before going to my aunt's down the street for dinner. I hadn't thought about them in a while. Now I want to make some, in her memory!

Pappa al Pomodoro: The Tuscan Tomato Soup for Every Season

I always used to put chunks of leftover bread into my tomato soup!

Step-by-Step: How to Make a Perfect Apple Pie

Thank you, @Smeg! I would have had to say it if you didn't.

The Case for Bad Coffee

This reminds me of the cheap red wine I'd drink when home from college, sitting at the breakfast bar in the kitchen while my dad finished washing the dishes and we listened to jazz on NPR. He'd tell me stories about when he was in New Zealand with the Navy, and then get the photographs he took there down from the attic to show me. Or the cheap red wine my friends and I drank at parties in their tiny little student apartment in Galway, the year I studied abroad. I felt so bohemian, drinking wine out of coffee mugs around their little coal fire while we listened to folk music. Or the cheap red wine I drank by myself after pouring a slug into the pasta sauce I was making. It was an impractically large pot of it considering my boyfriend was away on deployment and not around to help me eat it, but a nice gesture towards self-care when I was feeling alone.

Sometimes deep memories can form around tastes that are really nothing special, and those memories can elevate them ever after. Thanks for writing this article.

Why Bottled-in-Bond Whiskey Is the Best Deal In Booze

@Bkhuna, you appear to be right. I found a website where someone posted a letter they received in December 2014 when they contacted the company about this:

"Thank you for taking the time to write to us and thank you for supporting our Brandy.

We have long offered our 100 proof "Bottled in Bond" Apple Brandy. The US Government created the Bottled in Bond Act back in 1897. It was a way
for the government to insure the authenticity of a product. This designation requires:

· A Straight Spirit - not blended with other spirits
· Produced at one distillery
· Produced during one production year
· Bottled at 100 proof
· Aged at least 4 years
· Stored in a bonded warehouse under federal supervision

For many years, we had the luxury of a fully stocked barrel warehouse, with multiple barrels from each year of production. Over the last several years, the demand for our Apple Brandies has surged. As a result, we have depleted much of our reserve barrel stock. For the past two years, we were forced to allocate our straight brandies. This year, we had to blend more than one year's production when making our 100 proof brandy. Using more than one year's production, forced us to take the “Bottled in Bond” designation off of the label. I am told this year’s blend was 5% 5 year, 75% 4 year, and 20% 3 year brandy. Our plan is to replenish our brandy stocks, and in the future, to again use the “Bottled in Bond” designation.

We are very proud of our Straight 100 Proof Apple Brandy this year, and every year, and have every faith you will find it to your liking.

Best regards and Happy Holidays!

Thomas Alberico
VP Sales & Marketing
Laird & Company
One Laird Rd.
Scobeyville, NJ 07724
732 542 0312"

How to Make Jalapeño-Bacon Mac and Cheese (Even When You're Drunk)

OK, maybe not so much with the KTT event...they screwed up my reservation, and don't have one available at the time when I can make it! Dang.

Bacon-Jalapeño Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Wow, when I get the drunk munchies, I make simple stuff like cheese on toast. You, sir, have AMBITION. Looking forward to seeing you at the Kirkland Tap & Trotter event!

How to Make Jalapeño-Bacon Mac and Cheese (Even When You're Drunk)

Damn, Kenji. When I'm drunk and hangry, I usually just go for the easy fix like cheese on toast. You, sir, have AMBITION.

Looking forward to the Kirkland Tap & Trotter event!

Everything You Can Do With a Can of Evaporated Milk

I love using it as a substitute for cream in sauces and chowders. I find that if I'm using butter or oil to sauté ingredients, I often don't need as much fat as I'd get from cream to get a good flavor and mouthfeel, but I also don't want to use regular milk because it will curdle. Evaporated milk to the rescue! Also, I love that I can just stock it in the pantry and it's shelf-stable until I open it.

24 Creamy, Melty, Cheesy Recipes to Warm Your Belly

Last winter, when it seemed like I was spending at least two days out of every week shoveling until I was sore and frozen, all I wanted to eat was carbs with melty cheese. I made so many pizzas and quesadillas last February, it was ridiculous. This is a great collection.

Clams Casino Has Every Reason to Be a Great Dish. Now It Is.

I'd love to see something on the best way to purge clams. How much salt in the water, for example?

The Food Lab: The Book Has Arrived

Congratulations on publishing, Kenji! I really look forward to reading this when I get a copy. If you're ever back in the Cambridge area (I work at your alma mater) I'd love to get it signed!

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish Cakes: An Editor Says Farewell

Good luck in your new endeavors, Max! I've enjoyed your contributions to SE!

How to Buy and Prepare Anchovies

When I put oil-packed anchovies in the refrigerator after opening them, the oil tends to solidify, and that makes it difficult to get filets out without breaking them. Is there an easy way to prevent this from happening, or should I just let the container stand at room temperature until the oil liquefies again to get them out, and not worry about leaving them unrefrigerated for a little while periodically?

Easiest Summer Ever: Charred Broccoli and Sardine Salad

YESSSS. Love me some sardines, and it's nice to find new things to do with them.

The Delicious Secret Behind Your Favorite Whiskey: The Best Spirits from MGP

Bulleit is a damned tasty rye, at a very reasonable price. It's absolutely my go-to for cocktails (usually Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and Sazeracs). I've had non-MGP ryes in this price range, and none of them have impressed me quite as much. Whistlepig, OTOH, didn't seem better *enough* than something like Bulleit to be worth the price. In fact, I think that in a Manhattan, I actually prefer the Bulleit.

Crimes Against Pizza: An Opinionated Guide to Not Messing Up Your Pie

I'll agree with all of this except the "weird sauces" one. Sometimes I like a deviation from the usual tomato sauce. Pesto is occasionally good. I think I even did a pureed pumpkin-based sauce once, which came out REALLY tasty.