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belinskaya

  • Location: Washington, DC

Lunch in the Loop: Devouring the Hot Dog Salad at Rudy's Bar & Grille

Congratulations on the job! At least during the sucky unemployment, you had Cricket to keep you company. (I did 18 months without even a mouse to keep me company whilst scraping together temp gigs at the height of the crash.)

I want that martini milkshake.

Behind the Bugs and Critters We Ate in the Bronx This Weekend

Too many pictures for it not to be real - it'd have been a lot of photoshop or staging of patently weird things (note the label on the sushi).

However, despite my skepticism that raw porcupine is really a good idea, I'm more concerned with why the seeming MC guy is still in curlers. What new hipster fashion hell have I just discovered?

Taste Test: Dennis Eats All of Cricket's Cat Food

I love you, Dennis. Especially the stuffies gathered round to witness your debasement.

Does Cricket also eat crickets, spiders, whatever arthropod comes into her path? Because I know you share those, too, if she does.

Open Thread: Do You Lick Your Beaters?

It was a sad, sad day when the mixer died and we had to replace it. The old mixer was a lovely shade of avocado green (which will give some idea of the vintage) and had those fantastic wide blade beaters where each of the four blades was curved like a little scoop to be perfectly emptied with a swipe of the tip of your tongue. Great licking.

All the new mixers (this was in the 1990s) had those crazy thin newfangled wire things that are so much more difficult to clog and have so little stuck to them at the end that licking has become pointless. Yet I do it anyway, because it must be done, even when disappointing.

I swear the rubber scrapers have gotten better, too, leaving less in the bowl to lick. Or my mommy was kind to me when scraping the bowl, which is also a reasonable hypothesis.

Lunch in the Loop: Perry's Deli

Congrats on 200! I look forward to all your articles even though I haven't lived in Chicago in more than 10 years.

I look forward to more videos, too - and I don't usually watch videos online!

What's your favorite way to prepare cauliflower?

Roasted with smoked paprika. I could probably eat the whole head.

Also, this recipe is great: http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/cauliflower-with-saffron-and-pasta It reheats well for work lunches, too - I keep the feta on the side and mix it in single portions. (haven't tried it with shrimp yet) I sometimes roast the cauliflower then mix it with the onions and seasoning for extra browning action, but that does mean getting another pan dirty and is obviously not required. As a side dish, it doesn't even really need the pasta, but the pasta makes it a filling main. Could easily go with rice, too.

Looking for a Horseshoe Sandwich in Chicago? Visit 6 Degrees in Bucktown

Horseshoe days were the best of the not-pizza days in the high school cafeteria - half a burger bun, hot ham, tons of crinkle-cut fries if you were lucky (if you weren't lucky, they were kinda thick and rarely fried well enough), all smothered in cheese sauce for $2. One of the best things you could do with government cheese.

Chain Reaction: We Try the Dunkin' Donuts Eggs Benedict Sandwich

I don't think you can make happy trees with this stuff. They would be very sad trees, indeed.

I feel like the only thing truly good from Dunkin is the French Cruller. Even the classic Boston Kreme donut could be better but does hit the spot as morning junk food after a long week at work.

Lunch in the Loop: Harold's Chicken Shack

Oh man, fried mushrooms! A thing I forgot I even missed from my midwest upbringing.

Eating Roasted Alligator and Spider-on-a-Stick at the Explorer's Club 110th Annual Gala

While I can appreciate the thought that goes into whole-animal presentation, can we all agree with Niki that the fetal position in aluminum foil is not an appropriate version?

(also, why does the ostrich look like it has the beak of an ibis? what am I actually looking at?)

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Burgers

I'm glad to see Pixel got something good out of this taste test.

The Serious Eats Guide to Whole Grains

Sucking the life force out of small children! Robyn drawings! Gluten development that sounds like something from Hedwig and the Angry Inch!

I love this article even before it gets into thorough and helpful descriptions of things I should try.

We Try the New Lemon Oreos

This is good news, because lemon sandwich cookies are always great, and I don't want to sound unappreciative of this nice review, but are we going to get a look at the cookie dough ones? Because those look amazing and terrifying all at once (I love cookie dough frosting; I can imagine Nabisco screwing it up).

I do thank you for testing these. (and @thebookpolice and @khark, I, too, have fond memories of the Lemon Chalet Creme Girl Scout Cookies. Very basic, but well done.)

How to Order Cider in a Restaurant or Bar

A "list" of cider? I don't understand this concept. I'm just overjoyed when there's one on tap.

Lunch in the Loop: More Than Just Sandwiches at Bánh Mì & Co.

As long as the place doesn't smell like Hollister . . .

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Hello, Tesla!

I think Pixel's fort is the only legit use of the burgers, not just the boxes. You're a brave woman, Erin.

Snack Attack: What's Your Favorite Snack Cake?

I ate so much Little Debbie as a small child, and sometimes mom would come home from the store with a box of Suzy Qs, as they were her favourite (mine were the cupcakes). She would also, in high school, frequently surprise me as I was doing my homework by dropping a giant bag of gummy bears or red licorice in my lap. (my mom was awesome.)

Swiss cake rolls were definitely the best. I ate a lot of star clusters and oatmeal cream pies and the apple things and nutty bars, but swiss cake rolls were the best.

Staff Picks: What's Your Least Favorite Dessert?

@imwalkin: Why are you eating shoo fly pie with your fingers?

Back to the slides, in what universe is hard candy a dessert? A very sad universe, if it exists, I will admit, but that's not a legit answer, Max, and you know it. I believe you were forced to pick something and you agree with me, there is no bad dessert, since you couldn't come up with one.

I've had bad desserts, sure, but there's no category that is specifically bad, merely terrible examples of perfectly valid foods. "Grocery store cake" is a terrible example of "cake", but sometimes it is better than no cake, so long as you avoid the flowers with the too much food colouring.

We Try the New Salted Caramel and Chocolate Baked Goods from Starbucks

Darn, I was hoping the salted caramel square would be as good as the cheesecake brownie, but good to know the muffin is decent.

A Valentine's Day Ode to Strawberry Pop-Tarts

Unfrosted cherry for nostalgia, Smores when I want something really junky.

Lemon would be AMAZING, @esk6805. Kellogg's were jerks to tell you that lemon wouldn't sell.

Russell Stover vs. Whitman's: Which $5 Box of Valentine's Day Chocolate Reigns Supreme?

This is really good to know when I head to Target on Saturday morning. Because if I'm buying paper towels this week, I need to time it to when there is candy on sale but not so late that it's entirely picked over. And I can justify the candy trip by saying it was because I'm out of paper towels.

Sauced: Speculoos Spread

Oh, it's totally just cookies pulverized into shortening. That's what makes it magical! It sounds disgusting and is instead amazing.

I really only eat it off the knife, though, because with something like apples or banana to cut the goo factor, there's nothing stopping me from taking down large quantities.

Makes pretty awesome filling for truffles, too.

Lunch in the Loop: Searching for Korean Food at K-Kitchen

Target is like 82 steps up from Venture.

Or maybe I just had terrible Venture experiences (along with terrible KMart experiences).

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

That bread is totally a dragon fight wherein the seeded dragon has just lost, its head being nommed by the spiky dragon.

Pixel is my new favourite. Sorry, doggies.

Snack Time: Handi-Snacks, Revisited

Fruit by the Foot! Shark Bites!

I had (ok, screw past tense - I still have) a mad sweet tooth and never much love for salty snacks. I also have always had a dislike of room temperature cheese product. I'm not fond of non-melted cheese in general, to this day (with occasional exceptions), but Handisnacks were my nemesis back then. I was always afraid someone would be handing them out as the only snack, and I was not going to eat that stuff. I would have sooner eaten pretzels, and I'm not talking the good thick sourdough pretzels, I mean crappy airline pretzels. Cheese food product must be warm and flowing!

I was also terrified of Hunt's Pudding Packs, because pudding you did not have to refrigerate was not a substance I wanted in my body. Jell-O or Swiss Miss, please! (That may have been part of the Handisnack problem, too - not only was it not warm and melty, it did not require refrigeration. I had every reason to be skeptical.)

Seattle Recs?

A friend and I will be in town for a couple of days at the beginning of May connected to a show at the Paramount Theatre. We'll be staying downtown (a couple blocks from the Paramount), we won't have a car, and we may be a little pressed for time due to curtain times.

Looking for:
Dinner Saturday evening before an 8 pm curtain
Breakfast/lunch (maybe brunch) Sunday (options for both helpful as we intend to get up early and explore a bit)
Dinner Sunday (no timeframe)
Breakfast Monday before going to the airport for an 11:45 flight out.

The twist in all this is that my friend is diabetic (type 1), so as much as I appreciate coffee shop pastries to start my morning, breakfast for her really needs to be protein-based (eggs, sausages, something v. low carb).

My priority is to go to Pike Place Market, look around, and eat fish (since I am too polite to eat all the loads of carbs I want in front of her). Her priority is to get a look at the central library.

How do I best make this work to keep her fed appropriately for breakfast without breaking the bank or running all over town? Where should we eat tasty fish without spending more than $25 a person on entrees? If she wanted to use some carb points for something exciting, what sweets cannot be missed at Pike Place Market?

Thanks for any direction you guys can give! It's the breakfast thing that has me thrown off most. In London, there's greasy cafs all over that have us covered; in NY, there are diners everywhere. Seattle? That's a new world.

What to bake with sour cherries?

Picked up a quart of sour cherries at the farmers market this morning knowing how hard these things are to find. (Also picked up a pint of sweet cherries, but I know what I'm doing with those - rinse and stuff face.)

I'm also a nice person who intends to share with my roommates, one of whom is deathly allergic to milk products (and peanuts and tree nuts - almonds are fine). Thus the original idea of a clafoutis or this lovely tarte aux griottes is completely out.

Currently thinking Sour Cherry "Clams" from this website, using vegan puff pastry, but I'm open to any and all ideas.

So what would you do with a single quart of sour cherries?

Pie plates - glass/ceramic vs metal

I'm in need of a pie plate/dish/pan. Growing up, my mom had old (over 30 years old) lightweight metal ones that I'm used to. A couple apartments ago, I acquired a couple cheap kitchenaid dark metal ones that I could not stand and thus left with that roommate. The KitchenAid issue was largely that it has handles on each side, so it is impossible to get a nice crust edge. Also, we did something in washing them that caused the underside rim to rust almost immediately.

Looking today for a replacement, it looks like glass or ceramic are everywhere and metal are impossible to find. Are glass/ceramic plates actively better, or are they just considered more attractive right now?

I can find metal tart pans easily, but not a basic pie plate. What's the difference in functional terms? As in, I know a tart pan's bottom comes out, the sides are fluted and straight rather than angled, etc., but why are metal tart pans so easy to find and metal pie plates not? What does the different material do for each type of baked good?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Diet sodas - recommendations?

A friend was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes this spring, so while we've been managing ok, I'd like to pick up a six pack for her or at least make some recommendations of diet soda other than Diet Coke that does not suck.

Her favourites before the diagnosis were San Pellegrino Limonata and any variety of ginger ale, so these are the ideal flavour profiles, but really, any recommendations on anything would probably be helpful to a subset of readers.

We're both in Maryland - she has access to the usual national brands; I've got a few more options what with a nearby Whole Foods, Target, and can probably access some specialty varieties in various places as I'm in the DC suburbs. (She's on the Eastern Shore.)

Thanks!

Pork Shoulder + Crock Pot = ?

I have pork shoulder in the freezer (2 pieces weighing about 2 pounds each). I have a crock pot. First attempt was a pork/sweet potato stew that came out fairly decently and got me through a cold and nasty week.

Now, what else should I do? I'm thinking maybe a pseudo-carnitas, as that might have multiple applications and thus be less boring (single cook here, so whatever is done will be protein for a week).

Recipes? Suggestions? When left on my own, I have a tendency to buy a bag of frozen veg, a bag of frozen shrimp, and a bottle of teriyaki sauce and just eat stir fry all week, which gets really old really fast. The pork roast purchase was an attempt to move beyond that, but I need to actually cook it instead of have it continue to sit in the freezer.

Maple Black Pepper Pork Chops

I am addicted to this dish. Usually I have to cook so many new dishes a week, I don't have time to revisit the really impressive ones. But I've made an exception for this one. I understand on paper it doesn't sound like it should work. The recipe from Eggs On Sunday uses a lot of maple syrup, Too sticky sweet? Nope, everything is balanced by the cider vinegar and black peppercorns, which transform into this rich, meaty glaze that miraculously makes each bite taste like the best rib eye you can imagine. More