Married. Husband is a Lt. in the Navy. Currently a cake decorator. Have been line cook, corrections officer, and retail clerk. Graduated culinary school in 07 (got tired of corrections). Servant to 4 cats and 2 dogs.

  • Location: San Diego--North County
  • Favorite foods: Most vegetables (except okra and turnip greens). chocolate (but only the good stuff). Good Balsamic vinegar and olive oil on fresh baguette.
  • Last bite on earth: Anything from Red Pearl Kitchen as long as the Green Papaya Salad is involved (my latest food crush).

How to Make a Burger King-Style Whopper Truly Fit for The King

It's been ages since I've had a Whopper, about 5 or so years, when our local BK screwed up my order (no mayo), and put a ton of it on there. Since then, I haven't even bothered with BK. We stick to burgers at home.

The Best Dumplings in Los Angeles

There's also a new Din Tai Fung in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, right above Uniqlo!

Why a Y-Peeler is the Best Vegetable Peeler

Even should your peeler rust after the first use, the rust does not stain your fruits and veggies. I've had many of the Rikon peelers, and a ceramic peeler (I think it may have been Rikon as well). The ceramic peeler was expensive, and fell victim to an unfortunate accident, and the blade broke. The carbon steel blade of the cheapie Rikon is also reversible!

How to Make Sweet and Buttery Glazed Roasted Shallots

I must make these! We've been getting some really awesome shallots at our local Korean store, and this sounds perfect for them.

What Cookbook Would You Buy For a First-Time Cook?

Pat LaFrieda's new meat book. It's excellent. It's not as much as recipe book, as it is an educational book about each cut and type of meat, where they come from, and how they are best used.

For the Best Food in Bangkok, Hit the Streets

We were only there for a few days, and completely missed NaNa. It's on our next-time list.

For the Best Food in Bangkok, Hit the Streets

When we were there, we got snakehead fish grilled on a stick. It was surprisingly good. It's a very mild, clean-tastig fish. The fruit vendors were also pretty awesome.

If you get a chance, visit the Chatuchak weekend market. It's right off the train line. It's in a kinda rough area, but it's pretty safe. You can get anything and everything, even handcrafted decorations, great clothes from budding designers, and a forever's supply of dried seafood for less than $5.

Pantry Essentials: All About Mayonnaise

I've never been a mayonnaise fan. I grew up a bout 20 min from the Duke's mayo factory in Mauldin,SC (a suburb of Greenville,SC). The worst job I could ever imagine would be cleaning the storage tanks at the mayo factory. It's the smell that gets me.
Finally, when I went to Japan, I found Kewpie. It's the only mayo I can eat because it doesn't smell like the others. The texture is different. It's quite nice.

Best stores for food souvenirs in New Orleans

Central Grocery.

San Diego - where to eat?

Little Italy has some nice places, not all Italian. If you're here over a weekend, go to the Little Italy farmer's market. The area is accessible by the very limited trolley system, and is very walkable.
If you have a rental car, go to Hillcrest and North Park. There are literally hundreds of locally-owned restaurants and bars in that area, and most are very good. My personal favorites are Fig Tree, Khyber Pass, and Chocolat. There's also a Penzey's spices retail shop (worth it!).
Old Town food is forgetable at best. If you find yourself short on time, skip it altogether. It's just another crowded tourist trap.
If you want to have a nice, very high-quality sushi dinner, hit up Sushi Ota. You need a reservation for almost any night.
The Convoy St. Area is pretty great for authentic Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Check Kirbie's Craving blog for recommendations and reviews.
Coronado is nice for beaches and most of the good food is located on Orange and right near the feery landing.
The trolley system here is extrmemly limited. It goes from where you don't want to be to where you don't want to go. You'll thank yourself for getting a rental car.c

Where to eat in San Diego (4 days)

I forgot to mention, you'll want a car. Most of these places aren't anywhere near the trolley line, and the buses here are marginal at best.

Where to eat in San Diego (4 days)

Be sure to check out one of the many food truck gatherings. Here's some more info . Stone Brewing has a bistro in Liberty Station in Point Loma. Bottle Craft in Little Italy is a craft beer shop with daily tastings.
Cafe on Park and Fig Tree (one in Hillcrest, one in Pacific Beach, and one in Liberty Station) are both great. Fig Tree's stuffed French toast for breakfast and short ribs for dinner are two of my favorites.
For your pre-race pasta, avoid Little Italy like the plague. There's nothing wrong with the food in Little Italy. However, the restaurants are packed (my husband and I tried that a few years ago after picking up his race packet, and it was insane).

Thinner Chinese Hot Mustard

Philippe's from LA has a hot Chinese mustard. It's much thinner than the average, and is the best on sandwiches. The restaurant is locacted right at the edge of LA's Chinatown, just a few blocks from Union Station.

Trader Joe's is Like a Bad Boyfriend...

The only thing I like from there any more is their chickens. I've tried several brands, and theirs is the best for smoking.

What should I put in a piñata?

^^ they totally look like a beer.

What should I put in a piñata?

Six Great Picks for San Diego CityBeat Burger Week

I may live off of burgers next week.

Tea taste test/brand preferences?

We buy loose-leaf teas from . They're a small chain of teahouses from LA. Their variety and product are excellent, prices are reasonable, and shipping is fast. If you go to their teahouse, the service there is also great. They will actually take the time to help you choose your teas, which is a big deal if you're unsure about something new.

Open Thread: What's at the Top of Your Pizza Wish List?

The ability to make a really great NY-style crust. The rest I can do. It's the crust I need help for.

Looking for some New Wild Game Recipes

What do I need from the Korean grocery store?

Honey powder, the little instant coffee packs (if you can find it, Old Town is awesome. We call it "Malaysian Jet Fuel" for the caffeine buzz you get about 10 min after drinking it), dumplings (if you have a way of getting frozen home), noodles, and rice (it's cheaper in the big 15 lb bags).

What food would you miss most as a vegan?

Bacon, cheese, most Asian foods, ice cream. I'd have to do a complete diet overhaul, since most of it has some type of animal product (even my vegetable soup contains Worcestershire sauce).

Snack Attack: What's Your Favorite Snack Cake?

Snowballs, but only if they're very fresh (I got a pack once when I was a kid, and they had some kind of hairy mold on them, so now I check), and the red Zingers.

Staff Picks: What's Your Least Favorite Dessert?

Zabaglione. Ick. I had to make it for a restaurant where I worked. I didn't care for it before I started working there, and I hate it more now. It just smells like plain raw eggs to me.

We Try the Diner Double Beef, a '50s-Themed Burger From McDonald's Japan

I, too, was impressed with McD's Japan. The burgers look exactly like they do in the picture. They're made to order, not left to languish under a heat lamp where they turn to some odd form of alien jerky. And, to make it better, one year they made a chocolate pie, similar in form to the apple pie they sell here, but with hot nutella-like filling.

New Kitchen Obsession

I've found a new kitchen obsession. It's collapsible silicon almost anything. I've had a few pieces for a while, but it's really big in Japan (where I've been the past couple months). It works great for me because my kitchen at home is small, and of limited cabinet space. And it's much more affordable than my other obsession--handmade knives (but I did get one! YAY!). Have you found anything recently that has turned into an obsession (other than the ever-present proscuitto, good parm, good oil thing)?

Ate a snakehead!

My husband and I are in Thailand this week, and several street vendors were selling snakehead tonight. My husband had one last time he was here, and said it was good, so I gave it a try. It's just the fish, gutted, on a stick, and grilled whole. It's a tasty fish, with a mild flavor. It absorbed the flavor of the charcoal well. It has a skin, much like a catfish. Overall, a great fish. It's sad we don't eat them in the US, because they multiply quickly, and could be a great, cheap food source.

Best meal of 2011

We discussed our last meal of 2011, but what about the best? Was it something your SO made? Something you got from a truck? For me, it was last Friday when my husband, a friend, and I went to Joel Robuchon's L'Atelier in Tokyo. It "fixed" some bad food experiences I'd had years before (In culinary school, I had tried salmon roe that had been left in the fridge too long by one of our teachers, and it was awful. Same with the foie gras.) Our lunch last Friday included both of those, and it was incredible. Our server (Sylvain) recommended we try Chartreuse, which we did. It was the most complex drink I've ever had. Every sip was a completely different flavor. Ok, enough about my lunch. What about your best meal of the year?

First Roast Duck

Today I was in the grocery store, and saw whole duck at a pretty decent price. I'm thinking about getting one to roast. I've cooked duck breast many times, but never a whole duck. Any recipes or tips? Thanks!

Got a new smoker!

I got a new smoker today! For dinner, I smoked some Duroc pork shoulder. Very tasty. Of course there will be the chicken, ribs, and tomatoes, but what are some of your favorites to smoke? Any suggestions?

New year, new food

One year, I decided I would give raw tomatoes a try, and keep working at it until I liked them. The next year it was yogurt, and while I don't love it, I can eat it (Greek style, no HFCS). This year, I've already tried two new ones. Unagi-no-kobayaki (grilled eel with a teriyaki-like sauce over rice) is a new favorite, and tofu skin (has a texture like string cheese) is one I'm working on. So this year, are you trying to include a new food? If so, what?

Restaurant Awnings in Japan

Ok, I've been here in Japan for a couple weeks now, and have noticed the restaurants here seem to use their awnings as a sort of code of what they're serving. However, I haven't been able to find any information on what each color means. Does anyone know? Thanks.

Bickle and Calpis

I'm in Yokosuka, Japan, and these two drinks are in almost every vending machine. I tasted a little of the Bickle, and I think it might be yogurt...maybe? So what's a Bickle and Calpis?

I look forward to cooler weather because...

I only make certain foods when the weather is cool. Marshmallows are one of them. Pumpkin breads and soup are only for cold weather. Do you ever find yourself looking forward to warmer/cooler weather because you can only cook certain foods during certain weather (because otherwise, it's just "not right")?

Too much clove!

So today I attempted my first ever batch of pumpkin butter. I used less than the amount of clove the recipe called for, to accommodate for using fresh-ground instead of pre-ground. The fresh-ground turned out so potent, they numb the tongue and leave a bitter aftertaste. The possible solution I've come up with is to just divide the batch, and add more pumpkin. It will leave me with an industrial-sized batch, but it would be edible. Anyone else got any better ideas?

First trip to Japan

In a few weeks, I'll be going to Japan the first time. I'll be in Yokosuka, Yokohama, and Tokyo. What are some of the "must tries" besides ramen, udon, and yakatori?

Second Cross-Country Road Trip

In a couple of weeks, a friend and I will be driving cross-country, as she is moving in with me while my husband is stationed overseas. We'll be traveling from SC to New Orleans through Montgomery, to our first stop in New Orleans. That said, our stops will (most likely) be New Orleans, Dallas, Amarillo, Albuquerque, and somewhere in Arizona (most likely Flagstaff area). Does anyone have any recs? The ONLY thing she doesn't want is Cracker Barrell (nothing against the food, she's just tired of seeing it, since she worked there for a long time). If I stop there, I think she'll cry.

I hope it doesn't show up again this year.

We've all had it. It shows up at every family gathering. It's that dish you can't stand the sight or smell of, yet the rest of your family oohs and ah's over it. When I was a kid, it was my mom's potato salad. At my MIL's house, it's Stove Top. What dish do you hope won't be at the big family Christmas gathering (even though you know in the pit of your stomach it will be there)?

What is this little fruit?

For months I've been watering my citrus trees, and because of proximity, also my neighbor's. Part of his tree overhangs the fence, but since it's fruit, I'm not complaining. I just picked one of the little fruits. It has a thick yellow rind (like a lemon or sweet lime), almost no pulp, and is completely full of seeds. I licked it, and it's very bitter, with a hint of an orange flavor. Does anyone know what it is?

Weird "Thanksgiving" foods

Every family has those little weird foods that only appear at Thanksgiving. Mine was no exception. My grandmother always served those little, hockey-puck shaped "yam patties." Yes, they were patty-shaped, but tasted nothing like "yam." (to clarify, "yam" in the South generally refers to a sweet potato). I haven't seen these since I moved away, but then again, I haven't really looked for them. They were a little weird, and kin of gross. So anyway, what was your family's little culinary quirk?

Funniest Thanksgiving

A few years ago, our dachshund-beagle, Noodle, was the happy recipient of the carcass of a 17 lb turkey, with quite a bit of meat still attached. He ate for about an hour, and then tired of it. So he took the carcass over to his blanket, spread out the blanket, placed the carcass in the middle, and carefully wrapped it. We let him keep it for a little while, then got rid of it.

Making dog food

My poor Daschund-beagle mix, Noodle, needs to lose a little weight, but is having digestive issues with the prescription food. It's basically a super low-cal, high fiber food. So, I'm thinking about making his food. Does anyone else do it, what do you use, and how does the dog like it?

Foods from you childhood you don't miss.

When I was a kid, the fad among moms was to pack the lunchbox full of manufactured microwave convenience foods. To this day, I cannot stomach a Hot Pocket. Don't even want to smell them. However, what took the cake was those microwave french fries that came in a little box with a grid of the browning paper inside. They fries tasted like that paper. I haven't seen them in years, fortunately. So what now discontinued food were you glad to see go the way of the Dodo?

Favorite juicing combinations

A friend recently gave me a juicer Tuesday. It's not something I would pay $100 for, but if it's offered to me, I'll take it. It's a Jack Lalanne. I've used it a couple times, and the juice is good. But I'm wondering how many of you are more proficient in fruit/vegetable combinations, and what you'd suggest. Thanks in advance.

What's in your kid's lunch bag?

Since the back-to-school season is in full swing, we're seeing a lot of ads for various lunch-box products, some of which are a little dubious in nutritional value. However, on the flip-side of that, a kid's got to have something trade-worthy. So what goes into your kid's lunch? What do they want to go into their lunch?

Spring or fall?

While we're still enjoying the great fruits and veggies of summer, I'm really looking forward to the fall crops. The winter squashes, apples, and root veggies. Of course, there's the brief period of time where summer an fall overlap, and you can get both. So, after all that, do you more eagerly look forward to the first crops of spring (lettuce, onions, and starwberries), or those great fall and winter ones?

Turkish Cookies

Today a friend and I were in our favorite international grocery. They had a Turkish cookie press (shaped almost like a thick wooden spoon, with a cookie form carved in the middle). However, I have not been able to find any recipes or information on making this cookie. Does anyone know anything about them? Thanks in advance.

What makes you feel better?

Ok, so they say money can't buy happiness, but it can buy you that one food that makes you happier. You're not necessarily angry or sad, just blah. For me that food would be a California Burrito from the taco shop around the corner. What about you?

If you had a food cart/truck...

Ok, so my husband and I were in NYC last week, and saw all the food carts, 80% of which seemed to be halal food carts (gyros, chicken over rice, etc.). The remaining were hotdogs, several ice cream trucks, a couple of Jamaican, and a couple dessert trucks. I think there may have been a crepe cart. So I started thinking if I had a cart/truck, I would have a baked potato truck. So what would your truck of choice be?

Thanks NYC eaters!

My husband and I just returned from our vacation in NYC. Vacation for us is just for grazing. Lots of grazing. We did the tourist thing in high school, so now when we go, we do the good stuff. I was surprised to see so many kebab and halal carts. We visited Salumeria Biellese on 8th. My husband hates sausage, but he's already planning to return to this place. He got a chicken and jalepeno sausage sandwich. We also went to the Shake Shack, which was totally worth it. We did end up having soup, as there were tons of soup places. We also went to Sunday brunch at Les Halles, then moved on to the street fair on 9th. Sadly, we had to reconcile ourselves to not being able to eat everything. But, with that said, we're already making next year's list. All that to say, thanks NYC SE'ers for the great recommendations.

beth1 hasn't favorited a post yet.