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).

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Los Angeles in 3 Days: The 25 Best Bites in LA for $20 and Under

Some suggestions for your next trip: Cafe Dulce in Little Tokyo. Excellent doughnuts, coffee, and sandwiches.
Chado Tea Room, Little Tokyo and Hollywood. Reasonably priced loose teas, sandwiches, soups. Their staff is knowledgeable, patient, and helpful.

The Food Lab: How to Make a Burger King-Style Whopper 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.

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.

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.

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.


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