Bob C from Pittsburgh

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The Comfort Food Diaries: Crab Sticks, the Bologna of the Sea

Thank you for a great piece on fake crab. As much as I love the real thing, I love a cold dish of these pieces (from the mega packs at Costco or Sam's club) with a little dish of cocktail sauce with a good kick of extra hot sauce and black pepper. My wife turned me on to doing this.

22 Supermarket Items You Should Leave on the Shelf (and What to Get Instead)

I pretty much agree with all the points in this article - especially the shunning of cooking wine. I'm a recovering alcoholic of close to 20 years and an avid cook, and I don't keep booze/wine in the house with the exception of some of those 4-packs of Sutter Home white wine for cooking.

If I have a need for brandy/liqueur for cooking - it's usually a tsp or tbsp - I will pick up a little 50ml airline bottle and use that for the recipe. It all cooks out anyway.

10 Ways to Serve Squash This Thanksgiving (Not Just Pumpkin Pie)

Looks like some good stuff. I usually just roast my squash and eat it simply prepared. I split the squash in half, apply liberal amounts of coarse salt and pepper, and turbinado sugar to the cut side (I also use a pinch each of nutmeg and cayenne). I will then add a pat of butter to the cavity. I make little foil boats for the ovens and whack into a hot (400-425) oven for 30 minutes. I'll baste the flesh periodically with the butter in the cavity to add to carmelization.

21 Halloween Candies We're Hoarding

The list should be limited to those candies that only come in "fun" or "snack" size. Imported candies, delicious as they may be, should also be left from the list. Hard candies are fine, but quite frankly - that's the stuff that stays in the bowl on the kitchen counter for the rest of the year, hoping to pawn them off to unwelcome child guests. Below is the definitive list as compiled by a world-rewnowned expert on certain things.

Snickers - All versions/mutations
Heath Bars
Reese's Cups
100,000 Dollar Bar
Take 5
Peanut M&Ms
Peanut Butter M&Ms
Junior Mints
5th Avenue
Almond Joy

How to Make The Best Chicken Stock

I made a big batch this past weekend with two carcasses from whole roasted chickens (1 from fresh, the other was a carcass frozen in the freezer from a previous meal) and the onion/carrot/celery combo that I roasted under the bird. I used to just poach the chicken in the pot with the veg, pull the meat and return the carcass and skin to the pot, but this time I roasted everything first. Huge difference in flavor - soooo much deeper flavor. It's worth the extra time. I use just the inexpensive whole chickens ($1.00-$1.50 per pound) from my local Giant Eagle or Costco.

Manner Matters: Can I Bring My Own Tonic Water?

I can understand a parent bringing something in if a child had extreme food allergies, but this is different. This person sounds like an overly fussy, never-pleased d-head that should do the world a favor - drink at home and not breed.

Manner Matters: Who's On the Grill?

I usually ask the host ahead of time if I am to bring some sort of meat if they would like for me to cook if beforehand and bring it or if it is OK for me to cook it there on their grill (I always volunteer to help with it - IF they want the help). For God's sake though - don't do it if you don't have the gift of the grill. Like Scolairo - I hate it when well-meaning yet incompetent cooks try to help and weasel their way in. My grill - my rules.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer's Guide to Eating in Cleveland

Ordered a slab of ribs while you waited for your chicken? I tip my hat to you sir!

Manner Matters: How to Share Food Without Being Rude

This is drivel. I agree with Fsizzle. No recent updates on A Hamburger Today and other stuff. This column takes the fun out of all things eats. Manners - Feh! Get back to your roots!

Cook the Book: 'The Homesick Texan's Family Table' by Lisa Fain

I think of those big picnic plates filled with brisket, hot links, beans and coleslaw on a hot Saturday afternoon. I think of going out to dinner with my family as a kid to places like the Texas Tumbleweed steakhouse in Houston 30+ years ago and eating a mesquite-grilled steak the size of my head and trips to Ninfa's for fajitas that sizzled on the plate. I remember an older neighbor welcoming us to the neighborhood with a coca-cola sheet cake with a chocolate icing. The tasty food and the nice people helped to overcome the heat and mosquitos of early 80's Houston.

Pizza Poll: How Do You Like Your Sausage?

I love raw sausage pieces (small) scattered amongst the pizza and then baked with the pie. Shout out to Fiore's, Mineo's and Aiello's in Pittsburgh (the holy trinity of great pizza in this town) for doing this.

Burger City Guides: Justin Severino's Favorite Burgers in Pittsburgh

Thanks for the coverage of Pittsburgh - there needs to be more of it! Too many good things going on here. I love the burgers at Tessaro's and Burgatory, but I also love the burgers at Big Jim's in Greenfield. Inexpensive but very good and hefty (like everything at Big Jim's).

Grilled: Joshua Spiegelman and Lynn Gorfinkle of Roam Artisan Burgers, San Francisco

I have to agree with Jim. It certainly looks like a nice place, but I like my burger joints a little less twee.

14-Inch Hero Sandwiches at Pisillo Italian Panini

Little light on the meats. An Italian sub light on meat does not go over well in Pittsburgh.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I guess this week was "cram everything in a waffle iron and see what happens."

You guys lost me at soup.

Poll: Do You Send Your Burger Back if It's Not Cooked to Your Requested Doneness?

I usually order my burger medium-rare. If it comes to the table medium, I'm fine with it. If they kill it, I send it back.

The Saddest Burger We've Ever Seen, From Dimly Lit Meals For One

Wow - I think I'd slit my wrists if that was my meal for the evening.

Poll: Which Standard Burger Toppings Do You Secretly Despise?

I cannot stand marinara sauce on a burger or cheesesteak. Makes everything taste like a pizza.

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

Make a batch of guacamole and a batch of queso. And either some hoagies or some LaFrieda sliders and hotdogs. Did I say how much I admire LaFrieda meats?

Open Thread: What's Your Burger Breaking Point?

I used to like those over-topped kitchen-sink burgers but as I have evolved as a human being I am becoming a bit of a purist and want only a couple of toppings at most and a couple of condiments.

Cafe Nadery's Persian Rice Comes Fully Loaded

$18??? I'm sorry, but a simple side dish is not worth that sort of money. Now if it was served to me by Elizabeth Hurley - that's a different matter...