I have degenerative and chronic diseases that rule most of my life. A few years ago I was bedbound and emaciated, reading food blogs, and learning how to cook and bake got me out of bed (with physical therapy and meds), and now I love all things food.

  • Location: Ohio
  • Favorite foods: Just about anything, bacon, french fries, farmer's market vegetables and fruits, ribeyes, shrimp.
  • Last bite on earth: Start with a great wedge salad and/or brie en croute with apples. I'd love Japanese Steak House grilled steak and shrimp with their sauces, and maybe some bearnaise. Roasted asparagus with balsamic reduction. Twice Baked potato. Pie or cheesecake.

Any love for soggy fries?

Our Ohio 5 Guys seem to have decent fries, but I'm a crispy fry girl for sure. Steak 'n Shake has my fav restaurant fry, thin & crispy.

I have but one exception for a soggy fry & that's fries made soggy by malt vinegar. I'm OK with those now & again, but crispy 99% of the time.

I don't have a....

I'd consider myself very kitchen blessed, like @Littauer I use more equipment to help my failing body, having degenerative Muscular Dystrophy my hands are becoming worthless so machines and good equipment help.

I've found if you tell people your issues digesting food, you'll get a Vitamix for your birthday! ;-)

I've got the stand mixer, food processor, immersion blender, Vitamix, Breville toaster oven & Smart Grill. Plus my incredible pressure cooker & gorgeous Le Creuset, Calphalon and All Clad galore, & plenty of gadgets.

What I won't ever have are a gas stove, the ability to design my own kitchen/house, (& my health if that counts). I also feel like I need the new Breville microwave b/c it has "melt chocolate" & "soften butter" settings. Like my middle sis says "damn Breville for making awesome ingenious stuff!"

I'm getting a Weber grill for my b'day next month, getting suspicious of those buying me nice things in hopes they ultimately end up with them-lol!

Recipes for Cooking Demos?

I did a few demonstration speeches in HS & college doing cooking demos, I tried to appeal to foods my peers would eat & probably make in college. Scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, fresh lemonade, etc. I think doing a couple grilled cheese sandwiches would be cool, one savory, one sweet?

Smoothies are quite popular these days, if you can use a blender to show a couple versions.

Good luck!

Cook the Book: 'Yucatán' by David Sterling

Back to Italy as a "grown-up" to eat all the best pizza.

Multicolored carrots - Easter recipe ideas?

I often buy the rainbow carrots and serve them glazed, think the shiny glaze makes them prettier. Our new favorite glaze is pepper jelly, this recipe from Southern Living Magazine:

I use a 14 1/2 oz. can chicken broth to cook my carrots, and only 1/2 cup of pepper jelly, SL uses more and has you discard some, using only 1/2 cup, I don't waste any.

You can't cook it ahead of time, but you certainly can prep it ahead of time. I also see no reason why you couldn't roast them, if you prefer, then toss with pepper jelly and butter.

Cook the Book: 'My Paris Kitchen' by David Lebovitz

Deviled eggs

We love deviled eggs too, my go-to the past year is this recipe:
Shasha sauce being a slightly spicy mustard-y sauce, excellent condiment to have on hand.

Cook the Book: 'Joy of Kosher' by Jamie Geller

My kosher experience is limited to Hebrew National Hot Dogs, and what delicious hot dogs they are!

Oh My Spaghetti Pie

Thank you, my family is asking for it again too!

Oh My Spaghetti Pie


@Tipsykit37, great idea, I love a mini!

Oh My Spaghetti Pie

Cook the Book: 'The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone' by Deborah Madison

Roasted cauliflower pasta with linguine with browned butter and sage

Bake the Book: Frenchie

Cook the Book: Lonely Planet's 'The World's Best Spicy Food'

Trying different Jerk seasonings and hot sauces with my brother-in-law on a Plantation in Jamaica, those island folks don't mess around!

Unbelievably small "total time" in SE recipes (you, Kenji!)

Welcome to my world, despite being a great cook my muscular dystrophy and neuropathy are making me slower & slower. I used to spend 2 hours on meals, now it's an extra 2 hours of afternoon prep added on. Fortunately, if I'm not rushed, cooking and baking are very relaxing for me.

I also couldn't name one RR 30-min. meal I could make in 30 min!

I agree to do your own timing. I do that every time I read through a recipe before I start prepping. If it says sauté onions 7 minutes, I add 5 to preheat the pan. When it says to bring to boil, simmer 20 min. I add 5-10 minutes to that part. I also account for meat resting times.

Glad for Kenji's explanation, I had no clue quicker recipes = more clicks.

Bake the Book: First Prize Pies

sweet cherry pie, so gross, gotta be sour cherries

Cook the Book: 'My Irish Table' by Cathal Armstrong

The one I had last night, and the last 8 St. Patrick's days, pressure cooker corned beef, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Horseradish cream and malt vinegar on the side. Irish soda bread slathered with salted Irish butter. Love it!

Cook the Book: 'Kitchen Confidence' by Kelsey Nixon

Pizza, sloppy joes, crispy chicken cutlets, skillet pork chops.

The Food Lab: These Are My Knives

Great collection Kenji!

While only a home cook, I am proud of my knives, even though I mostly use Victorinox/Forschner, nothing too special. I find as a woman with long fingers, but small hands and neuropathy, the lighter weight of Forschner's works best for me. We have the "fancy" Henkel's set but after I discovered Forschner's, thanks to Cook's Illustrated, I barely touch them.

I think it's very important to play with knives before you buy them, if you can't, make sure there's a return policy. Many knives "look cool" but were too heavy or unbalanced in my hands, I can barely lift Globals! Spend money on a good sharpener too.

We Try the New Lemon Oreos

Think I wish I'd bought these instead of the marshmallow crispy, I usually prefer the wee mini Oreos and only eat those about once a year.

I saw a review on The Chew of the marshmallow crispy and cookie dough, the hosts all felt they taste like Oreos, and I have to agree, aside from the texture of the crispy bits, all I'm tasting is vanilla Oreo.

Cook the Book: 'Down South' by Donald Link

Red velvet cake and fried chicken

Bake the Book: The Model Bakery Cookbook

Cook the Book: 'Spain' by Jeff Koehler

paella, especially the crunchy rice bits!

Bake the Book: The Irish Pantry

flour, sugar, salt, dried pasta, canned tomatoes

Cook the Book: The 'Roberta's' Cookbook

Last week I made a Boursin spinach artichoke spread and baked it inside a loaf of baby French bread, it was awesome.

Oh My Spaghetti Pie

I was bummed SE didn't participate in the Pi Day contest this year, but I wanted to share one of the recipes I posted that I feel is SE-worthy.

I made an Alfredo spaghetti pie, served on a bed of marinara. Almost every time I look at the pics I wish there was a piece in front of me. Hope you enjoy it like we did, and happy belated Pi Day!

I'll link the page in a comment below to make life easier.

Canning question (didn't use enough sugar)

Last night I made 3 batches of Caramel Apple Cider jelly,

The creator of the recipe, Lucy Baker, has a book, Edible DIY, where she also printed this recipe, using regular pectin, whereas the SE recipe uses low sugar pectin. Since regular is what I had, I used it. After canning it was pure liquid, looking again at the print recipe I used 1 cup less sugar than needed for the regular pectin.

The Ball canning guide has remake instructions that add some pectin, and a little sugar. I wonder if I can re-boil adding the cup of water PLUS the Ball adjustments and all will be well?

Or, do I only need to add the sugar and re-boil? Any advice today would be great, thanks!

Scotch for Drambuie

A couple weeks ago SE posted a DIY Drambuie recipe:

My dad enjoys this beverage and I'd like to make him some for his February birthday. I don't know much about Scotch, he's been to Scotland and had some good stuff, but he doesn't drink liquor/liquer too often, so I'm not about to pay more to make it than I could to buy actual Drambuie.

Any ideas on what I could use, and would be available in small town NE Ohio? Thanks.

Brie Pumpkin Puffs

My fall take on miniature Brie en Croute, easy to assemble and delicious. A piece of brie, filling of your choice, enclosed in puff pastry shaped like pumpkins, topped with almonds, brushed with an orange-colored egg wash.

BK Bacon Sundae--oh yes, I did. Will you?

I basically gave up fast food last year. It wasn't making me feel great, and the quality was just horrendous, getting a disgusting looking and sometimes tasting meal more times than not.

But tonight after an early dinner and grocery shopping near a BK, I recalled the post about bacon sundaes coming out and decided to try it. At $2.59 (Ohio price) it was really good. (Working around the fudge, it's dog approved as well!)

I feared the bacon would be the pre-cooked cardboard version, but it was actually a fairly thick, very crispy piece (2 half pieces I held and dipped into the sundae). I did not get any bacon crumbles as the description read, and wished I had more bacon for the bottom of the bowl.

Overall, it definitely delivered on salty, smoky, and sweet, and IF they can keep the quality up, I'll be enjoying more of these this summer. Fortunately, I need to gain weight, at 510 calories, these should help.

I look forward to hearing about the quality of these at other BK's as well as the other "summer menu" items. The sweet potato fries being the only other item I think I'll try.

Avocados at Subway

I'm normally pretty meh about avocados, I like quacamole but normally don't use them for anything else. Subway (about as gourmet as sandwiches get in small town Ohio) is now trying to promote avocados as a great sandwich topping.

My question is: If you could build a Subway sandwich using avocados, what would you make?

Brie Pumpkin Puffs

My fall take on miniature Brie en Croute, easy to assemble and delicious. A piece of brie, filling of your choice, enclosed in puff pastry shaped like pumpkins, topped with almonds, brushed with an orange-colored egg wash.... More