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charm city cupcake

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Win a Serious Eats Edition KettlePizza Baking Steel Combo for Father's Day!

Green peppers and peperoncini.

Speckenwolf Pizza With Mozzarella, Oregano, Onion, Mushroom, and Speck From 'Roberta's'

Oops...that comment was meant for the Cook the Book page!

Cook the Book: The 'Roberta's' Cookbook

A chocolate cake with the flavors of Thai green curry - curry paste, coconut milk, kaffir lime, and Thai bird chiles. It was delicious!

Speckenwolf Pizza With Mozzarella, Oregano, Onion, Mushroom, and Speck From 'Roberta's'

A chocolate cake with the flavors of Thai green curry - curry paste, coconut milk, kaffir lime, and Thai bird chiles. It was delicious!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

Masala chai with shortbread chunks.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Baking Steel

A solid classic Margherita is my all-time favorite - although the pies at Roberta's are all amazing!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

Masala chai (i.e., black tea + spices, not just the spices!) with chunks of shortbread cookies. Perhaps I shall make some this weekend!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Phantom of the Fridge Secret Stash

Cereal. Straight from the box, no bowl.

Cook the Book: Andy Ricker's 'Pok Pok'

Khao Soi - the version at Pok Pok is amazing.

A Sandwich a Day: Haloumi Cheese at Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop

I think you mean "animal protein" - cheese, especially halloumi, is a good source of protein. I'm tired of people using the word "protein" to mean meat/fish/poultry.

Paulie Gee to Open a Baltimore Location with 'Pizzablogger'

Gives me one more reason to move back to Baltimore, and a perfect dinner spot for when I visit my brother there.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Counter Culture Coffee Subscription

Win Pop Chart Lab's 'Breweries of the United States' Poster

I saw this poster the other day and have been thinking about it since! I can't pick one favorite local brewery, so I'll pick two: Sixpoint and Blue Point.

Win Two Extra Mooga Tickets to the Great GoogaMooga

Eating a Roberta's pizza while watching Hall and Oates. Yes please.

Jim Lahey's No Knead Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Garlic, Ginger, and Thai Chilis

@ssl - that's exactly what I used!

A Sandwich A Day: Beet Burger at Apartment 138

You must have gone on a rare good day. I've lived near Apt 138 for years and have had this burger several times - it always falls apart and isn't really seasoned. I'd much rather make a gardenburger at home. Haven't been to Burger on Smith yet, but I hope it's good - this neighborhood desperately needs a great veggie burger!

Jim Lahey's No Knead Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Garlic, Ginger, and Thai Chilis

I made this for dinner tonight and it was SO GOOD. I've used Lahey's no-knead pizza dough recipe before and it rocks, but the toppings on this pie were killer.

Food at the Sweetlife Festival: Serious Eats Muffuletta and Serious Sweets from Bouchon Bakery, Momofuku Milk Bar

I love US Royalty, their song "Louisiana Spell" actually just came on my iPod as I was walking in the front door...

Beyond Curry: Potato Bhaaji

There are so many things wrong here.

First of all, there is no such language as "Indian" and therefore there are no dialects of this non-existent language - many different languages are spoken in India.

Potato bhaaji and bhaji are very different things. The former is a curried vegetable dish and the latter is fried slices of potatoes, as pictured in the photo above. Masala dosa - which is two words - is filled with the former, not the latter, and South Indians would never call it bhaaji, anyhow.

Does anyone fact check or edit these posts?

Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Dale Talde's Downtown Brooklyn (and Surrounding Area)

I've definitely seen Dale around the neighborhood (I live in Cobble Hill).

BTW, this area in the map isn't downtown Brooklyn, it's Boerum Hill.

Drinking in Season: Blood Orange Flip

Don't flips traditionally contain the whole egg?

That aside....this is nearly identical to what I made for myself on Friday evening after coming home from work, except I used brown sugar syrup in place of honey. Sort of like an amped up old-fashioned. And yes, it was delicious, as I'm sure your version is, too!

Cheap Eats: Five Great Italian Snacks On Court Street

The panelle at Brucie has nothing on the one at Ferdinando's Focacceria, a real Carroll Gardens classic a few blocks over at Union and Hicks - and it's nearly half the price ($5).

Win the Valentine's Day Collection from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Blueberry lavender with dark chocolate chunks.

Indian Restaurant in Jackson Heights, NY

Rajbhog all the way. It's a casual and inexpensive small steam table type place, but they have great chaats (I LOVE their papri chaat and their samosas are very good, too) and a rotating selection of vegetable dishes, some of which are total misses and some of which are decent and better.

Although if you aren't set on Jackson Heights, I strongly suggest you go to the canteen at the Hindu temple in Queens. They have the best South Indian food in the city, and that assertion is backed by my mom and many other South Indian women!

Behind The Scenes: Caracas Arepa Bar

I love Caracas Arepas Bar and this slide show has created an insatiable urge to go there for dinner tonight. So much for eating at home tonight!

Nice 60th birthday dinner for 6 vegetarians and a 1-year-old

Sorry for the double post - I originally posted this in Eating Out and had meant to post it in NYC.

We're celebrating my mom's 60th birthday this weekend and I want to take her somewhere nice (but not too fancy) where 6 vegetarians won't have any problems finding something good to eat and also where a 1-year-old (who is very well behaved) won't be out of place. Doesn't matter where in NYC it is (we have cars but would prefer Brooklyn or Manhattan).

I'm usually good at this sort of thing but for some reason I'm drawing a blank today.

60th bday dinner for 6 vegetarians and a 1-year-old?

We're celebrating my mom's 60th birthday this weekend and I want to take her somewhere nice (but not too fancy) where 6 vegetarians won't have any problems finding something good to eat and also where a 1-year-old (who is very well behaved) won't be out of place. Doesn't matter where in NYC it is (we have cars). Help. I'm stuck.

Vegetarian NYCers in San Francisco/Napa in June

My husband and I are going to Napa and San Francisco for a week in late May/early June and plan to be completely gluttonous while we're out there. I have a huge list and I've narrowed it down, but I still need some help. Both of us are vegetarian so anywhere we eat needs to have at least a few options for us. No Indian, Thai, or Chinese food.

Most important thing is that we're looking for places that are unique and different from what we can find in NYC. Farm to table dining is great, but if the dishes aren't inspired (I can't tell you how many mushroom/asparagus dishes I've seen on menus), I don't really care how fresh the produce is.

Anywway, here's the list. What do you think? What should I change? I'm hoping you can fill in the blanks and suggest alternatives for the ones I'm not sure on (or tell me I'm right!).

Napa
- Oxbow Market (for a picnic lunch)
- Bouchon Bakery (lunch after biking to Yountville from Napa)
- Ubuntu (dinner)
- Oenotri (dinner) - not sure, I'm open to changing it to somewhere else in Napa, Yountville, or St Helena

Oakland/Berkeley
- La Farine
- Blue Bottle
- Chez Panisse Cafe (lunch)
- Plum (dinner)

San Francisco
Dinner - four nights
- Aziza
- Flour and Water
- Commonwealth followed by snacks/drinks at Beretta - not totally sure on this, open to changing it
- Progressive dinner at Orson (dessert + drinks), Sons and Daughters (one course), and Canteen (two courses) - really not sure on this one, considering changing it to Millenium or elsewhere

Lunch - four days
- Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (Saturday)
- Burma Superstar
- Tacos in the Mission - I saw the roundup last month but it wasn't really helpful for vegetarians. We're considering El Farolito or Papalote and following it up with ice cream from Humphrey Slocombe (and preceded by a tour of the Anchor brewery)
- Greens or The Slanted Door - not sure which one, also open to scrapping it entirely for something better

Vegetarian dining in Montreal

I'm going to Montreal in a few weeks and am looking for some good recommendations for vegetarian-friendly restaurants, both nice and casual (especially for lunch, as I'll be on my own during the daytime). They don't have to be entirely vegetarian, but they do have to have at least one vegetarian entree - I am not a fan of cobbling together a meal from sides and appetizers unless I'm with a group of people and they're mostly meat-eaters.

I've done a little digging and here's what I've come up with so far, but I'd love to hear what places you would recommend

- La Banquise - saw that they now have vegetarian gravy for poutine
- Chuchai
- Aux Vivres
- Kitchen Galerie - I've read that if you call in advance and let them know of dietary preferences, they'll tailor a meal for you instead of having to order from their standard menu. True?
- Cinquieme Peche - similar to above
- DNA - as above

Anywhere else? And any recommendations for patisseries?

I also plan on checking out St. Viateur bagels, although I've had them in Brooklyn at Mile End and wasn't terribly impressed - maybe they just need to be fresh, or maybe it's because I'm a born-and-raised New Yorker and I'm particular about my bagels :)

Mother's Day - are you dining out or cooking for your mom?

After seeing a few posts on various sites for recommendations for restaurants for Mother's Day, I wondered if it's the norm among us "foodies" (sorry, couldn't think of a better word) to dine out or to cook dinner for that very important woman in our lives. For the past few years, I've always cooked for her, for both Mother's Day and her birthday, as I think (as many of us here do) that making a meal for someone is far more meaningful than making a reservation and plunking down a credit card.

So, who's making a meal for mom and who's dining out? And, if you're cooking, what are you making?

I'll start. My mom loves Thai food so I'm making the following:

- Thai Ramos Gin Fizz (think regular Ramos Gin Fizz but with Kaffir lime and condensed milk in place of lime and cream, respectively)
- Mango and fried tofu salad
- Drunken noodles
- Khao soi noodles (her favorite!)
- Green curry with tofu, Thai eggplant, bamboo shoots
- Thai iced tea
- Thai chili-lime chocolate ice cream in hand-rolled cocoa-Thai basil-ginger cones

Now it's your turn.

Chefs/owners in NYC who are also in (or were formerly in) LA?

I need your help!

I'm trying to pull together a list of chefs/owners who either have places in both NYC and LA or recently left LA for NYC (if you want to know what this is for you can send me an email...too complicated to go into here).

Here's what I've come up with so far - any additions would be oh so much appreciated

Mario Batali
Joe Bastianich
Thomas Keller (don't think his LA restaurant is open yet though)
Todd English
Laurent Tourondel

*Gordon Ramsay - he's out at the London NYC so he doesn't count
*Govind Armstrong - he just got the boot at the Cooper Square Hotel so he also doesn't count.

Thanks in advance - you guys always have all the answers :)

Dried lavender buds in NYC?

I know I should've gone to the Bklyn Flea on Sunday (there's a guy there who sells loads of dried lavender) but I was sick and didn't make it.

Now I can't seem to find it anywhere. None of the Whole Foods in this city have it (I called all of them) and I called a few natural foods stores - they don't have it, either.

Any leads? Prefer somewhere downtown or in Brooklyn. Oh, and I need it today.

Cookware - which All-Clad set & Le Creuset items should I get?

All right folks, I need your expert opinions here -

I'm getting married in September so I am taking this opportunity to put all my dream kitchen items on my registry.

I've decided that I definitely want a nice All-Clad set, but I'm confused/overwhelmed by the options. Help!

Also, I have a bunch of Le Creuset items on my registry, but would love your suggestions on your favorite/can't live without items.

PS. For those of you who don't know, I cook a LOT, so I need good stuff. None of this $150 for a 10 piece set business.

Conical burr coffee grinders?

My good friend (who is not at all a connoiseur of food or beverage) has asked me for recommendations for conical burr coffee grinders. Although I would love one (as I am a coffee snob...that's what working in a coffee shop for two years will do to you!), I know nothing about one (because I can't afford one), and, I will admit it, I am a little bitter that her parents are buying her one when she really has no need for one.

ANYWAY, enough about that...can you guys give me some recommendations? Please?

Have you influenced your friends and family?

Before I started dating my boyfriend, he had never eaten Indian or Thai food (horrible, I know). We’ve been together for over a year and a half, and now he is a really discriminating eater (I am going to have to take credit for this – I cook lots of great meals for him, and I am always on the search for the best food where ever I am). For example, he was recently in New Mexico and, before he left, he scouted out the best places for sopapillas, huevos rancheros, and carne adovada using Chowhound – something he had never heard of until we started dating. (And he made me really jealous when he came back and told me of his culinary exploits).

My mother, who lives 200 miles away from me (she's still in NY), has also turned into quite the foodie. Granted, we went to lots of great restaurants in NYC when I lived there, but now that I’m gone, she is still eating out at places that I miss terribly. She just went to DiFara’s this past Sunday! And she’s on a mission to eat at all the great pizzerias – she went to Luzzo’s a few weeks ago and is planning a trip to Zero Otto Nove in the near future (and yes she’s eaten at Grimaldi’s and John’s a million times). She has also taken it upon herself to eat at obscure places in Queens and Brooklyn – places to which even *I* haven’t been!

Has your passion for food affected your family and friends – both those who live near/with you and those who are further away?

Suggestions for good (sort of difficult) baking cookbooks?

I am a pretty advanced baker - meringue buttercreams don't scare me and tempering chocolate is easy.

I have Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts, which I'm dying to get into (although I don't have an ice cream maker so I can't make a lot of the things in there).

I just got Gale Gand's Butter Flour Sugar Eggs - it was on my Amazon.com wishlist and a friend got it for me - but, after looking through it, it's really easy (I've made lots of things that she has in there entirely on my own - ex, blueberry hazelnut frangipane tarts) and am going to exchange it for something a little more difficult and inspiring.

SO. What should I get that is sort of hard (not as hard as Demolition Desserts) and will push me a little bit? Also, I need some good standards - what should I get? (I have a ton of other books to exchange so I don't even need to spend money on new books!)

Also, should I get Elisa Strauss' Confetti Cakes?

My KitchenAid Artisan is sick...help!

My beloved fuchsia Artisan mixer is not well. I've had it for a little over 4 years, and I bought it refurbished from the company. It has been wonderful to me for these years, but a few days ago, the motor started making a funny (bad) noise, and there was a distinct smell of burning rubber. I turned it off, let it sit for a bit, then turned it back on. The same thing happened, and it was clear that the motor was messed up because the attachment was moving very slowly. I turned off the mixer and haven't touched it since for fear of further damage.

OK, now that you have that info...

I emailed the folks at KitchenAid and they told me to take my mixer to an authorized service center, the closest of which is an hour away (in Gaithersburg, MD), which is, quite frankly, a long way to drive to fix my mixer.

For those of you with KitchenAid mixers - have you had any problems with yours, and, if so, how have you fixed it? I am trying to avoid going to this service center so any and all advice is greatly appreciated!!!

Salted Caramel

Am I the only one who is totally tired of the ubiquity of salted caramel, and, in particular, when people think they're very clever when they use it? I think I might be a little jaded because I'm from NYC, where salted caramel has been around for a few years.

What do you guys think? And am I being a huge food snob??? :)