I live with my husband and our brown tabby cat, Cali outside of Philadelphia. I love gardening, cheese, wine and good food (emphasis on the good). As a creative outlet I recently started a food blog:

  • Website
  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Last bite on earth: Gourmet pizza of some sort.

What is your favorite shape of pasta or noodle?

Barilla thin spaghetti.

Weekend Cook and Tell: The God of Greek Yogurt

Best Places to Eat in Kauai?

We're back from Kauai and I just wanted to say thanks for the suggestions. We tried to hit all local spots and some of our favorites were:

Duane's Ono Char Burger (so delicious)
Bubba Burgers in Hanalei
Bar Acuda (amazing tapas)
Red Hot Mama's (by far the best burrito I've ever had)
Kilauea Fish Market (closely rivaling Hot Mama's and taking the prize for best fish burrito ever)
Kalypso (exclusively for happy hour...can't beat the drink prices and the coconut shrimp are to die for!)
Tahiti Nui (would like to go back and try their food; we had pizza and it was way salty)
Hanalei Gourmet (solid meal, nominally priced)

Can't wait to go back to paradise!

$500 million- hire a chef?

No Way! But I would re-do my kitchen and hire someone to clean my house :)

Top 20 Restaurants in the US - Have you been or plan on it?

I've been to Peter Luger....and at the risk of subjecting myself to a ton of backlash, I don't think it deserves a place on the list.

Pistachio Cupcake Recipe from scratch?

@ melissalara01 Just opposed to using white cake mix.

Thanks to all for the suggestions!

How often do you eat meat? And what type?

10-14 meals a week alternating between chicken, pork, beef and a fish of some type (frequently salmon or tuna).

Blue cheese

I used to hate the stuff, but it's great on a cobb or buffalo chicken salad or spread on a crostini with honey drizzeld on top.

What to do with Campari

I have no idea what kind of drink to make with it, but I usually add it to fruit salad for a little kick.

A Sandwich A Day: Panini at Tria Cafe, Philadelphia

My fiance and I love Tria and the former Biba (now Tria Wine Room)! Great happy hour too!

Cleaning out the Kitchen

Now THAT's a challenge. Other than some older, unused cookbooks, I don't think there's anything I would get rid of and not replace. I can think of a bunch of things I would like to relocate from taking up space in my kitchen to somewhere else, like my fiance's grilling tools :)

February blues!! What did you cook tonight?

Wrong link, sorry! Here's the mousse:

February blues!! What did you cook tonight?

If it's chocolate you're craving, try this mocha chocolate mousse recipe:

Soggy Muffin Tops

Lol, thanks for the feedback and the (much needed) laugh.

What to make with mead?

Thanks both for your suggestions. I made a cinnamon coffee cake last night with it, and it's delicious! Still have half a bottle left so will be trying both of your suggestions too. Photos and recipes coming on my blog soon!

Good Bubbles For the Buck: Picking The Best Prosecco

Mionetto is one of my favorites! But nothing tops the $5.99 bottle I found in PA last year (Chairman's Special!) simply called "Prosecco" on an ovular shaped gold label. I only wish I remembered more details so I could find it again!

Best restaraunt you've ever been to?

Barclay Prime in Philadelphia, hands down! It's a fantastic steak house with amazing service and an overall A++++ experience.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Seagram's Escapes

I bet you could make some sort of holiday punch with these.

Best Places to Eat in Kauai?

Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming! We've just decided that we'll be staying in Princeville, but plan to get down to the South too since we'll be there for 10 days.

A dozen limes - what to make?

Key lime pie martinis! Or just a key lime pie. So what if it's out of season :)

Looking for a recipe for rum balls

Try this one:

My family loves them. Pecans are optional.

How do you buy your wine?

I'm from PA so I buy whatever looks good and is on sale. This time of year is great with all of the "Chairman's Specials" at the state store. I've alwasy been curious about and though.

Cocoa or Drinking Chocolate Brands/ Recipes

My mom makes a fabulous low fat hot cocoa w/ skim milk, cocoa powder and sugar. She whisks it up before pouring in the glass to give a nice, frothy appearance.

Swivel peeler - towards or away?

29 Touristy Spots in America That Are Actually Good

Peter Luger?! Went there for a business dinner and left feeling I could've had a better meal at Outback. I realize some people are loyal to this place and I'm sorry if you're offended by my comment, but if you want a good steak that's worth the price you pay try Barclay Prime in Philadelphia. Delish!

What to make with mead?

My fiance opened a bottle of vanilla honey mead this weekend. It was entirely too sweet for us to drink so instead of drain pouring it he asked if I'd be able to make anything with it. What immediately came to my mind was incorporating it in some sort of sweet bread or coffee cake, but I need some other suggestions too please. It's a big bottle! Thanks!

How do I get crispy crust w/ a pizza stone??

Apologies in advance if this is a naive question, but after 3 tries I'm just not getting it. My fiance's boss gave us a pizza stone as an engagement gift. I was thrilled thinking this would solve my not-so crispy crust qualms from using a regular pizza pan, but I just can't seem to get it right. What's the secret? I dust the pan w/ corn meal before placing the pizza on it. One thing I might be doing wrong is I heat up the stone, put the pizza on and then put the toppings on. Could it be my dough? I usually use the following recipe and bake at 400 degrees F.

1/4 c. wheat flour
2 1/2 c. bread flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. yeast dissolved in 1/2c. luke warm water
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine flour, sugar, salt, olive oil. Add yeast and water mixture. Continue to add water until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer. Roll out and let rise for 20 minutes.

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