Melissa Miles

Small town girl, just cooking through the week. Live with the husband (aka the test subject), and our daughter (Zima, our kitty!). Just have a serious passion for learning new recipes and perfecting old ones.

  • Website
  • Location: Harrisburg
  • Favorite foods: Eggplant Parmigiana, Burgers, BBQ, Chicken Burritos, Guacamole, Steak and Potatoes
  • Last bite on earth: Eggplant Parm with Garlic Bread.

Uses for pesto?

Could also add it to mozzarella in carrozza sandwiches!

Uses for pesto?

Welcome :) I love putting pesto on good ciabatta or italian bread, and then topping it with parmigiano or mozzarella and melting it under the broiler. So tasty!

Favorited Form of Potatoes

Mashed with a ton of butter and cream, or wasabi smashed!

Dumb cheese question.

You can, it just won't be as delicious as it once was. Just wrap it in a ton of saran wrap and then a ziploc bag with all of the air removed. Won't be as tasty, but if you're using it in a recipe, it won't make a huge difference. If you were just going to eat it by itself, you'd probably be able to tell.

How to deglaze a pan without making a mess?

Everyone already answered this, but I'll answer part B of the question: I love using white wine as my favorite deglazing liquid. Close second would be chicken stock :) Great pan gravies made that way!

StarBuck's Salted Caramal Hot Choc, to drink or not to drink?

I LOVE this. I don't care what they make it from. I will say that I always get mine with fat free milk and no whip. I think the salt and caramel is WAY better tasted this way. My friend got hers regular because she never goes to starbucks. So I tried hers thinking I'd get a sip of the extreme decadence, but I couldn't taste it as well. Definitely tasted less salty. I think the whip overpowers, and the milk just makes it a tad too rich. I am not a health freak at all, so me saying this means that I really do think it tastes better. They didn't have this last year, but had it two years ago. I almost freaked when it wasn't out last year. So glad they brought it back :)

Rachel Ray's Late Night Bacon recipe

I also love that the cook time is 5 minutes.

Rachel Ray's Late Night Bacon recipe

HAHA oh dear. Love the innuendo. That is the only plausible reason for why she would call this "late night bacon".

Thanksgiving sides - from Scratch or a Box?

I am so with the Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce! I can't help it! It just works. Little piece on top of Turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes... Come on. Other than that, from scratch. Christmas and Thanksgiving are the two holidays during the year that I refuse to skimp. But I do enjoy making things ahead of time, as much as possible :)

Dinner Last Night: Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style

We were on a similar wavelength! I made Mexican Lasagna! I suppose not exactly the same, but close enough :) Mmm, i'll have to try that recipe though, and heed your warnings!!

Healthy Pizza recipe

Pilsbury crust is fine. Your best bet though, if you're in a hurry, is to get it from your favorite pizzeria. Can't give you facts on the nutrition facts though. Like @Dcarl1 said, making it is quite easy. In a pinch though, the best premade is stuff your pizzeria makes, not the grocery store (usually!!)

Need Help - Fall Dinner Suggestions

If you have a salad course, make sure you add some fresh apples or pears and walnuts to it for a nice autumn feel! Pork is always such a good go to for fall because you can pair it so crazy well with fruit. Can make your own (or even just buy, they have them at a lot of stores now) pumpkin or squash filled ravioli/tortellini/any filled pasta. Can also make muffins filled with pumpkin cream cheese!

Happy anniversary!

Salad Dressing Recipe?

Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar is now very readily available and quite cheap at most stores (for the not crazy aged anyway). It's a very good vinegar to add to your vinagriette too! I definitely agree with the hint of dijon in dressing. So good.

Cook the Book: Barefoot Contessa, 'How Easy Is That?'

I love to make crab cakes on top of roasted garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus squeezed with lemon, with a balsamic drizzle. It looks fantastic and is so incredibly easy. It just looks so elegant.


@JerzeeTomato LOVE Wegmans bread. Goodness.

I am so in love with the crunchy bits of stuffing. For Thanksgiving we always have the bird stuffing and then non-bird stuffing. Some family prefers the moist, but most of us run for the crunchy topped stuffing :)

Thousand Island Dressing on Burgers

I very much enjoy it when it's good thousand island (which, I know, sounds absurd.) It's only really offered at mcdonalds' big macs around here. But I've put them on my home made burgers a few times. For the most part though, I prefer mayo, mustard and ketchup instead.

Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant parm. this looks so mouthwatering!

Stale Bread Pizza

This looks delicious!!! Fantastic idea :)

easy lavender cordial

What did you have for lunch today?

An everroast chicken sandwich. My mom just got back from New Jersey so she brought some really amazing Italian bread rolls (if you live near an Italian deli in jersey, you know what I mean!). Just had pickles, mayo, garlic hummus and green onion on it. Was delicious though :)

"gourmet" Cooking/Serving Advice You Ignore?

I should rephrase. I like runny yolk in sunny side up eggs. But in omelets or scrambled etc, it has to be fully cooked. See. Even more bizarre.

Not your mom's meatloaf!

lol best thread ever.

Not your mom's meatloaf!

I dare say my mom uses way more ingredients in her meatloaf than this recipe calls for!

Meat and Potatoes is a shameless rip-off of Man vs. Food!

The host of Meat and Potatoes is straight up awful. At the very least, Food Feuds has Michael Symon who you can watch even if you don't care for the show. But M&P was just unwatchable for me. In most food shows, we all know the host already knows mostly about the food, so he knows what questions to ask to inform the viewer. But this dude can't even ask the questions without pretending to not know the answer. It's just hard to watch. Plus, the dude's a tool. Can't stand it.

"gourmet" Cooking/Serving Advice You Ignore?

I'm the same way with fat! Just the feel in my mouth makes me sick. And the ONLY way I can eat chicken skin is if it is so crispy that you can't take a bite with the skin even becoming remotely detatched. That's why I basically only buy boneless skinless unless I'm planning on roasting the bird. Even then, I peel it off. Fried chicken, I peel it off unless it's like I said. The only exception is wings - that would be quite a messy endeavor haha. I fully know how ridiculous this is, too.

Soo weird.

Your favorite Wasabi recipes

I recently bought wasabi paste for wasabi smashed potatoes. Alright, that's one dish I'm making, but truth be told - I don't cook with a lot of wasabi. I know it's a great condiment, but I'm sure some of you cook with it as often as you cook with butter, so I figured I'd pick your brains a little bit. What do you love to do with your wasabi paste?

Weekend BAKE OFF! Need suggestions!

This weekend the husband and I (for no reason in particular) have decided we want to do a bake off. I have a few ideas in mind, but I'm not an avid baker. I know so many SE readers bake all the time, so I figure there's no better place to ask. What are some of your favorite autumn baked goods? Only thing is that I don't want to make a 'bread.' I've already made 4 breads of different kinds since September. So I'm looking for anything else basically. Some ideas we're thinking about are: lemon almond biscotti, pumpkin cookies, macarons maybe but i've never made them, caramels, etc. I've read so many recipes but I'd love a little insight :)

Digital Cameras

I did a little searching on this already, and came up with a few posts. I haven't seen anyone that has a Canon Rebel XT or higher talk about their camera though, so I figured i'd ask about those directly.

I currently have a really...for lack of better words...terrible camera. At least it is terrible for taking any sort of good food shots. It's a Canon Powershot SD 750 Elph. It's a very nice point and shoot camera, but it takes many photos for me to get a good, closeup, no-flash shot of food. We live in a small apartment, with not much good natural light, honestly. We have a few windows, but it's not ideal lighting conditions.

SO I'm looking into the Canon Rebel series. An XSi in specific. I have taken a few photography courses, and it was always a passion of mine. So I'm not shelling out the big bucks just so I can take photos of food (not that there's anything wrong with that! But I do want it for other uses too).

I am curious if anyone has any of those cameras in the series and how they feel about them for shooting their food pictures. Currently the XSi is about $400 on ebay/other sides and $580-$600 brand new. So if you have a camera in that price range (or lower is fine! My wallet would probably like that better!) that you find works amazingly for you, please feel free to share.


Leftover Oktoberfest beer. Want to cook with it! Suggestions?

I threw an oktoberfest party this past weekend, and bought WAY too much beer (who could complain about that!) So now I'm trying to go out of my way to try something different than the traditional beer brased bratwursts and beer can chicken. Any good ideas? I was thinking of doing something with sausage or beef, in particular. But I'd love chicken recipes too!

Oh, and don't fret, I'm drinking the beer as well :)

Romantic Dinner, new ideas?

Hi all! I'm new! I haven't posted before, but have looked around quite a bit :) I just love all the advice you guys give, so I figured I'd throw this one out there. I've googled and looked on, and pretty much all over, but I want some fresh ideas. I'm trying to plan a special romantic dinner for my husband this weekend. I don't want to make your typical filet mignon or pasta dish. What would YOU make in order to spice up the evening? The only thing the hubs doesn't really like is fish or any kind, or scallops. Pretty much everything else goes :) (and if you have a traditional pasta or filet mignon recipe... well i'll still take that too!)