Like to read, travel and drink wine. Best place to be is the beach.

  • Location: Suburban Philadelphia (Bucks County)
  • Favorite foods: Fish & seafood, most all non-goat milk cheeses, really good bacon and nice, dry wines.
  • Last bite on earth: Icy cold vodka gimlet with a super-fresh seafood platter, baked potato w/butter and a big green salad. A nice dry French Graves to drink.

Latest Comments

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo

@ohryan and Chemist ~ Are you using Kosher salt or table salt? Table salt will make the water too salty, perhaps.

The True Story of Traditional New Year's Lucky Foods

Growing up in the Philadelphia area, we always had roast pork with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes for New Year's Day. My sister's godmother was first generation Lithuanian and introduced us to the custom of eating pickled herring (on cocktail rye bread) at midnight on New Year's Eve.

I still do the pickled herring on NYE and sometimes have roast pork and sauerkraut on NYD.

Win a Copy of 'Marcus Off Duty'

Made from scratch Bolognese Ragu served with fresh fettuccine and a green salad after. Always have a batch of ragu in the freezer.

Helga's Meatballs and Gravy With Carrot-Apple Mashed Potatoes From 'Marcus Off Duty'

P.S. ~ yes, ask for meatloaf mixture. Equal parts beef, pork and veal. You could probably sub in ground chicken for lightness.

Helga's Meatballs and Gravy With Carrot-Apple Mashed Potatoes From 'Marcus Off Duty'

Carrots in mashed potatoes was something my PA Dutch (not Amish) MIL always did. I've done it for years and usually add garlic while cooking potatoes and carrots. Delicious.

Does Refrigeration Really Ruin Bread?

I've read a few times that professional bakers recommend that after bread is cut, just store it sit-side-down directly on the counter. I've done this and the bread is still good for a couple-three days. Never done it in the midst of a nice hot and humid summer, however.

Which Milk Is Best for Coffee?

Black all the way for me - no sissy sugar either.
I've never liked drinking milk, even chocolate - just do NOT like the taste. I do use lacktose-free skim for cooking and no-one ever seems to notice the difference.

The Best Baba Ganoush

My friend and I used to go to a very authentic Lebanese restaurant in Brooklyn (on Atlantic Ave. I think) and the owner/chef always used garlic in his baba ganoush. It was fabulous and his charcoal grilled chicken and kefta was delicious also. He wouldn't give us his recipe for couscous, which was the best I've ever eaten.

What's the Most Expensive Meal You've Had in New York?

Years ago at The Palm on 2nd Avenue. Cocktails and wines, lobster and steak, sides of potatoes and creamed spinach and cheesecake for dessert.

I didn't have to even think or fret about the cost as we were being treated by a very good, very wealthy friend. Heaven!

Have you ever been just a little sneaky?

I've always added American cheese to my mac 'n cheese sauce and chicken or beef bouillon to my gravy prep; adds so much extra flavor. And my homemade chili is started with "3-Alarm Chili" package for the spices. Also, I never, ever tell how much butter and cream goes into my mashed potatoes. You don't need to know ~ just enjoy!

A Beginner's Guide to French Wine

Very nice and informative post about my favorites ~ French wines. I especially enjoy those northern wines with that dry minerally taste. Ros├ęs from Loire and Provence are probably my absolute favorites for warm weather.

Of course, the very best thing is to be drinking these wines while relaxing in France.

I feel a little dirty...but oddly, not guilty.

Ice Cream - Specifically HD and/or Ben & Jerry's. I only buy pints of the stuff and have been known to start out with a small custard cup and then finish off the whole thing, in one sitting. Waah! :))

Chicken for a Crowd

Thanks everyone. I'm still waffling back and forth between the boneless coq au vin and boneless lemon chicken; with a big platter of gussied-up rice.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@J. Kenji - Oops. I've never tried to cook Japanese rice at home. And now that I see how hard it is, I think I'll just eat it at Asian restaurants!

Chicken for a Crowd

These are all great ideas. I think it's going to be either Ina's lemon chicken (boneless thighs and breasts) or a modified coq au vin. Both with a big platter of gussied up rice.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Chicken for a Crowd

Thanks, these are both great ideas. I'm not sure about a curry - some very un-adventurous eaters among this crowd. I could make a VERY mild curry in advance and try it on the most picky eater. He'd probably not even know that it's curry!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@sourdough - my method is very much the same as your husband's. I was taught by a friend's Southern grandmother.

Bring pot of water to a boil, add salt, add long-grain rice (Carolina type) and stir with a fork, so it doesn't stick. Bring back to a slow-boil for approximately 12 minutes. UNCOVERED. Stir with fork once in a while. At 12 minutes, taste. If cooked enough, drain, fluff with fork and eat. If you need to hold for a little while - put about 1 inch of water in the pot, bring to a low simmer. Place rice-in-the-strainer over the water, cover with a clean tea towel. When ready to serve, rinse rice with boiling water, fluff with fork and serve.

So simple. I've never had gummy, icky rice or undercooked rice or overcooked rice. Of course, this way of cooking precludes adding things that will wash away when drained.

Cold Weather Comfort Food

Right now I'm making a ham and bean soup. Will serve it tomorrow. Also, a pot roast with carrots, onions and mashed potatoes with gravy is a cold-weather comfort food for me. Almost anything that gets slow cooked in the oven qualifies.

Cook the Book: 'Feast' by Sarah Copeland

Baba ganoush with lots of garlic, olive oil and parsley with pita bread. Oh, and a glass of wine.

Open Thread: What's Your Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish?

It's stuffing for me. Mine is made from white bread, onions, celery, parsley, sage, chicken stock, a little white wine and a dash of garlic powder. Also, the cranberry relish; make a different one every year and I love the brown sugar and butter sweet potatoes too. I don't even really need the turkey to be a happy eater.

Joe Bastianich

Cannot stand him; comes across as arrogant and mean. Can't believe he's in a partnership with Mario Batali. He acts as though only his opinion is worth anything. Jerky guy! Bah!

Just the scent alone...

The smell of a good ragu simmering - I think it's the nutmeg. I do love the smell of cinnamon buns and sticky buns and bread baking. Used to drive by a Nabisco bakery at night and the smell of sweet things cooking always made me hungry. Also, I can be totally full after a meal and just the smell of meat grilling or onions frying gets the juices going again.

Amazingly, I have never had it...

For me also:
Fried Twinkie and Mountain Oysters
Energy booster drinks and flavored coffees
Most popular, sweetened cereals
Lots and lots of non-mainstream Asian dishes
Sea Snails and/or other odd sea foods
In 'n Out and Carl's Jr.

And, I didn't bother with Titanic - already knew how it ended.

Bottle of Marsala wine with no new ideas

I know you said no more meat, but Julia Child has a wonderful recipe for ham braised in Marsala and beef stock. So easy and hands off - covered and slow cooked for a few hours and you have meltingly tender ham with a jus flavored with carrots, onions and bouquet garni that is great with any kind of potatoes - mashed, roasted, gratin, etc.

Why Have I Never Tried: Chunky?

Chunky bar is a old favorite of mine. (Not as favorite as Peanut Chews) Loved the old version, but the new one is OK too. Cadbury Fruit and Nut is better, but I can't always find those everywhere. Raisins and chocolate together are great. Old movie theater favorite was a box each of chocolate-covered raisins and chocolate-covered peanuts eaten together. My cheapo version of Bridge-mix.