I listen to music. I cook. I blog about it. Mayhem ensues.

  • Website
  • Location: Arizona
  • Favorite foods: Peaches, pecans, and peanut butter.
  • Last bite on earth: Make it chocolate, please!

Share Your Sweets: Easter Inspiration

So much wonderfulness... but the angelfood-with-lemon-curd-and-strawberry-frosting is what I'd like random passersby to serve me, like, right now. I want to go have brunch so I can eat this cake afterward.

Manner Matters: Dealing with Dietary Demands

It's a running joke in my family, when I plan a holiday menu, that one of my sisters is likely to email the day before the event to announce that she's gone vegan and gluten-free. I actively prefer to delay the grocery shopping until the day before, so my rule is that she can announce heretofore unknown dietary needs until 36 hours before the event. After T-36, no further accommodations will be made, and she can bring her own food or gnaw carrot sticks or whatever.

I'm waiting for her to change this up by bringing a boyfriend who has a dangerous peanut allergy or something, where I positively have to change the menu or be the (literal) killer of her romantic hopes.

Anyway, spot-on answer!

CakeSpy: Cadbury Creme Egg in Hole Toast

@arielleeve -- Having given up on Cadbury about the time that Mondelez (then Kraft) bought them (because the quality had declined so far), I'd vote that your husband buys the eggs, croons over them for a few months, then throws them out without eating them. They really *were* better when he was a kid.

Can I Substitute Dried Beans for Canned?

Yup, the standard rule is that dried beans roughly double in volume when cooked. Old cookbooks used to cover this because so many people used the dried ones.

Goya's probably retaining that beautiful red by pressure-cooking the beans.

Once upon a time, I used to have no trouble at all with dried beans, but at some point, I lost my dried-bean mojo. I suspect the store stock I'm buying starts out old, then gets older as it sits in my cupboard while I dread cooking dried beans.

Pizza Poll: How Do You Like Your Sausage?

Large chunks (with fennel, please!) or slices (and where's my linguiça, dammit? nobody out here uses it).

Crumbles or pebbles are what I expect to see on $1 personal pizzas, which I eat far too many of, but which I don't really consider to be pizza in the serious sense, and more than a PB&J sandwich can be mistaken for steak.

How to Make Sprinkles Ice Cream (and Set Your Inner Child Free)

I was thinking more along the lines of tutti-frutti ice cream (which is a thing and has a fine history) and just add sprinkles for color. (I know nothing of this blogger but she illustrates the concept.)

Or blue moon ice cream, which essentially tastes like Fruity Pebbles and has the added panache of being bright blue.

Staff Picks: What's Your Favorite Quick-and-Easy Lunch?

Mix pinto beans and white beans on a 50/50 ratio, add jalapenos or salsa to taste while heating. With corn and chunked yams or squash, it's an easy interpretation of a traditional native food in my region. With taco chips and cheese, it's either chilaquiles (if you put the chips in the beans to absorb liquid) or nachos (if you pour the beans over the top of the cheese). You can add sausage or chorizo or leftover chicken or ground beef or leftover pot roast. If you're out of most ingredients or past caring, the bean-jalapeno mixture by itself contains protein, fiber, and a nice kick.

14 Sweet and Spicy Desserts We Love

Well, this indirectly answers my wondering why my chocolate cookies with white pepper are not satisfactorily spicy. I usually make them with ancho chili powder...and there appears to be consensus that ancho chili is the correct way to do it.

Chain Reaction: We Try McDonald's Bacon Clubhouse Sandwiches

@Nicholas Byrd -- So far, McDonald's attempt to upgrade has not gone well. It axed an entire line of (failed) premium burgers before introducing this one. Same-store sales perform weakly, despite menu changes and aesthetic upgrades, and complaints about the quality of service are so rampant that the company has had to admit that there's a problem.

It's emblematic of the current McDonald's that, after admitting in February that the menu is too large and complicated, management went right on expanding it.

Open Thread: White Chocolate, Yay or Nay?

Yay. I think it's silly as a flavoring (e.g., "white chocolate Jell-O pudding"), since it basically tastes creamy and sweet and not much else, but I'll happily eat it as a candy or dip. If somebody would wander through the office complex handing out Lindt white-chocolate balls right about now, that would be good.

New $12 Burger Lands at McDonald's in Switzerland...or Does It?

Well, $7.39 is more than a burger costs me at Smashburger (fast-casual chain), Harvey's Original Wineburger (truly fine local dive), or Original Hamburger Shop (local Fuddrucker's equivalent). So for McDonald's, I'd call that le pricey.

Poll: How Does the New 'American-Style Pizza-Burger' from Freshness Burger Make You Feel?

When I hear the term "pizza burger," I expect marinara sauce and provolone on my burger, with maybe some mushrooms or pepperoncini or even actual pepperoni.

Clearly, my expectations are inadequate to the splendor that is Japanese fast food.

I note on their web site that the featured "cream soda" is green.

(moderately) enraging little debbie clickbait...

The author of the list is clearly under the false impression that snack cakes are actual pastries and should be taste-tested as such. This is wrong.

Snack cakes live in their own culinary universe, in which one of the higher purposes is to be chocolate-coated and creme-filled. Do not diss the Swiss Roll!

Know Your Sweets: Angel Food Cake

@sbertie -- I'm envisioning flipping the loaf pan over, with something under the corners to elevate it. If the cake didn't rise above the top of the loaf pan, it could just sit upside-down on the cooling rack.

The problem that's puzzling me, though, is that tube pans have that lock on the side so you unwrap the pan from the cake instead of trying to pry the cake out. Loaf pans call for prying. My best and largest loaf pan is non-stick, but I've never tried making angel food cake in a non-stick pan.

What to do With Leftover Condensed Milk

Easy pseudo-kulfi. Condensed milk, an egg (if you're not scared of raw eggs), lime juice, lime zest, cardamom. Scoop into small parfait glasses and freeze. I did it by feel, back when I used to do it (this is kind of a calorie bomb), but there's probably a recipe somewhere. You want a tart juice to cut the insane sweetness a bit.

Mixed Review: Pillsbury Blue Raspberry, Key Lime, and Orangesicle Cookie Mixes

So basically, deploy them for Pinterest projects but don't feed them to grown-ups?

I'm so glad you covered these. My fingers were itching every time I passed the boxes, just because they're weird, but I would not be very happy about actually eating them.

Manner Matters: Bread and Butter Basics

This is how I eat bread at dinner because it's what I learned in my etiquette-book-reading phase.

I've never seen anybody else in the U.S. do it this way, even at formal events where the guests were wallowing in their own aura of Armani tailoring. They all put the butter on their dish, butter the whole bread item, and then pick it up and take bites. I suspect I have a mild reputation for having my fingers all over my food and eating in a bizarrely bird-like way. That does not necessarily motivate me to change.

Toast and biscuits at breakfast, I do butter all at once so that the butter melts properly.

Staff Picks: What to Drink at a Not-Great Bar

Even dive bars in Phoenix carry local microbrews in a bottle.

Otherwise, I order whiskey and coke. Bartenders know how to make it, the proportions aren't touchy, they have the ingredients, and the order can be shouted over the noise of a crowd and still come out right.

Behind the Scenes: Making (and Setting Fire to) DBGB's Baked Alaska

Technically, it's a Bombe Alaska, due to being set on fire.

If we wanted to get completely technical -- which I do, today, because I am troubled by a Baked Alaska that's been nowhere near an oven -- it should be a Bombe Alaska Brulée, since being hit with a blow torch is usually considered equivalent to going under the broiler.

Make it with an ice cream flavor more interesting than vanilla, though, and I'd forgive it for all sorts of imprecise nomenclature, under the Setting Food on Fire Is Good exception.

Poll: Pineapple on Burgers: Way or No Way?

@Erin Jackson -- Yes, I think your subconscious wants pineapple on burgers and wants it NOW.

I just assumed you were on the "must always experiment -- new frontiers, put an egg and pineapple and sauerkraut on it!" foodie train rather than the "must preserve hamburgers in their pure Platonic Ideal" foodie train. On the whole, I'm usually in the experimentalist camp myself, though I'd skip the combo I mentioned in favor of the date ketchup and fried onions on the Encanto Burger at Pizza People in Phoenix.

Poll: Pineapple on Burgers: Way or No Way?

When you define being pro-pineapple in glowing, foodie terms about "all the sweetness and acidity it brings," you're pretty much telling us that the correct answer is YES, BRING ME PINEAPPLE ON MY BURGERS.

I can't remember even seeing pineapple offered on a burger anywhere I go in Phoenix, though no doubt some restaurant does it.

Open Thread: What's the Best Frozen Pizza?

For actual quality, I vote with @sbmellen for California Pizza Kitchen's thin-crust Sicilian. It will not rival the output of a live pizzeria, but it's a very good thing on its own terms.

But hey, I routinely buy whatever's in the freezer case at the 99 Cents Only, which usually means Celeste or (I think) Totino's. It exists in my world less as pizza-qua-pizza than as the pepperoni-studded equivalent of a hastily constructed peanut-butter sandwich because a person has to eat something.

Here's Which of Sonic's 6 New Master Blasts You Should Try

The Pineapple Upside Down is the one that sounds worth a try to me, actually. I've made pineapple pie (it was a 1930s craze) and it works particularly well with a bit of caramel sauce. Pineapple turnovers are also a thing here in Phoenix, due to the presence of panaderias.

Poll: Do You Take Photos of Burgers?

Yeeup. Mostly for Yelp, but honestly, what's the point of Twitter other than "Here's the good time I'm having that you're not"? (The cat photos have their own Twitter account. My cat is surprisingly dull but photographs well.)

Discovering @joe.distort's Phoenix blog makes me happy.

Chain Reaction: We Try Papa John's Double Cheeseburger Pizza

@Tia Tess -- I fondly remember Godfather's cheeseburger pizza from my own college years. Even giving a heavy discount for nostalgia, it was better than this newbie cheeseburger pizza sounds to be.

eilonwy hasn't favorited a post yet.