• Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

Latest Comments

The Food Lab: Building a Better Egg McMuffin

Indeed the sausage McMuffin is better and, I believe, the best breakfast sandwich money can by. There's just something special about that fatty sausage, salty cheese and soft egg.

In the Lehigh Valley, Your Cheesesteak Comes With Red Sauce

Lehigh Valley resident here. Thank you for this delightful article about our regional foodstuffs. I moved from out of town and still sometimes forget that cheesesteaks come with sauce here, but damn is ever good. With pickles and hot peppers, too, please!

Breakfast of Champions: Why New Jersey is Crazy for Pork Roll

Just over the border here in PA, we love Taylor ham too. Though it usually gets edged out on the breakfast table by scrapple. Has Serious Eats ever done a post on scrapple?

Manner Matters: Dealing With the Drunkety-Drunk

Just wanted to say that this is one of my favorite new(ish) Serious Eats columns. Your advice is so sensitive and sensible! And funny!

We Try Everything On Taco Bell's New Breakfast Menu

Oh goodness gracious. Serious Eats has long covered a wide variety of food, high to low and everything in between, with the same awesome balance of expertise and humor.

This was a great article. Dennis, you deserve an award for taking such artistic portraits of fast food.

Manner Matters: Crack Open That Bottle

@shoneyjoe, I actually have a friend who regularly brings alcohol to parties and then takes it home if it's unopened. At first I was appalled, but now it just makes me sad that nobody taught her about host gifts.

I'm one of those people who prefers my host to save the wine I bring for a time when they can really enjoy it. But that's the thing about gifts: You can't dictate how they're used!

Russell Stover vs. Whitman's: Which $5 Box of Valentine's Day Chocolate Reigns Supreme?

Chocolate molasses chew is the best! But what do I know? I like fruit creams too. A coworker bought the giant Whitman's Sampler for the office once. That was pretty sweet! (Heh.)

Did you make a wedding cake? What went right? Wrong?

I made my own wedding cake too, and I can't recommend "Wedding Cakes You Can Make" by Dede Wilson highly enough. She has tons of advice about how to make everything ahead of time so you're not crazy busy, how to stabilize and transport the cake, how to cut it, etc. Plus lots of tasty recipes and decorating tips! FWIW, I got married outside in August and we used the Italian meringue buttercream from the book. It worked perfectly.

sausage making book gift

I recently bought Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and am quite enjoying it. It has everything from basic sausages like bratwurst or hotdogs to more advanced stuff like soppressata or seafood terrine. I also really like the tone and the instructions.

Do you have AND use a deep-fryer?

I use my Dutch oven as a deep fryer.

Cooking music

I always listen to music while I cook, and for awhile, I enjoyed pairing the music style with the food. But my parents always taught me that you don't listen to music while you eat. I have no idea why, but it's a tradition I've kept.

Show and Tell: Your Favorite Novelty Mug

Also sad I missed this. My favorite is a kitschy mug I bought in a gas station on the Maryland Peninsula that says, "Don't bother me, I'm crabby" and has crabs (of course). Great for those mornings when you just want to stay in bed.

Han Dynasty Rocks the First Stage Then Loses Its Beat

I went to the one in Manayunk, outside Philly, after hearing so much praise and was really disappointed. Everything was overly sweet, cloying, cornstarch-thick. And expensive!

Know Your Sweets: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This recipe for pineapple upside-down cake is so, so good.

Tarragon ideas

I like the Cook's Illustrated Succotash. It has red pepper, onions, lima beans, corn, a shocking amount of butter, and a lot of tarragon.

What's Your Favorite Cracker?

Stone Ground Wheat Thin Minis. They're what I grew up with. They're so crispy and salty! I also really like Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Carr's Water Crackers, and of course, Gold Fish.

Favorite Brewery in Your State

I'm in eastern PA, which has tons of excellent ones—Victory, Weerbacher, Lancaster Brewing Co. But my favorite is Troeg's.

How to Make Gloriously Fatty Pork Roll Rachel Sandwiches

Mmm, love the Rachel. Love any sandwich with coleslaw on it. Fortunately, it's pretty common here in PA.

Cocktail Legalese: 5 Liquor Law Terms You Should Know

There are a couple of states that could challenge Illinois and Indiana. I'm originally from Connecticut, which sells only beer in grocery stores and until last year, sold nothing on Sunday. Now I'm in Pennsylvania with state stores for wine and liquor, and beer distributors and bottle shops for beer. If I host a party, I have to go to the grocery store for mixers and garnishes, the state store for liquor, and the distributor for beer! Thank goodness for Wegmans, which figured out a way to sell beer by making part of their supermarkets a "cafe." But you still have to buy it separately from your groceries.

On the Beer Trail: Turbo Tasting at Tröegs in Hershey, PA

But you missed the chance to feast on Lebanon bologna! Troeg's is an awesome brewery. As soon as they had Nugget Nectar, we drove out to buy four cases for our wedding in August.

Help! Incapable of thinking or decision making.

You forgot to ask what to name your food blog!


emgroff hasn't favorited a post yet.