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emgroff

  • Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

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!

What food would you miss most as a vegan?

CHEESE

and eggs. And pork.

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?

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.

Steaming milk with no steamer?

Or you can just shake it in a jar and microwave it.

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!

Dinner Tonight: Asparagus with Crème Fraiche Mustard Sauce and Prosciutto

Wow, this amazing. Didn't have any lemons, so I used white wine vinegar. That sauce is amazing! I think we'll try this for dinner next with a poached egg or shrimp.

No More Posts (again)

I'm also having this issue, again. I use Google Chrome.

Pizza in Easton, PA

I live in Bethlehem and have heard great things about the pizza at Sette Luna in Easton. I haven't eaten there yet, but it was described as "the best pizza in the Lehigh Valley."

Supermarket Smackdown

WEGMANS. I moved to Pennsylvania two years ago and shop almost exclusively at Wegmans. It combines the high-quality ingrediens, good service and pleasant shopping experience of Whole Foods with the price competitiveness and general offerings (pharmacy, household goods, etc.) of a Safeway/Giant/Stop and Shop/what have you. Plus an amazing prepared foods section.

Where to Take a Date for Cocktails in Portland, OR

We were just in Portland on vacation. We drank (a lot) at Clyde Common because we were staying in the Ace Hotel. It's pretty big and noisy, but I liked the drinks and food and the service was friendly. We also went to Cask. It was much more "romantic," but the drinks were just as good.

Picnic: cold fried chicken and ... ?

So I promised my gentleman friend fried chicken on Saturday. We're going on a picnic, so it'll be cold. Will this work? I've never done it before and I want to make sure it's still good. Also, what else should I pack? I'm planning buttermilk biscuits, but I'd like something fresh and green, too. Salad maybe? For what it's worth, we'll be having peach ice cream and toffee cookie sandwiches when we get back home.

New Sonic in CT! Is it good? What should I order?

So I'm really excited that Sonic Drive-In is finally opening in Connecticut (today, no less!) and I can finally stop being tortured by their television ads. I plan to make a pilgrimage on Friday, but I thought I might ask you guys for the inside scoop first. Is Sonic good? What are your favorite menu items? Thanks!

Where can I find quince?

It's fall and I keep hearing about quince and seeing quince recipes. But here in Connecticut, I've never since a quince in a grocery store or anywhere else. Do you know where I might find quince? Are they just not available in the Northeast?

Where can I buy lardo in the U.S.?

My bf and I were watching the other evening and Anthony Bourdain was in Italy. Kev was absolutely in awe of lardo and I'd like to get him some as a fun treat. So far, the only web site that I found sells it is Murray's Cheese. Do you know of any other web sites? Does Murray's sell quality goods via the interweb? I live in CT, which is sprinkled with old pockets of Italian immigrants. Is lardo the kind of thing an Italian market might have? Or perhaps another specialty food store?

Le Creuset: Is it worth it?

So over in the food section, there's a discussion of the six most important tools in your kitchen. Again and again, "Le Creuset Dutch oven" comes up. Like many cooks, I covet just such a pot, but I'm stymied by the high cost. For those of you who own Le Creuset products, have you found them to be worth the money? Is there a cheaper brand that makes Dutch ovens of similar quality?

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