I'm a transplant, no matter where I live. I move north, south, north...again and again. I love food, learning about it and trying new flavors.

  • Location: Little Rock, AR
  • Favorite foods: Seafood, shellfish, Asian, Thai, beer, cheese, pimento cheese, good burgers, Mom's cooking, grilled foods, pork buns from Momofuku
  • Last bite on earth: Mom makes some killer cheese enchiladas (I like mine w/green onions and olives) that could be in the running. Also the Linguine & White Clam Sauce that my dad and I would cook when my mom traveled out of town for work. More nostalgia than anything.

The Science of Jello Shots

I consider myself a pretty good jello shot maker. Is that something to be proud of? I'll let you decide (but I say yes). Part of it is my hometown pride (read here for some history of jello )

The most popular one I made last go round was the cherry cola. The liquid I heated up first was cola, added black cherry jello (much better than regular cherry), stirred to dissolve then added vodka (not the cheapest you can get) and poured the mixture into cups with a piece of a cherry in there. Voila!

Staff Picks: The Best Things We Ate in January

That loaf of bread is gorgeous.

Eat This Now: Zapp's Voodoo Potato Chips at Bon Bon Sandwiches

Finally something we've got going here for us in AR! Several of my local sandwich shops (Boulevard Bread Co and Hillcrest Artisian Meats -H.A.M.- serve Zapp's as their sandwich accompaniment. The flavor of VooDoo, to me, seems to be "a little bit of everything" and I love it!

DIY Amaro

Can you think of any problems with me making this in a plastic Cambro food storage container? I know it will hold the volume needed and is food safe, just didn't know if there was a particular reason for using glass.


Taste Test: Ginger Snaps

My office has an unwritten (but very much spoken) rule- if you travel to a city with Trader Joe's and do not pick up a pack of the Ginger Snaps you are banished (or at least chastised). We go through them pretty quickly.

Pomegranate Jelly

Has anyone made this with low sugar pectin? I'm just finishing my first batch, made as the recipe states. Was wondering how a low sugar pectin version would be. Thanks!

Watermelon Limeade

About how much watermelon juice would a fruit that size produce? I'm considering making a large volume of this for a party and would like to try to plan accordingly. Thanks!

Chain Reaction: Waffle House

Waffle House was the first place I had a real vanilla coke. That was good stuff and before coca-cola sold it that way.

Aside from all the love you've given the hashbrowns (scattered, smothered & chunked for me please)and waffles, I love the raisin toast with apple butter. Mmmmm. I'll have to remember the burger for next time.

3 Summer Cocktails Straight Off the Grill

I've had a grilled pineapple mojito and it was delicious. But now I want a grilled peach whiskey sour!!

Our Best Bites From the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

I had a great time last year, was really bummed to miss it this year. Happy to see Gus' Fried Chicken get a mention. Once just opened in Little Rock within the past few weeks and its been very well received!

There are some great shots in the slideshow. Thanks for sharing!

Where to Drink Beer in Philadelphia: The Best Beer Bars

So. Excited. I am finally able to partake in something that is on this site. Watch out Philly, here we come!

A visit to the Standard Tap is in order for sure.

Where to Buy Beer in Philadelphia: The Best Bottle Shops

The Foodery! My old bodega in Northern Liberties and the only place I'd buy beer since buying a case from the distributor wasn't easy on foot. Love that place. I hope to see it in a week or so when I visit my old stomping grounds.

@Lorenzo- yeah, they haven't caught up with the times. You basically can buy individual bottles or mix-a-six pack but you certainly pay for it. Its really easy to hit $10 or $12 on a six pack at the per bottle price.

Vitamix Orange Julis

I loved Orange Julius growing up. I was always sure to walk through the food court at the mall in case they were handing out samples. My mom's version was pretty good. Sometimes it would separate a a bit but I usually didn't drink it slow enough for that to happen.

Vitamix Orange Julis

My mom used to make this for us all the time. Her recipe was oj concentrate, sugar, milk, ice and maybe some water. She'd also throw in some vodka for grown ups.

Mint Julep Protips: Refining The Classic Derby Day Drink

Isn't Derby Day on May 4?...the day before Cinco de Mayo? Although I do love the idea of trying this with tequila.

Help with a big decision

Perhaps it would be helpful to know what region you are currently located in so we can compare it to your options. Good choices though!

Is bundt cake the new cupcake?

We have a dessert food truck in town and that is serving mini bundt cakes, but in addition to other sweets. I like the idea of them. Sometimes I just can't take the enormous piles of super sugary frosting on top of the cupcakes. (I kind of offended and embarrassed myself by admitting that, but its the truth.)

I think that the "single dessert" bakeries are going to have to evolve to survive, no matter what they produce. There are only so many cupcakes to be sold, right?

Splenda/sugar substitutes in cocktails

You can do a simple with sugar substitute. Just know that the substitute is way more concentrated than regular sugar (think how much sugar is in a packet vs. a packet of splenda). My boyfriend is a bartender and at the place he works he *had* to make a lower-cal margarita. He tested several options and I think the powdered stevia was what they settled on. (I think they were tasting final product, not just the syrup). Good luck!

Splenda/sugar substitutes in cocktails

Are you using bar sugar (finer than table sugar but not powdered sugar)? Is supposed to dissolve easier. Some bars who cut corners on mojitos and caipirinhas use simple syrup instead of actual sugar.

If I need to make an adjustment, I prefer less "real sugar" than using substitutes. I can't stomach the taste for some reason.

Taste Test: Every Flavor of Combos

Nacho cheese and Pizza are the best ones. I'm going to be spending a fair amount of time in the car this weekend. May need to add these to my shopping list.

And @Nick, you are right. Little marrows! Next will we see hipsters trying to attempt bone luges with Combos? Its a vegetarian version.

Ask the Critic: Where to Eat on the Upper East Side, Do You Send Back Awful Food?

@Nick- that was our opinion too. The place reopened after being closed for over a decade. In its last incarnation, it was a steakhouse. They have evolved it a bit more that but have really been pushing their steaks to bring in the old loyal fans. But man, our friend is (rightfully so) a selective diner as he is a realllly good (award winning) chef and could cook at home better than a lot of restaurants. It really wasn't a smart move, no matter who the diner, though.

I've been to this place once for lunch (they have parking so its convenient) and had a similarly strange experience. When asking if I could get some mixed greens instead of fries or chips you would have thought I was the first to ever ask that. And my friend requested no cheese on her pasta (she's allergic to dairy) and of course it came out with it. I could go on and on but the main take away is that I've learned my lesson. It'll move over to the "fun place to get a glass of wine after work" list.

Pricing Cookies

I have a friend who hired me to make some freezer friendly food for her during an especially hectic time at work. I ended up charging her for the shopping list, freezer containers (which wouldn't be an issue for you) and we settled on an amount per recipe. Some recipes took longer but had more weren't a lot of work. Others involved a lot of work but no time.

Something to think about.

Ask the Critic: Where to Eat on the Upper East Side, Do You Send Back Awful Food?

I've only sent back food once and it was because my fish was frozen in the middle. The first two bites were flaky and delicious then I hit the iceberg. Staff handled it well, but it still left a mark on the night. What is your companion supposed to do. Keep eating? Stop and let their food get cold?

I'm happy to see from the BOH staff commenting here that they take things back, no matter how legitimate the complaint. A friend of ours (who is a chef) went to a recently reopened steakhouse in town here and ordered his steak Mid Rare. Came out mid well. Mentioned that to the server and asked for a new one and was told that the chef in the kitchen "didn't do that, but they could give him a free dessert!". Needless to say I won't be ordering a steak there if I ever go.

Atlanta restaurant recommendation?

Seconding JCT Kitchen. Even if you can only stop there for a drink and a snack you won't be disappointed. Very delicious drinks that I remember even nearly a year after I visited.

Where (oh where) has my fake BFF Will Gordon gone?

Just read on twitter (posted by Mr. Gordon, himself) that his column is looking for a new home.

Sad face.

Comment Notification Problem

I really enjoy the Talk section and what I learn from others in the community. However, I've just noticed that I am no longer getting emails notifying me of other comments on topics I've commented on. I double checked and my profile settings have not changed. I don't know if this this happening outside of Talk, but it has only been a day or so.

Just wanted to let you know!

Airline Food on International Flights

I searched the Talk archives and didn't see any up to date topics on this, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

I'm flying international this week. Economy class, US Airways, USA to Germany. Has anyone flown recently and remembers what they ate? Its been over a decade since I've flown international and I know the food has changed.

The reason I ask is because I got an email from the airline asking if I'd like to upgrade my meal (for a cost, of course) on my flight. I'm considering doing it simply so I know what I would be eating and wouldn't stress about getting any food during my layover before I board the long flight.

Thanks for your help!

Jams and Jellies- What am I doing wrong?

Recently I've made a couple of batches of jam and jelly. As a child I helped my mom every summer when she made jam but this is my first solo project and mom doesn't live in state, so she can only help via phone.

The first batch I made was the blood orange marmalade recipe on this site. The flavor is great but its not as firm as I would have hoped. Comparing it to a store bought marmalade, its softer and not as jelled. I understand with fruit jams the amount of sugar, juice and pectin (in the fruit) are variables that you can't predict. I figured I would get better at it overtime.

Last night I made a batch of the pomegranate jelly (also from SE). I thought that since this is a measured amount of store-bought juice I wouldn't have as much or a problem getting it to firm up. I let it sit over night after processing it and its still a little soft.

What am I doing wrong? Am I not processing it long enough? I am following the specified time in the recipes. Am I not reaching the appropriate boil before adding the sugar or after?

When it comes down to it, I know these will taste great and my concerns are more aesthetics than anything (I don't want a PB& Pomegranate Jelly Sandwich to ooze too much!). I would like to make one more batch of a different flavor and then ship these as gifts so I don't want the soft jam and jelly to be a mess when they get to their destination.


Who you calling shrimp?

I've learned a lot from my fellow readers on SE Talk and I'm hoping you all can send me some cooking inspiration.

I have in my possession three glorious pounds of gulf shrimp. When I received them, they had been out of the water less than 48 hours. (The fisherman himself drives them up from Louisiana to the restaurant my where boyfriend works and he bought a few pounds for me.) I've split them into 1 pound bags in the freezer. My only question now is what to do with them.

I want your help because want to do these shrimp justice. Normally if I had shrimp I'd just add them to some stir fry or something equally simple.

I generally just cook for the two of us but am open to suggestions for both easy dishes and dishes that are more complicated and/or exotic, perhaps for a holiday. I froze the shrimps as is- heads on and all.

Thanks for your help!

DIY Cherry Bitters

Swapping in cherry bitters for Angostura bitters can give your cocktails a subtle yet delightful boost, adding a hint of fruit while still delivering the bitterness your drink needs. The best part about making your own is you can customize your bitters to your cocktailing needs. More

Snapshots from Germany's Wine Country: Mosel, Nahe, and Rheinhessen

It is one thing to drink wine at home, to open bottles at a dinner party, to remark on how delicious something is. It is one thing to read the long, hard-to-pronounce words on a label as you sip, and find a picture of that place online or in a book. It is another thing entirely to stand on that hard-to-pronounce hill and feel the wind pulling at your hair, feel the loose red rocks slipping under your sneakers. More

Whiskey Peach Sauce

This simple, boozy peach sauce makes a perfect dinner party dessert for those nights when it's too hot to even think about turning on the oven. Try swapping some of the peaches for apricots, or use bourbon, peach schnapps, or dark rum in place of the whiskey. Serve it over ice cream, pound cake, or French toast. More

16 Great Bites from the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

We spent the weekend eating biscuits, drinking bourbon, and having a grand time at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. In its second year, the four-day event celebrates the rich food and drink traditions of the south, bringing together talented chefs hailing from 13 states and D.C. The group of expert chicken fryers, bourbon distillers, biscuit bakers and other Southern food and drink authorities rolled up their sleeves to teach us at seminars and feed us inside the tasting tents. Check out the snapshots of our favorite bites! More

Smoky Fried Chickpeas

This is the sort of recipe made for those who entertain frequently—an elegant little pre-dinner snack that wows without requiring all that much effort. These briefly fried canned chickpeas crisp in olive oil scented with lemon and thyme, getting all nice and crunchy on the outside while retaining a bit of creaminess within. More

Eyewitness Booze Investigation: Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow and Whipped Cream Vodkas

It's finally turned winter in Boston, so I had to trade my bike in for a bus pass. This was initially devastating, but then I realized it was an excuse to get one of those superphones that prevent you from ever making accidental eye contact with a fellow human being. So that was good, until it led to more bad: You know all those people staring at their phones on the bus? I'd always assumed they were looking at porn or reading Serious Eats, but it turns out they're busy beating the hell out of me at Words with Friends, the fake Scrabble game that is disproving everything I thought I knew about the English language, things such as "Will has a firm command of it" and "Quok is not a word." More

12 Sips and Scenes from Tales of the Cocktail 2011

It's been said that the sun should be warm over your toes before you have a cocktail—but here in New Orleans, at the site of Tales of the Cocktail, the cocktail shakers never stop making their sing-song sound of rattling ice. There are new products from almost every brand, new technologies to explore, and old drinks to rediscover. Check out some of our favorites sips and scenes. More