I'm a frugal 20-something who loves cooking at home all the time and getting a GREAT meal out every once in a while.

Cereal Eats: The Virtue of "UnSweet" Cereals

Heritage Flakes! I was just thinking this morning that SE should do a piece on them!

What's your favorite ice-based sweet treat?

An Arnold Palmer!

Peach Recipes

Pie and ice cream are my go-to's. Cut peaches also freeze well if you freeze with sugar and lemon juice to keep them from browning.

What's new around Savannah, GA...

I second the recommendation fr B Matthews. Went for lunch and it was delicious.

Where to eat? Eastern / Southern Road Trip

In Atlanta, I would recommend Fox Brothers Barbecue (though they are a big brisket place, so maybe not the traditional southern barbecue you're looking for) and Thumbs Up Diner for breakfast. FYI, Thumbs Up is cash only.

Do you have an acquired taste?

PICKLES. And most other brine-y things. I've gone from not liking vinegar to having a small obsession with pickled pepperoncini. Still can't do olives.

In Our Community Corner: Meet Erica Jacobs (aka: 'Teachertalk')

I love this column! And I loved learning more about of the many wonderful SE'rs!

What's your favorite vegetarian soup?

I am a minestrone fan myself!

Recommended cookbooks for unskilled heathen bachelor?

Help my apartment has a kitchen is a good cookbook for basic meals for non-cooks. Geared toward the young bachelor.

How do y'all stay thin?

Don't keep snack foods in the house. Eat small portions. Try to have at least two mostly healthy meals every day. Exercise moderately (VERY parking a little far away when I go shopping).

Need Side Dish Ideas for Holiday Dinner with Picky People

A salad would be nice. I would recommend setting it p bar-style. If someone just wants lettuce, cheese and croutons, they're free to do so that way.

Recipe pet peeves

I can't stand it when a recipe has "quick" or "easy" or "30 minutes" in the name, but calls for everything to be halfway done before you start! For example, calling for 3-4 vegetables, already chopped. Or meat that's already cut and cooked! I've learned to read through for these things, but this marketing strategy still drives me crazy!

Down South: How to Cook a Raccoon

I was prepared to click on this story, see some New Yorker talk about how he cooked a raccoon one time, and have to clarify indignantly that not all Southerners cook an eat raccoons. But instead of seeing a piece that insults the backwards South, this article was a real treat. It's still true tht not all Southerners eat raccoons, but this article really celebrates Drayton's tradition. Very, very well done.

Ideas, Please - for Wednesday Dinner Before Thanksgiving

If you're feeding company, I would go for any combination of salad, sou/chili, and a sandwich platter. Nobody will want anything too heavy,and it will be low-maintenance for you.

Morning drinker

A full glass of water immediately upon waking up. One cup of coffee with cream. Back to water.

Having Problems With The Mobile Site (Android)

I have had the same problem. iPhone 3GS.

Favourite Pork Tenderloin Preparation?

For a busy day, the blog Let's Dish has a good slow cooker recipe for pork loin with a balsamic glaze.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

haha comment was going to be "Then try the white mocha sometime!"

Even though IfYouCookIt said it first, that thing is SWEET. But as for the pumpkin spice (or any fancy Starbucks drink really): don't expect it to taste like coffee. Getting in a "dessert" frame of mind makes it better.

How Long Do You Spend On Dinner?

I take way too long!!! Cooking is a leisure activity for me, and I get home 1.5-2 hours before my husband, and I usually spend most of that time preparing dinner at a leisurely pace while taking care of other household chores. Cleanup also takes too long and is not nearly enjoyable. I don't have a dishwasher right now, so it's a slow, tedious process.

Soup: In a Bowl or a Mug?

Bowls for me. But my parents have some Campbell's mugs that are sort of shallow and wide compared to a coffee mug, so I will use those if the occasion rises.

Beyond Small Batch: Single Barrel Whiskeys

When I toured the Jack Daniels distillery with my sister, they said you could buy your own barrel for $12,000. You also get your name on the wall, with an extra designation for every seven barrels you had bought. There were several people and companies that had bought 50+ barrels!

Cheese or cheese sauce on nachos?

Real cheese at home, but I prefer cheese sauce in restaurants.

Home made vanilla extract

I would say a month is good. But you don't ever have to take the beans out...your extract will get better with time.

Pimento Cheese in New England

Make your own. It's easy.

One kitchen item you hate to wash?

Any lime sherbet punch lovers out there?

Am I the only one who LOVES that punch made from ginger ale, pineapple juice and lime sherbet (or a variation on that theme)?

I look for it at every baby shower, graduation party and retirement reception I attend.

How do you feel about the green goodness?

How much food do you take on vacation?

How much food do you take with you when you go on vacation? Do you load up cooler after cooler to make sure you can eat on the cheap, or do you eat out every meal to experience all the local meals you can? Somewhere in the middle? How do you decide?

Are you an onion crier?

Do you cry when chopping onions? How bad is it? Anything that helps you not cry?

I'm a terrible crier when it comes to peeling and cutting onions. Sometimes I even cry when I'm sauteeing them. Sometimes I cry when I'm in the same kitchen as someone slicing an onion.

My mom always takes over onion duty when we cook together, and she's a beast. No tears, no stinging, only the occasional remark about a strong onion.

I peel my onions under cold running water, which does help.

I cook with yellow onions almost exclusively. The small ones seem to be the most potent.

How accommodating are you?

How far do you go to accommodate the dining wants and needs of your guests?

I keep seeing posts about gluten-free no-egg birthday parties, vegan bean-free all-local family dinners and vegetarian gluten-free all-raw holidays.

Do you try to prepare a meal where every item meets every specification of every person? Make sure there's at least one thing each of your guests will enjoy and can eat? Just cook what you want to eat?

I think it's good to make sure every guest will be able to eat at least some of the meal if you're dealing with allergies or diabetes or anything like that.

Picky eaters and unreasonable requests, I'm not so down with. In that case, the person is on their own and is more than welcome to bring a dish to share.

Allrecipes: Love it or hate it?

Just wondering what everyone's opinion on is. I sense some AR hatred (or at least dislike) sometimes from the food community.

Yeah, there are a lot of not-so-stellar recipes on the site. But most of them have ratings that tell you so right off the bat.

And yeah, a lot of the recipes used canned soups, bottled dressings, etc.

But overall, I feel like the size of the site is helpful...if I need a starting point for a recipe, I can usually find one and read some reviews to help me tweak it further.


The importance of a good knife.

I just have to share this with you SErs...I don't know anyone else that will fully appreciate it.

I got married last weekend. It was glorious, and so far so good on the marriage. :)

Anyway, we got the knife set we registered for. It's a Caphalon knife block. I know there are much better knives out there, but holy moly!

I never knew you could cut bell pepper without having to saw when you get to the skin. My knives are sharp enough that I actually cut myself when the knife touched my finger.

It's like a whole new world.

The only other knives I've ever bought for myself were 3 for $20 at Target, so I've never had good knives before.

I just thought we could take today to express how wonderful a good knife can be. Happy Friday!

Packaged Dutch foods

Anybody have a favorite packaged Dutch food/snack/candy?

I happened upon a Dutch imports store near my house the other day, and I really wanted to buy something, but I didn't want to throw my money away.

Any suggestions?

America's Next Great Restaurant: anyone still watching?

I know there was a post about this about a month ago, closer to when the show started.
Just wondering if anyone is still watching America's Next Great Restaurant? Damn, that title is long.
It has a lot more to do with business than food, but I'm a sucker for reality TV of all kinds, and I don't have cable.
It's formulaic and not all that dramatic, but I watch it.
Anyone else still watching? What do you think?

Do you care if your leftovers sit out?

Do you care if your leftovers sit out for a while before getting into the fridge?

How long is too long? A few hours? Overnight?

For example, I went out to eat with the fiance for lunch, and it was probably a good three hours before we got to the nearest fridge with our leftovers. Didn't phase us a bit, but I've heard people say you shouldn't wait more than two hours.

Heck, I've gone with overnight more than once. WAAAAY more than once.

In general, what's your threshold for leaving out the leftovers?

Your food budget

One of the personal finance blogs I read asked readers to post their weekly grocery budgets a while back...and some of them seemed extraordinarily low to me. Like $20 per week per person.

I'm assuming I'm just more into food than these people.

So, other into-food people, what's your weekly grocery budget?

No restaurant spending. Just groceries for home prep.

Serious snow

Anyone out there eating a milk sandwich today?

I've had several friends post photos of empty bread and milk aisles at grocery stores. I guess my neighbors all like to make hamburgers when it snows, because my grocery store was out of ground beef yesterday.

Is there anything you make sure to stock up on when the weather gets bad? Any traditional "snow day" foods?

Note: All of you in the North, feel free to make fun of us Southerners. I can take it. But I do have about 7 inches and counting!

Freezing meatballs

I made a meatball dish tonight, but I made waaaay too many meatballs. I used about half.
I haven't cooked the other half yet. Should I cook then freeze, or freeze raw?

Benne wafers

My dad loves benne wafers. (really thin wafer-like cookies mainly consisting of sesame seeds, for those of you not from the South.)

I try to make some for him every Christmas, and I've tried several different recipes over the years. Some were fab, others were drab. Others stuck to the baking sheet so horrifically we might as well have eaten seeds.

Problem is, I haven't kept track of what worked and what didn't. Anyone have a recipe or tip? Thanks y'all!

cleaning an iced-tea maker

My mom uses an iced-tea maker similar to a coffee pot to make tea. I've noticed it has an "old" taste lately, which I think comes from the fact that we mostly just rinse the pitcher part and call it clean.

Should I use a vinegar solution like cleaning a coffee pot, or is there a better way?

My boyfriend HATES vegetables...Help me!

My boyfriend can't stand vegetables. He pretty much only eats meat and bread.

Usually, I make some sort of meat and starch and have a steamed vegetable or salad for myself, but I still don't like that he WON'T eat vegetables.

He says it's a texture thing. I have had mild success with putting a small amount of pureed vegetables in sauces and that sort of thing.

Any sneaky suggestions or ideas for recipes he might actually like?

I should also mention that he doesn't like mayo, mustard, pickles, beans...(I don't know what I've gotten myself into!)

married to a chef?

I'm just curious...what's it like to be married to a chef? Does your chef cook you delicious meals, or is he/she too tired or sick of cooking when at home to keep the good stuff coming? And anything else about being married to a chef...

Just so you know, this is not for any personal boyfriend is a research scientist. :)

Food lover or food snob?

What's the line between being a food lover and being a food snob? Some people seem to have an appreciation for both the fine things (homemade cheeses) and an appreciation for the not-so-fine (squeeze cheese), but some people frown upon anything microwaved, boxed or containing even a single artificial ingredient. Where do you draw the line? Are you a food lover or a food snob?

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