Latest Comments

Served: Why Not to Date Customers (One Day I Will Learn)

I think you handled yourself with grace. How arrogant to ask you out while on a date.

Serious Eats: Sex Foods

Spring does make us extra-frisky-- I highly recommend a surprise bubble bath with two flutes of champagne with cut strawberries inside them. Cliche but a nice one!

Serious Eats? Really?

@Don Luis - I'm curious; what direction would you like Serious Eats to take, specifically? What kind of topics?

In my experience, the website has thus far two thing accomplished two things for me: (1) I am slowly but surely learning how to cook. Not cook well, Don Luis, but how to actually serve edible things. For instance, I recently learned just how to make an omelet. This might be a small thing for some, but that it actually stayed together AND tasted food was an amazing feeling.

(2) A sense of community. Sure, I like knowing that there are other people out there who enjoy food, but the range of topics, from regional cooking to legislation in the U.S. to the S....L....O....W food movement, is all very interesting. Plus people on here are very nice and funny and were quite understanding in a recent post of mine when I confessed I served "turkey on a stick" for Thanksgiving recently. I got some great tips!

BTW, I live in NYC, but grew up in Mexico, and get the whole "there are two Americas" idea that you are trying to point out, and believe me, people here are intelligent enough to see that! I think many though like myself see this site as a pleasurable escape where we can get away. At least that it's what it is for me. I'm a writer and have a book deadline; it's on the Middle East. It's very depressing. This makes me smile (;

chocolate easter bunnies

I prefer Peeps to the bunnies, personally...

You live where?

Brooklyn, but I grew up in Mexico and Jerusalem. I've lived in Austin and Ann Arbor for school. My boyfriend is from Fuzhou, China, and lived there until he came to New York.

Eventually he wants to get married (ahhh! I'm SO not bride material) and move out to the West Coast, perhaps Seattle...

Photo Tour of Shilin Market in Taipei

@roboopy - HOLA! Do not be's actually a means of irony. While I do like vegetables, I LOVE everything, especially SUGAR. I drink my coffee VERY strong and black, which probably will give me an ulcer. Btw, did I mention I love SUGAR? I just finished a chocolate chip scone with the foulest coffee for a snack, and I'm starting to a shake a bit. Hey, at least the guy told me it was coffee.....

Cook the Book: 'Beyond the Great Wall'

I went to Istanbul for a conference, and had heard about the legendary stray, aggressive dogs that roam the streets of the city at night. As I like to take walks at that, I also was told not to worry. So one evening I went for a walk with my friend who I was staying with, who's lived in Istanbul for most of her life, and also the one who gave said advice. We were walking along the Bosphorous and it was beautiful and I was feeling not unlike Orhan Pamuk, all full of poignant melancholy, when sure enough a pack of dogs spotted us and and chased us. And chased us . And chased us. Suddenly it seemed there was no one out but us. Eventually a group of teenagers came our way and chased the dogs off, but even now when I see a dog on the street in NYC, I wonder if their inner Cujo 's going to come out.

What I Like About the Corn Syrup Commercials

My favorite commercial was from a while back- pork: the other white meat. Like the true juvenile I was, I would start giggling uncontrollably. Which caused mi madre to think there was insidious intent in some sort of subliminal message directed at corrupting youth. In my case, it was too late.

Oh, and I was raised in a kosher household!

Photo Tour of Shilin Market in Taipei

Thanks for the head-ups; I love markets and grow quite homesick at times for Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem. Btw, I LOVE your blog. When I first saw a photo of you and then compared to said blog title, I thought this girl is too small to have ate everything. Ah-ha! If I had one it would probably be The Girl Who (Over)Analyzed Everything.

Irish 'Potatoes' from See's Candies and Oh Ryan's

I might "I"s, though my typo strangely makes sense to me right now...
Probably not a good sign.

Irish 'Potatoes' from See's Candies and Oh Ryan's

Unassuming as See's might be, I yes, please.
Was that a limerick?
What if I change the front to green and clover-leaf my eyes?

Alice Waters on '60 Minutes'...The Interview.

@Traveller: btw, I know how you feel. I'm just learning how to cook in the first place, and the only time and energy my BF now and I have for cooking is on the weekends. That said, as @WhatsCookin shows, I'd also like to make certain changes in my life too. I do think about the environment, especially since I grew up in a VERY polluted area of Mexico, and if my (future) child ever had to grow up like that, I don't know what I'd do...

Alice Waters on '60 Minutes'...The Interview.

@BangieB - Your comment really spoke to me. I dated someone for 3 years who was very devoted to eating locally, organic and all that jazz. While I admired him for it, I could not do the same. Now here's the kicker: since we were both young (22, out of college), while I was in grad school on a very tight budget, I could not afford to live such a lifestyle-- and his mother almost came at me with a cleaver! Just kidding. While she didn't come at me a cleaver per se, she worried that her "poor child" (her words, not mine) wasn't eating well. The family literally ate three-course meals for dinner every single night. Nary a Grey's Papaya hot dog or 99 cent piece of pizza ever touched their lips.

What was so funny in the end was how his mother would go on and on about wanting a farm to grow her own food. While an uncle of mine in Mexico works on one, and when his parents came to visit my family there, his mother was quite put off by how much actual WORK went into it. Come to think of it, I don't think she actually did any cooking herself...

All that said, I am for helping at local farms; I just don't think we should avoid the costs issue, especially in this economy. Truth is, I'm not buying organic right now...or expensive shoes, Ms. Waters, though hats off to those who can! (:

What Do You Like to Read When Eating Solo?

Friday morning is my coffee/pastry/book morning. I go down to the local bakery, have a seat at the counter, swivel around a few times to see if I got one of the good seat (full swivel necessary) and the have whatever the bakeress recommends that morning. She is awesome. She made pumpkin empanadas when I described them as a weekend treat of my childhood. (TRY THEM!) I take with me a book that I read simultanenously. For some reason Right now I'm reading BROTHERS by Yu Hua. Strongly suggest it. This morning I had a Sumatra blend and an almond flaky croissant. Most wondrous.

All About Coffee in San Francisco

Thanks, Adam. Gracias. Todah raba. I'm trying to cut back and you have to post this most tempting single cup picture along with SF's coffee culture...

Must refrain...had two pots already...

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 58: My Diet Buddy Grace

Hola Ed! Not too long ago, I too fought stress, but I did not have a Grace to stop me. My problem was when I got behind things, I went and shopped. And these proprietors fully aided and abetted me. Dresses as much as my rent. Specialty foods that belonged, of course, on beautiful new and creative plates. And then there was that rare Yaakov Shabtai the original Hebrew...don't even ask how much I paid.

Point is, now I was pointed recently by a friend to other ways of combating stress. I don't know if these will help but I offer them up:
(1) Put on "I Will Survive" by Gloria G and dance your socks off. Just because you are male AND in an office AND there's people around AND it's a really a breakup song doesn't mean you can appreciate the chorus and sing along...
(2) Install a small punching bag in the corner of your office and get some boxing gloves. Or have a pillow handy. Or, for the true minimalist, a squeeze ball.
(3) Try a cup of ginger tea. I like to cut up raw ginger thin, pour hot water over it, cover with a plate and steep for 15 minutes. It's also a great stomach soother.
(4) Look at this picture: I'm not into cutsie but this always makes me smile. In truth, I want one of those but believe federal law prohibits it.
(5) The whole deep breathing thing...let me know if it works...

What are your strange, secret and personal cooking tips?

@meatguy - LOL to "You can't bake dinner rolls at 400 degrees when your roast is at 350" -- the BF thinks you can hasten cooking by upping the temp! Too funny!

BTW: I got some new kitchen tools, including the thermometer so highly acclaimed, and last night the BF brought home a Joy of Cooking (he rather read this post, emgroff, or it was a weird coincidence) and we're going to have some late night cooking after seeing the American Plan...I'm actually excited.

Foods Others Hate That You Love!

I am nuts for any stinky cheeses. Limburger and pickles on bread.
Second, Pont l’Eveque on anything; this one is hard to find, which makes the BF and other passing through the kitchen very, very happy.

'The Chopping Block': Do We Really Need Another Cooking Competition Show?

Only if Padma makes frequent guests appearance...yes, I have a girl crush.

What are your strange, secret and personal cooking tips?

@chisai-- I will do that. One part TV on the Radio to two parts Avi Gefen (with a dash of Rihanna-- yes I'm over 20 and listen to her!)

@PerkyMac - you are not old. I hear alarms, sirens, snooze buttons and screams so often in NYC, I say oh, someone else will get to's coming from my kitchen...and no one else is home...

So I feel the need to now reveal one problem-- that I should have revealed earlier. The BF is Chinese and is bilingual. His mother, though, is not. I speak a few languages (Spanish and Hebrew being native) but alas Chinese is not one of them. And she speaks Mien, a certain dialect. I am in the process of learning Mandarin, but probably sound like a 2 year old...and not a smart one. So I've decided, who cares? I will take my gibberish and utilize hand gestures-- and I will communicate with her anyway! (I must say though that despite the fact we rarely speak, the BF's mother and I get along very well.) Any way thank you for your comments-- I think this weekend, I'll let her run my kitchen and perhaps I'll learn the language of cuisine...

(Ok, that was cheesey)

Edith Zimmerman's Food Art Blog

Very funny stuff...especially her collection of Cindy McCain photos...

Reality Check, Please!

Interesting-- I will make an effort to find the middleground of the menu...

But as for the decorative swirls and colors, I will probably continue to be entranced...

What are your strange, secret and personal cooking tips?

@Madelyn -- I'm definitely going to try sofrito. I've heard about its magical powers.

@pooch -- Actually the problem is that I AM fearless. I do jump right it. It's people who have to eat my creations who are fearful...but that said, all these comments have been helpful.

@annatr -- oh, if only that was true. I tend to drown my fish in such globular amounts of olive oil, the BF takes the finished product and has to wipe it down a bit. And he's someone who loves his oils.

Oh it's less than trying to impress his mother-- I just don't want to poison her. But I must say I might work up the nerve to ask her a thing or two...

Cook the Book: 'Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating'

I have had an ongoing argument with my meat-loving BF concerning protein. Since he grew up in a rural part of China where meat was an occasional treat, I've come to the conclusion it's some sort of forbidden fruit for him. While I grew up in Mexico, in similar circumstances, the opposite happened: I've never adjusted to the taste of red meat. For us, I suppose, meat is also a class issue: the more you can eat, the more prominent you are. Of course with the advent of McDonalds, you could see why Americans don't share this point of view, but for us, it has been an ongoing adjustment.

He eats oxtail for breakfast...sometimes a steak...and always tries to make me more red stuff. Somehow a bloody, thick slab of bovine doesn't mesh well with a work-is-upon-you-get-going-NOW Monday morning. We both read Pollan's book which he found too theoretical for real life. But I've always like Bittman's column in the Times, and slowly but surely, he does recognize that Americans by and large get too much protein. That doesn't mean he'll give up his beloved oxtails, but it does mean I feel less guilty about daily avocado stuffed with greek yogurt and walnuts: this is my mecca of social prominence!

I rediscovered _______, and now I love it!

Goat milk. My mom gave it to me as a kid because I believe I had problems with lactose? Not sure but I dreaded it. Now I live the slightly sour tang of it!