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Staff Picks: Our Favorite No-Shame Snacks for When No One's Looking

I'd try Maggie sauce....I once knew a Maggie who, if she made sauce, I would buy stock! ;)

I usually lean toward bar pizza: cheese, fresh flour tortilla (THE BRAND YOU MAKE YOURSELF) and jarred sauce and whatever veg cooked and needing eaten in the fridge.

But this weekend I was with a group of women with a free bag of Doritos. Haven't had them in YEARS, but it has unleashed a salty need for the fake-flavoring stuff I did not know was lying dormant.

Also, Cheese Nips (not at all like Cheez-Its). I ran my own taste test this Spring and we are Nip folks, not It folks. Much better.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Surviving the Off-Season

You are eloquent, Tyson. Yours is one of the very few articles I look to read on this SE site. I gave up coming here daily when Talk ended and it is very telling that the announcement of the sale of SE has "comments closed". You, I come back for....please keep reporting somewhere, if this place doesn't work out. Your reporting from the front lines is clear and honest and I am bone-tired just reading about your efforts. Stay strong.

Why My Fridge Is Never Without Shirataki Noodles (and Yours Shouldn't be Either)

Look, don't should on people. Just don't.

And these noodles have a texture and taste I would walk miles to avoid. Blech.


Gadgets: Breville's Smart Waffle Maker Produces Perfectly Browned Waffles

I love our much cheaper cast iron, one waffle at a time, maker. Use it on a gas stove and it is perfect.

If I was wealthy, I would get one like at the hotels for breakfast---a commercial unit that makes one at a time.

I personally am very disappointed at this site, and since I can no longer start a new thread, will state here that I have noticed a serious lack of community in the number of responses to articles. Most have under 5 responses with the giveaway article having 186 or so. I remember posting to those articles at a much higher number.

You are losing community and page readers. Pay attention.

What It's Like to Work at a Hot Dog Cart

@johncarruthers I see all your posts have been in June 2014. That is interesting, in itself.

What It's Like to Work at a Hot Dog Cart

@johncarruthers Perhaps that is sarcasm or not, I cannot tell. Come to my area and I will treat you to a hotdog with coleslaw and hot dog sauce...other condiments optional.

Meanwhile, I imagine an in-depth article to include what it is like day after day to serve people food, deal with trash and litter, when does the vendor get a bathroom break and where, odd requests, license issues, food handler tedium, etc.

And the pics make it seem there was a second person there to help serve--didn't really get that on the first read of the article. Why no further elucidation of that---are two people needed at a cart? Serious profit issue, if so.

What It's Like to Work at a Hot Dog Cart

This site has SO MANY problems....especially the comments that allow multiple postings of the same reply. Please fix, or you will lose the few who do still visit. ! or 3 or 7 or 18 posts on articles....really no community here any longer. I'd post this somewhere else, bit there is no community section to post to....

This is a poor article. Do your prep. Have a counter and put it on your waistband and tick it at each sale of the item you are counting. Takes 2 seconds and you can keep a tally.

Yes, soda has a high mark-up. This is not news. Add-ons add profit. Also not news. Please consider leaving your experience behind and recording the owners'.

When do they prep the cart? What does the weather do for them? (At a high traffic ice cream stand today, they admitted that when it is above 90 degrees F that traffic actually slows....70-85 is great.) How did the new health care act affect them? [I am a small business owner that can actually afford health care now because of it. How about these guys?]

The Best Way to Grill Hot Dogs

We are a Nathan's or Hebrew National (fat free kind) family. I say skip the gas grill and go to the fire, if you can. We cook ours over fruit wood, slowly, in a basket. Soaking them would be a good addition, but usually when we soak a sausage, they are simply cooked all the way through that way and served with the sauce (usually peppers/onions/tomato).

I used to like a vegetarian version called "Not Dogs" that I can no longer find. I liked them for what they were, not because they tasted like a hot dog. If I had them and wanted to soak them before cooking, I think I would use some bbq sauce, beer and garlic/onions/jalapenos.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Wow, I disconnect from SE for about a week to get married and BAM! gone is my SE Talk.

I used Facebook long ago (an early non-student adopter) and deleted my account, as I hated it. I have two twitter accounts tied to my non-essential email addresses and have had them for years. I will not use SE on Twitter--I quit following SE on Twitter not long after following them (within a year or so) because the posts were tedious.

But I see the demographics are 20's to 30's so everything may skew that direction. I am sad because I wanted to post an extensive location report re: food and describe my first LaFrieda burger, not to mention the fabulous bacon burger I found and the sticky toffee pudding, etc. I am very sad to see it go. I guess this is close to the end for my participation. i will miss you all.

So the weekly email is turning into a daily...

I simply opt out. I prefer visiting here at my leisure and without the annoyance of an email each day.

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?

One in the bedroom and one in the kitchen. Had to fight the urge to mount it on the wall; instead it is beside the fridge. Had a few stovetop fires when I was a kid and then an overzealous candle on a dining room table, etc. It makes a person practical.

Why people do not update their smoke detectors is also a good question. They seem to think that they remain in perfect condition for decades. Not the batteries, but the unit itself. Here's a hint, even if they are unconnected to a electric/smoke alarm system throughout, replace them at least every decade. If they have taken a beating, do so sooner.

Cook the Book: 'Afro-Vegan' by Bryant Terry

Mashed potatoes and peas with lots of butter and pepper.

This looks like a cool cookbook.

Serious Eats Magazine and Android

I use an Android and I hate the mobile site. It is clunky and takes long to load, despite how fast my connection WiFi or phone company.

I wish they just posted the magazine as a free-standing page online. I am likely never going to get an app or download it.

I don't have a....

I also meant to say that you can get a good instant-read thermometer for under $8 that is even able to be calibrated. So if you want something, consider that and you might find it helpful, even if it doesn't require a battery or have a playlist. ;)

I don't have a....

No dishwasher and do not want one. Gave away the microwave when I realized we only used it for dog food heating. But then we have been here for nearly 25 years and do not own a clothes dryer--still hanging laundry out year-round. Was offered one as a gift and we turned it down.

Have an inexpensive whetstone I bought years ago and use often. You can get them for under $10 now at Amazon.

Do not own non-stick anything or a stand mixer. No fancy enamel casserole pots, but lots of cast iron options including a tripod I use out on the fire. I know I am rich in many things, including the ability to cook outside on an open fire with fruit wood we trimmed ourselves(visitors from LA loved that this past weekend). Pick fruit from our trees and gather herbs from the garden.

My kitchen will never be a showplace with its old formica, dropped ceiling and mismatched paneling; the one room we have never gotten around to updating. But I can cook the dickens out of that kitchen and have and plan on doing it for many more years, updated or not.

When Breakfast Gets "Weird"

I generally do not like breakfast foods many people eat. I do not like orange juice and milk and eggs all the time. I will eat a deviled egg, or Carnation Instant Breakfast (when I was at a desk job and my life was harried). Back at self-employment I can eat any dinner leftovers, a pastrami sandwich, asian-style noodles, cheese and crackers, homemade Chex Mix (nothing but the cereal, very little butter/seasoning and peanuts).

I like an occasional breakfast like buckwheat pancakes and sausage, but I would choose a cheeseburger or tacos or anything else over eggs/ham almost every time.

What will you make for Easter?

We started making lamb two ways about ten years ago and it is still requested. We have a small ham, too. One leg of lamb is traditional with just garlic (much) and olive oil/salt/pepper. The other is this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cookery" that we tried one year and LOVED. Link online here:

And roasted green beans, fresh pickled beets, homemade Easter bread, roasted potatoes......looking forward to a house full of company this weekend.

How do I cook good food for a VERY large crowd?

One more thing: "radical hospitality"--maybe everyone wants to experience this. You could ask for a group from the retreat attendees each meal to help clear tables and clean-up. They can then experience the "service to others" without needing the food handlers card (you do have one, right?).

How do I cook good food for a VERY large crowd?

I looked at my volunteer notes to be sure I was remembering correctly, but when I fix one meal for a conference of 165 people, I provide a mix of homemade food and bought stuff: some bought pizzas (some chains offer cheaper pizzas in quantity to non-profits--about $7 each) and sides/salads I made myself which made the special diets happy.

Even that was a lot of work for one lunch. A LOT of planning---heck, one of the first years I volunteered to do this I ordered bbq meat for sandwiches. The day I went to pick it up (30 minutes before lunch--everything else ready) the store was closed and owner in Florida. Wow, did I punt. Quick pizza order and very quick stop for fresh tortilla chips/salsa at another local restaurant and 50 eggrolls we cut in half. It was crazy. Stuff happens and you have to be ready for anything.

Why not just make the special diet stuff to augment the ordered food this year and KEEP NOTES so you know how it went for next year. I always keep meticulous cost, quantity and purveyor notes when I volunteer so that during the eval phase we know what we will do differently the next time. This is critical.

It can take months of planning for complex menus/events. When I cook for small retreats (50 or under), I still plan a long time ahead with complete menus, time schedules and prep work and list after list. I have a core crew I will work with because it is hard work and I like to enjoy the company I keep. I am volunteering, so I at least want a few laughs.

How do I cook good food for a VERY large crowd?

If you serve roasted turkey and vegan/gluten free sides, you can then use the turkey bones/leftovers for turkey rice soup. The turkey goes farther that way. And you can serve other items with both meals to meet the other dietary requirements.

Check out the cookbook, "Moosewood Cooks for a Crowd" for some great vegetarian options. I have used the recipes for crowds myself and was pleased.

I think I would limit my options for dietary differences. Perhaps the gluten-free version of a meal and the vegan version (meets vegan and vegetarian needs) and then the regular meal. All breads could be vegan, so that saves an issue there.

A taco or baked potato bar with a fresh salad and/or vegetable soup allows everyone to pick and choose and you can label everything well as to what is vegan or gluten-free. Remember, gluten-free means no utensils from other serving touches it and a clean grill (or foil) for gluten-free meat prep.

Lettuce wraps alongside sandwich fixings also works. Just remember that you have to work very clean or risk gluten contamination and/or vegan contamination. Label everything to be used only with those dishes.

Stuffed zucchini, pizzas (you can even purchase shells if you need to--that is a lot of pizza dough to make otherwise), and a beautiful salad bar should not be overlooked. Again, just keep the gluten free stuff separate where no one will innocently dip a spoon into it and contaminate it.

Are you and the people volunteering your time? I assume so, since the price per head is so low.

Open Thread: What's the Best Frozen Pizza?

Because of the Sporkful podcast on this topic and a shift in the space time continuum, I recently tried Elio's and Palermo's, which never used to be in our freezer cases. Elio's crust drooped when you picked it up and was way too sweet, plus the pepperoni was rank. Palermo's cheese pizza is ok. But just okay. The pepperoni on their pepperoni pizza was awful.

Our local pizzeria's frozen pizza has changed their recipe and stinks now. But then so does their fresh pizza--they changed hands and not the same.

I went through a whole period of DiGiorno's, but now, I prefer the Red Baron cheese pizza (I add pepperoni, etc.) or something else that is on sale---California Pizza Kitchen was fair but it is pricey. I think the small Totino's cheese pizza is OK, if that is what I have.

Yes, like most of you, I usually make pizza, but with yardwork season hitting and needing something fast and easy because I was engrossed outside, a pizza with vegetable leftovers (salad, etc.) can hit the spot and send us back outside in a hurry.

The Broiler on My Gas Oven Died- Advice?

Alternately, call a repair tech and watch closely and engage in conversation Consider the fee you are paying a lesson fee. Next time it happens, you can then do it yourself.

The Broiler on My Gas Oven Died- Advice?

When you replace an ignitor you do nothing to the gas supply connection. It is about a $30 part that can easily be purchased at a local parts store (hardware or HVAC place) and takes about 15 minutes if you are reading instructions while you do it. Once you do it once, it takes about 5 minutes. You DO need to unplug the oven for safety. Search for your manual/online instructions for your brand and model. If you can use a screw driver, you can do this.

Yes, go ahead and use what works until you repair it.

Is there a way to easily access past serious eats posts?

I should also say that I find searching through a search engine with "" and the subject I am interested in works better than the search function on the site.

Is there a way to easily access past serious eats posts?

While we are wishing, I wish that if someone commented on an article that it moved to the top of the list on the home page so that others know there is fresh commentary. Otherwise, there is NO value in commenting on an old article/recipe or requesting further discussion. Yes, certain spaces would be held for new content and sponsored posts, but also newly commented stuff would show. It is hard to keep track of topics I am interested in and I would like to know if new posts are there in the comments.