I keep two blogs: Here and There, and Altered Plates. Altered Plates shows how I use agave nectar instead of cane sugar (and other sweeteners) to sweeten recipes. Here and There is about my non-agave cooking, travel, gardening and other adventures.

  • Website
  • Location: Somerset, NJ
  • Favorite foods: shrimp, mac and cheese, Mom's matzo brei, my own version of brownies, pizza
  • Last bite on earth: Mom's matzo brei

Latest Comments

11 Great Pizza Road Trips from NYC

I'd also recommend a train ride to New Brunswick for Panico's Brick Oven pizza. Very tasty.

There's also a great local spot in Somerset for a whole wheat pie -- Village Pizza on Easton Avenue.

Taste Test: Crunchy Peanut Butter, Stir

We started grinding our own at Whole Foods and like it a lot better than the rest.

The Pizza Lab: On Flour Types, Foams, and Dough

Well that makes sense. I make my pizza flour with a mixture of all-purpose and bread flour, both King Arthur. I tried with different ratios, and half/half seems to work the best.

Are you happy to own a Dutch Oven?

Yes! I've used mine from deep frying to no-knead bread and everything in between. It's my go-to pot since everything I make in it always turns out better than dishes I've made in others. Cleans up like a dream. Cannot recommend it highly enough. Worth the $$$.

Just bought a rice cooker! What's your fav use?

I make quinoa with mine. I rinse the quinoa before and afterward to prevent any bitterness. Then, I usually make tabouli with it.

Homemade Kit Kat Bars

Guess this doesn't fall into the Paula Deen is trying to kill us category because it's only 2 sticks of butter. Can you imagine counting out the 75 club crackers? Is that an entire package?

Winter: What's it good for?

Bread baking, chocolate making, soups, cooking any kind of spicy foods.

Best way to ship bagels to keep them fresh

We've sent our share of bagels out to Utah, and have found that individually ziplocking each bagel, then putting all into a much larger ziplock within a box works best. We've tried freezing them first, but they thaw just the same. Good luck!

Cook the Book: 'Street Food of India'

The classic NYC hot pretzel with lots of spicy mustard.

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 140: Can Dried Fruit Be Diet Food?

Hey Ed,
One note on dried fruit -- you might want to brush your teeth more often. A dentist friend of mine said that raisins and other dried fruit cause more cavities than candy. Just a thought.
Rock on, Diet Man.

What IS The Best Tip, Trick, Recipe etc You've Gotten At SE?

My favorite thing is continuing to watch Ed keep his weight down and write about his dieting experiences. He always gives me hope.

Best City for Vegetarian Food

NYC. So many options and many at low prices.

Grilling: Baba Ghanoush

Oh, and I whip up a seasoned oil (salt, pepper, cumin, and some red pepper flakes) to brush onto the eggplant slices prior to grilling.

Grilling: Baba Ghanoush

One thing that always depresses me is that fresh, grilled baba ghanoush doesn't seem to stay well. You have to eat it soon after making it, while it's still warm -- with other folks -- because it's never that great the next day after being refrigerated.

By the way, I slice up my eggplant prior to grilling it. That greatly improved my results and cut the grilling time a lot.

Growing herbs indoors - advice?

I received an aerogarden as a gift and cannot recommend it highly enough for folks who do not have sunny windows near the kitchen (like me). One drawback -- it's always on, so there's a constant draw of low voltage (think small fish tank filter). Otherwise, it's been great!

What is the Greatest Compliment You Have Received on Your Food

"When are you going to open a bakery or a cafe?" Retirement?

"Your chocolates are almost too pretty to eat." That didn't stop them.

"John's really missing out!" [My husband doesn't eat most of the vegan dishes I make for parties.]

"If God ate pies, this would be God's favorite pie." Tough act to follow, that one.

What's The Best Sandwich You've Ever Had?

Well, I've always been a cheese sandwich blogger...

Poll: Matzoh Ball Soup - With or Without Noodles?

Never seen noodles in matzo ball soup before. I don't eat chicken any more, so unless it's made with veg broth, it's not for me. That said, big, fluffy balls, a little bit of onion, celery, and carrots, please.

What's Your Favorite Hamantash Filling?

A few years ago, I made them with fillings fashioned from dried fruits that had been steamed, then drained, then mixed with unsweetened fruit spreads and a little water. A very simple filling to make, and you can improvise as much as you like. Dried, fruit-juice sweetened cranberries make an excellent bright red base (not to mention a very good foil for all the butter/margarine).
This is how I did it:


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