I cook at home regularly, always seeking new recipes. I absolutely love trying new, unconventional dishes...the ones you're not 100% sold on due to bizarre ingredients that end up amazing, especially

  • Favorite foods: Asian noodles, potstickers, curries, soups. Fried plantains, Caesar salad, red velvet cupcakes, bear claws, almond macaroons, filet mignon with bleu cheese, chicken picatta, turkey meat loaf, good dark chocolate ice cream
  • Last bite on earth: to once again enjoy the kobe burger on a pretzel bun with a fried egg and fig-peppercorn spread that I had at a restaurant in chicago....soooo good, it renewed my love of excellent burgers

Latest Comments

Who cares what famous people eat?

I agree with you. Its not who you're cooking for, its what you've been inspired to make that counts.

To Grill or Not to Grill

I agree about the pan searing, they will dry out on the grill. Make sure your pan is screaming hot and sear on each side until their natural sugars caramelize and then get them outta that pan so they don't over cook and get tough!

The Sometimes Fabulous food of the young and Broke

@dbcurrie- This sounds all too familiar! =) I used to have friends over that knew how much I loved to cook and wanted me to make them dinner quite often...which was stressful because it meant using up what would have been many meals worth of food for myself.

I would take bnls sknls chicken breasts and slice them in half, to make them thinner and sautee them in italian salad dressing and serve them sliced up on top of spaghetti and marinara sauce from the jar. They loved it for some reason. I just asked that they bring the bread. I would slather slices of the bread with butter and garlic powder and bake them until crisp, throw a bit of parmesan over everything if i was lucky enough to have it. My friends would act like i made them the most lavish dinner! I turned them on to putting garlic chili paste in the tomato sauce for a kick and they loved it even more. It was crazy to me, i would think to myself, "wait til i can afford to cook you real food!"

My friends enjoyment made it easier to deal with an empty pantry, just ate a ton of dinner rolls at work those weeks. But it was like being told i had just won the lottery when my mom would announce she wanted me to join her for a dinner was so nice to fill up, and even nicer if there were leftovers!

@girlfromjetcity- My Mark bittman cookbook has been a huge help lately! I kind of forgot about it for a while, but dusted it off last week. He really seems to hear that little voice in your head that says, "aw crap! I don't wanna buy that for one dish!" and offers up realistic and inventive variations, I love it!

The Sometimes Fabulous food of the young and Broke

@lemonfair, you should try adding a cracked egg to your ramen. Leave the heat on after the noodles are done, season your broth and let noodles soak a bit, drain, then back in the pan. Crack an egg over the noodles and fry, stirring occaisionally(its best if the egg doesn't get too broken up), until egg is done. Hit it with a bit of soy sauce and some garlic chili paste. Its a really yummy and different way to enjoy ramen!

I learned this from a friend of a friend who lived in japan for a while and had issues getting to like the food(which i could not fathom!). He got acclimated by mixing things he ate at home with some asian flare.

favorite stoned snack

Baskin Robbins used to have this honey flavored ice cream with a fudge swirl and bits of sea foam candy in it one summer, I think I was the only person eating it and ate about 5 gallons of it! I miss those good old days and that good old faster metabolism!

Food network...try food competetion network

to ribster, I often find myself watching food network for lack of better things to watch, but do watch travel channel more often now because i'd rather see anthony bourdain make snarky comments and try all kinds of foods i probably never will have an oppertunity to.

To MarvinDog, i agree 100% about the ace of cakes plywood thing. I work in a bakery and we all can't stand that show! When we get orders for fondant or gumpaste work I am the one who does them and we always joke that i should make up a batch of rice crispy treats to stuff in my projects instead of actual cake

I think i'm going to have to start watching pbs on saturdays like donnie says, saturdays are the days fn brings out the crappiest of their shows. I hate Paula's party!!!! AAAK! And nfns is like american idol for a cooking show host. I really miss the frugal gormet, julia child, justin wilson, and yan can cook....sigh...and, Epicurious, when it was on discovery channel was nice too

Taste Test: Milk Chocolate Bars

I don't eat much milk chocolate at all, don't really care for it. I'm a super dark chocolate fan. I wanted to make a triple chocolate cookie recipe and broke down and bought a starbucks milk chocolate was better than most of the milk chocolates i've tried, but a little pricy for being sold at walmart

What would be your last beer?

three floyds GUMBALL HEAD, hands down. Its from northern indiana. Its a super hoppy wheat beer, that does not taste like gumballs at all

chopt'd, toss'd, stress'd!!!

I don't know if you like tuna, but a classic nicoise salad is a nice combo for a chopped salad. With boiled red potatoes, green beans, flaked tuna, olives, red onion, tomatoes, and lettuce in a light mustard vinaigrette. I also like dried tart cherries, wheat berries, walnuts, and salmon over romaine with a lemony vinaigrette, had something similar at panera bread a few years ago and now make it at home

What lengths do you go through for your favourite?

Now that is dedication. I live about an hour and a half away from chicago right now. A while back, when in culinary school, I would kill time in the city while waiting for fellow car-pooling students to finish class by going to a Whole Foods Market....i was flabberghasted and totally smitten by all of the beautifully arranged, brightly colored produce, the gleaming fish counter filled with exotic fishes i'd never seen before, the intoxicating cheese counter, at which i gobbled up several samples, the ruby red beef at the meat counter that looked so perfectly fresh, the wildly eclectic pastry counter...i could go on and on...It was the beginning of a long, long love affair. I save my change, i try to snip a certain portion out of each of my measly weekly budget alottments i give myself, and i dream of going back there. When i have enough cash, finally, I pack my trusty igloo cooler in my car and stuff it full of ice and make the drive to one of three whole foods stores, which has taken nearly 3 hours at times due to expressway construction. i go nuts in there! I buy exactly what i want, what looks good, things i've never seen or tried before, without any regrets. Returning home with all the goodies i'd never find in boring northern indiana is like foodie christmas! Then, i dread going to the crappy mega marts and chain grocery stores at home, feeling punished for having to shop at them when the whole foods loot is gone! Peaks and valleys...sigh

'The Un-Constipated Gourmet: Secrets to a Moveable Feast'

I have to agree that it's a yucky title... And to redfish who said if tastes like tree bark eat as much as you can of it, thats hilarious because it can be soooo true! Fiber isn't always tastey, not that it can't be. It just really takes some personal research of fiberous foods you are willing and wanting to eat. I purchased a diatary book that is geared more toward calorie counters, but shows the compltete stats of many, many foods to find out what I could be eating to increase my fiber intake and just eat healthier in general. And, it really doesn't matter what you're stuffing down your gullet if you're not drinking enought water!

having bad luck with brown rice

I truly appreciate all of the helpful comments! =)

I've been walmart brand brown rice (looks to be a medium grain). On a budget and bought the family of 50 size bag, even though its mostly just myself eating it, to save in the long run.

The package says bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil, add salt, butter/margarine and salt to a boil. Then, add 1 cup rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer 40-45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. fluff with fork.

Right off the bat, i have to admit i do tend to give it a stir once the rice is in the pot. And I think I am really keeping my simmer too low, it seems to take closer to an hour when I've cooked this particular brand of rice. I check it frequently after the 40 minute mark because I start getting frustrated that there is so much liquid still left in the pot. I think I've been fussing with it too much. Plus, now that I think of it, 2 1/2 cups water to1 cup rice seems like a bit too much.

I use the mahatma brand jasmine rice and love it. its truly my go-to rice, as I've never screwed it up. Its absolutely wonderful cooked in chicken stock with a generous pinch of tumric, such a vibrantly colored, yet, subtle side dish. So, maybe it would be wise to buy the mahatma brown rice as well.

I have a rice cooker, and this is going to sound dumb, but i only have ever used it to make sushi rice. It just sits in the cabinet. I've been a bit daunted to try brown rice in it since a co-worker said she tried it and got the wet mush. Time to dust the pour little thing off and give it a whirl.

I've seen the Good Eats where AB bakes the rice, that intrigues me and I plan on trying that too.

To orchidgirl, who recommended sauteeing the rice before adding the water, I like that idea a lot. I love cooking wheat berries and pearled barley and each of those benefit from being toasted in the pan, i wish I had thought of that(maybe a soak first too)

Favorite foods eaten at the 'wrong' temperatures?

i totally agree with anyone who says cold fried chicken...sooooo good! I also have a thing for grossly over-heated lasagna, left overs that have been zapped to death in the microwave the next day...mostly happens because i have a wonkey microwave and forget about the food after i cook it. I've really come to love the crunchy dried edges and room temp ricotta in the middle

savory pesto goat cheese cheesecake

I think that over-mixing could have been the culprit, the cheesecakes may have puffed up at bit too high and sank in a bit, as cheesecakes will do, leaving them a bit brittle.

As for the texture, they didn't have a grainy mouth feel, they just weren't as buttery smooth as the one i had at the restaurant. I asked around at work(bakery) and my fellow employees seem to think it may have been a mass produced, machine made product, frozen and shipped to restaurants. I'm betting they could be right. I think I may have dumped in a bit too much pesto, adding too much moisture to the mix, which wouldn't help matters, especially if i got a bit too mixer happy as well...gonna keep trying to perfect it. I made a few cheesecakes with roasted red peppers and garlic from the same batch, same goofy texture, but as delicious as the pesto cakes

What one food mag should I get?

I've really lost faith in bon appetit and gormet...I love to cook with as extravagant and worldly ingredients as the next passionate foodie but it seems, increasingly more often, that i'm just flipping through either mag, not really seeing much I would really want to cough up my hard-earned cash on to make, let alone go on the goose chase to find the obscure ingredients. Last night i got my monthly bon appetit in the mail...I don't mean to sound narrow-minded, but i don't think i could have rolled my eyes enough when I saw that one recipe called for purple sweet potato vinegar...they mentioned you could buy it on a website at $13 for 4 ounces...Its just frustrating. I truly wish there was a food mag dedicated to the people that don't have gobs of money to drop on pricey ingredients that may only use for one recipe and that love to cook new, exciting dishes that they can actually afford and feel good about making.

ways to prevent anchovy neglect

thank you for your reply Lemons, I did notice that there was an anchovy discussion, after I left my post, oops! I would love the chicken salad recipe. I just signed up yesterday, I'm not sure if I can send a reply directly back to you or if I just leave a note like this with the original post and hope for the best.

Zucchini, I was thinking about anchovy paste, It probably would last a bit longer. I happened to read in a cook book last night that anchovy paste also contains butter and/or cream...two things that could only make it more delicious if you ask me =)

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Day dreaming about decadent french foods laden with butter, just saw julie & Julia a bit ago...but in reality had a lackluster chicken sandwich from schoops...sigh...

What size cast iron dutch oven?

I usually am only cooking for two, but would still recommend getting a 5qt dutch oven, there are so very many uses for a dutch oven and a 5qt affords you so many oppertunities to take advantage of them. I have a martha stuart ceramic coated dutch oven, it has come to be my favorite soup pot.


I just saw j&j a few hours ago. I have to say, in all the times I've gotten truly excited to go see a movie, this was the first time I've been been so thouroughly entertained, expectations marvelously exceeded, and left completely void of disappointments. It was a beautiful movie! It instills such inspiration to a home cook. I wanted to race home and prepare the "beuf bordingnon"(i know, i butchered the spelling) instead of the salisbury steak I promised my husband.

Go see this movie, Its such a joy to watch! I know why star wars finatics get so cult-like about seeing the films repeatedly now, I want to go back and see J&J over and over again. This will be a foodie cult-classic for sure.