Native New Yorker, currently living in DC where I work for the feds. I love to cook, eat, travel and I am a lover of the arts.

  • Location: DC/NYC
  • Favorite foods: italian is what I grew up with...I love indian food as well.
  • Last bite on earth: my mom's eggplant parmiggiana.

A Closer Look at Your Italian Bakery's Cookie Case

And actually, in the picture below biscotti, the third cookie is actually called quarsemaeli, not biscotti di mandorle (even though I suppose, technically, that's what it is).

What about savoiardi, the flat white cookies? Not the ones you use in tiramisu, the OTHER ones that are soft? Old people and babies love savoardi.

Btw, Sal and Jerry's in Bensonhurst makes all of their own cookies.

Meet the Italian Ice Cream Sandwich: Brioche Con Gelato

I'm fortunate to live around the corner from Villabate Alba in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. They serve this as well. It's my dinner about once a week during the summer!

Al Safa's Counter Serves Up Solid Lebanese

I agree with the review. I've eaten there a few times, the owner is very, very nice, but I wish they didn't have to reheat so much of the food. Anyway, If you're ever in Bay Ridge again, on 4th avenue and 86th street is another place called Karam...AMAZING rotisserie chicken served with the most pungently garlicky sauce I've ever tasted (in a good way!!).

What Gross Food Stuff Did You Do as a Kid?

Oh, and some of you are mentioning bread balls--I used to make communion wafers out of bread. Rip off pieces of bread and press them very, very flat. Then I'd let it disolve on my tongue.

What Gross Food Stuff Did You Do as a Kid?

um, in elementary school we used to snort pixie sticks. Yes, snort, like cocaine. We used to make a line in our hand and snort it. I didn't know what cocaine was, don't know if the other kids did, but I'm assuming one of the kids saw it on TV or something and taught us to do that.

I also used to love sardine and avocado sandwiches. This was in the early 90's when I was around 8 years old, so long before it was cool, healthy and trendy. I'd ask my mom for this to bring to lunch at school. I was very popular, as you could imagine.

Market Tours: Homemade Pasta and More at Pastosa Ravioli in Bensonhurst

Also, their canned tomatoes (pictured in the slide show) are WELL worth getting...some of the best I've ever had.

Market Tours: Homemade Pasta and More at Pastosa Ravioli in Bensonhurst

Their store on Richmond Avenue in Staten Island is even better. Three times the size and LOTS more products, including many interesting imported items. Lovely people, too.

Our Favorite Lard Breads in NYC

wait! stop the presses! You need to try Sal and Jerry's on 20th ave and 68th street in Brooklyn--prosciutto bread is their specialty!!!

Also, re: Faicco's--there's a difference between what's billed at lard bread and what's billed as prosciutto bread. Faicco's sells lard bread, therefore there's not much prosciutto in it...still delicious. So is their sausage. And their prosciutto balls are the best around! Everything is great in's my go to butcher shop.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

with mozzarella on some good Italian bread!

Would You Rather Have Good Bad Pizza, or Bad Good Pizza?

What food smell do you hate?

eggs cooking. gives me the dry heaves.

What Food Do You Cook Better Than Anyone Else?

Lasagna and mac and cheese. Once people try my mac and cheese, they ALWAYS say it's better than any other. I've given out the recipe and they say it's not as good as when I make it--there really is a certain technique involved.

As for my lasagna--the trick honestly is just using really, really good ingrediants. Fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta, fresh basil, good quality tomatoes for the sauce, and high quality Italian sausage make for a happy lasagna. I don't make a meat sauce, but rather crumble up and cook some sausage and put that over the cheeses, some basil leaves, then add some sauce to each layer. The sauce just tastes more fresh that way (without the sausage cooked in it I mean).

Cook the Book: 'The Homesick Texan Cookbook'

orangette, thekitchn, pioneer woman, smitten kitchen...

Where to Eat a Pre- or Post-Theater Dinner in NYC

Becco is wonderful, have no idea why the "ew" comment above. Everything is really well done.

I also love Joe Allen--classic. And Une Deux Trois.

Cook the Book: 'Food Trucks'

The mexican truck on 6th and 10th (maybe a little lower) in nyc...good old chicken and rice carts all over nyc...the waffle truck, too!

Snapshots from Amsterdam: The Best Street Food

The best is olliebollen--only sold in November and December. Google it. AMAZING stuff.

Cook the Book: 'Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese'

spread on slices of baguettes and lightly toasted, then served on a salad made with mixed greens, lardons (or cooked small chunks of pancetta in the US) and walnuts.

A Guide to UK Chocolate Candy

Yeah, I have to say, this whole thing is making the site lose some credibility for me. Crunchie in no way, shape or form looks like or tastes like a butterfinger. The texture and taste are just completely different. Plus, you left out almost ALL of the best bars! I think whoever did this taste test hates the UK, and I'm not even joking.

Braised Chicken with Apricots, Green Olives, and Herbed Couscous

sirrix, that's a very popular combination in middle eastern cooking (Italian too, minus the cilantro)

Our Favorite British and Irish Crisps, Candies, and Other Snacks

Cadbury is only made by Hershey in the US. The UK version is far superior.

I loooove McVities Digestives and Hob Nobs. I'm not English, but I travel to London a lot, and I also love Myer's of Keswick :-) love their steak and kidney pie!

Will all the avocado lovers please stand up.

I eat 2-3 a week, sometimes more. I'm trying to lose weight, but I tend to disregard the extra fat grams on avocado days! I'm down 14 pounds in a month, so it doesn't seem to be hurting my progress. One of my favorites is to spread the avocado on a jalapeno english muffin from Wolferman's. So so good. Also love to take Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt tortilla chips, put some in a bowl, then add some refried black beans a fried egg and a sliced half of an avocado. So so good.

We Try the Whole Menu at Pret a Manger

I like Pret and have been known to buy a sandwich there when I'm in a rush, BUT, I'm super disappointed they don't offer my favorite--the all day breakfast sandwich--in the US locations (have looked in NY and DC and have never seen it on this side of the pond). When I'm in London I eat loads of them. Soooo good.

Dinner For Unwanted Guests

This is one of my pet peeves. My partner and mother-in-law (who lives with us) but have a habit of telling me "oh, so and so might drop by" as I'm cooking dinner. First of all--I wish I knew earlier. Second of all...might??!? Come on! It's rude. My partner has gotten a bit better about it. If I have enough of what I'm cooking--and I usually do--they can have some, but if I don't, they are SOL.

Cook the Book: 'Serve Yourself'

eggplant parm and pastina!

Cakespy: Easter Candy Dessert Taco Plate

You guys must smoke a loooot of pot.

those pushcart onions...

I have a jar of pushcart style onions (those of you in the NY area know what I mean; the kind in the red sauce). I don't want to leave it around till grilling season comes around again, because it's staring at me from the cupboard--what else can you do with this stuff? Maybe add it to meatloaf? Or top a meatloaf with it?

cooking lobster question

This year as part of Christmas Eve dinner, I am making lobster risotto for 10 people. I've never cooked lobster before. Would you recommend whole lobster or do you think lobster tails would be sufficient to put in the risotto? I am planning on making stock with the shells--can you make stock with just the tail shells? I'm thinking that whole lobster would probably be cheaper as well...for risotto for 10 people, I'm thinking 5 pounds of lobster?

Thanks for any tips...

Thank you everyone!

I just wanted to thank everyone here at Serious Eats for all of the help to make my first Thanksgiving the success that it was

The day before, I made my gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and peas with onion and mushrooms. I also cooked some bacon, crumbled it, and added it to the peas after I reheated it (I didn't want the bacon to get soggy).

With the gravy, I roasted the 7 turkey necks and giblets in the oven with sage, rosemary, salt, pepper, onion and celery. Then I simmered all of that in some water (with some peppercorns and bayleaf) for a couple of hours. deglazed the pan with some marsala wine, strained it all, chopped up the gizzard and heart, and added a nice golden roux to it to thicken. Still have a bunch of stock leftover. The next day when I reheated it, I realized that it tasted a bit nutty (from the roux, which I think I made a little TOO golden), and it needed a little thickening, so I skimmed the fat off of the leftover stock and used that to make a light roux, then mixed in a little bit of the stock, and added all that to the gravy. Came out PERFECT.

Turkey brined using the Pioneer Woman's recipe. Roasted in the oven beginning at 9:45 for 20 minutes at 450, then lowered it to 350. Around 11:45 I realized it was going to be done waaay sooner than I was hoping for (which was in the 1:45-2:15 range), so I lowered it to 325. It was still done around 12:45--for a 17 pound bird, seemed pretty quick! tented it with foil. By this point, my partner's sister, BIL and nephew weren't coming (their dog had puppies that morning), which left just two guests other then MIL and her bf. So, I asked them if they wouldn't mind arriving around 2:00 as opposed to 2:30...they didn't mind, and got there around 2:00. Turkey was still hot and delicious :-)

First time making stuffing, and that was the thing that got the most raves, I think. We also had corn, sweet potatoes and mac and cheese. And rolls!

Thanks again! wasn't so bad after all :-)

*sigh* one more turkey question

This is it, I swear.

I have a 17 pound bird. It's a farm fresh bird, and I've got it brining as I type this. I want the turkey to be out of the oven by 2:30 at the very latest (I will then tent it with foil for about 45 minutes while I get other stuff done).

I'm planning on starting it at 10:30, at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then bringing the temp down to 350. I want to get the temp at about 160 before I take it out of the oven.

Does four hours of cooking sound about right at that temp for that size bird? I'm googling but getting conflicting site says 3.5 hours, another says please!

turkey gravy question...I've got a lot of necks LOL

Thank you to everyone who has been so helpful! One more question about the gravy...I picked up the bird today, which came with giblet packet and the neck, and then I bought 6 more necks. I figured I could use them. Do you think the flavor will be good?

What I was planning on doing was boiling the giblets and the 7 necks in a pot of water, and maybe cheating and added some trader joe's turkey stock to it. Flavor with salt, pepper, various herbs, etc. Is a mirepoix necessary here? Then, thicken with a nice golden roux. I was going to do this tomorrow, and then on Thursday after the turkey was ready, was going to deglaze the roasting pan with some sherry (would marsala work instead of sherry??), then add that to the re-heated gravy.


Williams Sonoma--what should I buy?

Someone gave me a $25 gift card for Williams Sonoma for my birthday. I've never purchased anything from there before. What is your favorite Williams Sonoma product? Trying to figure out a good place to start. I know there's not much at Williams Sonoma that I could buy for $25, but I'm willing to shell out a little dough...

first thanksgiving

My mother in law (who lives with us), is too ill to do thanksgiving dinner as usual, so I will be doing the cooking this year.

My partner's family is picky, and my mother in law thinks that she is a better cook than she actually is (think Sandra Lee), when she really doesn't know much about food to begin with...however, she doesn't see this because she is a former lunch lady, after all!

I'm a good cook, but have never cooked a turkey before.

I'm getting a 12-14 pound bird from the amish market. I'm planning on roasting it breast side down, then flipping it over for the last 30 minutes of cooking to get the skin crispy (and 150 degrees). Now, I know to let it rest 20-30 minutes after it comes out of the oven. The only thing about the meal that I'm worried about is the gravy. Can you gather some pan drippings BEFORE you've taken the bird out of the oven? What do you normally do? I was thinking I'd make a roux, then add the turkey drippings (strained, right?), season as needed. Does that sound about right?

The bird will be stuffed as well; planning on making mashed potatoes, cornbread, andouille and pecan stuffing; my famous mac and cheese, peas with onions, bacon and mushrooms; cauliflower gratin and sweet potato casserole...does this sound good? a bit boring? like I said, I want to show off my stuff, but her family is very picky...

After I pull the turkey out of the oven (I'm planning on putting it in at 10:30 and for it to be out of the oven and resting between 3:00-3:30), I will put in a pan of stuffing, cauliflower gratin, and sweet potato casserole.

I will be putting together the stuffing, sweet potatoes and cauliflower the day before. The rest I will do while the turkey cooks

Another stupid question--about how many cups of stuffing would you say fit inside the turkey? I want to make sure I have plenty for both the turkey AND an extra pan. I loooove stuffing.

any other nuggets of wisdom you'd care to share?