A Medicinal Chemist, slowly working my way further and further into the foodie world! Originally from England, which influences a lot of my opinions

  • Website
  • Location: San Diego
  • Favorite foods: Golden Syrup, Smoked Mackerel, anything with lots of butter, cream etc in!

Serious Efforts: Gluten-Free Cookies

Meringues are gluten free, and also these delicious chocolate sparkle cookies:

Weekend Cook and Tell: Superfoods

I eat lots of greens and it keeps me from needing so many fillings. Since I've been getting a bunch of greens in my CSA my teeth have been loads better! Thats a benefit I wasnt expecting!

Poll: What's Your Favorite Grocery Chain?

You missed my favourite, fresh and easy!

How to Get, Store, and Use Liquid Nitrogen: A Primer by Dave Arnold

I get to play with it at work as I'm a scientist. I agree that its not horribly dangerous in general, but it gives you a nasty burn if you're not careful, expands very quickly (explosion hazard) and of course can suffocate you if you end up breathing in too much.

It seems like way more hassle than freezing things the regular way!!

Low-Fat Brownies: Applesauce vs. Yogurt

I have a recipe that I use from shape magazine that uses prunes and I'm a big fan!

Babycakes -- i'm a believer!

I really liked babycakes and I also recommend vegan cupcakes take over the world, great little book! Babycakes uses a lot of difficult to obtain ingredients, so I would recommend vctow over their book since most of the ingredients are fairly easy to find.

Cake Making and decoration classes

The cheapest option is usually starting with some wilton classes at michaels, if you have one in your area.

"no white foods" question

I dont know much about the 'white food' thing but white beans are pretty good for you, they say that the darker the bean the more antioxidants, but generally still lots of fiber and low fat.

Oats are generally great for you and the less processed the better, so the instant oatmeal is bad, rolled oats better, whole oats best.

Canned veggies, I think you'd be much better off with frozen veggies, some people argue they can contain more nutrients than fresh, since they are frozen immediately after being picked.

Cheese. Thats a difficult one. Marian Nestle argues that you should have a really tiny bit of really good cheese instead of something nasty that is reduced in fat. Cheese is high in saturated fat, which some people argue is bad for you.

Vegan Desert

I can taste when something has tofu in, so I find it a bit gross, but I did find myself getting tons of complements when I made the freedom cupcakes from 'cupcakes take over the world' and topped with a tofu dark chocolate whipped ganache.

Another idea that millenium use is cashew cream. Its totally decadent and tastes almost like real cream. Its used in lots of applications, you could dilute it and make it creamy, or you can use cashew butter in ganaches.

Best uses for preserved lemon?

I put it in all kinds of things that need a little salt in, salads, dips, veggie burgers, I find it adds a lovely tang to sauteed greens. You might want to go fairly sparingly as they can be very salty.

Gadgets: Wilton Brownie Bites Mold

I have this and I used it once to make brownies and they stuck, even with the cooking spray, so I wasnt too enamoured with it! No issues with it not browning though.

Gift Guide: For the Sweet Tooth

I have a beaterblade, which I think is similar. It cuts down mixing time/speed by a lot and you dont really need to scrape. Its so brilliant, you'll wonder how you survived without one!

Caramel wrapping

Wax paper sticks a lot. I either use cellophane or parchment. Or order pre cut squares from this place

Taste Test: Finding the Best Apples for Baking

Sad we cant get bramleys cooking apples here :( oh well. I got mystery apples in my CSA and used those, lets hope they work!

Decorations for Thanksgiving Cupcakes

What about marzipan pumpkins? Or autum leaves?

Fresh Food on TV: Weekday Edition

I really like cake boss, but then I am a cake decorator wannabe, so I'm not sure if its everyone's cup of tea. Its a bit irritating with all the clearly set up scenarios, but it is clear that buddy is a really talented guy and its funny to hear all the new jersey shouting.

To tell or not to tell...

I agree. Its not really fair to not enjoy your meal but be too shy to mention it, then go online and criticise it afterwards.

'Gourmet' Magazine: 1941–2009

Very sad, although it was surprising to me that they seemed to have the entire content online for free.

Girlfriend-On-Vacation Food Pyramid

Yeah, where is the bacon? My husband's pyramid involves bacon, bagels, walnuts, whatever fruit I've left behind in the fridge.

San Diego, Seafood, Garlic- A Trifecta Made in Heaven

Glad you liked it! All anyone on chowhound does is constantly moan about the food so its nice to hear something positive!

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke: The Gin Boomlet

big fan of hendricks. Such a cool bottle too.

What to do with 2 duck eggs?

I ended up scrambling them for breakfast on wilted spinach. They were good but actually too rich for us in that form, almost like cream cheese! I think they would be great in a custard though and I've heard they are great in a cake as it makes for a sturdier cake.

Word of warning, apparently the whites are no good for meringues, since they dont whip up to a foam.

Cook the Book: 'Bite-Size Desserts'

I love to make mini cupcakes, but I think my favourite mini dessert would have to be millionaires shortbread. Its incredibly rich, but a bite sized portion of shortbread topped with creamy caramel and chocolate is just perfect.

Cakespy: Spiced Jumbles With Vanilla Frosting

These sound similar to 'rock cakes' that my british granny used to make, funny how the names change!

You truly do get what you pay for

Eggs from happy chickens, and I like my husband to eat bacon from happy pigs....

Dutch process cocoa

So I just got a giant 25lb box of giradelli cocoa, and its dutch processed. I havent used it before. I followed my favourite 'cake bible' chocolate cake recipe and, as instructed, omitted the baking soda. It didnt rise as much as usual.

Any tips? Should I be using more baking powder instead?

What to do with 2 duck eggs?

I've been given 2 duck eggs at the farmers market. Whats the best sweet use for them so i can really showcase them? I normally bake cakes but they might get lost in that, I was also thinking brownies but you probably couldnt tell the difference...

Cake decorating supply shops in NYC

I'm planning a fun weekend with my mum in New York in a couple of weeks, and I'd love to stock up on new supplies, specifically interesting fondant cutters etc. Any ideas?

If the place is off the beaten track a little please recommend other things to do nearby so my mum doesnt get too bored!

Thanks in advance!

Vanilla Buttercream

Someone has asked me to make chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. As a brit, I would assume this is a very simple mixture of butter, sugar and icing sugar (confectioners sugar). Some of the american recipes include eggs/egg whites.

What would you use and what is your favorite recipe?

All That Red in My Red Velvet Cakes Is Upsetting Me

A lot of people are requesting that I make red velvet cakes, they are all the rage these days. I've settled on the Smitten Kitchen recipe, moist and delicious.

The amount of red color is really getting to me. It's 3 tsp of gel, and I just don't feel it's designed to be used in such high quantities.

I've tried using beetroot, and it bakes to be a brown beetroot tasting cake! I could reduce the chocolate, maybe that would make for a redder cake with less coloring.

So does anyone have any ideas/opinions or sources for a 'natural red' that will bake and look good but still be ok to eat in such quantities?

Cooking classes in London

I'm looking for a 1 day cooking class in London on either thurs or fri oct 16th or 17th. More of a semi-professional class than a 'you can cook this in 30 mins' kind of class, I'm primarily interested in the pastry arts, but savory could be interesting too, not too much meat though!

Minestrone soup

I wonder if I can get some people to agree with me. My group at culinary class are making a minestrone soup for our group project. The recipe says to dump all the veggies, inc onions garlic and celery into a pot with water and boil. I would always sautee the onions, then add garlic, celery and carrots, then everything else to get a nice flavour. What do other people think?

If anyone has a minestrone recipe I'd love to see it!

Corn syrup-is it really that bad? Replacements?

Hi everyone. Its struck me that if I'm going to be all crunchy and use great ingredients in my caramel type confections and goodies, I would be better off avoiding corn syrup.

Does anyone have any suggestions for substitutions? I think the corn syrup functions to stop the mixture crystallising and turning into a more fudgy type of stuff so is fairly relevant. I would imagine glucose syrup is produced in a similar way to corn syrup with lots of chemical production, but would rice syrup or something like that be better?

Egg free sugar cookie

Can anyone suggest an egg free roll out cookie recipe for me to make for my friend? Dairy is fine, but I'd hate the cookies to be dry and nasty. I guess if there is enough butter they will just be like shortbread.

What do I do with all this half and half?

I aquired a big container of half and half from my fundraising efforts and I need to use it up quick. Our preferred dairy is fat free, so I'm not sure what to do with it. Does anyone have any good baking recipes I can use it for?

Granola bar recipe: any suggestions?

Hi all,
I'm hoping to find a recipe to make a really delicious granola bar that I tried recently. It was very crunchy and seemed to be a bunch of seeds, nuts and raisins held together with caramel, which was crunchy rather than gooey. Any suggestions?

10 Foods From San Francisco I Want to Bring Back to NYC

San Francisco and New York are often mentioned in the same breath when it comes to the nation's great food cities, and are often compared as such. Growing up near San Francisco but having lived on the East Coast for nearly a decade, I can't say that there's one that strikes me as "superior"—and suggestions of a rivalry seem rather silly. They're just so different. So I couldn't choose one favorite food city between them. But, having just spent a fantastically delicious week by the Bay, I do know that there are a lot of foods from San Francisco I'd take back to New York with me if I could. Here are 10 of mine. What are your favorite SF eats? More

Blogwatch: Cranberry Curd Pavlova

This cranberry curd pavlova from Hanne, of Supper in Stereo, is a recipe I'll be adding to my Awesome file. (It's a file in my head reserved for Awesomeness.) 1. The opening is in the shape of a heart. Or Africa. Take your pick. 2. I've already revealed my curd freak ways, so you shouldn't be surprised by my enthusiasm. Cranberry curd sounds good, but I'm already thinking up alternative flavors to fill my meringue with. That grapefruit curd from last week would be a good start... As Hanne says, it's "so light that you register only delicious without noticing that you’re already full from dinner." Definitely my kind of dessert.... More

In Videos: Pingu Makes Pancakes

Your favorite unintelligible animated penguin Pingu might be inept at making pancakes, but at least he looks really cute while doing it. Watch this video to learn what not to do while making pancakes. That is, do not hurl them towards the wall or the ceiling. Watch the video after the jump.... More