Food lover from Michigan. Love spending time in Chicago trying new (or new-to-me) restaurants.

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  • Location: Michigan
  • Favorite foods: Tacos. Any form of slow-roasted pork, guacamole, pizza, pasta (noodles in general), burgers, corn dogs and desserts of almost every kind.
  • Last bite on earth: Literal last bite: Sopes Rancheros from Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak

Kenji, that Searzall torch attachment is far and away the best Father's Day gift idea for my dad that I'd never have--thank you! The man just loves to break out his full-size blow torch in the kitchen.

Bake the Book: Southern Living: Classic Southern Desserts

Banana cream pie, please.

Cook the Book: 'Mac and Cheese'

Macaroni, Smoked Chicken and Monterey Jack mac & cheese @ Zingerman's Roadhouse OR the mac & cheese @ Slows BBQ in Detroit.

Super Bowl Giveaway: California Avocado Gift Box for Guacamole-Making

Guacamole...or on a torta...really, I'll take 'em anyway I can get 'em!

Cook the Book: 'Cook this Now'

Lucinda Scala Quinn. Just love her.

The Best Way To Eat Breakfast at McDonald's

Jackpot. I love me some McDonald's breakfast. Indulged in an egg mcmuffin this morning.

Tailgating: experience making atomic buffalo turds?

Awesome :) Thank you for your suggestions!

We Try Every Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory

Ohhhhhh Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake... it's so amazing, I have a really difficult time trying anything else. BUT Tiramisu, Lemon Raspberry Cream and Key Lime are going on the list for the future!

Epic kudos to you guys.

The Brunch Dish: Gozleme at Sip Sak

Had dinner here last night - it was fantastic! The Adana Kebab was excellent.

United States of Pizza: Michigan

Bell's Pizza in East Lansing? Sorry, but yuuuck. Silver Beach Pizza in St. Joseph is my favorite place to go. Unfortunately, the Slice review doesn't do it justice, IMO - with their nontraditional sauce and cheese, margherita pizza is not the way to go! But you can't go wrong almost any other way...the garlic greek is hugely popular and equally delicious.

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

Introduction to carnitas

Cook the Book: 'The Essential New York Times Cookbook'

How to Cook Everything and Tyler's Ultimate

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Pasta Mancini Collection

Butter and Parmesan, please.

Cook the Book: 'Baked Explorations'

Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, MI.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia

with good bread and cheese

how many Thanksgivings are you having?

Had three already and one more on the books. One with about 30 friends last Sunday afternoon, with family and friends Sunday night and a feast at work. Last will be on Thanksgiving, and just with my immediate family where we're vacationing.

Feels to me like Thanksgiving is already over!

Poll: Four Loko, Ban or Don't Ban?

It should be banned simply because it's disgusting.

Win a Free Organic D'Artagnan Turkey

Show me the cornbread-sausage-apple stuffing!

In St. Joseph Michigan, a Taste of Chicago's South Side at Silver Beach Pizza

I've definitely found the margherita the least desirable of the specialty pizzas I've tried, so I'm not surprised with your disappointment. I don't think it should even be called that, given their cheese blend, but that's just me :)

But that crust... different, but so good.

Poll: Where Are You Eating Thanksgiving?

Disney World!

Not exactly sure where, but made reservations at The Wave at the Contemporary Resort, Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Going to be a game-time decision based on when we arrive and whether or not they have a [good] Thanksgiving menu.

Cook the Book: 'Bobby Flay's Throwdown!'

Cook the Book: Barefoot Contessa, 'How Easy Is That?'

Savory: creamless creamy tomato soup (cook's illustrated). Sweet: butterscotch pudding.

Cook the Book: 'The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker'

So much baking in my house that the stand mixer is a very big deal, but the immersion blender is probably the best multi-tasker.

Cook the Book: 'Fresh from the Market'

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!

Poll: Hot Coffee Weather or Iced Coffee Weather?

Not ready to part with cold-brewed iced coffee. I don't know what I'm going to do when it really cools off.

Tailgating: experience making atomic buffalo turds?

(Yes, atomic buffalo turds)

Has anyone made these before WITHOUT using a smoker? I don't have one but I want to take them to a tailgate. What sort of adjustments should I make? Should I cook them ahead of time? Or just do all the prep beforehand and throw them on the grill at the tailgate?

Here's the recipe I'm planning to reference in making them:

(Mr. Bacon Pants is such an awesome website name)

Dinner near Park Avenue Armory

Looking for a casual dinner near the Park Avenue Armory tonight... casual or not for next few nights. Any suggestions? Upper East Side between 58th and 72nd preferred for tonight, as low as 35th for next few nights.

Help executing brownie + cheesecake + brownie layers

I'm only in the planning stages, but I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on how best to create what would be like a layer cake of brownie and cheesecake - brownie layer + cheesecake layer + brownie layer.

Given the different densities of the mixes, I'm not sure what to do. What say ye, serious eaters?

Which agave nectar to use?

Light? Amber? Blue? Raw? Organic? So many choices for something I don't know a lot about.

I would mostly be using it as a sugar substitute in baking, but also as a sweetener for drinks and the like. What do you SE'ers recommend that would work best for both?

What fruit to use for tart with pastry cream?

I'm hoping to make a fresh fruit tart for Christmas Eve dinner but can't decide what fruit to top it with. I'd like to go with something seasonal and festive. I was thinking of using clementines, but I'm not sure if they'll have enough flavor and if using a citrus fruit might be a little non-traditional (I always think of tarts with berries). Any suggestions?

Gifts for a chef?

My older brother is a chef at an Italian restaurant... does it make sense to get him something food and cooking-related for a Christmas gift, or should I assume he has everything he wants or needs? (I don't see him very often, so I'm unsure of this.)

Any suggestions for a gift? Last year my family bought him the Alinea cookbook, but no idea if he uses it or references it.

Baked Doughnut Recipes?

A couple weeks ago I came across a great-looking recipe for baked pumpkin doughnuts. After an endless amount of Google and favorite blog searches, I can't find it. Oh, the humanity.

I'm hoping the SE community can help me so all hope is not lost. Anyone out there know of any great baked doughnut recipes? Pumpkin or not, share what you know!

Regional (or Once-Regional) Burger Chains

Full disclosure: I've been to In-N-Out Burger fewer than 10 times in my life (most recently in January), I get a burger from Culver's about once every two weeks, and yesterday was my first ever visit to a Five Guys.

That said, I rank them as follows...

1. In-N-Out Burger (double-double w/lettuce, tomato, ketchup) ≥
2. Culver's (butter burger w/cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup) >
3. Five Guys (little cheeseburger w/lettuce, tomato, ketchup)


1. In-N-Out Burger >
2. Five Guys (not cajun, maybe my mistake?) >
3. Culver's

I'd need to do a side-by-side comparison on burgers from In-N-Out vs. Culver's to truly rank them because my memories of the double-double are so good, but the Culver's cheeseburger never disappoints.

How would you rank theseor other regional burger chains you've visited?

Alton Brown's 'Man Breakfast' with Bacon, Eggs, and Hash Browns

No, I did not make up the "man breakfast" thing. It's actually in Alton Brown's Good Eats 3: The Later Years. While you can argue about the name, my wife can attest to the fact that females can enjoy this meal, too. I mean, what's not to love about properly made hash browns with eggs and bacon? But the best part is that this meal comes together so quickly. Anyone else craving breakfast for dinner? More

Dinner Tonight: Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian)

This sounds obvious, but it needs to be said: these really are the kind of noodles I could eat everyday. The recipe, which comes from Saveur's The New Comfort Food, tastes like what every carton of greasy take-out noodles wishes it could be. It's not about just dumping a bunch of ingredients into a wok. Every ingredient is introduced at the right point; the flavors are clean and precise. More

Eggs in Purgatory

The following recipe is from the October 21 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here! Eggs in Purgatory is a wonderful example of how dishes that are considered cucina povera don't... More

Dinner Tonight: Moroccan Spinach and Chickpeas

I had assumed that the mixture of spinach and chickpeas was solely an Indian combination. The creaminess of the spinach is a perfect match for the hearty chickpeas, and with the addition of a few spices, it could turn into a satisfying full meal. Well, it turns that if you change some of those spices and add an interesting new thickener, you can end up in Morocco with a completely new dish. It's kind of astonishing. More

Fudgy, Spicy Cinnamon Chile Brownies

[Photograph: Andrew M. H. Alexander] This is a pretty classic brownie approach, but these are anything but boring. I've modified the classic (and well-loved) Baker's One Bowl recipe to produce a firmer slice with a stronger chocolate flavor, which, while... More

Dinner Tonight: Roasted Beet and Potato Borscht

The brilliance of this soup, besides the shocking color, is how deeply flavored it is with very little fat (just a few tablespoons needed to coat the chunks of roasted beet and potato). That's all thanks to a hot oven and the complex sweetness of roasted beets (If you're stuck on childhood memories of the pickled stuff, this might change your mind). More

Dinner Tonight: Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

Here's the idea: grab some produce, seasoning, and perhaps some protein, throw it on a sheet tray and roast until golden and tender, then mash it up into a rustic, warming soup. Roasting adds a depth of flavor to this Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup that simmering will never provide, and it also makes for a low-fuss dinner that tastes like it took a lot more effort than it did. More

This Week in America's Test Kitchen: Baked Ziti Makeover

Baked ziti is a bad cliché: overcooked pasta in a dull, grainy sauce topped with a rubbery mass of mozzarella. The cooks at America's Test Kitchen wanted to rescue baked ziti so they could have perfectly al dente pasta, a rich and flavorful sauce, and melted cheese in every bite. Watch the video here for step-by-step instructions or get the recipe at America's Test Kitchen (free registration required). More

Healthy & Delicious: All-American Chili

Loaded with beans and vegetables, each sizable serving also contained about two or three ounces of hearty meat—enough to get some with every bite, but not so much I felt like I was eating a burger. The spice was dead-on, as well. A combination of chili powder, diced jalapeño pepper, and hot Italian turkey sausage punched everything up without overwhelming the other flavors. I served the dish with cornbread muffins, the way nature intended. More

Honey Crisp Apple Cake

In the introduction to this recipe for Honey Crisp Apple Cake from Fresh from the Market, Laurent Tourondel explains that he adapted this cake from his favorite carrot cake recipe. A quick perusal of the ingredients confirms this—all of the usual carrot cake suspects are represented, even canned pineapple. But this recipe is a little more complex than that. You start by caramelizing the apples in butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar, then line your baking dish with the apples, in essence creating a tarte tatin-carrot cake mashup. More

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Cran-Apple White Chocolate Popcorn

It happens every September. I want a little taste of fall but I'm not ready for serious fall baking. Happily I am always in the mood to pop popcorn. (And even happier: Popcorn is naturally gluten-free.) One day I decided to toss popcorn with white chocolate, dried fruit, and some spices. Success! I had a little taste of fall and I didn't have to turn on the oven. More

Dinner Tonight: Roasted Poblano-Potato Salad with Grilled Steak

It's not exactly Mexican and not exactly European, but a nice compromise between the two. The recipe can be made with a high-quality canned tuna or, in this variation, topped with thin slices of medium-rare skirt steak. But the real star is the mixture of warm potatoes, poblanos, and sweet slices of red onion, dressed lightly with rice vinegar and olive oil and seasoned with a little oregano. More

Cook the Book: Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were worlds away from Chips Ahoy and remarkable different from the classic Toll House version that so many of us find synonymous with chocolate chip cookies. Their incredible depth of flavor might make you pause and think about the ingredients. For a humble chocolate chip cookie that's a pretty incredible feat. More

Meat Lite: Pinto and Pork Tacos

[Photograph: Joy Manning] Almost every week when I do my grocery shopping at Whole Foods, I marvel at how little I spent. I guess that's because I'm constantly hearing people complain about the prices at "Whole Paycheck," as it is... More

Chicken Tetrazzini

Hearing the dish "Baked chicken and pasta in a cheesy wine and cream sauce" has an entirely different connotation than Chicken Tetrazzini. How could the lunch ladies of our collective past gone so wrong?... More

Mediterranean Flavors: Tzatziki

You only need to follow a recipe once or twice when making tzatziki before the process becomes almost automatic. Thick tangy yogurt; crisp, sweet cucumber; pungent garlic and dill; sunny lemon. The formula, a staging ground for countless dip platters and a condiment for the thousands of gyros dished up daily, is as familiar to us now as salsa and ketchup. And its preparation is about as intuitive—recipes matter less than solid ingredients and a willingness to dip a tasting finger along the way. More

No-Waste Tacos de Carnitas With Salsa Verde

Carnitas. The undisputed king of the taco cart. The Mexican answer to American pulled pork, at their best they should be moist, juicy, and ultra-porky with the rich, tender texture of a French confit, and riddled with plenty of well-browned crisp edges. Our version is easier than the traditional bucket-of-lard method, and produces results that are juicier and more flavorful. More