Retired teacher of special needs students for over 30 years. I have worked with toddlers through adult education

  • Location: midwest/east central Illinois
  • Favorite foods: rare steak (just make sure that it is dead), seafood, any food with "heat", I'll try just about anything once
  • Last bite on earth: BLT with heirloom tomatoes

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

Kenji- Thank you so much for the very informative post. I adore my cast iron pieces (some have been inherited and some have been bought at auctions and garage sales). I use mine on a glass top as hubs wouldn't spend $400 to bring our propane into the kitchen. I must admit that I am ever so careful as it could easily "swing around" should I become careless.

I find that if I deglaze a pan (water, wine, broth whatever, the clean-up is very easy. I have been known to use a mild soap and coarse salt to clean and have had no serious repercussions. Thank you so much for de-mystifying such a wonderful product or application.

Win a Copy of 'Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food'

An omelet or frittata...made in a hurry and uses little leftover dabs and dollops.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Man! I almost hate to read SE anymore. It seems as though people that I have come to respect and enjoy are dropping like flies. I really miss the Community Talk as well. It was a chance for we "little" people to converse and share on a personal level even if we weren't from NY, Chicago.. well you know (I hope). It was a wonderful source of camaraderie for all of us food lovers and we were accepted at whatever level of cooking we presented. It was also, a welcome chance to share our frustrations, concerns, appreciation for each other and a great source of humor.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Welcome Jackson! You are one handsome little man. I am really missing Talk but do not know how to log in with my name Bleu. Just am not comfortable using my Facebook name as my page has been taken over by religious persons and political persons. That's why I didn't and don't participate in the Water Cooler. I just could not figure out how to use Bleu.

Two Pounds of Ground Beef- What to make?

@onepercentgg - Well, that was a welcome blast-from-the-past! Thank you!

We are only two people (usually) and I would have made any one of the above ideas. I have been known to take multiple pounds of ground beef and turned them into multiple meals. For the two of us, I just place Spaghetti sauce, Sloppy Joe's mixture, taco mix, goulash, hamburger Stroganoff into quart freezer bags. After extruding the excess air, they fit so well into the freezer and very, very, flat for stacking. I wish you well!

White Beans with Ham Hocks - RECIPE

Very similar to my own recipe. I am anxious to try the marinated onions...sounds so good. I always add fresh chopped parley at the end (if only for color) and also, a copious amount of coarse ground pepper. I have used the pressure cooker in the past but have drifted toward my slow cooker......not too sure why. Thank you for sharing!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Another exciting week for SE. What fun you all have! Thank you for the Cute Critters "fix" that many of us so enjoy.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

You all know that I just love critters, so Nemo and Marlin were a bonus in additions to Pixel. However, Miss Margot takes the "cake" with me. She is absolutely adorable! I remember how thoughtful Adam was in sharing her birth with us and am so appreciative to see that she is growing even more adorable. Thank you Adam.

Best wishes to you Miss Leandra on your happy occasion!

Stainless steel bowls

As a wedding gift (over 45 years ago) we received a set of stainless steel and a set of Pyrex nested bowls. They have served us well. The difference being in whether I wanted some weight or if I was going to heat it in the microwave (in later years). I have since been gifted a set of nested and colorful bowls (similar to the old timey, nested and thick pie bowls). Oh my, oh my! I know that at my age, I must down-size but this is such a dilemma! Each has its plus side and I just need to let it go! I will keep my SS ones first!

How often do you price compare when you shop?

So sorry that I am late to the party. I price compare to a point. We are seniors and don't eat as much as we used to eat. I often buy store brands when they are sodium free or no sodium added. They are seldom different in quality from name-brands and I am grateful to find them. I do, indeed watch the ads, but health considerations take priorities. Since we eat much less, we assume that any extra expense will be cancelled. I am happy with the options that were not available even a decade ago.

Unusual Pizza Toppings

I really need to back-off at this time as I am not a confrontational person. However, calling Meat Guy a Neanderthal may very well put you into the category of personal insults that you so despise. Perhaps, this is a good time for a group hug!

Unusual Pizza Toppings

Breezycookin - I see your point and respect your opinion. It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with you that is important to you.......right? It's the fact that he insulted your palate. Not to worry...happens all of the time. There's no reason for any of us to stand with one side or the other. It is a matter of less. Thank you for providing a great post to allow us to vent our personal preferences. Please, my not take it personally.

Unusual Pizza Toppings

Since I have never met a pizza, that I didn't like (unless it was raw or burnt) I cannot relate to turkey pepperoni. I am not too sure that I have ever eaten it. Nor, for that matter, I have not eaten cardboard nor feathers. However, I do enjoy Meat Guys posts as they are light-hearted and amusing. That does not mean that I necessarily agree with him at all times, but I do enjoy his "take" on things.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Love the cats and kitties but don't forget the doggies, please. Is Kenji moving West......will he still contribute regularly? Will we still have a dog "dose"? I do so hope he will stay with us. He is so well appreciated here.

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

@msecondo-What a great idea you had with the rubberized shelf lining. I have rolls of that around here and can't wait to try it. It certainly would stabilize the process much better than a kitchen towel.......thank you!

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

I have a wooden cutting board for bread with a lattice insert for crumbs. I love it. I have a wooden serving board with a trough for cooked meat for serving and slicing. I have a large plain old flat wooden board for when I want a cheese board with nuts and fruit (think special occasions). For everyday type cooking, it's plastic all the way. It's simply into the dishwasher and back in the cabinet. The older I get the more I appreciate the dishwasher!

Inexpensive and Unique Rajasthan Excursion by Using Vehicle Hire

Another first-time user thinking that we enjoy Spam and would appreciate his/her information. Not!!!

Deviled eggs

I gave up making deviled eggs for just a brief period of time and bought them at my grocery store deli. My son said that that wasn't my recipe......oops! My recipe is pretty average except that I use sweet pickle relish and just a little of the brine. Lately, I have been piping the mixture in to the bases but that doesn't affect the taste. One year, I grabbed the chili powder instead of the paprika. They loved it. I'm toying with the idea of adding crumbled bacon and Spanish smoked paprika. I'm really thinkin' that might be good.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I love the pics of critters....thank you. I am also very, very fond of all-things SE. You guys have so much fun and I am so jealous. Thank you for often makes my day.

Best Ways to Save At High Quality Restaurants

I have no business answering this post as I do not live in the area where you have a concern. However, we here in the Midwest are not as naive as some people may think. This was your first post, ever, and I assume that you very well may have another motive. I agree with Beetsnjams - "Go away".......please!

Traveling Mac and Cheese questions

I have one of those insulated containers, but it is specifically for one dish which was purchased at the same time (think Corning ware outlet). When my food won't fit the dish, I use several (I mean several) layers of newspaper to cover my dish. If that takes care of the heat concern, then maybe just a tad bit extra liquid will account for possible (okay, inevitable) pasta absorption. Use the recipe that you are comfortable with as this is not a long time between oven (stovetop) and serving. Good luck, my friend!

My special hot dog available this month only..

Man! That looks good. For once there is more dog than bun. After all, it's the dog that counts plus the accoutrements

Did you Plan how your kitchen is organized, or did it evolve?.

Our latest move, left my disabled husband and my son in charge of my new kitchen as I was left behind to supervise the actual move from one home to the other. They did a pretty remarkable job except I moved the spices away from the stove and gave a prime top-drawer to serving utensils instead of the diabetic drawer. He's a wheelchair so it hasn't compromised his ability to access. I am now trying to decide what needs to be left in a somewhat smaller kitchen and placed in the the open-shelving in the basement.

Grating and freezing cheese is a great idea!

Grated cheese almost never gets frozen in this household. I just grate what I think I will need until the next grating session. I have a recipe for Easter bread that involves Asiago, Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano.....that is the only exception. I need to fill a quart jar with the three cheeses in equal proportions. Since I make multiple loaves, I do pre grate the cheeses and freeze. That is only like a week or two before I bake the bread. Perhaps, I don't need to freeze it but I do not want it to lose any flavor.

You, my friend, need to do what works for you. You will get no abuse or jokes from me!

Oh My Spaghetti Pie

I missed Pi Day as well. Thanks for sharing this @bobscatsteph3. It really does look delicious!

Have you ever been just a little sneaky?

Okay, my mom used to leave just a few lumps in her mashed potatoes so that guests would not think that they were instant potatoes. At a restaurant that we love, my BIL ordered cottage cheese. The owner, a friend, said that the chef had used the last of the cottage cheese to make the bleu cheese dressing look more bleu cheesy. One was to avert bad opinions and one was to promote good opinions.

So, my friends, do you or do you know of others, who have little tricks to make others think better of you or your products?

Since we are among friends, I will admit to using Rhode's round ball dough to flatten and make pasta fritta. No one has ever done anything but rave about my using an old family recipe.

Come on...bare your souls....this is an anonymous venue!

What won't you allow in your kitchen/pantry?

I am a senior, home cook with adequate computer skills such that I can search most of my questions and concerns else where (and often here). So, I usually contribute topics that have a more personal and a more broad interest. In a recent topic about the "best ribs ever" one person said that Liquid Smoke was never in his/her pantry.

So, good people, what are 3-5 things that you will not allow in your kitchen/pantry. Mine are mostly for health purposes but yours may be otherwise.

I especially will not allow trans fats (that eliminates my favorite Kitchen Cooked potato chips). Others include processed cheeses and overly processed foods. I have no qualms with using a bottled spaghetti sauce as a starter but some of you may.

Please share your absolute rejects and offer a reason, if possible, as I may also join you.

My mea culpa moment! My pantry door was left open....

I have a reputation for being a pretty good home cook....certainly not professionally trained. My specialty is Italian and hub's relatives are so pleased that I have continued many of their traditions. Imagine my chagrin when he left the pantry door open and they may have seen a jar of Ragu light with basil and no sugar added.

What's in your pantry that you would rather others did not see? Be honest, we are all friends here.

FYI - Pioneer Woman will have a program on Food Network

Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) is going to have a show on Food Network. I didn't think too much of it until I saw all the the responses to @killatofu in search of stuffed jalapenos. Actually, I learned of her blog from SE. I assume that many of us follow her. I do not watch any of the programs on FN but often search for recipes on FN. That's where I saw the announcement. There were some really negative responses on a blog on Food Network but I just wanted to pass it on. I personally don't care how long she was actually a "city-girl" nor do I care if she passes other peoples' recipes on. She never represents them as her own and always gives credit to others. Your thoughts?

Regular yeast vs. quick-rise..please weigh-in

For years, I was a working mother, antique dealer and a teacher of special needs students. I drifted toward the rapid rise yeast to make my life easier and still continue my home-made preferences.. Now that I am retired, is there any recommendations that you have as far as finished product is concerned that would draw me back to regular yeast? Is there, indeed, a discernible difference? I am totally

Famous people, famous food quotes

I did a search on this website and found that this topic has not been addressed since 2007 and there were only 10 responses. I would like to hear your very favorite food quotes from your very favorite people.

May I submit mine from my very favorite food person Julia Child:

I like to cook with wine; sometimes I even put it in the food.

The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.

I think that every woman should own a blowtorch.

Well, I hope that you get the idea. There's a lot out there and I would so like to hear more!


I'm new and so were you at one time. Help me be a good member.

I have been a lurker for over a year (recently retired). When dixielea wanted a name for her nurses' cookbook, I was so inspired I decided to join right then and there! I wanted to do a play on TLC (tender loving care) only I wanted to suggest that she use TLC (tender loving cooking). TLC is a nurse thing, right? It just seemed brilliant at the time. But, when I finally returned to Start Talking (after having enrolled), I could no longer get on for a comment, much less find the question. Okay, I have so very much to learn. I readily admit it.

I know not to be a "shill," I know not to "plug" my blog (if I had one), and I know not to write in caps unless I am yelling. So what else can you tell me to help me be a good little member? How long do the questions stay active? What do I need to keep in mind especially with time limitations for responses, etc. Please share your unique problems when you first joined...I would really be appreciative and you will save me (and perhaps many others) a good deal of frustration. If this has already been discussed, then tell me how I could have found this out :).

You have all brought me so much information and joy. I am happy that I finally signed up as a member of this fun and informative community. You all are all GREAT!

Caramelized Onions in the Crockpot

I was putting up a bunch of these today and thought that some of you Serious Eaters might be interested in trying them. I started with five pounds of Mayan Sweet onions, peeled then sliced them thin in the food... More

Bread Baking: Three Doughs Braided into One Loaf

This recipe is a three-fer. Yup. Three different bread recipes in one. I was already baking two loaves for other people, then decided to make a third for myself (why not, right?). But instead of making a triple batch of one dough, I made three different doughs—rye, white wheat, and oatmeal—then combined them in a braided loaf. More

The Crisper Whisperer: Zucchini Pancakes

It's that time of year again. The time when residents of carefree, throwback towns start locking their front doors and parking their cars in the garage. The time when lucky children find green, woody baseball bats by the dozen strewn atop the compost heap. The time when perfectly reasonable people are driven to silent, guilt-ridden, unreasonable ends. In other words, it's zucchini season. Savory, crave-worthy zucchini pancakes to the rescue. More

Seriously Asian: Velveting Meat

The Chinese technique of velveting meat is an oft-used yet underappreciated one. It refers to the coating of meat pieces in cornstarch, egg whites, wine, and other seasonings such as garlic and soy sauce, to make it more tender. Learning how to velvet meat is as integral to Chinese cooking as say, browning meat is for the French or Italian. More