I read cookbooks like other people read novels. I also firmly believe that swine is fine, and that "geeking" is a verb with positive connotations.

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  • Location: Annapolis, MD
  • Favorite foods: things that come in corn meal-based delivery vehicles; things that are braised; things that are pork; things that i've picked; things I get to eat with my family (biological and the one i get to choose).

5 Small-But-Mighty Coffee Roasters to Seek Out

In the spirit of the Maryland roasters...I'm going to have to give Zeke's a shout here...amazing folks and great beans. Keeps many of the best restaurants and all the Baltimore farmers' market crowds well caffienated.

Weekend Cook and Tell: New Year's Eve Tastes and Toasts

Collard greens are done (well, they'll get there vinegar dash manyana). Black-Eyed Peas are done. Tomorrow morning will be Bacon, Cheddar, Jalapeno Cornbread #1 followed by Mr. Baked Macaroni n' Cheese, Cornbread #2, and Cremini Gorgonzola Strata. A little Southern/Appalachian with some fun egg/shroom/cheese to boot. Anywhere from 20-30 peeps will be showing up at some point in the day. There will be football on TV.

French in a Flash (New Year's): Black Truffle Pasta

Had fresh white truffle with pasta last night!!! OMG soooooo good.

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

Mmmmm, the day I received my first shipment from the Bacon of the Month club and took it down to the pub so I could share it's porky goodness. It was one pound. There were only NINE slices...nomnomnomnom.

Serious Eats Is Four Years Old: Happy Birthday to Us!

Happy Birthday to my go-to uber-site for all things food porn, food documentary, food comedy, and food drama. More content than a 300+ channel cable package and it all tastes good.

Coworkers and food smells

Here's a good summary of recent nuisance lawsuit in DC in which the law firm next door won out over the burger joint and it's beefy aromas...

An Open Letter To Our Community About Our Sponsors

Transparency done right. Thanks for the heads up folks. I don't usually click on the 'open a can' links; but I certainly don't have any moral indignation at their appearance in my browser window...

Poll: Eggs on Pizza - Way or No Way?

OMG I need a pizza and an egg, stat...

Poll: Do You Go for a Corner, Edge, or Center Slice?

I'm in it for the balance on this one. I want the edge so the first few bites are an acrobatic attempt to get as much cheese, sauce, and toppings into my mouth as I can before the sheer mass of the non-crust side of my slice has me contemplating if I'm too old to say 'five seconds' out loud. Then I get into the bites that are half crust, half cheese/sauce, and half toppings (Barbie says math is hard) and work my way through the remaining bites ensuring there is some of each component in each bite. Mmmm.

Cook the Book: 'Street Food of India'

Driving around Southern California in a rental car with four other conference-goer friends looking for dinner. One pal was up for the adventure, two were sort of just along for the ride, and one was clearly not happy. She kept saying why not here, or what about that place to a littany of Orange County, CA's finest chain joints. Finally I could sense she'd had it and needed food really soon. I said "Okay, we'll turn right here and find something on this next block."

Sure enough there were two Mexican gents sitting at the entrance to a strip mall in folding chairs holding cardboard signs that said "$1 Tacos." JACKPOT!!! A taqueria in the strip had set up a large party tent in the parking lot to seel the $1 folded masa, meat-filled, cilantroed and onioned, delicious morsels of Mexican goodness (Their full menu was available inside the restaurant, but I wasn't about to go there with the tent calling me). I got one of each (al pastor, carnitas, carne asada, pollo, and cabeza) and my love affair with tacos was born.

The tragic non-foodie companion went next Burger King.

Favorite Music for Dinner Party / Potluck

@exflexitarian - thank you. bless you. quite possibly the best advice ever.

well, that or please go ahead and play music you like. sunday brunch, lighter side stuff. friday night hors d'ouevres, maybe a Rat Pack and cocktails. Theme to the food, match with the tunes. Or have one guest be in charge of the music as their 'dish' for the dinner...but only if they have speed metal!


Cook the Book: Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce on Couscous with Oregano and Parsley

I lurve y'all for posting this. What a fantastic fall dinner get in mah belly! Yum.

What's Your Favorite Gas Station Convenience Store for Snacks?

@tomk2 nailed it, with the possible internal struggle over the Wawa/Sheetz supremacy. But I think Sheetz has forgotten it's inner-schmuffin with the addition of the frappe bar and all the other ludicrous offerings they've added. Both are still top of the pops for me and either is a happy stop on a road trip (and I spend my time in WV, PA, MD, and VA so I get 'em all). Royal Farms is handy if you have a hankerin' for fried chicken, which may sway some folks.

Super-small-regional...Dairy Marts around Morgantown, WV and Uniontown/Washington, PA are out of sight and their strombolis are the late-night food of the gods. Literally. Really. Pepperoni Pizza or Cheesesteak or Meatball stromboli at 2am? Ahhh, high school and college years.

Ajiaco: Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup

@Kenji @bmai76 @Nikki, thanks for all the recs! The islands were definitely on my agenda. Also trying to get out to a coffee plantation while down there as one of my travel pals owns a cafe in DC.

Ajiaco: Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup

Kenji, I'm heading to Bogota and Cartagena with several friends over Thanksgiving. Is this something I should look for in sit-down joints or street vendors? Or are there likely varieties that can be found in both types of eatery?

Cook the Book: 'Good Meat'

All the obvious choices here. I'm a regular farmers' market shopper expecially the butcher that brings meat, eggs, and dairy from several local farms. I also joined a CSA this summer with a friend. Since there are more and more good options I tend to add the sourcing restaurants use to my thought process on dining out now too.

Poll: Are These Dishes Played Out?

Agree on "None of the above." I want a pre-fixe of crudo followed by crispy pork belly mac & cheese and hush puppies with a panna cotta to finish! And I want it NOW!!!

Ocean City MD Recs ?

Sorry I missed this...Liquid Assets (94th Street) is a new(-ish) and exceptional spot in OC. Wine market with low corking fee for bottles you can grab off the shelves and take to your table. Chefs are superb.

Barbecue and Fried Fish: Foods of the Colombian Llanos

From a dude about to plan a trip to Bogota/Cartagena or Paris/Brussels with several other travel and foodie pals, this is PERFECT. Thanks Kenji!

Cook the Book: 'The Heirloom Tomato'

At the farm in Pocahontas County, WV about 5 minutes after we've come back in from the garden with 10-15 pounds of Cherokee Purples and Mortgage lifters, sifting through this very book (Mom's copy, I still NEED one) to figure out what's for dinner. It's a gorgeous way to go through a season when by mom's estimation she needs to eat about five large tomatoes a meal to keep pace!

Poll: Do You Like 'Fusion Burgers'?

They have their place. I think a classic 1/4lber with LTM and nuclear American is likely my favorite; but there's a little place in my (clogged) heart for the Italian burger with marinara, the Mexican burger with jalapenos, the Bolivian/Salvadoran/SouthCentralAmerica/NorthernSouthAmerica burger with an egg on top (What great cultures! If it's meat, it's likely to have an egg on top. Love it!), or the Irish burger with rashers and port cheddar.

Food/Drink Words Rejected by the Oxford English Dictionary

It was the perfect confluence of 1) A late lunch in the office, 2) A post from SE that was funny, and 3) My ability to use words that aren't words better than those that are words on most Mondays.

As for "oninated," I'll have to wait until I get home to check out the Urban Dictionary. And yes, I'm scared.

Weekend Cook and Tell: You Say Tomato...

Taco Bell's Cantina Tacos: Better Than The Original?

This is a VERY dangerous fast-food item for me...and anyone on the road between me and a Taco Bell. Thankfully, it's just far enough away, and across too many bodies of water, for there to be serious danger...but I do want to try them. If for no other reason than to tell the 'Bell that yes, this type of product development is appreciated.

Food/Drink Words Rejected by the Oxford English Dictionary

That freegan locavore hack critic oninated all over me because he couldn't say "No" to the pimpled Peppier who wasn't old enough to spatulate a Betty Crocker Brownie Mix after putting a sippy cup dringle on my new Ancient Teak Countertop.

Travel to Colombia: Where/What to Eat?

I'm traveling with three friends to Colombia for a week at Thanksgiving and can't think of a better place to start doing food research than right here at SE, especially given Kenji's recent pieces. We'll be flying into Bogota and likely spending three days there and three days in Cartagena. We're food adventurers for sure and willing to trek out of the normal tourist/business districts for a good meal.

I'd love to know not only places we should go but dishes for which we should keep our eyes peeled.

Connecting Local Agriculture to Local Economy

Just wrote a post for a WV Day (our 146th Birthday) project a friend of mine put together to have bloggers in the state identify a problem and suggest solutions to create A Better West Virginia. I went off on local/organic and the need to create local agricultural economies, foster their development, and provide support to link them in a Statewide network.

So I'm doing some post-post research and want to ask you all to talk about examples of institutional community support for local agriculture economies.

What do your local farmers' markets do to connect farmers and consumer beyond the physical market? What kinds of non-profits are connecting food from your community to tables in your homes, schools, restaurants, and hospitals?

Can a national organization connect the efforts in different states as well as State organizations can connect efforts in local communities?

Regional Fast Food Chains

So I wrote a post today about one of our beloved regional fast food chains here in WV and wanted to find out what other regional fast food is out there.

What makes you avoid the national chains even when you only have 3.26 minutes to get the kids from school to practice AND fed?

What's that spot you stop at on the way back to State U for the required fast food fix on the way to The Game?

Is there a secret menu?

A few food kinda means many if not all locations have a drive-thru. Fast food can include meals served on plates with silverware if the food really is ready for you at the counter.

Regional is a relatively large definition.

All you In-n-Out burger fanatics? You count, talk to me, but please let the other, not as world famous regional chain fans have a moment too.

Dunkin' Donuts sorta counts, but that's stretching it since they've run national TV ad campaigns, etc.

Anyway...what's in your neck of the woods?

I Haven't Really Shopped for Food in 3 Months

That's right, my fridge has been bare for sooooo long. Unemployment, partial employment, and digging out after finally becoming employed again have sent me into a spiral a occasionally cooking at a party or other shindig, but mostly draining my very well-stocked pantry and eating out at the restaurants at which I've tended bar.

That's going to change tonight. I'm going shopping for my fridge, and I'm going to use the food I buy on my stove in my apartment.

Now I need your help.

What should it be. A food blogger returning to the kitchen after that long a time away. Do I make something fresh and simple like a pasta primavera? Do I grab some lemongrass and red curry paste and get Thai on my groceries? Do I go retro-steak house and pan-roast a T-Bone with some fresh asparagus and a classic baked potato with butter, sour cream, and chives?

Help a brother out.

A Weekend in NYC

I get in to LaGuardia at about 9:30am tomorrow for my first trip to NYC since 1995 (and only second ever). I'm staying midtown at the Sheraton.

First question - where do I get breakfast on my way to the hotel (I'm assuming that I'll be doing the M60 bus/N Train combo that Google Map tells me to take).

Next Question - where to I get a sandwich that screams NYC after i've checked in to the hotel.

Final questions - Places to go that you literally can't find anywhere else. Not just a restaurant of a particular type, but a block of restaurants from which to choose (or sample).

In Need of Three Days of NYC Food

I'll be in NYC for the first time since a long weekend in the fall of 1995. That was long before my foodie days. I'll have early morning and late evening/late night time to hit food spots around my conference.

If I'm staying at: Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, 811 Seventh Avenue; what's nearby in terms of late night diners, noodles and crispy pork, cafes with amazing bistro food, the ultimate NYC thin-crust, or anything of their ilk?

Subway rides are, of course, acceptable. Large cab fares are not in my budget.


Making Rye Bread Less Dense

Is it as simple as increasing the AP or Bread Flour and reducing the rye flour? Would increasing the yeast help?

Recipe I used was one packet active dry yeast and 1 1/2 cups bread flour for the sponge and another 3 1/2 bread and 2 1/2 rye flour for a monster loaf.

time or doubling in size

so i'm baking my first loaf of white bread (using a Southern Living recipe), and the dough has doubled in size after only about 30 minutes.

is the doubling is size the key, or the letting the dough rise for an hour?

Anaheim, Calif., Restaurants Needed (non-Disney)

WV to Anaheim, CA and back in three days. Disney restaurants aside, where can I eat good restaurant meals in and around Anaheim, CA? Is there a little Diner tucked between a couple Interstates somewhere? Where's the best seafood shack with fried goodness?

I know there will be Disney-related restaurants I can find, but I'm looking for other spots.

March Madness: Cake vs. Pie

What's more important than college basketball? The battle between cake and pie. In honor of March Madness, Jezebel is holding a Cake Vs. Pie Tournament with 32 contenders. In the first round, birthday cake won over fruitcake, and apple pie won over grasshopper. You can vote in the second round until 2:55 p.m. today, and the next round will take place on Monday. More