I love cooking and eating and am a lifelong lover of foods of all kinds.

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  • Location: NYC
  • Favorite foods: Pesto, sushi, chocolate chip cookies, French cheeses, pho, curried chicken salad.
  • Last bite on earth: A BLT with avocado, crispy bacon, heirloom tomato, bibb lettuce, spicy mayo, and toasted sullivan street bakery bread.

Christmas breakfast: Do you do anything special?

We always have eggs benedict, Canadian bacon and a fruit salad on Christmas morning, plus lots of French-press coffee and hot chocolate and fancy tea. And then Christmas cookies and stocking candy for dessert. For Christmas Eve we usually eat a prime rib or a complicated salmon dish and then Christmas dinner totally depends on how hungry we feel. Sometimes it's Chinese food (my mom is Jewish), sometimes it's pasta, sometimes it's just fancy snacks (caviar, cheese, and gougeres).

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Russ & Daughters Brunch Package

favorite is definitely bagels and lox. classic and delicious. plus some red onion and a bit of lettuce.

Low key bar near Madison Square Park/Flatiron?

Bar Stuzzichini is right nearby and is good.

Skipping school, acting cool--Dinner Monday Nov. 2?

we're having whole wheat penne with goat cheese, lemon zest, wilted spinach and butternut squash.


yes! Last time I went my bf mentioned to the waitress that I was a big fan of Wylie's and she offered to show us the kitchen and take me to meet him. After dinner she brought us back, showed us where to stand so we wouldn't bother any of the chefs and then we met Wylie. He was really friendly despite my incoherent ramblings and gushing.

Cook the Book: 'The Pioneer Woman Cooks'

I definitely love the Pioneer Woman and have been reading her blog for years, but when it comes to versatility, variety of recipe styles and food news, Serious Eats is the hands down winner in my book.

What's up for dinner tonight? Thursday 10/15

everyone's meals sound so good! It's freeeezing here tonight. I crisped up some leftover brown rice in a pan with sesame oil, soy sauce and sriracha and then just heated up some leftover moo shu chicken in the same pan and sprinkled it all with cilantro and sesame seeds. I steamed some cauliflower to eat on the side but the white pepper that I refilled the grinder with and then ground onto the cauliflower had a horrible smell to it, so I couldn't eat the veggies. woops.

When did you know you were...

I've always loved food and was one of those kids who would eat anything...caviar, broccoli rabe, chopped liver. My favorite pizza when I was 4 years old was a white pizza with pesto on it and I remember how much I loved eating it. I helped my mom cook a lot growing up, but it was when I got to high school and started doing my own projects that I realized I was good at cooking. I made a buche de Noel from scratch for the French club, and after I did that, it was onto other such projects.
After college when I had my own kitchen and was able to cook and throw dinner parties - that's when I realized I was a foodie. Friends would say things like, "so and so knows so much about food because she knew about x restaurant or y cooking method" and I would go, "yeah, so do I...." And then it struck me that I was one of 'those people'.

What Are We Eating Today-10/14

well I've been sick with a bad cold for the past 3 days, so I just ordered out for wonton soup and mooshoo chicken. There is absolutely no food in my apartment and I've been subsisting off Carr's water crackers with the dregs of the peanut butter jar today.
@memt7 - I have that pumpkin chili on my to cook list, let me know how it turns out for you.

Breakfast/Bagel Suggestions in NYC

Daniel's Bagels at Third Avenue and I think 37th is really good. It flies under the radar but they put out quality bagels. You might also like to try City Bakery at 18th and Fifth for their many delicious pastries (such as the famous pretzel croissant) and hot chocolate.

Linking to your own blog

@nithya - No, I'm not saying it's desperate to provide a link to a recipe on your blog provided it's on topic and adds to the conversation. I do think it's desperate when you have people who ONLY contribute to SE as a way to advertise - that is - it seems like they have a google alert set up to tell them when anyone on SE mentions 'key limes', because they have a key lime blog and want traffic, so then they post a trite comment about limes and link to their blog. And when you look at their profile, all their comments conform to this makes one suspicious.
I think it's helpful to get recipes from people's blogs when they are providing a link as a resource and it adds to the thread in a meaningful way. I'm just saying that there's a time and a place...I happen to love food blogs and am always happy to discover a great new one.

Give some lovin' to your oven! Dinner Thursday 10/8?

probably scrambled eggs and toast. just one of those days.

Did the Internet Kill 'Gourmet' Magazine?

Gourmet failed because it couldn't compete in an environment full of new participants (blogs) - but don't blame the market participants - blame the market forces - the same forces that once brought Gourmet its success. Kimball's cry-baby letter is a cathartic exercise on behalf of all journalists who understandably don't want to see their medium go away. However, there is still good journalism to be created - it just may be in a new shape and form and be governed by new rules.
The market place of ideas generally weeds out the bad journalism (the 'fools') and rewards the good ones. And if there is a large enough demand for the kind of journalism that Kimball considers worthy of his standards, and if the only way to get it is to pay for it, then these superior journalists will get paid for their work.

Kimball can have a little cry but then he should take a good look at reality and stop whining. Serious Eats, Orangette, Smitten Kitchen, David Lebovitz - are each examples of blogs that have learned to excel in the new environment, have captured the delight of readers and have put out quality journalism.

NYC Bakeries field trip

Are you going to tell us where you ended up going? Serious Eaters' minds want to know!

What's your favorite food when drunk?

chicken fingers or nachos.

What Did You Eat Today?

This is fun. The first thing I ask my bf when he gets home is - "what did you have for lunch?" Yesterday I had:
6:30 AM: steel cut oat with wheat germ and dried apricots plus coffee
12:30 PM: a cup of steamed spinach with a sesame dipping sauce and an eel, cucumber and avocado maki roll
5:30 PM: some dried tart cherries and advil before my walk home
6:45 PM: a handful of smart puffs and 2 spoonfuls of butter pecan ice cream before I worked out
8:45 PM: a few cups of roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower plus a little shredded chicken breast
9:30 PM: a little cup of ice cream and a snifter of Calvados

Looking for The Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese recipe

My recipe is similar to Martha's but it is way creamier and not baked (which I think dries out the sauce): Make a white sauce while you are boiling the pasta. Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot it came from and add 2 T of butter, then stir over a very low light. Add the white sauce to the pasta and stir to coat. Then start adding in big handfuls of grated cheese (I use cheddar and gruyere - about 4 cups total) and stir after each handful until melted. Once all the cheese is in and melted, crack in a whole egg and stir quickly to coat everything and avoid scrambling the egg. Serve right away.
The result is SUPER rich and gooey delicious mac and cheese.

Dinner's Ready! Wednesday 10/7

if it were me (and perhaps I will steal your idea), I would go for the sprouts.

Taste Test: Mustard

Inglehoffer all the way. I put that stuff on everything - and all varieties. It is divine.
Interestingly, French mustard from France seems waaay hotter than what we have here. Even if you get the Grey Poupon extra spicy, it's not as hot.

Dinner's Ready! Wednesday 10/7

@CJ McD - I'm drooling reading about your menu for tonight.

Linking to your own blog

I will - thanks!

Linking to your own blog

That's a good idea. Also, if I like the way a certain commenter writes, I just click on his name to see if he lists a personal website.
It comes across as so desperate to always link to your blog (even if your comment is on topic) or say, "I wrote more about it here on my blog" and then give the link. LAME.

Suggestions for restaurants in/around Morningside Heights

@ mr guy - are you talking about Pisticci (the place on LaSalle)? If so, it's still there I believe.

Linking to your own blog

cool, glad to know I wasn't losing my mind. I'm not trying to be a tattletale, but I do think it helps the community to have less blog linking. I think you guys have been doing a great job. I just noticed in the past few weeks that this practice has insidiously crept its way back in (maybe because the Talk boards have been a little slow it's been more obvious to me when people do a drive-by linking).

Suggestions for restaurants in/around Morningside Heights

There have been a number of SE posts on recommendations for Morningside Heights.,26,36,39,34,30,38,16,33,25,32,35

Community Food and Juice is good but I think they are currently closed. Symposium is fun and the best thing to get is the symposium salad. Max Soha on Amsterdam is very good and well priced. Le Monde is reliable and good. Deluxe is pretty good for breakfast but can be unreliable. Silver Moon Bakery is a must-go place for all baked goods.

Dinner's Ready! Wednesday 10/7

So last night I ate a dinner I threw together at 10 PM of steamed cauliflower, arugula and shredded chicken in a sriracha, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce mix. Weird. But satisfying. Tonight is Top Chef and I like to enjoy a good meal before watching.
I'm thinking of roasting some cauliflower and eating it with sauteed onion, garlic, plumped raisins and toasted pine nuts.
What are you all making?

Linking to your own blog

I can't remember when this was posted, but I don't think I'm making it up. Didn't Alaina put up a message about how people shouldn't link to their own blogs by way of a signature in their posts? I thought it was a great idea because it eliminated a lot of fluff postings that were only up to promote some food blog. It seems like more and more posters are starting to link to their blogs and it's getting annoying. I love this site because of the interesting ideas that people share but I don't like clicking on a Talk topic to find it littered with self-promoters who are only contributing a frivolous statement so that they can advertise.

Is it just me? If I'm crazy, just tell me and I'll shut up.

What's for dinner tonight - 10/5?

Tonight I think I will use up some roast chicken by tossing it with sesame oil and sriracha sauce and putting it on top of some baby arugula. I might also add some soba noodles and steamed cauliflower to the mix.

What's for dinner tonight - 9/30

It's the last day in September and it's quite chilly here in NYC. What are you all cooking for dinner? I think I'll roast some brussel sprouts and get the leaves nice and crunchy and have a spicy dipping sauce on the side. I might throw some cauliflower florets in with the sprouts too.

NYT reviewer is on the rampage

Has anyone else noticed that the writer (Pete Wells) who is doing the interim restaurant reviews for the NYT seems to be trying to cram in as many negative comments and reviews as possible? I haven't gone to any of the places he has reviewed and it's definitely likely that these place deserve it, but he just seems to have a lot of nasty stuff to say in general. His reviews are pretty unpleasant to read and mostly are whiny complaints about the servers or the decor and not enough commentary on the food. Maybe I'm imagining things, but even though he gave the restaurant this week 1 star, it was more like a back-handed insult. I definitely don't feel inclined to try any of the places he's written about. It's like he's intentionally reviewing bad places to clear them out of the queue for Sam Sifton.
I guess he's every restaurant's frenemy right now.

Best Challah in the city?

I'm wondering who has the best loaf of challah in the city. I'm hosting a Rosh Hashanah dinner on Saturday and I'd like to have a really delicious loaf on hand. Any suggestions?

Wagyu steak review

So I posted a few weeks ago asking for advice on how best to cook Wagyu beef. This weekend I finally took all your suggestions and prepared a fantastically delicious steak. I let the meat come to room temp, then poured a little fish sauce and salt and pepper on it, heated up a cast iron pan until the olive oil was smoking, and put the steak in.
While it was cooking I prepared a soba noodle salad with lime dressing and mint, plus a dipping sauce for the meat consisting of sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and olive oil.
I cooked the beef on both sides, 3 minutes per side. When I took it out of the pan it had caramelized to a bubbly brown texture, yet the meat was still so tender and rare that I could practically 'cut it' with my fingers. I sliced it thin and we devoured it : INSANE. The meat was so creamy and silky but the fat wasn't overpowering and it was oh so tender. I've never had such a good steak. Never. We drank a Pinot Noir from Oregon (Cloudline) with the meat and it was a great way to end the Labor Day weekend.
Thank you for your great tips - this was a home run.

Your unexpectedly best dish this summer

I threw together a new salad last night and the night before that just rocked - something about was just magical. Arugula, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper, thinly sliced red onion rings, sliced nectarine, fresh mozzarella, held together with a squirt of lemon juice and olive oil. A perfect combination for a hot summer night - salty, sweet, spicy, sour, juicy, rich and crunchy.

What have you made this summer that was a surprise hit? Have you stumbled onto any new combination that you love? What do you attribute the success of the dish to?

Compiling recipes for a family cookbook - advice?

As a present for my brother when he graduates from college next year, I've decided to put together a family cookbook with all our favorite recipes, as well as a 'Basics' section to teach my brother some rudimentary techniques. I've already picked out the recipes I want to include, decided to organize it by season and want to have an index at the back.
I would love some feedback from anyone out there who has undertaken a project like this. I'd like to print 4 copies - probably just spiral bound - and I'm going to be doing illustrations and including photos of some of the finished dishes. Is there a particular computer program or technique that I should employ or will Microsoft Word and a Kinko's location be my best bet? I don't really want to spend money on expensive software.
Thanks for the feedback.

Wagyu beef - how best to cook

My mom got me 2 pieces of American Wagyu beef. They're in my freezer right now because I don't know how best to cook them. I had heard that you really need to cook them well so as to render the fat, otherwise the texture will be unpleasant. But I also don't want to obliterate them and ruin the meat with overcooking.
Can anyone shed any light on the best way to cook this meat? One note - I don't have a grill. Thanks!

freaking out - worms in cod but I still ate it!

Now I know there was already a thread on this last week, but it didn't exactly answer the question that I have. Last night I made cod for dinner and when I was removing the fillet from the pan, remembering the thread on worms in fish, I decided to check through the fish. And I found a small red worm! Ugh, it was so disgusting and I dry heaved but I pulled it out and threw it away and then popped the fish back in the pan for a few more minutes to really cook it. And then I ate it....
My question is - am I in danger? I didn't find any other worms but I'm really freaking out that I'm going to get a tapeworm or some other vile condition, even though I definitely cooked the fish through and through. Does anyone have any sage advice?

Cooking your own food = rare?

So I was at a company party a few nights ago and one of my colleagues proudly mentioned to a bunch of people that I cook my own dinner every night for myself and my bf. Everyone starting exclaiming, 'no way - every night - don't you order out?' or 'wow, you must be a domestic goddess'. Nobody could believe that I would take the time and effort (or have the ability) to cook my own food. They were like, 'why would you even bother'? Or one girl said cattily, 'well, I'd be as big as a house if I cooked dinner every night' (she gets take-out). As if I were making a Thanksgiving dinner every night...
Have any of you run into this bizarre realm where people think it's freakish or outlandish to cook for yourself instead of going out to eat or getting delivery every single night - maybe it's just a NYC thing?
I was just stunned by this unanimous reaction and by the number of people who can't even cook one thing for themselves. I don't think it's so good to be that reliant on take-out.

Are you a liar?

About your cooking/baking mistakes? Do you go into denial and blame the recipe or some act of God or do you own up? This past weekend I made a birthday cake and somehow forgot the flour. Anyway, the cakes were disastrous bubbling chocolate monsters and I was really upset because people were due to come over specifically for dessert 2 hours after the cakes came out of the oven. I ended up using store bought cakes and frosting them. I lied and blamed the recipe, swearing that I would never use a recipe off the internet again. I think I should have just laughed about it though since it seems silly to feel so bad.

What do you do when you screw up a recipe that has so much riding on it? Do you own up and laugh it off or do you cover your tracks?

Organic raisins...mold?

I've been buying those individual serving size boxes of Sun-Maid organic raisins for a while now, and in the past two packs I have bought, I have run into a box that has raisins that taste moldy. I wasn't able to see any mold, but they just had that uniquely moldy taste, and I immediately threw the box out and drank a bunch of water.
Has anyone else experienced this? Do you think it's because I'm buying the organic kind? I've never run into this problem before, but it's kind of a waste of money to keep throwing out raisins and I'm wondering if this is common or if I should switch brands.

Your cooking 'personality type'

In today's New York Times there is an article in the "Well" column about how there are different types of cooks: Giving, Methodical, Competitive, Innovative and Healthy. The article talks about how you are one type of cook and how your style of cooking impacts the health of your family. I thought it was over generalizing and a somewhat silly bit of sociology. My style of cooking, for example, is dependent on the day of the week, how tired I am, how hungry I am, if I have seen a good recipe recently, how my clothes are fitting and what my bf wants to eat, etc. I think that people's cooking styles are influenced by what's available in the grocery store, what they can afford, did they see some tempting food item on TV or the internet, how far away the store is, how many children do they have, do they work, etc. It's simplistic, I think, to take a person's ideal style of cooking and apply it to their lifestyle without taking other factors into account.

What is your cooking style, if any, and how does it apply to your real life? What do you think of this article and quiz?

I put the link here:

Falls Church, VA - favorite restaurants

Hi everyone - I'm going to Falls Church, VA this weekend with my boyfriend. We are visiting his family, who are very picky eaters. My boyfriend and I are huge fans of Vietnamese food (and any other food, for that matter). I have heard the pho in Fall Church is to die for. Can anyone recommend their favorite pho spot as well as some other good restaurants that less adventuresome eaters (read: bf's family) would enjoy. Thanks!

Sushi Yasuda Sushi Mystery

Last Saturday I went to Sushi Yasuda for dinner with my boyfriend. We got the Valentine's tasting menu (which was terrific) and the only problem was that our waitress' English was weak and she couldn't name one of the items on our plate. It turns out that this very piece of sushi was the most surprising and oddest things I have ever tasted and for the life of me, I can't figure out what it was.

The waitress seemed to think that the translation might be abalone (which I've never tasted), but this fish had no taste at all. It was all about the texture - crunchy! It didn't really have the texture of a clam - it was firmer but not necessarily chewy. The fish was lightly scored across the top and was sort of round and of a yellow hue. I have no idea what I ate. Can anyone help me?

Mango allergy?

After having my face break out into a rash, a doctor determined that I am probably suffering from a sudden allergy to mangos as I eat one per day and probably touched the peel, and then touched my face, causing hives to develop. Apparently the peel carries oils similar to those in poison ivy. Has anyone experienced a mango allergy or a reaction to touching the skin? If so, is there any way around it or should I just stay as far away from mangos as possible?

SE'er Food Blogs

Ok, so I already pulled a few of bitchin camero's recipes into my regular rotation, as briefly I mentioned in another thread. I know there have been other threads on what your favorite food blogs are, but I want to... More

Recipe Request: Awesome Cake Recipe

I am going to make a layer cake for my boyfriend's birthday tomorrow and I need a great recipe. He loves chocolate, so I thought about a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. He also likes wedding cake, which I have... More