Librarian, food lover, burgeoning gardener, reader, lover of beer

  • Website
  • Location: Walla Walla, WA
  • Favorite foods: Italian. Italian. Italian. And now than I am back on the west coast and can get my hands on a decent burrito, I am loving the carnitas.
  • Last bite on earth: Homemade pasta with mushrooms and truffles and parmesan and cream.

Latest Comments

Serious Eats on a Juice Cleanse: We Try Out Cooler Cleanse

I think it's interesting that people who are against juice cleansing are awfully vitriolic about it. What are you so pissed about?

I'd love to see a "cleanse" that mixed some healthy meals with some juices, all of which could be made at home. I put cleanse in quotes because it's not so much some kind of detoxification I'm looking for as a chance to step back, eat a little like an ascetic for a few days, and re-focus on my health.

I did the BPC and I loved it. I felt fantastic. Was I cleansed of toxins? Probably not. Did it hurt me or contribute to disordered eating? No. So why does anyone care?

First meal of 2012

No one else made Hoppin' John, huh? I usually make that first thing on January 1st. We had it for lunch. I might have eaten a leftover tortilla chip from the night before while I was cooking.

In Salads Named After Political Scandals: Watergate Salad

I love Watergate Salad! I first encountered it when my post-college roommate from Texas made it for a barbecue, and I've loved it ever since. I wish I had some idea about the political name, but alas.

Do not be afraid of the pistachio pudding mix. I am so making this for at least one barbecue this summer.

Taste Test: Peanut Butter, Creamy

I have to agree with others who say that comparing sugar-added peanut butters to natural peanut butters doesn't really make sense. They are totally different spreads. I actually grew up eating natural peanut butter and have never been able to stand sweetness in my peanut butter. Just peanuts and salt, thanks. :-)

Cook the Book: 'Plenty'

I think Heidi at 101 Cookbooks has great ideas for vegetables that I would likely never consider on my own, from cooking them differently than expected to using interesting marinades or sauces or dressings. I often turn to her blog if I'm looking for something outside the ordinary.

Eat For Eight Bucks: Crunchy Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Bacon

What do you do with the scallions soaked in vinegar? Do they just get mixed in with everything else?

Cook the Book: 'At Elizabeth David's Table'

Probably Jamie Oliver: His is the first cookbook I bought as an adult, and his casual, fearless style made me feel a lot less intimidated in the kitchen. I have a similar style in that I think you can fudge measurements, and throw in whatever ingredients you have, and your food is still going to end up pretty good.

Chain Reaction: Fuddruckers

Fuddrucker's plays a major part in many of my childhood memories, and what I remember most (other than sides of beef hanging in the window) are those store-made buns. So good! I went a few years ago and was kind of disappointed, but I think it was more about the actual location we went to. You've convinced me to try again, and to go for the 1/3 lb instead of the 1/4 lb burger.

Bring on the cheese sauce!

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

When I was a kid, my Grandparents would always bring a massive box of bacon from a meat locker in their town to our house. After school, we'd eat many strips of bacon as an after school snack. It was awesome. I also remember going to a pork roast when I was a wee thing, where they dug a huge pit in the beach and roasted a pig whole. I was only 4 or 5 but I still remember that it tasted amazing.

Cook the Book: 'Fresh from the Market'

I am looking forward to roasting some of the awesome local beef in my freezer. And whoo hoo I can't wait for winter squash of all types. And I'm going to try to grow some fall greens in my garden, so we'll see how that works out.

How Long Would You Wait in Line for Food?

Dottie's is one of the only places I'll wait in line for, no matter how long it takes. I love Dottie's. Love. :-)

I suppose if there is a bar nearby, and the restaurant is willing to call my cell when my table's ready, I'll wait for an hour or so for a good dinner anywhere.

Walla Walla Sweet Onions and Secret Seasoning Make the Burgers at Fast Eddy's

Wow, so funny to see my small little town on Serious Eats! I haven't tried Fast Eddy's yet (I'm a relative newcomer to the land of sweet onions), but you've encouraged me to give it a shot.

Critic-Turned-Cook Cheers Winemakers-Turned-Cooks

Welcome to Walla Walla! I think this is the weekend of the wine bloggers conference here in town. For such a small town, we do have some great food and better wine.

Dinner Tonight: Rice and Bean Chimichanga

I don't think I can help you, because your originating premise is one I just can't get behind. I can't see where the problem lies in "a deep-fried burrito swamped in sauce and covered with cheese." That is kind of my idea of heaven, if I never had to think of my health.

Perhaps if I knew why you don't like deep-fried burritos with sauce and cheese?

Truth Hammer: On Mark Bittman's Decidedly Un-Minimalist Burgers

He's not writing gospel, here. He's writing a pre-Memorial Day column on burgers. Of course it has to be something unique and new from what he's written before. That's how life style journalism usually works.

I say cook your burgers however you want, with whatever meat you want. If you like them that way, that's all that matters.

Cook the Book: 'The Book of Tapas'

My favorite? That is tricky. Albondigas are terrific. Everyone loves patatas bravas, for good reason. I adored the asparagus served at tapas bars in Barcelona. But I think I really loved pintxos the best...although that probably doesn't count as tapas. It is certainly an area I could learn a lot more about.

Cook the Book: 'Molto Gusto'

When I lived in Boston I was a regular at Delfino in Roslindale, which makes truly fantastic Italian food. Here in WW, I haven't really found a place I'd consider a regular destination yet, though I have been to T. Maccarone's twice and Creektown Cafe twice. I'm only a true regular at Taqueria Yungapeti.

Are You A Fan of Food Souvenirs?

Oh yes. My favorite so far were the roasted chicken flavored potato chips from Spain. Saddest: A bottle of wine bought in San Francisco which I forgot was in my suitcase and which ended up getting thrown away by security when I decided not to check my bag.

Cook the Book: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread

I've made a peanut butter bread (sans jelly) with natural peanut butter and it turned out fine. And holy cow I can't wait to make this one!

What Is a California Burrito?

@Lorenzo The California Burrito is a very specific San Diego thing. It's not a California-style burrito. It's a carne asada burrito with fries in it, basically.

These became popular in SD while I was away at college up up NorCal. I came back and was amazed at the amazingness! And man, I am craving one right now. Definitely an indulgence, but sooo worth it every once in awhile.

When I was in high school the favored burrito spot was Sombrero. On a recent visit I discovered Santana's and love it. But I always have a soft spot from any random spot with an -erto at the end of the name. Oh, San Diego. I miss you.

Dinner Tonight: Orecchiette with Peas, Prosciutto, and Crème Fraîche

This is the second time today someone has claimed that cream shouldn't be used in pasta, or that it's for cheaters. I'm so baffled by this! My favorite, favorite sauce for pasta is a super simple cream sauce made by simmering nothing but cream, garlic, and salt until it's thick and delicious. How could this be wrong, when it is so right?

Also, this looks delicioius. I am such a sucker for creamy pasta.

Video: The Horseshoe Sandwich Is a Springfield, Illinois, Specialty

I think Gourmet did a piece on the horseshoe sandwich back in October that made it sound way more interesting than this.

Yes, yes they did:

What time do you eat dinner ?

I'm wondering if there's any correlation between early vs. late dinners and whether or not people have families? I suspect those with children might eat earlier, though I really have nothing but anecdote to back that up. And I generally contradict that: I don't have children, and if I don't go to the gym after work, I eat dinner around 5.30 or 6. If I do go to the gym, it's closer to 7 or 7.30. Weekends, I've been known to eat dinner at 4.

Cook the Book: 'My Bread'

My most disastrous loaf was actually my second loaf of no-knead bread. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but that bread stuck to the pan like nothing else, and ripped entirely in half when I tried to pull it out.

So far my biggest bread triumph was making bagels. They were lovely! Every loaf of bread I make gets a little better, so it's a fairly encouraging endeavor.

Reality Check: The Jumbo Jack with Cheese

I believe it was Fast Food Nation in which I read that JITB actually has much more stringent food safety processes and requirements than any other fast food restaurant, largely because of the e coli scare in 1993. In order to survive, they had to ensure that would never, ever happen again. So I feel a little bit less wary of the danger in their burgers than elsewhere.

But yeah, it's a fast food burger. It's not going to be gourmet, and it'll probably be smushed and messy as hell. It will taste like a fast food burger, and it will feel like a fast food burger. That being said, I have major cravings for an Ultimate Cheeseburger from time to time. I think it's been at least 8 years since I've had one. But I man, do I want them sometimes.