• Location: Alexandria, VA
  • Favorite foods: adobo, sour mangoes, pancit, pork belly, sashimi, sushi, bacon cheeseburgers, fries, popsicles, cheese, sea salt n' pepper potato chips, mesclun salad with steak and a lime/nuoc mam/olive oil dressing, rice, arroz caldo, eggs. BACON. BACON. BACON.
  • Last bite on earth: Sour green mangoes with spicy, garlicky bagoong. Holy crap, my mouth is watering at the thought.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

McDonald's hamburger in Manila, with fries dipped in ketchup and mayo. I'm sure the burger and fries were pretty terrible, but I sure did love the "toy" (it was a C3P0 drinking glass).

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

DIY burger party: delicious meats cooked to order. Toppings will include: all the bacon, gallon drums of home made guac and salsa, plus the usual suspects (condiments/lettuce, tomato, onion). Sides: chips and/or veggies.

All this deliciousness will be followed by a dessert cocktail featuring your heart and cholesterol medication.

Cook the Book: 'The Adobo Road Cookbook'

Filipina all the way.

I grew up in the Philippines (up till I was 11), and learned how to cook old-school from my grandma, with clay pots and coal fires. When I went back home a few years ago to visit family, I was really saddened to see that even my grandma had succumbed to the lure of instant seasoning mixes. So now, I'm trying to remember and re-learn how to cook Pinoy food - just to see if it's as good as I remember.

10 (Not Just Green) Sweets To Make For St. Patrick's Day

Not gonna lie, that is an unfortunate photo of the chocolate/guinness mousse.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Camp Bacon Gift Box

I like bacon with a side of bacon over bacon.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

In 'N Out closely followed by Shakeshack. If I could have both at the same time for maximum enjoyment, then even better.

Memorial Day Grilling Giveaway: Win This Delicious Cap of Ribeye

Veggies. And ALL THE MEATS.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Considering Coconut Milk

Easiest dish ever - sorry, I don't measure. The amount of garlic, ginger and coconut milk depends on the amount of crabs and shrimp that I have.

1) crabs (i usually use leftover steamed crabs with the Chesapeake Bay seasoning - I rinse off most of the seasoning though as it's very salty) cut in half.
2) a pound or so of deveined shrimp (with heads, preferably)
3) a whole head of garlic, smashed and peeled
4) Ginger - at least 3 inches, sliced thickly then smashed
5) 2 bunches of green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces, green and white parts
6) 2-3 cans of coconut milk
7) Thai bird chilies. Or the long, green, not hot at all chilis. Depends on what you have and how hot you like your food.
8) Optional: a spoonful or two of thai curry paste: green or red.

Sautee garlic, ginger until fragrant. Throw in the white parts of the green onions. Sautee some more till green onions start becoming translucent. Throw in the chilies and stir. Add curry paste if you'd like, but you can leave it out. Add coconut milk (2 cans of the milk, then just the cream part of the 3rd can). Heat till bubbling and starts to thicken. Add (raw) shrimp. Cook till mostly pink. Add (cooked) crabs. Or if you have raw crabs, add crabs first, cook till mostly done, then add shrimp. Season with salt or fish sauce. If you like to live dangerously, add taba nang talangka (crab roe paste), taste, then add fish sauce if necessary.

Eat with a shit-ton of rice. Then call your cardiologist because you're gonna need to up your medication after eating EVERYTHING.

Man, I think I'm going to make this tonight with just shrimp.

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

Avocado shake (w/tapioca pearls optional) FTW! Though I do love a tomato/avocado/red onion salad.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Cured Meat Experience

I like to serve prosciutto thinly sliced, arranged beautifully on a plate...then grabbing the entire pile and stuffing it in my mouth.

Need help: office party food ideas

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! You guys are amazing. Seriously, seriously amazing.

Not only did you all give me ideas for our office potluck, but for my own holiday party!

So on my office party list (someone else is bringing the meat and cheese platter. Dammit!)
1) Puff pasty tart w/tomatoes, parm and oregano
2) Roasted/candied nuts
3) Mexican dip. (I made it last night. I'm not gonna lie: I ate half the pan in one go. I am a little ashamed of myself.)

EVERYTHING ELSE: party at my place. I'm extra excited about the spinach "brownies" and the different savory tarts.

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

Pork adobo cooked old school: charcoal fire, clay pot, no soy sauce: just cuts of fatty, fatty pork, homemade palm vinegar, REAL garlic (tiny and powerful), bay leaf, peppercorns and a handful of seasalt. It was AMAZING.

The Food Lab: Homemade Mayo In 2 Minutes Or Less (Video)

Question: the instructions state that you season with salt after you've blitzed the hell out of it using a hand blender. Why wait till the end? Why not add the salt at the beginning for a more uniform seasoning? Would it break the mayo if you add salt with the lemon juice?

Washington, DC: Crushed Spirits and Crushed Burgers at Good Stuff Eatery

"...the reference to not having to rest the meat is hilarious..."

Uhmn, be that as it may, but I didn't think resting the meat involved being anywhere near a trashcan.

One word, (but long syllable): EEEEEEEEEEEW.

Share Your Sweets: Creamy Desserts

No recipe for the cheesecake cupcakes? *cries all the tears in the world*

Sponsored Giveaway: Enter to Win Tervis Products

I have a giant coffee mug that I've had for over a decade: my best friend gave it to me before I went off to college. It's seriously big enough to use as a ramen bowl (which I've done.) As expected, I was also the most hated girl during dorm coffee hour.

Sodastream tips needed: stop exploding everywhere, dangit!

@dbrackst: Maybe not for the ginger ale (and yes, I've tried the whole underfilling the bottle so it just covers the tip of the tube). You guys are probably right - it's all that sugar.

As to why I'd fizz up the flavour, one of the recipes on WashPo was for a watermelon soda. The recipe states:

"Because watermelon juice is so naturally watery, using seltzer to carbonate it is not recommended. For best results, use a soda siphon, which carbonates the juice without further dilution...For the soda: Pour the juice into a 1-quart soda siphon. Charge with CO2 according to the manufacturer's directions. Divide among tall glasses filled with ice. Garnish with more sea salt, if desired. "

Makes sense: If I poured fizzy water into the blended watermelon, I'd get very barely fizzy agua fresca. So now I'm wondering what kind of soda siphon they're using that they don't get the exploding action.

Thank you all for your tips! Maybe next time I try to fizz up a pre-flavoured bottle, I'll do it in the bathtub :)

Cook the Book: 'The Japanese Grill'

Meat. Lots and lots of meat. Meat in fancy marinades, meat with fancy rubs, meat with fancy salt. MEAT.

Cook the Book: 'The Just Bento Cookbook'

Onigiri, JFC, and steamed veggies. Yeah a little boring, but comforting!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Charles Chocolates' Edible Chocolate Holiday Box

Fudgy chocolate cake w/thick chocolate icing. *drools*

Lady Gaga's meat dress: Identify the cuts, and then COOK it

@djwackfriz - was TOTALLY waiting for beef curtain comment. I loled.

I'm imagining Gaga opening up her dressing room fridge, and pulling out a mannequin wearing the dress (and maybe some vodka from the freezer because you need to be terrifically drunk to wear that.)

Back When You Were Stupid About Food

I don't know how to explain how/why I became such a wimpy eater from when I was 11 till I was 18. I mean, for crying out loud, I grew up in a very rural town in the Philippines. I ate bat, rat, giant lizard, dog (unintenionally! I didn't know it was dog. I probably wouldn't have eaten it if I'd known. Probably.) unidentifiable meats on a stick, offal, etc when I was growing up.

Then we came to the US. And suddenly I decided that I was not going to eat anything but terrible Americanized chinese food (Panda Express, anyone?), certain kinds of filipino food (the safe stuff: pancit, adobo, lumpia. Definitely no karekare, dinuguan, etc.)

My moments of stupidity during those years? My best friend is Indian. Her mom and grandma are AMAZING cooks. But guess what we'd eat when I'd sleep over at my BF's house? Pizza Hut. Or Dominoes. Their fridge would be stocked with amazing curries and sauces and homemade pickle and I'd wrinkle my nose. All those wasted years because I was too fussy to eat it because it was "too spicy." OMG.

An Introduction to Karē-Raisu, Japanese Curry Rice

I can't wait to read your taste test - I use Vermont when I have a hankering for kare raisu. I have a box of S&B golden in my cabinet but haven't gotten around to cooking it.

Japanese curry is one of my favorite things to eat during winter: hot rice, curry w/potatoes and meat (and a few lashings of fish sauce), what's not to love?

Pizza Girl: June Bug Season Is Here

I have nothing constructive to add, but I will say that I am currently considering crawling under my desk and staying there permanently. I am traumatized by that giant bug photo, and even more freaked out at the thought of one of these landing on me.

What is your processed/junk food weakness?

Velveeta. I make Heart Attack Cheez Dip with it (Jimmy Dean or similar breakfast sausage + garlic + thai bird chilies + velveeta + rotel = delicious, delicious death.)

Need help: office party food ideas

We're having a pot-luck office party in a few weeks and I am fresh out of ideas of stuff to bring. (Unfortunately, someone else is bringing the veggie platter/dip and the fruit platter/dip. Damn, that was what I was originally planning on bringing!)

1) Portable - I need to be able to carry everything on the bus/metro. (I'll also be carrying non-breakable serving platters and stuff.)

2) Can be stored room temp (I get in to work at 9 our office party is at 1pm) - we have an office fridge, but will be either totally gross or not cold enough. I have a cooler, but it's those giant rolling coolers and I'd have to take that through security. Who needs extra radiation with their hors d'ouvres?

3) Served at room temp, or heated via microwave.

See why I'm stuck for ideas?

I was thinking pigs in a blanket as one of the items, but a few more suggestions would be awesome.

Sodastream tips needed: stop exploding everywhere, dangit!

I just saw a recipe online ( where you actually fizz up the mixed drink vs. carbonating the water then pouring the water over the flavour.

See, I've tried this before with my homemade kaffir lime-ginger ale. I made the kaffir-lime ginger infusion, added sugar, cooled it. Then I poured it into the Sodastream bottle and tried to fizz it.

Needless to say, there was kaffir-ginger-ale all over, and none in my belly :-(

I've tried filling only up until the liquid covers the tube that injects CO2, I've tried filling up slightly above the fill line. Nothing doing: all I get is a mess and no delicious soda.

Any tips? Anyone had this problem and found a solution?

Lady Gaga's meat dress: Identify the cuts, and then COOK it

Though I didn't actually watch the MTV awards show (I'm waaay beyond their target demographic), Lady Gaga's meat dress was all over the gossip and news blogs (

My immediate reaction? What a waste of meats. My secondary reaction: Huh. How would I cook all that? My third reaction: this is some crazy performance art sh*t that I just do.not.understand.

So, my question, Serious Eaters. What cuts of meat is she wearing? And more importantly, How would you cook it?

Raw cream: Making Devon cream. Can I freeze it afterwards?

I bought a cow share a few weeks ago and have been seriously enjoying my raw milk. I picked up an extra container of raw cream today in the hopes of making Devon cream (am planning to throw a tea party in a few weeks at my place w/homemade scones, devon cream, jams/curd, and those fussy tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off.)

So my question is, can I freeze Devon cream? Making it is kind of a long process, and I wanted to make it ahead of time. I was wondering if anyone has every made it before and had success in freezing/thawing for later use.

Help me round out my saturday night menu

Friends and family will be congregating at my place on saturday night to partake of my epic ox-tail lasagna. I wouldn't usually be flipping out, except the guest list has expanded to almost 30 people.

So help me expand my menu. So far I've got:
1) 2 large pans of lasagna
2) A pot of home made chicken/macaroni soup (this is more for the next day hangovers, as there will be crazy drinking going on.)
3) Salad
4) Roast chicken (Peruvian rotisserie).

What else can I serve? 30 people who can seriously pack it away are coming and I cannot run out of food.

Funky cheeses: How'd you develop a taste for it?

Took a cheese class last sunday that focused on great American cheeses. We tasted two that really, totally threw me for a loop and made me want to wipe my tongue with a napkin (I resisted.)

Rogue Creamery's Rogue River Blue and Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk really made me hurt. A lot. But I was in a tiny minority (4 of us in a class of 30?) that hated them - especially the Red Hawk.

Funky Cheese Lovers - tell me how you developed your love for the really pungent, stinky, strong cheeses? Did you start out hating it, then loved it later? Was it immediate love? Is it like cilantro - some people just straight up love it, others will never like it at all? I feel like I'm missing out.

Monin Syrup vs Da Vinci vs Torani: what do YOU prefer?

So I've been looking for syrups to use with my Soda Stream machine, and have been waffling about what to order. Monin? Da Vinci? Torani? So many choices, so little money.

Do you have recommendations? Reviews? Thoughts? I don't want to be shelling out for bottles of syrup and finding out that it tastes awful. (I'm planning on getting the regular syrups, not the sugar free stuff.)

Coke Light > Diet Coke. Where can I get some?

Went to Cancun over Memorial Day weekend. Rather than drinking myself into a stupor, I decided to indulge in my love of delicious Coke (with real sugar!) And it was goooood.

Then I had a Coke Light. I fell head over heels over it. I want some more. I crave it. I tried Diet Coke and spat it right back out because, eew. Gross.

Why is (Mexican) Coke Light a million times better than (US)Diet Coke? I checked the label and Coke Light uses aspertame. Is it a special kind of aspertame laced with crack? And where the hell can I get some in the DC/NOVA area? Coke Light, not crack.

I just got a sodastream machine: share your soda recipes!

I bought a Soda Stream, which arrived at my doorstep a few days ago. Needless to say, I've been playing with all sorts of fizzy drinks: both alcoholic and non. Last night's experiment was ginger/lime/rum fizzy. Before that, a cran-apple-pineapple w/vodka fizzy (it was just ok: I'll leave off the pineapple next time).

I was excited to see an article this morning on the NYTImes about homemade ginger ale. So now I'm going to ask Serious Eaters -- got any recipes/ideas for fun, homemade sodas?

Speakin' of kimchi: How do you store yours?

I have a new jar of kimchi that's sitting in my fridge, triple bagged to prevent my milk and butter from tasting and smelling like fermented veggies. Then I noticed that there's condensation forming in the innermost bag.

Obviously, this means that my kimchi is alive and will eat my face next time I try to have some for dinner.

How do you store your kimchi and keep it from funkifying your fridge?

*side note: a friend in Seoul told me that the apartments in her building has a kimchi fridge out on the balcony -- and that this is standard. Man, I need one of those.

Your favorite kitchen supply website: aka Kitchen Porn Site

When I am feeling low, depressed and oppressed here at work, I blow off steam not by destroying property, but by eyeballing items at It's not the prettiest site, but hello, giant containers of valhorna cocoa powder! Hello awesomely indestructible food containers! Hello sexy kitchen tools! Where is my credit card?

Share your favorite kitchen porn site. Help cheer me up. Help me slack off work.

Alice Waters Letter to White House: Get a New Chef!

So I've only just been recently been following the hullaballoo about the open letter that Alice Waters had written regarding getting a new White House chef that was in line with their organic, natural, etc. etc. way of eating/cooking/living.

From the letter, it seemed as though the current chef Cristeta Comerford is not the right woman for the job.

I quote "We would be honored to present ourselves as a small advisory group—a 'Kitchen Cabinet' if you will—to help with your selection of a White House chef. A person with integrity and devotion to the ideals of environmentalism, health, and conservation would send a powerful message to our country: that food choices matter."

Sorry, the emphasis is mine. I personally found that incredibly tactless and uninformed, as there have been plenty of followup -- especially from the previous WH chef Walter Scheib -- that the White House already follows an organic/sustainable/locavore/whathaveyou approach to food. And that Ms. Comerford is a huge proponent of all things local and organic.

Now, I don't know what tone Ms. Waters was trying to aim for, but it sure read like she was campaigning for the ousting of a chef with talent, "integrity and devotion." What was that implying, exactly? That WH chefs don't have the above?

My question: why isn't there a letter to say "Hey, my mistake. Obviously, I wrote that letter without doing any kind of research as to the kind of cooking/eating/sourcing in the White House kitchens, and I think Ms. Comerford is doing a fantastic job."

Eating right, being healthy, encouraging sustainable and organic practices is the hallmark of Ms. Water's whole career, and I'm usually for that. But is it just me who had the nastiest taste in the mouth after reading her original letter?

Where to get pandan extract (w/out too many additives?)

I'm in search of pandan extract or paste to use in a couple of ricecake and chiffon cake recipes (not to mention homemade kaya jam). I've seen extracts in the local asian marts, but they seem chockful of unpronounceable extras and oils and alcohols and food colorings.

Does anyone know where to buy (online plz, or around the Northern VA area) 1) good pandan extract/paste? I'm not looking for organic, grown on soil blessed by local gods and harvested by young asian virgins under the first moon of the month. Just something that doesn't have a list of 30 lab-created ingredients. OR 2) frozen pandan leaves?

I live in the Alexandria area in VA - can get to MD if necessary. I'd prefer online shopping (because I am horrifically lazy).

Chicago - there for 3 days. Where do I eat?

We'll be in Chicago for 3 short days in June for our college reunion at nerd school, aka University of Chicago. We'll be spending one day joining in the alumni festivities, checking out how much the campus has changed, eating at our old haunts. But the weekend is ours to spend freely.

Tell me, SE folks, where would you go/what would you eat in 2 short days in Chicago? We'll be in downtown Chicago (probably close to the Mile) at a hotel, and we are all about taking the El and Metra to get to places. What are your recommendations - high and low ranges!

X.O. Sauce. Let me show you them.

So in my pantry are 4 - count 'em, FOUR - containers of XO sauce. I opened one bottle and the delicious funk of chili oil and dried scallops hit me in the face. Hard. I kind of blacked out.

After I regained conciousness, I decided to whip up some pseudo-Pancit Luglog (I only had the thin rice noods) using a ton of garlic, onions, some XO sauce, achuete liquid beaten into some eggs, a little slurry to get things thickened up. Then I cheated and added 1/4 a package of Palabok mix. It turned out pretty freaking delicious.

So, have you ever used XO sauce? What'd you do with it? Please post some recipes as I have 4 bottles of the stuff, and I can't eat pseudo-palabok all the time.

Did I mention I have 4 bottles? GOOD LORD :-(

Seriously Asian: Jumuk-Bap

Jumuk-Bap View the complete recipe here » What do seaweed, pears, and ground beef have in common? They all belong in Jumuk-bap, a Korean rice ball snack I learned how to make from a former Korean housemate. Jumuk means fist in Korean, which is a fair description of how compressed the rice becomes as you shape it into a ball. I'd always been more familiar with the Japanese version, onigiri, in which fillings like umeboshi (pickled plum) or salmon are tucked into the interior of a rice ball, which is then wrapped into a sheet of seaweed. For Jumuk-bap, all the components are mixed together with the rice before being shaped into balls. The secret ingredient in the ground... More

In Season: Leeks

[Flickr: Muffet] I fell in love with leeks last year when using them in a Tuscan bread soup. In combination with fragrant ginger, fresh tomatoes, and pane toscano, I realized the great potential of the often overlooked leek. In season October through May, this mellow vegetable reaches its peak in January. Leeks are closely related to onions, shallots, and scallions, most resembling the latter—though much larger, typically twelve inches in length and around two inches in diameter. Leek recipes, tips, and info, after the jump.... More

Grocery Ninja: Tsokolate—Smokey, Nutty, Pinoy Hot Chocolate

The Grocery Ninja leaves no aisle unexplored, no jar unopened, no produce untasted. Creep along with her below, and read all her mission reports here. Sweet glutinous rice in Pinoy hot chocolate. Photograph from chotda on Flickr The boyfriend mentioned something interesting recently: Coffee breaks are the nonsmoker's smoke break. He wasn't referring to the communal pot of watered down joe most offices brew up in the morning and keep on a burner all day, though. He was referring to the process of pulling a perfect shot of espresso, frothing milk till it's just right, then bringing it all together in an earnest little cappuccino. I had never thought of it that way, but making coffee can be a meditative... More

Bad Airline Meal Inspires Crazy Letter to Richard Branson

Hilarious letter, with photos, to Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic Airways, complaining about every item on an in-flight meal (Mumbai to Heathrow). The product of a mind at the absolute end of its tether. Witness: I'll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it's Christmas morning and you're sat their with your final present to open. It's a big one, and you know what it is. It's that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about. Only you open the present and it's not in there. It's your hamster Richard. It's your hamster in the box and it's not breathing. That's how I felt when I... More

Stories Behind 10 Famous Food Logos

The Morton Umbrella Girl over the years. From Neatorama. Did you know Chef Boyardee and Sara Lee were real people, but Betty Crocker and Aunt Jemima weren't? Neatorama covers the stories behind the logos of 10 famous food companies: Morton Salt, Heinz 57 Varieties, Jolly Green Giant, La Vache qui Rit (The Laughing Cow), Aunt Jemima, Betty Crocker, Chef Boyardee, Sara Lee, Quaker Oats, and Gerber Baby.... More

Rice Krispies Sushi

No, there isn't raw fish in these Rice Krispies treats, just good old-fashioned marshmallows, Swedish Fish gummies, and Fruit by the Foot (or Fruit Roll-Ups). My friend made them for me as a Christmas present and they were so darn... More

Banh Chung for Lunar New Year

In areas with a sizable Vietnamese community, you can find banh chung around Lunar New Year. Stacked in neat bricks, sometimes even warm, the sign of a good banh chung is one that's meaty, hefty, and tightly rolled. Here's a recipe and how-to. More

Ikea Groceries: Some Assembly Required

Food is an integral part of the Ikea experience. For many people, myself included, the trip begins with a helping of steam-table meatballs and ends with a 50¢ hot dog. Somehow, though, the little grocery store just past the checkout never gets much love. The lure of the wiener stand, presumably, is too great. But I was curious. Since everything else in my kitchen comes from the Scandinavian megastore, it seemed logical to slap some Ikea food on my Ikea plates. So, with the Swedish Chef as my muse, I decided to see what I could assemble from Ikea's grocery offerings.... More