Becka K-S

I have a deep, abiding love of food, and a chef for a husband. Score!

  • Location: Peoria, IL

Chipotle Introduces New Vegan Burritos and Tacos Across the Country

I almost never go to Chipotle, but I will make a special trip if/when this makes it to our central Illinois location!

Cookie Monster: Whole Wheat Sables with Za'atar

Ooh, sounds tasty!

A Day in the Life: Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Editor

That tortilla soup is awesome! Fun post, made me miss Chicago. :)

dishwasher vs. hand-washing dishes?

Oh, with the caveat: I prefer a dishwasher that works well over handwashing. I've definitely had dishwashers that did such a poor job I'd rather do it all by hand.

dishwasher vs. hand-washing dishes?

DISHWASHER. I've lived in places where I had a dishwasher and rarely used it, when I only cooked for myself and rarely dirtied a whole slew of dishes at once. But now that I'm living with my husband, who does like to make occasional elaborate meals, I would kill for one. Unfortunately, we haven't figured out a way to wedge one into our kitchen.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I too am pumped for the anchovy article!

Your menu ordering style?


I order what I want. *shrug*

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters


This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

"pickled herring and chocolate babka"

I'm still queasy from misreading this.

Cookie Monster: Brown Butter Blondies

Huh, it wouldn't occur to me to make them any other way. The Joy of Cooking calls for browning the butter, and that's the first recipe I used, so I've made them that way ever since. (I try to avoid making them at all, because the likelihood of my polishing off an entire pan of blondies all by my lonesome within about six hours is... let's just say "high.")

We Try the New Peanut Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pop-Tarts

I can't believe I'm seriously considering buying Pop Tarts now. Damn you!

Hummus without a food processor?

If you like your hummus on the thin side, it should be no problem. In my experience, stick blenders get pretty well bogged down in hummus if you don't thin it out a fair amount.

Bake the Book: Popcorn Chive Blossom Cupcakes

You know, I've had some allium-infested sweets before due to reusing cutting boards and stuff. Chive blossoms are oniony as hell - I can't imagine this being good.

Sauced: Extra-Smooth Hummus

I peeled my chickpeas for hummus exactly once, and didn't really notice a difference in the final product. I certainly prefer the smooth texture of storebought stuff, but it's not even remotely worth the premium price, especially since I usually don't find the flavor as good.

Beignets vs. Donuts

Beignets are yeast leavened, donuts aren't.

Except for the ones that are. The classic Krispy Kreme comes to mind immediately, though it's just one of many, many examples.

Beignets are pretty much just one kind of doughnut.

We Try Sonic's New Cinnasnacks

This is the first thing that has ever tempted me to visit the Sonic by my house.

Dinner Tonight...

Apparently there was a roasted chicken bug last night! I roasted up a lemon pepper-seasoned chicken quarter and had a pile of sauteed veggies (onion, broccoli, carrot, red pepper, mushroom) finished with a little lemon. Simple, but very satisfying.

Sugar Rush: German Chocolate Brownies at Karsh's Bakery, Phoenix

Yes. Yes please. I will take one two all of them please.

Open Thread: What's Your Favorite Chinese Takeout Order?

General's or orange chicken, beef and broccoli, crab rangoon.

The Food Lab: How To Cook and Shuck a Lobster

Any thought on the Dave Arnold-endorsed clove oil anesthesia method? I've never had it, but my husband did it for an ACF meeting and said it was the best lobster he'd ever had (I really don't remember if they did a side-by-side with a more traditional method).

Gadgets: The Grab Opener, aka The GrOpener

They really decided to go with the "GrOpener"? Interesting choice.

Bake the Book: Tobacco Cookies

I'd certainly be willing to give this a try, but having accidentally tasted a fair amount of tobacco from hand-rolled/filterless cigarettes, it sounds kind of disgusting.

Chocoholic: Creamy Chocolate Polenta

Oh, goodness. My eyes got VERY BIG when this appeared on my screen. I'll have to try it! Sounds awesome.

Use A French Press to Add Flavor to Your Beer

What's the impact on the carbonation of these beers? Mixing in a bunch of small bits of solids, then the agitation of the press filter... seems like it would flatten the beers quite a bit.

Nutrition Counts - where to find?

The USDA database is great, and is a somewhat more consumer-oriented (read: prettier) site that provides the same information.

Fabulous Vegetarian Restaurant in Chicago? separately: dim sum?

Part I: Any thoughts on a wonderful vegetarian (or vegan) restaurant my husband and I can hit up during our mini culinary vacation next month? We're looking for something around $100 for two (food/tax/tip, not necessarily drinks) but that's fairly flexible.

Places like Victory's Banner and Soul Veg are not what we have in mind (never mind they're obviously way below our price point). Something like Zen Palate in NYC might hit the spot. Is there such a thing? I'd love a place that focuses more on the inherent goodness of veggie foods and doesn't have seitan (which we both dislike) or another meat replacement in every other dish - Chicago Diner is a good example of exactly what I'm not looking for. A spot that's not actually veg but has a very respectable vegetarian menu is also fine; for what it's worth, we're not actually veg*n. In my dreams we'd get something like a pared down version of Kenji's sneaky vegan feast last year.

No dietary or cuisine restrictions - we'll pretty much eat anything. In the city is preferred, but anything accessible by L is fine.

Part II: We'd also like to have a lovely dim sum brunch. I'm a fan of the Phoenix but would love to try something new. I do not care for the original 3 Happiness. I've seen some people recommend Ming Hin in fairly old threads. Do those recommendations still hold? For what it's worth, we'll almost certainly be getting dim sum on a weekday. I prefer Chinatown to the Argyle area.

quotes on articles bug

Offset quotes in articles are showing up twice, once where they belong, and once in the middle of the following paragraph. Just noticed it on the coffee article, and I saw it on one yesterday, too.

Like so.

"More posts" doesn't work

Nothing happens when clicking on the "More Posts" or "More Talk" links, besides a change in the url ("#more" or "#more-talk" appended).

This happens in both Chrome & Safari on my Mac (10.6.8). Anyone else?

Vegetarian: Peas and Carrots Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds

I've always loved peas and carrots in pretty much all their forms. Even the little compartments of frozen peas and cubically-cut carrots were the best part of my TV dinner (unless said dinner also included an apple crumble). Why do they work so well as a frozen vegetable? It's because when frozen fresh, neither peas nor carrots lose much of their sweetness or flavor, and they're both small enough that their texture is also minimally affected. But that was then and this is now; with all the access we have to great fresh produce these days, it seems a waste not to pull off some sort of minor update on the classic duo. This salad brings them together in a brighter, fresher, altogether-more-satisfying way. More

The Ramen Rater's Top 10 Instant Noodles of 2013

I've been a fan of instant noodles all my life and in 2002, decided to turn this passion into a blog. While living in Seattle, I've found Asian grocery stores aplenty and my love affair with the instant noodle has only increased. Over the years, I've found some pretty amazing varieties; this list represents the best of the best. More

The Food Lab: The Best Wonton Soup

My favorite version of wonton soup—the version that's good enough to eat like a meal and not just an MSG headache-inducing appetizer, is the rich, shrimp and pork version served in Hong Kong. The broth, a far cry from the salty, one-dimensional versions I had as a kid, is made with chicken and pork, with a rich body and a faint aroma of the sea. The wontons are stuffed fuller than most, folded into little round parcels, filled with juicy pork and shrimp pop out as you bite through the thin, thin skins; the shrimp crunching under your teeth as you chew. More

Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Miso Lemongrass Soup with Mushroom Dumplings

This soup has lots of flavor, and takes a lot less time to make than you may be imagining. Miso soup (just miso paste and boiling water here) basically makes itself while you're preparing the mushroom-scallion dumplings. The mushrooms are cooked with a bit of vinegar and soy sauce so they burst with dark, earthy flavors in the soup. That may sound like a lot of soy-on-soy action, but the lemongrass keeps it from being overwhelming. More

Best Chicago Tacos of 2012

How many great tacos are there in Chicago? Well, there are enough that I was able to try a new restaurant or taqueria every week for a year and never come close to exhausting the possibilities. Sure, some were simply mediocre, while others were merely adequate, but occasionally I'd stumble upon a true find. More

The Vegan Experience: Can I Make Vegan Mapo Tofu That's Better Than The Real Thing?

Mapo Tofu is one of the greatest dishes in the world, and it exists not only inspite of, but because of the fact that the ingredient options were so severely restricted when it was created in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province. Here's how to make a vegan version that is not only as good as, but may well be better than the real thing. More

18 Winter Salads That Don't Suck

Don't you hate the term detox? I sure do. It's not that after two months of eating roast meat, roast potatoes, pies, cookies, and cakes I need to detox (whatever that means), but honestly, winter is one of the greatest salad seasons with peppery, bitter greens, great root vegetables, and an excuse to put nuts in everything. Here are eighteen awesome winter salads that are hearty enough to eat like a meal, but healthy enough to make you feel good about your new years' resolutions. More

Red Rooster's Mac and Greens

This mac contains just as much greenery as pasta. Braised collards and bok choy pair perfectly with the gooey cheddar-gruyère-parmesan mix, and the hints of soy and coconut lend rich depth. Green as it may be, this is no health food; there's bacon, heavy cream, and plenty of cheese in each and every nook and cranny. More

Serious Reads: Watching What We Eat, by Kathleen Collins

In today's food- and foodie-obsessed culture, cooking shows have taken on an amazing cultural importance. From Ina Garten to Guy Fieri, from old-school Ming Tsai to the newest competition show on the Cooking Channel, everyone has their favorite program and style of culinary entertainment. Kathleen Collins explores the history of food television in her new book, Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows. More

DIY vs Buy: Cereal Bars

Commercial cereal bars laced with artificial flavors, dyes, and 12 grams of sugars are not my idea of an energizing breakfast. While studying the package, the familiar refrain of "you know, I bet I could make those" began running through my head. More

Planter's New Flavored Peanut Butters

Planters may be one of the biggest name in peanuts, but they certainly lag behind Jif and Skippy when it comes to the ubiquity of peanut butter brands. In fact, I never really knew they made peanut butter until a few jars of their new line "NUTrition" (hah, get it?) showed up at SEHQ. The three new butters feature mix-ins like raisins, other dried fruits, and granola. More

Gadgets: Hamilton Beach Half-Pint Ice Cream Maker

The idea behind this ice cream maker is to make a quick batch of ice cream—it took about nine minutes to churn most of the recipes I tried—and then just dive in with a spoon. If you've got the ice cream mixture ready ahead of time, that's just enough time to clear the table of the dinner dishes and be waiting with that spoon in hand. More