More Than Just Peat and Smoke: The Best Islay Single Malts

I love the Islays, but my fave is Lagavulin. The first time I got a whiff of the 16 I thought of Lapsang Souchong tea which I drank in college -- it smells like horses in a good way. Uigeadail is lovely. My now husband is to blame for my love of Islays. Thanks, honey!

How the West Coast Became a Cheesemaking Titan

When I was a kid living in Portland, OR we always had a summer vacation on the coast. We always passed the Tillamook factory so one year we stopped for a tour and it was fun seeing the huge vats of milk and the cheese making process and of course at the end we got to sample the cheeses! A fond memory and the next time I am in Oregon I will have to repeat the tour!

Win a Copy of 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'

I have a lamb's head in my freezer, haven't figured out what to do with it yet. It's from Kinderhook. I love trying new stuff.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Boo hiss for getting rid of Talk. I refuse to use social media and am glad to see many others with the same sentiment. I always check out Talk even if I don't comment, so might not be visiting as much. Please reconsider.

Serious Giveaway: Win an iPad Air from Serious Eats and Apartment Therapy!

Oops! Meant connection!

Serious Giveaway: Win an iPad Air from Serious Eats and Apartment Therapy!

AT and Kitchn are great, thanks for the conniption and happy birthday!

So what did you have for St. Patrick's Day?

Pastrami Reuben for lunch before work, and another one today! I'm perfecting my technique

homemade baked beans help

Depends on your definition of forever! I always use navy beans, but pinto will be fine. Add crushed tomatoes, brown sugar , dry mustard, chopped onion and kielbasa. Cook overnight -- baked beans for breakfast are great! -- or start in the morning and when you come home from work awesome dinner will be ready.

Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Marmalade

I have some blood orange marmalade from my sister, I will try this. Last night I made apple and olive oil cake (Ottolenghi) and it was great. The batter was incredibly stiff but it baked up beautifully. Marmalade is one of my fave condiments.

Rib roast

I always cook rib roast at 325* steady until it's 125* in the center, it never fails. I like to stick it in the oven and forget about it (busy prepping other things) until the thermometer tells me it's ready.

What traditional family recipe would you never mess with?

My Mom's pasties cannot be changed -- diced potatoes, onions, and flank steak. The crust can ONLY be made with lard. I have added at various times rutabaga, carrots or parsnips and the uproar was unforgivable.

Staff Picks: The Best Things We Ate in September

A slice of tomato on a piece of toast, smeared with hummus or pesto or nothing at all with a sprinkle of salt. Every day.

Cook the Book: 'The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook'

Tomatoes and corn and Vermont cheese, give me some blue!

Caramelized Onion and Bayley Hazen Blue Galette from 'The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook'

Blue cheese and caramelized onions, I could eat the whole thing myself. I'll make this on Saturday and my husband will be fighting me for it.

You favorite easy dinner

When I get home from work at midnight it's scrambled eggs and toast, perfectly satisfying.

Cookbooks for Gifts

It's been around a long time, but for the inexperienced cook I would give Julia's The Way to Cook. I still reference it, and the recipes cover everything.

For the other two cooks it might be Moro by Sam & Sam Clark, Dishes From the Wild Horse Desert by Melissa Guerra, or Tender or Ripe by Nigel Slater. I could go on, I love giving cookbooks!

Cook the Book: 'River Cottage Veg'

Asparagus and morels with pasta.

78 through PA

If you're heading toward home stop at Deitrich's Meat Market to stock up on farm raised beef, pork, poultry, lamb. You can't beat their products. They always have samples so you can nibble! Exit 40/Kutztown, easy on and off. They don't take plastic but they have an ATM. I always plan a stop there. When hunger hits I go to the Red Robin next to Cabela's at exit 29B, I know, it's a chain but I can't resist. Then, of course, I go to Cabela's.

Cook the Book: 'Vegetable Literacy' by Deborah Madison

Roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and red onion. Broccoli rabe sauteed with garlic, or made into a pesto. The vegetable kingdom is a veritable playground of flavor and invention.

Animal Slaughter...Have you?! Would you?!

The resident pig at the barn where I board my horses was slaughtered last fall by a butcher who comes to the farm. I showed up as the carcass was being hung and he was beginning to gut it, so I watched the process. I think I would be able to do the slaughter and would certainly want to break down the carcass. I've never been a hunter because I'm not a great shot. Anyway, the farm owner didn't want the tongue, liver or heart so I got to take them home. Good eats and I knew exactly how the animal was raised.

Email recipe feature still not functioning

Paul, I'm having trouble too. I have Safari on OS X. Cleared the history but no dice.

Cook the Book: 'Stewed'

Well, a nice pork stew, or a chicken stew. Can't beat ham hocks and navy beans. Nothing better than a pot simmering on the stove and some bread coming out of the oven. I so love winter cooking.

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

Just made penne with broccoli in a bacon gorgonzola cream sauce last week, have to make it again soon.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

LaFrieda burger cooked in my kitchen

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Daniel Boulud burger

Finally went there

There's a hole in the wall Mexican grocery/restaurant in the neighboring village that I pass weekly on my foray to Hannaford to stock up on provisions. Every time I went by I said, I gotta stop there and check it out. There is always a hand written sign in the window with the day's offerings. Kept on going by until today when I stopped and went in. Well, it was about time! The gracious lady proprietor made two beef tacos to order, and they were just what I wanted. Tender beef, chopped onion, cilantro and spicy salsa -- yum, a perfect snack before grocery shopping. I'll be going back next week to try something else on her menu. Is there a nifty place you finally went to and keep going back to?

Cooking camp for kids -- need help!

My best friend's daughter (9 going on 10) loves to be in the kitchen, so Rebecca has decided to put together a cooking camp through her local 4-H group. They can use the community church kitchen, and Rebecca expects 8-10 kids. She will do five days of half days, sometime in July. She wants my help -- ack! I don't have a lot of experience with kids! What recipes would you recommend? I don't want to dumb it down for them. Any ideas much appreciated.

Onion tart for breakfast

Did anyone else wake up hungry this morning?! I was ravenous, so I had a piece of onion tart that is among the leftovers. The chicken carcasses (two free range) are in the soup pot, so I'll be making soup tonight. I think lunch might be mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts; today is even better than yesterday! I hope y'alls Thanksgiving was wonderful.

County fair food!

I just got back from the Dutchess County Fair (NY). It's my chance to eat sinfully one day a year. The best thing I had today was fried pickles with horseradish dipping sauce -- what a treat! I hope the guy comes back next year. John's Famous French Fries were darn good, too. What do you like to eat at the county fair?

What's your favorite local funky dive?

There's a place a few miles from me, behind a gas station and next to a bait shop. It looks like a dump. Major potholes in the parking lot. A friend tried for over a year to get me to go there, so finally I went to get her to shut up. I am forever indebted!! Gawd, the food is so good . . . steaks, chops, seafood, pizza, pasta . . . I can't wait for out of town friends to come so I can take them there to see the look on their face. I have to duck to get through the door. There are only twelve tables, a pellet stove (so cozy in the winter), and a tiny bar. They finally patched the hole in the floor in the far corner. There's a blue marlin mounted on one of the walls. One waitress works the room and some nights it feels like one big raucous family. My favorite place outside of my own kitchen!

Where to eat in New Orleans?

I'll be spending 5 days/4 nights in New Orleans in May. Where should I go to eat? I really want to maximize every meal opportunity. Where do the locals go? I've never had crawfish, and I love boudin! I don't want to miss anything special.