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Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Perfect Steak Set from Double R Ranch Co.

Grass-fed, locally-raised, pastured animal for starters. Mid-rare ribeye with bearnaise.

In-N-Out vs. Five Guys vs. Shake Shack: The First Bi-Coastal Side-By-Side Taste Test

The fact of the matter is that nobody is ever going to "win" this because everyone's tastes are different! That's why there's a place for each of them. This discussion could go on forever but there's no "clear" winner because each person has different tastes and preferences.

Barbara Lynch's Tagliatelle Bolognese

I know, no fun, but can you recommend a good work-around for the chicken livers and heavy cream? As we tip over into the "slightly high" cholesterol category, I have to start making some little changes here and there.

Thanksgiving ... So, how'd it go? Success? Hilarious failures?

I'm late to this party but loved reading everyone else's stories. I made the homemade noodles for the first time myself. I am not a baker or experienced with dough, but they came out ok - the homemade chicken broth I made before and froze to cook them in however was very bland, so the noodles were boring. I was also in charge of the pie crusts for the first time, Mom made the fillings, and used a supposedly easy to use, foolproof recipe I found online. I guess I'm a fool though, because it didn't work out great. Tasted good, but couldn't get the pieces out of the dishes without them breaking, ending up with us scraping out the "piece" with a spoon. My stuffing, however, was the best ever, I could have eaten it every day for a week but the leftovers only lasted one day.

The best part of Thanksgiving this year was that I escaped without another gallstone attack - having the GB removed in 1 week, so I was hoping to scrape by unscathed, and I did!

Should We Get Rid of the Food Pyramid?

"Basically, I view the USDA Food Guide Pyramid™ as a way to make sure all those commodity crops get consumed."


The Food Lab's Top 6 Food Myths

There are some good ones in here today! I will tweet.

Trader Joe's Frozen Steelcut Oatmeal Might Change Your Life

You don't microwave the plastic container. You take the oatmeal out.

Equipment: How to Buy, Season, and Maintain Cast Iron Cookware

I've never done the drying it out on the stovetop thing with ours, and it isn't rusty. And we use soap on it, too. Wash, dry, spray with oil, put away.

Trader Joe's Frozen Steelcut Oatmeal Might Change Your Life

Everyone keeps saying oh, it's so easy to make your own, just heat it up in the morning and serve! Um, there are a lot of us full-time working parents who don't eat breakfast at home during the week. Leaving it in the pan and then having to deal with it in the morning just means MORE WORK in the morning, when time is tight, plus leaving a dirty pan in the sink all day as I wouldn't have time to wash it. Having to try to stir and heat up oats in the morning and then divide the hot oats into containers so I can bring one to work, just a PITA. Plus I do like my oatmeal lightly sweetened, and there's nothing to sweeten it with at work, so I'd have to add stuff to it at home, which = even more time.

I've tried the TJs steel cut oats and while they're not cheap, and I wouldn't eat them every day, they were GREAT. I've tried making my own steel cut oats in both saucepans and the crock pot and they never come out soft and creamy like this; maybe I just can't cook. I usually hate pre-sweetened anything as it's too sweet for me, but I thought these were really mildly sweetened. And I think nothing is more disgusting than quaker instant oats. They are the consistency and taste of library paste.

Movie theater food: what's your favorite and are you a smuggler?

I always smuggle. It's expensive enough with the sitter and the cost of the tickets and popcorn, we smuggle in our own candy. And sometimes the aforementioned flask for special Cokes. :)

Bringing fried food on a plane (help!)

No, tuna on a plane is worse, particularly tuna with onions. And I like tuna. That and a chili dog, those are the worst.

Taste Test: Store-Bought Hummus

We only recently discovered Sabra, unfortunately at the same time we finally discovered the perfect pita chip, ever (Kangaroo sea salt). Now that's all I have for breakfast.

How to Order Wine Without Looking Like an Idiot

there are endless discussions about this on the internet, but most people who have experience with wine and fine dining agree with what's been said upthread; the taste is to make sure the wine hasn't gone bad/corked, it isn't to see if you like it. It's not Baskin-Robbins with free tastes in little plastic cups. They don't open a $75 bottle of wine just so you can taste it and then if you don't like it, bring you another, and maybe another, etc.

There are generally 2 schools of thought on this though, for some reason, and the same people who think you should be able to send wine back you don't like are the same ones that think it's ok to send food back that you ordered but don't like (as opposed to something being wrong with it), and then be able to order something else and eat that, but not be charged for the dish you sent back. Which they made and now have to throw out (most restaurants I've worked at do NOT give the staff "mistake" meals, strictly prohibited, especially to eat while working).

There doesn't seem to be a way to make people from both sides come to an agreement. You either think it's fine to order, return and not pay for things that you didn't happen to like once they arrive, or you don't think it's ok to do so. I think generally, most "foodies" tend towards the latter category, but that's by no means official research. IMO, food and drink are not commodities like a tie in a retail store that can just be returned because you decided you didn't like it after you bought it, and they can re-sell it at no loss.

Critic-Turned-Cook: The Coolest Things I Learned While Working in Professional Kitchens

mr. RNR and I still say "behind you" and "coming through hot" in our apartment kitchen when cooking together. If one is cooking and the other is taking care of bambino, we put things on "the pass" (small counter between kitchen and dining area) for the other to take out to the table when ready, and call out "plates on the pass!" or "garlic bread up!" when putting it on the pass. I'm sure our son will think we are really weird when he gets older.

Poll: How Do You Like Your Eggs?

I'm surprised how many people put over medium, which is my preference. I never hear anyone order them this way at a restaurant and always feel like an oddball for asking for them so I usually just get scrambled in a restaurant and make them at home over medium.

Going Greek---melting cheese advice

Also, there are other Greek cheeses if you want something softer or more gooey. I personally love halloumi precisely because of how it holds up; if I want something softer, I just get a different cheese. Pretty sure kasseri is a little softer, it's typically the one that's flambed in restaurants most often.

How do you brew your coffee?

Gasp - we are really cheap/broke, so we both drink the free office coffee, which I have termed "desperation coffee." You get used to it. In fact, we have a free Keurig type machine and I don't like that coffee now, it gets me too hyped up. I had to switch to decaf while pregnant, with an occasional cup of half caf, and now I have switched permanently to half caf. At home, we use a cuisinart grinder and auto drip (separate machines) and buy 8 o'clock coffee. It's cheap and they make a 50/50 half caf blend so I don't have to buy 2 bags and mix them.

Sunday Dinner: No-Holds-Barred Lasagna Bolognese

What is the point of soaking no-boil noodles? Why not just make it with real noodles? I used those no boil ones for awhile but I found they had a cardboardy taste and my lasagne just wasn't as tasty. But to each his own.

Big appetite?

I was also a runner as a teen, rail thin, and ate like Michael Phelps. This was back when I ate fast food of course, and I remember someone taking me on a date to McDonald's (hey, it was high school) and I ate a 9 piece mcnuggets, a big mac and fries, an apple pie and box of cookies and could have easily eaten more. My date was amazed.

Enjoy it while you can, your metabolism is only your friend for a limited time, and it hates you more and more each decade.

How to Wrap and Store Cheese

I've tried this several times but my cheese always ends up super hard and dry and with sour white patches because I've left the plastic bag partly open that the wax paper-wrapped cheese is inside. Maybe it's because we're not eating it fast enough or something? How long can cheese be expected to last if kept this way?

What Kitchen Items Would You List on a Bridal Registry?

dbcurrie has it closest to "right" IMO. I recently quit a 2nd job working for several years in a retail store in the bridal/china and housewares departments, so I am a veteran.

I will tell you that the #1 biggest complaint of registry shoppers is that there is nothing physically in the store that they want to purchase. The vast majority of them seem to want to buy something "special," which to them, means not a housewares item and not towels, but something from the china department (china/flatware/stemware) or maybe even the casual dishes, or whatever "special" items might appear on the registry, such as crystal items, special wedding themed albums or toasting flutes or what have you.

Folks, at the store where I worked and ALL other such stores where people register, items in the China department are likely NOT IN STOCK and must be ordered. With most customers, they are coming in at the last minute, the shower or wedding is in less than 7 days, and they need something NOW. so the biggest complaint is that "nothing" they want to buy is available. To give you the background, at our store alone, which is typical, we featured over 180 china patterns. Each bride in every city in every state registers for somewhere between 8 and 12 place settings plus extra items. Ok, imagine at even ONE store, if you just accommodated the registries of the brides who registered at that physical store, let's say there are 15 current brides to be who registered for the same pattern, that means you would need storage space for all the place settings, sugars, creamers, veg bowls, etc for all those brides! No store has that kind of space, so things must be ordered. So my #1 suggestion to anyone registering is not only to register for a wide variety of items in a huge range of prices, but to register for a lot of other "special" type items in the china department that would likely be in stock, as these are the things the vast, vast majority of shoppers want to buy for your "special day." Whether it's an expensive Waterford crystal cross or an inexpensive Lenox guest book, put a lot of these things on there.

I can't tell you how many times I've said, "Believe me, everything on the registry list is something the B&G really do want" and been told, "I'm not going to get them X, it's a shower!/wedding! "X" could be bakeware, a mixer, placemats, towels, a crock pot, a hair dryer, whatever. People do not want to buy these things and basically only end up getting them because they've discovered what they really want to buy has to be ordered, and they either have no time to wait for something to be shipped or (understandably) don't want to be pay the very high cost of shipping these items. If it were up to me, nobody would register for china/flatware/stemware anymore because most guests complain it's way too expensive and too problematic to obtain. "$120 for a vegetable bowl! And $25 to ship it! I'm not paying that!"

I would say at LEAST 50% of my customers got disgusted when "nothing" they wanted to buy was in stock, and either a) left or b) bought something THEY wanted to give, which was not on the registry and not what the couple would want at all. This is one of the top reasons why couples get these things and they're like, huh, we didn't register for these ugly glasses or this stupid frame, WTF? Then they have to return all the shit they got for store credit, and order the things they really wanted to get to begin with. It's because there was nothing there the customer wanted to buy. They really do refuse to buy things like napkins or KA mixers because it's not "special" enough.

So go ahead and register for everything you want in housewares and linens, but plan to buy those things with your completion discount, don't expect to receive most of them as gifts. And the ones you do receive, are either from practical people who are shopping by dollar amount and all the other things in their price range are not available, or because they're one of those few friends/relatives who understand that yes, you really do want those placemats and napkins or those baking sheets, and they don't have any problem giving them to you.

Alton Brown's Sardine-Avocado Sandwich Diet

I agree that Alton looks gaunt and unhealthy to me. Maybe he needs a little MORE of those good fats in his diet.

I cannot stand 99% of fish and hate avocados, so this one's out for me.


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