I'm a pastry chef, but love ALL cooking & all aspects of food!
I love to garden & wish I had more space for it.
I'm all about eating fresh, unprocessed foods by season, & try to find foods that work w/ what is available during each part of the year.

  • Location: Kalamazoo, MI
  • Favorite foods: Spring-dandelion/new lettuce salads w/ good cheeses.
    Summer-anything grilled, fresh herbs, spicy/cajun & BBQ!
    Fall-roasted root veggies, grains, mushrooms, walnuts, cranberries.
    Winter-Stews...beets, lots of squash, fresh homemade bread.
  • Last bite on earth: I think brie would have to be involved.
    Or maybe a good southern vinegar BBQ.
    Blackened salmon.
    Fresh strawberries and cream.
    Gooseberry and rhubarb crumble.
    Blueberries off the bush.
    Roasted red peppers and mushrooms.

Latest Comments

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Oh dear lord. Pizza waffles, Cricket and a FRENCHIE? Maybe, maybe I will forgive the loss of Talk if I get cat, lacy cheese/food, and dog pictures EVERY WEEK. :)

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

If I wouldn't join all those social media sites to talk with friends and family, I sure won't start now to enjoy the chatter of Serious Eats.
I come here to read talk (and join when there is a comment to be made) as much or more than the regular articles, so I will really miss having it here. A real shame and I will miss having the topics to check out a few times a day on breaks and at home. There just won't be quite as much reason to visit now.

What will you make for Easter?

Not hosting, going to eat with friends.
They have a tradition they won't stop even though the grandparents who requested the dishes are no longer with us, and no one but the matriarch really likes it.
Canned ham baked in a smothering coating of canned sweet potatoes, peaches, pineapple, pears, maraschino cherries. Served with whole wheat cornbread muffins and a kale salad with tomato and cucumber.
I love these people though, and while I have to take a veg entree for myself to eat (which I don't mind a bit) I can also make a great dessert, and make them breakfast the day before as well.

It's more about being with people you love than the food, though we all hope to someday sway her from the weird canned meat and onto something really tasty and loved by all for a new tradition!

Deviled eggs

Well, I love them old-school now and then, with the mayo/mustard/S&P/paprika thing going on, but these days if I make them they are an open invitation to experiment.
My fave so far, and what I will take to the Spring dinner-
Whip feta with dill and cream, some grainy mustard and chives. Mix into the egg yolks and garnish them with fresh chopped chives (mine are up and growing finally!) and some cayenne or adobo powder.

I love the idea of anchovies in them, blue cheese too, yum!

I also like the idea of deviled eggs as a sandwich or salad too, since I am not a huge fan of the whites, and mixing it all kills some of the bland rubberiness I dislike.
Great mashed up with canned tuna or salmon, and served in a sandwich, lettuce wrap or as a cold pasta salad!
Good topic!

Dinner Tonight?

I love tomatillos! Usually once at the store they are ripe enough. You want firm and bright green, not squishy or spotted. I am sure yours will be fine.
I do a similar pork dish, but with shoulder, and the veggies and drippings get pureed and poured over the shredded meat like a sauce. Sounds like a tasty dish, especially here where it is chilly and rainy!

Tonight is vegan dinner night with friends, and I made an Asian peanut pasta salad with lots of crunchy veggies and baked tofu. Vegan chocolate cake w/icing for dessert.
Love these posts. I am so nosy and always want to hear what others are eating/making!

What's For Dinner- Sunday Edition

Boring comfort food here.
Cheesy rice with broccoli.

The Best Cookie for an Ice Cream Sandwich

Helps if the link I was trying to include shows up, huh?
These are the molasses cookies I mentioned above.

I skip the raisins most of the time, use brown sugar and/or double the molasses. I also tend to up the spices and add some chopped crystallized ginger.

I want an ice cream sandwich now!!

The Best Cookie for an Ice Cream Sandwich

I was thinking a softer molasses cookie, not quite as crisp or thin as a Moravian spice. Not a gingersnap either, though I put lots of ginger in my molasses cookie. There is a really good one on this site, which I make without the raisins and it is nice and chewy.

The Best Cookie for an Ice Cream Sandwich

Anything chewy.
I hate trying to bite into cookies that freeze so hard they crumble or snap into pieces, ice cream squishing out the back, instead of letting me take a real bite.
I like molasses cookies, a chewy brownie cookie, or a really spicy Oatmeal with golden and dark raisins. Mmmm.

The Food Lab: Really Awesome Black Bean Burgers

I know Smashburger does something a bit similar to their veg burger, as they do to the meat kind, smashing it out on the flattop, but I haven't gotten to try it yet.
It sometimes ends up more like having a few veggie fritters on the bun instead of something "burger" like (though I don't want to make it taste like meat either). While tasty, especially when you get good caramelization from the fats and any sugars, like in a pumpkin-white bean, sometimes I want the thicker kind with the good texture differences.

Now I want to try the roasted bean technique PLUS the thin and crisp patty!

The Food Lab: Really Awesome Black Bean Burgers

Oh this looks amazing and I can't wait to try it out!!!
So far my "fix" for mushy veggie burgers of any kind has been to make very thin, crisp patties that I stack 2-3 to a bun, so I don't have that typical "mush" that usually occurs.
It has worked really well for getting a good crust and chewy texture without the darn things squishing out of the burger!
I'd love to have a good, thick burger though, and I will be trying these soon!!

Help with cooking egg yolk/sugar mixture

Yes. I often find it takes longer than the stated recipe says to get the sugar to dissolve (or caramel to form, syrup to come to hard-ball, etc...)
You need the sugar to dissolve and the eggs just lightly cook so when it is beaten it fluffs and thickens and lightens.

You might be able to put it back in the double boiler and keep going til the sugar is dissolved, then beat again, but if that doesn't work, at least it was a small batch, so you can start over.
Good luck!

Pantry Essentials: All About Chutney

I know, I giggled at the heading too. I'm sure it'll get fixed.

Great timing on this article! I am making a big pot of chutney today. British-inspired it seems, since it has apples, tomatoes and vinegars for sure. Also golden raisins and lots of onions and spice. I'm planning to use it like a curry sauce, and toss chickpeas and crunchy roasted veg in it, serve it over basmati with some samosas on the side. I love it so much I wanted to eat it as more than a condiment!
Nice to get some more history than I knew on chutneys. Love them, would love some more recipes for them too!
Now explain the odd (to me) British mixture that is piccalilli!

Dinner Tonight?

Sounds tasty!
Day off here too, and Mondays are vegan dinner and Walking Dead night for me and some friends. This week I'm making vegan spinach pies, honey/lemon roasted veggies and vegan peanut butter/chocolate squares.

The Best Valentine's Day Giveaway Ever: Lobel's 4" Prime Dry-Aged Heart Shaped Steaks for Two

Well, as a single person and a veggie, I'd have to cook this for a sweet carnivorous couple I know instead.
Cast iron pan, to the medium rare they like, with S&P and a bit of ancho chile. Cook some mushrooms in butter/steak juices while the steak rests, deglaze the pan with sherry and lemon, serve over the top.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Always love the week-end round-up.
Erin, love Pixel! I know the ear tip means she was part of a stray/feral round-up at some point. As a rescuer, just want to say thanks for saving a life, and for sharing her here where we can all laugh and love her!
Yay SE. Everytime I think I can't love it more...I do.
Also, pizza these beat stuffing waffles??

Weekend Baking Project: Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

As a Mishawaka native, and later in life, South Bend resident for a bit, I know this pie well, and love it third only to chess pie (my southern teenage years) and shoofly, only cuz I love that molasses!
yum, and good recipe!

What's For Dinner?

OMG, POM, you had real pazcki??? I am so jealous!
Glad you had such a good trip.
Love those pastries. Get them here at a pretty good bakery, but I imagine it can't even compare.
What flavor filling???

What's For Dinner?

Leftover daal pie w/sweet potato/hummus crust, flax and sesame flatbread (recipe from here on SE and a serious fave here at home, thanks @dbcurrie!), sauteed lemony greens and a chunk of cake leftover from work.

Warmed up, cold IPA and I am a happy camper.

Squeezing 15lbs of spinach?

@Chefzone- Well, my question was how to do this chore WITHOUT the obvious equipment one would normally use in a large professional kitchen. We are small, and don't HAVE a giant salad spinner, or sets of perforated Cambros, etc.
I needed tricks to do it without buying anything or having to take too much extra time to make anything.

I voiced the ideas at work and while the buckets would work, we don't have a place in the small walk-in for them to set, so we actually are going just basic cheesecloth (guess we CAN splurge on that after all!) and see how that goes. I know from using it at home that it will speed up the process, just not as much as I was hoping.

Thanks SE! To the rescue as always, and the frugal bucket idea is still in our heads if we need it.

Squeezing 15lbs of spinach?

I agree, I think McNormal might be on to something there for sure.
We do get buckets in now and again with certain types of pickles and such in them.
This could be left overnight with weight inside to drain too, with someone emptying the liquid a few times for me.
Thanks a bunch!

Thanks to the rest of you too, though sadly they aren't going to buy me any special cloth or towels, not even cheesecloth, which would be the only one that is Food Safe Certified for this kind of thing.
I do cloth at home for squash and some other wet items, so it makes sense for sure.

I'd also love to look into the steeping bags as I think that would be useful for quite a few things and is FSC.

I really appreciate the ideas!
I knew SE would know what I needed!

Campfire Cooking

Oh yeah, hobo dinners. Anything can go in them, fancy or plain, veggie or meat based, make ahead and pop over the fire. My fave way to do suppers cuz the work is done pre-trip and you can make different versions for the nights.

Also agree with taking pudgie pie makers. Endless possibilities. Not great if hiking in to your campsites, but good for the easy vehicle access sites.

Chili is a fave, so easy over the coals. Anything in a dutch oven really. Soup to cake!

Brinner is always a hit for supper too, since you rarely want to go to this effort for breakfast. Pancakes, eggs/meats in a cast iron skillet, cooked fruit, breakfast pudgie pies with biscuit dough and eggs...yum.

I am dreaming of warmer than -10 temps and camping now!!!

Suggestions for leftover jams?

Send it all to me?
I wish I had that problem! I use jam so fast I can't keep it in the house.
Great ideas for pork/chicken glaze, dipping sauce and goodies!

I like to put jam in poundcakes and quickbreads too. Raspberry is especially good in chocolate pound cake.

Add a few spoons when making whipped cream. Great fruity topping for pie or cake etc. or in crepes.

Add into frosting/buttercream.

Toss apples in some warm jam and use as the base for a fruit crisp or crumble. Make the topping a bit more savory to account for the extra sugar.

Add to mashed squash or sweet potato. The orange flavor is really good in those with a bit of butter and salt.

Pancakes/Waffles. I like to mix maple syrup with jam (warmed up) to serve over pancakes etc.

Filling for sweet rolls.

Warm up with some booze and use as a dessert drizzle over cake or ice cream etc.


What did Santa bring you?

That's what I thought.
There wasn't a link so I wasn't sure enough to call "spam", but I knew something was fishy.
Good. Shame on the spammers, and the commenters who want to talk presents go to POM's thread, it is fun and something someone on SE does every year! :)

What did Santa bring you?

Um, this exact topic was posted by long-time SE poster PoorOldMama last week, with a longer post and many of us commented on it.
I don't think you are her, and while you have commented a few times here, your profile seems to want us to go to an online dating guide.

What's with the reposting? Just another "what did you get" topic would not be weird, but you copied her text as well...?