Profile

Dina

Win a Copy of 'A Change of Appetite'

Roasted brussels sprouts. Or barley risotto. Or, well lots of things.

Gadgets: Put Training Wheels on Your Rolling Pin

I have a set, but never use them because of the dough width issue. I never thought to only use one.

Win a Serious Eats Edition KettlePizza Baking Steel Combo for Father's Day!

fresh garlic, tomatos, and basil

Cook the Book: 'Coi' by Daniel Patterson

Local, fresh, and lots of vegetables.

Cook the Book: 'My Paris Kitchen' by David Lebovitz

Ask a Bartender: How Do You Prevent a Hangover?

A banana the morning after is like magic, although the shot of espresso in a fresh coconut is sounding mighty good right now...

Ask a Bartender: The Bartender Secrets Customers Don't Know

@hazmat777 - Ha! I have the opposite problem. I usually work a small bar with a reach in cooler and no bar back, so I've actually got to get down on the floor and turn my back to the bar to restock beer during the shift.

There are many times I've turned around to find someone standing there patiently, just waiting for me to be done and not saying a word. I wish they would at least say something, because restocking can usually wait!

Manner Matters: The Knife-and-Fork of It

@ LAloiner - But they're watching you anyway! It's not like everyone will stare at an empty plate just because it's there, and stare at you instead if it's not :)

Manner Matters: The Knife-and-Fork of It

Good restaurants will have their own policy on it, and I've seen it both ways in my travels as a server. Personally, I hate having empty dishes in front of me, so I want my plate cleared when I'm done, and I've always tended to do that when there's no guidance from management.

The silverware thing is pretty standard though. When you're done, the utensils go together across the plate with the handles towards 4/5 o'clock. That makes it easy. But, I'm always going to ask before reaching my hand in front of your face, no matter where your silverware is. And, if you haven't touched your food in 15 minutes and you are giving off "no more" vibes, regardless of where your silverware is I'm going to see if you are done.

This is one of those things that will never make everyone happy, so no matter what a server or restaurant does half of their tables will be mad.

What's the Most Expensive Meal You've Had in New York?

Last Christmas, my boyfriend and I had dinner at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in the London. It was something like 9 courses (we got to pick 3 of them), and they started serving us food before we had even gotten menus! There were 3 dessert rounds, and then you got caramels in a little box to take home!

I went in expecting to have the best meal I'd ever eaten, and even with those high expectations I was surprised at how good it was. My boyfriend told me later it cost him about $700 for the two of us, which included the wine pairing for me but not him. By far the most expensive meal I've ever eaten.

Manner Matters: Hands off My Cake

While I'm an inveterate food sharer, I also understand that not everyone is and would not eat off of someone else's plate uninvited, especially if it weren't a close friend. (I'm more of the cut off a piece and stick on someone else's plate kind anyway)

In this case, I'm with MargieNash. A very loud "hey didn't you say you were sick? How about you take the rest of this" should embarrass the offender into submission.

Cook the Book: 'Spain' by Jeff Koehler

I have no idea if it's authentic or not, but pil-pil is my absolute favorite.

Manner Matters: Don't Cook at My Dinner Party!

I usually tell people to just bring their pretty faces, and that does the trick. Otherwise, I just tell them to bring what they would like to drink.

I can't imagine what I would do if someone showed up and needed the kitchen. Not so much for the mess (I am NOT a clean as you go cook), but because oven and stovetop space is at a premium right before a dinner party. That said, for thanksgiving we did show up to my cousin's house and fried up some sweet potato latke, but we brought our own electric skillet, oil, and everything else we might need. Maybe that makes a difference?

Would You Date a Bartender?

Well, I am a bartender, so YES!

Sauced: Speculoos Spread

I put it on a spoon, and then eat it.

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

I would just sear these suckers in a hot cast iron pan. Some oil, butter, and aromatics would be all that's needed.

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

Very little, but I think I'm going to make some pulled pork sliders, so these could slide right in. lol

Cook the Book: 'Whole-Grain Mornings' by Megan Gordon

I eat steel cut oats almost every day.

Prosecco or Champagne?

La Marca is a brand that has been popping up everywhere lately (Target, Costco, Whole Foods). It's my current preferred 'hey I'd like some bubbles for about $13-$15' brand.

Help me with my picky eater!

You should make what you like, and if she doesn't like it she can make her own food!

My boyfriend and I deal with our own food pickiness, although not quite that bad. He won't eat any vegetables besides cauliflower and broccoli, and I won't eat any seafood. At home, if I want brussels sprouts, I just make them and if he doesn't eat them, he doesn't. If he has a hankering for mussels, he makes them or just gets them when we're out to eat.

It can be upsetting if you put a whole lot of work into a dish that and then eat it all alone, but you never know. After almost 2 years of dating, I finally tried some mahi mahi off my boyfriend's plate, and I liked it! If you don't push it, she may be more likely to try new things in her own time.

Staff Picks: What's Your Recipe Deal-Breaker?

Any sort of pre-fab, super-processed ingredient. Cream-of-whatever soup, packet of ranch salad dressing or onion soup mix, that sort of stuff. There will always be a similar recipe out there that starts with fresh natural ingredients.

Cook the Book: 'Lighten Up, America!'

Get back to the diet that works for me - which sadly includes less beer and eating out.

cornish hen advice?

Just make sure you leave enough room around them for air to circulate, and don't skimp on the cooking time. A few years ago I tried making 10 Cornish game hens in my mother's small oven, so they were all squished together in the roasting pan. I thought since they are so tiny, they would cook with no problems.

Even though I temped them when they came out, about half of my family got undercooked birds! They were very unevenly cooked. We had to pull all the plates off the table, throw the birds back in the oven, wash all the dishes and then re-serve. Thankfully we had enough sides for a second go round, but it could have been a disaster.

Even after all that, they were still tasty, even if they were a little on the dry side for my taste. My ego was saved when my cousin's fiancee told us how her uncle once gave them all food poisoning with chicken that had been sitting in his car trunk all day. We poured some more wine, toasted the fact that at least I hadn't done that, and had a great dinner.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Baking Steel

Sausage and peppers

Taste Test: Ginger Snaps

The Nabisco ones are great for using as the base to cupcakes sized cheesecakes. They fit perfectly in the bottom of a cupcake tin and turn kind of chewy but still sturdy once the filling is put in and cooked.

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