I frequently refer to myself as a "One Trick Pony," that trick being cooking. I also love Alternative Rock and hanging with my dog and BF.

  • Website
  • Location: HOTlanta! (Or CHILLAnta lately!)
  • Favorite foods: Depends on the day, the season, the mood.
  • Last bite on earth: Italian Sunday Gravy, just like my mom made it, preferably a meatball.

The 10 Worst Food Trends? Really?

emu48 - whenever I am served "foam" it looks like someone spat in my food. I hate all that molecular gastronomy stuff. I like my lamb to look like lamb and not a popsicle.

The 10 Worst Food Trends? Really?

emu48 - whenever I am served "foam" it looks like someone spat in my food. I hate all that molecular gastronomy stuff. I like my lamb to look like lamb and not a popsicle.

Seriously Italian: Pastiera (Ricotta and Cooked Grains Cake)

This year's Pizza Grano.

Pies baked in one day - I baked off another 4 cups of prepared grain a couple of days later.

Pie served on Easter Sunday. The cookies are leftover pasta frolla (pie crust) with lemon glaze.

I only started making these a few years ago. Every year, I learn the "habits of the batter" more and I finally understand why my mother said her hands were "too hot to handle the dough." It's got such a high sugar content, it will melt in your hands.

In Defense of Eating Alone

I began eating in restaurants alone in my early 20's. I used to go to the bank on Saturdays (remember that?) and afterward walk across the street to our neighborhood "diner" called Richelieu (18th Avenue & 65th Street, Brooklyn). I'd take a magazine with me to have something to do while I waited for my food. I felt very comfortable and at ease doing this. I have frequently eaten dinner alone in restaurants and in this day and age of smart phones connecting one with the internet, or e-readers like Kindles, etc., there is plenty of entertainment while you wait for your entree to be served.

On another note, I have a friend who will NOT cook for himself. He will only cook if he has company and I think this is nonsense. When I lived alone in the west Village, the entire available standing floor space measured 9 floor tiles. I cooked pretty much every night I lived there but I will admit there was a Mexican restaurant across the street from me called Viva Pancho or something like that and I occasionally gave into the craving - you guessed it - sometimes by myself! I'll cook for myself as quickly as I'll go out by myself but I also enjoy going out with friends and don't mind cooking for them either.

Fresh Peach Scones

No, that's definitely a mistake. There should be 1/3 cup sugar in the recipe. If you like a sweeter scone, up the sugar to half a cup. Good catch! (And I can't believe it took this long to be spotted!)

Swiffering Spam

Hey Paul - whoever is posting spam on this (and possibly other) threads is still at it. In the past it was customary to block spammers by IP address. Is this still being done?

Check out the latest by our spammer:

Swiffering Spam

I'm fully aware of the age of the post. The spammer posted three separate times over a period of weeks and I reported it after the first post. It took 3 e-mails to get the spam removed and my point is that spam used to be removed a lot quicker in the past.

Boston Cream Pie

I don't care if you call it Boston Cream Rhinoceros. To this I say "God Bless America" (it's from Boston, after all) and "Pass me a fork."

Farewell, Serious Eaters!

Sweet sweet Alaina - the best of luck to you in whatever you do next. It was an e-mail from you way back when that caused me to discover SE when you investigated some errant posts by an impostor. Be well and please keep in touch!

Individual Thread Opt Out

@matamua - I agree, this is pretty basic stuff. There have been several updates to this site since first coming here years ago but this is one feature they never have quite gotten right. Part of my decision making process before posting an original thread or replying to one is "Do I want to receive notifications on this thread for the rest of my natural life?" I think I'd participate a lot more (at least on the actual cooking threads and they have dwindled) if notifications could be turned off on individual threads. I'm probably not the only poster who feels this way and if individual thread opt out were possible, I imagine traffic on the site would increase.

Question directed at the SE admin who reads this - are you aware that when a notification e-mail is received, the only link that is NOT live is the link to the thread? The links to poster URL, quit notifications, subscribe to the newsletter and SE elsewhere work (and are blue) but the thread link is black and not live. In order to navigate to the thread, I must copy and paste it into a new tab or window. (I'm using explorer.)

New York Style Pizza Sauce

Sugar in tomato sauce is, was and ever shall be considered an abomination to Italians. I'm as Italian as I have to be to know this. Cracked in the head? And what exactly makes you an authority? The SOLE purpose of sugar in tomato sauce is to mask the undeveloped flavor of underripe tomatoes or shitty tomatoes. There is NO OTHER REASON anyone with a functioning tastebud would ever perpetrate such a crime. If for some reason tomatoes turn out to be less than stellar and a significant amount of time has been invested in a particular pot of sauce, it can be rescued with sauteed and pureed carrots or additional onion. I know all about "different ways" people make things, this does NOT fall into that category. There are certain things that are just WRONG and sugar in tomato sauce is one of them.

A Tour of Sahadi's, Brooklyn's Destination Middle Eastern Market

Sahadi's is one of the things I miss most about NY. I loved shopping there. When my mom was alive, Sahadi's was the only place I could find black pinwheel candies (licorice). Red, green, every other color of the rainbow - EASY to find but not the black. While wandering through one day, I asked the clerk if I could taste one of the black candies to make sure they were what I needed. "If they're right, I'll buy all you have!" "Yes, you may taste one," he said. "No, you don't have to buy them all."

Cakespy: Doughnut Pies

I love the idea of rolling filling in pie dough and making a ring out of it but I would not add more than a dusting of powdered sugar or possible a squiggle of white icing.

Share Your Sweets: Figs

Sorry I missed this one! Figs = One of my favorite fruits. I grew up in Brooklyn in a (then) largely Italian neighborhood and everyone had a fig tree. A couple of years ago, a friend with a farm gave us a TON of figs and we centered a whole dinner around them. Here's the Dessert... Honey Cardamom Cheesecake with Figs.

In Which We Eat the Pizzabon from Cinnabon

My take on it having had one in ATL yesterday:

"Ok guys, I took the bullet and had a Pizzabon. Atlanta was the only place to get this thing today. When I found out it was only at ONE Cinnabon, the one in the mall 7 minutes from the house, I had to try it. It's neutral, tender dough - like a cinnamon roll with no cinnamon or sugar, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni woven into the thing. I was prepared to channel Martha Stewart and say "This is utterly wretched," but I've tasted worse things. If you're looking for something with a chewy crust, hand tossed by a guy named Vito and baked in a brick oven, this is not for you. However, if you are with friends who want Cinnabons and you are in the mood for something savory, go ahead and try one."

This is by no means REAL pizza, nor do I think that was its intention. I will not make pizzabons part of my regular diet and will not seek them out for lunch. I tried the thing. It didn't suck.

Can Serious Eats get a like button please?

If you're afraid of copyright infringement (or whatever they call it when a website uses something associated heavily with another site) - you could do a voting system labeled: "Sounds great" and "Not so much."

Staff Picks: What Do You Eat When Nobody's Looking?

Nutella off a spoon.

35 Recipes for Your Summer Picnics

I try to stay away from mayo-based salads for summer picnics. I came up with this recipe a couple of years ago and love it because the dressing is oil and vinegar-based.

If I'm going to a BBQ at a friend's house and know refrigeration is not an issue, I'll do an Antipasto salad.

Mozzarella Fior de Latte (drained of brine)
Roasted Peppers
Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes
Pitted Gaeta or Calamata Olives
Whole Roasted Garlic Cloves
Sliced Red Onion
Chunked Ham, Capicola, Prosciutto or Salami (optional)
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Dry oregano and basil (or a dry "Italian Seasoning" that doesn't contain salt)
Salt & Pepper
Bow Tie Pasta boiled slightly longer than al dente (when chilled, pasta firms and al dente would be crunchy)
Big handful of chopped fresh Italian Parsley

* If marinated goodies are purchased from an olive bar and the extra weight is not an issue, spoon some of the different dressings into your container. Use in the final dressing.

Toss all ingredients together and chill. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate leftovers. (There is fresh mozzie in the salad so be aware of how long it sits out.)

Keep salad out of direct sunlight.

Peach Chipotle Jam

Oh my! You've got me stumped. I've made peach jam both ways - with pectin and without. This is something new. Is there a way to take a photo of your jam and possibly e-mail it to me or FB it to me? - Make sure you put Peach Jam in the subject line so I can fish you out of junk mail.

Chiffy's Southern Style Banana Pudding

OMG, Alison! I'm guilty of the same thing... Missing details that would have made a lot of sense were I paying attention. I've made this pudding 2x this summer (so far). Both times it was for large gatherings. That's what made me suggest it for family reunions. I hope you find lots of (lucky) people to share the pudding.

Chiffy's Southern Style Banana Pudding

MMmmmmm Meringue! And putting leftover banana pudding into an ice cream maker... Genius.

Chiffy's Southern Style Banana Pudding

Thanks all. Banana pudding was completely new to me not having grown up in the south. I knew there were certain things that were required. Bananas (duh), vanilla pudding and Nilla Vanilla Wafers. I recently saw an ep of Cook's Country where they made banana pudding and wanted the pudding part to taste of bananas but this is not how I was told it's done by southerners. Did I like the idea? Definitely. If a more "banana-tasting" pudding is desired, bake off some whole UNpeeled bananas in a 325 oven until soft, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Puree the bananas and add a couple of tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Combine the banana puree with the vanilla pudding and mix well.

@Carmason - this won't put you over the edge - it's not too sweet. :D

Chiffy's Southern Style Banana Pudding

Thanks! I brought this to a BBQ and the hostess (a very southern lady) said I had achieved "Southern Status" with this pudding. I considered that a high compliment!

American Flag Cake

Very nice work! Adorn with sparklers for a great photo. Happy ID4!

Cakespy: Hot Dog Cookies

O. M. G. These are too freakin' adorable. I'm not a big fan of food coloring but a couple of times a year I'll throw caution to the wind (like for a good red velvet cake). Seriously, these would be great at a BBQ as a pot luck contribution. This is trompe l'oeil done right.

Swiffering Spam

Do you guys no longer Swiffer spam posts? Someone is having his way with this post and I have reported it multiple times via e-mail and the "report post" function.

Individual Thread Opt Out

Did anyone ever come up with a way to opt out of a given thread without having to create filters, etc.? Like click a button and un-follow or "cease notifications on this thread"? Thanks.

"Sponsored" e-mails

How do we get these new "sponsored" emails to stop? Do we just reply with UNSUBSCRIBE and we'll only get legitimate SE e-mails like response notifications and e-mails from staff? Thanks.

Opt Out of Threads?

There have been some new updates and I was wondering - have we made any progress on a way to opt out of threads? I don't opt out of EVERY thread in which I participate but I'd love the option to do that with the ones that generate 200 one word answers or topics in which I am no longer interested.

Otherwise, love the site structural updates.


The new front page looks great. I was wondering if there was any function built in where users can opt out of a thread. Yes, there are some from 1904 I love and want to see when updated but others not so much. Is there a function where users can send messages to one another?

Blog Shilling Question...

Has there been an "official re-tooling" of the SE policy about promoting one's personal blog? This was always discouraged in the past but there seems to be a rash of it lately.

Just curious. Thanks.


Why did I just get caught in a snowstorm here at SE? The screen got dark and all of a sudden snowflakes took over along with an advertisement for... Something.

I thought I was having a stroke.

ABC Daytime - The Chew

Anyone curious about what this show will be? I guess it will bring foodie news and views to those without cable.

ABC to launch The Chew.

Yes, I know PBS has a veritable treasure trove of cooking TV but that's largely on the weekends.

My personal opinion is that it won't last because the soap opera watchers will be so pissed off, they won't watch it. (PS On a side note, I can't believe it took until 2011 for ABC to nuke its soap operas. Seriously?)

Gender Reveal Parties...Fun or WTF?

I thought this was an interesting concept for how to put the "surprise" back into the gender of an unborn baby - something that has become clinical and based on what color to paint the baby's room.

Gender Reveal Parties begin by having the obstetrician put the baby's gender in a sealed envelope. The envelope is presented to a baker who bakes a cake in pink or blue, hidden by fondant. The news is shared with guests at the party when the parents cut the cake to expose its inner color.

I started thinking of all kinds of cute hors d'oeuvres that could be served as well - any kind of baby veggie with dip or breaded and fried (frito misto), baby lamb chops, pigs in blankets made with garlicky kosher dogs and puff pastry... Anything in miniature would really work.



Nowhere to really file this where it fits but I'm hoping SE'ers can help. My beloved black matte KA bit the dust. I attempted to send it back to KA for repair and they claim they cannot fix it. Suspiciously, they offered to sell me a "refurbished" model for X dollars. Yeah, so they told someone else his or her KA was not fixable and they kept it, refurbed it and want to sell it to me. I said, "Return mine."

So I now have a KA that the company claims can't be fixed but I'm still holding out hope. BF would like to find a second hand one, take out the motor and try to replace the motor in my KA.

Yes, I am insanely attached to the thing. I've had it since my daughter was born. She's now 22.5 years old.

So here's my question - does ANYONE know of someone who is a real live Small Appliance Whisperer and can possibly help me by fixing my KA? We can start by posting here and may segue into e-mailing me, FB or calling me on the phone. I would really love to keep my KA. The thing died last year and I can't bring myself to toss it.

Yo Quiero Taco Bell Article...?

Wasn't there an article on the Taco Bell Beef percentage situation? This is what happens when you procrastinate posting on something...It disappears! Any reason why it was pulled?

. o O (If it was ever... really... here.)

Calorie Commando Sentenced...

Wow. I can't believe this guy plotted to kill his wife. He was only a mediocre cook on TVFN but I didn't realize he was a psycho. I remember watching one episode of his show where he demonstrated cutting a red onion - with the peel still ON IT.

As for the "wink and smile" he flashed at his wife at the sentencing... Creepy.

"Opting Out" ?

Just wondering - you guys were so generous to add e-mail notification with the previous update - did we figure out a way to "UN"subscribe from a topic? Thanks.

Pomegranate Molasses...

I bought a bottle of this stuff as a complete impulse buy. It's intensely pomegranate - as though straight pom juice wasn't intense enough.

Anyone use this for anything? I googled a couple of things and they look interesting but was wondering if anyone had personal experience with this particular ingredient.


TV Chefs Worth Watching...?

Coat tailing unabashedly on Guy's thread "who's more celebrity than chef" I offer the following query: From which television chef do you feel you learn the most?

Which TV chef has demo'd a technique or explained something you've always wondered and know you will use again in the future?

I have a few but the most noteworthy technique that I use nearly every night of the week is Jacques Pepin's technique for smashing garlic to a paste with salt. Using a chef knife or wide bladed santoku, chop garlic on a cutting board. Sprinkle chopped garlic with salt. With the flat side of the blade, begin to "smear" the chopped garlic and salt against the cutting board. It will eventually become a translucent paste which can be added to dressings, a saute pan or any other dish through which a strong garlic taste is desired.

Bread, Love and Dreams

I'm a little hesitant to admit this but I am entirely hooked on the Korean drama Bread, Love and Dreams. No, I don't speak Korean but the show is subtitled.

If I had to label this series, I'd call it a Korean-Foodie-Soap-Opera. There are the usual pitfalls of paternity issues, backstabbing, big business and family drama - but to watch this guy make bread is downright sensual.

The crux is that a Korean businessman ("The Chairman") sires a child with a housekeeper. The boy has a rare gift for being able to tell the level of fermentation of bread dough by simply smelling it. Needless to say, this pisses off the legitimate son of the Chairman to no end because he had designs on inheriting the business, though he doesn't give a rat's ass about bread.

If your cable provider carries a Korean channel, chances are you can see it if you're curious. I believe the website I posted also permits free viewing of full episodes - which will help me a great deal because HALF THE TIME, the show doesn't start when it's supposed to and chunks of it can get cut off. Very frustrating!

Gnocchi - In THIS corner....

There seem to be two schools of thought on potato gnocchi. Some strive to create gnocchi that are very light, to the point where you can cut them with your lips. Other gnocchi have a tiny bit of heft to them and require slightly more "bite" on the part of the diner.

I know it might be early (still hot out!) to discuss such a hearty dish but I watched a rerun of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and Anne Burrell was in the "Light as a Cloud" camp.

And your stand is...

Opinion Update: The Cooking Channel

So now that it's been on for a couple of months, anyone have an updated opinion on The Cooking Channel?

I am delighted with it. Even the fluff programming has teeth. I watched My Country My Kitchen and thoroughly enjoyed learning about how Ariane Daguin became a force in French Cuisine and one of the first female chefs to get any respect from her male counterparts in France. I listened raptly to every word spoken on the Lidia Bastianich episode of At Table With. I was surprised I enjoyed Unique Eats as much as I did but the highlighted personalities were interesting and the food looked great.

Love the legacy programming like The French Chef and Galloping Gourmet. (Holy cow, they both threw around a lot of butter...)

As far as the newer programming - how wonderful it is to see young, up and coming chefs - or at least people who know how to cook. The Spice Goddess was interesting and informative.

Favorite shows? Hosts? Not moved in any direction? Inquiring minds want to know!


OK, the whole foam thing. Something something something with citrus foam. What's your take?

Do you:

* Think it's a great idea.
* Like the texture.
* Think it's trendy but OK.
* Hate the stuff.
* Think it looks like someone spit on the plate.

TIA - I hope everyone weighs in.

Monday, June 7

Is SE running slow today? Reaction time seems very exaggerated and when I navigate to reply links, they get hung up nearly every time.

Hey, I don't like Mondays either.

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