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vvvanessa

brooklyn-based blogger, baker, bartender, cartwheeler (so much for alliteration).

  • Website
  • Location: brooklyn, new york, usa
  • Favorite foods: honey crisp apples, fried chicken, guanciale, buticha, pickled things, quality gelato, cake cake cake!
  • Last bite on earth: a big one.

Why Are Bay Leaves Always Used Whole?

I first saw ground bay leaf ("laurel molido") used in cooking in Spain, specifically in Catalonia. Contrary to the rule that it's better to buy spices and herbs whole and grind them yourself, I love the little bottles of ground bay leaf in Spanish supermarkets. I recently learned that local Mexican markets carry it, too. For my pork and chicken rubs, it's one of my must-have ingredients.

Grilled Chicken on a Stick With Alabama White Barbecue Sauce From 'Down South'

That sounds fantastic!

Cook the Book: 'Franny's'

I could make a meal of crostini topped with different toppings-- pancetta, roasted veggies, fresh veggies, cheese, herbs, whatever!

Let Them Eat: Spiced Prune Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

I just pulled this out of the oven, and my house smells amazing. The cake is great-- super moist but with a good crumb. Thanks for posting this!

Ask a Bartender: What's The Most Ridiculous Drink Order You've Ever Gotten?

"The Floating Green Douchebag"! Awesome!

I once had a woman ask me to make her cocktail with Sweet'n Low (during a mad-crazy rush, of course). My easy out was "We don't have Sweet'n Low," but then she whipped out two packets from her purse. I was too busy to fight her, so cringing, I made the cocktail. She loved it.

What To Eat At Clear Flour Bread, Brookline, MA

It's not as sexy, but their pecan-cocoa nib granola is amazing. It was the granola that brought me back to granola after a shying away from it for a long time.

Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups from 'Classic Snacks Made from Scratch'

Every summer I look forward to making peach and plum fruit leather, and this year I will definitely try strawberry, too. I really need a dehydrator!

Fuchsia Dunlop's Cold Chicken with a Spicy Sichuanese Sauce (Liang Ban Ji)

I am making this ASAP.

Happy Pancake Tuesday! 10 Recipes To Celebrate

One of the very best recipes I've ever gotten from Serious Eats is for the Whole Grain Pancakes by Elizabeth Barbone. I make them frequently and often keep a stack in the fridge to heat up for a quick snack. They are great!

Staff Picks: What's Your Achilles Heel in the Kitchen?

Yeasted breads. Yeast hates me and reminds me of this every time I try to bake with it.

Snapshots from Spain: The Best Things I Ate in San Sebastian

I just got back from my first trip there, and in addition to all the great pintxos, we had fantastic gelato at Oiartzun in the Parte Vieja (despite the gruff service). And we were really delighted by the meal we had at our hotel, the Astoria 7, which is a little further away from all the prettiness of the shore and old town, but there was an amazing roasted vegetable salad that was one of the highlights of our trip to Spain, and the meaty main courses were really solid, too.

College Tours: Where to Eat Near U.C. Berkeley

There is so much delicious Ethiopian food in the area, and it's plentiful, hearty, and cheap. My favorites are Cafe Colucci, Finfine, and Addis (all on Telegraph).

Berkeley Bowl might indeed be the Mecca of produce, but the farmers' markets around here can't be beat. The South Berkeley Tuesday market just moved to a new location just outside Sweet Adeline, whose pastries are wonderful (praline cookie!). The Oakland markets are great, too (in particular Friday Old Oakland, Saturday Grand Lake, and Sunday Temescal).

I've always thought Zachary's was a little overrated, so now that Little Star has opened down the street from the Solano location, that's my favored place for deep-dish pizza.

Some of the best Mexican around is at Tacubaya on Fourth Street. It's a little spendy (compared to giant, cheap burritos), but for un-Californiafied Mexican, it's the place to go.

Cookie Monster: 5 Great Cookies For Making Ice Cream Sandwiches

The first and only time I've made ice cream sandwiches was cinnamon cookies with espresso ice cream. I am all over that maple-pumpkin combo when October hits.

Cook the Book: 'Susan Feniger's Street Food'

fried chicken and sticky rice in bangkok.

Market Tours: Bangkok Center Grocery

The service is really friendly here. I love getting a roasted barley iced tea from the fridge and drinking it next door along with my five-dumplings-for-a-dollar.

Dinner Tonight: Yum Dogs (via Food52)

Thank you for the shout-out!

The 8 Best Pizzas in the Pacific Northwest

The wild mushroom pie I had at Oven & Shaker in Portland recently was one of the best pizzas I'd eaten in a long time.

Prefered brand of yogurt?

My current favorite is Capretta by the Sierra Nevada Cheese Company. I don't know how widely available it is, but here in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's pretty easy to find. It's made from goat's milk and has an amazingly smooth, creamy texture. Vanilla is my favorite.

First meal of 2012

crêpes. toppings included various homemade jams, apple butter, sugar and lemon, and cheese. it's a new year's day tradition for me.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Korin Knife

my forschner chef's knife or my shun paring knife. it's a really close call.

Share Your Sweets: A Look Back at Thanksgiving

i'm digging on that purple yam pie. so clever!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Sriracha Lover's Ultimate Gift Pack

sriracha and mayo on a meatloaf sandwich. wahoo!

Cook the Book: 'The Food52 Cookbook'

marinated eggplant

A Sandwich a Day: Banana Nutella from Olympic Provisions in Portland, OR

i just ate this the other day at the westside location (along with the porchetta sandwich and braised greens with hazelnuts sandwich). it was perfect dessert after a perfect lunch.

My latest food obsession...

equal parts miso paste and mayonnaise with a splash of rice wine vinegar mixed together and used as a salad dressing.

Culinary Rule Breaking

I'm interested in hearing what culinary no-nos we like to indulge in. I'm not talking about a secret love of Doritos or Twinkies or Lucky Charms; every gastronome has her weaknesses, after all.

I mean taking some of the most basic rules of food and how it's "supposed" to be prepared and breaking them.

For instance, I love cold --not room temperature-- tomatoes, even heirlooms at the height of the season. I store them in the fridge. And I love them that way even though I would probably be laughed out of the kitchen at work for admitting it.

A good friend of mine doesn't like al dente pasta and actually prefers it a little mushy. Whoa!

Another likes parmesan on seafood pasta. Horrors!

Something along the lines of liking well-done steak. Egads!

Any others out there?

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