• Location: Chicago

New to Trader Joe's

Oh my goodness...

edamame hummus

cookie butter (it will change your life)

cheddar cheese with caramelized onions

pizza dough (I always have it in the freezer for quick dinners)

seaweed snacks (if you like seaweed - I LOVE THESE)

the raisin and rosemary crackers (for a wine and cheese night - perfect)

Parmesan crisps (great as an alternative to croutons on salad

sea salt and pepper rice chips (if you're trying to be healthy these things are the best!!!! they are as addictive as potato chips and 1/8 the calories)

fleur de sel caramels (

mochi (you have to!)

puff pastry (I always stock up when they have this, its great!)

Arancini in the frozen food isle

mushroom and truffle flatbread

ok I'm done....
I think

Have you ever lost your cooking mojo?

This made me feel so much better! You guys are wonderful, there are some great answers here. I was afraid I was going to have to wait for the ghost of Julia Child to come to me in my sleep a la "Bagger Vance" (horrible movie).

New York Penn Station

....except for the fact that it's in Grand Central

New York Penn Station

The Oyster Bar! yes it can be full of tourists but it's so much fun, and such a classic.

Cook the Book: 'The Art of Eating Cookbook'

I loved Gourmet, I miss it so dearly

Cook the Book: 'Poulet'

Jamie Oliver chicken. I don't think that's the official name but it basically involves putting a cut up chicken in a baking dish with a whole lot of garlic and different kinds of tomatoes and basil, with a some olive oil and then cooking it for an hour and a half until the chicken is falling off the bone. Great meal when it's cold.

Other people's habits.

@BangieB: Then you aren't one of those people I'm talking about, I knew I should have written shallots instead. But out of curiosity, what happens when you eat eggplant?

Other people's habits.

People who say they are allergic to things they clearly aren't. You are an adult you are not allergic to broccoli or eggplant just say you don't care for them. It also really bothers me when people refuse to try something they've never eaten, it's just food, it's not going to kill you or scar you forever, really!! are you five!?!?

Best of the odd combinations?

Ham, cream cheese and ketchup on toast. open faced. When I was 9 or 10 I used to get dropped off 2 times a week at my friends house early in the morning when my mom had 6 am aerobic classes. Her mom would make us breakfast and take us to school. This dish was called "Dads breakfast" I never met dad, apparently he worked on an oil rig somewhere very cold and nordic, but this was what he would make for breakfast every morning. And I got it for breakfast twice a week. I love it.

Names of restaurants in your city that make you cringe

There was a place where I lived in queens called Winegasm. The sad part is it was a really great restaurant and wine bar. Winegasm? really? It made me feel like such a tool every time I told one of my friends to meet me there.

my bulgogi is about to become no-gogi.

It doesn't have to be complicated, I'm just trying to make a well balanced meal out of it.

After Dinner Games, Got One We Should Be Playing?

I don't know if it counts as a game but at the end of Sunday dinner we used to see who could blow out the candles that were sitting in the middle of the table, but you had to be sitting all the way back in your chair. We'd go around the table and everyone would try until someone got it or my dad got frustrated and stood up to blow them out. Mostly it wasn't the competition that was fun, it was watching everyone get all red in the face from huffing and puffing so hard. It's a wonder my Mother actually let us do it.

Anniversary dinner in Chicago

I think you mean North Pond.

Anniversary dinner in Chicago

Go to Henri - it's beautiful, the food is amazing, it's small and romantic but very vibrant, the service is very personal, it's and A++. I really think it would be perfect. That's the first place I thought of although I'm sure more ideas will come to me.

Cook the Book: Barefoot Contessa, 'How Easy Is That?'

We just made it tonight actually. Creamy polenta with roasted vegetables and a soft boiled egg. Easy and elegant. YUM!

what should I make that uses A LOT of carrots?

Holy carrots!!! You guys take the cake on this one. Now I can't wait to use these carrots.

A whole lotta tomato chutney and not a whole lotta ideas.

Oh yum!! Now I'm so excited to use all this chutney. Those dosas are a righteous idea. I've never canned anything before, I feel like I remember my mom doing it when I was little and it seemed like it involved a lot of time and had a small margin for error? I'm scared!!!

Carnivores and herbivores eating together.

You guys are so great. So often I find that when people cook for vegans and vegetarians they compromise and end up serving steamed veggies and rice, they don't realize that actually vegan and vegetarian dishes make for some really great complimentary side dishes (right next to the meat). I can't wait to try some of these out, and lord knows it will be good for my boyfriend to eat a vegetable every once in a while. Thanks peeps!

Carnivores and herbivores eating together.

I just talked to them, they're vegans because they believe that consuming meat is a strain on the planet (that's a whole can of worms I don't want to get into) so they don't have any issues with their veggies being prepared with meat essence ;) I love all these suggestions, however I'm a little wary of using faux products like vegan cheese - in my experience they just don't taste good - that being said maybe I just haven't used the right products.

Cook the Book: 'The Book of Tapas'

I love Tapas!! They're my favorite thing in the whole wide world, I think because you get to try so many different things without getting full. The best tapas I ever had were this lightly breaded and fried goat cheese balls with lavender honey in NY so so yum!

Videos: Cats and Dogs Eating Mashed Potatoes

I guess cats love mashed potatoes. When we moved back to the US from being overseas our cat didn't take the trip very well and ended up hiding out under my sisters bed for a week and refusing to come out or eat. I was so distraught I tried to get him to eat everything and anything to no avail. One night we had mashed potatoes, so I tried that. He loved it, I spent an hour on my stomach under the bed spoon feeding the cat mashed potatoes. In hindsight he probably put one over on me, but still, that dang cat ate all the leftover mashed potatoes.


Wouldn't it be great if there were people running around the internet doing the opposite of trolls. Random people who just inserted comment like. "I love serious eats!" or "you guys are awesome! puppies and penguins and hearts!" why do we have to use nastiness to terrorize people? why can't we use love to terrorize people?

that being said

I hope you all have a brilliant day ;)

Can't eat it anymore

German. Blood sausage = yucky.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Homemade Holidays

@ thegourmetgal - absolutely!! it's pretty easy. You don't actually have to make it a week ahead but it does make it better if it sits for a little bit.

4 quarts
Make one week ahead

12 egg whites

1 ½ cup sugar

12 egg yolks

½ tsp salt

4 cups heavy cream

4 cups bourbon

1 cup dark rum

4 cups milk

nutmeg grated
Beat ½ cup sugar into stiffly beaten egg whites. Beat yolks, 1 cup of sugar and salt until very light. Blend in the egg whites. Add cream, milk and bourbon. Beat well. Add rum. Store for one week in a cool place. Shake well or stir thoroughly before serving. Sprinkle with nutmeg

Weekend Cook and Tell: Homemade Holidays

My sister and I made our family eggnog recipe, we give away bottles of it to friends. Yes, it has raw eggs in it, yes, everyone knows, no, no one has EVER gotten sick and it will knock your socks off!!! It's seriously good. And I always feel like a bootlegger when we make it:)

Have you ever lost your cooking mojo?

I'm a good cook, I cook all the time. But I lost my cooking mojo, and I have no idea how or why it happened. Last week I baked a batch of chocolate cookies that were so dry when they came out of the oven they wouldn't come off the pan without breaking apart. The next day I baked some marshmallow, peanut butter blondies that were so gooey you couldn't eat them with your fingers, they were too soft and mushy. AND THEN I made a thai peanut curry for dinner that was so terrible I had to throw it out. I have never made something that was so bad it was inedible!

Have you ever been in a cooking rut? how do you get out of it!?

my bulgogi is about to become no-gogi.

I may have left this quandary for too late, but I guess it's worth a shot. I bought the Trader Joes pre marinaded bulgogi (they call it "bool kogi") about a week ago and it's been sitting in our fridge waiting to be eaten. The problem is, I don't know what to make with it. Should I put it on rice? can we make a bulgogi pizza? I've been totally uninspired. And now we've gotten to the point where it's got to be eaten tonight or it's going to go to waste, I could put it in the freezer but I know if I do that it's probably not coming out until we have another blizzard or we move. So I need help, what do you/should you/can you do with bulgogi!?

what should I make that uses A LOT of carrots?

I feel like half my posts here are about having too many of something and not knowing what to do with it. And this time it's carrots. And I knoooooow I can make carrot cake but the bf's out of town, so this week is PERFECT for trying to eat healthy and drop some eating-out weight. So, once again serious eaters, I turn to you! What should I make?

A whole lotta tomato chutney and not a whole lotta ideas.

So the bf's mom gave me 8 HUGE yellow tomatoes from her garden. They were really meaty and aaaaaaalmost mealy so I thought the best thing to do with them would be to make a spicy tomato chutney. Now I have ALOT chutney that I don't know what to do with. Ha! Does anyone have any ideas/recipe suggestions? I know you do!

Carnivores and herbivores eating together.

Hello lovely Seriouseaters,

Soooooo I'm having a small dinner party on Sunday (there will be 7 of us) to celebrate friends moving to Chicago and new beginnings. I need help with the menu. I have a beautiful back deck with a great grill I would love to utilize, my boyfriend loves to grill and since this is the first time my friends are meeting him I would love to give him the opportunity to shine. The problem is 4 of us are avid meat eaters (the boyfriend being possibly the most avid of us all) and 2 are strict vegans. So I'm thinking the bf will be in charge of meat and then I'll make a couple of really nice vegan recipes. Problem is, I need inspiration. And where else to come for inspiration besides here? Any ideas anyone? any menu ideas on either side vegan or non would be really appreciated.....and desert. I know stiff order, I fail on this one.

Travel food

Hi lovely seriouseaters! Tomorrow my dad and I are loading up a uhaul and driving out of NYC heading towards Chicago. He informed me this morning that I am in charge of food. He wants two things.

- food to eat in the van.
-places to stop to eat at along the way.

Ideas? suggestions? warnings? any thoughts would be appreciated.

What to feed to a big baby.

Once again I have to turn to the ever creative and very helpful serious eaters.

I am a personal assistant to a 23 year old professional online poker player. Among the many things I have been hired to do for him is cook him dinner 3 times a week. The meals have to last at least a couple of nights. It needs to be able to be zapped in the microwave or heat up on the stove top pretty quickly. HERE IS THE CATCH. When I met him I tried to get a sense of what he likes to eat and doesn't like to eat. He said "i'm picky about food the way kids are not the way adults are." To me that means if it looks funky he won't eat it. He says he doesn't like vegetables and especially not beans. He also doesn't know what he likes. I literally asked him what his last meal on earth would be and he said "I don't really think I'd care"!. I'm tearing my hair out trying to figure out what the F I am going to cook for this kid. I guess as time goes by I will get a better sense of what he likes and doesn't like since he doesn't seem to know. HELP!

Corn bread cook-off

Well, picnic season has ended which means that my bi-monthly picnic club now turns into the cook-off extravaganza club. I have been challenged by my roommate to a corn-bread cook off tomorrow. So once again I turn to the ever knowledgeable serious eaters to HELP ME!!! does anyone have any kick a** corn bread recipes or advice, anything?.....I want to win:)

Picnic club

I have a picnic club during the summer months, we meet every other wednesday in central park. Wednesday is our last picnic of the season *sniffle*. in past picnics I have made cous cous salad, tea sandwiches, pie and I've done the crusty bread and cheese thing. I'm plumb out of ideas for Wednesday and was wondering if you fine people have any ideas to help a girl out. It needs to be able to travel and be pretty easy to eat but otherwise I'm eagerly awaiting ideas. Thank you guys!!

Cheese for a Cabernet

My friends a big wine buff, I'm supposed to share a nice bottle of cabernet with him tonight and I'm responsible for the cheese. All I know is it's a cabernet, it's probably californian (knowing him) and I'm at a loss of what kind of cheese to bring. Suggestions anyone?

Canapes for Christmas.

So I know you're all going to be up in arms about the fact that I am NOT making 200 little canapes fresh from my kitchen for my lovely family. BUT....last year I mail ordered canapes from this company and they came out great....however....I do not remember the name of said company. sooooooo any idea's for mail order canape companies? it's all love people.

HELP!! How do I cook duck with crispy skin?

So I'm at my Grandmothers (Mom I'll call you tonight about this one.) She's been feeding me on serious midwest food (like red cabbage soaked in bacon fat and cooked for 9 hours). So I told her I would cook her dinner tomorrow night, anything she wanted...her favorite thing. She wants duck. With crispy skin. I've never cooked duck, let alone with crispy skin. Help.

Fun, yummy, sushi place in NYC

I need your help again guys. I have an ex boyfriend coming into town. He loves sushi. I would like to take him out to a place that is unique, a lot of fun and not too pricey. Help me out!! Please:)

The 12 Best Chicken Dinners of 2013

You, our Serious Eats Community Members have spoken: you like chicken, and you like it fresh, quick, easy, and delicious. Here are a dozen of our favorite and most popular easy chicken dinner recipes from the last year. Which one are you going to put on the table tonight? More

From the Archives: No-Holds-Barred Sunday Lasagna Bolognese

Serious Eats Art Director Robyn Lee made the questionable decision to construct my Lasagna Bolognese on a weeknight. Why questionable? Because the sauce alone needs to simmer for three hours before you can even begin to construct or bake the damned thing. "We didn't eat until 1 a.m. so we were really hungry and it tasted good," she said. Here's a promise: this stuff tastes really good even when it's not 1 a.m. and your last meal wasn't 12 hours ago. More

Marinated Flank Steak with Lemony Arugula and Feta Salad from 'Kitchen Garden Cookbook'

Jeanne Kelley's marinated and grilled flank steak with arugula salad comes from the "Spring" chapter in her new Kitchen Garden Cookbook. But with its clean flavors and almost effortless preparation, the dish lands squarely in the realm of summer cooking. What really makes this dish stand out is not the arugula—the real winner is Kelley's exotic, tangy sumac and lemon mixture, which performs double duty as marinade and salad dressing. More

Kimchi Fried Rice

I'm already on record as a fried rice fanatic. So, why do I keep writing about it? I just keep finding strange variations which completely change the final product. Even kimchi fried rice, which I've written about twice before, is not immune to this kind of tinkering. Sure, many of the ingredients of this version carry over from the previous two, but the finished dish couldn't look more different. More