I cook stuff. And I photograph the stuff I cook. And I write silly stories about the stuff I cook and photograph. Maybe one day I'll get a better camera...


Oh no! We ate all the Twinkies after they stopped making them!

Small Christmas dinner

I'm hesitant to link to my site in the talk forum, but I've spent this whole month working on small roasts intended for four people, because we are also a small family and we live far from our relatives. I started off with Standing Rib Roast ( 4-ish lbs, only two ribs. Last week I post a polenta stuffed game hen recipe with dates ( and just today I posted a roast duck with fig stuffing (

Anyway, sorry for the self promotion. This thread was just too relevant to my little December theme to not share. The duck was my favorite, by the way.

Prime rib-help

I agree with @AnnieNT that it shouldn't make a difference. I trim the top of my rib roasts pretty well. I prefer it that way so that the exterior gets good sear on the meat itself and not on a layer of fat. Just my preference though.

How do y'all stay thin?

Another thing I didn't think to mention - we only dine off of salad plates (as opposed to dinner plates) so that portions don't get out of hand.

How do y'all stay thin?

I run and I've become accustomed to keeping track of everything I eat and drink over the course of the day.

Weekend Cook and Tell: 'Tis the Season for Soup

@Ken G - Aw. I love the story of stone soup.

I'm probably too late for the cook and tell round up this week, but I recently made this Kale soup: Fennel Scented Kale Soup.

Other soups from my blog that I like to make when it's chilly outside:
Beef Stew with Dumplings (we call them dumplings, but I think they're also called drop biscuits.)
Potato Celeriac Soup
Sausage Kale Soup
Lamb Adszuki Bean Chili

How did you do up your Thanksgiving leftovers?

We had standard plates of reheated dark meat, stuffing and veggies on Friday. Then today I made turkey salad melts, which consisted of chopped white meat mixed with mayo and dill, then grilled on bread with cheddar like a tuna melt. That finished off the turkey for us.

Weekend Cook and Tell: A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

I've been making this Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy for ages. Here's the link: It can easily be made vegan too with a vegan margarine or shortening in place of the butter.

Texas State Fair: 15 Crazy Fried Foods We're Still Digesting

What was in the fried bubble gum? It looks like pink donuts topped with blue icing (or toothpaste) and garniture of chiclets. It's very pretty in an ironic, post-modernist kind of way!

Dinner tonight? Nov. 1, 2012

I roasted freshly picked carrots, turnips, parsnips and celeriac along with a barley/apple stuffed pork loin that turned out to be rather meh. Not super-much looking forward to the leftovers, but at least it's nutritious.

Halloween Traditions?

Each Halloween night we carve a pumpkin for the front steps and make spiced pumpkin seeds to snack on over the course of the evening. (I posted my recipe here a couple of years ago).

Also, I made bowl in a ceramics class a few years ago that came out to be kind of hideous - gray and pea green in the shape of a splatter. I always use that bowl to serve the Halloween candy. It's really a lovely ceramic bowl, but it does look like a gob of goo.

We always, always serve Reese's peanut butter cups and KitKats.

Which activities slow you down in the kitchen?

When we belonged to a local fish share we'd get multiple gutted, but not cleaned fish. Sometimes up to a dozen flat fish like sole, which was fantastic because it was so fresh, but very time consuming. I became more proficient with fish as a result though.

Also, trying to wash utensils and pans as I go slows things down.

Cilantro: Yea or Nay?

I've flip-flopped on the cilantro issue. When I first tried it I thought it tasted like soap, but now I love it. Reminds me of fresh cut grass.

Soda: Inca Kola, Peru's National Soda

I'm so happy to see Inca Kola on SE!

Wendy's New Contemporary Logo: Yea or Nay?

I agree with @GardenStater. They might as well have gone with comic sans. My impression of Wendy's is that they are the fresher, better quality option of the big 3. I would have gone with a more modern, rounder, sans-serif font as opposed to a bold, handwritten font. Also, if they're trying to modernize Wendy, I'd change the collar altogether and get rid of the brooch to coincide with ditching the 19th century font. And this may be too much, but I could see making the apostrophe a leaf to emphasize freshness.

@ambienttra, totally. The Arby's logo needs to stop looking like a fish.

Does Anybody Else Put Potato Chips in Sandwiches?

I'm a ripple chip gal, myself. I find they hold up better than the un-rippled variety. Preferably Utz. Come to think of it, I have the same hairstyle as the Utz girl. That's devotion, right there.

What Are You Cooking On?

Thanks, @Becka K-S. I wouldn't have known otherwise. It does look cute in a "place for everything" kind of way, with the varying oven sizes, but the burners especially sound less than efficient, for sure.

In response to your original post, @Burger356, we're cooking on a Jenn-Air, which is alright. The downdraft fan is pretty powerful - so much that it gives our backyard the aroma of whatever we're cooking when it's running.

What Are You Cooking On?

Just out of curiosity, what are the drawbacks the AGA? All I can think of is how Minty seems to love hers on Posh Nosh. :) I'm not in the market for a new stove, so I wouldn't know.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Cooking on the Quick

I don't really plan a menu for the whole week, but I do like to hit the farmers markets at the beginning of the week and then plan three or four meals based on what I find.

A quick one I like to make is just a simple bowl of ravioli or tortellini tossed with sauteed veggies, fresh herbs and some olive oil. It's a good way to showcase seasonal veggies. But I'm picky about my pasta. It has to be fresh and good quality.

Last night we had a dish of local handmade ravioli and padrone peppers, both of which I got at our farmers' market. It was lovely and took about 15 minutes to make:

Grilling: Banana Boats

Aw. I forgot about banana boats! We used to make them at camp.

One kitchen item you hate to wash?

The blender, food processor and meat grinder, for sure! Anything that has to be disassembled and put back together again. Also, our paella pan because it's a working souvenir and I'd be so sad if it rusted. Made the mistake of leaving that in the sink on top of a wooden cutting board one night last winter and woke to find a big ring on the cutting board.... I need new cutting boards.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Cooking on Vacation

Summer vacation for me is always all about beach, barbecue and fried clams. I love going to clam shacks, but where we live year round we also have access to freshly shucked whole belly clams straight from the flats. So, this is my recipe for Fried Clams.

I've made them on vacation in place of going out, probably because I just love to cook and I'd sometimes rather hang out with friends in the kitchen.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Remembering Julia

I made a compound butter out of basil and buffalo butter:

It didn't occur to me until after I started that it might be relevant for this week's Cook and Tell. Yay, Julia!


Yay! I'm so glad it worked out and that you now have a go to dish!

cast iron

We have a cast iron dutch oven, which is now pretty well seasoned. I'd like to pick up a skillet at some point, since we have bacon and eggs a couple of times a week and I'm kinda getting tired of scrubbing egg off of our stainless pans.

I have to admit though, not washing the dutch oven with soap took a little getting used to....

Chocolate Frozen Custard

I came to the original recipe for this by accident. Not wanting to waste two botched batches of pastry cream, I poured both into the ice cream maker with some cream. Turned out creamier than a pudding pop on a July afternoon...

Moroccan Beef Hors d'Oeuvres

This lovely little nibble is always a big hit at parties. The spices and salt break down the meat as it marinates overnight, resulting in tender, delicious morsels. If you have any left over, count yourself lucky because these are totally snackable.

Pulled Pork

Molasses, brown sugar and spices bring their loveliness and vinegar helps to break down the proteins for a meltingly sweet pulled pork that is divinity on a bulkie roll.

Ideas for a children's cooking class

I am looking for healthy ideas for a children's cooking class. I'd like to introduce the students to the very basics of cooking (i.e., measuring) and nutrition.

For equipment, we are limited to a toaster oven, an electric skillet, an ice cream maker, a blender and a microwave.

Ideas so far: skillet cornbread, vegetarian maki (rice made in advance), possibly sorbet (final day celebration).

Any ideas or input is greatly appreciated!

Roasted Stuffed Figs

Sweet and juicy, roasting condenses the figs' sugars. I like them stuffed with a goat or blue cheese and drizzled with olive oil to add a little earthiness. Freshly chopped mint brings a subtle herbal snap to keep things from becoming too cloying.

Mediterranean Flavors: Tzatziki

You only need to follow a recipe once or twice when making tzatziki before the process becomes almost automatic. Thick tangy yogurt; crisp, sweet cucumber; pungent garlic and dill; sunny lemon. The formula, a staging ground for countless dip platters and a condiment for the thousands of gyros dished up daily, is as familiar to us now as salsa and ketchup. And its preparation is about as intuitive—recipes matter less than solid ingredients and a willingness to dip a tasting finger along the way. More

smoking on a weber charcoal grill

i recently bought my first grill, it's a weber 22.5, it's perfect for my apt balcony. my girlfriend is really pushing me to try smoking a brisket in it, and i've been meaning to start trying to smoke in it... More

Eat for Eight Bucks: Baked Sweet Potato 'Fries'

A plain baked sweet potato is incredibly tasty, as far as I'm concerned, but Ina Garten's brown-sugared baked sweet potato fries are out of this world. Although I usually leave the peels on (out of laziness and a longstanding belief that the peels contain good stuff), they are even better peeled. With or without peeling, they come together very quickly and make a nice side for an easy and inexpensive meal of hot dogs or hamburgers. More

Really Good Brisket

Bruce and Eric Bromberg, the brothers behind the now nine-restaurant Blue Ribbon phenomenon, have eaten their fair share of brisket. After many years of it at family holiday meals, they embarked on a personal quest to create an exceptional version that wasn't a dried-out, stringy mess. In this recipe (just in time for Passover) from their soon-to-be-published Blue Ribbon Cookbook, they turn the aromatic vegetables in the pot into a luscious, full-bodied sauce for the brisket (a special touch they learned from their mom). More

Dinner Tonight: Cauliflower-Cheddar Soup

Most of the cauliflower I eat is roasted or sautéed until it's perilously close to looking burnt. It's hard to describe why it tastes so good when it looks so bad, but it really does a number on me and partly explains why it's one of my favorite things to cook. But this recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook retreats back to a time when cauliflower was treated gently and calmly. More

Cook the Book: Pork Shoulder Rillettes

The chapter devoted to all things porcine in My New Orleans by John Besh is called Boucherie, and has several delicious-sounding pork-based charcuterie projects including these Pork Shoulder Rillettes. This version slow cooks pork butt with chicken stock, lard, wine, and a few other aromatics until it's tender enough to shred into a million tasty little pieces. More

i got a meat grinder! now what?

The title pretty much tells it all. My dear boyfriend had thirty bucks off at a kitchen store, so now I have in my possession a meat grinder attachment for my stand mixer! Even better, my dear boyfriend is a... More

How to Make Olive Penguins

Penguin parts. These are probably meant for six-year olds, but they still provide me with gobs of joy. All you need is a black olive (for the penguin head), a bigger one (for the bulbous bod), a little carrot medallion (with a triangle sliced out for the beak), and a mozzarella ball (or cream cheese works). Extra credit if you can make them an edible igloo. It's pretty self-explanatory but check out mathea.tanner's adorable Flickr photos or if you really need step-by-step instructions, here you go. [Flickr: mathea.tanner] Related: Photo of the Day: Penguin Tteok... More

SE'er Food Blogs

Ok, so I already pulled a few of bitchin camero's recipes into my regular rotation, as briefly I mentioned in another thread. I know there have been other threads on what your favorite food blogs are, but I want to... More

Dan Barber Says We Need to Like Organ Meat

Duck parts. [Photograph: Chichi Wang] According to chef and food activist Dan Barber, we don't know a lot of things. We don't know where our meat comes from, we don't know what the animal we're eating ate, and we sure don't know how to get behind the stove and take control of what we put in our mouths. In this article in The Nation, Barber writes about the "protein paradox," or the huge waste of edible animal parts such as liver, kidney, and tripe. Barber really wants us to like, or learn to like, organ meat—the bits and bobs typically saved for hot dogs, sausage links, and yes, dog food. He hopes that people will eat meat modestly, and... More

Video: Alton Brown on How to Carve a Turkey

For a full step-by-step slideshow of the process, check out this post here. If you don't know how to carve a turkey, let Alton Brown show you the way. Start by cutting off the breast, then move on to the drum sticks, wings, and thighs. And then make a sandwich. Watch the video after the jump.... More