There’s no Food in the House! Clean-Out-the-Fridge Meals

"There's no food in the house!" Is a common refrain in my house. Brett will look over at me, eyebrow arched in doubt. "I don't believe you," he'll say, reassuring me of his supreme confidence in my ability to make something, anything for dinner based on what we actually do have. And I will. In part out of laziness to go to the store, and in part out of being unable to back down from a challenge. It's like the daily Iron Chef battle in my own kitchen: make dinner using only the ingredients already in the house, and get it done before we're both so hungry we've eaten a meals worth of … [Read more...]

The French—They’re Just Like Us.

Here in the U.S. there’s a general feeling that France is the star of the dining scene. Sure, we’re doing our best, and we’ve come of dining age, but the real masters, with their mother sauces and generations of heritage, are in France. Just like US Weekly’s celebrity spying, column Stars, They’re Just Like Us, what I learned on my recent trip to Paris and Avignon is that when it comes down to it, the French? They eat just like us.  They serve out-of-season tomatoes: Only theirs are smothered in broiled Brie. They shop at Farmers Markets: They like to picnic: Things I need for … [Read more...]

The Time I Went to Adult Summer Camp

I'm going to deviate just a touch from the topic of eating food for a second...but there's still food preparation involved. Lady Camp was one of the most inspiring things I've done in a long time. I travel across oceans all the time, but here, just 45 minutes from my house, I met people from the foreign lands that we call "across the mountains" with strange religions (I believe they're called "republicans"). They were tall and short, old as my grandmother, and young enough that I had to use the phrase "back in my day," more than once. The common thread? They were as enthusiastic as I am … [Read more...]

10 Things I Don’t Want to Hear My Server Say

Let's just get this straight: I was the worst server ever. On my second day as a waitress, I dropped chicken fingers on the floor of the Quito pub I worked in, and under the judging eye of both chef and co-worker, I picked them up and served them. As a pizza server in northern Mexico, I probably ate more cheese than ever made it onto one of the pies I was preparing. This is why I work on the marketing side of the food world. So I understand that serving is not an easy gig. But it doesn't seem so hard to remember not to ask, "Sir, did you forget to take your shower today?" (True story: this was … [Read more...]

App Release: Unique Eats of the Northwest

“I’m having a girl!” the text came in yesterday from my best friend. I couldn’t be happier for her. THERE IS A TINY HUMAN INSIDE MY BEST FRIEND. What could be more exciting than that? Nothing. But this is my blog, not hers, so that’s not my story. Instead, here’s the second most interesting thing going on in my world. I’ve been gestating a little something myself for the last nine months: a tiny, electronic baby. If I were texting my friends about it, the message would say: “I’m having an app!” I’m not texting, though. Even just saying out loud, “My app is releasing today” feels … [Read more...]

How to Find the Best Food While Traveling

Some phrases that make my heart hurt: “We got there and we were tired, so we just ate at the hotel” “I didn’t know what anything was, so thank god there was a [PICK ONE: TGIMcFunsters/Magic Panda/Burger Sovereign] nearby” “We wanted to eat where we could see the [INSERT MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION HERE].”  The average tourist decision, anywhere in the world, on where to eat goes like this: Joe Schmoe spends hundreds of dollars on flights and hotels to get to EXCITINGVILLE! He spent the whole flight reading the guidebook entry for FAMOUS PLAZA. When he got there, he looked around … [Read more...]

From Pest to Plate: An Essay on Eating Bugs, Slugs, & Insects

The slug recoiled in horror, seemingly just as scared that his comfy—if crunchy—bed of green lettuce had been disturbed, as I was that he was on it. He recovered more quickly than I did, returning to slithering about, leaving a faint trail of slime on my chivito. Translating to ‘baby goat,’ a chivito is a the Uruguayan national food: a sandwich in which mayonnaise, ham, steak, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese are stacked upon each other without regard to either cleanliness of shirt or heart-health of the eater, all while packed into an oversize hamburger bun. Slugs, which, according to my … [Read more...]

Love at First Sight: Yummy Mammy

Yummy Mammy is the Zooey Deschanel of Chinese restaurants. It's got her quirky looks and takes hints from the way she hides behind big glasses to fool people into thinking she's not so  hot. Digging in deeper, ignoring the garbage bag full of dried red peppers sitting on the hostess stand, I found my manic pixie dream girl restaurant. Yummy Mammy's name alone gives it points in the "most adorkable" competition: awkward to get off the tongue and giving no hint of the stellar Chinese food hidden within. Emulating Zooey's Jess, from New Girl, it's just different enough, without crossing … [Read more...]

5 Sauces that Spank Sriracha

America loves the cock. The big red bottle with the outline of the rooster on it has climbed to bacon-esque levels of zeitgeist, and to be quite frank, I'm over Sriracha. As a heat-hound, I crave spiciness in every meal, and as an educated eater, I also want flavor. In the world of over blown excitement over it, I think that the Oatmeal nailed the Sriracha problem much better than Bon Appetit's 25 ways to use Sriracha. Oatmeal understands that the powerful yet unexciting flavors of Sriracha are best used to cover for poor quality and bad technique, while Bon Appetit encourages readers to use … [Read more...]

The French Laundry on Yelp: A Zero Star Review

1/8/13   Okay, people, listen up. I went to the French Laundry, and obviously I’m the most qualified person to offer this review, even though there are fifty one-star reviews already on the site, because this is going to be the first person to give a ZERO star review! FIRST ONE HERE! Also, I actually went to the restaurant, so that puts me a leg up on more than half of those silly one-star people. I thought this place, was, like, super exclusive, or something? I was extremely angry that I got the exact day and time I wanted for my reservation (by following the instructions on … [Read more...]