10 Tricks to Make the Lazy Cook’s Food Taste Better

I never clean up as I go. Rumor has it, that's what the cool kids do. That's what the organized, methodical, by the book cooks do. The people who clean as they go probably also set up their mise en place and follow recipes too. All things which I'd love to be the type of person who does. But I'm not. I'm me. Being me means that I'm a bit of a hurricane, whooshing into the kitchen, chopping, stirring, mixing, cooking, racing against the imaginary clock of getting one thing done before the heat on the stove demands the next step. I took a knife skills class once and I learned a lot. I've … [Read more...]

5 Things That Dreaming of Being a Food Writer Got Me

Half a decade ago, I wanted to be a food writer. A local food writer I admired gave me the advice to start a blog. This blog has improved my life in more ways than I could ever count. I'd love to break bread with all of you and tell you the reasons, but I'll share a few here for now. One recent morning the food world was abuzz about Amanda Hesser's article Advice for Future Food Writers. In reading it, I was disappointed in some of it. In the way it dashes dreams. Little kids hope to be firemen and astronauts, recent college grads, hungry and broke, dream of being food writers. Yet, she … [Read more...]

What My Gall Bladder has to do with Paula Deen (and Healthful Edamame Dip)

Two weeks into my gall bladder being on the fritz, I decided to go all Paula Deen on it. If I simply refrained from eating fat or consuming alcohol, I prevented the attacks, which were more painful than a lifetime sentenced to eating Kwanzaa Cake. But I was hosting book club that night. And we were reading Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper, one of my favorite books. An array of home-cooked Chinese dishes peppered the table, wowing me with the skill of my friends: beef tongue, celery, and pig ear from Tiffany, egg tarts from Snacking in the Kitchen, and dan-dan noodles from me, among others … [Read more...]

Donate, Win, Eat, Travel: Passports with a Purpose

I'm back from Mexico with fresh cooking tips from an Abuela (grandma), a passion for pambazos (think tortas, but soaked in chile, then fried) and a few imbibe-able souvenirs. Before I start in on my posts about those, I wanted to give you the opportunity to win a little travel adventure of your own. As self-indulgent as this lovely blog is, I couldn't help but jump at the opportunity to help out by participating in Passports with a Purpose, to help raise money to build libraries in Zambia. "Zambia? Books? That doesn't sound like food?" You might be saying. And you'd be right, but only … [Read more...]

Dear Seattle Restaurants: A Chicken and Waffles Challenge

 This picture, folks, is the ultimate in chicken and waffle cuisine. Not familiar? Neither was I. I was dubious, to say the least, as all of my friends urged me to try Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles while I was on vacation in Los Angeles. I like fried chicken as much as the next person, and well, who can dislike a waffle, right? But together...I narrowed my eyes in wary judgment. How wrong I was! Now, I'm reduced to chasing this delicacy up the coastline, in search of the same succulence. Seattle restaurant owners, I issue you this challenge: Make a chicken and waffle dish that rivals … [Read more...]

Who will be the Seattle Weekly’s new critic?

With the upcoming departure of Jason Sheehan from the Seattle Weekly, there comes one of the few openings in the area for a full time, dedicated food writer. Specifically, a restaurant writer. This excites me. Despite the fact that I made it no secret that his writing was not my favorite, it is not his departure in itself that makes me happy--in fact, it sounds like the circumstances surrounding it are sad, and I am not one to take joy in that. Rather, I am excited because I love to read about food. I love the long form review as an opportunity to learn more about a restaurant, why its food … [Read more...]

Save the Cheese! Help Estrella Family Creamery

There are very few brands I am passionate enough about to devote a blog post to, and even fewer that, upon receiving an email about saving, I will hop out of bed and compose a blog post about at 6:45 in the morning. The cheese from Estrella Family, however, does inspire such things. Estrella Family Creamery makes my favorite cheese(s) in the world. As many of you know, the FDA is working hard to shut Estrella Family Creamery down and they have been unable to sell their cheese for quite some time. This is tragic, not only because I have to live without the incomparable Caldwell Crik Chevrette, … [Read more...]

One Burner Bitch

One Burner Bitch is the theoretical name I came up with for my imaginary blog about the week I've had without a stove. This little guy in the picture above has been my only heat source, and I tell you what: It has made me bitchy. So first, the situation as it stands now: I would show the 'before' picture but it made me cry, so I don't want to have it hanging around the blog. Long story short? I dropped my KitchenAid mixer onto the glass top stove. It was ugly. I had bread in the oven and let that finish baking, but once we removed the broken glass, we unplugged the whole thing to avoid … [Read more...]

An Event, A Thought on Cheese, A Product and A Recipe

There is a back log of things I want to post on and I'm just going to let them all go right here, for your enjoyment: a fun event this weekend, murmurs of what is being called a 'burrata crawl', a new product I love and the recipe for a dish that I've eaten for 4 straight meals. Farm to Table Food for Thought The Kitsap public library was kind enough to invite me out for this 'gourmet picnic' and I'm actually really excited about it. In addition to talks by a number of local food writers (Molly of Orangette, Shauna aka Gluten-Free Girl and Lorna Yee of Cookbook Chronicles), there will be food … [Read more...]

The One Person Pantry: 20 Essentials for Single Cooking

When I posted my love letter to cooking for one, my friend Misty asked an intriguing question: What foods/staples do you keep in your pantry to be able to make a variety of meals? Misty is an amazing person and a great lady to have a meal with and I should have known that a thoughtful question from her would quickly outgrow the comments section of this blog, and I would need to make it a full post! It was a hard decision, but I’ve narrowed it down to twenty items that I like to keep around. This is my list—it caters to my tastes, meaning it lacks spices that you might use every day that … [Read more...]