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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 6 (7.14.14)
After that little sample shot of Highland whisky, we landed on a tray of shortbread samples and then went back for another sample shot. The Scottish are good good people.
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 5 (7.3.14)
Also, for any old movie fans out there: can you ever not call Digestives "Diggie biscuits" after watching Charles Boyer drive Ingrid Bergman to the brink of insanity in Gaslight? Me either.
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 4 (6.30.14)
Right along with the old-timey term "phosphorus" for a soda shop soda, Hydrox smacks of food invented in a sterile chemical-filled lab with people wearing clean suits. Which I guess it is. And which, to be fair, I guess ALL of these cookies are…
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 3 (6.26.14)
I think it is pretty obvious that whenever Girl Scout cookies are in the fray, they will dominate. That said, I still need to spout off on these two...
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 2 (6.23.14)
Oreo's and Fig Newtons and Peppermint Joe Joe's and SO MUCH MORE!
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 1 (6.19.14)
After five years of planning, we finally bring you the NCOOKIEAA!
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When You Invite Me Into Your Home: A Food Writer’s Pledge (12.21.13)
When you invite me into your home, I am not rolling my eyes at the consistency of your baked brie.
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NCrackerAA: Finals (12.09.13)
Ritz was left in the cracker dust; it's all about Triscuits, Wheat Thins, and Cheez-Its now.
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NCrackerAA: Semi-Final Round 3 (11.21.13)
Breton, Town House, rosemary Triscuits, Club, and Cheez-Its!
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NCrackerAA: Semi-Final Round 2 (11.14.13)
Saltines, oyster crackers, Cheese Nips, Triscuits original, Carr's Water Crackers. Anyone need a glass of water now?
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NCrackerAA: Semi-Final Round 1 (11.12.13)
Wheat Thins, Goldfish, Carr's Rosemary, Cheez-Its, Ritz!
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 5 (10.29.13)
4. Jingo's sound racist. I don't know why they sound racist, but I do know Paula Deen shouldn't buy them.
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 4 (10.25.13)
There's no way original Cheez-Its and Club Crackers don't easily take this round, but it's harder to predict what the third will be. Goldfish pretzel? Unnecessarily over-flavored Triscuits? Perhaps.
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 3 (10.21.13)
Triscuits are as essential to my eating life as breathing is to my life life.
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 2 (10.15.13)
Toast Chee sounds like something drunk, cockney chimney sweeps do at the local pub after almost breaking their necks on the rooftops of the gentry. This of course means I have to vote for it here and eat it later.
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 1 (10.10.13)
Revelations, y'all, that's what the NCrackerAA is all about. Revelations. "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Tam Tams, and crumbs followed with him."
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N Cracker AA: It's Coming. (In wax-wrapped sleeves.) (07.23.13)
Paula Deen, racial epithets and the N Cracker AA!
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It's a Mother's Body (07.12.13)
I don't want my old body back.
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Revenge of the Moms (05.12.13)
You know that episode of Deep Space Nine where Odo realizes he's a changeling and joins the Great Link that connects the consciousnesses of all other changelings? Becoming a parent is EXACTLY like that.
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A Day in the Life of Breast Feeding (05.02.13)
Latch.
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Preschooler Play in One Act (03.22.13)
"I don't understand what you want."
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Dear Steubenville Victim, You Matter (03.18.13)
...most of us don't even know your name, but I want you to know that you matter.
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Of Pompadours, Chamois Skin, and Jockey Club: Trying to Be Betsy Ray (03.03.13)
Just like any romantic girl in the 1980s who drowned her room in doilies and subscribed to Victoria magazine, I tried to find ways to be a girl from the 1900s.
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Why I Write for Free (02.28.13)
Unless they’re independently wealthy, I don’t believe anyone should work for free. However, I will admit that I have written for free. And I continue to do so somewhat compulsively.
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2nd Labor and Terrified (02.26.13)
It's not that anything major happened during my first labor. That is, not when I compare it to some of the stories my friends have where blood and placenta spattered the walls of the delivery room and an exorcist was summoned to haul off a doula run amok.
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Downton, Carson is waiting for you! (UPDATED WITH MUSIC) (02.17.13)
Don't hang around and let O'Brien confound you/There are Turkish bros, Downton/Maybe you know some little bedrooms to go/To where they shed their clothes, Downton

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Helicopter Parents Are Just Lazy (02.11.13)
It's far too easy for me to see how dressing my son, brushing his teeth, cleaning up his toys, can snowball into completing his science projects, writing his college essays for him, and haranguing his college professors if he's unhappy with his grades. Because it's just so much easier if I do it.
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Picky Eaters' Book Dinner at Woodwards Garden (02.08.13)
Mark your calendars, summon your appetites, and please join me on February 8th at Woodwards Garden in San Francisco for a Picky Eaters' book dinner at 6PM.
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The Belly of the Sky: Kids Make You Do the Darndest Things (01.23.13)
It's not that I don't understand and/or appreciate poetry -- I mean, I have favorite poems -- but I don't get all soulful and earnest and starry-eyed about it. In fact, before becoming a mom there wasn't much that got me soulful and earnest and starry-eyed.
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Pregnant Women Don't Waddle Because We're Fat (01.22.13)
We waddle because the head of a 6-10-pound baby is always pressing down on our pelvic bones, deliberately, constantly, persistently separating them like the slowest wishbone pull ever.
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Top Ten Most Romantic Tony, Phil, Emily, Carney, or Tacy Moments (01.11.13)
I was so into Betsy and Tony in "Heaven to Betsy" that when Tony fell for Bonnie's reforming schtick, like Betsy, I also wanted to crawl into my bed on the pretense of a busted ankle while I miseried out my stay of grief. I clearly still have Tony Markham issues.
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Come Book Clubbing with Suffering Succotash (01.11.13)
Invite me into your home and I will promise to put on makeup!
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Top Ten Most Romantic Betsy Ray-Joe Willard Moments (01.08.13)
I feel qualified to give you the top ten moments between Betsy Ray and Joe Willard that still manage to make my heart thump and get me to come over all swoon-y. What are yours?
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The Picky Eater Likes Marmalade (12.23.12)
There was something not-quite-right about marmalade. It was chunky and viscous in all the wrong ways, it had orange peel in it (peel -- the part you throw away!), and it was intentionally bitter...
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The Picky Eater's Guide to Surviving a Dinner Party (12.21.12)
Baked potato skins, paper napkins, urns, bookshelves, and math can all help a picky eater survive a holiday dinner party.
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Picky Eating Tricks: Of Beans and Bolognese (12.12.12)
This is one of those picky eating tricks I've executed over the years to get me to like something I didn't like: combine disliked food with loved components/ingredients.
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Where'd You Go, Bernadette?: A Book Review (12.08.12)
For me, there are very few books that, when I finish them, fill me with the same level of exhilaration I get when I bang out some good writing. This is one of those books.
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Cooking Up Refinement with Jacques Pépin’s New Complete Techniques (12.06.12)
Between my creamy scrambled eggs with their sublimely small curd and pure consommé, tonight's dinner made me feel a bit like Lady Mary Crawley, eldest daughter of the Earl of Grantham.
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It's a Crayon Shame (11.19.12)
These crayon color names with their double-z implants are showy, vulgar, and unbefitting the proud Crayola tradition. They're stripper crayons among a box of ballroom dancers.
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Scrapping Cooking Time for Playtime (10.30.12)
That's when I realized that my obsession over perfect meals is encroaching on what little time we have together for play. (Even if his idea of me playing "with" him is for me to sit next to his train tracks while touching nothing.)
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The Nause-AA: Final Showdown (09.25.12)
Organ meats/offal take on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day's worst enemy outside of kissing on TV.
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The Nause-AA: The Final Foarrff (09.20.12)
This is it, you guys: organ meats/offal against raw oysters and fake cherry flavoring against Lima beans.
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The Nause-AA: The Elite Hate (09.13.12)
I can't believe okra's still in it and bananas aren't. HAVE YOU TASTED BANANAS?
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The Nause-AA: The Sweet Sick-steen (09.04.12)
In the last round, raisins were determined to be less gross than eggplant. I weep for a raisin-filled humanity.
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The Nause-AA: Round of Thirty-Ew, Flight Puke (08.27.12)
Raisins, eggplant, fake cherry flavoring, squash, beets, okra, prunes, turnips/rutabagas, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, string beans, succotash, peas, chard, asparagus, and Lima beans are all still being hated here!
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The Nause-AA: Round of Thirty-Ew, Flight Ugh (08.24.12)
Cilantro, veal, licorice/anise, mussels, bologna/olive loaf, organ meats/offal, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, blue cheese, creamed vegetables, tarrgon, clams, crab, raw oysters, egg whites, and mayo-based salads are all still in it!
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How to Handle a Bad Review (08.20.12)
20 steps
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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Hurl (08.20.12)
Zucchini, avocado, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, string beans, broccoli, kale, succotash, melon, peas, chard, olives, asparagus, spinach, celery, and Lima beans.
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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Spew (08.17.12)
Raisins (DIE DIE DIE!), tomatoes, cooked carrots, eggplant, fake cherry flavoring, banana, squash, mushrooms, dates/figs, beets, okra, cauliflower, prunes, sweet potatoes, turnips/rutabegas, onions.
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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Upchuck (08.16.12)
Blue cheese, chocolate, yogurt, creamed vegetables, finned seafood, tarragon, clams, puddings (rice, tapioca, etc.), crab, Parmesan, raw oysters, oatmeal/grits/hot cereal, goat cheese, egg whites, mayo-based salads, milk.
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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Barf (08.15.12)
Cilantro, garlic, veal, coleslaw, scallops, licorice, mussels, coconut, lobster, bologna/olive loaf, organ meats, tofu, cottage cheese, egg yolk, mayonnaise, and parsley.
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Julia Child Got Me Pregnant (08.15.12)
Maybe it was the moon, maybe it was Andronico's perfect steak, or maybe it was Julia's magic marinade, but no other recipe has ever been so delicious or so life-changing.
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The Nause-AA: The Battle for the Most Hated Food Ever (08.14.12)
We're going to pit the most hated foods against one another and see which earns the Bunkler Snacketology title of "Worst Food Ever."
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Ugly, Dangerous Meats (08.07.12)
Those are the only kinds of meat Lora will eat. (And bacon.)
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God Food is Not Good Food (07.31.12)
There were some books containing foods that made me extremely happy I didn't live in their stories. Like, the Bible. I mean, what really was that manna stuff that kept Moses and the Chosen alive in the wilderness?
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Taping "Good Food" with Evan Kleiman (07.25.12)
If ever a person had a voice for radio, it's Evan Kleiman, who, no matter what the topic, sounds like she's always on the verge of laughter.
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RIPE Up My Alley (07.13.12)
When I finally secured my copy of this gorgeously heavy cookbook (RIPE is in its FIFTH printing, people!), I knew it would be a struggle to say something unique about it -- something that hasn't already been said elsewhere. Here goes: I like this book when it's closed. No, seriously, check out this view...
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A Few Weeks of SUFFERING (07.09.12)
I have my first SUFFERING SUCCOTASH reading in San Francisco. Tonight, I'll be at Omnivore Books at 6:00 PM, and tomorrow I'll be at Book Passage in the Ferry Building at 6:00 PM. Come bring your picky unto me.
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How to Celebrate Your Pub Date (07.03.12)
Today, the OnTrac guy will deliver my book. The copy I ordered myself, because while I do have about 60 author copies sitting in stacks around the house, I just wanted the experience of ordering my book and having it delivered to me on The Day.
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Best mashed potato recipe ever. Thank you, Nora Ephron (6.27.12)
A mashed potato tribute.
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SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: Events and Signings (6.10.12)
Bring me your picky, your proud, your fussy-eating selves longing to eat raisin-free!
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Taking it Bird by Bird (5.24.12)
"Bird by bird" is something writers say to other writers.
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Trainspotting (5.17.12)
With a toddler in tow, the mundane becomes utterly fascinating.
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A Twitter Toddler Play in 5 1/2 Minutes (05.15.12)
Bug reaches a major toddler milestone.
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My Mother, the Witch (05.13.12)
The Mom Power is the reason why when, at our most vulnerable or sick, we still want our mothers.
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Bully For You (05.10.12)
Personally, I think there's something really wrong with you if you can't remember when you bullied someone. At minimum, it makes you a liar.
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Gluten-Free Isn't For Me (5.9.12)
But as a matter of fact, in an admittedly twisted way, it's the parents who have been living with the allergies all this time that are the lucky ones. (If you overlook that "could die from exposure" side of things, of course.)
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The Art of Brown Sugar Biscuit Dispensery (4.29.12)
There's an art to dispensing brown sugar biscuits from Mayfield Bakery.
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Jacques Pepin Talks Picky Eating, Foie Gras, and Paula Deen (4.26.12)
Claudine was used to all those fancy restaurants by the time she was six or seven, and on one visit, Jacques -- imitating Claudine's long-suffering tones -- says she asked, "Can we go to Burger King?"
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A Chocolate Pie Fit for a Queen (4.21.12)
It doesn't matter if the Queen ever takes one bite of the family chocolate pie, it just matters that she could if she wanted to. And that Mom now has the letter to prove it.
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Someone Else's Kids (2.13.12)
I don't want to parent someone else's kids. It's hard enough parenting my own.
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SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: Press (6.10.12)
Bring me your picky, your proud, your fussy-eating selves longing to eat raisin-free!
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Author! Author? (1.27.12)
Overthinking at what precise point in the process a writer becomes an author.
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We Wish You a Merry Cheesemas (12.14.11)
Sing along with some oldies but stinkies: O, Come All Ye Mongers, God Rest Ye Merry, Cheesemonger, Silent Cheese, Here We Come A-Mongering, and Oh, Christmas Cheese, Oh Christmas Cheese.
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The New Butter Soup: English Cheddar Chowder (12.11.11)
...to save up the required amount of butter would have necessitated protracted butter hoarding in my Corey Haim and Alexander Winter-papered closet. I shudder to think how THAT would have ended.
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Blurb Your Enthusiasm (12.07.11)
Obviously, we all like to be validated, but having to ask for it so nakedly and then give a deadline by which that validation needs to be delivered feels embarrassing, needy, desperate, and presumptuous.
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A Big Stack of Book: Suffering Succotash (12.01.11)
Every writer needs this beauty shot. The printed-out hard copy of the manuscript means you can pull out your kitchen scale and say, "18 months of blood weighs 2 pounds, 11 ounces."
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Page Fright (10.17.11)
I was keyed up and irritable and completely convinced that I could make everything work if I just TRIED HARDER AND LONGER. I was also pretty convinced I could make everything work if I just THREW MY LAPTOP OUT THE WINDOW.
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Eat Dirt (10.05.11)
I once made a pan of dirt-laced brownies. On purpose. Because I had a crush.
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Camp Picky Eating, Part II (08.08.11)
Like, you know that it's SUPPOSED meatloaf, which is happy, because you LIKE meatloaf, but you also know it's NOT SUPPOSED to be riddled with big-ass chunks of carrot and be weeping some sort of cloudy liquid on the plate. Also, "weeping" reminds you of something that happens to wounds, which means you are now comparing the suspiciously cloudy liquid on the plate to pus and that's just not good for anyone involved.
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Clogged Memory (08.01.11)
Ooooh, but I can taste the memory of how badly I wanted them! My babysitters had them and the KISS-loving teenagers across the street had them, which just PROVED how COOL they were.
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Camp Picky Eating (07.19.11)
I knew there would be scores of fashionable teen girls in their jewel-toned Patagonia pullovers and their classic and preppy Timberland boots with bright red laces. And then there'd be me -- tromping around in my dork boots.
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The NC Double Shot: Last Call (06.30.11)
Margarita vs. Gin and Tonic
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The NC Double Shot: The Final Pour (06.20.11)
It's Cape Cod vs. Gin and Tonics and Margarita vs. Sangria. What will be your pour?
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The NC Double Shot: E-lit Eight (06.14.11)
Mimosas must die.
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Hunca Munca (06.13.11)
It wasn't supposed to happen this way.
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The NC Double Shot: The Sweet Hic!steen (06.06.11)
I don't like either drink and never order them. Both too sweet, both rather boring. Tough one to call winner-wise as well, but my bet is that S&TC backlash plus memories of illicit boozing in wood-paneled basements with boys named Thad gives rum-and-cokes the victory.
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The NC Double Shot Round of 32, Flight 2 (05.31.11)
Is this where the Martini meets its waterloo? Can the alcohol-free Shirley Temple hold on for another round? What drink makes Bunting want to read Hemingway? These answers and more in this round of the N C Double Shot!
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The NC Double Shot Round of 32, Flight 1 (05.27.11)
Bloody Mary vs. Black/White Russians; Cape Cod vs. Amaretto Sour; Bellini vs. Bacardi Cocktail/Rum Punch; Champagne Cocktail vs. X] and Soda / Wine Spritzer...and much more as the NC Double Shot continues.
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The NC Double Shot Round of 64, Flight 4: Pl-Z (05.23.11)
Sex on the Beach, James Bond's Vesper martini, and childhood memories of Kiddie Cocktails at the Waikiki Room in Minneapolis and Chi Psi's whisky-sour Wednesdays.
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The NC Double Shot Round of 64, Flight 3: I-Pi (5.20.11)
Today, we have some Lemon Drop confessionals and underage drinking from Bunting, as well as my promise to every one of you that if Pimm's doesn't make it through this round, I will hunt you down and make you drink expired eggnog.
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The NC Double Shot Round of 64, Flight 2: Co-H (05.18.11)
Some of my favorite drinks are featured this round: French 75, gin and tonics, Dark and Stormys, Gimlets and Greyhounds. Thirsty? Read on and vote!
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The NC Double Shot Round of 64, Flight 1: A-Ch (5.16.2011)
Bloody Marys, Americanos, Caipirinhas, and Russians of various colors in today's cocktail stare-down face-off.
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Inchworm Season (05.10.11)
At home, the Dixie cups were placed next to our beds. Because, you know, they were our pet inchworms.
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Hunca Munca (05.02.11)
He's so unflinchingly friendly with everyone who walks in the door we used to joke that if we were ever burgled, Hunc would greet the burglars, his trotting gait and tail saying, "Welcome to my house! Let me show you my butt!"
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N C Double Shot: Qualifying Round A-F (04.26.11)
Cheers! Chin chin! Prost! Slainte! Drink up, me hearties, yo HO! It's the N C Double Shot!
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A Stitch in Time (4.20.11)
But before we could hunt for eggs, we had to get through church. And in order to get through church, we had to get dressed in our Easter dresses. And on our first Easter in Minnesota, we discovered that Grandma Clemmons had requisitioned all the eyelet in the state of Washington for our multi-layered dresses and matching parasols.
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This is the kind of sickness (03.20.11)
Sick, pathetic, and assuming death will be arriving any moment.
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Bear vs. Cow (03.13.11)
When I decided I wanted a baby, I expected a lot of things. I expected the dirty diapers, the sleepless nights, the finding of food in places I never expected. I never thought I would find myself debating the pros and cons of stuffed animals on a Sunday night.
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Won't You Be My Nemesis? (3.14.11)
Because she could be the nicest person in the world now, she could have found the cure to cancer, or she could have saved ALL the whales, but every time I saw her I'd be thinking, "You pulled my hair in Mrs. Carmody's third grade class."
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N Candy AA II: Fruit to the Death (11.23.10)
Nerds vs. Starburst. That's right.
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N Candy AA: The Final Four (11.18.10)
And then there were four: Starburst vs. Reese's Pieces; Nerds vs. Smarties/SweeTarts.
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N Candy AA II: The Sweetmeat Eight (11.11.10)
Sugar Daddy vs. Nerds; Saltwater taffy vs. Smarties; Skittles vs. Reese's Pieces; Kraft caramels vs. Starburst.
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N Candy AA II: Sweet Sixteen (11.08.10)
Peeps should have crushed Now & Laters, but didn't, and as much as people (myself included) love them, saltwater taffy seems to figure into far more nostalgic summer memories. I know it brings me right back to the summer of '81. Grandma and I got a peppermint piece to stretch the whole width of the living room in Stone Harbor. Good times.
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N Candy AA II: Round of 32, Flight 2 (11.02.10)
Other kids' addiction-level love of Gummi Bears is one of those things, like thinking Kirk Cameron was cute, that I just never got. I understood that it was a default sort of opinion, but I didn't share it. Gummi bears taste faintly sour to me, and the clear ones in particular have a vurpy flavor whose appeal is a mystery.
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N Candy AA II: Round of 32, Flight 1 (11.01.10)
The most annoying thing about Pixy Stix is how wet the paper tubing gets during consumption, which makes the flavored Pixy dust stick to the edges of the torn-off paper. Even when you take careful steps to keep the tube from touching any part of your mouth, it still gets damp from your exhalations. So what do you do? You chase the dry spot by frenetically tearing off more and more Pixy Stix tubing, only to find that your saliva has travelled by capillary action all the way down the tube.
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Coffee, Tea, or Blood?: Vamp Up Your Drink (10.26.10)
I should note that since my primary source was published about 16 years ago, I have no idea if this guy is still living (or still living-dead, as it were), so if this concoction makes you vomit, don't blame me.
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Beyond Garlic: Vampire Preventatives from Your Pantry (10.22.10)
If you're not a fan of the über hickey, make sure you have vampire blood, garlic, salt, lard, and various seeds on your shopping list. Why? Read on, my friend. Read on.
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N Candy AA II: Round of 64, Flight 4 (10.21.10)
If we could rank things higher than 1, I would have ranked candy corn there. It is so good; it is so perfectly chewy. It has a hint of creamsicle to it, and you know how I feel about those. Laffy Taffy, meanwhile, is stupidly named and tastes like dirty Tupperware regardless of the flavor (except, strangely, for the banana kind, which can usually be counted on to be the most revolting of any given candy style). --Bunting
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N Candy AA: Round of 64, Flight 3 (10.20.10)
One of my most cherished memories is finding the classic Life Savers storybook in my wooden shoe on Christmas morning. SO MANY ROLLS! SO MANY FLAVORS! If I recall, we got two rolls of regular rainbow Life Savers, two rolls of peppermint, two of wintergreen, and one each of butterscotch and wild cherry. They would last for DAYS!
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N Candy AA II: Round of 64, Flight 2 (10.19.10)
More than their flavors, I think I loved the wrapper patterns most of all. Also, DumDums were the only lollipops small enough to allow you to pull off a believable Kojak. DumDums will push on through, because who loves you, baby?
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N Candy AA II: Round of 64, Flight 1 (10.18.10)
The creepy mail-order-bride branding is problematic (and the Slo-Poke looks like baby poo on a stick -- and is named "Slo-Poke," hew), but if you like your Milk Duds sans chocolate coating, the Sugar Baby fills a necessary hole. (Hew.) We may have ranked the rhyming candy too high; it won't win.
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Ten Years of Laughter (10.07.10)
Abruptly, the friend stopped talking and looked at me very intently. "I mean, you live with the guy," he said, "Does he make you laugh every day?"
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Of Posters and Editors: What I Miss About Television Without Pity (05.10.10)
Naturally, watching William Shatner gorge himself on scenery while totally rocking a man-girdle under his spangled uniform provided much meat for online discussion.
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Television Without Pity: 9 Years, 13 Shows (05.08.10)
I had tasted of the nectar of recapping, and it was too sweet to do without, so in order to make sure my editors remembered I was sitting around waiting for more bad TV to come my way, I bugged them with pitches and took anything they offered.
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Television Without Pity Sucks Dot Com (05.03.10)
Just remember, these types are nothing better than schoolyard bullies, and they're never going to stop or go away. And why? Because people are always going to be that screwed up, mean, and just really ugly. It's a sad way to live, honestly, and -- trite as it might sound -- I actually do feel sorry for them. Does that sound condescending? I sure hope so. But that doesn't negate my pity.
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N Candy AA: The Championship Round (05.02.10)
I like Twix a lot, but there has been no stopping this peanut butter-chocolate juggernaut who secrets delicious powers in the sharp ridges of its cupcake papered sides.
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Recapping for Television Without Pity Turned Me Into a Writer (04.27.10)
One of my editors once told me that we wrote our recaps more for one another than for anyone else. She was right. Including my editors, who also recapped, I've never known a group of writers I admired more. For me, getting their snort of approval was a major achievement.
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N Candy AA: Final Four (04.26.10)
It was a weird year for the basketball NCAA, so maybe it stands to reason that this is not the Final Four Bunting or I would have ever imagined.
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N Candy AA: The Choco-lite Eight (04.20.10)
I will listen to my mother-in-law and call this for Snickers. When all Israel heard the verdict the Keckler had given, they held the Keckler in awe, because they saw that she had wisdom from Willie Wonka to administer nougat.
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N Candy AA: Sweet Sixteen (04.15.10)
1 Butterfinger vs. 5 Cadbury Crème Eggs; 14 After Eights vs. 2 fudge; 1 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup vs. 5 See's/Whitman's Sampler; 3 Peanut M&Ms vs. 2 Snickers; 8 Caramello/Caramilk vs. 5 M&Ms; 6 Kit Kat vs. 2 100 Grand; 1 Milky Way vs. 5 Twix; 3 Three Musketeers vs. 15 Lindt/Lindor
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N Candy AA: Round of 32, Flight 2 (04.07.10)
In this round, Rolo takes on Euro upstarts Lindt/Lindor, and it's a battle of the classics between Milky Way and Hershey Kiss. For some reason Whoppers/Malteasers are still in the running, but probably won't last for long against Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. Get out there and vote, people!
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Elementary, My Dear Blogger: Has Remake-Happy PBS Run Out of Ideas? (04.06.10)
I'm sorry, Watson will BLOG?! I really hope what they mean is that the Masterpiece site will host a blog that is "taken from the pages" of Watson's diary. You know, they'd parchment and quill it up with a few scatters of ink blots to give it that stamp of computer generated authenticity.
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N Candy AA: Round of 32, Flight 1 (04.04.10)
I may have just been a kid, but I was a picky kid and I hated eggs, so I wondered who in their right mind would want to eat a candy that looked like a raw egg with all its stuff spilling out. (Hey, kids are susceptible. The whole "ants on a log" snacktastrophe may actually be why I hate raisins to this day.)
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N Candy AA: Round of 64, Flight 4 (03.24.10)
And now for the last flight in the round of 64. We've got some heavy hitters here with Heath and Three Musketeers, and also some entrants I'd love to see melt away into chocolate smears. (Looking at you Sno-Caps and Whoppers.)
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N Candy AA: Round of 64, Flight 3 (03.24.10)
I went through a short-lived Nutrageous phase when I was working as a half-starved Houghton-Mifflin editorial assistant in Boston, but now I find them too much of a good thing. Way too rich, way too peanut buttery. They're Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on steroids. They're the Barry Bonds of the candy world, all juiced up with unnecessary bumps and fillings.
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N Candy AA: Round of 64, Flight 2 (03.23.10)
Over the past ten years, I've come to accept (even love) many foods, but raisins are not one of them. Raisins are disgusting little bits of wizened chewiness that came into being only because some Friar Tuck was too drunk to remember to pick all the grapes.
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N Candy AA: Round of 64, Flight 1 (03.22.10)
This weekend, we OD'd on candy in order to bring you a thoroughly well-researched candy bracket. You and our respective dentists can thank us later. (By the way? Having Charleston Chew and coffee for breakfast is the best way to get the Chew out of your teeth. Something to think about.)
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N Candy AA: Mars Madness (03.19.10)
You got decided opinions about the heavenly delights found in a Whatchamacalit bar? Or how Sno Caps are nothing more than chocolate chips with a bad case of dandruff? Well, we want to hear about it and you need to vote on it.
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We Trusted You, Toyota (03.09.2010)
Yes, this is an entirely emotional response to the recent news. Funny thing, I tend to get that way when I worry about DYING.
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Thank You, Rose Gray and The River Cafe (03.03.10)
...but none of them will ever measure up to that honeymoon lunch at The River Cafe. That lunch caught me at a time when I was just waking up to how good food could be. It will always headline my "Best Meals of My Life" list.
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Ron FREAKING Swanson's Deviled Eggs (03.02.10)
I didn't start paying rapt attention to Ron Swanson's gastronomic leanings until he made a bizarre deviled egg request in "Leslie's House." After that, I simply had to go back and catalog the best Ron Swanson food moments. (Oh, and develop a deviled egg recipe dedicated to and inspired by Ron FREAKING Swanson's love for breakfast foods and deviled eggs. YOU'RE WELCOME.)
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Getting Baked (02.26.10)
Bake sales secretly scare me, quite frankly. Sitcoms are always showing put-upon moms being told at 9PM at night that little Hubert signed her up to bake 12 dozen cupcakes -- frosted in the school colors, of course -- for the next morning's bake sale.
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The Poetry of Dad (2.15.10)
This September 11, my parents will have been married 45 years, and my dad is still writing poems to my mom. (Sure, they're poems about RVs but still! Poems!)
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My First Recipe (12.21.09)
I hated it all the more because my parents and my older sister were never put through its monkey tail paces. Oh no, D'Nealian was some new-fangled hippie handwriting philosophy saved only for me. I even hated the NAME "D'Nealian," because it kinda sounded foreign and exotic but it wasn't. It was just some totally made-up name constructed from the inventor's first name, "Donald," and his middle name, "Neal."
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More Grateful Still (12.20.09)
My parents always said stuff like, "the family" and "that everyone's healthy." We'd roll our eyes at "family" because it just seemed so dorky and over emotional. It also seemed to go without saying. Like, of COURSE we were grateful for family, so why bother mentioning it?
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Minestrone and Memories (12.17.09)
I don't remember the year, but I remember the month. It was Valentine's Day and a bunch of us were protesting not being asked to a Valentine's Dance by certain boys by having a huge girls gathering. We were all at Suzanne's house where her parents humored us by giving us the dining room and letting us eat off the fancy china.
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These Aren't My Mother's Cookie Cutters (12.09.09)
I considered dinner but couldn't see anything in my mess of a fridge, not even daylight. I read the recipe again. I cleaned out my fridge, after which I completely lost my appetite for any dinner. Finally, I went to the store. I got eggs, butter, and after checking the pantry, sugar.
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Analysis of a Mix Tape (11.30.09)
All the tracks are transcribed in a different pastel color from a rotating click pen I had. We've got lavender, electric blue, fuchsia, and neon green going on in true high school girl fashion. The mix begins with Chicago's "You're the Inspiration," and ends with "Wonderful Tonight."
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'Burb Burps: Howie's Artisan Pizza (11.28.09)
A pizza place that doesn't understand the importance of a sublime red sauce is as pointless as one that doesn't understand the vital importance of a good crust. Howie's understands both these points.
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Songs and Miscellany (11.20.09)
Being a parent has suddenly turned me into the lamest songwriter ever. Don't believe me? Read on.
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Thanks (10.4.09)
Now that I've had just over three and a half months to calm down, slow down, get some sleep, get my head on straight, and even get a little work done, it's time for overdue thanks.
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Vanessa (09.16.09)
Vanessa is really quite normal. I mean, there are times when she says things to me like, "But she was humming and hawing over it, so I just let it drop," and "And you know, once he did that, it was, like, just rubbing salt in the womb, you know?" which make me wonder if we really should have put a helmet on her when the whole rocking thing started, but, as of today, she's made it to 28 years relatively intact.
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Mildred Pierce: Remake Heaven or Hell? (08.26.09)
Seriously? Is there anyone who likes a remake? Look, I'll admit that ever since I was a child with braids and an anxious expression, I have been extremely resistant to change, but I could count on one hand the remakes that I've actually liked: The Office, Battlestar Galactica, and...I'm out.
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Foodie Movie: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (08.17.09)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs -- a movie based on the children's book of the same name by Judi and Ron Barrett -- might very well be the next Ratatouille for mini foodies and their parents.
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Toot Toot Tootsie, Hello! (07.07.09)
Thank god for crappy hospital food.
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EPICurean FAIL: The Great American Food and Music Festival, Part II (06.24.09)
Speaking of that Zingerman's line, when I got back with our S'Mores, Rachel had moved two inches. I explained that the Charles Chocolates people had a computer meltdown and could take only cash. I suggested I finish my S'More, which was AWESOME, and then go suss out where to get the money back from my wristband. See, at this point, we were pretty certain we'd simply get our our BLTs and quit the joint. Oh, what naïveté.
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EPICurean FAIL: The Great American Food and Music Festival (06.15.09)
The more things went wrong, the more we giggled.
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Other Fat Chicks Like Me (06.08.09)
Aside the fact that you're walking around as a two people for 9-10 months and that you probably have family and a partner involved, pregnancy can still get lonely.
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Things We Learn in Birth Class IV (06.06.09)
I wish I could believe that something like hypnobirthing would really work for me -- I'm not totally sure what hypnobirthing is, but I think it has something to do with clucking like a chicken through your labor pain -- but I'm too much of a cynic.
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And Baby Makes Five (06.01.09)
You know what I really want people to stop doing? Stop telling me I'm going to care less about my cats after the baby is here. No, no. Just stop it. Take your hand off the computer, discard the "instructional" or "helpful" email you're about to send. Close your mouth.
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Things We Learn in Birth Class III (05.28.09)
B. You get a intimate look at other people's relationships, and it's not always pretty.
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Pregnant Pause: The Chronicles of Nausea (05.27.09)
By nature, I'm a fairly nauseous person. That is, I'm easily nauseated -- cars, cabs, planes, naval gazing, American Idol -- will all do it do me. I've been this way for awhile and so learned early on in life that Dramamine was my friend, my confident, my constant companion.
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Pregnant Pause: Gin and Tonic (05.18.09)
I decided to start my mocktail quest off with that simplest of drinks, the gin and tonic. With multiple nuances brought on by using different gins, it's probably my favorite cocktail -- biting, tart, and tinged with bitterness, it reminds me of myself on my best days.
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Pregnant Pause: Digesting Junk Food and Unwanted Opinions (05.05.09)
These same articles also tell me that I don't want chocolate because the baby is telling me to eat healthy food. So, then I gotta ask: what is said baby is trying to tell me when I crave McDonald's cheeseburgers, Safeway doughnuts, and root beer?
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Pregnancy in a Time of Swine Flu (05.01.09)
A note on our Safeway brand of anti-bacterial gel: it smells exactly like my homemade limoncello, which is sending me very mixed signals.
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Pregnant Pause: Last Ditch Dines (04.29.09)
Realistically, I don't know how many we'll get to but it's always good to have goals, especially ones as tasty as these, so here you go, 12 Bay Area restaurants we want to hit before our late-June due date.
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Things We Learn in Birth Class II (04.27.09)
We are too immature for birth class.
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Pregnant Pause: Pink Grapefruit Perrier (04.26.09)
Crushing on grapefruit Perrier in the worst way. It's the the ideal antidote to hauling 20 extra pounds around in 102° heat.
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Recipe: Lentil Salad (04.24.09)
While I do like cooking up dried lentils for soups and other things, this salad hinges on the pre-steamed lentils from Trader Joe's, so if you can't get behind that, you will never understand the genius of this salad.
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Reader, I Took a Bath (04.22.09)
The day it hit 102° on the Peninsula in April was the day I did something I haven't been able to do in 6 months of pregnancy: I took a bath.
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Things We Learn in Infant Safety Class (04.21.09)
We're both pretty sure our parents had none of the child-proofing devices that were being passed around the classroom.
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Organ Grinder (04.17.09)
Since this is mainly a food blog that will occasionally morph into a pregnancy blog these days, you might all be waiting breathlessly for my placenta plans.
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Things We Learn in Birth Class (04.15.09)
Dr. Mathra's face will be the new miracle drug. Apparently.
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Shake, Rattle, and Roll (03.03.09)
Sometimes I'm not even just feeling it from the inside, either. If my hand happens to be on my belly at the time, I'll actually feel a brief push out, and that really freaks me out. Because the movements are coming from inside the house!
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What Kind of Berry Reads Books? (03.24.09)
When I buy a book, I feel compelled to finish it no matter how sick I am of the writer whining for page after page that her mother is to blame for her weight, her sexual predilections, and why she can't wash the dishes.
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7 Days of Mariquita Madness (03.11.09)
In a rash experiment, I picked up my Mariquita Mystery Box last Thursday, knowing full well that I was going out of a town exactly one week later.
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Walking Pregnant (02.24.09)
It's pretty much a waddle, and I've been noticing that I'm doing it more and more these days. I'm not trying to do it, so when I first noticed I was doing it, I wondered if it was like the hand-on-belly thing -- sort of an unintentional signal to the world that I was pregnant.
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This Freelancing Life: Vampires and Sucking the Marrow Out of Life (02.23.09)
2. "If the vampire's left sock is in one's possession, the sock can be filled with rocks and earth from the vampire's grave and tossed into running water. The vampire will wander off in search of its sock and accidentally drown itself."
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Pedican't (02.22.09)
It's not that I'm not girly. I am. I curl my hair, I wear makeup -- even on my eyes -- I slather all manner of creams and masques on my face, and I have been known to get the occasional facial.
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Pregnant Pause: Stop Yer Wine-ing! (02.19.09)
If you drank a glass of actual wine, then swirled water around in the same glass to catch all the dregs, and then drank that water, you'd have a very good idea of what Ariel CaberNOT Fauxvignon tastes like.
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Pregnant Pause: Faking It (02.16.09)
"...but I think you'd much rather read stuff like this instead of cooings about the purple unicorniness of pregnancy and how gestating is like sitting on a cloud of cotton candy."
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The Coffin Crib (02.13.09)
Another crib from the "Nightlight Gallery."
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Crib of DOOM! (02.12.09)
I'm not sure what this says about me or my psychological issues, but this crib absolutely terrifies me. Like, to a nightmarish degree.
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More Mariquita Farms Mystery Box Magnificence (02.11.09)
You go to a local restaurant for that week's drop-off, you pay $25, and you bring home a huge box overflowing with a variety of farm-fresh produce. Simple as that.
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Wee Announcement (01.26.09)
Then I had to consider how I wrote "I'm pregnant" to friends. For some, it was "I'm pregnant!" and for others it was "I'm pregnant." I don't know why I felt like using the exclamation point for certain people and not others. Maybe because an exclamation point can feel like an command. Something that says, "I'm excited and I ORDER you to be excited for me!"
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Venissimo Gives Meaning to "Save Your Receipt" (1.22.09)
(First of all, can we have a little side conversation of how flippin' awesome it is to receive receipts in the mail that might be "of interest"? It's like our food geekery knows no bounds!)
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Barack Obama and the Half-Smoke (1.14.09)
Wasn't I just talking about how obsessed we all are with every little move Obama makes, including where and what he eats?
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Check, Please! Barack Obama (01.06.09)
Hm, I wonder if Howard Kurtz and other scrappy pundits will haul various food experts on their shows to chew over just what Obama's Check, Please! restaurant means to us as a nation and an American people. If so, it will be Alton Brown's chance to finally become a pundit.
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Reset Your Body with Lentil Soup (12.31.08)
After the holidays' repeated culinary excesses, my mouth, stomach, and soul are all screeching for something quite simple and healthful. This lentil soup always fits the bill.
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Snow Bunnies (12.26.08)
Jennie and I would start by playing King of the Hill. We'd struggle on the slippery snow mounds, try knock each other into the snowy street and sidewalk, and then claim sides where we would build our fortresses complete with parapets, balconies, and turrets.
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The Real Minnesotan (12.23.08)
Sure, driving to school in a car that a. never heated up until we reached the parking lot; and b. fishtailed every time I took a corner was a pain in the ass. But I did it. I could and can do it! I walked to school uphill both ways naked and in bare feet and I lived to brag about it!
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Christmas Movie Sob-Fest Menu (12.22.08)
How to find the best Bay Area meatloaf and mashed potatoes and Peking duck to pair with A Christmas Story and classic liverwurst sandwiches, Vermont cheddar, and hot buttered rum for White Christmas.
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Advent-ures in Chocolate (12.16.08)
If we live in an era of artisanal cheese, specialized olive oil, rare vinegar, and DIY flour, quality Advent calendar chocolate MUST exist, right? Eh. Sort of.
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Well played, streaming players. (12.15.08)
TURN DOWN THE DAMN COMMERCIALS!
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I Can't Seem to Forget You... (12.12.08)
'Tis the season to buy perfume.
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Giving Thanks for Friends and Carrot Cake (12.01.08)
I am really not a carrot cake fan. Not at all. It's quite possible that hold a childish resentment against it for dressing up a vegetable as dessert (I tend to look at zucchini bread with the same jaundiced eye, truth be told), but more than that, I just never had a carrot cake I liked enough to make it myself or voluntarily choose it for dessert.
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Morning Becomes Suburbia (11.29.08)
Waking up in an entirely different place.
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A Proxy Thanksgiving (11.24.08)
Instead of answering the typical Turkey Day questions in my own kitchen and instead of ingesting pounds of tasty, seasonal, and cockle-warming victuals, I'll be unloading boxes and sneezing through thick reams of dust. Next year, I'll be back cooking in my upgraded kitchen; but this year, my DVD player will do the basting and carving.
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Moving Day 1: The Suburbs (11.22.08)
"What have we gotten ourselves into?"
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You've Got Ale (11.21.08)
Friends don't let friends live without Post Road Pumpkin Ale.
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Swing Your Partner to the Left! (11.11.08)
My parents were shocked (SHOCKED!) when Ms. Eckert -- she was one of those Mizzez who seemed to require the extra stress on the title -- told them at parent-teacher conferences that their daughter -- the one who fell down for no reason, ran into walls, and acquired multiple bruises in odd locations with no memory of how they got there but with suspicions that it was from walking into a coffee table or car fender -- was actually quite agile and coordinated on the dance floor.
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Lady in Red (11.10.08)
Over the summer, Catherine -- for whom I once designed a simple birthday cocktail to go along with her gift of St. Germain elderflower liqueur -- asked if I would shake up a special wedding cocktail. Her only request: it had to be red to match her dress.
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PrObama: Yes, We Can (11.4.08)
Are you ready?
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Caning in the Real Virginia (10.27.08)
...but the image of this Grampa Jones type striking out with his cane, like the kid is some street urchin hovering around 221 B Baker Street, and Grampa Jones in a carriage that would put Mr. Darcy's to shame is so ripe for late-night talk show jibes that if any of them fail to do something with it, well, then they just fail.
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Getting Surly in Minnesota (10.29.08)
Furious, CynicAle, Bitter Brewer, and Bender. Just add Grumpy, Sleepy, and Dopey and they could be the Seven Drunk Dwarfs of beerland.
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I Just Made Sweatshirt at Land's End! (10.16.08)
From pin to hat to sweatshirt -- I'm cleaning up on the NPS swag.
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The Great Potato Hunt (10.13.08)
My dad guest-blogs about being a locavore half a century before the word was a glint in the foodscape's eye.
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The Search for the Great Pumpkin Ale (10.12.08)
For the record, we've also tried: Cambridge Brewing Company's Great Pumpkin, Dogfish Head Punkin, Pumpkinhead Ale, and Smuttynose Pumpkin. None of them hold a candle to Post Road.
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My Name is Keckler (10.11.08)
How waiting for a television season to release belatedly on DVD has turned me into a Netflix hoarder.
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Getting Dirty at Land's End (10.09.08)
For 12 weeks now, I've been going out there to weed, plant, clear brush, mend fences (no, really!), and generally roll around in the mist-drifted mud.
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State of the Consternation (10.07.08)
So, yeah, I used to respect McCain. I was close to calling myself a "McCain Democrat." Now he just makes me sick.
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Crusty Shirt a la Mode (10.06.08)
Thoughts on pie, death, cheese, and how to wear them all at once.
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Obama-Biden: That's the Reason! (10.04.08)
Take a gander at this C-SPAN video (it's not boring!) if you want to see why exactly I fell for Joe Biden in 2004.
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Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way (09.30.08)
Laura told me that every morning working on this show was nothing less than a private cooking lesson with Jacques Pépin. She could not have been more right. Except, they weren't just cooking lessons, they were lifelong memories.
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Scenes from the St. Paul Farmers' Market (09.29.08)
Nestled among architecturally stunning buildings of downtown St. Paul and a few blocks away from the Mississippi, the Saturday farmers' market was decidedly populated with shoppers without being crowded by wheeled suitcases.
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N.C. Double Scoop: All Hail Mint Choc Chip (09.27.08)
Mint Chocolate Chip is the 2008 N.C. Double Scoop Champion!
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Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure: Success! (09.23.08)
Thank you everyone who supported us. Not only did you whip us into shape but you helped us raise a flock of money for breast cancer awareness. You also got me to the point where I'm going out on a run today in spite of the blisters garnered from last night's three-hour bowling session!
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Nosh the Vote! (09.22.08)
If you're undecided about which way to go in November, buy a 1/4 pound of each and let your tastebuds decide, because unlike the actual political parties, neither of these will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
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N.C. Double Scoop: Scooper Bowl (09.20.08)
It comes down to this: two classic flavors, battling it out for supreme licks. Vote.
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Izzy's Ice Cream: A Minnesota Fairy Tale (09.19.08)
A harrowing tale of trying to find Izzy's salted caramel ice cream in the Twin Cities where the 3rd time's the charm. Thank god for Minnesota nice.
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Komen Race for the Cure: Progress (09.17.08)
...Four more of our friends will also be walking to support the cause and after it's all over, we're going for a large brunch to celebrate. (Preferably outside so Sam and I don't put everyone off their feed.)
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N.C. Double Scoop: Frozen Four (09.17.08)
Cookie dough vs. mint chocolate chip. I have the same problem with cookie dough ice cream that I have with candy corn: I can't eat just one kernel, or just ten kernels, or just one heaping double handful. I eat it until it's gone, and then I feel...
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Fringe Notes (09.09.08)
It's sort of Flatliners meets Brannon Braga's D.O.A. Threshold but marries Luke's Empire Strikes Back arm, cheats on it with Miracles, and leaves it for Quantum Leap's selfless mission.
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N.C. Double Scoop: Icy Eight (09.08.08)
We're melting our way to the very end now, and the pressure finally got so great that Dr. Mathra and I had to run out to Andronico's at 10:15 PM to pick up a pint of Sticky Toffee Pudding and another of coffee. Believe it or not, I had managed to hold off all cravings until then.
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N.C. Double Scoop: Sweet Cream 16 (09.02.08)
We're really getting down to the nitty-gritty here with the classic trio of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, still pushing their way through. Personally, I'm going to be hitting refresh on the salted caramel/chocolate poll, hoping salted caramel can whip up a frozen miracle.
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Let's Go Fly a Kite! (09.01.08)
It was the picnic I had been looking forward to since I conceived it four weeks after Mark left for the summer. As soon as he got back, we'd go to the beach. Fog or shine, we'd go to the beach. We'd walk a long way down to the bluffs and away from the hoi polloi. We'd picnic on Mark's first taste of Boccalone and a bottle of very special French rosé we bought at Kermit Lynch six months ago. We'd gaze at the water and digest our food. Then we'd fly a kite. That was the carefully laid plan.
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Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (08.28.08)
Last week I signed up to do something I've never done before: run a 5k. And you know what? I hate running. Like, I really, really, HATE it! However, I'm not running (or walking, if the mind is willing, but the shins are weak) this race for pure pleasure or personal glory. I'm not running it to get a good time or a toned butt. I'm running it to raise awareness and money for breast cancer.
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N.C. Double Scoop Round of 32 (08.25.08)
Aaaaand we're back, baby! Boy, there sure were a lot of heartbreakers in that last round, weren't there? I would not have predicted a loss for AmeriCone Dream, and it ended even closer than I imagined. It's also clear that outside of restaurants, cookbooks, and Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco, the country's not yet ready to cuddle fringe flavors -- avocado, ginger, bacon, and olive oil -- to their breasts. (And we even cut out flavors like Parmigiano-Reggiano [totally exists] and balsamic strawberry before getting started.)
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This Freelancing Life: Comfort Me With Cats (08.20.08)
People who say that cats are disinterested and standoffish are idiots. One of my childhood cats, Nutsy, couldn't bear any family member being sad. Soon after someone started crying, they would get a visit from Nusty. He'd trot into the bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom and stare with green eyes out of a black face. "Don't cry," those eyes would say, "There's really no need, because I am here now."
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Farscape Recap: Out of Their Minds (08.18.08)
The one where they all play Invasion of the Body Snatchers and learn more than they ever needed to know about each others' bodily functions. Sadly, Zhaan misses all the fun while dallying with a pair of corrosive Jell-O-vomiting Skeksis.
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Minnesota Nice: The St. Paul Farmers' Market (08.18.09)
Living in the (comparatively) warm Bay Area has definitely softened my Midwestern hide and it's also babied my palate and kitchen. I'm excited about checking out and cooking the fruits and vegetables I would have despised in my callow youth and remembering, celebrating my sturdy roots.
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N.C. Double Scoop Round of 64: Flight 4 Write-Ups (08.17.08)
Hey! Bunting called me a "grandma"! Oh, fine. I guess I can be okay with liking the flavors of bacon, olive oil AND Butter Brickle without too much fear of suffering insta-osteoperosis. Criminy, with all this ice cream, my bones will be stronger than the Bionic Woman's.
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N.C. Double Scoop Round of 63: Flight 3 Write-Ups (08.16.08)
Hey, Stephen Colbert, where's your sense of national pride? Your duty to cone and country? Because Oregon Black Raspberry is thisclose to whipping AmeriCone Dream into a pile of melted ass cream! (I really didn't mean to make a diaper rash analogy. Sorry.)
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N.C. Double Scoop Round of 64: Flight 2 Write-Ups (08.15.08)

1 Cookies and cream vs. 16 spumoni. Okay, I admit it. I didn't know what spumoni was until Bunting put it out there for the commenters. And then I threw up in my mouth a little. Candied fruit doesn't belong in ice cream, it doesn't belong in fruitcake (which just doesn't belong period), and when it comes right down to it, I don't know where it belongs except NOT in MY mouth! Cookies and cream easily.
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N.C. Double Scoop Round of 64: Flight 1 Write-Ups (08.14.08)
Ladies and gentlemen, start your tongues! (What, that's not gross, you use your tongues to lick the ice cream all around for about an hour until it's compact and safe enough to tackle from above without fear of giving the sidewalk a sample.)
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The N.C. Double Scoop (08.13.08)
Hello, hello, hello, my vote-happy friends! Well, Bunting and I are back to bring you yet another dairy-based bracket that is sure to have you arguing and whining just as much as the last one did.
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This Freelancing Life: Calliope's Bitch (08.06.08)
Every time I sit down to an assignment, I'm completely convinced that this is the time when all words fail. This is the time when I realize that I'm a complete fraud who has somehow gotten by for nine years pretending to be a writer. I'm convinced that I will never write funny again. It spirals. And I really don't have proper appreciation for spirals because I have veritgo and they make me nauseous.
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Ginlati: A Land's End Cocktail (08.04.08)
It appears I can't escape food talk even when yanking out pernicious wild radish and avoiding tramping on (and killing) native plants at Land's End. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, because if we hadn't started talking about food, I wouldn't be able to present you with a new summer cocktail.
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This Freelancing Life: Japanese Graphic Novels (aka Manga) (07.30.08)
Gigs you never thought existed: rewriting Japanese culinary graphic novels and coming up with your own sound effects for slicing open a fish belly. (It's "slisssh," by the way.)
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No Tumor Jokes Here (07.28.08)
Bob Novak's Grey's Anatomy and hating on July.
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Love and Marriage, Cheese and Farscape (07.25.08)
Recapping, marital mimics, and rediscovering a stinky old favorite.
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Spinster Camp West (07.24.08)
12:30-5:00 AM: Get up repeatedly to check that door is triple locked. Consider the ramifications of leaving all kitchen knives on counter since one would have to pass by front door before reaching any defensive objects. Consider putting chef's knife in bedside table drawer but worry about temporary amnesia and subsequent self-slicing when rummaging around for Breathe-Right strips.
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Take My Starbucks, Please! (07.21.08)
If ANY Starbucks needs to close in SF, it's the one at Fulton and Masonic, and you may well ask why. No, it's not because of the sometimes-surly staff or the lack of outlets for the choke of freelancers wasting time at Fark and AICN. It's not even because of the "save the earth" flyers drifting in every time The 43 trundles by. Nope, it's because of the dumb-ass double-parkers.
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Psych-otic New Season (07.18.08)
The new Psych season premieres tonight and I am singing "Ebony and Ivory" while eating pineapple. (What? It's not racist -- click through and watch the fantabulistic promo. You know you want to.)
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Objects of Desire (07.17.08)
It has come to my attention that we in this household, we in this tiny apartment on Alamo Square Park, well, we have a pattern of forming oddly strong attachments to inanimate objects.
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On the Crab: Deadliest Catch (07.15.08)
This season has held us in particular thrall, and I'm not just talking about Phil hocking up a pulmonary embolism, either. A few months ago, we were in the practice of blaring CNN on 24-7. (Mostly because Mark kept insisting that each primary was, "The One -- The One that Will Decide It All." Yes, well, we got over that fairly quickly.) However, one night the crawl caught my eye, "Alaskan...fishing...vessel sinks...in...Bering...Sea...off...Dutch...Harbor."
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Summer Suds Shortlist (07.13.08)
Michelob has really gone overboard with their Ultra flavors, because Lime Cactus? Pomegranate Raspberry? TUSCAN ORANGE GRAPEFRUIT? Are these beers or wine coolers? Look, if you didn't want your mass-produced, skanky beer not to taste like mass-produced, skanky beer, here's a tip: stop making mass-produced, skanky beer!
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Ode to a Jog Bra (06.30.08)
Look, if you had one called the "Bounce Breaker," you'd sing about it too.
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Boston Bound (06.28.08)
Bringing the stretchy pants.
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On the Bubble with Golden Star Tea (06.23.08)
Having firmly established myself to you as a overly particular diner who goes around most nights with a purple mouth, I never thought I would find a non-alcoholic drink that would ever satisfy me. NON-ALCOHOLIC! Can you imagine?
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The Popsicle Hierarchy (06.16.08)
Orange was fine and inoffensive, but it was also the red-headed stepchild of the cherry-grape-orange box. It was the flavor left in the bottom of the box when all others had been consumed. It was also the flavor voted "most likely to piss you off if you got it by accident" by the Popsicle senior class.
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Southwest High School Class of '92 RAWKS! (06.11.08)
Without that person with the curled bob and feathered bangs who once wore elbow-length black gloves and pantyhose with the seam up the back to Homecoming, I wouldn't be who I am now.
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Bethenny Frankel: The Corpse Bride Rises Again (06.10.08)
Recently, the dressing room of the Wednesday taping of the Bravo A-List Awards beheld a scene straight out of The Women. Just replace Paulette Goddard's pearly whites with Bethenny Frankel's Jungle Red nails.
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Hello, Couch (06.05.08)
Gone are the musing days and working nights with my butt slung inches from the floor while my knees hew dangerously close to my ears. No longer will I stretch and strain my neck forward, stacking four pillows behind my lower back to summon up some semblance of a normal posture. Couch has eased my pain.
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Paraffin Wax? French Tips? Risotto Milanese? (06.03.08)
Do you think the PedEgg guy saw the cheese grater and thought, "Cheese? Feet!" Or did the CheeseEgg (not its real name) guy watch the happy old lady dumping her foot shavings in the trash can and think, "Wow, I'll bet that would work really well with cheese."
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Return of the Magi: The Star Wars Holiday Special (05.22.08)
The Empire giving everyone "a hard time"? Bobba Fett as a "small cartoon"? Bea Arthur as someone named Ackmena? Diahanne Carroll as a hologram called Wow? And Art Carney and Harvey Korman as well? Wait, are we sure this isn't just a Star Wars skit in The Carol Burnett Show?
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Hot (05.15.08)
I'm sitting in the dark of my apartment trying so hard not to move. Even the minor task of typing five fingers across a keyboard, is sending rivulets of sweat coursing down my torso. I'm thisclose to stripping off every last damp article here and now, except that I have to do laundry and I'm afraid that once I take my clothes off I won't be able to get them back on. (I'm also afraid that I'll forget I'm naked and just go about business as usual.)
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NCheeseAA Final: British Cheddar vs. Mozzarella (05.06.08)
Well, here we have it, folks: the final round of the 2008 NCheeseAA. It's a great day for a game here in the Cheese House, so get out there and choose the cheese of your choice. If you want to review the bracket to see how mozz and Brit Ched got to where they are today, pop on over to the bracket.
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NCheeseAA: The Final Four-mage (05.01.08)
Blog save our sumptuous Cheese/Long live our veiny Cheese/Blog save the Cheese!/Eat her victorious/Tasty and glorious/Long to slice over us/Blog save the Cheese!/O Ched, our Choice, you bet!/Retrieve thine coronet/And wear it proud/Unwrap thy sharpest wedge/Show all you have the edge/On thee our buds we pledge/And are not cowed!
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The Naming of Cats (04.26.08)
Back on speakerphone, I told them that an ex-boyfriend of mine made a habit of naming pets for cars, so I wouldn't agree to it. When my parents wondered why I got to have any say in the matter at all, I self-righteously reminded them how Dad cheated me out of naming Vanessa before she was born.
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NCheeseAA: Elite Grate (04.25.08)
Get out your boxes and your microplanes because after Mt. Tam and Cashel Blue made a stink in the last round, it is now time for the Elite Grate! We are drawing closer and closer to an American Cheesolution between British and Vermont Cheddar. Just don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes. (And no one else will get why that is funny because I am the biggest cheese nerd around.)
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NCheeseAA Quarterfinals: The Stank Sixteen (04.22.08)
Brie vs. Parmigiano-Reggiano. This is a bizarre match-up. One's a "lolling on the grass with grapes, a bottle of wine, a river, and shamisen" cheese, and the other is an ingredient. It's a vital, delicious ingredient, but when was the last time you planed off a dry wisp of Parm-Reg just because you were snackish?
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The Vander Weide Menagerie (04.20.08)
It turns out that Dad wasn't so interested in the biting Mr. Boots. It also turns out that his name was Mr. Mittens, prompting me to call him "Mr. Bittens" forever more. It further and finally turns out that while he bit my dad, he didn't bite Nessa when she got him out of his cage. "I don't think Dad knows how to get the cats out," she whispered to me.
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Fulminating on Fishberry Jam (04.16.08)
I think caviar requires you to be fancy on the inside and, aside from loving period dramas and escargot, I'm just not that kind of fancy.
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NCheeseAA Round of 32: Creamed Cheese City, Baby! (04.15.08)
(Seriously, were's Dick Vitale when you need him?) Well, after an intensely sweaty round last week, we've cut the cheese (heh) contenders to 32 and these are some pretty tough match-ups, people. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be able to choose between British Cheddar and Stilton, and the Boursin vs. Port Wine Spread is also set to be real a nail biter.
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My Family and Other Animals (04.13.08)
"I want to go back to the shelter today and see Gekko," Dad said. "Her name is 'Gatto,' not GEKKO!" Mom reminded him loudly and probably not for the first time. "Her name is going to be 'Crabby,' apparently," I added. "We're getting a cat we BOTH like," Mom informed us. "Gekko's cage didn't have a comment card at all," Dad mused, "I wonder if that's a bad thing."
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Asparagus and Sweet Valley High (04.12.08)
Because of this, Lila and Mr. Fowler take Elizabeth out to a fancy restaurant to thank her for being nosy and angelic and having a gold lavaliere. Never mind that Lila eventually went back to her rich-bitchy ways. Never mind that the main story is all about "chubby" Robin Wilson losing weight, gaining lip gloss, and making Bruce Patman walk into a door -- all I took away from that book was that Elizabeth had asparagus tips at the fancy restaurant.
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NCheeseAA: Stanke Cheese Shoppe Round Of 64 (04.10.08)
Fourme d'Amb is the chocolate of blue cheeses. It melts all over the tongue with a captivating sweetness and beckons blue-haters to the dark side. Caerphilly, meanwhile, is just plain weird: its white and yellow center smells like steamed asparagus, and, back in the day, the Welsh cheese was thought to protect miners' lungs from coal dust. Yet, there's just something about it... Both cheeses attract thrill-seekers, but Caerphilly is more of a freak magnet than the genteel d'Ambert, and might be able to convince enough voters that it's way more than just a sideshow.
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NCheeseAA: Grocery Round Of 64 (04.09.08)
Oh, yes! This is the round so many have been waiting for! We got your Baby Bel, your EZ-Cheez, your curds, and that pink and orange stuff that Hickory Farms swears has something to do with port. It's the Grocery store round and it's going to get ugly! VOTE!
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NCheeseAA: Deli Round Of 64 (04.08.08)
Yesterday was all about Whole Foods' groaning (if underwrapped) cheese counters, but today is Belly Up to the Deli day. We've got an intense Provolone/Havarti match-up that is certain to curdle some blood, but only until Fontina and Ricotta muscle their way onto first court and just stand around being boring. Personally, I'm curious whether Mascarpone can school Double Gloucester in the art of "nannie-nannie-buche-buche."
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NCheeseAA: Whole Foods Round Of 64 (04.07.08)
4 Humboldt Fog vs. 12 Roaring 40s Blue. This could be a bloodbath, actually. Those who stick a snowy wedge of HumFog in their crisper drawer for a little amateur affinage until the sticky grey "fog" ages in toward the ash-striped center are also the ones who will go nuts for the spicy edge of the wax-wrapped Tasmanian devil...POLLS ARE OPEN!
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Are You Ready for Some Cheeseball?!: NCheeseAA (04.06.08)
These days, there appears to be nothing you can't bracket. So without further ado, we bring you the proud, the mighty, the stinky: the NCheeseAA! We've got it all -- we've got stinky Italian, we've got squeaky curds, we've got spray. Hell, we've even got government cheese! We're sure you all have opinions as well, so here's your chance to get out there and rock the cheese vote.
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The Fall of Jericho (03.27.08)
As a final irony, when writers/executive producers of a show I recap finally write me with glowing praise, it would have to be a doomed show. Of course.
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A New Kind of Barfly (03.25.08)
Casual drinkers beware, cocktail nerds have a new way of ordering drinks in San Francisco. No longer satisfied with set menus or even with drink specials du soir, the true cocktailian now knows how to order custom-made drinks, and it's definitely the In thing to do.
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Naked Lunch (03.24.08)
And we're not talking about 9 1/2 Weeks naked, where the food and sex thing is with someone you actually know. We're talking about going up with an empty plate and chopsticks and saying, "Hm, that yellowtail on his upper thigh looks pretty good."
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How Green is My Conscience (03.17.08)
The thing is, it's highly likely that I will never be 100% pure green because there are simply some things I draw the line at as being too, sort of, icky. Like the bathroom behavior rhyme, "If it's yellow let it mellow," etc. and resisting showers and using only natural deodorant and pretty much everything that guy is doing in Manhattan without toilet paper. And I definitely draw the line at eating things that have grown out of my own pee and bathing in mulch.
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Parpardelle, Really Bravo? (03.13.08)
I may have bowed out of recapping but I'm still watching. Have I not ears, Bravo? Have I not eyes? Have I not still a prodigious amount of judginess to weigh out? But far more to the point, Bravo: HAVE YOU STILL NOT ACQUIRED A FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION AFTER THREE MISSPELLED SEASONS?!
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Local Cure for the Local Cold (03.10.08)
Mitchell's, Ton Kiang, Marshall Farms Honey, Zuni Cafe Cookbook, Absinthe Verte, and Piccino.
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Bed of Pain and Sweat (03.07.08)
What's really awesome is coughing so hard I break a sweat. It's like getting a full body workout with special concentration on my abs. Screw Pilates, I'll just hack up a few alveoli and BAM! I'm bikini ready!
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25 Things I Never Tire Of (02.25.08)
I normally don't engage in these sort of "memes," because I tend to find them cheesy and of no interest to my readers. Plus, there are some things I write that, when I read them later, make me harf like Chet in Weird Science after he tells his brother he loves him. (I have the same reaction when I read my poetry-phase journals from junior high.)
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All-Time Top TV Chefs (02.23.08)
...the most endearing thing about Gordon Ramsay is that when he screams, "You fat useless sack of yankee-dankee doo-doo" or "It's a fucking carrot, you DONUT!" or even "It looks like regurgitated DOG SHIT" you can see the love in his eyes.
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Mo' BevMo (02.21.08)
Imagine our horror! Our consternation! Our pearl-clutching! When we were told by BevMo on [redacted] that not only did they have a pathetic offering of Fever-Tree, but they were selling off what they had AND NOT REORDERING!
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Hillary Clinton: The Tito Endorsement (02.20.08)
In the war of the music videos, Obama is Death Cab for Cutie, and Hillary is John Tesh.
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Pride and Prejudice: Debating Darcys and Contemplating Clothes (02.18.08)
... but the Regency was more about figure-revealing Empire waistlines -- some forward females of the time even used water to "dampen down" their gowns for their version of a wet tee-shirt contest -- and less about virginal Victorian crinolines and prodigious petticoats.
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Diet Fever (02.13.08)
Diet tonic water? Been there, expectorated that. Seriously? If you care that much about the calories, why are you drinking alcohol in the first place? Anyway, I sallied forth to taste Fever-Tree light with every intention of despising it, and yet...
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I Love Kermit Lynch (02.06.08)
I love your wines because if you say they're good, I know they're good. I know I'm going to enjoy them. At any price.
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Probama: Yes, We Can (02.05.08)
This is the most important election of our lifetime, and I've been ready for change for 8 long years. Are you ready?
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Making V-Day Reservations When You're Crabby (01.29.08)
Happy ending: Serpentine
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Goddammit, PBS! (01.27.08)
And what's up with that impersonal, silky red background? Is this PBS classic drama or is it a "My Moment, My Dove" commercial?
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Presidential Politicking Hits Bay Area Eateries (01.21.08)
Matching presidential candidates with San Francisco food.
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Bottled Sunshine: Limoncello (01.13.08)
I'm running an adult lemonade stand. But instead of a folding table squared off on a sun-soaked street corner, it's in my freezer. And to the usual ingredients of citrus, sugar, and water, I've added 151-proof Everclear. That's right my friends, I've started making my own limoncello, and it's a beautiful, beautiful thing.
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Cooking with Jacques: Bread in a Pot, Part the Second (01.10.09)
For those of you keeping track at home, that makes four different stages of bread prep that needed to be filmed: the unmixed ingredients, the 1-hour rise, the 12-14 hour rise, and the final product.
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Resolutions (1.09.08)
I don't make 'em.
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The Worm Turns: Absinthe Verte (12.21.07)
Quite frankly, if the Jabberwocky had a signature drink, Absinthe Verte would be it.
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Garden Grazing: Escargots (12.19.07)
That's right, people, I grew up a picky eater in Minnesota where I gagged on string beans, yet I ate snails.
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Breast Confusion (12.13.07)
Mathra brought the bird home and, after sufficient thaw-time in the fridge, I put the beast in the sink and slit the plastic shroud. I don't know how long it took me to notice that there was something wrong. I think it was when I wanted to start washing out the cavity and couldn't find it. I also couldn't find the legs and wings. I called my mother in a panic. Me: "Where are the legs and wings? I can't find the legs and wings!" Mom: "Who is this?"
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Return to Alemany Farm (12.09.07)
Winter in San Francisco also means being splashed with greens -- emerald, bottle, and forest. When other parts of the country are dead or white, this city feels as alive as spring. Alemany Farm, a bit more dry and sere in August, is fresh and juicy in December.
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How Not to Act in a Cheese Shop (12.06.07)
DON'T bring your kid into the store on a Saturday during the farmer's market when the crowd at the counter is so thick that it starts to eat away at our oxygen just so your kid can practice his lisping questioning skills. "Ask the lady what that cheese is." "Ask the lady if you can hold the cheese." "Ask the lady why the cheese is that color." "Ask the lady why her face is turning purple and she's starting to go into convulsions."
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Vocal Local: Jen Maiser (12.02.07)
However, I absorbed the concept of the Eat Local Challenge before I did "locavore," which, in all honesty, I thought had something to do with the phases of the moon and the lycanthrope society. (It's possible I've watched one too many Frasiers.)
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Stuffed Mushroom Slappetizer (11.20.07)
Make your own holiday slappetizers and impress all your friends. Right after you slap each and every one of them. It will be legen-(wait for it)-dary.
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Bay Area Bites: Eating Family Style (11.19.07)
Stories of serving Bing Crosby a ten-second-rule turkey and a book of deliciously fattening recipes.
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Let Them Eat Birthday Cake (11.15.07)
Damn! I haven't had a birthday cake made for me since I was old enough to know that it's not exactly cool to stick your hands in it and pull out two fists of cake and frosting. (For the record, when I saw Jeanne's cake, I nearly reverted to my old ways.)
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Bay Area Bites: No Crab for Christmas (11.11.07)
On November 10, commercial crabbers from Bodega Bay to Half Moon Bay voted to postpone the opening of the crab season, set to open Thursday, November 15th.
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Stupid Humans: 58,000 Gallons of Fuel Oil (11.08.07)
This morning -- because of some sort of communications malfunction between the container ship spokespeople and the U.S. Coast Guard -- the spill has been upped to a whopping 58,000 gallons.
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Cooking with Jacques: Bread in a Pot, Part I (11.04.07)
Yet, there I was at 4 AM following our third day of filming, reasoning how I could get bread to rise in order to save the show. (Did I mention that I didn't even have any yeast in the house?) I AM NOT A BAKER!
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Cooking with Jacques (10.28.07)
Jacques Pepin. Me. Kitchen. Cooking. Drool.
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Cafe Gratitude? Crappy Attitude! (09.18.07)
However, after reading about Sam's friend, Enidd, I'd like to put in a large order for "I Am Disgusted" with a side of "I Am Eternally Never Going There Again." (UPDATE: Response from Cafe Gratitude)
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Must-See Technology (09.14.07)
I showed the device it to my husband who said, "Don't you dare stick that in your computer! It's like sticking your tongue in a socket -- you don't know where it's been!"
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Squashing Hopes and Dreams (09.02.07)
Tossed with fettuccine, the pasta sauce -- dotted with delicate green and yellow cubes of squash -- had a soft and fat sweetness, which, having been invited in by the summer squash, didn't need to be faked with sugar.
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Bravo Knifes Andrea Strong (08.26.07)
However, then the realist in me took over: Top Chef knew exactly what they were doing. They were using "food blogger" as a dirty word. The bane of chefs everywhere. More to the point, Top Chef, in their reality show way, decided that for these two episodes Andrea Strong has been cast as The Villain.
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Farmer Keckler (08.20.07)
Living in a city apartment with no garden or even window boxes to speak of, the closest I get to growing things is when I forget about the sour cream in my fridge.
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Afraid to Go Into the Water (08.07.07)
Finally, the emergency squad screamed up and a park ranger met them saying, "We got a foot injury." Now, is that "foot injury" as in "I stepped wrong and my ankle collapsed" or as in "my foot got stuck in the jaws of a Great White and now it is injured"?
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High Pies and Misdemeanors (07.31.07)
My pie is bleeding. People, it's stuff like this that makes me whine annoyingly, "Whyyyyyy can't I baaaaaaake?" And no one likes a whiner. On the other hand, my husband tried to reason, "It's just that your fruit is TOO good, and it's got all this great liquid." And compliment, "It's got its own coulis built right in!" And burp, "So, can I have another piece or are you too mad?"
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Dizzy Dame (07.25.07)
The good thing about that MRI appears to be, however, that it's not a brain tumor! WOOHOO! Celebration of non-tumorosity! I mean, I assume that's not the case since my ENT didn't call me within 24 hours of my MRI to be all George Brent to my Bette Davis about it. After that, the next step was the Balance and Mobility Clinic where, I had been reliably informed, I would vomit copiously.
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Whither Harry Potter, DAMMIT?! (07.20.07)
I DIDN'T REQUEST A REDELIVERY! [foam, pant, twitch, scream]
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Pizzetta 211: Hard to Handle (07.15.07)
Loving a pizza place even when you know you shouldn't.
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Shell Shocked: Jericho Lives! (06.08.07)
Acting on information we received from our CBS source, "Shallow Eustachian Tube," I was able to transcribe what went down in the heated meetings between the execs at CBS, and if you read between the lines, you can see just what dragged Jericho, Skeet, and the Awesome Hawkins back from the brink of television death.
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Think Pink!: Mount Tamalpais Vin Gris (06.07.07)
Even the color is fierce! None of this blush and bashful pink that's barely a whisper of color, this was wildhotcrazy lascivious pink. The pink of deep-bosomed sunsets, the pink of Barbie's dress from the 80s (you know the one I mean), the pink of Belle Watling's sheets, the discontinued pink of a Clinique lipstick I wore in high school. This Mount Tamalpais Vin Gris isn't "pink," it's "PINK!"
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Kitchen Love: It All Began With a God Named Thor (06.02.07)
It's been going on about two weeks now, so I feel it's time to come clean and be up front with you all. I'm having an affair. With my kitchen.
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Peas and Long Life (06.01.07)
A few seconds dip in rapidly boiling water and slightly longer in a shocking ice bath and my peas were ready. Firm and mouth-popping, the peas were as smooth as a freshly Botoxed baby's bottom with nary a wrinkle to be found. But what to do with them?
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The Grub Report Nominated for Best Food Blog (05.17.07)
I'm asking all of you who read The Grub Report, like The Grub Report, and even crave The Grub Report to get out and eat the vote! Or just vote, you really don't have to eat it. Because it might be gross. And also sounds sort of rude.
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Trader Joe's Guacamole Kit: The Anti-Food Porn (05.01.07)
...well, one of the avocados was doing things I've never seen an avocado do. Like grow mold. White, furry, slippery mold.
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Fat Tire: A Bodice Ripper (with Cheese) (04.26.07)
I had this odd quirking in my mouth. My tongue felt dry and edgy and my throat was clicking in a greed for something cold, bright, topaz. Something fat. Something tire.
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Fish and Quips (04.21.07)
What could be more comforting than got fried eggs, bangers, bacon, fried bread (FRIED BREAD!), grilled tomatoes, and mushrooms? I'm pretty sure it's what they serve in Heaven, where cholesterol and heart disease are no longer a worry.
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Virginia is for Eaters (04.18.07)
As he tells it, your hands and fingers sustain tiny cuts from hungrily slaving over the sharp shells, and the sting you get from the spicy seasoning working its way into your tender skin is a sweet and necessary pain, as much a part of the blue crab experience as the crab itself.
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Two Hours. (04.16.07)
Why does this happen? How THE FUCK does this happen? College is supposed to be the best years of your lives. Not the deadliest. Not the last.
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I Was a Child Alcoholic (Hold the Alcohol) (03.29.07)
I seem to remember times when my older sister and I mixed water with drops of every possible food coloring in order to produce murky brown water that we passed off as "whisky" or "bourbon" and drank it out of shot glasses. It tasted sort of musty, because of all that food coloring, but that just made it all the more authentic. (In our minds.)
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Seduced By Cows? (03.24.07)
Note to the brand managers: I want my cows fat, well-fed, and in a pasture. Not wearing jeans and NOT trying to seduce me from a box of ice cream sandwiches.
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Vegetarian By Kitchen (03.08.07)
Because vegetables rarely set off the so-sensitive-it-should-be-writing-bad-poetry smoke alarm, they seem to be the thing to make and still enjoy in their heated state. This isn't fair. I love my meat, I need my meat, but my kitchen has gone PETA on me and decided I shall not have my meat.
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No Food, Just TV (02.18.07)
Look, Jericho is not smart, it's not challenging, and it doesn't make me think overly deep thoughts about life, death, and philosophy. It makes me giggle and it makes me cheer for surprisingly shallow reasons. It also doesn't feel like homework, which -- hold on to your toasters -- BSG has started to feel of late. I need these dumb, peaceful shows to quiet my mind.
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This Freelancing Life (01.14.07)
My life is not my own. As a freelancer every day, every hour, and nearly every thought is slotted to one of my clients. It's a hellacious fallacy that freelancing is all about choosing your own hours and owning your time.
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Drink Your Way to Smartness: CocktailSmarts (11.20.06)
So, many cocktails and cocktail onions later, my project? She is done. Introducing the newest SmartsCo product, which just happens to be written by moi, I give you CocktailSmarts!
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Bo, Football, and Me (11.18.06)
Today is my birthday and today my beloved Michigan Wolverines are about to play the game of the year, possibly the game of the decade.
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Iron Chef: Battle Cranberry (11.13.06)
Well, kids, Iron Chef America's Battle Cranberry went down in history last night with Team Rachael-Mario reducing Team Giada-Bobby to mere, uh, stains on the floor, knives, and cutting boards of Kitchen Stadium.
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Ooo, Ooo, 'Wichcraft Woman (11.03.06)
A Chow-instigated trip to the new San Francisco 'wichcraft in the shiny new Westfield Mall on Market yields delicious results.
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Trader Joe's Dinner: Butternut Squash (10.30.06)
However, as soon as autumn's chill fingers began slipping around the city's throat, and the leaves crisped on naked branches before falling scratchily to the cold cement, my cravings began anew.
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The Summer I Turned Sixteen (Again) (10.16.06)
Except, back then it was a 1973 Mercury Comet, and I drove with the windows down because AC hadn't been a choice in the Vomit Comet for about ten years.
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Trader Joe's Dinner: Food Lazy (10.09.06)
I could stock my freezer with puff pastry, full-bodied stocks, pesto reserves, and decorative ice cubes. Well, actually, I probably couldn't because my freezer is SO FREAKING SMALL but, the point is, I know how to do all that stuff. I just...don't do it.
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The Great Pumpkin (10.06.06)
It's the most wonderful time of the year. The nights become stretched, the days brief, the addicting smell of new pencils is in the air, and pumpkin ale is once again lining the stores with orange.
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It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (09.25.06)
To whip up a brilliant Dark and Stormy, the ginger beer has to sting, burn, and fire up the back of your throat. You have to feel it in your nose and down your gullet.
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Update, Upchuck (08.24.06)
I swear the only thing keeping me sane is runs at Ocean Beach, Tim Gunn's podcast, and reruns of Reba. That's right, people, I said Reba! The stress has made me sink so, so low.
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Serving Seconds: Check Please! Bay Area (07.28.06)
Up to now, I've only criticized television as the viewer, but now I get to see how it's all put together -- from makeup to pick-up. The control room -- where I spend most of my day -- is like fedging Mission Control at NASA! Buttons, buttons, so many buttons.
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Picnic Fare: Hard Boiled Eggs (07.24.06)
I'm here to tell you that hard boiled eggs are the ideal picnic item.
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The Posh Diet: Pineapple and Sushi (07.18.06)
Posh's thighs, Jay-Z's champagne shun, and a new summer cocktail.
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Amazonian Food? (07.17.06)
Well, given how Amazon is about to take over the world with books, media, drugs, and Calphalon, I guess it was inevitable that they would add food to that list.
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Eye on the Pie: Pizzetta 211 (07.12.06)
Sort of looks like a crusted acid trip, doesn't it? This is probably the most lurid pizza I've ever eaten.
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(Coco)Nutcracker: Mitchell's Ice Cream (07.09.06)
Buko is so in bed with the coconut, it tastes like the heady smell of a well-oiled beach.
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Corn Fed (07.05.06)
I forgot how great steamed corn can be. The kernels retain that deliciously firm pop-snap that roasting and grilling tends to soften.
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Love Thy Customer (06.29.06)
I went up to Big Cheese, who was already having a stressful day, and said, "So, I've got an idea for some power marketing. We send boxes of cheese to celebrities -- Lohan, Cruise, and whatnot -- to promote our image and raise our identity." Big Cheese looks at me, half-expectant, half-probably-figuring-out-how-to-let-my-horrific-idea-down-easy. I take a deep breath and say, "We'll call it 'Ouray for Hollywood.'" RIMSHOT! Big Cheese stares at me, then looks down, shaking her head and says, "Steph, that's why I love you."
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Local S%*!t Happens (06.28.06)
Here's some news for a few of you out there: Cheetos aren't local.
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Land's End (06.24.06)
For a long time I ran without looking up. I was mesmerized by my own footfalls and how they struck the damp, packed sand, radiating a lighter, drier patch in every direction, and how the June-icy Pacific hits the sun-warmed beach, banding mist around my ankles.
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Eye on the Pie: Pizzeria Delfina (06.18.06)
Now, it has been my experience that most clam pizzas get a damp shell waved over them and call it a day, but the cherrystone pieces on the Delfina Clam Pie were so large, I initially thought they were unlisted pieces of chunky sausage.
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While My YouTube Gently Weeps (05.30.06)
Prince is a god.
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What Cheesemongers Eat When They Think No One's Looking (05.26.06)
That's the big thing in Minnesota: hot dish upon hot dish is brought to new neighbors until their kitchen looks like Flanders Fields except, instead of poppies, it's rows and rows of blue Corningware flowers.
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Eating Local Babies (05.02.06)
I see an "Oddly Enough" headline that says, "PM Eats Babies," and I'm all, "Well, at least he was eating local babies."
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How to Eat Like a Local (05.01.06)
There's also that newly opened jar of June Taylor Meyer Lemon Marmalade. I mean, does she use local sugar? Is there even such a thing as local sugar? And Izze, I can't give up Izze! Or tea!
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Conspicuous Consumption (04.13.06)
Be they Donald Duck or Donald Trump, five thousand dollars is too damn much to pay for a burger. A BURGER PEOPLE!
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Cheese, Cheese Me (04.06.06)
With the nettles wrapped around a thick disk of firm, whole-milk cheese, the deep, woodsy taste of braised artichokes shines through the soft and full St. Pat paste.
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Lipsmacking Links (03.23.06)
Make your own wine, a hungry Brit on a bike, rent a goat and get some cheese, and eat fruit off the streets of L.A.
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The Kecklers Abroad: Part II (03.22.06)
The words were the same words printed in the hymnal, but that's where the similarities between Croft's version of "Our God Our Help in Ages Past" and my father's ended.
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Blood Simple (03.20.06)
Not necessarily a chips and dips kind of salsa, but the kind you use as the base for grilled meats and fish. The kind of salsa that chefs list on their menu to keep from saying "mess of vegetables and fruits."
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Small Bites (03.16.06)
Rachel Ray would talk, cook, and drink so fast, her attending celebrities wouldn't know how to help or where to stand. They'd be even more mystified as to what the hell "E-V-O-O" and "spoonulas" were. On the other hand, her team would always beat the clock due to Rachel carrying back-spraining armloads of ingredients from place to place.
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The Chef Is In: Choke On This (03.12.06)
"I blame my East Coast upbringing for my total lack of knowledge in the artichoke realm - but your idea makes them seem so much more accessible, I need to try."
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Seek Out the Trader Joe's (03.09.06)
In honor of the New York store opening, my Top 10 Trader Joe's Favorites.
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Celebrate the Moments of Your Life (03.08.06)
"Hey, is it supposed to be this runny in the middle?" Stupid razzin'-frazzin' skewers coming out clean making me believe the thing was actually done because THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN TAUGHT!
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Earl of Sandwich (03.02.06)
I secretly want to be Dagwood Bumpstead. Seriously -- he sleeps on the couch, he's got those crazy-ass bangs that stand up seemingly without product or any other help, and he makes the most juicily extravagant sandwiches...
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Do the Doon (02.24.06)
Aside from one or two "meh" reds and a Chenin Blanc that balked mightily when I made the mistake of serving it with Meyer lemon-simmered baby artichokes, I haven't met a Bonny Doon wine that I didn't want to immediately run out and buy a case of.
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Hello, Car. (02.22.06)
If I told you that we kissed the hood of our new car in the privacy of our garage, would you judge me?
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Pssst! Wanna Buy Some Cheese? (02.16.06)
Sure, there are stacks of firm and oozy cheeses we can't get our sweaty little hands on for various and ridiculous FDA regs that have very little to do with safe-guarding public health and more to do with buckshot happy politics, and yes, a lot of them are delicious and different and worth it. However, it is patently ridiculous to elevate all those cheeses to such god-like heights just because they are illegal.
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New Pod-tatoes (02.15.06)
"Ikea: just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen/Ikea: selling furniture for college kids and divorced men/Everyone has a home/But if you don't have a home you can buy one there!"...They got even more nervous when I started in with some weird out-of-breath and slightly asthmatic giggling as I got to the line about Allen wrenches.
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Fancy Food Fatigue (02.14.06)
Microwaveable donuts, all-weather chocolate, vanilla salt, tea powder, the smallest gin and tonic in the world, and aromatherapied kabobs...it's basically Foodie Disneyland without the scary costumes. Wait, is that a giant Mr. Peanut? No pregnant woman could go to this thing, and I don't just mean because she'd have delivered her baby before she could take a pee. Friends, I need Alka Seltzer because I can't believe I ate and drank the whoooole thing!
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Google: The Pepsi Freshmaker! (02.10.06)
Blogging a boring commute and too many people making an explosive cocktail of warm Diet Pepsi and Mentos. Kids do the darndest things!
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Qi and Sympathy (02.09.06)
...but where whisky can sometimes give off that unmistakable Band-Aid aroma, under all that intriguing smoke and clubby leather, Qi was touched only by vanilla and exotic fruits. I liked it a lot, and I'm really surprised by that. I went over there thinking, "Well, I like tea. And I do like alcohol, but putting the two together sounds too much what little old ladies do with their sherry and tea in England."
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Smokey, Perfect, or Dirty: The Martini (02.07.06)
"...So, I ordered my martini "very dry" at The Hill. I took a sip. I couldn't bring myself to swallow. I gasped for air. Mathra got me a glass of ice water. I dumped my martini in the glass of ice water. Mathra finished the excessively diluted martini. I ordered a beer." Plus: Pefection Peashoots, Melanie Griffith beans, and Cooking Without a Replicator.
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It's PEOPLE, Hufu is PEOPLE! (01.22.06)
No really. It is. "These native dumplings filled with hufu (or human flesh), sago and yam are prized for their taste as well as their ability to make you fierce and brave in tribal combat." I don't know whether to be intrigued...as a chef? Or repulsed...as a human.
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Chronicles of Cheese: I've Gone Crazy (01.11.06)
It was a really long day. This very sweet couple comes up to the counter and the woman says softly, "We'd like you to recommend some nice cheese to watch the birds." I automatically grab ahold of some very buttery Morbier, but as they taste it, I start to wonder, "Why? What are the birds doing that needs to be watched?"
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The Chef Is In: Sticky Balsamic Syrup Love (12.17.05)
Stephanie, I'm a faithful Grub Report fan (love Tea for Kecklers and Cheese Whore references ... but curious why you didn't flush icky foods down the toilet as a teen
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Doon Diary II: Tiny Bubbles (11.02.05)
Dear Doon Diary, How could you do this to me? You created a sparkling wine which left me crying in my beer because I had ordered only a single bottle! Your Il Circo 2004 "Il Giocoliere" Moscato d'Asti has spoiled me for all other sparkling wines!
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Doon Diary: BamBOOZEled (09.14.05)
Dear Doon Diary, As an anniversary present to each other, The Evil Dr. Mathra and I solemnly swore to love and be drunkards for the rest of our lives.
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The Chef Is In: Fig and Date Night (08.19.05)
Hi Keckler- I never really thought I'd have a reason to write you, because I usually prefer playing with foods myself. But I am currently at a loss foodwise.
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The Chef Is In: Salt and Vinegar and Olive Oil, Oh My! (07.21.05)
Such a good idea! My question is which items typically found in your kitchen (or the kitchen of an average person who enjoys cooking for a hobby) are worth spending the extra bucks on?
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The Chef Is In: Mozzarella Trip (06.14.05)
So I made pizza margherita not too long ago. And it was good. And, like you do when you make a small pizza, I had some leftover toppings still kicking around when I got home from work the next night.
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CrApple (06.09.05)
I'm back from Minnesota and I'm full. Wow. I don't think I stopped eating the whole time I was there. No Smokebeer sightings, but maybe next time.
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The Chef Is In: Aubergenius (05.27.05)
Dear Chef, DAMN you, eggplant! Okay, here's the problem. I can't seem to get an eggplant parmigiana to turn out. I mean, it's edible, technically, but I can't seem to find the happy cooking-time medium --
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Snow Advisory (12.31.04)
Two days, 180 miles down a mountain pass at five miles an hour with a visibility of 100 yards, two sets of snow chains, two massive Sierra blizzards with avalanche conditions, seven hours on the road, and six cups of mulled wine in our dry and snowless SF apartment later
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In Search of Snow (12.30.04)
Last year, dear eaters, you might remember that I was unquestionably and irrationally saddened by the lack of snow in the Bay Area and that my husband made a promise to take me up to Tahoe in search of snow
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We Wish You a Merry Cheesemas (12.22.05)
I just posted this today over at Bay Area Bites, but I can't resist posting it here as well. Why can't I resist? Because I can't get these damn songs out of my head and I want to inflict them on as much of the world as possible!
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Mad for Marshmallows, Hot for Chocolate (12.20.05)
Almost two years ago now, I wrote about these enormous gourmet marshmallows that Mathra gave me for Christmas, but I seem to have never posted a picture. Unbelievable! Anyway, here's one to feast your eyes on.
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Songs of Cheeses (12.19.05)
Some songs I made up at work yesterday: Cheeses love you this I know/For the Mongers tell you so/Hefty drums to store below/Some are sharp and some are strong/Yes, Cheeses love you/The Mongers tell you so/
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Sausage Links (12.13.05)
Due to a sudden death in my immediate family, I've had to take leave from several of my projects, and Grub Report has been yet another thing that I just couldn't handle in the past month.
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Currant Affairs (11.07.05)
For the first time in a long time I found myself shopping at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. Usually I'm working on Saturdays and can't get away to dip into the tempting stands before the market closes
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How to Eat Like Auntie Mame (11.01.05)
Oh, this is just PATHETIC! I mean, letting poor Grub Report flounder with no updates for, um, way too long? What kind of parent am I? Seriously, Head Cheese berated me at Ye Olde Stanke Cheeseshoppe the other day
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It's My Churn! (09.13.05)
I lied to you my sweet eaters. I told you my next flavor was going to be coconut and, well, it just didn't happen. But if you care to pull up a napkin, I happen to have a very tasty excuse.
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Truffle Pig (09.11.05)
One of the Herculean tasks that faced me as our move back to San Francisco drew near (by the way, a few friends, who shall remain nameless, tend to laugh when I call our trip to San Diego and back A Move
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Cracking the Crust Conundrum (09.05.05)
Well folks, I did it. I set out to achieve a goal. I slaved, I kneaded, I sweated, and I swore until finally, I made the perfect pizza crust. And, as much as I may dislike him personally, I have to admit that it's all due to Todd English.
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Dinner at Eight (08.17.05)
One of the first things I did after making our summer move to San Diego was throw a dinner party. Not impressed? But see, this was a big deal for me because it's nigh impossible to do in a San Francisco apartment
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You Miss Some, You Eat Some (08.15.05)
Sadly, being stuck as I am in San Diego this summer, I missed out on the SF Food Bloggers Picnic. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight nine, ten, eleven, twelve...and they all had fun, at the Food Bloggers Picnic!
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Churn About is Fair Play (08.11.05)
In addition to my pizza crust quest, I'm also continuing my intriguing exploration of homemade ice cream this summer. Well. It's intriguing to me and to the people at Mathra's work, who keep asking what my flavor of the week will be.
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A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, and NOXIOUS SMOKE (08.04.05)
You know, when I wrote about the little pesto problem, I didn't think I'd be writing so soon about yet another kitchen katastrophe, but here it is. Last week, I was all "Oooh, my pizza's pretty good," and "Oooh, my ice cream's better!" Well, you wanna know what? My bread sucks.
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Pizza My Heart (08.02.05)
My Friday Night Pizza quest continues. I should mention that my first pizza night down here happened to coincide with the season two premiere of Battlestar Galactica and now it's become A Thing for me
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There Is a Season, Churn, Churn, Churn (07.27.05)
I've been addicted to most ice cream treats at some point or another -- Drumsticks, Klondike bars, soft-serve cones dipped in caramel (a magical feat I still would love to learn the trick behind), your basic ice cream sandwiches, Chipwiches, Dove Bars...
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Pizza My Soul (07.22.05)
Yes -- I'm still questing to make the perfect pizza. It was midway through making an avocado aïoli this afternoon when I realized that my quest is more about reproducing Figs pizzas than about making the perfect pizza.
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Pizza! Pizza! (07.20.05)
Okay, so again it's been a long time since I posted, but I got lost in my kitchen and only just found my way out. I'm serious! We're living in San Diego for the summer and this kitchen is so big it
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In the Pink (06.19.05)
Bay Area Bites Update: Man, did I have fun with Slanted Door's new make-at-home-dinners or what? Long time readers and friends over at Television Without Pity might have an inkling of how much I simply adore Bonny Doon.
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Chocolate Molten Lava Revisited (05.26.05)
Unpredictability. This is why baking infuriates the Hellman's out of me. Remember how deliciously well my first foray into Molten Chocolate Cake turned out? And how that was the practice run before I
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Burger Time (05.23.05)
Don't pay big bucks for an overdone burger when you can just make it at home.
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Burger Time (05.23.05)
So, when I say "medium-rare" at one of the top San Francisco restaurants, clearly I mean "well-done." No, no, Absinthe -- obviously you know better with your $10.50 Niman Ranch burger
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The Chef is In (05.22.05)
Send me your tired, your hungry, your unwashed masses of mushrooms yearning to be creamed. After the exposure I got participating in Tomato Nation's Ask the Expert Series in Tomato Nation's The Vine
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I'm an Alfred Hitchcock Movie (09.22.04)
Ever since my last day at the cheeseshop when I came over all faint, got nauseous, took the bus home and threw up, I've had persistent vertigo. Thankfully it's not as bad as the initial attack, because
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To Serve and Be Relatively Bored (09.14.04)
Dr. Mathra said to me, "You're really going to see a cross-section of the SF public." I don't know what he's talking about, I take the MUNI every day. Jury duty's not at all like waiting in a queue at
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A Few Images from Friday Harbor (CREDIT)
Lime Kiln Point Light. It's a great place to watch various whale pods come in from sea. Sadly, we didn't see any that day. Come quick, there's a deer eating fruit from the orchard! Oh, come on -- just
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The Kecklers Abroad (06.23.04)
Nine years ago I went to study in England. My family came with me. I kept a journal. "Stephie? I wanted to call and remind you to bring all the Cambridge info I sent last week. We have copies here
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By Popular Demand (06.21.04)
Here are some shots of the two balls of fuzz that wake us up at six in the morning, drape their purring bodies over us, and generally rule our world.
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The Stinky Cheese Chick (06.14.04)
My recap of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is up at Television without Pity. Writing that piece with Glark was way too much fun. Sure, it took us seven months but still, fun was had. Look for some
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Cows and Goats and Sheep -- Oh My! (05.26.04)
Last week our Spanish/Italian cheese importer with Forever Cheese dropped by to tell us a little about the cheeses we've been getting from him. Did I say "a little"? Well, the reality is, he told us
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Wrath of Doon (05.24.04)
First things first. Enterprise finale-izes this week and soon I will be free! Free! FREE! Until next fall. Because it got renewed. I'm actually happy about that, though. More so because Boss Lady Sars
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No, No, Mimolette (04.20.04)
So I "larned" my Mimolette today. I told that story, the story of Mimolette, to every customer I met. See, everyone is entranced by the look of Mimolette. Because it's orange, and bumpy, and orange.
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And Now For Something Completely Random (04.16.04)
I'm gonna be on TV! I'm gonna be on TV! I'm gonna be on TV! I'm doing a little dance over here. Okay, so TechTV is doing a behind-the-scenes look at Television Without Pity and they want to interview
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Lima Bean Puree (11.27.02)
How the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts got me to eat lima beans.
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Fresh Pineapple Pie (11.27.02)
The most addicting pineapple dessert I've ever slammed down my gullet.
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English Cheddar Chowder (10.21.02)
Warm and hearty soup for a cold and thin night.
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Eat this Book! (05.21.05)
Small Bites: Enterprise is sadly, mercifully over, and I had a bit of a rant about "chick wines" and panned the highly-rated Moroccan restaurant Aziza over at KQED. Yesterday, Dr. Mathra and I went
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Chocolate Molten Lava (05.11.05)
When my mother and father-in-law went to Paris last November, they brought us back French goodies. You're looking at what I can do with two of them. Authentic brioche tins and 1 kilo of Valrhona chocolate
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Sleeping Foodie (04.11.05)
As you may have noticed from the great yawning chasms between posts, I haven't been in the Food Mood lately. I mean, I've been writing about it over at KQED's Bay Area Bites, but I haven't been doing
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Gettin' Down in the Dagoba System (04.09.05)
Since we're currently stuck with a container of wimp-ass coffee until we get our next Blue Bottle hit, I was NOT looking forward to my daily cuppa this morning. However, as luck would have it we were
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Squab Alley (03.20.05)
Work has made it difficult for me to do much cooking myself, and I'm sad about that. Hopefully, things will change soon. Anyway, we still manage to go out to eat quite a bit and recently, we went back
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What's for Suppenküche? (03.06.05)
Man, it's been such a long time since I upated -- what? Over two months? That's just sad. What have I been up to? Well, work, mainly, but the less said about that the better. Also, Enterprise got cancelled
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Cauliflower and Crabs (12.12.04)
Although I'm not overly easy to please in the vegetable department, I have always liked raw cauliflower. After drooling over tales of roasted cauliflower from my good friend at work, I started craving
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Chowing Down (12.03.04)
Wow. Not so much on the updating, am I? Okay, this is what's happened in the past month: San Francisco got fallish, Dr. Mathra and I turned thirty-one, I loaded Rob Base and "It Takes Two" on my new iPod
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Bringing Home the Boeuf (10.27.04)
No, I haven't thrown myself into the Bay or jumped off the Mission San Juan Batista or even dressed up like a Renaissance painting, but thanks for asking. Seriously, I do appreciate all the worried an
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Chef Evil Dr. Mathra (08.29.04)
I've got another piece on MSNBC.com up -- this one is me dissing Food Network chefs in the guise of finding "The Next Martha Stewart." I think this is a good time to mention that I am not the only
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Eating Summer (08.22.04)
Maybe it's a visceral reaction to Sandra Lee's Cheez-Whiz pasta sauce or her light beer and reconstituted limeade tailgate cocktails, but I've been in a flurry of food lately. Good food, that is.
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Island Living (08.20.04)
While in Friday Harbor, we got the chance to try out a lot of the local offerings that went beyond the favorite restaurants. On Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market, which was really quite perfect
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Notes from a Small Island: Guess Who's Cooking for Dinner? (CREDIT)
Part of my holiday was used to test some recipes on our party of friends. With the help of Pam's emergency Cuisinart, I whipped up a menu that included the following dishes developed by yours truly
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Keckler and the Giant Peach (08.05.04)
Over the last two successive meals, I've had the exact same thing: sliced peaches, a few dashes of fig-balsamic vinegar, and chèvre crumbled over the lot. We had it for dinner, and by bedtime I was
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Notes from a Small Island: Duck Soup Inn (CREDIT)
Duck Soup Inn is a precious restaurant tucked away behind a small pond and kept cool by giant pines. In certain times of the year, dripping wisteria provides added shade and scent. Every time I visit
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Notes from a Small Island: Lavender Fields Forever (CREDIT)
My darling Dr. Mathra insisted I spend a few quality hours at the new day spa out at the island's lavender farms. Pelindaba Lavender Farm started up a few years ago and now has two stores -- at the farm
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Notes from a Small Island (CREDIT)
With due respect to Bill Bryson, of course. We've been here five full days and we've been intensely relaxing. And eating. And clambering over rocks, sticking our fingers in tidepools and examining
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As High as What on the Fourth of Ju-When? (06.28.04)
I mentioned a few updates ago that I looked high and low for some special corn from Brentwood at the Saturday Farmers Market but came to grief when I didn't find a single ear. I got a few emails from
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The Slanted Door (06.22.04)
Trying out the Imperial Rolls is how I test a Vietnamese restaurant. It's sort of like how I judge an ice cream line by their vanilla. Judging purely by this specimen, I knew this place was going to
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Figs in a Blanket (06.20.04)
Since I didn't start my Saturday shift until ten, I didn't get to take my break until one-thirty when most of the farmers at the market were starting to pack up their stuff. I spent some time looking
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Bring Me Some Figgy Pudding! (06.17.04)
You know, it seems like just yesterday that I was talking about full-flavored figs and lamenting that we still had a few months to go before we tasted them at full succulence. Oh, the folly of a hasty
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Tea for Kecklers (05.12.04)
I Lovejoy's very, very much. Okay, now that I got that lame joke out of my system, let me be more coherent. Lovejoy's is this tiny tea shop in Noe Valley I'd been hearing about since we moved out here
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Cheesus Christ Superstar (04.13.04)
Last night I was one of the chosen. I was among the divine. I was perched on the right hand of glory. And, no, I didn't just sit through The Passion of Mel Gibson's Hands, I went to a wine and cheese
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Monty Python and The Holy Gruyère (04.08.04)
I know this doesn't scan, but I HAVE TO GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD! I'm a mongerjack and I'm OK I cheese all night and I cheese all day She's a
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My Life in Cheese (04.05.04)
I have cheese under my nails. I noticed it yesterday when I should have been answering my customer's request of "soft, but not too soft, but not exactly hard, either," and "sharp, but not too sharp
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I Am the Cheese (03.11.04)
The title "Chocolatier" is great and fancy-Frenchy sounding and all, but as a cheesemonger, I get to, well, monger! And that cracks me up. I'm also blithely convinced that if you put "cheese" before a
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Califorina Springing (02.29.04)
Yes, it's February. Yes, it's spring. Yes, it's California. The Jamaican restaurant down the street that has been conspicuously closed since we moved here is now taking great care to hose off its red
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We Like Tasty Bites, Yes We Do. We Like Tasty Bites, How 'Bout You? (02.11.04)
You think you like Tasty Bites? No, no. You really don't. WE like Tasty Bites. Liking Tasty Bites means knowing that the mylar-esque packaging is really the best way to preserve the perfect and delicious
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Breaking Up is Hard to Invoice (02.10.04)
When you meet for the first time, you go through your closet, pulling out all sorts of outfits. Do you go for hip and professional or smart and classic? You stand on one leg and judge the effects with
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Zen and the Art of Furball Maintenance (02.03.04)
Sit on your mat in a simple cross-legged position. Remove the partially-masticated cat treat you sat on. Breathe. Twist comfortably to the left. Breathe. Walk your hands a comfortable distance in front
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The Drunkard's Guide to Casablanca (02.01.04)
Friday night I had the best night out in San Francisco that didn't involve food. Dr. Mathra and I met Gytha Ogg, her husband and friends, and Belchimaera in Oakland to see Casablanca at the Paramount
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More San Francisco Treats (01.31.04)
Quick update because I've been getting loads of very nice email from people wondering if I'm dead from a perforated something. The reading went well. Very, very well, in fact. In addition to some
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Dweezil and Lisa: No, really -- don't stay. Please go! (01.18.04)
Okay, I admit it -- I was slamming this show before it even premiered. I mean, what do two musicians know about cooking? It would be one thing if they did a take-off on Rachel Ray's $40 a Day as they
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Stage Fright Night (01.08.04)
Several months ago when I was showing our Boston apartment, this prospective renter asked me if I ever considered doing stand-up. Not thinking I'd been cracking one-liners every five minutes as I show
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Veggin' Out (01.04.04)
The morning after I posted my last entry it hailed in San Francisco. Not quite the stuff, Ma Nature, but I appreciate the effort. After I did a whole piece on meat -- leaving beef out, my mother duly
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Keckler's Sense of Snow (01.01.04)
(tug) (tug) Hey... (tug) Hey! (TUG!) Did you know it doesn't snow in San Francisco? Apparently I didn't, because nothing else can explain my disappointment in this year's holiday season thus far.
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Keep on Vegassing in the Free World (12.10.03)
'Tis the season for TWoP Con Recaps, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-SNARK! Mathra and I came late to the Las Vegas gathering this year -- writing an exam and generally small purse strings due to such an
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Locked Out (09.25.03)
11:30 AM This has been a week of highs and lows. I can't talk about the highs yet because I don't want to jinx it, but the lows all center around me sitting outside my apartment door, listening to the
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Yeah, I'm an English major -- wanna make somethin' of it? (09.15.03)
Recently, it came to my attention that a person, who shall remain nameless but with whom I am acquainted, slagged off on English majors. This person said that "Everyone's an English major," and "Being
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Moving Violations (09.02.03)
I naïvely thought that coming out to California meant each entry on The Grub Report would be bursting with heirloom tomatoes, local cheeses, artisan breads, vats of wine, and blue potatoes, but no. No
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The Cats Who Saw America (08.30.03)
3100 miles. Five days. Fifty-three driving hours. Twelve states. Two cats. That's gotta be some kind of record -- we even left really late on our first day. It's all due to Dr. Mathra's superb driving
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Addendumpling (07.15.03)
Just in case y'all thought that graduation meant an end to my "Tales of the Undigested," you could not be more wrong if you ordered a steak well-done. I have so many more school stories under my new a
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The Straw that Broke the Caramel's Back (07.14.03)
Where was I? Oh, yes, I pulled the recipe, planned my culinary attack and everything was pretty bumps-a-daisy. I knew I had long day ahead of me in a hot kitchen with two kinds of pastries to make and
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I'm Still Here! (07.07.03)
Man, has it been awhile or what? Nearly three months? How embarrassing. Well, my only defense is that it's been a hoppin' two months: exams, Harvard graduation, win a site award, exams, get an apartment
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Walks to Remember (03.31.03)
Going home is good for the soul. I'd hazard that it's even better than a visit to a spa for all their hot and smelly rocks. I've come back to Boston refreshed, happy, and calmly nostalgic. The zennish
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The Noble Snail (03.15.03)
I'm going to preface this entry with a little nod to the world situation. Without getting too much into my personal rhetoric, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that people are shunning French-origin
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Penises on the Pavement and Whore Pasta (01.26.03)
Or, in other words, Campania and Capri. First of all, I want to thank everyone out there that sent me email and hysterical e-cards cheering me on during my studies in hell. I definitely think all the
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Midterm Reflections: They Come Right in the Middle! (01.20.03)
If there's one thing my tenure in culinary school has taught me, it's patience. Don't laugh, Mom, I'm serious. That's not to say I always stop and carefully consider every move I make in the kitchen.
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Testing Traumas (01.08.03)
I am sitting behind a stack of index cards that rises three-and-a-half inches in the air, and if that doesn't seem very thick to you, I encourage you to take a second glance at a ruler and get back to
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Levels of Difficulty (12.16.03)
Hey, check out my Star Trek Cookbook recipe audit over on Television Without Pity -- it's tranyatastic! Also, those new cheddar Triscuits are EV-IL! I ate a whole box and now my tongue feels funny.
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Autumn's Leavings (12.04.03)
I want to thank California. After the bizarre and screwed-up gubernatorial election, you might and should ask, "Why?" I'm going to tell you why. See, I was under some strange impression that it wouldn't
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It's Like Dear Abby, But with Food! (11.15.03)
I have been honored by Sars to be her inaugural expert in her brand, spankin' new "Ask the Experts" series in the Vine. So starting next Tuesday I will be spreading my genius frosting across the cake
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A Lady Who Lunches (11.11.03)
Oh, me. People, I am full of love today! I'm turning thirty in seven days, my delicious friends Ace and Sep are coming up to San Francisco for a Food-a-Thon and quite possibly a Bake-Off, I'm busy editing
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Meat (11.02.03)
"Where's your meat?" That what Nessa asked when I described my dinner of oven-roasted fingerling potatoes and freshly-shucked sweet corn with with rosemary and garlic. Very simply? She was not impressed
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First Night (09.20.03)
Our first official night out in San Francisco was nothing short of complete magic. My Mac is slightly busted, but when Mathra brought it into the store in Palo Alto, they gave him ten bucks for participating
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New England Has the Foliage But I'm Not Comin' Back (08.20.03)
Moving on out to a de-luxe apartment on the faaaaaault! We've got two wide-eyed cats in a cat carrier with multiple wings, gables, and cupolas, it's morning outside, and we're wearing sunscreen.
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SlimCadon't (08.08.03)
Avocado. If you have a good one, it will be firm to the touch. But not too firm. It will yield to the little pressure of your fingers. But not be too yielding. Don't you hate it when chefs talk that way?
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Humble Pie (08.06.03)
Now, with all these awards and degrees and OBEs (Order of the Biscuit Empire) coming in, I wouldn't want you to think I've completely forgotten who I am. Where I came from. And what it was like before
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Defragging the Fridge (07.30.03)
Since Mathra is working in New Jersey for the summer and coming home only on weekends, it's just me and the cats keeping each other company. But that's okay, we've settled into a nice routine. They wake me up at 6 AM because they are clearly being starved to death.
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Food I Have Known: Cambridge Chronicles, Part the Second (07.28.03)
After my last entry, I thought about all the libations that went along with all those tasty bites. After all, it was in England that I made a lot of firsts, seconds, thirds and final calls in my quick
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Food I Have Known: Cambridge Chronicles (07.21.03)
Tonight I am filled with nostalgia. I'm listening to Jimmy Dorsey sing "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," I've got a glass of Pimm's and lemonade (Sprite or 7-Up to us unkempt Americans) sweating on a coaster
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I Remember Mama (04.28.03)
In Grub Report news, this site's been nominated for a Diarist Award! I'm not exactly sure what that means but since several sites I respect and frequent have won a few, I'm honored to be classed among
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Bread and Jam for Kecklers (04.14.03)
My older sister and I instituted "Afternoon Tea" in our household when we were about eight and eleven. It was brought on by an obsession with the Frances books. We had all the books, Bread and Jam for Frances
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Le Vomit Comet (02.25.03)
Oh, the French. It's all doo-bluh crehm, doo-bluh con-so-may, and doo-bluh vay-say with them. Well, perhaps not the last, but I remember it from seventh grade French. "Puis-j'aller au W.C." was so much
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Whine Exam (02.11.03)
As I sit here perched on the eve of what will be the culmination of my intensive five week study of wine, I find myself quickly coming a part (apart? I can't even SPELL anymore! The other day I was
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Delirious Burning Blue (02.03.03)
Mathra woke me up with the news. It seems so trite to say I couldn't believe it. But I couldn't -- not again. Not now. Not ever. But our friends had a baby that morning. Little Jackson woke to life as
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Has Anyone Seen My Skin? (01.29.03)
I avoided it all last semester. Around me, students succumbed like snarfing trees felled by a phlegmy form of Dutch Elm disease. I wore a surgical mask, held my breath on the T, and carried on. Until
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Christmas Eve for Kecklers (12.21.02)
Every family has their special traditions at Christmas. Ones they are loathe to part with no matter what the reason for change -- college, marriage, children, whatever. In my house we had two: a very
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Keckler Christmas Cookies (12.20.02)
Every year a rigid ritual -- dictated by my mother -- had to be followed. Days before the event, my mother made up several batches of sugar cookie dough, wrapped them in wax paper hunks, and stuck the
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Class Notes: Piedmont (12.18.02)
Now that we're in "the regions" of Italy and things are supposed to get molto hardo, I'm thinking it's a good idea to transcribe my class notes. I don't really expect anyone to read these or be interested
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Syllabub (12.17.02)
Stephanie Vander Weide Food History Whenever I saw syllabub mentioned in my university and present-day studies of historical English society, sources appeared to differ on whether it was a drink or a
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Basic Weeks Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen and Mountains of Mushrooms (12.15.02)
Portabellos. That's what Bill and Judy sent us today. Portabellos! This summer it was fresh, fat, fuzzy peaches from a Maryland orchard, several baggies of sungolds and roma tomatoes from their garden
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Shake Your Vegas Maker (12.08.02)
I don't think Las Vegas and I will ever be true friends. We might respect one another. We may even occasionally nod to each other in passing. But we can never have a deep and lasting FF or SWAK- kind
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Weeks Ten & Eleven: Conscience Catch-Up (11.26.02)
Long time no update. Well, it's holiday time and it's also sweeps AND that Horrible Terrible No Good Very Bad Food Management Project took up far too much of my time. I'm still too annoyed to even write
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Weeks Eight & Nine: I Need a Stomach Pump (11.10.02)
Love Lamb and Prosper Lamb is the reason why I could never be a vegetarian. I love the chops, the kabob, the legs, the stew -- all of it. In fact, it's also the only gravy made from meat juices I like
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Food I Have Known: Ann Arbor (11.05.02)
Mongolian Barbeque Fire and Ice, bite this! Throughout my senior year, me and my six roommates used to starve ourselves on hung-over Sunday afternoons to prep our bellies for the gorging. All you can
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Seventh Week: Porky Pig Doesn't Live Here Anymore and Here We Come A-Streuseling (11.01.02)
Basics: Porky Pig Doesn't Live Here Anymore Because he's in my stomach. Yul Brenner got infected with trichinosis after eating underdone pork tenderloin at a famous New York restaurant. That's my earliest
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Burn, Baby, Burn (10.31.02)
"I got this one when I was trying to remove my quiche Lorraine from the oven. It was my first test of pâte brisée at home and I guess I was a little anxious." "See this? That's from a particularly act
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Ah. Autumn. Ah. Artichokes! (10.28.02)
It's finally time to say "Ta!" to tank tops, "Smell ya later, sandals," and "Hello, nubbly goodness!" to sweaters. There's something that gets in my blood when this time of year rolls around. I've go
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A Keckler Family Halloween Special: Do You Do Voodoo? (10.21.02)
Witches, screaming skulls, stuffed corpses on the front lawn, you name it -- no one does Halloween better than my mother. "It's my favorite religious holiday," she says every year. "Don't tell your father
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Sixth Week: Dry Heat Cooking and Bread (10.16.02)
Steak is a dish best served cold Fall finally drags its lazy ass up to Boston and greets me by belting me a good one right in the sinuses. Yep, I hab a code. Snotty, stuffy, whiny, and crabby is how
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Fifth Week: Moist Heat Cooking and Coffee Accessories (10.11.02)
Hasta! Pasta! Got our quizzes back. I knew I made a couple of dumb mistakes, which resulted in me getting an 88%, but I guess that's not too bad for a first test. Let's hope it's the lowest score I get
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Pretty Poster Poetry (10.09.02)
I have the best posters on TWoP Enterprise. I really do. Today, I came home from class and found they had been composing poetry about me in my "Fleet Commendation for Recapping Goes to Keckler" thread
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Fourth Week: Chicken and Pastry Review (10.02.02)
This is NOT the Colonel's Secret Recipe! Gah. I'm in a rotten mood. I don't know if it's because I studied incredibly hard for my Food Basics test but still couldn't list all the things that can affect egg coagulation
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Bathroom Behavior (10.01.02)
Cats and bathrooms. Someone please explain the connection to me. And use scientific terms, because that's the only way I'll believe there is a valid explanation other than the fact that one of my cats
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I Should Own Stock in Dramamine (10.01.02)
First it was a green woody station wagon. Next it was a silver station wagon. Then it was a woody Grand Caravan mini-van, and another one after that. Now it's an RV. Thankfully, I've never gone cross-country
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How to Eat Like a Keckler (09.30.02)
Did anyone ever read How to Eat Like a Child by Delia Ephron? The part that describes how to build a volcano and forest out of a plate of vegetables and mashed potatoes rather than eating them was all
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Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Spinach-Artichoke Dip (09.29.02)
Succotash. Isn't that just the ugliest-sounding word? Growing up, I was a very picky eater. I turned my nose up at meat I'd never heard of, Malt-o-Meal and any other kind of "hot cereal," scalloped potatoes
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Don't Cry for Me Vidalia (09.29.02)
Bodily functions fascinate me. Not all. Just a select few. Although I love them and happily add them in great mounds to any recipe that calls for them, onions wreak major havoc on my ocular implants.
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Third Week: Soups, Sauces and Puff Pastry (09.25.02)
Now We're in the Soup I love soups. Even if I personally don't like the flavor of this one or that one, I am enchanted by the idea of them. I've made butternut squash soup with nutmeg and chipotle
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In the Still of the Night (09.25.02)
In the Still of the Night, You can hear the zanzibub trees whisper Calling to you in their hushamung way, greatly grimping with the wind.
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Ode to the Ondine (09.25.02)
In the summer of nine-zero There would have been great need of a hero, To save a small craft (Whose skipper was thought daft) To sail it in the wrath Of Superior. On the eve of this night His daughter
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Perfume (09.25.02)
your scent lingered on me and mixed with my own I no longer smell the same since I met you mine is not mine and I am no longer solely me
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Montana Sky (09.25.02)
A vast canvas Her awesome mind can smear hectic colors, streaks of mist heaving billows no shutter can capture nor hand imitate Her reveries my pen stutters for trying
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Mountain Time (09.25.02)
We've passed into Mountain Time the sun has saturated the crimson depths and we've passed into Mountain Time the moon rises, taking bloodless steps and we've passed into Mountain Time is there a real
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The Haunted Garden (09.25.02)
I walk through the haunted garden of long ago, Passing each dry, leaf covered bed where loving hands
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Grilled Fontina Sandwiches with Prosciutto and Pear (09.25.02)
From Williams-Sonoma's online recipe database
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Roast Potato Salad (09.25.02)
No gloppy mayonnaise in this rendition -- this potato salad is pure and tangy.
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Salsa Verde (09.25.02)
From Bon Appetit magazine, June 2001
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Menu for Our Wedding Shower (09.25.02)
Libations: Ponder's Punch - served at Mom and Dad's wedding in 1965 Kir Royales with raspberries Champagne with peach nectar and peach slices Strongbow cider Dali's Sangria Food: Coronation Chicken Salad
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Chicken Souvlaki (09.25.02)
From Williams-Sonoma's online recipe database
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Watercress Salad with Belgian Endive and Apples (09.25.02)
Alice Waters invented this recipe, I came across it in Health Magazine and make it as often as possible.
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Cucumbers with Sesame Dressing (09.25.02)
From The Best Recipe by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated
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Grilled Lemon Chicken Breasts with Garlic and Rosemary (09.25.02)
The best chicken breast recipe in the world. Can be broiled or baked as well.
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Pasta with Fresh Marinara Sauce (09.25.02)
From Cooking Light magazine
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Crisp Potatoes with Allioli (09.25.02)
From Williams-Sonoma's online recipe database
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Cheese Fondue (09.25.02)
My go-to recipe for cheese fondue -- it's a never-fail.
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Coronation Chicken Salad (09.25.02)
When I was living in Cambridge, England I discovered two sandwich shops I'd dearly love to transport to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Cracking Fish Fillets (09.25.02)
Recipe courtesy of Michelle Urvater/The Food Network
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Baked Portobello Mushrooms (09.25.02)
This is yet another recipe that is so easy and filling, I make it several times a week as a main dish.
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Second Week: Soufflés and Pâte Brisée (09.16.02)
The Day the Soufflé Fell The Day the Soufflé Fell With apologies to, but a great deal of reverence for, James Thurber. Soufflé Day. Been looking forward to this date with much trepidation. After the
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First Week: Eggs, Eggs, Cream Puff Swans, oh, and by the way, EGGS! (09.09.02)
Leave it to Massachusetts to pick my first day of culinary school where I'd be spending eight hours in a roasting kitchen, walking fifteen sun-withered blocks in my clogs, socks, and long checked chef
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Fitting and Kitting (08.29.02)
Classes haven't started, nor has orientation taken place, yet I feel like today was my first day at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. At nine o'clock, I had my first meeting with accounts payable
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Lotta Lobster (08.17.02)
Three pounds of lobster. That's essentially what we just consumed. Okay, probably not the whole three pounds -- I'm sure the shell counts for like 2 oz of the entire beast. But man, I'm fantastically
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Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic