Category Archives: Food Bits

Leftover Panzanella Cake with a Fried Egg

September 12, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 3 Comments

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Resourcefulness is a quality that emerges gradually as you get more comfortable in the kitchen. At first, you might make a panzanella salad–with big chunks of toasted bread, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, a little anchovy, some basil, olive oil, and red wine vinegar–eat most of it and then throw the rest away because panzanella doesn’t really keep. That’s level one of being a cook. But to graduate to the next level, you should put the leftover panzanella in the fridge and figure out something to do with it the next day. Option 1? Blend it into a soup (why not? It has all the makings of a gazpacho and a tomato bread soup combined). I went for Option 2: frying it into a cake.

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How To Eat Crow (Or: Kristin Puts Me In My Place About Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts and Pizza at Home)

September 4, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 20 Comments

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When someone has a target on your head, it can be a scary thing. But ever since I wrote that article “Ten Things You Should Never Serve At A Dinner Party,” Craig’s sister Kristin has been out to get me. She first made herself known in the comments: “Dear Amateur Gourmet,
Allow me to introduce you to two of my close friends I call Chicken Piccata and Chicken Marsala. They are delicious when made properly, and if you think they’ll always be dry, leathery, and inedible then you apparently have not spent enough time eating in Steve Johnson’s kitchen.” (Note: Steve Johnson is Craig and Kristin’s dad.) “I don’t get this vendetta against b-less, sk-less chicken breasts, I think it’s entirely too stringent. They’re the blank canvas of the meat world! (I stole that phrase from another blogger.)”

And so it came to pass that on a recent trip to Bellingham, Washington, Kristin totally and absolutely put me in my place.

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A Summer Feast for Todd and Jim

September 2, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 21 Comments

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So remember that time that Jim Parsons and his partner Todd Spiewak made my rainbow cookie cake for Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his partner Justin Mikita? Well, since then, Jim and I have been e-mailing and trying to figure out a time for him and Todd to come over for dinner. We finally picked a date–Saturday, August 30th–and we each spent the time leading up to it in different ways: I went to the Pacific Northwest and ate Dungeness crab on a beach; Jim went to the Emmy Awards and picked up his fourth trophy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. At last, the dinner was upon us and it was time for me to cook.

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Summertime Vacay

August 21, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 18 Comments

Hey folks, taking a little time off for summer vacation, but I’ll be back after Labor Day to entertain you with more stories, recipes, and amateur gourmet antics. In the meantime, here’s my take on Gershwin’s “Summertime” on piano and harmonica. Enjoy the rest of your August!

The Right Way To Eat A Muffin

August 4, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 23 Comments

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This morning I decided to treat myself to a blueberry muffin from the Village Bakery right here in Atwater Village. As I began to eat the muffin, it occurred to me that there’s a right way and a wrong way to eat a muffin. For example, if you were new to America and you’d never experienced a muffin before, you might unwrap the whole thing, unlock your jaw, and attempt to take a top-to-bottom bite similar to the bite the shark takes out of the ship in Jaws. That’s the wrong way to eat a muffin. Let me show you the right way.

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Look Who Made My Rainbow Cookie Cake

July 29, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 14 Comments

A month or two ago, I noticed someone named @TheRealJimParsons following me on Instagram. Since the internet is a strange place, I figured, “that can’t really be the real Jim Parsons, three-time Emmy winner, it must be a fake Real Jim Parsons.” But then I noticed that all of the pictures @TheRealJimParsons posted were pictures of the real Jim Parsons in the morning holding a coffee mug; not the kind of thing you can really fake, even with Photoshop. So I left a comment to the effect of: “Are you really the real Jim Parsons? And are you really following me?” Sure enough, he wrote me back and said that yes he was the real Jim Parsons and he’s been reading my blog for years, ever since he did a search for roasted broccoli (on my grave it’s going to say “The Broccoli Guy.”) A few weeks later, I got an e-mail from him saying “Look What You’ve Done” and there was a picture of my Rainbow Cookie Cake in progress. That night, he posted the picture you see above: there’s Jim with the cake, his partner Todd, Jesse Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family (!!) and Jesse’s partner Justin Mikita. Turns out that the internet is, indeed, a strange place; but a pretty wonderful place too.

FOMIM: Fear of Missing Important Meals (While Traveling)

June 10, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 26 Comments

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It’s a very privileged problem to have, let’s acknowledge that out of the gate. Most people in this world who are worrying about food are worrying about how to get enough on to the table, not how to eat the very best the world has to offer while flitting about. Again, let me be the first to file this post under “Privileged People Problems” or “Problems That Are Not Very Serious In The Grand Scheme of Things.”

That said, I leave for Europe in one week and I’m starting to feel overwhelmed by all the “shoulds” floating across my screen. “Oh you’re going to Paris, you should go to Pierre Hermé,” says one person. “Skip Pierre Hermé,” says another person. “You should go to Jacques Genin.” It’s almost like I’m studying for the S.A.T.s and pretty soon I’m going to be in a gray little room with my #2 pencil, guessing C when I don’t know the answer, instead of strolling carefree around Europe, letting the day unfold in ways that might take be surprise. This is what it’s like being a Type A food person planning a trip.

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Entranced By Transferware!

May 27, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 17 Comments

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It started innocently enough. I Tweeted a picture of a serving dish from The Hart and the Hunter and asked, “If I want to find a plate like this on E-Bay, what would I search for?” (OK, ending a sentence with a preposition isn’t so innocent, but go with me here.) A few people responded: “Transferware.” I Googled Transferware, to get a definition, and Wikipedia offered: “A style of ceramics including pottery, dinnerware, and other delicate items. It uses transfer printing, a decorative technique which was developed in England in the mid-18th century, particularly around the Staffordshire region.” Then I started searching for Transferware plates on E-Bay and I haven’t been able to stop since.

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