Exclusive: Inside My Parents’ Refrigerator

For years, I’ve hounded my parents to let me videotape the inside of their refrigerator, a barren wasteland of processed foods and Tupperware containers filled with pre-chopped onions. (For those late to the story, my parents do not cook.) This Mother’s Day, they finally relented and the video above offers you EXCLUSIVE access to a world of Egg Beaters, sugar-free Concord jam and a strange plastic bag hidden in a drawer. Thanks, mom and dad, for granting us access; and to all the mother’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

[Note: the sound gets muffled at the beginning, but stick with it. I think I had my thumb over the microphone.]

Ramps, A Dialogue

I don’t know how it took me this long to discover Xtranormal.com, the website that lets you produce, write, and direct your own little animated movies, but I’m hooked! Above, then, you’ll find a short dialogue piece I created called: “Ramps, A Dialogue.” My first effort, “Food Blogging 101,” you can watch by clicking here. Have a great weekend!

A Video Podcast with Michael Symon

Yesterday I had the opportunity to chat with Iron Chef Michael Symon outside the Standard Hotel in New York’s meatpacking district. Chef Symon’s in town to promote his new cookbook, “Live To Cook” which he co-wrote with this blog’s good friend Michael Ruhlman. Here’s our lively chat edited down to just 4 minutes:

As for the tomato soup I mention at the end, I made it later that night and it was so fantastic I’m going to share the recipe in a separate post (look for it tomorrow). And if you want to watch the video of me cooking with Chef Symon in his kitchen at Lola, click here.

My Dungeness Crab Adventure


Let’s say you’re growing up in Boca Raton, Florida and you’re looking at a map and someone says to you, “Point to a place in America that seems the most exotic to you, the most far away?” there’s a good chance you might point to Washington State. After all, it’s pretty much as far as you can get from Boca Raton within the continental U.S. And growing up, as I did (past the age of 11), in South Florida, I very rarely–if ever–entertained the idea that I might, one day, find myself in Washington State, on a barely inhabited island on the San Juan archipelago, sitting in a rowboat with my boyfriend, his dad, and brother, pulling up traps of giant crabs that we would take ashore, smash on the side of a bucket, and cook in sea water. The closest I ever got to cooking and killing my own seafood in Boca Raton was choosing a lobster from the tank at Red Lobster when I went there with my grandparents.

Flash forward to me at the age of 29: generously invited by Craig and his family to join them for five days on the San Juan Islands where we would catch, kill, clean and cook our own fresh Dungeness crabs; I was suddenly about to experience the most exotic adventure the younger me could’ve imagined.

Continue Reading

The Great Crab Debate

For as long as I’ve known him, Craig has waxed lyrical about the Dungeness crabs he and his family eat when they go to their cabin on the San Juan Islands, pull the crabs right out of the water, boil them and eat them right on the spot. Diana, however, who comes from Virginia is partial to the blue crabs she gets from the water near her house, cooked in a mixture of beer and various seasonings. Mark, her boyfriend, who’s had both Diana’s blue crabs and Dungeness crabs (though, not Craig’s Dungeness crabs) prefers the blue crabs and you can see them agitating Craig in the above video.

I’ll finally get to taste Craig’s beloved crabs a week from Friday when I fly out to Seattle for a week-long visit to Bellingham and the San Juan Islands. Meanwhile, those of you who’ve had both, which do you prefer: Dungeness crabs or blue crabs? If you say blue, prepare to get angry e-mails from Craig.

Music While You Eat (4/16/08)

As promised, here are the songs you requested in the post below for you to enjoy while you eat your dinner. I stopped after 10, with a few tweaks: as mentioned in the video, I couldn’t find Tori Amos’s “Hungarian Wedding Song” so sorry Jill! And I didn’t know Paul Anka’s version of “Eye of the Tiger” so I just went with the original, April. My Liberace flourishes on your song, Mary, are pretty pathetic. And hard as I tried, w, I just couldn’t play “Baby Got Back” on the piano–it doesn’t have a melody! As for the shmaltzy finale, my dad is obsessed with me and the song “Food Glorious Food.” He thinks it should be my cell phone ring.

Is Lisa a Supertaster?

Many of you who’ve read my book have asked if Lisa, star of Chapter Three, is a Supertaster. You ask because Lisa abhors coffee and olives and her sensitivity to these foods makes her a likely candidate for Supertaster status. Since it was Lisa’s birthday recently, I contacted Doug Cress who administers The Supertaster Test and asked him to send me a sample. He kindly did (a few samples, actually) and I brought them with me to Lisa’s apartment after our dinner at Kefi (see below). The following video, then, finally sheds light on the mystery of Lisa’s tastebuds. To make it even more dramatic, I’d tasted a strip and barely tasted anything and Craig didn’t taste anything at all. And so, without further ado, here’s Lisa and the supertaster test: