Brenda The Waitress

So sad to hear about Jan Hooks, one of the funniest and most original women to ever grace the stage of Saturday Night Live. I knew her best, actually, as Martin Short’s co-star on an NBC special with Phil Hartman that I recorded on a VHS tape and watched over and over again in high school (I still have a lot of it memorized). But nothing comes close to the sketch you see above, considered one of the best SNL sketches of all time. Calling it a sketch, in fact, feels like something of an insult; it’s more of a mini-play and Jan Hooks is wonderful in it. May she rest in peace.

Someone’s In The Kitchen With…Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs

Amanda Hesser has lived in my kitchen for as long as I’ve been cooking. Well, in cookbook form: her “Cooking For Mr. Latte” (which I refer to as a cookbook even though it’s really a memoir (with recipes) about her courtship with New Yorker writer Tad Friend) is a constant go-to resource for me. The almond cake in it? It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes. So it was a big deal to have her and her Food52 co-creator and collaborator Merrill Stubbs here in my kitchen today for this latest installment of “Someone’s In The Kitchen With.” We chat about The New York Times Cookbook (Merrill assisted Amanda in writing it), the creation of Food52, and–later on in the conversation–what it’s like being women in a male dominated internet start-up world. Plus, I served them this coffee cake and Amanda already Tweeted that she’s coming back for more tomorrow. I cooked for a cookbook hero and she wants to come back for more (that’s a good feeling).

Previous Episodes: Ed Levine, Matt Armendariz, The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

Someone’s In The Kitchen With…Cara Eisenpress & Phoebe Lapine (from “Big Girls, Small Kitchen”)

On this, the third episode of “Someone’s In The Kitchen With…” (though really the second official episode, since episode 1 had major technical issues), I play host to Cara Eisenpress & Phoebe Lapine from “Big Girls, Small Kitchen” who have a new cookbook out called, fittingly enough, “In The Small Kitchen.” Watch as the “girls” teach me how to make and plate sweet pea crostini while we kibbitz about cookbook writing, The Barefoot Contessa (they were on an episode of the show!), catering parties, and how to collaborate on a cookbook without killing your co-author. Also: if you have happen to be in L.A., Cara and Phoebe are hosting a book party this Thursday (June 2nd) at the Thompson Beverly Hills Rooftop from 7 PM to 10 PM. RSVP here. Oh, and don’t miss their recipe for Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce which I blogged about in the post below.

Watch Me Cook Dinner LIVE (Tonight: 5 PM)

Hey readers, I’m cooking dinner for some friends tonight (an appetizer, an entree, a side dish and dessert) and I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be cool if I live-streamed the cooking process, so people can see me pull it off in real time?” So that’s exactly what I’m doing. Check back here at 5 PM EST (that’s less than 2 hours away) to watch me cook live; or click this link and join the chat room where you can ask me questions as I go.

UPDATE: Yesterday’s live cooking show went great. Thanks to everyone who came. For those who missed it, here’s a recording for you to watch and enjoy. Next time, I may employ a sidekick to engage the room while I do dishes.

Watch live streaming video from theamateurgourmet at livestream.com

Herb Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Earlier this year, I joined Craig for a trip to the Florida Film Festival, mostly so we could go to Disney World. On the day of the awards, we sat at a table with filmmaker Matt Morris. Then something extraordinary happened: the MC called his name and his documentary, “Pickin’ & Trimmin'” won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Short. Here Matt wins my grand jury prize for a dish I want to eat RIGHT NOW. Take it away, Matt!]

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Adam and I met at the Florida Film Festival. Craig’s movie True Adolescents was playing there, as was my (ahem, award-winning) documentary short film, Pickin’ & Trimmin&#8217. It was only later, through the brilliance of Facebook, that I found out Adam was a food writer and blogger.

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Garlic Scapes

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For as long as I’ve been going to the farmer’s market (about five years now), I always eye garlic scapes with skepticism and fear. These tangly, green specimens look like a cross between a plant and an octopus. Even Craig, who loves octopi, approached the garlic scapes I brought home this weekend with great dread and apprehension….

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