​What Are Your Favorite Family Foods?

My dad and younger sister arrived in DC late last night. I haven't seen them yet, as they're staying with my uncle across town, but the second text I got from my sister this morning was, "Doing ratatouille tonight if you're up for dinner!" As you might expect, my family generally prefers to cook dinner rather than go… » 7/18/14 2:06pm 7/18/14 2:06pm

Open Thread: What Are Your Kitchen Staples?

Fancy recipes—the kind that wow guests and look perfect on a food blog—are great, but they're not always the most practical option. A lack of money, space, time, or all of the above often limits our dinner choices, and most of the time we rely on a handful of ingredients that are always there for us when we need them.… » 6/27/14 9:55am 6/27/14 9:55am

A Poll: What are your thoughts on "ma'am"?

I grew up in Oregon and distinctly remember a senior coming into orchestra class my freshman year and complaining about how the cashier at the grocery store had called her ma'am the night before. She was impossibly offended by it. And then a few weeks ago, one of my friends from high school (who still lives in Oregon)… » 6/18/14 9:57pm 6/18/14 9:57pm

Open Thread: How Do You Organize Your Recipes?

It started with one folder: Recipes. That one quickly split into two, Recipes (Made) and Recipes (To Make). When college came along, a third appeared: Dorm-Friendly. Since then, my bookmarked recipes have expanded to fill 48 folders and subfolders in Chrome, their tidy labels hiding the controlled chaos that rests… » 6/13/14 1:12pm 6/13/14 1:12pm

Longread: Britney, the Feminist Icon?

Okay, so that's a little misleading. Even though the piece is supposedly about "How Britney Spears went to Vegas and became a feminist role model", the feminism bit is really more of an afterthought. That said, it's still a really interesting piece about the "Britneyplex" and the Vegas celeb life. Worth a read if you… » 6/10/14 2:47pm 6/10/14 2:47pm

Open Thread: Your Favorite Potluck Dishes

My family was never particularly big on potlucks. Every August, my mother tried to talk me out of going to my end-of-the-season swim team banquet. My dad tried to think of reasons he couldn't make it to his principal's "welcome back" events. Empty calendars were checked in the hope that some conflict had magically… » 6/06/14 11:45am 6/06/14 11:45am

Food Blog of the Week: Smitten Kitchen

Smitten Kitchen was the first food blog I ever bookmarked, back in high school when I was first really getting interested in cooking. Back then, I would check the homepage every day for new recipes; today, it occupies a place of honor in my RSS reader as the only food blog in my "top reads" folder that I check… » 6/02/14 3:18pm 6/02/14 3:18pm

The Problem With Spontaneity: In Which I Am Not Nellie Bly

I'm writing this from Berlin, where I'm happily settled in a pleasant hostel, freshly-showered and about to fall asleep in a surprisingly comfortable bunk bed. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the start of my trip, as Saturday night found me at the end of a full day of travelling, huddled beneath a towel in… » 5/06/14 6:38pm 5/06/14 6:38pm