I inherited my mother's penchant for scary films but not her domestic talents. I keep fabric glue in the drawer, I staple hems, and when all else fails I call a tailor. Mom's passion for sewing was inversely proportional to her interest in cooking. Come to think of it, so is mine. The equation balances perfectly.
I hope you enjoy my favorite media selections and invite you to share a few of your own.
Binging with Babish
As much as I surf the internet and YouTube for cooking videos, I somehow missed this one. Luckily my inner foodie is no secret to friends and co-workers who introduced me to Binging with Babish. A series dedicated to making the foods you see in TV and film. Don't let Andrew's humor or the length of his videos fool you. This guy is the real deal. I doubt I will ever try the Eggs Woodhouse, but his authentic Carbonara is spot on.
Sally's Baking Addiction
Most people buy bagged candy to give out on Halloween. I bake cupcakes. My record is 12 dozen individually hand-decorated cupcakes and Sally is my go-to for recipes. I'm really jealous of Sally. Not because she turned her post-collegiate blog into a successful culinary business (although there is that) or that she looks like a super model with a professional kitchen (that, too). No, what I am really jealous of is her altitude. My own test kitchen sits right at 5,000 feet where delicate baked goods often succumb to what I call altitude sickness. I frequently have to modify published recipes and as Sally will tell you, tweaking ingredients isn't a simple matter of swapping one for another. Baking is a science - a series of chemical reactions that are sensitive to time, temperature, and pressure. My test kitchen will give details of the recipe's origins and any mods. And I will admit that doctored cake mixes do find their way into the hands of little ghosts and goblins. Sorry, Sally.
Laura in the Kitchen
My favorite part about Laura Vitale's cooking show is that her recipes work, and they work without being overly complicated or time-consuming. And we're not talking not just her Italian dishes, although they are fantastic. Laura's chicken and veggie stir fry is a weeknight favorite and I would stack her Cajun chicken pasta against anything I've had in a restaurant. The caprese pasta salad is my go-to for a summer potluck. Laura is as charming as she is beautiful, and not afraid to take a giant bite right out of the oven.
Asian at Home, Seonkyoung Longest
I probably love Asian food more than any other cuisine. And I'm talking the type of Asian food that most Americans think is Asian. I'm pretty sure if I went to Korea I would starve. I don't eat kimchi. My American taste buds absolutely love japchae, Korean stir-fried noodles (which aren't stir fried), and Seonkyoung's recipe is the bomb. I don't recommend the Korean army base stew unless you love everything that's wrong with the western diet. My favorite part about each episode is the finale. Nobody chows down with chopsticks quite like this beautiful and talented self-taught chef.
Cooked, A Netflix Documentary with Michael Pollan
Some years ago, my brother recommended Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food." Before he became an unethical vegan, my brother and I would debate the various religions of food. This book changed my life. The Netflix documentary, Cooked, changed my life some more. This four-part series explores cooking and culture through the essential elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. As a direct result of this series, I bake my own artisan sourdough bread. If you have Netflix, check it out.