tell me more, tell me more

Be glad you’re not in the room with me these days, because I’ve been singing, or “wailing” as Alex likes to call it, “getting to knooooooow yoooooou” for days. Except that’s the only line I know, and as usual, it has not stopped me from restarting the tune every 20 seconds or so. Oh, and I don’t even know what “pitch” is or how to approximate attaining it. Really, I’m a delight.

tiny tomatoes

Nevertheless, as painful as it might be to hear about in person, I really do want to get to know you better and I’ve finally buckled down and begged Alex (see how I did that there?) to put together a questionnaire-type thing that will help me towards that goal. Despite the fact that you’ve given this site such a fun and enthusiastic comment section, I suspect that only about 5 to 10 percent of you have ever chimed in, which is totally fine but means that the rest of you are something of a mystery to me.

stone fruit heaven

For example, do you like pie after a movie or are you completely tired of me overusing this True Romance reference? Do you like your pancakes with butter and jam or maple syrup? How many days a week do you eat PB&J for lunch? Is four too many? Do you think that I could shatter wine glasses with my high notes?

donut peaches and plums

Okay, fine, I don’t really get into any of those questions, mostly I just want to know a little bit more about who you are, where you’re from and how you feel about cooking, and the answers are just for me, me me–not some marketing research group or an ad network–and to satisfy my curiousity, so I hope you’ll consider taking a few minutes to answer 15 easy questions. In fact, I’ll even leave it open for a whole week, so you know, you’ll have no excuse not to regale me with your answers.

[The Smitten Kitchen Getting to Knooow Yooou Poll]

pickle childhood

Oh, you thought this was a cooking blog? Fine then. These photos are from the Union Square Greenmarket on Friday, where everything was so gorgeous just about the only reason we didn’t walk off with the whole market was the space limitation in our RuMe bags and the fact that we might have blown a lot of our remaining cash on three ginormous peppers. (Seriously, I was like “Alex, do you think these peppers are bigger or smaller than my brain?” and he did that thing where he doesn’t answer, because he’s polite and I occasionally make him dinner and he’d like to keep it that way.) I digress.

mega-huge bells

We’ll have a new recipe tomorrow created at least in part with some of our haul, and more this week. In the meanwhile, pretty please? And I hope you had a great weekend.

peaches for me

One year ago: Plum-Almond Tartlets

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164 comments on tell me more, tell me more

  1. Answered your questionnaire. Fun post. I also enjoyed seeing the recipe (again) for the plum-almond tart. Looks and sounds wonderful. Will have to work that into my baking yet this summer. Love that combination of ingredients.

  2. What a fun idea! I like that I can see everyone’s results too. :) Unfortunately, I found this blog after I started remodeling my kitchen. It’s been forever and I’ve now gotten such an urge to cook! I used to be a bit of a workaholic and never really cooked much before. I never knew what to make. Thanks to your blog I have tons of new ideas and an impatience for my kitchen to be ready! So thanks for the inspiration! :)

  3. Lara

    I started to fill out the questionnaire, but at first thought that your closest neighbor to the north did not rate a geographical radio button. Then I triple checked and saw “North America – Other than US”. Canada and Mexico – so geographically (economically, socially, etc). similar. SIGH. Darn you Mister Poll!

  4. Erin

    Answered the poll. I love your blog and read it almost daily – at least a couple time a week on my google reader. I would love to see fun soup/stew recipes when the weather gets cold!

  5. Rachel

    So, according to my poll answers it would appear that I eat only 3-4 times per week, because I don’t do take-out and I also don’t eat out every night and I also only “cook” one-two nights a week (maybe), though truthfully that’s only since I moved to NYC five weeks ago and now have a) no kitchen and b) no free time and c) no live-in boyfriend to eat my food (we didn’t break up; he’s just upstate). My question is: What is it called when you combine olives, tomatoes, cheeses, chickpeas, and bread in varying multiples on a nightly basis? Is that cooking or…assemblage?

    Anyhoo, checked in tonight to get the crumble recipe for like the tenth time. Love it with any fruit! This evening’s program: peaches and blueberries. Thanks Garden State! And thanks, Deb, for all the greatness of SK!

  6. deb

    Apologies to New Zealanders and anyone else finding themselves state-less in the poll. It was an oversight, and it doesn’t look like the poll is editable now. Sorry about that…

  7. April in CT

    How fun! I liked being able to see all the results as well and was disturbed by the few that answered they have human heads in their freezer. LOL

    The pictures in this entry are just beautiful. I’d kill to have a place like that I could shop at. Those peaches are screaming to be made into a cobbler!

  8. Kara

    I feel so special that you care to know all this information about me! (Well us, really). In case you are using extra-fancy statistical modeling on this, I should tell you that my answers were an amalgam of past and hypothetical future – I just moved to a new city with a new job and a new schedule and a new panoply of food options so it’s hard to tell what the future will hold. Although since nothing matches NYC take-out options, I venture I’ll be cooking more and ordering in less!

  9. zh

    … did you get very far? Tell me more, tell me more, like does he have a car?

    (Thanks for getting *that* stuck in my head, heh)

  10. I was stymied by your freezer question. My freezer is filled with frozen organic meats, sliced breads from the bakery (so that there is always decent bread around) and homemade ice cream or ice pops. Not to mention the ice cream maker.

  11. nan

    Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.
    Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.
    Getting to know you, putting it my way,
    But nicely, You are precisely,
    My cup of tea. That’s all I know…and now it’s stuck in my head and I’ll be humming it for the rest of the night…thanks, I think. My mom used to pretend she was Anna and sang that song while waltzing around the house with a dustrag…but my dad refused to be the King.

    1. Kerry

      Okay so I was one of them. But I can explain! I live in India, where I have a very old fridge with a tiny freezer that gets ice build-up extremely quickly. And the electricity goes out frequently, ensuring that anything I place in my freezer is unfrozen and then refrozen for me on a regular basis. So, basically, it’s a pretty useless space. I do have a small loaf of bread and an ice pack in there right now, but the human heads option somehow seemed to best capture how I feel about my stupid freezer.

  12. julie

    I’m not sure where Colorado fits into your geographic selections. I don’t cook, my husband does all of that, but I do shop and am always on the hunt for new recipes. He has been informed that he is going to make me that chocolate peanut butter cake for my birthday.:)

  13. Sherri

    My freezer is full of homemade baby food and shrimp (buy 1 get 2 free special on EZ peel 21-30s, woot!), plus extra bread and the tub for my ice cream maker, so I guess that counts as “saving for later.” I only recently found your blog and I’m so glad I did, as I’m really trying to get back into cooking after taking about a year off. Now that my son is inching up on being able to eat real food, I want to make sure he gets a chance to experience good food. I made the watermelon and vegetable salad you posted not long ago with a viniagrette instead of the yogurt-based dressing, and it was divine. Thanks for that, and all the other beautiful pictures and recipes.

  14. maja

    Hi! I read you all the time, love love love your blog. I’m also your neighbour to the North, and was surprised to see us Canadians lumped in with the Mexicans… Poor N.Z didn’t rate a mention though…. Maybe you’ve never been there, if not you NEED to go! It’s the most beautiful place I have ever seen! It was so beautiful I almost cried. I didn’t think places like that existed…. and yet they do, and there is…in New Zealand.

  15. deb

    We are terribly embarrassed about these geographical oversights–can you tell we’re not professional marketers/poll-writers? I hope that’s a good thing, well, except in the awkward case of lumping Mexico and Canada together! But seriously, I hope nobody is too put off about that–we will take responses from that question with a big grain of salt.

    Also the human heads bit. One would hope.

  16. Laura

    Hee. Well, I’m a New Zealander, but I sucked it up and don’t mind identifying myself as an Australian just this once! (Sacrilege to my father, but he’ll never know! ;)

  17. Ada

    Hey! Took your poll and also wanted to tell you that the “sun”-dried tomatoes are delicious! Made a bunch from two pints’ worth of grape tomatoes and now they’re all pretty in a jar in my fridge. Also, I’d cook more often if I had the time (and other people around the house didn’t cook), but I shop pretty often because I work in a natural foods market… which is awesome! What are you going to do with your survey Deb?

  18. laura

    Did the poll. I don’t cook meat, but I’m not a strict vegetarian. But having been raised in a meat-free home, I am just uncomfortable with bones and ligaments and blood vessels in my own kitchen! So I didn’t know how to answer that one question. :)

  19. Lindsay

    What a fun quiz! I kind of hate myself for having to pick the 30 minute meal answer on that one though. Rachel Ray is just so annoying! But man I can’t pass up a fast dinner. ;) sigh.

  20. Joelle

    Beautiful donut (sic) peaches! They’re my favorite…my folks live a few miles from the one place they’re historically grown on the east coast, and they’re amazing when straight from the tree and still warm from the sun…

  21. Ris

    So I filled out your questionnaire and then looked at the results for everyone. I started reading you when you were still at iVillage and even though I’m not a foodie and hate to cook, I still read every post you write. So, sorry if I’ve skewed your results towards “lame-o who never cooks and hates to try new things.”

  22. Hey that’s a cool survey – though I’m freaked by the “human head in freezer” count – it’s up to 24. People are joking, right? Yes, people are joking. Um…

  23. ursula

    I just took the survey, and realized I’ve been silent for too long! Thank you for all of the great cooking inspiration and entertainment. I like your vegetarian (or easily adapted) recipes the best. Thank you!

  24. trace

    4th picture down, those are some odd-looking apples (or peaches?).

    I found the lumping of Mexico and Canada a bit funny. It’s like the US is sandwiched by “North America – Other than US” lol.

    Currently living at home with parents so the only cooking I do is baking on the weekends. Even when I’m back at school and cooking my own meals, I’m still more interested in baking than cooking.

  25. Laura

    Hey! I’m chiming in about geographical locations too – I’m an American in the Middle East. The Middle East doesn’t figure in at all! Still reading, cooking, baking, etc., though…. Took the poll, and had to leave the location blank.

  26. Anna

    Usual lurker, but I took the poll. I tried to answer truthfully — I just moved to Hong Kong, and I’m addicted to the noodle shop around the corner, so I eat there more than I’d like to admit. But considering that I turned down at 45 apartments because the kitchen was no more than a hotplate and a sink, I may have upped the number of times I cook. Because I intend to, really. It’s a shame to not use the counterspace. Now I just have to find the grocery store…

  27. stella

    Oh I really enjoyed your poll! It’s not very often to hear webmasters wanting to getting to know their readers. Very nice idea. And could you tell me in the end how many readers under 18 you have? My friends tell me I’m strange being so addicted to food blogs with 16!

  28. Vera

    You were so charming today, and the pics sooooo appetitlich as my grandma would say, and your sentences sooo champagne bubbly, that I (who never ever do polls) bowed and did my homework. Just love your juicy blog!

  29. I love your blog and check it almost daily for new recipes. I’ve passed it on to my family. Now we all love/hate you for inspiring us to cook/bake delicious things. Actually, it’s mostly the baking that has the love/hate thing. Anyhow, I wanted to add that I am another New Zealand reader without a home. Keep on postin’!

  30. I answered to the best of my ability, but you didn’t have all my options. :P I really enjoyed it though! A reasonably good poll, all in all. :D

    Urm, yeah, I’m usually one of the lurkers, so.. this may be my first comment EVAR!

  31. Oh! And with the question about cooking, I marked 30 minute recipes, but I don’t mind the occasional longer/fancier recipe, it’s just, on average, I’d rather be done with cooking in 30 minutes (that’s about the time it takes for my boyfriend to get home after he calls me from the car..)

  32. Tiffany

    I’m one of those lurkers who visits your blog, but never really comments. But I AM TODAY! & I took the questionnaire as well. I love you recipes! They both inspire me to cook and to take awesome pictures! :)

  33. Jenny in Korea

    Hey, I’ll comment. I’m fairly new. I loooove your blog. It is the first food blog I’ve subscribed to. I live in South Korea with a husband and seven kids…so my cooking is fairly industrial :-) I never buy just one of anything. In my freezer I have home grown (by me) hot Korean peppers that I’m pretty darned proud of and that I use to make a mean salsa. I also had a dead mouse in the freezer until recently…we had to save it to show the pest control guy since we don’t speak Korean. I found him (the mouse, that is) eating from my ice cream bowl that I had left by my bed one night (ahh, Korea). Whew, I’m glad that’s out of there…

  34. I only discovered you recently, and love your style – both photos and recipes. My brother lives in NY so I think of him when I read your stories of life there. And thanks for remembering to include Australia!(:

  35. Interesting poll, Deb and lovely market pix! lol, sorry fellow kiwis, we’ll have to kiw-Ozzies for the now, our little treasonous secret, eh?

    I’m sure everyone will just chose the closest answer for questions where their exact habit is not described (I also have bulk frozen raw ingreds in freezer – chillies, curry leaves, meat etc, +muffins/cakes, and so just checked homemade meals/cake option), as a social scientist (qual and quant trained) I can confirm questionnaires are not so easy to design!

    and finally: pie = any time, PB+J sandwiches per week = 0, pancakes = lemon and honey/sugar, or butter and jam, or honey, banana/berries and yogurt (or cream!). and Deb, around here, we normally shatter our wine glasses in more debaucherous ways!

  36. Alecia

    Can we have more polls please? That was super fun! Though I have to admit that I lied and said I was like Julia Child instead of the Barefoot Contessa. I just couldn’t resist thinking of myself and Julia and kindred spirits for just a few seconds. It was very cool to see the results. Also, I made the salad type stuff with roasted cauliflower and kidney beans last night for some guests, and it was to die for! I never thought I could devour so much cauli so happily.

    Also, I’m probably a minority here – but my cooking is often limited by accessibility of ingredients. I live in a small city in Transylvania. Things like brown sugar, peanut butter, bok choy, and decent vanilla can’t be found here. Just thought I’d add another wrinkle.

  37. Me thinks you chose the right career as a writer and not a statistician. ;) ;) I jest. But seriously – Where is Canada in your survey?

    If you absolutely live for comments I will try to comment more. Comments make the world go round for bloggers, don’t they?

  38. Rachel M

    I was stumped on the freezer question because none of the answers were applicable. What about just plain frozen meat and vegetables? Not pre-packaged foods or anything, but chicken thighs, a steak, a bag of frozen peas, etc.

  39. I’ve posted only once or twice before, but read your blog faithfully. I tried taking your poll, but it won’t let me submit. :( So I’ll summarize here!

    I’m 24, a SAHM to 2 lil girls, live in a small town in Wisconsin. I usually cook daily, although with canning season starting I might not be cooking all our suppers now! Hence I said we do carryout 2x a week. ;) And busy life is what keeps me from cooking. Eat in restaurant? With a 2.5yo and a 9mo? Not too often, let me tell you!

    We buy groceries 1-4x a week (depends on how organized I was), stopping at the farmer’s market, grocery store, butcher store, sometimes cheese factory, occasional roadside produce stand, and soon – a dairy farm. :)

    I cannot for the life of me make a 30 minute meal, it never happens. Unless it’s breakfast food, and even that doesn’t always beat the clock! I picked Barefoot Contessa. My husband’s favorite Italian meal is Maccheroni al Forno – pasta (think penne or ziti) layered with bescemela (cream sauce) and sugo alla Bolognese (tomato based sauce) topped with real parmesan and baked until golden. YUM! And it takes a good 2 hours (for me) before it even goes in the oven. And so many dishes…

    I am allergic to legumes! I’m really hoping to eat them again someday, but for now I can’t. :( And no, this is not a case of needing Beano. Real allergy here. I am also trying to find recipes that are gluten, egg, and/or dairy free for a friend who has a list of allergies longer than I can remember.

    I’m not dieting, but I am eating responsibly. I want to eat the freshest, most natural foods possible. So my freezer is full of (my garden’s) organic produce, pastured poultry, produce ordered from Amish or picked at a u-pick farm, 80-100# of all-natural beef (split a beef), and ingredients/meals prepared by me for days when I don’t have time to cook. Normally I also have homemade breads, but I’ve used them up.

    My favorite meal is any with good meat and beautiful veggies. :) Or fruit, when we’re talking breakfast – only veggies I like then are in my omelet!

    There, all my answers to the poll. And much more info than you would have had if Mister Poll would have cooperated!

  40. Holy cow Deb, there’s a lot of people who read your blog! I had no idea, but of course am not surprised. Your blog is an absolute delight! I can’t for the life of me remember how I found you, but SK is now a “button” on my browser, upgraded from being in the drop down list of Bookmarks.
    Loved your wedding cake saga. Can’t wait for your next major undertaking. Perhaps a compendium on apples? I live just a short hike up the highway in the heart of Apple Country in Connecticut. You should head up this way October 18-19 for our annual Apple Fest. Oh the pies you could consume!

  41. deb

    Wow, thanks so much for partcipating, everyone! I am just bowled over and hadn’t expected so many to willingly take part in a poll. You all rock. I’ll definitely round up the results when we’re done.

    Trace — Those are donut peaches on the left and plums on the right.

  42. Kelly

    I made the choc/PB cakes this weekend! It was a huge hit. It was ridiculously easy to make and it looked beautiful and everyone ate their whole slice…

  43. Kelly

    oh yea, and I agree with the freezer thing, i assumed frozen met and veggies counted as “pre=packaged” its like all stuff to make food with oh, and ice cream..who doesn’t have ice cream in their freezer…?

  44. Yael

    Filled out that thingy, but it feels kinda inaccurate, because there were some things I couldn’t fill in (such as the fact I live in Israel – Asia is kinda correct, but it’s a difficult answer – or the fact I still live with my parents, so they’re the ones buying food, and while I help cooking and often make stuff myself, my mum does most of the cooking at home). Seriously, pretty much every question could have benefited from an extra comments frame…
    Also felt like there were some questions missing, like about budget issues, or maybe something about what kind of cooking we prefer (baking? BBQ? etc).

    But otherwise, fun stuff.

    Been wanting to ask you for some good-but-easy recipes (or references to such) – next week I’m going to go visit my boyfriend near Seattle for 4 weeks, and he lives in a tiny apartment, with no oven (too bad, because I love baking), just a very small stovetop and a grill outside. And our budget is limited. Would love to hear some new ideas, so we’re not stuck eating stirfry/spaghetti/take-out for the whole time. :)

  45. RA

    Holy moly, over 2K respondents! That is awesome. Is it lame that the most exciting part of filling out the survey was clicking “view current results”? I love me some graphs.

  46. deb

    For the freezer question, for “frozen + prepackaged” I meant things like bags of frozen fruit, vegetables and frozen dinners or dinner elements, like breaded cutlets, etc. Basically, stuff you’ve bought, not stuff you’ve made. The next option “a mixture” was for both stuff you’ve made, i.e. “self-packaged” and stuff you’ve bought “pre-packaged.” And of course, “stuff I’ve cooked” was if your freezer is pretty much all homemade stuff. (I’m picturing David Lebovitz’s here, stuffed to the gills with his ice cream experiments, or mine, right before the wedding cake.)

    Oh, and the human heads was supposed to be funny but with 52 responses so far, veering more into the creepy zone.

  47. Beth

    Im definitely one of the non-commenters around here! I love love love your site and recipes! I made the blueberry crumble, but with some frozen cherries I had, and man that was a hit. From that one dish alone I’ve been dubbed a baking queen here at work, which is ridiculous because Im actually a pretty terrible baker. So that says a lot about your recipe!! I’ve pointed them all to your site. And I think Ive been eating your peanut sesame noodles for a month straight now…. Anyway, thanks to your hard work and efforts I am eating pretty delicious things lately, so thank you, Deb! :-)

  48. ErinL

    Hi Deb – Haven’t posted before, but have been reading your site (and printing recipes and loving them) for a month or so now, and decided to take the poll for your amusement and information. And now a question for you – is there a place on your site (or that you might consider adding to your site) where you list some of the cookbooks you feel are really worth purchasing? It’s a category of book I’m currently lacking, but I hate buying cookbooks and then only ever using one or two ideas from it, and if you’re smitten with any, I’d love to know.

  49. Sarah


    A couple of answers that didn’t really fit on the poll – my freezer is full of raw meat that we purchased in bulk and my favorite meal is dessert!


  50. martha in mobile

    @Jenny in Korea — too funny about the mouse! I’ve had deceased small pets awaiting burial, deceased small fish awaiting return to the pet store for credit, and entomological specimens (sounds better than “cockroaches and termites”) awaiting inspection by pest control. Currently there are few pounds of crawfish shells awaiting garbage day. Because here in the steamy Southern summer, it is considered rude to put your shrimp/crawfish shells in the garbage can too early!

  51. Katie

    I’m a lurker, but totally love your blog! I take my pancakes with peanut butter and syrup. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Now.

    Here’s all the getting to know you lyrics:

    I lived for Anna’s dresses when I was a kid. I dreamed of the day that I’d move into a Rogers and Hammerstein musical.

  52. Shari from Ohio

    I love this blog, the pictures and those who comment. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has problems with any of my baking techniques.

    And, again, the pictures are fantastic and always make me hungry. I never knew how much I like poached eggs until I saw one oozing over some toast fingers.

    Rock on

  53. Gorgeous photo of the rainbow chard- one of my favorite items in our veggie garden this year! Oh, I agree with Sarah #67- freezer is full of bulk meat, meals that I’ve cooked and frozen, fruit that I’ve prepped and frozen, and at least one cookie tray of something “flash freezing” so I can package it up for the long winter! I LOVE my freezer.

  54. Gene

    I just finished your poll; I suspected I was in the minority among your subscribers but not that low. I imagine if you had included a gender reference I would have found myself in the demographic basement. Can I be so bold to suggest a question for next time? Given the chance to supply your daily nutritional requirements would you eat only desserts?
    PS MAde your slo-ro cherry tomatoes yesterday- served with marinated feta cheese. Company was licking their plates. Fifteen people responded Smitten who ?

  55. Gail

    This is my first post. I love your blog. The photos and recipes are fantastic, and you’ve inspired me to make a wedding cake.

  56. Julie

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented, but I do read your blog religiously – not because I intend to make what you so beautifully demonstrate but because I enjoy your friendly style and drool over the beautiful dishes you make. Here’s some more about me you may not get from the survey (because you didn’t have the space to ask so many questions or the inclination to analyze mounds of data – as I do for a living):
    – Cook 2 large meals on Sunday and alternate throughout the week. Mostly one pot meals so I don’t have to think about clean-up or storing or heating multiple parts.
    – Have a two-and a half year old who only eats macaroni and cheese (good homemade recipes are welcome – I know I’ve seen some here), hot dogs, fish sticks, and pizza – despite my efforts of introducing him to a super tasty Moroccan Beef Stew and other delicacies when he was a baby.
    – Expecting another baby in January and planning to make my own baby food.
    – Keep kosher (thanks for including that option)
    – Only started cooking seriously (or not that seriously) when I got married. Before then, it was spaghetti and sauce every night!

    Thanks for writing a great blog!

  57. Caithness

    ok so here’s what i do when the boyfriend is not home to cook for me: eat a few crackers, maybe a slice of cheese if there is any left, whatever fruit isn’t rotting on the counter and i wash it down with soy milk. i am a student and in bad need of cooking lessons.
    your blog is awesome! the recipes are all great but i only try the baking ones because i can’t cook. (i did do the poached egg though!) are there easy recipes i can try to stop becoming malnourished? i know rachael ray has that yum-o thing and easy 30 minute meals stuff but i much prefer you to her <3 (and also she uses way too much cheese and stuff for my lactose intolerant self)!

  58. I started your poll with good intentions, but left much of it blank because there was not an answer option for many questions that really fit. I create most of my own recipes (many posted online on our website) and frequently cook off the cuff — mostly from scratch. I cook for myself and my wife, but sadly not for my son who only eats mac-n-cheese, grilled cheese and cheese pizza (that, I make together with him nearly every weekend). I enjoy your blog and love the photography.

  59. Selkie

    Coast of Maine; read every day.
    I enjoy setting my internet browser opening page to a site that opens with a Beautiful pic: Yours does! Inspiring photo’s; thank you.
    I often use the recipes as spring points (I save so many in my cooking files: I usually make them as is before experimenting with tweaks). I cook alot, I guess what we now call “slow food”, local foods including fabulous mushrooms. CSA member local farm. Raised my boys cooking fine food, and now as adults living away they cook/eat fine fresh local food (and are still coming home to watch me cook, swooning over results and lessons learned).
    I agree with the idea of a second poll, asking the next level of questions…
    Your sense of humor is also much appreciated in a day, Deb. Thanks for everything!

  60. Oh! I love these photos! I just finished my spring semester in Paris, these photos could be straight from the open air markets that sprinkle the city. It’s amazing how inspiring a gathering of fruit and vegetables can be!

  61. Petra

    Thanks for this blog! It’s one of my favorites. Here’s something I (and others I’m sure) would like to know about you: How did you transition from vegetarian to meat-eater? I stopped eating meat at age 13. Now I’m 32 and kind of want to start eating it again, but so far have been too scared to actually do it. You can make a post with your favorite intro-to-meat recipe!

  62. Here’s one thing I learned about your readers—many of us are eager to participate in polls!

    I would never turn down a good poll… they are fascinating. And somehow it was comforting to know I fell in the middle range of most these answers.

    As ever, love, love, love these photos (other than your sense of humor, I think they keep me visiting here the most).

  63. Hi, I answered your questionnaire, and was surprised to see that I actually fit in the majorities profiles. I am a homemaker though, I and I didn’t see that option there, so I just wanted to mentioned.
    Hope we helped you!

  64. I answered the questionnaire but said that i only cooked 3-4 times a week and didn’t eat take out but this is only because I still live at home with my mum so she does most of the cooking ;-) haha. I have no fussy diet requirements except no processed meats! Ew! Sausages! Most of all though, I love baking.

  65. Liz C

    i don’t think anyone should feel bad for choosing the “30 minute meals” option. it’s not like R.R. came up with the idea or anything, she just used it to her advantage is all. i for certain like to know i can make a pretty good dinner in under an hour, although i find it difficult to make anything that is supposed to be done in 30 minutes in that actual time frame. chalk it up to a disorganized kitchen and being sub-par in my knife skills. i’m getting better though!

  66. Annie

    I love love this blog. I am forever clogging peoples inboxes with links to your recipes- just to see my colleagues start drooling across the office. One comment about the otherwise fab questionnaire- I am from England and in the ‘Favourite meal’ question you have missed off my favourite meal of all time (and I think I am speaking here for the whole nation, including the queen) … afternoon tea. Yummy sandwiches, pastries, cakes, scones with cream and jam, with tea and perhaps some champers. Served on a tiered stand- so you count the courses (all 4 of them! 4!), staving off that gloomy mid afternoon slump, when you know that dinner is still hours away. Now- see I’ve come over all patriotic just thinking about it. Possibly the best British tradition ever.

  67. Jeannette

    Heyyyy… why was dessert not a meal option? :)

    I don’t think i have ever commented before, but i enjoy your blog ever-so-much! Your humor, recipes, and pictures are a winner! Just thought you should know.

    Keep the goodies coming, as I LOOOOOOOVE to bake. :)

  68. Mike

    Oh Deb,

    Sometimes practice makes perfect. I know that this may make Alex track me down and hang me upside down by my toenails… but here:

  69. Just to clarify an answer I gave in the poll: my cooking personality is most like “Semi-Homemade,” but I would never use a recipe from the Queen of the Kwanzaa Cake. I just like the idea of eating an “assemblage” of good ingredients, rather than laboring over homemade everything. I would love to see more posts about the best chicken stock (as opposed to instructions for homemade stock), the best puff pastry (God knows I’m not making that from scratch), the best vinegar, or similar shortcuts. I’m all about making my life easier if there isn’t much compromise in flavor.

  70. Joann

    I took your qustioner. I do check your blog faithfully. I just have not commented
    in a while. Due to time & life & enjoying the great weather of summer.
    Great blog keep it coming!!!!!

  71. Nicole

    Okay, so I did your poll . . . . because you shamed my guilty lurking self! But, I’m pretty sure I just really should have left well enough alone since I cook everyday but I eat in a restaurant 5-6 days a week . . . does it count if I own the restaurant?? ha!

    Love your blog. It always reads as though you are typing away with a big smile on your face. And the photos . . . . GORGEOUS.

  72. Susan

    What the poll didin’t ask: What I like about your site are the variety of recipes and cooking skills that are demonstrated and the fact that you present them with enthusiasim mixed occasionally with a little trepidation. It inspires me! They are varied enough that I can choose to break out of my typical cooking style and skill set and use ingredients or techniques that are different, some sophisticated or complex. Your wedding cake demo, for example, was really excellent. I felt like I was learning right along with you. You tackled that whole project undaunted and made it organized and feel more like it was an attainable goal for someone of my (average) skill level. Thank you, Deb, it’s what keeps me coming back!

  73. megan

    Poll completed. As a few other people mentioned the wedding cake series, I thought I’d add – I made a gluten free version for a friend’s wedding this weekend, inspired by your mango curd and frosting. It got rave reviews, and comments of “mango curd? Really? You made mango curd?” The frosting also held up at 75 degrees, through two thunderstorms, outside under a tent for over three hours. Thank you for doing all of the testing for me.

  74. janis

    Some other good questions might be what do you love about Smitten Kitchen or want more of? I really love your writing style, and the inspiration/motivation I get to cook from both your recipes and photos. I wish the recipes were rated, comments are usually by people who haven’t even made the dish yet. I like simple food, I am not a fan of sauces or any recipe with a long ingredient list, so I love when you just present an appealing simple vegetable based dish (something my bread-based diet sorely needs) that actually makes me WANT to eat a veggie!

  75. Zsuzsa

    Another lurker who has never commented before but I have been reading your blog ever since I stumbled upon it a few months back. Love your posts, love your pictures, love your humor (similar to mine :)) I am definitely more of a baker than a cook but I always enjoy trying out your recipes. Thank you!

  76. Megan

    Wow, there are a lot of New Zealanders here! And I for one thought about counting myself as Australian, but simply COULD NOT do it.

  77. I make food at home all the time. Granted, not “special” dinners and lunches most of the time, but I am capable in the kitchen except for my distaste of cooking with slimy raw meat (especially chicken). I also pack lunch for school every day instead of eating out at the school cafeteria (because it has very unhealthy, not-so-great food and is high priced) and I have saved I don’t know how many dollars. I think I have spent less than a dollar at the college last year and I consider that to be pretty darn good. :-)

    My latest baking attempt is sourdough bread, and I have finally managed to get a starter working to my amazed joy. Now we’ll have to see if I can also handle baking decent bread with it!

  78. Linda

    Those pictures are beautiful, and the poll was a lot of fun, if geographically challenged. Can you insert a drop down menu of countries/states? But I gotta tell you, that link for the RuME bags was just awesome. They have all this cool stuff, even egg poachers, lol.

    My food budget is gonna take an extra big hit this week…

  79. Ahh, a poll … nothing like it to pull us lurkers from the woodwork. The only question I didn’t answer was if I had any dietary needs because I’ll gladly eat anything (haha, but I see I wasn’t the only one not answering that one). I also mulled over the geographical location for awhile deciding if Florida was “South” or “Southeast” … because anyone in a major city will tell you we are definitely not The South (those country ones are a different story) … really, I don’t remember which one I settled on. And as for the dieting question, I actually put bacon up that sausage, but I generally stick to the better-for-you recipes, but I’m not opposed to extra butter or bacon if it makes a meal that much better. Mmmm, bacon.

    I’ve been reading since (looking in the archives) Molly’s Dry Rub Ribs. I had glanced before, but ever since I’ve been a faithful follower. A few weeks ago my husband turns the laptop to me and says, “I want these” and showed me your blueberry crumble … he had just stumbled upon you! No blueberry crumble yet, but I’ve made blueberry pies and blueberry waffle topping and blueberries with cream, so I’m getting there!

  80. Susan

    The poll was fun, I don’t mind doing them, although I am concerned about admitting to the body parts in the freezer. They can’t track this stuff right? Anyway, I use a huge mix of sources for food I want to cook – fall back is my imagination/family favorites. I started cooking at a really early age, inspired by Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet (dating myself), so I don’t mind trying tough stuff occasionally. Most of the time I’m doing dinner after the commute, so its more down and dirty. I’ve tried a bunch of your recipes because they really appeal to me, and I really like your writing style, the photos, and the website layout, so it keeps me coming back!

  81. Abby

    I love your blog…. you inspire me constantly with your stories and recipes. I was wondering if you could offer me som advice….. My brothers birthday is at the end of the month and I am the designated family cake maker but after 29 of his birthdays I am running a little low on choc-o-holic inspiration. Do you have any recommendations??

  82. Sherell

    Just got done with the poll and man do I feel average! I guess there’s a lot of people out there like me. This is my second comment but as others have said, I eagerly await your postings! It’s like Christmas in my inbox! Please keep it coming!

  83. I still think it would have been fun to find out how many times a week folks end up buying coffee at an outside vendor (as opposed to making it at home or getting it at work).

  84. Lo!

    What a great idea… I’m loving it here on your blog, and would be happy to share a little on your questionnaire!

    We walked away with at least HALF the farmer’s market in our pack this week too… so I can totally relate!

  85. Eileen

    Oh, how I loved leaping about the living room to the soundtrack of The King & I when I was a kid, and even luckier a few years later, when giving a costume party with friends, to wear the actual dresses from the group dancing scene of the movie (courtesy of Western Costume in nearby Hollywood). Trying on all the rigs was a delightful, laugh-filled afternoon …almost more fun than the actual party.

    What fun taking the poll and reading all the responses. My freezer is full of home-made stocks, breads, soups and stewy type dishes. I like to cook for the day with an eye to the future. Rather like pedaling then coasting.

    Going on vacation in a few weeks and I realize that the house we’re staying in waaaay out in the country has creaky, glacial speed dial-up. How am I going to survive without my almost-daily fix of Deb’s inspiring SmittenKitchen?

  86. Rachel

    Love your blog, several of your baking recipes are in my arsenal, and would willingly answer your questionnaire…but how about a location for us readers in the Caribbean?

  87. Rachael

    Another New Zealander without a home! :) I read your blog daily at work, and always end up wanting to cook now!!!! (and its never possible while sitting at my desk!)
    I am surprised how many of us kiwi’s read this site!!

  88. My responses match everyone’s!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just emailed my sister and she said the same thing. Guess we’re all hopeless foodies at heart! (which is not helping my waistline AT ALL thank you very much!)

  89. Smokey

    Deb, I’m a first-time commenter, but a long-time reader of your beautiful and informative blog. I simply love it and I have to thank you for all your hard work, beautiful photos and delicious inspiration. You have provided my wee two-person household with many wonderful meals, and given the fact that we both live in small apartments in big cities you’ve also provided us with many great ideas on how to manage grand ideas in a tiny spot. I just wish my local farmer’s market was as vast and beautiful as yours.

    I completed your questionnaire and I’m curious to see what you do with the results.

    p.s. I bought one of your black and white photos of a snow covered Madison Square Park a few months ago. It’s a special spot for my husband and me as we are in NYC often and the photo hangs in our apartment in a place of honor. Keep up your beautiful work.

  90. Robin

    My sister who lives in Portland, OR (I live in south central PA) told me about your blog last weekend – said it was one of her favorite…so had to check it out. Must tell you, I’m hooked – made the PERFECT poached egg on Saturday morning (I make toast soldiers as well) and tomatoes from the farmers market Sunday morning. I really enjoy your beautiful photos, wit, and well, there are those recipes…I’ll look forward to visiting often. Thank you!

  91. Lisa

    I recently found your blog, and have just answered your poll. My husband is the family cook, and I’m the baker (breads, cakes, casseroles…if it goes in the oven, I like to make it…he’s the stovetop guy). I pass him recipes from your site that look good for dinners…easy ones for week nights, more involved for a Saturday. My three-year-old peanut butter lover saw the photo of your chocolate peanut butter cake and requested it for her birthday in October.

  92. Jelena

    I promise that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the human heads in the freezer. :P

    I’ve been a little quiet lately, but still completely enjoying your blog. I check in everyday. I can’t wait to make the Petit Four cake for my mom’s birthday even though I’ll probably have a lot of schoolwork. Cooking always inspires craziness in me (with delicious results).

  93. Kerrie

    Two things. First, any reference to Sandra Lee is offensive. Period. I’m over it now, though.

    Second, I put dinner as my favorite meal, but want to lobby for dessert to be included as a meal. Because I’d eat that before anything.

  94. tangela

    Hey, I only chose human heads because it seemed like the closest thing to frozen meat.

    [… and I might have found it a tad funny. Just a tad :D]

  95. Add me to your list of faithful followers. I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and I can’t wait for a new installment. I’ve been drooling over all the past recipes – just wanted you to know. ~ Robyn

  96. Well I don’t know how scientifically accurate your poll is going to be Deb, because it appears that half of your readers (including me) live in New Zealand :-)

  97. I do not care for pie after a movie and I’ve never seen True Romance.

    I like my pancakes with homemade raspberry syrup but I don’t eat pancakes that often.

    I never eat PB&J since I don’t do jelly, but occasionally (like once a month) will eat peanut butter on toast for lunch. Four times a week is too many. In kindergarten, all I would eat for lunch was a peanut butter sandwich on white bread cut into triangles. I ate that every single day for those 9 months of kindergarten then I stopped cold turkey. The next time I ate a peanut butter sandwich was three months ago.

    I think you are capable of shattering a wine glass. It takes a pretty high pitch and a good set of lungs. Be sure to do vocal warm ups before you attempt it so you don’t get your vocal cords all ripped up! (Also, here’s a video of a guy doing that.)

  98. wild

    On the questionnaire — Julia Child and Thomas Keller are of such different degrees of difficulty! ;-) JC is totally do-able, but TK, phew.. better to go to one of his restaurants and be waited on hand and foot.

  99. becks

    Hey I’ve subscribed to you ever since I found the superb recipe for bagels, and then english muffins!! I was so happy to find those…
    My only problem is that its winter here in Australia, and its summer for you guys, I’m eating stews & soups & roasts & muffins.. and reading the smitten kitchen emails with salady summery light foods whilst thinking “No way, I need 10 potatoes with that, and to put it in the oven!”
    Stomachs and tastebuds are soo sensitive to the seasons I think (As I am reminded every Christmas when I try to eat a massive roast meal & Christmas pudding when its stinking hot summer day). Still love getting the emails, and the archives!
    Keep it up :-)

  100. Sue

    Delurkng here – here’s a funny little get to know you story about me: My mother asked me to roll 5 pounds of ground beef into meatballs for her to freeze. Well, after a couple pounds, I started singing Fred Astaire’s “Heaven! I’m in heaven!” and that was the only line I knew! I sang it for the duration so your story about “getting to know you” made me laugh. I took your poll and realized my extremely picky children loved a chicken recipe from Barefoot Contessa. Perhaps they are trying to tell me something.

  101. To Alex… There is nothing worse than hearing your beloved sing the same line over and over again. Now she can sing the whole thing!

    To Deb… Be sure to do the whole “King and I” scene. You may even have to do some viewing research to get the actions down pat.

    [Spoken] It’s a very ancient saying,
    But a true and honest thought,
    That if you become a teacher,
    By your pupils you’ll be taught.

    [Singing] As a teacher I’ve been learning —
    You’ll forgive me if I boast —
    And I’ve now become an expert,
    On the subject I like most.

    [Spoken] Getting to know you.

    [Singing] Getting to know you,
    Getting to know all about you.
    Getting to like you,
    Getting to hope you like me.

    Getting to know you,
    Putting it my way,
    But nicely,
    You are precisely,
    My cup of tea.


    Getting to know you,
    Getting to know all about you.
    Getting to like you,
    Getting to hope you like me.

    Getting to know you,
    Putting it my way,
    But nicely,
    You are precisely,


    My cup of tea.


    Getting to know you,
    Getting to feel free and easy
    When I am with you,
    Getting to know what to say

    Haven’t you noticed
    Suddenly I’m bright and breezy?
    Because of all the beautiful and new
    Things I’m learning about you
    Day by day.

    Getting to know you,
    Getting to feel free and easy
    When I am with you,
    Getting to know what to say

    Haven’t you noticed
    Suddenly I’m bright and breezy?
    Because of all the beautiful and new
    Things I’m learning about you
    Day .. by … day.

  102. Claudia- Berlin

    Hi I am one of the silent visitors! Nice poll, it was fun!
    I read the blog twice a week, almost lick the monitor (but the cat does, not always right where the photos are because she is blind!!) and laugh like crazy when reading all! You really inspire me to try new things, and it is very funny when the invites ask me: “so… what did you learn this week in your fave food blog?”

  103. Sally/ London

    I am a ‘Can’t cook, Won’t cook’ type of girl but I like your website and hope I can change from being a ‘ping in the micowave’ chef and possibly copy one or two of your receipes.

  104. I’ve been reading your blog for aggeees. Litrelly since you wrote at I lost your site for a couple of months but got right back at daily readings as soon as I managed to find it again. :) Did fill your questionaire, although there aint anything in the Fridge except the breakfast fare (Yougurt, eggs, milk & fruit juices)
    Being in Pakistan, a lot of your veggies are not available here and I can only wonder about thier taste. Being a muslim, I’m prohibited from using anything that includes alcohol & bacon/ham.
    So, my trails from your recipe index have mostly been limited to a few cakes and cookies. Regardless, your photography & your writing style makes your blog one of my abs favorites.
    Rock on :)

  105. Eri

    Hi Deb, I’m a long-time reader but have never commented, so I figured this would be the ideal time to jump in :) The poll was fun! Love your posts, I’ve got you in my feed reader with some other favorite food blogs and I swear you guys keep me going on those work days when all I can think about is how much I wish I was home cooking!

  106. Hi! I filled out your poll. Plus, I have PBJ sammies four mornings a week- but never for lunch. I added your gadget to my iGoogle this morning, and I feel suddenly lighter and more joyful!

  107. Amber

    I’ll delurk, since I love reading your blog. However, I do write surveys for a living (doing non-profit policy research though, not marketing), so I’m not sure if I should be offended by the comment above :(.

    There were a few items I had a hard time answering:
    – I bring whatever leftovers from dinner to work (husband doesn’t like them). That usually 4-5 days worth, but sometimes we’re hungry and I have to buy something out.

    – During the week, I usually don’t “follow” a recipe, but I get inspiration from a variety of sources and apply the flavor combination or technique to whatever is in the fridge. We do Urban Organics now, so I’ve stopped menu planning.
    – My freezer is full of homemade stock, veggie scraps (for stock), parmesan rinds, homemade ice cream, leftover egg whites and nuts. None of that comes in a package, but they aren’t meals I’m saving for later.

    Such a fun survey!

  108. Loquin

    Hi there! Been meaning to say hello for a while now, just never got around to commenting. I’ve been reading your blog since the middle of June, absolutely adore it. I cook small amounts almost every day and bring the left-overs to work for lunch – in the summer its mostly vegetables from my CSA, in the winter I make a lot of soup (and I live in Fairbanks, Alaska so I eat lots and lots of soup). Last note – I’m a bizarre person who doesn’t like peanut butter, but I eat perhaps too many cashew butter and honey sandwiches.

  109. Tui

    I feel dirty! I just had to click and say I was Australian. *shudder* New Zealander, thank you! ;) Also, limited numbers of “other” options were frustrating – for example, I like 30-minute meals for dinner (and equivalents, like a chicken roast with all the trimmings takes a helluva lot longer to prepare than 30 minutes, but is basically the same concept) but I’m a baking barefoot contessa!

  110. Some of the responses didn’t work for me either. I mean, I have a freezer of pre-packaged frozen heads. I buy them in bulk. Also? My favorite meal is dessert, but since you can eat dessert for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks, I chose “I prefer to graze all day” with the “on dessert” implied. Hope this helps!

    All kidding aside, I am a big fan of your website. I also think it’s great to know what you were singing when you were thinking of this post. I often wish I could set certain posts/recipes to music. My dulce de leche ice cream song sounds like “dulce de leche/fun to say and fun to eat.” On repeat. While dancing. My husband looooves that one. :-)

  111. ung

    i have a freezer full of ice cream, but that wasn’t an option, so human heads was close enough. i chose barefoot contessa, but i’m more cookie monster. i “brown-bag” by buying frozen tv meals and bringing them to work. i’m lactose-intolerant, but that doesn’t stop me! BWAHA! *eats more ice cream*

    ramen noodles counts as cooking, right? technically, i’m poaching an egg right along with it…

  112. mischa’s one

    Another New Zealander – but put myself down as Australian (ugh!) just in case your poll required all questions to be answered. Wow there seem to be a lot of us (proportionally to our numbers) that read your blog.

  113. I love the blog! And I hope the poll information is useful to you. One entry I would have checked is cooking for a specific medical condition. My husband is diabetic, so I curtail our sugar intake as much as possible (much to his chagrin).

  114. Lee

    What do you call it when you work at an office, but come home for lunch most days? Also, is scrambled eggs on toast “cooking”?

  115. A poll — what a great idea! After all, people love to talk about themselves once you get them going. Thanks for being interested and for asking. Love your blog — “foodie” enough, but not too foodie as to not be accessible. Keep up the good work!

  116. LizD

    Love polls and quizzes. One of the parts of my dork nature, I think. I also think it is charming that you want to know about all us readers. Only fair since we know so much about you, Alex, and your kitchen, eh?
    I love and adore your recipes and currently the herbed potato and squash torte has been a weekly occurance at our house because we are overflowing with squash. So I am SOOOOO glad you posted that because otherwise I’d be playing baseball with those things I’d be so sick of them!
    Also, to Katie at post 69 – peanut butter and syrup is SO DARN GOOD on pancakes, and even better on waffles. But Deb, you might want to stay away because in college that very combination was responsible for about 10 pounds that I still can’t seem to shake…

  117. lori

    i’ve only posted a few times, so i am mostly a lurker. i enjoyed taking the poll, even though i mostly fit in the with the majority. how boring is that? anyway, just to clear up the questions posted above, i haven’t had PB&J sandwiches in a long time, but i love eating pancakes and waffles with peanut butter and blueberry syrup. i guess that’s my version of PB&J.
    i think that i’ve been following your blog for about a year. i found it while searching for a recipe. i can’t remember what i was searching for, but i ended up sticking around. i love checking the blog every few days and finding new yummy pictures to look at while at work. of course, i often have a coworker see my monitor and ask if i’m going to make whatever is shown, especially when you post dessert recipes.
    i mostly cook/bake for myself, nearly every Saturday. though i willingly share samples with my coworkers, boyfriend, roommate, and sister. as i remember writing in another post earlier this year, you have helped make me a great baker and a better cook. i enjoy your honesty and humor about what works and what doesn’t. it’s good to know my time/effort will be rewarded, even if my final products don’t look as great as yours. because of this site and a few other food blogs, i now often try 3-4 new recipes a month.
    ok, enough about me.

  118. wes

    I am sooo jealous of your market. While we have farmers’ markets here, none are really close to where I live, but I have signed up for a CSA which will make me go get the freshest vegetables since I already paid for them.

  119. Filled out the questionaire. Just got back from a months long vacation in India. Can’t wait to get cooking again (and catch up on your posts). Missed reading your blog…

  120. Mary

    So, I thought it would be interesting for you to know that I am reading your blog from Sudan. I am a UN humanitarian and I am treating myself to your pretty pictures and appetizing comfort writing after a long day of simulated rebel ambush security trainings and meetings with embassies. Thanks for being here!

  121. Just clicking “Surprise me!” so I took this poll out of curiosity of le results…

    and I’m in the 1% of less than 18 age group. Woohoo! I s’pose most of my peers have school then sports then homework, no time for cooking or reading food blogs… Oh well.

    I’m just chiming in to say that, yes, cooking teens exist. And we love chocolate baked goods. Yes, yes we do. [:

  122. I just answered your questionairre and felt I had to respond even if you didn’t read my answers because I am obsessed with your site. You probably are already looking to check IP addresses and have noticed that, yes, I’m a crazed fan.

  123. Irene

    Dear Deb,
    I also just answered your questionnaire, and I don’t usually comment, BUT it was a little disappointing not to see New Zealand as one of the countries…so I had to tick Australia! I really enjoy reading your blog, and have made so many successful meals from your recipes, thank you. Only a billion more to try ;)
    Keep up the good work!

  124. Jeanette

    Hi, I am trying your Roasted Tomato recipe, and I have grape tomatoes in the oven right now. 4 hours and they are still real wet. What do I do? Thanks, Jeanette