Boston blogger Erin Nichols credits The Food Network – plus a healthy dose of Tivo – for turning her into a “regular Donna Reed” who cooks, bakes and entertains constantly, and it shows in the quality, real-world recipes and photos of Erin Cooks. For example, her enthusiastic look at frozen treats in a recent ” icy pops” series made me suddenly believe I couldn’t live another moment without pistachio pudding pops – in rocket shapes. And after mentally noting that she liked talking about cheesesteaks, using the word “re-dunk-u-lous” and had a blog category named “Disasters,” that was it – interview on.
How often do you think about eating?
Let’s just say I’ve never missed a meal in my entire life and have no understanding of the concept that there are people out there who absentmindedly “forget to eat.”
I love coffee! At Starbucks I’m a grande non-fat white mocha kind of girl, and at home I swear by the coffee press and freshly ground beans from Peet’s. Unfortunately if I go near caffeine after noon I’ll literally stay up all night long. It’s a curse.
Favorite hometown food?
I grew up in Maine and whenever I go back I stop as soon as possible for an Italian sandwich from Sam’s: ham, cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions, and green peppers, with salt, pepper, and oil on a freshly baked roll. I’m hungry just thinking about it!
Ever been served breakfast in bed?
You know…I don’t think I have? Unless you count having a bag of bagels tossed to you as “breakfast in bed?” Dessert though, definitely! Midnight cheesecake has been known to make an appearance in our apartment.
Your absolutely reliable, go-to dish for entertaining is:
My artichoke dip. I almost always make this quick dip for parties and holidays.
Food that makes you gag?
I can’t eat salmon. I can’t stand the smell or the taste. It completely makes me quiver. It was actually only in the last few years that I’ve started to eat and enjoy any kind of fish at all.
Worst kitchen disaster:
One evening I decided to make a homemade macaroni and cheese. Shortly after putting the dish in the oven I heard a loud crash. The glass baking dish actually exploded and all of that expensive Whole Foods cheddar and Gruyère ended up burned onto the bottom of the appliance.
Three things in your refrigerator right now:
A whole shelf full of Propel waters
Maple Wallaby yogurts
Some kale that I have no idea what to do with.
Your idea of a romantic meal is:
For our anniversary this year I made Chris an impromptu surprise indoor picnic with all sorts of cheeses, crackers, baguette, grapes, and Barefoot Contessa Chicken Salad. I topped off the spread with champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries – which stuck completely to the glass dish I set them on, but it was the thought that counts.
I have no idea how, but I somehow managed to do all of this in approximately two hours (including shopping).
Secret snack of shame?
If by shame you mean immense feelings of guilt, then I’ll confess to the fact that I have been known to make a batch of cookie dough just to eat the dough. I never feel good about that decision afterwards and neither do my jeans.
Most ambitious thing you’ve ever done in the kitchen:
I think the Mojito Pound Cake I made last month was by far the hardest recipe I’ve ever attempted.
Best restaurant if you’re not paying:
Cuchi Cuchi in Central Sqaure is one my favorite Boston spots.
If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
A mojito. I’m completely and totally obsessed with them. I’ve tried to be a Dirty Martini with olives for years and it’s just not working out…
Extra Credit: Where is the world’s best pizza?
I’m not really a pizza snob. I like getting Papa John’s delivered and dipping my crust in the garlic butter. But for the sake of “foodieness” (and because I haven’t been to Italy yet) the best pizza that I recall having was probably from Flatbreads.
Erin’s Pistachio Rocket Pops