Cooking Superstar

The Pig & Quill

Cook along with Emily from The Pig & Quill

Emily Stoffel
San Francisco Bay Area
Recipe Developer/Blogger

When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?

I've been helping in the kitchen since I was a little one. The first things I cooked on my own were scrambled eggs and pan-fried ramen noodles with sesame oil -- but the first recipe I ever cooked from was a Southwestern chicken casserole thing from a Rot-Tel Tomatoes ad in Cooking Light magazine when I was 12.

What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?

My kitchen is, in a word, tiny! But we've made the most of it with lots of open storage (hello, Ikea...) that keeps frequently used items ready at hand -- and the crowning jewel is a completely charming 1050's Wedgewood stove that heats up super quickly and cooks evenly. Cleaning up as you go is always a good rule of thumb!

What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?

Watch the Food Network and devour the many available online resources out there, like The Kitchn, which has a great How-To section. Spend time cooking with people you admire and watch them work. Ask questions. Own a couple of good, sharp knives and know how to use them.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?

My family! All of 'em -- especially my mom's parents, who I never had the chance to cook for before they passed. I'd probably do easy family fare: a hearty pasta or a platter of roast chicken and sausages; a massive green salad with fruit, nuts and candied bacon; and a heap of roasted veggies. Red wine all around! Pie and ice cream for dessert! And maybe a couple of potato chips to wash that all down.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

I love crafts and completely become immersed in a project once I've started something, but I don't make much time for them. I guess I'd rather be EATING, reading, writing, social media-ing, attempting yoga or running (I mean, I'd never rather run, but I suppose it is a hobby...)

Which cooking blogs do you love to read?

Right this minute, I love everything Grace makes at Earth Feast; Billy at Wit and Vinegar; Gina at So...Let's Hang Out. And Crystal at Apples & Sparkle makes too much good stuff! There are too many talents to name!

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks so much for featuring me this week -- CHEERS! <3

Emily Stoffel
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gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, snacks/apps, smoothies, breakfast!

What's your favorite...

TV Show
Veep, Girls, Vampire Diaries (I know...). Scandal is living up to its name at the moment. And Parenthood is always excellent if you need a good cry.
Honestly, I'm a listen-to-everything type of gal -- pop, country, Metallica, the Beatles. Nineties alternative rock. And the singers-and-songwriters stuff. Love that.
So tough! I'm hardly well-traveled. I love San Francisco, but I grew up in Sacramento, CA, and am so smitten with what it's become in the last 10 years. San Luis Obispo, CA, is beyond lovely, as well.
It's a tie between Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle & Grease.
Cook Book
For technical recipes, anything from Cook's Illustrated or America's Test Kitchen. Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking is an indisputable classic, and I love the simple, inspired way that both Nigella Lawson and Ina Garten approach food in a
Asian, Italian, (American) Southern, Mexican. Ice cream!
Good olive oil, sea salt, avocado, maple syrup, porky stuff.
Kitchen Gadget
A salad spinner! It's an absolute lifesaver if you garden at home or if you're processing bunch after bunch of greens and herbs from a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. And a few sturdy, long-handled wooden spoons.