The recently relaunched Bon Appétit website has enlisted two unlikely recipe testers to try out its “Top 100 Dishes”—and correspond via a coast-to-coast blog called Project Recipe. One of the bloggers is the cute, blonde, New York City–based twentysomething actress Bridget Moloney. She says she’s also a writer—but I can’t find anything she’s written professionally besides the BA blog. (Seems like she’s just an actress who’s angling for a cooking show—hence the title of this post—and it makes me a little sad inside to think that the Land of Food Blogs, a safe haven to food nerds of all shapes and sizes, will someday be taken over by Beautiful People and judged by Gawker. Sigh.) Still, she’s totally adorable, and she’s playing the part of the “novice cook.”

The “experienced cook” is Chris Hall, a Berkeley-based book designer with some experience in restaurant kitchens, and he really does offer some helpful tips. For instance, Bridget posts this question about measuring liquids for cioppino:

The recipe, very specifically, says to boil 13 cups of the stew base until it reduces to 10 cups. Am I crazy for measuring that out? Did you just eyeball it?

Chris replies:

Make a jury stick. Just measure out 10 cups of water in your (empty and not yet in use) pot, then mark the level with pencil on a bamboo skewer. Make it nice and dark. Then add another three cups, measure again, and mark that level. When you want to know how far along you are, just dip the jury stick in the liquid and see how far the level is from your target. It takes out all the guesswork.

Pretty brilliant, right? That’s a new trick for me. Let’s just hope that when Blondie gets her Food Network contract, she takes Mr. Hall along with her.

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