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vrunkaThai Peanut Butter Cups

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet vrunka: FOOD52’s very own librarian, pie contest competitor, home cook extraordinare, and self-described "Kitchen Tornado". Growing up making potstickers by hand with her grandmother, vrunka has been cooking her entire life – and it shows. Her food is challenging, but lacks any sort of pretension; her food is complex, but executed carefully, patiently. We’d love to join vrunka at her kitchen table to make those potstickers – or her Thai Peanut Butter Cups (picture above), or her Spiced Lentil Sambusas, or her Orange Cardamom Fig Newtons ...

It’s clear from vrunka’s recipes that she’s following in her grandmother’s footsteps, piling her table high with "a great variety of delicious dishes". And boy, is there a variety. There’s Thai: Kanom Krok. There’s Italian: Nettle Tortellini in Brodo. There’s Vietnamese: Crispy Vietnamese Veggie Crepes with Fresh Basil. There’s savory: Stuffed Macaroni and Cheese Pie with Herbed Topping. And sweet: Cardamom Coconut Pots de Crème with Pistachio Shortbread. We’d love to see our table piled high with any of these – and we can thank vrunka for sharing them with us. 

Read our profile Q&A with vrunka below, and check out her blog here

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
Apparently in parts of rural Thailand, barbecued rat - or more euphemistically, "field mouse" -- is a delicacy and is meant to be accompanied with the strong local whiskey. I made the mistake of skipping the whiskey and sampled the "field mouse" on its own. Maybe it would been better with the whiskey… or maybe it just would have left me somewhat less horrified.

What do you cook when home alone?
Angelhair pasta with anchovies, parsley and garlic.

Your most treasured kitchen possession:
I'm in love with my VitaMix 4500, aka "The Bassomatic"

The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
Whoever's hungry.


Tags: cook spotlight, desserts, chocolate, Thai

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Comments (11)


over 3 years ago LE BEC FIN

this was both a well written and well deserved piece! whenever i see a recipe with vrunka's byline, i know i want to try it! congrats, v.


over 3 years ago Midge

Great to see you featured vrunka! Love your recipes.


over 3 years ago SKK

Love you are in the spotlight! And thank you for trying the field mouse so I don't have to!


over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, vrunka! So nice to see you in the spotlight. I'm glad you haven't posted any "field mouse" recipes-- thank you for that?


over 3 years ago vrunka

What a nice surprise! Thanks for the spotlight article! Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments. I'm not sure if "brave" or "strong" are the words I'd use to describe why I sampled the "field mouse," but it's much nicer than what I'd call it so I thank you all!


over 3 years ago lapadia

Yay, it’s you week to “shine,” congrats Vrunka! PS – strong local whiskey, maybe, field mice…eek, agree that you are strong to try that :)


over 3 years ago gingerroot

What a great spotlight!! So glad to see you here - I love your recipes!


over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations Vrunka, brave indeed, loved the Q&A and recipes are an inspiration.


over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

LOVE those peanut butter cups. The mouse, not so much ... eek!!!


over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Great spotlight!! I love your recipes Vrunka! Especially the fig newtons and those peanut butter cups.


over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Great to see you in the spotlight, vrunka! Congratulations. You're quite a brave woman to try the "field mouse!"