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Too Many Cooks: The Perfect Slice (and a Giveaway!)

By • April 5, 2013 • 111 Comments

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You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.

This week, we're giving away five Emile Henry pizza stones to celebrate one of our favorite foods. Read on, weigh in, and enter to win below!


Pizza may be the most perfect food in the world. As New Yorkers, we're a little biased, but it's hard to argue with the happiness a simple, warm, gooey slice can bring. So this week, driven by hunger and an undying love for a good pie, we're asking:

How do you like your pizza?

Do you go for thin, blistered neapolitan pies or inches-thick Chicago deep dish? How do you feel about Merrill and Kristen's great pineapple debate? Tell us in the comments, and you could win a pizza stone of your own! 

More: Try your hand at Jim Lahey's genius no-knead pizza dough.


Amanda: Neapolitan style -- thin, crisp, slightly salty dough. Margherita ftw!

Bryce: I love any kind of four-cheese pizza, artichoke pizza, or a spicy/sweet mix, like the ones Paulie Gee makes in Greenpoint, with hot honey.

Lauren: Deep dish Chicago-style with spinach and mushroom, preferably from Gino's East. And you only need one piece!

Kenzi: I love ricotta, so that's always a winner. Or a white pie. Should we go to Pizza Suprema for lunch? 

Amanda Li: Second Amanda's pizza choice!

Christina: If I'm ordering in, then italian sausage. If I'm grilling it at home, then I get a little crazy -- I love feta, olives, and pickled onion with some fresh lemon and olive oil drizzled over the top. Greek pizza!

Ryan: I like pizza. Topping choices dictated by style:
NY slice: Mozz and sauce only.
Neapolitan: Light sauce, cured meat, blend of cheeses.
Homemade: Fresh mozz, sauce, fresh basil.

Marian: I categorize the way that Ryan does. Neapolitan usually preferred, chewy, blistered, and thin: margherita, or vegetables if I'm feeling crazy. NY-style slices are always cheese, happily eaten from any old place at any time of day (or night).

Jennifer: I'm with team Amanda & Amanda Li -- with olio piccante of course!

Brette: I dream about Roman pizza a taglio -- pizza rossa (with a thin layer of tomato sauce) or pizza bianca (with nothing on it). I had it every single day for lunch when I lived in Rome. 


Merrill: All of these pizzas sound delicious! But if someone held a gun to my head, I'd probably go for a tangy New York slice with the perfect amount of droop -- "plain" all the way.

Michael: I have a childhood love for Cheese Board pizza in Berkeley, CA. It's a white pizza with a sour crust. There's only one type made per day, and it's always awesome.

Karl: I also think of pizza in different categories, but if forced to choose, I'd also go with wood-fired Neopolitan, eaten minutes after taking it out of the oven. 

Maddy: +1 Neapolitan-style margherita made in a wood oven. The more blistered, the better!

William: Preferred toppings are pepperoni and garlic, or mushrooms and onion. Preferred style is wood-fired!

Lindsay: Yet another vote for the Neapolitan style margherita!

Stephanie: I lean towards a good blistery Neopolitan. I think my all-time favorite is anything with sausage, though. Too hard!

Kristen: I can't choose! Roman-style potato or fresh tomato pizza a taglio. Or neo-Neapolitan with mozz, broccoli rabe, fennel sausage, and chili flakes. Or straight-up pineapple (no ham!), slumber party-style.

Merrill: No HAM?? What is a pineapple pizza without ham, I ask you -- other than soggy and sweet?

Kristen: Sooo good, that's what. It's more tangy than sweet.

Merrill: Okay, I can be open-minded...

Kristen: Me too. A truce!

It's giveaway time! To celebrate our love for pizza -- and our love for making it at home -- we're giving away five Emile Henry pizza stones. Be sure to share your favorite type of pie in the comments before Monday, April 8 at 4 PM EST, and we'll pick five winners at random.


Inspired to make your own pie?
Stretch your dough.
Make your Mozzarella.
Add some bacon.

Tags: too many cooks, pizza

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Comments (111)


about 2 years ago saltandserenity

The Margherita at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, is hands down the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life! The crust is outstanding!


about 2 years ago beejay45

Too late for the pizza favorite pizza growing up in San Francisco was from Pasquales, hand thrown, thin crust, nice puffy border, and just about any topping combo. But basically, unless it's factory-stamped out, I'm there. My favorite toppings for eat out are pepperoni and olives. At home, cook/grill it myself, it's whatever I have on hand. Kimchi and pineapple are actually pretty good together on a not too thin crust. ;)


about 2 years ago janecf

I usually go for thin crust with anchovies, capers and black olives -- a little overdone but not burnt -- with arugula sprinkled over after baking. When I lived alone I often made small pizzas with mix and match toppings and took the leftovers to work for lunch. Have not yet figured out how to satisfy all family members' topping preferences at the same time and hot out of the oven. Maybe we will have to go back to small pies so we can bake two at a time. Any tips on how to keep a pizza stone from cracking? Mine seem to expire at about 1 year.


about 2 years ago Trena Heinrich

I make pizza year round, but especially love it with fresh heirloom slices in the summer.


about 2 years ago Marisa R

Oh I hope I am one of the winners...I also love potato and onion pizza


about 2 years ago Anne Page

Love pizza...and love that red pizza stone! I want a lesson on wood fired pizza.


about 2 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

When I make pizza at home the family favorite is margherita. But when I go to Nino's in Hatboro, Pennsylvania I must have a slice or two of tomato pie (Neopolitan style) with pools of olive oil and lots of minced garlic, reheated so the thin crust is crunchy on the bottom.


about 2 years ago amysarah

All time favorite: classic Margherita - thin blistered crust, v. good sauce/fresh mozz/basil, light handed ratio of toppings/crust. But pizza-love is also about nostalgia, not necessarily 'the best': late night at a place called Conte's, as a student; a slice with fried eggplant from the long gone joint on my corner - major craving while carrying my son; smoked salmon pizza years ago in LA (Wolfgang Puck) ...yes, calling it 'pizza' would land me in the slammer in Rome, and blah blah. It was a celebration, by any name.


about 2 years ago aaronrishell

Thin crust, light on the sauce and top it with sausage and black olives.


about 2 years ago Annette T

just as I became comfortable making a margherita with Jim Lahey's great crust we swithced to a glutten free diet so the perfect pie crust hunt continues


about 2 years ago carswell

Thin, thin crust, pesto, goat cheese and smoked oysters.


about 2 years ago JustHappyCooking

Thin crust, with plenty of melted mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, garlic and basil. Delicious!,


about 2 years ago kangarhubarb

Last Friday's build-your-own pizza party yielded a few great ones, but this was my favourite: sourdough thin crust, harissa pizza sauce, onions, garlic, mushrooms, sweet potato oven fries (different ,but delicious), and a mozzarella/parmesan blend.


about 2 years ago cutthecarrot

If not margherita, roasted eggplant, olives, and provolone is wonderful, especially on the grill.


about 2 years ago Veronica Andrew

Pepperoni and jalapeños additional veggies optional!


about 2 years ago mary mcneely

pepperoni with some veggies. my daughter likes half cheese, half hawaiian.


about 2 years ago Marisa R

I love grilled vegetables on my pizza
For me pineapple is too sweet on a pizza


about 2 years ago smslaw

Thin crust pizza, topped with very ripe figs smeared on the (previously half-baked) crust, crumbled gorgonzola cheese and thinly sliced previously cooked rare duck breast.


about 2 years ago smslaw

Forgot to mention the caramelized onions.


about 2 years ago kmorgan

I love onions and garlic and basil and a good sauce with a nice crust.


about 2 years ago Jeffrey Lammers

My absolute favorite is my homemade Greek pizza. I start with a dough skin and put on a thin film of olive oil and some minced garlic. Add a heap of fresh spinach, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, feta cheese, a bit of whole milk mozzarella and a sprinkle of fresh basil.


about 2 years ago oasinstoryof

That sounds fantastic!


about 2 years ago Jeffrey Lammers

I've had some critics (family and friends) fall head over heels for this one, it truely is a great combination.


about 2 years ago Patti Lopez

+Thin and crisp, fresh veggies in season, and good cheese, fontina, mozzarella and even a bit of parmesan. Topped with mescalin greens with olive oil and wine vinegar gives it a warm crunch, cool crisp bite that is awesome.


about 2 years ago Queen of all things sweet

Cornmeal-roasted garlic thin crust with ratatouille, chèvre and sliced meatball


about 2 years ago sweetiejo

Blue cheese and caramelized onions please!


about 2 years ago Gab.Foodie42

Most important thing about making pizza - scant toppings. If you overload the pizza, the toppings get boring and you can't enjoy the crust as well.


about 2 years ago Dona

Thin and crispy! Marguerite is my favorite.


about 2 years ago oasinstoryof

Oh, and a cleaver is TOTALLY the best way to slice pizza.


about 2 years ago oasinstoryof

Ever since I discovered organic pizza dough in the deli section at the local grocery store, I have been all about making my own pizza. (At some point I will make my own dough.) I roll it out to fit a rectangular baking pan -- brings back pizza making memories from my childhood -- spread it with homemade marinara, fresh sliced garlic, some blend of cheese (whatever is handy or strikes my fancy -- mozzarella, cheddar, colby, provolone, parmesan, asiago, monterey jack -- thinly sliced red onion, baby bella mushrooms, zucchini and red bell pepper, and topped with a little more cheese to hold it all together. It's pretty AND tasty.


about 2 years ago OdinMercer

While I agree that Ham and pineapple is a great pizza it definitely suffers from being too watery and can ruin a crust if you don't let it really drain out. I like pan searing the pineapple first which can help a bit. My favorite pie lately though is just sausage and mushrooms with a white garlic sauce.


about 2 years ago Yvonica

Thin and buttery crust, crispy and chewy at the same time. I like getting adventurous with toppings like mash potatoes, steak, and corn.


about 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

Thin crust pizza with sausage and tomatoes is my favorite.


about 2 years ago brooklynsam

As a displaced New Yorker living in the Midwest, I can't embrace this thick crust, Chicago pizza. I need to be able to stop on any given avenue, grab a slice, fold it and eat it while walking to my next errand. What I wouldn't give for a New York slice...


about 2 years ago Jean Beck

My pizza preference has changed so over time. I used to be a pepperoni and green olive fan, but now as a vegetarian, I crave a mix of vegetables and a bit of great cheese. Cheese is probably the one ingredient that would make it impossible for me to seriously consider veganism. That said, in the interest of health, I will even eat pizza without the cheese for the sheer love of that crispy, crackly crust. And in the end, it is for me about the crust. Great pizza simply cannot exist without a great crust.


about 2 years ago Hoppocrates



about 2 years ago AhmadC

NY style with pepperoni


about 2 years ago DonG

Neapolitan margherita all the way


about 2 years ago maddiegeegs

butternut squash sauce with broccolini and white beans and parm. or just tomato basil mozz.


about 2 years ago jankak

Margherita with a little prosciutto and one marinated artichoke heart


about 2 years ago bonnie

I LOVE New York - style thin pizzas.


about 2 years ago Phillie Filly

Thin crust, of course, topped with fresh tomato sauce, fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella (dried out somewhat on a tea towel) with a light dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano after it comes out of the oven. Thank you for Feed52!


about 2 years ago stylefriendly



about 2 years ago kleahey

Thin crust, four cheese, white, with a ton of garlic and sometimes proscuitto or chorizo.


about 2 years ago jackie0401

Very thin crust, crisp topped with fresh tomato sauce, soppressata (home made & cured by my godmother), fresh basil, light on the buffalo mozz.


about 2 years ago Tbird4

Very fond memories as an F/A on layovers in Chicago enjoying thick crust pizza's!!


about 2 years ago Gourmel

Thin crust and lots of veggies so I can pretend it's healthy.


about 2 years ago Emphatica

My favorite is the classic Margherita with a thin crust. I also think a good pizza should use the best of that seasons offerings.


about 2 years ago meandertail

There is a broccoli rabe/potato/rosemary pizza on this site that is AMAZING.


about 2 years ago Lulu17

Love wild mushrooms, fig and goat cheese on a super thin crust!


about 2 years ago LLStone

Neapolitan Margherita!


about 2 years ago Lucia from Madison

First off the crust has to be the Jim Lahey recipe.
Next Tomato, Parmesan cheese, a little mozz, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper.
Okay maybe some bacon....
Oh that time I put an egg on it was good to!
I guess pizza is the prefect vessel for what ever you happen to find in you fridge or pantry.
As long as the crust is nice and thin!


about 2 years ago Joe Bott

just sauce and quality cheese, maybe some sort of cured meat, and definitely finished with basil. and cooked in a brick oven next to a wood fire. as for the dough, crispy crust with a soft center thats a little sweet and a little salty. heaven in a slice


about 2 years ago SariS

Ooh, my favorite combination would have to be capers, kalamata olives, red chili flakes and Parmesan!


about 2 years ago Jordan Riley

I really love a good white pizza. Garlic, ricotta, some kind of stretchy cheese.

Heck, really I just like cheese. As long as the other toppings don't interfere, I'm happy.


about 2 years ago Victoria Carr

Marcella's plainest - thin crust, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil.


about 2 years ago Elena Vo

Parmesan, roasted garlic, white sauce and red onion pizza is my favorite!


about 2 years ago Fairmount_market

You can't get much better than Neapolitan style Margherita. But I'm also partial to a flavor I've had in Germany: white asparagus with cured ham.


about 2 years ago sel et poivre

Thin crust, lots of cheese, chilli flakes, chilli oil and runny egg on top


about 2 years ago melissav

Clam pizza or white with tomatoes and spinach.


about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thin crust, schmear of sauce, some mozz and a few flakes of crushed red pepper. Glass of wine. Heaven. What I made for dinner tonight.


about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I still swoon when I think about the deep dish spinach & mushroom from Zachary's in Berkeley. At home, it's always thin crust. Most recently I made one with a thin layer of alfredo, another of red sauce, roasted garlic, clams, and fresh oregano. I can still taste it.


about 2 years ago Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

Thin crust is my favorite. 2-3 toppings is ideal. (Fresh basil to finish doesn't count as a topping to me).


about 2 years ago fhp

CRACKERY spell check and that Napolitano is thicker and chewier. I love the Roman kind especially the salty Pizza Bianco with raw artichokes and shaved parmigiano, lemon and olive oil.


about 2 years ago fhp

Hey! thats the guy selling the Pizza al Taglio at Roscioli. He wanted a Red Socks baseball cap and I brought him back one. That is one mean Margherita al Taglio that he serves. I am of the school that Roman Pizza is thin and a little crockery


about 2 years ago ATG117

going with the amandas


about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

There is nothing like a good pizza margherita. I like a crust that's thin, but chewy, and that billows up into big pillows around the edge where there's no sauce. But, how come Sicilian pizza doesn't even get a mention here people?! Go up to Portland, ME, go to the back of Micucci's Italian Grocery and get a slab of Sicilian pizza. It's like eating a chewy bread cloud with just a spare amount of good toppings. One of my all time ultimate eating experiences - and it's equally stunningly perfect every time.


about 2 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

I agree with Michael about the Cheese Board. Today's is Roma tomatoes, onions, mozzarella and feta cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic olive oil, and cilantro. They will sell them half-baked, so you can finish it off on an Emile Henry pizza stone.


about 2 years ago Bleu Caldwell

I love deep dish Chicago pizza. Pequod's (or the original, Burt's) with it's caramelized cheese crust is my favorite!


about 2 years ago meredithleigh

A good crispy crust - butternut squash and pancetta, topped with arugula is my favorite.


about 2 years ago MMD

Made my first dough ever today...for pizza. can't wait to follow the NY Times if I only had the very best pan!


about 2 years ago vevericka

I like a Margherita with something nice and green added like arugula or hearty spinach. And the more rustic the better.


about 2 years ago Alexandra Shytsman

Jim Lahey's shiitake pizza at Co. is unbeatable.


about 2 years ago Hgranger

Thin crust margarita. Maybe add truffle oil. Or gorgonzola and arugula. And truffle oil. Or something with a runny egg on top. Or chili oil. Mmmmm.


about 2 years ago Nichol Perez

This NYer absolutely loves a pan pie pizza with onions, green peppers, bacon, chicken, extra cheese, and a great sauce also garlic powder, parmigiana cheese, and red pepper flakes.


about 2 years ago Amy Williams

i love a brick oven, thick crust chicken Alfredo pizza so good! Highly recommended from Coco's in Nashville!


about 2 years ago latkelet

Thin crust, fresh mozzarella, dab of sauce, crumbled sausage, broccoli rabe and potato slices.


about 2 years ago Cimmy

Hand-tossed wheat dough like a local place here makes...tangy tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni just this side of of burned.


about 2 years ago modnart

Thin, crispy crust...plain cheese NY style!


about 2 years ago CamillaMMann

Super thin crust with just a smear of fresh tomato sauce. Topped with fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (par-boiled) potatoes. Once it's baked, sprinkle with fresh rosemary and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Che buona!


about 2 years ago C

Chicago style! pepperoni please!


about 2 years ago calendargirl

Thin whole wheat crust with a combination of mozzarella and shredded sharp cheddar, topped with barely wilted spinach, almost any kind of wild mushrooms and shredded chicken.


about 2 years ago Nidhi Chaudhry

Definitely thin-crust, slathered with chunky tomato sauce, topped with mozarella and garlic, sprinkled with fresh basil leaves and drizzled with olive oil - Simple, classic and maddeningly delicious! If I must have toppings, then I'd go with caramelized onions, arugula (or maybe spinach) and, if I'm in India, then Chicken Tikka! I'll take pineapple on a pizza only if there's something salty to balance it out!


about 2 years ago summersavory

thin-crust, definitely; toppings are negotiable depending on the season. Some of my favorites are artichokes, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, and (of course) tomatoes/tomato sauce and cheese!


about 2 years ago Marylouise Sirignano Lugosch

New York Style thin crust, just tomato and cheese. Best pizza I ever had (outside of Naples, Italy) was in London at a small Italian cafe. Pizza here in NW Pennsylvania is awful. We make our own because the local pizza is so poorly made.


about 2 years ago Chris Christmas

thin crust with lots of garlic, mushroom, red peppers, onions and a ton of cheese!


about 2 years ago creamcheese

New Haven style crust, with fried eggplants, garlic spinach, and caramelized onions on a tomato mozz base!


about 2 years ago ReneKay

Thin crust, small amount of red sauce, carmelized onions, Moz or ricotta cheese.


about 2 years ago Dolcearia

Neo-neopolitan from Peter Reinhart's American Pie, with homemade sauce, arugula dressed with lemon, oil and salt, mushrooms sauteed in anchovy oil, fresh mozarella and proscuitto. Making it now as matter of fact....


about 2 years ago maddiegeegs

jim lahey's crust with roasted beets, spinach, gorgonzola, and chorizo


about 2 years ago etm_nc

thin crust with veggies


about 2 years ago krisk67

thin crust and lots of cheese


about 2 years ago Cristina Sciarra

Thin crust, New York-style, with mozzarella, tomato, basil, garlic, onions, and half pepperoni.


about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thin, blistered woodfire brick oven with a small amount of sauce, fresh mozzarella, sometimes prosciutto , fresh basil leaves. Sorry no pineapple for me. Made one the other night with spinach sauteed with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes, added some ricotta, parmigiano and pecorino romano (no mozzarella) It was delicious!


about 2 years ago RossG

If homemade, thin and crispy as possible. probably on a whole wheat dough as well. but if in Chicago or California I'd have to go deep-dish (Zachary's in California does a great deep-dish by the way)


about 2 years ago spoon

neapolitan-style, tomato sauce, with dollops of mozzarella that droop over grilled eggplant slices.


about 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

Thin blistery crust, no sauce - cheese instead, with garlic, chopped rosemary, and very thinly sliced potatoes. Lots of salt, pepper and hot chili flakes.


about 2 years ago emilyt

tangy-sour crisp thin crust with a tangle of caramelized onions, dollops of ricotta, and shaved pecorino on top. with a glass of wine!


about 2 years ago cookinginvictoria

I am definitely in the thin, crispy crust with some blistering camp. I like just a few simple toppings so the crust doesn't get soggy. At home we usually do homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella or ricotta, a sprinkling of olives and maybe some mushrooms or Italian sausage or artisan salumi. In Victoria, the best pizza in town is at Pizzeria Prima Strada, which makes authentic Neopolitan pizza. I always get the special, which changes daily. I recently feasted on a white pizza there made with pancetta and thin slices of Meyer lemon. So good -- a slice of heaven!


about 2 years ago magproctor

Neopolitan-style thin crust with garlic, a little mozzarella, rosemary, bacon, Kalamata olives (and olive oil) and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. The vinegar gets all caramelized, it's delicious


about 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Fried green tomatoes, Tarheel style, with a barely perceptible layer of hard Italian cheese and arugula, on thin, crispy multigrain crust made with wild yeast levain. When green tomatoes are not in season, first choice is Zachary's, whichever type (thin or thin) that my companions prefer -- after all, pizza is the quintessential shared food -- with whatever toppings appeal at that moment. ;o)


about 2 years ago jbban

A nicely charred New Haven pizza, but not from the traditional places that leave them swimming in grease.


about 2 years ago PistachioDoughnut

I love thin crust brick oven pizza especially from our fav place Grimaldi's Hoboken. Ahh..looks like tonight is pizza night..for toppings we go simple onion, spinach , roasted red bell pepper and mozz..ofcourse a red pie..


about 2 years ago Desert Dryad

Double mushroom pizza, but only with fresh mushrooms, never canned. At home I like to try unusual toppings, like butternut squash or pistachios.


about 2 years ago louisez

pizza with a thin crust -- and topping made with fresh tomatoes, a good fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano -- and fresh basil leaves to put on top (but only after the pizza comes out of the oven).
best in the summer -- when the tomatoes and basil come fresh from the garden.
as for the great pineapple debate: i'm in the no pineapple camp. i'm also in the no ham camp, so the question of whether you can or ought to have pineapple pizza without ham or ham pizza without pineapple (depending on your point of view) is moot for me.


about 2 years ago douglasgray

White Clam Pizza from New Haven came into my life late. Loaded with boulders of garlic, swimming in hot olive oil, the tender clams call to me. By Name ! It is a religious, transcendent experience. There IS a god and the food she/he serves in heaven is White Clam Pizza.


about 2 years ago jujyfruit

I typically love a thin crust pizza with fresh herbs (basil or rosemary), mushrooms, and some funky cheese. BUT a nice, chewy crust loaded with toppings (including pineapple!) will always have a place in my heart.


about 2 years ago TheBunAlsoRises

When I was younger, I convinced myself I didn't like pizza. A combination of the smell of Pizza Hut slices from birthday parties and my own distate for the conventional, I managed to avoid eating it for nearly 16 years. These past four, however, I think I have made up for the lost time. The best pizza ever is homemade of course, with dollops of homemade ricotta and loads of wild mushrooms!


about 2 years ago Marian Bull

I'm so happy you've finally seen the light. Ricotta and wild mushrooms are two of my favorite things. And pizza makes three.


about 2 years ago ZombieCupcake

Pesto, turkey, spinach, strawberry with feta cheese.


about 2 years ago melomel

I love a thin crust pizza with just the right amount of sauce (my current favorite is my husband's roasted red pepper BBQ sauce) topped with chevre and anything else we pull out of the fridge (baking eggs on top is also a major win!)