Helen Doberstein, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Helen Doberstein has tested.

Helen Doberstein, Leite's Culinaria Recipe Tester

Helen was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has lived in the “GTA” (Greater Toronto Area) all of her life. Her earliest memories of food were typical of the English/Irish cooking of the day, which in Helen’s words meant “gray vegetables, potatoes, and well-done meats, sometimes with a token salad.” Fancy wasn’t on the menu growing up. Helen’s mom had taught her the basics so she wouldn’t starve, but the kitchen was always her mother’s domain. Intruders were welcome—to do the dishes.

As newlyweds, Helen and her husband became involved in round-robin dinner parties, which encouraged Helen to expand her cooking skills. Her most memorable dinner party involved a chocolate fondue that had so much kirsch in it she had to make coffee as everyone waited for cabs so they could get home safely. No one was given a choice to drive home after that dessert. (Helen deemed the night a huge success.) Not long after that, she started watching Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. In terms of cooking, she was hooked. Around the same time, Helen started collecting cookbooks and trying more and more new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. Soon everything was fair game.

Fortunately, when it comes to food, Helen’s family and friends are happy to try most anything that she’s prepared. The Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Stuffed Squash wowed her husband. Helen’s mother is extremely fond of the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The guys at the curling club loved the Duck Prosciutto and Bacon Jam.  And Helen? She’ll tell you that her favorite recipe is the Smoked Salmon Pizza. No, it’s the Sunday Roast Beef. Hmmm, it’s probably the Chilaquiles. Actually, like most of us, she’s not able to choose just one.

Helen and her husband now live in Churchill, Ontario, a quiet village an hour north of Toronto. They have three grown children, an 8-year-old granddaughter, 2-year-old grandson and a 4 legged furry rescue who had decided she is not a dog but a princess. Helen has worked for three of the major Canadian banks, as well as with her husband at his business in Toronto, and is currently an office administrator for the Lisbon Group in Bradford. She’s also spent many years teaching ceramics in the evenings, practicing archery, and making jewelry. She previously tested recipes for America’s Test Kitchen and when her tenure there was done, she discovered Leite’s. “I can’t imagine doing this for anyone else now,” she says. “I love the sense of community here and look forward to many more years of happy testing.”

A cranberry margarita in a short glass with a skewer or sugared cranberries and orange zest across the top.

Cranberry Margarita

Because sometimes on Thanksgiving, you need something a little stronger than wine. Especially this year. We know we will. *hic*

  • (3)
  • 35 M
  • 45 M
  • 10
A woman pouring maple syrup over a maple glazed turkey in a black roasting pan.

Maple Glazed Turkey

Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Paleo-friendly. And tastes magnificent. Things just got a heck of a lot easier for you to plan your Thanksgiving menu.

  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 4 H, 30 M
  • 2
A white rectangular dish filled with herbed bread and celery stuffing with a fork and spoon next to it on a napkin.

Herbed Bread and Celery Stuffing

A classic. Bread stuffing filled with celery, onion, thyme, basil, and parsley that’s synonymous with Thanksgiving (though honestly, it’s equally welcome all times of year with roast chicken).

  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 50 M
  • 2
Two halved grilled cheese with onion jam on a wooden cutting board alongside a dish of onion jam and a butter knife.

Grilled Cheese with Onion Jam

Up your grilled cheese game with this riff on the classic that plays loose and easy with Cheddar, chutney, and caramelized onions.

  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 40 M
  • 8

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Easy. Economical. On the table in 45 minutes. And essentially pork wrapped in more pork and roasted until crisp outside and juicily tender inside. Comfort food for when you need it.

  • (2)
  • 35 M
  • 45 M
  • 12
A clementine cake on a round silver platter with one slice on a plate beside it.

Clementine Cake

Looks like upside-down cake. Tastes like upside-down cake. Yet this sticky citrusy dessert couldn’t be more right side up as far as we’re concerned.

  • (14)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 70
A pot roast with potatoes and vegetables on a decorative platter with a serving fork on the platter and a napkin on the side.

Easy Pot Roast, Potatoes, and Vegetables

This classic, hearty, homey dish—just like something your grandma used to make but better—is an ideal one-pot meat-and-potatoes meal. Includes oven as well as slow cooker instructions.

  • (4)
  • 30 M
  • 4 H
  • 23
Blue pot of chunks of pork, authentic carnitas, with a bay leaf and wooden spoon on top

Carnitas ~ Mexican Braised Pork

This Mexican carnitas recipe is authentic braised and fried pork that makes for conversation-stopping, fall-apart-tender awesomeness.

  • (33)
  • 20 M
  • 2 H
  • 131
Several plates with fluorescent glowing Jello molds

Glow in the Dark Jello

The spirits summoned for this ghostly glow-in-the-dark Jello hail from a bottle, not the supernatural. (It’s just a gin and tonic under a black light. Who knew?!)

  • (1)
  • 25 M
  • 11 H, 35 M
  • 34
A toasted classic tuna melt on a wooden board with a dish of ketchup next to it.

Classic Tuna Melt

Because yes, a properly constructed tuna melt is reason to get pretty darn excited. This exquisite specimen makes a pretty compelling argument.

  • (1)
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • 2