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 pile of breakfast nachos topped with cheese, eggs, salsa, and sour cream on a baking sheet.

Breakfast Nachos

These breakfast nachos will absolutely change your attitude about mornings. Cheesy eggs as you’ve never, ever quite experienced them.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 25 M
  • 0
A white plate topped with IKEA meatballs, fries, lingonberry sauce, and a Swedish paper flag.

IKEA Meatballs

Real-deal IKEA meatballs without having to leave the house. Consider it comfort food with no Allen key required.

  • Quick Glance
  • 55 M
  • 3 H
  • 0
Different shapes of homemade animal crackers lying on a chalkboard background.

Homemade Animal Crackers

Made from scratch with natural ingredients, these are gonna remake all your memories of stale, bland animal crackers in the circus box.

  • (2)
  • 40 M
  • 2 H
  • 6
A spoonful of mixed citrus marmalade spilling over onto a grey marble surface.

Mixed Citrus Marmalade

Made with oranges, mandarins, and limes, this lovely fruit jam is essentially citrus on a spoon. Simple to make. Tastes complex as heck.

  • (2)
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 25 M
  • 18
A large measuring cup of slow cooker chicken stock on a wooden table with a ladle on the side.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

Making stock from scratch was never difficult. And it just became even easier thanks to this simple yet perfect slow cooker approach.

  • (5)
  • 15 M
  • 12 H
  • 37
A whole cooked wheat beer roasted chicken in a deep oval baking dish.

Beer Roasted Chicken

A crisp-skinned bird that’s inflected with orange and coriander for a very unique flair. And it comes together in a single pot, making it a cinch to prep as well as clean up afterward.

  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 8
A rimmed baking sheet with fish in parchment and a fish spatula resting beside it.

Fish in Parchment

Drama. Intrigue. Aroma. Ease. These, too, can be part of your weeknight routine with this simple, surprising tactic to cooking fish.

  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • 3
Five broiled buffalo wings on a piece of parchment on a wooden board with a bowl of carrot and celery sticks.

Broiled Buffalo Wings

These lip-tingling wings boast far less oil-spattering-all-over-the-kitchen fuss and fewer calories than the classic that you’d find at the neighborhood bar. Not that you’ll be able to tell from the taste.

  • (2)
  • 25 M
  • 40 M
  • 4
Two chili dogs on a white plate with a fork and knife on the side.

Chili Dog

Who first thought to smother a hot dog with chili and strew it with cheese and cram it into one’s face? We’re talking hero status.

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • 0