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 chipped ceramic dish filled with buttermilk drop biscuits nestled in a striped tea towel.

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

“The best biscuits I’ve ever had!” is what we’re hearing from many, many, many folks who when they first try these easy no-rolling-required biscuits. Amen to that.

  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 35 M
  • 11
A few Mason jars filled with chicken bone broth.

Chicken Bone Broth

Easy. Healthy. Keto. Paleo. Able to be made in a slow cooker. Remnants of a rotisserie hen work just dandy. And, natch, the taste. Just a few of the things we adore about this chicken stock.

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 1 D, 1 H
  • 4
A glass of Vietnamese iced coffee, made with layers of sweetened condensed milk, coffee, and ice cubes with a coffee drip over it.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee | Ca Phe Sua Da

A simple, satiating, summery Vietnamese tradition known as ca phe sua da, this seductive classic is simply coffee, ice, and sweet, sweet, sweetened condensed milk. Here’s how to succumb at home.

  • (1)
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • 28
Pieces of roast chicken wth a small dish of pan gravy and a halved lemon and bulb of garlic on an oval metal tray.

Roast Chicken and Pan Gravy

We seriously cannot get enough of this easy roast chicken and pan gravy that’s got our heads spinning…and everyone clamoring for more.

  • (3)
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • 16
Two mugs, one empty and the other filled with Irish coffee on a white wooden table.

Irish Coffee

A better way to start your day. Uh, we mean, end your day. That’s what we meant. Yes. End it. Ahem.

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 10 M
  • 0
An oval platter filled with homemade spaetzle.

Homemade Spaetzle

Spaetzle is like homemade pasta but without all that fussy rolling out, which makes it as easy as it is satisfying. Not to mention cheap as can be.

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 25 M
  • 4
A white mug of chicken stock

Microwave Chicken Stock

That’s right. Chicken stock or broth in the microwave. Easy. Inexpensive. And done in 10 minutes. Wowsa, right?!

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 10 M
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