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 cook demonstrating how to grill asparagus with several rafts of asparagus spears connected with wooden skewers.

How to Grill Asparagus

Never again curse as your pricey spears of asparagus fall between the grill rack into oblivion. All you need is this simple trick.

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 20 M
  • 0
A bluebarb pie with one slice missing and two forks resting beside the pie.

Bluebarb Pie

Tart rhubarb collides with sweet blueberries to create some serious summer pie envy among strawberry rhubarb loyalists.

  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 3 H
  • 8
A paper bowl filled with potato salad with apples on a red and white coaster with a plastic fork beside it.

Potato Salad With Apples

This unique spud salad is full of pleasant surprises and is gonna upend your notion of how things—or at least potato salad—ought to be.

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H
  • 0
A punch bowl and several glasses filled with strawberry sangria, whole strawberries, and orange wheels.

Strawberry Sangria

Anyone else ready for another weekend? If so, we’ve got an especially seasonal riff on the sultry Spanish sipper that’ll get everyone in the mood…for what, you tell us.

  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 5 H, 30 M
  • 2
Seven pieces of gluten-free fried chicken on a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

Because we believe awesome fried chicken is a birthright for all, we bring you this gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly bird.

  • (2)
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • 8
A stack of easy gingerbread pancakes topped with bacon, maple syrup, and creme fraiche in a white bowl.

Easy Gingerbread Pancakes

This easy gingerbread pancakes recipe is easy to make with sugar, spice, lemon zest, and maple syrup with flavors that are welcome waaaaaaay beyond Christmas.

  • (2)
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • 4
Bite-size bacon and cheese scones with smoked bacon and melted Asiago on top on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Bite-Size Bacon and Cheese Scones

Cute as a button, and not much bigger, these buttery, bacony scones are the most diminutive and darned good biscuits we’ve had in recent memory. Maybe ever.

  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 45 M
  • 31
Five jars of jam, two apricot and three strawberry rhubarb jam, with some wildflowers.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

A small-batch jam from the famed Sarabeth’s Bakery that takes just half an hour of (barely any) effort. And there’s no proper canning required. Simply stash it in the fridge.

  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • 2
A bowl filled with fresh whole milk ricotta and a spoon on the side.

Fresh Whole Milk “Ricotta”

This cheater’s version of the real ricotta deal turns out satisfyingly creamy and rich and is certain to cure your craving. Made from just milk, yogurt, lemon juice, and salt.

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 2 H
  • 26
A cooked raspberry crumble tart on a wooden surface with a few raspberries lying nearby.

Raspberry Crumble Tart

Warning: This tart is best when consumed within a few hours of emerging from the oven. We don’t see this as being a problem. We suspect you won’t either.

  • (2)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 10