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.”

Shaved root vegetable salad in a grey bowl with a fork and spoon resting inside.

Shaved Root Vegetable Salad

Elegant evidence that salad need not be reserved for warmer months. A stunner of a salad in which humble root vegetables are elevated with peppery greens, fried pancetta, and Parmesan.

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • 4
A leftover turkey cranberry sandwich on a white surface.

Turkey Cranberry Sandwich With Stuffing

To us, perhaps the best part of Thanksgiving–right up there with that being grateful thing–is the leftovers. We’re already craving this turkey cranberry sandwich with mayo and stuffing and gravy, oh my.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • 0
Three leftovers turnovers on a parchment-lined small rimmed baking sheet.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Turnovers

This brilliant (and frugal) technique creates surprise supper parcels from flaky, buttery pastry or pie crust hiding Thanksgiving leftovers. Prepare to be even more enthralled with Thanksgiving than before.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • 0
Wedges of roasted pumpkin on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roasted Pumpkin with Parmesan

Roasted winter squash with a little bling in the form of Parmigiano-Reggiano. So simple. So surprising. So satisfying.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 20 M
  • 0
A cooked pork loin roast, tied and salted, set on a wire rack in a baking sheet

Pork Loin Roast

Just like what your grandma would put on the table for Sunday night supper. (Don’t you love how food instantly transports you across time and space?)

  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 35 M
  • 53
A partially crimped perfect flaky pie crust in a pie plate with a knife, rolling pin, and bowl of crust scraps beside it.

Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

Quick, easy, flaky, buttery, and basically foolproof. That’s how we like our pie crust. Here’s how to make it.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • 0
A tall glass filled with dark and stormy cocktail with ginger beer being poured in.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail

It was a dark and stormy night…oops. We mean, this stiff yet slightly sweet cocktail is certain to thunder through your evening.

  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • 19
A white bowl filled with carrot ginger soup, with a spoon resting inside and a plate of carrots beside it.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Easy, healthy, simple, vegan, and done in an hour. And, most importantly, absolutely scrumptious.

  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • 2
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. Whew. It’s just a gin and tonic under a black light. Who knew?!

  • 25 M
  • 11 H, 35 M
  • 34
A pile of Cajun fried chicken pieces.

Cajun Fried Chicken

Bathed in buttermilk and spiced ever so slightly, this Cajun-style fried hen is memorably moist inside, superlatively crisp outside, and gosh darn perfect through and through.

  • 35 M
  • 35 M
  • 23
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—is the perfect one-pot meat and potatoes meal. Includes oven as well as slow cooker instructions.

  • 30 M
  • 4 H
  • 21