Melissa Maedgen, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Melissa Maedgen has tested.

Melissa Maedgen

Melissa Maedgen owes her passion for cooking and gardening to her parents. Like her mom and dad, she’s fond of improvisational cooking with a focus on fresh produce from her garden or from local farmers. She enjoys cooking outdoors, sometimes in a particularly rustic manner—she once roasted a goat on a spit (actually just a piece of rebar) over a fire in a field in Texas. Maedgen was raised to be a DIYer, so she often makes her own tofu or beer. She’s been following Leite’s Culinaria since 2001, when she was studying Portuguese and developed an interest in Brazilian and Portuguese food. She became a tester in 2009 and loves that she gets to cook foods she might not otherwise make.

A fennel, orange, and watercress salad on a decorative platter with a cup of dressing and a spoon on the side.

Fennel, Orange, and Watercress Salad

Quick and easy to toss together with all the flair of a French woman slinging a scarf and instantly seeming elegant with ease. Which is exactly how we like our salads.

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • 0
Several pieces of chocolate bark with apricots and pistachios in a basket

Chocolate Bark, Cardamom, Dried Fruits, and Nuts

There’s chocolate bark and then there’s chocolate bark. This bark is the latter sort, a sort that intrigues and surprises, that both starts and stops conversations, a bark that knows no boundaries.

  • (2)
  • 10 M
  • 30 M
  • 9
Homemade maple-espresso bacon on a cutting board on a stone slab

Homemade Maple-Espresso Bacon

A richly porky, nicely salted, slightly peppery, pleasantly sweet taste with a lingering maple syrup flavor. That’s what you can expect from this crazy easy homemade bacon.

  • (5)
  • 25 M
  • 7 D, 4 H
  • 59
A veggie grilled cheese sandwich sliced in half on a glass platter

Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Make veggies less yawn-inducing by stealthily sneaking them into this good-for-you grilled cheese sammie. Eating your veggies never tasted so sinful.

  • (2)
  • 10 M
  • 15 M
  • 4
A bowl of curried sweet potato and lentil soup, sprinkled with black pepper, with a spoon resting inside the bowl.

Curried Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

The spiciness of red curry paste and the sweetness of sweet potatoes and heartiness of lentils and the tanginess of lime in a single beautiful bowl of deliciousness.

  • (3)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 6
A bowl of Instant Pot lentil soup, with a person cutting a slice of artisan bread in the background.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Inexpensive everyday ingredients become incredibly satiating and comforting with very little effort. You know, in that rustic French home cooking sorta way.

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 0

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 white bowl with a little bit of stovetop fruit pie filling in the bottom and a spoon resting inside.

Stovetop Fruit Pie Filling

Our go-to approach for slightly-less-than-stellar fruit when we want exponentially-better-than-average results.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 0
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.

  • (34)
  • 20 M
  • 2 H
  • 133
Six sections of cauliflower and kimchi sandwiches cut to show the filling.

Cauliflower and Kimchi Sandwiches

Grown-up grilled cheese to the nth degree. That’s our impression of this really rather regal approach to downing your vegetables.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 2