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 white plate of zucchini linguine--with pasta, zucchini, garlic, capers, mint, dill, and cheese with a fork

Zucchini Linguine

This zucchini linguine is a panoply of summer abundance with summer squash and herbs crowding out the usual pasta sauce suspects. No complaints here.

A jar and bowl of sweet pickle relish with three cucumbers lying beside them.

Sweet Pickle Relish

So long, Vlasic. Once you try your hand at making your own sweet relish, you can cross one more condiment off your shopping list.

A white casserole dish partially filled with cheese enchiladas, garnished with cilantro, cheese, and crema.

Cheese Enchiladas

Got chile sauce? Corn tortillas? Cheese? Sour Cream? Limes? Fantastic. Then you’ve got the makings for some of the easiest enchiladas ever.

An eggplant kebab on a tortilla with fresh spinach, garlic sauce, and cabbage.

Eggplant Kebabs

A healthy, veggie-packed dinner that’s most magnificent during the height of summer. No turning on the stove required.

A small pot with a small amount of spicy bourbon barbecue sauce left in it and a spoon resting inside.

Spicy Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

The secret ingredient to this spicy sauce? Nope. Not bourbon. We said secret. It’s smoked ketchup. (Yup. You heard correctly.) Bacon, too.

An oval platter topped with Greek salad - sliced cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, peppers, and feta cheese.

Greek Salad

As easy and traditional as classic Greek salad. But with a subtle twist that’s gonna have you coming back to this recipe again and again and again.

A metal platter holding five grilled portobello mushrooms, topped with garlic rosemary butter.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Juicy and umami-rich, we might even dare say these super savory mushrooms are meaty in texture. They made a terrific side or even sub in for a burger patty.

Four scoops of blueberry frozen yogurt in a wooden bowl with a spoon resting beside it.

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

No sugar. No creepy preservatives. Nothing but blueberries, plain yogurt, honey, lemon juice, purple smiles, and requests for seconds.

Beer from a Budweiser bottle being poured into a glass of mean shandy.

Mean Shandy

What, pray tell, is a mean shandy, you ask? Think of a regular shandy with a spirited streak. There you have it.