Jelisa Castrodale

Jelisa is a freelance writer who has covered food and travel, sports and pop culture for numerous publications. When she's not on deadline, she enjoys getting new passport stamps, collecting records and shouting at her beloved Liverpool Football Club.
I Tried 10 Jars of Alfredo Sauce and Now This Is the Only One I’ll Buy
Taste Test
"I wanted to eat it with a spoon like it was soup!"
Jan 5, 2023
The 5 Best Chocolates to Buy at Aldi — For Valentine’s Day and Beyond
For Valentine's Day and beyond!
Feb 13, 2021
I Taste Tested Seven Packs of Pepperoni and Now These Are the Only Brands I’ll Buy
They're actually wildly different from brand to brand!
Jan 27, 2021
I Tried 9 Bottles of Hot Sauce and These Were Clearly The Best
Taste Test
One stood out as being THE MOST versatile.
Dec 17, 2020
I Tried 8 Bags of Frozen Turkey Meatballs and Now These Are the Only Ones I’ll Buy
Taste Test
If you're not ready to go cold turkey on turkey by the end of the week, these are the ones to go for.
Nov 25, 2019
I Tried a Dozen Different Jars of Dill Pickle Spears and Now These Are the Only Ones I’ll Buy
Taste Test
Some of the crunchiest pickles had bland flavors, and some of the more flavorful varieties were too mushy. But there was a clear winner.
Nov 19, 2019
We Tried 10 Different Pouches of Beef Jerky — and There Was One Clear Winner
Taste Test
We got them all at mainstream supermarkets.
Nov 10, 2019
These Two Soups Make My Busy Life So Much Easier — and They’re Ready in Less Than 5 Minutes
You find out who your true friends are when you’re getting ready to move. The real friends aren’t the ones who show up with a pickup truck and a half-dozen rolls of packing tape. No, the realest friends are the ones who ask you whether you’re sure you really want to move, and who remind you how awful the entire process is. Let me explain.
Oct 22, 2019
The Internet Can’t Decide Whether This Hard-Boiled Egg Instant Pot Hack Is Brilliant or Terrifying
This "egg loaf" can be quickly chopped to be used in egg salad or potato salad, or for icing and serving to your least-favorite coworker.
Sep 20, 2019
I Tried 11 Bags of Frozen Meatballs and Now These Are the Only Ones I’ll Buy
Taste Test
These meatballs are on a roll!
Sep 4, 2019
Trader Joe’s Mac & Cheese Supposedly Tastes Just Like Annie’s. We Compared the Two.
Do you have a preference?
Sep 3, 2019
We Tried Pumpkin Spice Spam — And It Wasn’t at All What We Expected
It hits Walmart on September 23, but we got an early sample (a spample?) to try.
Aug 26, 2019
I Tried Almost a Dozen Frozen Pepperoni Pizzas. Now This Is the Only One I’ll Buy.
Taste Test
"Everyone liked how the sweetness of the sauce paired with the savory pepperoni, and the spice blend was perfectly balanced."
Aug 5, 2019
The One Thing You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Jalapeños
Sometimes it feels like Twitter only exists so you can see those same four GIFs of Steve Carell-as-Michael Scott a dozen times a day, so fast food restaurants’ social media teams can dunk on each other, and so that guy you went to high school with can type “LOL IT SNOWED TODAY COULD REALLY USE SOME OF THAT GLOBAL WARMING LOL.
Feb 6, 2019
If You’re Obsessed with Meal Prep, You Need This Cookbook
We all know we should be meal prepping, right? Like, you don’t have to be a weightlifter who’s carrying an entire cooler full of grilled chicken breasts or an Instagrammer who just likes photographing well-curated plastic containers on Sunday afternoons in order to benefit from planning your meals ahead. The hard part, at least for me, is trying to decide what to cook, because you want something that will be as appealing on day four as it is on day one.
Jan 24, 2019
This App Can Tell You Where to Get the Best Price for Everything on Your Grocery List
We’re just over three weeks into 2019, which means that most of us haven’t completely abandoned our New Year’s resolutions yet. In addition to trying to cut down on my LaCroix intake (it’s not even that good, you guys) and trying to stop obsessing about mistakes I made in, like, 2004, I’m trying to really focus on – and stick to – my monthly budget this year.
Jan 22, 2019
We Tried Pretty Much Every Can of Campbell’s Soup. Here Are the Ones We Like Best.
In the spring of 1962, artist Andy Warhol asked some friends to suggest a subject for his next series of paintings. Gallerist Muriel Latow said a few words that would prompt him to start the most recognizable work of his career, if not the most recognizable pieces of modern art, ever. “You should paint something that everybody sees every day, that everybody recognizes … like a can of soup,” she said — and she charged him $50 for the inspiration.
Jan 3, 2019
Chrissy Teigen Made an Adorable Menu for Her Picky Daughter
When I was two years old, I was the kind of two-year-old that made her parents buy books with titles like Making Your Kids Mind Without Losing Yours and Have a New Kid by Friday. (Unfortunately for my folks, there wasn’t a chapter about actually trading your child for a different, less obnoxious one). Meals were the worst, because apparently the only foods I would even consider not throwing directly from the plate onto the rug were lamb chops and chicken livers. Weird flex, toddler me.
Dec 19, 2018
I Tried Trader Joe’s Facial Scrub and the Hype Is Legit
Early last week, a friend texted our unending group thread with a screenshot from — one suggesting that our section of North Carolina would be getting two winters’ worth of snow over the course of one day. I responded with some variation of “WTF,” before reminding myself to pick up an extra half-gallon of milk before the Snowday Preppers cleared out the bread aisle and all the dairy cases. (ALL MILK SANDWICHES, ALL THE TIME).
Dec 11, 2018
This Creamy Polenta with Red Wine Mushrooms Is a Winner
Kitchn’s Delicious Links column highlights recipes we’re excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites. Lauren Hartmann, the pastry chef behind all-vegan website Rabbit and Wolves, describes her website as “simple yet exceptional vegan comfort food.” I can’t speak to the vegan aspect, but when it comes to comfort food, it’s hard to beat a creamy bowl of polenta.
Dec 5, 2018
These Steak and Sweet Potato Bites Are a Weeknight Favorite
Kitchn’s Delicious Links column highlights recipes we’re excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites. Look, I’m a serious meat-lover, the kind of unrepentant carnivore who has to be reminded that fruits and vegetables are also things that exist.
Dec 3, 2018
This Creamy Lemon Herbed Chicken Is a Weeknight Favorite
Kitchn’s Delicious Links column highlights recipes we’re excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites. All right, I’m just putting this out there: Chicken thighs are one thousand percent better than chicken breasts.
Nov 21, 2018
This Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan Sauce Is a One-Pan Wonder
Kitchn’s Delicious Links column highlights recipes we’re excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites. Kevin Lynch, the Toronto-based food blogger and photographer behind Closet Cooking, says that the website got its name honestly… because his kitchen is the size of a closet.
Nov 19, 2018
Ridiculous Olds Now Claiming That Millennials Are Wrecking Thanksgiving Meals Too
Earlier this week, Hasbro released “Monopoly for Millennials,” a variation of your weird aunt’s favorite board game that replaces the familiar properties, utilities, and railroads with experiences like eating at a vegan bistro and attending a meditation retreat. The tagline for this game that exactly none of us want to ever play? “Forget real estate, you can’t afford it anyway!” Get it?
Nov 16, 2018
This Creamy Chicken Stroganoff Is Perfect Comfort Food
Kitchn’s Delicious Links column highlights recipes we’re excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites. OK, as epic and darkly romantic as Guns N’ Roses made late fall precipitation sound, after a week of cold, damp days, I’ve about had it with November rain. (The actual November rain. I’m still cool with the song.) My socks were wet before 9 a.m. today. Then I dropped my to-go mug into the world’s deepest puddle.
Nov 15, 2018
This $20 Reese’s Advent Calendar Is a Holiday Miracle
Earlier this morning, the hosts of a cable news channel morning show struggled to open the tiny doors on their wine-bottle advent calendar and they fumbled with the packaging until the commercial break. That made me think that maybe I’ll skip the calendar, buy a couple bottles of wine, and pretend that I’m capable of rationing them for 24 days.
Nov 9, 2018
Trader Joe’s Has the Best Friendsgiving Essentials
For the past four or five years, my friend has hosted a pre-Thanksgiving dinner that he calls “Sidesgiving” because everyone brings their favorite holiday-season side dish. Even though he sets the date and sends invitations several weeks in advance, every single year I’m late because, at dinnertime, I’m still leaning down and peering into the oven, wondering whether hissing “OMGGGG COME ONNNNNN” will make those sweet potatoes cook any faster.
Nov 6, 2018
Of Course Gwyneth Paltrow Had Carrot Cake at Her Wedding
The past couple of months have been preeeetty eventful for Gwyneth Paltrow. In September, she had to pay $145,000 to settle a consumer protection lawsuit that was filed over Goop’s claims that women should shove $55 jade eggs into their you-know-whats if they wanted to improve their reproductive health.
Nov 5, 2018
Reese’s Will Trade Your Lamest Halloween Candy for Peanut Buttery Goodness
Last week, the city of High Point, North Carolina, announced that it would be stepping in to prevent its citizens from handing out those gross peanut butter kiss candies. “Alright everybody, we’re giving you a one-week notice as you prepare for trick-or-treaters to remind y’all that by order of the City of High Point Emperor of Acceptable Candy (it’s a real thing), these are banned,” the City of High Point Government wrote on Facebook.
Oct 31, 2018
Oat Milk Might Finally Be Easier to Find in the U.S. – And Here’s Why
According to the New York Times, Quaker Oats plans to release its own oat milk.
Oct 19, 2018
The 6 Best Condiments You Can Only Buy at Trader Joe’s
In 1964, Nico Jacobellis, the manager of a movie theater in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was fined $2,500 and accused of violating Ohio’s obscenity statutes, all because he screened a then-controversial French film about adultery.
Oct 17, 2018
The Best BBQ Sauce Comes from Trader Joe’s
I’m from North Carolina, where BBQ is serious business. The state is damn near split in half by an imaginary line of demarcation: one that determines whether you eat your pulled pork or chopped plates Lexington-style, or you eat them the wrong way. (FIGHT ME!
Oct 10, 2018
I’m Sorry, Trader Joe’s, but We Can’t Get Behind This Product
In its most recent "Fearless Flyer," Trader Joe's announced the arrival of a new condiment: Carrot Cake Spread. I'm sorry to say it was disappointing.
Oct 2, 2018
We Had No Idea This Everyday Kitchen Tool Was a Legit Design Icon
If you’ve been to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in midtown Manhattan, you’ve probably marveled at its permanent collection, which includes some of the most iconic and immediately recognizable works, ever — there’s the melting clocks of Salvador Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory, the soft-focus pastels of Claude Monet’s massive Water Lilies triptych, and everyone’s go-to poster from their freshman year, Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night.
Sep 25, 2018
There’s No Way This Slow Cooker Full English Breakfast Is an Improvement
During everyone’s most-and-least favorite holiday movie, Love, Actually, Prime Minister Hugh Grant lists all of the reasons why he thinks Great Britain deserves that first part of its name: “We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too,” he said. “The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that.
Sep 21, 2018
This Is the Only Premade Chili We Can Get Behind
Rachel and Andy Berliner, the married co-founders of organic vegetarian food empire Amy’s Kitchen, are both in their late 60s, are longtime advocates of plant-based diets, and are worth millions and millions of dollars. Meanwhile, I’m a 30-something whose blood type is mostly bacon grease, and my own net worth depends on how many cans of La Croix are stacked in the fridge at any given time. (Right now, my personal fortune adds up to about $8).
Sep 17, 2018