Pound Cake 1

homemade butter for perfect pound cake

When I received a gift of fresh (raw) cream last week, my first thought was pound cake. You see, I knew the cream would become butter. And then the butter would become cake. And when I returned from the market with some beautiful Arucana (blue) hen eggs, well, that was just the nudge I needed. I am a big fan of pound cake. I’ve made dozens of different recipes, but I’m here to tell you: Edna Lewis’ pound cake is perfection. And the beauty of the recipe is in the simplicity. Butter, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla and a little lemon. I bet you have all of those ingredients in your house right now. I first encountered Miss Lewis’ pound cake in her terrific book, The Taste […]

gin vermouth balsamic

Winter Martinez Cocktail à la Rose’s Luxury

There is a sensational new restaurant in DC called Rose’s Luxury. It got an amazing review from the Washington Post so I was particularly delighted to go there the other night. The evening started off just right with a cocktail, the Winter Martinez. To be perfectly fair, Plymouth gin and Antica Carpana were specified and I had only Botanist ( herbal,  like Plymouth) and Dolin (upmarket, like AC) sweet vermouth. I was hoping to recreate the same happy glass of joy, even with these substitutions. The kicker in this tipple is the fig balsamic. Syrupy and sweet with a snazzy vinegar ending, it brings to mind a shrub, but winterized. Shrubs, in case you aren’t familiar, are drinking vinegars. You’ll be able to get a […]

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It’s a redesign (plus a recipe for a pear tart)

Ahhhh. Isn’t the new site pretty? It’s been a big effort on the part of Dupont Creative, but they’ve moved all the old blog posts and information, recategorized it and fluffed it up. I’m so thrilled to have this updated look to welcome the exciting year ahead. You’ll see new categories up top. These correspond to some new  posts that will be coming up. Cooking, for instance, will include both my recipes, and recipes from cookbooks (new and old) that I’m reading and from which I’m cooking. PS If you’re reading this and you are a publisher or author, I’d be happy to take a look at your books! Get in touch via the Contact form (Under the About page – where you’ll find my […]

avocado “louie”

Let’s not get all grumpy about the weather and January and forget the happy feelings from gathering with our friends and family over the holidays. I declare 2014 the year of hospitality. I love having people over, and I’m going to do as much of it as possible this year. And I’m going to be using my pantry to make it easy, with recipes like Avocado “Louie”, a lunch my mother would make us back in the ’60s. Having company over for lunch is a treat. I suppose, because I work from home, it’s the equivalent of going out to lunch versus eating at one’s desk. So, whenever someone is going to be stopping by, I like to suggest lunch. There are a few stand-by […]

hidden eggs (our holiday breakfast)

Do you have a special breakfast you make only on holiday mornings? One that takes a little extra time. In this house, Hidden Eggs appear only two or three times a year and every time we ask, “Why don’t we have this more often?” I learned to make Hidden Eggs in Tepoztlan. They were served for breakfast only once and it started a fire in me (literally – that’s a very spicy sauce). I had to learn to make these magical eggs. The lovely Tere, cooking the little treasures with ease, was clear with me. Before I could make hidden eggs, I had to learn to make tortillas. If you’ve never made tortillas, this is one resolution worth making in 2014. (Don’t worry, I’ve got […]

a miracle involving gin

Gentle reader, Today, I bring you a tale of a Christmas miracle. It involves gin. Bill, my step-(may-as-well-be-my-)Dad, lives in a small (tiny) town in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. He is a spry 82, still teaches one class each semester at Trinity College, has a lady friend who lives down the road and around the corner, regularly goes to the gym, prefers movies without gore, blood and sad stories, and generally, wants for very little. Exchanging gifts is not necessary, but can be nice. If I can, I like to get a sour cherry pie to him for his July 10 birthday. (My friend Christine actually baked him a pie once, delivering it to his front porch and startling him. Whoops.) Bill always gets […]