they say it’s my birthday

Today is my birthday. Fifty four feels like a really big number. I have to admit, I never really imagined I would live so long. But when you’re 25 and the world is your oyster and you like to ski fast and jump horses over big fences, hitting 50 seems impossible. Here’s a photo from my favorite birthday yet. It was my 50th and we were in Lyon at the Paul Bocuse restaurant. A spectacular meal, so darn French, it just oozed Gaulishness. And there was this birthday, celebrated in Cuernevaca (nice sunburn, hm?) including a smattering of television stars and peacocks. Last year, there was a blizzard (but we braved the weather and had lunch at Volt.) Today will be celebrated at home. No […]

charcutepalooza partners with food52

Here we go again! Kim and I have even more thrilling news. Food52, that fabulously cool online community of home cooks, has asked Charcutepalooza to partner with them. They’ll be featuring the Charcutepalooza challenge posts from me and the best of the blogs round up posts from Kim, and whatever else we might get ourselves into, as the year goes along. What’s certain is that we’re honored and thrilled. Check out the nice welcome we got from Amanda Hesser, Merrill Stubbs and all the other clever elves behind the scenes. (We got to meat them all last week! We brought bacon, pancetta and duck proscuitto, of course.) So click on over to Food52 to see what a nice place they’ve got. You’ll find weekly contests, […]

winter. again.

Two Mondays have passed with meatless meals on our table and the camera and keyboard left idle. I’ve been busy, really too busy to have time to play in the kitchen, so I am relying on my favorite standby meals. Last week, we enjoyed Split Pea Soup, one of our favorite weeknight meals, with a loaf of foccacia and some cookies, this soup makes for a satisfying, filling, winter-ready meal in under an hour. Yes, the cookies, too. (The focaccia can be made at breakfast, given a cool rise in the fridge, and cooked off in that same hour.) Yesterday, with threats of more dreadful weather on the way, I turned to the freezer, where I found blanched chopped spinach and oven roasted tomato sauce. […]


charcutepalooza just keeps getting better

It has been so hard to keep this secret from all of you. We’re in tomorrow’s Washington Post. The Food Section. O. M. G. It just went online now. Yes, that’s me, and that’s Kim, and we’re in my kitchen making bacon. And pancetta. And pasta. Bonnie Benwick has written a great piece and we’re just over the moon. Click here to see more photos and the recipe I cooked up. With or without peas. Okay, so that’s totally amazing, right? You’d think that would be enough. But there’s more. A lot more. A First Rate Source D’Artagnan, the single best online source for humanely raised meats, wants to join the party, too. They’ll be offering a 25% discount for the meats-of-the-month to participating Charcutepaloozers. […]


marmalade 1. cathy 0.

Meyer lemon marmalade. Sounds fantastic, right? I don’t know if it’s the marmalade or the day long job of making it, but I’m not a fan. It took a long time to peel the lemons, remove the seeds, chop the pulp, food process the pulp. There were resting periods I hadn’t counted on. I should have read the recipe more carefully, but I just jumped in. Life is a little busy. I’m going in a million directions. But there was this bowl of lemons. And I’ve got lemon curd, and limoncello, and preserved lemons. The only lemon I didn’t have was marmalade, something I’ve promised myself I would make. I chopped and blanched and stirred. I heated it slowly, very slowly, seeking the magic 220° […]


Winnie’s Pho.

If for no other reason, make this soup for the way it will make your house smell. Seriously. It should be a diptych candle. Winnie, the quiet cook from New Paltz with the seriously brilliant blog, Healthy Green Kitchen, is another of the home cook bloggers I’ve met through Food52. Before Food52, and their lively online community of home cooks, I expressed myself, creativity and intellectually, alone in my own kitchen. I certainly had friends who cooked, but no one with the lunacy to make a cake twelve times until it was perfect. Or chop ten pounds of onions just to learn to dice and mince and brunoise. Or figure out how to recreate a restaurant meal. Or put up food in jars, for heaven’s […]