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have you seen my mojo?

Whew. I’ve had a few bad days in the kitchen. I’ll spare you photographs of the disasters. I’ve been thinking about each and every one, however. And each failure reinforced my intention to write recipes that work. You see, each of these, um, challenges in the kitchen was about the quality of the recipe, I’m sure of it. I tried making macarons from a recipe found at a very reputable site. There were technique suggestions I’d never seen before. I made the recipe three times. The first time, clearly the baking time was wrong as they were deeply brown two minutes before they were even supposed to be done. The second attempt produced flat, no-feet cookies from the outset. The third time, the cookies formed […]

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canning yankee-style baked beans

It’s a little rainy and chilly here, and produce is still not available at the market. I’m itching to can something. Anything. I did two batches of  chicken broth, but that didn’t satisfy the itch. So I decided to can with this recipe while waiting for strawberries and rhubarb. I set out to make the baked beans of my childhood. That sweet, tangy elixir. The ones from the jar. With the big hunk of whitish, frighteningly delicious fat. I’ve been messing around with these flavors for awhile, and finally hit upon the perfect – well, MY perfect – baked bean. These beans are so easy, you’re going to be thrilled to have them at your barbeque dinners this summer. One pound of beans will make […]

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charcutepalooza may challenge. grinding.

We’re almost half way through the Year of Meat. We’ve salted, cured, brined, and smoked. Now, it’s time to make sausage. Grinding meat from whole cuts, blending in the perfect ratio of clean fats, and flavoring just to your taste with spices, herbs and more – it’s nothing short of amazing. To prepare for this challenge, I sought out expert advice. You Charcutepalooza-er’s have a lot of fans out there, and some seriously impressive people were delighted to chime in and make sure we’re doing all we can with this great meat-movement. From the beginning, we’ve been talking about sourcing the best meat possible – humanely raised and humanely slaughtered. What better time to reassert that intention then when we make sausage? Controlling the quality […]

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cooking for cooks

It’s my favorite time of year to invite friends to lunch. The garden looks great and smells amazing. Today, the most marvelous group of women gathered for a celebration of Spring, regardless of the rain. The delightful Pati Jinich – I hope you have seen her new PBS cooking show – it’s wonderful. Saturdays, 11:30am . Pati’s Mexican Kitchen Generous, warm Domenica Marchetti, author of four cookbooks, including one that will come out in June – The Glorious Pastas of Italy The elegant Aviva Goldfarb, the firecracker behind The Six O’Clock Scramble and a veritable Scramble empire! The wickedly funny Danielle Turner, the clever chef who makes the great Moment of Clarity videos. They’ll help you in a million ways. And Robyn Webb, the brains […]

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decadent chocolate pudding

It’s snowing, raining and generally miserable in much of the northeast US today. I’m so sorry. It will all be alright. Really. Just make some chocolate pudding. You’ll feel all better in a snap. This recipe was in the box of recipe cards I have from my great-grandmother. She taught me to sew, to crochet, to knit, and to bake. We made latkes, tsimmis, rugelach, and hamentaschen in her little kitchen. Her recipe cards are an inspiration (and sometimes horrifying – oleo!) I’ve updated this recipe a bit, adding a little bit of coffee flavoring, bittersweet chocolate and creme fraiche where she used Nestle’s chips and Cool Whip. When the day has been miserable, when life hands you lemons, when you need a little boost, […]