Tuesday, April 02

Almonds Get Their Closeup on Martha Bakes

Almonds get their closeup on Martha Bakes

The time has finally come in our viewing area when almonds get their closeup on Martha Bakes.  We taped in September when the harvest was about to begin.  Now it’s April, the bloom has finished and green almond season has arrived. This is the ideal time to talk about all things almonds. The almond segment appears on Martha Stewart’s PBS Show, Martha Bakes! We’ll be talking about almond forms and the myriad things one can

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Monday, February 25

Best Baguette New York 2019

Charlie judgin sample 11 at Best baguette New York 2019

Sunday February 24, 2019, Charlie and I got to attend and judge the second, Best Baguette New York 2019 contest sponsored by French Morning, a French online news magazine. The quality of the bread available in New York has radically improved.  There were nearly 20 bakeries represented among them: Almondine, Epicerie Boulud, Breads Bakery, Choc -O-Pain, La Boulangerie, Le District, Le French Dad Boulangerie, Maison Kayser, Orwashers, Pain d’Avignon, Récolte, Silver Moon Bakery and Vaucluse. 

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Martha Bakes Almonds Episode with Martha Stewart

On March 16, 2019, I will be talking about almonds with Martha Stewart on her television show, Martha Bakes! For the eleventh season of her PBS program, Martha Stewart has chosen her favorite baking ingredients. Each episode features a single ingredient such as almonds, lemons or dried fruit.  Martha invited experts to stop by her kitchen to chat about each one. My work with the California almond industry led to my appearance on the show.

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Monday, February 11

Poussin en Cocotte – Baby Chicken Roasted with Vegetables

Poussin en Cocotte – Baby Chicken Roasted with Vegetables

Toujours simple, always simple, is my culinary philosophy and a mantra attributed to many of the great French masters. Sometimes it’s such simple dishes like this homey classic, Poussin en Cocotte – Baby Chicken Roasted with Vegetables, that give the most satisfaction. The baby chicken braises in the oven in a covered casserole on a bed of aromatic vegetable, stock and wine. As it cooks, the bird and vegetables release steam, which bastes the meat.

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Monday, December 31

Fromage Fort

Fromage Fort

Any variety of cheese may be used to make this pungent spread called fromage fort or strong cheese in French.  It’s ideal to make with all the leftover bits of cheese on hand after a season of entertaining.  We make it to tame inventory in the cheese drawer.  Restaurateurs make it too, often as a house specialty.  (Chef Jacques Chibois served a memorable version made by a local fromager to compliment the aromatic cooking served

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Thursday, December 20

Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Deep smoky caramel married with dark chocolate makes for an addicting sweet condiment. Keep this Chocolate Caramel Sauce on hand when you feel a craving coming on. Or when you’re having friends over. And it’s incomparable as a DIY gift. The trick to making caramel is taking care. Make sure to use a pan that is deep enough or the sauce will bubble over when the cream is added. A 1 – 1 ½ quart

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Saturday, November 24

Holiday Baking for Smart Cookies

Holiday baking for smart cookies (1)

For many years, I taught a cooking class called Holiday Baking for Smart Cookies. I’d forgotten about this until Pem McNerney of Shore Publishing asked me for some cookie baking tips. Like most time-pressed cooks, I follow a few steps to avoid the holiday baking frenzy. Breaking down the work into short bursts of activity helps me avoid last-minute frenzy. Even if you only bake a couple different types of cookies, I hope some of

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Chocolate Diabolo Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Diabolo Thumbprint Cookie

The flavors of Mexican hot chocolate inspired these Chocolate Diabolo Thumbprint Cookies. They are my riff on the holiday cookie tray staple, the chocolate snowball.  If you love surprises, this cookie might be for you. It’s got warm spices and a kick from cayenne pepper. The trick is to build flavor at each step. Use quality dark cocoa powder such as Ghirardelli. And use fresh spices. Toasting the nuts before adding them to the dough

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Sunday, November 11

Memories of Restaurant du Village at Gateway Community College

Restaurant du Village, Chester CT

Once upon a time there was a tiny piece of France in Chester, Connecticut called Restaurant du Village. On November 28, 2018 at Gateway Community College in New Haven we will turn the clock back and remember some of the dishes we served at Restaurant du Village in the 1980’s. The three-course meal will be prepared by students in GWCC’s Culinary Arts Program with a little help from me. The proceeds benefit the Gateway Foundation, which

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Monday, October 22

Roasted Squash Rings Stuffed with Quinoa Mushroom Salad

Roasted Squash Rings Stuffed with Quinoa Mushroom Salad is a good dish for a Thanksgiving buffet. Cook the squash rings and make the quinoa salad a couple of days ahead.

Quinoa is the Mickey Rooney of grains, small in stature but big on texture and taste. Slices of squash are the perfect portion control for the nutty grain in this recipe for Roasted Squash Rings Stuffed with Quinoa Mushroom Salad. You can even include it on your Thanksgiving buffet. Cook the squash rings and make the quinoa salad a couple of days ahead and you can serve it on your Thanksgiving buffet. Jump to Recipe

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"Let no man fancy he knows how to dine
Till he has learnt how taste and taste combine."

-Horace, Satires, 2.4

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