Thursday, November 21

Pumpkin Cherry Pear Cake with Cinnamon Almond Streusel

Pumpkin Cherry Pear Cake with Cinnamon Almond Streusel

What do you look for in a snacking cake at this time of the year? Pumpkin, naturally. And warm spices, studded with fruit. This moist Pumpkin Cherry Pear Cake with Cinnamon Almond Streusel delivers just that and is what I’m making right now. We serve it with breakfast or as a snack for family and houseguests. Originally, I developed this recipe for American Almond Products Company. I used their cinnamon filling in the streusel, and

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Roasted Vegetable, Almond Butter Hummus and Feta Pita

Roasted Vegetable, Almond Butter Hummus, Feta Pita

As the seasons shift and local produce becomes scarce, I look to supermarket staples such as bell peppers and zucchini to get my vegetable fix. This Roasted Vegetable, Almond Butter Hummus and Feta Pita satisfies the craving for a sandwich with some the freshness of a salad. The combination of Almond Butter Hummus, feta cheese and a blend of warm spices give the sandwich some substance. You’ll find the recipe for Almond Butter Hummus here.

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Sunday, November 17

Roasted Almond Butter Hummus

Hummus has become a staple, a high protein snack that makes eating carrot sticks a pleasure. Prepared hummus will do in a pinch but making it at home means I get the exact flavor I like. This Roasted Almond Butter Hummus uses dark roasted almond butter in place of tahini. A generous dose of lemon juice brightens the flavor of this addicting spread. Roasting transforms the personality of the elegant almond. As the temperature increases,

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Monday, September 02

Seat-of-the-Pants Tomato Confit

Seat-of-the-Pants Tomato Confit

Does your end-of-summer scramble include bushels of tomatoes? And vats of sauce steaming in a sweltering kitchen?  Consider this Seat-of-the-Pants Tomato Confit instead of a tomato purée. Juicy ripe tomatoes bake slowly in a low oven until intensely flavorful, lightly caramelized yet tender to the bite.  Stored in the freezer, they last for several months You’ll appreciate the flavors of August come leaf season on cooked vegetables and fresh mozzarella, crostini, antipasti plates, cooked beans,

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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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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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"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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