Archive for 2013

Zappetizers for New Year’s Eve

The microwave makes appetizer entertaining easier and faster than ever. As any cook knows, appetizers can be the most daunting forms of cookery, often culminating in days of planning, labor, and last minute assembly. So when time is short and social gatherings are relaxed, it is helpful to have a few easy-to-create secret recipes for dips at hand. And enter the microwave to the rescue.

Read More »

I’m Dreaming of a White Chocolate Dessert for Christmas

I think white chocolate is one of the exotic, mysterious ingredients in the baker’s kitchen. My friends from Europe seek out white chocolate and enjoy its creamy flavor and consistency. It is much less a mainstream item in America.

Read More »

Cool Kitchen Tools

I don’t know if you have a weakness like me for new kitchen equipment and tools, but if you love spending time kitchen cooking or baking up this and that from my books, you probably do. Of course we all have plenty of stuff in our home kitchens, but as far as I’m concerned you can never have too many well made tools, including whisks, spatulas, baking pans, batter bowls…

Read More »

Bread Machine: Soft Pretzels

Pretzels, with their beguiling iconography of crossed arms connoting the four seasons or the folded arms of Christ, were said to be invented in a medieval monastery as a reward for children saying their prayers. They were often made in a size proportioned to the individual child.

Read More »

My Life in A Grain of Rice and How I Found My Rice Cooker

“Your first look at the rice cooker can be a bit confusing, especially with the digital face on a fuzzy logic machine. But the procedure is exactly the same with all models: choose a recipe, assemble your ingredients, measure and wash the rice, load the rice bowl, add the water, close the cover, plug in, and press the button.”

Read More »

Basmati Rice with Corn and Peas

This is a recipe from food writer and restauranteur Jesse Cool and it is a keeper because it adapts for seasonal flexibility with no fuss. For all her fancy cooking, this is one of her staple standbys for dinner at home. In winter, Jesse uses organic frozen vegetables from Cascadian Farms; in summer, fresh. We like white corn, if available. Keep your paprika in the refrigerator instead of the cupboard to keep it fresh.

Read More »

Julia’s Mexican Green Rice

This is an inspired recipe from creative consultant and recipe writer Julia Scannel, a friend of mine. She traveled in Mexico to help write a veritably unknown little book called Cooking With the Chiles & Spices of Mexico published by Culinary Alchemy, a self-published gem of a book I was lucky to get as a gift from her. This green rice is to be served alongside enchiladas and chile rellenos.

Read More »

5 Easy Shortcut Desserts

Everyone thinks that just because I was trained as a professional pastry baker, worked in a host of bakeries, was a caterer for close to 20 years, and write about baking, that when I want to make a little something sweet I spend all day in the kitchen.

Read More »

Cooking for A Crowd: Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas

People adore enchiladas on the buffet. There are many variations, maybe one for every cook who makes them, but here is one of the most delightfully unique–the filling is shredded zucchini and mellow California olives. My mother has been making this to satisfying vegetarians as long as I can remember and it is an often requested dish.

Read More »

Buddha’s Delight with Buckwheat Noodles

Over the centuries, a mixed vegetable stirfry in China picked up the name Buddha’s Delight memorializing the vegetarian observant Buddhist monks who ate it. Chinese food has wonderful metaphorical names for their dishes and it certainly grabs the attention of the diner. The stirfry changes with the seasons, but contains a mixture of healthful fresh and preserved vegetables, sometimes up to 10 to 12 different ones.

Read More »