Coffee and Cake

I remember being turned on to freshly roasted specialty coffee in the early 1970s. It is was in San Francisco’s North Beach at the bohemian Cafe Trieste, a bustling coffee house opened in 1956 by an Italian fisherman’s son to serve cappucinos and those decadent, delicious Italian pastries that are so flakey when fresh and scatter crumbs all over the table after every bite. Shortly after, Peet’s opened in Berkeley and Menlo Park and people lined up to buy their coffee beans every day of the week. I traveled in Guatemala and the mountains were planted with coffee. But every food stall and restaurant table had a jar of Nescafe instant coffee. I would walk on the beach in Champerico after traveling at Lake Atitlan and watch the boats be loaded with the sacks of beans.

Read More »

A Glass for the Pot: Cooking with Wine

Wine is the world’s most common beverage, along with beer, these days. It is remarkably compatible with food, not only as an accompaniment, but as as a highly versatile ingredient as well since it blends so nicely with a myriad of foods. It has become a staple and can be added at the beginning of the cooking process, or at the end.

Read More »

Avocado Milkshake


f o r t w o

Toss all the ingredients in a blender and
whizz them up! Let it go for a while
because the avocados need to break
down and blend with the milk to make a smoothie. Once
the liquid is a…

Read More »

The Culinary Traveler: Moroccan Bread with Sesame and Aniseed and Morrocan Mint Tea

There are an entire world of rustic ethnic breads that are easily reproduced in your modern home kitchen. These are breads that were once only available regionally, tasted by the adventurous traveler. But no more. The invisible family boundries are down and the light is rushing in. What is old is now new. What was hidden by geography and religion, is now open to interpretation. Bakers are pushing the envelope. They want to master the techniques.

Read More »

Vampire Dessert Buffet-Recipes and How To

photograph by Philip Burne-Jones Bt. (1861-1926)

Buffet Preparation, Storage,and Service Timeline

  • Prepare two chocolate tortes, the chocolate sauce, the crêpes, almonds, biscotti, chocolate chip cookie dough, and double batch of compote 2 to 3 days ahead.
    Miss Grace Jones/horror comedy/1991/look for…

Read More »

The Microwave: Hot Chocolate for A Group with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Hot Chocolate the Divine. This recipe comes close to a fabulous ritual drink. It will make a hot chocolate similar to Starbucks, which uses a syrup.

Read More »

The Microwave: Mexican Breakfast Hot Chocolate

Love hot chocolate as much as life itself? You have come to the right place for inspiration.

One of the taste sensations of cultural cuisine is the emergence of the combination of chocolate and chile powder. As it happens, chiles are a counterpoint to dark chocolate and accents its natural flavors just like coffee or vanilla does.

Read More »

Poppy Pomfrey’s X-traordinary Restorative Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows

Plain ol’ hunks of pure chocolate, one of children’s most requested pleasure foods, is given the medicinal power to nourish and revive bodies exposed to debilitating toxic vapors and high altitude broomstick falls. Served in the Hogwarts school hospital wing,…

Read More »

Champagne and Sparkling Wine-Lets Not Just Drink It But Cook With It, Too

New Years, Birthdays, Weddings, Celebrations of all types call for the crème de la creme of wine—Champagne. Just the word Champagne evokes the feeling and atmosphere of the rarified, the exlusiveness, the privilege.

When Dom Pérignon, the Benedictine Monk who invented…

Read More »