The Baker: Hominy Tortillas

Any serious cook or baker eventually tackles making homemade tortillas. I was lucky as one of the staff in my bakery was from Mexico and was happy to show me how to make them. But even she had problems when the dough wasn’t just right.

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Blondie is Far More Than a Musical Rock Group

Most people have never heard of Murray Jaffe. But if you shop at stores that stock mainstream natural foods like Whole Foods, you are familiar with products from a company called Barbara’s. From the best instant mashed potatoes (yes, there is such a thing–I use them in bread machine recipes all the time) to dry cereals with no refined sugar, the man who conceived, created, and promoted the products is Murray Jaffe. The moniker Barbara is the name of his daughter.

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Hot Tomato Consommé

Consomme is a clear, strong broth often served as the first course of French-style meals. Consomme is made from meat or poultry bones or even vegetables, but is clarified by straining the stock instead of leaving it full of chunky vegetables like in regular soup. The true process is long, but rewarding, and all true chefs learn to make it. But a lovely mock consomme can be made with tomato juice and canned broth in the slow cooker. This is an unusual, light bodied soup adapted from one of my favorite phamplets called Home for The Holidays by Irena Chalmers’ Potpourri Press (1980). Don’t skip the avocado garnish; it is delicious as it is lovely to look at.

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Chocolate Cake of the Month: Renee Shepards Chocolate Chip Carrot Cake


An irresistible moist and flavorful old fashioned cake; be prepared to share this recipe! Renee Shepherd is widely regarded as a pioneering innovator in introducing international vegetables, flowers and herbs to home gardeners and gourmet restaurants. If you are a…

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The Microwave: Robert’s Adult Fantasy Chocolate Sauce

Robert is my friend Robert Lambert, who is a wiz in the kitchen. He knows his stuff about chocolate, having been a private dessert chef making designer-style, lip-smacking good fantasy chocolate desserts for the likes of Joan Collins and Lily Tomlin in his cooking-in-Hollywood days.

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Angel Food Cakes Without a Bit of the Devil in Them

Angel food cake used to be ho-hum until someone marketed them as the “no-fat” treasure of the cake world. Then it became a rage. Again. But the key word here is unadorned.

With a recipe in every American cookbook in print for the last hundred years, angel food cake was a favorite White House dessert in the 1800s.

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The Best Popovers



This is the recipe I got from my mother and it originally came from a wonderful cookbook written by the late actor, artist, and home chef, Vincent Price.  I often use different types of flour, add herbs, or grated cheese,…

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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.”

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The Baker: Bread Machine Ciabatta Bread

Ciabatta is probably one of the hottest Italian-style country breads made in this country today in artisan bakeries. It is totally delicious and has a very characteristic open moist crumb and appearance. You can even say in bread terms it is a craze. As a bread maker, it is one of those breads you want to master. As a bread maker, it is one of those breads you want to master.

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The Baker: French Walnut and Onion Bread

This has been oh such a favorite bread of mine for decades, as well as one of the first country breads I tackled. Containing walnuts and onions, it has a full developed flavor and aroma that is delightfully addictive. It is a recipe adapted from one by the late British food writer Jane Grigson in her wonderful book Good Things, published in the 1960s…

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