The Baker: Homemade Croutons

When I worked at the restaurant, one of the responsibilities of the baker was to make croutons every morning in time for lunch. The croutons were made from the day old bread leftover from the night before. Since there was always leftover bread, this was a good way to use it up.

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Winter Corn Pudding


One year my mother asked me to bring a vegetable side dish for our family Thanksgiving. Wanting to do something new, I brought the ingredients for this ultra simple corn pudding, from Irena Chalmer’s little Holiday recipe book, and whipped…

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The Thanksgiving Roll Basket

It is the very fresh, golden brown, tender dinner roll that dominates a fully provisioned traditional Thanksgiving table. My favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving is the only holiday devoted entirely to enjoying food. It is a time to share a meal with family and guests, as well as showcasing some of your culinary specialties.

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Microwave Cooking: Olive Oil Granola with Golden Raisins

Granola certainly has become one of the most touted of healthy breakfast cereals and what we are experiencing now commercially has grown straight out of its roots in the hippie whole grain oat-nut-and-seed kitchen of the 1960s. The name granola is a take on granula, a toasted wheat cereal touted by whole grain movement of Sylvester Graham in the 1900s. Since it is tremendously versatile, it takes to all sorts of additions and variations on the basic recipe.

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Farmhouse Butter Churned the Food Processor

Any type of milk produces enough cream to be churned into a full fat butter. Homemade butter is easily made with a food processor in a fast, clean, and very efficient manner. Because making butter is so simple, it makes a great project for kids as well as adults. It’s a remarkably fast and easy process that lets you see for yourself where this ever-so-basic and familiar food comes from.

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Culinary Traveler: Lentil and Brown Rice Salad

When Chez Panisse restaurant opened a café upstairs from the main dining room, it quickly became one of my watering holes whenever I went to shop or visit friends in Berkeley. Since it was always so jammed, it was best to show up for lunch just after the doors opened at 11 a.m.

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Chez Dining Room: Mount Athos Monastery and Spanakopita

The food of Greece is wholesome regional and seasonal peasant food. One of the main foods is the pitta, or savory pie. Vegetables of all types, olive oil, herbs, grains, the famous thick yogurt, feta cheese are wrapped in phyllo, Greek for leaf. Greek cuisine, influenced by both Eastern and Western cuisines is considered one of the healthiest on the planet.

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The Microwave: Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip

I have been served any number of eggplant dips, the most famous being Baba Ghanoush. Eggplant is in the same family as the potato and tomato, and is native to India, where it is prepared in numerous ways. The microwave does a remarkable job of cooking the whole eggplant and the interior flesh, which retains its lovely spring green color, is ready to mash with other ingredients.

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

There is chili and there is chili. Chili used to mean Texas style with meat and beans. Enter the vegetarians and the use of dried black beans, as called turtle beans, an integral part of Central American and Cuban cookery. They are easily found in the dried bean and rice section of the supermarket. Black bean chili was born and it has become probably the most beloved of all vegetarian dishes.

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Bread Machine: The Best Hamburger Sandwich Buns and Hot Dog Long Rolls

The easiest way to eat either a barbecued beef sandwich, pulled pork, a burger, sloppy joes, sliders, hot dog with sauerkraut, even a little bahn mi or a Beer Soaked Brat is on a soft bun. Homemade buns are exceptionally delicious and really elevate your humble cooking to a real taste treat.

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