Beth’s Blog

Slow Cooker: Braised Quail on Toast

Sunday December 4, 2016

I met my first quail at dinner in the Chez Panisse restaurant back in the 1970s. When the diminutive whole braised game bird was set in front of me, little legs splayed all to heaven in my direction, I commented: “Well, aren’t these indecent little birds!” Quail are a real gourmet treat. They are easy to cook at home for a special dinner.

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Holiday Baking: Hungarian Poppy Seed Roll

Sunday December 4, 2016

Christmas is not considered complete without special occasion baking and Hungarian poppy seed roll is the premier of the genre. Recipes for Hungarian rolls with a poppy seed-raisin filling are known as Mákos es Dios Kalacs (known in village slang as a Beigli). Every home has it’s own recipe for these rolls and they are a favorite sweet bread.

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Holiday Baking: Christmas Butter Cookies

Sunday December 4, 2016



Butter cookies are good for company, for Christmas Eve, after mass, after dinner.  They are a gloriously simple rolled cookie. And this recipe is the one perfect recipe to have in your stash of Christmas cookies for giving and sharing,…

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Chez Dining Room: The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony Banquet

Sunday December 4, 2016

The first week in December, the recipients of this year’s Noble Prizes journey to Scandinavia for the award ceremonies, pick up their checks, and then celebrate afterwards with the ne plus ultra of state dinners attended by royalty, Parliamentarians, government officials, and invited guests.

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Chocolate Cake of the Month: Little Ricky’s Sachertorte

Sunday December 4, 2016

a beautiful box designed for shipping and easy carry on
Invented by Austrian Franz Sacher, a boy working in the royal kitchen on a day when the pastry chef was absent and a special dessert was needed in the palace,…

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Fruit Crisps A to Z (Apple to Zucchini)-Winter

Sunday December 4, 2016

Fruit by the Seasons

Food that tastes good and looks appealing will never be out of style and choosing seasonal produce is one of the essential ingredients that make it so.
Since beginning my culinary career, I have been examining the…

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Lou’s Raspberry Amaretto Bombe

Sunday December 4, 2016

The art of frozen desserts has fascinated bakers for a multitude of centuries. Reliable refrigeration made this type of dessert, first created for royalty, a delight of the masses. The bombe, a sophisticated-looking classic French dessert, is composed of two layers: a sorbet, then an ice cream mixture, in a pretty mold. What is great is that a simple bowl, which will be turned upside down, looks incredible, so no special mold is needed. There are so many excellent commercial ice creams and sorbets on the market today that the connoisseur doesn’t have to rely on the laborious task of making it at home anymore. Not only do they look fantastic all smooth and round, but what a lovely surprise everybody gets when you cut it open to reveal layer upon layer of different ice cream. This version is a favorite, a creation of my friend Lou Pappas in her book, Sorbets and Ice Cream (Chronicle Books, 2005). A bombe can conveniently wait up to a week in the freezer before serving. Serve in wedges Nobel style, with Champagne.

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Hot Tomato Consommé

Sunday December 4, 2016

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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Bunny’s Day-After Thanksgiving Turkey, Stuffing, and Vegetable Pie

Thursday November 24, 2016

This is a recipe created by my friend Bunny Dimmel for the day after Thanksgiving main meal. “We had it for supper on Friday,” she wrote on a Thanksgiving weekend. “And it was the best ever. We all liked it better than the Thanksgiving dinner itself.”

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Stuffed Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage

Thursday November 24, 2016


This recipe is modeled after the one used by Julie’s aunt, Rose Newman, a creative and discerning home cook.  Many of the tips and techniques are hers — including the ingenious pre-microwave oven method for removing cabbage leaves from the…

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