Catching up over Pumpkin

Posted by    |  January 29, 2012  |  Filed under: Home, Ingredients

Oh for shame.  I’m publishing two recipes that use ingredients that are post-season.  If I hadn’t frozen so many cranberries and roasted, pureed and frozen so much pumpkin, I might have thought better of publishing these recipes.  However, I keep pulling out my laptop and opening up the recipes in Word, so why the hell not just put them on Read more

Pumpkin Cranberry Baked French Toast

Posted by    |  January 29, 2012  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes


Nothing moves my morning along like the aroma of pumpkin pie mingling with my morning coffee. This breakfast takes no time to whip up the night before- I often do it while dinner is baking or sautéing. I’ve shortened the prep time even further by grinding the mix of spices in a batch so I just have to add a teaspoon of it. It’s basically “pumpkin pie spice.” The next morning, I stagger bleary-eyed downstairs and throw it in the cold oven and move on to the business of the morning. By the time the lunches are made, breakfast is ready. Read more

Pumpkin Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

Posted by    |  January 29, 2012  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

You guessed it. This is an autumnal riff on Funky Monkey Baked Oatmeal. The cravings for pumpkin and cranberries begin with the first ruby maple leaf and don’t wane until the appearance of the first crocus. Read more

Deconstructed Thanksgiving Turkey

Posted by    |  November 15, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes


I was a twenty-something culinary ingénue living in San Francisco. My BFF- Kyle- in-laws and a few other guests were in town for Thanksgiving. I was absolutely tickled that I was going to make my turkey with a chef as talented as Kyle. I had my first fresh, expensive bird before me- a bird whose provenance was so esteemed that I couldn’t bear to treat it like just another bird. I wanted my guests to fall on the floor and start speaking in tongues when they tried their first bite.

I consulted my America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, which extolled the virtues of spatchcocking the turkey. This involves cutting out the bird’s backbone and sort of butterflying the whole thing open. That seemed distinctive and sophisticated enough to make my statement of culinary prowess. I’d already brined the bird and had the herbed butter ready to go. Read more

And the winner is- the Baratza Virtuoso Precioso

Posted by    |  October 26, 2011  |  Filed under: Equipment, Home

Two weeks ago at the crack of dawn I found my way to my pantry.  I pressed the button on my electric coffee grinder, anticipating the nerve-addling crunching and whirring that precedes the beautiful fragrance of freshly ground Kenyan coffee beans hitting my nose.  I heard little more than a struggling grunt- the coffee grinder version of a car-engine turning over and over without starting.   Read more

Funky Monkey Baked Oatmeal

Posted by    |  October 3, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

My daughter returned from sleepaway camp this summer raving about the baked oatmeal she had at camp. Can’t say I’d ever had such a thing. Curious, I took advantage of a 16-hour road trip from Chicago to New York to peruse recipes. I was pretty psyched at the possibility of anything new and exciting entering the breakfast rotation. Read more

Clafoutis Rhymes with Babootie

Posted by    |  August 12, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Last summer, on a rare morning when I rose before the kids, I spied a bowl of leftover cherry clafoutis in the refrigerator. “Well now,” I thought to myself, “wouldn’t that taste nice with my morning coffee?”  Dusted with some cinnamon and powdered sugar, it did indeed start my day off right. Its custardy goodness was filling and satisfying. That morning, clafoutis morphed from dessert into a slightly decadent breakfast food. Read more

My Favorite Food Critic

Posted by    |  August 4, 2011  |  Filed under: Foodlife, Home

I often describe Kyle as my best friend, though that isn’t really an exclusive club. Everyone who knows us knows there’s something different about this “best” friendship. There’s no platonic term for someone bigger than a best friend. I’m sure some language somewhere has one, but English leaves me fumbling for something greater. Read more

Perfect Gifts for People You Barely Know

Posted by    |  July 22, 2011  |  Filed under: Foodlife, Home, Ingredients

I can no more give a crappy gift than I can look you in the face and say, “No darling, you are rockin’ that bikini!” whist thinking the strings of your bikini look more like cooking twine on a pork shoulder and your once-sexy tramp stamp reminds me of a Silly Putty newsprint transfer. That’s lying. So is giving a crappy gift.

It’s better to show up empty-handed to a dinner party than bring something cheap and thoughtless. For that matter, I’d rather you graciously show up empty-handed to my dinner party than bring me that packet of cheesy novelty cocktail napkins and the rhinestone-studded wine glass you got for being a top multi-level marketing achiever. I really won’t notice your empty hands. I’ll be annoyed at having to dispose of a lame gift. Read more

Mediterranean Grilled Octopus Salad

Posted by    |  June 28, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Nothing this delicious has ever before emerged from my kitchen. You should understand that before you read on.

This also happens to be the most kid-unfriendly dinner I have ever made. It is a tragic reality.  The chasm is as impossible as the obviously ill-fated passions of Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett. Read more

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