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The flat bread society

May 28, 2009

There are few things as profoundly satisfying as baking bread.  The only downside for me is the oven, which I sometimes just don’t want to crank to 500 degrees, hot weather or not.  The solution to this is flatbread, which gives you the same happy knead and rise, but can be accomplished on the stovetop–or [...]

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Chile tacos with parsley salsa verde

May 14, 2009

If you don’t have a good taco truck in your neighborhood, then you have to make do and cook your own.  These are my favorite tacos to make, other than fish tacos (more on that later).  It’s a Deborah Madison recipe, with a few modifications: different chiles, corn instead of flour tortillas.  (Local Flavors, p. [...]

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Weights & measures, ratios & scales

May 4, 2009

More than other kinds of cooking, baking relies on precise measurements, which is the reason why many baking recipes (particularly European recipes) call for ingredients to be weighed rather than measured out in cups or liters.  This is especially true of flour, which can be an enormous variable depending on how you fill your cup [...]

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Rhubarb tarts on a doily, or not

April 15, 2009

When you’re testing recipes for a cookbook, you generate a lot of food.  For the last weeks and months, the assembly line of breads and cookies and pies and muffins coming out of my kitchen has been astonishing, like an unlicensed bakery that sporadically opens to manic over-production.  So this past weekend, after I pulled [...]

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Muffin recipe testing

March 25, 2009

Muffins are very, very cool things.  Sure, they don’t have the current caché (i.e. hype) of cupcakes, but you can eat them for breakfast without falling into a sugar coma.  Muffins are also how I got to know Kimberly Boyce, as I wrote a story about her whole grain muffin experiments now that she’s home [...]

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A salt essay

March 20, 2009

(This is a terrific book.  Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky. (Penguin, 2002).

In 15th century Poland, they preserved game by gutting the animal in question (a rabbit, perhaps; a stray deer) and rubbing the cavity with salt and gunpowder.  Gunpowder being a variant salt compound.  In [...]

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Ana Sortun’s corn cakes with Nasturtium butter

March 10, 2009

A friend emailed the other day (well, actually he wrote on my Facebook page, a form of communication I’m still getting used to) to say that he had nasturtiums in his garden.  So I thought of this recipe, which I’d tested for a review of Ana Sortun’s wonderful cookbook, Spice.  The pancakes are awesome; the [...]

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