Sugar Talk

Cookies and Chocolate Mousse

Correction, make that vanilla bean sugar cookies and dark chocolate mousse. Don't you just love how good those sound together? Well, they were good together, and I have Thomas Keller (of Bouchon and The French Laundry fame) and his recipes to thank for it. Actually, I have my friends, Shelley and Brett, to thank because they suggested we focus solely on the recipes of Thomas Keller for dinner club this month....more

When Life Gives You a Hurricane

Make cookies, I say! Yes, of course, first make all the necessary arrangements, take all the necessary precautions, heed the advice of public safety officials. But after that, while you're sitting around, tapping your fingers, waiting for Mother Nature to descend, get out your cookie ingredients, people. That's what I did anyway....more
Yum. Yum. Yum.more

In Season: Apples

Sometimes in life it’s better to be uninformed. The lack of knowledge allows us the freedom to make decisions differently than we might make otherwise. Sometimes these decisions have disastrous results, sometimes they have serendipitous results. Such was the case when I decided to make this recipe for apple pie bars. ...more

The Cook-Off

September 19, 2012. This has been the summer and early fall of firsts. First, the photo shoot, and now most recently, the farmers' market annual cook-off. Ordinarily, I would have done my usual Saturday morning volunteering at the market - setting up, assisting as needed my friend Carol, who's the market manager extraordinaire, cleaning up and so on - but Carol encouraged me to enter the competition this year. Sounds like fun, I thought. No problem, I thought. I just needed to figure out a sweet or savory recipe to enter. ...more

In Season: Figs

It's true. I have a thing for figs. Fresh, just-picked-from-the-tree figs, that is, not those scary black dried things found in the bulk food section of the grocery store. So many varieties, so much versatility. Black Mission, Blue Celeste, Brown Turkish, Desert King, Naples White, Papa John, Tiger and the list goes on. I'm always amazed when I encounter people who either don't like figs or, if you can believe this, have never tried a fig. How is that possible? ...more
 @DGolden So glad you enjoyed the post, too!more

The Photo Shoot

  I have always admired the location photo shoots in food magazines. You know the ones. Friends gathered at an up-and-coming chef's weekend farmhouse in Vermont. Or at some California winemaker's hilltop estate. Or the urbane rooftop gathering in, say, Chicago or New York City. The lighting just perfectly so, the table masterfully arranged, everyone dressed stylishly, laughing oh-so-casually. I've often wondered who are these people, how are they chosen and how fabulous it must be to participate in one of those shoots. The pinnacle of foodie success. ...more