Blog

a taste of delicious things from my adventures the worlds of food, travel, beverages, fun, frolicking and beyond

18
Apr 2014

It's sad but true -- as a Washingtonian, I am most decidedly a wet-sider. I've lived pretty much my whole life here on the damp, evergreen west side of the Cascade mountains. And while we get over to the Yakima and Tri-Cities area every year or so to visit friends, that feels like quite the trek. The extra hour ...

01
Apr 2014
A World of Salt near Seattle

Seattleites may not know it, but right in our backyard is one of the country's (actually, the world's) top purveyors of that darling of the kitchen: gourmet salts. SaltWorks up in Woodinville has been in this business since 2001. Its earliest inception is one of those classic entrepreneurial stories of a one-time hobby taking over someone's life to the point that there was little choice but to open a business given the hobby's growing demand for space. The entrepreneurs in this case are ...

05
Mar 2014
Spicy Peanut Butter Cookies with Dukka

Authors aren't supposed to have favorite book projects, or so I've heard, just as a mother's expected to not profess having a favorite kid. And of course I do have a special affection for all the books I've worked on over the years. But just between you and me, Salty Snacks was a particular favorite. Not ...

03
Mar 2014
Northwest EBooks Promotion

The new series of eBooks that I launched a couple of months ago is on a special promotion right now. Today the price of each of the seven titles is down to $.99, and over the course of the next few days the price goes up one dollar per day until returning to the full price on Thursday. ...

18
Feb 2014
New Snacks Class!

Right after the new year, I headed back to Denver, the home of Craftsy, to shoot another class for this fun, dynamic platform for those who love to get creative with anything from cake decorating to quilting. And cooking is certainly a most delicious way to get creative! This new class reflects my lifelong love of all things salty -- the focus of the lessons in Homemade Salty Snacks (this link ...

07
Feb 2014
Cooking for Your Love — A Give-Away

It doesn't matter where we were. It wasn't the restaurant or the server or the menu that was at fault. The calendar did it. February 14 to be exact. It was a decade or so ago and my husband and I had gone out to a restaurant we'd been to many times in the past, and have been back to since. Not a fancy place; a casual, popular spot with very good food. But there's something charged about that evening, ...

06
Feb 2014
Finding that Career Path in Food

Long, long ago,  just a couple of years after having earned my degree in Mathematics from University of Puget Sound, I sat at the desk in my one-room apartment in Seattle and flipped a coin. I was filling out the application for a stagiaire position at the venerable La Varenne cooking school in France, a more affordable work-study opportunity to study in France, which would have been impossible at full fare. There ...

29
Jan 2014
Oaxaca: Color and Flavors Abound

I realized I'd taken a lot of photos when I got that error message saying my 4GB media card was full. Thankfully it was the last afternoon of the weeklong trip to Oaxaca and I had my phone at hand to capture some final images before packing away my t-shirts and sun hat and dried chiles and corn husks along with an overload of sensory input and experiences to pack along home as well. That's just one measure of what a ...

03
Dec 2013
Fish Stock: A Kitchen Foundation

You may have heard this reflection before: that stocks are so integral to cooking, the French use the word fond, meaning "foundation," for most stocks used in the kitchen. Fond de veau (veal), fond de volaille (poultry), fond de boeuf (beef). They're the base for countless recipes, including soups, stews, sauces and that old-school showpiece, the aspic (or, more elegantly, gelée in French). Which explains why various stocks were among the first things we were taught to perfect in the ...

15
Nov 2013
Restaurant Photos: A Different View

I came to the conclusion this week that I'm deeply tired of that pause from the pleasure of eating out that's inescapable when the let-me-get-a-shot-of-that-before-you-take-a-bite routine kicks in. So I plan to give it a bit of a break. While at the same time giving a break to family and friends who usually love, but surely sometimes are perplexed by, hanging out with a food professional. Of course I'll still be taking food snaps, no way around that. They're part of the toolkit ...