Cooking at Home

27
Apr 2016
The Kitchen Reno: Before and After

Even though the dust has settled and the workmen gone, I keep a comic strip stuck to the wall that really struck a chord a few months ago. In that timeless setting of the therapist's office, the therapist prattles on about how there are no quick fixes in therapy, it's a frustrating often traumatic process, it can be lengthy -- to which the patient replies "much like having your kitchen remodeled." Heavens. Could I relate. And we ...

09
Dec 2015
The Gift of Experience

As a culture we've gotten incredibly good at accumulating things. Buying things that we need. Things that we don't need. Replacing things with new things because we get bored. Buying shiny-pretty-ooooh-gotta-have-it things just because. And then trying to figure out where to put it all. So then, what are we to do when those holidays hit? Just shift gears and do the same for others. I'm not dismissing gift-giving altogether, of course not. I'm not that much a Grinch! Finding items ...

19
Nov 2015
The Joy of Thanksgiving

This time next week many of us will be scrambling around the kitchen, tending to a bird, popping a batch of rolls in the oven, trimming Brussels sprouts to steam, setting just-baked pies aside to cool. For some I know this can be a stressful occasion, whether it's because of pressure to not mess up the beloved meal, or in anticipation of the potentially-awkward dynamics around the dinner table later. (After ...

27
Oct 2015
Egg in Wine Sauce: Oeufs en Meurette

Eggs in your wine? I realize that concept may sound less than appealing at first. But leave it to the French to have put eggs in wine and made something glorious of it. Perhaps it doesn't hurt that there is also bacon, mushrooms, pearl onions. A bit of butter helping make a luscious sauce. If you've ever had oeufs en meurette--dug your fork into that pillow of poached egg, the yolk blending ...

06
Oct 2015

Jazz and Soufflé

Jazz and Soufflé

I know it's not an original consideration, that music and cooking share some common threads. Improvisation, playing around, just making stuff up. Being free with the art form. There's a lot of that in both camps. And both also rely on building blocks, foundational skills that you need to master (or at least accomplish with some degree of proficiency) to move incrementally into more advanced expressions of the art. Sitting down at the piano with not the least bit of ...

29
Sep 2015
Marinated Wild Mushrooms with Fennel and Pearl Onions

In honor of the season and the slew of wild mushrooms beginning to hit markets now, how about a little recipe from my Wild Mushrooms ebook in my Northwest Cookbooks series? I’ve long loved marinated mushrooms, even those pretty basic types that come in little jars from the grocery store. Though like so many favorite snacks like that, it gets only better when ...

08
Sep 2015
Coming Soon: Oysters!

It's a funny sensation, that moment in an author's life (at least this author's life) when you realize the book manuscript you've been working on for months is now finished and leaving your grasp for good: off to the printer in whatever form that last round of edits produced. The tweaking of the title, the final review of a few pages. The last minute edits and confirmation of name spellings. Then--'poof'--it's ...

06
Aug 2015
Peachy Peach Peach

So many peaches! I was gifted a flat of the luxuriant organic peaches from Frog Hollow Farm a couple of weeks ago. The farm's east of San Francisco, but their peaches are--thankfully--made available at Metropolitan Markets  in the Seattle area each summer. When that box landed in my kitchen, the first and most automatic impulse was to make pie. Summer fruit pies are one ...

21
May 2015
The La Varenne Basics, Revived

Once upon a time there was this book: It was, for many years, among the kit of references and tools that students and stagiaires were given upon arrival at La Varenne cooking school in France.  In it are the foundational basic recipes that we would be drawing from over the coming months, recipes that would become nearly rote from the frequency at which we reproduced them. But for reference, reminders, and ...

15
Jan 2015
Torrone with Almonds

It's a funny thing, coming home with a suitcase full of treasures from a delightful adventure abroad. The less common the destination and the more distinctive the treats acquired, the more nerve-wracking it can be to decide when will be the ideal/perfect/best moment to enjoy them. From this fall's explorations in Portugal and the northwest corner of Spain, I came home with a couple dozen tins of exquisite seafood (sardines, tuna, octopus), for instance, much of it from this amazing ...