French cuisine

Refreshing lemonade with oranges and mint on wooden table.

St. Germain Pitcher Cocktails

Originally posted by Lisa Simpson, updated June 2015 Summer doesn’t officially start for another month, but in Seattle, after our long grey blahdeblah winters we’re so hungry for sunshine that when … [Read More...]

Paperback out Aug. 25

Burnt Toast PB cover

It’s Here! Paperback cover for Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good (hits stores Aug. 25th)

The paperback doesn't come out until August 25th, but I wanted to share the very pretty cover from the Penguin Random House designers! I am at work on my fourth book so I will be doing limited … [Read More...]

Cooking fundamentals

Blueberry jam

Recipe: Blueberry Jam Like My Grandpa Charles’

“Who are you?” Mike asked me last week.  “What are you talking about?” I replied. He waved his hand over the counter and dozens of jars of canned jams, jellies and preserves. “Have you become your grandmother? You’re  canning like a maniac.” “No, I am not becoming my grandmother,” I sniffed indignantly. “You read the […]

Spices collection

A “Cheat Sheet” to Flavor Profiles

What makes something taste Italian or Cajun or Moroccan? Whether crafting vinaigrette, seasoning chicken, or developing a soup, understanding the flavors of ingredients that help to define various cuisines can be deeply useful. Every cuisine has its regional variations; Basque cuisine is vastly different from the classic dishes from Provence, but they’re both French. So […]

Post its in crisper drawer

How to Avoid Wasting Food

Comedian John Oliver took to task the issue of food waste on an episode of This Week Tonight. Seemingly overnight, it’s become a burning issue. Finally. I dedicated an entire chapter of my 2011 book, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, to the issue of food waste. Here’s an excerpt from “Waste Not, Want Not,” courtesy […]

SONY DSC

Cooking in Parchment (video lesson)

Cooking en papillote (French for “parchment”) is a wildly overlooked method of cooking in America. It’s an easy method for a quick weeknight dinner that’s also elegant enough for guests. The smell that escapes when the package is reason enough to try it. This works well for salmon and mild-flavored white fish such as snapper, cod and so […]

veg stock after cooking

Recipe: How to Make Vegetable Stock

Despite the name of this recipe, there’s actually not such a thing as vegetable stock. By definition, stock is made from simmering bones in water. No bones? Then it’s broth. So, let us commence with vegetable broth. In my own kitchen, I collect and save the trimmings from the likes of carrots, celery, onions, the […]