French Cooking

SONY DSC

Moules à la Mariniére

Something big happened in my life recently. Taylor Shellfish Farms opened a store in my neighborhood. I'm a huge fan of, well, any shellfish to be honest. But mussels - moules in French - make me weak … [Read More...]

Upcoming Events

mi_notable_books_2015

Michigan Notable Books Tour

I'm delighted to announce that The Library of Michigan named Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good a 2015 Michigan Notable Book earlier this year. The program has generously agreed to support a two-week … [Read More...]

Cooking fundamentals

Which one tastes the best... to you? There's only one way to find out.

How to do a Comparative Tasting and Why You Should

Salt to taste. If you’ve ever read a recipe, you’ve probably seen that line. Though common, it’s also a common source of confusion for home cooks. “Whose taste?” some ask. The answer, your taste, often leads to more questioning: “What is my taste?” or “What if my taster’s no good?” Salt to taste just means salt […]

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 […]

Chopped onion

How to Cut an Onion [video lesson]

My book club read The Sharper Your Knife and we all loved it. So I got a copy of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and I was so inspired, I went ahead and got the chef’s knife from block set we received as a wedding gift 11 years ago sharpened for the first time! I’ve read through your description on […]

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 […]

White ceramic mortar and pestle with rosemary

Spices & Herbs: A Quick Lesson

As this terrific video by Consumer Reports shows, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy spices. However, the key element is when spices get old. Ground herbs and spices are more exposed to air, and thus they lose their potency more quickly. Spices vs. Herbs First, its important to know the […]