Provencal tomato spread

This recipe first appeared in The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. It's loosely based on a dish that I learned to make while studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. During the heat of summer, I probably make this once a week and if I have to take something to a party, this is my go-to dish in the summer. You can use as it a spread for crackers or bruschetta, and also as a sauce for simple pan-seared fish or chicken. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Salade Niçoise

I first encountered  Salade Niçoise in a most embarrassing way -- by reading about it in a cheap romance novel the summer I turned 14. The scene was typically evocative of a dime store read. A beautiful protagonist perched at a table under a striped umbrella on an immaculate beach in Cannes waiting for a murky character. The server brought her a bracingly cold glass of chablis and Salade Niçoise. At this point, the … [Read more...]

“Minestrone” Soup like My Mother’s

In my first book, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, this recipe was known as "Potage 'Minestrone' a la Ma Mere," since all the recipes had French names. This is neither French, nor strictly speaking, even minestrone. Instead, it served as a catch-all flexible soup recipe into which my mother could leverage the various leftovers from our dinner table. With five kids on a Michigan farm, my mother couldn't afford to … [Read more...]

Happy 100th Birthday, Julia!

Mike and I shot this video of Jacques Pepin talking about Julia in his kitchen last October. As I looked at this morning, I thought, "Wow, this is a long way from covering cops in Florida." In 1995, I was a reporter at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. I'd moved up to a beat gig after spending more than a year on the obit desk. At some point, after covering endless series of school board meetings, press conferences and … [Read more...]

Review: The Julia Child App

Just in time to celebrate her 100th birthday, a Seattle-based company has released an app featuring 32 recipes from the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, plus clips from the DVD version of "The Way to Cook," plus other content, including excerpts from the book. It's $2.99 from iTunes and available on the Nook, too. A lover of all things Julia, I tried it out on the iPad 2. The simple, classy design easily … [Read more...]

Hanging out with Jacques

Sometimes, you just have those pinch-me-is-this-really-happening experiences. Such a moment happened on the first official day of the book tour just before I went to speak at one of my favorite bookstores, R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Conn. As it happens, culinary icon Jacques Pepin lives nearby, and for a project on behalf of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, he invited us to the studio … [Read more...]

Food Lust to Go

If you don't know the amazing Nancy Pearl, let me introduce you. She's a Seattle librarian who has translated her passion for the printed word into the bestselling "Book Lust" series.  Pearl's books inspire everyone I know who loves to read. I suspect she's only librarian ever to warrant an action figure. All of this explains why I'm beyond thrilled that she included a reference to my first book in her latest title, Book … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Julia

The Huffington Post collected a series of images and video clips of the late Julia Child in honor of what would have been her 98th birthday. Among the video clips are some classics, including an introduction to various kinds of chicken, her moment burning food on The French Chef, an appearance on David Letterman and even her thoughts on french fries.  Bon Appetit. … [Read more...]