I’m not sure where to begin with this, but I think starting at the end is the best. Howzer, the company that now owns the ‘Baking with Dorie’ iPad App, is doing two things:
- Running a sale on the all-recipe bundle – it’s now $2.99
- Making it possible for those who have the older version of the app to unlock all of the recipes for free (instructions here)
It's back! And the prizes are even more fabulous!
Jacques Torres and I are donning our judges' robes again this year for the Fonseca Bin 27 Cookie Rumble. Your job is to come up with your best cookie recipe, one you like to have with Bin 27 Port. Our job is to taste your recipes and come up with a winner. Fun for all of us.
You can watch me and Faith Durand of The Kitchn make Broundies (in the picture above), the cookies I'd enter in the Cookie Rumble if I weren't a judge. They're a round brownie and they're filled with Port-soaked dried cherries and chopped chocolate.
You can get the recipe here.
So start thinking cookie. You have until November 15, 2013 to post your entry and be eligible to win.
If you need a little encouragement, here are the prizes:
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-QT Bowl Lift Stand Mixer (this is the one my husband uses to make bread; I use it for everything else ... when he lets me)
The KitchenAid Freestanding Induction Range
Two tickets to the 2014 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen
And there's a People's Choice Prize too -- it's given to the recipe that gets the most votes on Facebook
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-QT Bowl Lift Stand Mixer
Have fun! I can't wait to taste what you come up with.
The first line in every oven manual should read: Know your oven!
Of course you need to be told about all the bells and whistles, but the most important thing you need to know is that your oven has a personality, usually a tricky one, and that you’ve got to play with it to discover its idiosyncrasies and propensities. Then you’ve got to find a way to get around them.
The most common quirk – and the one that can be so vexing – is the hot spot. Even if you’re baking in a convection oven, where the fan is meant to distribute the heat evenly, it’s unlikely you can escape the hot spot … or even the cool one.
All of this came to mind the other day when I was working in a beautiful, carefully calibrated, professional convection oven. I slid a full sheet pan of shredded coconut into the oven and 2 minutes later the front of the tray was pale and the back left-hand corner was dark. I stirred the coconut, as I would in any oven, and continued to bake, stir and bake until it was all nicely toasted.
It was only after I pulled it out that it struck me: Toasting coconut is the ideal test of an oven’s evenness and the easiest way to discover hot spots. Coconut colors within minutes, so you can see the differences quickly and clearly. Think of it as litmus paper for your oven.
Hot spots are annoying when you’re braising, slightly more irritating when you’re roasting and potentially disastrous when you’re baking, but the work-around is easy: Find the spots; avoid them if you can; rotate the pans, if you can’t. In fact, in baking, rotating is a good idea no matter what, so it's a good habit to get into.
In case you're curious ... the coconut went into a coconut custard pie. I made my standard vanilla pastry cream and stirred a mix of toasted and untoasted coconut into it. The toasted coconut had a lot of flavor; the untoasted coconut had a lot of texture; and together they were perfect.
I did my best to resist Pinterest. Truly. Like all of you, I've got too much on my plate and I'm always playing a type of triage game with time and projects. So did I need another attention-grabber? Nope. But am I loving Pinterest? Yup. In fact, even as I'm writing, I'm eating Jean-Georges's Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing, a recipe I found on Pinterest and one I've been eating everyday since. (I bought a bushel of kale [only a slight exaggeration] and the recipe for the dressing makes lots.) Today's salad includes sunflower seeds and raisins. Yesterday's had grilled shrimp.
The recipe is here, on Serious Eats. I added another anchovy to the dressing and a bit more cheese. Also, instead of whisking in the olive oil, I continued in the food processor. Laziness had gotten the better of me, but the dressing survived ... beautifully.
And today I found this gorgeous, gorgeous, cinnamon bread
...Continue reading Pinterest, or why I won't be meeting my deadlines ...
Ugh and aarrgh. This is the year I missed the James Beard Awards and this is the year that so many friends won. I would have loved to have been there to hug them all, but because I couldn't, I'm doing the next best thing: sending virtual love.
The entire roster of winners was pretty swell this year -- you can find it here -- but I want to give a shout out to some faves, most friends and some people whose work I know so well and admire so much that I almost feel as though I know them.
Here, in order of how they appear on the press release, you have my annotated list.
Best Baking and Dessert : Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home. I've never met Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and the author of this just about perfect book, but Joshua "The Kid" Greenspan and I reviewed it for the Food 52 Piglet and we haven't stopped making and eating her ice cream yet. And I don't think we ever will. Nor will I stop using her techniques. I think of this book as the model of what a single-subject cookbook should be -- it's long on passion and just as long on instruction, and every recipe I made was a winner!
Beverage: Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, With Cocktails, Recipes, & Formulas. Bitters are all the rage now, but Brad Thomas Parsons was crazy about them pre-rage and his enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject shine in this book. This book, which, by the way, I've read but haven't gotten a chance to use because the instant I put it down, Josh snatched it away. (Memo to Joshua -- click on the link above and buy your own copy. Please.)
General Cooking: Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook's Manifesto. That Michael Ruhlman's book won in the General Cooking category (the one I think is toughest, along with single subject) seems only natural, since this is really a book about cooking in general, a volume that teaches you what you need to know about 20 general cooking techniques. A book for experienced and noviced cooks, it makes a great engagement or wedding gift.
Focus on Health: Super Natural Every Day: Well Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen. I love Heidi Swanson. I know, I know, join the club. I met Heidi several years ago at the Food Writer's Symposium and was struck by her intelligence, creativity, generosity and charm. Years later, I'm only more struck. This is a book I have given to many friends, some interested in natural foods, most not, and all have become fans of Heidi's recipes. One friend makes Heidi's oatmeal every morning for her kids before they head off to school. The kids know they love it; what they don't know is how lucky they are.
International: The Food of Morocco. No one is better at uncovering recipes from exotic places and bringing them to us, their authenticity intact, than Paula Wolfert. Generations of cooks have traveled the world through her recipes and generations of cookbook authors have learned from her writing. If you don't know Paula's work, then in an odd way I envy you because you've got a a delicious discovery ahead of you.
Single Subject: All About Roasting. After bowling us over with All About Braising, Molly Stevens, a born teacher, turned out another tour de force. If the phrase 'everything you ever wanted to know ... ' hadn't become a cliche, she could have used it as the subtitle of this book, since everything you'll ever need to know about roasting is bound between the book's covers.
And, while I'm here, hugs and kisses to other friends who won journalism awards that night:
...Continue reading James Beard Cookbook Awards: A toast to talented friends
WINNERS: Thank you all so much for your sweet, sweet cupcake comments. The contest closed last night at midnight and the three winners (selected using a random-number generator) are: Mary Hirsch, James and Lizza Novo. I'll be in touch with the codes for your Hello, Cupcake app. Again, merci to all.
Everyone who knows me knows I adore Alan Richardson and Karen Tack! Everyone also knows that when it comes to Alan's photographs and Karen's food styling, you can't trust me to be impartial: they're the team that worked on my books, Baking From My Home to Yours and Around My French Table.
But when it comes to cupcakes, you don't have to take my word for anything: millions (yes, truly millions) of people have bought their books, Hello, Cupcake!, What's New, Cupcake? and their latest, Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My!
The app -- which was named iTunes App of the Week (Alan sent out the news and then wrote, "I gotta go faint!") -- has 10 cupcake projects, all 100% adorable. Each has an accompanying intro video (here's the link to the Dancing Penguins), lots (as in hundreds) of stop-action photos, written instructions, voice-overs and technique videos. If it were a car, you'd call it 'fully loaded'.
And I've got three apps to giveaway ...
...Continue reading Hello, Cupcake: It's an App + you can win it!
Those of us who loved Patricia Wells’s Food Lover’s Guide to Paris loved it so much that, chubby as it was, we’d pack and re-pack our carry-on bags just to make sure there was room for it. It was impossible to think of traveling to Paris without it. Sans the guide, how would we know which tea shop was the best in each neighborhood? Which cheese shop? And, of course, which restaurant? When the guide went out of print, foodlovers mourned its passing, although some us still kept it on the shelf to flip through just for the pleasure of it.
I’ve always had an inkling that when the oven light turned off, telling you that the oven had reached the temperature you’d set it to, you weren’t supposed to slide your cake in immediately. But I couldn’t tell you why I was inkled or even what it was that had me inkling. It just didn’t feel right and so I always waited awhile.
Yesterday, I not only learned that my hunch was right, I learned why. And I learned it from experts, the Viking crew that had come to tune-up my range.
Mr. RepairMan explained that ovens cycle on and off to maintain an average temperature. I knew this. And that some ovens cycle further up and down from the desired temperature than others. And that some cycle more frequently than others. I knew this too. I also dreaded it because, as a cookbook author, I knew that every time I wrote a baking recipe I was jumping into the danger zone. With so many variables going into maintaining an even temperature, how could I be sure that your cookies would bake in the same 10-to-13-minute range as mine.
...Continue reading Preheating Your Oven: Count to 3 and Be Patient
If it's February, it must be time for our annual CookieBar Pop-Up at Mizu ... and it is! Here are the basics:
February 6 to February 10
At Mizu: 505 Park Avenue, NYC (between 58 and 59 Streets (call 212-688-6498 if you want a hair appointment during our pop-up -- we'll bring cookies to your chair!)
Hours: 10 to 6, or until we run out of cookies -- we'll tweet to save you the trip (follow us on Twitter)
CookieBar Faves, of course, and CookieBar Newbies, including a cool as a York Peppermint Patty cookie
Cocktail Collection Cookies sporting new stickers designed by Kyle Poff
Menu and more coming up soon. I just wanted to get the word out and share our swell new flyer, designed for us by Greig Bennett.
While the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers have finished every recipe in Baking From My Home to Yours, news of their accomplishments goes on. First, there was the story in the Washington Post, and then yesterday the online baking group was the topic of my conversation with Neal Conan, host of one of my favorite NPR programs, Talk of the Nation.
When what you do is considered the 'talk of the nation', you know you've accomplished something! Congratulations -- again and again -- Laurie Woodward, TWD's founder, and Julie Schaeffer and every baker who joined the group. And thank you Neal and your producers for recognizing the extraordinary nature of the group, its accomplishments and the communtiy it created.
You can listen to the segment or download it from Talk of the Nation. You'll also find the recipe for my Prune-Amagnac Cake, also know as The Cake That Got Me Fired.
For those of you who missed the fun of baking along with the TWD community, you've got another chance:
...Continue reading NPR's Talk of the Nation: Tuesdays with Dorie, A Community in the Kitchen
As I was sitting down to write this, my husband walked through the kitchen and said, “Do you realize that it took you four years to write Baking From My Home to Yours and just the same amount of time for the members of Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) to bake their way through every recipe in it?” No, I hadn’t realized it. And, as I look back, I see that there was a lot I didn’t realize. For sure, when I started writing Baking, I never could have imagined that there would be a TWD. And I certainly couldn’t have realized nor even have had an inkling of how remarkable everything about TWD would be, starting with its founder, Laurie Woodward.
Like so many members of Tuesdays with Dorie, I’ve never met Laurie, although I keep a Christmas picture of her with her family on my refrigerator, visible from the oven. Sometimes, when I look up and see her smiling down on my latest dish, I think of her as my own patron saint of the kitchen. I bet I’m not the only one who sees her as an encouraging spirit. When Laurie says, “Bake on!” as she does just about every week, I take it as a command and obey.
For those of you who are not members of TWD, here’s the quick back story, confession included.
...Continue reading Tuesdays with Dorie, The End of a Delicious Journey and Kids' Thumbprints
Wishing all of you, and your families and those you hold dear a sparkling, joyous, sweet and delicious Christmas!
Thank you for joining with so many other people to vote for Gretchen Holt. Because of you, Gretchen, the founder of Cookies For Kids Cancer and the author of The Best Bakesale Cookbook, earned an extra $25,000 from the L'Oreal Women of Worth project.
I just got the news and I cried ... of course. And then Gretchen wrote to say that she cried ... of course.
Again, thanks to all of you who clicked and all of you who contribute during the year to Cookies For Kids Cancer. The holiday season just got a whole lot happier.
At 10 am ET and 1 pm ET tomorrow, Josh The Kid Greenspan and I will be on the Martha Stewart Show making cookies. I'll be making madeleines and then Martha talks with Joshua and there are Cranberry-Five Spice Cookies from the new CookieBar Cocktail Collection for all. Tune in, as they say.
For a little while, it was touch and go. First the packing boxes weren't the right size and then the CookieBar website had a hiccup on the shipping page, but those glitches are behind us and TA-DA: CookieBar (that would be Josh 'The Kid' Greenspan and moi, his mom) is ready to send its newest creations, THE COCKTAIL COLLECTION, out into the world. Well, the USA part of the world. (Ignore the message that says we deliver only to NYC - we're still trying to figure out how to delete that.)
CookieBar's Cocktail Cookies, some of which were featured in Food & Wine Magazine's November issue, are our grown-uppest cookies: small sweet-savory cookies meant to be had with grown-up Champagne, wine or cocktails. They're chic and sophisticated and, packed in their clear tubes wtih our great-looking logo, very, very giftable.
Available starting NOW! the cookies come in the following flavors:
...Continue reading CookieBar Cocktail Cookies: Ready to be shipped for the holidays
Don't these two books look nice together? Well this is the way you'll be seeing them on Amazon for the holidays (yes you can still buy them separately) and tomorrow, November 24, 2011, from 11am to 3 pm Eastern Time (8 am to noon Pacific Time), you'll be seeing them at the best price ever. Amazon will be running a flash sale then and I wanted to get the word to you in time for you to take advantage of it. I don't know the price yet -- that's the suspense of a flash sale -- but I'm told it will be good, very good. So, before you tuck into the turkey, think about tucking into the sale. Remember, it's the official start of gift-giving season. (Not that there should ever be a season for giving gifts, but I'll hold that discussion for another time..)
This is a screen shot of my iPad App Baking with Dorie, but now you can get more than that for FREE! CulinApp has just released a Free sample of the app: you get the app's complete treatment of All-in-One-Holiday Bundt Cake -- step-by-step video (the app has sooooooo much video), shopping list, introduction and the four different views of the recipe: cookbook, step-by-step, spinview and the flowchart, CulinView. You also get to see the intros to all the other recipes. Like what you see and you can buy the full app with a tap (and the full app is on sale for the hols: $7.99). I love the idea that we're a click away from being in your kitchen together.
And, there's more ... some fabulous Revol pots on sale ...
...Continue reading Flash Sales + A Free App: The holiday season begins
I seem to always be racing and today's no different, but there are two quick things I want to tell you -- both super-helpful for Thanksgiving.
First, I'm going to be on Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving Hotline today with Sandy Gluck between 11 and 12 Eastern Time. Here's the call-in number: 866-675-6675 And good news: even if you're not a subscriber to Sirius Radio, you can listen to the Hotline free; read about it on Martha's Radio Blog.
Also -- and also for free -- you can download Martha's Thanksgiving Hotline Recipes 2011. I did and it's a really terrific cookbook with recipes from great chefs.
More soon. Off to get ready for the Hotline. Hope I'll get to talk turkey -- and sides and desserts, of course -- with you.
Remember when I told you about the Best Bakesale Cookbook? The one written by my friend Gretchen Holt-Witt to raise money for Cookies For Kids' Cancer? Well today I'd like you to meet Gretchen and help her help more children.
Gretchen was just named a Woman of Worth by L'Oreal for creating Cookies For Kids' Cancer. Gretchen started the foundation when her beautiful baby, Liam, was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer, a form so rare that research to cure it wasn't being conducted. Liam died this year before his seventh birthday (I can't even write these words without clutching my heart), but Gretchen's work continues with the determination that other children and their parents will not have to know this indescribable pain.
L'Oreal will make a gift of $10,000 gift to Cookies For Kids' Cancer to honor Gretchen. BUT if enough of us vote for Gretchen, Cookies will receive an addition $25,000.
This is important, very important, so please Vote Here.
And PLEASE, tell others to vote.
And if you have children within reach, hug them now.
Julia Moskin wrote a really good story in today's New York Times questioning whether apps would make cookbooks obsolete. I was thrilled that my new app, Baking with Dorie, was brought into the conversation and that a recipe from the app -- All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake -- was featured along with a video clip showing how I make Maple Syrup Icing for the cake.
The story raises interesting questions about how we use cookbooks and what apps mean to us. I'd love for you to read the article and then give me your take on the question.
Just to get to the ball rolling:
...Continue reading Cookbooks, Apps + The New York Times
As many of you might know by now, I'm a curator for Open Sky, which means that each week I select something I love to use and offer it to my followers. I almost never mention it here -- I figure if you follow me on Open Sky, you get all the notice you need from them -- but today I've got something that's a fairly new discovery for me and I want to get the word out to you.
Many of you may already be using De Buyer Mineral B Element Pans, in which case I consider you smart and smarter than I was: I was late coming to them.
If you were one of the smart ones, I'd love it if you'd let me know how you like the pans and what you like best to cook in them.
It's funny because, when it comes to kitchen gear, I've always thought of myself as an early adopter. Yet as much as I coveted these pans in chefs' kitchens, I didn't buy one until about a year ago. And then I bought another ... and another ... and then I tossed out all my old nonstick pans and went totally natural with these. You can read for yourself why I love these pans, but I'll just sum it up for you here:
...Continue reading A Great Steak - The Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak - Made in a Great Pan
Anyone who’d made a beautiful blueberry pie would smile as broadly as Chris Howard is in this picture, but Chris has a bunch of extra reasons to smile – if not crow – about this pie. And so do I. This may look like an old-fashioned blueberry pie to you, but to us it’s a technological breakthrough: Chris, a first-time pie maker, crafted this beauty from start to finish following the step-by-step video instructions in our soon-to-be-released iPad App: Baking with Dorie.
...Continue reading A Virtual Baby Shower for Maria and Josh Lichty:French Lemon Cream Tart
Josh and I are stacking up our boxes and bags, stickers and plates and heading over to Skylight West, 500 West 36th Street, NYC, to start setting up for CookieBar's two-day pop-up. The pop-up is part of the Elements Showcase, a gorgeous 'salon' featuring the most innovative creations in fragrance design.
There'll be perfumes -- I adore perfume and can't wait to meet the 'noses' and creators -- and candles (Frederick Bouchardy of Joya Candles will be there -- hooray!) and cookies, cookies and cookies. The Kid and I will have World Peace Cookies (pictured), of course; Coconut-Lime Sables, a bestseller; Blondies, with so many add-ins; and Jammers, our most beautiful cookie: French butter sables, Sarabeth preserves and crunchy streusel.
Elements Showcase is on Monday and Tuesday, August 15 and 16, from 11am until 6pm. It is usually open only to the trade and press, but if you'd like to come, Josh and I would love to see you -- all you've got to do is write to email@example.com for an invitation.
Hope to see you there. You'll recognize me -- I'll be the one with chocolate crumbs on my shirt.
I have a long, bumpy relationship with crusts. I love them, for sure. I love making the dough. No problem there. The difficulty, for years and years, was rolling out the dough I’d had such fun making. Rolling terrified me!
I had all the right equipment: rolling pins of every length, weight and material, and a flat countertop that was big enough to roll out pizza for a small army. I probably even had the right technique – or I should have, given how many classes I took and books I read. What I lacked was courage! I was a roll-out scaredy cat.
And then my friend, Donna, came over and said, “I think that if we roll a crust together, all will be revealed.” And so, there we were: Donna to my left, the crust in front of me, the rolling pin over my shoulder and glasses of wine awaiting what Donna was sure would be my success. And she was right – within minutes we were toasting each other and oohing and aahing over the crust that was sitting pretty in a pie plate.
Was the crust perfectly rolled out? Nope. Have I ever rolled out a perfect pie crust? The kind that looks like it was drawn with a compass? The kind that’s exactly, precisely and absolutely the same thickness from the middle out? No. No. And no, again. But they’re all good enough to make excellent pies and tarts and good enough to make me feel swell about what I’ve done.
“Courage!” as the Wizard of Oz’s Cowardly Lion would say. It was all that I needed. Oh and a little more encouragement from Jacques Pepin.
...Continue reading Rolling Out Pie Dough: Terrified No More
This may not look like the prettiest picture you've ever seen, but to me it's almost as good as a Van Gogh. What you're looking at is the heading at the top of my Glossary Page (see it up there on the bar?) and I'm so glad it's now settled into its cozy home in cyberspace.
The Glossary, with searchable entries that go from 'a la minute' to 'zest', is a story of a labor of love lost. When I began working on Around My French Table (AMFT), I knew I wanted it to have a glossary, just as Baking From My Home to Yours has. And so, every time I'd do something that seemed glossary-worthy, I'd jot it down. Ditto every time I'd write something that looked like it needed a little glossaryized explanation. And then, at the end of writing AMFT, I sat down to write the glossary and I just wrote and wrote and wrote and ended up turning in 44 pages of entries for terms and ingredients, equipment and techniques.
What I hadn't realized when I submitted my glossary was that AMFT was already much bigger than either the publisher or I had thought it would be and, instead of adding 44 pages, I was going to have to subtract a few. In the end, thanks to my editor's patience, everything managed to go into the book ... except the glossary.
And so, here it is, at last and hooray. Even though many of the entries are tagged to specific pages in Around My French Table, with or without AMFT, I think you'll find it a handy tool, kind of like a cooking primer.
Let me know what you think. And let me know if you think I'm missing an term. Now that the Glossary is online, I can grow it. I love this century.
UPDATE: When I wrote this, I didn't realize that the real problem was my Microsoft/msn account. I was able to quickly get gmail and Facebook back, but Microsoft is still not completely settled and the hacker sent out a second message. I'm still waiting for Microsoft to close my account - actually, if a friend of a friend hadn't helped us out, we'd still be waiting for the help line folks to answer our call.
There were some funny moments: Gael "Insatiable" Greene wrote a story about my problems.
There were some sad moments: Many of my French friends had never seen a scam letter like the one they received from 'me' and so they were deeply worried about me. One friend apologized for not being able to send money because the banks were closed. Thank goodness they were closed!
And there were many sweet moments: You and so many other of my friends (here on terra firma and in cyberspace) were extraordinarily kind, supportive, sympathetic, helpful and funny -- never underestimate funny when there's a nagging problem.
Thank you and hugs and kisses, too -- Dorie
I just discovered -- thank you Twitter friends -- that my gmail account has been hacked. A message was sent out saying that I was in Mali and that I needed money.
Not true! Not true!
I'm sorry if you were sent this message (in French or in English) I don't understand how these things happen and I'm about to find out (I hope), how I can right them.
Currently, I am locked out of my both my gmail and facebook accounts. So if you read this, please do me a favor: Don't send money, but please accept my apologies and pass them along to others.
Hope to be back online and sending out real news soon.
Merci from Paris, NOT Mali.
As some of you may know, I have three kitchens; and as some you may not know, I’m a nut about kitchen gear. Actually, I’m not nearly as nutty about the stuff as my husband is. He’s convinced that I need everything, and that I don’t only need it in triplicate, but that sometimes I need multiples of whatever it is and that I need those multiples in triplicate, too. This explains why even in my small Paris kitchen, I’ve got 18 tartlet tins. Never mind that my oven is so tiny I’d never be able to bake 18 tartlets at a time.
Every so often I declare a moratorium on new stuff and then, just as often, I forget my moratorium and squeeze something new into my cupboards. And so, when I ‘met’ the Bram, a clay baker I’d never seen before, I rearranged my shelves and found a home for it. The Bram I've got is living in Connecticut, but since the baker will be sold on Open Sky tomorrow, I just might spring for a couple more. After all, good mom that I am, I'd hate for my other kitchens to be jealous.
The Bram has a capacity of 4 1/2 quarts – it’s a party baker – and it was just the size I needed for an expanded version of my cauliflower gratin. Here’s the recipe for the pumped up version.
...Continue reading Cauliflower Gratin in a Bram
June 8: Congratulations Maria of McDonough, GA for winning the pot. I hope you'll enjoy it and cook delicious food in it for years to come.
And thank you everyone who entered to win. I wish I'd had 100s of Dutch Ovens to give away, but ...
Chicken in a Pot is one of my favorite recipes – it’s such a favorite that it’s the recipe on the cover of Around My French Table. It’s a terrific family dish best made in a heavy enameled cast-iron pot, like this oval 5-quart Dutch oven from Le Creuset. This one’s exactly like mine, the one you see in the picture that opens the chicken chapter in AMFT. I’ve had mine -- and loved it -- for years and years, which is why I’m so excited that one of you will win this pot.
The people at OpenSky are offering this Dutch oven to one winning subscriber. To toss your name into the pot (sorry, I couldn’t resist), just sign up to follow me at OpenSky here by the end of the day on Monday, June 6. OpenSky will choose a winner at random.
If you’ve already signed up to follow me, then there’s no need to do anything but sit back and wait with your fingers crossed – you're automatically qualified for a chance to win.
To tempt you even further: here’s the recipe for Chicken in the Pot. Since it’s pretty much a foolproof recipe, it’ll taste delicious no matter how you cook it, but imagine how beautiful it will look in your new Le Creuset Dutch Oven.
Good luck -- can't wait to find out who the winner is!
...Continue reading ... And Now For Some Retail Therapy Among Friends
Sometimes writers get hung-up trying to find words and that's the spot I'm in now: Wordless. Oh, and deeply, deeply touched and more than a little overwhelmed, too. The May issue of O Magazine (the 'O' stands for Oprah) has a 3-page story by the terrific writer, Howie Kahn, all about the online groups that have formed around Baking From My Home to Yours and Around My French Table.
The groups -- wonderful, fabulous groups -- are Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) and French Fridays with Dorie (FFWD) and they were both started by LAURIE WOODWARD, an amazing, very busy woman, who you'd think would have enough to do tending to three little boys that she might not want to tend a flock of almost 2,000 bloggers who love cooking and baking as much as she does.
From the start -- and it was four years ago that Laurie, whom I've never met, wrote to ask if she could form a group to bake its way through Baking From My Home to Yours -- I thought Laurie was remarkable and I loved the idea. I loved that people would be baking 'together' each week and I loved that we would be learning from each other. I had no idea that there would be thousands of people in the community -- and Laurie didn't either: She thought that she and a couple of other friends would be the only ones baking!
When you read the story, you'll meet Laurie, and Joel Brown -- that's his cupcake in the picture -- and Mary Dodd, and Nancy Ewing, and Tracey Wilhemsen, and hear about what the groups, baking and cooking mean to them. And you'll find recipes from Joel Brown, Caitlin Pierce and Shari Goodman, all wonderful variations of my original recipes.
...Continue reading O Magazine: Bonding Through Baking + The Recipe for French Yogurt Cake
A reader, Paul H. Brown, just wrote to tell me that I left the sour cream out of the list of ingredients in the Cheesecake Tart recipe that went out in my newsletter this morning. I'm so, so sorry. I typed quickly and must have proof-read even more quickly.
If you are using cottage cheese in the recipe (instead of fromage blanc), you need
3 TABLESPOONS SOUR CREAM
You can make the tart without the sour cream, but it would miss the nice tang you get from it.
Pass the word along, please.
If you’d asked me if my mom was superstitious, I’d have said no without hesitation. And had you asked if I were, I’d have said no just as definitively. Yet, over the past few days I’ve had to rethink this and realize that mom was just a little superstitious, me too, and that we were both superstitious about the same things, things I’m not sure I know how to describe.
Yes, she’d knock on wood and I do too. My grandmother would have knocked on wood and said ‘pooh, pooh, pooh’ at the same time. I think the triple poohs were a little all-purpose prayer, in some cases meant to keep what was good good, and in others to ward off bad things.
For example, when our son was born, my mother insisted that we tie a red ribbon around one of the bars of his crib, put one on his stroller and pin one to his clothes. Asked why, she said it's what her mother did and that it was a way to protect the little one. But it seemed mostly to do with not tempting the fates: If someone were to say “Oh, what a beautiful baby,” the red ribbon would keep him safe from those so envious they'd wish him evil. (If only Sleeping Beauty had had a red ribbon!)
Writing this makes it all sound rather foolish, but last week when Around My French Table debuted on The New York Times Bestseller List (I can barely look at the words without gasping), and then Amazon picked it as the #1 cookbook, I discovered that I might be even more superstitious than my mother was. It was days before I told even my best friends about the Bestseller List! It's certainly not that I was worried about evil; I think it was more about blinking and discovering it wasn’t true – that’s how surprised I was.
My husband often teases me for going around saying, "I'm so lucky!" But you know what? I really, really am lucky. Lucky because I have so many wonderful friends. And yes, I'm talking to you.
Today is my birthday, an occasion I don't normally like to acknowledge. But today is shaping up to be one of those days that I'll never forget. This morning, I woke up in Dallas (I'm on the last leg of my whirlwind tour for Around My French Table), flipped on my computer and found a message from Laurie Woodward, the creator of both Tuesdays with Dorie and French Fridays with Dorie. It included this picture above, a shot of the cake she made in honor of my birthday (it's a quatre-quarts from Around My French Table) and a message that told me to visit Holly at Phe.Mom.enon and I'd find a surprise!
One click and a short scroll down the page and I was in tears. What Laurie and Holly and members of TWD and FFwD did was to throw me a Virtual Surprise Birthday Party! A huge potluck dinner that includes dishes from every chapter of Around My French Table. It's fabulous!
Click over and this is what you'll find:
...Continue reading A Virtual Surprise Party and A Million Real Thanks
CORRECTIONS!!! In my excitement to tell you where I was heading, I made a few mistakes on my calendar. The actual dates seem to be fine, but I messed up with the days (for example, I'll be in Chicago October 14, but that's a Thursday, which isn't what I wrote). I'm sorry. I think I've got it all cleared up now, but the best thing is to check with the venues -- for sure they'll be more organized than I am at this point.
Shhh, please don’t breathe a word of this to the good people at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They think they’re sending me around the country to promote my new book, but I’ve got a different take on it. I think my month-long road trip has only one purpose: to meet you! You and all the other people I’ve known for years in cyberspace, but have never had the chance to meet face-to-face.
I’m posting my schedule below, but it’s a work in progress, so I’ll try to let you know as things are added. There’s more information, including venue addresses and links to events at BookTour.
And I’ve got this idea that I’m really excited about, but that I haven’t quite worked out yet. In addition to the events I’m posting, I’ve got bunches of interviews to do in each city, so the days are pretty packed, but there’s always an open hour somewhere in the sched and I’d like to try to use that hour to meet some of you informally. I’m thinking of these get-togethers as a combination of the old-fashioned coffee-klatches and the very-now Tweet-ups.
Since I’m not sure when and exactly where these get-togethers will happen, what I’m going to try to do is announce them on Twitter. I’m hoping to know a day in advance where I’ll be and when I’ll be there – if any of you know a great coffee bar in any of my tour cities that I can hang in and that you come visit me in, please let me know.
I really, really hope we’ll get to see one another at a Tweet-up and at the events below.
Can’t wait to meet you!
...Continue reading I'm Taking Around My French Table on the Road: Hope to See You
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION(posted September 11): YOU DON'T NEED TO HAVE A BLOG TO JOIN! Since I posted this (see below) and since the news of this new group has gone out on Twitter and Facebook, I've received several messages asking if it's necessary to have a blog to join FFwD. Today I got the definitive answer: No! When you go to register, it will ask for your URL, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, put in the URL that appears on your page. If not, just put in www.frenchfridayswithdorie.com Do this, and when the fun begins, you'll be part of it and you can post your pictures and comments on Twitter, Facebook or the FFwD site. As of yesterday, there were already 350 members. Now that you know this, you might want to know what FFwD is -- read on!
My book editor, Rux Martin, is forever teasing me because I’m always saying I’m lucky. Well, I am. I’m lucky that Rux was my editor on Baking From My Home to Yours and on my new book, Around My French Table. I’m lucky that Alan Richardson and Karen Tack, the team behind What’s New Cupcake, and Deb Donahue, a great prop stylist, worked on the books’ pictures. And I’m lucky that Laurie Woodward and her big band of merry bakers came into my life when she started Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD).
Well, Laurie’s back. And this time she’s back with my good friend Joel Brown (I wish I’d introduced them, but they found each other on Twitter!) and Joel’s friend, the talented illustrator Rachel Alvarez. Together they’ve created French Fridays with Dorie (FFwD), an online club to cook through Around My French Table.
FFwD will officially start rattling their pots and pans on October 1, but you can register now – and I hope you will. For more information, and to hear what people are saying about the new group, jump over to TWD.
I can’t wait to cook along with the group. It’s going to be a great adventure for all of us.
The email came a couple of months ago. It was from Emily Weinstein a (very talented) writer on staff in the Dining section of The New York Times, and it was a request: Would I be her Baking Yoda? Emily confessed to being a novice – if I remember correctly, she said she hadn’t notched more than a zucchini bread (or maybe it was a banana bread) – but she was eager to learn and her editors at the paper were eager to have her post her adventures in baking on a new Diner’s Journal blog every Thursday, The Baker’s Apprentice.
Who could refuse?
I mean, once you see the words ‘baking’ and ‘Yoda’ together, is it possible to resist? And I didn’t want to resist. Having often referred to myself as a ‘baking evangelist’, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a new convert. It was only after I’d accepted that I found myself hoping she hadn’t chosen me to be Yoda for anything having to do with age or wrinkles.
...Continue reading The NY Times' Baker's Apprentice: Emily Learns to Bake + I Get to Help Her
In about 10 minutes I'll be in a taxi heading for the airport and Paris, where, odd as it may sound, I hope you'll be hearing from me more often. It's been a book-busy month. Even though Around My French Table doesn't come out until October, July has been spent preparing for my book tour, organizing recipes for classes and getting ready for the fall. It feels a little like an early back-to-school, but not really. (When everything's settled, I'll post my schedule and hope that I'll get to meet a bunch of you as I criss-cross the country.)
While I'm in Paris, I planning to put together a visual story of the book, about which more as I work on it.
For now, it's a brief farewell. This good-bye New York picture was taken last night from 18 stories above the Hudson River on the rooftop of The Standard, the hotel that straddles New York City's High Line. Thanks to The Kid for getting us past the velvet ropes and thanks to everyone there for not mentioning how Michael and I skewed their average age skyward.
A tres bientot -- Dorie
Remember my friend David Turecamo's spectacular video about the Poilane Bakery? The one in which Lionel Poilane shows me how to make the shop's famous butter cookies, Punitions? Well David, my friend, my neighbor in Paris and the guy best known to CBS Sunday Morning viewers as "Our Man in Paris," has done something wonderful -- again: He's collected some of his clips on a new site, Paris Files.
I'd tell you that you should click over there immediately, but for your own pleasure
...Continue reading The Eiffel Tower: An Inside Look
If I had waited for daylight, this picture would have been better, but my salad would have gone naked. Besides, even a good picture of a mustard jar isn't much, but what's in this jar is one of my favorite little things: vinaigrette made from the last bit of mustard that sticks to the bottom of the jar, the bit you can't even get out with that small silicone scraping spatula, the odd-shaped one you bought for just this job.
My husband always laughs when he comes into the kitchen and sees me peering into the jar, eyeballing the remains and deciding whether or not it's time to turn it into dressing, because he knows I get such a kick out of it. There's something about salvaging that recalcitrant spoonful that makes me happy. It's a little like scraping the bowl a la Julia.
...Continue reading Bottom of the Bottle Mustard Vinaigrette
It's wonderful when good news arrives as a BIG surprise. I came back from meetings today to find my inbox crammed with congratulatory messages. It turns out that The James Beard Foundation just published its list of 13 essential baking books and Baking From My Home to Yours is on it. And it's in the company of all my heroes -- all of whom's books I have on my shelves.
In 2007, The James Beard Foundation published its original Core Collection: 20 Essential Books to Build Your Culinary Library. That list included two baking books: The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion and my all-time favorite, Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts.
The new list, Essential Baking Books, includes:
...Continue reading A Baker's Dozen of Essential Baking Books: The James Beard Foundation Picks
I'm always happy when one of my Paris sojourns corresponds with the annual Salon d'Agriculture, a huge -- gigantic, actually -- fair that includes tractor rides, enormous buidlings filled with horses and donkeys and cows, farm equipment and food, food, food. Every time I go I say I'm going to go pet the cows -- it's what former French President Chirac always does (I know, because he's always photographed in the act) -- but I go directly to the food pavillions and by the time I've seen everything there, the cows are ready to bed down for the night.
The food halls at this year’s fair were jammed as always and the ambience was as lively as always. Someone said it was because of all the wine that’s poured under the guise of tasting, and I’m sure that had something to do with it, but I prefer to think that it’s just the effect of being surrounded by thousands of sausages, just as many cheeses and a dizzying array of honeys and hams, caramels and cakes.
...Continue reading Cookies, Cakes, Kouing-amanns and a Coincidence
The Kid and I have been thinking about opening a cookie store for years. We'd bake cookies and talk about it. We'd eat cookies and talk about it. We'd bake more cookies and eat more cookies and think more and talk more. And, at last, we're doing something: COOKIEBAR! We'll be doing a CookieBar pop-up store and you can read all about it on Time Out's blog: The Feed.
Josh and I will be selling some of our favorite cookies -- of course there'll be World Peace Cookies -- and some new ones, too, from Monday, February 8 until Saturday, February 13. We'll be popping up at the chic hair salon, Mizu, on Park Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets, in New York City. It's just one door up from the famous Sherry-Lehmann wine store, which makes for convenient one-stop Valentine's Day shopping. Anyone for Champagne and cookies?
Seeing the news in print has sent me into a tizzy. I'll write more when my heart isn't beating so fast. In the meantime, if you're in New York, please, please put CookieBar on your calendar and stop by and see us.
The devastation in Haiti is almost beyond imagining. While the media is covering the disaster extensively, it still seems impossible to comprehend the extent of the tragedy and the number of lives that may be lost. Today's New York Times says that 3 million Haitians are affected by the earthquake and that the death toll will be counted in the tens of thousands. Of course, my thoughts are with the people of Haiti and all those who have friends, relatives and colleagues in the country. While aid workers struggle to find ways to help the country and its people, I am making a donation to the World Food Program, the United Nations organization that Pim and others have been working with for six years through Menu for Hope.
As of midnight last night, 762 of you wonderful, sweet, thoughtful and Julia-loving readers left comments so that you could be entered in the Baking with Julia DVD Giveaway. I had 5 DVDs to give away -- thanks to A La Carte Communications -- and while some of your comments (and I read each and every one them) were so touching that I wanted to just mail off copies immediately, this morning I went to a random-number-generating site and got 5 numbers. I'm going to announce the winners here, but all I've got are first names, so you might not know who you are. Worry not -- I'll be sending you an email shortly.
The winners are:
- Kris, who left the first comment (can you believe that 1 was one of the five numbers?)
- LaJuana, who wrote that she'd given the Baking with Julia book to her nephew when he was just starting to bake
- Alicia, who commented that she was fascinated by Julia and her desire to really learn how to cook after she was "all grown up"
I'm sorry I can't give each of you a copy as a thank-you for being such good readers. I truly appreciate your enthusiasm ... but I think you know that.
Boy, this was a long time coming, but here it is: The first Baking with Julia DVD - enfin, at last and hooray!
The Baking with Julia series, which aired on PBS starting in 1996, was a groundbreaker. At that time, the only television program devoted to baking (at least the only one that I can recall) was Mrs. Fields' show on the then-fledgling Food Network. Certainly there wasn't - hadn't been and still really isn't, I don't think - a show like the one hosted by Julia Child. It was, as Julia liked to say, "A show for serious bakers, not for fluffies!"
...Continue reading Giveaway: The New Baking with Julia DVD
Before I slide this sour cream pumpkin tart into the oven to bake (and follow it with the pecan pie and cornbread and sweet potatoes and, oh, the turkey--my kingdom for a second oven--) and run out of time, I want to wish you all a happy and delicious Thanksgiving and to thank you for being such sweet, thoughtful, funny and creative readers and commenters. I love spending time with you.
The program is brilliant and fun: Bake a bunch of cookies, invite your friends to come decorate them with you and then donate the cookies to a nonprofit group in your community. As Lydia says, "It's a simple idea in a complicated world and something anyone can do."
This year, Pillsbury is donating 50 VIP coupons, worth $3.00 each off any Pillsbury product to be distributed (first come, first served while supply lasts) to anyone who plans to host a Drop In & Decorate event. And Lydia says she'll include a Comfort Grip cookie cutter, donated by Wilton, to people who plan to host cookies-for-donation events.
Contact Lydia ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) for information on free coupons and cookie cutters.
Visit The Perfect Pantry to find out more about Lydia and all that she does.
Go to the Drop In & Decorate site to download a free guide to hosting your own party.
And, most important: Have fun!
As some of you may know, Mr. and Mrs. Hello, Cupcake! aka photographer, Alan Richardson, and food stylist, Karen Tack, who worked on Baking From My Home to Yours, are now making gorgeous pictures for my next book. We spent days together chez me before I left for Paris and then, this week, the team moved to Karen's house. The first day I was there, after hugs and kisses and offers of coffee, I walked into the dining room to set up my computer, but got no further than the doorway. I mean, who could get past these shelves? And this is just a smidgen of Karen's stash.
You know how designers have inspiration boards with swatches of fabrics, buttons, ribbons and pix? Well, think of this as Karen's inspiration board. All those bins of candy and cookies, the jelly beans and gummy bears, the vanilla wafers and ginger snaps ... all destined for cupcakedom.
Before I could get the word "WOW" out of my mouth, Karen asked: "Have you seen the sprinkles?"
...Continue reading Hello, Cupcake! A Peek Behind the Scenes
I love seeing Le Comptoir in the morning when it's still quiet. A few hours later -- and until midnight -- every seat will be filled and the sidewalk will be so crowded with hungry hopefuls you'll have to step into the street to get by.
This morning, on my way through Les Halles to Dehillerin (where, for maybe the first time in my life, I walked out empty-handed), I saw this line-up of Velibs. When I got home, I read in The New York Times that 80% of the bikes are damaged or stolen. I know it must be true, but I hate to hear it.
...Continue reading Out and About in Paris: Random Pix and Pensees
I was delighted to be asked to be part of the virtual dinner party heralding today's publication of Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations: Entertaining at Home with New York's Savviest Hostesses for so many reasons: 1) I've known its co-author, Florence Fabricant, for years and, for as long as I've known her, I've admired her work in The New York Times and in cookbooks; 2) I love that the profits from this book benefit The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, a charitable and service organization for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a research and treatment hospital, as did Florence's first Park Avenue Potluck book; 3) it tickles me that Kelsey Banfield, The Naptime Chef, who asked me to join the party, worked on the first Park Avenue Potluck book when she was on staff at The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering and that it inspired her to start her blog and a new career in food; and 4) I got another great cookie recipe.
The cookies are called Mary's House Oatmeal Cookies (recipe below) and, while the name might not mean much to you now, after you bake a batch you'll understand completely: it would be easy to have these sweets become the 'house cookie' in any house.
This week, Katye of Grandma's Kitchen Table got to choose the recipe that the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers would make and post on their blogs today. It's a big responsibility to be the chooser and when you read Katye's post, you'll see that she not only took it very seriously, she added a bunch more responsibilities to the task, including finding a recipe that would be "kid-friendly" and one that "would make the house smell like fall or get one in the mood for the upcoming holiday season."
With her list of must-haves, she chose the Allspice Crumb Muffins (you can find the recipe on Katye's blog or on page 16 of Baking From My Home to Yours) and loved them (phew!) and, judging from what I've seen as I've whizzed around the web checking bakers' posts, so did lots of other TWDers.
It always thrills me when the TWD bakers like the recipes they make, but that they like this recipe makes me particularly happy, since I think allspice is a flavor that deserves a little more love and attention than it normally gets.
...Continue reading Tuesdays with Dorie: Allspice Crumb Muffins
I'm like a little baby when it comes to travel - as soon as whatever I'm on starts to move, I fall asleep. It means that there's no lively chatter when I'm in the passenger seat, but it also means that I won't complain about whatever music the driver wants to play. And while I usually manage to stay relatively alert until a plane takes off, on this last Paris-to-New York flight, I was not just awake, but wide-eyed, thanks to Air France's good taste in in-flight films. For two hours I stared at the small screen attached to the seat in front of me, fully absorbed in the life of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, beautifully portrayed by Audrey Tautou in Coco Before Chanel.
This is a gorgeous film with such sweeping views of country and sea, city and style, that you could almost sense the pictures pushing the borders of the small screen. Even so, the quality of the cinematography, story, costumes and acting was so very high that it was impossible not to appreciate its pleasures; impossible, too, not to be left longing to enjoy it in a theater, and I had the chance this week when Atout France, the French Government Tourist Office, showed the film in an avant-premiere (a preview). Now I'm here to report that Coco Before Chanel easily stands up to a second viewing.
...Continue reading Coco Before Chanel: Film, Fashion and France
Every time I scrape the last little bit of anything out of a bowl, I think of Julia.
When we were taping Baking with Julia, I had what I thought of as the best seat in the house, a bedroom on the second floor of Julia's Cambridge Victorian house. The room was referred to as The Red Room, because red was the predominant color in the paintings - works by Paul Child - that hung on the walls. It was also the make-up room, which meant that when I came in, at about 7 am, I'd find Julia reading The Boston Globe and The New York Times and watching the morning news and having her hair done. It also meant that I got to chat with all the baker's as they got fluffed-up before taking their star turns. And, it meant that when everyone was downstairs, I got to sit at my desk with the split-screen monitor, the one that showed me everything the three cameras were shooting.
I didn't miss a single thing and, sitting up there alone, I got to giggle out loud without disturbing the shoot, and I got to play a little game with myself, the one in which I waited to see how long it would be before Julia would give the baker her little "let's not waste this" talk.
...Continue reading Tales of Julia: Part 4/Julia's in the Details
The envelope stood out from the usual bills and flyers in my mailbox. Its paper was heavier and the script was prettier. It was an invitation from the American Ambassador to France and his wife and it read:
Charles H. Rivkin
Ambassadeur des Etats-Unis d'Amerique
et Madame Susan M. Tolson
Madame Dorie Greenspan et Monsieur Greenspan
de leur faire le plaisir d'assister a une projection en avant-premiere du film
Â«Julie & JuliaÂ» de Nora Ephron
en version originale sous-titree
There's to be a preview screening of Julie & Julia and I'm invited!
Malheureusement, I'll be back in New York when everyone gathers to view the film. But I was flattered to be invited and sad not to be able to see the movie (which I'd seen in New York) in the city Julia so adored.
...Continue reading I've Got Mail: Julia in Paris
Here's a Julia story from my husband, Michael. As you'll see, when I was working in Cambridge he'd come up every weekend to visit me. I was always grateful that he made the trek from New York and that I wasn't the one commuting, and I always knew that, while he did it because he loves me, he also did it because he loved Julia - a lot. Had I been working with just about anyone else, you can be sure we'd have shared the driving. (FYI: Julia was 83 at the time of this story.)
It was 1995 when I first met Julia - right before Dorie moved up to Cambridge to start work on the television series and book, Baking with Julia - and as soon as she learned that I had a software business, she told me about her new computer and how she was fascinated by the things she'd seen at Microsoft when she'd visited there.
Julia was fascinated by everything in life - you felt that as soon as you met her. And you felt that what fascinated her most were people: when she talked to you, she looked only at you and for those moments you felt that no one else in the world existed.
...Continue reading Tales of Julia: Part 3/A Story From Michael
One December evening, I came home late to find the familiar beep-beep of a message on our voice mail, followed by the immediately recognizable voice of a friend. I listened, pressed '1' to repeat the message and put it on speaker phone, so my husband could hear. It went something like this:
Hi dearie, this is Julia ... Julia Child.
From now on I'm going to make certain to give my full name. I mean, how will people know that I'm this Julia and not a different Julia?
...Continue reading Tales of Julia: Part 2
It seems a time to tell Julia Child stories, something I've been doing since 1991, which was when I met her. My first book, Sweet Times, had just been published and, through some extraordinary stroke of good luck, I was invited to do a baking demonstration at Boston University in a day-long event that included Julia and Jacques Pepin, co-founders of BU's Culinary Arts Program.
Even though I was the new kid on the block, Julia treated me like one of the clan and, that evening at dinner, put her arm around me and just as a big sister or your new best friend would, said, "Let's sit together!"
...Continue reading Tales of Julia: Part 1
My guess is that no matter where he goes, Farmer Lee Jones stops traffic. After all, it's not that often that you run into a tall man with a bristly moustache clad in denim overalls, bill-brimmed cap, brilliantly white shirt and big red bowtie, and almost never in the center of Manhattan's fashionable Meatpacking District, which is where I found him.
Just before my son, Joshua, and I ran into Farmer Lee Jones of The Chef's Garden, he'd run into Jonathon Sawyer, chef/owner of The Greenhouse Tavern, which turned out to be pretty funny, since Lee's farm is just down the road from Jonathon's restaurant in Cleveland. Even funnier was the fact that Farmer Lee had just come from The Food Network, where he'd taped an episode of Iron Chef -- he was a judge -- and Jonathon was heading there, where he'd be helping his pal Michael Symon prep for his show. Who said New York's a big place?
If you don't know about Chef's Garden, I hope you'll click over and spend a little time on the farm. Read the story of the Jones's family farm and how they came to be the resource for
It's a little late, I know, but I'm almost ready to press the 'send' button on my July newsletter, The Sweet Times Express. The newsletter always has a bonus recipe and this month it's a lemon curd and berry tart, a galette, really, on a sable Breton crust. I'm in love with the crust. It's a sweet-salty shortbread cookie that's very easy to make, good with so many toppings and wonderful solo. To get the recipe -- and the rest of the news in this month's letter -- just sign up: the sign-up box is at the top of the left-hand column. The newsletter will go out tomorrow, so now's the time.
...Continue reading Newsletter Recipe Sneak Peek + 14 Juillet (Bastille Day) Good Wishes
Does this photo make you as dreamy as it makes me? I had it in my mind recently and wanted to see it but, because I knew nothing about it, I couldn't conjure it up through Google. I searched Frenchman+bicycle+baguette and didn't get it. I tried bicycle+baguette and gots lots of pictures, but not this one. And then I wrote to Marion Fourestier, Director of Communications, for The French Government Tourist Office in America and bingo -- she knew it and lots about it. And she was so much more fun to talk to than Google.
The photograph was shot by Elliot Erwitt in 1955 and is titled Provence 55. That it became the epitome of a certain romantic view of France was, as Marion explained it to me, the result of an outstanding collaboration.
...Continue reading A French Icon and An Elliott Erwitt Slideshow to Feast On
The other day, I was tossing things into my compost bucket - I keep it in the sink at the end of my work counter in Connecticut -- looked over at the pile up and stopped: it looked so beautiful. I love to compost. I love saving every little scrap. I love that what I toss away this year will become food for what I'll harvest next. But I don't normally look at my compost and think of beauty, although, I realized, I had done it once before. The year was 2001 and it was then, in July, that many food pros had to figure out how to make a compost beautiful enough for a wedding.
Would this week's compost have been pretty enough? That's what I was thinking when I snapped this picture.
It's not that the 2001 compost challenge was meant to send anyone into a tizzy over their trash. In fact, it wasn't even a challenge. But when you ask a bunch of luminaries to do something, it's not surprising that they'll take it seriously -- or that there won't be a little friendly competition. Here's the story:
...Continue reading Of Compost and Weddings: Trash, Beautiful Trash
As I'm sure you already know, I love getting comments from you and I'm thrilled when you write that you've made one of my recipes and that you like it. Yes, I know, I don't always respond as quickly or as fully as I should -- and as I truly want to -- but I read absolutely every word that you send me. Just ask my husband -- I usually read every word to him! And, as always, when I read your comments, I'm surprised to find how far-flung you all are. It's so terrific to know that something that I created in my kitchen is being made around the world. That fact never loses it's kick for me. So you can imagine how surprised I was when I discovered that these Spoonable Raisin Scones had made their way to Afghanistan.
I found out via email from Nell Hawley, who's living -- and baking -- in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her message was so wonderful that I wanted to share it with you and so I'm reprinting it below with Nell's permisison.
...Continue reading Raisin Scones in Kabul: A Message from Nell and Inspiration for Hesitant Bakers
A couple of months ago, The London Times published a list of The World's 50 Best Food Blogs and there, along with so many of my friends and favorite blogs, among them Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, Chez Pim, Steamy Kitchen, Simply Recipes, The Bitten Word, David Lebovitz, Tartelette, The Kitchn, Cafe Fernando, La Tartine Gourmande, The Wednesday Chef, Chocolate and Zucchini, The Amateur Gourmet, and, oh, 37 others, was my blog!
When the list was published, Nick Wyke, the editor, said that each week he'd run an interview called, Meet the Food Bloggers, and this week I'm the blogger you get to meet.
...Continue reading Meet the Food Bloggers: Today it's my turn
This is the label on a very expensive bottle of wine. A wine that costs lots more than I normally spend on wine and a bottle that I've been holding on to because ... because ... because ... because I do that with special things. I've got a collection of notebooks too beautiful to write in; a few pairs of shoes too lovely to wear unless it's 60 degrees, perfectly dry and brilliantly sunny; and bottles of wine just waiting for the right occasion with the right people and the right food. I've also got an inner me that says, "Enough! It's only stuff and stuff is made to be used and enjoyed and, if it's sharable, shared."
I know that I'm not the only one who's got good bottles tucked away waiting for that special moment because if I were, Open That Bottle Night wouldn't have recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. Started by Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher of The Wall Street Journal, a couple who understand how bottles become too special to drink, the idea is that once a year, on a specified date, this year it was February 28, people around the world uncork the bottles they've been keeping. Instead of waiting for a special occasion, Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) creates the occasion.
...Continue reading Open That Bottle Night - It's a Birthday!
I'm having a kind of whirlwind day. This morning I was in Connecticut, giving a talk about my favorite subject, Paris pastry shops. (That's Laduree's window in the photo and the pastry is a religieuse.) Now, in the late afternoon, I'm in New York. And tomorrow morning I'll be in Paris!!! And yes, my head is spinning. I'll write when I get settled.
We'll I'm not unpacked yet, but I'm in. Welcome to my new home! I'm just finding my way around the place -- so many new pages, so many new categories -- and just getting used to what to click and what to check. After more than two years of blogging -- how can time go so fast? -- being in my new home feels a little like moving from a studio to a chateau.
I hope you'll like it here and that you'll poke around in all the "rooms". At last, all my posts are organized and the recipes even have sub-categories. If only my real-life recipe files were as neat!
And, I'm finally getting around to writing a monthly newsletter. I hope you'll sign up for it. Look to your left -- the sign-up for the newsletter and my RSS feed are right there.
So, put up a pot of tea and grab a slice of cake. (The cake in the picture is my French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze, page 224 in Baking From My Home to Yours, and the photo, by Brian Leatart, is from the recipe's posting on Epicurious.) I wish I could serve them to you. It would be such fun to sip, munch and take a little spin around my new home together.
Ma maison est ta maison. The door's always open. Come on in.
This week, the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers made the Chocolate Armagnac Cake, which is subtitled "The Cake That Got Me Fired" (it's on page 279 of Baking From My Home to Yours). It's one of my favorite cakes -- a low, sleek, one-layer cake that's made with lots of dark chocolate, ground pecans and Armagnac-flamed prunes -- and the fact that I can still love it after it got me fired from a job I was happy to have, is a testament to its goodness.
The short version of my getting the heave-ho is that, many years ago, I was an apprentice pastry chef in a very popular restaurant in Manhattan. It was my first job in a professional kitchen and, being the last person in and the least experienced, my job was to come in early and make the cake and batches of chocolate cookies. The cake was a chocolate torte made with ground almonds and studded with whiskey-soaked raisins. It was the restaurant's signature cake and it was my job to make sure it showed up perfectly made and on time when the lunch crowd was ready for dessert. And that's what I did -- until I didn't.
...Continue reading Chocolate Chunkers: The Cookies That Didn't Get Me Fired
It was just three days ago that I ate an abundance of butter cookies in the hope of making 2009 a bountiful year and today, as I was making the almond cream for my Tuesdays with Dorie French Pear Tart (I'll post pictures and the recipe on Tuesday), look what I came upon: An egg with two yolks!
Do you think the cookies are working their magic already? One can only hope ...
There's a New Year's tradition -- I think it comes from the American South -- that holds that if you eat something in abundance at the start of year, then the rest of the year will be bountiful. I think this is why beans and lentils often turn up on new year's menus and I understand their efficiency -- you can squeeze tens, if not hundreds of them onto a spoon. But this evening, I've decided that the food I'm going to eat in abundance is a cookie, specifically the butter cookies known as Punitions or Punishments from the Poilane bakery. My thinking is that if I eat a lot of cookies, I'm not only ensuring a bountiful year, but a sweet one, too.
Wishing you sweetness and joy for the New Year! xoDorie
WISHING EACH OF YOUÂ LOVE, JOY, HEALTH, HAPPINESS, FRIENDSHIP, PEACEÂ AND EVERYTHING SWEET FOR THE HOLIDAYS AND THE YEAR TO COME -- xoxoDorieÂ
Yesterday, returning to our "old" Monoprix (rue de Rennes, near Place Saint Germain des Pres), we discovered a huge swath of shelf space devoted to that all-American favorite, the chocolate-chip cookie.
Next to the Pepperidge Farm cookies (which may or may not have always been there -- I never noticed them before, but then I'm not a storebought-chocolate-chip-cookie kind of girl), were an assortment of what I'm sure are new housebrand cookies -- Monoprix chocolate-chip, chocolate-chocolate-chip and even "bio" or organic chocolate-chip -- as well as cookies from heavy-hitters like Cadbury and La Mere Poulard, a brand best known for popularizing the all-butter shortbread-like galette that they serve at their restaurant on Mont St. Michel.
...Continue reading Les Cookies: The Parisian Chocolate-Chip Craze
Ooops, I didn't get my prize number right last time -- it's UE32 and the prize is three autographed cookbooks. Raffles are $10 each and the money raised goes to the UN World Food Program and the School Lunch Program of Lesotho. Bid, please -- it's a great cause.
I'm very late posting my offering for the fifth annual MENU FOR HOPE -- I probably won't be able to get my gift posted until Thursday -- but that hasn't stopped me, and it shouldn't stop you, from contributing to this great program.
Started by Pim of the terrific Chez Pim, the money collected from this year's raffle will go to the UN World Food Program and, through them, to the very well run School Lunch Program in Lesotho, Africa. Last year, Menu for Hope raised over $90,000 for the lunch program in Lesotho; this year we hope to do at least as well.
This year's round-up of gifts from bloggers across the world is spectacular and, like last year, a chance to win any of them costs $10. I hope you'll take a look and decide to buy a raffle -- it's a great cause.
I'll be back soon with my prize.
I get to do a bunch of fun things and debating the state of the cookie in our country with two great food writers, Sara Dickerman and David Lebovitz, was one of them.
Sara, David and I did two rounds of email debates for the online magazine Slate. Sara piped up first and got to lay out the questions -- including the very difficult question: What is a cookie, anyway? Then it was David's turn to answer and set up more questions, and finally I was up with the last word.
...Continue reading The State of the Cookie: A Delicious Debate
Holiday time is cookie time, but it's also a time to remember those in need. Here are two delicious ways to make the holidays sweet for you, the ones you love and the ones who need us.
These are COOKIES FOR KIDS CANCER, and they might just be the most important cookie you ever buy. Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease for children in the United States, but research is dramatically underfunded. In fact, there has not been a new drug developed specifically for pediatric cancer in 20 years.
Cookies For Kids' Cancer was started by a friend in the food industry whose tiny son, Liam, was stricken by a rare and terrible form of cancer. He's still battling it and so is his mom, his family and a battalion of friends, among them some very talented bakers.
...Continue reading Buy a Sweet, Save a Life
If you're a breadbaker, you may already know Dan Lepard as one of England's most innovative doughmasters; an award-winning author ( take a look The Homemade Loaf); a teacher; a blogger; and a columnist for The Guardian, one of Britain's leading newspapers.
In this week's Guardian, Dan takes up an issue all bakers are facing these days -- how to bake the best breads, cakes and cookies for the holidays when the economy is down and the cost of ingredients is up, up, up -- and he does it with his usual style: he contacted his baker friends around the world and asked each of them for one good tip. A brilliant idea.
...Continue reading Dan Lepard and The World's Greatest Baking Tips
Joshua, whom Michael and I have called The Kid from inception, is traveling with me through Southeast Asia. Actually, the truth is that I'm traveling with him, since he planned this trip completely and then invited me to join him. I knew he'd been taking pictures all through the trip (if you're his friend on Facebook, you might have seen his albums), but it turns out he's been writing, too. I found what follows in his notebook and thought it was so evocative that I asked him if he'd be willing to let me publish it as the last word on our short visit.
...Continue reading Josh Greenspan: The Last Word on Bangkok
Here's the story: I'll be traveling for about three weeks and, while I think I might be able to grab an internet connection early in my trip, my guess is that it'll get sketchy fast.
This should be an amazing trip. I'll be in Bangkok, all over Vietnam, and in Luang Prabang, Laos and Siem Reap, Cambodia and, best of all, I'll be there with The Kid. Neither of has been to this part of the world and we're both wildly excited about being hungry travelers and students -- we're going to be taking as many cooking classes as we can -- in countries where the food is both exotic and spectacular.
Hoping to be in touch soon ...
I made escabeche again over the weekend and again I fileted the sardines myself, an exercise in dexterity and self-improvement. After tucking the dish into the fridge for its long chill, I came across a recipe for rouget in a French magazine that included the following instruction: To filet the fish, cut the skin along the dorsal bones and lift away the filets; the operation is delicate, but you can give the job to your favorite fishmonger, who'll find it a pleasure to do this for you.
Charming, isn't it?
This afternoon, after touring Paris Fermier, a type of nationwide farmers' market, we'd bought too much stuff to drag it all home by bus, so we hailed a taxi. When we entered the cab, the radio was on, but it was barely audible in the back seat. Then the show's host announced that the next segment would be about the wines of Bordeaux, and the driver pumped up the sound the way a kid would up the amps to heard Justin Timberlake. Ah, Paris.
Open to anyone who loves to bake, this month's SHF will highlight cupcakes. Enter your favorite cupcake recipe or create something new. Need inspiration? Take a peek at Hello, Cupcake by my friends, Alan Richardson and Karen Tack. They've got oodles of terrific ideas.
...Continue reading My Paris Kitchen: Then and Now
A couple of days ago, I got an email from Susan Whetzel of DoughmessticÂ saying she'd made the Chocolate MaltedÂ Whopper Drops (page 85 in Baking From My Home to Yours; FYI: the oven temperature should be 350 degrees F) and that, even though her husband doesn't like cookies (sounds impossible, I know), he loved these.Â In fact,Â she and her husband liked them so much, they decided to send some to Susan's cousin, who, only two months after his first child was born, was posted to Iraq.
And that's the start of a bigger and quite wonderful story.
...Continue reading OPERATION BAKING GALS: Time to Enlist
I'm leaving for Paris in a couple of hours. More when I'm settled. A tres bientot.
If you want to see how they've done -- and how differently the same recipe can beÂ presented (I always find this interesting) -- go to the TWD blogroll.Â
There are now over 200 TWD bakers -- bravo to Laurie of Quirky Cupcake who came up with the idea, started the group and maintains the site -- and three cheers for all the bakers!
...Continue reading TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones
It's not that I have sardines on the brain or anything, but I came across the following line last night in a French food magazine:
Little children love sardine beignets sprinkled with some fleur-de-sel.
I don't know what it's like at your house, but had I handed our kid a fried sardine puff -- with or without ritzy salt -- I don't think I'd have been greeted with a grin.
Ah, those lucky French tots. I love the thought that little ones might go from pureed peas and carrots directly to sardine beignets without stopping at Cheerios or peanut-butter sandwiches. Of course, French children never get peanut-butter because their parents are convinced it's the root of all obesity. (I'm exaggerating only a smidgen.) But that's a different story..
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.Â Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
I'd just bought a kilo (about 2 1/4 pounds) of sardines and I'd hoped that madame, the fishmonger, would filet them for me.Â And she would have -- if I'd only wait 30 minutes, please.Â Because it was a warm, sunny, perfect Paris day, and because I'd no more shopping to do to fill in the time, I said I'd filet them myself.Â Madame gave me a quizzical look -- read doubtful -- and, because she was too polite to say, "I bet you've never done this before and don't know what you're in for," she said, "You know, you've got a lot of sardines and it will take you a while to filet them."
"Well," I said, "I really do have to get back home, so I'll take them as is.Â But," I asked, "would you just show me how to do it?"
...Continue reading Give A Man A Fish ...
It's true -- French women are thinner than we Americans.Â And while I'm sure there are lots of reasons for it (I like to think it's genetic, because if it is, there's not muchÂ we can do about it), I think I found three of them yesterday.
...Continue reading French Women Don't Get Fat: 3 Reasons Why
Here's a chance to have your cake and eat it too:Â Â Buy a brownie made by the Greyston Bakery and 100% of the profits will go to the Greyston Foundation, a network of spiritually-rooted, entrepreneurial community development programs that provides jobs, childcare, health services and community gardens to help individuals and families become self-sufficient.
...Continue reading Greyston Bakery Do Goodies: Eat a Brownie, Do Good
So much has been changing at Bon Appetit (where I'm a special correspondent).Â There's the new logo, the magazine's new design, its new features (including a column by Molly Wizenberg, the blogger best known as Orangette) and now -- the new website!
...Continue reading bonappetit.com: It All Starts Today
Last week the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) sent out their list of nominees for this year's cookbook awards and this morning, at the Beard House (see photo), the nominees for James Beard Awards for journalism, books, chefs and restaurants were announced.Â
Since there are way too many nominees for me to list -- and since you can go to the sites and see them for yourself -- I'm just going to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the nominees and tell you who the nominees are in the book category for baking and dessert, since my guess is that's one of the categories that you, like I,Â are really interested in.
...Continue reading So Many Nominees, Such Great Work
Whoever wouldda thunk?Â Certainly not me, but there's a new group on the web called Tuesdays with Dorie, and they're baking a recipe a week from Baking From My Home to Yours.Â It's really terrific and I'm touched, flattered and frankly amazed.
The group was started a month or two ago by Laurie of Quirky CupcakeÂ with the idea that every week avid bakers would have the chance to bake together and share their triumphs and frustrations.Â Laurie began the group with three other bakers and now there are more than 80 bloggers, and several non-bloggers, too, baking every week and, as the group's name suggests, posting their results on Tuesdays.Â Â It's so, so, so exciting.
...Continue reading Tuesdays with Dorie
It's David's Candied Bacon Ice Cream! Even his butcher liked it.
And, because so many of you mentioned Mo's Bacon Bar
Here's the link to it at Vosges Haut-Chocolate.
Now I'm off to cook some bacon for a savory cheese loaf.
Months ago, the wonderfully talented Rosa Jackson, whose blog, I adore -
I love when she takes us marketing with her in Nice or wandering through Paris - tagged me for a meme. It seemed so easy - all I had to do was pose four questions to myself and then answer them. I thought and thought and thought and just couldn't figure out what to ask myself. I'd come up with a question and then I'd reject it, thinking "who'd care about this?"
...Continue reading MeMe:Help Needed!!
I'm a Casey Ellis fan! Casey, a San Francisco journalist, writes about food and interior design for lots of publications, including The San Francisco Chronicle, and blogs about her dual passions - and more - at Margin Notes. If you don't know her blog, click over for a visit - I know you'll be as enchanted as I am by Casey's writing, her intelligence and her sixth sense for a good story.
Now that I've written that I realize that I'm even more flattered than I was - and I was plenty flattered! - that Casey chose me for one of her 4 QUESTIONS 4 columns.
Casey asked great questions - even if they were hard. Did she honestly think that I could come up with just one memorable moment from my time working with Julia Child? Or that I could plan a Paris jaunt for foodlovers in less space than it would take to write a novel?
I had a ball answering Casey's questions and I hope you'll enjoying reading the interview.
This is Steven Rothfeld standing at one of the tables in his new shop, Kitchen Library, a place so chockablock with beautiful books, photographs, tableware, paper, soaps, ceramics, antiques and vintage finds that people come thinking they'll just take a peek and end up staying hours - every time you turn your head just the slightest bit, there's something new and wonderful to see.
...Continue reading Kitchen Library, A Gem in the New Oxbow Market in Napa
As I've mentioned before, I always carry my fold-up shopping bag from Monoprix around with me.Â In fact, when I pulled it out in the Boulevard Raspail market last month, my friend, Louisa Chu, mentioned that mine was a collector's item - it seems that the black bag was a limited edition, which explains why the bags in my current stash are pink and red.Â Anyway, this week I reaped an extra little perk from having the bag in hand.Â I was in St. Helena, in the Napa Valley (about which a lot more, when I've got some time), and shopping at this wonderful store, Baksheesh, which offers
" handcrafted gifts from the developing world".Â I was just window-shopping, but a display of trivets like these caught my eye
...Continue reading Hold the Bag, Get a Reward
(PS.Â What you're looking at is something very good to eat:Â it's Pierre Herme's Flocons d'Etoiles, a chocolate mousse, caramel, fleur de sel and meringue cake for the New Year)
Menu for Hope, the worldwide bloggers' campaign to raise money for the World Food Program, wraps up today.Â We're going to top last year's total of $62,000, but we'd love to top it BIG and can if we get a little push today.Â To see what prizes you can win, go to Chez Pim - Pim's the creator of this wonderful event.Â Then, when you've found the prizes you really, really want (everyone has been so generous,Â you'll probably have a hard time narrowing down your choices), go to Firstgiving and purchase your raffles (they're $10 each).Â (You can read about my prize here.) Today's the last day, so you've got a few more hours to jump in and make a contribution.Â Good luck!
Please, don't forget that the MENU FOR HOPE raffle is open until December 21.Â You can read all about Menu for Hope and the World Food Program that we're supporting at Chez Pim's, where you can also see all the prizes.Â There are wonderful prizes available, including mine -a signed copy of Baking that I'll give to you over coffee and cake if you live near me in New York, Connecticut or Paris - so I hope you'll go to Firstgiving and buy a raffle ...Â or two ... or three.Â Thank you, and merci, too.
I'm so excited to be part of the blogging community that is supporting Menu for Hope this year.Â Started four years ago by Pim of Chez Pim, last year, Menu for Hope raised over $62,000 for The United Nation's World Food Program (WFP).
We'd love to top that this year - by a lot - because funds from the 2007 Worldwide Menu for Hope Raffle will go, through WFP, to a great cause: The school lunch program in Lesotho, Africa, a model program that feeds children and supports the local economy by buying directly from local subsistence farmers.
...Continue reading Menu for Hope: Win My Prize (Codes UE04 andEU23)!
I just got the info on this program and want to pass it along because I know it's important and I think, knowing two of the speakers, it will also be very, very interesting. Here are the basics: The Farm Bill 2007: Understanding the Political, Agricultural and Nutritional Impact OR Understanding That What You Pay For an Apple or a Twinkie Can Affect Public Health
The speakers are: Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University and the author of Food Politics and What to Eat, Dan Barber, chef of Blue Hill and Stone Barns at Blue Hill (these are the panelists I know and they're both terrific speakers), and Christina Grace, manager of Urban Food System Programs at the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Monday, November 12; check in at 6:45; Presentation 7:00-8:30; Reception to follow
Bill Daley of the Chicago Tribune wrote a terrific story about licorice in yesterday's paper. Called Black Magic -- how perfect -- it not only gives a bunch of information on licorice history and its current uses, which are many, it also gives a good source for licorice root, extracts, powders and sticks, as well as another source for licorice candies from everywhere imaginable. Oh, and you, my licorice loving and loathing readers, are also mentioned.
I wish I had 532 books to give away - I would have loved to have given each one of you a signed copy as a way to thank you for your sweetness and generosity. But, alas, I had only 10 and when the numbers came up on the screen, here's who had won:
NANTANA CHITMAN, whose book will be dedicated to her and her daughter
KATIE B., whose book will go to her mother, Priscilla, who just had a birthday
DR. BEHAVIOR, who wants the book for his oldest daughter, Jordana
TINA COLE, whose book will be autographed for her son, Aaron
MARIA, whose fingers were crossed, and who will have to uncross them to bake from her personalized copy
CINDY, who'll be baking from the book herself
JESS, whose book will be signed to her with her full name, Jessica
MARY, from Ann Arbor, who left her entry and then went off to bake cheese bread
SUSAN, who wants the book for her sister, Julia, the baker in the family
LEEYUEN, who will be baking from her own personalized copy of the book soon.
I'll be writing to each of you winners soon so I can get your mailing addresses.
ONCE AGAIN, MY DEEPEST AND WARMEST THANKS TO ALL OF YOU
It's going to be all over tomorrow, Wednesday, October 10, at noon New York time (aka Eastern Daylight Time). That's when I'll close the comments and figure out how to use that random-number generator I downloaded.
So, if you'd like to join the contest to win one of 10 autographed copies of BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, just click here and leave your name and the name of the person you'd like me to dedicate the book to. (I'm not taking comments on this post, so be sure to click over.)
Again, thank you so much for your great comments and your boundless enthusiasm.
At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I'll admit at the top that I don't go in much for garden gnomes. True, a gnome played a major role in one of my favorite French films, Amelie, which, incidentally, has a soundtrack that's so wonderful it coaxed a smile out of me even after I discovered that the 2 cups of sugar sitting on the kitchen counter belonged to the cake that was already in the oven! (Note to self: Don't talk on the phone and bake at the same time.)
...Continue reading Of French Gnomes and Elfen Friends
You've got until Wednesday, October 10, to enter your name in the random drawing for an autographed copy of BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, which is celebrating its first birthday.
CLICK HERE TO LEAVE YOUR NAME and the name of the person to whom you'd like me to dedicate the copy - I've got 10 copies - if your name is pulled. (I'm not taking comments here - it would be too confusing - so click over.)
There are already soooooooooooooooooo many comments and I'm overwhelmed by them.
THANK YOU all so very, very, very much for your incredible sweetness.
...Continue reading Baking's Birthday Giveaway: Less than a week to go
As promised, okay, a day late, here are the answers to the questions I posted from Foodie Fight! the foodie trivia game.
...Continue reading Foodie Fight! The Answers
...Continue reading HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BAKING - WIN A BOOK
On Monday, when all the little ones were heading back to school, I went to class too - chocolate class. The class was a Valrhona Chocolate seminar called The Cultivation of Taste and my classmates were a pretty swell group. Among the 70 or so people who played hookey from work to learn more about chocolate and to taste Valrhona's new crus were the cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum, Judiann Woo and Raina Bien of the go-to website Pastry Scoop, Chocolat Moderne's Joan Coukos, Alexandra Leaf of Chocolate Tours of New York, and my tablemate for the afternoon.
...Continue reading Back to (Chocolate) School with Valrhona
I've been traveling almost non-stop for the past two weeks and for most of that time I haven't had an internet connection! And, yes, it made me crazy! (If you sent me comments, questions or emails and haven't heard back, you will - soon.) Of course, had I had a connection, would I have been able to find time to write? I like to think I would have, but my husband says I'm dreaming.
Anyway, I'm back in Paris (as in, I got off the train an hour ago), although I won't be here for long - I hit the road again Friday. What I'm hoping is that I'll be here just long enough to start to catch up. I know it will be impossible for me to post about everything I'm dying to write about, and I certainly won't be posting in any kind of chronological - or even logical - order, but I'll get stuff up as fast as I can.
I just have to change the message on the phone and try to squeeze one more pair of shoes into my bag and I'm gone! Off to France for five - yes, I can't believe it either, five - weeks. I'll write as soon as I can! A bientot - Dorie
In another one of those tricks of coincidence, someone mentioned a bakery in my neighborhood and a couple of hours and a few errands later I found myself just across the street from it.
...Continue reading Supersize Me! Is This What They Mean?
I'm really happy because once again I get to do something I love doing: talk baking with Michele Norris, host of National Public Radio's All Things Considered. This time we're talking about desserts that show off the wonderful fruits of summer - think berries, berries and more berries, peaches and nectarines, too. I'm not sure yet when the story will air, but it should be either Thursday or Friday, June 21 or 22, just in time for the first official weekend of summer. If you miss it, you can always hear it online (our other baking sessions are archived as well) and get the recipes on the ATC website.
Saturday night we went to a gala dinner for the wonderful Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT. Just so you know - and, if you live anywhere near Haddam, you'll want to know - The Goodspeed is a historic playhouse presenting only musicals. Lots of the performers who started at Goodspeed have gone on to Broadway and so have several of the shows, including the original Man of La Mancha and the beloved Annie. Not bad for a theater that's so far off Broadway! The gala honored Jerry Herman, the composer/lyricist with a few hits, like Mame, Hello Dolly and La Cage aux Folles, to his name, and it was such a thrill to hear some of his songs performed, then to have him speak so movingly about his life in the theater and his affection for Goodspeed
...Continue reading Surprise, it's ...???
When I pushed open the front door to the apartment last night (this morning?) at 2 am, my two - count'em! two! - James Beard Awards were still hanging around my neck, knocking into each other and clanking merrily. And I was still grinning - still am and will be for a long, long time.
...Continue reading Beard Awards: Good News!
Because I love black licorice you can be sure I couldn't pass up this little novelty from La Grande Epicerie, Paris's swankiest supermarket. What you're looking at is chubby barrels of softish, fairly sweet black licorice dipped in fairly sweet Belgian milk chocolate and imported from England (the company's name is Cocoa Deli). Unfortunately, neither the chocolate nor the licorice was primo quality, so the candies weren't terrific. But the combination, odd as it is, is not dismissable. It's funny, I think if the chocolate were softer and more luscious (the way it looks to be in the picture on the bag) and if the licorice were little more licoricy, the combo might actually be a breakthrough. Of course, it would remain odd, but it would be odd and winning.
...Continue reading Licorice, Again: Combos Odd and Odder
Flipping through a French Elle magazine this afternoon, here's what I found: An article about butter! It says that recently, "les food addicts" have been chasing after good butter (sound familiar?) and it declares The Five Commandments for Perfecting Your Butter Attitude.
According to Elle magazine, we should:
...Continue reading More Better Butter: Advice from Elle Magazine
The amazingly talented Molly Stevens (she of All About Braising) organized a butter tasting at the IACP conference last week and, once again, my favorite butters in the tasting turned out to be the butters I always favor in a tasting, proving both the butters and I must be pretty consistent.
Most of us don't normally "taste" butter, we use it in baking, cooking or as a bread-topper, but I started tasting butter and studying butter about 7 years ago, after the legendary breadbaker, Lionel Poilane, didn't want to give me his recipe for his great butter cookies, Punitions, for my book, Paris Sweets, because he didn't think they'd fare well with American butter.
...Continue reading Better Butter: A Tasting and A Recipe
...Continue reading Champagne Dreams: Veuve Cliquot + Karim Rashid
What you're looking at is the leftovers from yesterday's lunch. They don't look so bad, do they? The original was just a salad - romaine, celery, tomato, scallions, carrots, raisins, tuna and a mustard vinaigrette - but when I couldn't find a storage container and grabbed a jelly jar instead, the remains of the day started looking better.
...Continue reading Very Verrine: Dinner in a Glass
For the past few weeks, I've been living in my apartment with all the shades drawn. It's dreary and depressing but it's been necessary because at just about every window there've been workman balancing on scaffolding 15 stories above the street. I don't want to see them for two reasons: 1) If I can see them, they can see me and, frankly, I'd rather not have that (it's enough I know that I sometimes work until 11 am in my fuzzy red pjs - do they have to know too?); and 2) it scares me to death to see them up there!
...Continue reading Out the Bedroom Window
Three seems to be my magic number today. Here's all the good news I got this morning:
And, as though that isn't thrilling enough, I just learned that at the James Beard Awards Ceremony in May I will be inducted into the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America.
I'm so excited I can barely breathe. I wonder if Champagne would help...
I always thought that this was a screw cap, but last night I was told I had it all wrong. The conversation went like this:
...Continue reading Say What???
Daylight Saving Time Made Easy
This morning, there was water coming over the left side of the dam and just a trickle or three over the right; now, five hours later, the water is raging, the thrum is near-deafening and the roof is leaking over my stove. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. At least I can still use the oven. I'm counting on muffins to make everything right with the world - I'll report in later.
Where have all the flowers gone? Yesterday in Paris I saw a magnolia tree that was just starting to bloom, and today in New York there are dark mounds of snow hugging the curbs and snow predicted for the weekend. I guess it's going to be a while before mimosa makes it to the markets here.
Yesterday, the revered Michelin Guide did something exceptional--it gave its highest rating, three stars, to a woman! Anne-Sophie Pic is now the only female chef in France awarded such an honor. And while the award wasn't a complete shock to insiders, it certainly was a wonderful surprise. Le Figaro reported that the chef had earned her third star and that "she merited it a thousand times over." Everyone who's eaten at her Maison Pic and everyone who knows the chef seems to be on the same page this time--awarding Anne-Sophie Pic three stars is something she deserved. (Click here to continue ...)
The good thing about not keeping any of your new year's resolutions is that you can recycle them for the following year, which is exactly what I did: I took all my resolutions from 2006 and moved them over to 2007. But, young as this new year is, it's looking like it might be a good one because here I am ticking off one of the list's biggies - I'm welcoming you to my new home on the web.
I'm thrilled to finally start this adventure, but I think I might have procrastinated even longer had it not been for the wonderful people I met on my recent tour for my new book, "Baking: From My Home to Yours". In every city I visited, I met someone I knew from the web - people who'd been baking from my book and posting stories and pictures about the desserts on their blogs and on websites where groups were working their way through the book - and I loved it. I loved the immediate sense of community, warmth, openness and enthusiasm for sharing, and I wanted a way to keep in touch with everyone I met and to meet even more people who are as passionate about food as I am. . I hope this site will be just the kind of place where we can get together.
I'll be writing about what I'm doing in the kitchen, where I'm traveling and what life is like in America and France, and I'd love for you to keep me company. It will be such fun to have you along.