Recently in Book and Cookbook Reviews category:

I’ve had a hankering to try Heidi‘s recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies with her secret ingredient—mesquite flour—for the longest time. But although the mesquite flour I eventually found encompasses several continents, like I do, it’s not available in the one I live in. So when I went to Texas, which I figured would be the epicenter of mesquite last June, I wandered the well-stocked aisles…

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When Adam asked me to host him on his book tour through cyberspace, the first thing that went through my mind was—“Adam Roberts? Who cares about him?” Especially when his mom pals around with the big boys… Mrs. Roberts and Ben Affleck My goodness, if Adam pops up one more time in my RSS feeder, I’m going to bop him in that big old schnozola…

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I’m glad I’m not the only one around here who experiences what I call “Only in France” moments. Recently I met up with Clotilde, who writes the popular Chocolate & Zucchini blog, for a drink one afternoon. I ordered a glass of wine and she, a mineral water. Although there was a large, unopened bottle of Badoit sparkling water standing prominently behind the bar, ripe…

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In spite of my reputation for serving guests only the finest cuisine I can muster up, I invited a friend for lunch yesterday and thought I could foist my can of salade Niçoise off on her, and I would be efficient and multitask with trying a recipe from a book I just finished. Her visit, and my can of…um…salad?….presented me the opportunity to try The…

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I was at my publisher’s office in Berkeley recently (handing out ice cream and sauce to everyone, if you want to know) and on my way out, the main editor handed me a copy of The River Cottage Meat Book. At the time, I didn’t quite know why he pressed a copy in my hand since it’s not particularly a subject I’m always trying to…

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I love whole grains and I love chocolate. So when I saw this curious Muzzi chocolate bar in a terrific Italian traiteur and grocer, Au Village Italien, I had to add it to my shopping basket. Inside the bar was little bits of puffed farro, or spelt as one would say in English. (It’s épautre in French, dinkel in German and for the brainiacs out…

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Maybe this happens to you. Maybe it doesn’t. You’re invited to a party and as a nice gesture, you bring something along. Being a baker you decide, naturally, to bake something. So you get to the party, you’re wining and dining, loosening up and enjoying yourself. But when people find out you’ve brought a dessert, they all of the sudden get very interested in you,…

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With all due respects, the first time I met Sherry Yard, I was squirming in my seat. I was sitting in the originally Spago, in West Hollywood, overlooking the city of Los Angeles. The room was filled with celebrities, but I remember getting special treatment. I arrived in my best; a well-tailored Italian wool suit that I hoped made me fit in a little better…

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I met Gale Gand a few years back at a culinary conference. I love meeting other bakers since we all share an unspoken bond, and we’re generally the nicest people you’re likely to meet (if I do say so myself). And I was happy to discover that Gale was no exception. Gale’s the author of four highly-regarded books on baking, Just A Bite, Butter Sugar…

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