One of my favorite things, or some of my favorite things, I should say, are Concord grapes. I grew up eating them as a snack, as well as in jams, jellies, and even desserts. And if anyone else is old enough, raise your hand if you remember the Welch’s Concord grape juice stand at the original Disneyland in Anaheim. Who cared about those chirpy wooden kids singing about how small the world was? That grape juice was my E ticket.

Concord grapes were prolific when I was a youngster in New England, and every time I go back in the Fall, I try to find a basket of them, to remind me of how good they are.

Recently I was at the excellent greenmarket in New York City and saw tables loaded up with Concord grapes, and bought a few baskets. As usual, I ended up with way too much fruit (I can never help myself, whether I’m at home or on the road), and needed to do something with my overload. It was tough figuring out what to make with them in a compact New York City kitchen, until I remembered shrubs.

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Pecans are the great American nut and at no time of the year are they more in demand than around the holidays. There are a lot of different nuts grown in the United States; walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts, but a pie made with toasted pecans is a holiday tradition and every year I have the urge to make one. Recently an American membership-only store…

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It’s that time of the year again. When bakers, cooks, and even bartenders, are baking, roasting, and shaking things up for the holidays. Here’s a round-up of recipes from my blog, my personal favorites, that are great for Thanksgiving and winter holiday fêtes. There are cakes, cocktails, spreads, dips, candied nuts, cheesecake, ice cream…and more! Pecan Pie with Bourbon and Ginger What’s more traditional than pecan…

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To celebrate the release of the paperback edition of L’Appart, I’ll be at Shakespeare & Co. at 939 Lexington Avenue (between 68th and 69th Streets) in New York City on Tuesday, November 13th, from 6:30 to 8pm. I’ll be in conversation with Justin Spring, author of The Gourmands’ Way: Six Americans in Paris and the Birth of a New Gastronomy. We’ll be taking questions, as…

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Potato pizza sounds a bit odd, until you try it. The first time I had it was in Rome at Pizzarium, which I still remember almost fifteen years later. My memory isn’t what it used to be (as people insist on pointing out…), but I think I also had it at the Forno Campo de Fiori as well, and couldn’t get enough of it. I…

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The story was a long time in the making, from deciding to plant roots in Paris, to finding an apartment and tackling a renovation. As often happens, things didn’t quite go as planned. There were obstacles to overcome and I had to expand my French vocabulary. (Who knew there were so many different words for sinks?) There was one too many trips to Ikea, the…

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I always wonder, when I open a cookbook, what recipe is going to jump out at me? I sometimes head for the dessert chapter first, but since man (and everyone else) can’t live by dessert alone – unfortunately – so I scan everything, from appetizers to main courses. I’m often drawn to cookbooks on French foods, of course, but also Spanish, Portuguese, and the areas…

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A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to the Savoie, a region of France that was once a dukedom of Italy. As you travel through France, especially away from the center of the country, you see more influences from neighboring countries, such as in the Basque region, where cornmeal and chile peppers figure into the cuisine. In Nice, pistou and socca from Italy are…

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Hoo-boy, a lot has changed in blogging since I started. Back then, people relied on RSS feeds to read blogs. Something changed, and now it’s social media and direct email notification that readers use to connect. I used to think newsletters were adding yet another – sigh – email to my Inbox. But now I find myself looking forward to my favorite newsletters showing up in…

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