I could probably name about a dozen people who could be called baking legends. One of them is Claudia Fleming, who was the pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, and whose book, The Last Course, became a cookbook classic.

Claudia was known for desserts that managed to balance seasonal fruits, as well as chocolate, spices, herbs, grains, and even vegetables, not by using fancy techniques, but by presenting them with contrasting or complementary ingredients. The Last Course is a compilation of some of her best desserts, which came out in 2001. (My copy, above, is a first edition and I’m proud to say I was one of the first people to buy it.) As books do, this one eventually sailed out of print and used copies went for steep prices. I held on to mine, resisting offers to sell it. But I’m happy to report that The Last Course is back in print, and available to all.

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Thanksgiving is (kinda) just around the corner and you can check out this round-up of Thanksgiving Recipes here on the blog. Rather than getting all stressed out, though, maybe think of making less…and having more fun. As a French friend once told me, “We don’t go out to eat for the food. We go out to be with our friends.” Another friend in Paris told…

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I was expecting something a little different when I took a stroll over the Sain boulangerie, a bakery I’d heard about, which was on my list of bakeries in Paris to visit. My friend Romina of Les Madeleines bakery was is in town, and she’s always up to visit new places, or places new to us, so I arranged to meet her there. I figured…

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One thing that’s great about the European Union is that it helps me explain the United States to Europeans. America is so big that France could fit inside Texas, and explaining the difference between California and Tennessee could be compared to the wide expanse between two diverse cultures, and like Denmark and Greece. I didn’t grow up eating food from the American south; in New…

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This Friday, I’ll be in conversation with award-winning writer Michael Ruhlman at Archestratus books in Brooklyn on November 1st, from 6:30 to 8:30 to celebrate the release of his new book, From Scratch. Michael’s opus to home cooking extols the virtues of mastering basic cooking techniques, which means doable recipes for the perfect roast chicken, as well as traditional cassoulet, the ultimate BLT (with home-cured…

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Hello – it’s Emily. For those of you that haven’t heard of me, I normally help David behind the scenes with some things on the blog. I recently visited Biarritz and David asked me to share with you some of the great things we did while there. -Emily Biarritz had been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember. In my 20s,…

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A friend recently sent me a link to an ice cream recipe that used cornstarch, rather than eggs, as a binder and thickener. That prompted me to think (and write him back) about an ice cream-making technique I learned about when writing The Perfect Scoop. Talking to Faith Willinger, an expert on Italian cuisine, she told me that some Italian ice creams (namely in Sicily)…

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On Wednesday, October 30th, I’ll be in conversation with Brad Thomas Parsons for his brand new book, Last Call: Bartenders and Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time. Brad is the James Beard award-winning author of Bitter and Amaro, and we’ll be talking about his spirited writing, cocktail culture, as well as taking questions. And yes…there will be Negronis* for all!

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I know I should have baked a cake, or rather, someone else should have baked a cake. But no matter. (Okay, so it matters a little…) I’m happy to celebrate the blog turning twenty this month! I’m not sure how the twenty-year mark snuck up so fast, but it did. Who knew when I started posting a bunch of random thoughts, ramblings, and recipes online…

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