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2006: Happy New Year – Bonne Année

I wish you all a wonderful New Year and Bonne Année. My New Year’s Eve celebration will be filled with fresh oysters from Brittany accompanied by slices of fresh rye bread smeared with salted butter, a coupe (or two..) of rosé Champagne, and a nice wedge of caramelized Almond Tart for dessert, a delicious reminder of my days at Chez Panisse. It’s bubbling nicely now…

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Favorite Posts of 2005

Pocket Coffee™ Haiku Chocolate Macarons Cuilinary Confessions Wine and Chocolate Long Live the Kouign! 10 Signs You’re Blogging Too Much The Tomato Gap Terror has a name… Tempering Chocolate 10 Reasons the Amateur Gourmet Should Come to Paris The Grainy Breads of Paris

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Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch Toffee Recipe

While Paris is always beautiful, when winter comes, the city gets rather cold and gray – called la grisaille. In fact, it’s so cold that I refuse to go outside until spring. Believe me, all those romantic photos of Paris you see are taken during the spring and fall are very deceptive. And although it’s very pretty, it would take a mighty big levier (crowbar)…

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Happy Holidays from Paris

Yup, I’m back in Paris…home for the holidays. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a soon-to-be Happy Birthday to David! (…it’s the 27th) For a dose of hilarious holiday humor, listen to Xmas in Frisco (if you have iTunes, it’s under the Radio listings; click: ‘Holiday’ to listen). The songs are some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard and softens the edge from any holiday…

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How to Prevent Cookies From Spreading

Here are some helpful tips to prevent cookies from spreading: Don’t Overbeat the Batter Far too many recipes advise bakers to simply “Cream butter and sugar until smooth”. So many people just turn on the mixer and go check their e-mail. When you beat butter and sugar, those little crystals of sugar create air pockets between the butterfat. The more you beat, the more air…

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LA is a Helluva Place

Way back when, hotelier Leona Helmsley was charged with tax evasion and she became Public Enemy #1. A clever ad campaign lured guests back with the line… “Say what you want, she runs a helluva place!” That’s the way I feel about Los Angeles. I don’t know why, but I used to harbor suspicions about the place, that it was all just a big phony…

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Menu For Hope…Over $11,000 Raised

Wow! The latest numbers are in! So far over $11,000 have been raised for the Red Cross to help the victims of the earthquake in Kashmir. There are fabulous prizes to be had, and you could win any of them for a minimum donation of just $5. There’s a historic walking tour of New York’s Chinatown, a day with Michelin-starred chef Stéphane Molé of Les…

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Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

Tiny little heads of cauliflower, no bigger than a dolls-head. These were the most colorful I’d ever seen in magnificent shades of vivid purple and deep orange. Although America is known as the land of HUGE food, these tiny baby carrots are tender and very sweet. My first week as a cook at Chez Panisse, I spent a few hours peeling a case of them…only…

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