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Zuni Cafe and Chez Panisse

I tried. I gave it my best shot to try and make it through the list of the new places that were on my radar for my visit to San Francisco, the one that I’d been scribbling down for the last few month. But getting felled by a bout of whatever it was that I picked up on my flight sapped me of a bit…

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Judy Rodgers

I was deeply saddened when I heard that someone who happens to have been a culinary icon (and hero) of mine, and who I was fortunate enough to work with in the kitchen, is no longer standing behind her stove. This morning I learned that Judy Rodgers the chef-owner of Zuni Café, had passed. I was fortunate the work with Judy for a few years…

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Fresh Corn Cakes

No one’s been quite been able to explain the popularity of canned corn in France to me. But the explanation of why fresh corn isn’t familiar – or eaten – is that fresh corn is considered animal feed. Which still doesn’t explain how something isn’t fit for human consumption if it’s raw, but if it’s cooked and canned, that’s another story. And when it’s in…

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Hot Chocolate Pudding

I had some friends over for dinner recently who were moving away, which is always sad, and they were in the full-on stress of moving; packing up boxes, dealing with logistics, selling most of their things, and taking care of the details of deménagement. I had been leafing through Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by chocolate expert (and comrade in chocolate) Alice Medrich, who I was…

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Fig Chutney

After reading my post about a French Weekend, where I gorged quite a bit on fresh figs out in the countryside, someone back in Paris was kind enough to give me a big bag of these nice and ripe green beauties. During their seasons, people with fruit trees always seem to be looking for people willing to take some of the fruit off their hands….

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Sheet Pan Pizza

Because I worked as a baker for a good portion of my life, for some reason, people mistakenly get it into their heads that I worked early morning hours. But anyone that has spent any time with me in the morning knows I am one to be feared if forced to interact with others before noon. When I worked in the restaurant, my shifts actually…

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Why I Don’t Hate Starbucks

I remember in the 80s, back in the dark age of coffee, when traveling through the United States, it was impossible to get a decent cup almost anywhere you went. Or heaven’s forbid, something as wildly exotic as a cappuccino or espresso. I wasn’t a coffee snob, but simply discovered good coffee early on when I was in college back in those days, because the…

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Favorite Cookbooks of 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, I look at the stack of books that I’ve collected on my bookshelf (and piled up on my floor…and beside my bed, and stacked in my kitchen…) and wonder how I’m going to cook and bake from them all. I just can’t help it, though—I love cookbooks. And these are the books that I couldn’t resist tackling in 2011,…

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Links I’m Likin’

Ever have data loss? I ran Disk Doctor once, thinking I’d be cleaning up my goofy hard drive. Well, it works..and – poof! – everything on my computer disappeared, never to be seen again. Sign up for Crashplan and back up your data off your computer. (Thanks Michael!) Speaking of which – you might want to back up your Flickr or Facebook accounts? Backify will…

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