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Bake the Book: Dolci

Italian-Italian: torta della Nonna, so creamy and cheesy and perfect (with a perfect panna cotta a close second)

Italian-American: cannoli! I'm partial to those from Mike's in Boston's North End, so much so that I've had a birthday cannoil tray instead of a cake more than once...

Cook the Book: Molto Batali

I love cooking for my sister and vice versa. We have similar palates and food interests, so from drunken snack combinations to intense concoctions, she's both guinea pig and most-appreciative audience.

Cook the Book: 'Cooking Without Borders'

Fusion food offers unlimited possibilities and if you have the ingredient compatibility and strong technique, it can be exciting and delicious. However, it's so often associated with cheap "fad" cuisine that slaps together two or more distinct flavor profiles and styles--and then we get monstrosities such as the buffalo chicken maki roll.

Snapshots from Germany: The Currywurst

Ugh. When I lived in Berlin, I had friends with near daily currywurst habits- and I never understood it. Why ruin a perfectly good wurst with that sweet, gummy curryketchup?

That said, I can't wait to see the top 5 Berlin snacks. While currywurst can't hold my attention, I am fully prepared to sing the praises of doener kebab and many other German bites. Wilkommen Steen!

Cook the Book: Anjum's New Indian

Nigella! She makes everything seem cozy, decadent and attainable. Exactly how I'd like my kitchen to be- less mess, more artfully thrown together

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Truffle Lovers Pasta

Just came back from Florence, where I literally could not stop myself from ordering everything "con tartufo" (with truffles). Fresh, shaved over pastas, truffle oil in scrambled eggs- you name it. The aroma is heavenly.

Cook the Book: 'The Gourmet Cookie Book'

I'm always a sucker for a good old NY deli black & white cookie. Still nothing as satisfying as one of those babies, especially during a tough day.

Cook the Book: Barefoot Contessa, 'How Easy Is That?'

Butternut squash soup, roast chicken and asparagus, ending with warm apple galette. Stupid easy.

Cook the Book: 'Good Meat'

No eating at chain restaurants or any kind. Taking the easy way out for lunch can be fast/appealing but it never ends well.

Cook the Book: 'Around My French Table'

I've had good but not great eating vacations in the past. However, I think that it's about the change with my upcoming trip to Tuscany!

Cook the Book: 'Canal House Cooking Volume 4: Farm Markets & Gardens'

Gardens- grandmothers. Market- Trader Joe's...I've been a very busy and bad person this summer. No time for farmer's markets..

Street Food in Germany: The Döner Kebap Sandwich

Living in Berlin, these were absolutely the best. Not only are they a good quick lunch (mix of crunchy, salty, yum) but they are one of the best drunken/late-night snacks. Hangover-busted for sure.

Cook the Book: 'Farm to Fork'

Wild blueberries in upstate NY during a walk. Tiny, juicy and sun-warmed, made only to be eaten outside.

How to Make Granita

I made a mango-lime granita yesterday. Accidental recipe actually because I wanted to make a mango salsa but the fruit was so overripe, it exploded when I cut into the skin. So I salvaged whatever flesh and juice I could, blended it with fresh key lime juice and simple syrup, jerry-rigged a pie dish for the freezer and three hours later, best dessert of the summer.

Cook the Book: 'Mary Mac's Tea Room'

First time I had grits. I was on vacation in South Carolina and watched as my dad swirled butter into hot grits and thought it was gross. Then I tried them and now I'm all about grits for breakfast when in the South.

Cook the Book: 'The Boozy Baker'

Although I love boozy desserts, my alcoholic all-star is definitely red wine in meat dishes, especially a Burgundy in beef stew. It takes it to the next level.

Cook the Book: The Perfect Finish

Most of my baking is good but ugly (crumbles, "rustic" galettes, misshapen cookies.) That said, I think my grapefruit pound cake with a glaze would be refreshing and a nice end to a WH meal.

Cook the Book: The Good Stuff Cookbook

Flat Patties in Cambridge. Love the thin, griddled burgers.

Cook the Book: 'The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual'

Baked ziti or eggplant parm. For old-school Italian-America, you want fairly simple, hearty, red-sauced goodness.

Cook the Book: 'Recipes from an Italian Summer'

Caprese salad or panzanella. Anything with fresh, juicy raw tomatoes

Cook the Book: The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook

Ratatouille! Or a chickpea salad I make with roasted red peppers, red onions, parsley, oil and vinegar.

Cook the Book: 'The Vegetarian Option'

roasted veggies. anything mushrooom. hummus. ratatouille. it's really only tofu that gives meat-free a bad name. blech

Cook the Book: 'Molto Gusto'

Sadly it's a takeout sushi joint near my offices in Flatiron. Good bang for the buck but not superb.


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