Guilty pleasures. Every chef I know has them. When you spend years refining your knife skills and palette, countless hours training your staff to create at a specific level of quality, and limitless effort to ensure a memorable dining experience for your patrons, there are times when you just want… a hot turkey sandwich from the diner, with canned gravy on squishy white bread that sticks to the back of your teeth. read the rest of this entry »
archive for December, 2008
December 28th, 2008 by
Recipe: Homemade Marshmallows
On any given Friday night, you’ll find our family racing out the door to our favorite trendy hot spot to rub elbows with the movers and shakers in our community. That’s right, we’re headed to the diner, and to see Elsie. read the rest of this entry »
December 25th, 2008 by
Recipe: English Muffin Toasting Bread
You know how you always remember the first time you experienced something? First time behind the wheel of a car, first leap off a diving board, that first sweet kiss…
This bread was the very first experience I ever had with yeast. And it opened up a world of interesting possibilities, many of which I’ve explored over the past 30 years. From salt-rising bread to baguettes to sandwich rye, I’ve taken many journeys in the company of yeast.
Yet I keep coming back to this first simple loaf.
December 25th, 2008 by
Recipe: Vanilla Biscotti
[Ed. note: At the risk of being thought un-PC, I’m going to talk about Christmas now. Please feel free to insert your own chosen celebration, if desired.]
Comfort and joy.
What better words to describe this day for the millions of us who celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is the comfort of being at home—whether that home is your own place of residence, a childhood home, or the home-away-from-home that’s your best friend’s.
And Christmas is the joy of what you find inside that home: simply put, love. If you’re lucky, the unconditional love of family and friends. Or the mixed bag of love that so many of us experience: pleasure and worry, with a dollop of hope, a dash of fear, and a pinch of pride, all mixed together. read the rest of this entry »
December 24th, 2008 by
There was a homey feeling in the test kitchen this morning, as we all took care of the last few baking tasks for work before the holiday. The big all-hands-on deck packing push is done. Our seasonal help is doing their shopping; some of the offices are empty and more will become so as the day wears on.
While Andrea finalized a new chocolate donut mix formula, I put together the lamingtons for their photo for the Early Spring Baking Sheet, and PJ was working with a couple of yeast doughs.
December 23rd, 2008 by
Back when I was about 12 or so, my dad’s job occasionally required him to go to Boston for meetings. Once in awhile, I was allowed to go with him, and can still remember the feeling of weightlessness taking the express elevator to the top of the Prudential Building, and the wonder of Faneuil Hall marketplace. It was the first place I ate New-York style pizza, frozen yogurt with strawberries, and bratwurst (on a stick!).
It was also where I bought the biggest and most beautiful balloon I’ve ever seen. read the rest of this entry »
December 22nd, 2008 by
On the line—packing, packing, packing…
During this crazy holiday shopping season, Susan Reid (my fellow blogger) and I keep the warehouse folks supplied with daily treats, in order to keep both energy and spirits up. Our fulfillment folks (has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) put in extra-long, hard days filling orders, packing boxes, mixing mixes, and generally moving at top speed for weeks at a time to get people’s holiday baking products on their way as quickly as possible. read the rest of this entry »
December 21st, 2008 by
How can something as simple as a potato pancake cause so much anxiety? Many of the writing you find about latkes involves motherly advice about squeezing, draining, or spinning the potatoes in the quest for the ultimate latke: crispy outside, creamy inside, a culinary and cultural touchstone. As a guest in the world of Jewish foodways, I was fascinated when I found this recipe. My first thought was, “hey, no potato angst!”
My second was, wouldn’t it be nice to do something a little dressier-looking than applesauce? Thus was born this dish, Cheese Latkes with Roasted Apples. read the rest of this entry »
December 20th, 2008 by
Recipe: Lemon Bliss Cake
I’m continually surprised at the number of folks here at King Arthur Flour who DON’T immediately reach for the “chocolate-whatever” when we’re serving treats.
I mean, chocolate is so ever-present, so in-your-face. Every restaurant menu has an assortment of chocolate desserts, one of which will inevitably be prefaced by “decadent.” Strolling the cookie aisle at the supermarket brings you from Oreos to Chips Ahoy to Mallomars, Chocolate Pinwheels, and Milano cookies, to name just a few.
And then there’s the whole sub-set of brownies. And hot fudge sundaes. To say nothing of fudge-lovers, and those who insist on chocolate birthday cake every year—and I mean EVERY year. You know who you are. read the rest of this entry »
December 20th, 2008 by
Working side by side with someone over the course of years will teach you a lot about each other. One of the comfortable things about being in the King Arthur test kitchen is the familiar ground of long-time working relationships. It’s come to light over time that PJ and I share the same formative Catholic-school education, history of high school and college jock activity, deep love for the power of the written word, and…dates. There have been many days in the kitchen when we commiserated over the Rodney Dangerfield treatment this sumptuous fruit receives. We’ve both encountered people who were intrigued at the baked goods we put out, asking, “Oh boy, what’s in it?” The second we mention dates, they turn away, giving it a pass. If you’re in that club, don’t turn away, we have a version for you, too.