My husband and I celebrated the arrival of 2013 in Paris. Except for taxi rides to and from the airport, we explored Paris by foot. We stumbled upon pastry shops, ate meals that demanded more walking, and drank cups of coffee and wine while resting our feet in bistros. On our last day in Paris, being good tourists, we shopped and our first stop was to famed cookware store Dehillerin in Les Halles.
Established in 1820, I don’t imagine it’s changed much during its almost 200 years in existence. While the outside storefront displays an impressive amount of shiny copper cookware, the inside is dimly lit with pots and pans, molds, and pastry provisions stacked high on dusty wooden shelving. It’s far from Williams-Sonoma perfection and better for it. I certainly could find similar items at Amazon or my local Sur La Table, but the discovery of a copper pan and tiny tin barquettes authenticated by a “Made in France” stamp were all the more special for having had to search for them in the cluttered and noisy shop.
Posted in Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, French, Uncategorized
Tagged Breakfast, brioche, copper pan, Dehillerin, Dorie Greenspan, Food, french bakery, Paris, Recipe
The first time I saw the recipe for “French Yogurt Cake” in last May’s (2012) Bon Appetit, I knew it would be a classic in my repertoire. It looked like pound cake, but with a lighter crumb, and the fact that it contained Greek yogurt as well as many other ingredients common to my pantry, made it immediately attractive.
I made the recipe last spring and it met my high expectations. No heavy mixers were dragged out of cabinets, it could be made in minutes, and it froze well. This latter point being critical since, as a two person household, we rarely are able to eat a whole cake or bread loaf before it becomes stale. The cake’s versatility as a sweet breakfast, an afternoon snack, or even dessert was just another point in its favor.
Posted in Baking, Dessert
Tagged Breakfast, cake, Coconut, dessert, Food, Lime, lime zest, meyers dark rum, Recipe, tropical, yogurt
Bananas have a rough go of it here in the United States. Even the most basic grocery store has at least 4 or 5 varieties of apples. Carrots come in a variety of colors and sizes and even the pear section continues to expand. Bananas however remain the same: one kind, many bunches, green or yellow.
Bananas have a better go of it in other countries. I taught English as a Second Language in Ecuador after college. I lived on the coast in a town called Manta and Hotel Oro Verde (the Green Gold Hotel) in honor of bananas being one of the country’s largest exports was the nicest hotel. With many varieties of bananas, they take them seriously there and it was in Ecuador that I first tried plantains.
Posted in Baking, Dessert
Tagged banana bread, Breakfast, Ecuador, Food, hotel oro verde, latin american countries, maduros, plantains, Recipe, yellow bananas
Nothing brightens up January like a box of citrus waiting on your doorstep. My in-laws send us a gigantic box of Ruby Red grapefruit and oranges every year and it is always a welcome treat. The oranges quickly get eaten as snacks (although this year I plan to make a marmalade out of many them) and we serve the grapefruit with a dusting of sugar and a strong cup of coffee as breakfast.
This year, to make our grapefruit breakfasts last just a tad longer, I decided to make curd out of the grapefruit to use as a spread on toasts and biscuits. Curd is a terrible word to describe something that has such a silky texture and balances sweetness and acidity with such finesse. I urge you not to get hung up on the name, before actually giving it a try.
Posted in Breakfast, Jellies and Spreads
Tagged Breakfast, curd, david lebovitz, dessert, Food, grapefruit, lemon curd, Recipe, ruby red grapefruit, Sweets
Where have I been? It’s August and my last post was back at the beginning of June. Since I last posted, I’ve taught over 30 cooking classes. The bulk of these classes were Kids Classes that I taught at Cooking Uptown here in Charlotte. In June, we offered four week-long courses for 9-13 year olds and then in July, we offered three week-long courses for 14-17 year olds. The courses were a great success (check out the press on WSOC-TV, WCNC, and in Southpark Magazine) and I have a new-found respect for parents everywhere. I have a better understanding of how you do it, but I still am in awe over how you do anything else!
North and one of our good friends from Charlotte are running the Shut-In Ridge Run tomorrow morning. For those who don’t like to torture themselves on Saturday mornings and as such, aren’t familiar with this race, it’s an 18 mile run UP Mount Pisgah in North Carolina. Sounds grueling, huh? The fact that autumn finally decided to show up causing the temperature to plummet, means that I’m especially pleased with my role as spectator for this one.
The temperature is not cooperating, but today is the first day of fall. Thank goodness. I’m ready to turn on my oven and spend hours slow cooking food. I’m craving a hot bowl of soup on a cool, crisp autumn night. And I can’t wait to start cooking with fall produce.
Like a little black dress a recipe for a good breakfast casserole is a must in any cook’s repertoire. After all, there are few things better than waking up with a hot cup of strong coffee, your local newspaper, and a plateful of eggs.
I’ve been breakfast obsessed my whole life. My parents, who did so much to prepare me for life after them, did me a huge disservice in the breakfast department. My father, short-order cook extraordinaire, made a hot breakfast for us every morning. Apple pancakes, scrambled eggs, and red-eye gravy were the breakfast of champions growing-up. Waffles weren’t just for Saturdays.
Boring oatmeal is my normal breakfast of champions. Monday through Friday I dutifully prepare it and swallow it down for its heart-healthy powers. It helps that I sprinkle copious amounts of brown sugar over it and stir in a little heavyweight whole milk. Yet no matter what I add with every bite I still know I’m eating oatmeal.
Which is why I love weekend breakfasts. Plenty of coffee, fluffy pancakes, and lots of time to dwell over the paper make weekend breakfasts some of my favorite meals of the week. Unfortunately a hectic work schedule over this past weekend had me eating oatmeal on the run this past Saturday and Sunday. And when I woke up this morning, despite it being Monday, I just couldn’t stomach another bowl.
Bagels are one of those foods that I never really thought of making at home. I assumed I could, but I thought that the work required would hardly equal the taste of the bagels that I could so easily buy. I was wrong. So wrong.
A couple weeks ago, I was flipping through Nigella Lawson’s cookbook How to Be A Domestic Goddess when I stumbled upon her recipe for bagels. They looked delicious and the recipe was surprising simple. So on Friday, I finally whipped up a batch.
Lawson states that the dough in this recipe requires a little elbow-grease. However that doesn’t really describe how difficult it is to work with this dough. The dough isn’t sticky, but it is stiff. If using the dough hook on an electric mixer, don’t leave the room as you may not notice the oily smell of your mixer’s engine as it starts overheating. If you choose to work the dough by hand, then go ahead and skip your arm workout at the gym. I promise it won’t be necessary after you knead this dough into submission.