Popcorn and a Movie: Revisiting a ‘Big Night’

“To eat good food,” says Italian chef Primo in the 1996 film, “Big Night,” “is to be close to God.”

And truthfully, over the 20 years since I first saw this movie, I have said, again and again, that my idea of heaven was the kitchen where Primo, played by Tony Shaloub and his brother, . . . → Read More: Popcorn and a Movie: Revisiting a ‘Big Night’

Bread of the Month: Feeling focaccia at the fingertips

I have always been able to make sense out of things (somewhat) by writing about them. Even still, lately, I have had trouble writing.

It made no sense and yet perfect sense that on a rainy November evening, while I received the news of a loss of life as close to my own as any, . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Feeling focaccia at the fingertips

Creeping into a playful spirit with chocolate mice

Sometimes I think my fun is done.

I know that sounds fatalistic. I know I have joys and things to enjoy ahead. But as far as true, hilarious, tickle-me, laugh-out-loud pleasure — like the fun of childhood — I at times feel I’ve entered into a phase of adulthood where that is less-likely, though . . . → Read More: Creeping into a playful spirit with chocolate mice

Rooting for a roasted vegetable soup

I don’t need much urging to head for the soup pot, whether the weather is cold…or if it’s hot! Rhyming aside, soups, to me, are the perfect food. A good soup is filling and satisfying and if the right components make up the soup, everything a body needs is in one bowl.

This time . . . → Read More: Rooting for a roasted vegetable soup

Bread of the Month: Spicing up a baked doughnut

I know that I’m not the only one who associates doughnuts with Halloween, although I suppose I could associate doughnuts with anything, given a chance. Sunset magazine also pondered the connection between the traditionally fried treat and our favorite fall holiday. In an online article, Sunset reminisced on issues of the magazine from the ‘50s, . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Spicing up a baked doughnut

Bread of the Month: Braiding a blonde biscuit

Recipes can come from surprising sources. The backs of boxes or packages, coupon inserts, obscure Internet sites and offbeat cookbooks. If you had told me even a year ago that, upon seeing a copy of “The Disney Princess Cookbook,” (2013) I had gotten for my nieces that I would have not only bought one for . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Braiding a blonde biscuit

Honoring the patron saint of pastry

“…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” — William Shakespeare

It’s ironic that each year, I make a birthday cake for myself (but mainly for my blog, since we share birthdays). Because, to be honest, on the list of desserts I favor, cake ranks low. I am more a crisp, . . . → Read More: Honoring the patron saint of pastry

Bread of the Month: Puffing up with gougéres

I’ve long been obsessed with cream puffs. I learned to make them as a child, watching my mother and then whipping them up myself. It’s a strange process, puff-making, strange in its doing and even stranger in its simplicity. I continue to be baffled that the same ingredients, cooked in different ways, yield vastly different . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Puffing up with gougéres

Bread of the Month: Going plum crazy

It seems like every summer I become fixed on a particular fruit. In the past, it’s been strawberries, blueberries or cherries. I’ve been fanatic for apricots and peaches. This year, it’s been “plummy,” as the deeply jeweled and juicy fruit began appearing in my mind before it ever arrived on the market scene. I grew . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Going plum crazy

Bread of the Month: Mastering great garlic bread

I’ve eaten a lot of good garlic bread, even making some myself (often an herb-infused-in-olive oil version), but I had not eaten GREAT garlic bread until I sat down at the table of Liboria Salerno (for more about her, please see blog entry, “Presenting Pavlova to a ballerina” of 6/16). The bread was toasted to . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Mastering great garlic bread