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Posted on Apr 6, 2015 | 0 comments

Baking Bread

Baking Bread

My mom says she used to bake all her own bread as a young housewife. This was before KitchenAid mixers with dough hooks, and also before I was old enough to eat any of it, so I can’t be sure. By the time I grew teeth, she had moved on to store-bought bread, albeit whole wheat and without preservatives. I do recall being asked what I wanted for my birthday – in high school – and I requested the mystical, foreign substance known as Wonder Bread. This early bread-baking habit of hers was always something I lumped in with drinking chamomile tea and not letting me wear toy makeup as a four-year-old. I always thought it was because she was a crazy hippie nut job. While my mother’s reputation remains secure, I have realized you don’t have to live in 1970’s San Francisco, man, to make food from scratch. Or, to want to. I have begun to make my own bread. Because it is approximately 4,000,000 times better for our bodies than anything from...

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Posted on Mar 14, 2013 | 1 comment

Boeuf Bourguignon, a.k.a., Wine Stew!

Boeuf Bourguignon, a.k.a., Wine Stew!

This is not a low-cal dish. Can you handle it? Look. Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re going to have a small breakfast, a moderate lunch, walk a bit when you can today (run if you have time), and enjoy this meal. Because it’s good. What is life for, if not pleasure?? Okay, yes, and helping people less fortunate than you. That, too. Pleasure and helping others. I think I’ve just found the meaning of life, in a bowl of Boeuf Bourguignon from Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. The fact that it requires an entire bottle of wine is probably not unrelated to my new-found enlightenment. An entire bottle of wine, plus a package of bacon. Ina Garten is my people! You think she’s asking you to add a lot of pepper. It works. Do exactly what she says about the bread: toast, rub with a raw clove of garlic, and serve underneath the soup. Eat with a fork and knife. And a spoon, and...

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Posted on Mar 8, 2013 | 2 comments

The Barefoot Comtesse: Provençal Soup au Pistou

The Barefoot Comtesse: Provençal Soup au Pistou

I’ve long felt inclined toward simple, rustic, southern Italian cooking. Olive oil instead of butter, loads of fresh veggies, minimal meat, all complemented by small amounts of simply dressed pasta. I have to say, one of the wonderful things about life is how it surprises you, and how you surprise yourself as you venture on. I am most surprised that my long-standing inclination toward the Italian way of enhancing beautiful, fresh food by not fussing with it too much is giving way, somewhat, to the French way of fussing with it so much it becomes something gloriously else. This delicious Provençal Soup au Pistou, from Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home, is a wonderful transition between the two. Here are some reviews of the soup, heard around our dinner table this evening: Child: This is so good. Make this again! This is so good, I’m not even drinking water. Mommy, this is so good I’m not drinking water! Cute Banker: Just so you and I are...

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