Girl trouble

We had no idea what we were getting into when the blog post on recipes that fail went up last week.  What spawned the controversy was a single phrase I put in at the end of the piece: "the home cook will blame herself [for the failures of the recipe]." It was then that one reader on a cookbook forum… read more

Who’s the richest chef?

Over at Eater, they've calculated who the richest chef in the world is. Admittedly, we were surprised. Yes, Wolfgang Puck made the list, as did Rachael Ray, but who would have guessed Jamie Oliver? Check the names out here. read more

How much celebrity chef news can you take?

As reported in the New York Times, a new website, The Braiser will go live in a couple of weeks with constant coverage of "chefs who have cultivated a worldwide reputation".  It will be interesting to see if they can come up with enough news and features on a daily basis to fill an entire site. Or will they end… read more

Cooking contests – find out what’s out there

We know most of you are passionate cooks (why else would you have all those cookbooks?) and look to your books and recipes not only for instruction, but for inspiration. And we're sure you've created wonderful dishes that you love to share with family and friends. And we even suspect that many of you think that those dishes might be… read more

A tour of Mario Battali’s kitchen

Most of us who love to cook have experienced kitchen envy. And editors know this; glossy tours of famous chefs' kitchens have been standard articles in food magazines and online. So while this tour of Mario Battali's home kitchen from Chew is not unusual, we found it had a few surprises. First, it's not full of monstrous, gleaming commercial appliances;… read more

Complete guide to grilling

if you ever cook anything outdoors (whether on a charcoal grill, gas grill, or "barbie"), Kenji over at Serious Eats has put together a Complete Guide to Grilling that's definitely worth taking a look at. He has both an equipment list as well as cooking instructions that deal with everything from how to start coals to choosing the right wood for… read more

Screening out unsuccessful recipes

Following up on Susie's blog, Epic fail - anatomy of the recipe that didn't, we found a great follow-up article. Susie's article, besides being funny, details many of the ways a recipe can be poorly written. As she points out, a poorly written recipe can be costly in time and ingredients, and potentially embarassing to boot. So is there a way… read more

Useful kitchen tips you may not know

Collections of kitchen tips are always popular - many cooking magazines run pages of them in every issue. But with that kind of demand some tips become rather esoteric and deal with obscure problems. We prefer easy tips that deal with everyday issues -- like spraying measuring spoons and cups with nonstick spraying oil before measuring out sticky items like… read more

Epic fail – anatomy of the recipe that didn’t

I recently tested a recipe of such surpassing inscrutability that I felt it merited a post of its own.  Like last week's memorable disaster it was a sort of pie.  But unlike last week's, the fault could not be chalked up to user error. This one was a pork pie, with ground meat enclosed in puff pastry (yum! I thought.  Foolproof!).… read more

The ghostwriter debate heats up again

  You may remember a month or so ago there was a controversial article in the New York Times by Julia Moskin regarding the ghostwriting of cookbooks.  Indignant responses were fired from Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachael Ray and others.  The story seemed to be petering out but now Michael Ruhlman, the ghostwriter to top chefs such as Thomas Keller, Eric Ripert and… read more

A feast for reluctant risers

As a night owl myself (as anyone who gets emails from me after midnight EST knows), I could really relate to Susie's article on NPR Kitchen Window.  For those people who have more energy and brain-power at night than in the morning there are a host of ways (and she includes recipes for three of them) in which you can… read more

10 essential spices

Spices can be a real kitchen challenge. Their flavors can add so much interest to a dish, but they also present a world of questions: Which ones should I use with this meat or vegetable? Do I really need to buy that spice and risk throwing out an almost full jar a year from now? Can I substitute for a… read more

How Mexican food conquered America

The Salt over at NPR has an extensive interview/150 mile trip with Gustavo Arellanos, who just published a book: Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. They visit the (still existing) stand where tacos where first introduced, places where fusion tacos are created, and the "baroque masterpiece" of the Battleship Taco. Of particular interest is the discussion of the part… read more

First-love cookbooks

I don't know about you, but when I first learned to cook I had no idea what to look for in a cookbook.  I had my old roommate Conrad's 365 Ways to Cook Chicken on permanent loan, and I'd been given The Essentials of Italian Cooking.  But from that point on, it was pure speculation. I bought Salad, by Amy… read more

What to eat after a little too much celebration

As we approach May and lots of reasons for parties and celebration - graduations, anniversaries, weddings - we thought this advice from the Huffington Post on Hangover Foods: 7 Ways to Ease Hangover Symptoms - might come in handy. And, no, hair of the dog that bit you isn't one of them (although if it works...why not?).  read more

What do celebrity chefs eat when they get the munchies?

The people at Eatocracy (CNN) asked numerous celebrity chefs - Daniel Boulud, John Besh, Michael Chiarello, Gail Simmons, Marcus Samuelson among others - what they eat when they get the munchies. They confess to eating the same things most of us resort to when we want to indulge; but the funniest part of the whole video is at the beginning,… read more

Where are cookbooks headed?

  Cookbook author Denise Vivaldo is the owner of more than 1,000 cookbooks and the author of several herself.  In her article today in the Huffington Post she explains why holding a cookbook in her hands is so important to her. read more

How to blog about food

Christina Soong-Kroeger over at The Hungry Australian has put together a series of well-thought-out tips on starting a food blog. As she writes, "As I began blogging I had lots of questions. How did I get people to comment on my posts? What should I write about? Do I need a decent camera? How did I make a header on… read more

Summer cookbook preview

  Paula Forbes at Eater produces a major round up of all the new cookbooks being published in the next few months.  Can't say I spotted any major trends but as usual in the summer there are books on grilling, ice pops, and of course pie.  But there are a lot of others so you are bound to find something… read more

Guerilla cooking: freeing yourself from your kitchen

Brian Palmer over at Slate has an interesting discussion, "You Don't Need a Kitchen to be a Chef: the Fine Art of Guerilla Cooking."  As he points out, "just as you can sleep wherever you happen to be tired, you can cook anywhere so long as you have the essentials (food, heat)." His advice about preparing food in the office… read more

Basic cooking plus foods of the future

We've recently run across two insightful, but quite different interviews about cooking and food. In the first, Mark Bittman discusses his new book, How to Cook Everything: The Basics. And, per usual, he doesn't sugar coat his opinions, stating frankly, "We know people skip two or three generations learning how to cook. Everyone with a brain acknowledges cooking is important."… read more

Upgrading ramen

 At least here in the United States, most of us are probably feeling a bit poorer - April 15 was tax date. So we thought an article about taking a remarkably inexpensive food - packaged noodles/ramen - and converting them into something special might just hit the spot. And luckily our friends at Serious Eats have just the article, Ramen… read more

When the pie hits the floor…the occupational hazards of cookbook reviewers

I am testing pies this week.  (Yes, I know, poor me.  Taking one for the team again.)  Today was key lime tart and strawberry-rhubarb crumble pie. All day I made dough and fillings.  The tart dough and filling for the key lime came together in an instant, with enough leftovers to make a second small tart--luckily, as it turned out.… read more

Does it make sense to buy bulk groceries?

The Salt just ran an interesting two-part series on whether buying in bulk at the store actually makes sense. As they write, "For price-conscious and waste-averse shoppers, the bulk aisle ought to be the go-to spot of any grocery store. It's where you can buy just as much as you need, with minimal packaging, while saving money to boot -… read more

Best jarred pasta sauces, food porn, Food Blogging for Dummies

It's either Sunday or Monday morning, depending on where you're reading this, and either way we've gathered a variety of serious - and not so serious - articles for some fun reading. We're presenting a recent taste test on jarred pasta sauces from Serious Eats, we're looking at Neil Patrick Harris' new Twitter feed "Food Porn," and there's a collection on… read more
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