Fearless and Flourless…reflections related to a chocolate bourbon cake for all seasons

Gluten-free, Gluten sensitive, and gluten intolerant as in those with Celiac Disease…had nothing to do with the development of my Flourless Chocolate Cake. Reflections on just how I got there… In 1997 I was hold up (not held up) – in an office out in Troy, Michigan, about 35 minutes from the historic farmhouse, I called home. A company out of California had hired me to edit a series of regional cookbooks of Chef’s recipes – they wanted me working in a designated office instead of the comfort of my home…not a typical request for this freelancer. It was an interesting job, paid...

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No Knead….. is a ‘no need’ to worry – wonderful minimalist bread

Bread making can be very intimidating especially for someone new to cooking and baking. You always hear about KNEADING the bread to make it just the right texture…well, knead no more – there is a ‘no need’ to worry wonderful bread is in your future. Personally, I love bread (and all those pound-packing starches) – taking the time to make a really good bread is often the one thing many of us will forego, and just pick up at the grocery store or a bakery. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing more delicious than a homemade crusty loaf of bread. Crisp on the outside and...

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Make Mine a Pudding…and make it with morels!

The word ‘Pudding’ means different things to different people. In the United States, the word pudding is often just associated with a creamy chilled custard-like dessert – specifically, versions of chocolate or vanilla. In England, a ‘Pudding’ refers to any dessert and often the end course of the meal…a sweet ending. There is even much amusement from non-Brits when there is talk of a Spotted Dick, which is indeed a British Dessert Sponge peppered with currants. There are other puddings well known in the UK – savory suet puddings (kidney and steak) and originally, more of a...

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Fight the Freeze…flock fast to the split pea firkin

These plunging temperatures make me want to stay inside under a warm down quilt and call it a day – but busy is best for me and subsequently, I wind up in the kitchen cooking and developing recipes. Nothing is better than fighting the freeze with some Split Pea Soup…and when I make it, I make a firkin of it (do look up the British word firkin!) The warmth generated by a delicious bowl of this thick rich soup is almost indescribable – it warms you down to the bone and has that stick to your ribs kind of feeling. When I am enjoying a bowl of this soup, I can close my eyes and be...

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Trumpets going off for Trompettes…loving those tasty wild shrooms

When I was writing The Art of Cooking Morels, there were a few other wild mushrooms I included in some recipes – the trompette (also called black trumpet), was one of them. These deep dark mushrooms have a uniquely woodsy flavor that on its own has great merit. While some call them faux truffles or poor man’s truffles – I don’t…they don’t taste like truffles to me. Trompettes have their own deep flavor that is somewhat smoky and fruity in nature. I have never found these particular mushrooms in the wild – and it is my understanding that due to the color (which is dark –...

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