I love getting new tools. Even something as a new rubber spatula will make me very happy. I like using very simple tools in the kitchen. I’m not one for one-use type tools. I don’t have a waffle maker or rice cooker. I know those can be used for other things but I would rather… Continue reading Tools and How You Use Them
I received some new books about bread for Christmas. One of them was Bien Cuit by Zachary Golper and Peter Kaminsky. I had wondered about this book for a while. What is Bien Cuit? It means baked to the point of almost burnt. To me that is the point of perfection in a loaf of… Continue reading Good Day to Stay Inside and Bake Bread
I love vanilla. I know that sounds like faint praise but without vanilla, many foods wouldn’t taste that great. People like to say, “ooh, that’s so vanilla” meaning it’s plain or ordinary. That is not true of very good vanilla. Since I am a pastry chef, I am surrounded by vast quantities of chocolate…and vanilla.… Continue reading Is Vanilla, Vanilla?
Foccacia is one of my favorite breads. It is because it is so easy to make and yet so satisfying. I had made foccacia before I started as the pastry chef of Tra Via, an Italian restaurant on Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park in the mid-nineties. When I arrived at the restaurant, I was told… Continue reading My Favorite Bread
The finished cake. As a cake maker, I’m a hell of a bread baker. But the cake is made with love…and lots of butter! Ha!