Epiphany has passed.  Did you have your galette des rois (kings’ cake)?  A French dessert comprised of puff pastry, frangipane and a ceramic figure, via the Huffington Post.

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I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I am for  recognizing good fortune when it comes my way.  In a career blessed with good luck, high on the list are the people I’m able to work with.  The above card lifted my spirits when I received it. It was created by Joleen Hughes, who, with her husband David, run a design firm called Level in the Napa Valley.  David is the one responsible for the playful nature of the book Ad Hoc, and so much more. It is a pleasure to work with these two people who rarely get enough recognition. I’m grateful to you, David and Joleen! Joleen designed the card for Thomas Keller, another person I’m incredibly lucky to work with, along with every single member of his team I encounter.  Brian Read On »

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To those who celebrate Christmas, merry Christmas!  To all, my best wishes and hopes for great celebrations, being together with friends and family, and a festive and bountiful holiday. Thanks for reading this blog and to those who take the time and care to comment, thanks for the great conversation all year long!

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I’ve published this photo and this link in the past but it bears reposting, especially as today I will begin the annual Christmas morning pork pie and think about my Uncle Bill. From England with Love, published a few years ago in O magazine, is not only an ode to my Uncle Bill and his mother’s Christmas morning pork pie, it’s also about my beginnings as a writer about food and cooking, a time when I’d never heard the term forcemeat and had no idea what an emulsion was. The slice above is not the recipe Bill’s mom, Elizabeth Morgan, used, but rather a country pâté, with dried cherries and pistachios, enclosed in the pate dough recipe, both from Charcuterie.  I think I will do this year’s version in a terrine mold.  My 15-year-old is Read On »

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Congratulations on the holiday cookie recipe challenge to Bryony DuPont of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, whose spice cookies wins the drop cookie category, and to Robin Cohen of Arlington, Massachusetts, author of the dovesandfigs blog, who’s Rugalach wins the cut cookie category.  I assure you that my affection for Cleveland Heights and my affection for people who cook with goosefat (see Robin’s current post), did not weigh into the verdict (cookies above, photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman, thanks Donna!). The cookies were executed and evaluated by Marlene Newell and several bakers at her site CooksKorner: Dana Noffsinger, Kim Shook (she has public virtual recipe book here), Kerry Beal, aka The Chocolate Doctor, and Anna Serginson.  Thank you all!  My able assistant Emilia Juocys, also a primary tester, tabulated all results on a spread sheet.  Cookies were Read On »

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