When my wife Ann and I were in New Orleans in January, we felt the need, after a great Po Boys and beer at Parasol’s in the Garden District, for one more afternoon libation (as you do in NOLA). We stopped at bar someone recommended down the street. I believe I asked for a boulvardier. Bartender shook his head. I said, negroni. Bartender said, “We serve N drinks here.” “Excuse me?” “N drinks. Vodka ‘n,’ Gin ‘n,’ Scotch ‘n.’” That is, no fancy pants drinks. “We serve hahd likkah heah for men who want to get drunk fast.” #itsawonderfullife And those were the drinks I saw poured in 1960s-70s suburban Cleveland growing up. Gin n Tonic, Scotch n Soda. I knew four cocktails in my youth. The Martini (Dad), The Manhattan (Uncle Jon), The Bloody Mary Read On »

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[For those who want to skip the post: shop.ruhlman.com promo code JINGLE—I forgot how to hyperlink the image!] Perhaps the worst feeling in the kitchen is approaching a task for which you don’t have the proper tools. Being asked to slice something without a proper knife, or being asked to follow a cake recipe without adequate measuring devices. I was once tasked with making popcorn on the stovetop though none of the lids fit any of the pans appropriate for popcorn. I banged around in the kitchen in frustration, irritating everyone. This is why I love my kitchen tools. They perform. They are elegant. They enhance the experience of cooking. My flat edged wood spoons, for instance, are perfect for stirring anything in a pot. My offset spoons are lovely to behold and a pleasure Read On »

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  Mom’s Day is important. Dads, sons, and daughters, undervalue it at your own peril. It’s May 8th. For those of you with wives and moms who love to cook, Mac Dalton and I have put together a special bundle we think all cooking moms will appreciate (no meat grinders and stuffers and smokers!). Moms, if you’re the ones reading this, feel free to send to husbands (we can be slow on the uptake). We’ve decided to include the bamboo scrubber for the giver of this gift—if Mom is doing the cooking, you’ll find this comes in handy after.   The Mom’s Day Bundle— 2 spankettes (the best wood spoons EVER) Badass (aka Egg) spoon A set of offset basting-tasting spoons A small bamboo scrubber (no more sponges gunked up with cheese, dough, egg, scorched milk!) An Read On »

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  Continuing holiday shopping week, and again reposting similar products from last year, as essentials rarely change, here are my recommendations for modestly priced kitchen tools that are essentials in my kitchen. (All but one of the following links is to Amazon; I’m a part of its affiliate program—when you shop at Amazon via this site, it helps to support this site.) I own and love everything mentioned below. The above Benriner mandoline ($21) is one of my most valued kitchen tools for uniform slicing, julienning, and making brunoise (a julienne turned into a dice). By far my most valuable electric device in my kitchen is the hand blender—I use Braun that seems no longer unavailable, but I bought this Cuisinart version for my mom ($99) and it works well—these devices all do the job of Read On »

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These are the big ticket recommendations from last year (and the year before, with several additions) because, well, the best equipment, like fundamental technique, doesn’t change. I always advise buying fewer items of high quality. Hope everyone had a happy and festive thanksgiving! My go-to pot is the 7-quart Dutch Oven . It’s what I bought my beloved Dad long ago; now, sadly, I have two of them. My other favorite is the braiser, the everyday pot in which you can cook just about anything. (Here’s one of the videos we did, where I use this pot to make an easy cassoulet.) I’m also partial to the smaller “ovens”—the 3.5-quart version is perfect if you cook for only one or two people. For stainless-steel cookware, All-Clad is the best. Here are their saucepans, plus a big sauté Read On »

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