Among the books that caught my eye this season, two of the most lovely are The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen and The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen. I’m biased on the Midwestern book, as it’s my home turf, but the Minnesotan Thielen, who logged serious years as a cook and chef at some of the best restaurants in Manhattan until she began a family, brings new life to recipes that are so at home in this part of America, dishes featuring our lake fish and our abundant venison, and vibrant takes on pot roasts and meat pies, recipes from simple salads to more elaborate preparations for headcheese and red current jelly. The publisher sent me an extra copy—it will be a GIVEAWAY to a commenter, just name your favorite cookbook (other Read On »

Share

Just a quick reminder that I sign and personalize all my books on request. Just go to my books page, scroll to what you want, and click the “Buy a signed copy” button. We can guarantee before-Xmas arrival only if you order by the end of the day Monday, December 16. In the spirit of the holidays, and because I hate shipping charges, I am now offering FREE SHIPPING. But please, and this is really important, tell me who you want the book signed to by clicking the WHAT THE NOTE INCLUDED SHOULD SAY button before you hit the “pay now” button. Also, I’d like to GIVE AWAY a signed copy of Ruhlman’s Twenty AND The Book of Schmaltz to the first person who can guess my favorite 5-digit number. [Update: The winner was Melissa Fujimoto, Read On »

Share

  This is a revised post from last year with one key difference being that my mandoline, above, is in need of replacing and so I am hoping that the photographer of the image can take a hint. Continuing holiday shopping week, 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 ($25) 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 Read On »

Share

This is the big ticket recommendations from last year because, well, the best equipment doesn’t change. Hope everyone had a happy and festive thanksgiving! It’s time again for my picks for the big-ticket items, those expensive appliances and pots that are game changers, but real investments. I’ve just started a relationship with Le Creuset, the company that makes the best enameled cast-iron cookware on earth. My go-to pot is the 7-quart Dutch Oven (they’re made in France and the company wants me to call them French ovens, which I find interesting since there really should no longer be a nationality attached to the thing; my preferred name for this one is “My Favorite Pot”). It’s what I bought my beloved Dad long ago; now, sadly, I have two of them. My other favorite is the Read On »

Share

“You should get more of this,” my daughter, almost 18, said, chewing on some of SlantShack grass-fed beef Jerky. “It’s really good.” Never mind her phrasing (would have been nice? “Beloved father, I would be eternally grateful to you and wash your car if you bought me another sample pack of this most excellent jerky”). But OK. She’s a jerky hound, I love her, so when I found this small jerky biz on the OpenSky site I gave it a shot. I’d never have known about the Jersey-based business had it not been for OpenSky, an Internet marketplace that I’ve been a part of since before they even had a website (first post, 11/9/09). I just thought their concept was cool. People who know what they are talking about in a certain field (me: food and Read On »

Share