Faithful readers, cooks, strangers, welcome to the new design! I wanted Donna’s photography to stand out so we toned down all the color (above, I was dicing onion week before last for an easy, midweek coq au vin preparation— love the light she got on that onion!). I also hope to bring in new readers, so I made the social media prominent on the right and will be sending out a newsletter to those who are interested in additional material. I hope the blog will be easier to read, have a more consistent in look, with no more Kraft salad dressing ads in the left column next to the post!  There will be more smaller changes in the future, but this is the big one, master minded by designer Joe Watson (thanks Joe!) and engineered Read On »

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At a reader’s request I’m reposting on how to make perfect stock, by slow cooking it in the oven.  It’s a very low-maintenance, easy way to make stock—just stick it in a low oven and forget about it. I’d meant to post on Friday but the weekend has gotten away from me, and now most people have either discarded their carcass (sadly) or put it to use.  But there may be a carcass or two hanging around.  Also, since this method works with a chicken carcass as well, any time of the year, and because Pierre sent me two turkey illustrations, better late than never! (Pierre has just published a funny, fun, thoroughly unique cookbook, called Kitchen Scraps: A Humorous Illustrated Cookbook.  Congrats Pierre, excellent work!) Turkey Stock: Oven Method Put all the turkey bones Read On »

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I wrote this very same thing last year: for delicious turkey gravy on Thursday, make a quart of rich turkey stock today or tomorrow. Here’s what my plan is.  I’m roasting a chicken for dinner and I’ll also throw into the oven two fat turkey wings  and cook them till they look delicious enough to eat.  I’ll put them in a pan and cover them with water (I may add the chicken carcass—haven’t decided yet.  The wings I bought weigh about 3 pounds (and cost less than $4).  I’ll pour in at least that much water, probably more, enough to cover them by about an inch of water in a snug pan.  I’ll bring the water to a simmer, then put the pan uncovered in the oven set low, 180 degrees or so, overnight.  They Read On »

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Photos by Donna I published almost two years ago, at the end of summer—a chance email today thanking me for the technique.  So I thought let’s put it up again at the start of grilling season. I’m not always real quick on the uptake, but I eventually get around to the right way, and the right way for perfect (and safe) is to grind your own meat and make sure to include the right amount of fat (I don’t believe that the cut is that critical). Yes, I still buy ground beef occasionally but when I want to make a really good burger, I always grind the meat myself.  Why go to the trouble?  For a half a dozen reasons, all of them important. First and foremost: taste and texture.  When you grind your own, Read On »

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