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  “Mindfulness.” Being “mindful.” I wish I liked the word because the meaning behind this new-agey, woolly notion is important. What does it mean? If I were cranky, as I happen to be now, I’d tell you that it means, “Not being a dumbass.” Seriously, that’s my translation of being mindful. Is that mean-spirited? Well, sometimes that’s what it takes. How would I describe “mindfulness” to my 14-year-old-son (who is not a dumbass, he’s just 14)? I would say, “James, it means, Paying Attention. If that didn’t get through? PAY ATTENTION! THINK! (Thinking is an underrated activity, especially in America. Thinking is probably the most important cooking technique I know—why I devoted the first chapter of Ruhlman’s Twenty, a techniques cookbook, to it.) What got me started on this was watching the below TED Talk by Read On »

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Key Lime Daiquiri. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

  On annual vacay visiting Mom and trying, trying to take it easy before Egg promotional travels begin in April, thus this repost and old photo by my beloved (who’s currently lounging poolside). I’m posting the daiquiri because that’s what I love to drink when in Palm Beach, the place where I met Donna. Always a kind of anniversary for us when we’re here. This is a fabulous, simple elixir. One sip should make you want to strangle the person who invented the “frozen daiquiri.” What a travesty those slushy drinks are, further emblems of American idiocy. Hoping you’ll try this genuine cocktail (lime juice is perfect if you don’t have access to Key limes). Happy Friday all! Originally Posted February 1, 2013  This blast of arctic air and wind and snow and gray has Read On »

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Paleo diet. Photo by

I gave an enthusiastic blurb to Michelle Tam’s book Nom Nom Paleo because I was so captivated by its exuberant spirit. Having met her at the IACP conference in Chicago on Monday, I’m delighted to find she has every bit the same spirit conveyed by her excellent book and lovely blog. While I’m anti-diet anything, I’m intrigued by the sense Paleo diets seems to make, at least intuitively, given the health issues created by Americans’ reliance on sugar-laden processed food. I’ve always promoted a sensible approach to eating that includes all foods, and I’ll never give up pasta or good bread, but I do think that I could adapt some influences of the Paleo diet, which eschews heavily processed foods, refined grains, and sugar, in order to keep my tubbo within acceptable range. So I Read On »

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Pamplemousse Vieux Mot, a mixture of gin, St. Germain, and citrus. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Enamored of the elderflower liqueur, St. Germain, and looking for a cocktail that would give me an excuse to reach for its unique bottle, My Girl Friday and I both found this lovely new cocktail, a variation on the Vieux Mot, perfect for late winter when good grapefruits are still coming in. Citrusy and floral, a perfect libation and anticipation of spring, which can’t get here soon enough for me. The Vieux Mot, French for old saying or wise old saying, combines gin, St. Germain, and lemon. This variation, the Pamplemousse Vieux Mot, adds grapefruit juice, thanks to a lovely blog we found, the Bojon Gourmet, by food stylist and photographer Alanna Taylor-Tobin, whose lovely photos feature her expertise in pastry (currently pain au chocolat, using rye flour for the laminated dough, inspired by the Read On »

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Gratin. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Here is the classic potato gratin that I made at a makeshift studio during the first series of the Le Creuset demo videos. My daughter had come along to see lovely Charleston, look at the College of Charleston, and generally take in the scene, and the only comment when we returned to Cleveland was, “Why don’t you ever make that cheesy potato thing for us?” Nothing of course would have given me more pleasure, had I only thought to do it. Indeed, this is a dish so easy and delicious and do-ahead-able, it’s a shame I don’t make it monthly during these cold winter months. Simple indeed. Layer sliced potatoes in a dish, give them a good shot of salt and pepper and several scratchings of nutmeg, cover with half-and-half, and bake covered till tender. Read On »

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