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  I’m on a serious deadline to finish a book tentatively titled Food Chain, thus so many posts drawn from the past. This is one of my favorites. But I can’t believe how much time has passed and how different life is. The 10-year-old boy in the picture is now a lanky young man who looks me in the eye and is about to turn 17. Happily, the childhood pleasures of eating ice cream out of a chocolate chip cookie is available to all, no matter your age.–MR   Last Sunday morning, my son James said, “Dad, what if you made a bowl out of cookie dough?” I’m the first to admit that there are almost no truly new culinary innovations or ideas, only variations on what’s come before us, and I also know that making Read On »

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By Emilia Juocys The Christmas baking season is upon us again and I could not be happier for the cookies that will be coming out of my oven. The usual suspects of chocolate chip, ginger pig, chocolate orange crinkles, cat’s tongues, and dream bars are in the works. Baked treats for my family and friends. The funny thing was that I was so excited for Christmas cookies because earlier this year the Chicago chef and cookie goddess Mindy Segal came out with her cookie book, Cookie Love. I jumped for joy because the book has the most-delicious rugelach recipe ever! So if you are looking for a dazzling cookie book to give to your baker this holiday, sprint to get this one. Every year I mention why I enjoy sharing these tasty morsels and how that brings smiles to Read On »

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  My friend Stephanie Stiavetti (@sstiavetti) writes The Culinary Life blog. Her first book is Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese.   By Stephanie Stiavetti The holidays are a great time to pull out all the stops in your baking projects, producing incredibly impressive desserts of all types. My past Christmas baking projects have included four dozen handmade brioche cinnamon rolls, an entremet cake with two kinds of cake sandwiched between four different kinds of mousse, and a six-layer pavlova that looked like a decorated Christmas tree at the North Pole. I loved creating these desserts, because they’re a challenge and showcase the pastry skills I’ve built up over the years. But when December rolled around this year, the idea of creating an enormous baking project made me want to punch myself in the face. The holiday season Read On »

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    My friend Stephanie Stiavetti (@sstiavetti) writes The Culinary Life blog. Her first book is Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese.   By Stephanie Stiavetti It wasn’t all that long ago that homemade bread was a regular staple at the table. Two, perhaps three, generations have passed and pushed this skill into the history books. No more warm loaves on the table, or seductive smells piquing your senses. It’s a genuine loss. Bread was one of the first projects I took on myself as a girl, and though my grandmothers didn’t really make bread, I was able to pick up the process pretty quickly. At 10 years old I baked my first bread with only the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook to guide me, and by age 12 I had managed a pretty decent French bread that earned Read On »

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  The best things in life happen when you say yes. I don’t know any great things that have happened because someone said no. And, of course, read the end of Ulysses if there’s any doubt about the ultimate nature of yes. The below is from my friend Claudia who will be opening Citizen Pie in Cleveland this fall along with her partner, Paulius of the Velvet Tango Room.—MR The Great Ricotta Cheesecake Experiment of August 2015 By Claudia Young One spring afternoon, four months ago, someone suggested, that we open a Neapolitan pizzeria. And of all the things that one might say in response to that—“We’ll have to think about that!” or “What an interesting concept, we’ll get back to you!” or “No”—we said “Yes.” Just like that. I wanted to make a culinary Read On »

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