I’m headed south today for my annual boondoggle, cooking for my cousin and his sailing crew at the annual regatta there, ten days reserved solely for personal writing, reading, and cooking (and occasional carousing—the boys are pretty persuasive in the post-dinner hours). Dinner for twenty every night, and this year a new baby girl has been welcomed to the sailing family. Dinners will certainly feature some of  the beloved standbys—Carolina BBQ, steaks, lobster. Many requested duck confit (I buy them from D’Artagnan; they’re fabulous and easy on the cook). I usually do a huge shopping run the first day and start with six or seven chickens, breaking them down first thing so that I have stock, schmaltz, cracklins to flavor the food all week, and chicken for grilling (jerked last year). Though a cold front is moving Read On »

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Diane shares her 5 guilty junk food pleasures.  So what are yours? via White on Rice Couple.  

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Reading a wine list at a restaurant be sure to take your time and follow these other suggestions, via La Times.

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Cleveland weather today is mild, uncommon for this time. We’re not in the throes of the current blizzard, but I’m still sick of this cold and gray. The kids are weary of school. I’m morose in my work, dulled by routine, longing for spring’s renewal. These carrots Donna shot long ago jumped out at me when I was going through some of her work and intensified the longing. I’m in the final stages of finishing a draft of a new book about cooking (notice I avoid the term “cookbook”), the inevitable headache stage where I just need to get it done in order to leave it alone so that I can return to it and see it clearly. As spring does approach and I long for maple leaves and vegetables, flowers, soft grass and humid Read On »

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I’ve been fascinated by the digital world and the way it’s shaping not only the way content is spread through our culture but the content itself. I was eager to embrace blogging, thanks to Meg Hourihan and her husband. I’ve created two innovative cooking apps for smart phones, Ratio and Bread Baking Basics, with the hopes of making cooking easier and more fun for people—and there’s more to come, thanks to Will Turnage. I hope to introduce a top-secret “e-project” in the fall. One of the things I’m most excited about is the fact that the new media gives more control to the people who make things and takes away some of the power from the companies that once managed and distributed what other people made. This has beneficial and also dangerous repercussions, but I look at Read On »

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