Biscotti is the perfect accompaniment mid-morning when I’m into my fifth or sixth cup of coffee.  I drink coffee all morning long and I’m able to do so because I don’t use one of those horrible drip machines, but rather what I think of as my personal 1956 Lincoln Continental of a coffee machine. The problem has always been that I’ve never really liked biscotti.  Maybe because I’ve only ever had the stuff that comes in a gift basket from Gallucci’s (a store I adore).  Or the one time I tried to make it myself.  It was rock hard and tasteless, so I figured I’d done a perfect job. But a while back, someone asked for a biscotti recipe, perhaps even a ratio.  My able colleague Emilia Juocys was intrigued and so recently set to Read On »

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I’ve always loved B&W photographs because they seem to say, “I am timeless, I need no pretty colors to attract—I am edgy.” With the age of digital also came the not having to choose between B&W and color film. This is truly a great thing, but you can’t just push the “remove color” button to convert your digital color into a B&W and many people do. If you do that you’ll end up with a very flat looking photo—here’s an example form Michael’s book, Ratio: Do you see the difference? If you ever did any B&W printing in the darkroom you would for sure. I did 2 things— increased the contrast being careful not to push the highlights too far so they look hot and I also burned in the rim of the bowl because Read On »

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I’m thrilled to announce that Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, has now been published at an enormously friendly price, in pocket-friendly flexibility. That wickedly smart television personality, author and speaker, food guru Alton Brown, chose the book as one his Top 5 cookbooks, period: “This is a refreshing, illuminating and perhaps even revolutionary look at the relations that make food work,” he writes in The Wall Street Journal.  (Brown has a new book out next month, Good Eats: The Middle Years.) My favorite review was in Slate, in which Jennifer Reese asserts that Ratio is a “fascinating and pompous new book.”  Who the hell is Jennifer Reese?! NPR reporter Guy Raz read Reese’s skeptical but ultimately won-over verdict and did this piece for All Things Considered. If you’re new to Read On »

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At last, thanks entirely to app developer, marketing genius and avid cook, Will Turnage, and graphic designer Leah McCombe, the Ratio smart phone application can be downloaded by those who use android devices! Thank you Will and Leah. Android users, scan this QR or click the link above.  Let me know in comments if you have any problems! For those who don’t know what Ratio is or does, watch the demo below. The Ratio app is a cooking tool, a calculator of ingredients for 30 different fundamentals, from cake and muffin batters to bread doughs to vinaigrettes, to sausages and brine. I find it invaluable.  If I just need a couple cups of brine, I plug in the amount I want and it calculates the salt for me.  Same for if I have 28 ounces Read On »

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Photos by donna [I’m on a blog break from 5/17 through 5/31, so I’m putting up favorite food posts from the archives, this one on quiche published last July] On Wednesday I flew to Washington to make a quiche at the restaurant Proof for a segment on “All Things Considered” with one of the show’s new hosts, Guy Raz.  Guy said he read the Slate review of the book, which called my book Ratio “fascinating and pompous,” and was intrigued.  So he and his producer, Phil Harrel, requested a dish that combined two ratios.  Quiche immediately came to mind, using both the 3-2-1 pie dough ratio (I’ve lost track of the number of people who have written to thank me for getting them over their fear of pie dough) and the custard ratio (2 parts Read On »

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