Wednesday Cute: Corgi Flop

Categories: News

We’re bringing back Wednesday Cute in celebration of the Cute Overload Mini & Cute Overload Wall Calendar making a comeback for 2015! This week, we’re featuring the daring and adorable Corgi, Cooper, as he takes his first swim! Watch the video over and over again with us here.

Corgi Video


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Happy Fourth of July!

Categories: News

Now that you’re finished preparing the food for your Fourth of July party, it’s time to relax and unwind with a festive cocktail! Try making the Independence Swizzle from The 12 Bottle Bar, by David Solmonson & Lesley Jacobs Solmonson.


Swizzles are their own class of drink, like a sour or a fizz, employing a healthy dose of spirit, plus lemon or lime juice, a sweetener, and usually bitters. The “swizzle” part of the name originates from the “swizzle stick,” originally a small, three-pronged branch of wood that was used to blend rum-based drinks on West Indian sugar plantations. Swizzles have a sort of mysterious aura about them, perhaps because of the swizzle stick itself and the fire-starting vigor with which the drink is assembled, combining to produce a voodoo-quality frost on the glass.

The Independence Sizzle is a slight variation of the Trader Vic staple Barbados Red Rum Swizzle (simply rum, bitters, sugar, and lime), employing honey in addition to the sugar. It’s a key addition. Even if you don’t have a swizzle stick, this is one heck of a drink—one that particularly highlights the magic of the aromatic bitters employed. Angostura bitters are traditional here, and they work exceptionally well.

Ingredients (makes 1 drink):

½ ounce strained, freshly squeezed lime juice

1½ teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 ounces amber rum

3 dashes aromatic bitters

Mixed berries, for garnish


  1. Combine the lime juice, honey, and sugar in a Collins glass and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the rum and bitters. Swizzle with a swizzle stick or stir vigorously until a froth appears, at least 30 second. Garnish with any and all berries available.
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Posted by at 12:30 pm
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Introducing #SummerReads, plus more!

Categories: Fiction, Friday Reads, News, Reading

Good afternoon readers! My name is Luriel, and I am the newest Prep for Prep intern at Workman Publishing this summer. As a lover of books (and the Internet), I’m putting together a new-old segment here on the Workman Blog called #SummerReads based on the old #FridayReads feature. All summer long, I’ll provide weekly book reviews, recommendations, and book lists in collaboration with everyone here at Workman.

Along with #SummerReads, I’ll also be bringing back Wednesday Cute (which is exactly what it sounds like) along with starting some brand new features – so stay tuned!

To kick off the #SummerReads series and in honor of (a very hot and rainy) 4th of July, I would like to recommend the all-American modern classic and comedic novel that is John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces.

Each page of this novel is brimming with hilariously elaborate scenes and outrageous characters. The protagonist is a large, unpleasantly eccentric, and often flatulent man named Ignatius J. Reilly who lives in New Orleans with his less eccentric (but just as dramatic) mother. Most accurately described by Walker Percy in his foreword in Toole’s novel, Ignatius is a “slob extraordinary, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one.” Ignatius resents all modern conventions and is stubbornly focused on his own “scholarly” beliefs and ideas, causing problems for both himself and everyone in his vicinity along the way. A Confederacy of Dunces is a masterpiece and will have you laughing until the end.

Have a great 4th of July, and keep visiting for upcoming #SummerReads!

– Luriel

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Fourth of July Pie!

Categories: News

There’s nothing more American than pie. Except maybe this Blueberry-Rhubarb from Teeny’s Tour of Pie that is made to look like the American Flag! Try out this delicious recipe for your Fourth of July party– even Oprah will be impressed!


Bluebarb pie was a happy accident. I had an abundance of rhubarb in the refrigerator but the farmers’market strawberries were on their last legs. I scanned the market stalls, hoping for inspiration, and the first blueberries of the season were looking particularly gorgeous. I took a chance on the new combination, and the result was outstanding! I’m not the biggest fan of baked blueberries because of how sweet they tend to get, but the rhubarb with its inherent tartness turned out to be the ideal counterpart. It’s always a crowd pleaser because while most people have had strawberry rhubarb pie, they likely haven’t experienced the wonder that is bluebarb. I like to use a double crust for this stunning pie, but I often use the top curst dough to make fun curst cookies that I place on top of the baked, cooled pie.

Ingredients (Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie (6 to 8 slices):

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

¾ cups (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cold vegetable shortening

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cold vodka

½ cup (8 tablespoons) cold water, plus extra as needed


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar until everything is thoroughly combined. Add the butter and shortening and cut the mixture together using a pastry cutter until it forms small pea-size crumbs coated in flour.
  2. Pour the vodka evenly over the dry ingredients, a few tablespoons at a time, using a rubber spatula to press the dough together. Similarly, add the water, and continue to press the dough together to form a large ball. The dough should be fairly wet and sticky; if for some reason it seems particularly dry, add a little extra ice water a tablespoon at a time until everything comes together easily. (Be careful to work the dough as little as possible; otherwise the crust may be tough).
  3. Divide the dough into two equal balls, press each into a disk, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days before rolling out.

Pie Filling Ingredients:

4 cups fresh blueberries

2 to 3 stalks rhubarb dice (½ -inch pieces to equal 1½ cups)

½ cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons cornstarch

2 disks dough from Whole Wheat Curst (recipe follows)

Up to ¼ cup all-purpose flour, for rolling out the crust


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the middle position.
  2. Place the blueberries and rhubarb in a medium bowl and toss together to combine.
  3. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit and toss gently to coat. Set aside; the fruit will begin to juice.
  4. Prepare the bottom crust: Place one disk of the dough on a floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin roll it into a rough 11-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Lay the crust into a 9-inch pie dish, gently press it in, and trim any excess dough from the edge with a paring knife, being sure to leave a 3/4-inch overhang.
  5. Set the lined pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Give the fruit a quick stir, then pour the filling into the crust.
  6. Prepare the top crust: On a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out the remaining dough disk into a rough 11-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Carefully lay the crust on top of the filling, and trim an excess dough from the edge, leaving a 3/4–inch overhang. Tuck the overhanging dough under the edge of the bottom crust, and crimp the two crusts together. Cut a few small slits in the top crust with a sharp knife.
  7. Place the pie, on the baking sheet, in the oven and bake until the filling is thickly bubbling and the crust is golden brown (cover the crimp with foil if it beings to brown too quickly), 45 to 55 minutes.


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Fourth of July Ribs!

Categories: News

Now that you’ve learned to make Mozzarella Kebabs it’s time for the main course! And what says Fourth of July better than some good ol’ BBQ Baby Back Ribs? Try out this mouthwatering recipe from Steven Raichlen’s Man Made Meals and give your party guests and taste buds a treat.

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs with Cider Rum Barbecue Sauce

From Man Made Meals, by: Steven Raichlen

These ribs sound an apple theme—you smoke them with apple wood chips and serve them with a made-from-scratch cider rum barbecue sauce.

Ingredients (makes 2 racks of ribs;serves 4):

2 racks baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds total)

6 tablespoons Raichlen’s Rub #1 or your favorite barbecue rub

1 cup apple cider in a spray bottle

Cider Rum Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite barbeque sauce

You’ll also need: 1 ½ cups hardwood chips or chunks, preferably apple or hickory, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained


  1. Set up the grill for indirect grilling, place a large aluminum foil drip pan in the center of the grill under the grate, and preheat the grill to medium (325 F).
  2. Place a rack of ribs meat side down on a baking sheet. Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of the rack by inserting a slender implement, such as the tip of an instant-read thermometer, under it; the best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Using a dishcloth, paper towel, or pliers to gain a secure grip, peel off the membrane. Repeat with the remaining rack (or ask your butcher to do it).
  3. Season the ribs with barbecue rub (about 1 ½ tablespoons per side), rubbing the spices onto the meat with your fingertips.
  4. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs, bone side down, in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat. (If your grill has limited space, stand the racks of ribs upright in a rib rack.). Toss the wood chips on the coals. Cover the grill and cook the ribs for about 45 minutes.
  5. Spray the ribs with some of the apple cider. This keeps them moist and adds an extra layer of flavor. Cover the grill again and continue cooking the ribs until they are darkly browned, cooked through, and tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer, 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours in all, spraying the ribs with cider once or twice more. When the ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by ¼ to ½ inch. If you are using a charcoal grills, replenish the coals after 1 hour as needed.
  6. Just before serving, brush the ribs on both sides with about ½ cup of the Cider Rum Barbecue Sauce of the barbecue sauce of your choice. Move the ribs directly over the fire. Grill the ribs until the barbecue sauce is browned and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  7. Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board. Let the ribs rest for a few mintues, then cut the racks in half or into individual ribs. Serve the ribs at once with the remaining barbeque sauce on the side.

Cider Rum Barbecue Sauce

A sweet, mellow barbecue sauce invigorated with dark rum and apple cider. Good choices for rum include Myer’s Rum from Jamaica, Gosling’s Black Seal from Bermuda, or the new Ipswich rum from Massachusetts. The recipe makes more than you’ll need. Refrigerate any excess in a sealed jar—it will keep for several weeks. Makes about 2 ½ cups.


1 cup apple cider

About 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

2 cups ketchup (I like Heinz)

½ packed cup brown sugar

½ cup dark rum, or more to taste

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or more to taste

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Place the cider, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large heavy saucepan and let come to a boil over high heat. Let the cider mixture boil until reduced by about half, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, rum, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, onion powder, pepper, and cinnamon and whisk to mix. Reduce the heat to medium and let the sauce simmer until thick and flavorful, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, adding more rum and/or mustard as necessary. Transfer the sauce to a bowl or clean jars and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the sauce until serving. It will keep covered in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. Reheat it over low heat before using.


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Fourth of July Mozzarella Kebab Party!

Categories: News

The holiday gods have smiled down on us this year by graciously placing the 4th of July on a Friday – hello, three-day weekend! We plan to spend the upcoming holiday hanging out with family and friends, lounging on the beach, and partaking in all of our favorite summer foods from grilled meats to fresh summer fruits and vegetables. All week we’ll be sharing recipes from a few of our favorite new Workman cookbooks to help you create your own Fourth of July fete this year. Dig in!


Mozzarella Kebab Party

From One Hour Cheese, by Claudia Lucero

To make this classic cheese super-easy for you to whip up, the recipe is cut down to the essentials: The use of a microwave allows for a hassle-free and consistent heating method that helps in the stretching process characteristic of a pasta filata, or “pulled ribbon”- style cheese. The citric acid allows the rennet to do its job without you having to wait a day to let the milk acidify with cultures.

Ingredients for the Favorite Melty Mozzarella (makes 6 kebabs):

1 ½ teaspoons citric acid

½ cup plus ¼ cup dechlorinated water

¼ tablet vegetarian rennet

1 gallon whole cow’s milk (not ultra-pasteurized)

1 cup cream (optional)

2 teaspoons flake salt


  1. Stir the citric acid into the ½ cup of water and set aside.
  2. Dissolve the ¼ tablet of rennet in the ¼ cup of water and set it aside.
  3. Pour the milk into the pot. Optional: Add the cup of cream to make a more succulent cheese, closer to fresh mozzarella di bufala!
  4. Stir in the well-dissolved citric acid solution and heat on medium to 90 F.
  5. When the milk temperature reaches 90 F, add the rennet solution and mix it in with 20 quick strokes to make sure it is incorporated evenly. Then, without stirring, continue heating.
  6. Heat to 105 F if you plan on using the microwave method to stretch the cheese (for stretching in a hot whey bath, heat to 110 F). Coagulation will start to happen; look for separation between curds and whey, clumps, or a yogurt-like texture.
  7. Use the spoon to slice large clumps of curd to just 1 to 2 inches in size. Slowly move the pieces around in the warm whey for 1 minute to help them shrink as they cook. Lower the heat to hold the temperature of the milk as soon as it reaches 105 F/110F.
  8. When the texture of the curds has changed from that of soft yogurt to that of a scrambled egg (about 2 additional minutes of cooking and gentle stirring), scoop the curds into the microwave-safe bowl.
  9. Drain off any visible whey into the pot as you hold the curds with your hands or a spoon. Flatten the curds across the bowl for more even heating.
  10. Microwave the curds for 1 minute on high (the default quick-heat settings usually do the trick). Using the spoon or your hands, fold the curd mass over itself 5 times, to distribute the heat evenly. Drain off any whey that is released.
  11. Microwave again for 30 seconds on high. Drain the whey immediately. Sprinkle salt on the curds and fold and flatten them 10 times to incorporate the salt evenly. (Note: If it’s too hot on your hands, use a spoon or wear clean plastic gloves.)
  12. Microwave for another 30 seconds on high. There should be very little whey now. Fold the curds over themselves repeatedly, pressing down between folds. The curds normally transform most dramatically into cheese after this heating.
  13. The curd temperature should be 135 F, though you don’t want to stop to check, since the curds will cool in the time it takes to do so. The curds may come together to form one large mass in as few as 5 folds or as many as 30.
  14. During the folding process, the curds will start out looking a little like lumpy cookie batter, then will suddenly become springy and stretchy like perfect bread dough. Test it by stretching the curd a little every few folds.
  15. The curd becomes mozzarella when the edges look smooth and the surface looks shiny when stretched. This is when you can form it into smooth balls, ropes, or other shapes.
  16. If you like the result now, you are done. If the curd tears or shreds into strings, it cooled too much for additional stretching. Heat it in the microwave for another 30 seconds. (Note: The less you heat and stretch your mozzarella, the more tender it will be.)

Ingredients to make the Kebabs:

20 to 25 cubes of Favorite Melty Mozzarella (1 inch x 1 inch)

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and paper to taste

20 to 25 cherry tomatoes, sweet pepper pieces, pitted olives, and/or basil leaves

6 skewer sticks


Toss the cubes of mozzarella in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Alternate 4 to 5 cubes of mozzarella with 4 to 5 of your chosen goodies on each skewer. This idea works with fruit, too – use tiny skewers for party appetizers or long ones for a picnic side-salad-on-a-stick!

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Posted by at 11:10 am
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The Fault in Our Stars and The Trolley Problem

Categories: News

Perhaps you were one of the legions of fans who sobbed into your popcorn at a weekend screening of The Fault in Our Stars, the love story of two teenagers with cancer? Or perhaps you were one of the millions of readers who helped turn John Green’s original novel into a blockbuster, way before Shailene Woodley agreed to star in the movie adaptation as Hazel? Either way, you may have noticed the story’s many references to some pretty obscure concepts. Peter Van Houten, who you might call TFiOS‘s antagonist, is not only a reclusive author who enjoys Swedish hip hop and has a a superior understanding of the mathematical implications of infinity, but he also dabbles in philosophy. In both the book and movie versions of TFiOS, something called “the trolley problem” comes up. In the movie, it’s at a moment when Hazel does not want to deal with Van Houten, but since we at Workman Publishing happened to have published a book on this very topic, we thought we would pick up where the movie left off.

The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge? is Thomas Cathcart’s exploration of a classic philosophical conundrum, first posed by Philippa Foot: if a trolley is about to kill a bunch of people, but you could save them by sacrificing one person, should you? It’s a thorny question that will make you think about all kinds of ethical issues, and Cathcart explores it from every side. So why did John Green choose to include the trolley problem in TFiOS? It’s certainly a book that asks the big questions–think about how Hazel struggles with whether or not she should love anyone or allow herself to be loved when she’s, in her words, a grenade who will eventually explode. Think about how Hazel and Augustus argue over oblivion, and whether anyone or anything will matter in the long run. Now can’t you see where the trolley problem fits in? So if you’re a TFiOS fan or nerdfighter who wants to read up on the kind of mind-bending philosophy that Hazel and Augustus might text about, maybe this book should be your next stop.

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Posted by at 12:49 pm
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One-Hour Cheese Blog Tour!

Categories: Cookbooks, Cooking, News

Learn to Make Cheese with Claudia Lucero’s ONE-HOUR CHEESE!

Ricotta, mozzarella, chèvre, paneer–even burrata. Fresh and simple cheeses you can make in an hour or less!

Inspired to teach herself the ancient art of cheesemaking, Claudia Lucero set out to find a way to make fresh, homemade cheese without any complicated instructions or fancy equipment. The result is a successful DIY cheesekit business,, sold on Etsy and at Williams-Sonoma and select Whole Foods. Now Claudia shares her expertise in the inspiring, full color cookbook ONE HOUR CHEESE: RICOTTA, MOZZARELLA, CHÈVRE, PANEER–EVEN BURRATA. FRESH AND SIMPLE CHEESES YOU CAN MAKE IN AN HOUR OR LESS!


16 delicious cheese recipes – each with endless variations, simple instructions, easy-to-find ingredients, and limited prep time; unique serving suggestions for each cheese (strawberry cheesecake anyone?); how to make the perfect cheese platter; cocktail recipes; and more! This book is an indispensable guide to creating fresh, simple cheeses with ease in your very own kitchen.

To celebrate the publication, blogs from around the country are cooking from the book, and writing about their results. Each blog will also feature a giveaway, and post recipes & tips!

Official Tour Stops on Claudia Lucero’s ONE-HOUR CHEESE Blog Tour:











And don’t forget to check out this adorable Etsy video of Claudia making cheese!


For more, visit Claudia’s site
or connect with Claudia on Facebook & Twitter

Posted by at 12:21 pm
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Burning Questions: 15 Things You Never Knew About Valerie Gordon

Categories: Cookbooks, Cooking

Valerie GordonSince 2003, Valerie Gordon has wooed Angelinos with her award-winning sweets and baked goods. Sweet is her first cookbook, a tome filled with recipes for favorite desserts, including cakes, truffles, petit fours, cookies, and so much more. For November’s Artisan Cookbook Club, we spotlight Sweet and ask Valerie our burning questions.

Your usual breakfast: I eat the same breakfast every day: two cups of coffee and a cookie.

Fantasy vacation: A vacation.

Your ideal kitchen sound track: My kitchen soundtrack changes according to my mood. On any given day it might include Judy Garland, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder (’70s specific), Pink Martini, Justin Timberlake, Roxy Music, Amy Winehouse, and Zero 7.

Guilty pleasure: It feels like I’m sharing something really intimate and torrid. A bowl of Sour Patch Kids accompanied by a glass of ice-cold Ketel One. I know; it’s a lot to take. Don’t judge me!

Kitchen utensil you can’t live without: My zester(s).

Food you won’t eat: I stay away from any foods that are purchased in a drive-through.

Ingredient you’re currently loving: Oolong tea.

Last meal you made for your family: Roast chicken, pasta with butter and Parmesan, and a tomato salad.

Last meal on earth: Billecart-Salmon rosé, two dozen oysters on the half shell, and a crusty baguette with freshly churned butter sprinkled with fleur de sel.

Recipe you cherish: The Bon Ton-style fried chicken recipe that I found in Gourmet magazine about fifteen years ago. That recipe triggered a small fixation with fried chicken. I absolutely love making fried chicken—not eating it, just making it.

Recipe you hope readers will make this holiday season: Fruitcake Blanc. Fruitcake has such a terrible reputation, but this recipe tends to convert the most ardent naysayers.

Your kids’ favorite treat: My children gleefully and voraciously consume any cookie, cake, ice cream, chocolate, or pie I serve them, which is never as often as they might like.

Restaurant you can’t stop recommending: Trois Mec in Los Angeles. Ludo Lefebvre’s food is consistently delicious and creative. A reservation requires some effort, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

Signature clothing item: A black T-shirt with three quarter-length sleeves.

Wisdom you’ve gained from owning and operating your own shops/restaurants: Flexibilty and communication are the keys to success.

Recipe in Sweet that best reflects your personality: The Durango cookie—it has rigid ingredients but is naturally pliable.

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Burning Questions: 15 Things You Never Knew About David Tanis

Categories: Cookbooks, Cooking

David TanisIn his three decades behind the stove, David Tanis has overseen kitchens in Santa Fe and Paris and throughout the San Francisco Bay area. He currently writes the weekly City Kitchen column for The New York Times. As part of October’s Artisan Cookbook Club special, he kindly took a break to chat with us about his new cookbook, One Good Dish, and to answer some of our burning questions.

Your usual breakfast: My morning eating habits vary with the seasons, but I don’t ever eat immediately upon rising. I usually make a pot of weak tea, which I sip lazily for an hour or so while trying to get organized. I might have a piece of toast or a tangerine, but generally I want to do some physical work or take a walk, then have some breakfast around ten o’clock, maybe scrambled eggs with green chile.

Your ideal kitchen sound track: I like a quiet kitchen. Once I volunteered in a Zen Buddhist kitchen with a rule of no talking except to say, “Excuse me, your apron’s on fire” or something of that sort. It was great. But sometimes a Sondheim score at full blast is just the thing. I put on something danceable when guests arrive.

Utensil you can’t live without: I’d rather not live without a sharp knife—I take them with me on holidays; everything else is negotiable.

Fantasy vacation: A house by the sea, a small group of friends, simple meals cooked together.

Food you won’t eat: There is no food, offal or otherwise, that I wouldn’t try. And there’s nothing I can think of that I don’t like. As a child, I happily ate both spinach and liver.

Your Madeleine: If you mean what one food stirs memories like no other, I’m not sure I can say. But I have lots of food memories, most of them aroma-activated sense memories. Today I thought of a black bean torta I ate in Oaxaca a long time ago. I can still taste it.

Last meal you cooked for yourself: Last night I made myself spaghetti with bread crumbs. It’s a very simple pasta—garlicky, a bit spicy, and completely satisfying. You can find the recipe in One Good Dish.

Holiday recipe you cherish: How about a relish I cherish? The cranberry-jalapeño chutney in Heart of the Artichoke is nice to have on hand. So is my friend Niloufer Ichaporia King’s tomato chutney, or her Parsi wedding pickle, in her cookbook, My Bombay Kitchen.

Ingredient you have banned from your kitchen: Truffle oil. It’s a synthetically made product. A truffle producer in France told me it’s made in a lab and has no real truffle content. But he sells it because people want it.

Ingredient you’re currently loving: A friend has a Kafir lime tree.  The leaves are incredibly fragrant. They’re traditionally used in Thai fish cakes. I’ve been grinding the fresh leaves to a green powder in a spice mill and using it to season fish stews.

Sweet or savory? Savory, definitely.

Chocolate or cheese? Cheese. And another glass of wine. For me, chocolate is something tiny served with coffee.

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Posted by at 5:25 pm
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