Recipes for “Utility” Gingerbread and Royal Icing

I wanted to take a quick moment out of my family’s “gingerbread village project” to post the recipes for our “utility” gingerbread and royal icing. Utility Gingerbread: This is the recipe I use for ornamental gingerbread.  It’s sturdy, it smells nice, and it’s inexpensive to make.  It’s not the best tasting gingerbread, […]

Homemade Marzipan and Video Tutorials on How to Sculpt and Paint Marzipan Fruits

Marzipan is one of the oldest and most well-loved confections in the world. It’s roots lie in ancient Persia.  The original recipe consisted of ground almonds, honey and rosewater.  The confection was introduced in Europe in about the 13th century, and by the 16th century, sugar was added.  It was the food of kings. […]

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes!

  So….things have changed a little in my world lately…. A little over six weeks ago – completely on a whim…I decided to live record myself cooking in my kitchen over Facebook live tv.  I do have experience as a presenter, cooking teacher and speaker, so it wasn’t hard to […]

Butter Bolognese, Baby Boys and War

I first heard the term “Bolognese” when we lived in England. Before then, I just called it “meat sauce”.   All the “mums” on my square were making “Spag Bol” (spaghetti Bolognese) as their go-to dish on week nights. We lived in a very international part of Cambridge, England.  Built in the era of Charles Dickens, our grey brick flat […]

Turkey-Lentil Tostadas

Lentils are like the humble little monks of the food world.  Small, plain, unassuming….cloaked in their earthy brown habits and the little white sash around their waists.  By all appearances, lentils are meek.  You’d think they’d be boring. You’d think you’d be able to “figure them out” based on their appearance. Turns out, they are quite […]

Taco Salad, We Love You!

I seem to remember some kind of controversy surrounding taco salads back in the 90’s.  I don’t know if it came from TV or health class or some kind of fitness magazine – but suddenly, the “unhealthiness” of taco salads seemed to be something worth talking about. Oh, those evil […]

Ginger-Wasabi Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

There’s something especially soul-killing about a poorly-prepared chicken breast.  Now, don’t feel bad if you’ve made dry, thick, chewy, barely-palatable chicken breast in your life.    People throw boneless, skinless chicken breast around as if it was the easiest thing in the world to prepare, but the fact is; it’s not.  It’s actually […]

Cold Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad

I’ve been writing recipes like mad lately, and I had my whole freezer stocked with the goodies for my “Light Summer Series”, of which I was going to start photographing this week.  One recipe per day, I figured.  It was a perfect plan!  Until my two-year-old turned off the freezer night-before-last and I woke […]

Freezer Cooking Series: Baked Ziti From the Freezer

Update: The video was from last summer, but the written post below was from a couple of years ago. Dinners from the freezer:  Because sometimes you need to drop everything and explain to your kids why we don’t draw swastikas on things. “Look what we made, Mama!”, my five and […]

Smoked Cheese, Ham and Spinach Frittata (With a Spot of Cream Cheese)

This is not what I planned on posting this week.  I had a post on baked ziti all planned out, then I went and made this for dinner last night (on the fly).  It turned out so great, I had to drop everything and recreate it today so I wouldn’t […]

My Hamster – My Hero: Lessons on Developing a Rich Interior Life (From My Hamster)

I never intended on buying a hamster.  But I blurted out “Let’s get a hamster!” to my fifteen-year-old daughter in the middle of a heart-break moment, when I was searching for any way to help her feel better. “Really?”, she said, as she looked up from her sobs. “Really, we’ll […]

Charlotte’s Victoria Sponge Cake

My daughter Charlotte is ten-years-old and is just about the neatest person I’ve ever known.  All my kids are the neatest people I’ve ever known, but each is so unique, it’s easy to see and appreciate all the great things that make them who they are.  I’m nuts over all […]

Light Garlic and Chicken Broth

Once you see how easy it is to make a good broth out of a picked-over roasted chicken, you’ll never throw chicken bits away again.  This broth is useful as a base for many-a-soup, and it’s especially good taken straight-up in the middle of cold and flu season, which, unfortunately is upon us right […]

New Orleans King Cake (with Bourbon Glaze)

It’s hard to explain how New Orleans can get under your skin.  I think the reason why many of us can move to New Orleans and duly adopt the traditions (so readily), is because the people of New Orleans are so non-discriminating.  If you’re there, you’re family.  I’ve lived in many places and […]

Nachos for a Crowd

I’ll never be too good for nachos.  Never. Who can deny the healing properties of a mound of tortilla chips topped with slow-braised shredded beef, aged cheddar cheese, fresh guacamole, jalapenos, clouds of sour cream and more….? The best thing about this recipe is that the beef cooks in the crockpot overnight.  […]

The Best Bacon and Egg Sandwich

The classic bacon and egg sandwich is SO GOOD and SO EASY to make.  Much less volatile than a burger.  Full-proof results.  Fast.  Easy.  It will make you feel great about your cooking abilities.  Add my special touches like sriracha sauce, avocado and fresh cilantro, and you’ve got a dinner that’s 100% better […]

Skillet Satay

Peanut butter:  It’s not just for jelly. “Satay”, or “Sati” is a traditional Indonesian dish made from marinated meat, skewered on bamboo rods, grilled, and served with a peanut sauce.  It’s quite possibly one of the world’s most delicious foods.  The spices of cumin, red pepper and ginger travel so gracefully in the […]

Chocolate Ganache

I’m not saying that making your own chocolate sauce will change your life….  I mean if you’re not in the mood for an ethereal, (nay, even spiritual) experience that will make your childhood dreams come true.  If you never watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and secretly envied Augustus […]

Watercress Soup

It’s hard to believe a weedy little thing like watercress can make such an addictive soup. I first tried watercress soup when we lived in England.  It, like the Carrot and Coriander Soup came fresh in little cartons.  I don’t know if I can accurately describe what it was like to bundle into the […]