Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A VERY SPECIAL CHOCOLATE CAKE

Simon, at 17, has a certain sobriety in his eating habits that, genetically, I have yet to trace. He eats almost no vegetables, refuses soups and sauces with chunks of anything in them, he dissects meat and casseroles to remove even a hint of fat or anything remotely foreign with a minutia that would make a forensic scientist proud. And he can turn down dessert with an insouciance that never ceases to astonish me. When he does have a request, it is something simple, coming from his familiar list of likes : a delicate coffee cake, the streusel topping studded only with chocolate chips and walnuts, cranberry muffins, chocolate chip cookies, or a light, not too chocolatey, not too gooey chocolate cake.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

CONFESSIONS III: What's an American like you doing....?

Yesterday was one of those afternoons that I decided to cook - here I will clarify that I love to bake. I live to bake. Cooking makes me nervous. I am married to a man who loves cooking, loves great food. Whereas I am the baker, confortable in front of a recipe, where precision is king, he is the true chef. When I market, I go with recipe in hand, or at least an idea of what I want to make, and then I look for the required ingredients. My husband, on the other hand, goes to the market, fearlessly buys only whatever is in season, no shopping list, his mind perfectly unbefuddled by pre-conceived plans, and comes home and cooks - what I consider a free-for-all, what he calls instinct. While I look on in horror, he invents as he goes along, throwing things into a pot, flavoring with a multitude of spices, tossing in whatever is at hand. But though the food-obsessed in me panics, terrified that I won’t end up with an exceptional meal, I always find something fantastic on my plate (along with the tremendous clean-up job in the kitchen).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

BISCOTTI 2 WAYS: Cranberry Pistachio & Chocolate Chip Almond

 LA DOLCE VITA - eating biscotti all day

ClĂ©ment, my blog site cameraman and webmaster, disappeared yesterday at about the time that the first batch of biscotti came out of the oven and Johey’s incredibly adorable two-and-a-half-month old daughter Klara started screaming hysterically and inconsolably, so I couldn’t finish this installment before I went off to bed. I have wrangled my son into getting involved with this project as 1) I have no idea how to put all this stuff on a blogsite, take photos of what I cook or do almost any of the technical stuff, and 2) after getting his high school diploma (Literary Baccalaureat for someone who doesn’t like to read with a Cinema/Audiovisual Option) and getting off to a brilliant start on an award-studded career in animation, he decided last year to come home, “relax” and rethink his options. So what better way to spend his days than helping mom create a food blog? And soon he will be guest chef here, creating his extasy-inducing World’s Best Tiramisu for us.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE

CONFESSIONS OF A GOURMANDE - Day 1

“Okay, your turn,” they said, as about a dozen pairs of eyes slid in my direction. “Tell us about yourself.” I have never been comfortable talking about myself, but here I was, the center of attention, albeit for just about a minute or two, having to introduce myself to the members of a Businessman’s (person’s) Club that my husband belongs to. Dinner with the Spouses Night.

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