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11.24.15

Award-winning baker Jessica Appelgren says apple pie is her hands-down favorite. Here is her recipe using a gluten-free crust. Enjoy!

11.24.15
Award-winning baker Jessica Appelgren with her mother—and pie idol—Marjorie Musser Mikels

Award-winning baker Jessica Appelgren with her mother—and pie idol—Marjorie Musser Mikels     Pie making anxiety? You’re surely not alone this week if you are cursing whatever smartass came up with the expression as easy as pie. Turns out, however, that the phrase originally referred to the act of eating, not baking, America’s most beloved...

04.05.15
Strawberry "Preaster" Cake with Cardamom Syrup and Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream

I made this cake for my friends’ “Preaster” party the weekend before Easter. The cake layers are from Alice Medrich’s recipe for Chocolate Layer Cake, which is a gluten-free yellow cake made with oat and rice flours from her excellent cookbook, Flavor Flours. You could use any yellow cake recipe you like, but if you have any interest whatsoever in...

03.09.15

You won’t see me sporting a shamrock this month, but you might find me with a leek on my lapel.  I’m not a big believer in the influence of genealogy on our present-day likes and dislikes. But I have to admit that I did pause recently when I discovered that the leek is a...

02.26.15

My friend “Marley” had 11 brothers and sisters, and when you are one of a dozen kids, you learn early how to cook for a crowd. It was Marley who showed me, in my first year of high school, how to make soup: a creamy potage of potatoes, carrots, celery and—because we were California hippie kids—chunks of tofu. We’d hang out at her boyfriend’s...

02.16.15

Your French custard with prunes makes me sigh with longing. And your sugar cream pie? I am swooning. Richard Sax, you are dead and gone, but my love for your magnum opus, Classic Home Desserts, will never die. (Are there three more delicious words in the English language than classic home desserts? With apologies to Henry James, no.) My crush...

02.06.15

I’ve never really gotten over it. I traveled to Spain for the first time when I was sixteen years old and it spoiled me for life—the beaches, the melon con jamón, the dancing until daybreak. And the hot chocolate. Thick, rich chocolate…that you drink for breakfast. (If you’...

02.03.15
Baked Alaska

Remember Candy Land? The game that is every kid’s fantasy—an entire world made of chocolate and Technicolor sugar? We’re having near-blizzard conditions today here in Northwest Indiana—it’s been snowing for 24 hours, school’s been cancelled tomorrow, the roof is piled high with at least a foot of powder—and the big drifts of snow outside my...

01.25.15

Life takes us places we never expect. Like the delicious city of Antwerp, Belgium, which I recently wrote about for Drink Me Magazine. How I ended up there is a long story—one that starts 25 years ago—and connects me to some of the most amazing people I've met in my life—like my friend Judineth Miranda, the assistant manager of Antwerp’s On The...

12.05.14

We call our daughter The Pig Farmer because she is up and almost painfully chipper at the crack of dawn—ready to feed the pigs (if we had any, which she regularly reminds us we should), devour a multi-course breakfast and basically carpe diem with both hands. My son, however, is not a morning person. Lately, we call him Chewbacca. Waking up means...

09.14.14

I made an apple crisp last Thursday. I had 20 pounds of Paula Reds and Empires from my Earth First Farms CSA subscription sitting on my counter when a friend stopped by with her sons for a play date. It’s horribly American, I know, but being the middle of the afternoon and a weekday...

09.14.14

Once you’ve made your first jar of crème fraîche you may find yourself in an existential crisis of sorts: How did you not know this was possible? How have you lived without it all these years?  You may also find yourself sneaking into the kitchen for a spoonful and dolloping it on...

09.05.14

Somewhere between watermelon bubblegum and the watermelon gazpacho with chorizo sorbet that I savored in Paris last summer, there is a line of verse from Richard Brautigan on loop in my head: In watermelon sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar. If you were a part of the 1960s counterculture or, like me, a...

09.05.14

Summer isn’t summer without sticky pink juice trickling down your chin. When you’ve eaten all you can of fresh watermelon, this is the recipe to use up the rest. To make this recipe, you will need a blender and an ice cream maker. Make sure to freeze the canister of your ice cream...

08.19.14
Outstanding in the Field Dinner at Seedling Farm with chef Paul Kahan and Goose Island Brewing Company

I did a little “research” last week for a few new writing projects. It’s too soon to share what I’m working on, but I can assure you that it requires drinking lots of excellent beer and eating some really good food. I know: It’s tough, but somebody’s got to do it. Here, for the time being, is the beginning of the story: My friends at Goose...

07.23.14

Yes, I've gone a little crazy with the galettes this summer. It started with gooseberries picked from my friend Sarah's yard. Then sour cherries from Lehman's Orchard up the road in Niles, Michigan. After that, blueberries from one of our favorite summer destinations: The Blueberry...

07.18.14

After I first saw A Christmas Story, I promptly licked the gate to our horse pen to see if my tongue would stick to the frozen metal. I remember balancing on the gate—bulky nylon snowsuit, mittens, boots—my tongue tentatively brushing the light dusting of snow on the oxidized metal bar. It was cold and metallic and tasted sort of like manure....

05.26.14

When I was 18, my future grandfather-in-law, a distinguished epidemiologist, gave me the once-over and asked: “Do you have any ambition?” As I remember it, Grandpa Ralph was eating a grapefruit and wearing a plaid bathrobe, but the words might as well have come from the King of England. I was mortified. “I want to be a writer,” I muttered. ...

05.23.14

Aioli is typically associated with Provence, but the sauce (a garlicky cousin of homemade mayonnaise) is found throughout Southern Europe, from France to Spain and Italy. This saffron version is fantastic with tomatoes on bread, but is also a lovely dip for crudités or potatoes. It also makes a...

05.22.14

This Greek Yogurt Icebox Pie brings together the tart and refreshing flavors of yogurt and blueberries with the floral and citrus elements of coriander. The style is rustic, but the spice adds subtle complexity and a bit of sophistication. You can serve it as a summer dessert—or enjoy it for...

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