Patience and a Great Scale. Tartine Bread: Day 5.

I am not sure what was worse… the appearance or the smell as soon as I unveiled my starter after the first two days of rest.

By the end of this whole experience I anticipate that my bread will be named and will have a permanent place in my family. Right now it is living in the office, in the deep dark cold corner, tucked in nicely with a kitchen towel…

Anyway, clearly something was working because it was all quite stunning.

It’s fun to look forward to feeding it every day! 4pm is the magical hour.

You remove all but 75 grams of what is in the bowl and throw it away, and then “feed” it 100 grams of 78 degree water, and 150 grams of the flour blend that was made and ziploc bagged on the first day. On the bag I put a tick mark with each day that passes just to be precise…

I love the reward of slow and steady progress, but really without patience and a good scale, this loaf would absolutely cease to ever exist.

ThrowDown: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

Where is Bobby Flay when you need him?

In an effort to test just how good my homemade vanilla ice cream is, and having no way to get the throwdown king into my kitchen, I decided upon my second best option…. Hire the pickyest tongue in the entire family and have him be the judge of my carefully crafted dessert.

There is something you must know about this judge first, he only eats one brand and one type of ice cream: Breyer’s Natural Vanilla. That’s all. Not Extra Creamy, not French Vanilla, not Ben and Jerry’s, and certainly not Sugar Free. Is it possible he was overqualified for this?

I mean, if I can get my Uncle John to like a spoonful of this stuff, chalk up a GIANT W for me.

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Cook the Cover. Food and Wine Magazine: March 2011.

Photo from

Let me preface this by saying that I totally acknowledge my bias being a photography nerd, but answer me this, what is the determining factor for why you buy a food magazine.. the content teased on the cover, or the photograph of the food?

I truly believe that there is nothing that our eyes ┬ábecome more infatuated with than gorgeous photographs. In January 2008, I bought this issue of Bon Appetit because of the cover photograph (Okay, maybe “Best of the Year” caught my eye too)….

In January 2008, I bought a magazine that allowed me to dicover a recipe that transformed my understanding of what immense potential pie has, what chocolate has the power to become, and what creme fraiche can do to a simple whipped cream.

Bittersweet Chocolate Pie, Best of 2007, and the Best, period.

Recently, with my whirl wind experience building GtoG into something beautiful, food magazines serve the purpose of lulling me to sleep each night. Purchased and subscribed to for not only photographic inspiration, but also content that I can share with you all, I felt like it would be an awesome idea to cook the dishes featured on one or two covers each month…. If they are featured on the cover they must have potential for greatness, right?

It is for them to know, and for us to find out.

So I give you March 2011’s first Cover to Cook – Food and Wine Magazine.

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Out of the box: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.

We all do it, have done it, will do it, and frankly I think love to do it. What exactly? Baking from a box. There is a critic for everything and I know there are bountiful boxed cake critics, but I really don’t care. (Hey, someone made it big by reinventing the world of boxed cakes. The Cake Mix Doctor, anyone??) But really, sometimes you just want to take the path of least resistance, and it’s not like that path doesn’t always taste amazing! Alright, so you can’t brag that you came up with this recipe or spent hours slaving over a mixing bowl in the kitchen, but in the long run, all people remember should remember is how sweet and tasty a dessert is. Don’t be ashamed of your Betty Crocker swagger. I know we all have one!

Last night’s adventure was sponsored by Stonewall kitchen and one of my best friends, Laura. About a year ago came one of the most wonderful surprises in my life, two new roommates! My forever roommate would be sure to admit that our lives would be very different without the introduction of Laura and Brittany into our world. Laura calls me Mom and I call her my daughter. It doesn’t describe our relationship, but really just the fact that we are always looking out for one another. My little daughter really looked out for me when she gifted me this delicious mix to help introduce me into the world of Whoopie Pies! And red velvet Whoopie Pies to boot. The red velvet is just a small reminder of the day that I baked one of my all time favorite red velvet cake for my roommates… I think it lasted out on the counter maybe 36 hours. Oh, YUM!

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