February 28, 2009

City Bakery's 17th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival Grand Finale

As mentioned in the last post, I made my way out to the final day of City Bakery's 17th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival. The grand finale flavor was Banana Hot Chocolate. It was delicious, but I'd be lying if I said I was a tad bit disappointed. Banana? Yeah, I love bananas - good source of calcium, nice type of bread, monkeys love 'em...but c'mon- as the grand finale flavor, it felt a bit lackluster. I was expecting some sort of volcanic explosion of flavor, the Academy Award of hot chocolate. But all I got was bananas.

:: Insert that line from Gwen Stefani song *here* ::

Anyway, here is a fun photo of my friend Amanda enjoying the day's offering...

February 27, 2009

Bourbon Hot Chocolate - you'll never know how great it is until you try...

After posting about City Bakery's 17th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival yesterday, my good pal Bradley and I decided to check out the festivities for ourselves. I'm not sure about Bradley, but I had never been to City Bakery before, despite the fact that I've walked by the place about one hundred times.

And boy, am I glad we stopped by! As mentioned yesterday, Friday's flavor was Bourbon Hot Chocolate. I for one have never thought about combining these two entities, but let me be honest - I've only made hot chocolate from a mix I buy at the store. City Bakery's concoction definitely trumped my efforts in the hot chocolate department.

Below are some pics of Bradley and I indulging in the booze infused awesomeness...

I'm going back to City Bakery today to check out the Grand Finale flavor. My good friend Amanda is accompanying me, so expect pictures of us scarfing down some delicious cookies and some sort of exotic mix of hot chocolate plus the super secret ingredient!

And finally, I have to post this little gem of a photo. I always tell people that Bradley looks like Hugh Jackman. Please picture this. Now, look at the picture below and I can guarantee that any sort of image of Hugh Jackman you may have conjured will be ruined. Enjoy!

Tasting Table Links for February 27, 2009

Tasting Table Links for February 27:

Classic Tables: Raoul's - This SoHo trailblazer still stands out

Condimental Cuisine: Sandwich scene-stealers from two of Seattle's favorite chefs

Last two days of the 17th Annual City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival!

The 17th Annual City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival is about to wrap up this Saturday, so schedule some time this weekend to make your way to 3 West 18th Street (@ Fifth Avenue) in New York City to celebrate all that is hot chocolate.

According to the event's official site, today's flavor is Bourbon Hot Chocolate. Saturday's flavor is top secret and sure to be a delicious finale.

Let us know if you attend the festival this weekend - we'd love to hear about it in the comments section. Also, if you take any photos, let us know - we'll happily post them on the blog!

Also, check out some of the cool artwork from past City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festivals here.

Who DOESN'T need a plastic hot dog to top off a cupcake?

My good friend Jessy alerted me to a deliciously awesome Etsy shop called Layer Cake Shop. This is a page you MUST bookmark if you are finding yourself without awesome cupcake decorations. From scary naked babies and hot dogs to tiny beer mugs and garden gnomes, this place is THE place to go for cupcake toppers.

For all of you getting ready for CupcakeCamp NYC, you should definitely check out this page!

Today is National Kahlua Day!

Today, February 27, is National Kahlua Day (according to Foodimentary)!

Now I know Kahlua isn't a pastry, but it is dessert-like. Pour some over your favorite vanilla or chocolate ice cream, make your coffee a bit more fun or have one on the rocks - Happy Kahlua Day!

Recipe of the Day - Black Bean Brownies (yes, I said Black Bean)

My wonderful pal Allison C. from Texas sent me the recipe for today's posting, and I'll admit that when I first read her e-mail, I thought she was insane. Black bean brownies? Does this concoction come complete with a barf bag? But never fear, Allison is an expert in everything she does, so trust me when I say that I will be feasting on these brownies soon.

Allison says:

"I first made this when I was living in New York City and thought that finding powdered non-fat milk would be impossible. Sure enough – Food Emporium didn’t have it. HOWEVER, much to my surprise, the little bodega down the street from me had powdered non-fat milk. Props to the bodegas."

And props to Allison for enlightening us on this very unusual recipe!

Allison Clark's I Can't Believe These are Black Bean Brownies Recipe (straight outta Texas!)

Equipment Needed
Food processor
Muffin pan or 8 x 8 baking tin
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Cooling rack

1 15 oz can unseasoned black beans, drained and rinsed well
4 eggs
1 1/4 Cups Splenda
2 Tablespoons canola oil
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 Tbs vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 Cup ricotta cheese
1 box sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding mix
Chopped nuts to taste (optional)
Fat-free Cool Whip (optional)

Blend beans in food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Pour into 12-18 muffin cups (sprayed with Pam or lined with foil liners) and bake at 350 for approx 30 mins till set in middle. These freeze well and are really good with some fat free cool whip. You can also bake the batter in an 8X8 pan
sprayed with Pam. Takes 30-40 minutes.

Hilarious Cupcake Dog

If you're not already, you should all be following Fair Cake London on Twitter. They always have a great cupcake-related posts, such as this one:

That dog is classic! And depending on your perspective, it's either sad OR amazing that I get the same look on my face as that dog when a plate of cupcakes is put in front of me.

February 26, 2009

CupcakeCamp NYC - site launched!

It's official - CupcakeCamp NYC has launched! Click on the hyperlink to visit the site.

Be sure to check out the site and e-mail cupcakecampnyc@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering. A call for bakers will be issued shortly.

This Saturday, I'll be scouting locations in Brooklyn. If you have any suggestions on a venue, leave them in the comments section!

Recruitment for CupcakeCamp - who's with me?

Earlier this week I heard of something called CupcakeCamp, and I think it sounds pretty interesting. Described as an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment, CupcakeCamp is essentially bringig together cupcake lovers in an effort to make new friends, share recipes, and most importantly, celebrate the awesomeness that is the cupcake.

I'm currently laying the groundwork to host a New York City CupcakeCamp, but I need your help! If you live in New York and would like to join the official planning meeting, please e-mail me at cupcakecampnyc@gmail.com.

I'm going to scout some venues this weekend (most likely bars), so if you would like to join me, shoot me an e-mail.

I'll be sure to update this blog with more details, including a baker's sign up, etc.

Yay for cupcakes!

Tasting Table Links for February 26, 2009

Tasting Table Links for February 26:

Bicoastal Flavors: A new wine-country restaurant with New York DNA

Recipe of the Day - Quick Sour Cream Coffee Cake

One of my favorite breakfast treats is a nice coffee cake, and the recipe from The Joy of Cooking for Quick Sour Cream Coffee Cake is fantastic. Offering a moist (ack! I hate that word!) but light treat for breakfast, regardless of the season, this coffee cake will last up to a week under a cake dome. I like to prepare on Sunday night and eat for breakfast over the course of the next week – that’s if my roommates don’t finish it off first!

Don’t Eat My Coffee Cake Because It’s Mine Recipe

Equipment Needed
9 x 9 baking pan
3 mixing bowls
1 whisk
1 spatula
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
1 cooling rack


1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs

Streusel (Topping):
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Prepare streusel topping. Combine flour, butter and sugar till crumbly. Add cinnamon. Set aside while preparing cake dough.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until all dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

In another mixing bowl, combine sour cream and eggs. Beat well.

Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Beat just till smooth as overbeating tends to toughen dough.

Spread in a lightly greased 9x9 pan.

Sprinkle with streusel (and nuts if desired).

Bake about 30-40 minutes at 350, or till tester comes out clean. Cool on a heating rack.

Enjoy with a nice cup of tea or espresso in the morning (or evening)!

German Bakers Outraged by Proposed E.U. Salt Regulations

Whoever thought that baking bread and the energy crisis would go hand in hand? If you are to believe Germany’s finest bread bakers, you’ll see the connection. Apparently, European Union health officials are pushing a mandate to regulate salt content in products, infuriating German bakers whose heavy bread loaves and famous salted pretzels require substantial salt.

Labeling the bureaucrats in Brussels the “taste police,” German bakers have rallied and with the support of multiple unions and lobbies, including the Central Association of German Bakeries, a lobby for 12,000 of the country’s 15,000 bakeries, have forced E.U. officials to continue talks with bakers before making a final decision, originally scheduled to be handed down on Wednesday.

According to today’s New York Times, the bakers remained skeptical, saying they were convinced that Brussels would try to dictate changes to the recipes for their breads and the popular — and heavily salted — pretzel once the European Parliament elections were out of the way in June.

Interviews by the Times’ Judy Dempsey, Matthias Wiemers, chairman of the Central Association of German Bakeries said, “What the E.U. is doing amounts to stupid interference.”

“The E.U. is trying to change the way we bake our bread, change the way we market it — and of all things, change the taste of our bread,” Mr. Wiemers said. “And all this is taking place just months before we go to the polls to elect a new European Parliament. This is exactly the kind of interference and overregulation by Brussels that annoys citizens and even makes the E.U. unpopular.”

You can read the full New York Times story here.

National Pistachio Day!

According to Foodimenatry, today is National Pistachio Day! Pistachios are my favorite nut (insert jokes here), so in honor of this special day, I'm going to eat a pistachio-flavored French macaron from Madeleine Patisserie.

If French macarons aren't your style, perhaps a pistachio cupcake from sugar Sweet sunshine?

How do you plan to celebrate National Pistachio Day? Leave your ideas in the comments section!

February 25, 2009

Not really a pastry, but definitely worth noting...candy pizza.

ThisIsWhyYoureFat.com is one of my favorite web sites mainly because it makes me feel slender and fit. I mean, I don't actually eat any of the "recipes" highlighted on that site, so I must have a rockin' bod right? Well, this is what I tell myself. It's the same rationale behind why I only watch The Biggest Loser at the beginning of the season - the contestants make me feel thin.

Anyway, set your eyes on this little number:

Pizza covered in caramel and chocolate sauce, topped with miniature marshmallows, gum drops, M&M’s, coconut flakes, candy hearts and a candy fried egg plus chopped pecans.

My stomach is rumbling just thinking about...

French Macarons in NYC - thank god.

For some time now, I've been meaning to check out Madeleine Patisserie on 23rd Street here in New York City. I had first heard about the place from a bartender at the SoHo Grand Hotel, but it's taken me about four to five months to actually seek out the place.

As a pastry lover, you can imagine how my head almost exploded when I heard that Madeleine offers over 60 different flavors of French macarons. There are only a dozen or so flavors a day, but this is enough to keep me coming back on a regular basis to test out all the menu has to offer.

Today, my choices included Coffee Banana, Pistachio (my all-time favorite macaroon flavor), Strawberry,and Mixed Berries. I was stunned with how accurate all the flavors were, as well as the perfectly baked meringue casings.

My favorite today was the Mixed Berries - its subtle tart flavor will supply a wonderful aftertaste for several minutes.

Be sure to visit:
Madeleine Patisserie
132 W. 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

February is Fondue Month!

Ack! There are only three days left in February, so you better hustle your bustle and celebrate Fondue Month!

According to the folks at Bottlerocket Wine Shop, a fantastic little spot on 19th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in New York City, February is the month to celebrate all that is melted and great. So hop to it folks! Whether it's cheese or chocolate, you can't go wrong. And be sure to stop by Bottlerocket for any of your alchohol cooking needs - they've got everything from Kirsch (a traditional element in cheese fondue) to some of the best port I've ever tasted.

One of my favorite dessert (or basically any time you feel like drinking) wines from Bottlerocket is the Familie Bauer Sylvaner Auslese 2005 ($19). The tasting notes describe this wine as:

"Medium Bodied, sweet, high acidity, intense, citrus fruits, honeysuckle, mineral, long finish."

Trust me, the honeysuckle element is delicious!

And for those of you not likely to cook at home, check out Artisinal in New York City for some of the best fondue on the East Coast!

Recipe of the Day - Pecan Pie

If I had to pinpoint the one baked good I've made that probably started my whole love affair with baking/pastries, it would have to be the pecan pie. After successfully making a pie crust for the first time, my confidence in my pastry abilities sky rocketed.

I first made the pie for a pre-Thanksgiving potluck at the apartment of my good friends David and Sayaka. I was a little nervous about people liking my pie as I hadn’t really tested out the recipe on anyone yet, and more importantly, this was the first baked good I had unleashed on the masses. Well, the “masses” being the 15 or so people that attended David and Sayaka’s party.

When dessert time rolled around, I unveiled the pie to the obligatory “ooo”s and “ahhh”s that everyone gets when you reveal a dish at a potluck (unless your friends don’t have any manners – mine do!). It wasn’t until one girl, whose name I can’t remember, said, “Who made this pie? It’s really good!” did my heart beat go back to normal. A handful of other compliments came my way, and to be honest, I was shocked that I was getting this kind of response. Not bad for my first public dish.

The only real competition of the night came from a couple that showed up at the party late. They too had prepared a pecan pie, and admittedly, theirs was a lot fancier looking. For some reason, they chose a sailor theme for their pie. I’m not quite sure how Thanksgiving equates to a nautical theme, but regardless, the anchor shaped crust on the top of the pie, accompanied by seagulls, was impressive. I didn’t stick around to taste their pie as it was the end of the night and I had already unbuttoned the top button on my jeans, but I have to say that my confidence dipped a bit when I saw their creative crust.

It wasn’t until the next day when I received a text message from David that my fears were put to rest. The text said:

“We did a pecan pie taste test after you left. Yours won hands down.”


Below is the recipe I used, which I am happy to share with all my readers. I generally see pecan pie as an Autumn/Winter dessert, but if you’re from the South, I guess it’s an all year treat. Regardless, I think this pie tastes good 365 days a year. Enjoy!

My Pecan Pie Tastes Better Than Your Sailor-themed Pecan Pie Recipe

Equipment Needed
Mixing Bowl
Rolling Pin
Measuring Spoons
Measuring Cups
Dough Blender
Cutting Board
9 Inch Pie Pan
Cooling Rack

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
I Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
6 Tablespoons Butter (not unsalted)
6 Tablespoons Shortening
6 to 8 Tablespoons Ice Water

Pie Filling:
1 Cup White Corn Syrup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Eggs
2 Cups Roasted Pecans

Step 1: Roasting Pecans
Put 2 cups of pecans in the microwave for one minute. Then take them out and turn them over a few times with your hand and put them back in for another minute. The second time you take them out, if they don't look done, put them in for another minute; otherwise, go on to step two.

Once cooled, take a knife and chop the pecans so that each of them has been chopped in half.

Step 2: Making the Crust
Warm the butter in the microwave until it is soft but not melted.

Mix in a large bowl:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
I Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar

Then mix in:
6 Tablespoons Butter
6 Tablespoons Shortening
6 to 8 Tablespoons Ice Water

Next, wrap your pie crust in plastic wrap; then, place it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or as long as it takes you to make the pie filling.

Step 3: Making the Pie Filling
Put the butter in the microwave until it is completely melted. During this step, preheat your regular oven to 350.

Mix together in the mixing bowl:
1 Cup White Corn Syrup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Mix (slightly beat) eggs until they look like the ones shown in the picture to the left.

Add the eggs to the batter and stir until the batter looks as it did before you added the eggs.

Take your pie dough out of the refrigerator, and roll it out till it looks like the picture at the left. It should be about 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Then, apply more flour to the rolling pin. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin, and unroll it onto your pie pan. Cut the excess crust off around the edge of the pie pan so that the crust hangs 1 inch around the edge. We use a pan with a gully around the edge to catch anything that overflows.

Pinch around the edge of the pie dough so that it folds in half. If you did not leave a one inch border, you will not have enough dough to do this. If this happened to you, just take it out of the pan and roll it out again properly.

Now, go around the edge and pinch it as shown here to create a wave shape. This is an important step; it will impact the final look of your pie.

Pour the pecan pie filling into pie shell.

Sprinkle the 2 cups of roasted pecans on top of the pecan pie filling. Some pecans will sink into the filling; while, others will remain on top. Now, put your pie in a preheated oven set to 350F for 1 hour to an hour and 10 minutes.

After the pie has been in the oven for about 30 minutes, take it out, and put strips of tinfoil around the edge to keep the pie crust from burning. Be careful not to spill you pie! The filling is runny and quite hot. Then, put the pie back in the oven.

After you put the pie back in the oven, it will need another 30 to 40 minutes. After about 30 minutes (a total of 1 hour in the oven) test the pie to see if it is done. You can test the pie by sticking a knife in the middle. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done; if it comes out dirty, it needs about 10 more minutes in the oven.


Tasting Table Links for February 25, 2009

Tasting Table Links for February 25th:
Italian Renaissance- Tell Mom and Dad: Lambrusco's back

Second Helpings: Top Napa wineries offer little-brother labels at a deep discount

Cupcakes are to me like Guinness is to the Irish

I believe that I was born to do several things on this planet. Many of these I'm unsure of at this point, but one is clear: I was born to eat cupcakes.

I've tried quite a few in my day - Magnolia, Buttercup Bake Shop, Billy's Bakery, Babycakes. The list could go on. But for the past almost four years, only one bakery has stolen my heart. sugar Sweet sunshine, without a doubt, holds the key to my heart when it comes to exceptional cupcakery.

I first discovered sugar Sweet sunshine through my best friend Emily. We were both living in the Lower East Side of New York City in the Spring of 2005, and she suggested that I check out the bakery. She said she had eaten there before and the cupcakes were not to be missed.

At this point, I didn't consider myself a cupacke connoisseur. I had eaten my share of this particular baked goodness while growing up, but my sampling didn't go beyond prepackaged Hostess cakes and the generic store brand cupcakes with neon icing. Occasionally, a homebaked sample would cross my palate, but to say I was well-versed in the fine art of cupcakes would be a stretch. So, while casually strolling through the L.E.S., I decided to swing by the bakery spoken so highly of by Emily.

According to their web site, sugar Sweet sunshine was unofficially open Thanksgiving 2003. They invited anyone and everyone who felt like tasting the first samplings from two (in my opinion) geniuses in the making. December 22, 2003 marks the day the “Open” sign went up on the door of sugar Sweet sunshine.

Oh, to have been there on that fateful November day! Regardless of my late entry, the first time my taste buds experienced the awesomeness that is the Sunshine Cupcake (vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream icing), my life changed.

And like a lot of foodies, some of my fondest memories involve sugar Sweet Sunshine. My first birthday in New York City with new friends was over a dozen sugar Sweet sunshine cupcakes (I think I ate most of them). Over many a break up or celebration, sugar Sweet sunshine cupcakes have been on hand. I even took my parents to the bakery during the one and only time they've come to visit NYC. This year, my mom and dad remembered how much I love these particular cupcakes, so they had two dozen sent to my office on October 1st. Really, can life get any sweeter than that?

If you are in New York or plan on visiting, you MUST stop by sugar Sweet sunshine. They are located at 126 Rivington Street, right around the corner from the Essex Street Market.

And to entice you a bit more, below is their cupcake menu. But remember - they have lots of other baked goodies, including cheesecake, muffins, breads and cookies!

The Cast of Cakes & Cupcakes
Sunshine: Yellow cake with vanilla buttercream
Bob: Yellow cake with chocolate almond buttercream
Ooey Gooey: Chocolate cake with chocolate almond buttercream
Sexy Red Velvet: Red velvet cake with “The Moose”
Sassy Red Velvet: Red Velvet cake with chocolate almond buttercream
Black & White...Just Right: Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream
Pistachio: Pistachio cake with “The Moose”
Pumpkin: Pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing
Lemon Yummy: Lemon cake with lemon buttercream
Coconut: Coconut cake with meringue
Faux-Coconut: Coconut cake with satin buttercream

February 24, 2009

Delicious Dessert Wine, courtesy of the great state of Maine

Over Presidents Day weekend, I took a journey north to Portland, Maine with my pals Erikka and Jessica to have our hand at dog sledding and snow shoeing. The trip was a great success - friendly locals, delicious food at Fore Street and lobster-shaped cookie cutters. Also, I discovered this great dessert wine from a Maine winery called Blacksmiths.

Although we didn't have a chance to visit the winery itself, I did pick up a bottle of their Roughshod which is comprised of 85% Wild Maine Blueberry and 15% 151 proof Oregon Brandy.

Here is the description from the folks at Blacksmiths:
"This is Blacksmiths' original fortified blueberry wine, delicious as an aperitif and hearty enough to use in a unique Roughshod cocktail. The wine is made in a similar manner as our classic blueberry wine, but the fermentation is halted by addition of brandy to preserve the appropriate level of sugar. This provides the balance of alcohol and sugar which is important in producing an enjoyable dessert wine."

My roommate Peter and I cracked open the bottle for the first time last night, and we both agreed that the taste was unusual, but delicious. We suggest small servings as this is definitely a dessert wine meant to be sipped with a potent aftertaste. Also, we're toying around with the idea of pouring it over vanilla ice cream - we'll let you know how that turns out.

Recipe of the Day - Blueberry Muffins

My previous roommate, the lovely Jamie, made some of the best blueberry muffins I've ever experienced. I've found myself sharing her wonderful recipe with many people, so I'm proud to make it the first installation of Puff and Choux's "Recipe of the Day". Enjoy:

The Yummieset Blueberry Muffins on Planet Earth

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter (slightly cooled)
1.25 cups sour cream
1.5 cups wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside. Mix the egg and sugar together, then add the butter, then sour cream. Mix the blueberries into the flour. Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture. Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 at 350 degrees. Let cool on rack.

Mix together one cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. In a separate bowl, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Dip tops of muffins in butter, then in the bowl containing sugar and cinnamon mixture. Coat well.

Keep in the fridge to harden the sugar coating.


Just when you think cheese can't get any greater...

As a fan of all things related to desserts, my appreciation for cheese is great. However, I now feel like an amateur after learning of the American Cheese Society - how could I not know this existed?

The American Cheese Society was founded in 1983 by Dr. Frank Kosikowski of Cornell University as a national grassroots organization for cheese appreciation and for home and farm cheesemaking. Amen.

For those interested, the ACS annual conference is being held this August in Austin, Texas - anybody interested in attending? This might be one of those random events I have to sign up for. Once in a lifetime experience, anyone?

Lastly, keeping with the theme of this blog, here are some tips for anyone looking to add a final cheese course to their already delicious meal:

- Dessert cheeses may be served after the main course, with the same wine that has accompanied that course

- Cheese may also be served following the sweet or with a suitable dessert fruit such as apples, pears, grapes, cherries, plums or melons.

- Cheeses should always be served at a temperature of about 70 degrees. Some types which are best when coulant, should be removed from refrigeration 3 to 6 hours before serving.

- Usually some pats of sweet butter are added to the cheese-board.

- Toast, crackers, pumpernickel, crusty french bread or sour rye follows the cheese on a separate tray.

- Salted, toasted or freshly shelled nuts, roasted chestnuts, celery or fennel make pleasant accessories.

- Try mixing mild cheeses with the more highly ripened aromatic or smoked ones.

- Above all, remember that cheeses have their own seasons. Choose varieties that are in season.

Tasting Table - everyone should be following!

As part of this blog, I'm going to offer daily links to Tasting Table, a fantastic online source for foodies. They cover everything - wine, restaurants, recipes, new gourmet shops...the list can go on. So, be sure to check back here every day for the linkage!

Tasting Table Links for Tuesday, February 24:
Water 2.0: A new book elevates the most essential beverage

Centrale Intelligence: Before speakeasies were all the rage (again), there was Bar Centrale

Food Blogging: Why not give it a try?

In the past year, I've discovered that I love desserts. I love desserts in a way that makes me think about them all the time - how to make them, the best recipes, ways to design them so the initial reaction of potential eaters is "That's beautiful!". Indeed, I like to eat sweets too, but my passion for the pastry arts goes beyond simple consumption. I'm attempting to make a living based on the fragile foundation of French macaroons, blueberry scones and pecan pies.

Well, here goes nothing...
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