"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

I’m sure Gwyneth is a nice gal. But I’ve always had a big problem with famous celebrities touting the good life from on top of their fortress of privilege.  Of course “It’s All Good,” when you’re a tall, blonde movie star in the One Percent.

So it wasn’t like I was ever going to buy her new cookbook. I need that $18 more than she does, thanks.

But then I run into my friend Liz at Trader Joe’s. And she looks good. And so I ask. And she tells me she’s on a gluten-free, sugar-free, yadda-yadda-yadda free diet and she’s feeling great and losing weight and her cholesterol levels have all normalized…all due to diet.

Well so what exactly do you eat, I ask.  Newspaper? Leaves?  She gives me an example; a roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad with creamy dijon dressing that sounds incredible.  But “…and I REALLY hate to admit this,” she says, “it’s from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook.”

“No!”

“Yes!”

But she’s insufferable, I yell. She’s like Marie Antoinette! I don’t want to patronize her!

“I know! I know!” Liz says. “But just try it. It’s amazing.”

So I go home and I Google the recipe. The internets want information to run free!

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my immersion blender

Chop chop!

Behold! My new immersion blender!

Years ago I got one from my mother in law. I didn’t know what to do with it, since I didn’t cook that much at the time. When we moved, I gifted it to a gal who did. And I regretted it for years afterward.

So I asked for one for Yuletide and lo, it did appear under the Hanukkah bush.

I used it to make this chestnut and chickpea soup I saw on Food52, Amanda Hesser’s fancy food blog, for my annual soup swap gathering.

The results? A winner. Accolades. And all that.

Blend more…

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Old-School Steel-Cut Oats

January 27, 2014

More than 20 years ago, late in the 20th century, my friend Stacy and I would meet on Sundays at a little diner just off Grammercy Park in NYC. Oftentimes there’d be a wait. Sometimes a really long wait. But that was expected. They served a porridge that was entirely worth it. More than just […]

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Blueberry-Thyme Soup with Honey Vanilla Mascarpone: It’s what’s for dinner

January 22, 2014

Hard to believe I’ve been swapping soup with friends and family in these parts since 2007. This year we had our second such soup swap at our friendly neighborhood wine bar. All the big cookers were there. But one soup stood out. That was Jamie’s blueberry-thyme soup with honey-vanilla mascarpone. It was by far the […]

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