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Taking on Mexico: The Cookbook

IMG_4556A few years ago, I found myself climbing El Cuauhcalli, an Aztec Temple of Eagle and Jaguar Warriors. They called it a pyramid but it was really a series of narrow steps and terraces carved into the mountainside built on the Cerro de los Idolos’ ceremonial – now archeological – site in Malinalco, a small town southwest of Mexico City. The security guard at Read more

Arepas de Queso con Huevos Escalfados y Perico

IMG_4522I find an excuse to visit the Publix near my mother’s house almost every day that I’m in Miami. And it’s not for the daily free chocolate chip cookie their Danish bakery has for every child (and shameless adult) who asks – though that doesn’t hurt. When every recipe I attempt in New York turns into a scavenger hunt or compromise, I love the everydayness Read more

Catching Up in Winter

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It has been a long time since I’ve written one of these catch up posts. It’s probably only because we’re deep into the snow-globe months that I’m able to now.  Seeing the links I’ve flagged over the last few weeks, it’s clear that each one has been an escape from black and white (or blue) days: Read more

Mendl’s Courtesans au Chocolat

FullSizeRender.jpg-4Film was my first love but it was never an easy relationship.  Early prep days were always my favorite time, when you were crewing up and you could anticipate any and all problems – or not.  No one ever sets out to make a less than perfect movie but there are so many elements that can get away from you that it can be a heartbreaking process.  It’s lovely to see good work  rewarded and I’m excited to see friends making movies being honored this weekend.  What’s isn’t so great is not seeing it recognized, and it was equally disappointing to see so many frozen out this year. Read more

Pascal’s Manale Bread Pudding

Pascal's Manale_IMG_4393I can’t decide if this post is too early or too late for Mardi Gras.  I’ve always associated bread pudding with Lent for some reason although there is nothing ascetic about pudding drowning in butter and bourbon.  While friends’ feeds filled with street scenes from the parades, I spent Sunday morning, on what felt like the coldest day in Brooklyn, standing over an enormous of red beans with smoked sausage and filling an enormous pan with bread pudding. Read more

Dulce de Toronja/Mermelada de Toronja

IMG_4262 Winter may feel endless just now but the season for red pomelos is way too short.  Only a few markets in my neighborhood carry them  and I all but missed them last year.  Sweeter than other varieties with a thick white pitch or albedo, pomelos are perfect for making dulce de toronja and I‘d been waiting all year for them to come back around. Read more

Bori-Bori

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A couple of months ago, I was asked to do a small write up on Felipe Rojas-Lombardi for the launch of the Celebrity Chef stamps series.  I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know very much about him when I started.  Though he was famous for his work with James Beard, was the founding chef of Dean & Deluca, and introduced countless Spanish and Latin American food traditions to New York’s culinary scene at his Chelsea restaurant The Ballroom (tapas for a start and quinoa no less), his career predated the chef as celebrity phenomenon and it was sometimes hard to pull up information.  Still when I did find articles, some scanned into pre-Google archives, I found some answers to things I’d always wondered about.  For one, it explained why gourmet prepared food counters (like the one he developed for Dean & Deluca) are essentially Peruvian though they would never fall into the “ethnic” food category (he predated those facile distinctions as well).  Read more

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