April 1, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

Bring the Finished Butternut Squash Soup Up to a Simmer on Medium High Heat

When we were down in Florida, our friend, Karen, had some butternut squash puree in the refrigerator the chef, Sebastian, had left for her and Blake as he didn't need it.  She used it to make herself a butternut squash soup for lunch one day after coming back from a run.  I hadn't thought much about it but during one of the recent trips to the grocery store, we passed the butternut squashes and I put one in the cart on a whim because it's one of the few mainstream vegetables we've never used.  I … [Read more...]

Crown Maple Syrup from Madava Farms Should Be In Your Pantry (and a Case Study for Your Entrepreneurial Files)

Crown Maple Syrup Colors Joshua Kennon

After my recent semi-annual rant on the sorry condition of the maple syrup industry in the United States, which began with our discussion of the food industry polluting its products last Autumn, it should come as no surprise that, lately, we've been on a quest to find the ideal luxury maple syrup; honest-to-goodness, real, from-the-Earth maple tree sap with nothing else added that will become our go-to syrup for enjoying with breakfast, cooking in recipes, or using as a sugar substitute when the … [Read more...]

Wendy’s Chili Recipe (and a Business Lesson from Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas)

Stir the chili pot together and turn the heat up to medium

Back when Dave Thomas left his discipleship of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame to go off and start the hamburger chain that we now know as Wendy's (which he named for his daughter, Melinda) one of my favorite things he did was find a way to reduce waste - and thus costs - while increasing revenue by introducing a chili recipe on the menu.  The freshly made hamburgers that had not been sold in time were added to a simmering pot, broken down, and still converted to profit rather … [Read more...]

The New York Times Shows What 2,000 Calories Looks Like: The Mental Models of Math Estimation

Center for Science in the Public Interest

The average healthy adult should eat roughly 2,000 calories per day to maintain a recommended weight.  In the United States, all else equal, the average male, at 5'8", should weigh between 140 pounds and 172 pounds.  The average female, at 5'4", should weigh between 114 pounds and 151 pounds. In study after study, the typical person underestimates the number of calories they eat in a day, often by a significant amount.  This propensity to miscalculate creates some unpleasant non-intended cons … [Read more...]

It’s Time to Make Christmas Candy as Gifts!

Making Almond Clusters Josh and Aaron Kennon Green

We're making Christmas candies, chocolates, and cookies as part of our gift strategy this year.  I'm probably most excited about trying my hand at the Jacques Torres Nougat Montilimar, which is going to require a deft hand.  (It looked promising, and we stopped in one of his chocolate shops in New York a few years ago so I have a general idea of what to expect.)  I'm also going to try cherry cordials, amaretto liqueur cake, rum cake, and a few holiday breads.  Aaron wants to give truffles a go.   … [Read more...]

A Recipe So Good It Brought Julia Child to Tears

Nancy Silverton of Le Brea Bakery in Los Angeles came to the set and prepared a creme fraiche custard brioche tarte in a white wine sauce Baking with Julia Child

Back in 1997, Nancy Silverton of Le Brea Bakery in Los Angeles went to Julia Child's home studio and prepared a creme fraiche custard brioche tarte in a white wine sauce.  The execution was so good, and the recipe so perfect, that at the end of the segment, when she takes a bite, it brings Julia to tears. The passion this woman had for what she did makes me so happy.  I understand it; to be so excited about something there aren't words to convey the joy, thrill, and excitement of experiencing … [Read more...]

Do Any Of You Have a Steak Brandy or Cognac Butter Reduction Recipe?

Searing Chuck Roast for Dutch Oven Recipe

Ten or eleven years ago, I went to a steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska during a trip home from college.  The chef that day had decided to make either a brandy or cognac reduction sauce using the drippings from the beef.  Feeling adventurous, I decided to order off menu and see what it was like.  The word incredible doesn't even do it justice.  I remember them mentioning there was butter in it.  It had a high, bright flavor, most likely lemon, which offset the almost obscene level of richness in the s … [Read more...]

A Really Easy Caramel Pecan Apple Pie Recipe You Might Want to Try

Closeup of Caramel Pecan Apple Pie Josh and Aaron

I mentioned yesterday that I baked a caramel pecan apple pie.  We had some surplus homemade pastry dough and granny smith apples from the two granny smith apple pies I made on Thanksgiving, using my favorite apple pie recipe.  I wanted to try something different, and needed to find another apple pie recipe that didn't require a top crust as I had just enough to cover the bottom of a pie pan to use the leftovers.  I began the search, ultimately settling upon a perfectly rated derivation from a pub … [Read more...]

There Is a Huge Staub Cookware Sale Going On Right Now!

My Mom Cooking in Her Kitchen

A lot of you have written me over the years about picking up your own French Oven or Dutch Oven given that they last forever, are one of the best tools to have in the kitchen, are so versatile, and can make cooking certain types of recipes much easier.  I never deviate on my past advice as, personally, there are only three brands I've ever found that I think are worth the money. If you want something less expensive, there is a camping supply company called Lodge that makes the highest quality … [Read more...]

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving Everyone!

Baking Apple Pies in the Oven

Aaron asked me if I would make a couple of my apple pies for Thanksgiving with my family tomorrow.  It's been awhile since I baked this particular pie recipe.  He brought it up three or four times, each entreaty accompanied by ever-escalating puppy dog eyes, so I knew he wanted me to do it even though I was planning on making some sort of specialty cake in the spirit of the honey lemon bee hive dessert I baked a few years ago; maybe a giant pumpkin or spice cake, in the (appropriately enough) sha … [Read more...]