December 22, 2014

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...]

You Should Try the Wood-Fired Italian Neapolitan Pizza at Il Lazzarone

Il Lazzarone Pizza St Joseph Missouri

We met up with friends at a new wood-fired Italian Neapolitan pizza restaurant that opened 45 minutes north of Kansas City called Il Lazzarone.  This is the same group with which we regularly try new restaurants, though I've been terrible about posting them all over the years.  We sat inside for hours talking about everything from economics, rental properties, trust law, and oil stocks to the Catholic Church, steam saunas, and the new health care reform costs. (As a side note, the latter resul … [Read more...]

We Had Our First Korean Bibimbap Last Night

Joshua Kennon Assembling Bibimbap

We made Korean Bibimbap for dinner last night as we sat down to watch more episodes of Let's Eat but I'm just now going through the pictures, a day later.  Although, technically, it was slightly less than authentic because our local supermarket didn't have any bean sprouts!?  (How is that even possible?)  The produce guy knew they were out immediately upon asking so I'm not sure what happened to the shipment but we decided to go through with the plans, anyway, using spinach, marinated beef, zuc … [Read more...]

A Korean Spicy Pork Stir Fry Recipe for the Brave

Maangchi Spicy Pork Dwaejigogi-bokkeum

Being a cold, rainy, October Sunday, we stayed at home, wrapped up in a sweater and blanket, working on our respective projects.  Aaron wanted to give Maangchi's Spicy Stir-Fry Pork, or Dwaejigogi-bokkeum 돼지고기볶음, a try, and I'm always up for a new Korean recipe, especially one from her since the Dakgangjeong we made for my mom's birthday was so delicious.  The spicy stir-fry pork not only looked tasty, it gave me a chance to casually suggest we start a new Korean drama, which I haven't been able … [Read more...]

Cooking with Lard and the Carnation Cafe at Disneyland

Disneyland Carnation Cafe Baked Potato Soup

My earliest memories in life are in the early 1980's.  At that time, the older generation who cooked the food at family gatherings, church dinners, and social events in small town America that made up the fabric of my childhood was born between the late 1800's and the mid 1920's.  There was a certain common thread that ran through the food, arising out of preparation techniques unique to the farmhouse and the list of ingredients that were available at the time.  It's hard to describe unless you'v … [Read more...]