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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

How to Use Bean and Legume Pasta

Much as I love pasta, I’m not sure it loves me. Last year my carb-heavy comfort food diet led to some weight gain so I looked into low carb pasta as an alternative. There’s a lot out there and I’m still trying different brands and styles, but I thought now would be a good time to share what I’ve learned so far. Pasta with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts My introduction to legume and bean-based pasta was thanks to Barilla. I was lucky because I got to attend a webinar with Barilla’s incredible chef, Lorenzo Boni . I tried his recipe for  pasta with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts   which I definitely recommend and have now made several times. If you’ve seen his wildly popular (150k+ followers!) Instagram feed you know he’s a master at making all kinds of pasta dishes and that he often eats plant-based meals. I followed up with him to get some tips on cooking with pasta made from beans and legumes. Pasta made with beans and legumes is higher in protein and so the recommended...
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

A Conversation with Julia Filmmakers, Julie Cohen and Betsy West

Julia is a new film based on Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz and inspired by My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme and The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act by Alex Prud’homme. Julia Child died in 2004, and yet our appetite for all things Julia hasn't waned.  I grew up watching Julia Child on TV and learning to cook the French classics from her books,   And while I never trained to be a chef, like Child I also transitioned into a career focused on food, a subject I have always found endlessly fascinating. I enjoyed the new film very much and while it didn’t break much new ground, it did add a layer of perspective that can only come with time. In particular, how Julia Child became a ubiquitous pop culture figure is addressed in a fresh way.  I reached out to the filmmakers,Julie Cohen and Betsy West to find out more about what inspired them and why Julia Child still holds our attention.  Julia Child died over 15 years ag...
Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Meet my Friend & Mentor: Rick Rodgers of the Online Cooking School Coffee & Cake

I met Rick Rodgers early in my career as a recipe developer and food writer when we were both contributors to the Epicurious blog. Not only is he a lot of fun to hang out with, but he has also been incredibly helpful to me and is usually the first person I call when I’m floundering with a project, client, or cooking quandary. His interpersonal skills, business experience, and cooking acumen explain why he’s been recognized as one of the top cooking instructors in America. Literally.  You built a career as a cooking instructor and cookbook author. How many cookbooks have you written?  I was asked recently to make an official count, and It looks like an even hundred. Many of those were collaborations with chefs, restaurants, celebrities, bakeries, and business entities, such as Tommy Bahama, Williams-Sonoma, and Nordstrom.  I made it known that I was available for collaboration work, and my phone literally rang off the hook for quite a few years with editors and agents looking for help ...
Sunday, August 15, 2021

All about Saffron and Saffron Scented Fennel & Chickpea Stew Recipe

Like so many people, when I’ve traveled to Spain, I’ve come back with packages of saffron. But recently I met Negar Ajayebi, whose company Baron Saffron is importing the most exquisite organic Persian saffron. The color is incredibly vibrant and the aroma intense and complex. Frankly, it was way better than anything I ever had before. I spoke with Ajayebi to learn more about this exquisite spice and how to use it.  How did you get into the saffron business? It was a hobby as we cook every day and we use saffron a lot. Persian people grow up with saffron. We came from a culture where daily cooking is the primary job of every family, and saffron is an important ingredient. The best saffron in the world grows in the Persian plateau, and we like to introduce it to people worldwide. What is something that most Americans don't know about saffron? Most Americans use the threads to add taste, but the point is that you should grind the threads and brew them! It has so many health ben...