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Posts Tagged ‘bread’

I’ve been crazy-busy recently, working nights and weekends to do my day job while getting ready for the Les Dames d’Escoffier annual conference starting this Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead in Atlanta. The end of the conference marks the end of my year as president. LDEI is the only organization of its kind: a worldwide […]

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“Tell me about Christmas,” Nicky says to me with a twinkle in his eye. “Tell me your favorite thing when you were a little girl.” I tell him about how much I loved baking cookies with my brother to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve and how we would fight to stay awake to hear the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof. It seems like yesterday, those sleepless Christmas Eves. My brother and I could hardly wait until sunrise.

After all these years, I now understand the work that went into making those Christmas mornings so magical. They’re as sleepless for the parents as they are for the kids. We work to assemble and arrange toys, wrap presents and set the table for breakfast. Round about midnight, I appreciate my parents’ efforts and now understand why Dad was so droopy eyed at dawn when we came rushing from our rooms.

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As if the holiday season wasn’t daunting enough, it seems that every special occasion revolves around a feast. I mean, it’s festive and communal and I totally get it, but even a seasoned foodie can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of significant meals that take place in the month of December.

Just as the latke parties are winding down, it’s time to gear up for Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, Christmas dinner, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s day…the chow-fests come fast and furious.

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If people and cultures are bound by their food traditions, Thanksgiving is the unifying holiday that links all Americans to a common heritage. We may modify the menu to include ethnic favorites such as salsa or sushi, or incorporate new culinary trends, like brines or rubs. But the tradition of turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, are imprinted in our taste memories and are the comfort foods we crave at Thanksgiving.

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Strata, similar to a savory version of bread pudding is a great way to use leftover bread. This simple strata combines bread, eggs, bacon and dried plums to make a dish fit for brunch. Or serve it as a side dish for dinner.

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I always overbuy baguettes for a party. Bread is cheap and I’d rather have too much than not enough.

But then I’m stuck with the leftovers. Any sane person would toss the remainder but I always bag the leftovers, intending to do something with them. I hate waste.

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Autumn leaves. Crisp nights. Cooler days. Not here.

Autumn looks very different in L.A. It’s slow to arrive and sometimes impossible to tell one season from the next. At least there’s one thing we can depend on this time of year…pumpkin patches! I know fall is officially here when pumpkins begin to appear.

The boys love the fall season for two reasons: pumpkins and trick or treating. I love this time of year for pumpkins and pumpkin pie spice. Food is one of the biggest pleasures the seasons bring and I love to celebrate the change of seasons by baking. For me, the flavor of pumpkin pie spice signals the arrival of fall. I like to add it to pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, even sprinkled on my morning yogurt.

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I love burgers for so many reasons. They are super-delicious, juicy patties that you can dress up or down, depending on your mood and what you might have on hand. You can easily make a burger for just one or two pretty quickly.

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