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What do you do to celebrate the arrival of a brand new puppy, just home from the animal shelter? Or, perhaps more accurately, what did Gruet Omelet make to celebrate a new puppy going home with her brother? Mud Slide Ice Cream Cake, of course. The rich and creamy dessert is easy to make and has a lovely ice cream filling that makes it perfect ... Read More »

Strawberry Lassi

Strawberry Lassi

There was some near-record heat in Los Angeles this weekend and, even though it’s cooling down a bit now, it was the first time this year that I really felt like summer was upon the city. In some ways, I’m not looking forward to the heat of summer because as much as I dislike being cold, it’s a bit tough on those 110F+ days. Mostly, ... Read More »

Cake-plus-vegetable taste testing

A good carrot cake is a hard thing to beat. Granted, there are some less-than-tasty ones out there (too oily/wet, too sweet, to dense), but when it hits the right combination of sweetness and moistness – combined with cream cheese frosting – it’s great. Carrots are veggies that are high in sugar and don’t have a strong flavor of their own, so they work well ... Read More »

43rd Annual Pillsbury Bake Off Winners!

Bake-Off finalists

After a fun day at the 43rd Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off, I couldn’t wait until I got to the awards ceremony this morning to see who had won. Fortunately, the ceremony started at 7:30 am central time and I didn’t have to wait for long until the master of ceremonies (and semi-homemade cooking) Sandra Lee took the stage and started to read the winners. Prizes were ... Read More »

Baking Bites at the Bake Off

Sandra Lee and me!

Picture a huge ballroom with 100 individual work areas, a couple hundred people, a overwhelming air of anticipation and the air conditioning cranked up high. And stick a 6-ft tall, costumed Pillsbury Doughboy in the corner of the room. This is pretty much the setting for the 43rd annual Pillsbury Bake Off right before the 100 finalists come in to bake their potentially million-dollar dishes. ... Read More »

Top Chef: The Cookbook

Top Chef: The Cookbook

Generally speaking, the cookbooks that are spawned by popular TV series are not necessarily collections of culinary greatness – largely because most regular TV series are not really food and cooking oriented. Bravo’s Top Chef is a big exception to this rule, as it is a regular TV show more than it is a food network-style cooking show but it happens to be all about ... Read More »

French Silk Pie

French Silk Pie

I’ve had french silk pies before, but I’ve never had one like this. The concept of a french silk pie is that it is a chocolate mousse set up in a pie crust, the smooth texture of the mousse providing the “silk” part of the pie. Most pies that are sold under this name are relatively dense and chocolaty affairs. Chocolate is the first thing ... Read More »

Strawberry Sunrise Scones

Strawberry Sunrise Scones

These scones weren’t winners in any Pillsbury Bake-Off competition, but still have a tie-in to the contest (like my other recipes this week). They were made with a recipe that I was working on for that last Pillsbury Bake Off competition, the one that Anna won. Although I met the criteria for ingredients, it may not have been “original” enough to become a finalist recipe. ... Read More »

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