Pie Festival and Pillsbury, April Baking Contests

April must be a good month for baking. I’m not just saying that because we stay indoors more during spring rains, but because there are an awful lot of baking contests going on this month. The World Cup of Baking just took place in France and here in the US, we’re about to see the 2008 Great American Pie Festival and the 43rd Pillsbury Bake-Off. ... Read More »

France wins World Cup of Baking


This week, the world has seen a showcase of some of the best bakers at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie – a.k.a. the World Cup of Baking. The international event is held every three years at Europain, a massive bakery, patisserie and catering convention in Paris. Artisan bakers – teams of three from 12 different countries – compete in small bakeries specially set ... Read More »

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate and peanut butter have an interesting relationship. The flavors pair well together in just about every application you can think of, from candies and cookies to the simple, decadent late-night-snack of peanut butter and chocolate sandwiches. The interesting thing is how delicate the balance between chocolate and peanut butter really is. It’s easy to use a too-sweet milk chocolate and make sugar the overly ... Read More »

Bites from other Blogs

101 Cookbooks posted a very tempting picture of some fudgy, rich, melt-in-your-mouth brownies. But these aren’t just any brownies. These are Amazing Black Bean Brownies, flourless brownies that are made with all-natural ingredients and sweetened with agave syrup instead of refined sugar. There’s still a lot of butter in the brownies, though this recipe definitely offers a little bit of a healthy twist on a ... Read More »

In Season Spring Fruits

I’m incredibly lucky to live in California, a state that not only produces fantastic produce, but does so year-round. As a result, you might think that I don’t pay too much attention to what is in season and what isn’t simply because so much is available. But I do. Despite the availability of decent strawberries in December, for instance, nothing beats fresh fruits and veggies ... Read More »

CI’s egg taste test


Can you describe the flavor of an egg? I’m not entirely sure that I can. Chicken meat is the same way: you can’t exactly describe it, but you know it when you taste it because it is such a familiar flavor. There are many different types and qualities of chickens and, if you eat meat on a regular basis, you’re probably well aware that not ... Read More »

Apple Bourbon Bread Pudding

Apple Bourbon Bread Pudding

Apples are not the first fruit I think of to go into bread pudding. For some reason, things like cherries, raspberries and especially various dried fruits seem like more obvious choices to me, despite the popularity of the apple as a baking fruit. They are softer and, in the case of dried fruit, more absorbent. Both seem like better matches for a custardy and tender ... Read More »

How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science

How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science

You’ve probably heard it said that baking is a science. It’s true. It works like this: multiple ingredients get mixed together, heat is (usually) applied and a few chemical reactions later you have something truly delicious to eat – as long as you did everything right. How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science is a book that tells you everything you need to ... Read More »

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