French cooking class (part II)

January 14, 2012

With two more French cooking classes under my belt, I’m feeling sassy.

(As if I needed any more sass in my kitchen.)

Like our first two classes, we covered a lot of delicious territory.

The talented Chef Michel Maloiseau had a lot more to teach us.

We learned how to make short dough (for quiche/savory crusts and pies).

This alone has changed everything for me.

For example, with it, I made a chicken pot pie entirely from scratch the other day.

You’re impressed, I can tell. Read the rest of this entry »


French cooking class (part I)

November 12, 2011

When I was in Paris in 2005 (like I’ve been more than the once), I was in a lovely romantic haze.

My husband (then my boyfriend of 8 months) and I met there at the end of his European study abroad for about a week and a half.

We traveled from Paris to Nice to Bordeaux and back to Paris.

It. was. heaven.

While those were my shake-and-bake days my pre-foodie days, I appreciated everything we ate, from the simple baguettes and cheese to the croque monsieurs to the mussels in white wine sauce.  Read the rest of this entry »

Why it pays to be a gardener’s daughter

September 4, 2011

On my most recent trip back home to North Carolina, I got to experience the summer bounty of fresh vegetables.

And, lucky for me, I had just missed green-bean canning season.

(My sisters, however, did not. Haha.)

However, I did my fair share of garden work, picking fresh veggies and clearing out the corn patch from the raccoons chomping down in the middle of the night.

Enough, maybe, to justify the enormous amount of goodness I brought back with me.

Okay, maybe not. Read the rest of this entry »

My ‘garden’

May 24, 2011

My very first ripe tomato

When I was growing up (in the mountains of NC), my mom and step-dad had (and still have) a decent sized garden.

And, naturally, as one of their 6 children, it was my colonial-style duty to help dig, plant, hoe, weed, pick and can.

My sister Dee and I used to wear bikinis and sneakers hoping to at least get a tan out of the deal. (My parents were usually pretty late planters, so there was plenty of sun. Nothing like Florida, but still.)

Once, I managed to plant about three rows of onions upside-down before anyone noticed.

My mom thought it was hilarious. She laughed and laughed. I, on the other hand, the person who had to go back and dig up and re-plant said onions was not laughing. Read the rest of this entry »

Blog overhaul

May 4, 2011

Dear all five of you faithful readers,

After much consideration, I have decided to branch out this blog into a broader niche. Many of my favorite blogs, like The Novice Chef and Can You Stay for Dinner?, conquer new and exciting recipes one at a time without an umbrella category. And I always thought that I might broaden the blog eventually – that’s partially why I chose the name “Brave New Food.” Read the rest of this entry »

Spaghetti carbonara FAIL

March 26, 2011

Looks like it might be tasty, right? WRONG. | Brave New Food

As an amateur cook, I always follow recipe directions exactly. I mean, nearly 100 percent accurate all of the time.

I’m not a “pinch of this” or “pinch of that” kind of cook. And I never will be. I’ve come to accept that.

I mean, full disclosure, every once in a while I’ll flub up due to misreading or getting distracted by something on TV.

Like for a German chocolate icing last year, I accidentally used egg whites instead of yolks. It took FOREVER to thicken. I actually did that one more time after before I realized it, remembering that I had used egg whites the previous time.

But, I’m generally pretty darn careful.

So, let’s see.

Dear sphagetti carbonara recipe,

How can I put this? … It’s not me, it’s you.



Read the rest of this entry »

5 ways to be more efficient in the kitchen

March 19, 2011

There are many parts of my house that are insanely chaotic.

For example, the closet in our office (which happens to not have a door) is piled to the ceiling with boxes of stuff that we simply moved from one place to the other.

My desk is messy. My closet is filled with things I don’t wear. Our hall closet is crammed with stuff, only a quarter of which we actually use. The laundry room is cluttered. Our important files are crammed in with gushy love notes sentimental papers. We still haven’t put away all of our wedding gifts from last June.

I could go on and on. Read the rest of this entry »

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