Cool Stuff – Food + Drink
“Gingerbread Castle Bundt Cake”

I have a mold. I don’t know where it came from. It just appeared one day. It’s always in the way, it doesn’t fit anywhere nicely. It was suggested at one point that we throw it out, but it wouldn’t go. So today I finally used it, in honor of our Christmas party this evening. I decided to do a gingerbread flavor, though any flavoring would work. Even Grandma P.’s […]

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“Easy Christmas Cookies”

I am always so impressed with people who produce oceans of Christmas cookies of various kinds and dole them out in charming tins. The woman who took care of me growing up has about twenty or so kinds of cookes that she makes every year. She doesn’t break a sweat. They are all very different and all beautiful to look at and all delicious. Last weekend, my friend and I […]

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“How to String Peppers”

As you recall, I had all of these strange French peppers this year. Some turned red, some didn’t. It was very confusing. But they were beautiful and I loved them and pickled the ones that were green. The others sat one the windowsill because I was too busy to do anything with them and while they waited, they turned red! So we strung them and now they’re dangling and drying […]

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“Turkey Stock”

I think of any stock as liquid gold… the sure path to tastier food. And as you know by now, I like to use as many parts of the animal that I eat, as I possibly can. So this Thanksgiving, my turkey carcas became a lovely stock, that made the house smell like Thanksgiving all over again. Here’s how you make it, a little liquid gold from me to you, […]

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“Grandma’s Spinach Dip”

I recently received an email from Grandma Pellegrini. Yes, she does email now, she has a gmail account, and most recently a Facebook account, and is quite good at it. She is also good at ordering interesting things on amazon. Mostly cooking equipment. Just the other day I walked into her kitchen and a new ice cream maker was buzzing, churning some terra cotta colored apricot ice cream which had […]

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“Solo Brining and Dining”

I had a pork chop yesterday. I was dining alone, and I ceremoniously made myself a proper meal. I took a visit to the butcher who had all sorts of glossy selections piled high in the coolers, and I settled on a pork chop, bone-in. It was a good choice because it was well aged, and came from a good place and when it hit the pan I could tell from the sizzling […]

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“How to Age Venison, then Braise It”

In a few weeks I’ll be deer hunting. Someone recently told me that squirrel is the best meat in the woods. And while I plan on testing that theory and presenting you with a squirrel recipe one of these days, until then I’m clinging on to the notion that venison is the best meat in the woods. The key to good venison is aging it properly. Just like a good 12 ounce T-bone […]

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“A Garlic Mincing Trick”

One of the first little bits of wisdom I learned when I decided to get serious about cooking, was how to make garlic into a paste in under 30 seconds. It was a revelation and I thought, “Wow! These are all the shortcuts that pros know!” So then I began to work in professional kitchens and was peeved to see people mincing their garlic the same way I’d done it as a “civilian”… […]

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“Sweet and Tangy Salad Dressing: The Feast”

Welcome to the final installment of my three part dinner series… After a full day of hunting on the ranch, and a full day of cooking by Paul, we finally got to eat the fruits of our labor.   The ranch has a very beautiful interior, with lovely wood paneling and a cozy lodge atmosphere. The fireplace was especially nice and there were many of them… one in almost every […]

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“Quail Marinade + Tenderloin Marinade: Hunting for the Salad Course”

Welcome to part two of my three part dinner series… After we brought  the hogs back to the ranch, Tim put them in a walk-in cooler. After debating, we decided to have the tenderloins for dinner rather than wait to let them age. So we brought them into the kitchen and got them ready for a marinade. My friend Paul, is quite the gourmand, and he was in charge of […]

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