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Category: Baking


Posted in Baking, and Food & Entertaining

Pissaladiere__French_Food_at_Home__002Yesterday I walked in a restaurant kitchen for a training session and the first thing I noticed was that, among the cooks, there were no girls: a common state of affairs until a few years ago, but things are changing. Women are more and more present in professional kitchens, holding their own, and no longer relegated to pastry only.

Chocolate cookies for grown-ups

Posted in Baking, and Food & Entertaining

Chocolate espresso cookiesFor all my devotion to detective shows, especially of the British variety, I would have made a crappy detective. The clues were all there: my uncle complaining their Christmas lunch will be a small one this year; my sister explaining why she wouldn’t be spending Christmas with my mom; my mother inadvertently telling me she would reciprocate a friend’s dinner when she got back from the States (and me thinking dementia was setting in – why on earth would she wait until next October??). Let’s call it distraction on my part, and my mind being otherwise engaged this holiday season.

Galloping down memory lane – Citrus Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Posted in Baking, and Food & Entertaining

The way we used to plate it
The way we used to plate it

Last week, I had the great pleasure of starting a brief stint in the old kitchen where I worked for eight years, a job I left right when Campari and Sofa was born. Two and half years later, it was a bit surprising and very heart-warming to see how little had changed, how certain habits fit like your old favorite shoes.

Apple Sharlotka and a sweet memory of Milan.

Posted in Bake, Baking, Food & Entertaining, and Uncategorized

The bar at the Principe - I heard it has been redecorated ... sad.
The bar at the Principe – I heard it has been redecorated … what a pity.

A million years ago I used to stay in a hotel called the Principe di Savoia in Milan. It was (and probably still is) a very regal, proper hotel. With the most wonderful bar/lounge where they had real barmen who poured old-fashioned cocktails and would never have dreamt of throwing bottles around a la Tom Cruise in Cocktail. There was always a piano player, an elderly man – who told me he had played “with Important Orchestras in Each of the Important Capitals of the World”. The Principe would never have considered piped music. People behaved with decorum, there were sofas to sink into and the rococo decor always made me smile. You could exhale at the Principe.

When heartache strikes, cookies call

Posted in Baking, and Food & Entertaining

Pistachio raspberry cookiesThis started as a happy post about cookies. Cookies that found their way to C&S in a serendipitous manner. The day after I experimented with them, took photos and ate enough to have them morph into a brick in my stomach, while getting ready to write the happy story on why I was sharing this particular recipe, the unexpected news reached me, and the cookie brick in my stomach was replaced by hollowness and panic.

A blast from the Seventies – Chocolate Peppermint Fridge Tart

Posted in Baking, and Food & Entertaining

I’m a huge fan of “Top Chef” – the US TV show that pits proper chefs (rather than Master Chef’s home cooks) against each other. And has other proper chefs…

All purpose chocolate ganache for when the urge strikes

Posted in Baking, and Food & Entertaining

Individual Chocolate Ganache Tarts

Did you ever read Pinocchio when you were a child? Did your parents ever threaten your nose would grow at your first lie? And I mean the real Pinocchio, not the Disney-ized version with the cuddly and not so woody puppet, and the grandfatherly Geppetto, but the original fairy tale by Tuscan author Carlo Collodi, which was much darker, as if written in anger: as my friend Luisa likes to point out, the tale runs the gamut of death, threats, lies and punishment, enough to terrorize a poor child for decades to come.

Hump Day Chocolate Brownies.

Posted in Baking, Food & Entertaining, and Life & Love

photo 1Every holiday has a hump day. That ‘everybody is irritating the shit out of me’ day. Where the allure of being away from home, on tour, on holiday, on a honeymoon or business trip has dissipated. It’s the day where everyone’s excitement whaps up against the reality of their surroundings or companions and each starts to miss their familiar. Its adrenalin fatigue. Its overtiredness. The anticipation has gone, reality has set in and the bleh spills out.

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