Archive for Techniques

Another Repost…Political Chocolate

It’s not that I’m lazy that I’m reposted again, we’ve been out of town 7 of the last 9 days, and the trip home yesterday was brutal. I have several posts in the works (mostly food but it will have to include an airline rant), will get to it asap. In the meantime, please to enjoy:



From the Discovery Channel

March 29, 2006— The Medicis, the family that dominated the Italian Renaissance, used chocolate as a powerful political tool to impose the Florentine taste in European courts, according to an exhibition that traces the history of chocolate from its arrival to Europe in the 16th century.

The exhibition, at the Civic Museum of Monsummano Terme, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Florence, brought to light a 17th century letter which contained the secret jasmine chocolate recipe of Grand Duke Cosimo III, hidden in a footnote.

Double chinned, bovine eyed, chocoholic Cosimo III (1642–1723), was determined to put to an end to Spain’s supremacy in making chocolate.

Indeed, the Spaniards managed to turn the Maya and Aztec’s spiced cocoa drink into a delicate, sweet drink aromatized with vanilla, musk, and amber. Read the rest of this entry »


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Honey-Buttermilk Cornbread with Blueberries

Hmmmm, you think. Interesting. Trust me. Fabuloso with a capital F.

This is a sweet cornbread recipe (sans blueberries) that I’ve used for years. I’d make it at Grins Cafe as both regular and vegan cornbread whenever we’d have our chili, and there was nothing better. One of the most important ingredients is the honey that is brushed on the top right after coming out of the oven. Read the rest of this entry »

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Toast the Nuts

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Baking thoughts and banana bread

(pictures to come shortly)

I started baking at an early age. My mother maintained a house of healthy food choices so cookies and fresh breads factored in only special times of the year like birthdays or the holidays. I figured out when I was ten years old that the novelty of a kid in the kitchen overrode any concerns about extra fat and sugar in our diets, so I jumped right into Baked Alaska from the Joy of Cooking. That was a big hit and I followed up by playing around with any recipe that looked good to me – the key theme being that it was something I wanted to eat. I spent a lot of time browsing through my Mom’s recipe box and cookbooks for all the traditional and soon-to-be favorites.

Read the rest of this entry »

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