Butterscotch Birthday Cake

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One of my kitchen idols (please tell me I’m not alone in having ‘kitchen idols’) is Nigella Lawson. Or perhaps I should say that her television and cookbook persona is my idol, as tabloid stories and a prominent court case last year suggest that her real life, like so many other celebrities, is vastly different from the one we see onscreen. But that doesn’t make me like her any less as a cook. Continue reading

Back with a (Chocolate) Vengeance!

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

Okay, so maybe no one thought I was dead, but my apologies for the radio silence. I’m afraid the real world feels the need to intrude from time to time, but fortunately the demands of my professional life have only benefitted my baking life: as an avid stress baker, I’ve gone full throttle in the kitchen over the past few weeks and am excited to share the recipes that have kept me sane (and full!).

To start, I direct your attention to Exhibit A, my Chocolate Almond Thumbprints:

Choc Almond Cookies

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Salty (Scottish) Oatmeal Cookies

Edinburgh

This week Scotland made history by hosting one of the most important referendum votes in modern political history.  Of course, if you turned on the TV today, you probably heard that the referendum wasn’t a complete success.  But yet!  While the Scottish National Party wrings its hands and Alex Salmond bids adieu, this American Expat is relishing the opportunity to continue living in a United Kingdom that includes Scotland.

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A ‘très British’ Croque Monsieur

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Have you ever read The Guardian’s ‘How to Cook the Perfect…’ series? Because it is seriously fab, especially if, like me, you love discussions of the techniques, ingredients, and history of various recipes. The author, Felicity Cloake, takes a dish and breaks it down to the key ingredients, citing the opinions of well-known chefs about the dish. At the end she compiles this knowledge into one ‘perfect’ recipe. While I can’t say I always agree with her conclusions, I appreciate her approach of picking and choosing the parts of recipes that she likes best and using them to create a dish that suits her taste. It’s pretty much how I cook, anyway! Continue reading