The Company Picnic aka Pique Nique

April 25, 2015

Spring is here, with summer approaching quickly. (Technically, spring arrived on March 20, and summer comes on June 21. Really, though, we get spring in Arizona in mid-February, and summer starts on Memorial Day.) With spring/summer the picnic season begins.

Pic•nic comes from the French, pique-nique, meaning who knows what, per Google. In modern parlance, though, the noun means “an outing or occasion that involves taking a packed meal to be eaten outdoors.” Obviously, the definition can be broader—maybe the meal gets prepared outdoors, for example—but I’m not going to spend any more words on a word you already know.

I’ve mentioned my older partner who starts many a sentence with “I have a question.” Well, for the question

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Dinner at the Oscars

February 22, 2015

Oscars Night! Sorry for the late post, but I haven’t been posting food pics lately, I had work this morning and early afternoon, and I cooked for dinner at home.

Here goes:

Gin Gibson, with tipsy--vermouth--olives and pickled challots

Gin Gibson, with tipsy–vermouth–olives and pickled shallots

Gluten free Mary's Gone Crackers and leslie stowe raincoast crisps (also gluten free)

Gluten free Mary’s Gone Crackers and leslie stowe raincoast crisps (also gluten free)

Watermelon radishes--amazing--and cucumbers

Watermelon radishes–amazing–and cucumbers

Roasted radicchio, King Oyster mushrooms, and Shishisto peppers

Roasted radicchio, King Oyster mushrooms, and Shishisto peppers

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes



Finally, and having nothing to do with the Oscars or dinner stay tuned for more information about Mark Rubin Bakes … Fruitcakes!

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Super Bowl XLIX: Post 159 Hour Thoughts

February 8, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX provided plenty to write about. Here goes:

I really, really, really have an aversion to pro football. Why? Read Football, Professional Style for answers. Having established my bona fides as a football-hater, I thought the Patriots-Seahawks game was a fine one. Lots of talent, plenty of excitement, no horrible injuries: if I had to watch a game in 2014-5—I didn’t, but I’m just sayin’—I picked a good one.

Tom Brady is one heckuva pro football quarterback. Last Sunday he threw 50 passes, and completed 37 for 328 yards and four touchdowns. (Two interceptions, too.) Yes, he got lucky at the end—I’m getting there—but luck is essential to success, and the luck would not

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January 31, 2015

Inspiration. It comes to us from time to time, and often from the unlikeliest of places.

Every morning I have an Internet ritual. 1. Facebook. Checking in with my peeps, and with what they’re reading and doing. (Back here in a moment.) 2. Confession:  From the login page I find out how many of you have read what I’ve written. 3. I read the local newspaper, the Arizona Daily Star, for the obituaries. 4. First stop at the New York Times, after a review of front page headlines, is the obits. If you want to learn about interesting people, read the New York Times obituaries. And, sadly, it’s from today’s obituary of Craig Ramini that I

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Comfort Food aka Fried Rice!

January 15, 2015

The daughter left today, returning to school for her last semester. We all had a very nice visit for the past month, but the last time at home before she graduates was definitely bittersweet. And, because yours truly saw a Southwest Airlines sale back in October, today’s trip involved a 6 a.m. departure for Sky Harbor, and being back at work before 11 a.m. Tired!

Now, if I was eating gluten—15 days, just about pure, and feeling pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good (and yes, it’s four x pretty, even though Larry David does ramble on)—and I had my own radio show, this would be a good time for some Bebop-a-rebop Rhubarb Pie. Comfort food, for sure, and off my

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Avoid Chain Restaurants, Mostly!

January 4, 2015

Our daughter is home for the holidays. I use “home” in the broadest sense, for she’s here and there, around and about in Tucson plenty.

A few nights ago there was dinner with some friends. The crew ended up at a local outpost of a popular chain. (No need to name it.) A cocktail, burger and fries came to $30.00, including tax and tip. There was also a 45 minute wait for a table!

Now, this is a beer joint and I saw the mediocre remains of the dinner, in a box in the refrigerator. Burger and fries down the disposal. Wrapper and box in the recycle can.

So I wondered, why do so many people frequent overpriced, average chain

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December 21, 2014

My Saturday night. Ms. J and I watched Elf—a very funny tearjerker, with great roles for elders Bob Newhart as Papa Elf and Ed Asner as Santa—with our daughter. We ate very fine stupid good homemade pizza. No bragging intended, but this was really, really good pizza. And the tricks?

First, I was inspired by Three Champagne Pizza Recipes at I’m not a bubbles aficionado, whether the bubbles are in soda, beer, or wine, but my yeast likes beer and champagne. A lot. And happy yeast makes for very nice bread stuff. (I’m almost ready to simply substitute beer or sparkling wine for water in any sturdy bread dough. Not so much for brioche or anything else which is

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Holiday Hodgepodge

December 13, 2014

It’s holiday hodgepodge time! TBT, this is very much a free-association post, and for careful readers there might be brain mapping—watching my brain bounce arounds—and baking opportunities.

Let’s start with Hanukkah aka Chanukah, etc. (Joe Maller offers Sixteen Ways to Spell Hanukkah.) It starts at Sundown on Tuesday. The holiday has limited significance in the Jewish religion. It’s a historical holiday, coming after the Torah was written, and definitely matters in the USA because of Christmas.

Robert Siegel offered up a report on Hanukkah on Friday, December 12. Hanukkah’s Real (And Imagined) History features Simon Schama, author of The Story of the Jews, with important reporting on the Hanukkah story. Say it ain’t so, Simon!

The holiday season

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250 Posts for Mark Rubin Writes!

November 29, 2014

Two hundred and fifty posts! (If you count up, you’ll see more than 250 posts. Some pre-date Mark Rubin Writes, while others are non-substantive, like this one.)

I’m delighted! I hope you have enjoyed reading my writing. Honestly, almost every moment of the writing has been truly pleasurable. I’m thrilled by every comment I receive:  those which are posted here and on Facebook; and the ones I receive by email, by phone, or in person. I even get a kick out of the Google and Facebook analytics, telling me 2, 3, or 10 more people have read or liked a piece since the last time I checked.

Milestones are funny things; they have proved to me that we live

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Candy Bars

November 21, 2014

The Mesch, Clark & Rothschild booth was all set up and ready for the Tucson J’s first annual Family Wellness Expo. (An excellent event, by the way, and Tucson people should all attend next year!) I had my tip sheets for wills and other end-of-life issues. (We used the booth to talk about estate planning as part of family wellness; more on this topic soon.) Banners. Easel, with only two extra parts after set up, and it never fell down! Quiz sheets, business cards, candy bowls filled with little chocolates. Ready to go!

Five minutes before the start, along comes Dr. SWMNBN (She Who Must Not Be Named), a pediatrician, and one of my favorite people. “Mark,” she

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