Nuts and Cookies

June 7, 2015

I don’t like nuts. Actually, I really do like people who are a bit different, and it’s almonds, cashews, and pecans I can do without. I like nut butters plenty, so long as they’re creamy style, which makes me think my real problem with nuts relates to my teeth and, more precisely, the space between aka diastema and, really, those particles which fill the “space between.” Alas, I digress, mightily. (I do like cookies. More later on that subject.)

I’ve been looking for a way to turn my passion for food into a hobby with some structure. I mentioned fruitcake in the February 25 Curator. It’s not a “no go” yet, but several people have mentioned

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Thursday Evening

May 28, 2015

I thought I was entertaining on Thursday evening. Alas, my guests could not join me. Still, a man does have to eat, and I did have my provisions at the ready.

My intended menu included a cold apps board, a pizza, roasted potatoes, and a salad. The cold apps went by the wayside, although I certainly nibbled on turkey jerky, cheese, and some left over stir-fried veggies and pork while I consumed my martini.


The potatoes are one of my favorites. I take any variety—tonight it was Russets and blue sweet potatoes, a new hybrid—and chop them into chunks, unpeeled. They get about six minutes in boiling, highly salted water. Then, the pot gets drained and they get a splash

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Graduation Weekend at Beloit College

May 21, 2015

I arrived at Beloit College 489 months ago. Ms. J got there 453 months ago. Cate Rubin showed up only 45 months ago. Alas, we all said goodbye to Beloit and Beloit College last weekend, as Cate graduated.

The town has stepped up its game, big time. Downtown Beloit offers good—no, not good for Beloit; really good—restaurants and bars. The riverfront is beautiful, and the city looks alive, not like it did when I lived there in the 1970s.

Beloit College has improved greatly, too. In my day it was a good, small liberal arts college. It still is, but good in 2015 is better than good in 1978. The grunge of the 70s doesn’t work anymore, and Beloit

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Pizza Redux!

May 3, 2015

“Stay tuned; pics when the pies are baked!” were my last words earlier today. So, here’s Pizza Redux, with pics of the baked pie, and more!

Before I share the pie pictures, I need to mention the Barbecue Trail Mix I prepared, courtesy of Chef Edward Lee (from Louisville’s 610 Magnolia) and Saveur magazine. I wandered a bit, but it’s a mighty fine snack for sharing with cocktails. Easy to make, with no particular requirements, and I urge it on everyone. (I think key ingredients are the bacon and sesame sticks; otherwise, let your imagination and your cupboard rule, but you need to be sure you include some dried fruit and some nuts, no matter what!)


On to the

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May 3, 2015

I ruminate about pizza from time to time. “Time to time” is, of course, a relative term. I’m not saying I think about pizza as often as, say, every seven seconds, but it’s certainly on my mind several times a day.

That said, I’m not obsessed, liked my friend Philip Rosenberg. Philip, his son (Christopher), and his godson Gus Hoffman’s brother Sam are featured in The Fiery Furnace, written by Renée Downing for the March April issue of Edible Baja. (Edible Baja is a beautiful magazine.) Philip is a consummate professional. He’s a two-oven man. He’s got a notebook/spreadsheet which tracks flour sources, hydration percentages, rising times, etc. He buys flour in bulk from specialty millers.

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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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