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Thursday, Feb 6, 2014
Mussels are an inelegant if delicious food. Serve this to your nearest and dearest with nary a thought to table manners.

Mussels in Cider comes straight from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella’s Kitchen, a cookbook I go on about, but it sees a lot of action in my kitchen. Forget Lawson’s recent bout of public scrutiny: the woman can cook. I’ve never had a recipe of hers go awry, even when baking, my weakest point in the kitchen. And Mussels in Cider, as she puts it, is a recipe that “doesn’t begin to convey the luxe-for-less-time gloriousness of the feast”.


I actually test drove this recipe on a time-crunched Saturday night, but “Saturday night test drive” lacks alliterative punch. But Lawson is right: the results far outweighed the crazed five minutes of prep (truly, I was frantic) and the one pot I needed to wash afterward. I used Price Edward Island mussels, which my fishmonger sold cleaned and debearded.  Five dollars worth amply fed two.


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Monday, Jan 13, 2014
I have a New Year's confession to make. I did not burn, scorch, mangle, or ruin. My sin was much worse. I threw out perfectly good food.

In the many food blogs that appear to be overtaking the internet, one never sees a mistake.


Nobody, it seems, in their perfectly appointed kitchens, has ever charred a chicken, torched a tomato, or just plain ruined a recipe. Nosiree, everything out there in internetland is gorgeous, parsley-flecked, and perfectly ready to eat.


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Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, December 3rd, chef Judy Rodgers died of cancer. She was 57 years old.

Rodgers was famed both for her restaurant, San Francisco’s beloved Zuni Cafe, and the award-winning cookbook she wrote in 2002, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook.


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Thursday, Dec 12, 2013
“Why don’t you cook at home? That’s my crusade.”

Chef David Tanis, author of the widely beloved cookbooks Heart of the Artichoke and A Platter of Figs met with PopMatters to discuss his third cookbook, the recently released One Good Dish. We met in Berkeley, California, next door to Chez Panisse, where he shared downstairs chef duty with Jean-Pierre Moullé for 25 years.


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Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013
Happy Accident Soup began as a Lamb Tagine: the soup was a bonus. How often do you get two wonderful things from one?

Happy Accident Soup began as a Claudia Roden recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. My market has recently begun carrying high-quality, locally sourced lamb, and I’d purchased a pound of lean cubes labeled “kebab cut”, which were a dollar cheaper than the stew cut.


Having no way of preparing kebabs—that is, no grill—I began paging through my Claudia Roden cookbooks. Food writer and Food52 blogger Amanda Hesser calls Claudia Roden one of the “Mistresses of the Mediterranean”.  Who better to consult?


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