National Hamburger Day

America’s best loved sandwich!
It’s a happy coincidence that National Hamburger Day fell on Memorial Day weekend. So fire up the grills and chomp them down!

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Welcome

Hi, welcome to my blog and let’s chew the cud for a while. Food has always been my passion and it’s ironic because I have a lot of dietary restrictions. However, I don’t let that get in the way of my love of food. My mom had a successful restaurant. I grew up in a large family that loved to eat. The dining table is where we congregated and ate our fill, exchange stories, laugh at jokes, got scolded. From a young age I had always been enthralled by cooking shows and I would spend Saturday mornings watching them instead of cartoons. I could watch cartoons any day anyway.

Finely Crafted Cake Book

I’ve had the pleasure to review a couple of books from Taunton Press and they all have exceptionally beautiful photographs. Fine Cooking’s Cakes & Cupcakes: 100 Best-Ever Recipes is no exception. The pictures are so gorgeous they can make a cake junkie like me weep. This book features the best made-from-scratch recipes that will make you ditch those boxed cake mixes in your cupboard. It’s also full of tips and step-by-step instructions.

Book Review: In Memory of Bread

A memoir by Paul Graham

I just finished reading Paul Graham’s memoir In Memory of Bread. I read this book because I was perplexed at the explosion of gluten-free products everywhere. I’m a diabetic and it used to be that shelves in supermarkets were filled with sugar-free items but now those have been overtaken by gluten-free. Now I know that for most people, this is just another trend, a way to lose weight or get healthy. And one day, another trend will come along and dethrone it. But I was curious about the underlying reason why these products were developed.

Cooking Term: Ganache

Versatile chocolate frosting

Ganache is a French term for a glaze usually made from chocolate and cream. My husband kept hearing it when I watch the Food Network that it started to grate on his nerves. I first encountered this term while reading a cookbook on Austrian baking. The Sacher Torte called for a robing of ganache. Ganache is the French word for jowl so I don’t really know how that became a coating for cakes. It can also be an icing (or frosting for us Americans), sauce, or filling depending on its consistency. The “frenchiness” made me leery of making it. But my fears were allayed by watching many episodes of Cupcake Wars where contestants whip up ganache like frenzied Tasmanian devils.

Review: Downtown Grille

Upscale restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia

Recently, my sister paid us a visit and she had a hankering for lobster. We’re a couple of hundred miles from the coast and I wouldn’t recommend the local Red Lobster. So on our jaunt to Charlottesville, she treated us out to dinner at the Downtown Grille which is in the historic district. The location is a nice pedestrian mall with lots of outside seating for the many restaurants that line the main walkway. I usually don’t frequent expensive places like these but my sister wanted her lobster (and steak). There is a formal dining area but we decided to eat al fresco. I found the main dining area a bit stuffy and we were casually dressed. I didn’t want to ruin the dining experience of some of the patrons.

Just in Time for Memorial Day

How to Cut a Watermelon

Watermelons are a staple of summer get-togethers. But I’ve always had a hard time handling these mammoths. But thanks to Jennifer Jenner, I’m passing along this ingenious way of cutting a watermelon. You can watch her 30-second (yes, 30 seconds to cut a watermelon) video here: How To Cut A Watermelon.