It’s Blog Launch Day!

I am so excited to finally share this new site with you! I’ll be adding more goodies, but we’re live with the new look and platform, which is so incredibly fun! Not only is it easy on the eye, but it’s so very easy to comment and navigate around the site.

A HUGE thank you for Ben Della Rosa for the design, and my diligent programmer Terry Dean Cain!

I’ll continue to use the Tumblr to link to posts here, as well as share more photos and other things I like too. All the posts from the old platform have been carried over, so look around, and let me know what you think!


a video: Making Brioche

Here’s my little video of my brioche making adventures.  The hardest part was deciding on a song!  Dan was so impressed with the fact that I made this (and its versatility) that as we ate our sandwiches he repeated, “My wife made this.  My wife made this for me.”  I responded, “You’re lucky to have me.  What if you didn’t have a wife?”  Then this song came to mind, and good ol’ BPB answered that question for us.  It just seemed a wise (and funny) accompaniment to the video.


Tartine Baking Project: #31 Brioche

I’m really good at avoiding things, putting certain things off, and waiting until the last minute to accomplish most tasks.  I also absolutely HATE being late for anything.  It’s actually physically impossible.  I’ve actually tried to be late before, but I show up right on time.  As I’ve been perusing the pages, laying out my baking adventures over the past few weeks, I’ve been avoiding brioche.  It seemed difficult and something that would require too much of my time.  There are so many things I wanted to make with brioche, so I could put it off no longer.  

I decided this would be a fun project for my first dive into videos, too.  So I’ll be sharing that soon.

The preferment…what starts the brioche.

Lots of mixing and resting – for both me and the dough.  

My mixer nearly exploded.  It hates dough so very much.  I literally had to hold it down as it bucked like it was some sort of feral cat and I was trying make it wear a sweater.  I even had to call Dan into the kitchen to help man the wild beast that is my unruly stand mixer. 

There is something so very satisfying about making your own bread.  While it is mildly time consuming, it’s worth it.  Already, we’ve used it for B.L.T’s and French toast this morning, all of which I’m going to share soon.  I’ll be tackling a recipe later this week that calls for brioche, also.  Since I baked three loaves, I wrapped one up and put it in the freezer.  This is something I’m not entirely sure about.  I’m wary of the freezer, and unsure of protocol for successful freezing: should things like this be frozen before or after they’re baked? 

I took them out of the oven early – about fifteen minutes less than the suggested bake time.  This has never happened before for anything I’ve made in this cookbook!  I’m always baking things longer, so it just felt like I’d done something wrong.  I envisioned a “National Lampoon Christmas Vacation” moment where my knife cuts into the bread and it deflates like Clark Griswold’s turkey did.   I took a deep breath, cut in, and found gold.  Perfect brioche.  They’re so beautiful!  I kind of wanted to sneak one into bed – not to eat, but to cuddle with.

Worthy of some serious cuddles, don’t you think?


Tartine Baking Project: #30 Pecan Maple Pie with bourbon and kumquats

Up until now, kumquats was just another “swear” I’d mutter to strangers who annoy me (people cutting me off while driving, crazies at the grocery store, etc.).  I’d never had a kumquat before.  I didn’t even know what they looked like!  This reminds me of the summer in San Francisco where I was a nanny, and the woman I was working for asked me if I’d ever had a kiwi before.  She knew I was from Michigan, but it seemed like the strangest question to ask – like she assumed I was from some tiny area of the world without running water, toilets, or kiwis.  Michigan was a foreign place to her, a place deprived of kiwis, apparently.  Who doesn’t know what a kiwi is?  What kind of person did she think I was?  Now, if she’d asked me to describe a kumquat…I’d have been stumped.

Those are kumquats – the second most perfect addition to this pie.  Bourbon is the first.

For making the pie dough, I had a special guest in the kitchen.  Little JackJack is in this stage of wanting to help with everything.  “I help” is uttered close to a bazillion times a day, and when I sought him out to join me in the kitchen, he was excited.  Dancing in circles, asking for spoons, insisting on using the measuring spoons.  Adorable.

When it came to shaping the dough, he was just so ecstatic to do it exactly how I was doing it.  He would try to secretly pinch little bits, but would give himself away when he declared, “Yum!” 

When it came down to making the filling, it couldn’t have been any easier, which is just what I needed yesterday after having a “rough” go at things in the morning.  Total first world problems, I know, but stars were just not lining up in my favor.  Some schmuck using our credit card (that I must have dropped/left somewhere!), realized I was out of parchment paper when I needed it, and on the way home I almost got hit by a train.  Well, I was coincidentally driving over tracks and forced to stop on the tracks due to traffic.  I heard the train coming, it was getting louder and louder, and I screamed as I frantically was looking for the train that was sure to crash into me when hear, “That was another ‘Sounds of Michigan’ clip brought to you by Michigan Radio, your local NPR station.”  Traffic had moved and I just had to take a moment to regain composure.  So yeah, an easy day in the kitchen with the reward of a pie at the end was exactly what I needed. 

Those kumquats played a pivotal role in bringing a delicious balance to this very sweet maply pecan pie, as did the bourbon.

I was a little concerned, because when I poured the filling in it had spilled beneath the crust.  I can count the number of pies I’ve baked in my life – the world of pies is new to me.  I didn’t know if this was a fatal move for my pie, or just a bump in the road.  I was reassured it would not screw it up, which helped to allay my panicky, anxious nature when something foreign is in the oven that I think I’ve potentially ruined.

Pecan pie wouldn’t be the first thing I’d gravitate towards if I were have my druthers for dessert.  I was concerned the crust was a bit soggy from the filling overload fiasco.  But, it turns out when you bite into this pecan pie, nothing matters any more.  Time stops, and the bourbon/kumquat combo erases any concerns you may have about the texture of the crust.  I am so won over, I would even choose this pie over a great many cakes.  When I asked our friends kids (who are hanging out here today while their parents work) if they wanted pie today, they cheered.  Avery, age 8, replied, “If I don’t have pie, I don’t have my life.”  Truer words were never spoken.


The blog design – a sneak peek!

I can contain my excitement no longer! While I love Tumblr, (and will still use it for Tar-Tryin’!) I am excited for my new place for this blog/project!  From what I hear, it’ll be happening soon.  I know patience is a virtue and all, but it’s never been my “thing.”  I just watched a kid on TV ask about a million times if something was ready and thought, “Man, that kid is annoying!” and then I realized that’s me asking my husband if this blog is ready. Oh well!

I thought I’d give a little (and I mean little!) sneak peek of what it’s going to look like!  Here’s the title bar, and I’ve included the color scheme too.  The amazing/talented/kind Ben Della Rosa designed it!  I couldn’t be happier!  Looking forward to sharing the real thing with you! 


Video 5/5: Honey Harvest // Tiger in a Jar put together another BEAUTIFUL video for Kinfolk, this ti

Video 5/5: Honey Harvest // Tiger in a Jar put together another BEAUTIFUL video for Kinfolk, this time all about bees and honey.  It’s so easy to get swept away while watching this, totally lost in the moment.

Hope you enjoyed the videos today!


Video 4/5: Kobe and the Sea // Johnny Abegg created a beautiful video capturing Chef Ben Shewry, his

Video 4/5: Kobe and the Sea // Johnny Abegg created a beautiful video capturing Chef Ben Shewry, his son, and the conservation of abalone.  I am such a sucker for the ocean.


http://vimeo.com/31750057 Video 3/5: The Art of Bread Making by Tiger and a Jar // This video from T

Video 3/5: The Art of Bread Making by Tiger and a Jar // This video from Tiger in a Jar made for Kinfolk magazine is so seriously beautiful.  I feel like I am peeking around a corner on such a quiet moment.  I think I’ve watched this a dozen times.


Video 2/5: The First Press of the Season // I need to expand my adjectives today, and I don’t

Video 2/5: The First Press of the Season // I need to expand my adjectives today, and I don’t mean for the word to lose its potency…but this video from Ryan Marshall (of Pacing the Panic Room) is beautiful.  It makes me want to move to the country and have an apple orchard.  The light is perfect.


Video 1/5: EAT from Rick Mereki // I found this video over on Slow Like Honey, and it’s such a

Video 1/5: EAT from Rick Mereki // I found this video over on Slow Like Honey, and it’s such a vivid, fun representation of experiencing food.  It makes me very hungry.