A modern day ‘Renaissance woman’ does it all

Jean Mann adapted her dish from Chef John’s Cantaloupe Cayenne Sorbet. She subbed watermelon and honeydew and reduced the cayenne. Sometimes she adds mint from her garden.

A perfect strawberry dipped in chocolate to celebrate a milestone birthday. A complicated cake that overflows the pan, but is rescued and made beautiful. A delightful honeydew-watermelon sorbet accented with cayenne.

These are some of the illustrated posts that first drew me to Jean Mann on Facebook via “Who’s In The Kitchen?” …

Hand pastries: Perfect portable treat for a picnic, road trip or backyard BBQ

I have a distinct memory of a crescent-shaped fruit pie made by Hostess that we used to munch on as kids. Crisp and oozing with jammy fruit, it was the kind of snack you might purchase from the vending machine near the high school cafeteria or at the grocery when your mother sent you to pick up a few items. …

Family heirloom ticks back to life after a 15-month silence

While food is my usual subject, I’m taking a break today to write about a remarkable clock, almost 300 years old, that has recently come back to life in my living room.

It arrived at the start of the pandemic in March 2020-a giant “longcase clock,” as it’s sometimes called, in several pieces wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard. It was the family grandfather clock, come to me all the way from my cousin Alan’s house in Denver after a life change made it impossible for him to keep it…

Why not make it in an Instant Pot for Father’s Day?

Want a new twist on a classic cheesecake? Try making it in an Instant Pot.

When you mention cheesecake, many people’s minds flash to those dense white New York-style pastries once served at Lindy’s in Manhattan. They’re still available at Junior’s in a wide range of flavors and sizes, including the original plain version. If you like, you can even have them shipped to your home packed in dry ice. Or, if you happen to live close to a Trader Joe’s, you can just buy one of their frozen New York Deli Style cheesecakes. I’ve never been disappointed.

I made it from ice cream, fudge and chocolate candy — what could go wrong?

I wanted to make the perfect ice cream cake for my husband Jeff’s birthday last week. The challenge: Could I equal the ones we’ve been getting from Cold Stone Creamery for more years than I care to remember?

Just any off-the-shelf cake wouldn’t do; Jeff has Cold Stone custom-make the cakes each year.

Workers fold timeless treats by hand — and give you a taste!

“On a hidden road, you will find a precious gem.”

Would you believe some of the best fortune cookies are made at a little factory in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown? But you’re unlikely to find them at your favorite Chinese restaurant — you have to go right to the source.

And, no, we didn’t find this particular fortune cookie message inside a cookie, but we did stumble upon a little jewel of a factory in a historic backstreet alley in San Francisco that manufactures about 2,000…

After a year of home cooking, dining inside at local delis hits the spot

“Let’s go to Canter’s.”

It was afternoon on the last day of Passover and my husband Jeff wanted to add some footage to his upcoming video about L.A. Jewish delis.

I’d eaten enough matzo for one holiday (see my last post!) and was ready for-what? More Jewish food? Well, why not? Can you ever have too much of a good thing?

Even though both Jeff and I have now been fully vaccinated, CDC guidelines still suggest eating outside if possible when dining out. Canter’s, the landmark…

*Our current favorite — until we try all the rest!

A recent New York Times article had everyone I know buzzing about bagels.

The Best Bagels Are in California (Sorry, New York),” read the headline. Several of the places author Tejal Rao raved about were in the L.A. area — among them, Pop’s Bagels, Gjusta, Bueller’s Bagels, Yeastie Boys, Maury’s, and Courage Bagels.

The article provoked a lot of debate on social media — after all, many Angelenos are transplanted New Yorkers, and New York is virtually synonymous with great bagels. Some say it’s the water. …

You don’t have to be Irish to love scones — or save them for a special day

This recipe for Irish scones calls for less sugar than typical American scones.

Scones! My Glaswegian mother pronounced them “scawns,” though I more often hear the word as “scoans.” As you may know from reading my blog, I’m obsessed with baking — cooking not so much. But, as today is St. Patrick’s Day, and most of us love scones, I thought I’d make a batch to hand around — though perhaps corned beef and cabbage, Irish coffee, and soda bread would be more to your taste. (Nothing says you can’t have them all!)

Have you discovered…

Since I can’t find the bread I’m obsessed with, I have to make it!

If there’s one food I could never give up, it’s bread. And if there’s one bread I wouldn’t relinquish, it’s rye — the kind made with a sourdough starter that causes your nose pucker when you park it over the bowl and sends your mind racing back to childhood and — for me — to those long tan, caraway seed-speckled loaves that were a fixture at our table when I was a kid.

For some years now I’ve been attempting to recreate the rye that exists…

Ruth Stroud

Blogger and podcaster on the platform Ruthtalksfood.substack.com

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