At last, thanks entirely to app developer, marketing genius and avid cook, Will Turnage, and graphic designer Leah McCombe, the Ratio smart phone application can be downloaded by those who use android devices! Thank you Will and Leah. Android users, scan this QR or click the link above.  Let me know in comments if you have any problems! For those who don’t know what Ratio is or does, watch the demo below. The Ratio app is a cooking tool, a calculator of ingredients for 30 different fundamentals, from cake and muffin batters to bread doughs to vinaigrettes, to sausages and brine. I find it invaluable.  If I just need a couple cups of brine, I plug in the amount I want and it calculates the salt for me.  Same for if I have 28 ounces Read On »

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Cleveland Lost a great literary artist and story-teller yesterday when American Splendor author Harvey Pekar died at age 70. The Cleveland Plain Dealer devoted much of Page 1 to the news.  William Grimes wrote a worthy obituary in The New York Times. And while the appreciations are beginning to flow, no one has written a more thoughtful one than Anthony Bourdain on his blog today.  On location in Spain for his show No Reservations, Tony took time out to write a piece that places Pekar precisely in the context of his time and of the city that gave him such rich material.  As readers know, I try to avoid thanking Tony in public for anything, what with all the trouble he gets me into, but Tony, you’ve done Harvey right here and I am truly Read On »

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You’ll never guess what was included in our CSA haul this week.  Zucchini!  That’s right, amazing as it may sound, there they were, three big fatties at the bottom of the bag. Seriously, it’s not that I have a problem with zucchini, itself (though I did publicly disparage the zucchini a while back on Iron Chef America, which had a few zucchini lovers up in arms).  I like zucchini.  Julienned and sauteed in butter it’s a simple summer side dish.  Add some nuts, herbs and a vinaigrette to zucchini you’ve salted for ten minutes and it’s a revelation (raw zucchini salad). There are indeed all kinds of things you can do to zucchini.  I guess my problem is how much of it is grown.  Why do people grow so much zucchini? Just because we can Read On »

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I’ve long wanted to post a chicken trussing video because there are so many silly videos out there that make it seem incredibly complicated.  Of the many good ways of trussing a chicken, Brian’s method here is solid and simple.  Brian of course is the co-author of Charcuterie and chef/owner of Forest and Cinco Lagos outside Detroit. I must clarify something here—it was noted to me by Bob del Grosso, who documented it at the Culinary Institute of America—that the main reason you truss a chicken is to ensure a juicy breast.  That’s what the even cooking part means. If the chicken isn’t trussed, hot air circulates in the bird’s cavity and will overcook and dry out the breast before the legs and thighs are done.  If you do not want to truss the chicken, Read On »

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Butter-Braised Radishes with Snow Peas, photo by Donna This was a last minute dish on Saturday to follow the fritters.  We had radishes, we had snow peas.  I had some mint in the garden.  Why not?  Crunchy, refreshing, satisfying, a fine vegetable dish.  You see, I don’t ALWAYS have to throw cured pork products in (though, come to thing of it, this would be delicious with some bacon or pancetta thrown in!).  When you get your CSA goods, remember that it would be hard to combine them in ways that do not go together.  I wouldn’t serve blueberries and chard but for the most part all this stuff goes well side by side. Butter Braised Radishes with Snow Peas a few tablespoons of butter Radishes, as needed, trimmed and quartered Snow peas, as needed, picked Read On »

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