blog posts

A Wonderful, Well-Oiled Machine

Getting the inside on Kinship and Pineapple and Pearls was a privilege for me. Kinship's chef-owner, Eric Ziebold is top shelf at my bar - I was a little ga-ga, truth be told. Rubbing elbows over a roast chicken was a thrill. Both Kinship and Pineapple and Pearls have incredibly beautiful interiors, fitted out with irresistible table and glassware. Not touching was not possible. My fingers felt the urge to stroke each bit of serviceware, from hand-thrown plate to gilded cocktail pick to professionally pressed, dove gray linen.

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Stop On By!

Please come on by for a cookie and a book. I will be presenting and signing "You're the Chef" at Hooray for Books in Alexandria on April 7 at 6 pm and at One More Page in Falls Church on April 10 at 4:25. I'd love to see you!

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You're the (Smart) Chef

This is my new book and I'm very proud of it. While it comes from the wonderful American Girl people and is a terrific book for girls, it is also a terrific book for boys. Girls and boys of any age - school age to dotage - who want to cook. I think it would make a great gift for college kids, young adults, newlyweds, or anyone else who is beginning their kitchen adventure.

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May You Put Your Christmas to Bed with a Late Evening Sandwich

I wish you all, all, all, those I know, those I know a little, those I do not know, those I would like to know, those who are unknowable, a Christmas that is a respite from the sturm and drang of life as a human in 2015, from life as a human in the 21st century, a day when wonder overwhelms, awe precedes all else, and your heart feels so big and s0 heavy that your legs must work extra hard to carry it.

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Tis the Season for Sandwiches

National Sandwich Day may fall on November 3, but sandwiches are surely most honored on the days following Thanksgiving, when everyone’s fridge is loaded with amazing seasonal fixings, particularly if you think to cook – or buy – enough for leftovers.Note to self: make plenty.

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Ferocious Like a Lion, Fresh Like a Lamb

Styling for the Food Network - with Sara Rosenblum producing, Renee Comet behind the camera, Audrey Weppler wrangling the props, and Carolyn Schimley cooking - continues to be a whirl. We finished off this brutal winter by renting a snow cone machine and turning the studio into a winter wonderland - until Carolyn hit me broadside with a snowball. She did not, however, load the center with a rock, so I must be doing something right.

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O, dear, the children are here. Bring a pie for everyone!

Thanksgiving is almost here. My favorite holiday. I love how it bridges and crosses cultures. Not everyone feels the same, I'm sure, and in many cases Thanksgiving is a time when what you are without becomes magnified. I'm grateful to be as monumentally safe, well-fed and comfortable as I am. But that's not enough. I need to think way beyond my fortunate parameters.

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Is There Always Room for Pie?

My grandfather, Fred Schroeder, was known to say, "There is always room for pie," and he lived by his word. One evening my grandmother served pie for dessert and grandpa cleaned his plate. Shortly thereafter, making a call at a neighbor's, pie was offered. "There is always room for pie!" exclaimed my grandpa and ate a second piece with relish. He was thin always and tall, too, so I thought. Come to find out, years and years later, he was tall only as I saw him, which is the kind of tall that counts.

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Grecian Odyssey

My son and I took what could be considered a trip, rather than a vacation - sixteen days in Greece. He's fourteen, beginning to be a man, old enough to haul the very heavy suitcase with the very broken handle, old enough to read a (paper) map and old enough for my uncensored rants while circling the traffic-choked mazes of ancient city streets. So narrow were they I thought of greasing the fenders. We ate. Me as adventurously as possible, him not so much, but admirably for a somewhat cautious archetypical teenage American boy. I plied him with creamy gelato, dense and sour frozen Greek yogurt and icy drinks in lurid colors, sometimes three times a day. It was hot there day and night.

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Where F**d**s Shop

The day of the shoot, a massive snowstorm hit DC and shut down the city and the government. Regardless, everyone made their way to the studio for an all-day shoot—photographer Scott Suchman, food stylist Lisa Cherkasky, photo director Diane Rice, staff photographer Jeff Elkins, and me. Thanks to everyone’s dedication, the photos turned out great despite less-than-ideal circumstances. Also, hats off to illustrator Jill de Haan, whose beautiful hand-lettering provided the perfect finishing touch to make the cover really shine.

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