duck eggs

Dear blogesphere – You love duck eggs.  I am continually surprised the number of people who hit this blog in search of recipes on how to cook duck eggs.  By far – my solitary post on soft boiled duck eggs and soldiers has gotten the most views to date. While I would love to assume it’s the photography – I mean look at the composition in that shot… But I am just curious – is it just duck eggs?  Are we that unfamiliar with eggs of any sort besides chicken?  Interesting idea, and probably true since I had never had … Continue reading duck eggs

the candy police

It’s Halloween time again, and you know what that means.  It’s the beginning of “Candy Season.” Seems like every holiday from now until April comes with a bucket-load of the good stuff. I promise I am not immune to the candy temptations, and typically just steer clear of the candy aisle to keep from sitting alone in a dark room shoving Snickers and Twix in my mouth.  Not kidding – it isn’t pretty. But yummies like candy and cakes and desserts are just part of the American holiday tradition, and I refuse to be a Scrooge about the good stuff.  … Continue reading the candy police

caramelizing onions

There are some things that the French and the American South know best – “low and slow.” This especially holds true with onions. The only way to develop that deep rich mahogany color is to take your time and cook them on low temperature for a long time – nearly an hour. First take your onions and slice them thinly in half moons. I like to take the onion, cut off each end, slice it in half, and peel each half. Then instead of slicing the onion parallel to the root end, slice the onion starting with the curved end. … Continue reading caramelizing onions

packed dinner

My dear friend and coworker is having her third baby, and this third trimester has been a little tough.  After worrying about her for a few weeks now, I decided that the one thing that I could do to help ease her last few weeks is cook.  She doesn’t like to cook, and if I handle dinner, she’ll have one less thing to worry about. My philosophy is when it comes to dinner – it is just as easy to make two as one.  So I helped my brother and I out for this week and made a double batch … Continue reading packed dinner

roasting tomatoes

Well, it is fall and we’ve definitely moved beyond peak tomato season.  What do you do if you are a tomato addict like me?  Concentrate those flavors by roasting.  This simple technique transforms ho-hum tomatoes into rich, velvety tomatoes for soups, sauces, sandwiches – heck anything. Like roasting most veggies – tomatoes are really no different except I like to cook them southern style – low and slow.  I feel like the longer they sit in the oven, the more liquid cooks down, and the more concentrated the flavor.  For tomatoes, roasting is less about the char and caramelizing, but … Continue reading roasting tomatoes

chopped – mauck style

Yesterday, I alluded to my mother’s insanely well stocked pantry.  Well today – here’s what I did with it. In my mother’s defense, I cannot imagine the importance of a well-stocked pantry when you have six very hungry and opinionated people depending on you to make dinner.  I distinctly remember one dinner where my mother slaved all day over a new dish – Orange Chicken – but for a family of one husband and four kids under 10 years old.  You can imagine how differently my memory left that night and where my parents’ palate would have. Frankly, from that … Continue reading chopped – mauck style

pairing reds and spice

I have the worst time pairing red wines with spicy foods.  Even the slightest bit of spice in a dish is magnified 100x by the wrong red wine pairing.  I know that everyone’s palates are different and spice effects people differently, but there are some reds that are better than others. Thankfully, my trusty Wine Spectator email came today with just this topic.  In the column, “Ask Vinny,” a reader poses the same concern.  His top picks? Don’t even drink red – try a sparkling white wine or a dry rose. Both options are refreshing and complement spicy flavors. Grenache, … Continue reading pairing reds and spice