A Waffle Does Not Make Good Sandwich Bread (and Other Thoughts)

I received a Groupon in my in-box this morning (why I still receive Groupons in my in-box is another conversation) for a place called “Red Maple Café”. A rather generic attempt at an Americana tavern/eatery type name (the trend these days). Obviously not drawing the people they expected, if they are putting out a Groupon.

The photo included with the Groupon was of an ill-conceived sandwich, a meat of some kind — probably smoked heritage pork belly — suspended between two waffles. Making matters worse was a sprig of cilantro sitting ominously close to the meat. More

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My Year and a Half with Milford

It was a cold and rainy winter morning in March 2012 (actually it was so long ago I don’t remember, but “cold and rainy winter morning” always makes for a better story beginning) when the Groupon arrived — a new online spice company called Milford Spice. I browsed their website and found a lot of interesting things, and who can’t always use some spices — especially at 50% off? It was near my birthday, so I treated myself to the Groupon and got shopping.

Bourbon barrel smoked sea salt, looks good doesn't it?

Bourbon-barrel smoked sea salt, looks good doesn’t it?

Here were many things I could use — saffron, Malabar black peppercorns, Middle Eastern zahtar, vanilla beans — and interesting things I’d never heard of before like bourbon-barrel smoked sea salt and toasted onion cane sugar (!). I was like a kid in a candy store, and put my order in. More

The Siren Song of Summer

There’s a lot going on this week — summer nearing, the last few days of school. The calendar is full, my cooking commitments many.

Savoring my last bite of lunch before the floodgates open

Savoring my last bite of lunch before the floodgates open

As I sit here this warm afternoon eating one of my favorite summer lunches — crusty multi-grain bruschetta with ripe heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil, mozzarella and parmesan reggiano — I think of the next several days. It began this morning, as pal Ernie and I tried to go to the amazing, miraculous Santa Monica Seafood to redeem Groupons we’d purchased to make a seafood dinner this evening. More