‘Tis the season….Holiday Scones

The holidays are upon us and, with them, the cold chill of winter’s breath. It is time for sweaters, wool socks, a fire in the fireplace and, of course, warm weekend breakfasts, the kind that fill the house with welcome aromas and warm comfort. Maybe it’s a sweet potato hash with candied bacon and caramelized…

Cajun Corn for The Holidays

The new settlers floundered initially, failing to recognize or locate enough of anything good to eat. Finally, as much out of desperation as brotherly love, they asked the native Americans who’d lived off this land a lot longer. And they, known as “Indians” since the geographically challenged Columbus called them such, pointed them to the…

THE GREAT SWORDFISH OF SICILY

It was the most memorable lunch on a cruise ship in my three decades of lecturing on cruise ships. It was especially so because quite a few passengers took one look at what was being grilled in the open air and ran not-quite-screaming to the familiar indoor lunch buffet. Somehow, while the ship had been…

Hungary’s Signature Beef Stew

By JOHN DeMERS If you stay in the beautiful capital on the Danube, Budapest, or wander from one remote corner of Hungary to the other, you won’t get a straight answer asking if goulash is really a soup or a stew. We’ve begun to suspect it is neither, or perhaps it is both. All we…

THREE CHEERS FOR CHALLAH 

A reoccurring theme in all that I do is the importance of community – of recognizing the beauty in others and celebrating that beauty over the joy and comfort of a meal prepared as much for the soul as for the stomach. As a child and then a young man, I put little thought into…

IMPROMPTU HOLIDAY GUESTS

It’s that time of year when cooking, be it plain or fancy, is at its most meaningful thanks to those you know are coming for a visit. Unless, of course, you don’t know they are coming. With all our communication technology, it seems implausible that friends or family would turn up at your doorstep without…

BUILDING THE BEST BISCOTTI

Showing every sign of good sense and more than a little good taste, the world has finally embraced the ancient Italian confection known simply as Twice Cooked. You might be wishing for a more romanticized, less workaday sort of name. Still, ever since the Roman legions discovered that these cookies retained their quality for days…

A LATE SUMMER VEGAN FEAST

As a chef, I am asked to do many things related to food, and from time to time those things come with challenge and intrigue. This last month has been no different and, in fact, brought the particularly fun challenge of preparing a vegan feast for some guests we were entertaining here at the Culinary…

The (Bacon-Kissed) Taste of Summer

Today, sitting in my cabin office looking out onto the peach orchard, I was taken by the simple beauty of our Texas Hill Country oasis. I looked out at the fire pit just up from the rippling pond behind our store, canopied by the pines, and I began to imagine a beautiful picnic comprised completely…

NEW CHEF JOINS CULINARY ADVENTURE SCHOOL

Steve Sommers, a unique culinarian with extensive restaurant and catering experience mixed with an academic passion for English, history and philosophy, is the new executive chef and lead instructor at Fischer & Wieser’s Culinary Adventure Cooking School. Located within historic Das Peach Haus in the German-founded town of Fredericksburg, the school will celebrate its second…

FISCHER & WIESER LAUNCHES BENEFIT COOKING PROGRAM

Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods, in conjunction with its Culinary Adventure Cooking School in the Texas Hill Country, is launching a new initiative called Cooking for a Cause that donates 100% of the proceeds to worthy local and regional charities, company President/CEO Case D. Fischer announced. Created to serve the community by supporting the year-round…

Getting Back to The Basics with Bread

By any reasonable accounting, the cash cost of baking your life’s first three baguettes may be about 17 cents. On the other hand, if you factor in your time and effort (especially if you do a 14-hour “pre-ferment” mysteriously known as a Poolish), the cost of those loaves might be $397. Yes, you can buy…