Last Sunday we attended the Last Bite dinner put on by Rebecca Masson, benefitting Lucky Dog Rescue, a volunteer foster-based organization providing rescue services, vet care, foster care, and placement to stray and abandoned dogs.   This was the 10th and final dinner, because Rebecca will be focusing her efforts on her Fluff Bake Bar, which will be opening in the very near future.  Chefs from Houston, Austin, Dallas, and Massachusetts collaborated to put on an amazing final dinner.


Highlights of the 12+ course meal included this mosaic-like terrine of fall vegetables — fermented, roasted, and raw from Nathan Lemley of Parkside in Austin:

A Thanksgiving-worthy course that included smoked turducken, cornbread dressing with ham hock and greens, field pea and radish succotash, and roasted rainbow carrots with sorghum and Texas pecans from Patrick Feges of Feges BBQ and Brandi Key from Clark Cooper Concepts:

Duck Bolognese and apicius-spiced pasta from my favorite chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan of Pass & Provisions:


Mint-marinated lamb with baba ganoush, spiced yogurt, and pickled onion salad from Jason Gould of Cyclone Anaya’s:


A cheese course of St. David’s raclette, sakura boshi (?), cashew, and rye from Tim Maslow of Ribelle & Strip T’s in Boston (we’ll be on the lookout for this cheese!):


Crème fraiche sherbet, concord grape sauce, and ras al hanout from Rebecca Masson:


And adorable cookies from Michael’s Cookie Jar:


I made it to the farmers market last weekend for the first time in a while.  Musical entertainment was being provided by the Grim Reaper’s brother:


I had to ask what these were:


The vendor told me they were jujubes.  I asked him how do you eat them, and he said, “Like this,” and popped one in his mouth.  Whatever.  A minute or two later, another lady came up and said to him, “How do you eat these?”  He said to her, “Here, try one,” and handed her a jujube.  Guess how many jujubes I bought from him?  If you guessed zero, you would be correct.  Way to blow a sale, farmer.  I will just have to imagine what they taste like, and he will just have to imagine what my money would feel like in his wallet.

I got very excited over a new item at Kroger — red walnuts from Sanguinetti Farms:


From my interwebs research, it appears that they have been available for at least a few years.  They are naturally red, and are created by grafting  Persian red-skinned walnuts onto larger and creamier English walnuts.  They’re only red on the inside, and the shells look just like English walnuts.  They’re slightly milder in flavor than English walnuts and lack some of the bitterness.   I can’t wait to use these in holiday salads and baking.  How red are they, you ask?  Very red!


Last year I posted how to make Black Cherries for Halloween.  I made some last week, and used them in these Black Cherry Halloween Butter Cookies.  Something a little different for Halloween, and not overly sweet.  Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Recipe type: Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 tablespoon half & half
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Orange food coloring (I used ½ teaspoon Wilton concentrated paste coloring)
  • 24 black maraschino cherries (approximately)
  • Colored sprinkles, if desired
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, half & half, and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder and gradually add to the butter mixture. Add food coloring, and beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Roll about a tablespoon of the dough into a ball. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the top of each cookie. Place a cherry in each hole, cut side down.
  4. Beat egg white lightly with a fork. Using a pastry brush, brush edges of cookies with egg white and sprinkle with colored sprinkles.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.


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 Happy Halloween!


This was my daughter’s first full weekend at college. In other words, it was my first full weekend without my daughter at home.  I missed her like crazy.  I managed to get a care package off to her, which included a batch of Snickerdoodles, a cookie we’ve enjoyed making together.  These are easy and hold up well during shipping (so I’m told), and are also nice to tuck in a lunchbox.  The recipe is adapted from the one in Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook.  Comfort.  And joy.

Recipe type: Cookies
  • 2-3/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, + ¼ cup for rolling cookies in
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Stir in flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together remaining ¼ cup sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Roll dough into 1-1/2" balls and roll each in cinnamon sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets approximately 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake until golden brown, approximately 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool briefly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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 Ready to rock and rolled

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 Mmmmmm — cinnamon-y

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What a great way to say “I care.”