Every Day in Tuscany, a new memoir by Frances Mayes

Tuscany in bloom

I was recently honored to write a guest Amazon review for the wonderful new memoir by Frances Mayes. Frances, a poet at heart, is one of the most gracious and generous people I know, and EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY (Broadway Books) is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. EVERY DAY IN ...

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Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook Shoot in Asheville, NC

tupelo honey cafe fried chicken blt

Fried Chicken BLT, just one of the many Southern-inspired dishes you’ll find in the cookbook. Those of you who have been keeping up with the recipe testing I’ve been doing for the forthcoming Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook know that I am almost finished and in need of a major juice cleanse (and some soul-soothing, body ...

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The Floating Island Writers’ Workshop

2010 Floating Island Workshop with Kim Sunee

Last summer, we held our first and very successful writing workshop in Seaside, FL. There were poignant stories, fish tacos, salted caramel cupcakes, wine, Champagne, the sea, a roving gourmand (aka Pableaux) who cooked up red beans and rice, twilight dancing, and so much more. I’ve received many requests to organize more writing workshops at the ...

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Catie’s King Cake Royale


Many of you have emailed me about Catie’s King Cake Recipe. It’s here (below). To cheer on the Saints in the Superbowl, we had a big gathering. Among many delicious bites, we had Essington’s “I Guess I’ll Go On and Be Tender Now” Ribs, Muffalettas w/Central Grocery Olive Salad, Martha’s Bourbon Pralines, Indian-Spiced Wings, flaky ...

(Includes a recipe for Catie's King Cake Royale)

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Heart of Darkness Tomato Tart

More recipe testing for the upcoming Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook. And Brian’s Tomato Pie (think almost Pimento cheese in a shell) was the hit among taste testers…Cookbook coming soon. Thanks to Beau for the photo.

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more recipe testing–discovering the joy of Ritz crackers

Brian's Ritzy Oysters (photo Dan Schumacher)

I don’t remember growing up eating Ritz crackers, but since I’ve been testing recipes for the upcoming Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook, I’ve had the pleasure of buying and eating these golden rounds of buttery goodness. Chef Brian Sonoskus at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville has lots of good tricks up his chef’s coat, including crumbling ...

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Thanksgiving, One Plate at a Time

Thanksgiving 2009

Earl Grey-Cranberry Relish, Roast Turkey with Prunes and Kumquats, Grammy’s Cauliflower Gratiné, Straight-Up Cornbread Dressing, Sweet Potato Yeast Rolls, and more… For those who have asked for some of the recipes for this meal, the Sweet Potato Yeast Rolls came from Epicurious.com. We found the honey butter recipe could be cut in half or use leftovers ...

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Book Club Groups, Trail of Crumbs, San Franciso to Birmingham

Jessica Collins (photographer) Anja Simms, Melissa McMahon, Christina DeChristopher, Laura Sloan

I don’t know how books help but sometimes they do make us feel a little less alone… I’ve been very fortunate to participate in many Book Club meetings where readers have gathered to discuss Trail of Crumbs. The book lends itself to lots of good food and drink and some soul searching. It’s amazing how people ...

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A spoonful of passion


Eating L.A.: Osteria Mozza, Street Food and more…

Osteria Mozza, L.A.

Here are some quick tasting notes from a few days spent in L.A.: At Susan Feniger’s Street, I discovered a new (to me) hangover remedy–Singapore-style–Toast spread with thick Kaya (coconut) jam that you dip into runny egg yolk drizzled with soy sauce. Author Pat Tanumihardja is working on a Kaya recipe to share but sent this ...

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Red Beans and Rice: Because it’s always Monday somewhere…

smoked hocks

My friend, writer and roadster, Pableaux Johnson, recently offered up a taste of my childhood to me in Florida where I was teaching a writing workshop. He pulled up with pressure cooker, rice, red beans, and Jacob’s andouille in his travel kit. In exchange for a walk on the beach and a peach bellini, my ...

(Includes a recipe for Uncle Kerry's Monday Red Beans & Rice)

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King’s Donuts and Molasses Milkshakes in Cambridge, NY

James King's Molasses Milkshake

This is the best early morning street food I had all summer while in upstate NY visiting friends, Charlie Burd and Suvir Saran, at their American Masala Farm. I wrote about King’s Donuts in Cambridge, NY a few posts ago but have since returned and wanted to share a few more photos: James King, donut maker extraordinaire, ...

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Neglected Bananas and Other Misdemeanors

apricot-banana bread

I’ve been testing recipes for a cookbook in North Carolina and have basically been tasting and not really eating much else other than what I need to test (gravies, BBQ sauces, and lots of fried birds). I had bought some bananas a few weeks ago—the perfectly freckled ones I love–but never got to them and…

(Includes a recipe for Neglected Bananas Bread)

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FOODBUZZ 24,24,24: American Masala Farm Feast

a bevy of peppers

“Indian food is not about drama or hidden recipes within recipes.  It’s all about spices, added at different times during the cooking process, which add layers of complex flavors.” -Chef Suvir Saran When Foodbuzz asked Featured Publishers for submissions for the August 24, 24, 24 Event, I was on my way to see friends at American ...

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Lake Placid and Salty Dogs

Bedroom view in Lake Placid

I spent a few days visiting Sara Foster and her husband, Peter Sellers, at their home in Lake Placid. We do what we always do when we get together–eat and drink and make up recipes. (Sara used to be our contributing food editor at Cottage Living magazine and owns 2 markets, in Chapel Hill and ...

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La Pissaladière, Mon Amour


This beautiful sticky onion treat always brings me back to my student days at the University of Nice. I rented an apartment with a Swede, a Dane, and a German–all guys with big appetites who took turns cooking…mashed potatoes, jars of pickled herring, and more potatoes with mustard or other condiments. I grew up on ...

(Includes a recipe for La Pissaladière)

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The Donut King, Cambridge, NY Street Food

chocolate cream donuts

Street Food is alive and well in Cambridge, NY. Every Saturday and Sunday, James King (pilot and donut maker extraordinaire) sells out of his hot handmade donuts, including apple beignets, plum-filled beauties, twists, and simple glazed. As for donuts: I had my first Krispy Kreme just a few years ago. I have several friends who are Krispy ...

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Au Revoir American Masala

white peaches poached in Lillet Blanc

Am leaving the farm and decided to poach some peaches in Lillet Blanc to leave as a gift to my amazing and generous hosts, Charlie and Suvir. This recipe is the first in TRAIL OF CRUMBS. I love the pairing of Lillet Blanc with fresh lemon verbena. Basil or lemon thyme would be just as ...

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Farm Fresh

buckwheat crepe with creme fraiche, goat cheese and guinea hen eggs

I’m visiting Chef Suvir Saranand his partner, Charlie at their American Masala farm in upstate NY. Suvir has left for a few days, so I’ve been cooking for Charlie, including penne all puttanesca, spaghetti alla carbonara, Indian-spiced rice, doughnuts filled with creme fraiche and blueberries, and this morning…Organic Buckwheat crepes with Charlie’s guinea hen eggs.

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