Dec 03, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
On Saturday, December 17, from 12:00 to 2:00, Woody and I will be appearing at our favorite cookware/bakeware store, Fante's. Do come by to say hello, and/or get your books signed, There also will be books available for sale as well as my complete pie making line of equipment.
You will also have the opportunity to purchase the perfect stocking stuffer: Fante's has re-issued the terrific little old-time Cake Whip I featured in The Cake Bible. It is ideal for folding together mixtures and batters such as folding flour into an angel food cake batter, maintaining maximum aeration. If you don't have time to stop by, it is available on line from the Fante website.
Dec 02, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Just discovered that Amazon is offering a 31% off discounted price on my beloved cookie book so want to pass this on to you in time for your holiday cookie baking.
Rose's Christmas Cookies
Nov 30, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Book Production
An Idea is Born
Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 1: An Idea is Born
Because so many of you enjoyed hearing about the publishing process of our last two books, we have decided to do it again, especially because this new book is, in so many exciting ways, different from all of my previous 10 books.
A few years ago, after completing The Baking Bible, team RoseWood was gearing up to embark on the promised wedding book when our editor Stephanie Fletcher suggested first doing a book for 'beginners.' For a few seconds I resisted, saying that beginners work just fine from all of my other books, even young people who win blue ribbons at county fairs. And as the words were half way out of my mouth I did an immediate about face as I suddenly, with lightning bolt clarity, realized the potential of what Stephanie was suggesting. So I said: If we could have step by step photos of the recipes and techniques, the book would be invaluable for both the beginner and the advanced baker. And gradually I realized that though all of my books have all the details needed for success, at first glance they are perceived as challenging--perhaps due to all the information. A photo, however, is indeed worth 1000 words and would not give that perception, especially if we changed the formatting of the text to be as concise as possible.
One of the changes we're most pleased about is that ounces are now eliminated and grams come before volume. This is because scales are now in both grams and ounces and switching between the two is easy. Also, most people have embraced the ease and reliability of weighing over measuring.
Another change that turned out to have huge impact on the complete precision of information is that Woody and I decided to do all the preparation and styling on our own for all of the recipes, in my dedicated baking kitchen. We knew that this would give us total control of the recipes, including the ability to enter every tweak and improved technique that would ensue from baking the recipes after they were tested and written up in final form. The next step was to find a first rate photographer who embraced the idea of coming to Hope, NJ for many days, over a period of several months, to achieve the agreed upon 500 plus step by step photos. Matthew Septimus was our man.
It is our goal to invite you to become part of the publishing process by briefly describing the many involved phases that bring this cookbook to fruition.
Nov 30, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Web Appearances
Delighted to report that The Baking Bible is #7 in 2016 "best cookbooks" on WikiEzvid.
This is a great site which describes the books chosen and links directly to Amazon for purchase. Be sure to check out the video for well thought out details highlighting the best features of each chosen book.
Nov 27, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special for the LA Times Syndicate
first published May 1992, for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate
The Original Movado Museum Watch
The Designer Nathan George Horwitt, a self-portrait
I was moved to retell and post this story when I noticed all the Movado holiday ads featuring their latest permutation of the famed museum watch and, coincidentally, fellow blogger David Brawley posted a photo of the original on Face Book, which reminded me how much more aesthetically pleasing it was. In fact, Uncle Nat mocked the fancier designs. He detested the wider triangular hands and what he referred to as a the "foolish little jeweled nipple" replacing the discretely flat bezel of his design.
Uncle Nat was a great inspiration to me. He made me feel that anything was possible--but I thought this applied uniquely to him. When the first cover for The Cake Bible arrived, shortly before his 90th birthday, I turned it into a birthday card for him. I drew a candle on the cake and wrote the following note below the cake: Happy 90th Birthday dear Uncle Nat. Little did your father the rabbi know that he would have a great granddaughter, named after his wife, who would write a bible.
Two years later, shortly before he died, his last words to me were: Thank you for making the family proud. I felt as though I were given the blessing of Abraham. And I realized that a little of his magic just might have rubbed off on me.
Two years later I wrote this obituary:
Nathan George Horwitt, who died 2 years ago this June at the age of 92, at home, in his beloved Berkshires, was known by many as the designer of the Museum watch, the one with the dot that spawned a revolution of watches without numbers. Horwitt was also known as a witty raconteur, effective idealist, humanitarian and political activist, responsible for helping with the establishment of the state of Israel in the 1940s and for promoting "wave of wheat," designed to provide grain to India during the famine of 1951. I did not learn in detail about Horwitt's many activities and accomplishments until reading his obituaries, because though outspoken, he was innately modest. To me, he was known mainly as the most colorful, entertaining and magical member of our family: Uncle Nat.
I was a child when he completed the design for the Movado watch but remember how he showed me the drawings, describing with pride the elegant simplicity of his design, the dot signifying both sun at high noon and moon at midnight. As an industrial designer, his work was grounded in original, philosophical concepts, though sometimes they were whimsical: On the wall before me is the hilarious self-caricature he drew on a brown paper bag to entertain me one day at lunch over 30 years ago: half man, half dog with a bone in its mouth.
Nat was my grandmother's younger brother; a Peter Pan of a person with dark brown eyes sometimes stern with impatience, sometimes quizzical with irony, other times disarmingly warm with intelligence and love.
Perhaps some saw Horwitt the dogmatist, but I experienced Uncle Nat the teacher. He was so entertaining, I learned from him without ever knowing it was a lesson. Driving along in a car he would suddenly screech to a halt, back up with terrifying speed, leap onto someone's lawn and pluck the mushroom he had spotted out of the corner of his eye. They know me here, he would explain. (One of Horwitt's sidelines was selling morel mushrooms to Lutèce in New York.)
A walk in the forest was full of experiences: Taste this mushroom! Can you feel the pepper on your tongue? That's why it's called the pepper mushroom, or see this mushroom with spots? It's called Amanita Muscaria, the fly mushroom, because it draws flies. Don't eat it, it's poisonous. My favorite lesson was: Do you see anything among those dead leaves? His eagle eyes had spotted a prized morel mushroom and after showing me the first, he pointed out how others always grew nearby and I joyfully scurried to find them.
He taught me not to eat too many wild mushrooms at one sitting by one year sending me 5 pounds of morels with a note: Don't eat them all at once! I thought he was kidding and ended up with the implied stomach ache.
Uncle Nat's final and most important lesson about morels was how to cook them. As simply as possible, he instructed. Here's how:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 pound morel mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
1 large clove garlic, smashed with the broad side of a knife
freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large bowl, stir together the salt and several cups of cold water. Add the mushrooms and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. The salt draws out any live insects which may be lurking in the mushroom's cavities. Remove the mushrooms to a colander and rinse well under cold running water to remove any dirt. Cut off the stem bottoms and any of the stem that may be tough. Slice each mushroom into 1/8-inch thick rounds or cut them into pieces, depending on the size of the mushroom.
In a large, heavy frying pan with a lid, heat the butter over medium heat. When bubbling, add the smashed garlic clove and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms soften and become tender. Continue cooking uncovered, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until all liquid evaporates and the mushrooms begin to glaze lightly. Add the black pepper and taste to adjust the seasonings.
Caveat: do not pick wild mushrooms unless you have had expert training in their identification.
Nov 26, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
So pleased that Escali, creator of the Rose Scale, included the line to my my apple pie recipe in this useful and excellent roundup of pies.
Escali Rose Levy Bakeware Digital Scale - Multi-Purpose - Rose
Nov 25, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special Stories 2016
Miro Uskovic, Executive Pastry Chef of Gramercy Tavern, invited us for the third time to be judges for the annual Tavern's pie baking challenge. This is a fun and potentially career-advancing contest for the staff. Two of the previous best pie winners not only had their pies featured on the menu for months but also were promoted to sous chefs. As we walked in the door, my dear friend Ron Ben-Israel, internationally known wedding cake baker/decorator extraordinaire, greeted me with a hug. Susan Ungaro, another early arriving judge, joined us for a tour of the kitchens. Miro also showed us this beautiful array of Christmas cookies for the upcoming holidays.
The familiar meeting room, with its room length table adorned only with nine place settings of score sheets and pencils, forks, and glasses of water, but not a pie in sight. This year, Miro and Executive Chef Michael Anthony, also a judge, decided to "amp things up a bit" with the judging. Along with several staff members, the prestigious group of judges included Ron Ben Israel, host of Food Network's "Serious Sweets," Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation, and Ghaya Oliveira, Executive Pastry Chef at Restaurant Daniel (and one of my favs). Then, to my utter joy, in walked Alex Guarnaschelli, Chef/Owner of "Butter" in New York, one of the judges of Food Network's "Chopped," and one of my long-time friends.
Miro had a hard time getting us all seated because we wanted to hug and catch up, but there were 19 pies to evaluate so we finally took our seats. Miro announced that this year each contestant would bring out and talk about his or her pie, as we tasted it. We were then able to give our critiques and comments. Unsurprisingly, Alex was in her delightful 'A game' judging mode, amazingly able to give a stream of articulate commentary without needing to take a breath. Also, unsurprisingly to me, in almost all cases we shared the same opinion, exchanging expressive looks as she and I at times changed our top choices, as a sea of pie plates filled the table.
Continue reading "Gramercy Tavern Pie Contest 2016" »
Nov 23, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
first published November 1992, for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate
This morning, from 11:00 to 12:00 EST, I will be answering as many Thanksgiving questions as my fingers can fly, on Food 52 Hotline. Don't be shy: if you're wondering about something there will be many others who have the same question.
See you there. Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov 22, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special for the LA Times Syndicate
first published November 1992, for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for two reasons: I get to see a large part of my family, whom I love so much and don't get to see very often during the rest of the year due to distance and time constraints; and secondly, of all the year's celebrations, it is the traditional fare of Thanksgiving that I enjoy the most.
I suspect that many people share this sentiment, and wouldn't be surprised to discover that the first big fight for most newlyweds occurs when they're faced with their first married Thanksgiving and have to decide which side of the family they'll spend it with. My first married Thanksgiving presented problems of a different sort. My husband and I were far away from either home so I was to make Thanksgiving for the two of us. Unfortunately, I knew practically nothing about cooking. [Added note: and apparently not much more about baking!] People often assume that cookbook writers were born with a talent for cooking, or at the very least, grew up learning to cook at their mother's side. That was certainly not the case here.
I was elated to discover that turkeys come in very small sizes, but, once home, I searched in vain for the giblets. I was anxious to find them because about the one dish I had perfected was a lump-free chicken-giblet gravy. After much peering and probing into the turkey's cavity I gave up the search as well as my plans to make giblet gravy.
Dessert was to be my first pumpkin pie. I had never eaten one and was, for some reason, convinced I wouldn't like it, but my New England husband adored it and I wanted to please and impress him. I did know how to make piecrust, as long as I started from a packaged mix so all I needed, or so I thought, was canned pumpkin.
Thanksgiving Day arrived and the house took on that glorious aroma of turkey roasting and piecrust baking. The turkey was a great success. The mystery of the missing giblets was revealed when I carved the bird and found the package of steamed giblets tucked into the neck cavity. We had a great laugh over that but I was the only one laughing when it came to the pumpkin pie. I took a taste and my mouth pursed in disgust. I proclaimed that I couldn't imagine how anyone in his right mind could eat pumpkin pie--it tasted like a barnyard smelled.
To my surprise, my husband agreed and said that no one would find it good, that it was not, in fact, pumpkin pie at all. He wanted to know how I had made it. With canned pumpkin, I said. He asked what else I had added. Why nothing. What was I supposed to have added?
He began to list spices like nutmeg and cinnamon and ingredients like brown sugar and egg and I began to feel like a complete idiot.
Nowadays, the holiday dinner is a lot easier. I know where to find the giblets and I can make several acceptable versions of pumpkin pie. Thanksgivings, however, are almost always at cousin Marion's and usually all I'm responsible for is the dessert. This year, however, I think I'll contribute something extra to the family feast: my Favorite Cranberry Sauce, to which I add an intense raspberry puree. It is so delicious that I can't imagine the Thanksgiving turkey without it.
Continue reading "Thanksgiving Dinner 1992 & The Best CranRaspberry Sauce" »
Nov 21, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
I'm so pleased to tell you that The Cake Bible E-book, with all the corrections, is now on sale for just under half price.
The Cake Bible
If you have already purchased it, here is how you can update it to the current version:
You will have to go to the Amazon site and if there is an update you will get a message that there are books with updates which you will have to approve:
- Go to Amazon.com.
- From the webpage, hover over your name on right hand side.
- Click on Manage Content and Devices.
- Find the book and click on the action button next to book.
- Click on update content.
- Synch your device by clicking on the button with two little circular arrows at the top of the page.
Note: Redownloading the book will not update it.