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Last weekend, my dear old friend Bruno came to town for a square dance. I always work Saturdays. Saturday nights are just one of the things you give up when you work in a restaurant. So I had no illusions of being able to go with him to the square dance, although I desperately wanted to.

The first time I met Andrea, she was smoking an American Spirit cigarette in front of the dilapidated singlewide trailer we would soon share as farm interns. I was on my way out the door to work, and she had just arrived from Colorado. Her boyfriend drove her from Denver in his touring van and left her in nowhere North Carolina to work on a goat dairy.

I had a lot of big ideas for a Valentine's Day post. This is usually how it starts. The big ideas, the lists, the brainstorming. The idea phase is always the most exciting--armchair ambition at its finest. But then, you actually have to bring an idea to fruition. Sometimes things fall right into place, but usually the process is much more involved and trying. Sometimes very trying.

Last weekend, I participated in a benefit to raise money for the Eastern Congo Initiative. Theo Chocolate donated chocolate to Portland pastry chefs, and we donated our time to come up with and serve chocolate desserts at the benefit to those who bought tickets.

I promise that this recipe will not make you cry. You will not have to put on your big girl face. You will not need to go to the attic to fetch that nearly useless specialty baking pan you bought ten years ago only to find it filled with mouse droppings. And there will be no trips to the grocery store in the freezing cold tonight. Not for this recipe.

For the Super Bowl, I wanted to feature one of my childhood favorites: Cincinnati-style Cheese Coneys. They’re a good light-dinner/heavy-snack food, highly portable, absolutely delicious… perfect. First, I feel the need to entice readers unfamiliar with the delights of Cincinnati Chili… and explain some of the weirdness surrounding it.

Ratatouille should be a verb.

When you create a new word, do you have to define it right away, or can you wait to see where it goes? In some cultures, people don't name their children for years--how can you name a thing before you know it well? Is this why so many of us hate our names as children?

I hope you're all planning to show your mom some love this weekend. Moms are probably one of the best things to befall mankind.

We love getting feedback. Of course, being a family-run content business, we (perhaps) take it more personally than other, contributor-driven sites. If someone criticizes the content on, say, marthastewart.com, foodnetwork.com, Epicurious, etc., we imagine complaints are handled by someone who has little to do with the recipes or editorial choices that spawned the comments.

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Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to www.joyofcookingapp.com. Don't forget to review the app!