Follow Us on Pinterest 


Champiñones al ajillo. I first had this dish in high school, made by the hands of my first love, Carla, from Madrid. Nothing fancy… really approachable for any cook, no matter their experience level--mine was certainly negligible at the time, confined mostly to caramelizing onions and crafting oddball omelets.

Last night, while I helped plate a three-course meal for 50 people in the kitchen where I work, a coworker and I started fantasizing about opening a little diner. This place would serve breakfast on the weekdays and dinner on the weekends; barbecue, crab boils, blue plate specials--generally, really good, homey food.

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.