What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Failed Bread

One of the many things that boggles my mind is that as food bloggers become more proficient in their cooking skills–and technology get better, faster, and easier–the images of their dishes become shockingly good. I mean, perversely good. Take a look at smittenkitchen.com, 101 Cookbooks, or Cupcake Bakeshop. Some of those pictures are cookbook-worthy. And after having been in advertising for years, as well as being on set for the shoot for my own cookbook, I know the amount of work (and the tricks) that go into shooting the perfect image. For every cookie in a shot, a dozen are baked. For every pound of braised beef ribs nestled in a pot on the cover of a magazine, four pounds are cooked. Then the food stylist picks through pan, pot, or baking sheet finding that one specimen the camera will love. Read more »

Why I Left Advertising


I found this Burger King video via seattle tall poppy, my friend Traca’s blog. It shows the lengths and expense a company will go to in order to try and sell their product. It’s stuff like this that makes me glad I’m not a Mad Man anymore, or at least not in the career sense, anyway.

I started falling out of love with advertising when I was charged with making you, sane person that you are, believe if you drank Volvic Natural Spring Water you’d feel relaxed and calm. Why? The area in France the water comes from is so peaceful. The funny thing? The ads were shot in New Zealand because the exact spot in the Auvergne, home of the natural spring, is anything but lovely or peaceful.

The only way a glass of water will make me feel calm is if it comes with a side of Xanax.

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No-Knead Bread: Your Experiences

No-Knead Bread

I am not a bread baker–I reserve my weights and measures for the sweet stuff. But last Saturday, The One and I spent the day with one of LC’s testers, Cindi Kruth, and her husband, Martin Goldberg. She made the New York Times‘ famous No-Knead Bread using her 23-year-old sourdough starter named Lex. (Why it’s called Lex, don’t ask me.) She was kind enough to give me some of the starter, which we re-named “Lexi, the Spawn.” Here’s my first attempt making the bread using no commercial yeast, just Lexi.

I was wondering what your experiences were with the No-Knead recipe? I feel it needs much more salt (about 2 tablespoons in total), but I was pleased with the rise and shape of Spawn Bread, and its crust was fantastic. I hope as Lexi gets older, it’ll develop more of a sourdough taste–still too adolescent for my taste.


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