Fresh Ham and Cheese Croissants

Croissants. Not just any croissants. Freshly baked ham and cheese croissants. And not “croy-santz,” but true, honest-to-god, homemade “krwa-sawhn.” That’s what I’m talking about.

I don’t make croissants nearly as often as I should. For the longest time, I’ve relied upon my dear friend Cindi Kruth. Cindi is one of our recipe testers as well as one hell of a baker. The One and I went over to her and her husband Martin’s home one Saturday morning last autumn, and what awaited us? These croissants. About two dozen of them, fresh out of the oven. As soon as we walked in the door, she swung around with a rack of these in her hands. I’m not ashamed to admit I ate about six myself. How could I not?

Yes, yes, I can imagine what you’re thinking now as you looked below for a recipe and didn’t find one. How much ham and cheese are we supposed to use, David? Why haven’t you included the recipe, David? Are you trying to torture us, David? Read more »

Liar, Liar Apron on Fire

Lying Cook

This Thanksgiving I was betrayed. Deeply, inconsolably betrayed. What makes it worse is that I was undone by my own people. Culinistas.

During the two decades that The One and I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner together, food authors, editors, and writers have been chirping the same saccharine, Pollyanna mantra: “Prep, and all will be well!” Each year, beginning in September, they hammer away their make-ahead message in books, blogs, newspapers, magazines, and on TV, like Glinda the Good Witch repeating, “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!” to Dorothy in that helium-infused bleat of hers. And each year, even though The One and I wanted to believe what they said, we were never organized enough—or, to be honest, humble enough—to think their message applied to us. Read more »

How to Crimp A Pie Crust

Pie crimping is kind of an obsession of mine. Actually, The One would call it a fetish. (Please. Fishnet stockings and black patent leather stilletos are a fetish. But that’s another post for another day.) My pie-crimping obsession started back in 1993 when I saw my first Food Network television program. Baker Flo Braker was making a Lucerne tart, and those sexy, satiny folds of dough beguiled me. Still do. And lo these 20 years, no matter what the pie–apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, blueberry pie, you name it—I’ve got a crimp for it. I’ve decorated the perimeter of my pies with lattice work, leaves, braids, rope crimps, checkerboards, “white knuckle” crimps, and perfectly shaped pearls of pâte brisée that would make any proper Upper East Side matron clutch hers. You get the idea. Read more »

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