Vacherin Shell

Vacherin Sheel, FilledThis festive dessert is spectacular, time-consuming, and short lived. It is best made for a celebration.

It is simply a shell made of meringue filled with whipped cream and fresh berries; the trick lies in making a good shell.

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler hot from the oven

This traditional American summer classic is best made with very fresh peaches when they are in season in August and early September. 

Be sure to buy them where they are grown! As with most fruit, the riper a peach gets, the softer it gets, so tree-ripe fruit is hard to pack and ship. Peaches shipped from Georgia or elsewhere are typically picked somewhat underripe, and then gassed with ethylene in a warehouse to "ripen" them artificially. 

Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

This handsome drink is complex and flavorful, suitable for hot nights or cold ones. 

Lucien Gaudin was a world-champion fencer in the early 20th Century, winning awards from 1905 to 1928, including four gold medals and two silver medals in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic games. In the 1920s and 1930s, new cocktails were invented for all sorts of pop-culture references. Most have long since failed the test of time, but this tasty gin-and-Campari concoction remains a winner!


Ekmek, aka Armenian Home KadaifThis heavy pastry is middle-eastern. I have been told it is Armenian, Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish. Whoever invented it deserves a prize!

This is sweet, but not super-sweet. It's great with tea or coffee after a light middle-eastern dinner in the summer.  

Apple Pie

Apple PieThe original fall classic!

I like this best early in the season with Yellow Transparents, and late in the season with Northern Spy, Golden Russet, and Baldwin apples.  

Actifio Potluck - Summer BBQ

Type of Post: 
Best of Show
Making Lunch

We did it again. The weather forecast was promising, so the VP Engineering surprised us with a shiny new gas grill!

The Software Developers and the QA crew had at it, with a little help from the Technical Writers, Marketing, and two industrious interns. Our CSA share came in that morning, so we had a lot of "raw material" to work with.

This was our biggest pot-luck lunch so far, maybe thanks to the creative energy unleashed by that grill. Some of it was competitive energy, and some was just the joy of sharing something delicious with our friends.

The savories side of the table

We had:

Pineapple Salsa

Brad's Pineapple Salsa, photo by Brad GoodnessThis is a fine accompaniment to Grilled Scallops.

Lemon-Walnut Mayonnaise

Lemon-Walnut MayoI had some egg yolks on hand, so I made this Mayonnaise up to accompany a lot of summer dishes, mostly chicken salad, grilled chicken and white fish, and fresh farmers' market vegetables. It's really good!

This is easy to prepare in an electric mixer. This recipe makes quite a lot!

Sous-Vide Cooking

Type of Post: 
What's on my Plate?

The display on a home-made sous-vide cookerSous-vide cooking is a technique, not a recipe. The principle is to cook a piece of meat slowly at a carefully controlled temperature no higher than the final cooking temperature of the interior of the meat. This results in supremely tender meat.

The steak cooked in the homemade cooker below reached an internal temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit after an hour and 53 minutes in the cooker. 

Celery Stew?

 Annette's braised celery, photo by Richmond Talbot

The guests at the party hit the charcuterie hard, but the crudites not so much. When we sorted the debris after the folks had departed, we had a big bag of celery sticks too good to throw out. Annette went into research mode and came up with recipe for celery stew. I have great confidence in her culinary judgment, but celery stew? I shouldn't have worried.

Braised celery is a venerable dish, and essentially that’s what this was. Warm, soft, and flavorful, the celery was no longer a workout for the jaw and was actually closer to comfort food.

Slowly cooked with onion and tomato It made a delicious supper. The recipe Annette found on the web called for pancetta, but being out of that, she substituted bacon. She garnished it with a fried egg, the yolk of which ran down into the mixture like a sauce.

This method is a good use of a bunch of celery that is showing its age. What does it matter if you have a bunch of stalks that are a little limp? They’re only going to get limper when you slow cook them. You get a nice meal and clean out the vegetable drawer.

Now we’re on to the carrots.

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